Category Archives: Bible excerpts.

Duality Within

I sincerely hope this finds you well and at peace.  As I write this, I find myself in an age-old struggle deep within me.  I made a in a hurry careless mistake last week.  The mistake did not seem to have a big effect negatively on anything, yet it was a haunting mistake for me.  Because of the mistake, I began to get negative on myself because I did something that was careless.

As this self-inflicted interaction within me was taking place, I found that there was no good coming from it.  In fact, there was collateral damage happening, creating other thoughts to grow that were negative and unhealthy in nature.  Things like anger issues, self-righteousness, negative attitude about life and other thoughts that at one time plagued me all to often.

With good reason, this set me on a spiral down into a deprived place in me.  Even though I am a Christian, I am still a sinner.  Becoming a Christian added something to me, that I do not deserve, called forgiveness a gift from God.  All my imperfection is still intact and working to control me in my Christian forgiveness, doing battle moment by moment.

As I was experiencing this most unsettling time of life a thought occurred to me.  It is something I have told people many times so to do battle with their sin nature.  The principal goes something like this: do not use Satan’s tools to do good!  This whole idea came home to rest on me in a unique way.

What happened was this, what I was trying to pound out and destroy in my own strength, was only serving to spread the seed of discontent, inferiority, and unforgiveness in areas that I was previously overcoming because of God’s forgiveness.  I was using Satan’s tools to do God’s work of sanctification/purification.  (SIGH) What an opportunity to practice what you preach Denny!  Rats!  Found out again!

In being found out by my misconception of God’s grace there was an epiphany moment, sin is extremely subtle influencing us away from God.  Even with experience in living in faith I was fooled.  When I use Satan’s tools to do good I am using a defeated method.  Therefore, whatever I do with Satan’s tools is bound to fail by God’s Victory over sin.  All of Lucifer’s tools are defeated foes.

Now if I applied God’s tools to the same situation of my mistake/sin, (Now I am) tools such as confession, grace, forgiveness, and humility what would have grown out of those God-given tools?  God desires to prosper His children not destroy us.  Each human being is an image bearer of God therefore; Satan has no problem cannibalizing his own followers (unredeemed image bearers) to do his evil, or anyone else who will avail themselves to his power lies and work, even believers in Jesus.

Paul the Apostle prayed three times for a thorn in the flesh/sin to be removed from him.  God answered Paul and said: My grace is sufficient.  Without checks and balances in living it is easy to be duped into a sense of victory when in reality it is God dependent -given victory not self victory.  We say something like: Do not worry God I have got it handled.  I will stamp out sin in my life let me show you how.  God, see how good I am!

Good and perfect gifts come from above and the book of James tells us our own sin nature leads us astray.  It certainly pulled me astray in trying to take care of my own sin.  I am dependent on a merciful God for all the forgiveness I will ever need as I live.

A mixed bag of blessing and failure is how I appear right now to others and me.  However, to my Lord and Savior I am sinless and un-condemned see Romans 8.  I call 8:1 the first three rules of Christianity there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation, there is no condemnation.  It is my choice on how I live, I do not choose to continue to use Satan’s failed tools.  I want to learn to use God’s tools for living well and not be duped into a lesser life.

To be or not to be is not the question!  To live by God’s grace that is wild and wonderful or to have a false sense of control of your life and live by Satan’s rules of pseudo-life is the real question.  God has given each of us one life to figure this out.

Jesus is building a place for you, your choice; do you want fellowship with God forever?  If you answer yes, then ask Jesus in your own words to forgive your sin.  Then start walking with Him, remember you are forgiven, and live like you are thankful for what Jesus did for you.  Yes, salvation can be that simple. (if God has forgiven you, you will see that living in thanks to God is a privilege and joy not a law of any kind) God wants your fellowship so much He died and overcame death to show you the way to overcome sin.

In Christ’s resurrection.

Denny

A right to good health?

As I’m sitting here writing this blog and I am in great pain in my right knee.  I just landed a decent job, supposed to start in a week and a half.  I can barely walk on my right knee.  I have already given notice to my former job.  Has God abandoned me?  God knew what was going to happen when I applied for the new job and turned in my resignation for the old one.

I try to leave a half decent life, should God owe me a healthy knee, need time to start my job and try get health benefits and some time off to recuperate from whatever is going to happen to my knee?  Should I be doubting through my faith trying to figure out what’s going on?

Do I have a right to good health?  I think of Johnny Erickson, and my friend Bill whom blogs on WordPress as unshakable hope, they both have wonderful ministries and reach many people.  However, they both have health problems, they are different but, nonetheless glaring health problems.

Why would a common guy like me deserve better health than these two fine warriors of the Lord doing wonderful work bringing his peace and love to the world?  So here, I am in my pain, and feeling sorry for the bad situation I am in.  Should I even ask God to heal my knee so I can go to a new job or even work?

My best answer is yes I should ask.  But my attitude is I have no right to ask God to help me in this situation.  For now it is like this, here in the Shadowlands where there is dark and light, good and evil, there is a price to pay in fallenness.  However, the price I pay is a bargain compared to my life without God.  If God decides not to heal my knee it simply means he has another plan for my life that I gave to him upon my salvation.  Help my faith in Jesus and his everlasting love.

Salvation is kind of a word that says God fulfilled All laws of the Old Testament’s requirement in perfect obedience.  Because of this perfect obedience to the law of the Old Testament God was able by one death to pay for all sin that was ever committed.  He kept the law because he knew I could never do it on my own or even with his help here in this world that we live in.  Jesus is risen and living today.

I currently have his help in the Holy Spirit indwelling me, I still struggle with the darkness and go to war war with it on a regular basis.  It seems that I win battles but only to find that there are so many more to be fought.  At first this sounds discouraging but, God is a life-giving Redeemer.  This gives an ability for me to see how short I fall of his glory and be encouraged because he has promised to love me and obliterated my biggest problem I had.  I never have to worry about going to hell ever again because the work of Jesus.  It has nothing to do at all with my work that I do but everything with the work that he does.

All I did was receive Jesus’s perfect work by answering his call, no work involved at all on my part.  Now about my knee, if I have trusted God with my salvation and life.  Why am I having such a hard time trusting with something as simple as the human knee.

There are many medical procedures to help fix knees and other parts of the body.  The timing and everything else of this injury has been so wrong for me.  One day I am fine the next day I’m barely walking.  I am in a struggle with doubt and want, darkness is of varying degree.  Help me Lord Jesus!

OUCH,

Denny

Salt

Salt

Salt is just fascinating!  It is made of two poisonous elements when they are mixed together becomes a molecule of life giving foundation.  Too much you can die, too little and you will die. You can even race a car on the rock of salt!  If you grind sugar just right, it looks like salt. HMMMM!

In the contrast between salt and sugar, just visually, sometimes I find it difficult to tell a difference.  But the moment you touch’s sugar and salt there is a texture difference.  Instantly as you taste sugar and salt there is a flavor difference.  The similarity does not end there.

If you eat enough of either one, of salt, or sugar you will become thirsty physically.  Your body needs water to dilute the salt.  Your body needs water to digest the sugar.  Aside from flavor and texture there are other differences between salt and sugar.

Salt you cannot live without.  Sugar you never have to ingest to live.  Sugar is sometimes used to celebrate because of its great flavor.  The same for the flavor of salt, it is a spice that enhances the flavor of many savory culinary delights. (they enhance differently)

In Matthew five 13 it says “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.  Since I claim to be Christian, I am to be like salt making people spiritually thirsty for living water and better after the contact.

In Christianity, have we (THE UNITED STATES CHURCH) become too sweet?  Is this the condition of the current church in the United States?  Are we so sweet that were hard to digest?  In my personal opinion, we are SALT trampled under as the church.  There is no longer the same respect church had in bygone years.

I am truly hoping the grace awakening that is occurring slowly in the organized church will be a grassroots movement to restore respect and love of the church (its spiritual saltiness).  Jesus never wavered from his mission or message, yet, he never lacked a crowd of people around him to listen.  “Methinks” were doing something wrong as the church a.k.a. the body of Christ!

Jesus is spiritually salty.  Jesus provides the living water to quench the thirst.  All believers who have been, or ever will be, are ambassadors of the same exact gospel a.k.a. salt.  Learning of this gospel and speaking of it in purest terms, not adding to the gospel, not taking away from the gospel just as Christ did, we can also.  The gospel, the whole gospel, and nothing but the gospel in sincerity and truth and love is the purest witness of  Jesus.

Jesus did not have to change his message for the Jew or the Gentile a.k.a. Greek.  The gospel invited everyone not just select few to the Most Exclusive place, God’s very own home.  This is God’s own home with all benefits of perfect health, adventures incredible, and never a dull moment, freely extended to all God’s children/family.

Yes!  You are welcome to answer God’s call at any time.  Come taste, witness in purest condition the Gospel of Jesus.  God is looking for you and calling your name, waiting for you to answer.  This kind of wisdom is calling you within the continuum of life, as long as you live!

If you have never interacted with Jesus, walk with him for a while, he will never force you to walk with him.  If you have walked with Jesus or not, try the book Prodigal God by Timothy Keller.  Understand the gospel in a new purer way.  If you are in the throes of battle walking with God in his gospel, persevere and be strong and courageous.

Jesus is the only one that can take strong and courageous and make it look meek and humble!  Dear ambassador of Jesus, do not grow wary of your calling, faint not in your well doing.  Amplify your dependence on the source of your strength in Christ Jesus.  ‘Today is a good day to die’, or is it: be a living sacrifice!

Your brother in Christ,

Denny

2 John 1-13

New Living Translation

Greetings

1 This letter is from John, the elder.

I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children, whom I love in the truth—as does everyone else who knows the truth— 2 because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever.

3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.

Live in the Truth

4 How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded.

5 I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. 6 Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.

7 I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.

10 If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. 11 Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work.

Conclusion

12 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to do it with paper and ink. For I hope to visit you soon and talk with you face to face. Then our joy will be complete.

13 Greetings from the children of your sister, chosen by God.

 

“Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.”

Edward Abbey

“You know how big love is? Love is big. love can hold anger; love can even hold hatred.”

Alice Walker
Be wise, not easily fooled.

Denny

Immature thinking?

What is immature thinking referring to in the Bible? This is the best section of Scripture I could find to attempt to answer this obvious question.  I only included a short excerpt of the longer more complete principle being taught.

A Call to Spiritual Growth    Hebrews 5.

11There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.   You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

This section of Scripture brought to mind the parable triplet of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son.  I know a strange connection, but let’s pray, and see where it goes.  The first two parables of the triplet have elements in common.  Something valuable was lost, the object of value was tirelessly searched for, was found, and was celebrated.

The third parable of the triplet was similar in a few ways, on several levels something valuable was lost, there does not seem to be a searching for the valuable object lost, then a reasoning surprise, there was a return of the lost with a plan, the younger brother.  Yet I find no indication of a search going on for the younger brother, except maybe in his heart.

The younger brother seems to have come to an end to all supporting resource, physical and spiritual.  And he was willing to return to his father’s house to be a worker not a son.  As the son was in process of returning, his Dad saw him a long way off and began the reunification process.  The father did not hesitate to run to close the distance more quickly to reunite with his son.

All the while as Dad ran, Dad was giving orders to start a celebration because his precious son had returned.  When the older brother returned and found out what was going on and why the party was on, for his sin-laden younger brother.  The older brother was outraged and would not rejoin the party.

The Father did, in fact, seek out in search for his lost oldest son to invite him to the celebration.  The Father received a rebuke for wasting more family resources on the younger brother.  The elder brother decided not to join the celebration for the reunification of his younger brother to the family.

If I understand this parable correctly, the father in the story is actually Father God, the two sons represent two basic ways of living this life without God.  The younger brother was in total freedom doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and how he wanted.  The older brother represented a law keeping, staunch, dependable, and displayed a self-righteous unforgiving attitude for anyone who is not like him.

My question is this which way was the right way to live?  Living by the law or living by pure unbridled freedom?

Well, one immediate advantage of living by unbridled freedom; it would seem you would come to an end of your freedom abusing ways at some point, “at least in this parable.”  On the other hand, the legalistic older brother did not seem to ever rejoin the father.  So it must be much more difficult to come to an end of yourself for a proper, clean living, legalist than a wild living sinner.

I believe this story shows two extremes in living this life in the flesh.  Neither one of these extremes, or the variant combinations in between, are ways to a relationship with the Father.  They are both disasters and failures at reunifying with our heavenly Father.

I pose to you this thought: The Bible is teaching that childish thinking is this, people can live a life that makes them worthy of getting into heaven through “good” behavior or free-living behavior.  Both of these mindsets are far short of what God requires for entry into heaven.  In other words, both methods of living or any mix are too tame for entry into heaven and fellowship with God.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is this:

Jesus paid it all.  There is a complete, perfect payment for your entry into the Fellowship with God and heaven. We can do absolutely nothing to earn what has already been paid for by God and his desire to have fellowship with us.  There is nothing on this earth like unto this unique principle God exemplified to us in Christ and still trying to teach us.

He desires for us to enter into the rest of his salvation through faith in this truth and live shalom in this life with full confidence the Father can do what He said. (Yes, without our messy help, your choice, to return to God, God will not force you, it is your choice to enter in as deeply as you want.)

After immersing yourself in this love that is totally unmerited, growing faith that this perfect love is true, then there is a foundation for your life to change.  Not because of your effort kind of change, but a flow of pure love pouring out of you because of what was poured into you.

And this is love, not that we first loved God.  But God in his perfect strength extended his love to us while we are sinners far away from him.  This is the love that can overcome any way we choose to live, transforming our life into God’s best by receiving this ultimate forgiveness.  There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus.  Truth/reality at its finest!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ today or ever, Ephesians 4:17-31 will give you some of the destination points you are headed for as you immerse yourself into God’s forgiveness.  If you are a strong legalist, you will begin to love the sinners that float in and out of churches, they are in much pain in all the partying that they are participating in.  Final hope: Owe no man anything, except to love him.  Love covers a multitude of sin.

While learning to love in Christ,

Denny

Inspiration

inspiration

  1. 1 a :  a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation b :  the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions c :  the act of influencing or suggesting opinions
  2. 2 :  the act of drawing in; specifically :  the drawing of air into the lungs

Inspiration, a word used to describe a common act such as drawing air into the lungs, or a complex act of explaining a new idea intellectual or spiritual, and even influencing someone or group by opinions, suggestions.  Inspiration is a word used to describe how the Bible was written; the inspired word of God is the only accurate description of the Bible.  Now how can you say such a thing?

As I will admit to you I have limited time to expose myself and read all literature that has been written so this article will come to you from a limited standpoint of what I have read.  There are many people more qualified than I to write this article, but I felt it needed to be tackled.  My experience though is this: books tend to pass away and become dated.  Homer did a powerful job of writing.  The existence of his works proves it, and they have been translated into many languages.

Yet, the style in which Homer used has become dated.  It seems that Homer is respected for being an ancient writer that is still being read.  Even today Homer is not as well read as he was 50 or hundred years ago.  Yet, even over a longer period of time the Bible has been accurately recorded and handed down over a longer period of time.

The Bible has been changed!  But the Bible when changed, does not last very long as a viable work or literature.  A Bible that has been modified by new ideas is no longer inspired word of God.  Yes, it may have some of the structure and ideas that the Bible has but has added corruption.  These modified “bibles” certainly appear to have a time in the limelight, but soon get weeded out. (Just to be rediscovered and re-entered as a new idea, so sad)

This process of weeding out inaccuracies over time is not a normal pathway for a book to take.  In this  age of remakes, parodies, sequels, and the like of movies, modernization of movies and books, it is commonplace for changes/updates to happen to literature to make it more relevant to today.  However, the Bible has not taken the same route.  Its purity and relevance is eternally founded with its source author and inspiration through mankind. (Many men authors, only one eternal God, who authored, breathed the word of God to man)

The Bibles route has been much more interesting, it lends evidence to have a life of its own, and with its own biologic immune system that keeps itself pure through time and translation. (In time killing off infections of the Word )Hence, the Bible is called the living word.  It not only preserves literature but it also preserves life itself.  The Bible has been described as the one book that understands humanity, people, and me.  In my opinion, understanding implies intelligence and life.  Let us reason!

The essence of life has never changed!  Our technology and things that make life more bearable have changed immensely.  But the simple essence of life has not changed from the beginning .  There is no book that has ever compared to the number one bestseller of all time called the Bible.

Read the Bible for any reason, the Bible will either soften your heart or harden your heart.  If it hardens your heart you will want to change the Bible to something more palatable to you.  If you read the Bible and your heart becomes soft, the living words will begin to change you and move/lead you into a reality that you thought impossible.  It will call you into faith in things that you cannot see, or even imagine in most instances.

A good solid translation or version of the Bible will serve well to lead you in life. all the way to everlasting life.  The inspired word of God is the deepest most unchanging hope mankind has ever been given.  There is perfection in the word of God which requires a helper  to understand.  Yes, the helper is available to you for the asking.  There is no special formula to obtain the help, just some kind of understanding that you need help from God to understand His Word.

I pray God’s inspired word will soften your heart.  I pray that you will enter the struggle to understand reality; it is not easy or for the fainthearted.  Fortunately, we have a help, which will always give us boldness and wisdom for the wise choice to walk more strongly with God or you can choose to faint away at any time.  God is a God of many chances; forgiveness is paramount with God’s interaction with mankind.

Choose to walk with God in full acknowledgment of your imperfection, because God is perfect in understanding with respect to your relationship with Him.  God is perfect, and through the cross of Jesus Christ, he has chosen to give you freely at His cost the same perfection and is calling you to it today.  Yes, right now God is calling you!  It is a choice that is put into your finite hands, and it is absolutely your choice.  My advice, enter into to God’s rest in his perfection.  The gospel of God is following you, chasing you and desires to have fellowship with you.

My prayer for you today is this: May God’s gospel, love, and blessing be invited to  dwell with you even today.  May life’s entrapments not discourage you as you walk toward truth eternal.  As you experience temporary loss, may the hope and faith of eternal fellowship with God and redemption of all bad  be ever your vision and hope.  To God be all honor and glory as we walk and live this current life.  Amen

In Christ,

Denny

A 1% Christian

1% is one part of 100 units.  So, if I had a stack of 100 pennies, took one of the pennies away, one penny would be an example of one percent of the 100 pennies available.  One part of 100 is another way of saying 1%.  You can do this with money, commodities, intellectual property, and all static things in the universe can be measured in this way.

My original thoughts on being a 1% Christian, as the idea physically came into focus, was to think that the work that God did was 99% of what being a Christian is, and I only contributed a measly 1% through my free will choices to be a Christian.  Then I was going to say how prideful I was in thinking that I even had 1% control over this area of being a Christian.

Okay maybe, not bad, I could easily think through this 1% idea in the Bible.  I would cite such verses as, Matthew 11: 28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”.  I could also use 2 Corinthians 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,          Still there was something missing.

Then God finally got my attention and the verses in James 1: 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to changed 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.  The obvious question was whether or not I was including the source of all good!?

I had to rethink my assumptions.  As long as you are talking about a limited amount of material, it is possible to calculate 1%. With the eternal clearly unmeasurable, what is 1%?  Then the story of the parables came to mind.  Jesus took simple everyday things and compared them to heavenly concepts and ideas that were perfect.  Most every parable pushed hard enough will break down in trying to describe something perfect.  Anytime I use imperfection to compare to perfection the imperfection is willfully deficient in expressing truth of the perfect heavenly concept.

So in the weakness of this 1% analogy of the Christian participation in Christianity I hope you will forgive me for my pride, but please, never forget the source of all good that mankind has ever experienced.  Do not be misled that you are unimportant to God.  I present two truths that you are the least and you are the greatest at the selfsame moment with God.

What is mankind that God has taken notice of him?  All good comes from God in Heaven, not from any person.  All truth, all love, all pure and kind acts, no matter who performs them comes from God and belong to God.  Do not be fooled in any of this.  We are least in these matters.

At the very same moment and in all eternity it is also true that Jesus came and in his weakest moment with great suffering, gave up life.  Then the life that was stolen from him by Lucifer was picked up again in the resurrection happened totally out of Satan’s control.  Our beaten foe has strong propaganda on the source of all the evil that goes on in this world.  Do not be fooled.  We are most important in these matters.

You are very important to God and you were judged worthy by God, of his suffering on the cross which makes you a royal priesthood unto God.  God still gives himself to us by pursuing us each and every one, calling us to come to him.  If you want to become new, accept Jesus as your personal savior.

The evil one will use every tool of discouragement available to him to stop you.  God will allow you to make the choice on who you believe more strongly.  The gentle way hard choice or the entrapment way of no choice, This is the choice we have in this world to make continually as we live and breath.

I am a 1%, Christian, because I give so little and receive so much in return from a pure heavenly place that my father dwells.  I pray this truth will be understood through this poor parable.  Much as the in the parable of the talents, we invest life that is not ours, to honor and glorify a God who wants to give more to us.  Or we bury our talent/life in our self, living a much lesser life that is broken down and worn out.Then the good hidden is taken away and gifted to the investors.  A Life without hope, but filled with fear, worry, anger and a loveless life, can be healed and renewed.  Continuing with troubles, unimpeded by God’s good, as it is now on earth, forever is the alternative default choice.

It is your choice.  If someone makes a choice for you then you are being blackmailed or coerced to love God.  This is not God’s character.  God’s character “you to choose” to love him and trust him. or not.  This is what free will is all about.  Don’t be confused it is your choice.  The choice on how close you follow him once you become a Christian is absolutely yours also.  God is not a taker.  God is a source and you must travel up to him using His power and forgiveness to get to the source.  Are you an overcomer in life?

Humbly submitted,

1% Denny

Fashion statement or Sin Payment?

I will have to admit the photograph above of this beautiful piece of jewelry gave me a very strong reaction when I saw it. I am unsure as to all the feelings that went together to make me feel the way I did, maybe disrespect, accepting the cross as being beautiful to the eye,  just being accepted  as something that is fashion not of  faith.  I feel a deep anger as I write this. And I know that God will forgive me for my anger if it is wrong and also the makers and purchasers of this artwork of the cross of Jesus.

The God who accepted the mission of bringing God the Father’s love to this earth for our benefit laid down His life on the cross. I put the God-man on the cross because of my sin. Every time I see a Cross I feel unworthy of the love that was extended to me by an exceedingly wonderful God at an unmeasurable cost. I also experience the hope of the resurrection as I see the curse.

Galatians 3:13

New Living Translation

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Strange, I do not find the cross worn as jewelry as being offensive. I do find it very challenging every time I see a cross whether on a T-shirt, made of gold, made of wood, made of spike nails, painted, inked, the media doesn’t matter, I’m reminded that I do not deserve the gift I have in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know that no nail, law, person, or power could have held Jesus on the cross except for his own resolve to love us back into fellowship with God the Father.

Are we so civilized and removed from the cross that it has become palatable to make it a thing of beauty. Maybe the sin that was cursed on Jesus was not as bad as the Bible says. The conflict is this, the cross is a curse and the work done on the cross was pure bountiful love. So,,, If the Jesus of the cross is represented then it is beauty in the highest form, the cross is still a cursed, fallen reminder of the great price paid for my/our sins.  Yes I get grace for free, God paid the full price, God set/created the cost, to get us redeemed into fellowship with God.

For thousands of years, the Messiah was looked for and patiently waited for, then in a little over 2000 years the cross became a stylized jewelry status symbol.  Will lethal injection or an electric chair be worn around the neck in a few thousand years because somebody died on it?  The cross of Jesus Christ is uniquely special.  Is a symbol of the unfathomable cost that was paid there to reconcile man to God.

Where is the honor to Jesus in making his cross a thing of beauty, not a curse that was necessary to redeem man in his deep need?  Are we so removed from the cross that it no longer has the meaning it did at one time?  God forbid!  The cross was a place of torture and shame.  Neither of which Jesus deserved because he lived a perfect life.

Is there any good thing about the method that was used to kill Christ Jesus who did nothing wrong?  No, there is nothing good about the curse of the cross!  The work that was done on the cross was good and perfect love to us.  Let each of us consider carefully before we choose what we do with this cross Jesus.  Let us not forget the cross was not last act of God toward us.  The cross is the rugged start to our hope in Christ Jesus that we have a restored relationship with our heavenly father through the payment on the cross and a powerful awesome resurrection of Jesus.

Life can be better, but without the cross of Jesus Christ, life has no absolute standard to make all suffering we endure here a joy because of what was done for me on the cross.  James says that this way count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.  Read the entire book of James in the New Testament.  You will see wisdom played out in a way not often experienced in the civilized world we live in.

I am in a state of weltschmerz in regard to how Jesus is viewed in an accepted yet, in a distortedly wrong way today.  Lord help us to see you more clearly.  Lord forgive my unbelief.  Lord help us to behave as you would behave not to get ourselves into heaven, but to show you that we appreciate what you have done and we are mimicking your ways to the best of our ability.

In Christ,

Denny

 

Psalm 20

Psalm 20     italics added
1In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. Thank you for troubles that need God in my life.

May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. I have no right for this.

2May he send you help from his sanctuary

and strengthen you from Jerusalem. (or Zion) God gives help from above, fresh from His city.

3May he remember all your gifts

and look favorably on your burnt offerings. Accept our offering of obedience to the Word.

Interlude

4May he grant your heart’s desires

and make all your plans succeed. Your direction and blessings are success.

5May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory

and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. You are our banner Lord.

May the Lord answer all your prayers. Help me accept your answer Lord. Worthy of our trust and life.

6Now I know that the Lord rescues his anointed king. You prove in your manifestations Lord.

He will answer him from his holy heaven

and rescue him by his great power. We quake at the demonstration of your Power. May I never be ashamed of  awe of your intervention in life here.

7Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,

but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.  All goodness raise praises to you Lord.

8Those nations will fall down and collapse,

but we will rise up and stand firm. Your will is possible, even when we see no earthly hope.

9Give victory to our king, O Lord!  Lord you are more than victory and you invite us to join you for ever.

Answer our cry for help Lord.  You freely give your help to us Lord.  Please help in our unbelief in our dark hours. When hopeless fear overpowers us. When we need you most Lord teach us to call on you on your high throne as you direct us through our weak faith. Carry our souls and bodies to your help. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

NOTORIOUS GOD!

The God I serve is a generally thought of as notorious! If you do not believe in God the reasoning  goes something like this: Point to His nonexistence by bad things that happen. For example, where was God when that tornado her hit that poor family? Notorious is being famous for something bad.

How do I navigate living with such a God as my Savior? Go ahead read the Psalms of the Bible they will tell you many bad things that God has allowed! And how about Abraham, he was going to sacrifice his very own and only son! (Human Sacrifice did not happen for the Biblical God. Ever) Look at all the sacrifices of the poor animals in the Bible, what’s up with that?

What kind of God would require such things?

Thank you! I’m glad the question was asked! Yes, I do serve a notorious God! But, let’s dig a little bit deeper.

Let’s look at Abraham, sent to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham answered the question of faith when he answered Isaac’s question about where the sacrifice was. Abraham believed with all his being that God would provide a sacrifice. In this historic witness to God and His provision for man God is prophesying through Abraham what was going to happen a Propitiation.

The foundation of the story goes like this Abraham is likened to the father who required absolute righteousness. Isaac represented mankind who disobeyed and did not come up to God’s measure of righteousness. Now this sounds like a notorious God to me requiring something like this human sacrifice!

All the preparations were made for the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham in his heart knew what was going to happen. Abraham and his faithfulness to God put his own son on the altar of sacrifice. As the blade was being drawn back God suddenly intervened. Isaac was spared, but there was a sacrifice provided in place of Isaac.

Having a son I sometimes struggle with Abraham’s faithfulness to sacrifice his very own son as God requested. But if I step back and look at the story there was a replacement for Isaac. This account represents what God did for all mankind.

Please note, Abraham had faith in God, and God completed his plan with Abraham by providing a replacement for his son. In God, the father’s story in the New Testament God’s Son was sent to the altar called planet earth. His only begotten Son Was Not Spared but Became a Replacement for Us and Our Sin, and Failure to Comply with God’s plan of perfect holiness. There is no replacement for God, therefore there could be no replacement for Jesus on the cross of Jesus Christ. God’s grace in Jesus provided a replacement for mankind.

An absolute God paid an absolute price of His own Son to release and free mankind of the final judgment of condemnation in sin. There was not another way to free man of the curse in the Garden of Eden. Because Jesus Christ fulfilled the entire law of God in His life here on earth we have the opportunity to choose:  reenter the beloved  favor of God or not. This is the only reason Jesus is the begotten one, born of a woman, Son of man, in the Trinity.

Jesus’s primary mission was to restore man to God. This would give men access to God’s blessings and love. Nothing we could earn as a mortal, only a gift of God could help us back to relationship to God. Of  all religions Christianity is the only one that has a God who set the price then, paid the entire price for all his people to have access to the great reward of heaven.

Yes, God, Jesus, and the Spirit are notorious in the sense that they are famously blamed for all sorts of evil. Only good and perfect gifts come from above never evil or bad ones. The misconception is this, that evil comes from God. This part of notorious is separated from God and is in the realm of Satan. Satan is the prince of the power of the air on earth and an accuser and there is no good is in Satan.

The really big problem of man has been solved in Jesus Christ. We no longer ever have to worry if we are going to spend an eternity in hell. Jesus paid it all on the cross. Everything that happens after our salvation with Jesus Christ is only a response to the love we found on the cross of Jesus. It is not a way to earn our way into heaven (Thank God). Jesus said it is finished. It is on the Cross, God’s finished work on the cross, that Christians walk into the world to serve and make the world a better place in love not forced duty.

God is NOTORIOUS  because on the cross He took all sin I deserve punishment for and made it His sin. Certainly a NOTORIOUS deed indeed. What did the Cross do for me, no worries ever again about my final destination a reward I do not have a right to have, save the work of Jesus. Yes, Jesus became NOTORIOUS  for our benefit and need.  How Glorious…hope of mankind in accepting Jesus and saying yes to His call.

You are welcome to become a Christian if you’re not. See John 3:16. Please feel free to leave a comment and ask for help on becoming a Christian. I would be honored to welcome you into the family of the beloved of Jesus Christ. And unless you have demanded to God for Him to leave you alone, you are still being called gently into His salvation right now.

In Christ,

Denny

Believeing Hope

As we walk through our series on suffering, in life or in teaching, remember we are loved by a God who was tempted in all the pain known, sickness, loss, and all trouble you have experienced. Jesus is our defender as we walk here on earth.

As trouble visits us on different levels remember God’s forgiveness is greater than any and all sin. We do not have to completely understand all doctrines of forgiveness to access God’s gift. When we fail, God is still gently calling us back to His love. You were never made for suffering but you are made for relationship with God. Therefor suffering is an infection and relationship with God a balm of relief. As we struggle to make God our identity we are pleasing God and are in the good fight.

Always ask for God’s help, even if it is a very bad disobedient day far from God. God is faithful when we are not.

2nd Timothy 2:  11The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;  *((No faith in God ever, Denny added))
13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

We who have humbly answered God’s call have no worries about moments of failing. The Gospel is calling all to fellowship with God always. Suffering is a ugly thorn in this world. God has a plan of redemption, and a plan to use every good or bad event to prepare us for His use for us to reach a lost world.  You are God’s hope of reaching a lost world dear ambassador of Jesus.

Your Fellow laborer in Christ,

Denny

Christ is Risen! Part 2

More of the most Blessed non-fiction ever!  Part 2

HE has Risen!  Reply: He has Risen indeed!  Happy Easter!

True faith and hope are always founded on Jesus Christ. This truth is a stumbling block for those with lack of faith. Pure true hope/faith is a rock like/solid foundation for those who have faith in the cross of Christ and His bodily resurrection.

Christ Jesus atoning for our sins is the only way we can get into heaven. Each of our sins are accounted for and paid for by the cross of Jesus. His resurrection gives us hope of a living eternity and he Christ Jesus is the firstborn among many.

When we realize the death that we are walking in and then step into the light and life of Jesus Christ we are truly saved from darkness, death, and separation from God. Without the entire work of Jesus Christ being true as recorded, there is no foundation for love, hope, personal redemption, civilization, or justice of any kind.

There is no foundation for these ideas and any other be kind philosophy out there. They all missed the mark of the true need of mankind. Except for this one named Jesus who paid the entire price to buy you back then set you free to choose to worship Him, or not.

As a believer in faith you are in fellowship with the source of all good to this world or You can choose to remain a nonbeliever and see only moments of His general grace but not His mercy.

Now this is real choice to use free will to freedom of Christ’s Gospel or do your best to fix the separation you experience. The Gospel of a Risen Savior is the only freedom mankind will ever experience. Come, taste, see, the crucified, risen Jesus Christ is good for you, your whole person and for those around you, and Jesus will not exclude you.

If you choose to enter in to relationship with Jesus Christ through the Gospel and apply it expect a war. Use the gift of the Gospel, exploit the gift, all forgiveness is found through faith in the victory of Christ over death.

For a growing abundant life filled with an exhilarating mix of struggle, joy, hope, and love.This is abundant life found uniquely in the perfect one Jesus, life lived, crucified, and taking life up again after a bodily death, then resurrection. Come and see this love and how rich and life enhancing it is.

Have you included Jesus today? Jesus is calling you to Him right now. Be bold and take the risk of living independently from the ways of this world. You will be the choice you make for ever and ever. What do you say? Jesus is offering His Gospel.