The Sky is Falling?

chicken little2Have you ever heard the story of Chicken Little?  There are several versions  but the one I know goes something like this.  Chicken Little was walking along one day when an acorn fell on his head.  He just knew, with all his heart, that the sky was falling so he set out to tell the king.  Along the way, he met other animals and as he told them what happened they decided to join him on his quest.  They happen upon a fox who invites them into his lair for protection against the falling sky.  They all enter but then the fox proceeds to eat them all except for Chicken Little who was warned what the fox was doing and escaped.  The moral of the story…’Don’t believe everything you hear.”

I have heard a lot of people over the last few years complain about our President and Congress.  Sometimes about the fact that they can’t agree on anything and have accomplished very little. Then again, the items that have been accomplished are very unpopular with a large segment of the population.  No matter if you agree or disagree with any of them—your duty as a Bible believing, follower of Jesus is to pray for them.  Are we?  Enough?  Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”  See, God is not caught by surprise by anything that is going on in our country or our world today.

He is Sovereign and He is always in control.  Does that mean we are puppets on a string…NO.  God has given us free will.  He has given us the ability to serve Him or serve satan.  Believe me, if you say you’re not going to make a choice in this moment, you have already made a choice.  But if you have chosen to be a follower of Jesus Christ—don’t believe everything you hear.  Don’t get nervous when things seem to be going wrong.  Don’t be nervous when it feels like the enemy is winning.  Read until you get to the end of the book…God wins!  He is victorious!  He knows and understands that the sky is not falling even though sometimes it feels like it and sometimes it may appear that way.

We are living in the last days.  God’s word states that all we are seeing must come to pass before His final appearing.  We have a responsibility as His children to pray for the lost.  Our hearts should be burdened for anyone who does not know Jesus as their personal Savior.   Just because we may not like who is President or who is in Congress at the time does not mean we are not to pray for them.  Because ultimately—they are not in control…GOD IS!  He is and always will be Sovereign.  He is and always will be our Creator.  He is and always will be the One and Only true God.

Teach Me to Love Like That!

“They brought you the woman, caught in the act.  They said they were bound by the law.  You never looked up Your words were exact…compassion was all that they saw.  As she stood in judgment afraid and alone; You said he without sin, let him cast the first stone.  – Teach me to love like that.  When it matters most, I want to live without fear.  Teach me to love like that.  Keep drawing me close,’til the only clear voice that I hear.  Is something that You’d say, I want to learn Your way…Teach me to love like that.” (Sung by the group Lordsong)

Revelation 3:15-16. “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold.  I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of my mouth!”  As you read the two scriptures above did you realize that the American church is now more like the church at Laodicea than at any other time in its history.  How can I say that?  Because of the many societal problems our nation is facing.  Addictions, hunger, divorce, fear, gangs the root of many which can be traced back to a lack of love.  A lack of love of self…a lack of love of each other, but most importantly a lack of love for Jesus.

What has happened to our first love?  What has happened to the fire that was first ignited in our souls the first time we really came to know, to speak to, to trust in Jesus?  Why are there dying embers where there used to be roaring flames?  There are probably a million different answers from a million different individuals, but there is a commonality in all.  Time!  Time can often be that four letter word that you hate to hear.  Because quite frankly, if you’re like me, there usually just isn’t enough of it.

The Lord has really been dealing with me about my relationship with Him.  Because if I don’t love Him the way I should, I can’t love myself or others the way He wants me to.  Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love others as we would love ourselves, but to do that we must have and maintain a relationship with Him.  When I looked up ‘relationship’ in the dictionary this is what it said, “the way in which two or more people or groups feel about and behave toward each other.”  So a good relationship is one where there is communication, interaction, praise, trust, etc., and a bad relationship is just the opposite.  How is your relationship with Jesus?  What kind of prayer life do you have?  Can you say that you trust Him with all parts of your life?  Is your heart filled with praise for who He is in your life…DAILY?  What kind of interaction do you allow Him in areas of your life?  Are there things about you that don’t want Him to change…to see?  These are questions that I believe God is challenging us to ask ourselves, not only to ponder, but to answer so we actively stoke the fire of love in our hearts for His Son.

Time is short!  Too many things are happening, that were foretold by the prophets about the second coming of Jesus, for us to pretend that we can wait a while longer.  God is calling us to a higher place in Him.  He wants to teach us to love like His Son.  He knows that when we do, nothing on this earth can stop us from becoming the person He desires.

‘Slave’ Mentality in a Free-Will World

What is a slave or a bond-servant as it is sometimes called in the Bible? It is a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another…one who is bound to service without wages. Why you might ask should we have a slave mentality in our walk with Christ. Our world is progressive, it’s enlightened. Our technology and knowledge at this point in history is off the charts. We can have information in a nano-second, we can fly around the world in just a matter of hours. So should we go backwards in our thinking about our relationship with Jesus? In some ways YES.

Matthew 20:27-28 (NKJV) states, “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus came from heaven to ‘serve’ – He came to be the sacrifice for our sins. In knowing that…and giving our hearts to Him—we, in turn, should be a slave to Him and not the world around us. We are told in Philippians 2:5-7 (NLT) that, “Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.” Jesus came to free us from sin but in doing so we can’t forget that our lives and what we do should be based on His will and not our own.

In the old testament if a Hebrew ended up, for whatever reason, as a slave he had to be freed in the jubilee year. But if this slave loved his master he could decide to remain a slave. In Exodus 21:6 (JSB), his master shall take him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall then remain his slave for life. A slave for life—- just because he loved his master. The study notes indicated that to ‘pierce the ear’ may symbolize the servant’s obligation to have his ear permanently open to hear his master’s orders. What kind of master would that have to be to give up one’s freedom? What kind of love would you have for your master for you to always hear the master’s orders…and obey them.

In many of Paul’s writings, he talks of us being a slave to sin and the world but that through the blood of Jesus we do not have to be a slave to sin any longer. I can testify to what being a slave to sin can do to your life. I know how your mind works when you think you’re having a ‘good’ time but then when all your friends are gone how paranoia can set in. The longing for something to fill the hole you have inside. The devil will tell you he has just the right thing…whether it’s drugs, alcohol, a person, gambling, pornography…these will only make the hole larger and darker. At first you may think you can handle it—you won’t become addicted to anything—you’re much smarter and stronger than to do something like that. But, that is a smokescreen that satan will either allow you to think or even put in your head. He does not want you thinking or knowing about the truth of his deception.

The world would have us believe that Jesus was just a man. That there was nothing special about Him or His ministry. Some would even say the Bible is just a fairy tale. The stories aren’t true…they weren’t written by the inspiration of God. And because they too were given a free will—they can believe it. But the danger of that is spending an eternity in hell, without the love of God.

God allows us to choose all things in our life. He is the One that created us. We can choose to live for Him or we can choose to serve satan. And even when we decide to ask Him into our hearts—He still allows us the freedom to do as we wish…but that freedom comes with a responsibility. The responsibility to love Him more each day, to spend time with Jesus in prayer, to read and study God’s word so we know what He desires of us.

Are you a ‘slave’ for life? Am I? When God first laid this subject on my heart I really had to do a lot of soul-searching and I can honestly tell you—I came up very short in a lot of ways. Is my love and attitude towards people the same as Jesus? Do I want to be seen by others instead of doing what I know God desires of me without any ‘pats on the back’? Even though I know He gave me free will—do I instead, seek God’s will and direction for my life? Am I pursuing my relationship with Jesus with all my heart, my mind, my soul? Is there a ’hole’ in my ear that I asked my Master to place there? How would you answer the above questions? No matter what we decide individually about our soul and walk with Jesus…God’s plan for this world will come to pass. His word is true! As for me—I choose to be a slave to Him. I choose to daily ask Jesus to help me to walk in His will…to discern the things He has for me. I want to stay humbly before Him in all things and all ways. Because the truth of the matter is – the only true freedom we have is found in Christ Jesus!