Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

If you saw Jesus walking down the street today, what is the first thing you would ask Him?
I know a man who is religious and God fearing, but he isn't a Christian. He refuses to be baptized according to the scriptures. I understand this is a biggy, and in the final analysis he's lost, but in every visible way this man has more faith than I've seen in many baptized believers.
I'll ask this man, "how are you?" And he'll answer each time, "I'm always good because of Jesus." And this isn't selective words he offers to me knowing I'm a preacher, because I've known him for 24 years and everyone that's knows him says the same about him. The man's words reveal what's always on his mind.
If we saw Jesus today, what would we say to Him? Would it be a complaint? Would it be a request for money? Would it be thanks? Would it be words expressing the desire to be always in His presence? Our words tell where we are in our spiritual walk.
God is ultimately going to judge each one of us on what was most important in our lives. If making money was most important, then worshiping God was less important. If serving Jesus was most important, then giving our time and money was done to visit the sick and spiritually lost.
What's most important to you? Jesus wants to know. Humbly yours, Dan

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

VOTING AND CHRISTIANS VOTING WHAT'S IMPORTANT

People like to suggest that the difference between voting Republican vs Democrat is merely a matter of opinion. In some ways this is true. There are godless people who vote Republican and there are Godless people who vote Democrat. One side votes for lower tax policy and the other side votes for the right for women to choose. But that's too simplistic. It goes to deeper levels. One side believes in the power of the individual and one sides believes in the power of the state. One side is pro-business and one side is pro-organized labor. These all center on issues. Many of those on the Republican side are of the opinion that government shouldn't rob people through excessive taxation and the other side is of the opinion that the rich should be heavily taxed and that the money from the top be redistributed to the people at the bottom of the rungs of society. Many on one side of the political spectrum vehemently believe that abortion is among the greatest of crimes ever committed by society and many on the other side see the aborting of babies as no more significant than the morning trip to the bathroom.

In both parties there are godless. But why do the devout and god-fearing flock mostly to the Republican Party? I'll tell you exactly why. God-fearing answer to God first and any encroachment of man into the liberties which are given to each man by God are to be opposed. This opposition is expressed at the voting booth. In the world, there isn't just Republican and Democrat. In the world there is Communist, Socialist, Democratic Socialist, and others forms of government which allow or acknowledge man's freedoms to varying degrees. In America, the Democratic Party has turned and is more properly called the Progressive Movement/Party. It is Socialism and seeks to empower the state. With the state "empowered", the individual must be allowed less power. And the less power of the individual affects speech, property, and religious liberty. The godless in our society that are pushing Transgenderism and Gay Rights and Social Engineering in all government organizations including the Public School System and the Military are populating the Democratic or Progressive Party. These agendas are pushing against Christians and the Church. Why else is the Lesbian Mayor of Houston subpoenaing preachers' sermons? (Yes, after the firestorm of criticism, her lawyers amended the subpoena, but that misses the point) Why are children being taught there is no God but that Evolution theory is fact and that we came from animals through purely naturalistic mechanisms of "selection" and "genetic mutation"? Why is because there is a godless, even an anti-God, element in one party in particular. For fun, just watch the difficulty the Democrats have at their Presidential Convention when deciding if there should be any mention of God. We are still "One Nation Under God", aren't we? Not for most Democrat Progressives, and it's apparent.
Why the encroachment from one side on the religious liberty is because it's spiritual warfare in the making. And when you vote, you are voting for one side or the other. I'm not trying to say that politician on the right of the political spectrum is god-fearing, but that we god-fearing on the political right ARE able to shape their policies if we remain a voice of righteousness.

What's the one issue that is more important than the rest? I'll let you decide but it's not taxation. Jesus said we are going to be taxed and we ought to pay our taxes. The Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not tax or thou shalt not fund public schools", but the Bible does say, "Thou shalt not murder". And IF that's a human being in the womb that's being dismembered as it's sucked from the womb, then only one party is guilty of sanctioning millions of murders. Humbly yours, Dan

Saturday, October 25, 2014

PARENTING: KEEPING CHILDREN INNOCENT UNTIL THEY CAN HANDLE MATURE RELATIONSHIPS

THE FOLLOWING IS WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO THE YOUNG MAN IN WASHINGTON STATE WHO KILLED OTHERS AND HIMSELF AFTER GOING THROUGH A BREAK UP WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND.

We are trying to keep our children innocent; we aren't trying to encourage them get involved in heavy boy/girl relationships before they are of age.

If you have a little boy or girl, do this (and make it age appropriate). Sit down tonight and talk about their future. Tell them about marriage, about college, about the high school years, getting a job, saving money, and buying a first car for getting around. Talk to them about the difficult teen years when in their time of puberty and real physical, emotional, and spiritual development, the world will tug at them. Say to them it will be the world tugging them away from their family and away from God. Remind them it will happen and to not let it happen. Also let them know that you won't let it happen.

At this point, there are wise parents who understand very well the wisdom I am speaking of that makes the parents and the home a fortress and rock against the world forces that would steal the very soul of a child. But less than serious parents, or parents who just don't have the gift or talent to train children, will only see my preceding words as "controlling" and unrealistic because, "Don't we want our children to grow up and don't they have to experience these things on their own?" Yes, we want them to grow, but our job is to help them grow in the right direction and no we must be there to make sure our children don't "experience" some things. It's much better than they made it to adulthood and in a faithful walk with God, saying, "I am fortunate, my parents were there and made sure I didn't fall into the worldly things the way my peers did."

So talk your kids about how most kids today get off track and try to play house, sometimes doctor, when they are way to young for making a commitment. Say it's WRONG what they do because God wants us to do things in order.

Do parents of teens want to see their son find a girlfriend at age 12? Do they want their daughters having a "steady" boyfriend, spending more time with someone who doesn't share your family values, knowing in this day and age they are going to be having sexual relations long before they can commit to marriage? All the other kids at school may be passing notes, staying on the phone, texting, sexting!, and so many people think it's healthy and natural for their teen children to get involved in a heavy relationship, but is that God's will?

Let me tell you something: it's stupid and playing with fire.

Too much drama is being allowed into these children's lives. Parents who allow their children to get involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend, when they are years away from being able to handle a mature relationship, are going to have great sorrow.

I remember years ago watching 12 yr old kids getting very intimate. The two were inseparable. The parents encouraged it. It became sexual and they had a child. Then the relationship broke up. When the two were very young and when it was all beginning, it was clearly going to be a train wreck with a lot of casualties. But the parents acted like it was normal and facilitated the children being together.

When my kids were teens, I said, where do you think a relationship at this age is going to go? You have years to go before you can marry. You have high school You have college. A sixteen year old boy came to the house one time so he could ask us parents if he could see our daughter. We interviewed him for an hour and a half. We told him he could come to church and he could come to the house and get to know the family. Our daughter sat on the couch next to him through the interview and wasn't bothered at all. It was just the way it had to be. The boy made a big mistake. It turned out he didn't like our rules. He didn't have anything to do with my daughter the next day. And it was just the message my daughter needed to see that the boy was just the typical worldly boy. She wasn't broken up. She was better than that. And it all worked out just fine. She's happily married now and has four children. Her husband is a preacher.

Parents, be the thing your teen children are involved with. Get them into their school. Take control. If they try to make the rules, don't bend. They will thank you later. Let them make friends, healthy friendships that aren't so serious. There will be time later for the serious stuff when they are looking for a godly man or woman.

WHY DO YOU FEEL BAD?

We live in a day when being down means being depressed and being depressed means seeing a doctor which means medication. Hold on.
I remember one time when I was a young man of being shaky and nervous so I just needed to set down or I might faint. I told a man I knew how I was feeling and he said I needed to eat something. I did and I felt better. I have had times when I felt similarly, not good at all, and a candy bar gave my body what it needed. Sometimes the feeling bad can be a nutritional need. And during this time I had a larger issue: I didn't know where I was going and I didn't know the LORD.  I was very sad and pretty hopeless about the future. Thankfully I sought the LORD and found Him. 
"Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be foundSurely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him." Psalm 32:6

And sometimes there is a different explanation where we should feel bad. David said, 
"For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah." Ps 32:4.
David didn't feel bad because of chemical, hormonal, or some kind of nutritional imbalances. David felt bad because he was guilty and God's hand was upon him. Feeling bad because we are making a shambles of our life is not something that can or should be medicated.
Before you accept that your being "down" and depressed is due to chemical and/or hormone imbalances, investigate if what you are feeling isn't normal.
David said, 
"For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away." Ps 31:10.
David didn't need a doctor. He needed to address his sin. With that addressed, God would forgive him, and David would rejoice and be glad.
But maybe you aren't living in sin and the problem is something else.
Life is full of ups and downs. Maybe the enemy is against you and you feel like you are going through the "valley of the shadow of death". The Psalmist said he wouldn't be afraid or broken nor would he look to be sedated because it's too tough. The enemy can be scary, but stay in the game. Pray more in these times.
I could go on but I'll stop here. Life isn't always perfect. Deal with it. And before looking for something to blame, make changes in your own life. Smile more. Be positive. Put your foot forward and shake someone's hand. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Love, not just the lovable, but love the unlovable. And when things are looking pretty bad today, hold on. Get a good night's rest and I can promise you it will get better.

And remember that sometimes we feel bad because we know we need the LORD.

God bless you. Dan

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CAN THE LORD'S MONEY BE USED TO BUILD A FELLOWSHIP HALL?

If a case can be made that fellowship is unscriptural in a "church building", i.e., the same place where Christians assemble to worship, then a case should be made against all "church buildings".

Christians in the first century most certainly worshiped and fellowshipped in the same locations. Those who make the argument against kitchens and fellowship halls seem to think their presence necessitates that 1 Cor. 11 "eat at home" and "partaking of the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner" would be violated. Did Paul mean that worship and fellowship meal couldn't be done in the same hour or did he mean they couldn't be done in the same location? He meant they aren't mingled in the same hour. Paul wanted Christians to worship first, remembering the Lord's death through the emblems, and once the period of worship is completed, eat your meals. To fellowship and eat meals together most certainly was part of the early christian life.

"But that's the Lord's money and instead of wasting it on a fellowship hall or basketball court or kitchen, it could be used for world missions." That's how it's been put to me. Well, some could make the case that the worship auditorium is a waste of money too. Why not meet in homes and send that mortgage money to missions? Oh wait, that would mean worshiping and eating going on in the same location. I have seen church buildings that utilize the auditorium space much better than the nailed down pews on slanted floors because they use stackable chairs that can all be moved for other activities in the same room.

Fellowship is a very very important part of the church. Christians in the first century were devoted to it, Acts 2:42. How is the church to fellowship if there is not place to meet. I love to assemble with Christ to worship and praise God, but as important as that is, it doesn't have the same function as fellowship does where Christians sit down and share their lives.

The money thing. All of our money is God's money. And we must be good stewards of it. But a person would be hard pressed to prove that a fellowship hall isn't good stewardship. Much Christian work can and should be done there. Let me give an scenario that should serve to illustrate that no harm is done by the church erecting a place to fellowship together. A prominent and wealthy Christian, always a big giver to the church, donates additional money to pay for a fellowship hall. The Leaders can choose to take the money and build the hall or they can determine that it wouldn't be a good move at the time. And they may go either way depending on many things they are privy to in the church. For example, the Leaders may say that it's not a good thing to do right now because we just this last year had to cut our missions budget and it would give the impression of misplaced priorities. But the same congregation could be active in many ways, very benevolent, involved in local and foreign missions, and by all measures truly doing the Lord's work, and the Elders could say, "Thank you, what a great plan. We see the congregation doing even more, growing even closer, with this larger space. With God's blessing, let's do this." It's a judgment call. "But Dan, that was money not coming out of the church "coffers". Really? What's the difference between money the church has with the first day of the week contribution and the contribution to the church by individuals? Nothing. The generous Christian places his fellowship hall donation in the collection plate as well. It is all the Lord's money. Once the building is done, do we allay all fears people have of misspent funds by always telling that the church didn't build this, but an individual member of the church did build this? No, the church built it. Just like the church built a beautiful worship auditorium that's used 3 hours a week. The contribution for a worship hall or a fellowship hall is all God's and it's from Christians who have a right to do with their money what they wish.

Learn from Ananias and Sapphira.

Humbly I offer this. Dan Mayfield

WHAT IS WICKED?

Merriam Webster's say "wicked" is "morally bad, evil".  This is true, but what Merriam Webster and few dictionaries would be willing to offer is examples.  But God says what is wicked. 

"4 Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; Requite them according to the deeds of their hands; Repay them their recompense. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD Nor the deeds of His hands, He will tear them down and not build them up." Ps 28:5

What is "wicked" is also called "evil" and it manifest itself in two ways. First, the wickedness of thoughts and deeds. Men think and do evil which is anything that's contrary to God's morals.  And second, It is wicked to ignore God and to dismiss His works. When men turn from God, they turn to wickedness. 

"1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good." Ps 14:1.

Do we need to update our definition of evil? Is it God who defines our terms for what is good and evil, or are we following the world's yearly updated definitions? It's evil to pervert or suppress the truth. It's evil to pervert the family. It's evil to murder a living child. The only path out of this wickedness is to follow Jesus Christ, Jn 8:24. But I doubt that Merriam Webster would agree.  

"...they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." 2 Thess 2:12

People are going to spend eternity in hell because they said there is no God. God says they are fools, Ps. 14:1.  These people loved the lie more than Truth, 2 Thess 2:10-12. It is a sin of the flesh to believe we are apes and not souls made in God's image. It is out of man's lust that men redefine good and evil.  God says, "Woe to them" for doing so, Isa. 5:20. 

The wicked are going to be judged because they do not believe in Jesus Christ and the resurrection. Jesus Christ is risen by the power of the Holy Spirit and to deny that reality is a sin that won't be forgiven. This is true. Do not lose your sense of right and wrong by allowing the world to define what is wicked and what is not. 


Said in love, Dan

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BOYS AND GIRLS ARE ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE GENDER WAR

I'm writing this as a friend and as a Minister of the Gospel.  The devil will destroy everything that's good. That means the most basic things must be defiled. Our children are innocent and God says we are not to be a stumbling block to them. That means we must teach them truth and protect them from the world. 
"...but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their consciences are defiled." Tit.1:15
Let me state the obvious: our precious children are boys and girls, male and female, just as God made them to be. We know this by biology and we know God's design is true. But it's not so obvious to a godless culture. This Biblical and Biological reality is being perverted. 

Now the Public Schools are being forced to not show discrimination and are being encouraged to use terms for boys and girls that are "gender inclusive" (Google it). "Male and Female" are terms that are too restrictive for our enlightened day and age. Schools are under pressure to establish policies that will be "gender neutral" so that the "transgender gender" students can participate in the male or female sport they chose. No kidding, your daughters may be playing against a male who is dressing like a girl. And the boy will be admitted into the girls locker room.


From the Christian Science Monitor, " Also, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is currently considering policies that would allow transgender students to participate in sports based on their gender identity, not their birth sex. According to a report from local NBC affiliate KARE-TV, the draft of the policy, which will be discussed in the MSHSL December meeting, does not specifically address locker room and restroom requirements, and private schools are not excluded from the policy."1


No longer are there two "genders", which is properly called sexes (Gender originally only applied to grammar, masculine gender, feminine gender, neuter gender, but now the term is misused), because our society has decided to accept the "gay gender" and the "Lesbian gender". Yes, "Gay" is now a third gender. "Lesbian" is a fourth. I'm not making this up. Read for yourselves. And it gets worse. The Australian Human Rights Commission has identified at least 23 genders. It's complete nonsense, but now they want us to accept that there is bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexed, transsexual, androgynous, agender, cross dresser, genderfluid, genderqueer, intergender, neutrois, pansexual, pan-gendered, sistergirl, and there's more.

The Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." Isaiah said those words concerning those who make normal into abnormal and make the abnormal, normal. "Genderfluid" is not normal. But such nonsense is being mainstreamed.

What is more natural than "boy" and "girl"? These designations must be destroyed for evil to advance. Why are schools toying with the idea of removing "boys" and "girls" signs from the bathroom doors? Because the terms aren't gender inclusive. Why are teachers in Nebraska encouraged to refer to little children as "purple penguins" or some such designation? Because lining the children up according to male and female is discriminatory against the little gays, lesbians, and the transgenders.

I have researched and written before about the National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) that's part of the Federal Government Standardization of Education on the Federal level. Just as Common Core (Math and English) and Next Generation (Science) is the standardization of education on the Federal level, so the NSES is the standardizing of sex ed to Public School children. And I have the evidence from their documents that masturbation and teaching the normalcy of homosexuality is part of K-grade 2 goals.

We live in evil times. Protect your children from the indoctrination of a godless society. I am not saying for you to take your kids out of the public schools. But I'm saying it is your God-given responsibility to protect your children against this indoctrination. We all have to know what it coming and that our children or grandchildren's good sense is going to be attacked. Teach your children what is normal "family", what is God-designed sexuality, and that God made them male and female.

I say all of this in truth and in love.

Sincerely,
Dan Mayfield

1. http://m.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2014/1009/Gender-neutrality-Why-teachers-won-t-ask-boys-and-girls-to-line-up-in-Lincoln-Neb

Saturday, October 11, 2014

THE LOVE OF MONEY

David the Psalmist said, "May He remember all your meal offerings; And find your burnt offering acceptable!" Psalm 20:3.  This is a prayer Psalm about seeking and finding help from the LORD in times of trouble.  I gather that God is especially mindful, attentive, or amenable to the prayers of those who have lived a life of sacrificial service to Him. They didn't live this way to "earn" anything except for a great reward in heaven, which showed in they way they lived in faith. 

I have known Christians who give more than they get. They do not love their money. It's just a tool which they put to work for God's purposes of advancing righteousness in the world.  And for their faith, their reward in heaven is what far surpasses all they could ever give. Theirs was a sacrificial life where money, time, and talents were given to the LORD without any expectation of being repaid.
Give more than you expect to receive. I have also known Christians, and it pains me to say this, but who expect more than they would ever give. The hand is always out and they know they will receive help from the church. But when the contribution plate goes by, they put in a pittance. When times are good they have money for buying new electronics, for vacations, for cigarettes and expensive eating out. But they gave little during these times. Perhaps they misapplied the story by Jesus of the widow's mite and thought that's all they had to give.  But the widow didn't have a big double car garage with costly toys and vacations and the niceties of life. The widow gave sacrificially, giving all she had. But there are many Christians, and I know this is true, whose sacrifice is the bare minimum they can muster up the nerve to take from their wallet and put in the plate. It's sad because it's a materialism thing.
I have seen a problem and it's probably one that's as old as man where people spend their resources on their wants and then they must beg for their needs. We should not be the kind of Christians who pay for our wants (God sees the flat screen TV and the new cars in the driveway) and then beg for the things we need. Pay for your food first and clothe your children first because those are needs, and then if there is money left after you have give to God, then purchase your wants. But to do it the other way is unspiritual.
I don't see evidence in Scripture that those who love their money can expect to find God's help in the day of trouble. Isaiah 55:6 says to "seek the Lord while He may be found."  I suppose it all boils down to what or Who we really trust. I offer this out of love with humility, looking unto myself first. God bless. Dan

Sunday, October 05, 2014

FOUNDATION OF SOCIETY: FAMILY

The first family was headed by Adam with his wife Eve. With their children, they made the first family. As the offspring married (they married siblings) they produced new families. Family, the "nuclear" family is a man and woman and the children they produce.

Merriam Webster defines it "the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children;" But to reflect the modern condition, Merriam Webster also includes family to be: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family - a single-parent family"

Now, the modern "equivalent" family has a foundation of brokenness - the pieces cobbled together from pure and impure pieces. There is great pressure in society (felt even in public schools where a mural produced by a student depicting the "nuclear" family had to be removed because it would be insensitive to the children whose "families" fit the modern definition) to redefine family to mean gay and lesbian couples who get a hold of children through adoption or from previous heterosexual relationships one or both had. Next, and mark by words, family will be accepted as polygamist. "Threesomes" (3 females, for example) are already exerting pressure for society to be accepted.

The foundation of society must be the family as God designed it. The modern family definition begins with brokenness of marriage and home and commitment. This is not the way to build stable society. We need to preach marriage, permanent and committed, or we will be unfaithful to God and we will be participants in the malaise that's unfolding before our eyes.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1079510/Children-broken-homes-times-likely-suffer-mental-troubles-says-Government-study.html

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

RESPONDING TO THE GOOD, GREAT, SUPREME NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST

The Gospel means "good news". These words don't mean much these days. "Gospel" is all but ignored and it's rarely heard save in the pulpit. And "good" seems a little flat for something that is more like marvelous, excellent or exceptional. It's called the "Great" Commission that Jesus gave to the disciples. Why not, instead of "good", call it the "Great News!" The message of Jesus isn't just "good", it's the most amazing news that's ever been printed or proclaimed publicly. How should a person respond to something so amazing?

Are you trying to figure out how to balance your belief of Jesus into all of the other interests you have? Do you struggle to pray? Does the Bible collect dust on a shelf? Is your giving practically nothing compared to what you give to your wants? Is it difficult for you to regularly attend the worship assembly with Christians? You are just so busy, after all. And what about the Wednesday night class? Oh, I know, you are quick to point out that that's just an expedient and not required in the Scriptures. Well, what about the Monday night study or the Thursday morning study? I know, a man has to work and provide for his family. But do you see that God sees how you are dodging the real matter of being fully committed to Him?

When God is a man's priority, he doesn't do as little as is required to get to heaven. He's the one that is the servant of all. He's the one that feels especially charged to be the encourager of others. He gives liberally of himself. Sacrifice isn't just a word, but it defines his life for Christ.I will admit that I'm encouraged by all Christians who give much and by those who give little, but mostly by those who give much. I am glad even for a little encouragement by weak or infant Christians. And I hope they will grow and in time become the sacrificial givers and move beyond the infancy stage that's gone on for years.

The Gospel is excellent, great news. I don't know about you, but when I hear excellent news, I am personally moved. I start talking and changing things in my life. To know that Jesus died for my sins and that He arose from the grave to give me eternal life, makes me supremely thankful. My life is His to do with as He pleases.

Take a look at your life. Take a look at your priorities. Are you a living sacrifice for Jesus, Rom 12:1,2? If the sacrifice of your life looks more like the leftover scraps that wouldn't even satisfy a dog, then you haven't been moved by the Supremely good news of Jesus Christ.

WHAT'S LOST IN MODERN WORSHIP: REVERENT WORSHIP

"worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling" Ps 2:11
I is apparent to me that something is lost in modern worship towards God. There is no fear. When Christians fear the Lord, they do bring to God what pleases Him. What pleases them should never even come into the discussion. Reverent fear and trembling makes us to bring only the worship which God has prescribed.
But today the typical worship service - and I've experienced them many times when happening in for a visit - is standing, swaying, clapping, loud music with the decibels way too high. People love this. And they are offended if reminded that worship isn't about pleasing man. The attitude is disturbing to me that besides there being little care about orderliness and edification (which doesn't happen by a string being picked) but there is a lack of fear for bringing what God didn't prescribe. Where is the fear?
What should we do? Speak only the Word of God. Do not be presumptuous to add opinion. Eat and drink the emblems of the Lord's Supper and use that time to reflect back on the sacrifice of Jesus. "Celebrating" the second coming of Jesus isn't what the Lord's Supper is about. And it perturbs me to no end to suggest that the words "until he comes", as in "you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes" (1 Cor 11:26), is telling us that the Lord's Supper is a looking forward to the second coming of Christ. It is a memorial and the memorial is observed until he comes again - that's all. So if you do not wish to reinterpret the meaning of the memorial, do not use that period of worship to direct men's spirits forward into the future. Look back when you eat the bread and drink the cup. Worship that is reverent includes singing. What's that? You play the guitar? That's nice, do it at home because our time of worship in the assembly is not the time to showcase your talent of music making. We sing because God said to sing, Eph 5:19; Col. 3:16. And in reverent worship, there is prayer to the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ, 1 Tim 2:5. And Christians worship by bringing a sacrifice of thanks in the offering of money. It is a worldly person, unconverted in spirit, who is willing to worship God to the point of giving, but then little to nothing is given in the contribution. Why give anything? Well has God given to you? Is your home, car, food, savings, and material gain not the bounty from God? Giving money is the way to demonstrate faith in God's hand to supply your needs. This is undoubtedly the faith belief rather than the carnal mind that says, "Thanks for nothing God...I have all of this by my own effort." I have heard such a mocking but it's not the attitude of someone who understands God. So in your giving, show the same reverence and trembling so that selfishness doesn't hinder your faith.
When men dismiss the Bible and speak their opinions, they do not trembling at the Lord. When men turn worship into a carnival or a music concert, they intentionally turn the focus to pleasing men which is idolatry. The reverence for God doesn't allow us to pray to dead saints who cannot hear. The reverent worship of God is a sacrifice and anything less than a sacrifice is as displeasing to God as offering nothing.
I'm writing this to remind us to begin our worship in the proper frame of mind by focusing on reverence. Watch for people to get defensive and respond with passages against fearing God.  And it's true that perfect love cast out all fear (1 Jn 4), but when love is not perfected because men offer to Him self-willed worship, they should fear. When we truly revere God, our actions in worship will be done according to His will.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CULTURE GARBAGE AND THE MYTH OF THE TELEVISION SUPER HERO FEMALE

FICTIONAL SUPER HEROES 
There are real super heroes and there are fictional ones. We know the real super heroes have super human strength and can do feats that mortal man cannot do. Flying, beating alien villains, breaking mountains in half, destroying steel tanks, etc, are all possible by real super heroes. But "fictional" super heroes can do none of these.


Where are the "fictional" super heroes? They are on television every night, three or four times a night, on the cop and investigative fictional shows. And every one of them has fictional super powers. They don't claim to be anything more than human but they can out run, out shoot, and they can out-think anyone they encounter - . They are bullet proof and portray themselves as super human.

Especially prominent and my "favorite" to loathe fictional super heroes are the women on these shows. They are tougher and better than any man. This becomes apparent when the men stand aside and let the woman slug the bad guy who gets knocked out cold. This tough superiority of the female super hero arises often when a couple of men on the show are trading words in heated argument and the superior woman interrupts very smartly and says something like, "When you two finish measuring your manhood, we have work to do." The message is clear: she is so above these silly men. They shut up and tuck their tails and manhood and give her due super hero respect - just like the Hollywood script tells them to do. And when she has taken down the arch villain, the homicidal murdering rapists, the fellow law enforcers look back and forth, bowing and giving homage to the awesome badness of the super hero woman. There's a message in all of this that's coming from our godless culture that says there's no difference between man and woman.



But there is a difference and we know it to our very core. With the Ray Rice video where he does the despicable deed of knocking the woman out cold, we have been told by everyone from the Vice President of the United States on down that a man never, never, never hits a woman. Of course I agree. But why aren't the people pushing super hero status of women jumping up and saying, "That's sexist to say a woman is never hit because it implies the weakness of a woman."? Why they aren't standing up and defending the sameness of male and female is because they know it's a fiction.



Do I believe women are weak? Sure, the Bible and Biology says so. Her hormones, designed by God, do not equip her with the strength that male hormones equip the man with. The Bible says she's the weaker vessel. Only a blind person would say otherwise. The Bible says she is to be honored, 1 Pt 3:7. A woman has equal worth and value to God and to godly men. A woman has her own strengths that are many and she is greatly valued by spiritual people. Just take a look at the "worthy woman" of Proverbs 31 and you'll see the virtue and strength that is possible in woman. My issue here is with the fiction being pushed that women are the same as men. The dialogue of a television show pushing this super hero persona is so far from reality that it's revolting to me.


A godly person, man or woman, is fighting more meaningful battles and is victorious in ways the Hollywood crowd could only wish to approximate. In Hollywood and popular culture, it's just play and pretend. Comparatively, the regular meme of the super, super, super tough woman of television is no match. WHEN A GODLY WOMAN FIGHTS FOR HER FAMILY AND SACRIFICES HER VERY LIFE TO BRING HER CHILDREN UP TO WALK BEFORE THE LORD, THAT'S A WOMAN WORTHY OF HERO STATUS. Christians who fight the spiritual battles and stand for the Truth in the face of strong opposition, that's the story that should be portrayed on the nightly shows. But television "fictional" super heroes are too worldly to play a real hero.


Let's teach our children about the real heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Let's teach them about David slaying a giant and Samson and Josiah who did great things for the Lord. Let's teach our daughters about the courage of Deborah the Judge, Ruth, and Sarah. Let's teach our children about the godly men and women who have left homes to take the Gospel into the world. Saints have given their lives for the cause of Christ. They are the real heroes. Moms who strive to exemplify the spirit of Christ for their family are heroes. Dads who are spiritually strong and sacrifice themselves to lead and provide for their families are the heroes we should give honor to.

Said with love and respect for God's men AND women. - Dan Mayfield

Saturday, September 20, 2014

THE HARD TRUTH ABOUT: "LET NO MAN SEPARATE" - Dan Mayfield

The Scriptures show that God designed marriage. A male and female joined together, not to be separated, for life, to procreate and make a family. All of this is true.
But the sinful world has perverted, twisted, distorted, and controverted God's design. Marriage for life becomes living together until we can figure out if we like this arrangement or not. God's family founded on biological realities has become "Framilies" and "Throuples" (threesomes) and "Blended" and, "Hey, whatever you love, even an inanimate object, you can marry it." Satan is the author of this mess. No part of the perversion can be accepted.
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage? Addressing the problem of remarriage is one of the hardest, not the hardest, but one of the hardest, parts of ministry.
I wish there were no such thing as consequences when it comes to marriage. But Jesus said, "what God has joined together, let no man separate." So what's the consequence if men do separate what God has joined together? We know there's a whole lot of separating going on today. We know there's a lot of ignoring this injunction by Jesus. Do we say, "Oh well, it's separated and let's just agree to move on, sanction and give our approval to marrying again."? That seems to make nothing of the words, "Let no man separate." To "separate" what God joined together is a sin, agreed? At the very least should we agree that the judges, lawyers, preachers, and counselors who counseled "separation from what God joined together" are rebelliously shaking their fist at God's law and design for marriage? Is this not the bane on society, this cavalier attitude men have demonstrated towards "let not man separate"? Clearly there's little regard for these words of Christ that marriage is not to be separated.
I understand consequences in everything else and so why do I find this one so difficult? It's difficult because I love people. It's always hard telling someone they are lost and unless they repent, putting away the adultery, they are going to hell. I'm not the first one to feel the burden of standing for the clear teaching and implication of God's Truth. I won't be the last. So should I feel sorry for myself? No. Should I shrink back and be silent; letting God sort it all out later? No. While it is day, we have to preach the Truth.
The word of God when it goes out separates. Some men, by free will, become receptive to God's Word and then some men reject it. That's what we are to expect when we teach the Truth. In a world where there's a lot of "separating what God has joined together", we should expect that many people are going to remain separated from God.
"So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it." Isa. 55:11
Like the judgement of God that will divide the wheat from the chaff, so God's word is preached and there will be many who are living in sin and have no interest in putting away the sin. From my personal vantage point, I love these people and I often sense they have some love for God, much like the rich young ruler (Lk 18), so when I tell them they have sin in their lives that must be put away if they wish to go to heaven, they often make the choice to walk away sad. From my vantage point, it's very hard. Jesus let the young man walk away even though Jesus had a love for him. God's word preached and taught faithfully is going to accomplish what God intended and that means that some people will not repent. That's reality and it hurts for everyone involved.
I'm standing for Truth first and foremost. The Gospel is preached to all but I understand most people are not going to be saved. That's the reality. The people who hear the Gospel and walk away sad are not just nameless faces. They are our moms, brothers, best friends, co-workers, spouses, and new acquaintances. Because God gave us the capacity to love and care for souls, the feelings of love and compassion, fear and dread, are going to intertwine themselves in the conversation. God's Word goes out and accomplishes it's purpose, separating the honest and closed hearts. But even the receptive hearts who accept and agree God is right find it very difficult to cut the ties and make the breaks so that the unrepentant sinner goes away sad. As hard as teaching the Truth is, I'm going to stand with the Truth.
My heart is for God, first and foremost. When this ungodly world wreaks havoc on God's plan for marriage and the family, the destruction has to be judged.
When I look at the Scriptures, I find that all marriages are not acceptable to God. If people would only ask God, and consult the Scriptures first, they would ask God, "Can I marry or can I marry this man or this woman", and the Scriptures would answer, "No, not always, not this person". John the Baptist didn't say, like the weak preachers do today, "Herod, just say you are sorry and that you won't do it again, and you can be married to Herodias." Now if that one example were the only one in the Bible, it would still be enough proof we need to show that all marriages are not acceptable to God and that the only correct thing to do is repent by putting the wife away. But that's not all the evidence. In Matthew 19, Jesus said "for any reason" you may not divorce your wife and remarry: only if she were sexually unfaithful may you do so. The teaching by Jesus was so shocking and strict that the disciples themselves said, "If it's like this, it's better not to marry." Indeed, they saw the consequences clearly meant not all remarriages are acceptable to God. And Jesus added the icing to the cake, making his point crystal clear, by suggesting lifelong abstinence from sex is the choice many must make if they wish to go to heaven. This seems harsh to modern preachers. I have a feeling it seemed just as harsh when Jesus said it.
Judgement is going to be harsh. A Eunuch was a castrated man who did not have sex. I don't believe Jesus was suggesting for us to counsel an operation any more than he intended for their to be Christians with only one eye and one hand. But stopping the sin is essential. When Jesus spoke compassionately to the woman "caught in the very act of adultery" He said to her to "go and sin no more". This meant no more of this sex thing you are doing. Abstinence is a consequence for people that must be chosen if they wish to go to heaven. Like the world today, in Jesus' day there were preachers who wanted to tell men they could divorce and remarry for any cause. But Jesus said, "No", and "what God has joined together let no man separate." Some are able to accept this and many are not able to accept it. I stand with God and with His Truth, as hard as it is to do so.
I stand with marriage so that young people I know and whom I love will make better decisions about their marriage choices while they are young and able to. If these young people heard me saying, "Don't worry if you married bad the first time, just remarry again and again until you get it right because God will forgive and accept all of your marriages." But if I teach the harsh reality of one marriage for life, they are much more likely to select their mate with greater discrimination and when in tough spots in their marriage they are much more likely to work through the problems they'll encounter. That's why I stand with God's Truth on marriage. I'm not going to compromise the reality of God's design - which young people need to see practiced and need to hear preached - just so that I can feel better about confronting all the divorced people.
I say all of this with the greatest amount of love possible. Sincerely, Dan

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LASTING CONSEQUENCES OF DIVORCE THAT CAN'T BE FIXED

"Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage." - Anonymous

"What happens after repentance and baptism for unscriptural marriages and divorces? ( Dave Miller, Apologetics Press) First, much is accomplished at the point of biblical baptism, but baptism was never designed to change a sinful practice into an acceptable one, or to transform a sinful relationship into a righteous one. Prostitutes, homosexuals, polygamists, bisexuals, bigamists, and adulterers must sever their relationships.

Second, the biblical doctrine of forgiveness must not be confused with the equally biblical doctrine of the consequences of sin. Being forgiven never implies that all of the consequences of sin will be erased. Past sin may be blotted out, but the consequences of past sin generally remain. For example: Syphilis of the brain is a lasting consequence of a promiscuous lifestyle; Permanent removal from the garden was a lasting penalty and consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); Being banned from Canaan was a lasting penalty of Moses’ sin (Deuteronomy 32:51-52), though he could be forgiven and one day be in heaven (Revelation 15:3); God pardoned the murmurers (Numbers 14:20)—but the negative effects of their sin were lasting and disastrous (Numbers 14:29-35); Esau’s mistake of selling his inheritance rights could not be rectified—“though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:17).

This biblical principle simply does not square with the notion that if anyone has to break up a marriage, too much is expected of them and forgiveness is not really what it’s “cracked up” to be. If biblical history teaches us anything, it teaches us that people cannot sin and then expect to have things the way they were before. More often than not, much suffering comes upon those who violate God’s will, even though they may be forgiven and have the hope of heaven.

So it is with marriage. People may reject God’s laws of marriage and fly in the face of His will. They may then be forgiven, but they may also have gotten their lives into such a fix that they will have no choice but to live single and celibate the rest of their lives. Such is not a reflection upon God’s justice or mercy. Rather, such is a reflection of man’s own stubborn disobedience and rejection of what God designed to be for man’s good. Just as a person can sin and in so doing lose his physical life without God intervening to prevent the effect of the sin (e.g., rob a bank and be killed by the police), likewise a person can so sin in the marital realm that he or she forfeits marital life without God intervening."
Be encouraged !
________________
http://www.apologeticspress.com/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1182

Monday, September 08, 2014

RESPECTING GOD'S LEADERS: REBELLION IS ONE OF THE FASTEST WAYS TO BE KILLED BY GOD

The Hebrews writers said, "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you." Heb. 13:17.

Korah rebelled against Moses, God's chosen leader, and God killed Korah, Numbers 16.

The rebellious teens mocked Elisha, God's prophet, and so Elisha cursed them and they were killed by two bears, 2 Kings 2:23,24.

When the ungodly world turns against God's preachers, as in when they go out two by two, it says the ungodly will be killed, Rev. 11:3-5.

So when people talk bad about the Elders, is there a consequence? Paul said to Timothy, "19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.", 1 Tim 5:19,20.

Even David of Israel, when he had what appeared to be legitimate gripes against King Saul, would not speak against or do anything against the King.

Today, the Elders are in the position they are in for a reason which is according to God's wisdom. And the church is to follow and give them respect. Let us respect their place that God has brought them to. They have a job that is not easy.

Sincerely, Dan Mayfield

To email Dan Mayfield: Click Here