Reflection 2: Family of God – Broken Home, Broken Child

6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6

The responsibility given to all parents is to train up your children, if done they will be productive citizens, they will have a shot at happiness, they will be fruitful and happy.  But we all know this, or at least that is what is professed and yet ironically this is rarely done.  Why? I think to answer this question we must first understand what God intended for every person on earth, from every parent, and the responsibilities He places upon our children.  We also must understand that at every turn there is temptation and it affects our children just as profoundly if not more so than adults, their parents whom they look up too.  So what did God intend? 

3 “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'” ~ Jeremiah 31:3

God loved us even before He created us, hence the words “with an everlasting love.” God gave Adam life, he gave him dominion over the animals and a perfect garden to live in filled with everything Adam would ever need. God even gave unto Adam his wife Eve so that he would not be lonely and all of this God did out of everlasting love. Therefore, it’s not to big of a stretch to imagine that from God’s love He wanted man and women to be happy. If you take the total sum of all of God’s gifts to man they can all be traced back to love. God so loved mankind that He gave us free will, He gave us emotions so we could experience things far beyond that of mere animals. He gave us power and great responsibility, in that He also  gave us the power to create and to destroy.  Clearly God has not enslaved us but yet wanted every man to be free and happy. God also wanted us to be part of His divine family; enter His son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins so we could be part of that glorious family in heaven, again this comes back to love and happiness. God wanted us to experience His love, because love fills our hearts with happiness. So in truth God intended mankind to love and be happy and to be fruitful abiding in His love forever and ever. All of this is self-evident in our children who are naturally happy until we saddle them down with our sinful world. Moreover, along with all the responsibilities God gave to mankind, (many we have failed to uphold),  he endowed man to educate the children in His divine ways.

18 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” ~ Deuteronomy 11:18-19

The truth and mercy of God was to be taught to our children so they too could have hope, and become part of God’s family, and again we seem to forget this simple fact as is evident in our own laws which stifle and confuse the parental role, and tie our teachers, parents, and guardians hands behind our backs.  Mankind seems to want to force suffering upon ourselves and our children with all the horrors that the hell which we have been exposed at every twist and turn. Mankind seemingly sees ‘s fit to crush love and happiness through our actions, setting a disastrous precedent for our children who are watching every word and move we make. It is like God wants us to be happy but we are saying through our actions and word, “Leave me to my misery, “ just as Job had once said to God.

“Let me alone, for my days are but a breath. What is man that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment?” ~ Job 7:16-18

Did Job have it right, is man worthy of such love and happiness, or should God leave us all alone in our misery? Job calls out to God, that His days, (our days), are but a breath to God and so how insignificant we are in comparison. Who are we that God should test us day and night? To take this inquiry further, why should God even care after our many failures and broken promises? I know it is hard to imagine that God would love us so much and that He would go to such lengths as to save us, exalt us, and be so proud of us and then to show us mercy over and over again. There are some moments in my life where I am just astonished at God, I am so taken with His never-give-in attitude and deep down inside I know that is the kind of attitude He wants all of us to exhibit towards one-another.  In thinking long and hard about this miracle called God, I feel so inferior, so unworthy, so flawed and because He has seen fit to forgive me I am able to forgive myself. His forgiveness extends to everyone around me, (oh how He calls to me to just forgive)! I must admit it is always a work in process, but the end result as God so promised is happiness within my heart and soul. It’s crazy but I can feel God smile down upon me in those moments. For it, all, in the end, leads to overwhelming happiness.

14 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:14-15

None of the above would be possible without faith in Christ, thus happiness comes from faith through God and His everlasting love. Our salvation is hinged upon this and the ability to teach Gods message is how this message survives from age to age. With this being the will of God, why then have we, (modern man), been so resentful, so rebellious in teaching Gods divine word to our children? Why is it that we, (modern man), create roadblocks that prevent the message of God from taking root in our children? Simply put only moronic fools would be so rebellious and be so vengeful in their prosecution of such evil defiance of God, does this also sound oddly familiar? Satan is the real mastermind in getting modern man to rebel, to create the roadblocks, (laws), which prevent the teaching of God to take place as God himself had instructed for man of all ages to do with and for their children. But we also carry some blame, and will ultimately pay the final consequence for such evil doings.

15 “But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts,‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. 16 ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?'” ~ Matthew 21:15-16

Jesus the son of God calls His praise from the voices of the children, and it is through our children His kingdom shall reign.  With this the responsibility is ever present and for parents it is one we cannot ignore.  As teachers of the message of God must be the center focus within every lesson and for all adults, our burden is none the lesser as the message of God must be written within our hearts.  But, and this is a big “BUT”, we must realize that for every law we make that is supposed to protect our children we also have empowered a system that has no natural connection to them and this system grows more powerful and takes from us more rights as parents, thus creating roadblocks to this specific teaching.  There are many people who say we need to protect our children from all kinds of sinful morally inept criminals and this is true, but for every law with good intentions, there are a million unintended usages that will be exploited by crafty lawyers and kangaroo courts!  Laws at every level and in every department of our justice system which is supposed to protect our children and give them rights there are a million drawbacks that could rob you of your children!  In our liberal world we have put blinders on and seem to think by empowering our children to become more powerful than the criminal, we forget that this could be taken also to become more powerful than their own parents.  Litigation is a twisted mess for grownups let alone for our children and yet if one crafty parent gained the upper-hand and wanted to legally separate the child from the other parent it is all too easy in our Family Courts to make happen!  Consider this,  a seemingly harmless provision which allowed a move-away, could become the final tool to destroy and disenfranchise the target parent and if the child was old enough and prompted by that parent which held the legal advantage they could, (child caught in the middle),  indirectly, (without knowing it), chop of the head of the target parent in court with as little effort as a sword slicing off the head of a criminal in mid-evil times.  The end result, of course, is one parent dominates all the child’s time and dictates what they like, how they like, when they like. This goes against God’s most basic plan and divine law of a two-parent family.  Believe me, when I say, God does not want men and women taking personal problems to court no more than He wants children involved within the courts’ nasty triangle.  With God there is mercy, with His divine laws there is mercy, but with our Justice System there is no mercy for the family and in its bowels, nothing can survive that resembles the plan of God.  For within this liberal, legal, and cesspool of man’s own making the only outcome is a broken home and broken child.  This is far and above what Matthew wrote and what Jesus Himself said,have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?” I say again, there is no praise in court, there is no praise in destroying families, and there is no praise in using your children as lethal weapons sent to assassinate a parent they love!  We must rethink our laws and make every parent important and vital to the parenting process and “move-away” orders do not make that happen; they do the exact opposite!  Any parent with a specific goal of separation and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it, then is no parent at all but rather nothing more than a selfish thug acting outside of God.  On the other hand, any parent with a specific goal of unity and is willing to expend considerable effort toward achieving it is, in fact, acting within God’s framework of a two-parent family scenario. As of yet, the courts have no measure in which they can discern the difference between the two vastly different types of parents and because they don’t they destroy rather than build.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalm 127: 1-5

Every child is a heritage given to us by God. They are not weapons of mass destruction, nor are they to be used as such! They are not tools to be used for selfish reasons, nor did God give them to you for such an activity!  No, God gave to us children to be raised with His word burned into their hearts and they are to be taught in such a manner.  God made every human being responsible for the care of all of His children thus they are to be raised by both parents, grandparents, and extended family members. Good is to be taught unto them, and evil is to be shunned by every family member as an example for the child.  Love an honor is to be instilled and there is no difference or distinction of which parent to respect more, or which elder to be heard more, rather every member is important. I have yet to find a law that states this with conviction and which a lawyer will uphold it or a judge will rule by it. The fact remains that children are not more powerful than their parents, but our legal system, enabled by the voters have made this a reality through ignorance. Can a baby feed its self? Can a child teach it’s self-things which they do not know? Can a teen exhibit enough wisdom as to not need guidance? Before you answer know this,  our American wisdom has now made the obvious answer that once was “NO”, and has made it an emphatic “YES”.  Either we have so much faith in our child’s abilities to raise themselves or we are so selfish we would rather nature do all the heavy lifting, really I can’t tell which it is.  But our psychobabble is incoherent and is notwithstanding God’s gift of children. Children need love, forgiveness, kindness, discipline, they need role-models, and above all, they need parents, not one… but two parents (i.e. father and a mother). Anything short of that the child is not whole, they become rebellious and broken adults. They have children without a clue of how to raise them, and their children become broken and disillusioned, and they too grow up and have children and the cycle continues.  Our children then embrace ungodly teachings of the world and they could not even if it was before them, could they see the light of God, could they see the truth of God, could they see the love of God.  Indeed there are many people who are in this predicament today, they come from fractured homes, they experienced evil at every turn, and by and large, they are ultimately lost.

The following is the statistic of children who come from broken homes:

Found online at; http://m.timesdispatch.com/mechlocal/opinion/letters/stats-of-effects-in-broken-homes/article_ba88da2c-6af8-11e2-9f38-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=jqm)

Did you know that more than 3 in 10 children grow up in broken homes and children from broken homes account for:

  • 70 percent of those in juvenile detention.
  • 57 percent of all prison inmates.
  • 63 percent of teen suicides.
  • 71 percent of teen pregnancies.
  • 90 percent of homeless juveniles and runaways.
  • 71 percent of high school dropouts.
  • 75 percent of all drug users.
  • 85 percent of behavioral disorders.

From the FATHERLESS GENERATION, the follow stats are found;

  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  • 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

A nation that destroys its families will crumble, crime will rise, unhappiness reigns and our children will suffer outside of God’s Family, for there is nothing but a broken home, broken child without God.

Become a better parent by investing in yourself and in the message of God;  

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Amen,

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Brian Keith

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Reflection I: What You Can Expect From Life: According to Anger; pt 1

“Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:9, NKJV

In this life we experience so much, and so I thought it appropriate to start the new year with a new series of blogs dealing with each of life’s experiences. This posting will explore anger in the context of its usage and its qualities for both good and bad. The focus will center around the effect upon others in each category as it relates to how our God has used anger in the past. We will delve into the model left by Christ on this topic and how it applies to every single human-being today, and how Satan does his best to thwart our efforts and then to pull us down through anger.

Anger as a noun is defined as, “A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.” ~ Thefreedictionary.com/anger

Therefore, in our life when we feel angry it is neither good or bad. It is simply a reaction to something that has happened to us. It is logical to then state that one does not willfully make ones-self angry, but rather an external force is at work that which we are reacting too that makes us feel this natural and neutral emotion. In my life I have seen things which I have  taken a strong disliking too, however by nature I am very slow to anger, but once there I am angry for a long time. In my youth as all kids do, I misused anger and in doing so said a lot of things I would later regret having ever said. In this manner anger can be used for evil deeds, but most of our children simply misuse anger for lack of training and experience. In the context of angry emotions being used for good is found simply in the recognition of the fact that you are angry, this is of course rudimentary logic. Interestingly, in our society feeling angry is often looked upon as being a bad emotion and is shunned. Ironically, the shunning of this emotion leeds to burying it deep inside and if left to fester will cause great damage to the person and all those around them as they erupt like a volcano uncontrollably. In that sense we create the evil in what was otherwise a neutral emotion. The simple act of recognizing that you are angry is a pure, honest, and healthy way to handle this feeling. In most cases it is not enough to simply recognize your angry, but rather develop the ability to know why your angry, what was the trigger, what external force brought you to this emotion. In understanding anger in this manner you bring control and wisdom to the next step of the process, which of course is the actions you commit while being angry.

Anger as it is a verb is defined as, ” To make angry; enrage or provoke.” ~ Thefreedictionary.com/anger

In this perspective anger is the act of being provoked into action. Thus, if full control is not first asserted those who have provoked have a distinct advantage over the one who is being provoked. Think back if you will to when as a child your sibling called you a name that you disliked, or kept you from doing something you wanted to do. Most of us fired back without thinking, not to simply keep your sibling from making you angrier, but as an act of revenge. This in turn proved yourself, (not evil), but immature, lacking the ability to control your anger, and thus at a distinct disadvantage to your sibling or aggressor. In large part this lack of control is due to the rush to action while ignoring the honest recognition of being angry. Had we stopped, taken a breath, then thought it through most of us would have brushed the insult off. But by nature children do not do this because their brain is not yet developed enough to process the “why” aspect of this honest emotion. Most of us where spanked into submission and took this punishment for being angry or becoming angry, rather as it should have been explained that the punishment was not for becoming angry, but what we did with it. Therefore, the evil in the emotion is found within the action taken while experiencing this honest, natural, neutral feeling of being angry.

I have often times told my own daughter that, “it’s ok if your angry at me or your mother. But instead of acting out on your anger stop and remember that you love both of us equally. It is ok to tell me that your angry, as long as you do it in a respectful manner.” I remember having many conversations with her about angry emotions, about acting out in anger or rage. I always made her the promise that I would listen to her. In more recent times our relationship has become rocky at best, partly because of needless events that were outside both our control. There have been many things said to me, about me, in front of me, and be-hide my back which my daughter should have never been apart of or in its hearing. To some degree our hearts have been hardened, and angry emotions have been left to run rampant in our conversations. In this aspect anger is not yet evil, but is hurtful, destructive, malicious, disrespectful, and the actions taken are not pure, and thus are not controllable. Subtle changes have occurred in her language over time such as the absence of words like, “I miss you”, or “I love you”, or “I am sorry”,  have all but disappeared, which reveals her anger is due in large part to the secrets she has been forced to kept from me. But never-the-less the disparity between us if left unchecked will grow more divisive and become spiteful at which point it will be pure evil. I bring this up not to disparage my daughter, who is about to be seventeen, but to point out the difficulties within interpersonal relationships built into high conflict marriages, and the pure immaturity to which anger leads to the mutual destruction of the family unit, and in this manner anger is evil.

On the other hand God has never used anger for evil means, though He is blamed for it all the time. Rather that deed belongs solely to Satan. Evidence of this in the Bible is found in how Jesus handled anger and thus left us a perfect model to follow, though admittedly it is in part shrouded in mystery.

“23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, ‘Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense unto me: for you consider not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.'” ~ Matthew 16:23

In reading this specific scripture the love Jesus held for His disciple Peter is hard to find. One’s mind instantly snaps to Peters defense as the justification was not apparent that supported Jesus’s reaction to Peter’s words to him. So it is tradition in reading the Bible one must dig further and read what Peter had said that angered Jesus so;

“20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” ~ Matthew 16:20-22

If we take away the word “rebuke” and simply put, “Peter took Him aside and said to Him,” this passage would have an entirely different meaning. In fact Peter was acting with good intentions, (far be it from Jesus, that He must be made to suffer so.) To anyone else this would have been seen as a act of compassion. But because Jesus was the Christ, Peter inadvertently rebuked Him. For Jesus to not complete His mission that He had just revealed to His disciples would have been tantamount to failing God and in that Satan’s reign would be assured. In no other manner of  Heavenly thinking could this be allowed, and thus in the mind of Christ, Peter proposed an abomination in the face of the living God, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This abomination rightfully angered Jesus, though this was a mystery to Peter. Waisting no time, Jesus did the following within a split second; He first recognized He was angry at Peter for having voiced this abomination; for had he not His actions might have been to smite Peter where he stood. But Christ did not smite Peter rather He answered the devilish notion Peter proposed calling it what it was; and idea placed into Peter by Satan. Therefore, Christ’s action was mature in nature and swift in scorn out of  both love for Peter, and out of a mature, controlled, resounding anger that was aimed at Satan;

“23 Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense unto me: for you consider not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” ~ Matthew 16:23

To apply this new found knowledge to life as we know it in the modern era of the twenty first century, then we must first delve into  anger from the perspective of how it progresses through each stage as stated above in the example of how children perceive hostel external forces and then apply scripture to it. So as a child being picked on by a sibling or other children at school the external force is in the buttons pushed by the name calling or other aggressive action which the target child internalizes and thus begins to show a resounding disliking too.

(Note the usage of  “child examples” are also relevant to how grown-ups react and thus are also very much acting out as a child would. In addition, when children are punished their is a layer of mystery to the “why” aspect of the punishment much like the “why” element Peter experienced with Christ as described in Matthew 16:23. These moments are not unique to just Parent child relationships, but extend out to envelop all relationships at all levels of life.)

When children or adults willfully pick on each other the buttons being pushed which trigger the anger is done in a willful manner. These proverbial  buttons are pushed deliberately, in this example as much fun as it may be, the evil is still found in the action of the aggressors, but this evil can be transferred to the one being being picked on as these repeated actions cause real, physical, pain, and suffering. Anger swells up, emotions take over, and negative actions are bound to take place. However, in the spirit the aggressors themselves are also being prodded to commit these acts of teasing. In this example of children evidence of Satans involvement is found in the uncontrollable action to continue the undesirable behavior. Think back to how many times you teased someone, or did so without ever thinking about it. Allow yourself to remember how effortless it was and in many ways fun to keep doing it. That behavior is not intrinsic of humanity, but rather was introduced by Satan to humanity. How easily was Peter taken that he did not even realize it, and if this was easy for Satan to take one of Christ’s disciples then how much more simply will our children be influenced to commit evil deeds.Thus, applying this logic the reaction the victim will have from being teased is also uncontrollable as it can also be attributed to Satans influence. This is exemplified in how the Sanhedrin seemingly revolted at the idea of Jesus being the Christ. They, (supposed spiritual leaders),  actively sought Him out to kill Him.

Now in the example of my daughter, the notion of having to rebuild a relationship, her anger with the events of her life dealing with our interpersonal relationship that has taken a beating from external forces that we both could not control, that progressively led to both of us becoming frustrated and angry at each other for allowing these external forces to have such a devastating effect in the first place, has led her to misplace her anger. Like Peter she has proposed disastrous ideas, which in large part where placed there not by me but by many other people; so called professionals in the Family Court Industry. Thus, some of what she has been indoctrinated with could have never possibly worked  because like Peter those notions where of Satan, they were derived or conjured up in the spirit of division, separation, and thus destroying our relationship. But to her, like Peter everyone else wants to come to her defense when I try to correct her. (Note: I am not rebuking my daughter, rather the ideas that which she has proposed, much like Jesus did to Peter. i.e. these ideas given to her by other people who’s spirit have been influence by Satan that which she has acted out on.) Because these ideas did not originate within her, her anger is caused by the ill effects of the actions taken which did not work, thus misplacing her anger at what she thinks is the cause rather at the true source. Therefore,  she becomes frustrated and angry at me when in fact she needs to direct her anger at those whom gave her those disastrous ideas in the first place. Because she is still in large part a child her brain has not developed enough to be able to decipher the complete realities and in truth she has only been told what was required to prod her into doing the things she has done that did not work, and which has forced her to simply ignore not just me, my entire family, which is indicative to an unhealthily (all or nothing) mentality.  In that context abuse has taken place as she is completely left defenseless, this abuse is from all the other adults whom willfully destroyed our relationship. My justification in punishing her actions, like Jesus, is hard to see but nevertheless justified because I bared witness to all the events from their creation, (like Jesus to Peter), and in my struggle to prevent them from happening, and in the fight to protect my daughter whom I love just as Jesus loved Peter, there has been conflict that was completely unnecessary.

(Note: Jesus was not about to take this abomination from Peter, and thus no parent should ever have to suffer such evil as what has transpired through the Family Court System of our day an age.)

From a parent perspective much sacrifice is required, so it is that in the spirit of Christ who sacrificed His life to save humanity, we in modern times sacrifice ourselves, our time, and in some instance we are called to do the unthinkable no matter how unfair it seems at the moment, no matter how upset our children get at us, they are still children, (liken to Peter), and we are adults, (liken to Christ).

“And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'” ~ Luke 4:12

The usage of anger for good is best exemplified in the the term; “Righteous Indignation.” Jesus placed himself in a position to be tested, to prove His divinity, and His rightful place next to God. Satan played the role of tempter, as he had prior to being thrown from Heaven by God. In all these temptations we can extrapolate the role of Christ as being the role of parent, and the role of Satan as the spoiled child who is trying his best to get his way. Rules have been laid down for both to follow, and when this line has been crossed by Satan, i.e. your children, then you, as Jesus the parent turn with righteous indignation to punish or present to alternative which keeps the rule intact and this both prevents the child from harm, but also teaches the lesson that all rules must be followed. Admittedly, Satan has no intention on following any rules, and thus the lesson is wasted upon. But the point of the lesson Jesus was exemplifying even Satan could not ignore. In this role play, Jesus as parent retained the right to use His anger in a justifiable manner.

Again taking from the example of my daughter, in this struggle she, like all those who have lined up to test me, to test my resolve, to test my role and right at being a parent to her, all of whom continually finds new and very interesting ways in which to dethrone my rules, (and the courts rules), my thoughts, my opinions, my wants, my desires, and to manipulate all my time for the sole purpose of wearing me out so that I will quiet trying be her father.

(Note: This drama is very much an earthly drama and open rebellion against authority and against the very laws of nature itself. Much like the drama found in the Bible as we, men, women, and children, rebel against our father in heaven.)

Admittedly this goal is not apparent to many who have been involved nor has it been apparent to my daughter who as a child naturally rebells, which is liken to Satan who disguises his attacks and methods so as to make it look like someone else or something else entirely, thus throwing everyone off track continually without end. So my reaction like that of our Lord, using His example, in my anger my response has always been to confront the problem, to address the rules, and to attempt to enforce the stated rule. Unfortunately, I am not Christ, and the courts have no backbone and refuse in enforce their own rules as it relates to my ability and right to parent, and their judgments do not follow State Statute. Thus, the frustrating no-win scenario  falls to an unhealthy imbalance that swings the pendulum permanently to one side and thus no lesson of any value is taught to my daughter and there is a false sense of security built up into a false teaching that dictates there is no repercussions from your ill actions against others and you can do whatever you want to whom ever you want as no one will stop you. This is the underlying philosophy of Satan himself. This is what Satan tried against God in heaven, this is what he again is trying against Jesus found int he temptation scripture of Luke 4:12. This is at the core of all interpersonal relationship we experience when open rebellion occurs. No matter how righteous we are, we are taken Satan, as we are all sinners and thus susceptible to his influence.

Therefore, I say to all those people whom have cost me so much, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” for the Lord our God protects his children whether it is apparent to you or not. For the fact I am still here should be proof enough, thus I say these things to you with righteous indignation.

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” ~ Matthew 12:32

Anger can lead us all to do the most stupid of things. It can confuse us, disorientate us, and force us to commit the most grievous of sin. I teach all my children and thus I teach to all of you through my writings here on this blog, that there is one sin which God chooses not to forgive. This if you will is the surest way to anger God, to call upon yourself His most devastating of punishments and that  punishment no one can erase, argue for you in your defense, ease your pain, or take it away, for this curse is so resoundingly devastating there is no coming back, there is no second chance, there is nothing you can do to make amends to God. That act is the act of blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God, to utterly reject God. Coupled with this grievous of sins which has two stages, Jesus Christ gave us a warning prior to this one about His reaction to all those people whom reject Him in public;

“33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 10:33

Therefore, to reject Jesus Christ in your life, to ignore His commandments, to place man’s law above His, to think you are better than, to spite in His face, Jesus will rebuke you to His father, to our father in Heaven. Most of the time this action is done out anger, and it at this point can be forgiven, but to continue in your anger, in your rage, in your sinful act of rebellious revenge than and curse God Himself, the Holy Spirit, to reject God completely as Satan has tried to make us do, that he himself has done, which forces God hand, then there is no salvation.

In putting this into our modern day examples the simple truth is this, children need both parents, they need our love, our guidance  our understanding, our commitment to their mutual success in life. When outside forces willfully disturbs this balance built into nature then anger in both parent and child naturally occurs. It always dumbfounds me when courts ignore this and take form child a parent whom loved them. The courts mandate is to always do what is in the best interest of the child, but there actions are of the exact opposite  Train professionals seem to have a an axe to grind when told something negative  that which is given to them by the child, in some instances taken out context, warped  twisted, and misunderstood by the child. In my personal experience the therapists  social workers, lawyers, and the judges themselves have a deceived the masses into a false sense of security, and thus get away with the destruction of our families. Jesus stated he was not here to create peace, but to bring the sword. In His perfect example in dealing with ideas of Satan, or evil intonations we must reject those ideas, we must shut the door to the sin they bring with them. And when people, be them your family or friend denies you, rebukes you, spits in your face, lies about you, then they have done so out of anger, and if your a true believer in God then they have sinned against you, but also against God. Your testimony must then reflect this sin, it then must be atoned for in order for that person to be truly forgiven, the compassionate words of a sorrowful heart is the only path to redemption. It is this drama that anger brings to bear, as most of us are still very immature in handling it in comparison to Jesus. I am always open to a sorrowful person, I am always available to a person whom has sinned against me and wishes to make amends, but I am not as Jesus was not available to those who wish to keep on hurting me, for I am about our fathers business. In fact Jesus instructed  us, His disciples to do the following;

“And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” ~ Luke 9:5

Therefore, be slow to anger, be forgiving to one another, use compassionate words always, be ready to apologize and ask for sincere forgiveness, be tolerant of others, be mature in your actions, always investigate fully before assigning blame, always ask what your actions have done to others that which would have cause strife, and above all use the examples of Jesus when angry.

In Jesus’s name I say these things to you as a witness to His Devine mercy. May God Bless in all that you do, in all your endeavors  for the rest of your life. I ask that you never stop learning, growing, walking, and listening to our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen

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Brian Keith

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Special Reflection: Sin Series e-Book Release

So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sistersins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” ~ Luke 17:3-4, NIV

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Listening Faithfully Blog: Sin Series

What you will find is a biblical account of SIN found in the scripture applied to our modern day lives.

The nature oJesusf sin as it was introduced is based upon the most grievous of acts known as Pride. This act as the base sin brings us to the most inhuman levels of existence as it glorifies such emotions as selfishness, greed, wrath, rage, violence, madness, the want for instant gratification, and ultimately leaves the human soul depleted and filled with anger that turns the heart as black as coal. Within this series now in e-book format SIN is discussed in a more understandable, conversational manner that brings the reader through the Origin of Satan, the introduction of the first sin, and then finally through the various pitfalls of sin better known as the Seven Deadly Sins. There is in great detail the path everyone can follow to avoid these sins and their affects on our lives. This Armor Plating which repeals SIN is found in scripture and always starts with forgiveness.

If your life is overtaken with SIN and you want out of its grip, or if you simply want to educate yourself on this topic, then there is no better resource than this short e-book produced from the pages of this blog, Get Your Copy Today!

Listening Faithfully Blog: Sin Series

 

May God be with you always, Amen.

 

 

Reflection 5: Unchanging God of Love

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 59.9

Many times I have heard that God of the Old Testament was a God of wrath, of punishment, a God of testing, and of laws which placed many conditions upon His people. Very different God from the New Testament who is a God of mercy, forgiveness, and of love.  But I argue this point and ask you all to consider this about our God. Our God in heaven has never changed because he can not change, He is forever the God of love, mercy, forgiveness, and yes He is also the God of judgement and punishment, and from last weeks Reflection we see He takes no pleasure from punishing the wicked instead He only wishes them to turn away from their wickedness and come back to Him. This clearly demonstrates that our God is a God of many chances. Our God loves us, He has always loved us and the only thing that has changed is humanity. The greatest of all miracles can be found in this one simple thing, His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His love is of a different order than our love, and God seeks and has always sought to love each and everyone of us since before we where born. It is humanity that has changed, we have forever altered how God can respond to us and thus changed the conditions in which God shows His love in your life;

59 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.” ~ Isaiah 59:1-4

In Isaiah we can clearly see that it is not God who has lied, spoken falsely, or have blood upon His hands. In fact it is our sin, our lack in faith, our indiscretions which God has had to deal with over our short history here on earth. Think of each lie told as a small needle which God has had to defend against, each word uttered to condemn an innocent person to death as a razor blade cutting away at Gods justice, and look at each action that harms another human being done purposefully as a sword thrusted into the side of Jesus and then you will have just barely scratched the surface to the pain and suffering our Lord endured upon the cross.

2 “And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would beborn blind ?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents ; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” ~ John 9:2-3

By sending Jesus, God again shows His unyielding love for all man kind, He finds the most awesome ways to prove His love over and over again. In healing a blind man who was blind from birth Jesus illustrates His love and mercy for us. This miracle is a two fold miracle, one that shows the power of God, but also shows the love of God. The lesson Jesus was teaching was that it mattered not to the blind man whether it be day or night, but as long as Jesus was in the world His light would penetrate every soul and make them see, even the blind who where blind from birth a medical condition which there is no cure. But moreover, this miracle shows that it matters not what we suffer, that God can take that suffering and us it to glorify Him, to bless us, and to show to others His unchanging love.

4 “We must work the works of Him who sentMe as long as it is day ; night is coming when no one can work. 5 “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”John 9:4-5

The very notion of being the “Light of the World” is one that also proves Gods love, and the lengths He has gone to not just save us, but to also lift us up in His perfect love despite the many sins we have committed. The term Jesus uses is a technical one in heavenly speech, a term that Satan knows well as he was once the Morning Star in heaven. Jesus is the truth, the light, and all who follow will walk in ever lasting life. Satan, does not want this, so the scriptures tell us that Satan entered into Judas to betrayed Jesus. Think for a moment how glorified God was within this moment, think how magnificent God is to be able to shine through this great deception of darkness. Understand that God not just opened the eyes of a blind man, but of all men and women on this planet in that one moment of darkness, the light of the world indeed still shown through it.

Because we have so completely changed the scope of how God communicates, and how he sends His divine love to us each occasion is then an opportunity for God to prove His love in our life, even in times of our greatest suffering.  The bible points out four unique  types of suffering which we endure, that are in large part connected to our sinful nature, thus connecting suffering with sin. The first is found as follows:

22 “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” ~ Genesis 22:1-2

2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” ~ Deuteronomy 8:2

6 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” ~ Job 1:6-12

In these three examples God uses person strife to work the biggest miracles. He uses every occasion to test and mold each one of us into a more perfect person. He tests us to prove our loyalty and love to Him, which is the true miracle and the prove of His never changing love. God tested Abraham by having him offer up his only son to God as a burnt offering upon Mt. Moriah. Though Abraham did not want this test he proved his belief in God and trusted in his wisdom enough to follow through with God’s request, even up to the very moment of raising the knife high above his head, only then did God send His angeles to stop him. Again, God tested the people in the hot desert for forty years to hone them and to test each one of them. To bring them from a complacent slave like nature to one that was sharpened in every aspect of God, even unto their very last breath would they obey to build a nation in hostile lands. Finally God shows us the test of love through the greatest suffering of Job. Here was a man who had everything, and in Satan’s hands was brought down lower than low and still he refused to turn away from God. We are tested in our faith, in our actions, in our words, through our suffering.

The next form of suffering God uses as a means to mold us into a more perfect person, to edify us and to raise us up higher than we where before, consider;

5  “And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” ~ Hebrews 12:5-8

God chastens each one of us in order to bring us through each hardship, to prove his love on a personal level. God calls out to us and encourages the goodness to always shine through much like we see in Jesus upon accepting His divine mission here on earth.God Speaks about chastening his own son, and without this specialized attention we are like the lump of clay that has been cast aside. Jesus talked about praising God in the mists of your troubles, rejoice in your pain as God is always with you, and if you turn from this then indeed you have proven to God you are not one of his sons or daughters. Again this is not what God want’s for He prefers your heart to turn from wickedness and your spirit should have ever lasting life.

The third form of suffering we, (the human population),  have brought upon ourselves by rebellion against God, examples of this can be found  in the following scriptures;

22 “And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” ~ Genesis 3:22-24

“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” 13 These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them. ~ Numbers 20:8-13

14 “All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, With the chastisement of a cruel one, For the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased. 15 Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, Because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.” ~ Jeremiah 30:14-16

God punishes but takes no pleasure in it. In Genesis Adam and Eve are kicked out of the Garden of Eden because of their collective sin against God. This was brought upon them by their actions. We see this repeated throughout the bible as this theme is again brought forth with Moses and Aaron who are told by God to gather the people and strike the rock to glorify God’s love for them by giving them water to drink. But Moses does not mention God before striking the rock, and in essence stole from God the glory due Him. In the last example found in Jeremiah God specifically states His wrath and punishment is due because of the sins and increase of the inequity of the people. Our suffering is forever linked to our sins, and the increase of our sins are linked to our increased suffering. Again God takes no pleasure form this but He does and will bring you closer to His perfect love through all your trials and tribulations you may suffer throughout your life.

Finally the fourth kind of suffering is brought about specifically to show Gods might and glory which can be found in the following examples;

5 “‘Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?’ This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?’ 11 She said, ‘No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’ 12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'” ~ John 8:5-12

9  “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, ‘Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” ~ John 9:1-7

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” ~ John 11:4

In these final three examples we see Jesus using sin, blindness, and death as a way to communicate His love, Gods power and might, all which glorifies God in the Highest. Jesus over and over gives new life in each action he takes, this proves beyond all reason of how much God truly loves us, to what lengths God goes to show His love, thus proving He has not changed, His mission has not changed, but rather God has always been the God of love, mercy, forgiveness, and a God of many chances.

Amen

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Special Reflection: Fathers & Men of God

1 “Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you and your sons and your grandsons, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:1-2

Arguably the first of all commandments pertaining to fathers is to obey the Lord your God. This was handed down to Moses, the father of Israel, the man of God responsible for thousands of people and who lead them faithfully to the promise land. As a parent and as a father I can not emphasize this point any more, other than to say that God passed to man fatherhood and meant for there to be greater responsibility to fathers for the upbringing and moral teaching to their children. We are held to a sacred oath which states that we are to obey the Lord our God, to emulate His love, grace, understanding, devotion, morality, and faithfulness of our Father who is in Heaven, in teaching our children to do the same. This specific act of obedience is given to fathers solely and is a directive from God Himself.

Interestingly, mans law as it relates to U.S. Family Law is in direct violation to God’s law, as the courts in our country often deny, subvert, alienate, disenfranchise, and falsely empower children of 13 and over, all which destroys the bonds of family which the Family Code in all 50 States are sworn to protect. Because God has been eradicated from the equation in terms of rearing children the reality is frightful, as fathers are forced to flee a potential hostile situation within their own homes perpetrated by their wives, and to date the courts have done nothing to stop it. In addition, because our justice system has in and of its self renounced God our nation is becoming fatherless. This I tell you is the greatest sin any nation on Earth can commit, and it is without doubt the workings of Satan himself. The question I know every father faces who is in this situation is a mind numbing simple one, “If God gave to man this commandment to be obedient and faithful in teaching morality to his children, then why isn’t this right protected under mans law? Doesn’t it benefit everyone in our society for fathers to teach to their children morality?” The answer is just as frustratingly simple, “Because man has renounced God in his own laws!” This attack on the christian faith penetrates every aspect of our belief and practices in worshiping God. In saying this I will also reveal that in each action to suppress the moral teachings of God and the fathers inherent duty to teach his children to also obey God, all of  which is biblically supported and sound legally, then it also must be noted that anything other than following Gods commandments is inherently wrong and unholy. It also further destroys the moral fabric of our nation as a whole, and thus there is a price for this arrogance of our legal system which is currently serving the interests of economic wealth, which destroys our families and our nation as a whole, thus serving Satan!

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5“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”~ Deuteronomy 6:5-9

The greatest of commandment for fathers is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. God intended His children to love him, to worship Him alone, to be obedient to His perfect will. Fathers are commanded to emulate this to his family and to his children. This is the bonds which binds fathers to their offspring, that which supports the family structure, and that imparts to his children the morality within their character. God also commands fathers to teach these things “diligently”, giving examples of each teaching of the Gospels within every aspect of his day leaving no room for misunderstanding by describing of how it is to be done within by using the following words, “when you sit, walk, lie down, and when you rise up.” If that wasn’t clear enough God goes even further by stating, “to bind them as a sign on your hands and foreheads. To write them on the doorposts and gates to your house!” Men of God are commanded to teach the children about faith, about love, about mercy, about kindness and respect, and we are commanded to instruct our children in all the ways of God. This is the biblical duty given to fathers, and without it our children suffer greatly.

6” Train up a child in the way he should go,  and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~Proverbs 22:6

According to God the Father, we fathers here on Earth are to spend time with our children. Ironically, I have personally been told that this issue of time spend is less important than the quality of time spent. I tell you now the truth of the matter as God sees it, Fathers are to spend both quality and quantity of time with their children, how else is there to be any morality taught? Yes, there will be hard lessons, ones which the children would rather flee from, and would rather ignore or rebuke, but the lessons need to be taught regardless, and must be protected as a solemn right and duty of the father to teach his children. This can not be done without time given to the father to teach these things, the children can not learn if this instruction is subverted by outsiders, which include everyone other than the father and his children. It is no accident that single mothers complain about their children’s godlessness and lack of respect to them. It is no accident our society is seeing an increase of teenage pregnancies, abortions, drug use, High School drop outs, depression, suicides, and the over all degradation of our spiritual world and belief system. The division of duties given to each parent by God, is holy and both parents need to respect these differences as God has divided them. In no manner of speech have I indicated that fathers are superior to mothers, or that mothers are superior to fathers, as to teach this would be false teaching, instead God has given each sex specific rights as it relates to parenting, for each duty is equal to developing a healthy and well adjusted child in the eyes of God. Again, ironically our Family Law bioses are in conflict to Gods Laws, as women are thought of as the only parent the child needs within our societal indoctrination within the 1970’s Women’s Liberation Movement which left a destructive imprint on the hearts and minds of our legal system which teaches a false ideology, one that dictates, “Fathers are optional.” and “I don’t need a man.” philosophy as it relates to the modern family structure. This false doctrine is not supported by God, or any biblical teaching found in the bible and yet it has such a devastating impact on our courts, families, and has single handily help to destroy the role of fathers in our country today.

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1 ” Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” ~Ephesians 6: 1-4

The Lord God commands our children to accept the training given by both mother and father, and for fathers not to provoke thy children to anger, but rather teach them about God. Again over and over God commands the father to teach morality, respect, honor, imparting traits of a good and holy character to their children. More to the point however, again their is this dark force within our country which is trying to subvert the role of fathers, so as to clarify what is the role of the modern father and that of men of God the following is a list which can be found online at http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/15/mom-and-dad-kids-need-both/

  • “The father, as the male parent, brings unique contributions to the job of parenting that a mother cannot.  Psychology Today explains, “Fatherhood turns out to be a complex and unique phenomenon with huge consequences for the emotional and intellectual growth of children.”
  • Boys who grow up with dads have their masculinity affirmed and learn from their fathers how to channel their strength in positive ways. Fathers help children understand proper male sexuality, hygiene, and behavior in age appropriate ways.  Fathers help connect their children, (especially boys) to job markets as they enter adulthood. This is because fathers, more than mothers, are likely to have the kinds of diverse community connections needed to help young adults get their first jobs. They are also more likely to have the motivation to make sure their children make these connections.
  • Girls with involved, married fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with boys in adolescence and men in adulthood because they learn from their fathers how proper men act toward women. They have a healthy familiarity with the world of men, and know which behaviors are inappropriate. This knowledge builds emotional security, and helps to safeguard them from the exploitation of predatory males.
  • Studies have shown that the presence of a father strongly correlates to children avoiding incarceration.  The absence of the father as an authority figure can contribute to a child’s disregarding laws and rules.  “70% of juveniles in state reform institutions grew up in single or no-parent situations.”

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God our father in Heaven knows best for us, he always has and to do anything other than what is commanded is unholy, and does not come from God, rather from Satan. God created fatherhood to be non-optional, non-negotiable, and intrinsically important to the rearing of children. God knew that men of faith, fathers and leaders of their households play a decisive role in the upbringing of their sons and daughters, a role that which cannot be filled by anyone else including the mother. Fathers sacred duty to their daughters helps to insure and prepare them in having healthy relationships with men in their life, in this daughters become more secure and are able to be a better parent and wife herself. Men make for a better disciplinarian and when anchored in moral discipline all children have a better chance at becoming well adjusted adults. To hold a healthy fear of God is biblical, and this also is an attribute all fathers are commanded to hold.

Upon this fathers day I hope the world can see and express and be enriched by the many blessings of God, in both his moral teachings and in its real world applications. Cherish your Earthly fathers, for they have a sacred obligation which needs to be celebrated.

Amen

May God be with you always, may his hand be upon you, and may your life be blessed with the fullness of our Lord.

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Reflection 1: Spiritual Accountantcy

” 15 And he said unto them, ‘Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.‘” ~ Luke 16:15

Life is a journey of immense struggles pitted with many victories and defeats. It is a race to the finish line of judgement, once there many will have ran a good race but will have done it without moral conscience and will be damned to hell for all eternity. Many will have ran the same race but prevailed with great love, faith, and ethics, and will be allowed passage into the Kingdom of God. The difference between the two is incalculable if coming from the filter of modern life, celebrating our many luxuries and comforts afforded those with what is termed as the good life. But if viewed from the prism of our Lord and Savior then it becomes more personal, deeply ethical, riveted with countless moral guidelines that help to forge a sinner into a born again child of God. It is not an easy path, in fact it is filled with much sacrifice and with many painful defeats. For to choose to be a child of God is not for the faint of heart and in the end, within the very hour of our death, Jesus promises for the faithful that they shall never taste death.

47 Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” ~John 6:47

For many of us it is hard to put into place a moral life while being surrounded with such temptations which we find at our fingertips on a daily basis. It is hard to not give in to the world of excess and comfort with so many voices telling us we don’t have too. The prevailing belief advertisers drown us with daily is, “Life doesn’t have to be so hard” and “Why wait when you can have it now!” We have become a society of capitalistic carnivores devouring everything while ignoring the implications it places upon our life and our immortal soul. We make recluse justifications to explain away why we can, when the Holy Bible has clearly stated we should not. A world that places more value on things, property, and money, over relationships, love, honor, ethics, and that of our christian savior, who is the savior of every man, women, and child on planet Earth as we know it, is an abomination in the sight of God. There are so many sins, so many fruitless attempts at winning Gods favor while pleasing the flesh. People can be so awesomely good, and in the same breath find ways to be just as evil and destructive. When we look hard at who we have become, the choices we have made, the justifications for actions which caused countless others to suffer, it is then that our deeds will be told, despite the lies of our mortal legacies. For you can preach good all the days of your life, but in private do evil, it is in your heart and therefore God see’s the truth of your life. He can discern the proper judgement from the web of misleading, randomness and noise of sin which has permenantly blacked your heart.

33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”~ Luke 14:33

Jesus warned against collecting wealth and then not sharing it but rather hording it. He warned against ignoring your own sins while calling to the carpet others sins. He warned against hypocrisy for in the eyes of God it is nothing more than “lip service”. Jesus warns against denying the poor food, clothes, shelter, and mercy. He warns against not raising your child up in the ammunition of the Lord thy God. For he also warned against excess of all kinds, depravity of all kinds, blasphemy of all kinds, and evil works of all kinds. Yet we do them daily, we ignore Him daily, and in doing so we mock Him daily!

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 10:32-33

Be on guard for those who refuse to speak the truth of God, who refuse to hear you speak the truth of God, be warned they are filled with Satan. There are people who get upset when they are shown their immoral ways and are convicted by the light of God, and by His son’s moral teachings and inwardly repress God, reviling against all righteousness, for they are filled with the spirit of Satan. Stand firm and do not waver from the light of God for instead bask within its glorious rays for it shall purify thy soul. Profess daily the miracles of God in your own life, for each day is a true miracle as it was not promised to you before you went to sleep the night before. Be on guard of those who would manipulate your words, the words of others, and the words of God to suit their lying ways, for such is the arch tool of Satan himself. Walk away from profane, perverse, corrupt, immoral, and impure people as they will as soon suck you down with them than to see you happy and free in the light of God. For to disown God is a rejection of the miracle of ones own birth and life; for Satan does not hold the keys to these things; for only God can create life and can bring about death; for only God can destroy thy very soul. Be on guard of those who wish to systematically take from you all the things in your life which bring you happiness, for they have no conscience, no remorse, no ambivalence to using deceit to accomplish their goals. For these people are expert in their disguise and can make the most illogical thing sound logical, the most profane thing sound holy, and the most hurtful thing look to others as self-defense. For God has no tolerance for them and though in the moment they grasp victory, in reality they have only clutched defeat because what God meant for you and was stolen, he will give to you in abundance in Heaven, a reward they shall not reap for they chose a selfish and self serving path.  

21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have I not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you: depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” ~ Matthew 7:21-23

It is truly important to not just know which side of the tracks you are on, but to also profess it, teach it, embrace it, and above all love God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul; to do all things for God with all your strenght and might. It is simply not enough to say you love God to close family and friends then in private do wicked, but rather love God enough to always do good in public and private, for there should only be one message of your life, because there is only one God. Be sure to never take credit for the things which you have accomplished in your life for each accomplishment was first a gift from God, to do so would be to say you willed it to be so and that is a lie. For remember Moses who took credit for the miracle of the rock which sprang water; for the rod was from God, the power was from God, and the very words which Moses spoke to bring forth the water was from God, for such a sin he was denied entry into the promised land. Remember also King David who committed adultery and who God took from him the first born son in payment of the life he had stole from Bathsheba’s first husband Uriah the Hittite. Rather be like Christ who complied with the will of God even until the point of his own death.

1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

Spiritual accountantcy is the means which we review our own place with God, it is the act of asking where are we in our relationship to God. “Have I done things which God disapproves of, am I saved?”, is the question we need to ask daily and then we need to repent daily. Be assured God loves you, wants you, cares for you, and will never leave you if you never disown Him.

Amen.

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May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life. Amen

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Reflections 4: Damnation

“11Then I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.  12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened.  And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.  13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it; and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.  14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15, NKJV, Pp.1188).

Damnation: 3. “Theology . Condemnation to eternal punishment as a consequence of sin” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/damnation ).

The living and the dead whose names are not written in the Book of Life, according to the Holy Bible are damned, and will burn forever in the lake of fire and brimstone. Forever damned for ones sins against God. When I read this I think about those people who have rejected God, rejected the teachings of our Lord and Savior, reject morality as it is so described in the Bible, and who think there is no consequence to their actions, I want to scream out loud, “Fools wake up!” Satan as described in Revelation will burn in the lake of fire. So if this is true my logical-self demands me to believe anyone linked with Satan, doing his bidding will also parish in the lake of fire and brimstone, not for a day or two, or a week, or a month,  or a year, but forever. Is this wicked behavior worth it? I dare say “No! It’s not worth it!” But for those among us who are truly lost will be blinded by their sins, which mount into a multitude, stacked so high they themselves have lost count, lost all feelings and emotions, and will burn in Hates forever. The told sum of sin-debt Jesus talked about and which the Apostle Paul wrote about so eloquently in I Corinthians bears enough testimony for the logical thinker to turn about and rethink ones actions while here on planet earth.

“8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God.11 And such were some of you” (I Corinthians 6: 8-11, NKJV, Pp. 1102).

The most dramatic of these things which are of the wicked, according to the Bible and where supported by Jesus can be found in various New Testament Books such as Mark;

“18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments; Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother” (Mark 10: 18 – 19, NKJV, Pp. 979-980).

In the above verse from 1 Corinthians, Paul supports Jesus as found in Mark, by mentioning specifically, adulterers, thieves, and extortioners, or in the words of Jesus defraud.

Moreover, the unchanging word of God is supported by Jesus and Apostle Paul in the following verse from Leviticus as it relates to homosexuals and sodomites;

“22 You shall not lie with a male as with a women. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22, NKJV, Pp. 111).

For those of you who require a less known voice as it refers to all sexual sin which permeates throughout the entire bible, and which supports the word of God, Moses, Jesus, and all the Apostles, then this one verse from Jude, a bond servant of Jesus and brother of James,  sums it up nicely;

“7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality, and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7, NKJV, Pp.1173).

For it is these people to which is being referred too, that will not inherit the kingdom of God. The Bible is vast with a plethora of sins, all which are seen by God as an abomination. There are so many who live lives divorced from God, who will speak in a manner as to try and convenience the people of God that these sins mentioned above are not sins, but rather man’s nature, thus is not punishable by God. There again, my logical-self argues violently against such immoral arguments, as again God is unchanging in his will and is perfect, thus needing not to change. However, the words from Jesus as it relates to those who boast in their own works, in their own defense, and who argue matters which come from Satan because they are blind to their own sin, is indeed the most telling;

“42 Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murder from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:42-45, NKJV, Pp. 1035).

Jesus also points out that their will be those who will be expecting to be saved but are not;

“21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord.’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,’ have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV, Pp.941).

Damnation if taken seriously is a punishment that will last forever. It is shared by those who have been fooled by Satan, which is one third of all the angels, and all those who are blind, rebellious, hard of heart, staunch in their attitudes, with the conviction they shall suffer not. It is the most twisted joke which is being played upon humanity by a master deceiver, one who has indeed deceived himself. By virtue the path of the damned is wide, but the path of the righteous is narrow. To be sure God’s judgment is final and righteous. It is absolute without blemish or flaw. There will be neither argument nor rebuttal. For God’s judgment is eternal and fair.

“23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”  24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die” (Ezekiel 18:23-24, NKJV, Pp. 818).

It so completely amazes to me that so many people rather live for their own wants and desires, all of which are a sign of contempt and selfishness. The road signs are clearly marked we only have to read where they are leading too. Jesus was very specific on this point, as is God. Our immoral behavior will be judged according to their own works. The real fear I have every time I read Revelation, Leviticus, or any passage that I recognize where I have sinned against God, I have to stop and ask myself, “Where am I when my life is done?  Am I in the Lake of Fire, or am I with God?” Each time I contemplate this question it takes the breath from me, because though I have not sinned as much as others, I have sinned, and I have no other choice but to own it, as does the rest of humanity.

“23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” ( Romans 6:23, NKJV, Pp.1089).

It is all too easy to say that if we just ask for forgiveness then we are forgiven. When hearing this message some of us nod their heads and reply, “Right… I have heard that all before.” All while discounting the simplicity of God’s love, compassion, and want for all of to join him in eternal life in the kingdom of God. But never the less, if you are sincere in you’re asking God through his son Lord, Jesus Christ for forgiveness, your name will be written in the Book of Life and your sins forgiven. The truth is there is no sin which God cannot forgive.  But be warned, you must mean it, because when your sins are forgiven you can feel it deep down in your soul, and you begin to express this in your everyday life, much like Apostle Paul. However, the first step as outlined by Jesus, as written by Matthew if followed, will radically change how you act, and what you believe in;

“22 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’ ” (Matthew 22:37-40, NKJV, Pp. 959).

Challenge question: If we don’t ask for Jesus’s forgiveness and live a righteous life now, then when?

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.  May God keep you and bless you.

Reflections 2: When We Follow Him

“24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24 – 25, NKJV, Pp.952).

Our Lord Jesus Christ is so direct, so cunning with His words I think sometimes we hear them, read them, and can even feel the emotion behind each and every phrase that he spoke, but somehow we fail to allow his message to sink in and really touch our souls. I feel we erect a barrier, a shield of shorts around our hearts that allows nothing good in, which prevents His healing touch to really work the miracles in our lives in the way they were intended too.  As I reflect upon Our Lord Jesus, His message, His longing for us all to put down our troubles and worries and pick up our cross, I have to also suggest that the faith Jesus exhibited in God is what gives meaning to His words, to His message, to His command to Follow Him.

I am also led to the conclusion that Jesus’s message was delivered in such a way that for those men and women who heard his voice, touched his skin, and who had the privilege to hug and interact with Him, they understood exactly His intent, for the message was crystal clear. Some of them, as some of us today just refuse to submit to Jesus. In fighting this unwinnable battle of wills we are also fighting against God our father in heaven. In propagating this strength test of sorts somewhere down the line we make a conscious choice. Some of us rebuke God because it is an easier road to follow, leaving our cross to rot where it is. Still others are so horrified that it is our very life we are required to willingly sacrifice that we simply panic and do everything imaginable to save it, condemning ourselves in the process.  But the majority of us are like Apostle Peter, we have no problem with the sacrifice of our own life, if it would mean Jesus didn’t have to die, and as innocent as that may sound it was against the very purpose of Jesus Christ being here in the first place, because through our death, we die a sinner, a rebel, and are ultimately separated from God Our Father. So to Peter, Jesus replied the only way he could and in doing so he also was talking to every man, women, and child that would ever live on this planet.

“22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ 23 But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men” (Matthew 16:22 – 23, NKJV, Pp.952).

To follow Jesus we must commit our souls to Him completely, lay down our own wants and desires and follow Him with absolute faith, without question of where He is leading us. It is this requirement that separates the people of God from every other people in the world. It is this one prerequisite that keeps the people of God focused on the end game, thwarting any distractions.   Yet, some of us can hear His calming voice, but with our eyes we see the enemy coming closer and like Peter, we become fearful which leads us to become irrational and then we sin before God.  I find this response to be ironic, because Peter knew as did the other disciples, as we all know today, why Jesus was headed down the road that he freely chose. Yet, even armed with this knowledge Peter still allowed fear to momentarily blind him making him unable to accept the truth of Jesus’s mission. In retrospect Peter was coming from a place of earthly concern, fooled into believing this concern for Jesus was coming from a place of love. In allowing this Peter momentarily allowed Satan in, and Jesus saw it, heard it, and was responding to it. In that moment, Our Lord was also responding to each and every one of us each time we allow Satan in, speaking directly to our immortal soul as he cast Satan out.

“26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NKJV, Pp.952).

As I have stated before and will state again, it is righteous to have a healthy fear of God and a massive amount of respect for Him. For it is with His grace we continue to multiply, to live, and be so blessed. It is because God loves each and every one of us that we exist at all. It is so mind-boggling to me that some of us are so lost, so hungry for God’s love and yet run so fast in the opposite direction. Grant-it for many it is out of ignorance, but for those unlucky people who continue to practice willful disobedience in living an immoral, offensive life that which is chalked with sin, so much so it physically destroys them and hurts everyone around them, while ignoring God’s many pleas, for them we must pray for Gods mercy. For in all they do, in all their efforts they have accomplished nothing, for we are nothing when compared to God, as all things are accomplished through Him and by Him alone. I know God must really shake his head in wonder every time He looks down from heaven, hearing our many complaints, requests, and cries for help, only to turn the other cheek when He presents us the answer. Truth is Jesus asked this very question over two thousand years ago when He frustratingly announced;

“26 But why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46, NKJV, Pp.998).

Jesus went on to explain the many differences in a person’s heart that does what he says, from one who does not in the following two verses, and as straight forward as His commandments are, none of them was as direct and as skillfully aimed at our human hearts as when he said over and over to the multitude, “Follow Me.” He said it because we are lost, and within Him, through Him we are found.

I am constantly inspired by those of us Christians who confess their faith and live a day-to-day life filled with God’s commandments, but I morn for those who live their lives as they see fit, absent of remorse while skillfully executing their own set of faulty morality. I can tell the unmistakable difference in a person who is filled with love from God, from one who is filled with love of self. The person filled with the love of God is peaceful, and holds a heart that strives to do good not for themselves, but for those who are around them. In their presence you feel safe, secure, and at peace, because they are humble before our God. But the person filled with selfish ambition and blind, reckless greed, well for them they betray their own self-serving intentions by the words that come from their diseased hearts.

Challenge question: Now that you know what is required what will you do in your own life today to honor God our most deserving Father?

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.  May God keep you and bless you.

Reflections 1: The Sin of Pride

” 1 And God spoke all these words: 2 I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20: 1-3, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.116-117).

I begin this new series of reflections this Sunday, April 18, 2010 called the Sin Series with this most basic, but important of commandments delivered to Moses by God, to illustrate how we are fooled into sinning in the first place. I want to introduce you to a world that is at war, but one we do not see with our own eyes, one that is fought for the ownership of our immortal soul. God clearly stated who he was, and what he wanted within the commandments which he delivered to Moses. God stated clearly through profits that were to follow in the many years since what he wanted from us. God has clearly warned us not to believe in anything other than his words, his promises, which he has faithfully kept. He tells us like we tell our own children not to do this, or that, but like our children we rarely listen. We are all guilty before God, we are all unworthy before God, and that also includes Lucifer, hence the need for Lucifer to go to war against God. To prove who is truly greater, but the one thing Lucifer forgot in starting this war was one very simple thing, he is not God, and Lucifer was created, God was not. Nevertheless Lucifer is remarkable in that he has a silver tongue, one which fooled one third of all the angels in heaven to rebel against God. (For a visual that would be like looking up at the night sky and watching one third of all the stars in the heavens fall before your very eyes.) So it is no wonder why we sin, if we are consistently tempted by Lucifer the great deceiver, right? But wait, before you get to righteous in this defense, remember you are held accountable for all your sins before God.

“10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: ‘As surely as I live’, says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God”  (Romans 14: 10-11, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.1768).

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 ‘Honor your father and mother’-which is the first commandment with a promise- 3 ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’ 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6: 1-4, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.1768).

Within these words of the Bible, God has commanded all of us to obey him, male and female, adult and child alike. But Lucifer within the creation of sin, through pride, stood opposed to God, thus paving the way to convincehumanity to rebel also out of pride. This is his first and most favorite trick, that of pride and it is the sin which turned him form an archangel into Satan. Interestingly there is a list found in the Bible of all the things God hates, the chief thing among them is that of being too proud;

“16 There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18  a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19  a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension amoung brothers”  (Proverbs 6: 16-19, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.967).

If you look closely all these things come from pride, all of these things are an accurate description of the original sin of Lucifer which turned him into Satan. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a book called Summa Theologica, though unfinished it explores this chief of all sins, in which he writes; “I answer that, some say pride is to be taken in three ways. First, as denoting inordinate desire to excel; and thus it is a special sin. Secondly, as denoting actual contempt of God, to the effect of not being subject to His commandment; and thus, they say, it is a generic sin. Thirdly, as denoting an inclination to this contempt, owing to the corruption of nature; and in this sense they say that it is the beginning of every sin, and that it differs from covetousness, because covetousness regards sin as turning towards the mutable good by which sin is, as it were, nourished and fostered, for which reason covetousness is called the “root”; whereas pride regards sin as turning away from God, to Whose commandment man refuses to be subject, for which reason it is called the “beginning,” because the beginning of evil consists in turning away from God” (Aquinas, T. , Summa Theologica: Part I of Second Part Q. 84 Art. 2). Thus through reason, the exact opposite of pride is humility, within that you have Satan as the opposite of Jesus Christ.

St. Augustine of Hippo wrote, “‘Pride is the commencement of all sin’6 because it was this which overthrew the devil, from whom arose the origin of sin; and afterwards, when his malice and envy pursued man, who was yet standing in his uprightness, it subverted him in the same way in which he himself fell. For the serpent, in fact, only sought for the door of pride whereby to enter when he said, ‘Ye shall be as gods.'”7  (Shaffle, P., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 1887, p.132).

I know in my life when I have got a bit full of myself, I have always felt a change take place, a transition of internal control from myself, to Satan. When I have become prideful I get caught in whatever I am doing. God has always been quick to send someone who points my false belief out in spades. I am always quick to respond, and ask for forgiveness, and offer my gratitude in his wisdom and patience. Likewise God has always been quick to bless me, and to show mercy. This interaction with God is unique only to God, as Satan on the other hand is incapable of forgiveness, or mercy, because Satan turned away from God in rebellion, we to turn away in rebellion. Pride ushers in though more than just an act of rebellion, or thinking oneself better than God, but allows the heart to become drowned in other emotions such as, arrogance, impatience, intolerance for others, and the lack of forgiveness. All which attack the heart squeezing from it every ounce of God given love. This is typically known as the hardened heart, and a baron, fruitless, lifeless place where there is no happiness, or joy, leavening behind instead a soul which is in pain and starving. It is an absolute take over, and Satan does not take prisoners, nor does he give back what he has stolen, and the sin of pride comes from within us, but originates from Satan.

“(In saying this, Jesus declared all fools “clean”), 20 He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean’. 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean” (Mark 7: 20-23, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.1539).

Knowing these things then how does one keep from this sin, keep from falling into this trap set by Satan?

The most important thing to remember  in dealing with pride issues, is the acknowledgment that nothing is truly yours as God gives you everything, from cloths on your back, to the food on your table, the money you earn, to your wife, husband, children, friends and family. There is nothing God does not have something to do with in your life. Each accomplishment was granted by God, each achievement was his blessing to you.

“9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself; ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers,evildoers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even lookup to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18: 9-14, Zondervan NIV Study Bible, p.1607).

The exact opposite of pride is humility.

“Those who praise themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be praised.” (Lost Gospel Q: Q 67, p.67).

There is a fine line between being to prideful and being proud in the good things God does for us, celebrating and glorifying God. There is a difference between saying you did this or that, giving yourself praise, believing in your heart that you made the accomplishment happen, and that of saying God gave me this accomplishment, he allowed it in my life. The difference is that one gives glory to self, and the latter gives praise to God. The first is pride fullness, the second is humility. It is easy to be prideful; it is easy to destroy and to celebrate self. It is much harder to believe God grants all things, and to fall upon your knees and give him praise for your good fortunes in life. It is much harder to create and maintain your relationship with God; it is way too easy to turn away and to celebrate self, which is a sin.

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.  May God keep you and bless you. Amen.

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For more information about sin and Lucifer please purchase the book Listening Faithfully: Sin Series now available on Amazon Kindle Edition.