Stubbornness Can Be Dangerous

People are dealing with weighty issues these days. Whether they have brought their problems on themselves or become victims of the sin of other people, they must find their own way out.

So, I tactfully explore whether we can invite God into our discussion, to see what the Bible has to say about their issue and how God Himself can factor into their solution. Astonishingly, some of them who are already on the brink of ending their lives remain dug in and refuse permission. That rejection may suggest bad experiences with unyielding parents, overzealous peers, or church hypocrisy. Other times, society has already foisted upon them a negative perception of God and the Bible. Some, I learn, fear that they will need to relinquish an addictive sin – the very thing that keeps them in bondage.

Perhaps deep inside, the people in this latter group already know they have wandered from what is right, but they haven’t connected it to their issues. To consider God would make them face something they aren’t willing to change. If we can deny God’s existence or His lordship, then we are accountable to no one but ourselves, so the thinking goes. People want to do their own thing. Submitting to authority is as unpopular now as it was in yesteryear.

Jesus met the same unwillingness to confront the truth. Members of a sect, the Sadducees, were more into hairsplitting than discovering who Jesus was. They tried to trap Him with trick questions, but He silenced them with wisdom and authority, the likes of which they’d never experienced. He saw through them and exposed them:

Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, “Beware of these experts in religion, for they love to parade in dignified robes and to be bowed to by the people as they walk along the street. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and at religious festivals! But even while they are praying long prayers with great outward piety, they are planning schemes to cheat widows out of their property. Therefore God’s heaviest sentence awaits these men” Luke 20:45-47

The Sadducees had no interest in Jesus because He threatened their position within the culture. Exploring Him further would have meant changing their ways and giving up some power.

The sound of God’s voice threatens people who are unwilling to submit to Him. Even though His Word would shine light into their darkness and His Spirit’s transformative power would unshackle them, some people aren’t ready to surrender and leave their “discomfort zone” behind. Their stubbornness always shows they have yet to understand God’s love, forgiveness and power. At high cost, evil grips them.

One day, the Bible says, “every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). May the Holy Spirit soften hardened hearts and expose the enemy’s deceptions before it is too late.

God’s Love For You

KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS!!!

Good Day To Get Washed

The following is Elsie’s story. She is doing her laundry, and her considering religion & relationship.

 Mary of Bethany who had been going through the motions of religion until Jesus rescued her from a life of sin. Now, Mary offered Jesus her most precious gift—an alabaster box with anointing perfume, which was her dowry. As she did so, her tears fell upon her Master’s feet, which she wiped clean with her hair. No longer was Mary content to go through the motions of lifeless religion; rather, she was devoted to Jesus with every ounce of her being. 

“She hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.” Luke 7:44

Mary loved Jesus! She would follow Him even to the cross. Mary believed Jesus would give His life on the cross, so she anointed Him for burial ahead of time with her best gift—the anointing oil—with the hopes also that He would rise again.

Elsie thought about the twelve disciples. All except Judas were devoted. They were willing to give up their livelihoods to follow their master. She felt she must be just as committed to prioritizing her time with Jesus. She thought about others who had invited Jesus into their homes or had in other ways sacrificed to honor Him. These early Christians were devoted. She must do the same.

“Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.” Luke 18:28

Elise set her Bible on the stand.

“My Jesus,” she whispered, “am I going through the motions with my religious ways? Am I focusing my attention on You when I read Your Word? Do I have the gratitude of Mary when I sit at Your feet? Remake me, Lord. Help me to recognize You paid the ultimate price—that of death on a cross—in order to forgive me as You did these. The least I can give You is a heart wholly devoted to You. Create in me the heart of a worshiper.”

Gently, almost imperceptive at first, the rain of the Holy Spirit began to descend upon Elise. The washer buzzed, but Elise stayed seated. Why? It was “Wash Day,” and the Lord was answering Elise’s heartfelt prayer. A song of praise and thanksgiving, as well as peace unfettered, saturated Elise’s humble heart. She sang into the evening, and then, stillness permeated her soul. In the silence, Elise felt the empowerment of her Savior as never before.

It was Wash Day, and Elise had become a worshipper.

Precious Lord Jesus, I Pray that You wash over me with Your love. Reign in my heart each day. In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.

KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS!!!

Seeing Myself Through God’s Eyes

I have been Blessed with 8 Precious Children, 5 Sons, 3 Daughters, all adults now. Many decades ago, through terrible circumstances that I will not attempt to describe here at the end of the Vietnam war, I was tragically torn-apart from My Precious Children.

My Precious Children needed me and I couldn’t rescue them. I had to just stand there knowing my Children would suffer at the hands of others. It was more than I could bare – I had no idea how to cope with such devastating loss.

All in an instant the Holy Spirit ministered to me in what was the most supernatural way I had ever felt Him. What was conveyed was, “Dennis, do you now have some vague understanding of what I went through when strangers beat my Son senseless? I had to watch my Son suffer in ways you’ll never have to.” This thought was more than profound, but it was what He said next that almost brought me to my knees instantly.

He said, “I know how much you love your children and how their tears hurt you. But you can’t comprehend how much I love mine. And I endured his tears and suffering for you.”

I closed my eyes and saw red words from my Bible that said,

“…Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

I was reunited with My Children and All 8 of my Precious Children are adults now and most with Children of their own.

Along the way, it dawned on me the that sometimes I didn’t even see them as babies, I just saw their standing in my family. I’d do anything for My Precious Children. As they were growing up, I would have to step back from time to time and remind myself that they are completely unable to relate to a single thing that happens in my life. I could not confide in them or ask them for advice. I could never ask them for a favor or lean on them during a rough spot. But I loved each one enough to die for them the minute they were born. My love for them changes as they each grow, but I don’t love them more. My love for them is 100% unconditional, and 100% of what I have to give.

I felt God say to my spirit, “I love you. I love you EVEN THOUGH you’re a baby. You can’t relate to me. You’re incapable of understanding anything at my level. But when I look at you I don’t see baby Dennis. I see a family member. Dennis, no matter how spiritually immature you are, you’re part of my family.

I was reminded of 1 John 3:1 which says,

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”

I’m starting to realize that My Precious Children were given to me so that God could use each of them to help raise me.

Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!!!

KEEP LOOKING TO JESUS!!!