A Prayer

It seemed to me to be an appropriate time to journey back in time to 1996 and blow the dust off the controversial prayer given by Pastor Joe Wright before the Kansas House of Representatives. It is a prayer even more relevant today and I hope that you give heed to his words.

You may listen to him offer the prayer by clicking on the mp3 icon below or you may download it (right-click save-as or save-link-as) to your device to listen to it again and again. The text of his prayer below.

Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask Your forgiveness and seek Your direction and guidance. Lord, we know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we’ve done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building esteem.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbors’ possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our fore-fathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us oh God and know our hearts today; try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent here by the people of Kansas, and who have been ordained by You, to govern this great state. Grant them Your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of Your Son, the Living Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

The Storm is a Brewin’

It is coming.

The barks of the dogs of life alerts us to it long before its arrival. We have either ignored them, thrown an old shoe in their direction or yelled out the window to “shut up!”, which never seems to help except add to the fire of our emotions. The house begins to moan in an old disturbed way that speaks of the roiling pressures that have started to buffet its tired walls. Window frames begin to flap, slowly at first, but quickly picking up the pace adding to the growing clamor.

As the danger mounts, books are shaken from their shelves, dishes and lamps bounce their way to destructive shattering on the floor below. Tables and chairs take on a life of their own, toppling over but never settling down. Even the heaviest of things—the four poster bed and grandma’s old china hutch are no match against the invisible power which has seized the day and the house within it, twisting and turning, shaking it with such force it seems as if the foundations are being ripped from its underbelly.

Window panels spawn momentary webs of delicate cracks before exploding into a violent maelstrom of swirling shards and for but a moment, with a bloody arm of protection shielding your eyes you dare to look at the monster which approaches. Never have you experienced such a beast. Never have you witnessed such destruction. There is nothing that can be done—and nowhere to run or to hide. The world as you know it is being lifted and shaken, torn from the generational roots upon which it was built.

This pillar of destruction spans from the throne room of heaven to the rubble of the earth, its width enveloping all from horizon to horizon. Its incalculable power is unstoppable, piercing the impenetrable, displacing the unmovable and razing the unshakable. No engineering marvel can curtail it, no medical breakthrough can cure it, no military force can destroy it and no political gathering can find a solution by a vote.

While the steps of a righteous person are ordered by the Lord who delights in their way, the steps of the wicked, those whose hearts are as black as coal and dead in their trespasses and sins unknowingly follow another who seeks to displace the one true God and King. Their rebelliousness against their creator God, having reached a tipping point as it once did thousands of years ago has brought this judgmental conclusion to our doorstep. Their ‘gnashing at the teeth’ prideful wickedness has turned the world inside out to the point where it is as it was in the days of Noah—where every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts is only evil continually.

There is no victory by human hand and we are a sad and ignorant lot when we believe there is. There is only victory by a gracious hand which will reach down from heaven and pluck you mercifully from the valley of death which is riding hard and fast toward you. It is not too late—not yet. But time is running short, for the storm is a brewin’.

And it is headed straight towards you.

 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Romans 10:13

 

 

Will You Be Left Behind?

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Rollin Miller

God Sets Up Kings

I must admit that I don’t go out of my way to either listen to or read the writings of John Piper. As the founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary, he carries great influence in the Church today. But as someone whose Calvinistic and Covenant perspectives on salvation and Christian living and even prophecy differ markedly from my own, I typically don’t gravitate to his teaching.

That said, on those occasions when I see his name appear in the headlines of otherwise daily news, I will most often take the time to read his perspective on the world around us.

But I frequently do not agree.

And today might just be another one of those times.

Looking back to the day of President Trump’s inauguration, John Piper writes:

“Today we will inaugurate a man to the presidency of the United States who is morally unqualified to be there.” (the article can be read here)

Now unless we have been living with our heads buried in the ground, we should have a pretty good idea what Dr. Piper is talking about. The headlines, launched early in the campaign were flooded with President Trump’s head shaking behavior, providing Dr. Piper with more than enough ammunition to bury the President under a bulleted list of ugly accusations.

There can be no denying that the President’s behavior and street tainted language is strikingly off-color compared to what we would expect to hear from someone standing in the White House. Despite that, my issue is not with the President and his laundry list of personal failings, but with Dr. Piper himself.

I think it is important that we remember that when Dr. Piper speaks, he is not speaking as any other man, but he does so with the weight of his own office and position as a leader in the Church. Like it or not, by virtue of who he is, his judgment on the President comes with one hand gripping the pulpit and the other holding his Bible.

And yet…

I am making no attempt to deny or condone any of the President’s sinful misdeeds.

But I have to wonder if Dr. Piper’s list was shortened by one or two items, would he find the President morally acceptable? Or perhaps if three of Trump’s failings were to be erased from the charges—would he be able to slip under the Piper limbo pole of acceptability.

Or perhaps it isn’t the number of accusations per se, but the items themselves which Dr. Piper finds morally reprehensible and thus disqualifying to the office of the Presidency. And if that is the case, which ones are the really bad ones?—the deplorable disqualifiers?

And I wonder, with all of the lying, pandering, fornication, political subterfuge, greed and corruption which has walked the halls in wingtips and high heels of every political edifice in our land for decades, how many other Dr. Piper sermons and how many other articles have singled out others as morally unfit for whatever political office they held. For they have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

When reading the article, I wondered what standard Dr. Piper used in leveling his judgment?

Now before anyone tries to hit me over the head saying, “the Bible, you idiot!”, let me rephrase the statement. What exactly in the Bible is Dr. Piper using as a litmus test to declaring whether this man or this woman is or is not acceptable for the office of the Presidency. Is he somehow trying to pull ideas from the pages of the pastoral epistles, and the requirements for pastors and elders? Or is he moralistically bloviating an opinion which really has no basis in Scripture other than clearly identifying President Trump as a sinner like the rest of us.

I would like to remind Dr. Piper, he being the Calvinist that he is, of the sovereignty of God. And God’s sovereignty with regards to Kings and Presidents is clear in Daniel 2:21 where the Scripture says that it is God who sets up kings and removes kings.

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. Daniel 2:21

It is important to understand that not every king that God sets up or removes is what we might consider a good king. In fact the Old Testament is filled with the names of wicked kings such as king Ahab or Agag. But the Bible also has names like Solomon and David who ruled Israel and yet had serious flaws in their character, particularly when it came to women.

So when I look at our President, do I see Ahab or do I see Solomon?

Well, I stand with Scripture and the sovereignty of God. For whatever purpose, God has placed Trump in the White House. Our President is a flawed man. There is no denying that. But is he unfit for his office, morally or on any other basis? I cringe at the idea of essentially accusing God of making a mistake. For God chose him, and therefore our President is fit for the task God intends.

Now what that task is, I have no idea. The Bible says that God chose Samson as a Nazarite (before his birth) who would deliver his people Israel from the hands of the Philistines. God chose Samson and therefore saw him fit to accomplish that task. And he did so knowing full well the failures which would pockmark Samson’s life as he turned from the laws of his people and embraced a Philistine women, a worshiper of idols as his own wife.

The Scripture is clear that our Sovereign God works all things together for good and the accomplishing of his will and purpose. It is true in our day as it was true in Samson’s day. For though Samson failed, God accomplished his purpose in Samson’s life as he collapsed the pillars and brought down the house on the Philistines through the renewing of his strength by God’s grace.

Can we say that Samson, David, Solomon and President Trump were all sinners and morally flawed?

That being said…

Was Samson fit for the office of Judge?

Was David and Solomon fit for the office of King?

God thought so.

Is Trump fit for the office of President?

God thinks so.

 

4 Days to 60

Now that 2016 is in the rearview mirror, I look forward to my next milestone, turning 60 in just 4 days from now.

I had originally intended on starting this countdown a little earlier, but like many aspirations, they often get brushed aside, ignored or forgotten about. This time at least, my excuse carries a little more water as my swollen face from my recent surgery doesn’t look good no matter what angle I try in the mirror.

The mass was in my left parotid salivary gland, which from what I have read typically takes 2 to 3 hours to remove in surgery. My surgery defied those numbers, taking 6 hours to complete because the depth of the tumor, nestled up to the carotid artery. While there has been pain and difficult sleeping, particularly that I habitually sleep on my left side, I am doing quite well and will be visiting the doctor this morning for my post surgery visit and lab results on the mass. Once he clears me, it is back to work.

Well enough of surgery and tumors.

What really matters is what lies ahead, for you and for me and the time we have available.

If we were able to launch out far into space, we could get a better grasp just how small our little world is in this great big universe. And perhaps that would help us to better understand what a tiny speck in time are lives are. But our lives, however long they might be are filled with things that matter and things which do not. So many distractions pull us away from who we really are and what we are really doing here that often we never get any real traction and have grown so accustomed to failure that it has become just another part of who we are.

Begin in the race is more than simply getting out of the gate.

While there is breath in us, no one is beyond the grace of God. No matter how many times you have stumbled and fallen in your race, the grace of God is there.

The calamity of our race is filled with attention drawing noise—rolling amongst the highs and lows of raucous calamity and painful din with lots of pleasantries thrown in just to keep us off-balance and our heart rate anxiously elevated. Flashing lights and barrages of color join the barrage upon our senses and without the use of divine side blinders and the steady, reassuring hand of our Savior we would have no chance to make it down the track.

Our Lord, has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness upholds us in his hand even when fall. We are not thrown in the garbage heap. We are not utterly cast down, for his mercies are new and fresh everyday. Great is his faithfulness to us, even in the midst of our unfaithfulness to him.

But the enemy will do everything within his deceptive means to keep us down when we stumble. As we find ourselves face first in the muck and mud of life, the enemy comes alongside. He presses his boot hard to our necks and whispers in our ears that it is over—tells us that we will never get up. He tells us that no God could love a wretched person like us—that God has abandoned us in our failures. He tells us to take our eyes off the finish line and turn them instead to the world around us. He tells us to take our place with the billions of others endeavoring after fallen, earthly achievements, for this is all there is.

Eat, drink and be merry is the tune of his song.

But God has put a new song in our mouths, giving all praise and honor to Him. He picks us up in his loving arms, holding us tenderly as he reminds us of his never ending love and his unquenchable grace.

So let’s put our eyes back on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith and run the race which is set before us.

What on Earth is Going On by Tony Evans

A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pews – Tony Evans

A great message from Tony as he discusses our role as believers in Jesus Christ in this chaotic and battling world.

For more DTS Chapel videos, visit: http://www.dts.edu/media/chapel/

The Days of Rebellion

The climate of human thought in the days leading up to the “Day of the Lord” is described in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:3) as a falling away in the old King James version. People will be falling away from something or many things perhaps. The word here is apostasia, from where we get our word apostasy, which we most often associated with a departure from biblical truth once known and understood, but now rejected and repudiated.

Comparing this text with others such as 2 Timothy 4:3 where Paul described a future time in which people will not endure sound doctrine and Revelation 3:14-19 where John records from his vision on Patmos the end of the Church age, where salt has lost its savor, and the people have gone about their business of “Churching” with no real need of the Lord who is standing outside of their closed-door (Revelation 3:20), knocking and desiring to enter and commune with them we get a clear picture of Christian apostasy.

But the full weight of the word apostasia should be considered beyond the departure from biblical truth, which is bearing out now in a world best described by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5:20) where the world is abandoning every long-held and established standard and thought in a radical transformation of light into darkness and yet calling the darkness light. We are living in the midst of a time of abject rebellion, which is what apostasia means, with an angry world ripping things out by its roots and turning them upside down.

It is rebellion which marks the day, impacting every aspect of our societies. There is rebellion in the Church against biblical truth. There is rebellion in our political systems. There is rebellion in our social climate. Rebellion is everywhere, rising out of the early stages of national distress with perplexity as Luke describes it (Luke 21:25).

And out of this perplexity has arisen political leaders offering change, cutting across the grain of long-held beliefs and methodology, catching people by surprise. In the United States alone, both Obama and Trump have arisen seemingly out of nowhere on a platform of change and they have been gobbled up by perplexed people, clamoring for just that. There has been a loss of comfortability with people in the United States as well as the rest of the world as they watch this great unraveling of economic stability, sovereignty and security and they seem willing to try anything or anyone.

Brexit mentality has taken hold—a foothold has been established and more leaders will arise offering the hope of change and more referendums will occur on the ballot to consider breaking away from the globalist march. This is the climate which is ripe for the ultimate deception and is truly setting the stage for the arrival of the final world leader before our Lord returns to establish his kingdom.

And how ripe is the time? Consider these words of the first president of the United Nations General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak:

“We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all the people and to lift us up out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be God or devil, we will receive him.”

Ichabod The Glory has departed

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Rollin Miller

In a Moment, In the Twinkling of an Eye

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Rollin Miller

Prepared for the hour…

There is nothing that God does not know and there has never been a time in which He did not know it.

And with that knowledge, including the knowledge of how human beings will respond to circumstances and to Him, He places His fingertip on a point in time and says HERE!

This foreknowledge of God upon which He makes His decree includes the path we take and the prayers of intercession which we offer. We know that God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) but that all should come to repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21), and yet we find ourselves in the eye of the storm—a rapidly spinning convergence of things visible and things invisible, of prophetic utterances and world perplexity.

This is a convergence of God’s will and man’s choices—where everything that is occurring, often times seemingly unrelated and erratic, congeal and begin to take on a recognizable shape—focused toward an inevitable conclusion. Within this monstrous spiritual storm, time, thought, deeds, prayer, sin and everything drills down to a point—HERE!

It is a point unmovable.

It is a point unshakeable.

It is a point unavoidable.

It is a point undeniable for God has proclaimed it:

So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Revelation 9:15

Prepared (times past) for the (definite article) hour, the day, the month and the year…nothing arbitrary about this. Powerful angelic creatures who were prepared for a deadly mission against the human race, imprisoned in the waters of the Euphrates river for who knows how long, will be released to carry out their mission of judgment at a very specific point in time.

People run from this kind of talk.

There is a reason so many churches don’t teach about hell anymore.

There is a reason that prophecy is neglected.

People do not want to hear about such things.

They would rather slide into the gaping mouth of their destruction unaware and oblivious to what is coming.

But it is coming.

And no power on earth can stop it…or delay it by kicking the prophetic can further down the road of time.

God has put his finger on the line of time and said HERE!

And it is headed our way.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:9