Friday, October 2, 2020

How Christians Will Vote on November 3

  Kopp Disclosure

(John 3:19-21)


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How Christians Will Vote on November 3

Exceptions to the rules are called exceptions to the rules because they occur so infrequently that they are called exceptions to the rules; which means it’s prudent to play by the rules while acknowledging rare exceptions.

A rule for Christians is the sanctity of all human life from womb to tomb.

Because Christians want to honor Jesus by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book, Christians would never vote for anybody who doesn’t respect, protect, and advocate the sanctity of all human life.

That’s why every Sunday morning worship service on the corner of Lincoln and Main begins, “Before you were born, God knew you.  Then God made you.  He knit you together in your mother’s womb.  God loves you so much.  So He sent His Son Jesus to save you.  Now God wants you to be His.  Let us worship God!”

I don’t know how anyone who claims to love Jesus as Lord and Savior could ever vote for anybody who doesn’t respect, protect, and advocate the sanctity of all human life.

That would require a passive-aggressive pathology on steroids and shameless hypocrisy rivaling the irenic protestations of Islamofascistnutball savages.

Actually, I know how some people that pretend to be Christians do that.

Generally speaking with no evidence to the contrary, Democrats have no perceptible morality and Republicans have no practical spine.

I am convinced too many baaaaaaah-baaaaaaaahing Democrats and Republicans would vote for satanos itself if that lying, deceiving, damning and beastial murderer were their party’s nominee.

Christians have one primary identity.

Christian.

Christians are followers of Lord and Savior Jesus as enfleshed in Jesus, explained in the Bible, and enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book.

While the bumper sticker infuriates the unbelieving and unsaved, it’s the decision-making axiom for Christians: “God said it.  We believe it.  That  settles it.”

Getting back to why Christians could never vote for anyone advocating, enabling, and sentencing babies to death by abortion, I’ll give my three reasons why I will never vote for anyone who is anti-life as in anti-Christ.

First, foremost and always, I don’t see one WORD offered by Jesus and Holy Scripture that would advocate, enable or sentence babies to death by abortion.

God said it.

We believe it.

That settles it.

My next two reasons are very personal.

A surgeon and friend founded one of the greatest heart hospitals in America.  He let me stand in the observing physician’s spot next to the anesthetist during a few open heart procedures back In the early 80s. I was overwhelmed by the art as well as finely honed skills of the surgeon and his team.  I’ll never forget when he said, “I never thought much about abortion until one day after heart surgery on a newborn to save her life when I went down a few floors in the hospital and saw trash baskets filled with the body parts of the unborn.  It seemed tragically ironic, hypocritical and barbaric to be saving babies on one floor and slaughtering them on another.”

Then there’s my involvement with Special Olympians.  About 15 years ago when she was headed home to Jesus in a victory over death with a life cut short by cancer, I promised Muffet Flott that I would be Bill’s guardian after the rest of the family joined her in heaven.  With the support of my wife and sons, I agreed.  In the years since that covenant, I have learned so much about the rainbow-colored diversity and beauty of God from Special Olympians.  I have experienced more Christianity among Special Olympians than any other secular or religious organization.  Tragically and aggravatingly, I also know God knows you know there are people running for political offices that would have ended the lives of those predestined Special Olympians in the womb if they had the chance because they would have been considered inconvenient, require patience. cost too much money, judged burdensome or some other from-the-pit-of-hell rationalization bringing Nazis to mind.

Unless anyone can prove by the example of Jesus, explanations of Holy Scripture, or enlightenment of the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book that God doesn’t want us to respect, protect, and advocate the sanctity of all human life from womb to tomb, I don’t see how anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus could ever vote for an abortionist which is an ugly-in-itself euphemism for baby killer.

Here’s the point.

Christians are supposed to be Christians in all things at all times in all places with all people.

A person who says Jesus is their personal Lord and Savior prays and labors to act like it/Him.

“Imitate me,” Paul wrote, “as I also imitate Jesus” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

We’re supposed to enflesh the example of Jesus in our lives if we have enthroned Him in our heads, hearts and guts as personal Lord and Savior.

Paul put it this way in Peterson’s translation-paraphrase of Romans 12:2: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Simply, to be a Christian is to think then act Christianly.

Christians are not animals.

We don’t reflex mindlessly.

We are at the highest order of creation – imago Dei – which allows us to reflect on situations with people and things, reflect not reflex with Jesus as our focus and filter and then act accordingly.

    Paul explained, “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is…Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2).

    Again, I like how Peterson translates and paraphrases Paul: “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it…See things from His perspective.”

    When it comes to November 3, we must shed our idolatries, temptations and  lusts and pledge allegiance to God for the welfare of our country: “If my people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and then heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

    The message of redemption from Genesis through Revelation is clear and categorical: “Return to God and God will restore you.  If so, so.  If not, not.”

    I think of my buddy Cliff Mansley who blurted out just before a big vote on something distinguishing authentic Christians by the book from posers whose “faith” is only coincidental to Jesus by the book, “Vote for Jesus!”

    That’s the issue before Christians on November 3.

    Will we vote Christianly or will we vote like pagans?

    Let me put it another way.

    When you enter that voting booth, will you be a woman or man of God?

    A woman/man of God is someone who belongs to God and seeks to please God in all things at all times in all places with all people.

    A woman/man of God doesn’t wear those proverbially different hats for different situations as in sometimes Christian when somewhere with some people that aren’t women/men of God.

    Being a woman/man of God isn’t a part-time job.

A woman/man of God, as Paul wrote to Timothy, runs away from people that dishonor the WORD enfleshed in Jesus, explained in the Bible, and enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book and runs toward people that pray and labor to honor Him in all things at all times in all places with all people: “But you, man of God, flee – run away and reject – from unwholesome passions and ignorant disputes and false teachings/teachers and the unGodly and pursue – run toward and embrace – righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith” (Read 1-2 Timothy).

In short, think and act Christianly.

Unlike some people who leave their Christianity behind after the benediction and act like everybody else when they get back to their jobs, school, family, friends, and politics, a woman/man of God hears and heeds the apostle: “Whatever you do, in word or in deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17).

A woman/man of God doesn’t have one foot in the boat and one foot on the dock.  They are all in for Jesus!  They walk on water with Him!

A woman/man of God has only one Master and it’s not Caesar.

A woman/man of God prays, lives, votes, and everything else “in the name of Jesus” because, as that little phrase with eternal consequences means, Christians know they belong to Jesus and are beholden to Jesus by confession (what  they say), conduct (what they do), countenance (how they appear), checkbook (how they manage what God has entrusted to them), and chums (who they hang out with).

Again and again and again until it sinks in, Paul was emphatic about God’s expectation for a woman/man of God: “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that above, where Christ is…Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2).

A woman/man of God has heaven on her/his mind.

A woman/man of God is praying and laboring for their lives and family and country and all of the below to honor God and have heavenly priorities with Jesus as the Master and Bible as the manual.

Jesus was blunt: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33).

A woman/man of God always puts God first in themselves and family and country and all of the below.

Election day is not an exception to that rule.

The highest goal, greatest ambition, and most fervent prayer of people that think Christianly is to enthrone Jesus.

Christians by definition must seek to honor Him with our votes with Jesus by the book as the lens through which to see who gets our votes. 

If we go into that voting booth with anyone other than God on our minds, we’re as heathen and unbelieving and unsaved as too many Democrats, Republicans and the rest of those living in darkness under the spell of the unholy trinity of satanos, Antichrist and false prophecy.

William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week, just wrote on September 4, “Historian Henry Adams once defined politics as the ‘systematic organization of hatreds.’…Voters are largely driven by what they’re against, rather than what they’re for.”

True for too many folks.

Not Christians.

We’re for Jesus.

For Christians – women/men of God – it’s that simple.

Are we for God or not?

So here’s how Christians will vote on November 3.

Christians will look at every candidate for every office, what they have said and done, and compare it to what Jesus says His followers should say and do.

Whoever lines up with Jesus gets our votes.

Yes, it’s that simple…if we’re voting Christianly.

If not, we can go to hell.

Yes, it’s that simple…if we’re consciously Christian.

Neither souls nor countries can be saved without Savior Jesus as Lord.

I’ve been told our votes don’t matter; especially in a state like Illinois.

Well, let’s clear up that nonsense right now.

Our votes matter to God!

The only election results that count in the end are God’s.

Cliff was right.

Christians can only vote one way, truth, and life because no one honors the Father unless they’re honoring the Son Jesus by the book as guided to vote by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book.

Who you vote for isn’t your own business.

Even a 12 year old knows that: “I must be about my Father’s business” (see Luke 2:49).

Christians don’t vote for Democrats or Republicans.

Christians don’t vote fo anyone that isn’t trying to honor Jesus by the book.

Cliff was right.

Women/men of God vote for Jesus.

They vote for the person who best represents the principles and priorites of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Women/men of God will have no hesitancy to say who they voted for on November 3.

Women/men of God don’t want their ballots kept secret.

Women/men of God want everyone to know they’re voting for Jesus on November 3.

No exceptions!

So do your homework before November 3.

Go to Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit and assess all of the candidates by His standards before your spirit is polluted by people propagandizing in the spirit of Antichrist that would destroy our exceptional republic so deeply rooted in Holy Scripture.

It’s the only Christian thing to do.

Joshua 24:14-15: “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth.  Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped and worship the Lord. Choose this day who you will worship.  As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”


Blessings & Love!



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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Catching His Second Wind Concomitant to the Next Two Sundays in Belvidere, Illinois

 Kopp Disclosure

(John 3:19-21)


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Well, friends, I'm skipping the next two Sundays for our first family vacation in over 12 years.

Only because someone new to our family of faith said they planned to become "regular" if I'm not retiring and an oldie but goodie said I must be "slowing down" if I need to take two Sundays off in a row, I guess it's time for me to come clean.

Parenthetically, why anyone would ask if I'm planning to retire befuddles me.  Heaven, I've been bald since I was 27; and anyone who actually worships with us in person or online hasn't questioned my, uh, uh, uh, enthusiasm for Jesus, calling people to faith by the book as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus by the book, and unrelenting saltiness aka piss and vinegar.  

Yeah, I'll miss messaging over the next two Sundays because, uh, that's my beruf; and I'll even miss being at presbytery because it's one of today's best mission fields open to us.

God knows as well as anyone showing up in person and online knows, I am more psyched and energized and purposeful and...than ever before.

I've caught His second wind.

I know that troubles some franchise folks that are trying to rotate off the remaining evangelicals in the franchise because we tend to salt, shine, and leavenate when Jesus and the Bible have become coincidental not fundamental to the increasingly sidelined mainline.

I know that infuriates people in churches that are sooooooo mad at me and wish I'd go away or die because I join faithful women and men praying and laboring to take "their" churches away from them and give 'em back to Jesus.

I know that frustrates peer pastors and other politicians who expect clergy to sprinkle some accommodating holy water here and there but not dare say sooooooo much in government, education, media, entertainment, churches and all of the below are going to hell without Jesus.

Wow!

I can't wait to get back into the saddle!

Anyway, we've got some great worship services over the next two weeks.

Guess who!

Why do you want to know?

Are you an idolater or something?

Some people spend too much time watching Joel and other apostates.

Let's make this clear.

Unless you've deleted Exodus 20:8 and Hebrews 10:25 from your Bibles, worship isn't optional.

Two stories come to mind.

Renowned pulpiteer Henry Ward Beecher took off a Sunday.  When the substitute noticed people getting up and leaving because they had come to hear Beecher not him, he bellowed, "All who have come here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw from the church.  All who have come to worship God keep your seats!"

Here's one for clergy if they're still paying attention.

King James I became so annoyed by preachers who said nothing but said it eloquently like 44 that he demanded during one worship service, "Either make sense or come down from that pulpit!"  The preacher replied, "I shall do neither!"

Selah, selah, my boyfriend's back!

I've caught His second wind and I'm going to give Don Lyon a run for tenure.

While I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus by the book, I'm scratching and I'm an iconoclastic worshiper, soul-winner, patriot who still believes America can be exceptional if it gets back to its Constitution rooted in Holy Scripture and doesn't fall for the cancel culture crap led by those under the spell of the unholy trinity of satanos, Antichrist, and false prophecy, and rocker who still can't figure out why Mountain ain't in Cleveland's HoF.

Yeah, I'll quit when I start wearing a helmet, trade in my pony for a trike, stop going to Cuba and Bad Ash Cigars in Oregon, Illinois.

Fasten your pewbelts!


Blessings & Love!



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Monday, August 3, 2020

Dream

Kopp Disclosure

(John 3:19-21)


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Dream

I had a dream on 7/23/20 (very late) or 7/24/20 (very early).
It was about a pastor in a meeting of mostly clergywomen/men.

Though the meeting was cordial, the pastor was increasingly disconcerted by the absence of theology.

Yes, the meeting was held “decently and in order” pero the pastor was growing impatient with what seemed to be an indecent or ignorant or intentional inability to consider issues with Jesus as the focus and filter of decision-making.

Indeed, Jesus or the Bible and definitely not the Holy Spirit didn’t even come up during the meeting.

Finally, the pastor said, “I hear a lot of talk that sounds liberal, conservative, progressive or traditional; but I don’t hear much talk about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He hasn’t been mentioned once. I’d say forget the Bible but it seems to have been forgotten. If we’re not going to talk about what’s before us with Jesus and the Bible in mind, what makes us any different from other politicians?”

The response to the pastor was not good.

If looks could kill…

Fortunately, there were no stones in the room.

After the meeting, in the parking lot, one clergywoman and one clergyman flashed a thumbs up to him after making sure no one else was watching.

End of dream.

Then I woke up.

I remembered studying with Dr. Wolfgang Lowe in Heidelberg, Germany back in the mid-70s.

That conversation follows me whenever I preach, teach, counsel, mentor, attend church meetings or…

On a scholarship, I was doing my best brown-nosing to get good grades.

Because I knew he had spent a lot of time at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, I thought I’d impress him with my knowledge of Marx.

Instead, he said, “Herr Kopp, I know you are here to prepare for a future as a Christian professor or pastor. If you are going to talk to me like a Marxist when I know you’re studying for a Christian vocation, which I assume makes you a Christian, how can I ever trust you? Talk like a Marxist if you are a Marxist. Talk like a Christian if you are a Christian.”

Maybe one of the many reasons that people aren’t attracted to churches anymore is the lack of reference and adherence to the Founder.


Blessings and Love!





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Monday, July 27, 2020

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Kopp Disclosure

(John 3:19-21)


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What’s Love Got to Do With It?
    Until Tina Turner’s version of CCR’s “Proud Mary,” I wasn’t into cover groups.
    Since then, as Debbie Steinborn will tell you, there are some cover groups that do an even better job than the original; like Audra Mae and the Forest Rangers outdoing the Association on “Never My Love.”
    Though I’m not ready to concede Tina’s version of CCR’s “Proud Mary” is more, uh, appealing, let’s just say I know lots of folks that really like that song that don’t know or care who wrote and sang it before her.
    She did write “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
    I never liked that one.
    To each his own.
    You say tomato, I say…
    Paul wrote about divinely designed diversity in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12; so being that God’s into diversity, who am I to complain or contend?
    While I have a hard time complying with Godless people in government who are too quick to abrogate our Constitution’s Bill of Rights for thinly veiled nefarious motivations with CCP COVID-19 as their convenient rationalization, I’m into diversity because God’s into diversity and increasing intimacy with God means we’re increasingly into things that matter to God.
    Speaking of things that matter, all lives matter to God.
    God made the rainbow for many purposes.
    First, it reminds us that God won’t destroy the world by a flood again. You can look that one up in Genesis 6-9.
    Second, God likes a lot more colors than just black and white.
    That’s how I know no colors will matter until we’ve got room for all of ‘em on our palette.
    Until all lives matter, no lives will matter.
    Speaking of that, the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t have that much credibility with me.
    God says all lives matter and that includes black lives which is why black lives matter to me.
    I’m just having a bigger and bigger problem with a movement that says black lives matter when they don’t seem to care enough to speak up and act up  about unborn black babies being murdered so disproportionately to other babies and they don’t seem to care enough to speak up and act up about black on black crime, violence, mayhem and murder in cities like Chicago.
    Again, no lives will matter until all lives matter.
    That may not fit the narrative of the Godless communists fooling and fueling people and pitting them against each other; but God’s people know all lives matter to God and all lives can get along together if they go through Him to each other with His grace, mercy and forgiveness.
    Getting back to Tina Turner, I never liked “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
    The story line is kinda pathetically pagan.
    It’s so carnal.
    It’s about relationships without love: “What’s love got to do, do with it?  What’s love but a second hand emotion?”
    What the anything but heaven is she talking about?
    Maybe it’s about being abused by Ike or Ike cheating on her or her cheating on Ike or…?
    I don’t know.
    I just don’t get it and I don’t wanna get it because there is a very concise, clear, compelling and commanding answer to her question from God.
    What’s love got to do with it?
    Everything.
    John puts it bluntly: “God is love.”
    He wrote that in the middle of 1 John 4:7-21: “Let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His one and only Son into the world so that we might live through Him…If God loved us in this way, we also must love one another…God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him…We love because He first loved us.  If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar.  For the person who does not love his brother or sister...cannot love God…The one who loves God must also loves his brother and sister.”
    John got that from Jesus in the great commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself…You prove you love God when you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:34-40).
    Of course, here’s the test of love from Jesus: “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
    If we love God, we will love like God as God has defined love in Jesus and Holy Scripture as enlightened by the Holy Spirit who never contradicts Jesus and Holy Scripture.
    So it’s a dumb question.
    What’s love got to do with it?
    Everything.
    Paul fleshed that out – explained how love plays out in our relationships – in 1 Corinthians 13.
He begins, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
    If our love for God is not fleshed out in loving like God as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture, Paul says we’re full of stuff that’s anything but Godly.  
    We’ve all heard it: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
    Playing a good game is more important to the final score than talking a good game.
    Talking the talk without walking the talk is for blowbags.
    James put it bluntly: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only…What good is it if someone claims to have faith but does not have works?...[What good is it if someone talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk?]…What good is it to say to the hungry and homeless, ‘Go in peace, stay warm and be well fed’?  That’s why faith without works is dead” (see James 1-2).
    If we really care for the hungry and homeless, we’ll do something about it.
    “Oh, I have a heart for the hungry and homeless?”
    O.K., prove it to me.  Let me see your checkbook and calendar.
    “Oh, I love God.  I’m a believer.”
    O.K., prove it to me.  Tell me about your worship and Bible reading and…
    Paul wrote the 13th chapter after the 12th chapter.
    Duh.
    The 12th chapter is about spiritual gifts and how churches should operate according to gifting and the offices and functions in a church and concludes, “Now let me show you a better way.”
    In other words, loving God by loving others to prove love for God is the glue that holds everything together.
    Practicing faith proves the proclamation of our faith.
    I think it was Francis who said he sometimes used words when he preached.
    Or as I remember an old firebrand screaming over the radio as I drove home from a church late one night while in seminary, “The only gospel that some people will ever see or hear is the gospel according to you and me.”
    What’s love got to do with it?
    Everything.
    Now let’s go deeper.
    Greek has four words for love; yet the one used by Paul in this text and the one used by Jesus whenever he is talking about our relationships with everyone in His name and the one, therefore, that distinguishes followers from Jesus from everybody else in the world is agape.
    Listen carefully.
    Agape means to pray and work for the highest good for everybody regardless of who, what, where, when or why without the need or expectation for response, regard or reward.
    Agape is selfless.
    It cares more about others than self.
    Agape is not an affection.  It has nothing to do with liking or romancing.
    Agape is an attitude that is commanded by God.
    God doesn’t expect us to like everybody because not everybody is likeable; yet God expects us to love the unlovable because we can pray and work for their best without liking them.
    It’s all about loving others like God loves everybody as best exemplified in Jesus with grace, mercy and forgiveness.
    Again, go back to the general definition.
    1 Corinthians 13 mentions some of the ways this agape is fleshed out: “Love is patient and kind…not jealous or boastful…not arrogant or rude…Love does not insist on its own way.  It is not irritable or resentful.  It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.”
    Well, that was easy.
    Not!
    If it were as easy as reciting it, our world wouldn’t be in such a mess with so much meanness, madness, misery and miscreance.
    It’s not easy to agape.
    Why?
    Because it’s not natural!
    Taking a course on love or watching a video about it or reading a book on it or listening to some preacher or professor go on and on and on about what it means doesn’t make it happen.
    Lots of people can talk about it.
    It’s harder to do it.
    Why?
    Again, it’s not natural.
    It’s natural to gossip and get over more than get along.
    It’s natural to hit, hurt, beat, batter, bruise and butcher.
    And before relatives of Tiny Tim say it’s not all that difficult, please don’t embarrass yourself as ignorant to what’s going on in our world, America, your family and neighborhood, churches that should know better and anywhere else where two or three aren’t always gathered together in His name.
    The only way for agape to incarnate or flesh out and play out is by the supernatural enabling that is a byproduct of intimacy with Jesus.
    David said God “inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3).
    Paul wrote intimacy with God releases a supernatural power that provokes this praise: “It is no longer I who live but it is Jesus living in and through me” (Galatians 2:20).
    Let’s go deeper.
    It’s sooooooo human not to love.
    Paul wrote, “The works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar” (Galatians 5:19-21).
    Sound familiar?
    That’s what comes naturally to us.
    We don’t need God’s help to be sooooooo human.
    It comes naturally to us.
    That’s why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born anothen – again and from above.
    We need God’s help to overcome what comes naturally to us.
    We need God’s supernatural ability in us to be for Him and for others that will prove we are for Him.
    When we increase our intimacy with God by increased worship and Bible reading and going to the table and fasting and other acts of spiritual discipline, God’s Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus - from Jesus and for Jesus - empowers us and produces fruit like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility and self control” (Galatians 5:22-25).
    We need God’s supernatural help to incarnate or enflesh and play out supernatural qualities of fidelity that don’t come naturally to us.
    Maturing faith humbles itself before God and recognizes the need for God to empower us with those Christlike qualities that don’t come naturally to us but only through disciplined intimacy with God: “As for prophecies, they will pass away.  As for tongues, they will cease.  As for knowledge, it will pass away.  For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect.  But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.  When I was a child, I thought like a child and I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part.  Then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.  So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
    What’s love got to do with it?
    Everything.
    Many years ago in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a man made an appointment to see me because he wanted to complain about something.
    That’s not uncommon.
    It’s so human…so natural.
    Here’s what he said: “All I ever hear from you is love, love, love.”
    I said, “That’s because God is love and we’re called to love, love, love.”
    He said, “I really don’t want to hear about love, love, love all of the time.”
    I said, “That means this church isn’t for you.”
    Many years ago, my best friend in seminary told me that his dad complained to him, “All you and Kopp ever talk about is Jesus.”
    My faithful friend replied, “Well, uh, what are we supposed to talk about in church?”
    There was a pastor who instructed children during a moment for them, “When I say a word, I want you to repeat the first word that comes to your mind.”
    He said, “Frog.”
    A little boy yelled, “Jesus.”
    Again, he said, “Frog.”
    Again, the little boy yelled, “Jesus.”
    This went on for a few more rounds until the pastor asked, “Why do you keep saying Jesus when I say frog?”
    “Because,” answered the little boy, “I know you didn’t call us all the way down here to talk about frogs.”
    What’s love got to do with it?
    Everything.
    What’s Jesus got to do with it?
    Everything.
    Eternally.
    There are churches that talk more about frogs than Jesus and loving Jesus by loving like Jesus.
    You may feel comfortable in them.
    It’s only human…so natural.
    It reminds me of the old country preacher in South Carolina who revealed one of the best kept secrets of church growth: “Sometimes revival don’t mean bringin’ people in but gettin’ the people out that don’t love Jesus and all His children.”
    CCP COVID-19, the violent demonstrations and protests fueled by Godless communists and so many other tribulations of these times have separated the posers from the authentics, sheepdogs from wolves, faithful from goats, wheat from tares and saved from…
    Those who have made the extra effort for online and in person worship and study and sacrament and other spiritual disciplines are increasing their intimacy with God as the slow train that’s picking up speed comes down the track.
    Get ready for something supernatural.
    Love has everything to do with it.



Blessings and Love!




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