Tag Archives: sin

Escaping Sin’s Punishment

Escaping Sin’s Punishment

Why do some seem to not reap God’s judgment for their obvious sin?
In some instances it could be “for the sake of“ a righteous ancestor that Father withholds judgment from a person.

In 1Kings 11:12, God tells King Solomon that God is deferring the judgment that Solomon deserves for his idolatrous sin “for the sake of his father, David.”

Any temptation for smugness at having seemingly “avoided” the consequence of sin must be replaced by thankfulness to that generational “saint” in whose honor Father is holding open a “window for repentance.”

Conversely, I find it a wonderful opportunity and encouragement to walk in holiness and obedience before Father, even without knowing precisely what generational effect such intentional living may have. By faith I am sowing the seed that Father may use to defer judgment in my generational line. Just as I was a branch pulled from the eternal fire in my 43d year of life, so might other branches in future generations be pulled from the fire. Psalm 25:12-13 speaks of blessing flowing to the descendants of one who fears (obeys out of honor and reverence) the God of love.

“Thank you Father for Your forbearance in judging me—for pulling me as a burning branch from the flames. Thank you, my ancestor, for your righteous living, paving the way for my eternal inheritance.”

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Day Two–Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet

Day Two: Impatient Hunter or Patient Poet
Now I sit, just before first light, in my camo hide, as South Africans call a game viewing enclosure. 
Gravity’s relentless call is still at work littering the forest floor with a myriad of fall-hued, leafy pixels. 

Where did my quarry spend the night? Was it in this very place, protected by darkness’ cover? 
The game camera says “Yes, at 1:15 this morning a manly rack munched with abandon the succulent forage.” 
“O camera, will that antlered one return to test his bravery against the day’s light?” The mute reply lets my question hang unanswered. 

So, I sit. A sip of tea, a cashew—could these diversions bring a speedier approach of the queried one? 
A watch check: 45 minutes has gone by. 
Wait—now I see it—a herd of cloven hooved, massive-racked deer are in my field of view. 
A quick shake of the head, and reality returns.
The peaceful, empty meadow has only grown brighter with the rising sun. 

And now I count: 10,001, 10,002… and after days and countless counting each tree still looks fully clothed in the hues of fall’s leafy splendor. How long before those dark, skeletal limbs stand stark against winter’s grey sky? It will happen—
it always does, yet surprise seems to greet each new repetition. 

Are the falling leaves not like warnings of sin?
There are clearly recognizable signs,
like falling leaves,
inexorably ignoring these obvious signals eventually finds one standing like the barren tree—his sin ever so starkly revealed. 
Unlike sin, the annual leaf event is creation’s plan,
but the falling leaves of sin’s warning are a silent call to halt—
a notice of the approach of exposure.
The winter’s cold, grey light offers no succor to what will be revealed. 

More tea, two hours have passed and my vision of a venison roast surrounded by carrots, onions and sweet potatoes now dims.
My thoughts of the comfy bed I left in the dark grow stronger—
but a true hunter soldiers on. 

Hmmm, am I a true hunter?
Were it not for the lavish encouragement of my friend, Robert, I would still be considering only the possibility of a hunt.
Perhaps there is a gravity pulling me from my bed to this forest vigil. Perhaps a “magic” will imbue me with “hunter.”

What will Day Three produce?
Can I become a hunter by perseverance?
Or, is it the pleasure of a morning’s forest reverie that draws this poet and his pen?

Kennedy Brown
November 5, 2017

Discerning God’s Discipline—The case for Jim Staley

Messianic pastor Jim Staley of the Passion forTruth Ministries in St Charles, MO, has pled guilty in Federal Court to three counts of wire fraud. This arose from the investment counseling business he was in and concluded some time after he incorporated the ministry. The details are reported in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Many opinions of how to treat the pastor are swirling around the Internet. The suggestions generally emanate, in my opinion, from each person’s viewpoint based on their redemptive spiritual gifting and their own degree of woundedness or wholeness. My understanding of our spiritual redemptive gifting is based primarily on the teaching of Arthur Burk. My wife and I have ministered with significant results from these understandings for close to ten years. Basically the wounded Prophet will be calling for a harsh, legalistic construction of scripture. While the wounded Mercy will see only the grace of a loving Father toward the sinner. The wounded Servant will feel peace is the uppermost consideration–preferably without confrontation. The wounded Teacher may be the last to weigh in and will be loaded with scriptural documentation. The wounded Giver may be shocked at how the monetary contributions were obtained and used, but is less concerned about the brother. The wounded Administrator will focus on the abuse of governance. Finally, the wounded Exhorter, being by design an encourager, will be apt to deny or find mitigation for the sin. The more the woundedness the sharper the hatchet of judgment. The less the woundedness the more the whole counsel of God will be brought to the table. By this I mean the collective, balanced input of all seven of a person’s redemptive gifts will be employed even though the primary one dominates. Out of our wholeness we can much more effectively love our neighbor as ourself. Hurt people hurt people. God’s healing is held at bay by the repeated wounding inflicted by our wounded “friends” let alone our enemies.

In reading Facebook and Internet posts I found a cacophony of response to Brother Jim’s plight. It seems much advise comes from those who have experienced various wounds in their church or leadership experiences. It seems most are either throwing or deflecting thrown stones. What was God’s solution to the sin of the murderer King David? The court may have been aswirl with gossip which may or may not have reached King David. God chose a trusted vessel, the Prophet Nathan, to bring correction. Nathan was not necessarily in King David’s “congregation” or “government,” but he did have an established record of hearing God. Maybe we should be praying for a mature, established representative of God to bring His word to our brother in his time of challenge. Can we not support a brother without condoning his admitted sin? What is the saying–God hates the sin but loves the sinner! Let’s pray for a Nathan with a plan for repentance, restitution and restoration that fully ratifies both God’s kind mercy and His strict judgment.