Friday, January 18, 2019

Merciful Harvest

When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 24:19

Wait, I thought there was no mercy in the law, but wait again, is this a tax? The law here says 'forget', not, 'you must leave one'. It is amazing to see God's mercy at work on both sides. For there is no demand to leave any amount, and if none were forgotten then that is okay too. However, if greed steps in and the farmer were to make extra effort to return to fetch that forgotten sheaf then violation of the law abounds. It is what happens in the heart that condemns one before the law.

There are several more verses to read concerning the harvest and all were about faith in God. That is, faith in not trying to retrieve for yourself every last bit of the harvest, from not beating the olive trees a second time to not gleaning the grapes until every last one is found. Those who had nothing or no way to make a living could go out into the fields and gather for themselves under the law. And by showing mercy, the farmer gained a blessing from the Lord.

Having the Lord's blessing on the work of our hands is so important in this life that, should we lose it to greed or selfishness, we would sorely miss it.

Rejoice in a generous day in Christ the Lord!
Bucky

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Long Loss

So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. Esther 8:15

It may at times seem to us that we have lived a part of the long loss. Martyrs abound, the stories of persecution are many, and even in a quiet life here in the Midwest of the USA we sicken, grow old, and die while awaiting the return of our Lord Jesus. Yet, in the Bible stories it is not always so.

Mordecai and Esther had a tough go of it for a time, but then victory in the Lord! In this age we too endure a tough time while we wait, but we wait on the Lord. And, like Mordecai did of old, we will one day step forth in royal apparel, a robe of fine linen for those saved by the Lord. All of the church awaits that great day of her wedding to the Lord Jesus. Day by day as we wait our Lord's return and victory grows ever closer. And that date was set long ago, we have only to steadfastly walk the journey in faith with our Lord. A journey of ever increasing faith, no matter that it may seem long.

Have a faithful day in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Signs

Then the LORD said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Isaiah 20:3-4

My main chair is making new noises this morning, this cannot be a good sign. The Lord gave a sign to some back in the day, and Isaiah had to perform it for the people. The life of a prophet was not without its uncomfortable moments, 3-year long moments that is. Perhaps it is just the weirdness of me, but I cannot help but wonder what that first day was like for Isaiah, the prince of prophets as he is known in our day. Did Isaiah speak 'prince of prophets' in a less than enthusiastic manner as he strolled out of his house buttocks flapping in the breeze and wee willy wiggling in the wind? We don't know what he may have said or thought, but one day Isaiah heard the command of the Lord and walked out of his house into that fresh breeze and the great prophet didn't get to cover up for 3 years.

Shocking? Surely it must have been for the Israelites raised under the strictness of the Law of Moses, including those laws about keeping that nakedness covered up. But the Lord had a strong message and He wanted their attention. The message was not to depend upon foreign armies in place of God, which is what Israel was doing at that time. We are told a similar thing in this age, even if a naked prophet has not strolled past your door this morning. Trust in God is our number one priority when seeking help, provision, an end to pain and suffering, and those many other needs we have in this world. There are signs that the end of the world is near: trust in God. There may be signs that your end is near: trust in God. It may be a great day to be alive and things are going your way at this time: amen, hallelujah! and trust in God.

Thank You, dear Lord, for Your everlasting faithfulness!

Bucky

Monday, January 14, 2019

Historical Walls

Nehemiah Built A Wall...

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.” Nehemiah 2:17

This verse may have been used a few times since this latest contest began in our government and society. It does appear to be useful on one side of the contest, perhaps even one to quote. However, if we seek out individual verses simply to do what one side or another wants to do already in a debate, what about those other times?

...And Joshua Knocked a Wall Down

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20

And both Joshua and Nehemiah were doing according to the will of God. It would seem that grabbing examples from the histories of the Bible might give us counsel both ways if we lack one thing: a knowledge of the will of God. Perhaps the question to be asking in the many contests seen in Washington D.C. is, what does God want us to do? Ah, yes, but that does not seem to be popular anymore in our government. And there may be the reason we appear so often to change back and forth with each election in the electorate too. Have God's people, those who believe in His Son, ever asked as one what God's will is in this nation?

Just a thought this morning,
Bucky

Saturday, January 12, 2019

No Bag Packing For Us

For this is what the LORD says:
“Suddenly, I will fling out
all you who live in this land.
I will pour great troubles upon you,
and at last you will feel my anger.” Jeremiah 10:18

"Pack your bags and prepare to leave," the Lord says in verse 17 in the modern idiom of the New Living Translation. Do you suppose there might be someone in Jerusalem at that time who believed in the Lord and honored Him? Quite likely there was, as even in Elijah's time there were many who did not bow down to idols and remained faithful to the Lord God. Do you suppose that we who believe in Jesus will escape the destruction of our nation, if such is decreed by the Lord for the many sins in this land? Actually, yes, there is a strong possibility of an escape.

We may not realize what a privilege it will be for us to be taken up in the Rapture of the church as the end times of the world begin. There was no escape for Israel back in the day of idolatry, and we are no less guilty of the same sin in this age. Yet, there is this promise of a snatching up much like a raptor might do to a fish in the sea, only faster and with less getting et' involved. In the twinkling of an eye, the Lord Jesus will remove His bride from the land of sin and death. This is not some idle wish from Paul to the Corinthians and Thessalonians, but a revelation of something great to come for us. One good thing in this snatching up for us - no bag packing! Leave it all behind, we're going home!

Love in Christ,
Bucky

Friday, January 11, 2019

Influenza of the Soul

The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit? Proverbs 18:14

Has your grateful attitude gone to Maui and left you behind? Does the Bible seem like a long-winded list of all you have done wrong? Maybe your prayer of late seems like a pitiable poem of poor words and above all you just don't seem to have the joy that was supposed to be present at all times. You might have something like an influenza of the soul going right now. You know the Devil certainly likes you in this state, but there does not seem to be a solution available right now.

Oh, ask the friends and they will have plenty of solutions to offer. Ask of the church and more will come. Bored to tears of reading the word of God? You just need to read it some more they will say with self-righteous congratulations to their own piety. But that's the problem you mutter to God in prayer, I don't want to go there right now.

Walk with Jesus long enough and you will suffer this passing influenza of the soul that comes unexpectedly and lingers longer than we wish. It may be a season of serious assault like Job suffered done in only a spiritual manner, or it may be a stage in our development as a child of the King of kings, or maybe even both at the same time. The world does not know efficiency like our Lord knows efficiency!

What is the solution to this tough time we will run into along the way of Jesus? Maybe, in place of all the do this and do that we will hear suggested or even commanded by those who think they know, we might be in the perfect position to let go and let God handle this thing. After all, we know better than to tell someone suffering the usual kind of flu that they just need to get up and run a few miles. As to the others, well meaning though they may be, perhaps they can back off and just pray. That is something we can all do in the name of our Lord Jesus!

Bucky

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Deceptive Ambassadors

So they said to him: “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt, Joshua 9:9

The fame of what the Lord had done for Israel and to Egypt had spread, but perhaps not quite so far yet as the deceptive ambassadors would have the Israelite rulers believe. This verse comes from a story of deception.

Some people in the path of Israel decided to try deception in place of attempting a military defense or moving their people out of the way. And these men made a successful deception. They dressed up in costumes and took some false provision, and then played to the heart feelings of the Israelite rulers. The key to the entire deception though was not their costumes, their lying words or their moldy bread. The key comes in verse 14, and the action that made the deception possible was done by the Israelite rulers, including Joshua: "...but they did not ask counsel of the LORD." And that was all it took to make possible a real dilemma for Israel.

The very same action, or perhaps lack of action, on their part made it possible for the Serpent to deceive Adam and Eve too. It is a strong lesson for us in this age these many centuries later. Pride says that we may decide for ourselves the rightness or wrongness of a thing. Pride states, "I don't need the counsel of the Lord because I am so smart." Pride allows deception to prosper. Humility before the Lord causes us to ask of Him. The Lord knows the thoughts of every heart and the Lord cannot be deceived. Why not ask of Him when we need counsel?

We do that often, but every once in while it seems that pride may get in our way too. May God grant us humility in our dealings with the deceptive ambassadors of this world.

Bucky