Friday, June 19, 2009

The Real Problem Preventing Peace in the Middle East

What’s the Problem?
By Barbara Henderson

The engine in Ed’s car was missing. It was an older model with spark plugs instead of injectors. Still, it usually got good gas mileage, and until recently it had ran quite well. He kept it clean and polished, and in a garage every night. He even parked in a parking garage at work, so there was no sun damage to the interior of the vehicle. The tires were always replaced at half tread. Over all, it had been a very dependable car that had a classic look about it.

Then, the trouble began. The engine began to miss.

Ed immediately took the car to a repair shop that was reported to do good work. He didn’t check to see if they did work that was actually necessary. Ed’s vehicle was diagnosed as having a burnt valve. A valve job was scheduled, finished in a moderate amount of time, and paid for on Ed’s credit card. The engine still missed.

Ed tried another repair shop. The engine was diagnosed as having a flat lobe on the cam shaft. That definitely could cause a miss, and with the new valve job, the mechanic was certain that a new cam shaft would solve the problem. However, when the cam shaft was replaced and Ed paid the bill, the engine still missed. One cylinder clearly was not hitting

Ed tried another auto repair shop. The mechanic there just happened to have a set of spark plug wires and spark plugs that fit the engine perfectly. He quickly put the wires and plugs on and even gave Ed a discount since the wires and spark plugs had been in his inventory a long time. He was just happy to get his money back. Ed wasn’t that happy as he drove away. The engine was still missing. Ed decided that it was just time to get another car. The situation was hopeless. He started driving toward a new car dealer, hoping that a nice vehicle would be on sale for a good price.

Ed had read that to get the best trade in on a vehicle little details like having the gas tank about ¾ full mattered. It gave the illusion of a car that was light on fuel use. So, Ed stopped in at the first gas station he passed. The gas station attendant commented on the miss he had heard in Ed’s engine as he drove into the station. Ed told his story of what he had spent on the car trying to get rid of the engine miss. The attendant asked Ed to pull over under the shade tree at the corner of the station parking lot. He said there might be one more thing he could check. Ed thought it was useless, but he decided to let the man at least listen to the engine.

The attendant listened intently to the engine. His ears picked up the miss. He identified the cylinder in question. He pulled the spark plug from that cylinder. He set the gap on the spark plug to the appropriate measurement for that car, and stuck it back in the engine. The engine miss vanished. As they say in the auto repair business, the engine purred like a kitten. Ed’s story ended happily, and he drove his car for many more years.

Ed had a real problem. The problem was made prolonged by improper diagnosis and treatment of the problem. A really big deal was made out of something minor. It cost Ed a lot of time, money, and frustration.

On a much grander scale, the world also has a real problem. There is war and conflict around the world. The most well known ‘hot spot’ is the Middle East, where the Moslems and the Jews make headline news daily in one way or another. The problem is being made worse by improper diagnosis and treatment. It is costing the world a lot of lives, time, money, and frustration.

The world recognizes that there is a real problem.
Islam and Arabs want to eradicate Israel from the face of the planet.
They claim Israel has no right to be in their territory, and that in fact, Israel and the Jews have no right to be anywhere.
They want them drowned in the sea.

The world has responded to this problem by smiling at Israel and calling them friends and allies, while demanding that Israel:
Give up land for peace
Accept continued assaults on the people of Israel
Tear people from homes they have built to give them to Arab/Moslems
Allow Israelis to be verbally insulted globally
Excuse the Moslems of the area called Palestine for all their hatred and attempts at murder of the Jews as thought the Jews deserve to be killed and Moslems deserve the right to kill them
Excuse and ignore the eviction of Jews from their homes in Moslem nations
Ignore the theft of Jewish property in the countries from which they were evicted
Make ALL concessions in the pursuit of peace, while the Moslems are required to do nothing
Give up the city of Jerusalem to the illegitimate claims of the Moslems
And I am sure you can think of many more things the world wants from the Jews in order to bring about peace in the Middle East.

World leaders have claimed credit for establishing the state of Israel in the first place. They have not acknowledged that God Himself had determined that the nation of Israel would rise again. I suppose world leaders are thinking that since they are the creators of the nation of Israel, they are justified in destroying Israel by demanding Israeli policies that will lead to the destruction of Israel.

The world is like all the mechanics that Ed let attempt to repair his car.
The leaders of the world have not properly diagnosed the problem.
They have looked for expensive and complicated solutions when that is not what is needed.
They have looked for manmade solutions instead of looking to God for help and direction.
They have not listened to what the Lord God Almighty has to say about Israel and Jerusalem.
They have not defined the real problem?

The REAL PROBLEM is rebellion against the God of the Bible.
Peace in the Middle East will come when the world bows it knee and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The individual has no power to hasten the day of the Lord.
There are at least three important things that the individual CAN do in order make the situation more tolerable.

The individual does have power to bow their own knees and confess Christ as their Lord and Savior.
The individual does have power to pray for individuals to make peace with Jesus Christ. World peace, peace in the Middle East, and peace in Jerusalem cannot come about while hearts are at war with God.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. This is praying for salvation of the lost, and for the Kingdom of Christ to come.
When the city of peace is ruled over by the Prince of Peace, peace will exist in the hearts of all individuals and throughout the globe.

So, the real problem is simply that Jesus Christ is not Lord in the lives of all the people of the earth.
Conversion by force is not acceptable to Christ.
However, all believers should tell others that Jesus Saves;
AND, live their own lives according to the teachings of Christ.

To do these things indicates:
You understand the REAL problem
You are doing your part to bring peace to the heart of all those who are willing to hear the truth.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Separate Christians from the Love of God? Impossible!

Separate Christians From the Love of God? Impossible!
By Barbara Henderson

We should look at that which is for us, as well as what is against us. Matthew Henry, 1 Samuel 1:1-8 commentary.

‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Romans 8:31b Remember, this is God Almighty, who did not spare His own son that we might have eternal life. Will He forsake us now, after such great cost already spent?

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Romans 8:35-39 says:
35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36. As it is written, For they sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38. For I m persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from teh love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you want to memorize scripture, then memorize that.

Christians have died for their faith. Christians are still being persecuted around the globe, and some are even killed. They counted as sheep for the slaughter. YET, they are more than conquerors through the victory of Jesus Christ. Martyrs in Christ can only face the death of the physical body, the shadow of death. No creature has power to cast Christ’s own into hell. Eternal life is theirs through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at the cross. Though they be killed, they are not separated from the love of God for one second.

It is true that at some point we will be separated from all that we have on this earth. It may be in death. It also may be in life.
In this life:
I pray not to be separated from freedom of religion. I certainly enjoy worshipping my God and my King freely and openly. I would probably get myself into trouble immediately if an open declaration of faith in Jesus Christ was forbidden.
I pray not to be separated from my family.
I pray that my family and I and the brethren will not be in true want.
I pray that we will all be able to be content with such things as we have, and not let our lives be consumed by constant thoughts of things that we do not have.

Never the less, no matter what comes to pass while we yet live or when we die, we know that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God.
Whether we have material possessions beyond measure, or live in abject poverty, God’s love is with us. Sometimes, based on circumstances, we are more aware of God’s love, but His love is with us always.
We will eventually be ‘parted’ from all the things of this earth, both good and bad. Families, good works, evil intentions, material possessions, prestige, and everything that is accounted as valuable and worthwhile on this earth will still be on this earth when we are not here anymore.
Yet, the love of God will still be with us.
God will still be for us.
The devil and his followers will not be able to stand against us.

Sometimes, even often, when viewing the world system and the wicked and silly world leaders, we see all the things that are truly against us. It isn’t paranoid to say the government hates Christians. The government hates all those who do not look to it for salvation from every day trials. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the frightful and wicked events that we see happening.
What we tend to forget is that God is still for us, even though the entire world is against us. God is more powerful than the world because He created the world.

We should do as Matthew Henry says; ‘We should look at that which is for us, as well as what is against us.’

We should remember that God is for us; He is for His own children, just as earthly parents are for their own children. He counted the cost of adopting us before He started. He went through with the cross for us. He is not going to leave us now.

There are those who dearly love us, and that we dearly love in return. If it was within our power, we would not be separated from loved ones by death, or even great distance. Yet, no matter how great our love for family and friends, we have no power to stay the hand of death.

Jesus Christ has the power and authority to promise that we will not be separated from His love.
Jesus Christ has the power and authority to promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

A quick review reminds us:
Look at that which is for us as well as that which is against us.
Christ is for His own children.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Jesus Christ will never leave us nor forsake us.

Ultimately, we are facing a defeated foe.
What counts is how we face him.
We can face him with an attitude of defeat,
We can face him with faith in our God who loves us and gives us courage.
Christians are holding the winning hand.
We are holding the hand of Christ our Savior.

This song, ‘The Love of God’, is a good companion hymn for the scriptures written in Romans 8:35-39.

The Love of God
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ is also an excellent hymn to remind of who it is that stands for us against the world.