Friday, November 19, 2010

New Addition

I recently added "Olive Tree Ministries" to the "Teaching Websites" bar on my blog. I've been downloading Jan's radio programs for about two years now (why I didn't add her website to my blog long ago, I don't know!), and find them very informative.

I found the October 30 program very good, yet extremely troubling as well. I want to encourage you (the reader) to listen to both hours when you get the chance, as I believe Brandon's interview (Brandon Howse, who is sitting in for Jan as she is recovering from back surgery) with John McTernan is right on.

You can get directly to the program HERE - simply left click on the Oct. 30, 2010 link to listen online, or right click and "save as " (or "save target", depending on your browser) to download to your computer. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Pure In Heart

 "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
 - Matthew 5:8

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by our Pastor to do a teaching for our congregation in his absence. After thinking and praying about it, I ended up doing a simple teaching on "The Beatitudes" (Matt. 5:1-16). I saw how it was a description of God's people; people of faith - those that were being made into the image and likeness of our God and King. It is the "image" of Yeshua - the description of who He is, and who we are supposed to be. As I looked at it myself in study, I saw just how much I did not look like the compilation of descriptive attributes that should be the increasingly dominant nature of God's people. 

It's always good to take a long hard look into the "mirror" of God's word!

I wanted to share a few thoughts on one of the attributes that Yeshua mentioned, and that being of those that were/are "pure in heart." 

We live at a time in history where the words of Yeshua never seemed more true - that the days just prior to His return would be like the days of Noah, and like the days of Lot - and that being, namely, a time in which "violence" covered the earth. A time when men were exceeding blasphemous. When everyone went their own way, chose what was "right" for them. When homosexuality was blatant and in-your-face. When shame was no longer a thought nor care on the mind of anyone. When simple human decency was a rarity. 

Paul hit the nail on the head when he the following: "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty (This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come - KJV). For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." 2 Tim. 3:1-5 ESV

So, in the midst of all of this, we are yet, and still, confronted with the simple (but NOT simplistic) words of Yeshua: "Blessed are the pure in heart...." But how are we to maintain purity in a day when we are surrounded by the impure? Further, how is this to occur in our lives when it is almost as impure IN THE CHURCH as in the world?!

I have, since the time that I began to really pursue and walk with the LORD, had a message, a burden that is the crowning message of all I say when speaking to anyone about God: Read the bible, and DO it. Get into the word of God WITH THE INTENT of actually obeying Him.But this message seems to be finding increasing numbers of deaf people (deaf spiritually, NOT physically!). Deaf Christians. Deaf and blind people who profess with their mouths the Lord Yeshua, but deny Him in their works.

Am I perfect? Do I think I am perfect? Do I need to answer that? We all (well, most of us) KNOW we are not perfect. But do you (or I) use that as an excuse to live as an impure, worldly, lust filled person?

"Blessed are the PURE in heart...." If someone is pure in heart, they will be pure in motive, and action. God help us. God help His people. If you are reading this, and you KNOW you are not/have not been pure in heart, then go before the LORD in repentance - TRUE repentance - and seek His cleansing, from the inside out. But do not let it be like the person that looks into the mirror, and then forgets what he looks like immediately afterward (cf. Jacob [James] chapter 1). Look into His mirror, the mirror of His word, so that you may see what you really look like, and then wash yourself in the costly, precious blood of His Son, who is able to save to the uttermost. Begin to walk in the newness of life! To "walk" implies that you are going somewhere, not just talking about it. We should walk in purity - now more so than ever. Do NOT let the world and all of it's impurity stick to you.

My first post on this blog was essentially a call for the "Church" to "wake up!" That urgent call has not diminished - not by one jot or tittle. So I will conclude once again with the words of scripture:

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."

"Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."

Titus 1:15, 1 Cor. 15:34 and Eph. 5:14, respectively.

Pray For Asia Bibi

My family and I heard about Asia Bibi's story about a year or so ago when she was arrested, and began praying for her then. Tonight I read that she has been sentenced to death for "blasphemy." Please read about it HERE, and pray for her and her family.