Talon’s Point of the Day – Nov. 20th, 2016 Don’t “Give Him Up”

jesus-crucified

To paraphrase the great John R.W.Stot, one of the principle authors of the Lausanne Covenant, from his classic book Cross of the Christ,

Judas gave Jesus up to the Priests (out of greed). The Priests gave Jesus up to Pilate (out of envy). Pilate gave Jesus up to the soldiers to be crucified (out of cowardice), but God, and Jesus himself, gave him up to the Cross out of pure love.

Share him generously, but never give him up.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

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The Gospel of a Drowning Boy

bubbles

One afternoon, while he and his family visited an area creek a young boy, about 3 or so years old, with his family nearby, was walking through a very shallow creek. Stretching his sense of independence he’d cautiously take a few steps and stop, look back towards his parents and ciblings who had remained just upstream, then take a few more steps.

Little by little the youngster worked towards what looked like a stone crossing placed nearby that had drawn his attention, every few steps continuing to glance back towards the safety of his parents who where keeping an eye on him while also managing the other children climbing around on nearby rocks and splashing in the cool creek.

As the boy took the last few steps to the crossing, the water skimming smoothly over the stones, he stared into the crystal clear water of a small pool that had formed on the downstream side next to the edge of the creek. Looking for a few moments, the boy considered whether to turn back or to investigate the small pool. Finally the boy decided he would step into the waste deep water to feel the inviting sand he could see resting at the bottom much like the sand he’d enjoyed on visits to the beach. As soon as he investigates the pool he’d return to his family to tell them about his discovery.

Stepping in he immediately found himself submerged well over his head with the force of the incoming water quickly thrusting him to the bottom. Confusion rushed through his mind. How could the water that appeared so shallow be so deep? How would he get out of this hole? Could he climb the beautifully green plant growing from the sandy bottom up to the surface? How long could he hold his breath since he hadn’t take a breath when he stepped into that “shallow” hole?

Could he climb up the wall? He looked at the wall of what wasn’t a crossing, but an old stone dam that had completely filled with material on the upstream side, and even on the downstream side, except for what was suddendly apparent was a narrow wattery pit. Reaching out he felt the slippery stones. He knew there was no way to climb the wall. He turned toward the creekside. It was shear smooth rock. The plant was clearly too spindly to climb and looked like he could just get tangled in it. Turning downstream it too looked too steep to climb. Confusion quickly turned to fear. The only option was to try to swim up. The problem is the boy could not swim. He’d have to jump towards safety.

Jumping he rose a little more than midway. He’d have to try something different. Bending his knees low he again jumped towards the surface with all his might, this time reaching high enough for his hands to break the surface of the water, only to be thrust back down by the flow. Again he tried. Again he failed. Fear gave way to terror. One more try, once again only to reach high enough to splash a little. Becoming weaker and his lungs screaming for oxygen, he sank to the bottom.

Mustering all his remaining strength he lunged once more towards the glistening sheen where water meets air. This time he couldn’t reach above the surface. One last try ending in one more failure to even touch the surface. His heart sank as fast as his body. Swallowing hard the spent air now begging to be released he knew he no longer had the energy to keep trying. He knew he truly had no hope of saving himself.

There for a moment he stood looking towards the air just above him. So close, yet as far away as the sun from the earth. Looking down towards his feet he took in the reality as one much older. He was mortally trapped and he knew it. Feeling his warm tears mix with the cool water he again turned his gaze to the heavens, his salvation just beyond his reach, yet far beyond his strength. Remembering what his mother had taught him about God he resigned himself to facing death. As the sun’s rays, like heavenly arms, reached through the shadows of the plant waving in the current, he reached towards God, raising his hands as children often do when they want their parents to pick them up in their loving arms. Knowing in his heart that God would do the rest, he prepared himself to breath death in.

It was at this moment that he saw the face of his mother, vailed in shadow, looking down at him. Joy now burst from his re-energized heart as the spent air burst from his weary lungs. Having realized that the splashing boy wasn’t being playful, his mother had ran to the “crossing’s” edge just in time. As she would tell him later in life, she too was shocked at the water’s actual depth when she jumped in and feared drowning as she worked to save both him and herself.

 

We enter life with curious hearts, seeking adventures great and small that we sometimes don’t properly appreciate the dangers of. Sin can seem like such a shallow thing. We step into it often without obvious consequence, until suddenly the force and weight of it pins us in a deadly pit with the realization of having no hope of saving ourselves. Yet hope does exist, just beyond our mortal reach, but not beyond God’s immortal.

Our only hope is found when we open our spiritual eyes, look to the heavens, and reach to the Father who lovingly sent his son Jesus ahead of time. Jesus is right there, at the edge of the pit, already reaching down to pull us to safety if we’ll only reach back.

 

By the way, this story is true. It was written by that once young boy who, now grateful to God for the event, found himself at the bottom of a watery pit.

 

 

Talon’s Point of the Day – Oct 20th, 2016 Sign of Love

If longing to be with someone until it hurts in our heart is a sign we love them then what does it say about us if we call ourselves Christians but do not long to be with our Savior?

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Father’s Day June 19, 2016

Dear Father in heaven,

Happy Father’s Day, as all days are your days. Thank you for sending your Son so that we could become your sons and daughters through Christ.

“And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”    2nd Corinthians 6:18

 

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Jan 20th, 2016 Shame On Me….Please!

Our modern society celebrates the shameless and their shamelessness but I’m deeply grateful for shame. It drives me back to the feet of my Savior, where all that is holy, all that is pure is found. Where I am washed clean from my wretched filth, and ultimately from the shame that makes me aware of it. Yes, shame on me….please!

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Jan 9th, 2016, “In Christ Alone Is Your Debt Paid For You”

To paraphrase Ravi Zacharias:

In Buddhism there is no grace. You pay
In Hinduism there is no grace. You pay
In Islam there is no grace. You pay

 

Only in Christ has perfection in human form paid for you, and poured grace out for you in abundance beyond your need. It’s up to you to receive.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Dec. 16th, 2015

While the work of salvation is complete in Christ, the crown of life is pressure fit. You are re-made to fit it. It is not made to fit you. Don’t quit the process before you’re fit to wear it.

“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.” – James 1:12

“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” – Our Savior, John 14:21

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” – Our Savior to John the Revelator, Revelation 2:10

 

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

 

It’s Time For The Church To Rethink The Definition Of “Marriage”

 

Ok. Now that I hooked you with this seemingly shocking statement let’s begin by reaffirming the biblical foundation for marriage. We can assume from reading the second chapter of Genesis, through inference of the narrator, that immediately following the moment God presented Eve to Adam, God defined marriage as follows

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)

I use the King James version here as I believe it best expresses God’s desire for the heart of man to his wife. Merriam-Webster defines the word “cleave” as: to adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly. This is important because it lays the foundation for the very purpose of why God established marriage.

We know through the study God’s word that the marriage between man and woman is a likeness to our bond to Christ our savior, both individually and as the collective body of Christ. This bond brings us back into relationship with God our Father that we terminated through our rebellion. For this reason husbands are called to

love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25)

His “wife”. Not his “other.”

We can assume from God’s word, in this case from what is not stated, that there was a singular intended definition from the beginning of creation. Therefore, any future definitions, while accepted by society, and sanctioned by government, is a distortion of, thus a counterfeit to, the original. We further know from scripture that Satan often distorts and/or counterfeits that which God ordains to entice both the aware, and often the unsuspecting, into rebellious acts toward God, what we know as “sin” going back to the original sin of mankind. I would contend that this counterfeit definition of marriage is not only intended to entice those who are being drawn toward the sin of homosexuality to engage in it, but to further engage in the sin of pride when one tries to justify their sinful actions using justification through the rebellious actions of governments. Yet it goes beyond that in my mind. I believe this tactic by Satan is intended to add to the chains of the person bound by homosexuality, by tricking them into mocking the marriage of Christ to the believer(s) through the act of unknowingly marrying themselves to Satan himself as a counterfeit.

What then should the response of the Church be to this modern social definition of marriage? Acceptance of this world’s definition, which I contend would be acceptance of Satan’s counterfeit? Business as usual perhaps, where we try to coexist with this counterfeit? As you read this the world, in its ignorance of what marriage actually represents, is crying out “how is same-sex marriage harming anyone?”  I’ve tried quickly, maybe too quickly, to lay the foundation and framework for what I believe is not only the proper (and singular) definition of marriage, as well as what I believe is the root of the counterfeit for a reason, so that the Christian reader may see that the intention of this counterfeit is to discredit through dilution the purity of God’s original intent, thus further clouding the minds of the lost from grasping God’s witness to the world of his love, and path to re-establishing unity with him, through the sacrifice of his son Jesus and the gift of salvation.

Rethinking marriage.

As noted at the beginning of this post I believe it’s time for the Church to rethink the very definition of marriage. Don’t get me wrong. After laying out God’s definition of marriage,  the root of the counterfeit, or the sins tied the counterfeit, I’m not suggesting we place ourselves above God by altering his definition in the slightest. I’m also not satisfied with the notion we simply comply with Satan’s definition nor even to try to co-exist with it. Yes we are stuck with dealing with society’s blindness to the ditch they have fallen into, but we don’t have to cooperate any more than what is necessary by law. In other words we may find ourselves functionally co-existing because we cannot deny the reality that we walk in God’s truth in the middle of an active rebellion towards said truth and must continue to function in this world, but that should not mean that we grow silent regarding the truth of this or any matter.

While I will avoid venturing into all the social and business ramifications in this post, when it comes to how we express our Christ centered marriages in the eyes of a dying world, I believe it’s time for the Church, as a matter of witness, to establish an unequivocal differentiation before it is too late. It’s the nature of man to become used to things then forget how they came about. It’s how Western cultures, built on the foundation of Judeo-Christian principles, forgot said foundational principles including God’s intended meaning of marriage already discussed in this post. If we do not act quickly, future generations will lose all remaining awareness of the very intent of marriage, which I believe is the strategy of Satan.

While I wish we could prevent this strategy from succeeding through correcting that actions of courts throughout the Western world I do not believe this can be accomplished without an act of God himself and from what I read of the end times in his book I don’t see him acting in that way. What I sense is him calling us to stoke the flame within us to burn ever brighter in a darkening world so that those who are perishing can see the light, even as most will reject it and sadly perish. One way is through differentiating true Christian marriage from the counterfeit “marriage” ordained by this world and its god.

How do we do that?  That is a question I have been wrestling with since long before the rebellious act of the U.S. Supreme Court as I have anticipated this rebellion for years. While I wanted to wait until I was fully satisfied that I could articulate this much needed action, along with the majority of ramifications, before posting it, I have concluded that it is of greater import that I post it in concept now so that the message might be out there. Perhaps it is not for me to perfectly define. Perhaps one far more gifted than I is meant to take this up, or already has, but I will attempt to basically articulate the concept here.

What I think the Church needs to do is modify our terminology of marriage while clearly not altering it’s meaning. Perhaps by using the term “Holy marriage” or “Christ marriage” or something else that conveys the message that there is an original purpose to marriage, thus pointing both the believer, and non-believer, back to redemption to God through Christ.

There is a secondary importance that should be noted here. Just as I long anticipated the federal government redefinition of marriage, something outside of it’s constitutional purview here in the U.S. by the way, I anticipate government assaulting churches that do not perform counterfeit marriages though stripping them of their 501 (c)(3) status.

While I’m actually an advocate of churches accepting taxation so that they aren’t tempted by loss of money to refrain from speaking freely I know it wouldn’t end there. One step toward protecting current 501 (c)(3) status (for awhile at least), and delay future persecution in general (in my non legal opinion) is to stop conducting standard marriages that involve cooperation with government via marriage licenses, and instead use this alternative (differentiating) definition and establish within each Church’s bylaws that we will ONLY conduct this newly coined marriage and will not participate in the government license process. There will of course be legal issues for the newly “Christ married” couple to deal with without a government issued marriage license signed by their church but they are not unsurmountable. Each couple can decide on their own if they wish to go to a local magistrate for a government issued conventional license. My suggestion would be to avoid it if at all possible but such issues as qualifying for family health benefits may require something other than a church-only issued license.

However, on the question of what is a proper “marriage” in God’s eyes, nowhere in the book of Genesis, or elsewhere, did God tell someone to go get a license (approval) from a government, and our government, at least here in the U.S., has long established that it has no legal jurisdiction over those who chose not to purchase it’s legal approval (license) except in a few jurisdictions that have established common-law marriage. In other words, nowhere in scripture is government involvement necessary to establish in the eyes of God and man that two people have agreed to witness to the world of God’s love for the world, and restoration of relationship to himself, by the sacrifice of his beloved son through the act of true marriage. It is time to untether ourselves from man’s rebellion and walk in the light for all to see.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

 

May we shine God’s light in the darkness even as this world hates the light.

Talon’s Point of the Day – May 18th, 2015 Open Your Ears

Listening Ear

Christ died not just for the Christian, but also for the Atheist, the Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Satanist, the Agnostic etc.

To reject the gift of salvation will be to bring the same end for the Atheist as for the Agnostic, Satanist etc. Each will stand before God without excuse for the act of turning a deaf ear to the message of reconciliation between sinful man and the Holy and forgiving Creator.

Today is your day of salvation. Open your ears to His voice.

Talon’s Point of the Day is meant to be concise yet thought provoking. If you are impacted feel free to share the point with others, with or without citation.

Talon’s Point of the Day – Sunday, April 19th, 2015 We Must Chose To Stay Worthy

When we exercise weak, even atrophied physical muscles, it hurts but in a certain way the pain feels good for we know the pain will reap physical rewards.

When we exercise weak, even atrophied spiritual muscles , it too will hurt, but in the pain will be the pleasure of knowing we will reap a great spiritual reward.

This walk we call faith demands we exercise our determination to follow He who lead the way carrying his own cross. Now it is our turn. We must daily take up our own cross, and engage the struggle to drag this sometimes seemingly impossibly heavy weight to the place where we will be poured out as a drink offering to the almighty. If we do not. If we drop our cross and walk away, seeking a place of personal comfort, we are no longer following Him, and no longer are worthy of Him.

In ourselves we cannot make ourselves worthy for only His sacrifice makes us worthy. But we must chose to stay worthy. And Christ himself defined how we do so:

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” – Christ, Matthew 10:38

Let us again this day determine to take up this Cross. In the end the pain will be worth it.

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!