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Clothed with Glory

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Clothed with Glory

Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed before they sinned. Why were they not ashamed? How could that be true? The truth is that they were not naked. They were clothed. They were clothed with the glory of God.

That glory clothed them and since their eyes knew no sin and wrong, they could only see the beauty and glory of each other’s bodies.

Could that be true today? It can and it is. Godly men and women who have their minds and hearts sanctified see the beauty and glory of others and their minds do not commit sin when seeing another person. That does not permit us to exploit each other by intentional seductive actions but it does protect us from sin and raises us to a level of holiness that brings joy and love into life. Sanctified people do not behave seductively. They are not coy. They are who God made them and they are beautiful because He made them that way. We receive and accept that unique beauty as God’s creation.

God clothes us with His righteousness. White linen is the righteousness of the saints. Modesty is important but holiness is paramount. Holiness means no intentional defrauding or molesting or immoral viewing, etc. We will not set anything evil before our eyes.

Girls and women are feminine. Femininity is expressions of girlhood and womanhood that display characteristics and qualities for building individual and societal values. These are quantitative qualities. Virtues such as – grace, dignity, submission, diligence, love, respect, modesty, purity, chastity, contentment, confidence, hospitality, wisdom, kindness, competence, courage, communication …

Godly femininity goes beyond those quantitative expressions. Godly femininity is the Holy Spirit of God filling her heart and changing her life and creating an aura of God surrounding her as a Godly woman and making her unique in womanhood and all it entails. This “aura” is similar to the glory of God that shrouded and “clothed” Eve when she was created. This is a qualitative value. It is a difference, not in more of a virtue, but a unique quality that sets her apart from the “good” women of the world and makes her a true child of God because her heart is changed and she is a new creation.

Godly men also enjoy the same transformation. The sanctification and purpose of heart in Godly men make them unique also. Godly masculinity means that the Holy Spirit of God fills his heart and changes his life and creates the aura of God that surrounds him as a Godly man and makes him unique in manhood and all of its gifts. This “aura” is similar to the glory of God that shrouded and “clothed” Adam when he was created. This is a qualitative value. It is a difference, not in more of a virtue, but in a unique quality that sets him apart from the “good” men of the world and makes him a true child of God because his heart is changed and he is a new creation.

Because of the power of God we can possess our vessel in sanctification and honor. We can have renewed minds that see the beauty that God created without lusting about and demanding from each other. We can live in healthy communication and harmony and community and blend our gifts together to be who God made us to be.

As men and women of God can have fellowship and friendship without exploitation and without fear. We are delivered from the spirit of fear and are transformed by the spirit of love and power and sound thinking. Our minds can be at ease because we are children of the Heavenly Father. We experience the blessing of being complementary parts of God’s image in His human creation. We are designed to be complementary –  not to be  competition.

Together we are the image of God and together we take joy in the completion of that image as we live here together on this earth that God created. This is made possible and realized because we are clothed with the glory of God that is both Spiritual and material as redeemed and sanctified persons. What an amazing gift from God!

Choose Life and Blessing

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Blessing or Cursing

God created with blessing. Lucifer chose to not accept the blessing and leadership of God. God had created His creation with the power of choice – choose God or choose self – those were the options. Choose God and have blessing. Choose self and be cursed.

Malachi tells us that God will send the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.

For this to happen in God’s way, men and fathers must choose God and His Word for their lives.
When men choose God’s way, the curse is broken.
When men have the hearts of their children, the curse is broken for the next generation.

It is not complicated. God’s way is simple – not easy but simple. Jesus said, “If your eye is single, your whole body and life will be full of light.”

There were many trees from which to eat. Only one was forbidden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden. God wants our hearts to be filled with good and not with evil. That means that the evil must be rejected. We are to know good and to not know evil. We are to be wise about the good and to be innocent about the evil.

When we do that, we break the curse that Satan brought to God’s creation – the curse of choosing our own way and rejecting God’s way. Jesus faced the same temptation that Adam faced. Jesus was the second Adam. Jesus passed the test that Adam failed.

Men and fathers, the test is now ours. The test is now yours. Are you keeping your heart free from evil? Are you filling your life with God and good and goodness? Goodness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Goodness is a qualification for ministry.
Eph. 5:9 For the fruit of the Spirit of light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.

We either live in blessing or we live in curse. We pass on either blessing or curse. It is our choice today. What will it be for you? What will be your choice today? Your life can break the cycle of curse that Satan brought to God’s creation by choosing God’s way. Or you can choose your own way and keep the cures intact.
Which will it be for you today? Choose God today.

Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 in that I command thee this day to love Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, that thou mayest live and multiply, and that Jehovah thy God may bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it. 17 But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days in the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it.
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;
20 to love Jehovah thy God, to obey his voice, and to cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Dead or Alive

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Sin not only makes us bad,
Sin makes us dead –
Only Jesus gives us life.

The Present Crisis

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The Present Crisis

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word;

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

Lowell

Ideologies

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Ideologies

There is something comfortable about reducing Christianity to a list of dos and don’ts – whether it is a list from mindless fundamentalism or mindless liberalism. You always know where you stand and that helps to reduce anxiety.

Dos and don’tisms have the advantage of not requiring wisdom and you do not have to think subtly about life or make hard choices.
And you do not have to relate to a demanding and at the same time loving Lord of your life.

Robert C. Roberts

Question and Answer

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Question- What is the problem with the world?
Answer – Men

Question – What is God’s answer to what is wrong with the world?
Answer – Godly men

Men – you are either the problem or you are the answer
Which will it be in your life today?

“A Story of Opportunity”

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“A Story of Opportunity”

How would you meet a dictator and find a way to make a deal with him?
Good question. What strategy or tactics would you use? Good questions. What are the answers?

President Trump apparently wowed the dictator and mesmerized him with a short video of how things could be. Imagine Kim Jong Un seeing the images on the screen and comparing them to his regime.

Condemning and threats would have been easier but not nearly as effective – there could have been war.

The White House used wisdom and tact in offering something they would think to be out of the realm of possibility.

 

Can we offer people what is thought to be outside of the realm of their possibility? That is what God has done. That is what Jesus did. We, the Church of Jesus Christ, have the amazing opportunity to teach and live that option.

They will know you by your love, the Master said. When they see how you love each other, they will be mesmerized and captured by the possibility of experiencing that love. That costly love. That precious love.

When paradigms change, possibilities can emerge. Lives have to showcase the power of the risen Lord of life in our lives. Stories of victory over sin and harm and depression….

Jesus said, …the children of this world are, in their generation, wiser than the children of light Luke 16:8. The White House proved that this week.

With a five-minute video, a regime was challenged and conquered. Now, of course, in the grand scheme of things, this is just a pause in the narrative of history. This is not likely to be lasting peace but, it is a glimpse into what is possible – it is behaviorism – it is not really change of heart.

But, if people are shown what can be possible when love replaces hate and wisdom replaces war, the essence of the Kingdom of God is revealed.

God responds to our failures and differences with His grace.
His Amazing Grace –
How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

Repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration seem to be scenes from the past in the Anabaptist world. From the slightest personal infringements to the most grievous denominational differences, we have forgotten who we are. Jesus said that we are to go personally to the offender and restore fellowship.

That is the rule-of-Christ. That is the rule by which Jesus said we are to live. That is the possibility He sets before us today.

Are we wiser in our generation than our forebears were in theirs?
Are the children of this world wiser than we are?
Could that be a possibility?
Or must we have war?