Posts tagged ‘God’s Word’

Unsalty Salt in the Church: Worthless

Have you ever looked at the sodium content for a serving of jerky?  Wowza!!!  Makes your heart pump harder just thinking about it.  Yet without the salt, the meat would not be preserved for the length that it can be, and usable as food.  Just as salt is used, and has been used for thousands of years, to preserve the quality of meat so that it can be eaten days, weeks, even months after the kill, so salt is the preservative of the truth of God’s word in the Church.  Without salt in the jerky, the meat would spoil (never mind modern refrigerators and freezers).  Without salt in the church, it too spoils and becomes worthless.

In Luke 14:35-35 (NKJV) Yeshua says – “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

In Matthew 5:13 (NKJV) Yeshua says – “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

This verse in Matthew 5 is actually near the beginning of Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount, right after the Beatitudes.  Chapters 5-7 are Yeshua’s instruction manual for how to live as His followers in a world that doesn’t believe in Him.  The disciples understood that salt was a preserving agent.  In referring to His followers as the salt of the earth in the middle of this sermon, his disciples understood, as should we, that we are the preserving agent of all that is godly in this world.

What is godliness?  Living our lives according to the ways Yeshua taught.  Just skimming through the Sermon on the Mount, one can see all kinds of instructions.  Avoid hatred and do not murder, do not judge, do not worry, stand on faith in God, be charitable, be faithful in your marriage, love your enemies, go out of your way to serve others, hunger for righteousness, be pure in heart, be peacemakers, be merciful.  The list goes on.  The passage in Luke 14 is right on the heals of Yeshua’s instruction to give up everything (father, mother, brothers and sisters) to follow Him, not clinging to this world, or he cannot be His disciple.

We are here to preserve godliness in the world of sinners.  We are here to preserve the truth of who God is, and what His Word says, in our every thought, word, and deed.  When we do not act as salt, we have lost our flavor, and are worth nothing more than to be thrown out and trampled on the ground.  Notice in Luke, we are not even worth using in the dunghill.  I’m not sure what purpose there is for salt in a dunghill, but if we aren’t worthy of that, we are truly not worthy of anything.

Now here is where we come to brass tacks.  Has the Church today lost its saltiness?  Unequivocally YES!  Oh, to be sure, there is an element of the Church that continues to preach the truth of God’s Word, without distorting it to the moral-less standards of the world.  But that element is shrinking by the hour it seems.  Church body after church body, pastor after pastor, follower after follower are sliding down slippery slopes of twisted doctrine, distorted Scripture, and outright lies about who God is and what He demands of us.  Sin is no long sin, but personal choice.  Everything is okay if you feel it is okay.  Anyway is good to get to Heaven, even thought Yeshua said that He is the ONLY way.  The Church has become spineless, squishy, weak, false, lightless-not just living in darkness, but teaching it-…the Church has lost its salty flavor.  It is worthy only of being thrown out and trampled on.

If this does not cause big red flags, bells, and warning sirens to go off in your spirit, then you need to recheck your faith.  Do you believe in the God of the Bible?  YAHWEH?  Do you believe in Yeshua (Jesus) Messiah, His Son?  Do you truly believe that God’s Word is HIS Word?  If you don’t believe everything in the Bible is His truth, then you have changed who He is.  You do not worship or serve YAHWEH, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  You serve a god that you have made up according to what you want to believe.  It is time for you to make a decision.  Choose YAHWEH, or choose the world.  As Joshua said, “Choose today whom you will serve.  As for me and my house, we will serve YAHWEH.”

If the lack of salt concerns you, but you know you have lost your flavor, it is time to digest some sodium.  Dig into God’s Word, get on your knees and pray, and create a thirst for righteousness.  Then stand in this world as a pillar of salt, a preserver of godliness and of His truth.

It is time we quit cowering at the face of feel-good, mushy, politically correct godless teaching.  It is time to stand as a beacon of light, with the strength of salt, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and unashamedly speak God’s truth…in love, always in love.

 

The Center of God’s Word

The very center of the Bible is a short Psalm. Did you know that? Psalm 117, only 2 verses. And I bet you can’t guess what it talks about. What did God chose to put at the very center, perhaps it could be said the heart, of His Word? Praise.

“All you nations, praise The Lord. All you people, praise Him because The Lord loves us very much, and His truth is everlasting. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117:1-2, NCV)

Is this a coincidence? A mere happinstance? NOT A CHANCE!!! The Bible is God’s Word. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Timothy 3:16). If God gave the words to write to the writers of the Bible, why would He not also guide those who put all the writings together into one Book? I cannot believe that any of the Bible happened by accident. It all happened by the hand of God.

Did God know the center of the Bible would tell us to praise Him? You bet He did! Did He know that someday, someone would figure out what the very middle of the Bible was? Of course! The core of our faith is in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and as our Savior. The core of our response must be PRAISE!!! On this Thanksgiving day, remember from whom all things come. Direct your thanksgiving to Him in praise and worship. All glory and honor and praise be to the God of the Bible!!!!

Making Enemies

Nothing makes an enemy faster than seeking God.  A Christian can be a Christian and coast through life with nary a problem.  La-de-de, la-de-da, life goes on.  Until they make the decision to commit fully to God.  Then WHAM!!!  They get broad-sided by a speeding locomotive!  I like trains, so I hate to compare them to Satan, but what else moves as hard and fast as a train, and can completely demolish something in its path?  Turning your eyes toward God can be like standing on the railroad tracks with a blindfold on and ear plugs in.  You are perfectly fine until you are smashed to pieces.

Is this any reason to not turn your eyes to God?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  But you better be prepared when you do.  Unfortunately, far too many of us don’t recognize the risk and are sucked into the devil’s schemes.  Nothing makes him happier than stealing our God-given joy, hope, love, peace, contentment, and strength, and leaving us crumpled in a heap wondering what in the world happened.

When we are in that crumpled state, what do we do next?  Do we turn to God and ask why?  Don’t we often expect to be continuously filled with His joy when we are walking in HIs ways?  And when we are digging into God’s Word, studying, learning, praying without ceasing, don’t we expect life to be easier?  So what happened?  Satan.  As long as we are coasting through life, not really giving God the time of day, except on Sunday morning, the devil could care less what we do.  We are not a threat to him or his plans.  He does not consider us his enemies.  That in itself is a very scary concept.  If we are not enemies to the enemy of God, than what are we to him?  Yikes!

As soon as we realize that we want more from our relationship with Christ.  As soon as we decide to truly to commit to God and seek His ways.  As soon as we dust off our Bibles and get on our knees, red flags go up in the enemy camp.  Satan sits up and takes notice.  He sends out the troops with their battle plans tucked under their arms, and weapons at the ready.  LOOK OUT!  His goal is not to slow you down, or stop you.  His plan is to obliterate you.  He wants to destroy you so that your faith is derailed permanently.  He takes no prisoners.  He is an executioner!

In many of my posts I have encouraged you to read your Bibles and spend time in prayer.  Do not view the imminent attack as reason to neglect your relationship with God.  Don’t think that God is unable to defeat Satan in this battle for your loyalty.  God has always been mightier.  The battle was won on the cross as Jesus died.  At that moment the victory was secured.  I don’t know if Satan knows he doesn’t have a chance in the world, or if he believes his own lies and thinks he can still win.  Either way, he is going to take down as many people as he can, and praying, growing Christians are top on his list.

I want you to pray.  I want you to read God’s Word.  I want you to desperately seek Him, to learn His ways, to recognize His will, and to strive to live in obedience to Him.  But I want you to do it with eyes wide open, and prepared for battle.

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NCV) – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His great power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.  Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers  of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.  That is why you need to put on God’s full armor.   Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong.  And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.”

If you are like me, the first thing you will want to do on your new journey to seek out Christ’s will in your life, and deepen your relationship with HIm is to read through the whole Bible.  This is admirable, and a worthy goal.  Absolutely aim to do this.  There is so much to be learned about our Father in every part of the Bible.  But be sure to pray for protection (recall the “deliver us from evil” part of the Lord’s Prayer).  Pray for wisdom and discernment so that you will know what is truth, and what is a lie from the devil.  And make sure you spend some of your Bible reading time looking up Scripture verses and passages that will help you to fight against the devil’s attacks.  A lot of Bibles, and Christian web-sites and apps, offer lists of verses to read in particular situations (when you are depressed, when you are afraid, etc.).  These are great places to start finding verses that will help.  Write them down!  Keep them close at hand.  (Thank you to my spiritual Auntie for this suggestion that has helped me so much;-)  Speak them out loud when you are under attack.  I have taken to reading several aloud after I post a blog because Satan attacks me immediately afterward.  I go back to prayer.  Seek the presence of the Holy Spirit as you pray.  The presence of the Spirit is a mighty, mighty force.  That is why Satan cannot attack me as I write.  The Holy Spirit of God Almighty is so strongly present in me during that time, that Satan can’t come near me.  But afterward, I have to be very careful to not let my guard down.  I need to continue in prayer, and speaking God’s Word in defense.  Reminding myself, and Satan, of the power of the God I serve.  CHRIST IS THE VICTOR!!!  PRAISE, GLORY, AND ALL HONOR BE TO HIM!!!!

Ephesians 6:14-18 – “So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest.  On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.  And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One.  Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need.  To do this you must always be ready and never give up.  Always pray for all God’s people.”

Never forget how very much God loves you!  He will not leave you.  He will not let you fight this battle alone.  But you must fight it, if you are to draw closer to Him.  The battle is worth it, my brothers and sisters.  Knowing God in a deeper and more intimate way is worth any battle I have, or will face.  I pray that you will find that, too.  May God be your strong tower today!

walking on the narrow path.

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