The Dividing Line

This entry relates to a recent Twitter post:

Try to imagine the accumulation of all your sins through today. If we’re honest, the number is staggering. Now extend that thought to every person who has ever lived or will ever live until Christ returns. It’s a number beyond comprehension. Think of how any one individual sin grieves God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the crushing weight of the rebellion of mankind that fell on the back of Jesus Christ.

Our sins put Him there. The nails held his physical body there. But it boggles my mind how Jesus and the cross could keep from plowing through the earth to physically cut it in half, loaded as He was with all our sins.

It’s a mental picture to be sure, of the impact and weight of sin, but in fact Jesus & the cross does divide the earth. Jesus himself said:

 
Luke 12:51-53

Do you think that I have come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.  For from now on, there will be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

I also thought of the three men who professed to follow Jesus, but gave excuses for not doing so.

 

Luke 9:57-62

As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go.”  And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  He said to another, “Follow me.”  But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”  But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce the kingdom of God.”  Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to bid farewell to those who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

On the surface these are not unreasonable requests. But Jesus knows the heart of these men. And He is certainly making point, an emphasis, on the radical nature of being a fully devoted follower and disciple.

So what about us?

I profess freely that I have not loved Jesus with my whole heart. I have fallen short of His standard and His love. And what’s worse, sometimes it’s as if I try to keep one foot on each side of the dividing line. One foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom. It’s like trying to straddle a fissure line during an earthquake; in the end you just get swallowed up whole.

Our collective sin, grievous & voluminous as it is, did not break the back of Jesus. His triumph is our redemption.

 

~~~ . ~~~

 

Poem:

World-Breaker

He came to bring a message the world had no taste to hear

To build a bridge to Heaven, He first buried death and fear

The world was broken on His back, His hands, His feet

Our Lord Jesus, Messiah broke the back of sin

and the world became complete

01/26/15

Advertisements

The great Imposter

*Quick Post*

Just a quick reminder to all of us. Satan is not only our enemy; he has no substance whatsoever. His entire existence is based on pretending to be something he is not, and never will be.

  • Satan aspired to be God himself ( Isaiah 14:12-14)
  • Satan masquerades as an angel of light, when in reality he emanates nothing but darkness and emptiness (2Cor 11:14)
  • Satan could never be the Warrior- Protector Lion that Jesus Christ is, so he became a destroyer lion instead. (1Pet 5:8)

Yes, he is powerful and persuasive, but we can put Satan and his evil machinations under our feet, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Poem:

God Boots

Savage dark fool
what’ll it take to get
rid of you?
Stubborn as a stunted mule
Forensically ice blue
Incident to
the slaughter house
that rules
the hearts of men
to their eternal doom

You’re the one I eschew
Drive the stake of the flag
clear through
the banner of the Most High God
as here I take a stand
with your puny dominion
under my shoe
the Lord of Heaven
my armored boots

11/29/2012

Rom 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Merry Christmas! Happy Resurrection!

It may seem odd talking about Christmas just a few months into the new year, but I was thinking about attempts in recent years to banish Christ from Christmas. Whether it be governments limiting or outlawing nativity scenes, or the push to change “Merry Christmas” to simply “happy holidays.”

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t noticed as much of an outcry about using the phrase “Happy Easter.” Perhaps it’s the name of Christ that is offensive to so many?

But why would you want to banish someOne who has been throughout human history the greatest Force for good?

Now before you begin take exception to this statement, I acknowledge that Christians (as well as others purporting to know Him) have made mistakes at times and done more harm than good. Because they are flawed human beings. That’s not my point.

I’m just wondering why you want to banish someone who has contributed so much to our civil society, even if you do not believe in him as the Son of God? Why do we have a law against murder; because it is written “Thou shalt not kill.” Even if you are an atheist, why would you not want a neighbor who believes in serving others over himself?

I will always say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter”, “Happy Resurrection Day”, “Happy day that Christ rose again and conquered death so that my sins, although grievous, could be forgiven and I might enjoy fellowship with my savior forever!”

And I pray that you can say this also. I pray that you have peace in your heart now and forever more. In need of a God like this? Almighty then!

Sabotage

Soldiers, mercenaries, terrorists.

Any of the above will do.

With a boldness unparalleled, these agents of warfare penetrate deep behind enemy lines. Their mission is clear; leave a wake of destruction through stealth, planting of minefields, and ambush of unsuspecting and unprepared combatants.

Even though multitudes of their fellow soldiers have been discovered, trapped and eliminated, they keep coming, undeterred as madmen from the denizens of Hell. Because that is exactly who they are.

The demonic minions of Satan never rest, never tire, never waver from the destruction of their enemy; which is that fellow or lady in the mirror, by the way.

Only one thing stops them in their tracks. One weapon that brings them to their knees.

“the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” [Eph 6:17]

And of course Jesus, who is the Living Word.

And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. [Mark 1:34]

I implore you as I remind me:

1. Put on your armor and keep it on [Eph 6]

2. Guard your heart [Prov 4:23]

3. Pray and Read the Word, especially when the forces of evil strike, intent on sabotaging your heart and faith.

In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.

Poem:

War on Self

I declare war
on the ruinous me
the kind that sneaks around
and loves the darkness deep
Who suppresses Christ
in favor of emptiness

This man is marked for death –
so that the new creation
can thrive, cloaked in the Holy Spirit

Charge!
And do not stop
do not look back
until you have thrust the spear
deep into the blackened heart
and reclaimed the King’s territory

To Him be honor, glory and praise
Forever and always

07/24/13

Convergence of Complexities

Anybody else…or just me

That point when you have way more list than day to complete it. When both work and life are unbalanced, despite your best efforts. When all the chainsaws you are currently juggling double in size and accelerate. When the world seems to get crazier by the day. When the Merry-go-round won’t let you get off…

Take heart. Put your focus on Jesus, and I will too.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have affliction; but be of good courage, I have overcome the world.

Poem:

Foolishness – A Dichotomy

I. “Innocent” Foolishness

We all know this one. Engaging in harmless fun, goofing off and the like. I’m not here to be a Grinch and rain on everyone’s fun. Having fun and letting off steam can be a good thing. Recreation and leisure is a necessary antidote to a workaholic life.

Yet, I think we all know the dangers of letting these attitudes dominate. Procrastination is a problem in and of itself, as this author well knows and admits to. But I am referring here to what the Bible calls “slothfulness.”

Proverbs Chapter 26 has a few things to say about the topic:

13 The slothful [man] saith, [There is] a lion in the way; a lion [is] in the streets.

14 [As] the door turneth upon his hinges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed.

15 The slothful hideth his hand in [his] bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

16 The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Okay…so the slothful man can barely get out of bed and feed himself…not exactly a flattering description. The point here is that we cannot, particularly in an environment of endless distractions, allow ourselves to be lulled into a life of inactivity and listlessness. A life of inadequate motivation and productivity. When we reach this point, it is no longer “innocent” foolishness.

II. Immortal Foolishness

The Bible is clear that the gospel message is the essence of foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). The behavior of persons who are not believers in Jesus Christ (as indicated by speech and actions which are in stark contrast to God’s Word; only God knows the true heart) seemingly continues to shock and amaze us. But it really should not. Unconverted hearts combined with the assault on traditional family values and the Judeo-Christian ethic has resulted in alarmingly sinful behavior. As an aside, the behavior of believers (who seem more worldly than godly) is sometimes troubling as well, but that is a topic for another time.

Later in First Corinthians [2:14] Paul reminds us that the “unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God…he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” This is indeed a danger zone. The human heart, when unfettered by the boundaries of God’s moral law and influence of the Holy Spirit, is capable of the utmost evil and depravity. The Bible, human history, and our life and times are filled with examples too numerous to mention here. But, my guess is that at least one or two from the headlines or your own experiences just popped into your mind.

What are the consequences of this immortal foolishness? The Bible tells us that it is appointed once for a man to die, and then the judgement [Heb 9:27]. That the wages of sin are death [Rom 6:23]. That Jesus will come again to judge all mankind; of which some are sheep who receive “Well done good and faithful servant” and some are goats who hear from the Lord, “Depart from me; I never knew you.” (Mat 7:21; 25:23, 31-46)

One chilling example from Scripture of a person exhibiting immortal foolishness is the rich man from Luke Chapter 12:

16Then He told them a parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced an abundance. 17So he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and will build bigger ones, and there I will store up all my grain and my goods. 19Then I will say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry!”’  20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be required of you. Then who will own what you have accumulated?’  21This is how it will be for anyone who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.”

Woe to the man or woman whom Almighty God calls “fool”! Each of us likely knows a family member, friend, or co-worker with this attitude toward life. A life motivated by greed and material wealth. Perhaps by lust or desire for alcohol or drugs. It is for these precious souls that we as intercessors labor before the throne of the Lord as often as we can.

III. The Foolishness of God

I Corinthians Chapter 1

20Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

I just love sections of Scripture like this. It gives us insight into the mind of God as Paul wrote his letter to the church at Corinth (as divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit). And as I mentioned in an earlier piece God’s Upside Down Economy, the Lord excels in flipping things on their head. God describes all of our so-called “human wisdom” as folly, when compared to the good news of the gospel. The former has the power to deceive and confuse, and Satan makes much use of that. The latter has the power to soften and plow even the most hardened heart. And thus allow the saving message of the gospel to take root.

The “foolishness of God” – once despised as the most ridiculous nonsense imaginable – is now gladly worn as a badge of honor and glory to Almighty God in the converted heart of a redeemed sinner. Each of us, in some form or fashion, were considered a hopeless foolish case. Now we are proud to be considered fools for God.

POEM:

Foolishness

Unbeliever:

“I have no time for foolishness.” The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

Believer:

“I have no time for foolishness.” I put away childish things. I run from the things of the world to pursue Christ.

01/23/16