I Don’t Like You

Ah!! The honesty of a three year-old. I remember it well. I was struck at how often we followers of Christ do the same thing. Oh, we love God when he gives us cookies, or in our adult cases, money, cars, our own way, but we don’t like it much when he says no.

Fortunately, this child will grow up and become a man in his 20’s and realize that his mom knows best and that because of her love, she always had his best interest at heart. Unfortunately, many followers will never come to that realization.

John 3:1. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
2. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”3. In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. “

In this passage Jesus says no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. That word see means to know, to perceive, to behold.

4. “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5. Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Then Jesus continues and says to enter the kingdom of God we have to be born of water AND the Spirit. That word enter means to arise, to come into.

So we see that there are two distinct transitions in a believer’s life. One, where he sees the kingdom of God, as in the three year old who sees his mom as either likable or not, depending on what she is requiring of him. The other where the believer enters the kingdom of God, as in the three year old, a few years down the road, who understands that because his mother loves him, she says no sometimes.

So we see two distinct types of believers.

John 1:12. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

These are believers who are called children by mere fact of birth. They are the ones who see the kingdom of God. They are the three year-old who proclaim, I love you but I don’t like you all the time. Or in Christian language, “God why is this always happening to me?”

Romans 8:14. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

These are believers who are called sons because of character or behavior. They’ve matured, they live being guided by the Holy Spirit. In Christian language, “I know You have a purpose and even though I don’t understand it, I know you’ll make a way.”

Galatians 4:1. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.

This believer is an heir, meaning he should be growing and maturing, but if he is still being told what to do and how to do it then he is still not walking in the freedom of Holy Spirit.

So do a gut check today. Are you still letting God know you love him, but don’t really trust him, or like him a whole lot, or have you figured out that it all works together for good, and it will be alright in the end?

A Loyal Dr. Laura Schlessinger Listener

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Whenever I let people know that I listen to Dr. Laura each day on the radio, I get this look of distain. I get asked quite frequently how I can stand to listen to her judgmental attitude. Here is what Dr. Laura’s attitude has done for me:

1. I began listening to her over 20 years ago. Dr. Laura was a little different back then, not that she had a different revelation, but she was more open about her family and friendships. I think the media may have jaded her towards speaking about things, or maybe it was that people without a life picked on hers. In any case, in the beginning I was always pleased to hear someone who didn’t think I was a freak for staying home and stunting my career. She didn’t believe every kid needed the latest greatest thing, she believed that kids needed parents and that was cool with me.

When I was in doubt and the peer pressure, yes parents have peer pressure too, got to be too much, I would hear a voice on the radio letting me know it was okay to not let your kids run wild or that it was okay to expect them to get an after-school job to buy makeup. She taught me to trust my mommy gut and it paid off. My kids graduated high school, went on to college, moved out on their own. and are working members of society. No one has been to jail, knock on wood, or been pregnant out of wedlock.

2. She has taught me that every single time I overrode what I knew my heart was telling me was the wrong thing to do, there would be serious consequences to pay. When she spoke out on a topic it wasn’t because she was being judgmental, it was only that she was trying to save us some heartache. I promise you that every time, not almost every time, but every-single-time, I’ve gone against her advice there’s been hell to pay.

3. She helped me become the Christian I am today. Now, that seems strange, because at the time of the solidification of my faith she was an Orthodox Jew, but she was sold out to her faith and she taught me an all or nothing, dive in and go for it, way of taking something on. As she walked out her faith, studying, questioning and gaining understanding, so did I. I didn’t just accept something because a Pastor told me it was correct, I studied it out. My faith in God grew, my trust in Jesus grew and I took little steps, a class or two until I am where I am now. I’m not sure where Dr. Laura is anymore with her faith, but I’ve heard her say, sadly, that she wished she had a solid foundation as a child. I admire the fact that she has a better knowledge of the bible than most of us bible thumpers! It is because of her life example that I so harp on couples that it really does matter what you believe because it will make a huge difference once kids are born.

4. I learned not be the feminist thinker I was brought up to be. Rather, she taught me that to have a man who loves you, kids who are decent members of society, a few good friends and a job you have passion for, is the ultimate meaning of a life fulfilled. I learned to quit measuring myself against others and that redemption and growth are worthwhile pursuits.

5. I learned that judging other’s actions is biblical. I can’t judge their motives, who knows why people do the crazy things they do anyway, but it’s okay to call something wrong when it is, and it’s reasonable to not be okay with things that go against morality.

So I am a loyal Dr. Laura fan. People need mentors and that is the purpose of this blog and my life’s work so it would stand to reason that I seek out those who are telling the truth and trying to live their lives out correctly before God and man. Notice, I didn’t say perfectly I said correctly. We all have “stuff” that what makes us human.

I have never met Dr. Laura, probably never will, and I’ve never called into the show, and she’ll more than likely never read this post. I have her books, I’ve quoted them a million times and handed countless out to friends and family. I have probably passed out and never gotten back, 10 Stupid Things (both men and women) Do To Mess Up Their Lives, enough to make them best sellers! We need to pray for her, thank her and quit being afraid to proclaim the fact that we love her and that she is right on and necessary to our society!

Doing The Wrong Thing

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A woman I know found $10,000 in an envelope. No one saw her find it, it was cash. She called the police and turned it in. Her friends questioned her. Was she dumb? Naive? The money could have changed her life. What struck her was that some who were Christians told her she was crazy for doing it and what if it were God trying to bless her, what if it were drug money? She began to doubt herself, she couldn’t sleep, she went to God and repented for doing what she thought was right. My heart went out to her because what should have been applauded as good character wasn’t. Yet, I believe there is an eternal reward for her good deed.

In the same week a woman came in for a meeting with a ministry team. She was angry. She said that the music of the church wasn’t anointed and in fact was dead, the ministry was dead and if they wanted to bring life to the home church they had started then they needed to sing this music (she then produced music sheets) and they had to bring in this person to lead worship and they had to minister in a certain way and they had to leave their jobs and dedicate themselves solely to growing the house church. She accused them of not hearing from the Holy Spirit, of not putting into leadership the people she had selected, and accused their wives of not being supportive to their ministry because they told her she should prayerfully consider submission and not speak out against her leaders.

Further in the same week I met with a gentleman who was being asked to make a vow at the altar of our church that he didn’t believe in and wasn’t planning to keep. He is an unbeliever and I explained that our faith takes that vow very seriously and I didn’t want him to make a vow that would compromise his values. I told him that I was praying for his salvation and that I would want him not to have to account for that vow on judgment day. He said he didn’t believe in a judgment day so it was no big deal. I asked him as politely as I could to postpone this decision because we took this vow very seriously. He became angry, felt judged and although it wasn’t my intention for him to feel this way, neither was I willing to compromise my belief. It went downhill fast. He went away frustrated and mad, and I went away feeling I didn’t handle it well, feeling that I could not accommodate him and neither could I back up his vow as a witness. Unless two agree they don’t walk together. Fortunately, I don’t make the final decision on the outcome. I just report back.

These things weighed heavily on my heart and Sunday I pretty much cried through the worship service. No wonder the world calls us hypocrites, I thought, as I laid it all bare to the Lord. When we think God doesn’t have the right to make clearly defined lines that we are supposed to keep then what does the world think? When we don’t stay in our place where leadership and ministry is concerned then what does the world think? When we explain our faith and how we believe, an unbeliever doesn’t believe us because he’s seen so much hypocrisy. He thinks I was harsh and picking on him because I didn’t want him to compromise and say things his heart didn’t feel and I didn’t want to compromise Jesus. Neither of us left successful that day.

Paul said: Acts 20:25. “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

My prayer this week is that I can say that I am innocent of the blood of all men. We serve a God who IS. Jesus was pretty clear about feeding his sheep, keeping his Father’s commandments and loving one another. Lord, guide me to be a good witness to you. I want to do the will of the Father. Yes, I know that I fall short daily but let me be one who although does sin is not controlled by sin but by Jesus Christ. Help to explain my faith so that I don’t become a stumbling block or set someone back from serving the Kingdom. Lord, I want to be pleasing to you.