It Takes Faith!

“Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” ~Mark 6:3-6 NIV

A prophet is not without honor

It is odd, to say the least, that the numerous intended miracles to be performed within the hometown of Jesus did not happen due to the lack of faith of the people! A miracle being like any other gift must be accepted (regardless who the giver may be), case in point:

George Wilson was charged with a crime which required him to pay the ultimate price, death by hanging. it went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS, UNITED STATES v. GEORGE WILSON). The President of the United States, Andrew Jackson provided him a pardon, but he refused it. Chief Justice John Marshall provided the following statement in his opinion for the court:

A pardon is a slip of paper, the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged.

And so he was hanged by the neck until he was dead.

Miracles are much the same, in that, they must be accepted by the recipient through faith. The faith we have in God, the Son of God, & the Holy Spirit must remain in tact if our free moral agency is also to stay whole, in the sight of God. We each have the right to choose to do good or evil, and we must maintain that same level within our spiritual beliefs, as well! God gave us these inalienable rights that only we can toss aside, or hold onto, by our choice. Because that is how God designed us. From the beginning we were given the ability to choose the direction we were to head.

every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” ~Genesis 8:21 NIV

Also, Abel was rather candid with his brother, Cain:

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”” ~Genesis 4:7 NIV

Abel told his brother that HE, no one else, must rule over the sin in his own heart. The only way to do such is to learn God’s word, put it into practice daily, and teach it to others – as we are commissioned to do. I don’t believe we need to make this any more difficult than it needs to be, what do you think? Our life’s purpose is to serve God through the gift(s) He has blessed us with. Some are great speakers, others are teachers, others are laborers, etc.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” ~Colossians 3:17 NIV

No matter what we do, we must be joyful, thankful, & blessed that we can do such things in God’s name and prove ourselves through such glory! By acting in such a manner, our faith will rise and become stronger while we read and study the Word of God. Perhaps even creating a deeper meaning within the very depths of our hearts and souls! We need to walk in the faith that God is in control of it all and that we will not always get precisely what we desire, but rather we will gain the life that God desires of us.

Bruce Lee strength

The majority of us seek an easy life, cannot deny it…I would love it, but not necessarily practical. But in actuality we should seek and pray for the strength and courage to face a difficult life and the ability to endure it! After all, we were told:

““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

In other words, consider going against the flow…don’t just be follower! Be the leader that is truly needed! Having faith is the basis of all this message. Faith in God, that He does know what is going on and everything is happening for an ultimate purpose, and that we are playing a part (our part) in the grand scheme of things. Just remember, keep things simple!

May God grant each of us the strength of faith we need to know our gifts and to properly use them for His glory!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

No temptation has overtaken you…

temptation1

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~1Corinthians 10:13 NIV

We have been given a great promise by our Lord through the Apostle Paul. Let us try to break this down into its component parts and dissect it’s meaning:

1. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

Temptations that are common to mankind are the only ones able to overtake us. So, the question being: What temptation(s) are common to mankind? First, let us look back into the book of Genesis:

“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” ~Genesis 3:22-24 NKJV

“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”” ~Genesis 4:7 NKJV

“…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

Since the days of our presence in the Garden, our hearts have been steeped in evil thoughts. Jesus spoke on this “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” ~Matthew 15:18-20 NKJV

To know good and evil, instead of maintaining our innocence within the love and protection of God and following Him only, we have accepted all sorts of evil into our hearts. We have placed ourselves into harms way with all the potential temptations that could possibly overtake us. AND since we are the species of man, we are so into the ‘please me now’ mentality and as Able spoke to Cain – we are not in the mind of ruling over it. Instead, we are of the mind to give ourselves over to our temptation(s). How about changing your mentality on this matter and take control over your mind, your nature, and your urges? Give yourself wholly and fully to God, claim Jesus as your Lord and Savior! Earnestly pray for His guidance and help.

2. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but do you really think that will happen without some work on your part?? You MUST yield yourself over to God, let the Holy Spirit work and guide you; which means you need to more earnestly pray and more diligently listen! Could God do all these things without you asking? Yes, most certainly He can, but He will not subvert your Free Will because He made you a free moral agent. You need, and have, to want such things for yourself. Please keep in mind that we also have an obligation to “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ~1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV

3. “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

If we are wholly yielded to God, God will create an escape from our temptation. Through prayer, scripture memorization, through our work, keeping our minds busy, etc.

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.” ~Prov 6:6-Prov 6:8 NKJV

Proverbs_6-6The ant is a busy little keeper of the house. Constantly busy, constantly working, improving the living area, and through such diligent work is ever prepared for the ills of the world. If their colony is decimated, they do not complain to their government for relief…instead, they work to rebuild. From scratch, if necessary! They work without ceasing, they work together, they do not complain about race, color, or caste system they are part of…they just do what must be done. There must be a good reason that King David spoke of them.

If we will but focus on God, submit ourselves to Jesus, and listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance there is no way we cannot achieve anything we set our sights on (with the caveat that what we seek is in the will of God!) There is nothing we cannot overcome…especially temptation! We must be willing to give up the desires of our carnal heart that we will seek out that which is far greater than ourselves…the will of God!

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NKJV

There is a purpose that we were created for, it is my opinion that the above scripture says it all. Jesus came to place things back into the proper perspective through the New Covenant between God and man.

So, what temptation holds you at bay? What is keeping you from your full Godly potential? Turn it over to God, dedicate yourself to Jesus, pray intently and listen for the Holy Spirit to talk to you. It may be a feeling, a scripture in the bible, a book in the bible, something said by a friend or even someone you’ve never met before. It could be most anything and it could be unexpected, but be patient! For it will come.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

God Did Not Give Us Mix-N-Match Commandments

God has not given us the “Garanimals” of commandments, also known as His mix-n-match commandments for His children…namely us!

Read into Mark 7:5-23

Jesus-and-the-Pharisees

I honestly believe we have all done this, at some point in time. Justified our actions by discarding the commands of God! I can admit it, how about you??? Now, I do not mean any disrespect to the children’s wear brand name “Garanimals,” but with respect to the point I am trying to make, it seems to be the best descriptive term. “Thou shalt not do this excepting only a day with a “y” in it!” No, the commandments that were passed on to us through the centuries were not written in such a way! The commands given us were not to be mixed and matched to specific days of the week, months of the year, or seasons of the year…they were meant to be understood and followed (adhered to) as written! Jesus made them even simpler, but yet we still attempt to match them to times of the day, months, seasons of the year, or some other morally challenged ideology.

And just because Jesus loved everyone, and He dined with them, He did not participate in nor condoned their sins. He accepted them where they were in life. But if they truly believe He was the Son of the Living God, they would have changed their actions and how they acted within the context of their lives to be the sons and daughters of the Living and Most High God that claimed them as His own heirs!!

The sad thing is, people are always trying to rebrand and repackage our Creator into a neat little box that suits our carnal desires. Making Him much smaller than He truly is. Many of godlythe commands which Jesus challenged the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes were those which they bent to their own benefit. They had no problem seeking to know why the followers of Jesus did not adhere to specific aspects of the law, all the while they were bending the laws to benefit themselves. A bit of hypocrisy to say the very least!

Jesus reminded us that the act of ceremonial cleaning of one’s self is meaningless and Godly-contentmentdoes not clean the person; instead, it is what you set free from your heart and out of your mouth is what truly makes you “unclean” in God’s eyes! Fill your mind with godly thoughts, show only godly sights to your eyes, and fill your heart with the goodness of God…then, you truly are clean! God had intended us to follow His commands, and they were truly simple in the beginning. But since we could not follow directions and accomplish what was expected of us, we were sent packing out of the Garden of Eden. You know the old observation: “You had one job and you couldn’t even do that right!” That was how it was with mankind…all we had to do was follow what we were told to do!

Jesus put things in their place and told everyone how it was:

What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”~Mark 7:20-23 NIV

Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, the Son of the One True God, the Christ, told us what was wrong with mankind and exactly what made him an unclean person! We were even told by God that “even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” (Genesis 8:21 NIV) But we lost hope and faith in our Creator and we turned our head to the side and paid no attention to Him. Even to this very day mankind has done so. Every time a miracle doesn’t happen for us, each time a prayer is not answered to our liking, we tend to lose faith and hope in our Lord. But the fact is that just because you didn’t receive a miracle or your prayer’s answer it does not mean you were suppose to receive that item, or request. It is quite possible that you were actually getting a “no” vote from God. The problem is, we easily lose heart; but it takes a strong heart to hold faith with God’s will, both good and bad.

We must keep in our hearts and minds that evil is part of our nature and that we must fight against it every step of the way! We were reminded by the Apostle Paul:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~1Corinthians 10:13 NIV

We are easily tempted, this is because our nature is evil and our hearts are so easily swayed by our carnal desires. We even had some aid from Able while he spoke to his brother, Cain:

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it. ~Genesis 4:7 NIV

We are told, here, that sin is crouching at our door and that it desires to have us; which essentially is telling us that sin is living and breathing and due to our evil & carnal natures that sin is here to tempt us and fully take over our hearts and minds. Is this not what Satan desires from us? The great deceiver, himself! But we MUST rule over our own desires and minds…we must be in control. How do we gain this control? From God, himself. God will provide a way out so that we can endure it (it, meaning the temptation and the desire of our heart, etc.)

God desires us to win, but we must be able to and desire to follow His will and commands! So, are you willing?? Are you willing to yield your life back to God? Following His way??

Hear the word!steps

Believe the word!

Repent your Sins!

Confess/Accept Jesus as Lord!

Be baptized!

 

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD