Posts Tagged ‘who do you belong to?’

Identifying the Antichrist

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Recently, a friend asked me (via Facebook) to look at a website published by a woman claiming to be a modern day prophet and naming a specific individual as the antichrist.

He wanted to know what I thought about it. My response was lengthy, and considering the tribulation we all can see in the world today, I thought worth sharing.

Several people in recent history have been identified as THE antichrist.

Is Obama the Antichrist?Adolf Hitler and Raj Patel come to mind as having had that finger pointed at them, and frankly, in 2008 I suspected Obama as being the one. All are of them are at least symptoms of the growing culture of ‘antichristism’, but I don’t think the text in Revelation points to a person as much as an “ism”. The bible teaches that God uses both righteous and evil men to achieve His will. No position of power is received by any man unless God permits it. It is all part of His plan, perfecting humanity so that as many will come to Him of their own free will as possible.

In Isaiah 55:8-11 it says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

In Revelation we are shown a vision of the world from the divine perspective in order that we may understand that what we see and hear and touch and experience is not necessarily what it appears to us to be. I have been studying the Revelation in depth over the past 18 months, so allow me to share some things from a different perspective.

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Lessons from “a Son of Man”

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

I recently read a commentary on Daniel’s Dream of the Four Beasts (Daniel 7:1-28) and was awestruck at the way the author described verse 13 as Daniel witnessing Christ being glorified by God in the presence of the heavenly multitude, five hundred Son of Man  and fifty some odd years before the sojourn of Jesus on the earth.  It was a beautiful and powerful picture that brought forth feelings of love and worship for our Saviour, yet something was troubling me and I could not put my finger on it.  For several days it was like an itch I could not scratch, so I hit the books to get to the Truth, after praying for God to enlighten me.

My study began with some research on the phrase “son of man” which was central to the basis of the commentary I had read.  Far different from the phrase “son of man” used in other Old Testament passages, which would simply mean human, (more…)

Who Conquered Sin & Death

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

from anberlin_fan on GodTube.

 

Praying From Abundance

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

This video, praying from abundance, has been on my mind for a very long time… for the past 7 days it has been an all consuming passion, and finally, it is done!

 Enjoy this video designed to deepen your expectancy

and mobilize your faith.

 

praying from abundance

 

Disfrute este video diseñado para profundizar

su expectativa y movilizar su fe.

 

orando en abundancia

We Are The Battlefield!

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Battlefield reports on the news are a constant reminder that all is not well.

We Are The Battlefield!

We Are The Battlefield!

We Are The Battlefield!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a time when so many of our young men and women are serving on battlefields far from home, it is still difficult for us to relate to the reasons and purposes being served.  It all seems so far away.  How can we begin to understand our place in a world filled with war when we do not physically see the battlefield?

I have heard preachers of many denominations speak about the battlefield being threefold.

They say it is in, around, and above us.  They say there is  a battle within, being our struggle with our sinful nature, a battle around us as we struggle against temptation, and a larger battlefield above us in the heavens where countless legions of those opposed to God and those loyal to Him battle to possess the souls of Christ’s church.   Some may simplify it and describe the struggle as being in mind, body, and spirit, but I have grown to see these as only three facets of a many faceted battlefield.

Our newscasters water it down for us, speaking of things like the “war in the middle east”,  but there are many wars in the middle east.  And there is not just  a war behind the war, but many wars behind and within each of these wars.   There are many dimensions to the struggle.  Nation against nation, power against power, riches against riches, politician against politician, religion against religion, race against race, even sect against sect and denomination against denomination!  Behind every concept of the battlefield we attempt to comprehend, there seems to lie another more sinister manipulation going on.  In truth, even those on foreign soil in the midst of the battlefield only glimpse at the surface of the real battle being fought.   How far we have wandered from the plans our God of peace (shalom) intended for us, but WHY?

The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians,We Are The Battlefield!

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

The notes in the Life Application Study Bible expand on this verse with this explanation.

We Are The Battlefield!These who are not “flesh-and-blood enemies” are demons over whom the devil has control. They are not mere fantasies—they are very real. We face a powerful army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try every device to turn us away from Him and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns, because Satan is constantly battling against all who are on the Lord’s side. We need supernatural power to defeat Satan, and God has provided this by giving us his Holy Spirit within us and his armor surrounding us. If you feel discouraged, remember Jesus’ words to Peter: “Upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it”

There has been an ever expanding allegory of countless struggles and wars since the fall of man in the garden of Eden.  Human history is riddled with countless battlefields and countless sinister plans, and we mere mortals have been the focal point of these struggles both as individuals like Job, Jonah, Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, and Adolf Hitler, and entire communities, races, and nationalities of people like the blacks, Jews, Freemasons, Kurds, Palestinians, and Christians.  We have been used and abused, wined and dined, fooled, tricked, enticed, endangered, and played against one another, as part of Satan’s campaign to convince God that we will fear, worship, and follow him in defiance of our Creator.  The underlying purpose of the chaos that surrounds us is to prove who we truly belong to.

Kahlil Gibran wrote in his 1923 book, The Prophet,

“Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgment wage war against passion and your appetite.  Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody…

…Among the hills, when you sit in the cool shade of the white poplars, sharing the peace and serenity of distant fields and meadows – then let your heart say in silence, “God rests in reason.”  And when the storm comes, and the mighty wind shakes the forest, and thunder and lightning proclaim the majesty of the sky, – then let your heart say in awe, “God moves in passion.” And since you are a breath In God’s sphere, and a leaf in God’s forest, you too should rest in reason and move in passion.”

The battle that Gibran references is our struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, where the only true balance to be found is through faith that God has a plan and He is ultimately in control.

Prayer is our weapon, and yet prayer is our battle.  We are the battlefield, and yet we are also the prize.

Perhaps that is why faith can be so difficult for so many.  It often feels like we are in a no win situation.  Politicians will continue to lie, innocents will continue to die, injustice is evident all around us, the world economy is in utter chaos, personal relationships are abandoned in haste, and in spite of it all we are called by a holy God to look beyond all of that,  and to keep our eyes planted firmly on Jesus, knowing that we are victorious standing with Him.  When we are wearing the scars of the battlefield all over us, it is hard to believe God even though we profess to believe in Him, and the choice to do just that is the crucial differentiator that defines who we belong to.

If we belong to the world we will enter the battlefield with the weapons of the world, convinced that we are doing the will of God and fighting for His glory and honor.  But if we belong to Him, we will choose to believe God even when it seems absurd to do so.  We will do what He has instructed us to do.  We will study His word, strive to keep His commandments, and we will pray, even when we see no evidence that He has heard or answered.  We will confound the enemies of God by continuing to worship Him, giving all praise, honor, and glory to our Creator.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

We are the battlefield, and the battlefield belongs to God.

If God Is In Control, Why Do I Feel This Way?

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

God is in control…


But for me, this weekend has been one of mixed feelings that I am sure many of you can relate to.  I have had to remind myself over and over… God is in control!

God Is In Control


It seems my world was turned inside out by one event after another, and I can only wonder why.  What purpose will this serve?  What am I to learn? And I wrestle with myself because one of the things that happened is something I know in my heart had to happen eventually, several years ago I even hoped that it would, but now that it has it hurts me deeply.


God is in control!


I never doubted that God was there, I only doubted if He was there for me, and only for a moment until I recognized the enemy had seized the opportunity to tempt me with doubt.


Get thee behind me Satan…  God is in control!


I am angry that innocent ones have been hurt by the choices made by one they should have been able to be able to look up to, and now we must all remain helpless spectators as the drama that has begun continues to unfold, causing more pain.


God is in control!


That is the only TRUTH that will carry us through.   Peace only comes when we place our burden at His feet and stop fighting to take it back onto our own shoulders.  The wisdom I have gleaned is a sobering reminder that wealth is not about how much you have, but about the manner in which you use the things with which you have been entrusted.


Blessings & Adventure,


Lynn “lynnibug” Rios


God Is In Control


There is no other option.  God is in control!


Awesome Video from Dare2Share.org

Friday, April 1st, 2011

 

 

Temptation

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

With gratitude for the teaching and preaching of Pastor Dawn Anderson of Forest Hills United Methodist Church.  My inspiration today comes straight from Pastor Dawn’s  sermon this morning.

I have written often This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.that what it all comes down to in the end is one simple question.  Who do you belong to?  But I never really thought about it in the context of the temptation of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew until today.

The stage is set in Matthew chapter 3.  Jesus and John meet at the Jordan River.  John does not feel worthy to baptize Jesus, but Jesus instructs him to do so.  Now picture this scene in your mind from verses 16 – 17 “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.   And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 4:9 (NKJV)  9 And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." There is no question who Jesus belongs to as we read the last two verses of chapter 3, but the very first verse in chapter 4 lets us know that the enemy wants Him to falter and tempts Him in his weakest human moment. Matthew 4:1-3 “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.   And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’”  Two more times the enemy tempted Jesus to turn away from the difficult mission of redemption the Father had set before Him, and take an easier path.  All three times Jesus met the temptation with God the Father’s word.

This is the example that Jesus set, to stand fast in the knowledge of who you are, and what God has called you to do.  Do not forget who you belong to, and do not falter and give yourself to another.  The human condition is rich with examples, from infidelity in a marriage to a sports figure throwing a match for a handsome payoff.  When we give in to this temptation we lose our identity and our direction in life.

Matthew 4:11 (NKJV)  11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

In the Gospel of Matthew 4:11, it ends there with angels coming to minister to a tired and hungry Jesus, but in the Gospel of Luke 4:13 it is not so final. Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.”  You see it wasn’t over for Jesus, and likewise we will ever be tempted in this earthly life.

The way my Pastor said it this morning was as plain and simple as it gets.  “Whatever it is that will make you sell out, will one day be put in your path.”  Be prepared when that day comes, and be well grounded in who you are child of God.  Keep your spirit well fed on God’s word, and continue always to seek more wisdom and understanding, so that when faced with the trials and temptation that will come, you will stand firm on the word of God.

Blessings & Adventure

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios



Prevenient Grace

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Since the holiday season, I have found myself in several discussions that touched on the concept of prevenient grace.  Several of my readers have asked for more information on this subject, and I have waited patiently for God to give me the inspiration and understanding to address prevenient grace in a manner that will edify and encourage my brothers and sisters.

Many envision God as a god of wrath who punishes those who believe the wrong things and rewards those who believe the right things.  They would have you place more emphasis on doctrine than on works, and more emphasis on works that on relationship.  I do not know their god.  What I do know is that we will never be holy, never have a perfect understanding of the scriptures, and  never accomplish enough good works to be worthy of the love, forgiveness, and eternal life He has promised to His children.  I also know that whatever doctrine you may be hearing from the self proclaimed righteous, they don’t measure up either!

If we are all so badly flawed, then how can we possibly find our way to the presence of His holiness?  That process starts when we stop believing in God, and as a result of the prevenient grace he has shown us, we start BELIEVING GOD!

De Colores!

I learned about prevenient grace when I attended Aldersgate Women’s Walk to Emmaus #99, where I sat at the table of Martha.  If you have not participated in a Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, or one of the many “three day’s”, I recommend it highly and  would be honored to connect you to a “fourth day” community near you.  If you are on your fourth day journey as I am, De Colores!

Prevenient grace is the activity of God wooing us from the moment of our conception into a loving relationship.  It is the grace that prevents us from moving so far from God that we cannot respond to God’s offer of love.  It is the grace that is extended to us from the moment of conception to the moment of conversion.  God reaches out to us to bring us into a relationship with Him, and it is through that relationship that He is able to begin His work of perfecting us to take our place as His children, destined to inherit all of the promises contained in the Holy Scriptures.

God always finishes what He starts.  He always does what He says He will do.  This is as true for your life as it was in the lives of the people we read about in the scriptures.  In Philippians 1:4-6 Paul wrote to that church “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL CARRY IT ON TO COMPLETION UNTIL THE DAY OF CHRIST JESUS.”  Just as He reached out to offer a covenant relationship to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David, through prevenient grace He calls to us  to enter into a covenant relationship with Him.  The most important things to grasp here are:

  1. That God takes the initiative, He is the pursuer, and when you respond to his invitation, He is the one doing the work of perfecting, NOT YOU!

  2. This is going to take some time… “until the day of Christ Jesus”

On the day I was conceived, He began a good work in me.  On the day you were conceived He began a good work in you too.   That is prevenient grace.

Here I am Lord

And so our relationship with God begins.  Prevenient grace has brought us this far, now His justifying grace begins to shape us.  We don’t have to be perfect, because God is, and He already knows we are not.  The God I know is a God of abundant grace, who created us to be in relationship with Him.  When we engage God in this way, we hunger for His Holy Word, we recognize His fatherly promptings, we do good works because we desire to, and most importantly WE BELIEVE HIM!  All of this is possible, not because of what we do, or what we believe, but because His Holy Spirit makes it so!

When we join God as He does His work in us, we begin to bear fruit.  We do not need to analyze what is good, bad, right, or wrong, and judge others because they don’t meet some doctrinal criteria we feel one must meet to get past St. Peter at the pearly gates.  We are freed by allowing God to do His work in us, with confidence that He has extended the same grace to others and is patiently doing His work perfecting them as well.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

 

French Toast – Just Enough To Get To Heaven

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

There has been an interesting discussion going on in recent weeks about what exactly will qualify a person to inherit eternal life. I have come across as much watered down doctrine as I have over the top legalistic doctrine, which has left me asking why so many people seem to be set on doing “just enough” to get to heaven? While the over the top doctrine pushers would have you believe that you must believe exactly as they do, the watered down faction seems to be seeking the quickest, easiest, cheapest ticket that will be accepted at the pearly gates.

French ToastIn any endeavor, when you seek to do “just enough” rather than to excel, you may technically succeed, but you are only cheating yourself when you give less than your best. Here is a real world example – French Toast.

If I take the eggs and beat them just a little, then quickly dip the bread in the eggs and fry it on up in a really hot pan, I will technically have French Toast. It will be dry in the middle and have crusty egg white on the edges, and maybe a few charred spots, but it will have about the same nutritional value as it would have if I were more attentive to the details.

In contrast, if I mix the eggs well, maybe add some cinnamon, give the bread some time to soak up the egg mixture and then gently fry it to a golden brown, it will be moist and appetizing. I will delight in its taste and texture and my meal will be far more satisfying!

If you really think about it, the real difference between these two versions of French Toast is the loving care we put into it. In the same way, we open ourselves to receive from God, according to the loving care we put into having a relationship with Him. I have said many times, it is not about what you believe or even what you do or don’t do, it’s all about who you belong to. When you belong to someone, you put that loving care into building the relationship so that it becomes ever more satisfying. By trying to get away with “just enough”, you are placing limits on God, through whom all things are possible. Now why would anyone want to do that?

If you belong to Jesus, you will surely fall down sometimes, but you will more often strive to do what pleases Him. By grace, He is not counting the times you fall, He is rather counting the times you get up and move closer to Him.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

 

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