Friday, November 20, 2009

Something to chew on

Christian in the West, has you ever stopped to ponder why things seem so lost in the church? Do you search the Scriptures, seeking YHWH’s face? Do you earnestly seek Jesus, to walk in the path of righteousness?

Take a moment to read Amos 8. After you read it, let me offer a translation for today. Please, examine your heart if you see similarities in your life. Ask yourself, “what do I place as important in my life as compared to what is truly important in this life”?

Coming Day of Bitter Mourning
8:1 This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, 
  “The end has come upon my people Israel;
I will never again pass by them.
3 The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day,”
declares the Lord GOD. 
  “So many dead bodies!”
  “They are thrown everywhere!” 
4 Hear this, you who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
 5 saying, “When will services be over,
that we may go eat lunch?
  And the Sermon,
that we may get home to watch football,
  that we may make God small and the game great
and deal deceitfully with false priorities,
6 that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
  “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
8 Shall not the land tremble on this account,
and everyone mourn who dwells in it, 
  and all of it rise like the Nile,
and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into lamentation; 
  I will bring sackcloth on every waist
and baldness on every head; 
  I will make it like the mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
“when I will send a famine on the land—
  not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
  they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.
13 “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
shall faint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
  and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
they shall fall, and never rise again.”
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. Bold is author’s adjusted translation

For those who say the Bible has no relevance these days, I humbly ask you to reread the above and reconsider where your heart is in relation to God, repent of your arrogance and turn back to the only one who can sustain you in this world, Jesus.

Our God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5), He remains the same; past, present and future (Hebrews 13:8). Do you not think He is offended by our halfhearted worship (Isaiah 1:10-17, Revelation 3:14-22)?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No, He is NOT your "boyfriend"

I'm sorry, but the trite, overused phrase "Jesus is my boyfriend" makes me twitch. But don't take a puny armchair theologian's word for it. Let's see what D. A. Carson has to say regarding our "friendship" with God.
Then the passage explicitly harks back to John 5, which we have been thinking through. Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (15:14–15).
Observe that Jesus makes a distinction between slaves (δοῦλοι; not “servants”) and friends. But the distinction initially surprises us. We are Jesus’ friends if we do what he commands. This sounds rather like a definition of a slave. Certainly such friendship is not reciprocal. I cannot turn around to Jesus and thank him for his friendship and tell him he is my friend, too, if he does everything I command him. Strange to tell, not once is Jesus or God ever described in the Bible as our friend. Abraham is God’s friend; the reverse is never stated.*
Carson, D. A. (2000). The difficult doctrine of the love of God (41). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.
*Emphasis mine.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Riddle me this...

People constantly look at Christians like we are crazy for believing that a Jewish man named Jesus was really God incarnate, was murdered by the Roman government and then rose to life three days later.

Why do we get that reaction, but things like this do not have people's jaws hitting the ground?

Tulsi, which is Sanskrit for "the incomparable one", is worshiped throughout India, most often regarded as a consort of Vishnu in the form of Mahalakshmi. There are two types of Tulsi worshiped in Hinduism—"Rama Tulsi" has light green leaves and is larger in size; "Krishna Tulsi" has dark green leaves and is important for the worship of Vishnu. Many Hindus have tulsi plants growing in front of or near their home, often in special Tulsi pots. It is also frequently grown next to Vishnu temples, especially in Varanasi.

In the ceremony of Tulsi Vivah, Tulsi is ceremonially married to Vishnu annually on the eleventh bright day or twelfth of the month of Kartika in the lunisolar calendar. That day also marks the end of the four month cāturmāsya period, which is considered inauspicious for weddings and other rituals, and so the day inaugurates the annual marriage season in India. The ritual lighting of lamps each evening during Kartika includes the worship of the Tulsi plant, which is considered auspicious for the home. Vaishnavas especially follow the daily worship of Tulsi during Kartika.

Vaishnavas traditionally use japa malas made from tulsi stems or roots, which are an important symbol of initiation. Tulsi malas are considered to be auspicious for the wearer, and believed to put them under the protection of Vishnu or Krishna. They have such a strong association with Vaishnavas, that followers of Vishnu have long been called "those who bear the tulasi round the neck".

Just further proof of the fallen nature of mankind. And further shameful proof of how poorly we have stewarded the Gospel and how hard we have let our hearts get when it comes to the desire to share this precious gift of Christ with others.

Article taken from Wikipedia.