Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pride or Humility

Where in the Bible is it said to "take pride in your work"?
Holman's Bible Dictionary, "Pride".
Undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to self the honor and glory due to God alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward God finds expression in one's attitude toward others, often causing people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to be sin in its final form. In either case, it is a grievous sin. “Boasting” can be committed only in the presence of other persons (1 John 2:16; James 4:16 ). “Haughtiness” or “arrogance” measures self as above others (Mark 7:23; Luke 1:51; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2;James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 ). This word refers primarily to the attitude of one's heart. 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:4; and 2 Timothy 3:4 use a word literally meaning “to wrap in smoke.” It emphasizes the plight of the one who has been blinded by personal pride.
Who do we work for and what is our motivation? Mt 5:16; Eph 6:7
Pride is deadly, Pro. 16:18; King David of Israel got proud and it did great harm; King Herod got proud and God killed him, Acts 12:21.
Warnings against pride, Mt 23:12; James 4:6,7; 1 Pt 5:5,6
The humble mind towards self and others, Rom 12:3,16
Moses was the meekest man on earth, Numbers 12:3 "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth."; See also Matthew 5:3ff
Where is the passage of Scripture that says, "Blessed are the proud, who take pride in the works of their hands, who take pride in themselves"? Malachi 3:15 gives a warning to those who called the prideful blessed. It's just the opposite.
If you don't have God and nothing to hope in, then pride in yourself is all you have. "10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun." Eccl 2:10,11
Boasting not in self, but in God, Jeremiah 9:23; Gal. 6:14
So is there any occasion for a Christian to "take pride" in anything he's done? A Christian explained it this way:
"What most people MEAN when they say, "Take pride in your work," is not that someone ought to become prideful about their work, nor are they encouraging someone to become competitive in nature. They simply mean, "Make doing your best a matter of personal integrity so that you may know with a peaceful confidence you did your work as well as you possibly could, and carry a clear conscience in the matter." THAT, is most certainly a biblical doctrine put into practice: '23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.'" Col. 3:23,24"
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Link  https://docs.google.com/document/d/15AmdOBVtMC0_yu_3-nNtal8HNP-tJjnJUpgQwbhK1_U/edit?usp=sharing

Monday, July 14, 2014

CONSERVATIVE IN ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

CONSERVATIVE IN ALL YOUR LIFE, Dan Mayfield 

Conservatism carries the idea of preserving the past traditions. The conservative approach to the Bible is to preserve the meaning, intent, and spirit of the original text just as God meant it. 

Liberalism is about change. The liberal approach to the Scriptures tends to lead to new interpretations and teachings that conform to external pressures coming from society or from fleshly desires.

My description of conservative and liberal is not well received by a liberal Christian because he believes it is he who is being faithful to the Word, not the conservative. This is a case of confusion.  It's a case of the legal lawyer calling the other guy a lawyer. The lawyer knows the letter of the law. A conservative lawyer, ideally, strives to apply the "letter of the law".  But a liberal lawyer has a different goal where the "letter of the law" becomes the "spirit of the law". A conservative sees no legality in what is not written but only in what is written. The liberal lawyer sees the holes and loopholes, the areas of silence, as a legal opening for a given activity. When someone is accused in a derogatory sense to be a "lawyer", it is not the liberal who is guilty of this because his manner is to wrestle from the inspired word the approval he has desired.  

The Bible says not to associate with people who are given to change, Pro. 24:21. When the authority of God is under attack, it's coming from a liberal. They say, "The meaning of the Bible depends on the time in which it is read." They say, "That was written to a first century audience and doesn't apply to a better educated 21st century audience." They say, "God is love and that trumps all law." They say, "Most important to God is a person's happiness and so He wouldn't expect me to be unhappy."

With the logic of the Liberal mind, the rich young ruler would not have walked away unhappy. With the logic of the Liberal, there would never be said a discouraging word, such as, "Unless you repent you will likewise perish." With the logic of the Liberal, there would be no painful choices. "Stay in that condition in which you were called", misapplied by the Liberal, means to homosexuals to stay in the homosexual relationship you were found in. It means to the thrice married man to stay in the adulterous marriage that you were called in.

The Liberal mind cannot explain the hard sayings of Jesus Christ. Why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? Today it's not hard because the Liberal logic doesn't call him to repent. Today it's not hard for the people who are engaged in sexual immorality to be Christian. The sexual immorality is simply not addressed. Easy peezy!

The Bible is very clear that the only sexual relationship that's acceptable to God is in the "marriage bed". But today the "marriage bed" is the "partner bed" or the "girlfriend and boyfriend bed" or the "gay and lesbian bed".

As the world changes, it moves further and further from the teachings and values of God. That equates into a harder life for Christians who refuse to compromise and change.

What about politics? Politics are a reflection of the values held by a society. A society that values life will strongly punish those who take life. "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man." Genesis 9:6.

So what does it tell you that the average time spent in a Minnesota prison for murdering someone is about 12 years? It says the dead man's life was worth about 12 years. The human life is devalued. What does it tell you that an abortion cost about $500? It says that the baby in the womb is worth about the price of a cheap TV at Wal-Mart.

A man's politics can't be divorced from his faith. If the man votes, he's reflecting his faith in some way. He's voting his personal desires or he is voting the righteousness of God. "But Dan, church and state, there's a separation of church and state!" That's just a distraction. When the state indoctrinates your children to not believe in God, how is that a separation of church and state? When the state tells a photographer or a cake baker he must act contrary to his conscience, how is that separation of church and state!

Certainly, God wants Christians to be good, law-abiding citizens, 1 Pt 2:13ff; Rom 13:1ff. And we need to be focused on preaching the Gospel regardless of what the state says to the contrary. So let's not be distracted.

When a President, Democrat or Republican, starts talking religion, then his errors must be rebutted. When George Bush said Islam is a great religion and that Muslims serve the same God as Christians, the old "just another path to the same God" argument, I was offended and said so. And when Pres. Obama said in 2013 that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, I took exception and preached against the lie he told.

Conservatism in your life means that your beliefs, values, and practices are going to intersect with the world and there's no way to avoid it. Sometimes you will have to turn the other cheek. You will have to say, "we must obey God rather than men." The intersection between the conservative who clings to the Bible is going to intersect and clash with the Liberal who wants everything changed including the Christian and his family.
Remember the Proverb: do not associate with those who are given to change.

DO WE BELIEVE ALL THAT JESUS SAID?

DO WE BELIEVE IN JESUS AND ALL THAT HE SAID? Do we believe there's more than we can see? Do we believe in the spiritual? There is the spiritual world, which most all people in one way or another readily admits does exist. To seek the unseen and worship what is greater than man is the propensity of all cultures in all times. To think spiritually and to worship is not something only the minority of people do. The search for the spiritual meaning of life is pervasive and everywhere.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.
- Steve Turner

There is the carnal world that believes there's nothing beyond death. This carnal world recoils at the thought of God. Thus they are left with nothing to work with but mechanistic processes - yet unknown - to explain where life came from and to derive from it some meaning for their lives. They believe they are the product of chance and time. Ordered life and chaotic destruction are equal in a world where chance is God. There's no right or wrong; there just is.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL? Now being spiritual means believing in the unseen. Believing in the unseen means believing in more than the physical. Being spiritual means rejecting the naturalistic philosophies of godless men. Being spiritual means accepting that we are not our own creators. Being spiritual means believing in something or someone greater than ourselves. Being spiritual means acknowledging that life has meaning, order, and rules to live by. Being spiritual forever pits one against the natural and carnal world. There is no reconciling the two.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? To believe in Jesus Christ is to believe in His ministry to save the sinful world and give sinners the victory of eternal life. Now there are many who say that they are Christian but they do not believe everything that Jesus said. They are spiritual but they stop short of accepting all that Jesus said?

WHY DID JESUS COME TO EARTH? Why did God send His Son to earth? Why a cross and what is the meaning and implication of Gospel?

- Is Jesus the only way to heaven and what of those who reject Jesus? Jn 14:6
- Must we deny ourselves and carry our crosses and what of those who don't? Mt 16:24
- Does sin, a single sin and not just an aggregate life of sin, separate man from God and earn him eternal separation from God? Gen 3:3; Rom. 6:23.

Most spiritual people who say they believe in Jesus agree in general on the teachings of Jesus Christ. But they falter often when it comes to embracing the morals or values taught by Jesus. They get shaky and wobbly when asked about sin and the consequence of sin. This is not a true belief in Jesus.

IS HELL REALLY THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN? Each and every person has to decide if he believes that sin brings spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

- Are people going to hell for sins?
- Read: Gal. 5:19-21; Romans 1:28-32; Eph. 5:5; 1 Tim 1:8-11.
- Is sex outside of marriage a sin and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is it a sin for a man to have sex with a man or with a child and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is stealing a sin and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is putting the pursuit of money ahead of worshiping God a sin and what is the punishment from God for sin?
- Is vain worship sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is adding to the Bible a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is teaching a little bit different than the Bible a sin and what is the punishment for the sin?
- Is skipping worship a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is being cowardly a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is a lack of faith a sin and what is the punishment for sin?

We live in a world that merrily marches through the hours, days, and years with nothing to look forward to but hours of entertainment on the television and a multitude of carnal pursuits with which to satisfy itself. There are no rules except the rules set ungodly and powerful people who live by no rules. There are no boundaries. The godless will protest and say, "Not true, we believe it's wrong to do what hurts others." Then they go about their business of hurting others who do not believe like them. The only sin in secular society is the pointing out of what is sin. In a fully secularized society, a society that has lost all spiritual meaning, all moralizing must be destroyed and stopped. Secularization of society is not completed until it is has destroyed the last voice that whispers the name of God.

Perhaps the most visible sign that a society is nearing its own collapse and destruction is when it rationalizes the destruction of itself. The meaningless nothingness leads to a despair that no medication can cover. The home is destroyed in our midst. The marriage is in shambles. The children fend for themselves in blended families that have become the norm. Millions of children grow up without a father! And most heinous of all is the mutilation of the innocent life inside the woman's womb. It must be killed. To have life with no hindrances abortion is necessary. To have free sex without the "punishment of a baby" (Barack Obama) there must be abortion. It's not possible for society to keep its sanity once it has convinced itself such a thing is normal and amoral. When such a heinous act is accepted as the norm, the society and culture has broken its compass. It can no longer moralize. It can no longer judge others. Once a society has blinded itself to the truth of a heart being stopped and a spinal column being cut, all the rest of the living had better watch out because next it will be the aged or infirmed who are in the way.

JESUS CHRIST BRINGS SANITY BACK TO OUR LIVES. Jesus brings truth and He shows us what is true, Jn 14:6. Jesus brings order to a crazy and chaotic world. Jesus resets the compass so that man knows what is right and wrong. Jesus shows us what is right as He speaks what the Father Creator has told Him, Jn 14:10. Jesus says very clearly that judgment is coming and that the majority of people are going to hell, Mt 7:13,14. Do we believe Jesus or do we believe some iteration of the opposite? We either accept Jesus and all that He said or else we blindly venture into a vast unknown that ends in oblivion.

I choose to believe in Jesus and in all of His teachings. With love for souls and for the Truth of Jesus Christ, I speak all of these things.
HERE IS HOW PERVERSION CREEPS INTO THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL TEACHINGS OF THE GOSPEL

"Forgiveness is the economy of the heart....forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits" - Hannah Moore

This is a common message about forgiveness.  It's part of the human theology that convinces people they need to "forgive" others unconditionally.

First, where does it say in the Bible that God forgives "unconditionally"?  God's forgiveness is offered universally to all sinners, but receiving that forgiveness comes by meeting God's conditions including repentance.  So it's a false proposition being offered that is not rooted in truth.

Secondly, this so-called "forgiveness" which is quoted above is all about me, me, me. This "forgiveness" of Hannah Moore is all about saving her heart; it's all about sparing one's self of anger; it's about saving cost and wasting the spirit.  This is not biblical forgiveness. 

Biblical forgiveness is about sacrifice. It's about sparing someone else. It's about giving to someone else what they don't deserve. The focus of this phony "forgiveness" that's spouted out ad nauseam is not about giving someone else the most important thing they need. This phony forgiveness is just more of the modern "me, me, me". 

"But Dan, forgiveness is about me because Jesus says, 'But if you don't forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.' Mk 11:26."

Again, the real intent of the Lord is completely missed and the message of "me, me, me" gets inserted.  We are not forgiving so that God will forgive us. We are to be forgiving because we want to be like God. God forgives the vilest of sinners. We forgive not because it will make us feel better and spare us a lifetime of anger. We forgive because we have the heart of grace that God has for us.  Forgiveness is hard, not easy.

The phony forgiveness that's expressed in the quote above is phony because it  gives nothing to the other person. Remember, it's all about "me, me, me". There needs to be no reconciliation. And how could there be true reconciliation until the trespasser repents and ask for forgiveness? 

The distorted "forgiveness" of today ignores some very important words of Christ.  Jesus said, "3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, REBUKE HIM; AND IF HE REPENTS, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Lk 17:3,4. In caps I have put the 2 parts in the path to forgiveness that are mostly left out.  To forgive is not an "economy" of anything. It is costly. It takes courage. To do less than give the trespasser a rebuke is doing no good for the trespasser whose soul is in jeopardy.  It's a cowardly thing as well.

Here is how people think. "I have been trespassed against. What shall I do? Well I could go and confront him and give him a rebuke? Or I could just forgive him." 

"Forgiving" without confronting and when there is no repentance is not what Jesus does with us and it is not what Jesus said for us to do. This is a weak approach to sin that doesn't work anywhere. An employer doesn't ignore insubordination lest it infect the entire enterprise. The church can't gloss over and ignore sin lest the disease spread and infect everyone. In a family there must be responsibility and accountability or else there will be no peace and harmony.  When there are trespasses, to jump to the forgiving part of God's plan of grace, we first need to point out sin.  Then, and only then, must we forgive if the person repents.  This is what God expects for sinners. And we are being like God when we have the courage to rebuke, to hold the person accountable, and then have the grace to forgive.

When we follow Jesus' plan, real good happens. Friendships are restored. Relationships are restored and healed.  This is God's plan. 

Don't listen to a false message about forgiveness being an "economy" of anything. God's forgiveness through His Son wasn't about "economy". It cost God His beloved Son.  When you forgive, go the hard and courageous path.

Honest and sincere Christians struggle with this not because it's unbiblical but because they have been convinced to think that forgiveness is to be given unconditionally. They failed to examine the premise before accepting the conclusion. A sincere person asked me, "So a person is to go unforgiven?"  My answer is, hey, you can say you have forgiven anyone you like.  But are they really forgiven? If a man has sinned against you, has he not also sinned against God? If you forgive the unrepentant person, has God? Does God forgive the unrepentant?

For Men to delve into the serious business of forgiving others who do not intend to change is just playing pretend.  It's not real and not at all like the forgiveness of God.  Can we be serious and forgive like God does? Yes and that's what God desires.  But it is not for the unloving or cowardly.  See Matthew 18:15ff. The goal there is forgiveness and reconciliation.  But what modern religious teachers are saying to do is just recognize your brother is sinning and forgive him. ... That's all.  You did your part, but you didn't did you? This is serious business.  It's about loving the sinners soul.  It's about rescuing and covering a multitude of sins, Jas 5:19,20.

I pray this is helpful. Christians should be as forgiving as God. Christians should forgive when God forgives. But Christians should not forgive who God does not forgive. I say this in love. Sincerely, Dan

Monday, July 07, 2014

AS THE WORLD GOES, SO GOES THE CHURCH: FOLLOWING THE WORLD

"Tell me what the world is saying today and I'll tell you what the church is saying in seven years" - Francis Schaeffer

Listen to the latest new and normal thing psychologist are saying and the top churches will be right on board in seven years. 

The culture has elevated entertainment to be everything. Now any "in" church has to have an entertainer on a stage. He plays his music and the congregation applauds, just like entertainment.  Whatever "science" says Is normal will be preached in these churches in seven years. They preach just like "science" says is correct.

Seven years from now the churches will be condoning recreational use of marijuana. And why not? After "the Bible doesn't say you can't. "

Bacon? I wouldn't be surprised if these entertainment driven churches aren't handing out bacon in seven years.

Me? I'm not changing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

TARES: WHO OR WHAT ARE THEY?

"24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” - Mt 13
This is a parable about good versus bad seed. One seed produced good fruit, i.e. wheat, and one has no fruit. This second seed is a counterfeit as it looks like the plant from the good seed, but there's no wheat or good fruit. This is the work of Satan who disguises himself asn angel of light in the deceitful work to fool men, 2 Cor. 11:14,15. Satan is the father of lies and is the author of confusion, Jn 8:44; 1 Cor. 14:33.  Many have been misled by the vain doctrines of demons and by the false gospels they tell.

People must wonder what are the tares?  Are they false teachers in the church? This can't be. A counterfeit is designed to look like the real thing. The counterfeit is not the church and it's not an erring christian in the church.  Why?  It's simple. Because Jesus said to leave them alone and allow them to grow, v.30.  To uproot the tares would also do harm to the wheat.  If the tares were in the church, we know that discipline must be exercised so that the church is not brought down by the influence. Church discipline would root out anything like a tare in the church.  So Jesus must be talking about something that's very similar to the church but is itself outside of the church. The tares are outside the church but similar enough to fool many people.

Question:  What or Who do you believe are the tares? _____________________

Thursday, June 26, 2014

LIFE THROUGH DEATH

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"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Jn 12:24
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With the death of Jesus Christ comes life for the many. Our eternal life is only possible because of the death of Jesus on the cross.

Life through death is a paradox. The carnal atheist is not interested in dying. To him death is the end and there's no fruit for him afterward. So while the ungodly person sees life through death, as in Jesus' example, still he rejects the spiritual application.
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Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Mt 16:24
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Jesus teaches us that we must die to ourselves. It means we must die to sin. If we are going to bear fruit of spiritual nature, we must turn from self and begin doing God's will. Turn from sin. Tell Satan to take a hike when you are tempted to sin with the eyes. Draw near to God through Christ. Keep your eyes on Him and run the race with endurance. Buffet the body and make it your slave. Practice self control. Yield to God in all your ways. Walk and live and are led by the spirit, you will have the fruit of the Spirit in your life.

Is the principle of life through death still a paradox to you? Just look at Jesus and learn.

FAITH MAKES YOU WELL


"20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well." Mt 9:20-22
In this text above, a woman had been suffering by a hemorrhagic bleeding for 12 years. She thought if only she touched the hem of Jesus' garment she would be made well. Jesus sensed when she touched him and turned to her, saying, "your faith has made you well." This lesson has application for every person today. 

I do not wish to turn this into a discussion on the cessation of the supernatural gifts but instead I think it's more important to talk about the universal blessing that's available to one and all, and for people of every age, which is the many blessings that come only from God when a sinner begins to operate in the realm of faith - such as this woman did.

"The righteous shall live by faith", says the Hebrews writer, Heb.10:38. Paul said, "we walk by faith, not by sight", 2 Cor. 5:7.

There are two kinds of men in the world. There are those who walk with their feet firmly in the things of God and they operate by faith. And then there are the majority who walk firm in the world, and operate on the basis of sight. The largest portion of men are not ignorant of the faith realm or reality, but they do not walk there. Sometimes they long to be there. Sometimes they see it is as the enemy and are hostile to those who walk there. For these, from their first waking breath to their last thought before slumber, they only walk by sight. Their eyes are locked on the things of this world. They walk from lustful pursuit to lustful pursuit. It's not that they don't wish to have the special blessings that only come from faith. They may even have an inner urge to enjoy the same things. At times they may walk the fence between the two realms, between the flesh and the spirit (Rom 8; Jas 4), but any blessings they may receive are momentary and are blunted and short-lived because they sabotage it all with their other self that keeps running with the flesh. They can't or won't let go of the walk in the realm of sight. Their friendship with the world is hostility towards God and they reap what they sow. They have no healing of joy and peace. The majority of mankind have their feet in the world and they never know the liberty, joy and peace that comes if only they would make the decision to walk firmly and wholly in the light of God's truth.

When a sickly woman, who has tried every other remedy for whatever ails her, finally turns to walk the faith walk to believe in the impossible and to completely and wholly trust in God, then the blessing of faith makes her well. This is available for all who would walk in the faith realm.

There are far too many Christians who are not made well. Not at all are they well. They are as fragile and feeble as any person in the world. The question is why? Do they not believe in Jesus? Certainly they would say they do. But does their belief lead them to quiet the negative, doubting, untrusting, hesitating, unwilling and mean voices in their minds and spirits? No, these are still there.

James said, "You double-minded man" twice in his epistle. The woman who had the hemorrhagic bleeding did not touch Jesus' garment and then say in her spirit, "I can't be healed, I doubt Jesus will help." I know in my experience with Christians, both men and women, that many still stumble because of doing this very thing. God is not going to wrest from them their vain idols if they insist on trusting their own thoughts and their own ways more than God. "But I do have faith", they say. "I do walk in the realm of faith and who are you to say otherwise", they protest. A tree is known by its fruit and these conflicted Christians will periodically reveal just how conflicted they are. No matter how kindly and compassionately I remind the sister to, "Stop, live in this moment, and pray to Jesus, and let go of your frettings about the past and your fears of the future", they still think in their minds or they openly reply back, "But you don't know what I'm going through." That right there is not the voice of faith. That reply right there is the voice of sight. It says my burdens and past and hurts all make it impossible for me to have joy in my heart. It is the voice of the double-minded. Stop that voice and go to God in prayer and talk to Him for a while. Open the Bible and start reading. Let God speak to your fretting soul. Shut up your protests and let God heal you.

Can we know the blessings of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23) if we are not yielding to the Spirit? Certainly not! According to Paul in Galatians 5:16ff we must be led, walk by, and live by the Spirit. Every doubt by the sick and broken Christian is a protest to these words. We must yield to the Spirit if we are to have the "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness" and other wonderful things of the gift of the Holy Spirit. This work of the Spirit is every bit as much a healing of the man as the woman received from Jesus when she touched His garment.

People will say, "But preacher, why are you putting the blame on me as if the blessings depend on me, on works?" God's salvation and all of his spiritual blessings are free and are offered to all, but they come freely to those who let go of the flesh by faith; who wholly and completely put their faith in Him. You will not have His salvation if you love carousing with the world. You will not have His peace if you refuse to let go of your anger, bitterness, jealousy and the like - things which you may protest are wholly justified. Let them go. The peace of God doesn't reside in you until you stop the tempest of negative and doubting thinking that is your constant state of mind. The woman healed by Jesus wasn't filled with doubts, or anger. She wasn't thinking of 12 years of no action by God. She wasn't filled with anger at her unfeeling friends or unsympathetic family. She was only fully and completely thinking of God's promise. Her feet were walking completely in the realm of faith.

A few people in this life do walk by faith. From morning to night their thoughts are on God and are guided by God. The inner selfish man of pride is put to death and that spirit extinguished and is replaced by a thoughtful, caring, and serving man who is on a mission as God's child ambassador. This man on a mission doesn't have time or care for the mind and spirit that would dwell on things of this world.

You see, the doubting and half-hearted Christian has only one foot walking to do God's will but it's ineffective because it's having to drag that other foot that loves the world. Such a man should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord, James 1.

The man or woman walking in the realm of faith, and I have known more than a few, have an indomitable spirit of strength that rides firmly through the storms of life. Indeed they are made well by their faith. The healing is in their spirit. They show it in the grace of their words. They show it in the works of their hands. I have personally experienced the healing in my life. I know how God takes a timid and broken shell of a man to fill that man with purpose, values, and hopes that become the firm foundation and structure of the life God always intended him to have. Faith healed and made the man well.

God wants you to be saved. The answer is in Christ. The answer is in the New Testament. Go to the cross and learn what you need. Good news is something to be confessed; so confess it. A lamb shedding its blood for the sinner is cause to take pause and examine the future life you will lead; so repent of sins and walk in holiness. The death, burial and resurrection is the Gospel and it must be obeyed by every sinner, see 1 Pt 4:16,17; 2 Thess 1:6-9. Yes, obedience to the cross is part of the walking by faith. Romans 6:3ff shows that Christians heard the Gospel and they went to the river or lake to be immersed into Jesus' death that they might be raised to walk in newness of life. Are you born again? Jesus said you must be born of water and the spirit. Today, won't you do what makes no earthly or carnal sense, and decide that you will walk in the realm of faith? Believe Jesus and get baptized in the watery grave of baptism. To man it makes no sense. But to the spirit led person, it's the initiation into the saving grace of God. Repent and be baptized today and reject the carnal naysayers who reject Jesus' own command (Matthew 28:19) and trust that God will wash you and will add your name to the book of life. The life lived in the realm of faith starts here. It's just the beginning. Tomorrow, washed and renewed in Christ, you will get up and walk firmly in the life of faith. Live by faith and enjoy the grace of Jesus Christ. You can know the healing that is in Jesus Christ.

All of this I say in love. Sincerely, Dan

TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST

We know by a casual reading of Scripture that fasting, intentional abstaining from eating for a period of time, was part the spiritual life.

To correct the misuse of fasting where men did it to draw attention to themselves by flaunting their piety, Jesus said, "16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you", Mt 6:16ff.

I take note of the fact that Jesus did not say, "If you fast", but He said, "Whenever you fast", which implies to me that pious people are going to fast. Just as there's no question that pious people are going to give and pray, similarly are people of faith going to fast.

When to fast is not set by others. It's personal and depends on the circumstances. It says that the disciples of John the Baptist approached Jesus asking Him, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” Mt 9:14. Jesus' answer shows that that the circumstances have to be right for fasting. Just as it's not right for a funeral dirge to be played at a wedding, just so is it not proper, according to Jesus, for His disciples to be fasting at that present time. Later they would fast.

"But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast", Mt 9:15b.

The circumstances would determine the time for fasting. When the judgment of God was coming and there was only a little time for gaining His favor, God said for the people to fast. Joel 2 is talking about God's judgment coming upon Israel and holds out a promise that the favor of the Lord may still be won.

"12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;

13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil."


The "formula" of fasting and rending the garments is seen in other places as well. In Nineveh, as the people responded to the preaching of Jonah they turned from sin with fasting, Jonah 3:5; cf Joel 1:14; Ps 35:13.

During times of repentance it would be a good time to withhold from feasting. Coinciding with the prayers of repentance, it seems appropriate that the repentant sinner not think of eating as part of the devotion, Acts 9:9. During times of change or when wisdom from the Lord is sought after, it would be a good time for fasting. When Paul and Barnabas appointed Elders in the congregations, they did so with prayer and fasting, Acts 13:3. And during a time of mourning, as when the disciples would not have their Lord when He was crucified, this was the time Jesus said His disciples would fast. So during times of repentance, seeking wisdom, and mourning there are examples of disciples fasting. This would suggest there are many opportunities for fasting in the life of a godly person.

When to fast is a matter of personal choice. Kings or Elders may "proclaim a fast to the Lord", but it's a matter of personal choice as is any act of devotion to God. When you fast, make sure it is not done for vain glory. Let fasting, when you decide to do it, be part of the sincere drawing near to God.

As an aside, fasting can also be done for non-religious reasons. As a practical matter, for every buffet line we walk through there needs to be balance which means a time of pushing away from the plate.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

WHAT FOLLOWS THE LIES AND NONSENSE OF A GODLESS CULTURE? Hopelessness, despair, anxiety, confusion, insanity.

The mind is one. The mind is designed to seek balance and order. A person with two personalities or multiple personalities represents a multi-divided mind and it does not function. The mind cannot cope with opposing ideas residing in it and one must become dominant and the other must be discarded.

God is the ultimate reality and the ultimate authority. We innately know (Romans 1:20ff) that there's a powerful, wise, and good Being who started and rules over everything. To accept a human philosophy that is the antithesis of reality God is to bring confusion into the mind. Those who do this are called "double-minded" in the Bible (James 1,4).

To keep sane we must dispense of the lies of men who reject God. Insane is having in the same mind the thought, "I want to do evil and I want to please God." This seed of insanity might dwell in you. Evolution theory is intentionally designed to erase the need for God. But Evolution is nothing but an inferior god that relies on the lies that random genetic mutations and natural selection can make order out of disorder and something out of nothing. See the mind knows intuitively that these make no sense. But millions and millions of people believe the stories being told them on every channel and in every college class.

A college educated kid has learned to accept naturalism. And so how does this kid reconcile his thoughts that beauty and knowledge and goodness and design point to something greater than all of us? He's made to think that he must accept "science" and modern thought OR else he must become a misinformed religious fanatic. The choice is a false one. God is not anti-science. God is just anti-evolution and anti-godless naturalism that is being hammered into our youth.

We all need God. I love knowing that my God came and dwelled with His children for a season. Every day we need His truth in our lives. He is a personal God who loves us with a pure and everlasting love. We need His truth informing us in all of our pursuits. God has personally come to earth to live among us in Jesus Christ. The man Jesus Christ so lived and so spoke as to perfectly show to us all what we hunger to know: God Almighty.

But now many Christians have been seduced by the world. The lie of the devil persists. The devil has made many to compromise their minds as Adam and Eve did. Intermingled with thoughts of God are the philosophies of men who despise God. This happened and we hardly knew it happened. As a result, many Christians have diametrically opposing ideas in their heads, God and anti-god views, and they sense something is wrong, Something about this is not working for them. They believe God and they believe the world's model for family, parenting, discipline. They worship God and but they know the American Idols much better. They know God should be sacrificed to but they give more to the gods of this world. There's a moral fiber in them but they don't live it on tax day. This is the seed ground of insanity, confusion and hopelessness.

Start over today. You are not going to live forever. Follow Jesus by denying yourself. Maybe you made the bargain but it was your soul you traded away. For what? An extra million in the bank? For what? A few years of pleasure? The price of hope and joy is what you traded away. So please won't you once again take up your cross and gladly do the work of Christ today? Pray for clarity and for God's hand to work in your life. Do this before it's too late. And while praying, repent of the duplicity that became your life.

If you let this simple admonition to pass, though you are pricked and know it's true, and do not do what you innately know you ought to do, then you doom yourself to greater distress and despair. Do not pass up this moment to bring happiness and joy back to your life and to secure your eternal place with God.

I say all of this in love. - Dan

TRUE DISCIPLESHIP - WILL YOU PUT JESUS FIRST AND FOLLOW HIM NOW?

Jesus tells His disciples we are to count the costs of being his disciple so that without delay we put Him first in our lives. Are we following Him without delay, regardless of the costs?

"57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” 61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Lk 9:57-62

There are many who feel the prick of truth from Jesus and they desire the comfort of His salvation, but they do not consider the costs, not fully, and so when the cares of this world and the challenges of being a disciple come up in their lives, they begin to wilt and back away. Oh have I seen this more than I care to mention.

The first disciples says, "I will (future) follow you wherever you go". But Jesus says it's a hard way. Without counting the costs, at the crucial (this word comes from CRUX/Cross) moment the disciple, if not fully committed, will pack up his belongings and go home. Jesus wants to know if His disciples will follow Him into the fiery baptism He's about to encounter, Mk 10:39. Will the disciple carry his own cross and follow Jesus or will he at the crucial moment begin to turn back to the world? The disciples answered yes, but they all, like Peter would eventually deny him when their faith was tested, Mt 26:34. A true disciple counts the costs and does not back away when following Him gets hard.

The second disciple says, "I will (Present Imperative, Mt 9:21) follow you Lord; but permit me first to go and bury my father." This promise by the disciple suggest he's calculated a delay before he will follow Jesus. His words betray him. He's essentially saying, "I will right now but only after some delay." What should be first (proto) in his life becomes second, and whatever should be second in life is still his first. Following Jesus can never be second to anything. Now this is the point where people misunderstand and make up arguments about how we are supposed to honor our parents and wouldn't it be a sin to be so callous. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what is going on here and Jesus reads the hearts perfectly well. Jesus knows the inner calculations and valuations we are making that puts Him after something of this world. This man does not have in mind to put Jesus first in his life. The delay the man is seeking implies that the "burying" of the father is not immediate, perhaps, because the father is not yet dead. The death is imminent or in the near future, and the dialogue here is shows one more example of people making great promises to Jesus without having a true willingness to make the jump today. You and I know this happens all of the time.

The third disciple says, "I will (future tense) follow you, Lord; but first (proto) permit me to say goodbye to those at home." Many people are like this individual. Jesus said to him, 'No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" Lk 9:62. What is this man doing? He's looking back. He's put his hand to the Christian plow but he's looking back to the fun, the lusts, the worldly pursuits of his past and is longing for them. Like the foolish wife of Lot, they look back to Sodom and Gomorrah and they are not fit for the kingdom of God. See, saying, "goodbye" is not a trespass, but this man is using it as a pretense. He's truly longing for that life in the past instead of the walk of being a true disciple.

Disciple of Christ, whom I love with my very soul, if you are not fully on board I hope that you will come to your senses and repent. Return to God with the true love. Follow Christ in all that you do. Let Christ rule over your heart. Take command of your family and exemplify the Christian life for your loved ones. Please do this because my heart is burdened for every Christian I see turning back from what he first committed to.

I say this in love, Dan Mayfield

Monday, June 09, 2014

ARE YOU READY TO FOLLOW CHRIST IF YOU ARE STILL UNWILLING TO ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR YOUR TROUBLES?

Why are you in the situation you are in? Is it because of circumstances beyond your control or was it because of personal choices? When a man blames someone else for his being in jail, did this man not choose also to be in the company of corrupt people? When you go to the party, you make the bargain and accept that there may be consequences you may not like. If you jump into the poo, is it the poo's fault that you stink? When you deal with the drug dealer, don't be surprised if you life begins to stink.
When we follow Christ, we have to let go of the blame game and come fresh to God. Wherever you are today, that's where you have to begin. What you are today is your beginning point. Regardless of how wronged you were in your life, your fault or not, God can only help you if you come ready to change. The man who still wants to kill those who wronged him in the past needs to look in the mirror and decide if he didn't play a part in bringing himself to the point he is today. Personal responsibility is where a prospective Christian starts. Leave the past behind. Accept responsibility and repent. Look to God for the future. And God will make great things happen. Said in love, Dan

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOD'S DESIGN FOR MARRIAGE AS IT IS DESCRIBED IN THE HOLY BIBLE.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment, Keep it strong, 1 Pt 3:1,7. The family unit is the very first form of government. Before a town was formed. Before a community was ever established. It started with the family. Every man and woman began in a family. The family is the cornerstone of any society. It's no wonder that a society begins to break down as the family breaks down. Sons need a father. Daughters need their father. When 40% of children are born out of wedlock, the poverty rushes in and the scars last for a lifetime. It's time that we start teaching our children about waiting for marriage, finding a godly marriage partner, and staying in marriage by working through all things. God designed marriage this way. So keep it strong.

DON'T GET MARRIED UNLESS YOU MEAN IT FOR LIFE

DON'T GET MARRIED. 
Marriage is designed by God, not by the United States government. At best, govt. can only help to organize and record, and if wise, encourage it for the benefit of a stable society. As God designed the biology for procreation, so God designed for the children brought about the union in marriage to have their own father and mother. People who don't understand this should not get married.

DON'T HAVE SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE.
The only place the Bible speaks of sexual relations, including sexual touching and not just sexual intercourse, is in the marriage union. The marriage bed is honorable in the eyes of God and it is to remain undefiled. Sexual relations by young people is a sin. The sexual situations depicted by most in Hollywood is a mockery of human sexuality as God designed it.

SEXUAL RELATIONS IS IMPORTANT
The message being put forward by our godless culture is conflicted nonsense. Sex is so important to the godless culture depicted in television and movies that it is used to draw audiences and make large sums of money. As important as sex is, still it is treated as a cavalier thing that's worthless. Used tonight and tossed out tomorrow with the trash. "Oh no, it didn't mean anything....it's just sex." The nonsense coming from our modern culture doesn't match reality.

MARRIAGE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO ENTER WITHOUT A LIFELONG COMMITMENT
40% of all children are born out of wedlock. These used to be called "bastard" children, the product of loose morals and lack of control. The children are too important and too innocent to be called names. But the free sex is creating an epidemic problem for these children who are bearing the brunt of the weight for the trespasses of their parents. The emotional toll is palpable. The social science statistics have now made it clear that these children are more likely to be emotionally unstable and it will carry over into their adult lives. Drugs, poverty, and an inability to develop meaningful relationships will more likely describe their lives.

DON'T MARRY BUT IF YOU DO THEN MARRY SOMEONE WHO HAS THE COMMITMENT TO STAY FOR LIFE
God's design is always best. Men should find a woman who wants a home and wants to love and nurture the children they produce. Women should find men who are responsible and faithful. Don't marry until you find a godly person who will help you walk the Christian walk. And when you marry, work through the problems. Bring love and kindness into your marriage. And as mommy and daddy, work together for the raising of your children to know the Lord Jesus. If you are spiritual and marry someone who does not love the Lord, who is not a spiritual-minded person, you are doing something unspiritual by knowingly becoming unequally yoked. This will be a disaster to your faith or to the faith of the children offspring of the marriage union. Marry wisely.

IF YOU MARRY, REALIZE ITS FOR LIFE AND YOU DON'T GET A SECOND CHANCE.
The teaching of Jesus and the Apostles is that marriage is for life and man is not to separate. The only two exceptions we have in the Bible that would permit a second marriage is "the death of the spouse" or if the spouse was sexually unfaithful. When you say "I do" and marry, it's for better or for worse, through the thick and the thin, and it's for life. The cause of "irreconcilable differences" is not satisfactory to God. It will stand up in the American courts, but it won't satisfy God when standing before His court. The godless culture makes marriage to mean little, but it's very important to God who "hates divorce", Mal. 2:16. God still hates it. If you are looking for an escape clause from your marriage, you won't find it. You can't kill your spouse and you can't neglect the marriage for the purpose of encouraging your spiritually weak spouse to commit adultery. Your guilt will not be unnoticed by God. But say you are faithful and loving, unless your spouse has slept around on you, you don't have and never will have the right to remarry. Spiritual people understand it's hard to break the marriage bond which God keeps a record of. Divorcing because "we were young and didn't know what we were doing" isn't a cause of divorcing and remarrying. For most divorced people, the words of Paul still apply, "remain unmarried or be reconciled", 1 Cor. 7:10,11. So the marriage union is for the most part a permanent thing and there's not the chance of a second marriage except for the death of the spouse.

The breakdown of marriage is an epidemic in the United States. Don't be part of this statistic. Don't get married unless you mean it for life. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

TOLERANCES

"Tolerance" is a popular word these days. According to the secular world we Christians ought to be tolerating just about everything. Like it or not, tolerate it. Well I disagree.
Last night we had a discussion over this topic and I brought up the cake maker in Colorado and the photographer in Arizona who have been told by their states that they have to offer their services to the public without discrimination. If homosexuals enter their businesses, they cannot refuse service on the basis of a conscientious objection. The cake baker said he's holding his ground and won't conform even though the Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission has said he broke the law. From the Blaze, "I’m not going to make cakes for same-sex weddings,” he said. “That violates my First Amendment speech … and my duty as a Christian abiding by my savior.”1
As a Christian, you have to make these judgments about what is tolerable and what is not. Regardless of what some "civil rights commission" says, do you have to serve them and thereby defile your conscience? Absolutely not! Go to jail first and gladly do so bearing the name of Christ (1 Pt 4:16,17). Everyone seems to be comfortable nowadays with the idea of having a homosexual on every T.V. show and a lesbian couple in every house next door. But lets push the envelope a little and suppose the local nudist colony comes into your photography and catering business and says they want you to prepare the confections and do the photography for their next annual nude gala; do you have to do that because the state "civil rights commission" says you must? I hope you know the answer to that.
Tolerance is defined in the technical sense as the allowable amount of variance from a defined norm, especially in machined parts. A part, like a bolt or a shaft, can be machined to a certain "tolerance" so that it will function with other component parts. Should the measurements fall outside of the allowable tolerance, too small or too large, it won't work and will be unacceptable.
In Revelation 2:20, Jesus says he has this against the church at Thyatira that they "tolerate" the woman Jezebel. She is someone in the church there which is assigned by Jesus the iconic name of one of the most evil Old Testament characters. And she's leading and teaching some in the church to engage in idolatry and fornications. Jesus is letting Thyatira know they must repent of this and stop tolerating this sin in their midst.
What Christians ought to tolerate is no more than God will tolerate. If God does not tolerate the practice of sin in the church, neither should we. But this tolerance goes beyond activities in the church. This applies to our lives at home, in the work place, and in our recreational choices. We have to make choices as to what we will and what we will not tolerate.
Parents, do you tolerate your children talking back to you? Parents, do you tolerate your children sitting and watching television shows that will defile the little minds? Do you tolerate your children being indoctrinated to accept the values and norms of the godless and secular world rather than the values and norms of God? What you and I tolerate should be no more than what God would tolerate.
As we live in this world and associate with people in the world, we may allow ourselves to justify doing more and more. When the Lord Jesus comes in the clouds, are you going to be comfortable saying, "OK, let's get a group photo. Let's have the happy Lesbian couple move closer together. Ok now all of the entourage, we need a picture with only your leather and lace outfits." I want to suggest that the money you made just may be costing your place in heaven.
Tolerance requires judgment. The judgment may be that the machine part must be within .005 of an inch variance. And our choices as Christians must consider what is appropriate and what is inappropriate conduct as a Christian. Tolerate no more than God would tolerate.
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1. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/04/the-bibleoverrules-all-that-govt-says-baker-must-make-wedding-cakes-for-gays-but-hes-not-backing-down/

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