Friday, May 25, 2018

A Humbling

The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. Isaiah 23:9

There are those who have a certain status on the earth. They are celebrated for visibility on our television monitors, or the wealth they have amassed, or the number of people employed by their company, or their influence in government or society. There are even a few who have all of the above. We might be tempted toward envy for their station in life, but the word of the Lord has a warning for them and us. The Lord has purposed to stain the pride of that earthly glory, even so far as to bring into contempt the honorable of the earth.

In the preceding verse the merchant princes of Tyre are defined as the honorable of the earth. Merchant princes have enjoyed their fame in our nation and do so today. The honorable in this case then are not those persons who behave with honor, but those who are honored by society for their status. Today we call them celebrities but they are the same group.

Through a variety of circumstances, and in many cases just enough work to cause the person to take credit for it, these people have an influence on others that you and I cannot realize. We might want it through the urging of that old person known as the flesh, but we must take heed to the Lord's word. A humbling has been proposed by Him, and that usually means a tough time for someone.

We learn through the teaching of God in His word and His Holy Spirit that idols of any type are coming down. All that you or I can do and do well in this world comes from our Lord. Make an idol out of a talent we have, and the Lord will take that thing down for our sake. Make an idol out of something we have built, and our Lord will faithfully knock it down so that in the humbling we return to Him. Always, the Lord has in mind the return of His little prodigals from that far country. If an idol or two or three must needs be knocked down, crushed, or burnt up to get the prodigal to look toward the Father, then watch out! The Lord will clear the way for His Son to bring the prodigals home.

Thank You, dear Father, for knocking down those idols I try to erect in this world.


Thursday, May 24, 2018

To Start A King, Call 911

Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?”
And he said to them, “You know the man and his babble.” 2 Kings 9:11

The rest of this story... could never be gleaned from just this verse. We do have some clues though. A meeting of some sort took place that the servants of the man's master did not attend, and they wondered what sort of message or conversation took place. Pretty normal really, we are curious about that which we know happened but did not witness ourselves. They dismissed the man as a madman, perhaps by the way he acted when coming to Jehu. For his part, Jehu tried to deflect the question by a derogatory comment about this other 'madman'. By quoting only the one verse, we long to know more, just like those servants.

The Lord sent a message through Elisha His prophet to Jehu. Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets, not necessarily his own son, to Jehu with a message, or at least part of a message because when the messenger arrives he says much more than what he was told by Elisha to say. The curious thing is that the servant of the Lord was to deliver the message and then flee without delay. His protection provided by the Lord for delivering the message was a single chance to run for his life!

Jehu goes with the messenger and receives quite the message, nothing less than a new king, himself, who is to overthrow none other than Jezebel. Remember her? Even Elijah was afraid of that queen. So, the messenger was no madman, and Jehu no longer a servant. Why then the dismissive comment with the oil of his anointing still dripping off his hair? I guess Jehu didn't want to start his reign being anointed by a madman in private.

If you were called by the Lord to anoint a new king of the world today, and to do so you had to call 911 and speak to a dispatcher who, without a doubt, is going to mark you down for a visit by the men in white coats, what would you do? Yes, your only message, delivered only to you in your prayer closet is: "To start a king, call 911." I think I would hope for that one chance to flee for my life, 'cuz if the Lord sends His Word, I don't want to deny His message!

Have a wonderful day with Him who is called Wonderful,


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Subject So Important

But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. Matthew 5:32

For a few moments of pleasure something dies, for the wages of sin is death. So, divorce is the pleasure and sex is the death. I have never been married so pardon me if I get something backwards here. What I wanted to study this morning is that subject so important that Jesus Himself gave an exception in the Sermon on the Mount, sexual immorality. Divorce is of course serious, and our Lord doesn't hand out exceptions without the most serious of reasons. This sexual immorality thing must be critically important.

I have read translations of the Word that use unfaithfulness in place of sexual immorality or even fornication. By that, one could see a wife being unfaithful with many other things including alcohol or drugs, gambling, an idol, or of course sexual unfaithfulness. Jesus used the wife in His great sermon, but I'm sure He well knew that husbands could be unfaithful immoral fornicators too. In fact, I'm sure he knows even as we think about it, you mental fornicator! It's tough when just the mention of sexual terms can get the flesh going in the wrong imaginary direction.

The good news is that there must be sexual morality too. I know from my early education that it involves drunken storks and lanky rabbits in sacks. And apparently it happened just outside of my house in the grass under the apricot tree, because I had a crop of baby bunnies this year. Too bad I wasn't called to participate, I might have learned all about sexual morality. There would appear to be some connection between marriage faithfulness and sexual morality too. I think our Lord counts on us to get it.

Have a great day, try out some of that sexual morality,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Feeling Joyful

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13

How do we go about feeling joyful in the midst of such suffering? Not by denying it, that's for sure. The Revelation shows us the Lamb with His robe dipped in blood. Not only did our Lord die to save us, but He also knows the suffering on the Earth and His robe shows it. However, His name is not bloody; it is called The Word of God.

In this is wisdom: first read the word of God and get to know the Word of God better. Leave off the news of the world for a while each day and study God's word first. It is easy in this age of information to open the news, but we must be prepared for what is reported to us in this dark age, and to do that we should first armor ourselves with the word of God. The Word shows us what is coming, and thus we should not be surprised by the blood in the news. The Word also shows us what is coming after this time of darkness, and that is a promise that is not dark at all!

On this foggy morning, imagine the fog clearing away suddenly to reveal a bright new world. And that is what will happen to this present darkness quickly one day. It will be cleared away by our Lord to reveal His bright new world, shining in the light of His love. Believe it, for it is given by His Word!

This fog will clear, trust in Him!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Happenings of Today

“Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. Acts 3:24

Peter said this around 30 A.D. and it remains true on this day as well. The prophecies of the Lord are happening today. Now the fulfillment may not be the sudden dramatic event that we look for, at least not yet, but the Lord's word is fulfilled even as we go about our daily lives. Each day someone believes in Jesus. Each day we contribute in our small way to the return of our Lord's kingdom. Each and every day the servants of the Lord go forth, most of us to a job that appears on the surface to do nothing for the kingdom of God. On the surface that is.

Meeting those in need of a savior is what our Lord Jesus did every day. He went into the taverns of the time and the synagogues. He walked in fields and rested in homes. He spoke to thousands in the daytime and met individuals at night. Our Lord was the messenger of His own message! We meet people in our work, and we have a chance each day to show the work of the Lord going on in us. Few work places will pay us to speak the word each day, but we show it in our passion for the work, attention to excellence, going the extra mile, and perhaps that hardest of all things in this age or any other: not complaining.

Yeah, haven't quite achieved perfection in that last one yet.

The prophets told us what is to come in their time, and much of that is happening today or is right on the doorstep. We have so much to eagerly wait for in Jesus!


Friday, May 18, 2018

Faith In, Armor Up!

Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few.”
So his armor bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart." 1 Samuel 14:6-7

Here was faith in action, and yet those warriors of God did not strip down to their undies and walk over to the enemy camp. Why not? Wouldn't that prove the way of faith even more? It would seem alright then to demonstrate our faith in God along with our gratitude for the tools He has provided by the usage of what we have at hand. It may be in a time of tribulation that one of us has nothing to use in the fight - neither weapons nor armor - and are then dependent upon our Lord. It also may be that we have weapons or other tools near to hand and that we pick them up in faith and gratitude, for in that circumstance too we are dependent upon God.

There are so many different situations in the Old Testament stories that it is foolish to test God by dropping what He has provided to us without His express command to do so, such as when Gideon was told to send all but a small amount of his forces home. The saying goes that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Yes, but our Lord also works with what He has already provided to us, including the faith we have in Him.

And what about that armor bearer? We should have that same trust and confidence in our Lord Jesus. Whatever you say or do, Lord, I'm with you!


Thursday, May 17, 2018

All Who Hate Me

All who hate me whisper together against me;
​​Against me they devise my hurt.
​​“An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
​​And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.” Psalm 41:7-8

David wrote this psalm from a position of paranoia maybe? No, David had enemies and lots of them. We do too, but we don't always think like this. We tend to think of those who love us, and let it be ever so! For God loves us, and our brothers and sisters in Christ do as well. However, if you think for just a moment of the enemy and his minions, we do have cause to speak as David does here in his psalm. There are those powers and principalities of this present darkness, as Paul pointed out, that mean our downfall, harm, and even death.

However, the best fix for this is not to think on those dark powers constantly, but to remember the sovereign almighty power of the Lord who loves us. In Job, the Devil had to get a pass from God to do what he would to poor Job and his family, and servants and livestock - let us not forget them. All who hate me do not get a free pass around God to do whatever they please either. God placed restrictions on what was done to Job. All who hate us would like to do whatever they please, but God's will is the stronger.

We need this fight, this present tribulation, to develop our faith, but always we are guided and protected by the One who loves us. We wear the full armor of God with good reason, but we do not stand alone in it.

Praise to our Lord Jesus who stands with us on this day!