Wednesday, November 14, 2018

To Your Shame

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34

Um, how do missionaries get their job done if they can't keep company with those having no knowledge of God?

That old human sinner we were born with would like it very much if Paul had meant anything like that. But we who have been born again know the prompting of the Holy Spirit and we know that hanging out with the old crowd is what is meant here; that group of sinners who have heard the good news of Jesus Christ and rejected it because they love the darkness.

It works something like the old Home Improvement episode where Tim gets to talking with the guys and runs his mouth about Jill too much. Yes, there is more than one episode along those lines because such a thing is so common among us. Men, yes we are the scourge of the world, the most easily corrupted... ah, no, all of us humans have that same problem of so easily bending in an evil breeze instead of resisting as we ought. The answer to this quickness toward the old ways of sin is of course the answer who first found us in our past sin, Jesus the Christ. Want to awaken to righteousness and avoid sin? Awaken to Jesus and keep company with Him all the day long.

Rejoice with Jesus this day, then we won't have to go to our shame,

Bucky

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Under the Gibbous Moon

Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all who were before him. 1 Kings 16:25

The kings of Israel were in a downward spiral, a de-evolution sort of thing. We might wonder how each king might be worse than all those before him, but this Omri managed it. We find the same in the houses we clean out. This house we say must surely be the worst of it. Then, we find another house that is worse. By using the end word, worst, we only find that there is another next worst thing. I guess that we really don't know what is the worst.

It was on this latest and worstest house that I realized the short distance I stood from being in a pulp fiction novel. One nacreous tentacle coming out of that loathsome pile in that crepuscular room under a gibbous moon, and I'm right there with Conan or Tarzan or perhaps Doc Savage. The only problem being that it would never do for the 'hero' to shriek and run out of the 'dungeon'. So maybe I stand further from those pulp stories than I thought.

I am glad that we have a hero to follow and look up to in this life. And I am glad that He did not run from the dangers and disgusting things that He faced in saving us from sin. I am even more glad that our Lord Jesus didn't reserve His kingdom for a bunch of pulp fiction heroes, because if I see a cadaverous necromancer chanting over a nacreous pool moving in an otherworldly way in the basement of this house, I'm outta there!

Love in Christ,
Bucky

Monday, November 12, 2018

Observed

And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Acts 10:4

Happy Veterans Day (Observed)! The actual day was yesterday, but we observe it today. To observe something is to notice it, to make it significant. Here in our verse, the Roman centurion, Cornelius observes an angel coming to him in a vision. This is a good thing to observe because in our reading through God's Word, we see that angels do not typically make themselves known just to enjoy a little chat or to pass the time of day. There are no idle words in God's service and angels bear messages for us to know and understand, messages of significance from God our Father. We do well to observe an angelic visitation.

Cornelius was commanded to send for Peter, and this was significant for Peter too as the disciple is about to have his three sheets vision. In this vision is an important message: "What God has cleansed you must not call common." Indeed those cleansed by the blood of the Lamb are no longer common. Cease and desist belittling yourself, child of the living God, you are no longer common but reborn in Christ the Lord! He has observed you.

Have a fine day in Christ, our Lord has made you significant in His sight!

Bucky

Friday, November 09, 2018

The Ominous Final Battle

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Revelation 19:19

A great battle stands before us in this verse. How many hours or days might this play out on the stage of military chronicles ? What drama of valor? How will the tides of combat rise and fall until a victor is determined? We might expect a lengthy account more in keeping with our expectations of war that we have read about or experienced. The next verse begins the story of this great conflict: "Then the beast was captured."

Wait, that's it? Yes, the end has come and our Lord does not draw out the pain and suffering of this conflict. That war between good and evil that has ebbed and flowed around us for millennia will be closed with a brief final conflict. Verse 19 is so ominous in its staging for that great battle that we expect a protracted tale of woe and dread. But then, its all over in verses 20 and 21, the enemy king is captured with his lieutenants and the enemy forces quickly destroyed by the sword of our Lord Jesus. And what has seemed so long to us will be so quickly won by our Lord. Is there any reason to believe that today is not just as much under His control?

Let us trust in our sovereign Lord Jesus!

Bucky

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Strength and Song

​The LORD is my strength and song,
​​And He has become my salvation;
​​He is my God, and I will praise Him;
​​My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Strength, song, salvation, how does He do that? There are those times when it seems that we can little understand the words we use in regard to our Lord God. The Israelites had just escaped through the Lord's strength 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They didn't do a thing to save themselves from it, and soon they would want to go back. Yet, in the moment they stood with Moses and rejoiced in the Lord's strength and salvation with a song of praise. The Israelites stood on the other side of the Red Sea having just walked through a miracle. Many more works of the Lord God would soon follow, and yet they struggled daily with unbelief.

The Pharisees in our Lord Jesus' time demanded a sign. They had a record of the great works of God done in their ancestor's times, but still they wanted another one. Jesus did many works of heavenly authority before them, but just one more sign they demanded. They too struggled with unbelief, but in most cases the Pharisees lost that struggle and surrendered to the world and its prince.

We have a record of both the works of old and the new works our Lord did in Galilee and Judea in His time. We too struggle daily with unbelief. How will we win our fight? Not in my strength or yours, but in the strength and song of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! We know that it is His salvation that saves us from this stain of sin and the world that sin has produced. And so as we tarry just a little while in God's grace in this alien land, let us too sing a song of praise to our Lord.

Love in Christ Jesus,
Bucky

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Elect Grace!

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:5

Elections in America garner a lot of media coverage, but there is a far more important election to concern ourselves with in this age: the election of grace. But may I take a moment to thank the Lord that this latest political election is done? As the Grinch said, "Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!"

Yes, it is difficult to hear the joy in Heaven over one sinner's repentance when the noise of the world is so large and annoying during an election cycle. The election of grace is for eternity; the election of a few more bums, excuse me, politicians, we will survive. Up to each of you of course to decide which are the bums and which are not according to your own political leanings. To us who have elected grace, the results of a political election are not quite so important as it may be to those who do not have our hope in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in your election to grace in Christ the Lord! This other stuff will all pass away,

Bucky

Monday, November 05, 2018

Going His Way

​Through Your precepts I get understanding;
​​Therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:104

A few years ago, like 1605 on our calendar, a man tried to demolish the Houses of Parliament with a few kegs of gunpowder. He was upset over something and decided that his way was the best for everyone. I should imagine that everyone who has ever attempted or managed to destroy a building by way of terrorism is firmly convinced that their way is what is best for all of us. It is a strange way to try convincing someone of the rightness of another way.

If I were to blow up your house and say, "I did that because your way is not right and mine is." I'm thinking that your first thought will not be one of brotherly goodwill and a firm new resolution to follow my way. In fact, it would be difficult for me to tell you of my way with your hands around my throat in anger. Terrorists do not quite seem to be able to grasp that sort of thing.

Jesus brought the good news of His way in a very different manner, saying in plain words that He was the way and the truth and the life. No blowing up of buildings, no bashing another person in the media, no flags and armies, just a simple statement that we can decide to believe or to reject. How very odd in comparison to the ways of the world!

May God bless our nation as the votes are cast,

Bucky