Friday, 26 February 2016

Wisdom Of The Foolish.

Proverbs 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

      Bertrand Russell said, "Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness."
      How foolish can we be as a people and as individuals? Very foolish. Throughout history, we have seen nations become foolish collectively. These nations, along with the world, sit back and wonder how such foolishness could have happened on a national scale. In wonderment, they say, "How could this have happened?" Prov. 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
      In my lifetime, I have observed Cuba, North Korea, and the old USSR make slaves of their people. Through subterfuge and brutality of a few crafty people who moved in on the moral vacuum in leadership was able to take over. I realize I am stating an over-simplistic view of these countries choices, as there are always historical events leading to the collapse or birth of an accepted ideology and government system. There is more to the stories of these countries and the people within them than I am presenting. I am simply thinking out loud, while wondering about these historical follies.
      How did relatively free citizens use their free wills or voting rights to vote in a communist and ruthless government who would take away their freedoms and rights to vote? In some cases, laws for these same wayward citizens were created to make them forfeit their own thoughts and ideas as individuals. Unreasonable regulations dictated to the ordinary man by hubris buffoons who thought themselves wise and above their own regulations, laws, and rhetoric. 
      How foolish is that? Ignorance gone to seed on a national level. Yes, manipulation and brute force took place in these places to force people in the direction of these social abuses and insipid existence. In most cases, the people were promised nirvana so to speak if they went along with the political ruse. These sad events that went on are likely to repeat themselves. 
      Humanity will make these same choices throughout the coming years in different parts of the world because the wisdom of the foolish within the lost people of the world will continue as long as there is no change of heart within the crowds and nations. Eccl. 1:9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
      The choices of many in life accelerate this problem when he or she chooses to believe in nothing. When this becomes the common thread in the hearts of the people, then anything begins to sound good; even the declarations of the Godless. Psalm 14:1a The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." 
      The solution can come from each person if the gift of God is caught in their minds and hearts. In most cases, our desires in life are to attain liberty and freedom of choice. We all want better things for our children and society, plus we all want to have the freedom to live in peace. God provided this very thing through the love and sacrifice of Jesus. 2 Cor. 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 
      Someone might say I am oversimplifying the fix for all of mankind's ilks. No! I am not oversimplifying or making light of the complexities in the world. It is these complexities that attract the type of political vermin who bring in death-squads and fear to dominate and steal the hearts of the people. These political predators see a lack of faith in God and move in with their foolish idols and preach a doctrine of hate and revenge. Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
       God plainly declares His love for the world and the gift of His Son is for everyone in the whole wide world. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God, who is pure wisdom, knows Jesus is the answer for all of the world's wars, famines, diseases, and death. God ought to know as He is God and we are not. 
      God is saying Jesus can heal all the hearts in this earth. This is not a man-made theory but a holy fact given to each human being as a gift from the creator of all. Reach out and accept it. All we have to do is say "Yes" to the Lord, and say "No" to foolishness.
      There was a man walking on a sidewalk with a sandwich board. The front said, "I'm a fool for Jesus." The back part of the board said, "Whose fool are you?" Blessings to every person on this earth in Jesus name.

Friday, 19 February 2016

For Better Or Worse

Proverbs 27:5 Better an open reprimand than concealed love.
      
      For better, of course. Why would we choose worse? Well, it seems this question is not as simple to answer as it sounds. People are choosing worse on a regular basis. They choose the worst parts of the human condition; theft, abuse, genocide and a basket full of other griefs every day. As for me and my house, I choose better. A better covenant, a better way, a better life, and a better relationship with my Lord. 
      Better is better all around. As known by many in the faith, Jesus did not come to die on the cross to make bad people good. Jesus was crucified to make dead people live through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and that is a better covenant. The Lord's covenant is better than trying to balance bad acts, thoughts, and behaviors with good ones. 
      The Lord's covenant is a righteous blessing that gives eternal life to all who accept it by faith in Jesus Christ. Heb. 7:22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Therefore, having such a better covenant working on our behalf we would be fools not to enter into it with a full heart of expectation toward God and the joy of the Lord in our souls. Heb. 8:6 But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.  
      When God leads us into righteousness, He often does it with a correction to our character so that we take on the character of Christ. Prov.27:5a Better an open reprimand. Someone might say how is being reprimanded a better thing? If I am corrected before I fall on my face, then I welcome the correction and move on to better things. The underlying value of this correction also proves the love God has for me because He corrects those He loves. Prov. 3:11 My son, do not reject the LORD's discipline, and do not despise his correction.
      Choosing a vibrant relationship with God and man is not always easy but it is always wise. Would there be less war in the world if better choices had been made before the war erupted? Of course, there would be more peace in the world if choices were made from a position of being a blessing rather than a position of taking all you can get at any cost. 
      Would there be less divorce in society if love and respect was chosen during the hard times? Yes, you know it would have gone better for both people if they had just chosen a better way to express love to each other rather than make it all about me! I realize there are impossible situations in the world and in life which will result in war, divorce, and conflict but why should you be the reason for that mess? Fix the war and conflict within your own soul and reach out and bring the balm of healing to the rest of the world.
      Paul, who wrote so much of the New Testament, was before his conversion to Christ a religious zealot. Saul of Tarsus, as he was known then, was putting Christians to death. Acts 9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest. After meeting God on his way to Damascus, Paul received the correction, reprimand, and direction of the Lord. At that point, Paul chose a better way to live. He was once the persecutor and became the persecuted because of his better choice, but oh, what a blessing he became to the Christian faith. He helped us all understand the new birth in Christ in a better and righteous way.
      So many of our choices in life are for better or worse. We might be living with the result of the worse choice we made in the past. We might feel like there is no way out of the terrible choice we selfishly went with and we are in the worse situation possible. Take heart saints, Jesus is still Lord over all the earth and He can and will help us if we let Him. He says you are better than the mess you are in and worth more. Matt. 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are ye not much better than they? 
       Christ knows the value your heavenly Father has for you. Jesus gave himself for us all at the cross so that we would have the faith and ability to make better choices in this fallen world. We can be assured of the Lord's victory because He says He has overcome this world. John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. For better or worse is put before us daily. Choose better because it is life and it is a better life. Amen.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Gravity Determines Destiny

Proverbs 20:24 Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?

      Someone said, "Rain doesn’t fall, it is pulled to the ground by gravity."
      Who is pulling you toward your eternal destiny? Are you easily drawn away from the guidance of the Lord by every wind of doctrine because of immature choices in life? Eph. 4:14 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed like waves and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, or by clever strategies that would lead us astray. God created us with eternity in our hearts and through Christ set us on a righteous path to follow during our lifetime. 
      Maybe this is a rigid example, but in the same way a planet remains in their orbital track and movement around the sun, we too have a similar course to follow. The laws of gravity keep the planets from crashing into other planets and keep them from heading toward the sun resulting in a final burn out. 
      What or who has a gravitational pull on your mind, soul, and body? In your relationship with the Lord, are you allowing God to direct your life's orbit around and through Jesus Christ the Lord? So many people have chosen their own orbital way and have crash-landed with great harm to themselves and others.
      In the book of Judges chapter, 14 to 16 is the story of Samson. As I read this story the thoughts of carnal minded behavior seemed rampant as Samson went along with whatever felt good at the time. If God seemed to be the right choice, he went along with God. If girls and crazy living was the event of the day, he went along with that. Samson did not seem to have any sense of direction he could follow except his own brute strength for the momentary problems at hand. 
      I do realize that in this age of sword wielding justice, talk was most likely the last resort, and true, the spirit of the Lord came upon Samson in order to judge the Philistines because that was Samson's call. However, it seemed everything Samson did always came down to slash and burn then deal with the consequences later. His reckless behavior got him into a place of vulnerability and it cost him his eyesight. Judges 16:21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison.
      Eventually throughout life, there is always a cost to blatant disregard for the instructions of the Lord. In Samson's case, he revealed the secret of his strength while his guard was down. Samson was no pushover. He was mighty but had assumed he would always be on track with God regardless of what he said or did. 

      Thank God for the Lord's mercy because Samson repented and was used one more time to bring the judgment of God upon the Philistines. Judges 16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. 
      When we stop moving within the gravitational laws, so to speak, that God has put within our lives, we can end up sightless in a worldly prison of our own doing just like Samson. We can end up weak, bitter, and without spiritual sight within the harshness and results of our choices. Many think freedom is doing whatever a person wants without regard for anything or anyone. The laws of life are not like that nor are the instructions of the Lord. 
      There is a spiritual orbit to life and the gravity of God's ways keep us on track. Is a train free if it runs off the tracks? No, it needs the alignment of the rails to allow it to pull tonnage beyond belief and move smoothly with all that weight. Is a kite free without the strength of the cord connecting it to the hand of the handler? No, the kite needs to be tied to a strong connected cord so that the kite can be maneuvered beautifully in the high pressured winds it finds itself freely flying in. 
      If the train and kite could talk, they would say plainly, their joy comes because of obeying the boundaries of grace that help them fulfill their purpose. Well, saints, the joy of the Lord and our connection to Him is our strength. The Lord gives us the ability to stay within the gravity of God's pull on our lives. Neh. 8:10b For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Therefore, we freely orbit the Son of God and become truly free. Free indeed. John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 
      Psalm 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visit him? We are the beloved of God, that is who we are. How can so great a God want our love and friendship? Sometimes I think I know but all I can say is, "Wow, what a good God we serve." In Him, we have our destiny. Keep us Lord in the orbit of your love at all times. Amen!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Never In Doubt

Proverbs 2:5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

      Never doubt the love of God; it is the only thing that can fix any and every problem on earth. The love of God toward us should never be in doubt. We never have to doubt the love that God has poured out on each and every one of us who believe and for those who do not believe in him. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
      God loves everyone. He even loves the enemies marked by politicians as the people we should be hating vigorously. God's love is for everyone, not just a few. What God does not love, is sin. God loves the sinner but hates sin regardless of where you live on this earth or who you are. Rom. 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
      Someone might say, "Hasn't everything been said there is to say about the love of God?" Categorically, absolutely, definitely no! We have not even scratched the tip of a pinhead when it comes to the knowledge and understanding of the love of God and His plan of love for each and every one of us. 1 John 4:15 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him. 
      How can a love that seems too good to be true be understood with a few platitudes delivered through a few homilies once a week? Saints, it takes personal a relationship with our Lord to begin to understand His love for us. No matter what book of the bible we read we can find Jesus through the pages declaring His love toward us. Each book prophetically points to Jesus and his desire for a relationship with each member of his created beings. 
      The types and symbols that speak of lordship, authority and the divinity of Jesus Christ permeate the pages of the Bible while pronouncing the blessing of God's love for each and every person on earth. Wow! What a love so hard to describe that lives within us who have accepted God's gift of love through our Lord Jesus. Rom. 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
      Never be in doubt of the abundant love available to heal, provide, and renew our lives for the glory of God. A man with leprosy said to Jesus, "If you are willing you can make me clean." Jesus stated that He was willing. Luke 5:12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him. 
      In this one encounter with Jesus, this man who had been a plague in society was healed, restored, and provided for with one kind loving act from the Lord Jesus. From that point on there was no doubt in this man's heart of the love of God. The law had shunned and alienated this man from family and society because of a disease the law could not heal. However, the grace of Jesus' love provided all the man needed to live an abundant life. John 10:10b I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 
      What part of God's love are you in doubt about these days? Are you doubting God will heal you? Maybe you have lost your job and you see no way of being provided for. The love that once flourished in your marriage has waned and you want the relationship restored. Some family members seem off track and are making dangerous choices causing some to doubt in the love of God. 
      Let me assure you through God's word there is nothing the love of God cannot heal, fix, conquer, repair, or restore for you and your family. Jer. 33:27 "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Never be in doubt of Jesus' intentions toward our souls. 
      Jesus knew his reason for coming and loving us in the flesh per se. Isa. 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3a and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
      The Lord fulfilled the mandate proclaimed in the above verses at the cross for each and every person on earth. What an amazing love Christ has for us. Never be in doubt of that fact. God loves you!