Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box


5 Comments

Law? What Law? (Part 2)


Is God Mad?

Unfortunately in today’s world many are aligning themselves with the Israelites.
Fear of getting to know God on a personal scale is prominent. Why?

Because people in general including Christians believe God is mad at them.

Questions such as “how could God ever forgive me for what I have done?condiments - Copy

Or “If I get too close to God, will he send me to some remote country on the other side of the world to live out my days in a hut?”

I find it interesting the Israelites knew they were sinning and difficult. Yet instead of consulting the God who gave them shoes and clothing that never wore out they played hide and seek like Adam and Eve.
(Deuteronomy 29:5)

Instead of seeking him on an intimate level, they asked Moses to mediate for them.

Relationships with God are not much different today.

Many use their church faith to connect them or lean on a stronger follower’s faith. And then there is the “well, I grew up in this denomination, so that is what I am.”

Growing up there are certain issues we keep we inherited or find common ground with our parents throughout our lifetime.

However, living on their faith doesn’t work nor will it last.

God wants each of us to seek him personally which is what he intended from the beginning of time.

The laws were many and detailed. After God gave them the Ten Commandments he issued laws for personal property and grievances to instructions on how to build the Ark of the Covenant.

In the book of Leviticus you will find out how to regulate mildew, learn the meaning of what is unclean and find a recipe to make unleavened bread.

If you want a new name for your baby, read the book of Numbers.

God didn’t leave anything out.paperback

The basis for the rigidness was for their benefit.

The laws instilled fear to keep his people from sinning.

Deuteronomy 28 summarizes the blessings and curses imposed depending on how one lived.

The Old Testament Covenant laws were undermined or weakened by sin making it imperfect.

The sacrifices made would not fulfill the righteousness of God. (Galatians 3)

The law could not fulfill the grace of God.

The Commandments could not give life.

All the regulations in the world cannot give any prisoner freedom.

So what does this mean?

The law was set in stone until faith could be revealed.

And stones can break…..

camels

 

 Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


Leave a comment

Law? What Law? (Part 1)


Moses has always had a special place in my heart.  The conclusion for that is my empathy for him in his job as the “Deliverer.”

It wasn’t like he chose to be the leader of a pac of complainers who were given the most miraculous displays of God’s extravagant creativity.steve jobs

As the Red Sea parted did he question the journey he was about to embark upon?

Did it register in his prolific mind the day to day fires he would have to put out?

Did God give Moses a heads up prior to the release of the slaves of his prophetic voice? Or his need for Management Class 101?

And what about law school? As the author of the first 5 books of the Old Testament was Moses given an Honorary Degree from the Exodus School of Law? And what about all those Numbers?

The law was written to give the Israelites a Covenant between them and God.  This relationship recognized Israel as God’s Holy nation. The laws were given to help them understand how to worship God and live life as he planned. The basics were:

  1. Guidance
  2. Rules to live a Holy life
  3. Recognizing sacrifices
  4. Plans for feasts and the Sabbath
  5. Instructions for offerings
  6. Understanding how to receive God’s blessings 

The Ten Commandments gave an outline for stability in following the law. And the law included the consequences, punishments and written results of curses if broken. In laymen’s terms the law was an Old Testament temporary solution to a permanent one to come.

John 3: 36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

An excellent point to make in the Jews observance of God’s law was that they didn’t; or not very well. The actuality of their confirmation was made when Moses went up to God on Mt. Sinai.

“We will do everything the Lord has said.” (Exodus 19:8) God made it clear to Moses the people of Israel would be his “treasured possession” out of all the nations if they obeyed him and his covenant.

Moses made numerous trips up and down the mountain to communicate between God and the people. After he brought the two tablets with the Ten Commandments to the people, they became so afraid of God who was making a lot of noise they chose not to hear from him directly. Instead they wanted Moses to speak for him.

Fear drove them.

Fear was imputed by God to his people to keep them in line.

Fear implemented the laws.

Exodus 20: 20-21 “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.”

Fear kept the Israelites from choosing to have direct communication with God.

Do you think that happens today?

To be continued…..

Colored christmas glass balls isolated on whiteColored christmas glass balls isolated on whiteColored christmas glass balls isolated on whiteColored christmas glass balls isolated on whiteColored christmas glass balls isolated on white

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


5 Comments

The Agressors of Arrogance


Traveling the same road for years to the store are some areas that have taken a hit as far as progress goes. As if time stands still many houses are old and run-down. Most likely families have remained never moving anywhere else. This is the deep- south where life is slower; people are generational but true to their heritage.trust me

One particular house has always caused me to look a little deeper.

With white painted wood on the outside, it is rather dilapidated and old. It has potential, but definitely needs a lot of TLC. The structure isn’t what catches the eye but the front yard.

A chain linked fence that once use to go around the house is bent and partially gone. Covering the fence is a massive dead tree uprooted from the ground. The limbs extend over much of the yard revealing the demise was long before we arrived 6 years ago.

The size of this tree is so large the culprit that took it down had to have been a tornado or most likely a hurricane that blew in from the coast.  No one has made any effort to remove it even though it is an eyesore.  Who knows if it was too costly or a reminder of days past; whatever the reason I am always curious as to the story behind it.

Driving past it yesterday I sensed the evil that extracted the roots of such a colossal plant. Power so strong the ground probably shook when it fell.

However on either side of this plot of land home to this ugly dead tree, was an upgrade of life.  A few flowers here and there, with some shrubs or plants lining the area.  Not a huge bump of landscape but enough to notice.

God reminded me of David and Goliath.

David: The Bible Mini-series

David: The Bible Mini-series

David, the unlikely aggressor took to the stage of the Philistine’s mockery and came out swinging.  Unafraid, the sheep herder picked up stones and vowed to end this 40 day display of arrogance & taunting.

David didn’t look at the Philistine. He set his gaze beyond the giant and saw his God.

Placing his faith in the God of Israel, he knew before he threw the stones the fight was already over.  The Philistine and his armored militia never saw the curtain fall on their bad acting.

Just like the ugly dead tree, God surrounds evil with his good. The appearance of a “shroud of doom” covering our land, are the “David’s” who are resting in the shadow of the Almighty waiting to trample the great lion and the serpent.

We as Christians must do as David did and look past, over, around or under the destruction that blocks our way.  What we see is temporary; what is unseen is eternal.

 We have the same God David did.  

2 Chronicles 20: 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

No matter how many “Goliath’s” are out there, God is bigger than all of them.  Trust him to give you a sling shot and the ability to carry out his purposes.

What are you waiting for? Go find your rocks.

line5line5line5

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/bearers-of-light/

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/i-believe/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


3 Comments

Tough Love? And you think being a Christian is easy…


555697_535866669797427_820412887_nIt is hard.

Wearisome

Tiring

Difficult

Lonely

Different

Crazy

Off the wall

Argumentative

Questionable

A very long journey

Life-threatening

The list goes on and on. So why do we believe it?

It is true. Right. It works. It beats any other alternative I have tried.

One area of following Jesus many Christians don’t understand is it is full of “tough love.”

If it weren’t for tough love the church may not have started. After all Peter denied Christ 3 times. But after Christ was resurrected, Peter marched into society preaching with a vengeance all the while enduring major persecution.

Peter from the Bible Mini series

Peter from the Bible Mini series

Moses would never have led the Israelites out of Egypt unless God had not been tough on him. It took him 40 years in the desert for God to prepare him for one of the greatest miracles ever. Which was harder? Getting Pharaoh to release them or dealing with their constant complaining and stubbornness?

The story of Joshua intrigues me. Not only did God place him in the footsteps of Moses ( a hard act to follow) he had to listen to the Angel of God’s Army tell him to march around the walls of Jericho 6-7 days carrying the Ark of the Covenant, and on the 7th day march around 7 times and then shout. And God said, “For you Joshua, he will split Rock.” And God did. The walls came tumbling down. The ground shook and split. But…can you imagine Joshua having to tell the Israelite fighting army such a crackpot story?

Joshua leading the Israeli Army around Jericho

Joshua leading the Israeli Army around Jericho

Noah was the town joke. He built this very large boat because it was really going to rain; a lot.

Abraham had to tell Sarai she would have a baby. Forget that she was wayyyyyy too old.

Oh and the guys who got thrown into the fire and didn’t burn or even smell like smoke?

Daniel, poor prophet. Who would believe he survived being thrown in a dingy dungeon with grown, large mouthed hungry lions for 24 hours?

And then of course there is Paul. The hated Jewish Pharisee created a story of an overnight conversion after beating and killing Christians. God politely hit him on the head and blinded him for 3 days to get his attention. SURE. RIGHT. Likely story.

I wouldn’t call any of these somewhat bizarre, crazy unbelievable stories easy. The suffering endured trying to get people to hear and understand how Jesus walked on water, healed the sick on the spot and that he died and went to hell and woke up on Sunday morning. And to think he didn’t even have a headache after 72 hours of changing the world.

This is what you call, “tough love.”  And in our society and day we don’t know what that means.

You get slapped upside the head with who knows what and someone tries to tell you you’ve got it all wrong. You are omitting the real issues; your focus is off the target, you aren’t listening.

Then when you get crammed into a wall unable to move you wonder why.

God loves us. What we so often miss is his training or classes includes losing friends, family, finances, health and your dog.  Believe me I know because I have been through all of that.

We think we know better than God how to fix ourselves, others or the immense falling apart we are experiencing.  It is trifle to speak of but so true that God will not force us to do anything. Maybe that would be easiest for us but then we wouldn’t have learned his teaching of how to empty ourselves of self. Pride steps in and we begin teaching God.

“God, I can do this. I know I can fix all of this.”

That is a lie from the pit of hell with self-sufficiency written all over it.

And for your information if you think that, believe that and have the utter ignorant audacity to tell God, believe me he will move out of your way. He will allow you to use your independent, self-reliant stupidity to fall flat on your face over and over if that is what it takes. He is patient.

Take into account the Christian who has the nerve to tell you the truth especially if it isn’t what you want to hear. This is a sign of their love for you and your circumstances because doing so is at the risk of losing you. It is a God-given trait to tell the truth because it means that person is more interested in your soul than being a part of your life. In other words it is like God trying to save us from our own personal hell while keeping us out of hell.

That my friends, is tough love so get used to it.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

And now; some articles from some blogging friends:

http://jsparkblog.com/2013/04/04/humble-growing-pains/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/to-be-little-in-your-own-eyes/

http://godrocksmyworld.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/the-bright-side-of-the-week-hebrews-121-3/

http://justinleetalbert.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/jesus-credibility-on-the-line/


2 Comments

The Latest in Stupid


Heil halfwit: Greek soccer player gets lifetime ban after Nazi salute

He claims he didn’t know what it meant and wouldn’t have done it had he known.

Teen shoots himself in the groin, blames suspiciously unsubtle ninjas

The truth was he has “gang” ties. He was in the car playing with the gun when it discharged.

The choices or decisions we make often come back to haunt us.

Or end our careers.

Or land us in the hospital from a self-inflicted accidental wound.

Consequences may not show up for days, weeks or years but it is one thing in life you can count on. Repercussions don’t just go away.

Then there are those desperately stupid choices like:_TheBibleMiniseriesTrailer_712424367

Robber in bank in New York only gets away with lollipops.

The robber handed the teller a note and told her he had a bomb. She told him to fill out a withdrawal slip and he ran away but not before grabbing a bunch of lollipops from the bowl on the counter.

Watching the first two episodes of the mini-series “The Bible” again yesterday before the new one began at 8pm, I was struck with the absolute stubborn foolishness of Pharaoh. His refusal to “let God’s people go” was in an all-out effort to prove he was God himself.

I can’t believe he was illiterate or incompetent; unwise and thoughtless? YES.
Reckless and arrogant? YES. Cruel and heartless. YES.

His obstinate and pig-headed decisions initiated the ruin and downfall of Egypt and the loss of many lives including his first born son. So much for thinking our judgments don’t affect those around us.

The Walls of Jericho surrounded the Canaanite’s who inhabited the “Promised Land” of the Israelites. Before God sent Joshua in with his army to take it over, word had reached Canaan of “the God of Israel” and his power. They were filled with fear and yet they fought against them and lost.  What should they have done?

The Philistines persistent and inflexible desire to control and annihilate the Jews was met with the muscles of Samson, “The Nazarite.”  This fatal determination incensed him to the point of exerting his wrath on any of them who crossed his path. Having been chosen by God, his strength was unmatched.the-bible-episode-2-homeland

Judges 16:30 “Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”

In the end, he killed nearly 3,000 enemies of Israel.

Who can forget the senseless and jealous acts of King Saul? As David, a shepherd boy killed the giant Philistine, he gained the love and adoration of Saul’s kingdom. He became an ardent swordsman in the army of the Lord. Saul was overcome with envy of David’s success and popularity; so much so it all but drove him mad. And I don’t mean just angry. Saul went mental.

Instead of embracing the love David had for him and the position God had crowned him with, Saul allowed his emotions to get in the way of living as a wise King.  He also put many including his own family members in harm’s way. He died a broken king due to his own idiocy.

The ages have not changed much. Stubbornness and unyielding pride remain in the forefront of society.

Whether it be an evil salute or suspicious ninjas we have not outgrown the vanity of an egotistical Egyptian leader or the smugness of a Philistine army.

When will we ever learn?The-Bible-Miniseries-300x199

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://vineoflife.net/2013/03/18/understanding-redemption/

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/c-s-lewis-daily-63/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/as-we-seek-to-be-closer-to-him/

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


8 Comments

The Golden Calf Party


Peace and quiet are two cornerstones of life. Focus requires it. Success needs it.

In this society you have to fight to get it. It is worth it once you do.

The person, who doesn’t have it, is the one who treasures it.

Running around, kids screaming, bosses arguing, families fighting is not the life God intended for his people.

It is impossible to fulfill your calling if you are constantly plagued with unnecessary distractions or disorder.

Moses’ job as the “Deliverer” wasn’t his choice of a career. He was unqualified he thought but God qualified him. No wonder God gave him 40 years in the desert. Once he returned to Egypt to deliver the Israelites, he maybe wished he could go back to the quiet, peaceful life as a Sheep herder. At least the sheep didn’t complain.

The Israelites were not easy people to hang out with. Moses played many roles besides the “Deliverer.”

Chief Judge, Marriage Counselor, Leader, Prophet, Author, Party Pooper are a few to mention.
It is evident by the tone of the people, their constant complaining and in-fighting they were not the easiest crew to deliver.

Moses had to keep his focus not only for God to use him but for his sanity!

Can you imagine what he thought when he came down the mountain after 40 days to an all out Golden Calf Party? Let’s just say he and God were un-happy campers.

Exodus 34:28 “Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant–the Ten Commandments.”

His job was hard enough without the Israelites playing around the campfire. Talk about losing your focus. Forget peace and quiet; and running away was not an option.

Leading a bunch of ornery people out of the desert, through a river to the “land of opportunity” is not my idea of a good time. Ornery people?  Maybe Moses looked for the nearest Library where he could hide between the book shelves.

Besides their contrariness, they thought Moses was, well, a little off? Maybe a little obsessed with this God thing?

Think about it. Who in their right mind would choose to deliver anyone, much less a few million who had been cooped up for 400 years?

Moses had to fight for his solitude.

Moses had to get quiet to hear God speak.

Moses had to remain focused on the journey; the goal he was anointed for.

A remote removal from losing his focus could have cost him.

The Israelites didn’t share his focus. Why would they? They thought he was a crackpot giving them a way out of Egypt.

After 400 years of bondage to what appeared to be some rather unyielding and demented lunatics for Pharaoh’s, they didn’t care if Moses only had one wheel in the sand. At least he was doing what no one else showed up to do.

It is imperative as a disciple of Christ to know your calling, keep focused on it and remove whatever needs to be removed. When you keep your focus, wrong relationships will die, and new right relationships will be born.

The Israelites were God’s chosen people. He removed them from the Egyptians who were going against everything God chose for them. And….if you remember in the Book of Exodus, the Pharaoh became even more hostile, and angrier the more Moses kept his focus on delivering the people.

When you keep your focus, wrong people will fall away because they can’t bear to be around you. You represent everything they are not.

When everything around you is falling apart, keep your focus on your calling.  Like Moses, leaders are born out of an obsession for their goal.

And like Moses, he maybe fell out of the “Family Tree” but he still became the “Deliverer.”

http://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/beauty-in-misery/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/archaeology-and-the-bible/

http://iambecomingme.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/exhausted/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/09/03/quote-illegitimately/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved