7 Reasons Why God Doesn’t Always Punish You Instantly…

Hello everybody!

Today we are going to look a bit at divine justice and answer the question of why doesn’t God just destroy people straight away after they have sinned?

Well… There appears to be evidence in the bible for a delay between sinning and punishment we see this in Genesis 15:16 [NLT]

[16] After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”

This seems bizarre that God would delay destruction of wicked people. Well I found out 7 reasons why this may happen:

1. Firstly, Jesus pleads for mercy for us – we see this in illustrated in the “Parable of the Fig Tree” (Garden owner = God the Father; Gardener = Jesus God the Son).

Luke 13:6-9 [NLT] [6] Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. [7] Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ [8] “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. [9] If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.'”

2. God does not like to have to punish people

Ezekiel 33:11 NLT] [11] As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?

3. Immediate destruction of sinners would affect everyone

Matthew 13:24-30 NLT] [24] Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. [25] But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. [26] When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. [27] “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ [28] “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. [29] “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”

4. God does not get angry quickly

Exodus 34:6 [NLT] [6] The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.”

5. God is merciful

Matthew 5:45 NLT] [45] In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

6. The delay is a means of communication – God uses the lack of immediate consequences as a means of communicating that God has disowned you.

Hebrews 12:6-8 [NLT] [6] For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” [7] As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? [8] If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.

7. The delay is actually the time God is taking to observe you without your knowledge, then create and implement your punishment.

John 2:14-15 [NLT] [14] In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. (There is no indication here that the merchants were aware Jesus was watching them and or what Jesus was watching them for) [15] Jesus made a whip from some ropes (this implies Jesus had to walk out of the temple, go to the market, buy leather/rope, find somewhere to sit, fashion the leather/rope into a whip, walk back to the temple with the completed whip in hand, observe the merchants again, one last time, to make sure that they were in fact still doing what Jesus thought they were doing and then Jesus punished/whipped them – obviously that process took thought and time) and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables.

Now you know. God see’s, God gives you a chance, you don’t take the chance to change

xxx

Why you need to be careful what you say

Hiya!

Today I would like to reflect upon our WORDS. In this blog post I will be quoting from the NLT (New Living Translation) so when you see “[NLT]” after each mention of a bible verse that’s what it means.

The Bible says we should be wise with our words, in that we should not talk flippantly (without thinking) but stop and really think about what we are saying and even better, don’t say anything at all!

Take Proverbs 17:27-28 [NLT] for example which states:

[27] A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. [28] Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

Have you ever known someone who just won’t shut up and always ends up putting their foot in it? Well the above instruction in Proverbs gives warning about that and recommends if we don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. Even better just don’t speak much in general lol.

The scary thing is that it says in the Bible that when you die and stand before God for judgement, you will have to answer for every single word that you have ever spoken. Basically God will give you an audit regarding your words.

We know this from Romans 14:10-12 [NLT] which says:

“[10] So why do you condemn another believer ? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. [11] For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God. ‘” [12] Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.

As well as Matthew 12:36-37 [NLT]:

“[36] And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. [37] The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.””

So you can hang yourself with your own words when it comes to God as well as life.

On the subject of life. Our words are powerful. I know the old nursery rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Well that’s just not true. Think about all the people over the decades who have committed suicide because they were being bullied, or cyber bullied. you need to be careful. Sometimes words can become self fulfilling prophesies. Proverbs 18:21 [NLT] actually says:

[21] The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

We can really hurt people by what we say.

The last thing I will mention today is that there are consequences for careless speak. Luke 6:38 [NLT]:

“[38] Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

What you give out to other people, you will get back. When the Bible says, “…pressed down, shaken together…”, what the author meant was that you will not only get back what you gave. Not only will you be reimbursed in full but your original investment will return compressed in it’s initial space, to make room for more. More will be added and the whole thing will be mixed and shaken together with the original and that is will then be given back to you.

Another thing to note is that the above verse also says that the amount you give “…will determine the amount you get back”. So bear in mind, if you give out a lot of hate, you will get a lot of hate back.

That’s all…

10 Things You Can Pray When You Don’t Know What To Say!

Hey!

Ever wondered how to pray when you don’t feel like you know what to say to God or where to start? Well I have compiled a list of things to get you started!

1 Pray for God to be known – Ephesians 3:20-21

2 Pray the words of hymns or contemporary modern music.

3 Pray for what you need – Philippians 4:6

4 Pray as you dwell on one word.

5 Pray for healing and protection – James 5:14

6 Pray in questions.

7 Pray for the World – Ephesians 6:18

8 Pray through the names of Jesus. Follow this link for the names.

9 Pray for Forgiveness – Mark 11:25 & Psalm 51

10 Pray the Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:9-15

Have fun praying xxx





Step-By-Step Guide on How To Intercede For People! | #prayer #intercession #worship #Jesus #biblestudy

Hi readers!

Here’s my step by step guide on how to intercede for people. This post starts out with some background info and then at the bottom I take you through the steps!

Introduction – The Court of Heaven

Intercession involves activity in the Courts of Heaven with God as the judge to set in place some kind of protective order that will not allow the devil a right to interfere, hurt, destroy or touch what belongs to God. (Myles 2019, pp.13-14)

The Court of Heaven is real, we see it in Daniel 7:9-10 [NLT]:

“[9] I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, [10] and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.”

We know from Revelation 4:4 that there are 24 elders who sit on 24 thrones there:

(Revelation 4:4 NLT) “[4] Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.”

In the Heavenly Court is the throne of God where literal righteouness and justice flows out:

(Psalm 89:14 NLT) “[14] Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”

The Heavenly Court operates a similar way to human court in that there is an accuser – in heaven this is Satan – and a defendant – in heaven this is always the humans.

Divine Restraint

Before you can operate in your spiritual authority as an intercessor in the Courts of Heaven you need to make sure that you are adhering to whatever Divine Restraint God has set in your life.

What is Divine Restraint? The key to spiritual authority. It is impossible to have authority or retain it without a Restraining Principle. Look at the Garden of Eden.The bible says in Genesis 2:15-17

(Genesis 2:15 NLT) “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

Which establishes God as the source of Adam’s authority and the reason for the authority. Adam needed authority in order to manage the Garden of Eden. God however gave him a Restraining Principle:

(Genesis 2:16-17 NLT) “[16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

It is the same thing as if you have a maid and you say to the maid “don’t let anybody in the house while I’m at the office”. Think about what you have done to your maid. You have given her authority over anybody who wants access to your house and at the same time restrained her activities at the same time.

Adams authority, like the maid in the story above was rooted in his ability to adhere to the Restraining Principle God put him under. The consequences of violating the Restraining Principle were made clear to Adam in Genesis:

(Genesis 2:17 NLT) “[17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

In other words, true spiritual authority dies when the Restraining Principle is broken. Before we can enter the Courts of Heaven as an intercessor and start to intercede for people you need to ensure that you are adhering to whatever Restraining Principle God has put you under (Myles 2019, pp.28-30).

We all have one even the Lord King Jesus Christ, the most powerful and revered one to ever walk this earth as a human being had a Restraining Principle on His life it’s in John 5:19 which says:

(John 5:19 NLT) “[19] So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

The Restraining Principle was that Jesus was only allowed to do what He saw God the Father doing. Unlike Adam, who chose his own will over the will of God and violated his Restraining Principle by eating the forbidden fruit in Genesis, Jesus Christ said in Luke 22:42:

(Luke 22:42 NLT) “[42] “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””

Adhering to the Restraining Principle of His life and ministry

They say history has a habit of repeating itself – look at how the first Adam wrestled with a serpent in a Garden and the second Adam wrestled with the same serpent in a Garden, over the same issue, thousands of years later…(Myles 2019, pp.36-38)

The Throne of Grace

The same way there are different kinds of courts in human courts there are different courtrooms in the Heavenly Court. One of the most well known of these is the Throne of Grace. This is where we appear when we are overcome with personal sin and weakness but we are advised in Hebrews to approach this court with boldness

(Hebrews 4:16 NLT) “[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

knowing that we will obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need (Myles 2019, p.43).

The 6 Lifestyle Requirements For An Intercessor

1. Put on the mind of Christ

Zechariah 3:5 shows us an example of activities in God’s courts and the requirements God has for people operating within His heavenly courts. In this story Jeshua, a high priest was in the court of heaven on trial:

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

The putting on the turban is a prophetic picture of putting on the mind of Christ and God sanctifying your mind. God requires your mind to be in a place where it is usable and attractive to God.

2. Be clothed in righteousness

We also see in this verse that God required Jeshua to have clean clothes.

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

This is a metaphor for clean living. Your lifestyle must match the standards of God.

3. Walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit

Zecharia 3:6-7 goes on to say:

(Zechariah 3:6-7 NLT) “[6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

This shows that Jeshua was also required to be led by the Holy Spirit in everything he did. (Myles 2019)

4. Observe the covenant of total obedience

We see in v.7:

(Zechariah 3:7 NLT) [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

We can interpret this as a direct reference to the importance of obedience in order to operate in the Courts of Heaven.

There is protocol in the Courts of Heaven. We cannot present legal cases before the Courts of Heaven in disobedience, as this puts us under the dominion of Satan. When we live in disobedience we compromise our legal standing and jurisdiction in the Courts of Heaven. Satan then uses our own disobedience, which he would have encouraged us to do, as a legal threshold to resist our petition before God. Basically, you should repent of anything you think you have done and for things you don’t even realise you have done before even attempting to intercede for someone else.

5. Lay down your own life as a living sacrifice

Die to self and make sure you follow God above everything and everyone.

(Revelation 12:11 NLT) “[11] And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

and

(Jhn 12:25-26 NLT) [25] Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. [26] Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Clearly God must come first.

6. Walk in humility

Humility robs Satan of any legal footing to resist our legal authority and standing before the Courts of Heaven. Also the Bible states that God resists the proud in James 4:6. Pride is the quickest way to get the Holy Spirit to resist you. (Myles 2019, pp.54-61).

Case Study Zechariah 3

Background

(Zec 3:1 NLT) [1] Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua.

Jeshua who was a high priest (modern day equivalent would be the Archbishop of Canterbury) was on trial. Jesus (the Angel of the Lord) was his defence attorney, as Jesus is our advocade due to Him dying and raising again. Satan was the prosecution. This is what happens in the heavenly court for real. Satan has actual legal standing for his accusations against us and acuses us day and night before God with irrefutable evidence.

Legal Standing

Even the Supreme Court of the United States of America will not hear a case without standing. If Satan is before the highest court, that is God’s court, he will have already proved standing. In the case of Jeshua, as Jesus and Satan were both in the courtroom they both agreed that there was enough evidence to put Jeshua on trial.

Redeeming Principles From Jesus

The trial starts with Jesus rebuking Satan and lays out 2 redeeming principles as grounds for a verdict favouring Jeshua.

  • Jesus appeals to God the Father to consider His predetermined purposes for Isreal and Jeshua as a high priest when He says:

The Lord chose Jerusalem

  • Jesus used His status as our kinsman redeemer (an ancient tradition where a family member who was more well off was able to redeem something for another family member who was less fortunate). This was an appeal to the mercy of God the Father through Jesus.

Satans Evidence

(Zec 3:3-4 NLT) [3] Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. [4] So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

  1. Satan presented evidence of Jeshua’s dirty clothes, which represented unclean living or self-righteous living, however Jesus said take away the dirty clothes. This is made possible today by the death and resurrection of Jesus. At the Crucifixtion took our sin upon Himself and the punishment for that sin as well. In exchange, we get to identify to God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus as someone whose debt is already paid and the sin and judgement, Jesus had already taken away.
  2. Things family have done was also evidence presented against Jeshua that was what “iniquity” means but Jesus not only replaces the old clothes (sin/lifestyle) with clean clothes (a good lifestyle) but removes the charge against Jeshua’s bloodline.
  3. A dirty mind and other unhelpful mindsets was another piece of evidence Satan brought against Jeshua in Zecharia 3:5:

    (Zec 3:5 NLT) [5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.

    However, Jesus removed this, with the instruction of the placing of the clean turban. This is possible through salvation.

  4. Not walking in the ways of God was evidence Zec 3:6-7:

    (Zec 3:6-7 NLT) [6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

  5. Jeshua was clearly making up things as he went along and Satan knows that God does not anoint our agenda. Only His perfect will. This verse also shows that not living according to the commandments of God (the Word of God or the Bible) was used as evidence against Jeshua. However, through Salvation and inviting the Holy Spirit into ones life and living in Covenant with God, according to the Word of God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, this was addressed.

By the end of the trial not only did Jesus got Jeshua through salvation (modern day equivalent of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus), clean living, obedience to the Word of God and a holy mind. Jesus also made Joshua a judge in the courts of heaven Zechariah 3:7. Judges were people like Samuel see the book of Judges.

Please note that Jesus had words with Jeshua about his lifestyle. This is important because without the lifestyle you do not get the standing with God in the Heavenly Courts. Jeshua’s standing, as someone able to operate in the Courts of Heaven was dependent upon his ability to fulfil the requirements of his position (Myles 2019, pp.69-78).

Ok got all that? Now here’s my step by step guide for an intercession session in the Holy of Holies, the Heavenly Courts!

aaand now for the step-by-step guide!

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Intercede For People

  1. Make time and find somewhere quiet and private, you can have another person(s) praying with you as well!
  2. REPENT
  3. Worship
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit to take you into the Holy of Holies
  5. Be still and reverent for a moment
  6. Ask the court to be seated – Daniel 7:10
  7. Boldly but respectfully present your precedent for approaching God, I have written out this part for you: (use I or We as appropriate).

Father God please remember what Jesus did on the cross:

(John 10:10-11 NLT) “[10] The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

Jesus came to earth and died and You rose Him again so that I/we could be sanctified and atoned to You Father God, so the veil between us and You was torn and I/we could come to You direct through what Jesus did:

(John 3:16-18 NLT) “[16] “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

I believe in Jesus and that through his death and resurrection my sins are forgiven and I am atoned to you Father God as it says in…

(Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT) “[14] So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. [15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. [16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

It also says in…

(Ephesians 2:17-18 NLT) “[17] He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. [18] Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

Therefore according to the Word of God in (Romans 11:17 NLT), as a Gentile (someone who is not a Jew) I have been

… grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.”

(for the women) – This makes my identity in Christ according to (Song of Songs 7:1 NLT)

…A queenly maiden.

(for everyone) This makes my identity in Christ part of a…

(1 Peter 2:9 NLT) …a chosen people…royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession….

Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ, Father God I come boldly before Your throne, justified by Faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that Jesus made to atone me to Yourself, (women only) a Queenly maiden (everyone) of Your Royal priesthood by Jesus’ sacrifice, a Gentile grafted in to Abraham’s family and therefore heir to the promises given to Abraham and Your very own possession, asking You to hear my case as You said in…

Isaiah 43:26 NLT Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence”

and furthermore in…

Isaiah 1:18 NLT “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

I/We can come before you and present our case for you to hear and rule on.”

  1. Beg for mercy for the individual and present the issue concerning the other person which usually revolves around the following:
    1. Need to protect territory
    2. Restrain ungodly and damaging behaviour
    3. Stop enemies of the Gospel
    4. Stop the work of Satan in that persons life
    5. Stop premature death
    6. Stop a devastating act of nature
    7. Stop good people from sinning
    8. Preserve God’s destiny on a persons life
    9. Stop sexual preditation (Myles 2019, pp.124-136)
  2. Don’t stop till the Holy Spirit tells you, wait for the Holy Spirit to give you a feeling that you are done then stop.
  3. Thank God for listening I have written this out for you:Thank you Father God for listening and hearing my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
  4. Continue to pray about the situation when you feel you should
  5. Live a holy life so you satisfy the requirements to enter into the Courts of Heaven. These requirements includes the following:

Offer sacrifices at the alter the sacrifice must be a “…broken Spirit…”

(Psalm 51:16-17 NLT) “[16] You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. [17] The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

A holy atmosphere must come into your house/life/workplace through you that will counteract the evil taking place around you, when you do that God will accept you and His Spirit will inhabit your life. This is only achieved through obedience to God’s Word:

(Ezekiel 43:22-27 NLT) “[22] “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. [23] When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. [24] You are to present them to the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the LORD. [25] “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. [26] Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. [27] On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!””

This is also achieved by accepting, proclaiming and teaching the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross:

(John 17:15-20 NLT) “[15] I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. [16] They do not belong to this world any more than I do. [17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. [18] Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. [19] And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. [20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

Loving one another:

(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NLT) “[12] And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. [13] May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

Respecting those in leadership over you and encourage one another:

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-26 NLT) “[12] Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. [13] Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. [14] Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. [15] See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. [16] Always be joyful. [17] Never stop praying. [18] Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [19] Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. [20] Do not scoff at prophecies, [21] but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. [22] Stay away from every kind of evil. [23] Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. [24] God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. [25] Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. [26] Greet all the brothers and sisters with Christian love.”

Obedience to God, doing good to others, proclaiming, teaching and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and obedience and respect of spiritual leaders (officers of the church, e.g. pastor, deacon etc):

(Hebrews 13:11-17 NLT) “[11] Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. [12] So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. [13] So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. [14] For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. [15] Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. [16] And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. [17] Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

Ooook happy interceding!

xxx

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Bibliography

Myles, F. 2019. Issuing Divine Restraining Orders from the Courts of Heaven. Courts of Heaven Series. Destiny Image Publishers Inc USA

#Sexy #Sex and #Christian #Worship

Posted this on Wednesday by mistake instead of Thursday but it’s all good 😄

Hellooooooooooo!

Now you know me and my juxtaposition of sexual activity and expressive worship. Well in my travels in academia doing my PhD in Womanist Theomusicology I came across something quite insightful that has really changed the way I worship. The idea came from a response to an interview question found in an ethnographic study by Travis Cooper (2011) Masters Thesis from Missouri State University: “Ecstasy and the Kinesthetic Body: An Ethnograhpic Study of Contemporary Pentecostal Worship”.

When analysing the responses Cooper received from the qualitative questionnaires regarding the worship techniques and ideas of Pentecostal Christians, Cooper found that one Pastor said something that really struck me. He related worshipping Jesus to a husband and wife having sex. Now, stay with me….!

The Pastor warned that when worshipping Jesus we should not perusing a good knees up with some songs that make us feel good. Instead, the pastor said we should be pursuing a relationship with Jesus. The same way a husband should not be having sex with his wife just for his own sexual gratification he should be having sex with his wife because he loves her.

The pastor said the following:

“…the ultimate goal for sexual relations between a husband and wife is not simply pleasure or childbearing, but facilitation of love between the two agents in the physical act of intercourse, so it is with worship.” (Cooper 2011, pp.182)

I learnt soo much about worship and love in that one profound sentence. There’s just so much I could say but I really think that sentence says it all. We should be thinking about Jesus when we are worshipping not looking to pleasure ourselves with little ditty’s that make us feel good.

So here’s how my worship practice has changed: Instead of sitting there singing/playing songs that make me feel good I think of Jesus more of a lover that I am pursuing. So I think well this should be about Jesus, what does Jesus want? How can I make Jesus happy? What can I do to make us closer?

Sometimes I just play the guitar to Jesus now because I think well, maybe Jesus just wants to listen to some music same as we humans do! Also, I try to improve my professional practice because I feel like Jesus wants me to improve.

When we worship and love our spouses it should be about the other person and getting to know them better not about ourselves.

Remember, pleasure should be a consequence of the pursuit not the other way around!

Biblical & Practical Reasons For Chucking People Out Of Your Church

Hey!

I know I have been busy but I decided to take some time out this week just for Moi! It’s not healthy to work alllllllllllllllllllll the time. So I decided to share my thoughts on chucking people out of churches.

Here we go!

The following is an essay discussing a few of my opinions on the Biblical and practical justification for Pastors/Leaders to remove individuals from their membership/assembly/smallgroup which I shall just call “church” from now on. I begin with some practical reasons why I think it is necessary to remove people who are not compliant from your church, following that I discuss the biblical justification as well. Finally, I discuss the hypocritical nature of keeping non-compliant individuals and end with my own thoughts on the matter.

Pastors chucking people out of their churches has become an unpopular act partly because in some circles it has been abused and misapplied and partly because it’s not a pleasant or easy thing to do. However, the church has both a right and an obligation to publicly disassociate themselves from anyone who claims to be a Christian but persists in unrepentant sin (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). This is because people who are non-compliant with the expected standards of behaviour putrefy the spiritual atmosphere of a church, as their behaviour inevitably spreads to the whole church and no one can remain unaffected by it (Spreading The Fragrance 2019). Meaning that it really is not practical to keep them, knowing that a sinful influence that is tolerated will pull others down, affecting the outward testimony of a church and compromising their mission which is saving souls (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). Let’s dig into exactly how the mismanagement of unaligned/non-compliant people in your church is not constructive in a, pragmatic, common sense way first and deal with the Biblical reasons second.

The Impracticalities Of Not Kicking People Out Of A Church When You Should

Unaligned people always cost you something (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave) and with all the costs that one already incurs with running an organisation it’s not financially viable to keep them. One must remember, we have to pay to physically keep the doors of a church open and the organisation running, it’s not free. A website is not free, corporate email is not free, utilities are not free, insurance is not free, maintenance is not free and the kind of administration that a public body has to do is not free either. Churches cannot – on top of that – have people that are costing them time and energy, they infect others with their apathy causing a lack of momentum (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave) which compromises the mission of the church and diminishes its viability as a good investment, whether that be financially, socially or emotionally – which, at the end of the day – affects the bottom line.

This is why having the right people is better than simply having people. Before a church can have more people the church need the right people. The right people are: people capable of taking on leadership; are aligned around a common mission, vision, strategy and values and have the character to withstand the tests of leadership (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

As an organisation a church does not need disengaged people, disengaged people can go and be disengaged elsewhere and to be perfectly honest, church leaders need to just accept that not everyone is even ready to engage. As far as I am concerned, disengaged people cannot serve, do not give and do not invite their friends to church. They just take up space. Whereas a few aligned people can change the world. Jesus did it with just 12! (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

Some people will find a better-fit elsewhere and church leaders need to be insightful and forward thinking enough to let them go. Church leaders will be serving certain people better by letting them find like-minded people at another church, giving them more space to find like-minded people who will help them accomplish their mission more effectively. Honestly, some people will thrive in a different environment, sometimes you need to let them go (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave).

Trying to people please and lead in a way that avoids people leaving is a terrible strategy. Yes, it’s uncomfortable when people leave and only sociopaths don’t care when people leave but I assure you, it’s irrational and unhealthy to keep some individuals. The moment a church leader focuses on who they want to keep, as opposed to who they want to reach, they will compromise the entire mission of the church (Nieuwhof 2020, When to panic).

Additionally, church leaders need to also be mature enough to understand that the church as a universal body is for everyone but their particular church that exists in their particular microcosm isn’t. Let me explain, we as Christians are part of a much bigger body, one church alone will not reach an entire city, it takes all the different varieties of churches and leadership that exist within a city to reach the people (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). People need to be in a church appropriate for them. Not every church is blessed to do everything. God gives out blessings appropriate for people the same way Jacob blessed his sons before he died in Genesis 49:28 [NIV] where it says:

“[28] All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.”

Church leaders need to make an effort to really understand their appropriate blessing and know who their particular church is designed to reach and focus on that (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). The music of one church is going to attract some people and bother others. The teaching style and content of another church is going to connect better with some and irritate others. The leadership style of a further church will be compelling to some and not so attractive to others. Even the location and the architectural style of the building in which a church group gathers, whether it’s a school, theatre, gothic cathedral, contemporary suburban mega-church, A-frame 50’s landmark or even a living room home church style get-up will make some feel at home, while pushing others away (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop).

Because of this and because of the diverse and subjective tastes of human beings churches that try to attempt the impossible by being all things to all people often end up being nothing to no one and lose their effectiveness in the process (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). So, are you going to reach everybody? The answer is a resounding no (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop).

Furthermore, in order to accomplish the general mission of all churches, which is to reach the un-churched, one cannot spend time trying to retain people who call themselves Christians and are not engaged and causing trouble, especially because they want a church for the already convinced. Church leaders cannot be worried about reaching Christians who have no passion or respect for friends, family, fellow congregants and people who are not in a relationship with Christ. Church leaders need to focus on the few things and people that will help them accomplish their mission and they need to feel free to design a Sunday service that will create an experience that UN-churched people will want to come back to.

That requires being as culturally diverse as the community around them, so they don’t function as a club as opposed to a church; it is also a requirement that they make sure that they have a mixture of psycho-social realities, meaning that the church needs to have a mixture of rich people and poor people, churches with only rich people bothers me; church leaders also need to spend time attracting individuals who will not make the future impossible (Nieuwhof 2020, Why You Need To Stop).

Yes, it’s human nature to want to cling to people, especially in small churches where every number seems to count but some people hold a ministry back and yes I would much rather have people move beyond their own personal preferences and show grace but for some people, regrettably, that kind of humility is not possible and church leaders need to give them permission to go (Flowers 2020).

Know when to accommodate and when not to. Often a first or second offence is a time for accommodation but one must use ones discretion to evaluate when to hold attendees accountable. When accommodating becomes commonplace because of a continual breach of expectations, we need to hold those people accountable and ask them to leave (Pelletier 2020).

Yes, churches need good pastoral care initiatives because they cannot try and wrestle with principalities and powers of this world with nice HR practices. However, they must balance the need for pastoral ministry, with strong leadership that will not let Satan send our churches away from the mission they are intended to fulfil and a leader must avoid being satisfied in dysfunction and keep their church on course and sometimes this means making a tough call (Brookshaw 2020).

The church is God’s and must not be held to ransom by any leader, member or attendee. All are welcome, unless they are causing harm to the body of Christ and I personally do not think that there is any reason why leaders should allow divergent visions for a church among members and or attendees (Excellerate 2020).

Biblical Justification For Kicking People Out Of A Church

So, what kinds of things qualify a person to be kicked out of a church? 1 Corinthians 5:11 [NLT] has the answer:

“[11] I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.”

  • Immoral people: (gr. “pornos”) The literal meaning of the word is a male prostitute, but in the Bible it is used of all kinds of sexual immorality.
  • Covetous people: People eager to have more, especially what belongs to others. Covetousness is really a form of the next sin, which is Idolatry (Eph 5:5, Col 3:5)
  • Idolaters: Idolatry is when God is not of primary importance to you. You don’t determine this by your ability to manipulate yourself into a certain state of emotion but rather by what you tends to fill up your mind, what your actions are aiming toward and what gives you comfort, security and pleasure.
  • Revilers: A reviler is one who assaults and abuses with words. He or she will make harsh insults and accusations, intended to humiliate someone or damage their reputation.
  • Drunkards: No further explanation is needed, except perhaps to point out that any compulsive or addictive behaviour, that inhibits your sound judgement, could be a form of this sin.
  • Swindlers: (gr. “harpax”) It can mean a swindler, robber or extortioner. Basically anyone who by violence, threats or deceit takes something that rightfully belongs to another.

These six examplars are the types of sins that qualify for church discipline i.e kicking someone out (there are more but this list is a just one example in the Bible) (Spread The Fragrance 2020). Appearing to be a believer and not following what the Bible says as grounds for being kicked out is reiterated in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15:

“[13]…dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. [14] Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed.”

Also, in 1 Timothy1:20 where Paul talks about people who were supposed to be believers that he himself threw out of his community for purposely going against the Word of God:

“[19] Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. [20] Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.”

Finally, Titus 3:10 warns that divisiveness is cause for kicking someone out of a church where it says:

“[10] If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. [11] For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.”

We can’t really apply a one strike and you’re out policy because that’s not what God does. He gives grace and second chances to those who are repentant (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). So how does a church go about getting rid of someone? Church discipline and the steps to remove a trouble maker from a community is clearly spelled out in a 3-Step plan in Matthew 18:15-17 where it says:

“[15] “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. [16] But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. [17] If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”

So, you talk to the person privately, if they don’t listen you take other people with you to talk to them, if they still don’t listen you tell the church, if they still don’t listen to the church you have done your job, get rid of them to demonstrate holiness to your congregation.

Lack Of Church Discipline Is Hypocrisy

Given what the Word says it would be outright hypocrisy to retain people who cause trouble in our churches after the biblically mandated steps have been taken. God hates hypocrisy, it misuses religious man-made ideas for self-advancement, the self advancement in the case of not getting rid of a trouble maker would be any advantages a leadership might feel that it would gain by people pleasing, instead of doing the holy thing to do. God’s laws are the only laws that Christians should be preaching, when we twist these around to meet our own desires it angers God.

It has been communicated to me on more than one occasion that no-one has the right to remove an individual from a church as it’s neither Godly or holy. Matthew 7:1 has become one of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible. “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”. It is commonly used as justification for not expelling people from a congregation. However, if someone ever throws this verse at you, ask them if they think it’s wrong for you to judge others. When they say yes, then ask them to kindly listen to their own advice and stop judging you. If you feel up for it, try to explain to them the difference between judging someone and telling them what the laws are (Spreading The Fragrance 2020).

Disgustingly, I have found in my own experience that more often than not, people who quote such things at me have removed people from their own houses and or refused to host or even eat with other people because they believed they were quote “too much trouble and wouldn’t tow the line”. Such hypocrisy repulses me, isn’t one of the main accusations that are levelled against the church that there are so many hypocrites in it? How many people have been turned off from the Gospel because the church has not done it’s job and cleansed out those who only claim to be Christians, but really aren’t? (Spreading The Fragrance 2020). Think about it, how many peoples lives have been destroyed because churches wouldn’t kick out a peodo priests? Sometimes the churches knew about it and did nothing. I do not understand why those people were not only kept in the church but allowed to be in charge of small children.

The kind of judgement Jesus was talking about in Matthew 7 was a kind of is a self-righteous hypocrisy that set up a higher standard for others than for the self. Jesus never said we should stop differentiating between right and wrong. Not only do we as Christians have to differentiate but when someone claims to be a Christian and consistently acts in a way that brings reproach to the name of Christ, then the church is not only authorized but commanded to judge them, what happens on the outside of the church God will judge but what happens on the inside of the church, we are supposed to be judging according to 1 Corinthians 12-13 [NLT]:

“[12] It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. [13] God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”” (Spreading The Fragrance 2020).

Such hypocrisy must end look at Matthew 23:27 [NLT]:

“[27] “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”

Hypocrites are self-deluded fools who need to read their Bibles more carefully. They are deceiving themselves into thinking that their hypocritical deeds of obscuring a leaderships decision to remove a person, despite what the Bible says, is somehow evidence of “true godliness” or even worse they dare to think that they will have the ability to merit God’s favour. This is a terrible misconception and ultimately hurts the persons in question as well as the church community and you lose favour with God not gain it when you don’t adhere to biblical principles correctly and obscure others from doing so.

Hypocrisy is also offensive to God and man. No one finds hypocrisy to be an attractive quality. Not God, not the world. You don’t want to become everyone’s enemy. Unbelievers hate the hypocrite because they make themselves appear godly; God hates them because they merely look godly.

Hypocrisy also brings no comfort in death. You labour hard in life to do the wrong thing, arrogantly pretending to be godly, painting over your depravity with a thin veneer of counterfeit holiness, with standards of other people that are unreasonable that you don’t even attempt to live up to yourself and regrettably, at the end of the day, as you are doing the wrong thing and are trying to make others, who are trying to do the right thing do the wrong thing, you will eventually end up in hell as Galatians 5:19-21 says that sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Crosswalk 2020).

If you want to go to hell with your false Christianity, please go to hell by yourself and leave your ministry and it’s leaders alone because unaligned people cost them and their congregants something, they make organisations unproductive, which damages their viability as a good investment in the eyes of others (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). It’s not common sense to keep them.

Conclusion

Everyday all of us are just trying to run the race of life just trying to get ahead ourselves as individuals, as it says in Philippians 3:14 [NLT]:

“[14] I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”. We have all got things on our plate and we don’t need any more drama.

Church leaders need to think about where they are now and where they are supposed to be. They are losing so much precious time pandering to people and things that will not satisfy the church or Jesus in the end. Whereas everyone else and every other church who is behaving in a functional and biblical way, churches who get rid of people and things that are unhealthy, they are out there getting on but others who don’t are standing still, trying to retain people, things and practices they should not because they are rationalizing with their human senses. Especially in small churches where leaders see they are only small and keep on comparing themselves to other big churches when they don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes with the big churches. All we see is that they have more people, so they keep burning so much energy just to retain, when their focus should be somewhere else and I for one do not think that any church leader should be willing to let those things and people that are unhelpful keep distracting them and their minitry (Anthem Lights 2020).

Having the right people is better than simply having people. (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). Some people will find a better-fit elsewhere and church leaders need to let them go (Nieuwhof 2020, 7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave). Its unhealthy and unholy to keep some people, especially those whose conduct compromises the holiness of the church and thus it’s entire mission (Nieuwhof 2020, When to panic). Yes, it’s human nature to want to cling to people and old ways, especially when a church is small (Flowers 2020) but church leaders need to know when to accommodate and when to not (Pelletier 2020). It is usually not perceived as a good thing to get rid of people but church leaders, for the sake of holiness, cannot afford not to do it. The truth is that some people are of Christ and some are of the devil. If church leaders allow the latter to infiltrate the church and muddle the line between the two categories, that is a wicked thing to do (Spread The Fragrance 2020).

Let us as Christian focus on what our appropriate blessing is, which is what your church is designed to do and who your church is put here on earth to reach and what you are here to do (Nieuwhof 2019, Why You Need To Stop). Not every church is going to please every person and churches should not be changing their God mandated focus for people who should be elsewhere.

I for one don’t want spend my life trying to fight for what’s not mine or lose myself in someone else’s dream instead of God’s. I know those who are truly meant to be in a particular church are made with a purpose to reach past the surface and live life fearlessly for God in their area and I want nothing less for my church at least, than to be who we are meant to be (Anthem Lights 2020).

xxx

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Bibliography

Anthem Lights. 2020. ‘Who I’m Meant To Be Lyrics’ A-Z Lyrics Web site, at: <https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/anthemlights/whoimmeanttobe.html&gt; 16 January 2020

Brookshaw, P. 2020. ‘Q&A – When Do You Ask Someone To Leave The Church?’ Pete Brookshaw Web site: <http://www.petebrookshaw.com/2013/09/q-when-do-you-ask-someone-to-leave.html?m=1&gt; 7 January 2020

Crosswalk, 2020. ‘5 Warnings for Hypocrites in the Church’ Crosswalk Web site, at: <https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/christian-trends/5-warnings-for-hypocrites-in-the-church.html&gt; 7 January 2020

Excellerate. 2020. ‘How to Handle Rebellion in Church’ Excellerate Web site, at: <https://www.excellerate.com/articles/how-to-handle-rebellion-in-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Flowers, A. 2020. ‘The Six People You Should Ask To Leave Your Church’ Western Seminary Web site, at: <https://transformedblog.westernseminary.edu/2014/03/04/the-six-people-you-should-ask-to-leave-your-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘7 Reasons You Should Invite People To Leave Your Church Even Though It Scares You’ Carey Nieuwhof Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/leave/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘When To Panic And When Not To Panic When People Leave Your Church’ Carey Nieuwhof Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/when-to-panic-and-when-not-to-panic-when-people-leave-your-church/&gt; 7 January 2020

Nieuwhof, C. 2020. ‘Why You Need To Stop Thinking Your Church Is For Everyone’ Web site, at: <https://careynieuwhof.com/why-you-need-to-stop-thinking-your-church-is-for-everyone/&gt; 7 January 2020

Pelletier, K. P. 2020. ‘Can I Ask Someone To Leave My Small Group’ Christianity Today International Web site, at: <https://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2016/can-i-ask-someone-to-leave-my-small-group.html&gt; 7 January 2020

Spreading The Fragrance. 2020. ‘An introduction to kicking people out of Church (1. Cor 5:1-8)’ Spreading The Fragrance Web site, at: <https://2cor214.blogspot.com/2011/06/introduction-to-kicking-people-out-of.html&gt; 16 January 2020

A revised #theology on #sex through #song (I WROTE A NEW SONG)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(I wrote a new song it’s at the bottom)

Sorry it’s late I was still doing work. I need to learn when to stop lol.

Anyway, remember the song I wrote based on Song of Songs called “I hope The Neighbors Don’t See? It was about marital sex in the garden. Follow this link to read my previous post on that song.

Anyway I wrote a Part Deux to that song, it’s a medley of another song I wrote called Right Here and a new part to I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See I affectionately call I Hope The Neighbors ALL See… heh heh 😏.

It’s still based on Song of Songs and mirrors follows the tripartite-metaphor in that the love poem represents love between:

1.) Women and Men

2.) King Solomon and a dark skinned woman and

3.) Jesus and the church.

However, this time I remembered the verse of scripture in the Bible that says:

Luke 8:16 NLT
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

So I thought yeah, hoping the neighbors don’t see you in the garden doing it with your spouse fits our Western sense of propriety, however, the lovers in Song of Songs are very public about their connection and hiding your love away doesn’t seem to be biblical, especially when it comes to your relationship with Jesus. (No I am not advocating public indecency, do have sex behind closed doors but do aspire to show your love for your fellow man, spouse and God publicly).

It also says in the Bible that we are not supposed to be ashamed of Jesus, if we are ashamed of Jesus and the message of the Gospel Jesus himself said He would be ashamed of us:

Luke 9:26 NLT
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man* will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

*a title Jesus gave to Himself.

But what does this talk about, marriage, sex and public displays of affection have to do with Jesus? There’s something you need to know about Jesus and our relationship with Him. Psalm 1:6 says:

Psalm 1:6 KJV
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The Hebrew word used for “knoweth” is “yada” it’s also the Hebrew word for sex. In the Torah sex is not just something necessary for procreation but it’s about intimate knowledge of another individual it’s about knowing, recognizing and understanding each other (Gold 2020).

The word is used both in reference to a man and wife having sexual
intercourse and—get this—in reference to a person being in deep
fellowship with God (Gresh 2020).

Indeed Paul says that:

Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” [32] This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. [33] So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The mystery of sexual and romantic relationships explains to us the depth of relationship we are supposed to have with Jesus.

Additionally, the church is described as the bride of Christ in Revelation. What do husbands and wives do? Yada yada… heh.

Properly understanding and appropriately practicing sex within the covenant of marriage is actually vitally important in understanding the Gospel and our relationship with Jesus. That’s why I’m so open about the topic.

So, we s supposed to be in an intimately deep relationship(sex metaphor) with Jesus (husband metaphor), in covenant(marriage metaphor) which would be the covenant of Salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus and acceptance of that and Jesus does not like it when we are ashamed of Him .

So the same way you would show your love publicly to your spouse, have intimacy with your spouse and not be ashamed of the person you’re with its the same with Jesus.

Therefore, in light of the above I have come to the conclusion that, metaphorically, you would want the neighbors to see your relationship with Jesus publicly.

Therefore, I have written a new version as an add on to the original I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See to reflect this. In keeping with the husband and wife metaphor from Song of Songs, it’s actually about relationship with Jesus. It sounds raunchy but with a revised theology on sex it makes sense:

Ok here’s the Original:

HERE’S THE NEW SONG:

Xxxx

Bibliography

Gold, M. D. 2020. The Purpose and Meaning of Sex in Judaism
<https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-purpose-and-meaning-of-sex-in-judaism/&gt; 02 January 2020

Gresh, D. 2020. Yada yada. <https://liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/yada-yada-yada/&gt; 02 January 2020

HALT! – What Happened When I Was Hungry, Angry, Lonely & Tired! – #sex #music #Christian #Biblestudy

Dear all,

Have you heard of the acronym “HALT” stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired? It has consequences on your mind if you are in a place where you are all those things, leaving you vulnerable to relapse into a negative state and initiate a craving reaction… Being in a HALT state also shows that you are not taking care of yourself like you should. Here’s how it affected me the past two weeks.

What happened

Sometimes we can be called to do things but we allow the calling to become bigger than the One who called us. As I said, I’ve been overwhelmed with doing stuff, which made me Angry. This stuff was stuff which I should be doing and is important and vital to the continuation of the ministry at my church. However, I’ve been trying so hard that I even wasn’t reading my Bible as much as I should which made me spiritually Hungry and I felt Jesus was becoming jealous of the calling in that I was giving it more time that I was giving Him. So I finally finished what I had to do which was important and time sensitive and then I crashed in an emotionally/physically exhausted way (one night I even stayed up till after 8am doing stuff) because I was very Tired, on day I took off. That is when Jesus revealed the following to me whilst I was talking to Him please continue to read the following which happened last week:

I was sitting having a lovely day off and laying down having a conversation with Jesus on my bed and I noticed a few things different about that day. Firstly, the visions that Jesus shows me regularly came back. Jesus shows me visions and lots of other things regularly but since I was so busy I noticed they stopped, which made me a bit Lonely I thought maybe Jesus wasn’t showing me them because I was moving onto something else, no, I just was soo busy that what I was doing was competing for mental space with Jesus and Jesus was just not willing to compete but when I took a day off and Jesus was no longer in competition I noticed they came back.

Secondly, Jesus opened my eyes to the fact that I had been having nosebleeds for 2 weeks straight, culminating in a rather large one on the day I rested. I noticed it but I didn’t put two and two together to see the correlation between how much stress I was taking on and the nosebleeds. I had been internalizing so much stress and it was coming out as nosebleeds, I didn’t notice till I took a day off that I was not allowing Jesus to take my burdens and it was beginning to damage my health. How much stress does a person have to be under to have nosebleeds every day? Answer, a lot and to be so stressed that you don’t even realise it’s making you ill is dangerous. So again, by letting the calling become bigger than Jesus and taking on things all by myself I was damaging my health.

Anyway, revelations aside I felt like had quite a nice conversation with Jesus. I was feeling really quite tired by the end of the conversation as I had done stupid things like stayed up all night till past 8am in the morning working, so pulling proper all nighters and I was knackered by my day off.

So… I decided I would actually get into bed and lay down. I went to sleep, had a very strange dream and then woke up.

When I woke up, being in a HALT state had initiated a craving reaction and for the life of me I could not stop thinking about sex… I had very naughty thoughts (which I will not expand upon) solidly for a good hour or two about having sex in the control room of a music studio… I’m not even kidding, there was absolutely nothing else in my mind and it was as lucid as if I was there… (I’m definitely going to hide this blog post from my mother) I’m a musician. We are more prone to finding things like that sexy… Don’t judge meeeeeeeee!

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I couldn’t believe that I had actually thought such dirtiness just after having quite a nice, jovial conversation with Jesus before my nap.

And then I thought to myself:

“You know what? I’m not as good of a person as I thought I was”

and I shook my head at myself as I admitted my 29 year old humanity…

Normally, I avoid highly sexualised thoughts because firstly it’s a distraction and secondly it’s not good to focus on something that isn’t real. Lastly, there are Biblical reasons that revolve around how we are to conduct our thoughts and the Biblical mandate to not have sex before marriage (see my previous blog post about this)

  • I am not married so I need to rein it in for holiness reasons (and also for my own sanity…)
  • Jesus said that even if you think about doing a sin it’s just as bad as doing the sin. Sins can be committed both in our minds and by our actions. God tells us that we can sin in our minds just by lusting after someone. A person can sin by giving in to an inner emotion or passion and then dwelling on that emotion or passion like it says in Matthew 5:27-28:

(Matthew 5:27-28 NLT) “[27] “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  • Temptations are not from God but from Satan to drag us down and get us to do the bad things we are tempted to do and we should not meditate on our temptations. Sin does not occur when the emotion, thought, or passion first comes. However, if those thoughts are not resisted, then sin occurs when we give in to the emotion, thought or passion by dwelling on it (Never Thirsty 2019) like it says in James 1:12-15:

(James 1:12-15 NLT) “[12] God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [13] And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. [14] Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. [15] These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

  • Additionally, what we think can make us dirty from the inside out as vocalised in Matthew 15:18-20

(Matthew 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. [19] For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. [20] These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.””

  • A person sins by dwelling on something that God has told us to avoid. When we sin on the outside we demonstrate to God, to others, and to ourselves that we have already sinned on the inside. God has asked us to resist the temptation to sin by fleeing from it. We are not supposed to see how close we can come without sinning. Fleeing starts with avoiding thoughts about the sin as it says in Romans 16:19:

(Romans 16:19 NLT) “[19] But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.”

We read in 2 Timothy 2:22 to also run away from anything that would stimulates “youthful lusts”.

(2 Timothy 2:22 NLT) “[22] Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

So we really shouldn’t be dwelling on nonsense that will stimulate us in a way that is not holy. Instead we should be focussing on living descent holy lives.

So it got me thinking, how did this happen? It happened because I was spiritually and probably physically hungry. I was angry, lonely in a spiritual and physical sense and I was spiritually and physically tired… This then kick-started an instinctive craving mode to try fill the gap normally occupied by Jesus who nourishes me, keeps me calm, gives me company and renews my strength because I was previously too busy to engage with Jesus.

So how do we deal with cravings/bad thoughts that come with being in a HALT state?

Read your Bible Daily – to avoid being spiritually Hungry

I admit it, I was not reading my Bible as much as I should, I can’t believe 2 weeks of not paying at much attention to Jesus as I should as well as skipping a few days of Bible reading and my mind went south, literally… lol. My mind was stressed and did not have it’s daily meal of the Word all the time and the word calms me down. So what did my mind then gravitate towards, something that would naturally calm a person down and give some sort of… umm… release? lol. Sex 🙂 you need to read your Bible every day. I read it morning and night. Read it more than you have to the Bible says we are supposed to meditate on the Word all the time. The Word is also food for our souls. My soul was half starved and hungry, no wonder I was thinking crazy things.

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Change your focus – to avoid being Angry

Stop making your primary focus on things to do with Jesus or your ministry or everything and start making your focus actually Jesus Christ. Stop focussing primarily on your problems and the people making your problems worse as this made me Angry and look for constructive solutions and make sure you always give Christ supremacy in your thoughts.

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Commit our thoughts to prayer – to avoid being Lonely

We commit them to prayer, my problem was that I was not talking to or thinking about Jesus as much as I should because I was so busy doing the things Jesus asked me to do. This made me Lonely. I then crashed (emotionally) it was only then that I noticed the vacuum in my brain where thoughts about and for Jesus would normally have inhabited. The vacuum was filled with sex, thoughts of sex anyway lol… I needed to pray more to inject my humanity with holiness.

(1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) “[17] Never stop praying.”

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Don’t overwork – to avoid being Tired

(Psalm 127:2 NLT) “[2] It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

Does what it says on the tin really.

Conclusion

I was Hungry (spiritually starved), Angry (due to the people around me making my task more difficult), Lonely (from lack of interaction with Jesus) and Tired (from over working, I actually ended up in A&E for fatigue related accident, related to how tired I was from doing what I was doing). Apparently, when you are these things as a man you shouldn’t go on the internet…. Seems as though that works for women to! I didn’t go on the internet btw but my mind just went south lol.

On a separate note, I wrote a blog post about issues men have here: 3 Ways The Devil Tempts Men

  • Hungry – Eat your spiritual food which is reading the Bible
  • Angry – Change your focus to things for and of Jesus
  • Lonely – pray and talk to Jesus
  • Tired – Don’t overwork and give Jesus and your family the time they deserve

If it took two weeks of distraction, overwork, then me crashing, for my mind to be in the gutter goodness knows what other people who don’t read their Bible regularly or talk to Jesus regularly all year must be struggling with.

Here’s some resources:

https://healthypsych.com/h-a-l-t-hungry-angry-lonely-and-tired-a-self-care-tool/

https://bustedhalo.com/features/what-works-10-halt-hungry-angry-lonely-tired

https://bradfordhealth.com/halt-hunger-anger-loneliness-tiredness/

Catherine xxx

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Bibliography

Never Thirsty, ‘When does thinking about a sin become a sin’ Never Thirsty Web site, at: <https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/when-does-thinking-about-a-sin-become-a-sin/&gt; 9 September 2019

A Case Study For The Stupidity Of #Complimentarianism | #Jesus #Christianity #Marriage #Relationships #Women #Feminism

Hello!

So, as we know I am egalitarian in that I believe that men and women are equal and they can make equal decisions in marriage etc. Of course, no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to donate sperm and if I ever find that I can, I need to see a doctor… So we can’t always do the same thing but in our humanity we are equal.

I know many people who are complimentarians, this is the idea where the man is the head and the woman is the neck “eugh” anyway… So this stupidness runs deep. I found out the stupidest thing happened, which just explains the stupid of that heterodoxy:

A woman who shall remain nameless, a friend of a friend, was (maybe still is I don’t actually know) married to the man of her dreams and believed in the whole man is the head of the household thing and that she was the neck. Her husband one day had an “inspired idea” to go and do something, which shall go unmentioned, which was overtly wrong (when it was explained to me what he did it was clearly wrong even to someone who is not a Christian). Now the silly wife knew this thing was wrong, however, she believed that as a wife Jesus and the bible says that she should just follow her husband’s instruction explicitly without comment. Sooooo, the wife went along with her husbands sin and just believed that her submission to his authority would somehow change him so he would see how wrong he was (I don’t know how she rationalised that but oh well….). Oh and the wrong thing that the man did cost them hundreds of thousands of pounds. Anyway, so the wife also believed that because the husband was the “head” God will see him as being more responsible for any sins committed in the marriage than her and that he, in God’s eyes, takes all the responsibility for all of the decisions made in the marriage and that God will judge him not her for them. So she didn’t think that God would see her as having any responsibility for anything that happens in the marriage even any bad decisions that she went along with because she thought that she was just being a “good” Christian by doing what her husband says and it doesn’t matter if what the husband says is wrong she should just follow and God will bless her for that.

How do some people manage to finish school?..

Does anyone but me see what’s wrong with that scenario? It is of course the logical conclusion to that heterodoxy. Ok sooo there are a MANY things wrong with this scenario. Where do I start, hmmm let’s deal with the whole diminished responsibility thing first. I’m just going to let the Bible do the talking!

So the Bible says that everyone is personally responsibly for her or his sins. We see that individuals suffer for their own sins:

(Ezekiel 18:20 NLT) “[19] “[20] The person who sins is the one who will die. … and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.”

I don’t know where that woman got her silly views from but it was informed by a false doctrine that was part of another false doctrine regarding women’s unfailing submission to beings equipped with peniii (pronounced peen-eye lol I love the top definition here https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Penii). However, I’m on a roll with the whole sin thing so I won’t be tackling that today (it would literally be around 60k words worth of explanation) let’s carry on ->

In fact, in the Old Testament, not only were individuals responsible for their sins but their sins could also have an effect on their children as well! Looky looky!!!

(Exodus 34:7 NLT) “[7] I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations.””

(Numbers 14:18 NLT) “[18] ‘The LORD is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. But he does not excuse the guilty. He lays the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations.'”

These verses show that the sin of an individual can affect the other generations that come after them, which is true take the Holocaust for example, to this day Germany is still not allowed to have an army. Also, think about jail time. If someone’s Father does something that means that he goes to jail then the family is affected because the home becomes broken when one parent leaves. What you do affects yourself as well as others.

We also see verses of scripture that show us how we can be judged as accomplices to other people’s sin:

(Luke 12:47-48 NLT) “[47] “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. [48] But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

She knew what her husband was doing was wrong, the man was an idjit (click here for the definition: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=idjit) but she went along with it anyway.

(Lol flock of penises https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Penii Ok ok ok I’m going to be serious now… * slaps hand * bad Catherine ! naughty!! Lol I’m in such a strange mood right let’s carry on. I think I’m just so unimpressed and angry with that woman I’m struggling to take this seriously. Anyway…)

She knew what her husband was doing was wrong and she just went along with it. Pfft… Women were designed to be the ezer that is the helpmeet. B. Boyd (2013) explains this function quite well:

“…women were not created as afterthoughts, add-ons, or additives, like the kind I put in my truck’s gas tank, to give me a little boost. No, they were an integral part of the deal, from the very beginning of time…God welcomed His first divine daughter in a pretty powerful way: He referred to her by the Hebrew term ezer kenegdo, which translates in English to “helpmeet” or “helpmate”. As the NIV version of the famous verse has it: “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helpmeet suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18 NIV)…twenty-one times the phrase ezer kenegdo is used throughout Scripture, sixteen of them are used to refer to God himself [examples: Psalm 30:10; 33:20; 115:10; 146:5.] God uses the same name for Eve that he uses for himself, which means that unless God had a massive inferiority complex, he had something more in mind than women as congenital add-on to man…“If Adam must think for, decide for, protect, and provide for the woman, she actually becomes a burden on him – not much help (which is why people in certain cultures just sell or abort their daughters), when you think about it. The kind of help man needs demands full deployment of her strengths, her gifts, and the best she has to offer. His life will change for the better because of what she contributes to his life” (Boyd 2013, pp. 18-20).

BOOM!

If we are not opening up our mouths and telling our husbands when they are wrong (provided that they aren’t the kind of men that will give you a beating for it) then we are in the wrong too. Partly because, as Boyd (2013) shows us, we are failing to fulfil our God ordained purpose to “help”. You are not helping him by not telling him the truth when he is wrong, that’s not faith its gosh darn stupidity. We are missing the mark when we do that and that is the definition of the term used for “sin” in the bible.

Yes pray by all means but open up your mouth, if your faith leads you to a place where you can’t council your husband then

1.) You’re not mature enough to be married

2.) You shouldn’t be married to him, especially as his mistake cost them sooooooooooooooo much money and it was foreseeable.

3.) You need to question the type of Christianity you are practising, if your faith practices are leaving you bound, leading to sin and are not leading to any personal transformation within individuals that practice it then it is an occult form of Christianity.

That kind of inappropriateness leads to “sin” and everybody missing the mark.

The noun חטא (het’) means sin and comes from the identical but differently pronounced verb חטא (hata’), which means to miss a mark, target, goal, objective. The word sin literally means “a missing.” examples include:

Judges 20:16, “Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.”

Proverbs 19:2, “…and he who makes haste with his feet errs.” (Abarim Productions 2019, Romans 7)

You don’t confront your husbands sin you, him and your marriage fails and you get to a place where you shouldn’t be and you miss your goals or objectives and this is “sin”. Again, if the kind of Christianity you are practising is making you do that it’s not Christianity at all and it’s heterodoxy. This is the logical conclusion to the Submission theological perspective she was practising it expertly and it led to it’s logical conclusion.

Christianity is all about taking personal responsibility for the things that you have done wrong. That is part of being a mature Christian. Jesus showed us the ultimate example of taking responsibility when He died on the cross for us. If we continue to sin willingly there is no other sacrifice for that.

At the end times we will all have to give account of everything we have done. You will be alone, confronted about what you did and more than likely naked because that is the way that God sees us:

(Matthew 12:36-37 NLT) “[36] And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. [37] The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.””

(Romans 14:12-13 NLT) “[12] Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. [13]… Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”

(Revelation 20:11-15 NLT) “[11] And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. [12] I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. [13] The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. [14] Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. [15] And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

We are all responsible for our actions, just because your husband told you to do it and you are willingly “submitting” to him like a twit doesn’t mean that you are not going to get punished if the thing is wrong especially if you are NOT in a situation where he is going to beat you if you say something. Women whose lives are in danger if they say something to or about their husbands is another issue and I am not talking about them. I am talking about those who are in loving relationships and all they have to do is open up their mouths and say no to their husbands. Those women are going to get themselves into trouble with God if they do not say something.

Besides, Paul said if you do something that you think is wrong then you are sinning:

(Romans 14:23 NLT) “[23] But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”

You will have to give account of your actions to God, God isn’t going to excuse you because your husband told you to do it, God is not interested in what your husband did or told you to do God is interested in what YOU, what did YOU do of your own volition. Why do people keep adding things to the Bible?

Catherine

 

 

Bibliography

Abarim Productions. 2019. ‘Romans 7’ Abarim Productions Web site, at: <http://www.abarim-publications.com/Bible_Commentary/Law_And_Sin.html#.XTCC9IXfv7g&gt; 18 July 2019

Boyd, B. 2013. Let Her Lead: Creating a Better Future for Women in the Church. Colorado: Bonfire Books, LLC.

SPECIAL EDITION: #GoodFriday – The Day God Died (not for good though!)

Hello everyone,

It’s Good Friday today and I thought I would give you a run down of what happened and what it tells us about true love. Most of the info here is adapted from The Virtual Preacher (see the bibliography for more information).

On Good Friday Jesus had already had the sham trial Matthew 27:11-26 then the Pharisees also encouraged the crowd to request that Barrabas be released instead of Jesus. The Soldiers had whipped Jesus to within an inch of His life sentenced to Crucifixion and was now carrying the cross on the way to the Crucifixion site. Here’s where we will begin:

True Love Is Doing As Well As Feeling

(Matthew 27:27-32 NLT) “[27] Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. [28] They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. [29] They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” [30] And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. [31] When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. [32] Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

The Bible doesn’t reveal much about the identity of Simon except he was from a city called Cyrene in North Africa, probably a an African convert who came on pilgrimage during Passover.

Why was Simon reluctant to take the cross and help Jesus?

  • It was considered an unclean task as the cross was drenched with Jesus’ blood and other body fluids.
  • It was also difficult because the beam weighed over 300 pounds.
  • It was also embarrassing because only criminals condemned to death carried a cross. It was a sign of mockery.
  • It was also inconvenient.

The short story of what Simon of Cyrene shows that cannot truly be Jesus’ disciples unless we are willing to step out of the comfort zone. Being a follower of Jesus is not about the sacraments and pilgrimages. They are nice but real love is kinaesthetic, it’s an action as much as a feeling. Jesus died for us, which is an action that is how Jesus demonstrated devotion to us. For our part in Luke Jesus said:

(Luke 9:23 NLT) “[23] Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

True Love Puts Others First

(Matthew 27:33-34 NLT) “[33] And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). [34] The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.”

Gall was a pain killer in Jesus’ day. It was mixed with the wine to make it drinkable, women often offered it to the person being executed to dull the pain. Having lost a lot of blood from the sourging and having been nailed to the cross Jesus and was thirty but refused to drink the gall mixed with wine.

Why did Jesus refuse to drink?

  • Jesus was determined to complete His mission of fulfilling the law
  • Jesus did not want to compromise the mission in any way by doing things that would have made it easier than it should have been.
  • Jesus was committed to take the full extent of our pain, sorrow and shame because He considered that more important than His!

Jesus also showed us that real love is sacrificial and not self seeking, just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT) “[4] Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

True Love Stands In The Gap Between The Beloved And Trouble

(Matthew 27:35-54 NLT) “[35] After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. [36] Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. [37] A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” [38] Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. [39] The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. [40] “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” [41] The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. [42] “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! [43] He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” [44] Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. [45] At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. [46] At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, [“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”] which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [47] Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. [48] One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. [49] But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” [50] Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. [51] At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, [52] and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. [53] They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. [54] The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!””

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400 BC and was used by the Romans as a punishment for the most serious criminals. Death by crucifixion was slow and agonizing. The victims were crucified naked and in public which was humiliating, as you can see from the above people taunted Jesus.

Victims of crucifixion endured dehydration, blood loss due to flogging, shock from the pain and paroxysms (follow this link to find out what that word means), as they pulled up with their arms and pushed with their legs to keep their chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion. The eventual cause of death from crucifixion was: suffocation, cardiac arrest, loss of blood or all of above.

What is the significance of crucifixion?

  • It was a symbol of God’s curse on sin.
  • The bodies of those crucified were left to the birds. They were not given a burial. This is also considered a curse from God.
  • These factors indicate that Jesus stood in the gap and took the curse of God which we rightfully deserved on himself.

Jesus Christ took our curse upon himself and paid the price for our sin. Jesus stood in the gap between us and what we had coming to us. Our atonement to and relationship with Jesus God the Son and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah put it eloquently:

(Isaiah 53:5 NLT) “[5] But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Summary On True Love Displayed In The Good Friday Message

This Good Friday message gives us an example of the three distinct types of commitments of love displayed by Jesus:

True love is doing as well as feeling – This means a commitment for us to be willing to take a stand for Jesus not just say we are Christians, act like it.

True love puts others first – This means a commitment to be faithful: don’t compromise in times of crisis, always put Jesus first regardless.

True love stands in the gap: For me this just shows me how selfless Jesus was and what an example it is for us in our relationships with other humans, regardless of what kind of relationship it is. This shows also a commitment to be just as committed to Jesus as Jesus is to us and just to allow Jesus to love you and just enjoy being loved!

The type of commitment you need to make will vary depending on where you are in your life with Christ. Which one of these commitments do you think you need to make?

Have a happy Good Friday!

Bibliography

The Virtual Preacher. 2019. ‘Good Friday Sermon, Watching Jesus Die – Part 1’, The Virtual Preacher Website, at: <https://www.virtualpreacher.org/sermon-outlines/good-friday-sermon-2011-part-1/&gt; 19 April 2019