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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Updates

Between preparing to film on Thursday, what will be the next few installments of truth in a nutshell, for those not aware of them, they are ten minute sermons if you will dealing with various topics, to packing for a week long trip to Houston for some meetings south of the border, to finishing up another prophetic times magazine, I haven't had much time to sit down and fill you in on what's been going on.
The new installment of the E-Newsletter is out and if you are not a subscriber you can find it at: www.handofhelp.com/enewsletter_200810.html
I believe it speaks to the heart of why the churches in America are in the condition they are in today.
I will be away for a week, we're returning from Houston on the 8th of November, four days after the elections. I pray all will be well, and that my concerns over what will transpire are just my own personal imaginings. God bless you all, and thank you for your prayers.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Changing Seasons

Today I woke up to the sight of snowflakes gently falling to the ground outside my window. It should have been a happy moment, but rather than feel any sense of joy, I just pulled the blanket closer to my chin and started thinking about the long winter ahead. I used to live in California, Southern California to be exact, and didn't ever have to worry about changing seasons. It was always sunny in California, and the worst it ever got, at least for the thirteen years I lived there was somewhere in the high fifties.
Having moved to Wisconsin after my wedding, I realized I had to keep track of the seasons a bit closer than I did while living on the West Coast. Yesterday, it was a bit breezy, but there were no outward signs that it would snow today, yet here the snow was falling to the ground this morning. Seasons change suddenly and without warning. What we took for granted today, (for me it was the ability to walk outside in a t-shirt without freezing), we realize the importance of, and feel the loss of tomorrow.
For a long time this nation didn't have to worry about changing seasons. We were the only superpower in the world, the big boy, with the big stick that all the other kids were scared of, we had a booming economy, an excellent housing market, and the only way someone didn't work in America was if they didn't want a job. Well, even though it's highly doubtful that I need to point it out to anyone, the seasons they are a-changing.
An empire can rise or fall, and economic system can fail and collapse irreparably so, as quickly as the seasons seem to change here in Wisconsin. If we have placed our trust in anything other than the heavenly Father, if we believe our security is in the color of our passport, our bank account, or our retirement portfolios, we will be shaken and uprooted, tossed asunder and trampled underfoot as readily as the rest of the world.
For over twenty years our ministry and others of like mind have been warning about the things that are beginning to take shape in this country. Some mocked, some laughed, some rejected, but some received and drew closer to God, growing in grace and faith and in their ability to trust God even for the smallest of things.
Yes, the warnings have ended. I believe the warnings ended some years ago, since a warning is basically a message informing of danger, far enough in advance wherein the danger can be avoided if the necessary steps are taken. We have gone past the point of no return, merrily gorging ourselves on the delicacies of prosperity, never once stopping to think that God Himself said the earth and everything in it shall pass away. Every time judgment was mentioned, we always assumed it was for a future generation, our children's children, or their children, but alas we see that all those messages all those warnings were for us, today.
I take no pleasure in saying that things will get significantly worse very soon, and that which has been foretold is being fulfilled. I realize I'm rambling, but for good reason. The hour is late!
If anyone was waiting to see the signs, if anyone was skeptical and wanted to see further proof before they committed themselves to God, before they took the call to repentance seriously, well perhaps the time has come to choose. Tomorrow is an uncertain time, and today may be all you have to surrender your heart to the heavenly Father.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Way of The Humble Hearted Part 3

To be perfectly honest, this study is turning out to be allot longer than previously thought. I was only able to realize its length after getting into the meat of the next few verses speaking of Christ's example of humility. Since the times seem to be getting more exciting with each passing day, I will reserve the rest of the teaching on humility, and the way of the humble hearted for one of the prophetic times magazines. This will be the last installment on the way of the humble hearted, and tomorrow we continue with something new. Lord knows there are enough burners going at this point in time wherein there will be no lack of topics we can discuss.
Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Within the span of a few simple words we discover the true meaning of selfishness, and selflessness, and by the definition thereof are able to judge our own hearts and actions. It is disturbing and off-putting that those who ought to be the most selfless among us, those who were called to serve, to give of themselves, to sacrifice and labor have chosen the way of utter and all encompassing selfishness, a selfishness which manifesting the greed that fuels it seems to know no bounds or limits. Their singular agenda well established, and the means by which they achieve said agenda being irrelevant as long as the objective is reached, men and women stand before you on a daily basis, fake smiles plastered on their immaculately groomed faces, lying through their teeth, making unrealistic promises, indifferent to how many souls they’ve hurt and wounded on their way to success and affluence.
Why is it that so many tend to forget as the years pass and they begin to consider themselves seasoned and mature believers that the most beautiful facets of one’s character as they embrace Christ and begin to grow in Him, are humility and selflessness? Every good work is received, and is appropriated the right value only when it springs forth from a selfless and humble heart. Countless wolves prowl the land today, looking out exclusively for their own self-interests, unconcerned with anyone, or anything else around them.
If selfishness and greed are looked down upon in the world, it is doubly offensive within the house of God, seeming all the more vile and reprobate. The gifts that God has bestowed upon us, the life we have from Him, the liberty we have in Him, all these things must be placed in His service, and toward the interests of others. If any member of the body, if any organ no matter how important lived only for itself, it would wither and dry up.
The natural environment or a follower of Christ is that of living and looking out for the interests of others, just as the members of the body function best by serving each other. Any selfishness, and the entire body suffers, and impedes it from functioning at its optimum level. The tragedy of it all is that a few members, a few organs are draining the entire body of hope, energy, strength, and even the willingness to press on. Why? Because they are looking out only for their own interests, unencumbered by the knowledge that they are destroying the body to which they belong.
May we be wise and use that which God has entrusted us with, whether it be an ability to speak, to sing, to write, to encourage, to pray, or to empathize all the while looking out for the interests of others. By being of use and beneficial to others, we are of use to ourselves. The member that helps the body helps itself, for if the body dies, the member dies along with the body.
As we look at this verse closer still we begin to discover the wisdom of God contained therein. God never said, ‘let each of you not look out for his own interests, but rather for the interests of others’, but said, ‘let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’
It would be an exaggeration to say that what is required of us is to give away everything we have, and not keep anything, even that which is necessary for our survival. No, God does not ask us to do this. He is just, and does not treat His children unjustly. Whether it is material things of spiritual ones, it is not a sin to make use of them, it is not a sin to survive, but when we have more than enough and are indifferent toward others who are in need, whether spiritual or physical, it becomes selfishness, a state of mind and attitude that is detestable in His sight.
We read this passage in the Word and can’t help but acknowledge its beauty, but by the same token we must acknowledge and realize the fact that these are not just beautiful words, an empty theory or a topic of intellectual discussion. Apostle Paul writes to the heart of every man. He addresses the unseen things as though they were seen. It would be wise to receive the council of one such as Paul, for in this writing as in all his writings his primary concern is for those whom he is addressing to have an upright and righteous walk before God, a humble demeanor and a right spirit. Every member of the body in Philippi was compelled by Paul’s address to them, just as we are compelled by reading this epistle to search our own hearts, and see whether or not we are looking out not only for our own self interests but also for the interests of others. God’s plan for us is that we grow to the level wherein we have the mind of Christ. He came from heaven to earth, that we might have access to heaven. He left behind the glory, and took on the form of man, suffering such atrocities as to be beyond human understanding, all so that we might be with Him in eternity. The thoughts of the body must be in unison with the thoughts of the head. Only then will the glory of the head, which is Christ, begin to radiate throughout the members of the body. If the mind of Christ is in us, then our desire will always be to sacrifice of ourselves that others might be blessed.
The constant quest for vanity, the selfish pursuits, the pride, the arrogance and the selfishness are all ugly and deformed endeavors of the flesh, moral poisons that are at the root of sin and evil. When one surrenders to such things, he or she is quickly and suddenly thrust into a spiritual misery and mire that act as a vortex dragging others along, perhaps even those closest to us, into the depths of despair. When our ego disappears, when the self, the flesh, the old nature of us all is done away with, and Christ shines in us, that is the moment when we not only esteem others better than ourselves, but also look out for their interests as well.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Way of The Humble Hearted Part 2

I am not a spammer! I have a vague idea of what a spammer is, apparently those guys that send out millions of useless e-mails for hair growth, hair removal, and bright shiny teeth among other things. Well, I am not one of them, but apparently somebody with the power to shut off my account seemed to think so yet again. If I were of a more conspiratorial nature in my thinking, I would surmise that someone didn't really like what I have to say, or like me as a person. Either way, we were offline for over a week until the powers that be got it squared away, again.
For those that completely forgot what the first part of this multi-part mini series was all about, I would encourage you to go back and read the first installment. I think by the end it will be a blessing to most of you. Circumstances beyond my control sort of sums up the 'why' of why I haven't posted in almost two weeks. I hope everyone understands.
Going back to the two things Paul mentioned specifically, one is able to discern the point that he was trying to drive home. The two things Paul mentioned with specificity, and warned against were selfish ambition, and conceit.
In order to understand what Paul was warning against, one must first understand what the words mean. Once we understand what the words mean, we quickly realize that Paul is warning against what is essentially the epidemic of our time, namely a belief structure, a lifestyle and a doctrine all firmly rooted in the self.
Selfish: Too much concerned with one’s own welfare or interests, and having little or no concern for others; self-centered.
Ambition: A strong desire to gain a particular objective.
Conceit: A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one’s own abilities or worth. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; vain; proud; egotistical; self-important.
(I did not make up these definitions, they are not figments of my imagination, they were made ) possible by www.dictionary.com) (No I'm not trying to plug them, nor am I receiving any monetary compensation for mentioning their name. Just in case someone was wondering, there it be!)
Let me begin by saying that there is nothing wrong with having ambition. If your ambition is to know more of God, to get deeper into the Word, to help the poor, to preach the gospel, all these are noble endeavors, and desires. The minute that ambition is coupled with selfishness or conceit however, it is transformed into a monster, willing to step on anyone’s dying corpse, betray and otherwise cast aside the closest of friends, because there is only one objective for the selfish and the conceited, and that is the end result, and if the end result is attained, well the means by which they were attained is no longer of any consequence is it?
Is it any wonder that the spiritual condition of this nation is as it is given that most pulpits are teaching the opposite of what the Word of God teaches? Although Christ and all the Apostles continually focus upon selflessness, lowliness, meekness, and humility, a great majority of today’s self anointed spiritual leaders are preaching an unapologetic form of self-centered humanism that goes far beyond what those of the world dared to teach when the self help movement was at its peak.
Selfish ambition, and conceit lead men to desiring praise for their endeavors, it leads them to desiring recognition and prominence, and such men have no qualms about being their own best spokesperson, constantly bringing themselves to the forefront, inflating their accomplishments, packaging themselves in such a way as to seem better than their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in whatever their chosen field of ministry might be. When someone insists that they are a better preacher than their brother, that they pray with more fervor than their sister, that they sing better than others standing beside them on the platform, or that they contribute more to the work of God than fellow bond servants in Christ, they do this out of conceit, and a desperate desire to be acknowledged. Such men do nothing for the cause of Christ, they are not in ministry to further the kingdom of God or the gospel of Christ, they are in ministry simply to promote themselves, to amass followers and to achieve prominence. To them the sheep of God’s house are there simply for the fleecing, and there is no proven method that has worked better over time to keep the sheep coming back for more, than to tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
The beautiful thing about the Word of God is that when it gives a specific instruction, it also provides the means by which we can accomplish that which has been required of us. If the verse would simply have been ‘let nothing be done through selfish ambition of conceit’ one might have readily asked, but how? How can we make certain that nothing we do is done through selfish ambition or conceit? In His goodness God reveals to us the means by which we can ensure that nothing we do is done through these two soul crippling and sinful states.
We keep ourselves free of the snare of selfish ambition and conceit, by perpetually walking in lowliness and humility, regarding, respecting and prizing our brothers and sisters, better than we do ourselves.
But how you Romanian simpleton how do I regard and respect my brothers and sisters, how do I see them better than myself when they are not? I am better educated, have a better paying job, I stand up straighter, chew with my mouth closed, have better genes, am more eloquent, don’t speak with a lisp, and have better hair. How can I esteem others better than myself when I am clearly their superior?
Such thoughts arise in the hearts and minds of men when they contemplate this verse and attempt to go beyond the theory, beyond the mere reading of it, to actually applying it to their lives. Herein dear friends, we discover the wondrous mystery that is true unity within the body of Christ, the mystery of self-denial, and the mystery of being ever transformed into the image of Jesus. All the misunderstandings, all the divisions, all the differences, all the things that keep the children of God apart would melt away if we would only fulfill this verse, if we would only implement it every day of our lives.
So back to the original question: how do we esteem others better than ourselves, when our flesh, our hearts, our minds, even basic reason are screaming at us that we are their superiors? Find that one thing! Every person in the world is superior to every other person in the world at one thing. Emerson once said, that every man he meets is superior to him in some way. My dear friend it is an undeniable truth. Every person you meet is superior to you in some way, and esteeming them better than you do yourself only goes to show the world that you are a work of God’s grace, and a new creature in Christ. When we actively acknowledge and esteem those around us better than ourselves, the nature of Christ is visible from afar.
The conceited man will not acknowledge another’s superiority even though he is obviously inferior to the person. In his mind, he is so diluted and deceived that he is unwilling to consider the notion that some one is greater than them.
The truth is that talent, culture, book smarts, social standing, or estimated worth are irrelevant as far as the Gospel is concerned. The work of God’s grace is not contingent on how much money you have, how many years of high school or college you have under your belt, or what sort of people you know. The grace of God enters every heart that is open, and does a work in every person that submits and surrenders himself or herself to the Father’s will. Contrary to popular belief, God does not love the rich more, and the poor less, He does not have greater affinity for the gifted, whether it be in sports, the arts or some other chosen field, and is indifferent toward the average. The only thing God acknowledges, prizes, and rewards is obedience. So the next time the talking head on television chastises for not having enough faith to believe for the new boat, the new house, the better job, or the nicer car, turn it off, kneel before the heavenly Father, and thank Him for all the wonderful gifts He has bestowed upon you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Intermission

Greetings to all on a rainy afternoon. I will continue with the study on humility tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to vent a little frustration, and I could think of no better place to do it. I was in the hand of help office, waiting patiently for the four o'clock radio program, when I received a call from an old friend. I will not name this friend, but it is one who ought to have known better than to ask me the following question: 'How long do you think God will keep punishing the financial system?'
Let's get one thing straight dear friends, this was not God, this was greed. Yes, God allowed it, but it was greed that led to the ultimate failure of the financial system, and the crisis we are about to be thrust into, like it or not. It was greed. God hasn't gotten started yet. Keep that in mind over the next few months, God hasn't even gotten started yet.
When the wrath of God is poured out upon a nation, it is nothing so insignificant as a handful of stockbrokers needing to up their heart medication, or people no longer being able to buy that newest and latest toy or gadget. We've not seen hardship in this country for eighty some odd years, but hardship is coming, and we will look back on yesterday and today and think of them fondly.
So if there's anyone out there that's still clinging to the sinking prosperity ship, looking for a life raft, I humbly present the Christ to you, that maligned, dismissed, rejected, relegated to the shadows Christ, whose love is so grand that He is still willing to embrace you and give you peace, comfort, joy and security in times of chaos and uncertainty.
I could go on, but the radio program is starting in no less than three minutes.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Way of the Humble Hearted Part 1

Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Of all the things I could be writing about at this juncture, with everything that’s been going on in the world for the past few days, one might rightly wonder why I would choose to write about humility and pride. Well, if simply stating that I don’t like to be obvious and predictable isn’t enough of an answer to some, I will add that it is a topic that God put on my heart for the past couple days. Two days ago while I was doing a radio program, about halfway through I started talking about pride, especially within Christian circles and among evangelists and preachers, and as I continued to ponder the topic I realized that it deserved true exploration, and more than just a passing glance.
The truth of the matter is that all of us have, at one time or another felt the twinge of pride in our hearts. Those who know the dangers of pride, and the benefits of humility quickly squelch the feeling of pride, reminding themselves that that are but dust and bones, that anything worthy of praise within them is God and not themselves, but there are others, who feed the fires of pride, giving themselves over wholly and unrepentantly to this most dangerous of sins. Pride makes the flesh feel good, it allows men to see themselves in a better light than they truly are, feeding the old man while starving the spiritual one.
J.C. Ryle once wrote of pride, ‘It is a dreadful fact that pride is one of the commonest sins which beset human nature. We are all born Pharisees. We all naturally think far better of ourselves than we ought. WE all naturally imagine that we deserve something better than we have. Pride is an old sin. It began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve thought they did not have everything that their merits deserved. Pride is a subtle sin. It rules and reigns in many a heart without being detected, and can even wear the garb of humility. Pride is a most soul ruining sin. It prevents repentance; keeps men back from Christ; checks brotherly love; and nips in the bud spiritual desires. Let us watch against it, and be on our guard. Of all garments, none is so graceful, none wears so well and none is so rare, as true humility.’
Today however, I did not want to write so much about pride, as I did about humility. A proud man is easy to spot if you know what to look for, if you possess the necessary discernment to see beyond the image they are projecting and weigh the heart of the individual. Just to cover all the bases, I will simply say that if a man promotes himself, talks about himself, elevates himself, honors himself, draws praise for himself while minimizing Christ, the role of Christ, the life of Christ, the character of Christ, and the need for Christ, that man has already been given over to pride, and unless he repents his end will be the way of death. We are no longer our own, we no longer have aspirations, we no longer desire positions we no longer hope that people identify us with a certain area of ministry once we’ve surrendered our all to Christ, once we have died with Him, but our sole purpose, desire and aspiration is to further the gospel and present Jesus to all who are ears to hear.
Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
If one pays close attention to the writings of Paul, they will soon come to realize that the epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians is perhaps the most intimate, personal and heartfelt of all his writings. It may be a reciprocation of the love the Philippians showed Paul time and time again, from Lydia opening up her home for her fellow brothers and sisters, to the entire body of believers in Philippi sending aid to Paul first in Thessalonica then in Corinth. Whatever the reason, the ways and means by which Paul instructs the church in Philippi is rare for a man of his character. As were most of the churches he wrote to, Paul established the church in Philippi, and on the particular occasion when he traveled there, Silas and Timothy and Luke were also present.
As is the case with any good work, Paul realized the enemy’s opposition to it. He also realized led by the spirit of God that the easiest way for the enemy to make headway, to cause division among the brethren and chaos with in the body of Christ was to fuel the fires of selfish ambition and conceit among them.
What some fail to understand is that it isn’t the truth you speak, or the good deed you perform, but the spirit that drives you to do them; that is what matters before God, and only He knows the heart of man and the intent with which the heart acted. Some people perform the work of God for the wrong reasons, and selfish ambition or conceit are just two of a myriad of reasons. When you throw greed, vainglory, and pride into the mix you begin to see a picture forming, one that is not at all pleasing to the eye. In his ever present wisdom Paul warns against those of the house of God from doing anything through selfish ambition or conceit, knowing that no good fruit can come from a bad tree, no worthwhile work can spring forth from a heart filled with selfishness and greed. Whether it is a spirit of division, one of pride, hidden agendas or greed, these things infect and pollute whatever good and noble act one might have performed, or whatever eloquent words one might have spoken.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.