God specializes in using nobodies

I grew up in a church where the accepted thinking was that if you really wanted to be important in God’s kingdom (i.e. religious church circles), you had to be called to preach and either sit under a prominent pastor and/or attend seminary to get a string of letters after your name, like M.Div. However, I’m glad I serve a God who “seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.

child praysGod has accomplished some wonderful things using average, ordinary folks without a high opinion of themselves who were content, faithful, and happy with fulfilling the simple things like prayer to please the Lord. One such person was Ananias in Acts 9. The Bible introduces us to him by calling him “a certain disciple.” Nothing big, nothing noteworthy by human estimates. Just “a certain disciple.” But the job he had for Ananias had huge repercussions. The Lord Jesus wanted Ananias to minister to Saul and commission him into ministry with the laying on of hands to restore Saul’s sight and to baptize him.

There are some things that are noticeable about Ananias. When the Lord gave him a vision and spoke directly to him, his relationship with the Lord was such that he knew right away what was happening and who was speaking to him (“My sheep hear my voice.”). Ananias must have really known the Lord well because they had a conversation like they were old friends. Ananias even reasoned with the Lord, expressed his doubts about what the Lord was calling him to do and respectfully questioned the Lord. He knew of Saul’s reputation of harming Christians and ran down Saul’s history to the Lord (as if the Lord didn’t already know) and seemed to have the underlying concern of “Are you sure, Lord?”

Jesus then explained the wonderful plans he had for Saul to Ananias, like close friends do. That satisfied Ananias enough that he got up and went, displaying his faith and trust in Jesus. He had so much faith in what the Lord said that he called Saul his brother when he met him on Straight Street. Because of Ananias’ faithfulness, he got to witness the beginning of something that would have a timeless ripple effect through the ages to come. I imagine that Ananias will receive the same rewards on Judgment Day that Paul will receive when one considers what Jesus said about how he hands out rewards in Matthew 10–

41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Now the nobody, Ananias, is remembered in church history, proving that it can be the smallest, seemingly insignificant people who do the smallest, seemingly insignificant things that God can then use to accomplish great significant things.

Harry A. Gaylord

The more you learn, the more people want to dumb you down

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4

Truly, in fulfillment of this prophecy, knowledge has increased in these end times. The particular knowledge spoken of in the context of what God told Daniel in this prophecy has to do with godly knowledge. This encompasses, in general, God’s verification of whatever he proclaims. In particular, it includes the knowledge that Jesus is Lord, verification of the historical facts in the Bible, proof of the scientific facts in the Bible, a ramping up of the fulfillment of prophecies the Lord shares in the Bible, and the constant exposing of lies and deceptions the anti-God forces promote. All of this is happening with greater frequency and volume in this era.

moon earth sunYet, with this intensity of frequency and volume of godly knowledge comes great frequency and volume to oppose godly knowledge. It plays out in various ways every day from common people, public servants, business owners, the mainstream media, etc. who, for one reason or another, feel threatened by such knowledge. One of the latest incidents is the firing of biologist Mark Armitage from California State University, Northridge, in retaliation for his publishing his findings which imply the Earth is probably young–although he never came out and said anything to that effect in his article. Armitage examined a triceratops fossil along with a colleague who had acquired it and using microscopy discovered the horn of the dead dinosaur still had soft dinosaur tissue inside. This, of course, means dinosaurs are very recent in Earth history and coexisted with humans.

Prior to this, Armitage allowed students to take a look at the fossil for themselves in the microscopy lab. It is believed one of the students, who felt uneasy about the implications drawn from the evidence, complained (snitched) about Armitage to the higher ups. Subsequently, he was dismissed shortly after the article was published. The university claimed to no longer have the funds to continue his part-time position. The Pacific Justice Institute has filed a religious discrimination suit on Armitage’s behalf.

student learnsThe people of God are called upon to increase in our learning (Proverbs 9:9) and to abound in godly knowledge (2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Peter 1:5,8). As if dealing with the unsaved opposition of the world isn’t bad enough, we will come across church leaders with ungodly agendas who want to thwart our knowledge because they feel threatened by it. We will also encounter church lay members who resist godly knowledge that godly church leaders and other lay members want to share because they feel threatened by it. It’s in our best interest to resist and expose all such scenarios not only for the sake of our personal relationship with the Lord, but also for the love of fellow believers or unbelievers whose lives will be blessed and elevated by such godly knowledge.

Sources:

Daniel James Devine, Trumpeting a dinosaur horn, World Magazine, July 25, 2014.

Garrett Haley, ‘We Will Not Tolerate Your Religion!’ School Fires Scientist for Questioning Evolution, Christian News Network, July 24, 2014.

Terry Hurlbut, Science, religion and law, Examiner.com, July 25, 2014.

Was Christianity created by Paul the Apostle?

The lies of the Jesus Seminar continue to be spread around by many who just make assumptions and are gullible enough to believe whatever they hear as long as it takes swipes at Christianity. One such claim is that Jesus Christ was just considered an ordinary Jewish Israelite rabbi until Paul came along and made him divine to create Christianity. Paul, according to them, went behind the backs of Jesus’ family and the other disciples to spread a new form of Judaism with new doctrines that would be acceptable to Gentiles, promoting the rabbi Jesus from mere human to a God-man. And he did it so the Gentiles could dump Judaic laws such as keeping the sabbath or rejecting pork and other non-kosher foods.

However, those who make such claims don’t know their history or the Bible and they usually don’t back up their claims with reliable sources from the early era of the church. Let’s weigh the evidence to see how mistaken they are.

  

1. Paul’s words agreed with Jesus’ words.

Jesus said he was given by God so that those who believe in him will have everlasting life and are not condemned (John 3:16-18). Paul also said eternal life comes through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

At the Last Supper communion, Jesus said the bread and wine represented his body and blood, which was shed to establish the new testament for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). Paul said the same thing in 1 Corinthians 10:16 & 11:24-25.

Jesus gave a list of sins that defile mankind in Mark 7:21-22. Paul gives a list containing the same sins in Galatians 5:19-21.

2. Paul’s words agreed with the disciples’ words.

Peter and Paul gave the same instructions on how husbands should honor their wives (1 Corinthians 7:3-4; 1 Peter 3:7).

The disciples said Jesus rose from the dead (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20; Acts 4:33; 1 Peter 1:3). Paul agreed with them that Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 13:30; 1 Corinthians 15).

The disciples believed Jesus was the Lord God (John 1:1-3; 20:28, 31; Acts 2:38; 2 Peter 1:11). Paul also believed Jesus was the Lord God (Romans 8:3; Colossians 2:8-9).

3. The apostles (including James, the Lord’s brother) gave Paul the right hand of fellowship and supported his ministry even after Paul rebuked Peter for snubbing the Gentile brethren. (Acts 15:24-27; Galatians 2:9)

4. Toward the end of his life, Peter defended and endorsed Paul’s writings as scripture. (2 Peter 3:16)

5. At the end of the 1st century AD, Clement, the Bishop of Rome, named Paul in the same class as Peter when he called both of them “good Apostles” who lived “holy lives.” (1 Clement 5:3-6:1)

Clement’s letter shows that even non-biblical historical sources included Paul as equivalent to other apostles.

Conclusion

The skeptics really have no standing when they say Paul invented Christianity, but are speaking from hearts that hate the Lord and those who belong to him and they love sin, so they will conjure up whatever idea they can to convince themselves to remain unsaved.

Harry A. Gaylord

When nations become enablers: gay agenda side effects

Please look away if you don’t have the heart to hear criticism about gay activists and their agenda. I’m about to say some uncomfortable things and, as often is the case, those who love a particular sin or make excuses for it often live in denial about just how bad it is and get upset with frank discussions concerning it.

gay rainbow flagNow that that’s out of the way, I’ll proceed. There are some very disturbing trends that have been brought to light of late when it comes to homosexuality that the mainstream media doesn’t really like to address since it would fly in the face of their pro-gay, neo-fascist agenda. As America becomes more accepting of bad behaviors involved with the gay lifestyle and defend it, some negative side effects have arisen. For example, the CDC  and WHO have noted in recent studies that HIV is on the rise among gay and bisexual men, although it has significantly decreased in the rest of the population. It is such a problem that the WHO has strongly recommended that gay and bisexual men start automatically taking HIV drugs even if they haven’t been diagnosed with the disease–just as a precaution–since they have taken into account that a large number of these men avoid getting tested and have HIV without knowing it.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the CDC has also noted that the LGBT community has a higher rate of excessive drinking and smoking than heterosexuals that contributes to greater health problems with their hearts, lungs, and livers compared to heterosexuals. But wait, there’s more. It has also been noted that cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and hepatitis C have increased. Although this rise is seen in both the gay and teen-young adult population, a vast majority of those cases (75%+) are among gays and bisexuals.

Among the new cases of gonorrhea among gay males, an aggressive, drug-resistant new strain has arisen and 10% of those who contract it may not exhibit symptoms. This puts heterosexual women in harm’s way if they sleep with a bisexual man, many of whom hide their bisexuality (or in street terms they’re on the down-low (DL)). It will also put minors in harm’s way since (even though many are in denial about this) the LGBT community loves to target minors for sex and are working behind the scenes to push for legalized pedophilia little-by-little. I wonder how many of them are Catholic priests.

gay pink triangleDespite all of these negative trends, the LGBT community is trying to pressure the FDA to accept their blood donations, claiming they are being discriminated against. Unbelievable. Not only has the gay rights agenda turned the U.S. into a nation of enablers of their hedonistic vanity, we can now see how nihilistically selfish they are. By claiming discrimination of blood donations, which the FDA does to prevent the spread of diseases to the sick, LGBTs reveal they don’t really care about others, just as long as they can have their way as if they are entitled to have their way in every circumstance. So a big “thank you” to all enablers out there for their contributions to this new America.

It’s interesting that some of the articles I read to put this post together actually blame society and those who are against homosexuality as the problem for these trends, instead of letting the individuals themselves accept personal responsibility. I guess they’re too blind to see that the more the LGBTs get their so-called “rights”, the greater the negative trends. “Gay marriages” won’t stop these trends either since their mockery of marriage is really an “open” sexual arrangement.

So, once again, it turns out God was right to warn us away from fornication in the Bible. It shows that he really loves us and wants us to live well and be healthy enough to prosper in body, soul, and spirit.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:3

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 1 Corinthians 15:33

Sources:

Rhodi Lee, Major CDC study warns gays and lesbians face greater health challenges than heterosexuals, Tech Times, July 16, 2014.

William Bigelow, CDC: HIV Down in General Population but Surging with Gay, Bisexual Males, Breitbart.com, July 20, 2014.

San Fran Reports Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea on the Rise Among Gay Men, Wehoville.com, June 15, 2014.

Eugénie Olson, Do Bisexuals Face More Health Risks?, Cosmopolitan.com, July 19, 2014.

Benjamin Ryan, Hepatitis C Transmits Sexually in HIV-Positive Gay Men, AIDSmeds.com, June 1, 2014.

Syphilis and gonorrhea on the rise in the U.S. – especially among gay men and young people, DailyMailOnline, January 9, 2014.

Gay pedophilia may be more common than reported, Gay Christian Movement Watch, July 14, 2012.

Evolutionist has to reverse dinosaur-to-bird fossil claim for 2nd time

scansoriopteryx by vasix @ deviant artStephen Czerkas from the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah, purchased a fossil from China in 1999 from a dealer for $80,000 and National Geographic touted the fossil as proof that dinosaurs transitioned into birds. They announced this before verifying that the fossil was genuinely the half bird, half dinosaur they assumed it to be.

Then they were caught with egg on their faces when researchers exposed the fossil, christened Archaeoraptor, as a fraud that was a bird fossil fused artificially together with a dinosaur fossil. Nevertheless, not to be held back from his dinosaur-to-bird theories, Czerkas and his wife published a book in 2002 naming another fossil, Scansoriopteryx, as an example that dinosaurs became birds. Scansoriopteryx was classified as a theropod dinosaur with feathers discovered in Inner Mongolia and Czerkas was working with the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences to study the fossil. Alan Feduccia from the University of North Carolina was also brought in to help.

After subjecting the fossil to “advanced 3D microscopy, high resolution photography and low angle lighting to reveal structures not clearly visible before,” Czerkas and Feduccia discovered that the forelimbs, hind limbs, pelvis, and other parts of Scansoriopteryx undoubtedly showed that what Czerkas thought was half bird, half dinosaur was really 100% bird. Czerkas has found himself backtracking for the second time in his career. The two scientists now “believe that dinosaurs are not the primitive ancestors of birds.”

Brian Thomas of the Institute for Creation Research notes the following about the situation:

‘This extinct bird’s distinct anatomy fits Scripture’s explanation that birds were birds and dinosaurs were dinosaurs from the moments of their creation on days five and six of the creation week. And the very fact that the bird specimen was fossilized, having been buried rapidly in mud, fits Scripture’s explanation that all air-breathing, land-living creatures perished unless they were among the cadre on board the ark.

‘The fact that serious scientists had been willing to label Scansoriopteryx a dinosaur despite its distinct bird body and feathers surely says more about scientists and their “science” than it does about the fossil.’

But you won’t hear this somewhat embarrassing situation in major news outlets since it makes macroevolution look like exactly what it is–fairy tales dressed up to appear scientific.

Sources:

Birdlike fossil challenges notion that birds evolved from ground-dwelling dinosaurs, ScienceDaily.com, July 9, 2014.

Brian Thomas, Second Look Causes Scientist to Reverse Dino-Bird Claim, Institute for Creation Research, http://www.icr.org, July 18, 2014.

Harry A. Gaylord

Is it a fool’s errand to confront fools?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even an extended period of life on this Earth to figure out our world is full of fools. It’s inevitable that sooner or later we will confront one and we should hope to God that the fool we confront will not be who we see in the mirror. Fools come in all shapes, sizes, skin pigments, and philosophies. The Bible gives us the basic definition of what a fool is. They are the ones who despise and reject wisdom and instruction that please God and that ultimately aim for results that please God (Proverbs 1:7).

When we come across a fool, should we run away from them? Should we just let them say whatever it is they have to say and avoid responding? Or should we address their bad behavior with constructive criticism? Our response may have to come down to what we think is best given a particular situation. However, God Court jesterhas given us some basic guidelines on handling them throughout scripture and Proverbs 26 lists two of them.

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. Prov. 26

At first glance, these statements appear contradictory by first telling us not to answer a fool’s foolishness, then telling us we should answer a fool in their foolishness. But the explanation is rather simple. Verse 4 is telling us not to stoop down to the fool’s level if we choose to address their foolish ways. In other words, if a fool gets all up in your face to cuss at you, don’t respond in the same manner because you will be proving yourself to be as foolish as they are. If a fool gossips about you, don’t gossip about them in retaliation. If they steal from you, don’t turn around and steal from them.

Verse 5 tells us how we should handle them. To ‘answer a fool according to his folly’ means that you acknowledge they’ve done something foolish yet you choose to confront them in a way that wisely points out to them that you are aware of their foolish action and bring to their attention how wrong you believe their foolishness is.

For instance, if someone tells you they need to borrow some money to get some food and you lend them money, but they buy drugs instead, the next time they ask to borrow something you can say something like “I would love to help you out, but the last time I let you borrow something, you told me it was for one thing when you actually used it for something else that I don’t approve of. So I’m sure you can understand that I no longer think it’s a good idea to let you borrow my things since you may tell me one thing, but do something totally different.” In many cases, a person will be shocked that you have them figured out and they may just back off because you’ve given them something to think about, especially since you called them a liar without calling them a liar. Some may admit you’re right and apologize. Others may be so far gone in their foolishness they may try to change your response, but holding firm will be a testimony that you won’t let yourself be a fool for them.

Ultimately, the fool will be forced to see that he/she is not as wise in their own conceits as they thought. Diplomacy may work sometimes, then at other times being blunt will have to do the trick. For example, when James called church people ‘adulterers and adulteresses’ for being like the world (James 4), or when Paul called Elymas the sorcerer a ‘child of the devil’ for trying to dissuade Sergius Paulus from believing the gospel (Acts 13). We as believers have the Holy Spirit inside to tell us how to handle a fool in each situation where we encounter them. All we have to do is listen, then move as he directs.

Harry A. Gaylord

Why I ignore the food police to eat whatever I wish

red meatAs a person who enjoys exercising regularly, I avoid overeating (gluttony) and keep my consumption of junk food to a minimum. But there aren’t many foods I turn down. I eat red meat, white meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, “bad” carbs, and, on occasion, I drink wine. All of this I do in moderation, of course. And I thank God for all of them.

Years ago, I used to be almost obsessed with studies done on food to let them determine what I should eat. That is, until the studies contradicted each other. One study would say eggs were bad. Then another would say eggs are good. One report would say red meat is bad. Another one would say red meat is good. Then as I started to find out about all of the things the global elitists and their New World Order wanted to impose on people, to my surprise controlling people’s diets was part of their socialist-false religion-oligarchy agenda. For me, it shed new light on Paul’s warning to Timothy about how it would be in the last days. On Paul’s list were the following words in 1 Timothy 4:

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith

3 commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

I learned to take his words to heart and have started noticing that little-by-little, the elitists are attempting to pressure people to give up certain foods with claims that we will help out the environment by reducing our carbon footprint if we do or that it will lower healthcare costs by making us healthier. Paul states outright in the passage above that the move toward preventing red winepeople from eating meat is false doctrine. As long as I know the food is produced and prepared in a safe manner and isn’t dedicated to a false god, I’ll eat it with thanksgiving, sanctifying it by God’s word and prayer.

I’m determined now, more than ever, that whether I eat, or drink, or whatsoever I do, I’ll do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Besides, these global elitists (like former NY mayor Michael Bloomberg) who claim they give up certain foods tend to be hypocrites. It wouldn’t surprise me if they just make the claims for publicity sake while in private they still gorge on the food they claim to give up. They can try to guilt trip and brainwash all they want by sending out their food police, but since I continue to get a clean bill of health from my doctor and do all things in moderation with balance in my diet coupled with exercise, the food police can take a hike.

Harry A. Gaylord

God offers some things for a limited time only, so carpe diem

Ever been in a situation where you knew God was prompting you to act quickly in that particular moment, but you disobeyed him and talked yourself out of it and then kicked yourself later for missing out on that opportunity? I’ve been guilty of that several times before. In one instance, I had to pick up something I needed from the store one night. On my way there, I had the sense in my spirit that I would encounter someone who would need my help. I knew it was God giving me a heads-up to be ready right then and there.

At the checkout line, sure enough, a young lady right in front of me with two little kids was running her bank card through the card reader and did not have enough money in her account to pay for her things. Her bill wasn’t much and it would have been nothing for me to pay for her stuff, but I didn’t. I just let her walk away with her two little ones empty-handed while the clerk voided the transaction and set the things aside for them to be returned to the shelves. Yes, I felt really bad about it afterwards and asked God’s forgiveness for being so cold. But don’t you know, when you fail God’s test once, he often gives it to you again. So a similar scenario played out again later at a different store, different time of day and that time I got it right by helping a young lady in line ahead of me pay for her items.

helping handWe are without excuse in cases where God lines up all our resources perfectly to contribute to his plan in some way, but we back off from acting at the moment he tells us to. Ancient Israel found this out the hard way after God delivered them from Egypt, the most powerful empire on Earth at that time. He wanted them to conquer the promised land with a quickness and proved over and over by his miracles and human resources he provided that he had their back to help them win. In addition to Moses and Aaron, God chose one man from each tribe to stand with Moses. These men had so much potential that even their names were a testimony from God to the Israelites. Their names, listed in Numbers 1, were as follows:

  • Elizur (tribe of Reuben): ‘God is a Rock.‘ A name that likens God to a huge boulder, reflecting his trustworthiness, steadfastness, and reliability as well as his might to crush what tries to hinder his plans.
  • Shelumiel (Simeon): ‘Peace of (with) God.‘ A name that reassures that one is right with God in obedience and should have no worries in spite of how situations look outwardly.
  • Nahshon (Judah): ‘One who has learned by experience (observation).‘ This speaks of someone who knows God well enough to discern right from wrong based on having seen God and his word in action.
  • Nethaneel (Issachar): ‘Given of God.‘ Reflects the ability to judge what is truly of God and to humbly admit and accept God’s blessings.
  • Eliab (Zebulun): ‘God is Father.‘ And as Father, it is his duty to protect, provide, lead, and teach to help his children navigate through life.
  • Elishama (Ephraim): ‘God has heard.‘ God cares enough about us to listen to our concerns, then address those concerns according to his will.
  • Gamaliel (Manasseh): ‘God has rewarded.‘ An acknowledgement that “[e]very good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights,” and encouragement that following him will eventually pay off.
  • Abidan (Benjamin): ‘The Father is judge.‘ Recognizes that ultimately the Father will have the final say on important matters.
  • Ahiezer (Dan): ‘My brother helps.‘ God has our spiritual siblings helping us out, whether they are nearby, in another part of the world, or in heaven, like our true Big Brother–Jesus.
  • Pagiel (Asher): ‘God meets.‘ Wherever believers are, God fellowships with us in prayer and in studying his word.
  • Eliasaph (Gad): ‘God has added.‘ When believers give their lives, time, talents, and resources for God’s glory, God uses human, natural, and supernatural resources to give to them in “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.”
  • Ahira (Naphtali): ‘My brother feeds (shepherds, watches).’ God provides us with spiritual siblings to minister to us and who have our best interest in mind when we need it. This name also points to the Good Shepherd, our Brother, who has given his life for his sheep.

In spite of all these resources, these men and their fellow Israelites failed to live up to their potential because they let fear win over faith. They missed out on God’s Promised Land offer because they refused to believe who they were called to be and God closed their window of opportunity. We can learn from their mistakes.

Harry A. Gaylord

Disrespect for the sacred can invite a smackdown from God’s hand

There are many things in this life that God has set apart as sacred and doesn’t want us messing with in a way that diminishes their sanctity. When the sacred is turned into a tool for self-glorification or some other form of idolatry, the situation calls for God to step in with some form of his judgment. Our bad actions in such cases beg for God’s equal and opposite reaction. By equal, I mean God determines what judgment is necessary to address each particular situation.

The last king of Babylon, Belshazzar, found this out the hard way in Daniel 5. He was puffed up by his power, position, and wealth and thought it would be a great idea to have a big party for his government leaders and many wives–a party full of gluttony and drunkenness. And to add injury to insult, he brought in all the sacred vessels the Babylonians took as the spoils of war from God’s temple in Jerusalem, using them to get drunk. These were anointed vessels dedicated to glorify Jehovah, but Belshazzar and his thousands of VIPs used them for binge drinking. As they were getting drunk, they then shouted praises to their Babylonian idols for providing the vessels from Jehovah’s temple to get drunk with.

no ChristianityThat’s when God decided enough was enough and crashed the party with a human hand that suddenly appeared supernaturally in the air that put the writing on the wall for Belshazzar and his crew. The drunken king was scared sober by it and eventually Daniel, because of his godly reputation, was called in to decipher God’s message–MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. The king promised Daniel all kinds of prestige and prosperity if he would help them figure it out, but Daniel wasn’t interested in what Belshazzar offered and just gave the message out of his love for the Lord. In that message, Daniel rebuked the king for not learning the lessons of the recent past from his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar who was temporarily dethroned for turning crazy after disrespecting God. That night the prophecy was fulfilled and the Babylonian Empire fell by a sneak attack from the Medo-Persian Empire. It was curtains for Belshazzar.

Now if God felt this way about how his vessels of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone were used, just imagine how he must feel about the disrespect for sacred things like sex, marriage, children, the Bible, and the true Christians (his church and temple of today) that is pervasive in today’s society. Belshazzar was so busy disrespecting God and doing what felt good to him he was inattentive to a deadly enemy approaching, which made judgment all that much easier to get him. Those who are determined in our time to thumb their noses at God should take this as a lesson, because the same thing could happen to them. And if it does, they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Harry A. Gaylord

Only Jesus can satisfy hungry & thirsty souls

I’m not quite sure why there are people in this world who believe that we humans are basically good. Even if you have a nice job, live in a nice neighborhood, have a family of nice law-abiding citizens, are surrounded by good friends, sooner or later an uncomfortable situation or conflict with another human is inevitable that should bring to our attention just how messed up we as humans really are.

Libyan desert oasisThankfully, our being messed up inside isn’t the end of the story. Most of us who have found the ultimate purpose and meaning to life had to travel a road of dissatisfaction and disappointment in ourselves and others before our “Eureka!” moment–our epiphany. In the end what matters is that you arrived there, not necessarily how you got there. Dissatisfaction and disappointment with politicians, government, family, friends, churches, employment situations, material possessions, and other things in this world are golden opportunities for the Lord to reveal to us that our ultimate satisfaction in life can only come when we become internally content in our relationship with him in spite of our outward circumstances (Philippians 4:11-13).

Even one of the richest, wisest, most powerful men who ever lived–King Solomon–had to eventually come to this conclusion. In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon, who had just about everything people in his time could possibly dream of having, was left with the feeling of being surrounded by worthlessness. He tried his hand at comedy, all kinds of wines and vineyards, fancy architecture, agriculture, hiring lots of employees, silver and gold mines and all the jewelry and furnishings made from them, and the latest and greatest live bands and singers. Then after acquiring all of it, he looked around at all of it and realized that none of it gave him the ultimate contentment he yearned for (Eccl. 2:1-11). Solomon was drawn to the conclusion that the only way to truly enjoy life was to recognize the things one had in life, whether little or much, were from God and to be thankful to God for them by fearing him and keeping his commandments (Eccl. 2: 24; 12:13-14).

God blessed us with the good things in this world, which are temporary, so we can be mindful of what Paul teaches us by the Spirit. Namely, to use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away,” 1 Corinthians 7:31. John provides us with an additional witness of this principle when he commands us to “[l]ove not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever,” 1 John 2:15-17. The things of this world are fleeting–passing away. That’s why satisfaction with whatever this world has to offer, including its empty philosophies, doesn’t last even for those who chase after the world’s things. Better to shoot for stuff that lasts forever. That’s my goal even when I highlight the messed up situations that take place in this fallen world.

Harry A. Gaylord

 

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