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The Socialite

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God’s Thoughts to Me

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).

The Broad and The Narrow

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Bright ideas and fibrofog are not bedfellows; so, down memory lane I went to find some common ground between my thoughts for today’s post and an exciting introduction.

When I asked Pappa to help me, He gently reminded me of an instance when I, as a young teenager, went on a school scouting camp. I vividly remember this one guy having everyone in stitches with the lamest of jokes.

I was merrily joining in the laughter whilst being dumbfounded that anyone could actually think such stupid jokes to be funny. And just there I found the reason for so much of humanity’s woes; our god given need to belong; to be accepted.

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It is this sensitive need satan uses to deceive and lead so many people happily along the broad road. I am not talking about the broad road where you find the company of thieves, drunkards, murderers, addicts, prostitutes and the like.

Our Lord didn’t seem to have much trouble with these folk. In fact, He was called a drunkard and glutton Himself (Matthew 11:19) and He called Himself a jail-bird (Matthew 25:36). I am talking about the broad road called religion with its wide gate welcoming countless souls into destruction.

I once was a cheerleader along this road until our Lord kindly blessed me with a disability that robbed me of my pom-poms and all my cheerleading skills.

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Truth be told, I was a religious socialite, always dressing myself in all the latest to-do fashion doing the religious rounds. But, no matter how much I flirted, I was always empty; devoid of life, true Life!

But where the great “I AM” is, you will never find a void, or an emptiness or need to belong that He does not fill with His wonderful love … actually with His Heavenly Wonderous Self. He dresses His bride in His white washed Robes of Righteousness.

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He patiently started to “home school” me, teaching me at a pace that suited my fibrofog, how I totally sidestepped the wonder and truth of His Gospel.

He taught me the difference between the broad road of darkness and the narrow road bathed in the Light of Jesus … the road called Jesus … the road called Life.

He taught me the complete dichotomy between these two roads. The way of Jesus’ Kingdom is uniquely radical and singular and is not easily passable.

In fact, it is impossible without faith, true faith; the kind of faith that we can only receive as a gift from Pappa’s Hand. Only this gift enables us to walk this tippy-toe road!

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This gift of faith makes our hearts receptive to God’s grace, moment by moment and enables us to walk the narrow road that is not popular or pleasing to the masses.

We often need to walk this road alone seeking only our Pappa’s approval. But life lived in our dearest Lord Jesus is the summation of God’s Kingdom.

Not many religious people are willing to submit themselves to God and Him ALONE in receptivity to enter through the narrow door and walk on the narrow path.

This is the life lived at the end of our tether, denying all our own efforts to be saved, allowing our Lord Jesus to live His life in and through us.

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It is much easier to get lost in the letter of the law, a doctrine, a creed, a rule, a sacrament or whatever gives us a sense of security even though it is false. It is much easier to enter through the beautiful, broad religious gate.

It is a popular road; convenient and socially acceptable and allows a wide scope for freedom of ecumenical tolerance.

It is widened even further by the many ruts and ditches of methodology (especially the “how-to-do-this-that-and-the-other-for-God” kind) and experimentalism. The better it feels, the better it is! The more important it sounds, the more important it is!

Solomon wisely knew from experience, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We all have to choose which road we will travel; the one leading to spiritual death or life.

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Let us cry out to our beloved Lord with King David in Psalm 139 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

During the week I link-up with the friendly ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page. Thanks for your hospitality.
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Maze Dwellers

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me and you’ll recover your life … Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you (Matthew 11:28, The Message).

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction (Philippians 3:18-19, NLT).

Around and Around

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Upington, South Africa, is the birthplace of the famous actress, Alice Krige. The Kalahari Orange Museum pays tribute to another famous character of this town in the province of the Northern Cape: the donkey.

This gentle, lowly beast has played an enormous role in the development of Upington during the pioneering days of the 19th century. Its humble contribution has been memorialized forever by the Donkey Statue.

I visited this gentle, humble statue only once and was saddened by the fact that this poor creature had to walk around and around in circles, milling at the same mill all day.

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I realized that the worthy donkey was doing an honorable job just like when he carried our Lord Jesus so many centuries ago.

But there is another mill that has captured millions of people through the ages, milling around and around in circles with nothing to gain at the end of their lives.

They are mostly deceived and oblivious to the misuse and abuse happening at the hands of the ravenous wolves, not sparing the flock as they dance around to the latest religious tune.

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In fact, these poor souls are the slaves of the money-hungry, power-greedy merchants. These merchants of the economy of religion trade in the souls of men and laugh all the way to the bank.

Knowingly or unknowingly, they are pawns on Satan’s chess board and use satanic authority, churchianity and empty promises of health, wealth and prosperity.

They relentlessly flog the poor, unsuspecting folk with whips of religion, creeds, doctrines, thou shalls and thou shall nots until only husks and piles of dead, dry bones remain.

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I was one of these donkeys who labored like a slave under the banner of religion. I was completely lost and running around in the most scary maze of all time: religion.

But my Pappa saw my misery, took my hand and safely ushered me out of this labyrinth that was swallowing me alive, by allowing Fibromyalgia to enter my life.

I was cast aside without a second thought or glance by most of my fellow maze dwellers who prefered labouring at this monstrous mill, instead of taking those first baby steps towards the freedom our Lord so dearly paid for.

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I couldn’t be on the go-go-go anymore; therefore, I couldn’t contribute to building the slave masters’ spiral stairways reaching to heaven, but I could start building the walls of the new Jerusalem in my heart.

I could join my Beloved in cultivating a beautiful garden, for at long last I was still enough to truly hear His gentle, loving, tender voice inviting me to come to Him.

There still was a desert ahead, but at least I was free and on my way to Canaan, onto the eternal Life and peace of Jesus.

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I was so tired of struggling, year in and year out, in a never-ending maze of deceptive lies, going nowhere … very slowly, that my illness was like a refreshing oasis, a well of living water where I truly met our Lord.

But, as I now look at this whole scenario from the outside, I see many disillusioned travellers on this highway to hell through the broad gate of religion, honestly believing they are on the narrow road to heaven.

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I see so many travellers lost in a deadly maze of deceptive teachings! The Christian bookshops are filled with book upon book upon book spewing their deadly lies.

I see a religious world joyfully adopting the ways of the world by using the successful methods of advertising for church building, church growth, worship services, etc. etc. etc.

I am crying with Paul as he was pleading with his fellow Jews who blindly trusted their Judaic religion to be right with their Heavenly Father.

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I realize why Paul pleaded with the Philippians, again with tears, time and time again as I am doing through my blog.

Earlier this week I have been reading a blog post about how we, as our Pappa’s children, have access to the storehouse in heaven. I think we have all heard of this so-called storehouse filled with all the different kinds of limbs and treasures for our taking! And my heart cried.

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A few months ago I read another article on how we should join the school of prophets to learn how to become prophets and prophesy over the lives of others. These schools cost a lot of money. And my heart cried.

Oh, that our Pappa would open all the blind spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear when Jesus stands at the door of our hearts, knocking gently, but never forcing Himself into our lives.

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Let us become still enough to hear His gentle voice calling and open our hearts to receive our Pappa’s blessing from Heaven, our Lord Jesus. For He and He alone is the gospel of grace, the priceless Gift from God.

Hugs and blessings XX

Mia

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Empty Lamps

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16, NKJV).

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27, NKJV).

Religious To-Do Lists

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The world commends busy people. Being without a to-do list as long as your arm at least, brands you as a failure, disqualifying you quickly from climbing the ladder of success.

To have a fulfilled life and to experience the satisfaction of a job well done, you need to be able to tick off the last item on your list by the end of the day or run faster tomorrow!

A list to help you organize your day is good, but our Lord advised us not to be worldly-minded as far as His Kingdom is concerned.

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I have observed this peculiar ladder-climbing phenomenon in the Christian world as well. And it just gets progressively worse with all the new programs entering the Christian scene left, right and center.

Every true believer often experience a spiritual dryness or winter season. It is necessary for the deep inner growth, which cannot happen during times of prosperity.

Do we suffer the germination process of new seeds in our lives gladly while we allow our roots to grow deeper into the life of our Lord?

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Do we eagerly look forwards to the lush new growth or do we mumble and grumble, if not complaining bitterly, when we experience suffering?

The only result we get from complaining and resisting the discipline of our Pappa is harming and stunting the growth of the fragile new sprouts!

The colder the winter and more severe the drought, the more we are sorely tempted to revert back to a “religious to-do list”. We hope that being especially good will make Pappa smile at us again.

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It seems as if we believe that our God’s presence is a bartering commodity with which we can earn His love and blessings by submitting to a few religious exercises!

We suffer from this life-threatening disease that makes us susceptible to thinking God needs anything from us before He would look at us with love and favor or rejoice over us with singing.

Yet, Solomon tells us that mans’ spirit is the lamp of our Lord. In the same way Jesus told us to let our lights shine before others so that it will bring all the glory to our Pappa and not ourselves in a crooked world and perverse society.

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Paul told the Corinthians,”But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV).

We need to do stock-taking of all the items on our religious to-do lists to keep our Lord happy and to fill up the empty lamps of our hearts.

A long repertoire of things to do can effortlessly cause us to stand out like sore thumbs by our weird expressions and programs of piety.

It is so easy to become a social nuisance when our lamps burn with the religious oil of the world.

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Our evangelical zeal and our insistence that others do things our way, have caused so much spiritual abuse that people don’t want to have much to do with that god.

Does the fruit of our lives bear the stamp of Jesus or do we strive in our own strength to be a light in the darkness or salt to give flavor to those around us?

Do the lamps of our hearts burn with the oil of church attendance every Sunday as well as a few times during the week and serving in a ministry? Can our lamps even begin to burn on that fuel?

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Do we rely on good things like Bible reading, having long quiet times, praying for a certain amount of time per day, being kind to the poor, tithing, attending all the new conferences, memorizing scripture, etc. to enable us to bring glory to our God?

It is so crucial not just to know of,  but also to experience our Lord Jesus living His life and godly character in and through us.

Only as we come to Him with empty hands and He draws us ever closer, are our feeble hearts readied and opened to be filled with the oil of His Spirit.

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Only as we empty our hearts of the oil of our own efforts, can we shine as godly lights in the world and be a pinch of salt that adds a flavor to a tasteless existence.

Much love and sweet blessings.

Mia

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Sly Deceptions

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1, NIV).

Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NIV).

The Noble Bereans

I used to be good friends with a lady who was a member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. She had a very difficult childhood and subsequently grew up into a very insecure, vulnerable young woman.

The White Family

The White Family

When she desperately needed love, she met a few Seventh-Day-Adventists and they welcomed her with open arms. As she didn’t grow up in a church and didn’t know our Lord, she accepted their teachings and married their young pastor.

The founders of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church were Ellen G White, her husband, James White and Joseph Bates. The Adventists consider the teachings of Mrs White, which are based on visions she apparently received from God, to be just, if not more, reliable and true as the Bible.

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These precious people are heavily bogged down under the yoke of legalism. Yet, they consider themselves to be the remnant spoken of in Revelation 12:17.

This belief can easily scare the living daylights out of a naive, gullible person, like my friend, and make them a life-long member of this church.

Their teachings are very dangerous and the fact that they celebrate their Sabbath on a Saturday, is only a small fish in the ocean of deception.

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My friend tried her utmost to convert me to Seventh-Day-Adventism, but when she realized she was wasting her time, she sadly ended our friendship. I did a thorough study of their teachings and our Pappa protected me from believing lies.

I am amazed how educated, intelligent people use a single Scripture verse as the basis for a whole new doctrine and subsequently a new church!

Just to give you an idea how easily a Scripture verse can be taken out of context and manipulated to create a whole new doctrine, I want to mention their teaching about dietary laws.

According to them it is sinful to eat pork, but conveniently ignore Paul’s warning, “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink… (Colossians 2:16)”.

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When Peter received the vision from heaven of the sheet containing all the “unclean” animals, according to the Old Testament laws, our Pappa told Peter to eat these unclean food. We know our Lord wanted to show Peter that, contrary to their belief, He didn’t consider the Gentiles to be unclean.

The Seventh-Day-Adventist believe He was referring only to people and not animals! Pigs are still happy and safe in Jerusalem and amongst these folks! The dietary laws of the Old Testament are still operative to them today.

Their teachings made me realize how easily one can base many false, deceptive doctrines on a few Scripture verses taken out of context and by implication deceive millions of people. The fear factor and the false security it offers keep many earnest seekers of God chained to these false doctrines.

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The greatest danger lies in the fact that nearly every lie can be defended from Scripture and the adherents usually valiantly claim to be just as noble as the Bereans who eagerly listened to Paul and Silas and searched the Scriptures daily to if what they preached was in fact the truth.

When I came to realize that countless, terrible lies were being nobly taught straight from the Bible, I seriously looked at what the Bereans were really doing. I found the secret lying not in what they were doing, but in what Paul was preaching.

Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica before they came to Berea. There was a Jewish synagogue and for three Sabbaths in a row, Paul reasoned with these Jews.

He used the Torah to explain the prophecies about the Messiah who had to suffer and rise from the dead. He informed them that Jesus was this promised Messiah.

Jewish Children Learning The Torah

Jewish Children Learning The Torah

The Bereans were more open-minded than the Thessalonians and eagerly listened to what Paul was preaching. Yet, they didn’t just gobble-up everything Paul said, but searched their copy of the Torah daily to make sure of the truth of their words. Paul commended them for this (Act 17:11).

Paul warned the Thessalonians to test everything and only hold on to what is good and true. In the same manner we find John warning the believers not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they were from God. Even then many false prophets were claiming to preach the truth of Christ.

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Today were are in the midst of a great apostasy and we have greatly stifled the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment. We believe left, right and centre everything that is taught in the name of our Lord Jesus without testing anything.

I know that if people are like me, we often cry this great battle cry of  “Sola Scriptura”. Yet, we are clueless about the battle we are so valiantly fighting for! No wonder the Roman Catholic papacy, at the time of Martin Luther, used to say that the Protestants only exchanged their idol of the Pope for another, the Scriptures!

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I invite you to accompany me as I investigate, like the Bereans, for another few posts and test a few of the subtle false spirits doing the rounds today and which are difficult to discern as falsehood.

I want to delve deep into the Gospel Paul was preaching and hold onto our Lord Jesus who is the only Way … the only Truth … and the only Life.

Blessings and love.

Mia

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