I was inspired by a passage in 1 Corinthians 13:11-13, a section where Paul explains to the Corinthians about love, which is the greatest gift: " When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.' (NIV) Paul was saying that love changes everything and that we must do all things we do for the sake of love as we can only know through God. We learn to value the truth, to be generous, and to have a faith in God that heightens His greatest gift, which is love. I wrote a sonnet that expresses some of my thoughts on this passage:
When I Was a Kid
My life was simple when I was a kid.
I'd play and learn, eat favorite foods, have fun!
I loved the ones who loved me, but I'd shun
my enemies that hated me, and did
most things that I was told to do, but hid
the truth when I was wrong. So scared, would run
and be so sorry for the deed I'd done.
To give more than I got my soul forbid.
Now that I'm grown I have a different view;
My God that's filled with grace has taught me this:
" Find your delight in serving Me, don't stray!
Love everyone, don't hate like others do!
Confess your sins, give well, and don't resist
My discipline and love that leads the way!"
I hope to write more poetry, usually formal poems as I find passages that inspire me the most. If you have any feedback on how I might improve my poetry, please offer help-I'm relatively new at writing poetry. Thank you.. .
Throughout my life there have been times of struggle and adversity, but I went through some particularly tough times three years ago. I had been unemployed for a while, about three years and lived with my daughter. I also had to quit college for a while. I fell into a deep depression and received help for that, but I had to contend with obstacles that kept me from working. I found a passage in the scripture that helped me to cling to God and pray for help and deliverance. The passage is in Romans 8:28, and says; " And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God does not promise that our lives will always be smooth and problem free, but He does have a plan for us, and even in adversity, that plan is being worked out. I have been working since that time and finished college. I discovered that writing is a good way for me to express myself and I believe that God led me to that discovery. I want to post poetry that shows my perspective of God's Word and His creation, as well as journals that touch on current experiences and events that can be approached from a Christian point of view.
The first mention of a king in the bible is in Genesis 14:1 “At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar…” The king of Shinar also known as Babylon is the first mention of a king and kingdom rule. Scholars regard Amraphel to be Hammurabi of Sumer, whose legal code was a foundation for other legislation to follow. The concepts of a king, kingly rule and kingdom have always been a uniting force of civilization. In America, we pride ourselves in having thrown off the yoke of the despotic kingly rule of Great Britain. We chose to live and govern ourselves following scriptural principles such as freedom of conscience, personal responsibility, self-control and representative self-government. The individual freedoms we enjoy are un-equal around the globe.
However, the general understanding of these foundational principles is waning. We do not understand nor do we teach that the foundation of our individual freedom is the surrender to the kingship of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ is what inspired and empowered us to become a free people. Although there is a widespread debate about whether our nation was formed as a Christian nation, it is mostly fueled by the fact that many will not recognize the scriptural principles put into the framework of our government. The study of the writings of our founders leaves no doubt that the prevailing worldview was indeed Christian.
William Penn “If you are not governed by God, you will be ruled by tyrants” 1)
John Adams “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were…the general principles of Christianity” 2)
Samuel Adams ” The rights of the Colonists as Christians may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Law Giver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament” 3)
Noah Webster “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His Apostles…This is genuine Christianity and to this, we owe our free constitutions of government.” 4)
These inspired leaders realized that the freedom of thought and conscience was a freedom enhanced by the renewing power of salvation and redemption in Jesus Christ. This liberty was born in the heart and soul of those who left their homeland, crossing the ocean to settle in a place where freedom of religion and worship would be enshrined in a new political compact. Self-government was made possible by a people who understood the concept of self-control. In their minds, self-control was the fruit of submission by the individual to a higher authority, namely Jesus Christ. The founders had an understanding that individual liberty was a blessing that came from the personal submission to a new king. Thus the popular sentiment heard throughout the days of the American struggle for Independence from an earthly despotic king was “We have no king but King Jesus”. 5)
A Culture in Need of Restraint
Our culture has helped create the attitude that we are free to do as we please, to follow every passion and desire. Yet we find that society cannot live this way consistently without the need for external controls on personal behavior. We need to protect ourselves from each other. Families have a need to protect their children from the permissive culture we helped to create where one is free to behave in any fashion they wish abandoning self-control and personal responsibility and respect for others. The less self-control is practiced the more external restraints become necessary. Here we see that the power of the state must grow as the need to restrain evil does. The tendency today is towards more government control of every area of life because many lack self-control. We now demand powerful agents and technologies that will protect us from the monsters we have created.
Those who share a humanist worldview are enjoying the rapid growth of a powerful government using the language of the freedom-loving self-controlled people to attack the foundational principles of the nation. The destructive passions once formally restrained by self-controlled submission to God and His moral law are now protected and encouraged by irresponsible legislation, upheld by corrupted courts. Public institutions are prohibited from displaying the foundational precepts of moral law in the Ten Commandments. The rights and responsibilities of the people are being transferred to an increasingly secular government. Conforming to the pressure of a misinterpreted religious clause, the government may no longer invoke or apply moral reasoning in discouraging the pursuit of corrupt desires and behavior.
As in the days of the Roman Empire, the state is all too willing to exert this control and restrain personal freedom whenever they saw the need. When people are not able to govern themselves they will be governed by the state. This heavy-handed control has been witnessed throughout history. The barbaric Roman rule, the gulags of the former Soviet Union, the murderous reign of the German Nazis and the Red Chinese have not convinced anyone of the effectiveness of government control. Whether we call it socialism, communism, progressivism, liberalism, statism, one world government, or globalism, it is the default form of control for people who abandon the true God.
There is no doubt the people of our nation are divided concerning many issues. The most obvious reason for this polarization is the basic worldview distinctions between secular humanism and Christianity. The fruit of a relentless teaching from the secular humanist perspective is a growing desire to try socialism. Having been taught lies about socialism they embrace a romantic notion that socialism will solve the human problem of evil. They do not realize the trade-off for this false security and the altruistic pursuit of a godless system of government is personal liberty. The first of these liberties, freedom of conscience is under steady attack from socio/cultural elites and intellectuals wielding the intimidating weapon of Political Correctness. As courts become more detached from absolute morals embracing pragmatism and relativity, they are swayed by the left to rule against those who oppose the socialist and secular humanist agenda.
Subjects of Gods Kingdom
One day Jesus was asked by the Pharisees “When will the Kingdom of God begin?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God isn’t ushered in with visible signs. You won’t be able to say, ‘It has begun here in this place or there in that part of the country.’ For the Kingdom of God is within you.” (TLB, Luke 17:20-21)
The kingdom Jesus speaks of is a spiritual kingdom made evident in the behavior of the kingdom people. He is calling us to serve Him and live within the principles of His kingdom. As we remember the Lord’s prayer “Our Father who art in heaven your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” God wants us to do His will here on earth as His kingdom people. He wants us to share the good news of salvation and redemption from the darkness of sin by the work of Jesus Christ. He wants us to share liberty and freedom by living out godly principles found in His word, the principles upon which our form of government has been formed. The blessings secured within this framework are derived by the willing submission of those governed. Once we forget the principles of right government our government will forget and the words liberty and freedom will be redefined so as to cloud the memory of our loss.
This is Billy Graham’s last Facebook message.
“If you went for a walk in the woods, but then decided to wander off the path, and found yourself surrounded by a thicket of thorns and poison ivy, who would you blame? Would you blame the person who built the path? No, of course not. Instead, you’d blame yourself if you were honest, because you alone were responsible for wandering from the path.
In a far deeper way, this is what happens when we decide to leave God out of our lives. For a time, it may seem like wandering away from Him doesn’t make any difference; it may even seem easier and freer. But eventually, it catches up with us—just as wandering off that path and into the thicket caught up with you.” —Billy Graham #BG100
I am writing not so much to persuade the secular left but more to awaken those who live in the freedom of Christ and to say it’s time to turn around and go back to where we turned off the path. Walk after the spirit (Rom 8:1) on His path, be alert and stand firm and do not become entangled again in the bondage of slavery, (Gal 5:1) be in prayer for our leaders, (1Tim 2:2) be ready to come against the vain philosophies of deceit,(Col 2:8) and be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2) and remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities in high places. (Eph 6:12)
Will we serve an earthly king who will gladly take control over every area of our lives, who is merciless, without truth or grace to whom we yield our freedoms and our conscience in exchange for a false security? Or will we serve a heavenly king who liberates us from personal condemnation, granting mercy and forgiveness and empowers us to practice the virtues of liberty and self-control, personal responsibility and selfless living for our benefit and the benefit of others? Jesus says “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (Matt 6:33) We need a king – but to paraphrase and modify the cry of our founders, we need no king but King Jesus!
William Penn. William J Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations Fame Publishing Inc. 1996 p500
John Adams. William J Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations Fame Publishing Inc. 1996 p12
Samuel Adams. William J Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations Fame Publishing Inc. 1996 p22
Noah Webster. William J Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations Fame Publishing Inc. 1996 p678
WND Joseph Farrah http://www.wnd.com/2001/01/7965/
Billy Graham. https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/bg100?source=embed
Further Reading: Francis Schaeffer https://www.the-highway.com/articleOct01.html
Come and listen to my story. I am a sling. No, not the kind you wear on your sprained arm! I am a piece of leather that you use to fling rocks with. Now what could a lowly piece of leather have to say that would make you want to listen? Ah, but I have a great story to tell!
I first came into being out in the fields. A young shepherd boy made me one day while out watching the sheep. He took great care to get me just the right shape and size. The first time I was used, a stone was slung at a scraggly bush. We didn't hit the bush every time, but when we did, the shepherd boy would holler with pleasure! For a few weeks we would practice, then I would get to listen to the shepherd boy sing and play on his harp.
One day a huge lion took a lamb. The shepherd boy hurriedly tucked a stone in my pouch and whirled me around in the air, let go of my strap and the stone whizzed toward the lion. Thunk! It hit the lion right on the skull. The lion dizzily sank to the ground. The shepherd boy ran to the lion and grabbed the lamb from his mouth. The lion wasn't happy about that! He lunged at the boy, intent on killing him. The shepherd boy grabbed the lion by the beard and sliced him with his knife. The lion gave a great roar, but the shepherd boy didn't give up. He attacked the lion again and again, until the lion once more sank to the ground. This time, he didn't get up.
Another time the shepherd boy had to fight off a bear. I won't tell the whole story, as it happened pretty much the same as with the lion. I will add, the shepherd boy always gave praise to his God for keeping him safe.
One day, a servant came running to tell the shepherd boy that his father wanted him at home. I was tucked into his belt as the shepherd boy ran through the fields. When he got home there was a prophet waiting on him. This prophet of God said the strangest thing. He said that my shepherd boy would be king. Can you imagine that? A little shepherd boy becoming the king of all Israel - surely there was some mistake! My shepherd boy was chosen above all the other men standing with us. The prophet anointed the shepherd boy with oil. Some of the oil ran down on me, too. I didn't mind though. Somehow, it made me feel special.
Not too long after the shepherd boy was anointed king of Israel, King Saul sent for him. He wanted to hear the music that the shepherd boy played. When King Saul was in a bad mood, he would calm down after hearing the music.
Word soon came that the Philistines had gathered together for battle at Shochoh. King Saul’s army was on the other mountain, ready for battle. The shepherd boy’s brothers had gone to battle, so he went home to care for the sheep. A few weeks later, his father sent him to see how the brothers were doing. Oh, but there was such a wealth of food in that carriage. I got thrown in on top of the cheeses that were being given to the captain. It was a bumpy ride, but we got there just fine. All of a sudden, I heard a great noise! It was so loud, it felt like the ground was shaking. The shepherd boy grabbed me and stuffed me in his belt, running toward the sound. While speaking with his brothers, a giant came out. He was so big, he blocked the sun. His voice boomed out, “Choose a man to fight me! If you win, we will be your servants, but if I win, you will be our servants. I defy the armies of Israel! “
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the army of the living God?” asked the shepherd boy.
“Why are you here, David?” snarled the older brother, lip curling in disgust. “Did you leave your few little sheep alone in the wilderness so you could come watch the battle?”
“What wrong have I done, Eliab?” Sadness etched the shepherd boy’s voice. “Is there not cause to fight this giant, this mocker of the living God?”
The shepherd boy turned to speak with the other men. Presently, word came that King Saul wanted to see him.
“O King, tell your men not to worry about this giant. I will go fight him.” The shepherd boy's voice rang with an unearthly confidence.
“You can't go fight the giant!” came the incredulous reply. “You are no more than a boy - the giant has been a man of war since he was young!”
Grunts of agreement could be heard around the room.
The shepherd boy began to tell the king about killing the lion and the bear. He ended by saying, “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
“Go, and the LORD be with you.” Resignation tinged the voice of the king. “But at least wear my armor!” The king had his armor brought and place on the shepherd boy. My, but it was heavy! The coat of mail pressed into me until I felt I would be torn in two.
“I can't wear this armor! I have never used it before. It will only be a hindrance to me.” The shepherd boy slid off the bulky armor. Pulling me out of his belt, he grabbed his staff and started toward the Philistine camp, stopping by the brook to select five smooth stones. As he drew near the camp, the giant came out. A great, raspy laugh rang through the air. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” The giant cursed at the shepherd boy. “Come to me and I'll feed your carcass to the birds and the beasts!”
“You come at me with a sword, a spear, and a shield,” answered the shepherd boy, “but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you defy. Today, the LORD will deliver you to me. I will kill you and take your head. The birds and beasts will feast on the flesh of your army! All the earth will know that there is a mighty God in Israel. The battle is the LORD’s!”
With a mighty roar, the angry giant leapt toward the shepherd boy! Unafraid, the shepherd boy ran to meet him, hastily shoving his hand in his bag to grasp a stone, loading it into my pocket. He whirled me around in the air, faster, faster, faster! Swoosh! He turned my string loose and the stone slung through the air, right into the giant's forehead. The giant never knew what hit him. He slammed forward into the ground with a great crash. The shepherd boy swiftly shoved me into his belt, sprinting to the giant. As the dust settled around the giant, you could see the youth standing over him, wielding a massive sword. With one quick blow, he cut off the giant's head. Such a shout arose from the Israeli armies! Their foe was defeated. Pandemonium broke out as the Philistines fled, cries of fear ringing through the air as the Israelites charged after them. The living God of the shepherd boy had triumphed over the giant. He truly IS an awesome God!
Wealth creation is the potential to create the monitory value. We will examine Biblical laws of wealth creation.
Many labour night and day to live in abundance, others use their brains to make money, some where born into abundance, others live in abundance at ease. Our is on biblical principles of living in abundance at ease.
2 Corinthians 8:9 states; Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor in order to make you rich. In another word; He left the benevolence in Heaven, the gold streets to walk on streets made with soil to lift us to His standard.
We were made rich by the poverty of Christ.
The question most unbelievers ask is why are some Christian poor? Evangelizing to them have become so difficult because they fear, they will become poor if they accept Jesus.
Some Christians are influenced by wrong doctrines and spread the wrong message of contentment. Though we are not called to be lazy, we are also not called to be possessive. We are to rest in the finished work of Christ.
What does it mean to rest in the finished work of Christ?
1. GIVE GOD YOUR BEST:
John 14:2; Jesus said in my Father's house there are many Mansions. The Lord used the term Mansions, not a one bedroom flat, two or three bedroom flats. He did not say there are boy squatters or duplexes, the Lord used the term Mansions. He is giving us the best, we should then give Him a Mansion service.
Abel gave his best because God deserves it and he believes Jehovah is the giver of all entrusted to him. But Esau said to himself I worked hard for all I possess, why should I give God the best, I deserve the best for myself. He believed his efforts enriched him so when Abel and Esua brought their offering before the Lord. The Lord looked at the heart and rejected Esau's offering (Genesis 4).
We need to realize that the fruit we grow does not belong to us at all, but to God. God gave Adam dominion over the plantation not ownership. We are called to be managers not possessors.
The parable in Luke 20:9-19; a man planted a Vineyard (God) and rented it out to tenants (Man), at harvest time, the owner sent his servants (Prophets) to the tenants for their returns. But they maltreated the Prophets and killed the owner's only son because they wanted the inheritance. This parable told by Jesus points out that this world is not ours. People die and are born because the world is on lease.
It is God who provides the correct weather and environment for the fruit to grow. Without God there will be no fruit.
The first and one of the most important step to spiritual and physical wealth creation is to know, God owns all, enabled growth and we should be willing to give Him the best of every produce.
BIBLE VERSES: Number 5:9, Exodus 23:19, Matthew 6:33.