To Brussels with Love

I urge every Saint that this post passes their eyes to pray for Brussels, They are in deep pain, as they were attacked by a senselessness and a disregard for human life. I myself have witnessed terrorism first hand, I lived just minutes from the Twin Towers in New York City when two airplanes crashed into them taking the lives of many. The carnage burned and smoldered two months after the attack, I woke up to black soot covering my face and inside my nostrils each morning.

I plead with all of you to stand firm in faith and assurance that our God is still on the throne. Jesus warned us of such things but He also left us with instruction.

Mark 13:8
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows”.
Mark 13:23
“But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand”.
Mark 13:13
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved”.

I pray Father that we will endure and remain in faith, Jesus has already warned us Father and now our eyes have seen. Father we need your guidance your strength and Spirit so that we may stand firm in unswerving faith. Father we pray for Brussels and all the families therein, may you “Yourself” Father, bring them peace that surpasses all understanding in the name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.
Matthew 10:28(NLT)
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell”.

 

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Perfection

PERFECTION

Some say he’s different,
Features are not the same,
Eyes view him up and down,
But my uncle has a name.

Misspoken words often said,
Judgement underway,
Everyone has a story,
Don’t look the other way.

So next time you see someone…
A bit unalike the rest,
Maybe your reactions are…
Part of God’s personality test?

You see, this was never an accident,
Not unintentional but a perfect make,
He is my uncle, Ed’s his name
Because God makes no mistakes!
~by Amanda Lakins~  Our dear uncle Ed is currently on life support, and the doctors say Ed has a ten percent chance of living. The family is currently taking a donation for his going home arrangements. If you would like to help go to http://www.gofundme.com  and click on the search button and look up” Ed Crowe” .  May God bless you and your family and Thank you!!!

Shamel-Amanda Crowe Lakins's photo.

“Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 8:12).

A Deadly Chain Reaction
b
y David Feddes

Once upon a time there was a land where people saw God’s hand in almost everything. They looked at animals and mountains, at stars and rainbows, at sunshine and cornfields, and saw the hand of God. They looked at great events of history and saw the hand of God. They looked at their own lives and saw the hand of God. Most people prayed in their homes. They worshiped in church every Sunday. They sent their children to schools that started each day with prayer and told about God and taught the difference between right and wrong.

But then things began to change. At first, people didn’t deny God openly. They just started to ignore him. Instead of looking at creation and marveling at God’s power and wisdom, they talked about “the laws of nature.” Instead of thanking God for the good things they enjoyed, they spoke of how they had earned it all through hard work. A deadly chain reaction followed.

After a while, the old beliefs about God began to seem rather quaint. Why suppose there was a Creator at all? Couldn’t everything have come into being just by chance? Soon some of the smarter people came up with a whole new theory to explain everything without even mentioning God. Then somebody decided that schools must teach this new theory to all the children and not allow anyone to pray openly. Teachers weren’t allowed to talk about God or to teach right and wrong based on faith in God. Meanwhile, as schools banned all mention of God, churches started producing up-to-date gods and goddesses that would make people more comfortable than they were with the old God who insisted on holiness.

As the old faith faded, there was a sexual revolution. The new commandment was “If it feels good, do it!” It began to seem unfair to insist that sex is for married people. It seemed cruel to deprive single people of such a fun activity. For that matter, why limit married people to the same person their whole life? Divorce became common, as more and more people decided they would be happier with a new mate.

After that sexual revolution came a second. The whole notion of male and female seemed outdated. Women became sexually involved with other women, men with other men. Some had hundreds of different partners. They even had parades and special events to celebrate all this. Such behavior had once been considered unnatural and wrong, but now anyone who spoke against such behavior was considered unnatural and wrong.

 Some nasty diseases spread rapidly as a result of the new attitude toward sex, but few people wanted to change their behavior. They just wanted a cure for the diseases.

Somewhere along the line, people decided they didn’t want to recognize any moral absolutes at all. More and more things that were once thought wicked and unmentionable became mainstream. Their favorite motto was, “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do!” People became more and more money-hungry, and in their greed they didn’t care whom they ripped off or stomped on to get ahead. It seemed everybody wanted what somebody else had. Violent crime and murder grew more and more common. Lawsuits jammed the courts; conflict became a way of life at every level of society. Lying became so common that nobody’s word carried any weight; anything important had to be written in a contract, and even contracts didn’t count for much. The whole atmosphere became malicious; gossip and slander were everywhere, in politics and in private life.

It seemed as though people had no conscience anymore. If anyone dared to challenge the “I can do as I please” attitude in the name of God, people just hated God all the more. They hated authority of every kind. Young people became more and more defiant and rebellious toward their parents. Those who bragged the loudest and invented the most outlandish behavior were often admired for having real “attitude.” Whether in a street gang or a business corporation, nastiness was the way to get respect.

In this deadly chain reaction, one thing led to another. Things went from bad to worse until people considered God a joke and applauded ungodliness. There was still a vague memory of God and of his warning that sin leads to death and hell, but most people just laughed at old beliefs about “fire and brimstone.” They not only did bad things but flaunted their behavior openly and made celebrities out of those who “lived on the wild side.”


God’s Wrath Revealed

Does any of this sound familiar? It might sound like a fair summary of what’s been going on in our society over that last several decades. But I didn’t get this sequence of events from reading newspapers or watching TV. I got it from the Bible. Everything I’ve mentioned is found in Romans 1, in the very order I’ve just described. The scariest thing about all this is that when the Bible describes this deadly chain reaction, it says that these are progressive symptoms of a society that is under God’s wrath. Here’s what the Bible says in Romans 1:18-32.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Isn’t is chilling to hear such an exact description of where we find ourselves?

Just as the source of all our problems is alienation from God, so the solution to all our problems is restored fellowship with God.

How Dark is Darwinism? The Answer May Shock You

“Wickedness is no more a man’s fault than bodily disease.” Those are the words of Charles Darwin. Darwin also said, “At some future period … the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races.” Why would Darwin say things that sound so immoral and racist? Because he believed people are merely the result of evolution through random variation and natural selection, so they can’t really be responsible for their behavior. He figured that if survival of the fittest is the supreme reality, then superior racial groups would eventually wipe out those he considered inferior.

A politician who based public policy on evolution said, “We must understand and cooperate with science.” “A higher race subjects to itself a lower race …a right which we see in nature and which can be regarded as the sole conceivable right.” The politician’s name? Adolph Hitler. Hitler’s henchman Rudolf Hess declared, “Nazism is applied biology.”

Hitler tried to build a superior race by eliminating inferior races, and by sterilizing or killing people with disabilities. This was grounded in eugenics, the supposedly scientific effort to propagate the best genes and eliminate the worst. Who coined the word eugenics and made the idea popular? Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton.

Most people today rightly think Hitler was horrible. But Hitler wasn’t the only evolutionist who believed in eugenics. So did United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who left a long-term imprint on the court. So did Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. She zealously supported eugenics. She complained that giving food and medicine to needy people merely created “a deadweight of human waste.” A better approach, said Sanger, would be “decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world.” People with bad genes should be given their choice: “segregation or sterilization.” In 1933, Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review featured an article entitled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need.” The author? Ernst Rudin, Hitler’s Director of Genetic Sterilization.

In fairness to Darwin, we shouldn’t think that Darwin himself wanted to do the terrible things that some Darwinists would later do. Darwin personally disliked cruelty toward people of other ethnic groups, and many evolutionists today, to their credit, oppose racism. But whatever the personal feelings of Darwin or his followers, Darwin’s theory of evolution provided a basis for eugenics and meant that subjection or destruction of other races is natural and to be expected. This is evident in the title of Darwin’s landmark book. The full title is Origin of the Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. If the favored races are preserved, what about less favored races? Darwin declared, “The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races.” By Dr. David Feddes

What If God is more like a joyful, lively child than a bored, tired adult?

Grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again,” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. ~ G. K. Chesterton

Faithlessly Prosperous Vs. Afflicted And Faithful.

What we really love and trust aren’t truly seen until we are tested by loss.

This is essentially the point that Satan made when talking to God about Job. In that odd scene in the first chapter of Job, when Satan presented himself before God, God said to him, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8).

Satan’s response was,

Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face. (Job 1:9–11)

Yeah, God, of course Job “fears” you when his life is full of blessings. But take away the blessings and his trust will turn to cursing.

Note the irony here. In this manipulative moment, Satan inadvertently pointed out the core error of Prosperity theology: prosperity obscures, rather than reveals, how much fallen humans love God. “Blessings” easily turn into curses as sinners subtly (or not so subtly) come to love and trust the blessings more than the Bless-er.

Satan knew this by experience. He was so confident that Job would curse God if the blessings were removed because he had seen it occur thousands and thousands of times in others.

Satan knew that the “take away” more than the “giving” would reveal the truth — what Job really trusted and loved. So did God. So God gave Satan permission to take away Job’s children, wealth, health, and reputation — all that most men place their hope in during life.

And the result?

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:20–21)

Satan was proven wrong about Job.

When You Know You Love Her

But Satan wasn’t wrong about the concealing power of prosperity and the revealing power of loss. Even the world sometimes catches glimpses of this principle, as the band Passenger captures in the song “Let Her Go.”

     Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
     Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
     Only know you love her when you let her go

     Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
     Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
     Only know you love her when you let her go

You “only know you love her when you let her go.” Having concealed love, loss revealed love.

Satan gets no pleasure out of humans enjoying real pleasure. He would prefer to kill, maim, steal, destroy, and deprive, if doing so doesn’t push someone toward faith in God (John 10:10).

But he also knows that a consistently effective tool to weaken, impede, and disease the church is to let her prosper. Prosperity has a greater tendency to conceal idolatry and false faith. So like he tried with Jesus, Satan sometimes will offer us the world (Luke 4:5–7). He would rather us be faithlessly prosperous than afflicted and faithful.

Loss for the Sake of the True Prosperity Gospel

But Jesus wants us to embrace the true prosperity gospel. He wants us to have real “treasure in heaven” (Mark 10:21), the gift of “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). So when Jesus calls us, he often asks us to leave homes, land, family, and vocations for his sake and the gospel’s (Mark 10:29). It’s why he requires us to deny ourselves and take up our crosses (Matthew 16:24). Because, like Paul described, when for Christ’s sake we are willing to abandon those things that the world considers the only gain worth having, it shows that Christ is truly gain to us (Philippians 3:8).

It is also why, as God disciplines us (Hebrews 12:5–6) and conforms us to the image of his Son (Romans 8:29), he will, like Job, take away earthly things that are precious to us. The affections of our hearts, both sinful and righteous, that were more concealed in the having are more revealed in the losing. The sin that is revealed he seeks to mortify; the righteousness of faith that is revealed he seeks to display for us and for the watching world.

Testing Is More Than Just for Us

Yes, our testing is more than just for us. We must remember that, like Job’s experience, there is often more going on in our experience than meets our eyes. Job didn’t know when the calamities hit that God was putting Satan to shame.

Peter and the disciples wouldn’t have known Satan’s involvement in their temptations during the Passion week had Jesus not told them (Luke 22:31). Likewise, we often aren’t aware of the full cosmic struggle in which we are involved. But these texts and others remind us that the struggle is occurring, and we should be careful jumping to conclusions based on our perceptions alone.

God Takes Away for Our Joy

The crucial thing for us to remember is that all that God does for us as his children is for our good. He is blessed in both the giving and the taking away because both are for the sake of our joy.

Often it is in the taking away that our true love and trust are revealed, which is a great mercy to us and usually for others. And often, in this age, the most valuable, most satisfying, most beneficial, longest lasting gifts we receive and pass along to others end up coming through the experiences of our losses. ( Jon Bloom)

Six Reasons Jesus’s Ascension Matters (by Brian Tabb)

How many of us have even heard of Ascension Day? Or perhaps just a sermon about Jesus’s ascension into heaven? It is impossible to overstate the importance of Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter Sunday, when he was raised from the dead — but Jesus’s earthly ministry did not stop there.

After the resurrection, Jesus taught his disciples about God’s kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then he was “taken up” to heaven (Acts 1:211). The cross and empty tomb are at the very heart of the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus’s followers throughout history (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). However, for many evangelical Christians and churches,Jesus’s ascension is simply an afterthought to Easter and Good Friday.

Here I want to highlight six aspects of Jesus’s ascension or exaltation, in hopes that this significant and climactic event in Jesus’s life will no longer be an afterthought for you.

1. Jesus continues to work after the ascension.

In Acts 1:1–2 we read, “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up…” The small but important wordbegan signals that Jesus’s ascension does not mark thecessation but the continuation of his work as Lord and Messiah. That’s what Luke’s second book is all about, the “Acts of the risen Lord Jesus,” which he works from heaven, through his people, by the Holy Spirit, for the accomplishment of God’s purposes.1

2. The ascended Lord Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to his people.

After his resurrection Jesus told his followers, “I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).2 In his Pentecost sermon Peter explains, “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing” (Acts 2:33). Godpromised in Joel 2:28, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,” and this promise is fulfilled by the exalted heavenly LordJesus. The ascended Lord sent the Spirit to be present with his people (John 14:16), to empower them for worldwide mission (Acts 1:84:31), and to transform believers to live new lives reflecting their king (Romans 8:9–112 Corinthians 3:18).

3. Jesus’s ascension is his heavenly enthronement as King.

At Jesus’s ascension he is installed as the true king of the world. According to the Apostles’ Creed, he “ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” Jesus is taken up to heaven in a cloud (Acts 1:9–11), and Stephen declares that he sees the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). These texts suggest that Jesus’s ascension fulfills the important prophecy of Daniel 7:13–14:3

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

Jesus’s kingdom cannot be destroyed and will not pass away! According to Revelation 3:21 Jesus conquered and sat down with his Father on his throne, where he receives unending praise (Revelation 5:6–13). Jesus will reign at God’s right hand until all enemies are subdued under his feet (Psalm 110:1Acts 2:34–351 Corinthians 15:25Hebrews 1:13). Thus God’s kingdom has been inaugurated through the enthronement of Jesus, who now sits on heaven’s throne and will return toconsummate his kingdom on earth as in heaven.

4. Jesus’s ascension is his return to his Father.

Before and after his death and resurrection Jesus declares that he was sent by his Father and must return to his Father:

I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father. (John 16:28; cf. 13:13)

Jesus said to Mary, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yetascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)

There has been no sweeter reunion in the history of the world than Jesus’s return to his Father! Perhaps the closest analogy is a courageous, wounded soldier returning to his loved ones after a hard-fought victory. Jesus fully accomplished his mission and glorified the Father on earth, and at Jesus’s ascension the Father glorifies the Son in heaven (John 17:4–5). Take heart that Jesus’s homecoming to his Father prepares the way for our homecoming to be with Jesus forever (John 14:2–4).

5. The ascended Lord Jesus is our heavenly mediator and high priest.

Jesus is the unique mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). His death and resurrection secure our forgiveness, justification, and reconciliation with God (Romans 4:25–5:12 Corinthians 5:18–21). Note also that the exalted Lord Jesus is now in heaven interceding for his people as our true high priest and advocate (Romans 8:34;Hebrews 1:37:258:11 John 2:1). During his earthly ministry Jesus’s work was geographically limited — he didn’t teach in Ethiopia while healing in China. But now he is at work everywhere and able to hear and respond to his people’s prayers no matter the time or place. He sympathizes with our struggles and promises to do whatever we ask in his name (John 14:13–14Hebrews 4:15–16).

6. The ascended Lord Jesus will return as King and Judge.

In Acts 1:11 two angels explain to the disciples, “This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Jesus’s heavenly reign will one day be fully realized on earth (Revelation 11:15;19:10–1622:3). This is the very thing we ask for when we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). At his return, the Lord Jesus will execute divine judgment, vindicating his downtrodden people and judging his enemies.4

What It Means for Our Lives

To sum up: Though often overlooked, the ascension completes Jesus’s earthly mission and signifies hisenthronement as heavenly king. Jesus has completed his Father’s mission and he now rules with all authority andintercedes with all sympathy as our mediator and high priest. I close with four implications of Jesus’s ascension for our lives.

  1. Remember that Jesus is presently reigning as king and remains active and engaged in our world and our lives.

  2. Therefore live boldly, confidently, and strategically as servants of the exalted king of heaven. Know that your labors in the Lord Jesus are not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).

  3. Sufferers, take heart that Jesus is not indifferent to your struggle. He has endured great suffering and is thus the most merciful and sympathetic counselor and mediator. Take your cares to your ascended Lord who hears your prayers and can respond with all heaven’s authority.

  4. Finally hope in a glorious future. The ascended Lord will return as judge and king. He will abolish injustice, end suffering, and destroy death and set up his kingdom of truth, righteousness and love. Best of all, we will be withour king forever.


1 See Alan J. Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s Account of God’s Unfolding Plan (NSBT 27; Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 48–50.

2 See also John 15:2616:7Acts 1:58.

3 See also Mark 14:62Revelation 1:1311:15.

4 See Matthew 25:31–36John 5:27Acts 17:312 Thessalonians 1:5–10;Revelation 22:12.