Archive for the ‘A Broken and Contrite Heart’ Category

What is Stored Up In You?

January 19, 2017

As I witness the continual, never-ending calamity going on within our political system, I decided to find out the truth behind it all.   The reasons for my search include the following:

  1. The horrible rhetoric that comes from certain individuals in Congress.
  2. The pundits on TV who agree with such harmful words (and their motives behind it all).
  3. The hatred spewed daily by the Hollyweird crowd.
  4. The radical and dangerous groups that have chosen to do evil and plot schemes to cause disruption and outright harm to the Americans attending the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as our next President of the United States.What is the underlying cause?

    I decided to go to the Bible to help me figure out and understand why many persons on the far left choose to be so vicious against (and highly disparaging of) their opponents (especially Christians!) on the right.

Those words spoken by Jesus in John 16:33 are a continual comfort to me!  We are to expect trouble and tribulation in this temporal world, but Jesus has overcome the world!  As believers and followers of Him, what could be better than all of His promises to us?

When addressing the Pharisees in Matthew 12:22-37 (who accused Jesus of casting out demons through the power of Satan) in Matthew 12:22-37,  Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”  Matthew 12:35 NIV

 

Jesus was telling us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts.  What comes out of the mouth is an indication of what your heart is really like.

When Jesus began his ministry on earth, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17b

We know that well-known people (i.e. athletes, celebrities, politicians, even religious leaders) make public apologies.  However, it begs the question:  Are they truly sorry or sorry they were found out?

Only God knows, of course.  We could phrase it another way and say if people (including us) are sorry for sins, shouldn’t they (we) come forth on their (our) own before they (we) are called out?

In 2 Corinthians 7:9 we are shown the fruit of genuine sorrow.

“Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.  For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”

We recognize that “godly sorrow produces repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  That is, when we are truly sorry about something, it will be evidenced by our repentance–which includes confession, asking forgiveness, and restitution where it is needed.

The NIV version of 2 Corinthians 7:10 reads:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

We could contrast the obvious godly sorrow that Peter felt when he denied Jesus three times (which Jesus predicted he would do even before it happened!) vs. the worldly sorrow that Judas felt when he tossed the 30 pieces of silver back to the Pharisees and then ended up hanging himself.

Compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’s bitterness and act of suicide.  Both disowned Christ.  One repented and was restored to faith and service, the other took his own life.  Worldly sorrow leads to death.  Not only death in this earthly life, but also eternal death.

Another example is the two thieves on either side of Christ as he hung on the cross.

Luk 23:39

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,[fn] save Yourself and us.

Luk 23:40

But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

Luk 23:41

“And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”

Luk 23:42

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[fn] remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Luk 23:43

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

It is never too late to repent!  Right before the thief’s death, he acknowledged his sin and asked Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom!

Paul told us that there is a false kind of sorrow–the “sorrow of the world.”  And that sorrow leads not to repentance but to “death.”  Yes, sins and errors of judgment are embarrassing and sometimes shameful.  But when their magnitude is truly realized, godly sorrow always leads to repentance–a change of mind and direction.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:

“Christianity starts with repentance.”

Very true!  The term “repent” appears in the Bible 33 times in 32 verses.

John the Baptist, who was prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 urged people to repent:

Mat 3:1

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

Mat 3:2

and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Mat 3:3

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’ ”[fn – Isaiah 40:3]

More prophecy fulfilled from (4:16)

Isaiah 9:1, 2

 

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

There is a Proverb that reads:

For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.  Proverbs 24:16

There is another Proverb that reads:

Do not envy wicked men, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble.   Proverbs 24:1-2

Since there is none who are righteous (see Isaiah 64:6 and Romans 3) God sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins and reside in our hearts (through the Holy Spirit)  as His righteousness within us!

Jesus’ shed blood at the cross was the propitiation for our sins; and believing in Him, confessing and repenting of our sins, is the only way back to God.

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The Political Version of Adam’s Excuse to God

January 26, 2016

It is very, very sobering to realize and admit that we are all complicit in the evil. Black3Actual over at Oil For Your Lamp has written a post that brings one to the conclude with the fact that only Jesus Christ can save us from ourselves! This becomes more and more evident to me with each passing year, month, week, day, hour, minute, and second!

Jesus Christ, our good shepherd, is the world’s one and only true hope!

The wise still seek Him!

~ Christine

Thanks for this post, Joe. Needed to be said, written and shared.

The Oil for Your Lamp

When I saw this picture, all I could think about was the excuse Adam gave God for eating the forbidden fruit:

“It’s not my fault; that woman you gave me made me do it.”

my country

View original post 1,301 more words

Hard Hearts Need to be Broken

January 3, 2016

As we look around the world today, there is no doubt about the proclamation of biblical truth which tells us that the closer we get to the end times, “the love of many will grow cold.”

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

In fact, read the entire account in Matthew 24!

This passage begins with the disciples asking Christ what the signs will be of His return.

Mat 24:3

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Jesus begins with a warning:

Mat 24:4

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Deception, in its many forms, runs deep today!

  •  Radical Islam and the satanic terrorism they invoke in order to kill, steal and destroy.
  • The lying and deceitful false flag operations of our government in order to brain-dirty the minds of the people against our second amendment rights.
  • The “black lives matter” movement propaganda designed to entice the ignorant to hate and kill police, white people, babies in the womb and anyone else they deem unworthy or matters little in this life.
  • The lies and treasonous acts of politicians that go unchallenged and unpunished.

I could spend the entire day listing all of the deceptions going on! And, if you read all of Matthew 24 you will notice how accurately Jesus predicted the future [NOW!] where we would experience the “birth pangs” of the end times!

There are politicians out there – some better than others – who are using great sounding slogans to get voters to follow their campaigns in the hopes of becoming the next President of the United States.

Make America Great Again” – Donald Trump

“A New American Century” – Marco Rubio

“Courageous Conservatives, Reigniting the Promise of America” – Ted Cruz

“Heal, Inspire, and Revive” – Ben Carson

“Join Us to Restore a Safer, Stronger, Freer America” – Jeb Bush

“Donate to my campaign” – Hillary Clinton [Well, that’s what I saw before being able to view her campaign site!]

“Can you make a contribution to our campaign?” – Bernie Sanders Further down in the paragraph he says, “I believe America is ready for a new path to the future.” [Hey Bernie! Socialism DOES NOT WORK and has been a disaster the many decades to those nations that have succumbed and suffered under despots teetering on [and then enacting]  communism!]

No matter who becomes president, the mess inherited from B. Insane 0bama will be awful! It will take decades to fix and it will probably get even much worse over the next year of  fairy tale “climate change,” taking away gun rights, as well as socialism and Islamism being pushed upon us!  The “cope with the chains” that have continually been illegally put upon Americans over the past 7 years of devastation will take a lot of time to unravel and most likely would never be solved by one presidential term!

Being Christians, we know that by following and adhering to Christ we are not to be of this world.

Rom 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

So, what is the antidote against the many ills of this fallen world?

As you will notice, the antidote is not what worldly adherents would tell you!

The Bible tells us:

Psa 34:18

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psa 51:17

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

When I ran a message board back in 2007, a visitor named “Rocky” often posted very profound messages that he wrote in prose through his  study of the Bible and the Gospel of Christ. I would like to share one of them which discusses the need for us all to understand that “Hard Hearts Need to be Broken.”

~ Christine

*******

Hard Hearts Need to be Broken

by Rocky Chambers

I saw crumbs falling from the table of God

Many were hungry dogs ravenously devouring these crumbs

Then I saw that each dog was a man I knew

And that each crumb was something that had fallen into this world

These desires where endless appetites, as hunger and thirst that could never be quenched

I looked and I saw some crumbs in my own hands

The Lord then said to me, ‘put those down son and come eat at my table’

I answered, ‘what about these, will they not come too’?

The Lord answered,  ‘these are those of whom it is written,

‘you have forsaken me the spring of living waters

You have dug your own cistern which can not hold water’

I pondered the meaning of this and then the Lord continued,

‘these are like dogs at the children’s table

Although they eat, they are never satisfied

The crumbs from my table whet their appetites

But they never come to the table to eat with me

They are always discontented and dissatisfied

Their hearts are bitter and calloused

Their desires weary and fatigue them

They are like restless and discontented children’

Ever demanding this or that but are never contented

They do not know the secret to contentment

Their desires wound them and disturb them

Like wind blowing across open waters brings the sea to a rage

Their hearts are troubled and easily become enraged

This is their bitterness and what hardens their hearts’

Then I saw my heart on a great anvil

The Lord brought down a great hammer and struck it with a mighty blow

My heart was broken and I wept bitterly

The tears were the bitterness of my heart being poured out

Then as I looked again the Lord had replaced my heart with a new heart

A hearing heart, a heart of flesh

And He said, ‘If only they would be broken

Hard hearts need to be broken

Then they would hear, and turn and I would heal them

Then they would become land that drinks in the water

That produces a crop useful to me’


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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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