Why Such Heavy Burdens Upon Our Souls?

Sisyphean toil (3d isolated characters on white background series)

The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?  But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” ~Acts 15:6-11 NASB

“Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.” ~Acts 15:27-29 NASB

But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ~Acts 16:28-31 NASB

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. ~Matthew 23:4 (NKJV)

And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. ~Luke 11:46 (NKJV)

Politics as UsualThree different authors, 2 Gospels, and one historical document later we see how burdens are placed upon us in different ways. We also see that no one from the church leadership, of Jesus’ time, did not aid the people in helping the people. Rather they only aided in the surmounting of the problems being placed upon the people.

The Sanhedrin are as much a political body as the Roman hierarchy, or Jesus’ time, or perhaps between the Republican or Democratic Parties of our time. The Machiavellian Theorem of the time (i.e., THE PRINCE) states:

It is precisely this moralistic view of authority that Machiavelli criticizes at length in his best-known treatise, The Prince. For Machiavelli, there is no moral basis on which to judge the difference between legitimate and illegitimate uses of power. Rather, authority and power are essentially coequal: whoever has power has the right to command; but goodness does not ensure power and the good person has no more authority by virtue of being good. Thus, in direct opposition to a moralistic theory of politics, Machiavelli says that the only real concern of the political ruler is the acquisition and maintenance of power (although he talks less about power per se than about “maintaining the state.”) In this sense, Machiavelli presents a trenchant criticism of the concept of authority by arguing that the notion of legitimate rights of rulership adds nothing to the actual possession of power. The Prince purports to reflect the self-conscious political realism of an author who is fully aware—on the basis of direct experience with the Florentine government—that goodness and right are not sufficient to win and maintain political office. Machiavelli thus seeks to learn and teach the rules of political power. For Machiavelli, power characteristically defines political activity, and hence it is necessary for any successful ruler to know how power is to be used. Only by means of the proper application of power, Machiavelli believes, can individuals be brought to obey and will the ruler be able to maintain the state in safety and security.  ~Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Niccolò Machiavelli, 2. The Prince: Analyzing Power

In a nutshell: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! This mind-set lord-acton-power-corruptswas upheld by the writings of Murry Rothbard in Anatomy of the State where it is discussed that the purpose of the State (whether it be the Federal, state, or local governing authorities) was to maintain or increase it’s power in order to stay in existence even at the demise of those who yielded their rights to create the government in the first place. (Slightly paraphrased, but close enough!) Sadly, man has this propensity to increase his power over others in order to ensure their survival in their position and maintenance of of power and control. There was an adage during WWII in Germany where “it was not Hitler you had to worry about, but all the little Hitlers that were created along the way.” It seems to be much the same within all religious factions, once you get to digging into their histories.

This behavior was reiterated in the Bible, in that while at the end of the period of the Judges in the Hebrew peoples history when the people called for a King to be among them that they could be like other nations.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. ~1 Samuel 8:6-7 NKJV

The-patriot-pictureBy rejecting God, we have rejected His guidance and leadership. And thus we were to be led by men and all their corrupt ways, if they so refused to be led by the ethics and righteousness of God. It is by our poor decisions that our burdens become so heavy, and once day, as I mentioned in a previous post:

I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.” ~Benjamin Martin, opening monologue of ‘The Patriot’ [Posted on 6/11/2018 in “When Men Run From God”]

In this respect, our sins [or past decision] will return to visit us all, and in some cases the cost to each of us may be too much for us to bear! Sadly, we all run from God or the church for varying reasons, usually we are running from God because of the politics within the church…which is not a good reason, at all! We tend to justify ourselves, but wrongly so. All to often the church, or the church leaders to be more specific, are making greater demands on the people that are not biblical…yet, they themselves do not uphold these demands on themselves, as they are the ones in power.

We all have our reasons for doing just about anything and we find ourselves being able to justify our arguments. But rarely will we go deeply into prayer over any particular matter. Which is one of our downfalls, as was for Joshua when he failed to consult God over some travelers.  THIS is one of man’s greatest downfalls, we do not pray enough or seek counsel of God near as much as we should!

In my post, on 5/7/2018, in Prayer is the Foci of All Things, I spoke heavily on our need for prayer and God’s good counsel. Unfortunately for us, we fail to see how our poor decision making skills desperately need God’s counsel through prayer until after the fact. If we could just learn this one thing early in our lives, we could avert many of our problems and many more of our future poor decisions which tend to visit us later on in our lives! But we just want to get through this particular problem…and lo and behold, the problem crops back up on us. Why you ask? Because we do not seek counsel of God, because we do not pray for guidance or aid, because…because…because…

Often times, the load(s) placed upon us is a test of our character or ethics, because God knows that we can carry such a load, or because there is someone in our future with whom we will cross paths and we can help them. Yes, God does prepare us for those moments, just as God places the words in our minds and in our mouths for those arguments and debates for His greater Good!

The final synopsis of all this is:

FEAR IS OVERCOME WHEN WE LIVE WITH COURAGEOUS FAITH! ~Pastor Scott Beckenhauer, Calvary Christian Church

In the sermon given by Pastor Scott Beckenhauer, on 5/20/2018, one of the Lessons we learned was “Courage is not the absence of fear bu moving, in spite of fear!” the second Lesson was, “Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what God can do!” Now, these are not new lessons for us to learn, but they are age old lessons. Going back to the book of Genesis. Use them well, my brothers and sisters, remember them and pass them on to your children and grandchildren. We should not allow such teachings to be forgotten!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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Looking Through The Looking Glass of Another Lense

The-Looking-Glass

I recently finished reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to AlexMalcolmX Haley. Which you can read my review of it on Doc Murf’s Corner Bookshelf. It was one of the most moving and prolific books I had read in quite a while. I don’t believe I had truly seen through the eyes of another as staunchly and as vividly as this one. While I neither agree with Malcolm X’s methods, his religious beliefs, nor position on many things, I can truly understand how he came to believe such things. I understand and can empathize with his struggle and with the path he had taken to get to where he finally arrived. His beliefs about the white man that he encountered daily had truly softened by the end of his trek. It was when he sought out to take his pilgrimage to Mecca, THAT was when it all changed how he thought about man, in general. It was reading this biography where this blog post was conceived and birthed to get others to see through the eyes of another who, perhaps, is the butt of jokes, bullying, or on the receiving end of a hard time by yourself or by those who are your friends. We are not called to dog other but to guide, uplift, and help them…because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Whether they are misguided and have taken a wrong path, perhaps God is placing across your path for you to help them…not to give them a hard time or pick on them.

We are called to:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. ~Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV

And trust me, there are many more scriptural references to urge each of us on to help our brothers and sisters. And guess what? This includes that we should not be talking about anybody behind their backs and tearing them down! It is idle talk and idleness that truly tears us down and makes us look like hypocrites. Which is one of the main reasons so many people hate going to church. Because it is the hypocrite in each and every one of us that shows it’s ugly head every time we are out of church.

 

gandhi-quote-if-it-weren-t-for-christians

No, again I am not pointing fingers at anyone, because this is an individual problem…yes, me too! I tends to be these paths we follow that allow us to learn these hard teachings from God. We don’t like them, no not at all! Who likes being chastised as such? I do not. We see in the Book of Ezekiel:

Signs of the Coming Captivity
2“Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house. 3“Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house. 4“Bring your baggage out by day in their sight, as baggage for exile. Then you will go out at evening in their sight, as those going into exile.… Bible Hub

New American Standard Bible

But think about this for a moment, who would we run away from? Who would we exile ourselves from? All of us has the same problem, unchristian acts of our hearts. Those who are atheist, agnostic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Nondenominational, etc. (I won’t list them all, as it would take up far too much space and you would get bored! I think you get the point.)

If we were as smart as we thought, wouldn’t we change our bad, hurtful and harmful ways and pick-up & develop better habits? It sounds great but it also reminds me of all those “New Year’s Resolutions” from days long gone bye! We start and at some point in time we go back to our easier, no thinking ways.

Sadly, as the species of man goes, we are always judging others. At work, on the streets, passing people at the mall or while doing our grocery shopping…feel free, name the place, we are always judging someone. Concerning their manner of dress, their mannerisms, their actions toward others or the clerk(s), whether or not we can take them (in a fight), whether or not he/she is cute enough to date, and the list goes on and on. We were warned by Jesus Himself:

Judge not, that you be not judged.” ~Matthew 7:1 NKJV

Our reprehensible sin of judging others is always in our way! Jesus showed Himself to be the Light of the World because of His righteous judgement upon others, and His gracefulness and merciful attitude toward others. We are also subject to the laws of man, as well as God. Jesus noted that who are we to judge another if we ourselves are not free from sin? All things, all laws truly have their pitfalls…can we truly sit on a jury and adjudicate another for a crime? Truthfully, we can. While we cannot sit in judgement on other for spiritual matters without serious spiritual consequences, we can make judgement upon others for the safety of our society, as a whole.

Sadly, once again, nothing occurs within a vacuum with regard to life. Everything is constantly changing and is most likely very complicated. While Malcolm X lived through a great number of things which were travesties and shaped his worldview and how he viewed the white man, much the same goes on with us as to how we view the world, the occurrences around us, each thing we experience hones and shapes our worldview and our view on those around us.

bibleWe can use the Bible as our rock and moral compass for our journey through this life, but as is noted within the New Testament we do live in this world, until we move on to be judged by God, or stand before the judgement seat of Christ. The Bible should be our looking glass that we use in order to place things into the proper perspective. And if we are truly followers of Jesus Christ, our Bibles should be well used and broken in! Friends, when you overwhelmed by a problem of great importance or of significant magnitude…turn to the Word of God in order to obtain a better perspective on the matter.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

References & Other Reading:

Lesson 17: The Sin of Judging Others (James 4:11-12) | Bible.org

22 Inspirational Bible Verses About Empathy – Bible Reasons

Ezekiel 12:3 “Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings … – Bible Hub

Walking in others’ shoes | Staunton Mennonite Weblog

Developing Empathy: Walk a mile in someone’s shoes

A time of war, And a time of peace. 

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
     And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

As written in this wise set of verses in Ecclesiastes, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…” Everything has a season & a purpose to occur. There is a time for everything under the sun and under heaven. It was once explained to me that without having infinite knowledge, we cannot know everything; hence, there may be a reason for everything and every occurrence but because of our lack of knowledge and inability to see the future and the past – the true reason for something happening might not be known or knowable for 10 years, 100 or even 1000 years, from now. Is this to mean that we are to understand that a person died for a reason that we cannot possibly know for 10, 100, or 1000 years from now? Not necessarily, but God does desire that each and every one of His creation be saved  and know the truth!

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV

We see  throughout the biblical text that there are times for everything to happen, war, peach, birth, death, suffering joy, anger, forgiveness, etc. Each and everything occurs in it’s appropriate time. God uses man’s fellow man to chastise him or his enemy (i.e., war.) At other times we are called to protect or defend the weak (also a form of military action.) However, these actions can be personal, or individual. Meaning You, or I, may be called to defend someone who is weaker than we.

Defend the poor and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Deliver the poor and needy;
Free them from the hand of the wicked.

~Psalm 82:3-4 NKJV

We can also see it this way as described by Paul, the Apostle:

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.~1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 NKJV

We are called to aid those who cannot help themselves. Sometimes we are the only one available to help a person. Help with a word of caution, or a word to build them up; admonish them, or guide them. We sometimes can help with but a word. Be wise in how you speak to others. This is why we study the bible and the doctrines within. Because with those words we speak we can be either the starter of war, or we can be the diffuser of chaos and calm things down. Words have started many a war in days long gone by. Now-a-days, that is not as big of a problem. Although, on a more individual level a word can be the difference between a friendship or a fight. There is a time for such things and we each learn from our misguided steps in any direction. At least we hope to learn from our mistakes and misguided notions, but that is not always the case!

He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

~Proverbs 17:27 NKJV

It pays to be a man of wisdom and of great learning; however, the greatest of learning comes from our experiences from our past actions, both good and bad. Often we learn good decision making skills from the bad decisions from our past. It is quite the conundrum.

Often, our warriors have a battle waged within their hearts and minds, which is called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury.) Each possess it’s own problems and their individual discussions are best left to those who are either those who have experienced the problems or are medical persons with the technical learning and expertise with those injuries. There are a great many other problems out there which touch on these subjects, but for brevity I will leave it there.

While there is a time for all things, that does not necessarily mean that those things are good for all that are involved. It has been said that if everyone in the world saw the true cost of war, there would be no more war.

War is hell and those that must bear the brunt of the loss, are often not seen and not always acknowledged. We send our sons and daughters off to war and those that return as cargo destroy us; but there are those who return less than what they were, because they cannot come to terms with the fact that they survived and their buddies did not…many of whom, sadly, commit suicide.

War is a terrible thing, but do we have the infinite knowledge required to truly and definitively say that it was an unjust war? We must take solace in the knowledge that God used our children for some greater purpose. That our sons and daughters are in a better place that no longer has sorrow or pain. And that all their tears have been wiped away.

It is my belief that so long as man populates this world, there will be war and killing. Man, while he has the desire for peace, he also has the affinity for troubles and problems. As we grow older, hopefully wiser, we seek something better. We will always need someone to go in and keep the peace or finish the war, internationally or domestically. So, support your troops and military, support your police (state, county, & city). There are bad people, but remember not all are bad!

We all need support from others at any given point in time, they need it always! God uses all of us and God uses them for His divine purpose and plan.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Is abortion the wrath of God realized in the reality of today, or is it the wrath of man for the unborn? After all, we each have our own perspective on this rather controversial subject. There is literally no one out in the world today who has absolutely no opinion on this subject, even if they were to defer it as a women’s subject for discussion. A non-opinion is an opinion! (A bad opinion, I might add, but it is an opinion!)

wrath_of_god

We have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the very hand of God who created each and every one of us. Whether you choose to believe this, or not. Each of us is created in such a way that we are similar, but we are unique in comparison. Yet, we are created in God’s image:

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. ~Genesis 1:27 NKJV

So, do we infer from this that God makes mistakes? No, not at all! Each of us is the way we are suppose to be, barring any decisions that we ourselves make during the course of our lives…which can be and tend to be the mistakes which we will generally blame on God. Also, we have numerous assaults upon our person while we are growing up, which can also mold our psyche as we mature & develop. Consider the transgenderism dilemma today, the gay issues, the man’s mind in a woman’s body, the “non-binary” and gender fluidity mentality, etc.

Those of us who believe in God, the One True God and Creator of all things, hold to the belief that Moses put forth in the Book of Genesis:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  ~Genesis 2:7 NKJV

And the words that King David put forth in order to explain to the reader of his Psalm or to clarify to himself:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You. ~Psalm 139:13-18 NKJV 

And the words that described how God formed us by the Prophet Jeremiah:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” ~Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV

We were created for a specific purpose! What was that purpose? Good question, although it is a different answer for each person; however, we each have something in common and that is to glorify God! However, we are also given gifts by God in order to a great number of other things. Sing in order to entertain, play an instrument to entertain, the ability to act, the ability to teach or research in order to transpire information or educate others, and so much more…all to the end of glorifying God. Some are doctors and others are nurses. Some are policemen, others are firemen, and still others are EMTs as first responders in order to aid the public and each to the end result of glorifying God. God places at our fingertips a number of qualities in order to aid those around us, both to help them and to glorify God in the long run! Of course, with others it is a long road to find those specific traits and qualities in order to aid others and glorify God. Sometimes it is a short path and other times it is a very long arduous trek, but in the scheme of things it is all well worth it. Moses spoke of such things, at least inferred it in the Book of Exodus:

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship ~Exodus 31:3 NKJV

We are each promised, in essence, that we will be given the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, or abilities of workmanship through the Spirit of God in order to carry our our abilities to Glorify God and aid those around us.

So as we move onward, to understand we are fearfully and wonderfully made which infers we have been created for a specific reason. Abortion, on the other hand, is simply, in my opinion, a vehicle for eradicating a perceived mistake. With the advent of removing God from our schools and society, prayer and blessings from our everyday actions and furthermore the destruction of the atomic family (the central core of the American dream, if you will) YOU steer man away from his very central purpose of pleasing and glorifying God and replacing such with the pleasing and feeding the new god of men, government and big business. Now your purpose is to consume (making business happy by buying and spending the money you do not have) and to work hard in order to pay your taxes (thereby, feeding the new god, government, with your money. This blog post, as many others are never meant or intended to be or get political. BUT they are intended to make you think about what you do…to please God or self? How you spend your time…for God or self?

We truly need to get back to focusing on God in our lives, spending our time pleasing and glorifying HIM and not ourselves. Teaching others to do the same. Steering our society into doing the very same in order to get us, as a society, community, and as a country, back on track in order to bring this country back to serving the God that formed it and ourselves, as well!

 

 

As Liz Wheeler mentioned in the video above, where will it end? There is some point in time, or so I hope and pray, where common sense will take hold in the minds of those at the helm. If not, perhaps you or I should become those leaders that refuse to actually lead, if it be God’s will. I tend to be of the mind that if we are to lead that God would place a passion, a desire, or a burden on our heart to do something…despite the fear that we have for doing so. The urge will become far stronger than the fear that is ever-present.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Pre-judgement, Judgement, & Post-judgement

guiltyHave you ever said something, or made judgement upon another, and then thought yourself to be the fool? YEAH, that is me, I am guilty! Go ahead, throw your stones…I did it!

Man is the only animal who seems to be able to judge others and clear themselves of any wrong doing, even though it be the same exact crime against God!

raised hands

Yeah, go ahead…raise your hands in agreement to that one, too! Man is, by his nature sinful and therefore, hypocritical! We talk out of both sides of our mouths and skirt the truth with ourselves, all of the time! Don’t worry about a thing, if any of you won’t raise your hands in agreement over this…there are plenty who will gladly chastise me, while at the same time they are doing the same things as I.

Let us look into the past week with Joel Osteen and the Hurricane Harvey debacle.

While there are plenty of videos of news, and others, tearing at Joel Osteen’s church and ministry; many are failing to realize that Lakewood Church had rising waters in the basement. Also, I watched several videos defending Joel Osteen because what would happen if someone was injured on their way to get to Lakewood Church, or died? Or perhaps, if they got to the church and they closed the doors as they got there? What would the ramifications of that be.

We all, each and every one of us, has a problem with judgement of others. Just nod your heads in agreement! Especially without all of the facts at hand. And in this day and age of half truths, and partial sporadic news reports…thereby, coining the phrase “fake news.” We tend to be quite a bit more outraged at those with all the money and power. Now I don’t necessarily agree with Joel Osteen, nor his methods of preaching, but his judgement in THIS case happens to be spot on. Tyler Perry, a man for whom I have  a great respect for, has gone to Joel Osteen’s defense.

While we each, and yes I do mean all of you as well as I, tend to judge others based upon the perception of evidence at hand. However, if you will pay close attention, most of the perceived evidence out there is truly just an accusation or an assertion that is without any proof or evidence, at all! Sadly, but that is how this whole victimhood thing works. We, the species of man, are a sad creature. As we tend to do all we can to demean our fellow man in order for us to feel better about ourselves!

There are a number of scripture passages which target the fool and the wise, with respect to our speech. However, this one seems to hit home for me:

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Yeah, that is me…the man who is hasty in his words. Yeah, that is right…fools will have a better time than I! I work on it daily, but I also fail God daily in both little an great ways!

The only thing that keeps me going is the fact that King David who was “Apple of God’s eye.” King David requested and prayed to God to aid him to be maintained in such a status in Psalm 17:8 where he wrote:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings

We must remember that King David, despite his sinfulness and behavior, he was always contrite before God when he was called out on the carpet by his prophet. He sought God’s forgiveness and always sought his Lord’s guidance to be healed from his haughtiness and sinfulness and sinful ways. God chastised him, as any father would do to his own son. And then he was back to a clean slate, once again. What we see here is that God is the God of the second chances, as coined by Dr. J. Vernon McGee. Where God will use us after redeeming us from our sin(s). And more importantly, He will use us as well as the Gentiles, because Jesus paved the way for them also!

…the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time… ~Jonah 3:1 NKJV

Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also ~Romans 3:29 NKJV

God has given me far more than 2 chances, I would submit to everyone out there that each of us have been given dozens of chances. And we will receive many more chance before we draw our final breath.

Let’s face it, we all judge others. Whether in our minds and thoughts, outwardly in our reactions or in our verbiage toward them, or perhaps we show our disdain toward others in our posts on social media or other opinionated sites.  Consider the people of WalMart on Facebook, or other demeaning sites. We should treat everyone with a certain modicum of respect as well as understanding. We are called to be patient with all people! To treat the lowly with respect, as though they were rich…give no one an overtly specialized attention.

As I have said all throughout this post, I am as guilty, if not more so, than any. But by God’s grace I will overcome my lowly actions and rule over my sinful desires and urges to judge others, to gossip (which is a form of judgemental speech toward another.)

Just remembering that in order to change something in your life, you must become aware of your wrong actions. This is your warning…pay attention and change your ways, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

We Have Been Warned: A House Divided Cannot Stand!

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and[e] mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. ~Matthew 12:22-28 NKJV

house divided

Antifa, White Supremacy, Neo-Nazis, Black Lives Matter, KKK, etc. Each is bred from absolute hatred. It is very difficult to keep religious sentiment and politics separated. Even our Founding Fathers believed that our religion is what guided us in our daily lives. The House Divided answer from Jesus to the Pharisees was spot on in His day, as well as ours! Just look into the stories, and be honest…look at the background stories as well. As there are two sides to every story, problem, and fiasco. One side will shut down the other with name calling and character assassinations and will play the victim card. While the other side if-youre-explainingis defending themselves from a slanderous assertion without any proof, whatever; they have already lost the battle! There is a political mantra, of sorts: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing!” ~President Ronald Reagan

As it was said on many conservative radio shows this past week, it is not about the statues because most people have seen those statues throughout their lives and have not given them one thought before this movement! Much like Charles Barkley, according to the Chicago Sun Times article. People just seem to want to be wrapped up in all of this anger as though it will accomplish something constructive…which it will not. President Trump asked how many statues will come down, when will it stop?? Though he took much heat for saying this, wrongfully so in my opinion because this was a valid question! The Republican & Democratic parties are dividing the population. These special interest groups (KKK, White Supremacy, BLM, Antifa, LGTBQ, NRA, AFL-CIO, the government [state or federal], our representation in government, and the list goes on and on…) Each group has their own individual agenda. We as people are stuck in the middle…between the clowns and jokers…that just seemed to fit right here! lol

We as people, the species of man, must take all  the available information and think for ourselves. The problem is that we are led by the nose in our education not to think but follow. And if we do not follow as we were instructed to, then we are shamed into following. This is a page out of the NAZI propaganda play book, which many groups are using to get their way. And your representatives and all other sort of politicians are going to yield to the squeaky wheel (so-to-say). Because all those squeaky wheels vote, and if he/she bends to their will they are potential voters to place him/her back into the office from which they will retire and bilk them for the rest of their tax paying lives! [I try to stay away from politics in this blog, as much as possible, but there are times where I am forced to explain through example.]

So long as all Americans allow themselves to be divided over issued, as such, we will no longer be Americans as a whole! We will be black, white, yellow, red, brown, olive, and other variation colored skinned people who happen to reside within the confines of the country known as these United States of America. It is sad…very sad, but true to point! Until we put God first and truly come to terms with what truly matters as concerns for this country and truly concern ourselves with the needs of this country and not our wants…this country will fall!

The top reasons a country declines and falls from power:

  1. The citizenry to realize they can vote themselves emoluments from state coffers.
  2. The overstretching and reaching of the military in relation to the actual threats against the nation.
  3. The weakening of the monetary system.

[The synopsis of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy, as best as I can recall as it has been ten years or more since I last read it.]

Sadly, I suspect, this nation will fall, as all nations of power do, because most are too busy being distracted by the divisions in our midst as opposed to dealing with the actual problems at hand. All too many will attack your/our nature because the dividers want something for themselves. Whether they be politicians, a special interest group, or someone who believes they are entitled to your earnings so they can sit home and watch MacGyver re-runs. The sky is the limit as to who may be the actual problem…but most assuredly, you will see one aspect of the problem if you, and I, would simply look into the mirror! Put God First in your life and look to how you can help your neighbor. Is this not the teaching of Jesus?

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 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 22:36-40 NKJV

THE ONLY way we can fix this nation in a political sense, in a racial sense, in a human sense, in a legal sense, and in an equality sense…is to rest our souls, our very livelihood on Jesus, following HIS ways and the mandates of HIS Father! We were once a thriving nation, which was a beacon of hope for all other nations. Yet, now, we have unfortunately become nothing more than a target and another Aristocratic & Authoritarian nation on the face of this earth. Is is too late to change our path? I do not believe we have gone beyond the point of no return, as of yet…but we are coming close!

You must remember that YOUR religion is but a guidance to you, the Bible is our manual for this life we live in. Just because we may accept a position in government, we do not check our beliefs and morals at the door! Those tenets are what guide us to make the right decisions we have been chosen to make for the good of this nation, for the good of our community, etc. By making the decision(s) we are guided to make, we are not forcing our religion upon anyone…as you had been placed in to the position in order to make the decision you made. The only way to unite a people is through faith in God. And through that faith we can unify in one common goal. Salvation is accomplished one lost soul at a time, and God’s desire is that all come to the knowledge of the truth!

Always keep in your mind and your heart: A House Divided Cannot Stand! And serve the ONE who desires all to be saved. Serve Him with all your heart and seek out all those potential opportunities to talk to others. We have a Christian Veterinarian who gives a leader statement, either people he serves bite at it or they do not. This is how he ministers to those he serves. Everyone has their own way of doing it.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

“You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”

You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. ~Exodus 22:28 NKJV

Bible spine

How often have we complained about our government? Our leader(s)? I don’t know about you…but I have quite often.

God placed all those that rule over us in their places, according to the bible!

“You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.” ~ John 19:11 NKJV

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. ~Romans 13:1 NKJV

Quite the slap in one’s proverbial face, eh?? One could say that bad rulers are put in place to chastise us and reap a judgement upon us. True or not…that is for God to decide. But, biblically, the bible does show a history of God using others to reap a judgement upon people. Whether it be through war, external or internal problems (political, civil disobedience, or through civil attacks.) The history of the world is wrought with such examples, equating those examples to acts of God is another argument.

Generally speaking, most everyone is patriotic toward their own country and have a certain amount of Nationalistic identity and love for their country. We each must assess our own love of country for ourselves. It would seem that, now-a-days, our youth are being taught a sense of globalist identity; which concerns me to a degree, although that would be more of a political debate and this is not the place for such. However, Jesus taught us to be more identified with our citizenship in heaven, as opposed to our country.

For our citizenship is in heaven ~Phillipians 3:20 NKJV

While this was blatantly written by the Apostle Paul, Jesus reminded us of this, “ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21 NKJV) and He did tell us

…for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~Matthew 5:12 NKJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16 NKJV

Subtle reminders that we are creatures created by God who resides in heaven and that one day we will return, bearing the inference that God is watching over us; hence our citizenship is heavenly! And since we know we will die (just not when) our earthly presence is temporal.

Which drives me back to the topic at hand. We are to do everything on this think_on_these_thingsearthly presence of ours to reflect God’s very image, which we have been created in. We are God’s representatives toward others we come in contact with on a daily basis. Jesus was sent not just to be the sacrificial lamb, in our place. But He was also our example of how to live and how to act in the presence of others. Showing others such things as love, compassion, faith, hope, noble, just, pure, virtue and praiseworthy, but we are to meditate on these things ourselves.

How are we to be better than if we were to think on such things? The only way to get better, let alone change our habits, we must first think on these things and work them into our minds and hearts. Delving into the biblical text, gaining deeper understanding will change us. And slowly moving back to the topic at hand, in a slow calculated fashion…

Now, back to the main premise of this blog. We should not be attacking and cursing our leaders, especially since they are placed there by God.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. ~Romans 13:1 NKJV

God has ordained everyone in authority to be in their place. We must be God ordainedwilling to be subjected to chastisement by those even when we are in the right and they are in the wrong!

For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. ~1 Peter 3:17 NKJV

We must be humble under God’s rule! There are times when we must speak out concerning the evils of this world and those that would perpetrate them, there are times when we must fight against evil itself, and there are times when we must annihilate evil upon God’s command. Speaking on this moments ago, the Israelites do not realize what they have done, generations ago, when the did not follow God’s explicit commands to, “you shall utterly destroy them” Just look at all of the issues we are presently having these days! It is abhorrent and abominable! And yet, we as Christians cannot even agree on many of these things. Others proclaiming to be Christians, but by their actual proclamations prove otherwise. In that, those that proclaim we must be more accepting of homosexuals, pedophiles, and various other sins & sinfulness that are/is abhorrent to God. NO! We do not need to be more accepting of sin! We do need to be more accepting of those that seek, truly seek, God; accepting them and Reaganshowing them the word of God and the teachings.

Unfortunately, in this present snowflake revolution generation, and in the immortal words of President Reagan concerning his Democrat counterparts: “…It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so!” It is quite the same message for our Liberal Christian friends. We need to show them where they are wrong in doctrine, thought, biblical precepts, etc. Many of these kids are growing up in a lack luster household not being taught about God, after school enter college and if they knew God, generally speaking lose their faith by the end of college. They are born again agnostics or atheists. The percentages bear this out, in the 1980s it was 8% but by early 2000s had doubled to 16%. I could only imagine what the numbers bear out now-a-days…

And in the future, yes our future and yours, too; they will be the political leadership in charge of the creation of law. Many of which are derogatory to the the Constitutional protections that are now being ebbed away so flippantly.

I would urge you all to PRAY for each and every one of our representatives in Washington DC and in each and every individual state of the Union. Pray for each and every one of your local governing bodies, Police forces, Sheriffs, etc. They each need God’s guidance and protection that they each fulfill God’s Will! Now, while the bible is more so guiding one to not curse his leader, meaning his spiritual leader, I believe biblically it is prevalent that we not curse either, but pray for their guidance to follow and fulfill God’s Will!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD