Monday, November 08, 2010

Blood on my head?

This morning's sunrise

11/8/10 Monday
This will be a Sabbath day to me, not in the sense of a day of rest, but in the sense that it will be a day dedicated to the Lord. I have had a deep urgency in my spirit for days now, great need to pray, but for what I do not know. This is strange to me, something unusual in it’s scope and manner.

With this have come thoughts and temptations that would distract me and lead me away from all that is holy. The thoughts and temptations are nothing new, the same old things I struggle with anyway, but what is new is this awareness of God’s spirit and revelations of things I do not know. With it comes an understanding that I have not done things God wanted me to do, that I have neglected truths I’ve been shown. Coupled with that are thoughts I recognize as coming from the accuser, guilt and feelings of unworthiness, or perhaps more accurately worthlessness. While the truth is I am unworthy of any of the blessings of God, I also know that none of us are, we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. But through His love and the sacrifice of Jesus, we have been made worthy, and this I will trust and rely on. So I will deny these accusations and believe that I am a new creation of God and walk in the forgiveness. Repentance is the prerequisite of forgiveness and repentance means to change, to turn away from that which I recognize as wrong, so I will continue to strive to do what I know I should, and not do what I know I shouldn’t.

Meantime, there are people I am responsible for. They have no idea I am responsible for them, that if I don’t reach out to help, strive to restore and repair, their blood is on my head. I’m sure this sounds strange or even wrong to some, that many would object to the concept that we have any responsibility for those around us. What scripture is there that explains such a thought, that the blood of others in on my head? Actually there are several but this one in Ezekiel is pretty clear in explaining the concept.

Ezekiel 33:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. 5 Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.' 7 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

BAM!!! OK, that takes me right out of my comfort zone. “But that was a word for Ezekiel” I can hear someone saying now, but I won’t let you slide out from under it that easy. Galatians 6:1 says “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” so we have an undeniable responsibility for those in the church, whether we like it or not. Folks, this is what church is about, when it comes to church being the body of Christ. We are all to help each other out, and in doing so the body becomes strong, not weak, diseased, and disjointed, as it is in many quarters.

We don’t want responsibility, and many desire and have clung to a theology that is free from any need to get out of their comfort zone, any need to do anything, for anyone, anytime. This false teaching is the downfall of many and for that matter the church as well, with the exception of those precious few who seek the Lord and see the world through His eyes. The mantra of “We’re saved by faith, not works” is thrown up like a banner of righteousness, when in fact it has become a distortion of the truth.

James spells it out pretty clearly in chapter two of his letter to us “14. What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17. In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. 20. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? 21. Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22. You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

When all is said and done everything boils down to one event, the day of judgment. That’s when all that matters is separated from all that really doesn’t matter at all, that’s when we know what is important and what never was. What are you judged on? Your deeds, or if you will, your works. Oh, but here’s a ringer, it’s not what you do so much as why you do it. Ultimately God judges your heart. There are a lot of people running around doing a lot of good things but in the end the truth of their heart will be revealed. Mathew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

So here’s a truth; What you do reflects what you really believe. All else is empty talk and while that may impress many around you it doesn’t impress God. So here’s a question, one I ask often, “Do you Really believe? Really?”

Mathew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

We have been privileged by being given this description of the final day, something that none of us can escape. It doesn’t matter if you believe in it or not, that won’t change a thing, because God is God and, try as you might, you can’t make Him into your own image of who He should be.

Revelations 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

Got to go. Bye now, write if you have questions or thoughts.

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