The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

lord-will-fight

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”~Exodus 14:13-4 NIV

In this passage, I truly like and appreciate the narrative of the NIV Bible! Man, by nature needs to see in order to believe the supernatural and the miracle. As a Christian, and as a Jew, we are called to believe in order for the supernatural and the miracle to transpire and occur. Man limits himself through his skeptical attitudes and absolute lack of faith in the power of God. In fact, man further limits his potential blessings by not researching for himself, or herself, but blindly following the words of others because they sound very authoritative on any particular point or matter on the dogma or doctrines of the church or the tenets espouse within the bible.

Everyone gets so hung up on the infallibility issue with respect to the Word of God. Are we saying that they were perfect men? By no means! David was an adulterer, murderer, liar, and a cover-up artist. Adam could not keep one simple command. Moses disobeyed God’s command. Isaiah ran away from the queen because he feared her threats, despite the proofs God had shown. Matthew was a Tax Collector (they were considered scum by all the respectable Jews in the community.) Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) was a hunter and killer of all those who followed “the Way.” Peter denied the Christ in order to save his own skin, despite his vehement denial of such an assertion by the Christ, himself. All of the Apostles hid behind closed doors after Jesus’ crucifixion and let the women go to check on the tomb; this all occurred in a cultural time-frame where women’s words were meaningless. But yet their words, initially, are a testament that show the the tomb was emptied.

So if you are a person with questionable faith, low faith, or even no faith…you are, without a doubt, among great company! All men, women, and children waver in their faith at some point in time in their lives, or at every turn on their journey. Everyone is different and handles problems differently. Like anything else, faith is just like your mind or a muscle, where it becomes stronger with use, trial, error, and yes – even failure at times! Your childhood heroes, whether they are basketball players – baseball players – football players – hockey players – wrestlers – etc. and so on…are all failures! Now, think about that for a few moments!!!

Yes, they are all failures. Why do I say this? Because all of those hoops they made, ‘Hail Mary’ passes completed, home-runs made, goals accomplished, or the pins of a lifetime against all the odds…those all came into being because of grueling training where each and every one of them sought to better themselves, accomplish a dream, and to be the absolute best that they could possibly be. Failure occurred 70 or more percent of the time, and yes it was usually more than 70% failure. But each and every one of those childhood heroes of yours stuck with the practice because deep down they knew they could and would get better, in due time!

Well guess what? Your faith works much the same way, in that, while things are going wrong – your faith dictates to you through your heart to not just look at what is happening and become discouraged…but rather, look at the Word of God and seek out His promises for His followers! What did He promise you and me?

  • Never promised an easy life, but did promise an eternal life in His glory!
  • Never promised you a life of wealth and luxury, but a life of hard work and inheritance (physical wealth or spiritual wealth…it is different for all).
  • Yes, there are a number of Millionaires & Billionaires, but there is no promise that you will be wealthy or rich; however, there are various forms of wealth, also this may be a test of your covetousness, eh?
  • You are not promised to be a hero, a great man/woman, nor perfect; BUT you were given the promise that you would be held high in God’s eye by taking every task and treating it as though YOU worked for God Himself as opposed to your boss. (read Colossians 3:22-4:1)

The Word of God says that He has your back, consider taking that to heart! Consider the present trial and tribulation as being a test or learning situation. Perhaps, just perhaps, you had need of learning something very specific, or if you are like me (Irish, a man, and hard headed, lol) you just might take a little longer to learn some of the basic things that ‘other’ people have a tendency to learn a bit quicker…hmmmmm…

I am very partial to this Psalm of David, because it was something that was strongly impressed upon me while in prayer. While I delayed, hemmed and hawed on fulfilling His command, or demand, of me. Something really simple, but me being the lazy person I tend to be and possess few skills or talents (if you will.) All I was to do was to build a simple prayer bench for myself, nothing extravagant. I looked for plans, ideas, and layouts. Then once that was done start cutting the wood, get the screws, and pre-drill, then put it together. Shouldn’t have taken more than a day in real people’s time…several months later, it still was not complete. I just hunkered down and did the work to finish it. But that is not the end…I disobeyed what God told be to do. When God tells you to do something then YOU NEED TO DO IT, NOW! Stop playing around, when YOUR Creator asks or demands something of you…JUST DO IT!

God the Help of Those Who Seek Him

A Song of Ascents.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

~Psalm 121 NKJV

According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary (MHC):

Some call this the soldier’s psalm, and think it was penned in the camp, when David was hazarding his life in the high places of the field, and thus trusted God to cover his head in the day of battle. Others call it the traveller’s psalm (for there is nothing in it of military dangers) and think David penned it when he was going abroad, and designed it pro vehiculo—for the carriage, for a good man’s convoy and companion in a journey or voyage. But we need not thus appropriate it; wherever we are, at home or abroad, we are exposed to danger more than we are aware of; and this psalm directs and encourages us to repose ourselves and our confidence in God, and by faith to put ourselves under his protection and commit ourselves to his care, which we must do, with an entire resignation and satisfaction, in singing this psalm.

We are theoretically at the doorstep of fear daily, if you read the Psalm and its basic meaning by MHC. We could potentially be killed  by any number of possibilities, or by others, or by any freak accident on the road while on our way to work, or to the store. But we are to look to God, look up to Him because 1) He created us, 2) He supplies all out help and assistance, and 3) He promises to preserve  us from all evil by preserving our soul for all eternity.

Just as the miracles of the Israelite’s occurred while escaping the Egyptians, similar miracles could happen to protect you daily. Unfortunately, it is the problem of the lack of faith of man that Jesus was unable to perform miracles in His own hometown.

Just remember: The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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We are more like the Prophet Samuel & King Saul, than like King David!

Let me say that again…

We are more like the Prophet Samuel & King Saul, than like King David!

And now that I have your attention, let me explain. King David was referred to as the man after God’s own heart. You may be asking yourself how that is, after all, he murdered Uriah and tried to cover it up. He was an adulterer, and tried to cover up the pregnancy by bringing Uriah home from the battle front. And the list of his sins go on, all you have to do is read the books of Samuel (930 BC), Kings (550 BC), and Chronicles (450-400 BC). With some addendum info within the Books of Psalms and Proverbs. So how was this man of sin a man after God’s own heart?

The truth of the matter is, unlike many of us – King David, when he was made aware of his sins, knowing he was a sinful man always sought God’s forgiveness. Because he knew that he had fallen outside of the will of God by his sin. Though, the Prophet Isaiah (740-680 BC) was written after the Books of Samuel and before the Books of Kings and Chronicles, his sentiment written in Isaiah 59:2 was a well known and a strongly held belief:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

Especially, if you are able to gain knowledge of the Prophet Jonah, whose work was estimated between 750-725 BC which raised the ideology that God was the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews because this was probably THE first instance where God dictated to a Major Prophet to go out to another people in order to teach them of His promises, existence, and His Godly Warnings! It had not been done prior to this time in the existence of the Hebrew people. Normally the people heard of God’s greatness from passers by and then sought out His knowledge, wisdom, and blessing.

We are given examples of such things through the sons of Noah: His sons Ham, Shem, and Japheth through the the Ethiopian Eunuch, Saul of Tarsus, and the Romah Centurion (Cornelius).  (Refer to the mp3 commentaries on the Book of Jonah by Dr. J. Vernon McGee.) Even in the Old Testament We were only given the Queen of Sheba seeking out the wisdom of King Solomon. Of course, there were other examples throughout the Old Testament where other Gentiles sought out the Wisdom of God, His great healing powers, etc.

God wants us to know Him, personally. But of course, the world being what it is…doubtful, skeptical, and questionable at best…we will never come to know Him if we refuse His every attempt to cross paths with each and everyone of us. He will no take away our right to choose one path, or another; however, He will try to give us another option by crossing our path. If you so choose to seek Him out…He will be found by you! But, on the other hand, he will also allow you to freely make the choice (openly) to deny and forsake Him. That being said, you cannot accuse God of sending you to hell when you purposefully, by your own choice, and by your own free will choice. YOU choose the path you take, both good and bad! Don’t blame God for your choices…one of my greatest pet peeves!

So, now let us move on, how is it that we are more like the Prophet Samuel and King Saul? Well, pretty simple in my mind. We act and choose rashly! We react out of anger and fool heartiness. We make foolish assumptions by assuming that our children will follow our lead. That they will just know by osmosis and that they will absorb all this great information that we have to offer without any explanation associated with it. Pure knowledge but that is now how we work as kids or as adults. But we have all made such mistakes. May God be forgiving of our ignorance and fool-heartiness!

Let us start with the Prophet Samuel, then we will move on to King Saul.

The Prophet Samuel:

While the Prophet Samuel was a great Priest for God and a great Prophet for God, he was a less than great father to his children or his children were less than great themselves. Reason I say this is because his children, Joel and Abijah, were made judges over Israel by Samuel. Because they, Joel and Abijah, showed themselves to be less than adequate judges because, “…your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:5 NKJV) The people of Israel saw their actions were contrary to their words and the word of God. Therefore, It only stood to reason that the people of Israel would seek someone great to guide them and lead them…in this case a king. Now I can only infer from the bible that the Prophet Samuel did not properly teach his children to follow the ways of God, OR his children purposely chose to act contrary to the word of God…as they were taught by their father. Of course this is a rather abbreviated view of what happened, but I believe it to be succinct and to the point of the matter. But i would urge you to read your bible and determine that for yourself. In fact, I would challenge you to read your bible and determine the chronology of all that happened. Do not take my word for it nor the word of your pastor, priest, or ministers…read it all for yourself. Anyone who dictates to you that they will tell you what the bible says is not truly teaching the word of God, but at some point in time will substitute his interpretation for the actual word of God! BE FOREWARNED!

Now onto King Saul:

King Saul was the first King of Israel, he was anointed by the Prophet Samuel, and when he had heard of an incident involving the Philistines he was filled with the Spirit of the lord, and such an anger that all the men of Israel would follow him. But he too was a bad king, just as Samuel was a poor father. He did not follow the word of God, he violated priestly boundaries, and hence Israel faltered under his rule. Again read for yourself the plight(s) of King Saul and how he failed Israel and God.

God, truly, originally intended us to follow Him…not another man. But our forefathers failed us in this regard, because now our allegiances are divided between our families, our governments, our nations, and our God. All too often we will choose our allegiance based upon any specific argument at any particular time. More often than not, we will fail God, because we will choose to back not our God but our friend, our leader, our representative, or our President/King.

It is this faulty reasoning that we are more like the Prophet Samuel or King Saul. We, as followers of the One True God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, MUST be willing to follow the word of God. We must be willing to stand alone, against all the odds. But know this that God promised us that He would be standing with us, but this calls for an intensely strong amount of faith. God will allow many (thousands) to fall at our side, but God will not  let the arrows of the enemy strike us or harm us. But we must be willing to be faithful to His word!

Are you game? Are the faithful child of God??

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Betrayal of Jesus

betrayed1Ultimately, why did God create people knowing full well they were going to hell? This is an age old question. Whether you agree, or disagree, with the assessment is completely up to you.

The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. ~Matthew 26:24 NKJV

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” ~ John 21:22 NKJV

Jesus’ betrayal was predicted, foretold, foreseen, etc. at many points of time within the Old Testament. While there are many other prophecies about Jesus, we are more interested in the time-frame of His betrayal:

Prophecies
OT Scripture NT Fulfillment
1. Messiah would be betrayed. Psalm 41:9
Zechariah 11:12-13
Luke 22:47-48
Matthew 26:14-16
2. Messiah’s price money would be used to buy a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:12-13 Matthew 27:9-10
3. Messiah would be falsely accused. Psalm 35:11 Mark 14:57-58
4. Messiah would be silent before his accusers. Isaiah 53:7 Mark 15:4-5

While we won’t be discussing these prophecies, specifically, our over all discussion will be to discuss the underlying question as to why did God create people knowing full well they were going to hell? In short, if Jesus was not betrayed by someone close to Him, how would the scriptures be fulfilled? More importantly, how would we be truly saved by the blood of the Son of God? His blood had to be spilled upon us in order to do the job of salvation properly. The reason I say that is because the blood of the sacrifice was to be sprinkled on the altar, but would also be used to wash the intended person, or people, to be cleansed.

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.~Revelation 1:4-6 NKJV

Now, Judas Iscariot was a tool to accomplish a specific task. He was intended to get close to Jesus and to betray Him for the salvation of all mankind. Jesus even had the argument with His own disciples according to the Apostle John:

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”~John 21:22 NKJV

Jesus reminded them that if He desired it for him to remain till He came again, what was it to them? They were to follow Jesus, regardless of what happened to anyone else! The more any of us look at the situation, Jesus was a forgiving man. The most forgiving man on the face of this earth. And if He chose to forgive Judas for his betrayal, that should not shock anyone at all…because He (Jesus) always did the most gracious thing for men and women around Him.

If it were not Judas, would it not have been someone else?

We each have our part to play, and we should take our part seriously! Although, we are not called to betray the living God, but we are commissioned to share the message of Jesus Christ to all others around us. This is our charge:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… ~Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV

We each don’t evangelize in the exact same way, but in the end we each find a way to get that message across to our subject. And in the end, it is not us but the Holy Spirit who truly drives the message home in their hearts.

As it was once explained to me that we can make no such argument that will turn a person to the Lord on their own. There is nothing we can individually do where they will change their mind or heart. It is all God and the Holy Spirit who coddles and changes one’s mind, by softening it. There is nothing that we can say so perfectly in order for another to see the error of their own way. God does all of that!

The other problem with man is his innate ability of choice to do, or not do, something, anything. God will not steal that away from either of us, because God did not want to create drones that would blindly follow Him. That is why I always see this as the greatest gift and the greatest curse on man. Because man inherently finds a way to stand in the way of God’s great blessings for us by making the wrong choice. <ha-ha> much like Murphy’s Law!

Will man ever evolve to the point where he will seek to do God’s good will? By making that one good choice? Accomplishing that one good deed? Or will he fulfill his own hedonistic desires if he were to be left on his own?

I know what I believe and I also know what I hope…all I can do is pray for all of mankind, as a whole! What about you?

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

How Big is Too Big?

Have you ever wondered if a church could be, or get, too big? I often wonder and also have many opinions on such a subject. Let’s explore the notion, together…

I’ve always had the notion that we were to expand the church, teach others the way which is directly out of the bible, and then as Jesus did with His followers – send them on their way to start up new parishes, churches, and other congregations; but at what point is it considered to be too big? Do we even know the answer to this? Can we answer this?

You have the small town churches which can be very nominal, as low as 25. Unless they are held out of someone’s home, I don’t really see how such is sustainable, but they do exist. Then you can work your way up to the Mega-Church of today which can house up to 2,000 people for services. Then you can move your way up to the Super-Mega-Churches where they are able to gather inordinate numbers of people (16,000-18,000-20,000-22,000-23,000-43,000). In essence, stadium sized gatherings. Did God foretell and predict these numbers? I believe He did.

What gets in the way of all this is man’s pride, arrogance, and selfish motivations. Jesus was the prime example of a church leader: He was kind, generous, giving, faithful, servant of all, always willing to answer questions in just the right way that left you wondering and wanting more. Jesus was angered at just the right moment and was soft & compassionate at the right moment. Jesus taught before few, as well as, Jesus taught before thousands. It is not the numbers that truly bothers me any more, but in the way the teacher addresses  the masses. To teach with such ambiguous platitudes, or perhaps to teach with such a command of the biblical text, but yet the heart of what you teach is not included in you own life…these are the problems which tear men down from the pulpit.

Some people like the really big churches. They just feel more at home in them, almost getting lost among the rabble. There are those of us who prefer to enter smaller venues, a more quaint setting. It tends to be more calming and more conducive to a learning atmosphere. Then, again, there are others who prefer to enter into a mid-sized venue. Who is right?

Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:31-32 NIV

Believe it or not, it is about comfort zone boundaries, what are yours? Just because someone can handle a bigger or smaller venue than yourself…don’t knock it, it is a God thing! God can work in all sorts of venues. Though, we each may have our own preferences, God can work in any venue at any time at any calling. The only ones that limit God’s output is the lack of faith of man himself. Man has always been a limiting factor in God’s plan. Whether it is because of his lack of repentance (Matthew 11:20, Luke 10:13) or due to a lack of faith (Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5).

Now we have another problem that arises among this and that is the rising star among the church, itself…the pastor. At times you have one that is wise, frugal, and humble; and at other times you have others who are swept up by the wellspring of power, pomp and circumstance, not to mention greed. Is it wrong for man, a pastor, to make money off his preaching? I believe it is perfectly adequate to do so, but it must be within the stringent guidelines of the bible by not being a braggart, showy, flashy, or arrogant. I am certain there are other traits, but these are the ones that pop in mind rather quickly while writing. This was one of the greatest reasons why I admired Reverend Billy Graham. He was all that I described and more. With respect to his business associations he limited his income, many of the books he wrote all proceeds were donated, and he was still well provided for by God. He could be a model, though he himself would remind us that he was imperfect. He spoke to stadiums and coliseums filled with thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people who sought the will of God. And his dream was just to preach the word of God, which he did both often and very well! Many of his crusades are preserved and can be found on YouTube. But that is enough on Mr. Graham.

Our truest and greatest model for preaching and leading is that of Jesus Himself! He was our savior, our rock of salvation, our shield and our two-edged sword to be used against all evil. He is our intermediary to Our God and Father of all! It is by His name that we can do all things because it is through Him that we are strengthened to accomplish all things! In the name of JESUS! He is the basis upon which our faith is founded and upon which it grows!

Long story – short…WE follow Jesus and the words laid down in the bible, not any pastor, priest, reverend, or minister! If the words spoken do not conform to those of the bible, he is not a messenger of God; also known as, a false prophet. The words of the bible are a life line to us from God, a dictate if you will. We are to follow God alone and His true representatives. Not some charlatan or wizard of words, but a man of God. You must ask yourself a few questions and answer them prior to joining a new congregation:

1. Is this a church where my family will be regularly fed by God’s Word?

2. Is this a church where I am convinced the care of my soul will be a priority?

3. Is this a church where my family will experience meaningful Christian fellowship and accountability?

4. Is this a church where I can serve God’s people and use my gifts for its benefit?

You may have other questions, but these are ones that I thought of and trolled off of the net. There are some web-sites which have a list as long as 41, or more questions…I think that is a bit absurd and over-thinking of a situation. You can search even further and determine for yourselves what you truly need from a church family and a church home. But I would implore you to do your due diligence! Do your homework and do not just follow any pastor willy-nilly. There are many great speakers that portray men of God, but there few ethical, honorable men of God who are great speakers. Choose carefully and wisely!

And there are many large super-mega-churches, but are they truly teaching the word of God? OR are they just using God’s words? There are just as many smaller God fearing congregations with less than 50-100 people in them as there are over 2,000 people congregations. Again, choose carefully and wisely! Take your time and ask questions. Get to know and feel the church community.

Once you find the church community, next you should move onto finding a bible study group, but that’s another topic. Although, it is more about comfort and feel.

May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD