Friday, September 29, 2017

Not At My Table

And they tested God in their heart
​​By asking for the food of their fancy.
Yes, they spoke against God:
​​They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Psalm 78:18-19

A classic passage about what we want vs. what we need in life. However, it was tables that entered my mind this morning, as in letting that stinkin' thinking pollute my breakfast table. Back in the day someone might have referred to a bee in the bonnet for something that bothered a person so much that he or she could think of nothing else. Such a test has come into our lives recently here in this little town, and I couldn't help but think that the perpetrator does not deserve a place at my table. This was followed quickly by the admission that when I am doing this sort of thinking, I don't deserve a place at God's table.

Noshing on dark emotions, mulling over things, chewing on my own bile, and other ungodly activities in my mind would not make me suitable at anyone's dinner table much less the sovereign Lord who has been so good to me. Gratitude, praise, worship, and love are far more appropriate attitudes to bring to my Lord's table. The fruits of the Spirit are a better offering to my Lord our host than to disgrace His table with that whirlwind of stinking thinking that has beset my mind recently. Of course in all of this we need our Lord Jesus to strengthen the mind to resist that sort of grumbly hateful mental activity. Time to turn it around to humbly grateful thinking by thinking on my Lord and all He has done and who He is!

It is a tough task as the toxin spread by this man who tests us so seeps deeply into the mind in a breathtakingly short time. Time to well remember the words of John: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Prayer in place of pernicious pondering! May God be praised on this His day,


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Do Entertainers Lead Us?

“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” Matthew 15:14

In this age it seems that too often the voices of entertainers are heard to lead the people. Decide now; will actors, athletes, and singers be our leaders? It seems unworthy of a great people that we should follow those paid to entertain us. I will follow Christ Jesus and let them alone.

Too late, you made that decision long ago and I am glad for us. Those who have experienced the influence of God's own Spirit have seen the evils of blindly following the celebrity culture. We have our idols in this time, and they aren't shy about calling themselves 'idols' or 'stars' any longer. For us stars are those things God created and set in the sky, and the morning stars sang together when God laid the foundation of the Earth. (Job 38:7). I'm sure it is quite flattering for a person to be recognized from that popular show on the television, but we don't need to blindly follow them. It is an honor among men to be selected as a member of an NFL team, but they don't lead us.

I am weary of being caught up in a vain argument. I believe that the United States is blessed enough by our Lord Jesus to survive some people kneeling for our national anthem. We can even get by without an anthem when we have our Lord God first in mind and in life. I have chosen to honor the anthem of my country by standing. When others refuse to stand, it does not make the nation I served any less in my sight. No, the freedom we enjoy in this strong nation blessed by our Lord can be used in both good ways and bad.

Thank You, dear Lord for Your blessings on this nation,


P.S. By the way, that kneeling protest thing is so effective that I still do not know why they are doing it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

All You Who Hope In The Lord

Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

Hope begins way back in the book of Ruth where we find our heroine Naomi being, uh, kind of hopeless. I was hoping for a better example to start off with. It seems though that her hope was for a husband in her old age. Hmm, you just never want to give up hope when it comes to old age, the Lord seems to have made a specialty of reviving the elderly back in the day, and He certainly hasn't changed since then.

As a child of the King, you and I are also a part of the Church, the Bride of Christ, and in this we have hope for a husband too. The Church has been around for a while, but we must never think that we are too old. Jesus in His faithfulness will never look aside to choose another. He died to save us, what more could He offer for another?

In our Lord Jesus is our hope. If you cannot understand hope, then perhaps you have none and need to believe in Him. Hebrews eleventy-one tells us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, therefore the first step to having hope is to have faith in Him. Since our hope is for something we do not yet have, it makes sense to grab the substance of it by faith.

And then, in the midst of a shaking and quaking world, God gave us a promise of courage and strength to all of us who hope in the Lord. Courage in the face of a fear-mongering world is something we could all use today. Strength of heart overcomes a great many fears, and the source is Him: the Holy One of God.

Grace and mercy to you who hope in the Lord!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let Us Kneel

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Psalm 95:6

The 95th psalm is a call to worship that is worship. I love the word of the Lord!

Since kneeling is sure to be a hotly debated and much discussed topic this morning, I thought that I would do a search for it in the Word of God. It is not surprising then that to kneel before the Lord is not a gesture of protest or rebellion, but one of submission and worship. The psalm calls for joy and thanksgiving and tells us to avoid that rebellion against the Lord that came so easily to the people of Israel.

So, the question that comes to mind is: What is your kneeling? Is it a sign of submission to God, or is it calling attention to yourself? When the Pharisees prayed on the street corners, Jesus said that they had their reward; a good indication that they were praying there to draw attention to themselves. What is your cause? Is it righteous or merely sensational? Are you a peacemaker or a conflict enabler?

One thing that has come of this is that we are suddenly paying much more attention to what people are doing during our national anthem. We might also turn to look at what is going on in us during prayer. Are we submitting to the Lord or just firing a list of I-wants up toward Him? What respect should we give to the One who died that we might live? And in honoring Him, what respect is due our nation and those who served that we might enjoy a Sunday of peace? The national stage is always a tempting place to make a personal statement, but is this one the right one? Well might the psalmist say this morning:

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Amen, let us bow down and kneel before Him!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

When It's Over

Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. Daniel 1:9

Among some fine examples in the Bible are two who had every reason to resist and whine for a better life from God. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers; Daniel was captured by the enemy and given to the chief of the eunuchs. Both had good reason to ask, "What did I do wrong to deserve this fate?" Yet, both chose to serve right where they were, and serve well they did! Both men also found (found?) additional opportunities to fall down and die, but Daniel walked out of the lion's den and Joseph came out of prison, only to once again take up good service to what were to them Gentile rulers.

This comes to mind because this weekend some 'foreign rulers' will close the deal on what to many of us was our lifetime employer. The corporate buyout of Cabela's Inc. - lock, stock, and any empty barrels they find - is due to complete on this coming Monday. Although the lifetime employment of mine was ended earlier than I thought, I and many of my fellow long-serving friends are going to struggle with the feeling that we played for the team that lost the championship in front of the home crowd, bringing them deep disappointment. It may not be an accurate feeling and some may not see that at all, but at least with me that feeling persists. No doubt Joseph and Daniel also faced a weekend when they suffered a similar feeling and may indeed have wondered, "Where were you, God?"

Yet we know from these two fine stories, which anyone can read in Genesis and Daniel, that the two men of God stood up to serve well the foreign rulers they lived under. Joseph and Daniel did not lead a rebellion or fail to give their best as though they served God Himself. (Which they were!) Some of the best stories of God's glorious work in this world come from and within the stories of Daniel and Joseph.

So, Cabela's as we knew it and built it is coming to a close. What service can we offer to others right where we are now, as they say, right where God has planted us? How can we with our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, write a new and inspiring story of service for others to marvel over in coming times? For one thing, we can trust that He never left us and never will leave us. Whether you were tossed out, left on your own, retired, are still there and fear the ax, or have no worries what e'er may come, we belong to the Lord Jesus, and He is writing that inspiring story right now. When it's over, let it be over and we will continue serving Him!

All to God's glory, amen.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Greed Scale

Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? Luke 11:39-40

What is greed or greedy? I have seen people of all income levels want more than they receive in their paycheck; so it would seem that greed is not solved by having a bigger paycheck, if simply wanting more is greed. One thing I do know is that greed is not the other person refusing to give me whatever I want. There may be a host of reasons for the refusal, my greed perhaps being one of them, but how does that help us narrow down what this greed thing is?

Is greed wanting more than we each need? If that is the case then we have narrowed down the greedy to pretty much all of us; probably not very helpful. Scrooge was described as greedy and we all seem to know what Charles Dickens meant by that. So, is it a desire to always want more at the expense of others and a refusal to help in their plight? Maybe we are getting closer here. Scrooge at the first before his redemption was indeed hardened to the suffering of others.

Pigs are sometimes used as a comparison, but that is hardly fair given that pigs are what they are. Perhaps the comparison is to those who act like pigs at the trough but do not have to be that way? 'Hogging' all of something or attempting to do so when there is no need for such behavior may be another way to get a handle on what greed is. So, we have a disregard for our neighbor as the greedy grabs up all for himself and cares for the other fellow only in striving against him to beat him to all the chow.

The dictionary states: an intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food. Ah, selfishness is involved is it? That can't be good. We are called to love the Lord and our neighbors, and selfishness does not allow for that. It does not surprise us then that greed and selfishness walk hand in hand. One thing remains though, greed is not relative. When negotiating with Bubba, and he refuses to give in to everything I want, I don't get to call Bubba greedy. That is nothing but selfish pride at work in me. There may be a greed scale out there somewhere and maybe it displays in tons of selfishness, but I don't get to place my selfishness on the scale and say, "Look how much you have weighed me down, Bubba, you greedy thing you!"

That may seem comical now, but I think we have all seen it happen. Lord, please cleanse the inside of this cup so that the greedy one is not me.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Time To Not Worry...Is Now!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

We like to worry about a great many things and we like to know the timing of things too. To an alien observer it might even seem like we listen to weather reports so that we can learn when to worry the most and how to best risk our lives with that quick dash to the store as the tornado warning sounds. Humans have quite the capacity to both worry and to cause themselves more reason to worry. Yet, in His great sermon, Jesus our Lord told us to not worry about today by way of what we should eat, drink or wear, and not to worry about tomorrow.

So, with today and tomorrow off the worry table, I guess the time to not worry is now.

All righty then, enough about that subject!

Indeed, when Jesus made His commands on that subject, He fully expected us to walk away from worry and right into trusting Him completely. And so we should do, and oh boy do I have problems with giving up worry and living in complete faith. The flesh is such a frightened, cringing and detestable little creature, and it does love to paralyze me with worry. Jesus our Lord says to step forth in faith: when will we answer Him, "Yes, Lord!" Yes indeed, the time to not worry is now!

Have faith! The love of our Lord does not fade or grow dim in this present darkness.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Purty Good Idea

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
​​Ten thousand rivers of oil?
​​Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
​​The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
​​And what does the LORD require of you
​​But to do justly,
​​To love mercy,
​​And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:7-8

Walking in the knowledge of the flesh, we think we have a purty good idea what will please the Lord. This pleasing is remarkably similar to what would please us, if we were to say win the lottery or somethin'.

The story goes something like: if I could just win that big prize, or garner that big bonus, or whatever that big windfall is floating out there in the imagination, then I would give God a big portion of it and He would be so pleased with me. I could hold my head up in church and walk the streets with the knowledge of how good I had been to the Lord. Yup, seems like a purty good idea there.

Then the prophet Micah received a bit of knowledge from the Lord that just shot down my plans for pleasing God with the strength and mightiness of my imaginary generosity. Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly? These things are rather alien to my flesh. I cannot imagine how I might fill a bank account with justice and then give back a chunk to the Lord. And doesn't love have something to do with taking clothing off and wrestling around in bed? (The movies seem to make that point.) No, when it comes to pleasing God the flesh is pretty dumb. No wonder someone invented idols to make offerings to and expect favor; it's easy for the flesh to understand investing in the Great ATM. Humbly? The flesh doesn't get that either; isn't humility for folks who have nothing to offer?

Praise God for the Spirit in me who understands doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our Lord. It is interesting that I cannot please the Lord without the Lord. The flesh I was born with is just too dumb to please God. I needed a rebirth in His Son to begin to understand what pleasing the Lord is all about.

Great is His name in all the Earth!

Monday, September 18, 2017

My Mission: His Show

“But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Exodus 9:16

Why are we so weak? I guess as Hobbes pointed out once, 15 billion years of evolution probably wasn't enough. Yes, it is easy to mock a theory that hasn't yet made me into a super-genius Wonderman. Life would be just so comfortable and easy with a few superpowers to play with. Instead, we wander through the Bible and the most accurate comparison we get is that of helpless sheep dependent on the shepherd.

Of course, in the end the Son of God is known as the Lamb of God. He is the one found worthy to open the seven seals of the Apocalypse. Out of all the might and strength of Heaven, a Lamb? A Lamb, the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Hmm, maybe it isn't so bad to be known as a sheep. Could it be that sheephood is my highest mission in this life as I serve the Lamb of God?

My mission: His show. We feel so weak and dependent on Him, and yet He has raised up His people, His sheep, to show His power and to declare His name. The sheep tend to run around trying to make a name for themselves, but their purpose is to declare the name of Jesus, to honor the name of the Father, and to make sure that all the world knows the name of the Lord.

Weak, falling apart, and growing old, this sheep is proud to belong to the Lord Jesus. The Lamb of God is our Good Shepherd! Praise His name.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Share the Gospel

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 2 Timothy 1:8-11

I thought that I would share with you one sentence from Paul. One sentence and he took up my whole devotional!

I did a search on 'share the gospel' and this was the only verse in the New King James version that it retrieved for me, a one paragraph sentence. And it doesn't quite have the phrase down either. It says something about sharing in the sufferings. No! Not that again, no more suffering please! Mellow has left me to elope with drama, and now I'm suffering from melodrama.

Praise the Lord, our friend and fellow apostle Paul added 'according to the power of God' for I am quite sure that I cannot do this suffering thing alone. If a friend calls on me to share in the sufferings in my strength alone, I will have to inform him that I have none to offer. My strength to stand up to suffering ended some ways back. Now, according to the power of God, well that is a different story! He has strength and to spare for me. In fact it is through His strength that I live at all.

Suffering is tough, but His strength is wonderful for me!


Friday, September 15, 2017

He Shall Stand

 ​​“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse,
​​Who shall stand as a banner to the people;
​​For the Gentiles shall seek Him,
​​And His resting place shall be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10

When the Earth is full of the knowledge of the Lord, then a Root of Jesse shall stand as a banner to the people. It sounds like the prophetic part of a good story, and it is! But this is no fantasy novel set in some imaginary land, this is the very promise of the Lord for us.

As Gentiles, we can testify that they are seeking Him. We are seeking Him! And so shall the remainder of His prophecy come to us as we enter into His glorious resting place in that day. Glorious indeed! If you should read more of this story, you will recall the verses that promise peace once more with and among the animal kingdom. Wolves laying down with the lamb, children playing near snake dens, and other wonderful matches that would be dire peril for one of them in this age. Furthermore, a regathering of Israel shall take place.

As we look at the world of today, we can see that God has much work to do in order for His glorious day to happen. Of course, He can do it, and do it much faster than we might think possible. Speed, however, is not always the Lord's main concern. We shall have to wait for that day, and sticking a hand into a venomous snake's den to check is quite likely to be a bad idea today. As our certainty is based on the faithfulness of our Lord, we can know without doubt - yes, in complete faith - that His day will come.

Have a great Friday in our wonderful Lord!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The News Blues

And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Matthew 27:2

You might well imagine the headlines of the day when Jesus our Lord was taken in restraints to stand before the Roman governor. It looked like a dark day for those who believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Surely, He would soon break out, stop taking the world's persecution, and do as many expected from their version of Messiah. It did not happen.

We too may have some expectations of our Lord's return that are just a bit off, or maybe even flat out wrong. The news each day may serve up a goodly dose of the news blues, but Jesus may not return today. Indeed the saints of the Most High God are being worn out, but the end may not be quite yet. The harvest is ripe and we have prayed for the harvesters, but that's been going on for almost 2,000 years. So, how close is He really?

We don't know the day of His return any more than they did back in the day when Jesus said that no man can know the hour and date of His return save the Father only. We know it is close; we want to be ready, but just how close we cannot know. Yet, each time the news blues gets you down, know that just as Pilate was a part of the sovereign plan of our Lord, so is this time and its circumstance all a part of God's plan for His Son's returning. Lift up your head, believer in Christ, our redemption draws near!

So soon!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Put Me Down For Half

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

The message from Adrian Rogers this morning asked, "Wholehearted or halfhearted?" My apologies to all those church cheerleaders this morning, but put me down for half. While my heart is in the Lord's keeping and wholly devoted to Him, on those days when I wake up with a sinus headache and other associated complaints sometimes known as the 24-hour virus or the creeping crud or other clever nicknames, my heart just isn't up to encouraging others to shout out their praises to the Lord.

In thinking of those who believe in Jesus, but also have a chronic condition that is hidden, you know the ones where everyone sums up their symptoms with, "You look fine!", one cannot help but wonder if God's love every leaves them even for just a moment. Did they get left out when the Christian blessings were handed around? Like Job's friends are we tempted to tell them, "Just confess what you did wrong, and God will let up on you."

Good news for us in this, whether our suffering is short term or lifelong, Paul reminds us that God's love does not go away, not even for a moment. Any other created thing, as Paul concludes his list, since God created all things, leaves no room for some thing to show up and separate us from God's love. I am glad that whether I feel fully and wholly up to praising the Lord, or when I feel only halfway up for it, neither circumstance separates me from God's love. I am a created thing too, and neither myself nor my weakness can separate me from God's love.

God's love to you on this day,

Monday, September 11, 2017

Looking For Sand Castles

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” Matthew 7:26-27

This morning down in Florida, you might imagine looking for all those sand castles I built. Being of the rather dull and predictable sort, I named mine: health, wealth, strength, intellect, and youth. If a person were to earn a doctorate, she might also have one named 'education'. Another person may have become famous in this world and could well have a rather ornate sand castle named, 'fame'. A paragon in this world might this way build up quite a collection of sand castles. Each of us must now go down to the beach where Irma has passed and look for those sand castles, for the judgment has arrived and we must all present what we have done to the Lord.

What? You say a hurricane has nothing to do with the judgment? Well, if our sand castles cannot even stand up to a big storm in this world, what good will it do us in the final judgment?

We know it, but still we build up those sand castles. Youth is the one that requires no storm for its fall. Most of us by now have realized that the sand castle of youth is one of those that melts away a bit each day as the tide comes in and rolls out. Suddenly, or maybe not so suddenly, it seems that we are in our middle ages and that sand castle is looking not quite so strong. Why the tide has eaten away nearly half of it and the remaining rooms are looking a bit saggy too. Most of us will also face an overthrowing of health, wealth, intellect, strength, and the many other sand castles we try to build up in this world. A good tribulation such as Job had in his story can pretty much wipe them all out in one swoop, messenger after messenger, until the wife is telling us to do a terrible thing and get it all over with.

As Jesus told us, we just can't count on those sand castles. Just imagine people driving back down to south Florida this morning looking for a house made of sand they had built on the beach last week. We might think them quite foolish. Well, that is the word Jesus used for those who will not build on Him.

Have a new day in Christ, and a prayer for those all over the world facing disaster and hardship today,


Friday, September 08, 2017

A Few Minutes With My Tens of Millions

“He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. Genesis 17:12

Money comes up relatively quickly in the Bible; already at chapter 17 in the Word we are talking money as a word, and look what comes right along with it - slavery, purchasing a human with money. Of course that money could be used to free a person from bondage too; bought for money from a foreigner does not mean the person must remain a slave.

Friday was once a more relaxed sort of day in this devotional message, so I thought I might return there for a bit. Money is a big subject in our current world situation. Nations never seen to have enough of it; banks may be tight or free with it; corporations try to hoard it, avoid taxes on it, and put it to work generating more of it; and we have us individual people who like to buy things with it. Money: can't seem to live without it, and shooting it just leaves a hole in it, which is illegal.

Money is useful for dividing people one from another. That one has more of it, therefore he must be rich. That other one has less of it, therefore she must be what is called 'poor'. But, oh, that Christian minister, he has so much it is a shameful act of plundering of someone, even if they did buy his book voluntarily and give to his church without coercion. In fact, no one can recall him even preaching on tithing which is a common activity in the poorer churches. Money: the great divider.

So, I decided to go up the money scale, and here is where the fictional part of our devotion begins this morning, began increasing my congregation. I managed to write a book that sold well. I mean, really well, as in life-changing well. I did the talk shows, spoke on the radio, toured the country, and began preaching in the stadiums. My book did so well that a salary from my new church was not even needed. Ten percent, ha!, I was giving 100% of my salary, look at the rank I will have in glory! The publisher of that first bestseller sent no less than a senior vice president to present me with an advance check with many zeros on it to ask when I could have the sequel ready. I was sure to give 10% back to the Lord, because it wouldn't do to set a poor example; poor as in like the poor people who can't afford the 10% we say is our Christian duty in order to cash in from the Lord's bounty like I did. People began to ask a common question: How can you just keep all that money?

I don't of course, I spend a lot of it too; in fact, I'm really good at spending it, just look at that house I live in! God has blessed me so well, and He can bless you too! I so convinced myself of it that I now base much of my ministry on it. Good news indeed! Just give me a few minutes alone with my tens of millions, (millions won't work anymore, inflation you know) and I will rationalize how I should enjoy this blessing from God and keep using it for His glory on myself.

What? You say someone just paid Money to redeem me from slavery? Now I belong to Him? But I'm not enslaved, look at how rich I am! Walk away from it? But, but, I can't do that; think of all those who depend on me...

Hmm, that cat has a few more claws on it than I intended this morning. Lesson for today, depend on God; He is not enslaved by money as we so easily are in this world. And praise God for your poverty - riches are a great temptation to turn away from Him.


Thursday, September 07, 2017

It's All Him

​For unto us a Child is born,
​​Unto us a Son is given;
​​And the government will be upon His shoulder.
​​And His name will be called
​​Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
​​Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Is it Wonderful and Counselor, or is it Wonderful Counselor? I find that either works, for it is all Him! The original text may have not included punctuation the way we know it, but it gets its message across just the same. I can call His name wonderful, and I can call Him counselor. I am also privileged to call my Lord, Wonderful Counselor. It's all Him!

I could take up an argument with a brother in Christ over whether there should be a comma between those two big titles for our Lord Jesus. Or, he and I could be the first to say, "Brother, our argument is silly; it's all Him!"

I'm borrowing a bit from my Bible study lesson for next week, but I just couldn't resist. For whether we call Him Wonderful today or wait for the next church service or Bible study, it's all Him. We might call Him Counselor today because our need for His counsel is great, or we may use Mighty God today and save His other titles for next week, but it's all Him. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, it is all our Lord Jesus; it's all Him!

Son of God, Messiah, the Christ, it's all Him! Rejoice in Him this day,


P.S. Our prayers are with those facing the peril and damage of hurricanes and wildfires on this day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Do Not Diminish A Word

"Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings." Jeremiah 26:3

In the days of the Law, the prophet Jeremiah was sent with a word from the Lord. In our verse for today the Lord expresses His hope for repentance from His chosen people. To make His point, the Lord issued a command to Jeremiah just before this verse: "Do not diminish a word."

When bringing a warning to the people, we are going to feel compassion from the fruit of the Holy Spirit. There is a similar command at the end of the Revelation. What it means is that we are not to water down or go easy with God's Word. If you are given a prophecy to proclaim to the nations, or a nation, it is your job to proclaim accurately and with the full force of the Lord's Word. Compassion is a good fruit, unless we yield to the temptation to soften the blow the Lord intends. To give a softened warning to the person reaching for the live electrical cable is to show a lack of love. Of course you and I would yell with all our might for the person to stop.

Jeremiah was given some tough words from the Lord to deliver up to a people who were not going to want to hear them. Such were the words of prophecy from the Lord that Jeremiah was going to face the temptation to ease up on his people, but the Lord commanded him: "Do not diminish a word!" In this age, actually today as in right now, we seem to have multiple calamities ongoing and headed our way. The effects of one hurricane are barely diminished and another is headed our way. Fires are burning all over the West and Northwest of our nation. And who can tell what that fellow in North Korea wants or is going to do?

Perhaps God's people can start the healing of our land by turning to the Lord in prayer. And don't diminish a word of the fear we feel in the face of calamities. Pour out in prayer the compassion for those caught directly in the storm's path. But, if the word of the Lord is for repentance lest more calamity come our way, then let us stand up boldly and give the Word to the people. It's a tough job, and Jeremiah did it in the strength of the Lord.

The darkness gathers; Jesus is coming soon!


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Sliding Further Away...Not!

So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Revelation 9:15

In the midst of terrible prophecy comes a hope. Jesus has told us previously that no one but God knows the time of the Son's return. However, someone knew the hour, day, month, and year that a certain group of angels will be released to kill a third of mankind. We know it as the second woe in Revelation or the sixth trumpet judgment. One third of mankind killed is a terrible woe, but with that comes that assurance - there is a time and date already prepared for this. That means for us that the return of Jesus is not something that is sliding further away as this or that event doesn't happen when we think it might.

Yes, this is a terrible dark way to recall such a great event, and we are not immune to the judgment ending the lives of 1/3 of mankind. If this were to take place today more than 2 billion people would lose their lives. All the more reason to warn those who still refuse to believe - this event is on a schedule! And God's schedule cannot be changed. The more folks we can get ready for the Rapture, the less people there will be to face death on that terrible hour, day, month, and year when 1/3 of mankind will be slain by the judgment. Maybe we could get so many people believing in Jesus before the Rapture that only the Antichrist, the Beast, and the false prophet would be left for the sixth trumpet. Take 1/3 of that group! Yeah, if only they will believe our testimony before it is too late.

It may seem unlikely, but we must try as we hurtle day by day toward that terrible hour, day, month and year.

Have faith in Jesus!

Monday, September 04, 2017

No Support

​They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
​​But the LORD was my support. 2 Samuel 22:9

Work or no work, it is likely that age will come anyway and some part or parts of the body will fail. There have been those who seem to have enjoyed an easy life without stress to the limbs and joints sit in the doctor's chamber o' horrors right beside the working man and woman with a similar complaint. Office job or working stiff, it is likely that you and I will suffer repetitive motion injuries from something. Folks who work hard into their 50's and beyond look with envy on the person at the desk who is looking right back at them with an opposite sort of envy. Their age-related injuries might be different, but it is quite likely that both will suffer. We are going to grow old and things are going to hurt. Ouch.

I don't want to hurt! Can I get a pass, Lord? Thus far I do not seem to have my get-out-of-aging-free card. Those who can keep moving do, and then tell those who are hurting that they must keep moving. The hurting look with envy on the...and here we go again. I have seen all manner of methods and means in this life, and I haven't even been here that long. We mock that old Spanish guy over his search for the fountain of youth, but he probably woke up hurting one day and realized that old age was gaining on him. His search is neither more nor less comical than the fellow who eats nothing but pills or the lady who had all those plastic surgeries. There is no support for all the methods of man to stop our growing into old men and old ladies. David found something in the day of his calamity that might do for us too!

Whatever and whoever confronted him in the midst of calamity, David always took up his faith and ran to the Lord. There is our answer...and yet, David grew old and died, probably with something or many things hurting him, too. Paul likely felt all of his scars and old injuries as he begged for his cloak in his final letter. John was exiled to a penal colony in his elder years. Why should someone such as I get a pass? Better by far to suffer along with my brothers and sisters in Christ than to roam about carefree making everyone envious.

Great is the name of our Lord Jesus!

Friday, September 01, 2017

God With Us

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23

It being the 1st of September, we are well on our way to the great Christmas celebration of our Lord's birth. Matthew perhaps more than the other gospels points out fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament that came to us by way of Immanuel. In our verse today, the disciple reached back to Isaiah 7:14 for that rather startling prophecy of the virgin birth. How is that for setting a woman and her son apart from everyone else? We all strive at times to be unique in the world and that would certainly do it!

Aside from the uniqueness of His birth is that name, a name that 'they' shall call Him, and that has not caught on quite so much as you would think it might from the prophecy. Of course not all the prophecies of Jesus have been fulfilled thus far. There is that one in the Revelation about God making His home with us. (21:3) That would certainly be cause to use 'God with us' or Immanuel much more often. And, then there is the Spirit of God sent to dwell in all those who believe in Him. What better reason to fulfill prophecy than to remember daily that God is with us in His Spirit, or perhaps more closely - for each of us to remember at all times: God with me!

Hallelujah! Immanuel!