Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are the eyes of faith blind?

Scripture Read: Judges 7:16-20 He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. 17 He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. 18 “When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’ ” 19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

Application: This passage has always amazed me. I find the best definition of what REAL faith is right here. Consider: you’re a soldier, disciplined and ready to do what is required to win the fight. You are one of the elite in a group of 300. Weeded down from 32,000 other men, your courage and skills having been confirmed, now you are ready and willing to take on an army that is numbered as the locusts! “What faith!” we say...and we would be right. However, we must remember we are looking at this from our perspective, not God’s. God is never done maximizing what He sees to be our potential. He now asks these soldiers to run into the camp of the enemy with a trumpet in one hand and a torch in the other! Where is their sword??? On their belt!! God...You want me to face the enemy with the only weapon I have...on my belt and not in my hand!? FAITH! This is where we see the idea of Faith refined to its essence. I find so many times I make the mistake of “including” my circumstances into my ability to trust and believe God is involved and will bring it to pass. This passage destroys that position. First, God removes the confidence of numbers. Second, He removes the confidence we would have in our weapons and our ability to fight and defeat the enemy. This is where we discover what real Faith is. 

The world calls it “blind faith” but that is not at all what it is. This is genuine Faith. What’s the difference? Blind faith is when you trust in something, yet you do not know the source of the Truth that is being put forth. For example: Evolution. All the arguments in essence revolve around theories that humans have made. The facts are there, no denying them; fossils, archeological evidence, etc. The issue is not do these things exist; the issue is what do they prove? Humans date them based on processes that include assumptions. People believe the theories even though they do not know the humans that made the theories nor the assumptions placed into those theories. Entire animals built from a fragment of a bone...yet even when I have looked at these creations – One real bone and the rest is modeling clay – the person showing me these things states as a fact that this is how the animal looked. Ape skulls...then suddenly human skulls with nothing to connect them, including none that are in the process. Just one huge jump, yet we believe those that tell us this is the way it is...even though we see no evidence and do not know the source of the claim. That is “blind faith”. God does not ask that from us. 
First, He has placed the reality of Himself in every man’s heart. Ask any child anywhere in the world – they know someone made them – it takes sophistication and denial to turn from that. That’s what we do. Second, all the evidence of creation is there. We can see it. Intelligent design is obvious; so to believe it is common sense, not blind faith. To believe that all this works the way it works by accident is too ludicrous to accept. Third, for those that desire to move beyond common faith – they believe in some supreme creator – but want a personal encounter with Him, the reality of the Truth of Jesus Christ enters their life and they are never the same again. Genuine Faith is based on Who we know, so even if what He is asking us to do seems crazy, it is not that we follow blindly, we do not. What we do is refuse to place our focus on anything else but Him. I follow Him and allow Him to deal with my circumstances.

Meditation Questions: Have you believed anything that man has claimed is true based on his theories? What are they and why? If there are not facts to prove the theory than what do you call that? If God asked you to do something, what would you need to know to obey? What does that say? Many people demand God prove Himself, do you? Why? What more could God do to prove He is there? Do you ever bargain with God? What does that say?

Monday, October 22, 2012

The look and smell of Seduction

Probing Proverbs 7:15-17 You’re the one I was looking for! I came out to find you, and here you are! My bed is spread with beautiful blankets, with colored sheets of Egyptian linen. I’ve perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

We should pay close attention to our senses...not to allow them to lead...but to warn our mind to concentrate and count the cost of what giving into our senses will lead to! The woman here gives us a college level education on the art of seduction. Consider what the word seduce means: “To persuade somebody to have sex, especially by using a romantic or deceptive approach, To persuade somebody to do something by making it seem desirable or exciting.” We have witnessed in this passage step by step how this foolish young man was being led to self destruction...deceiving himself based on what he is sensing, not on what the reality is. Consider, even if we were to take God out of the picture, no right or wrong, the reality would still dictate that sex is much more than a mere animal act that gave a little pleasure and hurt no one. If we humans are nothing more than glorified animals, then evolution developed a heart and soul that is connected during sex. I have never seen a female dog crying because the dog that mated with her the night before is now mating with the poodle down the street! 
I have witnessed countless men and women that claim no strong belief in God or His standards, yet have scars and pain from sexual encounters that at the moment seemed sooooo right. “Who needs tomorrow, we’ve got tonight!” may work as a song but it is a disaster when it comes to life! This is why sin seduces. It gets our senses so intoxicated with the idea of pleasure that we fail to use the mind God gave us to take a look at the reality of what’s being offered. I have loved one woman only for my entire life. I know ever flaw, every age spot. The thought of someone new, different looking, younger, pre-gravity. All that sounds so good...if in a vacuum! Let’s turn the light of reality on that scenario. I gave away my commitment as a man to my Savior that gave my wife to me. I trashed the faithfulness my wife has given to me and the faithfulness she had believed I would give. I traded a commitment of love and friendship for a few moments of physical pleasure. What do I gain? I have hurt my fellowship with my God, shamed my Savior, destroyed the trust and relationship with my wife, made it clear to the other woman that I care only about her body and her soul can go to hell, because she won’t believe anything I say about God, my actions have spoken loud and clear! That is just the beginning of the children see and experience what I have done, all my family and friends see what I value, all the people I have ministered to who have heard me claim that Christ can make any marriage great, now know that for me that was a lie and this woman’s future husband will know that I have had what should have only been his...I could go on, the list is quite long. 
It seems we don’t measure with eyes of reality, instead we are seduced through our senses and we turn our brain and the Holy Spirit off. I know this because I have done it in other areas of my life. It is never worth it! When your senses are screaming for you to give in, grab hold of the Lord and yourself and THINK! When you see the whole picture – you will tell sin to get lost!