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Do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man — Proverbs 3:1-4

There is no sense in rehashing all that’s been said regarding the Duck philDynasty, Phil Robertson, and A&E debate. If by some chance you don’t know what the fuss is all about, just Google the last half of the previous sentence and you’ll be up to date. What I wanted to address is how this event is going to effect your faith walk. In other words, what can we as followers of Jesus Christ glean from our brother Phil? I believe the answer to that question is found in the following sentence, spoken by Phil Robertson in a recent prayer.

“I will not give or back off from my path because you conquered death, Father, so we are not worried about all the repercussions.” 

I’d like to share with you what I took away from this historical event (yes, I said historical) and of course, preface my remarks (as Phil did), with the Word of God.

Boldness

Since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech — 2 Corinthians 3:12

Anyone can be bold. Boldness is a unique trait in that it requires fuel to function. What is fueling your boldness? Is it arrogance, anger, or hatred? They can fuel boldness, but when they do they manifest themselves in ugly ways, such as ‘Westboro Baptist‘ rallies that only succeed in spewing the very things that sustain them: arrogance, anger, and hatred.

Not so with Phil’s example. His boldness is fueled by his hope in Christ. Oh not a worldly version of hope; the wishing for and yearning, without certainty or assurance of getting that which you ‘hoped’ for. No, a Christian’s hope is much different. It can be described as a strong and confident expectation. We know, based on the past performance of our Lord and Savior, that He will faithfully provide everything He has promised. Jesus isn’t our insurance policy, He’s our assurance, positively.

Shame-less-ness

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes — Romans 1:16

Phil is quite obviously not ashamed of Jesus Christ or his faith. This is apparent because he openly shares about Jesus on a regular basis. There are no apologies either, because there is this recognition that when Biblical truth is shared, there exists the opportunity for salvation. Phil would likely remind us that saving a man’s soul trumps everything else.

Truth

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth — John 17:17

Bible truth will always be perfect, proper, and pure. Some folks might not agree that the Bible is truth, but that does not negate the fact that it is. Jesus said that He is truth and that obedience to truth is the only way that leads to life everlasting. When Christians share the truth, we don’t do so to win debates, but to win souls. For this reason we must leave our opinions at home and rely solely on the Word of God, lest we muddy the waters.

Humility 

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith — Romans 12:3

Obedient Christianity cannot operate effectively in arrogance. Anyone who took Phil’s comments to be arrogant surely took them out of the context of love and lowliness he presented them.  For this reason, knowing the Gospel message and sharing our testimonies are vital. The Word mirrors God’s love and our witness reflects servility.

Love

Let all that you do be done in love — 1 Corinthians 16:14

If we hated those who hate Jesus, Christians would remain quiet, but it’s because we love that we boldly share the truth. We view communication as an expression of love and silence as the language of hate. Silence is also cowardly; if we hated sinners, we would not subject ourselves to ridicule, insults, and exclusion. We love because Jesus first loved us to salvation; we were hopelessly lost when Jesus reached out His scarred hand to us. We were dead in our sins and Christ’s work on the cross revived us. It’s our desire to share, not shatter.

Revival

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

Here’s the sad truth: the Body of Jesus Christ, His church, has by in large fallen asleep. Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of Christians across this great land of ours who are boldly, shamelessly, lovingly, and humbly sharing the Gospel message. But friends, there are literally millions of people in America who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior who sit idly by. In love, I question their allegiance.

Consider that on September 11th, many souls were aroused and we gathered in the public square professing Christ’s name, crying out to Jesus in our anguish, but we soon relapsed. Since then we have witnessed hurricanes, wars, mass-shootings, and bombings that have brought us back to our knees, but again, when there were signs of recovery, we fell back.

We properly rallied around Hobby Lobby and Chick-Fil-A, buying many knickknacks and chicken sandwiches in support, but yet again we slumbered. Now today, God has allowed yet another event to occur that has caught our attention. In peculiar fashion, American Christians everywhere have become part of reality TV when we opted to stand with Phil Robertson and his right to speak openly about Jesus Christ and all things Biblical, but where will we be standing next week?

Are we poised to fall away once again or this time will we put a death-grip on our revival? Will we embrace boldness and love or return to complacency and compromise? How soon will we forget that thousands of souls are being lost everyday and that God has positioned each of us to make a difference. I submit to you that this is the biggest thing we can take away from the Duck master episode.

Be ye revived!

Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:14

I pray you enjoyed the blog. Please share it, like it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment (but please remember to be civil with your remarks or I will delete them).

 

Squelching Your Witness

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much… Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,  let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:16, 19-20)

A while back I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with a stranger at the train station. We were chatting nicely, but as I began to share a bit of my testimony, I noticed her countenance change from cheerful to irritable.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I know you,” she said angrily.

Ugh

As it turns out she did know me, and I knew her. It left me with only one option: I had to confess my sin to her. Essentially I informed her that the person she once knew was the old Dave and that he was no longer with us. I was in fact a new creation in Christ Jesus, submitted to His sanctification process. She wasn’t buying it at first, and frankly, I’m not sure she ever did, but nevertheless her smile did eventually return and I was able to finish our discussion on a positive and truthful note.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 

The truth of the matter is that had I not disclosed these things to her, she most likely would have not allowed me to continue; she would have rightly deduced that I was the same old person she knew way back when. This woman would not have been interested in any good-thing I was involved with had she concluded I was still clinging to my old ways.  She had a right to know what I knew: that what I had done was wrong and that I had repented. She was not required to believe me, but I was required to tell her.

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1-3

All of which leads me to the focus of today’s blog.

Nelson Mandela

nelsonWe can all agree I’m no Nelson Mandela, but can we agree, for the sake of the Gospel, he owed us an explanation? Using the example of my sin soiling my witness, does it not stand to reason that Nelson Mandela’s transgressions, while having a much larger platform, sullied his? I contend that they do. I further believe that Nelson Mandela owed us his testimony. He either came to understand that his pre-incarceration methodology was errant or he didn’t. And even if we put aside the terrorism, murder, and mayhem allegations that preceded his arrest, I need to know how he went about justifying the legalization of murdering babies in the womb after he became president. It matters not that God used him to bring about freedom in South Africa. Lest we forget, God, for His good purposes, once caused a donkey to talk.

Mandela-Phobic 

I want to be clear: I don’t hate Nelson Mandela. What I am saying is that because of his failure to be forthright with his previous enterprises, the man is not worthy of emulation or elevation. While it is true that we can suppose that he repented, I for one needed to hear it from the man himself; his position and status in the world demanded it. Nelson Mandela needed to share with the world how he got right with God, rather than lead us to assume he did. If he did not repent, he is not a role-model. If he did, the world would be a better place, for God’s sake, had he told us. For those who would say the world is a better place, there are approximately a million aborted people (in the Republic of South Africa) who might disagree, if given the chance. Again, I’m not saying I hate the man, nor am I even suggesting he was not a born-again believer. I’m merely saying the man blew his witness — his silence screamed, “It’s none of your business.”

It’s none of your business.”

From a worldly perspective, I suppose that a man’s business is private. After all, what transpires between man and God is personal. However, I assert that if that man wants to be effectively used by God, he must also be transparent in his walk with God. Our relationships with Jesus are personal ones, not private ones. This includes confession to others when confession to others is wise and prudent. I am keenly aware that had I chosen not to be truthful with the woman in the train station, it would have been right for her to exit.

Disagree?

That’s fine. But as Christians we must be prepared to defend the stances we have taken. In other words, if you laud Mandela for his anti-racism/apartheid efforts in South Africa, you will likely be called to justify his other less-than-popular deeds. And if you [rightly] say that you don’t agree with his other atrocities, then you’re left holding a shiny lump of gold atop a pile of feculent matter. Had he only confessed and repented, we could have set all this repugnant baggage aside.

Maybe he did.

I hope he did.

We’ll never know.

These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace

Zechariah 8:16 

*You may or not agree with my remarks. If you wish to leave a comment, please refrain from being cruel or abusive. I do respond to every remark. Contextual Bible verses are always welcome additions.

Dave Wells:

Praying for the Peace of Jerusalem/Israel

Originally posted on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

U.S. President Obama delivers remarks at the White House in Washington(Netanya, Israel) — I landed in Israel on Friday afternoon amidst a rapidly intensifying crisis in U.S.-Israeli relations.

The Obama administration is preparing to cut a disastrously bad nuclear bargain with Iran that relieves enormous economic pressure on Tehran without requiring the mullahs to dismantle a single centrifuge. The Israelis are stunned. Top officials feel betrayed by the White House, including by reports that the White House has secretly been easing sanctions for months. There have long been tensions between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. There have been times I have  feared a “train wreck” between the two. Hopefully, the dynamic will change for the better, and quickly. But at the moment things are going from bad to worse in a hurry here.

Please pray that the terrible deal with Iran would be derailed for a real deal that ends Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Please pray that the White House changes direction and that…

View original 924 more words

Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20 

I saw this tweet today:

sssIn case you were unaware, Mohamed Elibiary is an associate, supporter, and sympathizer (and some say member) of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is also a Department of Homeland Security adviser under President Barack Hussein Obama. He has since changed his Twitter profile photo, but it used to feature a ‘Rabia sign,’ a yellow square with a black, four-finger salute and ‘R4BIA’ in the lower corner; a symbol adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

elibiary

As a Christian first, and an American second, I am appalled. I am also very concerned over this partial list of Islamist folks, who having varying degrees of association with the Muslim Brotherhood, have infiltrated the United States government at high levels. How many are there in lower positions throughout the government? Of course this raises the question, “Should Christians be concerned with these governmental things or should we maintain a hyper-Spiritual C’est la vie attitude towards it all?

I would ask you to consider the Matthew 17:20 Bible passage once again:

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Christians should understand the symbolism here: ‘mountains’ in typology are kings and/or kingdoms (or presidents and/or governments), not literal mountains, unless the context speaks directly to a literal interpretation (see also: Psalm 30:7Isaiah 2:2; and Revelation 17:9-11).

Is Jesus suggesting that we can move or re-move governments and leaders through faith?

I believe that’s exactly what He is saying.

“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

So while our primary focus should be submission to Christ Jesus for the purpose of winning souls for Christ Jesus, we are also motivated to do, as the Holy Spirit leads, those faith-filled things that promote the Kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of man. What are these things? I submit to you that we must be in constant contact, through prayer, with our Father in Heaven and move as His Holy Spirit leads. For me, at this moment, it meant to post this blog today. I do not know what tomorrow holds, despite its bleak appearance.

It starts with prayer

As a nation, it’s quite clear we’re playing catch-up; we have allowed this country to sink so low, many believe that it is a lost cause and God’s furious wrath is inevitable. Be that as it may, I pray for our president and government officials daily and I encourage you to do the same. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to give up. If you find praying for our leaders a difficult task, I would remind you that Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If praying for your leaders is hard for you, it’s likely a good indication that you are operating in your flesh and not His Spirit. I say this not to mock you, but to admonish you – the Holy Spirit has identified something within you that needs to be changed, so humble yourself and submit to God.

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Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalm 2

If you enjoyed the post I’d encourage you to SHARe it. Please like it too, or subscribe or leave a comment below. I read every comment and respond to them all..

Who is That Cruel Man?

“Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, To which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” (Psalm 71:2-4)

meI came across this picture today. Well not this exact image. I altered it and reposted the new photo here. The original was just a black and white photograph of the president with the added Bible passage down the right side. I later superimposed my image over Mr. Obama‘s.

I had to.

Admittedly, when I first saw (and read) the unaltered picture, my first thought was, “Yeah! That shoe fits him very well!” I easily surmised that he was in fact guilty. But then the Holy Spirit chimed in. “Dave,” the Father said inaudibly, “That shoe fits you very well, too.”

Ouch

I didn’t want to hear that, but the bell had been rung and I could not un-ring it. Because I had reacted the way I had, I felt compelled by the same Spirit to slap my ugly mug over the president’s kisser. The Lord knows that this feat was in no way an endorsement of the president’s practices and policies, but rather an indictment against my own. Arguably, the president’s actions are more grievous and far-reaching, but that does not negate the abominable things I have pulled off through the years.

Who is the Cruel Man?

As God would have it, Psalm 71 was part of my Bible reading this morning. With the above image still fresh in my mind I read, “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man,” and I quickly deduced that I was the cruel man. I say that not to discount the reality of satan, or his minions, or the enemies of Christ Jesus, for they also fit the bill, but rather to recognize that I am my own worst enemy. For this reason I believe the Apostle Paul penned these words:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Romans 7:18-19

It’s for this cause we are to reckon our own flesh dead.

Defending the President

Please hear me on this: I am not defending the president. However, neither am I saying that we cannot judge the reprehensible words or actions of another person. That’s an unbiblical doctrine as well. If I could proffer a quick tutorial on judging others, there are three kinds: Judging unto condemnation, judging to identify, and judging to restore. The first is not allowed, but the last two are. If you don’t agree, please leave your (kind) comments below and we’ll discuss.

What I am merely pointing out is that although sin is rampant, when we recognize transgression in others, we better be prepared for the Holy Spirit to point out ours. Having said that (and this is so very important), by the finished work of Jesus upon the cross, Christians are forgiven; our sins have been washed away by the blood of the Messiah and they are remembered no more. When the Holy Spirit convicted me this morning (in regard to the president’s picture), it was not over my former sin, but because I was waxing condemningly, as there was (for a brief moment) not a restorative thought in my heart or soul. I was quickly reminded that my offensives of yore were just as much an abomination to the Father, and Jesus restored and redeemed me.

So can we judge the actions (or inaction) of the president, or anyone else for that matter? Yes, if it is for the purpose to identify sin and then (hopefully) to restore the transgressor through prayer and obedience to the directives of God’s Holy Spirit. At the same time, merely turning the spotlight on another sinner is grossly insufficient and borders on condemnation.  Don’t be afraid to flick on that light, but neither be afraid to step out from behind it to help a soul to his feet. This is the will of God.

Please continue to pray for the president and for our nation.

“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)

If you enjoyed the post please share it on your favorite social media site. You may also ‘like’ it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment below. I read and respond to every comment, I just ask that you be kind in your remarks. God bless.

Get Over It

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)

It Ain’t Over

I attended a prayer meeting last night at my church and before we began, my pastor laid out his vision for our time together and asked if there were any questions. One hand went up and the question was asked, “Do I have to pray?” The person expounded a bit and when they finished my pastor summarized their narrative.

“So what you’re saying is that you’re a little shy about praying out-loud in front of other people…I understand…I’d say to you in love: ‘get over it.’”

A Question

My query is not in regard to your participation in corporate prayer, but rather to your passionate presence in your daily witness. If it’s applicable, “Why aren’t you talking about Jesus with the people God has put in your life?”

listIt’s not a rhetorical question; I’d like you to pause and answer it. Pull out a piece of paper (if you have to) and write down the names of the people you had contact with yesterday that you did not take the opportunity to mention Jesus (If there aren’t a lot of names, then consider the people you had contact with for the entire week). Next to each name jot down the reason why you did not or could not mention the Name of Jesus.

Finished?

I suspect that you have some acceptable reasons on your list, but I ask you, to whom are they acceptable? I submit to you that after a thorough examination, with God as your examiner, what you likely have in front of you is a list of fear-based excuses.

“I’ll get fired from my job,” or, “I’ll lose a client,” or “I won’t be able to visit my grand-kids anymore.” 

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Arguably, those excuses are valid, so I won’t dispute them here.  So let’s put them aside for a moment to give consideration to everyone else; what about all the other people you’ve had contact with? Does it appear that some of those excuses you’re using are being stretched thinly? If so, it’s time to be honest before God. It’s time to reckon that your baseless justifications are contemptuous before the Lord and He may rightly ask you, “Are you ashamed of My Son?”

I’m not condemning you, nor am I suggesting that your salvation is lost (Heaven forbid). What I am saying is that there is no shame in admitting you’re ashamed. You have simply come to an obstacle in the road and it’s time to make a choice. Do you turn around and seek another route? Do you step off the narrow path in an attempt to navigate around the obstruction?  Or, do you stop dead in your tracks and set up camp?

Of course you could always consider this maneuver:

Get over it!

If you’re a Christian, you have within you the power and authority to move forward, over and beyond the things that frighten and hold you back. In so doing you will discover (among other things) that the majority of the issues you fear never come to fruition. They are typically nothing more than seeds of doubt sown my the evil one; seeds that you have nurtured and cultivated through the years. By the dynamic of the Holy Spirit, you can now see these concerns for the weeds that they are and trample them under foot.

Will somebody be offended by the Name of Jesus?

Probably. At some point it’s inevitable.

But know with certainty that the Father will equip you for each and every situation. You need not fear man or worldly consequences. God is with you always. Jesus is your refuge and your high tower. He will see you through safely to the other side.

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe…The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell…For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (Proverbs 29:25, Hebrews 13:6, Matthew 10:28, 2 Timothy 1:7)

For Those Who Have Ears

This message may not be for you. By that I mean that this message is for you, but you may not be ready to hear it. Frankly, that’s an issue for a whole other blog. Having said that, there are some who are ready and able to see themselves clearly in this mirror and confess that the shameful image they see is their own. That is not meant to be an indictment against anyone, but rather encouragement for those who are ready to move forward for the Glory of the Father, in the Name of Jesus, and in the power of His Holy Spirit.

“Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 10:32)

Leave a Comment

Many of you actively share your faith, but you remember the time(s) when you did not. Please share below about the decision-making process you went through and how Jesus was faithful to make provision for you. Your encouragement may be precisely the thing someone else needs to hear.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

Short and Sweet

“And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:4-6)

hgChristians governed by the Holy Spirit do not minister to all people all the time, but rather minister to specific people at specific times, every time.

“Give to the one who asks you” (Matthew 5:42)

A Divine Loophole!

The lame man told Peter what he wanted, but the Holy Spirit, through Peter, gave him what he needed.

Off on a technicality?

Not at all – we’re off on another mission!

*Please leave your comment(s) below

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