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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

93. The Treasure Within the Kingdom of God Daily Devotional

TEL Publishing's daily devotional, The Treasure Within the Kingdom of God, can be found online everywhere in print and in ebook. Locally, within the Charlotte, NC region, the book can be found at the four local Barnes & Noble bookstores...Birkdale, Arboretum, Morrison and Carolina Place Mall. It can also be found at Main Street Bookstores in Davidson, Park Road Books in Charlotte and Old Country Store in Huntersville, NC. Here is the link to Barnes & Noble:


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-treasure-within-the-kingdom-of-god-terry-e-lursen/1118001962?ean=9780991098903



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

92. Sorrow Comes From a Depraved Community

This post is a personal response to the Amanda Blackburn murder and the murder of her unborn child a few days ago...we live in an ideological age where permissiveness is granted to whoever to do whatever their flesh decides. The more free time a person has in this age, the more extreme their permissiveness desires. There is no end to the depravity of a man or woman who has nothing but free time and the freedom to do as he or she pleases. This is but one of the consequences of empowered ignorance where groups of peoples are hyped into doing whatever their heart desires. 
No leadership in the home does not equate to no leadership in the community, but it does equate to a dumbing down of whoever the leaders and the followers might become in the community. Every community needs worthy, wise and active leaders who possess something other than depraved selfishness. The "I want my way" philosophy in a depraved community doesn't care what other people do to hurt or destroy other people. All absolute depravity leads ultimately to death and yet can be cured by the active influence of the Holy Spirit. 
Death would not be necessary to the depraved if Jesus was the absolute answer to the leaders in the home, the community and abroad. Our way of life goes as our leaders lead us for our current leaders have shown and are showing their depraved selfishness by their own personal fruit and the way of the nation, the community and the home is left unguarded to the most depraved of individuals in our midst.
Our leaders have left us unguarded, whether they be in the corporate palace or the pulpit, the White House or the house down the street. Most, if not all, have gone their own way and have collected more than a few dollars for their time.
God, have mercy on us all, for we have gone astray and need You today.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

91. On Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ

John 3:27, John answered him and said, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven." (NASB)
Much transpires in the third chapter of John. It begins with a Pharisee named Nicodemus coming secretly at night to Jesus and he gets a spiritual lesson...one that he has never heard. The lesson begins with Jesus talking about being born again and unless a person is born again, that is, born of the Spirit, he will not see the Kingdom of God.
A conversation ensues and after many questions, the why of all matters is spoken by Jesus in telling Nicodemus that the reason for Him being there, Him being the Son of God, was that God loves the world and desires to save who would be saved.
The last half of the chapter talks about John, the Baptist, whose disciples are confronting him about this Jesus, who happens to be baptizing people. John's disciples seem to be either confused or jealous about this Jesus, so, in their curiosity, they bring the idea of Jesus to John, the baptizer's, attention. It is at this point that John says this opening statement above, verse 27, "John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.'"
This is the same John who subsequently said in the same chapter, "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him.'" (John 3:34-36, NASB)
In this one chapter of John, the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented, that is, before the atonement; for without the atonement, the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ for the sin of the world, you have no Gospel. The what in verse 3, you must be born again; the how, verses 5-15, by and of the Holy Spirit of God; the why, which is twofold, first because God loves the world that He created. Secondly, darkness wars against the light and the deeds of men reveal whether they be of the dark or of the light. And, lastly, in verses 31-36, the decision that must be made by men, that being, believing and obeying. Yes, our Lord expects us to obey Him. Him, not men.
There is no such thing as the Gospel of Jesus Christ being summed up in one word. That idea is from deception. The Lord God had men to write all that they wrote in order to not leave anything out of His Gospel plan so that people would not be deceived by His own Word, or the lack thereof, and end up into an eternal hell.
So, what of it, what have men and women done over time to sum up the Lord's own words and make it fit their own particular philosophy of the quickest and easiest way to heaven and get an offering plate into people's hands?
Some say, "All you have to do is believe!" And, they leave the entire Gospel to that.
Still others say, "All you have to do is love!" And, in like manner, they leave the entire Gospel to that.
And others, who have the propensity to abide in the grace dispensation, say, "God's grace is sufficient, receive His grace and go in peace."
And the others who say, "God is love", to make it the all encompassing piece de resistance, leave out Jesus Christ! To those whose mantra this be, who is God? The Lord, allah, Buddha? Who is God? What is love? What type of love are you referring to?
All of these beliefs are that, beliefs. Alone, they touch on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they do not present the Gospel itself. As I have listened to these mantras over my last 58 years, each time I have heard a one word belief system being presented, or, a one verse belief system, they always leave out the rest of the Gospel, especially the beginning point, and that, being born again. It's like licking the frosting off of the cake without ever touching the whole meal. A person who would eat in such a manner would surely become diabetic, ruin their kidneys, as well as, their other internal organs, live in pain and die.
What we are left with, then, from these one word Gospel toting philosophies, is a bunch of sick people chewing on one word and relying on it for their entire salvation.
In Matthew 18, Jesus talks about stumbling blocks and how stumbling blocks, in this case, the possibility of false teaching, cause His little ones to stumble. For a person to cause a little one to stumble is a catastrophic thing in the Kingdom and Jesus states His case without apology, that, "...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea." (V. 6)
This leads us back to the original statements, spoken by John, that "...a man can receive nothing unless it be given him from heaven." It would seem then, that, if a Pope, a Bishop, a Pastor, a Minister, a Parent, a Teacher or a whatever, if that person causes His little ones to stumble by their erroneous teaching or by their hellacious treatment of His little ones, that what has been given to them from heaven is not a hearty "thank you and a job well done, welcome into my Kingdom," but a sizing of the neck for their rope that is tied to a millstone.
Christ Jesus has admonished all of us who preach His Gospel to preach His Gospel, not our own. Otherwise, we will receive what we were chose to receive and our words and actions will be the testimony to our eternity.
If you're going to preach or witness, preach the whole counsel of God, not some watered-down vain philosophy of men that portrays more of the itching to get a dollar in your back pocket and a fuzzy feeling in your heart, more than you are to see lost people made whole.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

90. What's Love or Hate Got to Do With It?

If I choose to allow someone, or another family, to live in my house, they would have to abide by the rules of my house. They would need to believe what I believe as I believe it. Otherwise, they would need to find another place to live. No apology is needed from me for stating this obvious social more'. I would presume that to be the case in every normal household across the globe. 

Agreement is required, as it states in Amos 3:3, "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (NIV) "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (KJV). For all of you so called Christian leaders who are professing your great and perfect love for humanity and act like you got it going on with your form of perfect love, while telling the communities that we, as Americans, should welcome all refugees no matter who they might be, or represent, into these United States...then, I have a suggestion for you before you go any further. Allow another person of a completely different race and religion to live in YOUR home first. THEN, profess your great and perfect proven love for all of mankind, including some of those uncivilized, murdering terrorists, known as "refugees". 

These statements are not hate filled, but are made from very simple common sense...which is a thing that seems to evade the majority of political and religious leaders I know. No maturing adult allows the devil into their home thinking, "Well, he just needs somewhere to lay his little head." Why should any maturing adult do the same for their next door neighbor, either next door, or in the next state? 

Stop all of the hypocrisy, even the Lord had the Philistines and the religious nut-heads killed.

89. Be Rightly Devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ

Do you ever get into your daily devotion time with the Lord and as you are reading and hardly praying, the things you are reading bring another person to mind and you wish with all your hard heart that "they" would see what you see and change their pitiful lives so that "you" could be happier with them as a friend, co-worker or spouse?

Your devotion becomes a thought process of thinking about how other people are rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to speak directly to you about you. 

The Holy Spirit sits about with a raised brow and says, "There he/she goes again, chasing thoughts that I did not place within him..."  And, one by one the distracting thoughts take the place of the Holy Spirit's voice.

Are we more in tune with our personal devotion rather than the Lord Himself Who deserves our absolute devotion? 

Think about it before you enter into His Presence...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

88. The Power of the Lie That Leads to Destruction

Hi Melissa, I told you that I would write a little more on the matter you felt so passionately about, so here's a little, "not so inside" information. This past April, as I was doing research for my novel, "The Battle for Crested Hill," I found myself having to investigate different types of 'lies', their names, the Latin derivatives, and the manipulation of the use of violence by force. The novel takes place in the spirit realm, where all real things take place. The main character, Gigot, who is the spirit of the man, finally decides to show up for battle to take back the Crested Hill, which had been captured by Spectre, Columnia, Ementior, as well as a host of others, led by Torrent. The lie is the most chosen of all evils and is the foundation of rebellion and by which, most, if not all good sorts of folk fall from grace. As I continued my research, I happened upon a one...a man, by the name of Louis Farrakhan. I had heard often enough of the man, a Muslim, by nature and a salesman, by trade. I watched him for an hour, or so on an uncommon cable television station. The man was speaking in a moderately sized room of about 80 people, mostly rough, looking men. His audience was from Chicago, gang leaders, rappers, drug lords and others.

This was his message, that I took notes on, so these are close to being verbatim quotes, but, not all, exactly: He talks about "standing up to make others sit down that disagree with them. They (they, being, the man, the system, the establishment, the white man) they put you back in a place they designed for you. They (Also, they refers to record label execs) create a culture in the community that leads to crime, drugs, prostitution that send you to prison. The people that offer the deals are the real satans. You want to kill your brother and you rap about it. Record execs and radio want it real, keeping it as it is so it never changes. We talk about shootin', demonic. Rap artists are the street organizers. I got a gun...where did I get it? Prisons are concentration camps. They want to arrest you. They need occupiers to be residents in their hotels...prisons. Allah has a weapon. A movie, into the storm. The storm is on the way. If you don't change, don't stop the killing of brothers, then the wrath of God will enter. You are the people of God, but your actions today are enemies of God. Look at the money given to rappers to use their message of killing, drugs and disrespect in their women...bling, bling, riding expensive cars when brothers and sisters are dying from your words. You are angry and help to exterminate the black man."

At some point in his hour long message, he went on a rant preaching racism, anti-authority and particularly anti-police. He sees the police as those who arm themselves as killers and mocked the idea of "to serve and protect". He does not see the police protecting society. He sees them as a military ready for war, "To kill us black people." He was propagandizing war against all establishment and all authority (ie., which is what you saw yesterday). He says Chicago is the epicenter of the base of the war.

"Our target is the youth. The youth are to take over the governments of the world. Film what happens. You are being made to look like animals. They ramp up with heavy armor and try it out on you and us. We survive by unity. All beefs must end. We will be your brothers, so the guns can be sheathed. When any black life is lost, God made you into himself. Your time has come. Salaam Alaikum."

In my opinion, the movement now is and what you see currently are mere ripples of the undercurrent...quite possibly the reason why the POTUS was seen and heard this week in Chicago. If you compare what this Muslim leader preaches and listen to the POTUS' speech this week, you'll realize that more has been planned to come.

Where do we possibly go from here? My first suggestion is that all police authorities re-train themselves when confronting this particular ideology. What happened in that classroom this week cannot occur. Rebellion to authority that starts out as attention-getting disturbance and then desires to cloak itself under the guise of non-resistance to violence by force, which is the classic Tolstoy teaching that Ghandi and ML King used. The main difference here and what happened in Martin Luther King's era is this...civil disobedience to errant loss of civil rights (King era) versus disruptive and often violent behavior meant to inflict harm and rebel against all authority. Martin Luther King did not preach rebellion as the Muslim leader does. Anyone who believes that Martin Luther King preached rebellion does not understand the Tolstoyellian concept of non-resistance to violence by force which Leo Tolstoy created and developed in his book, "The Kingdom of God is Within You." All rebellion is of the devil, which leads us back to the beginning of my statements...the lie is the foundation of rebellion.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

87. Has the Holy Spirit Anointed or Are You Self-Appointed?

The Call Continues

"And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee his father, mending their nets; and He called them." 
                                                                                                                            (Matthew 4:21, NKJV)







The call of Jesus Christ to a disciple, that is, one who follows under a teacher and assists in spreading those teachings to others, is specific. He calls Simon and Andrew and then goes over to Zebedee’s boat and calls James and John. They were all fishermen and knew what it took to catch fish. He says to Simon and Andrew, ‘I’ll make you fishers of men.'


Each of the four men left their nets and followed Jesus. Have you ever wondered at that interaction? One might suppose that since Jesus had just moved to Capernaum, they probably had never heard of Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter by trade. But once Jesus appears, He talks to them and they leave their life’s work to go and follow (disciple after) Him. What was it that they sensed that day on the seashore? Were they moved by the Spirit of God? What was Jesus’ voice like? It was said that Jesus spoke as one having authority, did He speak to them with the voice of authority?

Was Jesus that much of a motivational leader, or was it the supernatural work of the calling of the Spirit of God on Jesus? Do you actually believe that Jesus was a motivational power of positive thinking type leader or was He simply led by the Holy Spirit? The power of positive thinking has its place, but not in the pulpit. That kind of preaching diminishes the power of the Holy Spirit into, ‘I think I can, I think I can, etc.’ The positive thinking preacher preaches positivity over the Spirit.

There have been many writers and speakers to make much of the leadership of Jesus Christ as if we could lead others as He led others. Let’s always remember that He was the Son of God. Perhaps what was leading the men to follow Jesus was the specific call on their lives by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. The nature of God in the Bible is as such. All of the leaders in the scriptures were specifically called-out ones with a very specific task during a very specific season. Always take the individual verses of scripture in context of the paragraph, the chapter, the book, the testament, and most of all, the nature of God in the totality of the whole. Don’t pick and choose individual verses to try and make them mean something that our Lord was really not saying. Even today men try to create books and conferences on leadership in the church and they make it rather worldly and completely leave out the work of the Holy Spirit.

It is the power of God to call men and women to Him. We are not called to men, but to God. No man deserves the honor and worship of God because they self-appoint and call themselves an apostle, bishop or other type of church leader. Jesus said, ‘Follow Me!" It is our duty to make sure of our calling in the following of Jesus Christ. Follow Him and He will make you what He has called you to be.



 

Monday, January 26, 2015

85. Being in Him

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:3-4, NKJV)



Trust in the Lord – place all that you are in Him. Know that He is good. Know that He is able to deliver you. Know that He is Lord of all and there is none like Him. Trust Him with your heart, soul, mind, and spirit. Give your all to Him and be filled with His Holy Spirit.

Dwell in Him and feed on His faithfulness – As we abide in Him, He has promised to abide in us. He is faithful to His word. He is faithful to Himself and will do what He has said He will do. Do not count His faithfulness as the world counts it. When we examine ourselves, we see that we are unfaithful in so many things that it’s difficult to believe that true faithfulness can even exist. But, He Is faithful. Trust in His faithfulness and rely on Him. Seek Him, know Him, be with Him and incline your heart to rest in Him.

Delight yourself in Him – Be ever joyful in His Presence. Be glad in Him. He is true joy and peace. In Him we find true contentedness. When all the world seems to go astray, take joy in knowing Him and being with Him.

He will give you the desires of your heart. As we trust in Him, dwell in Him, and delight in Him, He gives us His desires. We find ourselves becoming unified and one in Him. Our desires become His desires and His desires flow into our hearts with such joy that we begin to understand His holiness and purpose for our lives.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. Being in Him brings Him joy and brings us strength in our inner man. Be strong in the Lord. Delight yourself in Him and He will fulfill His purpose in you today!