Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Embarrassed For Christ

FMV James Sinclair

FMV James Sinclair – Only photo I could find.

Several years ago I worked as the Chief Steward, cook, on a small ship. The whole crew knew of my Christian beliefs and I did have many conversations with crew members, mostly they tried to test or disprove my theology. Never-the-less I persevered and prayed for the crew every morning and night asking for wisdom or a word that I could share with them.

One morning it came. There it was, a Bible scripture that I absolutely knew was from God Himself and God also told me where and when I was to deliver it. The Captain and Engineer both stayed after lunch in the galley where they talked of many things, mostly gossip and worldly topics but, knowing my place I would never butt in and give an opinion unless asked. Today I would seize upon the opportunity knowing that God had my back.

Lunch came and was over, The Captain was there, the Engineer was there and after I had finished my cleaning the moment arose. They even called me over to deliver an extra cup of coffee. How perfect was that? Coffee pot in hand, I confidently strolled over and blurted out the scripture message I was to deliver to them.

They both glared at me, turned to each other, and basically laughed.

Very embarrassing!! Not what I expected.

Um, God, you have let me down here.

I finished up the last of the clean-up and retreated back to my cabin to have a little deliberation time with God. What happened here? Did I get the message wrong? Wrong persons? Wrong time? Did my over exuberance get in the way? Please, I need an answer.

After about an hour, still feeling a bit dejected, I made my way to the rear deck to take in some of the grandeur of the North B.C. coast. I was joined after several minutes by another crew member.

“Do you really believe what you said to the Captain in the galley earlier?” he asked.

Apparently, just as I sashayed over to the Captain’s table with the coffee, he had entered the galley behind me and I didn’t even notice he was there. The message was for him.

I was able to share the Gospel message with him but, at that time I wasn’t able to lead him through the sinners prayer and lead him directly to Christ. It wasn’t till our next tour, some three weeks later, that he came to me and said that during his time off he gave his life to Christ and was baptized.

A little embarrassment is but a very small price to pay for another man’s salvation and glory for Christ. Could the message have been initiated in another way, perhaps, but, this was the way of God’s choosing. For me the lesson was, be obedient but, don’t take God for granted. It is all God’s work and God’s timing, – not our own.

For we are God’s own handiwork, His workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus, born anew, that we may do those good works which God predestined and planned beforehand for us, that we should walk and live in them.
Ephesians 2: 10 (Paraphrased)

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, for our failures, and find grace for appropriate and well-timed help, coming just when we need it.
Hebrews 4: 16 (Paraphrased)

Living prudently and with discretion in your relations with the non-Christians of the outside world, making the very most of the time and seizing the opportunity to work God’s blessings.
Colossians 4: 5 (Paraphrased)

Greatest Book I Ever Lived

It has been often said of the Bible, “The Greatest Book I Ever Read”. So very true.
Better for every Christian to make the Bible, “The Greatest Book I Ever Lived”.
Better yet; for the Church to say, “The Greatest Book We Ever Lived“.

For although Faith is personal, Faith can only be of value if demonstated in community within the whole of society.

James 2: 14-24 on Faith and Deeds:
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”

The Chistian life is one of action, a life of ‘Doing’. Doing What? Doing the will of God.

In Matthew 7:21, Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. …”

The action therefore is in doing the will, discovering the will of God  for our lives is the important factor. The verse goes on to say,

“… Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’”.

Just professing that we believe in Jesus is not enough. Jesus says we must do “the will of My Father in heaven”, if we expect to be with Him in Heaven. Our faith must be an obedient faith by doing the will of God if it is to be a saving faith; otherwise it is not a saving faith.

A Holy Experience

A Holy Experience

What Does a bit of Radical Christianity Really Look Like?

This was asked by Ann on her blog, “A Holy Experience” (Logo Right) and who goes on to say:
“The poor have made me rich and telling the stories of those who need a voice — has changed mine.”

She was relaying the story of Katie – kissesfromkatie.blogspot.ca

“Katie is with the dirty and lovely in Uganda — forsaking the American dream for God-sized dreams. .. everyday she simply wakes up and just says yes to what God gives her wherever she is ”

“Because all radical Christianity is first rooted in relationship Christianity — with Christ and His children. Right where we are.”

Matthew 28:16-20, The Great Commission

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.”

Jesus has spoken to His disciples, GO. Are we not all His disciples? Do we not all desire to be disciplined by Christ? To say yes is to be one who is committed to spreading the Word of salvation to all people. That can only be done by doing, doing in faith; doing because of our faith.

Because of our faith in the salvation that Christ bought for us, we are partakers of salvation and therefore doers of the Will of God. The main will of God being that all people worship Him in spirit and in truth. The second job, actually in conjunction with worship, is to love. Love who? Our neighbors. As James is saying in chapter 2, We show our faith by our deeds.

“observe all things whatever I have commanded you:”

The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5-7), the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), and Parables make up the bulk of Jesus’ teachings for us to be advocates for.

First Jesus asked each of us to be fully ware of our limitations, put God then others first, and purify our hearts and minds.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus taught about: comforting, feeding, showing mercy, peacemaking, fair wages, unjust trade, oppression of widows, economic injustices, political corruption, morality, adultery, divorce.

Matthew 5: 16, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Not only are we, the Christian Community, to be advocates, we must be seen for what we believe in. Involved, Active and Vocal.

Matthew 5: 24, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

For too long we have allowed secularism to steal God’s Thunder.

Step Out In Faith

Taking a Step

Words and music by Richard Tilley

Psalm 119:133, “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.”
Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Exodus 15:2 “The LORD is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation.”
Thanks be to God we don’t have to be brave or bold on our own. Our strength is in the Lord.


Taking a step, going out,
Show the world that Jesus loves you,
Reflect the love of Jesus in your life
Taking a step, you must be brave,
To live the life Christ leads you,
Letting Jesus be the master of your life.

You will be brave, for God will lead you;
You will be strong, for God will feed you;
You will be bold for God will never let you fall.
Step out in faith, the Lord has told you;
Step out in faith, the Lord will hold you;
Step out in faith as you answer Jesus call.

Taking a step, you’ve been called
To be the Lord’s disciple.
Carry His Word to the world far and near.
Taking a step, walk in faith
as one of God’s own people;
The Lord has blessed your life
and now you hold Him dear.

You will be brave, for God will lead you;
You will be strong, for God will feed you;
You will be bold for God will never let you fall.
Step out in faith, the Lord has told you
Step out in faith, the Lord will hold you
Step out in faith as you answer Jesus call.

Taking a step, now go in peace
as one of God’s own chosen.
What God has bound, He will never part.
Taking a step, filled with love,
The Lord’s own joy your token.
He gave His life for you, give Him your heart.

You will be brave, for God will lead you;
You will be strong, for God will feed you;
You will be bold for God will never let you fall.
Step out in faith, the Lord has told you
Step out in faith, the Lord will hold you
Step out in faith as you answer Jesus call.

I will be brave, for God will lead me
I will be strong, for God will feed me;
I will be bold for God will never let me fall.
Step out in faith, the Lord has told me
Step out in faith, the Lord will hold me
Step out in faith as I answer Jesus call.

I have a MIDI file with the music. WordPress won’t allow me to place it on the page.
Leave your email and I will send it to you then cancel your reply so your email won’t be visible.
MIDI can be opened in a program called: Musescore – http://musescore.org/
The program allows printing in sheet music.
Best of all, it’s free.

Clean Fridge – Clean Faith

The proverb “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” a common theme of the Bible although not a direct quotation.
We cleaned our fridge this morning, – so big deal, it’s a standard chore for every household.

After 3 months of collecting all the crumbs, drips and spills of everyday use, our fridge was a mess. What looked like dried milk or juice had become encrusted into shelf crevices after they became coated with crumbly bits of something. Could barely see through the glass shelving, the top of the shelves is self evident but, how stuff gets stuck to the underside –. The bottom crisper drawer we use for meats, if left any longer would have looked like a slaughterhouse floor. It is amazing how dried blood sticks to plastic. It takes a lot of soaking before coming loose.

Somehow, our regular cleaning plan had become disrupted. The fridge should have been cleaned at the end of November, but with an earlier snow that month and Christmas coming on and through December, things just got put off and fridge cleaning was one of them. We left this job to near the end of January knowing that the fridge would have the least contents at this time.

Just to empty out the fridge, where to put all the stuff. Got to realize how short of counter space there is in our kitchen. Some stuff that came out of the fridge, I don’t even remember when we last used that ingredient or that it was even in there. Surprising what can hide in plain sight. Was it worth keeping the dregs of the salad dressing? Who knew that hot-dog mustard separates in the container when not used since our last barbeque some 4 months ago or more?

The inside of the fridge is a chore in itself. Since the fridge is empty, why not pull it out and clean the back, sides and the floor underneath? Tell me, does the top of the fridge become everyone’s favorite utility shelf? There is no order to what is placed on this convenience. The box of Christmas cards we didn’t send. wrapping paper. scissors, pencil, scotch tape, 2011 calendar, ooh, so that’s were that bill got misplaced. A pair of gloves, container of brown sugar – and dust – yes dust. In winter?. Don’t you ever clean up here?

Now it is rather obvious that manufacturers don’t make fridges to roll forward. Wiggle, wiggle, jostle, jostle, back and forth until finally, get enough grip and leverage to yard the beast from its lair. OOH NO. How did all that crap and crud get under there? Why is it always a surprise? It’s the same old crap that was there last year when you pulled the fridge out.

Now that the fridge has been cleaned and some of the old contents have been turfed, everything gets put back in orderly fashion. It will stay that way through the weekend until Tuesday, pension cheque day which is the next time we get to cram that cooler with a fresh load of edibles.

I was contemplating on fridge cleaning. What is the lesson for cleaning out the dregs of secular society that get entangled into our walk with Christ? Especially over the Christmas season just past. All the trappings associated with ‘Xmas’, from Santa Claus, secular carols, compulsion to overspend, the busy-ness. All the decorations of the season are designed to distract us from Christ and celebrate the holiday instead. Too often we allow the “gods of Xmas” into our homes and lives. We all need a good cleaning out. How much have we unknowingly allowed our faith to become tarnished?

How many Christians found the Christmas season tiring rather than a rejuvenating of faith? Has Christmas left you exhausted, feeling like you’re going nowhere, out of routine, need to re-energize? Perhaps we all need a sabbatical. I know I do. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy,” The only one of the Ten Commandments that tells us to “Remember”. God knew His people will forget. Most of us even forget to take a day from our regular routines and we treat our Sabbath day as though it is just as any other. The pressures from society all too often don’t allow us to “Rest” in Christ so we can “cleanse our faith“.

Obama Can Force Oil Sands to Clean Up Their Act

Keystone XL pipeline now awaits the decision from President Obama for the go ahead.

The pipeline, when completed would carry oil sands heavy crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. It is well documented that the extraction and consumption of the oil would significantly worsen global warming and contribute to increasing overall environmental and ecological damage to a vast part of northern Canada.

Governor of Nebraska Backs Route for Pipeline
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: January 22, 2013

WASHINGTON — The governor of Nebraska on Tuesday approved a revised route through the state for the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up a decision for President Obama that pipeline opponents say will be a crucial test of his intentions on climate change. Read more…

Baptism – Not To Be Taken Lightly

Before I go on I want to say that this post is to clarify what I said about baptism in my previous blog post, Covenant: Signed, Sealed, Delivered; I’m Yours.

Many have described baptism as, “The outward sign of an inward grace”. Yes, that is true but—. The problem I have with this connection of the two is; the ‘Outward Sign’ of baptism is of our volition. The ‘Inward Grace’ is of God. Let us look at these in reverse order, actually, the proper order.

The Inward Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Romans 6:4, “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

It is at the Cross of Christ, Christ’s death and resurrection, where we were saved, when we were saved, not when we were immersed in or sprinkled with water. We were saved long before we turned to Christ in faith. That salvation, which is for the whole of the people on earth, is granted to us by the Grace of God. It is God’s most precious gift. What we care to do with that gift is up to each of us. It is the salvation earned for us by Christ that is the entry pass to the Kingdom of God and the receiving of the Holy Spirit that we may become part of God’s ‘Royal Priesthood’.

Christ’s death and resurrection is God’s guarantee of the covenant between Him and the people of His Kingdom to build up “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”, see Exodus: 19:5,6.

Cross, Empty for Christ is Risen

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Colossians 2:12, “..having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Colossians 3:1-4, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Acts 2:38-39, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.”

As Matthew-Henry Commentary says on Acts 2:38-39:

“This was the same duty that John the Baptist and Christ had preached, and now that the Spirit is poured out is it still insisted on: “Repent, repent; change your mind, change your way; admit an after-thought.’’ (2.) Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ; that is, “firmly believe the doctrine of Christ, and submit to his grace and government; and make an open solemn profession of this, and come under an engagement to abide by it, by submitting to the ordinance of baptism; be proselyted to Christ and to his holy religion, and renounce your infidelity.”

Because God has bestowed upon us the most precious gift of salvation through Christ Jesus, our spirit felt realization of this blessed truth of the Grace of God brings us to repentance and as a sign that we accept His gift we commit to Him in the ordinance of baptism.

We make a statement in our baptism: “I was crucified and buried with Christ and raised up to newness of life.”

Does our act of baptism bring us the gift of salvation? No! It is in response to our salvation that we commit to being baptized.
Does our baptism bring us the gift of the Holy Spirit? No! We are infilled with the Spirit of God upon our acceptance of the gift of salvation, the obedience of Christ Jesus to death on the cross and his glorious resurrection.
God is one, undivided, all aspects of God, all benefits and gifts and ministries are combined into that single package, SALVATION.

So what is the purpose of the outward sign of baptism?

The physical act, the outward sign, of baptism is a public display testifying to all in attendance that, “I have accepted the salvation offered through Christ and am from this day forward I am a reformed person. I know the one true and living God and I promise that I will in every way be a reflection of Him. Go ahead world, – judge me according to His standard.”

I now live for Christ. “But God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” Gal. 6:14

How much more powerful a statement would the act of baptism be if baptism was performed in public instead of within the private confines of a church.

Covenant: Signed, Sealed, Delivered; I’m Yours

We are a people of covenant, a nation of covenants. Whether we buy or rent a house, buy or lease a car, even the contract you signed for your cell phone activation or for an internet provider is dependent on covenants. The list of covenants you or myself have signed goes on and on and covers most areas of our lives. Even to vote in an election which is a right guaranteed by constitution is under covenant, you make a statement of who you are and a promise to obey the election laws.

What is a covenant?

An old paper scroll with quill pen and inkwell

An old paper scroll with quill pen and inkwell

A covenant is a binding agreement; a contract which is guaranteed in writing under seal, and may include a clause as to performance under such contract. A covenant usually includes the action to be taken in which damages are sought for breach of the signed (sealed) agreement. Often a lawyer or notary public will place a seal as witness to the signatories.

What are Biblical covenants?

First we must understand that God is one God, from the beginning, now and always, God eternal. The same God in creation as to the peoples of the old covenant as to those of us covered by the new covenant, one God. In Biblical history we read of several covenants.

The covenant given to Noah which applied to all humanity and to all living creatures. God promised never again to destroy all life on Earth by flood. Genesis: 9:11 God created a rainbow as the sign of this “everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth”. Genesis: 9:12-17

The destroying ‘flood’ and the sign of the ‘rainbow’. Both hijacked in the ‘modern’ society and church. I will leave that commentary for another day.

The covenant of circumcision. Circumcision to be practiced on every male child to be the permanent sign of this everlasting covenant with Abraham and all his male descendants. They will be God’s people and “I will be their God”. Genesis 17:9–14

The Kingdom covenant. The Mosaic covenant found in Exodus: 19, is God’s promises contained in both the written Torah and the Oral Torah. In this covenant, God promises to make the Israelite his “treasured” possession among all people. Exodus: 19:5,6 God will build “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” providing they follow God’s commandments. This was a covenant under law.

A New covenant. Jeremiah 31:30–33, God makes a commitment that one day a new covenant, a new agreement between God and mankind will be revealed or written. What isn’t really explained is; does this new covenant replace the previous one or is it to be an extension to the old with a greater level of commitment to Holiness. One reason for ambiguity is because the Mosaic covenant applied only to the people of Israel, the Jews and converts to Judaism, where the new covenant is extended to all peoples.

In the Gospel accounts of “The Last Supper”, Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:18-26, Luke 22:7-23, where Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples, Jesus foretells His crucifixion and blesses the wine as the blood of the covenant. In translation, many have added the word “new”.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-25;
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

What is important is Jesus words, “This cup that is poured out for you is the (new) covenant in my blood.” Christ Jesus has signed the covenant in His blood. Christ’s death and resurrection is God’s guarantee of the covenant between Him and the people of His Kingdom. Is this not a new realization of the old?
The replacement to the covenant given to Abraham is Baptism over Circumcision, now both men and women are independently covered. We are all God’s people.
Under the new covenant, God manifests his word to build; “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation”. Under the ‘Moses’ covenant the ‘Kingdom’ was a rule by law. The new covenant is by rule of the “Holy Spirit” and the law is now written in our hearts. No one can claim ignorance of the Truth of God.
The transition from the old to the new was prophesied through Jeremiah. The transition from an earthly kingdom with an eye toward heaven to heavenly kingdom revealed on earth by His Church through Faith.

A point in law is that a binding agreement must be signed using the same ink, the same pen, as proof that both parties were present together and are each witness to the others signature. In like manner, since Jesus signed the covenant with His blood, by His death, so must each of us. How? By baptism. That is what our baptism is, our signature to the Covenant, our death. A signing by each of us unto death that we are in agreement with the covenant. Our old “man” is put to death. We are no longer as we were, sinners, ignoring God in our lives. As Jesus arose back to life, so then will we. Jesus became one in Spirit, a Spiritual reality, in confirmation of the covenant. By faith, we become born again in the Spirit of God.

Baptism Dove

the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” -Luke 3:21-22 The stained glass window art was photographed inside Saint Mary’s Church, Denville, NJ. Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar

Our lives, upon baptism, are to become one with Him in Spirit. We are now placed under God’s control not our own. God’s control, our acts of faith, are the visible confirmation to the world of the covenant between each of us and God. The law, or commandments are still in effect but, are manifest in Jesus’ words, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27.

Compare with the words given to Moses, Deuteronomy 6: 4-9,
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

I welcome your thoughts on my views of the covenant.

PS; Although I am not a Roman Catholic, I do appreciate a lot of the art work in their cathedrals.

Have We Failed?

This morning I received a link to “Losing Our Religion

This past week on U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) the Morning Edition journalists have explored religion and spirituality in the series Losing Our Religion. Today if we take time to listen to even a small portion of these broadcasts we may gauge our own awareness – and gratitude – for God’s presence in our lives.

As I listened to the broadcast, the following Bible verse kept coming to mind.

II Thess 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

The verse depicts a departure from faith in Christ! I am struggling with this because the falling away described in the broadcast is not a falling from Christ but a rejection of religion, not just of the Christian faith but of all religion. Perhaps it is a good thing in that the hypocritical nature and apostasy of the established religions is not being ingrained into the youth of our nation. Then there is still time and a way to reach them with the true Gospel message.

This I know to be true, if our sons and daughters are not coming to faith in Christ, we, the Church, have failed them.

I believe that one who has been born again by the Spirit of God would be so led by God to bring his children into the Faith in God. That be the case then, there must be many who are members of the church, baptized by water only and hold a false profession of faith. Their children turn from the truth through false prophets who come in Christ’s name, but are preaching a false gospel.

Matthew 24:10-13 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

Who do you say I am?

Mark 8: 29 “And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Jesus asks that question of each of us. To believe in who He is means more than only prayer.

Who do you say I am

Who do you say I am?

Who do you say I am?
Who do you say I am?
The word that I have given you
is for your fellow man, now
Who do you say I am?

Met an old friend, Hi, how are you?
Guess I’m doing fine.
What’s new in your life, haven’t seen you pal
for such along long time.
Small talk aside, now, I must go,
haven’t much to say.
Lord Jesus send your word to him
and save my friend today.

Then Jesus said;

Who do you say I am?
Who do you say I am?
My word that I have given you
is for your fellow man, now
go and tell your friend, who I am,
go and share the news of who I am.

Alone, afraid, she stood outside
the office, seeking work.
Two small children, by her side
clinging to her skirt.
Abandoned by the man she loved
nowhere to go but down.
Lord Jesus send your helping hand,
Can’t you see she’s on her own.

Then Jesus said;

Who do you say I am?
Who do you say I am?
The bounty I have given is
to share, that is my plan, now
share with this woman, who I am.
Give unto this woman, who I am.

See the old man down the street
His home is just a mess.
Sits and watches tube all day
in a state of drunkeness.
I wish someone could do something
to clean up that disgrace.
Lord Jesus, can you help this man
to see his proper place.

Then Jesus said;

Who do you say I am?
Who do you say I am?
Love is more than just a word
on which you stake your claim, now
go and show your neighbor, who I am.
To help your brother shows, who I am.

Image used from: http://telling-secrets.blogspot.ca/2011/04/who-do-you-say-i-am.html

All Religion Is A Lie

My original title for this post was Death and Taxes.

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Romans 1:18–21 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. ..

As we surf through the myriad of websites and blogs on the internet, we can’t help but come across a host of differing opinions and explanations telling us how in methods and ways to reach the ultimate goal in life, that being discovering the final answer – who, what and where is god.

It has been said that there are only two things you can be sure of – Death and Taxes. That is basically true, for secular living. Both are part of the two most divisive topics – Religion and Politics. The two taboos for congeniality.

In politics the debate is: Resolved, We have a debt problem, who will pay?
In religion the debate is: Resolved, We have a debt problem, who will pay?

But, one might say, they’re both the same debate. That is absolutely true. On the human plain it’s called politics, on the spiritual plain it’s called religion. We cannot separate the two; Our politics will become our religion and vise versa, our religion will become our politics.

Both Political and Religious resolutions depend mostly on compromise, basically a halfway solution that only mitigates the immediate emergency, the present problem. “We will deal with it as best we can for now.” Although compromise is often a necessity to reaching political agreement, compromise is not truth, it is a cover up.

Compromise in religion comes from not knowing the truth. Let us make up some explanation, decorate it with what people want to hear and call it “XYZ”. People become so used to being told lies that they can no longer discern the truth. There is the manifestation of the problem – lies sooner or later can and all too often become believable, especially when they contain an element of truth. In reality, they are all a covering up for lack of truth.

Covering up is what people do best. They lie. Soon, knowing that compromise, or half truth, is always a way out, compromise becomes the norm, lying becomes the norm. I recall a sales seminar I once attended, the speaker stated; “When dealing with a prospective customer, stretch the facts but never say an outright lie.” Lying is the reason advertising sells. Not that all advertising or promotion are lies, it is that everyone is looking to resolve a situation or a problem. Everyone is looking for an easier way out and advertising promises a solution in the product it promotes, whether true or not.

Cover up, or lying is the number one blemish on the human character. Every one of us is guilty and is what gets nearly every person into hot water at some point in their lives. Lying can be causal to; the disgrace of politicians, the ruin of corporate profit, the demotion of rank or position, the blemish on reputation, the break up of marriage and family, the end of friendships, the down fall of church leaders.

After the lie comes the denial. The inability to come clean, admit the mistake, confess. Then comes the defense or excuse making. His fault, her fault, I was under pressure, the devil made me do it, etc. Lying to amend the lie can be endless.

Every religion comes to the same crucial point of dogmatic failure, the inability to get past personal debt, our sin, who will pay and how. Every religion has to come to a compromise of one mode or another to either allay the penalty of sin or deny the debt of sin altogether. Every religion needs a lie to be believable.

There are mystic religions that depend on contortions and meditations that will transform you to a whole new consciousness. “Everybody say Oohm”.
There are cosmic religions that promise the powers of universal goddesses who will transform your life to peace and serenity. “It’s all in your mind, think harder.”
There are reincarnate religions that promise rebirth in another form. “Can I be a tortoise next time around, they live longer.”
There are destiny religions that place your life on the shuffle of a deck of cards. “I don’t like your reading. I demand a re-shuffle.”
There are planetary religions that place your destiny in the cosmic alignment of the stars at birth. Or is that conception? “What sign was I born under? – It said Maternity on the door.”
There are prosperity religions that promise riches and great wealth as long as you pay in accordance of your desire. “You need more faith son, donate another hundred”.
There are penitence religions that require one to earn the reward of forgiveness. “Hey, Senor, how much for impure thoughts?”
There are ‘sign’ religions that ask you to develop a certain sign of faith. “Keep babbling, soon it will come.”
There are ceremonial religions than demand traditions and laws be obeyed. “Here is your path to heaven.”
All these religions are no better as a path to God and Righteousness than the agnostic, god is unknown and unknowable, or the atheist  the rejection of belief in the existence of deity.

What all these religions miss is the reality of God. God doesn’t want ceremony, he doesn’t rule in law, he is not one with or part of the universe, every star is a work of His hand. He is not a god of chance or luck, He doesn’t give out rewards for being good. His favor is not conditional on signs or practices of penitence. He doesn’t reveal Himself to any special class of believer or show favor one over the other.

God is a God of grace, it’s all free, and all He wants of you or me or anyone, anywhere, is be in honest relationship with Him. All of the guilt, all of the penalty, is paid in full, by Him, in the person of Christ Jesus, God who came to live with us, paid the ultimate price that we might have free and complete access to God as one with Christ, a part of the Family, the Holy Brotherhood, a kinship in and through His Spirit. As a bride is one with her husband, we, the church, as members of the body of Christ are one with God and in full inheritance of the Kingdom of God.

Through Christ Jesus, God has shown us His relationship between God and man, His promise, His covenant:
2 Corinthians 3:6 “He (God) has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Christianity is a relationship not a religion. Christianity is a relationship between God and man, demonstrated man to man and has as the foundational fabric – love. Love of God, love for each other. An unconditional love, forgiving, comforting, forbearing, providing, as a bride is to her husband, husband is to his bride.

Matthew 22: 35-40;
“One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

John 13:35 quotes Jesus saying, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I Peter 4 says, “Love each other; share with and care for each other; serve each other.”

Tertullian, 3rd century Roman historian, reported that the Romans would exclaim about Christians, “See how they love one another!”

If you feel that I am off track with what I have said in this post, please, I want to hear from you.

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