Curses and Blessings

Curses

Curses

I just finished reading through the book of Deuteronomy a couple days ago, and felt a a strong desire to share something very important from that book.  In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 28 God lays out for us in clear and concise language exactly how we need to live our lives.  He shows us the path that leads to great blessings, but also shows us the curses that will catch up to us if we refuse to walk with him.  Now let’s be clear about something very important in how blessings and curses work.  If we walk with God he walks with us providing all we need to live, and live happily.  On the other hand, if we refuse to walk with God he no longer blesses and helps us.  Now, God does not need to lift a finger to bring about the curses that come our way, rather they are the direct result of the vacuum created when God lifts his hedge of protection from around us.

When we refuse to walk with or acknowledge God we lose our compass.  There is no longer a standard measure of morality, law, or behavior. Instead morality, law and proper behavior become what ever we decide it is.  Unfortunately, without God most men and women will sink to the most base place in nature, seeking only their own selfish and often wicked desires.   Remember, God isn’t up in heaven twisting and pulling levers and knobs to make things happen to us, they happens to us as a direct result of what we do.  Now let’s look as some scriptures that tell us exactly what will be the result of us walking with God.

 

Deuteronomy 28  (HCSB)

Blessings for Obedience
28 “Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all His commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come and overtake you, because you obey the Lord your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city
and blessed in the country.
4 Your descendants[a] will be blessed,
and your land’s produce,
and the offspring of your livestock,
including the young of your herds
and the newborn of your flocks.
5 Your basket and kneading bowl will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come in
and blessed when you go out.
7 “The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you. They will march out against you from one direction but flee from you in seven directions. 8 The Lord will grant you a blessing on your storehouses and on everything you do;[b] He will bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as His holy people, as He swore to you, if you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by Yahweh’s name, and they will stand in awe of you. 11 The Lord will make you prosper abundantly with children,[c] the offspring of your livestock, and your land’s produce in the land the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His abundant storehouse, the sky, to give your land rain in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them. 14 Do not turn aside to the right or the left from all the things I am commanding you today, and do not go after other gods to worship them.

 

There was a time when we possessed the above blessings.  There was a time when we had such abundance that our storehouses were bursting open. We were often the first ones on the scene in most disasters with massive supplies.   We used to lend to other nations and never had to borrow.  We were the head of nations for many years, but now we’ve moved closer to the tail.  Where once we were respected by our allies and feared by our enemies, we are now despised and laughed at by our allies and enemies alike.  We were once considered the most powerful nation on earth, but over the past several years have become impotent and weak.   We have also murdered more than 50 million unborn children since 1973.  We have gone from a mostly moral country to a mostly immoral one in the space of less than 100 years.  There was a time when most Americans were patriotic God believing people.   Now most Americans who call themselves Christians don’t have the moral fortitude to stand against the tide of immorality and political correct insanity that has overwhelmed our Nation.

 

So, let’s look at what God says will happen to us if we refuse to walk in his way.  We are only beginning to see the signs of the curses that our coming our way because of our turning our backs on God.  It starts out with a weakening of our nation.  Elitist immoral men have become our rulers and dictate laws that slowly enslave our bodies and minds. We now have churches that have become corrupted with ministers who love money, fame and power more than God.  We are losing all that God has blessed us with, and it seems like the leadership in Washington is more than happy to have it happen.  So what’s going to happen if we don’t turn things around, and turn them around quickly?

 

 

Curses for Disobedience
15 “But if you do not obey the Lord your God by carefully following all His commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city
and cursed in the country.
17 Your basket and kneading bowl will be cursed.
18 Your descendants[d] will be cursed,
and your land’s produce,
the young of your herds,
and the newborn of your flocks.
19 You will be cursed when you come in
and cursed when you go out.
20 The Lord will send against you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything you do[e] until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of the wickedness of your actions in abandoning Me. 21 The Lord will make pestilence cling to you until He has exterminated you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will afflict you with wasting disease, fever, inflammation, burning heat, drought,[f] blight, and mildew; these will pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky above you will be bronze, and the earth beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your land into falling[g] dust; it will descend on you from the sky until you are destroyed. 25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will march out against them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions. You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away.

27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, tumors, a festering rash, and scabies, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness, and mental confusion, 29 so that at noon you will grope as a blind man gropes in the dark. You will not be successful in anything you do. You will only be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will help you. 30 You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you and not returned to you. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes grow weary looking for them every day. But you will be powerless to do anything.[h] 33 A people you don’t know will eat your land’s produce and everything you have labored for. You will only be oppressed and crushed continually. 34 You will be driven mad by what you see. 35 The Lord will afflict you with painful and incurable boils on your knees and thighs—from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.

36 “The Lord will bring you and your king that you have appointed to a nation neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, scorn, and ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.

38 “You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant and cultivate vineyards but not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself with oil, because your olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not remain yours, because they will be taken prisoner. 42 Whirring insects will take possession of all your trees and your land’s produce. 43 The foreign resident among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you won’t lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.

45 “All these curses will come, pursue, and overtake you until you are destroyed, since you did not obey the Lord your God and keep the commands and statutes He gave you. 46 These curses will be a sign and a wonder against you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve the Lord your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything, 48 you will serve your enemies the Lord will send against you, in famine, thirst, nakedness, and a lack of everything. He will place an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the ends of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you don’t understand, 50 a ruthless nation,[i] showing no respect for the old and not sparing the young. 51 They will eat the offspring of your livestock and your land’s produce until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, oil, young of your herds, or newborn of your flocks until they cause you to perish. 52 They will besiege you within all your gates until your high and fortified walls, that you trust in, come down throughout your land. They will besiege you within all your gates throughout the land the Lord your God has given you.

53 “You will eat your children,[j] the flesh of your sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you. 54 The most sensitive and refined man among you will look grudgingly[k] at his brother, the wife he embraces,[l] and the rest of his children, 55 refusing to share with any of them his children’s flesh that he will eat because he has nothing left during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you in all your towns. 56 The most sensitive and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her refinement and sensitivity, will begrudge the husband she embraces, her son, and her daughter, 57 the afterbirth that comes out from between her legs and the children she bears, because she will secretly eat them for lack of anything else during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you within your gates.

58 “If you are not careful to obey all the words of this law, which are written in this scroll, by fearing this glorious and awesome name—Yahweh, your God— 59 He will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will afflict you again with all the diseases of Egypt, which you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also afflict you with every sickness and plague not recorded in the book of this law, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you were as numerous as the stars of the sky, you will be left with only a few people, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as the Lord was glad to cause you to prosper and to multiply you, so He will also be glad to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be deported from the land you are entering to possess. 64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 You will find no peace among those nations, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despondent spirit. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be in dread night and day, never certain of survival. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’—because of the dread you will have in your heart and because of what you will see. 68 The Lord will take you back in ships to Egypt by a route that I said you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”

 

The curses I believe are coming our way are frightening.  We have kicked God out of our schools, our courts, our public life, and he is now being squeezed even out of our private affairs.  If you refuse to make a cake for a gay wedding you are ostracized and destroyed.  If you speak out against gay marriage or men using the women’s bathroom you are labeled homophobic and shouted down.

 

How did this happen?  Did God press some lever or turn some knob to bring this about?  No, it is the direct result of our refusal as a people to walk the way God told us to.  We have told God we don’t want him interfering with our lives anymore, so God being the God of liberty and freedom said, “OK, you go ahead and do it your way.”   The things that are happening to our country is not anything God is doing to us, it is what we are doing to ourselves for refusing to walk with him.  We are following the same path that ancient Israel did, and the path that Europe has walked down.  That path that rejects the God that created all things, and replaces him with the false god of government.  Look at Europe, what’s happening with the migrant infestation, and see the future of America.

 

We need to pray for revival, we need to stand up against immorality and godlessness.  We need to stop being the silent majority and become the loud standing in the gap for God majority.  We need to wake up my friends as the hour is getting late.

 

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Perilous Times

Man kissing himself in mirror

Narssistic

I  feel a great deception has befallen us during these perilous times we’re in, the deception that man can cure what ails this country.  We so want to believe that lie that we are willing to believe anyone who tells us the things we want to hear.   We so want to believe it that we are willing to vote some of the same politicians in office over and over again although they fail us over and over again.  We so easily believe the lie because we so want to bring back the values that we have lost.  As Christians, we want someone in office who will actually represent the values  we hold dear.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of our leaders are liars, cheats and care only about their own power, wealth, influence and control.  Most of our leaders in Washington are  narcissists who will say anything to hold onto the power, prestige and influence they hold.

 

I have bought into the lie myself many times.  I have foolishly believe that a man could make this country great again, and represent the values that I hold dear only to be disappointed.  I wonder how can a man promise to do things to stem the tide of destruction coming to this country, and then turn around a do the polar opposite of what he said?  How can a man look you you in the eye or in a camera and lie without batting an eye.  How can a man be so full of himself that he thinks he knows so much better than us lowly average Joe’s?   Well, I decided to try and find out what it was, and see if I could understand it better.  Well, I found at least a partial answer in the field of psychology.   The word I found that best describes these men and women it narcissist.

 

I looked on a website called: http://psychcentral.com/ and found the description that brought a good part of the answer to light.  Read the list of some of the symptoms of a narcissist below, and see if it doesn’t describe most of our leaders and much of our population to a tee.

 

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

 

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

 

The scriptures talk about perilous times when this type of behavior will be rampant in society.  I think we live in that time where this behavior is rampant, not only in Washington, but in our general population.  Look at the young people that fill our Universities.   Look at our elite media, sports figures, and Holly Wood celebrities; and tell me we’re are not living in the times of 2 Timothy 3:1-5.  Does anyone believe we are not living in those perilous end times?

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

I don’t see a current candidate running that doesn’t display some level of narcissism.   On top of that, we need to accept the fact that no man can fix what’s broken in this country.  No man can pull us out of these perilous times, and reestablish the values we held 50 or 75 years ago, as our society is very different now.  Only a revival and a turning back to God can fix what’s broken here, and with godless people filling all the institutions of power and influence that is highly unlikely.  I do feel there are one or two candidates who even with their narcissistic tendencies might stem the tide of the current death spiral we’re on, but even they cannot heal us of the cultural Marxism that has slowly permeated this country over the past 50 years.  And although no man that can fix what’s broken in this country, they may give us just a little more time to get right with God.

 

If you have never read through the book of Jeremiah, or not read it in a long time, I would suggest giving it a read.  You will be shocked to see the parallels between that nation and our own.  You will see a nation of people who has turned away from God, and themselves living in perilous times only feigning a form of godliness. Reading through the book of Jeremiah is like reading a newspaper talking about us here and now.

 

We are a long way down the rabbit hole, with our only hope being to reestablish a close and obedient relationship with He who are hope is in.

 

Deuteronomy 30:9-11

9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 

John 15:9-11

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full..

 

I don’t believe we have a lot of time left.  We have gone so far from God as a nation that I believe God has lifted his hand of protection from us. Look what’s going on in Europe and quickly coming to America.  Islam is celebrated and Christianity is condemned. Turn to God and there is a good chance he will keep you safe in the perilous times to come.  I can tell you one thing for sure, if you are not right with God there is a very good chance you will experience many of the terrors that are talked about in Revelations.   It’s time to quit procrastinating and make God your priority now.

 

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Show Them Your Sermon

Show them your sermon

Show them your sermon

I’ve got an important question for you, are you showing your sermon?  Although others may have an opinion about it, only you and God know the answer for sure.  Let’s ask ourselves, “Do others know we’re a Christian”?  If so, is it because we told them so, or because of the fact that we go to a Christian church?  Are you known as a Christian because of the Christian paraphernalia you wear, or maybe because you have one of those cool fish symbols on the back of your car?

 

You see, I hear people all the time professing they are Christians, but the fruit seems to be lacking.  They may go to church once, twice or even more times each week; but the way they live their lives seems to be a contradiction to a walk with Christ.  Now let me be clear, I’m not judging who is and who is not a Christian as only God can look into one’s heart and determine if he or she is one of His.  But let’s be realistic!

 

If I stand in my garage and shout to the world that I’m a Cadillac, does that make me a car?  Let’s consider what Christ said when determining who is one of His.

 

 

Matthew 7:15-20

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 

God is talking about religious people in those scriptures.

 

There’s a song that is perfectly appropo to this subject called “Show Em Your Sermon”.  I’m not positive who wrote it, but I love the version by Marty Raybon.  Check out the lyrics below.

 

My grandpa was a preacher and New Bethel Baptist Church
I can still recall him standing tall delivering the word
But the strongest sermons that he preached weren’t from that old pulpit
no his message came through clearest in the way my grandpaw lived

He told me show Em your sermon if you want it to ring true
Your life’s the only preachin’ that folks will pay attention to
If you aint walking that walk then sunny talking that talk won’t due
Show em your sermon and the message will shine through.

So many times I’ve seen him down at Foresters cafe’
With twenty bucks and breakfast for some soul who lost their way,
poor folks, sick folks, hungry folks, shut in’s and bereaved
They knew he’d stand right by their side in their hour of need.

He told me show Em your sermon if you want it to ring true
Your life’s the only preachin’ folks will pay attention to
If you aint walking that walk then sunny talking that talk won’t due
Show em your sermon and the message will shine through.

Well I didn’t make a preacher like my grandpaw thought I might,
but I hope there’s still a sermon in the way I lead my life.

He told me show Em your sermon if you want it to ring true
Your life’s the only preachin’ that folks will pay attention to
If you aint walking that walk then sunny talking that talk won’t due
Show em your sermon and the message will shine through.

If you’d like to hear it yourself, which I would highly recommend, check it out below:

 

 

 

Now the scriptures are clear, none of us is perfect, and we all fall short.

 

Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

If we are not striving to walk with Christ and doing the things He has called us to do, are we not just people standing in a garage calling ourselves Cadillac’s?

 

Remember the parable of the ten virgins?

 

Matthew 25:1-13

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
25 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.

 

This next scripture should make us all sit up consider.

 

Matthew 7:21

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven

I think the scriptures are pretty clear on this, our calling ourselves Christian’s doesn’t make us a Christian.  It has much more to do with what we do and not so much with what we say.

 

If you find yourself in that Cadillac category, it’s not too late to turn your life around.  God wants nothing more than to have fellowship with you, but He will not force it, you have to open yourself to it.  He is knocking, it’s time to set down the electronics for a little while and open the door and spend some time with Him.

 

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Broken Nation

Broken Nation

Broken Nation

 

I’d like to preface this post with saying that I am talking about us as a nation and people, not individually.  I know there are many people that fear God and strive to obey Him.  But, we are no longer one nation under God.  We have lost our way as a nation.

 

 

Isaiah 1:5-6

5 Why should you be stricken again? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.

 

The above is referring to the state of our Government and religious institutions.

 

How did we go from One Nation under God, to a society of God haters?  How did we go from most people respecting authority to a total disregard for authority? How did we go from a people who honored our veterans to many who despise them?  How did we go from a people who pledged allegiance to our flag to a people who won’t even stand up for the pledge?  

 

How did we go from kids misbehaving in school by passing notes and chewing gum, to kids bringing guns to school and kids in middle school sexting each other?  How did we go from presidents who at least carried themselves with respect for the office, to a president who totally disrespects the office of president and our way of life?  How did we go from a people who believed in the sanctity of marriage and family, to a people who are indifferent to the institutions?

 

How did we get to a place where good has become evil and evil has become good?  How did we get to a place where light has become dark and dark has become light?  How did we go from a Country that people from all over the world came to to become part of the American dream, to a Country that is being invaded by people of cultures that don’t wish to assimilate?

 

The answer to those questions aren’t that difficult to find if you know where to look.  There was a people in history who was very much like us, and had many of the blessings we’ve had in this Country.  Of course they did not have the technology we have, but they had great abundance throughout their land.  It was a land flowing with milk and honey “metaphorically speaking”.  They were a people who were given victory after victory in their battles, rain and fair weather for their crops and land enough for each man who was willing to work it.  They were a nation of just laws where life was fair for all whether rich or poor.  On top of all that, they had a just King, the Creator of all things, who loved those people and wanted nothing but the best for them.

 

Unfortunately, over time, things began to change, and they were no longer content with all they had.  So they began to turn from the path that led to all their blessings, and began embracing and emulating customs and behaviors of the nations around them.  They broke the Covenant they had with their King and turned away from Him.  They basically told their King, “The Almighty” they no longer wanted Him meddling in their affairs.   So, being the just King He is, and honoring His gift of free will to all mankind He began removing the hedge that He had placed around them so they could see what life would be without Him.  God’s love allows people to make those kinds of decisions as much as it hurts Him to see it.

 

The parallels of how the nations of Israel and Judah went from great national blessings to lawlessness, sexual deviance and corruption, and how we in America have followed that same path is quite uncanny.   We started out as a nation of just laws and mostly God fearing people.  We had been blessed beyond any nation in the world, and had become the richest nation that has ever existed in history.  

 

We have so many vast natural resources and are surround by oceans which protect us.  We have been a blessing to many other nations since our beginning  as a nation.  We have been given so much, and as life has become easier and we have become fatter, we have lost our gratitude, and have asked our King to stop meddling in our affairs and let us live the way we desire.

 

So once again, God is allowing a nation that once called itself His, to have it it’s own way.  God has given us free will to live as we wish.  Of course when we do things man’s way as opposed to God’s way there are natural consequences that come with that decision.  And don’t think that it’s God who is pulling some lever in heaven making bad things happen to us, the bad that is happening to this Country is the natural results of turning from God.

 

Let’s look at some scriptures in Jeremiah and see just how much of what Judah was doing lines up with what we are doing.

 

Jeremiah 2:7-8

7 I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land And made My heritage an abomination. 8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me; The prophets prophesied by Baal, And walked after things that do not profit.

Jeremiah 2:13

13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Jeremiah 6:13-14

13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely. 14 They have also healed the hurt of my people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.

 

Jeremiah 2:19

19 Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.

 

Jeremiah 32:35

And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.’

Did you get that last scripture?  Judah had gotten to the point where they were murdering their first born and burning them to a false god.  Now we might be quick to say we would never do that, but we have now murdered over 50 million babies to the god of choice.  Are we any better than they?  Do we really believe that we can have spilled that much blood and not have to give account for it?  Do we really believe that we are to big and powerful to fail and to be brought down?  Just look at the history of Rome and other great empires of the past.

 

Jeremiah 5:15-17

15 Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” says the Lord. “It is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, Nor can you understand what they say. 16 Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty men. 17 And they shall eat up your harvest and your bread, which your sons and daughters should eat. They shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; they shall destroy your fortified cities, in which you trust, with the sword.

2 Kings 25:1-3

25 Now it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and encamped against it; and they built a siege wall against it all around. 2 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine had become so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.

Lamentations 4:9-11

9 Those slain by the sword are better off than those who die of hunger; for these pine away, stricken for lack of the fruits of the field. 10 The hands of the compassionate women have cooked their own children; they became food for them in the destruction of the daughter of my people. 11 The Lord has fulfilled His fury, He has poured out His fierce anger. He kindled a fire in Zion, and it has devoured its foundations.

 

Jerusalem was under siege for about two years before it finally fell.  During that time the people suffered greatly and toward the end starvation was rampant. It came to the place where people were cannibalized their children as you can see from the scripture above.  Can you imagine what would happen in this country if the power grid were to go down or we had a total economic collapse?  There are over 42 million people in this country on food stamps.  Most people live in cities now and know nothing about growing food.  What happens if the EBT cards are not filled and/or the food shelves are empty?  It’s frightening to think about, but it’s very real possibilities.  It seems the government has become the god of most people in this country, and that is who they look to to take care of them.  Unfortunately for them, the government is a false god and cannot save them or this nation.  Only the true God, the Creator of all things, can save us from what’s ahead.  Of course, we’ve asked Him to not meddle in our affairs, and sadly He is going to give us just what we asked for.

 

To see the end result of Judah and all she suffered you only need to read the book of Lamentations written by the Profit Jeremiah.  It’s not a long read, but it’s a very sad poetic explanation of what they suffered.

 

Although this post is a bit of a downer there is nothing to fear for those who call themselves by His name.  I feel a lot of suffering is coming our way as a nation, but God can keep you safe where ever you are if you are His.  Let me leave you with the following encouraging scriptures.

 

Isaiah 40:26-31

26 Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; Not one is missing. 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, 31 but those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

 

Don’t forget to let you light shine in this dark world and always be ready to give an answer to those who wonder about the hope that is in you.

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A Christian Walk

A Christian Walk

A Christian Walk

I originally wrote this post under the title “Lessons From Rocky” in 2012, but feel it has a great lesson for now.  With our current culture wringing it’s collective hands over not feeling safe if people have differing points of view.  And when so many want to point the finger at others blaming them for their lack of success in their personal lives, I feel as a Christian we need to look within to see where our abundance or lack thereof comes from.   I’m not just talking about money either, but our personal values and character; and how what we do and say impacts the lives of those around us.

Have you ever watched the final installment of the Rocky movies, Rocky Balboa? If not, you really need to; and if it’s been a long time, you should watch it again. Whether you’re a fan of boxing or not, this movie is full of great examples of how we should treat others.

Rocky’s now probably in his mid to upper 50’s, widowed for three years, and has a son who doesn’t want to be around him because he feels he’s always in his father’s shadow. Rocky spends his evenings telling old boxing stories to the guests of his little Italian restaurant, and during the day interacting with the people of his neighborhood.

I think this movie is a great metaphor for our Christian walk. It has family values and examples of unconditional love. It shows a man can be strong and still be a gentle spirit. Rocky’s character gladly feeds those who are down on their luck, and would give someone the shirt off his own back if they needed it.

He’s respectful, kind and self-controlled even when he’s insulted. He cares deeply for his family and friends; and even when they are hurtful to him, he shows restraint and doesn’t hurt them back.

Now I don’t know a whole lot about Sylvester Stallone as a person, but his character in the movie is one to be emulated. He is a skilled warrior in the boxing ring, yet a gentle spirit outside of it. When in the ring he’s focused, committed to his task, and knows no fear. Outside the ring he’s kind, generous, and focused on making his part of the world a better place.

At the beginning of the movie, while visiting different places around town where he and his now passed wife had a history, he runs into, and befriends a single mom he knew from her youth. He takes her and her teenage son, with no father figure, under his wing to help them.

There’s a scene where this single mom, Marie, asks Rocky, “so why you doing this for us”? Rocky just kind of shrugs his shoulders and asks her, “Why does someone have to have a reason to do something nice for someone else“? What a wonderful example of loving your neighbor as yourself.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie though is when Rocky has a come to Jesus meeting with his son on a sidewalk near his restaurant. His son is trying to persuade Rocky not to fight the world champing because he’s going to embarrass himself as well as his son. At this point, Rocky gives a truly inspirational speech to his son that I believe speaks to us all.

There are some great nuggets of wisdom in the following video clip.

How often have we let life beat us down and steal our dreams?

How many times have we let adversity beat us up, and shake our faith?

I would like to have a poster made that says, “It’s not how hard life hits you, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward”.

As a Christians we’ve got to be able to keep moving forward no matter what life throws at us.

When we get hit with trials, we can’t wallow in self-pity and hang our heads in defeat; we must grab hold of God’s promises, pull ourselves up by the boot straps, and keep moving forward?

Life is wonderful, but life is also hard. Our ability to keep moving forward will determine the kind of walk we have with God, and the works we’re able to do in His name.

Jesus Christ is our Rock and our strength. He will give us whatever we need to keep going, but He expects us to do our part and keep pushing forward.

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