Monday, September 17, 2018

Like An Army

And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days. Genesis 7:24

The 'road closed' markers on the map from Charlotte to Wilmington and up to Raleigh and Winston-Salem in North Carolina are like an army. The waters rule right now; it is tough to see hope amidst the flood. Other areas have flooding too and lives have been lost to the storm. Peace has been said to flow like a river, but I don't think the author had overflowing, flooding rivers in mind. Once again we are hardly more prepared than the ancients for such large floods.

Noah was well prepared to survive the greatest flood of history, but was he so well prepared for the waiting? Not just waiting while repairs and reconstruction took place, but the waiting to get started - that time when he was ready but nothing could be done for those 150 days. At this moment, equipment and materials will be staged somewhere, ready to begin the cleanup and building. But today, as a bit of sun begins to shine on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, they are stuck waiting and listening to the rain as further showers plague the area. Just like an army, ready but stuck waiting for the time to come. We too have a waiting that has come upon us.

One day, we know our Lord will come, and these terrible floods and other catastrophes will be done for us. However, we have that time of waiting. We can't make Him come sooner. We cannot advance a date we do not know. The waiting for our Lord goes on, but we can come to Him in prayer to be made ready. And while we wait on Him, we can help out our neighbors wherever we can, especially in prayer for their salvation, safety, and rebuilding their homes.

Waiting in prayer on our Lord Jesus,

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Rain of Righteousness

​Sow for yourselves righteousness;
​​Reap in mercy;
​​Break up your fallow ground,
​​For it is time to seek the LORD,
​​Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

Like the story of the four soils where the seeds that fell on good ground produced 30, 60, and 100- fold for each seed, we are exhorted to sow some righteousness. That is good, for at times it seems that all of my efforts to produce righteousness are in vain. We are the sower, and the sower does not see the harvest at the time of the sowing. We might imagine it, some of our wild imaginings might even come close, a little close, but the result belongs to the Lord. I get a picture of a big event in this verse, a rain of righteousness that sweeps away the chaff of the old life and grows such a harvest that the barn cannot contain it.

Sowing righteousness makes more sense. We do not get to see the results we desire because it is just too early yet for full maturity. Which explains why we are to reap in mercy, which in turn sounds like living in grace, and then break up that fallow ground. Wait, what fallow ground? Could be the future that we will begin walking through today; ground that we have not attempted to break up with the plow before this time. In this day, it is time to seek the Lord, because there ain't nothin' scarier than plowing the fallow ground of tomorrow by yourself. And we labor in this "Till He comes..."

Well of course we do! And He could come on this very day!


Friday, September 14, 2018

God Knew

Binding his donkey to the vine,
​​And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
​​He washed his garments in wine,
​​And his clothes in the blood of grapes. Genesis 49:11

Vine, donkey's colt, washed, garments, wine, blood? There is some symbolism going on here! Even more there is talk of a lion and the words are directed to Judah. This verse is from Jacob's final words to his 12 sons, in particular the blessing given to Judah by his father, also known as Israel. This happened about 1,689 years before the birth of Christ. What is even more interesting is that Jacob called his 12 sons together to hear what would befall them in the last days.

So, do the final words of Jacob tell us when Jesus is coming back? Sorry, that knowledge is still held closely by the Father our God. We do not get a date with our wine. (Ouch, poor painful pun.) However, we are glad to see that God knew His plan for salvation and imparted a bit of it to His servant, Jacob.

Some of the deeds of Jacob's life do not match up well with a prophet of the Lord. The birthright thing, the deception of poor old Isaac along with his co-conspirator, also known as 'Mom', do not seem to be the righteous deeds of a man of God. Of course, some of my past deeds would not qualify me to teach from the word either. And so it goes with all of us. God knew our deeds and yet loved us so much that He sent His Son, on the donkey's colt no less, to save us from those former deeds, and thoughts, and intentions, and all of the other sin we were born into. God knew, and He saved us anyway. Israel belongs to God, and so do we!

God's blessings to you,

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Wind Comes

​The wind goes toward the south,
​​And turns around to the north;
​​The wind whirls about continually,
​​And comes again on its circuit.  Ecc 1:6

When our brothers and sisters in Christ face the coming storm on the Atlantic coast of our nation, it is difficult to write of the conditions here, far away from the storm. We may be neighbors only in spirit and not in location, but we are neighbors in the Spirit.

Looking at some traffic cams on the North Carolina coast, it is almost a ghost town atmosphere. The whirling wind is coming later today and the people have left the area. It is interesting that with all of the technology and construction we boast of, it is still better to run from the big storm. And yet, as always, there were a few vehicles on the roads even on the outer islands. We will of course pray with them too. Always that sort of action brings up the question: foolish or faith-filled?

We tend to base the answer on the result. If they ignore the evacuation and stay to face the storm, and we see their corpse being removed from the shattered house on the news report, then we conclude foolishness. But is it? Is that the final result? A body was placed into a tomb many years ago, but that was not the final result for that one body. He rose again. No doubt before the resurrection some judged Him foolish too.

Today we pray for the storm is near,

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

How Did It Get This Way?

God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
​​To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
​​Every one of them has turned aside;
​​They have together become corrupt;
​​There is none who does good,
​​No, not one.  Psalm 53:2-3

What sort of love caused our Lord to save us from this? In His place any of us would have scrapped the lot of us. What to do with a world full of sinners? Few among us get up seeking to do evil or bad though. We might even intend to do good in the morning when we rise. If even most of us intend good, what happened to the world?

Of course we know from the word of God that sin is our birthright. We are born into it, and only a rebirth in Christ by the Spirit can take us through the narrow gate and get us on the Lord's way back to God. Sounds long as He does it. Salvation is of the Lord. I have no idea how to rebirth you, wouldn't even know where to start, so go to Him, then receive and rejoice in the salvation of Jesus Christ.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Getting Late

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12

About 35 years ago, I toured part of Israel and it seemed a pretty dry place. A place where growing food would be tough and However, Israel now exports food. The desert is blooming faster than the younger me would have thought possible. So, when I say that it is getting late, figure that it is getting later. If I should say that our Lord could return in the next few years, figure that it will be tonight. If I should say tomorrow, best look toward today.

Paul said the night was far gone, a pretty far long time ago. Yet, our Lord has not yet come. This is the trap to be wary of, as Peter pointed out to us, that we might think our Lord will not come just as quickly as He said He would. It will be in a time such as this, one of relative peace in the world. It will be when mankind least expects it, though each of us should be expecting the return of our Lord at this very moment. It will be today when we are looking at tomorrow. The good news is that in Christ we are ready for it.

Take us home, Lord, in Your good and perfect time!


Friday, September 07, 2018

Be Known

Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” Acts 28:28

Praise the Lord for the salvation of Jesus Christ! By that we are known as His followers. And how are we known? For doing the wrong things? For the worst sorts of behavior? Certainly not! And we strive daily to be known for doing what is right and following closely the teachings of our Lord Jesus. We want to be known for the lives He has changed to the better, for being reborn in Christ.

Yet, there seem to be in this world of today many who just want to be known. When the criticism arrives they don't care and even see it as indication their method is working. Whatever means is justified by the notoriety, infamous to them is just as good as famous. Disrespect of the elder things is okay with them as long as the click count is up on the web metrics. Dishonesty is not even a consideration but another means to gain the desired attention. And why should we worry?

We shouldn't! Our Lord told us all of this would come near the end. While all of this is going on, be known as one of His. Be known for integrity, righteousness, and the light of Christ shining out to the world. Be known as wholly given to the Lord. Be known in His love.

Be known in Christ,