I Am Not Your Hercules

hercules

Who is God? What is He like? Ask a thousand people who God is and you will probably get a thousand different answers. People’s concept of God has changed with our changing culture. The God of our grandparents is not the God most people believe in today.
Because of the lack of Biblical preaching; many people rely on Hollywood’s latest film to form their concept of God. Space and time do not allow me to address each misconception, so allow me to choose one of the most popular myths – God is our super-hero.

They see God as a demi-god; part human part God. Similar as Hercules. His father was Zeus, god of the Greeks while he had an earthly mother. (Remember this is mythology, true.) I can see why people liked this misconception. On one hand you have a god that can relate to our humanity and on the other hand he is divine, so he has the power to rescue us.

Jesus Christ came to earth and became a man. John 1:14 He came and was Fully man; not a demi-god. He did not lose His divinity. John 8:57-59. John 17:55. The reason that the Jews crucified Jesus was He repeatedly taught He was God.

Even as casual reading of the New Testament shows the tremendous power that was available to Jesus. He controlled storms, raised the dead, healed people and performed numerous miracles. John 21:25

We cannot reduce Jesus to a “super-hero” that we can call on to get us out of trouble. There are times we can call out to Him and He does rescue us, but He is not at our beck and call!

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Potty Mouth?

Your Words Matter: What the Bible Says about a Potty Mouth

I guess you would call me old-fashioned, traditional, old-school or even out of touch with society. But I was taught that words matter. (And I still believe that!) There were words that I was not allowed to use; words that are now accepted by many people.

Like most people, there are certain actors I enjoy watching but I have a problem when an actor (or anyone for that matter) professes to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and has a “potty mouth.” Actors justify using those words because it is in the script or it helps portray the character they are playing. But if it is wrong to use certain words, I believe it is wrong to watch someone use those words as entertainment.

I wish I could go back to when they were innocent to cuss words, but the world took that innocence away. Culture says they’re simply words. They aren’t that bad and using profanity doesn’t mean we’re wicked; we’re simply using slang. Or words to get a point across. Or to add to the humor to a joke. But is this true? And what does it matter to us as believers?

According to God’s Word, the world has it wrong, and believers should take this seriously. Matthew 15:18 says, “…the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” Our words reveal our heart’s condition. Period. Crude, rude, foul, demeaning, and hateful language shows our true character. And for a Christ-follower — someone setting an example and sent on a commission from Jesus to make disciples — this simply “should not be.”

God’s Word makes it very clear that we should watch what we say. Proverbs 13:3 When we fill up on TV shows and movies where the characters have terrible potty mouths, we’ll be prone to using that language in our everyday life. There are some things I  can ‘tolerate’ when watching a movie but the filthy language is not one of them!

That’s what I want to believe, but it’s challenging. It means we have to think before we speak at all times.

Getting Away

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31)
Have you ever noticed how many times it is recorded that Jesus “went away to a quiet place?” His need for solitude was so great that He even left the crowds and the work behind in order to observe it.

Solitude is the practice of intentionally unplugging, and it allows us to experience God as He restores our soul. Stepping away for lengthy periods of time serves to rid us of the deterioration of soul that results from constant interaction. In this place of quiet communion, we rediscover our soul. See the source image
Additionally, we experience the presence of God and understand once again that He will not compete for our attention.

Being Offended

See the source imageI cannot remember when it happened but it seems just overnight we have become a super-sensitive society. Writers must be careful what they publish; lest they offend someone. Educators must walk on eggshells; fearful of offending a certain group. Preachers are being held hostage in their own pulpits because they are afraid to speak the truth.

We live in a world where it’s now not okay to state your specific values or beliefs unless you’re going to be completely inclusive to everyone and everything, even if that means you go against your values and beliefs. Truth is always going to offend someone some time. When Jesus spoke to the religious leaders; the disciples rebuked Him because it offended them.

Why would people be offended that I believe in God? Why are they offended that I read my Bible during my lunchtime? What is so offensive when a coach prays with his team? It is my opinion that people who are easily offended are not secure in their own values or beliefs.

Here’s the thing, we can’t force people to believe something. We can’t force people to behave a certain way, and we can’t force, what we deem to be the truth, onto other people.

The Bible tells us that we should live peacefully with all men. Romans 12:18 As a Christ-follower I am commanded by Scripture to share the Gospel with those who have different beliefs and lifestyles. We should never purposely offend someone but speak the truth in love.

I cannot remember when it happened but it seems just overnight we have become a super-sensitive society. Writers must be careful what they publish; lest they offend someone. Educators must walk on eggshells; fearful of offending a certain group. Preachers are being held hostage in their own pulpits because they are afraid to speak the truth.

We live in a world where it’s now not okay to state your specific values or beliefs unless you’re going to be completely inclusive to everyone and everything, even if that means you go against your values and beliefs. Truth is always going to offend someone some time. When Jesus spoke to the religious leaders; the disciples rebuked Him because it offended them.

Why would people be offended that I believe in God? Why are they offended that I read my Bible during my lunchtime? What is so offensive when a coach prays with his team? It is my opinion that people who are easily offended are not secure in their own values or beliefs.

Here’s the thing, we can’t force people to believe something. We can’t force people to behave a certain way, and we can’t force, what we deem to be the truth, onto other people.

The Bible tells us that we should live peacefully with all men. Romans 12:18 As a Christ-follower I am commanded by Scripture to share the Gospel with those who have different beliefs and lifestyles. We should never purposely offend someone but speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15

Love and Be Loved

Image result for cuddling babyNewborns need to be held. They need to feel the warmth of skin on skin. Doctors confirm newborns actually require a significant amount of physical contact every day. If they don’t get it; they suffer from withdrawal condition known as failure to thrive and in extreme cases; death may occur.

Man has a desperate need to receive love and also to give love. When you snuggle, kiss, and sway with a new-born love are flowing both directions. Pure, unselfish, mutual love is proof of a relationship with Jesus Christ. John 13:35.

The single best example of love flowing two different directions is between man and his Creator. In 1 John 4:19, the Bible says the only reason we can love at all: “We love because he first loved us.” Everything that comes from God flows out of His love for us.

He loves you so much that He created you. And He loves you so much that even though you’ve chosen many times to turn your back on Him, He still sent His Son to pay the price for that sin by allowing Jesus to be nailed o a cross as a your substitute.

Don’t Take The Bait

Back in the 60’s – 70’s there was a popular comedian named Flip Wilson. One of his most famous lines was “The devil made me do it!” While everyone thought that was funny, it is not biblically correct. The devil CAN tempt you (and he will) but he can not make you do anything against your will.

That is where temptation comes in. When God created man; He put within him certain desires. These desires were holy and good but that all changed after man yield to the first temptation. It is my personal belief that the essence of sin is trying to fulfill God-given desires in a way that God never intended. God intended mankind to have a full and happy life but Satan wants us to bypass God and fulfill those desires through the flesh.

The Disciple James wrote, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” Satan crafts each temptation to the individual; “his own desire,” What tempts one person may not appeal to someone else. James uses two fishing terms: “lured” and “enticed

Image result for fishing lures

Fisherman know what lures work for certain fish; you wouldn’t use a bass lure to catch crappy. And often you have to change lures depending on weather and water conditions. But the goal is to make the “bait” attractive to the fish! Satan makes the temptation so attractive, promising how much you are going to enjoy it. But if you take the bait; you are doomed!

Satan cannot give you what only God can: Peace, fulfillment, and eternal life.

 

 

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The Garden of God

This week my wife and I took a week’s vacation at beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Though Myrtle Beach offers many venues of entertainment; we came with the purpose to rest and recuperate. There are many places we could have chosen but one of our favorites is Brookgreen Gardens.

I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the South. I especially love the beautiful oaks with the Spanish Moss. The Gardens also has fantastic sculptures, water gardens, flowers, native wildlife and much more.As we were walk under the towering oaks, I commented to my wife if this is so awesome, I cannot imagine what the Garden of Eden was like.

Some ‘scholars’ say that the Garden was a myth as was Adam and Eve. I choose to believe God’s Word and believe the Garden was a reality. Some ask the question, “Is heaven just the Garden restored?”
Yes, the Garden of Eden will be very much like heaven but heaven will be so much better as to not even compare with it.  The best part is that God will dwell with His people. The New Jerusalem and the Garden of Eden also had one more thing in common — God was in their presence.





I don’t think humans have the capacity to fully understand the grandeur of God’s creation.The Garden of Eden would have been a climatic paradise; everything about God’s creation would have been perfect; after all, He had pronounced it “very good.”
Genesis 1:31).  What God says is ‘very good’ cannot have any flaws whatsoever.  Therefore, the world in which Adam and Eve lived would have been the perfect temperature, the perfect humidity, without pests or diseases, and without anything that would detract from their enjoyment of knowing God in a perfect, undiluted way.  Surely, this is what is meant by the word ‘paradise’.

I think the songwriter was correct, “Where Jesus is this heaven there.”