Monday, June 30, 2014

One Light - Genesis 1:3

Genesis 1:3
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

We each encounter the light in different ways. Paul on the road to Damascus. Moses seeing a burning bush from afar. The fire of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. 

There is one light of God. There is no darkness in that light. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Unformed - Psalms 139:13-16

Psa 139:13-16 ESV 
For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works;my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.

This passage brings to mind the creation story in Genesis. The light came forth over an unformed earth, the very depths of the deep. The light would shine and draw some from the darkness. From the depths of the deep, from our mother's womb, would come a people who would rise and walk as a new creation in the kingdom of God. 

Born of flesh and water, we are formed and reborn into the image of God, into the image of the risen Christ. 

Then the sea will be no more. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Confess And Believe - Romans 10:8-10

Romans 10:8-10 ESV 
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

The word is near in the sense of being within our grasp. Salvation is possible because God has made it so. We only need to reach out to Him and He will take our hand. This happens inside a man. 

Taking God's hand is done in the heart. It is the state of a heart given to God. It cannot be faked because all hearts are before Him and are judged in truth. In the heart is the reality of belief and it serves as the vessel of faith. This is where the Holy Spirit makes His home. 

Equally required is confession. This implies the outward reflection of the inward reality of a changed heart. A changed heart will manifest through our words and actions. This is the fruit of the Spirit God expects. Fruitless branches will be pruned and cut off from the vine. 

The word is defined for us. Jesus is The Lord and He has overcome the curse of death. In Him we have life. Good news indeed!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When Did We See You? - Matthew 25:44-46

Matthew 25:44-46 ESV 
Then they also will answer, saying, ‘ Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? ’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘ Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me. ’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

When did we see you? The righteous and the unrighteousness alike did not see The Lord and ask a valid question. 

Jesus answers confirming the royal law of loving God and loving our fellow man. We demonstrate our love of God through our love for others. Our world serves to teach of God and provide a place to practice what we have learned. We see God when we see each other. 

We are here to find love and be that love, for God is love. 

It doesn't matter what we say or do if it is not done in love. Love comes from the heart. The only thing that counts is faith working through love. 

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

For Those Who Are Called - Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 ESV 
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Not all things are good. Some are bad, even very bad. There is something to be learned in all our experiences. In the midst of this life God is always good. When we allow Him to come in the midst of our life, we partake of His life. Goodness and mercy will follow us all of our days. 

Notice this is not the case for everyone. It only applies to those who have answered His call. For those who do not answer His call all things will end badly. 

It is a terrible thing to fall into hands of The Lord. That fall is initiated when we encounter the stone of stumbling and fail to recognize the cornerstone of life. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who Gathers - Isaiah 56:6-8

Isaiah 56:6-8 ESV 
“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it,
and holds fast my covenant —
 these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
 their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.”
 The Lord God,
 who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
 “I will gather yet others to him
besides those already gathered.”

The holy mountain of God will be a gathering place for all peoples. His chosen people will return to this mountain and join with those who have joined themselves to The Lord in His house of prayer. This is the end seen from the beginning and the outworking of the word. 

The offerings and sacrifices of blood will give way to the sacrifice of prayer upon the alter of Christ. The new and final covenant will at last deliver the worshippers sought by God. 

This is the way to God as He predestined before the foundation of the world. This is what is meant in 1 Peter. Jesus was foreknown before the foundation of the world because God knew what He is going to do. This new thing is new only to us. 

1 Peter 1:20-21
He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Forgiveness Of These - Hebrews 10:14-18

Hebrews 10:14-18 ESV 
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
 “ This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
 then he adds,
 “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The Holy Spirit confirms our holiness. We are sealed by His presence. The same Spirit that descended and remained on Jesus has been given to us. 

God has revealed Himself as Creator and Father, Savior and Son, and the Spirit who dwells with our spirit. We become the worshipers sought by God, those who worship in spirit. 

Sin is remembered no more. There is forgiveness of these. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First And Last - Mark 10:31

Mark 10:31 ESV 
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

The kingdom of God is different from the world. What is important in the world has no weight in the kingdom of peace. The meek will inherit the earth. Not those who are weak, but those who are strong enough to overcome the world. 

This strength is not our own. It is the power of The Lord that makes this possible. 

Jesus said the one who serves everyone else will be the greatest in His kingdom. This happens when spirit rises over the flesh and the light of The Lord shines brightly in the life of the new man. 

The norm of taking will give way to the joy of giving. The high places and the low places will be smoothed into the level place of a new creation. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stand On Your Feet - Ezekiel 2:1-2

Ezekiel 2:1-2 ESV 
 And he said to me, “ Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

It is necessary for man to stand before God to be able to hear Him. The only way to stand before God is to have the Holy Spirit raise the man. Then we can hear the Lord.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Our Work - James 2:26

James 2:17 ESV 
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

James 2:22
You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

James 2:26
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Galatians 5:25
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

Believing in Christ is an ongoing and active thing. Receiving Christ means receiving love. Receiving His love means we are transformed by that love. It is an activity of God that begets activity in man. We then set out on a journey and walk in His light and Spirit. We love God in part by our love for our fellow man. 

If we do not walk and love we are dead. 

Faith without love is no faith at all. 

This is our work: to walk with Him and to love with Him. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

With A Human Appearance - Ezekiel 1:26-28

Ezekiel 1:26-28 ESV 
And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.
Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

The glory of The Lord is before us in the first chapter of Ezekiel. The description of this vision conveys the majesty and the sovereignty of God Almighty. The image is but a vehicle used to impart the truth of God through the symbols in this vision.  The truth is not the images themselves, but the content of the message. 

The earth lies at the feet of The Lord. Every knee shall bow. 

We might also note that the one seated on the throne has the appearance of a man. We may be reminded that we are made in His image and we will be like Him. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perfect - Hebrews 10:1

Hebrews 10:1 ESV 
 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

Hebrews 10:10
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14
For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Can we achieve perfection? No. We are incapable. 

Are we perfect in Christ? Yes. He is more than able. 

Are we sanctified in Christ? Yes. We are made holy by the Holy One of God. When God says be holy as I am holy this is more than commandment. It is a blessing and confirmation. 

If we remain in the body of Christ, we are holy and acceptable to the Father. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Two Images - 1 Corinthians 15:49

1 Corinthians 15:49
Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Christ as man was predestined before creation. As He bore the image of the man of dust, so will we bear the image of the man of heaven. Those who believe God are predestined to be like Him. 

We are the earth that the seed of the word is sown, which is Christ. He entered into our dust to reveal the truth and grace of God. A great harvest will result. The fruit of the Spirit will prosper and mature to reveal the glory of God. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

No Place - Revelation 20:11

Revelation 20:11 ESV 
 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.

The current heaven and earth will disappear and a new heaven and earth will take its place. No longer will things be divided between light and dark. God's light will fill the earth. Darkness will give way, and like the sea, will be no more. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

In The Ground - Matthew 25:18

Matthew 25:18 ESV 
But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master 's money.

We are given the gift of life and a great opportunity to live and find the purpose of that life. It is easy to squander this gift. We encounter many distractions and temptations along the way. Not knowing the value of our riches, we often leave them on the shelf or hide them in the debris of worldly life. 

Receiving grace means doing something with this wonderful gift. Letting it bear fruit in keeping with that undeserved grace so that it is not extended in vain is our highest highest purpose and God's intent. 

Don't bury your riches in the ground. 

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Do Not Know You - Matthew 25:10-12

Matthew 25:10-12 ESV 
And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘ Lord, lord, open to us. ’ But he answered, ‘ Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. ’

Those ready left with the bridegroom for a joyous celebration, while the foolish sought the oil they should have had all along. The truly frightening prospect of being on the wrong side of the door to heaven when it shuts is before us. The grim reality of choice will be clear. We choose and then He will choose. He alone opens and shuts the door. 

The foolish came eventually, on their own and not with The Lord. They knocked on the closed door that was open for so long and they cried out, "Lord, lord, open to us." 

Then they heard the words, "I do not know you."

Though they had lamps in hand, they had not walked with The Lord. It is in that walk we know and become known. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Are Grass - Isaiah 40:6-8

Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV 
The Word of God Stands Forever
 A voice says, “ Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
 All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

People are equated to the frailty and transitory nature of grass when compared to the strength and eternal reality of God. 

The word of God will enable man to stand forever in the presence of God and flower into a life that does not fade. It changes a man from grass that will die to a tree rooted in the Garden of Life. It is nourished by the river that flows from the throne of God. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Some Of Your Oil - Matthew 25:8-9

Matthew 25:8-9 ESV 
And the foolish said to the wise, ‘ Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. ’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘ Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. ’

The lamps had been trimmed and made ready, but there was something missing in the lamps of the foolish. The oil had not been replenished as they had waited. Their lamps were lit, but about to go out. The foolish recognized their situation and tried to solve the problem at the last minute. 

The wise were not able to help the foolish. Each person will stand alone before The Lord, whether they have been foolish or wise. What one person has done will not save another. They can help bring a person to The Lord, but the relationship between any person and The Lord will be judged on its own. 

Luke 8:18
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.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Much Moore - Romans 5:8-11

Romans 5:8-11 ESV 
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

To deny Christ is to deny God and the love of God. This is the spirit of antiChrist, or the spirit of Satan. 

By this love we are saved from our sin and become much more. We become like the Son, Who is one with the Father, Who is one with us. 

It is much more than being saved, much more. 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Inheritance - Ezekiel 46:16-18

Ezekiel 46:16-18 ESV 
“Thus says the Lord God:If the prince makes a gift to any of his sons as his inheritance, it shall belong to his sons. It is their property by inheritance. But if he makes a gift out of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his to the year of liberty. Then it shall revert to the prince; surely it is his inheritance —it shall belong to his sons. The prince shall not take any of the inheritance of the people, thrusting them out of their property. He shall give his sons their inheritance out of his own property, so that none of my people shall be scattered from his property.”

The sons of God will receive an inheritance that will not be taken from the tribes of Israel. This property is the kingdom of heaven and it is in that kingdom we have begun to walk. The land promised to Israel is real and foreshadows the kingdom promised to the sons of God. 

Those that were first shall be last, and those last will be first. 

The inheritance is sure and that kingdom foreseen from the beginning.

Matthew 25:34
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘ Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Come Out - Matthew 25:6-7

Matthew 25:6-7 ESV 
But at midnight there was a cry, ‘ Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him. ’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

At the end of the day, at the end of the time God has delayed to allow all that would come to enter His kingdom, there will be a final call for the church. 

All the virgins heard the call and all the virgins rose from their sleep. They prepared to meet the bridegroom and made ready for His appearance, but some were more ready than others. Many will be called, but few will be chosen. 

Revelation 2:4-5
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Delayed - Matthew 25:5

Matthew 25:5 ESV 
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.

Sometimes waiting is the hardest part of life. Simply waiting can often make us dull, or impatient. We can lose focus and resolve all too easily when we get still and we grow weary, unless we remain intent and alert. We can get too comfortable where we are in a way that slows us down in our journey to God. 

Mark 14:37-38
And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “ Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Revelation 2:25-26
Only hold fast what you have until I come. The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,

Romans 13:11
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.