Friday, August 14, 2020

Ships Of The Like-minded Line

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6

Fuses are screwed onto the shells before they are rammed home in the barrels of the weapons of war. Powder is measured according to the data from fire control and the gun barrels are elevated and pointed in the desired direction after the breech is closed. Finally, a small cartridge is inserted into a primer hole in that same breech block to await the command to fire. All up and down the like-minded line the ships await the coming battle. Each convinced of its own righteousness, those ships have full charges of the word of God ready to fire. 

The salvos begin from a wooden ship with the marking, KJV, on the side and its first shot is not from scripture but about it, "Ye must useth the authorized version lest ye falleth into heresy!" The larger and newer ships of steel and electronics mostly ignore this first shot in the war to come. Though still divisive, the rounds from these guns have become less effective in the later years. Another ship begins to fire, "Those who worship on Sunday bear the mark of the Beast!" the latter day Judaizers thunder from their vessel, Seventh Day. "No, sink 'em fully in the drink!" the SS Full Immersion bellows, "Baptize 'em right!" "Rejoice with electric bass and booming drum set!" a shiny newer ship sends its missiles trailing smoke into the fog of war. "We must one and all be calm and sober in worship," a traditional old battleship belches flame and smoke from its large-calibre gun turrets. Then the scripture shells are loaded and fired all around. 

Jesus and the Devil had it out with scriptural six-shooters in the desert, and perhaps this is where the religions and denominations acquired the urge to engage in this sort of thing. However, how does an unbeliever looking at the battle from the shore know which weapons are holy and which are heresy? It seems to me that in the Christian wars the warriors all agree that when that other guy becomes right-minded like 'us' then we can be like-minded and worship the Lord with one voice. Does like-minded mean you must have a mind like mine? I think Paul added an important set of words in our verse today, "according to Christ Jesus". 

When I am ready to bellow fire at those other guys, is my mind 'according to Christ Jesus'? 

Have some deep thoughts of Christ the Lord today,


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Word From The Throne

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”  Revelation 21:5

One will have no difficulty seeing the need to make all things new even now, but we also know from prophecy that it is going to get worse near the end. John received two marching orders in this one verse - behold and write. He who sat on the throne makes all things new and establishes His word as true and faithful. At first, we think that making all things new would be the greater task, but in an age when so many words are anything but true or faithful, perhaps not! 

Behold, the Lord speaks, and we will one day see His making in action as all things, not just the born-again, but all things He makes bright and shiny new. August in these parts with its dried out fields and brown grass is a good time to look around and try to imagine all of it as brand new. Tough thing to do. Perhaps something man-made, easier to imagine. Look at a car or a couch or something that you received not that long ago, maybe 20 years, and try to imagine it as when you got it new. Still not that easy? Guess we better just behold when the time comes and enjoy writing the good news that His day will come! 

Have a great day in Christ the Lord!


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Submit To Him

As soon as they hear of me they obey me;
The foreigners submit to me.  Psalm 18:44

King David rejoiced in the Lord and all that the Lord had done for his reign. We also see here what Jesus would see coming when the Jews rejected His message of hope and salvation, the foreigners or Gentiles running to obey and believe in the Lord. As a born Gentile, I am glad that we have the privilege of submitting to Jesus our Lord and Savior! He didn't have to do it that way.

Imagine for just a brief moment that Jesus had said that no one gets into the kingdom until the firstborn, Israel, is ready to believe. Suddenly the Great Tribulation becomes much more ominous as we all wait for Israel to come to Jesus in faith. Don't imagine that for very long, it becomes quite oppressive real quick. No chance of the Rapture, no hope for those who have gone to sleep before us, just a hopeless pagan life until the Jews come to Him. Yikes, we're still imagining what isn't! Praise God for sending His good news out to the Gentiles in order to make His nation of Israel jealous of our salvation in Christ. We believe in the Lord Jesus and we have our great hope in Him! 

Have a hopeful day in Christ the Lord!


Monday, August 10, 2020

In the Dark

“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."  Matthew 10:27

The second weekend of August has just passed, and this is that time of the year when even the sleepiest among us notices that the daylight of the day is shrinking toward that darker time of December. I of course arise at 0400 and study the Bible diligently until 0530 or so. Um, hmm, and we are to believe this because of what? As the daylight of my years declines toward a certain December of this life, I have noticed that there are those days when the alarm must awaken me as I no longer anticipate it quite so well. There are also days like today when I start the coffee, sit down either at the computer or in front of my Bible, and snooze. The light may be on inside, but it is dark outside and these days are harder to wake up to at such an early hour. 

So, according to this verse, do I hear a voice speaking to me in the dark? No, that would be cause for some small adjustment to my level of alertness, like say 6" up from the seat of my chair. It is more difficult to snooze with all my remaining hairs standing on end, but that is not the gentle way of my Lord Jesus. I find that my Lord only tells me when I am alert and in prayer or Bible study with Him. I don't get to sleep in my chair and receive the Word at the same time. And so, apologies to my Lord Jesus, and a prayer for strength to sleep on time tonight and arise ready to hear His word in the morning. 

Awaken, the Light comes swiftly to us,


Friday, August 07, 2020

He's So Different! 

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:26-27

The Lord is near to each one of us, and yet each one of us is somewhat the same and somewhat quite different one from another. How can all of us be saved when we are so different? Who said salvation was based on your image or mine? If all of us looked the same, talked the same, acted the same, and so on, God would not need to be near to each one of us but only the master copy. How the Lord is going to make us all into one harmonious church and His bride is beyond me, but we do have that promise from Him. 

Great is the Lord in harmonizing the myriad of different parts of His church that each of us calls 'me'. Amen.


Thursday, August 06, 2020

The Thirteenth Verse

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Mark 13:13

At rare moments in the past six years or so, a landlord will call me and pass on a tale of woe. By way of warning other landlords, he or she will tell me of the thousands of dollars in woe accumulated by a tenant before escaping in the dark of night. The landlords are not usually quite so literary, but I like to add my personal touch to the picture. Now these tenants who do this sort of thing will be shunned by the other landlords and will eventually have to move away from the area or, and I have not heard of this yet, change their ways! Even these persons have their supporters though and are not hated by all. In this age of growing lawlessness, some will even cheer them on as they move somewhere else to continue their lawless ways. What sort of a person must it take to be hated by all? 

Our Lord tells us in the thirteenth verse of the thirteenth chapter of Mark. For the sake of the name of Jesus, anyone can join this excluded group of hated people. What a chance to be hated by all! Believe in Jesus, follow our Lord, and become a hated person? Our Lord Jesus did tell each and every person to count the cost of following Him, and as we can see this cost might seem steep. Are you shunned by anyone yet? Have a former friend who does not want to talk about that one particular subject who goes by the name of Jesus? Have you been excluded from a social media group for daring to mention the name of the Lord in a loving way and not in the deluge of vain repetitions? The hatred of this world grows by the day, and it only waits for the removal or pulling back of the restrainer God has put in place. 

Rejoice! You will soon be hated by all for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! 


Wednesday, August 05, 2020

I Was There

When He prepared the heavens, I was there,
When He drew a circle on the face of the deep,  Proverbs 8:27

A city by the name of Beirut made the news in a terrible way yesterday, and some few among us can say, "I was there." My presence was decades in the past, but I did recognize the place right away. Our stately accommodations (!) were about 6 miles to the south of the incident yesterday, we would have said 10 clicks back in those days, and our brother Marines had just suffered a similar incident. It may be some days before those with experience and knowledge can determine whether this one was an act of war or terror, or simply a terrible accident. As we wait for further news, we can pray with God and study His word. 

God sends word through a king and a prophet that trumps my little 'I was there' all to pieces. First, Solomon has this proverb about Wisdom, and how she was there when He prepared the heavens. And then Isaiah has another one: 

“Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit
Have sent Me.”  Isaiah 48:16

This one is about the third member of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord our God has some stunning 'I was there's', and I'll gladly give place to Him. Of course, He has another one that trumps them all. He was there at the cross to save us. 

Have a grateful and prayerful day in Christ the Lord,