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Is God A Fool?

Is God a fool, does He lack wisdom or judgment, in your opinion? I ask this question because only two answers are possible. “Yes” or “no.” If you answer “yes” that’s okay. If you don’t know God I would expect you to answer “yes.” If you don’t know God and you say “no,” then you are lying. Now, I’m not being crude or uncaring  there is logic in play here. If you believe God has wisdom and has righteous judgment, yet you still refuse to receive his free gift of forgiveness and live for Him then you’re the fool, not God. Do you see how that works? Simple isn’t it. On the flip side, if you know God and you answer “no” to the question, that’s okay too. “No” would be the expected answer, if you know God. However, if you know God and your answer is “no,” but you ignore His wisdom and deny His judgment, then you should have answered “Yes.” You are the fool, not God! Not to be unkind, but if you accept the free gift of forgiveness of sin and say you will live for Him and shun the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life, then you are still living for yourself. Living for yourself is what got you into the place of needing forgiveness to begin with. Paul the apostle challenges us with a sobering question;

“At one time when you had no knowledge of God, you were under the authority of gods who had no existence. But now that you come to know God, or rather, are known by Him, how can you revert to dead and sterile principles and consent to be under their power all over again?” Galatians 4:8, 9

If the above paragraph is unclear to you, allow the Apostle Paul to clear it up with the Holy Scripture. Again, from Galatians, chapter 6 verses 7, 8.

“Don’t be under any illusion: you cannot make a fool of God! A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows. If he sows for his own lower nature his harvest will be the decay and death on his own nature. But if he sows for the Spirit he will reap the harvest of everlasting life by the Spirit.”

If a farmer wants to grow corn he must sow corn. Common sense tells him he will not harvest corn if he plants beans!  In a sense, we are all farmers in this life. What do you want to harvest? What you harvest will be determined by what you plant.

Do you believe in “karma?” In a nutshell, “karma” says to have good things happen to you, you must do good things, if you do bad things then bad things will happen to you. The motivation behind “karma” is you working to determine your future position in your next “reincarnation!” You are working to better yourself in the next life, hoping to become good enough to become a god, otherwise, you could return as a worm in a cow pie.

God the Father planted a “seed.” His name is Jesus, the Son of God. The harvest that is being produced is many “sons and daughters.” The Father likes that! In fact, the main purpose of sending His Son to die and resurrect is not so many could be saved from eternal hell, but to place you in possession to be the son or daughter He hungers for. Not going to a place of eternal suffering, a place God made for the Adversary, not humans, is a by product of salvation, not the focus. More on this subject at another time, God willing.

My point now is this: what we choose to do in this life determines what we reap. Life or death. We get to choose! As much as God desires you He still allows you to make your own choice between Him (life) or self (death). If hell sounds too harsh coming from a loving God perhaps you are forgetting His righteousness, His holiness, or just the value He places on the Son that suffered unfairly, for us all! This is the identical dilemma Adam and Eve faced in the garden, standing at the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God or me; God or me… God’s a fool; me, chomp!  Thus, man became aware of spiritual death (separation form God), sin, shame, corruption. The choice was made, the price was paid. Now, only Jesus can erase the spiritual separation from God of that fateful decision. That’s awesome!

So, why do we still struggle so with making good decisions (plant good seed)?

  • Too ignorant: While there is no quick fix for this we are given excellent directions,

“With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to Him and acceptable to Him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity.” (Romans 12:1, 2)

  • Too self-serving:

“Here is my advice. Live your whole life in the Spirit and you will not satisfy the desires of your lower nature. For the whole energy of the lower nature is set against the Spirit, while the whole power of the Spirit is contrary to the lower nature. Here is the conflict, and that is why you are not free to do what you want to do, but if you follow the leading of the Spirit, you stand clear of the Law.” (Galatians 5:16, 17)

Paul’s heart recognizes the necessity of yielding to the ways of God in our lives rather than the ways of our own desires.

Those persons that attempt a balancing act between the Spirit and the flesh will always find it a losing battle. If God says it can’t be done, but you think you are the exception, you must think yourself wiser than God and therefore above God. Lucifer fell for that lie and now there is hell to pay, pun intended.

Where does that put the believer? In danger, if they flirt with the same temptation.  When convinced it is okay to confess God and rejoice over the benefits of the most high God while shacking up together, without a covenant agreement, someone must be a fool and it is not God. When you think one hour a week is for God and the rest for self then you either don’t have a clue as to why God created you, or you don’t care about what God wants to begin with. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked…” Galatians 6:7a (NASB)

This is not a “condemnation” against some Christians, or an attempt to tell them what to do. I have weaknesses and failures in my life and I surely don’t want someone condemning me for them. I do, however, appreciate someone, honest and without malice, challenging me to look at my life critically and reminding me what my life as a believer is about. It is about serving and pleasing the God of mercy and grace who has poured Himself out for me because He desires me to fulfill the purpose He has called me to! To me that is great, to Him that is Glory. So rejoice believer! If you find yourself trying to serve Life and Death then take the foot out of Death and commit yourself to God and to His Righteousness (see Matthew 6:33). To serve The Almighty God with all our spirit, soul and body is the greatest privilege we have on this side of eternity!

Sowing and reaping is not solely based on what we do, but also, what we say. An irritant to me in my life is when I align my words (seeds) with a coarse word (seed) that is crude, insincere, or hurtful. Allow me to give you a typical example of each:

  • Crude: “That’s a pile of crap!” That might be softer that another four letter word, but it produces the same image! “I got screwed on that one!” “Screwed” is the more acceptable word in Christian circles, but the same image is released as the degrading 4 letter one! Perhaps we should stop the word dance and use the popular foul word if we intend to produce the same image in the mind of the hearer. Or, better yet, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within…” Romans 8:2 If you are taken advantage of in a situation, don’t “slang it,” describe it more accurately, be intent on producing a more accurate image.
  • Insincere: “O, my God, did you see that new …?” My apologies if that’s said as a prayer…., but we all know it is not prayer. The expression, “OMG,” or other facsimiles, are not prayers but efforts to bring emphasis to a declaration. Do we seriously want to use God’s name in vain to make a point of emphasis? That is expected in the unbelieving world, they are ignorant of the things of God, but believers? Why would we want to trivialize God, our Friend, our Savior, our Lord! Check out the Ten Commandments if you think God doesn’t notice the way His name is used.

Exodus 20:7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (NASB)

  • Hurtful: “That will be the death of me yet!” “I’ll die if I don’t get what I want!” “He’s an idiot if he doesn’t do that.” These might all sound harmless, especially if we don’t “really” mean it, after all, isn’t it only an expression? Like it, or not, that is aiding and abetting the enemy! That is speaking the things of death rather than the things of life over people and situations. It is easy to take too lightly the words that issue from our mouth. Jesus’ half brother, James, says the tongue is as dangerous as any fire, with vast potentialities for evil, spreading poison and making life a blazing hell. He goes on to proclaim that no man can tame the tongue (only God can, if you co-operate)! Also, He describes the tongue as capable of “blessing” and “cursing.” Solomon, declared to be the wisest man born of a natural father made this defining statement:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NASB)

We are not the master of our own destiny except for making the choice to live in the ways of God and Life, or live in the ways of the Devil and Death. Thank God we have the privilege of choosing!

Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture references are from The New Testament in Modern English, by J. B. Phillips

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Is God A Fool?

 

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A Soldier’s Mentality

Every year we celebrate Veteran’s Day. It is a day to remember the service of the men and women that have endured, or are enduring, the difficult hardships related to serving our country, especially in a time of conflict. You might argue whether or not the warring between nations is necessary or not, right or wrong, but the high cost of service for the individual is real. It comes with the territory.

Paul, the apostle, was encouraging young Timothy to be strong and bold in his service to God. He told him to,
“Put up with your share of hardship as a loyal soldier in Christ’s army.” (Phillips, 2 Tim 2:3).
Too few of us are not aware of our responsibilities as a disciple of Christ. More often we are trained as disciples to “bless” the comfortable events of Christian living and “curse” the uncomfortable events. This is not the Gospel Paul preached.

He taught there was more to the Good News than just being forgiven and set free from the authority of sin. In fact, it is only the beginning of an even more exciting journey. With the sin question supernaturally dealt with we must go on to fulfill the very reason for the forgiveness given us through Christ. Paul identified this challenging journey saying,
Accept, as I do, all the hardship that faithfulness to the Gospel entails in the strength that God gives you. For he rescued us from all that is really evil and called us to a life of holiness—not because of any of our achievements but for his own purpose. Before time began he planned to give us in Christ the grace to achieve this purpose, but it is only since our Savior Jesus Christ has been revealed that the method has become apparent.” (Phillips, 2 Tim 1:8a-10a)

Paul made this same plea in the Letter to the Christians Ephesians.
“Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what he has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care. He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children (Gk, huios, should be translated sons) through Jesus Christ…” (Phillips, Eph 1:3-5)

As a soldier in the service of our country you go through a very intense time of basic training. Designed to equip you with a foundation, you grow in responsibility and ability in your duty of service.

As a soldier in God’s army there are basics you must embrace to help grow toward a maturity that God has defined in his word. Comfortable and hard situations that we face is part of your experience in basic training, and how you respond will help to measure your progress. God defined it as “A life of holiness.” (Phillips, 2 Tim 1:9) And in Ephesians he describes this maturing as becoming, “His holy and blameless children living within his constant care.” (Phillips, Eph 1:4) We learn from both scriptures the “calling” from God is only available to us “in Christ.” To attempt to achieve this divine “calling” by any means other than “in Christ”  would destine the believer to failure and frustration. Only in the power of your personal relationship with Jesus and the unfolding of truth by the Holy Spirit can you grow in the plan and purpose of God. It might not be as comfortable as you would like, but it comes with the territory.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Right Philosophy For Living

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Have you ever thought of yourself as a philosopher? Does the very word “philosophy,” “philosopher,” etc. invoke uncomfortable concepts in your mind. What comes to mind when you think of “philosophy?”

DeVerne Fromke, in his book “Ultimate Intention” shares about this concern:

“Many may be concerned by the use of the term “philosophy.” There is a vain philosophy of this world which we are warned to avoid. But there is also a divine philosophy. The very fact God made man with a deep gnawing in his bosom which longs to know “why,” “why,” demonstrates that man is born a philosopher. Failure to properly answer the philosophical gnawing in man’s breast is causing fundamentalists by the hundreds to become fertile soil for the false philosophies  of the world.”

We are warned by the writer of Colossians in chapter 2 verse 8,

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” NASB

That is a warning that has severe implications as stated above. Paul is not writing, however, to say all philosophy is bad anymore than he would say all wisdom is bad. We have but to read the scripture passage  in 1 Corinthians 1:18 thru 2:13 to understand there is a wisdom that is worldly, or humanistic and a wisdom that is divine, from the mind of God. The warning here is to allow the divine “system” of wisdom to direct your life, your motives, purpose and vision for God’s eternal plan and for yourself. Any other “system” of life directing philosophy will lead to actions that will take you away from the path of reality to frail motives, fake purposes and false visions. Even the everyday decisions you make from your unique perspective reflect better judgment when your life is directed by God’s wisdom. So, wisdom speaks that I must decide what philosophy of life I want to  determine my motivation, define my purpose and establish the direction in my life!

So, where does this divine philosophy come from? Where is it’s starting point? How is it administered? God, our Father, has summed up all talk of this invaluable divine philosophy down to a “ Person,” “Christ Jesus! That’s right. The philosophy that truly meets man’s deepest needs and glorifies the Godhead is the Person of Christ Jesus.

DeVerne Fromke continues:

 “…God’s answer to man’s need is not a philosophy, but a Person. Paul knew better than to meet the Corinthians on the level of human philosophy. Instead, he preached what was to them an obnoxious message – Christ crucified. God used this message to manifest His power. He used that which seemed like utter foolishness to uncover their pride of intellect and man-centered wisdom. Such is God’s way. We present a Person, Jesus Christ, who becomes a divine way (philosophy) of life in us.”

We see this confirmed in God’s Word:

1 Corinthians 1:30

“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

The same passage in the Ferrer Frenton translation of God’s Word:

1 Corinthians 1:30

“But from Him you exist in Christ Jesus who has brought a philosophy from God to us—as well as righteousness, purity and redemption”

The Person of Christ IS our Wisdom, our Philosophy, and He is the only Philosophy qualified to shape our morals, character and expressions in this life to God’s glory and for our good!

God bless!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2018 in You Are A Philosopher

 

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