Posts Tagged ‘Christian Suffering’

But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

“Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder.  Now others are building on it.  But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have–Jesus Christ.  Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials–gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done.  The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.  But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss.  The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”  (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

“Then Jesus left Capernaum and went down to the region of Judea and into the area east of the Jordan River.  Once again crowds gathered around him, and as usual he was teaching them.  Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question, ‘Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife?’  Jesus answered them with a question: ‘What did Moses say in the law about divorce?’  ‘Well, he permitted it,’ they replied.  ‘He said a man can give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away.’  But Jesus responded,He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts.  But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.  This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.’  Later, when he was alone with his disciples in the house, they brought up the subject again.  He told them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against her.  And if a woman divorces her husband and marries someone else, she commits adultery.” (Mark 10:1-12)

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.  What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.”  (Isaiah 5:20-21)

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.  Stay away from people like that!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!” (Luke 17:1)

Last week was a historical week in both the world and for God, as the one nation on Earth that the whole world recognizes as a Christian nation made homosexual marriage legal in all 50 states via a Supreme Court ruling that required literally a majority of 5 votes.  5 people is all it took to pass this “law” and trump the 14 states left in America who were holding on to God’s definition of marriage, which was, is and will always be, the uniting of one man and one woman in a sacred union before God that makes the two of them one.  Therefore, the sexual union of any other variety of participants does not meet the requirements needed to fulfill the definition of sacred marriage before God.

One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms bonded together makes water; no other combination of elements makes water.  Combining other elements together may make a variety of liquids, but calling any of those liquids “water” does not make it so.  For the Christian, one man and one woman bonded together in a sacred union before God makes marriage.  Calling any other union “marriage” does not make it so; it insults God, our Father, and the Author of marriage.

The spiritual implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual “marriage” are enormous, as marriage, to God, is an earthly shadow representation of the Lord’s Heavenly, Holy and perfect order in the spiritual realm.  God created and defined marriage.  The Lord will not be mocked on this matter.  Any Christian who celebrates the “equality in marriage” law that was passed last week in America is deceived.  

The deception threatens the relationship with God of all Christians, not just gay Christians.  A straight Christian does not struggle with homosexual issues, but because of blurred lines on the definition of marriage now, as time passes, more and more straight Christians will find themselves on the slippery slope of not identifying homosexual unions as sin; they are in danger of encouraging and celebrating these unions, which defy the Holy and eternal ways of our Lord.  And if they encourage and celebrate it, they are tempting gay Christians.

I am not addressing the world, but the Church, the followers of Jesus Christ.

The world has always twisted the holy ways and laws of God, for it is completely enslaved to Satan who works incessantly to pervert and flip upside down anything that is sacred.  The world has its ways of doing things like “worship”, “love” and “marriage”, but they are not God’s ways and never have been.  That is nothing new.  The world has a secular version of every sacred thing of God.

No, the world is not the problem.

The Church is the problem.  The watered-down, lukewarm, deceived Church who loves to mingle with and flirt with and prostitute herself to the world; the fickle Church with wandering and batting eyes, who says with her mouth that she loves the Lord while she caresses the world.

If we want to know how this behavior makes God feel, we need only read the Book of Isaiah.

To gay Christians, no, your orientation is not a choice.  You had no say in that matter and your struggles are real, not imagined.  Your desire to experience love, to give it and to receive it, is real.  Your desire to express your love sexually with someone is real.  You do not fit the promiscuous stereotype of wild, perverted sexual immorality.  You just want and need to be loved, to have someone you call your own, to have someone to do life exclusively with. And to do these things with someone of the opposite sex is as foreign to you as doing these things with a person of the same-sex would be to a heterosexual person.  The idea is strange and repulsive.

And yet, when you pursue worldly love like this, you end up hiding from God.  Your conscience weighs on you.  You know you have chosen an idol (worldly love) over God and every day that you wake up and choose that idol, you reject God’s ways and His plan for your life.  Your relationship with God suffers.  You do things to try to nurture your relationship with God; go to church, volunteer, study your Bible, but the void and the shame remain.  God did not create you gay, so you cannot reconcile your desires and behavior with His holiness, and this creates a seeming impossibility for you.

If you are experiencing this, understand that the worldly love you want and need so badly is dominating your thoughts; your flesh is tormenting you and bullying you.  2 Corinthians 10:5 states that, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We do this through the renewing of our minds through God’s Holy Living Word.

You did not choose your sexual orientation, you were born into it, just like everyone on earth is born into sin.  But if you actively pursue the desires of your flesh in this matter, your conscience will convict you.  If you override your conscience for the sake of having a romantic relationship, you may actually succeed in hardening your heart about it so that your conscience does not bother you anymore.  That IS your choice.

But know that everything will be subjected to the refining fires of God’s judgment and anything done apart from Him will be burned up.  We are born naked into this world and we leave this world just as naked when we die.  You cannot take your worldly love with you; it ends when you die.  And, your ‘love’, having been done outside of the holiness of God’s will, it will be burned up on judgment day.  You will have nothing to show for all your time spent in your ‘marriage’.

So what? Are you supposed to just not have anyone to love?  Are you supposed to go through life alone while everyone else you know has someone to experience life with, to marry, to raise a family with, to grow old with?

If you are asking yourself these questions and you think you are hopelessly alone, you are wrong and really quite a bit self-absorbed.  Beware of pity as it is one of Satan’s most effective tools to destroy people with.  There are straight people all over the world asking the same questions.

But any of us who look further into the future than THIS DAY, hoping for this and that, are in danger of temptation and being deceived.  

We are to be grateful for this day we’ve been given.  We are to focus on our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We are to be one with Him.  We are to follow Him.  We are to follow in His ways and obey His commands.  We are to live quiet, productive lives, serving others, spreading the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus BY THE WAY WE LIVE.  

Choose today whom you will serve.  And when you make that choice, stop complaining that life is not fair and that you got ripped off.  Christians suffer for Christ as Christ suffered for us.  If your suffering is in the form of ‘loneliness’ because you choose Christ over worldly love, accept your lot cheerfully.  Other Christians are suffering in prison, are living in fear of being ‘outed’ for their Christianity, are being rejected and persecuted by their own families, are being driven from their homes and hunted like animals.  Other Christians are being beheaded and mutilated because they choose Christ over their own lives.  And as we rush faster and faster to the end, all Christians everywhere will suffer.  Suffer your lot joyfully for Christ! Separate yourself from the world while there is still time.

Choose each day whom you will serve and be grateful for this day, the present day.  Be focused on the present day and live it with the Lord if He is the One you choose.

Then you will enjoy His love, His friendship, His companionship, His provision for your every need.  And yes, your “need” for worldly love will take its rightful and proper place in submission to your relationship with Christ.

Straight Christians, please understand that gay Christians carry an enormous burden, as the need to find a partner in life is a basic human instinct and an overwhelming one.  Extend some grace.  Have mercy.  Gay Christians do not fit in anywhere.  They go through life knowing their very existence does not fit the way things are supposed to be and this knowledge alone has driven countless precious people to take their own life.  Jesus’ command to treat others as you would have them treat you applies to straight Christians in a major way in this matter and you will answer for how you treat them and for every idle word you speak to them or about them.  Take heed and do it fearfully and humbly, as the Lord Jesus Christ LOVES them very much.

Never forget that Satan’s endgame is to kill, steal and destroy.  It is his deepest desire to rob every one of us of our eternal inheritance as God’s children.  He covets everything that has been designated to us in God’s love, especially our eternal life.  If he can confuse us as to the ways of the Lord so that we accept the lie over the truth, he will succeed in robbing us of our eternal future.  We must always stay on guard and be alert to everything that is happening so that we can rightly discern the truth in all things.

Lord Jesus, please come soon.  And in all things, may Your will be done.

“After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come.  Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.  For you have given him authority over everyone.  He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.  And this is the way to have eternal life — to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.  I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.  I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world.  They were always yours.  You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me.  They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.  My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.  All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.  Now I am departing from the world, but I am coming to you.  Holy Father, you have given me your name, now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.  During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me  I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.  Now I am coming to you.  I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word.  And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world , but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.  I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one — as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.  I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.  I am in them and you are in me.  May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.  Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me before the world began!  O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.  Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.'” (John 17)

The Living Word of God shares with us Jesus Christ’s last prayer before His crucifixion.  In it, we are allowed a glimpse into the mind, dreams and desires of God Almighty.

Why did Jesus do what He did?  Why did He do miracles? Why did he heal every sick person who crossed His path?  Why did He take the time to teach truth in the Temple every single day?  Why did he take the time to travel to those who didn’t go to the Temple, so that they too could hear the truth?  Why did He turn Himself over to suffer and die a terrible death when He’d committed no crime?

It all comes down to love.

Many of us have experienced the absolute bliss of loving someone and being loved by someone so deeply that we don’t want to be separated from each other even for a moment.  We want to always be in each other’s presence; we feel empty without the other.

Some of us have never experienced this, but long for it.

This ability and capacity for love is straight from the very heart of God.  This is His desire with us.  We see it clearly in Jesus’ prayer, “Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.”  Christ was willing to do whatever it took to make sure we arrive home safely to be with him forever.  With his life, he fulfilled the requirements to make it so and he has entrusted us, whom he calls his friends, to follow in his footsteps and tell the world about him, so that they too may make it home to be with him.

The task is difficult, treacherous, full of suffering and persecution, but we are one with Christ and with each other.  And this is why Christians are also willing to pay whatever price is necessary for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even risking and giving their earthly lives, just as Christ did.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

More than 19 million people in North Korea are forced to worship the Kim Il Sung family, wear their image on their bodies and praise them as they would God.  This ideology or religion is called Juche.

This video documents the task and difficulties of spreading the Good News of Jesus to people who live in North Korea.

Please pray for them, their efforts, their resolve, their protection and for the recipients of the Word of God, that His truth would take root in their hearts in such a way as to not be plucked from them when persecution comes.  Our Lord loves each of them and wants to be with them for all eternity.  Father, may Your Kingdom come!

 

“Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you…” (1 Samuel 12:23a)

We pray for strength for those who are fighting the good fight; who are beaten and murdered for the faith that we claim.  We pray for endurance, that our brothers and sisters facing these hardships might finish the race that has been placed before them.  We pray for courage for those who are stepping into this war zone; they will keep their faith in spite of the fears that they face.  For their selflessness inspires us.  It inspires us to accept our calling to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. But we do not only pray for those who are persecuted, but for those who persecute us.” (backlotmedia)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)