Thursday, 26 August 2021

Mockers And Scoffers

Proverbs 9:7 The one who corrects a mocker will bring abuse on himself; the one who rebukes the wicked will get hurt.

      The above verse speaks to the spirit of the day that the world is operating in. A spirit of mockery and scoffing at everything whether right or wrong. Sad to say, in many cases, the church is being influenced by the same spirit. Some of our church assemblies are becoming gathering places for scoffers and mockers who are abusing their fellow man because of what some congregants sincerely believe in their hearts. We know that the world's wickedness is far-reaching and hurts everything it touches. But the world's wickedness should not be practiced among the brothers and sisters in the Lord. 
      My concern is for the Christians who prattle on about complicated subjects they know nothing about. Without thought, they speak as though they are authorities on the subjects of science, politics, finances, and education. You would think every person expressing an opinion has a degree or doctorate in these sciences. They pontificate their canned rhetoric, as though they know all the answers to all problems in every field, when in fact they only have vague and unsound rehashed theories that have been posted and reposted on social media platforms. Prov. 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
      Rather than praying for our leaders in positions of authority that affect society as God instructs us to do, many within Christian circles condemn, tear apart, and promote lies in the same manner as the world does. This is not the spirit God gave us to minister in righteousness. We are to promote Godliness in life and not tear it down with a flood of nonsensical and useless words. 1Tim. 2:1 urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 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.
      Real divisiveness takes place when someone tries to correct or instruct another person that may be promoting wrong information and adding to this world's problems rather than eliminating the woes within it. The reaction of the ones being corrected will result in either wisdom prevailing and hearts changing, or as the proverb says, the mocker abuses and hurts the one trying to sincerely help. Prov. 9:7 The one who corrects a mocker will bring abuse on himself; the one who rebukes the wicked will get hurt. The sad thing is, to choose to remain a recidivistic troglodyte by repeatedly mocking what is not understood when actual knowledge and help is available - is pathetic and an indictment against the intelligence God gave us. 
      As hard as this is for Christians to understand, we do not know and understand everything there is to know and understand. We are fortunate to know the God who does know all and understand all, therefore, this is why we pray to Him. I realize there is a lot of evil in the world and it can be frustrating to see it and feel like there is nothing we can do about it. But this is a lie of the enemy of our soul. When we read the burden of Habakkuk we see that he is going through the same thing we are experiencing today. Hab. 1:2  How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? 3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
      Habakkuk does not just badmouth God and become condescending toward everyone around him or mock everything he did not understand. Instead, Habakkuk entered into what he did understand, and that is the declaration that God is God and He has the means and wisdom to deal with all mankind. Habakkuk decides to wait it out and see what God says about the situation rather than proclaim his ignorance to everyone on every social media platform. Hab. 2:1 I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
      Instead of mocking our leaders, try praying for them, because if you don't, you will only become angrier at all the things being done that are out of your control. Leave the scoffing and mocking to the people in the world and grow up in the spirit of our Lord. Why does Satan put so much time laying traps into preventing people from praying for one another? Even that loser the devil knows how powerful praying Christians are when they become united under God. Christians do not have to agree with each other on everything in life, but living and praying in unity will destroy the works of the devil, and in a short time, misunderstanding will get settled and healings will take place. Psalm 133:1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
      Anyone can curse the darkness and complain bitterly about the world's problems. It takes very little intelligence to badmouth everything going on that is not understood. Mockers and scoffers will always be screaming their fears out loud. Since we are in Christ, the good news is that we have not been given the spirit of fear but rather the spirit of power and love. 2Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Come on saints, let's use what God gave us to bring solutions to the world and peace in our hearts. Blessings.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Ah-Ha

Proverbs 3:18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.

       Years ago, I planted an apple tree that took a long time to produce fruit. In the fall of one year, I said to the tree, "If you do not produce any fruit next season I will cut you down and will plant a better variety." Luke 13:7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ This was how I felt and I was serious about what I said, and what I would be planting in its sted. 
      Like the gardener in the parable, I gave the tree another chance. Luke 13:8 The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. The following spring there were a few apple blossoms as in the years previous. I did not see much happening until one day there was one apple doing its best to grow. I said, "Ah-ha look at you!" The tree produced one apple so I kept my end of the bargain and did not cut it down. 
      From the following year until this day, this particular apple tree has been a super producer of the finest apples. It produces so much fruit that I have to thin out the apples at different stages of growth at least three times a season to get the best big healthy apples by the season's end. From one apple to an overabundance in productivity, this tree has proven its worth. It is doing what God created the tree to do. This apple tree is full of life, and it gives and gives. Prov. 3:18a She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
      We who are in Christ should be thankful that the Lord has the patience with us to bring us to a place where we become producers of blessing in and for the kingdom of God. Our Lord trims the evergrowing branches of our life's expression of who we are in Christ so that we produce much fruit. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 
      I am sure there are times in our life when we only bring forth something like one apple in comparison to our potential. However, God knows our full ability in Him and He carries us and brings us into the fulness of His grace so that we too become super producers of blessing. He set us on the rock of our salvation so that we will shine forth the Lord's goodness and offer the love this world so desperately needs. God helps us mature in His ability to produce kingdom fruit within us. John 15:16a You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
      I'm not sure, but maybe God comes to us once in a while and says, "Ah-ha, look at the righteous fruit developing in your life. I will cultivate that to bring even more fruit." This is an eternal journey we are on and there will be constant pruning and trimming to get rid of anything that can hinder the growth of God's righteousness within us. This will take place in our lives until the day we go home to be with our Saviour. We just have to let the Lord take out of us what is useless and unproductive to God and His kingdom. We just have to keep our hearts open to our Heavenly Father's ah-ha moments in our lives and enjoy the victory of that blessing. Amen! 

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Time And Tides

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

      Time and Tides wait for no man, nor does it care what man says. We often think we can demand and instruct God as if we were the masters of our destiny. Yet, we cannot control one speck or fraction of time or ocean tides that God created in His wisdom. Ask anyone who has just survived and emerged from a catastrophic tornado, howling cyclone, raging fire, or a devastating earthquake if they felt they had any power to direct the forces of these frightening events. With stuttering descriptions of the terror, they went through and with teary bloodshot eyes, they come down to earth and say humbly, "We are glad to be alive, the stuff can be replaced."
      Hours earlier these hubristic souls were bragging how they were in charge of their lives, and no God was going to get in their way of progress. They forgot that they were subject to laws and rules God has placed within creation and that they live in a dangerous and precarious world. As the catastrophe erupted and they were caught in the fatal wave of the event, they found themselves screaming for God to save them. That's right, the same God they were mocking earlier in the day.
      The disciples of the Lord were riding a wave of holy popularity. All was going well until they found themselves in a violent storm, ready to be blown overboard at any moment. Even with Jesus in the boat, they became aware and were subject to their human frailties. The bravery they had as fishermen when they launched had eluded them and the realization that the tides were against them caused great cries for help from their pitiful and frightening position. Their inability to control the elements was made clear. Mark 4:38 He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die? ”
      When humanity is left to their own pride without the constraints of God's loving directions, our arrogance knows no bounds. We will create everything from concentration death camps to poison gas bombs to show how great we are. We will justify and sanction the murder of nations with a jot of a pen to paper, legalizing the insanity we are so capable of fulfilling. In the book of Genisis, we read the instructions God gave the human race. He said to go and populate the earth. But the rebellion in the hearts of man fought this directive. Gen. 11:4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.” With the twitch of a linguistic alteration, humanity became lost for words and eventually did what God had commanded.
      Our need for God is so apparent and yet, as human beings with free wills, we can become so conceited in our declarations of what is what in life. God sets the boundaries of life. We have to acknowledge that fact and realize that so many things are much bigger than we are. Psalm 104:9 Then you set a firm boundary for the seas, so they would never again cover the earth. God is God, and we are not! Jesus is Lord, and that fact is eternal.
      It is God who determines our destiny in life. We are free in Christ, but He still guides us to do what He created us to do. Prov. 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Hopefully, we see the need in our lives to keep close to the Lord who has given us His righteousness through Jesus' sacrifice. Surely, we can see our need for redemption, restoration, and eventually resurrection. Rom. 6:5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection.
      It is true that we have no control over time and tides, but we do have control by accepting the Lord Jesus, who does have control over time and tides. This we can do with a full and expectant heart. Let us receive the eternal gift God has given us, and we will be at peace during the storms of life. In Jesus name!

Thursday, 5 August 2021

I Thirst

Proverbs 5:15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.

      Mother Teresa said in reference to Jesus' words, "I thirst." - “He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy. When not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes—He is the one who always accepts you.”
      To add to Mother Teresa's observation, I also believe Jesus was feeling and experiencing the weight of the sin of the world in His soul from a mortal's position. Nailed to the cross, Jesus was aching and feeling the thirst that the human condition existed within because of humanities' fallen nature. The mental, physical, and selfish drive that sin has brought within the lives of mankind was being felt in its fullness by our Saviour. Our craving for validation, acceptance, and fulfillment that was lost in the garden of Eden could be felt by Jesus as He hung in the humiliation of man's state of being. 
      The Lord was expressing the totality of what man had become - a ravenous thirsty soul. Because of our sinful nature, humanity has always been and is in a constant state of being thirsty for some kind of satisfaction. The human race thirsts for redemption, restoration, and reconciliation with God, but left to themselves, they have no way of knowing how to quench the thirst or control the constant gnawing at the soul and psyche within man. Mankind needed a saviour. Thank God for Jesus.
      What sin do you keep repeating because you have a thirst for it? What cravings do you fight that you feel God does not understand the pressure you are under when you feel overwhelmed by that temptation? Jesus does know the thirst of what you are feeling and He paid the price of that parasitic grip that tries to latch on to your heart. The Lord knows the pain you suffer through! 
      In Christ, we can resist the sin that so easily defeats us, when we call on our Lord to quench the thirst that drives us. Heb.12:1b Let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. If we step forward by faith, to throw off the sin that we are easily entangled in, Jesus will be there to help us get the victory we are after.
      The good news is that Jesus overcame on our behalf and we have an eternal promise in Christ that we can master the thirst of sin. The Lord rightly said to the Samaritan woman that her thirst will always be within her as long as she puts her whole trust into the relational realm of this temporal world. John 4:14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life. Jesus said we would have to drink from His eternal well of clean water to never thirst again. Rev.7:16a Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. 
      How do we acquire a thirst for the things of God? We know it is a deep-seated desire of man to want to know God because the psalmist declares it with a full heart. Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? There seems to be an indication that meeting God is possible and desired. Thank God it became possible through Christ to be able to have a relationship with our God.
       Isa. 48:21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth. Jesus the rock of our salvation can satisfy our parched souls who thirst for more than what can be found in this lifetime. Psalm 105:41 He opened the rock and water flowed out; It ran in the dry places like a river. Out of the rock came water to satisfy the natural thirst of the nation of Israel in the desert. Out of the same rock comes our spiritual deliverance for life and victory during our lifetime. We can live in the refreshing presence of the Holy Spirit who will quench our thirst as we live for the Lord. Let us drink fully in what God has given us through Christ our Lord. Amen!