Tuesday, August 11, 2009

“A Story of Three Men / or A Parable of the Trustworthy King?”

“A Story of Three Men /or
A Parable of the Trustworthy King?”

The Kingdom of God is similar this story:

There was a certain King who was the most righteous and noble of all kings, famous for his mighty deeds and known for His godly character. One day, He was deeply grieved because some of his own servants had betrayed him and rebelled against his father’s kingdom. He was not surprised, for many people did the same to his father. Therefore, he set it in his heart to obey the command of his father, “let us dwell not only with loyal servants but among a people to receive as our own. Ones who will love and trust us as sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters do.”

So, he began searching the entire earth for trustworthy people to call his own and fellowship with: that they would experience the love that he and his father shared together. During his adventures, he once traveled as a Sheppard, allowing humble garments to temporarily veil his royal clothing.

Eventually, he came upon a large city that was full of wickedness, and met three people outside its gates; an angry person, an indecisive one, and friend with a soft heart.

The first man came running from the opposite direction and rushes towards the city. He attempted to push the king aside, but the famous one was as an unmovable rock and kept him from his pursuit of wickedness. This man became angry and yelled at Him, “Who are you to get in my way?” So, the king revealed himself, but the angry one did not believe him. “You can’t be this man who you claim to be. I have heard many different things from all kinds of people regarding the king and he is not like you. Besides he does not come this way.” However, before the angry one could leave, the king warned him once more, “I tell you the truth, I AM. Also, if you continue on this path, you will surely die tonight. Rather, believe me for who I am. Come sup (eat) with me tonight, that you may dwell in my father’s house as one of our own. Then you we would trust one another and you will surly have abundant life and not taste death.” The man did not listen or heed the king’s godly warning and invitation, but hurried off into the city and pursued all his sinful desires.

A second man was wondering indecisively back and forth outside the city entrance, and asked the godly king for advice. They immediately recognized each other, and began walking and talking together.Then the trustworthy king invited him as he did with so many others, “Come sup (eat) with me, and dwell in my father’s house as a member of my own family. I will give you rest for your weary soul and you will have life. Then we might trust one another and live in peace.” The indecisive man was flattered by the request, but politely declined, “Though you are very willing to help me and I remember how trustworthy and powerful you are, I must do as I please for now. Later I will come, after short while. Once I have tried my own way in this city, doing all that I want with my own strength Then, I will surly come.” The trustworthy king was deeply saddened once more, but not surprised. He replied gently, “I tell you the truth, you are right in saying that I AM. Though my invitation is always yours, if you continue on this path you will surely die this very night while you sleep in your drunkenness. Rather, believe me for who I am ever more. Come follow me, be with me forever and you will most assuredly have life to the fullest.” However, the man convinced himself that he would come later and insisted that he go his own way for a period of time.

A third man was traveling in the same direction as the godly king and following in his footsteps along the same path. He begins walking beside him. “It is you!” he shouts joyfully, “Just as I have heard from your trusted friends! I too, am in search of those with good character that we might be as brothers and dwell in peace together. Yet, I am tired from the trials of my journey; let’s stop in the city for a while. I know this place is evil, so we won’t stay long.” He then led him to the entrance of the city gates but the good king stopped and rebuked him gently, “if you continue on this path, you will surely die tonight.” Then the tired one, in holy fear, took him at his word and believed. So, he asked, “My gracious king, you are truly greater than all man I have ever known. Say the word, and I will obey. Therefore, tell me how I may find life instead of death?” The king answered, “You have brought me great delight good and faithful servant. For I know you will believe me for who I am and serve me through the ends of your days. Come, you are now my brother. Follow me, and we will sup (eat) together, and dwell with my father in peace. Then, you will have the abundant life you seek.”Immediately, he came to his senses and heeded the words of the king. Therefore, they turned around and did as the king had instructed.

Later that very night, just as the king prophesied, a band of robbers came and burned the wicked city to the ground. Everyone there, including the first two men, was killed. Though they were warned by the most trustworthy of all men, and the greatest king is history, they did not believe.

On his journey, the king found more people who would not repent and take his hand, but the countless others who longed for the love of his father and joined him became as numerous as the stars.


The Meaning:
The godly king one represents Christ, the King of all kings: God Himself inviting men to His home (Heaven) to be one with Him, and adopting them as sons of God. The angry man is in rebellion towards God and knows his own selfishness and stubbornness. He persists to do things his way and dies because he did not believe God that “the road to destruction is wide.” Instead, this person believed what others people said and even believed wrongly or incorrectly about God. The second man is someone who is familiar with God but never knew Him intimately. He wants to join God, but is led astray by the world and his own sinful desires. The third is one who is in continual search for God, but has worn himself out by trying to do much of his rightful journey by his own strength. He begins towards destruction, but his childlike faith, given him by the Holy Spirit causes him to heed (trust and obey) the word of the Lord instead. The wicked city burning to the ground represents “the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth” that Jesus calls Hell or Hades. The two men made their choice and the righteous man his as well. What will yours be? Proverbs of Solomon: There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death: Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but the will of God prevails:Trust in the LORD with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledged Him and He will direct your paths. Also, Isaiah prophesied, “there is not one person righteous, we have all like sheep, gone astray to our own wicked ways.”-

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Birds and the Bees: What’s Up With That? A Sex Life vs. Life-Sex:

Theme verses: Galation 5:16 “So I tell you: Live by following the Spirit. Then you will not do what your sinful selves want.17 Our sinful selves want what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against our sinful selves. The two are against each other, so you cannot do just what you please.18 But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law. 19 The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: being sexually unfaithful, not being pure, taking part in sexual sins,20 worshiping gods, doing witchcraft, hating, making trouble, being jealous, being angry, being selfish, making people angry with each other, causing divisions among people,21 feeling envy, being drunk, having wild and wasteful parties, and doing other things like these. I warn you now as I warned you before: Those who do these things will not inherit God's kingdom.22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do.25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit.26 We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.”

The Birds and the Bees:
What’s Up With That?
Sex Life vs. Life Sex:

I remember when I was in fifth grade and a nurse came into our homeroom to teach us sexual- education. She told all the girls that, depending on their ovulation cycles, every time they have unprotected sex, they have of chance of becoming pregnant. I didn’t really understand the cycles of the female body at that time, being of the male gender. However, I did understand what the nurse, as well as my parents, were trying to say. They made it clear to me that sex is not only for fun, it’s for making babies too.

Why am stating the obvious? Well, as I grew older and more exposed to the world around me, pop culture seemed to bombard us with a very different message from what we were taught about the “birds and the bees.” Television, magazines, and most films conveyed the idea of “sex for pleasure” as more significant than sex for reproduction. Where is the balance. I’d see countless episodes of TV dramas and movies with scenarios such as this: a man is at a party and suddenly notices a dazzling young beauty from across the room. They make eye contact and instantly the viewer is taken to a bedroom scene. The two strangers are now having sexual intercourse without even learning each other’s names. Finally, they spend the rest of the movie getting to know one another, and possibly falling in and out of love, several times. So, according to holly-wood, are we actually supposed to think that romance comes with, sex first, than a relationship, and eventually, marriage.... maybe. Adults can be such hypocrites! Didn’t the little girls in your town sing, “Ken and Barbie, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COME MARRIAGE, THEN COME KENNY IN THE BABY CARRIAGE. When did sex become more like a handshake, instead of an intimate and private thing between a man and his wife, or Mommy and Daddy?

I was just as stunned as you. Between birth control, abortion, and the mass media, I wouldn’t be surprised if some kids today are more confused than I was. Birth control and contraceptives introduced what many call “safe sex.” I was under the impression that abstinence and a monogamous relationship was the safest way for a healthy sexual relationship to be nurtured. Some view me as old-fashioned in this regard. Whatever you believe about birth control, that is not my concern. I am not against contraceptives, I just think that they are a privilege, and in a face paced society, privileges can be abused and perverted. Perhaps, the pleasure and simplicity of sex has been overexposed or exploited and most definitely, overemphasized in this culture. For example: have you ever heard someone say, “I had know idea I was going to get pregnant?” Was it really that unexpected? I understand that they were using birth control, and weren't planning on it, but are some people actually forgetting that large amounts of sexual activity actually promotes reproduction and may increase the chances of pregnancies?
I believe that history shows us that cultures in every major time-frame have struggled with these types of issues with sexuality. So, I’m not shocked at what I see in American culture. Rather, I’m shocked that people are so forgetful of the facts of life.
When did we forget that reproduction comes from either having sex at the right time or having lot‘s of it for long periods of time, and that “Sex CAN equal reproduction.” It’s not just for our enjoyment, but for creating families and furthering the human race and the Kingdom of God as well. We all know what a “sex life” is, but many fail to grasp what I refer to as “life sex” or a monogamous sexual relationship with one life-long and exclusive partner in order to create the potential of a family unit. Hmmm... sounds like marriage? Maybe some in the culture don’t want us to think of sex as something responsible and mature people do. If pleasure has consequences, than one might have to be careful and exercise self-control. Without meaningless pleasure and countless sex partners, might some people get bored? No, they would then be forced by their own consciences to seek purpose in life, instead of the constant pursuit of pleasure and good feelings. Also, they would have to hold themselves accountable. However, this would require divine intervention, and possibly values and conviction. Honestly though, how many of those in the mass media and worldly culture do you know that are ready to have convictions about things like self-control? They traditionally have convictions about issues like the environment and civil rights, but not about self-control and patience. For example: Hollywood would not be a billion dollar industry if their viewers had more self control. If people shut off the television and experienced more of real life while sitting at home, and spent money on more valuable things than cable and pay per view, it would be broke.. I don’t know, but I will personally continue to encourage “life sex” and discourage multiple partners and sexual promiscuity. How about you? When in doubt Jesus said “ a tree is known by it’s fruit.” Let’s ask the Holy Spirit for the fruits that He has for us like love, longsuffering , patience and self control… to name a few.-