Sunday, December 21, 2014

Looking to the Earth For Answers

Isaiah 8:22 - "Then they will look to the earth, and behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish; and they will be driven away into darkness."

The days grow darker as Mankind continues to look toward the earth instead of heaven for help. In this day of environmental concerns and "loving the planet" we have forgotten Who made this orb, and to Whom we owe our first allegiance. We have turned our hopes to New Age philosophies and humanistic answers born in the bowels of the earth rather than in the One who created it all. The absurdity of putting our hope in creation rather than the Creator is not a new dilemma, but one that has been around for millennia (Romans 1:25).

Just as those who are born of the Light are drawn to His marvelous light, those born of darkness will be driven further to the darkness. Their choice is abstentious of righteousness by not choosing the Creator rather than embracing His creation. Professing to be wise, they have become fools. May we all submit to the Light and not be driven to our own insanity by those who rule the darkness.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our Transitory Journey

Psalm 39:4-5 - “Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah."

Do we really understand that we are a mere breath? Or, a vapor as James describes us? (James 4:14) Our depth of understanding of our transitoriness will depend on our comprehension of God and His eternality. Without the fear of the Lord and an understanding of His greatness, we will not adequately understand our insignificance and our smallness in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully, as we age, we grow in our understanding that we are not "bullet-proof" and we will not escape the Reaper. Our fear will determine how we ultimately embrace the inevitable. If we do not fear the Lord and surrender to Him, we will surrender in fear to hopelessness and dread.

Our breath is only significant when it is inhabited by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, the very air we breathe is inhabited by ever-nearing death. But, when the Holy Spirit lives within, every breath is eternal and a calculated nearing to our eternal destiny.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nothing is Too Difficult for God!

Jeremiah 32:17, 27 - "Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You! ... Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”

Often, it is easier to believe God for something of a spiritual nature rather than a miracle manifested in the flesh. We can believe for a person's salvation because the Word tells us that if someone confesses Jesus as Lord then they are saved. (Of course, one must then live as if Jesus is living in them and not like the devil!) Believing for a miracle in the "flesh" is often different then believing for salvation. When we pray for a cold to go away we are not overly distressed when it doesn't, because we know in time it will run its course. However, everything is on the line regarding a terminal disease. If we could lay hold of the same desperation praying for the dying that many of us experienced when we gave our lives to Jesus, we would see many more remarkable miracles. Where is the belief that only Jesus saves and likewise heals?

Lord, help us to believe for salvation --body, soul, and spirit -- for the whole man. Is anything too difficult for You? Please move on our behalf, in the Name of Jesus.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Death of King Self

Isaiah 6:1 - "In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple."

In this turning point of Isaiah's life we see a progression of "NO, WOE, GO." Before this fateful day -- when the prophet saw the vision of the Lord "high and lifted up" -- he was what we would today consider a "good" Christian. However, in the year of King Uzziah's death, the paradigm of faith shifted in Isaiah's life forever. Uzziah will always be symbolic of rebellion, pride, and arrogance as he tried to act like a priest and God smote him with leprosy. This dreaded disease is a metaphor for sin and all its consequences. Isaiah deliberately tells us that he was diametrically changed in the year Uzziah died. Allegorically, it was the year of his death to what he thought a good follower of God should be.

Before the death of "king self" typified by Uzziah's death, he said, "No, not me Lord!" He was probably happy with his life as a well-educated priest. But now something changed. He saw the Lord high and lifted up in the subsequent verses of this chapter and said, "Woe is me!" seeing himself in the light of God's knowledge. Now, he became the prophet as God told him "Go" with total disregard for his own life and total concern for God's mission.

How many of us need to come to the "year of King Uzziah's death" in our lives? How many of us need to quit being "good" Christians and see our flesh for what it is, but then also see that God has made us the righteousness of Christ in God? Revelation of this sort can only result in a desire to go, say, and do whatever the Lord might lead.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Possessing Christ

I John 5:12 - "He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life."

Can we say with all certainty today that we possess Christ? When most are asked whether they will go to heaven they say "I hope so!" However the Bible is very clear in telling us we can know for sure. John 3:16 emphatically states our assurance is guaranteed if we only believe. But what does believing mean? James tells us the demons believe also ... and shudder! So, belief without obedience is merely acknowledgement.

Therefore, to have the Son means to possess the Son through obedience. And, if we possess the Son, he possesses us also. Do we know Christ in this manner? If so, we can be sure that our Beloved has us and we have Him. As Paul states, we are hid with Christ in God and we forever have "the Life."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beyond Grief

Ecclesiastes 7:2 - "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart."

Grief is a God-given emotion. While it is uncomfortable, it is necessary and often expedient to allow us to decompress constructively. Solomon subtlety tells us in this verse how our tendency is often to move past mourning too quickly because of its uncomfortability. In these instances, we would rather spend time anesthetizing ourselves rather than allowing the Spirit of God to bring us through to the other side. I am not speaking only of alcohol or drugs. We can anesthetize ourselves with a variety of “comforts.” When we run from God and what He wants to show us in mourning, then we abort His purposes. Ultimately, God wants to walk through the grief with us so we will be able to help others along this way of heartache.

We can either run from God in our loss, or we can run to Him and with Him to the other side. Beloved, we should allow God to bring us through grief in His timing. Otherwise, the "house of feasting" will not provide for us the relief we so desperately desire.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Watchful Eyes

Psalm 33:18 - "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness."

The humanist's answer for an eye of protection is "Big Brother." Government, as their "religion," is the answer for all of mankind's woes. If we just help one another by keeping an ever watchful eye on one another, we will evolve into the societies that will mean eventual utopia. What they fail to recognize is this mindset has been around since the first sin of independence from God and was demonstrably acted upon with the building of the Tower of Babel. This Babylonian idea that man can cure all of woes by collective cooperation is born in the bowels of hell.

However, our hope as believers is to fear the Lord in reverence and awe. Then, His ever watchful eye is on those who wait for His love to appear in all instances in their lives. This, my friends, is the difference between godly dependence and ungodly, rebellious independence. While humanists believe collectivism will bring us together, in the end it will mean utter isolationism, despair, and eternal death. May we all fear the Lord and hope for His lovingkindness.