Category: J thru P


We now have a new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump; our 45th President.  President Trump has two things apparent that do not bode well in Washington, D. C.: (1): he’s at war with the News Media and (2) he’s not “politically Correct” by any measure.  The latter begs the question “should Christians be politically correct”?

Political correctness (PC) is defined as “a term that describes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, religious belief, disability, and age-related contexts.” The key word here is offense. No individual or group is to be offended in the PC world. Certainly, as Christians, we are not to go out of our way to offend anyone personally, but the truth is that Christianity itself is offensive.

The apostle Paul references the “offense of the cross” in Galatians 5:11. The cross was an offense to the Jews because their idea of salvation was to “work the works of God” (John 6:28–29), meaning keeping the numerous burdensome Old Testament laws and rules. When Jesus came preaching salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, they were shattered. He made it plain that “by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight” (Romans 3:20) and that all their law-keeping was of no value to them whatsoever. Especially repugnant to them was the idea that, without Jesus, they who prided themselves on their meticulous adherence to the letter, if not the spirit, of the law, could do nothing of spiritual value (John 15:5).

Truly, the offense Jesus created was a stumbling block to the Jews, as Paul explained to the Romans. He reminded them of Isaiah’s prophecy that God would lay a Cornerstone (Christ) in Zion over which many would stumble and fall (Isaiah 8:14; 28:16; Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:6). Just as the Jews stumbled over the idea of their works being of no value to God, so do many today hate the idea that Christ will build His church not on human merits, but on His righteousness alone. That message is as offensive today as it was in Jesus’ day. No one likes to be told there is nothing he can do to earn his place in heaven.

Equally offensive is the necessity of dying to self in order to follow Christ. Of all the religions of the world today, Christianity is the only one where its founder tells you to follow Him and die. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me'” (Matthew 16:24). Those who heard this message knew exactly what Jesus meant; to follow Him was to die to self and give up everything they ever held dear. That’s why everyone ran away when He was arrested; they weren’t prepared to die with Him.

Correctness in the secular, political realm is not the concern of Christians or the church because “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will, by the power that enables him, “bring everything under his control” (Philippians 3:20–21).

Most words in the Bible that are translated “lust” mean “a passionate desire.” Strong desire can be either good or bad, depending upon the object of that desire and the motive behind it. God created the human heart with the capacity for passionate desire so that we would long after Him and His righteousness (Psalm 42:1–2; 73:25). However, the concept of “lust” is now usually associated with a passionate desire for something God has forbidden, and the word is seen as synonymous with sexual or materialistic desire.

James 1:14–15 gives us the natural progression of unrestrained lust: “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

According to this passage, sinful lust begins with an evil desire. Being tempted by evil is the not sin. Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1). The sin begins when the evil desire “drags us away” from where our hearts need to be. When an evil desire introduces itself, we have a choice. We can reject it as Jesus did and refocus on the path God has set before us (Matthew 4:10). Or we can entertain it. As someone once said, “We cannot stop the birds from flying overhead, but we don’t have to let them make a nest in our hair.” When temptation beckons, we need to remember that we are not helpless. We can choose to give in or to resist.

The reason we are “dragged away” by temptation is that we are “enticed.” That word in the Greek refers to bait, as on a fishing line. When a fish sees the wiggling worm, he is enticed by it and grabs hold. Once the hook is set, he can be “dragged away.” When we encounter temptation, we should immediately reject it as Joseph did when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:11–12). Hesitation opens the door to enticement. Romans 13:14 calls such hesitation “making provision for the flesh.” Like the unwary fish, we grab hold of the tempting thought, believing it will delight and fulfill us. We savor the fantasy, imagine new and sinful scenarios, and entertain the idea that God has not provided all we need for happiness (Genesis 3:2–4). This is foolish. Second Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee youthful lusts.” To “flee” means to take off immediately. Joseph did not stick around to consider his options. He recognized sexual temptation, and he ran. When we hesitate, we make provision for the flesh and give it the opportunity to choose evil. Often, we are overwhelmed by its power. Samson was a physically strong man, yet he was no match for his own lust (Judges 16:1).

The next step in the downward progression of temptation, according to James 1, is that “desire conceives.” Lust begins as a seed, a thought packed with wrong desire. If we allow the seeds of lust to germinate, they will sprout into something bigger, more powerful, more difficult to uproot. Temptation becomes sin when it is allowed to germinate. Desire takes on a life of its own and becomes lust. Jesus made it clear that lust is sin, even if we do not physically act on it (Matthew 5:27–28). Our hearts are God’s domain, and when we allow evil to grow there, we defile His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).

Wrong desires plague every human being. The tenth commandment forbids coveting, which means lusting for something that is not ours (Deuteronomy 5:21; Romans 13:9). The human heart is constantly seeking to please itself, and when it discovers something or someone it believes will satisfy, lust begins.

It is only when our hearts are dedicated to the glory of God that we can overcome intrusive desires and conquer lust. When we surrender to the Lord, we find our needs met in a relationship with Him. We must “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We must allow the Holy Spirit to keep our thoughts where He wants them to be. It helps to pray daily the words of Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” When our heart’s desire is to please God more than ourselves, we can keep lust at bay.

The phrase “lust of the eyes” is found in 1 John 2:15-17: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” What is this “lust of the eyes”?

Simply put, the lust of the eyes is the desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal. This coveting of money, possessions, or other physical things is not from God, but from the world around us. John emphasizes that these physical things do not last; they will pass away. In contrast, the child of God is guaranteed eternity.

The Ten Commandments addressed the lust of the eyes in its prohibition against coveting. Exodus 20:17 commands, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Coveting can include a desire to have people, possessions, or status.

Satan uses the lust of the eyes as one avenue of temptation. Part of the reason Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden was that she looked at the forbidden fruit and saw that it was “pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Satan used a visual image to help entrap her. Satan tried a similar tactic on Jesus. One of his temptations in the wilderness was an attempt to make Jesus covet earthly power. Satan used a visual: he “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matthew 4:8). He then promised to give them to Jesus—for a price. Of course, Jesus did not succumb to the lust of the eyes, and Satan was defeated (verses 10 and 11).

We must follow Jesus’ example and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, resist the lust of the eyes. The world is full of “eye candy,” glamor, and gaudiness. Materialism beckons with its promise of happiness and fulfillment. A media-saturated society bombards us with advertising campaigns that might as well say, “Covet this!”

All that glitters is not gold, and the child of God knows that fame, fortune, and finery quickly fade (Proverbs 23:5). Our focus is not the newest product or latest fashion. Our goal is not to keep up with the Joneses or to surround ourselves with the trappings of glittering magnificence. Instead, our goal is “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10). Our eyes are set on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Our view is to eternity.

Cecil Alexander, the Irish hymnist, said it this way:

“Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, ‘Christian, love Me more.’”

What is lust?

The dictionary definition of lust is “1) intense or unrestrained sexual craving, or 2) an overwhelming desire or craving.” The Bible speaks of lust in several ways. Exodus 20:14, 17 (NLT), “Do not commit adultery. . . Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns,” or Matthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Job 31:11-12 (NLT) sums up lust quite nicely: “For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own.”

Lust has as its focus pleasing oneself, and it often leads to unwholesome actions to fulfill one’s desires with no regard to the consequences. Lust is about possession and greed. The Christian faith is about selflessness and is marked by holy living (Romans 6:19, 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30, 6:19-20; Ephesians 1:4, 4:24; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, 5:23; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16). The goal of each person who has put his/her faith in Jesus Christ is to become more and more like Him each day. This means putting off the old way of life of which sin was in control, and conforming one’s thoughts and actions to the standard put forth in Scripture. Lust is in opposition to this ideal.

Nobody will ever be perfect or attain sinlessness while still on this earth, yet it is still a goal for which we strive. The Bible makes a very strong statement regarding this in 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, “God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives. Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” If lust has not yet gripped your heart and mind, ready yourself through a life lived above reproach to combat the temptations of lust. If you currently struggle with lust, it is time to come clean before God and ask for His intervention in your life, so that holiness can be a mark of your life as well.

Today I want to reach out to every Christian who faces peer pressure in the work place, community and even our churches. But especially I want to reach out to the younger generation, of Christians, who face peer pressure in our communities, schools and universities.

Why do we face peer pressure? The Bible clearly tells us that we should not expect our lives to look like the lives of other people (unbelievers) in this world. As Christians, we are aliens and strangers here on earth (1 Peter 2:11), and this world is not our home. Just as Christ was rejected—and still is—by so many who want to live life their own, ungodly way, we will also find the same types of people despising us for our faith.

In the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, Paul speaks of how we are to know we are Christians. One of the points he emphasizes (see verse 6) is the fact that we should have joy despite suffering. We should expect to encounter trials and persecution as Christians, yet be comforted with the fact that God is in control and will repay any wrongs that are committed against us. In 2 Thessalonians, Paul talks about the troubles this church was continuing to face. He told them that when Christ returns and God judges the world, God “will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well” (1:6-7). Although many Christians will never face suffering as extreme as the Thessalonians did, or even those living in modern-day Sudan who are killed for their faith, we still suffer in smaller ways, such as the torture of peer pressure.

What does the Bible say about dealing with peer pressure? The Bible never uses the words “peer pressure,” but it does tell us how we should deal with the many trials we will face in our lives, especially those involving unbelievers. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:14-16 says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

1 Peter 1:13-21 says, “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. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”

The Bible also tells us that we can trust that God will work all things together for the good of His children (Romans 8:28). However, the Bible does not promise us an easy life, but a life that glorifies God as we learn lessons that are difficult and overcome attacks from Satan that would be impossible to overcome without God. We are being “conformed to the likeness of [Christ]” as God changes us through all our life (Romans 8:29-30). Be comforted that Christ Himself was tempted in every way we have been; He understands how difficult it is. Yet, the Bible promises us that God will provide a way of escape from every trial (1 Corinthians 10:13). Put your complete trust and faith in God. Let Him alone be your strength (Philippians 4:13) and your guide (Psalm 23).

Peer pressure will be a fleeting thing in our lives. Peer pressure is largely about insecurity and a desire for acceptance for all involved. Most people eventually realize that intimidating others to feel important is manipulative and immature. Those who have been followers will usually realize it is more important to make their own decisions and be their own person than to be controlled by someone else. We must not give in to peer pressure, whatever the situation. Standing up for what we believe and what the Bible teaches will please God. Throughout history, those who have been unafraid to stand on unpopular beliefs have been the ones to change the world and make things happen. There is so much in this world that we need to change, and so many people who need to be told about Christ. Letting other people decide what we do and how we behave is exactly what Satan hopes we will do; if we never stand up for what is right because of peer pressure, we are actually standing up for what is wrong.

The concept of multiculturalism can be taken several different ways, though two are more commonly used. The first is the idea of cultural diversity within a certain political or geographic area. The second is a social or political effort to enforce a certain level of cultural diversity. The biblical view of multiculturalism deals with both aspects, though not in an overly prescriptive way. Practically, the Bible is strongly in favor of multiculturalism in the sense that various languages, foods, styles of music, and customs are part of our human heritage. And all people, of all cultures, are equally valued by God. Politically, the Bible has more to say about respecting authority than it does about specific policies. Theologically, the Bible does not support the idea that all cultural religious ideas are equally true or should be treated as such.

According to Scripture, multiculturalism, in the sense of practical diversity, is exactly what we will see in heaven. The Bible speaks of a vast number of people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” praising God at His throne (Revelation 7:9). The principle of multiculturalism is seen in the Bible’s teaching that race, culture, and gender do not separate us in God’s eyes (Galatians 3:28; Romans 1:16). The Bible even encourages cooperation with cultural norms, so long as they don’t conflict with God’s commands (1 Corinthians 9:22; 10:33). So, in the sense that there are many colors, cultures, and races that God has created and that He values, multiculturalism is an extremely biblical concept. What God creates and values, we should also value.

Politically, the Bible has little to say about multiculturalism beyond the command to respect authority (Romans 13:1–2). By necessity, this means conforming to certain aspects of the local culture. Claiming an unlimited right to offend others is not only unbiblical, it’s unhelpful. An insistence on retaining a totally separate culture from one’s host nation or people is likewise not supported by Scripture. At the same time, love and care for our neighbors means tolerating a certain level of disagreement (Matthew 5:39; Romans 15:1; 1 Corinthians 8:13). So, a biblical view of multiculturalism involves a certain level of political submission and tolerance. At the same time, Christians are commanded to obey God before obeying men (Acts 5:28–29), so when laws or cultural norms directly conflict with biblical concepts, we are obligated toward civil disobedience.

The one area where a biblical perspective directly conflicts with certain styles of multiculturalism is theologically. It is common for multiculturalism to be taken to an extreme of “relativism,” where no particular viewpoint is seen as actually true, correct, or moral. Typically, this is only applied to religious ideas. The claim that all religious ideas are true, all concepts of God are equally valid, or every approach to religion is correct is incompatible with the Bible (John 14:6; 3:36; 1 Timothy 2:5; Exodus 20:2–3). Christians cannot participate in a style of multiculturalism that embraces spiritual error as if it were spiritual truth (2 Timothy 4:3; Galatians 1:8), even if their stand results in negative social consequences (John 15:19).

Multiculturalism, in practice, is simply an expression of God’s creativity. There is much to be valued in different ideas, perspectives, and tastes (Proverbs 11:14; Romans 14:5). To what extent a particular nation enforces certain choices on others is not so much a biblical question as a political one. The Bible does not support the transformation of multiculturalism into relativism, however. Christians are obligated to be loving, respectful, and tolerant (1 Peter 3:15–16; 2:17); at the same time, we are commanded not to participate in the sins of any particular culture (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 11:3), even those of our own culture (Romans 6:17–18; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11).

To be lawless is to be contrary to the law or to act without regard to the law. Laws are necessary in a sinful world (1 Timothy 1:9), and those who choose to act lawlessly further sin in the world. The word for “lawlessness” in the Bible is often translated “iniquity.” According to the Bible, the root of all lawlessness is rebellion.

First John 3:4 defines sin as lawlessness: “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” To commit sin is to be lawless; that is, the sinner breaks God’s law. In this way, lawlessness is a rejection of God. Satan, who models the ultimate rejection of God, will one day empower the Antichrist, called “the lawless one,” whose rise to power “will be in accordance with how Satan works” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

Lawlessness is contrasted with righteousness in verses such as Romans 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:14, and Hebrews 1:9. The righteous, who have the nature of Jesus Christ, hate the deeds of lawlessness. Lot, a godly man living in Sodom, “was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard” (2 Peter 2:8). The psalmist said, “I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked” (Psalm 26:5). Christians are to be law-abiding (1 Peter 4:15).

When a society ignores the law, lawlessness is the result, and chaos ensues. The time of the judges after Joshua’s death was marked by upheaval, oppression, and general disorder. The biblical historian puts his finger on the reason for the tumult: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25). The riot in Ephesus is a good example of lawlessness in action (Acts 19). The rioters were confused and unsure even of why they were rioting (verse 32); in their lawlessness, they were ignoring proper legal channels (verse 39) and, of course, breaking the law (verse 40).

God has a purpose for establishing human government: “to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:14). Rulers are God’s appointees to maintain order and promote righteousness in a civil society. “Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:2). In other words, lawlessness is condemned in Scripture.

The Bible connects man’s lawlessness and rebellion against God with his need for God’s forgiveness. In Romans 4:7, Paul (quoting Psalm 32:1) says, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (ESV). God’s righteousness is imputed to us at salvation, and God forgives us of our lawlessness: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17, quoting Jeremiah 31:34). Christ died on the cross “to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14, ESV). Our lawless deeds resulted in Christ’s death, but God’s grace overcomes our lawless hearts.

In the judgment many will stand before Christ claiming a connection with Him that exists only in their own minds. They will rehearse their good deeds done in His name, only to hear Jesus declare them to be “workers of lawlessness” whom Christ never knew (Matthew 7:23, ESV). At that time, those who practice lawlessness will be cast “into the blazing furnace,” while those who are covered by the righteousness of Christ “will shine like the sun” (Matthew 13:41–43). Christ will have the ultimate victory and will eliminate lawlessness forever.

Our God – Our Nation

Congratulations, Mr. President (Elect)

Donald J. Trump

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. Job 10:12 .

Mr. President this opening line does not refer to individuals alone; but to this Great Nation of which you now are given authority to guide. Our nation was given life and the spirit of which exhumes from it by the Will of God..  This land and it’s spirit are now in your hands by Christ’s authority.  If you are to guide this nation wisely then first wisely choose to be led by the Holy spirit. For such guidance comes through Him.

And to the people of these United States “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1 “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men” and “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor your leaders. For these are good in the eyes of the Lord.

Our Nation has a long history of believing in the One True God. “Many of the British North American colonies that eventually formed the United States of America were settled in the seventeenth century by men and women, who, in the face of European persecution, refused to compromise passionately held religious convictions and fled Europe. The New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were conceived and established “as plantations of religion.” Some settlers who arrived in these areas came for secular motives–“to catch fish” as one New Englander put it–but the great majority left Europe to worship God in the way they believed to be correct. They enthusiastically supported the efforts of their leaders to create “a city on a hill” or a “holy experiment,” whose success would prove that God’s plan for his churches could be successfully realized in the American wilderness. Even colonies like Virginia, which were planned as commercial ventures, were led by entrepreneurs who considered themselves “militant Protestants” and who worked diligently to promote the prosperity of the church. “

Our Founding Fathers knew of “Divine Providence;”  expressing it in their personal letters and placed within our legal documents. The Declaration of Independence proclaims as a self-evident truth the First Principles that “all men are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Though some of the Founding Fathers did not fully believe in a god; they all understood that were Our Nation to survive it needed Special Providence and the all Inspired Word of God.

If I could give you any advice, Mr. President, it would be “leave foolish pride at the steps of the White House before entering in; place God before country, family or friends; seek wisdom and counsel from the Word of God and the likes of Solomon.” Thereby, Mr. President, you will be  “Render[ing] unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ). Matthew 22:21.

Deliver Our Nation back to Our God, Mr. President. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Shalom !

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless our Nation and it’s leaders.

 

 

This video is a complete and honest documentary of Bill & Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political history. After watching this most informative video I am convinced Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the right choice for the American Presidency. I recall, in my lifetime, Whitewater Gate, China Gate, Travel Gate,  Cattle Gate, and a host of other criminal affairs conducted by Hillary & Bill Clinton and their close associates.  Many things of which you did not know or have forgotten is revealed in this documentation and warrants a mandatory viewing. Especially if you have not yet voted or are on the fence about who to vote for. As Christians we may not agree with either party’s moral character; but I assure you we have all sinned.  In that, then, we must look at the platform of each candidate and how Biblical each comes to our own Christian values… Only Donald J. Trump passes that litmus test as this documentary reveals. Please give your full attention to this video as it is spot on about the character of Hillary Rodham Clinton. After viewing I ask you ask yourself “is this the person I want in the Oval Office?” I ask you each view it and then share it with your family, friends and church.God bless.

 

Israeli native Amir Tsarfati who served as Deputy Governor of Jericho and was part of the negotiating team which was tasked to turn over the area to the Palestinians. Amir is a Major in the Israeli Army and an international speaker on terrorism Amir speaks four languages fluently; Hebrew, Arabic, English and German.

Amir has a message for all Americans who are eligible: Go Vote !!