As The Wind Blows

Beautiful October

Autumn is always a windy time of year here in the northern Great Lakes area.   Leaves die from lack of sunlight, fall to the ground and the wind grabs them and swirls them everywhere. Lately it seems our winds aren’t just from the north (as I remember from years past) but every possible direction; often the winds are opposing each other.  I know it’s frustrating for my neighbors and friends, as I’ve watched rake their leaves into nice, neat piles only to have the wind seemingly come from nowhere and scatter the leaves again.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Church in Ephesus about their new-found lives in Jesus Christ.  Some individuals within the church began to stir up the people with doctrines and beliefs that opposed the true gospel message of Jesus Christ.  The result was divisions and schisms.  Paul’s letter “set them straight”. In chapter 4 of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul exhorts and encourages the church as Ephesus with guidelines and Godly wisdom for the Body of Christ.

4: 1-16 ” Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, ‘WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.’ (Now this expression, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together * by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. “  (NASB)

I watch or read daily of these doctrines of heresy be thrown from every direction; just as those autumn leaves.  The leaves will die, biodegrade and be used by the earth as fertilizer for the following spring.  Interestingly, the heretical doctrines will die along with all those (and there are as many as colors of fading fall leaves) deceivers, heretics, antichrists, liars, deceivers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, blasphemers and the subtle sweet teachers of extra biblical insight and prove to be “leaven” that will nourish the great falling away! For those who believe these deceivers what can be done?   There are only two possible outcomes.  One, if they continue believing in these doctrines of men and NOT of the Holy Word, they will DIE–perish; but with an imperishable body they will suffer the wrath of Almighty God for eternity.  Or, rather than listening to others, they will pick up a Bible and use it!!  Read it, study it, feed on it, use it as a proofing source for all teaching.  IF, they will ‘open the spiritual eyes of their understanding’ and see the lies and immediately repent–turn away from them and return to the Truth of the Holy Scriptures, they will DIE — perish; but the imperishable body they will enter the Kingdom of Heaven and rejoice.  May we all be praying for the Body of Christ that none be led astray… sending blessings ♥ Streim

 

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Whom the Father Loves… Part2

Whenever the Lord impresses me to write about something,  it’s because I am going through it myself.  I know you all will agree when I say that the temptation to sin enters our lives everyday.  Often it’s very subtle and appears harmless, or maybe it even seems right— but it leads to sin against the Father and our Lord Jesus.  That’s how the enemy of our souls plays his game.  He started that game in the Garden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7) and still uses it today.

I knew something wasn’t right between the Father and myself.  I read and studied the Word on a frequent basis, spent quiet time with Him in prayer and surrendered myself to the Lord Jesus to be conformed to His image.  BUT—- there was an awkward, disturbing  sense that something was amiss within my heart.  I prayed often and asked the Lord to show me what was wrong… but as so often is the case, He waits until it is His time and not ours.  (PRAISE HIM!!)  In recent months I’ve heard many sad statements made by some Christian authors and writers.  I’ve watched  popular Christian leaders speak words that I knew were unbiblical.  I read in various types of national news sources how our country’s largest Christian denominations are accepting sinful practices into their churches; saying the church must change with the times.  I know we live in times of extreme attacks by the ” unseen darkness in heavenly places” ( Ephesians 6:12).  I made sure I had my armor on, and walked daily with a “sharpened Sword–the Word”.   I thought the words I spoke were truthful when I’d share with you readers and others what I saw as our battleground.  But… I was horribly wrong!  One of those “fiery darts” (notice they’re not flaming arrows) got past my “shield of faith” and I didn’t even know it.  I wasn’t exactly sure what “my sin” against Him was until last Monday.  Now I must say, it definitely wasn’t something I expected.  I couldn’t see it because:  I had a 4×4 in lodged in my eye.    In the letter Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, he was clear in his closing remarks to them.

Ephesians 6:10-18Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,  against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–

I wasn’t praying for ALL THE SAINTS with prayers and pleadings (supplications) as instructed… I was pointing fingers, as though I had it all right and others didn’t!  Our Glorious Loving God didn’t knock me around; or give me an incurable disease; or take away His Spirit from me.  Instead, as I sat outside Monday morning I asked Him again.  “What is wrong dear Father… I love you so, please for your glory an honor, in Jesus name please show me.”  He did!  I waked into my apartment just in time to hear one of my morning radio programs make their closing remarks.  It was Ephesians 6:18; immediately I received a devotional on my phone with basically the same content.  I could finally see—  I wept as though as I realized my pride was the target of that “dart” and it was effective… until I repented at that moment!  What joy there is when we know that the Creator God, the Great “I AM”, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ love us so much, that we are gently  chastened and corrected.  Thank you Father for loving us so much you chasten us!

My prayer is that this experience of mine may help someone…  Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus  Christ… I extend my blessings to all of you! ♥ Streim