Friday, May 1, 2015

Street People

Jesus said, “In my father’s house are many mansions.” He went on to say, “…if it were not so, I would have told you.” Not “rooms,” nor “dwelling places,” but “mansions.” If not, He would have told us. The “Word” never had a problem with expressing Himself with words.

You’re not going to impress “Street People” by offering to put them up in a room somewhere, or by allotting them some small space to dwell in; that would be appalling. But to present to them a “mansion,” well, you must admit, that’s appealing.

I cannot believe the one who created this world, along with the sun, moon, and all the stars and galaxies, has only the proposition of a room to entice the down-and-outer with! A worldly philanthropist does better than that. If you’re thinking I’m “making much ado about nothing,” you don’t know very much about the poor of this world, or the Creator.

Personally, I like my translation (K.J.V. 1611). I believe it has more to offer than the others do. Of course, that’s just my own opinion. On the other hand, I think “Street People” might also agree with me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Oldest Trick in the Book

“Ye shall be as gods.” Here we see from the very beginning, Satan’s subtle way of getting man’s undivided attention. Dirt becoming Divine was very persuasive then, and still is today. The rallying cry of all those who fall for, and swallow, this ancient trick is, “Glory to man in the highest.”

But this godless humanism has now evolved from “Ye shall be as gods,” to “Ye are gods.” It is now taught by these sons of Satan that all are born with a spark of deity in them. The Biblical teaching that every man and woman is birthed totally depraved is loathsome and unacceptable to their degenerate way of thinking.

This New Age teaching is not new at all; it is as old as the Bible itself. You might say, “It’s the oldest trick in the Book.” And as P.T. Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Master's Dog

“[Jesus]…said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.”

Three things stand out about this woman’s faith. It was an honoring faith. “If I were a dog,” says she, “you’d be my Master.” Secondly, it was a humble faith “I deserve nothing, but I’ll be grateful for anything.” Lastly, it was a hounding faith. She wouldn't take no for an answer.

Jesus was not tantalizing this woman; He was testing her. He was not trying to destroy her faith, but develop it. The Hand that was stretched forth seemingly to push her away, was actually there to take hold of and draw her to Himself.

The woman got the message. Her faith turned what seemed to be against her, to her advantage. The very fact of her unworthiness made her a candidate for His unmerited favor. She ended up, not with the crumbs, but rather the whole loaf! She found in the Father’s house there is “bread enough and to spare.”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Barefoot at the Bush

"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, [even] to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush [was] not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here [am] I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground. Ex.3:1-5

Moses’ bush still burns, but it’s only to be found in the lonely, barren, wilderness. Scrub bushes do not generally grow in the environment many of us are accustomed to. Like most valued things in life, you can’t find the right thing in the wrong place. The mass of today’s professing Christians will never have a bush experience, for one of two reasons. First, they detest spending time in the desert; they don’t like the heat. And secondly, if by some strange circumstance they are dragged to a wasteland, they have little or no interest in a common scrub bush, even one with an eternal flame.

Moses had something that has been lost in this present generation: a holy curiosity. Anyone who will take the time to “turn aside to see,” will find God still speaks. The little three lettered word “awe” is found three times in the Bible. All in the book of Psalms. We are no longer awed by a sense God; we use the term flippantly about everything and everyone that is of little or no value. It is difficult to find intelligent inquirers who want to discuss “the bush that burneth with fire.” Second hand religion is in vogue among God’s people. We’re like those of Moses’ day, who said, “Speak thou with us …but let not God speak with us.

Moses never got over his bush experience. Years later, when speaking to Israel, he mentions “Him that dwelt in the bush.” Our God is a “consuming fire.” Get close enough to allow yourself to be turned to ashes. If you will, then He will “give unto [you] beauty for ashes.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Truth About Ourselves

Having pastored twenty, out of a fifty-five year ministry, I found many who came to me for advice actually were seeking agreement. It is difficult to tell someone what they need to know, when they want to know something else. It’s tragic but true, the people of Isaiah’s time still exist, “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”

In the movie “A Few Good Men,” Jack Nicholson, playing a Marine officer, says to the character played by Tom Cruise’s, “You can’t handle the truth.” I wonder if this could not be said of many of us. The acid test in knowing the truth about oneself is not when we say it of ourselves, but when others say it to us. That sick felling we get inside, and the justifying spirit that so quickly rises up to defend, proves we can’t handle the truth.

At times God chooses “Dumb Donkeys” to speak to us. Some of us, like Baalim, can’t handle it when He does.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pygmy's and High-Jumping

In the high-jump contest, the horizontal bar the jumper is to clear is generally known as the "high bar." In my opinion, contemporary Christianity has set the high bar so low that a pygmy could step over it with no effort at all. When I started out on my pilgrim journey with Christ over fifty-five years ago, the reason sinners gave for not becoming a Christian was, "I can't live it." Meaning, they believed God had high standards for low-living people.

Today, we no longer hear old-time sermons on subjects such as, "The High Cost of Low Living." The reason to any thinking person is obvious. When something becomes the norm, society and professing Christendom are apt to accept it as the rule; even if the results are ruin. There is a grace that is a disgrace, a love that is lascivious, and those who preach and practice such heresies are 'professors' of the Christian faith, not 'possessors' of the "Pearl of Great Price."

I am appalled at seasoned saints who are taken-in by these 'cotton-candy' Christians. They are elated whenever one of the pseudo-believers, who is usually a loved one or close friend, mentions the name Jesus, Church, Bible, or God; but who continue in their wicked life-style. Without repentance or acknowledgement of their sinfulness, they are accepted back into full fellowship in families and churches by simply, "...sewing a piece of new cloth on an old garment." Which Jesus said makes it worse!

"My backslidden members thirty-years ago would be considered my best, by today's standards." 
(quote by my late pastor friend, Jim Barnes)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Old School Christianity

I had a dear evangelist friend, now with the Lord, who depicted today's Christians as people who think they should always have the "warm fuzzies." Christianity to many today is made up of fun and games, its always, party time with them. To strip these happy-go-lucky campers of their outward glittering lights and tinsel would be unbearable. To have a religion that must be lived a great part of the time in the raw, that is, with no trappings, is unthinkable.

But authentic Christianity is just that, according to the New Testament. I like the way George MacDonald describes a real-honest-to-goodness saint. "That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, "Thou art my refuge." 

In my humble opinion we need to throw out this contemporary "giddy" Christianity for some old school, "gutsy" Christianity!