Tag Archives: Truth

Doctrinal Treatment of Divorce and Remarriage

This undertaking is the humbling response of my heart to being pierced by the truth of God’s word on the subject matter at hand.

There is no escaping the unpleasantness of this topic; to ignore it is to leave the door open among God’s people by which adultery will be perpetuated and multiplied, and to preach it is to offend a great many in the Church today.

Being aware of this terrible reality, I have elected to preach this message with as much grace as the Holy Spirit gives in Scripture.

The most illuminating truth for me in this study was the reality that the sin of divorce is not divorce itself, but adultery.  Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:31-32 on divorce is the second part of the greater context of His teaching on adultery from Matthew 5:27-32.

Divorce is a mechanism by which adultery is perpetuated and multiplied among God’s people and the whole world.  Divorce perpetuates adultery by the false notion that divorce legitimizes adulterous relationships.  Up to four people can be brought into adultery by one divorce.

If this is true that divorce perpetuates and multiples adultery in this manner, then divorce is far from being innocent; it is a destructive mechanism by which men and women are snared in the sin of adultery and the coming judgment of God.

Therefore, we will devote this doctrinal treatment to the topic of divorce-and-remarriage.

“Speak Smooth Words”

Isaiah 30:9-10 “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who refuse to listen to the law of the LORD; they say to the seers, ‘you must not see visions’, and to the prophets, ‘you must not prophesy to us right things; speak pleasant things, prophesy illusions.'”

The deceptive and rebellious heart demands that God’s servants speak “smooth words” (KJV); I lament that in our day we see such a heart as this!

2 Timothy 4:2-4 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths.”

Preaching righteousness incurs wrath from those who cannot tolerate reproof, rebukes, and exhortations; the call to preach God’s word is not a call to popularity, nor is it a call to brutality, it is a call to preach the truth with resolute steadfastness of heart.

Never loose sight of this one compelling reason that makes the cost of preaching righteousness worth it:

John 8:32 “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

Never forget that the truth has power to set sin’s captives free through Jesus Christ!

In an age where darkness rules through deceit and rebellion, the Church must not lose the voice of truth!

Declare to Jacob his Transgression

Micah 3:8 “I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

The last thing I want to do is inspire someone who is not called of God to start rebuking the Church. God calls the humble, not the prideful, and empowers them by His grace and the Holy Spirit to preach His living word to the stubborn, obstinate, and self-righteous. But rather, I want to expose a deception that claims God does not send His servants to expose transgression.

Ezekiel 3:18-19 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’, and you do not warn him, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.'”

God does raise up servants, whom He charges with His word to preach against the wicked. He gives them an anointing and a responsibility to carry the message that He gives them. These preachers are not to speak where God has not spoken, nor are they to be silent when God has spoken!

I believe cowardice on the one hand, and presumption on the other, are the primary reasons the Western Church is in such decline – cowardice on the part of those who were entrusted with God’s message to rebuke and warn but didn’t, and presumption on the part of those who were not call to preach but did!

Isaiah 66:2 “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

God does not look upon the proud, the contentious, the arrogant and boastful; He will not call them to be His preachers. God looks upon the humble and contrite of spirit, and upon the one who trembles at His word! He does not call those who are ready to “call fire down from heaven” (Luke 9:55) to preach for Him without first reforming them, rather, He calls those who say “we are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10); neither does God call those who use His word for their own purposes, but He calls those who quake within at the sound of His Word!

The Church is not purifying herself through the blood of Christ and the washing of the water of the Word like she is called to; so many continue practicing sin and are not mournful for it, but instead, many even boast in this! The Church must open her ears and begin listening to the truth being preached by God’s true servants.

Ephesians 4:17-18 “From now on you must not walk as the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, excluded from the life of God through the ignorance that is within them due to the hardness of their hearts.”

In closing I wish to encourage those who are called by God to preach His word: if you preach God’s word, you will be surrounded by enemies and those closest to you will turn on you, but do not fear!  For “the LORD is your light and your salvation; whom shall you fear?  The LORD is the strength of your life; of whom should you be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)  You will not be without trials and tribulation, but Christ is your portion and the hope of your soul; delight yourself in Him and you will not be disappointed!

Who Hates the Light?

“This is the verdict, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that it may be revealed that his deeds have been done in God.” ~John 3:19-21 MEV

I’m going to be very pointed in this dialogue because to blunt this would shame Christ: “everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (3:20 NASB). Anyone who works evil and refuses to come into the light is the one that hates the Light and loves the darkness.

Those who hate the light are marked by two aspects:
1. They protect their sin(s) when confronted.
2. They refuse to come into the light of the truth.

There is an erroneous perception in the Church today that because someone “is interested in the Bible” and acknowledges that things like “homosexuality”, “abortion” and “pornography” are sins, that they are children of the light and walk in the light. Nothing could be farther from the truth! If you agree with God in all things except one point, and in that one point you flee from the light and despise it, then your hatred for the light has been exposed.

A few years back I became close to a high ranking member of the Baha’i faith with whom many Christians would get along splendidly – he holds many conservative views better than many Christians that I know – but the verdict is clear that he hates the light because his deeds are evil and he refuses to come into the light. He readily accepts all of Scripture’s social-justice doctrines, but despises the greater commandments that call upon him to love God in action and truth with all that he is; he loves his idolatry and refuses to submit his sense of pleasure to the commandments of God.

This may be easy for many Christians to see, but are we guilty of the same? Do you agree with God regarding “homosexuality”, but believe it is ok to “lie” and “steal”? Do you agree with God that is is wrong to steal an iPhone from the store, but yet cheat on your taxes or steal intellectual property online?

Here, then, is the exhortation:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them… But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is the light” ~Ephesians 5:8-11, 13

One Gospel

Charles Spurgeon’s father was a lesser known preacher who once said of his son that “Charles may preach the gospel better than I, but no one can preach a better gospel”.

I believe today’s Church is far too fascinated with the messenger, and altogether far too uninterested in the message!  I would much rather be the worst preacher of the true gospel than the greatest preacher of a false gospel. Give me a true word, or give me no word at all.

The point is this: there is only one gospel which is appointed to nourish the soul and stir the spirit, and the effectiveness of that gospel upon those who hear depends little on the messenger, and greatly upon the ears upon which it falls!

The problem we face today is not that of a shortage of talented preachers, but that of deaf ears!   Or worse, of ears eager to be tickled!

Would we accept a preacher who eloquently expounds God’s promises of life and joy to us?  No doubt.  But will we also accept the preacher who faithfully preaches the true judgments of God to warn us to turn from out wicked ways?  We may be less inclined to accept such a preacher, and more inclined to discredit him, ostracize him, and throw him out of our churches and our lives!

But this much I would say again: there is only one gospel that can simultaneously convict the souls of men to their uttermost and stir their spirits up to righteous living, and that is the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ!

It needs no amendments, and it needs not accoutrements; it alone is the power of God for salvation to all in Christ Jesus, and we must not be ashamed of it!

Let’s Think About Our Worldview

I believe the idea of a subjective worldview and its demands for absolute tolerance are fallacious and inoperable.  You can’t build a subjective worldview on an objective principle that firmly asserts that there are no self-evident truths because you would fundamentally undermine your own position.  And it is inoperable because it lacks the conviction, certainty, and courage to effect change in the face of conflict, cost, and consensual community opposition.

The subjective worldview creates the illusion of unrestrained liberty for every individual to conduct themselves according to their own impulses, and asserts that there is no objective standard to confront them in their position.  Actionable community efforts require community consensus and will end in gridlock if a common community consensus cannot be reached.  The promise of “tolerance” and “acceptance” becomes a burden on society as it struggles to reconcile irreconcilable worldview’s.  The subjective worldview lacks a common and cohesive standard to provide clarity and direction to society and requires inconsistency and self-contradiction to function in real-world objective scenarios.

The objective worldview provides certain inalienable liberties to every individual according to an impartial common standard; it affords the conviction, certainty, and courage necessary to accomplish overwhelming feats of triumph in the face of opposition by the common consensus like those the early abolitionists accomplished because it affords a higher standard by which reality and life’s toughest questions can be measured. Tolerance and acceptance can flourish without becoming a burden on society where two worldview’s share enough common ground to exercise objective values of “respect” and “peaceful expression”, but without becoming the burden of “total tolerance” and “total acceptance” that strangle society as they do in a subjective worldview when two diametrically opposed worldviews meet

An objective worldview can make room for subjectivity within certain limits by supporting heuristic liberty and acknowledging the reality of mystery, whereas a subjective worldview can get lost in that same mystery and is plagued by its own virtue of unaccountability.

Both these worldview’s attempt to deal with how mankind responds to our need for moral standards. But at the heart of the subjective worldview is mankind’s desire NOT to be accountable to any higher authority for our actions- it is our desire to be our own sovereign standard and escape the higher judgments of God. Built into this worldview is a desire to circumvent the conflict and personal cost that comes with standing up for what is absolutely right so that we can live lives selfishly focused on our own pleasures.

But there is a terrible cost to a subjective worldview: it requires turning a blind eye to the “monsters” of our society and “making peace with Baal”. The result will be an overwhelming flood of depravity that no government could ever possibly restrain, no matter how oppressive, tyrannical, and invasive that government becomes.  Every solution becomes its own burden in a subjective worldview because there are no absolute standards to restrain anything- even self-contradiction, the most extensively relied upon solution to the problems of subjective worldviews, eats away at itself as self-contradictions eventually plague the ideals that subjective worldviews set out to uphold!

Unity: Perfectly One

“I do not pray only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.  The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.” ~John 17:20-23

I pray that the gravity of Jesus’ prayer would strike our minds and pierce our hearts; I hope that His words alone will bind our hearts in irrecoverable conviction for unity!

This unity is a witness to the world of God in Christ!  It is a witness of faith, of glory, and of abiding!

Jesus did not ask God that we would have the appearance of unity; He asked God to make us perfectly one!  And He asked God to apply His glory to this cause!

UNITY IN OBEDIENCE, NOT MYSTERY

“The secret things belong to Yahweh our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” ~Deuteronomy 29:29

The great mysteries of God are His- His inner workings, reasons, and hidden counsels- they all belong to Him exclusively.  But, the revelation of His divine will belongs to His children for obedience.  Unity among the Church thrives in obedience to God’s revealed will.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I would neither discourage anyone from thinking deeply on the wondrous mysteries of God nor despise prophetic utterances (1 Thess. 5:20); when we come to our Father in the secrecy of our prayer closet, we are consumed with worship, admiration, and love in the glory and wonder of God!  And the prophetic utterances of the Holy Spirit are the timely expression  directly into our life of God’s love and will.   I do not see holding fast to the sound doctrine of God’s word as in any way opposed to the mysteries of God or the  current moves of the Holy Spirit; in fact, I see the former as a necessary prerequisite to the latter.

I am talking about when these contemplations become the teachings of the Church and a motive in our heart to look down on others who do not see the mysteries of God the same way as we do.  This always brings division!  It always diminishes fellowship!  Just consider how many Church splits have occurred because someone introducing the speculations of men into the Church, or how many brothers have been distanced because speculations about the mysteries of God took precedence over their drive to do the will of God.  And the same can be said of doctrinal teachings that are divorced from obedience in the Church; just think about how many Church divisions have occurred because someone was trying to get out of simple obedience to the doctrine that was clearly delivered to us by the apostles.

Unity and fellowship flourishes in the environment of obedience to the revelation of God’s divine will; His word was never intended to entertain and titillate our academic curiosities or to be subjected to the judgments of our divisive speculations; it was given to us for obedience to the heart of God’s divine will.

AS I AM IN YOU AND YOU ARE IN ME

Jesus prayed that we would all be one, even as the Father and He are one.  It was Jesus who was “about His Father’s business”, whose “food is to do the will of the Father”, and who “did nothing of my own will”.

Jesus said, “whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50).

Jesus walked on this earth in unity with the Father from a position of absolute humility, as it is written, “being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted him…” (Philippians 2:8-9).

AN EXHORTATION

Therefore, brethren, let me offer this exhortation to “purify our souls in obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection” and “love one another from the heart fervently: having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23), and let us rejoice in knowing that “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Nothing is impossible for God.  Genuine unity and fellowship among brethren of diverse backgrounds, even of diverse doctrinal persuasions, is wholly possible where souls that have been purified in obedience to the truth through the Holy Spirit in brotherly affection exists.  If we will walk in the light, we will have fellowship with one another.

CONCLUSION

Certainly as God moves to answer Christ’s petition for unity among us who believe, Satan also moves to offer a counterfeit unity; there is a cup of abominations being mixed in the name of unity by which people all around us are being made drunk with tolerance and filthiness, rather than being filled with the Spirit in love and holiness.  Have no doubt, Christian unity does not exclude the separation of holiness that we’re called to by Christ (2 Cor. 6:11-7:1)!

My hope and desire is that our hearts will be stirred up for true unity and fellowship in the body of Christ, and that we will be strengthened in love for patience with one another so that we will no longer look to the default position so many have taken in the past of distancing ourselves from those who we are called by the love of God to be one with!

Meaningful fellowship will thrive in obedience to the truth!  Even if there are certain brothers and sisters who you can share a deeper experience of fellowship with as you worship God in His mysteries, perfect fellowship is accomplished by God among all who walk in the light!

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ abound to us all!

Satan Makes His Appeals With Passion & Love

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.  Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.”  But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” ~Matthew 16:21-23

It’s amazing how much difference tone can make when reading something.

While listening to this on my audio Bible in the car the Lord showed something about this: Satan’s appeal through Peter to Jesus was made with the tone of “loving concern”, “passion”, and “zeal”.  Peter could not stand the thought of Jesus being killed- he tried to reason with Jesus on behalf of Jesus’ well-being.  But Jesus told Peter, “you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”  Peter’s “loving concern” was for the cares of the flesh, to preserve health and to rule this world with power (they still thought Jesus would overthrow Rome and rule).

Satan courts us with the appearance of love, but, not for the things of God.  He wants to touch our hearts and move us with compassion, but for the things of this world.  He is the one that tries to persuade you against risking health, prosperity, and even life for the Kingdom of God.  He is the one who tries to persuade you against the high cost of the cross, to depart from the highway of holiness and take the easy way.

BUT FOR NO GOOD

So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?   They zealously court you, but for no good. No, they desire to alienate you, that you may seek them. ~Galatians 4:16-17

They courted them with sincerity and zeal, appealing to them as if angels of light, but, they did so to alienate them from Christ’s grace!  I imagine they may have puffed them up and paraded the appearance of Godliness before their eyes to dazzle the Galatian Christians.

The result of this courtship is alienation.

Satan sends his servants dressed as angels of light to provide you with a more appealing alternative to the truth.  They speak softly, but, because they walk as enemies of the cross, their words are like snares that entrap you into bondage again to sin through law.

The only opportunity Satan found in Paul’s ministry was by the offense of the truth.  He did not find any opportunity to disqualify Paul through misconduct, nor were Paul’s words harsh and overbearing to cause people to become resentful (Paul was world renowned for his astonishing patience- see Clement of Rome’s first epistle to the Corinthians).  So Satan took the opportunity afforded to him by the offense of the cross to deceive those who could not bear the cost.

Likewise, because the flesh always has great indignation for the cross, whenever we preach the cross- the dying of self and living to Christ- the flesh is always certain to squirm and reel, crying out “foul!”

A WORD OF WARNING

Now I must preach something that from personal experience I know will offend the flesh of men’s pride: there are many out there who think by causing offense by their harsh demeanor that they are, therefore, “speaking the truth” as Paul did.  Yet, they forget that we’re exhorted to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15).

Remember, it was by “doing good that we overcome evil”- do not fall into this trap of thinking that by looking down on everyone else and thinking that no one else is holy enough for you that you are somehow better than everyone else.

Do not forget that mercy triumphs over judgment, and, if you judge mercilessly then you yourself will be judged without mercy by the true Judge of all Heaven and Earth!

CONCLUSION

Flattery and soft words are far different from love and gentleness: the cross causes offense— our demeanor must never be the cause— but the appeal of flattery and soft words present themselves as soothing consolation and a wiser alternative to God’s way.

Brethren, be not deceived by Satan’s “concerned appeal of love”— it is not for good, but to alienate you from Christ!  It always brings you into bondage to another law that is not the law of Christ!

No Shame? No Truth? No Meaning.

Shameless.

This word is used as a very serious rebuke or criticism against someone.  To be called “shameless” was to be socially reprimanded as not having the values that were socially held by society.  It’s interesting that in a culture shaped by Christian values the term shame-LESS exists as a rebuke.  Our brethren before us understood that the condition of a man’s heart that feels no shame is a most dreadful condition.  Other words, like “Blameless” are not a rebuke (they’re even a compliment).  You could put “-less” on a lot of words and it wouldn’t carry with it a negative connotation.  That is because, in a society so shaped by the gospel, a society where even those who have flatly and sternly rejected Christ have received of the abundance and overflow of His blessings, we carry with us an understanding of the value of shame.

Think about that.  There is value in “shame” and falsely removing our awareness of it is very destructive; the value of shame does not come from committing shameful acts, as the term “shameful” is also a derogatory accusation, rather, the value of shame is to recognize immoral and indecent acts as shameful.  It is innate in the human soul that wrong and immoral acts carry the sting of shame.  To be shameless means that you do not possess the rightful regret and guilt that you should feel over indecent and wrong acts, but even more than that, to be shameless means that you do not even recognize immoral and indecent acts to be shameful; to put it another way, shame is the right response towards shameful acts of a conscience that is still alive!

Imagine a world without a sense of shame?  Unless that world was also blameless in God’s eyes, such a world would be a horrific place to live!  All the indecent and brazen acts that people are usually afraid to display would be committed with boldness and without hesitation.  There would be no sense of remorse, and, therefore, no correction in behavior.  There would be no confession of wrong deeds and there would be no repentance of wrong deeds.  Those few professing Christians would have no sense of personal conduct and would wander blindly in the same path as the unbelievers committing the same shameful deeds as they.

In the modern secularized society of the world today the humanists have systematically removed the sense of “shame” from the human conscience.  “No shame” is the “enlightened” call of modern cultural critics such as Friedrich Nietzsche, author of the idea “death of God“, who said concerning what it means to be humane; “what do you regard as most humane?  To spare someone shame.”  The banner of “no shame” leads the onslaught that is marching on virtue, respect, and honor (which are, by the way, antonyms of “shame”).

By contrast, Edmund Burke, who is loosely accredited for the idea of “when good men do nothing, evil triumphs”, once wrote “whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.”  Perhaps Edmund Burke saw shame as a kind of watchman that prevented the door of virtue from being shut completely from the heart.

The modern humanists and atheists want to extinguish the cry of “shame” from the human heart because it is one of the voices that declare there is a difference between righteousness, honor, virtue, and integrity, and unrighteousness, dishonor, evil, and corruption!

Truth.

This is a word that is all but forgotten.  Truth is the foundation of shame.  Without truth there is no light to illuminate the human soul and our eyes become blind to our own shame; not that shame has been removed or that we have somehow “transcended” shame, merely, that it has been covered by darkness and reserved for the day of the coming of the unapproachable light by which all things will be judged.

George Washington said, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light”.  But today, truth’s path has perhaps been so severely maligned that the pains necessary to uncover it will often end in social isolation, persecution, and insanity!  It ends in social isolation because the society will not bear it.  It ends in persecution because the world hates it.  It ends in insanity because the doctors will declare it!

Quoting from the same skeptic as before, Friedrich Nietzsche said “Belief in the truth commences with the doubting of all those “truths” we once believed”, and we live in the product of his dream; a world in which no truth goes undoubted, indeed, in a world where doubt is truth, and truth is deceit!

No Meaning.

The human heart is a container not capable of being empty for very long; it has an insatiable appetite to be filled.  That is why, in a society devoid of shame and unaware of truth, destructive habits of consumerism are so pervasive!  That’s why lovers abandon each other in time of need, children selfishly use their parents, substance abuse is running rampant, and self-control seems to be a distant memory.

People are seeking to fill themselves with something.  To deny yourself from the things of this world is utterly unthinkable to many people in our generation… maybe even to you.

The deceivers of this world have tried to silence shame to ease the unending outcry of the human conscience and in so doing they have closed the human heart to virtue!  And having closed the human heart to virtue and loosed it with the full force of human greed, they went on to malign the way of truth by placing a veil composed of lies and interwoven with strands from every carnal thought and desire.  With the heart unresponsive to human dignity and eyes blind to the light of truth, the hope of salvation is a fleeting thought now mocked among the intellectuals.

Have you ever wondered why you can inform an audience of tremendous suffering, even close to home, and that same audience can walk out the door, go to Wendy’s for lunch and do nothing?  The human heart is being seared with a hot branding iron that is closing it to virtue.

I’m going to suggest listening to the following video from Ravi Zacharias, a great lecturer and speaker who has some things I think are worth studying.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=801qFIcETqc&list=PLRNQEYPlcWhGQrJ_mHUG0PWKbJUnJXUN4&index=1)

P.S.- I write this after having watched this video and because I realized something very important while watching it; people in our society are rapidly losing their ability to respond and to discern (see truth) good from evil.  If we lose our ability to respond rightly, then I do not believe we can have any hope for salvation.  And if we lose our ability to discern good from evil, then we have become blind!

I’ve seen this for many years now, and at this point, I don’t know what else to do except try to expose it in hopes that someone will see it and question, “is it good that I do not feel shame over shameful and indecent acts?”  Or, perhaps, “why don’t I feel shame?” And in hopes that we will further ask, “why we are so lost when we are in an age of supposed enlightenment?”

This post is not the answer, but, rather, I hope it exposes something that we all need to become aware of (and if this post does not, please watch the video, for I hope that will).

A final thought to add to this; a people blinded to their own shame and unresponsive to it is one of the final “straws” that comes before the judgment of God…

12    Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?  No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush.  Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment they shall be cast down,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 8:12)

I hope we search ourselves daily by the Light and Truth of the scriptures with a meek and humble heart so that we do not become blind to our own shame…

Food for thought.

Christmas Worship

The first Christmas began with worship as the wise men came to Jesus in a manger and offered Him their most precious gifts.  You can read the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.

Just as “Christmas” began with worship, how can we remember the birth of Christ without worship?

Even John the baptist, while in his mothers womb, leapt when Mary came into the room with Jesus still in her womb.

Keep these stories in your mind while we now look at another passage.

LUKE 18:9-27

9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

 18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

 

The first two men came into the temple to pray, one was humble while the other exalted himself.  The second man approached Jesus having kept the law, yet left greatly saddened because his heart was with his wealth.

The Magi came before Jesus offering Him their worship of humility and surrendering unto Him the most precious gifts.

Before just a baby boy they gave such sacrifices.

Our hearts matter to God.

They cannot be either proud or attached to the wealth of this world.  We must leave both of those things behind to follow Jesus.

Let our worship, therefore, this Christmas, be acceptable to God through the sincere humility of our hearts and the offering of all things we have to Him out of love.

John 4:23-24

But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. 

 

We know that we must worship God from the Spirit and in Truth; so let us remove from our hearts, this day, any pretense of pride that exalts itself against God, and let us leave behind any claim the world (which is of its father, the Devil, who is the Father of all lies) that the world has upon our hearts.

All of us should prepare our hearts to worship God.  We should search, indeed, pray and ask God to reveal our hearts to us so that we can humble ourselves and approach Him with love in truth!