Saturday, April 8, 2017

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In this blog, I provide encouragement and biblical teaching on seeking the Lord with all your heart, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and living a life of holiness, righteousness, and truth.

As the Scripture says:

'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)

And "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

Some of the topics covered include seeking the Lord, prayer, worship, tithing, inquiring of the Lord, hearing His voice, obedience, grace, godly attire and adornment, sanctification, consecration, backsliding, repentance, brokenness, suffering, humility, the fear of the Lord, the role of the commandments for the disciple of Christ, and the conditions of the New Covenant.  I hope this will be an edifying and encouraging experience for you that will help you to grow in your walk with the Lord.

Seeking the Lord Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God Holy Fire Baptism
Lifting Your Face in Prayer Lifting Hands in Prayer Crying Out to God Loudly
Pressing on Toward the Goal Taking Heaven by Force God Exalts the Humble and Brings Down the Proud
Whom Are You Seeking? Should you fear the Lord? Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?
Aim for Perfection Obedience by the Spirit Is Obedience Optional?
Salvation with Fear and Trembling Holy Living in a Perverted World Drifting Away
The Cost of Discipleship Deleted Scriptures in the Bible? Is Tithing Required?
Where Should You Give Your Tithe? Walking in the Perfect Will of God Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian
The Obedience of Faith Did Jesus Nail the Law to the Cross? Law of Love in the New Testament
The New Covenant Law of Love in the New Testament The Law Fulfilled in Us
The Law Established Through Faith Costly Grace The Law of Christ
The Eyes of the Lord Garments of Godliness The Three Elijahs
The Burning Ones The End Has Come Now, But Not Yet
The Happy Hunters on Fire You're Better Off Following Jesus God Chooses the Weak Things 
The Beauty of Brokenness Seeing Jesus, Loving Him, Character and Glory Hearing the Lord's Voice
Hearing the Lord's Voice Inquiring of the Lord Praise the Lord!
The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come One thing Righteousness, Peace, and Joy
Is the the Self-Help and Actualization Movement a Sham? From Self-confidence to Confidence in the Lord The Self-Help Gospel
Checklist for Revival God Has Not Rejected His Jewish People, Has He? The Fiery Sufferings of the Believer
The Flaming Sword Clean Hands and a Pure Heart The Spirit of the Law
Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy An Open Mind that Loves the Truth Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?
Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth? The Apostasy Parables

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught
The Disciples’ Prayer Is Tolerance a Virtue? Righteousness by Faith not Law
Life is Short. Eternity is Not. Noah's Ark a Type of Christ Grace, Mercy, and Peace
Ultimate Accountability Separation from the World The Knowledge of the Holy
The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness Ask for the Ancient Paths Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven
The Straight and Narrow Path Unhealthy Competition A Peculiar People
Listen to Jesus, Who Upholds Moses and the Prophets Hope for You

Beware of Philosophy and Empty Deception
The Love of Jesus The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer Having a Servant's Heart
Avoiding Worldly Worship Purge the Evil from Among You Who is God?
Living a Life Worthy of the Lord Praying for the Lord Jesus Who is God? - Part II
The Way, Will, and Word of God Overcomers in This Life The Afflictions of the Righteous
Saints Alive in Jesus Bowing Low in Worship Repentance That Leads to Life
Keeping a Good Conscience Remember Lot’s Wife Called to be Blameless
If -- A Picture Paints a Thousand Words The Lord Will Rejoice Over You The Nature of Persecution
The Wardrobe of the Saints Filled Up to All the Fullness of God Loving Deeply
Seeking Glory from God Amazing Grace God's Sovereign Plans and Purposes
Abominations in the Sight of God Identification with Christ Alabaster Jar
Running from God

Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Seek My Face" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Running from God

There are some wonderful lessons of mercy, grace, and compassion to learn from Jonah and his experience when God sent Him to proclaim His message to the lost. Let's take a look and observe how God responded in each situation, and His sovereign control over everything as He sends and appoints whomever and whatever He pleases.

The Lord Sent Jonah
The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." (Jon 1:1-2)

Here God appointed or ordained Jonah to go forth when He sent him to Nineveh. However, Jonah ran away from the Lord and fled from His presence. Just as He appointed Jonah, He also appointed some other things. Let’s take a look at what those were.

The Lord Sent a Great Wind
The first thing the Lord did in response to Jonah running from Him was to send a great wind. “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” (Jon 1:4, NIV). In fact the word for “sent” in this verse may also be translated “hurled” to indicate the mighty force with which the Lord sent it.

God opposes the proud, and He was opposing Jonah, who was acting in a selfish, strong-willed, rebellious manner.

Because of the storm, the sailors called on their gods and the captain ordered Jonah to get up from his sleep in the hold of the ship and call on his God. The sailors also cast lots to determine who was the cause of this storm and the lot fell to Jonah. When they asked him about it, he admitted he was to blame and once again said that he was running from the Lord, just as he had already told them. When they asked what they should do to calm the storm, he advised them to throw him into the sea, which they did. As soon as they threw him overboard, the sea grew calm.

The Lord Appointed a Fish
The next thing the Lord did was to appoint a fish to swallow Jonah. “And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jon 1:17, NASB)

The word “appointed” comes from the Hebrew word “manah,” which is used four times in the book of Jonah, meaning “sent” or “appointed.” The NET Bible translates the word as “sent”. “The Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jon 1:17, NET).

While Jonah did not obey God when he was sent, the fish obeyed God when it was sent. It swallowed Jonah.

The Lord Commanded the Fish
The next thing that happened was that Jonah prayed from inside the belly of the great fish. He cried out to God and the Lord heard him. The Lord’s response to Jonah’s prayer was to give him a second chance, so He commanded the fish to disgorge him. “Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land.” (Jon 2:10)
Once the fish had vomited Jonah onto dry land, God sent him a second time to Nineveh.

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you."
(Jon 3:1-2)

In obedience to God, Jonah arose and began his first of three days walk through the city with the message, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." (3:4). The people responded well to the message and repented sincerely. “Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.” (Jon 3:5). In fact, when the king heard the message, he ordered all of his citizens to repent.

“When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, ‘In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish." (Jon 3:6-9)

That moved the heart of God, who saw their repentance and relented from sending the calamity He had intended to send upon the people of Nineveh.

The Lord’s decision not to send destruction on Nineveh really displeased Jonah. In fact, it made him angry (4:1).

He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. (Jon 4:2)

The Lord Appointed a Plant
He decided to go east of the city, set up a shelter, and watch to see what God would do. Perhaps he hoped that God would still destroy them, since Jonah complained to Him about it. “So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.” (Jon 4:6)

The next thing God did was He appointed that plant to grow up to rescue Jonah from his misery. He did it because He knew Jonah was very hot and this would make him extremely happy. But He didn’t do it just for the sake of making Jonah happy. He did it to teach him a lesson.

God was concerned about all the people in Nineveh, because if they did not repent He would have to destroy them. However, Jonah was concerned about himself and his own comfort level.

The Lord Appointed a Worm
Afterward God sent a worm. “But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered.” (Jon 4:7)

The worm obeyed God and attacked the plant that God had appointed. Just because God has appointed something doesn’t mean it will last forever, because He can appoint it to be destroyed. By appointing the worm to attack and destroy the plant, God was removing the shade that the plant provided, which brought relief to Jonah’s discomfort. He wanted Jonah to see that just as the plant had been important to Jonah, the people were even more important to God. He wanted Jonah to feel the concern that He had for the people of Nineveh.

The Lord Appointed a Scorching East Wind
Finally, after God destroyed the plant he had appointed, He appointed a scorching wind. “When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, ‘Death is better to me than life.’" (Jon 4:8)

Through this object lesson, God taught Jonah about His love and compassion for people. “Then God said to Jonah, ‘Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?’ And he said, ‘I have good reason to be angry, even to death.’ Then the LORD said, ‘You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?’” (Jon 4:9-11)

God loved and cared for those people of Nineveh, whom He created, far more than Jonah cared for the plant for which he did not work and which he did not cause to grow. God even loved the animals and did not take pleasure in having to destroy them either. He showed Jonah that it is right for Him to have compassion like that, which is why Jonah should have obeyed the first time, when God initially sent him.

Putting it All Together
It doesn’t pay to run from what God has told you to do. The same way He sends His people and appoints them to do a work for Him, He also sends and appoints everything else as He sees fit. He does whatever He pleases. He is sovereign and is ultimately in control of everything. He's a big God. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Rom 11:36). No wisdom, no insight, no plan can succeed against the Lord (Pr 21:30). When He appoints someone or something, nothing can stop Him.

The Lord sent Jonah to preach to the people of Nineveh and warn them of the coming destruction that He was going to send upon their city. When the prophet disobeyed and ran from the presence of the Lord, God sent a wind, then a fish, then a plant, then a worm, and finally He sent a scorching wind. See how the elements all do His bidding! The wind obeyed God, the fish obeyed Him, the plant obeyed Him, the worm obeyed Him, but Jonah didn’t – at least not initially. But God gave him a second chance and then he finally did obey when he was sent. When he finally did, many people were saved from destruction as a result. The one thing God changed His mind about, and did not send  as He initially planned to do, was the destruction upon Nineveh.

Jonah taught us that God is a God of mercy and compassion. He is the God of second chances. Just as He gave Jonah a second chance, He also gave the people of Nineveh a second chance, too. He opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He loves people and is more concerned about the salvation of many than He is about our own personal comfort.

If you have been running from what God told you to do, now is the time to repent, turn back to Him, ask for His forgiveness, and obey Him. If you sincerely humble yourself before Him, He may give you a second chance. Likewise, if you have been living in sin, away from God, living for your own self, repent and turn to God through Jesus Christ, who died for you on the cross. He loves you and wants to save you. In fact, He has already gone to great lengths to save you, but you must repent and turn to Him to be saved, or else you, too, will perish.

Attribution noticeScripture quotations taken from the NASB, unless otherwise noted. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, as well as the NET Bible, where noted. 

Author's note: If you enjoyed this article, I also recommend 
Drifting AwayStriving to Enter the Kingdom of GodSins That Will Keep You From HeavenPleasing the LordLiving a Life Worthy of the LordThe Straight and Narrow PathAsk for the Ancient PathsRighteous Deeds and White RobesPracticing Your RighteousnessHoly Living in a Perverted WorldDoing What is RightYour Rewards Are Based on Your PracticeIs Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth?Faith Works!The Judgment Seat of ChristThe Obedience of FaithThe Difference Between a Disciple and a BelieverRemember the Eternal Law of GodPurge the Evil from Among YouJames Agboola Revelation of Heaven and HellThe Role of the Trinity in Drawing People to GodElection and PredestinationKeeping Power of God, and The Righteous Will Shine Forth as the Sun. Other related articles are available on the Home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?


“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Alabaster Jar

I would like to take a look together with you at the woman with the alabaster jar, who poured her perfume at Jesus’ feet. It’s recorded in all four gospels, so it’s like she had four cameras on her recording it from different angles. But actually there were more than four angles, because there were more than four people present when she did that. The four gospels tell us that there were others besides Jesus and His disciples, like Simon the Leper, and others who witnessed what she did. I would like to look at this event from the perspective of each of those people who were present, in order to see it the way they saw it, in the hopes that we will gain some new insights from it. Let’s begin by reading the account of it in each of the four gospels.

Matthew’s Account
In the gospel of Matthew it states:

“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, ‘Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.’ But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.’ Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’ And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.”  (Mat 26:6-16)

Matthew placed this event as occurring right before the Last Supper that Jesus ate with His disciples on the Passover, the night that He was betrayed. He makes the connection between this event and the Lord's passion. He emphasizes the focus men had on money and the cost of the perfume when this happened. He also ties it in with the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve.

Mark’s Account
In Mark's gospel, which some believe he recorded at the direction of the apostle Peter, it states:

“While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. But some were indignantly remarking to one another, ‘For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.’ And they were scolding her.” (Mar 14:3-5)

“But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.’" (Mar 14:6-9)

"Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time." (Mar 14:10-11)

Mark, like Matthew, also placed this event right before the Last Supper, which is recorded immediately after this passage. Therefore he associates this event with the betrayal of Christ and His passion.

Luke’s Account
Luke's is the only account that does not place the occurrence of the event right before the passion of Christ.

Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner." And Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he replied, "Say it, Teacher." "A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. "When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?" Simon answered and said, "I suppose the one whom he forgave more." And He said to him, "You have judged correctly." Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. "You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. "You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." Then He said to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, "Who is this man who even forgives sins?" And He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."  (Luk 7:36-50)

John’s Account
In John’s account, he places this event not at Simon the Leper’s house but at the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. He identifies Mary as the woman who did this to Jesus. However, he still has it located in Bethany just as all the other gospels do.

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, *said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?" Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Therefore Jesus said, "Let her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of My burial. "For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me." (Joh 12:1-8)

Now that we have read the account of this event in each of the four gospels with each of their different angles, let’s examine it from the perspective of each person who was present in the house that day.

Simon’s Perspective
We’ll begin with Simon, who looked down upon the woman because she was a sinner, and doubted that Christ was a prophet because He allowed her to touch Him.

“Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.’" (Luk 7:39).

Being a Pharisee, he was righteous in his own eyes. He judged both Jesus and the woman unjustly in his heart, and failed to look at himself first. While he did well to invite Jesus for dinner, he did not show Him love like the woman did. He neglected to greet the Lord with a kiss, to give Him water for His feet, and to anoint His head with oil.

The Woman’s Perspective
Now let’s see what this event looked like through the eyes of the woman herself. According to Matthew’s gospel, “A woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.” (Mat 26:7).

She saw Jesus as Messiah, the Anointed One, and she anointed His head. She believed in Him. She brought an alabaster jar of very costly perfume with her, intending to pour it on Him. She did not normally walk around with this jar. Rather this was deliberately done especially for Jesus. No cost was too high, no gift too expensive for Him.

According to Mark’s gospel, “While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.” (Mar 14:3).

She did not just open the cover and pour a portion of it out on Him, but she broke it open. The Greek word for “broke” indicates that she completely broke it, as when something is broken into pieces. By breaking it, she rendered it unable to be used again in the future to hold the contents. She went for broke, not sparing anything, giving Him all that of the costly contents inside of it with all their beautiful fragrance that she could have put on herself and enjoyed. She gladly exchanged it for the fragrance of Christ.

According to Luke’s gospel, “And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.” (Luk 7:37-38)

She was known in that city as a sinner. We are not sure if she had ever used any of this perfume previously as part of her sinful lifestyle to seduce men into sin. If she did, then she may have trapped many men with that same perfume, by putting it on herself. But by now giving it over to Jesus, she demonstrated that she no longer needed it, because she was departing or had departed from her sinful lifestyle. This was true repentance and contrition for sin.

She came to the Lord when she learned that Jesus was reclining there in the house of the Pharisee named Simon the Leper. She sought Him out, carrying that alabaster jar of perfume. We know that he was reclining, as was the custom in that culture, rather than sitting on chairs to eat. When she found Him, she humbly and contritely took up her position standing at His feet, weeping before Him. Seeing herself so utterly sinful as she was, and He as her Savior, she wept with sorrow for her sin. The message, though unspoken, was absolutely clear. She was seeking His forgiveness.

As her tears fell from her eyes onto His feet, she knelt and wiped them dry with her hair. This was a great act of worship, seeing His feet of greater worth than the hair of her head. His feet were dusty and dirty from walking around outside with sandals, and they had not be washed when he entered the home, as was then the custom in that place. Her tears served as the water to wash them and her hair as the towel to dry them. It was no problem for her to do this. There was no hesitation or reservation on her part. In fact, she did not stop kissing His feet from the time He entered the house. She lavishly poured out her love on Him, and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

The Disciples’ Perspective
Next let’s see how this event looked through the eyes of the disciples. They saw it as a waste, since they were most concerned about the cost of the perfume. They were indignant when they saw this, and said, "Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor." (Mat 26:8-9). The reason they scolded her and bothered her like that was because their focus was on the money, since the perfume was not ordinary, but one that would have fetched a high price. In their view, pouring it out all at once like that on one person was expending it without necessity or use. They felt she was destroying it wantonly or luxuriously, squandering it, and thereby causing it to be lost through negligence. 

Judas’ Perspective
Judas was one of those who shared that same viewpoint, and who was thinking about money. “Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.” (Mar 14:10-11). It was during this particular event that Judas, who was intending to betray Christ, ultimately went off to do so in exchange for the promise of money. It is interesting that this woman’s act of love for Jesus triggered such a dastardly act on the part of Judas for the sake of financial gain. This is the nature of persecution, which is often done out of jealousy. What a contrast there was between what this woman was doing and what Judas was doing at that moment! Their hearts were in two completely different places.

Judas was a man who could be bought for a price. He asked, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him?” (Mt 26:15). Don’t ever set a price for your soul, for which you would be willing to deny Christ or compromise your convictions in any way, because if you do, the devil will surely send someone who is willing to pay it.

Being money-oriented, Judas was naturally motivated by greed, which is what made his reaction different from that of the other disciples. “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?’ Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.” (Joh 12:4-6). He was selected by the Lord to be the treasurer, yet even as a disciple of Christ given that kind of trust, he had no problem stealing money from the Lord’s treasury box that he was responsible for. Ultimately that was his downfall, because he valued money more than the Lord.

His eyes were blinded by money, and to him the woman’s act was outrageous, not because of the money it wasted, but because of the opportunity he lost to have that money for himself.

As Paul said, “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1Ti 6:9-10). Judas is an example for us to show us what happens to those who ignore the warnings against greed and covetousness in Scripture. His longing for money caused him to wander from the faith and pierce himself with grief. He fell into temptation and a snare, because of his desire to get rich, and plunged himself into ruin and destruction. Scripture tells us that after he saw that they decide to put Jesus to death, he was filled with remorse and committed suicide by hanging himself.

Other Guests
Now let's look at the event through the eyes of other guests at the dinner in that house with Jesus, who have not already been mentioned. "The other guests began to say among themselves, 'Who is this who even forgives sins?'" (Luk 7:49, NIV). This is yet another perspective to consider. They marveled at Him, wondering who He was, since He was able to forgive a person's sins. No one else but God has the authority to forgive sins. No other man but Jesus Christ God's Son can do so. Let's not forget that. We, too should marvel at His ability to forgive our sins. As I said in my previous article, no matter what you've done, you need to know that if you repent and return to God, He forgives and forgets. You can trust Him to do it, since He is gracious and compassionate.

The Lord’s Perspective
Finally, let’s view this whole matter through the Lord’s eyes, which is the most important perspective of all. While everyone else was judging the woman, scolding her, or looking down upon her act of worship, how was it viewed in the sight of God? We know from Scripture that Jesus enjoyed and appreciated her loving act of devotion to Him.

“Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little." (Lk 7:44-47).

He saw her faith, and responded by saying directly to her, "Your sins have been forgiven." (Luk 7:48). While everyone marveled at those words, He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luk 7:50). He could see that she was a sinner who had come home.

It was an unforgettable moment for Him. He said, “Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her." (Mat 26:13). He knew that God would not forget what she did, and neither would He. In fact, by declaring it so, He saw to it that people throughout the whole world for thousands of years to come would remember what she did to Him there that day. She would be famous for this simple act, of which others did not appreciate or see any value. And it was recorded in every single one of the four gospels, which underscores its importance to God.

Jesus rebuked the disciples for bothering her and told them told them to leave her alone. He said that she did a good deed to Him, which He viewed as a beautiful thing (Mk 14:6). He recognized that she was preparing Him for burial, which was soon to happen. He said, "For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.” (Mat 26:12). Not only was the house filled with the fragrance of the perfume, but so was He, since He was covered with it. And that fragrance surely stayed with Him and upon Him during the last supper, during His prayer in Gethsemane, throughout His arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death on the cross. The soldiers must have smelled it, as well as Pilate, Herod, and the people by whom he carried the cross on those narrow streets of Jerusalem. Since He said that it was preparation for His burial, we may assume that even when they took Him down, they would have still smelled some of it upon Him. It was long lasting. Nothing about what she did was wasted at all in His sight. It had eternal value to God. This is the nature of true worship, as Jesus taught us how to love God.

“And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the great and foremost commandment.” (Mat 22:37-38)

Worship is about loving God above all else. Yet in this world, it seems that most people serve wealth. This is even true of many Christians, and this indicates who their god really is. They may say they love Jesus, but if they are pursuing wealth, then that is their true master, not the Lord. Jesus warned, "'No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.' Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, 'You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.'" (Luk 16:13-15).

In that room when the woman poured perfume on Jesus, the things that everyone else esteemed highly were abominations in the sight of God. He detested their evil thoughts and reactions, which were based upon their misplaced values. God knew each of their hearts, and could see through what they were saying and thinking, all the way down to their very motives. Likewise, He knew that woman's heart and placed great value on her worship. He was pleased with it and received it as a sweet-smelling savor.

Putting it All Together
Having examined the woman’s act of pure devotion to Christ from multiple angles, we have learned many things. We saw the doubt and critical spirit with which Simon viewed it. We learned from the lesson that Christ taught him that those who are forgiven much love much and those who are forgiven little love little. We saw the criticism of the woman by the disciples, because they saw what she did as a great loss. We saw the greed in the heart of Judas, who wished he could have cashed in her vial of perfume and had the money for himself. We saw how his love of money led him to betray Christ.

We saw the event as the woman herself saw it, through her own eyes, as something very special of which the Lord was completely worthy. We saw her humility, her repentance, her contrition, her tears, her kisses, her extravagant worship, her true love for Jesus, because He forgave her many sins. As she knelt at His feet, she received forgiveness of her sins and salvation (Lk 7:48,50). Although all others were in an outrage over her actions, she had found enduring peace with God at last and that was all that mattered. She cared not what others thought. All her debts with God were cancelled (Lk 7:42).

Most importantly we saw her act of worship through the eyes of Jesus, who was immensely blessed by it. He saw her heart and knew that she was truly sorry for her sins. He forgave her and received her worship, and promised that people all over the world would remember her for it wherever the gospel is preached. It was not at all a waste to Him, but something precious of eternal value.

Let’s learn from this for ourselves and apply it to our own lives. Let’s not be like Simon or the disciples or Judas Iscariot. Instead let’s be like the woman, and repent of our sins – even with tears, receive the Lord’s forgiveness, and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let’s give Him our highest and best – our all, for which He is eternally worthy. Let’s pour out our love on Him like fragrant perfume with sincere and pure devotion.

Give Him your whole life as an offering to the King. Break it at His feet. Offer your body to Him as a living sacrifice, which is your acceptable act of worship (Rom 12:1-2). Don't let anyone look down upon your devotion or criticize you for it. Don't hold back or be stingy with your worship. For no matter how lavish your worship, it’s still it's less than He deserves. He’s far more beautiful than any vial or anything you could give. He’s more precious than the fragrant oil or the most valuable thing you have. He’s the sum of our desires and the fullness of our joy. He is worthy. Worthy is the Lord!

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the Home page, especially The Beauty of Brokenness, One thing, Bowing Low in WorshipSeeking the Lord, The Cost of Discipleship, Costly Grace, The Nature of Persecution, Loving Deeply, Seeking Glory from God, The Loving God Who Bids Us to Come, The Love of Jesus, God Forgives and Forgets, Repentance that Leads to Life, The Lord Healed My Backsliding, and Amazing Grace. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Identification with Christ

When you become a disciple of Christ you have total and complete union with him. You now identify with Him in every way -- those that are pleasant and those that are painful. Let's look at some of those here now.

Identification According to Jesus
The Lord Jesus told His disciples how they would identify with Him when He said:

"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” (Joh 15:20)

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (Joh 15:18)

"The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me." (Luk 10:16)

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (Mat 10:40)

"Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. (Mat 10:14)

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'  (Mat 25:40)

"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (Mat 25:45)

"Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33)

"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." (Luk 9:26)

"And He was saying to them all, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.'" (Luk 9:23)

“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father…” (Rev 2:26-27)

"He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." (Rev 3:21)

Let's go back now and review the ways the Lord said we identify with Him in the preceding verses:

  • If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
  • If the world hates you, it has hated Me before it hated you.
  • The one who rejects you rejects Me.
  • If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
  • The one who listens to you listens to Me.
  • If they do not listen to you, they do not listen to Me.
  • If you are doing My work, then those who receive you receive Me.
  • Whatever they do to any one of you, they do it to Me.
  • Whatever they do not do to any one of you, they do not do to Me.
  • Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father.
  • Whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father.
  • Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, I will be ashamed of him when I come.
  • If I denied Myself and carried My cross,
  • You must deny yourself and take up your cross daily.

This means that if we are seeking to live godly in Christ, we can expect the world to persecute us, hate us, and reject us. If Jesus went through those things, then we certainly can’t escape experiencing them. But if we teach what Jesus did, speak the truth, and testify of Him, we can also expect those who are on the side of truth to receive us, listen to us, keep our word, and love us. If we confess Christ before men, He will confess us before the Father. But if we deny Him before men, He will also deny us before the Father. If we are ashamed of Him and His Words, He will be ashamed of us when He comes. Since He denied Himself and carried His cross, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. If we overcome and keep His deeds to the end, He will give us authority over the nations, just as He received authority from the Father. He will grant to us to sit down with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with the Father on His throne. This is what it means to identify with Christ in every way.

Identification with Christ According to Paul
The apostle Paul also taught us how we have become identified with Christ, too. He said:

"Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:4)

"For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection," (Rom 6:5)

"It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;" (2Ti 2:11-12)

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Php 2:5)

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Co 2:16)

"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead." (Phil 3:10, NIV)

"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it." (1Co 12:26-27)

  • If one member of Christ's body suffers, He suffers with it.
  • If you follow Christ, you must have the same attitude that was in Him.
  • If you have been buried with Him into death,
  • You have been raised with Him in newness of life.
  • If you have become united with Him in the likeness of His death,
  • You shall be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection.
  • If you participate in His sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
  • You will know the power of his resurrection, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
  • If we died with Him, we will also live with Him.
  • If we endure, we will also reign with Him.
  • If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

As disciples of Christ, we are united with Him in every way. This means we should seek to and expect to know Christ in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, being made like Him in His death, so that somehow we attain to the resurrection of the dead and reign with Him. We should pray earnestly and ask for total and complete union with Him, so that we would have the mind of Christ, the attitude of Christ, and the will of Christ in our lives. I hope this has encouraged you to do so today.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: I recommend reading the following articles: Covenant Prayer,  All Things Handed Over to Jesus ChristSupernatural Power for All Disciples, An Incomparable InheritanceThe Cost of Discipleship, Persecuted or Popular?, The Priesthood of All Believers, and The Highest Form of Slavery. I also invite you to read my daughter's poems, called "The Cost" and "Mirror of Christ." You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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Friday, January 6, 2017

Abominations in the Sight of God

Boa Constrictor Snake
In the Church today, we rarely ever hear the word "abomination", if at all, unless it is in reference to something that applied only to the Israelites under the law of Moses. But we need to be reminded once again that abominations still exist for the saints today under the New Covenant in Christ's blood. The holy people of God must still avoid abominations, so it's important to know what things are considered abominations.

Abominations in the New Testament
Let's begin with the Greek word for abomination in the New Testament, which is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” To put it very simply, an abomination is something God utterly hates and finds disgusting. Idolatry in its various forms is the chief of all abominations and perhaps the most common, but there are many other kinds of abomination, as you shall see.

Jesus spoke about the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel, which will stand in the holy place (Mat 24:15; Mar 13:14). It will probably be some sort of idol set up in the temple by the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition doomed to destruction. The apostle Paul said he "opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Th 2:4). So the idol would be the son of perdition himself or his image.

The revelation given to the apostle John states that a false prophet will arise who will tell those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast (Rev 13:14), and he will give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed (Rev 13:15; also see Rev 14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4)

The Lord also said, that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable to God (Luk 16:15), so that means the things men value greatly are abominations in God's sight. In the context of that passage, the Lord was speaking specifically about wealth, which is at the top of the list of things that men cherish. This is why the prosperity gospel is so dangerous. However, there are many other things that men value highly like status symbols, big titles, political power, business prowess and success, intelligence, educational achievements, physical strength, athletic ability, muscle-bound bodies, perfect outward physical beauty, sex appeal, fashion, fads, and the like.

Abominations are part of what fills the gold cup of the woman on the beast (Rev 17:4), who is known as Babylon, the mother of the abominations of the earth (Rev 17:5).

Abominations in the Old Testament
Tarantula spider
Now that we have seen that abominations still exist under the New Covenant, let's look at the Hebrew Scriptures for more insight. The Hebrew word for abomination is "to‛ebah", meaning "something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: - abominable (custom, thing), abomination." This is the same meaning as the word for abomination in the New Testament, so there is no difference. In fact, in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, known as the Septuagint, this Hebrew word is translated with the Greek word “bdelugma,” which is also used in the New Testament for abomination.

Here is a list of people and things God considers to be an abomination, according to Scripture:

  • Homosexuality (Lev 18:22,26,29,30; 20:13; 1Co 6:9-10)  
  • Approaching any blood relative to uncover nakedness or have sexual relations (Lev 18:6,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your mother or step mother (Lev 18:7,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your sister or step sister (Lev 18:9,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter (Lev 18:10,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your father’s sister, or your mother’s sister, which is your aunt (Lev 18:12-13,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with the wife of your father's brother, which is your aunt (Lev 18:14,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife (Lev 18:15,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with your brother’s wife (Lev 18:16,26,29,30)
  • Having sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter, or with either her grandchildren (Lev 18:17,26,29,30)
  • Marrying a woman in addition to her sister as a rival while she is alive, to uncover her nakedness (Lev 18:18,26,29,30)
  • Approaching a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity (Lev 18:19,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with your neighbor's wife (Lev 18:20,26,29,30)
  • Having intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it (Lev 18:23,26,29,30)
  • A woman standing before an animal to mate with it (Lev 18:23,27,29, 30)
  • The silver and gold of the pagan idols (Deu 7:25)  
  • Graven images (Deu 7:26)
  • An idol (Deu 27:15; Isa 44:19; Eze 7:20; 8:6; 14:6; 16:36; 1Co. 12:2; 2Co. 6:16; 1Th. 1:9; 1Jn. 5:21) 
  • Making idols (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Idolatry (Eze 16:43; 18:12). Likewise, the New Testament Scriptures teach us that no one who practices idolatry will enter the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:20), so we must flee from idolatry (1Co. 10:14). Let's not forget that even covetousness is a form of idolatry (Col. 3:5).  
  • The acts that the pagans did for their gods like human sacrifice, burning sons or daughters in fire, inquiring after the gods. Giving any of your offspring to offer them to Molech (Deu 12:31; Jer 32:35)  
  • He who chooses false gods. (Isa 41:24)  
  • Sacrificing to Baal, and walking after other gods. (Jer 7:10)  
  • Burning sacrifices and worshipping other gods (Jer 44:4)  
  • Burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings and making cakes in her image. (Jer 44:22)  
  • Adulterous hearts which turn away from God, and eyes which play the harlot after idols (Eze 6:9,11)  
  • Women weeping for the false god Tammuz (Eze 8:13-14)  
  • Worthless men going out and seducing the inhabitants of a city to serve other gods. (Deu 13:14)  
  • Serving and worshipping other gods, including the sun, moon, heavenly host. (Deu 17:4; Eze 8:15)  
  • Making your children pass through the fire, divination, witchcraft, interpreting omens, sorcery, casting spells, mediums, spiritists, those who call upon the dead (Deu 18:9,12)
  • Those who make their son or daughter pass through the fire, who use divination who practices witchcraft, who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. (Deu 18:12)
  • Burning incense as well as burning sons in fire according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ch 28:3)  
  • The false gods Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom were the abomination of the Sidonians, of Moab, and Ammon respectively. (2Ki 23:13)  
  • The things that the Hittites, Amorites,  Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites did for their gods. (Deu 20:18)  
  • Sacrificing to demons, neglecting the Rock who “begot you”, forgetting the God who “gave you birth” (Deu 32:16)  
  • Building high places, erecting altars to false gods, worshipping and serving the host of heaven, building altars for all the host of heaven in the house of the Lord, making your children pass through the fire, practicing witchcraft and divination, dealing with mediums and spiritists, setting the carved image of a false God in the house of the Lord, seducing God’s people to do evil (2Ki 21:11; 2Ch 33:2)  
  • Ahaz walked in the ways of Israel’s kings, even makings his sons pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations. (2Ki 16:3)  
  • Evil deeds committed by King Manasseh, according to the nations. (2Ki 21:2; Also see 2Ch 33:2)
  • Kings committing wicked acts (Pro 16:12) 
  • Sacrificing blemished/defective animals (Deu 17:1).  
  • The person who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex (Deu 22:5)
  • Practicing ritual prostitution, as in the work of cult prostitutes (1Ki 14:23-24)  
  • Sacred female prostitutes and sacred male prostitutes (Deu 23:18)  
  • To bring the wages of a female or male prostitute into the Lord’s house (Deu 23:18)  
  • For a man to take back his former wife after having sent her away (since she has been defiled). (Deu 24:4)  
  • Those who act unjustly and those who have differing weights and measures (Deu 25:16)  
  • Those who justify the wicked and condemn the righteous (Pro 17:15)  
  • Differing weights and measures (Pro 20:10, 23)  
  • A false balance (Pro 11:1)  
  • That which fills the heart of the man who has hatred (Pro 26:25) 
  • The devious (Pro 3:32) 
  • Haughty eyes (Pro 6:16)  
  • Those who are proud in heart (Pro 16:5)  
  • A lying tongue (Pro 6:16; 12:22)  
  • A false witness who utters lies (Pro 6:16)  
  • Hands that shed innocent blood,  (Pro 6:16)  
  • A heart that devises wicked plans (Pro 6:16)  
  • Evil plans (Pro 15:26) 
  • Feet that run rapidly to evil (Pro 6:16)  
  • One who spreads strife among brothers. (Pro 6:16)  
  • Wickedness (Pro 8:7)  
  • The way of the wicked (Pro 15:9)  
  • The perverse in heart (Pro 11:20)  
  • The prayer of the person who turns his ear away from listening to the law (Pro 28:9)  
  • The sacrifice of the wicked (Pro 15:8; 21:27)  
  • Pompous and costly devotions of wicked people, such as incense offered with hands full of blood (Isa 1:13)  
  • The acts of Sodom and Samaria, which were arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but not helping the poor and needy. (Eze 16:47,50)  
  • Lending money on interest and taking increase (Eze 18:13,24)  
  • Stealing, murdering, committing adultery, swearing falsely (Jer 7:10)
  • Shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Treating father and mother lightly (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Oppression of the alien (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Wronging the fatherless and the widow (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Slanderous men shedding blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Eating at the mountain shrines (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing acts of lewdness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Uncovering your fathers' nakedness (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling her who was unclean in her menstrual impurity (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Committing abomination with your neighbor's wife (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Lewdly defiling your daughter-in-law (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Humbling one’s sister (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking bribes to shed blood (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Taking interest and profits (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Injuring neighbors for gain by oppression (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Forgetting the Lord (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Despising the Lord’s holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Profaning His Sabbath (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests hiding their eyes from the Lord’s Sabbaths (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests doing violence to God’s law and profaning His holy things (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Priests making no distinction between the holy and the profane;  priests not teaching the difference between the unclean and the clean (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Princes shedding blood and destroying lives in order to get dishonest gain (Eze 22:2-12) 
  • Prophets covering up for such evil rulers, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' when the LORD has not spoken; practicing oppression and committing robbery, wronging the poor and needy and oppressing the sojourner without justice (Eze 22:2-12)  
  • Bringing in uncircumcised foreigners to be in the Lord’s sanctuary to profane it, thus making His covenant void, and appointing these foreigners to keep charge of the Lord’s sanctuary." (Eze 44:6-7)
  • Giving daughters to sons of the “peoples of the land” and taking their daughters for your sons (Ezr 9:14)  
  • Profaning the Lord’s sanctuary by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. (Mal 2:11). The New Testament still teaches us this is evil. "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. "And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me," Says the Lord Almighty. (2Co 6:14-18) 
  • Food-related abominations, regarding the consumption of unclean animals and creeping (swarming) things that go on their belly or walk on all fours or on many legs (Deut 14:3-21; Lev 11:41-43). This one is now apparently obsolete under the New Covenant, since the Lord Jesus declared all food clean (Mk 7:19). And the Lord said that what He has made clean, we must not declare unclean (Ac 10:15). You must not let anyone judge you with regard to what you eat or drink (Col 2:13). Nevertheless, just because you are allowed to eat them does not mean it is healthy to do so either physically or spiritually.
Putting it All Together
Aside from this last one about unclean animals, God still detests all of the abominations listed above. He detested them then and He still detests them now. What was an abomination to God thousands of years ago is still an abomination to Him today. He did not change His mind and decide that He now likes these things or that He does not mind it when people do them. At no point in Scripture does it say that God's grace means we are free to do these things. There are still Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven. It's important that we know about these things, so we don't miss heaven.

While the apostles clearly stated that circumcision is not required for believers, they did reaffirm that believers must avoid certain things that God hates. They set forth the following decree for Gentiles: "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell." (Act 15:28-29). This decree states that, in addition to abstaining from fornication, we must also still abstain from eating food sacrificed to idols and from blood and from the meat of strangled animals. The New Testament warns us not to touch what is unclean.

In the revelation given to John, the Lord Jesus indicated that He still hates it when believers commit acts of sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols. He said, 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols." (Rev 2:20)

And the Scripture is clear that no one who practices what is detestable will enter the Holy City. It states, "And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev 21:27). The Greek word for "abomination" in this verse is “bdelugma,” meaning “a detestation, that is, (specifically) idolatry: - abomination.” All who do these things are offensive to God, since their conduct excites Him to disgust and abhorrence. Anyone who is practicing abomination, it doesn't matter how good of a Christian they or other people think they are, the Bible says they will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Nobody is allowed into heaven who does such things.

Therefore, based on Scripture alone, we have certainly established who and what God considers to be an abomination. “Thus says the Lord God, 'Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations." (Ez 14:6). Let's take heed of these warnings and repent, if you have done these things. Let's walk the straight and narrow path, avoiding all abominations, conducting our lives in holiness and godliness as we wait eagerly for the coming of our Lord Jesus from heaven on the day of God. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ and of God the Father abide with His saints forever.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
 
Author's note: You are invited to read Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Aim for Perfection, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, Rachael Mushala Second Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala’s Third Testimony of Hell, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Tattoos and Body Piercing, Michael Shigaba's Encounter with Jesus, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, A Warning for Christian Married Couples, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?Keeping Sundays Holy - Part I, Keeping Sundays Holy - Part II, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular MusicIs Contraception a Sin? -- A Divine Revelation, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Led by the Spirit, Called to be Blameless, Holy Living in a Perverted World, , Separation from the World, and Fruit in Every Season. You may access the Main Directory for this Seeking the Lord blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Zipporah Mushala's testimony of hell Only the Holy -- Three Shocking Testimonies Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven
Baptized by Blazing Fire Taken to Hell Angelica Zambrano Second Visit to Hell
Australian Pastor Raised from the Dead Nigerian Pastor Raised from the Dead Revelation of Hell to Seven Colombian Youths

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.