Saturday, 26 December 2015

Happy New Restoration

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
      

      Yiddish saying: "If his word were a stick, you couldn't lean on it."
      It's that time of the year again when people of different stripes, sizes, and beliefs make their New Year's resolutions to become a better person or at least try to become more accomplished at something. As so often reported, these promises to self rarely come to fruition because it takes resolve of intent, character of heart, and strength of will to accomplish anything of lasting worth in life. 

      The resolution promised to soul and character will take something more than a whimsical declaration of intent at the beginning of a new year to come about as reality. It will take fortitude and an honest desire to accomplish that which God has hidden in our deepest selves that God birthed within us and will come out at the right time in our lives. Jer. 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 
      This character change within us will take more than a resolution because in most cases it takes the restoration of soul and character to overcome hindrances in life. We do not just want to be seen as doing what is right in life but actually be doing what is right regardless of whether we are seen or not. 
      When we live in that state of being we will not have to wait until a new year starts to try again. We will look for restoration immediately upon noticing we are out of alignment with what God is doing in our lives. Restoration of heart and spirit will be our desire. Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. If we allow this type of honest change in our lives, then what we say and do can be counted on as reliable.
       There are so many areas of our lives that need real restoration and healing. True restoration comes from the Lord who is the restorer of souls and lives. Isa. 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. We often think we can fix our deep personal problem on our own and yet, we just have to look around and see the mess the world is in to know we are failing to fix anything of worth. 
If we could actually fix things, would we not be in better shape as a human race? John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 
      The restoration of the Lord is a good and complete work. God restores our health and the wounds of our life. Jer. 30:17a For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD. The Lord will restore our soul if we let him. Psalm 23:3a He restores my soul. 
      The Lord will restore our ability to grow and be a blessing to one another. He will restore our dignity and self-worth in Him. Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
      
Since I have a choice between restoration in Christ or fulfilling a resolution in my own strength, I will take the restoration by the hand of God because it will be done right and will accomplish a deeper and lasting work in my spirit, soul, and body. Jude 1:24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.
      This year's end brings us to a place of reflection where we look back and calculate whether we are pleased with what has transpired in our lives. The year in review per-se. I am blessed that there have been some great milestones of accomplishment and blessings. I know there is room for much more from God for the coming year. So, we ask ourselves, "Did we accomplish what the Lord put in our hearts? Is there room for greater improvement of attitude and life choices?" There is in my life. 
      I don't think a promised resolution can pull it off for me. I believe it will take the power of the one who created me and knows me intimately to work a work deep within me to accomplish the purpose which God created me for. Psalm 139:13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother's womb. 
      This last year was definitely a year of restoration for me. I personally want to thank God for all the restoration He has done in my life. Jer. 30:17a For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD. The restoration of the Lord works and I hope we all allow the Lord to restore us to a place where we can all be counted on to be a blessing in this world and life. Happy new restoration everyone.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Christmas List

Proverbs 18:16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

      Someone said, "I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things that you want can't be bought."
      We have a small tradition at our family gatherings during Christmas, Thanksgiving and all major feasts. Before we eat, we all take turns sharing something we are most grateful for in our lives. On some occasions, the enthusiasm of this blessed family fun time has caused another go-around when exclamations of' "Oh, oh, I have something else I'm grateful for," and declarations of gratitude are offered up to heaven as a sweet and honest prayer. 1 Thes. 5:18 Give thanks in every circumstance, because this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
      
      I sit there at the table smiling and listening like a patriarch of the family and I become so blessed to hear all the good reports and expressions of gratitude coming forth so freely. What a gift of life this joyful experience is. It cannot be bought at a big-box store or a specialty shop. It can only come from our heavenly Father who also rejoices in the gleeful offerings of thanks. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
      I hear people bemoaning the fact that they have such unfulfilled expectations this time of the year because of all the seasonal hoopla going on. Maybe it is their lists of unreasonable and unattainable gifts they are looking for to bring joy and satisfaction into their lives. Peace of heart cannot be bought with a debit card, it can only be received as a gift from the Prince of Peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 
      The newest toys or fashionable garments can be given and received with fun and gratitude, but it will never have the lasting effects of fulfilment that is so often looked for when gifts are exchanged. Be realistic during this time of the year and have the best righteous time you can. Make the blessing of each other and goodwill for each other's lives a must-have on your Christmas wish list. 
      My Christmas list for everyone is the blessing of life I have experienced and am so happy to have. My wife trusts me and I trust her. My sons are loved and are respected citizens. I live in a country with numerous freedoms. I can read and write, plus I have real friends. I live in a law-abiding society and my sons love their parents. 
      God's grace is poured out on me daily. These things that bring meaning to my life cannot be bought or shopped for on anyone's Christmas list that is most often grudgingly gone through just to get it out of the way. No saints, these kinds of gifts are God-given and inspired to bring about the best in each one of us.
      There is no greater gift to mankind than what God the Father did for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. God gave us eternal life if we want it. Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast. What an amazing gift Jesus is and he himself is the gift that keeps on giving right into and throughout eternity. All I can say is, "Thank you, Lord God, for your mercies in my life."
      When we, as the blessed people of this earth, start to give each other the gifts that God has given us, we will be ushered into the everlasting presence of the Lord. Prov. 18:16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. My Christmas list and wish for everyone are great and marvellous blessings that you will not have room to contain them. May your children call you blessed. May the love in your marriage grow and be a blessing to the rest of your families. 
      May you and your neighbours be a blessing on your street. May you find forgiveness and restoration among your siblings. May your health be the best it has been in years. May you prosper and be generous with all that God has given you. May you all find the real peace you have been looking for in Jesus name. Now, that is a Christmas list if ever I saw one. Merry Christmas everyone and God bless us all.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

God's Currency

Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

      God's method of payment is not always in cash but can sure be of the greatest value for life and soul. I remember talking with a friend who had asked for prayer so that God would help him with his business. We had prayed and asked for the favor of God on the business and we were in faith together for a blessed result. 
      A few days later we met for coffee and he said that God had paid him in full. He had a smile the size of a half moon on his joyful face when I asked him if he had landed the deal of a lifetime. He said, "Yes, God is so faithful because last night my daughter came home and declared that she had broken up with her fiancée because the relationship was not of God and she realized it."  
      My friend said that is the best gift he and his wife could ever of had from God because their daughter was finally happy and smiling again. He said, "We got paid in God's currency and there is no money or business deal on earth that can compare." Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
      How true it is that God's currency of absolute blessing can continue to be a blessing for years to come with no loss of value. I have had the same blessing when I was asked by my son if I was being paid for ministering in different churches as an itinerant minister. I said that a lot of the ministry I did was gratis and I loved doing it because God's currency was beyond cash flow. 
      I used my son's life as an example since I was talking to him. I reminded him of his own miracle when God had thoroughly delivered him through the prayers of many of heroin and methadone addiction and he now lives clean and free. I said, "This kind of answered prayer could never be bought or purchased with money, but only God's currency could give such value and do a deep work within a soul. That miraculous blessing will always be beyond wonderful for the rest of your mother's and my life." So thinking about what God has done for me I would gladly give my time to the Lord because God is so good. Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. 
      How much of God's currency has come into our lives? Have we stopped and noticed the eternal value of His riches towards us? Did you get to reconcile with any of your parents before they passed away? "Yes!" you say. Have you thanked God to this very day because those who did not have that chance in their lives know the sorrow of not being able to have done so. 
      Did you receive the deal of the century even though you were not expecting it or even thought worthy of such an incredible blessing? Have you been delivered from a devastating illness and now you are well again? How has God gone beyond that which you could even think possible? His overabundant riches in our lives continue to bless and bless daily. Eph. 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. 
      We take so much for granted because we live in an over-consumptive society run by the idea that the accumulation of stuff is valuable. The numbing result is we are having difficulty seeing what is of true worth in life. In many kitchens in North America, there are hand painted artsy signs that say, "Count your Blessings." The meaning of this sign is most often seen in a person's peripheral vision along with all the other kitsch is fading and losing its luster because God's currency is seen with the heart. 
      When our hearts belong to God, then our lives belong to Him as well. When our hearts belong to God we will be able to see all the riches of His glory working within us. We will then see what an amazing life we have because of Christ and we will see how rich we really are. Eph. 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. God bless us all.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Sleep Of The Innocent

Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

      A lot of families and coworkers are worried and rattled by all the problems causing mayhem in the world these days. Some have said they wish things would just go back to the way things used to be, so they can get a peaceful night's sleep. The sleep of the innocent is dependent on our relationship with God and not events taking place in the world. Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He gives his beloved sleep.      
      As responsible citizens, we should take notice of events going on in the world, but not be controlled by the reactionary fixes that often have worse consequences than the original cause of the said problem. We can prayerfully ask God what we can do as individuals to be a solution in the mess, but not be inundated and overwhelmed by the fear sweeping the nations. John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 
      There has been a lot of politicized rhetoric from every political stripe and religious belief that has put into motion a dark and undulant effect causing fearful anxiety and sleepless nights for many. Prov. 3:25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes. 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from a snare. Real peace of mind and heart during these world catastrophes can only be given by the Lord Himself. Isa. 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.
     If people are looking to world leaders for real answers for a peaceful sleep, they will find it difficult since a lot of the same leaders being looked to are the ones causing the mayhem in the first place. It is the fox guarding the hen house scenario or in this case political weasels with their fingers on the peace trigger. Eze. 13:10 Since they have led My people astray saying, 'Peace,' when there is no peace, for when someone builds a wall they plaster it with whitewash. 

      You cannot give away what you do not have. Leaders who do not have peace in their agendas cannot promise peace because they do not have it themselves. Christ, the prince of peace, has peace; therefore He alone can give it. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.
      
Someone might say I am being too simplistic. I say, "Not so!" We are in a corrupt world with corrupt agendas and in a lot of places led by corrupt people. That does not mean we have to be corrupt ourselves or even submit to it. As a matter of fact, we overcome corruption by being and doing what is right even though we live in a corrupt system. Evil may come easily to some, but we shun evil because Christ has given us the power to do so; therefore, by not submitting to evil we have peace in our hearts. Does that mean we will have peace in our land? Maybe not, but we will have it in our souls and we will sleep the sleep of the innocent. Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety.
      Jesus Himself had this peace of heart. He was sleeping the sleep of the innocent in the aft of a boat being tossed by the waves of a storming sea. Mark 4:38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Jesus could give away His peace to the situation because He had it to give. How much more will He give us His peace if we ask for it? 

      This is the reason we can be at peace in a stormy and fractured world where world peace is fleeting and hard to maintain. If the prince of peace lives in us, then we have a blessed head start to help bring peace to a corrupt world system that we live in and yet we are not of. Rom. 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. May we live well and not be fearful of world events that are out of our control. Rest in the Lord and may the sleep of the innocent be part of all our lives. Amen.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Righteous Change

Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou may be wise in thy latter end.

     "But we have always done it that way." This is often said when change is in progress and causing discomfort.
     Change is not always easy but often needed to get to the new levels God wants us to grow in. Matt. 9:17 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. But they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved. 
      Under normal circumstances, you would feel a bit silly if you were thirty years old and your mother insisted on walking you to the corner store and carrying your money for you. You would say, "Look, mom, I am old enough, I'm married with children and responsible with money, I can do this on my own." I say this with tongue in cheek. 
      Thank God for all the praying mothers out there. The point is, change is inevitable. If change had not been embraced we would all still be in the old world and the new world would not have been discovered, let alone space exploration and beyond.
      The apostle Paul who had been called to bring the Gospel of salvation to the gentiles had a pit-bull of a fight with the established beliefs of the time. He constantly had to debate the old Levitical-laws and the grace of the new birth offered to all mankind because of the risen Christ from the dead. Phil. 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 
      In essence the new testament coming into reality was causing the old priesthood to be in a place where they were constantly returning to their vomit or foolishness so to speak. Prov. 26:11 As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly. 
      Their hearts were blind to the moving of the Holy Spirit because they were entrenched in their old and unchangeable ways. Even though God was on the move and bringing in a new dispensation of salvation through Christ, the old guard and their way of doing things had become their folly. They were no longer looking or listened for the leading of Jehovah God whom they professed but rather dictated to God what His law said and how they would live by it. Inadvertently through traditions they had pushed God aside and were declaring how to earn righteousness without God's say so. 
      This is a dangerous situation when we start making the Bible say what we want it to say so we can rationalize something we know is wrong but insist on living that way anyways. Jude 1:4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvellous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
      We cannot add impurities to clean water and say it is healthy to drink. Rom. 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. We have to change our minds and hearts to keep our vessels and what is in it clean because the Lord is righteous and declares what righteousness is. When the Lord brings change to our lives, it is always for the good of our well being and will still be rooted with the righteous ordinance of His word. 
      The change will not be an allowance for sin just because someone says it is well and legal; therefore, the sin is alright to do now. "After all we live in this day and age," is what these rebels often say for an excuse to try and legalize their sin. 
      The principles of God's word will always be relevant to its place in history and will always lead people to the Lord's standard and interpretation of His word. The Lord will not lower Himself to a base mindedness just because people want to live in unrighteousness, but rather, the Lord will bring us up to His righteous ways. 2 Tim. 2:13 If we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself.
      God, Himself does not change. Mal. 3:6a For I am the Lord, I change not. He remains righteous and faithful to His word. He uses His word to change us so that we become like His son Jesus. Don't be afraid of change, whether it is in your church or life. Embrace it because it means we are growing and going forward in the blessings of the Lord and all that those blessings entail. 
      If God has been asking you to change something in your life then step up to the plate and get it done so that you can say with joy in your heart, "Look what the Lord has done." Be a victor because you said yes to what God is doing in you and not a victim because you put the change on hold. Change is good when God is leading you into it. Blessings.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Look For The Helpers

Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man perverts his way: and his heart frets against the LORD.

      Quote: You can't fix yourself by breaking someone else.
      As I think about the tragic events happening in the world, it seems that some misguided followers in an insane sect are trying to fix themselves by breaking others. As you know this is a lose-lose situation. Any fool can break, destroy and kill. It takes courage to heal, restore, and fix the underlying problems in any society. James 4:2
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 

      The rhetoric that is spoken by these vengeful murderers may have the word god in their mindless babbling, but anyone taking an honest moment to think knows God is not supporting their actions of evil. The results from large scale human-caused tragedy can leave people numb and fostering feelings of hate, anger, and demands of retaliation. However, human retribution most often leads to greater and escalated violence. 
      We just have to look at all the factious wars going on in the world and see that an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth has only left a lot of blind and toothless people looking for sanctuary. Nothing changes but the names of the innocent brutalized in the cross-fire. Eccl. 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
      What is the solution and what can we do when we feel so overwhelmed with grief, anger, disgust and sadness of heart because of horrific events? Most of us everyday people are not in positions of authority and power, so we don't know how to move forward leaving a sense of frustrated uselessness. We wonder how being one person can make a difference to such a massive emotional need. 
      As simple as this sounds, start looking for the helpers and fixers who rise to the top during and after the catastrophe has left its scar. Look for and become the people who show up to be a hand extended with whatever help one can offer in spite of the size of the grotesque event. Don't focus on the fools who caused the mess, but rather focus on the helpers who move in with quiet courage doing what is right to restore the dignity of life. 
      That is how we overcome the works of the enemy of our soul who has influenced the insidious perpetrators of mayhem in the first place. Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
      By focusing on the helpers and being a helper, we destroy the works of the enemy and the fear that was intended. Look at what the Lord Jesus did when he heard his cousin John the Baptizer had been beheaded. Matt.14:10 So John was beheaded in the prison, 11 and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened. This was not only an unjust death for John himself. It was also a spiritual attack on Jesus personally to put him off his life mission. 
      I am sure Jesus felt the pain of loss and he knew he could call down destruction per-se on all responsible for John's death, but Jesus also knew who had influenced the whole thing. So Jesus went and destroyed the works of the enemy who is the true cause of evil. Matt. 14:13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. 14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
      What did Jesus do after hearing of the injustice and murder of his family member? He went out and healed the sick, therefore destroying the works of the enemy and the intended fear that comes with violence. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
      Look for the helpers. They are everywhere in all tragedies. Take courage and solace from these unassuming everyday people who you also happen to be. Be a helper and you will change the events of life, no matter where you are or what you do. Helpers are the backbone of life, so be one and live well. 1 Cor. 16:23  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Dream A Dream

Proverbs 22:17 Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach.
      
      I was talking with a brother in the Lord a few weeks ago. He was sharing his desire to have a small two to three acre farm where he can get back to raising his own animals and food he use to have many years ago. He said, "It is a bit of a pipe dream, but I would sure like to see it happen." At that moment I proffered my hand and said, "In Jesus name, I am in agreement with you for the fulfilling of your dream to happen."
      Saints, even if it is a pipe dream, go ahead and dream a dream of better things. It is very possible that God put that dream inside of your heart so that you would pursue it and look for help in the fulfillment of that dream in prayers to your God.
      
      Our Lord leads us through our dreams and puts within our souls His plan for blessings within our lives. Job 33:15 He speaks in dreams, in visions of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they lie in their beds. 16 Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. We often disregard our nightly dreaming and some of the oddities about them as indigestion, or psychological life reflections. 
      However, we should not take dreams lightly and not be afraid to ask God what He is teaching us and what the instructions are that we are to take from them. Prov. 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. When a dream keeps coming back to your heart and mind, ask the Lord for the reason and interpretation so that your peace would remain.
      Joseph was a young man when God put a life purpose in his heart. The instructions for Joseph's call in life came through a dream. Gen. 37:5a And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren. What if Joseph had ignored the dream and simply said it was only the bad effects of a poorly digested meal? Gen. 37:7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it. Had Joseph not taken the dream of the Lord seriously, he might have missed out on being part of saving a nation from starvation.      
      Joseph's dream kept him going through incredible obstacles that most people would have just given up on. He dreamed a dream, sown by God, that eventually became a fact of life manifested by God. Interestingly enough Joseph knew God spoke to people in dreams and because of that fact Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh's dream and the result was the will of God for Joseph's life. Gen. 41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning as you are! 40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. Only I, the king, will be greater than you. From a farm boy to the head of a nation's affairs, God can work a dream sown in sleep come to fruition in the light of day.
      Mary's fiancée, Joseph, had a dream concerning the direction he should take in his life. He was perplexed with the events happening to Mary. After all, the idea of a virgin birth had not been the first difficulty Joseph thought he would have to deal with as a bridegroom. The suspicion of virtue was foremost on his mind and he needed real direction from God. The dream was clear and well articulated so as to relieve all doubt in Joseph's heart. Matt. 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 
      Later on through another dream, Joseph is able to save his family from murder. Matt. 2:13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. How important are dreams and the instructions received in them? The wise men were also directed through a dream of the Lord for the safety of their lives. Matt. 2:12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
      Don't be afraid to dream and dream big. The dreams in your heart can bring valuable blessing to the lives of others and ourselves. May it be said of us when we walk through this earth, "Here comes that dreamer." May it also be said of us that our dreams do come to pass and are made plain before everyone for the glory of God. May our dreams inspire Godliness and forthrightness in our homes, communities and lands. Whether our dreams come through a good night's sleep or musings on ideas, may God help us fulfill them and the joy of the Lord fill our heart because of them. Amen!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lest We Forget

Proverbs 20:18 Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

      Ester 9:28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation, by every family, and in every province, and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews—nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.
      
We are at that time of the year when we take the time to remember the sacrifices of our great-grandparents and grandparents who fought and died in world wars past. We also remember those who have fought and are fighting in the numerous wars of today. These soldiers fought and fight for our freedom that we often take for granted. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
      Their efforts and fight for freedom has allowed me to write this blog and say what is in my heart. There are many places in the world today that would put me away for having an opinion and faith in Christ. Our freedom and rights came at the cost of many lives.
       Such a great cost to individuals and their families is so incredible that words are hard to find to express gratitude. When the wars were over these unassuming soldiers returned home to try and live normal lives, often forgotten and rarely thanked for what they gave. Many of them found it difficult to find support when their personal demons came to the surface of their lives because of the horrors they had witnessed in the trenches of human decay. Nonetheless, they put their hands to the plow and continue to build our great country. 
      We enjoy our freedom because of the work and dedication of others. John 4:37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ We are able to go farther in life because of what was sacrificially done for us and for the coming generations. So as a society, we put a day per year aside and remember all the freedom we have that came at a high cost to many. Memorial parades and services are held across our land as a time of solemn memory for the fallen and we remember them gladly.
      The Lord asks us to also remember His sacrifice with a memorial participation. 1 Cor. 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” The soldiers gave their lives for our freedom in life so we could make our own choices living in a democratic society. Jesus, on the other hand, gave His life for us so that our souls would be eternally free from eternal death and destruction. His sacrifice can also bring the living out of every bondage that keeps people oppressed. 1 Cor. 15:55  "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" I am grateful on all counts. 
      I am grateful for the sacrifices these men and women have given for my freedom, but I am most grateful for the eternal freedom I have in Christ because of His sacrifice on the cross and the power of His cleansing blood. I am a blessed man because I am enjoying the freedom of country and religion.
      When the names of the fallen are read from the monuments erected in their honor, we stand at attention and quietly say, "Thank you," in our hearts for their ultimate sacrifice. To the maimed and living soldiers who survived, we also salute and are grateful for their courage. The Lord brings our attention to a wall of fame in the book of Hebrews. Read Hebrews chapter eleven. The chapter is a list of those who have gone before us, preparing the way of faith in God. These saints gave their lives for us to have an eternal freedom that can only come through the gift of God. Therefore, let us stand and fight the good fight of faith and live free. 1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 
      During this time of remembering, let us not forget the eternal sacrifice offered to every human in existence through Jesus the savior of the world. Rather than putting a day aside per year, let us remember the Lord's love and sacrifice for us every day of our lives. Thank you, Lord, for our freedom. Amen!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Grudge Match

Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.   

      Bob Marley said, "Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean."
      Do you nurture your grudges like your children? Do you keep them clean and fresh ready to display as prize possessions at the moment of a woe-is-me opportunity? Why is it so difficult to see the effects grudges have in our own lives and yet so easy to see the effects of grudges in others? This is a common occurrence I run across while in a counseling session with people who just cannot get victory in their Christian lives. 

      It is interesting listening to some of these people express their desire for the judgment of God to take place to someone because of a slight or wrong that has happened to them and at the same time claim the mercy and forgiveness of God for their own lives. Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. I know it seems obvious when reading it here on this page but just not obvious enough when it is happening in one's soul. 
      Grudges have a way of wearing down the joy of the Lord in a person's heart the same way sandpaper wears down balsa wood. Unforgiven grudges can show up unexpectedly within a soul out of nowhere. It can be an old photograph peaked at or fragrance on a light breeze that sparks an old angry memory. 
      It can come and sneak up on you like a mugger through a sudden loud sound or a bad taste when biting into something. Before you know it all hell breaks loose and all because of an old nurtured hurt that has turned into a festering grudge against someone who did you wrong. Gen. 4:23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me. 24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven time. 
      How far can a person's heart get distorted because of a grudge? In this case, the grudge resulted in murder and arrogantly bragging about it. It does not take much for a grudge to happen, but it takes courage to stop it in its tracks. When someone takes up a grudge and lets it build into something that eventually will control them, it can have long-lasting irreversible effects. 
      We read the story of King Saul putting David in charge of the men of war. 1 Sam. 18:5 And David went out whither soever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. Life is going well then by chance something happens that causes a grudge to mount up in Saul's heart against David. 
      1 Sam. 18:6 When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. 7 This was their song:  “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” 8 This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” 9 So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David. Wow, talk about being insecure. 
      It was the words of a song that caused a grudge that would last for years and drive King Saul to make numerous insane decisions concerning the kingdom of Israel. Saul ended up losing everything, including the dedication of his own son Jonathan. Was the grudge worth all the misery brought into a nation and individual families over the rhymes and musical notes of a few dancing girls?
      We might laugh at Saul's immaturity but what grudges are you nurturing that can bring catastrophic effects to your life? There are family members today who will not talk to another member of the family because of something that happened way back in kindergarten. There are people whose grudges have become part of their persona. They make all their decisions based on the hurts they experienced when they were in high school. When is enough, enough? 
      What grudges in your life are worth keeping and disobeying God? Will you be able to bring those well-nurtured grudges into heaven with you? I think not. 1 Cor. 13:4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 
      It is worth noticing that on deathbed confessions, people always want to get rid of the grudge in their lives before they meet their Lord. Why wait so long? Do it now and have an abundant life so that the joy of the Lord is with us now and forevermore. No grudge match is worth winning and definitely not at the cost of our life long peace. Amen! 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Daylight Savings

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.

      The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. We then take that hour back during the winter months to give us a brighter morning start.       
      We are trying to get as much daylight as possible so we can live a safe and productive life. In fact, we are redeeming the time so we can have more light. If we who live in this natural world can see the need for light and brightness in our everyday existence, then how much more do we need the light of the Holy Spirit to live an eternal life in God? John 1:9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? If anyone walks in the daytime, he will not stumble, because he sees by the light of this world.
      Jesus was stating the obvious in explaining the difficulty man has in understanding the things of God because of their dark hearts. John 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. The light of the Lord has to be within a man in order to walk in the light of the Holy Spirit, otherwise, man will just stumble through life wondering why everything they do is such a dreary task. Prov. 4:19 The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness; they do not know what causes them to stumble.
      As we get older a regret we often have looking back at our lives is we did not redeem the time well in and at certain times and places. There is no point bemoaning that fact because we did not know what we did not know at the time and we may not have had the illumination in God we have today concerning certain subjects and events. Today is today. Let us redeem the rest of our time for the love of God and His purposes. Rom. 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 
      Let us walk in the light of this day we have been given and be joyful in gratitude so that we can move forward with the light of God's word in our hearts. Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. 
      The life of Jesus is a perfect example of someone who redeemed the time for the task at hand. We see what can happen when a life is dedicated to the ways of the all mighty God. Someone might say, "We have nowhere near the ability Jesus had when He walked the earth." Yet, the word of God says we do have His ability because Jesus lives in us and therefore all things are possible. John 14:12 Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 
      It took Jesus three years and a few followers to change the course of history. Jesus said He would build His church and even hell would not be able to stop it. Talk about redeeming the time and using what was available to Him to change history. All the apostles had to work with was a born-again message that was written on parchments and scripts, but they moved throughout the known world and changed it forever. 
      With the modes of transport available to these dedicated saints they used what they had and developed rich lives in Christ. How much more effective can we be in the kingdom of God with every possible communication device available to us today if we would just redeem the time in our lives and use them to be history changers.
      There is no excuse today for anyone not reading or learning the word of God in order to be a person of blessing in your community. The Scriptures are available twenty-four-seven if anyone has the capability to stay up that long. Finding time to play games and watch mind numbing television seems easy for a lot of people. Finding time to ask God for His direction and help in a life decision seems to be put off till there is a crisis in the person's life. They can rationalise shopping as being easy, but praying is hard. 

      When was the last time you actually talked with God to see what He wanted rather than showing up in panic mode screaming for help? Thank God we can call for help, but there is more in Christ. When Christ returns for His church, will we be walking in faith and redeeming the time of day? Luke 18:8b Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? 
      Redeem the time you have now and develop a relationship with your Lord. Ask Him anything! There is nothing that can shock God as He has been here from the beginning. Walk in the light of His word and God will answer you. Jer. 29:12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Thank you, Lord, for hearing our hearts. In Jesus name!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Point Of No Return

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

      John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
      The point of no return is normally a technical aviation term in navigation to refer to the point on a flight when, due to fuel consumption, a plane is no longer capable of returning to the airfield from which it took off. Major decisions have to be made at that point to ensure the safety of lives and equipment. Literally they are at the point of flying on a wing and a prayer. We all come to a place in life where we make a decision that can be referred to as "The point of no return." 

      As we walk through life and in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ there comes a day when we say in our hearts and homes the same thing Joshua said in his day. Josh 24:15b "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." This statement was Joshua's point of no return.
      Jesus had given a very hard word to his disciples and followers. There was a clear doctrine of belief expressed that Jesus was the bread of life and there was no other way to obtain eternal life. John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. The murmuring was swift and the idea unacceptable to many. John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. At this point, Jesus asks the remaining disciples an interesting question. John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? The remaining disciples answer is the answer that comes after realizing they are at the point of no return. John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 
      How true Peter's statement is when he expressed his heart, "You have the words of life, where can we go?" How many times have you come to that place in life where things are very hard and the pressure to compromise seems to be the only option? However, you know in your heart you have already passed the point of no return when you had honestly made Christ the Lord of your life. We may feel trapped and think that compromise is the way out, but if we are mature Christian we will know that Jesus has the words of life for that situation. John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
      Maybe you are facing a difficult situation in your health, finances or relationships and feel you are at the end of your ability to know what to do and the temptation of compromise seems like the only option. Perhaps you feel like giving up on your health. Your excuse to keep using substances you already know are destroying yourself and your family seems a reasonable delusion. The idea of defrauding a company or a person seems justified because the pressures of financial ruin is threatening your ability to bring home an honest wage and theft seems to be a short-term answer. Maybe you are entering a relationship you already know will be abusive and sensually dishonoring all because your fears of being alone and unwanted are a constant reminder. You are not alone as many are facing the same points of no return in their lives. 
      Matt. 7:13 You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. Instead of compromising, face life with a bull-dog tenacity and stick to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We will overcome because the point of no return concerning God's word being our standard will take precedence. There will be a knowing deep in our hearts that God will come through for us even though we cannot see a way it could happen. Yet at that moment we will know God's faithfulness, but we have to reject compromising our righteousness in Christ. Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
      There are many hard sayings in God's word that can upset a person and their personal beliefs. We can either stay with the Lord and do what He asks of us or we can leave Him and go off and trust our own devices. The point of no return is when we act or react to what Christ says. The Lord is either Lord of all or not at all. The choice is ours. As for me and my house, I choose the words Peter so profoundly said. John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 
      I have made up my mind, I will follow Jesus. There may be times that compromise might seem preferable, but by faith and grace in God's life-giving word, I will choose life. Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. May we all come to the place where God's word takes precedence in our lives and the point of no return becomes the point of victory. Amen!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Double-Talk

Proverbs 3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you"-- when you already have it with you.

      Bertrand Russell said, "Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed."
      We live in a time of perpetual confusion where duplicity and subterfuge is promoted as an acquired skill to survive in this world. We are at that place in our history where we call evil good and good evil. Isa. 5:20 
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 
      We save whales and kill babies. Our governments allow the whims of the few to force unethical changes onto the moral majority. Our corrupt financial leaders protect and promote usurious lending and investment schemes they know are worthless. Big agriculture proclaims the safety and virtue of GMO products to the point of heirloom seed extinction. The big business of cancer saving drugs costing as much as a mortgage is promoted as health care for us all.
      All of these controversies are causing a numbness of the soul wherein Bertrand Russell might be right in that it is discouraging thinking among the masses. The apostle Paul explains this very event that is taking place in our times.
 2 Tim. 3:2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
      I am very aware that there are honest and forthright people in each one of the professional fields mentioned above. Men and women who are truly called to these professions are trying with all their hearts to make a difference while working in a broken system that has become commonplace. When talking with and encouraging these courageous mavericks they often speak of the challenges they face because of all the double-talk and political wranglings that go on behind the scenes. 
      Duplicity and subterfuge are the spiritual giants they are battling on a daily basis. Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. May God give these honorable men and women the ability to overcome the perpetual lies raining down upon them and bring a blessed Godly reform needed in their workplaces.
      What can we do as individuals to help change the status-quo of an insipid existence? How can I make sure I do not buy into this drone like thinking and slothful humanism? One of the ways of beating this trend is to do what the word of God says to do and do it by faith. James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 
      The Lord admonishes us to be vigilant in hearing what His Spirit is saying to us. There is a reward for those of us who overcome the temptation of being sluggish and shallow in our soul. Rev. 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 
      By overcoming the temptation to live a compromising life we will be blessed with the privilege of eating the fruit from of the tree of life. Who is life? John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. When a person receives life they will speak life and double-talk will be far removed from their hearts. We will taste and see that the Lord is good and will want more of His anointed goodness in our lives because we always want more of what tastes good, and God is good. Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
      Enough with all the double-talk and trying to manipulate our fellow man. Prov. 3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you"-- when you already have it with you. Bring honesty to your workplace and see what the Lord can do with the power of one righteous person doing what is right in God's eyes. Stop being part of the rumor mill in your workplace and fellowship centers. EX. 20:16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 
      Make a covenant with your own heart that you will be what God has called you to be. Make your communication plain and without double meanings, so you can be taken at your everyday honest word. Be the miracle that people need right now in the maze of all the multicultural confusion. The principles of God's word has never changed and we can count on the honesty of what God says to us to be true. Mal. 3:6a For I am the Lord, I change not. In Jesus name, may we all grasp and acquire the skill to talk as plainly as our Lord does and live in the peace and joy found in Christ. Amen.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Health-Scare System

Proverbs 1:27 When your fear comes as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish comes upon you.

      Job 3:25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
      I am in my early sixties and I have noticed in general my grandmother's and mother's generation believes absolutely and without question everything the doctor says. My generation, myself included, is very skeptical of what the doctor says and we tend to research everything talked about in the doctor's office. The next generation of forty-something and younger believes nothing the doctor says. I am not sure what this is going to do to medicine as we know it in the near future, but I think a big change will be coming to the whole health-care system as it is presently known. 

      The lack of trust and disbelief in the big pharmaceuticals and their role in influencing the whole medical service plan will have a consequence down the road. This younger (everything is a conspiracy-theory and look out for zombies) generation are finding it hard to trust any type of authority and this is causing fear on an accelerated level. Luke 21:26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
      This past year of my life I have gone through a battle trying to coordinate my doctor, fibrillation-specialist and cardiologist to approach the healing of my heart from a holistic point of view. In the beginning, these medical specialists continually tried to sow fear into my heart so that I would accept the multiple prescriptions they were recommending under the standard status-quo of what they normally hand out as healthcare. 

      I began to call it the heath-scare system because they were trying to instill the fear of every negative possibility that could happen to me during my day and when I slept if I did not take all the pills they were recommending. Gradually all three of my medical professionals started to work with me on a holistic approach when they saw the results from my own healing efforts. Every day and every way I am getting better. With a lot of prayer and faith in the healing power of God, I have come a long way to a place where I am the healthiest I have been in many years. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou may prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.
      I think the main reason for the favorable turn around in my health is that I will not buy into the doctors' fears. 2 Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Every time they tried to push fear on me so that I would acquiesce to modern medicine (which in most cases adds up to taking prescriptions) I would call on the name of the Lord and fight the good fight of faith rather than believe the fearful report. 

      Please don't get me wrong, I do respect the knowledge and years of practicing medicine my doctors have built up in their lives. I also respect their views and the information they have gleaned concerning Atrial Fibrillation: the problem I am overcoming. 
      I am constantly inquiring from their vast amounts of knowledge so that I know what to pray for. However, I will not submit or react to all the dialogue that is fear based and promoted. Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. They can only give me facts about the situation I am in, but God, can deliver the truth of His word over the situation and I choose the truth of God's healing word.
      Fear is not of God but it is a main staple within the world. The Lord went to the cross for each and everyone of us to deliver us from fear and shame so that we would live in relationship with Him without fear. Luke 1:74 That He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, 75 In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. 

      Whenever we seek the Lord, the first thing He does is deliver us from fear. Psalm 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Every time the Lord presents Himself to anyone in the bible he always says, "Fear not." Some of you may be facing some of your greatest health battles you have ever been in. Know that the Lord is good and He will help you quell your fears and help you overcome the fears of the people you have to deal with so you can defeat the sickness trying to invade your life. Speak words of faith and don't be shy in saying you are strong. Joel 3:10b Let the weak say, I am strong.
      Fear is the only weapon the enemy has because he himself is full of fear. Jesus is full of love, life, and He is fearless. Christ's fearlessness lives within each and everyone who has received Him by faith. Do not buy into the fear that is dispensed on a daily basis as if it is a prescription for living. You have the right to reject it because it does not belong to you. Isa. 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  As my friend Monica Izaguirre says, " If you are in Christ, then be fearless!" I say "Amen to that."

Monday, 12 October 2015

A Second Chance

Proverbs 24:16 Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

      If I could just have a second chance, I would fix the hurts I caused in life. How often have people asked for a second chance to make things right after the consequences of messing up royally? Things that were done because of stubbornness ended up altering the course of life and now living with the results. What would you have done differently had you known the outcome of the selfish act you insisted on doing? Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 
      God gives everyone a second chance when they ask Jesus into their heart for the first time. 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The new birth in Christ is the ultimate second chance that has ever been offered to mankind. When you say in your own heart, "If I could just have a second chance at overcoming that problem." God is there willing to give you that opportunity. 
      The beauty of God's redemptive work through Christ is that we get to repent and try again with the help of the Holy Spirit guiding us to conquer whatever has come against us. Whether through dumb behavior of our own free will or falling because of an attack by the enemy of our soul, with God we can get up and try again for a better and righteous result. 
      Some people bemoan the fact that through Adam and Eve's sin we became victims in a fallen world. We start life from a sin default per-se. That may be true, but we are also given an eternal chance to change the result of that first sin we were born into. 1 Pet. 3:18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. There it is. We do not have to remain victims of a fallen state of being. The love God has for us is given to us so we can come home to the Lord's loving embrace and relationship. Matt 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
       Samson made a lot of poor choices and ended up sightless in the world of the godless. He got a second chance when his hair grew back and his strength returned. He called on the name of the Lord for his final act as a judge of God's people and took out the enemy. Judges 16:30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. 
      David and Bathsheba lost their child conceived during their adultery but got a second chance when they repented. God gave them a child who would be king in their future. 1 Kings 1:37 As the LORD was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David! 
      Peter who denied knowing Christ the evening of the Lord's arrest became an apostle of apostles after receiving a second chance from Christ the risen Lord. John 21:17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 
      The woman who had been brought to Jesus for judgment because of adultery received a second chance and the grace to go and sin no more rather than death. John 8:10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" 11 "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
      What a Savior we serve. A God who is constantly giving His love to us and calling us to Himself through faith in Jesus. I have had more chances than I can count from my Lord and Savior to walk with Him in the beauty of His Holiness. Christ has always had a hand extended toward me and anyone who would reach out and take His pierced hand of love. We have all been given a second chance to choose righteousness. Only a fool would reject such a gift as that. Psalm 14:1a  The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." Thank you, Lord, for your everlasting love you have given each and everyone of us. Amen.