Prayer NOT Politics

Recently I have spent a considerable amount of time reading, researching and studying the Word about this subject; in earnest prayer.  I am more than aware that I’m wading into deep water and some readers may be offended while others may even ridicule me, but oh well…  When my Lord Jesus and Heavenly Father urge me to write… I do so!   It matters not what any one person thinks of me.
With His grace, this is intended not to offend, but to promote a positive relationship with other members of the Body of Christ.  

I’m seeing a very startling trend across our country.  Many people believe that if we change from a liberal, Democratic president to a supposed conservative, Republican leader, our country is going to be fixed or is on the mend.  Nothing could be further from the actual truth.  I see some prominent Christian leaders  actively involved in political organizations that they believe will change this country.  I believe that is the WRONG path!   Here is why…

1 Thessalonians 5 gives us warnings, admonitions and commandments, which we need to read and heed: I pray as you read this chapter, that you do so asking the Holy Spirit’s discernment and for our Father’s leading through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.  For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.  And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.  See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies,  but test everything; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.  Brothers, pray for us.  Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.  I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

 

Many conservative, Republican Christians daily are slamming our president, our new candidates for office and our Supreme Court.  To me it is a disgrace to the name of Jesus Christ.  They like to  use 2 Chronicles 7: 14 “ if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  The land the LORD spoke of here was the promised land and the people His chosen people, the Jews.  I know this entire passage in 2 Chronicles and the entire Old Testament was written (as breathed out by God) for learning, correcting, instructing in right living and for doctrine.  I know that God never made a covenant with America!  Praying for the government is godly wisdom, but we have a much greater task— being obedient to our Lord Jesus commands and His example.

I  urge every one who reads this entire post to stop and asks the Lord…   “Is America going to be changed by politics or by the power of the Sovereign Creator and our Lord Jesus Christ?”  Yes I believe we are to represent out Savior and God above all else. Yes I believe in being involved in our communities. But I also believe God is the one who allows things that are for His eternal plan for mankind.  Blessings to all  ♥ Streim  (This was originally posted on August 12, 2012.  I have made some edits for several reasons.)

 

Turnabout Tuesday–What is going on…?

(I originally posted this on October 17, 2013.   I decided to repost because far too many Christians (?) are being deceived by sensationalism in church services and gatherings.  This sensationalism is aimed at creating “feeling” experience with God rather than a “living” relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. )

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Where do we draw the line between “right and wrong”;

How do we distinguish between “good and evil”?

How do we know we are following “the Truth–according to God” or “distorted man-made traditions”?

When will today’s pastors, teachers, authors stop resorting to “techniques of modern culture to share the Gospel” message and start “preaching the Gospel from God’s Word“?

What are Christians required to conform to?  The “morality of our society” or the “standards of God’s Word”?

How do we know when hot IS “hot”?  Or cold IS  “cold”?  Is it our perception?

When I studied in the Word for the doctrinal series I began (but after much prayer ‘knew’ I was not to continue), I started reading from Jeremiah the prophet.  I must say, I see a spiritual parallel between the “overt disobedience” of God’s chosen people during  Jeremiah’s time and the “overt lies” being taught (and much to my dismay–believed!)  by many Christian churches today.

When the LORD God spoke to His people through Jeremiah, the LORD’S love  was expressed in His continued patience (v12); but He did require repentance–turning away from their sin and towards Him. (vs 13-15)

Jeremiah 3: 12-15 “ Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘ I will not remain angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God, And have scattered your charms To alien deities under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. 14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.

We hear so much today about perspective and moral relativism in the world.  It’s quite obvious there are many of our Christian teachers, pastors, leaders, authors, etc that are grasping and using these ideas.  WHY?  Because as many say “How do we get people into the church today?”  when they should be saying “How do we reach lost souls with the Gospel of Christ and disciple them as commanded in the Word?”   You might wonder what the difference in these two questions is. 

It’s the difference between the BLACK AND WHITE truths of the Word and the many shades of grey found in the perceptions of men.

BLACK AND WHITE: God’s Word

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard , which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be fullThis then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another , and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned , we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1

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Post-modern Christianity (here’s just ONE shade of gray!)

(Taken from “Roots of Church Growth Movement” at standupforthetruth.com)

In the early days of the church, Christians gathered to equip one another to do that, and the purpose of the church became about praying with one another, worshiping God, breaking bread and learning from the apostles teachings about Jesus. Our Lord instructed us through the ages to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them and making disciples of Jesus Christ.

But these days, the leaders of the modern church in the West seem to be focused elsewhere. Countless conferences equip us not to share the Gospel but to be good leaders. For example, this year’s largest conference, Catalyst, had as its theme: Go and Make. But nowhere was the word Disciples ever attached to that message, and leaders once again gathered by the hundreds of thousands to learn about how to grow membership, meet their felt needs and get them connected in church programs. (Catalyst, by the way, is the largest in the seeker/growth movement.)

Today’s popular model is nowhere to be found in Scriptures, and in fact might be opposite of how churches are to grow.

 

Remember as forgiven, blood bought children of Almighty God we must know the deceitful ways in which the enemy is working in today’s world–especially in the Church!  Getting people into churches is NOT what will change their eternal destiny.  We are to go into all the world, wherever that may be, and preach/teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples (those who will live according the Word) in truth and love.  If there is no making of disciples— there is error.  Jesus teaching at the feast said this to the unbelieving. 

Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him”  John 7:16-18  

May you get into the Word of God daily and dig deep into the bounty of His truth!  ♥ Streim 

I Did It My Way!

HE DID IT HIS WAY

The demise of King Saul came after he lost favor with God and his son Jonathan found favor;  because Jonathon truly believed the words of the LORD God.  Jonathon and one other person, his armor bearer, with no weapons completely destroyed a garrison of the Philistines. That’s impressive!!  ( read 1 Samuel 13:19 – 14:16 for the complete story)  There is a lot more about Saul and how he conducted himself as the King of Israel, suffice it to say– being tempted and walking head on into sin was the norm for him.  Finally, Samuel came to Saul one last time to give him the instructions/commands of the LORD.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.  Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ” 1 Samuel 15:2-3

Did Saul do as told?  Of course not, as we read in 1 Samuel 15:8-9

   “He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.  But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.”

Saul decided, on his own, to keep the good things of the Amalekites for himself but the less useful things he did as the LORD commanded!  How arrogant!  Saul’s PRIDE kept him from  giving heed to the Lord’s words.  Instead  he ignored the LORD God’s command and did what he wanted or what the people wanted.  His faith in the LORD had ceased to be the guideline for his life.  Saul was a man of God at one point, but he lost favor with the LORD because his focus was on Saul!  The sin of the PRIDE OF LIFE did him in!


When the pride of life keeps anyone from following the Lord’s commands~~it is like telling God, “I am my own god and I can do things my way”  Can you imagine anyone who claims to know  Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord thinking like that?   This is happening flagrantly throughout the church today and it burdens my heart deeply.  Jude’s one chapter letter speaks volumes (even with such few words) on this subject of keeping the faith!

1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:  (we are servants, set apart and preserved for God’s purpose)

2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.  (God’s prosperity gifts to us!! )

3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  (earnestly contend: fight for the truth!!)

4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.  [ungodly men in the church (creeping in unnoticed)  making God’s grace extend to accepting the sin of fornication and denying that Jesus IS THE CHRIST!]  NKJV

The first four verses of Jude’s letter are extraordinary.  They give us insight into what we see happening today.  We’re living in times when multitudes of people are being led astray by men who speak “sweet little lies”, filled with deceit, meant to lead the church down the broad road of destruction.  Why?  Because the “pride of life” keeps us away from God and His Word and thinking we can live this life our way and still please God.  Ask yourself this question    Do I know what I believe; why I believe it and what does God’s Word say about it?   If for any reason you struggle with any part of this question… go before the throne of the One who gave us everlasting life and in humble prayer ask our Almighty God to help you.  And get into the Word!!   Read the Word, heed the Word and then seed the Word in truth, everywhere you go.  I pray that you read the Word with sincerity, daily, for your own spiritual relationship with our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. ~Streim~