Thursday, January 31, 2013

When A Land Sins - Ezekiel 14:12-14

Ezekiel 14:12-14 ESV
And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.

The leader of our nation in his first term of office said America was no longer a Christian nation. His actions reveal his preference and support for Islam, which denies the Son and therefore the Father.

Our nation has shrugged off the hand of God. The bread of heaven is increasingly rejected and there is a famine in the land for the word of God. Our nation is led by those who revel in a world apart from God, who have exchanged His truth and light for a lie. His hand no longer protects us, but comes against us.

The Lord is faithful and He will deliver His own. As Noah found safety in the ark during the flood, so will we reach dry land in the present ark, which is the body of Christ.

If we endure and remain faithful, we will eat from the tree of life.

Genesis 6:7-8
So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Isaiah 3:3-5
the captain of fifty
and the man of rank,
the counselor and the skillful magician
and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes,
and infants shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another,
every one his fellow
and every one his neighbor;
the youth will be insolent to the elder,
and the despised to the honorable.

Proverbs 11:4-5
Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.

2 Peter 2:9-10
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,

James 5:11
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Right Spirit -Psalms 51:10-12

Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

A right spirit is one that is able to stand before God. Only God can make such a spirit through the presence of His Holy Spirit. His Sprit with ours upholds and lifts us if we are willing. If we have His Spirit we stand in His presence and He is with us. One day we will be with Him. We will more fully enter the kingdom with both feet of our new body. The joy of our salvation begins when we are born again into the kingdom of God which has no end.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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

Titus 3:5-7
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

1 Peter 1:22-23
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We Uphold The Law - Romans 3:31

Romans 3:31 ESV
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

The Law was not an afterthought or reaction. It was a step in getting a people ready.
It reflected the glory of God and prepared the way for faith. Jesus was the only one to fulfill the law.

Psalms 40:8
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.”

Matthew 5:17-18
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Galatians 3:17-22
This is what I mean:the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Who Are Called - Romans 1:5-6

Romans 1:5-6 ESV
through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

The Greek word translated as "called" includes the sense of invitation. God extends His mercy to all. Those that answer enter into the body of Christ. They become the called, the saints, and the Bride of Christ. It is the offer and acceptance that constitute being called.

Peter seems to tell us our calling initiates a walk that leads to the eternal kingdom. Jesus is the way. Stay true to that path.

κλητοσ kletos 10x called, invited, in NT called to privileges or function, (MCGDON)

2 Peter 1:10-11
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Like The Beasts -Psalms 49:20

Psalms 49:20 ESV
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Today our surroundings and circumstance have little to do with reality, except from the choices we make in this world. They will determine our eternity. Pomp and understanding have little to do with each other. The Psalmist likens a man without understanding to a beast in the field. A man with understanding has been quickened, born anew with the Spirit of the living God.

Man puffed up with his own understanding will perish. The beast that rises from the sea will be destroyed. We do not want to be part of that herd.

Proverbs 10:21
The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.

Ecclesiastes 3:19
For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jesus Met them -Matthew 28:8-10

Matthew 28:8-10 NASB
And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus *said to them, “ Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

They turned and ran from the tomb to share their joy. Jesus was no longer confined in death and the sins of man, and had risen from the darkness to the light of life. That is where Jesus met them: on the way. He is the way. We shall see Him.

A River -Psalms 46:4-7

Psalms 46:4-7 ESV
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Who is this city but the church, the New Jerusalem? What could the river be other than the Holy Spirit Who gives comfort and joy? We are the temple of His Holy habitation, for He is with us.

Hallelujah and Amen

Revelation 22:1-2
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Your Throne - Psalms 45:6-7

Psalms 45:6-7 NIV
Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Upon His Throne the resurrected Jesus sits. We are called companions and brothers and sisters to the risen Lord. His kingdom has begun and is to come. Satan is no longer the strongman holding captives that were chained to death. Jesus has led freed souls to the presence of God. The oil of joy He shares with us, the Holy Spirit of the Most High God Almighty. We have entered into the fellowship of the Trinity.

Daniel 2:44
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

Luke 3:22
and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Romans 8:29-30
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

A Divine Spirit -Genesis 41:38-40

Genesis 41:38-40 NASB
Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.”

Most other translations have the Spirit of God as the the source of divine revelation. The Hebrew word for god is plural. I suspect Pharaoh is not acknowledging the supremacy o the God of Joseph, but the divine as he knew it.

Genesis 41:37-40 NIV
The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Genesis 41:37-40 ESV
This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.”

Genesis 41:37-40 AMP
And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man’s equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God?
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are.
You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

We Might Become - Titus 3:4-8

Titus 3:4-8 ESV
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

Grace is ours due to His mercy. Acting on that grace is something we choose. Believing is our chief work. Acting on that belief is our due response and evidence of accepting the word of the gospel.

Romans 8:16-17
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

1 Timothy 1:15-16
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

1 John 5:10-12
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Until The Flood Came - Matthew 24:36-41

Matthew 24:36-41 NASB
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Life goes on as it always has, right? Yes it has, but no it won't, not forever. The end will reached. Just as a child does not understand getting old, we have trouble perceiving the transitory nature of the cosmos. That reality is best informed by the Holy Spirit. We have been given a peek of the end from where we are.

We have already entered the ark that is the body of Jesus. Satan has opened his mouth to flood the world with deception. Those not in the ark will be swept away. They will not understand until the flood comes.

Revelation 12:15-17
And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

You Have opened - Psalm 40:6-8

Psalms 40:6-8 NASB
Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

The Greek word translated as "opened" could also mean pierced. If this was the case it could be implying a voluntary, completely committed relationship. "Behold, I come".

Jesus came to do the will of the Father. We trust in Him and the law is written in our hearts.
Our names are in the book of life.
Let us listen to the joy of our salvation.

Exodus 21:5-6
But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man, ’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Flesh And Bones - Luke 24:37-43

Luke 24:37-43 ESV
But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

When Jesus left the tomb, the tomb was empty. He rose from the grave, His old body transformed into an incorruptible body. He said He was flesh and bones.

When He returns, we will see Him as He is and we will be like Him.

Does that mean when He ascended into the clouds He rose in the form of the new body? Is He still that way? Is that what is meant when it says we are seated with Him on His throne?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Last Shall Be First - Matthew 20:15-16

Matthew 20:15-16 NASB
Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous? ’ So the last shall be first, and the first last.”

God has shown an amazing grace and unbelievable mercy to mankind. The theme of God calling for a different order from the normal thinking of man appears frequently in the pages of the Bible. In numerous families it is the younger who receives the blessing. Jesus revealed Himself to the low and last of society. The prodigal son came home to an ecstatic father, but resentful brother. The Gentiles will respond to the gospel before the Jews.

We are told and shown that this was God's plan from the beginning. There is little order and structure in the new order. We are the same with Christ as the head, part of His body, and all have claim to the wonderful inheritance of eternal life with God.

Romans 9:30-33
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written,
“ Behold, I lay in Zion A stone of stumbling and A rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Acts 13:45-47
But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began contradicting the things spoken by Paul, and were blaspheming. Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us,
‘ I have placed You as A light for the Gentiles,
That You may bring salvation to the end of the earth. ’”

2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Never Be Ashamed - Psalms 34:5

Psalms 34:5 NASB

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.

David joyfully speaks of those who had experience the light of the presence of The Lord. Their glow indicates a steady and trusting reliance. The Hebrew word, translated here as "ashamed", contains the sense of something hidden from sight, something better suited for a dark place.

The psalmist says this will never happen to those who seek after The Lord. In Him there is no stain of darkness.

חפר (ḥāpar I), q. dig, seek, scout out (H2916).

2. The nonliteral significance is found in wisdom contexts, where it describes the preparation of a pit (שׁחת, Ps 35:7; גומצ, Eccl 10:8). For example, the psalmist prays that divine retribution (Retribution) may overtake the wicked so that their plotting against others will turn against themselves:“Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug (NIDOTTE)

Ecclesiastes 8:1
Keep the King's Command
Who is like the wise?
And who knows the interpretation of a thing?
A man's wisdom makes his face shine,
and the hardness of his face is changed.

Psalms 121:1-2
My Help Comes from the Lord
A Song of Ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Isaiah 60:5
Then you shall see and be radiant;
your heart shall thrill and exult,
because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
Psalms 4:6-7
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Power Of the Tongue - Proverbs 18:21

Proverbs 18:21 ESV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Control of the tongue mirrors the state of the heart. We will be judged by our words.

If we confess Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior, we pass from death to life.

Matthew 12:33-37
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

That The King May Come In -Psalms 24:7-10

Psalms 24:7-10 ESV
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory!

The gates represent towns and the people therein, the whole of humanity.
God calls out to all hearts.
They must lift their heads, turning eyes cast down to heaven above.
There is the King of glory and The Lord of hosts, Who sits above all.

Now He stands at the door and knocks. Listen for His voice and join the song of thanks and salvation, that you share in His glory.

Revelation 3:20-22
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ’”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Wind Becomes Still - Matthew 14:22-32

Matthew 14:22-32 The Voice Bible

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on to the other side of the sea while He dismissed the crowd. Then, after the crowd had gone, Jesus went up to a mountaintop alone (as He had intended from the start). As evening descended, He stood alone on the mountain, praying.
The boat was in the water, some distance from land, buffeted and pushed around by waves and wind. Deep in the night, when He had concluded His prayers, Jesus walked out on the water to His disciples in their boat. The disciples saw a figure moving toward them and were terrified.
Disciple:It’s a ghost!
Another Disciple:A ghost? What will we do?
Jesus: Be still. It is I. You have nothing to fear.
Peter: Lord, if it is really You, then command me to meet You on the water.
Jesus: Indeed, come.
Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water and began walking toward Jesus. But when he remembered how strong the wind was, his courage caught in his throat and he began to sink.
Peter:Master, save me!
Immediately Jesus reached for Peter and caught him.
Jesus:O you of little faith. Why did you doubt and dance back and forth between following Me and heeding fear?
Then Jesus and Peter climbed in the boat together, and the wind became still.

Similarities could be drawn from this story to the ongoing experience of the church in the world between the appearances of our Lord.

We enter into the ark of the body of Christ which floats in the waters of a fallen world, buffeted by the storms of life, we are on a journey with a destination of another shore that lies before us.

Jesus came into our world, then sent us on the way to salvation, leaving us to return to the Father. It is upon this rock and mountain in which we trust and hope.

He will return in the night at a time unexpected, but right on time.

Many times we act on our belief, taking a step of faith, only to find ourselves sinking in doubt. When we cry out to The Lord, we find the strength of His hand in our lives, helping us get back in the boat. Back in the boat we find our fears fade in the light of His presence. And the wind becomes still.

Monday, January 14, 2013

They Saw The Signs -John 6:1-4

John 6:1-4 ESV
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.

Seeing signs can be deceiving if one doesn't know what they mean or what's behind them. The AntiChrist will perform signs and wonders, but they won't be from God. They will serve to draw souls into the depths of destruction.

Jesus separated Himself from the crowd, retiring to the mountain which may symbolize the kingdom and power of God. Here he rests in the company of His disciples. The Passover feast pointed to and prepared the way of the man that was to be the ultimate Passover Lamb. This is the Lamb provided by The Lord to save all mankind. This will be a Passover that will change the world. Just as God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, so He is about to deliver mankind.

Exodus 12:17
And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.

IJohn 11:55-57
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

Revelation 13:11-15
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Their Worship Of Me

Isaiah 29:13 NIV
The Lord says: "These people* come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips,* but their hearts are far from me.* Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men

Too many times we find a disconnect between our lips and heart. In fact, the connections between mind, heart, lips, and spirit can be quite convoluted and mysterious. We speak without thinking and we do things without knowing why.

It is important that we pay particular attention to the truth when we worship The Lord. A clear conscience before The Lord is a guide as we move and grow in our walk with Him. What affects our conscience can change with our understanding and experience. As we journey into the mind of Christ, our thinking continues in the transformation and renewing of our minds made possible by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gave the Boy A Drink - Genesis 21:17-19

Genesis 21:17-19 NIV
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

The descendants of Hagar will prosper and become a great nation. A remnant will turn to Jesus at the last day. Just as the angels opened the eyes of Hagar, their eyes will see the truth at last and their mouths will drink from well of living water.

Isaiah 35:5-6
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

His Presence - Psalms 105:4

Psalms 105:4 NASB
Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

Psalms 105:4 NIV
Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.

Psalms 105:4 ESV
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

It is interesting to note the Hebrew word translated variously as "face" or "presence" is plural in meaning, but singular in voice. One might be reminded that God is revealed as Three-in-One, the Trinity.

פּנים * pânı̂ym * paw-neem' * Plural (but always used as a singular)

Heart's Desire - Psalm 20:4

Psalms 20:4 ESV
May he grant you your heart's desire
and fulfill all your plans!

The ultimate desire of our heart is The Lord. It is for Him we are made and find our rest. It is through Him that we transform into who we are.

Psalms 145:19-20
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

Psalms 37:4-6
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Last Hour - 1John 2:18-23

1 John 2:18-23 ESV
Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.

Christ had to come before there could be an antichrist. John tells us that many antichrists are among us. The tares are plentiful in and among the wheat. Satan has sown his seed in the fertile earth, where it finds root and home through deceit and lies.

John proclaims there is truth. Jesus is the Son of God. Satan will tell you otherwise.
There is no lie if there is no truth. There is one ultimate truth. Confessing that truth brings one into the presence of God.

The last hour has begun. We find ourselves in the pause before the wrath of God is released at the sound of a trumpet. Time has gone by as the harvest grows and matures. The season will not last forever.

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Mark 13:22-23
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
John 10:27-30
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Has Revealed To Us - 1Corinthians 2:7-13

1 Corinthians 2:7-13 ESV
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

Paul tells us that his gospel is the wisdom of God and is His intent and decree from before the ages. This is the answer to all the questions of why and who am I?

Paul goes on to make an astounding statement:
"these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God"

What God has prepared for us He has revealed to us through the Spirit. We are baptized into that Spirit when we accept Jesus. We are given the Spirit of God as we embark on a journey into the mind of Christ. We enter into the life of God.

Romans 16:25-27
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What Is Man? - Job 7:17-18

Job 7:17-18 ESV
What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning
and test him every moment?

God is looking for His children.

A Form Was Before My Eyes - Job 4:12-19

Job 4:12-19 ESV
“Now a word was brought to me stealthily;
my ear received the whisper of it.
Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men,
dread came upon me, and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.
A spirit glided past my face;
the hair of my flesh stood up.
It stood still,
but I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
there was silence, then I heard a voice:
‘Can mortal man be in the right before God?
Can a man be pure before his Maker?
Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
how much more those who dwell in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like the moth.

Satan whispers in Job's ear words that draw and play on the doubts and fears deep in Job's soul. He spins words of deception as he did in the Garden. It is easy sink in the water of faith, just as Peter did while walking to Jesus on the sea.

We all ask the questions of the why and how of our existence. We sometimes encounter experiences and circumstance which rattle belief and faith. We usually find we learn a little more about ourselves and perhaps we might understand God in a different and deeper way. The likelihood of this taking place increases as we grow older and come closer to the shedding of this body.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Have You Considered? - Job1:6-8

Job 1:6-8 ESV
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Perhaps God was trying to get Satan to consider a different path than the one he had chosen. Instead of to and fro, up and down on the earth, he might reflect on a man in right standing before God.

We are not always privy to the mysteries of God. We often do not understand our circumstances or trials and we can lose heart, faith, and resolve so easily. Job has, then loses everything. He doesn't understand why in the end, but he understands better who he is and the God Who created him. He ends with much more than he had.

We are given life that we might be with Him. That life is filled by many and various experiences. In the end it brings us to the same place, before He that judges all things.

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world— he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

John 6:70-71
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

1 Peter 5:8-11
Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Scattered -Genesis 11:1-9

Genesis 11:1-9 NIV
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

As the children of Noah expanded into the nations, they wandered further from God until they began to see themselves as the master of their own fate. This is a common frailty of man, to trust in one's own strength and wisdom. They decided to make a name for themselves rather than call on the name of The Lord.

Their aim was to create their own path to heaven. God has provided a way to heaven and there is only one name that opens that door, His Son Jesus.

The Tower of Babel is well represented in our world today in our pride and arrogance. Many are comfortable with the idea that we have or can find the answer to all our problems. Many find the idea of God to be a primitive notion held by the weak and simple. If they do believe in a God and heaven, the idea that God has provided the single way to approach Him is unacceptable and mean spirited.

Adam didn't listen to God either. Eve handed him the forbidden fruit and he ate it. They were expelled from the Garden just as these people in the plain of Shinar found themselves scattered after all. These things are written so that we might understand.

Zephaniah 3:9
Restoration of Israel’s Remnant
“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
that all of them may call on the name of the Lord
and serve him shoulder to shoulder.

Acts 2:6-8
When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked:“Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

Zechariah 5:7-11
Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed its lead cover down on it.
Then I looked up—and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.
“Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.
He replied, “To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When the house is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.”

Psalms 49:11-13
Their inner thought is that their houses are forever
And their dwelling places to all generations;
They have called their lands after their own names.
But man in his pomp will not endure;
He is like the beasts that perish.
This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words.

Daniel 4:30-32
The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? ’ While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. ’

Psalms 92:9
For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord,
For, behold, Your enemies will perish;
All who do iniquity will be scattered.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Receiving Glory -John 5:41-47

John 5:41-47 ESV
I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you:Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Whom we seek to please tells the story of what we believe. We are formed and transformed by the things we love. This can work for us or against us. Attention is needed.

Just because we know the truth, it does not automatically mean we operate on that truth. Israel had the word of God and witnessed His provision and might, yet they were prone to wander in thought and deed. We are no different. Knowing what is good for us is not always what we choose.

The rules of life have been established. How we choose to play is up to each one. We will be judged by those rules, unless we reach for the grace of Jesus. We must lift our sight from the words of Scripture to the Word of God, His very Son. We must go beyond the limits of our eyes to seeing with the heart. The Spirit speaks to spirit. He is the object, the beginning and end of the story, which brings us into eternity.

John 7:18-19
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

Romans 2:29
But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

John 9:28-30
And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.

Romans 2:17-21
But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?

Luke 24:27
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-45
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Acts 26:22-23
To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.”

1 John 2:15-17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

You Search -John 5:37-40

John 5:37-40 ESV
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

The word of God goes beyond the printed word of Scripture, though it is part of the revelation of God, and it is an alive and ongoing revelation through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Christ is that word spoken and still heard, ringing through these very words of Scripture and the lives of those whose hearts have received the words of life. Love is given voice and form in the body of Christ here on earth. Reading the word does not guarantee eternal life, but believing the word does.

Experiencing God is made possible by the one sent from the Father. He came to provide access to the Father in two ways. He first overcame sin and death, removing that insurmountable barrier between man and God. In doing so, He displayed the divine glory in human form that we might come to Him. We then begin to take on the attributes of the divine as we immerse into the body of Christ, united by the Spirit.

1 Timothy 6:13-16
I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

1 John 1:1-2
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—

James 1:21
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bear Witness -John 5:30-35

John 5:30-35 ESV
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

Three witnesses come into view in these verses. Jesus is clear that He speaks the word of God in all He says and He is sent by God to proclaim that word. God sends a witness to prepare the way for His Son. God gives witness to both men. Though they have different roles, they were both prophesied long ago in keeping with God's plan. There is one light of the world. The morning star has risen and we all give witness to His light. It is the light of judgement and truth.

Isaiah 11:3-4
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Romans 15:3-4
For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

John 17:4-5
I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Luke 3:21-22
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

1 John 5:6-10
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

2 Peter 1:19-21
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:76-79
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”