You search the Scriptures…


But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. ~John 5:38-40 NKJV

What a profound statement! We should all just think on it for a bit, in order to comprehend its full meaning.

There are studies and other surveys out there which tell us two of the reasons that (we) people purchase books is to:

  1. Inform us; and
  2. Makes us look smart. (Rhomberg, 3/3/2016)

Now there are other reasons, but these two make the point I seek to make. Namely, with a particular book on a shelf and in plain sight of others, in their eyes we are well read, well rounded, and more importantly…smart! But such an inference is a giant leap because in many instances we had never read, opened, or even finished the book in question. This includes the bible.

Now as the above bible verse states, “…You search the Scriptures…” As Christians we read the bible daily, study, search it, and research it, but are we really getting any smarter within the context of the biblical tenets put forth to us? I must state a resounding no, yes…even in my case! All too often we read, search, & research; yet, we do not put into practice those words we read daily. We do not rely on the voice of God in our hearts. We tend not to apply what we have learned on any given day…let alone on Sunday!

We read the bible, even in context, of all the truths put forth about Jesus. The prophecies, the teachings, etc. yet, we choose to live in our own little bubble thinking we are doing well even while we are failing miserably. I recently watched an episode of HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN entitled, “WALLY”. With Dick Van Dyke as the lead role, where he played a bum…but a rather Godly bum. Though just a show it depicted something wonderful that we tend to overlook in our lives. Where the lowly are endowed with grace and love for all. Performing good deeds toward his fellow man, helping those even less fortunate than himself, emulating Christ in his life.

I often think, and believe, that though we read, study, & research the biblical text we often fail to see the fact that we need to put those words into practice within our daily lives…EVERY DAY, not just on Sundays.

Furthermore, the bible passage reads, “…for in them you think you have eternal life…” just as a person infers that they have more knowledge within them simply by purchasing a book the same goes for owning and reading the bible. We believe that because we read our bible we automatically possess eternal life. Solely because we are bible believing, God fearing, Jesus loving people. Unfortunately for all of us, we need to learn, understand, comprehend, AND obey the words therein; applying them in our lives…daily!

Unlike the Pharisee, we must be willing to go to Jesus, the Christ, the One True Son of God, to obtain that eternal life. Believing in Him, following His words, obeying His commandments. Perhaps this is why so many of us have lost our passion and desire to do things in life, because we have not been following the words given to us. Perhaps we have side stepped just a bit to the left or the right of center and lost our way. But God has this way and means of tugging at your heart to get back to the center of the right path. To enter in through the narrow gate. God is good about getting people’s attention and setting them straight, just read Jonah, Job, or the Book of Acts concerning the Apostle Paul.

God is always waiting for you and is always willing for you to come to Him. He loves all of His creation, but unless you are willing to submit yourselves to his rule over your heart, soul, mind and be reborn you can never enter the kingdom of God nor shall you ever possess eternal life! That is biblical truth. Like it or not, that is truth. Just as you believe people need to be adjudicated in such a way, so does our Creator. But God has given us the rules to live by, most of mankind has chosen to believe that God should make judgements based upon their personal subjective agenda. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. God makes judgements based upon His objective standards, not our relative and subjective standards.

There was once a story I heard from Ravi Zacharias concerning a disagreement with an atheist. The atheist touted that mankind only to act a certain way in order to be moral, that there was no need for God. Ravi asked how he determined the morality of a matter, the atheist refuted that it was by feeling. Ravi reminded him that there were still Tribes in South America and the Amazon who determined their liking you by taste, what is your preference? Rare, medium, or well done?

Jesus told us to search the scriptures, but He also told us through a mandate to obey the scriptures, too! We need to apply them in our lives, daily. We were commissioned to do certain things:

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

All Ten Commandments rolled up into two simple commands. and then the Commission placed upon us:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We are told what to do, how to do it, through the loving of God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds! How much simpler could it possibly be for us?

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

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I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel

warn-them

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:  When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.~Ezekiel 3:17-19

Between the Old Testament and the New Testament we have been given our marching orders to warn EVERYONE of the impending judgement upon us all. An earlier post where I discussed my belief that we are NOT once saved always saved (Part 1 & Part 2), we are sinners by nature and we are obligated to rule over that nature and control our urges…this is something the Bible teaches us!

In the Old Testament we were given mandates, which are either inferred or specific, setting us on a path to warn our fellow man of our impending judgement. Either we were people in Israel and the other people came to us to seek our instruction; or like Jonah, we were sent to another nation, or people, to warn them of impending judgement and woes. In the New Testament we were given a commission to tell others of Jesus, salvation, and our impending judgement; of course this first begins with how we are to act and treat our fellow man, as well as the honoring of God our Creator.

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

The best way to love God and honor Him, is to share Him and His message with our fellow man. To share the purpose of Christ’s coming to earth as a mortal man being the final sacrifice for man’s sin. Never again to sacrifice again.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We are to talk to, minister to EVERYONE throughout this world for the sake of God. While it is a song, it is quite telling:

“…For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”~Revelation 5:9-10 NKJV

It simply reiterates the following:

 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ~1 Peter 2:9 NKJV

Which indicates that we are priests for God in our own right, as we are Sons of the Most High God. We are intended to and obligated to serve our God and Creator! So, what have you done for God lately? We are simply messengers for God, but it is the Holy Spirit who actually speaks to the hearts and minds of others in order to save them, to turn them around (as well as, their lives.)

As servants and children of God, we need to learn to suck it up and begin to speak to others about the impending disaster and final judgement of all mankind. We just need to speak the truth at the appropriate times; thereby, enabling the Holy Spirit to His work on their heart.

Just imagine what would happen if we would speak to our kids about God, the kingdom, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? To aid our kids in the overall development of their evangelistic and apologetic skill-sets.

There was a study a number of years ago where it was determined that, on average, the college freshmen was so uneducated in the art of Christian apologetics that many lost their faith by their sophomore year, or earlier. That our rate of increased atheistic, or at minimum agnostic, minded has increased to 16% which is double from just ten years prior.

Consider, at the very least, to reassure, if not train, your child (children) in the arts of evangelism, but even more importantly the in the art of Christian apologetics. After all, we are the watchmen and were commissioned to make disciples of all nations!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

God is Just

All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.” ~2Thessalonians 1:5-10 NIV

Just

There is much in this passage to be mulled over; however, the message that we need to take from it is that GOD IS JUST. Not just sometimes, not just most of the time, but all of the time. His judgements are based upon His ability to view the past, the present, and see all the way into the future of mankind and thereby determine that His judgement on any particular act is just and proper based upon morally sufficient reasons. God does not make heat of the moment decisions, they are morally sound and proper decisions. Those who have been judged guilty in His eyes we so done due to the fact that the evil needed to be punished and that NOW was the time. Those who are not judged guilty were so done due to sufficient reasons and future events that either they were to play a part, or a decision they were to make; thereby, turning their life over to Christ.

Gods view1God sees all things from beginning to end as one all encompassing picture, much like a panoramic view photograph. The only difference is that this picture has every detail written in place. In comparison, we can see a snapshot of something but we, being deletion creatures, pay no attention to specific things within the content. Although, we do spend much of our energy on very specific aspects of any particular photograph. God sees it all, takes it all in, and measures everything with respect to its representative perspective, or the point of view.

In other words: God sees us how we are, right now. God sees us how we were in our past. God sees us how we will be in our future. Knowing full well what decisions we will make. Knowing what paths we will take. He sees all our right turns and wrong turns. He is with us every step of the way. He communicates with us through the words in the Bible, through the Holy Spirit which was accepted by each of us when we turned our lives over to faith under fireChrist and received our salvation.

Our faith in His judgement and His decisions is constantly under fire. We are always filled with doubts and are asking questions of ourselves which can only increase our doubt and lessen our faith; again, thereby, turning us from our confidence in God’s ability to do just what needs to be done despite what we think! We must possess such a faith that if we receive what we ask we should feel ultimately blessed. On the other hand, if we do not receive what we desire…we should also feel blessed because God is either saying, “NO!” or He is saying, “Not yet, my child!”

We are ever filled with high hopes and beliefs of wealth, carefree lives, and living a fairy tale. Guess what? Without meaning to burst your bubbles, we were promised a blessed life if we obey. But we were also promised troubles and turmoil throughout our lives.

Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.” ~Job 14:1-2

Let’s face, none of us are perfect; and hence, we have not honestly obeyed God and His commandments! On the other hand, if we changed our faith and belief in God to be perfect and just, then our perspective on all these things will change, as well. We would be able to see these things that happen to us as they should be and are…God’s perfect and just decision. Nothing is wrong, it simply is as it should be…HIS WAY!

Just because things are not going our way, the way we believe it should be – does not mean we are out of God’s will. Even when we are getting everything we want, this also does not prove we are in God’s will. Sometimes we are tested to see if we will fall down and get back up again. There are those other times where we are given comfort and temporal success to keep us from truly seeking God’s will. I am presently reading Billy Graham’s book “THE JOURNEY” in which he stated:

The Holy Spirit has been given to help us become more like Christ. We cannot become more like Christ on our own; we need God’s help. And He has given us His help by sending us His Holy Spirit.”

Being a follower of Christ is not for wimps or the faint of heart, it is for those who are strong in spirit and faith! When you have any doubts about God’s will for you…You, and I, are to be more like Christ Jesus! Will you fail? If you are like me…YES, you will! But you need to get back up and dust yourself off and start at it again. Much like your career at Gods view2walking. When you fell, you got back up and tried it again and again until you finally did it correctly. Then you learned to perfect it by placing your own twist on it. That same mindset was carried on into other aspect of your life: Riding a bike, talking, your physical prowess in sports, etc. This is that Spirit…of workmanship which God has blessed you with!

The only way to emulate Christ is to focus on Christ, His teachings, His interactions, and how He acted among us. This is what we need to cast our eyes on, the goal we should seek, and it should be our understood expectation for God’s will in our lives. Just think…with more of Christ in our lives there may be less war, crime, etc. occurring in this world…just a thought! Also, consider the fact that God will judge everyone who has treated you shamefully and that you responded to them in kindness and out of love. Trust and believe that God will take care of all these things. This is but another facet of our focus and faith!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

In Mourning at the Murphy’s

bernie

Our loyal friend Bernie was truly in bad shape. He contracted, or developed, Pancreatitis at the age of 5. Thought we would have to put him down by the age of 6, because of that fact. But he was truly a trooper and fought on in life. Just prior to turning 10 years old, he developed a cough and began to go into liver failure, potentially had Cushing’s Disease, which probably exacerbated all of his other problems. At eleven o’clock, Sunday, October 9th, 2016 he was first injected with a sedative to induce sleeping and then the final injection to end his pain.

He was a loyal, fun-loving dog, who would take over your whole life and had this tendency bernies-ballto jump up on the bed and rest his head on your arm or chest. And yes, being a Boxer he was 100 pounds, so it was no easy feat to handle…but he was family…like our very own child! We cried rivers of tears because he was removed from our lives. Something that happens to each and every one of us! Life is something that no one gets our alive. Of course, when we got home from the vet’s office, we found his ball right where he left it…dogs never seem to pick up after themselves, do they? But it was just another subtle reminder he was no longer with us.

bernies-lookingOne of the last pictures of him looking off into the distance. As though, he and Akyra (our other Boxer, which we thought we would lose earlier in the summer; see also Have you ever…) were looking off into the great abyss to view his travel plans. Ahhhh, the imagination of man. It truly keeps you guessing, doesn’t it? But it is almost like she was also saying that it was “alright” for him to move on without her. Knowing that he had so many problems going on for so long.

You may be wondering why I am blathering on about my family’s relationship to a dog, a pet – referring to hims as a child. Well, I am getting to that…

In the Book of Jonah, Jonah 4 to be exact, where God prepared a plant to yield some shade for Jonah as he laid in wait for the Ninevietes to renege on their repentance to God, because he hated them. But Jonah gained a fondness for the plant. Much like man of our day gains a fondness and love for a pet. Even though they are less than a man in the eyes of God, but they are created all for His glory and His goodness. But there is a purpose for pets and plants to be in our lives and they work to God’s ultimate purpose in teaching us that our fellow man is who is created in God’s image and likeness. That being said, man is who has a soul which can be redeemed through the grace of God and salvation in Jesus Christ.

In your pain, as in my own, God can teach us great things in order to further our understanding, as well as, show that our loyalties are wrongly placed, or that we need to fulfill His plan in another manner. Just as Jonah learned by wishing his own death due to the loss of the plant which the Lord had prepared (see Jonah 4:6). Just food for thought for those out there who are going through the same pain as both my wife and I.

And just for your information I do believe that all animals, created by God will go to heaven, below are a few passages of scripture that, in my opinion, lead me to believe so to be true:

“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11, NKJV)

“Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him; yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7, NKJV)

“Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.” (Genesis 1:24 NKJV)

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

It Takes More Than Memory Work To Be A Man or Woman of God!

You must not just know or memorize the message, but you must live the message every day of your life! In other words:

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” ~James 1:21-25

Many people believe themselves to be basically good people, but what exactly are they basing that decision on? Usually, something rather relative to themselves and/or comparative to another person. Our problem is that we must be comparing ourselves to the mandates of God’s word and the laws carried forward and taught by Jesus the Christ, not another person who consistently fails to uphold the word of God! But we each have this comparing ourselves to others problem, because we either see ourselves as being better than or worse than another person that we see. We also permit ourselves to manipulated by the media, in all varieties; whether we are watching some shows (reality television) or something along the lines of a fantasy.

When we see ourselves as being good we generally compare ourselves to Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung – between the four of them they have killed as many (estimated) as 200 million people. So, yeah…we are all better than they are…how many people have you killed? The fact of the matter is that God does not grade on a curve. Also, NOWHERE in the Bible does it indicate that ONLY Hitlers, Mussolinis, Stalins, or Mao Tse Tungs are the only ones that go to Hell everlasting Damnation! Does it?? Did I miss that part?? I think not…

While it does take great pains on our part to memorize biblical passages and scriptures, it improvementalso takes much willpower on our part to pray daily, to fast, to go out of our way to aid others in need…YEAH, I can also do much better in those areas of my life, too. Do you care for those in prison? Those who are widowed? Those who are orphaned? James talks about this being the basis of religion. In so far as, he meant the actions we take should reflect our words of faith. We as Christians need to reflect the actions of Christ in all we do and say in our daily lives. We are all falling down in this respect of our religious lives. It is only through God’s word by reading and memorizing that we can have God at the forefront of our minds. It is only by striving to do better, that we can actually get better at what we do!

By attempting to do something slightly different than what you did yesterday, in order to improve you can do so one step at a time. Tiny steps of improvement turn into great strides at a later date. Much like compound interest, making little improvements daily or weekly can reap great rewards later on down the road!

prayerfulBegin praying for but only five minutes and later on it will grow because your relationship with God grows. Talk to Him throughout your day at what appear to be mindless moments, and you will become a ceaselessly prayerful person. No matter what you do to get better as a Christian, as a follower of Christ, or as an emulator of Jesus – take your time using your bible as the guide, gaining a contextual understanding of the bible and passing it on to others. Become part of a group of like minded believers that studies and teaches the bible. There are many out there, if not create one!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD