Episode 263-When Faith & Reality Collide Part 4: Stand by Faith

Disciple Up #263
Contact – When Faith & Reality Collide
Part 4: Stand by Faith
By Louie Marsh, 6-15-2022

When I live by faith I…

1) STAND for the truth regardless of the consequences.

23  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrews 11:23 (ESV)

15  Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16  “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” Exodus 1:15-16 (ESV)

2) REJECT the temporary and focus on the eternal.

24  By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25  choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Hebrews 11:24-25 (ESV)

  • Disgrace for the sake of Christ is BETTER than the praise of the world.

26  He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:26 (ESV)

3) REJOICE that Jesus forgives my sin.

28  By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them. Hebrews 11:28 (ESV)

26  Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28 (ESV)

4) FOLLOW God through any and all obstacles.

27  By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible 29  By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. Hebrews 11:27, 29 (ESV)

17  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 (ESV)

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When Faith & Reality Collide Pt 3: Looking For An Eternal City

Contact! When Faith Collides with Reality
Pt. 3, Looking For An Eternal City
By Louie Marsh, 11-19-2017

1) Faith always moves me into the UNKNOWN.

8  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9  By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10  For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 (ESV)

  • Faith always deals with the

11  By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12  Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. Hebrews 11:11-12 (ESV)

2) Faith always demands that I SACRIFICE.

17  By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19  He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. Hebrews 11:17-19 (ESV)

24  But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 25  David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. 2 Samuel 24:24-25 (NIV)

  • Faith demands I sacrifice my HEARTS DESIRE.

20  By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21  By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22  By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones. Hebrews 11:20-22 (ESV)

1  After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:1-2 (ESV)

3) Faith always focuses on what’s BEYOND THIS WORLD.

13  These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14  For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15  If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. Hebrews 11:13-15 (ESV)

  • Faith leads me to focus on BETTER THINGS.

16  But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16 (ESV)

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Episode 261-Contact When Faith & Reality Collide Pt 2

Disciple Up #261
Contact, When Faith & Reality Collide
Part Two: The Nature of Faith
By Louie Marsh, 6-1-2022

The American philosopher Henry David Thoreau is famous for the remark “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” That is a good description of the men and women listed here. They hear another drumbeat which others do not, and this accounts for the way they often act contrary to normal expectations. The first three examples, Abel, Enoch and Noah, show us the nature of faith. The rest show how faith behaves in real life.

1) Faith in Christ makes what I do PLEASING TO HIM.

4  By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts…Hebrews 11:4a (ESV)

The word “acceptable” is pleiona, which means “greater” or “more important” as suggested by its use in

23  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Luke 12:23 (ESV)

The reason suggested is that it came from a heart made righteous by faith!

 9  …For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. Romans 4:9b (ESV)

“Sacrifice is acceptable to God not for its material content, but in so far as it is the outward expression of a devoted and obedient heart” FF Bruce

Cain’s offering was rejected because a heart of pride and self-sufficiency lay behind it. This explanation fits well with the context of Hebrews where the writer repeatedly warns against possessing “an evil heart of unbelief.”

2) Faith continues to speak long after I am GONE.

And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:4b (ESV)

10  And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:10 (ESV)

24  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:24 (ESV)

It is often suggested that the blood of Abel cries out for the final vindication promised to all the saints (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7), but the blood of Jesus speaks of proffered forgiveness.

6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels” (2 Thessalonians 1:6–7, ESV)

3) Faith makes me PLEASING TO GOD.

5  By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6  And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:5-6 (ESV)

  • Enoch didn’t follow God for 65 YEARS.

21  When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22  Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:21-22 (ESV)

  • He CHOSE TO FOLLOW GOD after his first son was born.

5  The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 (ESV)

  • I cannot find or please God apart from having faith in His SELF-REVELATION.

4) Faith MOTIVATES ME.

7  By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household…Hebrews 11:7a (ESV)

17  So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17 (ESV)

  • Faithful acts make the world’s corruption PLAIN.

By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7b (ESV)

19  And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. John 3:19 (ESV)

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Episode 257: Can You Trust Your Pastor?

Disciple Up # 257
Can You Trust Your Pastor?
By Louie Marsh, 5-5-2022

https://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2022/spring/pastoral-credibility-erodes-resilient-glenn-packiam.html

https://churchleaders.com/news/417918-barna-glenn-packiam-american-pastors-credibility.html

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Episode 256-Silly Things that Christians Say & Believe

Disciple Up #256
Silly Things Christians Say & Believe
By Louie Marsh, 4-27-2022

Intro. Just to show you we aren’t the only ones acting very silly if not downright disgusting sometimes: https://sheershanews.net/men-gang-rape-kill-and-eat-endangered-monitor-lizard/

“Christlikeness is a journey, not a destination. The joy is in the journey.” – Charles R. Swindoll

https://directors.tfionline.com/post/more-jesus-reflections-christlikeness/

https://www.wisefamousquotes.com/quotes-about-journey-not-the-destination/

By saying Christlikeness – is to admit that this is the goal! Example of me going to Texas.

Becoming like Christ is both a journey and a goal, and we won’t be done with either one in this lifetime that’s for sure. If it’s not a goal why did Paul write this?

7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7–11, ESV)

12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:12–16, ESV)

8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8–10, ESV)

“Love Always Wins” –

Probably taken from what Gandhi first said which was…” When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.”

The movie about his life ends with this quote.

16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:16–19, ESV)

13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13–14, ESV)

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1–4, ESV)

8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8–9, ESV)

30“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”” (Ezekiel 18:30–32, ESV)

10“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?11Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:10–11, ESV)

Love always ends makes perfect sense if you are a universalist, but if you take the New Testament seriously, then you believe that Hell is real and awful beyond belief and that means God’s love doesn’t always win. And if His doesn’t then mine sure won’t either!

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Episode 255-Persecution – A New Testament Perspective

Disciple Up # 255
Persecution: A New Testament Perspective
By Louie Marsh

 

News Story Quoted:

 https://www.christianpost.com/news/street-preacher-cleared-of-hate-speech-for-preaching-from-bible.html

What Does the New Testament Say About This?

18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ 26“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning. 1“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.” (John 15:18–16:4, ESV)

16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:16–22, ESV)

29Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29–30, ESV)

10You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:10–13, ESV)

9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10, ESV)

3that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” (1 Thessalonians 3:3–4, ESV)

12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:12–17, ESV)

16“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16, ESV)

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Episode 254

Disciple Up # 254
Easter – Up Close & Personal
By Louie Marsh, 4-13-2022

The Resurrection shows me that…

1) Jesus cares about me as an INDIVIDUAL!

But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16:7 (NIV)

2) Jesus gives me REASONS FOR FAITH

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, Luke 24:40-42 (NIV)

 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is God’s powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way. This Good News tells us that God makes us ready for heaven–makes us right in God’s sight–when we put our faith and trust in Christ to save us. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scripture says it, “The man who finds life will find it through trusting God.” Romans 1:16-17 (TLB)

3) Jesus wants me focused on God’s WORD.

Then he began with Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets to explain to them what was said about him throughout the Scriptures. Luke 24:27 (GW)

  • Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Luke 24:45-48 (NIV)

4) Jesus confronts my sin to BRING ME BACK to him.

  • Things that I’ve DONE.

 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.” Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.” Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?” Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.” John 21:15-22 (MSG)

 My inner THOUGHTS & BELIEFS

 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:24-29 (NIV)

5) Jesus wants me to have the Holy Spirit’s POWER!

“I’m sending you what my Father promised. Wait here in the city until you receive power from heaven.” Luke 24:49 (GW)

19On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19–22, ESV)

My Holy Spirit Book: https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Spirit-Just-Another-Book/dp/1731332114/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1ARB5FBOFTUD4&keywords=every+day+in+the+spirit&qid=1649712062&sprefix=every+day+in+the+spirit%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-1

and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 1:4 (NIV)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (GW)

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Episode 253 When Culture & Christianity Clash

Disciple Up # 253
How Do Disciples Deal with Culture?
By Louie Marsh, 4-6-2022

Articles Referenced:

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/christ-and-culture-five-views

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/christ-and-culture-an-overview-of-a-christian-classic/

Some truths about ALL cultures:

 They are created by the tradition of fallen human beings and therefore at many points will disagree if not outright contradict the Bible.

  • While culture itself doesn’t need to be fought – its influence does!
  • If we put culture above Christ and His Word eventually, we will end up compromising our very faith away.
  • If the church is no different from the culture at large, what good is it and why would anyone need or want it?
  • What we call culture the New Testament calls the “world.” The Greek word is kosmos and refers to an organized system of thought and action i.e. culture.

Relevant Bible Verses:

1I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2, ESV)

15Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17, ESV)

18“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:18–25, ESV)

1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:1–2, ESV)

11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:11, ESV)

16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22(referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” (Colossians 2:16–23, ESV)

14For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” (Ephesians 2:14–19, ESV)

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Episode 251

Disciple Up # 251
Responding To Injustice
By Louie Marsh, 3-23-2022

Article Read From:

https://outreachmagazine.com/features/18622-3-christian-responses-to-injustice.html

  • Lament
  • Anger
  • Mindfulness

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/when-injustice-seems-prevail/

Other responses:

  • Get the Big Picture and make sure you know the FACTS!!
  • Prayer
  • Giving/support either financial, physical or other (use your time, talent and treasure).
  • Let your voice be heard – use social media to let everyone know about this injustice and ways it can be ended.
  • Stay informed

Ways I Shouldn’t Respond:

In emotion only – halfcocked.

Based on secondhand information

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Episode 250

Disciple Up #250
Ukraine: Love Your Enemies
By Louie Marsh

Introduction: Give what’s happening in the Ukraine today, not to mention Myanmar (Burma) and many other places, I thought it was well past time to take a close look at how loving our enemies fits into wars and other situations where violence seems to be the only way to defend the innocent and stop evil from murder and destruction on a mass scale.

Links consulted for this podcast:

https://gratefulness.org/resource/love-your-enemies/

https://www.vulture.com/2022/02/annalynne-mccord-putin-poem-russia-ukraine.html

https://www.pray.com/articles/love-your-enemies-what-it-means-and-examples-on-how-to-do-so

https://www.theleadermaker.com/love-your-enemies-what-it-really-means/

Scripture Does Not Teach Pacifism:

14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”” (Luke 3:14, ESV)

36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”” (John 18:36, ESV)

3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:3–4, ESV)

Jesus Did Teach We Owe Our Government Something

 15Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.” (Matthew 22:15–22, ESV)

 13Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.” (1 Peter 2:13–14, ESV)

Does this include military service? Does this mean I must kill for my country when I believe the cause is just?

27“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 32“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27–36, ESV)

Sermon outtakes on Luke 6:20-31

But notice when Jesus gives us a list of seven ways we should behave toward our enemies, forgiveness isn’t one of them. He says do good to them, bless them, pray for them, offer the other cheek, give to them, let them take from you, do not ask for restitution. But he doesn’t say “forgive.” Why not? I think the answer is, because he is talking about hatred and abuse and violence that is still going on. To forgive something that is still going on is a kind of category mistake. Jesus gives us plenty of ways to respond and engage while the hostile and cruel and destructive actions are still going on. But forgiveness has to wait until the activity is over. You can’t forgive something that is still going on, because that seems to be saying that what is going on is the whole story and therefore that it’s somehow ok. This is the force, it seems to me, behind the mother in the baptism story saying about the person who had dominated her life and overshadowed her relationship with God, “ BUT JESUS DID – Father forgive them …

 So what does loving mean, in the face of hatred and hostility, if it doesn’t mean being a doormat and it doesn’t mean a warm feeling? It means carefully and doggedly, not passionately or sentimentally, following the words of Jesus and the seven actions he commends to us. First, “Do good to those who hate you.” Say by your actions, “However much you hate me I will never hate you.” Remember this will end. Don’t let these people turn you into a monster. Repay evil with good. Second, “Bless those who hate you.” Mind your speech. Try not to lose your temper. Think of those who are hating and hurting you and see them as tiny children they once were, longing for trust and safety, and speak to them as if they were still those children. Third, “Pray for those who abuse you.” As I have said, sometimes abuse is incredibly difficult to become disentangled from. Remember God is always as much a part of any story as you are. In prayer, ask God to be made present not just to you but to your enemy. Fourth, “Offer the other cheek.” In other words, not just don’t get into a fight, because then there’ll be no difference between you and them, but don’t let those who hate you think you can be intimidated by violence. Offering the other cheek means saying “I’m not going to accept that violence trumps everything else.” Fifth, “Don’t withhold your shirt.” In other words, surprise your enemy with your generosity, and thus show your enemies you have not become like them. Sixth, “Give to everyone who begs.” Remember that, even when you can only think of how you’ve been hurt, there is always someone worse off than you, and reaching out to them is a way of rescuing yourself from self-pity. And seventh, “Don’t ask for your property back.” I think this means remember you will lose everything when you die so start living toward your possessions in such a way that they don’t determine who you are. When we reach the end of this list we realize that what Jesus has just described is what is about to happen to him

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43–48, ESV)

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14–21, ESV

Loving of enemies is always directed at INDIVIDUALS and their dealings with PERSONAL foes. Nowhere did Jesus tell us what the GOVERNMENT should do about war and bloodshed.

This is True in BOTH Testaments:

5If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.” (Exodus 23:5, ESV)

17Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. 19Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, 20for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.” (Proverbs 24:17–20, ESV)

29“If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me, or exulted when evil overtook him 30(I have not let my mouth sin by asking for his life with a curse),” (Job 31:29–30, ESV)

So We Must Submit to Our Governing Authorities…

1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1–7, ESV

…Unless they Contradict God’s Word

27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:27–29, ESV)

SO, WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?

Can I love my enemy and kill him to protect the innocent and restrain evil?

My Dad’s story, and many other’s who’ve fought war as well.

Classic illustration: Someone breaks into your house and is going to rape and kill your children. You have a gun, do you shoot him?

The painful reality of choosing the Lesser of Two Evils.

It’s bad to allow someone to be killed, BUT it’s also bad to kill. In the above, no-win situation, what do you do? Most would say use the gun and I would agree with that. We have to choose between the lesser of two evil’s.

But it’s done as a last resort, in sorrow and with as little personal hatred as possible.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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