Friday, 26 April 2019

Desires

Proverbs 13:19 A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul, but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.

      Derek Rydall wrote, "The word “desire” means “of the sire” or “of the father.” In other words, that strong impulse to achieve something is actually the “something” already in you, seeking to come out! The very word itself 'desire' has a sacredness about its essence. For the word, De-Sire comes from the Latin meaning "of the Father," to mean that it is of Spirit/God/Source that our desire springs forth from and in that there is a sacred aspect to our desires. Desire is deep love expressed."
      I have to say that when I read this explanation of the word desire, it blessed me. This concept illustrated to me, that when God gives us the desires of our heart, the Lord is in the desire itself because it came from Him. Psalm 20:4 May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. 
      What is your purpose? What is it in God that moves you? What makes you want to shout out to God and say, "This is what I desire!" What have you desired that has been put on hold because you were not sure if it was of God? Maybe you have wanted to sing, dance, paint or sculpture. 
      The deep desire to write a book, play, movie script, or even a bible translation continually finds its way to the forefront of your mind and heart but has been hindered by your own thoughts of, "Would God bless me in this desire to create what I see inside of my heart?" 
      When our heart is for God and the desire of our heart is to bless Him and be the hand extended He created us to be, we can desire what it will take to bring the kingdom of God to this lost world. Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 
      It will take every avenue of wisdom, resources, and creative desire to bring the blessing of the Lord to everyone God has put in our path through a divine appointment. It will cost and it will take faith in the fact that the desires God put in our hearts are part of His plan to bring God's healing word of salvation to all men.
      Relationship with God is still the original plan that God is working from to reconcile His creation to Himself. God did this through the cross and sacrifice of His Son Jesus. However, it will take faith in Christ to bring about God's desire to see all man reconciled to Himself. 2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God has desires and He also puts them in our hearts so we walk together bringing about the plans of God. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
      The desires of our heart are seeds of greatness that God put within each one of us. When we find ourselves wanting something more than the mundane of just existing, then that is the desire of God growing into the plans of God. The Lord brings about the fulfillment of our lives and the reason for our creation through the desires He put within us. We were created in the image of God and part of that image is to be creative. If we are creative people then we will have desires to fulfill the creativity within our hearts. 
      Desires are good to have. Go ahead and follow up on some of the ones you have put aside because the enemy of your soul lied to you saying you were being selfish in wanting to excel in the blessing of the Lord. 
      If you desire healing for someone then call it in through prayer. If you desire prosperity so that you can be a blessing in life, then call it in, and be a vessel of prosperity to the needs you desire to meet. If you desire to build a sky-scraper, stadium, or ocean liner because it is in your heart to do, then do it! The accomplishment of your desires that are fulfilled in God is sweet to the health and strength-building of your soul. Prov. 13:19a A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.
      At this point in my life, I desire to write books, publish, paint, and learn the different skills in grafting plants, plus many other life skills. I also desire to help others who have a creative streak running through them bring out that creativity in its fullness to show the world how great our God is. It is time to live and express the desires of your heart and let God know that you are sincere about walking out the purposes He put within you. God's desire is for you to be blessed, now have the courage and desire to embrace God's love for you. Amen!

Friday, 19 April 2019

Divine Destiny

Proverbs 9:6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.

      There is much to be said about our divine destinies. Some people will be called to do hard things. We were all created for the purposes of God and sometimes these purposes can seem difficult to understand and live out. It is said that all the Apostles died a martyr's death except John who had his own arduous challenges to overcome. These forefathers of the faith gave their lives for the body of Christ and were treated terribly for trying to extend the hand of God in love.
      The incredible courage it took for the first century Christians to live their lives in Christ was remarkable. They were threatened on a daily basis. The persecution of Christians was a national sport in the Roman coliseums. The wounds and scars that were brutally lashed out on these brothers and sisters in the Lord were cruel and sadistic. Yet, the church thrived as Jesus was proclaimed throughout the known world. These saints who bled to death and gave their lives while in the faith of the cross were gathered into the presence of God and have received their eternal joy.
      The Apostle Peter was told he would have to be ready to go where he did not want to go but still was asked to follow Jesus wherever the call brought him. John 21:18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
      John Oakes wrote, "The early church fathers are unanimous in claiming that Peter died in Rome, by crucifixion, during the persecution of Nero in AD 64. We can reasonably conclude that Peter was in fact crucified in Rome. As for his crucifixion upside down, this is much more weakly attested to in only one ancient source which is probably much less reliable than Clement, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Eusebius, and many others."
      In whatever way Peter was crucified, my thoughts were drawn to the difference between Peter's scars made by nails and the Lord's scars. Peter died a martyr and will receive a martyr's crown that he will be able to present to the Lord. Peter's scars will not show as he, like all of us, will receive a healed and eternal glorified body. The martyrs who were burned, decapitated, and ripped apart will all have their martyr's crown, but only Jesus will have the scars of the cross forever and ever. John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
      We will see the Lord's scars throughout eternity as a reminder of the love God has for each and every one of us. Jesus said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and look at my hands. Go ahead Thomas, touch the scar and feel the reality of my love for you." I wonder what it will be like when we see Jesus and notice those scars that should have been ours to bare but Jesus took them for us. I also wonder if I were to touch the scar in His hands, would I feel the enormity of this incredible sacrifice that was done for me? I would have to say, "Yes Lord, your love is real. I can see it and feel it to my very core!"
      Prov. 9:6 Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight. God has given us insight into His love for us through Jesus the Lord and the redemptive work He did on our behalf. Our divine destiny was written with the blood of the lamb and we were made whole through the finished work of the cross and resurrection of Christ. What more can God do to get our attention and leave our ways behind? God's gift of salvation is too great a gift to squander on the small temporary things of this world. Reach out and touch the Lord's scars. His love for you will pulse through them and grip your heart forever. Our destiny is in Christ. Blessings and joy to you all.

Friday, 12 April 2019

A Good Word

Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.

      As an interim minister who is invited to speak in churches, I sometimes hear the Christian colloquial expression, "That was a good word!" As the above proverb says, "A good word makes the heart glad." Is that all it takes to heal and bring gladness into people's lives? Praise the Lord that we have one of the answers to the world's woes. We can bring gladness of heart to this sad world by proclaiming a good word of blessing and of encouragement. Too simple you say. I double-dog dare you to try it!
     Prov. 15:4a A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Steven K. Scott wrote in his book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived, "The Hebrew word for wholesome literally translates "healing" or "curative." In other words, Solomon is saying that a healing tongue is a "tree of life." What a beautiful example Steven Scott gives us. 
      We, who walk in Christ, can bring life because our words can be a tree of life. I love this example. Because trees, of course, are not only alive, they provide life to others. We can bring good and healing words to the world around us because we are living by God's life-giving word. Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. God's word is intended to bring life and healing to those who need it.
      So many of the hurt people we encounter on a daily basis are carrying wounds from malicious words that were carelessly thrown at them throughout their lives. The resulting pain has caused a corrosiveness of heart, resulted in different ill effects, and suffering depressions of the souls. Psalm 42:5a Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? 
      We read the story of Hagar, the bondwoman of Abraham and Sarah. Hagar and her son Ishmael become victims of circumstance. They are thrown out of their family life by the request of Sarah. Gen. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. I am sure there were deep wounds and hurts for being treated so ruthlessly. 
      The castaways run out of water in the desert and are preparing to die when God comes to Hagar with kind words concerning her son. Gen. 21:17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the boy crying from the place where he is." Words inspired by God heal and bring life to the hearts of men. God's specific words a mother wants to hear are heard - her child will be alright. Truly a good word made the heart glad.
      We who know our God have the ability to inspire many lives by simply being careful of how we say things. A good word in season can change a life from disaster to victory. It can change a tense and augmentative situation from anger to a peaceful resolution. Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. 
      We have the ability to bring healing, peace, joy, and blessing to many situations in life. We just have to want to do it. Imagine changing your environment by the kind words you speak and act upon. What a wonderful world that would be. Start by bringing a good word within your family. Try it, I double-dog dare you! Blessings, saints.

Friday, 5 April 2019

We Can Spin It!

Proverbs 28:6 Better the poor person who lives with integrity than the rich one who distorts right and wrong.

      He who distorts right and wrong plus spins the truth into half-truths lacks integrity. Spin-masters distort, rewrite, and exaggerate the reported news to suit the people presenting a slanted version of events that took place. Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. Professional spin-masters work tirelessly to make the news events speak favorably to the sensibilities of the targeted group. Distorted news or fake news as many call it, is believed to be a modern day media problem. There has always been fake news throughout history. There is nothing new here. 
      The Jewish leaders declared, "We can spin it." Matt. 28:12 After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money 13 and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him while we were sleeping.’ The chief priests were creating fake news about what had really happened to the body of Jesus. This is one of the biggest spins ever told. From that fateful day, the distorted report of the Resurrection of Jesus has been lied about, wrongly reported on, and incorrectly taught. The master of spin, the devil, has been weaving stories for gullible people who live in deception.
      Part of the problem is that people want to hear what they want to hear. "Don't give me the truth. I can't handle it." This is their reply to anything that interferes with their life choices. Tell me what I want to hear so I can keep on sinning to my heart's content. 2 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. When you have a willing participant to the deception of life, then there will be no problem for Satan to step in and fill your head with whatever it is you want to hear.
      Gainsayers and bold face liars have been spinning different versions of God's salvation plan from day one. The distorting of truth, right and wrong, is the agenda of those who would turn the grace of the Lord into a free for all. 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.
      Grace teaches us to observe the word of God and to keep it in our hearts. Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Grace does not give us permission to sin. On the contrary, it teaches us to avoid it. When the Lord is the Lord of our heart, no spin is needed to explain our choices of righteousness in God. 
      We don't have to worry about keeping the story straight or keeping the spin according to group agendas. Truth is the truth, right is right, and wrong is wrong. No spin is needed. We can let our yes be yes, and our no be no. Matt. 5:37 But let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ Anything more than this is from the evil one. We don't have to spin the word of the Lord. We just have to proclaim it and the word of God will do what God intends it to do. Isa. 55:11 So my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.
      Thank God the Lord was truthful with us when he sent Jesus to save us from eternal death. He did not have to spin anything. He demonstrated His love for us through the sacrifice of Jesus. A plain and straight declaration of His love. Thank you, God, for Jesus.