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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, August 31, 2019


For the past month (August) our church has been discussing “Life reset”. 

When I was in the Southern Baptist church as a youth, once a year, a preacher would come and hold a three to four day ‘revival’ meeting.  These were intended to be ‘spiritual shots’ in the arm to get that spiritual blood flowing again or anew.  If you will, a reset or a restart for the church.  Often, these would be young men fresh out of bible school getting their feet wet for preaching sermons, but at times, they would bring in a seasoned vet.  Being an evangelical church, these revivals were heavier doses of “you gotta get saved”!  Now, I understand, we were supposed to bring ‘unsaved’ friends to those revivals but Father has shown me that we can share how to walk closer with the Lord and the Holy Spirit can still work in the hearts of those who don’t know the Lord.  Yet, for the Christian, were supposed to already know Jesus (hopefully), so instead of ‘getting to know Him’, we need to get to know Him ‘better’.

During this month, Father has brought four good studies, about resetting our lives, through three different people.

In the first presentation, Father showed us that there are five major restarts in life.  God tells Jeremiah that He knew him before he was conceived and sanctified him before he was born (Jer. 1:5).  We can translate this to every human that ever existed or exists – God knows us before we are conceived and has set a task for us before we are born.  After all, God knows the beginning and the end (Isa. 46:9-10).  Ergo, our first reset in life is coming from however God knows us into and through our natural birth; our second reset is our spiritual rebirth, our salvation experience, transitioning from living in this natural world to living for Jesus in this world; our third reset is recognizing our calling Father has placed upon our lives – He ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet (for what has He ordained us?); Our fourth reset is the toughest and busiest reset of all – learning to keep Jesus in our hearts – confessing and repenting any sin in our life and continuing to press forward (an ongoing process as long as we are in this world); our last reset is our departure from this world – our natural death – the beginning of our transition into eternity.

Our next presenter brought us to an understanding of what ‘reset’ means and the need to get our souls back into proper alignment with Father.  She used examples as to how important it is, that once we mess up, the need to get ‘our’ spirit realigned with Father.  That is confessing and repenting (turning away) from whatever sin we had committed.

Our next presenter used Job, King David, King Solomon and the Apostle Paul to contrast the benefits of a life reset after sin and a life not reset after sin – the blessings or the consequences.
Our last presenter brought the following:

Several years ago, Father used one verse to draw my attention to Job’s problem.  Job said I heard about you from others but now my eye has seen you for myself (Job 42:5).  Job came to know God for himself – a personal relationship.

Let’s go just a little deeper for our fourth presentation.  Our relationship with God.

Luke 15:11-24

11        A certain man had two sons
12        The younger said to the father “give me my portion of goods that will be mine.”  And the man divided what he had. 
13        Not many days later, the son took all that he had and traveled to a far country and wasted all that he had on riotous living.

It is important to know God’s will and here, the younger son seems to know God’s will.  I mean, he lived with his father from infancy.  But now he was grown so he decided that he was his ‘own man’.  He was an adult.  He could make his own decisions.  So he did contrary to what he knew his father would approve.  Yet his father let him go. 

Our parents should be helping us to learn how to deal with life the best we can and hopefully, when we are ‘of age’ we’ve learned enough to survive. Likewise God gives us direction (if we listen) but then lets us make our own choices.  When we think about it, our natural life parallels or reflects our spiritual relationship with Father (the Family of God?).

14        And when he had spent all that he had, a mighty famine arose in that land and he began to be in need.
15        He hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him into the fields to feed the pigs.
16        He would have fain (desired, lusted, been in need) had he not eaten the husks which the pigs didn’t eat for no man helped him.

How often does the grass look greener on the other side of the fence?  How many of us want the ‘good life’ which we feel we can’t enjoy at home?  Once out there, he discovered that his friends were his friends as long as he entertained them.  Yet, once all his money was gone – so were all his ‘friends’.  The depth of his plight is reflected in that he had to eat what the pigs wouldn’t!  Is that desperation?

17        When he came to his senses he said “How many of my father’s hired servants have enough bread to share and here I am dying of hunger?
18       I will get up and go to my father and say to him ‘I have sinned against heaven and before you
19        I am no longer worthy to be called your son so make me as one of your hired servants’”

Fortunately (by the grace of God) the son came to his senses realizing that even his father’s servants had it way better than the situation in which found himself.   

Once we realize that we have erred from our Father’s will, we need to do what the son did – repent and humbly go back to Father, willing to accept any status less than that what we had before.  Think about it, that’s humble.  A prince to a pauper.

20        And he arose and came to his father.  Yet, while he was a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran out and fell on his neck and kissed him.

            His father didn’t chastise him as to how stupid he had been.  He was so glad to see his son, he ran out, kissed and hugged him.  (forgiveness without even being asked for - yet). 

21        and the son said to him “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight and am no longer worthy to be called your son”

The son had already asked forgiveness (in his heart) when he decided to go back to his father, yet he (the son) still needed to go before his father and ‘say it’.  So it is with us when we sin, if no one else, we sin against and/or before God.  We seek forgiveness from our heart, but we still need to speak it out before our heavenly Father.  Where other people are involved, we need to do the same and ask their forgiveness (James 5:16, 1 John 2:1).

22        But the father said to his servants “Bring the best robe and put it on him and a ring for his finger and shoes for his feet.

            The father had restored his son to full sonship.  Remember that there is joy before the angels in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). 

This passage does not ‘say’ whether the son was saved or unsaved, but this parable does imply a relationship prior to his falling away.  Father and son?  Consider, through Adam and Eve, mankind knew God from the beginning.  God knows us from before conception (Jer. 1:5).  He knows us when we give our lives to Christ and when we stray.  The parable as repentance stands for both ‘unsaved’ and ‘saved’.  Getting on track and getting back on track.  Father knows our hearts.  He knows if we are sincere or not (Matt. 15:7-9).

23        Bring the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat and be merry
24        For this my son was dead and is alive again.  He was lost and is found.  And they began to be merry.
There’s joy again.  Whether someone comes to know Jesus for the first time or if we ‘mess up’, then repent and get back into proper alignment with Father’s will.  There is joy in heaven!

Remember, the bible is not written to sinners.  The Old Testament was written to the Jews to    help them to discover God for themselves and then keep them on track (through obedience) so they can help others to enter into the kingdom of God.  they were supposed to be God’s witnesses to the world. 

The New Testament is written to the Christian church so we can get to understand ?God’s love in terms we can understand.  So we can know God for ourselves and then (through our obedience) the Holy Spirit can keep us on track so we can help others enter into the kingdom of God.  Today, we (Christians) are God’s witnesses to the world.

Just as Job knew about God, his thinking changed with his personal encounter with God.  When he came to know God – personally.  Paul knew about God.  After all he was a Pharisee (Phil. 3:4-5).  Then he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  That’s when he came to know God personally.  We go to church and do things in service and learn about God, but until we start really communicating with Him, we really don’t know Him.  When we talk with God from our heart, then we really come to know God personally.  Of course, we have to understand something about the bible in order to know to whom we are talking.

The calling, Father has given all Christians, is to draw us into a closer relationship with Jesus and live in His love so we can reach out and help others find that relationship for themselves (Matt. 28:18-20).  The biggest reset we can do, other than giving our lives to God through Jesus, is seeking our deepest, personal relationship with Him so we can help others discover a solid relationship with our heavenly Father, as well.

As with Job, our greatest restart or reset in life is getting to know God personally.  Anyone can read a book and know about God.  Our Father wants a relationship with us.  He wants to commune with us, walk with us, talk with us.  Father doesn’t just want children, He wants a friend.  Abraham believed God and was called the friend of God (James 2:23).  Moses spoke with God face to face (Exod. 33:11).  If that’s not friendship, what is?  When we are obedient to the will of God, Jesus calls us friends (John 15:15-17).  Knowing God on a personal level IS our greatest reset.  Walking with our Lord is our greatest benefit.

May the love of Jesus Christ fill our hearts.


Saturday, August 17, 2019

8-17-2019 Ten Virgins and Today’s Church

Let Me in - The Sensations 11962

I’ve shared with people before about how Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven’s valley of dry bones leads up to and impacts today’s church.  That is, the things God is preparing to do in our time – and soon.
But this time I want to talk about the ten virgins in Matthew twenty-five and put people on alert as to what God is doing today and the potential results it will have.  Or rather, should I say what we need to be doing?

1          The kingdom of heaven is compared to ten virgins and took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

            Today, the ten virgins represent the ‘church’.  The bridegroom is, of course, Jesus.  We know that the church contains both ‘sheep’ and goats’.  Sheep are those who truly love and live for the Lord.  The goats are those in the church who look like followers of Christ but their hearts are far from Him.  Sort of like when Jesus reprimanded the scribes and Pharisee for their hypocrisy (Matt. 23:24-30).  Sheep and goats are similar and we may not be able to tell them apart, but God knows their hearts and He will separate them on that day (Matt. 25:31-46).

2          Five were wise and five were foolish.

3          The five foolish virgins took only their lamps but no extra oil.

4          The wise took their lamps plus extra oil.

Jesus tells us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15).  Here the oil represents living in Jesus’ commandments which are “to love”.  Five virgins continued living in Jesus’ love, five did not.

5          The bridegroom didn’t come immediately and all the virgins slept.

Jesus told His apostles and disciples that He would come back for us but no man knows the time (Matt. 24:36).  The early disciples looked for Jesus’ return.  Here we are, two thousand years later, still looking and waiting. 

6          At midnight, the cry was made “The bridegroom comes, go out and meet him.

7          All the virgins arose and trimmed their lamps

Even after sleeping for a while, they were all still looking for the bridegroom.  Unfortunately, an implication here is that the church has fallen asleep.  Become comfortable, maybe even complacent.  But all the virgins arose and put things in order to go meet the bridegroom.  

8          But the foolish virgins said to the wise “Give us some of your oil for our lamps have gone out.”

            Oops! What has happened here?  Though looking for His return, the five foolish virgins were not living in God’s love and realized that they were lacking.  Rather than getting their own lives together, they thought they could catch a ride on the coattails of the five wise virgins.  They could get to the bridegroom on the faith of the wise virgins.  Know anybody like that today?

9          The wise replied “No, for then there not be enough for all of us.  Rather, go to those who sell and buy your own oil.”

            The five wise virgins said that they couldn’t get the lives of the five foolish virgins straightened out for them.  I mean, we’re talking about a relationship here.  That, the foolish virgins would have to do for themselves.  Were the wise virgins being selfish by not sharing?  I don’t think so.  Should we hang around garbage long enough we start acting, looking and smelling like garbage.  The things around us drag us down to their level.  The foolish virgins were asking to enter into the faith of the wise.  To live off of their relationship with God.  My relationship with God is ‘my’ relationship.  One on one.  I can point someone in the right direction, but I can’t give anyone some of my faith, my relationship.  Take note in reading the gospels.  Though Jesus refused no one who was sincerely seeking Him, instead of sinking to their level, He brought them up to His.  “Go and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).  The wise virgins pointed the foolish in the right direction.

10        And while the foolish virgins were out buying, the bridegroom came.  Those who were ready went to the marriage with him and the door was shut behind them.

            The foolish virgins went out trying to figure out how to get their lives together.  Their lamps had gone out.  They had lost their love for the Lord and now they were trying to get it back.  In the meantime, “back at the ranch house”. The bridegroom had taken those five virgins, who were ready, to His house.  Isn’t it interesting, those who were ready when Jesus called entered into His house and into His eternal rest.  Those who were not ready (when the call comes) well, read on.

11        After a time, the five foolish virgins came saying “Lord, open up to us.”

Think about this part here.  The five foolish virgins knew where the bridegroom lived. They knew how to get ‘saved’.  They just didn’t persevere in God’s love.  Maybe they were beset by hard times.  Maybe things just didn’t go the way they thought things should.  Maybe they didn’t get recognition in the church.  Maybe they never really knew the Lord but were just treading water hoping that was enough because they were associated with God’s people.  We can speculate all day on “why”.  The point is that they didn’t persevere with the Lord nor did they repent.  When the Lord was ready, they weren’t! 

12        But the bridegroom responded “Truly, I don’t know you

Did you notice that the foolish virgins didn’t knock (Luke 11:9)?  But knocking requires a level of faith – believing that the door will be opened.  In faith it will, but they yelled.  The bridegroom’s response, however, puts those five foolish virgins in the place of that perhaps they never really knew the love of Christ.  Like when Jesus blasted the scribes and Pharisee when He called them a whited sepulcher (Matt. 23:27).  They knew the law, but didn’t keep it themselves.  They knew what God expected but they selfishly lived their own lives for their own gain.  When we truly live in ignorance and “don’t know”, Jesus will bear with us drawing us closer. BUT when we know better and still refuse (2 Peter 2:21), that’s when Jesus will lower the boom!

13        Watch, for we don’t know the day nor the hour when the Son of man comes.

Consider the bride as she prepares for her wedding.  She does everything she can to look the best she can for husband-to-be.  Should we be doing any less when our Lord calls?

We don’t know exactly when Jesus is coming back for us.  He does give us indications when that time is nearing.  Wars, rumor of wars, natural disasters going bananas, men against men, etc.   Take note that even though the disciples anticipated and hoped for Jesus’ return back in their day, things are a little different today.  All the signs we are seeing today were not prevalent back then. Read Matthew chapter twenty-four to see the signs of the end times. 

Paul tells us to persevere (Psalm 119:1-8, Phil. 3:12-21).  Run the race and don’t quit (1 Corinth. 8:23-27).  Remember that childhood song “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”?  Our light shines, as we live for Christ, in this world.  God made us in His image (Gen. 1:27)!  I believe this carries a physical and spiritual connotation.  Even though God is Spirit (John 4:24), He allowed Moses to see His backside (Exod. 33:20-23).  This implies that God may be constructed, shaped, like us; head, body, arms and legs.  But God is pure love (1 John 4:7-8) personified and God is Spirit (John 4:23-24).  To be in God’s image is to live in His love.  That is to be a true reflection of that love so that those around us may see God’s love reflected in our lives.  So we persevere in living God’s love in this world that the world can see His love – in operation.

Jesus tells us that He will be with us always (Heb. 13:5-6) so we don’t have to face life in this world alone.  Jesus tells us to take ‘His yoke’ for it is easy to bear (Matt. 11:29-30).  Jesus desires us to be one with Him and the Father (John 14:10-21). 

The five foolish virgins seemed to love God, but they didn’t continue in His true love.  The five wise virgins continued in God’s love until and into their “homecoming”. 

We have a choice.  We can join the devil, the ‘beast’ and his false prophet in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10-15) by not letting God be a part of or remain in our lives.  Or, because we have persevered in His love, we can experience the new heaven and earth with Christ Jesus where there is no more death or sorrow (Rev. 21:1-5).

The ten virgins represent today’s church.  In this world, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ abiding together until the angels separate us (Matt. 25:31-46).  The question is: Are we foolish?  Or are we wise?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

8/3/19       God Hates Religion

                                                      True Religion

Whoa!  Whoa! How can God hate Christianity which He created through Jesus, the Christ?

I didn’t say God hates true Christianity.  I said God hates religion.  When we come before Him with a good and true heart.  Father honors and respects that.

Consider, before Jesus stirred up the hornet’s nest, the church was the Jewish church, the synagogue.  Remember, the early disciples focused on bringing the gospel to God’s people, the Jews.  It wasn’t until Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch and sometime during the year they spent there, the term “Christian was birthed” (Acts 11:25-26).

Apparently, followers of Jesus had been referred to as the “Nazarenes”.  This is was indicated when Tertulus addressed the governor Felix concerning Paul, whom he claimed, was a part of a sect called the Nazarenes (Acts 24:1-5).

Felix, in response to Tertulus implies that this same sect may also have been referred to as the “Way” (Acts 24:22).

Bear in mind that Jesus brought “salvation” to the Jews (first), but He did not refuse the Gentiles, as demonstrated with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42) and the Centurion (Luke 7:1-10).  After Jesus’ ascension, Peter, John, James, Matthew and rest also went to the Jews.  Then, after his conversion, Paul was charged to bring the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9:13-16).  Yet, even though, he went to the Jews first (Acts 18:6).

No matter what we call the early church, even though they started as a part of, they became separate from “main stream church”.  The main stream church was the synagogue, that is, except for the Gentiles who were worshipping idols.  They were not welcome bringing their ‘Jesus heresy’ into the church.

God hates religion?  Let’s take a look at two definitions:

Religion           service & worship of God o or supernatural, commitment, devotion or observance of a ‘religious’ faith,   Personal or institutionalized system belief system, attitudes, beliefs or practices,  conformity to principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor  or faith.
Faith                allegiance, trust, loyalty (to God), complete confidence, belief – especially where there is no proof

Notice the basic difference.  Religion is following a system whereas faith is trust and having allegiance.  Yes, there is an element of faith in religion, but the focus is on its principles.

Matt. 23:1-33             (verses ‘Ledfordized for easier reading)
Jesus spoke to the crowds and His disciples
Saying: The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses seat.
Therefore, whatever they tell you to say or do, you say and do but don’t follow their actions for they don’t do those things themselves.
They put heavy burdens upon you which are burdensome to be borne upon your shoulders yet they won’t lift one finger to lift the same burden.
Everything they do is a show for men.  They carry large belt packets and broaden the borders of their garments
They love sitting in the upper rooms at feasts and sitting in the seats in the synagogues set aside for the most important people.
They love being greeted in the markets and being called ‘Rabbi’.
But don’t you be called Rabbi for we have one master, Christ.  We are all brothers
Call no human your Father for we have one Father which is in heaven.
Neither call anyone master for we have one master and that is Christ.
He who thinks He is great, let him be our servant.
Let no one exalt himself but rather become lowly and in humbling himself, he shall be exalted.
But woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You close heaven’s doors to men.  You don’t even enter in yourselves and prohibit others from entering.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You take widow’s houses and pretend to make long prayer, therefore, you shall receive the greater damnation.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You scour the land and the sea to make another a Jewish convert and once he becomes one, you make him double the child of hell than yourselves.
Woe to you who are blind guides and say ‘it means nothing if you swear by the temple, but you sin if you swear by the gold in the temple.’
Fools and blind!  Which is greater, the gold or the temple which sanctifies the gold?
You say it is nothing to swear by the altar but if you swear by the gift upon the altar, you are guilty.
Fools, blind, which is greater, the gift or the altar which sanctifies the gift? 
Therefore anyone who swears by the altar swears by the altar and all things upon it.
And anyone who swears by the temple, he swears by Him who dwells therein (God – in case you don’t know whose house the temple is).
He who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and He who sits upon it.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You pay a tithe on your money and possessions but you neglect weightier matters like the law, judgment, mercy and faith.  Yes, you should have given your tithes, but also should have done these other things as well.
You are blind guides who strain at a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You wash the outside of the cup and plate but inside is still full of extortions and even that to excess (abundantly).
You blind Pharisee, cleanse the inside of the cup and platter first, for then the outside will also be clean. 
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You are like the graves which are bleached white on the outside and look beautiful but on the inside all they have are the bones of dead men and uncleanness.
Likewise, outwardly you look good to men but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and sin.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees.  You hypocrites!  You build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the sepulchers of the righteous.
And you say had we lived in the times of our forefathers, we would not have joined them in taking the blood of the prophets.
Yet you are a witness to yourselves that you are the children of those who killed the prophets.
You are filled with the same measure of your fathers.
You serpents!  You vipers!  How can you escape the damnation of hell?
There are only a few verses left to the chapter, but why God hates religion is already said.  Here we just left out the ‘results’ of practicing “religion” and not faith.  I think this passage speaks very plainly about how the church leaders conducted themselves.
God gave the “Law” to the Jews through Moses.  Yet, over time we see that the Jews no longer
truly worshipped “I AM” (Yaweh), but they endeavored to appear to fervently follow the Law.  But the ‘Law’ became their true focus of what they worshipped and was expressed through how good they tried to look before the people.

Now, not all scribes, Pharisee and Rabbi, were corrupt and to remind you, they all knew the law and observed it outwardly.  But as we see in our passage, their inner man was not on the same page. 

Some examples of some of those on the right track were Nicodemus (John 3:1-9, John 7:50-51) John 19:39) and a counselor, Joseph of Arimathea (Luke 23:50-52).  Now the Pharisee were supposed to be experts in the law which brings us to Saul (Paul), a Pharisee of Pharisee (Phil. 3:1-6) who did convert and followed Jesus (Acts 9:1-20).  He became the crux of the gospel for us Gentiles.

Now, note the definition for religion.  Religion follows rules and regulations and yes, we need structure, but consider the world’s religions.  All have guides for the ‘believer’ to follow in order to attain eternity.  And many of those followers believe those rules emphatically.  But when we remove the “prophet” from the picture, the people can still attain eternity through the rules and regulations.  Their prophet only pointed them in the right direction (in accordance to their beliefs).
Here is where Christianity differs from all the other world religions.  Jesus is our “Prophet” but if we take Jesus out of the equation, all we’re left with is a good standard for living -  not eternal security.  Jesus says that we must come to the Father through Him.  There is no other way (John 14:16).  Works don’t get Christians into heaven, but our works are a product because we are heaven bound (Rom. 3:20-31, James 2:14-26).

In our passage, Jesus explains the problem with ‘just doing’ the works with no substance in belief.  Oh, yeah.  The scribes and Pharisee believed what they were doing but they did those things for the wrong reasons: personal satisfaction and personal gain.  God (the Creator) had no part in their hearts. 

The danger with religion is that we may become so wrapped up showing others that we’re OK by doing the right things and that by doing them, we’re really good people.  ‘True religion’ must include an element of faith yet that faith must be pointed in the right direction.  Make no mistake, other religions truly believe (for the most part) that they are right, but their religion is based on their works, not faith in a living God.

In many religions, man just morphs (through his own efforts) into a better being eventually becoming an eternal being of pure energy (I guess).  But he practices being good.  Interesting how man has made ‘gods’ out of those who never claimed to be (do a little research on religions).  Jesus did claim to be equal with God (John 5:18).

With Christianity, without Jesus we have no eternity.  We have a nice guide for living life today, but no hope for tomorrow.  Are we the crazy ones?  Most of the world considers Jesus nothing more than a great prophet or teacher, if they consider Him at all. 

Look at the options.  Some people think that this life is it.  There is nothing after this life.  Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow there is nothing for us.  Many believe that being “good”, following a set of rules, gets us into eternity.  Some believe that if I come back into this world enough times I will eventually become good enough to become eternal.  But if there is a true, living God, these concepts result in a very tragic end, hellfire and brimstone (Rev. 20:11-15). 

Too many people think that as long as they live a good life and don’t violate the Ten Commandments, Father won’t deny them heaven.  But God holds us accountable even for the desires of our hearts (Matt. 5:28).  Paul provides us a list of type of people who will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  And remember, Paul wrote his letters to the church!  Those who thought they were heaven bound!  Many of these people haven’t done anything that is horribly bad (outwardly), but to a man (or woman), they will not have kept God’s love (1 Corinth. 6:9-11).  If we err, we must repent and turn back into living for God to assure our eternity (Rom. 3:22-23, 1 John 2:1).

Father desires us to love Him with all our heart (Matt. 22:37-38) for He knows we can’t live for Him and the devil at the same time (Matt. 6:24).  He knows that those things that we think on and desire the most is where our heart is (Matt. 6:21).  He desires us to be one with Him, that is, He should be our best and dearest friend (John 17:20-21).

God hates religion!  When loving Him is not a part of the equation.  We worship Him in love by learning exactly what His love is and living in it.  Following religion without true love is just following a bunch of rules and guidelines which, in deed, may make us ‘good’ people in the sight of man yet our hearts may be as black as the night. 

The scribes and Pharisee did the right things but their hearts were not with the Creator of all things.  Jesus berated them for not staying true to God. 

Look at the church today.  Are we truly staying true to God?  Some yes, some definitely not.  As with the church Jesus “came down upon”, our lips and deeds may say “I’m OK”, but our hearts are far from Him.  We are not perfect but we should be continually moving into a closer relationship with the Father through Jesus, our Lord.

Living in God’s love brings us the assurance of eternity.  The apostle John tells the church that he wrote his letters that they might know that in believing on the name of Jesus brings eternal life and thereby they may now they have eternal life because they live for and in Jesus (1 John, 5:11-13).  And we might add that along with John’s work, the entire bible (Genesis to Revelation) is a testimony to Jesus.

Our security in eternity is exemplified by the fact that God’s love abounds in our hearts or, at least, we are moving in the right direction.  Yes, we are a work in progress.  But let’s permit the love of God grow in our hearts.

Yes, when religion does not contain the primary element of loving Him – THEN God hates religion!