The Nature of Scorpions

Recently, I saw a post on social media in which a person, obviously hostile to Christianity, was taking scripture completely out of context trying to make a point (that, incidentally, was entirely contrary to scripture and the teachings of Jesus). When a person of faith chimed in on the post and, respectfully, called them out on their error, the hostile voice responded by chastising this person with yet more out-of-context scripture. The exchange was almost comical, had it not been so disturbing. It reminded me of the joke about the man who was looking for the will of God for his life. He said, “God, I need you to show me what to do with the rest of my life.” The man then proceeded to close his eyes, open his Bible, and drop his finger onto a verse. He opened his eyes and read the words…

“… And he (Judas) went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)

“No, no, no. That can’t be it!” said the man. “Ok, God. I’m going to try again.” He repeated the exercise, and read…

“… Go and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:37)

Exasperated, the man cried out, “God, I’m serious here! One last try… please!” One final time, the man repeated his ritual, and looking at the newest scripture, read these words…

“… What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27)

The Strength of Error

Error is a pervasive disease. So much of what we see and hear through media is nothing but out-and-out lies. That’s why we need to be zealous for the truth in living it as well as embracing it and preaching it to those who are around us. Those in the grip of error often do not see it. We must bring them to the light of truth. Those who are growing in the LORD will be able to discern error.

The spirit of the Antichrist is at work in our nation. This spirit denies the deity of Christ and stands against everything we believe in. It breeds lawlessness and the breakdown of society. Secular humanism is the polite name we give to this spirit of error.

Dr. Bill Bright, the late director of Campus Crusade for Christ, once said…

Have you ever wondered why our society is becoming more secular, why prayer and Bible reading are no longer welcome in our public schools? The religion of humanism is largely responsible. Have you ever wondered why Americans are much more tolerant today of sexual freedom, homosexuality, incest, and abortion? The religion of humanism is largely responsible.”

James 5:19-20 warns us that error leads to death.

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

The moment we correct a lie, or refuse to embrace one, we are fighting against sin multiplying. However, if we allow the lie to run rampant, we are going to see “spiritual corpses” falling all around us.

scorpionI think of the childhood story of the scorpion and the frog. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across the river. The reluctant frog, fearing the death-dealing sting, tried to politely decline, but was finally convinced by the eloquent words of the scorpion. When they reached the middle of the river, the scorpion stung the frog. “Why did you do that??? Now we will both die!” cried the frog as he felt the poison sear through his body. The scorpion answered, “But it is in my nature to sting.”

It is the nature of Satan to destroy. Maybe you are reading this, and have refused the free gift of salvation. Maybe you have lived for years proclaiming yourself to be a Christian, but inwardly, you know there has never been a true change in your life. If you would like to have a personal relationship with Jesus, He is a prayer away. Just pray…

Lord, forgive me for believing a lie for so long. I now believe that without Christ, I am lost. I receive His death and resurrection as my only hope. I accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Maybe you are reading this, and you have been feeling the temptations offered in the infectious pull of error. Maybe you have been considering allowing the smooth-talking scorpion to ride on your back. While it may seem harmless at first, the “scorpion of error” has a painful sting that is inherent in it’s very nature. Don’t listen to the lies! Allow yourself to embrace only the truth. Stand on the living Word of God, and the righteous truth it contains. Choose a life of freedom and promise, based on God’s principles. Stand on the power and authority of the Word of God, and pray this prayer…

In Jesus’ name, I bind the spirit of error, and command you to leave my mind. I refuse and reject all lies and twisted thoughts you have brought to me. I here and now in my life loose the spirit of truth. I love you, Jesus. Thank You for setting me free from the lies of the enemy.

If you would like more information on what it means to have a relationship with Jesus, or to speak to someone, simply follow this link.

May God richly bless you as you walk in your new-found freedom!

Pastor Ron

— Today’s blog was, in part, adapted from my book,
Everyone’s Guide to Demons & Spiritual Warfare

Life In The Age of the Little White Lie

Through The Looking Glass2

A few of days ago marked the anniversary of the passing of one of the greatest minds of the last century. Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who, among other things, developed the theory of relativity, as well as won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. Einstein once said…

Anyone who does not take truth seriously in small matters
cannot be trusted in large ones either.

We live in a culture that has grown to overlook the “little white lie”. In today’s society, the old adage ‘a man’s word is his bond’, is (I fear) exactly that… old. It seems that we often go from political season to political season in an attempt, not to get the best person for the job, but simply trying to avoid the worst. Whether personal, political, or business, we desire to overlook the “small issues” for the greater good in individuals, instead of looking at these issues as potential warning signs of more serious problems. Even King Solomon recognized the potential for the little things to become bigger problems when he said…

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. ~ Song of Solomon 2:15

Jesus drives the point home in the parable of the talents when the master tells the servant…

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things… ~ Matthew 25:21

While forgiveness for past shortcomings is important, so is faithfulness and integrity. Character is critical, but it is unlikely that a person will learn from a mistake they are unwilling to take responsibility for.

C. S. Lewis once said…

The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot,
without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

Accountability goes a long way in keeping the “little thing” now from becoming the “big thing” later. As believers in Jesus, we must make every effort to be truthful in all we say and do, to be lights in a dark world, and to still be “as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves.”

 

he safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis115353.html#ZtszMH3OHVUD2Hmo.99

he safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/cslewis115353.html#ZtszMH3OHVUD2Hmo.99
Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins165191.html#A7u8bdxcsZxtJxIA.99
Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins165191.html#A7u8bdxcsZxtJxIA.99
Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins165191.html#A7u8bdxcsZxtJxIA.99

Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins165191.html#A7u8bdxcsZxtJxIA.99

Come Home for Easter

20140416-153053.jpgAs I write this, it is a beautiful (albeit unseasonably chilly) day in Chattanooga, TN. Although it hasn’t seemed like it the past couple of days (30′s and rainy), spring is in the air (as is the pollen), and that means a time of new beginnings: New foliage, new life, new birth… Tennessee is such a beautiful place in the spring.

 

20140416-153206.jpgThis Sunday is Easter, and while there are a hundred things I could say on the subject of our Lord’s resurrection, and the significance of this day, I simply want to invite you to join us at Abba’s House for Easter. We will be celebrating all that this day means, and we would love for you to come and be a part.

 

Maybe you haven’t been to church in years? Easter is a time of new beginnings. There is no time like the present to start again.

Maybe you feel unworthy of the sacrifice that was made for you? We all are. However, a relationship with Jesus is not about our worthiness (or lack thereof) – it’s all about His goodness.

Maybe you’ve been hurt by a church in the past? If you have a bad experience at a restaurant, does that mean you just stop eating? It’s time to let go of those experiences that keep you bound and trust God to show you the place you belong.

20140416-153301.jpgThe fact is, you can probably come up with a hundred reasons why you can’t make it to church this Easter. What I’m encouraging you to do is to have the courage to recognize that ONE reason why you should, and follow that voice.

And chances are, even if the reason isn’t there — the Voice probably is… inviting you to come.

Our service begins at 10:30a.m.

This is your invitation. It’s time for you to come home.

Pastor Ron

Daystar1

News From The House

I’m going to break from the normal routine (slightly) today, to let you know about a couple of things going on at Ron Phillips Ministries and Abba’s House

We are back on Daystar!

Starting on April 27, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House will be returning to the Daystar Television Network! We are so excited about this opportunity, and wanted to let you know so you can make plans to watch us on our newest home. The program will air at 10:00a.m. PST (1:00a.m. EST). Tell your friends and join us on Daystar!

Daystar1

 

5 Days of Jubilee!

Join me September 24-28, 2014 as I welcome Rod Parsley, Perry Stone, Damon Thompson, Randy Caldwell, and others for this year’s Big Event at Abba’s House in Chattanooga, TN. Registration is FREE. Follow this link to sign up for email updates.

Bigevent2014

 

The Zadoks are going VIRAL!

Recently, we had an outreach event in our church called MISSION: REACH OUT. The many ministries and LifeGroups of our church spent a Saturday out and about in the Chattanooga area. It was a great time of visiting and talking to people, washing cars, handing out bottled water, and ministering to first responders. Some of our folks had a free yard sale at the church. Others went door-to-door inviting individuals and families to “Come Home to Abba’s House“.
Our church’s worship ministry, the Zadoks, went to a local mall and participated in a “flash mob”. Our media team was there with iPhones, and recorded the event. It was posted online a couple of days ago, and is already going viral. Check it our for yourself…

Hope you are having a great week! Look for my newest weekly blog post tomorrow morning.

Pastor Ron

 

 

In Retrospect of Fear

FlagSometimes, some things that we say bear repeating (and truth much moreso). This week will mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. The following blog was written in the aftermath of that horrible event.
Recent events in our nation and world have brought fear and uncertainty back to the headlines, and whether it is fear of an unseen enemy, or fear of the very institutions and ideals we once thought made us safe… fear is still fear.
However, truth is still truth… whether spoken 5 seconds ago, 1 year ago, or 2 millenia ago.

No Fear

After following the news in the wake of this week’s terror attack at the Boston Marathon, it is obvious and understandable that emotions in our nation are running the gamut.

We are saddened by the physical and emotional pain that our friends and fellow Americans are facing as a result of those killed and injured. Our prayers for healing and comfort go out to the victims and their families during this time.

We are angry that someone had the audacity to commit this heinous crime on a day (Patriot’s Day) that was about everything that is right with our nation (courage, honor, freedom), on our own soil – our home.

We are confused as to why and how this could have happened. Who committed this act? Why did they do it? As our fine law enforcement officials investigate, we believe that answers will be forthcoming.

We are afraid. Many people in our nation are now living in fear on a variety of levels:

People are in fear that it could happen again.

Witnesses may face fear from the memories of that horrific day.

Victims are fearful of moving forward into a future of uncertainty.

Terror, by it’s very definition, is about eliciting a fear response. Terror means “extreme fear”. Terrorism is not simply about killing and wounding innocent men, women, and children; it is about inciting fear in those who remain, and causing people to live in fear.

The problem we face is that fear (terror) is a vicious cycle. Fear is a magnet to demons. The more we discuss and voice our fear with our lips, the more demons are attracted to the atmosphere of fear. Fear is more than emotion… fear is a spirit. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that…

God has not not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind“.

In the Bible, Job was considered a righteous man. However, Job had a fatal flaw. In Job 3:25, Job confesses:

“For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”

Job feared the loss of his children and his treasures, and Satan was drawn to that fear. And while we may think that fear is an unavoidable part of life, living in fear is an existence that we do not have to settle for. 1 John 4:18 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear“, and in Proverbs 29:25, we have this promise:

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Abraham Lincoln is arguably the greatest president our country has ever seen. However, history bears out that he lost every single election he ran until he ran for president. What if he had allowed fear from past experiences to convince him to quit? How different would our country look today.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” For the believer in Jesus Christ, the opposite of fear is more than courage… it is faith and hope.

For those of you that watch my television program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, you are familiar with my co-host, Angie McGregor. What many of you may not realize is that Angie is a gifted songwriter and singer. Several years ago, in the immediate shadow of 9/11, Angie released a song that resonates today. Having faced down some fear in her own life, she penned the song simply titled, I Will Not Fear. After the events of 9/11, this song took on a whole new meaning for all of us that heard it.

— from the CD Could We Dance? ©Copyright 2002 FacePlace Music

Come Home

Easter is just around the corner. It’s a time of resurrection, new life, and new beginnings. More than probably any other season, Easter best represents the hope we have because without the resurrection, the birth and death of Jesus would have little power. There are plenty of religions in the world whose object of affection is lying in a grave. As Christians, we serve the former Occupant of an empty tomb; we serve a Savior who conquered death, Hell, and the grave, rose from the dead, and is seated in a place of honor above all powers, kings, dominions, and principalities.

AH StatueI would like to take this blog today to invite you to come home to Abba’s House this Easter. No matter where you have been, what you have done, or what you have gone through, there is a God who loves you, and wants to spend eternity with you. He is the Father who is standing on the porch, waiting for you to come home so He can wrap you in His arms, and give you a place of honor at the table.

Please join us Easter Sunday, April 20 at 10:30a.m. There’s always room for more, and Abba’s House is a place of love, acceptance, and joy. I would love to see you, meet you, and let you know how much you mean to our Heavenly Father, and how important you are to Him.

So come join us this Easter.

Come into His Presence.

Come home to Abba’s House.

When The Mighty Oaks Fall…

For about 14 years, I had a radio program called CenterPoint. The person who produced my program was a recording-producer who was a member of my church.

Sunlight thru trees-editedA few years back, we had a series of storms and tornadoes come through our area, and there was a LOT of damage throughout the region. On our first visit back to the studio after the storms, while there was no damage to his home or studio, there was significant damage to my producer’s property (it was actually determined by the NWS that a tornado had, in fact, passed across the back of his property). He told me that the thing that really made an impression was that, although he had many smaller pine trees (which in our area have very shallow roots, and fall fairly regularly), it was actually several mighty oak trees that fell. In one place, three that were close to each other fell together, decimating everything around them… including some trees that were larger. He told me that, while he was never surprised when the pines fell, he never really concerned himself with the oaks. They seemed nearly invincible.

Snow 1JSometimes, what happens in the natural is a picture of what is going on in the spirit. How many times have we put our trust in something or someone we deem greater than ourselves, only to watch them fall, and leave those around devastated? How many times have we looked at the “mighty oaks” in our lives for security, only to watch them collapse, and leave us questioning everything else? How often have we seen the “small trees” in our life lead to the demise of that in which we placed an inordinate amount of faith and trust, leaving us shaken and confused?

So, what is their problem? How could they let us down like that? How could they put us in this “crisis of faith”?

Maybe the problem is not with them at all.

Maybe the problem is with us. Maybe it is our unreasonable expectations and misplaced faith that led us to this place of crisis.

Putting our faith and trust in anything or anyone but God will, inevitably, lead to disappointment. After all, He is the only One with the ability to make good on such a promise…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways acknowledge Him,
    and He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Sometimes, when all is stripped away, we find that the love of God is the only thing we have left.

However, it is at those lowest of times that we find that the love of God is all that we really need.