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When Jesus Stops       Luke 18:35 – 43

This is one of those scriptures that digs deep inside of our human-American weaknesses.  I hurt when I read this and ponder it for what God is speaking to us.

It hurts because it highlights a problem that is far too common in our country and our world today.

It hurts because of the way we pretty much ignore those on societies margins.  The Periphery People.

The poor, the dirty, the disabled…those who are different.

Acknowledging them only as habit or an uncontrolled reflex…. like sneeze or hiccup.  A quick nod of the head and twisted smile as we hurry about our business.

We know they are there…. but we don’t want to know they are there

We are all so busy…and so distracted by our phones, personal drama and our “self-absorbed selves” that we often have no clue what is going on around us.

We have seen the videos of people laying in the street bleeding as hundreds of people walk by oblivious to the person in need.

We have heard the text of the Parable of the Good Samaritan where 3 people you should EXPECT to have compassion walked away from a hurting man only to have the last person in the work you would EXPECT to help stop and render aid.

We have all provided an answer to a question that was not asked because we were not really listening.

Perhaps God get so busy He overlooks us or stops listening?  We are made in His image after all.  Right?

Luke 18:35 – 43   “As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant.37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.”  ESV

NO!   Jesus is not like His FALLEN Creation!

Time after time in the text we find Jesus stopping, or going out of His way, to hear our cries for help!

Our text today is just one of many examples of His compassion and care for us, His wayward children.

  1. UNMET NEEDS

       Blind man begging

Definitely has needs

Begging only income to meet needs

Heard the crowd coming by and asked what was going on

They told him Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, but

He had heard of Jesus before and cried out for Him…. as “Jesus, Son of David” – different than the name he was told.

I bet the blind man was grateFULL to the one who told him about Jesus, Son of David”

He knew his need for Jesus

  1. SOME HELP/MOST HINDER

People tried to shut him up

Just like people try to keep a hurting world from Jesus today

Why?

Who knows how many times they had walked past this poor man and done nothing.

Who knows how many times he had heard their pace quicken as they approached him ….and slowed after they passed.

Who knows how many folks felt a sense of self-righteousness as they tossed a few pennies his way

Maybe they thought he was not worthy.

Maybe they were jealous because they were “In Front”

Maybe they were embarrassed by their inaction

            They COULD have done something but didn’t

They SHOULD have done something but didn’t

They WOULD have done something but didn’t

WHO are we leaving by the ROADSIDE waiting for Jesus to do something?

 We are to be HIS HANDS and HIS FEET and HIS LOVE

 3.    ASK RIGHT …We do not have because we ask wrongly

 What are we missing from God because we are not asking for it or are asking wrongly…… or our asking this so convoluted not even God can figure it out!

James 4:1-10 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”   ESV

Asking Rightly:

Humility

Resist the Devil

Draw near to God

Repent

Cleans your hands

Purify your hearts

**BROKENESS – knowing your need for and depending on God

The blind man was broken of all pride, all he knew was NEED and he had heard that Jesus, the Son of David, could help

No one else had

The blind man was determined and yelled more and louder.  

How hard do you work to be heard by God?

What are you NOT WILLING to submit to find help and hope

  1. JESUS CARES – ASK HIM

Cry out to Him…He will Hear and He will Listen

Jesus asked what he wanted … not what he needed

He wanted to see

He was very clear and straightforward in his request

No flowery intro

No KJV language

No hesitation

No “if you would/want too/ etc

Let me SEE! CLEAR and FERVENT

Jesus said ok…. then see

            The Spoken Word of God

                        His eyes obeyed God and he began to see

                                    When Jesus Stopped

  1. KNOW WHY YOU RECEIVE

What God gives you is not for you

For His glory

To help you follow Him

To draw others to glorify God

So they may follow Him

A hard look at today’s realities from the dismayed eyes of a veteran.

This is a “word puke” written hard and fast, so please don’t correct my spelling, grammar or writing process. ***I have added a little to this and corrected a few spelling/grammar errors, but this is still very rough****

WARNING!  This is a hard look at some hard issues.  This may offend some, I am ok with that, you are allowed to read it or not read it and are free to be offended.  It is your right.

I am a United States Air Force Veteran.  I say that not to solicit your words of appreciation, but to admit that today I wonder if our service was worth the effort.

From before the very foundation of our country young men and women of character, bravery and valor have answered their countries call to fight for freedom, democracy and the American way.  This call many of us answered freely, volunteering to serve; while others answered the call through the military draft system.

All served.  Many did not return to their home, spilling their blood on foreign soil.

When we entered military service each and every one of us swore an oath to the country we love and serve.

“I, Charles Alderman, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; So help me God.”

The brave folks who swore this oath were willing to fight, to bleed and to die for our country, defending the constitution that binds us all together as the United States of America.

These men and women were mostly in their teens and early twenties, wet behind the ears and without really knowing who they were and what was possible.

These youths were the ones who fought WW1, WW2, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other wars, battles and conflicts.

They fought on beaches, in jungles, in forests, on mountains and in the sand.  They fought in the air, the sea, on the land and both on and under the seas.

They left families and communities behind to be shipped off to faraway lands of strange languages, customs and enemies.

They left their homes and comforts for tents, barracks and trenches.

The placed themselves in harm’s way for the country that had blessed them so much.

It is often said that the men and women of our armed services do not go to war to kill an enemy, but so the enemy will not go to their homes to kill their loved ones.

They do not fight to kill the enemy in front of them, but serve their country and the loved ones they left behind.

Tonight I wonder if it is all worthwhile as the legacy of the American veteran is looked upon with such hate and disdain by many of the very countrymen we served.

Today’s youth seem to have little respect for their country or our constitution.  The actions by many “Americans” over the past few years makes me wonder if the next great enemy of our Constitutional Republic will rise from within.

Actors, musicians and professional athletes use their platform to disrespect the military, the veteran and their country.

There are violent and destructive protests over an American Election.  This is absolutely contrary to the American Traditions and Laws.

Where young men and women were once true patriots, today they burn out flag, defecate on our streets and bring chaos to our cities.

Where we were once fair minded and accepting of others and when things did not go our way, today we cry like little babies and throw temper tantrums like toddlers.

We served for your freedom.  Do not disrespect our service by disrespecting our flag, our constitution or those who serve.

Grow up.  Mature.  Learn to ADULT! Stop being babies.

Maturity is more than a plot on an age progression chart.

I was young once and understand what it is to operate on zeal, hormones and raw emotions.  The truth is that the energy and impulsiveness of youth is a great thing for our country!  The problem comes when it is not tempered by responsibility, faith and wisdom; this is when undirected energy becomes destructive.

The wisdom of experience is a wonderful teacher.  The wisdom of failures and mistakes is a harsher teacher but a great educator.

So many in our world today think they know everything but have not truly experienced life enough to realize how little we really know.  This may be a reality of age or by living in a protected bubble with exposure to only one set of ideals or beliefs, but no real look at different viewpoints.

The U.S. service member is plucked out of their bubble in their youth, placed in a new reality with a large group of others from different areas, lifestyles, attitudes, religions and temperaments; all of who are just as freaked out by the sudden change.

They become a unit, a team, a fighting force and closer than brothers.  They learn, grow and mature together, quickly.  They develop trust in each other because in battle they are all they have.  They depend on their team mates to keep them alive.

Veterans have been placed in dangerous situations where maturity, responsibility and quick, logical thought are necessary to stay alive and fulfill their missions.  Experience comes at a fast pace and lessons are engrained on their hearts.   We know what it is to take dangerous actions and have seen first-hand the consequences of war.

If you continue to bring battles to our street and engage our law enforcement officers with violence you may force some grizzled old veterans to follow their oath to our country and take action.  You may force a young officer to act is ways they had prayed they would never have to act in order to save their life and the lives of those they are sworn to protect.

Perhaps the first action we should take is to introduce a bunch of adult babies to the serious side of our belts and bring some discipline and correction into their lives.

Perhaps we should actually hold people to account for their behavior.

Maybe we should stop giving everybody trophy’s except the champions and allow our teachers to use their red pens and give students the grades they actually earn. The fruit of hard work should be encouraged.

Maybe we should allow our kids the kindness of failure.  Then teach them how to deal with failure constructively, learning to communicate and cope with the ups and downs of life.

Then teach them the history of their country and the constitution.

Here are a few of your first lessons:

  1. You are constitutionally guaranteed to be offended.
    1. Deal with it.
    2. There are no safe spaces.
      1. In today’s world danger seems to lurk around every nook and cranny seeking ways to bring its evil to bear on our world.
    3. You are tougher than you think!
      1. You don’t have to let the words of others anger or damage you
        1. The only way the words or actions of others can harm you or effect your life is if you allow them to make an impact.
      2. If you insist on being a dainty butterfly then you are in for a rough ride.
        1. A butterfly is at the mercy of a strong wind
        2. A snowflake cannot take any heat.
      3. Outside of college/educational systems your cry for “safe spaces” or insistence on a world or workplace free from conflict will probably get you unemployed quickly
  2. Your employer does not care if you feel offended or the president elect is scary.
    1. Your employer cares that you get your work done, earn the wages you are being paid to get your work done and help the company be successful.
    2. When you are no longer profitable for their venture you will be relieved of duty and terminated
    3. When you are gone you will be quickly replaced and the new person will be accepted into the fold; just like you were.
  3. When someone’s words of correction, wisdom and guidance make you feel bad it is called your conscience.
    1. Follow it! Change your direction.
    2. You are not being “triggered” you are being given a chance to be a better person
    3. We need instruction, correction and wisdom. These are part of our maturing process.
  4. We are a country of 350 million individuals from different states, countries, economic realities, races, colors, creeds, religions, backgrounds, tragedies and triumphs.
    1. We are a collection of different people
    2. We will not all get along
    3. We do not have to be the same
    4. I am not required to upturn my life to make you happy; and neither are you.
    5. If you have a different faith and religious practice than I do then don’t join my church. But do not restrict my constitutional right to freedom of religion and my religious beliefs and practices.
    6. If you do not like guns then don’t buy one! But do not infringe my constitutional right to own them and bear them
    7. If you do not like what I am saying then walk away. But do not infringe my freedom of speech.
    8. If you don’t like a certain person, group or corporation then don’t join them. But do not infringe upon their right to gather together.
    9. If you do not like the results of an election then work hard to raise up the candidates you prefer and get them elected in the next cycle.
      1. Don’t burn communities, colleges or our country down.
    10. Give others the right to be who they are and expect them to do the same for you.
  5. Never trust just one source of information.
    1. Learn from many sources and ALWAYS ask questions and seek wisdom
    2. Understand that most of what you hear and read from the free press is biased.
    3. The internet is full of lies
      1. Some news stories are actually satire but written so well some folks believe them
      2. Some are just lies written to change a narrative or create division
      3. Some are just spun, rooted in truth but twisted to fit an ideal or political purpose.
      4. Some are true but hard to believe
    4. Go and learn things.
  6. Learn to love the country that is blessing you
    1. The USA might not be perfect but we are the best country and system of government in our world today!
    2. Respect the gift you are given
    3. Be a patriot.
      1. There is a difference between being patriotic and being a true patriot.
      2. The patriot will offer their wealth, time and life for this country.
    4. You can always ask a veteran what it is like in the Middle East or how Hitler treated his own countrymen to see if you would like to move.
    5. The USA is very tolerant of most, if not all lifestyles. Lifestyles that other countries would bring beatings, imprisonment or death.
    6. We have a great life here; learn to love and appreciate what you have.
    7. Be part of building our country, not tearing it down.
  7. We are a tolerant people
    1. We may struggle with lifestyles and activities we find socially or religiously wrong, but are willing to tolerate this behavior because of the freedoms we all have.
    2. We may absolutely disagree with you, your ideals, your politics or your lifestyle. That is a right we have, as do you about our choices.
    3. What binds us together is not uniformity, it is a Constitution that guarantees our right to be different.
    4. We know that an orchestra sounds best when every instrument plays their part in harmony; not when everyone plays the same note at the same time.
    5. What is hard to tolerate is people who take and take then disrespect the gift and the givers. Parasites are most usually users and destroyers that do little to build their host.
    6. Forrest Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does.” Don’t be stupid.
    7. Be constructive with your criticism and approach to conflict resolution.
  8. BUCK UP!
    1. Stop being a baby
    2. You will not always win
    3. Your candidate didn’t win? Neither did mine, didn’t even make the final big show.
      1. We have a Constitutionally elected President
        1. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your president
        2. Respect the position
        3. Respect the office
      2. Half the possible voters – did not vote.
      3. The half that did was pretty much evenly divided…. A few percent difference
    4. The system plays out and we have what we have.
      1. Accept the results
      2. Stop calling half of your country ignorant haters just because they didn’t agree with you.
      3. Look for ways to serve to make America better.
    5. Love your country
      1. You cannot love your country as you seek to destroy its Constitution
      2. You cannot love your country by demanding your own way
      3. You cannot love your country by ignoring the voices of others
      4. You cannot love your country by burning it down
      5. You can love your country by listening, helping, giving
      6. You can love your country and peaceably gather and protest
      7. You can love your country by serving in elected office
      8. You can love your country by working to make things better
      9. You can love your country by following our Constitution and laws
      10. You can love your country by being a patriot
    6. Life is tough, tougher if you are stupid. Don.t be stupid
    7. You are responsible for you
      1. You are the first person responsible for your education, safety, finances, food and every other thing you will need in life.
      2. Not your parents
      3. Not your professors
      4. Not your government
      5. You are responsible for your actions
        1. Not the mob
        2. Not the organizer
        3. Not the inciter
          1. You
          2. Your choices matter
          3. Your choices will guide your life
          4. Your choices will guide your community
      6. Your success in life depends on how hard you will work at being successful.
        1. I am not responsible for you.
        2. If you want something work hard and earn it

Start with those, then grow into the American Citizen you should be for your country and you to prosper.

The American Veteran loved you and this country enough to write a blank check for everything we have, up to and including our very lives…. for you.

PLEASE, stop making veterans regret their service by your behavior.

Learn to Appreciate.

Learn to Respect.

Learn to Love.

Love Wins                             10-23-2016

Luke 13:10-17 “Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”   And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”  Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites!  Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?  And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”   ESV

  1. Jesus was in church serving on the day set aside for worship
    1. The Sabbath Day
    2. The Lords Day
      1. Where are you on the Lords Day?
    3. There was hurting people present
      1. One was a woman who was disabled
        1. Bent over FOR 18 YEARS!
        2. Can you imagine?
        3. Could not stand straight
          1. Persistent pain is one thing BUT THIS?
  1. Jesus saw the hurt
    1. Jesus called her to Himself
    2. Through Word and Deed Jesus healed to hurting woman
      1. She glorified God
        1. When you are set free from pain and hurt from God you should be glorifying Him
    3. The Temple Elite were LIVID
      1. They became indignant because Jesus healed a broken person in church on Sunday
        1. It brought them and their leaders MUCH GRIEF that this woman was healed
      2. Why did He do this on the Sabbath? Why not Tuesday?
        1. COME BACK ANOTHER DAY!
        2. I kinda doubt this poor woman would have found any help from these RELIGIOUS SNOBS on any day!
      3. Jesus called out their hypocrisy
        1. An actor under an assumed character
          1. They were PRETENDING to be God’s Servants
          2. They really only served themselves
        2. He knew they themselves worked on the Sabbath
          1. They worked their livestock, for example
        3. If they cared for their donkeys on the Sabbath how much more should they care for God’s children?
      4. Great shame came upon the hypocritical Temple Elite
        1. God shamed them
        2. God shamed the haters
      5. The people rejoiced
        1. God HEALED the believers
        2. Jesus did great miracles that day in Church
      6. What does this mean for us today?
        1. We can get to “CAUGHT UP” in the “program” of church or the “OPERATIONAL NEEDS” of presenting a service.
          1. Is the grass cut, pews clean and the AC working?
          2. Do we LOOK and SMELL right?
  • Have we completed enough RELIGIOUS RITUAL to make US HAPPY (not worried about TRUE WORSHIP and PLEASING GOD)
  1. We get so CAUGHT UP in the PROCESS we FORGET THE PURPOSE!
  1. We act more like we are on a CRUISE SHIP than in a SPIRITUAL HOSPITAL
    1. We are HERE TO SERVE – NOT TO BE SERVED!
    2. Church should be a place for healing and hope
    3. Church should be a place that the broken are accepted, the lonely are hugged, the angry are soothed and ALL are brought to Jesus Christ
      1. Not told to come back another day
    4. Many times we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let Jesus do His healing, restorative work in our lives.
      1. No questioning
      2. No wondering why
      3. No complaining because church is encroaching on the 12 Noon football game
    5. LOVE WINS Even on Sunday!

July 10th                      Luke 11:27 – 28          “Entitled!?”

As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!”  But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”   ESV

We live in a world where people feel entitled.

We feel we DESERVE something because of who we are or what our needs are in life.  We think that because of our economic status, skin tone, heritage or how much we have suffered we are entitled to stuff, all paid for by others.

The government has many programs defined as “Entitlements” – over 400 BILLION dollars’ worth budgeted in 2016.

We have come to expect the government or others to take care of us and provide our needs plus our wants.

If we do not get everything our way we throw a fit like a 4 year old; except a little child’s tantrum doesn’t destroy neighborhoods or cost innocent lives.

I think that if anyone had the right to being entitled to God’s best based on who she was it would be Mary, the biological Mother of Jesus.

Let’s take a look.

  1. A woman in the crowd raised her voice to bring attention and perhaps “glory” to the fleshly mother of Jesus – Mary.
    1. How rude was this lady to disrupt Jesus while He was sharing the Word of God?
    2. Most would never interrupt the Pastor preaching, yet she raises her voice to interrupt the Savior of the world.
    3. Was she wanting to recognize Mary as equal with Jesus?
    4. Was she seeking to bring attention to human beings involved in God’s plan?
    5. Was she Mary’s friend just wanting to remind Him of His mommy?
      1. They were in a village between Samaria and Jerusalem ….30 miles or less
    6. Maybe she was the beginning of the movement “Mom Lives Matter”
    7. We may never know.
  2. A few points about Mary:
    1. Mary was a regular person
    2. Mary was chosen by God for a particular purpose
    3. Mary was faithful and obedient
      1. Regardless of the cost to her or her fiancé/family
    4. Because of Mary’s faithfulness and obedience to God she is “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” Luke 1:42
    5. Mary was no better or worse that any of us here today are before Holy God.
      1. We are all sinners – including Mary
    6. Romans 3:22 – 25 “…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”  ESV
      1. Jesus also said:
        1. Mark 3:35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
      2. Some think Mary gets a “Special Pass” or “Special treatment” when standing before God because of our human accomplishments
        1. Mary does not get a special treatment for being the human mother of Jesus
        2. She was faithful and obedient
          1. THAT is what matters
        3. Peter sais this in Acts 10:34-35
          1. ”So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.”
            1. Southern Baptist get no special favor
            2. Being a Catholic, a Methodist nor any other RELIGION gains you any special favor with God.
              1. Although being an active member of a local Christian church and properly using the gifts God has given you is necessary for obedience – doing what is right.
            3. Being part of a certain family, heritage or culture gains you no special favor.
            4. Sitting in a church pew gains no special favor – no matter how many years you have sat there.
            5. Works gain us no special favor
              1. Except in doing those works in faith and obedience to the call of God
            6. Being baptized outside the saving GRACE of God received through FAITH in JESUS CHRIST alone gains you NO special favor.
          2. There is no privilege! There is no entitlement!
        4. I fear many, many people are depending on this kind of “ENTITLEMENT SALVATION” to gain heaven.
          1. Matthew 7:21 -23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”  ESV
            1. No entitlement!
            2. Faith and Obedience gains God’s special favor
            3. Jesus said: “If you love me, you willkeep my commandments.”  John 14:15
            4. Grace lived through Faith and obedience in Christ
          2. Outside of faithful obedience to God’s Word there is no path to God’s Blessing
        5. YOU and I are NOT ENTITLED to Salvation or Special Favor.
          1. Grace means we GET what we DO NOT DESERVE!
          2. Mercy means that we DO NOT GET WHAT WE DO DESERVE
          3. We do not deserve or are entitled to either salvation of God’s Blessing
            1. God GIVES us these as a gift of GRACE through FAITH in CHRIST His Son.
            2. Ephesians 2:8 – 10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
              1. You are saved by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.
              2. Saved for God’s purpose, not selfish ones
              3. For GOOD WORKS
            3. Here is the Standard set by God:
              1. “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God AND keep it!”
                1. Just like Mary
                2. Just like so many others of the Word and since those Biblical days.
              2. We all have the same opportunity for receiving a blessing by God.
                1. Hear the Word of God
                  1. Preaching
                  2. Teaching
                  3. Reading
  1. Keep the Word of God
    1. Keep it close
    2. Keep it on obedience
  • Keep it in love
  1. Keep it pure and holy
    1. Do not spin, twist or corrupt the Word
  2. Hear! Do! Go!

Today, the thought of freedom was weighing on my heart.  I decided to write where my thoughts were leading in the form of this “Word Puke.”      I hope something here is useful.

Merriam-Webster defines freedom as:

freedom

noun  free·dom \ˈfrē-dəm\

Definition of freedom

  1. 1: the quality or state of being free: as

a :  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

b :  liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :  independence

c :  the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous<freedom from care>

d :  ease, facility <spoke the language with freedom>

e :  the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom>

f :  improper familiarity

g :  boldness of conception or execution

h :  unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>

  1. a:  a political right

b :  franchise, privilege

 I believe that the applicable part for our lives and the Country we are blessed to live in would be The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

More and more I believe we live under the illusion of freedom.  We are being tricked into thinking we are free, while we are becoming more and more bound by unseen forces working against our freedoms.

Somewhere along the road we began to yield freedom after freedom to courts, politicians, bureaucrats, racists, bullies, parasites, flim-flam artists, corruptors and others who sought to steal our freedoms for their gain.

I do understand the need for some laws in a community and country.  Some law is necessary for us to live together in a peaceful and safer fashion.  Most traffic laws, criminal laws and nuisance regulations would be included in the necessary laws.

It is when the laws become more than basic and fundamental necessity laws that we begin to infringe on the freedom of citizens.  Often Governmental agencies make new law simply because they have not made new law for a while and want the elected officials they serve to know they are working and have a purpose.

  1. They are unnecessary laws
  2. They forget they serve the people, not the elected officials or appointed bureaucrats.

It is also a reality that necessary laws are often applied improperly and/or without the application of logic or common sense.  “One Size fits All usually means most are losing something.

We have given away much of our freedom to bureaucrats who make laws, policy and standards just because they can, to prove their value and continuous employment or to gain for their own self interests.

We need to return to the roots of our Founding, the Word of God and our common sense thinking to rediscover what freedom truly is and means in a society.

Never take advantage of your freedom!

Freedoms price is way too high for you to abuse it

The blood of martyrs for our freedom spreads back to well before any documentation was signed.

Men and women serve in our Armed Forces to this very day for the cause of our freedom.  Brave patriots who volunteered to serve our country.     Millions of lives have been offered up so we can live in a free land.

Never disrespect their gift by allowing any person, politician or preacher steal the freedom for which they fought!

There are times in our reality as a country that the cost of freedom must be paid by the blood, sweat, tears and faith of true patriots.

Our founders recognized this reality and wrote it into our Declaration of Independence:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security….

Freedom is the purpose of our Constitution and Bill of Rights

We, as a people, would experience true freedom if we followed the words we are founded upon without adding to them, turning them to mean the opposite of what they say and abusing the freedoms our Founding Fathers KNEW we would need to continue as a United Country!

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Freedom is not a right.

It can easily be taken away

It can easily be yielded to another

It can easily be lost through apathy and inaction

Freedom is a gift

A gift from God

A gift from one generation to the next

A gift that you are tasked to maintain in your generation

Freedom requires responsibility

          Personal responsibility and action

Governmental responsibility and actions

Societal responsibility and actions

Your freedom does not exist in a vacuum!

You are in the presence of other people with the same freedom

People who are free to disagree with you

People who are free to do things differently that you

People who are free to be different than you

You will be offended

You will be hurt

You will be disappointed

You are free to live life

Their freedom is as real as yours

Freedom is not found in “safe spaces” or “Free Speech Zones”

“Safe Spaces” creates censure and boundaries

Safe spaces do not nurture freedom

                    Safe Spaces are control

We have freedom of speech in all of our country

Not just in little plots of land designated

Not unless someone doesn’t like our words

You do not like my words, fine – do not listen

I will not yield my right to speak

We have freedom of religion across our country

Not just in limited areas

Not just with limited words

Not unless we upset someone

You don’t want to be a Christian, then do not

I have the freedom to follow my Christian faith regardless

You don’t want to be a part of any organized religion, then do not

I have the freedom to be part of the religion God led me to serve

We have the freedom (right) to keep and bear arms across our country

Not just in limited areas

Not with limited equipment

Not with rules, regulations and laws limiting

Shall not be infringed

You do not like guns, do not buy guns

I will not yield my right (freedom) to keep and bear arms simply because you do not like them or my Freedom to own, carry or shoot my firearms.

Our Constitution guarantees that you will be offended

Understand that it is reality

You can walk in that freedom

You can allow it to be bondage on your life

You have the freedom to be who you want to be

Until your freedom infringes on the freedom of another

Just because you disagree does not mean you are enemies

Just because you are different than me does not mean I must change

Galatians 5:13-15  “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” ESV

Please know that this is not meant to be a complete and exhaustive study of freedom; simply where my thoughts are today.  If you do not like it, forget it.  If you do not like it, I am OK with that as well.  You have every right to be wrong, as do I.

Psalms 119:129-136                Pe (pay) 17th

“Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.  The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.  Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.  Redeem me from man’s oppression, that I may keep your precepts.  Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.  My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” ESV

  1. Why would we obey God’s Laws?
    1. Because they are wonderful
      1. Marvelous
      2. Miracle
  • Good for us
  1. Because they bring light into our lives
    1. Light – luminous
      1. Make us shine
    2. Light metaphorically
      1. Brighten us up on the inside
  • “Turn on or UP the light of understanding”
    1. Ever had a thought or figure something out and say “The light popped on?”
    2. God’s Word does that
  1. Brings wisdom and maturity to the simple
    1. The silly, The foolish
    2. The simple
  2. We need God and His Word to walk steadily in this world
    1. On the right path
    2. Not stumbling or falling
    3. Keep us from wandering into inequity
      1. Trouble, evil, mischief, sorrow, unrighteousness
    4. Righteous guide
  3. God turns His face towards us
    1. Blessing
    2. We sing “to seek Your face”
    3. Look upon me
    4. Acceptance, Approval, SMILE
    5. Numbers 6:22-26 “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”   ESV
  4. How long has it been since you…WE…shed a tear of the lost world?
    1. Violence, oppression
    2. Sin, self
    3. Arrogance
    4. LOST REALITY OF DEATH
    5. Lost World acting like a lost world
    6. Our family, friends, co-workers dying and heading directly into the cold grasp of hades.
    7. Do we EVEN CARE?
    8. Love and obedience means sharing the Gospel and caring about those around us.
      1. GO

Love and Hypocrisy               Palm Sunday

The people involved here were full of hypocrisy

The crowds were all stirred up!  Cheering and shouting and throwing down clothes and Palm Branches.

Why?  

They thought they were in the presence of a great man – a prophet.

They just didn’t get it!

Most were cheering because everyone else was cheering.

Some were cheering to “fit in” somewhere

Others were cheering because they saw opportunity for themselves.

They just didn’t get it!

It is possible to get all stirred up for Jesus and still not know who Jesus really is

What would your king be riding on/in?

  • Majestic stead?
  • A Limo or Private plane?

The people missed it!

Jesus rode a young donkey.  Humble

Servant Leader

They were cheering Jesus now…..but we all know that will soon change – quickly and violently

The cheers of praise and peace will soon become “Crucify Him!

The closer Jesus got to the cross the fewer people followed Him

Along the path to His resurrection people peeled away, even those disciples who traveled with Him the longest.

How quickly a politician or powerful leader can turn the people against Christ…..yes, even religious leaders.

Jesus was challenged on the purity of His house, His authority as God, His leadership, His money, His purpose, His Message, and just about everything.

Challenged, plotted against, lied about, ridiculed, violently abused and Murdered by the people of His creation!

Why?

Because He loved them!

HE loved them as they worshiped Him

HE loved them as they laid down their cloaks and palms for Him

HE loved them as they attacked everything about them Him

HE loved them as they killed Him

Jesus is LOVE

Let’s be honest, we today, especially in our country where we act most often like SPOILED BRAT CHILDREN !

We demanding everything goes our way; refusing to serve without complaining, doing only what we perceive as the very BARE MINIMUM to get by and wanting everything provided for us!

If EVERYTHING doesn’t go our way we throw a FIT and leave

God’s disobedient, spoiled brat children AND He loves us through it all.

  • He wants better for us.
  • He expects better from us.
  • He has given us everything we need for successful, peaceful lives and lays out the pathway to that blessed life.

We just want Him and all of the “Goodies” without all of that pesky faith, obedience, humility, service and devotion.

We want to BE LOVED, we just are not very good at LOVING HIM!

We Are Hypocrites.

He is LOVE.

He deserves better.

Be better.

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