Faith

Be Still



For Sandy, who gave me this idea, and whom I love with an undying love.


From Wence Cometh the Storm?

My favorite Hymn is “It is Well”, especially lately. It seems like I have needed this Hymn a lot these past few months.

What has happened? I have lost my family. I have lost my love. My identity was stolen twice. The plans I had made for the future of my family were destroyed in one fell swoop.

In the end, I was left with nothing, alone, bereft, broken. The pain of these losses is almost unbearable. Grief and confusion are powerful things. This grief is all consuming and threatens to smash the ship of my soul against the breakers. I am lost, with no mooring, with no GuideStar, with no compass. Everything I believed about love and family been betrayed by falsehoods and deception.  The hopes I had for the future have been taken away from me.

This storm and confusion has taken hold of me and relentlessly tears my sails away. I have lost my anchor. I am taking on water. Where will I find that shore? Where is my mooring? Who will rescue me from this storm?

On top of this, if you know anything about Aspergers, you know that one so afflicted usually needs a “normal” to be the touchstone to all things normal. My touchstone is the woman I love, who is no longer part of my life. This too adds waves to my storm. My ship is being battered by things that normal people deal with as if only a gentle breeze were blowing. Without the touchstone, it doesn’t matter how “High Functioning” you are, some things simply do not make sense to you.

Where Do I Hide From the Storm?

You can’t.

If you run from the deck of your ship to the belly of your ship, you are still in the middle of the storm. So, where do you turn? How do you find your way back to safety, to the shore? Where is the touchstone? Where is your Guidestone? Where are safety and peace?

Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me, and when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will let you find me.”  Jeremiah 29:12-14a.

One of the hardest things to realize is that even these things are for a purpose. It’s hard to remember the greater good when you are being torn to shreds by your own circumstances.  It ceases to matter why you are in this storm.  It can be a storm of your own making (Which is usually the case) or a storm brought on by the selfish desires of people you depended on.  Or this storm could be the plan of evil people who delight in your destruction for their own advancement.  It ceases to matter when your ship is taking on water, and your sails are gone.  At this juncture, all you can do is hang on to the nearest mast, lash yourself to it, and pray.

Screaming At the Storm Doesn’t Help.

I screamed.

I cried.

I tore my clothes (I only got more exposed to the storm that way).

I cursed the waves and the wind.

Then I prayed for the storm to take me. I welcomed the sweet release of death. I wanted it all to be over. The storm had won. I had lost.

Why bother…right?

I discovered that screaming at the storm only makes you hoarse. The storm doesn’t care. The storm rages on whether you love it or hate it.  Storms always do what storms do…wreak havoc.  That is what storms do.

So, what is left? Tied to my mast, getting drenched, broken in spirit, all I had left was to wait and let the storm do what the storm does.

Be Careful Where You Turn

I turned to fellow believers.

In America, fellow believers are too busy being American to let things like storms in other people’s lives divert them from their lives.  Afterall, it isn’t their storm, and God must have placed you (The Sailor) in that storm for a reason.

Best not to interfere with the storm.

What you, my fellow believers, fail to realize is, the storm exists to expose the heart of the sailor, and your heart. Indifference is not the fruit of the spirit. Berating the sailor in the storm is not a fruit of the spirit. Lecturing the sailor in the fine craft of Seamanship while the storm rages is not a fruit of the spirit.  Pulling out the Sailor’s “The Art of Sailing Manual” and lecturing on all the shoulda coulda and woulda is not a fruit of the spirit (Or have you not read Job?)

So, where does this battered sailor turn when all hope is lost?

Deep in the midst of the howling wind and blowing rain is a still small voice.  She is the voice of the Holy Spirit.  She calls you into the presence of God.  She reminds you that you are His beloved, whom He died for.

God is there, waiting for you to stop fighting the storm.  The storm is not the problem.  Storms come to everyone for any number of reasons.  But to the lives of His children, even the storm is meant to be a blessing (See Romans 8:28).  Storms sweep the deck of useless things.  Storms shake up your life in a way that forces you to take stock of what is important.

And what is it that God, my Father has said to me?

BE STILL and Know I Am God.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

(Psa 46:10 WEB)

“God is mighty. God is infinite. God is Love. God is ever-present, even in our storms.”

That is what He said to me.

In my arrogance, I railed against God and shouted, “Lord, am I ever seeking you?”, “Do I not always pray, read your word, listen for you?”, “Where are you, Father?” ,”God, I am done with my life, please bring me home.”

He let me know that He is why my ship has not sunk to the depts of the sea. He is why the Leviathan has not attacked me.  He is what protects me from falling to my death.  He is why I am still alive.

He is not done with me.

I asked Him, “Then why has my love betrayed me, why have I lost everything dear to me?”

He tells me, “You have Me. That is sufficient.”

I cry.

I don’t feel like that is an answer.

Then something remarkable happens.

Even though the storm still rages, and my ship is being battered into toothpicks, all grows quiet.

A light penetrates the darkness.

He has arrived.

His hands are scarred from something that had pierced them.  His eyes are so full of love and compassion, I cannot stand to look at him.  I am undone.  I can’t hide from Him.

He stops right in front of me, where I am lashed to the Main Mast.  He looks at me with a love and compassion I have never, ever known before.

He tells me to stop fighting Him.

He tells me that the point in Being Still is to cease my useless striving after answers.

Be still…don’t move.

Stop speaking.

Stop trying to make it make sense.

Just…be, and know that He is God, not just of all the universes, but of my heart.

I will not tell you everything else He told me, but I will tell you this:

When you Be Still, and stop trying to put God in your little religious box, when you let Him into your storm, when you capitulate and know that your efforts are useless, when you give in and trust that He has your best interests at heart, that storm you tried to hide from becomes a ride that you relish.

You know that as Long as you be still and trust Him, no matter how things look to you, He is your Captain, and he will guide you through the breakers to a land full of His promise and purpose.

The difference is how much you try to fight the storm, or how well you stop fighting God.

My Confession

I recently told Sandy, “Really and truly, All I want is less of me and more of Him. But I must be doing this all wrong. The more I try, the farther away He seems.”

I was trying on my own might. Not only that, I was trusting others, and not God for direction.

Life is full of storms.

Your spouse will eventually let you down, maybe even betray you.

You may make and lose fortunes.

You will have friends and lose friends.

You will end up in places where you are utterly alone, in a hostile environment, with no one you can really call a brother.

I confess, I relied on all these trappings for my sense of place and belonging.

I cannot be less of me unless I first am still. God has to do the work. I have to submit.

I needed my deck cleared of all that stands between God and me.

I confess I am useless and hopeless without him. I confess I made the mistake of using others to anchor me. God has allowed this storm to clear away all the things that stand between Him and me.

Being Still

The first part of knowing that He is God is to be still…to stop striving…to stop your own efforts.

God will reveal himself to the heart that diligently seeks Him, but it first begins with being still.  Being diligent doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself, it means that you diligently submit your desires, will, and understanding to Him.

The Hebrew words for “Be Still” imply a rich tapestry of meaning: To stop moving (Of one’s own passionate volition), to stop acting out and to stop speaking. To leave off your striving, to capitulate over to the knowledge that He alone is God.

When the Lord appears to you in your storm, you have begun to be still. When His love washes over you, the storm takes on new meaning and purpose. Instead of fighting all that has happened, you finally get to the place where you trust He will guide you through this, and He has a purpose for this, too.

God does not send evil your way. Evil will still come to you. Storms happen. It no longer matters if you brought on the storm, or sailed right into it, or were minding your own business when the storm suddenly appears (they do that when you re at sea).

God will take advantage of your circumstances and show His love and His might, and He will guide you through this. No matter what brought on the Storm, if you will submit to His Lordship in your life, you will see that even this pain, this grief, this sorrow, will bring you closer to Him, and make you like Him, and He will teach you how even this bitter grief serves the Kingdom.

My storm is still there.  My sorrow is ever as deep as it ever was.  My tears still fall, and the pain is still ever present.   But I now know, He gathers all my tears in a bottle and will exchange them for His Joy.

Storms have to run their course.

However, in this storm, I have learned that all my vain striving is wasted and that I must fail, and accept that I have failed. No man can know God unless God reveals Himself to that man.

I have also learned that Heaven cannot be taken by storm, only by invitation. But I first must be still.  He makes the pain and tears and sadness and loss take on a new meaning.  We grieve for the loss of true love, but God will heal that hurt, if you just be still.

I cannot know the Lord unless I am still.

The Lord wants you to know Him, too.

Just be still….

I love you in Jesus.

PS – I love you, Sandy. No matter what. I love you, and I always will. No man can take that away from me. I pray God leads you to your new life. I will always love you.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

God’s Gift of Salvation – An Inconvenient Truth


God’s Gift of Salvation

We are all going to die someday. Where will you go when you die? The Bible teaches us how we can know for sure that when we die we will go to heaven. There are 4 things we must know to be able to go to heaven when we die.

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).

2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Not only a physical death, but also a spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is called Hell. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8). There is probably no person alive who can say that they never told a lie. We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. He paid the price for our sins. He suffered the punishment that we deserve. When He was on the cross, Jesus suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Jesus was experiencing separation from God the Father. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. He was paying for our sins.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to become a Christian, it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).

Notice that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.

One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I expressed faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:

“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”

If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (Jn 5:24)

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Faith, Observations, Stuff

Let It Rain


Cloud Over Little Man Another day has almost come and gone
Can’t imagine what else could go wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war

‘Cause tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

– Jo Dee Messina & Tim McGraw – “Bring On The Rain”

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

DAYS LIKE THIS

The Flight Attendant brought me a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. I had been up since 4:30 in the morning, and was on the last leg of travel that would get me to Chicago. I hoped the coffee would wake me up enough to make this final leg of my travels.

As the flight attendant hurried down the aisle of this tiny and overcrowded jet, I stirred in my sugar, and lifted the cup for a sip. Just as I did, the flight attendant came rushing back down the aisle, stopped suddenly next to my seat, and turned around to talk to another passenger. As she turned, she forgot to tuck her elbows in. Her right elbow struck the bottom of my coffee cup just as I was taking that first sip.

Hot coffee splashed all over my face, my glasses and my shirt. I cleaned up as best as I could under the circumstances, but reeked of airliner coffee the rest of the day. I was finally wide awake. The coffee had done its job.

Our flight landed and was delayed on the tarmac because the gate was still occupied by another jet.

After debarking, I headed to baggage claim B, where my ticket, and the flight attendant, said our bags would be found.

It took an additional 30 minutes for the bags to get to the wrong baggage claim kiosk. I wouldn’t have discovered this if I had not heard another passenger ranting about how the bags ended up in the wrong place. The electronic board at baggage claim happily claimed that my bags would be at claim B, even though the bags were being offloaded somewhere else.

The delay of the jet getting to the gate on time, and the confusion in baggage caused a delay in getting to the shuttle for the hotel. I ran as fast as a fat guy could run, but arrived only to see the tail pipe of the hotel shuttle bus speeding away. I called the hotel. They said they will send the shuttle back, but I would have to wait.

Two hours later, the shuttle returned. On my way to the hotel, I was lectured on what the shuttle schedule is, and why it is important to be on time. It would have been pointless to tell the driver about my adventures with the airline.

While I was in training class, my computer crashed and had to be replaced with another one. After that, the software we were learning how to use kept failing to do what it was advertised to be able to do. In order for me to complete my training labs, I had to shut down the program frequently, restart, and continue on where I left off.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!

Before I left for my trip to Chicago, my company issued cell phone decided that it needed to reboot itself repeatedly then die. It is now dead. I get a “New” one this Monday.

LIFE LIKE THIS

During a lull in training, I thought about these things. The cell phone, the coffee, the baggage, the hotel shuttle, and the computer issues. It occurred to me that my life is generously peppered with little events like this.

LATELY

Lately, it seems as if my life has been one interesting event after another, peppered by occasional bouts of normalcy. The frequency of these interesting events has increased ever since I started my job at this internationally famous company. I do NOT hold them responsible. I merely use this event as a time marker that earmarks when things really started getting even more interesting in my life.

My boss wrote me, regarding this run of “luck” I seem to be having, and asked,

“David, Have you always gone through life with that little cloud over your head that follows you everywhere? Eleanor (A co-worker who issues our phones) and I were talking about you…and all the things you have had to endure since you have been with us. Satan is really trying to trip you up, isn’t he?”

IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT

Chinese Symbols for CrisisThe Chinese symbol for crisis is shown here. It is two symbols meaning “Danger” and “Opportunity”. They occur simultaneously. How you handle them is what determines if it is a crisis or not.

Jesus never said that becoming his disciple would protect us from life’s circumstances. – Jim Richards, “How To Stop The Pain”

Even Jesus was tempted in every way we are all tempted. In Matthew 18:7 Jesus said, “It is necessary that temptation comes.”

The Opportunity

The opportunity my circumstances bring me is the chance to allow the Spirit of God to work in my life, making me a light and disciple of Christ.

The Danger

The danger is that I will not.

Problems happen.

That is not how the bumper sticker says it, but you get my drift.

I used to get seriously angry at all these little paper cuts. I am learning, through experience with the Holy Spirit, that blowing up only means I get to do it all over again.

I handle big events rather well. It is the little, niggling, “dogs chewing at my shoes” events that tend to bring out my worst.

Even though God Himself tempts no man, God is not going to stop problems from coming your way any more than He prevented them from happening to Jesus.

We are not better than our master.

How we deal with circumstances is what tells the rest of the world how much we really believe Christ changes our lives.

There is a season for everything under the sun.

This season of interesting events lead me to either cling to God in faith, or curse God for allowing them to happen. It all depends on how well I chose to understand what the Bible actually says about pain and suffering.

Whether these temptations are genuinely from Satan or are just life happening becomes a moot point. Jesus said, “Woe to the world for such temptations to sin and influence to do wrong.” And “Woe to the person on whose account or by whom these temptations comes!”

The World and Satan are in league with each other in that, if they have to go to hell, then so do the rest of us.

If I have said I do not have to go to hell on account of Jesus and his finished work on the cross, then I have told the World and Satan they can stuff their ambitions for my life.

Satan and the World do not like it when a sheep tells them to stuff it. So they fight back.

We either trust our Shepherd to take care of us, or we don’t.

So…let there be clouds, and let it rain…I was thirsty anyway!

Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

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.

Now,

Let’s be about it!

Love always, and it’s good to be back in the blogosphere.

David Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

What Faith Feels Like


2014-09-20 11.58.28and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  John 17:23b

The Question

A co-worker asked me how I know what faith feels like.  I got crickets…well, at first, I did.  I wasn’t sure what to tell him.  It dawned on me that having faith, and being able to explain the joy of it, are two different things.  I could wax rhapsodic about the glorious feeling I get inside when I consider what happened at the great exchange on the cross.  I could explain to him the famous verse about faith:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

But that would be using the word I am trying to define in the definition.  That kind of circular reasoning will not give a real answer.    This guy has a very high IQ, and is more often looking for an argument in which to showcase his intelligence.  I do not want to get into that kind of thing.  It would be pointless and frustrating.

I was left with the proverbial problem of trying to describe the color orange to a blind man.  Then I remembered I was once blind to faith, too.  I was blinded to the things of God, and wanted to understand them, just like this guy does.  Like him, I had God in a box, I new more than anyone else, and had very little patience with the cretins around me who had no idea about anything.  How do I explain faith to someone who is like this?

The Root of the Matter

I told my coworker I will only answer in the context of what the Bible has to say about faith, but needed time to frame an answer.    His immediate reaction was to tell me he doesn’t want to hear my religious point of view, but only wants a philosophical discussion.

I recognize an evasive maneuver when I see one.  I used to use this very argument when I was under conviction, and was afraid the answer would get too real for me to handle.  Fear drives that sort of thinking.

I needed God to show me how to get past the wall of fear this guy has constructed so I can show him what faith looks like.  I knew that the only thing to do was give this to God and wait for Him to show me how to explain faith.

I asked God to open my eyes, and the eyes of my coworker, so we could both see what God wants to show us both about faith.

IN THE MEAN TIME

The company I work for sent me to Richmond, Virginia for training.  At the end of the week would be a final exam.  The brochure made it clear that the exam period is 8 hours.  The company booked my flight to leave right in the middle of the testing time.  This was really bad timing.  I would have to walk out during the middle of the test just to make my flight.

I called the home office and explained my situation.  Their answer was that it would cost too much to reschedule my flight, and, besides, one of my peers claimed to have taken the test in one hour, so I shouldn’t have a problem doing the same thing.

I checked with the instructor about the testing times.  He explained that no one in the history of this test has ever completed it in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I called the home office back and told them what the instructor said.  The answer was a very firm “no”.  It was made very clear to to me that there was no way the flight would be changed.  I would just have to work it out to be done with the test in time to leave for the airport.

The Old David (Me before the Holy Spirit) would have thrown a very loud fit and gone totally nuts.  I was tempted to be angry and frustrated.  For once in my life, though, I obeyed God and took this to Him.  I called Sandy and we prayed about it ( Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. – Jesus – Matt. 18:19)

Within two hours of our praying, I got an e-mail from the home office telling me that my flight was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday.  The solid and resounding “NO!!!” had been turned into a “But of course we can!” after Sandy and I prayed.

When I got the e-mail, I nearly cried.  God had moved the hearts of the people on my behalf.  Once again, God had come through in a situation where the world had said it was not possible.

I felt complete in Him through this.  I felt assurance of His love for me that His promise is true:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Even in the little things, God shows His love and care.  For the first time in my existence, I felt what it is like to know the love of a caring father.  This is why it is so easy to trust Him.  He cares.  He loves.  He demonstrates that love in the most remarkable ways.  It is when things are really frustrating that God is able to reveal something that I would have otherwise missed.  All I have to do is remember to trust him with my circumstances.

It is easy to have faith in one whose love is complete and unconditional.

THERE WAS MY ANSWER

It dawned on me that God had opened my eyes.  Again, He revealed Himself.  Perfect love casts out all fear.  It is easy to have faith in one who loves you completely and demonstrates that love so freely.  God’s perfect love casts out all my fears.  When the world says no, God says, yes.

WHAT DOES FAITH FEEL LIKE?

Faith feels like love.

This Love fills me with reckless abandon toward the things of God.

Faith feels fearless, Charles.

That is what faith feels like.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

I love you in the name of Jesus,

Now, Let’s Be About It!

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

We Shall Speak the Truth in Love…but We SHALL Speak the Truth!



In case I have never told anyone, I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, who died of all my sin, and rose again on the third day to prove he is worthy to be my lord and savior. Because of this, I have inherited all that Christ has given in order to save me. This is part of the exchange on the cross. All that is unholy and sin became Jesus’, and all that is holy and righteous became mine. My righteousness has nothing to do with me, or anything I can do to please God. It all rests entirely on Jesus and what He accomplished in my place. Becoming what Jesus is, is what is known as laboring to rest in the finished work of the cross.

So, what am I? I am like you, someone who has sinned. Perhaps my sin nature was a bit more indulgent than yours. Perhaps not. Any sin separates us from God and demands a verdict of eternal damnation. In God’s eyes, all my sin is forgiven. In God’s eyes, I am His beloved child. In God’s eyes, I am no longer judged worthy of hell and damnation because I have accepted the mission of Jesus and the finished work of the cross. My fleshy character has to die, because it is dead, and will continue to die as I rest in the character of Jesus.

I am also someone who STILL sins. Just like you. I still sin, but I do not desire sin. Not any longer. I desire God and His kingdom. His grace sustains me as the Spirit of God leads me to a life that is better than the old life I lived. I am not alive anymore, but Jesus lives in me. I live this life because of the faith of Jesus that resides in me. I live this life because He lived me and gave His life for mine.

What I have described above is what GRACE is all about. Grace is unmerited favor. Grace is bestowed on me because I have accepted a free gift. That gift was paid for in blood. Jesus’ blood.

God’s grace continues to this day. That is why this planet still exists. He is showing us how patient His grace is, so that, somehow, you will have the opportunity to accept this free gift too, instead of living your eternity in hell. Hell is reserved for Satan and his minions, and all who refuse to accept this free gift.

This is grace, and it is free to anyone who will accept it.

Here is the truth, however…

No one wants God on God’s terms. If they believe in God at all, it is through a filter of righteousness (Self), that tells God why all the good stuff they have done in their life merits passage into Heaven.

We prefer to earn what we cannot possibly earn because we are too proud to accept the free gift of Grace given to us.

The truth is, some Christians have made Jesus noting more than a role model, a buddy, someone who looks at your foibles, chuckles, slaps you on the back, and says, “Keep trying, buddy, I am rooting for you.” Part of this is true, but the tools of Satan is to mix truth with error.

The error is in believing that Jesus is no more aware of a divine standard than we are, and He is simply walking through this life as befuddled as you are, but maybe a bit smarter about negotiating the mine fields of life. This inclusive theology waters down who Jesus is, and leads millions to a false sense of security. After all, we need to make our march into hell as pleasant as we can, don’t we?

The truth is, some Christians believe that their particular religious dogma has cornered the market on God, and God HAS to be pleased with our efforts. They like to invent an agenda, map out a plan, and insist that God approve of it. This is especially true if our map started in the scriptures.

Here is an example:

I recently attended a Men’s Prayer Breakfast. The theme of that breakfast was, Psa 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it;…”

The guest speaker rhapsodized about how it is our responsibility to build a Godly home. Which is true, but not the truth.

The speaker exposited that we have to work hard to make sure we are doing all we can to build a home that God will be proud of. The emphasis continued to be one of self-effort, self-righteousness, self, self, and self…ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

After all was said and done, I was asked what I thought. I spoke the truth. That unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it.

I was in my home turf with this synagogue of fellows, as I was raised in this particular works righteousness religion.

I suggested, and I mean this, I was kind, polite, and friendly, charming… everything that my best friend, Mark, would have suggested I be…I suggested that we look again at this verse and underscore WHO is responsible for the building.

(I was once one of them, and I know how easily they get provoked to self-righteousness and anger, and how swiftly they run to their own ego when they are cornered.)

I suggested, ever so gently that, unless God moves us to build the house, and unless He leads the building, and unless the Holy Spirit empowers this project, nothing we do will last. I suggested that any fool can build what looks like a godly home, a godly church, a godly reputation, but, inside, can be full of empty promises, lies, deceit, and vain imaginations. If this were not so, all churches and all homes that appear to be Godly would be winning souls faster than water could be gathered for the baptism.

The stony silence I was greeted with was deafening. The party was over.

The Truth is… We do not really want the truth so much as we want reassurance that the lies we tell ourselves are the truth.

My only claim to anything is that Jesus Christ is my lord and savior. He died for my sin. I accept that I am a sinner, saved by Grace.

I would not be able to comprehend why grace is being applied to my life, if I first didn’t understand that there is sin, and a need of repentance.

Grace juxtaposes the image of what God is trying to give you against the reality of the hell you will receive if you do not choose His free gift.

Is Jesus my friend? Yes, He said so himself. It’s in the bible, look it up.

Jesus is my friend because I have believed in him, trusted him, and accepted this free gift.

When He became my savior, and the spirit of God entered me, I was driven to the inescapable conclusion that I also want to be just like Him, which made Jesus my Lord, as well.

Somewhere between the dogma of the self-righteous religions of this planet, and the idea that Jesus is your buddy, we have to come to terms with the truth of the Cross. The truth of why the cross was necessary. The truth that none of us, none of our religions, and none of our watered down lies of Jesus will ever save us from the hell we deserve.

Jesus IS the good news. Jesus is all of the Gospel. There is no separation of eternal life and the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. You cannot have one without the other. To live otherwise is to tell God you know better than He does about what is best for your eternal soul. This will not comfort you while you are in Hell.

The truth is, if Jesus can redeem someone as vile and dangerous as I was, then He can redeem anyone. The truth is, none of us, not one, can do anything at all worthy of Heaven, unless Jesus Himself does the thing through us.

When you accept that you are a sinner, and that your religion, or lack thereof, is not going to save you, and you turn to Jesus Christ, and see what He has done to grant you eternity in Heaven, you will be saved.

I was told that I must be soft and sweet when I deliver these next few messages. I was told that I must separate grace from truth, because truth is not palatable, and will scare people off.

I hold that if you are not cognizant of the truth, any effort you make at making Jesus your Friend will be wasted in regret. You will never know Grace apart from the hard truth.

The truth is, you can do nothing at all apart from Christ.

The truth is, you cannot have Heaven and bypass what Christ did on the cross.

The Truth is, your deciding whether Jesus is Lord or not does not negate the fact that He is Lord whether you acknowledge it or not.

The truth is, in the end, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is lord.

Time is running out. Churches have failed Christ. We all have to stop and tell the truth and know the truth.

Grace reveals God’s love against our overwhelming sin. Grace reveals a truth that simultaneously hurts and heals.

Truth reveals Christ.

It pleased God to send His own Son to the cross so we, you, His creation, will not have to face His wrath.  Jesus already absorbed God’s wrath.  Sin is paid for.  You are saved, if you believe what Jesus said about Himself.

Unless we first come to grips with our sin, and the overwhelming Grace God continues to show us, and until we accept this free gift of Salvation, we will never truly understand the depth of the powerful relation Jesus will be in your life. You cannot be His friend unless you first accept what he did for you. When that happens, you will see that he did not come here to build a religion, but a relationship.

Before any of my Hyper Grace friends ask me if I had thought twice about the gracelessness of this tome, and considered what Jesus would have done…I leave with this thought:

Still, it is all on His terms.

Let Him be about you.

I love you in Jesus Christ, and because of Him,

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith, Observations

It is time for us to join the battle.


cropped-praying-hands.jpegTo the Christians of Ferguson.  To the Christians of Missouri.  To the Christians of America.  To Christians all around the world.

The world is watching right now.  It is time to see the power of the living God at work in Ferguson, MO.

I believe prayer changes things. I believe that prayer can change the hearts of the people in Ferguson, The hearts of those who desire chaos, the hearts of those who desire anarchy, the hearts of those who say they want justice, but actually seek revenge.

It is written that God inhabits the praises of His saints. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are a saint. You are, by definition, one who has been sanctified, set apart, for His purposes. No power on earth can get between you and God.

All we as believers have to do is pray, praise, and persist in the faith. No plan of evil can overcome the power of God.

Jesus said that where two or more agree as touching ANYTHING then it will be granted to you by the Father in heaven, to the glory of Christ.

Do you want Jesus to be glorified, or are you content to sit, cluck your tongue, and thank God you are not part of the problem? The enemy depends on your absence in this war. His desire is that you be AWOL in the middle of the fight. All he has to do to win, is convince you are not needed in this battle.

You would be mistaken to fall for that lie.

Praise Him in the assembly, Praise Him in the streets, praise Him in your lack and want and agony, and praise Him when your life is flush with good things.

Lift your hands in holy sacrifice, and watch the power of the living God make a difference in this world.

Are you distressed over what is about to transpire in Missouri? Trust God and pray. Because you are Christ’s, you are God’s own child. Ask Him whatever you will in the name of Jesus and it will be done.

Go find a friend to pray with. Do this now and until this trouble is past.

We are called to a greater thing than our own selfish desires and our own comfort zone.

Put on the whole armor and show up for this battle and watch the mighty hand of the Living God deliver peace and Jesus to this situation.

Failure to do this is to give the enemy the very ground Jesus died to save…human souls.

Today, decide you will do this. Watch the mighty hand of God work through his children.

Jesus is our Lord, and He has sovereign right and power over all that exists. Never doubt this. never give up on this. Always rely on this truth.

If you cannot do this, shut up about what a mighty Christian you are.

Many are called, few are chosen.

Let’s Be About It!!!

I love you in Jesus’ name.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

Whom God Chooses – Part 5 – Reckless Abandon: What if Christians did this in Ferguson, Missouri?


Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. ‘Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you.” Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice. They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. (2Ch 20:14-24)

 

God chooses those who dare to act when God says to act, regardless of how they feel and regardless of the circumstances.

Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles begins with this verse: Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. (2Ch 20:1)

This combined army came against Israel. They outnumbered Israel by an order of hundreds to one. Tiny Israel was out manned, out gunned, and in an indefensible position against these might armies. Their goal then, the same goal their descendants have today, was to wipe Israel out of all memory, to destroy them utterly, and destroy them all the way down to the infants. Israel was, frankly, overwhelmed with enemies, and fear.

When they turned to God, God told them that the fight is not theirs, to go and watch God hand them the victory, and to praise God for it.

The next morning, they went to where God told them to go. Instead of sending out the army, they sent out the choir. The choir praised God. God sent confusion on the enemies of Israel, and they wiped each other out to the last men. When the fight was over, Israel collected untold riches from the spoils of that war.

I like this story because it exemplifies what it means to be chosen of God, and what happens when we do things God’s way, and do not hesitate to trust and obey.

What do you think would happen in Ferguson, MO if, instead of Police and protesters, some church went out in the streets and sang praises to God, instead of shouting curses at the government? Someone should do this very thing. I promise you, God will show up, and change everyone there. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. God will be with you, and take charge of the conflict. Just do it. The power of God’s grace will reveal itself in the praises of his children.

The New Testament shows two people who were unflinchingly willing to act when God told them to act.

And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene–walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? (Act 3:2-12)

 

Peter and John gave what God had given them. They did not hesitate. In fact, they were on their way to church, when this beggar distracted them from their walk. They could have done what most Christians do, and ignore this guy, then gone to church and complained about that smelly beggar that almost made them late. Instead, they gave with reckless abandonment what God had given them, through Jesus Christ. They were instant. They were obedient. Then they made it clear that THEY were not the instrument of this power, but God was. It was there, in the midst of their praising God for this that a revival broke out.

UNCONSCIOUSLY SELFLESS

God chooses those who have died to self, who have learned that they are powerless to affect anything apart from God, who are absolutely assured that they are walking in God’s plan, who are absolutely willing to be the channel through whom God blesses others, who feed daily on the promises of God who obey God’s voice without hesitation, and will reckless abandonment, not caring about the personal cost, having a greater prize in their sight.

FAITH MAKES YOU A DARING INDIVIDUAL

The prayer life and faith of the chosen of God are the stuff of legend. The chosen are the ones who dare to obey God, even if it looks stupid, or appears too costly for others to be willing to attempt. Faith is knowing that, because God has sent you, whatever God asks of you, you are willing to do it, regardless of the cost. This is because we know in our souls that His reward is more meaningful than any earthly delight the world can hope to offer.

We are not daring out of self-interest. We are not showing the love of God for what it has to offer us. We are not demonstrating God’s holy power so that all men may be drawn unto us…we do it for the sole purpose of drawing all men to Jesus Christ. There is no other reason in heaven or earth that the power of God’s grace is at work in you. That you may be drawn to Him through Jesus Christ, and so that you will be emptied of yourself and be used of God that others may be drawn to Jesus Christ.

We know, we chosen, that there is no such thing as earning brownie points with God. We either believe or we don’t, we either obey or we don’t, we either trust or we don’t, and we serve or we don’t.

The difference between the faith of the chosen and the faith of the rest of humanity is this, we obey the will of God in reckless abandonment. Our faith leaves us little choice and even less desire to do anything other than obey.

BE CHOSEN

Do you want to be chosen? Here is all you have to do.

  1. Believe John 3:16 with all your heart: John 3:16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
  2. Arrive at the point where you understand that you are helpless to become holy apart from Jesus Christ, and you have nothing at all to offer God other than your very soul.
  3. Through prayer and understanding of His word, have absolute understanding that you are in His plan.
  4. Be absolutely, selflessly willing to be a channel through which God blesses others. This is an act of Holy Love, a gift from God.
  5. Feed daily on the promises of God. Not just know them, but nourish your soul on them. That is what is meant by “Feed”.
  6. Dare to act when God says to act regardless how you feel and regardless of your circumstances.

All this is the result of God working in you through His Holy Spirit, because you have become a child of God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to do this.

Be chosen. You will not regret it.

Let’s be about it.

I love you in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

David G. Perkins

Sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com


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