Thursday, February 5, 2009

Be Prepared........

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NIV)

1: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
3: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4: They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
5: But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Does this sound like a familiar setting? Sound like yesterday? Maybe today?

Every generation has seen evidence of this foretelling, but not all of it at the same time. Today, we see it all. We have seen the process of phasing God out. Man today is attempting to put Him into the same status as the stone relic god's of yesterday. God has warned us to watch for just this occurrence. Well my friends, it is happening and has been happening.

It started with the relaxing of morals, prohibition of prayer in schools, removing prayer from sporting events, making being a Christian an unpopular group to belong to. We're being conditioned to accept all things as "just how it is". I'm here to tell you "just how it is" is a lie straight out of hell! It, and this tiny word covers so many topics, isn't just how it is. Immorality, perversions, lying, stealing, breaking down our fellow man is just plain WRONG, it was wrong yesterday, it is wrong today and it will be wrong tomorrow! God has told us in His Word, "love thy neighbor as thyself." (Lev.19:18) Brothers, sisters, this means loving them in spite of themselves. Telling them the Good News! Even when it seems that they don't want to hear. When they curse us, turn away from us, is when we should fall on our faces and lift them up in prayer to the Father.

How does this relate to the scripture above? It is very simple. We are being warned yet again by God the Father of the "tickling of the ear" speeches that we hear during every election. The promise of "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" of the candidate always turns out to be just that, ear tickling. In truth, it is a lie, told to make the sheep that he, or she, is courting to follow them. And, like the foolish sheep, follow they do. Right to the slaughter.

Then there are those that endeavor to stay on the path, the narrow path, and fail. They are the ones held up for ridicule and reproach. All forgetting that we are all but simple men and women, subject to the same desires as they. But the difference, and it is a big one, is that we are Children of God, thus are forgiven our sins. We tell them this, but they ear ticklers would have us to believe that Jesus was just a good ole' boy, nothing more than a prophet in His time. Again, with the lies they tell, there are those that will listen and die. For separation from God is the true death.

Keeping our God before us, enduring in all hardships, preaching the word and evangelizing are our charge, those of us that are children of the One true, Living God. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. We can do it, we will do it. You see, we have the book, we know the ending, regardless of everything else, we will prevail. Because you see, we know, in the end..... He wins!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (New International Version)
4: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

For the past few weeks I've been getting hit with this scripture, over and over again. It comes from the oddest places. For example, last Saturday, Doug and I were at a car dealership in Union City. We are searching for a replacement car for Bethany. The LeBaron is on it's last leg, so to speak. We met the most exciting man, John Coleman. He is a lay pastor attending a non denominational church there in Union City.

John had Doug and I nearly dancing the dance of joyous believers as we all shared our love of the Lord. During our "talk", John began to speak of "holding your thoughts captive" in relation to some experiences he'd had in his life. Satan's using those experiences to try to keep John down and destroy his witness for God. The things John shared with us made me remember my own experiences (I honestly haven't forgotten them, Satan won't let me) and to relate to his suffering. Even though our experiences were as different as night and day.

I suddenly realized I was hearing the voice of God, telling me through John to throw out those former thoughts and memories, stop letting them rule my life and give it all to him! Those things are gone, they can't hurt me now. The people involved can't hurt me now. The revelation was astounding! The feeling of power was amazing! I was foolishly allowing Satan to have power over me, affectig my witness and keeping me down with his lies and threats.

So, this week I have been fighting for my life! Satan is a sore loser, let me tell you. He is attacking me in areas that I'd never thought of. But he won't win. God won't allow it, He is faithful to me in His promise and I am taking that to the bank!!!