Common Sense Christian

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Daily Devotional – July 23

The Matrix – Final

Jesus, takes the Bible from your hand, feeling its weight, it looks natural in his rough and calloused hands. 

“The first step to becoming a soldier is to learn your weapon.  Your life and the lives of others depends on it.  It’s use requires instruction and practice.    As with all weapons, it comes with responsibility.   

You look in awe at the simple book, both dread and anticipation in your chest.   

“It’s multifunctional–two edged–it can be used two ways.”   

“How so?” you ask.

“It has been irresponsibly and improperly used for milenia by the ignorant and the wicked.  It has been used by man against mankind to destroy; justification for its wars, its hatred.    Millions of lives have been lost because of failure to understand its proper use…” Jesus pauses, his eyes sad and thoughful.  “…and many more to come.”

His eyes harden as his gaze meets your own; his countenance a mixture of anger,  resolve, sadness and challenge.  

“This book can be used to fight and destroy the spiritual enemy, the real one–it can be brought against spiritual principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

“But you mentioned that it could be used two ways…” your voice trails off as he places the book back in your hands.

“In the hands of my father it was used to build…”

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July 23, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 13 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 20

I Thessalonians 5:21 (a) Prove all things;

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July 20, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | Leave a comment

Note

A departure.

A dear friend of mine correctly critiqued yesterday’s daily devotional, mentioning that some of the subtle “nuances” may be lost on the audience–her kind way of letting me know that I need to be a little clearer in my communication.    I would hate to confuse anyone, given this is just a daily tidbit of something to provoke thought, so I decided I would actually “interpret” what this post tried to communicate along with the intent of the entire Matrix series. 

Through the last two centuries, many who identify themselves as Christians have thought their battles carnal (physical) and thus employed carnal means for fighting them. 

People are not our enemies.  

The first mistake was mis-identifying the enemy, a grave error responsible for centuries of heartache, sorrow, bloodshed and pain.  Those “Christians” either knowingly or unwittingly advanced the power of our true enemy rather than weakened it.  

Even if you mistake people as your enemy we are still reminded to love them, not fight them.  

A Christian’s enemy is not the 

  • religious right, 
  • religious left, 
  • secular humanists,
  • religious humanists,
  • liberals,
  • conservatives,
  • atheists,
  • Muslims, 
  • Harry Potter,
  • Democrats or 
  • Republicans. 

When viewing people as enemies, weapon choices become carnal.  Yesterday, we could see how interesting, exciting and diverting we find these weapons, increasing in knowledge in their use, reveling in their destructive power.  Often well-meaning Christians bring to bear weapons against humanity– peer pressure, legislation, government, mass marketing, movements, and in times not long past, have actually used the SWORDS and GUNS as a carnal means of advancing what they think is the “Kingdom of God and his righteousness”  Nothing plays into the hands of the true enemy than this error in thinking. 

Satan is the enemy.

The true enemy is spiritual–as pointed out by Carol and others–principalities and powers of darkness.  Their assault is upon each of us individually making it our responsibility to strengthen our own spirit through the Word of God.  Only then can we defeat an enemy who would destroy us, not from without, but from within.

God bless.

Monday:  The Matrix – Final.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 3 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 18

 

The Matrix – Part 11

Choose Carefully

“Choose carefully.” Jesus says quietly.

Your breath catches as a veritable array of weapons appears out of nowhere.  Submachine guns, flame throwers, swords, rocket launchers…

You eye, with delight, the selection. Impressive.

You heft a carbon steel, titanium edged katana sword exquisitely balanced and sharper that any razor.

You eye the Barret M468 light infantry rifle. Its chambered in 6.8 Remington SPC which is bigger than the .223 but doesn’t have the recoil of the .308. Excellent in a running firefight.

Hmmm. What about two-fisted firepower? A pair of H&K MP5s. You pick one of them up, cycle through the action and take aim, squinting through the custom Bushnell model 20-4124 scope with built in laser and rangefinder.

You take a second look through the scope — its lens focusing on an object at the end.

It is a Bible.

Placing the H&K down, you walk to the end of the line and pick up the book. You look back at Jesus.

You hold it up. “This?” You can’t help but hide the disappointment in your voice. You look down at the diminutive object in your hand, your fingers tracing cracks in the worn leather.

A smile starts in his eyes, never quite making it to his lips. He points to the array of guns, swords and other weaponry.

“Those weapons are the enemy’s. They have been used since I left this earth to advance kingdoms that are not mine. The weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

You turn the book over in your hands not quite knowing what to make of it, doubt still clouding your mind.

“You have chosen wisely.”

July 18, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 3 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 17

 

The Matrix – Part 10 

Let’s Go!

“The enemy has only one weapon – the lie.”  You try to contain your excitement as Jesus continues.  “From the beginning the enemy has used it.  It enslaves the mind, binds one to the matrix and even defeats those freed from it.”   

You eagerly interrupt. “Then the best defense against a lie is the truth!”

The truth was in the beginningIts use is not defensive, but offensiveJust like ‘I am’, the ‘truth is’ and has forever beenThe artifice is the lie which must be destroyed.”

The mild correction does little to dampen your enthusiasm.  “Ok,  I’m ready to fight!  Let’s go!”

Jesus looks down at your empty hands.  “Where’s your weapon?”

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 4 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 12

 

The Matrix – Part 8

I Want to Fight!

“Within?!” 

You’re not sure you like the sound of that.  It goes against everything you’ve ever learned, everything you have been taught.  It goes against centuries of conditioned thought – against the accumulated knowledge of church councils, traditions, theologians, translators and interpreters. 

“But I want to fight!” You protest, the self-righteous indignation rising like bile–the burn starting in your sternum moving toward your throat.  “I want to start movements, I want to topple governments, I want to fill the prisons, I want to CHANGE people, I want to change the world!”

Jesus looks down a sad expression on his face.  You somehow feel that you have disappointed him, but didn’t he choose you for a reason?  Some grand purpose?

He looks off into the distance.  “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.*”

You wonder at what you are hearing. 

Chosen — a soldier to fight enemies unseen, unknown?

The questions burst into your mind like an exponential equation out of control.

“Then what is the enemy like, how do I fight him, how do I prepare…” The words die on your lips, as he holds up his hand… 

(This is a series of devotionals beginning June 25th.)

*2 Timothy 2:4 

July 12, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 5 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 10

The Matrix – Part 7

Know Thine Enemy

“Hello, Christian.” 

Your eyes feel full of sand, you wipe what feels like life-long sleep from them.  They focus on the face in front of you.  It’s Jesus–but different.   

He reaches out his hand and raises you up.

“Time for training.”  He says,  “But first, you must know the true enemy.”

“I know who my enemies are!” you protest, “I have struggled against them all my life!”

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].” is his reply. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. *

“Wait!” you feel your voice failing, “You mean that my fight is not against the evil-doers of this world, against the criminals, the extortioners, the tyranical rulers, the perverted, the…”

“No,” his eyes soften, “The enemy you battle is within.”

*Ephesians 6:12, I Peter 5:8, John 8:44

(This is a series of devotionals beginning June 25th.)

July 10, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 7 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 9

The Matrix – Part 6

The Real World

Isaiah 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if [we had] no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; [we are] in desolate places as dead [men].

Waking out of a dream is not always the most pleasant experience–especially when the dream is to your liking.  Sometimes the dream is so real, and you find yourself angered or disappointed by the buzzing alarm clock. 

It’s time to wake up and get ready.

The real world both offers and requires much.   

Isaiah 42:18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

(This is a series of devotionals beginning June 25th.)

July 9, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 4 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 3

 

The Matrix – Part 5

The Truth

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Once you take the red pill; once you, Christian, reject the blue in your life; once you determine to embrace the raw power and purity of the Word…

You can never go back.

Are you ready? 

July 3, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 2 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 2

The Matrix – Part 4

 

Exit the Matrix

 

Revelations 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth

 

sweet as honey:

 

and as soon as I had eaten it,

 

my belly was bitter.

 

***

 

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom [is] much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

 

 

 

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July 2, 2007 Posted by | Matrix | 2 Comments