Thursday, 31 December 2020

Where Are You?

Proverbs 3:13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding.

      Genesis. 3:9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” What a loaded question God asked Adam and Eve after they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This inquiry from God is still echoing and is asking us the same thing. So, where are you right now in your walk with the Lord? Where are you at? What are you doing with the precious life God gave you?
      When God comes along and asks you a question, get ready to have your life changed permanently. God asked Job if he could create astronomical laws within the constellation. Job 38:31 Can you fasten the chains of the Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion? Along with many other questions that were poured out on Job that could not be answered, Job eventually said, "I have spoken out of turn." Job 42:3b Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 
      Like Job, we too have spoken out of turn on many subjects and events. We do not know it all, even though many of us think we do. We may have glimpses and ideas on things, but we do not know everything. 1Cor. 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. We need God's wisdom to get through life, and we need lots of it. So when God asks us, "Where are you?" He might also be asking why you are not responding to His will. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
      We can be going along in our daily lives thinking everything is fine, but God comes along and asks a question. The Israelites were convinced in their hearts that everything was just fine. However, God asked a key question to point out what was wrong in their lives. Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. God lays out where the people are at by the question asked. They were robbing God and had no conviction about it. The Lord had to show them what had become of their hearts.
     It is obvious that God already knows where we are. He wants to show us where we have ended up at this point in our walk with Him. Right after the crucifixion, two of the disciples were walking to Emmaus, Jesus comes alongside asking a question. Luke 24:17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. The two disciples started pouring their hearts out as to what had been done to Jesus and the mess they found themselves in. Again, Jesus asks a key question to point out where the disciples are at. Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 
      At this point, Jesus goes on to expound on all the scriptures that foretold what the Messiah would have to go through to save mankind. As the disciples yielded to the word that was being sown into their hearts, their eyes were opened to who Jesus was and where they were at in their relationship with Him. When God says, "Where are you?" Get ready to have a life-changing event that will push you forward in His plan for your life.
      So, I ask you saints. Where are you right now in your relationship with your heavenly Father? What question has God asked you lately that demands an honest answer? With God's help, go ahead and answer the question and get a whole new perspective on the love of God. God's questions are not to trip you up but rather to help you understand His love for you. Prov. 3:13 Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding. Blessings.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Great Pretenders

Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.   

      Luke 20:20 They watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, so that they could catch him in what he said, to hand him over to the governor’s rule and authority. What were these spies thinking? How hubristic to think you can trick God.
      When actors are interviewed after they have played Jesus in a movie role, their common observations and remarks about the role are how difficult it was to pretend to be righteous. Why do they say this? Because what does being righteous actually look like? These actors have difficulty expressing what Jesus was truly like because their only reference to His righteous character is what historians and movie directors think Jesus was like. You cannot give away what you do not have. If you do not have God's righteousness, how can you truly express it on screen or in life?
      We either have God's righteousness through Christ, or we don't have it at all. Everything else is self-righteousness and a form of pretence as to what a person thinks righteousness looks like in their own mind. If a person does not know what God's righteousness actually is, then it will be easy for that person to be fooled by a pretender who is displaying or acting out a form of what looks like acceptable human goodness. 2Cor.11:13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. This is why cults flourish.
      I like the fact that you cannot fool God with pretence. Some think they can, but the Word of God clearly describes these people as fools. Prov. 21:30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD. Imagine on judgment day as God points out some issues that have to be accounted for and answering God with, "Come on God, I think you got that wrong." Or, " Well God, I don't believe you understand the situation." Ha, what a pathetic attempt at trying to bamboozle our infinite All-Mighty God.
      No Saints, Jesus knows exactly what and who we are. He intimately knows our motives and our soul's nature. Christ recognizes the essence of our heart and what is in it. That is why we need Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. John 2:23 While He was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in His name when they saw the signs He was doing. 24 Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since He knew them all 25 and because He did not need anyone to testify about man; for He himself knew what was in man.
      Jesus knows that man is a great pretender of false qualities and bias when reporting on personal attributes. Prov. 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. Our ability to pretend to be someone or something that we are not, comes to us very easily. However, pretending to have God's righteousness is an attempt at futility because that holy righteousness can only come from God Himself. No one else has that righteous gift to give.
      The rest that comes to our soul when we quit pretending, and we allow God to give us His righteousness by accepting Christ as our Lord, is a restful peace beyond explanation. We can stop striving for acceptance through pretence because we have the Lord's righteous peace reigning within us. We no longer have to pretend to be anything because we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2Cor. 5:21 God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God. What amazing grace. Amen and amen!

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow

Proverbs 7:2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

      Benjamin Franklin said, "Common sense is something everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack."
      Our old common sense rules still apply no matter how long they have been around. Don't eat the yellow snow, is still a good rule to live by, even in this capricious day and age. Especially if you live in any part of the world that gets a season of snow. Many laws are full of common sense and yet, not followed. Thou shall not steal, and not committing adultery, is still as important today as it was when written by God's finger upon stone tablets many years ago. Yet, adultery and theft are continually glamorized in our society as being the normal way to go.
      With today's flexible morality within people's consciousness, there is a tendency to rewrite the meaning of laws to suit the trends and times that we live in. God's laws are meant to preserve our life and not hinder our direction in life. Prov. 13:14 A wise person’s instruction is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death. Plus, obeying God's laws brings us an abundance of blessings and the ability to reason righteously. Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
      The jails are full of people who disregarded the laws of life. Our divorce courts are full of heartbroken souls who chose to ignore their marriage vows. We will always have those who insist on eating the yellow snow, but it does not have to be you or me who are doing it. Wisdom allows us to learn from other people's errors in life. Prov. 24:30 I went past the field of a slacker and by the vineyard of a man lacking judgment. 31 Thorns had grown up everywhere, thistles had covered the ground, and the stone wall was broken down.      
      We read the story of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys who chose not to eat the foods King Nebuchadnezzar had instructed the captives to eat. Daniel had asked to be exempt from eating food sacrificed to idols. Dan. 1:8 Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief eunuch not to defile himself. Dan. 1:12 Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 
      Daniel knew the slippery-slope of losing one's holy identity in the world's overindulgences. He could see the character of those around him being changed as they were given new names and lifestyles to become assimilated into the Chaldean culture. Prov. 7:2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.  The Hebrew young men were being asked to eat the yellow snow so to speak, but they kept their hearts in the laws of the Lord. Psalm 40:8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.
      The world has always been wicked, and there has always been an abundance of sin within it. There is nothing new here. From our history's past, until now, we have always needed a saviour to deliver us from ourselves. The world stumbles along because its population does not see their need for God. Well, Saints, I do see the need for God in my life. I choose to be separated unto the Lord by submitting to God's will in heart and mind. 2Cor. 6:17 Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.
      When we walk with the Lord, we will all have to make a conscious decision to be attentive in choosing His gift of righteousness. This is not always easy, but necessary because the ways of the Lord always lead to life everlasting. John 6:47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. Blessings.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Eye Candy

Proverbs 7:2 Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.

      What have you got your eye on that is interfering with the peace of God in your life? We may not see the blatant idolatry that was written about in the old testament, as in the bowing down to man-made deities like Baal, Ashtaroth, and Dagon, but idolatry is still with us. Anything that we put before our obedience to God's word, will result in idolatry and eventually to a form of greed. Janwillian van de Wetering said, "Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough."
      Eye candy to one person may not have the same desire for another person. We all have different ideas as to what would make us happy. We have all heard someone say. "If only I had that, then I would be happy." How many times has this empty statement caused grief in a person's life? We can get so caught up with an idol, that we do not see the worthlessness of that sparkling bobble that has hooked us by the nose and is leading us astray. Luke 12:15 Then He said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
      Our prayer to God is to ask for help to be able to see the worthlessness of the idol that is drawing us away from God's leading. Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things in life, but not at the cost of our relationship with God. Keep the things of God at the forefront of our hearts and mind so that we see clearly how to live in God's presence. Prov. 7:2 Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.
      We read the story of Absalom, King David's son, who craved power and wanted his father's kingdom so bad that his actions became treasonous. Absalom literally worked the crowd to curry favour with the people of Israel by pointing out the shortcomings of his father's realm. He pretended to be the man of the people. 2Sam. 15:4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.” A true politician of the day.
      Power was Absalom's idol, and it was taking over his good judgment. 2Sam. 15:6 Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. Absolom did not earn his position through servanthood, but rather, stole his position by stealing the hearts of the people. This idol had taken over Absolom's character to the point that he now plotted against his father for the throne. 2 Sam. 15:10 Then Absalom sent agents throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: “When you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, you are to say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron! ’ ”
      The sad ending to Absalom's life is as so many people who take their eyes off of God and get all caught up in the mess of their own making. 2Sam. 18:9 Absalom was riding on his mule when he happened to meet David’s soldiers. When the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so he was suspended in midair. This left him an unprotected target for three well-placed spears in his heart, and he died. 2Sam. 18:14 Joab replied, "I will not wait around like this for you!" He took three spears in his hand and thrust them into the middle of Absalom while he was still alive in the middle of the oak tree.      
      If you have an idol in your life, then please remember, whatever you have your eye on to the point of an obsession will destroy you. We cannot serve two masters. Matt. 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Either God is your God, or He is just another thing you keep handy until something else catches your eye. This type of fickleness of heart will leave you vulnerable to the darts that the enemy of your soul fires at you to weaken your resolve.
      There is nothing on this earth that is worth turning into an idol if it keeps us from fulfilling what God has created us to do and be. There is nothing worth the full focus of our eyes unless it is for God Himself. God created our eyes to look upon His glory and be caught up with Him throughout eternity. Heb. 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus because He is Lord and not some worthless idol.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

My Hypocrisy Is Real

Proverbs 26:27 Whoso digs a pit will fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him.

      I heard Joan Jett sing, "I hate myself for loving you. Can't break free from the things that you do. I want to walk but I run back to you, that's why I hate myself for loving you." What a perfect analogy of self-loathing because of the bondage people find themselves in and the repetitive cycle that is so hard to escape from. In most cases, we are our own worst enemy.
      This is what hypocrisy allows. It lets sin have control of a person's life. When someone lives from a position of hypocrisy, the sin and titillation that is enjoyed will cause repetitive involvement in the sinful activity. However, because the wages of sin is death, the shame, embarrassment, and guilt that the sin eventually causes will manifest in the hatred of one's self. At this point, the sinner finds him or herself under extreme bondage and vulnerability. This is why we have to come clean and repent of our hypocrisy.
      Have you ever had that unsettling feeling that you were just called out by God because of the hypocrisy you participated in? Yup, I have. Have you ever repented of sin and turn around and gone and done it again? Yup, I have. Matt. 23:28 In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. This clearly shows me my need for a saviour because I cannot produce God’s righteousness through my own ability.
      The only thing I will end up doing through self-righteousness is to dig a deeper pit for myself and get rolled over by all the lame promises of good behaviour that I make, but in reality, I cannot keep. Proverbs 26:27 Whoso digs a pit will fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, it will return upon him. I need an eternal answer for the hypocrisies in my life. I need a true deliverer.
      Someone might say, "But I keep falling in the same place all the time. I feel so vile and unfaithful." Isa. 32:6a For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy. Villany and hypocrisy are part of humanities’ fallen condition that Jesus gave His life for. As real as our hypocrisies are, we have a merciful Lord who sees through all our double standards, disingenuous grandstanding, and hypocritical dialogue. God knows our human tendencies. This is why the Lord gives us the leading and guidance needed to get out from under the mess we caused and end the suffering we created for ourselves. 
      The mercies and grace of God have so much to give us because God's love carries no hypocrisy toward us. His love is genuine and perfect. James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Even though we may fall at different times, we can be assured in the power of the Saviour's cleansing blood that keeps us in covenant by giving us God's righteousness through Christ. We may not feel righteous, but in Christ Jesus, we are.
       The blood of Jesus has the power to change the character of our soul to be able to walk in the light of God's love. Even though we fall over and over again, we must continue to repent. Plus, we have to battle against the lie that Satan continually repeats, that God no longer loves us. Not true, God's love is never in doubt. However, our reaction to His love is what brings forgiveness and healing. 1John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
      I once asked an elderly saint, teacher, and prophetess. "Does this battle of fighting our hypocrisies ever stop?" She said, "Not on this side of eternity. We have to continually count on and believe in the grace and blood of the Lord. Nothing else works." Our hypocrisies may seem so accusatory at times but thank God, we are loved. God chooses to love us in spite of our condition and weaknesses. Rom.5:8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. What an amazing grace has been given to us all. Thank you, Lord.