Wednesday, December 31, 2008


There are many who say truth is relative.  If one does not accept God, His Word, or His Son then it is true that truth is indeed relative.  If God is not the measure of truth, then there is no one truth. If truth is measured by man, there are as many truths as there are men.  One is just as valid as another. 

Ignoring God and His Truth does not diminish either.  The only one diminished is the one that chooses his or her own way.  

If one believes in God, His Word, and His Son then for that person there is one Truth for all men.  This becomes the measure of the one who calls himself or herself a Christian.  If you don’t believe Christ then you are not a Christian.  If you don’t believe what He taught and follow His commandments you are not a Christian.  If that is the case, calling yourself a Christian is a self deception and can only cause confusion for those who are earnestly seeking the Truth.  Your truth should invoke a name that reflects more closely your belief and its source.  There are many to choose from and it is in vogue to create your own version.  

God has provided the way to find Him.  Any other path taken is as useful and useless as another.  This is what the Bible says, the Word of God.  It is the Lord Jesus Who calls out in truth and love: 

Come to Me

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It Is Finished

John 19:30
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
 These are the last recorded words of our Savior.  His first words recorded in Matthew give insight and meaning to the words that were spoken with His last breath as a man.  The sacrifice of His life was complete, but what Jesus really meant here is that the mission given Him by the Father was accomplished.  That was His Father’s business He spoke of as a child.  
The shedding of His blood freed you and me from the judgment of our sins.  Victory over death would come with His resurrection.  
 Victory is ours when we accept this gift and believe in Him.  It could be done in no other way.  He alone can lead us from our Egypt.  His resurrection has parted the sea. 
It is finished

Monday, December 29, 2008

There Is No Other Savior

Isa 43:10-11

10 You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know Me, believe Me and remain steadfast to Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.

11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.


There is one God

Working in and through us

Who came in the form of man

In His Son Jesus

That we would know

The One True God

The way of salvation

For there is no other Savior

Friday, December 26, 2008

First Recorded Words Of Jesus

Luke 2:49 (NKJV) 49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

After bringing Jesus to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, Mary and Joseph left Him behind by oversight as they made their journey back home.  Realizing that he was not with them, they frantically began searching for Him, finding Him in the temple.  When Mary said they had looked all over for Him, Jesus asked why they didn’t realize He would be in the temple, there about His Father’s business. 

That business was about saving the world.  His ministry and revelation was for that purpose. That is why He came.  His life would be given for that end. 

He continues that work in and through those who believe and accept Him.  He reveals Himself to us and to those around us.  We are part of the plan, the business of God.  We are to be like Him.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Path To Satisfaction

Matt 5:6 

6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.


 Pitied are those who are unaware of their lack of righteousness.  The hunger and thirst remain, but not knowing how to satisfy that hunger or quench that thirst, they attempt to fill that emptiness with things which will not satisfy.  In this way they find themselves always grasping at the next thing in the hope that peace will be found at last.  

That peace is elusive for those who walk blindly in circles.  If you don’t know the way, you can’t get there from here. Jesus provides that way.  He is the living water and the bread from heaven.  Accepting and following Him is the only path to satisfaction.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blessed Are The Meek

Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.


Meek does not mean weak in the earthly sense.  This meekness is from one who understands that in the sight of God we have no room to boast.  It is only in His grace and love that we find our true worth.  While some may perceive this as weakness, this meekness is a sign of the peace and love from within that we are able to share with others. We become children of God, heirs to all His blessings.  A restored earth is part of that heritage and reward.  

Those that are not meek, who glory in their own exploits and abilities, which care not for the things of God and seek their own way, are like a wisp of smoke in the wind.  The arrogant are like a passing noise that is soon forgotten.  Our best efforts are like a parade of children in a moment of play.  Anyone who takes advantage of another rather than sharing the love of God will find that anything gained will be lost in the end.  The meek are strong in Christ, yet it is in our understanding of our weakness that His strength is found. Gentleness, kindness, self-control, and patience reflect a better way. 

The meek are blessed by God and all things will be given to them.  It has already been accomplished.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Listen To The One

John 3:11-12 (MSG)
11 Listen carefully. I'm speaking sober truth to you. I speak only of what I know by experience; I give witness only to what I have seen with my own eyes. There is nothing secondhand here, no hearsay. Yet instead of facing the evidence and accepting it, you procrastinate with questions.
12 If I tell you things that are plain as the hand before your face and you don't believe me, what use is there in telling you of things you can't see, the things of God?

Jesus continues to speak with Nicodemus.  Consider carefully what Jesus says.  Here is the Son of God saying that His testimony is based on experience.  He was with God from the beginning.  He was the Word of creation.  He is the only one that came from heaven.  The source of truth only speaks the truth.  If we are to believe anyone or anything, He should be the first thing. All else comes from Him.

That truth is revealed in a language we can understand.  How better can we relate to God than if He came into the world as one of us?  He speaks of things we can’t see using the language of the things we can see.  

Nicodemus is struggling.  We all do.  Believing is easy, yet hard work.  Faith is about letting go, but we are prone to hold on to what we know and mistrust things we don’t know.  It is about overcoming fear and doubt enough to take that first step into the kingdom of God.  Faith also is about the steps that follow, but He is with us after that first step.  His strength and power will take us to a place beyond our wildest imagination.    

Friday, December 19, 2008

There Is No Other Savior

Isa 43:10-11
10 You are My witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know Me, believe Me and remain steadfast to Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no Savior.

There is one God
Working in and through us
Who came in the form of man
In His Son Jesus
That we would know
The One True God
The way of salvation
For there is no other Savior

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He Fills Us

He fills us
The Divine glory
As we make room for Him
Pouring ourselves out
He pours in
We become weaker in our poverty
And grow stronger in His riches
The more we are diluted in the man
The purer we become in the spirit
To His glory
He fills us

Those Who Mourn

Matt 5:4
4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

It is they who mourn for their offense to God
For sins arising from rebellion and ignorance
Who come to understand the breadth and depth
Of the love that calls out and searches for us

It is they who have been wounded in this life
Battered by hardship, abuse, loss

They shall be comforted
He shall wipe away all tears
He will right all wrong
He will fill the heart with gladness
And restore all those who come to Him

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poor In Spirit

Matt 5:3
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The poor in spirit are anything other than poor for they are heirs to the true riches that come from God. Leaving behind trust in the spirit of man and of self, they yield to the Spirit of God. The kingdom opens at once and eternal blessings without end are given to these who lift their hearts to the Lord.

Blessed are those who gain the kingdom of heaven
For they become children of God by His Spirit

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

He Opened His Mouth

Matt 5:1-2
5 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

The One whose words brought forth creation
Giving light where there was no light
Form where there was no form
And blessed all that He made

He opened His mouth again
But in the form of man
To speak of man truly blessed
The mouth of the Lord has spoken it
So it is and will come to pass

We are among those in the crowds
You and I

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Word Became Flesh

John 1:14
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Long ago and not so long ago, Jesus came for us taking on the form of man. He was like us and yet not like us. There is and has been no one else like Him, for He came from the Father, full of grace and truth. It is He that shows us the way to the Father for He is one with the Father. He lived without sinning and enables us to break the shackles of sin’s domination.

The incarnation continues today. Instead of among us, He makes His dwelling within us through the Holy Spirit. The grace and truth of Jesus is imparted to us. Christ takes on our flesh as we become part of His body in His church. We become the temple of God. Our worship is the sacrifice of praise arising from our joy in the Lord, spirit with Spirit.

John testifies that they have seen His glory. May it be that His glory continues to be seen through our lives.

May my thoughts and actions glorify You today

Friday, December 12, 2008

He Has Made Him Known

John 1:15-18
15 John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'" 16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

The revelation of God comes through these two, Moses and Jesus. God gives to Moses the law which instructed man about God and provided a way for fallen man to relate to the Holy God. But it was a mere shadow that pointed to the coming of His Son, who provided fulfillment of the law and its intent. He was the exact representation of God. The shadow, which was the law, was cast by the light of Jesus. This is what the prophets of old saw in the distance. He is the light that has come into the world, full of grace and truth which comes from God.

No one has ever seen God because of the sin which plagues us. We would not be able to come into His Holy presence and live. Because we were not able to come to Him, He came to us. It is through Jesus that we are able to know God.

He has made Him known
And has overcome that which separates
He is as close as the word on the tongue

Thursday, December 11, 2008

True Belief

John 2:23-25 (NIV)
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.
24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.
25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

Jesus had no illusions about men, yet He came to give His life for us all anyway. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Perhaps He did not trust them because they did not believe in the right way, or for the right reason. They saw the miracles He performed and said isn’t this wonderful? The true miracle sought by Jesus is a changed heart. He knows the sad state of the human heart without God. Believing in Jesus without a repentant heart does not bring us into relationship with Him. To one like this Jesus will say “I don’t know you” at the wedding feast. It doesn’t matter how many times you used His name in word or deed, you won’t be right with God if your heart is not right. Even the demons believe in His name, and know Him to be the Son of God.

If we turn to Him with a repentant heart
He will come and abide within
His presence will bring us into life
He will entrust Himself
To all that trust in Him

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Miraculous Sign

John 2:18-22 (NIV)
18 Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"
19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
20 The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?"
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

They sought a sign from Jesus. During the course of His ministry He would do many things that would be proof of His authority. None of them served to convince the majority of them.

Jesus replies with one particular sign that will be given as proof of being the Son of God. In another place, Jesus says that only the sign of Jonah will be given. In another place He says that many would not believe even if He was raised from the grave.

And that is how it came to pass. His life on earth was brought to an end at the hands of the very people He came to save. The power of God brought Him back, a fact that was confirmed by many witnesses. He overcame death, but it was not enough for some to believe.

Some dismiss all of this as foolishness. But the foolishness of God will overcome the so called wisdom of the world. The world will fade away but the Word of God will endure.

The Holy Spirit was given to the disciples after His death. He brought to remembrance the words spoken by Jesus and opened their eyes to the truth of Scripture. He does the same for us today. That reality is just as fresh today as it was back then. The Spirit was given to man in a way that had not been realized before. This was made possible by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus. Our sin was erased. We now have the opportunity to enter into the presence of God. We can’t begin to appreciate the fullness of this miracle.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


John 2:14-17 (NIV)
14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.
15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"
17 His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

We are prone to drift from the things of God. If we are not careful about little accommodations and “improvements” over time, we can find ourselves quite distant from our starting place before we know it. This is what happened here. The beauty and reverence of the temple became marred with the common things of man. They had lost the true sense of the Holy and traded it for the business of the marketplace. Instead of a place to leave behind the things of man and to enter into the things of God, they brought the house of God into the commonplace. Their actions reflected the heart.

It is for the heart Jesus comes. His zeal is for us. We are the house that consumes Him. His zeal is such that He gave His life that we would be with Him. He desires that everyone would come, that not one would be lost.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Best Is Yet To Come

John 2:1-11 (NIV)
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there,
2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."
4 "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so,
9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside
10 and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now."
11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Jesus takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. In John’s gospel this is the first miracle He performs. He takes the water of ceremony and turns it into fine wine. The ceremonial acts of cleansing were only a foreshadow of the cleansing Jesus would bring. He came to bring fulfillment of God’s plan.

He likewise turned judgment into grace. This is a much greater miracle than the mere turning of water into wine. He turned death into life through His dying and rising again. From the water of creation comes the wine of the kingdom.

The wine of new life is available for all, who like the disciples, put their faith in Him. One only has to reach out and sip from the cup He offers. And the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Old Story, Same Question

The account of Cain and Able foreshadows of the slaying of Jesus. Cain, the older brother, does not obey and please the Lord with his offerings. Able, the younger brother, does obey and please the Lord. In anger and resentment, Cain kills Able.

God chose Israel, the nation, as His Son. He told them how to live and what was necessary for life. They were to show the world the glory of God. They did not follow the way of the Lord.

God sent His Son Jesus to Israel. Jesus did obey and told Israel what was needed for life, speaking the very words of God. This angered the leadership. This was an affront to their authority and pride. They plotted and killed Jesus.

But Jesus rose from the grave by the grace and power of God to bring true life to all. What man meant for evil God used to save the world.

God told Cain that he would be accepted if he would do right. Jesus tells us the same thing, giving us the power and grace for salvation. All we have to do is say yes and follow Him. We know what Cain did. What are you going to do?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So It Is

John 3:8-9
8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

The Spirit is a mystery for those not born of the Spirit. You can’t see it coming and you don’t see it going, but like the wind, one may be aware of its passing. With the wind leaves may dance in trees above or there may be a whistle around the corner of the house. It may be a soft breeze felt on the face in the cool of the evening. With the Spirit it may be in receiving an act of kindness from a stranger or something that works out despite the fact there was no way it would.

It may be found in the strangest places, in something or someone unexpected. It can enter a heart suddenly and by surprise. An unexplained peace may warm the heart, catching one unaware.

The Spirit can speak to us through any part of creation, imparting a knowing beyond any reasoning and understanding beyond explanation.

The one born of the Spirit knows where the Spirit comes from and moves with the Spirit, made alive by grace and truth. Don’t just listen to the sound and wonder why is it so. Be part of that sound and of those whom it can be said: “So it is…”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Born Again

John 3:3-6
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

In the beginning God’s Spirit hovered over the waters of the earth. Creation was born. In these last days His Spirit hovered over Mary and from her came Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man. He was both.

In Jesus, flesh and Spirit came together in a way that had not happened before. A new man was born, made possible by the grace of God. Through Him, our fallen flesh is made alive by the life that comes from God. We rise above that disobedience of the first man and are restored by the obedience of the second man when we choose to believe in Jesus.

Water and Spirit can represent the revelations in the Old and New Testaments. God is being revealed in both. Both point to Christ. The Old Testament brings God into view and how we are to live in relation to this knowledge, through the cleansing water of repentance. It also shows us how we are unable to adhere to the requirements of our Holy God on our own. The New Testament brings forth the fulfillment of those requirements through the grace of His Son and the giving of His Spirit. Through His Spirit we are reborn to be sons and daughters of God.

Nicodemus asks a question that anyone might ask who only looks the world through the lens of his own eyes, from a scientific, piecemeal point of view. “How can this be?” Flesh can only see flesh. The Spirit enters us and a new creature is born. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God can only be seen by those born again, and that is how it is.

Give us eyes of the Spirit

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Isaiah 26:1-4

26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;

God makes salvation

its walls and ramparts.

2 Open the gates

that the righteous nation may enter,

the nation that keeps faith.

3 You will keep in perfect peace

him whose mind is steadfast,

because he trusts in you.

4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.


 God is our Rock.  He opens the doors of salvation for all that desire to enter.  Jesus is that gate.  We have His peace given to us, perfect as He is perfect.  His peace is eternal just as He is eternal.  There is no where else to stand that will not dissolve in time.  There is no where else to live that will last.  He calls for us to enter the city of His rest.  It is up to us to walk in.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Gen 13:14-17
14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."

Abram receives the promise of the land that stretches out before him as far as the eye can see. But God is not satisfied just having Abram see the Promised Land but commands him to go and walk in the land. God wants Abram to fully experience His gift. He doesn’t just want to know about the land but to connect and live in this new place.

He wants the same for us. It is not enough for us to be reborn into a new life from above and to merely lie in the grace of God like a newborn in a crib. We are to get up and walk in this new life. In walking we experience the length and breadth of what we have been given. We draw nearer to God.

As we move, we grow.
As we grow, we come to know.
As we come to know, He has more to show.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Seeing Jesus

Matthew 25:37-40 NetBible

25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 25:38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? 25:39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 25:40 And the king will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me.’

I’ve heard the phrase “we would see Jesus” as part of who we are, a statement of our identity and our expectation of seeing Him face to face. Here Jesus tells us that it is possible to see Him today. He tells us that by serving those in need among us that we are serving Him.

We are all in need. Regardless of our worldly circumstance, or how well we think we are doing on our own, we are naked and destitute without God. This realization can come with the unforeseen onslaught of a storm in life, or finally getting everything you want only to find that it is not everything you want.

We see Jesus when we look for Him in others. The more we are able to see Jesus in others the more we become like Him. The more we become like Him, the clearer we can see Him in ourselves. This is part of our walk with the Lord, of growing up into maturity in Christ.

One day we will see the very face of Jesus, when He comes again to this world, this time not as a helpless child, but in His heavenly splendor, as the King of Kings. Until then, He reveals Himself in you and me. He is there if we look.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I wonder if that which is within us is as vast as the universe outside ourselves, with unending beauty and delight awaiting discovery as we are able to see and comprehend the wonder that we are.

Could it be that what is visible could be compared to a grain of sand on the beach of our existence?

We only know in part, and I’m guessing it is a very small part indeed. Only His coming again will allow us fully partake of what God intends for us. It will be a surprise because it will be beyond what we can imagine. We will be revealed with Him and we will be like Him. Some might be surprised for different reasons. May our surprise be of the right kind.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bringing Forth A Man

Genesis 4:1-2
4 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. NIV

Adam named his wife Eve, which means life-giver. Isn’t it ironic that through this life-giver death entered into creation? Truly their eyes were opened when sin came into view. This was not the wisdom that Eve expected as she looked on the imagined promise of the forbidden fruit. You may have experienced the same sort of thing in your life. Have you ever been lured by something only to find in the end it was not what you had in mind?

Life is given to two sons, but it is life marred by disobedience to God. The result is not the fruit intended by God when He said multiply and be fruitful. The wages of sin continue when Cain strikes Abel, spilling the blood of his brother. Death appears in another form.

But God has provided a way out of this deathtrap. He brought forth His Son, begotten not created. Believing on His life and resurrection brings forth new life in Christ. A new life is born, to be resurrected just as He was. It is with His help we can echo Eve’s word of wonder, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.”, for a new man is created. It is the image of Jesus we take on, rather than the fallen image of Adam. We participate in the creation of life, a new man. It is our life we help to create, and those around us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Way of Cain

Genesis 4:8-13
8 Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" And he replied, "I don't know! Am I my brother's guardian?" 10 But the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground! 11 So now, you are banished from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you try to cultivate the ground it will no longer yield its best for you. You will be a homeless wanderer on the earth."

(from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

In the New Testament there is a reference to the way of Cain. Instead of submitting to the Lord’s warning, he continued down the path of revenge and self will. That path only ends with loss and death.

His rebellion against the Lord is further revealed in his answer of “Am I my brother’s guardian?” There was no brotherly affection and love in his heart. There was only enough hate and anger that led him to spill his brother’s blood. His heart was not with God.

Cain was a tiller of the soil and lived by his connection with the ground. Sadly, he was not so connected with God. That was the problem. Rather than the usual seed for planting, the ground received his brother’s blood by Cain’s hand. Cain lived apart from God in his heart. God separated him from his land and livelihood. No more would Cain be able to take pride in his work and the sense of self-sufficiency that often comes from it. He is banished to a life of homeless wandering. A life without God, pulled up by the root for a life blown like a leaf in the wind.

On that day two lives were lost, but in different ways. Abel no longer walked on this earth, but he walks with God. Cain’s loss was two-fold: eternal life with God and life he could have known on earth. That is the way of Cain.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting It Right

Genesis 4:6-7
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why is your expression downcast? 7 Is it not true that if you do what is right, you will be fine? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. It desires to dominate you, but you must subdue it."

(from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, All rights reserved. Used by permission.) Gen 4:6-7

God does not refuse Cain’s offering without a word. He entreats Cain to do the right thing, which Cain knows. God warns of sin that will result in not doing what is right. Overcoming self leads to victory over sin. God encourages Cain to bring his desires under control. God made the earth and all that is in it for man to rule. That begins with the very clay from which he is made.

This plays out in each of our lives. Thankfully, we are not left on our own in that task. If we were, we would not make it. God provided His Son and the Holy Spirit to enable us to rise above our nature and to be in right standing with God. He has given everything we need to find the way. Getting it right is the most important thing we will do in this life.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pleasing God

Gen 4:1-5
4 Now the man had marital relations with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Then she said, "I have created a man just as the Lord did!" 2 Then she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel took care of the flocks, while Cain cultivated the ground.

3 At the designated time Cain brought some of the fruit of the ground for an offering to the Lord. 4 But Abel brought some of the firstborn of his flock - even the fattest of them. And the Lord was pleased with Abel and his offering, 5 but with Cain and his offering he was not pleased. So Cain became very angry, and his expression was downcast.

(from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

I used to wonder why Cain’s offering was not pleasing to the Lord in contrast to what Abel brought to the Lord. Was it the difference in that which came from the earth and that which had life in it? After all, the earth had fallen under a curse due to man’s disobedience. Was it because Cain didn’t know what would please the Lord? A few verses further, God reminds Cain that he knows what to bring, what is required.

The key is that Able brought his best to the Lord and Cain did not. He did bring something, but only some to the fruit. Cain’s heart is further revealed by his anger at God’s rejection. I guess he felt like God ought to be satisfied with whatever he brought, or could spare. Perhaps Cain felt that his opinion as to what was right or wrong was more important than what God saw as right and wrong. Cain placed himself before God.

Isn’t it easy step into that same place? We please God when we put Him first. We will see as we go further in the story the tragic results of Cain’s unwillingness to obey God.

Friday, November 14, 2008

His Image

Perhaps God commands that no image be made of Him because we are made in His image. We have trouble enough as it is with self worship. If we attempt this anyway, we can only make something far inferior to the real thing. The closest we could come would only be a variation of ourselves. No image we could make would capture Him. We don’t fully understand ourselves, much less God. How then could we be so bold as to think we would be able to define God?

If we have lost awe and wonder when we consider God, it might be time to make sure we haven’t been guilty of creating some image that we are comfortable with. We might have unknowingly placed ourselves at the feet of an idol of our own making.

He has given us the exact image of Himself in His Son Jesus. We are to strive to be like Him. His image is to become ours.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In God's Sight

Genesis 6:11-13
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Mankind didn’t do so hot of a job taking care of the earth. In fact, it got so bad God decided to wipe the earth clean. Man and earth seem to be tied together. Man was made from the earth and earth was given to man. Earth didn’t fare so well. God cursed it because of man’s disobedience. Disobedience led to violence and corruption. Once again, God judges creation in the hands of man and it is not good. Man and earth reap the consequences of ungodly life.

The story of Noah speaks to us today of what God saw, judgment, and the provision He made for life. God commanded him to build an ark. Noah obeyed God in all things. God provided a way for life, that enables man to rise above the brokenness that came from disobedience.

I can’t help but think this story of the past applies today and tomorrow. How different is our world from the world described in this passage? The Bible speaks of a judgment to come. There will be a new world, made clean not by a flood of waters, but the light of God. People back then scoffed at the idea of a flood. People scoff today at the idea of a God that created the universe and will judge us by His standard, not ours. Only God’s sight counts. How do you see it?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Losing Touch

Eph 4:17-19
17 And so I insist — and God backs me up on this — that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. 18 They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. 19 They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

It can be so easy going along with the crowd drifting in the current of what feels good and the latest thing, but going with the flow often leads to a life adrift. The day will come when one wonders, how did I end up here?

Feeling pain is a necessary survival mechanism, telling us that something is wrong. Without it we could bleed to death from an unknown cut, or be attacked by unfelt tumor that grows a little each day into an unmanageable monster.

Unrecognized sin is like that. Being unaware or ignoring it can lead to death. Not being in touch with God removes us from reality itself. Any understanding or view that does not include God, does not contemplate the true reality. The more we look away from God and longer we live that way, the more out of touch we become.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Rest of The Story

Gen 2:1-3
2 The heavens and the earth were completed with everything that was in them. 2 By the seventh day God finished the work that he had been doing, and he ceased on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he ceased all the work that he had been doing in creation.

(from The NET Bible®, Copyright © 1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C., Dallas, Texas, All rights reserved. Used by permission.)

Creation is accomplished. He ceased His work on the seventh day. Looking at the creation story as a summation of all time and an indication of where we are headed, we find that the ending is only another beginning. The purpose of creation is that we enter into His timeless rest. That which was lost through disobedience will be regained through obedience, first by the one Who was able, Jesus, and all those who believe in Him and follow after Him.

Seven in the Bible usually represents completeness and perfection. The seventh day is blessed and made holy because His work has been done. We are part of that blessed and holy day.

He continues His work today, inviting all who will listen to eternal life in a world restored to its perfection. The Holy Spirit continues the witness and call of Jesus; “Come to me and I will give you rest”. He does that within us and through us. We find a rest in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that gives us faith and hope in the rest that is to come.

…that is the rest of the story.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Was Very Good

Genesis 1:24-31 NetBible
1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” It was so. 1:25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good.

1:26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.”

1:27 God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it! Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.” 1:29 Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 1:30 And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” It was so.

1:31 God saw all that he had made – and it was very good! There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.

The sixth day is crowned with the creation of man. That is the point of creation. Not that we are center of the universe, but that we would find that center and be with Him- God. For this reason we are created in His image. This image is beyond the physical as indicated by being accomplished in both male and female. We are not made to merely crawl on the earth like other creatures, but to commune with God the Creator Himself.

All things are given to us, even that of God giving of Himself to redeem us who have gone astray. He did this when we did not seek Him. When we did not love Him, He loves us. The present tense of God’s love is used because His love has been and always is present, just as He is present and timeless. All else may change and fade, but He remains.

At the end of the day, God looks at all He had made. He blesses mankind and gives them everything- and it was very good!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The First Blessing

Genesis 1 20-23 NetBible
1:20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 1:21 God created the great sea creatures and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. God saw that it was good. 1:22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” 1:23 There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day.

On the fifth day living creatures are brought forth, filling the oceans and the air. Here we see the first mention of a blessing. It is bestowed on the creatures that are given life and able to move, except for those who live on the ground. That comes tomorrow, the sixth day.

The blessing is the word of God expressing His will that the life of these creatures is fulfilled to the full measure of His intention. Being fruitful is the first commandment God requires of life. It sounds pretty easy, unless you reach for the wrong tree.

These creatures do not fail to carry out this mission. We can see the effect of His blessing in the number and variety of those wonderful creatures. It should remind us that when we are blessed by God, we are blessed indeed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Greater Light

Genesis 1 14-19 NetBible
God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs to indicate seasons and days and years, 1:15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” It was so. 1:16 God made two great lights – the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night. He made the stars also. 1:17 God placed the lights in the expanse of the sky to shine on the earth, 1:18 to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. 1:19 There was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.

Creation is further addressed with attention given to day and night, light and darkness. A source of light is established for the earth, a greater and lesser light. The greater would remain constant, providing the source of light for the earth. The lesser light would wax and wane to mark time, not giving its own light, but reflecting that of the greater.

The lights are created for God’s purposes of life and revelation. They enable life, the reckoning of time, and bring order and rhythm to the earth. They speak to us of the great theme given voice through creation, that of light and darkness, of life and death. Their presence helps us to make sense of creation. They are part of this parable of life that would lead us to true life.

Each day in this account begins with the darkness of night and ends with the light of day. So is it is with our journey here on earth. God plans for all to come to know Him in this way. His Son Jesus came to be the light in the darkness, to bring forth those that would come out of the darkness into the everlasting light. It will come to pass that there will be no need for the lesser light, for all darkness will disappear. The greater light will remain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

According To Their Kinds

Genesis 1 9-13 NetBible
1:9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place and let dry ground appear.” It was so. 1:10 God called the dry ground “land” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good. 1:11 God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” It was so. 1:12 The land produced vegetation – plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. 1:13 There was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

Just as the waters were separated, now attention is turned to the water below. Water is gathered to one place revealing the ground which it had covered. The subsiding water of the flood of Noah echoes this act of creation. The land was created not for its own sake, but for a purpose. It was to bear life, yielding seed and bearing fruit according to their kinds.

Jesus used the analogy of seed and the bearing of fruit on several occasions to speak of the kingdom of God. We too have a purpose. We were brought forth to yield to God and to bear to fruit of the Holy Spirit. He makes that possible. He appeared so that we might appear out of the water of baptism into the kingdom of life. His seed is within us. We are brought out of the waters of mankind and reborn as children of God. A new earth is being revealed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Heaven and Earth

Genesis 1:6-8 NetBible
1:6 God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters and let it separate water from water. 1:7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. It was so. 1:8 God called the expanse “sky.” There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

Heaven and earth are separated, as was light and darkness previously. There is unseen water in the sky which returns in various forms depending on conditions: rain, dew, frost, hail, condensation, etc. The water on earth appears in more solid forms such as water and ice, readily visible to the eye.

One we see and one we don’t directly see, but we are able to see the evidence of its existence. Our feet might get wet from an early morning stroll or we seek shelter from an unexpected rain. Both come from something unseen. Life exists in the two, the seen and unseen.

So it is with us. Our body is in plain view, but the spirit is perceived indirectly. Just as heaven and earth speak of the whole of creation, the whole of who we are cannot be understood by focusing on the body alone. We are heaven and earth, spirit and body.

As newborns, we gradually become aware of our bodies. We grow in our awareness and use of this fragile, yet wondrous body. We take delight in many experiences and sensations.

As we mature, we become aware of the unseen part of our existence, that part of us that longs for something undefined, that makes itself known in whispers that are just beyond the natural.

The Word speaks to us, Spirit to spirit. That which we seek is brought forth from heaven and revealed to earth, to us. The two become one.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Gensis 1:2-5 NetBible
1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. 1:3 God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light! 1:4 God saw that the light was good, so God separated the light from the darkness. 1:5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.

Darkness was part of creation from the beginning. Would it be possible to understand darkness or light without both being present? Darkness allows us to see the light. Light exposes the darkness. Darkness harbors disorder and emptiness. Light brings peace and comfort.

God said “Let there be light”, as so it was. He separated light from darkness.

The beginning of the new creation started with Jesus, the light of the world, when He entered into the darkness of our habitation. We are separated from darkness and made children of the light. A new creation ensues. We are reborn in spirit. The curse of Adam has been lifted. Life is separated from death. All of creation will be restored when He returns. For now, the Spirit of God continues to move over the water, at work in this world. His light continues to shine forth, filling the empty heart and molding it in the shape on His perfect Son. Darkness is still with us, but we know the difference. There will come a time when darkness is vanquished forever.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tools For Knowledge

We have all sorts of devices that help us experience our world beyond our natural limitations. Some examples include: binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, hearing aids, vehicles, computers, rockets, communication devices, etc... They augment our abilities to go beyond our base view of existence. Things that would not be ordinarily perceived are now taken for granted. As more strides are made in the technological advance of these devices, the appearance of new technologies, and the resulting leaps in science, we see our thinking and understanding change. This takes place everyday. What was considered to be correct yesterday is likely to be obsolete today. All these things allow pursuit of the natural.

The Bible serves a similar purpose, except the area of exploration is spiritual and the truths it contains do not diminish or change over time. Just as we are unable to peer into the universe with unaided eye, we are unable to learn the things of God on our own. When the Holy Spirit opens our eyes and hearts to the message of the Bible, the kingdom of God is revealed. We go beyond all the marvelous things that were created to the Creator Himself. God has given us all we need.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Consummation of the Ages

Hebrews 9:24-26 NetBible
9:24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands – the representation of the true sanctuary – but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God’s presence for us. 9:25 And he did not enter to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, 9:26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by his sacrifice.

This passage highlights the fact that God’s revelation has been a process, and one cannot ignore the Old Testament in the understanding of the New Testament. The OT documents man’s journey with God. It prepares us as a people for the gospel, and gives us the perspective and meaning necessary to understand God’s plan.

That plan is coming to its end. Notice in the last sentence the word consummation is used. Jesus has accomplished the great sacrifice that, once and for all, overcomes our sin. The end is in sight. The promise has been given. The Rock of Ages has provided the consummation of the ages.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good Citizens

1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)
13 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level;
14 they are God's emissaries for keeping order.
15 It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society.
16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.
17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

Our life should reflect our submission to God. Being humble in our perception of self and treating others with love and respect are signs of the presence of God within. We are called to be good citizens by doing good works. Doing good works comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Who empowers our will to live and do as Christ.

This does not mean that we subject ourselves to darkness, for we are to be the light of the world. On the contrary, we are to seek justice and right in the world around us. We are to express the heart of God in love to a world often filled with hate. We are to seek justice for all in a world which seems to turn on the axis of selfishness. We are to be the hand of God to offer comfort for those in need. This is the way shown by Jesus. By these things we show ourselves to be good citizens of the kingdom.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Progressive God

Some might see a different God portrayed throughout the Bible, as though we see Him evolve from the Old Testament to a New Testament version. Some might say they can’t believe in a God that would be of one sort or another, that might be contrary to their sensibilities or expectations. Some might wonder how God could be so different from one Scripture to another. Does this conflict with the assertion that God is changeless, the great “I AM”?

Consider how your views and understanding have changed in the course of your short life. When you arrived in this world you could not speak at all. How you perceived the world evolved as you grew. You experience life differently than yesterday. It is hopeful to think that you will experience life differently tomorrow in a richer, more meaningful way than today. Our view of a given place, thing, or person might take on a quite a different aspect and experience because we are different.

Have you ever had an experience that changed everything? Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment? Have you ever gone back to a favorite book you enjoyed as a child? You might see that book differently through adult eyes rather than through the eyes of a child. Life is like that.

Viewing God as anything other than changeless speaks more to the progressive nature of man. It’s like sitting in a car traveling down the road and supposing the landscape is changing, not because the car is moving, but everything else is.

God reveals Himself as we are ready. Jesus came in the fullness of time, that God determined to be just the right time. The Old Testament prepares us for the New. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, the true revelation of God. The Holy Spirit speaks through the thoughts, experiences, and revelations contained in Scripture. That is the living word. That is where progress and life reside. God becomes more real as we get closer to Him.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Becoming One

Even as Adam was formed from the earth, so was Jesus formed from the clay of man. From man God created woman that she would help and become one with man. In a similar way God brought forth the Son of Man that He would become one with man and thus man be made complete.

Creation is accomplished and, at the same time, continues. The universe expands and creation unfolds. Praise and glory belong to the Creator Who makes all things possible. Amen.

In The Beginning

Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Without this understanding nothing else that follows in Scripture makes sense. This first verse of the Bible tells us that God is and that He was before creation. He created all things, the totality of which is indicated by naming the highest and lowest boundaries of our perceived existence.

This is not a scientific explanation of the particulars of creation but the truth and revelation of the Creator. Science attempts to understand what God has done in creation, but does not contemplate or seek the Creator Himself. Our relation to and with God unfolds in the pages that follow.

With this frame of reference one is able to seek and find God in the stories and writings that come to us from a diverse group of writers over a long span of time. The Holy Spirit was at work in the creation of these works and will bring the light of understanding to these verses. Without the light of the Holy Spirit they will only be words, foolishness to be discarded or ignored. Through the Holy Spirit we find meaning and our place in creation.

It is written that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Perhaps it could be said the destination of wisdom is love, which brings us back to the beginning.

In the beginning God…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In His Image

Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

We seek God because we were created in His image. This is at root of our longing and our emptiness without Him. Denying Him and seeking to fill that longing with anything else does not long or truly satisfy. This is a confirmation that God exists and that we are made for Him.

Jesus is described as the exact image of God. The difference between our image and Christ’s exact image is the result of sin. Sin entered the world through disobedience. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father, and because of that, He reflected the true image of God. He accomplished the obedience that we, man, did not.

Adam’s disobedience resulted in death, which is what God said would happen. Adam did not immediately die, but died later because he was not able to eat from the Tree of Life. His disobedience precluded that opportunity for eternal life. God sent His only Son to receive that judgment of death for all who accept this redemption and salvation. The Tree of Life had to overcome death to provide life. Through His obedience life is restored. We can now eat from the Tree of Life. What once was lost is found. Eternal life was restored through His love and mercy. As we grow in our walk with Jesus, we will become more and more like Him- renewed in His image.