Category Archives: Falling Away
SAINTS OF GOD: Are you watching the news? Are you reading the headlines? Are you paying attention to what world leaders are saying – and what they “are not” saying? It is all becoming so clear. It is not ISIS we need to fear (as if we should fear man anyway). It is not the American government we need to “watch out for.” No, but the table is being set, and it is becoming clearer every day. As it was for our Lord, so shall it be for the people of God, in the days ahead.
The US government (even most of the free world for that matter) is clearly establishing its opposition (and intolerance, in the name of tolerance) to “radical religious extremism” – whether ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram or the like. Meanwhile, “church leadership”, by and large, in epic proportions, is increasingly establishing itself as firmly embracing compromise and unscriptural positions on non-negotiable positions on what they call “social issues”, such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and abortion – as well as condemning as “judgmental”, the antiquated notions of morality, truth and faithfulness – and opposing those who firmly embrace Scriptural positions on such matters.
Can you see the line being draw? Soon, with the full support of governmental laws (right here in the good ole’ USA), the vast majority of church leadership (or maybe I should say “pharisaical religious leaders”) will begin to attack those Saints who hold firmly to traditional scriptural principles. (It is happening already, and is rapidly in the increase.). They will call us “radical religious extremist” and “intolerant haters”, and they will use ever-increasing laws against such extremism to silence, reduce or otherwise “eliminate” the faithful. (Thus resulting in a clear distinction between those who are “faithful sons of the Kingdom”, and “the goats” who are wearing a label, but are casual, marginal, and/or insincere.) There will become two camps: those who are firm in their faith in Christ Jesus (and will be “dealt with”), and the rest who will be “accepted” among the “religious” and among “the world”.
This is not a call to arms. This is not a warning to run and hide. This is not a plea to step up and attempt to bring about change (it’s long since too late for that – the only change we can bring about is in ourselves). No, rather this is a passionate cry to those “true Christian believers” to prepare yourselves for the coming storm(s) of persecution:
- Establish now where your allegiance lies (the Kingdom of God, or the kingdoms of this world);
- Devote yourself to abundant prayer (become increasingly certain and familiar with the Father’s voice);
- Become assured of your personal community of godly support (be clear as to whom you stand with, and who will stand with you);
- Commit yourself to a life of faith (hearing the Father’s voice, agreeing with Him, and taking obedient grace empowered action according to what you have heard Him speak);
- Establish your determination to live by the Life of Christ in you, as one who has been set apart for holiness and righteous, to be the light of the world, no matter the cost.
Remember… Jesus has said it, and so it shall be:
“…a servant is not greater than his master, if they hated me, they will hate you too;”
“…a man’s enemies will be those of his own household;”
“…father will turn against son and mother against daughter; brother will betray brother…”
“…many false teachers will arise and lead many astray;”
“…you will be hated for my name’s sake.”
The time is now! The days are short! Dress yourself in readiness & keep your lamps lit. Carefully examine and insure your “house” is built upon the Rock. For there is… a storm coming!
Let him who has ears to hear, hear.
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40)
Consider firstly, that our Lord comes to His Elect in many ways. This passage certainly is most often – rightly – applied to the second coming/return of our Lord & King. However, I believe we can also rightly derive an important insight from this passage regarding our preparedness for daily “comings of the Lord” and other events, circumstances, and moments of Grace, in which He comes to us in testing, trial, sufferings, difficulties and disciplines.
The opening verse is striking to me: “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.” The original language even places an emphasis on the word “keep”. In light of the “unknown” (to us) that is sure to come our way *tomorrow* (or later today), there is a “dressed & ready” that we are to “maintain”.
If I am transparent – I confess that most times that I am “caught off guard” by a situation or circumstance, that I was not “prayed up”, “bathed in the Word”, and/or “living a worship lifestyle.” Rather, I was uncovered and naked – spiritually – and left to my own means, to react to the surprise “coming of the Lord” in my life. And therein – I miss Him; or at the very least am unprepared for His visit. (Am I making sense?)
I shared in my previous blog, In The Year Of Our Lord 2015, that I strongly sense there are days coming our way this year, that will test our faith, and *prove* us. Many who are “unprepared” will be proven to be “not of our Lord”. With this in mind, we need to be prepared for the days ahead – for the uncertain & unknown trials, testing and sufferings that we are promised, as His “Called Out Ones”.
If I was to suggest that circumstances in the coming days might provide the most difficult economic times in many generations – what preparations would you make to be ready? I recall the preparations many made for Y2K – yielding a readiness of a physical stockpile of water and dry beans that proved to be unnecessary. I am not suggesting that our readiness looks like water and beans. However, I am suggesting that there is a parallel to be made between physical “efforts” of readiness that we would make if we knew there was an approaching event (economic collapse or an approaching hurricane), and that of the spiritual readiness that should be made to prepare for life’s promised trials, and spiritual tsunamis. We all know it is critical that we make necessary preparations, so that we will not be “without”, “lacking” or “in need” when tribulations come like a thief in the night.
Looking to the story of the 10 Virgins, we are clearly told that not all who are “aware”, are “prepared”.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.” (Matthew 25:1-4 )
We are called to be “prudent” in our “readiness”. Being *aware* alone, is not good enough – we must be “covered with readiness” for the next “coming of our Bridegroom” in situation & circumstance. We need not just have our lamps, but oil to spare!
Only the Holy Spirit can teach you what the rubber-meets-the-road “dressed in readiness” looks like for you. But I promise trials, testings, sufferings & difficulties will come – small and large – tomorrow, next week & months from now. And spiritually speaking… if we are not prepared – “dressed in readiness with our lamps lit and with oil to spare” – I fear, many will sell their soul for a loaf of bread.
“Oh gracious and kind Heavenly Father. Teach me how to be dressed in readiness. Help me to ensure that my lamp is lit, and I have oil to spare. Holy Spirit, teach me what this means! I know that You, Lord Jesus, come to me daily – often like a thief in the night – in testing, trials, sufferings, difficulties, tribulations and disciplines, for Your glory, through my endurance – which leads to spiritual maturity and wholeness in You. It is my desire, Father, that – whether a daily trial of life, or a catastrophic spiritual tsunami – I would not be caught unaware, nor unprepared; that, for Your Glory – by Your Grace – Your Light in me, will shine in the darkness of day, and the faith of the Son of God in me would be proven! As in all things, Lord, I cast myself upon You, for You, and You alone, are my only hope. Amen.”
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and you be caught by surprise like a trap. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Excerpts of Principles Spoken by Christ, from Luke 21:34-36 NASB)
I am no prophet… moreover, some of my dearest CHRISTian brothers and sisters would struggle or even oppose my suggestion that I have a “Word from the Lord” regarding the new year: 2015. Others of you would think nothing of that phrase or suggestion, and eagerly read on to see what I sense the Spirit is speaking. For those who might struggle in any regard with this, let me assure you that I am not “making prophetic predictions” nor am I in some way attempting to “add to the fullness of the revelation our Lord” given us in the Scriptures. Let simply say, I am prompted to encourage the Body of Christ with the following thoughts and words for the coming year.
First, there are multiple references throughout scripture to the principles that direct the “Ecclesia” (the called out ones of God) to be “vigilant”, “alert”, “sober-minded”, “on their guard”, “prepared”, “diligent” and the like. It is with these general Scriptural Truths in mind, that I share the following thoughts for 2015.
Let me say as well, as my predominate awareness and experience is with the “church in the west” (or Christendom in America), that this is the primary audience that I have in my heart, as I write this. Let me clarify regarding this phrase: “Christiandom in America” – I am including here a group of individuals that range from those who would check “Christian” as the answer to the question “What is your religious affiliation?” – to those who would most assuredly, but humbly, say of themselves, “I have experienced a life altering encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and have been redeemed, regenerated and restored to relationship with my Heavenly Father” – and everyone in between. Within this group, I believe, is found the True Church of Jesus Christ… the Ecclesia, as He called it – His called out and chosen ones – the “Sons of the Kingdom.”
In The Year Of Our Lord, 2015. It takes little effort – whether on Cable News Networks, or Internet News Feeds, or Cell Phone Breaking News Alerts – to witness that our entire planet is experiencing dramatic changes – as the pains of Child-birth. In some ways, we have never seen greater days! In other ways, there is so much hurt, pain, loss and devastation, that it seems we are in humanities worst condition in modern history.
Around the globe, CHRISTians are being martyred at an alarming rate. (The Center for the Studies of Global Christianity in the United States reports: “About 100,000 Christians die every year because of their religious beliefs.”) Persecution of CHRISTians around the world is alarming, and become far more blatant and commonplace. (Voice of the Martyrs reports that “The Christian Faith is illegal in 53 countries around the world”.) And here in the west, particularly America, we are quickly losing any hope of leaning on our “constitutional rights of religious freedom” that Our Lord has allowed to protect us for the better part of 225 years. There is no rational denial that we are seeking an increased rapid decay in Judeo-Christian morals – both globally and domestically – and we are fast approaching a day when “things will be different” than we have ever known in our lifetime, even here in the west. The assault on “Christian Religious Freedom” in America is rapidly on the increase – both from freedom to practice our faith, and freedom to speaking publicly (or privately for that matter) regarding our convictions of faith and belief.
Deceptive doctrines taught by false teachers is becoming rampant – and clearly taking on more of a “perversion of truth” than an the outright cultic foolishness of years gone by. Truth mixed with lies, and palatable intrigue, lead the list of deceptions – while taking Truths foundational to the Christian Faith and perverting them, as to both lead astray, and mock the very essence of their principle counsel.
Say what you will, but there is already a “great falling away” that is taking place in our midst, as the faith of many is being shipwrecked & derailed, with these perverted and deceptive doctrines; accompanying that, is a gospel message that is weak, fruitless and ultimately, inadequate to save.
“You know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation [trial, testing], for when he has been proved, he will receive the Crown of Life that he promised to those who love Him. (James 1:3, 4, 12 NASB)
It is my personal conviction that this coming year will be a time of great trial and testing for Christendom in America. The time is near that we will begin to see greater persecution of those “true to their CHRISTian faith”, here in these very United States. To the Saints among us, I plead that we get established in our faith now. Settle your matters and affairs of assurance, trust and allegiance – for when then testing comes, it will be too late. If you are not grounded now in your faith in Christ – when hard times come, you will certainly sell your soul for a loaf of bread, or a bag of rice.
Be prepared. Be Alert. Be vigilant. Take time in prayer now to insure that you have oil in your lamps, and plenty of “oil to spare”. There will come a time when it will be too late to acquire more. I am NOT talking of stockpiling in the natural – but, rather, stockpiling in the Spiritual. There are 4 places the Holy Spirit will cause this to happen:
- in Scripture,
- in prayer,
- in true worship, and
- in godly, committed, accountable relationships with other faith-filled Saints.
We have, for the most part, experienced years of plenty, years of ease and years of comfort. If we are not solid in our faith – rooted and grounded in who Christ is, in whom we trust, and where we are placing our allegiance – then there is little chance that we will get solid when the times of trial and testing come. For it is in trial and testing that our faith is proven – it is in Christ, thought the Holy Spirit in us – in Scripture, Prayer, Worship & Fellowship – that our faith is built and established!
Won’t you join me now in falling before our Lord & King and crying out to Him to generously & lovingly, cause our individual faith to be rooted & grounded, solidly, in Christ as the one whom each of us trusts with all our heart, and pledge our sole allegiance to? And should storms of trial and test indeed come our way in the west in this year, 2015 – we who are the Ecclesia of Christ, indeed stand firm and honor our Lord & King!
If I am mistaken – you will have lost nothing, and still gained everything!
May it be so, Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
In a recent blog (“Believe!”), I made some bold statements in my closing paragraph:
“Reader, it’s time for some soul searching… what role does Jesus Christ really play in your life? Is He nothing more than your “favorite motivational speaker”? Or have you committed to following Him – yet still at a distance – offended at some of His audacity, and ready to “walk” as soon as He gets too close? Or, are you among those who would proudly wear your “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirt, since, after all, you number yourself among the inner circle… but in your heart, do you believe all His outrageous and extreme claims – really?”
Yes, that’s right – I believe from the passage of scripture referenced (John 6:53-69), that there were those among the crowds, follows and even the disciples themselves (a group much larger than “the 12”), who were “just waiting to be offended” and “give Jesus the straight-arm, and walk away”. I believe there are those among us today, and I believe they are many.
Folks, I am gonna say it as clear was I can – and if you are waiting to get offended with Jesus, here is your big chance. Being a true believer in Jesus is NOT a Golden Corral buffet, were you can pick and choose your favorite foods and ignore the rest. No, not at all. Being a true believer in Jesus means being seated at the table that He has prepared for me, in the presence of my enemies (Ps 23:5a), and devouring with gratitude, every morsel of food set before me! How dare we come to the King’s table, and pick and choose what we will and will not eat?!? Imagine it: “Thank you King Jesus for this beautiful spread of organic brussels sprouts, artichokes, nutritious tofu with avocado dip, and such carefully crafted Limburger cheese fondue – however, I was hoping for mac n’ cheese, bacon, McDonald’s fries and one of those molten lava chocolate cakes from Shoney’s.” Jesus shakes his head in disappointment, as we push back from the Kings table, and leave… to our shock, He doesn’t run after us, or offer to heat up a can of Chef-Boyardee ravioli… He just lets us leave, tears in His eyes… and an increasing disgust in ours.
During this advent season we frequently read passages such as: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Newsflash: baby Jesus born that day was NOT just Savior… no, no – the Holy Spirit clearly wrote for us, that He is both Christ and Lord, as well. Oh how we get excited and love to load up our plates with that Golden Corral sweet baby Jesus, come to save us from hell, as He lies in that adorable bed of straw! We might even carefully and curiously indulge is a small helping of “Christ” (the anointed one) – after all, it’s good to have connections with “the big man upstairs” in case we need something – but we make it clear: “don’t get carried away, Jesus; just mind your own business, and we will get along just fine!
As for being “Lord” – heaven’s no! I ain’t looking for a Lord, King or Master – I’ve got that covered myself. So, baby Jesus, you just serve up my all-I-care-to-eat buffet of starches and fast food burgers, and let me rest in the false assurance of “when I get to gloryland”, but don’t serve me up any of that nasty food I don’t like – cause I will straight-arm you and walk away disgusted. (And then act shocked when You one day say to me: “depart from me, I never knew you.”)
Whatever you consider yourself to be, as it relates to this man, Jesus – I ask you: will you lay down your rights, your wants, your likes, loves and desires, for this man Jesus? Will you be awakened to Christ as He calls you to His table – prepared for you – and surrender to believing that He – this Jesus – whom you have called Savior – is both Christ and Lord? And no matter your preconceived notions about the food He is serving up at His King’s Table – it is light-years better than the picking and choosing of the buffet life you have made for yourself – serving up peace, hope, joy and rest, both now, and for eternity!
“Recap” of Inspirational Thoughts and Quotes from 2013 From My Facebook
Part 3 – July-September
I might have said a few things that I learned of the Lord in 2013 that will be impactful for the Kingdom. I have shared some of them here. Also, I have listed numerous quotes that impacted me, from local pastors to great Saints of old, including Tim Conway, Spurgeon, Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, Pastor Tom Myers, Pastor Don Morrison, Pasture Scott Mitchell, Pastor Alan Trippe, Major Ian Thomas, CS Lewis, Sparks, Phil Powell & many others. I know with confidence, these Saints, and I, would all say, in sincerity, that if any of these words are impactful, it is because they are not our own, but the Holy Spirit’s. I pray you find blessing herein. ~ Gary
CHRISTIAN: We have reached an all time low when we call areas of sin in our life, the fulfillment of God’s promise to us!! Wake up from your slumber, Follower of Christ – our Lord doesn’t bless us with sin!! Abstain from wickedness; run from the appearance of evil; do not get friendly with the world, nor the things of it! Make your life-source the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Alternately, if you’re are finding the desires of your flesh gratified (and calling it blessing or promises fulfilled) then you are not living by the Spirit. God says “Whoa to Us!” Isaiah 5:20; James 4:4; Gal 5:16 – Gary Kienel
Inspired by my “Band of Brothers” (You know who you are), with specific content from Scott Mitchell & Phil Powell. On this day, I do thank God for being born in America, but not like many might be thankful – nonetheless, we have been afforded much because of the sacrifice of many of America’s Founding Fathers, likewise, I have been afforded even more, by the Founding Fathers of Israel & Christianity – may I live a life of dependence upon Christ alone, that is worthy of the foundation they have laid!
“My In-Dependence Day”
Because the Lord God has made me independent from the tyranny of self-rule
& free to be subject to His benevolent sovereignty;
I therefore celebrate this day, and all days, as “Dependence Day”;
I am totally & joyfully dependent upon my King Jesus.
His Kingdom is a nation of the King, by the King and for the king,
and it will endure without end.
May God bless and raise up His Church,
as we kneel before Him in repentance & submission.
– Gary Kienel
Most will reject this statement, others it may anger, however, to those who have ears to hear: “it’s not about America”. It’s about the Church. We are, by and large, so distracted by prayers for “America” that we can’t see clearly to pray for ourselves. A far, far greater concern than that of the condition of the physical nation, must be our concern for a spiritual people, that is “The Church”. She is not well. She must come to repentance. She must get on Her knees in submission; subject to Her King. We are the ones we need to be praying for; we are the ones who need to come to repentance.
Our prayers for America are not answered because we are praying amiss, with wrong motives! It’s not about our 401-K, our “well-being”, our national security or even our liberties.
The statistics are staggering, if we look with eyes to see: It is our mistresses, girlfriends & wives who are getting abortions. It is our eyes that frequent pornography. It is our marriages ending in divorce, hatred & bitterness – all the while calling it freedom. It is us, living in sin, claiming grace. It is our perverted & permissive compromise of the very Word that has brought us salvation, that causes us to embrace sins, debauchery, whoredom and abominations. IT IS US, CHURCH, WHO NEEDS PRAYER LIKE NEVER BEFORE.
Once the church is who she is called to be, those around her will be affected by God as He sees fit, even America. I implore you Saints, don’t be distracted by prayers for America, but be focused on prayers for the Church! She is the only hope for the World. For She is the visible image, of the invisible Sovereign Lord God, to the world!
Oh God, have mercy on me… – Gary Kienel
The mandate of Biblical Discipleship as modeled by Jesus, requires 4 things of the discipler (mentor) and the disciple (apprentice):
3) Intensiveness &
We are not only to teach with words (which we MUST do), but we also must MODEL it with our daily lives! How else will we see fans of Jesus, become followers of Jesus? How else will followers of Jesus, become disciples of Jesus? How else will disciples of Jesus, become believers IN Jesus? How else will those believers in Jesus be seen by the watching world and called, with complement & criticism: CHRISTIANS?
The world is watching… let’s make disciples!! – Gary Kienel
WARRIORS OF THE MOST-HIGH LORD GOD: We are in a war. There are those among us with bull’s-eyes on their backs. You know who you are. Tragically, we are witnessing an increase of causalities to our left and right – casualties like we would have NEVER imagined. Stand firm. Remain vigilant! Be on you guard. Some are being wounded in such a way that they are no longer able to fight. Others are being eliminated entirely from the battle. Sexual compromise, doctrinal lies & permissiveness abound. We are loosing our comrades to the desires of the flesh, the lure of the world & the attacks of the enemy, like never before. Too much alarm cannot be sounded! This warning is not for someone else…. IT IS FOR YOU! Remain diligent to the camaraderie of your fellow soldiers; hold steady & firm to the instructions of the warriors that have gone before us; stay in constant two-way communication with The Commander-and-Chief; remember often, the Ultimate Price that has been paid to insure the Victory on our behalf. – Gary Kienel
“When we hear God say, ‘You will have no other gods before me,’ we think of it as a hierarchy; God is always in first place. But there are no places. God isn’t interested in competing against others or being first among many. God will not be part of any hierarchy. He wasn’t saying ‘before me’ as in ‘ahead of me.’ A better understanding of the Hebrew word translated ‘before me’ is ‘in my presence.’”
– Kyle Idelman (Gods At War)
Recently a sister in the Lord posted a comment about how it seems that it has recently become the “cool thing” for Christians to cuss. Another sister in the Lord followed up with a comment that took this thought further and included references to drinking, promiscuity, tattooing and more. I had the following thoughts on such interesting statements as these:
The points that these sisters have made are thoroughly Scripturally solid – even if many of you take personal offense at the tattooing inclusion – bear with me, while I say this another way, quoting those who are far more respected than I.
The Apostle Paul, who was quoting both the prophets Isaiah & Ezekiel, when speaking to the People of God, told us that “we are to come out from among ‘the people of the world’ and be different & be separate”. It is clear, to anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves, that, as this same Paul warned his son in the faith, Timothy, the pastor at the church in Ephesus: “in the latter days, people will turn away from the faith, and go astray, and abandon holiness & sound doctrine, and do as they please” – we see this in all manner of worldliness and ‘darkness’ currently appearing in the lives of those who claim to be in the “Light” (I am not saying live in “perfection”; I am saying that for a true Christian to “justify” or “excuse” sin in their life is either deception or rebellion).
There was a time, when rightly so, many of the things that “Christians” viewed as “un-Christian”, were taboo; most of these things – from foul language to drunkenness to fornication, and yes, maybe even tattoos and immodest attire – are now being embraced, justified, excused, and in some cases even promoted from pulpit, as “acceptable” among god’s holy people. God Himself spoke to Moses and said to God’s people: “set yourself apart and be holy, as I am Holy.”
And one more sobering quote from the Apostle James, speaking to those who would identify themselves as Christians: “You unfaithful people. Don’t you know that embracing things of this fallen world is hostility towards the God whom you say you love? Living in this way makes you an enemy of God!” Yes the bar for living as Children of God, that is, Children of Light (ie: “Christian”) is very high, but it was The Lord God Himself who set the bar so high (and has graciously granted us the power of the inhabiting Holy Spirit to walk in this Holiness).
Do not be misled thinking I am suggesting that we, as God’s Holy Children do no fail, sin and fall short of the goal; for I am not speaking of those who “struggle” to reach the bar that God has set, but rather, I am writing this to those who “deliberately choose” to live below it, and argue that it is acceptable by God to live there! – Gary Kienel
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off – you sit still and trust the engineer.”
– Corrie Ten Boom
“C S Lewis said: “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”
“After all, the Word of God says: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
“Understanding that suffering and persecution come in a wide variety of appearances; the question begs to be asked: If you & I, individually, are not suffering persecution, in some manner or another, for the sake of Christ & His Kingdom, then why not? Could it be a lack of desire for godliness?!? #LookingInTheMirror” – Gary Kienel
“The Grace of God will never give you “permission” to return to a place where that same Grace of God has given you “remission” from!” ` Gary Kienel
Saint of God, are you intimately experiencing the apparent injustice of the seeming success and advancement of the heathen in your life? Read Psalm 37 slowly & thoroughly. It is a game changer!
“Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass & fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light & your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land & will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. The wicked plots against the righteous & gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken. Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord sustains the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance. But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off. The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. For the Lord loves justice & does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land & dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. The wicked spies upon the righteous & seeks to kill him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand or let him be condemned when he is judged. Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found. Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity. But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.”
– Gary Kienel
Spoken by God through the prophet Isaiah nearly 3,000 years ago, who could have imagined the disgusting degree to which this perversion of Truth would become standard fare among those who claim to be “saved” – “born again” – “walking in the light”?!?
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Wake up “Christian” – evil is evil! We are called to uphold holiness; calling anything less than holiness “good” brings upon us the “woes” of God Almighty, and brings reproach upon God’s name! Remember, it’s not just with words that we call evil good and good evil, it is even more so with our actions, behaviors and the things we embrace. Let him who has ears to hear, hear, & be awakened to Truth. (Isaiah 5:20)
– Gary Kienel
“Jesus promised His disciples three things: that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and constantly in trouble.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Oh that we mere humans would quit trying to define God by our understanding of things. Isaiah 55:8-9 is foundational for all faith in God: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
The greatest hindrance to our trusting & believing in God is our foolish insistence that we understand Him, and He measure up to our standards… that is, “our ways, and our thoughts”. The greatest step that you can take towards faith in God is to accept that His ways, and His thoughts are so far above ours, that we cannot understand them – but we can “accept them” without understanding them.
Move past your doubts, your fears, your thoughts & your ways – believe!
– Gary Kienel
When Jesus said, “repent” for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, he spoke the word “repent” – it was recorded in Greek as “metanoia” which means: “To change your mind”. Change our mind from what? Wrong thinking? Thinking about what?
When Jesus spoke the word “Kingdom”, it was recorded in Greek using the word “basileia” which means: “the right or authority to rule & reign”. Rule & reign over what? My life?
Consider for a moment, that what Jesus was saying was: “Change your mind, from your own rule & reign over your life, to the rule & reign of God over your life.”
What must I do to be saved? It all starts when you “Repent” – Kinda changes everything, huh?
– Gary Kienel
“Yes, God is Love; but He is also the King. His Kingdom is a kingdom of love, but it is, nonetheless a Kingdom. To remove His Kingdom from His Love, creates a god in our own image, perverting Him into a Santa Claus or fairy godmother. To remove His Love from His Kingdom creates a cruel taskmaster, yielding slaves that can never achieve the requirements of the master. Oh but the good news is the King Loves! But before you “amen” this with your “like button”, remember, the only response to a loving king, is loving obedience! For these two neither can be separated – obedience without love is fruitless legalism, and love without obedience is self-indulgent permissiveness. God’s perfect way? A wholly compassionate father ruling & reigning over His obedient children who are madly in love with their daddy!” – Gary Kienel
Pity the one who is able to walk lukewarm & casual without obstacle or difficulty. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son [& daughter] whom he receives” (Heb 12:6) – Gary Kienel
James chapter 1 teaches us that there are 2 responses to every trial:
1) we allow our faith to be tested, demonstrating our trust in God’s rule & reign supreme, and we come forth as Gold, that we might receive the crown of Life, or
2) we allow temptation to stir the lust within us to doubt God’s rule & reign, and trust in our own lordship, which give birth to sin, who’s intent is to bring death.
Today, I choose faith… who’s with me?
(2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres (endures) under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.)
– Gary Kienel
“By Grace; Through Faith; [Not BY Works, but FOR Works] have we been saved.” The same Grace that saved us by no effort of our own, is now displayed in us & through us “as a result of” – even the very purpose for – our having been saved. In other words, the purpose for redemption/justification is restoration resulting in sanctification! (Ephesus 2:8-10) Whoa to the one who after partaking in redemption, fails to position himself, through restoration, for sanctification, thereby making a mockery of the very Love that redeemed & justified him. Let him who has ears to hear, hear. – Gary Kienel
SEPTEMBER 13 (3:33am)
To whom it may concern: My heart breaks for those “precious and dearly loved, called out children of the most high God” who have strayed from The Path.
Some have wandered far off and don’t even know it. Others knowingly have set their course (and their hearts) to lands far far away. Still others have stumbled and been knocked off course and are roadside wondering what to do. For many, an ever-so-slight course correction will return you to the straight and narrow.
To some, I whisper: “You know.”
To other I scream: “Wake up!”
Some will not hear either; others will have a sudden enlightenment, and find rescue!
But to all His own, I assure you:
You cannot go too far;
You cannot go too often;
Your failures need not be fatal;
Your shame, which is good and necessary for a season, will not keep you from Him!
For He, our Lord, is a rescuer & a restorer of His own – after all, you know His voice!
He cries out: “It’s never too late! Child come home!” as He leaves the 99 and comes lovingly, with determination, after you, the one.
Whether knowingly one step off the Way in the midst of a solid journey – or deliberately running hard away from the path altogether – you will never outrun Him, nor be out of His reach, or beyond his love.
This promise is for His own, alone!
You are precious.
You are called.
You have been chosen!
You are set apart.
His faithfulness & goodness will sustain you!
He will – in fact He did – rend heaven & hell for you.
Child Come Home!
– Gary Kienel
Saints. Mistakes will happen. Sometimes errors in judgement; sometimes overcome by our “evil desires within”; and sometimes with sincere hearts seeking our Lord’s will. Sometimes it is a mix of two or all three. Whatever the case, we have a few promises from our Lord regarding “mistakes”, and despite the commonality of the first promise, I don’t want to gloss it over: “All things work together for good, for those who love The Lord, and are called according to His purpose.” Additionally, in the other extreme case, we have a similar result, and can say, as Joseph said: “that what [the enemy] intended for evil, God intended for good.”
Now I am not suggesting that because of God’s sovereignty, we can be apathetic or careless in our decision making; but what I am doing is making much of the truth of scripture’s teaching that we (born again saints of God), can rest assured that we have been “given a new heart & a new spirit” and have had “His Spirit placed in us” and we are, therefore a “new creature in Christ!”
So, you find yourself “awakening” from a condition of “oops, what have I done?” Consider your response carefully. If, as I shared above, you are in this place because the “evil desires within your flesh” rose up and you gave into them – then repent and rejoice! Repent not from just the giving in, but also repent from the evil desire within you! Then, rejoice! Rejoice that you were awakened to the mistake! Rejoice that God was not asleep at the wheel when this mistake was made, and that what was intended for evil by forces other than our Lord, were (past tense) intended for good by our Lord; additionally, rejoice that He has promised to work it for good in your life (you chosen lover of God)! Be encouraged to not too quickly blow past or through the repentance phase. You should not die there in your guilt & shame, but neither should you gloss over it as if it matters not that a mistake has been made.
As for errors in judgment. We are in Christ, yes – but, unfortunately we are “under construction” regarding our “mind” being transformed. So there are times we will just plain “get it wrong!” Again, repent & rejoice! Repent for the wrong thought processes that led you to a wrong conclusion & ask God to fix your mind of self, and make it the mind of Christ. Rejoice then, for you were awakened to your mistake & your wrong thinking… You could have stayed in that place & even died there – what joy that we have been graced to be awakened! God has intended & can work this too for good!!
So you say, but Gary, I prayed, I sought The Lord. I even fasted. I sought counsel. I thought my heart was right in the direction I went, but alas, I see now, it was a mistake. Good news! Yep, you got it: repent & rejoice! Repent for missing the mark, even though all indications were a “green light” – ask for wisdom as to where you went wrong; He will show you, for he promises wisdom to those who ask, and He who has called you is faithful! Then, while listening for wisdom, rejoice! Rejoice that your weren’t lost in your mistake and that He awakened you! Rejoice that He promises to work ALL things for good for you because you love Him, and are called by Him!
What I am saying is, no matter the reason you, as a lover of God, called by Him, with a heart for His kingdom, find yourself on the “other-side” of a mistake, you should simply, yet thoroughly, repent; then with excitement and courage, stand up, dust the dirt off of you, and with rejoicing, go again for God!
Mistakes will come, Saint. But for us, it is a matter of “rejoice when you face trials of various types” (and these mistakes are indeed trials of the flesh), for they are granting us the privilege of repentance, and the command to rejoice!
– Gary Kienel
“Christ can never be known without a sense of awe and fear accompanying the knowledge….No one who knows Him intimately can ever be flippant in His presence.”
– A.W. Tozer
“My problem with sin is that I don’t hate it enough!”
– Pastor Tom Myers