Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why?

     That is the question. This started because some entertainer was being brought up on blasphemy charges in Ireland because he answered the question “What would you ask God?” and he replied, "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right."
    We like to think it’s not our fault. We like to think because we don’t behave the way some people do that we don’t deserve whatever befalls us.
    I once heard a story about a slave owner who was riding in his fields watching over the slaves when he heard one muttering to himself, “That dumb old Adam. If it weren’t for Adam I wouldn’t be out in this field working.” 
    The owner looks down at him and asks, “What are you muttering about?”
“If Adam hadn’t disobeyed God in the garden, I wouldn’t have to be here working in this field.”
    The slave owner thinks about it for a minute and says, “Come with me back to the house.” So the slave follows him back to the house.
    The owner tells him to wait in the front room for a moment. A few minutes later the owner comes back out with an envelope and sets it down on a table. He turns to the slave and says, “You are welcome to do whatever you want. You have the run of the house. You can go where you want, you can eat what you want, you can do what you want. You don’t have to work in the fields any more. Only one condition.”
    The slave looks on in disbelieve and asks, “What’s the condition?”
    “You can’t read what’s in this envelope,” and he points and touches the envelope on the table.
    For a while the slave enjoyed what the home had to offer. But one day, while sitting and enjoying a glass of tea, he saw the envelope sitting on the table. Looking around to make sure no one is around, he goes to the envelope. Unable to resist, he opens it and reads, “Now quit blaming Adam and get back in the field.”
    It’s easy to blame others for the state we find ourselves in and in some instances that is true. Consider Joseph. But was Joseph really completely blameless? Did his own pride over his dreams get him in hot water with his brothers?
    I sometimes have to ask myself, “Are the problems that I’ve incurred punishment from God, or rather consequences of my not listening to God?”
     My son has a remark he likes to playfully make when people say, “Have a nice day.”
     He will usually respond by saying, “Don’t tell me what to do.” I think it’s funny, but it is also a symptom of why I believe the world is in the state that it is. We, prideful, sinful, arrogant man, don’t want to hear what God has to say to us. We feel we can make our own way, so we create our own religious path. We take our own way and say, “No God,” instead of trusting Him in the midst of the trials of this life.
    When our “religious, righteous” path doesn’t work to our liking we get mad at God and turn away from Him. We think, “Well I did this and that and the other thing, but God didn’t do a thing for me.”
    I think (just my opinion) that most people who are mad at God and ultimately reject Him are those who couldn’t get God to bend to their will. These were formerly “religious” people who were not operating in faith that works by love. They were thinking, “If I do this, then God must do that.” We get mad at God because He didn’t do what we wanted. We keep lists of all the “righteous” things we’ve done and expect, no, demand we be rewarded for them. We think we can manipulate God like some gullible friend or relation who can’t see our deep down motives.

Matthew 7:21-23
    “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. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
    We are a people driven by pride and self-service. So many people have so much stuff, but they have no relationships or love. In our rise to the top we step on people. As man declares, “No God,” he foolishly builds on sand that will one day crumble. We build our little earthly kingdoms not realizing that they won’t last.
    We look at the rich and powerful and wish we had what they have. Why not? We like being comfortable. We like nice things. We even convince ourselves that God wants us to have nice things. We can even find scripture verses to back up that God wants us to have nice thing, so why shouldn’t we live high on the hog?
    
    John 6:29 Jesus, when asked what could we do, that we could do the works of God? He replied, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
    Believe in Him whom He sent. Hmm? Believing means trusting. Trusting means taking Him at His word. Does that mean we’ll live the good life? Depends on what you think the “good life” is.

Luke 13:2-5
    Jesus asks his disciples if they thought people who came to tragic ends were worse sinners than anyone else. He answers them, “No.” We all are guilty. “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” Do you think because someone is living an extravagant lifestyle that they are loved more by God? Do you think because a “ministry” has a big congregation, large buildings, and huge budgets they are faithful to the Lord?
    Why do the innocent suffer? Why is there pain? Why do evil people prosper? Why are atrocities committed in the name of God? These are not new questions. The psalmists asked them. Job asked them. Habakkuk asked them.

Habakkuk 1:13 “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous that he?”
Habakkuk, like most of us, wants to know “WHY?”

Luke 9:51-56
    Jesus disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven because a city didn’t want them coming to visit. Jesus rebuked them and suggested they go someplace else.
    How many of us, today, right now, have a reason that we think is valid for calling fire from heaven and destroying people? How many of us have complained about someone else because they didn’t agree with us? Get on the internet sometime and just read some of the junk people post on just about anything. We want to respond in anger because someone misrepresented our opinion or they made us mad.
     Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean lying about someone else.
   Some people want to just protect their family. Others accuse them of bigotry and hatred and wanting to hurt those they want to protect their families from.
    In so much that it is within your power, seek peace with others. Sometimes there are those who don’t want peace from you or with you. Best to just withdraw, be prepare to protect and defend. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”
    Calling fire from heaven…why? Were your feelings hurt? Do you disagree with someone?
    We believe we must “feel” good. We chase feelings like they are some sort of prize.  Feelings are fleeting. What you wanted one day may sit unused in a closet somewhere. If someone hurts our feelings we want to sue them, slander them, or drag them through the mud.

1 John 2:15 – 17
    “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh (pleasures, feelings, lust), the lust of the eyes (covetousness, greed), and the pride of life (ego) – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
    Mike Roe of the 77s penned a song called The Lust, The Flesh, The Eyes, The Pride of Life. It talks about feelings, greed and ego. The chorus declares, “The lust, the flesh, the eyes, the pride of life/drain the life right out of me.”
    What are we pursuing? Because what we pursue will have an effect on those around us.
    “Seek you first the kingdom of God…”
   I have this theory. I believe that capitalism without God is no better than communism without God.
    “Why?” We may ask.

Habakkuk 2:2, 4  and Habakkuk 3:17-19
    When Habakkuk asked his question of God and waited in a tower, God responded by saying, (I think this is when the billboard was created) “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it (remember he was in a tower so it had to be pretty big)…Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH.
    After God declares all that will happen to the proud, and Habakkuk realized the state of himself and man he declares, “though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on high hills.”

     Do I have an answer for “WHY”? Nope. I just know that in the midst of the storms of life I will live by my faith in Jesus. Is my faith in how ‘religious’ I am? No. My faith is in the One that lived, died and rose again. 

Love Jesus, Eat cheesecake, listen to Pink Floyd
DJ Glen

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

    It has been so long since I’ve been in these pages. My blog must feel so neglected. So much has happened around me that I don’t know where to begin.
    Let’s begin with the big one. A Bible teacher that I had a lot of respect for and sat under his teaching for a number of years was discovered to be living in a polygamous relationship and recently confessed to killing his second wife. Without getting into the issue, a lot of people were affected. Was my faith shaken? Nope. Do I still believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life? Yes. Was I hurt, sad, disappointed, surprised, shocked, and ticked off? Yes. Did I lose my faith in God? No.
    Years ago, another flawed Christian stated in a newsletter after the Jim and Tammy Baker incident, said basically, and I paraphrase, “if your faith is shaken because another human proved to be ‘human,’ then your faith is in the wrong place.”
    I have so many people that I have respect for that have stopped going to church because of what has happened. I know people that have become bitter or are hurting because of what happened.
I have a quote on my work computer that states, “I would rather live my life free from bitterness, than live whining about being a victim. Forgiveness is the key.”
    I do find myself frustrated at the way some people act or things they have done. I find myself frustrated with myself because of things that I do or things that I’m not doing, or all the time I waste.
Do I believe you have to go to church to be saved? No. I believe that being a part of the body of Christ, whether in a home church, or an organized building helps one to keep their hope alive. But, being a part of a body also has its own issues. Why? Because we are all flawed humans in need of the Savior.
    I’ve encountered people that are so unaware of their own selfishness or so unaware of their insensitivity that they get offended if you point it out or they blame the person pointing out their flaw for the issue in the first place. They don’t change. They don’t repent. They are the “I’m sorry but…” or “I sorry you took it that way…” people. They justify their behavior.
     Where is all this going? Nowhere really. Just rambling a bit.
     Here’s another thing that is going on in my life. I am currently in a band. If you are interested you can check us out at https://www.facebook.com/thos3guys

Love Jesus, Listen to Pink Floyd, Eat Cheesecake,
DJ Glen