Refusing to Relent

     It has become commonplace for some to attack the United States of America. This is nothing new. The problem is that many attacking this nation were born and raised here and have never stepped foot in another country. They bemoan everything from the founding of this nation to the freedom that is subsequent to the founding. This is interesting because these that hate this land use the very law that allows them to spew their hatred while at the same time calling it vile.

Perhaps they do not have a clear understanding of Amendment I of the United States Constitution. It says, in part, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” This basically means the Government cannot impose itself upon the freedoms of the people. Additionally, it means that the individual has the right to live how he deems without consequence imposed by the Government particularly in his speech and worship of God.

With this, I have to say that I am tired of people attacking this nation merely because they do not understand a thing or because they do not like certain aspects of this country. Well, I refuse relent to the vitriolic verbiage of those who see no good in this nation while they rest easy by reason of the protection provided them even as they attack the protectors. You see, I voluntarily donned the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. In doing so, I vowed to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I also vowed to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That vow has yet to be vacated.

I also find it interesting that many of those that spew hatred have no idea as to the reasoning of the founding of this nation. This is a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. The main of those principles is freedom. Freedom is a principle not born of the thinking of the founding fathers. It is a principle put forth by the Almighty. Galatians 5:1 points to that freedom with the words, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” This freedom means the followers of Christ need not succumb to the slavery of sin. This freedom is indicative of the fact that we have choices and those choices can lead to absolute freedom or absolute bondage.

Well, I also refuse to relent to those who attack Christianity as though Christianity brings woes to the world. Christianity lifts from the depravity of the world and brings about freedom that cannot be enjoyed while being covered by the bounds of sin. I refuse to relent to those seeking to make Christianity an ideology of hatred rather than the institution of love that it is. The fact is, God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved. Salvation is freedom. Salvation means never having to be bound by the very things that pretend to love you. Salvation is freedom at its best and I refuse to let those that hate freedom stand between me and the Source of freedom provided for me.

Yes, it is true that I took a second vow. Yet, it is the most important vow that I have made. I made a vow to the Lord years ago that I would serve Him until I die. That is another vow that has no end and I intend to hold to my words just as the Word came and set me free. I will not; I refuse to relent to those that hate my God for no other reason than to hate.

I can think of no other country as great as the United States of America. It is the only country I know of wherein one can be born in poverty and work himself out of it. It is a country wherein one can speak freely and live as he chooses. Yes, these United States upholds our freedom to worship and serve the Almighty without governmental interference. It is true that there have been ills and wrongs in this country. Still, it does little good to continue to live in the sins of some of our fathers. I refuse to relent to the lies that all about this country is bad and evil.

More important than being a patriot I am a child of the Most High God. If this country fails, I will stand with God. If this country upholds the bonds that pull at the freedom of Christ, I will stand for and with the Most High. You see, I love God more than I can ever love this country. That does not mean that I need to spew hatred upon this land that upholds the freedom to celebrate Jesus without fear of reprise from the Government.

No, I refuse to relent to the wailing and gnashing of those that hate this country and abhor the God I love. No, I will not relent. Instead, I will stand for Old Glory and will bow to the Most High whilst I uphold the blood-stained banner that was stained by the blood of Christ Jesus. I refuse to relent.

Have Some Confidence

There is much talk today about faith. People are starting groups entitled “Faith” and others suggest that their faith in God is immovable. Preachers are slamming their fists on pulpits to make the point of the necessity of faith. Yet many people still have no idea what faith really is nor are they sure how to employ it. Despite this the matter of faith is a rather simple one and one that even a baby can employ in his life.

The fact is that faith, at its simplest level, is nothing more than absolute assurance that God is true to His Word. It is the realization that God cannot and will not lie to the extent that the Word of God has never failed. Faith is knowing that no matter how long and difficult the journey God will bring it to a successful end. He has to because God has promised man that He would never leave nor forsake him. And If God will never leave man then His Word is true and has to stand on its own.

This being the case why do so many Christians live defeated lives? Why is there not only discouragement on a large scale but many Christians seem not to understand the very fundamentals of faith as laid out here? Perhaps the answer is found in Romans 14:23, “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Hereby we see the problem, doubt which sin is. But the question must be answered as to what doubt is. Specific to Romans 14:23 doubt is “to be at variance with one’s self, hesitate, doubt.”[1]

The picture of doubt here is an internal struggle. The fight is whether or not to trust God. And if God is trusted is it feasible to depend on Him? And if there is a dependency on God will He do what He says? Is what God says for me? And the questions go on and on. It is for this reason that doubt becomes strong thereby eradicating faith. The fact is that doubt is sin and God cannot operate where there is sin. This is the reason when doubt raises its head God is forced to withdraw His hand. Even so the tables can just as easily be turned.

Let not faith be a word of convenience rather it should be part of the Christian lifestyle. Faith recognizes that God is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23) and will do just what He says. So don’t waver because the winds blow. Instead pull your coat closer, bow your head toward the wind in prayer and continue to move toward the promise. It is there and waiting for you. Just don’t doubt. No, don’t give in and let God pull from you because of the sin of doubt. No, hold on to the promise of God and let God bring it to pass.


[1] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for diakrinō (Strong’s 1252)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 28 Nov 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1252&t=KJV

It’s Not About You

The below are notes of a message I presented a few days ago. While it is not normal to post such notes I know that many are hurting and wondering why. Perhaps some encouragement will come from my lesson.

It’s Not About You!

For

Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church

1932 Gwynn Oak Ave

Woodlawn, MD 21207

Prepared by:

Elder William James Carter, The 1st

25 Oct 2012

© The Christian Perspective

It’s Not About You!

Many Christians today are enduring considerable troubles. Some are being lied to and lied upon. Others are being otherwise mistreated. One song writer said that she had been lied on and cheated, talked about and mistreated. Another declared “troubles in my way, I have to cry sometime. So much trouble, I have to cry some time. I lay awake at night but that’s alright because I know that Jesus will fix it after while.”

But there has been trouble for the people of God long before the advent of modern Christian music.  Let’s consider Joseph for a moment. He was a son favoured by his father Jacob. With that Jacob (Israel) made him a coat of many colours. This along with the dreams of Jacob caused considerable jealousy and anger in his brothers. The anger was such that the brothers plotted to kill Joseph.

One brother decided not to kill him but pretend that he was killed. The plot thickened as Joseph was sold into slavery. But the slavery was not to be the end of Joseph. He soon found favour with the Pharaoh and was made head of the entire house. But then there was more trouble as the Pharaoh’s wife sought to ensnare Joseph. But because he would not give in Joseph was lied on and sent to prison.

But once again he was given favour and placed in charge of the jail. Again all had to answer to him but again he was lied to. Again promises were broken and he ended up spending more time in prison than he should have. All the while he was growing in favour and eventually was called in to interpret the dream of the Pharaoh. God was not finished with Joseph because favour was once again restored upon him so that not only was he in charge of the Pharaoh’s house but he was made to be second in command of the entire land answering to no one but the Pharaoh.

The whole time Joseph was going through the trouble being away from his father God was working in and through him to bring about a desired end. God allowed Joseph to be sold and imprisoned because of the promise that God made to Abraham. If Joseph had not been in prison at the time of Pharaoh’s dream then he would not have been in place to interpret which is the reason he was promoted to second in command. This was done as a fulfillment of the dreams of Joseph showing that he would rule over his brothers and rule over his brothers he did.

Even so it  was not the whole purpose of God for Joseph to rule over his brothers rather God was looking through the annals of time for when His Son would be manifested to the saving of a people. This is where Genesis 50:20 comes into play:

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

This is one of the most misapplied text in Scripture. This text has nothing to do with God working solely for Joseph rather it is evident that God’s intent was to save “much people alive.” The fact of the matter is that Joseph did not go through all that he went through so that God could reward him rather God allowed the trouble so that He could save much people alive. God’s purpose was to maintain His promise to Abraham and had little to do with Joseph. In fact if Joseph had not been there God would have used someone else. The trouble was not about Joseph.

How do we know that the trouble was not about Joseph? It is because of God’s promise not only to Abraham but those promises reiterated to Isaac and Jacob.  Even more chapter forty six of Genesis provides a genealogy of the tribes of Israel. Among those tribes is the Tribe of Judah. It is through the Tribe of Judah that God would save many people alive through His Son Jesus. It was through Joseph that God saved a nation which included the Tribe of Judah. Joseph’s trouble was not about him rather it was about saving a people.

Looking back at Genesis 50:20 the word “thought” means: to think, plan, esteem, calculate, invent, make a judgment, imagine, count[1]. Joseph, speaking to his brothers reminded them that they planned to do him harm. He brought to their attention that the plans they had for him could have cost them their lives especially considering his position. But it was not in the will of God to have them killed rather it was God’s plan to save them alive for a greater plan.

Evil plans were not a matter that only Joseph had to endure. Matthew chapter nine shows that Jesus was onboard a ship traveling to the other side of Capernaum. Upon his arrival a paralyzed man was brought to Him which resulted in Jesus forgiving the man of his sins. But some of the scribes saw this action as blasphemous and Jesus knowing what was going on in their hearts confronted them and then healed the man.

The scribes intended no good for Jesus but the end result of their intended trap was well know by Jesus. Jesus knew that the healing of man would bring glory to God so that others might live. And others did live to glorify God because of the healing. But the evil intent discussed in this chapter serves only as a type of the suffering that Jesus would go through that He could save many people alive.

Such was the entire life of Jesus. He was sent to earth not to glorify Himself but so that the Father would be glorified. There is no more evidence of this than during Christ’s travailing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. As a side note that Gethsemane was really an olive grove. Olive oil is often used to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew what he was about to endure. He had already been ridiculed, lied on and lied about. Some had already tried to stone Him. Yet  Jesus had done nothing worthy of any wrong doing. He was suffering because He stood for righteousness but that the suffering was not about Him rather about the One that sent Him. Christ had to die to save many alive.

In order to better understand a brief examination of the life of Jesus must be examined. Certain items are a must when suffering for godly reasons. This is a partial list of items necessary to know when suffering is to save many alive:

ü Must be a Christian-Born Again: John 3:7 “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

ü Suffering must be relative to righteous living: II Timothy 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

ü Suffering must not be self-inflicted: I Peter 2:19 “ For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”

ü Desire to please God: I Thessalonians 4:1 “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.”

ü Rejoice in suffering for Christ: I Peter 4:12-19 “12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.


[1] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for chashab (Strong’s 2803)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 24 Oct 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?
Strongs=H2803&t=KJV >

The Matter of Giving

I find this text in Exodus 30 interesting: 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.

15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.

Everyone seems to have been required to give the same amount no matter how much they had or did not have. Everyone was required to contribute. I wonder what would happen if we, as a nation, followed this simple godly principle. No, it is not merely a principle rather a mandate.

Raising Godly Children

Yea, it’s true. I have been watching very carefully over the years. I have been watching how parents raise their children. More specifically I have been watching how “Christian” parents raise their children.  I have also noticed how Jews raise their children and how Muslims raise their children. It strikes me as odd that the ones that declare that they truly trust in the Most High God don’t even bother to teach their children the virtues of Christendom rather they think it wise to let the children make their own decisions. I wonder if this is wise and wonder if this is the way God intended it to be.

I find it interesting that the children of God were taught to teach their children in a number of instances as enumerated in Deuteronomy.  Chapter six speaks to teaching children in this fashion:  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” It should be noted that these are not mere suggestions but a requirement of God to keep His statutes before the people so that when they become of age the children will be able to continue in the way of the Lord as they pass on the mandate to their children.

If God is the same yesterday, today and forever why have many that call themselves Christians forsaken to teach their children? Why do they allow them to participate in ungodly ventures under the guises of allow them to be children? Is it because these parents are not themselves Christians and are not certain of how to teach their children? These are the questions that need to be posed when parents choose not to teach their children the way of the Lord.

Yet the problem is far from difficult to resolve. The first step to teach children the virtues of Christendom is that the parents themselves must be Christians. If this first step is implemented the godly parents will by nature raise godly children. Parents need to raise their children in the way that they should go not allow them to make their own decisions. I can speak first hand because I was once a teenager and some of the things I did were very ungodly. But I am thankful for salvation at an early age. Yet this does not mean that parent should neglect their own salvation.

No, children should not be left to their own vices but should be taught the Word of God in every possible way at every opportunity. But this cannot be done of the parents are far from godly.