Archive for February, 2011

Devil Games – Braving It Alone?

Posted by on February 25, 2011  |  2 Comments

In my childhood, I recall a lot of complaining by private school classmates and some young adult church members as well. The church seemed fixated on a list of dos and don’ts. This of course automatically put everyone in “judgment” mode. A relationship with Jesus was monitored largely by how righteous you appeared to be.  The more rigid or conservative you were, the better of a Christian you must have been.

Visual adherence to the unwritten checklist seemed to result in alarming opinions. Bible classes at school and at church seemed to have a force fed feel to them. Reviewing opinions simply resulted in the facts you could back your opinion with.

Within a few years of graduation there seemed to be a significant number of classmates who were no longer attending church. In the meantime, the church began to shift to “feel good” sermons. The standardized checklist became unimportant and all kinds of things once considered irreverent and unacceptable, seemed of little matter.  In fact a lot of foundational behaviors seemed to take a back seat and many heard of how wonderful Jesus is without being summoned to heart hitting decision making.

Fashion, jewelry, moving going, types of movie watching at home, Sabbath activities, eating out on Sabbath … and the list goes on.  Including the isolation of, instead of help for homosexuals. Many are offended at the idea of these topics surfacing today.  Some have split from the church because they now believe differently than the foundational truths of the church.  Some only see the sometimes hard hitting advice of Ellen White’s writing and fail to see the tremendous and obvious divine guidance God provided her in providing a wealth of information to assist in our spiritual growth.

Truth and our conscience wage war against each other. As a teenager, I resented not the church for showing me how to navigate under my unique circumstances. The Bible texts were there. They were simply omitted from discussion. By not talking about obvious problems, these sins began to carry more weight and thus they ended up being crowning sins.

But I knew from reading and studying that acting out on my temptations, was going to distance me from the church. As I gave way to the temptations, truth bothered my conscience less and less.  Today homosexuality is popular. It’s even kind of an “in” thing with younger people. It’s becoming more and more accepted as normal behavior. “Gay Christians” have explained away nearly all of its implications pointing toward grave sin. It doesn’t seem to bother them that there is no counsel from God of how to conduct and behave in a same-sex relationship.  Why isn’t it mystifying that God only provides negative accounts of homosexuality if there is nothing wrong with it?  Denying self is not popular in modern society. But rather doing whatever you like as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Individuals have gone all but blind in recognizing that God wants to reach their soul and draw them to doing His pleasure. Not self pleasure.

Satan must have had some knee slapping laughs at the amount of spiritual dissension he has been successful at.  The way in which God’s truths reach us or are conveyed to us, can have a negative or positive effect, depending on the readiness and willingness of the sinner to contemplate how their heart is being touched and what is being stirred up. Conviction by the Holy Spirit is not always readily accepted. Selfish desires can cause resilience and an unwillingness  to comply with truths that are crystal clear.

Jesus is gentle, loving and forgiving. But I know from my own experience, that He allows us to endure some harsh lessons to realize a truth that He wants to convey to us for the preservation of our life. When self tugs and pulls and indulges in things that don’t contribute to a right relationship with Jesus, we get kind of blinded and we can go down a deceptive path for a very long time.

He tells us in Joshua 24:15 ” And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”   We can’t have two masters. We can’t be in charge of ourselves and have Jesus in charge at the same time. Serving self will lead to eternal destruction.

Whether you go to church or not, I invite you to challenge yourself in seeking out God’s instruction to you. Invite Him in before you open His Word and then read and listen to how He speaks to your heart. Try to be open minded and willing to make changes that He brings to your mind.  This blog is focused on issues of homosexuality. But God set forth a plan and guidance for all mankind to follow that will assure you of life eternal, regardless of the struggles that have invaded your life.

Satan tries his best to assure us that we are simply missing out on life if we try and do things as God instructs. The truth is … The only assurance we have under the misleading of Satan, is a short life on this earth. That’s where it ends. Try letting go of self. Try letting God take complete control. Recognize your shortcomings and humbly seek forgiveness. It’s not too late. God is very patient. He’s been waiting for you to invite Him to take over your life.

Ask Him to come into your life today.

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Are You Offended?

Posted by on February 20, 2011  |  No Comments

In as much as my previous post was about tact, loving and being cautious; there is another element which must be considered.

Standing up for Christ and the message of the cross offends the world, but should not offend the believer.

From our earliest beginnings, filled with a sinful nature, we offend God. Sin offends God. Yet in spite of that horrible trait which tries to defy His existence, He loves us and seeks any possible way to reach our heart with His truth, indescribable love and offer of forgiveness.

Even the actions of believers cause Him grief and sorrow. So many of us behave in actions and activities that would shame God. Then we try to step outside of our normal behavior and “act” holy for as long as it takes to tell someone else what they should be doing.

This has been a major downfall for all organized religion. In the age when the world had little more than the creations of God, there was a more devout following. Less to distract the soul and more to draw him or her to a focus upon Jesus.

As the the world has aged, we have gone beyond kingdoms and palaces for men in high ranking positions. Satan has made sure that with modernization, every ability and resource God has provided can be and is used to offend our life Creator.  Self pleasuring has been the focus and success of many inventions. Tools and items of distraction.

As a result, many find little or no use for God’s Holy Word.  As they have been consumed by the pleasures laid before us, they are now offended by the instruction their Creator has given them. The truth of our living God even offends believers if we are not committed to self denial and letting go of what does not draw us to holiness.

Why are the worldly so easily offended? Can they not see the magnificence of one who has their best interests at heart?  When Jesus spoke to His disciples about sharing this life giving truth, they grumbled over the difficulty and Jesus asked them if they were offended.  He pointed out that flesh… which continually seek to pleasure, counts for nothing. But the spirit gives life.

We are easily distracted by delusions Satan sets before us and offended when directed to give them up. What a nasty battle holiness and sin have with one another. But Philippians 4:13 tells us that all things are possible. We can do anything with Christ. Letting go of the worldly ties is continually strengthened with right decisions.

We are asked to offer to God, our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. Don’t conform to the world, but let Jesus renew your mind. Then you can test and know what God’s will for you is. Romans 12:1-2.

Wake UP dear people of this earth!  Take note of the battle being waged!  Don’t be offended!  But be encouraged to step forward in faith and let Jesus Christ take control of your life. One step at a time. One moment at a time. But with a conviction that you will not fall to the deceptions of the prince of this world.

Don’t believe in Christ?  Genuinely invite Him in and ask Him to prove Himself to you. He wants to. He’s waiting for your invitation to see His power at work. Then be sure and let Him bring about the change He initiates. Follow and accept Him. Come to love and appreciate Him and trust and believe in His promise of a life without sin accompanied with eternal life.

Living holy, simply means to let go of this world and focus on your life giver and the future He has set aside for you.

Be Blessed!

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Assurance, Patience, Tact, Influence

Posted by on February 19, 2011  |  No Comments

I am so very blessed that I was one day sitting in the solitude of my home and was receptive to listening to the Holy Spirit guiding my thoughts, considerations and questions.

As a result, I am transformed. I fully recognized how I had fooled myself into believing that my way, (how I felt) and letting it lead me, had become King in my life, instead of King Jesus.  It is a very humbling experience to accept that I had made wrong choices in spite of injustices I may have endured during my life. I had been determined to elect what “felt good” after enduring heartache, insult and not being accepted by society. Particularly Christian society.

But Christian society is made up of individuals with all kinds of varying problems and there is not a perfect soul among them. Just as I have realized my wrongs outside of worshiping God, Christians are compelled to continue to reexamine wrongs that take place while worshiping God.

Every individual born into this world is so loved and cared about by Jesus. It’s hard to imagine and at times seems very abstract. It’s hard for us to try and grasp what that kind of love must be like. How could God love murderers and thieves? How could He love adulterers and fornicators? How could He love any one of us?

But immediately to my mind comes the familiar text, For God SO loved the world… …if we believe, we don’t need to perish. Sometimes it’s easy for us to believe in something we cannot see, and at others we must have faith. Our faith is enhanced when we see miracles around us. Amongst all the heartache, pain and wrong doings that surround us, we continue to have proof of God’s love. Blessings continue to be poured out to those who believe and trust.

But still significantly present in this tired world is “The Great Controversy.” Satan tugs, tempts and influences in an effort to deceive and control those who, if they are trusting and willing, can make choices that will secure an eternity of reward and removal of the hideous influence of sin.

There have been so many wonderful “ahh ha” moments for me since choosing to give my life back over to Christ. But unlike Christ, my patience is not nearly as enduring. I’m full of flaws and sometimes discouragement. All these components can hinder rather than help. What a gift it is from God for those who have the balance of patience, tact and influence.

Even when we are right, there is often a bitter taste.  Because while well-meaning, truth can be difficult and slow to digest. And we cant’ force people to accept truth. As in the plan of salvation and in the gift of life, all is a choice.

Being a humble servant is the request Christ makes of those who choose to represent Him. I need your prayers.  We cannot speed up or force feed every one’s digesting process. And sometimes much is said with less rather than more. I have had a lifetime of trying to learn that lesson.

Waiting upon the Lord is such a developed art. Total committment to Him and His timing and His ways of working all things together for those that love Him is necessary in order to enjoy our role in discipleship.

But God uses all kinds of people. We are all victims of circumstances and God knows how to use each and everyone to influence and draw.  Only certain characteristics that one individual may possess, may be useful on another with similar characteristics. God knows how to mix and match to bring about conviction in the hearts of those who will respond.

We must carefully pray for one another to be used just exactly how Christ wants to use us and let Him take the lead. Let His plan unfold. Exhibit fruits of the spirit. Those are the fruits that will have drawing power. Love, patience, understanding, forgiveness, tolerance, compassion….there are so many.

Our call, as Christ points out in His Word, is to live in accordance with our example, Jesus Christ. We fall so very short of this. But the more we make Him part of our life and the less we let the world influence us; the more He utilizes our witness and draws and influences hungry, needy souls.

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

From my Heart to Yours

Posted by on February 12, 2011  |  No Comments

If you never read anything else I’ve written or write, please take a minute to read this. Everyone of us is poured out of your mother’s wombs landing right here on earth, certainly not by our choice, but certainly with a choice.

Maybe life has been good to you and you see no reason to change. And maybe life has been an incredible struggle and you just don’t seem to have the strength to try something else. But whatever the case may be, consider this. What are your plans for later? No.. not tomorrow… but for after this life has ended?

You do realize that you have a choice in that…don’t you?  Maybe you grew up not knowing, not understanding, or not realizing that the one who our breath of life stems from gave us this life out of pure pure love.  He didn’t put a check list in your hand at birth for you to check off as you made your way through life.

He didn’t ask that you look at someone else and their experience to see if you measure up to what they’re all about. But He gave you the gift of His love and a reference guide for you to know how to make your Father happy. He had it written so that it could be personalized to every living soul. So that He can speak directly to your heart.

Along with this life came temptation and influence. It comes in many formats. When of the strongest formats is through feelings. Lots of things feel great, but have bad consequences. Lot’s of self serving actions can have an ultimate price to pay. But in His written Word to us, He speaks to everyone in a language they can understand and know how to please Him, honor Him, love Him and obey Him.

If you respond to His love invitation with the simplest belief, He will begin to grow in you and uproot what you may have allowed to have taken over. Bad habits, careless living, disregard.  I know… it sounds a bit overwhelming and complicated, but you know what?  It’s not!  It is His pure love trying to reach out and engage you into a relationship that will secure your happiness and well being for eternity.

That’s a lot longer than a mere one hundred years. He created you because He knew that you would want to live forever if you were living under the right circumstances.  It’s an option. It’s a choice! And it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

You don’t look at someone else to see if you are making the mark. You simply look to Jesus and ask Him to please forgive you for your misunderstandings of the past and also the the things you may have purposely done out of spite or resentment or anger. He knows every minute detail of why you have lived how you’ve lived and He waits for you to recognize His personal once in a lifetime offer.  Pretty amazing huh?

Close your eyes… okay… just one eye and say this…. “Jesus… I am yours! You gave me life and I took it and ran with it and have been doing everything my way. I’m not content with just this life. I want eternal life. I want to personally experience you and your love like no one else.   I’m a sinner. I have really messed up but I want you to change me.  I invite you to come into my heart and take over my body and mind and cleanse me from unrighteousness.  You promised to give eternal life to everyone who accepts it and believes on your name.  Please forgive me for my disbelief and strengthen my belief. Guide me to your truth and to doing whatever your will for me is. In Jesus most precious and honorable name, Amen.”

Now watch what God is going to do in your life.  Each day, open His guide for you and invite the Holy Spirit to lead you into truth and into a relationship with Jesus. He will not deny you.  Always always invite Him in before you begin to read His Word.  Seek His protection from the evil one who seeks to hold you prisoner to this earth. His days are numbered.

I love each one of you. I love God’s creations and I want to spend eternity with each of you. I am praying for you. Because what I didn’t believe was possible, He has proved in my life… that it is! Because of His Almighty Power and offer of salvation to the most vile of sinners.

God bless and guide you in your new life as a New Creation in Him.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog