Monday, August 15, 2011

Wives Submit to Your Husbands

During the straw pole debates, an interviewer asked Presidential Canidate, Michele Bachmann a question. "You are an evangelical Christian and the Bible says - wives submit to your husbands. As President will you submit to your husband?"

I have longed struggled with this passage of the Bible even though I have remained single for many years. I could not - or perhaps would not - believe that God meant for women to obey their husbands in everything or submit as a dog does to its master. I always believed that women were the soul of the earth and therefore mighty in their own right.

The answer from Congresswoman Bachmann brought me to a new revelation on submission. "Perhaps sir, you do not understand the meaning of this Bible verse. Submit means respect. I respect my husband and he respects me. We have pledged our lives together during sickness and health, richer and poorer until death do us part."

Although her answer moved me to the right ball field, the home run required a little more contemplation. The verse following wives submitting to their husbands states, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."

God created men and women differently. He breathed life into Adam through his head and created Eve from the side (or heart) of Adam. Men want to be respected. It is the most important emotion for men. Women want to be loved - this is their most important emotion.

What God was saying in Ephesians 5 is - give to your husband what is most important to him and husbands - give to your wife what is most important to her.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Do Bad People Go Unpunished?

Last summer I had a large pine tree cut down on the side of my house. A small pest had done it's work on the tree and each year the damage became more apparent. Fearful that the tree may topple in a high wind, I paid an arborist for its death.

The stump was ground down leaving a circle of uncultivated dirt in my yard. The crime scene remained fallow for the remainder of the summer and through the winter, but when spring arrived, I eyed the blank space with envy.

My recent lay off kept my resources in check so instead of my usual trek to the local nursery, I opted for a bag of wild flower seeds from Lowe's selling for $5.99. I amended the soil and laid out the seed as prescribed on the back of the bag. I watered the planting faithfully and waited. Soon little green shoots appeared and as they grew so did my anticipation of beautiful flowers.

However, there was a problem with my plan. Along with my flower seeds, other seeds were germinating. Some of these seeds were well recognized weeds; others - well I wasn't sure. Since the bag of seed contained a variety of plants, I could not tell what was weed and what was flower. I let them grow together hoping for a resolution when the flowers finally bloomed.

My plan backfired. As the garden grew, the weeds intermingled densely with the flowers. When I tried to pull out the weeds, the flowers came out as well. Frustrated, I gave up, but I noticed something curious. When I viewed my flower garden close-up, the weeds were readily apparent. When I viewed the garden from my second-story, bedroom window, all I could see were the beautiful pinks, blues, purples and whites of the flowers. It occurred to me that this is the vantage point of God - high up - he sees only the flowers.

"Another parable he put before them say, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So, when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, 'No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.' " Matthew 13:24-30

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Prince of America

In Daniel chapter 10, an angel of the Lord appears before Daniel because " set your mind to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard , and I have come because of your words." We see here that the Lord sent an angel, a messenger, to Daniel because he had set his mind on the Lord to understand.

The angel goes onto say "The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days; but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, so I left him there with the prince of Persia..". This was spoken while Daniel along with the Hebrews were held in captivity in Persia or present day Iran.

From this passage we see that Satan, the prince of the world, sets his demons as guardians over countries and principalities to keep God's message or messengers from the people. This guardianship is not limited to other parts of the world - it is present even in America.

As seen in Matthew 4:10 Satan tempted Jesus by offering the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if he would bow down before Satan. Jesus did not refute Satan's claim to own the world, he told him only to begone. If Satan does indeed own the world, then we can be sure there is a Prince of America who stands guard to keep God's message or messengers from the people.

To keep the message and messengers flowing, we must be vigilant in what Daniel did. We must pray continuously and set our hearts to understand the Lord.

Friday, May 20, 2011

God Does Not Pass Out Paychecks

"Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name?' and I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' " Matthew 7

The people described by Jesus above believe that they can earn God's love and favor. There are whole religions based on this premise, yet, Jesus says, "I never knew you." So what is the will of the Father?

"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. this man came to Jesus by night and said to him, 'Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.' Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.' " John 3

The will of the Father is that we be born anew by choosing to accept the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus. Think of it God creates man along with a beautiful home where man can live safely. There is only one commandment - "do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil." One commandment and man does it anyway. The result should have been eternal death.

Instead our Creator - our King - dies for us. He loved us so much that He died for us and all we have to do is believe. And still, preachers and priests are instructing their parishioners on what they need to do to obtain God's favor! Where was the message lost? It was so simple - just believe and everything He has is yours. Our entrance into God's kingdom is not based on our works - but His works.

God does not pass out paychecks - he bestows gifts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fig Tree Produces Fruit in May

Jeremiah's vision of the first dispersion: "..and the Lord showed me this vision - behold two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs and the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten." Jeremiah 24

Further reference to the good figs and the bad figs. "On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs." Mark 11. Immediately after this Jesus drives the money changers from the temple.

It is estimated that the genus we know as the fig tree began over 5,000 years ago. It is accepted that Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves after their sin. Fig trees require at least eight hours each day in sunlight which is why they are usually grown in warm, dry climates. Figs have a long juvenile development (four to five years) before maturing and producing fruit. A mature fig tree will produce its first harvest in May (Israel, May 1947).

"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as it branch becomes tender and puts forth its leave, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." Matthew 24

So what is a generation? "For all our days pass away under thy wrath, our years come to an end like a sign. the years of our life are threescore and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away." Psalms 90

This month - May, 2011 - Israel turned 63 years old. The people who saw Israel's birth will soon turn 70 or 80 (7-17 years). Then heaven and earth will pass away. Repent, believe and be saved.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls were the first gem treasured by ancient man. Refined by nature, this precious gem was gathered along with an important food source by coastal peoples - comparable to the prize found in a box of Cracker Jack's when we were young.

Pearls are commonly reserved for special occasions. Sadly, the iridescent qualities of pearls are discolored with a lack of use. Pearls need to soak up liquids and oils to retain their lustre. Packaged away, they will dry out fading and cracking. Just like muscles, you use them or lose them.

The Word of God are Pearls of Wisdom. You use them, or you lose them. Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 4:24-25 "And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

Read the Word - understand the Word. If you cannot understand there are great commentaries a Google search away. Meditate on the Word and share the Word. Wear the Word - for by wearing the Word - more revelation will be given to you. If not - even what you do know will be taken away.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Son of Man

I have often wondered why Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man in the gospels and not the title - Son of God or Messiah. So I did some research. I found - as with anything that God does - there was not a linear reason for this title, but one multifaceted reason.

Reason #1 Jesus came first for his chosen people, the Hebrews, so he spoke in phrases they would understand. The phrase 'Son of Man' refers to the Book of Daniel, the prophet of the Old Testament. " I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages should serve him." The Hebrews of the first century would have understood that the Son of Man was the Messiah.

Reason #2 Satan knew him, but didn't know why he had come to earth. In Matthew 4:1 we see that the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. It was here that Satan confronted him - while he was alone. Satan knew who he was - "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loves of bread." Satan knew who he was but did not know the purpose for his visit. If your enemy suddenly appeared in your territory, you would quickly go to your enemy to determine the purpose of his visit. Jesus wanted to keep the purpose of his earthly visit a secret. If he had referred to himself as the Messiah, Satan would have known the exact plan of God, and would try to thwart the plan. All the details of the Messiah (dying on a tree, the final sacrificial lamb) are prophesied in the Old Testament. Even Satan knows what is written in the scriptures, but he has no foreknowledge and cannot read our minds.

I think these two reasons are why Jesus was silent about his title, Son of God. The scriptures are the battle plans for the restoration of man and the earth. Many of those plans are written in code to keep the enemy confused. To decipher the code, a person must possess the Holy Spirit, and to possess the Holy Spirit, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.