Acceptance

Condemnation, Judgment, and…Discipline: What are they and are they still around?

Most confuse the first two and hardly talk about the last one. Lets explore their real meaning and possible applications in New Testament thinking. Lets dive in and see how many don’t like what I have to say. If you don’t please comment and explain your take on the different sides, definitions, and applications.

First three(ish) Greek definitions

  • Condemnation – katakrima in Greek – an adverse sentence (the verdict):—condemnation
  • Judgment – krisis in Greek – decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against); by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice (especially, divine law):—accusation, condemnation, damnation, judgment
  • Judge – krinō in Greek – properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:—avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think
  • Discipline – paideuō in Greek – to train up a child, i.e. educate, or (by implication), discipline (by punishment):—chasten(-ise), instruct, learn, teach

Now our English definitions according to Oxford Dictionary

  • Condemnation – The expression of very strong disapproval; censure
  • Judgment – The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions
  • Judge – Form an opinion or conclusion about
  • Discipline – Train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

Does God still condemn? Does God still judge or give judgment? Does God still discipline?

Many “Grace Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God in no way condemns nor judges or gives judgments. I haven’t heard much if they believe God still corrects or disciplines (could be due to so much emphasis on God not judging). Many “Judgment Preachers” (a term used to describe their teaching and is in no way derogatory) teach God is still in the judging/judgment business and He does it often and without restraint. This view is usually about how God is angry at sin and sinners and is punishing them for it yet you don’t hear much about restoration or redemption in it. “Death to California and NYC” tends to be their mantra.

Funny thing is the hyper-grace people tend not to offer the same grace to those who don’t align with their thinking. And the judgment people don’t offer grace to much of anything. I think the “Judgment Preachers” need a lot more grace and the “Grace Preachers” need a lot more discernment, which true judgment is. All the while neither side knows there is a balance between the two. Look at the Apostle John. Only the Apostle of Love could receive Revelation and all it’s hard sayings.

Both sides hold very strong beliefs regarding their viewpoints. Both usually tell the other side to question what they’ve been taught. Both are tend to be hardliners. Both, in my opinion, burn bridges and castigate each other. Do they not realize they’ll be spending eternity together? God will one day set us all straight in our beliefs…but until then the schism remains and the devouring lingers. For what it’s worth, which may not be much, here is my belief, not to tear one down nor build another up. I will digress from my ratiocination above and move along.

Do I think God condemns people? In a word no. People think God does but He really doesn’t. People are not meant to condemn other people either. It’s interesting to note that Hell was never intended nor created for human beings but the devil and his angels. But Hell does exist and some invariably will choose to reject Christ and His offer and end up there, despite some Christian Universalist’s claims. It is interesting to note that in Matthew 12:41 that the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it along with the Queen of the south. However there is another Scripture in Luke 6:37 that says not to condemn or you will be condemned. Clearly in John 3:17 it says God did not send Jesus to condemn us. Our hearts can condemn us according to 1 John 3:20. But God is greater than our hearts and supersedes it.

Now what about judgment or judging? The most common Scripture used to say we are not to judge is Matthew 7:1 which says judge not lest you me judged. Like I said most common used Scripture. However many miss another Scripture in John 7:24 which says,

Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

There is a righteous judgment that is necessary and allowed, you may even take it as a command but that’s on you. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment… We all judge. Everyday. Mostly based upon outside appearances. Sometimes internal. As the saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”, so goes in life. 1 Samuel 16:7 says,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I ran across another blog written by an outright pagan. Now I wasn’t there and I don’t know either of the parties involved so I can’t judge their hearts but their actions may point to something here. I am not condemning them at all but pointing out something that is sorely needed, especially in Charismatic circles where some strange people seem to surface (I say in jest). She and another visited a Healing Rooms in a very prominent Charismatic church in Cali. There aim was simple and quite neutral and genuine. They wanted whatever this particular Healing Rooms had to offer.  So they went and encountered absolutely loving, gentle, and encouraging people. They received very encouraging words a

Another passage about judging is 1 Corinthians 6:1-11. To keep the word count down I won’t supply the whole passage but the gist of it is this: we are called to judge with righteous truth and discernment. We will judge angels and the world yet it is not politically correct to judge people’s actions according to some. You can see this in the current events. For fear of profiling and judging a terrorist attack in San Bernardino could have very well been prevented. The situation in question was purely an outside appearance issue. But because of the sensitive nature of people these days a person did not come forward with a concern. Spiritually speaking, discernment should one or the only criteria for judging. There is right and wrong plainly explained in Scripture and should be taught, preached, and learned. There is also much gray areas as well. There are also some areas that aren’t touched at all. Some other Scriptures that point to fact that we need to point out issues in our lives and other people’s live, if they have given us authority to do so, I repeat, if they have given us authority to do so are: 2 Tim. 4:2, Eph 4:15Eph 4:25-262 Cor 7:81 Cor. 2:10-16, and 1 Cor. 14:24-25. Many people judge others and have no clue who the person is or where they came from or their story. In these cases judgment should only be used via discernment and not outright rebuke. Discernment is but judgment devoid of outward appearances. Rashness, bigoted, hateful speech is never, ever a legitimate expression of righteous judgment or discernment. Ever. Because of the “Judgment Preachers” people are hating Christians even more these days. And this may very well be the reason for the appearance of “Grace Preachers.” However both have been around since the start of Christianity. The biggest problems with the “Judgment Preachers” are the sub group I call, “Date Setters”. Whether it’s Jonathan Cahn, John Hagee, or the eBible Fellowship people, they have an issue with sin…and obviously don’t know how to handle it. Truth with love, speech seasoned with salt to give grace, grace that empowers change and not that destroys countries. On the discipline…

I’ll start with Heb. 12:5-17

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

And Revelation 3:19 which says,

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Discipline, correction, and rebuke. All three are come from judgment/discernment and are labeled as condemnation by those who don’t fully understand the terms. Hopefully the I answered that and if not then I would encourage you to study it more than I have. This blog is already getting too long…lol

God does indeed discipline and correct us and if Hebrews is right then that proves we are legitimate. And if He doesn’t there is illegitimacy. “Rebuke a wise man and he will love you for it,” says Prov. 9:8. “Rebuke a fool and he will hate you,” goes the rest of it. Look I don’t like people telling me I’m wrong. Usually people don’t. But to remove that from our lives is to remove growth in areas we don’t think we need growth. Have you ever sought the Lord for a Word concerning something but He gave you a Word about something totally different? It goes the same way. We need to have people in our lives who can challenge, correct, exhort, and come alongside us.

One scripture that is oft quoted is 2 Tim. 1:7 which says,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We love not being given a spirit of fear. He crave love. We yearn for His power. But a sound mind? What does that even mean? Glad I asked! Sound mind in Greek is sōphronismos which means discipline. Ever since I looked up the meaning I’ve wondered why the translators chose such a different phrase that discipline. How many crave discipline? I do as an adult. But hated it as a child. Maybe that’s the difference? Maturity versus childhood.

Redemptive shame, just like redemptive pain, is a gift from God. However, destructive shame and destructive pain from the enemy is a curse and not a blessing. Knowing the difference is key. Yes there is redemptive shame and sorrow (see Acts 5:41, 1 Cor. 1:27, 1 Cor. 6:5, 2 Thes. 3:14) Redemptive shame and destructive shame are only confused by the voice of the enemy. God brings hope. Enemy despair.

James 2:13 says,

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Judgment and mercy. Mercy and judgment. A paradox.

In my experience, mercy, not getting what I do deserve, has often been, getting a little bit of what I do deserve. Shame, fear, hell, judgment, pain is what drove me to Jesus. I felt like a horrible human being who didn’t deserve to live. And God used that feeling to get me to dive to His feet. I was stumbling on a path the led to nowhere but hell and destruction and was enjoying it…until He put His hand on my life and said, “You’re wrong and you and I both know it.” He disciplined and corrected me in the midst of it all and 12 years later I’ve changed and I’m changing…and it wasn’t a pretty process. It was a redemptive process but not a pretty one. Sometimes God gives you what you want to show you what you need as someone has said.

For me I must be open to His many ways of dealings with me. I cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear if He wants to show me how I’m wrong. I should crave it! King David said his judgments (which He uses to correct and discipline) are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired than fine gold or a winning Powerball ticket. Sweeter than honey or stevia, whichever you prefer. For by them your servant and son are warned. In keeping them is great reward.

Condemnation is a no-no for humans. Judgments are a yes-no but only when love, mercy, and true righteousness is established in their heart. Discipline is a yes-yes for without it we are illegitimate. And fear not because God doesn’t correct but for our own benefit and not destruction.

So I did my best, which is far from perfect, but I thought I’d open a dialogue that many have shut down. I aim to regain bridges that have been burned. A good scribe brings from his storeroom treasure both old and new.

There are two sides to every coin and only when a coin has two different sides is it ever of any worth.

 

 

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Get back up!

Yes you fell…we all have and most will again. But it’s not your end. A righteous person may fall 7 times but will rise again. Yes even in the midst of your fall you are still righteous. As the Apostle Paul said, “Such were some of you…but you were washed.” You may have fallen today or an hour ago but with each rising comes a washing. Yes you messed up. Admit it. Come to grips with your actions. Then move forward. If you ever think that God gets tired of you just remember Psalm 121:4, “He who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep.” He isn’t tired of you and He will never get tired of you coming to Him. I release the truth upon you that you have the ability to go boldly before the Throne of Grace to receive the mercy that you need. Go! Boldly! Never cease going! He is available! He is watching and waiting with His eyes on the horizon! Don’t you see Him! Run! Run faster! Because He will overtake you with His grace. I see Him removing the stained clothes you wear. I see Him washing your feet. I see Him, in you, beckoning for bear hug. I see new clothes! Clean clothes! I see Him calling you to His table of abundance. “Kill the fatted calf! Bring the best wine! My child is here and My love is forever upon them!” You know what? I see Him offering His seat at the table for you. Take it! Is is Him that calls you precious. It is Him that says, “You are worthy of my love.” I understand this is contrary to all religions and religious activity. But it’s true. You are no longer defined by your past or even your present. You are defined by the Great Definer. It is His Word that stands across the ages and sands of time. What He says counts! Not the enemy, not your soul, and not the accusers. Go and so no more! This is declaration and not a warning. Know who you are, know who He is, and know you and Him combined. Get back up! Stop trying to get a grip on Him…rest in His grip on you. You may feel lost but He is never lost and has found you. He is leading you back to still and restful waters. Soak it up! Rest! Let His love take you to where you never thought was possible! Let His perfect love cast away all fear. Let. Let the love do it….and not yourself. Let. Allow His Love to do it apart from you ability to grasp it’s all consumingness. Yes you fell and have fallen. It’s time to get back up. Will you allow His grace, mercy, and love overtake you today? It’s available right now…and will be available for all eternity.

 

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Balance – The Other Side Of Freedom

Balance. That’s not a popular word amongst some Charismatics. A real popular word amongst non-Charismatics and when I say Charismatics I mean those who don’t believe in cessationism. Charismatics, generally speaking, take the word “balance” as limiting and binding. There was an article written a couple of years ago by Anthony Bradley entitled, “The ‘new legalism’: How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God.” You can Google the article if you want. This blog isn’t geared necessarily towards anything he did or didn’t say but the article brought up some things I’ve been thinking about and haven’t thought about for a couple of years.

I’m speaking from a guy who was raised in the Charismatic(if you like labels) church. Though I was raised in the Charismatic church, I did my own thing for several years and when I was 20 years old made my own decision to follow the Lord. I then went back to the Charismatic church. I also had a couple spurts in a Methodist and AG church, which had wonderful believers in them. Some of the things I’ve experienced were completely amazing and life changing yet at the same time I went through a lot of shame, rejection, and not being able to quite measure up to others around me. And this had nothing to do with sin but with Charismatic performance.

Due to the lack of freedom in many evangelical churches where you can neither dance nor raise your hands during worship, much less show any type of emotional responses or even read the Scripture for yourself, believers have been so hungry for more. Like the ability to express one’s own love for the Lord in ways that they feel comfortable like flag waving, dancing, lifting hands, prophetic art, clapping, shofar blowing etc. But now these actions have become performing, not to say the people themselves are performing to please God because that’s between them and the Lord. With these new sets of standards it opens the possibility that if you don’t do these things then you are labeled nominal or cold or lukewarm or quenching the Spirit. For example, when everyone stands up in church to sing the songs on the projector and you remained seated you may get a look or a “gentle” nudging from another to stand up and get excited about Jesus and you succumb to the pressure to perform all the while it could be the opposite of how your spirit connects with God.

Personally I connect better while sitting and being still. I love reading while laying down as opposed to sitting. Our spirits are Hand-crafted and designed on purpose and for purpose. We are living stones being fitted together. We have to let one stone be different from all others otherwise there might be a chink in the armor of the whole. We have so desired freedom that it’s become a bigger box than we were in before…but it’s still a box if you let it define what’s new and acceptable.

We’ve erred on the side where freedom becomes an activity instead of a rest from activity. Freedom means to dance…it also means not to dance. Freedom means to shout…it also means not to shout. Freedom means laying prostrate in front of the altar…it also means not laying prostrate in front of the altar. Freedom means me being me…it also means giving the Spirit permission to push me a little. Freedom means I can get slain in the spirit…it also means I don’t need to get slain in the spirit. Freedom means I can stand up and raise my hands…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I shake & bake by manifesting…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can speak in tongues…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can get drunk in the spirit…it also means I don’t have to. Freedom means I can live in Truth without conforming to someone else’s standards. Freedom means I can walk in my design without fitting into someone else’s design.

If a person knows what they know and knows what they don’t know and is secure in that and can allow someone else to know what they don’t know and can lean into that then maturity and balance can come. In order for balance to occur there must be two sides having equal force all hinging on a higher Truth that keeps both afloat. Jesus had a great nugget that I don’t think I’ve ever heard mentioned in a sermon and it’s in Matthew 13:52 and says,

He said to them, Therefore every teacher and interpreter of the Sacred Writings who has been instructed about and trained for the kingdom of heaven and has become a disciple is like a householder who brings forth out of his storehouse treasure that is new and [treasure that is] old [the fresh as well as the familiar].

There is nothing wrong with liturgy and there is nothing wrong with spontaneity. There is nothing wrong with hymns and there is nothing wrong with prophetic singing. It was for freedom that Christ set us free.

Several years back where I sat like a bump on a log in midst of others feeling overflowing joy and laughter and His Presence. They would shake & bake and feel great all the while I felt the sensitivity of a gnat. I felt somewhat devastated inside. If this is what freedom was then I wanted in and no matter what I did by mimicking, or getting prayer, or even doing a little fake it till you make it, I just didn’t get it. It was sin because I knew others had sin. What was it? It was even worse when it came for a prayer line when those who were shaking & baking would get more and more prayer and I would stand there in “receiving mode” and get a quick 5 second prayer. A common remark I’d hear about those “experiencing more” than me would be, “The Spirit’s all over him,” and then they would point their finger and the person would flail even more. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those “strange fire” people. I have physically experienced God on several occasions and I fully believe God touches His children in amazing ways. I’ve been healed twice of sinus infections. It’s the box. It’s the “Freedom” box that I don’t care for.

We cannot set aside one set of rules in exchange for another set  rules. We need freedom to and freedom not to. The Holy Spirit is wind and blows one way and you don’t see it and it blows another. You don’t know where it’s coming or where it’s going. So are those born of the Spirit. We are ingrafted into this wind and we must leave behind our belongings and step into sonship where you can do what He wants for you and not what others want for you. God’s wants for another may not be the same as His wants for you. His wants for me won’t be the same and His wants for you.

Oneness comes with diversity. In our soul this doesn’t make sense. By our spirit knows. Adam left sonship behind for his own belongings. And until we leave our belongings at the foot of Him we won’t have oneness but a certain longing for unity out of our grasp. I must leave my belongings, the things I use to belong, at His feet and enter into sonship with the One True King.

On a side note. One thing that has set me free from being fascinated by externals is Psalm 103:7 which says,

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.

For me personally, knowing His ways is tops. His acts are cool but I never want them to be a distraction. If my wife lauded my gifts and not my heart then I would feel…well used. I don’t get the ecstatic reactions to gems, glory clouds, or angel feathers. Whether they are real or not. It’s not my focus. Because for me, if it was my focus, I would not feel legitimate unless I was able to receive the same exact things. Unless I got a gem stone, unless I got an angel feather(though I joke I do get them when my goose down pillows expel them), unless a glory cloud fills my room I won’t feel up to par. All these things are great, fantastic, and utterly amazing acts of God. But for me, which won’t be for you too, I love His ways. I want to know Him.

Please mind my rant in the midst of the case I’m presenting. I wanted to provide the other side of freedom. The balance. The true freedom where my design can flourish in the midst of a person’s completely different design. Where both designs can be honored, legitimized, and celebrated. So here’s a blessing.

Spirit of _____ I bless you and call you forward and to attention. I bless you spirit with God’s completely different, one-of-a-kind, mold-breaking design. I bless you with the freedom to and the freedom to not to. Be free to be led by the Spirit into freedom. Not chaos but freedom where you can be you and another can be another.  Spirit of ____ listen to God’s word for you in Psalms 103:7 which says, “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.” Throughout the time Israel was in the wilderness there was a special thing Moses and God had going…something different that Israel’s status quo and box. I bless you spirit with knowing God’s ways without needing His acts as a legitimacy crutch. Be blessed and astounded and amazed by His acts but when they aren’t present know your Father has never left you. Absence of His acts never proves the absence of His Presence though His Presence may be known by His acts. Spirit I bless with you the balance of 100% Scripture and 100% Holy Spirit. I bless you with the freedom to have the soul or body touched by God and I bless you with not needing the soul and body touched. Spirit, all you need to do is go to the face of the Father in all situations, circumstances, problems, provisions, and applications and receive all you need from God. Receive all your directions from the Father’s face. May the Father’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May you shine, spirit. May you exude all the reflections, colors, rhythms, wavelengths, sounds, freedom to and freedom not tos that God has placed within you. May you walk in oneness with diversity. May all portions of you be blessed, healed, celebrated and rejoiced. You weren’t wrong in your design, in your feelings, or in your ways of connecting with God. God made you to connect with Him in certain ways and at certain times. There is no box over you spirit! You are free to go to the face of the Father so He may unpack all of your special and unique design features. He will unlock, in His timing, every He has place in you from the foundations. Be blessed spirit to ride the wind, be united to the wind, and to be excited for the wind.

I hope you get the gist of what my spirit was feeling and I hope your spirit caught it. The soul can get pretty wrapped up with a lot of things. One day our spirits will rule and reign in the rightful place it was designed for.

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It’s not your fault

This clip is from Good Will Hunting. Just a word of caution. This clip shows a real issue and real emotions. If you’ve been abused this may bring up emotions or flashbacks. My aim is for healing, redemption, and to let you know that it’s not your fault. Please pardon the language:

 

It isn’t! You didn’t do it. You didn’t bring it on yourself. You had nothing to do with it. You weren’t being punished for who you are because who you are is a beautiful person God personally designed, thought about, and put together. You were not a mistake. What happened was caused by someone else and their sin, frailty, and wounding. They did it, not you. You are free from being responsibly for someone else’s actions. God can, and will, and is freeing you from the past. Remember that it is not your fault. You are free to be everything God created you to be. Do me and God a favor today. Take time off. Be you and be comfortable with you. Be who you are. It’s not about performance but about freedom. Truth was meant to set you free not keep you in bondage. I may not fully understand each one of your hurts, wounding, betrayals, abuse, or defilement but God understands. Jesus said, “Come to Me all of you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” Receive His rest today. Let it go from mind to heart and from spirit to soul. Let His love wash over you like a hot shower. Cascading over everything you thought you weren’t. Let the ocean of His love and the waves of His grace come and speak to you. Let Him speak to you the thoughts He has that outnumber the sands of the sea. Open up your heart once again to Him who will never, NEVER hurt, wound, or betray you. He longs to hear your voice. He longs to hold your hand. He longs to be with you right in the middle of everything.

I apologize for any emotions or past experiences it may have brought back. Please don’t stuff or neglect emotions because they point to something and it can bring a chance for healing to come. Many of you need to watch it and receive the words and affirmation you’ve so longed to hear and believe. Some may not need to hear this but you may know someone who does. Pass it along. Share it, post it, like it, re-blog it not for me but for someone else.

Going to Nicaragua!!

Dear WordPress family,

I am writing to share some exciting news with you. I plan to be part of a mission team traveling to Nicaragua June 16th through June 21st. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in our hemisphere (Haiti is the poorest). I’m going to sow into the land and the people. I have felt called to go ever since I had a dream with a well known prophet. In the dream this prophet named three names, two of which I don’t remember but Nicaragua is the one that stuck with me so I’m going!

My church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, in Frederick, Maryland, in partnership with Cristo Centro Church of Diriamba, Nicaragua, sponsors TrueHope4Kids, a ministry outreach to school age children in Diriamba. The children who participate in TrueHope4Kids would, were it not for this outreach, likely not attend school at all, but would be out in the streets begging or scavenging the local dump for “treasures” to sell to help keep food on the table at home. In exchange for their caregivers agreeing to keep them in school, TrueHope4Kids provides a nourishing meal and high-quality vitamins every school day, along with Bible studies and other educational activities. The children receive help with uniforms, and receive backpacks filled with school supplies every year. Over the years, many of the children and their families have surrendered their lives to Christ, become active church members and productive members of their community.

Our team will be serving and ministering to these children and their families each day, not only at the TrueHope4Kids location, but also visiting in their homes, hearing their stories, encouraging them and praying for their needs. We will likely do some street witnessing as well. And because we will be there during Cristo Centro Church’s 30th anniversary, we will get to join the congregation for their celebration, where we will have opportunities to serve and encourage them as well!

I am asking for your help to make this trip possible. First, I covet your prayers for success in raising funds and for productive ministry and safety for our team during the mission trip. I know that much prayer is vital for success, and I would be greatly encouraged if you would agree to pray for me and the whole team.

Second, I cannot make the trip without financial partners. I need to raise $1,320 to join this mission team, half before April 15th and the remainder by June 2nd. If you are able to help with the finances, I would be richly blessed. You can use the PayPal donate link below. Donations done that way will not be tax exempt unfortunately. To receive a tax deductible, receipt use https://giving.onthecity.org/hcfchurch/uauth_giving/new and put “NIC Missions 1 John 4:17” as the memo.

Thank you for your friendship, prayers and any financial support you are able to provide. I plan to provide a follow-up report to you when our trip is concluded.

Sincerely,

Jordan Gresczyk

 

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Judgment Upon Your Enemies

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Have you ever wondering why bad things happen in your life? I do. Why are these things in my life crumbling and shaking? Why are things falling apart? A thought recently popped in my head about this. I’m not saying this is true or whatever but I ponder things like this. Again this may be true and this may not be true but only my thoughts. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

Sometimes if the enemy is wrapped up too much in our life and the wrath of God against the enemy comes sometimes we get burnt. Some OT references would be Lot and several of the prophets. They were righteous people walking in their destiny yet suffered in the midst. When God judge Israel, as a whole, both righteous and unrighteous succumbed to His dealings whether they deserved it or not. Again I want to be careful here and not generalize anything but sometimes are life needs to be shaken so that which remains is only Kingdom. If we are a little too close to our enemy we can very well experience the chastisement of the Lord. It’s not a good feeling but oh how the enemy scatters and leaves us in His lap. I just had the thought of when I was spanked as a child. My dad would put me over his lap and spank me…then console me. Both happened on his lap…how much more our Heavenly Father. Hebrews 12:5-8 says

…and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,

My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

It’s the grace of God that makes our spirits and lives fireproof though parts of us may crumble and burn. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 says

each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Sometimes the mercy of God is getting a little of what you deserve. Consequences for actions are a good motivator if not done in fear. The wrath of God is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Notice He is against the “ness” and not the person. If God is for you then He is against everything that is against you. Until we give it all up and let God arise in ourselves the enemy will not be scattered. The Holy Spirit is a Gentleman…except when He isn’t. He will patiently sit there waiting in love until you are ready and He will determine when you are ready to deal with the baggage. The longer you don’t deal – let Him deal with it – the harder the burn or the shaking will be. He is a jealous God and will not accept things between you and Him. Isaiah 42:3 says

A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.

We should welcome his correction for a wise men loves it. We should welcome his hand on our life. Psalm 19:9-10 says

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.

Judgment is not the same as condemnation. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus!

We must let His light so shine before us so that we can see ourselves and run into His arms as He is running to us. He has His robe and ring for us and a fatted calf roasting on the pit but we need to recognize the slop of the enemy and get away from it. If you are in sin, get healed, healing, deliverance, etc. I currently am reaping what I sown and it hurts but it is the mercy of God. I’d rather feel the heat of the burner on my hand and get burned a little then not feel pain and lose my hand in the process. Pain can be a wonderful thing. C. S. Lewis put it best

We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

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