Wolves in Sheeps’ Clothing

The Bible warns us about false prophets and an end times deliberately confused theology…faithful Christians are to be led astray, to be distracted and enthralled with false signs and wonders.  Men will rise up claiming to know the future and using biblical references but actually doing the work of the enemy.  Ultimately an anti Christ will arise, preaching peace and healing and appearing to be a unifier but in reality will be the most destructive force ever against God’s people.  Only the return of the true Christ will see an end to the suffering, people divided, wars, upheaval, unholy alliances, natural disasters and unsettling tragedies.  Only then will real peace reign.

We appear to be near the apex of man’s folly, his self-love, self-centered destructiveness that leaves no room for God and causes rancor, violence and divisiveness in its wake.  Finally our self-love has grown so strong that we must silence God and satisfy all of our fleshly desires without any restriction or boundaries.  So we see more and more violence, more and more strife between races, genders, age groups, political groups.  With no real moral foundation, no ethics, no fear of God, we have succeeded in turning a world that was once Paradise into a place where men and women fear to walk the streets, are bombarded with violence and filth on TV, in the movies, in books and magazines, are compelled to climb over each other to accumulate more and more wealth and position, and retire each night to their homes behind locked doors and wonder why they have so many mental and physical health problems.  Many of our leaders in the church are likewise selfish and self-centered and abandon all pretext of doing what is right to only do what brings wealth and power and sustains it indefinitely.

Consequently we are now seeing a rise in false prophets and false religious doctrines….a reimagining of God’ Word, reconstructed Bibles, movies and television programs that purport to tell the  Gospel stories but take liberties  for “entertainment.”  Men and women who do not know the Bible, do not study read and meditate on God’s Word are taken in by preachers promising wealth, health and a new kingdom on earth for  all who say the right words or pay the right amount or fall down on the floor laughing.   Millionaire men of God preach about Jesus on Sunday and then drive home in their custom Rolls Royce automobiles to their mansions.  They write books supposedly about God but their faces loom large on the cover and you are  hard pressed to find biblical teaching in their “self-help”  tomes.

The “warm and fuzzy Jesus” is the man sold to the masses, with no discussion about sin, repentance, fear of God. rejection of the world, conversion of sinners and end times preparedness.

Jesus warned that when he  returned he would not see “the faith” among His people…instead their heads would be filled with false doctrine and false teachings.  We who are steadfast must continue to study the Bible and focus on being in this world but not of it…we must hold our faith leaders accountable by comparing their teachings against the Word to identify errors.  We must remain calm in the growing storm of religious bigotry which threatens Christians all over the world and will soon be on our doorstep in America.  We must keep the faith so that when Christ returns there is a remnant of the faithful to greet Him.

I have no idea when Christ will come back…no man does who is honest and faithful and understands scripture, but my heart and my spirit tell me the signs are here that the ultimate struggle is nearly upon us.  I am not afraid nor am I anxious.  I am at peace in Christ and am in the Word and in prayer daily to assure that I am clothed with discernment, humility, obedience and steadfastness.

God bless you in your own struggle to remain in true faith and one with the true Christ.

Prayer is Not a Four Letter Word

Prayer is the most underestimated miracle drug in existence.  It offers a direct link to the creator, enables us to seek intervention and restoration and healing, brings peace and hope and calm when times are difficult.  Yet prayer too often is dismissed as something dangerous and subversive…it is belittled and condemned as a silly exercise in mythical chicanery by a secular society.

Prayer to so many is an exercise that is misunderstood and that is such a pity in a world that desperately needs hope and peace and answers that cannot be found in the flesh.

To obtain the advantages of prayer one must acknowledge that there is a higher power to pray to…and this is the stumbling block for those who reject prayer. Respect for God, trust in His ways and not ours, and patience to allow Him to work with us and in us and for us to bring us to the right place in the right time.  This is very difficult when the world promises sources of  instant gratification around every corner (that seem to just as instantly dissipate and disappoint).

In my own life I have discovered that prayer and trust have deepened my faith as I have seen the Lord work in my life in ways I never could have imagined, and yet always at the right time and place.  It seems I cannot be trusted to make a lot of my own decisions because my sinful nature taints my judgment and too often the results are plain wrong for me.  Shedding my arrogance and prideful nature took time, but when I conquered that battle my life got much easier.

Prayer is the ultimate exercise in humility, obedience and trust…and the Lord rewards those who come to Him in the proper spirit to receive His blessings.

Prayer is not a four letter word.  Prayer is your ticket to inner peace.  It is your secret tool to shape your life to achieve its fullest potential.  Prayer is a blessing from God and well worth the effort.

Prayer is simply an intimate conversation with the most powerful, most intelligent, most important force in the universe.

There is an old hymn by Joseph Scriven, and the first verse tells us, “What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!”

Why look anywhere else for the answers you are seeking?

“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,  as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 9-13

 

 

Are You Playing Football Without a Helmet?

As preseason football begins, it is worthwhile examining the tradition that players “suit up” before entering a game.  Like warriors in history, no sensible person enters the field of battle (whether in sport or in war) without strapping on protective gear and arming himself to prepare for the fight ahead.

The man who enters the game sans helmet, or enters the battlefield without a weapon, is very likely going to face a painful defeat quickly.

Every day we face a spiritual battle against Satan and his demons who seek to create havoc in our lives.  Whispered doubts, manipulated confrontations, irresistible but harmful temptations are all facing us daily as we engage in our walk through life.  Fortunately scripture provides us with a battle plan so that when we enter this spiritual battleground we can be shrouded with armor and armed with a sword of truth and strength to pierce the enemy and carve a peaceful and safe swath through the landmines and weaponry formed against us.

The apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-17 discusses how we are to use the strength and spirit of Christ to gird ourselves for the spiritual battles ahead.  We are to avoid reliance on the earthly flesh and instead walk boldly ahead confident in God’s armor and swinging the sword of truth, which is the Word, as a weapon against Satan.

How do we accomplish this?  Fervent prayer, knowledge of the Word and trust and confidence that Christ Jesus has defeated sin and death and provided us with the power to overcome the worst that Satan can throw our way.  We need to rely less on us, and more on Christ.  We are to recognize our limitations, weaknesses and bad habits and embrace the strength of our holy spirit that allows us to pray for guidance and protection from the enemy.

To take advantage of this powerful armor of God we must be faithful followers of Christ and knowledgeable of the Word…praying for guidance and speaking the truth revealed to us as we  enter the fray.

It is hard to do, as we are self centered…however we must pause and pray before decisions are made.  We must seek out the protection of God through prayer and supplication to Jesus Christ each day as we face the world and its treachery.  We must surrender to Him, relying not on our own power and our own understanding but instead on the omnipotent power of God as it is revealed in His time and in His way.

Who would enter a football game without a helmet?  We do every day we enter the world without prayer and the Word to guide and protect us.  If your ears are ringing from the daily beating you are taking…why not use the armor and power of God which is waiting for you so that you can fight the good fight with the overwhelming edge given us by father God through Jesus Christ.

Stop being a victim….become a warrior!