Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.
Have you ever heard of anyone being greatly used by Christ who did not experience a special time of waiting, or a complete upset of his plans at first? From the apostle Paul’s being sent into the Arabian wilderness for three years–during which time he must have been overflowing with the Good News–down to the present day, it seems those who will be used will have a time of waiting.
Have you been looking forward to telling about trusting Jesus, but instead He is asking you to show what trust is, by waiting? My own experience is far less severe than Paul’s but reveals the same principle. Once when I thought the door was being thrown open for me to enter the Ministry field with a great opportunity, it was just as quickly shut. My demons stepped in and simply said, “Never! You must choose between pastoring and living, for you cannot do both.” The year was 1999, and I did not come out of my shell of isolation and torment until 2001 that was my first attempt to serve God in that facet. The calling was received in 1989 and all that time in between was when I saw the distinct wisdom of having been kept waiting for 10 years in the shade.
God’s love is unchangeable, and He is just as loving even when we do not see or feel it. And His love and HIs sovereignty are equal and universal. Therefore He often withholds our enjoyment and awareness of our progress, because He knows best what will actually ripen and further His work in us.
I laid it down in silence,
This work of mine,
And took what had been sent me–
A resting time.
The Master's voice had called me
To rest apart;
"Apart with Jesus only,"
Echoed my heart.
I took the rest and stillness
From His own hand,
And felt this present illness
Was what He planned.
How often we choose labor,
When He says "Rest"–
Our ways are blind and crooked;
His way is best.
Work He Himself has given,
He will complete.
There may be other duties
For tired hands,
The present, is obedience
To His commands.
Having been delivered by God from every attempt to break fellowship, I speak from experience and real encounters of Him in my God given life. Confused at times because I don't understand or can't see Him in a current or particular circumstance makes waiting very difficult. I realize we walk by faith and not by sight, so when you don't know what to do, "Wait."
There is a blessed resting
In lying still,
In letting His hand mold us,
Just as He will.
His work must be completed.
His work must be completed.
His lesson set;
He is the Master Workman:
Do not forget!
It is not "working."
We must be trained;
And Jesus "Learned" obedience,
Through suffering gained.
For us, His yoke is easy,
His burden light.
His discipline most needful,
And all is right.
We are to be His servants;
We never choose
If this tool or if that one
Our hands will use.
In working or in waiting
May we fulfill
Not ours at all, but only
The Master's will.
New International Version (NIV)
22 The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.”
The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.
New International Version (NIV)
5 An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
When the elderly head of the trust department at a bank retired, four competent young men competed to fill the vacancy. After considering the merits of each applicant, the board of directors made its decision. They decided to notify the young man of his promotion, which included a substantial raise in salary, at a meeting scheduled for after lunch.
During the noon hour, the young man they had selected went to the cafeteria for lunch. One of the directors was a few spots behind him in the line. The director saw the young man select his food, including a small piece of butter. As soon as he flipped the butter onto his plate, he shuffled some food on top of it to hide it from the cashier. Thus, he avoided paying for it.
That afternoon the directors met to notify the young man of his promotion, but prior to bringing him into the room, the entire board was told of the incident. Rather than giving the young man the promotion, they called him in to discharge him from the bank. They had concluded that if he were to lie to a cashier about what was on his plate, he would be just as willing to lie about what was in the bank’s account.
Lying isn’t a matter of degrees. A lie is lie. And truth is truth. You can bank on it. Character is what you are in the dark. Knowing how to do wrong is a true way to put a wedge between the all knowing God. It’s just like drinking on the Sabbath and claiming to be a devout believer, its just like being at the basketball game on Sabbath but telling your job you are a Sabbath keeper, but you are on the telethron with a drink and shouting ” go boys- go!!!.
Think about how close God is to us in our travels He yields us strength to perform. I beseech you and myself to take heead less we fall.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
1 Samuel 17:34-37
New International Version (NIV)
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
The penny was ment to deface Ahbraham Lincoln, you know its semetry is directly related to his belief of freeing the men of color. It speaks volumes about what they thought of such a great man. The penny has been called the most despised unit of US currancy. many people will not bother to pick up one-cent if they see it lying on the ground. But some charities are finding that pennies add up to significant sums and that children are generous givers. As one participant said, "Small contributions can make a hugh difference."
The Bible accounts of David and Goliath describes a seemingly insignifigant person whose confidence in God was greater than any of the powerful people around him. When David volunteered to face the giant Goliath, King Saul said, "You are not able to go against this philistine". But David had faith in the Lord who delivered him in the past.
David did not suffer from "the penny syndrome"–a sense of Inferiority and helplessness in the face of an overwhelming problem. If he had listened to the pessimism of Saul or the threats of Goliath, he would have done nothing. Instead, he acted with courage because he trusted God.
It's easy to feel like a penny in a trillion-dollar deficit. But when we obey the Lord in every circumstance, it all adds up. Collectively, our acts of faith, large or small, make a big difference. And every penny counts.
In matters not how large or small
Your faith may seem to be;
What really counts is whom you trust
In life's uncertainty.
Courage will follow when faith takes the lead….
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
When I began to hash this issue out with myself and others I struggled. Felons break the contract of life when they commit any crime. Gay people break the Law of God and want to be a protected group. How is the Law of the land more important than the Law of God? Whales and other endangered species have rights, but certain human beings created in God’s image, prone to failure can not get any one to speak up for their rights.
I am excited by what I see going on in this world, for I know that it’s not over just because some Judges feel they have the power to render sound decisions, i am glad when I see these things that are against my Lord’s way of doing things, because I am assured of Him coming soon. I know what my bible says and it’s not over my God I am not looking at these injustices as the way they will forever be.
I want to take a look at the literacy of God rites;
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. NIV
Because this passage starts with “…because of this”, we must go back to where this begins at Romans 1:18 to find out what Paul was addressing. From 1:18-23, Paul is addressing that the wrath of God is against…
- all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness
- they [who] knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him
- they [who] became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles
Romans 1:29 and on goes on to state that they are
- filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed and malice
- full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite
- they are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God
- they are insolvent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in the wickedness and rebellious towards their parents
- they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless
Paganism, sensuality, idol worship, sin and lust were of part of everyday society in ancient Rome and a problem faced by early Christians. Paul’s letter to the Romans addressed the first century realities of Roman idolatry, fertility goddess worship and shrine prostitution. Romans is not theoretical. It is practical and focused on what Roman Christians encountered every day they lived in Rome.
Now, Romans 1:27 is speaking of perversion. What does this term mean? Perverting something is to twist, misuse or deviate from the norm. If one “exchanges natural relations for unnatural ones” or “abandons natural relationships”, it’s basically saying Paul disproved of sexual behavior contrary to a person’s nature. As it is normal for a heterosexual person to be attracted to a person of the opposite gender, it is normal for a gay or lesbian person to be attracted to a person of the same gender. Paul may be considering abnormal sex to involve sexual activity which is in violation of a person’s basic nature – something that goes against their sexual orientation. Or, as As C. Ann Shepherd writes:
“When the scripture is understood correctly, it seems to imply that it would be unnatural for heterosexuals to live as homosexuals, and for homosexuals to live as heterosexuals.”
The word “unnatural” in verse 26 is the Greek word “phusis”, meaning natural production or extension (i.e. having children) and it is likely that Paul’s concern was that the temple prostitutes who were female, were not getting pregnant (due to bodily damage and syphilis). Many people in the world have sex without the ability to re-produce. We no longer see that as unnatural or a result of sin. The word “natural” (referring to men) is the word “phisukos” and refers to instinct. Paul saw both slavery and sexual abuse of males non-instinctual. But what about gays and lesbians? Same-sex fulfillment is natural and instinctual. The key word is “unnatural”. Roman sexuality did not see same-sex practice as “unnatural”. In fact, to the Roman world it was very, very natural, even a part of growing up.
Over and over again, we see the Bible condemning orgies, molestation or sexual acts outside of a monogamous committed relationship. Who is to say this applies to modern day loving same-sex couples? Because God is the same yesterday and today and forever more.
Boy Scouts Maintains Gay Ban, But Accepts Convicted Criminals
The Boy Scouts of America might be adamantly against including gay members, but convicted criminals are another story.
The Human Rights Campaign recently obtained a Boy Scouts employment application and discovered that a criminal record apparently does not immediately preclude hiring.
“HRC obtained a copy of their job application, which says: ‘The Boy Scouts of America will not employ… known or avowed homosexuals,'” writes HRC. “The icing on top? ‘Conviction of a crime is not an automatic bar to employment’ according to the application. That’s right – a person’s sexual orientation is more of a red flag than their criminal record.”
Now, HRC is asking supporters to send letters to the Boy Scouts board demanding the organization end its policy of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually permissible in a number of states across the nation, including many in the Bible Belt — Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, to name a few. No federal law protects LGBT individuals. The Human Rights Campaign notes on its website that, in 29 states, it is not explicitly illegal to fire someone for being gay ; nor is it illegal, in 34 states, to discriminate against an employee over gender identity.
On Feb. 6, the Boy Scouts announced it will maintain the ban on gay members and leaders while it examines the issue ahead a decision in May. The group was supposed to come to a decision in February but has reasoned the delay is due to “the complexity of this issue.”
Gay rights groups are not buying it. GLAAD, for one, thinks the issue is clear-cut: “An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.
I am one that likes to foster beliefs, that drive actions, that produce the ultimate competitive advantage. As we delve into deducing this predicament we will encounter those who feel they are God, but not I,
By considering verses 26-27 in isolation from their surrounding context, we could easily make the mistake of believing that the subject of his message was homosexuality. In fact, this was not the case. When homosex sexual intercourse was mentioned, it was specifically related to his message concerning people who were thwarting the revelation of God by engaging in idolatrous practices.
In verse 18, Paul transitioned into a discussion about a certain group of people against whom God’s wrath was revealed. He described the effects of their sin in verses 19-22, and then identified the group in verses 23 and 25. He was speaking about idolaters—people who changed the glory of God into fashioned images that resembled men and animals. These images are called idols, and it is from the worship of these idols that we get the word “idolatry”. And the worship of idols was exactly what the people Paul was referring to engaged in (v. 25).
Now that we’ve determined the context of Paul’s statement, we’re in a much better position to interpret and apply his words in a manner consistent with the original intent. Ultimately, the accurate interpretation boils down to the answer to a simple question: Does Paul’s condemnation of homosex sexual acts in verses 26-27 apply to any such acts in general (a moral pronouncement that is universally applicable), or does it only apply to such acts engaged in within the socio-religious framework of idolatry?
Most people will be quick to answer this question one way or the other, depending on where they already fall in their theological beliefs concerning homosexuality. They’ll choose to interpret the passage in a manner consistent with their existing beliefs. But, such an approach won’t serve us here because rather than looking to validate existing beliefs, we want to allow Scripture to speak for itself. Consequently, we have to look into the text itself to see if it provides any hints as to the answer to this pertinent question.
Such interpretational problems are a perfect case in point. Scripture is not to be used to validate doctrine. Rather, we should use it to formulate doctrine (2Timothy 3:16). If we start off reading a passage with an absolute certainty of what it means, it is ever-so-easy to read into the text a validation of those beliefs—whether the text itself actually supports those beliefs or not. I strongly encourage you to remain mindful of this when engaging in biblical study, especially when it involves issues with implications as serious as those surrounding sexual orientation.
So, which of these interpretations is correct? The only way a certain answer can be derived is by examining the text itself, as well as related passages, for clues. One very important rule of interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Let’s employ this rule and determine exactly what Paul is condemning.
The first thing that must be acknowledged is that the subject of this passage was, indeed, idolatry, not sexuality. Not only is this borne out by the verses preceding verses 26-27, but also, Paul made an explicit link between the idolatry that was his subject matter and the homosex sexual activity. In verses 23-24, Paul identified these people as idolaters (verse 23) and then said, “wherefore” (or “therefore”) in relation to God giving them up to sexual uncleanness (verse 24). Clearly, he was saying that their same-sex sexual acts were a result of their idolatry.
This isn’t where the connection ends, though. It’s interesting that people love to read verse 26 in isolation from verse 25; yet the very beginning of verse 26 states, “For this cause” (or “for this reason”). Well, for what reason? Seeing that God gave them over to “vile affections” (which were identified as same-sex sexual affections), what exactly was the reason? Was it because they were born that way? Was it because they were molested during adolescence? What exactly was the reason these people engaged in same-sex sexual activity? Well, if we back up to verse 25, we discover the reason. Paul explicitly told us that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Again, Paul identified idolatry as the cause of their same-sex sexual activity.
I hope I have raised some spark of understanding within you about how awful this thing is in God’s eyes and for us as a nation.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
New International Version (NIV)
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Have you ever experienced sheer disconnect from your heavenly father? Have you ever failed God by being disobedient while performing an assignment from Him? Have you lied due to fear of being discovered as a Fraudulent individual? Well I must admit I have done all the above and I know of some pioneers that did also.
On one of Christopher Columbus’s voyages, he found that his crew’s food supply was almost depleted. Anchored off the island of Jamaica, he was grateful to be given food by the islanders. But as time went on, the gifts of food decreased so that the crew began to starve.
Columbus knew from an astronomy book that a lunar eclispe would soon occur. He called the native chiefs together and told them God was angry about their selfishness and would blot out the moon. At first the islanders scoffed. But when they watched the night’s silver disc slowly become dark, they became terrified and quickly brought food. Columbus said that if he prayed, the moon would be restored. Though we may empathize with his circumstances, Columbus’s ‘message from God” was dishonest and self – serving. Aware of religious charlatans who “peddled” God’s word for their own desires, the apostle Paul wrote, “We are not, as many, peddling the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God.”(2 Corin.2:17)
At all times we must be on guard not to misrepresent God’s message to acquire what we want from others. With a heart yielded to God, we must honestly share spiritual truths that will benefit those who hear.
Don’t compromise the word of God
Or twist what He has said;
For blessing comes from faithfully
Proclaiming truth instead.
The purpose of sharing God’s truth is to profit others, not to prosper ourselves…