The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Monday, April 29, 2013

I’ve read that the civilized world has become so “permeated with the traditional reverence for the Name of Jesus, that it is impossible to determine where His influence begins and where it ends.” Although distorted, the influence of His moral precepts are reflected widely in our government and in our educational system, in books, on television, and in many churches. The Name of Jesus has become a household word. All this knowledge and ‘reverence’ yet our nation has seen such moral decline the past fifty years that America is unrecognizable, a shell of its former glory.

Most think if they were born in America, went to church as a child, walked the aisle, said a prayer or signed a card they are Christians. Going to church Easter Sunday and Mother’ Day, worshiping a ‘god’ of their own making, giving to get, millions are content in their own self-made form of ‘‘Christianity.’’ We tolerate our differences, celebrate our ecumenicalism, and accept as Christian any individual or group that regard themselves as Christian beit Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Unitarian Church, Unification Church or Christian Science.

Failing to realize if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new [2 Corinthians 5:17] or

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” [Titus 3:5, 6]…

Hesitant to judge, unwilling to confront family and friends, even though their lifestyle shows no sign of new birth or regeneration, we accept without question their confession of faith. It is being reported that more than 1 in 5 of those 'claiming to be Christians' in America consult psychics, practice yoga, read their horoscope, and believe in reincarnation and astrology.

Paul told Timothy - Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience….

Eternity is at stake for millions. We have the Bread of Life, the Living Water. Offer it to a world dying of starvation and thirst.

Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth. We can do no less.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.   Wild at Heart  by John Eldredge

Blue Like Jazz   by Donald Miller and Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential  by Joel Osteen

Prose, put forth as “christian” literature these books will encourage women to connect with their inner self and discover the strength and beauty to live fully. Men are encouraged to accept the wild, sometimes dangerous, not destructive person within. Blue Like Jazz are a compilation of short non-religious essays about an inward journey toward the Christian life while Joel Osteen’ self-help guide offers a seven-step program, based on spiritual principles, leading a more meaningful and rewarding life on a daily basis.

There are "christian" books to teach how to govern your thoughts, discipline your will and achieve balance in your spiritual life. There are books teaching the keys to your most abundant and prosperous life and books teaching christian prosperity and self help principles.

The “me” generation has become more focused, but not on God. No longer God focused, the focus has turned to man, to self. Self esteem, self preservation, self satisfying, self gratifying. Self.!. Man focuses on self, magnifying the gift and the recipient's possession and enjoyment of the gift all too often forgetting the Giver of the gift. The One who holds our very breath in His hands almost always forgotten as the church runs to and fro; learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

A former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary offers this for our consideration:

“If our sin is viewed as causing the death of Jesus on the cross, then we ourselves become victims of a 'psychological battering' produced by the cross. When I am led to feel that the pain and torment of Jesus death is due to my sin, I inflict upon myself spiritual and psychological torment.”

When worthiness is attained through even a little bit of self-effort, it gives credit to man not to God. In the grace centered theology of the New Testament, there can be no room for this exaltation of man for the Bible from beginning to end is about the exaltation of God.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

'The church is not for "seekers" or for "Me centered" people. It is for disciples and "He centered" people. The church can and should reach out to a dying world and that means engaging the culture with the truth that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life (John 14:6). It also means becoming more like Him daily, walking in faith and in His strength. 

Paul sums this up well when he says:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.Galatians 2:20
At the end of the day we are all simply beggars telling beggars where we found bread. Let us bear witness then to this fact in our culture so that we can change the "seeker sensitive" church of 'me,' back to the Bible based church of He.'
Matt Smith, Pastor
Barabbas Road Church

Monday, April 22, 2013

A friend invited me to attend a Wellness Expo. Vendors with information on health issues, vitamins, exercise, the newest exercise equipment, loads of free samples; the possibilities were endless. She had been given free tickets, I was free for the afternoon, sounded like a great idea, and off we went.

Driving around for several minutes unable to find a parking spot we were encouraged by the large turnout and pressed on. After finding a spot we walked the short distance, found the registration table, chatted a minute with the ladies at the table, put our names in the basket for the drawing to be held later in the day and went inside.

What greeted us was startling, shocking and unexpected.

No exercise equipment, no free samples, no brochures on vitamin therapy -but crystals. Crystals of every shape, size and color. People everywhere. Booths whose vendors offered physic readings using tarot cards and palm readings. In one booth a circle of people were sitting with eyes closed, humming. Another booth a woman lay on a padded table, a cloth covered her eyes. The vendor sat at the woman’ head with a crystal attached to a chain. The crystal was moving in a circular motion over the woman’ head. All this and we had hardly gotten past the front door. In stunned silence we made our way to the exit spotting as we were leaving a Native American artist doing portraits. I glanced at the sketch pad where the artist had sketched the woman' face - surrounded by animals.

I believe the LORD allowed us to see this, as He did Ezekiel, [Chapter 8] to move us from the comfort zone of our padded pews to the reality of the twenty-first century and to our knees. Never could I have imagined so many were bound in this darkness, and what we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. Never would my heart have been heavy for the state of these lost souls, never could I have put a face with my prayer or even thought to pray for those bound in witchcraft, idolatry and New Age deception,


As we were leaving, a young woman was coming in. I said to her “if you are looking for New Age this is the place.” Her response; 


Evolution, physic readings, humming meditation, crystals, New Age mysticism, tarot cards…. “Cool.!”

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things Romans 1

Saturday, April 20, 2013

In the darkest hours of mankind, our LORD will return to save those that are His - but until then

we must be about our Father' business.

God does not need us, God needs nothing. God has chosen to include man in His great work of saving the lost, delivering the sinner and rescuing the perishing. He has not called us because we are qualified, capable, witty, charming, brilliant or bold, but because we are not. Once our foolish pride accepts that we are nothing apart from God we are at last a vessel our LORD can use. Leaning on His everlasting arms we can witness, share and live a life worthy of our calling.  Staying close to our Teacher, our Shepherd and our Guide  we journey through this wilderness until we are at last home - safe in the arms of our Father. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tolerance of sinful practices and the acceptance of false religions as ‘Christian brothers’ is preached in pulpits and on ‘Christian’ media across America and around the world. Without question, millions are accepting what is being spewed out by pastor, preacher or priest.  The inerrant Word of God has been so twisted and distorted that it is now, almost unrecognizable.

Paul’ word to the church in Corinth should be a wake up call to us all:

“You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.”

As Pope Benedict settles into retirement and Pope Francis assumes the role Vicar of Christ for 1.2 billion faithful, as he embraces all religions as brothers, and bends to wash the feet of others, we must not be taken in by this 'humble man'. We must remember:

Romanism is a fraud.

It substitutes a pantheon of idols for the Christian church, extinguishing the light of revelation, and takes the world back to a time when men worshipped sun, moon, stars, sticks and stones. The Roman Catholic Church in its man made traditions rejects the new birth, denies a need for a change of heart and inducts the unsuspecting into a church that will hold him captive through education, training and fear. The Roman Catholic Church assumes control of the individual as it claims to hold the keys of death, hell and the grave.

“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Mark 9:7

...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served or... But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…
 Joshua 24:15-16

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Looking at our nation and around the world we see such evil, wickedness, corruption, impatience, anger and greed. We cry out for mercy, we pray for a change in attitudes and behavior. We shake our heads in disbelief - hardly believing what we are reading and seeing on the news. How could ‘they’ do what they are doing, behave the way they are behaving, think the way they are thinking?

Self-esteem, self-preservation is funny. The speck in another’s eye is visibly obvious, but the boulder in our own often goes unnoticed. In our desire to right the wrongs in others we seldom realize the person who most needs to change is me. Seeing ourselves as a sinner struggling to walk the narrow road in this evil and perverse generation we are lifted about the fray of the fallen among us and, forgetting what lies behind, we reach forward to what is ahead for those that are His.

Forgetting what lies behind..?

Forgetting that I too wandered and still do from time to time far from the ways of the LORD makes me more disapproving of others. Forgetting that it is only by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone that I am saved makes me judgmental. Forgetting that apart from the mercy and love of my LORD Jesus Christ I too am capable of the evil and wickedness of a Hitler, Mussolini or a Kermit Gosnell makes me unreasonable, angry and impatient with others. Forgetting that in me dwells no good thing, that apart from Him I can do nothing I become more critical than caring. Forgetting that all my righteous deeds are as filthy rags I find myself becoming more demanding of others and much less forgiving, compassionate and kind.

I will be eternally grateful that our LORD has promised:

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:2

But those that have been forgiven much love much so perhaps we should remember.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities? It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City. As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness.

In addition to the thousands of "tunnel people" living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night. The federal government tells us that the recession "is over" and that "things are getting better", and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight. So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?

PLEASE read:

I had no idea.!!!!!.

As said in my previous post, those living in darkest desperation and hopelessness need our prayers.

See yourself where these are, see your children your grandchildren, and PRAY.!!!!
I’ve read that - “Prayer is the most talked about and least practiced aspect of the Christian life. We talk about prayer. We read about prayer. We believe in prayer. The sad fact is that very seldom do we ever really get around to praying.”

Our Lord taught His disciples to pray. He commanded His children to pray without ceasing. We are taught to pray in our afflictions. The Word urges that prayers and intercession be made for all people. Thousands of verses in the Bible teach about prayer yet when a prayer meeting is held few feel the need to attend.

Why isn’t prayer the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing we do at night? Prayer should be the first thing we do when hard times come, but it isn't. When someone ask us to pray for them do we immediately take their hand and begin to pray or promise to do so and all too often forget?

Many find an hour on Sunday morning to devote to fellowship with
God and His people. The rest of the week - excuse after excuse, one after another. Life crowds out our good intent until crisis comes and we have nowhere else to turn. If hardship, calamity or problems too big for us to solve did not come into our lives would we be driven to our knees or drawn closer to Him and the purpose He has for our life? How many would there be that pray without ceasing if they had first not traveled the road of adversity?

“Prayer warriors” pray effective fervent prayers because they have learned through much affliction, sorrow, grief and pain that prayer changes things.

Those who grope and stumble in the darkness of this world  desperately need Christians to bend their knee in prayer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

With the legalization of abortion, drugs and homosexuality, with the removal of prayer in school, removal of the ten commandments and crosses in public venues, with tolerance and universalism slowly eroding The Truth in mainstream denominations, with governmental abuse of power one has to wonder how true are these words: 

As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants after Thee...

sung in churches across America, written on postcards, in prayer journals and meditation books - 

Yet ~ Does our soul really pant after our GOD? Does our soul really thirst for the Living Water? Do we really weep day and night, fasting and praying for the sins and the lost souls among us?

We as His children would do well to remember and take to heart ALL of Psalm 42, for it is through much persecution and problems, prayer, petition and praise that change occurs and we see the glory of our God.
1. As the deer pants for the water, so my soul pants after Thee.How I thirst for living water. How much longer will it be? Tears have been my food both day and night. Mem-'ries yearn of better days. All the times of joy, thanksgiving seem so very far away.

2. Deep calls to still deeper waters: waves and breakers sweep o'er me. Am I now to be forgotten? Left in mortal agony? Why so downcast, O my troubled soul? Put your hope in God and prayer. Ever shall God my direction be. Ever am I in God's care!

3. Loving kindness through the daytime. My Lord: my hope in times of strife. At night, Your song shall e'er be with me: a prayer unto my God, my life!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When did the church become so tolerant and willing to embrace false religions and heretical theology that it now accepts Catholics as Christian brothers and no longer identifies Mormonism as a cult? How did the church become so lukewarm and ineffective that it winks at sin while embracing the sinner, all in the name of love and ecumenicalism?

In times past I often wondered how it would be possible that even the elect would or could be deceived, but now, it has become much easier to understand how it would, could and seemingly has happened.

With the passing of time it appears solid Bible teachers from mainstream Christianity those once trusted to speak The Word are detouring from truth, embracing the false while compromising and condoning contemplative/centering prayer and ecumenicalism all in the name of unity and brotherhood. Albeit ever so slightly they move from an adherence to scripture to careless neglect of truth. Beth Moore, Rick Warren, Kay Arthur, John Piper, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Focus on the Family… without discernment twist and tweak scripture - here a little, there a little. Advocating contemplative spirituality they embrace Catholic mystics such as Brother Lawrence or neo-Gnostics like Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. Referring to their books or quoting emergent teachers such as Leonard Sweet and Tony Campolo directs the unsuspecting to read and embrace these false teachers and their teachings.  

"Christian leaders are changing. Putting financial security, popularity, fear of loss, and personal pride above doing what is right without compromise, they have begun to take on the characteristics of those they have endorsed, promoted, and stood next to.

Where once many of them preached the unadulterated Word of God, now they speak of community, unity, mystical experience, and a kingdom they call God’s that in actuality is a kingdom of this world. They say the Gospel cannot be effective unless everyone is willing to work together, and when they say everyone, they mean everyone." from the article: Danger of Contemplative Spirituality

The blind leading the blind. Subtly, without notice a thought, an idea begins to form. Taking shape the form changes from an idea to acceptance of what once would have been considered unacceptable.

...a seed has been planted.

And so it begins.

Lighthouse Trails writes: “It is when morsels of deception are hidden within quantities of truth that the most danger lies.”

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14

Monday, April 1, 2013

“If you continue in My Word, you really are my disciples, and you will know the truth and The Truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

“What is truth?”

Pilate sought for truth as he struggled to condemn an innocent man. Richard Dawkins’ truth, is evolution and “intelligent design.” Rob Bell’ truth is to challenge everything, ‘tackling all the outdated and fallacious ideas we have about the Almighty'. Joel Osteen’ truth is to live your best life and become a better you.

Jesus in John 14:6 says: " I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life"

We find truth in His word  -

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Genesis 1:1

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints - Amen.” Revelation 22:21
But man’ truth differs greatly from what God has defined as truth. Man’ truth is all too often based on his perception of truth; personal preference, family traditions, circumstances. Human ‘progress’ has led to unrealistic ideas. We have become satisfied with misconceptions and lies that fit our lifestyle. Abortion and gay rights, are now accepted, tolerated, condoned, praised and supported by millions who would rather accept the lie than stand and defend the truth.

Man has forgotten the virtues and rejected the truth.

“What is truth?”

God is Truth.!!!.