Monday, October 04, 2010

Gain the world, lose your soul?

10/4/10 Monday
It’s another Monday. They seem to come so quickly and disappear just as fast. The widow is doing well now but I need to check up on her later. When I called yesterday she was in bed resting and couldn’t understand why she had no energy. Gee, she’d been sick for days and on top of that couldn’t take her diabetes medication so her blood sugar had been off the chart, so that on top of being in her late seventies makes it amazing she wanted to get up and work. Our heart goes out to her so much and I admire her spirit. Jason has moved out, complying with Mrs. G’s request, but is being an ass. Evidently he dumped several bags of garbage out on her front lawn out of spite. I suspect this is a response to Mrs. G’s being upset at him in the past for how he would throw food wrappers and other trash on her lawn and refusing to pick it up when he lived there. You’d think he’s five years old, not in his mid thirties. She took him in and gave him a place to live when he was down and out and this is his thanks. We live in a lost and corrupted world for sure. It’s sad to watch but it also confirms my faith for what I see written in the bible over two thousand years ago I find happening all around me.

2 Timothy 3:1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.

This so describes people we have known, and it’s scary. They seem unable to recognize these things within their lives and refuse to accept any thought that they might be wrong. They talk about God, and certainly hold to a “Form of godliness” but when it comes down to it, to any kind of personal sacrifice or swallowing of pride, there is no movement, only a stone wall. We hope, we pray for resolution. I’m not as concerned about renewing a personal relationship with them, my concern is for their spiritual well being for in the end that is the only thing that matters. To see my brother ate up with bitterness and pride, along with being deceived regarding God and the things of God bothers me. They are drowning and don’t know it, on a slippery slope with an unpleasant ending but happily plodding along, confident in themselves. Who am I to reach out to them? What makes me think I’m anything? “How dare I question their, or anyone else’s faith!” is the thought they have. (this has been revealed) When they read this it will be interpreted as a personal attack, not as a desire to see improvement. That’s where the pride becomes evident. The reaction in the past brings to mind scriptures that talk about “Gnashing their teeth”. I am unfortunately blunt and honest in my communication, diplomacy and the whole sugar coating my thoughts concept are part of what I lost with the brain injury, an aspect of personality change that is common with TBI.

I am a servant. A man both simple and complex at the same time. Sure, ten percent of my brain no longer exists and much of the rest of it has been severely damaged, but I see much, I see through eyes God gave me. I am far from perfect but strive always to please God. When I fail He forgives me because I repent of those failings and the desire of my heart is to change, to always improve. It is through Jesus Christ I have life, both here on earth and for eternity. What I do here on earth determines my eternal future and when all is said and done only what I do for God matters.

Mark 8:34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

The words of Jesus. I can’t deny this and to deny it would be a dangerous thing. Either you’re a Christian or you are not. There is no middle ground despite the sermons and doctrines of many organizations. Riding a fence leads to death.

Revelations 3:15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot ; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed ; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline ; therefore be zealous and repent. 20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock ; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' "

We live in a world of compromise. To compromise in a business deal, where you perhaps surrender some profit in order to do business with another, is one thing. To compromise your integrity, doing what you know is wrong or will hurt another, for the sake of profit is another. But to compromise your faith, to deny God or practice what you KNOW is sin, is dangerous, perhaps even deadly. Over time your heart becomes hard and calloused, to the point that it no longer bothers you to do these things.

Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

I’ve talked about the former Muslims in the Middle East who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. They do so knowing it will cost them everything. Some have had their tongues ripped out, hands or feet cut off, and many have died horrible deaths. Ron has seen this and ministers to them as best he can, often having to escape the watchful eye of the police to do so. He told us that the ones who live in the garbage city, when told there are Americans praying for them, have only three requests. First is that they live another day (Life expectancy is two or three years there) Second, that they be able to forgive their persecutors. Wow, to be killed, tortured, and persecuted but desire to forgive, this shames me when I have a hard time forgiving those who reject us or whoever killed our dogs. The third request is equally amazing, that they have an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. This is despite the fact that doing so could mean their tongue is ripped out or death.

This is real, this is happening right now, at the very moment you read this. The time for comfortable Christianity has come to an end. Our world is marching quickly towards an unpleasant time, when all that we thought secure will be shaken, when our peace and comfort will be greatly disturbed. (That’s an understatement) So let me ask you a question, or perhaps you should ask yourself this question “Do you really believe?” and if so what is it you believe? So many have found their “God in a box” and chosen a belief system that fits their agenda, lets them live the way they want to without guilt or sacrifice. That is the very nature of deception, a little bit of truth to cover a big lie. God is God and will not conform to what we desire.

Mathew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" 4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Folks, I was dead, but now I live. It was no accident, the car wreck, being declared dead, coma, brain injuries, and all that happened, it is the hand of God. This has been done for a reason, for the end of ages we live in.

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