We Must Totally & Completely Rely On Christ To Save Us

Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.

Mark 16:14-18 NKJV Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

We as Christians are called to spread the Good News and to make disciples of ALL PEOPLE and NATIONS. So, how is it that people seek to paint us out to be arrogant? We are doing what we were commanded to do, yes commissioned to do! We know we are sinful, as we are steeped in sin from birth; yet that does not make us hypocrites, but keepers of the word which we were commanded to keep and spread to all people.

Consider this, I read some time ago where Jilette Penn where he stated something to the affect that he thought Christians were hypocritical when they did no speak of their faith to him because of the mandate of Christ within the bible. So, how is it that when we do speak of salvation to others that we are deemed to be hypocritical, arrogant, and trolling others to pigeon hole them in Hell?

I came across this video on Facebook…

And cannot say I totally agree with his assessment of the Christian faith! There are Christians who go at things wrongly, simple as that. But are all Christians wrong? Man truly has painted himself to be one who desires the “comforting lies” and steer away from those unpleasant truths in life. But wouldn’t it make more sense, if man truly desired those “comforting lies”, that he would be drawn more toward the hedonistic and pleasurable ways of letting go? Instead the Christian follows the ways of the “unpleasant truth” where he is confronted with his vile ways. I truly believe that Morgue has things twisted just a bit.

There are those Atheists who have had much different experiences, such as Bryan Melvin.

Some people have much greater testimonies in comparison to those Christians who have been either Christian and believers for the majority, if not all of, their lives. Converted Atheists have much greater testimonies compared to those who have strayed from Christ and then went back much later in life.

Contrary to Morgue’s belief, Christians as a whole are not trolling others to stomp them down into the ground so they can feel better about themselves. Their mandated purpose is to steer others toward salvation for the glory of God…or as he noted the invisible alien, as well as other designations throughout his presentation. He asked the question why don’t Christians explain why Jesus didn’t appear before Pontius Pilot? Well, why should they? Also, because it didn’t happen is a great response, as well. There are a great many arguments concerning what would have been great propositions for the furtherance of the Christian faith, but what is in the bible is sufficient for us to understand our faith and promote it, perfectly.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17 NKJV

Even in the book THINK AND GROW RICH, by Napoleon Hill, mentions in the chapter on AUTO-SUGGESTION that repetitiveness of mantras, concepts and commands will eventually cause your mind to bring about into reality that which you desire and command from your mind. Is our faith bolstered by similar such repetitiveness? Perhaps it is, but what is the harm in such a thing??? Is it more advantageous for man to become a hedonist, or steer himself toward a more moral line of thinking?

If one is a hedonist, an atheist, or some other person of belief which dwells upon a relativistic thought…where do your morals come from? What is the basis of your “moral” stance? Being relativistic, your morals are centered on your beliefs, a person who has similar beliefs can have a different perspective. You may believe pedophilia is morally reprehensible; while your friend thinks it is alright. How can either of you take a moral stance against the other, because of the relativism of your beliefs and therefore it is believed that “He is living according to what is true for him.” You can neither argue or dissuade the point. Although, with the belief of a Christian, the moral laws are given by a moral law-giver, God. And therefore, your laws are set before you, they are true and they are to guide you.

Morgue fails to understand that sin has consequences, and there is a time to pay the piper. Everyone will stand before the judgment seat of Christ! Every knee will bow! Everyone will acknowledge the Lordship of Christ!

We are unworthy to go to heaven, excepting only through the grace of God and our faith in Christ! Because “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…

We do not need to explain what and why something did not happen, we only have to present what did happen. After presenting the Gospel truth to our neighbors, friends, and family…it is up to the Holy Spirit to guide those whom God has elected to be saved. There are a great number of those professing to be Christian who will be sadly surprised upon their death and when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  This is perhaps the arrogance of man, by not checking himself at all times. Let this be a warning, not just to myself, but all others who follow Jesus and learn from the bible…we each must be willing to check our arrogance at the door and see truly what the bible teaches, as a whole, not piecemeal!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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Why Do We Remain So Sinful?

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Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” ~ 1 John 3:9 NKJV

While this scripture would appear to be circular reasoning, and yes it is; however, the epistle from which it comes was sent to believers in the risen Jesus. Why does this make a difference? Because those who believe what was written have no need of additional information due to the fact that they have already witnessed the miracles, they saw the risen Christ, they live according to the prescribed life of God. Their celebration is on the new day of Sunday and no longer on the Sabbath (Saturday.) They have no need of further descriptions or definitions or the many proofs because they already believe.

But then the question arises…If we are born of God and we continue to sin, how then can His seed truly be in us as we continue to sin and fail Him? This is a great question, also it is one I have asked of myself many times over. As I continue to read Systematic Theology, chapter 34 “Regeneration”, which reminds us (concerning 1 John 3:9) that while we as believers who have given our lives over to Christ who now have the spiritual seed of God in our lives, we will not have a perfect life; however, we will no longer have a pattern of life which no longer continues to indulge in sin. Our life’s pattern will change, some faster than others…but it will change!

Now there are several possibilities:

  1. We are not truly saved and must do something else to ensure our salvation.
  2. We are truly saved, but our sinful nature of the flesh gets the better of us.
  3. We can always blame it on free will, a gift from God.
  4. And there are other possibilities, but would enlargen the scope of this discussion to such a point that this blog post would become a multipart series…or just a much longer post.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” ~Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” ~Romans 10:9 NKJV

I believe the aforementioned passages pretty much handles the suggestion that we are not truly saved. IF you asked Jesus into your heart and life and sought to live accordingly, you are saved. Simple as that!

But we are also reminded by the Apostle Paul of our sinful nature:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”  ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV

The Apostle Paul reminded us that even though we will to do something and we do not do it, our sinful nature takes hold of us. This is what was meant by God when He spoke to Cain:

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

We have an obligation to lean to “…rule over…” our sinful nature. We can only do so through the guidance and help from God. Quite often we will feel as though we are on our own and maybe we are…to a degree. Think about when you were a child, remember when you road your bicycle for the first time? It was scary and what about when your dad took off the training wheels and sent you on your way alone? It was alright when you thought your dad was there, holding and stabilizing your every move. But guess what? Dad had to let go at some point in time so you could learn and have the confidence to do things on your own! (Of course, this brings up another topic for a blog post…but that is for another time.)

So this all brings us to the point of why do we continue to sin after giving and submitting ourselves over to God? While sin is bad, sin does remind of things:

  • Reminds us of where we came from
  • So we remain humbled
  • We can see our faults
  • Knowing & understanding God’s grace
  • By knowing & remembering we are sinful we are humbled – and stay such; we recognize God’s love for us, even though we do not deserve it. We are therefore unable to think too highly of ourselves. (Romans 5:8)
  • Until we become doers of good (James 1:22) promoted by Jesus and His Apostles, we will remain hearers of the word/good…stuck in a loop with eternal ramifications.

This reminds me of how Matt Slick explains the assessment of who is and who is not alive:

“...Let’s say that we are on a 20-foot boat out in the ocean. We are sailing along when we notice two men in the water. There is no other boat around, so it is obvious these two men are in trouble. We take a life preserver, tie it to a rope, and throw it to them. It lands just a few feet short. We start yelling and yelling for them to grab the life preserver so we can pull them in. “Come on,” we yell. “Grab it! Grab it!” One of the men, exhausted, reaches out his arm for the life preserver but falls short. “Grab it!” we yell again. He reaches again and his arm plops down in the water from fatigue. The waves slap his face, but he tries again. The other man is simply floating face down in the water. He isn’t struggling at all. But, the first man is trying for that life preserver. He is fighting against the ocean, the wind, and the waves, all which are greater than he is. That is when I ask the person, “Which one of the two men in the water is alive?” Always, the response is, “The one reaching for the life preserver.” “Right,” I say. “He is struggling for life. Dead people don’t struggle for life…. and spiritually dead people do not struggle against their sin. Only those who are dead, who have no life in them, do not struggle. The fact that you are struggling against your sin is one very good sign that you are very much alive in Christ. If you were not struggling at all, then it might be true that you weren’t saved. But, since you war against your sins, then it sure sounds like you’re saved to me.” Usually, the eyes brighten at this point. I then keep going…” ~The Assurance of Salvation, CARM.org

We each have our way of understanding things, even the difficult things. But we can all understand these things, even the difficult ones, in a manner where we can gain the full assurance of God’s salvation. Will we ever be sinless? Yes, but not while we are here on this earth…When we die and stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ we shall be adjudicated with righteousness. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we are righteous before God because Jesus is and always has been righteous. However, in our flesh…we are wicked and sinful creatures!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

 

 

Why Such Heavy Burdens Upon Our Souls?

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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

Looking Through The Looking Glass of Another Lense

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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.

 

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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

The Two Harlot Sisters

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While the story, word of the Lord in the Book of Ezekiel 23, is directed at Israel…we, mankind in general, have become and are increasingly growing in to the Two Harlot Sisters. A prelude where we (America, as well as the rest of the world) have become the Whore of Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah. We give up the word of God for our “God given rights,” we become lecherous for the immediate pleasures of the NOW, and the list of sins can go on and on! We seek something more convenient, easier, faster, and immediate instead of setting our sights on the long term goals. We are gluttons for the immediate pleasures of the world and have given up on planning for the future sustaining of our lives.

We sell ourselves for a better life, only to be miserable in the long run. During our quest for a better life, we trade our memories for money. We trade our relationships for for the hopes of reward. We trade our quality time with our children for extra time with our bosses and co-workers, in so doing we end up not teaching our kids those all-important lessons we desired them to know…yet they never find out from us. All the while as we grow away from our families, they, too, grow apart from us. Thereby, we acquiesce and abdicate our responsibilities for them and allow the unthinkable to occur. We allow them to create new relationships with others who will take president over us. Our kids learn from their friends and even worse…their heroes, of the likes of Bon Jovi, Poison,  U2, Metallica,  AC/DC, and the list goes on and on.

As we get older we will look back on all of these indiscretions with disdain, dismay, and much regret. I remember growing up where my father was always at work. I saw him, at very best, on the weekends…and even less when he traveled. I also remember my attitudes throughout the years and how I acted. And I remember my father and I were suppose to meet the night before I went to boot camp (and I was leaving on his birthday), which got scratched by me. Why? You may be asking, or if not I will tell you anyway. To be with my girlfriend. As I look back on many of these actions, yeah…I recall much regret. I essentially sold my self for my feelings…a form of prostitution, if you will!

Yeah, this song by Harry Chapin (“Cats In The Cradle“) always comes to mind when I think on these things:

We each do different things, but in the end we will have that sense of failure and regret. Now let us roll on into our main event…no, having you think on your regrets wast not the intent of this blog posting!

The bible tells us to live in today and be thoughtful of the now, but we are also to plan on the future, as well. But how can we balance the two ideologies?

We are desperately in need of the ability to enjoy and live in the here and now and also have a mind for our future possibilities. While we are not promised tomorrow, we should still be in tune with what would be best for us and our family.

Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth. ~Proverbs 27:1 NKJV

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. ~James 4:13-14 NKJV

Enjoy the now, live in the now, and make plans for the future as though you will live far into the future!!! Will you live that long? Who knows? Only God does! But you should plan with the hope that you glorify God and longevity would be your reward.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. ~Proverbs 13:22 NKJV

We each have hopes of living unto retirement, but if you think about it – retirement is but a Twentieth century concept. Retirement, here in America, came about during the first two terms of the FDR Presidency. Within the the 1930’s, more specifically in 1935 where mork-mindy-01President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Up until that time in our fellow American’s lives we worked until we could work no longer and stored up enough wealth on our own in order to survive our old age. Now-a-days, we are not expected to work all of our lives, our children are taught to rely on the government for their retirement pension, and most kids (today) expect to start off at the top pay scale and work their way down. Kind of like the old sitcom from the 1980’s, “Mork & Mindy” where he was an alien who was hatched as an adult and grew to youth. hmmmmmmmmm, what a concept! A little exaggerated, but not by too much!

Sadly, the fact of the matter of most of our lives is the fact that we each sell ourselves for one agenda or another. What is worse, is that we teach our children the same thing. But morals-and-ethicswe can change that if we would just pay attention tow what we pass on to them. They are the future of the family, the state, the country and this world! We need to instill within them a better sense of direction! A better pattern of morals, ethics, values, ideals, logic, reason, faith, family, belonging, etc. These problems and much worse will be faced by the next generations. Why you ask? Because each generation’s political class will inevitably  pass their problems on to the next generation. And unfortunately they will learn the same tricks enabling them to kick their very expensive dreams on down the road to the next generation. And at some point in time the piper will demand payment and there will be nowhere else to kick the can, the tab will have to be paid!!

Without ever realizing it, we have been taught to whore ourselves out to gain some benefit that we perceived ourselves to receive for free. Yet, it was free to you but was bought and paid by others.

I am warning you that you treat your lives, and the lives of your individual family members, with a certain modicum of dignity and respect. Remember to plan for them, each of them, in your future plans. Don’t forget to consider all aspects of your family planning. Things such as: Births, deaths, schooling, working, insurance, savings, investment, budgeting, etc. These are things we should be aware of but all too often do not think of. We tend to blow them off for the almighty dream of the big lottery win.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…the way, the truth, and the life…

There is but one way to enter in to heaven, and that is through Jesus the Christ!

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~John 14:6 NKJV

In the words of Dr. Michael Licona, or some variation as I recall, “If there is a true religion, then I owe it my allegiance. If there is the one true God, then I owe Him my true allegiance.”

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Now, there are great reasons to believe that Jesus is the true Son of the Living God. The historical aspect, archaeological aspect, textual reliance and other witness accounts, perhaps the witness accounts of those who are extra-biblical and non-Christians. Perhaps, in comparing the numerous different religions is enough for you and the claims. What of the numerous documentaries comparing Christ to those perceived and asserted other gods, which were supposedly risen from the dead in the same exact way and so on. Unfortunately, if you do the homework and make the comparisons yourself you will find that those assertions are false.

  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did not the Sanhedrin show His dead and mutilated body to the people?
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles preach the resurrection message to the people in Jerusalem? (Where the punishment was certain death by stoning.)
  • If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then why did the Apostles die cruel and inhumane deaths without denying their Lord and Savior?
  • There are those who believe in the “Swoon Theory,” but there is too much to discredit such a belief.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.~Romans 1:16 NKJV

So, what is salvation? According to Matt Slick, CARM.org, “Salvation is being saved from the righteous judgment of God upon the sinner…All who have sinned against God are under the judgment of God.  This judgment is known as damnation where God condemns to eternal hell all those who have offended Him by breaking His Law.” One allegorical representation of the weight of sin upon our soul is:

A Chinese evangelist was once preaching on salvation and the weight of sin. A heckler did what hecklers do best, attempt to shame or embarrass  the evangelist. The response was epic: “If you have a corpse lying in his coffin, will he feel a hundred pound weight on his chest any more than a fifty pound weight?” ~ROMANS, vol. 1, pg. 170, David Grey Barnhouse, (1989)

We are warned by the Apostle Paul for the benefit of our souls that, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NKJV) And at the same time we are promised eternal life being the gift of God, His gift of Salvation through His grace! All we have to do is ask for it and freely receive it. It is that simple, but people do not trust free or simple things. By considering the previously mentioned allegorical representation of sin upon our souls, this statement by the Apostle Paul should help solidify the matter. Our hearts should be weighted down AND we should be looking for the EXIT sign to get out of the cage/prison which we have cornered ourselves into, through every means of deceit, trickery, lying, deciding, etc. YES, we decided our way into a corner and must decide our way out of that very same corner. The decision should be easy and the solution is even easier! Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, believing He is the Son of the Living God, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.

It is easy to accept, but rather hard to believe, isn’t it? That is why we must seek for ourselves…researching and studying the word of God. Because we were mandated to:

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Which means we are to love God all our essence and being and by loving Him with all our mind, we are to love Him NOT with blind faith but rather with well informed, studied and researched faith. Loving Him with all our logic and reason! Many people, not just Atheists, believe that to believe in God we give up our reason and logic for blind faith upon the word of the bible alone. That is just not true at all!

God destined us to determine for ourselves through free will to guide our own paths. That includes turning off the primrose path by making mistakes and sinning, because God desired us all to love and honor Him with all of our heart by our free will choice. We will never be perfect, until God makes us so. But we must keep living the life as though we can be perfect by modeling the life of Jesus the Christ. By ascribing ourselves to the word of God and by living our lives accordingly. Not by the law, as presented in the Old Testament, but according to the simple teachings of Christ as presented by His Apostles & Disciples. Those words in the New Testament give a great representation of who Christ was and how He lived. If we use Jesus as the model, how could we go wrong?

Two final caveats:

  1. If the Apostle Paul was changed so dramatically on the road to Damascus from a Christian hating and torturing Jew to become one of Jesus’ greatest Evangelists and Apologists…how can we doubt such a change? How can we doubt such a drastic and dramatic change?
  2. The deaths of the Apostles were gruesome and heinous, to say the least. But no one recanted their faith or belief that Jesus was, in fact, the One True Son of the Living God, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been awaiting. That is another factoid which we must keep in mind. (Consider when the Watergate Scandal was plaguing the Nixon Administration each each of the major players involved made a plea deal and received felony indictments. Each turned on their master.) It defies logic and reason to discount their sincerity!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Some other things you may enjoy from great teachers:

Is Jesus the Only Way? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Is Jesus the only way to be saved? (CARM)

…what I hate, THAT I do

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV 

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Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh? The Apostle Paul describes here to us that even he has problems staying on the straight and narrow road to God’s righteousness. And he was an Apostle, though some may differ in their opinion on that. This just goes to show us, layman or common men of God, that we are susceptible  to sinfulness and sinful thoughts. We are men, we exist, therefore we think. There was sometime ago I posted that the average man thinks approximately 70,000 thoughts per day; however, based upon further searching that is a bit high…it is more like 20,000 thoughts. In either case, we are constant thinking creatures, as well as deletion creatures. We delete many of these thoughts because of what we tend to focus on at any given time.

Since this topic is the sinful nature of man:

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

When we sin, many, not all men, will tend to dwell upon what they have done. The old adage that we are our own worst critic, is quite true in this respect. We will, those of us that think on our actions and sin, will dwell upon them and mull over them for what seems to be an eternity. So much so that we will whip ourselves into a frenzy of despair or even depression. We all have those moments of disdain toward ourselves. The circular questions which lead us nowhere but to an blocked road without an exit.

  1. Why do I keep doing this?
  2. Why can’t I get past that?
  3. What the hell is wrong with me?
  4. When will this madness stop?
  5. Why do I keep failing God?
  6. Why do I keep failing myself?
  7. Why do I keep failing my wife?
  8. Why do I keep failing my family?
  9. Why do I keep failing my kids?

And the list if never ending dismay can continue until the end of eternity. So of ten we are so focused on the problem that we fail to look toward any solutions. Start asking different questions. More empowering questions. Such as:

  • What can I do to make better use of my time?
  • How can I avert further problems with THIS particular sin?
  • What can I do to glorify God?

The list of how to stop sinning list and the circular questioning list each can go on and on. The fact is that we sin, our imaginations are evil in nature (this we were told in Genesis 8:21 NKJV), but Jesus gave us an out from this problem. Yes, He did touch on the subject with His own  followers (i.e., the Apostles) where He said, in Luke 22:46 NKJV, “Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”” We can follow Jesus’ lead and suggestion to steer away from sin through prayer!

However, many of us do this wrongly. What I mean is that when we pray, we need to pray to God for the Spirit of understanding, wisdom, knowledge and workmanship in order to do something that will essentially glorify God in the long run. Unfortunately, many of us tend to pray not to do something (i.e., to not sin in this or that way again and again.) What we need to do is to pray to glorify God by doing His will, through knowing and understanding His word and gaining the necessary wisdom. Face it, we have all done it as some point in time. BUT now is the time to stop doing things the wrong way. When we gain the wisdom, the knowledge, the understanding, and the Spirit of workmanship to do so, we need to pass that on to those around us. Those who also are potentially having the same problem of what I call a “prayerful rut.” A “prayerful rut” Is much like mis-attributed quote to Einstein’s definition of insanity:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Well most of us tend to pray to God in Jesus name to not do “x” or not do “y”. YOU-ARE-WHAT-YOU-THINKWell, guess what? When you do so you first place what you do not want to at the forefront of your mind and, thereby, keep it close in your thoughts.

Like Dr. Robert Schuller spoke, you are what you think about all day long. If that is so, why not think about what you want to, or choose to, do? Eh, what a concept! We need to look at what we desire to become along with praying about becoming such a person, and we need to envision ourselves becoming such a person at all times throughout our day. In so doing, you place those thoughts, as well as, those pictures at the forefront of our minds. By doing this you have a much better chance of becoming what you seek to become than by focusing on what you desire not to do. Also, since our minds work with pictures far more efficiently that with words, prayers, and inanimate thoughts, our minds focus on the pictures and images.

We all have that tendency to do what we desire not to do and not do what we ought to do. But we can change that by focusing on how to better handle and control our sinful natures. I hope this post was helpful to you all! All my prayers to you and the for the betterment of this country, as a whole!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD