Tuesday, December 5, 2023


 Are you a hearer only or also a doer? The question itself is simple enough, but the required introspection is quite difficult for many. Some are hearers pretending to be doers, some hear what they want to hear and do what they were never told to do, and some are hearers pretending they never heard. Then there are those who hear and do as the Word of God instructs them to do. It’s those that the enemy targets. It’s those that the enemy attacks. It’s those that the enemy attempts to sideline because it’s those who are a threat to him. Obedient believers, doers of the word, present a clear and present danger to the enemy and his plans. Lukewarm ones are just that, and the enemy pays them no mind.

Why would the devil bother with someone who poses no threat? If he can devour you, he will, but there’s a difference between a convenient meal and an ongoing, protracted attack because the individual is walking in the authority that makes the enemy quake.

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

There’s religion, there’s religiosity, then there’s pure and undefiled religion. When something is presented as undefiled, then the possibility exists that it can be defiled. Variations of that undefiled thing likely exist in a defiled form, and James outlines the prerequisites for a pure and undefiled religion.

Much of what we see practiced today throughout Western Christianity is neither pure nor undefiled. Being the fountainhead of rickety doctrine, what was popular in the West two decades ago is now making its way to the third-world nations of the world, causing heartache and division as one would expect. If you want examples, there are plenty to be hand, but all you have to do is apply the standard James lays out to see it for yourself.

Two things are required for religion to be pure and undefiled: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. You can’t do one but not the other and expect to have an undefiled religion. Both must be present in your life, and both must be actively worked toward, and the text proves this.

If you could only do one of the two and still have a pure and undefiled religion, then the rich would always have an edge. They could give alms to the poor in such quantities that they wouldn’t have to bother with keeping themselves unspotted from the world. It would be akin to buying indulgences from the pope back in the day, and we all know how that worked out.

So what exactly does it mean to visit orphans and widows in their trouble? Are you supposed to ask for proof of widowhood or orphanhood before helping someone in need? When James references the widow and the orphan, he is isolating the two groups in society least capable of helping themselves or providing any sort of return. When you help a widow or an orphan, your name won’t go on a plaque in the foyer telling everyone how generous you were. Helping a widow or an orphan will not help advance your career or make you seem magnanimous to the crowd at the country club.

What James is saying when highlighting the widow and the orphan and insisting that pure and undefiled religion is to visit them in their trouble is that being a present help to those who would otherwise have no way of recompensing you for your kindness is the mark of pure religion.

It’s just you and an orphan, widow, or family so hungry that they’ve taken to peeling bark off trees and chewing on it. There are no galas, and there is no round of applause when you stand up to make the large donation for the new building fund or a special audience with the pastor because you gifted him a new Mercedes. No one will know except you, the person being helped, and God, and that’s the way it should be.

Show kindness to people from whom you have nothing to gain because your true heart is revealed in how you interact with the lowliest of society. We’re all human. No one is special, and when we begin to see ourselves as special or others as special, altering how we act around them, we are headed toward a life of compromise and excuses.

It’s the reason I’ve never liked lickspittles. You can’t count on them to speak the truth, you can’t count on them to point out the errors in the things you do, because they have a vested interest to remain in your good graces because there is something they gain from being in your sphere.

The weak-willed and duplicitous love to surround themselves with lickspittles and, yes men, with people who will never challenge them about anything, but they do so to their detriment. At some point, the biscuit wheels fall off the gravy train, and those you thought were loyal and true will be the first to plunge the knife into your back because they have nothing more to profit from you.

People who stroke your ego aren’t your friends, and those who challenge you aren’t your enemies. Doing something seemingly noble just to see your name up in lights isn’t pure and undefiled religion, but reaching out to the lowliest of society while keeping yourself unspotted from the world is.

We have no choice but to be in this world, but we do have a choice of whether or not we are of it.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, December 4, 2023


 I’ve never been mistaken for an equestrian. I’m too tall, too wide, and I don’t feel it’s fair to the horse. Plus, we’ve invented bikes and scooters and cars so we can give the poor ponies a break. They fulfilled their purpose long enough before the combustible engine came around and earned the right to take a breather and relax.

That said, I’ve been around enough horses to know what a bridle is, and when James insists that someone who cannot bridle their tongue deceives their own heart, it’s worth meditating upon and understanding beyond the superficial.

What a bridle does is control the horse. Due to the bridle, you can direct where you want the horse to go and not where it wants to go. When James insists that we must learn to bridle the tongue, it’s not just about knowing when to keep silent but also when to speak, what to say, and when to refrain from speaking.

You must have full control of your tongue. In doing so, you will never regret letting something slip you shouldn’t have or not warning someone you should have. Your emotions cannot get the better of you, and your mouth cannot speak of its own free will.

What takes three seconds to blurt out takes a lifetime to repair in some cases, and that’s because the person in question did not learn to bridle their tongue, nor did they have control over the words they spoke.

I’ll be the first to admit it’s not always easy. My natural inclination is to have at least a dozen patented zingers waiting to be unleashed at the first sign of someone deserving it, and it’s a battle that is ongoing with myself because sometimes it’s better to let things go than to get into endless back and forth battles of wit with people that are punching below their weight.

The entire secret of bridling one’s tongue is to ensure that you control it and that it does not control you. Easy to say, not so easy to do in the heat of the moment, but you must do it nonetheless. I know you really want to say that hurtful thing that you know will crush your spouse, your parents, your children, or your pastor, but before letting loose, ask yourself what it profits and who it profits.

We all know that person who says the worst, most hurtful thing at the worst possible moment. We’ve all got at least one in our life. It’s as though they intentionally try to twist the knife after they plunge it in, and it’s so consistent that you conclude they are either psychotic or aren’t in control of their faculties when they let their tongues run loose.

Are the words you want to let spill out of your mouth like a dam breaking going to bring peace, healing, joy, and reconciliation, or will they cause division, hurt, brokenheartedness, and acrimony? By determining what the words will produce, you will be able to determine who profits. If the tirade you’re about to unleash will bring hurt and heartache, you know it’s the enemy who will profit and benefit. Why give the devil a win? Learn to bridle your tongue.

Consequently, there are times when you have to force your tongue to say the things it needs to say, even when the rest of you will be uncomfortable doing it. Bridling one’s tongue is controlling it, both when to speak and when to keep silent. Yes, there are moments and situations when what you know you have to say will land like a loud burp at the ballet.

James 1:26, If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”

Bridling one’s tongue is not something that is done by a third party but by the individual in question. You must bridle your tongue. Your pastor can’t do it for you, nor your husband, or your friends. If you have to take a breath before you respond to a provocation, then take the breath. If you have to take ten, then take ten, but be certain that you’re the one controlling what your tongue is doing.

If the enemy knows you are easily riled, he will bring people in your path who will readily rile you. If you respond to the provocation with vitriol and uncontrollable rage, then the enemy has one, and you’ve proven that your tongue is not yet bridled.

Luke 6:45, “A Good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Given that a man’s mouth will reflect whether sin is in his heart, we better understand the need for bridling our tongue and committing to doing so.

When you are of Christ, you are imbued with the character of Christ. If your character is not in harmony with the Word of God, if your life does not mirror Jesus, if you do not bridle your tongue but say the things you shouldn’t and omit the things you should, your religion, your spirituality, your higher plane thinking, or any other new term for old foolishness we might come up with is useless.

It’s like having a tent someone pocked a thousand holes into yet being confident that when the rains come, you’ll remain dry. Your confidence will hold only until the first raindrop makes its way onto your face; then, it will crumble like it was never there.

False doctrine begets false confidence. It’s unavoidable, as is the person’s reaction once they realize they’ve been clinging to mist and shadow rather than the hem of His garment.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, December 3, 2023


 Back in the day, they called it being religious. Today, they call it being spiritual. Anytime I hear someone say they are spiritual, usually a thirty-something with one too many tattoos and a blank, lifeless stare, I throw up a little bit in my mouth because the spirituality of which they speak is something of their own creation that has no resemblance to the pure and undefiled religion that James speaks of further in his epistle. Yet, somehow, the people who drone on about being spiritual have convinced themselves that they will end up in some version of a paradise, not necessarily the Christian heaven, but maybe Valhalla, Sutala, Jannah, or perhaps even Svarga, which is a blending of two heavens into one that silly people came up with to appease a larger percentage of the populace.

There is only one heaven, the place that Jesus went to prepare for His faithful. At the risk of sounding repetitive, there is also only one way to His heaven, and that is through Him.

James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, that one’s religion is useless.”

I don’t mean to rile up the Beth Moore fans anew, but just because you think it you don’t become it, whatever that it might be. You can have vision boards and manifest, speak into existence, bind, loose, and stand on the promise of your astrological sign, but all of that is useless and nothing more than self-deception if you are not being transformed into the image of Jesus.

I’ve been accused of picking on the female false prophetesses and teachers. In my defense, I haven’t yet heard a man say he was teleported to heaven in a porta-potty or that you would have pet dinosaurs in heaven or that they went back in time to have a confab with Eve, yes, that Eve. When I run across a man who is so brazen in his lies, then I will speak about him as heartily as I do their female counterparts.

I’m equally offended by false prophets as I am by false prophetesses; one does not offend me more than the other because of their gender.

If anyone thinks they are religious but don’t have the fruit to back it up, they are deceiving themselves. Some will stand before the throne of judgment fully convinced in their self-deception until they will be told to depart from before His all-knowing eyes. Jesus echoes the same sentiment, warning of the same consequences.

Why can’t you let people be? Why do you have to make people feel uncomfortable by insisting that they judge themselves and their lives before they stand before the throne of judgment? Because once you’re before the throne, it’s too late to do anything about it.

Jesus loved you enough to warn you; Paul, Peter, James, Jude, John, Luke, and all the other writers of the Bible loved you enough to warn you; why would I love you any less?

There are a lot of people headed to hell thinking they’re going to heaven, and that breaks my heart.

The shock of it will be doubly worse for ones such as these because evil men who lived evil lives had no expectation of ending up in heaven, but lukewarm people who were justified by false shepherds kind of do.

It’s expecting one thing and getting the opposite that really crushes you. I failed my first driver’s test at the age of sixteen. Up until the mustachioed man with the guayabera shirt and the pit stains told me I’d failed, I was wholly confident that I’d passed with flying colors. I’d kept my hands at the ten and two positions, signaled, and nailed the parallel parking, and the only thing I was thinking about was whether or not I was going to smile or strike a serious pose in my license photo.

Then he informed me that I hadn’t passed. The reasons were twofold, but I’d stopped listening by then. It had something to do with turning into the second lane rather than the first when I turned left, and not turning my head to check for cars when I changed lanes. I was numb. I didn’t care about his reasoning; I’d failed when every expectation was that I’d be walking away with a license in my pocket.

It crushed me, and it took me a few days to get back in the right headspace and reschedule another test. I passed the second one, but it was a different instructor, so maybe that had something to do with it.

When it comes to eternity, there are no second chances. You don’t get a redo; you can’t ask for a different judge, and you can’t reschedule life, hoping to learn from the mistakes of your first go-round. We’re not Buddhists, and we don’t believe the mosquito we just mushed into a glob was a reincarnated in-law.

One life is all you get, so make sure you don’t waste it or live with the impression that you can defy the Word of God and still end up walking the halls of heaven someday. Live each day as though it were the beginning of your forever, being ever aware of the difference between thinking about being saved and being saved. One is an unrealized hope or plan; the other is being a child of God with all the afferent benefits and protections. The day is almost upon us when those benefits and protections will mean all the difference between walking through the fire or being consumed by it.

Hacky as it may sound, since it’s so often repeated, everyone gets eternity. It’s just a matter of where you spend yours that has yet to be decided. Location is everything; just ask a real estate agent.

With love in Christ,

MIchael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Mirrors II

 There are those who look in the mirror and remember what kind of man they are. Those are the ones who end up taking steps to peel off the layers that still reek of the world, clean up the smudges, and wash the stains. Then there are those who look in the mirror and forget what kind of man they are as soon as they see their reflection. Whether they see themselves as good enough or passable or compare themselves to others they deem more unclean, those who do not acknowledge their sin will never do anything to be free of it. The genesis of repentance is recognizing you have something to repent of.

One must acknowledge one’s state in order to be comfortable with looking in the mirror, and that would mean accepting where one is and that nobody drove them to that particular point; their choices walked them to it ever so slowly.

The first step in any transformational endeavor is to accept responsibility for where you are and that you are not without fault for being there. McDonald’s didn’t make anybody fat; people eating it in bulk quantities without regard for the caloric count or nonexistent nutritional value perpetrated their ever-expanding girth on themselves. It’s not as though a pimply-faced kid in a McDonald’s uniform would show up at your door with a bag of greasy fries and six cheeseburgers if you failed to drive yourself to one of their locations and wait in the drive-through with all the other gastronomy snobs.

The mirror is the mirror. It’s how you react when standing in front of the mirror that matters. We’ve all done the sideways suck-in-your-gut mirror check or taken two steps back, thinking perhaps we would look thinner and more streamlined. Then again, maybe it’s just me. Even so, everything we did to create an optical illusion was just that because deep down, we knew that we never had washboard abs, no matter how much we wanted the mirror to reflect it.

How honest you are when approaching the mirror and how you react to the reflection you see sets you apart and determines whether you will take steps to correct what the mirror shows needs fixing or ignore it and continue about your life as though nothing were amiss.

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

What are you hoping to see when you look in the mirror? Someone thinner, younger, with more hair and a chiseled jawline? The ideal is to reflect Jesus. That is what you should hope to see when you look in the mirror of the Word. Sounds easy, but like most things, just because it sounds easy doesn’t make it so. The concept itself is simple, and some people confuse simple with easy, but dying to flesh and putting the will of God before your own is a battle. It is, nevertheless, a battle you must win. It’s a process, and if you see more of Jesus and less of you every day you look in the mirror, you’re headed in the right direction.

Your heart’s desire must always be for more of Him and less of you. That’s a heady prospect to some because they begin to fear losing themselves, their identity, and who they are if they surrender so much of the flesh. Such individuals are always resisting the transformative power of the presence of Christ, not realizing that the point of it all is for the flesh to die so that Christ may live in them.

People want God but on their own terms. They want only so much of Him when it’s convenient for them and when their schedule doesn’t conflict with anything else. They don’t want all of Him because all of Him would presuppose that they are no longer their own, and all they desire is for the will of God to be done in their lives. If you’ve ever wondered why we see so little of the manifest power of God in today’s church, it’s because the level of commitment required to experience the manifest power of God just isn’t there.

God is not some college student hard on his luck who is forced to have roommates. He doesn’t want to share your heart with another, and whenever men insist that He should, His answer is always no. God wants you for Himself. Until you’re ready to be wholly His, you will not walk in the authority rightly yours as a son or daughter of God.

In His love, God may facilitate an encounter with the mirror, but He can’t force you to change what you see in it unless you desire to do so. No, you can’t do it on your own. The stains are old, long-dried, and deep-set. The rags your flesh deems as royal robes are torn and filthy, stinking of rot and bad choices, and only the blood of Jesus can cleanse them, but you must want to be made clean.

If you’ve ever seen a video of someone trying to give a dog or a cat a bath, you have a pretty good idea of how some people react to being cleansed of their old ways. In His mercy, God tries and tries, but eventually, if the clay hardens and resists, the potter will just go on to a new lump of clay. He loves you; He’s proven it by sending Jesus, but if you consistently trample the Son of God underfoot and count the blood of the covenant as a common thing, you are treading on dangerous ground.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, December 1, 2023


 The Word of God is a mirror that is honest in its reflection. If you peer into it, you will see yourself as you are, not as you would like to be. Thankfully, the Bible also gives explicit instructions on how to get where you want to be; man just has to apply himself and follow through. Given that most people don’t like being confronted with reality, we’ve invented filters where a bit of pixel magic will shave off fifteen years and make your skin look silky smooth.

We’ve attempted the same with the Bible, from coming up with over 100 versions of it to no longer reading it for ourselves but counting on someone else’s interpretation to tell us what it means. Those are all filters because we can’t handle the truth. Looking in the mirror for ourselves would be too traumatizing, so we allow others to tell us what we look like, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s always flattering and beyond what we envisioned ourselves to look like.

Rather than take steps to improve the things that don’t look right when we look in the mirror of the Word, we’ve decided not to look in the mirror at all anymore. That fixed the problem, didn’t it? It’s like people who feel themselves putting on weight and stop weighing themselves altogether after they pass a certain threshold. If you don’t decrease or change what’s going into your mouth, not weighing yourself isn’t going to make you thinner.

If you don’t like what you see, when you look in the mirror of the Word, not looking into it anymore won’t fix anything. That, however, is the avenue many people choose to pursue because not looking is far easier than trying to change, and since there are people lining up around the block to enable you in your sin, you’ll always find a reassuring voice to insist that it’s not really what the Bible meant, and anyone saying it is, is just a legalist and a prude.

My daughters like stickers. They’re still young enough to enjoy simple things, so I indulge them with batches of stickers from the dollar store, varying from farm animals to emojis, planets, stars, constellations, and everything in between. It’s the dollar store; you can’t be picky, and they don’t much care about the subject matter as long as they’re stickers.

It’s not every day, but some days, I head into the office early. By early, I mean I’m out the door by six and behind my desk a half hour later. Thankfully, since I have no one to impress, I don’t have to dress up, so it’s usually some form of t-shirt and shorts if the weather permits it.

While the girls are still sleeping by the time I leave the house, my wife is usually awake and downstairs, getting ready for the day ahead. Since me and vanity have never been fast friends, if I’m heading out early, I don’t bother with the mirror, and this particular morning had been one of those instances. As I went to kiss my wife and wish her a good morning with the girls, I noticed she was trying to stifle a smile.

We’ve been married for almost a quarter of a century, so by now, much of our communication is nonverbal. All I needed to do was raise my eyebrows for her to say, “Go look in the mirror.”

I did as she asked, and sure enough, there was a lamb, a happy face, and a thumbs-up sticker on my forehead and left cheek. It’s what I get for falling asleep before the girls. Had it not been for my wife, I would have gone out into the world with three stickers on my face, wholly oblivious to why everyone was staring, smirking, or laughing.

Generally speaking, you look in the mirror when you get ready to leave your house and interact with the world at large. Unless you have an evening routine that includes face masks or moisturizers, chances are better than good that you won’t be scrutinizing your appearance in the mirror right before bed. Come the morning, however, whether going to work or just dropping your kids off at school, you’ll throw a glance at a mirror to see if you’re presentable.

You don’t look in the mirror once, then never think of it again; it becomes a daily routine wherein you look at your reflection to assess your appearance. If you look into a mirror every day to determine your physical appearance, why wouldn’t you look in the mirror of God’s Word every day to assess your spiritual appearance?

When we fail to look into the mirror of the Word and go out into the world, chances are that others will notice if there is anything amiss and be quick to point it out. The enemy revels in exposing contradictions in the lives of believers. It doesn’t matter that his minions live lives of such abject debauchery that if ever they were dragged into the light, even the godless would recoil. They’re not the ones claiming to be ambassadors of Christ, are they?

You can tell when someone hasn’t glanced into a mirror or bothered to check if they have Cheetos in their hair. I’ve run into those types of people in the grocery store, and it’s always interesting to see everyone else’s reaction and the individual’s ignorance of why everyone is staring. The godless have similar reactions to supposed Christians doing as they do and acting as they act.

We look in the mirror of the Word daily not to remind ourselves how good we look or how good we are but to keep from bringing shame to the household of faith and the name of God. Even if you’re not going out into the world on a given day, it’s still good practice to look into the Word and see the reflection it presents. If nothing else, it’s a good way of keeping us humble.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Doers II

 It is within your ability to do what the Word of God instructs you to do. God will not ask the impossible of you. He does not require us to lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, knowing we could never manage to do so, wanting to see us try and fail. He is not a cruel God. He is a good Father. If God requires something of me, then I know it is within my ability to carry out His command. It may not be pleasant, easy, or otherwise painless, especially to the flesh, but it is doable as long as you desire to obey.

It’s not supposed to be painless anyway. If you think it is, revisit Abraham and Isaac and their journey to Moriah. That’s the lie, though, isn’t it? You must strive for and pursue everything else in life except for eternity. Eternity will be thrust, nay, forced upon you, and God will be so filled with gratitude that you accepted His offer to save you that He will bow and scrape to stay in your good graces for the rest of your life!

Either I’m switching to decaf or putting together a book titled All the Lies the Church Believes! I haven’t decided yet. I will let you know when I do.

Once more, we are confronted with our heart's true desire versus what we declare with our lips. People sing lies every Sunday because their actions are contrary to what they sing all the other days of the week. They go and sit in a pew and hear the word being preached, but once they leave, they take no action to follow through and do as instructed.

More often than not, the emphasis is not placed on being a doer of the word because it’s likely to cause friction. Even when the shepherd shepherds and emphasis is placed on our faith being more than just warming a pew for an hour every other Sunday, the sheep seem to have selective hearing and only receive the thing about blessings being pressed down and shaken together.

James 1:22-25, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Being a hearer only and not a doer of the word is not an alternative or a secondary option. It’s self-deception. Oprah is not being open-minded when she insists there are multiple paths to the same destination; she is a deceived individual who is attempting to deceive others into embracing her deception.

But what if you don’t yet know the whole Word? Be a doer of the Word you know, and with each new revelation of the Word in your life, be a doer of that as well. Everybody wants to bind and loose and dispatch angels to foreign lands, but nobody wants to lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness. That’s too banal. It doesn’t get anyone excited.

We dance around singing about having the enemy under our feet when we haven’t removed him from our hearts, then wonder why there is no power and no authority in today’s church. Nobody wants to hear about what it takes to walk in authority or have the devil know your name. All they want to hear is how they’re queens and kings and priests, oh my, while refusing to be doers of the word because that’s not how they roll.

Being a doer of the word implies no longer being a doer of everything else that stands in opposition to the word, and as long as we can find someone who will tell us we can have the best of both worlds, what’s the point of denying ourselves?

Tell me how to be victorious! Well, you have to put on your armor and learn how to fight first. Forget that; just tell me how to win. By learning how to fight. There must be another way, an easier way, a less taxing way. There isn’t! So either you learn how to fight, stand, and strive to the utmost in standing, having done all and leaving everything on the field of battle, or you will never know the taste of victory in your life.

It’s war! If you think about it in anything less than those terms, you will not take it seriously enough. You’re not going to put up much of a fight when the devil’s trying to kill you and you’re trying to flirt with him.

If you are a hearer of the word and not a doer thereof and believe you have attained, you are deceiving yourself. It may sound harsh, but it’s better that you know now while you can do something about it than when you stand before the throne of judgment. There will be those fully assured in themselves that they will be welcomed into the kingdom with open arms, only to be told to depart from before His presence because He never knew them. We don’t like to talk about that too much, and when we do, it’s always meant for someone else. I’m sure those told to depart also thought it was about someone else.

We approach God with the mindset of daily being refined, not as ones who have achieved perfection and have nothing left to whittle away or remove. We are not perfect but are perfected daily by being doers of the word and not hearers only.

The situation becomes problematic when we look in the mirror and see something that isn’t there. Bodybuilders call it muscle dysmorphia when they see themselves as small and puny, no matter how big they get. Christians have yet to coin a name for it, but inverse spiritual dysmorphia is likely a good jumping-off point wherein we look in the mirror and see ourselves mightier than we are, thereby concluding that we have no further need of refinement or being a doer of the word.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


 And this is where the hair-pulling, denial, and acrimony start. It’s an odd thing to witness supposed believers tear their clothes and fall to the earth on their faces whenever anyone mentions righteousness, holiness, or, dare I say, being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. At the same time, the same folks who would burn you at the stake for daring to quote the Bible feel oddly at ease, cheering on the most debased and hedonistic of perversions, waving miniature flags as lost souls thrust and gyrate in front of underage children.

If something doesn’t walk like a duck or quack like a duck, can it still call itself a duck? If we reject righteousness while embracing filthiness, light while embracing darkness, and truth while embracing the lie, can we still call ourselves sons and daughters of the Most High God?

How dare anyone have the temerity to insist on personal accountability? Haven’t you read Joseph Prince’s tomes on the easy way to heaven? You don’t even need to repent of anything anymore. The bus is pulling into the station, and all you have to do is want to get on. Free rides for everybody! Are you saying some lowly carpenter knew better than Joseph Prince? Yep, that’s what I’m saying.

James 1:21, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

Say it ain’t so! You’re one of those works salvation people, aren’t you? I just quoted the Bible, ma’am. Well, I don’t receive it. It doesn’t bear witness with my spirit, and I’m never reading anything you write ever again. And that’s your prerogative, to be sure, but it’s in the Book, in black and white, and clear enough for anyone to understand what it means. Empty vessels are cleaned and then filled. Full vessels are set aside until they are emptied.  

The onus of laying aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness is on you, as is receiving the implanted word of God with meekness. Knowing that the word is able to save your soul, you receive it with meekness. Knowing that God will not share your heart with wickedness, filthiness, or sin, you lay those things aside, preferring Him over the pleasure of sin.

That God will transform the heart and give you a new mind is a given since it is a promise He made, but it is predicated on your willingness to unburden yourself of wickedness and receiving the implanted word which is able to save your soul.

If you refuse to lay aside all filthiness, not just some, or the filthiness you don’t dip your toe into often enough that you’ll miss it once it’s gone, you cannot live with the expectation of being remade, born again, matured, and perfected.

There is a reason the devil is pushing tolerance of sin in the church with such ferocity, and it’s not because he loves you, and he just wants to see you happy and fulfilled. The devil knows that the continued presence of wickedness in someone’s heart impedes the work of the Holy Spirit and keeps the individual from true transformation.

If he can convince people still in bondage, still shackled to their sin and vice, that they are free, they will never struggle to be free indeed. If you can convince someone that they’ve entered through the narrow gate with no more effort than touching their television screen, why would they need to strive any longer?

I realize there are certain passages some would rather not have been included within the canon of Scripture, but they were, and we must contend with them. We cannot ignore them or pretend they don’t exist because what they imply is uncomfortable to the flesh. We can’t ignore entire books of the Bible because a given denomination did a half-hearted job in trying to convince the masses that they don’t matter.

Somewhere along the way, the household of faith has gone from the mindset of doing whatever it takes to remain faithful and true to the Word and will of God to not being willing to do anything at all save for throwing a few coins in the offering plate when it’s being passed around. Because those in charge only care about the coin, they’re more than willing to allow the sheep to live under the delusion that all is well with their souls as long as they keep ponying up while they are spiritually crippled at best and having never encountered Jesus at worst.

If I close my eyes, I can sense the frustration James is exhibiting, and I share it. Although the vernacular of the time might not lend itself to coming out and saying stop playing games and grow up already, that’s what James meant when he insisted that we lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness.

Pick a side and stick to it. You can’t swim in the sewer and the streams of living water simultaneously. It must be one or the other, and it’s a choice you must make because the onus is on you to break with sin. Will God give you the strength to follow through and keep yourself pure once you’ve laid these things aside? Most assuredly. God, however, cannot force righteousness upon you. You must choose to receive the implanted word with meekness, knowing that it can save your soul.

When we receive the implanted word, we must do so with meekness. We receive the word not from a position of arrogance wherein we believe our feelings trump the words of the Bible or that the Word of God is inferior to our feelings, but from one of meekness wherein we defer to the word and submit to its authority.

The genuine desire of one’s heart will be revealed in what they devote their time, energy, and resources to. If you desire to save your soul and produce the righteousness of God, then you will be a doer of the word and not a hearer only. You will actively strive to lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, receiving the implanted word of God with meekness and thankfulness, knowing that it can save your soul.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.