Friday, 28 July 2017

Hard Changes

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

      One thing you can always count on is change. Sometimes God asks us to do hard things. One of the hardest things He asks us to do is change. Change our minds on something we had our heart set on but God is saying to let it go. He may ask us to change our attitude toward someone who has hurt us and extend forgiveness toward that person. Mark 11:25  But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, also. 
      God may ask us to sacrifice ourselves for His sake and the Kingdom of God. Church history is full of martyrs who gave themselves for us so that we could have the freedom to have a bible or gather together in prayer in a free and open society. John 4:37 For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.
      Change is happening all the time and all around us. We have no idea what a new day may bring our way. Prov. 27:1-B For you do not know what a day may bring. From the earth's orbital seasons to political parties - change happens. From being young to realizing one day we are older. Change takes us along in its current and if we cannot adapt to the changes going on around us we could become despondent and lost. 
      Business people tell us that change is constant and adaptability is key if the business is to stay viable, relevant, and prosperous. The Lord's church is also changing and hopefully for the better. Remember, we the people are the church of the Lord and we need to move along with Him when He is moving forward. It was that way in the desert with the children of Israel. When the cloud or pillar of fire moved, the people moved. Ex. 13:21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
      With so much change going on, how do we stay stable and secure in the Lord? We are so fortunate to have a God who is constant and continuous in His love toward us. His thoughts and plans for us are victory and blessings. His love never changes toward us. Malachi 3:6-A For I am the LORD, I change not. His love is ever-increasing as we grow within His love. You may be going through something right now that seems hard and difficult to change in your life because God is asking you to do it. It can be done no matter what God is asking. 
      No one in history had to go through a change of life events like Noah did. He went from one type of world existence to another entirely different. He went from millions of people on earth to being only one of eight people starting over. When God asked him to build the ark, Noah had to change his schedule and life goals to fulfill what God was asking him to do. Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. How would it feel to know everything you knew in life was about to be destroyed and you were being asked to be part of the plan?
      One thing we can count on is that Jesus is for us and will help us make any of the hard changes we have to do. Heb. 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and
forever.
He will give us the strength to accomplish that which we were created for. Phil. 4:13 For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. As the Word says "All things," and that includes change when we have to. Blessing to all who are going through hard changes right now. May God give you grace to do it. Amen.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Zombies?

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

      Michel de Montaigne said, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened."
I was watching a documentary on the apocalyptic fear many people are carrying and living within their lives. The host of the program was interviewing people who call themselves doomsday preppers. The astonishing thing to me was that among these survivalists were people who were preparing for a zombie invasion. There was no doubt in their minds that a zombie type attack was coming. Some said it would happen through a government secret operation or a worldwide medical epidemic, but nonetheless, it would happen. What has happened to us as a people? More people are ready today for a zombie apocalypse then they are the second coming of the Lord Jesus. I know Jesus is real and is coming back and I am preparing my heart for that glorious day.

      The word of God declared that Jesus would return to earth for those who are His. Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven." Jesus said to always be ready and alert for His coming because we do not know the exact time. Matt. 24:44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. However, people are investing faith, time, and money into zombie preparedness more than they are preparing their souls for the Kingdom of God. 
      There are survival kits, gear, and plans available and promoted on the Internet for defending of home and lands from the inevitable zombie invasion soon to be in a neighbourhood near you. Talk about self-deception and the spirit of fear taking over people's minds. Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
      
Since when has the B movie industry and those who continually promote a catastrophic future become an authority on life? Are we becoming a nation of people who believe in nothing and therefore fall for anything? Surely we can do better than a discolored, sunken-eyed zombie to be concerned about. I have no problem with learning how to survive off the grid and re-establishing the outdoor skills a lot of us knew as children growing up. 
      I believe re-educating ourselves to be less dependent on the national grid and government assistance is a good idea. Growing our own healthy food, creating solar and wind power are great skills to have in case of an unforeseen emergency. Learning to take care of our spiritual, physical and mental health so that in old age we can still live a life of strength is good common sense. I am not promoting an anti-establishment movement in what I am saying. Live life well and do it in the name of the Lord. Col. 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 
      
The real concern in life is not being ready when Jesus comes for His church. Will God find us with our hearts full of faith and believing in His redemptive work through the blood of Jesus Christ, or will the Lord find us wrapped up in all the fears of the world? Luke 18:8b Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? 
      As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. It may not be as dramatic as fighting off a colony of flesh-eating zombies, but I'll take the peace that God offers to them who are in Christ. There is enough drama in life without inventing more for ourselves. Matt. 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Blessing and peace be on us all.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Sin's Hunger

Proverbs 30:15 The horse leach hath two daughters, crying, give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough.
      
      The machinations of the devil and his strategy to destroy our soul will never stop on this side of life. Satan is literally hell-bent on causing the most amount of damage, heartbreak and destruction in the short time he has left. God put a fire in Satan that is consuming him toward overwhelming burnout. Eze. 28:18 By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you. 
      The devil is fighting a war on two fronts; one within himself and the church of the Lord on the other. There is no rest or peace for our enemy as he is being consumed by God's power from within and without. Isa. 48:22 "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."
      The weapon most used to distract us from the love of God is the pleasures of sin for a season. Sin is fun. However, sin is only fun for a while then it takes its pound of flesh out of its victims through addictions, obsessions, debilitating anxiety, and unnatural cravings. The result of sin can leave people screaming for a fix to take away the pain that once was a pleasurable time of fun and entertainment. 

      The enemy's strategy is to then turn those who have submitted continually into a recidivist going back to the scene of the crime so to speak. Many people in this day and age have forgotten that the wages of sin is still death. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
      Sin's personality is that of a mugger waiting for its chance to rob and kill you. God explains this concept to Cain because of the way Cain was responding to God's command. Cain was putting himself in harm's way of sin's effect and Cain was vulnerable to sin's destruction. Gen. 4:7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master. 
      God says we have to control sin or it will control us. Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Sin will always be crying out loud to give it more and more; similarly to the constant use of a horse leach on the back of a horse. Prov. 30:15a The horse leach hath two daughters, crying, give, give. The flesh of man craves fresh erotic images so to speak, but they end up the same old let down because sin, death, and destruction are not gracious to our life seeking souls. 
      Sin is hungry and is not prejudice with whom it destroys. From innocent children to the dying elderly, sin craves victims no matter the social status or title a person has beside their name. Sin's hunger is insatiable. Ask anyone strongly addicted to any substance if there is a temptation to do anything, including sin, to get the momentary pleasure back? Sin is as hungry for the sinner as the sinner is for the satisfaction within the sin. James 1:15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. It is a lose-lose situation where only sin wins.
      The good news is that Jesus conquered sin and death at the cross and only His sacrifice and resurrection power can help any sinner overcome sin. You have to want to crush sin's hunger and get a real victory for your life. It cannot be a comme ci, comme ça attitude. 
      Faith in the blood of Jesus and the work of the cross will set anyone free from the power of sin and death. That is a promise from God to all mankind. We just have to receive the gift of life that has been offered once and for all. 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.

Friday, 7 July 2017

God Of My Salvation

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding.

      When trying to describe the God of our salvation or anything to do with His greatness, we always come short of explanation and most likely will always fall short of proper description. God cannot be contained within our inadequate conceptions of thought. The difficulty comes when we, as eternal beings, try to explain an infinite God to a population who can barely understand their own lives. This was the situation the disciples found themselves in when Jesus calmed the storm and waves on the sea of Galilee. 
      Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this?" Why were they so afraid after the fear of drowning was over? There were no words to describe the fact that even the elements and the natural laws obeyed the voice of the Lord. Indeed, who is this man? How can He be contained like the rest of us?
      God cannot be contained within our paradigms. He cannot be forced to become our personal servant; He must be our God. Hab. 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. He cannot be held within anything we can imagine because all things were created by Him and in Him. Col. 1:16 For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. 
      God allows us to call on His name because He first loved us. He must become our heart's desire, rather than a whim for the moment. Micah 7:7 Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. God is not controllable or influenced by incantations, tantrums, threats or even bought with any currency. He can only be approached by faith in the goodness and gifting of Jesus Christ. 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.
       No wonder the Apostle John said the world would not have room for all the books written about Jesus' works. John 21:25 There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written. John was having the same difficulty, trying to explain the depth and amazement Jesus was and is to this world. The Apostle John could see it was beyond explanation and understanding. It would take a world full of books describing just the things Jesus did, let alone the awesomeness of salvation for any and each human ever born. What an amazing God of our salvation.
      God cannot be contained within our small reasoning. We must rise with His wisdom, will, and authority working in our lives. Even then we are within God's grace as He shows Himself to our souls. Prov. 3:13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. We get glimpses of His mighty love and power and just when we think we know Him, He shows Himself greater still until the next time we seek His face. Psalm 25:5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. 
      What can I say? The words to describe what I see in Christ elude me even now. God, you are uncontainable to human devices and awesome in Spirit and power. Thank you for your love. Psalm 8:4 What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?