Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Them



What about them?
They’re just filled with hate.
They won’t talk or debate.
They just want to dominate?

What about them?
They’re destroying our stuff.
They’re trying to call our bluff.
Enough is enough!

What about them?
They want to resist.
And they just persist.
What’s the answer to this?

What about them?
They think that they’re right.
They harass just for spite.
They just want to fight.

What about them?
You see what they do?
Pointing fingers at who?
They’re staging a coup!

What about them?
Power makes them blind.
They don’t care to be kind.
No peace shall they find.

What about them?
They whisper and talk.
They don’t walk the walk.
Bodies outlined in chalk.

What about them?
They don’t know how to love.
They just push and shove.
How can they rise above?

What about them?
What more can be said?
I’m tired of seeing red.
This continued bloodshed.

Reading this, you may have been trying to find out who’s identified as “Them”. You may assume that you know. You may have tried to connect recent events and see whose SIDE this speaks about. You may assume that you know. Most times its easy to point the finger at the evil that’s causing problems. It’s easy to establish where the hate comes from, and when the source is identified, the solution is justified.
Fact is, this is an idea for a discussion that could've happened in Heaven just before the decision was made to flood the earth, saving Noah’s family only. Yep, you guessed it - Them is all of us. (read it again)

Here’s The Word;

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Being born in sin, or as I’ve heard it better explained – born with a Selfish, Independent Nature (SIN), we all have the capacity and propensity to seek our own: Our own way, our own promotion, our own means to an end. However, none of these pursuits, even when noble, justifiable or simply excusable by man's standards, work the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

When we’re honest with ourselves and each other, humility is not something where we think less of ourselves. Its where we think honestly and rightly of ourselves. We’re not made of much and what we are naturally made of has no problem seeking selfish means to selfish ends.

Some of us, who were once them, have been awakened. That gift of humility by God's grace is what drove us to seek the right help. And God was there. Now, we have a responsibility – not to save the world, that part has already been done. Our part is to preach Christ. Sometimes this seems like a feeble response to an insurmountable problem. However, it’s the response that keeps us in our place that God will exercise His fullness in His place. It's God who will transform THEM into His new creations...the only answer, and their only hope.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

God chose sides...all of them. Not to promote, but to save. So no matter which side they're on, they need to know about God's side... God sent us Him - and He sent them, us.


In Him,
Cros

Friday, August 04, 2017

Bridge



Ever been to another country with weird laws?
Did you know that it's illegal to chew gum in Singapore? It's illegal to die in the House of Parliament in England, and it’s also illegal for a man to dress up like a woman in Melbourne, Australia.

Weird right? Feel free to Google it and get a chuckle from all of the other weird laws around the globe. But these crazy laws hang on one important factor: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

This is where I want to start our discussion about The Law. Well, Biblically , there are two laws and they're based on....you guessed it - Location.

The first law is the law of sin and death. This is the law we're all born into. Its jurisdiction is our flesh because in our flesh, we were all born IN sin.
The other law is the law of the Spirit of Life. This is the law of righteousness that we fall under when we switch locations; when we move from death to life IN Christ.

Here’s The Word:

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 (and since we’re clearing up locations, “The Mount” here is not the mount of Olives as seen in Matthew 24….it’s a different mount)
Yet, in that sermon, Jesus says He’s come to fulfill the law. What did He mean when He said He came to fulfil the law? HOW did He do it?

Matthew 5 hits some pretty high points that His Jewish listeners back then would have easily recognized and understood as the Mosaic Law – addressing topics like Murder, Adultery, Swearing (Lord’s Name in vain) and an argument can be made for the law of "Bearing false witness" when he talks about lawsuits and loving your enemies. He takes what they knew about the law, which by then had become over 600 laws and He moved them even more beyond our ability to be justified by them. Adultery just wasn’t a physical act anymore, but a reflection of the heart. Murder wasn’t just a physical act anymore, but a reflection of the heart. He exposed God’s standard of Pure Holiness and concludes it all by saying, “be perfect”. (Matthew 5:48)

Here’s The Word:

Romans 8:3 - 4 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

So now we see exactly HOW Christ did indeed fulfil the law. He knew the heart of the law and He also knew and embodied God’s standard of Holiness and fulfilled it perfectly. ONLY He could do that, but in doing so, His conquering of the law of sin and death allows us to move from where we are (under that law) to a new location – IN HIM where the law of the Spirit of Life presides.

Thing is, Christ knows ALL of redemptive history. He knows that the Old Law of sin and death, Ten Commandments and all of that could never justify even the best of us. However, it did serve Its purpose to drive us TO God and show us His holiness. He also knows that all of redemptive history centers on Himself.

Here’s The Word:

Hebrews 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

This is all about fully embracing the freedom that Christ provides by escaping the trappings and burdens He delivered us from. Every letter of the law and the particulars about them are fulfilled in Christ and we put our sinful flesh to death daily that we may be free from that law in Christ. It doesn't mean we seek to do things opposed to the law, we're free towards (for) righteousness with hearts desirous to please God, not burdened through fear or torment. He is our new location and the old laws have no jurisdiction here.

Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.


In Him,
Cros

Friday, July 28, 2017

Holy Spirit



As long as I've been posting to this blog, I'm quite surprised that I hadn't gotten around to this topic much earlier.
Years ago, Francis Chan wrote a book about The Holy Spirit titled, Forgotten God. It was a short read but a powerful look at how little people understand and interact with this very real and present “Person” of The Trinity.
I’m not about to rewrite Francis’ book but I am addressing the same mindset. How much do we know? More to the point, how much are we seeking to deal rightly with God, The Spirit?
We think about God the Father and things come easy – Creator, Old Testament Deliverer of Jews from Egypt and all of that. We think about Jesus, The Son and even though His presence in the Old Testament is clearly referred to in the New Testament, we usually equate Him with His human embodiment, righteous life and sacrificial death and The One who’ll be visibly active at the time of His second coming.
Now what comes to mind when we think of God, The Spirit?

Here’s The Word:

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

Here’s another one of those times where knowing Greek actually has benefit. “Another” in this case, means “one just like me”. When you think of what Jesus was saying, it’s mind-blowingly awesome. As He had taken on flesh, and the physical restrictions of it – another Comforter like Himself without physical restriction is what was most needed for our benefit. The Holy Spirit can be in everyone’s heart and minds at the same time, working individually on that person’s growth. Not that I don’t believe that Jesus CAN do what The Spirit does, but just as Jesus committed to spending day by day life as a person for 33 years, He’s still into finishing these things the way they need to be finished.

So take that idea of purpose. Reconciling fallen man into redemption with God, and you see The Spirit’s role: That’s exactly what the Holy Spirit is – He’s the Agent of transformation to Christ-likeness, changing us from the inside out. He reveals and affirms truth. He bears witness to the truth of our conversion from our association with sin; from being enemies of GOD to becoming children of God and light.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Look again at John 14:16 . The last words are “for ever”.
Here's something you might find interesting.
When we first read Genesis, and you see God creating everything, you don’t come away with a strong presence of Jesus in that. However, when you first read John's Gospel, the very first verse introduces you to the reality that Jesus, then called The Word was there. He was that Agent by which God the Father created all things that were created. I think we can take that idea and apply it to what we see in John 17.

John 17:22-23 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one

Now you really don’t see mention of The Holy Spirit, but in the same way that we saw with Jesus' involvement in creation, I believe that God, The Spirit is that agent that binds us together as one into unity with Himself, The Word(Jesus) and The Father.

Hopefully, this post will whet your appetite and give you a desire to investigate The Spirit of God. I often mention that although these posts can be entertaining and somewhat provocative to some higher “natural” standard, their true intent is to encourage and “spur” those who have The Spirit to continue to yield to Him and let Him perfect you into Christ-likeness. It’s SO common to tend toward “the rules”, trying to muster the fortitude to “DO RIGHT”, but Biblically, this thinking falls short and can never justify us.

Many people don’t have a firm grasp on The Spirit. Although we understand that He's "present", that only makes us try to live to impress Him as an onlooker rather than be indwelled by Him. We need to let Him fulfill His purpose for us - He's the power by which we empty ourselves, resist temptation, assimilate wisdom from above and endure with Godly patience and perseverance.
Scripture talks about how we're to be IN - In God, Colossians 3:3, In Christ, 1 John 2:24 and In The Spirit, Gal 5:25. We need to realize that no matter how noble the desire, our natural abilities won’t get us any closer to God. It takes God to get close to God and the most beautiful thing about our predicament is that this is exactly what's provided the work of God, The Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

In Him,
Cros

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WalMart



I confess, this was a trap. Did you recognize it?
Hopefully, those of you who know me felt a tinge of something strange and thought “Okay, what’s Cros up to now?”
But maybe you didn’t. Maybe you just saw it as a common thing people do for a laugh. For the record, this picture I chose is supposedly a gag and not a “true person of Wal-Mart” that people post pictures of and hurl humorous commentary and laughter at.

I figure that most of the time, my posts are read by two types of people: Those who enjoy a good read, some poetry, a different take on things and the occasional feeling of a little conviction that their moral character could use a little polishing. Then there are those who connect with the Spiritual aspects of growing from faith to faith. I’m really okay with either, although I’d prefer that this be encouragement for those who confess Christ, to let His Spirit become more and the old carnal man becomes less… but that’s not a work that can be advanced by a blog post. That’s the work of The Spirit. All I can do is encourage and strive to know and get closer to Him.

Here’s The Word:

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

Philippians 4:8 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.

You know how easy it is to start with a thought, and no sooner than that thought enters your mind, your tongue has slipped into gear and began flowing with “unwholesomeness”? Most people, people-watch. And when we watch, of course we feel certain ways about what we see and without a second thought, the tongue starts lashing – “Oh my, look at …"
As a people trying to be different from the world, this should not be our way. You see them, but God hears you.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

We are to be the Light life spreaders. Encouragement, edification and empathy to a world that’s blind to the beauty of Jesus.
How trivial and petty we must seem when we shy away from that charge but our attention and commentary is invoked when we see somebody bump into a pole because they were paying more attention to their cell phone rather than where they’re going; gasping at a woman dealing with an unruly child, the fashion sense of others or their driving habits.
Oh! We have SO much better things that we should be doing.
Instead of being comically condescending, be passionately prayerful. Be grateful that The Lord’s generosity has you in better place. Not to look down your nose but to give someone else a clearer view of Christ.
Also, have the courage to not laugh/like or share when "friends" try and get your consent. Your steadfast dedication to "righteousness" may be subtly helping them break away from chains that they themselves don't see.

The enemy sets many traps everyday. Do you see them? Are you looking? A more pertinent question is; are you praying that you be not lead to temptation, but delivered from evil.
Remember, Job found himself in a situation - From Satan's point of view it was a trap. He KNEW Job would curse God if He put so many painful distractions in his path. God however knew differently. To God it was a test that He knew Job could pass, and Scripture confirms "In all this Job didn't sin with his lips." Job 2:10. Our situations can't be compared to Job's, but our world is desperate for different.
The People of Wal-Mart (or those elsewhere in situations so easily talked about) need Jesus too…and not just as a joke or commentary on their choices.


In Him,
Cros

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Paid TO



The picture above is food artist Michelle Wibowo recreating Michaelangelo's "Creation of Adam" with about half a billion cake sprinkles. That's dedication!

A common saying among the Christian religiosity is the term: Christ paid for our sins.
Allow me to challenge your thinking. I think sometimes the words that these principles imply get compromised over time. But I really can't say that. I may be giving undue allowance to first century believers in thinking that they understood things better than we do... it's possible but not certain. I imagine things have largely stayed consistent. People who believed, believed and people who didn't, didn't.
Oh yeah....challenging your thinking. What if I told you that not only were your sins paid for but there's more: When your sins were paid FOR, your righteousness was paid TO.

Here's an illustration - There's a customer at an art studio, looking through an artists' portfolio. The collection has pieces that can either be replicated or that can serve as inspiration to produce something new. Of course, in the matter of price there's the standard idea that the cost depends on the size and scope(complexity) of the work that needs to be done. Frequently, larger orders require an upfront deposit for the materials that need to be purchased: special colors that need to be mixed or tools that need to be acquired to aid in the completed work. The balance of the payment becomes due after the customer accepts the finished product.

Now, what if the person tells the artist that he wants something of a scope and scale that this artist has never done or even seen before...trust me, as scary as this situation is, any artist would jump at this chance. Furthermore, he tells the artist that money is no object and a generous estimate would be roughly a million dollars but the customer hands over a check for 10 million dollars saying "This will cover it."
Can you imagine the effort that the artist would put into doing his best to "WOW" that customer? Precision, composition, presentation and style would be at the forefront of this artist's every waking moment to produce something worthy of the customer's generosity.

Here's The Word:

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

God had an idea for an amazing work of art and many people have a problem with God's "GOD" complex, but suffice it to say, He's the only one that can rightfully have one. God's work of art is making us part of Himself...His Righteousness. And He didn't just put down a deposit depending on our ability to perform. He showed amazing generosity in that no amount of effort on our part could compare to the price, but His concern for us wasn't getting a good return on His investment, it was to show the level of His love and desire. This surely should provoke a level of commitment in us in trying to appreciate His generosity.

Seems that so many people still understand Christianity as a prayer from back in the day plus a loving God equals "Home free".
Where's the appreciation? Where's the presentation and putting every effort into letting The Spirit bring forth the fruits of righteousness in us? Where's the real evidence (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Ephesians 5:9.
We don't put forth effort to earn this grace or to BE saved. We put for effort to appreciate His grace and to prove by the presence of The Spirit's power that we ARE saved. If Christ is your master, let Him make you His masterpiece! He paid FOR your sins and He paid TO your righteousness!


In Him,
Cros

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bible



I've probably said this before but I admit it, I'm the guy who beats dead horses. I write these blog posts for two reasons; The main reason, hope.
I write with hopes that somehow a post would raise someone's interest enough to ask a question or start a dialogue that would draw them closer to the true, transforming power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The other reason is - simply because I enjoy writing. I find that it helps me improve my ability to express myself. I tend to try and encourage others to journal or write...it's therapeutic.

Even if you dismissed the idea of a trip to the library, I realize that there's literally tons more information available about the topics I write. That's why I try and keep my posts at under 5 minutes for the time it takes to read it. I think if someone has truly become interested, there's much more info available.
Then there are times where I feel like there's something important on my heart but for me to write it would feel like reinventing the wheel. At those times, I think it's best that I simply direct your attention to the better "wheel".

The authenticity and trustworthiness of the Bible is fundamental. Many people have disregarded the Christian religion altogether because they don't feel that there's a way to be absolutely sure about The Bible's contents. I understand. However, I need to admit: I don't believe in Christ because I believe The Bible, I believe The Bible because I believe in Christ.

Link to John MacArthur info on the Canonized Bible

Considering the volume of data available on the study of 'why are the books of The Bible in it?', this link above is a brief bit of info on the subject. It's worth reading if you're interested.

John MacArthur, Wayne Grudem, John Piper, EM Bounds and Francis Chan are my heroes. From solid doctrinal study and proper exegeses of The Scriptures, to prayer, to life issues of true Christianity, I consider them to be extremely well informed and enjoyable to learn from on their respective topics. If you ever find yourself wanting more...allow me to direct your attention.

Here's The Word:

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

1 John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.


In Him,
Cros

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Think



Ever think that people thought “Noah, what makes you so special?”
Think they thought, while Noah sought to be purified as God’s vessel?
Think they wondered, hearing the thunder, “What ever could this be?”
Did they think the same, when the rains came, with nowhere for them to flee?

Think they thought, they’d never get caught, or that there’s a price to pay.
Some probably thought, just as they were taught, be nice and things’ll be okay.
Did Noah surmise, “It’s no surprise, because of course, I deserve this”.
Or did he learn, God’s anger does burn against the sin of mankind like a furnace.

I don’t know today, if people think either way on the pure HOLINESS of ‘I AM’
We seem to worry more about what others think, to justify where we stand.
We cater to men, so as not to offend, and we still think somehow we’re right.
As if His greatest concern, is that together we learn and neither disagree nor fight

God’s very first order: The first thing he thought of for us is to see Him set apart.
His name, His likeness, His countenance, its brightness is not to be sculpted as art.
Even those well-intentioned, can concoct inventions and we keep an open mind.
We must hold to truth and look closely at proof, lest we forfeit and be left behind.

Do the people today, all going their way really consider how all of this ends?
Did they keep it in check, hang a cross from their neck, saying “see, I’m one of God’s friends”.
I’m not here to judge, tho I surely will nudge “Receive Christ and be made new”
As far as I’ve seen, He’s HOLY, not mean and has no problem just saving a few.

Rather than bow, I see that now there are a lot of good reasons to disagree.
And not one single person, with their railing and cursing can push me to uncertainty.
Make sure that you’re ready, not overly petty about little things of naught.
Don’t let yourself sink, read His Word and think, He’ll teach what needs to be taught.


Here's The Word;

Psalm 119:97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Peter 3:8 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.

1 Corinthians 6:9 - 10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19- 21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Posts like these are often hard to write for me.
I know, and I know OF many people involved in real life and yes, "the struggle is real" - but in Christ, we can never be 100% invested with the world's anecdotes - the struggle is real, but the power to win is MORE real! However, many are only looking for a way out, not necessarily Christ and they parrot much of the world's oldest rationale.
I can only pray that God would grant them repentance, have mercy on stubbornness and help us to see just a glimpse of the Truth and Him in His glory. I pray that we realize the truth of God's word and that His ways are not our ways.
That we would think!
In Him,
Cros