Friday, 29 November 2019

Wheels Within Wheels

Proverbs 25:2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.

      Ezekiel 1:15 When I looked at the living creatures, there was one wheel on the ground beside each of the four-faced creatures. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their craftsmanship was like the gleam of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. Their appearance and craftsmanship was like a wheel within a wheel.
      A wheel moving within a wheel speaks of continual motion and the march of time revealing God's eternal plan. The Lord's plan for man is forever moving forward and will be fulfilled regardless of what anyone thinks or does. Our Heavenly Father may have concealed many mysteries, but He expects us to find out what they are with His help. One of the most incredible aspects of God's goodness is that He wants us to share in His love and eternal life. The Lord desires and encourages us to discover how wonderful and neverending is His grace that He has made available to us all. Prov. 25:2 It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.
      God's love is in perpetual motion toward us and becomes evident in the life we receive through Christ. The power of God's love moves like a wheel within a wheel, a mystery within a mystery, a prophecy within a prophecy, and a word within a word. Always displaying a new and wonderful aspect of God's favorable love for us. Right from creation, the Spirit moved. Gen. 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The Spirit of the Lord is always moving toward us in grace.
      I have had a personal relationship with the Lord for more than half of my life and have been involved in some kind of ministry throughout the same amount of time. For over forty years I've loved the Lord and revelled in His magnificence. Truly the width, breadth, and depth of finding out who God is - is beyond comprehension. Rom. 11:33  Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! The continual discovery of God's goodness never stops moving or revealing its greatness. This aspect of discovery will never end throughout eternity. We will always be growing in God's love forever and ever.
      We, the created of God, are only eternal beings, but God is an infinite God, and our relationship with Him will always be new and fresh. Throughout our eternity, each time the wheel turns and rotates so to speak will expose a new and magnificent revelation of God to our hearts. The joy of that revelatory moment will explode into expressions of wow, wow, and wow! Our eternal gladness will be beyond our capacity to contain it. Count me in on that amount of love that will be mine to live in. Yes, bring it on.
      The Apostle Paul was not a spiritual lightweight. Yet, he had a hard time explaining being in God's very presence. 2 Cor. 12:1 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Fourteen years later, Paul is still trying to wrap his heart and mind around his incredible experience of being overwhelmed by standing in front of Almighty God. Yet, in that encounter, Paul was able to glean the instructions from the Lord to write so much of the New Testament. Talk about trying to explain a mystery within a mystery or a wheel within a wheel.
      If we came face to face with our Lord, we too would react like so many who felt that they were about to die. The intenseness of God's purity and holy presence does not allow us to stand there and not be affected or answer His call. We are not talking about some sports phenom or the president of a nation. We are talking about Almighty God who has given all He can to bless and save our souls. May we all keep moving forward with God's plan for our lives and become part of that wheel within the mystery of God's goodness. Amen, and amen!

Friday, 22 November 2019

I Post Therefore I am

Proverbs 30:3 I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.

      René Descartes said, "I think, therefore, I am." If René was alive today, he may have well said, "I post, therefore, I am." You would think that with all the technological advantages available at everyone's fingertip in this world, mankind would have reached some kind of spiritual intelligence that would uplift the human race. Yet, we look around and see that we are as pathetic and self-absorbed as ever. Yes, we have made great strides in technology and can communicate this technology within milliseconds. However, we have not mastered the wisdom needed to honour and respect one another, nor are we inclined to seeking God.
      There are blogs, videos, webpages, and scores of documents of every kind on any subject ever thought of under the sun. Whether the subjects are good or evil, we can access the information, then repost it within seconds. On a worldwide scale, we post at accelerated speeds, and everyone can give a pseudo-opinion on anything, whether they know the subject or not. As my friend Scott says, "People are just rearranging the cliches." In other words, there does not seem to be much original thought. Therefore, we are just regurgitating human idealism while still lacking the wisdom of doing what God has asked us to do. Prov. 30:2 Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man.
      Posting for all to see, is not a new thing. God was doing it a long time ago, and when He did it, He got people's attention. Dan. 5:5 At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the king’s palace wall next to the lampstand. As the king watched the hand that was writing, 6 his face turned pale, and his thoughts so terrified him that he soiled himself and his knees knocked together. Talk about a post that had a life-changing impact. 
      Belshazzar, the king, was doing what most people do when they think they have made it in life, and do not thank God for their fortunate blessings. The king was putting on the party of the century while showing off all he owned and bragging about all his accomplishments. A self-made ruler or tycoon so to speak. But God had something to say to this king. Dan. 5:25 This is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. The post was clear and to the point, as read in Dan. 5:26 to 28 God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end. You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 
      What an amazing post the Lord scratched into the plaster of the king's wall. Nothing to misunderstand and nothing to misinterpret. The effect was so real and truthful that the king began to panic and shut down physically. Fear had taken over his body. At that point, all the information in the kingdom could not have helped Belshazzar because he was spiritually bankrupt. Similarly, this is the spirit of our day. We know a lot, but in reality, know very little when it comes to real-life substance. 
      What has God posted on the wall of your heart? What has the Lord been showing us that we need to take notice of? It does not matter how many trillions of post the world puts out on the world-wide-web claiming to know everything knowable. If what is written is contrary to the plan that God has for your life, then it is all second rate knowledge and in most cases, mindless dribble.
      When God declares, proclaims, and posts something, we had better take notice. I may have billions of bytes of information at my fingertips, but if I don't have God's wisdom to use the information, then what good is it? Prov. 30:3 I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One. Throughout my life, I will most likely post many articles. However, the posting is not who I am, it is only one of the things I do. What I am is the righteousness of God through Christ. That is who I am. This identity was given to me through Christ. Blessings.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

If You Want

Proverbs 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and gracious love finds life, righteousness, and honor.

      Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Righteousness is something we have to want. A question that many people are asking is, "Why should I care about being right with God?" This is a good question - especially for the people who do not know or walk with God. What are some compelling reasons for being righteous or being right with God? Why should anyone care?
      I'm asking this question because I am involved in ministry, and I have noticed a trend among people who are just floundering through life, not caring whether they are right with God or not. I feel like we have missed the message Jesus asked us to proclaim, and that is - we can now be right with God the Father, because of what Jesus did on the cross. We should be able to see the magnificence of this God-given gift that is such a wow-miracle for all of mankind. Yet, there is little desire or enthusiasm to be right with God. What will compel a man to want righteousness?
      I know that the enemy of our soul has blinded the eyes of many to see this incredible gift. 2 Cor. 4:4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. As previously referenced, "Righteousness is something we have to want." It would seem to me, that at least one compelling reason to want to be right with God, would be, to get rid of the devil's influence in our lives.
      What is everyone looking for in life? Most people are looking for real-life and the meaning of it. When a person wants to be right with God and pursues it God's way, that person will find life. Prov. 21:21 Whoever pursues righteousness and gracious love finds life, righteousness, and honor. This is a compelling reason to want to be right with God. We will finally find life. Jesus, who is the life, says, "If you want life and be able to enter into the fullness of life, then keep His commands, Matt. 19:17b But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." Notice, Jesus said, "If you want to enter life." It has to be our choice, and we have to want it! I have to want God's life working in me to receive real life.
      When we become, through faith, the righteousness of God in Christ, we have life now. 2 Cor. 5:21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. This is good news and a compelling reason to choose life. We have the right to stand with our Heavenly Father because of what Jesus did for us. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, I have found my life.
      We read the story of Bartimaeus who was blind. Bartimaeus wanted life and a better life at that. As Jesus walked by him, he called out loudly for Jesus to help him. When Jesus asked him to come near. The Lord said, "What do you want?" Mark 10:51 Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "Rabbi, let me see again." Jesus healed him right there and then because Bartimaeus wanted his sight - so he could have a better life.
      How much more will Jesus give us His righteousness so we can be right with our heavenly Father? However, we have to ask for it by faith and have a willingness to want it. The compelling reason to want to be right with God - is that God, wants us to be right with Him. John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. If you want, you can have eternal life. If you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will receive it. But you have to want it.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Famine In Paradise

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

      Genesis 47:4 And they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to stay in the land for a while because there is no grazing land for your servants’ sheep, since the famine in the land of Canaan has been severe. So now, please let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.” 
      How can there be a famine in the land of promise? I thought God would make sure nothing bad or difficult would happen to me once I signed on the dotted salvation line? We are being unrealistic if we think we will coast through this life with no battles to overcome in our walk with God. We have an enemy who's main intention toward all man is destruction, mayhem, and death. 
      Sometimes Christians are befuddled when things go wrong in their lives - as if being in Christ solves all problems instantly. "Why am I having these troubles if God is on my side?" is a question often asked. In a lot of situations, we are having problems because God is with us. John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 
      Remember that relationship with God is not an insurance policy for a perfect life, but rather, it is a blessed assurance of the fact that God is for us and in the end, we will come out victorious. However, going through life will have multiple challenges of all kinds. Some will be easy enough to overcome and some will become brutal battles with casualties.
      As Christians, we will need our faith to defeat sickness, disease, and stress as many people in the world do. We will set goals throughout our life and will have ups and downs when the enemy of our soul throws a wicked curveball our way. We are in a world where many terrible events happen. But, we are not of the world where we face these events alone. We have the Lord in our hearts and on our side directing us through the valley of life's shadows. However, we do not stop and become a resident in the valley of turmoil. Our life is hidden in Christ and we will resurrect to victory.
      Rebekah was dealing with the fact that she could not conceive a child. If Rebekah was in covenant with God as her husband Isaac was, then why all the infertility problems? Didn't God promise Abraham that the whole world would be blessed because of Abraham's descendants? Gen. 22:18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me. 
      Relationship with the Lord is not a guarantee for easy living, but rather, a call to prayer and devotion with our God. The Lord will guide us toward conquering the giants before us when we ask for His help by faith. Gen. ‭25:21 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.
      King David was a man after God's heart, and yet, he had major battles after he inherited the promises of God concerning his reign. The Apostles had to overcome some of the most treacherous attacks on their character and physical bodies after they had been proclaimed the leaders of our faith. Historically, the cruelty perpetrated on the men and women of God has been outrageous and shameful, and yet, these saints belonged to God and battled forward. Heb. 10:32 Remember the earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings. All these people endured after the promises of Christ had been fulfilled in their lives. 
      Can there be a famine in the land of promise? Yes, but this should not stop us from proclaiming the promises of God. We should not stop drawing closer to the heart of our heavenly Father. When we keep our integrity during hard times, God will guide us through the mess. Prov. 11:2 The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. If there can be a famine in the land of promise while we walk in the blessings of the Lord, then imagine the devastating war-torn deprivation that is prevalent in the world system, where there is no hope, future, or restoration of the soul.
      We who are in the Lord, always have a redemptive hope in our hearts. Christ, our beacon leads us through the battlefields of life where we are more than conquerors. We never need to worry, because the Lord will keep us and guide us to the very end. Psalm 48:14 For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Your Schadenfreude is showing

Proverbs 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles. 

      Isaiah‬ ‭3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them, and like Sodom, they flaunt their sin; they do not conceal it. Woe to them, for they have brought disaster on themselves. When disaster comes upon an enemy, politician, celebrity, or leader as a result of their destructive behavior, and the mess they caused brings the wrath of the world down upon themselves, then we need to be very careful about our joy and gloating concerning this person's fall from grace. The world media may be dumping hateful remarks twenty-four-seven on this fallen pariah, however, we Christians should remember to watch our step, less our schadenfreude starts to show. Prov. 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.
     When another person's bad fortune secretly makes you feel good, then your schadenfreude is showing. We all have to keep this type of self-righteous envy under control, or we may become a victim of our own disaster. Prov 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? As a society, have we not grown beyond the need of locking someone up with stocks and pillory in a public square, then shamefully abusing them to the point of humiliation? 
      We use terms like, "It was poetic justice that got them, or what goes around comes around." Many people rationalize their cheap shots and remarks. However, we should remember, "If not for the grace of God there go I." Plus, poetic justice, will not be enough justice for some, as they will want justice that brings personal satisfaction, and that satisfaction is a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied. 
      We have just come through a federal election in Canada. The vitriol expressed among the candidates was the normal disingenuous rhetoric that is normally heard in elections. However, it was disheartening to see the venomous lashing out, and fulminating anger coming out of the Canadian voters. I am concerned about the heart of who we are as a people. I may not want a certain candidate to win their electoral seat, but I do not wish destructive failure upon them as a parent, grandparent, spouse, or fellow citizen of this country.          
      Even though these elected members have a national responsibility throughout our country, they also have the same rights that we all enjoy and live by. What they may not have, is someone praying for them, and that is our mandate as Christians living in this free dominion. We are to pray for our leader's hearts and conscience to be responsive to the will of God. 1 Tim. 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. Please notice. The above verse does not guarantee that there will be peace in the land, but it does say, if I pray for my leaders, I will live peacefully.
      Posting hate and violent intentions through all the media platforms after the fact, as in, (Hey, the election is over and determined) is not going to get the work that needs doing - done. Making death threats, smashing, and defacing candidates' offices with derogatory slurs, then bragging about it, will only bring self-destruction on the ones acting out in this mob mentality. The upshot for these thugs is that the very freedom they are upset about losing - they end up losing through incarceration. Prov. 26:27  Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. 
      We need to gather our God-given emotions and bring them into line with the will of our God. When our schadenfreude is showing, and we are delighted and feel good at the misfortune of another human being, it makes us an ugly people. We shout, scream, and have fun when our sports team wins against a rival team we do not like. However, we do not jump for joy when a player on either team is physically hurt or ruined from the sport for life. Hopefully, we have not fallen so low in our souls to make this place of existence our default setting in life. 
      The law of God is love. In this loveless world, this commandment from God can be difficult to live up to. This is why we need His grace to help us love the unlovable. If you have been enjoying the fall of someone you feel deserves everything they got. Then ask God to show you what you deserved before Christ saved your soul. The Lord does not sit back and enjoy the fallen state and mess we find ourselves in. God gave His Son to free us from the pranger, stock, or pillory the enemy of our soul had us shackled to. If Christ did this for us, then we too can try and do it for others. Prov 28:9 Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law — even his prayer is detestable.