"I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!"
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. '
I was a child the first time I heard of Muslims. My family are sports maniacs, so it was no secret that suddenly some of my favorite players were changing their names. My Dad tried to explain it to me, but I jut couldn't wrap my head around it; not changing their names, but the thought of wanting to worship someone other than God. It made no sense to me but to each his own.
As I entered my teen years things were changing in the United States. We were wearing caftans and flowers in our hair. I bought my first packet of an herbal tea called Celestial Seasonings at a 'scary' little store on Mill Ave where everyone wore turbans. My roommate and I didn't even know what herbal tea was.
Roe vs. Wade. The World Trade Center is the tallest building in the world. Vietnam. Wounded Knee. Chowchilla.
I'm married, have kids. Teaching Sunday School and selling Tupperware. The US bombs Libya. I hear the word 'Terrorist' for the first time. Pan Am flight 73, Pakistan. Iran-Contra. A mass uprising of Palestinians against Israelis in Lebanon. The biggest topic in our church is whether or not a Christian non-member can take communion.
My kids are nearly grown. All the news is out of the Middle East. Every one on their high horse about the poor Palestinians. Earthquakes have started in Turkey. Dow Jones goes over 11,000. The International Criminal Tribunal. More earthquakes, tsunamis. Kevorkian. Columbine.
I look back. What was I doing in all those years? Raising children, yes. Building a marriage. Teaching little children, cleaning house, running businesses, my own and others. Playing church.
Somewhere along the way, I lost what I was supposed to be doing. And I was not alone. The world was changing so fast, and we had let all the little things slide right on by, tsk-tsking at the end of the day as we read one thing after another, shaking our heads and feeling very righteous because it wasn't us.
Oh, the poor foolish men and women who turned to false religions and turned their backs on Jesus. How sad it would be for them on Judgement Day, we sigh. The little turbaned girls, laying flowers at Donovan's feet at a weekend concert, how silly it all was.
Maybe we should be more understanding of the Palestinians, and after all, it's not our land.
So Jesus said to them again, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. John 10:7,8
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
I've been reading "The Truth about Mohammed: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion" by Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch. No matter what you've heard about it, I recommend it. It will give you more insight on why we have got to be like Jesus and "be about My Father's work".
That means education. No one in their right mind, and we are called to be in our right minds, would go into battle without knowing who the enemy is and how they operate!
"Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
For it flatters him in his own eyes
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil." Psalm 36:1-4
"And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light." Luke 16:8
Our enemy is not stupid. He has an agenda. Yes, our war is spiritual, BUT, the spiritual most always manifests in the physical.
Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled? And Jesus began to say to them, See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, I am He! and will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs." Mark 13:4-8
Jesus told us to not be afraid, but He never said to close our eyes! We are to use as much information as we can, be a shrewd as serpents, be aware and stand our ground against the one who has in mind our destruction.
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:8
We are in spiritual battle every day of our lives, all of us. Satan also has a plan for your life. Do not be lax in understanding. We have to KNOW what is going on in the world.
Would you let your child dive into a pond you've never been to, trusting the calm surface? Of course not. You search it out, making sure there are no hidden dangers.
If you know someone has a life threatening food allergy, do you hand them a piece and say "Go ahead! A little can't hurt you!"
Of course not.
Of course not?
Isn't that being ignorant of the enemy's designs?
We are spending time in the beauty of God, in His presence, in His glory! The joy of the Lord is our right. But the awareness, the knowledge that leads to wisdom, the preparation for hand to hand combat is our responsibility!
My son is a soldier. He is MI and works underground. He goes home every night to his family, eats dinner, plays with his babies, does their baths and plays with Legos! He enjoys everything that God has blessed him with. But, he knows the dangers that are pressing in all around us 24/7. He is aware. He, along with others like him, make decisions that affect our freedom and safety. They do not take their responsibility lightly.
Neither do I.
"If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15