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Archive for June, 2008

Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Matthew 13:13
Have you ever wondered why God speaks in parables? Why doesn’t God just come right out and say (and explain) exactly what He means? Why does there have to be uncertainty with all things biblical?

Love is the Answer

If God wanted to He could easily convince every-single-person that He is God, that His Word is 100% true, and that all should follow Him. I am not talking about signs, wonders, and miracles here; I’m talking about really big, God-stuff, the likes of which no man has ever seen.

The Lord does not reveal Himself in this manner because He loves us and He wants that we love Him by choice. In other words, if He revealed Himself in an overwhelming, convincing manner, suddenly choice is removed from the equation.

True Love Requires Choice

When it comes to true love, if you remove the ability to choose freely, you have essentially forced yourself upon that person. In our society the common word for that behavior is called rape. You (as a believer) might be saying that God forcing Himself on you is OK, but we need to remember that God loves the non-believer as well. If a person chooses their own will over God’s, He will not take away that persons right to choose — even if it breaks His heart.

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5

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Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18
I don’t really want to get into an Antichrist discussion, as in Antichrist with a capital A. No, my desire is broach the subject of the antichrists who are already on the scene and in operation today. Who are these antichrists? Well, it might be you and it might be me!

Arrgh!

Why would I say such a thing? How could I say such a thing? The first thing we need to consider is what an antichrist does. In 2 Thessalonians we discover that the Antichrist ‘opposes and exalts himself’ above God (and this is the only portion I want to address today). The word oppose in this case means to put yourself in place of — the Antichrist will come on the scene and say that he is Christ and that the Jesus we follow is not.

It will also be helpful to know that Judas Iscariot was an antichrist (little ‘a’) primarily because satan had entered his spirit (Luke 22:3) and that Christians are not antichrists (theoretically) because Christ is in them (Colossians 1:27). Are you still with me?

So how am I an antichrist?

(We) take-on the characteristics of an antichrist when we say, “I don’t agree with what the Bible says about (pick a topic), ” or, “I know God wants me to do such-and-such, but I can’t because (pick an excuse).”

Well I hope you aren’t, but you might be if you tend to disagree with what the Bible (God) says or if you are disobedient to His will. In that respect, while we aren’t really antichrists in the 1 John 2:18 sense of the word, we certainly take-on the characteristics of an antichrist when we say, “I don’t agree with what the Bible says about (pick a topic), ” or, “I know God wants me to do such-and-such, but I can’t because (pick an excuse).”

When we do these types of things, essentially we are opposing God; putting ourselves in His position believing our way is better than His. The danger in doing this occasionally is twofold: it will likely become habit and we are teaching others (falsely) that this behavior is an acceptable Christian practice. In reality the behavior is creating other antichrists.

So NOW What?

It’s only a big deal if you recognize the behavior and fail to change it. If this is a trait you can identify with, then praise God, for it is He who has revealed this to you (and likely as a response to your prayers that He would reveal your true heart). All that is left is to change your mind and allow Him to change your heart. It’s what submission looks like.

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The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:26-27
The Mystery Revealed…Sorta

Jon Courson tells the story of when he was on his college track-team as a discus thrower and how he studied the tape of a then-famous Olympic hurler. Hour after hour he watched the same clip of this Olympian just so he might improve his own technique. Courson continued he was never really able to incorporate the same style, despite these many hours, but then offered an interesting contrast.

What if…

What if the Olympian were able to come off the movie screen and enter into his body; everything this athlete possessed becoming a part of him, fused into his heart, soul, and body? He uses this remarkable illustration to demonstrate the ‘mystery’ Paul speaks of in our text today, for this is what Jesus has (in many ways) accomplished, having quite literally come to life, leaping off the pages of the Bible, and entering into each believer.

The Reality is: Christ in Us

The Bible then becomes not so much a story about our Lord and Savior (which it surely is), but a contact-point teaching each follower of Jesus Christ how to synchronize our earthen vessels with His Spirit, discerning His will. When we fail to seek God’s will, or fail to be obedient to His will, we end up looking much like the Steve Martin character in the movie, “All of Me,” when the Lily Tomlin character enters his body. But, when we come to understand the certainty of a living Christ living in us, then we may boldly proclaim as Paul proclaimed…

Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end (we) also labor, striving according to His working which works, in (us) mightily. Colossians 1:28-29

Therefore…

With Christ in us all things, according to His perfect will and His righteous mandates, are possible. Suddenly our complaints and our excuses are of no consequence. If a living Christ has brought us to it, He will most certainly bring us through it.

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Overcoming The Times

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Whosoever Believeth in Him

Whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus Christ) should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Dedicated 2 Jesus Christ

and Jesus said, Take Heed that No Man Deceive You, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Dedicated 2 Jesus-Birth Pangs

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Illuminating Truth

"For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." John 18:37

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Living the hope that comes from Christ

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Finding meaning in the madness and the mundane

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A road that represents the course of those who desire to follow God

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