Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 5:27 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Give Me Jesus.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Lamentations 1-3 (Select vv. NASB). Her Uncleanness (Lam. 1:8-10) Jerusalem sinned greatly, Therefore she has become an unclean thing. All who honored her despise her Because they have seen her nakedness; Even she herself groans and turns away. Her uncleanness was in her skirts; She did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly; She has no comforter. “See, O Lord, my affliction, For the enemy has magnified himself!” The adversary has stretched out his hand Over all her precious things, For she has seen the nations enter her sanctuary, The ones whom You commanded That they should not enter into Your congregation. The vast majority of today’s church, particularly here in America, is living in spiritual adultery against her Lord. And, one of the main reasons she is in this condition is because she invited the world into her sanctuary, i.e. into the hearts and lives of God’s people, and into their assemblies. The church has become so much like the world that it is barely distinguishable between the world and the church anymore. Christians lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, view pornography, and daily take the filth of this sinful world into their minds and hearts via the internet, TV, movies, and secular music, etc. And, many do so with no sense of guilt or remorse. Some Christians even laugh at how they got away with it. They regularly break the law and figure if they don’t get caught that it is ok. In front of the unsaved they brag about how they escaped notice or how they cheated the system. Many Christians, as well, pretend to be righteous outwardly while they hide their sins in secret. The institutional church here in America, too, invited the U.S. government (the nations) into the assemblies of the church via the 501c3 not-for-profit corporation status. In essence, the church then partnered with an evil government and put this evil government in the position as head over the church above Jesus Christ, because they agreed to not say certain things from the pulpit that might warn the people of wolves in sheep’s clothing and that might expose the evil within our nation, which God’s word teaches us we must do. Yet, not only did they not warn against these false shepherds of the people, but they encouraged government worship via the pledge of allegiance (fidelity, commitment) to the U.S. republic, via the honoring of our military as heroes and as our “saviors,” and via the encouragement to believe the stories told us by our leaders and by the mainstream media, unquestionably. Because the church has invited the world and “the nations” into the gatherings of the church, not to save the world from sin, but to entertain them with worldly ways, the church has largely fallen prey to deception and manipulation, and has fallen from her pure devotion to her Lord Jesus Christ. She has adopted the ways of this sinful world, has listened to these false shepherds of the people over and above listening to God and his word, and has, thus, diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ (or removed it entirely) in order to attract the world to the “church,” and to make the world feel comfortable and non-threatened in their meetings. What these false shepherds are teaching as “the gospel” is worthless, because it does not expose the people’s sin, and thus the people feel as though God’s grace gives them free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse, but they are being misled. Thus, the church has opened its doors wide to the beast and the false prophet to give address to the church and to try to persuade the church to forsake the tenets of the Christian faith in favor of adopting a more tolerant, non-judgmental, and accepting approach to “Christianity.” Religious “extremism” is on the chopping block, which includes the gospel of salvation, because it teaches that Jesus Christ is the only way to God the Father and to heaven, and because it judges sin and calls the sinner to repentance and obedience to Christ. Thus, its messengers are on the “chopping block,” too. And, many Christians are unwilling to see that this is how far the church has fallen, and that the beast is now coming after the church with full force in order to destroy her. Yet, this is a judgment of God against his adulterous people because of her idolatrous and adulterous ways. There is Hope (Lam. 3:19-25) Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers And is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him. When we recall before God in all humility of spirit our wanderings from him, and we turn from our wicked ways to follow him once more in surrender and obedience, he is merciful to us and he restores us to fellowship with him. His lovingkindesses never cease, and his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness! Amen! I am living proof of that. He is a loving and forgiving God who longs to gather his chicks in his arms, but so many are not willing, but they are continuing to go their own stubborn way. But, all that will bring them is emptiness, sorrow and pain, because they are trusting in “other lovers,” i.e. in the gods of this world instead of trusting in their one true God. Yet, Jesus Christ did not die a cruel death on a cross so we could continue in sin. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for his return. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave himself up for us. And, he died that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us who walk not according to the flesh, but who walk according to the Spirit, for if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we put our old lives to death, we are transformed of the Spirit of God, and we put on our new lives in Christ created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Thus, faith equals repentance, transformation, and walking in obedience. Give Me Jesus Oh, What Gladness! An Original Work / December 2, 2013 Give me Jesus. He’s my Savior. I’ll walk with Him in His favor. I’ll abide in His love always; Follow His ways to the end. Jesus is the Son of God. He died upon a cruel cross. He’s forgiven all my failures By His mercy and His love. Give me Jesus – His compassion, And His mercy; loving kindness. Let Him teach me how to love Him, And to please Him. He’s my friend. Jesus died for all our sin So we could have eternal life. He will free you from your bondage If you trust Him with your life. Give me Jesus. Let me trust Him. May I listen to His teachings. May I follow where He leads me In His service. He’s my Lord. Jesus Christ will come again To take His bride to be with Him. Oh, what gladness; free from sadness When I meet Him in the air.