Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

“Prejudicial Election!”

August 16, 2008

 

KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above🙂 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom. 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. 29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

We are living in an age where the Presidential Election of the United States feature the campaigns of a female, and a African-American male! While this is certainly exciting, it is not the first time that members of these two demographics ran for this office. Take a look at past presidential hopefuls of these two segments of society, ladies first:

Victoria Claflin Woodhull – 1870, Belva Lockwood – 1884, Margaret Chase Smith – 1964, Patsy Takemoto Mink – 1972, Shirley Chisholm – 1972, Ellen McCormack – 1976 & 1980, Sonia Johnson – 1984, Patricia Schroeder – 1988, Lenora Fulani 1988 & 1992, Elizabeth Dole – 2000, Carol Moseley Braun – 2004 (withdrew), Hillary Clinton – 2008;

Jesse Jackson – 1984 & 1988, Alan Keyes – 1996, 2000, & 2008, Al Sharpton – 2000, Barack Obama – 2008 (beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination).

A prevalent thought that most assuredly must be on the collective minds of Americans, and indeed the world, is if an African-American can be President. What a phenomenal accomplishment that would be, possibly more momentous than Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals! That would be true whether it’s this election or not; not just for the election itself, but also for outgrowing our prejudicial attitudes!

However, another type of election involves the race of faith in Christ vs. non-believers. Among the latter group are those who believe “the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them; …as concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes (KEY SCRIPTURE).” These “enemies”, who equate righteousness with national preeminence, are prejudiced against God’s elect being saved by His grace, which stresses the universality of His love through the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom. 8:5). Nevertheless, in this heavenly election, victory belongs to those who elect to follow the campaign strategy in Rom. 10:9 above!

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“Making The Cut!”

August 16, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rom. 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, : 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

As a freshman in high school, I remember trying out for the jr. varsity basketball team with a pal of mine. The coach had us display our dribbling skills, however we were all so nervous that initially we looked tight. Coach then told us to show him a lil’ something something which we did. Tryouts continue for the next few days, and it included the usual regiment of laps, scrimmages, etc. My friend and I survive every cut until the final day. Earlier in one of the scrimmage game, my friend injured his thumb, and on that final day he was competing with a guy whose brother was on the varsity squad. Though I made the team it was difficult to handle the departure of my buddy.

However, it was also difficult to overlook the good news of my making the team, and keeping my NBA dream alive! To imagine the odds, let’s assume there’s 25 NBA teams with 12 players each. If there were only two major colleges for each of the 50 states in America, that would amount to 100 players. It would take an average of at least four NBA players per team to retire from their dream occupation and lavish lifestyle to open up slots for all the aspiring college players to be accommodated. If an NBA career is just five years, would that affect a 4-year college grad? To add to that improbability, today the league has seen an influx of international players, further decreasing the odds of achieving this dream. Furthermore, there are other factors including small colleges, walk-ons, NBA returnees, etc. The NBA was not my destiny.

In the ‘Sower Parable’ Jesus said that only 1 out of 4 seekers who received the Word was “good ground”, and that it produced some 30, 60, and 100 fold (Mat. 13:1-23). Some “good ground” are church goers (fruit), some are church leaders (more fruit), and then there are those disciples of Christ who make God’s team of Soul Winners (much fruit – Jhn. 15:1-6)!

How does one qualify to be a part of the Soul Winners? One must be willing to “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (KEY SCRIPTURE).” As “branches” we are all part of God’s tryout, and the “Coach” is looking for us to show Him a lil’ something something! This is not just the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s the opportunity of ALL TIME! Jhn. 15:13 states “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As hard as it was to see my friend not make a basketball team, it can’t compare to how I would feel if you, my friend, miss out on the Kingdom! Please pay heed to these words “though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved…(KEY SCRIPTURE)” For those who have already accepted Jesus as their Savior understand that your spiritual walk has only just begun. As fruit we must become more fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), and then much fruit (Php. 1:11-30)! Amen!

“What’s In Your Wallet?”

August 15, 2008
  
KEY SCRIPTURE 
 
Rom. 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 
Rom. 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

“Master Of The Universe!”

August 14, 2008
   KEY SCRIPTURE

Rom. 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Rom. 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Why did Jesus sayye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews (Jhn. 4:22).” Let’s begin with God’s prophecy – Gen. 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Some interpret this passage to suggest that Eve is carrying two seeds, Cain for the Serpent and Abel for Adam, by a process called heteropaternal superfecundation! Well, let’s examine Gen. 4:1, where it reads “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”

So, what do the “seeds” represent? Seeds are produced by the “trees”, the one of life (Jesus – Php. 1:11; Prv. 11:30) and the one of knowledge of good and evil (Serpent – Rev. 12:9; Jhn. 8:44), and represents the “Christ (Gal. 3:16)” vs. the “viper’s brood (Mat. 3:7)”. Tts. 1:15 reads “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. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

Next, let’s go to Noah’s prophecy – Gen. 9:26-27: “And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servantGod shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” That blessing is the salvation that Jesus is speaking of in (Jhn. 4:22)! History (Gen. 10) has shown that the Canaanite civilization “served” as the forerunner/template for the Shemites’ (Gen. 12:1-4), which was enlarged by Japheth (Isa. 45; King James Bible). Imagine the talents of African-Americans being “discovered” by Jewish agents, who then delivers the talent to Gentile managers. Obviously this scenario is NOT the only one imaginable; it’s only used to illuminate the prophecy!

The greater point to be made is that each of the three sons of Noah still play a seminal role in The Master’s promise to insure “all families of the earth be blessed (Gen. 12:4).” In the KEY SCRIPTURE, Paul details how “there is no respect of persons with God”, and that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” The Apostle also stated that “it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” Peter adds, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).” Since the Flood of Noah, we all are to: “seek the Kingdom(Mat. 6:33); “be saved(Rom. 10:9); “study(II Tim. 2:15); “baptize(Mat. 28:19); and “enter the gates(Rev. 22:14) where the Master of the Universe resides!

“Misconceptions Of A Reprobate Mind!”

August 13, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

 

Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

 

 

 

 

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
In the 1979 movie Penitentiary” Leon Isaac Kennedy starred as a jailed boxer (a.k.a. Too Sweet) granted release, eventually, along with his trainer Floyd ‘Wildcat’ Chatman (a.k.a. Seldom Seen Jackson). Seldom Seen tries to explain his reluctance for this grant to Too Sweet, basing it on his fear of the loss of respect he believes he will encounter outside the prison walls. The student ,who was wrongly incarcerated, took this opportunity to respond with a message to impart hope in his teacher. How poignant is that?

The blaxploitation movies of the ’70’s caused a phenomenal uproar across our nation, ranging from ecstatically positive to vehemently negative. Those who sided with the latter proved to have a greater influence on Hollywood, however the unfortunate consequence of that fact was the dearth of Black movies for the next couple of decades! The moral here is watch who you side with or you may end up like the dog on the log who saw his reflection in the pond, but thinking it was another dog he tried to take his steak and…

Throughout history Man has been plagued with misconceptions which offered an exciting alternative to the Truth, however in the end they produced more darkness. Unfortunately, when a person is “blinded” by these “alternatives”, it’s very difficult sometimes for them to find the “light”. A primary reason for that may be due to what may be dubbed the “Seldom Seen Syndrome”, which produces “big fish in a little pond”. Of course a more obvious reason misconceptions thrive is because they’re used to justify the misbehavior we either enjoy, or refuse to discipline ourselves to overcome! Even more to the point – no God, no discipline!

To ignite the process to “dethrone” God, He must be seen as a liar, and if that could be the case who could we trust? God says He created Heaven and Earth, Man says things just exploded in an orderly, precise manner that allows life on this planet (huh?). There is even a faction who believes in two Creations, thinking there were other people formed with Adam and Eve! Let’s think about that. If that were true, then the Fall” of Adam would not, could not be universal, and thus there would be no need for Jesus to die for the sins of the world, but only for the progeny of Adam! In fact, God could have just used blood from one of these other people since they would still be “good”. This is just a misconception to detract from Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

My friend, please don’t think these attacks are new – they’re not! They’re simply presented in a way to make it seem as if you’ve “discovered” a heretofore unknown truth (Gal. 3). All have sinned! The Creation in Gen. 2 is just a reiteration of Gen. 1. Strangely, the hardest thing for us to do is to simply follow Truth! 

 

 

“ Rewards Of Pathology!”

August 13, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE    
Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

 According to Paul, the gospel of Christ is the most pure revelation of God’s righteousness, which leads to life by faith for the just (or believers). Conversely, those who refute the existence of God incur His wrath which certainly leads to damnation! Furthermore, Paul correlates the “proof” of the existence of God with the relative reality of the existence of Man (“that which may be known of God is manifest in them…” see KEY SCRIPTURE). However, in lieu of acknowledging the Creator as the Source of his being, Man became overwhelmed by creation to the point of being pathological.

What caused the world to become compulsive, obsessive, neurotic, extreme, unreasonable, unreasoning, and uncontrolled? Paul opines that it was a lack of glory (magnificence or credit?) and thankfulness for God which led Mankind to deviance, irreverence, and decadence. The world wants to strip God of His magnificence to glorify “Man, birds, beasts, and creeping things (KEY SCRIPTURE)”. Man started to put more trust in the empirical evidence of finite creation, than to accept the possibility of a Supreme Being who resides in the infinite realm of eternity. He believes in the reality of finite death – not infinite life!

The paradigm shift which caused the focus of Man to metamorphosize to a less than spiritual stance, was precipitated by a desire for tangible rewards. This yearning then initiated Man vs. God, and Man vs. Man conflicts (Gen. 3:1-7; Gen. 4:1-9). Unfortunately, such wantonness has even found a place throughout the history of the church (Php. 3:18-19), which has inexplicably found itself pitted against science. Both require “the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3)”; however, we should remember that II Pet. 1:5-7 says to “…add to your faith…knowledge”. The fear of the Lord in the Old Testament is equated with faith in the New Testament (reference: Scoffield Bible, Prv. 1:7), and is the only solution to inadequacy (Psa. 24:1)!
We must realize that Satan’s goal is to deter us from The Great Commandments found in Mat. 22:36-40. Note how the Serpent motivated the mind of Eve, making her feel incredibly ridiculous for believing God. Now with just a stroke of her ego, she was manipulated to countermand God’s order, which is designed to promote vitality (Prv. 7:2), to instead seek a “false” reward (Prv. 16:25)! These are classic examples of the Ridicule and Manipulative styles of leadership that overcame the First Adam. Thanks to the Inspirational leadership of the Last Adam, we shed pathologies to find life (Mat. 20:28; Rom. 10:9; I Cor. 15:20-31)

De-Termination!

April 28, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE

Exo. 2:15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock.

Are you a fan of those old karate films from back in the day? Remember how their lips would move BEFORE you would hear the sound of their voice? And what about those plots? The hero had to: 

(1) avenge his teacher,

(2) gather his fellow countrymen to face invaders, or

(3) recover stolen treasure to list a few examples.

Usually the good guy would accomplish his mission with relative ease, exuding a high level of confidence. However, there were occasions where the bad guys would be so formidable that the protagonist would have to retreat. It was strange watching the hero getting “whupped”, running from an adversary who would laugh hysterically. We got this ominous feeling as it appeared that it would be impossible for the good guy to win. How would he be able to “save the day” if all he could do was put his tail between his legs and run away?

Everyone loves a winner, especially if we can identify with their particular weaknesses, or have had to endure their particular struggle. In the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day, our favorite Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is programmed to be as implacable (unyielding) defending Sarah Connor’s son, John Connor (man’s last hope for survival), as this new, more deadly Terminator (Robert Patrick). However, this second Terminator is more pitiless, merciless, relentless, ruthless, cruel, hardhearted, callous, rigid, unbending, obdurate, cold-hearted in its search for John. Arnold does his very best to try to help Sarah (Linda Hamilton) and her son (Edward Furlong) escape from Robert. Eventually the two Terminators engage in battle, and it looks like Terminator 1 just might prevail. However, Robert is actually able to “kill” Arnold, which undoubtedly shocked many in the audience.

Hatefulness triumphing in any way, form, or fashion somehow disquiets us, maybe because we know that if “love don’t love nobody” (as the song says) hatred CERTAINLY doesn’t! One of the root causes of hatred stems from jealousy which is “as cruel as the grave (Sg of Sol. 8:6), keeping you out of the Kingdom.” In other words, hatred is like pulling the trigger of a loaded gun pointed at your head, while hoping that your enemy dies! It’s uncanny that some people think abusiveness, arrogance, and annoyance are a sign of confidence. They prefer this sordid, repugnant path as opposed to developing true confidence, which requires overcoming trials. So, to look good they tear everyone and everything down – even the venerable standards of excellence! They can’t envision themselves making an effort to improve, so they keep seeking loopholes! Often evil seems to “win”, “but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength (Isa. 40:31).”

As mentioned, sometimes even heroes have to retreat in the face of adversity in order to regroup. We see in the KEY SCRIPTURE that Moses had to flee from Pharaoh because earlier he had killed an Egyptian. Though Moses was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, this act would be perceived as treason since this Egyptian was an operative of Pharaoh. Moses certainly realizes that Pharaoh would hear about this act, quite possibly from the slaves he was trying to defend! Jealousy, spitefulness, or the hope for an extra crumb will reduce some to a crab-in-the-barrel mentality. Ironically, despite his humility, compassion, and his anointing, Moses had to endure this mentality throughout his life.

Leaders often find themselves in conflict with their own affiliates, however that can not be an impediment to their mission. To this end, leaders must not only have faith, but the Bible says to:

(1)5 add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control

perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness

love (II Pet. 1:5-7)”; also

(2)And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily (cheerfully), as to the Lord and not to men…(Col. 3:23).”

Now, Moses escaping to Midian symbolically represents a spiritually immature person who is starting to turn from his evil ways (spiritless task-orientation), aided by a fresh anointing (“he sat down by a well”). The worship of YHWH may have begun by the Midianites, some scholars speculate, although Josephus, in “Antiquities Of The Jews,” BK IV, Chapter VI, contradicts this claim. He talks about the seduction of young Israelite soldiers during the time of Moses by Midianite women, who lured them to idolatry. An Egyptian inscription refers to “Yhw in the land of the Shasu” as a tribe or people dwelling in what would later become Midianite territory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midian).

Moses had to be prepared for his next confrontation with the ideology of task-orientation. Just like in the movies, sometimes the protagonist would have to hightail it back to his “comfort zone” to either regroup, or get additional training. By virtue of his two moms, Moses was exposed to an incredible amount of wisdom – worldly (Pharaoh’s daughter) and spiritual (birth mother). At this point he represents the spirituality of those who have yet to learn to “enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat (Mat. 7:13).”

The seven daughters symbolizes self-preservation; self-gratification; self-definition; self-acceptance; self-expression; self-reflection; and self-knowledge, and represents the fullness of God. Moses taught (watered) the hampered flock (students or teachings). Impressed, the priest took Moses as a student. This, of course, is an allegorized view of the KEY SCRIPTURE.

Many of us still spiritually play the hokey-pokey with one foot in the Word, and one in the world. Some of us truly desire to mature spiritually by overcoming (1) anger, (2) lust, (3) greed, (4) attachments, (5) ego, (6) laziness, and (7) envy. Others, however, will simply give up trying to mature, which creates a situation reminiscent of the story of The Two Mice. Trapped in a cup of milk, one mouse urged the other one to keep trying to escape. The other one asks, “what’s the use when it’s too slippery? I’m getting tired of paddling!” The first one continues his exhortation (urging) to which the second one says, “forget it man, why are you trying? Just let me die!” So he stops paddling and starts to drown, prompting the first mouse to yell his name “Jerry!” The surviving mouse mourns for a minute – then he stepped on Jerry’s head and got out of the cup!

Hitting On All Cylinders!

April 28, 2008

KEY SCRIPTURE  

Exo. 2:11 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.

Why do we recognize some people as being good in their “craft”? Take a singer for instance; if he mumbles in a monosyllabic, monotonic manner, we’ll probably not be impressed. If the next singer doesn’t mumble, he’ll probably be considered better than the first one. If the third singer doesn’t mumble and has a nicer “flow”, he’ll probably beat the first two. Finally, if the fourth singer can also add melody to his voice in addition to the other two skills, he might get “4 STARS!” from the judges. As the winner, this singer could go on to bigger and better things including fame and fortune. This last singer, more so than the others, is “hitting on all cylinders”, and exhibits a higher degree of excellence.

Receiving “greater blessings” may sometime require us to overcome “insurmountable” odds, and even TERRIBLE mistakes! A young couple indulges in pre-marital sex which produces a child before they themselves were able to finish high school. This conception was not planned, and yet this child grows up and makes an impressive mark on the world! While this is only a fictional account, let’s look at the story of Anthony A. Williams (1951-) an African-American politician, this being BLACK HISTORY MONTH.

Williams was born in Los Angeles and was adopted by Virginia and Lewis Williams, one of eight children in the family. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale and went on to get a doctorate in law from Harvard and masters in public policy from Harvard. His career has been mostly in financial administration, but he also served in the US Air Force and as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. He entered the administration of the District of Columbia and rose to become its chief financial officer in 1995, before being elected mayor in 1998 (http://www.dil.aber.ac.uk/dils/Research/RFocus9/html_a_k.htm#ltrD).  

Slave mentality tries to prevent us from achieving our purpose to be “fruitful and multiply” beyond a nominal level, and may be induced by breeding. However, another obstacle to faith in the ability to generate prosperity in every area of life stems from the lack of recognition of successful members of your ilk. To see Mr. Williams reach such a high level in his education and career has to be inspirational to other disadvantaged African-Americans. Beyond that, an adoptee shouldn’t feel that life will necessarily result in disenfranchisement, poverty, or criminality. Hopefully, this story may also inspire Blacks to adopt more.

To reach parity with White & Hispanics, Blacks would have to adopt 44 kids per 10,000 families to their 6. 

Referring to Exodus 2 we find the birth of Moses (drawn out of the water) and the favor which allows his life to be spared. “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord 

 

 

(Prv. 8:35).” This verse extols the virtue of wisdom, which would truly be demonstrated in the life of this baby who was found by Pharaoh’s daughter! Remarkably, his mother is able to become his nurse for his adoptive mother. For us to appreciate the exposure he received from his moms, especially as it relates to leadership, let’s consider the following example.

While playing alone, Lil’ Johnny was approached by another kid who said, “I know how much two plus two is.” Lil’ Johnny asked, “how much?” The kid replied, “four!” An awe-struck Lil’ Johnny then asked, “for real?!” A second child joins in and says, “I know how much two plus two plus two is.” Lil’ Johnny asked, “how much?” The second child said “six”, to which Lil’ Johnny asked again, “for real?!” Another kid said, “I know how much two plus two plus two plus two is.” Once again Lil’ Johnny asked “how much?” to a response of “eight”. And again Lil’ Johnny asked, “for real?” That’s when a slightly older child approached their group and stated, “I can show you how to get eight with just three two’s.” As the other little kids argued back and forth that it couldn‘t be done, all Lil’ Johnny could do was watch intently. The older kid then put a small three on top of the two, and explained that it means to multiply two times two times two. Upon realizing that the older child had told them the truth, the younger children exclaimed, “awesome”, except for Lil’ Johnny who could only use both his hands to hold his head in amazement.

Soon Lil’ Johnny starts school, and the teacher asks, “class, how much is two plus two?”. Only he knows. In the next grade the teacher asks “how much is two times two?”, and only he knows the correct answer. Eventually he reaches a grade where the question is “what is the logarithm of two?” None of the other students bother to raise their hand, they just look to Lil’ Johnny who answered “.301029996”! The whole class went, “WOW!” By being in “good company” Lil’ Johnny was much more advanced than his class.

 

Moses was exposed to royalty and slavery, which to some degree prepared him to be Israel’s first Pastor. However, in the KEY SCRIPTURE Moses kills an Egyptian, and thought erroneously that he had got away with it. Sometimes we think that we are hiding our inequities without realizing that in a lot of cases that’s simply isn’t the case. This certainly portrays the situation Moses was in, but more importantly, it causes him to flee in humility – another necessary trait to becoming a good leader. Surely this experience taught him to have compassion, which would certainly make him a more complete leader. He must have carried himself like a man of great stature to be asked, “who made thee a prince and a judge over us? ” in verse 14

Moses was exposed to royalty and slavery, which to some degree prepared him to be Israel’s first Pastor. However, in the KEY SCRIPTURE Moses kills an Egyptian, and thought erroneously that he had got away with it. Sometimes we think that we are hiding our inequities without realizing that in a lot of cases that’s simply isn’t the case. This certainly portrays the situation Moses was in, but more importantly, it causes him to flee in humility – another necessary trait to becoming a good leader. Surely this experience taught him to have compassion, which would certainly make him a more complete leader. He must have carried himself like a man of great stature to be asked, “who made thee a prince and a judge over us? ” in verse 14

 

 

He probably had the kind of physical presence that commands respect. In short, it appears that he indeed was hitting on all cylinders!”

Another strong point to consider in the analogy of the singers deals with how well we identify with them. It is most likely that the singer we choose will be the one we feel we can, or would like to, relate to the most. Like all of us Moses made a mistake (albeit his mishap resulted in the death of a human being; this incident was of course pre-Law). He had to deal with being an adopted kid, who are usually unaware of their origin, uncertain of their purpose, and unknowing of their destiny! Even today we can identify with him as confusion plays a role in the life of everyone of us. From the beginning God had “ordered the steps of a good man (Psa. 37:23)”, Moses in this case. To just view his humble start it would have been impossible to see him becoming what he became – a highly venerable (esteemed) servant of the Lord.  

Why don’t blind people skydive? Because it scares their dogs! Seriously, they don’t have the required ocular gift of sight. God blesses us with gifts to help our fellow man out of their bondage. Sometimes that may very well mean leaving our comfort zone. Moses was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but he showed a compassion by intervening in a fight between two slaves in 

 

 

verse 13 of the KEY SCRIPTURE. On another level, the story of Moses and how he delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, is replicated in the story of Jesus and how He delivers from the bondage of sin. However, those of us who profess to have faith in Christ have also been commissioned to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…(Mat. 28:19).” 

Imagine how effective you could be in making disciples as God’s servant “hitting on all cylinders”. Perhaps you were the last one picked for the team, or you weren’t the homecoming queen at you school. One thing we can clearly see from this story is that your beginning is NOT a hindrance to your future!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Purpose, Pattern, and Promise!

April 27, 2008

 KEY SCRIPTURE

Exo. 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.

While God’s purpose for us is to: (1) live a life that pleases Him (Rev. 4:11); (2) to “be fruitful and multiply, and have dominion (Gen. 1:28)”, His pattern includes (1) creating, (2) classifying, (3) empowering, (4) expanding, (5) regulating, (6) galvanizing, and (7) resting. It should be realized that we have to undergo this seven-step process in order to achieve our ultimate purpose! As pertaining to this story, let’s examined the first four steps. After creating Man, God reveals His “chosen people” (Gen. 9:26), calls Abram, and promises that “all families of earth…” are blessed thru him (Gen. 12:1-4). As Egyptian slaves the Israelites now seek a Deliverer, NOT just to free the Jews, but to also further God’s purpose so that all can enjoy God’s promise.

In this story, Egypt represents people who are unconcerned with Yahweh’s purpose, seeking prosperity with no regards to His promises, and is the world’s greatest civilization at the time. Their focus is bringing glory to themselves by afflicting the Jews with an ideology (belief system) of task-orientation. This system prioritizes the attaining of goals over the concerns of the well-being of people. Imagine the world of a toddler who spends the majority of his time in a care-free existence. Leisure would be the only aspect of life that would be “real” or relevant to him. As a parent you know that there’s a reality beyond his scope, and you have the duty to prepare him for it. You know, for example, that he will soon have to enter into the school system, and the question is what ideology will you employ (wittingly or not) to get him ready?

Utilizing a task-orientation system will force the child to “perform”, that is to say attend school, although it’s likely that he will do it in a perfunctory (robot-like) manner. There is little probability that the child would grasp the idea that this undertaking is for his betterment, but indeed is simply drudgery. So, as soon as he is able to overcome the fear of your “whip”, he most likely will seek to extricate himself from his perceived “predicament”. Conversely, by indoctrinating the toddler with a purpose-driven ideology, he is motivated to reap benefits by first becoming an asset. In one system he will find drudgery, in the other – rewards! In the first example there may be only little, if any, positively transference of high expectations, ideals, or standards. In the second instance the child is inspired to achieve his goal by taking the right direction, and realizes that his future gain is part of a greater initiative yielding greater compensation.

Egypt couldn’t allow Israel to have their hope for a Deliverer realized, so in the KEY SCRIPTURE we see that Israelite midwives are ordered to kill newborn Jewish sons. It should go without saying that to kill the “seeds” of a nation would kill its growth, averting it from its purpose of being blessed. Referring back to the toddler reared by task-orientation, imagine how he now has a son whose chance for completing school is also dismal. With the continuation of this cyclic occurrence it can readily be seen how it would negatively impact a community. Such a community would develop a virtual “slave mentality”, ceasing to want to be “fruitful and multiply”, while living only for handouts (personal, governmental, spiritual, etc.).  

It must be noted that the slave mentality starts with a slippage in spirituality, which is defined as the quality or condition of being spiritual or saintly. “Jesus answered them, ‘verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (Jhn. 8:34). This mentality runs afoul of God’s desire of vitality, prosperity, and a peaceful posterity for us. On the other hand, God can bless us even when we’re in the bonds of physical slavery! Look at how He treated Shiphrah and Puah in the KEY SCRIPTURE for not following the Pharaohic decree to kill newborn Jewish boys. In Jhn. 10:28 Jesus said, “and fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Instead of fearing a mortal king, these two chose to follow “the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen (I Tim. 1:17).”

An important lesson that this story illustrates is that we are not righteous based on what we think is right. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts (Prv. 21:2).” Additionally, it should be realized that Egypt considered itself spiritual with 1,500 gods and goddesses. 

(http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/religion.htm)   

He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered (Prv. 28:26).” When a thought enters our head we must use judgment to determine whether or not we should follow that thought. The guiding principle required for this endeavor is found in Mat. 6:33, which reads, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” It’s written that only God is good (Mat. 19:17), that He is love (I Jhn. 4:8, 16), and that “love worketh no ill to his neighbour (Rom. 13:10)…” Read Mat. 22:36-40.

Another lesson is that… without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).” God is NOT a man (Num. 23:19), but a Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Jhn. 4:24; Gal. 5:22-23) who influences thoughts; thoughts influences behavior; behavior habits, which creates our character. The fool hath said in his heart, ‘there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good(Psa. 14:1; 53:1).” Wisdom has varying degrees, just as foolishness, which has its affect on our perspective, ideology, character, and even our religious beliefs. Entities incongruent (dissimilar) to God’s Spirit shall vanquish! But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it (Prv. 2:22).”

THE WORLD’S MAJOR RELIGIONS BY SIZE  

Christianity       1758.8        “Follower of Christ”

Moslem               935.0        “Submit to God”

Non-religious     866.0         Unbeliever

Hindu                  705.0         Duties, Rebirth, Karma, Soul Liberation, and Yoga

Buddhist              303.0        Enlightened; 8-Fold Path

Atheist                233.0        Secularism

Other                  219.3        Skeptic

Chinese              180.0        Ethical, Moral, And Social Values

Tribal                   92.0        Local-Driven

Jewish                  17.4        Laws, Commandments, Statutes, And Judgments

These figures, taken from the World Almanac 1992, are in millions, and shows that Christianity is the most popular religion, with love as its tenet. However, Jesus did say, “when once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us’; and He shall answer and say unto you, ‘I know you not whence ye are:’ (Luk. 13:25) 

Evil Blessings.

March 15, 2008
sunset.jpg
Christian studies, activities 
KEY SCRIPTURE
Exo. 2:23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
In earlier blogs it has been established that there is a parallel between the spiritual, social, and personal levels of existence. And, of the two major types of ideologies, purpose-driven and task-oriented, early Egypt represents the latter (social level). This “afflicts” them with spiritual myopia (blindness, bigotry, i.e. spiritual level), and causes them to afflict the Israelites (personal level).
You may recall the story of The Wizard Of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. In a sense, the Egyptians played the role of the evil Witch (spiritual level); eventually “in process of time, the king of Egypt died (KEY SCRIPTURE; “I’m melting”).” Just as the Witch mistreated others for personal gain, so did Egypt (personal level). Therefore, we should understand that after reaching a higher level of maturity (“process of time”) Mankind was in line for a less oppressive system of socio-religious beliefs (social level).
Amazingly, some times we are really unconcerned about how abusive we are to others, and at best we’ll only try to make thenn accept the fallacious justifications of our abuse. Bullies were usually themselves victimized by overt hostility, and instead of developing the moral courage to overcome the injustice, they actually perpetuate it! Sometimes though, becoming a bully is simply a case of “doing unto others before they do unto you.”
Undoubtedly, although Egypt enslaved the Jews out of the fear of having to face them as enemies, they also sought to be “blessed” by exploiting them for some 400 years. When we are myopic, we confuse an “evil” boon for a blessing. Consider the following story.
An unhappy husband (or wife) says, “if I had the money, I’d get a new spouse!” Sure enough he hit the lottery, and sure enough he gets a new wife along with a new house, new cars, and all the trimmings that prosperity brings. One evening he surveys his “kingdom”, and feeling satisfied he goes to bed happy that he had won all that money. However, the next day his new wife is jailed. Why?! For killing him for all that money!  
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Prv. 16:25).”
This circumstance in Egypt was used purposely by God to illustrate to the world the sagacity (wisdom) of this verse. Rom. 9:17 reads, “for the scripture (Exo. 9:16) saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth.” In other words, when we are not living according to our purpose found in Rev. 4:11 (“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”), we are setting ourselves up for judgment! (Anyone recall Luk. 22:42 “not My will but…”?).
In the case of Egypt, this judgment was predicted by God in Gen. 15:7 where it states, “And He said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” 8 And he said, “LORD God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” 9 And He said unto him, “take Me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he took unto Him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And He said unto Abram, “know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses) they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites (Canaanites) is not yet full.
So, why did Israel end up serving Egypt after “waxing mightily” in Exo. 1:7? Reading Deu. 28:47 we find, “because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”
The declination (decrease) in joyfulness will propel one to take up the LORD’s offer in Isa. 1 to, “18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
In the KEY SCRIPTURE, “their groaning” reveals that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Jam. 5:16). Also, “the blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Prv. 10:22).” To have success in life without a prayer life can make us feel we’re in charge, and in the beginning we may  be grinning while sinning because we’re “winning”! However, when the pendulum swing the other way, that’s when we discard that 1-800 Self-Help number and seek Wisdom that “was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was (Prv. 8:23).” That is, if we finally get enough of stumbling over and over again!
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth (scolds) not; and it shall be given him (Jam. 1:6).” In other words, if we don’t want to be enslaved by less than purposeful ideologies which prevents us from being “fruitful”, and from loving our neighbors, we should pray to “Him that is able to keep you from falling(Jude 1:24)
My prayer is that we continue to be (Gal. 5:22-23) loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good (gracious), faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Pray for one another so that we can enjoy a new life now, and be a part of the “new heaven and the new earth (Rev. 21:1)“!