Friday, January 19, 2018

I Know, But Do I Know Him?

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” John 4:25

A bit later Jesus introduces Himself as Messiah to the woman. She knew about Messiah, but she couldn't know Him until He revealed Himself to her. How often I wonder have I known much about Jesus by study and yet not known Him until His Spirit gave me a revelation? Many in this world know about Messiah, but not so many know that Jesus is Messiah. Others have studied the life of Jesus, but Messiah or the Christ is not in any way personal to their knowing. A relationship has not been formed and the gift of salvation remains unknown and unaccepted. How many, one might ask, might stand before the judgment throne reciting memorized facts about Jesus but not recognize Him even as He judges them? Many a sad tale may come to be written in that way.

Praise God there have been enough in every age who have seen the revelation of Jesus the Christ in their soul that one day a great multitude will gather in Heaven to sing His praises! One day He will be revealed as He comes in the clouds of glory. With Him or awaiting Him, we too will see this coming and we await it even now as the woman in John 4. That day, though, no doubt will prevent the knowledge that the Lord comes. This appearing will not be a man of the Jews who, for some reason, stopped to speak with a woman at a well in Samaria, but the second coming of the King of kings! We will know Him.

The Spirit of God reveals our Lord Jesus to us even now, let us praise Him!


Thursday, January 18, 2018

This Morning's News

Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. 1 Samuel 11:6

If it should seem to you that the news of the day has become especially adept at arousing your anger, you are not the only one! Way back in the day, more than a thousand years before our Lord Jesus was born, Saul received some news that made him angry. However, this was not the sort of frustrating news we get today but something that made the Lord Himself angry.

The verse for today speaks of the Spirit of God coming upon Saul to arouse anger in him. Most of us in this age look to the Spirit for a calming influence with all of the anger that is thrown at us in the news. What was it that aroused the anger of the Lord so? It seems that the Ammonites had made a threat toward a city of Israel that was to be for a humiliation of God's chosen people. Think that God does not defend those He calls His own? The remainder of this story in 1 Samuel 11 might change your mind.

So aroused was Saul, that he gathered the fighting men of Israel and came down on the Ammonites with the wrath of the Lord, as the Word says, and slew so many that those Ammonites who survived were scattered so that no two of them were left together.

What was Saul up to when this news came? He was not yet king, he was coming in from the field following the herd. Kind of makes us wonder what is happening in this morning's news that might cause the Lord to arouse an emotion in us to act in His will, eh?

Righteous is the Lord in all His ways!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Lord's Fasting

​“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
​​To loose the bonds of wickedness,
​​To undo the heavy burdens,
​​To let the oppressed go free,
​​And that you break every yoke?" Isaiah 58:6

Breakfast was on my mind this morning, as it often is in the morning, so I searched for break and fast in the Bible and came up with this verse only in all of the Bible.

We have this tendency, a desire of the flesh perhaps, to present to the Lord a resume of our good deeds done religiously. We bring tales of our fasting to the Lord hoping for a trophy maybe, Fasting Champion 2018. He tells us instead to look to our neighbors. Jesus our Lord was asked why He did not fast as He was living the list of loving actions we see in the verse from Isaiah. We have His good example to follow.

In place of trying to impress the Lord with our self-righteous and religious deeds, we might do as He says and look to our neighbors. What burdens do they bear that I have overlooked in my efforts to make myself into a better man? How much of my self-improvement program would be better handled by the Lord's Holy Spirit as I take the time to look at the needs and burdens borne in suffering all around me? What help can selflessness lend where selfishness now rules?

What a reward to relieve a neighbor of a burden!

Your brother in Christ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What Comes Tomorrow?

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea. Matthew 3:1

John is a New Testament sort of name. It does not appear in the O.T. at all. But unlike most of us, John does appear in Isaiah. How did he do that?

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
​​“Prepare the way of the LORD;
​​Make straight in the desert
​​A highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3

John refused to be called the Christ, but he did admit to being the voice of one crying in the wilderness. That is some serious brass if he is in fact a false prophet. To have the religious authorities come out from Jerusalem and to claim a verse from Isaiah for yourself would be to risk a charge of blasphemy and that sudden, instant, and even immediate death the religious Jews were famous for handing out. The Messiah had better be along right soon or John the Baptist would quickly be John the Former.

However, we do know from the scriptures that Jesus soon arrived claiming many more verses from the prophets to Himself and confirming John in his office. So, why did they not believe Jesus? Well, that was prophesied too. It seems that our Lord knows all that is to come. What does tomorrow have in store for His faithful followers? The prophets in both Testaments have much to say about that!

Rejoice, for He returns for us soon!


Monday, January 15, 2018

Comfort Ye My People

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

One of the oratorical hymns of Messiah by George Frideric Handel is titled Comfort Ye My People from the 40th chapter of Isaiah. It is well used as a command to God's ministers to give comfort to all those troubled souls in this age of spiritual warfare. One of the great comforting verses is given in Deuteronomy with the promise that our Lord God will not leave or forsake us.

Us? Is not this verse directed specifically to Israel? Yes, it does seem to be that way. Are we then grabbing comfort that does not belong to us?

Throughout the ministry of Jesus our Lord, Gentiles came in faith to the Lord to get the great hope He brought first to Israel. Those Gentiles were our spiritual ancestors and we continue to reach for Messiah who came first to His nation of Israel. There came a time though when Jesus was rejected by Israel and went instead to the Gentiles. Paul came to that same point and his ministry among the Gentiles brought forth much fruit for the kingdom of God. You and I were born Gentiles and like those of us who reached out for Jesus and were healed, saved, and restored to life in His time, we too reach out in faith for those things first promised to Israel. This too was promised in the prophecies.

Be glad that we are that nation who recognized our Lord Jesus and joined in His salvation. Be comforted by Jesus our Lord on this new day.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Warily Watching the World

By his lips doth a hater dissemble, 
And in his heart he placeth deceit,

When his voice is gracious trust not in him, 
For seven abominations are in his heart.  Proverbs 26:24-25 (Young's Literal Translation)

I searched for 'dissemble' in the Bible and foundeth one in the YLT which soundeth not unlike the King James doth soundeth!

To dissemble is to play with words so as to deceive your neighbor. The child playing in the tub states that he has a washcloth, but the mother not being born nearly yesterday asks, "But did you use it?" Having a thing is of course not the same as using the thing. Years later as a county official the child may use the same sort of dissembling as he claims the county has this piece of equipment when questioned by the media. The zealous investigative reporter may indeed find said equipment in the back of the county yard enjoying a good rusting and standing on flat tires. Dissembling has been used by many a public servant. Sometimes they are caught at it, other times it works and is then likely to be brought out as a tool later on.

We were told by the Lord to be wary, like a serpent is wary of the boot descending toward it or the sharp-eyed hawk floating on the wind currents above. The world is going to dissemble, and obfuscate, and just plain lie to us. This place is at the moment still the princedom of the great deceiver, and at some point you and I will face that deception. Be wary!

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24 (NKJV)

If possible? Yes, if it is just me alone, it is quite possible to deceive me. We must of course depend upon God's dear Holy Spirit within us to warn of that deception, for it is already at work as Paul said, and will soon become the new normal as we approach the finale of this world.

Even if you do fall to deception, depend on His grace!


Friday, January 12, 2018

A Tale of Two Waiters

Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

Jesus went to an inn on the outskirts of a town one day to see how his people were doing in this age. Taking a seat in the middle booth, the Lord looked out at the passing traffic.

One waiter noticed his new customer and knew who the Lord was. This waiter was a doer, and he looked down on those who didn't. "Leave reflection to mud puddles!" he would say often to those who paused to think things through. This waiter wanted very much to please the Lord and proceeded to show Jesus every plate the inn offered for the noon meal, plus a few others he tried on the spot. In his zeal to show the Lord how good he had become, this waiter only slipped once, spilling just a little tomato soup on the Lord's spotless robes of white.

Another waiter, who shared the lunchtime assignment of that particular middle booth, also noticed the Lord sitting in his booth, for he was not sure whose turn it was to serve at that moment. This waiter was one of those thinkers despised by the other. He began to reflect on what he might be called upon to serve the Master. Anxiety crept into his thinking and as he sat back observing the Lord, waiting for a sign of which dish to bring out in order to best serve his Lord, he began to ruminate on all of his past mistakes, including that time he had spilled a quantity of tomato soup on the Lord's robes.

The Lord Jesus opened his mouth to speak, and both waiters paused - one his rushing feet and the other his rushing thoughts.

"What I would like," the Lord said, "is for the both of you to come and dine with me."