Foul Weather Christian?

 

boat

I was talking with someone a while back and they were concerned about a person falling away from Christ and drifting back into their old ways. They were concerned and described how every time things in the person’s life got difficult, when the person faced hardships, they turned to God and would go to church, quote scripture and appeared to be living a Christian life. Then, when things got better, they would start missing church here and there, then more and more, they stopped quoting scripture and would start doing things they did before. How this had happened over and over and was there anything they could do to help the person.

Well, all I could suggest was to pray for them but that does happen a lot. I know that often times, people will turn to God when they are desperate, suffering some how and feeling hopeless due to whatever caused them to be in that place in their lives and when life is better, forget God and resort to old ways and return to the sin that had put them into hardship in the beginning. The possible causes are near endless and would take forever to list but that part doesn’t matter, what matters is that the person forgets God until they need Him again.

God WILL help us when we are in need. He has done so for many people. He did so for me.

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.        Psalms 34:4

I have seen Him deliver people from some terrible situations and they never return to their old ways. I know people that were drug addicts and alcoholics and Christ changed them in an instant and they have never used drugs or alcohol again. But, I know others in similar circumstances that were clean and sober for a period of time, some a few days only, some for a few weeks or a few months but they always succumbed to the desire for using whatever their substance of choice was and quickly were back where they started. They would continue like that for a while, a few months, a couple years, several years, but eventually their choice began to cause them problems and back to God again…..and the cycle would repeat itself.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

 

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  Galations 6:7

Repenting, then returning to sin is mocking God. I have heard some that have done so say something to the effect of “it’s okay if I sin, I will ask God to forgive me again.” And, they do this repeatedly. God doesn’t want us to repent, then intentionally sin with that kind of attitude.

Foul weather Christians, those who only seek Him when they are in need, but forget Him when their problems go away deceive themselves and eventually will find that God does not honor the person’s pleas for salvation. He sees their heart, and the way some repeatedly behave with their willful sinning is an affront to Him.

For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12

He knows when we mock Him by thinking we can repeatedly sin and ask for salvation, over and over. I am not saying Christians will never sin, we will, most Christians try to NOT sin, but we all fail, and that is what forgiveness is for and not for those who sin willfully and then seek salvation, with the thought that they will sin again and seek salvation again then. But, as I read in one article, the sin and repeatedly requesting salvation for the same sin, after repeatedly turning one’s back on Christ is that the person’s heart becomes hardened and that being truly repentant becomes nearly, if not completely, impossible for that person.

 

Lord, I worship Your Holy Name and thank You for the salvation that You give us all, the salvation and redemption paid for by Christ when His blood was shed for our sins. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me to resist temptation so I do not fall back into sin. Help me to avoid repeatedly sinning, then seeking forgiveness, then repeating that cycle and by helping me avoid that, You will help me avoid hardening my heart. I pray that You keep my thoughts on Christ and keep me seeking to know His heart and to live in a manner that is pleasing to You. Please draw us all closer to You so we know Your truth and seek to live for You and follow the path You wish for us.

Amen

 

Thanks to all for your visit today. I hope all have a blessed day, and as always, that you are able to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

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The things that come out of some peoples’ mouths.

Summerland-Dental-dentures

My great uncle was an evangelist and would travel all over to preach and several times a year he would be in our town holding services so obviously we would go. He was very much the stereo-typical southern preacher. MAN, he would get to going and hands would be flying, pacing all over the elevated platform where the pulpit was located. This was back before churches had PA systems so preachers had to speak up and for him, that was ABSOLUTELY NOT an issue. I was pretty young and I will be honest, other than little bits and pieces of sermons I really couldn’t tell you what he actually preached about. For the kids that were dragged along, and honestly, not unwillingly as my great-aunt always had some kind of treats in her purse so we would “fight” over who sat next to her. Beyond that, there was a certain entertainment value as my great uncle had dentures, false teeth, and when he would get to going and was preaching hard, he would get to something that he really wanted to emphasize, but the dentures were not quite fitted properly and he hated using the adhesive,  so mid-sentence at times they would pop out.  No, pop out isn’t strong enough, they would SHOOT out of his mouth. Now, we had learned about him doing this and we waited and waited and no matter what we were doing, we all knew the sound of his voice when he was getting more fired up preaching, so we would start watching and then, POW, out of his mouth the teeth would come and then in a blink of an eye his hand would come out, he would point at the congregation than open his hand, grab his teeth and slap them in. Many times it happened and the kids that knew would be waiting, giggle and otherwise, most had no clue that anything had happened. Many of the adults didn’t know it was a frequent occurrence but if you watched closely you could see it happen. But, it was amazing how slick he was at not just catching his teeth and putting them back in, but that he could coordinate his gestures with that movement and rarely even miss a word. But, whether or not he caught the teeth (and I never saw them hit the floor) his mouth still got ahead of itself.

Unfortunately, not everything that comes out of one’s mouth is as easily put back. What is said makes a difference and can have significant impact. Words spoken in anger, frustration, or out of ignorance can’t be put back.

16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Matthew 15:16-20

I always had thought this meant words but words (mostly because I only read one verse) are not the only way we communicate with others; We also use tone of voice, body language, our eyes and  actions. Who hasn’t heard the saying “actions speak louder than words”?  So our actions and behavior can defile us as much as what is said.

I also was thinking on words that may be spoken in anger at times and those words can be pretty harsh and hurtful. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s the insincere but kind words and actions that are far more hurtful to others and as such defile us more than angry words.

At least for me, words spoken in the heat of the moment can be more easily forgiven than the deceptive words and actions from one telling you kind things or doing nice things for you only to learn the nice was only a way to try to get something for themselves. Essentially such words and deeds are lies and the way those who behaved as such treat someone cuts deeper and hurts more than harsh words, much like a sharp knife cuts deeper than a dull knife and while the dull knife wounds hurt more initially the wounds from a sharp knife take much longer to heal. And one who speaks and acts kindly with a hidden agenda that is their only true priority hurts more when the truth finally comes out and as such is much more defiled than one who speaks harshly.

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.  Psalms 101:7

The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?  Jeremiah 17:9

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.     Colossians 2:8

I suspect we have all been guilty of defiling ourselves with our words and actions and far more likely than not we have all one way or another been to one degree or another at least a little deceptive in our words and deeds. We have all been nice to someone to serve ourselves, said nice things or acted like we were their friends to waiters, maybe a car salesman trying to sell a car, and such. And I suppose society has taught us to do so. I don’t say one should treat someone badly because they don’t know them, we should treat all others kindly. But doing or saying things to give one false hopes and expectations only to cast them aside is wrong and far more wrong than a lot of other ways one can mistreat others.

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1 Peter 3:8-12

If course, none of that is how Christ wants from us. He wants us to be honorable, behave towards others as we want to be treated and to not say or do things that defile us, and for Christians, because we are representatives of Him, in a way those actions define Christ as well. Such words and actions from Christians reflect on us and Christ.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  John 13:34

That verse kinda says it all about what He expects of us. Most of the things we do to others would not be done or said if we remembered that verse.

 

Lord, I worship You for all that You are and praise Your name. I thank You for teaching how to be a better Christian, reminding me of things I learned, or should have learned, long ago. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me grow in Christ, that I remember that what comes out of me affects me, impacts others and most importantly reflects on Christ. Help me say, act, behave in the manner that brings positive attention to Jesus and the impact He has had in my life. Help us all learn to do the best we can to make right any wrong things we have said or done and to avoid doing such things to defile ourselves in the future.  Draw us all closer to You so we can spend eternity with Christ.

Amen

 

I hope all are well, a lot of places with some bad roads due to snow. Thank You for your visit. Hoping for blessings for all and that all do their best to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

Making amends?

I was recently contacted by someone who said they thought I and another individual should make amends as we had once been close. However, that is something I cannot do. Not because I have not forgiven the person because the person not only did wrong to me and remains unapologetic; no, I have forgiven for the wrong done to me. It is because they continued to repeatedly attack me, not physically but with their words, repeatedly by calling me names, sometimes directly, other times indirectly. I initially tried to have some sort of conversation with them despite being falsely accused of many things and called horrible names, but all those attempts resulted in escalated insults and accusations. I realized the futility in that and even though they had been told that they were not right to treat me as they were the treatment not only continued but, as I said, increased. Due to that I stopped trying to have any dialogue other than to respond to the attacks by telling them I would pray for them. And, despite this person’s claims of Christianity I was told that they did not want my prayers and they persisted in the attacks. I still responded, I will pray for you which prompted the response from them that my prayers meant nothing he did not need prayers. I continued, regardless of what was said to answer that I would pray for them. No other response would have been met with anything more than more insults and even the statement that I would pray for them it generated other insults.

15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18:15-17

I had someone ask me why don’t I just block their phone number so they cannot contact me again and given the person’s efforts to harass me, it is unlikely that would be beneficial as they would find other ways to contact me. Already they had made new facebook and email accounts after I had blocked them from the initial accounts and given that, I expect they would continue in the same behavior. I explained that despite that behavior that I still had hope that they would repent. That isn’t the case yet, but I continue to pray for the person because they continue in their ways and are unrepentant. I pray that God works in his life and he will see his sins and stop the sinning and seek the Lord’s forgiveness.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

No, I cannot make amends with the person, but still pray for them that God work in their life, show him his sins that he will confess to God, repent and seek God’s forgiveness. That has not yet happened and he persists in his same behavior and attempts to cover his sins, but he doesn’t cover the sins from God.

Lord, I praise Your holy name and worship You for all you are and do. I pray that You work on the person and show him Your truths and he understand what he should do to please You Lord. I pray that You draw us all to You and show us all Your truths and Your true plans for us that none perish but have life with You and Christ in Heaven for eternity.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time, Have a great weekend and please, try to be a blessing to someone else today.

 

Someone is always watching. GOD is ALWAYS watching.

people looking

The other day my grandson had to go to ball practice. I was off and his folks were both at work, so guess who was voluntold to take him….YUP, you got it, me! No problems, I kinda like the kid, so I was glad to do it. Well, they live a couple miles from us out in the country, so I was driving him down and when we got to town the light was red so I pulled into the left turn lane to wait for the light to change. We had the windows down as it was a really nice day. A car pulled into the right hand turn lane and then another pulled up into the straight lane. The guy in the lane next to us just started screaming and cussing at the guy in the other turn lane. This was language as bad or worse than anything I ever heard in the military. My grandson turned to look and see what was going on, and then he turned towards me with a funny expression on his face. About then the light changed so we turned and headed to the ball field. As we drove he told me the man next to us was a deacon in his church and proceeded to say that was almost like the pastor, and how come he was cussing so much because preachers shouldn’t do that. I explained that we didn’t know what had happened before then to make him mad, but he still should not have behaved like that. I also explained that Christians aren’t perfect, but we can be forgiven. We just have to repent, confess to Christ and ask for forgiveness. I also told him that we shouldn’t judge, any judgement will come from God.

But, it also got me to thinking that while we can be forgiven, Christians have a responsibility to Christ to do our best to control our anger and our actions, including our words as people are always watching, nonChristians will judge us and Christ because of Christians behavior.

 

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

James 1:19-20

 

[He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly.  Proverbs 14:29

 

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. James 1:26

 

The scripture is pretty straight forward on controlling emotions, especially anger, and the actions or words associated with failing to do so. There are many other verses that eal with this issue as well.

 

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

 

Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James 3:10

 

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.  Matthew 15:11

 

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27

 

The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13

 

It is pretty obvious that foul language is not pleasing to the Lord. He expects our actions and our words, to reflect a positive image of Christians, and therefore of Christ through our actions. Foul language discredits they who use it, and Christ.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

 

And, no matter who else may, or may not, see us as we go about our days, when we do well and when we sin, God always sees us.

The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

I have had more than my share of failures in keeping my anger in check and holding my tongue. I am much better than I was before, my language is much better, my ability to avoid getting angry is better as well. Not thanks to me, but to God for the improvements.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the blessings You give me and the lessons I learn while I study Your word. And, the opportunities You give me to try to help my grandson (and me) understand Your wishes for us. I pray in Jesus name that You help me remember that I am always an ambassador for Christ and that I need to, even if no one else sees, remember to always be the person I should be and not succumb to anger, that I make sure to use the right words and not speak out of anger. I ask that You help me continue to learn the heart and mind of Christ and that You continue helping me be the person You want. Draw my love ones to Jesus that they may know You as well. Teach us all Your true will and way for us.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time. Have a most blessed day. And, of course, try to be a blessing to others as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Never too late.

 

 

I heard the song: “Never Too Late” by Kutless for the first time today, or if I’d heard it before, I missed the message. It’s a powerful song but the following passage really spoke to me about a lot. The whole song did, but this verse especially.

IT’S HARD TO HIDE THE PAIN OF LIFE,
IT’S A LOSING GAME THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED TOO LONG,
YOU’VE LISTENED TO THE VOICE OF PRIDE,
IT SAYS YOU’RE TOO FAR GONE,
BUT BELIEVE ME YOUR WRONG…

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE,
TO CALL ON HIM
WHATEVER YOU’VE DONE,
WHEREVER YOU’VE BEEN,
ALL YOUR MISTAKES ARE COVERED BY GRACE,
AND AS LONG AS THERE’S A BREATH LEFT TO TAKE IT’S NEVER TOO LATE…

For those who haven’t heard it, here it is. I hope it speaks to others as much as it did to me.

Lord, Praise You for Your Glory and forgiveness. Thank You for the reminder that it is NEVER too late and that Your love and forgiveness will cover all our sins. We must only repent. Thank You for the messages that teach me so much. I need the lessons.

In Jesus Name, Amen.