Tag Archives: Noah’s day

For those Christians who say they are the Victim

You Are Not A Victim

Nova Scotia, Canada

Nova Scotia, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul Van Buren, a preacher born in Nova Scotia, Canada who lived in so many places since then considers himself to be called by God at the age of 19 but knows that calling was knit into him before his birth.

Being a father of 11 children and husband to a most wonderful lady, he is the pastor of a Holy Spirit directed church in LaSalle, Quebec where  he is having the time of his life. On his Pastor’s Blog he writes that it frustrates him when Christians play the part of victim.

He writes:

Victimized Christians do not know who they are in Jesus and it is a shame that they are wasting the precious days they have been given in this world.

Probably he thinks of the many gifts we are given: first of all life itself and secondly many gifts when we grow up and try to make something of our life.

Having lots of messages circulating on the media, with lots of horrible pictures of terrorist acts lost of people are getting so afraid that our Western World would become Islamised and that we Christians should have to convert to Islam or being killed. Strange is that not more people question how it comes that so many left Christianity or Christendom and became Muslim and do not wonder how it comes that so many Christian churches are getting more and more empty.

Clearly we should question Christians how they live their faith. Is not many their faith as dead? What are they doing to bring others into the faith?

How are they helping those who have doubts and wonder if those Muslims are not right?

Let us have a look on what Paul Van Buren writes:

Paul first reminds Timothy that he has been raised and trained in a life of faith. It was demonstrated to him in his mother and grandmother. Paul encourages Timothy by stating that he is confident that this same faith resides in Timothy. Then:

Because of this, I’m reminding you to revive God’s gift that is in you through the laying on of my hands. (v. 6)

I like this. Because of this faith Timothy I am reminding you to operate in it. Live by the Spirit. Do what you have been equipped to do. The Spirit provides the equipping but we are responsible to operate in it. Then Paul writes what we all must grasp:

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. (v. 7)

This is not personality. Personality type does not play in your calling and equipping. Look at many of the servant’s of the past who tried to get out of their calling with excuses, like Moses and Jonah. It has everything to do with the spirit he has given to us and it is one of boldness. He has equipped us with his power, his love and the power to be self-controlled. This is good stuff that we simply have to act on, in faith that it is so.

Too many Christians seem not to feel that power which they have received, or what has happened more likely when getting older and more trapped by this materialistic world they have lost he fire of their faith and the flames are only burning very weakly or not at all.
Several people are also born in a Christian family and lots of them were even baptised before they could properly think or understand what God and faith really meant. This also makes that many of those name Christians never ever did feel that Spirit in them. They only got the name or the label ‘Christian’ on them and want to consider themselves Christians because they want to belong to the general group of the West.

Now the West comes under threat again from Muslims going to the west, like they had already done before and had conquered Spain, now Europeans are having fear those Muslims will conquer the whole of Europe. But when they would have a strong faith, why should they than be so full of fear?

For sure it is because most of those Europeans do not have any faith in God or do have no idea at all what their faith-groups stands for or if that faith-group follows really the Holy Books or not. The same for the many Muslims here, lots of them born in that faith-group and not knowing enough their own holy books, they do not react strong enough against those who defile their holy books and the teachings of Muhammad. They should have reacted much more against those criminals who defile the Name of God in name of the Muslims, blackening their ummah and making it more difficult to have a peaceful life here in the West.

Today we are living again in a similar time when Noah was alive. Everywhere around us we can see how people live against nature and against God’s Wishes. In a certain way it would be no wonder if God would shaken the world once more to awaken them. But it is not God Who brings terror and horror over people. It are the people themselves who bring cruelty over themselves.

We better should think again of those times, what happened after the water came down and Noah got promises from God. We also should remember how people at the time of Moses very fast had forgotten how God ahd liberated them and how fast they went worshipping other gods again.

Pastor Paul writes:

When Moses was about to die he addressed the nation and told them to possess the land because Yahweh had told them to possess it. He encouraged them:

Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

Two things right there are the source of our boldness. First, our God is always with us, going before us, always preparing the way. He abides in us. Psalm 139 states we can never escape him, even more now that he lives in us. This is for our encouragement.

The second thing the pastor wants to highlight is that we may count on God:

He won’t let you down. That is a big one all on it’s own and can only be understood in the context of a loving, intimate relationship.

Though in his text we have the impression he , like so many Christians got two Biblical characters mixed up. He namely continues than with looking at Jesus, who is the sent one from God, and not God Himself.

As Christians, being followers of Christ, we should believe the words of this Nazarene teacher and see how his heavenly Father protected him and gave him special gifts. In the knowledge that this man also did not tell lies, because he did not sin, we may assume that also his promises will come true.

Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of this age. He said his desire was for us to be one with him in the same way that he is one with Father. The Way, the Truth and the Life is in you. The one who declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, is intimate with you. The one who stated that he is the Resurrection walks with you every day.

With that knowledge we should have our minds at rest. It should be a comforting thought that at the end times those who love God shall find peace after the big battle or the Big Tribulation, which nobody can escape. Yes the big trouble shall come over us all. But Jesus has told about the signs and it is up to us to recognise them and to prepare ourselves for that time of the Last Days.

It is not that we ourselves shall have to go into the battle and have to be conquerors.

Paul wrote that we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We are not timid, because our God has given us the authority to forgive. Thank about that for a moment. The power does not rest in the hands of the offender but in the hands of the offended. Without your forgiveness, the offender will have to give account for their actions. With your forgiveness that offence is wiped away. By offering forgiveness you are also set free from the cage of victim. That is power and that is what has been given to you with the responsibility to love your enemies.

We cannot and must not live with a victim mentality. Jesus has made us greater, more powerful than people can grasp. Now walk in the boldness you have been given and dare to love where others have failed.

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Preceding: Fear for rebel groups and men

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

In the previous articles we have spoken about the world clinching to material wealth like velcrostrips hoping to have all luck in the world.

The materialistic desires have conquered the world. Those who know were they come from and Who they should honour do know they should not give their love to material things.

15 Do not love either the world or the things in the world.+ If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him;+ 16 because everything in the world—the desire of the flesh+ and the desire of the eyes+ and the showy display of one’s means of life*—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. (1 John 2:15, 16)

In the articles we also could see how many love to be moulded by this system of things. (Romans 12:2) The worldly desires have run high in our society, but at other times people also fell for those distractions and attractions.

It Conquered the World

It Conquered the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The love of money or the desire to amass riches and possess material things can corrupt the heart, leading a Christian to do things that go against God’s will. A few have become dishonest at work, have cheated others, or have even stolen money or objects that do not belong to them.

Lots of people do have many things of which they want to boast of is this. Lots of people also do think man is full of wisdom and that they have ‘most’ wisdom’. They do not want to look into their conscience which might bear witness. They are full of fleshly wisdom.

Material pursuits may bring on anxiety. For example, some complicate their lives by living beyond their means. Others have been enticed by get-rich-quick schemes and risky financial investments. For others, secular education as a means to attain financial success becomes a snare. The Bible warns: “Those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and ruin.”

However, those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation+ and a snare and many senseless and hurtful desires,+ which plunge men into destruction and ruin.+ 10 For the love+ of money is a root+ of all sorts of injurious things,*+ and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains.+ (1 Timothy 6:9, 10).

Essential to not being drawn into a materialistic way of life is cultivating the ability to distinguish between right and wrong when making decisions. This ability is developed by regularly partaking of ‘solid spiritual food belonging to mature people’ and by ‘having our perceptive powers trained through use.’ (Hebrews 5:13, 14) Making sure “of the more important things” when setting priorities will also safeguard us from making wrong choices.

And this is what I continue praying, that YOUR love may abound+ yet more and more with accurate knowledge*+ and full discernment;*+ 10 that YOU may make sure of the more important things,+ so that YOU may be flawless+ and not be stumbling+ others up to the day of Christ, 11 and may be filled with righteous fruit,+ which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.+ (Philippians 1:9,10,11).

A materialistic life-style can blind us, leaving little or no time for spiritual pursuits.
How can we examine ourselves and avoid being ensnared by such a life-style?
We need to consider prayerfully how and to what extent we can simplify our life. King Solomon of ancient Israel said:

“Sweet is the sleep of the one serving, regardless of whether it is little or much that he eats; but the plenty belonging to the rich one is not permitting him to sleep.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12)

Does taking care of unnecessary material possessions consume a lot of our time and energy? The more we own, the more we have to maintain, insure, and protect.
Could it be to our advantage to simplify our life by freeing ourselves of certain belongings?

Lennon (right) performing "All You Need I...

Lennon (right) performing “All You Need Is Love” with The Beatles in 1967 to 400 million viewers of “Our World”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We think life can much be easier when not loving the material things and not focusing on the world and its worldly life.

On the other hand, by cultivating a healthy fear of displeasing Jehovah, loving justice, and being determined to hold a good conscience, we show that we love “purity of heart.” That love moves us to continue to “conduct ourselves honestly in all things.” (Hebrews 13:18)

18 Carry on prayer+ for us, for we trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.+ 19 But I exhort YOU more especially to do this, that I may be restored to YOU the sooner.+ (Hebrews 13:18

When we act uprightly, honesty can result in a fine witness.

Emilio, an Italian Witness who works as a driver for a public transport company, found a wallet containing 470 euros ($680, U.S.). To the surprise of his colleagues, he handed the wallet to his supervisor, who later gave the wallet to the person who had lost it. Some of Emilio’s colleagues were so impressed by his conduct that they became interested in the Bible and started to study. As a result, seven people from two families have accepted the truth. Yes, behaving honestly from a pure heart really can move others to praise God.Titus 2:10.

Materialism may not seem to be an issue of loyalty, but it is. Do we trust in Jehovah’s promise to provide what we really need?

33 “Keep on, then, seeking* first the kingdom and his righteousness,+ and all these [other] things will be added to YOU.+ 34 So, never be anxious about the next day,+ for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.  (Matthew 6:33-34)

Let [YOUR] manner of life be free of the love of money,+ while YOU are content+ with the present things.+ For he has said: “I will by no means leave you nor by any means forsake you.”+ (Hebrews 13:5)

Rather than striving to obtain at any cost some of the “better” things in life that are presently beyond our reach, can we do without them? (Read Philippians 4:11-13.) Are we tempted to forgo theocratic privileges in order to get what we want now? Does loyal service to Jehovah have first place in our life? Our answers will largely depend on whether we are wholehearted in our service to God or not.

“It is a means of great gain,”

wrote the apostle Paul,

“this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency. For we have brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things.”—1 Timothy 6:6-8.

In a revelation to the apostle John toward the close of the first century, the glorified Jesus Christ delivered a message to the congregation located in Laodicea, Asia Minor. It was a warning message against materialism. Though materially rich, Laodicean Christians were bankrupt spiritually. Instead of continuing to walk by faith, they allowed material possessions to blind their spiritual vision. (Revelation 3:14-18) Materialism has a similar effect today. It weakens our faith and causes us to stop ‘running with endurance the race’ for life. (Hebrews 12:1) If we are not careful, the “pleasures of this life” can smother spiritual activities to the point that they are “completely choked.”

14 As for that which fell among the thorns, these are the ones that have heard, but, by being carried away by anxieties and riches and pleasures+ of this life, they are completely choked and bring nothing to perfection.+ (Luke 8:14).

Time ran out for the world of Noah’s day, and it will run out for the present system of things. The apostle Peter assures us:

“Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be discovered.”

Neither the symbolic heavens — wicked governments — nor the symbolic earth — mankind alienated from God — will survive the heat of God’s burning anger. Indicating how we can prove ourselves ready for that day, Peter exclaims:

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah!”—2 Peter 3:10-12.

A key to spiritual protection is contentment rather than the use of this world to the full and the enrichment of ourselves materially. (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 Timothy 6:6-8) We as such do not have to look so much at the world of mankind or the kingdom of mankind but at the world of the Kingdom of God. When we walk by faith and not by sight, we find joy in the present spiritual paradise. As we partake of nourishing spiritual food, are we not moved to “cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart”? (Isaiah 65:13, 14) Moreover, we take delight in our association with those who manifest the fruitage of God’s spirit.

22 On the other hand, the fruitage+ of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness,+ faith, 23 mildness, self-control.+ Against such things there is no law.+ 24 Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus impaled* the flesh together with its passions and desires.+ (Galatians 5:22, 23)

How vital that we find satisfaction and refreshment in what Jehovah provides in a spiritual way!

Some questions we do well to ask ourselves are:

‘What place do material things occupy in my life? Am I using the material possessions I have to live a life of pleasure or to promote true worship? What brings me the greatest satisfaction? Is it Bible study and fellowship at Christian meetings, or is it weekends away from Christian responsibilities? Do I reserve many weekends for recreation instead of using such time for the field ministry and other activities in connection with pure worship?’

Our regularly attending Christian meetings and sharing in preaching the good news are included among the necessary acts and deeds of godly devotion. May we perform them with heartfelt devotion to God while we wait patiently for Jehovah’s great day. Let us “do [our] utmost to be found finally by [God] spotless and unblemished and in peace.”—2 Peter 3:14.

Walking by faith means that we keep busy in the Kingdom work, with full trust in Jehovah’s promises.

58 Consequently, my beloved brothers, become steadfast,+ unmovable, always having plenty to do in the work of the Lord,+ knowing that YOUR labor is not in vain*+ in connection with [the] Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58).

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Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

For The Love of Stuff

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Watch out

Thought of the day: We want more, i want more, but why is that?

Mini-MAX-malism: A Bigger Approach to Less is More

Less… is still enough

Less for more

The Art of Doing Less – Your Time is Finite

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

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Additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Greed more common than generosity
  3. Some one or something to fear #2 Attitude and Reactions
  4. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  5. Some one or something to fear #4 Families and Competition
  6. Struggles of life
  7. It continues to be a never ending, exhausting battle for survival.
  8. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  9. Daily portion of heavenly food
  10. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late!
  11. How should we react against the world
  12. A call easy to understand
  13. Followers with deepening
  14. Come ye yourselves apart … and rest awhile (Mark 6:31)
  15. Suffering redemptive because Jesus redeemed us from sin
  16. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  17. Count your blessings
  18. God should be your hope
  19. Always set a place in your life for the unexpected guest
  20. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  21. Be a ready giver
  22. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  23. Bearing fruit
  24. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  25. What’s church for, anyway?
  26. Making church
  27. Meeting – Vergadering
  28. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  29. Gathering or meeting of believers
  30. An ecclesia in your neighbourhood
  31. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  32. Breathing and growing with no heir
  33. Breathing to teach
  34. Reasons to come together
  35. God won’t ask
  36. Communion and day of worship
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  38. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment

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Further reading:

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters