CSN Sunday – Messages of Light – 8/30/2020
Dear Citizen Sentinels Network newsletter readers,
The Citizen Sentinels Network has maintained a project, originally deemed the David Project, since 2018. Especially, for those readers of faith, the Messages of Light originated as a genuine inspiration from Heavenly Father. It was initiated to bring Light into the dark in this time. At this time in the world, there is clear and present need to hold boldly and securely onto our foundations rooted in faith.
If you consider the messages in our Sunday edition relevant or meaningful and know others who might value them as well, consider yourself a Light mail messenger, please pass this message on to those whom you feel could receive it. Otherwise, please receive it yourselves.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do…” James 1:12-25 (NIV)
At the beginning of May of this year, I offered a message about the decline of the church and how Christians and other people of faith needed to repent and seek God’s heart. My primary example of this was the Christianity Today article that came out late in 2019 publicly in favor of President Trump’s impeachment. It created a firestorm in the Christian Evangelical realm. That article was written by the Christianity Today Editor-in-Chief Mark Galli, and in the article, Galli cited the magazine’s founder, the late pastor Billy Graham. His son, Rev. Franklin Graham promptly denounced Christianity Today for invoking his father’s name and their support of impeachment. This year, the Christian Evangelical realm has recently been rocked by the son of the late Jerry Falwell, who has just had his reputation destroyed.
Jerry Falwell, Sr, was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church, and the founder of Lynchburg Christian Academy (now Liberty Christian Academy) as well Liberty University. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has recently resigned as president of the university due to a serious scandal that is not the purpose of this edition to delve into. Readers can easily read about it in the mainstream news. There were also serious issues with the son of Oral Roberts and his guidance over Oral Roberts University. The intent here is to use this opportunity to point out the latest examples of Christianity in serious decline in the United States. It is an undeniable reality, but it may also be more of an example of the decline of the traditional Christian church, rather than a decline in genuine faith in the American people.
Yet, it is obvious there are incredible problems within the United States today. Sadly, it appears that while leaders of the traditional church, and those administrative structures that have been instituted to maintain and uphold them are floundering in a seriously challenging culture, faith is finding root in other non-traditional ways. People are still seeking God; it is just in a different way from their parents and grandparents. The key words are “seeking God,” not “going to church.” Additionally, many ministers have been consumed by the contemporary culture rather than positively affecting the culture. Part of that has to do with the acceptance of the weak concept of separation of church and state, which means that ministers have put themselves on mute and have bowed down to “Caesar” in a time when pulpits should have been afire with faith.
My message in May was about rising up in love, by seeking God’s heart and learning to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself…” I pointed out that “an intellectual grasp of the Ten Commandments did not always give the people of the Jewish faith the adequate spiritual strength to ‘rise up in love.’” My message today is two-fold. First, Christians, as well as others of faith, have not adequately written the words of God upon the hearts of their children (upon their hearts – not stamped in their minds) in a manner in which their children were able to receive the word and abide by it. The second perspective is that Christians, have lost touch with what it means to do the Will of God, which means to receive the word and practice it.
We are also offering four videos in our “Video Views” section. One is an interview with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. It is quite relevant for such a time as this. We also offer two versions of “Be Thou My Vision.” And, we provide another live video from Sean Feucht – Let Us Worship – Live from New Jersey.
These words are being freely offered and are being sent to you as part of the “David Project.” Please receive this message as a gift from those who care. They are only words that are being offered, freely, but some contain a deep message of faith, or a deeper expression of heart that readers can hopefully receive into their hearts. As it was written: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18 – KJV
May we humble ourselves, seek His face, seek His wisdom, seek His forgiveness and mercy, and turn from wickedness – even if it may mean to “look in the mirror,” within our own minds and hearts to see if we align with our Heavenly Father’s vision and wisdom, and to discern His Will and to put it into practice — no matter what and to keep doing what we can to build God’s Kingdom.
2020 is a year in which Americans, and possibly the entire population of the world, to some degree, can truly see more clearly the corrupting influence of evil in this time. Just a few months ago, I offered a message at the beginning of May that Christians and all people of faith needed to repent and seek God’s heart. It is hard to believe that events could have worsened, but they have, and now more than then, the outward deficiencies of the church, the church in decline, are unmistakably apparent. Sexual immorality, misuse and abuse of drugs, juvenile delinquency, and the huge gaping racial and generational divide have led to this crucial moment in time. It appears that evil is rampant and ripping the very fabric of the nation to shreds.
It is quite obvious that the division in churches is much more apparent today than ever before because the people need spiritual leadership. But, sometimes it is hard for Christian leaders to admit this, and to honestly come to grips with the problems of our nation. So, where does that leave the population? For lack of vision and wisdom, the people perish. Isn’t that what the Good Book says? Is the general population able to find the source of leadership needed in a time in which multiple crises are striking this nation? At this moment, the general population is filled with fear of the pandemic and filled with confusion, or blatant disbelief about the anger and hatred on display daily on the city streets of our cities. And the answer? The solution? The people surely seek vision; they seek wisdom. The problem is the source from which they seek such vision and such wisdom.
In my humble opinion, seeking vision or wisdom from the mainstream media reflects the insanity of seeking water in a desert. And, seeking vision and wisdom from the chatter of a myriad of all the voices on social media reflects the effort of seeking vision and wisdom from a jungle of wild monkeys. While nature imparts its own wisdom to those who seek it, clarity for the times we live in requires extraordinary vision and wisdom. And while some people may find some water in the desert, more will find only mirages that appear to be water. Such are the realities of this world. Yet, if people of faith find similar illusions in the supposed leaders of faith, there will be a serious problem within the heart of God’s people, those who are “called by His name.” And, the source of this phrase is indicative of the source of where people of faith, who are “called by His name,” should be seeking vision and wisdom. This phrase is found in numerous places in the Bible.
And, for those who know of my testimony, I am not sharing here my great wisdom of the Bible, as I am not a scholar of the Bible. In fact, I am more an expert on the problems God’s children encounter when they do not seek clear vision and wisdom from the Bible. Knowing such a side of life, however, has helped me understand how precious the words of the Bible are, and how such precious words should be written upon our hearts. But, a simple question occurs in this time of turbulence. If great Christian leaders like Oral Roberts and Jerry Falwell could not write the words of God upon the hearts of their son’s what hope is there for the rest of the nation?
I’m not referring to the great relations between parents and children, between fathers and sons, or daughters, that exists throughout the population, but I’m referring to passing the words of God onto the future generations through godly leadership. For it is written, “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” It is clear that if Satan can strike the shepherds, trusted leaders, those who are faithful can be easily dispersed. In my own limited understanding of God’s Will, it is still clear to me that what is happening in America today, is not according to God’s Will for this nation. One only has to ask, “Is this the purpose for which God blessed America?” Is it God’s Will that America is in such a mess?
People who consider themselves “called by His name,” must not merely listen to the word, but look “intently into the perfect law that gives freedom” and continue pursuing it — “not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it.” And, this reveals the heart of the matter in passing on the word from fathers to sons — not just in preaching the word, or reading the word, but as one is able to put the word of God into practice, it becomes inscribed upon one’s heart. And, it seems to me that the ones who are most blessed should be the parents because as parents, they are able to know more deeply the heart of our Heavenly Father. Their life lessons, when related to the word, and shared with Him in prayer, draw parents closer to His heart.
Yet, if parents of faith cannot share their faith with their children it is tragic. This is so because in that family God’s word cannot grow, cannot even survive. It is like the parable of the sower from Jesus in Matthew chapter 13: seeds were scattered, but fell upon soil that was not able to assist or support growth. How much more than plants should our children have been provided those words of God? But, if this is true, here lies the deepest reality: our loving Heavenly Father gave everything — even His word to Adam and Eve directly, but even they could not hold onto such truth. Even though Almighty God gave everything to His own children, they turned away from Him. And, if one is completely honest, this foundation of rebellion existed until the time of Jesus.
Jesus showed to all humanity, in his time and throughout time, the way humanity can be bound back to our Father in Heaven. He taught us how to pray, he taught us how to forgive and to love one another, and he taught us how to completely obey Heavenly Father’s Will. He taught all of this in a few short years of his life. And, we who are called Christians, need to ask: what did he inscribe upon our hearts? What kind of children are we? What kind of stewards of His nation are we? Are we deceiving ourselves as we look at our faces in the mirror and soon forget what we truly look like? James was not talking about physical appearance. He was referring to what kind of human beings we are — what kind of children we are, and what kind of children we raised.
All we need to do is to look around this nation because it is a substantial representation of what the people who are “called by His name” have allowed to exist. It has existed in America for oh so long a time. In all honesty, God’s children, the people who identify with Almighty God, need to ask: Whose mess is this to clean up? Is it someone else’s mess? Yes, that may be true, but ask if those who created the mess want to clean it up, or make it worse. This is why those people who are “called by His name” must take responsibility for the mess we have inherited. But: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
And in all sincerity, one of Jesus’ last admonitions to his friends were: “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.“ In my humble opinion, it is time to put the past behind us and redetermine to put into practice that we have been taught from the word of God, whether it has been inscribed upon our hearts or not; it is time to keep God’s Commandments, to keep Jesus’ commands. Americans have been given great freedom, perhaps not quite as much freedom as Adam and Eve, but we have come full circle in the course of time, we can keep our “garden,” or it will be taken from us.
Video Views –
From MyFaithVotes: My Faith Votes Live with Phil Robertson (August – 2008)
From YouTube: Be Thou My Vision by 4Him -Lyrics (Celtic Version)
From Celtic Worship: Be Thou My Vision
Popular from last week – Another video from Sean Feucht – LET US WORSHIP – Live from New Jersey on 8.29.20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?