Monday, June 01, 2020

The Seas Rise Up Again

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 It wasn't a shooting this time, but something more intimate and personal. The incident seems almost too perfectly set up to be only the work of those persons on the scene. Are we seeing the work of the principalities and powers that Paul warned us were active in his time? And the response, though there have been incidents enough for practice and greater proficiency, so quickly did it escalate to what we see each night. Such organization and orchestration anyone can see, is that only from human will or is something darker at work?  The answers to these questions are complex and I believe only God can see those many personal decisions that led to that point in time, and only He knows what persons, powers, and principalities are involved and how much each of them can do in this. However, I have the privilege of prayer and the power to open the Bible and read it. The seas of outrage rise up again, will this time show us the powers we watch for at the end of this age?  Now, spin your head around and rejoice in the Lord today, because looking too much at the turmoil of the world is not good for any of us. There's a revival going on here! How's that for timing? Bucky

Friday, May 29, 2020

The Coming Cold Days


    “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." Matthew 24:12

    We are on the cusp of the hottest days of the year. Is my title for today some sort of bad joke? Am I a false prophet that no one is taken in by? No, we are in those days when lawlessness is growing and along with that will come the love of many growing cold. The abounding of lawlessness, I believe refers only to the days of the Tribulation when the man of lawlessness will have great power over the world. Today we are growing toward that time and already we are appalled by the coldness in the actions of some all around us. For the moment, we can turn our eyes to the numerous acts of generosity, kindness, and love that abound at this time, but the cold days are coming. 

    A draught of dark tidings to be sure, but our Lord Jesus told His disciples this  to make them watchful. He tells us through His word to be in the same state of watchfulness for this next round of cooling love and growing lawlessness. Are we in the time just before the finale? I believe it to be so, but so did Paul almost 2,000 years past. Watch and be loving to one another. 

    Love to you in Jesus the Christ our Lord,
    
    Bucky

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Not A Place To Find Fame

    And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.  Mark 1:28

    There is a social media game you may have seen going around where a person lists five famous people he or she has been within a few feet of, one of which is not true. I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove about a person, but the game itself shows something about me. I cannot participate. Nope, I cannot think of even four famous persons who have passed that close to me in all of my little life. It would also seem to show something about the places I have been in my life as well. We don't have famous people passing by here much, or if they do it is high above us in a plane. (A few miles up does not count in the game, I suspect.) I'm thinking this morning that Galilee was that way back in the Roman times.

    The fame of Jesus spread in a region where fishermen and sheep herders called to each other with a friendly wave, but kings and princes probably saw little reason to visit. That would appear to be the reason Mark takes note of this, probably from Peter, that it was in fulfillment of prophecy and another of those unlikely events surrounding our Lord Jesus. The wise men searched first in the capital, Jerusalem, after Jesus was born. Others seeking the Lord went to Jerusalem first after Jesus had ascended to Heaven. People would not seek out Galilee first to find the ministry of the Son of God. There are places one goes to be closer to famous people, and Galilee was not one of them.

    There are some big churches in some big cities around this earth, but finding Jesus may be easier in the regions like Galilee even today. Seek Him, while He may be found!

Love and grace to you in Christ the Lord,

Bucky

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Little Bit Prodigal

“And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. Luke 15:13

The word prodigal comes up one time in one verse in the New King James version of the Bible, and yet the story Jesus told is known the world over. Other versions of the Bible do not use the word at all, and yet so many know the story and what the word means. One word! What an effective communication the words of Jesus are! How great is the Bible, the word of God, that it spreads so far and so well? 

Of course, part of the knowledge of this word comes from how many of us have tried it. Both secular and religious persons have gone out from our parent's home and tried this method of living for a time. With only a minuscule number of exceptions, we have found that it quickly renders one destitute, broke, and without folding money. However, the point of the story is not the life lesson in stewardship so much, important though that is to each of us, as it is about the humble homecoming and the joy of the father. Why, the elder son wondered, should that layabout lout be welcomed into the home again? 

One who sees no need in his life for a second chance cannot know the blessing the Father gives to those of us who come to know our need of His salvation and that second chance to be born into a new life. 

Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for the lovely lesson of the prodigal son,

Bucky

Friday, May 22, 2020

To All Who Are In Rome

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 1:7

There come those days when it seems that messages to you should begin in just this way. Our nation does bear some similarities to that nation of old. However, there are those times when it seems that this place must be that new Babylon spoken of in the scriptures too. An angel flying over us to call the Lord's people out of her would not surprise us so very much. We too though are a part of that far away people who have come to believe in the Lord Jesus in great numbers. 

So, wherever you may be on this earth, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God that we are called together in Christ to be saints by His hand. We may be symbolically in the new Rome or the new Babylon or in that nation we now find ourselves, but we are also in the church our Lord is building. And, we are ready to come at His calling, ready to come home with Him. 

Memorial Day weekend comes this evening, I pray that you are allowed to get out some as we celebrate those who have given their lives in service to this nation. 

Bucky

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Sometimes, We Get It Again

A proud and haughty man— “Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride. Proverbs 21:24

There was an age about one hundred years ago when statements of arrogant pride abounded. You know of one involving a certain 'unsinkable' ship, but there were many like it in that age. So many awful disasters followed these arrogant statements that our nation learned a lot about pride going before the fall. In fact, I would say that our nation learned so well... If you are not ducking and covering now, you are praying that I do not complete that statement. It is so easy to get on a roll, so to speak, and blurt out the very type of statement that one is trying to avoid. 

This past Sunday, the pastor of a certain local church here in our little town gave a sermon to us regarding this very sin of arrogance. As I read last night a book about the pride of a man who was both doctor and weatherman in Galveston, Texas in that same age of arrogant statements, enough foreshadowing was provided to know that this man was headed for an opportunity to repent. The message in both cases was of course for me as well. Sometimes we get it again from the Lord's dear Holy Spirit, and we must be listening with our ears to hear. 

God's blessings to you as the great day of the Lord approaches,

Bucky

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A Certain Expectancy

Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard from the vinedressers.  Mark 12:2

The owner of the vineyard, who in the prior verse planted and outfitted the vineyard, had leased this vineyard to some people. And, when the time came to bottle the wine, this owner sent a servant to reap a share of the production. You may know the rest of the story, or parable in this case, but for the moment let us just look at the circumstance in the present moment of verse 2.

There was in this moment no difference between this contract and many others done in this time and in the years to our time. The owner assumed a certain risk by leasing the field to others and going away to a far country (v1). There are those who have more money and own more things in this world, and there are those who lease some of those things, and there are those who work for a living at wages. There was in this moment no reason for the owner not to send a servant to collect the proceeds of the contract at the proper time. The servant as he or she walked toward the vineyard need have no fear of brigands, as money will not change hands until later when the wine is sold. (I assume this because one servant could hardly carry the owner's share of the wine on his person, unless it was a really small vineyard.) But, we know what happens! Yes, when we have knowledge from the Lord, it is tough to stay in the moment. 

Exactly what we face each day knowing that our Lord is coming again to take us home to be with Him. It is tough to work and live and play in this moment when we know such great things await us in Christ the Lord! Rejoice in that certain expectancy of His return.

Bucky