Category Archives: Slow to Anger

Let Scripture Define the Truth of Who God Is, Not the Teachings of Man

Let us allow scripture to inform us about the character of YHWH rather than our own assumptions and what we have learned from the teaching of man. We know that YHWH is love. For those that study the word, we also know that we do not define how to love his way. All of the law and the prophets are based on loving God and loving one another. These are not my words, but rather the words of Yeshua in Matthew 22.

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and [a]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

This is very different than today’s common view where loving others is taken to mean accepting them as they are in whatever sin they embrace, no matter if they rebel against God or not. That is not the truth revealed in God’s word.

God loves people, but he hates sin and rebellion against him. He is not only love, but also holy and righteous. Sin will carry with it a price. For those of us who accept Christ as savior and repent of our sins to follow him, our price has been paid. For those who reject Christ, there is no other path. Living in a constant state of unforgiven and active rebellion is not pleasing to God. Don’t assume he is ok with it just  because he may be patient in bringing it to an end. He waited hundreds of years before bringing the Israelites into the promised land to punish those living their who rejected and rebelled against him. I would say that is far more patient than any of us. However, ultimately there was a time for judgment.

Joshua 11

Northern Palestine Taken

     1Then it came about, when Jabin king of Hazor heard of it, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon and to the king of Shimron and to the king of Achshaph, 2and to the kings who were of the north in the hill country, and in the Arabah—south of Chinneroth and in the lowland and on the heights of Dor on the west— 3to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. 4They came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. 5So all of these kings having agreed to meet, came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

      6Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” 7So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them. 8The LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them. 9Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

      10Then Joshua turned back at that time, and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor formerly was the head of all these kingdoms. 11They struck every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them; there was no one left who breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire. 12Joshua captured all the cities of these kings, and all their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded. 13However, Israel did not burn any cities that stood on their mounds, except Hazor alone, which Joshua burned. 14All the spoil of these cities and the cattle, the sons of Israel took as their plunder; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They left no one who breathed. 15Just as the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

      16Thus Joshua took all that land: the hill country and all the Negev, all that land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17from Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir, even as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon at the foot of Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them down and put them to death. 18Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. 19There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. 20For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

      21Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. 23So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.

Perhaps the toughest verses for us to absorb are the following:

19There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. 20For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

The time for mercy had past. The Lord himself saw to it that he would make sure no other groups came in peace to Joshua, so they could be fully destroyed.

If this makes you uncomfortable, that is ok. But take care to start with an understanding that God is right and just and without error. Take care that he is also unchanging though time in his character.

Now ask him to show you how to process this truth about him in a way that increases your knowledge of his character rather than allowing yourself to just dismiss it and continue to think of him as nothing but a cuddly grandpa in the sky. Sin has serious consequences. If we don’t recognize that it is very offensive to him, we may make poor choices in how we live or encourage others to live. In the right context we must acknowledge that accepting people as they are in sin so as to avoid offending them is actually not loving them. For any of us whose lives have been transformed by Christ, we realize that it changes us in this life and brings more joy and fulfillment in addition to leading us to heaven.   Thus to encourage people to accept sin in their lives rather than repent is like encouraging people to stay in a burning building. True love and concern for them demands that we tell them the truth of God’s word, even if it offends them. Let us each seek to find an effective way to do so and pray for boldness and wisdom in how we approach it.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Disobedience and Rebellion Have Consequences

Joshua 7 is a difficult passage for many today. It clearly illustrates that it is a serious mistake to disobey clear guidance from the Lord. It has implications for you and for others around you. In this case it had implications for all Israel to some degree, but dramatic consequences for the offender and his household.

Today we are taught much about forgiveness and grace and mercy. Forgiveness and grace and mercy are not new. The Father did not suddenly acquire them and now never gets angry at his people for disobedience. He has always had these characteristics. That is why he always planned to send Yeshua for our sins. Still, there are clearly things, such as rebellion and intentionally living against his clear instruction, that anger or disappoint him… and there may be consequences.  Think of our Father as just that… a father. He will discipline his children for their own benefit as a whole.

Hebrews 12:4-14

A Father’s Discipline

     4You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

5and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;

      6FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Let us not fool ourselves that somehow now that Yeshua has come, the Lord is never angered or disappointed by the conscious choice of his people to disobey him and instead accept the standards of the world. We even have the example of Yeshua getting angry in the temple and turning over tables as written in Matthew 21.

Joshua 7

Israel Is Defeated at Ai

     1But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel.

      2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3They returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few.” 4So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. 5The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

      6Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8“O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? 9“For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?”

      10So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? 11“Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. 12“Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. 13“Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” 14‘In the morning then you shall come near by your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes by lot shall come near by families, and the family which the LORD takes shall come near by households, and the household which the LORD takes shall come near man by man. 15‘It shall be that the one who is taken with the things under the ban shall be burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has committed a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”

The Sin of Achan

     16So Joshua arose early in the morning and brought Israel near by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17He brought the family of Judah near, and he took the family of the Zerahites; and he brought the family of the Zerahites near man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18He brought his household near man by man; and Achan, son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.” 20So Achan answered Joshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them; and behold, they are concealed in the earth inside my tent with the silver underneath it.”

      22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was concealed in his tent with the silver underneath it. 23They took them from inside the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel, and they poured them out before the LORD. 24Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. 25Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.” And all Israel stoned them with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the valley of Achor to this day.

Prayerfully reflect on your life. Are there areas where you are not fully submitted to the Lord? Are there areas where you openly choose a different path than the instructions he has laid out for his people? Do not assume you are fully pleasing to him in that you say you accept Christ as savior. If you truly accept Christ as savior and lord, that means you submit to him and to his ways. You turn from your own ways and become more like him. Ask the Spirit to show you areas where you need to make a change and to help you with that change.

Repent, seek forgiveness, accept the consequences.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Give Thanks To The LORD, For He Is Good; For His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Saving Goodness.

     1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Oh let Israel say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      3Oh let the house of Aaron say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      4Oh let those who fear the LORD say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      5From my distress I called upon the LORD;
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.

      6The LORD is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?

      7The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

      8It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in man.

      9It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in princes.

      10All nations surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      12They surrounded me like bees;
They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      13You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
But the LORD helped me.

      14The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

      15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      17I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the LORD.

      18The LORD has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

      19Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

      20This is the gate of the LORD;
The righteous will enter through it.

      21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

      22The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

      23This is the LORD’S doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.

      24This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

      25O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!

      26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

      27The LORD is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

      28You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.

      29Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Father Forgive Them

What an example our Lord sets for us, as He is crucified He asks the Father to forgive those who are doing this to him. It is not enough for them to kill Him, but they must mock and taunt Him as well. Everyone from soldiers to a criminal on the cross next to Him join in. In the midst of His greatest suffering, He still sets an incredible example for us to follow. Flawless indeed.

There is more for us to ponder here as well. On one of the crosses next to Him is someone deserving judgment and hell. But He repents and turns to Christ at this late hour… and Christ comforts Him and assures Him He will be received. There was no time for his actions to “earn” salvation. It is all about grace through faith in Christ.

Luke 23:33-49

The Crucifixion

     33When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

      39One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41“And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

      44It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things.

It is never too late for us to repent (until we die) if we are genuine. That is grace indeed! But do not wait for your deathbed or put off submitting to Christ when you have the chance to find Him now. There is joy and hope and rejoicing in a relationship with Him in this life as well as treasure in heaven to be had by how we live for Him.

When we find ourselves in suffering, try not to let our suffering block out our concern for them. Ask God for help with this as I am not sure how to do this on my own power.

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

How Will You Treat The Vineyard Owner?

The Israelites at times turned their backs on YHWH. They rejected his prophets and then killed His son, Yeshua. The Jewish people largely rejected Christ. As such, YHWH invited the gentiles to be grafted in to be His people in their place. If YHWH will allow His chosen people, Israel, to be replaced, none of us should be so arrogant as to think we can dictate the terms of our relationship to YHWH. He invites and accepts people on His own terms, which are outlined in the Bible.

YHWH will not force any to remain in relationship with Him. Nor will He hold back judgment for those who reject His offer through Christ of forgiveness by grace

Luke 20:9-18

Parable of the Vine-growers

     9And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. 10“At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11“And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. 12“And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. 13“The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 14“But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ 15“So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16“He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!”

17But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,
THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone’?

18“Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Those who reject Christ may feel as though they are having a victory in this world for a time. They may laugh and reassure themselves that they are in control. However, YHWH will hold them accountable for their sin should they continue their rejection of Christ’s offer of forgiveness through grace.

What decision will you make? How will you treat the vineyard owner and His messengers? His son?

—-

Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Parable For Those Who Reject YHWH… You Can Return. He Is Waiting Eagerly For You.

Don’t overlook this parable because you know it well. Take time to read it and really dwell on it. Pray for God to really open your eyes to its core message in a personal way.

YHWH is the forgiving Father. Many of us are or have been the prodigal son. Many openly and consciously choose to reject and leave our Father for what they think is a better life. They may leave with the utmost of disrespect to Him. This is different than simply being lost and not knowing the way. The prodigal son made a conscious choice to leave and seek something else he thought was better.

The Father lets us go. He will not chase us down and beg us to stay. We are granted freedom. However, for those who are fortunate enough to realize later how bad the choice is that they made… if they repent and come back to the Father, He will run to meet them. He is always ready to accept us back, no matter how much disrespect we showed Him by our leaving Him. But we must choose to humble ourselves, repent from our selfish and wicked ways, and return to the Father asking forgiveness and committing ourselves to obedience to Him.

Luke 15:11-32

The Prodigal Son

     11And He said, “A man had two sons. 12“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16“And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

      25“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26“And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27“And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28“But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

What amazing grace and love our Father has for us! Praise Him and come with thankful heart.

Psalm 84:10

       10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Son of Man Did Not Come To Destroy Men’s Lives, But To Save Them.

The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. When we go forth in His name we should do so with this in mind. We need not attack or destroy those who reject us and our Lord Jesus, but simply bring His message to those who will receive us.

Luke 9:51-56

      51When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; 52and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. 53But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. 54When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; 56for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”] And they went on to another village.

This does not mean that we don’t fight back if attacked to defend ourselves. If those who consider us enemies attack, we should always seek the Lord’s protection and help. However, this scripture does not say we can not defend ourselves or should not defend ourselves. It says we need not attack others for disagreeing with us.

I believe we are called to fight in the name of Christ in many situations… not all of which are “military” in nature. We should fight back against normalizing abortion, which is simply the murder of innocent life for selfish reasons. We should fight  back against those pushing immoral beliefs such as homosexuality and transgender issues that will lead many into sin and turn away from God. We should fight back against a culture that continues to push God out of government, schools, and every part of public life that they can. We should, however, remember that we are really fighting Satan. He is the real enemy. To defeat Him, we need prayer and the power of our Lord. Let us never forget that we fight spiritual battles.

Ephesians 6:10-20

    10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

      18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Read more on spiritual warfare or learning to pray effectively.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Psalm of Supplication and Trust

A beautiful prayer… after you read it, consider praying it to our Father.

Psalm 86

A Psalm of Supplication and Trust.

A Prayer of David.

     1Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me;
For I am afflicted and needy.

      2Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man;
O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.

      3Be gracious to me, O Lord,
For to You I cry all day long.

      4Make glad the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

      5For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

      6Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer;
And give heed to the voice of my supplications!

      7In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You,
For You will answer me.

      8There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord,
Nor are there any works like Yours.

      9All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And they shall glorify Your name.

      10For You are great and do wondrous deeds;
You alone are God.

      11Teach me Your way, O LORD;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.

      12I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.

      13For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

      14O God, arrogant men have risen up against me,
And a band of violent men have sought my life,
And they have not set You before them.

      15But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

      16Turn to me, and be gracious to me;
Oh grant Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your handmaid.

      17Show me a sign for good,
That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed,
Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jehovah Is Not A Fluffy Marshmallow Man Who Accepts Everyone As They Are

One of the lies that Satan has convinced people to be true is that somehow Jehovah will accept anyone with loving arms and no consequences no matter how much they rebel against Him. The lie is attractive because it basically feeds the narrative that none of us really need to change to please God. We just “know” He loves us as we are. Suddenly this lie enables us to be complacent and not even strive to know or trust God more. We just do whatever we want and expect Him to love us as we are. The lie is most destructive in that it hinders us from turning toward God and repenting. Sin separates us from the Lord.

It should be fairly obvious that God would not just accept everyone the way they are in the midst of rebellion and sin. This would not make sense in any way. None of us could point to a meaningful example where a loving Father really did not care at all about how His children behaved or if they respected and obeyed Him. But if that is not obvious to some, let us just explore a well known example of the Lord interacting with His chosen people.

In Numbers 14, God has just led His people out of bondage in Egypt with many signs and wonders including plagues on Egypt, parting of the Red Sea, feeding the people with Manna and quail from heaven and leading them as a pillar of fire at night and pillar of smoke during the day. Incredible, right?

The people complained when the felt trapped at the Red Sea. They rebelled by worshipping a golden calf and He did not destroy them. The people complained about wanting meat and He gave it to them… along with a plague for discipline. Here we go again as the Lord delivers His people to the promised land and they still trust Him not because there is some adversity in front of them. They rebel. Ultimately, God cares… He is angered. He considers destroying them and just starting over. Moses intercedes and convinces the Lord not to destroy them. The Lord still disciplines them with a stern hand. They end up sentenced to die in the desert as they wander for 40 years before their children will get a second chance at the promised land. God is no marshmallow man just accepting everyone as they are. He is indeed slow to anger, but people must repent and submit to Him first (through Jesus Christ)… and then He accepts them with open arms, no matter what they have done before.

Numbers 14:1-19

The People Rebel

     1Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3“Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”

      5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces in the presence of all the assembly of the congregation of the sons of Israel. 6Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8“If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us—a land which flows with milk and honey. 9“Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them.” 10But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel.

Moses Pleads for the People

     11The LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst? 12“I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they.”

      13But Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it, for by Your strength You brought up this people from their midst, 14and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, O LORD, are in the midst of this people, for You, O LORD, are seen eye to eye, while Your cloud stands over them; and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15“Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nations who have heard of Your fame will say, 16‘Because the LORD could not bring this people into the land which He promised them by oath, therefore He slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ 17“But now, I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, 18‘The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.19“Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

The LORD Pardons and Rebukes

     20So the LORD said, “I have pardoned them according to your word; 21but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD. 22“Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. 24“But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it. 25“Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites live in the valleys; turn tomorrow and set out to the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.”

      26The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me. 28“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; 29your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31‘Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. 32‘But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. 33‘Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. 34‘According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition. 35‘I, the LORD, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die.’”

      36As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, 37even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land died by a plague before the LORD. 38But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

Do not fall prey to Satan’s lies. God calls us to repent from sin and turn to Him. We are called to turn away from our selfish and worldly ways and seek after and obey His instructions, which will put us at odds with those who love the flesh. We do indeed have to pick whom we will serve… Jehovah or the flesh. There is no compromise. He does care and will not accept or tolerate rebellion.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Do Not Wait For His Wrath In Order To Repent

Many draw great comfort and security in the strength of their nation, even while the people within continue to reject God more and more. Do not be so arrogant as to think any nation so powerful it can stand on its own if God remove His blessing or worse if God bring His hand of correction upon it. Do not wait for His wrath in order to repent as a nation.

It was God who created the USA based on an inspired government founded in Christian principles. If man continues to reject Him, He may just as easily allow us to destroy ourselves in arrogance that man knows better than God. Let us not wait until we face blatant collapse and ruin to turn humbly and passionately to our loving Father and ask for His help and His blessing to bring the people back to Him.

Psalm 79

A Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Prayer for Help.

A Psalm of Asaph.

    1O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your holy temple;
They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

      2They have given the dead bodies of Your servants for food to the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.

      3They have poured out their blood like water round about Jerusalem;
And there was no one to bury them.

      4We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and derision to those around us.

      5How long, O LORD? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy burn like fire?

      6Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You,
And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.

      7For they have devoured Jacob
And laid waste his habitation.

      8Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us;
Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us,
For we are brought very low.

      9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.

      10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let there be known among the nations in our sight,
Vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.

      11Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die.

      12And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom
The reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.

      13So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture
Will give thanks to You forever;
To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

Praise Him for He is our salvation. We can be saved by no other. Humbly come before Him and ask for His gracious and forgiving hand to guide the people back to Him.

—-

Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.