It is Written on Our Hearts–Romans 2 Part 2

Right and wrong, we all know it is out there. There are people groups around the world that have no written laws and there are nations, like America, that have so many laws, rules and regulations, that it fills a library. God knew from the beginning of time that people would only use the law as a guide or jumping off point to validate what they wanted to do.  So, God when creating us imprinted us with the two basic “laws”.  They were to Love him and to love and serve others.
 
When we look into our lives, we each have a desire to believe in someone that is bigger and more than ourselves.  Those of us that know God find peace and hope in him and gladly seek him.  Others, since the dawn of time have sought, other things to fill that void–at the end of the day, they lose hope and become selfish.  When we serve God, it compels us to serve others and humble ourselves.  In that pursuit, we find purpose and fulfillment–Knowing life is so much bigger than us. Others, however, seek to only serve themselves.  In their pursuit, they are never fulfilled and grow more dissatisfied at each turn never realizing that we were made for so much more.
 
In the end, the two basic laws still remain–love God and Love others—All the laws of men are contained in those two principles.  If we follow them, we will know him and become like him.   Pretty amazing, when you think about it!
 
God Bless You
All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

God’s Wrath–Roman 2 Part 1

Make no mistake, God does not grade on the curve.  We all deserve to be punished for how we behave.  While that was obvious to the Jewish nation, it was not so obvious to the rest of the world.  Paul was trying to explain some of the basic truths about God to a world that barely knew who God was.  The concepts of good and evil were relative and everyone could both justify their own behavior and judge the behaviors of others.
 
In 2016, little has changed.  Most people have a very skewed concept of good and evil.  That concept is further warped by the media, political correctness, generations of independence from God .  In addition, this nation has a judicial system that would rather tolerate crime than punish it.  The Courts refuse even to call those who commit crimes, criminals. 
 
God is not politically correct. He will hold each of us accountable for our actions.  He will reward the selfless and punish the wicked.  As we will see in the days ahead, God realized we were unable to be “Good”. God cannot tolerate sin, but he can and has made a provision for it.  It is his Grace and provision that brings hope to the hopeless and life for those who seek him. 
Thanks, Lord for your provision.
 
God Bless You
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a]

Utter Chaos–Romans 1 Part 3

We were created for a purpose.  The purpose was to be in relationship with the God of the universe.  We were made in his image, we were given signs of his design ad presence,  and we were imprinted with aspects of his nature that would reveal his true nature to us.  But, as Paul describes man’s tendencies in Romans 1, we see that we are always susceptible to pulling away from God and attempting to do life on our own.

The pattern always spirals down the same way.  first men ignore God.  Next they replace God, then they abandon the very basic human principles that make them great and replace them with behaviors and thoughts that not only drive them from God, but it also draws them in to Chaos and ultimately their own demise.

Our nation is in the midst of that spiral.  We have purposely removed God from our Governance and our schools. We have approved every form of non traditional behavior ad condemned most traditional values.  We have abandoned traditional family norms and behaviors and replaced them wit non stop entertainment and addiction to every form of media.  The result is Chaos.

As his chosen, we are to be different.  We need to live in a way that brings order into our lives and our families.  We need to embrace the principle design God created and pass it to our kids–if we are successful, we will bring order into our lives–right in the midst of a chaotic world.

God Bless You

 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

I Am Not Ashamed–Romans 1 Part 2

Paul’s faith compelled him to go wherever God led to spread the truth of the Gospel to whomever would listen. He physically ached to see people come to know the Lord and Savior of his life. 

There was little doubt that Paul was singular in his mission. He, the enforcer of Jewish persecution of the church, was now it’s champion to the rest of the known world. Paul knew thatRome, as center of the world, could spread the Gospel with greater speed and impact. So growing that Church could change the entire world. 

Paul was not ashamed of God, or his gospel–he knew it was all that could turn the Chaos of his time into peace. 

What about us? Do we share his sense of urgency and passion to restore faith in this Godless culture? We must see, throughout history, that a return to faith is the only thing that has brought prosperity back to nations. We know now, more than ever before, that an absence of God equals an absence of peace, of love and of freedom. 

We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel. We, like Paul, must recognize its power and its ability to change the World. 

God Bless You

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Nation of Priests-Romans 1 Part 1

It was always God’s intention that the world be drawn back to him.  He chose the lineage of Abraham to be the nation of people whose lives and blessings showed the world God Loved them and offered a plan to spend eternity with him.

Paul, the last apostle, was God’s primary emissary too the world outside of the Jewish people.  In his journeys, he started churches throughout the known world.  This letter was to the people in Rome–the center of the world, during his time.  It was always God’s intention for Christ’s death and resurrection to change the entre world, in his way, he used one of the most rule following Jews of the time–to teach of God’s grace and love to the rest of the world.

Today, we continue that calling.  We are to be God’s emissaries our world. We no longer are the strict Jewish Pharisee that Paul was, but, like Paul, we understand his grace and are truly thankful for his sacrifice.  In fact, those things are the only tools we need to change our world–be available and allow to let God work.

God Bless You

4Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from[c] faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Unity-Philippians 2 Part 1

Paul understood better than most that , that the Church had to support one another. There would always be differences among people, but, those differences were minor compared to the need for unity in the church.

Paul was encouraging the Philippians to look past their differences and encourage and lift each other up. It was the selflessness that that caused, that made the body different than the rest of the world.

In current culture, the church still needs to serve one another. Our hearts are the only thing that allow us to rise above the anarchy and chaos that rule our society. For each of us it needs to be a personal and real choice. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

God Bless You

2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

The Lions Den–Daniel 6 Continued

The King made a law that he could not reverse.  Daniel served a God that he could not forsake.  These two men were on a collision course that could only end up in one place, the Lions’ Den. So as the King lowered Daniel into the lions den, he had to accept his choice and hope that Daniel’s God was remarkable.  As the night passed, the King prayed and waited and then in the morning, There was Daniel safe and sound.  His fears abated, his faith changed and now Daniel would Prosper and the God of Israel would be honored through the empire.

As for those that tried to trick the King, well they ended badly.  Following God is always the right choice, those that would not may have short term success, but often end badly due to their selfishness and greed.  These men died at the fate of the lions they tried to feed Daniel to.

In our lives, trusting God is always the right answer. Though we may face difficulties, we see him walk through them with us and bring us out the other side.  He meets our needs and prepares us for what lies ahead.  We simply have to continue to trust him and follow him in all circumstances.  When we do, he not only blesses us, but he changes the hearts of Kings and those that would forsake God.  We will never know the impact we have on the lives of others simply because we remain faithful.

God Bless You

Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king can be changed.”

16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

Gotcha–Daniel 6 Continued

When he heard about the decree, Daniel knew he had been trapped. So rather than walk away from his faith or his Lord, he did the only wise thing…He hit his knees before God. The same knees he hit when praying about his diet, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, his friends at the furnace and the King when he was cursed by God. Daniel had no other place to go. So for thirty days, three times daily—Daniel was praying for God to help him. It was that very prayer, that his enemies would use to trap him. Still, Daniel would never back away from the God that blessed him.

In our lives, we are pressed daily to choose whether or not to serve God. Our very Government that was formed to protect our religious freedom, is now working to eradicate any mention of the God of our forefathers. As time continues, we will be placed in a position where we too will have to choose to walk away from God—or be persecuted. Like Daniel, we have to run to God; not back away from the very God that has saved us. There may be a price—but, God will walk through it with us and provide what we need to face whatever man may bring.

Daniel knew what was ahead—But, he chose to follow God no matter what.

God Bless You

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

Since He Likes His God So Much…Daniel 6 Part 2

The bureaucrats in the Darius administration, could neither outwork or outfox Daniel. He had shown himself worthy to be second in command in Babylon. So, as they plotted, they came up with what they determined to be a stroke of genius. They would get the King to make worshipping God illegal. Then, if Daniel worshipped God, they would be rid of him. If he chose not to worship God, then his credibility would be shot and they would be rid of him. What could go wrong…right.

Throughout history, men have tried again and again to destroy God and his people. They have competed, connived, killed and cheated in any and every form or fashion to rid the world of its creator and his followers. Those that follow history know, however, that while much has been done to God and his people throughout the ages; God has never backed away and His people have always survived and thrived.

In current history, we see the persecution continue. In the middle-east, in the education world, in art and in almost every other facet of culture, men are trying to eradicate God from the equation, and his people from any meaningful position of influence. A wise man once said, the best way to expand evil is for Godly people to do nothing. In our current culture, we must be strong, faithful, prayerful and wise. We can lead the revival that can save our children and our country. To do so, however, we must remain faithful, prayerful and humbly seek him. Times are dire—Just like they were for Daniel. But our God is great and will never be defeated. I know, I have read the end of the story…

God Bless You

Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

Who’s The Boss–Daniel 6 part 1

There was a new King and a new Government, but it did not affect Daniel.  In fact, he worked to remain true to himself and God so much that the ruler was set to make him the chief administrator. But, as is usually the case, they wanted Daniel out.  The group set out to turn up any dirt they could on Daniel and found nothing.   They sought any rules to trick Daniel but, found none.  Daniel was committed ts serving God and doing everything for his glory.  This drove the rest of the bureaucrats crazy.  But it made King after King grateful and blessed.

In our lives, we need to live in a way tht drives folks crazy as well.  We need to honor God 7 days a week at home, at work and at play.  We need to work as though we are working for God and not for men.  When we do, all jealousy and bitterness will not be a factor,  We will live , work and walk honoring Gid in our lives.  When we do, we can rest assured that there will be critics and detractors that will try to undermine us.  But, as we trust the Lord, he will carry us through.  Thanks Lord, for being our ultimate guide and boss.

 God Bless You

 

]It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”