Thursday, April 24, 2014

I Am My Beloved's ...

Song of Solomon 5:16 - “His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”

If chapter four of Solomon's Song is about the king's love expressed, then chapter five epitomizes the bride's torment in separation. His desire for her to come to him in verse two and her deliberate debate not to in the following verses causes a tumultuous search by the bride for her bridegroom. Once she finds him, she makes her love declaration in 5:16 as stated above.

Is Christ both our Beloved and our Friend as the bride declared? Have we come to the place where we no longer debate His commands but we open our hearts to obey every time He speaks? We will not do this perfectly as Christ's beloved. However, to that degree will we be able to call Him our Beloved and Friend. 

Lord, make us lovers of yours who wait expectantly for Your voice and may we respond quickly to experience Your joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Laying Down Our Lives

James 4:1 - "What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?"

James reveals the source of conflict. But Paul tells us how to end it – by being at peace with all men, so far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18). If we have the opportunity to diffuse an argument, then we must not take pleasure in our position of being right, but we must lay down our rights for others.

Our refusal to submit to another or being a proverbial doormat is foreign to the character of Christ. Until we can give ourselves as Jesus gave Himself to unjust men who crucified Him, we should never attempt to bargain for so-called position. Let it go and let God resurrect us and the situation at hand to give glory to Him through our humility.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mountain Movers

Mark 11:23 - "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."

Many would say that Jesus' analogy was nothing other than rabbinic hyperbole. However, He reinforces the profundity of His statement in the next verse stating that whatever a man believes he will receive if he does not doubt.

As believers, we should be careful not to minimize or rationalize the word of God. We need to remember that mountains come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. (Remember, a half inch round rock may be a mountain to an ant!) Things are always relative to our size in God compared to the mountain assailing us. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, beloved (Romans 10:17). If God tells us our mountain is to be removed, what right do we have to say otherwise? No matter what circumstances look like, we must pray and not think ourselves into unbelief. Prayer is the enemy of human intellect and reason. In time, believing prayer will pulverize any mountain we face.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Words Matter

James 5:6 - "You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you."

Are we creating martyrs of those whom Christ died for by unjust or slanderous remarks? Are we killing those whom Jesus loves by the fruit of our lips? We bring forth life or death every time we speak, beloved of God (Proverbs 18:21).

Jesus tells us that every word we speak we will one day have to give an account (Matthew 12:36). Will our ledger be full of words seasoned with grace, or words that continually destroy?

Lord, give us lips purified by the fires of Your altar that we may speak life and not death to those whom You love.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Reality of the Resurrection

Philippians 3:10-11 - "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the truest event that has ever occurred in the history of mankind. However, Paul did not take it for granted and neither should we. Just because something is true does not make it our reality. The demons, James tells us, believe in God yet they shudder at this knowledge (James 2:19).

Like Paul, we should seek to bear our cross (Luke 9:23) as Jesus bore His for our sake. Merely knowing that Christ was raised from the dead means nothing unless we enter into that fellowship of His sufferings by bearing our crosses respectively. Only then will we experience His resurrection power. Then, like Paul, we may hope to attain to the resurrection of the dead when Jesus calls us home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wise Stewards of God's Revelations

Mark 9:8 - "All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone."

When God appears in the cloud on our respective mounts of transfiguration, all we will be able to see for a season is Jesus alone. Beware of other influences that will seek to crowd Jesus out prematurely. God wants us to soak in the divine revelation of His Son for the prescribed period He has ordained. Let nothing abort His presence in this holy time.

Conversely, we should not attempt to remain on the mount longer than Jesus desires. There is ample work to do once we go down the proverbial mount to the demon-possessed valleys below. Do all that you can to guard what the Holy Spirit has entrusted. It will provide moments of power and wisdom to those in our lives who desperately need it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Embracing the Cross

I Corinthians 1:18 - "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

The weakness of Jesus' message is absurd to most. Many liberal scholars have sought to explain Christ's death as a miscalculation and a mistake. They claim He did not fulfill His ministry but died in weakness so therefore His original intent was aborted.

However, those of us who have been ordained for eternal life understand that only through His perfect sacrifice is there perfect redemption. Humanity is crippled by sin and there is no way to stand before God but by clinging to the cross. All those who seek to prop their lives up by their own attempts will not have a leg to stand on when they appear before God on that final day.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.