Cogs in the machine

Some have preached good works until there is barely a decent person left in the congregation, while others have preached free grace and dying love in such a way that sinners have become saints,and saints have been as boughs loaded down with fruit to the praise and glory of God. Having seen the harvest which comes from what we have planted, we are not going to change it at the commands of this whimsical age.

Charles H Spurgeon The Greatest Fight

Good morning. Indeed it is a good morning. The Lord has not returned yet and we still have breath to speak on his word, his holy good news, his love and long suffering. The gospel that has indeed changed the coarse of history. We have a great feeling in these days that we face times that there is a hopelessness in reasoning. Long lost is the art of conversation. We have so downgraded conversations for quick quips, short stinging rebukes, empty memes without respect. Certainly the wise have done away with real wisdom for foolish pursuit of strange and new truths. The ignorant choose to willfully remain without insight to things they have no understanding, instead looking for leaders to dictate their every thought on every matter. In essence both have exchanged truth for a more comfortable lie at worst or at best omitting that which is uncomfortable.

In seeming juxtaposition Paul preached unwavering faith to his flock, while James taught vehemently the importance of works. Admittedly throughout history we see that people are as much same yesterday today and tomorrow as our saviour is. While the gospel is this, your faith has made you whole. Not your thoughts. Not your works. Not the uttering of a prayers like a pre prepared magical incantation or hidden cheat code to the universe. Your faith makes you whole. This free grace is the utmost powerful gift that builds up believers to move mountains. This free grace gives unlimited growth to change the coarse of countries, conflicts, wars. This pure faith is what gives power to the good works that James spoke of. If our works are not backed by faith what else are they? Greed? Fear? Insurance?

You can no more have faith or good works without love. One of the Most bastardized words to pass our lips. If we speak of love without faith in a fallen world then we come to a broken meaning. There are many different ways of love and in Greek they had separate words to quickly tell of what love you are speaking of. In a society devoid of true love we have often exchanged brotherly, parental or common admiration for repetition, idolatry and empty works. We exchange the communion of similar interest for sensuality. This leads to isolation as people don’t know what love is. This leads to jealousy, which leads to resentment, anger, hate, broken families, broken children, ,divorce, murder. Diseases from promiscuity. The emptiness of unfulfilled relationships leading to shame, self loathing, depression, suicide. Often we talk on what is a sin but leave out why it is a sin. Not only where we miss the mark but why we have a mark to hit.

It is not good to be alone. It is not good for man to be alone…. We see in the beginning the God himself did not want to be alone. He took a completely void nothing and turned it into everything. Great artistry. Perfect balance. Perfect harmony. Then he did something perfectly wonderful he created man in his own image. We immediately see an image as in what we can see. Physical. We live in a physical state of being. However this I full heartedly believe not to be true. His image is spiritual. It is eternal. It is not of our understanding. His being is only described best as light. Light also is not what we see only as illumination. If you retract it you get all colors. If you harness it from the sun you get power, electricity. If you were organic as the plant kingdom it would be food for your needs in photosynthesis. When we he created us he wanted a spiritual relationship. When he created male and female, he wanted us to have a spiritual relationship. When he multiplied us he wanted us all to have a spiritual relationship. When we try to substitute one aspect of our spiritual relationship with another we suffer. Love is the spiritual bonding of our spirit to one another. Every aspect of love is important. Admiration, brotherly, sisterly, parental, comforting, sensuality. But as with all things they need to be within their perfect balance. To each pure relationship we have, the healthier we are spiritually. Each impure relationship causes your soul harm. Every denied relationship because of fear is like cancer to our spirit. Our faith will heal our spirit, and allow us our spirit to work in balance and harmony like cogs. Cogs of spiritual war, repaired by faith, held together by love, harmonious working together. Every one having our own place in the Kingdom of god which is spiritual.

For those of us steadfast in our grace received by by faith, we need to return to the basics of our common faith, which is Jesus Christ. We disagree on many things however, no matter what ethnicity, political party, status in our faith and journey towards our promise, if we stand on a strong foundation of faith and true love, the kind only the holy spirit give we will win the race.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. [14] Let all that you do be done in love.

Called by grace, chosen by faith

Proverbs 5:15-16 ESV
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. [16] Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?

Understanding Gods relationship with his people essential to understanding salvation. Many are called but few are chosen. Who are the chosen? Who are the called? The children of Israel are his chosen people, called to live different lives than the rest of the world. They were called to keep his laws, follow his commandments, and in all of their dealings be righteous. Obviously they refused to be his people but they were still chosen to bring the messiah and salvation.

Who are the called and chosen today? Like the Jews are today, Christians have embraced the name the world gave them. Quickly the followers of Jesus spread the gospel and unbelievers took notice of how different the followers “of the way” of salvation were. They labeled believers little Christ or Christians. But quickly those who converted from all walks of life happily found themselves out in the proverbial desert making idols and whoring around like the Israelites waiting on Moses to bring the commandments. Understanding that we are slaves either to sin or righteousness is at the core of this point I would make. Christians all are the called to live as Christ lived and most of us aren’t or have not done a good job of it. Those who read their bible for themselves and choose to believe it with pure faith and surrender to God’s will immediately become called, and that faith immediately removes the chains of sin. Those whose faith has brought freedom and forgiveness from sin are called to repent of their sins. This is what people leave out when urging others to buy into an eternal life insurance policy with a sinners prayer.

Who are the chosen? Abraham was called to follow the Lord. He was chosen because of the faith he showed not by being perfect but perfectly following because of his faith. He unknowingly committed adultery with his wife’s servant. But God corrected him and he had faith to follow his correction. God asked him to sacrifice his son and he had faith in resurrection though being ignorant of gods plan of salvation. Yahovah Yirah. God is my provider. No we are not perfect as Abraham was not perfect. To be chosen, we must have hearts and minds to be willing to accept discipline.

Whether we are living in sin. Whether we are conservative with our sin or liberal with them, sin is sin. That which sets us apart is knowledge or denial of the truth. We will be judged as we have been judged. Whether we sinned ignorantly, or willingly after the call.

Make Babylon great… again

© Copyright Robin Stott and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”

Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel 4:30 esv

Nebuchadnezzar; a man given much power begins to believe that power has come forth from his own works. Babylon has historically been responsible for modern commerce system. With much agriculture in abundance but lacking other necessities they created a trade system and a monetary value system to protect gold used in trade from theft on trade routes and the banking abilities to hold and lend money with interest.

….Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God

Jesus, Matthew 19:24 esv

Why is it so hard for those with much wealth to enter heaven? Many are called and few are chosen. There are two kinds of people who are rich. Those who gain wealth by honest hard work and those who exploit the hard work of others. Those who work; mistakenly believe that they have received their wealth by their labor. However from the scriptures, we see that all wealth is allowed by God himself. There is no boast in wealth or poverty before the Lord. He can give and he can take away. Therefore all things are directly or indirectly a gift from God himself.

that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. [26] And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. [27] Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”….

[31] While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you,

Daniel 4:25 – 27, 31

Now our actions with what we have both rewards and consequences. For Daniel was faithful to God, even though God himself having given him into the hands of Babylon. Daniel faithfully served God; while respectfully serving Nebuchadnezzar. This is a hard concept for people because we look to object to anything we do not agree with. In fact, we become rude towards those we disagree with. We become entitled and obstinate. Nebuchadnezzar; because of his wealth, he became arrogant. He believed himself to be the creator of his own good fortune. This God could not allow therefore he humbled him by taking his kingdom. He did allow it for a long time but being slow to anger does not mean consent.

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble

Daniel 4:37

Purchased from and into slavery

Something that has been on my mind is the lack of understanding of how slavery came to be. It is easy to point to slavery that used to be practiced in America and absolutely it was completely born in sin as slavery was a byproduct of sin to begin with. Yet for today’s purpose, I would like to not look at it solely from an American perspective but from an older perspective.

I would like to say that from the the bible the first man was sold into slavery by his disobedience to his creator. In the beginning God created man in his image, and I don’t know what today would look like had Adam not sinned. I know there would be no death. There would be no hard labor from the moment we are born; learning how to labor until eventually working until we die. Essentially God created labor to be slavery for men. For women because Eve was deceived, she was taken into slavery to her husband. He didn’t do this as an absolute because he wanted this to be the way it is, but as an example of how Adam sold himself into servitude to sin. After which he had no ability to separate himself from this bondage.

To understand slavery itself, the bible talks of how even as slaves we receive wages for our services. People still have to eat, drink, be clothed. Anyone who knows anything about morale, knows a happy servant is a more productive servant. More often than not though, humanity itself being fallen, abused ownership of human beings all the same as anything else. We see how man has abused the companion he gave us, women. In the beginning we were to be equals completing each other. Under sin man abused his purpose with women, until the rejection of this system of marriage as a contract to each other, as man made it a single sided contract. Man took ownership over his fellow man and abused it to the point of rejection of this system of ownership. I would argue that we are still slaves to corporations and endless capitalism. We can no more quit without fear of how we will feed ourselves or fear of homelessness altogether. Even socialist know that programs designed to benefit the society must be sustainable by labor and some form of capital gain. Wealth and greed still enslave us today. Some are better at fair practices than others but we still see the way greed causes the hard working not to pay off. Truth be told the middle class which is ever so shrinking are materially rich both in the eyes of the less fortunate and eyes of God. Humans have no ability to regulate fairness within any system and it is better to be honest with this truth.

Regardless we are still creatures of slavery as we are born into sin. Though we are free to marry as we please, we counterfeit the contract that God, not men, laid out for men and women. Which isn’t true or binding when not approached within the definition laid out by God. Which is why there are so many open relationships in the LGBT community. It is just not a tangible contract with any spiritual meaning. It is not binding spiritually therefore their is not as much attachment. Why do we see jealousy between man and woman relationships that aren’t in marriage? Because this contract is not merely fleshly but spiritual. We are spiritual beings trapped in flesh, creating spiritual contracts that we don’t know that we are creating to each other. This said, we must understand that this slavery to freshly desires is of equal condemnation in the eyes of God. It doesn’t matter whether you are heterosexual or homosexual, if you defy the way God has created us to be we are in fact acknowledging that we are slaves to sin and must obey our master to do such sinful desires. This is why when the world says that we are born either straight or gay, it is truth. Not that we can use this truth before God as an excuse. For truth condemns us. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can purchase us back from chains to sin, which Satan himself holds.

This is another point I would like to point out. A few weeks ago I read an article on a woman who joined a Satanist church that “doesn’t worship or do the will of Satan”. Yet if we know who gave Eve the temptation to sell herself and her husband into slavery, we can truly understand that he is the slave owner who controls our desires, and his will is everything from true mediocrity to active outright rebellion toward God. All of which is opposite of God’s will but that which is good in the world within the non believer is only because of the way light moves those with not so hardened hearts to do better. Yet the more we reject God’s gift the harder we become and the easier it is to do Satan’s will. That said God being Satan’s creator, and the true writer of the law, has the true authority to purchase us from the bondage of sin which Satan holds over us. True pure faith we receive this purchase. Therefore we have no boast over those who practices sins we perceive as worse, or whether they are truly worse in the eyes of God himself they equally condemned us to everlasting separation.

With this knowledge that we are not truly free; that we are to be slaves to God’s will, not to sin. Denying our own desires that are still ingrained within our minds. We can love those who are still imprisoned to sin within themselves. Our freedom in Christ allows us to be angry and not sin. It allows us to enjoy creation and the pleasures thereof such as food, drink and sexual desires with out sin. For some of us though its is easier to be taken out of Egypt than Egypt to be taken out of God’s people. As Egypt was another image of slavery to the flesh. Some still have scars that prevent us from enjoying freedom from sin as much as others. This is why we must both be mindful of those who still suffer, who give up more freedom to maintain service to God’s will, and not become bitter to those who can better enjoy the freedom he gives others. It is not always the action that is the sin but the way we go about it that is sinful. This is why we are warned not to be judges of people. We condemn ourselves in such judgment and create a division on top of a divide already in place. But instead we are to love and guide each other. Sometimes that means speaking truth, all of the time prayer. Sometimes it mean walking away not in disgust but love. Not slamming the door on the way out but parting gracefully the door wide open to one another as believers. Also with as much grace for those who don’t believe, as Christ died for you and them with hopes to allow his blood to purchase our souls back from damnation all the same.

I hope your Saturday has been as blessed as mine. I do not boast anything as knowledge, peace, grace and all gifts from God are given not based on my righteousness. It is based on faith, not that I have been faithful but because he is faithful. On this as we believed in him so that he could give us our measure of faith, we can move with love. On these two things he grants us our salvation, on these two things alone he can show through us himself not ourselves. Not that we loved him first, but that we received his love and can love him with all of our hearts, and love ourselves not for what we have been but what he is molding us into. Then we can love our neighbors as we love ourselves because of the possibility that our new light may remove the years of hardness built upon by sins by us and done to us. God can forgive and heal any sin committed by us and to us. All we have to do is believe and repent, obey and let go. He will do the work.

Faith led maturity

One of the greatest tools a Christian has for sharpening his or her faith is the word of God. Within the scriptures we find truth if taken as a whole truth. Not merely a platter for which truth can be picked from and expect to grow if we discard that which is uncomfortable.

One of the many things I think hold us back is that we think that if we question what we are taught that we will be fooled into losing our faith or that if one of the things we were taught isn’t true that our whole faith falls apart. We look at how God has spoken to people from the past in the scriptures who were imperfect and measure ourselves to them. We pick certain spiritual leaders that we agree with and only follow them. In a social media age we tune out others and allow algorithms to feed us that which we believe and ignore everything else. Not that different though as humans have always congregated with those whom they felt comfortable around. Looking at all the different churches and denominations that we have. Certainly we are all brothers and sisters in Christs blood as he is risen. Certainly wolves have entered every single congregation looking to detract from our faith, detract from the truth of his holy word given. but if we ourselves search his word giving grace to misunderstandings and serving the doctrine given by the apostles not the doctrines laid out thereafter we can protect our faith and grow in maturity. discerning that which is important issues that must be taken on by action and prayer, or that which isn’t. Not condemning ignorance but showing truth. one of the worst things someone who is immature in faith can do is condemn those who he doesn’t agree with. For we hold a piece of truth within us knowing some but not all. Even the greatest in faith find themselves in error but the Lord in his wisdom chooses not to remove some because he knows our capacity is limited and by removing certain people with misguided understandings removes people with real faith. Faith is not a one and done experience. Faith is a living moving thing. that grows when watered and withers when not, dies altogether if dug up. Not to mention whole congregations in different denominations. There is both good harvest and bad seed sown together. We cannot know which has taken hold until all has sprung up.

We can look on our life and know our own mistakes and look on others with compassion. If you don’t understand why someone lives in error then maturity says to seek to understand. For if we are truly to even love our enemies, how can we love with out understanding?

interesting quote from Ender’s game I think we could look at.

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”

We obviously as believer shouldn’t be looking to destroy peoples lives. That isn’t our purpose as the chosen. Which is a shame when we look at some of the laws in America that have been put in place by well meaning believers that in effect destroy peoples lives. In fact I do believe that in such laws we destroy any witness to those without faith will see in our lives because of resentment or simply being locked up. surely a country can not be without laws I do wonder how many laws do we put onto others the Lord really wanted us to impose literally and socially (Ie. not laws of the land but laws for salvation, or irrelevant things like what clothes we wear or music genres we like, or hairstyles, whatever you can think of people lay on top of salvation) on non believers and brothers and sisters alike. As mature faithful believers, we should look to destroy the spiritual chains caused by sin, which is only achieved by the blood at the cross, the resurrection and personal repentance. Not by the law which we only know condemnation. Not so much in a spirit of anger as Jonah but a spirit of humility and compassion such as Jesus showed to the lost children of Israel. I would say that bold truth can look like condemnation, which is the work of the Holy Spirit not the believer.

Jeremiah 1:11-12 ESV
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond branch.” [12] Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.”

Looking at all of the resources that we have to read the scriptures that God saw fit to protect and see through to this hour in history. Yes, there are better translations then others but if we see them for the message they convey, we can mature our faith however they have been translated or which transliteration has been used for His holy purpose and message whether that be in the simple name LORD, YHVH Jehovah, Yahweh, Yahusha, Yahushua or any new name that we will end up giving him based on guessing. Immaturity would have you worried that we are dialling the wrong creator, maturity would say that I have read of his works and see his works and faithfulness, awesomeness, righteousness, compassion, and grace; I know my creator by his works as he knows my faith by the fruit of my works.

Now I know that sometimes we must take action on certain issues whether it be to walk away from certain friendships, certain groups of people, or even give people into the hand of the law of the land. We need to study the word to know what action to take for the right times and to not be worried of failure as failure leads to better understanding. If we never fail it means we never tried. If we never change it means we never learn. If we never acknowledge our own falling short then we don’t know how to show love to the world when it desperately need it. Whether that be by speaking truth or only in prayer. And all action should be taken with much prayer and understanding of the scriptures.

Jeremiah 1:6-8 ESV
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” [7] But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. [8] Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”

Thank you for reading.

Red sun

Crimson haze

The maintans and valleys ablaze

Our eyes burn with the smoke for days

We look to the sky’s for rains relief, yet with no will to change our ways.

We look to the stars for a sign, in dismay as they are hidden from us.

We look for leadership, but they have forsaken us

Our hearts look hope for within ourselves, but none is in sight without the words of Jesus

Until we put away our pride, no peace will he bring us

Red sun days

Police and racism, a American tale of sorrow and sin

A nation divided against its self cannot stand. A house at war with itself, will tear itself apart. One of the saddest things to see in your generation is those you hold dear not standing as one. Brothers should be family not enemies. Where there is much sin, much love must be abundant to cover it. I’ve been listening to Mike Macintosh, a pastor from southern California who is a good man of God, humble in spirit. A man with purpose, a love for the word and a deep respect for law enforcement as a chaplain he has been a light to the police, serving in the aftermath of 9 11 2001. I always had much respect for him growing up. His passion for the truth of the word and eagerness to serve wherever he was sent. Another man of God from a completely different point of view, who opened my eyes to racism in America and the oppression of really anyone who is different than the status quo, Glenn Kaiser. Very humble man. Greatly gifted a writhing passionate music that glorifies Jesus Christ. He has been well spoken about racism in our country and as far as I am concerned a light in the darkness whether in music, on the front lines with the less fortunate and in visiting those in prison.

I tell you neither of these two men are wrong. Both of these two men have glorified the name of Jesus. Both men being a light in the darkness. Light is a full color spectrum. If you put it through a prism it shows all the colors of the light which shines. Truth is such as light. When you shine the truth of the bible through men who follow Jesus not in name only but in faith, all those truths come forth like a rainbow. A better analogy for a prism would be the church as a whole.

1 Corinthians 12:4-10 ESV
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; [5] and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; [6] and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. [7] To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. [8] For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, [9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, [10] to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

If there is no light in the police to cause them to obey the laws they are hired to protect then they will become lawless. For God is a just God but also he is a merciful God. Slow to anger and quick to forgive. Also if there is no light to those in poverty, those who have become fatherless because of sin both in unfair rule of law and lawlessness of the community. Jesus came to the lost children of Israel first. As we anticipate his second coming, how much more we need to seek the lost children of America, and also the whole world. The light is fading fast. The land is dying. The people are losing hope. We are looking for a sign, and as Jesus said to the Pharisees…

Matthew 16:4 KJVS
A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.

Jonah 3:2-10 KJVS
Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. [3] So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. [4] And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. [5] So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. [6] For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. [7] And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: [8] But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. [9] Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? [10] And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Jonah 4:1-4,10-11 KJVS
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. [2] And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. [3] Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. [4] Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry? [10] Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: [11] And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

Nineveh, like America had a choice. They chose wisely but their fate was still to be destroyed as they fell away from their fear of the Lord. There is still time but not much. The bible says it. Science says it. Social unrest says it. The weather says it. Now is the time to repent as there may not be a later.

As for our differences in today as Christians, we should put aside our differences and open our eyes to the fact that we need the police, however they are still only human. They should be held accountable for their actions according to the law. We need to show love for those who are in those positions who are holding themselves up to a higher standard when everyone is either ridiculing or living in bitterness. As for our communities, we need lift our communities up. We need to take better care of our communities. If we don’t then will not be held blameless. If there is no hope, and there is no love, there is no chance for healing. If there is no compassion left then we are just noise. All that is left is sorrow and anger.

Overwhelmed in sorrow

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 ESV
Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure-not to put it too severely-to all of you. [6] For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, [7] so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. [8] So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. [9] For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. [10] Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, [11] so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

Jesus came to forgive people for sins. As such we who are in Christ must fully be aware of our calling to forgiveness. Often we seek to do the work of the Holy Spirit which is in part to convict people of their sins. We also know that the Holy Spirit was sent to comfort. We know that if we do sin as we are still in flesh that we do have a advocacy in heaven according to John’s epistle. Always we must be feeding our spirit to be protected from those things the flesh still want to do. Daily in the word, daily praying. If we are in a spirit of unforgiving to ourselves or others we leave opening to Satan. Who do we forgive? Jesus asked the father to forgive those who were currently beating and going to murder him all the same as those who asked for forgiveness in his name. If We forgive he will forgive. If you do not look at anyones past you can be the light to the whole world and Satan has no cause to to show against you to those who are in sorrow.

Luke 23:34 ESV
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

Have you considered my servant Job?

Job 1:6-12 ESV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. [7] The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” [8] And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” [9] Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? [10] Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. [11] But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” [12] And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Job is one of those books that are hard to get into. I have started it many times but never fully read it fully before this weekend. There are 42 chapters, the first 2 are pretty good in historical story telling then until the last 12 chapters you have job in utter ruin and his 3 “friends” telling him what a terrible person he is while defending himself and speaking on things he had no knowledge of.

The most important thing to understand about job is who he was and the stature he held in his community. He was a man of much faith. He was a man of great love. He was a man of integrity. His faith in God was unshakeable. He did not sin by losing faith in God’s greatness nor his sovereignty. He didn’t curse God in his anger. He was never uncertain of his being. He was angery, and sad, and depressed. Most of all he wanted to know why? Mind you, he had spent all his life serving God, serving his fellow man, teaching how to be right before God. He uplifted those who were in doubt, he was a man who helped the fatherless, he defended the weak from the wicked. Now his children were dead, possessions gone, his body in pain from boils, his friends who had been there with him condemning him out of ignorance. His own wife told him to curse God and be dead. Perhaps out of pity for her husband? Where he stumbled was in his own self righteousness, not leaning on God’s righteousness.

Just from a spiritual stand point we get a minor glimpse of God’s relationship with Satan and Satan’s ability to wage warfare on those who are upright and walking in the his ways. There is nothing that Satan can do unto God’s chosen, that God does not allow. For job, he did not know why he was allowed to suffer so greatly after being blessed with so much. He did not understand God’s plan, he didn’t know if God had a plan. He spoke out of aggravation, he spoke out of ignorance. I believe God knew that would be his reaction and allowed him to be in his bitterness to allow job to know whether he could stand in his faith when it really counted. For the most part Job had not been truly tested.

From a faith standpoint we see how our friends quickly become enemies when we run into hard times. When people see you at your worst will they kick you while you’re down and tell you how bad you’ve been ( regardless of if it’s true or not ) or lift you up. Will they feed you more ignorance or bring you to your feet again? Will they show you truth and redemption or condemn you to hell before you’re pushing daisies? A true friend is like Elihu, first he rebuked jobs accusers. Then he assures him that he is not there to put more pressure on job, nor that he needs to fear him. He never accuses him of “secret” sins. He reminds him of his own words and only speaks on that which he knows for certain. Also we see that Elihu being younger than Jobs other friends, he was respectful to let them hash it out but in the end, age does not garner wisdom, nor is it a measure of knowledge. It is the willingness of the man to learn and the blessing from God to gain understanding.

Job 32:6-9 ESV
And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said: “I am young in years, and you are aged; therefore I was timid and afraid to declare my opinion to you. [7] I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’ [8] But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. [9] It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.

In trying to defend himself to be righteous before men he forgot to declare God righteous. Too often we look to defend our ways, why we are not wrong than showing him who lives within us. Why does so many convert to Christianity in countries hostile to our faith? Because of how those who react to adversity reflect Jesus unto death by those who are yet to have faith. In contrast why is it that it is so hard for the gospel to be spread while we live in freedom? Because those who have only known peace only know how to defend themselves, forget to justify God to the unbelievers and to lean on his righteousness, not our own! We are chosen to empty ourselves in order for his righteousness to fill us. Only then can we show Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:9-16 ESV
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. [10] You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. [11] For you know how, like a father with his children, [12] we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. [13] And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. [14] For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, [15] who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind [16] by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved-so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!

Job 32:1-3 ESV
So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. [2] Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. [3] He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong.

Now God comes to job with his final word as a father. As if to say you live under my roof, and job had two ways of reacting. He could have continued with his ignorance and self pity or he could repent and listen. Out of it all, God chastens those who he loves, and Job was rewarded for his faithfulness to listen and obey the Lord. As such is our reward in heaven if we listen to his word.

Renewing of the spirit

Luke 1:78-79 ESV
because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high [79] to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Why did Jesus so often go off to pray alone? Why did moses and Paul take so long to start doing God’s will? Because to be filled with what needs to be given from his servants we need to be emptied of all of all noise from the world. When we come to be filled of the Holy spirit we need to be empty vessels to be filled with God’s love and peace, his pure righteousness. Then we can pour out what we have been given, not what is inside of us the defiled us.