Do we really have to obey …

… or is it just a suggestion?

I was trying to explain just how bad disobedience is to my children when it hit me like a brick what the first ever act of disobedience, after the first ever lie told, did to this world. Genesis 3:1-7

It seems that disobedience follows lies, which make us believe that we don’t have to obey.
 
God told them not to eat from the tree else they would die; Satan sneakily lied and hinted to them that God was hiding something from them and that they wouldn’t really die; so the fruit was eaten and the first sin entered the world, which we now know the effects of.
 
‘Does God really say we will die if we disobey’? Well, look what happened to Adam and Eve! They brought sin into the world with their single act of disobedience and we now live in a fallen world.
Whether or not they repented and ended up in heaven I am not sure. But even if they did, it still hasn’t changed the world back to how it was. We still suffer for their disobedience.
 
When you think about disobedience like that, you can really see the gravity of it all.
 
Of course, God knew this was going to happen, which is why He had already planned, before He even created the world, to send His only Begotten Son, who knew no sin, into this world as the ultimate sacrifice, so we could be redeemed and reconciled with God.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8
**If even Jesus was obedient, why do we think we don’t have to be?!
 
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14,15
 
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16
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There are many, many more verses about obedience and disobedience, but I won’t put them all here. You can look them up yourself. 😉

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Liberty, to do God’s will.

Before we were saved, born again, we were in bondage to the ways of the world. We lived as the world, thought as the world and acted just the same as the world did.

But, at the moment of conversion, we were set free. We were set free from the bondage of living as the world, thinking as the world and acting as the world. It may not have happened ‘overnight’ for some, but something miraculous happens when we surrender our lives to Christ, we are a new creation. While we are still a ‘work in progress’, and will be until the day we die, we are a new man.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

We will start to think differently, therefore we will start to act differently. We are now free from the ‘ways of the world’, because Jesus has set us free.

This means that we now have liberty. Not for ourselves to do as we please, but to do as the Lord pleases, or wills.
We are now free from the constraints of worldly thinking and living, which is what hinders the unsaved from doing God’s will. (Obviously because they aren’t saved and don’t want to do God’s will. Which is exactly one of thebrokenshackles things we have been set free from.)
We are now at liberty to do God’s will, because we desire to. At least, that’s what we should desire to do.

If you are a born again believer, you have been bought at a price, Jesus’ blood shed on the cross, so you are not your own anymore.
” … the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 619,20
(Notice it says that our body and our spirits are God’s?!)
If this isn’t enough of a conviction to deny ourselves and our wills, then I don’t know what is..

I was going to include a prayer in this, but I seem to be much better at doing what I do, which is writing things like the above. I hope it is our desire to do God’s will and not our own. We can never ‘repay’ what Jesus did for us, but we can sure live like people bought with a price.

Pagan symbols.

symbols“When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deuteronomy 12:29-32

This is my opinion, so please take it as such, nothing more, nothing less.

I read something today that got me thinking about the symbols used at Christmas and Easter.
There are evergreen trees, twinkly lights, candles, wreaths, gingerbread biscuits, fruit cakes, presents, chocolate eggs, chicks, rabbits etc etc.
Most of these are not bad or pagan, symbols in and of themselves. After all, God made trees, chickens, rabbits; candles are handy for blackouts or if you live without electricity, gingerbread is yummy all year round and so is chocolate.

But it is my understanding that those symbols that the pagans used to worship their gods, whether it be Pan, Astarte, Eostre, the sun, the moon, mother earth,or whatever, are not to be used in the same manner of worshiping the God of the Holy Bible, the Creator of the universe.
The verses in Deuteronomy above seem to suggest that.

It is my understanding that we have been given two symbols to use in remembrance of Jesus.. the bread and the ‘wine’, both of which symbolise his shed blood and his bodily sacrifice for the world.
“And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew* the Lord’s death till he come.” 1 Corinthians 11:24,25
*Strong’s Concordance #G2605 “καταγγέλλω katangéllō, kat-ang-gel’-lo; from G2596 and the base of G32; to proclaim, promulgate:—declare, preach, shew, speak of, teach. – t
o announce, declare, promulgate, make known, to proclaim publicly, publish.”

It seems to me that eating the bread and ‘wine’ is what Jesus tells us to do to teach or show the world about him, not by using all the other symbols associated with these holidays. To me, the other symbols are all in vain because they represent nothing of what Jesus did on the cross.
By the taking of the bread and the ‘wine’ we are showing the world what Jesus actually did for them, which was to die on the cross, shed his blood and have his body broken, and isn’t that the message of the Gospel?

 

 

 

We are at war.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the *weapons* of our *warfare* [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)”. 2 Corinthians 10:3,4

“For we *wrestle* not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness owarfaref this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary* the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8
*adversary means enemy

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles* of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
*wiles are: cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery

I really do think that we need to understand that Satan has more of an effect on the Christian life than we’d like to think.

Too many people just brush him off as if he has no power and doesn’t affect us anymore.

I know there are people that do the opposite also, give him far too much credit and believe he is responsible for everything. I honestly believe there is a middle ground though.

As the verses above state, we are in a war with an unseen enemy. And that war happens, especially for Christians, once we become an enemy of Satan, and we become an enemy of Satan when we become born-again Christians.
Before that, we were on Satan’s side, we just didn’t know it. He that committeth sin is of the devil; … “ 1 John 3:8
But once we become that enemy of Satan, the gloves come off. He throws anything he can at us to try to get us to sin against God and to try to draw us away from God. We are very naive to think that once we become Christians Satan will leave us alone, and the fact that he tried to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4 is a perfect example.

That being said, we cannot blame Satan for all our wrongdoings, because that implies that we are helpless and powerless, which is not true at all.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
And we must Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
So, I guess my whole point is this, that we need to be aware that Satan is after us and attacking us because we are now his enemy. So be aware, be vigilant/watchful and discerning.
He has placed many of his people in churches, on facebook, on blogs, in ministries, schools etc to deliberately lead people astray, so we need to be very careful whom we follow.
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. Matthew 13:25