Friday, December 26, 2014

As we approach the new year. we must decide how to approach what it brings.

John 10:9-10King James Version (KJV)

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

2014 is nearly over (can you believe it?). 2015 is nearly here. If you are like the rest of us 2014 has brought with it, it's share of joy and pain, good times and bad times, revelations both good and bad. Every year before this one has done the same.
With New Years day approaching, so many celebrate because, they believe, that somehow "this year will be different." "This will be the year where I finally get things right. This year will be different and I will leave my past behind. This year will give me a clean slate."
The only true hope of a clean slate is through the blood of Jesus. 
But, what about those of us that are born again? Can this year truly be different for us? No....but, yes.
Read the verse above. Jesus came to give us life, and that more abundantly. YEA, we scream! That's what I want! Then, we complain when we get it. Let me explain.
I learned this from a comedian named Mark Lowery. Life is not just good times. It also has bad times. In fact, life is a roller coaster ride that contains times of climbing the hill, times on the top of the hill, times of stressful falling down the hill, some flat valley time, all repeated over and over again. 
So, when we become Christians, guess what? Life's cycles just became more abundant. We have more hills to climb, more mountain tops, more times where life seems to throw us off the mountain, more valleys. Yet, we scream and holler and moan and groan about the abundant life that Jesus has given us.
None of us truly know what 2015 will bring us. Only Jesus does. So, what are we to do. 
The only clean slate we can gain in this new year (besides forgiveness of sins), is our approach to the events that will surely be coming our way. So, instead of whining and complaining, here are some things we can resolve to do that will truly make 2015 better. They may not change what we go through, but they will change our ability to cope with what comes.
1) Let's resolve to spend more time connecting with Jesus.
Time is a premium these days. Many things vie for our attention. Friends, Family, work, school, entertainment, trials, tribulations, etc. Of all the things in life that we must choose to spend valuable time with, Jesus is by far the most important. 
He is our hope. He is our strength. He is our light. He is our safety net. We can gain the whole world, but without Jesus, we will lose our souls. So, lets resolve to spend more time studying his word. 
The answers to all of life's problems can be found in his word, the KJV Bible. As we study to show ourselves approved unto God, he shares with us valuable insights that will guide us through the many pitfalls and mine fields of this life. To ignore his word is to ignore our second most valuable resource, God's road map through life. 
Yes, I said second most important. What is the first? PRAYER!!!!! Bible study is where we discover who he is. Prayer is where we directly interact with him. Bible study will help us to remain doctrinally sound, but prayer is where we build the relationship with the divine that we need to obey what we find in his word. 
2) When good times come our way, praise the Lord for them and enjoy them. Enjoy fellowship. Enjoy times of plenty. Praise Jesus for all the good things in our lives: our families, our spouses, our jobs, our churches, the good things he allows us to be a part of, the blessings he brings our way. 
3) The word says that "all who will live godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12) Living with Jesus is awesome. To know that the creator of the universe is our divine daddy is great. But, because we live for him, the world will hate us. Governments give more grace to evil men than they show to Christians. Employers allow ungodliness but come down on us when we stand against it. Even if we quietly try and live our Christian lives in our own little corner and leave others alone, the world notices how we live and tries to stand against us. 
So, our attitude should not be one of surprise and anguish when these trials come. Rather, we should pray for those that spitefully use us. Love our enemies anyway. Pray for them in the face of the persecution they bring. Do not bow our knees to their ungodliness. 
Some of our persecution may come from family and friends. Some of it may come from other Christians who don't yet understand why we live the way we do. 
Love them anyway. Pray for them anyway. But do not sway from what God has told you to do. 
4) Always seek to meet every situation, good or bad, with the grace of God. This will see us through and will help us to keep a good attitude no matter what situation we find ourselves in. 
So, friends, lets change our approach to the new year and resolve to meet everything with Jesus. May the Lord bless you and yours in 2015.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

When God (seemingly) disrespects us.

John 9 King James Version (KJV)

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Imagine that you were born blind. Imagine that you lived in New Testament times and were born blind. Then, this could be your story. 
Verse 1 states that Jesus came upon a man that was born blind. Aren't we all born blind? No, you say? Jesus said in John 3 that unless we are born again we cannot see the kingdom of God. Ahh, you say. We are all born spiritually blind. 
So, what hope do we have of a good life? Certainly, the blind man in our passage today had no hope of a good life. There were no social programs to help him learn a trade. There were no government checks and government housing to aid his living. There were no trained seeing eye dogs available  to him. He probably didn't even have a salvation army type bell to use to draw attention to his plight. (A bell would require money to make. Money that he didn't have.) All he could do was sit (or stand) by the wayside of the street and beg for whatever money that a merciful traveler might be inclined to throw his way.
His plight becomes even more unbearable by the question of the disciples of Jesus in verse 2. "Who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" There was (and still is) this false belief in the world that all sickness and disabilities are a direct result of direct sin. While it is true, that sickness and disability are in the world because of man's fallen nature, a persons sickness or disability are not necessarily caused by that person's (or their family's) direct sin. 
Think about the ludicrousness of the disciples question. Their question assumes the possibility that the blind man's own sin could have caused him to be born blind. How in the world can a baby in the womb (who's doing nothing but growing there) commit a sin? While it is a possibility that the parent's sin (drinking, or drugs, or physically fighting and causing a problem in the womb) could cause a problem with the baby. More than likely, it was simple genetics (something that the disciples- and still many today- didn't understand). 
Jesus' answer makes it clear that not only was it genetic (and not caused by sin), but that it was (gasp) God's sovereign will that the man was born blind. Really? A loving God actually chose for this man to be born with a disability? Yes, according to Jesus in verse 3. 
Some of the situations we find ourselves in are not of our making, but (as hard as they are) they are the perfect will of a loving God for our lives. We may not like or want them, but God wants us there. Our job is to make the best of the situation and survive. 
The blind man here had already proven that he was a fighter. He could have lain down and died in his own pity party. He could've stayed at his parents home and demanded that they feed and cloth him. However, not only did he not do these things, he actually went out into the streets. He endured the public ridicule and scorn and tried to bring in as much of an income as his station in life allowed him to do. 
So what did Jesus do to this man? Did he hug him? No. Did he scream and holler and make a public show of healing him? No. What did he do? He did three things: He spat on the ground, made a mud ball and placed it in the man's eyes, and he sent him on a journey. 
In many places in the world, especially in the middle east, to spit on the ground in front of a person is a very disrespectful act. It signifies how utterly disdainful you find that person. Think about it. God, in human flesh, looked at this blind man and (seemingly) disrespected him. The man was blind. He was not deaf. Many of the religiously pious had surely spat on the ground near him in disgust. Here, Jesus seems to do the same thing! 
Worse yet, Jesus them makes mud out of the spit (so it had to be a fair amount of spittle he used) and rubs the mud into the blind man's eyes. How disrespectful is that? 
Then, Jesus didn't even explain to the man what he was doing. He simply told them man to go to the pool of Siloam and wash. Why did the man obey? Why did he not simply wipe off the mud and return to his begging? Why did he not explode at the insult of this supposed prophet? 
The answer, I believe, is found in a) Jesus' reputation as a good prophet (and against the religious elite) and b) the place he was sent. 
First, the word Siloam means "sent". So, the sent one (Messiah) was sending him. This was definitely a step up in the world for him. Noone ever asked him to go somewhere in a good way. Yet, the Messiah did. And, as a side note, another word that means sent is Apostle.        
Second, the location of the pool was by the wall adjoining the kings gardens (Nehemiah 3:15) and would therefore be in the middle of all the "somebodies" of the day. It was probably a forbidden place for beggars. Yet, on this day, at the behest of the messiah, a beggar in ratty clothes would not only go there, but he would bend over and wash the mud and spittle from his eyes. Oh, the shame! Oh, the shock of the elite! I can almost see the man's smile as he headed out to obey the master. 
The man didn't know he was going to be healed. Jesus hadn't told him that. He'd just told the man to go and wash. Surely the thought of a possible beating for obedience entered his mind, but he dismissed it. He'd been beat before. He'd been looked down on before. Why not obey this man who had done so much for people before this? There was nothing in the master's reputation that would cause the man to believe that Jesus intended him ill will. 
So, the blind man obeyed the master. Notice that neither Jesus, nor anyone else, lifted a finger to go and help the man do as he had been told. Notice also that the man didn't ask for help. He simply went and washed in this pool. 
Can you imagine the emotional reaction of the blind man as the mud was washed away? Suddenly, for the first time ever, he could see! I don't know about you, but I'd be shouting to high heaven and dancing a Pentecostal jig! 
What can we learn from this story? 
When God seemingly has turned his nose up at us, even disrespected us, we should obey anyway- trusting in the reputation of our loving Father. He may not seem to be offering us any help for the journey. He may not even tell us the reason for the journey. But, when we obey him and reach the end of our journey, the miracle that occurs is far better than anything we have ever imagined! 
It doesn't matter what others think. It only matters what God thinks. In spite of the appearance. In spite of the seeming disrespect. Regardless of the lack of help from others. Always obey the orders of the master. When we do, we will find healing, mercy, and joy.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How is our "Infiltration Capacity?"

Infiltration Capacity: the maximum rate at which a soil in a given condition will absorb water.

As I was studying for my geography exam today, I came across this term. It felt as if the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and asked: "What is your infiltration capacity?"

Of course, I wasn't sure what he meant. So he proceeded to remind me of the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20). In this parable, there are four types of ground the seed (the word) is sown into. A) The ground by the way side (beside the path or road), B) Stony ground, C) Thorny ground, and d) Good ground. 

The ground by the way side is not cultivated. It is hardened by the walking tracks and animal and human alike, not to mention carts being pulled by animals. Therefore, the Infiltration capacity for this ground is not very high. Not only is it hard to plant a seed there, it is hard for water to get to the seed, so the seed dries out and lays there. Birds come along and take the seed away. There will be no harvest in the ground by the way side. Many hearers of the word are barely fazed by it, before the enemy is able to strip that holy seed from their minds. 

The Stony ground has a little bit higher Infiltration capacity. After all, water can get caught between the rocks and soften the ground. The seed can even land there and begin to take root. However, due to the rocky soil, the plant that the seed produces has a very hard time seeing the light of day. It's hard for a plant to push its way through the rocks. Not to mention that rocky soil, because of the rocks mixed in with the soil, tends to be shallow. One good rain and many young plants are simply washed away to die. A few people may make it through their stony ground- very few.

The Thorny ground has a still higher Infiltration capacity. After all, the ground below the thorny plants is loose enough for a seed and can accept water when the rains fall. But, when the plant begins to grow, it finds itself being choked out by the thorns it grows underneath. Most people who make a start and fall away are in this category. The cares of this life choke out the seed of life. What cares? Riches, fame, materialism, parties, daily needs, housing, their next conquest, etc. The list goes on and on. 

Then there's the good ground. Good ground has been tilled, breaking up the hard fallow surface. Good ground has had the rocks and thorns removed. This ground has a high Infiltration capacity. Water soaks right in to aid the growth of the seed into a strong, fruitful plant. These people almost all will make heaven. 

Then, Jesus makes another amazing inference that can lead to a more modern definition for "Infiltration Capacity:" And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?"(verse 21)

When a candle is lit, the light infiltrates the darkness around it. Is our light shining? Are we blending in to the darkness around us, or do we stand up against the darkness and allow the light of Jesus to shine forth? How far into the lives of others can the Jesus within us infiltrate? Are we hiding his light under a bushel by trying to blend in and go with the flow? 

In another chapter, Jesus says we are the salt of the earth, but that salt is no good and is trampled by the worlds feet is it has lost it's saltiness. Why is the world slipping further and further into darkness? Why are the worlds voices rising up against us and the God we stand for? 

We, the church as a whole, have by and large ceased being that salt. We've stopped being the light. Our good ground has grown fallow, hard, and filled with rocks and thorns. We, as his people, need to repent and return from whence we have fallen! Then, and only then, will we be able to have the capacity to infiltrate the world around us and effect it for the good.  

Lord, please help us to become ground that you can infiltrate with the water of your word. Please allow us to live in such a way that your light can shine through and infiltrate and effect the darkness around us. 

In Jesus name!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

49 things that truly matter, in my humble opinion.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-13King James Version (KJV)

11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
13 This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
Tomorrow I turn 49 (by the mercy of God). I suppose that my age and my health are causing me to feel a little philosophical. I may not have very many folks that listen to anything I have to say, but I thought I would tell you all some of the things of importance that I have learned in my time on this earth. 
Maybe it will help some of you.

1) Our first priority is Jesus. Period. Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 
2) Jesus is God alone. 

1 Timothy 1:16-18King James Version (KJV)

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
3) The only biblical plan of salvation, given by Jesus and the apostles, is Acts 2:38. Proof? John 3:1-8, Acts 2:37-40, Acts 10:43-48, Acts 19: 1-7. 
4) In matters of priority, God created the family 4000 years BEFORE he created the church. Church is important, to be sure. But, the family is the higher priority. 
5) Jesus didn't go to the cross to create a religion. HE went to the cross to gain relationship with whosoever will enter into it with him. 
6) Holiness is still necessary.
7) Holiness is NOT a system of rules and regs. That's religion. Holiness is an abiding relationship with Jesus on the inside that changes how you think, act, and look on the outside. 
8) Though I am not against  church buildings, the early church met in homes and fields (sometimes underground). There were no church buildings, as such, until 200 plus AD. Therefore, local churches should be MUCH more people focused and MUCH less building focused.
9) As much as we may not like it, Gospel music has always incorporated the musical styles of the day. From Handel's Messiah to today's "Gospel rap," this trend has never stopped. That's not to say that all "Gospel music" is pleasing to God- it depends on the heart of the hearer and the words of the song. But, if God can speak through a donkey, he can speak through modern music. If we are going to insist upon doing things exactly the way they did in scripture (musically speaking), then we need to go back to the Jewish style singing and instruments they used back then. Anybody know what that is? 
10) The best glimpse of the love of God that I've ever personally seen is the faithfulness and forgiveness of my wife Della Mae Winskie. She has put up with a lot over the last 16 plus years. And scripture tells me that God is much more forgiving than my wife! Amazing!
11) My dad may not be perfect, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the little things he does and has done. I love you, Butch Winskie.
12) I love all four of my children (William Martin, Erica Martin, Heather Sinsley, and Jonathan Winskie). I truly pray that we can have a loving gathering together very soon! And please bring my grandchildren so we can spoil them! 
13)  After my heart attack and death on the table, I understand that every day is a gift from God. Let's make the most of each second he gives us. 
14) All the things we strive for and all the things we think are so important in this life, won't matter a hill of beans when we stand before Jesus on judgement day. He won't care what political party we supported, what music group we listened to, or what car we drive, He won't be concerned with the size of our house or bank accounts. He will be concerned with how we worshiped and obeyed him. He will be concerned with how we treated our fellow man. He will be concerned with how we loved our families and friends.  
15) The USA is the greatest country in the history of the world, as long as we stick to our founding documents and stay with the Bible. The extent to which we have walked away from scripture and the Constitution, is the extent to which we have torn away much of that greatness and replaced it with false gods and terrible government. 
16) I remember being told that if you have gained 1 close friend for each decade you live on this earth you are doing well. At the time ( I was a teenager), I thought I had a lot of friends and that's how it would always be. I was wrong. I have a hand full of good friends and I thank God for every weird one of you! (I'm weird too)
17) What you believe is not based on what you say, Rather what you believe is based on what you do. Jesus won't say, "well said, my good and faithful." He will say, "Well DONE, my good and faithful servant," 
18) Enjoy your parents while you have them. One day, you won't be able to pick up the phone and call them: and you'll wish you could. 
19) We owe a great debt of gratitude to our founding fathers and veterans. Look around the world a bit, an you'll see that we are still the best thing going. 
20) Enjoy your children while you can. One day they will grow up and move out. 
21) Sometimes, we have to apologize even when we haven't done wrong, in order to maintain a good relationship. It's not so much about who's right as it is about keeping the relationship together,
22) A day well spent with family is far better than weeks in the company board room. 
23) Education (in and of itself) is not what helps you. Rather, it's what you are educated about that makes the difference. 
24) War is sometimes necessary to defend yourself. The best way to stop a bully is to defeat them. 
25) Guns truly do not kill people. However, if somebody breaks into our home and threatens my family, a gun will kill and intruder. 
26) Grandchildren are to be enjoyed, spoiled, and handed back to the children. 
27) Anybody who is cruel to animals and children, deserves to be locked up and beaten daily. 
28) You can't pick your children's spouses, and there will be things about them that irritate you. So, raise your children to seek God about their prospective spouse. And pray that the Lord will help you not go off on the ones they choose. 
29) Men, work hard and try hard to take care of your family. That's your God-given job. 
30) Your children will, to some degree or another, rebel against you. So, I say stay weird. When they rebel, they will be normal!
31) Seek the Lord with your whole heart in all that you do.
32) That person in your life that drives you crazy and makes life hard? Yep. They were put there by God to encourage you to pray and for you to be a witness to. No matter how bad they are treating you, they are watching your life to see if your walk matches your talk. 
33) Yes, your wife is right the majority of the time. She was put there to help you be a better man. Listen and change and she'll stop nagging. 
34) The hardest thing for men to do is to admit we are wrong. A real man admits his mistakes and repents. A sorry man won't.
35) There is no scripture that uses the term "woman of God." Can we please stop using it? 
36) That saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" is a lie. If we keep our enemies close, we shouldn't be surprised when they stab us in the back. 
37) The pastor or preacher is not in the family chain of command. It says, God- husband-wife-children. It doesn't say God-pastor-husband-wife-children. Men, we are the priests of our homes, not the pastor. It's high time we act like it!
38) Head of the home does not mean Lord of the castle. We are heirs together of the grace of God. We may have different jobs in God's word, but we are in this thing together. 
39) Racism has NO place in the people of God. Jesus made all nations of ONE blood. We go to heaven together or hell alone. 
40) Government is not the answer for our national (or international) problems. What makes us think they can solve our personal problems? Jesus has the answer, not government.
41) If we spend all our time chasing entertainment (TV, movies, games, books, etc), we should not be surprised to find ourselves alone and broke when we are old. 
42) Open your mouth with positive things as much as possible. The world has enough negative. 
43) Preachers are meant to "reprove, rebuke, AND exhort WITH all longsuffering AND doctrine." If we can't (or aren't willing to) do all of it, then we should do none of it.
44) Part of the churches job IS to help those in need. Stop complaining about it and start doing it. It'd God's money anyway. If we do it, the Government won't have to and will have no excuse for trying to run our lives.  
45) Regardless of our past training or what we want to believe, God is always right. 
46) No matter how good the restaurant, home cooking will always be better. 
47) The worst thing a man can say to their wife is, "my momma didn't do it that way." Conversely, the worst thing a wife can say to her husband is, "my daddy never did it that way." Neither statement is a good idea. 
48) Where science and the Bible disagree, science hasn't caught up to God. 
49) The grass that looks greener on the other side, will be full of ants and other pests when you get there. 
OK, I hope this will help somebody. 
God bless you all. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

How does Jesus see illegal immigration?

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. Andwhosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Matthew 22 King James Version (KJV)

22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
There has been much talk of late about illegal immigration. Many are against it. Many are for it. Some, to try and bolster their argument, say that Jesus is for illegal immigration. But, is this true?
If you take Revelations 22:17 alone, this would seem to bolster their argument. But, Matthew 22 may tell a different story.
Here, the king invites all the somebodies to come celebrate his son's marriage. All of them declined. 
Skipping down, he has his servants go and invite the nobodies, the down and outs. In fact, he told his servants, to invite "as many as ye shall find." 
So, is this immigration without borders or requirements? 
Let's go on. 
The wedding is full of formerly unworthy people. Did illegal immigration win? 
Notice this: 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
So, the king surveys his gathering and noticed a man who didn't have on a wedding garment. 
This tells us several things.
a) Even though many people were invited, they still had to submit to the king's rules to enter the wedding and become an active member of the party.
This doesn't sound like the open borders, do as you like policies of our liberal friends. This sounds like closed borders, certain entry points, and rules that they must follow in order to be admitted legally. 
b) They had to wear certain garments. It didn't matter their culture. It didn't matter their backgrounds. It didn't matter how educated they were (or not). They had to set their cultural habits aside and willingly submit to the rules of the kingdom. 
Again, this is not open borders. This is not feel good, arms open wide, everybody come and do what you will. This is closed borders and assimilate yourself into our culture. 
So, what happened to this illegal immigrant?
Was he given free health care? Was he given free education? Was he given free housing, a drivers license, EBT cards, etc? 
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
No, my friends. This illegal alien was summarily arrested, taken away (not of his own free will), and kicked out of the king's lands. 
It's also worth noting that he was cast into outer darkness, where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth. These phrases "outer darkness" and "weeping and gnashing of teeth," indicate imprisonment and punishment. (literally, spiritually, we're speaking of hell. Those who refuse to enter in God's way- Acts 2:38, will find themselves in hell: darkness and torment.) 
This illegal alien was caught, arrested, cast out of the kings goodness. He was imprisoned and punished.
So, how would Jesus handle an illegal immigrant?
Catch them. Arrest them. Imprison them. Punish them. Cast them out. It's really that simple. 
Please understand. Just as Jesus has no problem with LEGAL immigration, neither do we. 
It is the flaunting of our laws, the thumbing of their noses, the crass disregard for the legal route, that we (and Jesus) have a problem with. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Love is an action verb, not a noun that sits there.

John 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
There's a lot of talk about love in "church" today (rightfully so). However, much of it is used like this: "If you love Jesus you will give to his church," "If you love God you will be here every time the doors are opened," or, "If you really love him, you will help clean (or repair) this beautiful building he's blessed us with."
In this well known (and often misused) verse, the Bible says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave...." Who did he give to? Did he give to build a church building? Did he give to line the preacher's pocket? Did he give to create another possible vocation for us to be paid for? NO!!!!!!
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

He could not find anyone who would make up the hedge to protect Israel (and the world). So, this is what God did:

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm broughtsalvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

God became a man. His love moved him to action. He became the lamb of God to open up the windows of heaven for "whosoever will." 

He looked and saw our need and his love caused him to feel compassion. His compassion moved him to action. Love is an action verb. 

When we feel the love of God and we look around us, we will be moved with compassion. That godly compassion will move us to action. "God so loved the world, that he gave..."

We need to do likewise. 

Contrary to popular opinion, the giving in the new testament was not to build up a church building. It was not to build up an organization and keep up their headquarters. It was to help with the needs of real people. It was to help those in need of the body of Christ and also of the world. 

We are supposed to BE the church to each other and the world. We are not supposed to GO to church. WE ARE THE CHURCH. 

Let's stop playing church and be the church. Let's stop lifting up men and organizations and start lifting up Jesus and being about his work. 

Revival will never happen until we get wrapped up in him and allow him to get us wrapped up in the real lives of real people. It's that simple. 

It's not about a building. It's about people that God loves and feels compassion for. May he be able to use us as his hands and feet. Through that, people will see his heart. 

Anything short of this is not real Christianity.