Posted by Gary on December 1, 2012
2 Thessalonians 3:7-11 “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.”
During the last election cycle as it has been many times before, God was claimed, summoned and represented by our political parties and politicians. It would appear as you listen to many politicians that God’s only concern is to feed the poor. That God cares for the poor is undeniable and we are grateful for a God who cares about those in need. But does nothing else matter to God? Is this all we can find to say about Him?
Delaware’s own Senator Chris Coon’s wrote an article about God and the political parties shortly after his party’s convention and the stir that was caused over the Democrats dropped reference to God in the party platform. (We would be unfair if we did not make note of the fact that Democrats graciously reinstated God in the party platform). In the article Coons says:
“What matters more than whether in the party’s platform the word “faith” was followed by the phrase “in God” was whether the values reflected in the platform showed an intention to honor God’s call to us for action that shows His preference for the poor, His demands that we care for each other as neighbors and work to heal the sick, feed the hungry and protect those in need.
The Democratic platform fully embraces those values, but they are hard to find in the Republican platform.
Psalm 72 teaches us that to defend the cause of the poor and to give deliverance to the needy is one of our highest callings — a call that is repeated throughout books of the Torah and the New Testament. To reject the great tradition of a circle of protection defies God’s will and undermines America’s values.”
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on July 23, 2011
Deuteronomy 32:16 “They made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger.”
Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”
We learn today that President Obama has certified the end of America’s ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Beyond the issue of political parties it must be stated plainly that President Obama is a son of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6). In virtually every way, his beliefs and policies are in opposition to the God of Heaven.
I am afraid that Americans do not understand the nature of God or His dealings. There are degrees of sin and while it is said in Scripture that God is slow to become angry (Exodus 34:6), the Bible also warns us that it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31). The verses at the head of this post reveal two things…First, God is provoked by abominations and second, men having sex with men is an abomination. Make the connection, as our nation increasingly gives its blessing to sodomy, it is increasingly provoking God to anger.
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on April 22, 2011
2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.”
This past week McDonald’s held a hiring day on which they sought to fill 50,000 jobs throughout all fifty states. Throughout my lifetime I have heard a job at McDonald’s derided and have seen many people who were living off the government or others declare that they would not take a job flipping burgers at McDonald’s because it was beneath them.
There is no disgrace in working at McDonald’s. Living off others while you do nothing is disgraceful and the command of God is that a person who will not work, is not to eat either. God does not support laziness or sponging off others. The ways our government lives in defiance of God cannot be numbered but amongst them all is this, that the government is willing to feed many people who are not willing to do anything to earn their meal.
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on August 20, 2010
(I cannot remember a time previously in which I have struggled to put my thoughts on an issue together as I have in writing out the following. Many Christians if not careful will misunderstand what I am saying but if read carefully and thoughtfully I trust my meaning and the truth will be seen. America is on a crash course with the justice of God. We have willingly allowed religious freedom to mean the freedom to worship gods who do not exist and no nation which has known the truth as we have and turns from it can hope to escape God’s judgment and it may well be that Islam is the tool that God is using to punish us for our idolatry)
The world both secular and Christian is abuzz concerning the construction of a Muslim mosque within two blocks of the Twin Towers which were destroyed along with 3000 American lives on September 11, 2001.
Before continuing let me say clearly and emphatically that I do not want to see a mosque built anywhere. I also do not want to see a Hindu temple, Jewish synagogue, Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall or psychic/tarot card reading center built either. None of these beliefs acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord as He claims to be and practicing them will lead to the damnation of those who reject Him. The time is getting short and one must be clear about what truth is and isn’t. If you don’t like my narrowness then your problem is ultimately with Jesus my Savior who said of Himself:
John 14:6 “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.”
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on May 18, 2010
I read today that Ted Turner wonders if God is talking to us in light of the recent Gulf Coast oil spill:
“I’m not a real religious person, but I’m somewhat religious. And I’m just wondering if God is telling us he doesn’t want us to drill offshore,” he said. “And right before that we had that coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners,” as well as repeated mining disasters – “seems like there’s one over there every week” – in China. “Maybe the Lord’s tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal.
WAIT! There is more to read… read on »
Posted by Gary on September 23, 2009
“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.”
This morning I attended a prayer at the flag pole event at the Christian School where two of my children attend. A number of people prayed as we stood around the pole including a couple of children.
I was struck as one child prayed thanking God for being able to attend a Christian school. I was especially struck with one statement in which the child said, “I thank you for going to school in a place where I can say “God” and do not have to get in trouble.”
I’m sure your mind goes to many places when you hear this as mine did. In particular I thought of the tragedy of this statement. I also thought of the defiance and rebellion that marks our country who dares to tell God where He may be spoken of or honored in His World.
I thought also of where the fear ought to lie and one day will. Be very afraid America as you deny and fight against the One, True God. Would you dare deny acknowledgement of the One who holds your temporal and eternal existence in His hands? You who have made children to feel they should be afraid to speak of God will one day be afraid when the Son of Man comes in His glory.
Do we think that God does not see or hear? Do we think that He will relent forever? Do we think that somehow He needs America and therefore would not lay her in the dust as He has other nations that despise and reject Him?
America, your doom is sure if you do not turn from your path of defiance against God. There remains in the mercy of God a window of opportunity to be restored to God by turning from your rejection of Him but that window will not remain open forever. One day the Son of Man, the Son of God, Jesus, will return with iron scepter in hand.
Psalm 2:5-12 “Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! “
Posted by Gary on October 15, 2008
This verse from reading the Bible today:
Exodus 1:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.”
When will we embrace the fact that God’s method of building His kingdom does not include ease, flash, money and worldly popularity? Here is the Divine principle: the Gospel spreads through the affliction and persecution of God’s people.
Here the Godless pharaoh is determined to stamp out the people of God but the more he afflicts them the more they multiply and spread out. Yes, the thought of it in one sense is frightening and yet if we are Christ’s and love Him we can embrace and even long for that which will make Him known.
The Scripture and Church history bear this out:
Acts 8:1; 4 “Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
We are determined to see growth come through our methods. There is a growth taking place in some churches but I am convinced it is not of God for it has come through concealing the truth of God’s Word, putting man and his desires on the throne and has in many instances the approval of the world. When persecution comes much of what is being called the work of God in this day will collapse to the ground.
American Christians, what are you seeking? Is your hope really in a conservative president and majority in congress and on the Supreme Court? I hate to break it to you, this package that you seek is not going to usher in the Kingdom. God’s method is preaching the Word of Truth, living it faithfully and then embracing the affliction that such preaching and living will incite from this world that hates Christ (John 15:18-19).
How can we know if we are in a place for God to use us in building His Kingdom? We can know by comparing our hearts with one whom God did use, the Apostle Paul:
Acts 21:10-13 “As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, ‘This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Acts 20:22-24 “And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.”
Our need is a faith in Christ and closeness with Him that leads us to embrace what growth will require, persecution and affliction. Let us not boast and assume we will pay the price. Who can endure these things unless God gives us the grace to do so? Let us seek Him for this grace.
Posted by Gary on October 2, 2008
I cannot more highly recommend that you make time to read "The Lord’s Prayer" by Thomas Watson. If you recognize that your soul needs food (meat and not milk) you can do no better outside Scripture itself. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that Watson is a puritan, he is very readable. By the way, you can read the Lord’s Prayer online at CCEL (note that links to navigate through the book by petition are in the left column).
I have been struck (and would like to strike you also) with the fact that obedience is something we owe to God. I know we don’t like the idea of a God who says we owe Him something but He has said it and we may deny it (as many are) but we do so to our destruction in this life and damnation in the next.
To not obey God is to be in debt to Him and how thankful we should be that He is a God who will forgive those who are indebted to Him and has taught us to pray to Him for this forgiveness "Forgive us our debts…" Watson lists five reasons why sin is the worst debt (excerpted):
In what sense is sin the worst debt?
(1) Because we have nothing to pay. If we could pay the debt, what need to pray, ‘forgive us’? We cannot say, as he in the gospel, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all;’ we can pay neither principal nor interest. Adam made us all bankrupts… We have nothing to pay; all our duties are mixed with sin, and so we cannot pay God in current coin.
(2) Sin is the worst debt, because it is against an infinite majesty. An offence against the person of a king, is crimen laesae majestatis [the crime of high treason], it enhances and aggravates the crime. Sin wrongs God, and so is an infinite offence…The sinner would not only unthrone God, but ungod him, which makes the debt infinite.
(3) Sin is the worst debt, because it is not a single, but a multiplied debt. Forgive us ‘our debts;’ we have debt upon debt… We may as well reckon all the drops in the sea, as reckon all our spiritual debts; we cannot tell how much we owe. A man may know his other debts, but he cannot number his spiritual debts. Every vain thought is a sin. ‘The thought of foolishness is sin.’ Proverbs 24: 9. And what swarms of vain thoughts have we! The first rising of corruption, though it never blossom into outward act, is a sin; then, ‘who can understand his errors?’ We do not know how much we owe to God.
(4) Sin is the worst debt; because it is an inexcusable debt in two respects; (a)There is no denying the debt. Other debts men may deny. If the money be not paid before witnesses, or if the creditor lose the bond, the debtor may say he owes him nothing; but there is no denying the debt of sin. If we say we have no sin, God can prove the debt. ‘I will set [thy sins] in order before thine eyes.’ Psalm 50: 21. God writes down our debts in his book of remembrance, and his book, and the book of conscience exactly agree: so that the debt cannot be denied.
(b) There is no shifting off the debt. Other debts may be shifted off. We may get friends to pay them, but neither man nor angel can pay this debt for us. If all the angels in heaven should make a purse, they cannot pay one of our debts. In other debts men may get a protection, so that none can touch their persons, or sue them for it; but who shall give us a protection from God’s justice? ‘There is none that can deliver out of thine hand.’ Job 10: 7. Indeed, the Pope pretends that his pardon shall be men’s protection, and God’s justice shall not sue them: but that is a forgery, and cannot be pleaded at God’s tribunal. Other debts, if the debtor dies in prison, cannot be recovered: death frees him from debt; but if we die in debt to God, he knows how to recover it. As long as we have souls to distrain on, God will not lose his debt. Not the death of the debtor, but the death of the *Surety, pays a sinner’s debt. In other debts men may flee from their creditor, leave their country, and go into foreign parts, and the creditor cannot find them; but we cannot flee from God. He knows where to find all his debtors. ‘Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there thy right hand shall hold me.’ Psalm 139: 7, 9, 10.
*Surety-one who makes good the debt of another
(5) Sin is the worst debt, because it carries men, in case of non-payment, to a worse prison than any upon earth, even to a fiery prison; and the sinner is laid in worse chains, chains of darkness, where he is bound under wrath for ever.
Thomas Watson on the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer
May God grant us to understand and acknowledge the truth that we do not exist for ourselves but for Him. That He made us to honor Him through our lives and that we "owe it" to God to live obediently. May He grant us to see our great debt to Him that we may seek His forgiveness. God’s Son Jesus, stepped in and paid our debt and because of Him we can pray, "Forgive us our debts…".
Posted by Gary on September 29, 2008
The whole world is watching the United States to see what will happen concerning our financial woes. At the heart of our financial problem is the fact that many people cannot pay what they owe. Lending institutions have loaned money that they will not receive back, debts are owed but are not paid. The debt of credit was incurred but payment is not being made.
In all our fear of bankruptcy it is apparent that we do not see that we are already bankrupt spiritually and in our relationship with God. We are so worried about our money and lives in this world that we do not see that we are spiritual paupers and have no hope for the world to come which will last forever. The riches of this world are all we are concerned about, do we not know about being rich toward God?:
Luke 12:16-21 "And He told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man was very productive. "And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ "Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry."’ "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ "So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
I recently pulled from one of my shelves Thomas Watson on "The Lord’s Prayer’. I was thinking about my need of forgiveness and turned to Watson’s thoughts on the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, "Forgive us our debts". Many of us may be more familiar with "forgive us our trespasses" though the words may be different, the meaning is not.
Watson powerfully and faithfully holds forth the Biblical truth that sin is a debt:
"Why is sin called a debt? Because it fitly resembles it. (1) A debt arises upon non-payment of money, or the not paying that which is one’s due. We owe to God exact obedience, and not paying what is due, we are in debt. (2) In case of non-payment, the debtor goes to prison; so, by our sin, we become guilty, and are exposed to God’s curse of damnation. Though He grants a sinner a reprieve for a time, yet he remains bound to eternal death if the debt be not forgiven." (Watson, "The Lord’s Prayer" commenting on the fifth petition)
Truth be known, we think God and His universe revolve around us. Do any of us really think that we "owe" God obedience? Do we view our sin as our refusal to pay Him the obedience He claims is His rightful due? We can’t stand a God like this (and therefore can’t stand the One, true, God). The God we believe in revolves around us, we feel He owes us quite a bit and most of all, He doesn’t demand obedience. Insistence on obedience we say isn’t loving, it is harshness, it is the thing that fathers (whom we have rejected) insist on. The God most believe in is a god who wants nothing more than for you and me to be happy and happy for us of course is doing whatever comes to our minds or stimulates our emotions and body.
America, we have a debt that we are not even thinking about and the consequences of not paying it are incalculably worse than the collapse of wall street or even a depression. Do you believe you owe God obedience? If so, you know you are in debt. What will you do?
Colossians 2:13-14 "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."