Monthly Archives: July 2015

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Are You Guilty Of Breaking The Fourth Commandment….. #WorkingOnTheSabbath

This morning as I was watching Kerry Shook (something I do weekday mornings in conjunction with my mini bible devotion) my eyes were open to something that many of us are guilty of doing….breaking the 4th commandment.

Commandment number 4 of 10 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV)

event-1How many of you work on the Sabbath? It can be your regular 9-5 job, OR your side hustle or small business.

Whether you’ll admit it or not, I know I’VE been guilty of it at times! I have been known to go straight from church to a photo shoot or to work on a client’s social media profile without giving it a second thought. I rationalized within myself that since it wasn’t my REGULAR 9-5 job…it didn’t apply.

WRONG!

First let’s get some background on this thing…..

God gave Moses this law. Not to oppress believers, but to look out for them. He used Himself as an example to show us that rest is necessary to prevent burnout. There is nothing cute or fly about being sick and tired because you’re worn out from “being too busy” or “hustling 24/7”. This is why He COMMANDED that we utilize the Sabbath day to #1 Spend time in worship and communion with He and other believers, but #2 get revitalized for the work we’ll have to be doing in the week to come.

Sounds easy to understand right? Well why it is so easily looked over?

  • The religious leaders of the bible days tried to “humanize” and “legalize” it by saying, “Well you shouldn’t do ANYTHING on the Sabbath. That means if your nose is running, or if your kid is drowning, or if your sandal is unbuckled – you can’t do anything about it because you have to rest.” That IS NOT what God meant when He gave that commandment; and Jesus made that clear in Matthew 10, Mark 3: 1-6, and Luke 13:10-17 when He healed the man with the deformed hand on the Sabbath. There are many church leaders today who legalize this very same commandment so much, it turns people off. People would rather go make money for their family than to take a day off and spend it in church.

  • There are present day misconceptions on what the Sabbath ACTUALLY is. The word ‘sabbath’ is from the Hebrew word SHABÀT, meaning ‘cessation,’ or ‘time of rest.’ In Jesus’ time (and mainly Jewish culture), the Sabbath day was observed on a Saturday. Over time, many Christians have adopted Sunday as the Sabbath – but to be totally honest, it can be ANY day YOU set aside to gather and worship the Lord, while abstaining from doing the work you would do any other day of the week. Now before you go crazy with this new found knowledge, it does NOT mean God commanded you to lay in the bed all day, or go to the mall without going to church or bible meeting on the Sabbath. Worship comes first. But AFTER you have spent the first part of your day recharging your spirit, THEN your day is free to spend with family or tend to your own body.
  • logo (1)America has placed high value on those who ‘eat, sleep, and drink’ work. As the old saints say, “I know for myself” that this is true! I’ve lived it most of my teenage and adult life. American values teach us that ‘if you want it, you’ve got to work for it by any means’. Our current worldly culture praises us for being elite members of ‘Team No Sleep’ and ‘Team Hustle’ – even though it doesn’t seem to support us when we end up a part of “Team Worn Down and Hospitalized” or “Team Six Feet Under”! So many people are afraid to lose their jobs or fear for their family’s financial security; so they often work on the days that they would normally be in church. This needs to stop. TRUST ME, God knows what type job you have…He gave it to you! He also knows your financial situation; so it would do you some good to stop and think, “Maybe He’s testing me to see how much I’ll rely on Him.” Every single person I know who has transferred jobs or missed a gig so they could attend church have ALL been taken care of! They didn’t know HOW they were going to come up with that extra money, but random people felt the need to give them groceries or put $50 in their hand, or they miraculously received a refund check in the mail for a bill they overpaid way back when. When God sees you making an effort to spend more time with Him, and follow His commandments, He’ll reward you!

what-face

I’ll admit, when I started thinking about this thing, I was convicted. I really had to pray about it because if you know me, I’m passionate about going after my dreams and hopes of one day being able to do what I love full time. But as 2 Peter 2:21 says, “For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.”

And since I now KNOW the truth, I need to act on it…and so should you!

I know, I know…I had to give it to you! I wouldn’t want you to keep going through life slaving away every day of every week and miss out on the renewal God has for you! I know it may not come easy at first, but RIGHT NOW, write down on a sheet of paper or in your planner a day where you will commit EACH WEEK to spending at least 1 hour worshipping God and reading the bible with a small group or church. Make a habit of making this day your Sabbath EVERY week without fail.  Over time it will become like second nature to you and you’ll probably find yourself actually ‘defending’ your Sabbath day because you’ll value your ‘rest day’ SO much, you’ll crave it!

As Marvin Winans sings….”If I seek Him first, it’s going to get better, not worse…He’ll add these things.”

Again, this is something I need to work on too, so if you need encouragement along the way, I’m just a post, comment, or email away!

– Be Blessed, Joc

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40 QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS NOW WAVING RAINBOW FLAGS (reblogged)

THIS MORNING I WAS SCROLLING MY MORNING NOTIFICATIONS AND CAME ACROSS THIS ARTICLE THAT WAS INDEED THROUGH PROVOKING, INTRIGUING, AND ONE OF THE WISEST RESPONSES TO THE SCOTUS DECISION I’VE SEEN SO FAR FROM A BIBLE BELIEVING/CHRIST BELIEVING CHRISTIAN. 

TAKE A LOOK……

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/

40 QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS NOW WAVING RAINBOW FLAGS

July 1, 2015

For evangelicals who lament last Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it’s been a hard few days. We aren’t asking for emotional pity, nor do I suspect many people are eager to give us any. Our pain is not sacred. Making legal and theological decisions based on what makes people feel better is part of what got us into this mess in the first place. Nevertheless, it still hurts.

There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven?

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?

18. How would you define marriage?

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?

23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage?

24. If not, why not?

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?

26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?

28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?

31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?

32. If “love wins,” how would you define love?

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make?

36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?

Food for thought, I hope. At the very least, something to chew on before swallowing everything the world and Facebook put on our plate.

YOU CAN READ MORE OF THIS ARTICLE HERE AT: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/07/01/40-questions-for-christians-now-waving-rainbow-flags/

hqdefaultBY THE WAY…. I DO BELIEVE HOMOSEXUALITY (AMONG OTHER ACTS OF FORNICATION) IS A SIN ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD. IT IS LISTED (AMONG MANY SINS THAT ARE LISTED) IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT — MEANING IT’S NOT AN ANCIENT CEREMONIAL LAW OF OLD. IT’S STILL RELEVANT TODAY.

I STILL LOVE AND KNOW HOW TO SEPARATE THE PERSON FROM THE SIN. WE’VE ALL SINNED — WE ALL HAVE THE CHOICE TO REJECT A SINFUL LIFESTYLE (WHICH IS WHAT I HAVE DONE) AND CHOOSE TO LIVE RIGHT IN GOD’S EYES.

– BE BLESSED, JOC

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