Friday, March 20, 2015

The Folly of Man

For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. -- Rom 1:21

Truly this is the state of many in the world today. We have wrong priorities, wrong desires, and are deluded in our thinking. We don't think as God does. We don't understand His word to us. Many have an entitlement attitude, believing that they deserve to be blessed and that blessing them is God's priority.

God's priority has always been getting us into a right relationship with Him. He doesn't get sidetracked. He doesn't get too busy. No, He's always working towards that goal. He sent His only Son to die for us, that we might have access to salvation. It was a huge sacrifice that few truly appreciate today.

The Lord wasn't crucified that those who claim to be His might live in sin. He didn't suffer that we might have other priorities. No, He died to draw us to Him, that we might serve and belong to Him. There was a purpose to enduring such torture.

It was a horrendous thing to go through. He was spit on and mocked, beaten and flogged until His skin hung in shreds. The agony was extreme, but He endured it all for us. He took that punishment for us. He, literally, died that we might be saved.

Today many believe His sacrifice negates the need to live holy with His priorities. They are futile in their thinking. They have exchanged true wisdom for the folly of man.

One of the  areas where this can be seen with great clarity is the regard we give animals. While children are dying by the thousands, many are more concerned with animals. I'm not saying we shouldn't regard animals. No, I love animals as much as anyone. The thing is, though, that Christ did not die for animals. He did not suffer the cross for our pets. No, He died for us -- which includes our children.

Many will give everything to rescue an animal, but nothing to save the children. Many will pray for animals, but do not open their mouths for the children. Few take up the children's case, but many fight vigorously for the animals. Even our laws protect animals, but allow for the brutal murder of children. How can God not come against us? Truly, He is.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you think God is not offended by these things, you are sadly mistaken. It is another way we have blatantly shown a deep, disrespect for the cross. We will answer for this. We are going to pay for showing such great regard for those we were supposed to govern while ignoring the murder of those He died for. It really is that simple, but many are too deluded to see it.

The Lord got me out of my sick bed to share this with you. Before you discount it, please ask Him. He really is offended. It doesn't mean we should abuse the animals; but rather, that we should get our priorities straight.



The "Air of Heaven" is up at Putting up easy access buttons is proving harder and more expensive than anticipated.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Having Job's Perspective

"Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to His face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before Him!" -- Job 13:13-16

Job experienced serious trials in his life. He lost most of his servants, all his earthly wealth, and all his children. He went from being a richly blessed, wealthy man to a childless pauper in a flash. And, yet, he still worshipped the Lord.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." -- Job 1:20-21

Today we have an entitlement attitude. We believe we deserve to be blessed, and are furious when we aren't. We don't see the mercies of God as mercy. We see them as His obligation to us. Job had the right attitude. He realized that God is not obligated to see to our needs, let alone our desires.

In mercy God created all things. He gave us being, life, and all that we need for life. Then He topped it off by sacrificing His only Son that we might be redeemed to Him for eternity. His astounding magnificence took great care to regard for our pitiful ineptitude. We are literally dust in His hands. Yet, we think He owes us? No, the proper attitude is humble gratitude.

Thank You, Father, for Your great mercy.
Thank You for Your peace and grace.
Grant to us this day wisdom and direction --
  Wisdom that we might truly be thankful and
  Direction that we might use this day wisely.
All honor and praise are rightly Yours.
We submit to Your complete authority.
Have mercy, Father, for we are at Your mercy.
We ask it all in Yeshua's name.
Amen and amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Remaining in Him

"As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love." -- Joh 15:9-10

Starting the day with praise is one of the best ways to remain in Him. It gets us off on the right foot. If you have yet to memorize a few praise songs or Scriptures, take time to do so. It will add a spring to your step and help keep a smile on your face. As little girls my mother put my sisters and I in a children's choir. To this day I sing hymns, both while sleeping and throughout the day. Those within earshot may not enjoy it, but it keeps me smiling.

A thankful heart is pleasing to God. After all, He has provided us with everything. When we stop to think about all that He has done for us, we soon realize that we have much to be thankful for. Even the poorest of us can say He gave us air to breathe, the sun to brighten our day, ground to walk on (really, we could be floating in space), water to drink, and salvation for our souls. Further, in salvation is the hope of all eternity, the blessings of heaven, the mercy of His love . . . one could go on all day. Some of my favorite blessings are the green of spring, the blue of the sky, the shade of trees, and the smell of roses. In His riches He blesses us with so much that thankfulness should be a big part of our lives.

Praise and thankfulness abound when we remain in Him. To be near Him is to appreciate His incomparable kindness. The more we seek Him the more we desire Him and the closer we draw to Him. All good relationships take effort. Our relationship with the Lord is no different. If we are to have His joy, His peace, and His mercy; we must first firm up our relationship with Him. This requires that we put the same type of effort into being His that we would to be a good wife or a responsible husband or a close friend. Truly, our Heavenly Father is the ultimate helper, provider, and confidant. He is also the eternal Sovereign, the One before Whom all knees will bow. So He doesn't just care for us, He is completely in charge of us.

How much wiser it is to submit to the One Who is in complete control than to resist the inevitable. God's rules are unbreakable, meaning that we do not break them without facing consequences. When we remain in Him, He remains in us. When He remains in us, praise and gratitude just naturally flow from our hearts. It is a beautiful circle of love that stems from obedience.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finding Peace With God

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

One of the jobs given to parents is to raise honest, responsible, moral children. We don't do this for our own good, but for theirs. We know that honesty pays off. We know that responsibility will serve them well, and good morals will keep them from disastrous choices. God's rules are much the same. They were given to keep us from bad choices, destructive lifestyles, and an eternity of torment.

Today many try to edit God's word so that their choices do not appear bad. Much like disobedient children, they attempt to subvert the rules to have their way. A good parent will never allow their child to get away with such disrespect, and neither will God. Most parents know when their child has broken the rules. God always does.

It is out of love that parents discipline their children, and love that God expresses His displeasure. With earthly parents children may manage to get by with some things, but with God nothing eludes His attention. The difference here is that earthly parents have been disobedient themselves. So, we can relate to the desire to do what we should not. 

With God, He not only sacrificed His only Son to pay for our sins, but He cannot co-habitate with sin.  This makes disobedience or sin a far more serious infraction to Him. Just as earthly parents enjoy being with their children, He longs to have a relationship with us. If we are in sin, that cannot be. His holiness will not allow it.

Despite what some say the God of the Bible is intensely interested and concerned with the lives of His creation. 

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. -- Isa 30:18

The magnificent Creator of all that is literally gets up to see to His creation. Like our earthly parents, He is genuinely concerned for those who seek Him. But also, like our earthly parents, He requires submission and obedience to His rules. If we are to have peace with Him, that is what we must do -- regard Him as the Father He is, with respect and obedience.

Therefore, gird your minds for action; keep sober in spirit, fix  your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of  Yeshua the Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." -- 1 Pet 1:13-16

Monday, March 9, 2015

Choosing to Praise

We all have people and things in our lives that just make us want to run screaming, yet some still manage to go through life smiling. Truly there are many things that make life today seem almost impossible. The status of our nation alone is enough to stress one out. However, we serve a magnificently wonderful God and He still cares for us. Whatever our problems are He is still completely capable of delivering us from them all. So, the thing to do is not to let circumstances overwhelm us; but rather, to focus on who He is.

By focusing on Him we cannot help but realize just how absolutely in control He is. We are drawn to His incredible abilities and amazed at His regard for us. That leads to praise and choosing to praise lessens the impact of our troubles upon our hearts and minds. In time He surely does deliver us, but while we wait upon Him praise gives us strength in the valley.

I learned years ago to recite certain Scripture before I went to bed and sing His praises as I go through the day -- even if only in my head. These things have kept me through some pretty serious and difficult times. In addition to the 23rd Psalm, I love these verses from 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits --
Who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases.
Who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion;
Who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

Everyone has trials and tribulations. Everyone suffers loss. Everyone faces obstacles that seem impossible. Yet, our God is infinitely able. He keeps us even when it looks to the outside world like all is lost. We can trust Him, and we should. He isn't just our Creator, but our wonderful Master and Lord. If we remain in Him, He will keep us -- not because I say so, but because He does.

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." -- Joh 15:7

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Comfort or Faith?

Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts. -- 1 Cor 12:27-31

How much Scripture are we willing to throw away for our favored leaders? To be sure MacArthur uses a small piece of 1 Cor 13 to claim that gifts are dead. The thing is in doing so he completely ignores the intent of what Paul was saying, because Paul goes on to explain that these things will disappear when perfection comes. Now this word actually has completion in mind. In other words, Paul is saying these things will pass away when all things are complete. Are all things complete? No. So, we can know that what MacArthur has said is in error.

The Spirit is not so inept as to have Paul encourage us to seek His gifts in Chapter 12 of Corinthians only to deny them to us in Chapter 13. Neither would the Lord have promised us we could move mountains if He had not intended for us to do just that (Mar 11:23). But the greater issue lies with John 14:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it." -- 12-14

The literal translation here is that the "one believing in Me the works which I do that one will also do". In other words, this was not spoken just to the disciples; but rather,  to all those who truly believe. There is no time frame on it, and this is the Lord speaking. Even if some are willing to believe the lie against Paul, surely, they will not accept a man's words over the Lord's.

Here's the thing: Anytime we are gifted by God we are expected to use that gift. We are not given gifts to let them sit on a shelf. They are not given to us to hoard to ourselves. No, they are given to us to exalt Him. To not use them is to insult Him. And that is the comfort of MacArthur, not having to stand like we believe the Lord strongly enough to act on His words.

The only reason we do not have greater things is because we do not ask for them. We do not ask for them, because we don't honestly believe Him. It is just much easier to claim none of these things were meant for us than to live like we know they were.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Who God Is (from The Air of Heaven)

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites; 'I AM' has sent me to you.'" Exo 3:14

This is one of those statements that some today just do not comprehend. God is not bragging here. No, this is a statement of fact, a "wake up and smell the coffee" moment. He is saying to Moses and by extension the Israelites and anyone who has ever earnestly sought to discover Who He is that He is not some insignificant quasi-would-be-god to be taken lightly; but rather, the Absolute Ultimate Supreme God of all time over everything and everyone forever. He is saying:

"This is ME talking here. So, pay attention and do not take My words lightly. Tell the people that you are speaking for Me and that they had better pay attention, too, because I absolutely will know and I most certainly will hold them accountable!"

This is who the God of the Bible actually is. I know He's been portrayed as this lovingly impotent, patient-to-a-fault, wimpy, ineffectual god; but that is not Who He is nor is it Who He ever was. No, the God of the Bible is the flood bringing, hailstone slinging, language changing, nation destroying, frighteningly holy do-not-disrespect-Me-or-else, Magnificently Supreme God above all other gods. He is the God that everyone regardless of what they do or do not believe will answer to. He is also the God that no one regardless of how superior they see themselves as being ever has or ever will get the best of. He cannot be beat. He cannot be thwarted. He cannot be governed not in the past, not now, not ever. He is now, He has always been, and He will always be absolutely and completely in control, because He is absolutely and completely Supreme over all that is.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Flee All Unrighteousness

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey -- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. -- Rom 6:15-18
Here Paul assures us that we are obligated to be obedient. There's none of this "the cross freed me" from the need to abstain from sin with him. We need to remember and turn back to the holiness we are called to.
Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." ‒ 1 Pet 1:13-16
How great a witness there will be against those who have claimed God's love protected them from His holiness while they continued in their sins. Do not be one of them. Flee unrighteousness and seek His grace while it still abounds. The time is coming soon when darkness will overtake take the land. Truly it already has, because few realize how estranged from the Lord we are as a nation.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More on the Problem With MacArthur

In writing this book the Lord has reminded me of many things He has shown me through the years. Some of these things are in the book, because they truly relate to our current position before Him. That is the purpose of the book -- to clarify what He has said and how I know that it has been Him speaking. Of course the book is also about how amazingly awesome He has shown Himself to be, and the wealth of love and compassion He has had on me even while assuring me of the judgment to come. Truly it is part reality check and part love song.
In sharing how He has revealed what He has said, one thing has puzzled me. It is how certain well-thought of leaders could come against His continued interaction with those who are His. John MacArthur, in particular, has come strongly against any sort of miraculous interaction with God, denying certain Scripture to do so. Yet, to many he appears to be truly speaking for God.
So, I have been doing what I always do when something puzzles regarding the Lord. I have been asking, and seeking -- putting Mat 7:7-8 into some very dedicated practice. Now, in Matthew it is the Lord speaking, telling us to ask, seek, and knock. He assures us that when we do, we will be answered. But according to John MacArthur God no longer speaks to us and miracles have ceased -- meaning that ask, seek, and knock are invalid to us now. 
Now I have been practicing Mat 7:7-8 for most of my adult life. So, I know it works, because I've seen it in action countless times. To be certain this is not the only Scripture that MacArthur has disavowed, because he comes strongly against Paul to promote his teaching as well. So, 1 Corinthians is out from about Chapter 12 to 14. Further, He has even gone so far as to label anyone who still believes in these things as a "mystic", and cautioned his followers to ignore them as of the devil. This, brothers and sisters, is his attitude regardless of how clear the evidence is that it is indeed by the Spirit of God that these people are led. 
It is obvious to me that no one who has truly experienced the gifts of the Spirit or heard from God would ever come so directly against these things. Certainly, no one who truly fears God would put their own teachings so clearly ahead of Scripture, but it is exactly what MacArthur has done. Literally, his followers must take his word over Scripture. In the case of Mat 7:7-8 they must take his word over the Lord's though the Lord Himself tells us His words will never pass away (Mat 24:35). This is also true of Mar 11:23 and Joh 14:12-14.
So, as I have sought the Lord, while finishing up the book, I have looked at this man and his teachings. Certainly some of what he says seems sound. However, the issue is that when man -- and I do mean any man -- comes along and invalidates Scripture as not useful to us, they have literally put themselves in charge of what is. If MacArthur is the one we are to listen to -- in preference even to the Lord -- then he has set himself up as above God. (Certainly, if God no longer speaks, then MacArthur has set himself up to replace the Lord in our lives.)
Now, I realize that in saying this I will have offended some. But I ask you to consider this: When did the Spirit of God become so inept that He could not say what He intended to? Do you not know that not everything that came out of the Lord's mouth was recorded? Neither all that the Lord said nor all that the disciples said nor all that Paul said was recorded in Scripture. No, but what was recorded was written for us. 
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, and correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. -- 2 Tim 3:16-17
This is another of many that we have to throw out to believe MacArthur. He may be well loved and respected, but he told you the truth up front. He does not hear from God, because his god no longer speaks. No, the god he follows hinges on MacArthur's own words, because he is the authority he actually believes.
Do a little research. Did you know MacArthur is setting up mega churches the world over? Did you know he appears to be anti-Semitic? (This per Jews who claim anyone can have a MacArthur mega-church except a Jew.) Did you know he doesn't believe we are redeemed by the Lord's blood? Do you realize that it is cultish to demand followers believe you without reservation, taking your word as the true gospel?
I originally thought the man misguided, and stated in the book that he clearly does not and has not heard from God. Now, I believe him far more sinister. And it occurred to me that this is the way it always is. The serpent probably came to Eve speaking as one who knew and understood God. He probably spoke eloquently and with authority. So, she believed him.
For myself, I know miracles still happen. I know God still speaks. I know and fully believe that the Bible does not have things recorded in it that are not useful to us. Just because we do not understand them does not mean they were not recorded for us and of use to us. It just means we need to seek Him for understanding. 
You may choose to believe MacArthur. You may honor his teaching and accept his word. But know this, I do not and will not. He has come against the Holy Spirit with a vengeance. He has come against the word of the Lord as though the Lord needed him to keep from misspeaking. He has segmented out large pieces of Scripture and set himself up as the one to decide what is and is not of God. 
Listen! Anyone who values their own word more than God's is not of God. God is our Authority. Either Scripture is correct or it is wrong. Once we toss out these Scriptures that don't suit MacArthur, what's to keep him from coming back and tossing out more? To believe MacArthur you must first be willing to discount God's ability to say what He means. No real God would ever be that inept. If we believe God created all there is, we must also believe Him quite capable of saying exactly what He meant to say. If these Scriptures were not for us, they would not have been recorded. It really is just that simple.
I'll not take man's word over the Lord's -- regardless of who that man is.