5 Lies Satan Wants You to Believe and Scriptures to Combat Them

Scriptures to Combat the Lies of Satan

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44, NIV)

Satan wants nothing more than to make you ineffective in ministry. He wants you to quit before you start, falter in all your attempts, stray from the truth, and feel isolated in your quest. Don’t fall for his lies. Here are five lies Satan wants you to believe and scriptures to combat them. If it worked for Jesus, certainly it is a model we should follow.

Your goal is impossible and will end in disappointment; quit while your ahead. Our generation is programmed to believe that if what we aim to achieve isn’t quickly given it must not be worth while. We hate the wait and the work that impactful endeavors require. Let’s face it, we are often tempted to quit. However, God urges us to keep going–one faithful step after another–to overcome and be rewarded.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Galatians 6:9, NASB)

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. (Revelation 21:7, NASB)

You are alone in your struggles. Recall the song, “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrows?” Satan would have you believe that you are all alone and nobody can empathize. Not so!

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. (1 Peter 4:19, NLT)

If you make yourself your number one priority, everything else will fall in place. Selfishness never leads to serenity for yourself and certainly not for others. Yes, we should take care of our bodies, soul, and minds as they are a temple unto the Lord. However, our temple is not a shrine and our chief aim is not the satisfaction of ourselves but our sanctification.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:4-7, ESV)

…but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:8, ESV)

Their is an end to your desires; therefore, obtain, achieve, or accumulate X, Y, or Z and you will be filled. We so easily fall for the lie time and time again that if we obtain this one thing we will be happy. If we achieve this one goal, then we will be enough.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NLT)

Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes. (Proverbs 27:20, NIV)

What you can see, feel, taste, or smell is all there is. The devil would love to have us think that all we see is all there is, after all, according to him, you only live once.

He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (Revelation 19:13-14, NIV)

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 
(John 20:29, ESV)

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17, ESV)

What would you add to these five? What scriptures do you use to combat the lies with the Sword of the Spirit?

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Of Mountain Grandeur Achieved with the Feet and in Faith

Mountain Grandeur

I grew up in a small Baptist church where hymn books were opened every Sunday morning and evening. When we were first dating, my husband often joked with me saying I knew every hymn by heart. Well, I may know the first and fourth stanzas, but the second and third ones are a little more of a reach.

Last year we went home to Alabama and attended my sister’s church. During the singing of one particular hymn, the second verse caught me by most pleasant surprise. The second verse to How Great Thou Art is probably one of the most skipped verses in all my hymn-singing upbringing.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art! How great thou art!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:

How great thou art! How great thou art!

~How Great Thou Art, by Carl C. Boberg adapted by Stuart K. Hine

My soul feels most at peace when I am in awe of God’s creation.

I have sat at the base of a waterfall and heard the mighty rushing waters never ceasing. I’ve hiked in some of the most beautiful rock formations in America. I have paddled a kayak in the waters of the gulf and sat in observation of countless sunsets. In each of these settings the thoughts that are provoked are ones of worship of the Lord.

Ron Havasu Falls

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Family Hike

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The last pictured mountain is part of the Carpathian Mountain Range in Ukraine; the same mountains that the writer Carl C. Boberg crossed while penning this famous hymn. Ron and I traveled there in 2006.

Today, as I think on this song and contemplate its meaning, I am reminded that not every day is a beautiful hike through the woods, a moment at the base of a waterfall, or a well worn, familiar path. Additionally, not ever journey is one we take with our feet; often our most perilous and life changing journeys are of the heart. 

In all surroundings, and all life’s seasons of wonder, wandering, and waiting, we have choices to make. On what will we focus? Will we choose contentment? Will we choose to approach the Father with gratitude, or grumbling? Will we look at things as they are and see the good, or will we look at situations as we want them to be and see only what is missing?

When considering my hiking memories, by far the fondest memories for me are those in which my inner worship matched the outer grandeur. I revel in the ones in which my thoughts were pure, prayer was on my spirit’s lips, my worship was vibrant, I was enjoying my companions or my solitude, and my thoughts were set on things above.

Certainly, my more favorable memories were when I was acting in the will of God. Faithfully trusting in His timing and abiding in His will. This is true on scaling the mountaintops, in the day in and day out of life’s demands, and  days spent in anticipation of dreams yet unrealized.

The difference in our singing lies with the heart and mind with which we approach the song. And so too how we live our lives: the difference lies with the heart and mind with which we approach all situations.

For myself, in the words of Robert Frost, I have “miles to go before I sleep.” A right attitude concerning patience in the face of uncertainty and long journeys of the heart presents a constant battle for me.

Today, if the battle for you seems like an insurmountable mountain vista, remember, every moutain has a peak and “that which is above knows that which is below, but that which is below does not know that which is above.” Keep climbing and worship with every step. And upon the descent remember this:

You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.~ Rene Daumal

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Overcoming Temptation

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Growing up, I found Scarlett O’Hara as beautiful as her clothes and as charming as the gentlemen did that surrounded her in the opening scene of the film, Gone with the Wind, as she is seated at the barbecue at Twelve Oaks. What I didn’t realize until my late twenties and early thirties was though Scarlett embodied earthly beauty and charm, she also personified the fatal characteristics of our sin-nature; she always wanted more and better than she thought she possessed.

Now that I see Scarlett in a different light, what is there left to glean from this both iconic and fictitious character’s life and personification?

Scarlett O’Hara’s character always wants more. She wanted another’s husband, a larger bank account, and a pantry full so that she would never go hungry again. She embodied greed and self-interest.

Contrast this constant desire for more or better with God’s teachings of contentment. God teaches us to be content with what we have, constantly giving thanks in all circumstances. Remember, we came into the world empty handed and naked, and so shall we leave.

Continue reading this post over at iBelieve.

Thanks for stopping by!

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15 Action Steps to Take to Promote A Culture of Life After You Have Prayed


 

15 Action Steps To Take To Promote Life After You Have Prayed

Many of us are dumbfounded, to say the least, after viewing any or all of the 10 videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress which exposes the money making arm of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood and Stem Express are making money off the sale of aborted baby body parts. This news leaves many of us asking, what can we do to put an end to this barbarity? Here are 15 action steps for you to consider and take after you pray for an end to abortion, a defunding of Planned Parenthood, and a respect for life from conception to grave.

1. Give to and/ or volunteer at your local pregnancy center.

2. Call your congressman and senator to petition them to vote to defund Planned Parenthood and legislate an end to abortion.

3.”Adopt” a single mom and her kids.

4. Foster a child. The difference a Christian family can make in pointing children in need to Jesus cannot be measured in this lifetime.

5. Adopt. It is a slow and painful process and you are not guaranteed your child will walk with Jesus. However, you are committed to making a disciple and ending a family cycle of drug abuse, domestic violence, and a host of other problems that plague our society.

6. Vote your moral convictions and not your pocketbook.

7. Spread the gospel and let the seeds bear the fruit that they will. We will not reap what we have not sewn.

8.Make disciples within your church who make disciples. Moms and dads change the cultural fabric of our world one child at a time. For good or for evil.

9. Volunteer with children in the foster care system, a local school, or an orphanage. Mentors change lives by the power of Jesus.

10. Give to organizations like the Center for Medical Progress who expose the truth of abortion and the sale of baby body parts for “medical research.” Or, help fund a friend’s adoption. Many times families who want to adopt don’t because of the money.

11. Educate yourself with the facts. Read and research for the truth. You will likely not hear the facts nor the truth on the evening news or in the New York Times.

12. Do for one mom, teen, child, or orphan what you would do for all.

13. Get creative! Use your artistic abilities of paint, pen, or graphic design to get people’s attention and point them towards life.

14. Include your kids in ministering to the poor, elderly, and the orphan. Developing compassionate Christ-centered lives starts early.

15. Run for office and be involved in politics. We need godly leaders in every area of local, state, and federal government.

What would you add to this list? I welcome your thoughts.

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You as a Sheep

You as a Sheep

If you have been in the church any amount of time, or are knowledgeable of the teachings of Jesus on some level, you are probably familiar with Jesus comparing people to sheep and revealing that He is our Good Shepherd. Some verses that immediately come to mind could include:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)

Earlier this week, a report came out of Australia that a merino ram was found who had not been shorn in his entire five or six years of living. He was indeed a lost sheep! This sheep they are calling, Chris, was carrying on his body the burden of 89 pounds of wool. That is the equivalent of 30 sweaters. Talk about needing to clean out your winter wear! Normally merino’s will bear, on average, 11 pounds of wool annually.

According to the TIME article, Chris had to be anesthetized to be sheared by a champion shearer. Prior to his shearing, he had a difficult time getting around and was hesitant with human interaction. Following the shearing of a lifetime, he moved about much better and wanted a pat from his caretakers.

While the wool is not in good condition to be sold, some hope it will be displayed in a museum. The fact is, Chris would most likely have died if he had not been rescued from his burden of wool when he was.

I can’t help but contrast my own story, each of our stories, with that of this Australian sheep, Chris. The Bible is true, we all like sheep have gone astray. However, gratefully, Jesus took the unbearable, damming weight of our sin on himself. 

Even when we come to the place where we are given new life in Christ, our salvation point, our conversion experience, we remain sheep. Today, I would like to ask you, what kind of sheep are you? A lost sheep, within the fold, a sent sheep, a leadersheep?

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Read on and consider that question along with these descriptions:

The lost sheep:

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:4-7)

Perhaps you are a lost sheep never shorn of your burden of sin. Much like, Chris, the merino ram from Australia. Today can be the day of salvation for you. Today can be the day that you lay down your burden of sin to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with the Creator God through His Son, Jesus Christ. (Read more here.)

The wandering, overburdened sheep:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Some of us find ourselves wandering in the pastures or on the hillsides of life carrying burdens never meant to bear alone. Jesus sees our everyday demands and desires for us to give them to Him. To take His yoke upon us. That doesn’t mean that all our responsibilities will diminish; some might, but not all. I think the point is, we submit our burdens and our cares to God and Jesus carries them for us. He gives us new eyes to see each task and an eternal perspective from which to draw from. Sometimes laying down our burdens will require relinquishing some of our daily activities, but that doesn’t mean letting go of all responsibilities and living carefree. That’s not the model of a work ethic Jesus gave us. However, the model He did leave for us was that of rising early to pray, and taking every thing to God in prayer and praise.

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The sent sheep:

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  (Matthew 10:16)

This sheep should be one we all identify with if we are disciples of Christ Jesus. The saved are the sent. We are to live on mission in this world each and everyday. Just take a look at the headlines, those in Christ Jesus can expect to see more wolves the longer we live; conversely, we should also expect to rescue more sheep that are astray. I think of this week’s headlines of Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis. (Read more here.) As I write this, Kim is sitting in a jail cell in Kentucky because she refuses to lay her faith and covenant with Jesus Christ on the alter of the world’s standards. She is being, like a growing number in our country and thousands around the world, a Daniel in her day.

The leader sheep… yes, even sheep can lead:

Ever heard of the Icelandic Leadersheep? (Read here.) If not, take a few minutes to watch this short documentary below or click here.

Some leadersheep characteristics include:

  • a natural inclination to lead the flock.
  • an awareness of impending danger from predators and inclement weather.
  • managing the pace of the flock.
  • either male or female.
  • also warier than other sheep.
  • interestingly, they have more than one gait, like the Icelandic horse.
  • they always take the lead, even within a new flock of sheep to which they have never belonged before.

Are you a leader/teacher among your brothers and sisters in Christ? Leading brings more strict judgement by God. Consider:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1)

We need strong, godly, kingdom-driven leaders in our day. The gate is narrow and the way is hard. If God has designed you as a leader, then lead with all diligence as unto Him.

SO… what sheep do you most identify with? What is the Good Shepherd telling you today? He is ever guiding, it us up to His sheep to obey his voice.

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Change: Not Gradual Or Sudden, But Both/And

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Change.

Don’t we love change when it is our idea? At least initially, we welcome that move, anticipate that promotion, and feel exhilarated by a fresh page on which to write our story.

However, change that creeps up on us, is inflicted by another, or runs contrary to our expectations can be unwelcome and unwanted.

Pounds gained ounce by ounce, or, one morning awaking a decade older having not lamented the last 10 birthdays, but realizing this one finds you closer to middle or even old age; these are gradual changes that we are cognizant of but not attentive to until the little, seemingly subtle changes add up to a paradigm shift. I.e. I’m old! I’m overweight! I am not the person I thought I would be!

Note that last one. Changes in our character can be similar to subtle weight gain and the edging closer to the next age bracket on the census. We can either draw nearer to the person we desire to become-for some to become in Christ and for others in general-or we can, with one small decision at a time, recede away from our objective.

What about you? Where do find yourself today: at work, in relationships, with your self-assigned goals? Are you closer to the person you pictured yourself to be 5 or 10 years ago or are you farther off target than you imagined?

The continuity of change is that whether gradual or sudden, whether anticipated or shocking, whether welcomed or displeasing, it happens. In fact, change is not really gradual or sudden, it is both/and. Both gradual and sudden change is going to stare us each in the eyeballs as long as we live.

We should indeed expect the unexpected even while we anticipate the logical consequences of our everyday decisions.

Amidst all the change, one venue we possess control over is the character with which we respond to vacillating life circumstances. We can take the punches thrown at us in life from friend, foe, or our own bad decisions of the past and present and decide how we respond.

With every change there is a choice. 

We can choose to draw near to Christ or we can choose to run the opposite direction. We can choose to let our personal failures continue to knock us down the path we don’t want to go, or, we can turn on our heels and head back in the direction in which we initially aimed.

The truth of the matter is that regardless of our choice, God remains the same. He is the only unchanging factor that we can anchor our souls to. The only fixed point on which we can rely as on a compass in the wilderness of our subtle or drastic change.

Therefore, in the face of both gradual changes in our lives and sudden unexpected decisions that may send us reeling or, conversely beaming with joy, we have a choice to make. Will we let these changes, both good and bad, impede our ability to achieve the character we wish to develop? Or, will we utilize changes to improve our knowledge that ultimately our hope is anchoring our lives on the only fixed point in the universe–Jesus Christ.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ~Psalm 90:2

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A Living Lighthouse

Living Lighthouses

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

Lighthouses line our coasts from sea shore to sea shore and the interior of our Great Lakes and some major waterways. They warn ships of impending trouble lest they run ashore and among rocky coasts and  dangerous reefs beneath the sea. Lighthouses serve to guide ships into a safe harbor or urge them out to sea. So the message of the lighthouse varies from a cry of danger to this is the way. Therefore, lighthouses serve as navigational markers to let sailors and boaters know exactly where they are and where they do not want to go.

As Christ-followers, we are bearers of the light of Jesus Christ and the gospel message. We serve as lights in this dark world to point people to the Way, the Truth, and the Life found in Jesus Christ.

When we hold firmly to the teachings of the Bible–God’s Word which is the same yesterday, today, and forever–we serve as navigational guides to the lost and dying world signaling to them by the power of the Holy Spirit, this is the way, walk in it. Or warning them of impending doom if they do not turn from their wicked ways, repent, and follow Jesus.

If or when Christians decide they will bend to the moral tide of our culture, we darken our light, the light within us of the Holy Spirit, from shining as a beacon in the night. We forfeit our purpose, and our responsibility, to be the city on a hill Jesus taught about in Matthew 5. We no longer guide our fellow-men to The Light when we ourselves are cloaked in the darkness of the world.

The Christian opinion has never been the popular opinion; though a watered-down version of Christian teachings may have in fact been the popular opinion. No more; and, so be it, in order that our light may shine ever brighter until the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who are we shining God’s light to today? In what way are we acting as living lighthouses telling and showing the way toward Jesus Christ? May we live on mission in every area of our life pointing our fellow men and women to the Light of the World.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

John 1:6-7

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A Somber 4th of July

A Somber 4th of July

I can hear Lee Greenwood’s voice in my head and vividly remember the fireworks blazing over his head as I listened and watched him sing on a televised 4th of July celebration many, many years ago, ” I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I proudly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S. A!”

I can no longer sing that song with Mr. Greenwood. I couldn’t last year, and I certainly can’t this year. My Christian beliefs preclude me from asking God’s blessing on a prideful nation that has collectively turned its back on Him. The current President has downplayed American exceptionalism and crafted an environment fertile for a pluralistic republic. He declared that we are not a Christian nation early in his presidency and regretfully, we are moving further and further away from “one nation under God.” Instead, we have moved to one nation apart from God.

The Supreme Court’s decision to legislate from the judicial branch, an act which the Founding Fathers warned against and worked to prevent, has set the course for the nation’s undoing. We were heading that direction state by state, but the ruling by SCOTUS last Friday expedited the process and ushered in a new fight to protect our First Amendment rights, specifically the exercise of  religious liberty.

I am rendering a very gloomy state of the Union. I understand. Many may stop reading and thankfully, you have every right to. Likewise, I currently possess every right to say what’s on my mind. Freedom of speech, also a right under the First Amendment.

Our First Amendment rights may be under siege, dear Christian, but our first allegiance to the Living God need not be.

As a pastor’s wife, a homeschooling mom, and an American grateful for the government set up by the founders of our nation, the men and women of our armed forces, and the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives for their fellowmen every day,  the ruling and ramifications of the SCOTUS decision greatly saddens me. I  have read the Bible, I watch and read the news, and I see the cultural road signs–we live as in the days of Noah. Sin is rampant, self-love is evident, and persecution of Christians is like unto the days of the Roman Empire. I’m not surprised, for Jesus foretold of such, but I must admit that I am deeply saddened.

We have often wondered why we Christians in America have not suffered persecution like our brothers and sisters around the globe. Well, our time may be at hand. We must cling to the document which bears the words of the Living God; it is the only firm foundation in a world of shifting sand. The Word of God is not tethered to one nation or one time period. The Word of God is for all mankind in every nation, forever. His joy comes in the morning and our work is at hand. Be strong in the Lord Jesus and stand firm.

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace
In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

Ephesians 6: 10-20, HCSB

Home is a place called Heaven,

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Today, in light of the news I will…

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The news has never been a place to run to for uplifting information. Sure, you might catch a Friday concert series or a fashion show on some of the morning news programs, but no real sustaining hope.

As I age and pay more and more attention to the current events in our country and around the world, it seems the news only gets bleaker and more troubling. It is clear our country is divided on so many levels, none the least of which are moral issues and religious professions.

The most recent news facing moral, legal, and red/blue dividing lines are the Baltimore rioting, the Duggar’s past family sins and crisis, and Bruce turned Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender transformation. Each of these issues divide our country’s people, seemingly down party lines. We live in a day of seemingly fluid measures of morality.

Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner was applauded and even alleged to be awarded the Aurther Ash Courage Award at the ESPYS because of his act of “courage” to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. Compare this to  the latest news on the Duggar’s past family crisis (molestation within their family 12 years ago) and the lines are drawn and the hate speech is flying.

In regards to the Duggar’s, no doubt this was shocking information for all. Does it seem plank/speck? Maybe. However, did this family address the situation the best they knew how? Should the whole family’s voice in society be squelched because one of their family members acted in an immoral and illegal way? Did the offender seek forgiveness and rehabilitation/counseling?

We all have sexual sin in our pasts. That does not disqualify those who have sought forgiveness and turned from sin, the freedom of speech against proposed laws which goes against their moral and religious consciences. The LGBT community and its supporters are absolutely outraged that a family who has spoken on behalf of the evangelical community against legalization of gay marriage and against the allowance of transgender citizens the right to use the public restroom to the gender with which they identify and not to which they were assigned at birth. Some pundits have gone so far as to condemn the Duggar’s all to hell! Hate is rampant there is no question of that. Pundits are even condemning people to a place it is questionable they believe in!

I am not defending Joshua Duggar’s actions, and quite frankly, neither are he nor his family. I am simply lamenting the fact that the secular and progressive community is using this news as a war cry against evangelicals and Christians in general. It seems only those with no past sins can speak out about their religious and political beliefs. If that is the case, then the conversation has surely ended for both sides. 

We as Christians need to be careful to address the moral issues of our day with love and respect even as we speak out in favor of laws upholding the Biblical definition of marriage. Our rhetoric must not be hate-filled and neither should that of the people who stand in opposition to the teachings of the Bible. In America, we must uphold and adhere to freedom of speech even as the true Enemy seeks to shut down the message of the Gospel and the liberating mandates of God.

As we continue to respond to this culture war by the spreading of the Gospel, may we not forget that the real enemy is not someone whose political and personal practices differ from our own, but rather Satan himself. The church must speak against all sexual sin. My sexual sin may seem a backpack’s load compared to someone else’s U Haul truck, but the loads were the same weight when Christ carried our sin to the cross.

The backlash on the Duggar family and their handling of molestation within their family, compared to the awards given to Jenner for his  transgender identity is simply astonishing.  There is no war on women in America, rather, there is a war on God’s design and the celebration of God-given life in the form of male and female. 

It is clear that the further we have walked away from the Bible and the message of Jesus Christ as a nation, the worse things have gotten for our country. We are tearing ourselves and our country apart. We are a house divided on every issue by liberal versus conservative beliefs. Now more than ever we hear it is us against them.

May it not be so within our churches, nor the Body of Christ. We are not to be fooled that this is about flesh and blood, it is about evil and principalities in the unseen realms. (See Ephesians 6:12 here.) We must not throw our hands up in despair and forgo this battle.

If we are on God’s side we will come out victorious in the end. The battle of good verses evil has already been called. That statement isn’t a cliche to excuse the church to sit on its laurels and watch as the parade goes by, rather it is a rally cry to remember what is to come.

These troubles and issues do not come as a surprise for those who read God’s Word. Paul reminds Timothy that we must endure suffering and expect a battle, and then, he offers three ways to respond.

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. (2 Timothy 2:3-7)

Today, in light of all the news headlines, I must remember and abide by these three truths:

  • Know your Boss. The ultimate Boss whom I must work to please and follow His command is God and Christ Jesus. He will be the One that I ultimately answer to for my behaviors.
  • Follow the laws. We must first abide by God’s laws and then the laws of our country.
  • Work to the finish. There is no crop for the farmer to reap if he quits working. Press on!

We must keep our head up, bend the knee, and work to the finish. Everyday faithfulness to our God and our family will make a difference. Don’t give up.

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Often a Smile and Acknowledgement Goes a Long Way

Seeking the Imago Dei

I was stopped at an intersection while driving home from church a few Sunday’s ago. There, crossing under the overpass, was a man and woman walking to the nearest shopping center. Many people walk this way to get to the nearest Publix, Target, or fast food restaurant. That’s not unusual, but this couple was different. Honestly, I can’t tell you if they were a mother-son pair or a couple because I didn’t look at them long enough to gather detailed information. You see, this man and woman were physically and, by appearances, mentally disabled. Their gait was severely labored and their outward demeanor, even at a glance, was that of people who have a tough time getting by.

Instinctively, I looked away and focused my attention on the red light in front of me. I didn’t want to stare at this man and woman in an attempt not to draw attention to their obvious physical weaknesses. Looking back, I wonder if that was the right response.

Often, when I see others with visible handicaps, my first reaction is to turn away after a quick smile in order to not embarrass them. By embarrass them, I mean draw more attention to them than any other person I pass in the super market or restaurant. I inwardly assume that they have faced the mocking of peers or ignorant jests of misguided people, and I do not want to even hint at drawing on their differences. Rather, I simply acknowledge them as fellow people worth treating with dignity, respect, and assistance if I can provide any. But I wonder if, by ignoring their differences, I am ignoring something special that God wants me to see.

Please join me over at iBelieve to read the rest of this post. Join me here.

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