Politicians, False Prophets and Jesus (Part 7)

Abortion

King David was restless that early spring night as he walked out onto the palace’s roof. He looked over the waist high wall at the roof’s edge, taking in the sights and sounds of Jerusalem. His eyes stopped scanning about when he glanced down into his neighbor’s courtyard.

There below him was a beautiful woman bathing herself. He noticed every luscious curve on her body. Even when she finished her bath and he returned to his bedroom, he couldn’t think about anything else but that woman.

The next morning, forty-seven year old King David asked one of his lieutenants, “Who’s the beautiful woman next door?”

“Oh, I think her name is Bathsheba,” the man replied. “She’s the daughter of one of your mightiest men of valor – Eliam, the granddaughter of your wisest chief counselor – Ahithophel and married to a captain in your army – Uriah.”

Each of these men were important to David, but he ignored them, thinking only of his sexual desire for Bathsheba. Sadly, he acted on the one thought crossing his mind at the time: Bathsheba was home alone because Uriah was away fighting against the Ammonites.

He sent messengers to her with a special dinner invitation at his palace.

Bathsheba showed up at the appointed hour. They ended up committing adultery and she returned to her house.

A few weeks later, Bathsheba sent a short note to King David, saying, “I am with child.”

King David was a student of the Torah. So, he knew the Law required the death penalty for the sin of adultery for both participants. Then King David set in place a scheme to hide their sin, but it didn’t work. Finally, he ended up having her husband, Uriah, murdered in a battle with the Ammonites.

But what if?

What if there had been a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Jerusalem at the time? Would this have been an option for King David?

There’s no doubt in my mind that King David would have quickly used abortion as an answer to his dilemma. After all, he ended up murdering a just man he knew to hide his sin. So, most certainly, he would have been willing to murder a baby he did not know instead.

Today, abortion is the answer to one of society’s oldest problems: unwanted pregnancies.

“Abortion teaches a woman to kill in order to handle her problem.” (Mother Teresa)

(Continued in Part 8…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Prayers for Families (1/24/2019)

When Jesus returned to Nazareth with His disciples and taught in the local synagogue, His neighbors were astonished at His wisdom and understanding and said, “Isn’t He a carpenter? Isn’t He the son of Mary?”

Both of these statements were putdowns.

By saying Jesus was a carpenter, they inferred that He had no formal theological training under a rabbi. So, how could people pay attention to His words without a proper resume?

And son of Mary? By not referring to Him as the son of Joseph, the people alluded to the rumors that Jesus was an illegitimate son.

Jesus looked at the crowd and said, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4 NLT)

Shouldn’t Jesus’ family have honored Him? They had watched Him grow up into being a strong man of faith and saw His godly wisdom displayed over and over again. And He most likely supported His family by being a carpenter after Joseph’s death.

Plus, Joseph and Mary would have told their family about Jesus’ birth, the shepherds, the star, the three wisemen, the prophetic words by Simeon and Anna, Joseph’s visions and more.

Yet, with all of this, Jesus’ family did not honor Him during His earthly ministry.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to love and honor our families on their good days, on their bad days, on the days when we haven’t a clue about why they’re doing something or whatever because You love families and consider Your children a heavenly family for You. (Based on Ephesians 3:15)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.

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Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 3)

God tests our hearts to reveal to us what is in them, but just so you know, it’s usually not a good report.

This was especially true about my heart during a 1995 experience. That particular day I had been sitting alone in my apartment, reading a biography about the faith and healing pioneer, John G. Lake. As I turned the pages and read how God continually provided for Lake’s needs, it dawned on me — my life really sucks right now. Where was the God who was supposed to be my provider?

At the time, I owed thousands of dollars to numerous creditors, most of my friends had dropped me like a hot potato, the woman who I thought would be my wife didn’t want to see me and my kitchen cupboard was bare. I was lonely, broke, hungry and angry.

I laid the book down and stood up. “God if You’re such a big God,” I said, “how come You can’t help me with my problems right now? Maybe Your arm is not as strong as it was a hundred years ago. Is that Your problem?”

I sat down, quite satisfied with the way I confronted God. I picked up the book to continue my reading.

Then, all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit burst into the room in His holiness and power. His Presence blanketed me. I dropped the book and fell on my knees. “O Lord, don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! Forgive me! Forgive me! Please don’t kill me!” I said over and over again.

In the midst of my  plea bargaining, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “If I wanted to, I could deliver you from all of your problems in a blink of My eye.”

“O Lord,” I whispered, “I believe You and will never doubt You again.”

The Holy Spirit’s heavy presence lifted off me.

How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. (Job 13:23)

It was the love of God that showed up in my room that day to reveal my transgression (or rebellion) to me. I still treasure that experience.

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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Prayers for California to Wake up (1/22/2019)

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy in 63 AD, encouraging him and the churches to pray, intercede and give thanks for all men, but especially for their government leaders so that the believers might lead quiet and peaceable lives.

The main government leader at the time was Emperor Nero, head of the Roman Empire.

What happened next?

A great fire broke out in Rome in 64 AD, destroying great portions of the city. Nero laid much of the blame on Christians and hunted them down. Horrific tortures were inflicted on Christians with thousands of believers being martyred. Paul, himself, was beheaded by Nero in 67 AD.

But guess what?

Christianity grew and became stronger during these four years of heavy persecution, which ended in 68 AD, at Nero’s death.

Just think for a moment: Paul and the believers prayed, interceded and gave thanks for Nero during this cruel time period, hoping for peace. Yet, it took four years for their prayers to produce peace in the Roman Empire. Four years until their breakthrough!

This should give California believers hope!

The newly installed California government is not a Christian-friendly one nor can we expect Bible-based laws to be enacted in the days ahead. But let’s follow Paul’s exhortation by giving thanks, intercessions, supplications and prayers for the following government leaders, believing that God will have His way in California:

Governor Gavin Newsom.

Lt. Governor Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis

Attorney General Xavier Becerra

President Pro Tempore of California Senate Toni Atkins

Majority Leader of California Senate Robert Hertzberg

Minority Leader of California Senate Patricia Bates

Speaker of California Assembly Anthony Rendon

Speaker Pro Tempore of California Assembly Kevin Mullins

Majority Leader of California Assembly Ian Calderon

Republican Leader of California Assembly Marie Waldron

US Senator Kamala Harris

US Senator Dianne Feinstein

Speaker of US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi

US House Representative Maxine Walters

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up a hundred thousand believers who will make a commitment to pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2 for our government leaders on a regular basis, believing You will have Your way in our state.

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for California and the West Coast.

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Politicians, False Prophets and Jesus (Part 6)

Global Warming

Two years after his An Inconvenient Truth documentary hit the movie theaters in 2006, former Vice President Al Gore spoke at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta.  “Global warming is not a political issue,” Gore told a crowd of approximately 2,500 paying attendees. “It is a moral issue. It is an ethical issue. It is a spiritual issue.”

Gore repeated his views that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere was causing a global climate crisis. He used four Bible verses to justify his spiritual issue assertion:

Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is.55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? 57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? (Luke 12:54-57)

“The evidence is there,” Gore said. “The signal is on the mountain. The trumpet has blown. The scientists are screaming from the rooftops. The ice is melting. The land is parched. The seas are rising. The storms are getting stronger. Why do we not judge what is right?”

Robert Parham, the executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics referred to Gore as a Baptist prophet and added, “Prophets are unacceptable because their truth is inconvenient.”

Jesus said that we should judge prophets by their fruit. So let’s do that, okay?

First, if Al Gore is a true prophet, the truths he proclaimed in his ground-breaking documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, should be accurate. Are they?

Not really. Almost all of his predictions have failed so far. A judge in England went so far as to demand that nine untruths in the documentary be changed or a syllabus provided for the teachers, in order for the documentary to be shown in the nation’s school classrooms. Gore and his group caved in and provided a syllabus. Others have suggested even more errors than just nine.

Second, money, and lots of it.

Gore earns between $100,000 and $150,000 per speech. His wealth is estimated at almost $300 million dollars. Although his royalty earnings from his books and film projects are pledged to his nonprofit, Climate Reality Project, he has successfully leveraged himself as a climate activist and received invitations to be involved in numerous lucrative deals over the years.

Third, scriptural justification.

Gore’s use of Luke 12:54-57 to justify his spiritual issue assertion has nothing to do with his theories on global warming. He could just as well have used, “Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his ass” because it’s just as meaningless to his cause as the verses in Luke. 

Fourth, hypocrisy.

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisha and other prophets of God, not only preached what Israel needed to do to avoid calamitous judgments, they also lived in the righteous ways they expected others to follow.

But a critic of Gore said, “Al’s a limousine liberal, a tiresome pedant and climate alarmist who lives a jet-setting, carbon-profligate lifestyle while preaching asceticism for everyone else.” He lives in an oceanfront six-bedroom, $8.9-million villa — the exact place where he predicted the water would rise twenty feet when the ice in Antartica melts.

Okay, is Al Gore a prophet?

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)

I believe Gore’s fruit shows that he is a false prophet on global warming. And if he is the point man who is at the forefront of the global warming movement throughout the world, what can we say about the others who are following him? At the least, I believe they are deceived and at the worst they are also false prophets and maybe even greedy hucksters.

It’s my opinion that God is still in control of the weather and that the global warming movement is an anti-God money scam.

You, of course, need to make up your own mind.

(Continued in Part 6…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Do Our Personal Sins Hurt Our Neighbors? (Part 2)

 

As I wrote in Part 1: the word sin means “missing the mark,” as an archer’s arrow misses its target. One of our most common sins is fear.

The following is a true story from my life:

“If you can’t pay the truck payments up to date by Monday afternoon, bring us the truck. No more stalling because it has to be one or the other,” said the Ford Motor Credit official.

I hung up the phone, wondering if the Lord had another financial miracle in His basket to deliver me out of this predicament.

The new Ford F-150 pickup became a part of my life just five days before that dreadful morning on July 8, 1994. A special offer to businessmen lured me into the Ford dealership in Ames and the zero down payment financing sealed the deal. The dealership even filled the dual tanks with gas before I drove off the sales lot. What a blessing, I thought at the time.

Then, my financial nightmare hit.

The $300 monthly truck payment and insurance expenses added millstone weights to my downward death spiral. On the one hand, I needed the truck to remain a painting contractor so I could earn enough money to pay off my bad checks and painting debts. Yet, on the other hand, there never seemed to be enough money left over from my painting jobs for truck payments.

I eventually trusted the Lord to work out all of my other financial problems, and even had peace about each of them, but the Ford F-150 was a different story. I could not remove the nagging fear of losing it. It haunted me day and night.

The truck payments were ninety days late four times in the year after July 8, 1994. My problem was not an imaginary fear, but rather, a real one. I awoke each morning and looked out the window, checking if the truck still remained outside in the parking lot or had been repossessed during the night.

A friend grabbed my shoulder one morning during a prayer meeting, turning me around to face her.

“The Lord spoke to me about you, and said the cares of the world are pulling Larry under,” she said, staring into my eyes.

“Yeah, that’s right. It’s the truck. I can’t quit worrying about it. Pray for me.”

She prayed, but I still had no peace about the situation.

I fasted and prayed against every possible demon. I read Psalm 37 and countless other scriptures to bolster my faith, but still, the fear of losing the truck sucked every bit of joy out of my life.

The Lord finally spoke to me in a vision while I slept one night: “The truck is Mine −not yours. It is My responsibility to watch over it. If I choose to give it back to Ford Motor Company, that’s up to Me, and not you. So, quit worrying about it.”

My fears evaporated that morning. Why worry about someone else’s problems, right?

Ford Motor Company repossessed the truck six months later. I washed, waxed, and cleaned it before returning it to the dealership. It was the Lord’s truck and I wanted Him to know how much I appreciated driving it.

(An excerpt from my memoir – The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2014, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all the parts to death, you can go here.

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Prayers for Families (1/17/2019)

At Thanksgiving, we love to see those advertisements with a happy family sitting around a big table enjoying their turkey feast and fellowshipping with each other. This is a part of our American tradition where families love to get together, especially during the holidays.

But what about dysfunctional families?

A friend recalls his childhood family experiences with horror. His mom adored his older brother, but from his earliest years onward, he can only remember his mom’s contempt for him. She would punish him for the smallest infractions by spanking him always hard enough to make him cry. Then she would continue spanking him until he would quit crying. A no-win situation for a four or five year old child.

“You will never amount to anything in your life!” his mom proclaimed to him over and over again.

And guess what?

His brother grew up to be a wealthy businessman, but my friend was always in trouble. First, in elementary school and then later on as a juvenile delinquent. At 18 years of age, my friend forged a check for ten dollars. The judge sentenced him to ten years in prison for his crime.

His mom never once wrote him a letter or visited him while he was in prison.

When I first met my friend, he was thirty-five years old and had spent half his life in prison. He had become a Christian, had joined a church once, had been on fire for the Lord, but the church had treated him poorly. So, as you can imagine, my friend had trust issues.

I prayed over him once and had a quick vision. In it, I saw him sitting on a cot in a prison cell. He was weeping buckets of tears as he faced a brick wall. The vision panned outward, revealing that the prison door was wide open. All he had to do was stand up, turn around and walk out the door to his freedom.

To this day, my friend is still sitting in bondage to his childhood past.

This is an extreme example, but there are thousands of others that are much, much worse.

My prayer today:

Lord, send Your Spirit to bring Good News to families and their members, to proclaim liberty to any captives, to open blind eyes and free those who might be suffering from ill treatment by their families. (Based on Luke 4:18)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for our families.

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