Working out our salvation; The “Thoughts we keep” dictate our disposition

Changing our mind-sets

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8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever admirable-anything is excellent or praise worthy-think about such things Hebrews 4:8

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and the perfect will of God Romans 2:12

*be transformed by the renewing of your minds,… How? Turning our focus outward to things other than ourselves; things other than our own plight (We know and believe that God has our interests in His hands)-Seek out, and embrace activities that will cause a paradigm shift in our minds: Community/civic projects: Perhaps there is a restoration project needing volunteers? Church: Benevolence; feeding the homeless, comforting the disenfranchised; What better way of looking beyond ourselves, and to provoke change?

Start with a season: For myself, The Christmas holiday season represented a time of struggle; The time of year when all of my short-comings are magnified. At the advice of my pastor, I prepared mentally for this season, hoping my heart would follow. I committed to get involved with the church outreaches, I welcomed every opportunity to serve someone besides myself; any opportunity to shed light on someone in a dark place.

The paradigm shift realized. What began as preparation for a dreaded season became a perennial practice. I developed and cultivated a heart for others who are in their own seasons; seasons that go well beyond three months 2 Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it Hebrews 13:2 This good work is a pleasing aroma to the Lord, and worthy of all praise

Be encouraged, God bless…

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A loving Father disciplines His children

A study in the Book of Micah

Background: “Micah” meaning “Who is like Yahweh” (God), Number 6 of “The Twelve” Minor Prophets(730-690 BC) Overlapped with Isaiah. Written as a Prophetic Book Tanakh OT.

God’s covenant blessings, then, as now,
were predicated upon keeping of the covenant by His people; and failure to keep the covenant meant forfeiture of every blessing
James Burton Coffman Commentaries

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(Micah 3:11-12) 11You rulers make decisions on bribes;
you priests teach God’s law for a price; Yet You all claim to depend on the Lord. “No harm can come to us” you say,
“For the Lord is among us.”
12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be to ruins! A thicket will grow grow on the heights.

After the death of King Solomon (1King 11:41-42), conflict arose between the king’s son, Rehaboam, and Jeroboam, (servant to the king). This conflict divided the king’s nation in two ( Rehaboam, the appointed king),faced the uprising of Jeroboam
(1Kings 11:29-31) 31 During that time, the prophet Ahijah the Shilomite met Jeroboam on the road as he came of of Jerusalem. Now Ahijah had wrapped himself with a new cloak, and the two were alone in the open field. 30 Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he had on tore it into 12 pieces and said to Jeroboam ” Taken10 pieces for yourself for this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I am about to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand. I will give you ten tribes-Invariably resulting in Rehaboam’s rule of the south (Judah), On the other hand, Jeroboam would rule of the north (Israel)-1 KINGS 11:26-27 Now Solomon’s servant, Jeroboam son of Nebat, was an Ephraimite from Zeredah. Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon, 27 and this is the reason he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the supporting terraces, and repaired the opening in the wall of the city of his father David. This, at a time when both the north and south were experiencing sudden affluent, and economic growth with all its trappings, which presented challenges for an already obstinate people.

Israel was divided into several dynasties (Groups of king’s from the same families), different cities with different names, the last of which was Samaria,(Israel’s capitol). Each dynasty operated its own government which became corrupted by unscrupulous business practices(Micah 2:1-3) They scheme, and devise ways to place financial yokes on others for their personal gain- These practices have found their way into God’s church, by way of false prophet prosperity gospels: (Micah 3:11) Her leaders issue rulings for a bribe, her priests teach for a payment, and her prophets practice divination for money. Yet they lean on the Lord,saying, “Isn’t the Lord among us? No disaster will overtake us” corruption had found its way into Judah (Micah 1:9) For her wound is incurable and has reached even Judah; It has approached the gate of my people as far as Jerusalem

In those days, the Lord sent prophets to deliver His message of warning of the impending wrath-He sent prophets who were priests, some were rich and advised the kings, while others became farmers. Some prophets taught their prophecies, many didn’t-They taught judgement and fairness, dreams of success, and destruction. Some saw the coming king as a ruler who would suffer, while others saw him as a servant. But all saw him as Messiah.

Lord God, sent Micah to deliver this message at a most troubling time in Israel’s history. The divisiveness of His children lead to the downfall of a kingdom, resulting in establishment of many corrupt governments practices, that found its way into the churches. “I”will make recompense, and “I” will restore My church. Soon, the Lord Almighty will dole out His judgement, His righteous merciful judgement:

God promised long ago, never to completely destroy mankind (Genesis 9:15-17)
“I will make recompense!” Why?: in His righteous judgement, there will always be hope, a promise, and a provision. He will allow judgement, but will always be in control. Prior to His judgement, God has already made provisions for reconciliation-What is REQUIRED OF US? (Micah 6:7-8) Would the Lord be pleased with a thousand of rams, or ten thousand streams of oil? Should I give my first born for my transgression, the child of my body for my sin. No! (6:8) Mankind He has told you what is good and what the Lord requires of you: To act justly, to love faithfully, and to walk humbly with God (4:7-8) On that day-This is the Lord’s declaration-I will assemble the lame and gather the scattered those I have injured. I will make the lame into a remnant, those far removed into a strong nation. Then the Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion 8 And you, watchtower for the flock, fortified hill of Daughter Zion, the former rule will come to you, sovereignty will come to Daughter Jerusalem. The “Former” rule will come to you- The “Covenant” will be restored.

I WILL MAKE RECOMPENSE”Experiencing God’s righteous anger”

(1 Samuel 11:1-2) 1The Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “On this condition I will make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all of your right eyes, and bring disgrace on all Israel ESV

Because of their insolence, their hearts began growing hard toward God and His commands, He allowed the Ammonites to invade and capture Jabesh-Gilead because like dogs return to their vomit, they had been returning to their old ways (Proverbs 26:11)
Out of desperation, they immediately attempt to make a treaty (strike a deal) with the Ammonites so that they might be spared from the sword.
This only showed their loss of all self respect, and willingness to compromise their virtues. This only angered God further, because had not broken covenant (with God), there would be no need to suffer such humiliation and disgrace (Jeremiah 14:10) Thus says the Lord concerning this people: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them, now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.
And, it gets worse,
[11:2b]The Ammonites weren’t seeking to put them to the sword, but to punish them and make them suffer. This punishment would be much more severe than death. Without their right eyes, the would be useless for combat, but healthy enough to remain subservient.
And so we ask, In what ways do I break covenant with God, and what is it going to take to keep me walking in His grace?

judgement sacle

THE REMNANT OF JUDAH; A call to “Repentance”

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(Zeph 1:12-13) And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men who settle down comfortably, who say to themselves: The Lord will not do good or evil. 13 Their wealth will become plunder and their houses a ruin. They will build houses but never sleep in them, plant vineyards but never drink their wine (HCSB)

Replacing God with our divisiveness,

God’s message to Ninevah is clear about what happens to those who place anything on the throne that is rightfully His (Ex 20:13)This is the same resounding message that was given to Adam in the Garden, and to Noah before the flood, And now, He’s about to release His righteous anger on Judah for their hardened hearts.

Though all need not be lost,

Zephaniah gives this second chance message of repentance and change so that “The Willing” might be spared from the impending judgement[2:3] This is our wake up call to take a look at our golden calves, the things we’ve placed on the throne. It could be fame, wealth, power, or maybe an addiction-Whatever it is, We need to repent of them and place the Lord back on the throne. Let us heed this warning:
[2:3] Seek the Lord, all you humble of earth, who carry out what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the Lords anger

CONDEMNATION AND CONVICTION

 

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, no condemnation exists for those in Christ Jesus 2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death (HCSB)

Consider this,

Does knowing the difference between the two impact our faith, And how do we discern between the two? Here are definitions according to Miriam/Webster:
Conviction: law:the act of proving that a person is guilty (of a crime in a court of law). a strong belief or opinion: the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true. In other words, What the Holy Spirit does to us; Jn 16:8 He will convict the world of sin.
Condemnation: a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or diapproval. Essentially, What we do to ourselves-Paul confronted the Jewish leaders on their law of circumcision, and worthiness; Rm 3:8 Their condemnation is deserved!
While the two point to the knowledge of Him, the difference is in HOW WE PROCESS AND WHAT WE DO with it. The entire OT gives us many examples, and really sums them up in two words, Obedience and Obstinance, an we have free will to choose between the two. So, when you find yourself at the crossroads, bring your petition before the throne. If it feels wrong, it probably is. Aloha and God bless

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THE LIVING DEAD Part time Christianity

Jeremiah 2:23-24

You are a swift camel
Twisting and turning in her way,
a donkey at home in the wilderness
she sniffs the wind in her heat of her desire.
Who can control her passion?
All who look for her will not become tired; they will find her
In her mating season
We’re all familiar with the 1968 classic, “Night of the living dead,” Well, if you’ve been around for a while, sure you do. Let me start by saying, no, this post has nothing to do with promoting the upcoming Halloween festivities, It is,Seies Extereme Rennovations however, about dying to Christ, and clinging to a life of unrepented sin.
We see in this movie how the undead must devour (in this case) human flesh to remain in this state, and how this need becomes an insatiable craving. I submit, looking at my own faith, and spirituality in this light, that I am one of these living dead, a part-time Christian.

Jeremiah 2 tells us how vulnerable we are and easy it is to fall to the allure of carnal cravings and all its trappings (addictions) apart from a complete death in Christ. 24 a wild donkey at home in the wilderness. She sniffs the wind in her heat of her desire. Who can control her passion? All who look for her will not become tired; they will find her in her mating season.
In Luke 16, we find it’s just not possible to love God and the world: 13 No household slave can be slave of two masters since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t be slave to both God and money.

So What, where do I go from here? Ascribe to the process, wholeheartedly;

Relinquish your spear; come onto complete surrender to the Holy Spirit. It is much stronger that we could ever hope to be, and certainly greater than any bindings. (Matthew 8:1 6,17) 16 When the evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed the sick, 17 So what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah must be fulfilled. He Himself took out weaknesses and carried our decreases.

Repent, release the sin to where it rightfully belongs so the cords of this bondage can be loosed.
*Caveat. Our sins were pardoned at the Cross-, though; the consequences follow us around make it difficult for spiritual growth. (Matthew 5:24) Leave your gift there in front of the altar. Go and reconcile with your brother and then come offer your gift.

Receive His Holy Spirit, and commune with it often In Him is our refuge and strength (Galatians 5:1-2) Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.2 Take note! I, Paul tell you to get yourselves circumcised; Christ will not benefit you at all

Blessings

GOD’S PROMISE AND PROVISION

Micah 2:12

I will indeed gather all of you, Jacob;
I will collect the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep
In a pen,
Like flock in the middle of it’s fold.
It will be noisy with people (HCSB)

In the midst of a chaotic world, and among those suffering God’s judgement, are His, those who remain in communion (with Him), and keep His statutes. God’s plan of reconciliation is met with the vilest humanism, and contempt for His authority Lawlessness, idolatry, paganism, and contentious spirits, it is easier said than done to live in the world and not be of it

This culture was not isolated to one tribe but spread throughout Israel like cancer with no discernment for who it infects. (2:1) Woe to those who dream up wickedness and prepare evil plans on their beds. At morning light they accomplish it because if the power at their hands, (Hosea 7:6) For they-Their hearts like an oven-draw him into their oven.

Look around! This is the state of our human condition, the world we live in – Shootings, racial unrest, religious persecution, and conflicts, the whole ball of wax. Sadly, this is what we’ve accepted to be the norm, business as usual
(Micah 7:3) Both hands are good at accomplishing evil: The official and the judge demand a bribe; when the powerful man communicates his evil desire, to plot it together Before you know it, we’ve become magnets to that culture

Some of us have abandoned our faith only to find emptiness after giving into the allure, the greener grass of depravity

(7:1) How sad for me!cropped-wrath-of-god.jpg
For I am like one who-
when the summer fruit
Has been gathered
after the gleaning of the grape
Finds no grape cluster to eat
No early fig which I crave.

Though, Micah 7:8 tells us, those who love God and keep His covenant have the promise of God’s provision and faithfulness of restoration

Who is a God like you,
removing iniquity and passing
over rebellion for the remnant of His inheritance?
He does not hold onto His anger forever,
because He delights in love

That He will come back and claim them

7:14 Shepherd your people with Your staff, the flock that is Your possession. They love alone in the woodland surrounded by pastures. Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in ancient times
Blessings