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Archive for November, 2012

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Ephesians 4:17-19)

Is there a war on Christian values in the United States?

Some Christians say no. They maintain that since America is steeped in liberty and that God has granted everyone latitude of choice, believers are not experiencing a war on Christian values, but rather witnessing firsthand freedom of expression on its grandest scale. They assert that instead of being so thin-skinned, we should be more loving, and as we love, somehow, someway, someone will inquire about our faith.

Okay, there is some Biblical truth in there that we cannot deny. After all Jesus did say:

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44)

But I want to go back to the Ephesians text, particularly God’s directive about no longer walking as the world walks (and so there is no confusion) examine the Lord’s precise reasoning. We are told that the secular world is alienated from the life of God, they’re ignorant and blind to understanding, and have devoted themselves to all things iniquitous. Looking at the world today one might even think that the narrow path that Christians walk is not that way by design, but rather because it’s being squeezed in from all sides ungodly, much like Israel today — We take notice that it is but a narrow strip of land surrounded by those who seek her demise. Similarly this is the thin path we trod.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

I submit to you that the war on Christian values is made evident when someone crosses the line, that is to say that they are no longer content to merely wallow in their sin, but feel compelled to interrupt our walk.  And yet some say this doesn’t exist; the world doesn’t care what we believe and nor do they desire to become intrusive to the point of interference. To that I say, “You must be blind.” How many of these headlines do we have to read before we realize Jesus and His doctrines are under attack:

I could go on and on. If this is not a war on Christian values, then I have been completely deceived by the enemy. And again, just so we’re clear, I’m not shocked that this is occurring; this war began in the Garden and will continue until Christ returns. What alarms me is that some Christians deny it’s existence when God, in His Word, told us it would happen. Do they not see that the world bears witness to His prophetic word?

So what do we do?

Everything a Christian does must begin with prayer. God has given us a specific protocol to follow, but yet every situation is unique. In other words, how a Christian responded to yesterday’s assault may not be how the Lord desires we respond today. The Father commands we check in with Him continually by means of prayer, reading the Bible, being in Christian fellowship, and being consistent in the other components of our faith, lest we respond in our flesh and do more harm than good. My sense is that  those Christians who falsely maintain that ‘extreme tolerance’  and love is the sole answer to the problem, are most likely opposed to those who operate outside of the will of God waving their ill-conceived banners of hate (a la the Westboro Baptist clan et el). Sadly these renegades do exist, but heaven forbid that they become the catalyst towards lethargy or apathy within the church.

Is there ever a time to be silent? Absolutely. And those who abide in the Vine will discern the time.

Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. (Psalm 37:27-31)

We must also remember that our primary goal is not to defeat the enemy, but to win him or her to Christ. The war in which we’re engaged is unique in that we desire to rescue our foes in the name of Jesus, rather than annihilate them. To this end we have been given the Gospel message and the Law. Why the Law? Because it is the road sign that points us to Jesus. To neglect the Law at this juncture is to wink at sin.

“Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians  3:22-24)

Here is the truth that very few people want to hear: individuals need to know that their illicit behavior is sinful and separates them from God. When the opportunity presents itself, and when guided by the Holy Spirit, God wants us to inform sinners that these habitual practices will lead them to hell. How they react is their business and how we anticipate their reactions should not dissuade us. And yes, I would be remiss if I neglected to say all this is driven by the love of Jesus, lest we become sounding brass or a clanging cymbals.

God’s directive should also be compelling…

“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.” (Ezekiel 33:2-7)

When do we stop?

God will tell us when to start, what to say or do, and when it’s time to stop. When we don’t listen to Him is when we risk becoming hurtful to God.  It will serve us well to remember that God giveth the soapbox and God taketh away. As we stand boldly for Christ there will most assuredly come a time to either shake off the dust from our feet or to welcome another sinner home. In the meantime we should be mindful to walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful; but delight in the law of the Lord, and in His law meditate both day and night.

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“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

At Low Tide

When Hurricane Sandy hit our home (on whatever day that was), I was asleep with earplugs crammed deep into each side of my head. We all decided to go to bed once the electricity went out about 8 PM. The next morning we awoke to a chilly, un-electrified house. From what I could determine, our home, and those in my neighborhood, were spared. There were trees and wires down everywhere, but most of the houses were intact. The rain had not been that bad; even our basement was dry. In fact, the portion of ceiling that usually leaks when we get a driving rain never proffered a drop of water. There was one tree down in my yard, but with the aid of a floor jack and my Jeep, I was able to get it up off the lawn and re-planted. I lost about 8 shingles off my roof, but wouldn’t you know it, I had exactly 8 shingles in my garage and was able to make a repair in about 30 minutes or so.

Hurricane Sandy, I surmised, wasn’t that bad. Once again, the media over-hyped the weather report.

I jumped into the car and drove down to the beach front. It soon became apparent that my assessment of the storm’s intensity and destruction was askew. It pained me to admit it, but the media had gotten this one right (it was bound to happen eventually). Sections of boardwalk were flipped over, mountains of beach sand covered the roads, buildings were collapsed (or missing), and piers that once jutted into the Atlantic Ocean for decades, and through countless storms, were no more.  I snapped pictures until the battery in my camera went dead, jumped in the Jeep, and drove home.

Again I thought to myself, it wasn’t that bad. After all, much of what was lost could be characterized as extracurricular entertainment — the boardwalk, the piers with their roller coasters and fishing facilities, the food concessions and games, all of it for our amusement. These businesses would all, in due time, recover, I concluded. They would likely come back better than before. And a lot of the homes that were damaged or destroyed, well, these folks are wealthy; they all have insurance, and eventually they would all be restored.

I went home to my family and dark house where we prayed and played board games until the electricity came back on about a week later. No TV, no internet.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

When the power eventually was restored and I was able to get back online, I began to witness the relief effort that was going on all around me. Honestly, I was shocked. I kept thinking, What for? With the exception of millions of people not having electricity, there really wasn’t much need for relief.

I soon learned that our church joined in the effort. A church from Pennsylvania was coming to join forces with us, and together we were going to join forces with a church in a place called Highlands, NJ. I knew the area. It was misnamed, because there is nothing high about it. This small, bay front community is about 10 feet above sea level. I wasn’t sure why we were going there, after all, I had seen the damage in other areas, and it didn’t seem so bad, but nevertheless I prayed and I went.

As we drove our cars down the hill into the Highlands, the devastation was immediately apparent. The folks had already begun the process of cleaning up and the curbs were filled with garbage.

But wait. This garbage was different.

On both sides of the street; every street, piled has high as a person could throw a wet blanket, were the personal belongings and contents of the citizens of Highlands. Their furniture,  their clothes, their appliances, their mattresses, their toys, their walls, their baby pictures, their rugs, their floors, their insulation, their blood, their sweat, their tears.

What in hell happened here?

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth (John 16:13)

As far as I could tell, not one home was spared. The first floor of practically every single home (and most homes were only one level) were flooded out. The water had long since receded, but in every direction there was ruin. Even the church we were partnering with lost everything on their first floor. But as God would have it, this turned out to be a blessing, because as soon as it was emptied and gutted, it was filled with relief supplies for the community.

I spent the next few days here helping residents empty their homes of all their possessions, pulling down sheet rock, and pulling up floors, in order that they might be able to rebuild when their insurance checks came in; if they had insurance that is. Not all of them did. You see, Highlands is not such a highfalutin kind of place. Most who live here are middle-to-very-low income families. Not all; there are some higher-end condos closer to the water’s edge, but the majority of the folks in Highlands are struggling to make ends meet. In most instances, Sandy came in and stole all they had.

This was the case in most of these communities along the coast: complete ruin. I had no idea. So sad, but these people did not need our tears.

Why am I telling you all this? 

Because there is a great need here and the need will continue for months. Oh not just in Highlands, NJ, but in every shore town that Sandy touched. I figured you may not be aware. I thought that because I live here and I didn’t even realize how bad it was. Less than 3 miles from my house, people were putting out to the curb everything they own, and I was oblivious to it. Thousands upon thousands of homes and lives were destroyed, and I thought to myself, “Gee, Sandy wasn’t so bad.”

As it turns out, I did one thing right — I prayed.

While I didn’t understand the scope of the problem initially, I prayed for people who may be suffering loss. Despite my ignorance, God answered those prayers and changed me. God woke me up to the reality of the situation and in the process made me an effective tool in His hand. Had I not prayed at all, the likelihood is that I would have sat in my warm and happy home unconscious to the needs around me. Because of God, through prayer, something better occurred. Oh, it wasn’t much, but it was something. Without the prayer, it would have been nothing. Yesterday I helped a guy named Eugene gut his home. Today, as my aching back heals a bit, I write to exhort and encourage you to pray.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)

What will your prayer do?

I do not know specifically, except to say, that if your prayers are sincere, God will change you in some manner. Maybe all God will do is make you a prayer warrior. Maybe He’ll make you a helper or a giver. Maybe He’ll get you moving in an entirely different direction altogether. The reality is that nothing will change until you pray. And consider the notion that if you’re reluctant to pray, maybe the underlying problem is that you are not submitted to the change God wants to do in you. Stop saying that you hate change and pray.

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

Please pray for the victims of Sandy and wait for the change in you. If you want to help in some small or big way, first pray. 

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“He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)

About the Blog

I write a Christian blog. If you haven’t yet noticed, it’s called ‘He Dwells.’

He, of course refers to Jesus Christ. Dwells, on the other hand, is a play on words. In Isaiah 33:5 we see that Jesus is exalted, for ‘He dwells’ on high, and John 14:17 reminds us that ‘He dwells’ with us and in us. D. Wells also happens to be my name, so when I see ‘He dwells’ written out everyday, I am reminded that Christ is alive in me and my Christian brothers and sisters — praise be to Him!

The B’log in My Eye

The ‘B’log in My Eye,’ is the subtitle of my blog. I chose that little phrase based on the doctrine found in Matthew 7, which reads:

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank (log) in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a log (plank) is in your own eye?

As I wrote on my home page, “The title reminds me that I’m God’s work-in-progress as well.  In other words, the stuff I write is for me  too; these are things I need to remember or practice or avoid as I walk along the Christian path of faith. So, if the Holy Spirit convicts you through any of these words or Bible verses, please know that He probably convicted me first.”

Beneath the title of the blog, there is a brief description that reads, “Discussing the Christian walk with intention and purpose.” Those eight words are intended to say a lot. First, the blog is a discussion. It’s meant to be a dialog, which is why there is a comment section. If you have nothing to say, well that’s ok too. Clicking the like button (or share, or subscribe) is also another way to keep the discussion going. Liking the blog (when you like it, of course), is very encouraging to me!

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Secondly, the blog is Christian. Seldom do I write about other topics.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Thirdly, and more specifically, the blog focuses upon our Christian walk, both yours and mine, and how the Lord seeks to improve and refine us on a daily basis. The Bible is my primary source of information. After that, I will only draw upon reliable Christians and Christian resources. If I do cite a secular person or perspective, it typically is only for illustrative purposes or to show contrast between the Word of God and faulty worldly counsel.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

That brings us to the intention of the blog (which you may have already discerned): to mature us in faith, through God, via His Holy Spirit. For this reason [primarily] I always include Bible scripture. The last thing I want to do is offer my opinion; the first thing I want to do is share His truth.

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21)

Finally, there is the purpose, which is to glorify God. If the Father is not glorified in some manner within the text, I have failed.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15)

The Dilemma

The blog is intended to be read by Christians and non-believers led to the site having been drawn by the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it’s written to a general, not-so-specific audience. Because of this, occasionally, scoffers and other wicked folks stumble in and are deeply offended. The opening Proverb reminds me that I run the very real risk of bringing shame, harm, and hatred upon myself as a result. This cannot be avoided. Of course the flip side is that the ‘wise man‘ will love me (in a Godly appropriate manner) and will grow in a God-intended way.

All that reminds me of this passage:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Lest I forget, I too once scoffed at Christians, while habitually partaking of wicked things. I hated, I harmed, and I shamed, but Jesus did not give up on me. He hounded and pursued me, and was there when I finally crash-landed, simply asking, “Have you had enough yet, D. Wells?”

Jesus dwells indeed!

Anyway, I just wanted to throw that all out there. I hope you enjoy the articles and I pray they, my means of the Holy Spirit, propel you along the narrow path until Christ Jesus calls us all home. Please feel free to keep the discussion going by leaving a comment, liking, or sharing the post.

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What’s wrong with Christianity in America today?

I’ll tell you.

Apparently 6 million self-described, evangelical, born-again Christians support killing babies in the womb (abortion), gay-marriage, and believe the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.

6 MILLION!

This number could even be much, much higher! This revelation should sadden you greatly. It appears we have come to this time (spoken of in 2 Timothy 4:3-4):

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

If this passage describes you and the faith you follow, you need to know that this ‘New Christianity’ is a false religion. No one cannot say they believe and follow Jesus, change His attributes, and then believe it’s all still the same. It is not the same. Those who do this have taken the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus Christ is the Word and He is inerrant! He does not advocate abortion or gay marriage! If you think He does, you are following a different Jesus.

American Christians (and you know who you are), must repent. Read the following verse again and again and consider its serious implication:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

Until Christians ‘turn from their wicked ways,’ our land will not be healed. Ignore this admonition from God and He will not hear your prayers and pleadings, and your sin will not be forgiven. Of course issues such as abortion and gay marriage are just the tip of iceberg. The vile activities that ‘New Christianity’ advocates (and justifies) are an abomination to the true and living God, but regardless of what you did (or formerly believed), today, right now, you can turn away from it all, confess it for the sin that it is, and turn to the real Jesus for salvation and healing.

“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:6b-10)

Humble yourself before the Lord. Repent. Confess. Be saved.

*** While it seems this article was written in response to the 2012 Presidential election, the reality is the blog is not political; my genuine concern is for the lost, the misguided, and the like. A person’s salvation is of much more importance.  (The fact of the matter is I did not vote for Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney, but voted for another individual). If you agree with the sound Biblical premise of the blog, please share it on Facebook, twitter, or other social media.

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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.

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