If I Were God

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In the film, Bruce Almighty, (2003) Bruce Nolan is passed over for a coveted position as a TV anchor. When he complains to God about how unfair his life is, God (Morgan Freeman) shows up and ask Bruce if he could do a better job as God. Bruce decides he could do a better job and God grants him temporary limited authority to be God. God does limit his power. He cannot violate man’s free will. His power only extends over several blocks in New York City.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But you have to admit it is an interesting idea: What would you do if YOU were God? Lose that weight you have been unsuccessful in losing? End all wars; sickness, stop all natural disasters from happening, end racism. Who would you like to see win the Super Bowl? I WOULD DEFINITELY END ALL ABORTIONS!
Bruce prepares for bed but cannot sleep because he hears thousands upon thousands of prayers in his head. No problem; he’s God! He answers EVERYONE’S prayer! I mean that what God is supposed to do. Right? Everyone who bought a lottery ticket WINS! Everyone is healed instantly! There is a sudden rise in pregnancy! The stock market explodes! Everyone drives the car of their dreams ( prayer) Unfortunately, it all became chaos!

I am reminded of the Old Testament passage (1 Samuel 8) when the nation of Israel wanted a king just like the pagan nations around. God tried to dissuade them telling them what would occur if they choose a king and it was not favorable. : He (God) gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart.” (Psalm 106:15) I admit that have been times I prayed for things that I regretted it later.
I thought if I was God, I would right every wrong and punish all evildoers. If I was God, I would ask for incredible wealth so I could help people in need. If I was God, I wouldn’t do any of those things because I am like most of us; selfish!

If I were God; there are some people that better run for the hills!

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Two Wolves Within

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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. ”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 7  That every Christian possesses two natures. We were born with an earthy, fallen nature. The moment a person trusts Christ as their Savior, he gains a new nature (in addition to the old) by spiritual birth. John 3 That is when the struggle begins. The fight between two wolves [natures] is eternal. Both wolves[natures] will always be there. Because every Christian has two natures, he has the choice of following the old man or the new man.

Many new Christians are unaware of this Biblical teaching and try to feed both natures. One day they pray, read the Bible and go to church. At other times they surrender control of their lives to their lower, earthy nature. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FEED BOTH NATURES AT THE SAME TIME!

One truth to remember is that it’s so much easier to feed the first wolf – the first wolf is there to encourage the easier options in life; it comes ‘natural’. There is almost no effort required to do those things, and you’re getting the reward with the sensation of relieving and instant gratification without much an action.

The second wolf [our new nature] is very different; it’s harder to feed. It’s challenging, tiring and time-consuming to do things like learning, teaching, inspiring, sharing or simply sticking to the new behavior. And you don’t usually see immediate results from them.

Which wolf [nature] you choose to feed will define who you are, and we all know we should feed the second wolf [nature]–even if it’s harder. Feeding the second wolf is how we end up feeling a sense of accomplishment and success at the end of the day. By conquering the temptation of the first wolf we opt for a much more challenging (but right) option in life.

Gender Neutral?

I will be the first to admit that I am totally confused in regard to this “gender identity/neutrality” phenomenon. Where in this socio-political fog did our children get the right to choose which sex they wanted to be identified? I thought that we have a Creator that has makes that choice for us? Psalm 139:13. Years ago our schools attempted to feminize our boys; making boys put on dresses. I cannot wrap my mind around the idea of trying to

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get John Wayne, Rambo, or Dirty Harry to try on a tutu!

When God created mankind, He created them equal but different. The difference does not mean one is superior to the other. God created them differently on purpose with a different purpose for them to fulfill. “Transgender” refers to people having an emotional problem, not really a sexual one. The “transgendered” label reflects a sexual identity confusion and not a true condition. God doesn’t create a person with male anatomy and the consciousness and the heart of a female. In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says, “And God created man in His image, in His likeness; male and female He created them . . . . and it was very good.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 states, God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace…”

Maleness and femaleness are God’s choice, determined at conception. But growing into one’s masculinity or femininity and embracing it can be hindered by very early events that prevent children from having a clear sense of their gender. Gender identity is a developmental issue, and it starts at birth.

The biblical view is that God’s intent for every male is to grow into masculinity, and for every female to grow into femininity. When that doesn’t happen, the culture has come up with new labels to describe something new and different: transgendered, transsexual. It’s only recently that the culture has tried to suggest that “a woman in a man’s body” and vice versa is a variation of what is normal and right.

All sexual behavior is to be contained within the boundary of marriage. Men are to act and appear as men, and women are to act and appear as women Deut. 22:55. I realize this is a very politically incorrect perspective in a sex-saturated culture that declares sexual expression is a right for everyone.

Passion Killers – Part Two

In my last blog, we looked at how vital it is to have passion. Jesus said He came to earth to give His followers an abundant life John 10:10 but He also warns us the devil has a plan to keep us from experiencing that life. The devil uses”passion killers” to steal our passion.

The Good News is God is taking you by the hand on a journey to Full Recovery. To recover your passion you must prevail over “passion killers. The first is An Unclear Purpose. Purpose and passion go together. The clearer your purpose, the greater your passion because purpose creates passion. God created you for a specific purpose so do not just go though life waiting for things to happen. It is your responsibility to locate God’s purpose for your life. Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning. 

The second passion killer is An Unsupported Lifestyle. We were designed to need other people. “Two people are better than one… Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  Without support, it is difficult to run very far as you will most likely burn out. God’s way is iron sharpening iron. And when iron sharpens iron, there will be sparks because of the friction and heat.

Most people do not want to deal with “sparks” so they isolate themselves – spiritual solitary confinement. None of us is as strong as all of us. You need to connect with people. You need community. The word “encourage” in Hebrews 10:25 literally means to put fire, courage, and zest into one another. An unsupported lifestyle burns passion easily.

Family Functions

While reading articles on the web; I could not help but notice the repeated theme about how families can handle the stress of family get-togethers. Why are family functions some of the sweetest times of our holiday, but also some of our most stressful? Well, every family has problems, tensions, and dysfunctions, and those don’t take holiday breaks. It requires a lot of energy to care for a crowd, no matter how much we love them. Even the godly Martha became overwrought when Jesus brought His disciples for supper.

Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” Luke 10:40

Here are two suggestions to keep you from being swept away by the stress of family:  

First, don’t be afraid to establish healthy boundaries. Give yourself permission to duck out of the room, escape the mob, and let them fend for themselves. If we’re the ones dropping in on others, sometimes it’s best to get a hotel room rather than crash in the spare room.

Second, make sure you don’t skimp on your devotional time with Christ. Martha needed to take a lesson from Mary’s book and sit at Jesus’ feet a while—and so do you. We love others best by loving Him more.

 

 

The Battle: “Mind” Field

Jesus Christ was once asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 

The great teacher and writer Oswald Chambers wrote, “Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him.” I believe that is true and if the mind is greatly valued by God; then you can be sure Satan is going  to fight it. The mind is the most important part of spiritual warfare. It is amazing how little Christ-followers give attention to safeguarding their minds.

Satan does not own this world but he does have access to it. His influence is seen everywhere – in government, education, entertainment, the family, business…everywhere! That is why Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.”  And yet we allow just about any thought to enter our thinking.

On the battlefield one of the most dangerous places is a mine field.  What makes it so dangerous is that you do not know where the explosive are hidden.The enemy is not going to put little red flags everywhere a mine is planted. That is why you need to ask yourself, “Where did that thought come from?”

Every temptation has its origin in the mind. It is a thought before it is an action. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” [Matthew 5:28] The implication is what you are dwelling on in your mind.

“Satan is more concerned about what you think and believe than anything else.” [David Jeremiah] We must not fall for Satan’s trap. “I don’t want Satan to outwit us. After all, we are not ignorant about Satan’s scheming.” [2 Corinthians 2:11]

The battle is for your mind. Guard Your heart.