But what is a covenant and how does it differ from a contract?
How many covenants has God made with humans? How many of these apply to Christians today?
These are crucial questions for the interpretation and application of Scripture. The Bible is divided into two testaments, another word for covenants. Does this mean the Old Testament is only of historical interest to disciples of Jesus ? What about the Ten Commandments? – and the other six hundred and three given to Moses?
Some of the major differences in the Church go back to the different answers given to these questions. For example, whether baptism should be of babies or believers, whether priests, altars, vestments and incense should be used in worship, whether re-marriage is permissable after divorce and whether we should work a six day week.
By His covenants of grace, the Lord has bound Himself to us and bound us to Himself. That is the heart of Biblical revelation and Godly living.
My family members attended the March on Washington. They were rightfully enraged and protested when Dr. King was unjustly assassinated. Still today there are pictures of, and books about, Dr. King in their homes as he is fondly remembered for the sacrifices he made for the disenfranchised. And yet none of that has anything to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We have spoken in the past about how it is an error for Christians to refer to themselves as sinners. We know that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, but is it true that we continue being sinners after being reconciled to God in Christ?
What is the "Day of the Lord"? What are the signs of its coming? What has to happen prior to the Rapture? What is the difference between the "wrath of Satan" and the "wrath of God"?
The calling of women is so evident in Scripture that you would have to want to be blind not to see it. If there is any resistance in your soul to this, then that is the very thing which God is trying to deal with in you.
Don't think that a bunch of activity means you are close to the Lord. Oftentimes, a bunch of fervor in religious circles is a cover for those who are actually running away from Christ. They are a lot of good - but dead - works.
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:18
The most dangerous thing about each person is that we can deceive our own selves. The carnal mind is fantasy-prone, and will run to lies and delusion so as not to submit to the truth.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." Matthew 18:2-5
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming
I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming
I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God
All that You’ve done is so overwhelming
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I remember watching this episode when it first aired and laughing so hard! On The Cosby Show, Alvin was always spouting these archaic, patriarchal ideals; and Claire Huxtable had certainly set him straight (so I thought).
Yet, as I look back on this now through the eyes of Christ (vs. the eyes of flesh), there is only sadness. This is the type of insidious perversion which a lot of women have to fight tooth & nail to overcome, just to understand what it is to be a wife or even what it means to serve the Lord (because the two roles are parallels).
There is no such thing as a 50/50 marriage. Such is a fantasy. Better yet, it is a lie. People in such arrangements deceive themselves into believing that everything is 50/50. In reality, every single time, what you really have is one person controlling and manipulating the other to get their way.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
I remember a minister once saying that to "hear Jesus' voice" meant to heed the Gospel and come to salvation. While the Scriptures are certainly an example of God speaking to us, Jesus does literally have a voice (Genesis 3:8). He is alive. He speaks. He even sings (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 2:12).
Tell people - even professing believers - that you hear God's voice and they are likely to think you are a looney toon. Why? Because people don't really believe. They use a reference to God as a way to validate their own desires. To such persons, anything which confirms what I want or what I think becomes the voice of God. The concept of God literally speaking is foreign - and probably frightening - to them. If it is not real for them, then they assume it is not real for you either.
Because there are many voices in this world, it is very important that we are able to recognize His voice for ourselves. Consider Saul on the road to Damascus.
"And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." Acts 22:6-9
The text says that Saul could hear the voice of Jesus, but those with him heard not. Saul knew this was the voice of the Lord, but he was perplexed by the accusation. He was starting to realize that he may not fully know the God he sought to serve. It had to be revealed to Him that Jesus is Lord. Yet, look at the following:
"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Acts 9:7
The above text says that Saul's companions did hear the voice. So, which is it? The difference lies in the word "hear". It is not just about sound perception, but the ability to understand the meaning of what is heard.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
I believe God has been dealing with me on that lately by emphasizing fear. In a recent comment, a sister in the Lord shared something God had told her, "I AM stronger than your fears!" That phrase took hold of me and wouldn't let me go. It was as if God was speaking to me directly.
I have been telling myself that my cancer has nothing to do with this blog. That I don't want to be like Hezekiah, being taken advantage of by the devil for sharing too much at the wrong time (Isaiah 39). Yet, the truth is that I had reasons for not sharing that had nothing to do with those things: the voice of fear. "Make the wrong move, do the wrong thing, and the cancer will return. Share that God is healing you too soon, and the cancer will spread." While I would cast these down and counter them with faith in God, the thoughts only grew dim, but never dissipated. May God forgive me for giving ear to these lies for even one second.
The following I have shared with those closest to me, but I intentionally did not put it on the blog. I believe it is now time to share. I write this, not to receive accolades or even sympathy from others. May all glory be to God. I just desire to be obedient to the Lord and to stand against this spirit of fear which wants me to keep my mouth shut. Hey, I want to be free at all costs, and I don't care what I have to share.