Friday, May 29, 2009

The Plan

Ephesians 1:5-10 (ESV)
5 he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

He loved us from the beginning. He did so in a love so great that He gave of Himself, through His Son Jesus. We might wonder why He loves us so and lavish upon us His unfathomable grace. Who can explain love? Who can explain why we are the object of this love? All we know is that He does. 

What has been revealed now is the certainty of that love, made known in the person of Christ, given to redeem us from the judgment that results from disobedience. Now we can once more walk with God as Adam did long ago in the Garden. What has been revealed is the purpose of God: to unite all things in and to Him, that is the Son. 

The unity of all things in heaven and on earth has already begun. We of the earth have been born again and now partake of heaven through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Just as heaven and earth were united in a singular, wonderful way in Jesus, so it is with us. God entered the fabric of creation through His Son. Through that same Son we are able to enter into the presence of God. Just as Jesus was limited by the constraints of flesh and blood when first He came to earth, so are we limited by that same flesh and blood as we first step into the kingdom of God. This will not be so at His second coming. We will be revealed in our true form. 

Adoption as sons and daughter is our destiny. We were predestined for forgiveness and redemption. We are called to believe and live accordingly. In the fullness of God’s time, Christ will return to consummate the union of heaven and earth. That is the plan. So it is, and so shall it be. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We Are Blessed

Ephesians 1:3-4 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Paul blesses God the Father for the blessing we have received from Him. Likewise, we love Him because He first loved us. What we receive from Him enables us to return the same to Him, to His glory, for we were made in His image for that purpose.

His ultimate blessing to us was the giving of His Son Christ Jesus. We who are in Christ partake of His resurrection and restoration as He has assumed His rightful place beside the Father. All that is in heaven is ours for we are brothers and sisters of Christ. No longer are we barred from entering the Garden of Eden, the Paradise of God. We have been reconciled and restored to that which was lost.

The only way we are able to come before God is to be holy and blameless. The only way we can be holy and blameless is to be in Christ. Christ is in the Father and the Father in Him. We are in Christ and They are in us. We are to be one with the Father Who is One. This was determined before the foundation of the world. The mystery of God is profound, but this I know: truly we are blessed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Press On

Philippians 3:13-16 (ESV) 

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

We are all on a journey. This is not all there is. In fact, we will discover how small and short is our present existence when one considers what lies ahead. God in effect spoke from heaven saying “Come up here and be with Me.” This He made possible in Christ Jesus. It is up to us to say “Here I come, give me a hand”. 

Forgetting what lies behind we should eagerly reach for what lies ahead. Every day is a new day, one that the Lord has made. There is nothing His love is unable to overcome, whether in the distant past, or something of yesterday. He makes all things new and His love is limitless. Forgetting is made possible as we rest in His forgiveness. It is then the vision of what lies ahead comes into view and that beckons the traveler. The wonder and beauty of that vision should make us want to waste no effort getting there. 

If you think you’re there, you’re not. Knowing you’re not there may be a sign you are closer than you think. In all things listen to God. 

Hold on to the gospel amidst heavy winds and murky water. The miry clay shall not stop us as we press on in the Truth of His Word. He will help and ensure we get there: our true home.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sure Foundation

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 (ESV)
12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—
13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Foundation is important. Where we put our trust is important, too important for casual treatment. Our lives are built on and lived out on a premise of belief, whether we are aware of it or not. Any other foundation than that of Jesus Christ will not stand. Like the nursery rhyme of the three little pigs, building a house on anything other than Christ will fall. 

This passage speaks of the Day of the Lord, the day He comes to judge us all. His judgment will be as fire that casts light on every part of our lives and will test all that we have done or not done. Good works in Christ will be rewarded, and all else in our lives that is contrary to His teachings will melt away in that refining fire.

For all those who put their faith in Jesus, the foundation that survives, they will survive and be rewarded for that belief and obedience. Loss will be measured in life’s moments wasted in disobedience, and where the love and light of Christ were not reflected in our lives. The worst part will be when we see the disappointment in our Father’s eyes and our reflection on what could have been. 

The good news here is that Paul writes to the church that we will be saved on that day of fire. Like the thief who believed in Jesus as they both hung on crosses was assured by our Savior of seeing Paradise, so can we be assured of being with our Lord and seeing Paradise when that final day comes. The other thief did not believe in the One sent from the Father, and like all others who do likewise, will find they stand on a foundation that will not hold. Foundation is important, and it determines had scorched we will be in the end. Let make sure we stand on the sure foundation, the rock of our salvation.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A New Thing

Ephesians 4:20-24 (ESV)
20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

How do we learn Christ, or in other words, what does it truly mean to have learned Christ, to be in Christ. This passage contains three main elements which lead to and feed one another as we grow into the author of our salvation: Jesus. I imagine a circle process between these elements as we grow into the full measure of Christ. 

The first is to put off the old self. When we repent, we turn away from self and turn to God. In doing so, we agree with God that our former life is corrupt and accept His saving grace. We begin to put off the way we used to think and see the world. The former things become distasteful and hollow. 

The second is to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Pursuing Christ involves connecting with Him through the Word, and with fellowship and worship with others. The Holy Spirit is present in all three. All three are to be done on our own as well, when in quiet moments we open our hearts to the Lord and give thanks for all He has done we enter into communion with the Holy One. That relationship with Him is essential. 

The third is to put on the new self. The first two make the third possible. Doing away with the old makes room for the new. The renewing builds up the new self, allowing the righteousness and holiness of God to enter our lives. As sons and daughters of the Father, we grow in His likeness. As we grow in His likeness, our new self shines brighter as the old self fades. 

Put off the old, renew in the spirit, put on the new. There should be a constant action and interaction of these three elements of our spiritual life. God is doing a new thing and He is doing it through us. May we be part of that as we rely on His strength and promises. 

Friday, May 22, 2009

His Right Mind

Luke 8:35 (ESV)
35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.

Jesus had encountered a man that was out of his mind, raging, naked, and living among graves.  He was an outcast, until he met Jesus.

Jesus cast out the demons, healing the man. That was bad news for a herd of nearby pigs. Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs, which then caused the pigs to dash over a cliff to their death. Perhaps Jesus did this to allow us to clearly see His power to save and the intent and goal of demonic forces: death.

The frightened herdsmen flee back to town to tell the news. The people come to find the man, “at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.” Luke does not tell us specifically why they were afraid, but they saw something they could not explain. Instead of reacting with joy, their reaction was one of fear. It has been and is the reaction of many when they encounter Jesus. There is no middle ground between accepting or rejecting the Son of God.

The man’s reaction was quite different. He sat at the feet of Jesus in his right mind, for that is the only mind that is possible at the Savior’s feet, as God intended. He must have been clothed by the disciples, which speaks of our part in God’s plan. He was not afraid, but at peace; he was in his right mind. May we be found in that same position.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hardening And Melting

Isaiah 6:8-10


8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." 9 And he said, "Go, and say to this people:


 "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand;

keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'

10  Make the heart of this people dull,

and their ears heavy,

and blind their eyes;

 lest they see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears,

and understand with their hearts,

and turn and be healed."



Isaiah is sent to the people of Israel to speak these words as a result of their continuing disobedience. Wiersbe, in his Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, speaks of the Word of God hardening and blinding the sinner who will not listen and yield. He says, “The sun that melts the ice also hardens the clay.” 

The melting and the hardening happen over time. Just as the truth convinces some, others disbelieve and turn away. The more they resist, the easier it becomes. The longer they remain on the path of resistance, the further they travel from the truth of God. They become more entrenched against the truth, or hardened. 

At some point God gives them over to their desires. He stands at the door and knocks, but at some point He stops knocking. Their choice brings about their circumstance, like the choice made in the Garden of Eden. 

The good news is that turning to God has the opposite effect. The heart is healed in its understanding that comes through eyes and ears that are opened to His Word. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

His Strength Is Ours

1 Samuel 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."

When Jesus came into the world He did not come as a king or with the attributes that the world believes to be an indication of strength and success. He came in the form of weakness yet He was slain by those who offended by Him and feared the power of His message. They were only concerned with maintaining their own power in the world they knew.

Even so, Jesus prevailed. He is the only one who can truly say “Do not be afraid for I overcame the world.”  He did, not by His own strength, but by the strength of God and Father Who raised Him from the dead.

It is written that God’s strength is perfected in weakness, meaning our weakness. Only when we understand our weakness and lowly state can we be lifted through the power of His strength. It is this very power that we can rely on today and will raise us in glory when He comes again.

Jesus demonstrated a way which confounds worldly thinking. Turning to the Lord is the only way of truly prevailing. Each day and for eternity, His strength is ours.   

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Even Now

Acts 28:23-27 (ESV)
23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.
24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved.
25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: "The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
26 " 'Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'

Paul preaches the gospel to the Jews in Rome and the effect then is the same as now: some were convinced, but others disbelieved. It is up to us to accept the good news. This is our part in God’s plan of salvation. 

The next verses I misinterpreted for the longest time. I read the quote from Isaiah as a curse from God as a result of their disobedience. Time and time again the Jews had disappointed a patient and loving God. I thought He had given up on them, taking away the possibility of understanding and healing. That is not what is being said here. Our Father would have embraced them in a heartbeat. His healing was there if only they would turn to Him: “I would heal them”. 

Understanding with the heart implies faith, which is beyond and more visceral than merely understanding with our minds. It is the knowing beyond knowing, believing in things unseen. It is evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Even today the Lord holds out His hand to those who would turn to Him. In that turning, He meets us where we are. Even now He waits. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

In My Father's House

John 14:2 (ESV)
2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

2 Corinthians 5:1 (ESV)
1 For we know that if the tent, which is our earthly home, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

We are here, but only for a short time though it might seem endlessly long now and then.  He is building us up even now. We are already children of God, and as such we are already included in our Father’s house, but we still grow in Christ.

Our earthly body is compared to a tent, a temporary dwelling, for that is what it is. We are here in passing. We are delivered into the body of Christ. When He is revealed so shall we for we are in Him.

It is said elsewhere we are building stones in the new temple of God, with Jesus as the cornerstone.  That is why there are many rooms. He is the first of those risen from the dead. We will follow. When mortal body is replaced by the immortal, we will see fully know our place in God’s eternal house. We are unable to comprehend the wonder and joy of that coming blessed state.

There is more than enough room for all who would partake. Jesus has prepared a place for you and me in His house. Come on in. That is why He came.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

On My Way

Acts 22:6 (ESV)
6 "As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me.

Paul speaks here of his encounter with Jesus.  Notice Paul was on his own way.  His journey was of his own choosing. His purpose and life seemed in order.  He was doing what he felt right and doing it with zeal.  Then out of nowhere a great light from heaven changes everything.  Isn’t that often the way it happens? 

What seemed to make sense in dark and muddled thinking is revealed for what it is when that great light from heaven appears.  After a period of physical blindness, Paul’s sight returned but now it was informed by the Holy Spirit and received by a spirit reborn.  He would now throw his energy into the business of God in the light of that new sight and insight. 

This is the way God comes.  We are about our own way when God makes Himself known to us.  He encounters us as we walk along a path to nowhere. We see His light shining all around and hear our name being called. We begin to see His leading. We follow with trembling legs, no longer depending on our own sight but placing our faith in the Father of our salvation and His Son Jesus.  As time goes on, our eyes of faith see more clearly as we walk in His way and that faith increases. The folly of “my way” is revealed in this wonderful light. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Touch

Luke 8:43-48 (ESV)
43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.
44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.
45 And Jesus said, "Who was it that touched me?" When all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!"
46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me."
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.
48 And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."

Jesus was on His way to heal Jarius’s daughter.  There was a crowd of people pressing around Him on all sides, calling out for healing, jostling Jesus as He made His way. 

Yet in the middle of all that confusion and pushing, there was something different in the touch of this woman. Jesus knew it when it happened. Notice the power went out of Him to the woman without any action on His part.  He just felt it take place.  

What made this woman’s touch different from the rest of the crowd?  The question is answered in verses 47 and 48: faith and confession. I would think that there were others who touched Him, but all denied it. She alone came to Him, falling on her knees before Him, and confessed. Jesus confirms her healing, calling her daughter before sending her on her way in the His peace. 

Jesus moves today within our midst.  He responds to all those who truly reach out to touch Him in faith. To those who confess, He will grant His healing and peace. In a crowd of many He responds to us individually. How we touch Him makes a difference. Have you got the touch?     

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What We Think We Have

Luke 8:16-18 (ESV)
16 "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away."

This parable was spoken to Jewish ears. They had been chosen by God to reveal His light to the world, but they had not done such a good job of it. Jesus says here that the will of God will not be thwarted. It will not come back empty, but will be made manifest, the light will prevail.  

The warning is to take care what one does with the Word. For those who happily receive it, and act accordingly, the fruit of the Word will multiply endlessly.  Those who reject the Word, who reject Jesus, will lose everything. The Jews were confident they had it made as the chosen ones of God, but that was only what they thought. God was doing a new thing. 

This parable applies to us today. What we think is not as important as what God thinks.  He will judge in the light of His Gospel.  His Word will guide us into that light. Let us not rely on what we think we have, but what we know we have in Christ. 

Let us not put our trust in ourselves

But in the God of our salvation

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All The Day Long

Psalm 25:4-5 (ESV)
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

These verses remind us that it is God that reveals Himself to us; we do not comprehend Him on our own.  He is the One Who teaches and leads.  He is the One Who gives insight to what He teaches and to the where He leads.  

It is important to remember and acknowledge that it is His Truth that leads to salvation.  He is THE GOD OF SALVATION, THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. 

The journey begins with the heart.  As we humbly begin to search our heart we are at the place to discover the One Who searches all hearts.  What we first find is our sin, that which separates us from God.  When we confess or agree with God about our sins and we repent or turn away from these sins, the God of all Holiness is able to enter those places previously occupied by those very sins.  

Even this searching and confession result from His calling, of His leading and making known.  Without His searching for us none would find the way to salvation.  He has made a way.  The path is narrow for there is one path.  It is for that reason that we are to wait on Him all the day long.   

Monday, May 11, 2009


John 11:43-44 (ESV)
43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out."
44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

Jesus called out to His friend Lazarus to come out of the tomb.  He called out with full authority as the Son of God that we might recognize and know that fact, and that we might believe.  Lazarus comes forth, heeding that call.  

Jesus then gives another command, not to Lazarus, but to those around the tomb watching in expectation.  Jesus had raised him from the dead but it was left to others to unbind him and let him go. 

Today Jesus still calls to those lost and spiritually dead to come out of the darkness into the light of His grace.  It is up to us, you and I, to accept them into the body of Christ and to unwrap the bindings of the grave clothes of those answering His call into the fellowship of believers.  It is there in that fellowship that freedom is seen and learned.  The Spirit of Jesus is present in a unique way when two or more are gathered. We build up each other as we commune collectively in the Spirit, whether few or many it matters not. As others have said, we are the hands of Christ here on earth.  Let us be intentional of unbinding our brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus.   

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finding His Rest

Hebrews 4:1-2 (MSG)
1 For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God's goal for us, we need to be careful that we're not disqualified.
2 We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn't do them a bit of good because they didn't receive the promises with faith.

The people referenced in the wilderness are those Israelites who were freed from the bonds of slavery in Egypt and were on their way to Canaan, the Promised Land.  But they didn’t make it because of unbelief and disobedience.  Despite the many miracles they witnessed, they could never trust in God and believe that He would take care of them.  Many times they longed to be back in Egypt, though life there had grown harsh.  It was a life they knew, and even though they were slaves, it seemed more attractive than relying on God in a journey filled with uncertainty. 

They had heard the promises, but they did not believe them in their heart.  The struggle with faith continues today.  There are times when a believer may wonder where God is in the midst of a trial.  Not seeing the future forces us to place our trust in God as we wander through our own places of wilderness.  Who among us can say we’ve never struggled with doubt?  There are many among us who have grown up in the church, worshiping and doing all the right things outwardly, that have never given their heart to Jesus.  They accept the promises with their mind, but have not received them in the heart. 

Jesus alone sees the heart and He alone will judge.  The heart that has been given to Him with faith will not be left in the wilderness.  He will be with us and guide us, and though we can't see the future, we know we will find His rest.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Do Not Pass On By

Genesis 18:1-3 (NKJV)
1 Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,
3 and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.

Some say when Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the three men standing there he saw God and two angels in front of him in the form of men. But I wonder if he was not seeing a manifestation of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Is this so far-fetched?  If we believe that God appeared to Abraham, it is not much of a stretch to consider this as a possibility? We understand God to be ONE and at the same time accept the Triune reality of His existence.  There is no doubt this is a mystery that boggles the mind.  There is no way to embrace this paradox except by faith and it is by faith that we believe in this marvelous thing God has done for us that we call grace. 

Abraham had certainly found favor in God’s sight.  That is in evidence by God’s appearance in the first place.  Through the faith of Abraham we have found favor as well.  That faith in God allows us to believe in His Son Jesus Christ.  There we find our rest and salvation.  For that reason God remains with us when we ask “do not pass on by Your servant.”  

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

So That No One Will Fall

Hebrews 4:11-12 (NIV)
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

The Israelites disobeyed God despite their witness of all the miracles; they did not trust in the Word of God.  The writer here warns against that same behavior in us today. 

The Bible is like no other book for it is the living and active Word of God.  It shines a light in the darkness, a light that exposes all things.  Like a sharp sword it is able to lay open that which lies in our deepest self.  It acts as a mirror that shows us our every flaw and blemish in unblinking detail.  

But it is also the window into the things of God.  As such it tells us of the way of true life.  In it we find the comfort, strength, peace, and wisdom that are only to be found in the kingdom of God

Change comes from abiding in His Word.  In doing so we can’t help but become more like Christ and less like creatures of the flesh.  No longer are we adrift in the sea of sin for our anchor is Christ.  The Word is given to us that no one will fall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sure Footing

2 Peter 3:15-18 (MSG)
15 Interpret our Master's patient restraint for what it is: salvation. Our good brother Paul, who was given much wisdom in these matters,
16 refers to this in all his letters, and has written you essentially the same thing. Some things Paul writes are difficult to understand. Irresponsible people who don't know what they are talking about twist them every which way. They do it to the rest of the Scriptures, too, destroying themselves as they do it.
17 But you, friends, are well-warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose-talking teachers.
18 Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!

Everyone has an opinion, right or wrong or in between.  We are flooded with books and TV programs espousing one view or another.  This also applies to those with whom we interact. Some opinions are based on the Scriptures and provide sound interpretations suitable for increasing our understanding and building up the church.  We accordingly receive a blessing in our contemplation and life in the kingdom of God

But there are many who put forth interpretations or views that, while based on Scriptures, distort or run contrary to those very Scriptures.  There are many who put forth ideas totally apart from the Word of God. They come from a place of ignorance or motivated by darker impulses. 

Here Peter warns us to be on guard.  Read the Bible for yourself.  Talk and worship with people you trust.  Ask for forgiveness and forgive others. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth.  Walk in His light daily.  We are told that if we ask for wisdom it will given.  He will not refuse His children. For those who abide in Christ, He will abide in them.  If we do these things we can rest assured that we will grow in grace and understanding.  We will not lose our footing and our steps will be sure.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enemies Of Mine

Luke 19:26-27 (NIV)
26 "He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"

Here is a parable of Jesus which depicts a side of Him not often spoken of from the pulpit these days.  More focus is given to the Jesus as the sacrificed lamb rather than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Rarely do we hear of the coming judgment.  

We would do well to consider this parable of the minas and its implications.  Jesus tells of a man who went away to receive a kingdom.  He gives various amounts of minas to his different servants.  One does nothing with his mina and hides it away.  When asked why he does not give a good answer, his reply reveals he did not know his master.  The master orders his mina to be taken away and given to the servant who had doubled what he had been given.  When those standing around objected, he replied as above. 

The master’s reply may seem harsh.  The thought of the king in this parable being Jesus is more than a little uncomfortable for some, unpalatable for others.  Some people might be inclined to ignore these kinds of verses but focusing on selected parts of the revelation does not make the uncomfortable parts go away.  The entire Word of God must be considered when seeking the full revelation of God.  To minimize or downplay certain portions is a disservice to believers and to God.  A full and true understanding of our Lord, as much as we are able to discern this side of heaven, is important in our walk as disciples. 

May the Holy Spirit guide in this matter as we seek His kingship.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Redeeming The Time

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise,
16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJV)
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

I heard or read not long ago that the term fools was used to refer to someone who did not recognize God.  You can’t get more foolish than that. 

The definition of circumspectly means being wary of risk, which is another way of saying being very careful.  This is a most useful warning of how and where we to walk.  The days are full of evil indeed. 

I like the NKJV translation using the word “redeeming” in reference to time, our time left here on earth.  Christ redeemed you and me; shedding His blood for all that we would be reconciled to God.  Through that sacrifice we are brought into a new life as a new creature.  We are told to continue that transformation through the renewing of our minds. 

Time is redeemed then as we experience life in a new way.  Just as we have been redeemed, we are to likewise walk differently, living each moment growing in the light of Christ.  We are to leave our days of evil behind, giving ourselves each day for the glory of the Lord.  Time is no longer an incremental movement toward destruction, but changes into the beginning of a wonderful eternity for the wise.  Let us then be about the business of redeeming the time.