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Rescuers and ‘Lost’ People

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Rescuers and ‘Lost’ People

God has made some of His children to be rescuers. Rescuers find ‘lost’ people to rescue. Rescuers find their usefulness in rescuing lost people and there are plenty of lost people to rescue.

There are two kinds of rescuers.
One type has a calling to rescue.
The other type has a need to rescue.
They both find lost people.

One kind is called to meet needs. These people find their greatest calling is to meet the needs around them. They have discernment to know which are real needs and which are not real needs. They have real compassion to know how to meet the real needs of persons who need to be rescued. They know when to help and when to stop. These people are called and they are answering the real call of God to meet real needs.

The other kind of rescuer needs to be needed. These people find their identity in finding people who will make them feel needed.

Lost people begin to accumulate around them. These lost people do not tend to get along very well with each other because they each have a need to manipulate the time and affection of the rescuer. Lost people demand all the attention and are not willing to share it.

What to do? Real rescuers are patient but hold these people accountable and require them to grow. The people love to feel cared for in their state of need. They have many needs that are being met by the rescuer. They become addicted to this care. That addiction needs to be gently broken.

Are you a rescuer? Jesus was and is. Jesus met people where they were and He met their needs. He also held them accountable for their lives and their choices.
He exhorted them: ‘Follow me.’ ‘Sin no more,’ ‘Feed my sheep,’ ‘Take up your cross,’
He comforted them: ’I go to prepare a place for you,’ ‘I will send my Holy Spirit,’ ‘Let not your heart be troubled.’

We cannot make the promises Jesus made, but we can give the message of hope that Jesus cares and that He will meet their needs where and when we cannot. We can allow the love of Jesus to flow through us to those who have needs. We can claim His promises for ourselves and for needy people God brings to us.

Many people are lost.
Has God called you to rescue them?
If He has, you are needed
If you are the kind of rescuer who meets needs
If God has met your personal needs
If you are done with selfishness
If you are broken before God
If you can give without expectation
If you can bring the love of God into lives of hurting people
If you can see the needs of the hearts of people
If you can feel the pains and longings of hurting people
If people can see Jesus in you-
You are needed.
Now.

Character flaws and mistakes

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Character flaws and mistakes

Mistakes can be forgiven and forgotten.

Character flaws must be confronted and confessed and forsaken/eliminated.

All people make mistakes. All people sin. Some people have character flaws that prevent them from being useful in healthy, human relationships.

If a person is aware of his/her character flaws, the flaws can be kept in check by not allowing them to get out of control.

Truth must eventually win. Truth will eventually win. So, when and if you tolerate character flaws that are not confronted and removed, there will be war. Eventually there will be war. War between error and truth – and truth will win. Not right away, but eventually. It has to be that way.

So, confront and eliminate character flaws – in your own life and in the lives of others. For the sake of the guilty and the innocent, confront and remove those flaws.

Real, honest men and women will love and appreciate you for confronting them with the truth. The ones who will not listen are the ones who need it the most.

In healthy communities, character flaws cannot get a foot-hold. In unhealthy communities, they control. Grass-roots honesty eventually calls for war against wrongs – wrongs defended by those who commit them and by their followers.

Many times character flaws exist in lives of leaders. This makes it difficult to indentify the flaws and causes people to make allowance for them and not realize that one significant flaw can be the difference between life and death. One tolerated flaw that is not confronted and corrected can be the leaven that corrupts the entire situation.

All persons tell lies at some time in their life. Those are sins that can be forgiven. Habitual lying, however, is a character flaw. Persons with that flaw can no longer tell when they are lying and when they are telling the truth. They have become the flaw. The flaw of lying now owns them.

Bullies who are not confronted and corrected and held accountable in early life can easily develop a flaw that controls them and many others. They typically cover their bullying with schmoozing and talent that cloaks their character flaws.

These flaws are sins. They are worse than that. They are destructive patterns that do not tolerate challenge. They are a major part of spiritual blindness.

What about your own life? Do you have flaws that need to be corrected? Are you accountable to someone? Do you have real friends who will tell you the truth about your life and behavior? Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to be pursued by caring, loving sisters and brothers? Is there someone in your life who loves you enough to ‘call your hand’ when you are out of hand?
“Let a man examine himself…”

What about your associations? Who are your friends? Who are the persons closest to you? Are they safe people who look out for your Spiritual and emotional life? Have they constructed places to hide and cover sins and flaws that need to be exposed?
“Though many hands join together, the wicked will not escape punishment.”

What about your church? Is there a culture of honesty in your church? Is there someone who cannot be challenged? Are there people who have immunity? Is there someone who will destroy those who confront him/her? Is there a culture of Holy Spirit direction? Is there a culture of Biblical integrity? Are the leaders capable of feeding the sheep? Is genuine, Godly love the watchword? Are there real shepherds? Does the group understand what real love is? Do they love enough to confront character flaws? Do they hold anything higher than the Scripture?
“The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Character flaws will destroy: people, friendships, marriages, missions, schools, churches, everywhere they are tolerated. None of us are perfect. We are sinners in need of salvation. But, when wrong behaviors become controlling behaviors and those behaviors are not corrected, they become character flaws and will destroy. They must be confronted and corrected.

If confrontation is not accepted, those persons must be eliminated or they will infect and destroy everything they contact. That confrontation process will take wisdom, courage and eventually open disclosure if there is no repentance.
“Those who sin rebuke before all that others may fear.”

God Knows Your Hearts

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God Knows Your Hearts

“No servant can serve two masters;
Either he will hate the one and love the other,
Or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things,
And they derided Him.

And He said to them,
“You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.
For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Luke 16:13-15

Passover

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Passover – The Gospel in the Old Testament – Exodus 12

I. God requires obedience and sacrifice
God said, put the blood on the door post and I will pass over you. If you do not, your firstborn will die tonight. The lamb without blemish was sacrificed and the blood applied.
12:4 – family with father as God’s representative (not to be celebrated privately)
Several families were allowed to go together for fellowship and sharing
Family father was to put blood on doorposts of door
12:13 – I will pass over you when I (Yaweh) see the blood
There was a meal to be eaten by the family.
Slaves and strangers were allowed to participate also
Pharoah’s son died – symbolic of death of flesh and satan eventually in eternal bondage.
Eat the Passover fully dressed and ready to travel.
Became annual remembrance of death and resurrection for Jesus
Unleavened bread also became part of the feast
Old leaven (type of sin) had to be removed

II. God provides for food and protection
Many years before that, God had sent Joseph ahead to prepare the way. God protected him in trial and in prosperity. God tried him and exalted him. Israel had famine. God provided for them by preparing Joseph to be their savior.

Israel moved to Egypt. They found protection and plenty and slavery. They groaned under the hard hands of the task masters. God provided Moses to be the deliverer.
Jehovah sent plagues to convince the Egyptians and Israelites that Jehovah is God
Many years before that, God had sent Joseph ahead to prepare the way. God protected him in trial and in prosperity. God tried him and exalted him. Israel had famine. God provided for them by preparing Joseph to be their ‘savior.’
Israel moved to Egypt. They found protection and plenty and slavery. They groaned under the hard hands of the task masters. God provided Moses to be the deliverer.

III. God provides redemption and freedom
“God called His son out of Egypt.” God gave them a new start for a new life. Abib (Nissan) became the beginning of the Jewish year.
It was symbolic of the beginning of the life of the believer. From this point on, the beginning of life is reckoned as a life of obedience.

IV. God directs the time of deliverance
It was a difficult journey. It had a difficult beginning. It was a new life. Free from bondage.
The people left but soon longed to back to Egypt.
They murmured against the leaders.

New Testament
Lamb had to be without blemish. Jesus was that Lamb of God who gave Himself for us.
Christ became our Passover – when God sees the blood of Jesus, He passes over His children

John 1:29 – behold the Lamb of God – Isaiah 53 – as a Lamb
I Cor. 5:7 Christ is the sacrificed Lamb.
Be prepared to leave the bondage of Egypt
Prepared to leave the oppressors and now become the slaves of God
Servants and slaves of God
Much bondage in lives today
Much oppression of the Devil – people in bondage
Need redemption and deliverance
People like the leeks and garlic of Egypt instead of the Freedom of Canaan.

We are redeemed. We are saved. We rejoice in that redemption.
Satan has many deceived and they cannot seem to live above the bondage of sin.
Some people return to the bondage of sin to enjoy temporal pleasures.
Have you changed masters? Is God and His Word your only God?
Be careful of idolatry. It is a hard master.
notes
Isaiah 61:10 – the robe of righteousness
God expects tangible symbols – Blood on the doorpost, baptism, veiling, bread and cup, Heb. 10:25
Actual physical blood was shed and placed so “death angel” could see
Differences in view of communion – bread and cup
Jesus will someday serve His redeemed – drink it anew in the Kingdom of God.

Judgment is coming. Are you ready? Is the blood applied to your life?
We are saved– no more need for yearly lamb sacrificed. Jesus-once for all.
Blood of bulls and goats never take away sin.
O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing – He breaks the power of cancelled sin

John 11 – Lazarus

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John 11 – Lazarus
“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”

I. The story of Lazarus
Lazarus died. There was a funeral. People were weeping and sad. Jesus came.
Jesus groaned in the spirit and was troubled.
JESUS WEPT.
Jesus groaned again.
Jesus was sad and angry!
Jesus gave orders: Take away the stone!
Martha was worried. “He has been dead four days!
If you believe you will see the glory of God!
They took the stone away.
Jesus prayed a prayer of thankfulness.
“Father, I thank you that you hear me. And I know that you always hear me.
I am saying this because of the people who are here
So they will also believe that You have sent me.”
Jesus cried loudly; LAZARUS, COME FORTH!
Jesus confronted death face to face!
And death obeyed – gave up the dead to the Master
Lazarus came out of the tomb bound had and foot with grave clothes.
His face was bound with a cloth. LOOSE HIM AND LET HIM GO!

II. Lessons from Lazarus
Jesus came to set people free.
We are called to work with Jesus to set people free from death
Jesus did not roll the stone away – He calls people to do that
Jesus gives life – we cannot do that
Jesus did not unwrap the grave cloths – He calls people to do that
Death Gives Way to Life
God is calling your name. God calls someone to roll away the stone. Come forth!
God calls someone to get rid of the grave clothes so you can be free. Chose freedom!
We will all die and after that the judgment or, be judged now and be ready for death.
Jesus weeps and is troubled with human pain and death.
Jesus faces death with anger and victory.

III. The spiritually Dead
Many Jews believed in Jesus. Scribes and Pharisees called a council.
“What shall we do?” For this Man works many signs.
48 “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him,
and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.
53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. “What do you think-that He will not come to the feast?”
57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

How impossible is this. Jesus raises the dead and the religious leaders decide to kill Him.
Many people are spiritually dead and are bound by sin
Religious leaders are Spiritually blind and are controlled by their system of religion.
People who are spiritually dead display the stench of Godlessness.

IV. What will you do with Jesus?
Will you accept His deliverance and freedom?
Will you help those who are dead in sin?
Will you reject the sinful response of the religious leaders?
Will you change your ways so Jesus’ freedom can be seen in your life?
The Spirit of God can be quenched by:
Being replaced by a system of religion
Being resisted by reliance on the flesh
By allowing the lusts of the flesh to dominate life
The world provides many replacements for the Holy Spirit-They are all imposters.
If you are the temple of the Lord, who all are you allowing to live in your temple?

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light,
For whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5”11-17

You will either be dead while you are living or you will be alive when you die.

Ideology is idolatry

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Ideology is idolatry

Ideology is a belief system that makes its own rules. Subscribing to a belief system that makes its own rules is idolatry. Disallowing truth while defending error is the nature of ideology. Religious or philosophical, that kind of system replaces God because it rejects His truth in favor of its agenda. That kind of system has subscribed to evil, demonic thinking. Making the rules to defend their system is idolatry, no matter how noble the cause.

Placing any authority above God and the Scripture is idolatry. Misinterpreting the Scripture to imply that submission to wrong authority is Biblical is idolatry. It is from that idolatry that our forebears fled. They not only fled, they replaced that idolatry with Godly, Biblical principles to order their lives. They wrote confessions and books to explain their understanding that the Spirit of God through the Word of God was and is the guiding principle of their lives and ours.

They did not submit to unbiblical authority. They reproved that wrong, false authority. In obedience to the Scripture, they chose a difficult road of countering the existing culture. They replaced the sin with the Holy Spirit and the Scripture:

The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are discovered/reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise-
Ephesians 5:9-15

Be careful to not get caught in idolatry. Anything, anyone, any organization that is between you and God is idolatry. Idolatry is so subtle. It masquerades as an angel of light. Search the Scriptures to see if what you hear is true. Try the spirits to see if they are true or false.

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead,
And Christ shall give thee light.
The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;
Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
But rather reprove them.

Part of a Package

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Part of a Package

Life calls us to “eat the chicken and throw out the bones.” That sounds simple enough. Philosophically, however, it difficult to do. Ideas come packaged in attractive and convincing form. Do not be deceived. It is difficult to accept only part of a package.

The social and academic and religious pressures take a toll on us and encourage us to capitulate for the sake of false “unity.” The pressure to be a “team player” is more than most men can resist. Being accepted and controlled by the fear of man causes many good men to give in to those kinds of pressures. It is only if the man is completely controlled by the Spirit of God and obedient to the Spirit of God that he can stand alone if need be; like Joseph, and Daniel and his friends.

Do not buy into a total ideological package. Hitler made the trains run on time. Hitler gave the German people a reason to get up in the morning. His Germany produced the Volkswagon and the Volkskirche. He adopted the, “Deutschland uber alles. Deutschland uber alles in der Welt” as the rallying cry of Germany. Good men fell prey to the siren call of an identity. We all need an identity; but at what price? What identity shall we adopt? How can we know?

There is only one identity that transcends the winds of time. While the philosophies and theologies exhaust themselves; the Word of God stands forever. It is that Word that calls and empowers and gives us discernment about every competing option, no matter how they masquerade. It is that One Word that will recognize all the Trojan Horses as they appear on the scene.

Only as the Holy Spirit of God lives in human hearts and minds, converting, renewing, and filling with the discerning fear of God, will any person or group follow the straight and narrow path. There is only one safe route. All the isms fall before the Word of God. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword. That sword discerns between good and evil.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account Hebrews 4:12-13.
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That Word can and will separate the wheat from the chaff and the wheat from the tares. God’s children can do that if they are filled with His Spirit. Fear of man is gone. The only fear is the fear of displeasing the Father of light in whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning. No pleas of any manipulators will persuade the Spirit of God to do wrong.

Seminars, sermons, religions, classes, notebooks, and DVDs proliferate. They contain truth. Do not mistake them for The Truth. That category can and must be reserved for the Word of God. All others are subject to human frailties and misperceptions. Bring every thought and teaching into the captivity of Jesus Christ who is the way, the Truth, and the life and to the words He speaks because those words are Spirit and those words are Life.

Packages must be dissected and discerned. Eat the meat and throw out the bones. It is difficult to do. It is not popular. It must be done. What ever the cost, it must be done. Accepting packages in total means accepting error along with truth. Only the Scripture can be accepted without scrutiny.

Listen, observe, and be wise with the wisdom of God. Only that wisdom will give you the discernment to know the edible from the poison. Life depends on that discernment. Eternity depends on that wisdom. It only has one source. Accept no substitutes. Seek and trust and follow the Word of God. Today.

Someday each of us will face a God of Truth. No falsehood will be there. No falsehood will be allowed. No persuasive manipulators will be there. Make your decisions based on those facts.
Today

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