“Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way!” – BUT Whose Will?

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 22:39-46

“…not my will, but yours, be done.”  (v. 42)

To find out what is the will of God and to do it whole-heartedly I want to begin this study with one of my favorite musicals put on film, one that most people are familiar with – The Sound Of Music.

“How do you solve a problem like Maria?”

How do you solve the problem?  The answer is easy – you make her someone else’s problem!  (Captain Von Trapp).

Here’s a girl who’s always getting herself in trouble!  She’s always off doing her own thing!  She doesn’t conform, she doesn’t follow the rules – but she desperately wants to!

Maria was a square peg in a round hole….she wasn’t where she was meant to be, doing what she was meant to do.  Does any of this sound familiar?

On a spiritual level, do you sometimes feel that you’re off “doing your own thing”–not really doing what you’re meant to be doing?  Do you sometimes think that you are trying as hard as you can to be holy; you’re trying your best to do all that is expected of a good Christian–but you never quite seem to make it?   How many times have I personally been in these instances and looked up and yelled:

“HELP ME! Give me solace, Lord!”

Spiritually speaking, perhaps you find yourself as a square peg in a round hole and ask yourself are you where you are meant to be?  Are you doing what you were meant to do?

After watching the movie clips. the Reverend-Mother asked Maria a very significant question,  “What is the most important lesson you have learned here…”  Maria’s response was very profound I thought,  “To find out what is the will of God and to do it whole-heartedly.”  If someone asked me what one lesson have I learned in life I would have to say I have learned “to seek out God’s will and then do it gladly–even if I don’t want to do it!”

In the scripture referenced you can read a moment in the life of Christ about His Father’s WILL and His own WILL where they seem to be at odds with each other.

To put this in context, Jesus was fully aware of His impending death.  He had just spent time in the upper room celebrating the Last Supper with His disciples, preparing them for what was going to happen.

Jesus had now taken them to the Mount of Olives to pray.

The text tells us that this was a regular thing for them to do–but on this particular night, there seems to be a particular tension among them.

For the disciples, the Last Supper had just been a confusing and emotional time.  Jesus had been talking about feeding them with His body and blood, there had been a fight over who was the most important disciple, and Jesus had scolded Peter for asking about the restoration of the nation–and even gone on to tell that Peter would be about even knowing Him–the Peter who Jesus would build His Church upon.  And just before the disciples had left to go to the Mount of Olives, Jesus told them to arm themselves with swords!!!

On the Mount of Olives Jesus commanded them to PRAY–

But the poor exhaustive disciples, like Maria in the Sound of Music, didn’t live up to what was expected of them.

They tried to be “good Christians,” they tried to pray, but sleep got the better of them.

For Jesus, the stress of the situation was obvious, in sweating buckets.  I can almost hear the anguish in His voice as He prays,  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…”

Jesus wanted one thing, but His Father wanted another…

At this moment Jesus wanted to be spared the physical pain and agony, the ridicule and embarrassment, the provocation and aggravation that was to come–God wanted Him to go through it–so the rest of the world could be reconciled to Himself.

Jesus wanted to be spared the defilement of taking on the sins of the world–BUT this was God’s WILL for Him–

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”  (NIV).

And now God’s GRACE…

Those poor disciples!!!  The loved Jesus with all their hearts.  They wanted to please Him, wanted to follow Him–and they did so earnestly.  They wanted to obey Him and live out His leading, even if they didn’t always get it right.  We probably could say that their “hearts were in the right place,”  for they faithfully followed Jesus, even though His teachings didn’t always make sense.  The faithful followed Him, even when they messed up–and when they messed up, they tried hard not to make the same mistake twice.

As for Jesus, He was the dutiful Son!

He knew that His Father knows best.

He knew that His Father’s WILL superseded His own will.

Jesus knew that He had a choice to make–He could follow His own instinct for self-preservation and have the whole purpose of His mission fail, or…

He could submit to His Father’s WILL and believe that “all things work together for good…”  (Romans 8:28)

The dutiful Son loved His Father –

He trusted His Father, He knew that His Father would work everything out for the best.

Jesus was willing to PRAY, “Father, I don’t want to do what you are asking me to do–but I’ll do it anyway if you really want me to!”

How much LOVE, how much TRUST do you need to have in someone before you can say that to them?  I had to think about that for a moment–think how much He loved me to be willing to die for me, for us!  How much He trusted His Father’s will–to be obedient unto death!

Surely Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Jesus was willing to do God’s WILL before His very own…

JUDGMENT in the World –

Ask yourself, Am I like Maria?  Are you like the disciples?

Maybe you’re struggling within the basics of Christian living–perhaps you just can’t stick to this praying and Bible reading every day– “I just can’t seem to find time in my busy life; getting the kids ready in the mornings, keeping the house straight, fixing meals and then doing it all over again each and every day!”

Maybe your struggle is with THE CALLING–maybe you have sensed God calling you out to a particular task, but you don’t want to do that!!!

Given that my calling is teaching, I’m thinking specifically of a call to teach–but there are many other calls and vocations from God too.  Whatever our struggle may be, we must “…find out what is the WILL of God and to do it wholeheartedly.”

GRACE in the World –

The GOOD NEWS is that we can know the WILL of God for us, and the Bible tells us how…

Romans 12:1-2 says,

So the KEY is to present ourselves as living sacrifices–a SACRIFICE is simply something that has been offered.  Something that has been given to God.

Have you given your life over to God…completely?  Isn’t that the first step to take as you seek to discover God’s WILL for your life?

The next step is to… “not conform to the pattern of this world”–we are to be TRANSFORMED by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

“I DARE TO BE DIFFERENT”

Len Ballentine’s chorus says,

I dare to be different, I dare to believe;

I dare to be different, God’s Spirit receives.

I dare to be different, my life sacrificed;

I dare to be different by living like Christ.

Do I “dare to be different”?

Do you “dare to be different”?

Do you dare to SACRIFICE your life to live like Jesus?

In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he tells us that only by offering ourselves–that being available and living a life that’s different from the world around us, that we actually gain the ability to discern what God’s perfect will is for us.

There’s an old cliché that says, God doesn’t look at our ability, rather He looks at our availability.

HOW AVAILABLE ARE YOU?

IS THE LORD THE LORD OF YOUR LIFE?

IS HE THE KING OF YOUR VERY BEING?

My prayer for you is found in the chorus of one of my favorite Praise songs, Reign In Me:

When we sing the words we are surrendering, we are sacrificing ourselves to God.  We are making ourselves available to Him.  We are yielding to His will.

How about you?  Are you willing to make that sacrifice, making yourself available for Him to use you in any situation?

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CREDITS:

PHOTO IMAGES:  Google Image Search

Music Videos:  YouTube.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV); or where noted in the photo/images, or in the text.

 

Living in a Moral Fog

Being in a FOG
Being in a FOG

One Helicopter Pilot’s Story:

A helicopter pilot was flying over Seattle and got lost in the dense fog that rolls in from Puget Sound.  He emerged from the fog and had no idea where he was.  He could see a tall building nearby with people working at their desks, hovered the aircraft near one of the windows holding up a sign asking “Where am I?”  One of the workers wrote a response then held up a sign that said,  “You are in a helicopter.”  The pilot nodded his thanks and flew straight to the airport runway.  One of the passengers quipped, “How could that sign ‘you’re in a helicopter’ help you know where you were?”  The pilot said,  “Simple.  The answer that guy gave me was technically correct, but completely useless, so I figured that must be the Microsoft Customer Relations Building, so I knew where I was!”

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How Can We Know Right from Wrong?

Most of the moral advice today is found in magazines or heard on talk-shows which leads to more confusion.  So how about this advice:

“Let your conscience be your guide”

No, that’s not in your Bible.  Can you guess (no Google-ling please) the original source of the saying?  I thought it came from my mother when growing up; and she no doubt coined the saying from the 1940 Disney movie “Pinocchio”.

In the movie, Jiminy Cricket sang a song to Pinocchio in which he said,  “Take the straight and narrow path; and if you start to slide–give a little whistle, give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide.”

Darn it.  I’ll have the tune embedded in my head while writing the rest of this post!

Can you let your conscience be your guide?

My answer?  YES and NO.

“YES” when you are really young, you should pay attention to your conscience, but as you grow older, we’re going to see dangerous things in letting your conscience be your guide.

Titus 1:15-16  (RSV):

[15] To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.  [16] They profess to know God but they deny Him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed.

“To the pure all things are pure” – What does that mean?

Some people would like it to mean that one can engage in some sort of less than pure entertainment and not be adversely effected by it.  For example, some have said that they could view pornography with their own “purity” (?) that make their observations pure.  They suggest the only way one could be adversely effected by such must have a “dirty” heart (mind) to begin with.

So what is the apostle Paul trying to convey in this passage of Scripture?  Does it mean if I am “pure in heart” in every thing I do, will it be construed automatically as PURE?  Does it mean that a person’s lust, greed, immorality, cursing, cheating and lying are all “PURE” if the person committing them is pure within?  I think that anyone who is rational thinking and dedicated to pleasing the Lord knows better than that.

Spiritual Principles of a Pure Conscience:

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary defines the English word “pure” in Titus 1:15 with the Greek word Katharos, “pure”, from the heart.  In the Greek, there are different words for PURE (“hagnos”); WINE mixed with water may be “hagnos” – pure, “not being contaminated”. But “katharos”, as used in verse 15, implies “when there is the admixture of any element even though the later is ‘pure’ in itself.”

Our English word “conscience” comes from two Latin words:  CON meaning “with” and SCIENCE meaning “to know”.  The New Testament word, sunelesis (Greek), means “to know together”.  Both words have the idea of “knowing with ourselves” or “knowing within ourselves”.

When it comes to MORAL DECISIONS, it means to “understand internally”.

Cain’s Conscience–

In Genesis 4, because of Cain’s outrageous anger, he kills his brother Abel.  Although this act was committed long before the Ten Commandments,  “You shall not murder”, Cain knew instinctively what he had done wrong.

Your conscience is to your soul what your nerves are to your body.  When your hand grabs hold of a hot pan’s handle on the stove, the nerves send a message to the brain: THAT’S HOT!  REMOVE YOUR HAND!

The same is true with CONSCIENCE.  Your conscience is like a warning light telling you what you are about to do is wrong…and if you do it, your conscience says, “See, I told you not to do that!”

Having a God-conscience:

People are born with a sense of right and wrong.  The Bible teaches God provided two solid proofs to point out His existence.

THE FIRST…an external witness of creation.

When you understand the amazing ans awesome order of the Universe around us, you are driven to admit to a higher intelligence that designed all this and created it!

THE OTHER WITNESS to the existence of God is an internal witness-conscience.  The fact that we are born with moral equipment called conscience.  It should prove there is Someone who determines the rightness and wrongness of our actions.  You don’t have to read a written law to know that stealing, killing, and lying are wrong; that’s something everyone instinctively knows.

Romans 2:14-15 says,

[14]  When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law.  [15] They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them].  (Amplified Bible).

Your CONSCIENCE doesn’t make you do right, or wrong, but lets you know when your about to do wrong; makes you suffer when you have done wrong.

Moral Guidance is Contorted–

Our conscience is like a piece of sharp metal within our soul.  It has sharp corners when you are considering doing something wrong; corners that can stab you on the inside.

Filing the Edges
Filing the Edges

However, every time you ignore or deny your conscience, it files down the sharp edges of the metal of steel.  The next time you are faced with the same opportunity to do wrong, conscience stabs you again, but this time, the jab isn’t as sharp.  Over time, as you continually resist the words your conscience brings to mind, sharp edges are worn down until you seldom feel them.

The Bible says, “To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.  They profess to know God but they deny Him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed”  (Titus 1:15-16).  

Have you ever told a lie?  The first time you told a lie you probably felt badly.  But the next time you told it, it became a little easier.  People have convinced themselves that telling a “little white lie” is not actually bad–everyone does it.  Their conscience has become “dulled”.

SO HOW DO WE COME OUT OF THE “MORAL FOG”?

Your CONSCIENCE must be transformed by JESUS.  If you and I could spend our entire lives listening to and obeying our God-given consciences we would live a perfect life.  But God’s Word tells us,  ALL sinned and we fall short of the glory of God.

Have you ever told a lie?

Have you ever cheated or stolen?

Have you deliberately hurt someone?

That’s why ALL of us end up with a messed-up conscience.

Having a Guilty Conscience–

Samuel Langhorne Clemens–pen-name, Mark Twain struggled personally with his own guilty conscience.  In the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, his struggles with conscience came out of Huck’s mouth:

“If I had a yaller dog that didn’t know no more than a person’s conscience does, I would pison him.  It takes more room than all the rest of a person’s insides, and yet ain’t no good, no how.”

When you have a guilty conscience, seems like it’s hard to ignore–but that’s a good sign; shows your conscience hasn’t been completely deadened.

What Do You Do When You Have a Guilty Conscience?

Hebrews 10:22:

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water”  (NIV).

The Bible teaches a guilty conscience is a dirty conscience.  It is like moral filth that you allow to accumulate and then. pollutes your soul.  And when your conscience becomes dirty, it always affects the way you look at yourself and others.

JESUS can do two important things for a “dirty conscience”:

#1.  Your CONSCIENCE must be cleaned by His blood.

When people have a “guilty conscience”, they do all kinds of things to get rid of their guilt.  Certain areas around the world people crawl on their hands and knees up steep mountains to reach a church altar.  Other people throw themselves into religious activities trying to get rid of their guilt.  But the Bible, God’s Word, teaches only one thing to clean a “dirty” conscience–the Blood of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:14:

“How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, Who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own preexistent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God?”  (Amplified Bible)

I have an old Hymn Book I keep close to my computer out of nostalgia from long days past and for reference in writing my blogs.  In writing this past week on  addressing our CONSCIENCE ISSUES that in living, we need to ask ourselves the questions a Hymn writer by the name of Elisha Hoffman asks:

“Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?  Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?  Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?  Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”  [from Are You Washed in the Blood].

#2.  Your CONSCIENCE must be corrected by His Word.

When you become a Christian,  “set your conscience to the Bible-Word of God”.

We READ in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that God’s Word ALWAYS points you to JESUS.  He becomes your standard of right and wrong:

[16] ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;  [17] That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”  (KJV).

When you become a “true believer”; a follower of Christ Jesus, born-again of the Spirit–your determination of right and wrong no longer depends on your CONSCIENCE because you can’t “let your conscience be your guide”.  You come out of LIVING IN A MORAL FOG.

You don’t decide what is right or wrong on how you feel, because you have learned that feelings can be unreliable.  Your standard for MORALITY is NOT what the “majority” in SOCIETY are thinking.

THE “DOINGS”, the “DEEDS” PROVE THE LIE (Verse 16):

“They profess to now God but they deny Him by their deeds”

It is rather easy to talk about God.  The phrase “Thank God!” is probably expressed several million times across the land each day.  What a grateful God-fearing nation we must be!

We notice how at the Academy Awards, so many thanked God for their award.  But the fact remains while one may verbally use the name of God, this doesn’t mean they really know Him.  In fact, it is a false claim to say one “knows God” if they are disobedient to His Word by their deeds. John, the disciple of Jesus, inspired by the Holy Spirit had much to say about this (1 John 1:6; 2:4-6).  

The Scripture passage in Titus 1:16 says those who say nice things about God but will not submit to Him are:

“liars”

“detestable”

“disobedient in nature”

“worthless for any good deed”

That’s pretty strong stuff!

The Pure in Christ Come Out of the Fog–

“…in ALL THINGS, show yourself to be an example of good deeds with PURITY in doctrine dignified”  (Titus 2:7).

The godly man or woman teaches the TRUTH and dignifies it with righteous living (1 Timothy 4:12).  

In front of everyone we come in contact with daily, with a clear (PURE) CONSCIENCE, the proof is in the “doing”.  It is because of the HOPE we have in Christ Jesus we’re motivated to take a stand with a “pure conscience”, even if it is unpopular:

“And everyone who has this HOPE [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless)”  (1 John 3:3 AMP).

Here’s my last question:  Has the fog lifted, can you see the landing lights on the airport runway– can you see God?

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”

–Matthew 5:8–

“Payday Someday”

“Now Enoch, who lived seven generations after Adam, prophesied about these people.  He said, “Look, the Lord is coming with thousands of His holy ones.”  ~  JUDE 1:14

The Invitation Is Given–

Dr. R.G. Lee came to Moody Bible Institute, where he preached his famous message, “Payday Someday” to a crowd of about 4,000.  During his lifetime, he must have delivered that same message over a 1,000 times.  I had one pastor say to us, “I’m going to keep preaching about this topic until you all get it!”

On this particular day, after giving the sermon, he gave an invitation and three hundred people came forward to receive Christ.  After about twenty minutes of extending the invitation, turning to the president of Moody Dr. Culbertson and said,  “I never close a service while souls are still coming”–then turning the invitation over to him.

Dr. Culbertson urged the continued singing of the invitational hymn and another hundred or so came forward.  Finally, he turned the invitation over to Dr. Ironside, pastor of Moody Church and hundreds more responded.  All in all, 600 souls were gathered in to Christ following Dr. Lee’s sermon.

“Payday Someday” is a message people need to hear today.  Dr. Lee’s message must have been much like the message the prophet Enoch delivered:

To execute judgement upon all, and to convict all the ungodly

of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way,

and all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

~ Jude 1:15 ~

The ONLY NAME
The ONLY NAME

The Only Name–

JESUS, it’s the only name people take in vain.  The only name people swear by…

— The ONLY NAME that stirs up hate and venom…

— The ONLY NAME which produces love in the hearts of many who speak it…

— And it is the ONLY NAME that can SAVE US!

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved”  (Acts 4:12 NAS).

No one says, “What in Allah’s name is going on?”  No one texts,  “OMB” for “Oh My Buddha”.  These facts help prove the case of Christianity is…THE TRUTH, and all else is false.  Only JESUS’ NAME has the power and punch behind it to matter.

The Reformed and The Transformed–

“The truth hurts and the truth helps, but truth is never neutral.”

1.  No one ever tells an enemy to ‘go to purgatory‘–there’s no impact in saying so…no truth in that non-existent place.

2.  People try to tell their enemy to ‘go to hell’…a place they supposedly don’t believe exists!

The Free Dictionary gives the following definitions:  REFORMED– “Improved in conduct or character; the removal of faults or abuses.”  TRANSFORMED– “To change markedly the appearance or form of; to change the nature, function, or condition of…”

For over 2,000 years, the name of JESUS not only reformed alcoholics, but transformed them.  And there’s more:

Purified prostitutes/ made liars tell the truth/ turned haters into lovers/ turned wife abusers into docile men/ made whore-mongers faithful/ cleaned up cursing mouths/ has saved souls from hell.

Every other religion on earth has this in common: their founder is today…DEAD!  BUT I can testify: “I serve a RISEN Savior” and that’s why…it is The Only Name!

What’s In A” Name”?

The following EXERCISE was suggested in a piece written by Toni Arden-Richey and Jody Deuisch Moore:

I was recently in a group of graduate students, and the facilitator started by having everyone introduce themselves to the group.  She instructed us to think about our name, and tell the group a story about your name.  It could be how you “got” your name, who named you what and why, or even how your name may have had a positive or negative influence in your life or in the life of someone closely related.  It is amazing how much some people will reveal themselves simply by talking about your NAME.

Philippians 2:10:

“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”  (NIV Bible)

No one will escape that “Name”!

A person doesn’t have to say God’s Name and then attach ‘damn’ after it–to take God’s Name in vain.  What do I mean when it is said, “taking God’s name in vain”?

Anytime, and I mean “anytime” we speak ‘flippantly’, in a way in which we are not talking about Him the way we are supposed to reverently, in truth–that is “taking God’s name in vain”.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Jesus Christ”, and it is obvious they’re not honoring Him in saying it?  Ever called down a person like that?  I HAVE.

If someone spoke of your wife/husband/mother’s name in disgust or in insult, would you defend them?  Have you ever defended your Father in heaven?

Wanna put someone in their place kindly, but effectively?

Years ago, I was playing tennis with a good friend of mine on a hot afternoon.  After missing his backhand shot after a long volley, he shouted out, “JESUS”!  Without thinking if the words that were about to come out of mouth were “kindly”, I yelled back across the net:  “I didn’t know you even knew my Jesus?  He is a close friend of mine too.”  

As my friend went to retrieve the tennis ball, he replied “Yeah, I get your point” and the match continued on.  Was he offended by my comments? I don’t think he was, but I was offended at him using my Lord’s Name JESUS in vain.

The Name of the Lord is Sacred–It Is a Holy Name!

At that NAME–

Angels bow down.

Demons tremble.

Satan has to flee.

We even honor and show respect to names of military generals: MacArthur, Patton, Schwarzkopf, and others.

And When It Comes To Opening Doors…

The name Trump may open doors of finance, Einstein may open doors of brilliance, Michelangelo may open doors of art,  but the NAME OF JESUS will open to you the doors of heaven:

Romans 10:13: 

For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Psalm 8:1:

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!  You have set Your glory on the heavens.”

Psalm 111:9:

He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant to be forever; holy is His name, inspiring awe, reverence, and godly fear.”

NAMES Are Very Significant to All of Us:

The Bible says,  a good name is better than great riches.  

Let me give you some names and then you call out to yourself, the first thing that comes to mind:

—  Judas

—  Thomas

—  Hitler

—  George Washington

What do you think about when you hear the name of GOD?

The Bible has over 300 names of GOD.  That’s because it’s impossible to capture the full character of who He is in one attempt:

Gen. 22 – Jehovah Jirah:  The Lord will provide.

Ezk. 48 – Jehovah Shammah:  The Lord is there.

Jer. 23 – Jehovah Sidon:  The Lord our righteousness.

Exodus 6 – El Shaddai:  The Lord is sufficient.

Exodus 15 – Jehovah Rapha:  The Lord our healer.

Exodus 17 – Jehovah Nissi:  The Lord our victory.

Judges 6 – Jehovah Shalom:  The Lord our peace.

Genesis 14 – Jehovah Elim:  The Most High God.

Matthew 1 – JESUS…there’s just something about that name!

JESUS IS:

The insatiable appetite of the TRUTH, the Trueness of LOVE, the Victory of GRACE, the Visibility of God.  It’s the honey to the taste, harmony to the ear, healing to the soul.

“CHRIST” is His messianic name; He is the Christ, the name that we wear as CHRIST ‘ians.  It’s a special privilege but an awesome responsibility.  Don’t wear the name and not be willing to back it up!

Christianity Is Not Like a Jacket…

It’s like taking JESUS’ name in vain, to casually wear it like a jacket that you can put on or take off, depending on who you’re with at the time and place where you’re at!

The  “CURSING GENERATION”:

We live today in the midst of the most cursing generation in all of human history.  It used to be that profanity was done secretly.  This is not so today.  Now it is heard on the radio, on television, and in the movies.  Movie ratings don’t reveal Christian ‘back-turning’ when the letter L”[Language] is listed.  It is often mentioned and put-off in conversation, “At least they didn’t us any ‘F-bombs’.”

Atheists say ‘hell’ all the time and claim not to believe in it.  Some say hell, and expect to go there, no problem.  And some have been saved from it, yet still say it…what a mockery, what a sad revelation about how many Christians are today.

Getting Back to JUDE’S Warnings, His Prophecies–

 ONE DEFINITION:  Remorse is the state of the truly repentant believer.

But I believe it goes far beyond just saying, “I’m sorry Lord I used your name in vain”.  Or, “I am sorry I cursed out the person in the  car that just cut in front of me.”

REMORSE is but the beginning.  TRUE REPENTANCE… is a change in direction of a habit, or a pattern developed over a period of time.  It is like walking north on a hiking trail and finding yourself down the wrong path.  So you turn 180 degrees and head due south; not NE, NW, W, E… but you turn back to the opposite direction you were headed.  That’s TRUE REPENTANCE!

Not so the ungodly…

JUDE 1:16 (ASV):

“These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their own lusts (and their mouth speaketh great swelling words), showing respect of persons for the sake of advantage.”

While we’ve always had those around us who blasphemed God, they will evidently increase in number as we approach the end of the age.

JUDE tells his readers,  “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).  They told you beforehand,  In the last days (in the end of time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions”  (JUDE 1:17-18 AMP).

I think that they’re already present.  The blatant public use of our Lord’s wonderful name is evidence that we are in the Last Times!

Payday

Those, the ungodly, who use profanity or speak blasphemy have no idea of their actions in fulfillment of biblical prophecies.  Nor do they realize that when the Lord returns, it will be “payday today”  for them.

Is there something we can do as true believers today?

JUDE  said in verses 22-23:

“And refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt.  [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.”  [Zech. 3:2-4]

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Dear heavenly Father, I never cease to be amazed at the unending of Your mercy, patience, grace, and forgiveness.  Thank You for SAVING me and “to the uttermost who came to God through [Christ]” (Hebrews 7:25)–even those who blaspheme against You.  Please give me boldness to speak to those who use Your name in vain and live after their own lusts that they, too, may be forgiven of their ungodly deeds before Jesus comes again.  In His name I pray.  AMEN.

If we truly believe when we pray this prayer…as a result, someone we know will escape “payday someday,” gradually gaining the victory over the habits of his old nature.

*[Recommended Post by The WORD Detective on PROFANITY: WATCHING OUR WORDS! – posted on June 14, 2012]