12. Aug, 2016

All things under God

Shalom,

 The subject this week is different as it comes from my two days at the local courthouse. It is a subject that I do not hear too many people talking about in the Church and that is culture. Several years ago at a Church conference, a young Maori lady sat weeping when she saw the books the Church was promoting. Her cry was, my people do not need these, they need Jesus. The world today, even the Church, is pushing culture and the environment to the point it has become the focus of worship as stated in Romans 1:25. To 'find ourselves' all we have to do is turn to the Word of God and know we are wonderfully made [Psalm 139] and know we are children of God [John 1:12] so what else do we need? If we love God then we will look after what is His. Revelation  10:6. 
 
Blessings to All
 
Dennis and Penny
 

As I write this I'm sitting in the waiting room of the courthouse of Hamilton. Before you ask, I am here to support a young man who is the nephew of a friend. But as I sit here and hear the language and the stories, the title of my next book comes to mind, if I write it. “What happened?” Every person sitting around me once was the joy of some parent and now I repeat, “What happened?” There are those who are obviously very much influenced by drugs, while others seem to have given up on life. Sadly the people here are mostly Maori so what has changed since the days when those in court, as I saw some thirty-five years ago, when there was an even balance of nationalities?

One of the events that occurred was the removal of the word of God from society. [Psalm 42:3] One way they did this was by telling people to go back to their cultural roots. [1 Corinthians 12:2] Yeshua came to change all cultures, not to do away with the culture but to change it in line with the Word of God. [1Corinthians 2:16] All cultures will be there to worship the Lord in the New Jerusalem, but they will use it to worship the Lord. [Philippians 2:11]

Today false gods and the worship of many things have removed our focus on the Lord. These are found in many forms and are called culture. Returning to a human culture is to return to pagan roots because that is where most cultures started. Very few are based on Biblical truth. [John 17:17] We take a little of this and a little of that and after many centuries we have a culture and if we dare speak against it, we are called many things. But a culture can be used to worship the Heavenly Father in such a beautiful way if we place it at the feet of Him.

While serving in Israel we visited a restaurant in the Old City of Jerusalem. While there we had the pleasure of meeting a group of Maori people from New Zealand. They were a group of young people who were once going down the track of drugs and jail but who the Lord Yeshua had touched and their lives had very much changed. [Psalm 143:11] Now they were part of a Christian singing group at a Christian gathering in Israel. We invited them to our Church service and we received a beautiful demonstration of how a culture can be used to worship the Lord. They sang in both Maori and English and with their dancing praised the Lord. Their worship touched all who were there as the people were ministered to in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Will it matter what culture we belong to or will it be whether we hand that culture over to the Lord? Is the culture totally based on Biblical principles or the principles of the world? Have we used our culture to the glory of God or to man? The question I am sure the Lord will ask will be “Have you honoured the world or Me?” There are some very hard words our Lord Yeshua gave,  [Matthew 10:28] words we should all take notice of. It is one thing to accept Yeshua as Lord and another thing to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. [Philippians 2:12] Paul even said if a person continues to sin and will not repent, well you can read the scripture for yourselves. [1 Corinthians 1-5]

It was obvious many sitting in front of me had tried the earthly ways, surely it is time to try God’s way. What comes first culture or God? I am not talking about any particular culture but all cultures. Culture can be good to keep people together, but it should be used to the glory of God. If it leads people away from God, is it of God? Most cultures that were formed in the ancient past involved worshipping the creation and not the Creator. I was told back in the eighties that I had to return to my Celtic culture to find myself. In doing this I would be placing myself above God because is the leader, not the follower. [Psalm 95:3] A Church leader once wrote; “If you are one with nature you would be one with God.” I ask the question, “What god?” As a society we have gone back two thousand years putting our trust in something that will disappear [Mark 13:31] instead of placing our lives into the hands of the One who will last forever. [Isaiah 51:8]

As I sit here there is no one I can see that is getting too upset with the verdicts given, it is like they have accepted their fate as normal. It maybe normal to them, but definitely not normal in the eyes of God. [Ezekiel 33:11] In fact the Lord showed one young man He is the only way. [John 14:6] He allowed me to pray for him and he was let off all charges to be given another chance. Praise the Lord.

Each person is called to repent, [Mark 1:15] God called his people to repent before they could be healed, [2 Chronicles 7:14] some listened and some didn't. There would be no need for earthly courts if only we would surrender all things to the One who walked the earth and told us clearly how to behave. [John 9:27] God has given us rules and regulations to live by and yet from day one they were broken. [Exodus 32:19] That is why He sent the rule maker to walk among us. [John 1:14] Sitting where I am, I would be bold enough to say that all those walking in front of the Judges today are far from the very One who will weep if they are lost. [Luke 19:41-44]

The world is walking in darkness, darkness [John 12:35] that is the absence of the One true light that can lighten lives and heal broken hearts. The light [John 8:12] that can light the path [Psalm 119:105] for those who are lost in that darkness that is blinding them to the truth. [John 12:40]  The Truth that can take us out of the earthly court and ready us for the heavenly court to come. [Romans 14:10] The young girls are speaking in a way that’s trying to impress all who will listen, but in fact are labeling themselves in a way that it is easy to know what path they are on. [John 12:46] I go for lunch and sit among the people who are suppose to be helping these lost people, the lawyers of the courts and hear the same conversations. [Matthew 7:13]

The only way these people will be saved from themselves is to turn to the One who saves. [Romans 10:13] The One sent to save, the One who taught and said “I am the Light of the World [John 12:46] and how many times do I have to tell you, you read the scriptures about me why don't you act on what I say?” [John 9:27] If we talk to anybody in the Church they will agree the Lord is returning, but many want Him to wait until they finish what they are doing or for the family to grow. In fact He will return when we least expect Him to come! [Luke 12:40] In the blink of an eye He will be before us. Time is short, there is a time to choose whom we will serve, [Joshua 24:15] the Lord or the world, the one who saves or the one who destroys. [1 Peter 5:8] History has shown all cultures end one-day but we know the culture of the Word of God will last forever. So it is up to us where we will place our future, in the temporary or in that which will last forever. [1 Peter 1:25-26]

I have now sat in the waiting area of the courtrooms for nearly two days, waiting for judgment to be passed on the young man. He knows the time is coming to stand in front of the judge is not far off. The news for us is that the time for us to stand before the Judgment Seat is also coming, the question is what are we going to do about it?

 

Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord for we walk by faith, not by sight we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10