Last Christmas Standing

I don’t know if you’ve seen Tim Allen’s new show Last Man Standing at all, but so far it has been pretty funny. This past episode was an especially good one on forgiveness. I never really watch it expecting to think, but this one at least engaged my thoughts and had me cracking up at the same time.

There’s one conversation in particular about mid show that had me laughing out loud and wanting to include it in my next message on forgiveness (and imagine this being said somewhat jokingly incase you can’t catch it in the text):

“Dad, I was sort of thinking, you know you make everyone go to church every week and listen to sermons about forgiveness.”

“So?”

“So… maybe you should just forgive Ryan.”

“(Scoffs) That’s what you take away from church? Forgiveness? Wow. What about the vengeful God? All that Isaiah stuff, huh? Rain toads on people. Rivers into blood, harden the heart of the pharaoh. How come that didn’t sink in? That’s my God.”

“Not mine.”

And so if you wanna crack up and think about forgiveness a little bit, check out the latest episode. You can currently watch it for free on Hulu or buy it on iTunes.

Speaking of Christmas, here’s a little random Christmas gift from my friends and I:

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Generational Curses and Demonic Influence

One of the reasons Christians aren’t too keen on believing in generational curses or demonic influence is because it gives sinners something to blame their sin on. Today I write to show you this is not the case.

Pictured above (left to right): John, Helen, Ashley, Will

A great picture of this situation is painted on one of my favorite Syfy shows, Sanctuary, in an episode called Haunted. You can still watch it for free here, or just get the general gist of the episode real quick by reading the following:

In this particular episode, the building all of the characters are in goes crazy and tries to kill them all. Why? Well, you find out throughout the episode that some sort of evil energy/spirit has left a dude named John and is now possessing this highly technical building. Basically, it’s now in the mainframe computer and can control any technical part of the building that is connected to it.

Before this energy left, the dude named John was kinda good, but fairly evil as well. The spirit inside of him gave him quite a passion for bloodlust and he found himself doing a bunch of evil things. But now that the spirit was gone, he felt great. He had no more desire to kill anyone and he became the person he used to be. With that being said, here’s the scene I’d like to reflect on in which the dude named John has a conversation with the dudett (and ex-lover) named Helen:

Helen: You said you feel different. What did you mean by that?

John: The darkness within me is gone. Completely… Is it not possible this entity was the soul cause of my bloodlust? That it’s been polluting my soul since it began using my power?

Helen: I want to believe you John. But it’s far to easy to blame everything you’ve done on something else.

John: Yeah. You’re right. My mind is so clear. As it was when we first met. That thing was my rage.

The key line is “it’s far to easy to blame everything you’ve done on something else.” This brings us back to the initial argument I wanted to address. Suffering from a generational curse (a struggle passed down through family) or demonic influence is NOT an excuse for your actions. It does not give you the right or justification to sin.

You see, Jesus is bigger than all of our problems. He is way more powerful than any demonic force or curse we could ever come in contact with. For this reason, we must put our faith in Jesus and pursue purity EVEN if we are under the pressure of a demonic force or curse!

It’s the same deal with any kind of scientific sin you might encounter! Perhaps you were born with a bent towards certain evils due to some kind of chemical imbalance or something of the like. But even if you can prove such things as alcoholism, homosexuality, lust, etc. to be the subject of some kind of hormonal or chemical imbalance, that does not justify you to live outside of God’s will. It does not give you the grounds to live in sin.

God can break curses!
God can cast out demons!
He’s done it before and is doing it today.
But we need to learn to discipline ourselves too.

One of my teachers gave a great illustration in regards discipline. He basically said that male students come to him, seeking relief from sexual addictions or problems. They would ask him to pray that God would basically take away their sexuality so it wouldn’t be a problem anymore. His response to these students was that God gave them a sex drive and they were expected to discipline themselves to use it correctly.

Discipline is key!
Literally!

It locks the door behind us to make sure we don’t let anything into our lives that shouldn’t be there. And when we hand over these keys, we open the door for external forces to make our life increasingly difficult.

I’m starting to feel kind of scatterbrained as this post is taking off in many more directions than I originally planned on, so I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up:

GOD LOVES YOU.
Seriously. He does.

It’s so weird to hear sometimes, because a lot of us have been trained that His love looks like disastrous vengeance among we humans. And so I’m telling you now: GOD LOVES YOU. He always has, always will. And He will be like that yesterday, today, and forever.

EVEN if the only reason you came across this blog post is because you just struggled with something and wanted to do a search to see if it was a generational curse or demonic influence, I’m still here to tell you that God loves you despite your very recent problem. But what shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptisim into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed. And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resutling in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And incase you didn’t catch it, I just quoted all of Romans 6 to you.

Whatever Happens in the Next Few Hours…

“Yeah, it’s important—It’s important. Like, whatever happens in the next few hours could determine the course of things for years to come. You know, maybe our history for the next hundred years. That is the responsibility we got here. And if that comes at a terrible cost than so be it. ‘Cause that’s the only way that things get better. And it’s the only way that people stay free.”

-Robert Hawkins
Jericho, Season 2
Episode: Patriots and Tyrants

Lennie James as Robert Hawkins
Lennie James as Robert Hawkins

Found a bit of correlation to Jesus in the quote above stated by actor Lennie James. It’s always been amazing to me that something that happened 2000 years ago was so real and powerful that not only did it change the course of history, but it fought against the test of time and won. Together, we continue to make history the present because we believe it has the power to change the world as it has changed our lives. May we be an example so that other’s lives can experience the same joy that we have.