I know it has been awhile since I have written or shared on my blog… for those following faithfully, I want to apologize for the delays. God has had me in a place of learning, of discovery… and it’s taken time for all that He is teaching me and showing me to sink in and absorb.
I recognize that words have the power to both heal and divide, as well they have the power of both growth and deception. I don’t take lightly the power of words nor the influence they can have. God has been showing me the deceptions that are creeping into our Christian literature, the Church and Bible book stores.
I once used these sources as a way to grow in my Christian faith (after all they have done the work already why reinvent the wheel…right?) But God has been revealing to me that it’s not that innocent anymore. More often than not, there is a cross section of Spirituality / Christian and Progressive thinking, influencing many of the authors. God has challenged me to look to His Word for the truths I desire… and I in turn am going to challenge you my friends, to do the same
Where ever you find yourself on this journey called life, I would like to encourage you to take some time and do some critical thinking on some very deep subjects within our Christian faith.
What is it you believe about God? Is He all powerful and omni-potent like we read in the Bible? Does he have clearly defined ways that He desires us live? Does He remain the same yesterday, today and tomorrow? Or, can we shrink him down to fit into a box of our own making? Adjust his ways to fit our agenda’s?
What is it you believe about the Bible? Is it the Inspired Word of God? Is it both History & Future events, as well as our guidebook for life? Or, can we pick and choose which parts of the Bible we will follow and remove the parts we don’t like or disagree with? Is it still the Way.. the Truth and the Life… or has it been broken down into irrelevant fables?
What is it you believe about the Church? Is the Church still relevant today? Is it our mission to grow into mature followers of Jesus and point others to the grace, life and forgiveness that He offers them? Or, has the Church evolved into a type of community group with their focus less on the actual person of Jesus, and more on the social justice issues of our present world, focusing more on how the Church can better fit into the world by just being more tolerant and loving and accept everyone as they are?
Friends, these are some tough questions! Questions we ALL need to review in our hearts and minds. The world is focused on social justice and as followers of Jesus we want to see justice in our world, justice to the poor & marginalized, but there is a troubling difference between this type of justice and the worlds version of politically powered ‘social justice’.
Unfortunately, I’m also seeing a trend happening in many of the Churches in North America, A desire to be more of the world and less of the Bible. To be more involved in the political social justice issues and less about Repentance, Forgiveness and Salvation.
I’ve been witness to those who claim to follow Jesus Christ, but choose which of his Words they like to follow and which are simply not relevant in our day and age. I’ve seen new age philosophies slip into Church staff meetings and small groups. As people seek new ways to discover themselves and grow outside of the gifting of Christ.
Sadly, I believe there is a Great Deception happening within our Christian Churches and I believe it grieves God deeply. I believe the enemy is blinding many on the alter of tolerance. I fully believe one can love a person completely yet disagree on their choices and decisions. I believe Jesus died for ALL of humanities sins, but many Churches are forgetting an important action… the action of repentance, the turning away from those sins that separate us from the Father, in order to receive the gift of Grace.
This my friends is the entire reason Jesus went to the cross, to show us a better way. We were warned the road would be narrow, as the wide road…the easy road… would lead to destruction. I fear for our Churches, for my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, as I see a progressive form of Christianity gaining influence across our Countries.
This is a form of Christianity that is more tolerable to the world, less threatening. This is the type of religion that doesn’t require work or change on our part, it’s a ‘come as you are and stay as you are’ type of gospel. This is a form of religion that does not recognize sin as defined in the Bible, in fact this is a form of religion that doesn’t recognize the Bible as the Holy breathed Word of God. And this is a religion that nullifies Jesus’s atoning death on the cross for each of us, enabling us to one day stand cleansed in the presence of the Father.
So I urge you Friends, think deeply about these questions. Be wary of the easy road that requires little from it’s followers. Love deeply, pray hard and ask the Lord God almighty to protect you from this deception creeping into our Churches and our literature. If you have found yourself buying into these lies, turn away and turn back to Truth.
Christ came into this world, was killed on a cross for your sins and mine. He died and rose again on the third day so that we might receive forgiveness for our sins and one day spend eternity with Himself and the Father in heaven. He sent us the helper, the Holy Spirit, that we might discern between right and wrong, that we might be strengthened for the battles we would face against the spiritual forces of darkness within this world.
So why do I choose to share this with you today? I believe it is because God has been preparing me for the last three years for this message. While I was in the ‘desert’, waiting on what He would do in my life…with my life, I was compelled to dig deeply into Gods Word.
I spent time, desiring to know Jesus better, more intimately. I sought His plan for my life, rather than continuing trying to fit Him into mine. And here we are in 2021, and He has rewarded me for these efforts. He has opened doors that both Mike and I could serve him full time as we had prayed so many times.
He has rewarded us with Godly friends and relationships that build us and that we can build into. And He has opened my eyes to the beautiful Truths that are contained in His Word. I have experienced his Word being alive, sharper than a double- edged sword. It has separated Truth from lies within my own heart and mind and sharpened my discernment from within.
Finally, I fear the apostasy of the Church… the falling away by turning away from Truth. I fear for Brothers and Sisters in Christ that I love dearly, and I feel God is calling His followers to sound an alarm so that eyes might see and ears might hear. Praying that these words fall on open eyes and open ears.
Thank you for Your Word, not a day goes by that You don’t show me something that prompts my heart. When I think of my sinfulness and having my sins laid open before you; with no justification or excuses, it makes me shudder.
I much prefer the image of the Good Good Father, this image loves us (inspite of our failings and our ugly parts), He accepts us as we are, he would never lay our sins out in the open to actually be seen… would he? I prefer to tell myself that You see past all of that ugliness, this is the image of Jesus who washes our sins clean and we can live forever in the land of Grace. Which You do and we can !
Yet, I am reminded that there are other images of You Lord, that are also correct. Images we prefer not to focus on, and that is the God who SEES. Your Word tells us that You see into our hearts and our minds, You see ALL of our sinful thoughts and actions. As much as You are the God of Grace… You are also the God that desires Repentance. Thank you for that reminder today Lord.
The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Luke 12:2 NLT
Thank you for reminding me that unconfessed or justified sins hinder my relationship with You Lord. O God, would You open my eyes to those sins in me that I have either justified away or convinced myself that they are not really sin.
Forgive me Lord, for allowing the enemy to deceive me into this habit of justification: “that little lie really didn’t hurt anyone”, ” that person didn’t know what I was thinking about them and how I was judging them”. The truth is Lord, that you know and you have told us that those secrets will not remain secrets, that they will be revealed, unless we acknowledge them for what they actually are…sin, and confess them to you.
Help me to see those things in my life that I have Not put in front of You, those things that I have justified. I lay them out before You Lord that You might teach me to walk closer to You, following Your ways rather than mine. Open my eyes to see…open my ears to hear…open my heart with a desire to follow.
O Lord, Your Word is always instructing us to search for wisdom: our need and the importance of wisdom, of growing in our wisdom. You tell us learn discernment, and to practice discerning not only between right and wrong, but as C.H. Spurgeon so eloquently said, “ the difference between right and almost right”.
Lord God, in a world where everything is shaded in grey, help me to still see Your black and white… Your truths for right and wrong. Not as the world sees it but as Your Word teaches it.
Thank you Lord, for the reminder that my life is like the wind… here for a moment then gone. Forgive me for allowing myself to believe the lie that we have all the time in the world: time to serve You…time to be all in…time to…(fill in the blank). When in fact, today could actually be my last, and my time on this earth could in fact run out.
Forgive me Lord, for focusing more on my comfort and desires than on fulfilling the very mission which You created me for. Every single one of us was created by You with a purpose that will glorify You Lord. The gifts of Grace and Love that I have received were not to be kept for myself, but used to lead others to You.
Forgive my wasted years Lord Jesus. Forgive my inward thinking, my self-serving thoughts. Help me Lord…teach me… to live for You. Help me Father, to see the ways I can live for You every single day. Forgive my very lack of wisdom, my foolishness, as I have flitted my days away with so little of eternal value to show for them.
Thank you Father, that You have been teaching me and changing the desires of my heart, to be more in line with the Your desires for me. Create in me a new heart Lord, one that is on fire for You with purpose and passion. Thank you for this time of ‘waiting’ Lord, time I needed for You to wake me up and get my attention once again… this desert place is good for that.
Once again, I submit my life to You Sovereign Lord. To be used for Your purposes and Your Glory, rather than my own . Let there be less of me and more of You Father. Use whatever days I have remaining in this brief existence of life. For when I meet You face to face, there are no words I desire more to hear from You than, “well done good and faithful servant”.
In Jesus name ❤️Amen
In the book of Joshua, after bringing the Israelites into the promised land, Joshua challenged the Israelites against turning away from the one true living God to follow useless and worldly ways. He exhorted them to follow the Living God. He said, “choose today whom you will serve…but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. Joshua 24:15.
Like Joshua, I choose, truth… the Bible… historical Christianity…and I will serve the Lord Jesus Christ. I recognize that there are many today that believe the God of the Bible, and the biblical version ofJesus, to be outdated. They would rather see a Jesus that accepts us as we are, that wouldn’t ask us to give up anything for him.
But the Jesus I know gave up his very life for each and every one of us, He chose to give it up for us as the way for us to come close to the Father. Without His sacrifice we had no way to be forgiven. God is a just and holy God and no one can come before him without first being justified. Our ONLY way to be justified is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, to acknowledge his death and resurrection as our atonement for sin.
If Jesus gave up so much for us, how foolish it would be to think that nothing is required from us. We can’t earn our way to the Father by following a bunch of rules, but we acknowledge the price Jesus paid, when we turn away (repent) of our sinful actions.
I don’t know about you my friends, but I know my struggles… I don’t like looking at my sin. I would much rather bury it and pretend that it doesn’t exist, but therein lies the problem… it does!! If it didn’t we would never have been separated from God in the beginning, but Gods Word clearly tells us we were.
Sin is ugly, it’s selfish, it’s mean spirited, it’s everything I don’t want to be, yet sadly, it is so much of who I am all wrapped up together. I am so grateful for Gods gift of forgiveness and grace, that I can give it to him and it does not control me any longer. Does this mean I never sin again? I wish…
But sadly no, our broken human nature has been forever tainted. We can gain mastery over it with the help of the Holy Spirit, but until that day that we are fully reconciled to Christ in the heavenly realms with our new ‘unspoiled’ bodies, we will continue to deal with the sin factor.
Yet, this world would have us believe that SIN is an outdated theme. What is sin? what’s right for you and what’s right for me don’t have to agree... these are lies from the pit of hell. The enemy would love us to believe that we can choose what is sin and what is not, based on our own desires. The Bible tells us that “our hearts are deceitful”, that they cannot be trusted for truth… only God’s Word provides trustworthy Truth.
So my friends, what are we to do in such a chaotic time? We can look around and see many of our loved ones fall under the spell of tolerance. Tolerance simply avoids dealing with choices about right and wrong… tolerance is always shaded Grey, rather than absolutes like black & white.
I for one choose to believe that the Bible is Gods Holy Word for the world. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… forever unchanging yet never the same ( how’s that for a mind bender?). If I was basing these decisions simply on what my heart desires, I would be totally led astray, but I am standing on what I KNOW to be true based on what I have experienced in my own life.
I am so thankful that God did not leave me as I was… broken and frail. I am so thankful that He built me up and built into me to become all that I am today. I am so thankful for His gift of Grace… because boy do I fail… often. But, because of His incredible Love for us, He picks us up … dusts us off… and sets us back on our feet again… ready for another day.
Blessings, Janet ❤️
Do you know Jesus? He’s waiting to meet you…
I appreciated one of your closing comments best “For when I meet You face to face, there are no words I desire more to hear from You than, “well done good and faithful servant”. ” Amen! and Amen!
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Right on point Janet! Truth is in the Bible & as we daily read it with the Holy Spirit’s help in providing clarity, this keeps us on track. I agree with how easy it is to fall into the trap of accepting the world’s easy way of living & that is why it is so important to seek the truth in the Bible. Thank you for putting into words what has been on my heart the last 2 years. May God continue to use you & Mike in His service. Love from Stephen & I.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and be such an encouragement Mae. This topic is something that is so important to me. I read a book called “Another Gospel” by Alisa Childers, and it put into perspective so many things that I was seeing within so many churches. God has really taken us on a journey and I’m thankful I have the opportunity to share my learnings on this blog. Thanks for following ❤️
Wise words Janet. The offence of the Cross remains. Thankful for a Heavenly Father who will separate the wheat from the tares. I would not want that responsibility & who knows what will lead a person to Christ, whether this or that. One of the instances Heavenly Father used to bring me back to himself was Amy Grant singing ‘Baby, Baby’ on a pop radio station. I agree, the Church is sometimes guilty of pandering to popular culture, however I think Heavenly Father can & does use it for good. I would never discount what He can use for love of US. I agree that our foundations are important & the Holy Bible is for us a life saving & live giving manual to help & lead us. Be faithful to teach/preach the word in season & out of season & just as that same Word would say, He is happy to see His Children’s obedience in this matter.
Yes Cheryle I agree the Lord uses many different ways to draw people to himself, of which I am personally very thankful. My concern is the growing popularity of Progressive Christianity, that not only sways from these basic tenants of faith but oftentimes totally disregard and deny them. These are the brothers & sisters my heart breaks for as these false teachers goal is to dismantle their true faith. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts Cheryle… I truly appreciate the feedback and the conversation ❤️