Through the Prophet Isaiah, God promised to deliver His beloved, but rebellious people, Israel from their sins and resulting punishment. He let them know that the future He had in mind for them was far above and beyond anything they could comprehend:
You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” (Isaiah 55:12-13)
Continue reading “Thorny Things”
The Golden Rule in Scripture teaches us to treat others as we would have them treat us (Matthew 7:12). Unfortunately, the contemporary refrain seems to be either “Do to others before they can do to me,” or “Treat others as they treat me.” We often justify our actions like kindergartners, “He touched me first,” or “She did it too.” Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 5 of 5: Is it About Me or Them?”
In Part 1, “Is it About God or is it About Me?,” we looked at how true prophets must always be concerned that their message is in line with God’s heart and purposes. In Part 2 we asked “Is this Kingdom or is this Personal?” When we speak or write, are we advancing God’s agenda and mission or our own? Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 3 of 5: Is My Attitude In Line With God’s Heart?”
In Part 1, “Is it About God or is it About Me?”, we looked at how true prophets must always be concerned that their message is in line with God’s heart and purposes. As people of God, it is incumbent upon us to put God and His Kingdom first instead of ourselves. What does He want? How does it want it accomplished? To be truly effective, we need to die to ourselves, so that Jesus can come alive through us. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 2 of 5: Is this Kingdom or is this personal?”
The line between being Prophetic and Pharisaical is so thin that it is often crossed without us even being aware. It is easy to feel so passionately about something that our emotions – or the devil – trick us into believing we are carrying out a righteous mission when, in truth, we have become self-righteous like the Pharisees of old. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 1 of 5: Is it About God or is it About Me?”
Remember the old children story about the Pied Piper? When the Piper didn’t get what he felt was rightfully his, he played his pipe while the children followed him out of town. Is it possible that today we have spiritual Pied Pipers who, when they don’t get what they feel should be theirs – doing it God’s way, adopt a new approach?
The Apostle Peter warned us in 2 Peter 2:1-2, that false prophets and teachers would bring swift destruction on themselves by introducing destructive heresies and denying Christ. He went on to say that people of the church would follow their sensuality and would harm the reputation of the gospel. Jesus said in Luke 17:2 that it would be better for a man to have a millstone hung around his neck and thrown into the sea than to lead little ones astray. Jude 1 echoes Peter’s words saying that false teachers and prophets have followed the way of Cain, Balaam and Korah.
Continue reading “Three Signs of a Spiritual Pied Piper”
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” Does that mean He is always impressed when we tell the truth? Surprisingly, no. There are ways we can “improve on the truth.”
I was reading a rant on Facebook this morning that brought this “truth” to light. The person was chastising people who call themselves Christians, yet ignore the character flaws of Donald Trump. He went on to berate his readers for criticizing President Obama for character issues while ignoring those found in the man they supported.
Continue reading “Improving the Truth”
Did you think that God would ever allow a “Prophet” to lie to you in order to find out if you really love Him with all your heart and soul? It may surprise you, but the Bible says He will.
As a musician, singer and speaker, I have had the opportunity throughout most of my life to travel and engage all kinds of church folk. I have ministered to Baptists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Amish, Pentecostals, Independents, Catholics and many others. I have noticed that even among the less charismatic believers, there is a tendency for people to look to preachers and prophets for direction and guidance. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since God established Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers for the building up of Saints and the Church. (Eph 4:11-12) But sometimes, this goes a bit too far and people start chasing after so-called prophets.
Continue reading “Chasing Prophets”
Have you ever felt like God was asking you to go against the grain?
Several years ago, someone decided to “help” the fiery evangelist Billy Sunday with his delivery. “Billy,” they said, “you’re rubbing the cat the wrong way.” I’m sure that their intent was pure. In their minds, if Reverend Sunday would simply stop offending people, and make them feel more comfortable, he could be more effective and successful. Unperturbed, Sunday replied, “If the cat would turn around, I would be rubbing him the right way.”
The Prophet Jeremiah never knew Billy Sunday, but I’m sure he could empathize with the sentiment. Jeremiah was called by God to speak a message that was almost completely opposite of the one being spoken by nearly every other prophet in the land.
Continue reading “Pluck & Plant”