“Unbinding the Feet”

“How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

So much is said in scripture about the “feet” and we know that this means not only the feet of the Body of Christ, as we are taught through these verses:

1st Corinthians 12:14-27: “For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is is not therefore of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing (how could it hear)? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling (how would it smell)?

But now, God hath set the members, every of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body (where would the body be)?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head unto the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak) are necessary.

And those members of the body, which we think are to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely (unpresentable) parts have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered(composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

That there should be no schism (division) in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether (if) one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually). ”

There are many other mentions of the “feet” and so many beautiful scriptures concerning those, like Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Jesus washing the disciples feet, much to the horror of Peter, he was viewing it carnally, his feet covered with dust and I am sure showing the years of wear of much walking and hard work, and he was embarrassed and downright horrified for Jesus to touch his feet.

Because again we try to “beautify” those things we consider “ugly” and try to twist those features into what is more “attractive” and more appealing. And this also happens spiritually. 

Broken, crippled feet are not going to be capable carrying the Gospel anywhere.

I am reminded of the stories of the now pretty much non-existent practice of foot binding.

So truly gruesome and disturbing, and yet somehow so perfect an explanation, such a mirror to exactly what many face spiritually.

First, this begins at a very early age, you could compare that to being a new convert, or you could compare it to be new in ministry, learning your calling.

But the feet are oiled and made as comfortable as possible, (some symbolism to be found there also) and once this has been accomplished, the toes one by one are literally broken and pushed sideways toward the middle of the foot, then the foot is also broken leaving only the big toe and the heel unbroken.

The feet are then bandaged tightly, ensuring all the broken bones are in their “correct” place to be reshaped.

Imagine the level of excruciating pain, even one toe, just being “stumped” or the pain of stepping on something sharp, imagine nine toes broken and both feet broken in the middle.

Also reminiscent of the verse that they “hurt his feet in fetters” referring to the enslavement of Joseph and the nails that were drove through the feet of Jesus. Spiritual feet are quite the same.

And this process, like the binding of spiritual feet is a long process, the feet being unwrapped, the bones re-broken, and wrapped again, even tighter and some trying to alleviate the pain would sneak and loosen the binding at the toes and when caught doing this, those performing the binding would quickly sew up the binding so that they had no way to loosen any part of these bindings.

And the entire “process” was for the purpose of making the “feet” more beautiful, more “acceptable” and to “conform” to the ideas of the time.

The shape of the foot was desired to resemble a lotus blossom, not ironically dedicated to pagan Buddhism.

What I can derive is that it started with concubines to the King and his twisted desire for a certain dance and suddenly, without these misshapen feet women were considered “less desirable” for marriage and so basically, if you wanted to fit in, be treated well, you allowed yourself to be subjected to this.

Sounds like ashes and thorns to me.  Each time the feet were unbound, re-broken, re-bandaged, while fluid and blood leaked out.

This was done in the name of “beauty”, sound beautiful to you? Ever feel like that in your Christian walk? 

You will be oiled, you will be comforted, you will be given beyond and above all you need providing that you keep those big ol’ feet  bound and conforming to the image of those that are acceptable.

And sure you eventually get past some of the pain and learn to walk, very slowly, not making any real strides, only the desired limited movement, but hey, you are still accepted.

“Feet” that were created to “run swiftly” bearing messages. “Feet” that were meant to “leap” as hinds feet converging on impossible mountains, “carrying” to those in the deep trenches the Gospel of freedom and deliverance.

And “feet” that were meant to “dance” for joy along side those that rejoice and as so many of the ladies whose natural feet were bound, those whose spiritual feet have been bound, find later that not only are they unable to leap, dance, much less run, they have now became absolutely crippled.

Good news/bad news, “Feet” can be unbound, but as with bringing back blood flow to anything that has been starved, it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt bad.

First you have to accept that they are your “feet” (take spiritually) and use this as a comfort verse, knowing that your calling, and your gift is what God wants you to have, whether that looks unattractive or unacceptable to anyone else, should be of no matter because we answer to God.

1st Corinthians 12;11,13 : “But ALL these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) AS HE WILL

For by ONE SPIRIT we are ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

Understanding that gives us the courage and boldness to undertake that painful unbinding, and if someone only accepts part of you, or makes you feel that you belong… if you forfeit the very part of you that identifies you in Christ, then it is time to rethink those relationships and the price of those bound feet, they make look pretty fitting in to their delicate little shoes but underneath those wrappings is rot and decay and decay and infection that could one day end up in the blood.

Sometimes the feet will heal, they will always be scarred and much more will be involved as the undergo the “restoration” process but once you realized that you are being crippled, you can either continue to allow that process or you can take off those bandages, deal with patching up the wounds and maybe in time learn to walk again. In the physical binding reversal can takes years and as far as spiritually, we know Jesus heals all of our spiritual wounds, as in our armor. 

Ephesians 6:15: And your feet shod with the preparation of Gospel of peace.

We are Jesus’ children, daughters, and we make up the Bride of the Lamb.

And Jesus has some shoes of His choosing that He’d like His children to wear.

Song of Solomon 7:1a: “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Princes daughter!…”

Psalm 45:13-15: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold (symbolic of the Word of God).

She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework (robes of many colors): the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

With gladness and rejoicing  SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: they shall be brought into the king’s palace.

Jesus Christ, our King, our King who does not hurt us and only binds our wounds, not our “feet”.

Our “feet”that He has freed from snares, traps, and pits from the enemy. And we are taught that where His Spirit is there is freedom, so don’t let anyone or anything bind you and the calling He has placed on your life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

“All that hinders, all that binds,& the lies that trap the mind.”

“He that believeth on him IS NOT condemned: but he that believeth not IS condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.

  And this IS the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” JOHN 3:18-20

How sad, how sad is it when there are people who TRULY, TRULY BELIEVE that God does indeed exist, that Jesus Christ IS indeed the perfect Lamb of God, who BELIEVE the Gospel and every single precious word of it and yet they chose not to accept that Gospel and choose not to accept salvation. How do we ever minister to them?

As in an earlier post, we know that Jesus compares it to children, who no matter how gentle the message, no matter how hot the flames of the fire of hell is preached, they still refuse to accept eternal life through Him, through in WHOM THEY DO BELIEVE. What is wrong with that picture?

Many are mind trapped the have really bought the lies that for whatever reason, the Gospel is good…..just NOT good for them.

Is it self-esteem, is it self punishment, is it a feeling of true hopelessness, worthlessness? What is it? I would love to ask that. Why turn down the greatest love and mercy ever known? Why not be free, truly free, free in happiness, free in peace, and free to live to live a life your never imagined? Maybe someone, the enemy, or maybe the biggest enemy of all, self has convinced you that you ARE condemned.

But the words above are the words of Jesus and HE IS the ultimate authority on ALL things and HE said “if you believe in Him, you ARE not condemned”.

And if you believe and accept Him, ROMANS 8:1, PROMISES, ” THERE is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them that which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Our righteousness (right standing with God) IS as filthy rags, we have all sinned, we are born into sin and people love to remind you of your past and there are always those who love to tell you that you will never make it trying to live for the Lord, but the Bible says “let God be true and every man a liar” there will NEVER be anything we can do to redeem ourselves.

There will never be anything that we can do to undo our mistakes. But the most foolish thing that we can ever do is to stand before the Lord and say to Him, “I know you would have saved me, but I just wasn’t worth it.”

NO ONE is worth it in themselves but we were ALL worth it to Him. It is not His will that any should perish and He gave His life so we would not have to give ours and the thought that we must “make our self ready” for salvation is not  aright thought.

God does not require us to do any of the changing, he requires us to LET HIM CHANGE US! And to analyze, think, plan, and weigh out the options of whether or not we can “give up” this or that and to hold out until we “can live it” is absolutely NOT of God and has nothing to do with true desire for salvation. These thoughts and persuasion are only there to keep us bond and hindered.

What if tomorrow never comes? What if the next breath is the second to your last? Would you accept Him then? What if, without a moment’s warning, half the things in Revelation start to come to pass? What if destruction comes, what if you find yourself on this earth, having missed the ONLY opportunity to flee the trails and tribulations of the last days, by not accepting Christ BEFORE those things come to pass, what happens then? And you STILL BELIEVE?

Well, no one knows the preordained moment of their death, but as sure as we are born, God ALREADY knows the date, hour, second, and millisecond of the moment we WILL leave this earth. We will not be allowed to come back and change our minds and ask for a do over. We are given ONE life here on this earth. “It is appointed ONCE unto man to die” and after that the judgment.

If you believe, then surely you have noticed all those things which are coming to pass, and knowing that you need to know that all that is written, all that has been foretold can happen in  a blink of an eye and even though you may live through the initial things, you will die for your faith, if you are to denounce the beast and refuse the mark.

So now, what hinders you? What is it that binds you?

HEBREWS 12:1″WHEREFORE seeing (since) that we are compassed (surrounded) about with such a great cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE (put down) EVERY WEIGHT (all those things that are hindering you) and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us RUN with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” 

Jesus said YOU are NOT condemned IF you believe in Him, so why on earth are you condemning yourself? ACCEPT His mercy, His peace, and His salvation while they may be accepted. Renew your mind in Him:

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5: “Casting down (tearing down, destroying) imaginations, and EVERY high thing that exalteth itself against (comes in place of) THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,  and bringing INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” 

The knowledge that God does love you, God wants to save you, and stop believing the lies and your own thoughts that want to say otherwise and bring all those thought into Him and WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU and be obedient to the fact that His word is the final authority concerning your soul! And if God doesn’t want to send you to hell, why do you wanna send yourself there?

Also consider checking out this post:  “And you are?…”

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016  ***Re-post 5/25/2019*** This is a thought to a new series

 

 

POLICE STATE

This is from my archives. It is several years old and had been unpublished for awhile. But after seeing the news article and footage of the sixteen year old from West Virginia that was subjected to absolute brutality after evading police, I decided to add this back to my site. Can’t be said enough.

  As John preached repentance and many of certain professions came to inquire what would be required of them to perform the duties of their livelihood and still enter the kingdom of heaven, and this was his reply to the “peacekeepers” of the day:

  LUKE 3:14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (intimidate, shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Now, I really did not particularly relish the task of trying to tackle this subject. As it is in that mysterious list of topics that are really hard to deal with in a church environment and can bring about emotions in either direction to the extreme but it needed addressed because it is rising up out of our culture at an alarming rate more and more every day.

 Police brutality, harassment, and intimidation in our nation is quickly becoming a boiling pot and is in danger of boiling completely over and burning us all as a nation.

I am neutral. I can see BOTH sides with completely equal clarity. This has always been a problem, always, just as John in the Bible was pointing out the same issues that we still wrestle today because there is corruption in all walks of life and in ALL professions but recently in light of news story after news story showing brutality upon brutality is becoming a breaking point for our society.

And it is not just a black problem or a white problem, it has no cultural root, it is a broken people problem. My first encounter with law enforcement was being around four years old awoken by a flashlight shining on my face, policemen were at our house looking for my oldest brother. Now fast forward just a tad, December 3, 1973 he and two more boys happened upon a vehicle that had been left unattended and someone thought hopping in it and taking it for a ride would be the thing to do.

The Police chase that followed would bring a bloody end to an eighteen year old life. The real issue my family had problems understanding is how could he jump behind a wheel and drive speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour in a straight shift, when he did not know how to drive one, or how his head injuries were so traumatic that his scalp ended up on a guard rail.

Guess he was a fast learner and uninjured passengers must have just got lucky. By the time he had been painted as a speeding maniac that endangered the lives of all travelers, the grieving family really didn’t ask the questions until years later.

But THEY said he was driving so….. we could go on with a list of 1970’s “justice” in the South but I think you can suffice it to say that my family never hung out a welcome sign for them. and they were only to be viewed with fear, and mistrust.

BUT I did say I was neutral didn’t I?  Okay, when I was eighteen while babysitting my nieces we were broken in on by their father who was pretty determined to take them and after having the phone taken, being pinned to a counter and threatened and “cussed” till hades wouldn’t have me, I can honestly tell you my opinion changed and the only hope that I and those children had was the knowledge that THEY were on their way and THEY would save us and by the point that I had been let go and was sitting on the couch near the window he had come through, I could see four policemen slowly moving toward the door and I can with everything in me tell you that I have never been so relieved to see anyone in all my life. 

And I realized whatever THEY are, not all of them are bad. As with what my family experienced, so many others have had these awful encounters and they have questions without answers and justice seems only a dream for some but if we continue the culture of hatred and indifference toward law enforcement we will only breed more hatred and violence. I still have friends that are in law enforcement and there are some that are great people, who truly have a heart to help, serve, and protect others and they are who we as the church need to focus on.

Bad apples are ruining the entire bushel.  Environment can be a powerful, powerful force and you may have a person who started out with the best of intentions and enough time and enough pressure can turn that person into whom they never intended to be.

As a profession, law enforcement has some extremely disturbing statistics, suicide rates of around seventeen percent usually before ten years service and the highest rates between forty to forty-four years of age with the highest rate being in officers with over twenty years service, high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and with domestic violence rates double that of the national average.

For the record those are actually older statistics, so now to ask how does this happen? Well, think of this, if you went to your job every day knowing that you may not make it home, that every shift may be your last. If the average person viewed you with hatred and suspicion often being fought, cursed, and spit on and weave into that seeing victims of violence and car accidents leaving bodies bloody, mangled and often dismembered, working suicides complete with brains splattered against walls, delivering news to families that loved ones have been killed. Often working double shifts with very little rest and often with an extra job to just to make ends meet. Now internalize all those things you have just seen because you are required to be “strong” and conceal your emotions. Do this day after day, you would soon  find that there is nothing normal about it. No human can handle that kind of stress without God and no human can handle that type of job stress and not be affected in some way.

“Be ye not overcome by evil BUT overcome evil with good” that verse tells us that all humans at one point or another can be overcame by the evils around them. I will NEVER by any means whatsoever say that those who are just evil do not exist. I think I have shown proof that I do understand families who are angry and protest and want justice, I do understand because whether my brother had issues or not, eighteen is too young for a life to end because of a stupid joy ride. But I also understand the risk we take as a society, if we do not remember that those in this profession are not merely “they” or “them” but are actually individuals just as we as Christians are individuals and that they do hurt and that they are souls that can break and help the cause of good to overcome the evil and that those who are of honor will have courage to stand against those who do not.

 The truth is there will be no peace on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ and without men and women who are willing to stand between those who wish to harm and those who would be harmed we would be truly in anarchy. And as time draws closer, the world gets crazier we will need good ones more than ever. 

I know people pray for their safety but we also need to pray that God will watch over those who do walk in integrity and keep them in integrity and that they will always treat others with the same respect that they desire and pray He will send them help with those burdens and that they will not be overcame by the evil they see and face. That they will look at others also as human and not become jaded and view everyone as rampant criminals. And that the mere notion of keeping peace requires excessive violence will no longer be held and for the termination of the ideology that the ends can justify the means and as concerning those who are brutal and miscarry justice, well you know the prayer, the same one you pray over it all “Deliver us from evil.” 

Jesus Christ is the one true law giver, and judge. He will render to all as they have sown and Vengeance is His.

I wrote this on behalf of victims,and their families, and true justice. His story, like the stories of so many others deserved to be told and in his case justice was NOT served, it was miscarried.   May he rest in peace.

Roger

Roger McKinley Brown 08/13/1955-12/03/1973

 

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016

Post note: I did lose one FB friend with this… which is not too bad, but that does prove a point that if people are so unwilling to believe that law enforcement or ANY other professional group are above reproach, that explains the problem with this issue. There are bad people in ALL walks of life a “one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel” and if we can’t even discuss an issue, we will never have healing and peace in our society.

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

LOVE this song!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

“Waning under the weight of waiting”

Now that title is quite a mouthful, try saying it fast three times, could be a pretty good tongue twister 🙂 but I am hoping it’ll make for a much better thought provoker!

Hebrews 12:1a: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”

Used this scripture before, we all have I am sure, but for the moment I want to concentrate on what a weight waiting can be.

Ever think about it? When people or even our own selves come up with every known imaginable reason why we can not serve God or why we can’t accomplish his will or why we can’t live for him… just now, maybe in the future but now we can’t because we are waiting, waiting on some magical, mystical desire to take place or we are waiting on someone else to “come in” then we’ll “get right” with the Lord.

How could ANYTHING of this world be more important than your soul?

How? Never mind the demons, and the spiritual world that surrounds our natural world every single day and if it were not for God’s divine protection do you think you would be so safe from all the traps and snare that are laid for your feet?

Never mind the lack of peace, never mind the constant struggles inside your mind because “to him that knoweth to do good and do it not, it is a sin” completely IGNORING all those things for a moment, how does anyone take the comfort that their eternal soul is secure out of the daily equation, in seemingly “never-minding” that we are never once promised that we have all the time in the world to WAIT while allowing the weight of all those earthly hindrances to steal day after day while we have no promise of the next day. 

It is ALL of the world, the world that scripture warns us and warns us to stay out of. The world can mean many different struggles for different people.

It is not always about money, but it all equates the same. ANYTHING we place above God or the service and ANYTHING that prevents us from following him with our whole hearts and lives completely surrendered to him.

That is why we are told that WE must LAY ASIDE all these weights.

God does not place that weight on us… the world does and we have to be willing to refuse to carry it and we can’t blame that one on God. 

This is one Jesus’ warnings on the subject.

Luke 12:15-20: ” And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of things he possesseth. 

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?”

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits and my goods. and I will say unto my soul,  Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”  

He went on to encourage us to lay up those treasures in heaven because the concerns and desires of this world that became as weights will drag us down. And this is also so clear in his parable of the sower and the seed, AGAIN warning us about this world and getting caught up in it rather that the things of God.

Matthew 13:3-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured  them up;

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them:

But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  

Do you recognize all the different human conditions going on here?

Think about it, the way side, just going through life, not caring one way or another and those are absolutely devoured because no one is caring if they make it or not.

The stony places in hardened hearts and unrepentant, unyielding, stubborn, and prideful.

Too “shallow” to make the long haul, all for it until the going gets tough and then they gotta get going… their own way, AWAY from God. 

And the thorns of this world, the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, and injustice, all those things that prick, mar, and scar.

BUT Jesus told us this in his word, Song of Solomon 2:1,2: “I AM the rose of Sharon, and  the lily of the valleys. 

As the lily AMONG the thorns SO IS my love among the daughters.”

 For every single human condition there is a relief and cure in God’s word, IF we will seek it and have faith to believe it.

That faith and assurance, NOT in ourselves or our abilities but faith that He is and He will fulfil all his promises to us IF we do what his word tells us to do.

That is that good ground that he cultivates for his seed and to bring forth HIS fruit. And as he told us to “hear if we have ears to hear” meaning if our heart is set on him and our thoughts on things eternal to HEAR him.  

Continuing, Matthew 13:18-23: Hear  ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it  not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth (snatches) away that which WAS sown in his heart. This is which received seed by the way side. 

But he that received the seed into stony places,  the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while:  for when tribulation OR persecution ariseth BECAUSE of the word, by and by he is offended. 

He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word : And the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of riches, CHOKE THE WORD,  and he becometh unfruitful. 

But he that received seed in the good ground IS he that heareth the word, and understandeth it;  which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Those “places” those weights. those are the things that prevent our growth, prevent us from bearing fruit and will certainly crush that precious seed planted by the Lord himself and eventually even crush us under them.

God never told us to wait on this world or to wait for things in this world to change.

We are to FOLLOW HIM and WAIT for him, not this world and we can never carry that weight. We were never meant to.

The only one who can is the only one who already holds it ALL in the middle of his nail scarred hand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

 

Cultivating a passion for compassion

To the word… shall we? Luke 7:11-16: “It came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people (a large crowd). Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people (large crowd) of the city was with her.

And when the Lord SAW her, HE HAD COMPASSION ON HER, and said unto her, Weep not.  And he came and TOUCHED the bier  (open coffin): and they that bare him  (carried the coffin)  STOOD STILL.

And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that WAS dead SAT UP, and began to speak. And he (Jesus) delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all (fear seized them all): and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet has RISEN among us; and that GOD HATH VISITED HIS PEOPLE.” 

I know the look of this writing format is not the greatest but it is kinda tricky to say it in my head and expect everyone to read it with the points I would so stress vocally… so we instead get this big bold words to hit the preferred points.

Going be, hopefully ‘talking’ about compassion or rather the lack thereof. I will admit I get very angry, very easily with the stories of people who do things that are just so mean and sometimes hearing peoples thoughts, takes, and advice in dealing with everything from children to pets and sometimes I just want to scream, “WHAT is wrong with you people?!” 

I still think the “wrong” part is what helped usher in the falling away of the church, especially taught in the old days, teaching against women and that everyone and everything was to be brought “into submission” through hitting and brow beating, that church shaming keep the flock in check, when actually it ran them out, and the Bible teaches us that love “discreetly” covers matters.

The old school-house rules of teachers actually calling bullied kids “tattle-tales” instead of defending them. So it is not to be a shock that people who “grow up” under these teaching and in homes with these thoughts often (NOT ALWAYS) cling to those same destructive mentality as adults.

Doubt it? Well how babies do you think are born as white supremacists, or born  with any other natural inclination to hatred and violence, or to hold any other poisonous prejudiced belief.  NONE, we are created completely equal, with no hate, or distrust toward anyone.

Infants do not even have to capacity to hate. Anger itself is supposed to be three to six months of age and shame around thirty-six months, but hatred is its own monster and usually it is taught or birthed from a neglectful, abusive environment.

So if a person has never been taught love, compassion, and mercy how can we expect them to show it? And it is so easy for us to give into our own hatred and disgust (which IS still wrong, I fully admit I wrestle with it in many instances) because we can’t understand how people can not see that there is a better way. Compassion which is one the most precious attributes of the Lord, among his innumerable is the most often overlooked, and avoided of them all. So much with hell and brimstone, which I also preach, and do not feel is preached nearly enough,  but it has to be in context with the conviction spirit drawing people, convicting them of their need of salvation.

Only God can bring true conviction, saving conviction, conviction that will bring change as he himself cautioned all to “TURN from their WICKED ways”.

ALL of us who are truly of the body of Christ have felt that conviction, we were made fully aware of our ways and how truly wicked and sinful our lives had been, that is what gets through to us.

We can never do that, we don’t “get people saved” we can make people feel shame, fear, guilt, (which is again, all WRONG) and try to “get them saved” and only make them feel like dirt and view us as “judgy” hypocrites, causing them to run even farther away…which is what brought us to this post!

People can only be told so many times that what they say is sinful, what they think is sinful, what they wear… AGAIN sinful before they just finally give up.

What we THE WORLD needs is compassion, we NEED a revival of compassion. I have said this before and probably will again, but the most missed point of all time has been COMPASSION, Jesus IS compassion and I love the story from Luke, because NO ONE had to ask him to do this, NO ONE told him about this lady or her son, of course being God, I am sure He knew, but for our recorded information NO ONE else brought this to his attention. We are told that he SAW her, he SAW her pain, he SAW that this was her only child, he SAW her widowhood and being God, He SEES it all.

And he had COMPASSION, which literally means a mixture of love and sorrow for the plight of another, suffering that feeling WITH them. And that is what we miss and the world misses.

When we see each other hurting, even someone we don’t know well, or even at all, as Christians, that compassion Jesus had SHOULD rise up in us also, just as the man in our verse ROSE and just as Jesus ROSE in victory.

Compassion has the power to do that. COMPASSION is the love and mercy of God coming into a dark situation and RAISING UP a completely different standard and changing the outcome for all concerned.

And just as hatred is taught, compassion can be taught also, when you offer others a “different” way of dealing with something that see as a problem and others can learn compassion from how you treat them. It is part of being that light Jesus left us to be and why he gave us these wonderful teachings:

Luke 6:31-37: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also them likewise. For if ye love ONLY them that love you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also love those that love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also lend to SINNERS, to receive as much again.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and YE SHALL BE THE CHILDREN OF THE HIGHEST: FOR HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL.

BE YE THEREFORE MERCIFUL, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven.”

And we know exactly WHO is speaking to here, he differentiated “the church” from “the sinners” so we would have no doubt who he was speaking to. He is speaking to us, his entire “church” and as he pointed out THE traits and actions are what proves us as his children!

And He IS merciful, and He IS kind and in being those things it CHANGES hearts. Back to the innocence babies, when a child has never been shown compassion or taught compassion, or raised with half-truths, never taught tenderness, gentleness, or mercy they can not be expected to just spontaneously produce these traits.

At some point the Lord has to have it shown to them, thus teaching that better way. And with everything we learn, it requires time, patience, and two willing hearts, one giving and one receiving and there is nothing greater we can give than the love of Christ and nothing greater we can show aside his enduring, endless mercy, as the Bible tells us “His compassions faileth not” meaning his compassion is never-ending. 

And he EXPECTS us to be a reflective of himself, we NEED to start checking that reflection and if we find that we are lacking, we need to pray for his compassion, and mercy to RISE inside of us. 

Pray that he would give us spiritual eyes to see what he wants us to see in others.

Pray that he would give us spiritual ears to hear the very cry of wounded souls that are often hidden behind outwardly angry appearances.

Pray that our spiritual hearts are open to his leading and prompting by his Holy Spirit to minister to those needs and show us the time to give that ministration when it would be received.

Pray that the compassion of this world would be stirred, that the spirit of love, mercy, and meekness would take hold of hearts thought to be so cold they would never warm.

Pray that those cold stones learn a better way and then, my friend, that love will spread and that love will save!

Would you be interested to know the MEANING of Nain, which was the name of the city Jesus ENTERED into and RESURRECTED the widow’s son? 

Nain means BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS!!!  Now don’t you want others to also know that through mercy and compassion, we are INVITED to ENTER into that BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS with him?!!!

Cover yourself in it! Wear it for the whole world to see!

Colossians 3:12-16: “PUT ON therefore, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS (tender mercies) OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, AND LONGSUFFERING;

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And ABOVE ALL THESE THINGS , PUT ON CHARITY, (love)  WHICH IS THE BOND OF PERFECTNESS. And LET the PEACE of GOD RULE YOUR HEARTS, to which also ye are called in one body and BE YE THANKFUL.

Let the WORD of Christ DWELL in you richly in ALL wisdom; TEACHING and ADMONISHING (warn gently) ONE ANOTHER…”

Thanks for reading! Love and peace to you and yours this upcoming week!  God bless you!

Εξυπνιζω Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

Love this song, still moves me to tears, beautiful, beautiful lyrics!

 

 

 

“Taking up serpents…”

First off, I must admit that I have about three posts I need to write to explain my six-week hiatus and my name change ‘Splaining the name thing…. But I really have to do this today because I think it may be “on time” for some and I definitely don’t want to wait until it is too late to give maybe a little different prospective on a probably quite taboo and deadly subject ( in more ways than one) but nevertheless  a very real subject  inside some denominations of the Christian faith.

“Snake handling” or “taking up serpents” mainly associated with Pentecostal and Holiness churches, but I do want to STRESS the majority of churches in these groups do NOT practice this.

I have glimpsed television shows dealing with this and I stay far away from those shows and now there is a new video on social media that was filmed during just such a service in a neighboring state.

It worries me, it worries me for several reasons.

The clip I watched showed multiple people filming this so it is really hard to know just how broad an audience it will hit. I truly do not understand the need to film this because the subject is so hard for many to understand and I personally believe it would be far more beneficial filming and sharing a service of healing and miracles.

And seriously if one has the kind of faith to lift up a Copperhead or rattlesnake and not be bitten and die, they should have the kind of faith to believe the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, because the miraculous and the signs and wonders are for those who DO NOT BELIEVE, so that they will see and know that no power other than the power of a sovereign God could have brought forth these truly supernatural occurrences.

I fear most the door which is opened for those who do not understand to mock and ridicule and unknowingly endanger their souls in doing so, usually others will be dancing in the Spirit, or speaking in tongues and contrary to denominational arguments as to whether these manifestation are still active in our present day, the real danger lies in the fact that if those who have never read the book of Acts or know anything at all of the Bible or Jesus, and are not even laughing about the snakes, decides to mock the dancing, or some other aspect of a service, it endangers their souls, through something that they should have never viewed unless the were present.

Because we can be forgiven for ANYTHING EXCEPT mocking the Holy Spirit.

When we do not understand we have no way to gauge exactly what we are seeing other than our OWN human mind and for those who do not know Christ, this can be even more dangerous.

I for one believe in the sanctity of ALL life, and do not believe in hitting or killing and I know Jesus to be a beautiful GENTLE creator and I really feel sorry for the snakes which have to be terrified but I also know better than to bash their beliefs because they are worshiping God they way they understand it to be and they do this as an exercise in faith.

Just as a boxer might push themselves to new limits everyday while preparing for an upcoming match.

This is how they build their faith that God will protect them.

So for those who may not know, we’ll look at the verses and origins of this and I’ll give you my take on my personal thoughts,again those are mine, EVERYONE has their own relationship with the Lord, and that IS what we MUST be mindful of. Okay, where does this practice come from?

Have to get back to the garden for that one, most know the story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent that seduced her through her own desires for supposed “knowledge” right into absolute disobedience to God. And as God gave divine judgments against ALL three of them.

Genesis 3:14,15: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because THOU hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beats of the field; upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shall be thou eat all the days of thy life.

And I WILL PUT ENMITY (hostility) BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; AND IT (he) SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL.”  

So the long-held hatred between humans and snakes can be easily explained and symbolically many older demonstrations hold this to a more drastic level than many of us do today, because as we understand it, all females suffer terribly during childbirth and I personally believe the serpent had legs at this time, but nevertheless we know snakes now can only move on their bellies, and are absolutely the most dreaded and hated among all creation.

This gives us the reason behind the symbolism of power to subdue them. Many other scriptures deal with the subject, but we’ll try to stick with the subject at hand.

So further proof of this, can be found in the fact that power over the serpent was one of the signs God gave Moses to show that his commission was truly divine.

 Exodus 4:1-5: “And Moses answered and said, But behold, they will NOT believe me, NOR hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath NOT appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he (the Lord) said, Cast (throw) it down on the ground, and he cast it down it on the ground, AND IT BECAME A SERPENT: and Moses fled from before it. 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail ( reach down and pick it up by the tail) And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and IT BECAME A ROD IN HIS HAND:

THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD GOD OF OUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB, HATH APPEARED UNTO THEE..” 

Exodus chapter seven also tells us of this same rod being turned again to the serpent which consumed the serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians. God sent mighty wonders through Moses that the Egyptians AND the Hebrews would know, see, and BELIEVE in the power of Jehovah God.

Again, Numbers chapter twenty-one tells us of people speaking AGAINST God and His servant, prompting God’s anger which he displayed by sending fiery serpents upon the people, when the people repented and came to Moses, God instructed to make a brass serpent and those bitten who be healed when the gazed upon it. 

We understand that to be the forerunner verse to John 3:14,15:“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Now to bring it New Testament, when Jesus gave the great commission, he spoke also of the signs and wonders, those unexplained events that could only be explained by a very real belief in the power and glory of Almighty God.

Mark 16:15-18: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).

And THESE SIGNS shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall thy cast out devils (demons) ; they shall speak with new tongues;

THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS: AND IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

I personally believe in miracles, I have seen miracles and there have been times I could not understand why something didn’t end with a miracle and then I remembered something, miracles ARE for a sign and only God dictates when that is required, as believers we are already told to “walk by faith” and that is His requirement.

The miracles, He sends as He wishes, not necessarily as we desire. although I believe in asking and asking!

So this is how I interrupt this, not saying I am right, not saying you have to agree, but saying PLEASE do not encourage others in something they do not understand because Paul also told us that we are babes we must have milk, not solid food.

Of course I paraphrased that, but it translates to this, we grow little by little in the things of God and trying to chew meat when we haven’t teeth will only choke us to death.  so taking up serpents, we are told we will tread upon them, in the sense of the demonic forces we deal with that are constantly  striking at our heels in hopes of making us stumble. Jesus gave us power through His name over those.

Now what if the enemy tries to kill you BEFORE your time and others are just knowing that you have done something to “deserve” it?

Acts 28:3-6: “And when Paul had gathered  a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, THERE CAME A VIPER OUT OF THE HEAT, AND FASTENED ON (sunk in his fangs and held onto) HIS HAND. 

And when the barbarians SAW the VENOMOUS BEAST HANG ONTO HIS HAND, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth him not to live. 

And HE SHOOK OFF THE BEAST (creature) INTO THE FIRE, AND FELT NO HARM.

Howbeit, thy looked (expected) WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SWOLLEN, OR FALLEN DEAD SUDDENLY: but  AFTER THEY HAD LOOKED A GREAT WHILE, AND SAW NO HARM COME TO HIM, THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS…..”  

Deadly “poison” by accident, or by the devils assault, or by simple basic necessity:

Exodus 15:23-25: ” And when they came to Marah, they COULD NOT DRINK of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed (showed) him a tree, which he was to cast into the waters, AND THE WATERS WERE MADE SWEET…”   

2 Kings 2:19-22: “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth ( it is a nice place as you see) but THE WATER IS NAUGHT (bad), and the ground is barren.

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt therein, and said, THUS SAITH THE LORD, I HAVE HEALED THESE WATERS; THERE SHALL NOT BE FROM THENCE ANY MORE DEATH OR BARREN LAND.

SO THE WATERS WERE HEALED UNTO THIS DAY, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”

2 Kings 4:38-41: “And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth (famine) in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, set on a great pot, and seethe pottage (soup) for the sons of the prophets.

And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered wild gourds, his lap full, ( as many as he could carry), and came and shred them INTO the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. So they poured out for the men to eat.

And it came to pass, AS THEY WERE EATING OF THE POTTAGE, THAT THEY CRIED OUT, AND SAID, O THOU MAN OF GOD, THERE IS DEATH IN THIS POT. And they could NOT eat thereof. 

But he (Elisha) said, THEN BRING MEAL. And he cats it into the pot: and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. AND THERE WAS NO HARM (nothing harmful) IN THE POT.”

I hope this may have helped understand these traditions and the importance of whether we ourselves embrace them or not, we should be truly careful of what we say about them.

Thanks for reading!

Love & Peace, GOOD TO BE BACK!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018