Monday, July 14, 2014

Pray For Peace

Although I strive to remain neutral when it comes to politics and other controversial issues, there is one issue that is steaming hot and boiling over right now, and this issue is the conflict in Israel. The current Israeli-Palestinian conflict has caused many arguments to erupt between both believers and non believers alike, there are those who believe the Israelis are over reacting and bullying the Palestinians, and there are also those who view the Palestinians as nothing more than terrorist and murderers. This issue has become extremely controversial and divisive; therefore, it is an issue that must be addressed before irreparable harm is done to the unity of the Body of Christ. As a Bible believing Christian who reads and studies the word daily, it just seems natural to me to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel as a whole; however, there are many Christians and others who do not feel as I do, and so I will attempt to explain my position here. It is my opinion that the reason some Christians choose not to pray for Jerusalem, Israel, or her inhabitants is they simply do not understand why we should pray for Israel, nor do they understand what it means to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel; therefore, I will attempt to explain the Biblical basis and mandate requiring all Bible believing Christians to pray for the peace of Israel.

Psalm 122:1-4
 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord . Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of The Lord...

The first reason is simple, Jerusalem is the earthly home of God, the place where the Holy Temple was built, and a place that is Holy to all the Abrahamic monotheistic (One God) religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Now, I know there are those who will wonder, "why did he include Islam?" The answer is simple, those who practice Islam, are also the children of Abraham; therefore, they too play a role in God's plan, and we are to pray for them as well. (Gen 16:11-12, 17:20)


Genesis 12:1-3
Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed...

Psalm 122:6-7
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces...

The second reason is also very simple, just as Abraham followed the directions and mandates of God when directed to leave the land of his father, we are to follow the directions that God has left for us, and that is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. God tells us that those who pray for Jerusalem will be blessed; however, God also stated in His Holy word that those who curse Jerusalem will be cursed, and I do not know about you, but I'd rather not be cursed by God. Although we can clearly see that God has mandated that we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel, and that is a mandate that we should follow, as we know, obedience is better than sacrifice, (I Sam 15:22, Acts 17:11) there's also an added bonus; when we pray for Jerusalem, we too shall receive a Blessing from our Heavenly Father. God is not a man that He should lie; therefore, we can take Him at His word, knowing that as a result of our prayers for Israel, we too shall be Blessed...

Matthew 5:9
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God...

Finally, whether you agree with the actions being taken by the Israelis and Palestinians at this time, Jesus stated in His sermon on the mount that the peacemakers shall be called the children of God, and a child of God is who I am striving to be... I pray that you too shall find it in your heart to pray for Jerusalem, Israel, and all those who live within her borders, the Jews, the Christians, and the Followers of Islam, they all deserve our prayers and respect; just as Christ has taught us, if we only love those who love us, we are no better than those in the world, (Matt 5:43-48) but to love all as we love ourselves, (Matt 22:37-40) this is the true measure of who we are, and the completion of all the Law and the prophets... God Bless... Amen...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy 4th Of July! Notes From Independence Day Weekend...

The man of God speaks to your hearts; yet, you ignore him and despise him... Little do you know that the Lord desires to gather you as His own, He desires to Love you, Guide you, and Protect you... To give you a second chance at life, He died upon the cross... As a mother hen gathers her young under the safety of her wings... So does The Lord wish to rap you in His loving arms of protection...

Matthew 23:37
 
On this Independence Day, let us Celebrate the Freedom that we have been given by the Grace of God and the sacrifice of men; however, let us not forget our fellow Christians forbidden to practice their faith freely around the world, let us not forget our brothers and sisters imprisoned in China, Sudan, Iran and around the world, and let us not forget the Muslims in China who have been forbidden to... practice Ramadan this year, they are literally being forced to eat... Why the Muslims you ask? First, an attack on religious freedom anywhere is an attack on religious freedom everywhere, and secondly, the Islamic people's are also the children of Abraham, and as such, they should be in our prayers as well. One day, Christ shall return, and He will ask of us all, what did we do with our freedom, and after I provide my answer, I pray that His answer will be "well done, my good and faithful servant" may God Bless you all... Happy Independence Day!

Galatians 5:13-14 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself...
 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness... (excerpt from the Declaration of Independence)

Our Nation was established and founded on the Principles of God; however, we have turned away from God in search of our own immoral desires...... The time has come for us to return to those Godly principles on which our nation was founded or else we will face the consequences just as those nations that have come before us...

II Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land...
 
I Timothy 4:1-2,6,9-12,14-16

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, after every storm appears the rainbow, all men are born and eventually all men die, and just as every promise found in God's Holy Word speaks Truth, we have reached the time when many people have turned away from the Faith; instead, seeking their own pleasures. In this present period of time, there are signs all around ...us, not of impending doom, but of the Joyous return of The Lord... Why, in such a time as this would an individual choose to leave the church of truth in search of false doctrines that are only pleasing to the ear yet hurtful to the soul?

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron...

The Minister of The Lord Jesus Christ has been charged with delivering the truth of this hour. The truth of this hour is simple, there is indeed an evil one, he is indeed a strong man, and his only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy the children of the Most High God; therefore, forcing them to face his fate, an eternity separated from our Holy God. Children please remember test all things against the Word of God, read it for yourself, pray and ask God to give you clarity, and if what is being spoken or presented to you doesn't align itself with the Word of God, flee from it quickly so as to prevent yourself from falling...

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained...

Our Christian organizations are being listed amongst the ranks of the terrorist, our children are being instructed that they cannot pray for one another at school or before meals, our ministers and clergy members have been told not to use the name of Jesus during their services and prayers, never before has the men and women of God experienced such reproach and resentment. The Word of God prophesied that this day would come; however, it is more important that ever that we, the men and women of God, be shining examples for our children to see. As adults and parents, we should allow our children to see us worship God, they should hear us pray aloud, and we should show them how to stand firm on God's word, not with anger or frustration, but with purity, love, and a good and thankful spirit, by doing this, we can encourage them to stay true to the Word even in this age of peer pressure and immorality...

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity (love), in spirit, in faith, in purity...

Finally ladies and gentleman, I would like to encourage you to use the gifts God has given you, whether they be physical gifts, such as athleticism, strength, singing, dancing, etc, or spiritual gifts, such as healing, tongues and interpretation, miracles, or any others. By using the gifts God has given us, we become examples for those around us to see, and when they see us, they begin to see Christ Jesus Himself, and when they begin to see Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit will begin to move on them and in them, and as we know, where the Spirit of God is, there is Liberty, Freedom, and Salvation!

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee...

As we continue to celebrate this Independence Day weekend, let us continue to celebrate Jesus, let us continue to celebrate Liberty, and let us be a shining example for all to see, so that when they see us, they see the Goodness of God and the Salvation Power that can only be found within the children of God... Amen... God Bless...

As this Independence Day weekend comes to a close, let us that believe continue to use the freedoms that we have here in America to be as the city on top of the hill, a beacon of Hope to those around us. Let us choose to do what's right instead if what is easy or popular, let us greet everyone with a smile, let us go two miles instead if one, and let our good deeds be the source of discussion rath...er than our faults and failures, by doing this, others around us might be lifted up and encouraged to keep fighting the good fight, and finally, let us love our neighbor as we love ourselves, by doing so, it will be impossible to do them harm or despise them, and by showing true love to them, we might introduce them to the author and finisher of our faith, The Lord Jesus Christ... God Bless... Amen...

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation...

Hair & Modesty?


The Holy Bible is full of examples of Modesty and Moderation within its pages; from the Old Testament to the New Testament, God has instructed us to live with a certain level of modesty and self-respect. Now, just as the Word of God instructs us to be modest in our appearance while again respecting ourselves, we must be careful not to judge others because they do not meet our own perceived standards or expectations. God has also instructed mankind not to look at the outward appearance of an individual in an attempt to discern or judge who they are, there level of intelligence, or the extent of their character (I Sam 16:7, John 7:24).Moving forward, those of you who know me on a personal level also know that I am a father of three daughters and four sons, those of you who do not know me on a personal level, now know that as well. As a father, I am very particular in how my children dress, how they take care of themselves, and how they present themselves to the world, some would even say I am strict, overly protective, or some type of helicopter parent; however, I would say that I am trying to be a good father and steward of the wonderful gifts God has given me. The bible teaches us that our Heavenly Father is the giver of all good things, the creator of life itself, and the best example of a father we could ever have; therefore, it only makes since that following the instruction He has left for us, would allow me to be the best father to my children and steward of God's great gifts. The first step in in becoming a good father and steward of Gods gifts are to follow one very important Proverb, Train up a child in the way he/she should go: and when he/she is old, he/she will not depart from it, what an awesomely true statement, and one that I have attempt to live up to by teaching my children the importance of not only the Word of God, and the Grace of God, but by teaching them to Honor God by following His instructions left for us by way of Christ Jesus, the Prophets, and the Apostles.

 

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God...

 

Another of the more important lessons that I've tried to teach my children is that it's ok to be different. Children can be both rude and just plain mean at times, as we all know due to the many stories concerning bullying found on the evening news and other media sources, and so I will often tell my kids "you don't have to be like everyone else, you don't have to look like them, talk like them, or act like them, just keep God first, and be yourself. You see, often times, even we adults will give in to peer pressure or the desire to fit in, but God says to not conform to the world, but to be transformed by His Holy Power, and by doing this, we will be perfect and acceptable in His sight...

 

1 Corinthians 11:5-6,15

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering...

 

Now, I know this will be a point of contention for some; however, I feel it is an area of importance that must be addressed as a Father and believer, it is of the upmost importance that I address this with my children, especially my daughters. Now, as far as my daughters go, I am always concerned about their hair; knowing  to some it may seem odd that I as their father, would be so interested in the hair of my daughters, but as a man who believes 100 percent of the Bible is truth, it is an area that must be covered, literally. I believe that a woman's hair is a crown of Glory as described in the verses listed above; therefore, I always make sure that my daughters hair is always as neat and presentable as possible; after all, it was given to them by God to be a Glorious covering and crown.

 

1 Timothy 2:9-10

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works...

 

1 Peter 3:3-5

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves...

 

The two preceding sets of Bible verses are just two examples of the Bible's position on modesty, and as I mentioned previously, I believe that the Bible is the Truth by which we should live our lives; therefore, I am always attempt to have my children, especially my daughters, present themselves in a way that is not heavily adorned nor immodestly revealing in any way. All too many times, our young people, in an attempt to grow up too fast, become victims to this wild and ungodly world we are living in, rape, molestation, child abuse, and drug addiction are just a few examples of what may happen if we as parents do not raise our kids in a way that is pleasing to God while also teaching them to both Honor God and respect themselves. Although I am clearly a Bible believing Christian who obviously has Biblical reasons for requiring my children to dress modestly and appropriately for all situations, there is an even greater reason, and that is simply because I love them more than life itself.

 

 Watch the local news, read the daily newspaper, or visit any of the several news related websites, and you will see countless stories of sexual abuse, kidnapping, and inappropriate behavior amongst our young people, and even now, as this post is being read, countless numbers of our young people are being mistreated and abused. If being classified or referred to as strict or overprotective helps me to protect my children from becoming a statistic or just another number to be reported on the evening news, I will gladly accept that label, but I will not allow my children to fall short of the goal or become a number while they are in my care, I simply cannot allow it. Ultimately, God is in control; and as always, time and chance continue to  play a role in how our lives are played out, because of this, I can only do my part as a parent to care for and protect my children, and until the day I die, that is what I will do... God Bless... Amen...