Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Homosexual Answer

Is it OK to be Gay

We live in a nation that is more and more accepting of Homosexuality, and more and more accepting of Homosexual Marriage. Politicians have created laws to protect Gay and Lesbians, of whom now have there own class. There is even a movement to attempt to make "Gay Rights" the next Civil Rights Movement.

In our country, there is even a movement to attack and degrade anyone who speaks out against Homosexuality. Chances are, no matter what I say here today, I will be attacked by some that either have an agenda, or those that have blindly accepted the lie. But what we are going to talk about today is the simple Truth. The Truth according to God Himself.

First I want to start off by saying this. I condemn no one. I do not advocate violence toward anyone. I'm not saying what I'm about to say to hurt anyone. However, the Truth is the Truth. Is it OK to be Gay? According to God and His Word, no. it is not only against Him, but nature itself.

Let's start in the beginning. God tells his Children to follow Him and His ways, and not do the things that others do. First He talks about incest In...

Leviticus 18:
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God.

3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.

4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.

5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.

6 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am theLord.

7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

8 The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.

9 The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

10 The nakedness of thy son's daughter, or of thy daughter's daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.

11 The nakedness of thy father's wife's daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

12 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's sister: she is thy father's near kinswoman.

13 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister: for she is thy mother's near kinswoman.

14 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.

15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son's wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother's wife: it is thy brother's nakedness.

17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.

18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.

19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
Then Adultery.
20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.

21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.
Then Homosexuality.
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
Bestiality.
23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
So right here, God calls all these things an abomination unto Him. Incest, Adultery, Homosexuality, and Bestiality. He calls these all equal Sins. He says...
24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
Keep this passage in mind talking about Nations. America Today is in danger of falling into this same Condemnation. More on this in a bit.

God says keep His Way. Live by the Spirit and do not walk in the flesh.
26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.
Again, keep this in mind. this applies today to America. One more time I want to make crystal clear, I am not advocating violence toward Gay people. However, if you want to know if God is serious?

Leviticus 20:
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Now this is what God says. He also says that Murders should be put to death. He also says the end result of all sin is death. Jesus came to pay the price for all of it. God knows the heart and mind of the individual. Do I have the right to condemn one for being Gay? Not anymore than I have the Right to condemn anyone else. Once they come before God and repent their Sins, they, just like all, are forgiven and they become a new Creature. If they reject Christ and God, then there is nothing I could do to them that is worthy to compare to what they shall face, Gay or Straight.

Turn to...

Ezekiel 16:
48 As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.

49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
Now bring back to your mind the passages we just read.. Here they are...
24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.
27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

51 Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
This movement in America to justify Homosexuality and to accept it as normal, places America today in the same category as Samaria. Attacking all that simply tell the truth of it, is slowly, and sadly, actually working. More people are falling for the lie that it is compassion. That it is right to allow Gays to Marry. That they deserve equality to all others in America today.

By doing this, America is multiplying it's abominations in God's eyes. Not only do we remain silent, we are attempting to justify sin. Make no mistake about it. Homosexuality is sin. In...

Romans 1:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Now this is filled with truth that you really need to understand. No one is born Gay. Sorry. No one is born Gay. God would not create something that doesn't fit. The puzzle pieces don't line up. Take an island. On this island there are two men and two women. Nature says the men and women come together, babies are born, time goes on, mankind on that island is multiplied. Homosexuality says, man and man come together, woman and woman come together, they have long lasting, loving, perfect relationships. Yet, they die, no more mankind on the island.

God created man and woman.

Genesis 1:
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
He will not fashion someone in the womb to be born in a way that is completely contrary to His plan. He laid out Marriage very clear.

Genesis 2:
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
So when you read Romans 1 "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." You can clearly see what it is referring to. We have started worshiping the creature, man, and our desires and lust over God.

Even some of our Churches have been bullied into becoming silent on this matter. Whole religions have started not only being silent, but accepting Gay members, some even have starting allowing Gay Leaders. Priests, Pastors, and whatnot. Those on the side of "Gay Rights" love to tell you how evolved, and enlightened they are. They love to tell you that anyone who would even dare question the legitimacy of their arguments and positions, are nothing more than outdated, dumb, hicks. Well?
"22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,"
I understand, most that are die-hard "Gay Rights" activists are also people who never read the Word, nor believe in God. I get that. That is because they think themselves wise. They think themselves intelligent. They do not what to accept a God that would tell them they are wrong. But you know what God says about the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 3:
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your's;

22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's;

23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
The wisdom of the world is foolishness. You know, truth is, the Spectrum of Life is not that far apart. You have the Children of God, the Saints, on one end. The Children of darkness on the other. The Jeffery Dahmers, Edmund Kempers, David Berkowitz, Son of Sam. These are true evil in the world. But most people live somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. They drive their happy cars. Live in their happy homes. Live their entire lives without a single solitary clue, as to what reality really is. Without a single clue as to what the Truth is. They truly do not know that there is a greater Wisdom than that they get on the local five o'clock news. A Greater Wisdom than what they get from our Politicians, even our President. There is a greater Wisdom than they could ever get, from any man that ever walked the earth, save one. The Christ. Jesus Himself. Most do not even realize that the access to this Wisdom is right there, in the Bible, for them to receive anytime they want it. It is the Wisdom of God.

1 Timothy 1:
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
Anything that is not in the Word, is corrupt. Anything that is against God, is evil. It really is this simple. The Wisdom of the world is foolishness next to the Wisdom of God. To them, it's the other way around. Who would you trust more? 

John 14:
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Look, truth is, one of the best friends I have ever had in my life, is a boot laced, flag waving, Lesbian Activist. I'm not even joking. I love her to death. I would lay down my life for her if the occasion came about. There is no doubt that she would do the same for me. We are total and polar opposites. We are total opposites in our views on Politics, and of course, God. The Wisdom of the world tells us were should be enemies. We should hate each other. We should actually run when we see the other coming. But we are like Brother and Sister. Why? Contradiction? How can I say that while giving this message? Because I love her for who she is. She loves me for who I am. Neither of us really care what we are.

As a Child of God, you should treat everyone the same. Meet them. Extend your hand in friendship. If you find them to be a good person, be their friend. If not, move on. It matters not if she is Gay. We are all Captains of our own ships. We all have free will. We all receive the consequences for the actions we decide to make. Would I love it if she came to me and said "Pete, tell me more about this Jesus stuff."? Of course I would share the Prayer of Salvation and embrace her with the biggest hug I have ever given her. But what if she doesn't? I will continue to love her for who she is.

It is not my intent here to encourage you to hate Gay people or to denounce them as human beings. It is not my intent here to encourage you to accept Homosexuality. It is my intent to share with you the truth. Homosexuality is Sin and is against God and Nature. America accepting it, and attempting to justify it, puts America in a place of other nations that God has totally wiped out. That is not a place we want to be as a country. Love the Sinner, hate the Sin. Tell, and stand up for, the Truth. Always.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Romans 8

The clear cut, concise, and very distinct difference, in walking in the flesh, and by faith.


So many new Children of God, fall into a trap. They go to Church. They learn the Word. They Pray. They truly love God. The Pastor teaches them to tithe. The Pastor teaches them about Christ. The Pastor teaches them to do good for others. Most try to do this. Many fail. Why? Because one of the things that the Pastor did not teach them is that there is a difference in walking, or living their daily lives, in the flesh, and in the Spirit.

Romans 8 is a chapter we talk about a lot here. But what does it really mean? Let's look at the entire chapter, in depth today. Why is it that some Children of God do great in the beginning, then fall away? What is it that chokes the Word out of their lives? Where is the power that the Word declares you possess, being a Child of God? Why do you not "feel" any different now, than you did before?

First, just the beginning of Romans 8, tells you something powerful. Remember, this is not a concept or an idea. This is not someone else. This is all about YOU.

Romans 8:
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
There is now, NO condemnation for you. Do you understand this very first verse? It means that it no longer matters what you may have done, ever, anything, in your past. You will not be condemned for anything you have done, now that you are a Child of God. As long as you walk in the Spirit, there is nothing you CAN do, that will condemn you.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
You are now no longer under the control of physical laws. When you are walking in the Spirit, living by faith, even death itself cannot touch you without permission from God Himself. Sin can not touch you, as long as you are in the Spirit. You are a new creature. You are Holy. You are a Saint. Wait, a Saint? Yup..

I understand that in Catholicism, a Saint is only declared a Saint by the Pope. It is only when one passes on, and only if there were Miracles associated with them. But that is NOT the real definition of Saint. YOU are a Saint. Don't believe me?

Look at the letters of the Apostle Paul. Examples: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. How does he start them? With a greeting that includes the word Saints. Here is one. “To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia.” Paul includes all believers in Christ. The Saints are God’s possession so says Acts 9:13, and God’s beloved in Romans 1:7. We, the Children of God, are Saints because God has called us. The old man died. We are a new creature.

Man does not declare us Saints, but God does. It is in and through Jesus Christ that God has done this. He sanctified us. In 1 Corinthians 6:11, He “made them holy,” or “made them Saints” Also see Ephesians 1:1 and Philippians 4:21. I could go on and on, but truth is, all believers are Saints. As long as you are walking in the Spirit.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The only way to walk in the Spirit, is through the acceptance of Jesus the Christ, and His sacrifice for you and your sins. Once you become a Child of God, learn His Ways. His Will. His Word. Understand that His is the better way. It is only through Faith, that you can walk in Spirit. Faith in Christ. Faith in God. Trust in who you have become.
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Paul puts it this way in....

Galatians 5:
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
"The works of the flesh manifest..." Does this mean you think about something, and Sin? No. Does it mean if you get drunk at a party tomorrow you all of a sudden are sinning and worthy of death? No. What it means is this. If you are walking in the flesh, and something comes to your mind, you are more likely to act on it. Jesus tells us this...

Matthew 5:
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Why? Because it will lead to Adultery. It will corrupt your mind and make you feel it's OK. If you are walking in the flesh, you will not only lust after her in your heart, but you may very well act on it. Jesus said don't do it. Do not entertain the thought. Why? Because it is a work or a fruit, if you will, of the flesh. You are not of the flesh any longer. Rebuke that thought and walk on.

You see, you can not do both at the same time. You can not be carnally minded, or walk in the flesh, and Spiritually minded, or walk in the Spirit, at the same time. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Why?
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
So they that are in the Flesh, cannot please God. Are you a good little {Insert Religion here}? Do you try to be a good person. This makes it clear, that none of that matters. If you are not walking by faith, you cannot please God. Period. Religiosity. Legalism, Traditional followings, mindless doings of what society says is good, means nothing without Christ. Without Faith, it is all pointless. Without understanding the Spirit, you can not grow in the Spirit, nor walk in the Spirit, nor please God. You will become distracted by the flesh and may be lead astray.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Again, without the Spirit of Christ, or the Holy Spirit, you do not belong to God. Remember what Jesus told the Priests and Rulers of the Synagogues? He said they are of their Father the Devil.

John 8:
38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
You know how people say all the time, "We are all God's Children."? Not true. We are all God's creation, but not all God's Children. That is what they said to Jesus here. We are all God's Children. There is only one way to be a child of God. Through the adoption of the Holy Spirit.

Ever try sharing the Word, or, anything related to God to someone who seems unable to accept or understand it? "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word." Truth is, they may not even hear you. Why? "He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."

But you ARE. You are of God, because you have the Spirit of God in you....
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
You can't get to much clearer than that. If you "live after the flesh, you shall die." The end result of Sin is death. Period. No debate. No discussion. No excuses.

Romans 6:
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
James 1:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Back to Romans...
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
If you have received the Spirit of Adoption, you become a Child of God. Only by the Spirit, can you do this. When you have, then you have the ability to call God, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Lord of Lords and the King of kings, Daddy. Remember "Abba Father" is an Aramaic word that would most closely be translated as “Daddy.” Not just in the Word, but in the land. It was a common term that young children would use to address their Fathers. It is meant to show the close, intimate, relationship of the Father and his child. You can also find it in Mark 14:36, and in Galatians 4:6 which declares "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Think about that for a second. Don't ever forget who you are as a Child of God. You are a Prince or Princess of Heaven. You are heirs of God. God, the Creator of all that is, is your Daddy. Get this. Understand it. Claim it. If you are a Prince or Princess of Heaven, and Child of God, who or what, could possibly stand against you?
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
God says, your needs will be met. God says, you shall not die. God says, if you give, it shall be given unto you, "good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." Even if you do not see things a certain way, you are to declare them as they are. You have the power to speak them into existence. You claim them according to the Word. You have that Hope. That Hope can only come by Faith and Faith only by the Spirit.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Again. You are a Saint. A Child of God. The Spirit that is inside you is Christ Himself. God Himself. He knows your heart. He knows your mind. He cannot be mislead or lied to. He can not be fooled. He will be with you always.

Now let's say you are truly trying to be a Saint. However, the flesh is strong. You stumble, you may even fall. Does that mean God will forsake you? No. Of course not. However, if you attempt to use God as an excuse to Sin or as an escape for wrong doings. He knows if you are sincere.

I have claimed this next part as my own, a long time ago. This is a lesson all on it's own, and one we will mostly talk more about in the future. Get this. Claim it. Learn it. Live it.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Read that again.....
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Again "all things work together for good" Lose a friendship? Lose your Job? Get evicted? Get arrested? Forced to move to a totally different State, or Country? Whatever it is you are facing, God says it is Good. Why? Because it all comes together for His plan for you. We see the immediate. God sees the total. Here is what I mean...

A man just becomes saved. He is learning the Truth according to God. He is reading the Word, going to Church, Tithing, doing all the right things. He prays to God.."God, please help me to get a promotion or a raise at work. You say my needs will be met. You say you will take care of me. Well, my bills are more than my paycheck. Help me Father. In Jesus's name I ask. Amen."

He goes to work and finds a Pink Slip. "GOD!!!! THIS is how you help your Children??? GOD!!! I asked you for a raise or a Promotion. I get FIRED!!!! Thanks for nothing!!!!" God watches, listens, and waits. "Are you done?" "Yeah, I'm done. You saw to it I was done." God, "You think I treated you unfair?" Man, "YES!!!!! My pay was not covering everything, but something is better than NOTHING!!!!" God waits, listens, then says "Can I ask you a question?" Man, "WHAT!?!?" God, "How can you get a better Job, until you lose the one you have?"

You see, he saw losing his Job as a bad thing. But God had a plan for him and his life that will benefit him in ways he could not even imagine. When God puts something in your life that may appear bad at the time, fear not. Do not get angry with God. Remember this passage...
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Just because we may not get it, doesn't mean that God doesn't have a plan..
You see, as a Child of God, you go through the Five Steps of an Anointed Life. Another whole other message that we have already discussed. But here are the Five Steps..
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Again, this is a whole other message, but God knows you and who you can become from the womb. You are fashioned after the way He says you should be. He set's up a purpose and plan for your life. Then He calls you. Now it is up to you to say yes, or no. If you are now a Child of God, that means you said Yes. Then, since you did, now He Justifies you to fulfill that purpose and plan. Then, those who endures till the end, them He Glorifies.

Again, if you are a Child of God, who or what can stand against you?
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
It is not man who justifies you. It is not man who condemns you. It is not man that holds your destiny in their hands. No man controls your destiny. Oh, your boss may be able to end your employment in company ABC. But it is God who decides what comes next..

Can your boss come between you and God? Can your friends? Your enemy? Nope.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Look at Paul. Put in prison over and over. Faced death over and over. Received 39 lashes from the Jews 5 times. Beaten with rods 3 times. Stoned one time. Shipwrecked 3 times. Spent a day and night in the sea. And was in continual danger from rivers, robbers, his own people. Was always in danger in the city, in the country, at sea, from those he thought to be Brothers. Often hungry and thirsty, cold and naked. I guess you could say he had some trials and tribulations. But in all this, he never lost faith. He continued to walk in the Spirit. You can as well. For,,,,
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To summarize, walk in the flesh, you will mind the things of the flesh. You will give in to sin and the end result of sin is death. Learn to walk in the Spirit, acting on faith, and you shall be blessed and you will be a blessing to others. You will understand and grow in the grace of God. You will truly be a Saint and one who can overcome anything. You will live.

Trials and tribulations will come. Temptations will come. You will stumble. You may even fall. Enemies may rise up against you. But in all these things, you can become more than a conqueror. You can become more than simply a survivor. You ARE a Child of God. You ARE a Prince or Princess of Heaven. God IS your Daddy. Why fear anything other than God Himself? He is with you. Always.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tithes and Offerings

What is this all about anyway?


First, Tithing and giving offerings is not only about money. You should be tithing and offering offerings three different ways.

Money.
Needs.
Time.

Tithing in the old Testament was not only dealing in money. It was dealing in meeting the needs of the Church. The Church, of course being the people. Not the building, and not the Pastor. But the people. Tithing is a Commandment straight from God. In...

Genesis 14:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
In the English Standard Version, it is translated....
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Then in...

Deuteronomy 14:
22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

23 And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.
So the original tithe, and still can be, ten percent of whatever it is you have. In other words, if you are a Farmer, ten percent of your crops. If you are a Shoe Maker, you can donate ten percent of your production of shoes and give them to the needy that have no shoes. If you make cloths, give ten percent of your production of cloths to those that have none. Then if you can not do this, God says, then tithe with money. But what is the money for?
24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:

25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose:

26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
This is the first place where God talks about money. If for whatever reason you cannot bring into the store house, ten percent of your crop, to meet the needs of those that lack, then sell it. "Turn it into money" and go and give it. Then, with the money, buy things needed. But keep this passage in mind for a bit later.. "that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always."

In....

Leviticus 27:
30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord.
So you see, that ten percent is not even your's to debate. God says that ten percent of whatever it is, is HIS. It IS Holy. It IS to meet the needs of HIS people. In....

Malachi 3:
6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.
OK. We need to spend some time on this one. First, ten percent of whatever it is, is God's. It is not your's to debate, reason about, or question. If you fail to give ten percent, God calls you a thief, and lays forth a Spiritual Law. Let's look at this.

A tithe is ten percent. An offering, is anything more than ten percent. Let's deal with the money aspect, since that is what most will be tithing. If you make $1000.00 a paycheck, your tithe is $100.00. Not $90.00. Not $20.00. Not $120.00 Your tithe IS $100.00

If you chose to give anything less than that, God calls you a thief. He says you are robbing from Him. "But you don't understand. I can't pay my bills not. How am I suppose to give God, $100.00? I need that money to pay bills. That's not right. He understands. This is all I got." Really? Look at your bills. What are you actually paying for? You know what you really need? Let's get real here for a second. You really need a roof, electric, running water, and food. Do you need a brand new car? Do you need TV? Do you need Computer, Phone, Cable, Movies, to go to dinner often? New Shoes? What do you see more important? Obeying God, or having 150 Channels with nothing on to watch? What is more important, having the newest and more expensive Phone that you can do anything on, or helping to feed someone that has no clue where their next meal is coming from?

I love people that tell me how poor they are, while surfing the net on their phones, looking for the best price on that new Purse, standing in line of a Coffee House to buy a $5.00 cup of coffee. Outside the window, on the corner is a guy with a sign, begging for money. Yeah, I understand how poor you are. Enjoy that coffee.

Tithes and offering are to ensue that all God's Children's needs will be met. Food, cloths, shoes, a roof over their heads. ETC. Now if your tithe is $100.00, then anything over that, would be considered an offering. Don't say I am giving $100.00 and declare $75.00 as a tithe and $25.00 as an offering. Anything OVER the original $100.00 is your offering. Just the truth.. The ten percent already belongs to God.

"But you don't understand. How is the 90 percent going to cover everything. The 100 percent barely makes it." God says "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Read that again, "prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

God also tells you this. It works the other way as well. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts."

What does that mean? Look at Jesus talking to the Fig Tree...
Matthew 21:
18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Then when Jesus was teaching this Spiritual Law, He said this..

Matthew 25:
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.

15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.

20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.

21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.

23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:

27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
To make it plain, if you give it will be given unto you, according to The Word.....

Luke 6:
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Or? "That there shall not be room enough to receive it." However, do not give, and that 100 percent will not go nearly as far. What little you do have, will be taken from you. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." If you do not give, He will not rebuke the "devourer." What little you have will be taken from you.

Now this is your tithe. What God requires from you. Now let's look at offerings. "For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Or...
2 Corinthians 9:
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
If you not only prove yourself in your obedience in giving of your required tithe, but show that you are willing to be a cheerful giver, then God will increase your harvest, or your intake, so that you may give more. If you are giving an extra 10 to 20 percent cheerfully, and God knows your heart is true, He may very well increase what you are making to increase that of which you give. Being faithful in little, He will make you "ruler" over much.

Now let's spend a second talking about this passage. This is one that many, mostly those we will talk about in a second, try to convince you that your tithe is more than it is. They point to this...

Proverbs 3:
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
Now what they say is that this passage means pretax. They claim that this means if you make $1500.00, before the Government comes in and takes it, you must pay them, the Pastor, $150.00. However, you do not have $1500.00. You do not control that $1500.00. What you have is $1000.00. The government takes $500.00 before you ever see it. So what you have control over is $1000.00. Your tithe is $100.00. Not $150.00. Do not be dismayed. Do not be shamed into giving more than you get.

It's like you plant ten fields. Harvest comes and you find 2 of the fields produced nothing. Do you give ten percent of 2 fields that produced nothing? Of course not. You give what you have. Now why do some teach this falsehood? Because they want more money. That is something else we need to talk about today..

Some do not tithe because they look and see the Pastor, wearing $3000.00 suits, driving BMWs, wearing gold watches and chains, and say "I can't afford to pay my electric bill, and I'm giving this guy money?" It's not about the Pastor. It's not really about the Church. It's not about God. Tithing and the giving of offerings, is all about YOU. "That thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always."

I love teaching this message in this forum. I really do. You can not walk up to me and hand me cash. I'm not asking for cash. I'm not one of these Preachers you see on TV, with a Mic in one hand and my hand out. I'm not someone that you could give money to, without you going WAY out of your way to find out how. We are simply talking the Truth. We are simply talking the Word of God.

You see, if you have hesitation in giving to your local Church, then Pray about it. It is true, that most local Churches, and even National Ministries NEED money to operate. The Pastor needs a paycheck to pay bills just like you do. If they are a true church they need money and goods to give to others that are less fortunate. We created the system of money. God didn't. But we need it to operate in life.

However, if you are sure that God is telling you to not bother giving to that church, what about the ministry down the street? What about the Soup Kitchen in your local community? Food Pantry? $100.00 worth of Sandwiches that you deliver to the inner-city? Trust me, you ask God, He will point the way.

What if the Pastor IS misusing the tithes and offerings coming into the church? It matters nothing to you. God tells you to give 10 percent. You do. You are good. You are obedient. What the Pastor does after that money leaves you is now between him and God. You just worry about being faithful and obedient to God and His Word. Chances are, if the Pastor IS misusing the tithes and offerings, that is not the Church you should be going to to begin with. But trust me, God will deal with the Pastor and the Church.

The last way you tithe is time. There are 24 hours in a day. How much time do you devote to God? Ten percent would be what? 2 hours and 40 minutes. Right? Do you pray everyday? How long? How much time do you spend sharing the Word? In the Word? How much time do you spend feeding your spirit? Try starting with just 24 minutes. Have a favorite TV show? How long is that? How much time to you spend online? Playing video games? 24 minutes is not really that much time at all. Try it. Trust me here too. You start tithing time to God as well as money and goods, you will grow far closer to Him and stronger in Faith, than you ever thought possible. God will bless you in a very powerful way as well.

Tithing and offerings are not only a commandment of God, but a benefit to His Children. Try it. As God said, "Prove me now." Trust in Him to be faithful to His Word. You will be blessed in ways that you cannot even imagine. In the process, you will be a blessing to others..

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Goodbye, Christian America; Hello, True Christianity

Real life example of living for real

We will talk about Tithes and Offerings next time. We have a very special guest today, that is going to share with you, a real life example of the difference in living for show, and living for real, as a Child of God. Many of you know that I was a big Political guy. In the New Media for years debating Politics and the State of the World. Many of you know that I was, and still am, watching the world very closely. It is getting darker and more dangerous as time goes on.

I have watched Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raise to power from being a terrorist and part of the Hostage Crises  in which 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981, to the current President of Iran. He is on a quest to bring about a world dominated under Sharia Law. His number one goal to achieve this, is to "Wipe Israel off the Map." I have watched Putin in Russia never leave power, now regained Presidency. I am watching him attempt to rebuild "Mother Russia" and attempt to bring about another Cold War with us. I am watching the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, flexing his Nuclear muscle. I watched Mohamed Morsi rise to power in Egypt with the help of our American President, Barack Obama. I continue to watch America, supply this new leader over a Billion dollars a year, Fighter Jets, and Tanks. As Morsi and Ahmadinejad form an alliance. Of course, I am also keeping an eye on China.

For years I warned what would happen if America, founded on the Gospel of Christ. Founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs, stopped leading the World. For years I warned about removing God from America and the moral decline that is following. I have been warning for years who Obama is and what his goals are. Not only he, but all that share his view. Yet? Here we are.

So how does a Child of God, actually make a difference? What can you do to matter enough to change the World. Post the Ten Commandments? Display Crosses? Go to Church and Praise God and go home and watch Reality TV? Or just simply live as a Child of God?

Richard Stearns is President of World Vision US and author of 'The Hole in Our Gospel.' Ladies and Gentlemen  Richard Stearns

Goodbye, Christian America; Hello, True Christianity

The day I became a Christian, one of the first people I wanted to tell was my mother. I had considered myself an atheist while I studied neurobiology in college. But as I studied more, I discovered Jesus and became a Christian. It was the early 1970s, and my mother's response to my life-changing decision captured the view of most Americans at that time: "That's nice, but isn't everybody Christian?"

Times have changed. According to a recent survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the number of Protestants has fallen below 50 percent for the first time in American history. Catholic adherents have remained stable thanks to immigration, but many U.S.-born Catholics are leaving the church. The survey also revealed another startling fact: the number of people who are not affiliated with any faith rose four percent in just the last five years. Nearly 20 percent of the population say they are of no specific faith at all.

If my mother were alive today, I think she would agree that we are quickly moving toward a secular society.

As this cultural shift has occurred, many Christians have reacted in frustration. We have fought to place the Ten Commandments in courtrooms and Christmas crèches outside town halls. We have sued over public prayers and crosses in state parks. One court recently weighed in on whether cheerleaders at a Texas school should be allowed to post Bible verses on their banners.

While symbols can be important, we have focused perhaps too much on them instead of the underlying reality they reflect. Instead, we need to go back to the basics of living as disciples of Christ, living missionally for Christ and demonstrating the Gospel in tangible ways within our schools, workplaces and communities. While I would be happy to see the Ten Commandments back on the courthouse wall, the fight over symbolic issues is backfiring, alienating people from the truths of the gospel rather than attracting them to it. The kind of Christianity the world responds to is the authentic "love your neighbor" kind. Its appeal can't be legislated through court battles and neither can courts stop its spread.

Dean Curry, senior pastor of Life Center Church in Tacoma, Wash., is a pastor who has made this change. He told me that a decade ago people would say to him, "You're the church that has that neat Christmas pageant." Like many churches, Life Center was also best known for what it opposed.

But that began to change after he made a trip to Lesotho, a small country in southern Africa in 2005. Dean had an encounter with suffering and an encounter with God. After witnessing the ravages of AIDS and the plight of orphans he had met one day, Dean lay in a bed in a grass-roofed hut weeping. He was overwhelmed by a problem that was so much bigger than anything his church could address.

"This is too big for our church," he said. "We can't just add this to our missions budget. How can I do this?" Dean believes that God gave him an answer that night. "You need to mobilize your city to care for these orphans." The group returned to Tacoma with broken hearts and a determination to come together as a city to help this tiny country of Lesotho 10,000 miles away. The Global Neighbor project was born.

Today, now seven years later, more than 5,000 people have become involved in one way or another. The mayor, public schools, Rotary Clubs, other churches, small businesses, judges, the head of the humane society, the Jewish community and some of the local policemen: They are all transforming lives half a world away. Pastor Curry told me, "We also engaged folks from the gay community. These were people who wouldn't have returned my call as an evangelical leader but now they want to partner with the church."

They achieved in five years what they expected to take 15. HIV/AIDS orphans received help. Those who are HIV positive receive care so that their children won't become orphans.

In the seven years since the Global Neighbor Project began, Life Center Church has seen its membership double. Pastor Curry told me, "We used to be known as that church with the big Christmas pageant -- now we're known as the church that is helping AIDS orphans."

There was a time when Pastor Curry might have worried about things like posting the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, but today he's too busy changing the city of Tacoma and world. This is the work Christians are called to do. Christians can stop worrying about the symbols of the decline of Christian America and get back to the mission Jesus gave us to show the world a different way to live -- a way that demonstrates the great character of God: his love, his justice, his compassion, his forgiveness and his reconciliation.

Thank you Brother Stearns. It truly is amazing how much you actually effect people in your daily lives by simply being you. Are you living for show? As a Child of God, you need only be you. God picked you for a reason. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Living For Show

Living for real.

Are you a good "Insert Religion here"? Are you, or do you know someone, that says "Praise Jesus" after every sentence? Do you know someone that loves going to Church and falling down, or shouting to the top of their lungs, Praising God? Are you someone, or do you know someone that will get in your face and tell you how much of a Sinner you are? Scream about Fire and Brimstone? Are you, or someone you know, Holier than thou?

If you answered yes, to any of these questions, then I only have one more for ya. Are you living for Show? Or are you living for REAL? Do you have true Faith, and an one on one personal relationship with God? Or is it all about you? Do you even know who God is? Is Jesus TRULY the Lord of Lords and King of Kings in your life? Or do you like people thinking you are better than they?

Some wonder why I do not praise God. Now if this was a few years ago, I would most likely become offended at this question. Who are you to ask me this? What makes you think I do not praise God? Do you see what I do when I'm home alone? Oh, I may not say "Praise Jesus" after every sentence. I may not turn into Elwood or Jake Blues in Church and go dancing down the Isles. But do you know what I do when I am home alone? No. Now? I wonder what they do.

You see, there is a difference. A very distinct difference. In what you do in public, and what you do at home. Many people I have known through the years, can't wait to go to church. They can't wait to stand in the middle of church and sing songs and cry, fall down, and Praise God. But then they go home. They drink. They become abusive. They are arrogant. They are ignorant. Then Sunday comes along,,,Praise Jesus!!!!

Another thing people love to do, is talk about how much money they give. They love to get praise and glory from men of how generous they are. They make sure that people see them put money into the offering. They never fail to fill out the card proclaiming, it was them that gave x amount of money. They claim it on their Taxes. See how generous I am? I'll talk more about me in a second...First, let's go to...

Matthew 6:
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Now tithes and offerings are very clear. We will talk about tithes and offerings next time. But this is one way that people love to "show" that they are the better person. That they care. That they give. They love doing this. Jesus said, don't. Again we will talk more about this next time...
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Yelling and screaming, dancing, interrupting the Pastor and the Message by yelling out. Falling down to your knees in front of people, so they see you worshiping God, a Saint, it makes you not. Again, Jesus says don't. If it is genuine, and the Spirit comes over you, for real, and you dance and Praise God? Cool. But what are you going to do when you leave the Church? Become arrogant? Lie? Cheat? Deal falsely with others. Do people at your Job know you are a Christian? A TRUE Child of God? Or do you just love the Show for an hour to two a week?
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
God does not care if you make a spectacle of yourself. You are not impressing Him. He wants to have a one on one relationship with you. Ever try to have a conversation with someone in a busy place. Ever try to have a conversation with the Pastor following service? "Hey Pastor" {Hand shake issues}" Hey God Bless" "Pastor?" "Yes" {People coming out all coming up to the Pastor "Hey Pastor, great sermon, Jennie just got out. Mom is good. We are going. How is Betty?"} He is looking around at every direction, trying to be polite.

But if you really need to speak with the Pastor, you make an appointment. Then, you and him are alone. No interruptions. No noise. No distractions. You have his undivided attention. So when you are home, Praying to God in private, He has YOUR undivided attention. It is quite. You can focus on Him, and He can focus on YOU. It is no longer about the Show. It is now all about you and Him having a Conversation.

I love this next part...
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
If you think you Prayed in Church today, because you said.......
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen!"
Two or three times? You didn't. "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them." God wants you to talk to Him. He knows what you have need of. Do you know what He has need of? What His plan and destiny is for YOUR life?

He wants you to get to know Him. His Will. His Way. He couldn't possibly care less that you gave an extra $100 bucks, or screamed out and cried during Service. He really couldn't care less that you agreed to follow the Tenets of your chosen Religion. Do you actually KNOW Him?
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Many Join Churches and convert to Religion and follow the Traditions of men. Few find a greater truth. The Relationship with God Himself. Jesus talked about this quite often. One such example is in...

Matthew 15:
1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?

4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;

6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
And in....

Mark 7:
1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Then Jesus said this..
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
These people were Religious folks. They followed their Traditions better than anyone else. They TAUGHT what the traditions were for others to follow and held those accountable that failed to follow the Tenets they laid down.

Problem is, Jesus told them, yeah, you do all these things, but not only do you know know God, you are not His. They were living for Show, not, for real. In...

1 Timothy 1:
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
This is a sad truth. Many in many different Religions, are brought up in the Religion and they are taught the Tenets of said Religion. They are taught all the Show. They are taught to do this or that, say this or that. However, many have no idea why? If someone asks them a question outside of their "script" or lessons they have been taught to teach, they can not answer it.
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
So what does this mean? The Law says you can not drive more than 70 miles an hour. There are many Troopers, and Highway Patrol persons sitting around waiting for you to go by. You go by 70 or under? They stay where they are. Why? The Law no longer applies to you. You drive by doing 90, you will get to meet a new person that day. NOW the Law applies to you. Why? Because you are in violation of it. Are you following me?

The Laws of the Spirit and God are the same. Thou Shalt not Kill, means nothing to me. I'm not under the Law. But If I do go out there and kill someone, THEN the Law applies to me. Now I am guilty of violating the Law. Can I brag about never being in Violation of the Law? Not really. It truly means nothing.

Even when God deals with you directly, He never tells you to go out and brag about it. As a matter of fact, Jesus tells us to forget the Show, and live for real...

Luke 17:
12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
Also in....

Mark 1:
40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
In both these instances, Jesus said go show. Go be. Do not go out bragging, or telling stories. Just go be who you are. You see, the Priests and well, everyone, knew who these were. They knew that were Lepers. Now they are not. They are new creatures. Jesus said just go show people who you have become.

"But by the grace of God I am what I am" {1 Corinthians 15:10} is a passage that has become my own. I am just me. Whenever I meet someone, I attempt to love them for who they are. I am who I am. What you see, you get. I will not change to meet your desires or expectations. Nor should you to meet mine. I learned a long time ago, just be me.

Here is a couple of examples of what I mean. First, there is a local Grocery Store. I go there often and met a really great girl. She is a beautiful person with a great Spirit about her. I think she is like 19 or early 20s. The Store had a table with bagged Groceries. You could buy a bag for $6.00 and the Store was giving them to a local Church to give to those in need. So I bought one every time I went in.

One day, I was checking out and the girl stepped away from the Register and gave me a hug. She said to me, "You are the kindest, gentleness, more generous person I have ever met." Without thinking about it, I said, "Life is too short to live it through Hate." With a tear in her eyes, she looked at me and said. "I wish more people would understand what you just said."

Now picture if I had gone in there, walked up to the Register, and started spouting Bible verses and telling her she was a Sinner if she didn't know Christ. Do you think she would have been open to it? Here is some White guy telling her that she was not good enough. It could have taken a whole different direction. Just by me, not even thinking about it, just being me, put this meeting into place. It opened up the opportunity. She SAW who I was. She witnessed what I did. She SAW me. A Child of God, for who I really am, not what I tell people I am.

Another would be a guy I worked with. I had no idea I was effecting him the way I was. We were friends. We talked about many things. But later I found out that he wanted to know why I was the way I am. There was something about me that he wanted. I had the opportunity to share with him the truth. That "thing" about me is the Holy Spirit. That "thing" that makes me, me, is God. We did not discuss it too much, but just by him watching and observing me being me, make him seek the greater Truth. Do you think he would feel the same if I slapped him upside the head with the Bible and told him he better live this way?

Most of the time, you effect people in very profound ways, more so, in you being you, than anything you could ever say. Allow God to truly create the you He wants you to be, then BE you.

1 Thessalonians 5:
16 Rejoice evermore.

17 Pray without ceasing.

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

19 Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not prophesyings.

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Forget the Show. Live for real. Be you. As a Child of God, that is all you need to be. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Psalm 61

Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:...