Compassion

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9 v36

It is perhaps easy to see the evil that is done today and to feel anger, or despair, and to desire to withdraw from the mess that our society is making of itself. To see a world taking increasing shape where what is good is regarded as evil, and vice versa. To see sickness celebrated as health, wounds venerated, brokenness encouraged and darkness worshiped.

Now, to react in that way is not entirely wrong, but I would say that anger is not our best response. As I’ve said before, we are not very good at righteous anger. Rather compassion is a more holy response. To see the crowds who, like in Jesus’ day, are really harassed and helpless, tossed here and there by the winds of prevailing fashion.

Can we not see those who, at the urging of society, have heaped the coals of illicit pleasure into their laps, knowing no better? Whose houses are now on fire, and are told to dance in the flames – burning themselves and setting on fire all that they touch. And are told to revel in the pain.

Can we not see those who have navigated the waters as they were told, only to find themselves in dangerous shoals, the wind and waves rising against them, beaten against the cliffs – abandoned, lost, alone and wondering – how did it come to this?

What then is the Church to do? Can we really ignore those who are wrecked by our societies perverse destruction? Can we not be the lighthouse we are called to be – shining out more brightly in a dark world? Do we care more about the approval of the spirit of the age, than we do about the spirit of God? Do we desire the place of honour at the world’s table, finding ourselves ashamed of our Saviour, and our faith? Do we want to remain in a safe bubble, mute, quiet, while all around us destruction rages? Do we want to bury our talents, in the hope that our lack of courage will be overlooked?

It. Will. Not. Happen. Do not mistake it. God will not countenance, or overlook. He is Compassion, and he will continue to raise those who have real compassion. Those who will stand firm, to both speak and act against the satanic madness infesting our decaying society. Those who will be willing to be wounded in battle in order to rescue some of the sheep who are lost.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 15 v18-19

The truth is, the world will always hate us. That is a given. The question is, will we also hate the world? Or will we love that for which God gave His own life? At whatever cost to us?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3 v16

Posted in Christian, Prophecy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

To be Holy is to be Real

Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

Leviticus 19 v2

What does being holy actually mean? This often seems to be unclear to us, and various images and thoughts can come to mind, often from popular culture, such as: Sitting on a cloud playing a harp…disconnecting from the world…unctuously pronouncing judgment from a ‘holier than thou’ position….

Even in Christian subculture, we seem to have various images: Revival meetings and ‘old time’ religion…prohibitions against various moral transgressions and outward displays of morality – honesty, purity etc. (Note, this is not to dismiss such things as irrelevant.)

Either way it seems to denote something that is painfully unachievable. Something that belongs to God alone, a bar so very high the only thing we can to is try to outwardly pretend to be meeting it. We all do this. I do it, you do it.

Our Father God understands.

They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

Matthew 23 v4

There is nothing new under the sun. We still try to achieve what is impossible for us. But God has our backs, literally.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11 v28-30

While I was pondering this the other day, what came to me is that to be Holy is to be Real. By this I mean that we only become fully ourselves when we are holy.

Consider those who have committed great wickedness over years. Typically such people become beasts – in treating other people as less than human, they become less than human themselves. It is as if their ‘consciences have been seared with a hot iron’. They become unreal, a dark shadow of the person they could have become.

But to be holy – this is to enter more and more into the heart of God, and to let His heart enter yours. His holiness makes you holy. ‘Be holy as I am Holy’ is not a demand, it is an invitation. It’s never something we can do in our own strength. Pretty much, all we can do is ask for help and surrender ourselves, warts and all, to Him.

And the strange thing is, as we enter in to Him, and journey into His heart, as we surrender ourselves more and more – we become more and more Real. This is the opposite of Buddhist thinking, where you lose yourself in the great other. This is God’s reverse creation, where as we become less, we become more ourselves.

One day, we will stand in His presence. That day, we will be fully Real, as He is Real!

Posted in Christian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Peace to men

  • Note, I am using men, or man, in the full sense as in Genesis 1 v 27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Over Christmas I found myself musing over the passage from Luke 2 that reads:

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men”.

Only that’s the popular version. The full version has something more.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests”.

That version is less comfortable, with the implication that there are men upon whom His favour does not rest, and who will therefore not know His peace.

But that’s the thing, the Bible is not comfortable, God is not comfortable and Jesus is uncompromising. To quote Bonhoeffer – grace is free, but it is not cheap. To leave the sentence unfinished may give us warm gooey feelings and make us feel better, but it has all the spiritual nutritional value of candy.

Jesus was not born a man to make us feel better about ourselves, but to save us from the cold and dead hearts that make us enemies of God and estranged from each other. Jesus did not come to give us happiness, with all the transience that word implies, but a deep joy of a salvation and genuine transformation.

My prayer is that God will save us from a shallow Churchianity that serves to inoculate us against the real thing; that we would wake up to realise our true state, and the immense cost and value of His sacrifice on the cross.

That we would come to know Him and His salvation more deeply, which is both freely provided and requires the sacrifice of our whole lives.

Posted in Christian, Prophecy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Christmas

May the light of Christ guide your path in the coming year, may His peace fill your heart, and may you come to know His salvation more deeply.

Posted in Christian, Christmas | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Civilisation

I recently read an interesting article here. There’s plenty there to digest, but the crux is as follows:

If total sexual freedom was embraced by a culture, that culture collapsed within three generations to the lowest state of flourishing — which Unwin describes as “inert” and at a “dead level of conception” and is characterized by people who have little interest in much else other than their own wants and needs. At this level, the culture is usually conquered or taken over by another culture with greater social energy.

According to this thesis, civilisations rise and fall according to their sexual choices. And the takeaway here is that ‘western’ society is well on the way to collapsing.

For the first part of the 1900’s, mainstream Western culture was rationalist and experienced enormous technological advances — from horse-and-buggy to cars; from hot air balloons to supersonic flight and spacecraft landing people on the moon; from slide rules to computers. Unwin’s three main predictions — the abandonment of rationalism, deism, and absolute monogamy — are all well underway, which makes the ultimate prediction appear to be credible … the collapse of Western civilization in the third generation, somewhere in the last third of this century. 

I’m not sure I would agree with all Unwin’s analysis or categorisation, but the general conclusions seem sound.

The Christian Church has always intended to be salt and light. To season, preserve and bless the culture in which it sits. To counter the inevitable decay that sets in for any culture after time and to keep the light of truth burning. A Church which fails to do this, fails to speak and act prophetically in the culture, fails to pray, well…..

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

Luke 14 v34-35

Our western society is not somehow immune to the forces of decline that ended previous cultures. We need to be wise, when all around us are chasing after the wind of latest fashion. We need to speak differently, be different, live differently – and be able and willing to reach out and rescue those who get burnt, to salve their wounds.

We need to know the signs of the time, where we are and where we’re heading. Be salt and light. Trust in the things of God and not in the trappings of our current culture, which like the stones of the second Jewish temple, may not soon be found one upon another.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Posted in Christian | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Father heart of God

I have spoken so much recently on sin, judgment and the brokenness of our nations. However, I look back in the Bible and am forced to conclude, it was ever thus.

Today, I want to speak something different, to bring the Father Heart of God. In our poverty, perhaps it is often hard to understand His heart. A nation that is gripped by fatherlessness, where what is masculine is often scorned and denigrated, where men have so little understanding of what it means to be a man that they cannot be a father themselves. Yes, it is in this environment that we need to speak a word of our Father God’s heart.

This is no heart of a God that sits far away, judging our imperfections. Nor a God that abandons us and cannot be trusted. Neither a God that sets rules and punishes the slightest transgression.

No, the Father heart of God is something very different, and something that many of us have not experienced in any form. Because in our experience we are so often fatherless, orphans, carrying anger and grief in equal measure – how can we understand His heart?

The Fathers heart is full of boundless love, a well of compassion for His lost people. A heart that is grieved by the evil that we do, yes, but also a heart that takes the bruising and still calls out for us to return. A heart that is faithful, steadfast and will never abandon His own. A heart that calls us to trust all things to Him, including our own heart – that He will work out all things for the good – whether we understand or not.

A heart that loves us. Not the pale insipid ‘love’ that we often settle for. But real, deep and everlasting. We are literally His treasure, and He gave Himself to purchase us. We are loved. Deeply, truly, utterly. And He will never let His own go.

His broken heart sees the darkness at the heart of our nations, sees the depravity, greed and evil practiced every day. And does not bring judgment, but calls out again for us to return to light, to life, to love. He is by no means a powerless impotent God, but One who restrains His righteous judgment for the sake of His mercy, love and compassion.

This is our Father God. To see and dwell in His heart is to dismiss as pale phantoms our current ‘gods’ of tolerance, diversity and inclusion. They are pathetic impostors and ridiculous charlatans after you have experienced the real thing.

Our Father God’s heart still calls us to turn around and return to Him. He that loves us with such a burning unquenchable love that does not fade. He gave His firstborn son to be the Way for us to return.

This is our Father God. There is no way we deserve Him. But He loves us, and calls us to return to Him. Every day. This day.

Posted in Christian, Prophecy | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The new triune god

I just wanted to follow up on a previous post, to expand on what I meant by the new triune god – the one that people now worship, having found Father, Son and Holy Spirit no longer suitable for the modern age.

The new god we worship is known as Tolerance, Diversity and Inclusion. Many worship at this altar, social media is rife with praise for this god, businesses obsequiously genuflect and should you not get with the program, you may find yourself shunned – at the very least.

Let us look a little closer at what this new god represents, beyond the benign veneer.

Tolerance. We used to have love, kindness, gentleness and self control. Now, we have tolerance. But let’s be clear what is meant by tolerance. To worship at this altar, you are required to tolerate what, in previous ages, would be regarded as damaging and unhealthy. It also requires you to be intolerant of any absolutes or outdated morality. The irony of intolerance in the name of tolerance should not be overly dwelt upon.

Diversity. The priests of diversity require that adherents have a uniformity of thinking. It is only possible to obtain true diversity when all thought is brought into line with the correct ideology. Any diversion from diversity will be punished most severely.

Inclusion. This god rounds out the new triune idol worship. People that have not been correctly tolerant and diverse will find themselves falling foul of this god. It is a great sin to fail to be inclusive enough, and will invite exclusion from social positions and circles. All true devotees will congratulate themselves for said exclusion, demonstrating their great commitment to inclusivity.

These are our new gods, and it is sad to say that we deserve them. Having rejected what is true, noble, honourable and right, we have set up counterfeits in place. These shadows can only exist by resting on a foundation that has been removed, and below the superficial light they are darkness.

The Bible has something to say about this, and it’s not very tolerant, diverse or inclusive. But it is true.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

Romans 1 v28-31

Perhaps the greatest things we can pray for here is that God, the real God, will release our minds from this foolishness and captivity – that we may come to know and love Truth, personified in Jesus himself.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8 v31b-32

Posted in Christian, Prophecy | Tagged , | 6 Comments