Like a Vapor

I felt my mortality in an interesting way yesterday. I have been visiting family that I have not seen in several years and yesterday I visited a lot of land that one of my childhood homes used to sit on. I spent about 10 years there. We lived in a trailer that was removed a few years ago, but my parents still own the land.

The grass and weeds were grown up, but I could see parts of a wood retaining wall where the driveway used to be, an apple tree I used to climb, and a large rock that I once sat on while I smashed small rocks with a hammer. I could remember playing in the yard with our dog, family games of hide and seek, jumping on the trampoline, and my adventures in the woods.

My dad worked so hard clearing that land and caring for the yard. My mom planted flower beds and rose bushes. My sister and brother and I spent most of our childhood there, and now it is almost like we were never there at all.

I felt so small as I stood there taking it all in.

All the works of man eventually come to nothing. Our lives are a vapor, as the scriptures say. Kingdoms rise and fall. Species die out. Even the heavens and earth will one day pass away and be made new.

Jesus is forever. Eternity is a mind-blowing concept and such an immeasurable gift for us mortal creatures whose lives are like a vapor. Living our lives for Jesus is the least thing we can do considering all He does for us.

It’s amazing how much changes in just a few years. I’ve been through a culture/reality shock too these past few days after taking a break from my somewhat sheltered life. This world is passing away and our Christian culture is eroding.

I’ve seen family that once professed faith boldly declare atheism now that Christianity is losing its popularity. They now enjoy ripping on Christians. It’s good and fun to try to get reactions out of us by boasting about sin, laughing at lude videos and jokes made about Jesus openly, or showing distain for so-called silly beliefs like the immaculate conception of Christ and the resurrection. Television and commercials these days. Wow. I don’t miss tuning out several years ago. I am thankful that the Lord pulled me out when He did. My faith would have had no chance.

As the old saying goes, “you can never really go home again.” Thanks be to God that in Jesus we have an everlasting home. All our plans and the plans of the wicked come to nothing, but what the Lord wills is going to be accomplished no matter what comes our way.

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. – James 4:13-16

Considering Proverbs 11:3

The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

The upright are guided by their integrity. The transgressors are destroyed by their perverseness.

These sorts of contrasting proverbs are interesting because as a Christian, I know that we are all sinners. I know what it is like to be destroyed by perverseness, to a degree. I also know the difference it makes to follow Jesus and learn to walk more uprightly.

I also know that people will tempt you to deny Jesus in many ways but in our integrity, we have to stay true to what we have been given. Jesus gives us a lot.

The forgiveness of sins is the starting point, but there is so much more. As we get to know Him, we learn what living an upright life looks like and we embark on a journey of living that out, better and better until we meet Jesus at His coming.

I don’t walk perfectly, but I am thankful for the work the Lord has done. If I had continued down the path I was heading about seven years ago, I’m not sure where I would be physically, but I’m certain that I would be spiritually “woke.” And by that, I mean spiritually dead.

Those who are alive in Christ are the real “woke” – not in the same connotation, of course. This world is full of confusion and corruption (perversion) of what is right and good, and these perversities are going to be the undoing of all who are led away into mental/spiritual captivity.

Jesus said this: “He that leads into captivity must go into captivity.”

The perverse are captured by their lying and corrupted ways, and they are not content unless they do all that they can to drag the whole world down with them. They need to be justified, accepted, and glorified for their lying and wicked ways.

They will fall into captivity as a result, even the greatest captivity of all: the delusions of the false christ. Even if we are not in the final “last days” there are always some sort of “last days” approaching because man repeats the same mistakes. We cannot help it. It is in our natures. Until Jesus comes to establish His kingdom, we will keep fighting to establish ours, and eventually, the truly destitute rise to the top because they have no real moral compass keeping them from trampling all who oppose them.

This is found in social, political, scientific, religious, and all manner of fields where power is given. The whole world is on this trajectory, and the whole world will worship Satan in some form and join with Him.

The upright do not need the justification of the wicked. We have our integrity to guide us and keep us as those who follow Jesus Christ.

As those who want to “keep the patience of the saints” while we wait on the Lord, doing as He would have us do despite how confused and wicked this world gets, we can rest in this knowledge. Though we might suffer, Christianity is built for persecution and hardship. Though we might go through much, our soul will rest in Christ. It is not so for the wicked. They will have no place to go but right into the bottomless pit of man’s corruption that they dug for themselves and others. Let them think that they rule this world and will not see any sorrow.

I have come to see the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon as not just a country, or not just a religious corruption, but as a symbol for all systems of man that join themselves with the ways of Satan—and eventually—the false Christ and His world dominating power. This includes the corrupt and fallen away church, but that is not all. I think this extends to any who are made rich and drunken off of their power by wicked means that destroy others and feel entitled to do so because “they sit a queen.” These also think that because of their cleverness and alliances, they “shall see no sorrow.”

Jesus says that “her plagues shall come on her in one day: death, and mourning, and famine. She shall be utterly burned with fire.”

We are instructed to “come out of her my people that you partake not of her sins and receive not of her plagues.” This is an on-going call for the people of God in Jesus Christ because this world is always fornicating with the ways of darkness and the prince thereof.

So, let us come out of her and walk in the integrity of the truth of Jesus Christ. Though our enemy might be spiritually drunken with their perverse ways that destroy the truth and those who stand by Jesus, we know how it will end.

I will be away for a couple of weeks. I will probably work on the introduction to Thus Saith He while I am away and share that at some point, then we will get back to the Proverbs and Parables of Jesus, Lord willing.

This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.

Do you have thoughts to share about Proverbs 11:3? Leave a reply in the comments!

Fellow Students Instead of Superiors

Approaching our brethren as fellow students of Jesus and the Apostles and not as their superiors opens communication.

If you have a Christian blog or some other form of educational/exhorting/edifying public ministry, then you probably have something to share. That’s good. I have things to share too.

I was just thinking about the way we approach one another in our desire to know Jesus and serve one another. I think of how I have approached people in the past and how some have approached me. I think about what works and what doesn’t—assuming that the goal is to come to a better understanding of the truth and fellowship with one another in Christ Jesus.

If we think that we have our understanding all wrapped up, then we are probably going to have a critical eye towards our fellow servants. We will listen to what they have to say and measure it against our perspectives. If they do not fit into our scope of understanding, we might dismiss them. We also might approach our fellow servants as one who needs to be instructed by us, not the other way around, thereby shutting our ears to hearing what insight our fellow servants might have that will add to us in some way.

We think we are superior in our understanding (I speak hypothetically). We might not think that we are superior Christians. We might know that any good thing we have came from Jesus, therefore any good thing we have is of Him and not ourselves. Yet, we might forget that only Jesus has the fullness of the Spirit of God. We reach fullness not by being superior to our fellow servants, but by joining with them in humility—not as superiors—but as fellow students.

If we approach our brethren as fellow students instead of as superiors, then we are coming to them expecting to learn something new, or at least have our understanding challenged. We are then able to hear opposing views, take out what truth we might glean from them as the Spirit aids in our discernment abilities, and help one another come to a fuller understanding of what Christian living looks like.

The first example—one who is a superior instead of a student—is an easy trap to fall into. I fell into that for a time. The zeal of a convert paired with the pride of youth can be a foolish combination. The same is also true for those who have many years of experience; they think they are superior by sheer means of exposure and age, forgetting that the Spirit of God can work in anyone as the Lord wills, often favoring the “babes” instead of the proud elders who are set in their ways and no longer teachable.

Jesus said that we must be as little children, humble and eager for instruction. That’s how I take it. However, we also should seek to have our “senses exercised to discern good and evil” so that we can “test the spirits” whether they are of God or not. There are many false teachings, false prophets, and so forth. We cannot just accept anything as Christian truths. Learning the scriptures is a good way to protect ourselves from false teachings.

However, aside from Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of our sins, we should do our best to be humble and patient with the differing views of our brethren. I’ve had to come to this point because my views seem to agree with all in part and disagree with all in part. So, this is nothing for me to boast about. My perspective came about out of necessity because it was either this or consider most of the Christian world to be heretical.

I took the later stance for a short time, and there was no peace in that. I have also experienced how loyalty to our denominations and favored pastors causes division. Because of my mix of views, I have yet to find a church that I am allowed to join, yet many accuse my faith because I do not go to one church regularly (though I visit several local churches with some regularity and have made some friends by doing so). I don’t like feeling cast out so I will not cause others to feel this way, as much as is possible.

In any case, it is better to know that we all, including myself, have errors and when Jesus returns we should expect those errors to come out as we lay low all of the exalted figures within the faith and raise Jesus as our King instead.

I think the false Christ will also attempt to “restore all things” but I am certain that his way of doing so will be such that we know this is not our Lord, but an imposter. He will restore as Satan restores—which is not any real restoration—but desolation.

This whole spill has a point, and I know I’m good at taking a simple point and dragging it out as I attempt to find the right words to communicate to a varied audience.

The point is that we should approach one another as fellow students, not as superiors.

Jesus said that “he that is greatest among you will be your servant.” Paul the Apostle was a good example of this. He is one of the biggest founders of the Christian faith, yet in the world he was poor, afflicted, looked down upon, and questioned by those who thought themselves to be superior: the Jewish people who rejected Christ and the many “false apostles and deceitful workers.”

Paul did not hold so high a view of himself. Those who hold high views of themselves are either young and immature or old and stubborn, in the best-case scenario. In the worst-case scenario, they are imposters and infiltrators of the enemy of our people.

In any case, we should be aware of any who would approach us from a position that is highly exalted, lest they pull us up onto their pedestal and we fall together with them when Jesus lays low the proud things of this earth.

Lowliness is peaceable, patient, and rests in the sovereignty of our all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator. “We do not yet know what we will be, but we will be as He is.” He was low, and in being low He was exalted. We should be low also, because it is in lowliness that we can help one another grow into the “fullness of Christ” as much as is possible in this present world.

Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 3

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. – Matthew 5:21-26

This scripture reminds me of something Paul the Apostle said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

I think it can be easy for us to look at our service to the Lord and think that we are pleasing to Him, even to the exclusion of loving our Christian brethren and pursuing peace. I think Jesus and Paul say the things they say to help us understand what matters most.

Who are our brethren?

This does not only extend to our brethren of the same Christian sect, though, if we attend a church it does seem like a good idea to be at peace with the people there first and foremost. Nonetheless, if we are a Lutheran, we should strive to be at peace with a Catholic. If we are a Pentecostal, we should strive to be at peace with a Baptist. And so on.

“We all see in part in know in part,” and though we can disagree and have much liberty by the grace of God to gather together and praise Him according to our conscience and the measure of Him we are given to know in Christ, I strongly believe that it is fitting to do so in humility and love of one another–and for the most part we do–as is evidenced by the fact that we allow a variety of Christian sects within our nation.

Yet, at the same time, there is a lot of accusations, slander, and division among us. Though the last thing we need is another denomination or structure, on a personal level, each individual can strive to be at peace with all Christians. Debate secondary issues. Hear one another. Perhaps have your understanding changed and built up by someone with a different perspective. Agree to disagree at times.

We cannot forget that Jesus is Lord and not our denominations or favored secondary doctrines, and our Lord is One that desires peace in His house–a Spiritual house not built with hands but by the Holy Spirit–a house for which Jesus is the cornerstone and the teachings of the Apostles are the foundation–a house that will not be divided nor overrun by this world.

The other houses are not so. We must in some way know that all that we have built in His name is temporary. The only thing that will remain is that we loved one another and were faithful to Jesus. All else will be tried to see what sort it is, and all that is proven to be useful will make its way into His house, even the everlasting and holy city: New Jerusalem.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. — Revelation 21:27

As for our works being tried, I get this from Paul’s writing to the Corinthians:

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. – 1 Corinthians 2:10-17

We need to remember and expect to face things that we got wrong. However, we also know that we are dealing with an extremely merciful and gracious God, so we also expect gracious judgment.

All of this is to say that none of our works are above scrutiny and none of them are more important than peace with our brethren.

If we have a conflict with our Christian brethren, settling the conflict should be our priority before we invest time in anything else. If there is something we need to do to make things right, then we should.

None of us are above the justice of God or repaying what we owe. If we have done wrong to someone, it does not matter how important we think we are because of our Christian service, we are accountable.

Jesus truly weighs things rightly. How easy can it be for people among the faith to view their forms of Christian service so highly that they place that above taking the time to deal with small matters that aren’t so big and important in the eyes of man? How easy can it be for people among the faith to view themselves as so important as to be above the law, so to speak, as one who does not have to right a wrong, restore what they owe, and so forth?

We aren’t that important.

Jesus told those who boasted about being the children of Abraham that He could make children of Abraham out of rocks.

Yet, God loved us enough to send Jesus to die for us. If anyone had a cause against His brethren, it was Him. We have all sinned against God, and not only did He forgive us, He died to do so.

How much more should we value restoring relationships with our brethren?

What value is all of our service if we neglect what Jesus values most—what He died for—to forgive us and make a way for many sons of God to come into fellowship with Himself?

The point of all of our sacrifices and service is not to please ourselves, but to please God—and what pleases God is that we should obey Him and love one another. Doing so often requires sacrificing self in favor of what is best for another, showing mercy, and praising Jesus for what He did and will do for us.

We also sacrifice our pride as we bear the shame of the unbelieving world in hopes that some might repent and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We should strive to get along with all, as much as it is possible without sacrificing the truth as laid out by the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.

The forgiveness of Christ is beautiful and having received it, seeking reconciliation with everyone as much as is possible should be priority for us. We are good at finding reasons not to take the time and effort into rebuilding broken relationships. It can be uncomfortable and difficult. We might rather blame the other person or assume that they don’t want reconciliation. We might think that we are somehow excused because of some other service that we do for the Lord and our brethren.

Jesus can heal all things if He wills it, and it does seem as though He wills peace for those who are called by His Name. We should do our upmost to seek that out. If not, we might find ourselves delivered into troublesome times, and we “will not come out until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 2

21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. – Matthew 5: 21-22

It’s been a while since I wrote Murder as Defined by Jesus: Part 1. That article contained some generalized thoughts. Now, I want to look at the passages in more detail. This article looks at verses 21-22. There will be a Part 3 that considers verses 23-26.

I love how the righteousness of Jesus goes beyond our natural understanding. According to the laws of man, I have never done murder. According to the righteous standard of Christ, I have sinned in a manner that is on the same spectrum of sin as murder: being angry with my brother.

The “without a cause” statement baffles me a bit. There’s always a reason for getting angry, but most of the reasons are self-centered reasons or can lead to a feeling of self-righteous indignation. I do know some causes for being angry that are just. We should hate the things that God hates, and when these things are done without repentance, this is a just cause for anger.

Seven Things God Hates

16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. – Proverbs 6:16-19

These are causes for rebuke among the household of the faith, and when done to the destruction of others and the body of Christ, it’s fitting to be angry. It is fitting to be angry when we see these things happening in the social and political spheres of our society also. Yet, “be angry and sin not.”

How do we “be angry and sin not?” I think the first thing is to make sure that our anger is just—not justified by our own self-centeredness. Then, we should be on-guard against hypocrisy. If we are in these sins ourselves, then our focus should be inward first. Once we have the “beam out of our eye” then we can help another.

I also think we should strive to hold hope for all that they might repent, yet sometimes a sharp rebuke and a bit of trouble in this life are the only hopes a person—or entity—has at repentance. When we see the ministry of the Two Witnesses as seen in the last days (Revelation 11), I believe these things that God hates are motivating factors.

These abominations are linked to what Jesus is rebuking here.

It is pride that often leads to anger as one feels superior to another. Pride is also often rooted in pain and Jesus can heal this pain. Take a look at The Pain Behind The Pride. If we are filled with pride, it isn’t long before we are looking at someone through an unjust lens, leading to slander, murder, devising wicked plans, coverups and other forms of lying, and division.

It should not be among Christians—especially among the household of the faith.

If we so much as say a scornful word to our brethren without a just cause, then we are in danger of judgment. As Christians who are under the blood of Jesus, this will mean chastening. Thanks be to God, that if our faith is in Jesus, we do not have to face the fires of death for our murderousness.

However, I would like to avoid chastening of the Lord as much as possible.

This is why I’m taking the time to write the book on The 7 Churches of Revelation: These Things Saith He.

We have chastening coming and it is already here. It is building up as we neglect the teachings of Jesus—and in many ways, we don’t seem to see it. The Lord shows us by the Holy Spirit and those who He has given this message of repentance, and we should listen.

I don’t like when I see ministers and false prophets bullying people into going to church or listening to their message through fear or shame. Because of this, I don’t say that people have to listen to anything I write. This book will be necessary, at least for those who read it. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin.”

Saying such a bold statement makes me uneasy, mostly because of what others would think, and I don’t want to cast a stumbling block by making a bold claim. Yet, it is the truth. Jesus grants authority to His faithful servants, and in this work, I have authority. I also have authority to work alongside my brethren, to take in their ideas and thoughts, to make a point: we are a body knit together in Christ and we should have no king over us but Jesus.

Our pride, anger, accusations, slander, and division among the household of the faith will not stand for much longer without serious rebuke. A house divided cannot stand, as Jesus says. The true body of Christ and His called out are not divided; we are one in Spirit. We all need to “come out of her” who leads to being otherwise—and “she” is found in every single Christian sect just as members of the true body of Christ in Spirit are found among every Christian sect.

“This ignorance God winked at” for a long time because it was needful so that we would not have one unjust ruler over us all, but the King of Kings will come, and we should be one with Him even as He and the Father are one (John 17). In being one, we will better stand against those who are also “of one mind and give their power and strength to the beast” Thanks be to God, that though they “make war with the Lamb, the Lamb will overcome them for He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.” Let us be “called, chosen, and faithful.”

We begin by repenting of our murders and abominations, first among the household of the faith, then we stand together against the murderous ways of the systems and kingdoms of this world as one who can see clearly, refuse deception, and speak the truth without hypocrisy and self-righteous indignation.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

Global Warming or Gaslighting?

If you repeat a false idea long enough, the idea is accepted as truth. This is one of many forms of gaslighting.

Is global warming a real threat or is this just another gaslighting tactic used to create fear, panic, division, and encourage people to give up their freedoms in favor of an authoritarian regime that will have to unite globally under the guise of saving the earth from her idiotic and destructive inhabitants?

My most popular article is Gaslighting from a Christian Perspective. Had I known that it would take off as it did, I would have spent more than an hour writing it. I am glad to know that this term is becoming well-known because gaslighting is a real threat to our personal liberties–a threat that is given a voice through political propaganda, media outlets, and the big-tech industry.

We have been fed garbage and lies for so long that many of us believe the propaganda. This false information carries us away into spiritual drought while simultaneously pulling us downward into the depths of deception. This is the real heatwave and flood we should be concerned about.

Yet, we do not fear or despair as those who have no hope. Fear is a form of worship, and it is Jesus that we fear. Not man or their gaslighting attempts.

I’m not learned in all of the nuances of the global warming debate, but in my spirit I know that something is off with this. This is gaslighting. This is just another strawman–a strawman that is fit to be burned up by the fires it creates and pulled down to the depths of the grave.

Psalm 2 (KJV)

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

What if She Had Taken the Time to Share Jesus With Me?

Have you ever encountered someone that seemed too steeped in sin to care about taking Christianity seriously?

This evening I’ve been thinking about someone I have not thought about in a long time–someone who probably thought that I was too steeped in sin to care about taking Christianity seriously.

This was a co-worker of mine. She was probably in her 50s. I was 19-20 at the time. I was a Christian. Sort of. I didn’t really understand what living as a Christian was about.

At the time, I was in a long-distance relationship with my now husband. We were not married then. Every few months, I would take a trip to see him. My co-worker would make snarky comments about how I was going to “shack up” with my boyfriend.

I also had acne at the time. She told me this was my sin leaving me. It was because I was a fornicator, she said.

All this did was harden me. I think I even made a snarky remark back about how much fun I would have “shaking up” with my boyfriend.

I also watched Joel Osteen on the television while I worked. Me and one of my co-workers liked him. We worked at an assisted living facility, and the residents enjoyed watching him so we would turn on their TVs and listen while we took care of them.

The not-so-kind co-worker remarked on this too.

She said that he was terrible and she could not believe that we would listen to that garbage.

Did we care? Did we listen to her? No.

Looking back, I cannot help but wonder, what if she had taken the time to share Jesus with me?

Instead of making jabs at me, what if she had taken the time to be kind? What if she had taken the time to notice that I had some measure of faith in Jesus and asked to talk about the faith? What if she had taken the time to learn about who I was and the life I lived that informed by sinful choices? What if she had shown compassion and gently corrected me while showing me the word of God?

To her, I was probably just a stupid, sinful, and proud teenager who would not listen to her. I think I would have. If she had taken the time.

I’m glad that I did not because my life would not be what it is and I know that God is in control. Yet, I think the Lord is brining this to my mind for a reason.

We don’t know what people are going through and we don’t know how they might respond if we just take the time. Instead of dismissing people as lost causes for one reason or the other, what if we take the time to get to know them, find out what their lives are like, and patiently lead them to Jesus?

This requires taking a personal interest in individuals–individuals that are often lost, overlooked, and swallowed up by a collective.

To my co-worker, I was just another stupid and rebellious teenager. I was not an individual–an individual with a painful life that could have used some kindness and wise instruction from an older woman.

Let’s not let people get swallowed up in collectives.

Even the most extreme and sin-filled collectives. Don’t forget the individuals. Take the time. Jesus took the time to reach out to me, though that meant about another decade of suffering without Him, but I’m glad He did. I want to make sure that I take the time too.

Considering Proverbs 11:2

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

This reminds me of something Jesus said.

“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

In Matthew Chapter 11, Jesus talked about the refusal of the proud to repent. He said that if the same works that He had done were done in other sinful cities, they would have repented.

Failing to repent of sin and turn to Jesus is pride. To make matters worse, many praise their sin to the extent that sin is no longer considered to be sin and those who say otherwise are mocked and hated by many.

However, this is the Father’s doing and it is “good in His sight.”

God has His way of laying low the proud. Those who flaunt pride in their sin will face a great shame, and if the Lord is dealing mercifully with them, then they will face this shame before they face Him so that they might repent, turn to Jesus, and be healed.

As it is written concerning the Day of the Lord, “the day of the Lord of Hosts shall be upon everyone that is proud and lofty and upon everyone that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low.”

Knowing this, lowliness is wise.

It is wise to fear God and to glorify Him, not man.

Fear is a form of worship. If fear of the pride of man causes us to cower in fear instead of standing up for what is true, then we are not fearing God properly. If fear of the pride of man causes us to fall into an overwhelming despair, then we are not fearing God properly. If fear of the pride of man causes us to join in with those who would take vengeance into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord, then we are not fearing God properly.

There are many proud. This does not only extend to movements such as LGBTQ pride. It’s easy to pick on certain groups of sinners, but all things that we exalt above Jesus is a form of pride. There is much pride within secular society as well as Christian society. There are many things that need to come down, and they will, according to the perfect ways of the Father—ways that often mean giving the proud over to the hands of their enemies for a time.

Christians are often concerned because our nation seems to be given into the hands of our enemies. Why do we suppose this is the case? What areas of pride do we need to repent of within the household of the faith? Many of our works are to be “tried by fire” and though the soul is saved, this is going to be a troublesome time indeed. It already is.

Yet, just as God sent the Assyrians first and then the Babylonians, there is more to come. I believe another enemy will come to destroy our current enemies—and this enemy will bring even greater temptation for believers. The King of Babylon and the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon are proud indeed.

As Christians, we should be low. The lower we are, the better, even if it means surrendering our lives. Jesus will resurrect those who are so low as to die for His sake.

Do not fear the proud. Instead, fear God and know that He is in control. He reveals life-saving truths to those who are lowly, those who see their sin and repent, and those who know that there is no salvation from condemnation and death apart from the salvation of Jesus Christ.

This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.

Do you have thoughts to share about Proverbs 11:2? Leave a reply in the comments!

These Things Saith He: Contents

I’ve decided that I am going to write a book on the 7 churches of Revelation and I want to take my readers along for the ride.

That might seem silly considering I only have a handful of regular readers, but in my mind, each person is valuable whether there is one or hundreds and I appreciate the input and perspective of my readers.

So, I plan to share the work as it is written then provide access to the completed and edited work–which will include the insight shared by my readers 🙂 So, please do share your thoughts, questions, things I should cover, etc. You can leave a reply in the comments section or send an email (see the About page for email address).

For starters, here is the content outline of the book in basic terms. I will most likely tweak these titles for improved reader engagement/readability. I have inserted some notes detailing what each section will include.

What would best serve you? Does this seem to cover all the bases you would want covered? Do you have ideas for section/chapter titles or a better way of ordering/dividing up the chapters?

CONTENTS

  • Introduction: The purpose behind the book (edification of the church) with a focus on the defining attributes of Jesus and why He matters most when considering His words to the churches (hence the working title of the book, “These Things Saith He”)
  • Method of Interpretation: My view concerning the use of prophetic scriptures for today and my perspective on how we can best apply the letters to the churches today.
  • Symbolism/Terminology: A look at common symbols and sayings within these letters.
    • Seven Stars and Seven Golden Candlesticks
    • “I will remove your candlestick out of its place.”
    • Doctrine/Deeds of the Nicolaitans
    • Synagogue of Satan
    • “He that overcomes and keeps my works.”
  • The Letters to the Churches: A look at the letters to each of the 7 churches in Revelation Chapters 2-3. I will look at each church. Each church will be divided into three chapters for a total of 21 chapters. The three chapters for each include:
    • Overview: The letter and the interpretation.
    • Scripture: Scripture that relates to the letter and the interpretation.
    • Overcoming: A discussion in how Christians can use the letter, interpretation, and scripture to strengthen their walk with Jesus Christ.
  • Conclusion: I have no plan for the conclusion, but I would like to wrap it all up with an ending chapter.

If you are interested, I have articles written on the 7 churches of Revelation that you can read and comment on. For each church I wrote a post that includes my understanding of these letters in basic terms and a post that includes my personal experiences/lessons learned. As of now, you can find them in the blog roll or under the category tags “Doctrine” “Revelation” I am adding these book chapters under the category tag “These Things Saith He.”

Fear is a Form of Worship

I don’t always fear God as I should. This is especially true when I begin to exalt my fears as being higher and mightier forces in my life than God Himself.

I was talking with a loved one yesterday about this cycle I tend to go through. I have a lot of responsibilities in this life. Too much really for one person, so I eventually work myself into severe physical, mental, and even spiritual exhaustion.

When I am in one of these exhausted states, I tend to fall into fear and depression. I look at my circumstances that are too much for me, and I do not always trust in God as I should.

Or, though I trust in God, I know that I am not entitled to good and easy things, and it seems to be His will that I should suffer certain things that are beyond my control. This suffering causes depression as I begin to question myself and my calling of the Lord. I’m good at accusing and gaslighting myself. It’s a learned behavior that I need to let go of, and instead, trust that the Lord is for me. Even in my circumstances, which He controls, He is there and He is in control.

We need to repent of fearing the “floods” and “heatwaves” of this life because all things that we fear become things that we exalt in our minds as being mightier forces than He who made them.

There are literal floods and droughts that those who worship climate change fear, both those who state that climate change is man-made naturally and those who point to scientific manipulation of the weather.

There are symbolic floods and droughts too. There is a never-ending flood of information, a lot of it false, that sweeps people away into the depths of deception. There is spiritual dryness that results from the tendency of man to trust in things that do not really fill them instead of trusting in Jesus who promises to give us a “well of living water” by His Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Truth.

Our world is flooded with worship of man: lying, manipulative, and deceitful man. Greedy man. Prideful man. Murderous man. Adulterous man. Power hungry man. False spirituality, man-made ideas about societal equity and righteousness, and all sorts of deceptions that lead people away from Jesus.

Not all things are as they seem in the media and in the world at large. Of this I am certain, so I try to remember Jesus who “judged not by the sight of his eyes neither reproved after the hearing of his ears” because there is One who remains despite it all and He is in control. He will judge righteously in manner that favors “the meek of the earth” and not those who who slander, accuse, cause division, and fuel chaos for their own power-grabbing purposes.

Do not fear man. Do not exalt man above God.

Do not say that nature is angry or that “Mother Earth” is angry. The creation is not above the Creator.

Fear God and exalt Him.

Trust in Him also.

I will strive to do the same, trusting in the Lord to part the waters of the floods of this world while also providing me with a never-ending supply of living water that no drought can take away. I pray that the floods recede, that the droughts turn away, and that the people of God stop fearing in Man and instead fear Him.

I know what it is like to feel as if you are dried up yet pulled under the depths of the sea at the same time, I know that the Lord, Jesus is still there.

He makes a way, but we need to understand that we do not deserve anything but trouble in this life. We need to humble ourselves and understand that man is nothing but dust and the fact that God considers us at all is amazing.

Not only does He care enough to show mercy and to hold us accountable for what we do wrong, He cared enough to send His Son to die for us so that we can escape the just result of our sin: death. We have all caused death and we all deserve it. Yet, in Jesus there is a way.

So, no matter what floods, droughts, or other disasters come—literally or symbolically—do not fear them or exalt them. Fear God and glorify Him.

If we don’t, we might find that we get more of the same.