How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I’m very excited to be dropping a new episode on the podcast today. As Reformation Day fast approaches I thought it would be helpful to look back through Church History at the moments that led to the need for reform. How did the church go from 1st century Apostolic teaching all the way to completely rejecting the Gospel? Let’s see where things went wrong and what we can learn from them today.
Don’t forget to stick around for the fun blooper real at the end, and check out the links I’ve added in the timestamped outline below. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. Great news, y’all, Tulips & Honey Hub is now officially available on Amazon’s new Podcasting app! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
I was tremendously honored to be interviewed by David Knight founder of Exposit the Word. It premiered yesterday afternoon, but you can now check it out over on his YouTube channel which I’ll link below.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I was tremendously honored to be interviewed by David Knight founder of Exposit the Word. It premiered yesterday afternoon, but you can now check it out over on his YouTube channel which I’ll link below. I hope that this interview will be edifying, and that you’ll take the time to subscribe to his channel and check out some of the other fantastic video’s he has up. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
People honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me
What do Mark Batterson, Nancy DeMoss, and Priscilla Shirer have in common?
They have all taught people to draw circles, stand inside and pray for something. Now, I’m not going to rehash all the articles about circle making because I believe the word has gotten out about how very unbiblical Circle Making is, so your welcome. The fad wore off soon after true biblical brothers and sisters started addressing the subject.
Just to quickly recap for those that may not have ever heard of Circle Making, it’s the practice of many Christians by making a circle on the ground by drawing it in the dirt or using tape or whatever and then stand inside the circle and ask God for something.
I mentioned above 3 people that have held teaching on Circle Making and I would like to point out how they teach it and why.
Now, to start off with I want to explain how Mark Batterson was the first in modern days to write about Circle Making.
I’ll quote from this article titled, “The Origins and Evolution of Prayer Circles”,
“In his book, Batterson states that it was Gipsy Smith who inspired him to write the book, which is a retelling of the story of Honi the Circle Maker, a Jewish miracle worker. According to the legend, a group of Jews came to Honi and asked him to pray to God to make it rain and end the drought they were experiencing. Honi prayed, but the rain did not come. So Honi drew a circle on the ground and stood within it and prayed again. This time a very light rain started. Honi was not satisfied so he prayed again to God, saying, “This is not that rain that I prayed for! I prayed for rain that will fill the cisterns!” Then it began to rain very, very hard. Again, Honi stood in his circle and prayed to God, saying, “I did not pray for such a hard rain, but a good rain!” and then it began to rain moderately. One of the Israelites then said to Honi, “You entreat God, and He performs your will!”
“Batterson has taken the pagan ritual of Gipsy Smith, and the legend of Honi the Circle Maker, and thrown in a dash of prosperity gospel to create his various “Circle Maker” books which have sold well throughout the Church, influencing hundreds of churches and Christians. One of the more influential followers of Batterson’s false “Circle Maker” teaching is Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham. Lotz is so enamored with Batterson’s teaching that she has threatened to shut down at least one website that called for her to repent of it.”
So, you’ll see how the newest fad of modern times of Circle Making came from Batterson’s book.
I have to say though the section where the man named Honi seems to push his own weight around with God is a bit cringe. He speaks to God as if he himself is God’s Boss. For example, the first time Honi prayed and it rained he sounds a bit annoyed that God got it wrong. It says in the write-up that he prayed again to God, saying, “This is not that rain that I prayed for! I prayed for rain that will fill the cisterns!”.
I just feel as if this is a correction to God as if Honi is saying God messed up. So, the second time Honi prays again… “Then it began to rain very, very hard. Again, Honi stood in his circle and prayed to God, saying, “I did not pray for such a hard rain, but a good rain!” and then it began to rain moderately.” This appears to really frustrate Honi and he again corrects God. I find this very disrespectful for Honi to talk to the Lord in such away. Honi is not calling the shots, God is, so who is he to address a Holy and Righteous God the Creator of all the living in such a way that makes him look like a spoiled child.
Why would Batterson not see how disturbing this guy’s attitude towards God is?
So shortly after Mark Batterson’s book, you can see how others start practicing circle making and bringing it into their life.
Mark says you can draw a circle with chalk 3 times, stands inside, and prays for any situation you are facing. In his book review, it asks “what impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around?”
Answer: Nothing! God does not call us to draw circles around any dream or situation we have.
Take note that there are two different men involved in the making of this very old story that Mark talks about, Honi and Gipsy Smith. Honi is the man that was asked to pray for rain and then Gipsy Smith the man that follows in Honi’s footsteps teach it as a place to pray for revival.
Next we have Nancy DeMoss, she’s a woman that picked up Circle Making after it became popular and introduced it into her women conferences. Nancy DeMoss tells the same story on the very first night of her conference about the man named Gypsi Smith that made a circle and stood inside it and prayed.
An article titled, “Nancy Leigh DeMoss Endorsing Chalk Circles? Mercy” quotes this: “Nancy Leigh DeMoss also spoke at a True Woman Conference in September 2012, and according to an article on the True Woman website, chalk circles were drawn throughout the conference room, and participants of the conference were encouraged to utilize these circles for prayer. And as a clever little marketing tie-in, the participants were sent home after the conference with little goody bags containing, that’s right, chalk, so that they could all go home and perform their own pagan rituals, umm, prayer circles.”
Quotes from it say, “Nancy (conf): And to step inside that circle and say, “Lord, would You send revival to my family? Would You send revival to my church? Would You send an awakening to our nation, to our world? We desperately need it. But oh, Lord, would You start the revival inside this circle? Let it begin in me.
Janet: So let me tell you what happened for me as a speaker when I stepped into that circle. I was under very strong conviction. David said, “My sins are ever before me.” That’s what I felt when I was in that circle. I thought, “Lord, I’m not here to teach these women. I’m here to seek Your face.”
Janet (conf): The point here is Jesus. He’s defying convention. He’s moving deeper into the life of a woman who had some pretty dark secrets, and she’s more thirsty than she can even imagine or knows herself. So Jesus responds. And He says, “Everyone who drinks this water [referring to the well] will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” What a message! What a Teacher!
Janet: And standing in this circle I am very aware of my own sins. And what I want more than anything is to walk away from this experience saying, “Lord, I’ve had a wash, rinse, and spin cycle. My sins have been blotted out. I have a fresh start and a new beginning, and I want to seek Him as Nancy was teaching us. Not once every five years but moment by moment every single day. That’s the only way I can keep my ledger short. That’s the only way I can constantly say “Lord, if there’s going to be revival, I want it so desperately to begin with me. Revive my heart. Change me, Lord. Let me be aware of what You’ve done in my life.”
They are saying being inside the circle “you will feel something“, “you are in the circle to seek God“, “you are asking God to revive you and change you in the circle“.
Now, none of that sounds bad but what I want to ask everyone is, do we seek God in a circle on the ground or do we seek God in His Word? Are we supposed to be led by our feelings and how we “feel” in the circle or by the Truth of God’s Word? Do we change our hearts by standing inside a circle and asking God to revive or change us or do we change our hearts by reading God’s Word?
It seems to me, that the focus is on circle making not praying and asking God for something.
I truly believe the focus solely needs to be on God and His Word. We can pray for revival but don’t make it a ritual or action to get something.
The next teacher I mentioned was Priscilla Shirer (You can see her in the picture with Nancy DeMoss) and, in the video of Priscilla, she tells her audience she got the teaching from Nancy DeMoss. Priscilla tells the same exact story as Nancy did but Nancy gives the name of the man ‘Gipsy Smith’ and Priscilla doesn’t. She just says he’s a preacher yet Mark tells the story from Honi. So, what I’m trying to say is we see all of them teach circle making just a bit different to their audience but all of them still point to the circles as the focus in order to bring God’s blessing.
The only other place I’ve seen “Circle Making” was in witchcraft.
Witches practiced these rituals for protection or whatever they needed at the time but instead of calling it “Circle Making”, they call it the “Circle of Protection” or “Magic Circle”. In an article on circles, they explain a little of how witches do this practice. The link below says, “One of the most basic devices used in ancient pagan spirituality is the “circle of protection.” You find it everywhere from the Eastern mystery religions to modern witchcraft. The circle of protection was commonly used in old Gypsy magic, as it was thought to create an impenetrable barrier of protection around those in which it was created. This “magic” circle, spiritual in nature, could be something physical, such as lines drawn in the dirt or sand, or even a sprinkling of salt. But they could also be imaginary.”
Just like what Mark, Nancy, and Priscilla teach, we can see that witches also require making a circle on the ground, getting inside it, and doing something to get something like protection.
You should know Circle Making does NOT come from the Scriptures. You can look but you will not find God teaching it anywhere in the Scriptures.
As I researched this subject one of the many articles, I read that I felt makes excellent points was Tim Challies’ article called, “Don’t Pray in Circles “. Simply put he discuss circle making as… Extra-Biblical, Un-Biblical, and Anti-Biblical.
Oddly enough at the very end of his article, he does make a point to tell his readers that he is only talking about Mark Batterson and not Nancy DeMoss. I found that to be very odd. You can read the article in this link below.
Now, because Priscilla learned it from Nancy then people believe Priscilla shouldn’t be lumped in with the review that Challies said about Mark either.
So, I wonder if Priscilla even has a problem with Mark’s teaching of it. I am very troubled by the fact that Tim Challies felt he should make that statement.
Am I the only one that thinks what they all teach is the same? Believing that circles make a difference in your prayer life to receive answered prayers. Mark believes it makes the impossible happen in your life, Nancy believes it gets us revivals and awakenings to the World and Janet says she felt something when she stepped inside of it and it changes you. Priscilla talks of what God wants to do through us and to pray in the circle for a revival of our hearts of the things of God.
But doesn’t this sound like they are practicing man-made traditions? They are all following the lead of a man long ago. God says in Mark 7: 1-13~” Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
This is a great example that God shows us about how man loves to have traditions of things passed down form long ago. Even just washing hands or pots is seen as man-made traditions that God doesn’t care for or call all us to practice. God says people honor Him with their lips, but their heart is far from Him. That should cause great concern in the things we practice even something as simple as circle making or hand washing.
Priscilla has even written a reply to her fans about the photos they have sent to her showing her the circles they made. Many have used very different things to make the circles. In the link below it shows pictures of women inside circles made of socks, chalk, balls, and even kids (the circle was made from the kids laying down, head to toe with other kids while the mom stood inside to pray). Now that seems to be someone that is very sold on the idea otherwise, she’s making light of the practice that Priscilla has taken seriously or she wouldn’t have taught it.
Now, I wouldn’t say that making a circle is wrong or standing in a circle is a bad thing or even washing hands or a pot are taboo. It’s when they put a lot of focus on them and connect it to God. They are causing people to feel there is an importance to this action.
Many people miss the danger of this practice because they make it sound so good and biblical. People have said things like, “the circle is a reminder to youto ask God to start by helping you”, sound good, doesn’t it? What about this, “the circle helps people to start by looking at their own lives“, yeah this sounds good too. The circle teaches a good biblical principle on how to pray”, or “The circle thing is only a way of drawing attention to revivals“. How do any of those sound bad? They don’t but when you stop to truly think about what it is, they are teaching you and what they are asking you to do it should cause you to worry, especially when it’s not in Scriptures.
What I would like to point out is how easy it is to be deceived by false teachers that use slick words or actions to get you to believe in and participate stuff like Circle Making. How have others gotten caught up in it? Well, from their carefully spoken words. In Priscilla’s reply to her followers, she tells them that, “you have made it priority to create a circle in which to stand and pray”.
“Your circle – no matter what it looks like, how long it has stayed intact or who has gotten into it with you – matters!”
She so subtly speaks to the women that because they make the circles priority and telling the women the circles matter it makes them feel special. Mark, Nancy and Priscilla all know how to convince people to believe in this just by how they talk. They say things that are exciting like do this or that and wonderful things will happen, God is going to do great things through you. This is why they all tell the story about the man that prayed on the outskirts of town and got what he prayed for so why not you?
If you find yourself in a conference like that then just ask questions about the things they are saying. Do you think circles make a difference in your prayers? Do you believe they matter? Do they make God realize how serious you are? Do we need reminders like that? Are they reminders or just acts of works? If I do this then God will answer kind of belief. After all, isn’t that what Honi did as he prayed for rain?
I just have to say, NO! We shouldn’t be making circles, or squares, or ovals priority at all. Priscilla Shirer is wrong; God needs to be priority in our lives, not Circle Making. And NO, Priscilla, Circle Making doesn’t matter. What matters is our salvation, the condition of our hearts, and our desire for the Lord and for His Word and Truth, not circles.
All any of those teachers taught their audience is how to either pray for rain, a dream, a revival, and that it is a priority and that it matters. Where’s the Word of God? Did God teach us to pray this way? How does Circle Making bring us closer to God, or even help us know the Gospel or convict us to repent of our sins? You see, false teachers know how to “talk the talk” because they know how to speak as a seasoned scholar and knows all the right words to use. They can quote scriptures better than most people you know but we need to realize just because a person can quote scriptures doesn’t mean they are biblical because Satan knows the Bible better than anyone on earth and he’s working on us just like he did with Jesus. Satan used scriptures to try and tempt Jesus and he will do it to tempt and deceive us too. This is why we must test, test, test!
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV~ But test everything; hold fast what is good.
So we see how Mark, Nancy, and Priscilla say to pray but how does God tell us to pray?
The Bible says in Luke 5:16 that Jesus often went away to be by Himself and pray. Matthew 6:5-6 says ~“When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.” Matthew 6:9-13~ “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”’
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today I have dropped an episode with sweaty palms, and a knot in my stomach. Why? Because this topic makes me, as you’ll see/hear, quite uncomfortable. CDD, Christian Domestic Discipline, is a strange topic, but one that needed to be addressed. Those who are adherents to CDD believe that the husband should physically disciple his wife when she sins. There are several verses being used out of context to come to the conclusions they’ve come to, not to mention illogical reasoning, and the always disappointing use of ignoring the rest of a verse to force a meaning that’s not there. While I’m always passionate about the need to properly exegit Scripture with solid hermeneutics, I truly hope I don’t sound ungracious in this episode. I’d love to know, readers, if you’ve ever heard of CDD? Let me know in the comments below.
This episode was difficult to record, in fact it might be my least favorite episode yet. That being said, the bloopers might be in my top favorite! I hope you’ll at least skip to the very end and watch them, or if you’ve been through the whole episode and need a good laugh that they’ll be there for you. Below I’ve included a timestamped outline as well the Scriptures I discussed, and links to more information about this subject. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
TS 00:02:45 – What is CDD?
TS 00:03:20 – How did I hear about this?
TS 00:07:00 – The three separate ideas involved
TS 00:08:00 – A warning about researching this topic
TS 00:13:00 – How does this effects the Gospel?
TS 00:16:00 – Scriptures being used out of context.
TS 00:17:45 – Ephesians 5: 22 – 33
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
TS 00:27:17 – 1 Peter 2: 13-17
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,[a] whether it be to the emperor[b] as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[c] of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
29:30 – Titus 2: 2-15 & Titus 3: 1-2
2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants[a] are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Titus 3: 1-2
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
TS 00:36:00 – Please don’t revert back to works righteousness Reformed folks!
TS 00:38:15 – Example of how my husband rebuke my sin.
TS 00:46:00 – The difference between leading and dictating
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! First, before I do anything else, I want to wish my incredible husband a happy anniversary! Today we celebrate 13 years of marriage, and it’s excited to say that I’m so much more in love with him now than I was when we first married. God graciously gave me far more than I could ever deserve the day He allowed me to meet this wonderful man!
Today is Friday, and that means I’ll be going live this afternoon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Technology is so fun…sometimes…ok just when it actually works the way it’s supposed to. Hopefully, that will be today’s experience. I’m excited about today’s live event because I have some exciting news about next week! Brook Bartz first every podcast episode will be dropping, Lord willing, on Wednesday! Keep an eye out for it, or subscribe to her YouTube channel, her new podcast is going to be called Open Hearts. I’m also excited to share who won last weeks t-shirt giveaway. I love doing giveaways, it’s one of my favorite parts about having social media.
So, what’s coming up on Monday’s episode? Well, I am deeply disturbed by something a follower on Instagram sent me. It was regarding a movement called CDD, or Christian Domestic Discipline. Never heard of it? Neither had I. In fact, I thought it was satire. It is, unfortunately, not a joke, but a very unbiblical movement where husbands physically punish their wives when they sin. Obviously, I felt this needed some attention as I was made aware of this within the Reformed circles…and of course found out that it was being promoted by certain Duggar children. Monday is going to be a difficult episode, and I would greatly appreciate your prayers.
What about some recommendations? Glad you asked, let’s cheer up the mood a bit shall we? These masks are hilarious! I’ll be honest, I was hoping not to need a mask any longer, but for just $15 you can wear something that might actually make you smile. You know, instead of the dread we all feel when we put the mask on and pretend not to be hyperventilating as we walk through Walmart. Just me? Personally, if we all have to wear the masks, couldn’t we at least get these mega chain stores to crank the AC a bit? I also want to recommend the podcast Women’s Hope, a podcast of The Master’s University. Brooke Bartz first pointed it out to me, and it’s been such a blessing! If you’re looking for a podcast with some theologically sound ladies, this is a great choice. My last recommendation is Justin Peter’s new series on misinterpreted Scriptures, hilariously titled Inigo Montoya Series. I’m very excited about this, JP has been doing a fantastic job creating entertaining and edifying content on YouTube!
Blogger Highlight: I’d like to continue highlighting a blogger on each MEGA list and this week I wanted to point everyone to my dear brother-in-Christ Pastor Jimmy, writer of the Veritas Domain blog. This brother does such a great job daily writing Biblically sound content, informing us on all types of issues, growing our knowledge in Scripture, and graciously refuting falsehood.
Prayer Requests: Lauren Bronner, writer of the Redeemed Mama Saved By Grace blog and author of Freedom from Anxiety, has fallen very ill. Please join me in praying for her, and her sweet family. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I was blessed to have my sweet husband join me on the program to talk about how we met, eventually getting married, coming to faith after we began traveling for his work, and eventually starting this podcast. He did some of my favorite impressions, and funny accents, throughout the episode and the blooper reel is my absolute favorite! I hope this episode will be fun for old listeners and informative for all the new subscribers. I want to thank my husband for stepping out of his comfort zone and coming on the podcast, I know it’s not something he’d ever do if it wasn’t for me begging asking him. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
Hello beloved, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I am very excited about today’s episode. I had the absolute joy of talking with Allie Beth Stuckey from Relatable, discussing her new book You’re Not Enough and That’s Okay. I’ve still been so behind on everything that I’m supposed to be doing, still trying to get caught up and getting back into the flow of homeschooling after having COVID, so I am very thankful that this episode was recorded way back in March. If you watch on Youtube you’ll notice that my equipment is different, hopefully it won’t be too weird, it was weird for me during the editing. It was also exciting to see how many things have changed over the past several months! My husband has done a fantastic job of making the podcast a new gifting opportunity, after 12 years of marriage it gets a little difficult to find things to buy one another so he’s got a whole new hobby to gift me in. The mic, headphones, new computer, new lights…it’s made a huge difference. But you won’t see, or hear, that in this episode because it was recorded way back before all that. Also, I was so nervous/excited to talk with Allie that I didn’t do a very good introduction.
Allie was so gracious, very fun to talk with, and even though she had a lot going on she gave me even more time than her publishers had promised so I hope our conversation will be a blessing to you all. I’ll be posting a book review on Wednesday, although you’ll all pretty much know my opinion after watching. Below I’ve included a timestamped outline as well as links to more information about Allie and her new book. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to see last weeks MEGA list, I’m going to link to it here. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
TS 00:02:10 – Allie shares her testimony
TS 00:04:30 – How Allie became Reformed
TS 00:08:00 – How did you decide to bring your Reformed faith into your podcast?
TS 00:15:00 – We start talking about the book
TS 00:16:30 – What was the purpose for this book?
TS 00:22:30 – How is this effecting women?
TS 00:30:00 – What is the best way to addressing women stuck in the self-love movement?
TS 00:37:00 – Do you have any future projects?
TS 00:39:45 – Have you ever tried Roasted Grasshopper’s, if not would you?
Now, the first thing you should know is, I’m no Scientist or Scholar so just remember that when reading this. I am going to take you through my own research in studying the questions that I’ve had about the creation of the World.
I got to pondering God’s work in creation and what some of the writers might have been wondering. How could ancient writers of the Bible know so much about creation if they were just ordinary men? How could they have written about them in such detail and accuracy without the aid of the Lord truly telling them what to write?
We can look around and know there is a God that created all that we see but the details in which the ancient writers describe things can only be known because God told them.
In Romans 1:20~ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Psalm 19:1 ~ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
After reading that, I wondered, did any of the writers of the Bible ever think that what they were writing sounded crazy? Maybe they were a tad confused about the facts on certain stories and didn’t grasp what they were writing down, like in Genesis, with the creation of the Earth? How could they know the Earth was round or flat? Could they have been writing things down and thinking, “Uummm, this can’t be right”.
They had no way of testing many things to prove it right or wrong. No one could have known back then if the Earth was round or flat. I decided to do some research on all this and see how many things were described in Scriptures that were proven true only in recent years.
*Is the Earth Round?
So, what about the Earth being round or flat? Click on this link below we see it’s been a lifelong belief for centuries.
‘The flat Earth model is an archaic conception of Earth’s shape as a plane or disk. Many ancient cultures subscribed to a flat Earth cosmography, including Greece until the classical period, the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period, India until the Gupta period (early centuries AD), and China until the 17th century.”
“The Israelites also imagined the Earth to be a disc floating on water with an arched firmament above it that separated the Earth from the heavens. The sky was a solid dome with the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars embedded in it.”
The image above is an Imago Mundi Babylonian map, the oldest known world map, 6th century BC Babylonia
“Curiously, many astronomy textbooks credit Pythagoras (c. 570–500 B.C.) with being the first person to assert that the earth is round.1 However, the biblical passages are older than this. Isaiah is generally acknowledged to have been written in the 700s B.C. and Job is thought to have been written around 2000 B.C. The secular astronomers before the time of Pythagoras must have thought the Bible was wrong about its teaching of a round earth, yet the Bible was exactly right. It was the secular science of the day that needed to be corrected.”
This video above talks of the earlier beliefs of a flat Earth and how the idea grew to become around Earth. Although this is not a video that is based on Christian views or writings it does show how many believed the Earth thousands of years ago to be flat and then later changed the belief it to be round. God described how the Earth was round but 1,000 of years ago the world described how it was flat.
In Ray Comforts’ book, “How to Know God Exists,” Ray says, “The Book of Isaiah was written between 740 and 680 B.C. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested, in his book, “On the Heavens”, that the earth might be a sphere. It was another 2,000 years later (at a time when science believed that the earth was flat) that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world.”
Even though many started to believe the Earth was round back then they still had no way of proving it till resent years.
Isaiah 40:22 says, “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth”.
Now, some that believed in the flat Earth believed that this verse was talking of a flat circular Earth, kinda like a frisbee.
Again in Ray Comforts book, “How to know God Exists”, Ray talks of the earth floating in space: “At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: “He…hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7)“.
Ray points out how Scriptures say the Earth floats in space when most believed odd ideas of something holding it up. It is clear today Scriptures is correct and the Earth is in fact just floating in space and “hangs on nothing”, just as the Bible teaches. We’ve proven it true through technology and inventing rockets to go into space and take pictures to show it is not propped up or carried by any animal and most importantly that it is a circle (a spiracle orb).
We see further that Genesis hints to spherical Earth in this following verse because it says “light separates day from the night”.
In Genesis 1:4~ And God said, “let there be light in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,”
Imagine for a second, if the Earth was flat and floating like a frisbee in water, slowly floating in a circular motion, to my understanding we wouldn’t have both day and night but we would just have day forever or night forever. Flat Earthers believe that we have night because the sun goes behind the mountains. Today, we know that’s not true just simply by flying in an airplane far above the mountains. For example, staying within the borders of America, flying just a few states away, shows how we can start out flying in the daytime and it turns dark after a couple of hours because the obvious happened, it became night time not because a mountain was in the way of the sun and blocked it and not because the flat Earth flipped upside down but because it’s an orb and it rotated away from the sun.
Revelation 7:1~ After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth…”
Revelations talks of four corners of the Earth which became another reason to cause many to believe the Earth to be flat, with corners. However, in examining this verse closer we see that John was only using symbolic speech to describe the “four directions” just as we see on maps and compasses with north, south, east, and west. It’s not much of an argument though in proving the Earth to be round in my opinion.
As I pondered the directions mentioned, another verse came to mind, the verse that talked about God’s forgiveness because that one talks of directions as well. I looked it up and realized this verse makes the point of a round Earth…for me at least. The verse Psalm 103:12 uses two of the cardinal directions. It reads, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
When we look at that verse it is speaking of a span of distance that is infinite. North and south only go so far till it stops. If you start out flying from the North Pole southward and just keep flying south eventually you would reach the South Pole and once there all of a sudden you would be flying north until of course, you reach the North Pole again. However, if you were to travel east going around the Earth and keep going in that eastward direction you would always be going east. It would never stop and the same with the west, you will forever be going west and it would never stop.
The purpose of that verse is to show us that the forgiveness of God is forever, it doesn’t stop which is why in His infinite wisdom He chose to say, “as far as the east is from the west” and not “as far as the north is from the south”. This way we can know for certain we have been restored to the Lord.
Now, looking at this verse to support whether the Earth is round or flat we see that because God uses the directions to make the case for how far He removes our transgressions from us, then it does make a strong case for a spiracle Earth. If the Earth was flat then saying “as far as the east is to the west” wouldn’t be very far because it would eventually stop at the edge of the Earth just as the other directions would. With a flat earth, you can obviously see by the image below that for God to tell us that He forgives us as far as the east is to the west would not make much sense.
It wasn’t until modern times that we could know for sure the Earth was round because we were able to send rockets into space and see it was in fact round and see that it rotated, and see that nothing was holding it up. The Bible was right.
*The Creation of Light on The Earth
Genesis 1:3-5~ And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
Take note here that God hadn’t created the Sun, Moon, or Stars yet until the 4th day. The darkness was mentioned from the start of creation (in Genesis) as God says, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep.” Nothing is said about where the light was brought from or anything about the darkness even, only that God spoke light into existence and then separated it from the darkness.
In Job 38:18-20, God Challenges Job… “Have you surveyed the extent of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this. Where is the way to the home of light? Do you know where darkness resides, so you can lead it back to its border? Do you know the paths to its home?”…of course Job couldn’t have known any of this.
I can’t help but imagine how confused the writer was when writing this because God had them record as one of the first things created was light yet when they write about the fourth day God sounds like He repeated Himself and talks of light again. This time saying, “let there be lights in the expanse to separate the day from the night”. Here God is explaining that the light will come from the Sun and the Moon.
So, my thought is, did they ever wonder where the light came from on the first day? They knew God spoke and said, “let there be light” but from where did it come from? Or in God’s Words, as God questions Job by saying, “Where is the way to the home of light?” The answer: From God Himself. For the first three days of creation, He was the light just as it says in John 8:12~ “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
God will also be the source of light for the new Earth as well, as said in Revelation 22:5~ “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever”
*The Creation of Stars
Genesis 1:14-19~ “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.”
When we look into the night sky depending on if it’s a clear night or not, we can only see so many stars with our naked eye. With a telescope we are able to see much more however the people back then didn’t have telescopes. Telescopes weren’t invented yet as this link below explains.
“The telescope traces back to early makers of eyeglasses and lenses. In the 1400s, glasses were used widely across Europe. These lenses were not powerful, not polished, and not clear. Due to their imperfections, they were not useful for astronomic observation.”
Psalm 147:4 tells us that “He counts the number of the stars, He calls them all by name.”
How great is God to be able to count the stars and name them, what fear that should produce in us out of respect and aw?
I can just see them looking up at the night sky counting as many stars as they possibly could (which some claimed the human eye can view about 1,000 ) and then looking at the sand and knowing they couldn’t possibly count each piece of sand and that there were way more sand particles than what they saw in stars. When compared to each other, the two probably don’t even seem equal. Did that make any sense to them? Today we could see the planets and galaxies and so many other billions of stars and comets and other things through telescopes. I’m sure, for them, knowing that Scriptures say in Jeremiah 33:22, “host of heaven can’t be numbered, or the sand of the sea measured” made them wish they had a way of seeing all those stars.
Another interesting fact God points out about stars is in 1 Corinthians 15:41 ~ “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory”
This verse uses the example of stars all being different. I’m sure this had to be perplexing for them as they looked at the stars from Earth, all the stars look like sparkly spots in the sky, without a telescope, how could they have known the stars could be so different in size or color? But it’s recorded in Scriptures and again this wasn’t a known fact until modern times.
*The Wind Having Weight…
Scriptures tell us wind has weight in Job 28:25~ “When he gave to the wind its weight…”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains Job 28:25 this way: “To make the weight for the winds – That is, to weigh the winds and to measure the waters – things that it would seem most difficult to do. The idea here seems to be, that God had made all things by measure and by rule. Even the winds – so fleeting and imponderable – he had adjusted and balanced in the most exact manner as if he had “weighed” them when he made them. The air has “weight,” but it is not probable that this fact was known in the time of Job, or that he adverted to it here. It is rather the idea suggested above, that the God who had formed everything by exact rule and who had the power to govern the winds in the most exact manner, must be qualified to impart wisdom.”
When this was written in Job it was not discovered or understood yet how wind or air had weight.
*Creation of Water in Scriptures
We read about another question that God asks Job 37:16 ~ “Dost thou know the balancing of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?”
Good question! Did Job know how the clouds balanced in the sky? Probably not. I wonder what they knew about the clouds as far as how the clouds held water? Clouds can look so different from one day to the next but, just like what we see today, I’m sure they understood rain came from clouds but how it worked was probably a whole different question. Did they understand that very small droplets of water make up clouds and when they remain small, they float but if they join together with other droplets, they get heavier and become rain? Did they know that wind and temperature play a part in the reason it rains a lot or a little? They didn’t have the technology we do today so I’m sure that they had questions about it.
Genesis 1:6-8 tells us: “God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.”
firmament—an expanse: a name given to the atmosphere from its appearing to an observer to be the vault of heaven, supporting the weight of the watery clouds. By the creation of an atmosphere, the lighter parts of the waters which overspread the earth’s surface were drawn up and suspended in the visible heavens, while the larger and heavier mass remained below.
So how could they have understood any of this back then? I’m guessing they didn’t. The balancing of the clouds was not known until modern times when we had the ability and equipment to study it.
* Springs of The Sea
Genesis 1:9-13~ “And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Job 38:16-18~ “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this.”
We see here that God asks if Job ever journeyed to those places and if he comprehends everything God has done and if Job even knows of all those things. I guess it’s possible some of those things Job could have known about or read about because it was talked about in Genisis with the flood such as the phrase “springs of the deep” but there is no way he could have seen it with his own eyes to verify it, there is no way he could have walked in the “recesses of the deep” or went to see the “springs of the sea”. Most everyone knows today the ocean is very deep and very dark. Job didn’t have any way to go to any of them. It wasn’t as if he could swim down to the ocean floor to investigate it because he wouldn’t be able to hold his breath very long to go all the way to the seafloor. Also, the floor of the ocean is extremely dark so how could he even see the floor or observe anything down there once there. Not to mention the pressure at the bottom of the sea is deadly to humans, Job would not have been able to survive that alone. It’s only been just recently that humans could explore the seafloor thanks to a specially made submarine and confirm that there are springs in the seafloor but even then, we still do not know all there is to know about the sea. Back in Jobs day, there was no way for Job to have experienced any of that personally, it would have been impossible. So, I just wonder again how odd this must have sounded for Job.
*The Earth Will Not Be Moved
Psalm 93:1~ The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
I will end with these scriptures below where God tells us the Earth will not be moved. I know the Earth moves…it turns on its axis as it rotates around the sun. Again, we know this to be true because we have the technology and pictures that show it does but I still just wonder what the writers thought about these verses. God is saying in these verses that nothing is going to happen to the world we live on and noting will cause it to fall apart or knock it out of orbit. This should be comforting to us because when I was much younger my fear was that someday a meteorite could hit us and knock the Earth off its axis sending it flying through space or shake it so badly that we would stop rotating or something to that effect. Yeah, the imagination of a young kid! Below I have scriptures and meaning of each of the verses I quote that shows that God is telling us the Earth is securely in place.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains Psalm 93:1~ “The world also is established – Is firm; is on a solid foundation. It cannot be shaken or destroyed by natural convulsions, or by the power of man. That it cannot be moved – Moved out of its place; overthrown; destroyed. This seems to have been spoken in view of some impending calamity as if everything were to be swept away. The psalmist consoles himself with the thought that the world was firmly established; that no storm or tempest could be so violent as to remove it out of its place. The ground of consolation is the essential stability of what God has ordained.”)
*Psalm 104:5~ He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved.
(Benson Commentary on Psalm 104:5~ Who laid the foundations of the earth who hath founded the earth upon its own bases, or foundations, that is, upon itself, or its own center of gravity, by which it is self-balanced, and by which it stands as fast and immovable as if it were built upon the strongest foundation imaginable, which is a most stupendous work of divine wisdom and power; that it should not be removed — Out of its proper place; forever — Or, till the end of time, when it must give way to the new earth.)
*Psalm 96:10~ Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
(Barnes’ Notes on the Bible explains Psalm 96:10~ The world also shall be established … – Under the reign of God. The meaning is that the world is fixed or immovable. It has its place, and it cannot be moved out of it. The government of God is fixed and stable. It is not temporary, changing, vacillating, like the dynasties of the earth, but is steadfast and abiding, and is well represented by the earth – so fixed and firm that nothing can move it from its place.)
*Ecclesiastes 1:4~ A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
(Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible explains Ecclesiastes 1:4 ~… “but the earth abideth for ever; for a long time, until the dissolution of all things; and then, though that and all in it will be burnt up, yet it will rather be changed than destroyed; the form of it will be altered, when the substance of it will continue; it will not be annihilated, but renewed and refined.”)
God makes sure we know the Earth’s foundation is so strong and solid that nothing can move it. What I found interesting was this video below that shows how Jupiter serves as a shield against danger to Earth. It says, “Without a massive gravity rich planet like Jupiter nearby to draw away asteroids, Earth would be more like an interstellar dartboard”. Not saying Jupiter is the only reason Earth is stable because we know God does this but it’s just amazing how God designed it all to have the planets where they are. I suggest you watch this 5 min video below that shares why the Earth that God created is so amazing and even overwhelming.
I hope this causes others to seek God more and to see His glory in all of His creations. To stand in Aw with respect to God in all that He has done. I realize that there are those out there that just don’t believe or have faith in God. With that said, there is still no excuse for them because everyone is shown God’s invisible attributes and power in all that has been created. It boils down to faith.
Romans 1:19-20~ since what may be known about God is plain to them because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today’s episode is one that was a joy to record, since I was joined by my little sister-in-Christ Kim Starling. Kim was gracious enough to join me to discuss a very controversial and difficult subject, P.T.S.D. After serving in Iraq Kim found herself struggling with issues stemming from her childhood on through adulthood, as well as the lingering affects of the war. After God saved her, she was able to surround herself with other believers who have continued to display Christ’s love to her through their actions and reactions during times of stress and triggers. It’s not always the case that churches are equipped to help congregants in this way, so Kim walked me through what works, what doesn’t, and how we can serve our brothers and sisters-in-Christ as they deal with similar issues. We both hope that this episode will give each of us a glimpse into the inner difficulties of P.T.S.D, while offering solutions that might not have been considered.
During the episode we mention a few different articles as well as Lauren Bronner’s new devotional on Anxiety which you can find here. I’m listed the articles below, if you’d like to read through them as you follow along with today’s episode. We are already planning Part 2 of this topic, since we were barely able to scratch the surface here. Please feel free to drop any questions, comments, or helpful suggestions in the comments below, if you’d like us to address something specific in that second episode. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.
These past few months I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned some things about myself through quarantine, recovery from COVID-19, and watching what little news I could tolerate about all societal chaos. I realized more and more that resting is necessary. Spiritually resting in the Lord’s power and Word, of course, mentally resting from the onslaught of opinions and “news”, emotionally resting from the concerns and burdens we just love to bear and physically resting before we sicken ourselves unnecessarily.
As much as I have learned about my own issues with resting, especially spiritually, there is something else I’ve learned, something alarming I’ve noticed. It’s the unrestrained, restless behavior of many of my professing sisters (brothers too). Triggered and tossed about publicly, professing sisters are showcasing one of the reasons why we need to listen to God on verses such as these:
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.” Ecclesiastes 7:9-10
I get it, things are troubling. We long for former days. The stakes seem high now, the question marks are bigger and the lies are more abundant. Pandemics are scary. The world is increasingly hostile towards the ways of God and His people, more hostile towards any solid and wholesome way of life- more hostile towards anything decent. It can make us restless and distracted.
These days, as a Christian, I tend to look at my social media feed with one eye open. It’s tough to read. As I feel my blood boil or angst start to set in, I’m often reminded of this:
“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
I also think of these verses:
Philippians 2:14-16: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.”
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
Before having the “rona” I admit I felt the anxiety of a deadly virus and also the confusion and doubt about whether or not it’s really that deadly. As everyone knows, the news is more confusing than it is clarifying. Although unsure of what to think, we sanitized, wore masks, and prayed they worked. Being we live with my in-laws my teenage daughter took leave from her public job so that she wouldn’t get the virus and bring it home to them. My husband and I stayed home. Our church shut its doors and did sermons online. We were dedicated to trying to keep the virus out of our home.
Then we got it.
How? Who really knows for sure? The important thing is-God is in control, we are ok now, and we are grateful. We did what we could, sensibly, and trusted the Lord through it all. Trusting and resting in the Lord and His will is everything. It’s the calm in the middle of the storm and the sure footing on solid rock.
It’s easy to tell when one is fixated on the world and all that it broadcasts, when the world is influencing them to lose their peace. Emotional rants, desperate pleas, frantic responses, fear-filled warnings, angry emoji’s on repeat, bowing to the world, name-calling, expressing with cuss words, guilt-tripping, focusing on temporary freedoms and comforts, making non-Christian people be either your enemy or a savior depending on their political position or beliefs on wearing masks and isolating.. and then the frequent ALL CAPS.
There is a healthy amount of rest and ease we should seek. We need to chill without becoming complacent or unconcerned. We should call out sin and warn others of false teachings and dangerous movements but we can’t do any good being anxious or fearful, belligerent or insulting in the process. There is far too much emotional manipulation from the world, we don’t need to join that party.
I understand the temptation. For us Christians, there may be times ….
When our comforts are yanked from us or threatened, we cry for their return and preservation.
When the rebellious hearts of this world mock blessings, we get angry.
When the lost of this world step on our flowers, we grumble and point.
When the foolish spew unrelenting mendacities around us, we drown them in truth until they plead for mercy.
When the haters of this world want to revile and slander us, we are offended and we return the favor fiercely.
We may ask, “Why is this happening? Where’s justice? What about our rights? How can we continue on?”
What we should be asking is…what rights or comforts do we need now in order to live for eternity? Is my main focus supposed to be on health and national/personal freedom? Praying for those things is good and acceptable, focusing onand getting our hope from them – that’s a major problem.
My late grandfather used to say, “I only have the right to be thankful.” I’m not sure he was even a believer but I do know his little phrase packs a biblical punch. Do we really have the right to anything else? Think about it. Do we understand who we actually are and what we really deserve? Have you taken a close look at your own sinfulness?
Paul got it. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24)
Jesus instructed the disciples, “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” (Luke 17:10)
Who has convinced you of anything otherwise?
Remember what the Lord said in Matthew 5:38-44? ““You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Is that only after you ridicule and slander them first? NO
I’m seeing Christian leaders stoke the fire of emotion, slowly turning the focus away from the Gospel and putting it on political wars, societal and cultural restructuring, making the church more sensitive to the world’s cries, or the rights we “just can’t afford to lose”.
The disciples of Jesus yearned for Him to put an end to the corruption and persecution in their society. They believed He would set things right at that time, politically. Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He didn’t overturn the governments. He focused rather on saving and bringing souls home to His heavenly kingdom. That’s what He came for.
People surrounded Him constantly to be healed. He in His grace healed several. Yet He didn’t take away all sicknesses or even most of them. It was never really about those things. He kept the focus where the focus must be.
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:36-37.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” Matthew 28: 19-20.
The more people hear the Gospel, the more people will be saved. When people are saved their hearts are changed and they proclaim the Gospel to others. Hope and joy are found. Peace with God is given. Lifestyles and families are impacted. Love and respect is practiced and seen. Most importantly, the Lord is glorified.
We read the Word and we are reminded we are to be unlike the world, to show the love of Christ, to die to self, to focus on Him and His promises and commands and that we are owed nothing from the Lord. We have been given such blessing beyond measure, all undeserved.
So why are many of my professing sisters having toddler fits all over social media as if they deserve blessing; as if they have rights to have what they want? Why are they making many lost people look more held-together then they are? Is it because, maybe, this world is where their hope really lies? Is it because church leaders are leading them on to think such nonsense is the work of the Lord? Do they understand what the Lord really wants?
If the Lord chooses not to answer our prayers or give us worldly comforts and freedoms, are we good with that? Can you rest in His wisdom? Can you look at the bigger eternal picture?
Sisters, let’s move on with the Gospel. This world has no hope without the Gospel. The work and the Word of the Lord change the hearts of people, not us, and definitely not our fits or anxiety.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.
“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? Romans 8:31b-33a
No one wants or should desire persecution or for freedom to end, yet to focus on those things as if Christ can’t be glorified or served in persecuted and oppressive situations is foolishness. Look at the world in Biblical times, when persecution, disease and death were daily sorrows. The Church still grew. God was glorified more and the people still found something to rejoice about. Can we still have joy in serving the Lord today?
And what do we do differently if every comfort in this world goes away? Nothing.
Love God. Share the Word. Pray. Love others more than yourself, even your enemies.
As a mother of five, when my little children threw fits, became hysterical, refused to listen, screamed to have something, or became grumpy and snarky….discipline or a nap were in order. They needed to think about what they were actually doing. They needed to rest and collect themselves before they found themselves in more trouble.
My Christian sisters, be an adult, a mature adult. Grow in Christ and realize when you need to rest in His ways more and concern yourself with what concerns Him, not what you think concerns Him. Study the Word to know. Be thankful and have joy in your salvation. Don’t grumble over the sins of others, share the Gospel instead. Remember, the lost can’t have rest as we can. They need salvation. That should be more than enough to motivate us with the Gospel.
““THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’” (Hebrews 3:10-11)
If you can’t rest in the sovereignty of God, get a grip, be salt and light in a dark world and pick your battles wisely, then get off of social media, stop watching the world, surround yourself with more sound fellowship and teaching, and please get on your knees and in the Word.
And maybe take a nap? Just not too long. There is much work to be done for the Lord.
Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford