December 2, 2013
Indeed, as Paul prophesied, we are living in perilous times. When in such times you need to know your enemy and your resources and the weapons required to defeat him. I am afraid that far too many of the brethren have been fighting the wrong enemy and have chosen to pick up the wrong arms thus losing many battles. With those losses comes discouragement and loss of focus making the future seem dark and fuzzy.
I see way too many references to taking up arms or saber rattling on FaceBook and other places by professing Christians. We do not defend our faith by guns. Nowhere will you find such an injunction in Scripture. Jesus went as a sheep to the slaughter. Indeed, He said that He could have called 12,000 angels to His side, but chose not to do so, but laid down His life for us. All the apostles were imprisoned and all but one were executed by the Roman government. None of them suggested forming an army to overthrow Rome or to avenge the deaths of saints.
Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and see how many suffered under persecutions throughout the centuries, often by people who claimed to be Christians. They did not just walk into the coliseum nor bring their own stake to the fire, but neither was there any kind of organized military action for they knew who their enemy was and that the enemy is not wounded or defeated by arms made by men.
Even today, many of our brethren worldwide face all manner of persecution and myriads have earned the martyr’s crown. Christian soldiers fight on another plane in higher spheres of reality. Indeed, our enemy would love to get us off mission and distracted encouraging carnal warfare as a means of camouflage to his tactics and as an evasive maneuver. We are not to be ignorant of his devices but rather destroying his strongholds.
2 Cor 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; KJV
There are no persons or groups of flesh that are the true enemy of Christians. Many people are pawns of the devil deluded, deceived and directed by demons. The people are not the real enemy. They are victims and prisoners to be loved and set free by the love of Christ. The enemy is devil and his minions. The war is a spiritual one.
Thus we have to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapons given to us. Paul shows us our armor in Ephesians 6. That is how we defend ourselves and take up the fight, but against spiritual enemies, not carnal ones. We sometimes forget how we were driven to do things that we look back on now with regret and wonder what were we thinking at the time. In many ways, we were not thinking, but rather being influenced by the thoughts of demons appealing to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
So also are all those who do not know the Lord are influenced directly by demonic forces or through the influence of some man or woman that is influenced or controlled directly by them. This is why we must pray for them and witness to them through the power of the Spirit not through wisdom of men. Too often we rely upon our skills in logic or debate and try to win them through vain philosophy and then wonder why we fail.
We must kneel more in prayer. We must become more knowledgeable of our field manual, the Bible. We must practice putting on our armor and understanding what each piece means and how it aids our fight. We must then look beyond our carnal antagonist and determine what spirits are influencing them and then attack that entity. We must enter into battle under the authority of Christ, endued with power from the Spirit speaking the truth in love with the goal of freeing the captive and defeating the one who captured him. Only then are we in the right battle against the right enemy with the right goal. Then and only then we can expect victory. All else is vain.
My brethren, quit talking dangerous nonsense that only makes the devil laugh at our furtive efforts and opens us up to further assaults that can only end in failure. Lay down your arms & take up your weapons. Why rattle sabers when you can wield the sword of the Lord? Go for the jugulars of the leaders of Hell and rescue the perishing. Let us be the overcoming victors we are destined to be. Fight the good fight for we were called into the kingdom for such a time as this. The war was won at the Resurrection. We are just doing mop up duties until our Commander-in-Chief returns and brings in the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven and make his enemies His footstool. He is risen! Marantha!
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. KJV
1 John 5:4-5
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? KJV
November 28, 2013
Today would be a wonderful day for Americans to take stock of themselves and just count their blessings and then shut up. We are the whiniest bunch of louts to be found. Our poorest are richer than a great many people in the world for indeed I know of very few places in the world where the poor are fat and suffering from the ailments that go with that.
While our minorities may not get all they should or think they should I can take you places where the minorities are happy they got to wake up and are never sure they will make it through the day without being beaten, imprisoned, raped or killed just because they are a minority.
Most of us have more than we know what to do with so we build storage buildings or pay for a building to store our excess that we may have never seen for five years eyt tomorrow will be an insane dash to get more stuff for those who really need nothing. I have gotten to where I really do not need or want much and getting rid of things to my life simpler as well as my kids so they will not have as much stuff to get rid of when I keel over.
Yes, indeed are so much to whine about here in the USA. Can we just man up and bow the knee to God and say thank you and be content? What a change in the country and maybe even the world if we just got to the place we are exhorted to be by Paul.
1 Tim 6:3-11
3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. KJV
November 7, 2013
Seeing all these things about Veterans Day on FaceBook reminded me of an incident with my Mom. I spent a couple of years living across the creek from the only Black family in town. Loman and I fished the creek together and ate at each others homes so Mom was not a racist. Thus it was funny when I told her that when I grow up and join the Air Force I might go to Germany and get myself a Fraulein for a wife. She immediately said, “You will not! You’ll marry one of your own kind!” I said, “Mom, with a name like Shultz what else would be my kind?” She meant American! After all, her brother fought in the Pacific and we did fight the Germans in WWII. Well, she got her wish as I married a lass of Scottish descent, but born right here in the good old USA.
War brings out things in you that you would not normally have. Had I said I might marry a Japanese woman she might have beat me half to death after seeing what the war did to her favorite brother. He could not watch anything like Combat or 12 O’clock High (which I loved) without breaking out in a sweat and shaking a bit. My father-in-law who fought his way up the Italian boot could watch documentaries and tell me some things because I was in the military, but he had some very vivid and bad dreams right after the war.
I don’t even think I could have brought a Filipina, though we had been allies, anywhere near an European Theater veteran as he would not have seen any difference between her and a Japanese woman. My uncle would have known the difference and may have accepted her.
It takes a long time for people and even a nation to heal after such conflicts. Indeed, this nation is still not healed after the War Between the States or the Indian wars, let alone the scars of more recent conflicts.Some Nam vets would still have some animosity and not want to be around any Asian though some married Viet Namese and Thai women. When you have been wounded physically or emotionally by representatives of some group it is hard to see an individual. Somewhat a reverse of the old saw of not being able to see the forest because of the trees. In this case, you can’t see the trees because of the forest.
Not only the participants in the conflict, but also the families are affected and so the pain fades even slower. Imagine a Japanese or German woman moving next door in 1947 when you lost a son in the Pacific or you have a disabled husband that cannot get out of bed because he was a POW in Germany. It would be tough to embrace her like you might any other new neighbor.
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19
We have been a nation of wars both foreign and domestic since our inception. Much pain and sorrow has been experienced or passed on so bitterness exists between many people groups. While this day is a time of remembrance of our fallen and gratitude to all that have served, may we also make it a time of prayer for healing and reaching out to heal wounds no matter in what conflict they were created. It may be hard as the verse says, but not impossible if you let the wisdom, love and peace of Christ guide you through the process. Shalom! Maranatha!
November 5, 2013
One of the best pastors that I have ever served with always replies with “Better than I deserve” whenever someone asks him how he is doing. There is a bit of a debate over whether Dave Ramsey stole that phrase from him, but I have been using it as well. I think it is a good answer. Many times we tend to forget where we have come from and how frail and failing we truly are and what we would actually get if we got what we deserved.
Lamentations 3:39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? KJV
We Americans tend to be the whiniest bunch of folks on the planet. Let anything go wrong or not be as we think it should be and out comes the moans, whines and complaints. Being a cheese lover, I also ask folks if they are going to serve cheese with that whine so at least some good will come of it.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of our problems come from our direct sin or someone else’s sin that we may have directly or indirectly caused. Indeed, the whole world is suffering from the sin of our first parents. We have just done more and greater sins than they did. I have often said that if I got what I deserved I would be bouncing off of the walls of Hell like a pinball. If you are realistic, you would concur that you would be doing the same. All have sinned, not just the ones whose sins are public and horrific. Indeed, there would be far more public and horrible crimes if everyone acted out their thoughts.
When I grew up, I often heard people say in anger that they were going to kill someone or mutilate some part of their body. We were not politically correct back then and such things were accepted as just expressions of anger with no intent of following through albeit the look in their eyes and the rate, pitch and volume of their voice along with vivid charades movements made you think that in any second they might put words to action. At that moment, they had actually done all those things in their heart and only fear of imprisonment or execution held them back. The person was as good as dead or in intensive care in their minds.
Think of all the things you wanted to do and did not because of fear of being caught. Since Jesus said that the NT took the OT up a notch saying that to look in lust is the same as actually committing adultery there are far more adulterers and fornicators even among virgins, both male and female, in the world and church then many believe. Mental sins can be as dangerous and debilitating as physical commissions of the acts because there is guilt. The hardening of the heart opens the door to ultimate commission of the sin and in the Christian it causes the same loss of fellowship, fruit and rewards making life far less than the abundant one Jesus came to give us,
So when things go to pot do not blame God or complain, look and see what brought it into your life. Did it come because of someone’s sin? Did you plant the seed in that person in some way? Is it because of your sins mental or physical? Is it because God is chastising you to bring you to repentance? If so, He is seeking to restore and renew you so don’t complain. Confess and submit and all will be well. Is it self-inflicted punishment? Are you sabotaging your life because you are experiencing guilt over some past or present sin? Is that past failure keeping you from future fruit? Confess and submit in trust to the One who can forgive the past, heal the present and give a glorious future.
How is it with you today? I freely confess to you that my life is not all I would like it to be because of the consequences of sin. Some were physical manifestations, many were just mental, but sin nonetheless. I have been a Pharisee. I am seeking to be healed of that. Yet, I do not want to pendulum swing the other way and become a Sadducee as many have done who have been convicted of having the Pharisee spirit. I have been arrogant and God is humbling me. I have lived in ways that gave the enemies of God reason to blaspheme God because of me. I would absolutely not be breathing if God gave me what I deserved. My every breath of life is due to the mercy of God. That I have many blessings in my life is due to the manifold grace of God and not because of any holiness on my part. If I am not the Assistant Chief of Sinners, I would be surprised.
Some might ask, “If all that is true, then why don’t you sit down and shut up?” I have tried. I can’t. God is real. Jesus is Lord. The Bible is His Word. Sinners need saved and saints need edified. I am bent, battered and worn, but if I can point someone in the right direction even as a detour sign to make sure they do not go down some of that roads I have traveled, then in my weakness, baseness and foolishness God’s power will have prevailed and souls saved from Hell and heartbreak.
When I took Luke 22:31,32 as my life verses, I was in the midst of torment thinking I had committed the unpardonable sin. I clung to these verses in hope. At one point, I thought that was the sifting satan desired to take me through and my desire in ministry has been to strengthen the brethren, but I think it was just a foretaste of what I have been experiencing. Therefore I am clinging to them again as the call that God has given me and will at some point bring to fruition as the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. I had been running on my own resources and they were not enough. Yet, while I am waiting for the completion of what God is doing in me, I cannot hold in what I feel He gives me. After all, it is all about Him and not the vessel He uses. A thirsty person will not stop drinking from a cup just because the cup is cracked and maybe even leaking a bit. He needs the water that is in the cup more than the cup. God can use cracked, leaking and even broken vessels. If you are thirsty and you find living water in anything I write, then thank God for the dispensing of it and ask God to repair the cup.
Look to Jesus, not a vessel and you will do well. Shalom! Maranatha!
October 31, 2013
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV
If we ever start truly believing this and listen nearly every denomination and all cults will fall. Most Megs and Mini churches will close as there will only be a need for one church in each town and city since we will all be in one accord with the Truth. Fleshly and heretical divisions will not exist and the line will be clearly drawn between good and evil as the Truth will do away with gray as gray is an admixture of light and darkness and God has no darkness in Him and neither does His truth.
Sadly, I do not foresee that happening until He returns as we delight as in the days of the Judges to have every man doing that which is right in his own eyes and denying the inconvenient truths that get in the way of our fleshly and prideful desires. Even so, come Lord Jesus and grant us some sort of revival before the end. Amen.
October 9, 2013
“Strangely enough, one of those times I me God, one of those times which became to me a veritable Bethel, a true house of God, was when under strong temptation and serious threats of denominational men, I decided I must be true to my convictions. I must oppose modernism and evolutionary teaching in Baylor University where I had graduated and where my teacher, Dr. Dow, had been a bone of contention because of his teaching of evolution.Facing threats that I would be blackballed and branded and that I would never be invited to hold revivals, that I would have no chance as an evangelist, I told God that if I were serving a God who could not look after His preachers unless they kowtowed to the leaders, unless they sought to please men and played politics with the brethren I would leave His service.But I told Him that I was willing to risk everything to prove that the God who called me would care for me.Oh, what a day of decision!The friends of a lifetime I lost overnight.I was a marked man, branded man.”- John R. Rice, “Come Back To Bethel”, written in 1958.Copyright 1962, Sword of the Lord Publishers.
Oh, that I and many of my brethren would take such a stand. We do so many things to appease men so that we might be able to achiever some level of success in ministry when the only one we need please is Christ. We seek their will in what schools we will attend and what degrees we will get instead of seeking God who may be pleased to use us as an Amos or an unlearned fisherman that people will note that we have been with Jesus. There is more power and fruit in that than in a thousand degrees and the right references.
In case you did not know, Dr. Rice went on to pastor and had a very fruitful revival and evangelistic ministry for many years as well as a college professor. Take your stand for that indeed will be a Bethel in your life. The house of God may not always be full of your mentors and brethren, but if it is a house of God, He will fill it and you! Marantha!
September 30, 2013
September 15, 2013
“Celebrity nowadays is so fleeting.” Aubrey O’Day
Indeed, in life there are many one hit wonders in every career field. In the military, we said that one “Aww, Nuts!” wiped out ten “Atta Boys!” You can be the fair haired boy on the fast track one day and a company merger puts you in the unemployment line. A man or women so loved and cherished on their wedding day finds themselves served divorce papers in a relatively short time. You can be the team who goes to the Super Bowl three times, but when you lose you are the dirt dog though there are very few teams who ever made it there that often.
In ministry, it can be the same way, and since all believers are servants/ministers we will all experience reversals at some point. Not too long ago, I was at a church where a couple was doing a fine job ministering to the youth. The pastor had appointed them, but because they had no formal education that galled some of the board/bored members. Controversy came up and the Scribes and Lawyers found ways to hamper and berate the pastor from their constitution and ultimately he resigned when he realized he would never be able to do anything God led him to do without being bogged down in litigation for months. As soon as he left, the couple was put out of their successful ministry and the search was on for a more appropriately prepared and ordained couple. Sigh, such nonsense!
A pastor is called and it is all pecan pie and ice cream for awhile then he says something about a sin the Chairman of the Deacon Board is involved with or the daughter of some super giver and it is all over. He may linger on for awhile, but he is a lame duck just speaking to a hostile audience.
Let the Youth Pastor have to ban a kid from a few activities or send the banker’s daughter home because of provocative clothing and it won’t matter if he grew the group from 30 to 150 in a year. The 60 kids he led to Christ will not get him much mercy. I know a fellow who was given a week’s termination notice just a few days after his dad was asked to come and speak at the Church.
Paul had pretty much the same experience in Lystra. He and Barnabas had just healed a man crippled from birth. Man, he was the hit of the century. They thought Barnabas was Jupiter and Paul Mercury. They were made gods in a instant just like a rock star. Paul had to do some fast talking to keep the Priest of Jupiter from offering up sacrifices to them. WOW! What an open door to win folks to Christ! Not!
18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. KJV
As long as they were seeing what they wanted to see and heard the chants they wanted to hear Paul and Barnabas were top shelf. Once their fantasy bubble was popped they were open to the persuasion by the Jews. It allowed them to stay believing what they wanted to hear so that was a comfort to them. Hence Paul is stoned and left for dead. I wonder how Barnabas escaped. Sometimes it pays to not be the main speaker.
In one sentence, you just barely kept from having sacrifices made in your honor to being stoned in the next. Paul had a penchant for that.
22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
2(And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) KJV
21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, KJV
It took a quite a few more sentences, but ended up the same way in Jerusalem. First, they are beating him here, but as soon as he started speaking their language they were ears. You could have heard a pin drop as they hung on his every word. They enjoyed the reciting of their history and the glories of God, but then Paul dropped the G word!
Gentile had the same effect as the N word today. In those days, you were either a Jew or a dog. The Jews hated to Gentiles and with good reasons as nearly every nation in the world had tried to exterminate the Jews. Not much has changed in history. We see the same thing today.
Once they were no longer hearing what they wanted to hear they turned on him. Now he was worthy of death and a blight on the earth. Senator Lieberman felt some of this when he went from a VP candidate to having to run as an Independent to keep his Senate seat because he went with his conscience on just one issue rather than tout the party line.
If you are truly seeking to serve the Lord expect such reversals. All that call themselves brethren are not. If you are riding the glory train today you may be riding the rail tomorrow so don’t get too comfortable. Satan will not want to keep you there unless you get prideful then he can use you. God will not let you stay there if you become pride so walk that tightrope circumspectly.
The good news is that when you go from sacrifices to stones you are in the same company as Paul. Better yet, you are in company with Jesus who went from Hosanna to being the sacrifice in less than a week. He was the stone the builder’s rejected He is the rock of our salvation! Many of our brethren overseas have experience that kind of week and we may see many of us here walking that same path. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Maranatha!!!
September 8, 2013
In the parable of the sower we see that the fields of the heart are affected by many things and even the good field’s harvest varies.
Mark 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. KJV
Is it inevitable that a Christian will be a 30, 60, or 100 field or is there a chance to up the harvest or even decrease it. If some were 30 last year can they be a 60 this year? If some were a 100 will they have some bad years and end up as a 30? I believe it can fluctuate throughout the years, but we can have a better crop in the bad years and even better good years if we do some prescribed burning of our field.
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. KJV
3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. KJV
Both prophets call for a breaking up of the fallow ground, which involves pulling weeds and removing stones and debris during plowing. Even though the nation had obviously had a bad crop period and paid the price of eating lies, Hosea calls for a resowing of the field after repentance to gain a better harvest. Jeremiah gives sound advice on where to sow and what condition your heart must be in to know how to plow and sow. Otherwise God was going to set fire to their field and it would be completely burnt.
Why would God burn a field? Is it to totally destroy His people or other nation. Is burning a field the end of harvesting?
4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.
5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives. KJV
Samson burned a field to get some attention to his situation and as revenge. Sometimes God will burn our fields to get our attention. Often we are too busy setting torches to other people’s field and ignoring the dead grass, weeds and other issues in our own fields. Therefore God may get to the point where He sends the fire to ours to get our attention and maybe even avenge the brothers who fields we burned.
7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. KJV
Depending on you theological bent, you may see a person losing his salvation here, but there are far too many Scriptures that teach otherwise so may we need to look at this a different way. I am not a farmer by any means. I have heard over the years about controlled or prescribed burns both in forestry and agriculture, but it is also used in cattle raising.
I found a great article on the whys of burning a field on a blog called The Pioneer Woman by a buckaroo who calls himself Marlboro Man. I will have the link at the end of the message should you want to study up on it.
Here is the synopsis I gleaned from the article. Burning the field releases nutrients into the ground and helps control brush and weeds. It kills ticks and parasitic worms. Burning brings in lush and clean looking grass versus the brown dead grass being mixed in with the new growth. It evens the grass out so that there are no clumps of old thick grass that are not as appetizing because the bunch grass has a hard stem The grass from the burned fields has all fresh nutrients while the dead grass mixed with the green grass is just filler in an unburned field. This lush grass is better for the cattle as they will weigh 50-75 pounds more than those fed on unburned fields. That can bring 60-80 dollars more at auction for a yearling.
So, we see a burning of the field can be very beneficial and while it can be called a judgment upon what is on the field it is designed to better the field and its future. If the field could talk, I would reckon it would not say that the burning itself was a pleasant experience, but the after effect was worth the pain.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. KJV
Sometimes it is best if God burns our fields for we get haphazard in our sowing. We sow in stony ground or we ignore the weeds and briers. That results in no real fruit and provides a place for ticks and parasitic worms to grow creating more havoc to our harvest. We get things that get all clumped up with hard stems because of anger, bitterness, grief or greed. As people come into our lives looking for some spiritual nourishment they are turned off from these and we have no way to show them how to get to the lush pastures God will provide. We have not allowed it to grow in our lives so we can’t possibly show the way. We may have some patches of green, but the dead fillers of religion and tradition don’t even allow those patches to nourish us let along attract another to the field to join us. We may not even be trying to break up our fallow ground and even if we do without burning the field before we plow we just irritate the ticks and worms rather than destroying them and plow the seeds of the weeds back into the ground so they prosper instead of being killed.
Note that field with briers is rejected and indeed it cannot be blessed and is nigh unto cursing but that does not mean the field is to be cursed though it is to be burned. It cannot be blessed as it is but there is a chance the burning can be beneficial if field will allow the burning here rather than at the BEMA or judgment seat of Christ where the saved either gain or lose rewards for their life’s work.
1 Tim 5:24-25
24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. KJV
When we are saved, all of our sins from birth to death are covered and thus are open beforehand and judged. We are forgiven by faith alone. Our good works or bad will determine our quality of life here and our rewards there. This is why it is best to keep our sins confessed so as to keep our fellowship sweet.
We should from time to time should seek to burn our fields or better yet, ask God to burn them for us for a few reasons. We want to get rid of dead works so that we can be more lush and useful here. We also will be more aware and change our building materials here for what we are building there.
If you live in state like Texas, you know that grass fires can be very damaging for many miles and destroy not just the grass, but often homes as well. Those who live in places where this happens often will set up a fire line or fire break around their homes.
Lush lawns right up to the walls with beautiful shrubbery are not going to be found there. Grass will be halted at a distance or some may even have a trench around their house that might look like a dry moat. This is to prevent the fire from burning down the house because there is no fuel for the fire and unless it jumps the break the fire can be all around the house and yet it will survive. You catch any small breaks and extinguish them immediately.
As much as we may try, too often our field maintenance is not enough. We get lazy or sidetracked and the weeds pile up and the grass turns brown. Ticks are everywhere. We then either justify and ignore the problem or get overwhelmed and despair. That is when it is best to go to God and ask Him to burn the field. We may find that some of what we thought were our lush spots were really dead grass compared to what He wanted to grow there. We get new direction and stability as well as a field that will produce better crops and nourish us as well as others. Consistently practicing this will also provide us a firebreak.
1 Cor 3:11-15
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. KJV
The first few times we ask God to burn our fields may seem like we are in the ultimate disaster, but in the end we will see that we took care of the wood, hay, and stubble in our life here so that our building project will survive far better at the BEMA. The refocus will help us to seek His face and will and as we respond to that we will be able to work out our salvation by pulling out weeds, spraying for ticks, etc. (Phil 2:12,13) Because the wood, hay and stubble is burned here we will not have to see it burn down our building later. We will never be perfect, but it will be far better to see our building stand with scorch marks or holes in the roof and walls than to see it reduced to the foundation.
Brethren, seek God and ask Him to burn your field and make the fire break. You will be thrilled later though it might be painful and embarrassing here. You may have lain fallow for many years and nigh unto cursing, but if Jesus is your Savior you can get it right and end this life with a lush field to offer the Lord. Won’t you do it? John Wesley said people came to hear him because he set himself on fire and people came to watch him burn. He obviously regularly burned his field.
Unbelieving friend, you have no foundation so you will lose everything by fire in that day you stand before the Great White Throne judgment. All your life’s work will be burned and then you will be placed in the Lake of Fire where you will burn for eternity. You will remember every sin, have every lust, but cannot fulfill them as well as remember every opportunity to receive the love and forgiveness of God through His Son, Jesus, the ultimate fire break. Come to Him. Change your mind about your sin and ask Him to be Lord and Savior. Burn the field now and start to build again. He wants to lead you into green pastures like you have never known. Do it now!!! Time is short. Maranatha!!
September 6, 2013
“To be completely a woman you need a master, and in him a compass for your life. You need a man you can look up to and respect. If you dethrone him it’s no wonder that you are discontented, and discontented women are not loved for long.” – Marlene Dietrich
What a debate it would be between her and Gloria Steinem! I would wager Marlene would win because she was a very strong woman, which makes this a really surprising statement. She is right about needing a master, but really it is to be completely human you need a master and a compass for you life and that master is Jesus Christ.