Prone To Wander?

When I first surrendered to Jesus Christ, it was without question the greatest experience of my life. I could not describe the incredible joy I had. Shortly thereafter I was introduced to the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It was written in 1757 by Robert Robinson who penned the words at age 22. I really enjoyed singing that song but I had a problem with one of the lyrics… Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love,…

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Personally, I could not imagine ME being prone to ‘leave the God I loved’. I was too much in love with my Savior; I was too committed! I guess I was in the same camp as the Apostle Peter when he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”  Mt. 26:33.

In my zeal to follow Christ, I had not yet read Matthew 26:41 You should have learned by now that your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is weak” Mankind was born with a sinful nature and therefore has a propensity [pull] to return to its origin. But I remember the words of another song… This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.

The pull may be strong but remember “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…” Romans 3:31-39

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There Is A War Going On

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT

The Devil knows your name but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin but calls you by your name. [Unknown]

“There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split-second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan” … C.S.Lewis

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.

DEAD BUT STILL DEADLY

Image result for Facing Your Giants SpiritualThe epic tale of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. On one side of the Valley of Elah stands the Philistine army, with their nine-foot-tall champion named Goliath. On the other side of valley stands the Israelite army, cowering in fear under the leadership of their king named Saul. For forty days Goliath has been taunting the Israelites and holding them in the grip of fear. Day after day he has been challenging them to send out one soldier to face him man to man. But so far, nobody has volunteered.

Perhaps you can relate to the plight of the Israelites. Some kind of giant is standing before you keeping you from being less than God wants you to be. The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. Jesus came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.

Jesus has already overcome the enemy. However, as we read in 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “prowls around . . . looking for someone to devour.” In many ways, he is like a snake with its head cut off. When you kill a snake, you have to be sure to bury its head, because even after death the serpent holds a lethal dose of venom in its fangs. If you step on a dead snake’s head, you can still get poisoned. In the same way, even though Jesus broke the power of Satan at the cross, he can still inject his deadly poison into our lives. He is dead but still deadly.

If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Victory is all about trusting in Christ and not about trying to succeed.

Reign of Terror

isisThe Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.  Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.The psychology of ISIS is reign by terror. It is “salvation” or elimination. Fear is a very strong emotion that may cause people to do things that they would not do under normal circumstances.Though the threat of terrorism is real,  we as Christ followers should not be overcome with fear.

While the threat of terrorism is real, we as Christ-followers we should not be overcome by fear.                                  For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7                  You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, Psalms 91:5

We forget the power [terror] God possessed when facing the enemies of Israel.”… the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. Gen. 35:5

“That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere.” Isaiah 37:36

Without sounding over simplistic, what we are facing is a battle between good and evil. Isis is motivate by hate, genocide and a lust for power. I am not sure that Isis can be defeated militarily alone. I believe that our warfare is more spiritual than physical. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” 2 Cor. 10:4. Time for the Church to pray and ask God to intervene and stop this evil!

Christmas Contrasts

vacancyEvery Christmas we hear pastors preach a sermon about there being no room for Jesus in the inn. The sermon is usually concluded by encouraging everyone to make room for Jesus in their lives. I have preached that message myself.  We SHOULD make room for Him.

But as I thought about making room for Jesus this year, a verse of Scripture came to my mind, a verse that tells us to put a “No Vacancy” sign. Ephesians 4:27 says, “…and do not leave room for the devil.” In our home, we have a bedroom that has been designated as the ‘guest room.’ This room is for people that are invited or welcomed to stay with us. Setting up a room for the Devil sounds like a bad idea. But that is exactly what we do when we allow him to focus on other things instead of Jesus Christ. Tell the Devil there is no room for him in your life. No vacancy

Good News or Bad News

Have you ever did something nice for someone and it upset other people? Sometime people are hard to figure out. Taken for example the demon-possessed man that Jesus healed in Luke 8. Jesus had completely delivered the man from many demons and you would think the entire community would be glad but just the jesuscastoutlegion21opposite.  Verse 37 says,”Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.” The questions that baffles me is: 1] Why were they afraid? and 2] Why ask Jesus to leave?

Jesus healing the man is a good thing,right? They should be happy that the man was no longer a threat to the community, right? They should be rejoicing that their neighbor was now clothed and in his right mind! But no, they asked this ‘doer-of-good’ to get out of town.

Since I could not find a reasonable answer to my questions, allow me to share some possible answers:

a] People are often afraid of change and things they cannot understand.

b] They saw Jesus as a threat to their business (the expelled demons went into a herd of swine and were drown.

c] They may have felt guilty for being more concerned about losing their pigs then being happy a man was restored.

Not sure if any of these suggestions are correct. Your thoughts are welcomed.