Friday, May 21, 2010

"God-Rejected Minds"

GodThoughtsWired!           Friday, May 21, 2010
Evangelizing the Church in the Age of Delusion
 "God gave them over to a depraved mind..."
"Romans 1:28 (bold mine)
Moral perversion results in mental perversion. This study from Romans 1 gives us a picture of the heathen world some two-thousand years ago, as well as a marvelous portrayal of the headlines in today's newspapers.
The Greek word here, adokimion translated "depraved mind," is synonomous with the term "reprobate." It literally means "rejected after testing." Whenever men reject God they are in danger of God rejecting them (see also Matthew 10:32-39). The retributive response of God is the righteous infliction of...JUSTICE (the reader, pastor or lay, who cries out "But what about grace!" watching too much "Christian" television).
When we give ourselves over to sin we ultimately become slaves of that very sin.  "Promising them freedom (i.e. alcohol, drugs, sexual perversion) while they themselves are slaves of corruption (teachers who reject the "our part" of Christianity) for "by what a man is overcome by this he is enslaved." 2 Peter 2:19
As I've written about several times before, one of life's greatest lessons is:
-see Hosea 4:11,14; Romans 1:31
Sin makes even the otherwise wisest among us...STUPID. This is why Solomon rightly declared,"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid" (Proverbs 12:1). Speaking from painful experience, this is the great danger of giving into your lust.
Moral corruption has mental consequences.*
*And by the way, this is a universal principle that applies to everyone everywhere. Like gravity, it doesn't matter whether or not you believe in will ALWAYS apply to YOU! In fact, a refusal to acknowledge this powerful biblical truth is a grand example of the very process at work!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Some of My Notes: Matthew 16:21-27, part 3

GodThoughtsWired!                     Thursday, May 6, 2010
An Inspiration for Today...A Resource for a Lifetime!
some of my notes
MATTHEW 16:21-27

PART 3:  The Essence of Discipleship

"He (Jesus) turned and said to Peter,
'Get behind Me Satan!' You are
a stumbling block to Me;
for you are not setting your mind
on God's interests, but man's."

Matthew 16:23
I find it significant here that Jesus identifies Satan as the originator of all "self-interest." Indeed, the lifestyle of the true disciple is one spent in the pursuit of "God's interests." Consider the following teachings of Jesus. I call it, "The Essence of Discipleship:"
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
Matthew 16:24
Indeed, sacrifice and self-denial are synonymous to following Christ. This is why, for example, teachings such as the "Prosperity Doctrine" are so disturbing to me. It is certainly true that God has called us to the "abundant life" (see John 10:10), and the "prosperity of the soul" (see Psalm 25:12-13) however, if God chooses to bless us materially, it will only be as a bi-product of prioritizing His kingdom ahead of our own (see Matthew 6:33-34), and attempting to put Him first in every area of our lives (see Colossians 3:18).
Again, according to Jesus, the author of all self-interest is Satan himself!
He who has an ear to hear...let him hear.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Some of My Notes: Matthew 16:21-27, part 2

GodThoughtsWired!                 Wednesday, May 5, 2010
An Inspiration for Today...A Resource for a Lifetime!
some of my notes
 MATTHEW 16:21-27
"He (Jesus) turned and said to Peter,
'Get behind Me Satan!'  You are
a stumbling block to Me;
for you are not setting your mind
on God's interests, but man's."

Matthew 16:23
Wow! Several things here. First of all, Jesus is aware that His ensuing suffering and death were a part of God's perfect design for Jesus' life. His entire life was predicated on accomplishing the works of His Father (see John 17:4). Toward that end He said things like, "I can do nothing on My own initiative...I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me..." (John 5:30).
It is only in this light that we can understand Jesus' emotions here. He was fully dedicated to His Father's will and devoted to "God's interests" alone. Peter's comments, although quite sincere, were being used by the Devil to tempt Jesus to set His mind on His own interests, rather than God's. At a time when Jesus needed enCOURAGEment to carry out His Father's wishes, Satan was trying to tempt Him to get His eyes off of God and onto His own worries and fears.
We are aware of how deeply God's plan of suffering and death troubled Jesus from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Father, if Though art willing, remove this cup from Me, yet not My will, but Thine be done" (Luke 22:42).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Some of My Notes: Matthew 16:21-27, part 1

GodThoughtsWired!                     Tuesday, May 4, 2010
An Inspiration for Today...A Resource for a Lifetime!
some of my notes
MATTHEW 16:21-27


"From that time Jesus Christ began to show
 His disciples
that He must go to Jerusalem
 and suffer many things...and be killed..."

Matthew 16:21

It was His Father's will that Jesus suffer and die on the cross for our sins. INCREDIBLE! Suffering and torturous death were both a part of God's perfect plan for His Son, Jesus. For most of us, I think, it's VERY HARD TO ACCEPT that pain and suffering can be a part of God's best for our lives (see Job 1:8-2:7; Deuteronomy 8:3; 2 Timothy 2:3; Hebrews 5:8; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 2:19-20; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
 Peter certainly didn't understand it.
 "And Peter took Him aside and began
to rebuke Him, saying,'God forbid it, Lord!
This shall never happen to You.'"

Matthew 16:22

That seems like a very natural, caring response to me. Peter loved Jesus and, like us, we would never choose any of our loved ones to suffer. We never want to see those we care for suffer harm. I would have thought that Jesus would be comforted by such loyalty and concern...