Race Wars!

“Race” – an absolutely polarizing issue that is being force-fed to us through media, politicians, and lawyers. Why can’t we have relationships with people based on our commonalities rather than our differences? To be considered politically correct (the All-Powerful “PC”), we – the public, everyday citizens, the “proletariat” – are expected to embrace each other regardless of social or economic status, lifestyle, clothing preferences, age, religion (with the exception of followers of JESUS, whom it is PC to harass, persecute, and prosecute) ….. but we are divided by race? King Solomon of Israel is reputed to have been the wisest man to have ever lived. Even Christians who are told to “love our neighbors as ourselves” (Matt 22:39), allow ourselves to be divided by the color of another’s skin. There is nothing wise in allowing this to happen!

“The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:1‭-‬7 ESV

Let’s go back to the beginning:

“So GOD created man in His own Image, in the Image of GOD He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27 ESV

Have you ever noticed that GOD repeats the really important stuff? He created us in His Image; in His Image He created us. Period. There weren’t a bunch of different couples created as Anglo, African, Mexican, Asian, or any other “race”. There was one couple; Adam and Eve were created in His Image. So what did they look like? Since they were created to reflect GOD’s Image, we won’t know until we meet them in Heaven. In the meantime, what we view as separate “races” are merely years – thousands of years – of the human race adapting to climate and the environment around them. I believe that “race” is simply an invention of man as a tool for rulers to control their people. You might argue that GOD used His people to wipe out other “races,” but I maintain that this is a word used to simply designate people of other cultures, not of other skin colors.

“For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” ….. “You commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’ ” – Ezra 9:2‭, ‬11‭-‬12 ESV

Ezra, one of GOD’s prophets, called GOD’s people the “holy race” as a means to distinguish it from the other cultures and kingdoms, not because they were a separately created race. It was an intentional separation of that culture from all others. I guess we could say there is the “holy race,” GOD’s Chosen People, and then there is everyone else. (So what are we? If we become Christian, a follower of JESUS, then we become a part of GOD’s Holy race.) The prophet Daniel, interpreting the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, talks about people from different cultures and kingdoms but not races:

“As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the GOD of Heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever …..” – Daniel 2:43‭-‬44 ESV

“Race wars” are absolutely unnecessary and redundant. In CHRIST JESUS, we are all brothers and sisters. We all have the same Father, the Creator GOD and the FATHER joy our LORD JESUS CHRIST. A friend of a profoundly different skin color from mine used to call me his “sister from another mother.” I like it. To all of my brothers and sisters from other mothers, in all of the shades of the rainbow, I love you. “Race” doesn’t enter in.

Image is from Pinterest

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#NOT_Entitled

“And [JESUS] said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” ” – Luke 22:35‭ ( also read v. 36) ESV

“Places in the Heart,” a 1984 movie with Sally Fields, Danny Glover, and John Malcovich was on last night. It was my first time to view it, and I found it to be poignant and moving; a story of suffering, strength, and overcoming. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. Set in 1938 rural Texas, a homeless man and a blind man set out to help a recently widowed Mrs. Spaulding (Sally Fields) save her farm. Moses (Danny Glover) showed up on her doorstep without anything (“no moneybag or knapsack or sandals”) – but he was willing to do whatever needed to be done. The blind man, Will (John Malcovich), had been put out by his well-to-do brother-in-law and had very little with him, yet he was also helping however he could. Mrs. Spaulding’s sister was betrayed by her husband’s infidelity, and Moses was brutally beaten by the Ku Klux Klan (self-professed Christians and deacons of the church in the movie).

Moses, Will, and the sister are great examples of the way we should be reaching out to those in need around us. The last scene in the movie is a church service where the preacher reads 1 Corinthians 13, the “Love passage.”

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1‭, ‬4‭-‬7 NASB

Although it didn’t excuse the bad behavior of those pious, so-called Christian men against a widow, a black man, a blind man, and a wife, you could see the guilt on their faces; the shame and embarrassment for their actions. They thought they were entitled to their behavior because of the color of their skin and their social status. No matter the skin color, from whitest white to blackest black and every shade in between, discrimination and judgement are far too common among us. Example: I am discriminated against because I am a divorced, radically conservative, Christ-following white woman …… I could join the marches, screaming obscenities (or wearing obscene hats), but I won’t, because to me, it appears that the most vocal, most discriminatory, and most judgemental are the most entitled. (Yes, I’m judging, but look for yourself at the designer clothes, expensive hairdos and manicures, and the cars they drive….. )

As a Christian, a Christ-follower, it is expected of me (of us!) to show the LOVE and the Mercy and the Grace that I (we) have received. Not expected by the world, but expected by our SAVIOUR. I confess, I struggle with it! My faith is tested whenever I know I need to step out of my comfort zones. To literally let go of every material thing, and to embrace what JESUS said …… where is my faith? Letting go – not so much, but holding on? Now, that I’m good at!

Remember the two criminals being crucified with our CHRIST? One was mocking JESUS and rebuking Him, telling Him to save them all from the death they were facing. The other criminal replied to the first with these words – and we are that other criminal: “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” ….. #NOT_entitled, but Forgiven ….. Hear what JESUS said! “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” ( – Luke 23:41‭-‬43 NASB)

Lauren Wells sings “Fully known and Loved by You….. ” Listen!

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ” for Your sake we are being put to death all day long ; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:35‭-‬37 NASB

From Mathew Henry’s Concise Commentary:

God having manifested his love in giving his own Son for us, can we think that any thing should turn aside or do away that love? Troubles neither cause nor show any abatement of his love. Whatever believers may be separated from, enough remains. None can take Christ from the believer: none can take the believer from Him; and that is enough. All other hazards signify nothing. Alas, poor sinners! though you abound with the possessions of this world, what vain things are they! Can you say of any of them, Who shall separate us? You may be removed from pleasant dwellings, and friends, and estates. …… the soul that is in Christ, when other things are pulled away, cleaves to Christ, and these separations pain him not. Yea, when death comes, that breaks all other unions, even that of the soul and body, it carries the believer’s soul into the nearest union with its beloved Lord Jesus, and the full enjoyment of him for ever.

Well said, Mr. Henry. (And nope, not a relation 😉 )

Follower of Christ, Lover of those who don’t know JESUS – the unlovable, picking up my sword to follow Him; deserving the absolute worst and receiving, instead, unmatched, unimaginable Love and an eternity with Him ….. that’s my goal. What’s yours?

Image from:

https://www.heartlight.org/articles/201305/20130527_feetofjesus.html

“__________” Lives Matter

“For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.” – 1 Peter 1:24 NIV (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Remember singing this as a child?

“Red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight, Jesus Loves the little children of the world!”

We should be singing this every day, but substituting the words “all tbe people” for “little children”. He loves us, ALL the children …. He LOVES us!! He doesn’t care what color I am on the outside, because we are all the same without our skin. I find myself discriminating against people more for their appearance than their color, and that is just as bad as discrimination for color. We are called to love EVERYONE, regardless of color, or appearance, or political beliefs; EVERYONE, regardless of actions. I know firsthand how difficult is when a person has hurt you. Proverbs 10:12 says: “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.” The LOVE of JESUS covers over ALL wrongs…..” This is so true. When I stay angry, or tense, or full of hatred, it REALLY affects me. Mentally, it gives me worry and stress headaches, and physically, it gives me stomach cramps that lead to ulcers. Does it hurt the person who harmed me? No, not all. They go on with their lives while I pay the price in my body with the hatred I carry. Just say “A pox on them!” and let it go. Remember this:

“For GOD Loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish….” – John 3:16 NLT

Do I believe that this gives people who intentionally hurt others a pass? Absolutely not; I know that anyone can accept Jesus and experience His salvation (Hallelujah!), but we still have consequences for our actions. I can’t imagine how that will work when we stand before the Great White Throne for judgement by the Supreme and Almighty LORD of the Universe. All I can say for sure about that time, is that I know my Advocate is Jesus, and that I get to spend eternity with Amen.

ALL lives matter to Jesus. Red, yellow, black, white, blue. All the people of the world.

It’s A HEART Problem…

“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12 NLT

Cain killed Abel with a rock. It’s a heart problem, not a rock problem. OJ, a black man, killed his wife Nicole, a white woman, with a knife. It’s a heart problem, not a skin color or a knife problem. One person gets angry and shoots another person. It’s a heart problem, not a gun problem.

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” – Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

Who can know another’s heart? Certainly not me; my “picker” has chosen badly too many times! I see what I want to see, and for years I was in ‘rescue’ mode, trying to save the next lost puppy (that’s a euphemism for a man, rather, a little lost boy in a man’s body). In the process, I lost money from buying things for them (computers, vehicles, tools, etc.); I lost emotionally through lies and cheating and affairs. My strays were not all men; there was a woman I befriended who thought nothing of using her friends to clean up her messes with their time and money and emotions. Through all of this, I forgot the faith I had grown up with, and wandered through it on my terms, without my Lord. Oh, I knew Him, and I prayed and called on Him for help, and He delivered me time after time, but I didn’t fully rely on Him.

Jeremiah had it right about the human heart. From the very beginning of humanity our hearts have gotten us into trouble. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Their firstborn, Cain, murdered his brother, Abel. The Old Testament is full of man’s deceitfulness, and even within the twelve men privileged to be with Jesus on earth there was the deceiver, Judas. Every man’s heart, every woman’s heart, is full of deceitfulness and wickedness. If you don’t believe me, just look at the around you. Everyone lies, everyone cheats, everyone deceives. It’s in our DNA, from the beginning. The GOOD NEWS is that we don’t have to sit back and take it! We have the Power of Jesus, the Power that calmed the raging sea, the Power of the burning bush, the Power that rolled away the stone that was holding His body in the grave…. we have access to the good faith, the true Faith, that comes though Jesus Christ. It is up to us, to those who have that Faith, to share it with the world. Fight the good fight. Hold tight to the LORD. Declare His Love and His Faithfulness to your world, without being self-righteous or condescending. Remember that there, except for the Grace of God, goes me, or you.

Don’t let your HEART problem keep you from the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.

Nationality, Not Race

Peter, a disciple of Jesus and who was raised a law-abiding Jew, knew Jewish religion made it illegal for him to go into a Gentile’s house, so when Cornelius, who was a Gentile came and kneeled in front of him, said, “Stand up! I’m a human being just like you!” Then they went inside Cornelius’ house, and he told Cornelius and the others who were gathered there,

“I see very clearly that GOD shows no favoritism. In every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right. This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel – that there is Peace with GOD through Jesus Christ, who is LORD of all. And He ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the One appointed by GOD to be the Judge of ALL – the living and the dead. He is the One all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in Him will have their sins forgiven through His Name.” – Acts of the Apostles 10:26, 34‭-‬36‭, ‬42‭-‬43 NLT

Are you ready? Are you in the Light? Are you really? I believe that to honestly be in GOD’S Light, we have to let go of the prejudices that drive us. Jew or Gentile, black skin or red or brown or yellow or white or pink; Eastern European or South American or Aboriginal Australian; cowboy, redneck, or genteel southerner, we are all one in GOD’S Light. Peter said it perfectly when he said “I’m a human being just like you!” No one gets to pretend they are better than another person, regardless of color or circumstance.

“The One who is the True Light, who gives Light to everyone, is coming into the world.” John 1:9 NLT

Billy Graham said: “The world is stumbling in darkness from one crisis to another. The crises are getting worse and worse, and are coming closer and closer to home. Inflation, population explosion, hunger, dominate vast areas of the world. Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the world. Follow Me and give your life to Me and I will take you out of the darkness of this world, out of this confusion, out of this mess that you’re in, and I will give you peace and joy. A light will burn in your heart and mind that you never had before. I will command the Light to come on in your life.” ” (November 20, 2013)

“And let the Peace that comes from CHRIST rule in your hearts. For as members of ONE BODY you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15 NLT

I ask again, are you ready to really live for Christ?