Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thankful Today, Grateful Tomorrow

And the LORD God prepared a kikayon and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. Jonah 4:6

The word kikayon we usually see as 'plant' in the Bible, because no one in this age seems to know what a kikayon was or is. Whatever sort of plant or structure it may have been in Jonah's day, he was very grateful for it. We don't particularly need to dwell on it, the plant was a gift and Jonah was grateful. However, we know the story: a test came in the morning of the next day and Jonah's gift was withered and unable to provide the shade Jonah so enjoyed. Would Jonah be content with what God sent the next day and remain very grateful? 

Ah, yes, that is the story we know well from back in the day. We know it so well because we have been there. A blessing one day and we are filled with gratitude; a little tribulation the next day and gratitude is forgotten and we are all about blaming the Lord. All our joy is sucked away down the drain of yesterday when the trial comes. I guess we all know that it shouldn't be that way, yet we still catch ourselves right there with Jonah. 

I don't have an answer for this of myself. I can only recommend a good friend who loves and stands ready to help us all. His name is Jesus and through His dear Spirit we have all the help we need to remain very grateful to God when the tough times come.

Love in Christ,
Bucky

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Works Resume?

“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Revelation 3:16

It is interesting that God would rather talk to one who is angry with Him than to one who is ambivalent in his feelings. The word lukewarm gets one appearance in the scriptures and it comes near the end, and it is in a message to a one of the Lord's churches. Even one who is cold toward the Lord seems to have a better chance of being heard than the lukewarm. But, the Lord calls on their works. Why am I going on about attitude? 

If you have never awakened in pain or down in depression, or perhaps just in a plain old poopy funk, then you may not know what a work it is to get into the word of God and enter into prayer in order to turn that attitude around to the glory of God. And yet it appears the Lord is more able to work with a person cold toward His word on that down morning than one who depends upon the richness and plenty of his resume of works and does not know his need for the Lord every morning. I didn't come up with this on my own, it is in the next verse where God starts with, "Because you say..." 

Praise God! I need Him each morning and every day,

Bucky

Monday, November 18, 2019

What God Does

“Oh, that I were as in months past,
As in the days when God watched over me." Job 29:2

Why does Job think God has quit watching over him? The answer to that is of course well known to me, as I have often thought that maybe God was taking a day off that time when... You know the kind of day I speak of ! Perhaps it was only an hour, but surely those terrible things would not have happened had the Lord not taken that time off His duties, we judge with a certain prideful sort of ignorance. Yes, we cannot know all that God has done for even one of us. How could we ever know all that God does in even a moment?

Hebrews 1:3 gives us a revelation of what God is doing at all times: He upholds the universe with the mighty power of His command. What else out there might fall down if God were to relinquish His steadfast attention to duty? We also know from the story in Job that God had set strict limits on what the Enemy could do to Job. Hardly a sign of failing to watch over poor Job. The fact that I am writing this and you are reading it, tells us that the Enemy who was a murderer from the start, according to our Lord Jesus, has not done this to you and me shows that we are watched over constantly by God. 

Always watched over by the Almighty One,

Bucky

Friday, November 15, 2019

Yes, It's Not That Easy

So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.  Nehemiah 8:8

One fine day in Bible study, you did not feel as though you fully understood the passage. The minions of the dark one stepped in and told how that left your salvation in doubt. Guilt and shame were the tools those minions used to undermine your faith. Look up! Way back in the days of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, the Israelites needed help to understand the Word too. Jesus took the disciples aside to explain His parables. The Revelation we are still working on every time someone takes up a study of it. Yes, it's not that easy to understand and know the Word of God! 

Tackling the problem of the Word is an exercise in faith and steadfast endurance combined with a growing love for the Lord. Is it any wonder there can be a communication gap when Isaiah 55:8-9 tells of how God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth? God could have made it simpler and easier of course, but I think He knows that our struggles with His Word help to hold our attention on Him and to bring us back for more. Fear not though! The Lord knows to give just as much as we can receive at any study session. 

Have a great Friday in Christ the Lord!

Bucky

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Prospecting

I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162

The urge has come over me to go prospecting in the word of God in search of great treasure! I estimate my chances of striking words of purest gold and life-changing treasure at 100 percent. 

As everyone knows, the worldly key to finding life-changing treasure is a metal detector, because all life-changing treasure is made of metal, I guess. It goes something like this: hard-earned treasure is first spent to purchase a metal detector of whatever means the dreamer can afford. Score: worldly treasure hunter -$100 to $1,000 or more (for the accessories of course). Then an old abandoned barnyard is found as it is closer than the beach where the old pirates buried their treasure. 

$100 and a promised share in anything found is forked over to the owner of the 'abandoned' farm when he sees a suspicious car parked on his place.

 

The treasure hunter begins the scan and immediately hears 'tweep!' from the metal detector. He digs up an old pop tab and carefully replaces the disturbed earth. A mere half step later, 'tweep!' and he digs up a rusty nail, 2 flakes of old tin foil, and a bent screw. He shoves the dirt back into the hole, stands up and 'tweep!' goes the metal detector. He digs up part of a horseshoe nearly rusted away. Seeing the pattern, the treasure hunter quickly fiddles with some settings on the metal detector and sets off in search of gold and silver. And proceeds to scan the entire farmstead, all 3 acres of it with nary a sound from the detector. No life-changing treasure today. 

Later that spring, a family stops by a garage sale and sees a metal detector for sale at a modest price. A few miles away, in an abandoned-looking farmyard, an old pirate feels a warm glow spreading from his wallet. 

There is treasure, if we know where to look for it!

God bless,
 Bucky

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Enough

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 1 Peter 4:3

John had connections; Paul could be described as sexist by our standards of the day, and Peter, well, Peter didn't seem to shake off that racism that was common among his people. The will of the Gentiles? Peter seems to be that kind of fellow who could walk into a bar and start arguments and even a fight. And he would be the one standing there wondering to the police afterward what had started it all. 

Take most of our ancestors in the faith and you will find a sinner first. John the Baptist knew enough from the womb to do the right thing. There was difficulty in finding anything wrong with Daniel. And our Lord Jesus of course knew no sin. Most people in the Bible though, especially those chosen by our Lord to follow Him, struggled with a checkered past, and it didn't automatically go away after our Lord saved them. Paul wrote of doing those things he didn't want to do. Peter slams us by calling sin the, "will of the Gentiles." Ow! Thanks, Pete. 

Yet we know enough to know where he is coming from. For we once did the will of the Gentiles and Peter's list probably pretty much tells the story of many a first year in college or away from home in a new job...even for those raised in the church!

Time to follow the Lord Jesus!

Bucky

Monday, November 11, 2019

Serving Well

He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me. Psalm 55:18

Did David mean there were many people opposing him, or that there were many battles from which the Lord redeemed his soul in peace? Either way works of course. David we know participated in many battles and his reign was not one of fairy tale happily ever after rosy glow in the sky living. Phew, say that again fast. Serving the Lord as king and warrior had its ups and downs for David. Always there were those who opposed David, and always it seemed there was another battle to fight. The one time David decided to hang back in Jerusalem instead of fighting in the battle did not turn out so well. So, do we dare criticize the man after God's own heart? 

We too rise up each day to fight those who oppose us, whether they be physical or spiritual, and we are redeemed  by the Lord to peace of the soul with Him. Like David, we serve well, even though there are days when the battle goes against us and days when we rejoice in the Lord's victory. As with David and his nation of Israel, we are tested by the battles that go against us, usually because we tried to go our own way, and we grow in faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. Faith is the key to serving well in the Lord. 

May the Lord Jesus strengthen our faith on this day,

Bucky