Sunday, October 14, 2012

Are you following a stranger’s voice? The Simple Truth

John 10:3 – To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

John 10:4 – And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

John 10:5 – And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 

All too often I come in contact with people who are desperate to hear God’s voice and with good reason. They are desperate to hear from God in regards to life’s circumstances, as we all should be. We are living in perilous times where there will be a plethora of false teachers, false prophets, and false preachers everywhere wanting to give us some “word”. We are living in a time where Truth is not popular and anything that may tickle our ears is by far more palatable. Furthermore, if you turn on Christian television you will indeed hear a word, but is it the Word of God? 

I just wanted to write a quick note to call all of us back to our first love. I pray that this note will not only encourage you but will also lead you deeper into the study of His Word to find the very answers you are seeking. For every question that you may have, God’s Word has an answer. In today’s society we want everything handed to us on a silver platter. We do not want to do the work, study the Scriptures that will lead to spiritual life and light. We want someone else to tell us what they feel God is showing or telling them. Are we indeed following a stranger’s voice or are we following the voice of God?  I submit to everyone that if we want to hear God’s voice, read His Word. It really is that simple. When we overlook God’s Word to go to other people to try to get some sort of “word” or prophesy, we make that person an idol. We place that person above God. In essence when we face trials and tribulations and we will as Christians, our first priority should be to run to God’s Word. Pray and study His Holy Word. We are definitely told in Scriptures to seek out wise counsel from Godly people. I believe Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 13:10, and Proverbs 20:18 would all agree with this. However the problem arises when we place wise counsel over seeking God for ourselves. 

Are you following a stranger’s voice or are you diligently waiting to hear from God through His written Word? Are you dependent upon people to tell you what Scripture will clearly show you? Do you run to people for advice more than you turn to God? It is my prayer that all of us will run to our Heavenly Father to seek Him for the answers we so desperately need. He is ever willing to hear us when we call upon Him. Have you called upon our Heavenly Father today? 

Psalm 37:5 - Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:6 - And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psalm 50:15 - And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Further reading: Jeremiah 33:3, Psalm 91

*All Scripture taken from the King James Version Bible

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The discipline of our Heavenly Father. Simple Truth Devotion

In contemplating this devotion I tried to think of people who enjoyed being disciplined. I could not think of one person who would say that they love and enjoy being disciplined. As a girl growing up in a small town, I remember my mother disciplining me.  I was generally disciplined for getting out of line or doing something that I wasn’t supposed to do.

When I think about the discipline that comes from our Heavenly Father, I think about how God loves us. For some it may be difficult to picture discipline and love in the same sentence. But on the contrary, what parent does not discipline their child? If you love your child then you must show that love by disciplining your child when he or she requires it. The Scriptures tell us that our Heavenly Father disciplines us because He loves us. Consider the following Bible passages:

Proverbs 3:12 – “For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” 

Hebrews 12:5-6 – “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the castening of the Lord, nor faint when thou are rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Reference Hebrews 12:5-11)

Revelation 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Psalm 94:12 – “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law.”

Consider the following as it relates to the subject of discipline:

*Discipline is needed so that we are not carried away with the world. (Reference 1 Corinthians 11:32)

*Discipline is needed so that we are not destroyed. (Reference Proverbs 29:1)

*Discipline is needed so that we are formed into the image of Christ. (Consider Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

*Discipline shows the love of God toward His children. (Consider Job 5:17-18; Revelation 3:19)
Should you find yourself under the chastening rod of our Heavenly Father, then cry out to Him. The Psalmist writes the following:

O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.” (Psalm 6:1-2)

Let us not forget that because of God’s love He corrects us. Let us ever seek to live according to His Holy Word. While we are being disciplined, let us cry out to the Lord that He may have mercy on us, forgive us, and restore us. Let us ever seek to praise His Holy Name.

In Christ, our only hope: Heavenly Father thank You for Your love that You show towards Your children every day. Thank You for the discipline that we need to keep us separated and cleansed from this wicked and dying world. Father God help us to shine the Light of Your Son to a lost and dying generation. May we ever seek to please You in everything that we do. Help us to be gentle, loving, caring, and kind towards others. May You ever deal with us as with sons. We thank You for Your goodness, Your discipline, and Your correction for we know that You are working out Your perfect will in our lives. We thank You for Your mercy.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

May the words of this song reach deep down into your spirit.

Come Thou Fount of every blessing

Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

*All Scriptures taken from the King James Version.*

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Runaway Bride. A Biblical Look at the Apostate Church. The Simple Truth.

*Disclaimer: For the moment I am going to take a minor detour from the subject matter of Christian single women to focus on issues that are relevant to the Body of Christ in general. This blog post is a reflection of such a detour. 

We live in a society today where you can find a church just about on every corner. In some neighborhoods, you find the church just down the street from the liquor store. There are new churches being planted annually by various organizations throughout our country and even the world. With so many churches it goes without saying that it should be easy to find a Biblically based church that teaches God’s Word unashamed. Now I underlined the word “unashamed” as there are many churches that will teach whatever you desire to hear; but very few churches are willing to preach the Word of God unashamed. I often talk to brothers and sisters in Christ who share their frustration with trying to find a Bible teaching church. So my question is, “Don’t you have a church in your neighborhood?” Although I know the answer to that question, I’m just trying to make some light conversation…and possibly add some of my humor to the subject matter. Notwithstanding there are many churches but few that teach the uncompromised Word of God. Why? Because many have gathered to themselves their own kinds of teachers. (Reference 2 Timothy 4:3-4)  The other issue is that today’s modernized “Christian” has no desire to hear the Truth. They can’t handle the Truth. They want to be motivated to serve God. This is why we find Apostate churches so prevalent today. And let me tell you, it is best that you get a full understanding of what an Apostate Church looks like so as to avoid it at all cost. 

The word apostasy means to remove, abandon, to become renegade. When I talk about the Apostate church I am referring to churches that are far removed from the counsel of God, His Holy Word. The Apostate Church refers to any church were God’s Word has been exchanged for that which appeals to emotionalism, sensationalism, and often times idolatry. In essence these Apostate churches have exchanged the Truth for a lie, plain and simple. (Reference Romans 1:25)

Romans 1:25 – “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (ESV)

Here are a few things you may find in an Apostate Church: 

*seeker-friendly worldly methods used to build church membership instead of allowing God to bring the people to the church. (Reference Acts 9:31; Acts 12:24)
*a business model that has been employed to build church membership so as to add numbers to the business, not necessarily to add numbers to the Kingdom of God.
*a focus on building worldly programs: i.e. classes that teach on empowerment, self-esteem, so on and so forth…you get my point here.
*sin is rampant within the church and is not being addressed from the pulpit.
*the preaching on sin, repentance, grace, humility, and the Cross of Christ have been exchanged for a lighter message which appeals to the emotions and senses.

Let us take a look at a few Scriptures.

Ephesians 5: 26-27 “that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (ESV).  

So as to keep with the context of this Scriptural passage, it is safe to state that this passage is in conjunction of speaking about the marriage relationship between husbands and wives. This particular passage comes just after the Apostle Paul provides instructions for husbands as how they are to love their wives. So let us take a look at this passage again in its context. 

Ephesians 5:25-27 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (ESV).  Now do you see it? Just look at the way Christ loves the Church, His true Body. This is why I wanted to include this passage here. Jesus Christ loves the Church so much that He desires to present the church without spot or wrinkle so that she (the Church) might be holy and without blemish. 

What we have today are “churches” that have ran far away from Christ’s cleansing power. These runaway brides have no delight in Christ washing them clean so that they can be presented without spot or wrinkle. These “churches” have exchanged the glory of God for a lie. Because of this, God has given them over to the lusts of their own desires. Romans chapter one talks about God’s wrath being revealed against all unrighteousness. (Ref. Romans 1:18-32)

Romans 1:18-19 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.” (KJV)

Add water and stir: This indeed is the concept of the Apostate Church. The true Gospel has been so watered down that it isn’t the Gospel at all. God’s Word has been kicked out and traded for what will bring in more people, satisfy the masses, and make one feel good. These same “churches” that are teaching the feel-good message are teaching the doctrine of demons. Here are some Scriptures that further emphasize the point. 

1 Timothy 4: 1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (KJV) 

2 Peter 2:1-2 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (KJV)

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (ESV)

A hatred for God:  Now we see the true heart of an Apostate Church, a hatred for God and His Word. This is the only logical explanation as to why there is such a detour away from that which is holy and pure to that which is worldly. The Apostate Church has set itself as an enemy (enmity) of God.  (Ref. James 4:4)   Therefore the things that are worldly are seen as more desirable; that which is holy is frowned upon. You may be tempted to say that “hatred” is a strong word. Yes, I would agree with you wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, it is a truthful statement. We are to hate what God hates and love what God loves. Now that’s not popular is it? 

The runaway church as it seems is a church that has turned aside from proclaiming God’s Word and have closed their ears to what is righteous, what is true, what is Holy. They are a rebellious church, a rebellious people. 

Isaiah 30:9-11 “For they are rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.’” (ESV)

Here is the Simple Truth: The Apostate Church exists because some who profess Christianity do not want to hear the TRUTH! The Truth is too offensive for those who enjoy the Sunday morning emotionalism that is prevalent throughout many pulpits. The sensationalism that occurs in these “churches” on Sunday is a shame to the Cross of Jesus Christ. This isn’t “Church for Dummies”. This is a flagrant disregard for anything that resembles the Bible. Let me share something with you. For those who attend such churches there is a disregard for studying, reading, and meditating on the Word of God. There is a dismissal of researching and applying Scripture in these Apostate churches. 

In conclusion, any message that makes one feel good should be checked through the lenses of the Bible. What often remains is a motivational message that you probably can get from the self-help section of any book store. 

What is God’s mandate for us where the Apostate Church is concerned? 

1.      To be sober-minded. 1 Peter 1: 13; 1 Peter 5:8
2.      To be steadfast in prayer. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18; Luke 18:1
3.      To snatch some from the fire, if they are willing to go peacefully and leave these false churches. Jude 23
4.      To speak the truth in love to those who are in these false-teaching churches. Ephesians 4:15, 25
5.      To hand such a one over to Satan. 1 Corinthians 5: 4-5; 1 Timothy 1:20

Further reading: Matthew 7:15-23; 24:11-28


The Holy Bible (ESV and KJV)

Handed Over to Satan? (1 Corinthians 5 Bible Q&A with John MacArthur

To Judge or Not to Judge (1 Corinthians 5 Bible Q&A with John MacArthur

Now here’s where you come in. I would love to hear your comments, questions, or stories of how this relates to you or someone you may know. Have you ever been a part of an Apostate church? Please feel free to place your comments below. May the grace of God be upon you.