Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who Woulda Thunk It?

It’s such a surreal experience to transition from someone who doesn’t consider God anything more than a concept, to worshipping Him as Lord and Saviour. It’s a strange move to go from someone whose whole goal for living was serving self to someone whose whole motive for living is to love and obey Jesus. To say that we are a new Creation is more than an understatement. This transformation that Jesus brings about in us is total, covering every aspect of life.

Lest some atheist think that I’m saying we Christians are better human beings than any given atheist, I’m not. Lest any atheist think that I’m saying we’re perfect - Far from it! However, I am saying that if we allow Him the freedom to work in our lives, God will make us far, far better individuals than we were before He came into our lives.

Since becoming a child of God, a follower of Jesus, I no longer need to strive for security, value, worth or belonging. All those things are simply mine to enjoy. Because of that, dwelling on the goodness of my Lord and Saviour comes as easily as breathing. As the lover of my soul, Jesus is simply part of my waking life. There is not one area of my life where His influence isn’t important to me. I am drawn to what is good and repulsed by what is evil; the exact opposite of my pre Christian days.

Since becoming a child of God, a follower of Jesus, I can actually love. Not the romantic, "I've fallen in love" crap of Hollywood, but the willed, volitional desire to do good to others regardless of how I'm treated back. That in and of itself is totally different. Prior to Jesus coming into my life I loved myself - Period! Any good that I did, and it was precious little, was never absent the thought of how this good deed would make others think more highly of me.

Since becoming a child of God, a follower of Jesus, I now love to be around good people. Before, I saw them as fools and weak-minded, losers to be sure. I now love my life and am deeply grateful for all that God has given me, especially the areas where I’ve been forced to grow by leaning into and absorbing His strength. Even in the most difficult of times, peace and joy are never absent. That is totally unlike my pre Christian days.

The decision to do the right thing is now part of who I am. Before Jesus, doing the wrong, the crooked, the illegal, the shady deal, the shortcut, all these and more were second nature to me. No longer. Jesus has made me habitually attuned to obeying the law, to helping those who struggle, to give of myself, my time, my money. Since Jesus came into my life I can actually see and respond to the needs of people. Prior to Jesus I would purposely walk past the needs that were directly in front of me. Since Jesus came into my life I don’t need to be “loved back.” I don’t care if I’m rejected or not respected. This is so not the way I used to be.

My body now belongs to God. O my how I used to abuse my body. I really didn’t have any power to do otherwise. Today it’s not just that my spirit is willing, but my flesh is now also powerful and eager to do what’s right and good. As a counsellor, there are many, many opportunities to become involved with “needy” women. In my pre Christian days this was truly a danger area for me. No longer. Today, when the offer comes I genuinely ask, “Why would you want to be with a man who is so selfish, so self-centred, so self-obsessed that he would do that to his wife?” That is usually enough to put an end to it. However, some people are so wounded that they find the idea of being with a married man exciting. If the first question isn’t enough, “Why would I want to be with someone who is so selfish, so self-centred, so self-obsessed that she would do that to my wife?” is always enough to end it. Today, avoiding paths that lead to temptation come naturally and with ease. That was not the case at all in my pre Christian days.

Today, because of Jesus, I can see that I’m not missing out on anything of importance by rejecting the things that this world has to offer. The sin in the world has less and less in me to which it can make its appeal. If evil people get rich - let em. If pagans are popular - well you go girl. If all the credit goes to those who use and misuse their wealth - so be it. Sin and a pattern of sinful living is a load of crap to which I’ll never ever return. I’m no longer attracted to anything this world has to offer. I’m a stranger here. I’m just passing through. My attention is drawn to making this a better place but I have no intention of being anything more than a visitor. I am not, as the book of Revelation so aptly puts it, one of “those who lives upon the earth.”

I no longer have to hide the real me. I don’t have to pretend that I’m better than I am. I have the ability to know and hang with those who are also transparent and able to have deep and honest friendships. We no longer have to hide our thoughts or pretend that we don’t fail. Because I now leave the outcomes of daily events in the hands of my Creator I no longer have to manipulate others for my own ends. I can be with those who do evil without being drawn or tempted to mimic their behaviours. Loving the sinner while hating the sin has now become more than a trite phrase. That is so very different than before.

I am now whole. Who I am at home is who I am in any other setting. My inside matches my outside. What you see is what you get. I am at peace with my God. My life has meaning and context and purpose. This is nothing like it was in the days before Jesus came into my life.

I don’t need to defend myself when it’s been pointed out to me where I’m wrong. Boy oh boy, is THAT ever different! In fact, I’m thankful to find out where I’ve been off track. Anger has been and still is my weak spot. I’m not who I should be in this area, and I’m not who I’m going to be in this area, but thanks to God alone, I’m not who I used to be in this area.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I’m even close to perfect. I have a long, long way to go. I have more needed changes to be made in my life than God will have time to make this side of heaven. But this I know, He will not stop working on me nor will He turn His back on me as I falter and stumble in my walk with Him. I know whom I believe and I know that He will bring me safely home in far better condition than I was ever in when I thought that I was the captain of my fate and the master of my soul.

God Owes Me!

"Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with His own presence, His Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does He do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust Him to do them in you? Don't these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God."
Galatians 3:5-6

Monday, November 29, 2010

Doing It Right

I meet so many people who are genuinely surprised to find themselves doing harm to those they love. I was sitting with a couple the other day. They weren’t totally hostile to Christianity yet, they were surprised at how badly they treated each other (he’d just started an online affair - she'd been super critical of him since day one). They didn’t want their souls to change, but neither did they want to live with the consequences of their behaviours.

Do you see the problem here?

When we are wrong on the inside we can’t even WANT to do what’s right. Oh sure, we can love those who love us. Who can't? But when my love for you is based on you loving me first, well, that's a recipe for destruction. This doesn’t mean that non Christians must always be Charles Mansons or Stalins. It does mean that non redeemed souls will most often put themselves first, even in their most important relationships. What these people really want is to continue being “wrong on the inside” but not experience the consequences of being wrong. Even when their conscience tells them they’re treating each other wrong, their whole inner being is tilted away from the right things. The "right things" aren't even recognised as options. This is why Christopher Hitchens and others like him hate so terribly the very thought of God watching over them. What God wants for them is the very opposite of what their unregenerate heart wants for themselves.

In my own life:
Only Jesus could reverse the trending downward to self-destruction.
Only Jesus could make His law attractive to me.
Only Jesus could make His way of life seem important.
Only a character that’s was changed by Jesus could come to see sin for the horror that it truly is.

On CNN the question was asked, “Should parents in a struggling marriage stay together for the children?” The majority of the people thought not eg., “I left my husband because I didn’t want my children to believe that they had to “just settle.” I want them to go after happiness.”

It didn’t occur to anyone to ask, “Should parents in a struggling marriage change the way they treat each other for the sake of the children; should they change so that their children can learn how to love?” Had that question been asked, the answer would have still been - “No - We’re not willing to change.”

And why aren't they willing to change?

Because we CAN’T treat each other good - we can’t even WANT to treat each other good - when we ourselves are not good.

Jesus allowed divorce for one reason only - “Because of your hard and evil hearts.”

If you knew that you possessed a hard and evil heart, wouldn’t you want to change that aspect of your nature?

Wouldn’t you?

And if not, why not?

Hard and evil hearts cannot show the love and mercy and forgiveness that all marriages need. Healing a marriage requires that the people themselves change, and that is precisely what people are not willing to do. Many people won’t even admit that inner change is necessary. “I’m a good person” is the mantra of atheists. So convinced are people that it’s not their fault, that after a divorce they quickly marry someone new fully expecting that this time things will be better. Statistics say otherwise.

I address this in a multi part series,

Until Jesus changes who we are, we simply don’t have loving those who are difficult to love as an option. So our children are left with the pattern of walking away from difficult relationships.

Without Jesus in our hearts, without Jesus as Lord and Master of our lives, our children will not even have the option of doing it right.

What About Those Who Haven’t Heard?

When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God's law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God's yes and no, right and wrong. Their response to God's yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.
Romans 2:14-16

Saturday, November 27, 2010

“Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace”

That’s the cover page of a recent Time Magazine.

“Attacked by suicide bombers on an almost daily basis a decade ago, they didn’t flee. They didn’t panic. And they didn’t teach their children to hate, or to martyr themselves. Instead they took security precautions and went about their business as best they could under horrific circumstances. For this, and for carving out productive lives in the only democracy in the area, in the face of so many who would destroy them, they are portrayed as uncaring. TIME’s story does not address the attitudes of Palestinians toward Israel, or Jews, though Palestinian clerics, educators and politicians demonize Zionists and Jews everywhere so regularly that it is no longer considered newsworthy.”
Gary Rosenblatt in “The Jewish Week.

To say that Israel doesn’t care about peace while at the same time ignoring the reality of Palestinian authority’s repeatedly rejecting every peace deal that Israel has offered shows the bigotry that Israel is up against. Not only do the Muslims reject the peace offers, they respond with terror and the incitement of hatred.

“I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us.”
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas describing what would happen if a Palestinian State was created. Yet it is Israel who is accused of being an “apartheid” state even though Israel allows Arabs to enjoy full citizenship, including representation in its parliament.

As Benjamin Netanyahu said, “If Arabs put down their weapons tomorrow there would be no more war. If Israelis put down their weapons tomorrow, there would be no more Israel.”

“Hitchens Apparent Winner”

That’s a CBC headline as Chris Hitchens debated former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Toronto.

So, Hitchens spends eternity in hell and is declared a winner. Just whose measuring stick are we using here?

There’s No Going Home

“Once people have seen the light, gotten a taste of heaven and been part of the work of the Holy Spirit, once they've personally experienced the sheer goodness of God's Word and the powers breaking in on us - if then they turn their backs on it, washing their hands of the whole thing, well, they can't start over as if nothing happened. That's impossible. Why, they've re-crucified Jesus! They've repudiated Him in public! Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God's "Well done!" But if it produces weeds and thistles, it's more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.

If we give up and turn our backs on all we've learned, all we've been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ's sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment - and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God's Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he'll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: "Vengeance is mine, and I won't overlook a thing" and "God will judge His people." Nobody's getting by with anything, believe me.
Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Moral Superiority

Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Honecker, Castro, Ho, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Kim, Ceausescu and virtually every atheist today view themselves as morally superior to those who have attempted to follow the most morally superior human to ever walk the earth. If they were simply talking about Christians and not Jesus, they may be right. After all, it’s usually the sickest of us who are most likely to recognize that we need a doctor. And that's what Christianity is, a hospice for those of us who have admitted our sin-sickness. On the other hand atheists really have no choice in rejecting Jesus the Christ and the religion that bears His name since part of their atheist dogma is, ‘Religion is harmful. Get rid of it and everything will begin to move toward civil society.’ Marx and Engels put it bluntly, “Abolish all religion and all morality.” And of course another major point of atheist dogma is, "I don't need God in order to be a good person."

Ya, well, the end result of these self proclaimed ethical leaders has been to bring upon the world atrocities and horrors more degrading (100 million dead in the 20th century alone) than anything that the world has seen or experienced prior to their advent.

These self-professed “good people” actually see Jesus and what He teaches as morally inferior to their own world-view.

For example, in the comments section of a CNN article highlighting the return to safer promiscuous sex due to some new drugs (, two people pointed out that abstinence or lifelong monogamy was the only way to prevent the spread of STD’s. Other commenters who hated anything that smacked of Christianity actually accused these two of holding opinions that were “a low point in human thinking.”

Those who hate Christianity don’t stop at those who try to follow Jesus (we Christians ARE morally inferior so we deserve what we get). Rather, secular bigots actually see themselves and their philosophical view of life as superior to that presented by Jesus Himself. They really believe that to be true!

It’s true, I guess. We get the kind of leaders and the kind of world we deserve.

Purpose of Suffering

“When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem. But Paul wouldn't budge: "Why all this hysteria? Why do you insist on making a scene and making it even harder for me? You're looking at this backward. The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience. Can't you see that?"
Acts 21: 12-13

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hugo and The Old Testament

Like many new believers and I suppose all sceptics, Hugo has expressed struggles with what is written in the Old Testament. Admittedly there is a lot that we simply cannot understand. On the other hand, after thirty years of following Jesus, I’ve come to realise that the problem is mine and not the Bible’s. A line that I heard a long time ago that has been helpful to me goes like this: “All of the Old Testament points to Jesus and if you haven’t seen that while reading the OT, then you’ve read it wrong.”

While a person can enter the Old Testament from many and varied points of interest, that it points to Jesus must surely be the most important thing to be looking for when reading it. Preparing the way for Jesus is what gives the OT context. This is true for even the most difficult parts where whole, albeit profoundly evil cultures are eliminated to make room for the Israelites “through whom the whole world will be blessed.” And while there are many parts of the Old Testament that might make a person scrunch up h/her face with doubt, the parts that point to Jesus must cause us to move cautiously before rejecting what that Book says.

Professor Peter Stoner, Editor of ‘Science Digest’ has calculated that the odds of the 20 prophecies of what happened to Jesus on the last day of His life here on earth, to be 10 to the power of minus 157, against them coming true in one man, accidentally. Scientists agree that 10 to minus 50 is the same as zero - impossible.

Born of a virgin
The Prophecy - Isaiah 7:14 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel.” This would not be much of a sign if it was just a man marrying a virgin.

From the seed of Abraham
The Prophecy - Genesis 22:18 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born)
“And in your seed all the nations of the world shall be blessed.” (God speaking to Abraham). This determines that of all the races of the world, we could look for The Saviour to come from the Hebrew race.

Son of Isaac
The Prophecy - Genesis 21:12 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born).
“For Isaac is the son through whom My promise will be fulfilled.” (See Matthew chapter 1 for a continuation of Jesus’ genealogy record) Abraham had two sons. God eliminates one half of the lineage of Abraham in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.

Son of Jacob
The Prophecy - Numbers 24:17 (Written about 1400 years before Jesus was born)
“I see in the future of Israel, far down the distant trail that there shall come a star from Jacob, this ruler of Israel.” Isaac had two sons. God eliminates one half of the lineage of Isaac prophesying the lineage of Jesus

Tribe of Judah
The Prophecy - Genesis 49:10 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born).
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Jacob had 12 sons out of which came the 12 tribes of Israel. God eliminates eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.

Family line of Jesse
The Prophecy - Isaiah 11:1 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“The royal line of Jesse will be cut off, chopped down like a tree. But from the stump will grow a shoot, yes a new branch, the Messiah from the old root.”

House of David
The Prophecy - Isaiah 23:5 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“ For the time is coming says the Lord, when I will place a righteous branch upon King David’s throne. He shall be a King who shall rule with wisdom and justice.” Jesse had at least eight sons. Now God eliminates all of Jesse’s sons except David in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.

Born at Bethlehem
The Prophecy - Micah 5:2 - (Written about 750 years before Jesus was born)
“O Bethlehem you are but a small Judean village, yet you will be the birthplace of my King who is alive from ages past. God, in prophecy, now eliminates all the cities and towns in the world but one for the entrance of His Son to planet earth.

Preceded by a messenger
The Prophecy - Isaiah 40:3 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“I hear a voice calling in the wilderness, make a road for the Lord.”

Ministry to begin in Galilee
The Prophecy - Isaiah 9:1 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish in the land of Zebulun and Neaphtali, by the way of the sea on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles.”

Ministry of Miracles
The Prophecy - Isaiah 35:5 & 6 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be unstopped, the lame will leap like deer, the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.”

Teacher of parables
The Prophecy - Psalm 78:2 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born). “I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old.”

Enter Jerusalem on a donkey
The Prophecy - Zechariah 9:9 (Written about 520 years before Jesus was born)
“Rejoice greatly oh My people, shout with joy, for look, your King is coming , He is the righteous one, the victor, yet He is lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt.”

Stumbling stone to the unbelievers
The Prophecy - Psalm 118:22 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born).
“The stone which the builders rejected, has become the corner stone.”

The Prophecy - Psalm 16:10 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born).
“For you will not leave me among the dead. You will not allow your beloved one to rot in the grave.”

The following were prophesied from 1000 - 500 years before Jesus was born but were all fulfilled in one day.

Betrayed by a friend
The Prophecy - Psalm 41:9 - “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread has lifted up his heel against me.”

Sold for 30 Pieces of silver
The Prophecy - Zephaniah 11:12 - “If you like give me my pay, what ever I’m worth. So they counted out 30 silver coins.”

Money thrown into God’s house
The Prophecy - Zechariah 11:13 - “And the Lord told me, toss it into the temple treasury this magnificent sum they value you at. So I took the thirty coins and threw them in.”

Forsaken by his disciples
The Prophecy - Zechariah 13:7 - “Strike down the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.”

Accused by false witness
The Prophecy - Psalm 35:11 - “These evil men swear to a lie. They accuse me of things I have never even heard about.”

Quiet before his accusers
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:7 - “He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He never said a word.”

Hands and feet pierced
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:16 - “They pierced my hands and feet.”
Crucifixion had not come into the Jewish system until hundreds of years after Psalms was written. It was unheard of at the time of Psalms.

Made intercession for his persecutors
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:12 - “Yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.”

Hated without cause
The Prophecy - Psalm 69:4 - “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.”

Friends stood afar off
The Prophecy - Psalm 38:11 - My loved ones and my friends stay away, even my own family stands at a distance.”

People shook their heads
The Prophecy - Psalm 109:25 - I also have become a reproach to them. When they see me they wag their heads.”

Garments parted and lots cast
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:18 - They divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.”

Gall and vinegar offered Him
The Prophecy - Psalm 69:21 - They gave me gall for my food. For my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

His forsaken cry
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:1 - “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.”

Committed himself to God

The Prophecy - Psalm 31:5 - “Into they hand I commit My spirit.”

Bones not broken
The Prophecy - Psalm 34:20 - He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.”

His side pierced
The Prophecy - Zechariah 12:10 - They will look on me whom they have pierced.

Darkness at noon
The Prophecy - Amos 8:9 - I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight.

Buried in a rich man’s grave
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:9 - He was buried like a criminal in a rich man’s grave.”

Jesus had no control over the prophecies about:
1. Place of birth
2. Time of birth
3. Manner of birth
4. Betrayal
5. Manner of death
6. People’s reaction
7 Piercing, and
8. Burial

Once again, think about these words:
Professor Peter Stoner, Editor of ‘Science Digest’ has calculate that the odds of the 20 prophecies of what happened to Jesus on the last day of His life here on earth, to be 10 to the power of minus 157, against them coming true in one man, accidentally. Scientists agree that 10 to minus 50 is the same as zero - impossible.

To those who encountered Him but refused to believe what He taught, Jesus had this to say.
(John 5:46 & 47) Jesus said, “It is not I who will accuse you before the Father, Moses will. For you have refused to believe Moses. He wrote about Me but you refuse to believe him, so you refuse to believe Me. Since you don’t believe what Moses wrote, no wonder you don’t believe Me either.”

(Matthew 13:17) Jesus said, “For I tell the truth, many prophets longed to see what you see and hear what you hear.”

(Mark 12:36) Jesus said, “When David spoke, the Holy Spirit was speaking through him when he said it.”

(John 10:34) Jesus said, “The Scriptures cannot be untrue.”

To neglect such awesome evidence will surely come at an awesome cost. Jesus promises however that to respond positively will come with an awesome reward.
Jesus was talking about the same Scriptures we have today. In the next two verses, Jesus indicates that “all” of the Old Testament included prophecy of His coming.

(Luke 24:25 & 27) “How foolish you have been and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” And beginning with the Law and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scripture about Him.”

(Luke 24:44) Jesus said, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Of course there are parts of the OT that we simply don’t understand. However, to get caught up in what we don’t understand and ignore what we do understand doesn’t make much sense. Even the sceptic Samuel Clemens said, “It’s not the parts of the Bible that I don’t understand that scare me. It’s the parts of the Bible that I do understand that scare me.”

Good luck on your journey.

More Sin Among Christians

“Don't you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me.
Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God's good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.

I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.

I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7:8-25

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1,000 Years

For decades I’ve read about the part in John’s Revelation where after a period of 1,000 years of peace and justice, satan will be released for a “little while.” (Revelation 20).

What’s up with that? God brings total peace and justice to earth and then allows it to all fall apart? - Again!

I think I finally get it. Adam and Eve had a perfect Father. They had a perfect home environment. There was nothing lacking in their lives. After the fall there was nothing and no one for them to blame for choosing to bring the influence of evil into the universe. Nevertheless, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed satan, and both of them (as do present-day atheists) insinuated that what they did was God’s fault. Ever since then, people have been blaming everyone and everything (except ourselves) for the horrors that we inflict upon each other. The current fad, led by atheists the world over, is to blame religion for the world’s ills. “We aren’t the problem,” they say. “It’s not our destruction loving nature that turns everything we touch into crap, including religion. No. It’s religion’s fault!”

Two famous atheists, Marx and Engels put it bluntly, “Abolish all religion and all morality.”

Wilfully ignoring our own sinful nature causes people to believe that eternal banishment to hell is tremendously unfair. “How dare God inflict such a horrific consequence for the simple sin of rebellion against one’s Creator?”

Ya, right. The SIMPLE sin of choosing evil over Love.

When Jesus returns for a thousand year reign, the basis for that idea is going to be removed. We are going to see that there is no one to blame save our own evil nature for the savagery and pain and betrayal and rebellion that we find so common among ourselves. For 1,000 years there is going to be peace and perfect justice. Just as it was before Adam and Eve made their fateful decision. For 1,000 years the power and influence of evil is going to be held at bay. Security and abundance will be available for all - for those who honour God and for those who don't.

And then, after 1,000 years of nothing but good, after 10 centuries (if this is a literal time-frame) of no one lacking for anything, the power and influence of sin will once again be allowed into our midst.


I think this is the point. If you look at James 1:13-15 you’ll see that there was nothing in Jesus to which satan could make his appeal. Jesus was tempted - it’s true - but there was nothing in Him that would find evil attractive enough to make Him give in to that temptation. For us, it’s completely different. Atheists would like us to believe that we are born good, but that is simply not the case. Like iron filings being drawn to a magnet, the evil that is in us from conception is drawn to the evil influence that is present in the world. Remove one or the other (the evil in us, or the evil influence in the world) and peace and justice CAN exist. For 1,000 years the influence of evil (satan’s “power to deceive the nations” Rev. 20:3) will be removed from earth. Without the evil influence in our world tempting us, our predisposition to evil will be “switched off” so to speak and we will actually accept goodness and justice. After 1,000 years, however, evil is going to be allowed once more to enter the scene. Our evil nature will come back to life and we will know that it truly is evil that we love; that we truly do love evil more than good.

When satan’s power to deceive the nations re enters the mix, sin loving men and women will turn with a vengeance on the One who provided them with everything they ever needed. This shows that even without evil being allowed to exercise its power to deceive us, OUR resident evil nature lies dormant, ready and waiting for something to attach itself to. The stench of our spiritual rot to which satan makes his appeal will be out for all to see.

God’s justice and wrath toward evil and toward those who love evil (those who have wilfully chosen to not allow God to remove this curse through faith in Jesus) will be incontestable. The consequence of hell will be seen as totally appropriate for those who would rebel against their Creator.

“Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are His judgments." Revelation 16:6; 19:1,2
“If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there?”
Romans 6:2

Why would we want to?

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Virgins for Muslims

Perhaps fearing a shortage of men willing to die while killing non Muslims, Hamas official Ahmad Bahr has pointed out that the number of virgins available to a martyr is still 72 but they can be chosen from a pool of 2.5 million virgins sitting in heaven panting heavily while they await the arrival of their Muslim hero.

Contrary to other religions that offer heaven by doing and doing and doing, even an obedient Muslim can not be sure of his hereafter without dying while killing non Muslims. Should they carry out this duty, however, Muslims are offered a palace; in it are 72 mansions with 72 homes with 72 sheets on 72 beds with 72 virgins that never lose their virginity. Mohammed said, “The person who participates in (Holy Battles) in Allah's cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostle, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to paradise (if he is killed).” (Al Bukhari vol. 1:35.) “They [true believers] will sit with bashful, dark-eyed virgins, as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches” (Sura 37:48).

The promise of heaven to those who die in battle for the cause of Allah is quite a promise . . . In his speach Bahr told wanna be terrorists, "In the Garden of Eden there is a palace with 500 gates, and at every gate there are 5,000 black-eyed virgins. Brothers, 500 multiplied by 5,000 is 2.5 million.” He also said, “Men should be praying for a son who would wage jihad for the sake of Allah, nobody on Earth will be able to confront the resistance or the mujahedeen, those who worship Allah and seek martyrdom.”

Nothing was said about female suicide bombers. Perhaps there is a stable of Studs from Chippendales waiting patiently on their beds in heaven?

Who Defines You?

We allow satan to define who we are. We give him permission to inhabit areas of our lives that he has no business entering. So, since we're out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we're free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! Romans 6:16-18

If Jesus has set you free. Live like it!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

That's Not Fair!

In an article from an Al Qaida magazine, "The article also directs a message at U.S. President Barack Obama and points out that terrorists had addressed the parcel bombs to synagogues "in Chicago, Obama's city." "We have struck against your aircrafts twice within one year," Inspire writes, "and we will continue di?recting our blows towards your interests and the interests of your allies."

Ahh - don't these guys know that Obama and millions of atheists and pagans believe, or at least desperately want to believe that if we just talk nice to Muslims they're supposed to start to be nice back? Surely they'll ignore what the Qu'ran demands regarding world domination if we just suck up to them - No?

After all, appeasement has worked with every totalitarian movement in the past.

Doing Religion

Becoming a disciple of Jesus is not “doing this” or “doing that” the right way. Being a disciple of Jesus is giving up doing life my way and beginning to relate in all my doings the way that Jesus would relate if He were doing my life. It is not right behaviours that bring about inner change. It’s an inner transformation which brings about a result, or a side benefit of right behaviours.

Without this dying to self taking place, we wind up too often (outsiders would say always) whereby we have “Sunday Christians.” These people feel and sometimes even act pretty righteous on Sunday. However, they live almost exactly like the rest of the world lives the other six days of the week. And what do these people do on Sunday that makes them feel righteous? Why, they follow traditions. They chant phrases that have always been chanted and do rituals that have always been done and this allows them to go home feeling as though they’ve participated in something special. The inner person might feel pretty good about all this, but the inner person remains essentially unchanged.

In each congregation and in each denomination, down through the ages, times of something special really do happen. Our own congregation was on a roll 10 to 15 years back. Things were properly aligned with the cause of Christ. And then, as always, always, always happens, people forgot WHY things were on a roll. We / they (my wife and I have only been here for four years) forgot that anytime that a Church or a movement of some sort is getting it right, it’s because those involved have submitted themselves to the direction of God. They’ve humbled themselves before Him and followed His convicting, His counsel, His leading.

The things that happen when we forget why things were good would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

A group of Christians in submission to Jesus creates a very contagious and attractive atmosphere. The Church itself was born from this atmosphere. The love of others that is so evident draws people to Jesus. It draws people to the group. However, when new people enter the mix they will be of necessity less knowledgeable, less committed, less submitted to their Lord. After all, they’re beginners with a lot of the old nature still clinging to them. The influence of this old nature(s) begins to water things down and what is perceived as a slide begins to happen. Forgetting why things had been going so good, we begin to cling to the vestiges or the behaviours, the cloaks and sounds of the good old days.

Let’s see now. What were we wearing? What were we singing? How was it that we were doing things when we seemed to be operating under God’s blessing? It might be a building that is fondly remembered, or a Pastor, or an order to service. The introduction of new songs is usually the first thing to be blamed for the slide. In our minds we really believe that our very survival hangs on our ability to form a tradition and cling to what once was. I don’t mean to keep harping on them but it’s true that Roman Catholics have mastered this mistake. Tradition and icons and even people - dead people - are worshipped and prayed to as though they were Jesus - our High Priest, Mediator and Saviour. And all the while Jesus is left in the wings, waiting (He will never force Himself on us) to be invited back into the relationship.

We are all prone to this error and it truly is tragic because new Christians and those who aren’t Christians can see the resulting farce for what it is. We are no longer in relationship with Jesus and are instead “doing religion.”

Walk In The Light

So many Christians that I work with live their lives, NOT walking in the light, but instead, valiantly attempting to not step into darkness. It’s a dead end focussing on our failures when God wants us to enjoy the successes that He brings to us.

“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.”
Romans 12:1-3

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nothing New

Sceptics make the most of Pastors or other Christians who fall in their walk with Jesus. Failing, of course, is nothing new.

“When Christian believers gather in Churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does. Outsiders, on observing this, conclude that there is nothing to the religion business except, perhaps, business - and dishonest business at that.

Insiders see it differently. Just as a hospital collects the sick under one roof and labels them as such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or mis diagnosed. It’s similar with sinners outside the church.

So Christian churches are not, as a rule, model communities of good behaviour. They are, rather, places where human misbehaviour is brought out in the open, faced, and dealt with.”

From Eugene Peterson’s introduction to the book of James - The Message.
Jesus said, “When He comes:

. He'll expose the error of the godless world's view of sin, righteousness, and judgment

. He'll show them that their refusal to believe in Me is their basic sin,

. That righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control, and

. That judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.”
John 16:8-11

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Have To Do That?

“God’s first concern is not what the Church does, it’s what the Church is. “Being” must always precede “Doing,” for what we do will be according to what we are. To understand the moral character of God’s people is a primary essential in understanding the nature of the Church. As Christians we are to be a moral example to the world, reflecting the character of Jesus Christ.” Ray Stedman.

Have you ever wondered why people resist spiritual transformation? I mean, it’s not as though their lives are these shining examples of happiness. As I said in a post a couple days ok, hypocrisy among us Christians is a fact of life. We do pretend to be happy when we’re not. We do pretend to have peace when we’ve been fighting like badgers all the way to Church. So, just what exactly are we hanging on to? What have we got to lose by giving up doing life our way and letting our Saviour become our Lord?

Reality is, if we don’t give the benefit of doubt to Jesus, if we don’t trust Him enough to die to ourselves, there won’t be, there can’t be any sanctification process. It seems to me that if we think we can be “saved” without a need to also be transformed, we do not understand what we’ve been save from. It is simply wrong to believe that we can be a Christian and never become a disciple of Jesus, a follower of Jesus, someone whose character is being transformed and conformed to that of Jesus. Jesus didn’t say that if we don’t die to self and pick up our cross we won’t be a very good disciple. Jesus said that if we don’t give up doing things our way, He wouldn’t consider us to be His disciple’s AT ALL!

Jesus didn’t come to earth to walk with us in our sin. He came to earth so that we might be changed from someone who loves sin, to someone who loves God more than sin.

And that’s a good thing!

To not do this, to not accept Jesus as Lord and Master of our lives is to still live in rebellion to Him.

To continue to do what WE think is best and reject what Jesus tells us to do must surely call into question our motive and understanding of what it means to “come to salvation” in the first place.

To reject the transformation of our soul, our motives, our goal for living, means that we are little different than atheists, who think they are good people and who, at most, think they just need a little tweaking in order to be “good enough.”

Jesus didn’t come to tweak our character. Jesus came to create a new form of human life.

If you are saying to yourself, “Why do I have to do it God’s way?” you have no idea of who or what your Creator is or the awesome plan that He has in store for you.

You First!

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us — set us right with him, make us fit for him — we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand — out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
Romans 5:1-2

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stop The Body Scans!

“Stop them. Stop them now. They’re bad. They’re awful. They’re indecent!”

This just in from CNN. A Muslim terrorist from Pakistan with C4 duct-taped to his scrotum has brought down an airliner over . . .

“Oh this is terrible! Why weren’t there body scans? Who’s responsible for stopping body scans? You should have MADE us go through body scans!!!”

“I Love The Way It Hurts”

“I Love The Way It Hurts” “I love the way you lie.” Rihanna.

How desperately dysfunctional must WE be, as a society, to celebrate, glorify and esteem someone who is that broken in soul and in mind that she really does love (she'll return again and again and again) the kind of relationships where lying and hurting takes place?

Incoherent dreams.

Dead end illusions of what it means to have a good life.

Distorted images of self-destructive habits pushed off on the ignorant who long to be like their idols - their literal idols.

Shows like Springer and Maury actually draw viewers - the fact that they can find even one person who wants to be part of the audience is tragic - to find a whole studio filled with young adults hooting and howling with laughter at the worst sins our species has to offer just breaks my heart. Fifty years ago this kind of crap would have been clearly identified as evil and destructive to self and to society. Now, under the moral guidance of those who deny the existence of their Creator, people just aren't sure anymore.

So lost are these morally bankrupt individuals that they have given up any hope of discovering truth or any pursuit of goodness - save that of their own definition. Unfulfilled desires and destructive serial relationships are the norm for a greater and greater percentage of our population. These attitudes are even starting to infect the Church.

A Pastor runs the risk of having parishioners leave the Church if he should call attention to their living together or divorce and remarriage. These people fully expect good to happen to them even in the absence of obedience to what God says is right and healthy. They somehow don’t know that good outcomes cannot come from wrong actions.

This type of incoherence used to be the sole domain of the secular pagan world. Sadly, it has come inside to where sinners no longer approach Jesus for forgiveness. Instead, sinners approach Jesus, expecting Him to bless their sins.

Somehow these people have never understood or somehow forgotten that Jesus’ yoke is light and easy. Obeying Jesus is not an onerous task. Jesus will never bring you to a point where you have to enjoy relational pain, or accept rejection and lies as normal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What’s The Point?

In response to an atheist's charge of hypocrisy in the Church, someone once replied, “A Church that admitted only Saints would be like a hospital that admitted only healthy people. It would be a lot easier to run but I’m not sure that it would be serving the purpose for which it was built.”

Even if it’s unrealistic to expect a Church with only Saints, what IS the purpose of the Church? In my mind the job of the Church is to take the spiritually lost, whom God has called, and lead them from salvation to spiritual transformation, i.e., we’re to teach people how to become disciples of Jesus. Sadly, even with that awesome goal in mind, we are doomed to fail - to varying degrees. And why will we fail? Well, we’re fallen creatures, and that fallen nature causes us to mistake the less important issues for the most important.

Leith Anderson -
“While the new Testament speaks often about Churches, it is surprisingly silent about many matters that we associate with Church structure and life. There is no mention of architecture, pulpits, lengths of typical sermons - or sermons at all for that matter. There are no rules for having a Sunday school. Little is said about the style of music, order of worship, or times of Church gatherings. There were no Bibles as we know them, nor denominations, no Church camps, Pastor’s conferences, or board meeting minutes. Those who strive to be New Testament Churches must seek to live its principles and absolutes, not reproduce the details. Those details are simply not given.” (Emphasis mine)

And why aren’t those details given? Obviously because they are not the most important things to know about the life and functioning of the Church as it “makes disciples of all nations.” In fact, when those things become the most important things in the minds of congregants we begin to turn on each other. And we begin to turn on each other because the most important aspect of why the Church exists is being left out of our own lives. When what we wear and how we sing take centre stage in importance, we and those around us are not and indeed cannot be transformed into the kind of people who are able to recognise and focus on being conformed into the likeness of Christ as the only reason that God called us to salvation in the first place (see Romans 8:28,29).

When spiritual transformation (growing into Christlikeness) is left on the shelf, we fall into the trap of thinking - no - we fall into the trap of BELIEVING that what we wear (Pastor included), or what type of songs we sing, or how we pray are the important things, when in fact they are secondary at best. I assure you, if I can’t worship because the style of music is not my favourite, the problem is not on the platform; the problem is in my poorly adjusted soul.

Jesus told Mary that “Only one thing is important” and that is getting to know (become like) Him.

Of course when we’ve come to treat external appearance as more important than internal transformation, we succumb to the temptation to crush those who worship in what we think is the wrong “fashion.” Believing secondary issues to be essential issues is what creates mean and angry Christians and it’s what causes us to fail in our primary mission - that of spiritual transformation.

Fundamentalist Churches try to overcome this problem by focussing on getting people out of hell and into heaven. The more the merrier. The problem is, when failing to make people disciples of Jesus, we act as though people can get into heaven without the character of Jesus even being part of who they are. This is no small error.

Jesus will say, “Get away from Me. I never knew you.”

“We have our standards!” That was said to me a few short weeks ago as I worked with a member of our Church. This fellow was incensed regarding a young man in the worship team who wore sandals with no socks, a shirt with no collar and he played the guitar “like something you’d find in a club downtown.” This fine upstanding Christian (that’s sarcasm) is always dressed right and sings only the right kind of songs. His kids are afraid of him and his wife wants to leave him. While making sure that he gets it right on the non essentials, he fails completely on exhibiting Christlikeness. He might believe he’s ready to go to heaven when he dies, but he has no clue about how Jesus wants him to live while he’s here on earth.

“I don’t want your offerings. I want mercy.”

Any congregation where spiritual transformation has become a secondary issue will find a love grown cold among its members. There will be generations of family bitterness and jealousy. Resentment over something the Pastor said or did years ago will infect the whole nature of the person. And this misalignment of the soul will spill over to the whole congregation as satan gains a giant foothold from unacknowledged anger. These Christians, dressed so they’re ready to meet their King and who sing beautiful harmony (actually these people usually don’t sing; they stand with their hands stuffed into their pockets or with arms crossed their chest, fuming about those who might not be “worshipping” correctly), have no idea how to "love others as I have loved you.”

Yes, Churches ARE spiritual hospitals for the spiritually sick (that means all of us). But how in the world can people decide to follow Christ if they’ve never seen Him in the lives of those who claim to follow Him?

Freewill Rejection of God

I just read - again - how some atheist is worried that those in heaven will use their freewill to reject God.

Ya - that’s likely.

If I’ve rejected satan’s temptations while here on earth, why would I suddenly accept those lies as worthy of my time once I’m in heaven? How stupid would someone have to be to do that?

“Oh, but it happened once before,” the atheist says. “What’s to keep it from happening again?”

Happened before? Ah, you mean when satan wanted to “be” God? When satan wanted to be the master of his fate and the captain of his soul? Listen, it’s satan and atheists who want to usurp the role of God - no one but satan and those who follow him want to take away from God His place of Lord, Master, Saviour.

I assure you, no one in heaven is going to look at those in hell, “whose smoke from their torment rises forever and ever,” and say, “I think I’m going to go over there.”

Now, there will be people who desperately and fruitlessly try to change their minds but I assure you, it won’t be those who are in heaven.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Imagine what would happen if you went to your local police department with videotapes of young children, some not even school-aged, being sold for sex. What if you gave the police pictures, names, addresses of the men and women who were selling these children (for those old enough, the movie Taxi Driver “You can come all over her face if you want to,” should ring a bell) and the police took this information / evidence and destroyed it. What if the police then arrested you and threatened you with false charges if you didn’t stop “harassing” the fine citizens who were running the brothels who sold these children to men from around the world, men who came to your country for the sole reason of having sex with children?

That is happening in more and more countries around the world.

Do you care?

John Locke once described how we Christians say that we believe the most marvellous, earth-shattering and revolutionary things. We say that we believe we are fully loved by a good and all-powerful God who will never fail to secure us in life and death. We say that we believe we are free to experience and exhibit selfless love and courage and joy every day - for eternity.

But how many of us live as if these things are true?

Locke estimated about one in ten thousand.

I think that he over estimated by about half.

So what can be done? First of all reject the atheist / secular vile and disgusting world-view that refuses to name evil for what it is.

39% of paedophiles arrested for internet porn had images of 3 to 5 years old children

83% had images of 6 to 12 year olds

80% had images of actual penetration of the child

21% depicted violence such as rape and torture

The atheist world-view doesn’t want to touch these issues because on atheism nothing can correctly be named right or wrong. As long as the community is accepting of something, then, on atheism, that something becomes right.

The first thing to do in rescuing children is to reject secular atheist relativism.

Secular relativism leads judges to make the follow judgements.

. Chilliwack physiotherapist Laurence Wong was sentenced to 60 days in jail, to be served on weekends, after police found 26,000 images or child porn on his computer and several hundred child porn videos.

. Brian Caldwell of Quelph was sentenced to 90 days for distributing child porn over the internet. The children were between 3 and 12 years of age having sex with adults and other children.

Regardless of what atheists / pagans tell you, pornography is not harmless entertainment. If you care, don’t allow secular relativists tell you that porn is harmless.

Atheists talk about consenting adults as though people just one day decide to allow themselves to be used and abused by others. Atheists talk about consenting adults as though the brutality upon brutality that is heaped on these men and women, boys and girls is a career choice. The degradation of the human soul is nothing more than evil having its way in a world of selective and relative morality, bashing relentlessly at the imagio Deo that neither evil nor the atheists that support evil can abide in the human being.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guess Who?

He calls himself:
“God’s representative on earth.”

He calls himself:
The “Head of the Church.”

He calls himself:
The Vicar of Christ, one who stands vicariously in the place of Christ.

He calls himself:
“Holy Father.”

Guess who does this unholy act?

Unless you’re Roman Catholic you might think that God’s representative on earth is Messiah, Jesus the Christ.

Unless you’re Roman Catholic you might think that the “Head of the Church” is a title reserved for Christ.

Unless you’re a Roman Catholic you might think The Vicar of Christ, the one who stands vicariously in the place of Christ is a title solely reserved for the Holy Spirit.

Unless you’re a Roman Catholic you might think you should agree with Jesus when He said that no one should allow himself to be called Holy Father since that name applies ONLY to God the Father.

All these titles the Pope willingly takes upon himself. The Pope actually accepts and encourages people calling him Holy Father and millions of faithful disobey Jesus in order to obey their earthly prince. The Bible says there is no other head of the Church than Jesus Christ and Rome says “No. It is the Pope,” which makes the Pope the very embodiment of anti Christ.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What Sacrifice?

Many have heard the sales line, “What do I have to do to put you into this vehicle?” The question implies that the salesperson is willing to make a sacrifice to make the sale and from the buyers position s/he’s thinking, “How much more do I have to give to get what I want?”

This is nothing like the deal that Jesus offers. It’s described variously as:
. Selling everything you own to gain a field in which is buried an enormous treasure.
. Selling everything you own to gain the world’s most valuable jewel

The self-denial that Jesus speaks of is real enough. However, when compared to what we get in return Paul speaks of the sorrow and loss and tragedy that comes with this life as, “Our light and momentary troubles.” And Peter says the salvation of our souls allows us to encounter any sacrifice while “greatly rejoicing, with joy unspeakable and full of glory” 1 Peter 1:8. James says, “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds . .” James 1:2.

Sadly, satan is a master salesman. In answer to the question that opened this post, all he has to offer is illicit sex, the promise of greed fulfilled, power and position and what passes for “love” in the pagan world. He does that and people say to themselves (to use a description of C. S. Lewis), “Why would I go to a Pacific Island paradise when I could have a mud puddle in an back ally now?”

Jesus says He’ll take our obsessive thoughts, our neuroses, our shame and fear and rage and real guilt and give in return love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and forgiveness from real guilt.

Remarkably, people walk away from that deal.

Jesus sacrificed everything so that we need sacrifice next to nothing, and in return He’ll give us paradise. Just how dumb does someone have to be to turn down an offer like that?

Sacrifice? What Sacrifice?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here’s Why Christianity Is Not Real

The apostle Paul takes the most important part of Christianity and says, if this is not real, if this didn’t happen then all of Christianity is false.
You know why Paul didn’t mind making that claim? Because he knew, beyond a shadow of doubt that the resurrection did happen. And then he lists over 500 OTHER people who, with their own eyes saw Jesus alive after He was crucified and buried and he says, “If you don’t believe me, go and ask them. Most of them are still alive.”

The resurrection took place right there in Jerusalem, the site of Jesus’ murder.

. The tomb was empty.
. The disciples came out of 40+ days of hiding and boldly proclaimed what they saw.
. The sceptic and brother of Jesus, as did Jesus whole family became followers and worshippers of Jesus as Lord and Messiah.
. The sceptic and Christian killer, Paul became a follower of Jesus.
. The Christian Church was born.

All of this because of the factual reality of the resurrection.

These people, including Jesus’ brothers and sisters and mother, His closest followers plus several hundred others were so certain that they saw Jesus, listened to Jesus, hugged Jesus and ate with Jesus, that they went to their deaths, refusing to recant their claim that Jesus the Christ was risen indeed.

Atheists would like you to believe that all religions are basically the same. This is simply not true and Christianity is the reason why.

Using historical / forensic science we can KNOW that Christianity is true. Christianity is completely unlike other religions because unlike other religions Christianity is anchored in history.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From Loser to Conqueror

What a journey! This Christian walk involves:
. Giving up control to be in command.
. Gaining life by dying to self
. Gaining strength by giving away power
It all starts with becoming a conqueror through surrender.

Of course surrendering our will to Creator God only makes sense. Not because there’s no point in resisting. Our Creator WILL allow us to resist. He will never force His will on us. Rather, it makes sense to surrender because He created us. Our Creator - our manufacturer - knows how we function the best.

At first this surrender only means being willing to be willing to surrender. This is usually a pretty ragged stage of living as we still mostly do what we want and ask God to bless our choices. Many people never move beyond this stage and this is what the world sees as hypocritical Christianity. Still, just allowing that God is more than theoretical is a big step. Allowing God to share the seat of power (our will) with us is huge! I mean, most people aren’t willing to make even this minimal step of obedience. Instead they stumble through life grumbling against God for not making their lives easier.

For those of us who have taken this minimal step of surrender, experiencing the consistent goodness of God leads us to give up more and more control until we reach a point where only pockets of selfish resistence remain. I’m reminded of the supposedly humorous line, “The last thing to get saved on most Christians is their right foot,” referring to the tendency of some fairly mature Christians to still justify breaking the speed limit. Nevertheless, being fully (or as fully as we get this side of eternity) surrendered to God is truly a wonderful place to live. Trusting God, not in theory but in fact brings a deep peace and joy that simply cannot be shaken by life’s circumstance.

People at this stage are now at a point where suffering, loss, tragedy and pain are clearly seen as being used by God for our good, His glory and the furthering of His kingdom.

In this stage we can identify with the apostle Paul as he says, “Therefore I REJOICE in suffering, in illness, in loss” etc. etc. etc.. Regardless of whether God has allowed or caused the difficulty to enter our lives (the result is the same) people in this stage know beyond doubt that it will work out for good. Nothing that life can dish out has the power to harm the essential self.

“Some of you will be killed but not a hair on your head will be harmed.”

Do you get that?

Nothing in life has the power to destroy our balance, our peace, our joy, our love for God, or from God. When we come to an intimate relationship with Jesus, our soul is secure.

. Pain no longer has the power to turn to bitterness.
. Rejection no longer has the power to turn to rage.
. Loss no longer has the power to take away hope.

Because of this, a state of profound contentment sets in. “I have learned the secret of contentment in all situations,” is something that Christians in this stage can say with Paul.

C. S. Lewis said once, “If you hear or read something that the Bible has said that just doesn’t resonate with your experience, wait, keeping growing in your relationship with Jesus and you will come to know what those words mean.” In this stage we no longer need what we don’t have. We don’t long for that which is being withheld from us. We have enough. I’ve sometimes rejoiced in how I’m richer than the Donald Trumps of the world. I know that I’m richer because I have enough and they don’t.

Contentment brings an assurance that God will always do right by us. Here is what we know - for a fact. God is sovereign, God is love, God is fair and just and incapable of doing to us arbitrary, capricious and callous harm. Events in our lives DO NOT change or determine the facts of God’s character.

Because of this we can embrace our circumstances. We have gone from semi willing observers of God’s working in our lives to active participants. We grab hold of Jesus’ hand and with eyes wide open and chest bared to the blast we step into life with enthusiasm and joy. Circumstance cannot bring fear. Threats by those who hate God are like flicking lint off of our shoulder. We are conquerors - no more than conquerors - secure in the knowledge that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

. I am actively involved in God’s work though the script is entirely His.
. I can give of myself, my time, my money though the love is entirely His.
. I am powerful beyond my wildest dreams though the strength is entirely His.
. I have been brought from death to life, from doom to glory, from loser to conqueror.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What’s Driving You? (3)

Most have heard the phrase, “He’s so heavenly minded, he’s of no earthly good.” So rare is someone like that, that I’ve not met even one. Not in my whole life. In fact, it’s been my experience that the more heavenly minded a person has been, the more crucial they’ve found it to be focussed on the needs of earth. Let me give you an example.

On the weekend Wendy and I attended a workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. That’s a long term to describe the brain damage that occurs to the pre born child when the woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. Six of our seven adopted children have been affected by this tragedy. Hundreds of parents and grandparents were at this conference. Most were, like us, people who had adopted children with FASD. Some were mothers who too late realised that they had damaged their children by drinking while pregnant. Virtually all were people who loved the Lord; we were a huge room filled with heavenly minded people. All who spoke at some point during the weekend gave God’s love for them as the reason for sharing their love with disabled children. There were three characteristics of these heavenly minded people that stood out at this conference:

This post has to do with Peace:
Fetal Alcohol brain damage is devastating. There is no treatment, no recovery, no cure, no growing out of it. This is organic brain damage that alters a person’s ability to cope on so many levels. One of the greatest areas of damage is the inability or diminished ability to learn from mistakes. It’s been estimated that 75-80% of our prison population is made up of people with Fetal Alcohol Brain Damage.

Caring for these children - and they remain children despite their chronological age (eg. Our 33-year-old daughter behaves like a 14-year-old and that is who she will always be) is a challenge to say the least. Yet to listen to the parents at this conference there was an all pervading sense of peace that was heard throughout the weekend. My own comment was that, “I have peace because I trust in God, not a theoretical trust but in reality.”

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion; unmoved by any circumstance.”

God has rescued all of these children from homes where drug addiction, neglect, physical and emotional abuse were the norm. He is not going to do that and then just leave them hanging. I’ll preempt atheists right here who will say, “But He didn’t rescue them from FASD did He?” You have to understand, this kind of comment comes from people who cannot envision “good” unless it is absent pain, suffering and loss. Hyper allergic to pain, atheists cannot see any good in anything unless it comes packaged in pleasure. We, and not God invited evil into the universe. Rather than making Himself absent from the consequences of our decision, rather than remaining aloof to suffering, God took His own medicine. He came into this world to use suffering for a much, much greater good. In fact, our Creator has used evil itself to bring about its own defeat - not its destruction but its defeat.

“Will not God, who did not spare His own Son, also give us everything that we need?”

We can release our loved ones to His care knowing without doubt that He has their best interests in mind. We can have peace knowing that we can love without needing to be loved in return. We can give of our time, our money, our emotions, our selves not needing a reciprocation of those efforts on the part of those to whom we are showing love.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on You oh Lord.”

satan roams around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. And what does a lion look for? For the weak, the lame, the damaged. There are few more vulnerable to evil attack than children damaged by their mother’s alcohol use. Our children’s lives are precarious at best. Many fall and fall hard and yet the parents that we met had about them a peace, an ease of life, a joy and a love that truly is supernatural. That is why we can abide by these words, “Do not be anxious about anything (be at peace) but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and if you do this, the peace of God which is beyond human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

The workshop that we attended had become a community of people who were able to experience peace in the fullest sense of the word. This, not of our own ability or will but peace as a gift of Creator God.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What’s Driving You? (2)

Most have heard the phrase, “He’s so heavenly minded, he’s of no earthly good.” So rare is someone like that, that I haven’t met even one. Not in my whole life. In fact, it’s been my experience that the more heavenly minded a person has been, the more crucial they’ve found it to be focussed on the needs of earth. Let me give you an example.

On the weekend Wendy and I attended a workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. That’s a long term to describe the brain damage that occurs to the pre born child when the woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. Six of our seven adopted children have been affected by this tragedy. Hundreds of parents and grandparents were at this conference. Most were, like us, people who had adopted children with FASD. Some were mothers who too late realised that they had damaged their children by drinking while pregnant. Virtually all were people who loved the Lord; we were a huge room filled with heavenly minded people. All who spoke at some point during the weekend gave God’s love for them as the reason for sharing their love with disabled children. There were three characteristics of these heavenly minded people that stood out at this conference:

This post has to do with Joy:
To know love is to know joy. To know joy is to know a deep sense of well-being despite circumstance. The secular, pagan world knows something of pleasure which is tied to pleasure inducing circumstances. Pleasure can be found in a good movie, an intriguing book, an interesting relationship and good mood altering drugs. Pleasure to the pagan world means the absence of pain or illness or loss. Joy and uniquely the joy from the Lord is present in the midst of pain and illness and loss and suffering and tragedy. Joy, the kind that comes to us from Jesus is something that cannot be taken away by life’s events.

The love that comes from God, a self-sacrificing love, comes from a base of joy. This joy is based in the knowledge that all things, even a brain damaged child will most assuredly work together for the good of those who love God and who have been called according to His purpose. Even when explaining His immanent crucifixion to His disciples, Jesus was able to say, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”

Since coming to know Jesus my joy has been made complete, in fact, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Through years of physical and sexual abuse, the death of a child, almost five decades of crippling arthritis, cancer and major operations, a base of unshakable joy has been mine. “I have learned the secret of contentment in all circumstances” voiced Paul, and all those who have come into an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus know what he’s talking about. That is why Paul can entreat us to, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

The workshop that we attended had become a community of people who were able to experience joy in the fullest sense of the word. This, not of our own ability or will but joy as a gift of Creator God.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What’s Driving You?

Most have heard the phrase, “He’s so heavenly minded, he’s of no earthly good.” So rare is someone like that, that I’ve not met one. Not in my whole life. In fact, it’s been my experience that the more heavenly minded a person has been, the more crucial they’ve found the needs of earth. Let me give you an example.

On the weekend Wendy and I attended a workshop on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. That’s a long term to describe the brain damage that occurs to the pre born child when the woman drinks alcohol while pregnant. Six of our seven adopted children have been affected by this tragedy. Hundreds of parents and grandparents were at this conference. Most were, like us, people who had adopted children with FASD. Some were mothers who too late realised that they had damaged their children by drinking while pregnant. Virtually all were people who loved the Lord; we were a huge room filled with heavenly minded people. All who spoke at some point during the weekend gave God’s love for them as the reason for sharing their love with disabled children. There were three characteristics of these heavenly minded people that stood out at this conference:

This post has to do with Love:
Living immersed in God’s grace cannot help but lead to experiencing and absorbing a sense of love. The kind of love that I’m talking about here is the willed, volitional, desire to do good to someone else regardless of whether or not that love is returned. This is the love of God for us. See 1st Corinthians 13 for a fuller definition of love as understood from a Biblical perspective.

Now of course, the secular world, the pagan world is forever writing about and singing about and producing movies about their vision of love. Love for the pagan is very closely related to desire. If you’re experiencing a constant craving, longing and desire for someone, that is love to the secular world. Other telltale signs of love for the secular person are possessive controlling behaviours which are closely related to the greed / need / lust combination. Love as demonstrated by our secular leaders is jealous and focused on ‘can you make me feel good’. It is exactly this mind-set that causes homosexuals of both genders to think that a “love” relationship with each other is more important than an obedient relationship with their Creator. Of course love in the pagan world is equated with sex where men use “love” to get sex and women use sex to get what feels to them like love. Most of all, true love to the pagan is based on impulse and preferably ignores self-control.

Not so from the Biblical perspective. Love, from a Biblical perspective is not self-seeking.

Desire is self-seeking.
Lust is self-seeking.
Pride is self-seeking.
Personal offense is self-seeking

Not so, love.
God is love.
For God so loved the world that He gave . . .”

Like God, real love is not part of our natural world. What is natural to our world is “the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world itself.” 1st John 2:16

“All ya need is love,” was correctly sung by a rock band several decades ago. While they got that part right, they could not pull it off because love is not a natural part of who we are. Oh sure, we can love those who love us but what good is that? Our world needs a populace who can “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you.”

Without that, not even babies in their mother’s wombs are safe from violence. Without love, FASD occurs. Without love, fetal alcohol afflicted children, literally unable to learn from mistakes, remain rejects who rotate through the criminal justice system until the day they die.

Thank God for the heavenly minded. Thank God for love, for love comes from God. Only His love for us allows us to truly love others. We can give a love to those who, due to brain damage are seldom able to even appreciate, let alone reciprocate that love.

The workshop that we attended had become a community of people who were able to love in the fullest sense of the word. This, not of our own ability or will, but love as a gift of Creator God.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Intimidated By Prayer

Jesus said, "Believe Me: I Am in my Father and My Father is in Me. If you can't believe that because they're simply My words, then believe what you see — these works - these signs - these miracles. The person who trusts Me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on My way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I Am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who He is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I'll do.

This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I've revealed to you. Ask in My name, according to My will, and He'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!"
John 14: 11-14; 16:23-24

I realised several years ago, that for a long time I’d pray about this or that but not really expect God to do anything. In many cases He didn’t do anything and it was for the reasons that Jesus gives above. Then something changed. I matured in my faith. I grew in my relationship with God. I got in the groove. My will began to mesh with God’s will. I began to love what God loves and hate what God hates and want what God wants for His people and all of a sudden God began to move in people’s lives in the ways that I was asking Him to move. That’s sometimes a terribly scary thing.

The Creator of the universe allows us - no, He invites us - no, more than that, He demands of us that we partner with Him in building His kingdom.

To see that happen in response to prayer is almost overwhelming. The reality of it makes me want to hide my face. God says that He moves in response to our request that others come to know Him, love Him and worship Him. This creates a huge responsibility to care for others, to love others, to want God’s will for others, to not neglect others in our prayers.

At times I find that very intimidating.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


That’s a term that describes the process by which we (Christians) have been taken by our Creator from “guilty as charged” to “not guilty.”

. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He’d lived my life (God took upon Himself His own wrath)

. Based on my faith in what the resurrection accomplished, God treats me as if I’d live the life of Jesus. (It’s Just As If I’d Not Sinned - Justified)

Not fair?

It is what it is.

You can accept it and live - or
You can reject it and die

“For the GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:23

“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded.” Romans 3:27

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law;” Romans 3:20

“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works.” Romans 3:28

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wanna Hear Something Funny?

So I have to buy some envelopes. I walk up to the counter and the cashier has 86 studs in her right ear, 112 in her left and so many piercings in her lower lip that I doubt she can safely drink hot liquids. She's about 14 years old and the only thing that keeps this from being a movie set, is this kid doesn’t snap her gum. Anyhow, the envelopes come to $3.90.

I pull out some money and I’m standing there with a $5.00 bill in my left hand and $4.00 in change in the other, and for the life of me I cannot decide which money to use. I’m just standing there staring at my hands and just as I’m thinking, “I’ll bet this is what it’s like to have dementia,” this girl says, “Eventually you’ll lose the ability to walk or to even control your bowels.”

Well, she didn’t crack a smile but I laughed till I had tears in my eyes. I mean, that is the funniest insult that I have ever received.

It makes me laugh just remembering it.

(((sigh)) Life is good - isn’t it?

I Can’t Help It

“I can’t help it God. It’s just who I am. In fact, it’s just who YOU made me!”

That’s what a lot of people are planning to tell God on judgment day when asked to explain their ignoring His commands re: moral behaviour.

It’s an old argument really. As old as Adam and Eve.
Adam: “It’s your fault God! The woman You gave me . . .”
Eve: “It’s your fault God! The serpent You created . . .”

I would encourage you to read this blog entry.

The author of the post wouldn’t allow me to reply, so I’ve posted it here. I don’t know if the blogger - Sylvie - considers herself to be a follower of Jesus or not. It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell these days. We no longer have christians who just “do” those things that Jesus said to not do. Now we have christians who actively TEACH things in total contradiction to what Jesus taught, and these people still call themselves followers of Jesus.

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of and encourage those who practice them.” Romans 1:32

Anyhow, in response to her post I asked the following:

When you say that we should accept homosexuality as “normal and healthy” because homosexuals “have always been that way,” are you also suggesting that sexual relations of ANY type are acceptable and welcomed by God? Yes? No?

Are you saying that the Biblical idea that sexual relationships are to remain within the safety bounds of marriage (heterosexual marriage no less) is no longer applicable to those calling themselves Christians? Yes? No?

Are you saying that people who are enjoying sexual relations with both men and women (bisexuals) or groups of men and women are and should be celebrated by those who follow Jesus? Yes? No?

Are you saying that Jesus Himself would celebrate such relationships? And He would do so because “that’s the way they’ve always been? Would Jesus accept them because they’ve always enjoyed sex with lots of different people and never known or wanted anything different but to have sex with lots of different people?” Yes? No?

I ask because as a retired counsellor I’ve worked with a number of paedophiles and low and behold, that is exactly what these men say, “I’ve always been sexually attracted to children and only children. I’ve never known anything else. I was born this way.”

These are not bad people Sylvie. You can’t imagine the inner pain and turmoil they experience because society rejects, and rejects in a vile and hateful manner, who these men ARE - not who they've chosen to be, but who they ARE - worse - who they have always been. Some would say that it’s who God made them. You cannot imagine the agony they experience when all of society tells them that they must change what they cannot change. Some of them even commit suicide because society tells them that who they are at a fundamental level is wrong!

If being born a certain way - (eg. with the propensity to obesity, violence, addictions) is the ground rule or base-line for acceptance, do you not see any problems here? I understand that we are called to love ALL people. That of course is right and good. In fact, loving ALL people is what God commands. But that isn’t what you’re advocating - is it? What you are advocating is not just loving the person but proving that love by accepting their predilections as something to celebrate. Yes? No?

Are you suggesting, along with Spong that when Jesus and the rest of the New Testament writers lay down, and lay down clearly, a heterosexual married standard for sexual relationships that we can ignore Jesus’ comments at will with no repercussions because - well - because that is what society dictates that followers of Jesus must do? Yes? No?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How Different - the atheist

Dallas Willard writes, “To bring the mind to dwell intelligently upon God as He is presented in His Word will have the effect of causing us to love God passionately and this love will in turn bring us to think of God steadily.”

Thomas Watson - “The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind upon God. Oh, how far are they from being lovers of God, who scarcely ever think of God (Ps. 10:4) A sinner crowds God out of his thoughts. He never thinks of God, unless with horror, as the prisoner thinks of the judge.”

Again, Willard - “To think of God as he is, one cannot not lapse into worship; and worship is the single most powerful force in completing and sustaining restoration in the whole person.”

How different, the atheist. In fact it is they who dwell upon God as He is presented in His Word and reject Him as a monster.

Same accounts, same evidence, two very different responses.

For the Christian, to be in the presence of a Being who hates evil with a Holy wrath is in some sense comforting and it promotes and instills admiration - knowing of course that it is that very same God who willingly at His own expense removes evil from us. As we gaze upon the world, marinading in sleaze, to come upon the only Being that genuinely hates what is evil can only draw one to an admiration of Creator God.

The secular world on the other hand loves evil, glorifies evil, revels in evil, promotes and protects evid and hates those who speak against evil, including their own Creator. In fact, the only evil the secular world can identify is that which is found in those who preach against evil. The preaching itself is seen as evil.

A. W. Tozer describes worship as “admiration to the point of wonder and delight.” This is something that simply can never happen for the atheist. For to worship God you have to know God. Now there are some atheists who have grown up in the “Church.” They have known about God. Some even believed in some beliefs about God, but none of them have KNOWN God.

“It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

And therein lies the difference. It’s sad. It’s tragic. There is nothing to be done about it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Legalise Alcohol

In this article stating that alcohol is the most dangerous drug,

human logic will state, "If alcohol is the most dangerous drug, and if we were going to legalise marijuana because it was less dangerous than alcohol, and now that we know that crack and heroin and all other recreational drugs are less dangerous than alcohol, then we really should legalise all the other recreational drugs."

It just makes sense. I mean, think of all the money we'll save!

You Get What You Choose

Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, "Whoever believes in Me, believes not just in Me but in the One who sent Me. Whoever looks at Me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent Me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in Me won't have to stay any longer in the dark.

"If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn't take it seriously, I don't reject him. I didn't come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts Me off, refusing to take in what I'm saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I Am, that Word and no other is the last Word. I'm not making any of this up on My own. The Father who sent Me gave Me orders, told Me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what His command produces: real and eternal life. That's all I have to say. What the Father told Me, I tell you."
John 12: 44-50