Posted by: arieliondotcom | February 14, 2014

The “Liberal” Christian

I see a trend in American culture toward acceptance being accepted as Love and tolerance being accepted as Christianity. Liberalism is confused with Grace and weariness of warring in ideologies is called being intellectual. And so we have the “Liberal Christian.”

I have neither the intelligence nor the literary skill to combat the award-winning authors feeding this trend. But I know that it is unscriptural. I can’t fully explain why GOD had warriors murder men, women, children and animals in the founding of Israel. But I know that if you think you are a Christian and that having babies pulled from their wombs and slaughtered is acceptable in any way, you are mistaken about what Christianity is and Whom it is you think you are following. I know that when GOD says homosexuality is an abomination not fit to speak of but you say it is an acceptable lifestyle it is not the Jesus Christ of reality Who said not one dot of His Word, the Bible, would be nullified you are obeying. I know that when you confuse those who WILL not work with those who CANNOT work and say it’s okay to give the indolent food, shelter, money, phones, houses, sex, children (all against Scripture that says anyone who CAN work MUST work), you are wrong. And you are denying human beings a fundamental requirement of their character put in place in the first garden before mankind was touched by evil. And you are supporting a political program designed to weaken a society to the point where those who believe taking from others but not themselves is okay are empowering themselves to the citizenry’s enslavement.

In short, if you support the platform (as of this writing) of the Democratic party or a liberal view that support these things it is not Christianity you are practicing, no matter how lovely the angelic appearance of your words. It is sophistry, self-delusion and sin.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 30, 2014

My True Birth Day

Some day my eyes will close at night
and open again to a better Light.
Tears like birth fluid will be wiped from my eyes
By the Loving Hand of Jesus Christ.
And I will be Home at last in Heaven
Reborn, Free, and never lonely again.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 15, 2014

Drowning in Delay (Psalm 69)

Drowning in Delay (Psalm 69)

There’s probably no worse feeling in life than waiting on an answer from GOD and not getting one. Direction. Healing. Answer to prayer. Relief from pain. All things we (including Christians) wait for…sometimes for years.

David is exhausted, mentally, physically and spiritually from being attacked by others while he waits for GOD. His head has not just slipped beneath the waves of despair. He is sinking in the mud of hopelessness at the bottom of his spiritual ocean. The weeds of helplessness are covering his face even when he calls to GOD for help.

And GOD is the reason others are harassing him. He isn’t suffering because he did wrong. It’s because he’s faithful to GOD instead of joining them that the world hates David and abuses him.

What do we do when this happens to us? What is our response when we wait for GOD but no answer comes?

We probably do what David did. We complain and whine about how badly we’re treated. We point at others and how they treat us. We cry to GOD about how unfair it is, losing sight even as we ask Him to fix it, that if He can and hasn’t He must be allowing it. And if He is allowing it then the wait must be for good, for our good and/or the good of others.

Most of this psalm is David complaining to GOD about how badly he’s being treated, how weary he is, crying himself dry even as he drowns in depression, and how faithful he has been in waiting for GOD though GOD doesn’t seem to be very helpful making him wait so long.

Then, suddenly, something changes. In verse 29, David suddenly remembers his Salvation. GOD isn’t the One Who is sometimes absent. He is the One Who is always with us, Who rescued us from ourselves. When David remembers his Salvation for eternity he’s no longer drowning in depression. Now he’s on a mountaintop with GOD. He has regained an eternal perspective and he can encourage others to look up to GOD rather than looking around and whining about circumstances and sinners. He sees that he is a role model and calls others to hope in GOD. And he looks into the future to the eternal Zion where Messiah will rule and His people will live to praise GOD in peace.

We know from the New Testament that much of this psalm is David prophesying about his descendant, in the human sense, the Messiah he longed for, JESUS Christ.

But JESUS is also GOD. Imagine being absolutely pure but drowning in the filth of others for about 33 years, like a bird smothering in a landslide. Imagine the amount of love it took for JESUS to set aside the privileges of His being the very Nature of GOD to suffer at the hands of those who supposedly loved GOD. Imagine the strongest longing for love and companionship you’ve ever known and multiply it by infinity. That’s what He felt as a man after being with the Father from eternity past.

It’s JESUS cleansing the Temple that David prophesies about in verse 9. It is JESUS suffering on the Cross and being given gall to drink that David prophesies about in verse 21. It is JESUS Who provides the salvation offered in verse 29. It is JESUS Who is the Messiah returning to rule from Zion in verse 35.

When we feel as if we’re drowning in delay we need only remember our position as saved for eternity to realize we’re on the mountaintop with JESUS. A new perspective gives us a new attitude. Our complaints turn to praise realizing no matter how long we wait we’re waiting with JESUS, not alone, and with good cause. The wait has an end but the glory in eternity is forever.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 14, 2014

Hating Heaven (Psalm 68)

Hating Heaven (Psalm 68)

There’s an old Italian proverb that goes “He is crying from hunger with a loaf of bread under his arm.” Complaining no matter how blessed we are. That’s us, at one point or another. Satan is like that. It was that attitude that had him thrown out of heaven, dissatisfied with being a glorious angel and wanting to be GOD instead. And he taught Adam and Eve to be like that, wanting the one thing GOD said they couldn’t have. And their disobedience gives us original sin that makes us like that as well. Cain, son of Adam and Eve was like that. Dissatisfied with the good GOD gave him he was jealous of what Abel had, and more specifically the relationship Abel had with GOD, and killed him for it.

Dissatisfaction. Crying from hunger with our hands so full of food we’ve got to carry the bread under our arms. This is the attitude we inherited from the Garden of Eden and it’s the sin nature that is discussed in Psalm 68. When we are dissatisfied with our lot in life it makes us feel cheated by GOD and as a result, as the psalm says, we hate Him for it, ignoring all the good He gives.

To justify our dissatisfaction we accuse GOD of being an unfair monster. If He keeps a couple from having children or allows a baby to die, we accuse Him. If the child lives but suffers, we accuse Him. If the child grows into a monster…which is anyone from Hitler to someone we dislike…we accuse Him. All because, in our hearts, we have Satan’s nature of wanting to be GOD ourselves and do things the *right* way. OUR way.

Hell is the result of having Satan’s nature instead of GOD’s. As the psalm shows, wind doesn’t hate smoke. Their natures simply can’t exist together. Fire doesn’t hate wax. The nature of wax is such that it simply can’t exist in fire’s presence. It is because our hateful sin-stained nature can’t exist in the Presence of GOD’s Nature that He gives us the Salvation mentioned at the end of the psalm. JESUS literally became like our nature of human beings, though without sin, to give us His Nature through making us new creations through faith. And we have the promise that when we are beyond the limits of humanity, in eternity, we shall see Him as He is and become like Him in ways flesh can’t contain.

The psalm describes the difference between those who have not been born again: Hating GOD, unable to be in His Presence, wanting Him to be like them (which would corrupt any good He can offer them) rather than wanting to be like Him.

But it also describes the change faith from the Holy Spirit brings. Joy. Praises for Who GOD is. Satisfaction. Trust.

Psalm 68 contrasts the hatred of those without GOD’s Nature to His Nature of Love: companionship, shelter and protection to the lonely and helpless. Freedom to prisoners.

GOD provides refreshment, new Life, victory. Those who hate Him aren’t pushed away. They run. They choose the desert rather than the rain. They hide from Him when all they need do is surrender.

The New Testament explains that this psalm refers to JESUS. It is He Who gives Salvation and new Life. It is He who takes captives and receives gifts even from those who hate Him. He has ascended to the throne at the right Hand of the Father with the hearts of those who love Him captive. He gives the Grace of the Holy Spirit to those He gives a new nature to love and serve Him by loving and serving others in His Name. And He will return to Mount Zion to rule as Messiah and Judge. He will defeat every enemy of His people who war against Him. They too will acknowledge Him as LORD but too late to be His. Those who refused to be transformed will be given what they wanted, absence of all the goodness of GOD in suffering. They hated Heaven and their nature won’t allow them there. But those who have been transformed to GOD’s Nature will be made like Christ to praise Him and bless the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit forever.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 10, 2014

Life is Christmas

Life is Christmas: Daily gifts of new experiences opened with joy or disappointment depending on the colour of the light of the past #quote

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 8, 2014

Snug in Bed (Psalm 67)

Snug in Bed (Psalm 67)

Before “Goodnight Moon” or any of the lullabies known today, GOD gave us a sort of lullaby for all ages in Psalm 67. As we hear it we can imagine a child snug in bed reciting bedtime blessings.

I pray you have been tucked snug into bed as a child. I can only remember one incidence. My father was drunk as usual. We literally had to step over his unconscious body on the floor, thankful he was “sleeping it off” after another of his violent rages after seeing a man marry my sister and give her a better life than he could. My mother was in her usual hysterics, the kind of over-the-top ranting and nagging that had we six kids wonder whether our father was on to a good thing in the drunken stupor idea. But one of the wedding guests, my cousin Sonny, was visiting. I don’t remember him for anything else. But in that chaos where only my little sister and I were home with our grown siblings gone, Sonny tucked us into bed and kissed us goodnight on our foreheads.

Psalm 67 is like that. It begins with a “GOD bless everybody” type of prayer as children make. Then there’s a pause (Selah). Then it goes into reasons why all people everywhere should praise GOD, because He gives us all good things and makes everything turn out right. Then there’s another pause.
Then the psalm ends with the statement that the more all the earth realizes how blessed they are, and that GOD is in control even when they don’t think about it, the more they will be blessed and kept from harm knowing that all evil knows our Daddy is stronger and nothing can threaten us when we are snug in the bed of His care.

Where are we today? GOD carries us in the arms of Christ once nailed to a cross and now outstretched to us. He longs to take us into His protection forever and tuck us into His Peace in Love. We need only run to Him and ask. Then we can have the peace of Psalm 67 as our lullaby. We can sing praises of peace knowing our Father runs the world and we can rest with the kiss of Christ on our foreheads and His Love in our hearts. Peaceful, Praising and Protected snug in the bed of Salvation, we can rest in any circumstance and awake refreshed to serve others with and for JESUS.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 5, 2014

Been There. Done That. (Psalm 65)

Been There. Done That. (Psalm 65)

People often think that because there are two covenants (with Israel in the Old Testament and with the world in the New Testament) that JESUS isn’t in the Old Testament. But you can clearly see that the entire Bible is one Book, and that Book has one author, the Holy Spirit, and that Book is about one Subject, JESUS Christ, in David’s song, Psalm 65.

Mount Zion is where the Temple was located and the center of worship. But it is also symbolic of Heaven. David starts his song looking forward to the day when the lives of the faithful will be accepted in Heaven like the sacrifices in the Temple are accepted. This is the Day of Judgment when every human that has ever lived will appear before GOD. And we see it is the same scene JESUS describes Himself presiding over. As Christians often say in their creeds it is JESUS Who will judge the living and the dead.

But there is no Judgment for Believers in Christ, because as JESUS said and David explains although everyone sins, David (and other Believers) understand their sins have already been purged away by JESUS. David wouldn’t know the specifics but knows in his Spirit that Messiah will rescue him from his own sin and death. That Messiah is JESUS.

David goes on to say of GOD as JESUS says of Himself that we have not chosen Him but He has chosen us. It is only those GOD chooses who choose to approach GOD. We know this as the process JESUS describes as being born again. The Holy Spirit indwells the heart, and gives eternal Life. This Life is a radical response to the realization that Christ, GOD in flesh, gave Himself for us to pay for the sins we mentioned earlier. This causes a sort of Spiritual chain reaction where Believers want to give their lives in service to JESUS in return. These are the people whose only satisfaction is being with GOD, on earth and in Heaven.

David describes that GOD answers prayers for salvation with righteousness. He gradually reforms those who are His into the image of Christ. That’s where the name “Christians” originated. It means “Little Christs” and was originally intended as a put down but really explains what non-Christians see, an example of JESUS in the Life of Christians they know as if He was living among them. And He is, as JESUS explained, in their midst. Christians are His Body on earth. And this Salvation is available to all who are willing to accept it.

The remainder of the psalm is David praising GOD for His creation. JESUS is the means of all creation. All of the beauty and power and glory we see in nature around us has been created through JESUS. And human beings have no role but to enjoy it. David says it’s as if some great Gardener planted all the plants in the wilderness where no human has been and has planted the wild animals that seem to spring up with regularity without man breeding them. This is all the work of JESUS.

JESUS is not new in the New Testament. And His actions are not new with His birth. He is GOD the Son. He is throughout the Old Testament. From before Creation He has existed and acted as Second Person of the GODhead. No matter where we turn in the Bible or in all of Creation (other than sin) we can see and hear JESUS say, “Been there. Done that.” Because of His sinlessness He can rescue us from ours and we, like David and all Creation, can look forward to praising Him with songs of joy.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 4, 2014

Comfort in Complaints (Psalm 64)

Comfort in Complaints (Psalm 64)

Because David was a shepherd it’s easy to see animal descriptions in his psalms. In today’s psalm he starts off asking GOD to hear him in his complaint. It’s easy to see what David was probably thinking of, a little lamb bleating loudly for its mother. David is like the lamb, alone and frightened, bleating for help, complaining about enemies all around.

But the complaining only draws the enemy closer. We get the picture of poachers, thieves who are ready to kill the sheep, hunting it down as if it’s fair game when it’s not. They’re ready with swords of unfair advantage. They have arrows to kill for no reason.

Notice the emphasis David puts on the plans evil makes. Evil doesn’t just happen. Usually we must go out of our way to do wrong, plan for it, turn the wrong way, do the wrong thing, lie and devise a scheme to cover it up. Evil takes work, which is why a paraphrase of the Scripture “the wages of sin is death” is “the paycheck you earn for evil is death.”

But David is protected. The complaining servant isn’t abandoned. And the bleating lamb isn’t ignored. But it’s not another sheep that comforts him. It’s not the mother who consoles him. It’s the Shepherd. The Shepherd shoots arrows at the would-be poachers and sheep thieves. He kills those who seek the life of his lamb. And the story spreads far and wide that the Shepherd cares for his own and they are protected.

JESUS is the Great Shepherd of the Sheep. He hears our complaints when the world, the flesh and the devil attack. He hears us cry out when we’re overwhelmed by our sin and know we need Him to rescue us. He doesn’t punish us. He already paid the punishment for us on the Cross. Instead we need only be still and accept His protection as He defeats every threat and enemy on our behalf, including death.

The result of our gratitude is praise. Our complaints turn to singing and service to others on His behalf. Through our changed lives others can find and praise the Great Shepherd as well.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 3, 2014

The Saturated Soul (Psalm 63)

The Saturated Soul (Psalm 63)

What is your soul saturated with? When the circumstances of life wring you like a sponge, what comes out?

In today’s psalm David is in the wilderness and contrasts the dry desert around him with the richness of his soul in GOD. We know from the end of the psalm that he is praying for himself as king so he has either been chosen as king by GOD but is hiding in the wilderness from Saul who doesn’t want to give up the kingdom or has been king and is hiding in the wilderness from his son Absalom who is trying to take the kingdom from him or he is the king in a war party in the wilderness. Because he specifically asks for protection from liars it suggests it is Saul he’s hiding from who was accusing David of being a traitor when there was no one more faithful.

Either way, when circumstances are wringing David’s soul dry what comes out are cries for GOD to fill him again and praise for what GOD has done for him in the past. David says he physically hurts from yearning for GOD. If you have ever been in love you know this feeling. Heartache isn’t just an expression. You physically ache for the presence of the person you love. There is a flesh hunger that humans have that physically craves companionship and touch totally apart from sexuality and David’s craving to feel the Presence of GOD again physically hurts him. We see the extreme of this in JESUS praying to the Father so hard and longing for Him so much that He sweat blood.

David says that when we feel ourselves drying up without the Presence of GOD we can stop the process. First, we can soak ourselves in the memory of GOD, remembering His Power and Glory. If you are a Christian, stop and call to mind the most powerful moments JESUS spoke to you. Think how He saved you and when that realization of how He suffered for you and died for you most affected you. Think of that church service when He seemed to physically be close to you and touched your heart. And if you are not a Christian and feel indifferent toward Christ, consider the beauty and power of creation and the magnitude of the Love it took for JESUS, the One Who made it all, to die for you. Then ask Him to fill your life.

David finds refreshment in remembering his sweetest times in GOD’s Presence. David then says that GOD’s lovingkindness is better than life. How strange is that? It’s to be expected that we would thank GOD for life and thank Him for His lovingkindness that keeps us alive but how could it be better than life?

David is saying he’d rather have the Presence of GOD than physical life, that he would rather die with GOD than live without Him. If you’re a Christian you recognize this is what JESUS did. He loves the Father Who loves you so much that He, JESUS, died as a man in order to bring you back to the Father. He would rather suffer death and hell in payment for our sins than keep Himself aloof from us as GOD. And you’ll recognize His Spirit calls us to love Life with GOD above our human life. When we are born again we live in the flesh only to help others find Spiritual Life in JESUS for themselves. That is why martyrs were willing to die rather than renounce Him. And the Apostle Paul found himself struggling whether to fight to live and continue to point others to Christ or go Home to Christ Himself.

Praising GOD, calling to mind all that GOD had done for him and continuing to praise GOD in every circumstance helped David remain fully saturated in GOD’s Presence like a man after a filling meal. He compares himself to a baby who has been fed to burping and nestled against the Father’s shoulder. He’s like a lamb who is still nursing staying close to its mother for the next meal.

David never lifted his own hand against Saul but he prayed for GOD’s protection from him. As full of GOD’s Spirit as David is he knows that Saul is not. It is because David is GOD’s chosen king that Saul seeks to kill him and David remarks that will only lead to Saul’s own death. He prophesies that Saul would die by the sword as he did. If you squeezed Saul’s soul you’d find jealousy, lies, fear and hatred drip out. But David renews his own faithfulness as king to GOD Who chose him. Those who are for GOD will be for him because his life is saturated with GOD. But those who oppose him oppose GOD Who chose him. They choose lies of their own making instead.

What…or rather whom…is your soul saturated with? If with GOD then you have given yourself to JESUS for Him to fill you with His Spirit and the Life He bought for you on the cross. Circumstances will only reveal His Nature in you and be used to attract others to Him while you live. You can maintain this fulness of Spirit in any circumstance by remembering and rejoicing and praising the times you’ve had with JESUS and His loving Presence with you now and beyond the grave.

Posted by: arieliondotcom | January 2, 2014

More Than Enough (Psalm 62)

More Than Enough (Psalm 62)

Psalm 62 is a warning from David against wanting more than enough. It symbolizes relying on only one source of strength, only one source of advice and wisdom and security, and that is GOD.

Even when Scripture describes GOD’s Nature as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (such as at the baptism of JESUS) the emphasis is that GOD is one Nature and of one Mind and one Will. When Scripture says there is wisdom in many counselors it means many godly counselors who confirm the same point that you believe GOD has said.

The same message is for the rich and poor. And notice David’s statement “if riches increase” in verse 10. Any theology that says GOD wants you to be rich because you are a Christian or are obedient is a lie. And any minister who says GOD wants you to have more money, have a financial “breakthrough” or says you have a right to wealth because you are “the head and not the tail”, a Christian or obedient is a liar. Most of GOD’s people in Scripture and throughout history were poor by most standards, as was JESUS Himself. GOD allows some to be rich for His own purposes. But with riches comes much danger of relying on it rather than on GOD.

The Apostle Paul says that if we have covering on the outside and food on the inside we should be content, physically. And Spiritually David explains that GOD is all the protection and sustenance we need. It’s only when we try to gain more than enough that we turn to other people and other means than GOD. Only He provides the power, protection and Salvation we need as He showed by giving Himself on the Cross for us. Only His Spirit provides the kind of Love that can cleanse and change us toward Himself and others. And His work for in and through us is enough.

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