But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness (2 Tim 3:13-16)~~ It’s interesting how open profession of the truth as it is in Jesus, and resolute attention to the duties of godliness, stir up the scorn and enmity of the world; but let someone speak against the Word of God and they get a worldwide platform and embraced.
While good people, by the grace of God, grow better over time, so bad people over that same time, through the craft of Satan, and the power of their own corruptions, grow worse. Yes, the way of sin is down-hill; such as the “world’ proceeds to go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. Those who deceive others, deceive themselves, thank God, as they will find at last, to their cost. The unfortunate thing is that we will spend hours, even days promoting and reading gossip and rhetoric and things to be amused, entertained or enlightened by worldly views and passions; turning away from and even disputing the Word of God as it is written! But when it comes to the uplifting of the name of The Lord, and living under His will, that Word lays on our coffee table under a layer of dust! We forget it and it’s truths; it’s power to change our lives for the ultimate best…and we turn to believe the social press that finds it’s way to our focus! We will even deny any connection or allegiance to the Lord or His will, just to fit in socially and we’ll claim that His Word doesn’t trump the law of the land nor His way supersede the way of the world! We will read a social, political or rhetorical passages from cover to cover but we struggle on one verse of God’s Word!
The Bible is a sure guide to eternal life. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but delivered what they received of God. It is profitable for all purposes of the Christian life. It is of use to all, for all need to be taught, corrected, and reproved. There is something in the Scriptures suitable for every case. They must not lie by us neglected, seldom or never looked into. My friend, here in these verses is a prophetic word fulfilled… And here also is our remedy! As this world continues in its tailspin, we must hold fast and intensify our dwelling in God’s Word. It is truly the guide to our survival and salvation. It is the daily immersion of this that deepens our roots in Him that we might hold fast to His foundation and stand in a bowing world! Friend, now more than ever, it’s time – put down the tabloids, logout of the social gossip and turn off the cable for a while – Blow the dust off that Bible and start reading!
For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? (1 Cor 5:12)~ God is the ONLY one that is righteous in judgement about the lives we live and the choices we make. Regardless of the laws and statutes and ordinances we make, God’s Word supersedes all. He is the only one qualified to judge nonbelievers, people outside of the church and outside of relationship with Him. We either understand His truth in relationship or we subscribe to man’s opinion in conformance to the laws and ways of the world; thus becoming ‘of the world’. The world, because of the influence of the enemy sets out to force its way to all that are in it. It is the enemy of God (James 4:4). Those who are “of the world” claim their right to various freedoms yet seek to revoke that same freedom and silence the voice of those that speak in opposition to their “way”. Those that proclaim the Gospel of Christ and the Word of God as their compass are seen by the world as self-righteous when actually according to the Word, they are MADE righteous in Christ! Those ‘of the world’ see those that disagree or have a difference of opinion as judgmental, phobic, and biased; accusing them of shaming and hating. Their preaching demands tolerance. Tolerance however doesn’t mean agreement nor compliance. Just as much as people in the world choose to go their way regardless of the Word of God; each person, including those that are proclaimers of the Word, that oppose the ways of the world, has a right to choose different – contrary to the “it’s the law” mindset of the world! It doesn’t mean one hates the other, they just don’t follow or agree with that choice! Their rights and freedoms are just as deserving to be protected as those they speak against!
Now, there is also a responsibility for those that claim to be followers of Christ. ‘But when He saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd’ (Matt 9:36). Jesus wants to help those who may not have a relationship with God find their way to Him. He is the way through the distracting noises of the world, and He has compassion on them because they are blind and confused. As followers of Christ, we should have the same attitude toward those who are spiritually blind. We must ask God to help us see others as He sees them and to give us a heart of compassion for those who may not have a relationship with Him. When they express confusion over the message of the Truth, we are to show them the real message in and of ourselves – not by shoving the Book in their face, but through the lives we live before them – letting our light shine before men. People who are not living according to God’s Word may frustrate you, but as a believer, you shouldn’t judge them or treat them harshly. Instead, offer them “biblical” tolerance — treating them with respect and patience even though you disagree with their choices. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). The tables can easily be turned and you may find yourself at enmity with God just as well!
While I cannot rightfully condemn those whose life choices I disagree with, I WILL not be shamed, persuaded nor argued down to walk away from my faith, my beliefs nor my love for the Lord Jesus Christ and the Will HE has set before me. I will express it as I have it within me – that fire will not remain shut up in my bones! Whatever consequence, loss of friendship or distance the world places at me for my love for Christ, I would rather have than to conform to the ‘world’ against my relationship with the Lord! I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed (Ps 119:46); If I don’t proclaim the Lord, the rocks may cry out in my place – and I don’t want the rocks crying out for me! For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (2 Tim 1:12).
Because of the increase of wickedness the love of most will grow cold (Matt 24:12 NIV)~
No matter what the ‘world’ leads people to, or determines as the new ‘order’ of things, the Word of God remains as it was in the beginning and we must remain steadfast in the doctrine and liberty of the gospel. All true Christians, being taught by the Holy Spirit, wait for eternal life, the reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope, as the gift of God by faith in Christ; and not for the sake of their own works. Our ceremonies, traditions, self-assertions and rewritings of the ‘laws’ we live by have no impact nor influence on our salvation in Him. No outward privileges or profession, social or economic status, position nor power on earth will bring us to acceptance with God, without sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. True faith is a working grace; it works by LOVE to God, and to our brethren. Our two prime directives given by Christ were to LOVE the Lord and to LOVE others; that everything within the law hung on this (Matt 22:37-40).
Yes, Jesus simplified ten commandments down to two directives! But our world has gotten away from those two directives and has spun out of control… because we can’t do one thing.. LOVE!! People have grown away from God – we would rather be on Facebook than have our face IN the Book. We’d rather have friends on social media than a friend that sticks closer than a brother. We want God to show up at our house, but we won’t go to His house. We want Him to talk to us, but we won’t even pray to Him. We’ve made great advancements in knowledge and discovery and there are many great and amazing things man has achieved. There is nothing wrong with how far we’ve come as a people. But as far as we’ve come, we’ve simultaneously fallen back as more and more the love for and dependence on God in this world continues to diminish – in our achievements we have become self-reliant and self-absorbing. More and more in this world, we see the lack of love and concern for our fellow man. Never has the hatred between us been so prominent. The value of human life these days is less than one’s own ambitions; love of money, love of material gain, love of position and title. People today LOOK for reasons to put down the life of another just to edify themselves. Where is the ‘love thy neighbor’ in that?
Without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value. God’s promise restores ‘integrity’ back into His creation as it was at the foundation of the world. May we learn to be still; leaning not to our own understanding; but in all ways acknowledging Him and His finished work; and allow Him to do His works of restoration in us. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. May we recall and return to a point of living under the directives Christ put before us: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; Love thy neighbor as thyself”!
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to EVERY man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Rom 12:3-5).
Yep here we go again!!! Racism is STILL holding root in America!!!! We are here again… frustrated again… sickened by the ugliness again…. totally (and maybe we shouldn’t be) surprised that this CANCER still has a hold on our society. For so long we wanted to believe that things were actually getting better. Yet racist supremacism, bias and other forms of segregation that pit races against each other just keeps on finding its way into the lives of America and the world, in cities big and small; in restaurants, stores, schools, places of business and even churches!!! Even the governing body of this country is infected with people trying to create LAWS to support and enforce racist tendencies; including the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES telling people to go back to their country… (although they’re legitimately here or even more so, FROM here!). Even more horrendous is that these people are claiming they want to “take their country back”! HOW CAN YOU TAKE BACK SOMETHING THAT WASN’T YOURS IN THE FIRST PLACE????
Despite all the efforts to move to proclaim our society as post-racial, we keep seeing examples of racism and the more people speak against it the more supporters of racist views rear their heads …ugliness… in the national spotlight and right in our own neighborhoods… It shows you just how disrespectful people are today and how low a value is placed on human life just because the race is different! In fact, the sad truth is that the more these people start to realize the impact of their ugly, bigoted words and actions… The more they just keep USING them; No matter what the extreme, from laughing at or posting a stereotypical joke on social media to committing a hate crime because we have that nagging urge to dislike someone that’s not like us. We were so wrong to think things have gotten better!!!! Racism is more prevalent today than it ever was and if not for the laws protecting the human rights of the targets of this ugly cancer of society (laws that many of today’s lawmakers are trying to strike down by the way), things would be much worse. The only reason the crimes aren’t any worse is because the fear of retaliation or punitive recourse holds force… for now!
People, we need to go above our horrible base instincts of ignorance and lay off the acts steeped in belittling a culture other than our own. There is NOT ONE justifiable reason for racism to exist!!! There is NO EXCUSE for the ugliness that happens: These people call themselves Christians… “ people of God” – Well, If “whoever” is good enough for God then they have to be good enough for the “people” of God! Jesus is not looking at the color of someone’s skin but the condition of their heart. So let me ask you… people of God… who want to separate the races and culture and people.. Why would God bring the nations and races and souls together in Heaven but keep them separate on Earth? So you think mixed race societies are unequally yoked because your race is better than mine or his or hers??? Being “unequally yoked” isn’t about race, it’s about religion. Jesus has interracial marriages in his lineage. Are you better than Him? It doesn’t matter that your ancestors have been this way for generations…. we love to bring up what happened hundreds of years ago as our reason for not liking someone. Half of us don’t understand or even TRY to understand why, we just do it because it’s the way our families or our communities have been all of our lives… and our excuse for staying that way is … HERITAGE!?!?!? No wonder things are so backwards!!! When your family values are rooted in sin, it’s time to change your family values. Nobody’s born a bigot; it’s a learned behavior. This behavior always leads to us treating people how Jesus would never treat people. Hatred, Unforgiveness, Anger, Arrogance, Racism… not liking the person because their skin is a different color, their beliefs and heritages are different, their likes and dislikes don’t match ours… these things are always rooted in ignorance. We need to Stop defending the ignorance…. we really aren’t any better than the next person! Just END IT NOW!!!
And straightway He constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before Him unto the other side, till He should send the multitudes away. And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when even was come, He was there alone. But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came unto them, walking upon the sea (Matt 14:22-25)~~ Have you ever felt blown about or battered in the middle of doing exactly what you believe God told you to do? Sometimes following Jesus can take you directly into the heart of a storm. The disciples were simply doing what they had been told to do and wound up in one of the worst nights of their lives. Many of us have discovered, that you can be both in the center of God’s will, and still stuck in what appears to be a no-win situation… like a rock and a hard place. You can’t move forward. You can’t move backwards. You see no legitimate means of escape from the place that God led you straight into. As much as we wish the waters of this life could always be calm, the Bible says otherwise. The Bible is full of stories about people who faced hard times while doing exactly what God wanted them to do. Following Jesus doesn’t mean you will never have to face any storms. Contrary to popular beliefs that are the source of false and misguided hopes, God actually allows storms in our lives in order to reveal Himself to us in a way that we would not have known Him otherwise. But whether or not we benefit from these trials or whether they defeat us depends largely on how we view them and how we respond to God in the middle of them. Being in a trial is never fun. But you don’t have to go through it alone. Wherever your storm may be, you are not alone. Jesus is right there in the worst of it with you and He will see you through it.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.(Isa 41:10)
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His (Heb 4:9-10)~~ God has always declared man’s rest to be in Him, and His love to be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in His promises, through His Son, to be the only way of entering that rest. There is, in Him, a more spiritual and excellent rest remaining than that of the seventh day. This rest is, a rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state. The rest, is undoubtedly the heavenly rest, which remains to the people of God, and is opposed to a state of labor and trouble in this world. It is the rest they shall obtain when the Lord Jesus shall appear from Heaven. As God finished His work, and then rested from it, so He will cause those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. But those who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. (Read that again… those who don’t believe shall never have rest! – No God = No Peace!)
True Sabbath..that holy rest, the kind that empties us of our works and fills us with the blessings of God’s completed works, depends on complete confidence and trust….rooted in a deep conviction that God is good and God is sovereign. There’s no rest for those who don’t believe that. If God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called to His purposes (Rom 8:28), you can relax. If He doesn’t, you had better start worrying. If God can pick any mess, any mishap, any wastage, any wreckage, any evil meant toward you, any anything, and choreograph beauty and meaning from it (Gen 50:20) then you can rest in Him! If He can’t, you had better get busy. Either God’s always at work, watching the city, building the house, or you need to try harder. Either God is good and in control, or it all depends on you. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matt 11:28).