FRICTION!

THERE IS ALWAYS FRICTION IN RESISTANCE TO EVIL!  Less friction releases speed.  We promise God , ourselves and others we will not do something, or that we will do something else, but inevitably our human nature takes over. 

More than 200 people every single day die of drug overuse, and with  alcohol it’s hard to tell – probably more than we can imagine. 

Oppositional defiant disorder, another word for anger, with the need to disobey authority, is usually a part of the addiction.

Why are we wired to destroy ourselves? The medical community may say it’s because of genetics and the theologian will say it’s original sin.  Would I be amiss in saying it is both?

I will go out on a limb and say with some people the destruction complex, the tendency toward anger, rebellion, hate and addiction cannot be “healed.”  In my opinion the root cause is spiritual. Therefore, the center core of one’s heart must be addressed through the redemptive cross of Christ!

Yes, there is a place for medical science, techniques, education and support.  Definitely, there is a place for neuroscience in the treatment of neurotransmitters in the brain. “Devilish thoughts can manipulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain.  Transformations of the heart to render it transparent and forgiving can reveal changes in/to neurotransmitter functions in the regulation of brain chemistry .” (quote from Dr. Lanny Snodgrass)

 Some may say that knowing Christ is simply imaging, but those who have found the life-giving forgiveness and peace that Jesus gives will beg to differ. 

I’ve heard it said that anything, anything fun and pleasurable can be irresistible, so much so as to be addictive.  Jesus handled it this way without excuse: “You shall not tempt the Lord God.”  Most of us start to play tiddledywinks with temptation instead of crushing the devil’s lure at the very start.

Sin doesn’t start out with someone lying in their own vomit, nor fighting the stench of a venereal disease.  It usually starts in pleasure. Satan is an angel of light. Then he uses his technique to make toxic the prefrontal cortex of the brain disabling the ability to make rational decisions. 

“‘Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:13-14‬ ‭(msg)

It may seem to confuse, but Jesus said, “‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:34‬ ‭(niv)

FRICTION!

TRANSFORMED!

When Jesus said, “It is finished,”[τητηλεσται] (Jn.19:30) it meant that he voluntarily gave himself as a sacrifice to pay the eternal price for your sins and mine. He was not forced. He was not murdered. He could have called 10,000 angels.  He didn’t. He GAVE his life.  

“‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.’”

John 10:11 (ncv)

“‘Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?’”

Matthew 26:53 (niv)

It is over, never more to be needed.  It is completed, fulfilled, done, over!

The price for sin has been paid!

The forces of evil cannot make him back down or back out.  Christ Jesus, God being clothed in human flesh, gathered eternal love into his bosom, the love that overcomes evil, forgives and heals. 

“I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:15

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. John 10:18

Standing on the precipice looking down into the filth, the hurt, the tragedy of the hellish destruction sin causes, suddenly love appears in the form of the one who said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

John 10:10

Through his death and transformational love he was not exempt from suffering. He made it possible for our suffering to be transformational as well.

Things won’t always be hunky-dory

The LORD GOD DID NOT keep Daniel out of the lions’ den,  nor did he save Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego out of the fire.  

What GOD DID was …

… send HIS angel, and HE shut the mouths of the lions.”  Daniel‬ ‭6:22‬ ‭(niv)

AND, HE walked with the three Hebrew children in the fire – 

It shocked the wicked king and he said, “‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”

‭‭Daniel‬ ‭3:25‬

He will do the same for you!

When You Pray

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PRAY?

You must be a “heart, soul, mind and strength” believer! THEN – 

  1. God listens!
  2. He helps you in your weakness
  3. The Holy Spirit intercedes for you with wordless groans. 

If and when you don’t know how to pray or “what [you] ought to pray for, the Spirit himself intercedes for [you] through wordless groans.” – Romans‬ ‭8:26‬ ‭(niv)

4.  And after all is said and done, the Holy Spirit answers you in ways far beyond your thinking.

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“I need thee every hour,

most gracious Lord;

no tender voice like thine

can peace afford.

“I need thee, O I need thee;

every hour I need thee!

O bless me now, my Savior,

I come to thee.”

(Annie Hawks)

The Riddle of Forgiveness

SIN CONFUSES A PERSON PSYCHOLOGICALLY! 
It causes distrust, misunderstanding, uneasiness, chaos, bewilderment and embarrassment; you can but you can’t, you will but you won’t, you do but you don’t, per-turbulence, distraction and perplexity.  At the time when most sin-agitated, acknowledging sin with true repentance opens Heaven’s light of God’s compassionate forgiveness. Sin-clouds roll away!  In the midst of your hurt, and when saying yes to God, his grace intervenes, he takes your filth bringing cleanliness, hope and joy. 

In the midst of this enlightenment the mystery and miracle of a glorious riddle takes place.

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“I cannot tell thee whence it came,
This peace within my breast;
But this I know, there fills my soul
A strange and tranquil rest.
“There’s a deep, settled peace in my soul,
There’s a deep, settled peace in my soul,
Tho’ the billows of sin near me roll,
He abides, Christ abides.”
(John S. Brown)

But,  “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:8-9‬ (ncv)

The Accuser

HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN OR DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS OR WAS EVIL; maybe profane, reprobate, unholy, irreverent and  Godless?

What if that person was also extremely smart and funny, personality plus? Let me tell you the name of a person like that.  LUCIFER!  He masquerades as one who loves happiness, a party animal, fun to be around and wants you to join in his deceit.

He will turn a lie into his truth and darkness into his light. He’s attractive.  He is a spirit being who fell from heaven because he wanted to be God. He wants God’s creation

In the New Testament, other names reveal more about Satan’s current nature.

The Devil (diabolos) meaning “false accuser, Satan, slanderer” in Greek and is the word from which the English word diabolical is formed.

Satan is called a dragon in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, as well as the “evil one” in several places.

Revelation 12:9 calls him “that ancient serpent” or “serpent of old,” and

Matthew 4:3 calls him the “tempter.”

Other names for Satan include:

Abaddon (destruction), Apollyon – destroyer, (Revelation9:11)

Beelzebub or Beelzebul (Matthew 12:27)

Belial – (2 Corinthians 6:15).

Satan is also referred to as the god of this world/age

(2 Corinthians 4:4),

Prince of this world (John 12:31),

Father of lies (John 8:44).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:15-16‬

Hold Steady!

INSIGNIFICANT! 
FAILURE!
Worth nothing! 
Irrelevant!
Hurt beyond words. 
Have you ever felt that way?

You may have been drinking- addicted, in fact. You’ve been a big argument with your husband/wife. 
Your son/daughter seem hopelessly alienated. 
Friends have given up on you. 
You’ve tried it all with no answer, no hope. 
What now?

“GOD heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what he knows and does. GOD puts the fallen on their feet again ….” Psalm‬ ‭147:2-6‬ ‭(msg)

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“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
“Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.”
(Frank E. Graeff)

The Answer

Here’s the point to the 10 COMMANDMENTS:

There is a purpose behind each one. 

  1. If you don’t put God  first in your life, then you diminish who he is to your peril. 
  2. If you can carve a “god” out of something it can’t be a creator/Savior. 
  3. It is total disrespect to misuse his name. 
  4. Look, you’ve got six days to work & do stuff. Take that 7th day to rest in body, mind, spirit and to glorify the one who created you, and this wonderful world. Plus, something wonderful happens when you worship the great God of heaven. He actually makes it holy. 
  5. When you honor your mom & dad God helps you. Even if they are pea-heads, God does something good to you. 
  6. If you murder someone, common sense will tell you that it sets off a chain of destructive events and causes evil spirits to occupy your life. 
  7. If and when you allow your hormones to take over so that you lose control and steal the body of another person’s spouse (works both ways) for your own selfish pleasure,  once again, something evil takes over in your heart! Don’t commit adultery.  
  8. Keeping it short – don’t steal, and
  9. Don’t lie/deceive!
  10. Being greedy shows to you and others that it’s all about your cheapskate-self. Before long you won’t have any friends. 

“I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its PURPOSE is achieved.” – ‭Matthew‬ ‭5:18‬

God made only one covenant with Adam (“don’t eat of that tree”).  Just ONE! Adam did it anyway and it set off destruction all over the place.               

Then, Moses came along and God, through Moses, had to build a whole system of laws and regulations to get people to behave themselves. All that creating more laws did was to create more creative ways people could figure out to get into trouble. 

So laws didn’t work, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE BAD but because human beings from the beginning with Adam broke one single covenant, “Don’t eat that apple!”[so to speak]

“All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. … Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.”‭‭ – Romans‬ ‭5:20-21 (msg)

“But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.” – Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭(ncv)

Unconditional Love

In his book, 

Written In Blood, 

Robert Coleman tells the story of a girl who was suffering from a disease that would soon take her life, unless… Lisa was told that without a blood transfusion her death would be imminent. Thankfully, she had a little brother who shared her blood type, which was very rare. The fact that he’d defeated this same disease three years earlier offered the doctor even greater hope for success. So the physician carefully explained all of this to Lisa’s little brother, Dennis, discretely informing him that without the transfusion his sister would surely die.

 “For the life of a creature is in the blood…” Lev. 17:11

 “Do you think you would be brave enough to give your blood to your sister?” he asked. Dennis’ lips trembled nervously as he contemplated the situation, but finally, he smiled and said, “For my sister, yes, I’ll do it.”

 As the two children were rolled into the hospital room, Lisa’s body looked enervated and pale, while Dennis appeared quite robust. The boy smiled at his sister. Together, they watched the blood make its way through the clear plastic tubing as it flowed out of Dennis’ arm and into her’s. Eventually, the smile began to fade from the boy’s little face, and he lay there feeling weak.  Looking intently up at the elderly MD, he asked, “Doctor, when am I going to die?”

 Dennis thought he would have to give all of his blood to Lisa, believing he was trading his life for his sister’s. Because of his love for her, he was prepared to pay that price.

When the Son of God became a man, coming to earth revealing God to mankind, one of the memorable truths He disclosed sheds light on that young boy’s willingness to sacrifice himself for his sister. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

 That’s precisely what Jesus came to do—to be the Christ, the Savior—to offer Himself as a sacrifice to pay the terrible penalty for the sins of the whole world. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.” 

1 Peter 2:24