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: May 2017

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!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Devil, pt. 3



The last 2 posts of this series used a picture that people usually associate with the ‘classic’ look of Satan, the devil: Red, horns, tail & pitchfork. Since this imagery is not in The Bible, you have to ask; Who's behind the propagation of that image?
In late 2010, M. Night Shyamalan produced a movie, 'Devil'. When I’d seen the previews earlier in the year, my righteous self was like “Oh, I’m never going to watch that movie – no reason to subject myself to something so obviously evil”.
As I think back, I don’t even know what changed my mind about seeing it, but I saw it and I’m glad I did.

Without giving anything away, the movie is sort of like a “Who done it?”, or more to the point “Who’s doing it?” but it’s intriguing because as the watcher, you’re really trying to figure out WHO the devil is and there’s enough twist and turns to keep you guessing.
I don’t know Mr. Shyamalan’s theology when it comes to Satan, but I would say that he’s more on the mark than the “red guy”. I remember looking at the situation where Jesus says to Peter “Get behind me Satan” and first I thought “Whoa! That’s harsh!” Later I thought, was Jesus serious? Was He really calling Peter THE DEVIL?
When I look at the rest of Scripture in context – I think He was.

Here’s The Word;

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

Matthew 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

The Bible tells us that Satan “prowls” around looking for an opportunity. He doesn’t have the means or physical form (like the red guy) to show up and commit mayhem on his own. His method is to influence a person to victimize into fulfilling his will. Once he’s found his puppet, isn’t it right to look past the strings and call out the puppet master by name? This is what we see in Scripture. We are told to be on guard, watchful and wise when it comes to the devil and because we know he tries to use us as well as other people – that’s where we look for manifestations of ‘devilishness’.

Do you think Peter could’ve gotten away with one of the main phrases we hear today? “Hey! Don’t judge me.”
We must not allow ourselves to be lulled into being unprepared for fear of making someone feel judged: Being watchful, assessing your situation and acting accordingly (resist when appropriate, or flee when necessary) are all important things we do to keep our feet on the ‘straight way’ and some people will see it and feel a certain way. Be biblical and tender, speak the truth IN love and like Christ did with Peter, don’t just hurl an accusation; explain the concern.
Remember, if we’re not actively guarding our hearts and keeping a watchful eye, we run the risk of being influenced by Satan or running into him, clothed in any random smiling, good intentioned person we’re likely to meet.


In Him,
Cros

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Died



My life was my own and I’d found my stride.
Until one day, broadside, Christ crashed into me.
I almost died

At first I’d resisted, just tried to tone down my pride.
But Christ kept showing me ME in ways that couldn't
be denied.

Every time I would stand, I would then start to slide.
“You’re using your own strength and not mine”,
He replied.

I really couldn’t understand, though His word clarified.
Something didn’t connect. I couldn’t get across
the divide

My head was engaged but my heart sat ring-side.
I could debate and talk churchy, yet full surrender remained
untried.

Until after so many failures and oh so many tries,
I wanted Christ to become MORE, now He helps my ME
subside.

Longing for meaning, I thought my eyes were open wide.
Didn’t realize my blindness until Christ came, and
I finally died.

He stretched forth His grace, when He was crucified.
Now I mortify my members, using the strength that
He provides.

Now I see things differently, I stay close and abide.
I know how hard “self” wants to resurface and
preside.

But in Christ I have strength, so in Christ I confide.
I put no confidence in the flesh that just wants to
backslide.

Life is all about Him and He will not be denied.
When all of this is over, As King, He'll stand...
Glorified.

T'was The Father’s purpose, to have Christ’s death applied.
So we could become His righteousness, seated
by His side.

In Him there is fullness, and fulfillment amplified
'Blessings all mine, with ten thousand
beside.'

Now I’m thankful and sober as I know deep inside.
Any and everything good about me began that day
I died.


Here's The Word:

Colossians 3:1 - 11 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.


Dead, yet living In Him,
Cros

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Deserve



I don’t know if I’d call it a peculiar thing about myself but I really enjoy taking notice of minutiae. The little things. Nuance. I'm aware of how irritating that can be in conversation so I’m also careful of the context with which I embrace it, but when appropriate…I like finding understanding and meaning in the subtle.
I blame Romans 1, which talks about how God’s divine nature and eternal power are ‘clearly’ evident in creation itself. On a grand scale as well as the tiny, creeping things; this world is quite magnificent, but compared to the vastness of God’s divine nature and eternal power, I would call nature inexcusably clear, yet subtle…there’s much more to God.
So I look for fingerprints – little evidences of the powers at work in our world. Often times I’m provoked to say out loud, “See, that’s how you know…” (that there's a LOT going on behind the scenes)

This idea applies to good things as well as bad.
Take for instance, the things that affect our disposition. A few days ago, I had my Fitbit confiscated at work. Now if I were one of those people who live and die by a Fitbit, I can see how that can be a pretty big deal. I’m not that guy but because work has been a bit heavier lately with a few changes and challenges, I saw a subtle thing happening: a feeling started to try and seize control of my heart and steal my joy – I started feeling like “I don’t deserve this”. Those were the words, and they could’ve just as easily been “I deserve better than this”…or several other variations, maybe you know a few.
Thank God! Paying attention to the little things pays off: I recognized those fingerprints – That’s how you know there’s a devil.


Here’s The Word:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:4 – 6 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took

When you look at the interaction between Eve and the serpent, notice the subtlety. He first asks a question about something she should’ve already been more solidified in, but his question leads her to question.
Then, his outright lie passes by the eyes rather quickly – he doesn’t spend much time at all lying about God’s words, he simply says “you won’t” and proceeds to influence a personal enticement of how she deserves the good of the fruit. He doesn’t force her to do wrong, he makes her want to do wrong by putting her in a position of feeling she deserves better.

This is where we need to be wise of the enemy’s tricks and respond rightly when they come upon us. The devil don't mind you having a big red letter bible engraved in gold with you and your pastor's name on the dedication page as long as he can still draw you away from righteousness by simply impressing you with what “you deserve”.

This goes easy for him because most of us have such an aversion to a “hard” life. However, the Bible is replete with evidence that we are often called to make hard choices and endure hard things...even suffering for righteousness sake (1 Peter 3:14). It proves who we are in Christ since most times it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to make those choices, endure and trust that God will fulfill the good of it in His time, not ours.

Remember, the correct expectation is faithful obedience. What payment should we expect for simply doing what we're supposed to do? This helps us understand that ANY good in our lives is not OWED to us, especially knowing that our obedience is 'lacking' to say the least. The bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above(James 1:17) ...so everything good in your life IS a gift that we should be thankful (and show appreciation) for.

Foregoing what we deserve in order to better represent the Name and Character of Christ would change things for us: It would change how we act in traffic, change how deal with a bad boss, change how we feel to retaliate when we feel someone is disrespecting us and change how tenderly we seek peace with people even when they’re the wrong one. All of these examples have bible references that deal directly with them. Don’t believe me, check Colossians 3.

Be thankful! If we can really get past ourselves and consider what we REALLY deserve – we’re fallen, stubborn, unappreciative and wholly undeserving of much else other than stern correction or outright destruction from a Sovereign God, to Whom I’m sure that our ‘fist waving deservings’ reek of that stench first emanated in Genesis 3 which has been recorded and given to us so we would take caution and know …
…that’s how you know there’s a devil.


In Him,
Cros