Tag Archive | enemies of the cross

The Narrow Path to Life

image

God’s Thoughts to Me

There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

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 (Philippians 3:18, NLT).

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and the gate is wide for the many who chose 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).

Enemies of The Cross

image

A few years ago I was struck by this verse in Philippians like a fist between the eyes. I was filled with fear and dread, but didn’t realize this time it was the good kind … the kind of fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proberbs 9:10), a gift of grace!

I knew I seriously had to make it my serious business to find out what Paul meant by being an enemy of the cross. I remember pleading with my husband, just like Paul did, for I realized we were not on the narrow path that leads to life.

image

That fear brought me to another Man; the Man who is God. Yes, this Man is our Lord Jesus … the one who repeatedly told us that He is telling us the truth. Actually, this incredible God-man is Truth Himself.

He was teaching us about two gates and two roads: the narrow gate vs the wide gate and, the narrow road vs the highway to hell! And I knew the Truth was telling me truth I couldn’t ignore.

image

Today I admire our Pappa’s sense of humor for allowing this illness in my life to physically bring me to that place where I was so weak and totally unable to do what I was so very skilled at: trying to earn everybody’s love … including Pappa’s.

For I was the personification of a religious busy bee, serving in as many ministries as I was able to. I craved love and would do anything to be accepted by God’s people!

Until the day arrived when I realized that there was only one man who ever was and ever will be able to live the righteous life our Pappa required, our magnificent Lord Jesus.

Just before He gave His spirit into His Pappa’s safekeeping, He uttered His famous words, “It is finished (John 19:30)”. Everything is done and dusted and there is nothing we can add to His sacrifice, the one He has made once, for everyone through all the ages of time.

image

We can only come to Him and abide in Him, moment by moment, with receptive hearts, which, by the way, is also a gift from His generous hand.

This is not an easy concept for a performance driven society. Oh, and what sounds more noble than working and serving, all for the cause of His Kingdom.

He did everything that was necessary to reconcile our Pappa to His creation and was inviting all with ears to listen and to hear to enter into His resurrected life, fully pardoned and reconciled to Him.

image

This illness brought me to a place where I was finally able to make a drastic u-turn on that dreaded highway to destruction, the beautifully paved path of religion and return to my Pappa’s house.

I was truly crying by the Rivers of Babylon where I was sitting down at the time. I was unable to sing the Lord’s song in that strange land, lost in the streets of the great harlot, Mystery Babylon. (Psalm 137:1).

image

But I could hear my Pappa’s still, small voice calling me,”Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins (Revelation 18:4)”.

Our Lord was telling us through the illustration of the two paths, the complete dichotomy between the narrow path of grace vs the broad way of religion.. He explicitly told us that He and He ALONE is the only Way … the only Truth … the only Life!

Actually, truth be told, Christianity is Christ! “Christ IN me, my hope of glory” (Colssians 1:27).

image

And it filled me with wonder to know that our Lord who was crucified and raised to life again, was now living in me! What an amazing, incredible privilege!

I have come to realize that the most inviting of these two gates is definitely the gate of religion. It appeals to the sensuous pride of man. Oh, we are so fond of trying to earn everything in life! We need the humbleness of our Lord to overcome that great monster called Pride.

It makes us feel so important and in control. But this is just a false security, a shaky foundation on which to build. It takes only one storm to demolish the house of religion. And then you have to start building all over again … and again … and again!

image

I knew I had to make a choice! I had to choose between the narrow gate and the wide gate … the narrow road and the wide path, God or Satan, Christianity or religion.

Only as I live in my Lord Jesus and He in me, will I ever be able to partake of His blood that was spilled for us and His body that was broken on the cross.

Trying to earn this wine and bread was the different way Paul spoke of when he warned the Galatians. I have come to realize this different way, the one that is socially much more acceptable, is a deception straight from the evil one.

image

This is the way that makes us enemies of the cross, for everytime we try to earn His favor, everytime we succumb to the temptation to place ourselves under any law again, we are cut off from Jesus … cut off from grace.

We are then isolated from the Fountain of Life, still trapped in the lie that we are able to determine independently what good and evil are!

We are unknowingly and unintentionally nullifying the power of the cross. We are fooled by those who twist the truth of Christ. We are listening to a different gospel that is not the Gospel at all!

It is a lie that robs us of the joy of living daily nestled in His Loving Embrace!

Much love xx

Mia

I am linking-up with

image

image

image

 

Advertisements

Jesus, the Iconoclast

God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
(Matthew 21:12, NLT).

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. (1 John 5:21, NLT).

For, as I have often told before and say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18, NIV).

And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles, on behalf of the beast – miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. (Revelation 19:20, NLT).

Deceiving Idols

My husband is clever…a living, walking, talking Encyclopedia of Trivia, he modestly claims. Oh, he does not suffer foolishness gladly!! Whenever Fibrofog pitches its tent around my mind, he suffers BIG time!

Then, one day I discovered a word…a BIG word! With glee, the somewhat malicious kind, I rejoiced with a wordless scream,”Bingo!”. Of course I did not know the meaning of the word, but neither did he.

According to WordWeb the meaning of “iconoclast” is:

1. Someone who attacks cherished ideas of traditions or institutions.
2. A destroyer of images used in religious worship.

I want to tread softly, delicately in my exposition, taking off my shoes, for this is “holy” ground. I can almost see the stones flying and feel the tar and feathers! And, I don’t suffer suffering gladly!

Then, I remember my Beloved, our Lord Jesus, the greatest iconoclast of all times. He was ruthless and showed no mercy when He condemned and criticized the Scribes, the Pharisees and the religious elite. Matthew 23 paints a vivid picture of our Lord’s attitude towards the religion of the Jews, and by implication, all religion through the ages.

And!!!! He was despised by His people and far too many people through the ages as well. He was ostracized, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering and crushed for our sins. (Isaiah 53:3-5).

Religion produces enemies of the cross; for instead of denying our efforts to save ourselves and allowing our Lord Jesus to do His job, religion teaches us to cling to our rules, traditions, programs, laws, do’s and don’ts, for the whole focus of religion is on our feeble performance which at best is usually just less than pathetic and of no use.

I definitely am not a Communist, but Carl Marx did have his bright moments when he observed with unusual wisdom that religion is the opiate of the people.

Our Lord Jesus identified Satan as the father of religion, and those who misused the common people for gain through their religious practices and rules, the “children of the devil”. (John 8:44)

He labelled their religiosity as evil and as hatred of the truth He came to bring; binding the poor, the over-burdened common folk, the laity like us who are easily duped by the charisma and rhetoric
of anyone who claims to speak on our Pappa’s behalf! Spiritual discernment has become extinct!

Please allow me to be a teeny bit iconoclastic. An idolatry I have found amongst our God’s children
is bibliolatry…. esteeming the letter of the Word above the Living Word, our Lord Jesus. A dear friend of mine has accused me of calling our Pappa a liar, when I told her that the Bible is not a book of rules, but a story of redemption…pointing to Jesus, our Redeemer, not the letter of the law. I lost a dear friend in the process and it hurt…very,very much.

Currently there are about 41 000 different Christian denominations worldwide, all claiming their fame from the Bible. Common sense, which is not so common nowadays, should tell us that everything is not so kosher as far as to who has the hold on the truth!

Looking at origin of the word “Bible” we see that it is derived from the Greek ” biblion”, meaning “book”, or more accurately, “papyrus scroll”. In some aspects the Bible is just like any other book with pages and printed letters. What makes it completely different and unique is that its Author is our Heavenly Father…His letter of love! What makes it completely unique and different from any other book ever written is that it is the only book where you need to know the Author personally to understand His words and heart towards you, always wooing you back into His Loving Embrace!

The Christians after Pentecost were mostly illiterate and socially unimportant. An estimated 80% could neither read nor write and came from a slave background. They had no Bibles, but they had the Divine Teacher living within them through His Holy Spirit. They lived in Him and that was all they needed.

The human race is not irreligious; just the opposite! They are extremely religious as we see through the ages. Looking at the religious Crusades, I can only say AMEN to the words of Blaise Pascal, “Men never do evil so cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” We are all created with the need to worship. Whom or what we worship is the daily choice we have to make.

This, in my mind at least, is a humungous, monstrous problem, for many of our Pappa’s children have been deceived by the Great Deceiver…that beast who forages through the world, trying to lure us away from our Beloved Lord Jesus! And his bait….the sometimes undetectable lie of religion.

The mark of the beast has been associated with many things, but I ask you to consider the possibility that accepting religion might just be the mark etched on our foreheads, on our minds, into our thoughts! The mark on the hand might also just be our efforts trying to replace our Pappa’s saving grace with the work of our hands.

I consider this a very serious matter and carry a heavy burden in my heart today, robbing me of all my peace. Thank you for indulging me and, Pappa, for returning my peace.

Much love and blessings to you

Mia

Linking-up with Mindy at New Equus.

image