Friday, February 27, 2009

Every Nation Under Heaven

Acts 2:2-6 (NIV)
2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.
3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.
4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

Back when man was building the tower of Babel, God dispersed them and confused the one tongue, making it many.  They were not ready nor was the time right for them to act as one.  Man was full of himself then.  Sadly, this is the condition of many today. 

But on this day the Holy Spirit was given and these disciples were filled with that Spirit.  On that day confusion was reversed as each one of the crowd heard the joyous news in their own language.  The time was right for tongues to speak in one accord, of the one message that opens the door to heaven.  

Instead of a tower built by the hands and will of man for his own glory and way into heaven, God is building a temple of believers in which heaven comes to earth, abiding for a time in the hearts of men.  The day will come when it will be fully revealed.  

Again we wait until the time is fulfilled.  God’s timing is according to His purposes.  It is for every nation under heaven.   

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Both of these commandments share the word love.  That is why God is doing all He has done.  Everything that the law tried to accomplish and the words that the prophets spoke pointed us to Jesus, the coming Christ, the embodiment of love.  They were all given to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.  

He demonstrated His love for the Father in His obedience.  His heart was one with God.  He spoke His Father’s words, rather than His own thoughts, His own mind.  His Spirit and the Holy Spirit were One. 

The second commandment is demonstrated by His coming and sacrifice on our behalf. 

We are most like God when we love, for He is love.

Love explains everything and overcomes everything.

Love is an action, of being, the way of living true life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.
17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

The world here is defined as man.  The world in this passage centers around man:  his cravings, lust, and boasting.  

Man passes away.  With that passing, all his passions and desires go with him.  What seems so important at the moment will be revealed as the wisp of smoke taken in a breeze that it is. 

The will of God will be revealed as the most important thing for it is the path to eternal life.  

Blessed is the man who finds this truth before his time of passing comes, for it does and will come.  It makes all the difference, whether we pass into oblivion or pass into life.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


1 Corinthians 1:22-25 (NIV)
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Psalm 56:13 (NIV)
13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Jesus is the stumbling block to anyone who walks contrary to God’s will.  To those who believe and follow Him, He is the strong arm of the Lord which opens the path and keeps us from stumbling on the way. 

There is a good stumbling, if one falls at the feet of Jesus.  If by that fall the path of the world and self is forsaken, then He will reach down with His loving hand to help His new brother or sister up.  We then walk, not alone, but with Him before God in the light of life.

If we do not find ourselves at the feet of Jesus, we may need to make sure we have not stumbled off the path.  Be like Mary, sister of Martha, and choose the right thing.  Come before Him and listen. 

Monday, February 23, 2009


Luke 12:47-48 (NIV)
47 "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.
48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

This verse speaks to the mercy of God and His love for all.  We can depend on Him to do the right thing, for He is the source of true and pure justice, truth, and love.  Our current limited understanding and ideas in no way change this fact.  That is why He alone is worthy of our praise.  

There seems to be two things at play here: knowing and doing.  Knowing and not doing is shown as worse than doing those same things without knowing. Sin was in the world before the law was given and the resulting judgment gave us a fallen world.  But when the law was given, the impact of sin increased through that knowledge.  We became much more accountable once the will of God became written in stone.  Once exposed and given an understanding of that knowledge, we then have the privilege and burden of choosing to obey.  

In Jesus, the will and Word of God moved from stone to flesh.  The Spirit of God united with mankind and was made available for all.  The revelation of God was completed in the person of Jesus.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  What has been given is that all things are through, by, and for Him.  By no other name will we be saved.  That is enough for salvation.  The rest of the details have not been given and we are warned not to judge one another.  To the degree we know the will of God and accordingly act, judgment will be rendered, and by the One Who is uniquely and best suited to do so.  We should be thankful and take comfort that our fate will be decided by the perfect One.  

He has provided the way for us to come boldly before Him. That is the one thing worth knowing above all else.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Ready Heart

Matthew 13:10-13 (MSG)
10 The disciples came up and asked, "Why do you tell stories?"
11 He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them.
12 Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears.
13 That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it.

The stories, or parables, are told to reveal a spiritual truth in the language of the natural.  A heart not ready to hear things of the Spirit will be put off by any words that speak of the world outside of creation.  But these parables can draw one and make a heart curious to move in that direction.  Such a heart can then begin to see and hear something quite different than what they once scorned as so much foolishness.  

The key is a ready heart.  A ready heart opens the door to salvation and wisdom, for these things flow from God to the heart that seeks Him.  He stands at the door and knocks.  Opening the door floods the inner being with His light as He enters.  When He does, His words suddenly make sense.  The world begins to make sense.  The light comes on.  It starts with the heart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Regular Garments

Lev 16:23-24

23 "Then Aaron is to go into the Tent of Meeting and take off the linen garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. 24 He shall bathe himself with water in a holy place and put on his regular garments.


Remember when Peter went into the tomb after the resurrection of Jesus?  He found the burial clothes left behind and the face covering folded and placed to one side.  I always wondered about the significance of this information. 

The above verses describe what Aaron was to do after the atonement sacrifice that took place once a year.  It struck me that this was a foreshadowing of the great Atonement Sacrifice of Christ of which the sacrifice of Aaron was but a preview.  

Jesus discarded his linen burial clothes and assumed His regular garments which were the glory of heaven, as befitting the Son of God and the King of Kings.  These He put aside for a time to conquer sin and death.  How good it must have felt to return to His previous state, especially knowing He had provided the way for us to follow.  We will also take on garments that befit sons of God.  Immortality will take the place of mortality.  We will be dressed as we were meant to be, in heavenly splendor in the presence of God, clothed in our regular garments. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Luke 12:49-50 (MSG)
49 "I've come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now!
50 I've come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished!

Jesus did not come to this earth to just sit around a campfire and sing songs.  He did not take on our flesh and sins just to talk about the finer points of Scripture in the synagogues.  His gospel is not one of platitudes, but one of exciting and monumental change.  The status quo is disrupted as the Son of Man speaks the Word of God. The resulting fire is unleashed that will purify and refine those who are able to accept His teaching.  Scripture speaks of this fire's other outcome for those rejecting Jesus.  Either way it is going to be hot.

Can you feel it getting warm, or is it just me?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Daily Bread

Matthew 6:11 (NIV)
11 Give us today our daily bread.

We are closest to God in present moment.  God told Moses to tell the Israelites that “I AM” sent Him.  God is outside of time, which is a fundamental characteristic of creation.    The orbit of our life comes closest to the One outside of time in the present moment.  It is in the present moment that our frame of reckoning is least colored with the metric and confines of time. 

Our daily bread becomes that food which is every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  It is partaking in the bread of life, the revelation that is given in the form of Jesus.  It is present in this moment.  It is present in every moment.  It is ours as we are able to rest in each moment.  Being present has to do with being aware and living in the presence of God.  Our only chance is in the here and now.  We cannot reenter the past and cannot live in the future. 

The ultimate present moment will be eternity with God, for it will be outside of time, the here and now that will encompass all eternity. 

It is in the present we live, move, and have our being.  We are told that we live, move, and have our being in God.  Both statements speak accurately to our existence.  

The Israelites were told to gather only that manna which was needed for that day, the food that given by God in the wilderness journey.  The same is true for us today.  It is enough, for God lavishly provides for our needs.      

Friday, February 13, 2009

Giving All

Mark 12:41-44 (MSG)
41 Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions.
42 One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents.
43 Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together.
44 All the others gave what they'll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn't afford—she gave her all."

Giving all is a great equalizer, for no matter how much or little one has, all means the same thing for every one.  The Father  sees us all the same.  Material possessions are immaterial to Him.  The heart is what matters.   What we have is not as important as what we give and why.   

This is not an issue of money, but a teaching concerning the heart.  Jesus gave everything in love, for us and to God.  To be His disciple is to do likewise.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heaven Belongs To Such As These

Matthew 19:14-15 (NIV)
14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

The subject came up the other day of what happens to children and infants that have not come to know and accept Jesus.  Do they enter the kingdom anyway or are they destined for some other end? 

Jesus says here, “do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  They are the model citizens of the kingdom.  While they are too young to be able to know and be accountable for sin, God’s grace is sufficient for their weakness. 

Their state has parallels to Adam and Eve in the Garden before eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  It was after becoming aware of good and evil that they became accountable and were expelled from the Garden.  

Sin was in the world, but it increased when the law was given.  For the law exposed sin and knowledge of the law took away the excuse of not knowing right from wrong. 

Walking in the kingdom involves becoming like children in some ways.  Perhaps this means that children are closer to their spirit and the Spirit because they have less of the world’s imprint upon them.  Maybe this is the reason why: 

Heaven belongs to such as these

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crossing Over

Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

No longer bound for death, we still age and physically die.  Taking up our cross means that we obey God and follow His will.  Jesus did that and we are to walk, or live, as He did.  Jesus lived for God and for others.  He learned obedience and grew in the Spirit while He was on this earth.  We follow in that path.  The cross led to resurrection.  He denied Himself and willingly followed the will of God.  Our cross will likewise lead to resurrection. We will be raised like Him, with new bodies and new life.  

Everyone loses their life here in this fallen creation.  That is a given.  But Jesus tells us that if we lose our life for Him we will find it.  If we do that, eternal life is a given.  Death becomes just a passing into a most glorious life.  Our cross is finding the way and living here on earth for our Father.  

Jesus saw the glory that awaited Him on the other side of the cross.  The cross was necessary for Him to cross over to be with the Father.  In doing so, He opened the way for us to follow.  We must do the same.  His cross allows us come into the presence of God as brothers and sisters of Christ.  Our cross allows us to follow.  As Israel did long ago, crossing the Jordan River into the promised land, we enter the kingdom of God.  There is but one way to cross.   

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wisdom Of Man

Two examples of the wisdom of man came to my mind today.  In the world of commerce, the recent exposure of the dealings and darkness on Wall Street is an example of what is the inevitable outcome of man that does not look to God and keep His ways.  Serving self at the expense of others is the main focus and the highest good.  Those that were able even rewarded themselves billions in bonuses amidst failure on an unbelievable scale.  If asked about it, their most likely response would be “What?” 

The other example that came to mind is the relatively recent acceptance by the experts and scientists that the brain does not become “hard-wired” at some early stage in our development.  Despite evidence to the contrary and dismissing the few that proposed a different view that ran counter to the current accepted wisdom, the science establishment ridiculed the idea that did not fit their existing model.  Now it appears that same establishment is embracing a much more dynamic and adaptable brain model, years after the idea first surfaced.  

Truth will have its way.  The Truth of God will certainly prevail and His purpose accomplished.  The wisdom of man will be shown for what it is, even for those who place their trust in that wisdom, despite evidence to the contrary.    

Monday, February 9, 2009

His Grace

The closer we draw to God

The more we become aware of our ungodliness

Of His purity, our stain

His strength, our weakness

His love, our selfishness

His faithfulness, our unfaithfulness

His light, our darkness

His wisdom, our ignorance

His holiness, our sin


The limitless depth of His grace

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bread Of Life

John 6:46-48 (NIV)
46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
48 I am the bread of life.

Jesus states a bold and joyous truth.  There is no doubt or question in His statement.  There is no dilution for the sake of making everyone happy with where they are.  In fact, what He says has everything to do with getting everyone to where they need to be.  Playing the game of inclusion and correctness at the expense of truth only serves the Devil, adding to his domain of death. 

Accepting what Jesus says brings everlasting life.  Only He truly knows the Father and speaks the Father’s Words.  Only the bread of life comes from heaven.  He plainly speaks:

“I am the bread of life.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going Along

Ephesians 4:17-21 (MSG)
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.
20 But that's no life for you. You learned Christ!
21 My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus.

Losing touch with God is losing touch with reality.  Feeling no pain means that the Spirit is absent.  The heart has been severed from God and there is no remorse.  The open wound of that separation leads to attempts for self healing.  As a result, freedom is lost in obsessions and addictions.  Because there is no pain, there is no awareness of bondage.  We don’t feel the chaffing of the chains.  

Here we are reminded that we need to hold on the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus.  His Word is the Word of God.  Any variation or deviation usually leads away from God.  

We are to walk with God instead of going along with the crowd.  The crowd is prone to mill about and wander.  Walking with God keeps both our thinking and path straight. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What They Serve

John 16:1-4 (NIV)
1 "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.
2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.
3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.

People do many things in the name of God without knowing God.  Jesus was speaking of those in His day that claimed to be God’s chosen ones, yet would see killing someone who disagrees with what they believe as a service to God. They even killed God’s own Son for this reason.

That same darkness flourishes today.  People kill other people in God’s name, but not for God as revealed in His Word.  Many attend church in God’s name, but are not filled with the Spirit.  There are some who claim to be Christians but will say there is more than one way to God.  

God allows this for His purpose.  He does not seek that anyone would perish, but that all would come to Him.   But the time He allows for the choice of salvation will not go on forever. 

Jesus said that anyone receiving Him receives the Father.  Anyone rejecting Him rejects the Father.  

The Word of God reveals the characteristics and qualities of the ones who know God and are known by Him.  Jesus embodied them and revealed them to us.  Murder is not one of them.  Actions that are not based on love do not come from God and do not serve Him.  What they serve is something or someone else.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


John 1:6-9 (NIV)
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

John had a unique place in the revelation of Christ.  It was given to him to announce the coming of the Lord and to identify Jesus as the Lamb of God.  He came as a witness to the light which shines on everyone in the world.  His witness was the signal that the unfolding of the kingdom of God was at hand.  

The Lord told John to look for a sign.  The sign was given.  John witnessed the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus.  He testified to that fact.  He announced the coming light.  

Like John, you and I are now witnesses of that same light.  Unlike John, we witness from within the kingdom of God.  That same Holy Spirit that descended upon Jesus has now come to us who believe.  The light spreads and grows as we reflect that holy light, as we witness to the grace and truth in Jesus.  Like Christ, that witness is in word and deed.  The purpose is the same: that all men might believe.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Two Sins

Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)
13 "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

The one who does not believe and follow after God offers proof that God does exist and so does the need to be with Him.  Even as they deny the spring of living water, they dig their own cisterns to catch the water.  With their own hands they dig and for naught.  On their own the life they fashion will not work.  Dirty hands are the only reward for their labor.  

These two sins are two sides of the same thing.  Forsaking God leaves only self.  Self without God is like a cancerous cell.  It multiplies out of control and ends in death. 

Life in the body of Christ is the way we were meant to live.  Life outside the body of Christ is a broken cistern, incapable of holding water.  

Come, take of the living water

Quench your thirst

Sunday, February 1, 2009