Submission to Authorities

PeteRomans 13:1-8
History has shown that there is an adverse reaction to people with authority.  It would seem that orders always come from the top to the bottom.  While reaction to the orders from bottom to top.

The desire to attain independence fosters negativity toward authority figures when we're young, while the desire to maintain independence can foster animosity to those in authority when we are older.  Things we could do when we were younger, we may not be able to do now without assistance, and that can foster the idea of losing self-worth.

Negative attitudes to those in authority start with the simplest of commands - “Clean up your room;" "You can't leave this table until your vegetables are gone;” “Get your homework done.”  There is negativity towards teachers, those in other professional occupations, lineups at the checkouts, and even down to entertainment.  Wherever we look, there is an animosity to those in authority over us.

It is also true that we want to be the people in authority.  We want to be the one making the decisions and giving the orders.  We want to be the one people look up to and we are so sure that we can do a much better job than the one who was there before us, and the animosity won't be there with those who work for us, as it was in the past.  On occasion this may be the case, but generally it's not the rule.

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Life and Death

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.  Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.  Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.  Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.  Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.  Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.  Show respect to all people and grovel to none.  When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.  Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.  When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes, they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.  Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”  Chief Tecumseh

I don’t know if Tecumseh read the Bible, or not.  However, if we know Jesus, we shouldn’t fear death.  We should respect one another.  We should love.  We should seek God’s purpose for our lives.  We should live our lives as nobly as possible.  We should realize that we are equal in the eyes of God.  When it is time, we should die knowing that God sent His Son so that we can live with Him in eternity.

Not currently on the Inside,

Pete

Hope

Last night I received a call from a friend of mine who attends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  She told me that God wanted her to share with me her testimony that she believes God is real, Jesus is the Messiah, and the Holy Spirit is present among us and He put on her heart to let me know that my prayers have been received.  WOW!  I mean, WOW!!  God is redeeming His people!

I share this because the conversation brought me to tears, and that there is Hope.  All too often we dismiss those of other faiths, or those within our own, as lost with no true salvation.  Last fall I was sharing with a gentleman my prison/jail ministry, and out of the blue he told me that Jesus had saved him from addiction and homosexuality.  He is currently three plus years clean, sober and bondage free.

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Be Fruitful

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.  So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any.  Cut it down!  Why should it use up the soil?’  ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.  If it bears fruit next year, fine!  If not, then cut it down.’"  Luke 13:6-9 (NIV)

  • A person, God Almighty
  • Had a fig tree - the Jewish Church
  • Planted in his vineyard - established in the land of Judea
  • He came seeking fruit - he required that the Jewish people should walk in righteousness, in proportion to the spiritual culture he bestowed on them.
  • The vine-dresser - the Lord Jesus, for God hath committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22)
  • Cut it down - let the Roman sword be unsheathed against it.
  • Let it alone - Christ is represented as intercessor for sinners, for whose sake the day of their probation is often lengthened; during which time he is constantly employed in doing everything that has a tendency to promote their salvation.
  • Thou shalt cut it down - a time will come when those who have not turned at God's invitations and reproofs shall be cut off, and numbered with the transgressors.

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Serving

During my reunion group meeting this week, yes, some of us still have them, a conversation went down a road about how rich a particular family was and how they could do all kinds of great things.  I, being he who I am, asked “Do you know if they are going to Heaven or hell?"  The response was “That’s not up to us.  It’s between them and the Lord.”  Disappointment fell on my heart.  Have we a group of Christ professing men basically saying we are not responsible for others.

Charles Spurgeon said, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies.  And if they perish let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay.  If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for."

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This Sermon's for the Birds

We have five bird feeders outside the bay window that faces the back of our property, and many times a day we watch the birds for entertainment.  I say this as a prelude to the following.  I usually pray about a particular scripture and rely on the Holy Spirit to deliver a sermon for Sunday morning.

Yesterday’s (12/15/19) sermon was taken from John chapter one.  As I prayed about it, a vision came to me about a little red bird hitting the bay window, falling to the ground, and lying on the ground dead.  I picked up the bird and placed it in a small box with the intent of disposing of it later.  When that later time came, I opened the box, removed the bird to lay it in the field and let nature take care of it.  While holding the bird, I was distracted by something, and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a slight flicker.  I focused on the bird and it stirred and flew away.  I immediately realized that I had to include the ascension of our Lord, Acts 1: 9-11, in the sermon.  You see, everyone was looking forward to the arrival of the Messiah.  He came, was rejected, died on the cross, was resurrected, and ascended into Heaven to come again.

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Kukla, Fran, and Allah

First, I would like to thank you for the Gift Card to Brothers BBQ for Pastor Appreciation Day.  You have been most generous in my ministry.  Thank you!

The Great Banquet has been successful again this fall with many being touched by God and his servants.  Praise the Lord!  One of those weekends was the Ladies GB Weekend at the Hopkins County Jail.  It was well received and ran smoothly, despite a few hiccups and stumbling blocks.  The residents didn’t have a clue that somethings had to be rearranged as adjustments were made flawlessly.

Kukla, Fran and Ollie was an early American television show using puppets.  It was created for children, but was soon watched by more adults than children.  It did not have a script and was entirely ad-libbed.  It was broadcast from 1947 to 1957.  If you don’t know about Allah you should come to church more often.

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