Friday, 26 May 2017

Motion Is Lotion

Proverbs 31:17 She begins her work vigorously, and she strengthens her arms.

      There is a new slogan among the elderly these days, "Motion is lotion." This is another way of saying, "No matter how much it hurts, keep moving." If we take this physical dynamic into our spiritual lives, we see the same principle at work. There will be battles and warfare, but with the grace of God we will have to keep moving forward to keep winning the victory Christ has given us. As we walk through the valley of dark shadows, we will have the peace of God guiding us onward. Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
      Moving toward God when we stumble, flinch or fall rather then running from Him is the will of God for our lives. Heb. 4:16 Therefore we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need. Our forward motion in life should always be toward the Lord of our creation. 
      We should never be afraid of God's correction and guidance no matter what we have done, because His affection for us is love. God is not an angry father waiting to back hand or bludgeon us into unconsciousness. His heart toward us is love. Sng. 2:4 He brought me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me was love.
      We read in the book of Mark the story of a woman who had a bleeding disorder for twelve years. She wanted healing and risked public accusation and embarrassment, yet reached out and touched the hem of Jesus' garment. Mark 5:25 Having heard about Jesus, having come in the multitude behind, she touched his garment, 26 for she kept saying, "If only I touch his clothes, I will be healed. Her faith kept her moving forward and pushing through the crowd to the point of reaching out and touching Jesus. Her body was hurting but kept on moving toward the Lord who could heal her. She was physically weak and had not responded to the medical treatments of the day. 
      This woman was at the end of her rope but kept her forward motion toward Jesus the healer. Are we that tenacious when we are suffering from the troubles in life? Do we keep moving toward the Lord regardless of the crowds around us? Giving up is so easy and tempting because worldly crowds and their opinions press us on all sides. Gal. 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
      We can often stumble and get disillusioned by the failures we cause and encounter all around us. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to stop wallowing in the failures of our past and to reach for the victory that is ahead of us. Phil. 3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul is saying, "No matter how much it hurts, keep moving forward in Christ." 
      Yes, we may have lost a battle but we are not losers. True enough, we may have failed at a duty or keeping a promise but we are not failures. We are the blood washed children of God who are growing from glory to glory in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are the Lord's army who march forward by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The lotion for our souls is the holy balm that comes from God's love that is poured out on each one of us through Jesus the Lord. Get up, dust off and keep moving in Him who first loved us and we will all shout the victory. Amen.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Disrespecting God

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

      It is unsettling to know that there are people who mock and jeer at God for what He stands for. Yet the letter from Jude in the Bible warned us that there would be mockers in the last days, prating away about nonsensical things; even corrupting the truth about God. Jude 1:4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous 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. Making fun of God or the man of God is not a new event. All throughout history, there has been persecution on people who stand for what is righteous and true. 
      We read in the book of Nehemiah the mockery the Jews received because they believed they were to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by orders of God. Neh. 4:1 Sanballat was very angry when he learned that we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews, saying in front of his friends and the Samarian army officers, “What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing? Do they think they can build the wall in a single day by just offering a few sacrifices? Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?” 
      The mockers went on to say that the walls could be knocked over by a fox walking on them. Jesus said this type of mockery and treatment could happen to us who are in Christ, because they had hated Him first, so not to be surprised that we also would be hated. John 15:18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 
      We do not have to worry about defending God or the reasons we do what God has asked us to do. God can take care of Himself and those who love Him. Elisha was being harassed and mocked by some young men who did not respect the mantle of the Lord upon a man of God. 
      With a gang mentality, these malefactors thought it entertaining to shout out their two cents worth. However, there is a price to pay for the unbelief promoted against God. 2 Kings 2:23  Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. “Go away, baldy!” they chanted. “Go away, baldy!” 24 Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. Now that is one grizzly result. What seemed funny at the start turned out to be a horrifying mauling death.
      The word of God states clearly and emphatically that God is not mocked! Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. The world would word this verse this way, "What goes around comes around." Many of us have family members who mock and jeer our beliefs in Christ. They roll their eyes when we try to convey a biblical truth that is needed for the situation at hand. Do not fret nor be dismayed because they also did the same with our Lord. Just keep praying for them and be grateful that you are walking in the truth and love of the Lord. 
      The Apostles Peter, James, John and Paul were all mocked and disrespected. We are in good company. Matt. 5:11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Let us ask God for the strength and ability to continue in Christ and be the blessing of the Lord in this lost world. Amen.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Cheating Death

Proverbs10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivers from death.
     
      I had to smile while reading an article on the longevity of life. The writer was describing how some people were cheating death with their healthy lifestyle. No one cheats death because the eventuality of death comes and finds us all.
      I agree that we can try and hold off the inevitable date with some healthy life choices, but as Hamlet said while holding a skull in his hand, "Alas poor Yorick!" We all have an eternity after death and where we spend it is more important than cheating out a few extra years on this side of life. Yes, get all you can out of life and power to you in living a long, vibrant and healthy life.

      We who love the Lord and have a relationship with Him, have a blessed position in Christ. Through the accepted sacrifice on the cross, Jesus defeated death and its sting for each one of us, by His grace with the power of His blood. 1 Cor. 15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” What an amazing gift the Lord has given humanity. 
      Through Christ, we can cheat death so to speak, but we must realize that is through Him and Him only this can be done. Acts 4:12 Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. No amount of personal good works can come close to the sacrifice and cleansing power of that sacrifice God has accepted. 
      What can a man give to God that would be comparable to what has already been accepted by God as perfect and holy?  Eph. 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. 
      As the Proverb says, "Righteousness delivers from death." The right standing that is given to us through Christ delivers from death and not our own efforts. Eph. 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God. 
      Cheating death may seem like an impossibility, but through Christ, it has become our inheritance. Yes, my physical body will die one day, but my soul will live forever with the Lord throughout eternity. Micah 4:5 For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.
      God says His gift of righteousness will help us through the death experience and all the fearful unknowns that come with it. The word of God says He will be our guide in death. Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. 
      Jesus instructs us not to fear them who can kill the body. Luke 12:4 I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. The Lord says we should be more concerned about our eternal state, rather than cheating death here. Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who has authority, after the killing, to cast into hell. Yes, I say to you, fear Him.
      Everything God does in His love for us is to get us to overcome eternal death. God loves us so much He sent His son Jesus to suffer eternal death for us so that we would not have to. Jesus did more than cheat death. He destroyed its power and overcame it completely for us all. What more can God do? 

      God has given His all and His best so we just have to say, "Yes Lord, I receive your gift of eternal life. I receive Jesus as my Lord. Thank you, Lord God, for your goodness and the victory you gained for us over death." Amen and amen.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Whose Report Will We Believe?

Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy.

      There are a lot of voices and opinions out in the world ready to replace what God has sown in our hearts or said in His word. The question we should be asking ourselves is, " Whose report will we believe?" Isa. 53:1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? If God has said it, then we can count on it.
      There is a war going on in the spiritual realm for our minds and thoughts. God has declared through His word that we are loved and accepted through Jesus Christ. Titus 3:5 He saved us -- not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy -- through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 God poured a generous amount of the Spirit on us through Jesus Christ our Savior. God has made it plain that we are His through Christ, yet there is a constant battle of belief going on in the minds of many as to whether they believe the truth of what God said. 

      There is a constant attack on the church and leadership that comes from Satan. The devil promotes doubt and spreads lying rumors to weaken the resolve of God's children. The fact that this happens so fast and regularly shows us that the enemy of our soul cannot handle our faith in the Lord. The moment we believe the truth of God's love, our strength grows and we are able to withstand the lies of the devil. James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
      The word of God continually tells us that God loves us and we are the apple of His eye. Like a loving father, God reaches out to us at all times and makes it possible through Jesus Christ to have an open relationship with Him. Eph. 1:7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. The devil comes along and says we must earn God's love and work for His favor. We have to ask ourselves, "Whose report will we believe?" 
      God tells us that we are saved and blessed. Do we believe it? God says that by the wounds of Christ we are healed. Do we hear and accept it? Isa. 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. The Lord has said we will prosper in Him as our soul prospers. Is that truth acted upon from our hearts? 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Whose report will we believe?
      The circumstances in our life may look dire, but what does God say about those circumstances? The facts are the everyday events we go through. However, the truth is what God says about the overwhelming trials in front of us on our daily walk in Christ. God is truth and there is no lie in Him. What He says to us through His word can be acted upon in full faith and trust. Num. 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
      Whose report will we believe? God's report, or every other sideshow that is out in the world or universe. I believe the Lord loves it when we are believing in Him for the impossible and giving Him the full attention of our heart's faith. I think God smiles on us when we approach Him with the faith of a child and say, " Lord, I will believe your report!" Heb. 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.