May 28, 2017

“Robert, Come Home”

Q: What makes the Dalai Lama so popular with the America public?

A: Good natured Americans have been raised on “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” always fighting for the underdog, the oppressed.

I recall talking with a Tibetan Buddhist initiate we’ll call Robert from Arkansas who was attending an event led by the Dalai Lama in California.

He said, “I believe in the goodness of man and trust everybody implicitly. I find peace in Tibetan Buddhism that I didn’t find in the Assemblies of God.”

When asked, “Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes. I pray to God everyday.”

When asked if he believed in what Jesus taught he said, “I believe He was the Son of God and also everything he taught. Except I don’t believe a good God would send people to hell.”

When asked, “Don’t you as a Buddhist believe in hell?”

“No.”

“Then aren’t you practicing your own private brand of Buddhism?” we asked.

“Maybe I am.”

Was Robert a bad guy? No. He has been looking for peace in his heart, a practice to get there. He hadn’t rejected Christ totally, just Christianity.

He didn’t run away from us, he wanted to talk. He confessed he wasn’t a good debater. My heart broke. He has embraced what I call an “illusionary projection” of what he thinks Tibetan Buddhism is.

However, as in the justice system, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” When we stand before the judgment seat of God, we are tried alone, unless we have embraced Jesus Christ as our redemption, our sure defense.

We told Robert as a spiritual pilgrim, there is just too much at stake not to seriously probe what he professes to put his hope in.

Paul, a Jewish brother who professes belief in Jesus Christ asked Robert,  “Can I pray and ask God if He has a word for you?”

Robert consented.

Paul gently and compassionately relayed the message,

“God is saying, ‘Robert, come home. Robert, come home.’”

It becomes more apparent that the Western embrace of Buddhism is postmodern in essence. One of the most famous lines of cinema hero Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones” was delivered when he was facing a crisis and was asked what he proposed the best course of action would be. He said, “I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go.”

It’s obvious Robert is a nice trusting American guy. Like so many, he has followed the path of the crowd of pop-religious seekers who have made willful, but ill informed choices.

Martin Luther~Evening Prayers of the Ancients

Recently,  I have been attempting to go through my old boxes and in the process I’ve picked up projects that I had laid aside due to the pressures of life and  calling. In particular, I was seeking the pattern of prayer of the early church and had begun to find the Hours pattern that they prayed from. I recalled my Dad saying how convicted he was when he saw a Muslim at his work take his prayer rug out and pray several times. Later I discovered that Muslims prayed five times a day because they thought that the Christians who prayed seven times a day prayed too much. How far we’ve fallen.

I read this note written on my Daily Order of Prayer chart which I’d written years ago which I committed to share with you before I went to sleep tonight. It is fitting that it is midnight, for the saints used to rise in the middle of the night and agree, “The Judgments of God are righteous altogether.” Ps.

Martin Luther wrote: Ancients prayed: prayer for preservation during the night from the devil, from terror, and from an evil sudden death. The ancients had a persistant sense of man’s helplessness while sleeping, of the kinship of sleep with death, of the devil’s cunning in making a man fall when he is defenseless. So they prayed for the protection of the holy angels and their golden weapons, for the heavenly hosts, at the time when Satan would gain power over them. Most remarkable and profound is the ancient church’s prayer that when our eyes are closed in sleep, God may nevertheless keep our hearts awake. It is the prayer that God may dwell with us and in us even though we are unconscious of His presence, that He may keep our hearts pure and holy in spite of all the cares and temptations of the night..Make our hearts ever alert to hear His call, and like the boy Samuel, answer Him even in the night, “Speak LORD; for Thy servant heareth.” (I Samuel 3:19). Even in sleep we are in the hands of God or in the power of evil. Even in sleep God can perform His wonders upon us or evile bring us to destruction. So we pray at evening: “When our eyes with our sleep are girt, Be our hearts to Thee alert; shield us LOrd, with thy right arm, Save us from sin’s dreadful harm.”  Martin Luther

I often add, May the LORD Jesus,Yeshua surround us with a hedge of His holy angels and protect us while we sleep. May He give us a good sleep so that we may wake refreshed and serve Him tommorrow with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength. Blessing all of the Saints and both of our family trees and those who are yet to come into His kingdom. Amen. May the peace that surpasses all understanding and our Creator give you a peaceful sleep and heal all that ails you. Goodnight and may Yeshua be with you.

John Bunyan’s Advice to God’s People on Prayer

This New Year’s Shabbat, I picked up John Bunyan’s Prayer. As you may know, he was the author of Pilgrim’s Progress which he wrote in prison.   I think the 12 point list on prayer is worth sharing.

“1. Believe that as sure as you are in the way of God, you must meet with temptations.

2. The first day therefore that you enter into Christ’s congregation, look for them.

3. When they do come, beg of God to carry you through them.

4. Be jealous of your own heart, that it deceive you not in your evidences for heaven, nor in your walking with God in this world.

5. Take heed of the flatteries of false brethren.

6. Keep in the life and power of truth.

7. Look most at the things which are not seen.

8. Take heed of little sins.

9. Keep the promise warm upon your heart.

10.Renew your acts of faith in the blood of Christ.

11. Consider the work of your generation.

12. Count to run with the foremost therein.

Grace be with thee.”