Archive for John 8

It’s All About Perspective

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Awarded by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for Outstanding Civil Service.

“The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.” ― John Mark Green

 

Just cause you say you are of the church a leader of God a Christian with some folks just don’t mean that much at all…

Have you ever wondered how two people can stand side-by-side witnessing the same event, yet report seeing two totally different things? Our past experiences shape how we interpret nearly everything around us. People from strong loving families often have a more confident view of themselves as well as the world they interact with than those who grew up with less support.

Oftentimes these experiences also define our perceptions of who God is, as well as what our purpose is on this planet. Those who have been raised in the church may not always be aware of how far apart their understanding of Jesus and salvation is from those who have only ever been hurt by the world.

Jesus bridged this gap time and time again throughout Scripture. His anger and “judgement” were never directed toward those who were clearly lost. After all, they already felt like they were as far from God as they can get. They saw their need for him. Instead, we see his anger and cutting words repeatedly hurled against the religious leaders of the day who used the law to oppress people instead of freeing them or leading them back to their Creator. Such leaders had no idea of their own need for saving; hence they had no grace for others.

In John Chapter 8, we see Jesus intervene when a group of men wanted to stone a woman caught in adultery. We don’t know precisely what her story is. Was she a willing participant? Was she someone who had been used by others? What we do know is that while she was “caught”, there was no man being condemned alongside her. Whoever she was caught with wasn’t even part of the story. The man who stood up for her, however, was the only perfect and blameless being to ever walk the earth.

If anyone had the authority and was justified in condemning this woman, it was Jesus. He was, after all, the Son of God. But instead, Jesus addressed her accusers, challenging them, “…but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (Verse 7, NLT). Jesus alone held that right; yet when all of them had left, one by one, he turned to her and offered her freedom.

When we encounter those who need this Gospel, yet have been cast down by life over and over again, are we offering them freedom? People know who they are. Even without ever picking up a Bible, people know when their actions are morally objectionable. What Christ offers is more than a light to illuminate the darkness. His light offers freedom. This freedom does not require that we be changed before we accept it. In fact, we can’t. The changes we require to be clean and holy in His sight can only be made by Him.

Perhaps our job as believers isn’t so much about raising a mirror to people so they see their sins. Perhaps, deep down, they already see them. Perhaps our responsibility is to show them God’s reflection of love, grace and freedom. Perhaps, through our words and actions, consistently and patiently, we can offer them hope.

If you have not walked in the shoes of someone who has been exploited or marginalized by society, tread carefully when speaking about the hope of Christ. Be mindful of their past experiences and formulated ideas of Christians, people of faith, or believers. Their lived experiences may not have been that of goodness and love and grace. It takes one thousand good things to replace one bad thing, so tread lightly and gently, my Christian friends. You never know what brokenness someone might have experienced – even at the hands of a person who claims Jesus as Lord.

Tread gently, therefore, when speaking about the hope of Christ to those who are leaving the life, or those attempting to restore their lives from brokenness of any sort you don’t know. Many other “Christians” they have interacted with were antithetical representations of the gospel of Jesus. If this is all they know, then the concept of God and hope and goodness is a much more difficult sell!

“Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em!” -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

 

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Freedom & Apostasy…Thoughts from an American Soldier

Posted in American soldier with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2018 by paulthepoke

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Galatians 5:13 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.

The Bible states that humanity has free will to choose the object of their worship.

 

islam

Apostasy? I’ve been asked, does Islam allow freedom of religion or does it threaten the death penalty for apostasy?  Well the truth is… they believe and practice this everyday…

From what I’ve seen in the Middle East and speaking with the locals over here, they believe that “Anyone” and mainly “Westerners” are INFIDELS in their belief. Those who turn their back on Islam are to be executed. This is confirmed by the words and deeds of Muhammad. The only freedom of belief in Islam is the freedom to become Muslim.

Islamic Law: There is also a consensus by all four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafii), as well as classical Shiite jurists, that apostates from Islam must be put to death. The process of declaring a person to be an apostate is known as takfir and the disbeliever is called a murtad.

The “Religion of Peace” expanded across the globe by conquering people of other religions and then making life miserable for those who did not embrace Islam. Once spoken, a person was locked into the faith. Any sign of false witness, such as raising their children in another faith, was punished with death. Thus, Islam gradually supplanted other religions.

Some apologists bend the truth in order to distance Islam from one of its most draconian rules. The world’s most popular Muslim apologist recently affirmed that the death penalty should be applied to those who leave Islam and share their faith with others.

 

Galatians 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

 

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread…Featuring Paul Beverly

Posted in Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , on August 17, 2017 by paulthepoke

pb bread

John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, He stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Look at him over there, he drinks every day. We don’t want him around us or in our church. He is a sinner. Look at him, I heard he’s smoked weed. We need to stay away from him, he’s a sinner. See that guy? He’s been to jail. I don’t know why, but he’s obviously a sinner & breaks the law. And look at that one, he’s divorced & I’m sure he must not have been a good husband. Stay clear of him, for sure a sinner. Is that guy a sinner? Yep, and so are you for judging him. No sin is greater or less than another & only one person has the right to judge us. Am I a sinner? Yep. I sin every day & was that guy that I just described at different points in my life. Does everyone know my story? Nope. We all sin every day. Nobody is perfect. Instead of judging others & thinking we are better, let’s pray for each other instead…

Have an accepting weekend my friends!!!

Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot: Light

Posted in Fall Feasts, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:33-36 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD. On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind. For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.’”

Light is a theme of The Feast of Tabernacles.

Exodus 13:20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness.

Succoth is the first place the nation of Israel stopped after the Exodus from Egypt. Succoth is believed to be on the east of Goshen or the western edge of the Sinai Peninsula. The name of this town is the same name for the God Appointed Holiday, Succoth. In the Hebrew, the word means: a booth, tent, or shelters. The nation of Israel led by Moses left their shelter in Egypt.

Exodus 13:21 The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Notice. Israel was led by a pillar of fire, light, at night. The light was always there and never left the Hebrew people (Exodus 13:22). Israel was guided by the presence of God, the light.

Israel camped with God.

Numbers 9:15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and in the evening it was like the appearance of fire over the tabernacle, until morning.

Israel’s place of worship in the desert wandering was the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting. Fire or light covered their holy place. Numbers 9:16 So it was continuously; the cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.

Roughly 1,500 years after Moses, a Man would claim to be the light of the world.

John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The ultimate fulfillment of this God Appointed holiday is in the eternal future in the New Jerusalem. The Father and the Son are the substance. They are the light and tabernacle dwelling with humanity.

Revelation 21:22-23 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch & Bible Study

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