Friday, 24 February 2017

The Power Of The Seed

Proverbs 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

      I was reading an article about old seeds that can still germinate after hundreds of years. I found this statement in the article. "The oldest mature seed that has grown into a viable plant was a Judean date palm seed about 2,000 years old, recovered from excavations at Herod the Great's palace on Masada in Israel. It was germinated in 2005."
      
This is an amazing idea to me. Seeds can be germinated after hundreds even thousands of years of storage in a dry and dark place. When we think about the power of life that is still in the seed after hundreds of years, then to resurrect so to speak when planted, gives me hope for all the righteous and good things I have sown in life. Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
      The positive truth about this verse is wonderful. It is often thrown into people's faces as a negative statement: "What goes around comes around. You're going to reap the trouble you sow." However, if we are sowing good and great things in life, then we have nothing to worry about. In fact, we want to reap what we sow in our life with the Lord. 
      Another thing that inspires me about these old seeds germinating years later is the similar way many of us who sowed good things that were done in Christ and in the kingdom of God can still come to fruition years after we have passed from this earth. We can trust the Lord that His word sown works like a seed and grows into the blessing of the Lord, working a good result in the very hearts of those who have heard and receive it.      
      Mark 4:14 The sower sows the word. There is no time limit on the power of the word sown, just like the life in the old seeds. It just takes the right conditions for it to manifest into what God wanted when He sent the word forth to do its work. If there is still life in the seed after years of dormancy, then there is most definitely power and life in God's word throughout life.
      With the Lord in our hearts, my wife and I have sown good things into our two sons' lives. We gave them honest and righteous guidance when they were young and growing up. We did the best we could with what we had. I can rest in the fact that the good seeds sown into their hearts can still come forth throughout their lifetime, even though I do not see some of the fruit right now. Prov. 22:6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. I can trust the Lord to work His word in their hearts because He loves them more than I ever could.
      We read in John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. God wants us to bring forth fruit and the fruit should become something of eternal value. Fruit comes from a tree, bush, plant, or a vine that was germinated from a seed. The life was first in the seed, then became what it produces. Our words are seeds that are continually being sown day after day. Are they seeds of kindness, peace and creativity or are they seeds of death, lies, and destruction? I like the fact. We will reap what we sow.
      John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of eastern North America. Wherever he went years later, apple trees flourished. We might take an example from this man's life and leave a legacy of life-giving words that will influence the next generation to righteousness in Christ. Let us sow the Love of God and see the power of that seed take root in the lives of so many who need to know God's loving heart toward them. In Jesus name.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Functioning In Dysfunction

Proverbs 5:13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!

      Good enough is not God's best. Close enough is not that close. When we are living from one mess to another and become comfortable functioning in the dysfunctions of life, our spiritual ear can become dull of hearing what the Lord is saying to our soul. We no longer try to understand what God is saying in our lives. Heb. 5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 
      St Augustine said: "You are what you love." If you love chaos and are constantly operating from a point of dysfunction, then your heart becomes slow to grasp what God is sowing into your heart. Fear starts to replace faith and as someone said: "Fear tolerated is faith contaminated."           
      There seems to be a nonchalance or norm about the dysfunction that consumes most of the day's events. People are learning to function within their dysfunction, then they wonder why nothing of eternal value is getting done or realized in their hearts. 
      They put stronger efforts into doing the same dysfunctional things and end up angry and discouraged with life. Haggai 1:6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. 
      People are tiredly rushing here and there, only to put another temporary patch on a family argument or blunder through another day of endless tasks to get blindsided by an unexpected bill that empties the family savings account; bringing unnatural pressures to the continual everyday dysfunction. 
      Some want to pull their hair out and scream something outrageous or shout: "Stop the madness." Prov. 5:13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! Others simply fold over in exhaustion. Psalm 6:6 I am weary from my groaning. Every night my couch is drenched with tears, my bed is soaked through.
      Dysfunction is not God's plan for our lives. Chaos is not God's design for a life of peace in Christ. Poor health because of stress is not God's purpose for our relationship with the Lord on this earth. Jesus came that we would have, possess, own, and exist in and with abundant life. John 10:10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 
      God's love for us is real and abundant. His thoughts towards us are thoughts of victory and blessing, not second-hand existence. I reiterate what I have said in the past. The enemy of our soul tries to keep us focused on the regrets of the past and the fears of the future, so that we do nothing for God today. God says in Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 
      God wants us focused on the day we are in, because that is the day we are actually living. The past has passed and the future is not here yet. Today is the day of living and salvation. Today is the day to function in the rest, peace, and joy of the Lord. Today is the day to incline our ear to the teaching of the Lord. Today, look up and bless the Lord. Psalm 46:10a Be still, and know that I am God. Stop the momentum of a dysfunctional life by functioning in the Love of God for this day. May the peace of God favor us this day. Amen!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Sozo: To Save

Proverbs 28:18 Whoso walks uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.

      From the Greek Lexicon: Sozo: To save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction. To save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.
     From the very beginning the Godhead has been at work to save all of humanity completely. God started His salvation plan for our eternal souls and covering our sins from day one after the fall of man. Gen. 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. If skins where provided, then most likely one or two lamb's lives had been taken to cover Adam and Eve's bodies and proclaim the acceptable sacrifice that would cover the penalty of sin for mankind. The fallen human condition had to be reconciled to God the Father and only God could say what would be acceptable as a righteous sacrifice concerning God. 
      All the combined human efforts in history could not or ever measure up to the payment of sin that is accelerating continually in this world. Only Jesus could fulfill the demand of the law that sin created. Acts 4:11 This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it. God the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit have been at work to save us completely in body, soul, and spirit. 
     Saving our body from the spirit of Egypt.
     God the Father saved Israel as a people from human and bodily slavery under Egypt. God used Moses to deliver His people out of the hands of the Egyptian masters and bring them into a place and position where they could serve their living God. Ex. 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. God did this by miraculously providing all provisions the human body could need. 
      The Israelites had shade from the hot sun of the day. They had heat from the cold desert nights. They had water, manna, and quail provided regularly and their clothes and shoes did not wear out during the many years of living in the desert. Their human needs were provided for if they walked in obedience to their God. However, all the laws and ceremonial observances ritually done by the Israelites could not save the soul. The instruments used in the tabernacle set up in the desert was a shadow and prophetic telling of a Savior to come.
     Saving our soul from the spirit of Rome.
     Jesus the Son saved mankind's souls from the soulism of Rome. As said previously, the Godhead has been at work providing salvation for humanity. Jesus came to save our souls and did so during the reign of Rome. The emperor worship that was law during Rome's empire building era was forced upon all people who had been conquered. The crucifixion of slaves and criminals were on public display to declare that the souls of the conquered were owned by Rome and their gods. However, right in the middle of this enforced belief system, Jesus comes along with the message of hope that God is the God of all souls if the individual soul would accept the Son as the delivering gift from God the Father. 
      Luke 9:35 Then a voice came from the cloud, saying: This is My Son, the Chosen One; listen to Him! The people were instructed to listen to Jesus and come under His reign and be delivered through His personal sacrifice on the cross. Before His crucifixion, Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit would come and lead us into all truth and be our comforter. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 
      Saving our spirit from the spirit of Babylon.
      God the Holy Spirit is saving mankind from the seductions of Babylon. This merchandising spirit of Babylon is the cunning force of our age. Rev. 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Her distractions and ever increasing consumption is overwhelming the people in our time. Our spirits are being caught up in the worldwide markets. 
      The descriptive list in Rev. 18:11-18 of everything imaginable that can be bought and traded is what we are to be in control of in our hearts. The Holy Spirit warns us continually that our spirits can be seduced and we should do our best to keep God first in our Christian lives. 2 Tim. 3:1a This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves.
      The Godhead has made it clear in His Word that the full salvation of man comes from God Almighty and Him only. We are called by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus as Lord so that we may have eternal fellowship with God the Father. We have been given a complete and full sozo. Thank you, Lord God, for taking care of all of me, body, soul, and spirit. God is good to us. Amen.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Believing The Impossible

Proverbs 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

      I was talking with my friend Scott about the lack of faith some of us have toward believing God for an impossible miracle as seen from our point of view. He said, "We tend to pray and believe within our ability to pay, buy, or arrange what we are believing for and therefore the impossible does not happen." We ask God to provide for a situation. If within hours it does not appear, we head out looking for a loan to pay for it. Then when we get the loan we say, "God is good for providing for the situation," forgetting that the word says the borrower is servant to the lender.
      We do the same with health, family issues and work problems. Num. 11:23 The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's power limited? You will see whether or not what I have promised will happen to you." This is a good question God is asking Moses and everyone who claims to have a personal relationship with the Lord. Is the Lord's power limited? In some translations it asks: Is the Lord's arm too short? We are all being asked this question. Has God lost His reach and ability on your behalf?
       Most of us know that God can do anything He wants. The problem comes when we are asked if God is willing to do it for us personally. Sure, I have no problem believing God would do something for you, but not all that sure if He would do it for me. Therein is the rub. The word of God says without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 
      I like what Joel Osteen points out in this portion of the verse. For he that comes to God must believe that he is. Must believe that He is what? Yes, we must believe He is God, but more than that, we must believe that He is the miracle we are believing for. He is the actual healing we need. He is the provision our families need. He is it! Isa. 43:11 I, I am Yahweh, and there is no other Savior but Me. 
      We read in the book of Isaiah the story of King Hezekiah who was sick. God said to him through the prophet Isaiah to get his house in order because he would die. Hezekiah prayed and asked God for healing. God tells Isaiah to go back and tell Hezekiah he has granted him another fifteen years of life. God also gave Hezekiah a sign that what God said would happen. Isa. 38:8 I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.'" So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down. 
      How God did this is full of speculation by biblical scholars much smarter than I am. All I know is that God showed Himself as the God who does the impossible. Joshua asked God to stop the sun from going down so he could win the war. God did as Joshua asked. God did the impossible for him. Are we not getting the impossible things done in our life because we do not ask?
      I am at a place in my life where I need the impossible done for me. I need a new heart that pumps right and regularly. I need a real miracle I cannot buy this afternoon. I need to believe God is what I am believing for. I need the impossible. Well, that is what I am doing. I am believing for a new heart. For the last two and a half years, I have done all I can do to take care of my heart and stand in Christ by faith. Eph. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. When you have done all to stand, stand firm and let God do the impossible. 
      Someone might say, "Why put so much faith in the impossible? What if it does not happen? I say, "What if it does happen?" What if God gives me the promise in Proverbs 3:2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Thank you, Lord, I accept that. Eze. 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. A new heart of flesh. I will also take that Lord in Jesus name. If you all could believe the impossible with me for a new heart, I will remember to give God all the glory when it manifests and continually thank Him for all my life. Amen!