Insights: Shyness is not cute! Part 2

This is Part 2 of 2 parts regarding parenting on shyness. First read yesterday’s post and then this post will accomplish it’s purpose.

As stated in the previous article:

…Shyness is not something “cute.”  It is a childish behavior that should be patiently, lovingly and deliberately trained out of the child. What should a parent do? Continue reading


Insights: Growing Before the Lord

I am in the process of finishing our lower level so that it will become a warm home through these cold winter months coming. I’ve done the general contracting before and electrical work on two homes, but not the work myself.  I have a plumber coming, because of a lack of confidence, but right now I’m enjoying the joy of doing the framing work.

There are several interesting obstacles to work around like 8″x12″ beams across the whole house and six windows to frame around, including five that go above the projected drop ceiling. Continue reading

Insights: The Holiness Factor

Our God is an awesome God and He reigns from heaven above. Here are the words to a great hymn:

  • Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
  • In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,
  • Most blessed most glorious, the Ancient of Days
  • Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise

I love those words! There is no one like God. He is perfect, infinite and sovereign over all the details of life. Yet, He also allows situations, though they are in His control, they seem like they are out of our control. That causes foolish responses and actions. Continue reading

MSG: Malachi: Enough is Enough

This message was presented on June 2, 2013 as a part of a series on Malachi.

Enough is Enough
Malachi 1:6-14 

Malachi was written 2400 years ago, but our passage could easily have been an editorial in the Star today. The passage reminds me of people who are not really aware of what’s going on around them. Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t know what happened at work.  I was laid off.  I did most of what I was told to do.  Sure I was late a few times.  Sure I was sick, but there were things I had to do around the house.  Everyone says they do that.  No I didn’t attend the company functions.  Why should I?  They aren’t any fun.  People get into their own cliques anyway.  I just stayed home.  I just don’t understand why I was laid off.” Israel was not aware of what was going on either.

Israel was about to get their pink slip from God, again.  They did not seek after God with their whole heart.  Their complacency left them indifferent to the holiness of God. They had forgotten the agony of exile, when God said “Enough is enough.” God was about to say, “Enough!” again to Israel. If God can say enough, how should He be approached? How should God be worshiped? 

1)      Worship God with honor 1:6-8

Malachi 1:6-2:9 is a rebuke to the priests.  Their attitude was communicated to the people that any offering was better than none at all. Yet, God gave an entire book, Leviticus, including major portions in Exodus, describing precise procedures and standards for offerings.  Why did He give such preciseness? Was it to make us work? Was it to make us feel bad?  Was it to make us miserable? Those are all the wrong questions.  What is the focus in those questions? The focus is on self. The answers must all relate to the reality that God is holy and righteous. The questions should have been, “Why did God establish precise procedures?” Or, “Why is God so meticulous in the standard for offerings?” Israel’s heart was far from God and they were moving farther away.

God spoke through Malachi in Malachi 1:6,

  • 6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say,`In what way have we despised Your name?’
God chooses two words that denote respect in the Jewish mind: father (ab) and master (adonay). The lack of honor and reverence are the seed bed for the Pharisees and Sadducees in the time of Jesus. Like the people in Malachi’s day, they followed the rituals, but they had no relationship with God, nor did they offer sacrifices according to God’s standards. God said, “You despise My name.”  The verb for “despise” means they “keep on despising,” “you keep on giving little worth to something,” or you “undervalue something or someone and implied contempt.

David was a man after God’s own heart, yet God said David despised the Lord.  After David took Bathsheba as his wife, Nathan the prophet went to rebuke David, “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” (2 Sam. 12:10)

Let me illustrate the concept of despising someone.  Let us say you borrowed a truck.  You really needed to do some hard work and in the process you get the outside and inside of the truck rather dirty with mud.  You also made frequent stops to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King and Arby’s and you left the wrapping and leftovers on the back floor.  You use up the gas tank, but when you return the key to the owner, you say, “Thanks for letting me use the truck.”  You may have said, “Thanks,” but leaving the truck dirty, trashed out and gas on E is showing big time contempt for the owner.  That is what God says Israel was doing.

Let me illustrate from Proverbs.  Solomon writes, “He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.” (Pro. 14:2)  The one who walks in a godly manner shows his fear and honor of the Lord.  The one who is perverse shows by his actions what he is really saying, that is, “I don’t care what you say or think.”  The actions show spite to the Lord. The actions speak louder than the words.  Let me give one additional example.

Eli was made a priest in Israel during the time of the judges.  He had two sons, Hophni and Phineahas.  Eli told Hophni and Phineas what they were supposed to do and even rebuked them, BUT he did not insist, or train, or discipline them to do the right thing.  Notice what God says,

  • 27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD:`Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
  • 28 `Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?
  • 29 `Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
  • 30 “Therefore the LORD God of Israel says:`I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says:`Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
  • 31 `Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. (1 Sam. 2:27-31)

God chose Levi to be the priest for Israel and Eli should have felt privileged as a Levite.  With privilege comes responsibility, but Eli did not ensure his sons were discipled to do the right thing.  He warned them, rebuked them, but did not insist that they honor the Lord.  God said that Eli honored his sons more than God.  Eli wouldn’t have seen it that way, but he did accept the Lord’s judgment.

            God said that Eli kicked at the sacrifices by kicking dirt on them and then choosing the best meat from what was offered rather than just taking from the pot.  Hence, God will honor those who honor Him, but make smaller (lightly esteem) those who made light of
Him.  Furthermore, Eli’s arm (his power and sustenance) would be removed (that is neither he nor his sons would be in his house much longer).  In 1 Samuel 4, Eli died when he heard both his sons died.

            In Malachi 1:7, God continues charges against Israel, “You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, `In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying,`The table of the LORD is contemptible.’  The word for “defiled” means something has happened to the sacrifice so that it is no longer as it once was.  Again, they would not say those words, but they did by their actions.  Verse eight explains what God means.

            In verse eight, God calls their actions evil.  Evil?  Yes, God calls their sacrifices “evil”!  Malachi writes for God, “And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal. 1:8)  How can an offering Israel offered be “evil”?  God described how He wanted Israel to offer sacrifices in Leviticus.  He writes,

·         19 `you shall offer of your own free will a male without blemish from the cattle, from the sheep, or from the goats.
·         20 `Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall not be acceptable on your behalf.
·         21 `And whoever offers a sacrifice of a peace offering to the LORD, to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep, it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it.
·         22 `Those that are blind or broken or maimed, or have an ulcer or eczema or scabs, you shall not offer to the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the LORD. (Lev. 22:19-22)

And Moses wrote in Deuteronomy,

·         21 “But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.” (Deut. 15:21)

When Israel offered a sacrifice that had sores, was blind or was lame, diseased, or torn from the teeth of an animal, God said it was not acceptable.  So God tells Israel to offer it to the governor and asks if they think the governor would accept it.  The implied answer is the governor would not accept it. So should God accept it?  Israel might say, “But is God not a loving God? Does God care that much? He’ll accept it won’t He?” 

2)      Worship God with reverent fear 1:9-10

Even though God rebukes the people for their ungodly attitude and actions, the people ask the priests for God’s favor. They’re expecting He will provide, because they are, after all, God’s people.

·         9 “But now entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the LORD of hosts. (Mal. 1:9)

They want the blessings in spite of their unawareness.  In spite of God’s rebukes they still want God’s blessings.  They are more concerned about blessings than presence.  But God rebukes the people in verse ten.

            In verse 10, God says, “Enough is enough!”  Malachi records,  Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the LORD of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.  God wants to know if there is anyone who will shut the door of the temple to stop this parade of defilement from entering the holy halls of the temple.  “Someone, shut the door!” The expression “invain,” (chinam) means “uselessly,” “for nothing,” or “for no purpose.”   “Don’t let that in My house!  Would there be someone that says, don’t bring those sacrifices, if they are second hand.”

I have offended people, to which I make no apology, because I told people not to give their cast offs to the church. Don’t bring in your old televisions, your old couches, or something else, if you have replaced them with something better at home. Someone might say, “But it’s for the youth and they’ll just tear it up.”  Does God give you leftovers? Don’t bring it to church, unless it is for the Rummage Sale.  God says. “It is useless, I will not accept it.” God would rather someone shut the doors of the temple than let this go on. 

But doesn’t God need my handout? Isaiah makes that very clear for us in Isaiah 1,

·         11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
·         12 “When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts?
·         13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
·         14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.
·         15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. (Is. 1:11-15)

God doesn’t need sacrifices, we do. Righteous sacrifices show we understand God is holy. We need to sacrifice regularly, because it reminds us of having a reverent fear of God and teaches our dependence upon Him.  Many offer up what is left over, things already used, the tired, the sick, the poor and they still ask God for more! Let me illustrate.

How long can you fool your boss?  Let’s say you get together with some Christian friends and you are having a great time.  Laughing together, sharing in fellowship and you might even be spiritual by talking about the message.  Those spiritual Euchre cards come out and all of a sudden you realize it is 3 a.m. You go home, get a few hours of sleep, drink some coffee and do the best you can at work.

The next night, you get together again with your friends, because you hadn’t had so much fun in years and things lead to the Euchre cards and again, it’s 3 a.m.  You rush home get a few hours of sleep and drink a lot of coffee.  How will your work be?   There may be simple mistakes, missed meetings and assignments become sloppy. You can fool the boss some of the time, but eventually, what would the boss do? He will give you a pink slip.

The boss wants only the best attitude and actions at work.  Should we give the Lord any less than that when it comes to worship? Only the best should be given to the Lord, not leftovers. 

We get tired on a busy Saturday at the park and stay up late Saturday night. So we are not alert on Sunday, we don’t sing out and we’re not as concerned about other brethren.  That is “blind, lame, sick” worship and effort on our part.  Parents, do you to prepare your children so they are ready to learn and worship God!

Worship God with honor.  Worship God with reverent fear. And when you come, worship God with pure offerings.

3)      Worship God with pure offerings 1:11-14

At some point in the future, there will be pure offerings.

·         11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the LORD of hosts. (Mal. 1:11)

 This verse 11 is a prophecy of the Millennium. There were no pure offerings during Malachi’s time, nor for the next 400 years, nor during the time when Jesus walked on earth, but there will be in the Millennium.  There will be pure offerings in the Millennium, because Jesus ensures purity of sacrifices. Yet verse twelve explains how they were failing in their worship.

In verse twelve, Malachi rebukes their attitude by means of observing their actions.

·         12 “But you profane it, in that you say, `The table of the LORD1 is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’ (Mal. 1:12)

The word for “profane” (chalal) is an intensive use of the verb and means to “make light of” or “not hold the offering with reverence.”  The ATTITUDE is seen in the ACTION. Some give what is left over after monthly bills, etc. Some believe they can spend their income on themselves and have nothing to give to God.  If you spend more on pleasure and entertainment than on the Lord, there is something wrong with your thinking.

The Lord reveals the problem is even worse.

·         13 You also say, `Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” Says the LORD of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the LORD. (Mal. 1:13)

The people are bored with the sacrificial rituals. They consider it a waste.  They were tired of doing the same thing over and over. In fact they sneered at it and the verb means they caused others to sneer at it or treat it with contempt.  In fact, the priests said it was okay to bring in animals that were robbed from the mouth of a lion or wolf.  The word, “stolen” means torn away like a sheep from the teeth of a wolf or lion.

            God is very clear.  Holy sacrifices are to be given, because of Who He is.

·         14 “But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished– For I am a great King,” Says the LORD of hosts, “And My name is to be feared among the nations. (Mal 1:14)

Do not make a vow for a sacrifice and then reconsider and give what is blemished.  God is “a great King.” In fact, He is the Lord of hosts, or Lord of the armies. Israel did not treat God as a great King.  Does America?

Instead of holy worship of the Lord, America is being deceived that Al-qaeda and Islamic Jihadism is not a terrorist threat. And hence, Islam is a viable alternative. Tell that to the victims of the Fort Hood terrorist attack, or the Boston marathon bombing or the Americans killed on Libyan soil. Enough is enough.

Instead of promoting the National Day of Prayer, the nation supports the Islamic prayer schedule. Enough is enough.

Instead of defending Christians and their places of worship, our nation has removed troops from Iraq and Afghanistan so the al-qaeda would have freedom to destroy Christian places of worship. And There was no outrage spoken from our highest office? Enough is enough.

The withdrawal of troops and combat operations with a shift to intelligence gathering and law enforcement is merely smoke and mirrors deception so the enemy can gain power in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad to neutralize Europe and the United States. Enough is enough.

The only reason there have not been more attacks in America is because of the ineptness of the enemy and the remnant of believers who are pursuing the Lord Jesus Christ.  Yet, the enemy will not stop with the World Trade Center destruction until he destroys our economy and reshapes our laws.  Enough is enough.

Instead of responding to warnings about the Tsarnaev brothers, the botched FBI investigation allowed the Boston bomber Muslims to complete their mission.  And the country wants 11 million illegal aliens from whatever foreign countries to continue living in America. But the administration refuses to grant asylum to a Christian family who fled from Germany.  The Administration is seeking to deport them because the Romeikes want to home school their family.  Germany had outlawed homeschooling. The administration argues that their problems are not great enough to grant asylum, but argues to give full citizenship to any Muslims and other illegal aliens. Enough is enough.

But those are only the tangible evidence that America is worshiping something other than the Lord.  We are a country who worships so many things other than the Lord.  We worship sports stars and rock stars. America flocks to theaters to see screen stars and music stars.  America rushes to sacrifice so much to climb the corporate ladder, while their family falls off the wagon.  America buys into the American dreams and forgets about God’s gifts of peace, hope and love. 

How would America respond to accusations that it is turning from God?  America would say, “We’re the greatest country on earth!” “We help so many.” “We’re a good country.”  “We’re not against God.”  “We go to church.” That is when it suits our cause.  

God deserves 100% of our best preparation
and worship to honor Him.

  • I honor God when I start to prepare for worship on Monday.  My quiet time and walk prepare me to approach Him in singing and encouraging and learning. Do I set aside for God the first of my time and income?
  • Godly preparation focuses my attention on heaven, rather than on problems.  I prepare well so my attention can be above, not distracted by below. Do I give God the best of my alertness for church and service?
  • My offerings to God must be pure and holy. Do I honor God by the way I talk, walk, dress, eat, live, sleep, exercise, keep His Word?  Is your daily walk pure and holy?
Let me close with this passage.

  • 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
  •  20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
  •  21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
  •  22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
  •  23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
  •  24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
  •  25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
  •  26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
  •  27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Heb. 10:19-27)
People often are entranced by what is interesting, new or different.  God is clear about what we should do.

Message Based Discussion Questions

1)      When and what were you taught about giving to God?

Digging Deeper:

2)      Read Leviticus 22:17-24. What were God’s expectations regarding the sacrifices?
3)      What did God expect from Eli and his sons (1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22-35)?  Who did Eli favor according to God? What promise did God make?
4)      What does this passage and the previous questions say about God’s desire for our heart (cf. Ps. 51:16-17)?
5)      Does Hebrews 10:19-27 give room for casual preparation and worship?  How or in what way?

Making application of the message to life:

6)      How well prepared do you need to be for Sunday worship?  What kinds of things should be considered throughout the week?
7)      How would you disciple a brand new Christian on how to prepare for and involvement in worship?

I. Indifference to God’s love 1
     A. The Lord’s love declared 1:1-5
     B. The Lord’s love despised 1:6-14
II. Indifference to God’s law 2
     A. The priest’s violation of the law 2:1-9
     B. The people’s violation of home laws 2:10-17
III. Indifference to God’s message 3
     A. The coming judgment 3:1-6
     B. The current judgment 3:7-15
     C. The circle of faith 3:16-18
IV. Indifference to the Day of the Lord


Words: What is the Biblical view of Homosexuality?

Homosexuality: What are the Church’s and modern views?

            The homosexual agenda is becoming much more vocal.  Just this week a Senator from Ohio revealed that he was in support of homosexual relationships, because he said he didn’t think he could deny his son a good relationship.1Hillary Clinton also exposed her view that a homosexual relationship should be granted by our society and no one should deny them the dignity of a loving relationship and “gay rights are human rights.”2 The question is what does God say?

1)      God loves everyone, because are we identified as from the Father

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Eph 3:14-15)

2)      The whole world is fallen and deserves condemnation  

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor.11:32)
3)      But God loves the entire world and sent Jesus to pay the penalty for their sin 
 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1Jn. 2:2)
4)      The issue is always, “What is God’s view?”  Man is only capable of understanding some things.

            8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9          “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And     My thoughts than your thoughts. (Is. 55:8-9)
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:25)
5)      God called it sin in the Old Testament
22 `You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Lev. 18:22)
13 `If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (Lev 20:13)
6)       God calls it sin in the New Testament
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, (1Cor. 6:9)
7)      God further describes it as a distortion of what is natural
23 …and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man– and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.  24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,  25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Rom. 1:23-27) 
8)      Life is not about what feels good or what I want to do
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luk 22:42) 
9)      The issue is always the holiness of God
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  16because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:15-16) 

10)  Fathers are to pass on Father greatness by “commanding” holiness to his children and each generation.  

19 “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, (Gen. 18:19)
11)  The modern views are too numerous to delineate.  We don’t go along with experience or feelings.  We are saved by God’s Word and we must live by God’s Word.  We don’t believe the Senator should change his views based on his grown son’s perspective.  We don’t believe that “what God calls sin” should be rendered dignified because people choose that behavior.  What God calls a sinful behavior is not a birth issue.  That would put the blame on God.
a)      We do not endorse pedophiles, even though some people like that.
b)      We do not endorse necrophilia, even though some people choose that.
c)      We do not endorse bestiality, even though some people choose that.
d)      We do not endorse polygamy, even though some people would like that.
e)      All of these are aberrations from the holy standard of God.  It doesn’t matter what someone says or believes contrary to Scripture.  It matters what God says.
12)  However, all grace and mercy should be exercised to help a person who believes or lives that way to recognize God’s view, repent and leave that behavior.  That sin is no worse than worry or rudeness, however, it does fall under judgment from God.
a)      Sodom Gen. 19
b)      SPQR in 476 A.D. when homosexuality was prevalent.
c)      Jesus Christ is the issue for salvation and the issue for life.  It doesn’t matter if the people say they are committed to a loving relationship.
d)      My issue is I want them to experience oneness with the Lord and an eternal relationship with Him.  An ongoing holy relationship is not possible when living in that lifestyle. I do not condemn one who lives that way, for my sins are evident before me. I do want them to trust in Jesus as Savior, grow in Him as Lord and let Him rule in their life as King!



It could be worse!

It could be worse!

Have you ever wondered why certain elements of society are trying so hard to make their “alternative lifestyle” legitimate?  Let me give you a few things to think about.
First, Scripture says in the latter times there will be selfish people becoming more selfish.  Paul writes, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  (2Ti 3:1-2).  God calls us to be holy and impact the world around us with the gospel and our lifestyle (1 Pet. 1:15-16; Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Pet. 3:11).

Secondly, the flesh wants itself accepted by everyone else, so it can live anyway it wants (2 Tim. 3:13).  Consider how families were connected and living in the 1950s compared to the 2000s.  Today families are far more splintered than before.  Today’s lifestyle is accepted, because “that’s the way people are.”

Thirdly, the enemy wants the lower lifestyle, because then everything “above that” will be accepted.   It is not as bad as “that other lifestyle.”  For example, “It’s okay that my child doesn’t do his homework, because at least he isn’t out drinking and partying all night long.” I was listening to the radio on the way to church and a heard a lady describing an inappropriate behavior of her child.  She said, “At least it’s not as bad as some teen’s behavior.  It could be worse.”  Imagine that poor mother who comforts herself by comparing and accepting a lower standard for her children, because she sees much worse behavior in others.  That’s relativism.  That is not discipling children to the holiness of God.

If the enemy can promote despicable behavior, then we earthlings will lower our standards to what is still above that lower standard, but completely below that standard God wants for His people. 

Why don’t we disciple our children or others? We don’t want conflict.  We think children and teens know how to live and we are deceived into thinking they will figure it out for themselves. Do not be deceived by the ploys and schemes of the enemy.  We are called to holiness.  Let us disciple our children and others in love, mercy and righteousness.  The grace of God teaches us to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age (Titus 2:11-12).

What are your thoughts?

The Dividing Line

A dividing line is coming.  When the Lord will draw it, I’m not sure, but it is coming.  Each year the USA has begun a slow spiral down into the morass of immorality, relativism and perversion from the founding of our country over 200 years ago.  Today, it seems like a weekly event that the administration is not just walking away from our founding principles, but leaping along into oblivion.  Soon, maybe a year, maybe five years, but soon a line will be drawn and the Lord will not just rebuke our nation, but take it to its knees.

When Newsweek touted President Obama as the “gay President,” it seemed like it was an editorial way to sell subscriptions.  But on the White House website, the President has endorsed June as the LGBT month and fully supported the LGBT agenda.  NAACP has supported the agenda also.  This may mean that the President may lose some votes for November, but this is early enough in the process that the holy standard of God will be clouded in the misty eyes of those who want the President and his agenda for four more years.  Even J.C. Penny is advertising two fathers with shared children this week for Father’s Day.

I wonder how quickly Sodom and Gomorrah became the way they were described in Scripture (Gen. 19).  I wonder how quickly the Roman Empire became ambivalent to the LGBT agenda in the 300s – 400s A.D. before the fall in 476 A.D.  Does America think she can continue in her path of perverted immorality? 

Of course those who push the agenda and those who in the next few months and years will succumb to that agenda will be given over to accept and eventually embrace that agenda.  It’s recorded in Scripture.  Paul wrote to the Romans,

…although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22

Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man– and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;  29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, (Rom 1:21-29)

Because America is turning her back on God, God is giving her over to her own desires.  America no longer glorifies God and is not thankful for who she is before God.  God is holy and will allow the creature to choose against God.  God gives him over to his own lusts and sin has a perverting characteristic (Eph. 4:22), which we see in the LGBT agenda.  Are these people Jesus died for?  Yes!  Can they be forgiven, transformed and renewed?  Yes.  Do I want them in my church?  Yes.  I will accept them as they are AND want them to hear the liberating truth of the gospel to learn and walk in holiness.  I will not let the agenda be a controversy in God’s church.  The dividing line of holiness has been drawn in Scripture.  A dividing line of blessing and cursing may be coming soon to America.  Are you leading others to the right side?