“…thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high (Ezekiel 21:26, NAS).”
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Matthew 11:29, KJV).”
“I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit… (Isaiah 57:15, NAS).”
“For though the Lord is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar (Psalm 138:6, NAS).”
We who are within the Body of Christ are not here to be served, but to serve. Those who desire to be great will be brought down. Christ states that those who serve are the greatest among His people. Those who purpose in the name of Christ Jesus to serve the Body will be highly exalted in due season. Many misunderstand, but there is a huge difference between a slave and a servant. A slave is in bondage to his master and has no choice, therefore becomes easily embittered. A servant, on the other hand, is employed by choice by his superior. He serves with diligence because his payment is eminent.
A bondservant is a person who is released from slavery by their master, yet chooses to stay from a heart of dedication and love. Therefore this person is willing to do anything they are asked without hesitation or grudge. God’s bondservants who serve with a grateful heart will be rewarded by the Kingdom of heaven. The lower we humble ourselves before Christ and His people, the higher we are moved toward Christ. We lend more service as time goes by, not less. This honors God.
Our only purpose in this life is to glorify the Father. When we are focused on ourselves, we take the focus from God. Pride can be very subtle. Remember what I said about those most at risk? It is very easy to find ourselves out of spiritual sync with God because we forget whom we serve and the One who gives all ability to do what we do. We can easily allow the praises we receive from those around us to puff us internally.
When we are in a place of servitude, we must remember that there is no good but God, as. Therefore, if there is good coming from us, it is not us. We can tend to look down in judgment on those not doing what we are or how we are. To be judgmental comes from a spirit of pride. We all pass judgment. The key is being so aware of it that we don’t allow it to remain and take root. We must be quick to repent of a judgmental spirit and remove that foothold of the enemy. Keep in mind that we as the Body of Christ are to judge things according to the Spirit of God; this is righteous judgment – discernment. That differs greatly from being judgmental (viewing ourselves as better than another).
We, God’s holy people, also need to be careful about starting a testimony wanting to exalt God yet talk endlessly about ourselves and what we did or said in a certain situation. Human nature is to glorify self and get people to be in awe over how humble and selfless we seem to be.
Obviously, according to the Word, pride is an issue everyone somehow, somewhere, needs to deal with. Pride takes constant pruning. It grows like weeds and spreads itself as fast and as far as it can. It is unrelenting! It cannot be assumed that, once we have dealt with pride, it is never to be faced again. Our hearts require constant supervision. The fleshly nature is driven by pride; therefore, we all need to be alert to it on a regular basis.
I hope you’ll come back next week as we continue to explore the subject of humility. If you’re interested in reading more on this subject, please go to my website and check out my books.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf
I practically live for inspiring moments—nuggets of motivation that propel me forward each day. In fact, I just concluded my lunch hour, in which I wrapped up an episode of The Biggest Loser. I save episodes such as this for moments requiring a pseudo Red Bull, providing a little extra “oomph” of momentum to carry me through the remainder of an exhausting day. Of course, I cried like a baby (which is typical) … but boy was I ready to jump back into my work when it was over. After all, if those contestants can push themselves through grueling weeks of physical turmoil, I can certainly mark some items off my to-do list.
There isn’t a science to inspiration. I think we all hope to inspire or be inspired in some way, but may not have a clear route toward the execution. In an attempt to provide a little extra jolt of encouragement for you today, I’d like to share a short video of our treasured Valerie Harper (actress legendary for the Mary Tyler Moore Show, among other things).
Valerie, a recent contestant on Dancing with the Stars, shared thoughts on video of her brain cancer diagnosis and her decision to join this year’s DWTS cast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQs71f9FYJc
Valerie asked herself upon receiving her prognosis (given an “expiration date” from doctors): “’Why this? Why me?’ And then I said, ‘Why not you? You’re 73. You’ve had a great life. Look at the career you’ve had. The husband you’ve had. The daughter. Stop complaining and let’s attack it.’”
I know there have been instances in my life where I’ve asked, “Why me?” But what makes me so special that it can’t be me? And if not me, then who? None of us are perfect. No one is above another simply because of who they are or what they have accomplished. So why would anyone else deserve to be faced with a hurdle and not me?
It’s not a question of whether or not we will each be presented with a struggle or whether or not that struggle is deserved. It’s His will that matters, not our own. Battles are inevitable. But it’s how we “attack it.” It’s how we renew our minds. It’s what we make of ourselves.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.
It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”
~ Rikki Rogers
Valerie is a perfect example of life’s circumstances controlling our conditions, but not our attitude. Not our faith. Not our persistence. So why let our situation determine the outcome? How we live each day is still within our realm of control.
Cheers to Valerie! And cheers to you, for having the courage and determination to continue to dance through life, pummeling your road-blocks, while striving toward a positive mind-set.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
HAPPY EARLY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!
Alicia Smith: I swear this giraffe was trying to eat us.
Like * Comment * Share
Have you done any of these recently?
- Checked to see how many “likes” you received on a picture, comment, or article?
- Tuned into Facebook, Twitter, or another social media to see how many friends/followers you’ve acquired?
- How about doing analysis on your website/blog to see how many new visitors/subscribers you’ve obtained?
- Then there are sites like Klout.com, providing a number for how much online “influence” we have. Ever taken a peek?
I’m not going to pretend I haven’t done one or more of these.
Many of us are passionate about our careers and aspirations. In our evolving world of technology, social media, and advanced/accelerated communication, gaining supporters and clients becomes more accessible than it ever has before. Building a platform, brand, or fan-base, can literally be at our fingertips. The internet has the possibility of not only extending the reach of our work/passions, but validating them all in the same swoop.
Sharing ourselves with others can be exciting. We want to help others. We want to share our knowledge. We want to hear a client’s feedback. And we appreciate the same in return. Unfortunately, this can be consuming, though, we may do our darndest to avoid it.
Finding your voice, your creativity, your “influence” takes risks. It can be intimidating, scary, and ultimately, silencing. We’re putting ourselves out there for the world to judge. Even if our internet influence is strictly social, that doesn’t mean it lacks vulnerability. After all, every time actress Amanda Seyfried posts a photo of her dog with a duck perched on his head or reading the newspaper with his morning coffee (http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/amanda-seyfrieds-dog-is-americas-hidden-treasure), she’s inviting others to love it or leave it. (I’m loving it, by the way.)
As a by-product, there is this possible trap—falling into the landslide of life revolving around gaining “likes,” “friends,” “followers,” and the like. Those numbers that pop up on our phones (indicating a message, “like,” etc.) can sometimes taunt us until we finally bite, pressing our finger upon the shouting app to take a look.
Or what about beyond the internet and social media—those moments when we worry about what others may think before we move forward with what we believe is right? Again, there is value in the validation of others appreciating a part of us that takes courage to share. However, what happens when validation crosses over into a tad-bit obsessive?
Then one day it hit me. The answer was so simple. I only need one fan. I mean that with one hundred percent of my being. We only need one fan. We need our Lord to be a fan of our actions, our work, our pictures, and our posts. And here’s the beauty of it: if He’s a fan, there’ll be thousands more where that came from.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?”
The topic I’m about to discuss if very controversial. If you commit suicide, will you go to Heaven? I’ve heard both sides of the argument on this one. Here’s what I believe.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoeverbelieves in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” -John 3:16, 17
This passage makes it very clear that whoever believes in the Son of God, will have eternal life. So if you commit suicide, will you go to Heaven? If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, if you have faith in Him, then yes you will go to Heaven. If not, then you would have just sent yourself to Hell. Did I just say that if you kill yourself you can still go to Heaven? Yes. Suicide’s a sin, but here’s the thing: Jesus hasn’t just paid for your sins from the past. He doesn’t just forgive every time you ask. If you are truly in Christ, he has forgiven ALL of your sins….past, present, and future. He doesn’t wait for you to ask forgiveness every time (you should still do that though). Your sins are already forgiven. He already has paid for them.
I’m not condoning suicide by any means. “Suicide doesn’t prevent a life from getting worse, it just prevents it from getting better.” However, sometimes even Christian lose sight of what’s ahead and get desperate. We’re still human. I have to belief that God’s grace extends to those who take their own life. If God’s grace can redeem a murderer like King David, it can still reach someone who took their own life.
That’s my answer. If you are in Christ and you commit suicide out of a moment of desperation, I have to believe you will still go to Heaven.
If you are having suicidal thoughts though, I would encourage you to seek help from a godly friend, counselor, or minister. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of these thoughts. Keep your eyes on the King.
Rick Warren proclaimed these words, “your chemistry is not your character,” during his first sermon after his son’s suicide last April (video below).
Pastor Rick Warren Returns to Pulpit – First Time Since Son’s Suicide:
In an effort to support Rick’s movement toward defeating the stigma associated with mental illness, I’d like to dispel some myths that may not be as frequently addressed (sources noted below):
Myths about Mental Health
Myth: Children do not experience mental illnesses. Their actions are just products of bad parenting.
Fact: A report from the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health showed that in any given year 5-9 percent of children experience serious emotional disturbances. Just like adult mental illnesses, these are clinically diagnosable health conditions that are a product of the interaction of biological, psychological, social, and sometimes even genetic factors.
Myth: Mentally ill and mentally restored individuals are unpredictable, potentially violent, and dangerous.
Fact: A research literature review conducted at Cornell University found absolutely no evidence to support such portrayals. The vast majority of individuals with psychiatric disabilities are neither dangerous nor violent.
Myth: People with mental health needs, even those who have received effective treatment and have recovered, tend to be second-rate workers on the job.
Fact: Employers who have hired people with mental illnesses report good attendance and punctuality, as well as motivation, quality of work, and job tenure on par with or greater than other employees. Studies by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) show that there are no differences in productivity when people with mental illnesses are compared to other employees.
What’s our reaction?
In July of 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the following (based on a 2007 BRFSS research study; http://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/data_stats/mental-illness.htm):
- 57% of all adults believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness.
- Only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness.
Those two figures don’t equate, do they? Apparently, our perception of our actions may not be perceived by a person with mental illness in the same way they were intended. We are often fearful of what we do not understand. But isn’t it also true that defeating what we fear leads to immense satisfaction (in this case, for both us and those who suffer from mental illness)?
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
~2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
So what can we do? Well, one more myth to squash:
Myth: I can’t do anything for someone with mental health needs.
Fact: You can do a lot, starting with the way you act and how you speak. For example:
• Learn the facts about mental health and share them with others, especially if you hear something that is untrue.
• Treat people with mental illnesses with respect and dignity, as you would anybody else.
• Respect the rights of people with mental illnesses and don’t discriminate against them when it comes to housing, employment, or education. Like other people with disabilities, people with mental health needs are protected under Federal and State laws.
Are we any different?
We all have our own challenges. Some of our challenges deal with our character, gravitating toward selfishness, anger, or the inability to be vulnerable. Some of us are addicted to work, alcohol, or eating. Some have physical disabilities. But all can be debilitating, no matter the source or context. We’re all different, and yet the same.
No matter our issue(s), the most important details are not only how we diligently assess our situation(s), but also how we treat other’s dealing with theirs. Ideally, shouldn’t we live in a world of symbiotic relationships? Shouldn’t we give another’s challenge (whether changeable or not) the same consideration and respect that we expect for our own?
Moreover, if we were personally struggling with a mental issue, wouldn’t we want someone to go the extra mile for us? If it were a family member suffering–would we extend a hand for them? What if it were Jesus himself? Though assumptions are never safe, I think in this case I can safely assume the responses to each of these questions. So why not make that love and consideration universal? How can we not when we expect the same in return?
“And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
~Matthew 25:39-40 (ESV)
So many who come to faith in Christ seem to want to return to where they were before. Why? They think it was better or “more fun” to live in slavery to sin. As I have shared before I call this place a “Christian’s Spiritual Egypt.” Obviously I am referencing when Israel wanted to return to slavery in Egypt instead of continuing to the Promised Land. They thought they’d be safer and more comfortable there. So a Christian (I am not referring to all believers) thinks their old life was better and they want to return. They want to return to their slavery to sin. That comes from a lack of trust in God which is exactly what the Israelites were suffering from at the particular time I’m referencing. My message here is to those Christians who are on the fence. I pray the Holy Spirit draws you close before you fall back into the vicious cycle of an utterly sinful life.
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”- 1 Kings 18:21
In this passage of scripture Elijah is establishing to the people of Israel this same message that I’m trying to give to you: You can’t truly serve more than one god. You need to either choose the One True God or you can choose the worthless gods who will do nothing for you. I’m talking about money, popularity, power, sex, relationships, etc. Those are all idols when you put them before serving the Lord.
Elijah isn’t the only one who spoke this message in the Bible. Jesus told us that we can’t serve two masters. We’ll hate one or the other (Matthew 6:24). Sin is rebellion against God. And that is ultimately hatred towards God. Also, God can’t go against his own character. If you choose to live in slavery to sin, God will be forced to withdraw His presence, His Holy Spirit from you. We saw that happen to Israel’s first king, Saul.
“Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul…”- 1 Samuel 16:14
Saul chose to disobey God and lead a life of rebellion. He paid the price for it. God doesn’t change, so He is required to do the same today because He is just.
Sin is so deceiving and it sneaks up on you like a predator. You begin to tolerate one little thing and that gives a foothold for the enemy. Sin then slowly takes over your life. Finally, you feel trapped and you can’t get out. No matter how much you want to and how much you try you can’t. I’ve been there. Then, if you don’t confess your sin to the Lord and repent, you begin to love your sin and you’re back to where you were before Christ. Finally, you’ll begin to plunge deeper and deeper until you are destroyed by your sin unless you turn back to Christ. That is the downward spiral of sin.
“How come every time we buy into an idol, we’re the ones that get devoured?”- Jefferson Bethke
Because as Jefferson Bethke states in the video I just quoted, “An idol takes, it never gives.” When you’re so wrapped up in what people think of you that you’ll do anything to gain their acceptance, you are a slave to acceptance. You have now put that before God. It’s the same way with anything else. Popularity isn’t bad, unless you turn it into an ultimate. Money isn’t bad until it’s turned into an ultimate. What are your idols?
“This day I call the heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”- Deuteronomy 30:19
Life is found in Jesus Christ. Death is found in sin and the ways of the world. It’s as simple as that. Your choice. No one else can make it for you. God’s not going to force you to choose life, but he wants you to. If you turn your heart away from God and choose to be disobedient and serve your idols, you will surely be destroyed (Deuteronomy 30:17-18). Choose life (that is: Jesus) today.
You know who you are. If you are on the fence and are falling into the idol trap, you haven’t gone too far. The grace of God can reach you. No matter what you’ve done you can be made new. If you repent and turn back to your faith in Christ, you will be saved. God promises us that. If you have been ensnared by sin, pray to God and repent now. Don’t wait. Do whatever measures it takes to crush your idols.
Make this declaration:
“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”- Joshua 24:15
Here is the video of Jefferson Bethke that I quoted. This poem is inspired by what true manhood is, but I believe everyone can get something out of this.
God bless you!
I’ve noticed that so many Christians immediately confront the sins of unbelievers when they attempt to evangelize them and advance the Kingdom of God. I ask, “Is that the right approach?” The answer is really quite simple: No. It is not the right approach. And I’m going to tell you why. Let’s begin with a passage for Scripture that everyone knows.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”- John 3:16
Most of us know what this means. Out of an unimaginable love for His Creation, God sent His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for mankind. This sacrifice would allow us to experience a right relationship with God. We now had free access to the Father. We could walk right into the Holy of Holies. We no longer need a middle-man (priest). Now look at the next two verses.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” -John 3:17-18
Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world. We see this in John 8.
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”- John 8:1-11
Let me transition for a minute and talk about this passage.
In their effort to trap Jesus, the Pharisees actually twisted the law. The law would require both parties involved in the adultery to be killed. They only brought the woman. This was likely a set up by the Pharisees. Jesus answered in such a way that he could not be accused of anything. If he would have completely dismissed the case, then the authorities could have accused him of not supporting the Jewish law. He still spoke of throwing stones, but prevented them from taking the matter into their own hands.
We also, however, need to be careful that we don’t use Jesus’ words to justify sin in the CHURCH. The Word teaches that blatant sins committed by those within the CHURCH are not to be tolerated. These issues should be confronted and exposed by God’s loving grace. Notice the emphasis on “Church.” It’s important.
I also want to look at the second part of verse 11 above: “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus’ whole attitude in this situation amazes me when I read this. It reflects his purpose of forgiving sins and restoring people’s relationship with God. He doesn’t condemn her because she is unfit for forgiveness. Instead, he treats her kindly and with mercy in order to lead her to repentance. Don’t get me wrong. Jesus doesn’t look on sin lightly, but he gives us the opportunity to turn from our sinful ways and live as part of God’s Kingdom.
How many times do we, as Christians, exclude people from the Cross because we believe their sins are too great? By doing that we are saying what Jesus did wasn’t good enough to save them. That just drives people away from Jesus! That’ s beyond wrong. Sadly, I’ve caught myself doing that before. I just pray that I don’t exclude people from salvation. I have to remind myself that I still sin and at one point I was just like them.
Now you may be asking something like “Where are you going with this?” or “Why the emphasis on ‘Church’?”
The Holy Spirit is NOT concerned with the sin of the unbeliever as we see it. He is concerned with the unbelief. The reason why is because it is the belief or the faith in Christ that will save us (John 3:16, 18). Verse 18 makes it clear that unbelief is what will condemn you to hell. When they come to a saving relationship with Christ, that is when the Spirit will begin the process of sanctification (which is a life-long process). When an unbeliever come to believe in Christ, that’s when the Spirit will begin to address the sin in that life. So our job as believers is to help lead unbelievers to a belief in Christ. It is not to condemn them for our sins. That will do nothing because they don’t have the Spirit to convict them yet.
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36 NKJV)
Our “ticket” to heaven or hell is given by God himself. There are no “get-by” passes or a friend standing at the pearly gates “hooking you up” to live in comfort and leisure up in heaven when you leave this earth while you have not done a self check and most importantly given your life to Christ for the sake of receiving salvation and forgiveness from He who is our Lord and Savior. It’s not that kind of party. God does not operate like that.
We choose the route we want to take in life. As well, we choose to do either right or wrong. The decision is ours. Scripture tells us “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13, 14 NKJV)
I need to be squeezed. Don’t you?
Often I find myself asking of the Lord in regards to reproof and correction. I surely am not one who is perfect and I claim to not be perfect though I am made perfect in Him. We all have sinned and continue to sin in some sort whether in word, thought or action consciously and subconsciously. I want to know the error of my ways so that I can change. I want to be forgiven of my sins. I want to be made over daily.
I NEED TO BE SQUEEZED.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16, 17 NKJV)
Many succumb to the ways of the world without fighting for what right. It’s easier to pleasure and please man because we don’t want to hurt their feelings or because we want to fit in rather than stand out for God who has been nothing but good and merciful toward us, who loves us without conditions and who gave us a way out and a way in that we may be washed, cleansed and approved to be united with Him forever where no more tears and sorrow shall reign in eternal glory in heaven. As believers and followers of Christ we are not called to life a life of such. We are not to conform to the ways of the world. (Romans 12:2)
We were made to stand out. We were made to let our light shine for the world 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; (I Peter 2:9 NKJV)
Unfortunately this place we live in is full of evil and lust. Temptation is always knocking at our door. Will we answer?
Not one of us came into this world without sin so I pray we don’t walk around as if we have never done wrong. God knows all and sees all. He’s merciful and forgiving. He’s loving and patient. This is how we should also be towards others who have committed sin who are in the Body of Christ as well as the sinner who has not turned from his ways and who has yet to receive Christ into their life. The Word tells us:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)
Are you feeling the squeeze yet? I’m not here to condemn one soul but I will not shy away from the truth. I will not accept what God says is wicked and abominable in this world and the ways of it so if I have to walk it alone to be seen as righteous and holy before The One who holds my life in His hands then I will. Temporary pain in this life is far from comparison to the eternal joy I will have in my Fathers kingdom.
I pray this for you too dear Reader. Fight the good fight and don’t give in. You can do it and come out victorious in Christ Jesus. He is our strength, shield, deliverer, protector and provider. Nothing is too mighty for God to do. Amen? Amen!
“Thank you Father, Son and Holy Spirit for being my path and light. I thank You for being my all and leading me in truth. May I cling to Your truths and convictions and lead a life that’s pleasing and honoring. You work as one but in unity giving leadership to all who will receive. Praises I sing on high for You are worthy my God to be praised! In Jesus name I pray. Amen”
Preach the Word
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (II Timothy 4:1-4 NKJV)