There’s Just Two Kinds of People in the End

C. S. Lewis said, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done.’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'” God loves us and wants to free us from the sin that entangles and causes so much pain in the world, but God is also respectful of our right to choose.

I was listening to a couple debates with famous anti-theist, Christopher Hitchens yesterday about whether there is a God or not. Unfortunately, he seemed more interested in condemning the God he did not believe in than engaging the question to prove that God doesn’t exist. In fact, since the tragedy in our nation on 9/11/2001, Christopher seemed to have made it his mission in life to discourage, denigrate, and destroy all faith in God among both those who believe in the Savior and those who did not know for sure in the secular world. Mr. Hitchens passed away in December of 2011 from cancer. From all appearances, he never acknowledged God as Sovereign.

Many today grow up with no knowledge of God and our society promotes the idea that each person is autonomous and free to do and be whoever they want to be without consequence or responsibility. Because God gave mankind free will, we do have the choice to do as we please. But to please God and for eternally positive outcomes, we need to look to his way and will found in the Word of God. God promises life eternal for those who follow him. He also promises to reject those who chose to reject Him.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:5 and following, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”

Our time here on earth is but a moment in all of eternity. We must choose wisely in this life how we want to spend our immortal life for all eternity. I agree with C. S. Lewis. In the end, there are just two groups of people. Which group will we choose to be in? Those who choose to serve God or those who do not serve God. Ultimately, we all will know that Jesus is Lord, confess Him and bow our knee to Him, including Christopher Hitchens. God lets us choose His way or our way. There are really just two kinds of people in the end, but all will know God exists and His Son was sent to save the world. I hope you, like me, will choose God’s way, come to know, love, and trust Him will and will freely say now in this life to God, “Thy will be done.”

Robin House ©️
07/22/2021

Democracy, Fascism, or Tyranny?

I see many changes in our nation today. One change of concern is the governmental interference in the exercise of our first amendment rights. The government appears to be moving towards a more fascist rule instead of a representative republic. I’ve seen it in what is and isn’t allowed in the public square and on public platforms. Because concerns over fascim have increased, I looked up the definition this morning, and it appears that the unknown editors of truth were busy re-writing the definition of this term. The page for fascism was broken for a time. I’ve seen this before with the google searches for certain terms and definitions. When big government or big tech changes ‘on the fly’ the definitions of words and terms to suit their agendas, we have a big problem. The definition of fascism by wikipedia, for some reason this day, seemingly had to be removed, edited or adjusted. Perhaps due to the reporting this morning on fascist type actions being taken by the federal administration or perhaps not. We may never really know.

According to wordnik.com Fascism is “A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.”

Today we see the federal government exercising coercion, suppression, and oppression in coordination with private social media companies and various reporting platforms to monitor, suppress, cancel, and blackball American citizens from their constitutional right to free speech across all social media platforms. The federal government has decided that it knows what’s best and best for us. They have decided that anyone who doesn’t follow their current party line or politically correct policy should be squelched as determined by some unknown and unidentified governmental senior officials. Citizens are being disavowed, and disallowed to exercise their right to free speech. The administration is taking names, writing them down, and telling social media platforms to cancel them. It sounds kind of like what happened to the last president. He had said that if they could censor and silence him as president, they could do it to anyone. It appears they are. Biden said that those who are opposed to vaccines or don’t want to take a vaccine are killing people. It seems that if someone in power doesn’t like what you say and do, they can and will censor and remove your rights to free speech.

Without the exchange of ideas (even bad ones) and the ability to respectfully discuss and debate the issues of the day, we are effectively under a fascist system of government. The president’s press secretary admitted today in a press briefing that her and the administrations thoughts and beliefs on appropriate treatments for the virus trump any Big Brother tactics the administration is now using to limit, restrict, and cancel the speech of our fellow citizens on social media platforms. In fact if someone is deemed to have posted misinformation, she says that they should be banned altogether and across all social media platforms. In other words, the first amendment is not as important as the administration’s directives on what is and is not true about the virus and methods of dealing with it.

Never mind that during the course of the virus, government leaders in the field of science in the highest offices have said at one time erroneous statements they believed to be true and then completely reversed their statements and mandates to say the exact opposite idea or policy. We heard that we shouldn’t wear masks, then we should, and now maybe we should mask again. Where’s the discussion and the debate on the facts? The government says follow the science, then they don’t follow the science. Federal recommendations say no mask is needed if someone is vaccinated, but if we get on a plane, we all must wear masks even if vaccinated. What about all the representatives from Texas who were shown on a plane without masks. Do only democratic politicians get to go without masks on planes?

Is it only senior governmental officials and politicians who get to determine what is true and truth? It appears so. Now it is clear that the social media platforms and most news outlets are also in government’s back pocket to do their bidding. What happened to the free press? Ask the Cubans, Russians, and Chinese – if they will talk to you. As far as our government officials? What standards do they hold to anyway? Are they known to be truthful, ethical, honest, and trustworthy? Are they right? Are they always right?

“Let them die.” This was the shouted statement of a federal employee yesterday at a Fairfax, VA education meeting when talking with parents about people who oppose the teaching of critical race theory. It appears that this is the next shot over the bow of anyone who disagrees. This call for death by a federal employee to some American citizens this week and many more politicians calling for and encouraging violence and destruction over the past year seems very dangerous and divisive. Why do they want us to be fearful and divided against one another? Mark 3:24-25 Jesus says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Is the goal of some in power to pit us as citizens against one another. President Lincoln and others have quoted this verse. It was true in Jesus’ day, Lincoln’s, and today. Is this the road tyranny?

Tyranny is defined by dictionary.com as “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.” Is this what we are seeing? Is this what we chose in our elections? Is this the government under which we want to live? Is this the government of, by, and for the people? Is it????

Unfortunately, it appears that there is a hard push by many elected officials for fascism at a minimum and for tyranny if they can get it. Is this what we want? Is this what we voted for in our elections? There is a proverb that says, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Is this what we are seeing?

I pray that our nation and its people will seek what is true, stand for what is right, support one another – loving their neighbors as themselves, show patience for a variety of thoughts and ideas, sincerely debate to seek what is right and true in order to share positive and unifying ideas that promote the general welfare for all of us in these still, for now, United States of America. I pray we won’t let evil rule or win in our homes, churches, communities, and nation. Let’s say no to division, divisiveness, and destruction in our homes, community and nation. Don’t let the devil and his followers win in his desire to steal, kill, and destroy. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Let’s look to and listen to Jesus. In I John 3:7-10 John says, “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” Lastly, I pray that we will all seek to do right and serve the Savior who ultimately sets all things right and saves us eternally from our sins. May God bless you and may God bless America.

Robin Robbins House ©️
7/16/21

My Choice

Why is the argument ‘my body; my right’ acceptable/allowed for one ‘choice'(to end the life of an unborn child) and not acceptable/allowable for those who may select another choice – to choose not to accept a non FDA approved, emergency use authorization, experimental drug into their body?

Is this not their right and choice, or are we now coming under totalitarian rule? I’m not knocking anyone’s position. I’m not for or against anyone’s decision about taking or not taking the new drugs to prevent a virus.

But – I do believe we should each have the right to decide for ourselves without governmental coercion — Especially considering that 99.95 % of those who get the virus survive with no or very few residual issues.

Let’s open our eyes my fellow citizens and speak up for what is self-evident and what we have been endowed with by our Creator that is confirmed in our Constitution.

RRHouse ©️ 7/13/21

Only by Land and Not by Sea

So the DHS Secretary issued a stern warning to any struggling, starving, discontent with communism, freedom loving Cubans who might want to immigrate to America. He said with absolute clarity and unequivocally that no Cubans who try to come by sea to America will be allowed into the United States. He also said that the U.S. Coast Guard would intercept them, turn them around, and force/escort them back to Cuba. He was quite clear in his statement. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There was no, “The border is closed.” WINK, WINK, “Please don’t come.” WINK. WINK. The DHS Secretary made clear that absolutely no Cubans would be allowed into our country. What?

Why? I thought the federal administration said that we were welcoming anyone who was discontent with their home country. Surely we don’t really turn away people who want to be here, do we? Or, could is this rule just for Cubans? What’s wrong with Cubans coming? Are we seeing racism on the part of the administration?

Men, women, and children from an estimated 75 – 90 foreign countries are being assisted into our country as they cross the Rio Grande River. The administrative department of our federal government has ordered our border patrol agents at the southern border to become ‘babysitters’ for unaccompanied children and a ‘welcoming committee’ for all illegally coming to our nation including criminals, terrorists, and many ill with covid.

Evidence show that coyotes and human traffickers working with cartels in Mexico are using the current policies of our federal government’s administration as part of their business model. Children are dropped over our border fence to occupy border patrol resources so that drug traffickers can freely come right into our nation. The amount of illegal drugs entering our country has skyrocketed. The collaboration of China (who manufactures and sends the fentanyl) with cartels in Mexico is killing our children. Recent news reports say that we have had a 30% increase in deaths (over 93,000 people) from opioids. Enough fentanyl has come through our southern border to kill every American four times. Why? Why do the policies of this administration support and encourage drug use and abuse and human trafficking?

Why is our federal government not protecting its own U.S. citizens who own land on the southern border by keeping illegal criminals out? Our hard working American citizens are being robbed, raped, and murdered by illegals? Does the federal government really want more crime and drug addiction? Their behavior begs the question.

Our governmental officials are putting people entering our nation without any identification and often sick with covid, who ‘turn themselves in’ on planes and buses, (FOR FREE WITH NO ID) to pretty much wherever they want to go into the interior of our country. Why can’t we send them back to their country of origin, like the DHS Secretary promised to do to the Cubans who attempt to come to our nation? The federal government is selectively redistributing and repopulating certain cities and states all over America with people who have come here illegally every single day since the new administration took office and cancelled the wait in Mexico policy.

DHHS is also happy to sign these newly welcomed, unknown people coming in our southern border up for all the healthcare, foster care and food stamp programs, rental assistance, and other welfare benefits only legal U.S. citizens should be entitled to have. The current administrative policy effectively says, ‘Go to the back of the line American citizens, veterans, and the disabled. We don’t care about our homeless, we want to welcome in the new people with no ID, few skills, little education, and inability to speak our language, and health issues.’ Teachers have been hired and some are volunteering to teach and tutor people from dozens of foreign countries while our public schools remain closed and our children fall behind academically and suffer from social distress and isolation.

A representative from Texas during the vp’s recent visit to Texas called El Paso, Texas the new Ellis Island of the United States. How nice, but even the arrivals on Ellis Island had to be free of contagious diseases before they were allowed into the country. Not so today at our southern border. For the diseased and derelict – the administration effectively says, ‘We’ll take them, and we want them.’ The federal government welcomes all – except the people from Cuba.

Why can’t the Cubans come? Does the U.S. government no longer support the desire for democracy? Is there no sympathy or help for politically, socially, and economically oppressed and starving Cubans?

Florida has a rich history of Cuban American citizens today that fled Cuba decades ago. These American citizens of Cuban descent seem to value freedom, appreciate democracy, want opportunity, work hard, and love our nation. Many who came have brought themselves up from nothing to become outstanding patriotic citizens, leaders, and business owners contributing to the welfare and well-being of their states and our nation. Could we be seeing the face of blatant discrimination and racism by our federal government towards Cubans?

Perhaps its just the coming “by sea” travel the DHS Secretary doesn’t like. What if Cubans had a land bridge to Florida? Would their desire for a better life and escape from communism be acceptable then? It’s over 1,400 miles from El Salvador to El Paso, TX. It’s 90 miles from Cuba to Key West, Florida. I don’t hear about the DHS secretary making people from Central American countries, Europe, Africa, and Asia return to their home country because it is an arduous trip. If Cubans go to Mexico to cross at the Rio Grande River would they be welcomed into our nation then?

To be fair, our government has said our southern border is closed, but watching the news and seeing the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents helping people up out of the Rio Grande River into our nation, carrying their luggage, and directing them to waiting buses and planes for parts unknown into our interior shows how closed the southern border really is. So what’s a few more illegals?

Why doesn’t the administration want Cubans particularly to come to the U.S. or Florida? Does anyone know? Something really doesn’t seem right about all this. At the very least, it appears that the administration department of our federal government is practicing immigration discrimination and racism. Isn’t that illegal???

Robin House ©️
07/15/2021

Love Your Neighbor

In Mark 12:28-31, a scribe comes up to Jesus and asks, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

After putting God first and loving Him, Jesus says the second command is that we must love our neighbor. But HOW? How can we do this? The verse tells us when we look closely. It says we must love our neighbor ‘AS yourself.’

Unfortunately, many of us don’t love ourselves. It’s not necessarily because we don’t want to but that we just don’t know how to love ourselves. Some of us grew up with constant criticism and correction and are caught in a cycle of crummy thinking. Some days our self-esteem wouldn’t reach the baseplate threshold of the front door frame. We know quite well our shortcomings and sins. They loom large before us as we replay the records of the words of relatives who told us we were worthless. We hear loudly and clearly the whispered words of the father of lies (the devil) who unceasingly says that we’re not good enough and never will be. But, our physical fathers, forefathers, and the father of lies are not the measure or standard we need to heed.

When we look up at the the Lord of Love and remember the greatest command, we will see things differently. When we choose God for our Father and His Son for our Savior, we are blessed beyond measure. We are bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, who willingly laid down His life as an exchange for our sins and shortcomings. In Christ, we are a new creation and a called child of the Living God. We are adopted into God’s family, and He lets us and wants us to call him ‘Abba, Father.’ In Mark 14:36 as Jesus was dying on the cross He called out, “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Jesus took the cup, followed His Father’s will, and gave His all for you and for me.

In light of this, how can we fail to see that the God, who created the universe and everything in it and the God that holds it all together in his power and might, loves us. He loves you, specifically! He loves me, specifically! He knows the number of hairs on each of our heads. He knew all our days before they began. God is a Father like no other. He declares that we are worthy. He says that we are valued. He says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He says we are His. Stand tall my sister and brother. Bask in His great love. Put your hand in His and walk with wonder with the One who loves you more than the life of His own Son.

How can we love our neighbors? It requires that we must love ourselves. We must love ourselves, not because we are ‘all that and a bag of chips’ that but because of what God did to transform us into His pure, holy, and perfect children.

Today, as His beloved children, God calls us to take the cup of Love He gave for us and share that Love with one another. We can only do that if we love ourselves and see ourselves as God sees us.

The next time you look in the mirror, I hope you will look into your eyes and say out loud, “God loves me!” Let your voice speak clearly, “I am worthy, because Jesus gave His life to save me!” Tell yourself, “I am wanted and valued, because the God of the universe chose me and adopted me as very His own child.” I John 3:1 says, “See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact; we are.”

As we learn to love ourselves in the right context and way, we will be better able to love our neighbors and share the Gospel with them. Most people still don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Let’s learn to care for ourselves and when we do, we will be able to truly love our neighbors as ourselves.

I think on these things…

Robin Robbins House ©️
07/13/2021

Discipling: What is it?

To discipline is to be Disciple-ing. It is teaching by example and many other methods. It creates self-control and discipline within a person. Both positive and negative reinforcement methods can be used in discipling. Creating the concept of consciousness of one’s impact on themselves, others, and their world based on their thoughts and behaviors is key.

It is easiest to teach the young the importance of correct/right behavior and the consequences of poor or wrong behavior. As we age, we are more set in our ways and sometimes bad habits. Good and bad habits/skills are often equally easy to form, so why not train good ones from the beginning. In that way, we don’t have to do the extra work to break bad habits/skills and then try to add and form new and better habits/skills.

There are no rights without responsibilities, and that is something I see missing in training and teaching today. Dr. James Dobson taught in regard to negative reinforcement (punishment) that the only time for this is with deliberate disrespect and/or deliberate disobedience. Consequences for one’s actions whether good or bad happen. Most of the time, negative consequences for bad behavior has the effect of discouraging continuing on that path. Encouraging and rewarding good/right behavior reinforces that behavior to continue. No reinforcement at all for one’s good or bad behavior is also not good, and some teachers do not realize this. Sometimes one will do almost anything for any kind of attention at all whether it is good or bad just to be seen or heard. Disregarding or ignoring someone is disrespectful and hurtful. Those discipling need keep this in mind in order to properly reinforce the behaviors they want to see continue and discourage the behaviors they desire to be minimized or eliminated.

Training in righteousness or how to do any task or skill requires practice and repetition. That in mind, there are often mistakes and accidents along the way to proficiency, competence, and mastery. A good teacher will not inflict negative or punitive measures or consequences on their student for unintended mistakes and accidents. Accidents, mistakes, and even wrong behaviors or thoughts can also occur when one doesn’t understand or know the right behaviors and thoughts to uphold. Some of these failures can result in naturally occurring negative consequences, but unless it accompanied by deliberate disrespect and/or disobedience, the accident or mistake should not incur to the student additional punitive measures.

The key to discipling is to know one’s subject/student/child and from that knowledge, to develop plans to teach them the way they should go based on their age, developmental levels, skills, talents, bents, needs, and other factors. We must show/teach a student/disciple what to do before expecting correct behaviors from them. We must tell them the rules before enforcing them. They can’t obey what they don’t know is a command or expectation.

Remember that many times a break, rest, or even a brief walk is needed to help the disciple assimilate and learn, so patience with perseverance until the discipling is done and mastery is achieved is important as well. Repetition is important for the teacher as well as the student/disciple.

Consistency in the rules and expectations along with support for and from the chain of command all along the way is also important. A teacher can not hope to succeed in discipling if his/her partners and others in the chain of command are not on the same page and seeking the same goals. When the goals are garbled or inconsistent, training in a particular way or skill is at a minimum compromised and can be completely sabotaged. Unity and consistency bring peace to the learning process.

We, as humans, will generally ‘do as you do – not as you say,’ so it is essential to make sure that our walk as teachers matches our talk. If our walk doesn’t reflect or match our talk, all credibility is lost and sometimes even the compliance of the student to follow, accept instruction, and learn. Without a clear vision or example of what one wants for the outcome, there can be no success for the one discipled and disrespect and disobedience will be engendered for the teacher.

Lastly, we must personally pursue what is true, right, good, and excellent. We must act with good character, love, and kindness to train what is honest, right, and good. We need to shine the light clearly to make it easy for our disciple/student to see the way they should go. And as our students/disciples move forward and grow beyond our training and care, let us never cease to encourage their continuing pursuit of excellence and hope that they will exceed even our greatest expectations.

RESPECT for the REDEEMER

Riots, looting, stealing, killing, and destruction are happening across much of America. Calls to cancel citizens for simple opinions and to defund the police and civil authority continue. Due process, justice, and the rule of law are being cast aside for mob rule and anarchist activities. Some reports sound like the 1800s in the wild west before many of our territories became states. Bullies from the classrooms to the neighborhood gangs to the highest seats of power in Washington D. C. are pushing their will and way into every aspect of our lives and culture. Reason, the rule of law, civility and simple acts of kindness for our fellow man have, like the baby in the bath water, been thrown out the window by many.

During Jesus’ ministry many of the same things were happening in their culture. In Luke chapter ten, Jesus sends seventy-two disciples out with a message and a mission to spread the word that the kingdom of God has come near. Jesus sent these men two by two in peace and with power from the Lord – including the ability to heal the sick. Jesus told them that those who listened to them and received them were indeed listening to Jesus. In contrast, whoever didn’t listen to the disciple’s message and rejected it were rejecting Jesus.

I remember times as the oldest of four when my parents would send me to give a message to my siblings. Sometimes they listened to me, and sometimes they didn’t. My job was to take them the message. Their job was to receive the message and reply to it with what my parents told them to do. Sometimes I would be in trouble with my parents if my siblings didn’t acknowledge my parent’s message or authority. As a result, I felt like I would be held responsible if they didn’t “mind our parents.” Sometimes I tried to “make them” do my father’s or mother’s will. I cared that my siblings obeyed and didn’t get in trouble, but in actual fact, my siblings decisions to be obedient or not wasn’t my role or responsibility. My job was simply to communicate the message. It was their job to receive and respond or reject it. Sometimes this happens with evangelism. Sometimes we want better for others than they want for themselves. Sometimes we take on jobs and responsibilities that are not and can’t be ours. Can anyone identify with this?

In the story of the seventy-two sent out, Jesus said that if a city received and welcomed them, they were to stay and complete their mission. In contrast, Jesus also said that if a city rejected them or did not welcome them, they were to publicly say, “Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’” Jesus told them to leave those places that rejected his message. Jesus also went on to say that it will be more bearable for Sodom than for that town that rejected the men Jesus sent to them. That has to be terrible. Sodom was destroyed by a fire from heaven so intense that there is not even a trace of it left to this day.

Jesus told those he was sending out before they left that “whoever listens to you, listens to me: whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10) In my childhood example – when my siblings listened to me, they were listening to my parents. In contrast, when my siblings rejected me as a messenger from our parents and the message I brought, they were in deed rejecting not only my parents but the authority of God. This is a grave thing to reject God.

In the end of the story in Luke, Jesus’ disciples returned with joy at all those who received them and the message they brought from Jesus. They reported that “even the demons submit to us in your name.” That had to be something to see, but at the conclusion of this story, Jesus gives some perspective to the seventy-two. Jesus said, “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

So what about us today? What relevance can we get out of the story in Luke 10 today? Here are a few thoughts.

1. Like the seventy-two, Jesus sends us on a mission. Matthew 28:18-20 says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

2. As we go on our mission remember what Jesus told his disciples in Luke 10 about their approach to the cities they were sent to visit. In Romans 12:18 the writer commands Christians similarly, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

3. Like the seventy-two, we need to know our place and position on this earth. We need to trust in Jesus directions and leadership first and foremost knowing like Paul did in Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. In I Timothy 6:6-8 we also see, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” When we have the right attitude and understand our place and position in this world, I think we can have the same joy the seventy-two described.

4. Keep in the forefront of our minds John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Likewise in I Peter 1:8-9 we read, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” God loves us so much. What a gift He gave and what a reward for faith in Christ!

5. Understand that we are not responsible for the response or lack of response someone makes or doesn’t make to Jesus. It is their responsibility to listen to God. It is also their right to choose to accept or reject Him and His authority. We will see and know what they choose by their actions. In I John 3:9 it says, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” Those who are rioting, looting, stealing, killing, and causing destruction in our world today are not born of God. We can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make him drink. The same thing is true of the offer of salvation.

6. For all that respond and accept Christ and like the seventy-two in Luke 10, we can be confident in our reward of eternal life with God. The Bible says in I John 5:11-13, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”

7. Don’t worry so much about the little things and the things you can not control. When we work within our spheres of influence and with what we do control, we will often be better received and more effective. Let’s keep our focus on the main and important things. When we do, the little things will fit and fall into place. Have you seen the experiment with the putting rocks, gravel and sand in jars? If we fill our jar with sand, then try to add the gravel and big rocks, they won’t fit. If we put in the big rocks in the jar first, then the smaller gravel and the sand last, we will have our priorities right and be able to fit much more into our (jars) lives and in the right order and proportions. Philippians 3:20-21 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” Let’s think about this when life, circumstances, and the evening or all day long ‘news’ stories get us down. Better things are coming for those in Christ.

This is good news. This is important news. This is news worth sharing. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone heard about it?

I hope we can all learn some lessons from Luke 10 and live in the love the Lord provides as we think on these things….

Robin Robbins House ©️
4/21/2021

Bible verses are used with permission from the NIV and ESV.

Gratitude Attitude

On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee and encountered ten lepers. The ten lepers stayed at a distance from Jesus because they were considered contagious. The Bible does not name these ten lepers or fully describe their conditions, but they knew that they were doomed to be isolated from their families and society because of the destructive and debilitating disease of leprosy.

During Bible times, there was no cure or treatment for leprosy. The old testament law prescribed that those with skin lesions must go before the priest to be examined. Those with potentially contagious diseases were isolated from their community for a time, but many with leprosy were isolated for the rest of their lives. The priest in the Jewish culture was the one person to examine and say whether someone was clean (or free from disease) and able to return from isolation or remained unclean and had to continue their isolation from family and friends. It was often quite devastating to families to lose a family member to leprosy. Lepers often could not continue in their workplace and some lived in leper colonies where everyone had the disease. Lepers who traveled were required to notify those that may come near them by shouting “unclean, unclean” so that others without the disease wouldn’t be exposed to them. There was a considerable stigma for the leper in addition to the disability, deformities, and destruction of the body that came with leprosy.

The ten lepers discussed in Luke 17 had heard enough about Jesus that they called out in a loud voice saying, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” A few things are very interesting about their statement. First, it seems that they all in a coordinated fashion shouted out to Jesus. They seemed to know or have heard who Jesus was and called him by name. Second, they call Jesus Master indicating that they consider him to have rule and power over them. Not everyone considered Jesus their Master or respected his authority, but these ten lepers did. Third, the men don’t specifically ask to be healed, but that Jesus have pity on them. Leprosy can be a severely debilitating causing terrible skin lesions, vision problems, muscle weakness, nerve damage, and the loss of limbs. We don’t know what stages of leprosy these ten men were in, but they begged for pity. Pity is said to be a sympathetic sorrow often leading to relief, aid or mercy. The lepers wanted that. They knew they had an incurable disease, but they wanted whatever Jesus could do to give them relief, aid, and mercy.

Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t say he will heal them, but he says, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Jesus knows that to be accepted back into their culture and society, they must be approved by the priests. Luke goes on to say that “as they went, they were cleansed.” All ten left Jesus headed to the priest with their leprosy, but on the way, they were cleansed. Leprosy leaves many marks on the skin, but after encountering Jesus, they knew before they had time to get to their priests that they had been healed. All ten of them. What an amazing miracle and wonderful thing for these men to know that soon they would be allowed and welcomed back into their communities and families.

One of the lepers, when he saw that he was healed, came back praising God and threw himself at the feet of Jesus thanking him for healing him. The Bible describes this thankful leper as a Samaritan. Most Jews didn’t and wouldn’t associate with Samaritans, but Jesus did. It is assumed that the other lepers were probably Jewish, since other nations did not have in their law to present themselves to the priest to be judged unclean or clean.

Next, Jesus asked the thankful Samaritan praising God at his feet, “Were not all ten cleansed?” It seems a rhetorical question as Jesus goes on to ask, “Where are the other nine?” And “Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Jesus intimates that the Jewish lepers should have known to praise God and be thankful for healing. It seems that Jesus would have expected the Samaritan to not praise God or thank him, but Jesus is surprised at his own people. They had all just called him ‘Master.’ They all had some expectation that Jesus could help them or they wouldn’t have cried out. Yet when Jesus did help them, nine of the ten didn’t take the time to be thankful to him. They couldn’t be bothered to go back and show their gratitude.

What about us today? Do we pray for God’s help and never acknowledge that it came? Do we ignore the blessings our heavenly Father brings us each and every day? Do we give credit to someone or something else, after we’ve made our appeals to God for healing? Do we assume it is simply our good luck that helped things turn out well? Do we ignore God after our appeals to Him?

Look at the statistics of gratitude in this story. Only one out of ten said thank you. Jesus never heard back from 90% of those he healed in this case. Why? Were they just that selfish or self-centered? Did they not connect their request for pity with the removal of the plague of leprosy from their bodies? Do we sometimes get so excited that a trouble or trauma is over that we just want to move on and forget it? Jesus seems disappointed and specifically disappointed in his own people as he asked, Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” What does this say about God’s people, who supposedly know and follow him? What does it say about the foreigner?

In the region of Tyre and Sydon, another foreigner came to Jesus for help and healing. She was a Canaanite mother begging Jesus to help her daughter who was demon possessed and suffering terribly. Jesus said that he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel, but as the woman begged, “Lord, help me.” Jesus explained again that it was not right to take the children’s bread and give it to dogs. But the Canaanite woman said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Jesus replied to the woman that she had great faith and granted her request and in that moment for her daughter’s healing.

The Jewish teachers and leaders of Jesus’ day often claimed to be the children of Abraham and to only worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were a proud people and boasted in their Jewishness and relationship with God, yet they weren’t really obedient to him, following him, or even grateful to him for his blessings. God addresses this many times with them, and I see a lesson here for us, as Christians.

Are we grateful? Are we thankful? Do our friends and family know that we hold God and Jesus Christ in high esteem? Do our friends, family and others know that we give thanks to God for the food we eat? Do our colleagues, customers, and even those who can’t stand us, know who we call Lord? Do we thank God for our jobs and financial provision? Do we praise God for healing after we’ve prayed for it, or do we assume it was the doctor’s skill, or the new medicine, or luck, or a simple quirk of ‘nature’ that healed us or our loved one?

If you were one of the ten lepers, what group would you be in? Would you be like the one Samaritan or the nine Jews?

We pray to God for help, then don’t acknowledge that He did help. Why is that? Are we embarrassed? Do we really believe He can, will, and does work today in the lives of men and women? If we don’t believe He is working and answering prayers today, why do we pray? Do we or can we understand how everything works? Of course not, but if we have prayed for something to happen and it happens, why not assume it is from God? He is, by the way, in charge of EVERYTHING! God cares for us down to knowing the number of hairs on our head. As we clean the lost hairs out of our hairbrush at night, do we understand that God knows how many hairs are in the brush and how many hairs are left on our head? Do we see the detail, care, and specificity with which the God of the universe has for each and every person? Matthew chapter 10 says that not one sparrow falls that God doesn’t know about it, and goes on to say that each of us are worth more than many sparrows.

For those who don’t know Jesus, He is the good news/the Gospel. No more is there a separation between people groups. Jesus came for all – for Jew and Gentile, slave and free, for you and for me.

All of us are sinners and have rebelled against God. All of us are on our way to Hell. Hell is the just destination and penalty for our sin. All sin is rebellion against God and His authority. All of us – (every single person and all of mankind throughout every age) have committed treason against the Lord. Our rebellion is clear, but thanks be to God, the penalty and just consequence for our sin has been paid by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

An eternal death separating us from God for all time is no longer necessary, if we will accept the gift of salvation that comes through Christ Jesus alone. The choice is ours. God will not force us to accept salvation from our sin. He will allow us to proceed on our own way, if that is what we choose. God doesn’t send anyone to Hell. People choose to go there of their own accord. God stands at the door and knocks, but He will only come in if we open the door to accept and surrender to His will and way. That’s the deal. We can go our way or His way.

Long ago, some lepers were healed from a physical disease because they sought help, cried out, and asked for mercy from the Lord. Long ago, a mother secured health and safety for her child from demons because she had faith in and sought help from the One she knew had the power to save her child. Today, God still waits and wants all who will come to Him in faith with submissive and grateful hearts to live in His way and walk in His will in this life. Won’t you come like the leper and the mother to the feet of Jesus? Won’t you look to him for help and healing? Won’t you give God all praise for all He has done and is doing in your life? Won’t you trust and draw near to Him? He loves and cares for you more than you can even imagine?

Won’t you, think on these things…

Robin Robbins House ©️

Image by Barbara Jackson from Pixabay

Spring

There’s a yellow mist
Of pollen in the air.
The flowers are all blooming
Without a worry or a care.

The rain clouds loom heavy
Making the sky look dimly gray,
As the wind blows so gently
Through the trees and shrubs today.

The miracle of life
Is seen in every spring,
From the flowers that grow
To the birds that sweetly sing.

Life is renewed
After the long winter cold,
As spring shows off
With colors so bright and bold.

And so it was like spring
Many centuries ago
When God brought forth His Son
For all man to see and know.

God’s plan so full of hope,
So bountiful and free –
Bought by Christ’s own blood
On Calvary’s cursed tree.

Through Christ’s death on a cross
Eternal life came to man
After the winter of sin and death.
Hope and new life springs forth again.

So when you think of springtime,
I hope that you will see
God’s gift and gracious plan –
Redeeming love – for you and me.

Robin Robbins House ©️
04/07/2021

Judge Correctly!

When the time for the Feast of Tabernacles had come and Jesus’ brothers asked him to show himself to the world publicly, Jesus told them that His time was not yet come. Jesus’ brothers went on ahead to the feast without Jesus, and the Bible says that at this time “even his own brothers did not believe in him.” Jewish leaders were looking for Jesus and among the crowds of people at the Feast of Tabernacles people were talking. The Bible said that there was widespread whispering about Jesus. Some said that Jesus was a good man while others believed He wasn’t good and deceived people. No one would, however, speak out publicly for fear of the Jewish leaders. It seems like some things never change.

About half way through the eight day festival, Jesus did go up to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and began teaching in the temple courts. The Jews there were amazed at Jesus’ teaching. They wondered how He had so much learning without being taught. You see, Jesus, was not of the elite or powerful. He made his entrance in the manger of a barn and by all accounts wasn’t wealthy or part of the elite in society.

In reply to their questions as to how Jesus knew so much Jesus said, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

Jesus goes on to say that because he did one miracle in healing a man, they were all amazed. Jesus reminded them that by the law of Moses newborn boys are circumcised on the Sabbath (even though it is a declared day of rest) so that the law of Moses may not be broken, yet they were angry with Jesus for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath. Jesus goes on to say, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

In today’s society, people are all about following the latest or greatest popular person. How many followers someone has is a thing of status. Jesus, like some today, was somewhat a phenomenon. He had many followers who were fascinated by Him. He was unusual and “amazing” to some and someone to be feared by others. People throughout the region were talking about Jesus. The powerful in politics and religion were watching for Him. Some feared Him and His influence on the people since the things He did and the words He spoke did not match up with their belief system and expectations. Some feared Jesus would show them to be the fraud’s they were. Some feared that He would take away their power. Some just didn’t know, but they still distrusted Him.

We have this same situation happening today in our political and religious world. The common man and woman on the streets are discussing whether someone should be able to have presence or platform from which to speak. Publishers and politicians are banning speech that they don’t like or agree with in order to cancel their effect on others. Like the threats against Jesus, some are calling for the death of those they do not like or agree with on issues. Today, Dr. Seuss’ own publishers decided that some of his works need to be removed from the public square. Why? What is behind all the censorship of thoughts, ideas, and words? Can we no longer stand to see the truth of history? Can we not acknowledge a viewpoint that isn’t in lock step with our own?

The Bible begins, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It is a bold statement. It is how the Word of God begins. We must each decide if this is a true or a false statement. We will choose to believe this is right or wrong. In the same way, Jesus challenged those in the temple courts over 2000 years ago to check out what He said. Jesus said that anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether His teaching comes from God or is from him only. Jesus said that those that knew the will of God would be able to verify that He spoke on behalf of His Father who is God almighty.

There is a challenge today for the Christian and the non Christian to decide whether what Jesus said is true or false. We must each decide whether what he preached was right or wrong. Jesus confronted those in the temple courts about their inconsistent enforcement of the law of Moses. Do we today see the inconsistencies in how things are decided? Do we see the contradiction in our own conversations and behaviors between how we treat one person or idea over another?

Jesus admonished those listening to him in the temple courts saying, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” I think this advice needs to be repeated today. What we see is not always as it appears. The only way to know for sure what is true is to seek the truth in the consistent message revealed throughout the Holy Word. Jesus tells us that those who choose to follow God’s will – will know whether what Jesus preached and taught was of God or not. How is that? It is because they will see and come to know the will of the Father written in the Word of God.

When we judge things today, do we stack it up against the standard of the Word of God? Do we have the will to do the will of God? Are we judging by mere appearances or seeking to judge rightly? Each of us makes decisions and judgements every day about a myriad of things including one another. Are we judging rightly as the Righteous Judge and Lord would want us to do, or are we jumping to conclusions without all the evidence?

Do we give people the grace of time? Do we look below the surface of appearances to the motives of their movements through life? Have we tried to get to know one another and their circumstances, or do we dismiss people out of hand? Are we willing to walk in someone else’s shoes for just a minute to see what paths they must tread? Are we interested in our fellow man enough to change our point of view to try to see what things look like through their eyes? Has someone “offended” us and unbeknown to them been written off? Do people get a second chance with us? Or a third? Or seventy-seven times? Jesus told Peter to forgive a brother or sister not just seven times in a day, but seven times ten times in a day when they repent. Do we accept those who are sorry and repent for wrongs they do – intentionally or not? Are we so perfect that we can’t stand to put up with any imperfection in those around us? Are we so prideful and pious that we won’t be in the presence of those called pathetic in our society? Do we use our power or position to ‘put out of mind and sight’ those who don’t share our ideas and beliefs? Did we write off a friend because they told us the truth or we felt they were just too much trouble?

Who are we to stand as king of the hill to look down pridefully at anyone? Don’t we, each and every one of us, have our own problems and missteps to overcome? Do we have any charity/love for our fellow man? Will we give it and show it?

Jesus calls us to judge correctly. Can we? Will we? And if we do, I know our God be pleased. Just as Jesus spoke not on his behalf but on the Father’s, can we as Christians and children of God not do the same?

We can, if we will, choose to follow God, and if we will learn His will, we will know that Jesus’ message was true and His ways are right. What an awesome world this could be if we would judge correctly.

Think on these things…

Robin Robbins House©️
3/2/2021

The Bible passage reference is from John 7.