RESUMING THE RACE

 

What a joy it is to see new Believers get excited about their life in Christ.  There is an exuberance of emotions that dwarfs anything they had previously experienced.  They have a desire to pursue anything that will assist them in their spiritual journey.  They can’t get enough of the Word.  Their prayer life is an on going conversation with God.  They see things in a whole new perspective.  Every time the doors of their worship centers are opened, they are there.  Filled to overflowing, they then look for opportunities to share their faith.  They search for those who resemble their “old creature” and offer them a life line that will lift them from the miry clay onto a rock of unfaltering Truth.  They experience a lifestyle that is based upon a relationship instead of a religion.  Everyday is an opportunity to climb to new heights.  They don’t know how to “play” church for they realize they are the Church.  Their words are the language of the Kingdom, not the world.  They don’t blend in; they stand out. Their countenance radiates their new life in Christ.  They are so contagious that they affect all those with whom they come into contact.  These followers of Jesus are not finger pointers but hand raisers.  They do not judge others; rather, they witness about the love of God.

What I do not understand is how we start off sprinting for the Kingdom, but quickly revert to jogging.  Before we realize it, we are just walking, and then we simply stop exerting spiritual energy and stand still.  Finally, we just sit on our faith and become a spectator.  Where has our zeal gone?  Why is it so easy to lose our excitement for the faith?  God has not limited our “showers” of blessings, but we have put up our umbrellas of indifference.  WHY?

Much of the responsibility for our faded zeal is directly related to our lack of interest in one another.  The Bible commands us to seek after those things “where-with one may edify another.”  (Romans 14:19)  We are called upon to help people grow in the faith. (Romans 15:2)  We are called to love each other, which is an ingredient to building up one in the faith. (I Corinthians 8:1)  Sharing the Word with one another is a form of edification. (II Corinthians 10:8)  Our whole objective in life should be to help the unbeliever experience Jesus Christ and to assist Believers in their spiritual walk. The goal of the Ministry Gifts is to edify the Believer. (Ephesians 4:12)  The Bible is full of examples where the Believer is called upon to prefer one another before himself.  Instead of self serving, let us be a waiter and serve one another.  Let us see the opportunity to help each other as an evidence of the reality of our faith.  Instead of continually asking God to bless us, let us learn to be a blessing to others, and then we will experience the blessings of the Kingdom.

When we lose the vision of reaching out to others, it won’t be long before we will become spectators instead of participants in the race of life.  Remember when you responded to God’s invitation through someone else’s prompting?  Remember when you were losing your spiritual stamina and someone was there to encourage you?  Remember when you felt discouraged and someone cared enough to bring you a dose of encouragement?  How about that time you felt no one cared about you, and just when you were ready to throw in the towel a “care package” arrived in the in the form of a concerned friend?  Maybe its time we became a Life Guard to struggling Believers.  Let us get spiritually excited once again by reaching out to others!

 

 

HOW DID YOU GET THERE?

 

Have you ever wondered how you got where you are spiritually?  How did Truth find its way into your life?  Did your journey begin at adolescence?  What role did your parents play in your “religious” training?  Maybe you were a late spiritual bloomer.  Were you influenced in your decision making by friends?  What about those in a position of authority such as a pastor, teacher, or evangelist?  Maybe bible school or correspondence classes helped promote your spiritual growth.  I thank God for all those who played a role in my Christian walk, but at the same time, many of the things that I was taught did not fully line up with Scripture.  Much of the trouble within the Christian movement today is based on human tweaking of the Word of God.  The theological term for this is EISEGESIS which is the process of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces one’s own presuppositions, agenda, and biases into the text.  So many Christians today are walking illustrations of human interpretation of Divine Truth.  If we look objectively at the Church, we see a fragmentized and scattered body of Believers who are so steeped in the use of eisegesis that real Truth is hard to find.  So many Christians are malnourished due to receiving Biblical food that contains so many human ingredients.  Is it any wonder a growing number of Believers are leaving the Church in search of the “promised land”?  A place where giant clusters of grapes await their hungry spirits?

The Apostle Paul stated he was not taught the Truth by any man, but received his teaching “…by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12)  I realize the importance of ministerial gifts, but what it comes down to is verifying the Truth through one’s own spirit.  Through the years, I have met many people that are so steeped in interpretive theology that they parrot any teaching they have received as infallible.  Some time ago, I met an individual who was eager to share his Scriptural understanding.  When I asked him how he came up with his interpretation, he said it was what his church believed.  He was passing on what had been drummed into his mind as truth.  This individual accepted what was being taught without any verification by the Holy Spirit.  People will defend denominational interpretations to the point of judging others who do not agree with their “church’s dogma.”  Is it any wonder the Body of Christ is so divided?

We must stop defending “adoptive” theology and seek the Truth through the Holy Spirit.  Pray for your pastor/teacher that he may hear, and then share, the revealed Word of God with his flock.  When revealed Truth is presented, we will see a harvest of spiritual fruit that will fill not only hungry Believers, but will also draw people to the Faith.

Let us learn to study the Word EXEGETICALLY, which is the process of drawing out the meaning from a Scripture in accordance with its context and intended meaning.  Our tutor through this experience is the Holy Spirit.

Not too far from Thessalonica in Macedonia, there was a group of Believers in the city of Berea that loved to hear the Word of God.  The only difference with this group was that any preaching/teaching they received had to be verified by their own searching of Scriptures. (Acts 17: 11)  Let us not be quick to adopt whatever teaching comes out of the mouths of spiritual leaders.  Let the Holy Spirit confirm its validity through our opening of the Word.  Accept the Truth, through verification by the Word!  I have always taught that people need to hear the Word and then go home and check it out themselves.  Too many hear, read, and see the presented word without any thought of whether it is man initiated or God directed.  How did you get where you are spiritually?  The validity of your statement will be the evidence you display.

 

ARE WE FUELING THE FIRE?

 

What has happened to the Body of Christ?  The Church was once the most respected organization in our Country.  Its people were from every walk of life: from the factory worker to the politician, from the unemployed to the employed, from the poor to the rich, from sport personalities to leaders in the entertainment industry, from the uneducated to the highly educated; they were all a part of the Body of Christ.  There was no embarrassment to being an active member of the Church.  No one was ashamed to share their inner joy with a “whosoever.” The Gospel was shared from schools to places of employment, from playgrounds to political edifices.  The message from the Christian was that there was a new and living way to experience life.  Christians shared their faith with a gentleness and excitement that would not offend their hearers.  They became a living example of what an abundant life was all about.  The Bible was the life manual that contained the answers to the challenges that life might throw their way.

Today, so many Believers have become militant and offensive.  Instead of presenting love to the spiritually challenged and ignorant, there is a resolve to attack “the enemies” misguided ways.  Instead of reaching out with an olive branch from Gethsemane, we have displayed a two-edged tongue that gives two different messages.  Instead of sharing the Truth with Grace, we judge others with the Law and intolerance.  One of the reasons I am not a fan of the social media is because many Christians are using that as a tool of division.  As the media has become the avenue of promoting the ISIS news, the Lord’s army is using the social media to promote what Satan’s army is doing!  When the Christians revert to counterattacks, we have lost our true perspective.

The question the Church needs to ask itself is what is our objective in countering the challenges against the Body of Christ?  Is it to lead people to the answer, or is it to destroy the enemy?  Is it to challenge their negative statements and actions, or is it to neutralize their attacks with positive examples of the love of God?  Is it to defend the Faith, or expand the Faith?  So many Christians gather incorrect facts from the internet and pass it on as truth.  If they have read it or heard it from the print or airwaves, it must be right!  To me, the greatest damage to the Kingdom of God has been from within the Church.  When Christians stop judging and condemning and start loving and commending, we will once again become the people God has called us to be!

The Church is not called to punish the non-believers, but to love and forgive them.  Much of what we see happening in America is a result of factual ignorance.  Satan has blinded the eyes of so many to the Truth that all they see are things through their senses.  Instead of picketing for the Kingdom of God, let us display the Kingdom that is within us.  Instead of promoting what is wrong with America, let us share what is right with America!  Instead of berating those who oppose our beliefs, let us demonstrate to them what a true Believer is like!  The more we exhibit a Christ like behavior, the greater the opportunity to reach those of the world.

The Bible tells us that we are to be an example to the world by “…word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12)  We are called to show others our lives with “meekness of wisdom.” (James 3:13)  The Bible says as we show our good works, the world will see and will be drawn to God. (I Peter 2:12)   Are we building the Kingdom of God or fueling the fire of adversity?  Are we a part of the answer or are we magnifying the problem?

 

 

NEGLECTED TREASURES

 

One of my favorite Hymns is “Leave It There” by Charles Tindley.  I guess I should clarify what a Hymn is, for it has become an antique in so many churches.  In many assemblies the hymnals have disappeared into storage or packed into time capsules to be opened sometime in our great-great-grandchildren’s future.  Some churches have decided to send their hymnals to those who live in less fortunate countries.  What is a Hymn?  Simply defined it is a religious ode (poem) that is characterized by lofty feelings and expressions.  It is to celebrate God in song.  (Definition by Thayer)  At the Last Supper, Jesus led His disciples in a hymn to celebrate the majesty of God.  Just think of it, about to go into the Battle of Gethsemane and a sleepless night leading to the awaiting cross, Jesus, along with His friends, sings about God!  (Matthew 26:30, Mark 14:26)  Throughout the ages, men and women have been moved by the Holy Spirit to write expressions of awe and celebration to the One who makes life worth living.  The anointed composers put into words their life changing experiences with their Lord and Savior.  What testimonies!  It is a shame we have buried these anointed songs.  Maybe we have become the less fortunate.

We have all experienced burdens in our life, but how we deal with those burdens is where differences arise.  Some try to carry their burdens to the point of either experiencing the victory or crashing and burning.  Being humans, we have a tendency to use our senses as a gauge for judging our performances.  The more our carnal senses are in play, the greater the opportunity for burdens to weigh us down.  The antidote for burdens is faith.

Charles Tindley understood the principle of taking burdens to the Lord and leaving them there.  He wrote the Hymn “Leave It There” in 1916.  The chorus puts it in perspective:

“Leave it there, leave it there,

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out;

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

There are times that we take our burden and give it to the Lord, but when God doesn’t work in our time frame, we become impatient and take it back.  When we doubt, we are saying to God that we don’t think He can bring us “out.”  How many sleepless or restless nights have we spent worrying about how something will turn out?  How much of our day is spent thinking and rethinking about a problem that is facing us?  Let us stop this needless suffering and give our burden back to the Lord.  Listen to Tindley as he writes one of the verses:

“If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,

And your soul is almost sinking in despair,

Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

God knows all about our physical challenges, He is there to help us through.  We are all going to die and getting old is sometimes a difficult road.  Charles Tindley pens the truth with these words:

“When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,

And your body bends beneath the weight of care;

He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end;

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”

We need not fear the transition, for God will be there with us!  What a great injustice we experience when we fail to keep alive the anointed hymns of the past.

Let us stop carrying the burdens and start experiencing the peace that is ours by taking our burdens to the Lord, and leaving them there!

Note: “Leave It There” used by eminent domain.

BODY OVER SPIRIT?

 

We hear so much about how the United States is facing a gluttony crisis.  There are more overweight people per capita in our country than any other country in the world.  To counter food addiction, every imaginable diet or health program is presented with the hope that it will help stem the upward tide of obesity.  Christians scurry about with programs and “Biblical fads” that will guarantee weight loss.  The Daniel Fast is presented as a cure for food addiction. Biblical oils not only help with melting away fat, but also serve as a medicinal treatment for whatever ails you.  Tax exempt organizations are formed to help individuals adjust their taste buds.  Support groups occupy spare rooms in the churches. “Buddy systems” are set up for those who are embarrassed to flout their physical characteristics before conclaves of other overweight individuals.  SURPRISE!  This article is not about weight reduction!  There are many publications and programs that are addressing these issues and it is easy to hook up with their qualifying claims and guarantees.

What I am doing is rhetorically wondering why Believers are not as concerned with their spiritual condition as they are with their physical conditioning.  When people start their “fad” programs for weight reduction, it is usually an all out effort to achieve success.  What about having the same zeal to lose the carnal desires that plague our spiritual walk?  It seems that we are more concerned with our physical presentation than with our spiritual promotion.  The Bible says that physical exercise has some value, but it does not compare with the benefits of spiritual training. (I Timothy 4:8)  Some people are ashamed of their physical form and, as a result, “over cover” to hid their undisciplined life.  When are we “food challenged” Christians going to have the same embarrassment when it comes to our undisciplined spiritual life?  Many of us eat three squares (rectangles) a day with mini meals stuffed in between.  How many times a day do we open our Bibles and feast at His table?  How about snacking on the Word between the main readings?

The success of any diet is consistency and dedication.  If a person wants to lose weight he must have the desire and determination.  Should not the “weighty” Believer have the same characteristics?  How ironic that Christian dieters are showing what it takes to achieve physical discipline, while at the same time failing to exhibit spiritual discipline?  The Bible commands us to study the Word as a witness to God. (II Timothy 2:15)  How often do we open the Living Word seeking to understand what God is asking of us?  Many dieters are cranking up their programs to be ready for the summer months.  Should not all Believers be preparing for difficult days ahead?  We must all have goals, from spiritual exercise to food restraint.

I am not minimizing the seriousness of being concerned about one’s weight.  The Bible says we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19)  Therefore, we have a responsibility to present ourselves acceptable before God.  Believers are to be a living example of the Kingdom of God.  People will see us before they hear us.  By not taking care of our “temples,” it may make it hard for truth seekers to take us seriously.

One day at a place called Jacob’s Well, Jesus ministered to a Samaritan women while His disciples went into the city of Sychar to get lunch.  When they returned with the food and offered some to Jesus, He refused to eat and told them He had meat to eat that they didn’t know about.  He then elaborated by saying, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)  What is our main priority?  Let our efforts display our answer!

SEND OUT THE S.O.S.

 

What is our responsibility as Believers to each other?  How involved should we be in people’s lives?  Let us reverse these questions and ask ourselves how willing are we to open our lives to others?  How much of our life are we willing to share?  What about confessing our faults to each other?  What about sharing our hurts and disappointments?  What about asking for help?  I know we all have a tendency to wear different masks when it comes to interacting with others.  Some of us masquerade as spiritually mature individuals that have everything under control, when, in reality, we are anything but.  The Laodiceans claimed they had it all together, when, in reality, they were “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)  If God knows the truth about us, why keep up the charade?  We may think we are fooling others, when, in reality, they see right through us; so why keep up the charade?  We even have a hard time fooling ourselves, for the Holy Spirit within us has already revealed who we are; so why keep up the charade?  When we try to hide our true condition we have fooled no one, so instead of walking wounded, let us face up to our true condition and seek the help of our Lord and His servants.

One of the hardest things for some Christians to do is ask for help.  When are we going to understand that if playing the role of the”lone ranger” is not working, we need to try something else!  Someone said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  When are we going to understand that we have been placed in the Body of Christ to compliment each other?  When we only function as a part of a whole, we need to learn to open ourselves to others.  I am not talking about complete transparency, for there are areas of our lives that should be only between ourselves and God.  But when it comes to achieving what God has for us, we must we willing to ask for help when the need arises.  We may be willing to assist others, but we also need to be willing to accept help.

How many of us have felt disappointment and discouragement in our Christian walk? How many of us have given ourselves a self pity party where “me, myself and I” dwell on the negatives in life?  How many of us wonder why nobody has called us during our times of crisis?  How many of us have been tempted to curtail our Bible reading or prayer time because God doesn’t seem to be interested in us?  Maybe the answer to so many of these questions is that we have not told anybody what we are going through.  Maybe God is waiting for us to implement our “escape clause” or “get out of jail” card.  God has made provisions for us to rise above our problems; all we have to do is open the Word and follow the directions.

Let us remember that our negative situations in life are not unique.  There are others that have gone through the same trials we are experiencing.  If we find ourselves in a self imposed exile, let us hoist our distress flag so others will see our need and rush to help.  Don’t be afraid to send out the SOS, for there is an army of Kingdom people that are willing to help!!

One more thing: the Bible teaches us that as we are comforted in our times of trouble, we are then to look for those who are going through similar problems and comfort them!! (II Corinthians 1:4)

 

DEAD AND WOUNDED MEN WALKING

 

Spiritual growth is directly correlated to the degree of outreach we exhibit toward others.  The more we show concern for others, the greater the opportunity we have to grow in the knowledge of His Word.  It is exciting to see people hungry for the benefits that the Kingdom of God offers, but it is equally discouraging to see a faith so limited to a consumer mentality.  When the Christian community becomes near sighted, it is hard to focus on the “lost.” (Dead man walking)  The danger then becomes, “out of sight, out of mind.”  If our vision for the “lost” has faded away by amnesia, our spiritual life will malfunction into Christian peer groups specializing in different interpretations of the Scripture.  The Bible makes it clear that without a vision people will perish. (Proverbs 29:18)  I see this verse with a slightly different emphasis than traditional interpretations.  If Believers fail to have a vision for the unsaved, the unsaved will pass on into an eternity separated from God.

There is another aspect of spiritual growth that has been neglected by so many Christians: the lack of concern for the spiritual well being of their brothers and sisters in the Lord.  Over the years, I have seen so many Christians struggling with their spiritual walk.  They put on their Sunday masks and display an attitude that everything is all right, and to evidence the reality of their statement, they use their best rehearsed Christian phrases to make their point: “Great, Hallelujah!,”  “I’m fine, praise the Lord!”  I have seen Believers that were hurting and struggling with their faith, yet they are too ashamed to admit it.  Sadly, many Christians don’t recognize the “wounded man walking.”  The next time you say to some Believer, “How are you doing?” be ready to answer their rehearsed rhetoric with, “Are you really?”  You may be surprised at how it might just open the door to the real truth.

Somewhere along our generational lines we have lost the understanding of the word COMPASSION.  Compassion is an action that motivates one from observing to participating.  It is seeing a negative situation as an opportunity to exhibit God’s delivering power.  It is moving from sympathy to action.  The Bible calls us not only to bear one another’s burdens, (Galatians 6:2) but also to put the needs of others before our own needs. (I Corinthians 10:24)  Romans 15:1 tells us to assist those who are struggling by helping them overcome their doubts and weaknesses.  We need to help each other by building up one another’s faith.  We need to learn that a life spent on others is a life well spent.

Instead of just fellowshipping with Christians that are on the same spiritual level we are; let us look for those who are falling behind because of lack of Biblical understanding.  It is one thing to hear about outstanding feats of faith from Bible personalities, but it is another thing to experience the reality of those truths in our everyday lives.  There are a growing number of Believers that are falling into lukewarmness due to failing to understand how the Word can work in their lives.  Those that are growing into spiritual maturity need to look over their shoulders and see if anyone is falling behind.  Upon seeing a struggling brother or sister, they need to “fall” back and, with a loving hand. encourage them in their walk.

We have two hands, two eyes, two ears, and two feet, which should be evenly divided between  those who do not know our Lord and those who are struggling with their faith.  We need to hold out our hand to the lost, while holding up a wavering Saint.  We need to look for those who need the Lord, while looking for the Believer that needs help.  We need to hear the call of the seeker, while hearing the distress call of the Believer.  We need to travel to both the non-Christian and the Christian, for they both need our help.  Let us become more aware of the needs of others, and in so doing fulfill the “Golden Rule.” (Luke 6:31)

 

RE-INTRODUCING LOVE

 

The word love is used so generally that it is hard to define its original meaning and intent.  People use the word so loosely that it is hard to establish its relevance in a meaningful conversation. We use the word love to express feelings of acceptance toward both inanimate things and humans.  If we like to do something, or express the worth of a material possession, we are quick to use the “L” word.  “I would love to go shopping.”  “I love my car.”  “I love it when…”  The epitome of the misuse of the word is when the world talks about “making love.”

There are some Christians that use the word as a substitute for action.  They profess how much they love and care for one another, but many times there is no evidence of that love.  Words express intent, while actions or lack of actions witness to the validly of its worth.  Some of the actions I have seen from Christians have caused me to go to the Word to see if I have misunderstood what love really is.

The Bible says that GOD IS LOVE.  God is the foundation of relationships.  To love someone is to express God and His ways to all those with whom we come into contact.  When God created man, He made him into His image, which is to be His representative figure.  Wherever man goes he is displaying God, which is love!  If only we could understand this foundational Truth.  If we could show God/Love instead of human/self, the Lord would have returned long ago to gather His people for the Homecoming celebration.  I believe the greatest hindrance to the Church’s mission is not Satan and his army of terrorists, but God’s people who don’t understand God/Love.

God came to earth as His Son (don’t try to understand this, just take it by faith) to show us His true nature, which is love.  Going to the Cross, He showed us His human nature, which displayed His love in giving His life for a ransom for mankind’s past, present, and future sins.  By rising from the dead, He showed us His Divine nature, which displayed His continuing love.  Ascending into Heaven to rule forever, He demonstrated His eternal love for us.

Every Believer is to be a walking, living, and sharing example of God.  When people see us, they should see the definition of love.  It all begins when we reciprocate God’s love.  It is loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.  When we fulfill that desire, we are ready to reach out to our neighbors and the whosoevers of this life with the love that God showed us.

So many Christians are walking to the beat of a different drummer.  We have learned the Christian vocabulary and walked according to traditions, but we fail to exhibit Divine love.  We see the mistakes in others, and in so doing we judge ourselves.  We are quick to quote Scripture, but slow to live Biblically.  We need to tithe our time and reread the Word that we claim to know so well, for somewhere we have lost the true meaning and implication of Love.

I stand amazed at how many Christians flood the air waves with rhetoric that exposes their counterfeit love.  The verbal attacks on President Obama continue to exhibit their lack of understanding of Biblical Love.  God holds our future, not the politician.  Instead of exposing the flaws in others, let us cover them with Love.  Let a “Love Tsunami” sweep across our land, washing away our prejudices and sins.  John the Baptist’s words could also have been prophetic when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)  Let us come to the point that the only thing people see in us is the Love of God!

RE-INTRODUCING SIN

 

The Neo-Christian church seems to be a place where Believers gather to shop for blessings.  If we can’t find something that will push our happiness button, we will try another “spiritual store” where we can purchase, by way of our financial giving, the secret to materialistic satisfaction.  For some reason, the Christian has become a consumer.  The dollar sign has become the evidence of God’s love for the searching masses.

What I have seen in my generation is the grand reopening of churches that stress receiving instead of giving.  It has become what I can get from God, instead of what I can give to Him.  It is more a question of being served, than serving.  The Church is being pictured as a resort, fully furnished with entertainment and positive messages.  People are invited to check their sins at the welcoming center, for it has no place in the feel good atmosphere of communal worship.  As they enter the “sanctuary” with their religious shopping list, they can hardly wait for the ‘blue light” specials that are offered for those willing to sow monetarily.  Many of the messages are sugar coated with worldly relevance, instead of Godly reverence.  Leaving their “holy site,” they make their way to their cars with smiles on their faces, for once again, their failures and sins have not been addressed.

Many years ago, a man by the name of Karl Menninger wrote a book entitled, Whatever Became of Sin?  Little did he realize he was writing prophetically.  Today, it would take a spiritual Geiger counter to find the word SIN in the vocabulary of the Christian.  When it comes to the subject of sin, so much of Christianity seems to follow the pattern of “out of sight, out of mind.”  When sin is not addressed from the pulpit, sin will address the people.  Many Pastors are afraid to preach about sin for fear that it will drive people from the church.  That theory is flawed; for when sin is exposed, it will draw people to the church, not away from it.

The Apostle Paul was so concerned about sin that he urged those in ministerial positions to take actions against those who were living a sinful life.  Again and again, Paul urges those in leadership to reprove and rebuke those who were involved in habitual sin. (Ephesians 5:11; II Timothy 4:2; Titus 2:15)  He even urged them to publicly rebuke those that were missing the mark (sin.) (I Timothy 5:20)  What has happened to sin?  Why has it disappeared from the pastor’s vocabulary?  Has the word SIN lost its significance and implication?  Today, man is being taught that he is not responsible for the missteps in his life.  His behavior is determined by his environment and heredity.  I see the promoting of a response that I call the “Eve Syndrome.”  It is basically when people blame everyone but themselves for their mistakes.  When are we going to “own up” and realize that no one caused us to sin, we simply chose to do so!  Many people are praying for a revival.  They call for a rejuvenating of emotions that will bring them out of their lukewarmness.  What I would like to see is a reviving of the word SIN.  The cause of lukewarmness is simply sin.  Until we take that word seriously, it will continue to keep us from the life which God has called us to experience.

 

 

THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE TRUTH

 

Biblical expansion is becoming an epidemic.  There is an abundance of publications that take on the task of explaining and expanding Biblical truths.  John tells us there were so many things Jesus did that, if recorded, the world could not contain the volumes. (John 21:25)  In view of that, there has been an effort to elaborate on what has already been established.  Practically every verse and Biblical experience has been analyzed and scrutinized.  The concern I have is that the Bible has been overworked to such a degree it has given birth to revised truths that have shrouded the true intent of the Word.  Instead of accepting what God has said, man has attempted to interpret what He said.  One of the reasons there are so many Christian affiliations is man’s relentless effort to explain God’s Word.  Trying to arrange Scripture to fit into our comfort zones has given rise to false doctrines.  As these efforts are pursued, the Church becomes more and more divided.

How can we simplify the Biblical message?  God said what He meant, and meant what He said.  Why than do we tamper with His Word?  The reason so many are failing to grasp God’s Word is because they are confused by the different interpretations.  It does not matter what the subject is, there will always be a difference of opinion.  When we open the Word, we must stop trying to shape the Word around us; rather, we should shape ourselves around the Scripture.  Instead of looking for ways to achieve financial security, let us look for ways to give away what we have.  Instead of pursuing things for our earthly kingdom, let us pursue His Kingdom.  Instead of being temporarily satisfied by being spoon fed the Word by others, let our plates overflow as we sit at the banquet table of His Word.

For many years, I have witnessed the overabundance of Christian teaching.  The problem has been that so much of what I have read has misrepresented the intent of the Word.  I am persuaded that people do not understand what it is to be still and quiet before the Lord.  We make so much noise that God has to interrupt us to get His message across.  If we knew how to be quiet we would experience the revealing of God’s heart.  We don’t need human editorials, but the revealing of Divine truth through the Holy Spirit.

I challenge Believers to simply open the Word of God with a sense of expectancy.  Instead of looking for hidden treasure, we need to realize His riches are not hidden, but have been within easy reach all this time. The problem is that we have tried to go too deep.  We have analyzed the Word so much that we have diluted It.  Let us simply open our spiritual eyes and discover the obvious.  It is time to get back to the simple and plain Truth.