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Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

                                                         Part Two

                                   SLICING, DICING, AND BURNING

Someone much wiser than me said, “It only takes a generation for a nation to turn away from God.” And the Book of Jeremiah gives the absolute proof certain of this proclamation.

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King Jehoiakim ruled in Judah from 609 B.C. until 597 B.C. He was the son of King Josiah who reigned from 630 B.C. until 609 B.C.

Josiah was a man after God’s own heart, but his son Jehoiakim, was bad-to-the-bone. Josiah cleared the land of idols, destroyed their places of worship, and found God’s word, which had been lost in the temple. (Can you imagine the Word of God being lost in the House of God? Still happens today in some churches, doesn’t it?)

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When Josiah finally heard the Word of God, he tore his clothes and commanded priests and scribes to inquire of the Lord concerning the words of the Book. His story is found in 2 Chronicles 34 and 35 and is so worth the read if you don’t know about this last good king in the land of Judah. God blessed Judah because of Josiah’s obedience. But generational sin lurked like a shroud of judgment, because Josiah’s father, King Manasseh had been the worst of the worst and that gene pool washed like a tsunami over his grandson Jehoiakim.

God sent Jeremiah the prophet, during the days of good King Josiah to remind the priests, rulers, and people of their refusal to listen and obey His Word. To remind them of the judgments He had pronounced against the granddaddy, and remind them of their urgent need to listen and repent.

When Jehoiakim inherited the throne, Jeremiah’s obedience to do what God called him to be and do, proved to be a perpetual pain in this king’s back-side. And the prophet ended up confined, unable to deliver God’s word to the people. But Jeremiah’s work was far from finished. So, the Lord told Jeremiah to take a scroll and write on it the words God spoke to him. God said, “Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way; then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Even while they were back at their idol worship and evil ways, God was ready to hear and forgive their sins. Just like today, over twenty-six hundred years later, God’s message is still the same. And so is every man, woman, boy and girl—the same. Full of sin without the wisdom to see their great need for salvation through Jesus Christ or the ability to save themselves from God’s judgment.

Well, Jeremiah called Baruch, the scribe, and dictated to him all the words the Lord had spoken to him. We’re not told how long the process took, but remember, God called Jeremiah to be His prophet in 627 B.C. It’s now 606 B.C. That’s a bunch-a-words folks. Written by hand, in pen and ink, on a loooong roll of parchment.

What happened next is worth reading in the 36th Chapter of Jeremiah, verses 10-21. But picture this, the king is sitting in his winter house and there’s a fire burning in the brazier in front of him.

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Jehudi unrolled the scroll and began reading—one column, two, three, and four columns. Imagine the scene, the king is obviously incensed and grabs the scribe’s knife and slices the scroll and pitches it into the fire. Then he sliced and diced the whole scroll containing the Words of God and burned it all in the fire until it was consumed!

“Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments” (Jeremiah 36:24 NIV).

I’m waitin’ for the lightning and goose-bumps raced across my body as I read this and then again as I’m typing these words to you. Remember his daddy’s reaction when he heard the Word of God? He feared and tore his clothes. Jehoiakim and his crew? Not so much.

I have every Bible I’ve ever owned and if there were a fire at my house, my Bibles would be the first thing I’d race to save. Wouldn’t you? But to cut them apart and watch ’em burn?

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Yet before we cluck our tongues and look down our noses at King Jehoiakim, don’t we reject God’s Word when we leave it in the back of the car from one Sunday ‘til the next. Never thinking about where our copy of the Word is ‘til we leave for church the following week? Or worse yet, we leave it on the end table by our chair, right next to the HD remote. Which gets more use during the week—the Word of God or the remote?

But God didn’t wring His holy hands. No, He told Jeremiah to get another scroll and repeat the process. Which Jeremiah and Baruch did, because we have the words God spoke to Jeremiah in our Bibles today. But listen carefully to the words God spoke concerning King Jehoiakim.

“You will have no one to sit on the throne of David, and your dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and frost of the night. (He wouldn’t receive a proper burial. The birds and beasts would pick his bones.) I will also punish him and his descendants and his servants for their iniquity, and I will bring on them and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the men of Judah all the calamity that I have declared to them” (Jeremiah 36:29-31 NIV).

And God’s Words became reality for King Jehoiakim, the priests, and the people when Nebuchadnezzar and his great armies killed, captured and burned Jerusalem, and carried many from Judah captive to Babylon for seventy years. Why? Because they did not listen to the Words of God to obey them!

God’s Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. Neither Jehoiakim nor any of his descendants will be present in the coming kingdom. His choices brought the consequences of separation from God then, now, and forever. No more chances. His doom was sealed and God’s wrath on him was executed by the King of Babylon. Done. Finished. Forever.

But God’s mercy and grace are still available to us. How will the recount of Jehoiakim’s foolish choices and consequences resonate in your life? The words “…but they didn’t listen…” echo in my ears from 606 B.C., through the corridors of time, to today…

Am I listening? Are you listening? What choices will we make? Will we choose rewards or consequences?

“And He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’” (Revelation 21:6-8 NIV).

 

Part Three: Weak, Deceived, Can’t Trust – Jeremiah 37 – 38

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Symphony silence filled the music hall before the curtain rose and the anticipated performance brought a moment of exhilaration and excitement scurrying over the elegant clad attendees.

Spotlights focused as the director strode center stage. Lights dimmed and the curtain lifted. He stepped to the podium, tapped his baton, and held up his arms as every eye in the house held on the performance-clad orchestra in all their finery. The audience sat spellbound, waiting for those first perfect notes to saturate their senses.

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But their music stands were empty, and shrieky, strident sounds of a weird, wild cadence blasted ear drums. Gasps were seen, but couldn’t be heard. The volume increased as did the out-of-tune mayhem from the thumps and bumps of the percussion section, mindless blasts from the horns, and screeches from the strings. Not an ounce of unity. No trace of a melody. Just a barrage of hateful clamor.

The audience twisted and turned to assess the reactions of other symphony goers, but not a soul left their seat. They sat in rapt expectation that this symphony of deception would somehow change. Some way have a good ending.

But it didn’t.

The chaotic chords continued as the audience squirmed in their seats. Watching. Waiting. Anticipating. But nothing changed. Yet all those concert goers remained in their places, listening, but doing nothing to stop this absurd spectacle. And when the last cords fell silent, the people who endured this catastrophe even clapped their feigned approval for their deceivers.

I know you’re thinking, what stupid people. These were obvious phonies pretending to be professional musicians. If I’d been there I’d a rushed up that aisle and demanded the performance be stopped and my money refunded.

Really? But isn’t this what’s happening across America today? No unity, no oneness of Spirit. Everyone banging their own tune. No United States of America. No “My Country, ‘tis of Thee.” No “Sweet land of liberty. Of Thee we sing—” The music has ceased, but the hateful haranguing shrieks and screams rage on, and on, and on.

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And the silence of the majority still waits for the deception to end. But it hasn’t. And it won’t. Unless you do something to stop it.

God offered, provided His Word and His Son, but the rancorous minority rejected His help and kicked Him to the curb, while the silent majority sat silent. And now we’re out of time. Next Friday could be the beginning of chaos, the likes of which America hasn’t seen since the Civil War. But only Elohim, The Lord God Almighty, can save us from ourselves and this great deception.

If we humble ourselves and pray as though our nation’s future depended on you and me. Because it does.

Political leaders claim to be serving the good of all the American people, but they don’t. With ulterior radical motives, a depraved mind, and an insatiable appetite for money, they have captured and created chaos for years with a perverted plan to fundamentally change these United States of America, while the public they pretend to serve, waits on the sidelines for someone—anyone to rescue them from the coming storm.

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Yet the God of the Ages is still faithful and still stands ready to rescue, if we will, with one voice, cry out to Him.

Teachers, professors, educators claim to teach our children necessary skills, but instead uphold an agenda contrary to the principals and precepts of the Word of God. These purveyors of deception have slipped in unnoticed and taken control of schools and universities. These pseudo-intellectuals delight in social experimentation to force their lies and ideological beliefs upon our children. And we have paid and still trust them to accomplish this hideous brain-washing, while we sit silent on the sidelines, grateful to have illegitimate babysitters relieve us of our responsibilities as parents.

Preachers who claim to preach truth, but actually proclaim another gospel, rather than the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, are multiplying and flourishing in this once “Under God” nation. These rebellious men and women seek and flatter congregations not grounded in the Word of God. And people with itching ears gobble their false-prophecies because their ears and hearts are not interested in the truths, practices, and principles of the Lord God Almighty.

Social media experts whose responsibility and pledge is to inform and report the truth and facts have only one goal …make money, regardless of the costs. And are for sale to the highest bidder. Truth? God’s instructions? They aren’t interested. Lies make bigger and better press.

And entertainers—in this Sodom and Gomorrah culture—invade not only movies, books, CD’s, theater, but have moved into our homes, the classroom, and our children’s hearts. Television shows broadcast with flamboyance their intentional rebellion against God and His holiness, while we sit and watch, night after night, week after week, and when called to account attempt a lame defense… “Oh, I don’t agree with ’em. I just watch ’em.”

Well, sweet friend, If you’re watchin’, you’re agreeing.

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I know we’ve all heard the saying, “Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.” Yet we purposefully refuse to learn. God preserved His Word and called us to come apart and be separate. We are instructed to be different. We are instructed to be holy unto the Lord. Our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress’ new book,  “All Roads Do Not Lead to Heaven,” confirms this truth.

Last night I read that the State of California as of January 1, 2017, will no longer prosecute child sexual molestation cases, thus throwing the door wide open to human trafficking. What are these California legislators thinking? What will they say when they stand before the God of all Creation and hear Jesus say:

“And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, ‘Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea’” (Matthew 18:2-6 NAS).

What will you say and do when your State legislators propose the same thing?

In that day, our excuses, our idols, and our hypocrisy will be burned up and many of us will be left with the bare bones of our salvation—no rewards—because we were too lazy, too busy, or too fearful to stand for God’s truth in the here and now.

And many will hear those awful words, “I never knew you. “Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23 NAS).

Do you think God has changed His mind? He tells us He never changes. Do you know and trust His character?  His promises? Will you continue to sit and watch this symphony of deception play out until the end—never objecting, never speaking God’s truth, never caring about those your life touches? Will you, like those absurd fictional symphony goers, clap your hands together in feigned approval of those rushing down the wide highway to an eternal hell?

Our forefathers stood firm in the light of The Word of God, fought and died for the precious principles of faith in the God of all Creation. Will you sit in silence while the enemies of God steal our land too?

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Or will you accept and trust in the gift the Lord Jesus Christ paid for your soul and mine? While there is still time, God stands ready to grant His mercy, His grace, and forgiveness because of Jesus’ blood shed for you and me—if we will turn, listen, and obey Him. But time is short. Please search your heart. Please ask His forgiveness. Please repent…turn around and walk according to His principles and precepts.

Diligently pray for our nation this coming week and ask God to bind the forces of evil determined to turn the hallowed ground of our forefathers into a battle ground. Draw your line in the sand and stand like a soldier holding the solid line of Truth. Be thankful to our Lord. Our God. Our Only Salvation. Our soon coming King!

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:16-17 NAS).

 

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The echo of his words hung heavy in my heart. Stinging. Stabbing. Next morning, in full apology mode, he said “I’m sorry.” But isn’t he always?  After the fact.

When Sorry's Not Enough

Sorry isn’t a bad thing to say—if you mean it and if you aren’t constantly mouthing I’m sorry for the same offenses over and over again. There comes a time when sorry’s just not enough. There must be change.

When words erupt with the express intent of inflicting pain and harm utilized by a prior knowledge of the target’s weakness or scars—sorry’s not enough.

When behavior continually patterns itself in a manner that causes others to despair and lose hope—sorry’s not the correct response.

When troublesome behavior patterns or thought processes are pointed out and the person blames others or blows off the wisdom of God’s Word rather than listening and looking at their own heart—sorry’s not an option.

When there is no appetite for the Word of God, but a ferocious appetite to consume everything the world has to offer—sorry is a worthless excuse.

You can mouth sorry ‘til the cows come home, but nothing changes—not in the heart. And that’s where relational problems occur. Chanting I’m Sorry while the fog of ignorance of God’s Word smothers a deceived heart, rendering it incapable of understanding the hopelessness of habitual actions, while  continuing to slice and dice innocent bystanders with a fiery tongue.

God’s Word instructs “With our tongues we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?” (James 3:9-11 NAS)

Only five minutes of nightly news will qualify we live in a time where deceived, depraved hearts are the norm rather than the exception—even in the church.

“Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter. Yes, truth is lacking…” (Isaiah 59:12-15 NAS).

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But we were not meant to live that way. To stay that way.

Coming to faith and trust is the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord isn’t about mouthing I’m sorry for my sins. Then like the person referred to in Corinthians, turning away from the mirror, forgetting what he looked like. We’re all sorry when we get caught with our fingers in the cookie jar. Anyone will mumble I’m sorry in order to dodge the consequences of wrong actions. And many kiddos have been raised to think I’m sorry is the magic phrase that dispels consequences.

And the Word warns, “They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7 NAS).

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Jesus knew God was going to raise Him from the grave three days later, but He carried the consequences of our sins and suffered God’s judgment that should have been yours and mine on that cruel cross. He bore the penalty—the guilty verdict—for every one of my sins and every one of yours. And we fool ourselves into thinking a brief I’m sorry quipped in the heat of an emotional moment at the altar makes nice? Makes saved?

We can’t make anything nice. We can’t save ourselves. We can’t change our actions or our hearts—only the Holy Spirit of God, given at the moment of choosing Christ, can and will change your heart.

So the questions are… Am I truly saved, but grieving the Holy Spirit by refusing to allow Him to change me? Or…Did I walk the aisle, get dunked in the water, by mouthing a trite I’m sorry, with no intention of or desire to have Him change my life? Was it just an emotional moment of conviction that would hopefully keep me from frying in hell forever? But I certainly didn’t give Him permission to change my heart, my life, my attitude, and my mind. About anything. No sir, no holy-roller, religious freak for me. Nuh-un. I’m okay, just like I am.

Precious reader, if you find yourself answering yes to either of the above questions there is still hope. But there’s a problem. God is not willing for any to perish. That’s why He has delayed the return of the Lord Jesus—giving you time to come to the end of yourself and willingly give control of your life to Him—And that means change. That’s why Jesus gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit—to teach us—to transform us—to make us like Jesus. And that means we’re gonna be changing ‘til Jesus comes.

We all sin. We still live in natural or sinful bodies. But it’s the pattern of your life that counts. You can’t be a born-again child of God and continue to live and act in the same manner you did before you were saved.

The Word tells us, “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God…” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NAS).

A truly born-again child of God will be the most miserable person on the planet if he/she attempts to keep walking in old behavior patterns. Their lives will bear no fruit. Oh, on the outside they may fool others for a time, but their souls will begin to look like parched Texas corn with no rain, who doesn’t fool God.

But God’s mercy is new every morning. His grace is still available. As long as there’s life and breath there’s hope. That’s why Jesus suffered and died—just for you, just for me.

Are you tired of saying I’m sorry? Are you tired of always feeling guilty and suffering shame? There’s hope. Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks (Revelation 3:20 NAS). Will you open the door and let Him make His home with you?

God is not willing

 

 

 

 

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When news becomes propaganda.

When journalists and reporters twist truth to satisfy their point of view, opinions, or narcissism.

When reporting turns from facts into slanted half truths, which are in essence complete lies.

Monday evening, on the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol, in Austin. Channel Five TV News exhibited a blatant example of truth-twistingDSCF2689 to square with their political and moral views. And Channel Eight, as well as other stations who transmitted their news feed, walked the crooked path with them.

Channel Five reporters chose to broadcast only pro-abortion views and represented to their audience a DSCF2690pro-abortion crowd that far outnumbered those favoring life.

Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

I personally witnessed a Channel Five camera crew positioning and repositioning the reporter and interviewee to reflect the pro-abortion folks in the background. Never panning the whole scene so a viewer might DSCF2684recognize the impact of the actual numbers. And the sea of blue that covered the Capitol landscape.

The pictures attached to this blog are photos, taken by me, that evening from a variety of views.

But why should I be surprised? Isn’t that what we’ve become accustomed to? We now have what we have tolerated—news media, journalists, reporters, and photographers who have become skilled propagandists. Editorialists. Unable to separate truth from deception, morality from immorality, and facts from lies—always seeking the sensational, morbid, chaotic—stirring the nation’s pot of emotions. Always DSCF2687pitting one group against another. And for what? Ratings? Money? Power?

I looked out over those clad in orange, most of them out of the main stream in dress, behavior, and attitudes. Most were young folks, schooled and being educated in hot beds of socialists scholars who teach them there are no absolute truths. Therefore, lies don’t even wiggle the needle on the students’ radar.

And we have tolerated that twisted truth and watched while it captured and overwhelmed major institutes of higher learning in America. Warping, wrenching, and worming into our public schools, our homes, and yes, even into our churches.

Every evening we vegetate in front of idol worshipping screens stationed front and center in our living rooms, and listen to absurd mouth-pieces who border on insanity, those who are bringing certain destruction to truth, justice, and the American way.

The silent American majority doesn’t even blink over murdering a DSCF2695baby in the womb at any point in the gestational period. This mind-altering deception started with changing the meaning of words, i.e. It’s not a baby. It’s a fetus. Just tissue. And we now have what we tolerated. A lie from the father of lies—Satan. And we have acquiesced to his lie.

Proven, scientific technology  now records a baby’s development, from inception to birth. And whether you believe it or not, in no way changes proven, scientific evidence. When your heart and mind are in rebellion against God, it’s easy to believe the lies of abortionists, rather than seek and believe truth that would save the mother and the baby.

Incidentally, abortion organizations have a large and very angry dog in this fight. Greed. And money. Enormous sums of money.

The abortion industry is a mega-billion dollar industry in the United States. Planned Parenthood’s—talk about an oxymoron—stake has DSCF2692unlimited dollar signs attached to the end of their name. And Gosnell type clinics span the inner cities of every state, painting the horror of their operation with the pretense of “helping women.”

And women seeking abortion have sought sin’s moment of sexual pleasure, then demanded an abortion to solve the consequences. We are allowing and paying for abortion to be used as birth-control. When in fact the choice to say no, the choice of a movie instead of sex, the choice to refuse access to your body to anyone but your marriage partner would prevent this crime.

Medical files overflow with post-abortive accounts of wrecked lives. Men and women, who for years, have suffered and are continuing to suffer DSCF2691from the “tissue-fetus-lie.” Lives plagued with guilt, depression, illness, and even suicide because of the inability to live with the consequences of murdering their flesh and blood.

Because that’s what Americans have tolerated.

Since the Roe v. Wade Court ruling,  Americans have tolerated the murder of over fifty-five million babies. That would equivocate to double the number of soldiers killed in The American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korean and Viet Nam wars combined. Or just shy of killing the total populations of California and Florida.

God’s Word is clear on this subject. The shedding of innocent bloodDSCF2693 pollutes the land. And whether you believe God’s Word or not in no way changes its truth and validity.

Americans have polluted the soil of this land, from Sea to Shining Sea. And the blood of these innocent babies will be required from all who have stood silent. All who have not repented and been forgiven. All who have stood, thumbed their nose at God and chanted “hail Satan,” like those in orange shirts screamed these past two weeks in Texas.

Our screams should reverberate over the echo of bloody screams to God from babies tortured, sliced, and sucked out of their mother’s womb. Yet we continue to elect men and women whose voting history validates their stance. And we return them to represent us, election after election. And we wonder why our nation is in trouble?

We have what we are tolerating.

It is long past time to stand up, speak up, and stand firm in the streets, neighborhoods, homes, courthouses, and schoolhouse for defenseless babies. Babies slaughtered while we have chosen to occupy ourselves with a myriad of trivial, unimportant things that will burn like straw when the Lord returns.

DSCF2698Are there truths important enough to die for?

You bet there are.

And stopping abortion in America is one of the hills on which we must choose to sacrifice our time, our energy, and our lives.

I found it significant to note, on Monday evening, after all their attempts to disrupt and antagonize the prayer rally failed, those in orange shirt, folded up their signs and quietly slipped away. Before the rally was half over.

Perhaps some of their hearts actually heard and were convicted by the Word of God spoken by those leading the rally. Perhaps some of them were in fact paid agitators who recognized their mission had failed. Perhaps they withdrew to regroup for the battle that took place on the floor of the Senate yesterday, where many of those orange shirts were taken away. Arrested for carrying bags of fecal matter and urine, attempting to incite chaos to stop the vote. Fox News did show pictures of some of those orange shirts being removed from the Senate gallery.

The good news is those reckless attempts failed too. SB2 passed 19-11. This battle will be staged throughout America. Perhaps it’s already underway in your state.

So, from this day forward, carefully choose what you decide to believe—what you choose to tolerate. News or propaganda? Truth or lies? Life or death?

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Last week I opened my email to find a death threat. Whether this was spam or  the real deal is yet to be determined.

The officer asked if I owned a gun and suggested I might want to keep it handy and be aware of my surroundings. These words sent me scurrying to the closet to pull out my Smith & Wesson. I loaded the pistol with bullets my husband had stored all these years.

Realizing we were low on ammunition, I let my fingers-do-the-walking in an attempt to find replacement ammo. A number of calls later I located a store and told the clerk I’d see them first thing next morning.

I tucked the weapon into a safe hideout and crawled in bed for what I hoped would be a good night’s sleep. Before closing my eyes, I asked God to keep me safe through the night. My gun was loaded. I knew how to use it. I was prepared.

Early next morning I loaded myself and the revolver into the car and headed for the gun shop. And to be honest, a little concerned. I had never been in a gun shop and didn’t know what to expect. But walked in like I knew what I was doing and handed my gun to the man behind the counter, informing him it was loaded. Just wanted to be sure I bought the right bullets.

He emptied the chamber, held the bullets out and said, “Mrs. Gates, if you are going to shoot someone you’d best be sure you have real bullets, these are just for target practice. You’d make someone mighty angry if you’d shot ‘em with these.”

I gulped as the bullets slid from his hand into mine. And I stared down at the silver and gold cartridges. They looked real. They fit in the gun’s chamber. They smoked when fired and the cartridge shot deep in the ground when I pulled the trigger yesterday afternoon. Yet they weren’t real? My confidence and preparation cracked like a sheet of thin ice. Into very small slivers.

I thought I had a powerful means of protection. But I was uninformed. Powerless. Deceived.

The shells were fake. And using these fake shells would probably have caused me greater harm in the event of a break-in.

After allowing this new found truth to sink in for a moment, I was grateful I didn’t know the night before I had sissy-bullets. Wouldn’t have slept a wink. Would you?

We laughed. Well, kinda. I made my purchase of  the right stuff, and left for home. But I drove home asking myself how many other things in my life looked real but were powerless to protect me? Just like those fake cartridges.

A six figure life insurance policy? A large bank account? A portfolio full of stocks and bonds? My name on a church roll? Or perfect attendance at church—Sunday  after Sunday?

Financial assets can be swept away in a single market crash. And my name on the roll of the local church and perfect attendance means nothing without a personal, trust filled relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Without obedience to His Word. And without love for all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I can sit in church clothed in my Sunday’s best. I can maintain a loving expression pasted on my face. I can even appear to be hanging on every word the pastor utters. But the litmus test? What’s going on in my heart. Worship of the Lord God Almighty or worship of the idol of self?

Am I depending on a sissy faith, a spiritless faith, a powerless faith to see me through the trials of this life and into the kingdom to come? No wonder fifty percent of the folks want nothing to do with religion.

Religion is like target practice bullets—smoking and loud but always missing the mark. Faith and trust in the blood of Jesus Christ is the only true power to save us now and in the days and ages to come.

In that day when I stand before the righteousness of God and He holds the fragments of my life in His hands will the evidence of my faith be fake or real? Will my name be written in The Book of Life? Has my life on earth given testimony and honor, fruit of the Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ or to the gratification of self?

Standing in the presence of God will He recognize His Spirit in me or will He say:

“Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’”  (Matthew 7:21-22 NAS).

Last week I had the opportunity to replace those powerless gun shells for the real deal. In that day it will be too late—no opportunity to exchange a deception for The Truth.

What are you relying on for protection?

The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only real salvation, now and in the kingdom to come. God’s Passover Lamb is waiting to exchange your sin for His righteousness. He is waiting to pour out His mercy and grace over you, in spite of who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done. And He is waiting to fill you with the power of His Spirit so that you will know He is God.

Now and forever. He’s the only deal. The real deal.

 

“Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice. Do not harden your hearts…”(Psalm 95:6-7 NAS).

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