God’s Truth or Christian Tradition?

Which do you believe?

God's Truth or Man's Beliefs?

Remember the game where you stand in a circle. One person starts off by whispering a sentence into the ear of the person on their right. That person in turn whispers the same sentence to the person on their right. Around the circle the sentence goes passing through all ears and mouths. Until it circles back to the originator.

Never. Never. Never. Is it the same phrase you started with. Often times we laugh at the vast difference of the beginning meaning and the end. Next comes the blame game. Who messed up? Who said what wrong? Then you realize that you can’t pinpoint one huge mistake. Because the sentence or phrase was changed so gradually with multiple small errors.

I’m reminded of a curious little girl. I’ll withhold her name so not to embarrass her. We were preparing for the Christmas Play. She was about 5 at the time. She asked, “Why did they make baby Jesus sleep in peas?” Believe me, I was just as confused as you are. But I finally unraveled what she was saying and why. She thought Silent Night’s “sleep in heavenly peace” was “sleep in heavenly peas”. Yep, like the black-eyed or purple hull kind of peas. It took everything in me not to laugh as I gently explained the correct lyrics. In her defense, that particular group of children all sang in a different key. That line did sound like peas.

Okay. Do you get my point? We don’t always hear what’s being said. And we pass that down to the next generation. And the next. Until today, we have a generation that believes the Bible says one thing when it actually says the complete opposite.

The danger is that at the end of this life we will be judged by God’s word. Not by what we believe about His word.

Most religions are passed down through generations as traditions. For example, if you identify with the Baptist denomination most likely your parents and your grandparents were Baptists too.

A Christian heritage is something to be proud of and I firmly believe that we should teach our children and disciple our youth. However, today the church (people in the church) rely heavily on the traditions and the belief system handed down for generations that we don’t read and pray for ourselves.

Now, I’m not insulting your grandparent or her beliefs. But my point is this; there are many people especially in the South that identify with the Baptist denomination, but they have no idea what the Baptist doctrine says. The same with Methodist, and Assemblies of God, Church of God and so on. What denomination is your church? Do you know what their doctrine says? I was raised unchurched for the most part. However, my mother’s family were Baptists and my father’s mother was a Mormon. So I realized at a young age the vast differences between Christian denominations.

Personally, I believe that none of the denominations get it 100% right. I share some Baptists beliefs, some Methodist beliefs, some Church of God, but I’m a member of Assembly of God and I’ve taught their 16 Fundamental Truths. Yet, at the end of this life it doesn’t matter what I believe or what you believe. The ONLY thing that matters is what God said in His Word.

So since that is the case, (You will be judged by God by His word.) don’t you want to know what His word says for yourself?

Preachers help create a hunger for God and His word, but you can’t solely rely on them. They are human and they make mistakes. Often times they pass on their beliefs as God’s truth. The same goes for your parents, or grandparents, or your great Aunt Suzy. Though I’m sure they were the godliest people on earth, they weren’t perfect and you may have misheard what they were trying to say.

When you stand before God, your every action, thought, and spoken word will be judged by God’s law – The Bible.

You will stand before God ALONE. Your pastor will not be there. Your spouse will not be there. Your parents will not be there. Your grandparents, friends, children, etc.

You need to know what the Bible says. And then you can make decisions based on God’s truth.

This blog, Simplifying God’s Blueprint for Happily Ever After, is designed to teach you how to read and understand the Bible for yourself. You are in control of your own destiny.

Will you be cast out where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Or will you live Happily Ever After in Christ’s kingdom?

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. ~ John 5:39

Come and See!

Come and See

In today’s world we have problems. Big, unsurmountable mountains that can’t be moved.

Or can they? 

You’ve read of miracles performed in the Bible. You’ve heard of miracles happening today.

Can they happen to you? For you?

Jesus said in the first chapter of John, “Come and see.”
And, I invite you to come and see, Jesus.

Why?

An addict can’t deliver themselves from addiction. A cancer patient can’t wish their cancer gone. Depression isn’t cured by forcing yourself to smile. An abused wife has no place to turn.

Is there help for the helpless?

Again, Jesus said in the first chapter of John, “Come and see.”
You may have tried many things. And those things have failed you. Counseling? Meditation? New Age doctrines? Drugs? Alcohol? Promiscuous relationships?

Isn’t it about time, you turned to the one man who can help you?

Go see Jesus. See if He will help you?

If you’ve been following Him from afar wanting only to see His home, He’s calling you forward. (Just as He did to Andrew and John.)
If you are reading this and need to change your identity in Christ, He will change your name. (Just as He did for Peter.)
If you are lost, He will find you. (As He found Phillip.)
And if you are like Nathaniel and doubt the words you are reading, it’s okay. Come and see.

Come and see if Jesus loves you.
Come and see if Jesus has the power to set you free from your sins.
Come and see that you can live in peace, joy, and faith.
Come and see Jesus.
He can be found in prayer.

Consider the Lilies!

This blog post isn’t intended to ridicule, belittle, or insult the dress of other Christians. It is merely a result of personal reflection. 

 I am not normal. I don’t care for fancy dresses or lavish shoes. I do like comfort and cool in the summer. And warm and toasty in the winter. I don’t want to look like a slob, but shopping for the latest styles isn’t high on my priority list. If I find a skirt on sale that I love (5$ for a skirt a Goodies!), then of course I snap it up.

 Recently, I overheard a group of ladies gushing about a certain type of dresses. How perfect they were. And if what they say is true, I have to admit that that style does sound appealing. So I checked them out.  $$$$$ Seriously!

$100s for one dress? 

If I had a bunch of Franklins laying around, I couldn’t do it.
Does that make me weird? Yes. Different, yes.
But is that a good thing or a bad thing?

I admit that I don’t fit in anywhere, and sometimes that gets me down. I want to be normal, but my brain can’t justify spending over $100 for a dress when there’re homeless people roaming the streets. Yes, we should look our best for God, because we are His representatives. But even though I have heard negative remarks from people, God’s opinion should be the only one that matters. So I took my self-doubts to Him.

Why don’t I have a closet full of nice clothes? 
Why isn’t it higher on my priority list? 
Why does it bother me that other people judge me lack of stylish clothes? 
Should I care more about clothes? 
Am I a bad Christian because I don’t have a new Easter dress every year? 
And why do Christians judge each other based on what we wear? 

God led me to Luke 12. He reassured me that heavenly treasures should be my focus.

The work of ministry is more important than its appearance. 

Because we ourselves are judgmental, many Christians are more concerned with how they appear, that what they are actually accomplishing for the Lord.

The number of souls won for His kingdom, is far more important that the number of dresses I have in my closet. 

So when you see me at camp, revival, or conference, and I’m wearing the same dress I wore last year, it’s okay. Souls are more valuable than a dress. And I’d rather be clothed like the lilies in the field.

This post isn’t intended to condemn. If God has blessed you with beautiful things, enjoy them. But don’t neglect the Great Commission. Don’t let things take the place of your calling.

Consider the Lilies.

Give ’em Something to Talk About

God Speaks

Several years ago during an altar service, the Lord told me to open both doors of the church. The doors leading into the sanctuary, and the doors leading outside. His voice was clear. I knew exactly what he wanted me to do. Still, I hesitated. 

Why? 

Why did he want the doors open? Why did he choose me to open them?
Then another voice whispered in my ear, “Don’t do it. They are going to talk about you.” As clear as if it were audible, the devil continued. “Brother A will be angry because the air conditioning is on and you will let the cool air out. Sister B will be upset at you because you will let the bugs in. And Sister C will be furious at you because you endangered the children by providing them a way of escape.” Though he called specific names, I have omitted them here.

So I asked Jesus, “Will they say those things?”
My Lord replied, “Yes. But I didn’t ask you what they would say. I told you to open the doors. Now, go open them.”

Obey God

I did. Immediately a powerful wave of the Holy Ghost blew in and changed lives.
I will never forget that night, because God proved that His blessings far outweigh the opinions of others. 
Even after the service, when the devil made sure I heard the very ones make the exact comments he said they would make. I just smiled because obeying God was worth it.

People talk about me.

 I’ve been serving the Lord for about 15 years now. I’ve attended countless campmeetings, youth camps, revivals, mission trips and outreach services with some of the greatest men and women of God on Earth. However, one thing I’ve learned is that people (both sinners and saints) love to talk. 
They’ve talked about my failures, and I admit that when I stumble I usually land face first. 
They’ve complained about my methods of teaching: transforming the fellowship hall into the wilderness/promise land complete with trees, sand, manna, river, and grapevines; playing ball in the church; taking a field trip all the way to Ohio; dressing the children up as beggars and reenacting the lame man at the Gate Beautiful scene as a fundraiser delaying the service because I told the children the had to beg until they were healed. 
They’ve complained about my method of ministry; picking up hitchhikers, witnessing to prostitutes and preaching to drug addicts.  
They’ve talked about my trails. 
They’ve talked about my problems. 
They’ve talked about my mistakes. 
They’ve talked about my past. 
They’ve talked about my pastor. 
They’ve talked about my church. 
I’ve given people a lot to talk about. I come from a long line of unchurched sinners. When I got saved, I didn’t know church protocols. I didn’t know traditions. I didn’t know the do and don’ts. And because I didn’t know, I’ve made some huge mistakes that I regret tremendously, but I will never regret obeying God.

People talk about you. It is what they do.

People are flawed. All of us. Though we try our best, sometimes we fail. But that should make us try harder. It shouldn’t make us want to quit. Yes, people will talk about you.

They will talk about your successes.
They will talk about your failures. 
They will talk about your methods.
They will talk about your past.
They will talk about your present.
They will talk about your future. 

Give ’em something to talk about.

Even though people will talk about you, open the doors anyway. Why? Because Jesus needs them opened. He needs to an avenue to send Holy Ghost power to help people, and He’s entrusted you with that job.
Yes, people will talk. Give them something good to say. 
Can they talk about how many people have been healed due to your obedience to God? 
Can they talk about how you helped the hurting? 
Fed the hungry?
Prayed for the prostitute? 
Loved the drug addict?

If the answer is no, what are you waiting for? You don’t need permission to obey God. If you hesitate to do what God has told you because of what people might say, let me reassure you. Yes, they will talk. But Jesus knows that, and He called you anyway. So obey God. 
And Give ’em something to talk about!