Monthly Archives: February 2019

True Happiness Is From Within From Him.

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)

So true. Ever wonder why some who are extremely wealthy try to make more and more. Because more money is never enough for those who love it. Making money for many is just as much of a thrill as having money. The human soul cannot be satiated by external things.

Ever wonder why ancient kings took so many women as wives, it could be easily said that also lust, never has enough!

We were created for God and fellowship with Him. Anything less of that leaves hollowness and void. Why?

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

Revelation 4:11

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Acts 17:26-28 –

Many have it all in this life, popularity, status, wealth, and many men brag about how many women they can get and many women draw thrill from the number of men that they can get to drool over them. Yet this truly is not sufficient for a hungry soul. Only God sized pleasure and happiness can quelch the thirst of the soul.

As the Lord said to Abram, “Behold I am your shield and exceedingly great reward”

To find joy in the Almighty is to find meaning of life. To commune with the Creator of your mind, soul and body and entire being brings real life. Nothing else can give us purpose, meaning or what we truly crave.

Though wealth can be a blessing, though physical beauty can be blessing, though influence or popularity may be blessings- without God and Christ they become cursed by sin and can become idols that enslave men and women to do their bidding.

Every good gift and blessing is a tool, a resource, but such things are terrible masters!

Frail Human Love Poem

Don’t be foolish and sacrifice those who care about you to try to obtain love from those who care nothing about you.

Thats insanity at a high level.

Some people won’t care about you just because there is something wrong with who they are.

By all means don’t treat God’s love as second best either by becoming so engrossed over who loves you or not.

“Human love can be a spider thread, at it’s best, it can still be severed when they are dead.

God is eternal and His love has no end, turn to Him and he will receive you and call you friend.

Though He is superior, he treats you with value and bestows upon you grace. Don’t you long for the warmth of His smiling face?

Or will you turn from that and trust the flimsy arm of flesh. Though good intentioned maybe, yet still so weak at its very best.

Those who you look to for aid, may be willing but impotent to render aid, and those who could would not lift a finger or be of use for shelter or shade.

Yet to turn to Him who is good and able, this does keep ones soul so stable!

Trust not what is weak or ill, trust not man who has by sin become poisoned will.

What is man, but borrowed breath, that will go down to the grave and sleep in death.

Trust not the wealthy or powerful man, for what does he have? He thinks himself strong as iron but is as frail as sand.

When winds of loss or strong gust of his latter days sweep forth and devour his flesh, he will grow weak in dying breath. He goes down in weakness and mortal pain, then everyone forgets his power and great fame.

To the dust he returns, just as the still born does, just like a animal that dies, or a bird fallen from the air on high, so too does the strong man die. Though he soars in the clouds and may be caught in winds of pride, his wings give way in his time, and he falls to the earth and abandons his sky.

The mighty man may feel he is an oak, and stands immovable and rests secure, yet when he mightily falls, they that thought him a invincible oak see how quick he goes up in smoke. Fires of old age consume his vitality and he too comes to nothing.

Yet the man whose roots go down in his God, become stronger still, they bear fine fruit inspite of winter chill.

They grow strong and stand tall, for they grow into firm soil of the Lord Himself and He is their mighty upholding hand. They do not trust their roots to soil that is much like sand.

God is alone eternally strong and great, to lay our roots in Christ we will to share in His eternal estate.

Fragile Humanity Poem

Even the most mighty of man can surely attest, he too at once was a helpless infant at his mothers breast.

People grow strong and feel they have power, yet what is man? Any of us could die within just an hour.

None of us are as fortified as we think, because at anytime into the ground we too can sink.

You were born from a confined space, yet we too will be lowered into a confined place all the same.

Live for Him and retain your self. Don’t live for vanity, fame or wealth.

For you do that, you will be forgotten and just be some memory on some “years ago” shelf.

That person once did that, they now are dead. Yet even if you have great fame at death, the dead don’t enjoy what living splendor they thought they did possess. You cannot do that as a corpse but only if you have in you your living breath.

To live for self is to forfeit soul. For the only thing you share with those who are “less then” is you too go down into a hole.

Live for Him who died for you, for then you will live a life that will last and be fully true!

Obstacles Or Opportunities

Some see obstacles or hardships as hindrences to success, but maybe they are more like weights in a gym to help you develop into all God created you to become.

Ever went through an obstacle course? Well what actually is happening is you go through a serious of potential barriers but are training your body to overcome.

I have a dear friend who is a soldier, he can probably attest that his training in the military involved some physically strenuous excercises.

A good soldier is not made on a couch but forged in training and a battle field.

Therefore, let us look at challenges as growing opportunities and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

Spiritual struggle and persevering develops character. Character is what enables us to be firm and mature in our faith!

Press on good soldiers!

Paul’s chains

Colossians 4:18

I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

“Remember my chains”

Was Paul trying to get people to feel bad for him? No, most likely not. As we examine his other writings, we see Paul speak on how his chains have become useful for his cause to spread the Gospel.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

(Philippians 1:12-14)

When the Apostle says “Remember my chains” he is calling into minds of his readers what he has had to go through himself because of Christ. He takes an unpleasant circumstance, and turns it around as a pulpit to preach on and inspire these fellow believers.

Paul who saw these believers as his worthwhile investments, uses his personal story and life circumstance not to get people to pity hin but inspire them and propel them to higher ground in Christ.

We all find inspirational the stories of people who endure things that are difficult with a good outlook.

Paul could have felt sorry for Himself, yet rather he takes the very chains that confine him and uses them to preach the Gospel of Christ with. This was his zeal and passion! So when pain fuels passion, greatness can follow. When that heavy load and rugged cross on your shoulders is lifted in the power of Christ, it becomed no burden but can be seen as a blessing!

So many in our times would tie themselves to trees for an environmental cause they are passionate about, yet many of these same people may make fun of those who suffer for their faith with a good perspective? Yet there is no cause I think greater then this Gospel. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that whomsoever will believe in him, shall not perish but have eternal life!”

Yet Christ was hung, he did not chain himself to a literal tree with ropes, yet he tied himself up on the cross by ropes of love, knowing we could not be saved any other way.

God only could accept a perfect sacrifice to take away our sin and guilt. He was not merely a tree hugger with the possible fate of a bulldozer, he actually took the full brunt force of God’s wrath toward sin, not to save trees but human lives.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Galatians 3:13-14

Now many would maybe give their lives yo save trees maybe, but Jesus gave His life to save you reader. He saw your life as worth saving. Many would save trees by dying for them maybe in our day, yet trees cannot do anyone any wrong. Jesus saw your offenses and sin as wrongs done toward Himself. Many love animals and pets and things that cannot wound us. Yet Jesus loves you though your sins deeply wounded Him.

He loves you even as you are in your sin, but says “Turn to me and receive newness of life. Let me forgive your sins and enjoy my love for you that is a gift”

Acid Test

Sulferic acid has been used for various industrial uses. Strong acids can be used to make plastics, as well as clean metals.

Metal won’t entirely be destroyed by certain industrial acid. The acid though corrosive does an important job in polishing the metal.

Likewise, if one suffers as a Christian, corrosive trials become like the acid test of faith. If what you have is true, then your trials are God’s very instruments to make you shine brighter. However, Jesus taught that superficial faith will fail when trials occur.

In the parable of the four soils, he speaks of the seed sown on shallow we will look mainly at today

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Matthew 13:18-23

Vs 21, “ yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.”

True faith has what it takes to endure to the end. Yet there is a superficial faith that may believe only until something tragic or difficult happens.

We have all Im sure heard stories where people said “I was a Christian until this ______ incident made me stop believing God was real.” Or others may say “I tried that Christianity thing for a while but it just did nit seem to work for me.”

These are I believe some very modern examples of this principle. Yet we should not look down on them, rather compassion was one of Jesus’s great attributes and we are called to share the message in kindness, humility, truth and love.

Life can be very hard. Things happen that often don’t make sense. We are ourselves at times locked into a test of faith where our own doubts could easily tempt us too.

Yet faith that is true, will endure!

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 5:1-5 –

Key phrase, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world”

See John 3:3

True salvation of faith is to be “Born again” and this is a work of God supernaturally awakening our hearts to the Gospel message of Christ. We turn from sin and receive Christ as Savior and Lord. And we are as the Bible says “If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!”

Many people don’t understand what it is to be a Christian. They may have gone to church all their life and never had it explained that its a commitment of faith, choosing to receive Christ for forgiveness of sin, and then exchanging our old life for His life purpose for us. Many think they are just saved by just intellectual belief. Yet truest faith changes us entirely, how we live the rest of our lives.

Christianity is a saving relationship with a God who loved us so much to make a way for us to have a new lease on life at His own expense! Yet Jesus Christ, dying on the cross and raising from the dead, so we can have new life and follow Him.

Its not about do this, do that. Mechanical belief is dry and robot like. Saving faith is about the God who loves us enough to want to have closeness with us, and lead us into His best laid plan for our lives, as bumpy as life can be! True faith is exciting not a finally dressed religious looking corpse that has rigor mortis.

David At Sin’s Threshhold

Joab sent David a full account of the battle. He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

(2 Samuel 11:18-21)

Background: David had not too long before this commited adultery with Bathsheba Uriah’s wife. He had made several attempts to cover his tracks yet failed. So he staged a scenario that would get Uriah killed in battle.

What I see though is how God’s Word even in this small section of our text today, still has valueble truth. Though in the text above, there is a literal wall that the soldiers are warned not to get to close to because of danger from the wall. We see how David himself crossed a line toward a wall near the gates of sin he should never have gotten close to.

Historically, in Judges 10— Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull. (Judges 9:50-53)

Abimelek who had faithlesy killed Gideons sons in a conspiracy and became king, he was later repaid for his treachery. His undoing was not caused by being slain by a sword in battle at the hands of a warrior he fought with but rather a woman manages to drop a heavy object on his head. He dies that way.

David in a spiritual sense is not undone by enemies in battle, not by the foreigners Israel is fighting against. Rather, David stays home one day instead of joining his troops in battle and is hit with an arrow of lust. Hit in not a war field but his own palace as he inadvertantly catches gaze of a woman bathing on a roof. The roofs in those days were flat and could be walked upon. Yet there he gets close to tye threshold and falls prey to a temptation that falls heavily upon him.

He first sees hee beautiful form, then his imagination ponders possibilities, then sinful action takes places and he takes her to sleep with him.

David sinned against the Lord and later was sternly rebuked ans suffered life long consequences. God forgave him because his heart was responsive to the prophet Nathan and he humbled himself, repented and grieved over his sin. Unlike Saul who often made excuses for his sin. David does show himseld to be responsive to the Lord’s rebuke.

Here is one distinct difference between a truly saved person and an outright sinner, both can fall in sin, both will at times blow it and there is often life long consequences depending on the sin. Yet those who belong to God through Christ should show themselves true to faitg by responding in genuine repentence and humility. We should never make excuses. Nor justify our wrongs. Anyone can easily come up with a reason for why they thought their sin was not too serious. Yet truly it takes the humbling of a heart to grieve and take ownership and pray like he does in Psalm 51 and say “Against you and you alone have I sinned and done what is evil”

Sure yes David sinned against Uriah, and Bathsheba, but truly He sinned most against His God. Since he owned up to it and grieved, God spared him from putting him to death.

—-Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’” Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.

2 Samuel 12:9-17

Lets understand God’s mercy and justice that beautifully go hand in hand. God mercifully forgave David his sin, and allowed him to live. Yet God did not just say “Ok thats ok, your forgiven now you have no consequences”

That would not be just. God did not hold David’s guilt against Him by destroying Him with the fate of the wicked. Yet God did not go easy on Him either because He wanted to teach his servant that it was not ok to sin and do that.

Like a good father who loves a child unconditionally, that good father may still use a belt on his son’s behind not because he hates his boy. Rather he loves his son to much to let his son turn out the wrong way.

Ever heard some mother say, or a father say “That’s not how I raised you to behave. That’s not how Im going to let my children behave!”

So too the rod of the Lord is His greatest act of love so often!

The Invitation

Jesus would often say “To him who has a ear let him hear”

Jesus’s invitation to His mercy and message of forgiveness is not excluding anyone who will turn to Him by faith and believe the Gospel, receive His forgiveness and new life He wants to give people.

Many may think, “I am too bad to ever be forgiven” but let that person understand is “You would not need forgiveness or mercy from Holy God if you were good enough for Him.”

God’s message of redemption through Jesus Christ is not for the “Righteous” but sinners. And as we see in Romans 3, it says “There is none righteous”

Meaning every single person is sinful enough for God to condemn. Meaning, not one of us was saved through Christ because we were good enough to get Him to die on the cross for us. That’s insane. Because if He saw you as good he would not have offered Himself up as a fragrant sacrifice to cover your sin debt.

Many misunderstand Jesus’s words to the proud self righteous Pharisees, when he said, “I have not come to call the righteous but the sinners to repentence”

Yet Jesus was not saying the Pharisees were righteous at all, but challenging their attitude toward Him for sharing his good news with “prostitutes and “taxcollectors” and “sinners”

The religious leaders failed to recognize their sin and receive Jesus with joy and gladness and faith. If they had done so they too would have been shown mercy also.

However, the sin of pride can be far more wretched then even that of the whores and extortionists. Only because the proud heart refuses to acknowlege it’s need for cleansing. Yet often those who live in shame and guilt and realize the mess they are in are closer to possibly receiving God’s great gift of mercy and newness of life.

We are all a mess apart from Him, we are all slaves to sin apart from Christ. As soon as we see we are no better off then any other sinner we can then truly receive forgiveness for ourself without pointing fingers toward everyone else!

Sowing While Suffering

Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

(Psalm 126:4-6)

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19}

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. {Galatians 6:9-10}

Continue to scatter good seeds, even if you weep along the way- may God use your tears as the water to cause the seeds to grow.

Keep on rising and scattering good near ans abroad, offer up your sorrow as sacrifice to God. Keep planting good and showing kindness and love along the way, and trust and wait for harvest and the light of a brighter day!

Seeds sown in sorrow, can bring forth great blessings of tomorrow!

When They Cast Down

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

Job 22:29 –

Rejoice in the deliverance of the Lord before you see it. Trust God and praise him for the good plans he has for your life, even while cast down. Faithfully obey and humbly serve the Lord-

Think of Joseph. Faithful to God even though his brothers cast him down. Into a well they cast him down ans sold him. In Potiphers house, Potipher’s wife cast him down with slanderous lies. In prison he seemed, utterly cast down, yet he looked up to Him who made promises long before.

He interpreted the dreams of the two men in jail, and the one who got out and lived on, forgot him, and cast him down.

Yet on the day it came, Pharaoh had his dream, and God lifted him up.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)

Job’s friends said “When they cast you down, and you say, “Exaltation will come!” Then He will save the humble person”

Yet had not Eliphaz and his friends among them realized, he cast Job down. And Job said earlier:

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes —I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27 –

Though Satan, his wife, his friends cast him down, God raised him up and cast them down under his humbling hand.

—-After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.

Job 42:7-17 –

Job’s friends exalted themselves above their poor friend, and Josephs brothers exalted themselves above Joseph. Yet who then later was put under Job’s feet, was it not his arrogant friends? Who then was under Joseph’s feet, his arrogant envious brothers. Because God raised up the humble and humbled the proud!

When Jesus was taken to the cross, Judas betrayed him first and cast him down, Peter denied him thrice and cast him down. The crowds cried “Crucify him!” They cast Him down. The Roman soldiers mocked and casr him down. Yet God had lifted Him up, to draw all to Himself.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 –

Who was exalted? The meek and gentle Christ. Who will later bow? The entire race of man.

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

Romans 14:11 –

Who also will be trampled down? Satan and his fallen host, thrown into their eternal home.

Yet “He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Matthew 13:37-43 –

To those who read and may fear, knowing they have not made peace with God, humble yourselves now, and receive His Son! He will graciously forgive and pardon those who humbly turn to Him.

Yet he will one day humble those who refuse!