Off the milk and on the meat.

Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

I remember taking high school algebra.
We had a classroom.
We had a textbook.
And we had a teacher.
The school did not just issue us a textbook and say, “Go learn algebra!”
The teacher taught, we listened, and we asked questions when we did not understand.
For a few years after I was married, I helped some local high school kids with their algebra.
I became a “teacher” of sorts.
I know there are times the Bible is difficult to understand but God has not just handed you a Bible and said, “Go learn My word!”
God gives you a classroom and it’s called church.
God has give you a teacher and it’s your pastor or Sunday school teacher.
But can you teach?
If you have been a Christian for several years – you should.
The writer of Hebrews says they should have the ability to teach but there were still on the milk of the word.
It’s time for Christians to get off the milk and get on the meat.

Listen and ignore or listen and heed?

Matt 14:8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”

John’s preaching had offended the entire family.
Herod had taken his brother Philip’s wife.
Notice it says wife and not the ex-wife.
This is a case of adultery and Herod and Herodias are guilty.
Herodias is the granddaughter of Herod the Great and Philip is her half-uncle.
Now she is with Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great.
Herod the Great is the same that ordered the killing of the children after the visit of the wise men.
He is from Idumea (Edom) and therefore not a Jew of the lineage of Jacob but an Edomite from the lineage of Esau.
Herodias hated John for calling her relationship sinful.
So she had her daughter, Salome, dance for Herod and demand the head of John as payment.
This did not change her adulterous relationship.
In fact, she just added murder to her list of sins.
Many people go to church and hear a message that makes them uncomfortable.
They hear that what they are doing is sin.
Their solution: don’t go back to church, effectively beheading it from their lives.
The problem: it doesn’t change the message of the word of God – we are still sinners.
God’s solution is to listen to His word, repent, and accept Jesus as your savior.

Fear Not

Matt 14:27 “…do not be afraid.”

You’ve probably heard the Bible says “fear not” 365 times – one for each day.
That’s not exactly true.
While the Bible is full of phrases instructing you to not fear, the exact phrase “fear not” is not listed that many times.
Plus there are variations of the term like today’s scripture.
It’s difficult not to fear when you have no hope.
If you know Jesus as savior, then you have the only hope, so why fear?
Fear says, “I do not trust God with my future.”
I admit I have been afraid in my life.
I fear because of the unknown.
I also admit God is faithful in helping me every day.
The only reason I am afraid is that I forget God.
For God, there is no unknown.
So I need to trust in His knowledge for me.
All in all, God does not want us to fear and it does not matter how many times it says it in the Bible.
Once should be enough.

Get it all behind you.

Matt 16:23 Get behind Me, Satan!

Familiar words.
Rough words.
Words said to Peter and I hope never said of me.
It doesn’t take much to get a label like Satan.
According to the remainder of the scripture when I offend God, I am like Satan.
When I am not mindful of the things of God, I am like Satan.
When I am mindful of the things of me, I am like Satan.
The solution: Col 3:2-3 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When I die to myself and live to Christ I effectively kill my Satan-like behavior.
Get behind me, Satan – not good words to have said to you but great words for you to say to him.

Greater Sin

John 19:11 Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.

Judas betrayed Jesus and directed the soldiers to where He was and indicated to them Who He was.
Jesus later called those actions the “greater sin.”
However, it is Pilate Jesus is standing before.
Herod, the Chief Priests, and the Sanhedrin all had a part in handing Jesus over to Pilate, the only one who could legally proclaim the death sentence.
Is it possible for someone to commit the “greater sin” today?
Not in the same way.
But you can betray, ignore, reject, spit at, sneer at, and make fun of Christ.
Everyone commits sin, that’s a simple truth from the Bible.
Gal 5:19-21 says adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like are sins of the flesh.
Which of these sins is the greater sin?
All of them are forgivable.
None of them are ever listed as the deciding factor in the final judgement.
The deciding factor is not having your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.(Rev 20:15)
Therefore, the greater sin is unbelief and rejecting Jesus as your Savior.

It’s not a crowd – it’s family.

Mark 5:30 “Who touched My clothes?”

The street was packed with people as Jesus and the disciples made their way to the home of Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue.
There were so many people that the disciples scrubbed against everyone as they made their way.
I have been in such a crowded area to make the answer to the question, “Everyone!”
But not lately.
Authorities have quickly conditioned us to “social distancing”.
Social distancing doesn’t bother me.
I don’t particularly like crowds.
I tend to avoid crowds.
This wasn’t the case for Jesus.
People crowded in to see Him.
They crowded in to hear Him.
They crowded in for a touch from Him.
There can be no social distancing from God or the fellowship of the church.
My church is not a crowd – it’s family.
We need each other.

Searching for False Doctrine

Acts 17:11 …they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

There were many false teachings in the early days of the church.
Paul had to deal with them constantly.
They seem to follow behind him, creep into established churches, and begin to corrupt the message Paul had given. The book of Galatians is an excellent example of this.
The Bereans were different from the others Paul ministered to.
They were not willing to just accept his word but studied the scriptures themselves to see if what he was saying was so.
Keep in mind that searching the scriptures for them meant only what we know as the Old Testament.
However, I’ve discovered anyone can twist the scripture to say what it doesn’t mean.
For instance, Deut 22:28-29 says, “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.”
I had an unmarried couple quote this scripture to me and say because they were engaged it was ok for them to engage in sex.
That is not what the scripture says.
Paul would later say fornication is a work of the flesh, something to put to death in your members, and something that should not be named among the saints.
When you take the scripture out of context then it’s ok to steal – Eph 4:28 Let him who stole steal.
But when taken in context it says Eph 4:28 – Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.
Search the scripture and never stop.

Creating False Doctrine

Luke 22:34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Let’s make up some false doctrine.
Our example is Jesus telling Peter about denying Him.
Studying this scripture it’s clear to see it involves a rooster crowing at dawn.
So two things are indicated.
First, you do not need to worry about your Christian testimony if you do not have a rooster.
Rooster’s know when you are sinning and will crow everytime you commit sin.
You are able to live as you like as long as there is no rooster or crowing nearby to indicate you did something wrong.
This is an obvious choice since most people don’t have the facilities to keep a rooster.
However, I do know those living in the country and own chickens.
It is a bit more tricky for them.
Christians with chickens, especially roosters, need to get up before dawn and praise the Lord a minimum of three times before the rooster begins crowing.
If you plan on sinning later on, like after the rooster crows, then you need to do more praise the Lord’s before the rooster crows.
Performing this simple task ensures you are good with God for the rest of the day.
If you sin later on in the day and did not have enough praises to cover it, then you can make up for the day by saying extra praises before the next crowing of the rooster.
Be aware that roosters do not take holidays or vacations.
Also the crowing of roosters is not timed to exact sunsrise and could occur earlier.
Once you begin this method of forgiveness of sin, you cannot end it by killing and cooking the rooster.
The rooster must die of natural causes or a natural predator.
NOTE: if you have a rooster and a chicken there is a good possibility you will hatch more roosters and will need to continue this method on a permanent basis.

Now we have some false doctrine to follow, completely based on scripture.
And that is just how it happens.
Someone takes it all out of context and creates some new doctrine.
It sounds crazy but what is crazier is someone else will believe it.

Enthroned

Ps 29:10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, And the Lord sits as King forever.

The morning news is filled with violence, murder, disease, and politics.
It doesn’t look good.
I think about the days of Noah when everything society thought about was evil.
The news probably wasn’t much different than today.
Destruction came upon them.
It rained and rained and rained.
Great fountains burst up and the water rose higher and higher.
Homes flooded.
Businesses flooded.
The young and the elderly drowned.
Animals ran to higher ground to no avail.
And I’m sure everyone wondered why.
I’m sure many attempted to appease their god or blame The God.
Others blamed politics.
Some blamed climate change.
However, God sat enthroned at the flood!
He was in control.
It did not catch Him by surprise.
Despite how bad things look today, He is still enthroned.
Put your faith and trust in Him.

You have a purpose.

Luke 2:36-37 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Years ago, I was called to start a church, which, with the help of my wife and many others, we did.
I remember a man came to our church a few times and one day he told me he felt led to start a church in an abandoned building in the next town.
He wondered if I thought it a good idea.
I told him, “You must do what God is leading you to do!”
He never started a church, the building is still abandoned, and that was fifteen years ago.
You have a purpose for God.
But you are the only one that can fulfill that purpose.
Anna stayed at the temple and served God.
Other women kept house, raised children, played with the grandchildren, and met with the women of the village.
Not Anna.
She was elderly and had been a widow for many, many years.
She did what she felt God was leading her to do.
And she did it faithfully.
Her reward was being at the temple when Joseph and Mary brought in baby Jesus for His dedication.
She was able to hear the proclamation of Simeon and to see with her own eyes the Lord’s Christ.
Pray and seek God and find out your ministry and then do it!