You have heard the saying that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. I wonder why we in the USA are so afraid of history? We see the nation founders removed from many text books; and many universities not requiring American History to get a history degree. Did you know that Germany has kept a great many of the awful Nazi Concentration Camps, because they now know how evil the Nazis were and they don’t want to repeat that evilness again.
So why are we seeing so many groups trying to revise American History now? Why are so many actually re-writing history? What are they afraid of? What we are seeing in America now with the destruction of Confederate Monuments has nothing to do with racism because most don’t know the history of slavery in America. I dare say, they don’t have a clue why the Civil War was even fought, because it had very little to do with slavery. They don’t know the impact that Great Britain had upon American slavery. They don’t know that blacks sold blacks. They don’t know how the founding fathers hated slavery though many had slaves. They don’t know that you could not rid yourself of slaves no matter how much you hated slavery if they were inherited.
Leave history alone, leave the monuments alone, it is what it is! Let us all remember how awful the slave period of time was so we will never ever repeat the sinfulness of slavery of any kind. For if you try to cleanse a nation to suit a particular ideology, you are only making the nation a slave to that ideology. God created all peoples to be free!
We all have “storms” in our lives, problems and pains. The “storms of life” come against us all. Jesus chose the disciples for a grand purpose; He would not allow them to drown in the Sea of Galilee…read Mark 4:35-41. Furthermore, Jesus had a purpose for the group to get into the boat. The purpose was NOT to drown in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, but to get to the other side. So, why do you suppose these seasoned fishermen, familiar with the storms on the Sea of Galilee, were so upset that they thought they were going to drown? They forgot who they were traveling with! The Lord Jesus would not allow them to drown; they had nothing to worry about. So let me ask you, who are you traveling with? Jesus can and will calm the “storms in your life”, all you need to do is to get into the boat with Him! Amen.
For decades now we have had the philosophical experts say a person must satisfy himself first, must think of herself first, must always put yourself first; and that you must strive to make your life fulfilled. In business, the experts say you should always pay yourself first before any other obligations. We had and have the “me” generations; it is all about “me”. I say, “baloney”, it is all baloney! This teaching is quicksand, it sucks you in and under…and you die a selfish death! This teaching destroys. This is all the work of Satan, the great apostate!
This kind of nonsense is what destroys marriages; fifty percent divorce rates show the results of these past decades of erroneous teaching. If one feels unfulfilled, if one is not getting what one wants out of the marriage, they bail. We see the results in phrases such as: I am unhappy, I don’t get what I want, I don’t like the sex, I want another. It is all about the “I”. This is not what a marriage is to be! In a relationship, each person shall work hard for the joy of the other! If I put my wife first and she puts me first, what do you suppose the outcome will be? I will tell you from experience; it will be a long-lasting wonderful household of love, caring and sharing.
Matthew 17:24 (ESV) “The Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” Deny one’s self…can you image what the behavior experts would say about that suggestion? Put others first…we are seeing this play out by the thousands along the Gulf Coast in south Texas as I write this post. This is what makes a great marriage! This is what makes a great society! This is what makes a great nation!
The buzz words for today are inclusiveness and diversity. I am all for it on one condition. If we have the same goal in mind, let’s all come together. There is indeed a problem…we are far from having the same goals.
In the Bible’s Old Testament, over and over again, the Hebrews fell into sin by adopting the local culture’s ways. When in Canaan, do as the Canaanites do…right? Wrong! The Hebrews started worshipping the Baal gods; archeologists have unearthed a single alter dedicated to both a fertility god and Yahweh. What were they thinking? If one is good, two are better? The Old Testament is full of examples where inclusiveness and diversity went against the will of God. Obviously, there was no common goal in these examples.
There are of course many groupings we could identify where there could be common goals, thus a great desire for inclusiveness and diversity. We see this in the world’s hate groups. We see this in those wanting dictator governments to control the citizens by pressure. We see this in those who have compassion and want peace.
We should not see this in our relationship to God.
Peter’s vision of the sheet full of birds and animals coming down from heaven was explained in Acts 10:28, as the Jews believed the Gentiles were profane and unclean; but now God intended to make His family, His chosen people [the Jews] into a larger group by bringing in the Gentiles. Here we see inclusiveness and diversity the correct way where there is a common goal…the common goal of belief in Christ Jesus. I want all peoples, black, red, white, men, women and children from all the religions of the world to come together in the LORD Jesus Christ…that is my prayer for inclusiveness and diversity…everyone come to the LORD Jesus! He died and rose again for you; can you receive Him as LORD?
Revisionists! We see a lot of that going on these days. Political sides champion their man or woman as the best ever, knowing their term was a flop. Smoke and mirrors, words out of context, it all seems like a shell game. Groups claiming hate are usually the most hateful group…smoke and mirrors, day after day, and song remains the same!
Since the mid 1990’s, media articles claim America’s success was due to its long-standing tradition of secularism. Oh, really? An L.A. Times article, titled “America’s Unchristian Beginning” quoted a portion of an April 19, 1817 letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it!'” Adams was commenting on the petty religious bickering between Joseph Cleverly, a schoolmaster, and Lamuel Bryant, a minister. The Times article stopped the John Adams quote there, but as Paul Harvey used to say…now for the rest of the story. Adams’ letter went on to say: “But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.”
So, you see, if you have no morals, no honesty, no integrity, and if your position is anti-Christian and you have a job for the L.A. Times (or any other media outlet), you can write whatever you want, quote the pieces you want out of context, and make people believe America had an unchristian beginning…not a bad gig if you are that type of person! Our mainstream media and professors of higher education are full of that very kind of person!
I once heard an atheist quoting Biblical scripture to support his case. The fact is, you can make the Bible anything you want as long as you take text out of context and leave out the parts that don’t support your argument. Pretty Sweet deal I’d say…until you die!
There are many stories of those once believers in God, who at some point reject Him. Why? I have always wondered why. Of course I know there have always been apostates; Satan is probably the very first apostate as he is the leader of all the fallen angels, each an apostate on their own. But to understand Judas…I guess I will never understand how someone walking with Jesus 24/7 for 3 years, being there for most of the miracles and sermons, and then turn Him over to those wishing to kill Him. Oh, people have suggested Judas simply wanted to speed things up; that is, getting Jesus to free the Jews from Roman rule faster. Regardless, there is no justification for betraying Jesus. So let’s back on subject…why do people reject God?
A recent article I read about a Lutheran who became an atheist. When a young person, they had a friend who a Buddhist and the idea of the friend being lost for all eternity for not accepting Jesus could not be tolerated.
Admittedly, they noted a lack of careful examination of the evidence; so what is driving this rejection of Christ? I think that many apostates are simply “wishful thinkers”. They simply wish things to be different. They want the world, redemption, even God Himself, to be a different way, a way of their own desire and invention.
What selfishness! What Arrogance! What laziness to not examine the evidence for God’s mercy and grace! Those rejecting God and His instruction pattern actions of those of Adam & Eve. God gave us free will to decide for ourselves what we want to do and think, even if it is to reject God. But, I say that the creation has not right to be arrogant toward its Creator, for the Creator absolutely loves His creation
Three weeks ago I wrote above God loving us by kicking us out of the Garden of Eden. From this banishment from the Garden, the whole Bible is about God trying to reach His people, people He loves, while allowing the loving freedom of freewill. Part of loving another is to allow them the freedom to accept or reject you. You are free to reject God, but you are arrogant if you think God hates you. God gave His only begotten Son to take your sins away which allows you entry to glory…after the giving of His co-eternal Son, why would God turn to hate you? It has always been mankind that has messed things up; we have all messed things up…only don’t blame your mess on God!
Finally, to repeat myself, to reach the lost, God sent His only begotten Son! Yes, we are unconditionally loved, so what is your response going to be? What will your response be to a love freely given? Using the tree metaphor again, the “Jesus Trunk” wants your branch to be connected and to receive life-giving water.
“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’” (John 4:10 ESV)
Why not be a part of something much larger than you? Be a part of a special family, the family of God; we have a guarantee to be joint heirs in the Kingdom of God! It only costs you everything you’ve got, including your life. Not a bad trade for eternal life in Glory with the LORD Jesus Christ, I say!