Monthly Archives: February 2020

Lending To The Lord

In one verse the Scripture says “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord” yet the other verse on the other hand indicates being cruel to the poor means we show contempt toward the Lord.

We live in a time where people can be pretty cruel even from a young age. Look no further then bullying in school. There was a recent news story about a young man who had a genetic condition and the kids he went to school with bullied and made fun of him. Terrible stuff like this happens all the time. Biblically you do not necessarily have to be lacking money to be considered poor or needy, any disadvantage can really put someone I suppose in this catagory.

Yet the Word of God makes it clear how we ought to treat people. In Micah 6:8 it says

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

We are called to

1.) Act justly” to do right and be fair. To uphold the cause of what is right through actions and behavior!

2.) “Love mercy”- one element of mercy is compassionate disposition toward those who need it. Mercy- for example we see in Scripture when someone approached Jesus with a need, they often said “Have mercy on me!” Which they were basically saying “Have pity on me, have compassion for me!”

Often we think of mercy of course as the Lord forgiving our sin and having compassion to send Jesus to save us from the penalty of sin, indeed that is one of God’s greatest gestures of mercy. Yet it does not stop there. God has compassion on us when we suffer too.

So to “Love mercy” is the opposite of what some do, looking for someone to harass, make fun of, or make sport of.

Loving mercy leaves no room for a thirst for cruelty.

Thirdly God wants us to “Walk humbly with your God”

God loves humility and hates pride. In fact in a dream Nebuchadnezzar had in the book of Daniel, we see God warned him he was getting proud and would be chastened if he did not walk humbly.

When Daniel advised the king how to be humble, he said, “Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue. ” (Daniel 4:27)

It was not uncommon for a powerful king to promote those he chose and bring down those he chose, To spare those he decided, and put to death those he decided. Yet God was about to demote Nebuchadnezzar for pride.

How was his pride showing itself? It seems he was beinf cruel. He was told to “renounce your sins by doing right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed.”

This is a huge way humility shows itself, treating people right regardless of their status or how popular and well known they are. There is a quote, “You can truly know a true gentlemen by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

Also how Nebuchadnezzar failed was he boasted about the power he had come to obtain later on, a year after the dream, Nebuchadnezzar slips up and says

Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” Daniel 4:29-32

To walk humbly before God means we give him the rightful praise and credit for the good we enjoy! We must remember He is the true holder of all power, position, and good we enjoy. We should never let our egos get big and forget this!

Jesus Christ, A Living Ark

From today’s Bible reading

Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.
Numbers 7:89

We see the voice of the Lord in this case seemed to be audible to Moses. Yet we also have Jesus who speaks from God who was hung between two criminals. We see for Moses the Lord’s voice came from “between the two cherubim above the ark cover, the place of atonement.”

Yet Jesus became our full atonement, the very voice of God to mankind expressing the Father’s love. He hung there between two rebels crucified alongside and His death on that cross speaks yet still to those who need atonement.

the ark of the covenant, built by human hands, was God’s means under the Law and Old Covenant to let His dwelling be among the people. Yet Christ Jesus came into the world not like a man made ark but the very incarnation of God Himself to live among his people.

The New Testament reading was from Mark 13. The disciples are walking with Jesus and make a comment about the temple

1As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, look at these magnificent buildings! Look at the impressive stones in the walls.”
2Jesus replied, “Yes, look at these great buildings. But they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!” (Mark 13:1-2)

In another gospel Jesus says he will “destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days”

The Jews failed to grasp Jesus was refering to himself: Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
John 2:19-21 –

In a sense, Jesus Himself was the very ark of the covenant and temple. Meaning God’s fullness dwells in him. And the Jews were accustomed to a building “the temple” to represent God’s dwelling among his people. Yet they failed to see God Himself walking in their midst.

We have heard the expression, “you cannot put God in a box” meaning His ways cannot be fully condensed, neatly summed up and totally boxed into our human understanding. The Jews were so used to “their temple” their “box” the ark of the covenant. They were used to their understanding of things that they failed to recognize Jesus, God among them “Imanuel, meaning God with us”

Yet God saw fit to send Jesus to become the “atonement” for their sins and the sins of the world. See how Moses spoke to God as if He was right there. Yet the disciples are speaking to their Lord also face to face.

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Exodus 33:11 –

And behold, Jesus who said to doubting Philip

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
John 14:8-11

And if we wish to see the face of God we will indeed behold the face of Jesus Christ.

What Will You Choose??

because Herod feared Johnand protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. [Mark 6: 20]

Herod seems to not know what to do with John. Herod both resented John’s rebukes over his adulterous relationship with Herodias but also seemed intrigued by John and enjoyed his preaching to some extent.

Herod was torn between his sin and his curiousity. He was torn between his desire to indulge his adultery and his intrigue of John’s teaching.

Eventually Herod is forced to make a decision over what he loved more, his sin and the approval of his dinner guests and John’s life.

It came about that Herodias’s daughter gives a provocative little dance and Herod gets so excited, he gives her an oath to give her whatever she requests, even up to have of his kingdom. With persuasion from Herodias who hated John, Herodias’s daughter asks for the head of John to be brought out on a platter.

Herod realizes he spoke in haste then and realizes he made an oath in front of all his guests. What was he to do? Would he do the right thing and protect John’s life and repent of his ways- or would Herod let his little fling and the fear of what his guest might think come between him and doing what was right. Sadly Herod let his love for the praise of people and his lust become his choice.

Herod had a fork in the road moment where he could chose to get right with God and repent, vs to keep going down the road to sin destruction!

This though is the choice many will be faced with too in their own different way. The situation in each person’s life wont be exactly the same as this one, but there will be that critical moment the choice is “Will I do right and choose Christ’s way?” Or “Will I stubbornly go on in my sin and eventually perish?”

Dear reader if the Lord is convicting you, pricking your comscience or revealing your guilt in the matter, let me ask, “What will you do with this?” My hope is you respond correctly and turn from your sin and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior if you have not already. If you are a believer yet are living in sin, I also hope you will get off the wrong track and get back on the right road.

The choice is critical! You alone will be the one to decide how you respond. I trust and hope you will make the right decision today!

The Gospel According To Isaiah 49

God was saying here that Israel’s role was to bring salvation to the twelve tribes, but also God would use Israel to bring salvation to the rest of the world too. How? After all Israel failed,

We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not come to life. But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.
Isaiah 26:18-19 –

Ah but behold we have the Lord Jesus Christ, the promised manifestation of God’s salvation plan he kept hidden since the foundation of the world began.

the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:26-27)

The Apostle Paul explain in Colossians that God had in mind to send a Savior to the world long long before and One would come from Israel whose origins were ancient.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
Micah 5:2-3 –

Micah was written in turbulent times, during these times the nation of Israel had been in captivity and the promised land abandoned. Yet later during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra, the remnant of Jews were allowed to go back and rebuild their home land in Jerusalem.

Yet Christ comes onto the scene around 400 years later and He is The Hope of Israel.

Paul later explains boldly in his sermon in Acts 28 when he arrives in Rome finally and some Jews gather to hear him

For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our people who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God, and from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets he tried to persuade them about Jesus. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet: “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
Acts 28:20-31

See how all Scripture throughout old and new testament finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, He is the author of it, the finisher of it, and the hope of Israel, and all of the world!

God’s Timeless Truth For Even Your Love Life

God’s Word is timeless truth for every facet of human life. There is not one thing that is important to your life God is not interested in guiding you in. God is interested in your finances, your work, your family life, and even matters of your love life.

God who knows all things made it possible for us to gain his wisdom to navigate all areas of life that generally can be confusing. One of these timeless truths is found in Song of Solomon. In Song of Solomon 8:4 we see an unusual verse that says “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. (Song of Songs 8:4)

Seems to be far from what we here in our times! Things like “follow your heart” or “Listen to your heart” or “Let your heart lead you.” Things like “love at first sight” and that kind of stuff.

Yet the Bible here is encouraging young people to not stir up desires before it is ready- or should we say till God is ready.

It is easy for many people to stir up attraction and develop feelings so easily and then many times things do not work out as we thought, then we get disappointed. Yet when it comes to even romance, which God created as a good thing, even good things in the wrong time can be bad for us.

For instance maybe somewhere out there some single young lady is pray God would bring them a godly man. Yet behind the scenes, God is still working on that man to mature him. Suppose God just up and did things when we impatiently asked him, we may not be ready, or that situation may not be ready. Or in the case of that single young lady trusting God and praying for the right man, if that man is still not matured, he is not right- at least at the present moment.

An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.
Proverbs 20:21 –

Sure this speaks of earthly wealth here. Yet is true for many other things too. What the Proverb is saying is to obtain a large sum of money if we are not mature enough to wisely handle it, it will likely be blown away and spent poorly.

Ever heard some story like that? A person wins the lottery and blows through it so fast that people are shocked!

Yet even a blessing or good thing can be ruined if the person who receives it is not mature enough to handle it.

God I believe has many blessings in store for us as His children but he wants to grow us so we can wisely keep from ruining his good gifts. We must grow in a way that we will be prepared for the good God does bless us with- whether it be greater ministry opportunities, or open doors in this or that, or a spouse. All good things but God knows when is best for us to handle them. This is why we must wait patiently, seek God’s direction prayerfully, and grow in the knowledge and study of the word diligently- so we we will not act hastily!

May God richly bless you readers, peace to you!

Present Yourself Alone To The Lord In Morning Moments, The Holy First Hour.

God told Moses in the morning to come alone up to the mountain to be in the presence of the Lord.

Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”
Exodus 34:2-3 –

Well this is true to for us in our moments alone with the Lord. As Christ followers we each now have the priviledge like Moses had to “present ourselves before the Lord each morning”

We can do so through Christ’s blood that made this possible. We should set aside time alone with the Lord with no people to distract us from that.

Are you reader taking advantage of such a blessed privilege to spend your morning with just you and the Lord? We will find when we put the Lord first in this way, our day will be a lot sweeter and fresh. Our service to the Lord will be more fruitful and less fleshly in effort. We will find the power from communing with Christ in secret- the very power and grace for public ministry and service is powered through secret alone fellowship with our Lord!

Join The Fight

Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle, must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites. You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.” (Joshua 1:14-15)

This instruction was given to some of the fighting men who wanted to settle east of the Jordan river in the land of Canaan. Though the rest of the tribes would settle west after God drove out the inhabitants, this tribe asked to settle on the east side. 

Yet at first when Moses heard their request he got angry. He thought they just did not want to help their fellow Israelites in battle. He thought they wanted to settle down and prosper and leave their fellow Israelites to fight the battle while they sat back and took it easy.  Though this was not the case. It still sheds light today that we must join the fight for the faith too. Can we sit back and just live a life of ease and comfort and fail to carry our cross while many believers throughout the world are losing blood for their faith and testimony for Christ? Shall we build our lives full of ease and prosperity while our brethren fight? 

Though all our lots in life are a little different, indeed we are not exempt from trials or battles we too must face. We are to take up arms and fight in the spiritual battle also.

Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:3)

Though we have times of rest and blessing, we must also accept times of crushing. Though we have days of sunshine, shall we not also accept there will be days of rain? For our God made rainy days just as much as days of sunshine. The same God who made the warmth of spring allowed their to be winter, a season of cold and ice.

So let us wherever we are at thank God and do his work. Like the Lord’s mail men.

There is often a expression associated with the US Postal Service. Though not an official motto, it has been widely circulated by quote

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

And as Christ’s followers and ambassadors, shall we neglect our God given duties? Shall we not through good times and bad ones, times of ease or times of hardness, times of joy or times of sorrow, continue the work of the Lord!

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:7-8)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2 –

We must join the efforts and not get so wrapped up in our lives on earth we fail to join the efforts and do our parts!

Rules Of The Road

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13

Suppose you were driving along and got stuck in traffic. As you waited there for the cars to move, you got impatient and decided to drive over the median (The dividing line) and tried to turn and start going the opposite direction you were.

You cannot legally just highspeed it over the dividing part of the road to turn your car around. Though some crazy people may have tried that before, it is not safe and you are likely to get in a wreck or damage your car just driving up over the dividing line.

Now we know very well it is not safe to do that when driving a car. Yet too easily we can step out of God’s will in impatience. Too easily do we get impatient and cross outside the dividing line of God’s will when driving life.

God’s commands can be alot like those dividing curbs in the road. Yet if we choose to get out of our lane and jump the curb through disobedience we so often put ourselves in a bad spot and can harm others too.

Examples include, people all the time seem to disregard God’s commands when it comes to things like sexuality, and the result is many unplanned pregnacies, children growing up without a father, diseases and broken hearts.

Another example is people may disobey the rules of the spiritual road when they open their mouths to say whatever they feel, not thinking about who it may hurt or if it is wise to say.

People disregard a number of God’s commands regularly and wonder why they have gotten into a wreck. Would we wonder why we got in a wreck if we were actually driving and plowed over the median with our car and got hit by an oncoming car? Would we be foolish and scratch our heads and say “Well I am just not understanding how I could have possibly wrecked my car today?! Just does not make sense! Wow! How on earth did this happen!”

No one who runs a red light, or drove the wrong way down the street into oncoming traffick would scratch their heads unable to figure out why they wrecked!

Yet too easily people make life choices ans cannor figure out why they wrecked certain things in their lives. Truth is that God’s commands are good and right. We are foolish to think we can sow sin and reap good out of that.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7-8 –

Well reader, lets suppose you are in a mess today and you know you made some poor choices and got out of God’s will. Suppose you see you are suffering the consequences and you know it. Is there some hope? Yes. Yet when we do find ourselves in a place like this- which most, if not all of us have at some point, we should respond correctly and repent. We should humble ourselves and receive the forgiveness that Christ Jesus made possible by dying on the cross for our sins.

Then we should turn the keys of our life over to Him to let Him lead us, because if we keep doing the same things we were doing, we will never get anywhere other then in mess after mess. Yet when we repent and submit ourselves to be led by Him, we can move forward in the right direction!

Seek Jesus Not Just For What He Can Do For You But Who He Is To You

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” (John 6:26-27)

Earlier on Jesus got done doing an amazing miracle of feeding five thousand people. Then everyone who heard about it came looking for him. Jesus to this replies “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

Jesus is basically telling them that they got something they wanted and some physical need met and that is why they eagerly were searching for him. He basically says “I gave you some free lunch and it made you people happy, but you have not come looking for me because you desire me but what I did for you.”

So it can also be very true with us as human beings. We often seek the Lord wanting him to fix something in our life or provide some need we have. Understandably we humans have needs and its not wrong to desire they be met, yet in our pursuit of Jesus we must never just treat Him as someone who can do something FOR us and forget who He is TO us.

We as people know what it feels like to encounter people who only want us because we can do something for them. It makes us feel just used when we know the person seeking us out wants just something from us and is not as interested in knowing us or spending time with us.

Yet Jesus felt this way most of the time he did some miracle and healed someone. He still showed compassion even though he knew all people’s true intentions. Yet this should challenge us all in our pursuit of Him. Do we come to him in prayer to just ask him to meet needs we have? Or do we give him rightful praise and adoration and time he deserves, not just to get something from Him. Truly when we render up willing praise and heartfelt worship no strings attached we make our Savior truly feel loved and bring a smile to the face of Him who loves us perfectly.

Do you feel convicted reader that maybe you fall short in this area? Well ask the Lord to grant your heart the posture that pleases Him and helps you best show your love to Him.

We all can certainly always grow in this area. Yet if we keep seeking to grow we will improve with His help.

My challenge to you, whomever may read this. Next time you bow your heart in prayer, spend just as muct time praising Him and thanking Him for who He is and what He has done for you as you do asking Him for things. I trust this will truly enhance your time in prayer tremendously!