Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Repent or Perish Likewise, Ye!

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? Luke 13:2

It is easy to see suffering, and then blame the sufferer for their problems. "It must be due to their sin," we say with our tongue once again on the loose. Jesus had an answer for those who thought so, repent or perish likewise.

Disasters, natural or man-made, were common in the day of our Lord too. And like now, there is always someone ready to blame those who suffered the disaster. It is about pride and control. The method goes something like: I didn't suffer the disaster, therefore the powers that be must be pleased with me, and thus I am a good man/woman and will live in peace and prosperity all of my days, 'cuz I earned it. Oh, wait, we forgot the blaming part where the tongue goes off with, "Look at them! Their sins must have been just heinous (or at least way worse than ours) for God to lower the boom on them in such a horrible way."

That's Old Testament stuff, we note with only slightly disguised superiority. Yes, Israel and Judea did suffer, but we must not ignore all that prophetic scripture which said the same thing Jesus did, "Repent or perish likewise, ye!" Repentance of who we are, the first step on the road of salvation our Lord earned for us. Amen.


P.S. Yes, still writing from work, no Internet yet, but the new modem is on the way.

Monday, April 22, 2019

How Did It Start?

“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Matt 27:4

How did this Resurrection Day begin? Can we blame a certain man, to use a Bible expression? It would seem at the first that we can, and often do, blame Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of our Lord Jesus. However, our Lord, the very one who was betrayed, died on the cross, and rose again, had a different explanation for who to blame for His death:

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:18

So, it would seem that once again, all the glory or credit or even blame for our Lord's death is His alone. So why did Judas have to die? Well, we know quite well that he did not have to and that he took his own life on his own guilt. Jesus, as our Lord did with Peter, was likely ready to forgive and save poor Judas, if only he had waited to see this great day after the Resurrection.

We are here the day after celebrating Resurrection Day, so what are we trying to take the blame or credit for that belongs to our Lord Jesus? A good thing to take up with Him in prayer.

Love to you in Christ the Lord!


P.S. There's no Internet at my house today!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Write No Less

​And He made His grave with the wicked—
​​But with the rich at His death,
​​Because He had done no violence,
​​Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Isaiah 53:9

Just another day in the life, what can one possibly write about for today? Ah, but of course this is the great celebration of our Lord's resurrection this weekend. How can one write about anything less than what our Savior and Lord did for us at this time of the year almost 2,000 years ago?

Passover had begun and the city was crowded with pilgrims from around the Roman world. Before the Sabbath of that particular celebration though, the Romans had a couple of prisoners to execute in their ghastly way before the holiday break, and one other. This other was a man who had committed no crime that the Roman governor could see, and yet there was orders from Rome to keep the peace in Judea, apparently at all costs for Pilate had given up the man to the executioners as though he had been caught in some act demanding the worst punishment.

And so it was done.

Another detail came to the governor though, with the Sabbath of Passover upon them this very evening, the bodies must needs be entombed before sundown, and a couple of them at least were not yet corpses. So the order came down to end the lives of the men on the crosses at Golgotha, but the other, that one, was found to have gone already. A soldier made sure with a spear, but the word was true and he had died. Two of the prominent Jewish citizens came to Pilate and requested the body of this other one and to them it was granted to bury that particular body.

And the rest of the story can be summed up in one stunning revelation, that other body would not stay buried and rose again on the most beautiful Sunday morning the world has ever seen, and believers everywhere know that it had nothing at all to do with the weather!

God be praised,

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It Doesn't Quite Work

Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:6

Having worked with rentals for a few years now, I tend to apply those things I have learned to our circumstance and it doesn't quite work at times. For example: when an owner leases his property to a tenant, then the place is not quite his any longer. The leasehold cannot be inspected without permission just any old time because the tenant now has rights to privacy and other rights that one expects with a place called home. Most of the time the landlord should simply stay away and leave it to the tenant. I might be tempted to apply that to the Lord and His Earth as we are tenants now and He does not appear to be here in my sight. Of course, we know that the sight of humans is severely limited both in physics and in understanding. The Lord is at hand and for those who would oppose Him, His day is at hand as well.

The comparison with a human landlord does not quite work either because our Lord has not left the world; He is here in His Spirit at all times and even in the very heart of the believer. Our Lord does not view this world as a business proposition where He just wants the rent paid each month, nor does he care only that we treat His property respectfully and well. Our Lord cared so much for His tenants that He sent His only Son to save them (us!). The whole landlord thing really breaks down here as one cannot even imagine that slumlord over yonder way sending his son to save the tenants by sacrificing his life in a criminal execution.

Yes, we celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day, as we do because our Lord's sacrifice is so unique in this world! And for those who will steadfastly refuse the gift of grace our Lord Jesus gave to us by way of the cross, well, there is the word of woe given through Isaiah that we read today.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An Open Grave

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. John 20:1

A stone rolled away from the grave entrance, an obvious act of thievery one might think. And Mary did! The stone rolled away gives the imagination every opportunity for mischief. If a person leans toward those conspiracy theories about the government, then evidence is at hand for a plot by the ruling authority carried out in the dead of night. Perhaps a person was taken by the temple money changers and now looks upon the priests with a suspicious eye. No problem, the stone rolled away provides ample evidence of priestly misconduct. However, one could also recall that Jesus said He would be back from the grave and believe Him.

Why does that last one always come later and seem harder to accept?

The first two are business as usual in this world and do not require the power and presence of God; the fallen man likes that and he is always ready for an explanation that leaves out the Creator and Savior in one fell swoop. That last one requires first that we believe in God's Son and in the Word of God Himself. No wonder it is only with the mighty grace of the Holy Spirit that anyone comes to believe!

He lives! And from that we do too!


Monday, April 15, 2019

G'day Monday!

Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Romans 12:16

Mondays are not the day that I typically leap from my bed ready to conquer the world. Actually for the past month, or at least since that last time change, you can add all the other days of the week to that as well. This one has been a difficult adjustment, and the sun sure goes to bed late these days too!

Paul has some words of counsel for us on this day. I hope that I am not wise in my own opinion or proud of my own humility. I'm not quite sure what these high things might be, but I will try to be down to earth in my mind. Oh, bother! Anytime a list comes up in the Bible, I'm almost sure to be in violation or worse. I can't even get this list right as I'm supposed to associate with the humble not worry over the state of my humbleness. I sure hope those I associate with do not have as high an opinion of themselves as I do of them! Wait, did I get that wrong too? No, I'm quite alright with being the lowest of the low in Heaven, just as long as all of us are there with the Lord Jesus.

So, while Monday beats me up some: be of good cheer, Jesus is near!


Friday, April 12, 2019

Alone Is Not My Word

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. Romans 14:7

Decide to believe in Jesus and alone is not where a person lives anymore. As a practicing introvert, I do not always do well in a public place with more than one conversation going, but I am not alone. As a quiet person, noise may not be my preferred venue, but my taste in music notwithstanding, I am not alone. In the quiet of my home, I am not alone. My Lord Jesus is always with me even unto the end of the age. Alone is a word that no longer belongs to me.

A person may be lost in a trackless wasteland, but that term we have heard, god-forsaken, is simply not true. A person lying in a coma ward connected to various monitors and no longer able to communicate with loved ones is neither forsaken nor alone. Even in a crowd and feeling so out of place with the surrounding world that the phrase alone in a crowd seems appropriate the one believer in Jesus is never alone.

Therefore, we look to our verse for today and know that living or dying, we live not just for the self but for and with others as well. We also life for and with our Lord Jesus. Think that the world would be better off without you in it? Think again and believe on Him who is with you always. Remember those who love you, and one who loves you always is Jesus our Lord!

Love in Christ to you on this fine day,