Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Posturing But Not For Peace

More poking the stick at the bear, saber rattling, drum rolls, threats, global bullying, and assassinating as the beat goes on. This world must be a bad dream. May a brighter day arrive soon, when we can awaken.

When will we turn our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks? When will the time come when we learn not to make war anymore?

When the hearts, one by one, of every person – regardless of rank in society – have surrendered themselves fully to the Prince of Peace, and thus are no longer at war with God Himself, when we are willing to learn of Him, and remember that we are to reveal His likeness in our own character on Earth while still in a body. Then surrendered to His Way, and loving one another, as if the other is ourself, we can be at peace.

Conflict has so long terrorized this planet that one wonders if we could stand it if we actually did experience a lack of it. It’s not just political and military, but domestic and personal. It’s riding hard that person who cuts us off in traffic. It’s everywhere from grandiose political posturing to the minutiae of daily interactions. Is there anyone who is not in conflict with someone else on some level?

Don’t you ever wonder about that?

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality

Oh, That Radical Jesus!

Whence cometh this pervasive, earth encompassing, escalating consciousness of violence? How is it to be stopped? Where to begin? Is it too late?
“’Put your sword back in its place,’” Jesus said to him. “’For all who draw the sword will die by the sword.'” Matthew 26:52.
“Sword”: Substitute your weapon of choice.
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:21-23.
These are hard sayings.
“… If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32.
Maybe because there’s been no continuation or consistency with abiding in His teaching, we don’t know His truth from experience, and consequently have not been truly freed by it. What He’s talking about here is essentially “empirical theology.” In other words the proof is in the practice, not just in the head. Reaction or faith?
The bottom line is, as Christians we’re not in this world to be of it, or act like it, or take on its ways.
Oh! That radical Jesus!
Something to pray about and ponder.
Posted in Christianity, Spirituality

What Is Christianity?

Let’s start with what a lot of people think it is, but it’s not.

Christianity is not a democracy. Christianity is not a constitutional republic. Christianity is not about the US Constitution or any other government institution. Christianity is not about gun control. Christianity is not about legitimizing what is morally wrong or any other liberal agenda. Christianity is not about supporting Israel or any other foreign government or lobby. Christianity is not about supporting Donald Trump or any other political leader. Christianity is not about “fire insurance” theology.

Christianity is about the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of God coming about through the hearts and minds of humankind, one at a time, through the knowledge of God. Christianity is about individuals being transformed by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit, so as to be conformed to the likeness of the Son of God, not only in love but in righteousness. That’s called “holiness”, which means wholeness. This is the foremost component of what it means to be “saved”, to be salvaged, to be made whole.

Where did we ever lose track of that message?

Why have the pulpits of preachers, pastors, priests, and popes been compromised by these other things having nothing to do with the Kingdom of God?

We must wake up and understand that this world will change when we are each changed from the inside out. Let’s take back the Faith that has been hijacked and supplanted by the world system!

Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality

Christ Our Exemplar

We can see Jesus’ example when the heat was on, in ways you and I cannot imagine.

Jesus’ Arrest:   ‘Then said Jesus unto Peter, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”‘ John 18:36.

Jesus On Trial:    ‘Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world; if it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews. But now, My kingdom is not of this realm.”‘ John 18:11.

Jesus’ Execution / Crucifixion:    ‘And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they cast lots, dividing His garments.’ Luke 23:34.

There’s something deeper here than meets the natural eye. How did Christ walk? How was He led? How did He know His Father’s will for Him, which was the way of the Cross? He was led of the HOLY Spirit. (See Matthew 4) He spent many hours in prayer (communion with the Father).

Although the Son of God, 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, ‘Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.’ Philippians 2:6-8.

‘During the days of Jesus’ earthly life, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.’ Hebrews 5:7-9

‘Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.’ 1 John 2:6.

‘Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.’ Romans 13:14.

‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.’ Galatians 5:24, 25.

‘The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.’ Matthew 23:11-13.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2,3.

This is all a reminder of some lyrics from an old song: “Dance in the darkness, slow be the pace; surrender to the rhythm of redeeming grace…” by Carey Landry

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign…

Signs? Wonders? Phenomena? Apparitions? Prophecies? False teachers? So called wisdom? Philosophy? Eastern mysticism and meditation? Prosperity and success gospel? Everything from dead works religion to extreme liberal antinomianism. (And more…)

What says the Word of God? There are plenty of warnings. The following are but a few. Pray for the Holy Spirit. Pray for discernment. Stay in God’s Word. Embrace the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ alone! These are times of great apostasy, and there is “something for everyone” of it in every branch of Christendom. It is time to not fall asleep at the post, but to watch and pray always.

“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival. The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of POWER, SIGN, and FALSE WONDER, and with every wicked DECEPTION directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

“Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

“Now there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them -bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and PERFORM SIGNS AND WONDERS THAT WOULD DECEIVE EVEN THE ELECT, if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything in advance.” Mark 13:21-23.

“The prophets are prophesying lies in My name,” the LORD replied. “I did not send them or appoint them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, a worthless divination, the futility and delusion of their own minds.” Jeremiah 14:14.

THE ANSWER:

“For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks search for wisdom, but we preach CHRIST CRUCIFIED, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.”
1 Corinthians 1:21-23.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13,14.

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Wishes

Hey, you! Howdy!
 
Holidays are the time for “wishes” to come true, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Be careful what you wish for. It’s not that you just might get it, because you probably won’t in this case. But just for the record…
 
Sometimes you wish you had a life to live over, with the knowledge acquired on the “homestretch”. You’d do a heck of a lot better with it and live with more meaning to more people, you claim. Or so you’d hope… Lord, have mercy.
 
But there’s always today and hopefully tomorrow. Let’s ask to be made aware of the opportunities present, and then the wherewithal to be attentive to those that are actually within the realm of possibility.
 
One of the things you might do well to stop telling yourself is, “I’ll do everything possible.” Stop! Listen to the implications of that! What? Are we God? That kind of self talk sets us up for failure because we are not the Almighty Who alone “does all things possible.” What is far more logical and feasible is to say, realistically, “I’ll do what I can.”
 
See the difference? (Newsflash: others may not like that, when they’ve been on the receiving end of your “all things”.) That levels the playing field a little, and you won’t be driven crazy trying to play God, which can be a covert desire to be worshipped. Did you ever think of it that way? (You devil, you! 😉 )
 
Or you might think you need to compare yourself to someone else’s life, calling, and accomplishments. Might be nice just to rejoice with them, and let it go at that. No one else needs to be your yardstick. God makes each of who we are. It’s good to give thanks for that much.
 
Just a couple little thoughts on a cold blustery December night.
 
Affectionately,
 
~Blaise Into The Blue~
 
P.S. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1Timothy 6:6. NKJV.
Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

When In Doubt

Just a quick one –

To feel or battle doubt need not be necessarily condemned as sin; it is rather an emptiness that begs to be filled with right understanding, the answers of questions, or a need for information that brings puzzle pieces of the bigger picture into view and puts them together. This is something I had to learn from experience – after a long struggle due to buying into the idea (from previous reductionist religious/spiritual programming) that doubt was a “crime punishable by death,” so to speak. Once I could see it for what it is, then the answers it represented began to fall into place as well, and much needed direction came into view. Never criminalize yourself for doubting, but pray and keep on praying – in spite of your feelings.

Someone needs to hear this, so I am posting this remark. Pass along as you wish.

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Rejoice At ALL Times

Rejoice At All Times.

We need to get into this practice while the time upon us is not yet so severe.

“And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God works ALL THINGS TOGETHER for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:27-29.

All things, not just the things that make us feel good, or that we think are good. Our Lord’s higher purpose is why He calls upon us to “Make sure that no one repays evil for evil. Always pursue what is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-17. This has been forgotten in the current form of religion that deceitfully encourages “your best life now.”

May God have mercy on us and open our eyes!

Yes, the walk is harder to bring into reality than the talk.  “As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” 2 Corinthians 6:10.

To rejoice in such times is to surrender to God’s eternal highest and best for us with a sacrifice of praise.

Posted in Christianity, Spirituality, Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Countdown to the Holidays

 
Lord, please let my eyes be opened that I may see all that I have to be thankful for, and lift from me the blindness that propels me into a habit of complaining. I ask Your forgiveness for the many times I have indulged this tendency and Your all powerful help to dispel it.
I know that Your love and goodness are boundless. Your grace is perpetual and ever extending itself into my life. For this I give You thanks, as without You I am nothing and can do nothing.
Let me be filled with Your Holy Spirit, so that my heart may be pure and my eye single, and that Your kindness and generosity may radiate from me. Let me ever be mindful of and in harmony with Your will of perpetually bringing forth in me the likeness of your Son Jesus Christ, our only Savior and Lord, in Whose name I pray.
Amen.