Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Of Gardens and Growers

In the last several years, my heart has been calling me back to having a garden, growing some of my own food and putting it away for the winter. Not only is this work beneficial to my body by causing it to use muscles long unused, it is better for my body to eat this food instead of the frankenfoods and poison-filled junk being served en masse across the country; if not the world.

Jesus said that unless a grain of seed die, it cannot produce much fruit; but when that seed dies, it accomplishes a lot (paraphrased).

I was thinking about this in general terms this morning as I took my morning walk. I was having trouble praying but I sensed the spirit prodding me to press on because I have been having trouble praying. Have you ever noticed how when you pray a lot (like, intermittantly all day long) that periodically you start to think you're in a rut, or that you're praying the same thing day after day, or is it just me? Along with that, though, I have been begging the Spirit to show me how to pray, to fill my mouth with praise and thanksgiving. The Spirit answered my prayer today.

As I was walking this morning, I was thinking about my children and praying for their spiritual lives; asking God to finish the work He has begun in them, and it struck me. I know for many who read this it will be simplistic in nature, but sometimes the simplest things are the most profound. God started the work in my children, and His word says He is faithful to complete it unto the day of salvation. The Lord told me to just go home and show His love to everyone I meet, He will plant the seed, water it and bring it home to harvest. I just have to keep following His lead in showing His love to my husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, acquaintances, co-workers, strangers, and enemies; in other words to everyone I come in contact with. I don't have to save the world; I don't even have to worry about the world; Jesus has overcome the world, and as long I am keeping my eyes on Him, loving Him and allowing Him to love others through me, the seed will grow, and He will render the harvest.

How can you not love that? All I have to do is worry about me and my relationship with the Lord, and He will use it to plant the seed in others. I love that. May Jesus Christ be praised.

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies, my silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest, with this I shield my breast,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lie

Satan is a liar and a murderer, John 8:44 and the Bible says he is and has been from the beginning. He fed Eve a lie in the garden and it has affected everyone who has ever lived since. Let’s try to imagine how it happened. Here's Eve, living in paradise (no less!), and satan has the audacity to approach her and tell her God is a liar. She has everything that God thinks she and Adam need to live a good life: a handsome, one-woman man, who has no vices: he doesn't smoke, drink, overeat, look at porn, abuse children, or have any other sinful behavior; she has a house to die for among towering trees, lush landscaping, flowering bushes, shrubbery, trees and plants, flowing rivers, ponds, creeks, and waterfalls. They can have their pick of pets - dogs, cats, cheetahs, lions, tigers, alligators; whatever, they're all tame and friendly. There's no air pollution, there's no genetically modified food or preservatives or artificial flavorings - it's ALL GOOD and healthy just the way God intended it to be. But God, like all good parents has told his daughter, "honey, unfortunately, there are bad things in this world, and that one tree over there is one of them. You cannot touch it or ever eat from it." "It's very bad for you, and if you ever touch it or eat from it, it'll kill you. You will die from eating from it."

And what does satan tell Eve, "What??!!. You've got to be kidding me. Don't believe that; it won't kill you. The Father doesn’t want you to eat it because after you do, you'll be like Him, you'll know everything he knows, and you’ll be like God! He's just trying to control you. He doesn’t want you to be happy." How many times have we all heard that lie? He's been lying to men and women from that day forward and will until he is thrown into the lake of fire after Christ's 1000 year reign on earth.

Satan is hard at work today, right here, right now, feeding us the same old lies, and we’re falling for it hook, line and sinker to our own destruction.

Are you addicted? To what, you ask? Anything, including, but not limited to: alcohol, drugs, television, food, sex, pornography, work? What is your god, your idol, your addiction? If you are addicted without hope of recovery, you’ve bought the lie. That lie says that addiction is a disease and is incurable and you have to struggle and fight every day for the rest of your life and you’ll still never be over it; and hey, you’re not hurting anyone but yourself, are you, so what does it matter? Proverbs 20:1 and Galatians 5:21

Are you having an affair or having sex outside of marriage? Then, you’ve bought the lie. That lie says that your marriage stinks, the other person’s marriage stinks, you’re soul mates, you wouldn’t have sought each other out if all had been well in your marriage(s); and sex is good, sex is right, you don’t have to be married, why would you marry someone you had never had sex with, you might not like it. Matthew 19:9 and Galatians 5:19

Are you an atheist? Then, you’ve bought the lie that says there is no God, and that man evolved from animals or...something. Romans 1:18-22

Are you a liar? Well, then you’ve bought stock in the biggest liar that ever lived and decided to follow in his footsteps. See scripture reference above.

Are you a thief? Then you’ve bought the lie that it’s okay to take what is not yours in any way, shape or form from someone else and make it yours.

Are you gay or homosexual? Then you have bought the lie. The lie that says you were born this way and the lie of political correctness that is shaping the world today. Political correctness says that individuals are not supposed to tell other people when they are doing or saying something that is wrong. We, as a society, have come up with our own ideas of what is right and wrong and we fail to look to our Creator for instruction or clarification on these things. God is not politically correct. What God said thousands of years ago, He still means today. He did not say it was okay for men to lie with men or women with women; so He is not saying it is okay today. I, personally, do not want a God who breaks His promises or changes His mind, because if He breaks promises or changes His mind about one thing, what do His promises to me mean? I want a God I can depend on and trust to always keep His word and to mean what He says; one that is eternal and never changes; don’t you? Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:22-32

To many women, satan is selling the lie that it's okay to get an abortion – it’s not a baby, it’s an embryo or a fetus, or whatever you want to call it. To millions, satan is selling the lie that God is Buddha or Allah, or mayatreiya, or whoever; and he’s selling the lies of bigotry, racial discrimination, greed, materialism, power and many more.

Look back at that picture in the garden. That's what it was supposed to be like, and God told Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply and to care for the earth and everything on it. That first lie has spawned innumerable other lies, but they are all accounted for the same purpose: the destruction/murder of mankind and his relationship with God. Satan, himself, fell out of God’s grace by thinking he was equal to or better than God and that he would ascend above God’s throne; that he would make his own rules and way.

I don't think any less of you if you’ve bought the lie, and I’m not criticizing you or condemning you. You see, I've been there and done that myself. After a while, it becomes easier, and easier and easier, until you reach the point where you explain it, justify it and accept it as right. We all have. It's so subtle that you don't see it coming. One fact I have learned is that satan knows our weaknesses and he makes it his goal to hit us right where we are weakest. The thing is, we can never do it right on our own - we need God to do it for us.

The GREAT news is God loves us in spite of ourselves. He wants the best for us. When we do things that He has ordained as "sin", he grieves for us. He does not want us separated from Him. He wants us to choose him, to ask Him to help us overcome the things in life that are not right, good and the way he planned them. He wants to be our strength and strong tower and the one we run to in troubled times. The sad truth is that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but the good news is that while we were all sinners, he died for us that we might have eternal life. When we feel true grief and dismay with ourselves for doing things that are not right with God, if we ask for forgiveness, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness. He then seals us with his Holy Spirit so we can live by his leading and direction. We're not always going to get it right until we are perfected in unity with him in heaven, but when we do sin, we are immediately reminded of it and if we confess it and ask for forgiveness, he in his great mercy does so. This is how the life of a follower of Christ is lived. I urge you, if you are doing things that you know don't please God or living a life that does not follow God’s plan, repent now; turn your life over to him and allow him to show you how to live life more abundantly and satisfyingly in Him.

As I have written this and prayed over it, I am led by the Spirit to tell you that if you are not listening to the Holy Spirit's convicting voice with regard to your sin; God does not hate you, He loves you; He hates sin. He is holy, pure, righteous; and there is no evil in Him. He wants you, He died for you. He wants to live in you, and the Bible tells us the "eye has not seen; nor ear heard the great things God has planned for those who love Him". Just like loving a human being, it's a choice. Won't you choose Him today?