Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Old Paths?

  I've heard some people stomp and rant and strut, screaming about the old paths, and not felt very convinced that there was anything going on except pride and arrogance. But when the prophet wrote about the old paths, it wasn't talking about a lot of our hang-ups and opinions, it was talking about the true old paths of God and the Psalmist says ALL of the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth. 

What were the old paths really? My friends, we are rather ignorant of the true past-especially with the advent of revisionist history. But let us try to stir up our righteous memories. 

Would to GOD that we could get some spiritual perspective to see CLEARLY where we actually are and where we've come from-how far we have come! How profoundly far astray we have really gone!

I remember when it was the 'other denominations' that did not respond to Scriptural preaching. When it was the worldly, carnal Churches that were full of thin-skinned people that were 'offended' by Bible preaching, whose hearts were NOT stirred by Redemption music, who hated the King James version and mocked the Preacher. 

We have some who strut around screaming about the old paths---but the old paths are nowhere to be found because the singing isn't sweet, the saints aren't sweet, the altar is empty, the Preacher is frustrated,the teenagers are fakes,(if they're there at all)the tithes are down, the singing is quiet, many just lipping the words or sitting there, there's lots of complaining and those that are faithful in attendance think they're doing God some kind of favor.....I'm not saying all of this to rant or get something off of my chest. I'm not saying any of this because I'm frustrated-I am trying to explain something that I am observing...

There are 'dead' Churches and there are 'empty' Churches. the Dead Churches lack passion and enthusiasm, and the empty Churches have loads of enthusiasm (during their 45 minutes of service) but they don't have any godliness in their personal lives, no profound changes in their family,community, etc. because the enthusiasm witnessed is nothing more than a worked up high gotten from performance and entertainment. 

Occasionally, there ARE folks in both of these Churches who are on fire for God and have a deep, life-changing relationship with Him which is wonderful but sadly it seems to be an exception to the rule. 

So...........back to the old paths. There used to be in Bible-believing Churches--Spirit-filled, Spirit-led singing where everyone sang in unity and passionately and they sang songs with words that were full of doctrine and power not 7/11 songs and not painful droning and lip-syncing of hymns that no one believes anymore.  Is there any reason we can't do this TODAY? None. We can and we should and we need to! We need to get back to 'old-fashioned' Christian worship and praise in our singing-singing that is bathed in the Holy Ghost and is passionate, alive and SINCERE. WORSHIP isn't a performance, a concert, entertainment or professional--worship is congregational, unified, Spirit-filled, simple and sincere! That's the old paths!

Years ago many people considered Sunday to be the Sabbath-now they may not have been entirely correct in thinking that because Jesus is our Sabbath--BUT their respect for the Lord's day, preparing for it, honoring it, setting it aside for nothing but God-CERTAINLY didn't hurt anyone. People used to be more than happy to spend all day in God's house and with God's people being spiritually refreshed, they didn't look at their watch the whole time because they had to get to an appointment because they didn't make appointments on Sunday! People in those old-fashioned days didn't go to the movies on Sunday, they didnt go to the beach, they didn't go get their hair-cut, they didn't even mow the lawn-they spent it with God and His people. 

On Saturday night they PREPARED for Sunday. SO many, maybe most of God's people in 2013 can barely turn off their cell phones and tv's long enough to get their teeth brushed and their sunday best on (if they have sunday best)and they come mosying into Church 15 minutes late almost every week,...just barely making it there in time more the less getting their spirits ready and prepared...

Now here's where it REALLY gets "Radical" 
Families used to have something called "Family Altar" They used to sit down with their children and teach them a little something from the Bible EVERY day, and sing a song with them and pray over them. So it wasn't just the Preacher or the Church that instructed the kids in their faith it was their PARENTS. Kids grew up with a strong faith, not that they got from their Church but that they got from their parents. The spiritual backbone of the Country wasn't so much the Church as it was the family! Imagine that.

Th Schools started their day reading the Bible and praying! Hard to imagine today isn't it? And they didn't try to politically indoctrinate the children. 

When people got saved-they went full throttle, they were excited and happy to submit to the Preacher and to get baptized and seek Church membership.

These are just a few of the true hallmarks of the OLD Paths-and we have strayed far from it. More to come. 


Holy Holy Holy

the first name of the 3rd Person of the Trinity is Holy.

I have been learning a lot about grace for the past couple years, praise God, but now I am beginning to learn something about Holiness. And it is eye-opening.

My heart is breaking, hurting, sorrowing. My eyes are opening. How I have longed for the presence of God and wondered where His glory was hiding-when it was the unholy pollutions of the world and flesh that I had allowed to fill my heart and mind that had hidden Him.

Have you considered that the opinions, trends, fads, philosophies of the world have been pressuring us so much to conform that we have allowed them to bully us right out of our communion with God? We can't expect to be popular in the world And in agreement with God. God is holy therefore He is unchangable and immutable-He does not change with the opinions of the world. WE are thinking and acting and living by the ideas and desires of the world/flesh AND expecting to fulfill the will of God. It is impossible.

God, give me the grace to live holy in this crooked and perverse generation.Please fill me with Your presence.

God help us. Bring us to true repentance and revive us. In Jesus' name I pray Lord GOD, Amen.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

the Temple of the Holy Ghost


 Jesus is knocking on the door, Word says He stands at the door and knocks.

So what is this Christian life anyways, what is That Way the book of Acts talks about?

Well, Paul says it's when one is crucified with Christ and instead of them living-it is actually Christ living in them by faith in Him. 

So if the door is closed, and Jesus aint welcome. That isn't Christianity. So a LOT of American religion is nothing more than a cheap imitation because Christ is not only not the center, but not the basis of it all. Christ isn't even supposed to be the center, He is supposed to be the entire circumferance...He is all in all. SO to live the Christian life is to be filled with the Spirit of Christ. Open up the door. Come on in Jesus, my house is Your house, my body is Your body. I am Your Temple. Amen. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Holiness

The words holy, saint and sanctified all come from the same root word in the Greek. This should help us understand more about the definition of each words as these synonyms help define each other. To be holy is to be set apart to God's purpose and presence, to be sacred, to be separated for a specific use. To be special, to be different, to be honored, to be unchanged and unpolluted by the world..

If a 'place' is called Holy-it is considered a place that is 'different' from other places, set apart and it is treated with a certain amount of respect, and dignity. it is taken care of carefully,kept clean and not desecrated....

For the saint, or holy one to be holy number 1, he/she is anointed by the presence of the HOLY One, the Spirit of God. His presence in our body makes our body a Temple indeed. Which means our minds and hearts should be kept with the same zeal and reverence as you would have for the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem! Would that mean a change in lifestyle and actions? Yes, it surely would!

I have hated 'legalism' and religiosity so much for so long because I have seen the dead formalism and the vile self-righteousness that it creates. I NEVER want to be a legalist. Or make up my own religious rules. I hate man's religion. And I know God is not impressed with our self-righteousness. But can we not acknowledge, that while using grace and liberty as an excuse we have often forsaken and neglected true holiness, consecration, dedication and sanctification in our lives?

DO WE HAVE THE POWER IN OUR CHURCHES WE ONCE HAD? IS THERE A NATIONAL REVIVAL??? NO.

Why? Because on one side we have rules-based legalism which breeds ARROGANCE and on the other side we have profane, lascivious liberalism in the name of grace.

And everyone wants to "fix' it by setting the other straight. we don't need to set each other straight, we need TRUE humility, and repentance and prayer because unless we YIELD to God and let the SPIRIT of Christ FILL us-we will not have life.

No matter how much true doctrine you have in letter, and black and white---without the Spirit you can do NOTHING. It is the Lord that builds the house. We are most of us living without the filling of the Holy Ghost. That's our problem, plain and simple, and until we humble ourselves and yield up to Him in sincerity, we will not be filled.....you can't take a Do-More pill and earn His presence, you can't live sinfully and hope your 'liberty' gets you filled, no, you have to humble yourself to God and ask Him to do the work of His Spirit.
Draw night to God and He will draw night to you.