Monthly Archives: July 2012

The redeemer

All of us have a redemption story and most, if not all of them fall into one of four categories. Psalm 107 gives us a snapshot of what those types look like, but what do they look like in current culture?

The first type is the “Seeker.” (vs. 4-9)
The “Seeker” is someone who is a wanderer. They are hungry and thirsty for something meanginful that makes them feel important and happy, but everything they try is short-lived and offers immediate gratification, and leaves them wanting more. It’s a bit like eating Chinese food. You can eat a boatload of it. Stuff yourself, then an hour later, your hungry again.

Seekers also have no ties, no commitments, or no anchor in their lives. They remain aloof and always eager for the next adventure, the next thrill, or the next Chinese meal, hoping that will satisfy the deep longing they have.

Have you ever experienced the thrill of a fun and dangerous roller coaster ride or a parachute jump and then automatically wanted to do it again?

Seekers are forever searching for the fastest, dangerous roller coasters and highest, difficult parachute jumps in order to sustain the “adrenaline rush” they get from the activity.

The second type is the “Captive.” (vs. 10-16)
The “Captives” are people who are prisoners that live in darkness often shackled by something they cannot readily see. They are so enslaved sometimes that they remain in bondage until they die and many times they die as a result of the bondage.

You might be thinking that we don’t have slavery in our current culture, but almost all people are enslaved by something. Overeating, drugs, and drinking are some of the most obvious bonds, but watching questionable TV shows, listening to negative, degrading music, and participating in risky and damaging behaviors are invisible bonds that enslave us that no one but you knows about.

Repeating these types of behaviors over and over changes our perceptions and our thinking, which influences our decision-making processes and determines our behavior. It creates a pattern of sin that is very difficult to break. When this happens, you are enslaved.

The third category are “Fools.” (vs. 17-22)
No one wants to be in THIS category, yet many are. They are the people that think they know best. They also don’t understand their own limitations. Oftentimes, they get in situations where they’re in over their head, they feel overwhelmed, and they put themselves in danger without thinking about the ramifications.

These types of people, lose jobs, money and friendships and sometimes their lives for their foolish decisions. They reap what they sow.

The fourth type of person is “Self-Sufficient.” (vs. 23-32)
This type actually sounds like it should be a good type to be. These people are successful in business and in relationships. It seems that everything they touch turns to gold. Whatever they want, they go out there and grab it. People like this don’t see the need for God. As long as they can control their circumstances, they do well.

Being this type of person though is almost more dangerous than being any other type because they don’t leave any room for God. They think if they can’t make something happen, then it can’t be done.

In all of these scenarios, one thing is apparent. They all need deliverance (redemption) from themselves.

Seekers need a leader they can trust.
Captives need a savior who can liberate them from bondage.
Fools need wisdom which only comes from the truth of God’s word.
The self-sufficient need a deliverer when they can no longer control their circumstances.

Our path to a relationship with Christ is our own, but no matter what your redemption story is, there is only ONE redeemer.

God, through His son Jesus Christ is our leader, our savior, the source of wisdom and a deliverer who always provides a way of escape for us.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

Thank you, Jesus!


The roadblock

I’m beginning to believe that ALL “self-help” books whether they are secular or religious in nature have one thing in common.
They are always a roadblock and many times a replacement for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

We the people, jack our lives up in so many ways, but instead of surrendering our complete will to God, our heavenly father, and His Holy Spirit, we look to human authors, human support/small groups, and the companionship of human beings instead of relying on the HS in our life to do the work of making us whole.

ALL self-help books promote “work.” But they promote US doing the work since we basically are the ones who jack up our lives, but think about it. As long as we rely on any other book outside God’s Holy Word, we are relying on another man’s intrepretation of what, when, or how we get redeemed from our sin.

There is only ONE way to redemption. Christ blood shed on the cross paid the debt of our troubles and our transgressions. He is “the way, the truth and the life.” -John 14:6

Many authors feel they are spirit-led to write books and other materials that guide us into a redemptive relationship with God, but I now believe that all other books that “resonate” with people for their “Best Life Yet,” their “Emotionally, Healthy, Spirituality” and so on and so forth (the list of self-help, self-awareness is SO extensive, I’m encouraging people to do their own research) are nothing more than a ploy to keep you from “true” redemption and “true” salvation.

Scripture backs this up:
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

2 Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

These are but a few verses warning of what happens in the latter days.

Let God teach you. If you are a willing pupil, he will reveal His truth to you.

He did it for me; He’ll do it for you.

In no other time in history is the believer more at risk. We live in a world of lies. People whom we respect are buying into the idea that the truth of the gospel should be watered down, re-written so that all people can understand God and the importance of Him in our lives. Much trust has been placed in pastors of churches who are already apostate and the church bodies don’t know it.

They have been deluded according to 2 Thessalonians 2:10-13 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The truth is that God does reveal Himself through His word. If you cannot understand it, you have a spiritual conflict. Someone or something is preventing you from hearing the truth.

Don’t let ANYONE get in the way of your salvation. It’s personal and it’s eternal. And, yes, it’s very unpopular to do this. Many will think you’re weird, you’ve gone off the deep end and many will lose their own family members, according to Matthew 10:34-38.

But if you start to feel like you’re an outcast and you’ve become counter-cultural, then you’re on the right track!