Posted in Lessons from the Holy Bible, Seeking Truth?, Time for Sharing

Turn About Thursday- “Ketchup, Crackers and Ice Cream”

** I originally posted this message in May 2012.  I believe with everything changing in the world today; especially post modern christianity, it’s well worth printing.  I made some editorial changes, but the content is the same.  I pray the Lord will use His Perfect; Unchanging; Holy Word to guide your walk, however you are responsible for “feeding” on His Word.  Blessings ♥Streim**

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We have all heard the saying “There’s nothing new under the sun”.  It’s true~there isn’t.

I remember when a famous ketchup maker created a brand new, easy open, no mess bottle.  That was nice, however, it was still ketchup in a plastic bottle!  Nothing new about, plus it still made a mess.  I munch on crackers a lot.  One of my favorite brands (won’t use the name–but it rhymes with pits) now has over 5 different types.  Some are supposed to be healthier, like low-sodium; and some tastier like honey wheat.  The interesting thing, they all have the same base ingredients, same amount of calories…and they are still just crackers!   Then there’s ice cream.  I remember in my younger years we had 3 choices–vanilla, chocolate, strawberry.  Then it was chocolate ripple (not new…just mixing 2 together) and Neapolitan (all 3 together).  Now you can get ice cream in so many flavors it’s ridiculous,  but the mainstay for each “new” flavor is vanilla ice cream.  Plus, if you like, you can get it without sugar, reduced fat, or both.  In big containers or bite size portions.  But, it’s still just ice cream!

In my 6 decades, I’ve watched the world change, not for the better either!  Now don’t let your feathers ruffle at that comment, it is purely my opinion.   It may not be yours and I accept that, but this is my blog so I’m going to speak what the Lord has laid on heart.  The Word of God (which at the inception of this nation was a “moral guide”) is what I rely on daily for TRUTH!  Not media, politicians, world leaders, technology, science (even though I have a degree in science) and surely not religious leaders.

I recently read a short review of a book written by a supposed well-known Christian scholar.  This is the review ( minus the author’s name and the book’s title–that will be in another message). 

” Christianity will not be a viable belief system for honest people in the contemporary world, writes  (author)*until it drops a few outmoded ideas–for instance, belief in a supernatural God who reveals Himself from outside creation. (Book title) *continues the work begun in (author’s)* bestselling ( first book preceding this one)*, in which the former (author’s denomination and title)* diagnosed Christianity’s major problems. Here, he offers a vision of what authentic Christian belief might look like today, stripped of theism and all its corollaries (doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Atonement). Christians may come to believe that “God is beyond Jesus, but Jesus participated in the Being of God and Jesus is my way into God.” Readers inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s tantalizing writings on “religionless Christianity” in Letters and Papers from Prison and by John A.T. Robinson’s Honest to God will find much challenge and comfort in (author and book title)*, his most mature and most radical book. “

What does ketchup, crackers and ice cream have to do with this book about “creating a New Age Christianity” (my words)?  EVERYTHING!!  This isn’t the only book, author, Christian scholar (?), church leader, theologian, denomination,religious group to adopt the idea of a  “BRAND NEW AND EXCITING” way to reach the world for Christ.

Reality is…1) they are not trying to reach a lost world for Christ  2)  this is nothing new about their ideology, it’s as old as the first century churches   3)  it’s out-and-out BLASPHEMY!

2 Timothy 4:1-5  says explicitly  “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove , rebuke , exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions , do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ”

John Gill commented on 2 Timothy 4:3:

For the time will come: This is a reason of the solemn charge above given: the time referred to was future, when the apostle wrote, but quickly came on; and the characters of it have appeared more or less in all ages since; and in none more than in ours:
when they will not endure sound doctrine; the Gospel which contains the wholesome words of Christ, and is sound itself, having no corruption in it, and salutary in its effects to the souls of men; and yet such is the depravity of some men, both in principles and practice, that they cannot receive it, nor bear to hear it, turn their backs on it, express their indignation at it, and treat it not only with neglect, but with ridicule and contempt:
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; not being content with the ministry of one man only, or of a few, though of their own sort; but must follow many, and have heaps of them; which seems to express not only the number of false teachers which they accumulate to themselves, but the confused and indiscreet choice they make of them; and that after their own lusts; choosing to hear such as either indulge them in their sinful lusts and pleasures; or are agreeable to their private corrupt sentiments, in opposition to the generally received doctrine of faith. It is a blessing to have pastors and teachers after God’s heart, and who preach according to the word of God; these feed men with knowledge and understanding, ( Jeremiah 3:15 ) but it is a curse upon a people, when they are left to choose teachers after their hearts’ lusts:
having itching ears; always desirous of new things, as the Athenians of old; or loving to have their ears scratched and tickled with smooth things; that are pleasing and agreeable to natural men, and carnal minds; as the purity of human nature, the power of man’s free will, the excellency of his righteousness, and the merit of his works, and the like; see ( Isaiah 30: 9-10) . Now, this being the case, should not discourage, but rather animate the ministers of the Gospel to preach it; for should they desist, in all likelihood the Gospel would soon be gone.

Then in 2 Timothy 4:4

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth:The solid truths of the Gospel, not being able to bear the hearing of them:
and shall be turned unto fables; things idle, trifling, useless, and, unprofitable; and which are no better than old wives’ fables; some respect may be had either to Jewish fables, or to the miraculous mythologies of the Gentiles, or of the Gnostics, and others: but in general, it includes everything that is vain, empty, and senseless; and this is to be considered as a just judgment upon them; that since they like not to retain the knowledge of the truth, but turn away their ears from it, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment, to attend to things idle and fabulous.

 

We all need to be aware of this “new” (actually ‘old’) Christianity lest it “creeps it in unawares” into your life or you church body.  We, as Almighty God’s forgiven children, bout by the blood of Christ, NEED–NEED–NEED– to pray for one another, know the truth ourselves (have the Word in our hearts) and be willing to stand fast in the faith that has brought us into the family of God.

Blessings ♥ Streim

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Posted in Lessons from the Holy Bible, Seeking Truth?, Time for Sharing

Turn around Tuesday! “Are We Throwing Away Our Joy?”

1 Cor. 1:21  But God chose what is simple in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

The Bug
Oh how sweet the smile of a little child…it comes from such a tender place within, an innocence we all lose as we grow older.

What could be simpler and weaker than the innocence of  small children?  Little children are totally reliant upon their parents, parent or someone older (depending upon the situation) for their needs to be met. Incapable of providing food, shelter and clothing for themselves—they simply trust, without thinking or worrying.  They have have no idea where the next meal is coming from, but they trust it will be there.  The same is true of shelter or clothing.  I am more than aware that the number of children worldwide who live in circumstances without these basic needs is growing into the billions, which is beyond sad.  However, even under the most impoverished conditions, a “little child” is content with whatever is provided as they rely on someone to care for them.  Am I being a tad redundant here, yes I am!  You see, our Lord Jesus Christ spoke many, many times of “little children”. 

Matthew 18: 1-5 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying , Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?  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 receives me.”

Matthew 11:25  At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Matthew 19:14  but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke 10:21  In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will

John 13:33 ” Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ “

I believe we often lose the inner awareness of who our God is and the beauty of His character as our Great Creator and Redeemer.  His love, tenderness, mercy, goodness and patience become  overly “theologized” (I know that’s not a word,until now) which causes the hope, peace and joy of knowing Him to get lost amidst a plethora of translations, versions, lexicons, dictionaries, study helps, books, books and more books. (** Ink Slinger if you read this I am downplaying reading materials, just the overuse of them in the areas of God’s character listed above**)

Simply and yet profoundly GOD showed His immeasurable love and mercy when He provided the sacrifice needed to reconnect ourselves to Him by giving of His only Son to die in our place upon that cross at Calvary. 

When will we surrender ourselves to our Almighty God and Lord Jesus KNOWING He is caring for us continually…morning through evening… day after day? 

When will we begin rejoicing in the knowledge that we have a BIG GOD who is our Father, Redeemer, Lord, Friend, Comforter, Care-giver…slow to anger and with tender mercies?

When will we become to trust like “little children” in our Abba Father and bask in the joy of His love?

The Shepherd knows what pastures are best for His sheep, and they must not question or doubt, but trustingly follow Him. H.W.Smith

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I posted this originally in June 2012.  I believe we need to be reminded of the Sovereignty of our loving GOD!  This is a simple post; nothing theologically fancy (I couldn’t really write like that anyway).   I pray the Lord Jesus is carrying your heavy burdens.  It is impossible for us — praise Him!!!  ♥ Streim

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.  All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Matthew 11:25-30  NKJV

Posted in The Gospel, The Power of the Holy Spirit

When Can I Boast?

2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

And He said to me (Apostle Paul),
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” **

 

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Paul told the believers in Romans 8:6-11

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (esv)

I thank my Father in heaven for His amazing promises!  The promised Messiah, Jesus Christ who was/is the only One able to bear “sin” for the world, to redeem us from the penalty of an eternity without God and thus reconcile us to the Father through Him.  Only one requirement ” You personally accept the atoning blood of the Lamb of God as yours, by faith in Him (Jesus Christ) and repent of your sins before a Holy God.

Then and only then do we have a new life in Christ with all the promises of hope, joy, peace, eternal life with God and our Father’s sanctification.  Read and study God’s Word–pray always–share the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ–love others. 

** When I am weak –then I am strong!  Only because of the gift of God .May all of you be blessed … ♥Streim