Tag: People

Puppets and People 

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Have you ever watched a puppet show? The shows where the puppets are worked by strings? Marionettes, I believe they’re called.

Marionettes are quite fascinating to watch. Especially when you’re far enough away that you can’t see the strings. It appears the puppets are acting on their own; dancing, twirling, bowing, and skipping.

I see a resemblance between puppets and people. Puppets only do what they are manipulated to do.

And that’s exactly what people do.

So you think I’ve gone off the deep end?

Follow me for just a few moments.

People call themselves free thinkers; those who believe they alone control their lives. They think for themselves; no one influences their opinion.

But they aren’t free thinkers at all. They’re actually under the control of the god of this world, the devil.
Manipulated.

Please stay with me just a bit longer.

When God created mankind, there were no strings attached. 

None.

Man was given instructions, but he was allowed to make his own decisions.

Man chose wrong. 

THAT’S when the strings became attached. And ever since, man has been manipulated by the one whose only desire is to steal, kill, and destroy.

A dark, evil, rebellious nature replaced the one Adam was initially given. That nature is directly tied to the nature of the evil one himself.

People lie because it’s their nature. They steal for the same reason. Murder is simply the result of unrestrained lust, greed, hatred, or some other emotion or desire.

And it’s tied to the puppet master.

The devil.

But Jesus cut the strings!

People are screaming these days about freedom. They demand to be allowed to live the way they want.

And that’s why Jesus came!

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)

“…By nature…like the rest of mankind.”

It’s one thing to sit and enjoy a puppet show. But it’s another thing altogether when you’re the puppet.

Are you tired of the way you’ve been dancing lately? Have you wondered how your life will end; after the show is over?

It’s time for the strings to be cut!

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-8 ESV)

When Jesus went to the cross for our sins, our rebellious nature, He broke the devil’s right of ownership and control.

By faith in Jesus, and obedience to His word, we find ourselves with a brand new owner, a brand new nature, and brand new life!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

We GET to walk with the Creator of the universe; the Lover of our soul.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 ESV)

“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 ESV)

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12 ESV)

Puppets and people. So much alike. No wonder we can become so entangled with ourselves we can no longer think or act straight.

No wonder.

But he whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

Where Does God Get His Money?

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I’ve been wondering for a while now, where does God get his money? Have you ever wondered that?

Here’s what I mean.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

“Why, that’s easy!”, you say. He gets it from his riches in glory. Duh!

Oh, yeah. But how does he get the correct currency to us? Does he have a printing press in glory? Does he own a bank in glory? By the way; where is glory?

See what I mean?

I believe he supplies my every need. I’m just wondering about this “riches in glory” thing. Of course, I know God is not a counterfeiter. That I’m very confident about.

So what is the answer?

I’m fairly certain God doesn’t walk around with his billfold full of money, or full of credit cards. And, I’ve never heard him arrive at church with his pockets jingling.

When Jesus walked the earth, he didn’t carry the checkbook. He had a guy named Mr. Iscariot do that for him. When he needed food to feed a bunch of hungry church folk, he found a little boy to help plan the meal. Whenever it was time to pay taxes, he had Peter throw in a fishing line, open the mouth of the first fish caught, and remove the coin that just happened to be in its mouth.

You know, it may not sound as impressive as the “Bank of Heaven” but I believe I’m on to something.

People, big people, little people, short, fat, skinny, black, white, yellow, brown and even purple people are his riches in glory. Or, another way of saying it is: people are his glorious riches!

And what about this verse? “Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38 AMP)

Who gives back? Who pours into? They do it. People.

People like you and I.

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.”
(Ephesians 1:18 NLT)

“His holy people (his set apart ones) are his rich and glorious inheritance.”

Is this really a big deal? So God uses his rich and glorious inheritance to meet other’s needs. But what’s more important to God anyway? People or money?

He used the Philippians to meet Paul’s needs (Philippians 4:14-18). He used the Corinthians and the church in Antioch to meet the needs of the Jerusalem church. He used the churches mentioned in Third John to meet the needs of missionaries passing through the area.

And he wants to use people like you and I to help meet the needs of those around us.

It’s much more to God than, “Hey buddy. Got a quarter you can spare?” Much more than that.

I tell you, it’s glorious!

“To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27 ESV)

People

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People.

Happy people, sad people.

Skinny jeans people, stretch-waistband comfort fit jeans people.

Athletic people, nerdy people, soft and flabby couch potato type people.

Tattooed people, smelly people, brilliant people, way out people.

Old people, young people, baby boomer people, plain baby people.

Generous people, stingy people, couldn’t care less people, nervous Nellie people.

Dope smoking people, dopey people, educated people, high and mighty people.

Tired people, wired people, hamburger flipping people, real estate people.

Preachy people, hellish people, wild and wacky people, taxi driver people.

People with big ears, big mouths, big stories, and few true friends.

People who lie, live in fear, smile for the camera, but cringe with pain.

People in charge, who own everything, have all they want, and lack all the basics.

Swingers, climbers, campers, hunters, lovers, moochers, and glamorous people.

Insiders, outsiders, high rollers, and flat brokers. Gamblers, bakers, and goat milkers.

All kinds of people, kind natured people, meaner than mean people, and people like you.

High fliers, kite fliers, ditch diggers and plumbers. Roofers, crooners, and head bangers.

Positive people, negative people, bipolar and schizo people, and where’d I put my meds?

All the same, one of a kind, why bother, look at me, and address me as sir kind of people.

Natives, immigrants, aliens and travelers. People wearing feelings on their sleeve.

Well dressed people, hard pressed people, people who shoot people, or shoot the moon.

Coffee drinkers, wine guzzlers, foster kids, people who keep up with the Joneses.

Bus drivers, cliff divers, cave dwellers, apple pickers, finger pointers, soldiers.

Care takers, sandwich makers, baristas and castanet shakers. Rock and rollers.

Hair dressers, goal tenders, goal setters and thespians. World shakers and nose punchers.

Magazine readers, internet surfers, goofballs, metaphysics people and Sunday School teachers.

People.

A world full of people.

Separated geographically, economically, racially, by language and by gender.

Loved by One God. Gathered at one cross. Offered one hope. Jesus!

“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 but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)

Many People In This City

20130419-164033.jpg“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent! For I am with you, and no one will attack and harm you, for many people in this city belong to me.” So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.” (Acts 18:9-11)

The above scriptures refer to when the Apostle Paul and his team were ministering in Corinth. It seems as though Paul had considered leaving the city. Up until the night of the Lord’s visitation, things had been pretty rough for the ministry team. Sure, they’d had witnessed people become believers, but ministry had been difficult.

In fact, Paul even had to work a secular job for awhile.

Just think of the type of people Paul was preaching to: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people – none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT)

People involved in sexual sins, idolatry, adulterers, prostitution, homosexuality, stealing, greed, etc.; these are people he ministered to.

Sounds an awful lot like today’s society, eh?

Your “average” church goer has no clue the difficulties a minister has to face. “What difficulties? Good night, Irene, the preacher only works one day a week! And that’s only for a few hours. Difficulties, right. What’s so difficult about speaking?”

If it’s so easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?

Just talking to individuals or a congregation isn’t difficult. Giving a generic speech won’t draw the threat of attacks. Lofty, high-minded words won’t challenge the powers of darkness!

But when a man or woman of God determines to set aside the “stage show”, the theatrics, and the “motivational homilies” for a reliance upon Heaven’s Word with the anointing of the Holy Spirit…

…all hell can break loose.

And though the battle blazes around this kind of preacher, this kind of message, this is the way people are set free. This is what delivers them from the power of darkness, from the kingdom of hatred and death.

“Some of you were once like that…”

Most everyone knows some preacher who got involved in some kind of sin, thus disqualifying them, at least for a season, from “ministry.” Boy, howdy; do I know about that! And everyone is quick to point out the character flaws leading to the “fall”.

I’m not making excuses for anyone. I’m simply trying to make 2 points.

1. Preachers, ministers, leaders, need extra prayer covering. They need support, not idolized for their speaking or sermonizing ability.

2. Preachers, etc,,must rely upon the Spirit of God, the protection of God, and the unadulterated Word of God. They must not put their faith in people’s response, or lack of response, tithes and offerings…anything other than what will give them the spiritual strength to deal with a spiritual enemy.

Ministry is difficult, but eternally necessary. And it isn’t just a preacher’s responsibility to bring people into the Kingdom; it’s every believer’s call.

There’s no other way to reach the “many people in this city” belonging to Jesus!

“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NLT)

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