Thursday, November 30, 2017

He Came To Save Us

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17

Good morning on this final day of November! Imagine the junior Pharisees watching Jesus as He walked into the public tavern, certain in their minds that soon the sinners would be fleeing the place. Surely a stern modification of behavior was coming forth! It did, and soon the junior Pharisees would hear Jesus telling those sick from their sin and saved only in Him to not be like the Pharisees. What?!

In a time when people were much like us, Jesus came to save the lost sheep of Israel. The physician went straight to the sick, or at least those of the sick who would behold their sickness and reach out to Him for salvation. The powers of the land of God's chosen people refused to believe that they could be sick at all. Was not their behavior above reproach? Nope, Jesus reproached it several times in His ministry. Did not the strict obedience to the Law of Moses and a multitude of additional traditions save them? Nope, Jesus told one of their big dogs - the teacher of Israel - that he must be born again and start from a new beginning. Religion, surely that would do it, right? Nope, Jesus told His disciples to beware the yeast of the Pharisees.

They too needed a Savior, and He stood right in front of them. The powers that ruled in the province of Judea would refuse our Lord and kill Him, and He would rise again and send out His messengers to the Gentiles. And in our multitudes we have been saved by our Lord Jesus! Praise God for Him as we celebrate His birth in this season of the year.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dreams To Behold

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” Genesis 20:3

Did you receive a message from God in a dream? Perhaps not in the one where your pet bunny grew fangs and attacked your tummy, for that one just ease up on the spicy food before bed time. You can bet though that Abimelech paid attention when God spoke to him in a dream thousands of years ago. 'Indeed you are a dead man...' would tend to get one's attention in a memorable way. The dreams that we have that we cannot recall mere minutes after getting up probably have no meaning to worry about, but there are those that stay with us throughout the day. Sad dreams, frightening dreams, and dreams where God says "Behold!" are memorable with good reason, and since the Lord warned us through the prophet Joel that we would be activated by His Spirit just before the end times; we may want to practice writing down those shocking dreams.

And it shall come to pass afterward
​​That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
​​Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
​​Your old men shall dream dreams,
​​Your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28

We have been warned! Also, I am glad to see that the Lord is not what we call politically correct. "And also on My menservants and on My maidservants ​​I will pour out My Spirit in those days." v29. So, menservants and maidservants, let us prepare to tell of our dreams and visions for the time is at hand!

A new day dawns,

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Good Man With Good News

So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”
And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.” 2 Samuel 18:27

35 'Cyber Monday' ads and counting in my e-mail this morning, plus one about a fast credit decision. The world is constantly ready to help us...spend our money. So much striving and scrapping for money, we can get out of it by doing without for a while. Been there, tried that, and it's a fast way to start receiving bad news from the letter carrier and phone ringer. We don't have to give up working for a living in order to put money in its proper place as a tool. Instead we can look for the good man with the good news!

Christmas time begins in earnest with the conclusion of the Thanksgiving weekend, and that time is a great time to remember the good man with the good news. He brought us the good news of mercy, forgiveness of sin, and grace, and of course the good news that God loves us. Never did a less deserving group receive such good news as we did when we first heard the good news of salvation through Jesus the Christ. Well, except for those shepherds abiding in the field by night.

Were those shepherds a particularly bad lot? Probably not terribly different from the main part of their human brethren and sisteren; all of us were born into sin and became proficient at it through practice. The good man with the good news brought to us a different way - different from religion and attempting to earn salvation through works that is. He brought us Himself: the good news of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. This gift of Himself is our first and best Christmas present.

Enjoy His gift today and have a merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It Is In Writing!

“All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” 1 Chronicles 28:19

What the Lord gave King David in writing has been preserved for us these many years in what we call the Holy Bible. Histories, prophecies, and psalms have survived thousands of years since David's time, and today we can give thanks for the word of God.

I stagger a bit mentally to think of how many men and women throughout the centuries worked to preserve the Bible. Many of us could with the expenditure of a bit of paper, toner or ink, and time, print out the text of the Bible in a short time. Back in the day though, those 783,137 words were copied by hand writing each and every one of them. Not many homes in that day had a full copy of the Bible! If that much paper and ink is not on hand for your printer (mine is out of toner), a few moments on any of several web sites can have a new Bible on the way to your home. If no money is on hand, a quick call to a local church or the Gideon's ministry should produce a Bible for any of us at almost any time. But no! we are back in time with Brother Bubba the monk, and the abbot hands him an authorized copy of the Bible and points to a writing desk with quill pen and ink pot. 783,137 hand-written words later, Bubba has his copy of the King James Bible (and a much stronger writing hand). Yes, I think we can give thanks for the availability of the Word of God in our age.

Invite God to your Thanksgiving feast as the guest of honor. He has made us understand in His Word, and praise God that we don't have to write it out by hand to get a copy!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On Thanksgiving Eve

​Who say to the seers, “Do not see,”
​​And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things;
​​Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Isaiah 30:10

There came a time in the history of Israel when the people did not want to hear criticism of their nation, not even from the Lord Himself. I can understand not wanting to hear bad things about our nation, but when the Lord speaks we do well to listen. The problem in this age is that some will criticize a government or nation for their own ends and have no truth in them. Is the Lord speaking through His prophets or is there simply a lot of noise?

On Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful to our Lord that the United States of America still stands, and that many in this nation worship God and tell of His Son. I am thankful to the Lord that so many of us can speak our opinions and not be thrown in a dark jail cell, as happens in many places around this world. I am thankful that many young men and women will serve in far away places this Thanksgiving that we may still enjoy the freedom to sit down to a feast of giving thanks to our Lord. I am also grateful that you and me may sit down and express our love and faith in our Lord Jesus, and do it trusting in our Lord's divine protection.

Not all is right in America, and we deserve some criticism in the world. However, as the love of the Lord flows down on us, let us give thanks for all that is right and good through our Lord's grace and mercy.


Monday, November 20, 2017

The Price of Taking The Wrong Road

Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Numbers 22:23

A man died this weekend whose name I have heard frequently throughout much of my life. I'm not going to mention his name again because we have heard it too much already. The man is infamous for sending his followers to murder in case you need a further clue. In a way the all-too-frequent mention of this man reminds me of Balaam in the Bible, where we can read about him all the way from Numbers through the Revelation. Balaam's story begins with a man talking with God. Balaam should have become one of the great prophets of the Bible with this access to our Lord, but instead he had a high regard for money and material wealth.

When the servants of Balak came to get an answer about the question of cursing the Israelites, Balaam says, 'not even for a houseful of silver and gold...' And therein begins Balaam's problems. Where he should have let his no be no, he mentions a starting point in money negotiations. And from there on throughout the Bible, Balaam's name becomes one of bad example - don't be like Balaam. And such is his fame all the way down to Revelation chapter 2.

The most famous story about Balaam is of course his little chat with his talking donkey. Balaam began his ministry with such advantages: a prophet of the Lord being the foremost, but having a donkey wiser than himself was certainly nothing to take for granted. Then the donkey testifies to a lifetime of service and wonders why Balaam is so faithless in this one service. As it turns out, Balaam has no faith and only turns aside when he is shown the angel of the Lord.

And such is the world today. Faith is scoffed at, money is king, and only when they can see the Lord in His glory will they acknowledge Him. But when that time comes it will be too late, and they will pay the price for taking the wrong road in this life. Don't wait to see the Lord with his drawn sword, turn aside from your way now and believe in Him!


Friday, November 17, 2017

The Rule of Love

When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. 2 Chronicles 12:1 ESV

When my good behavior was based in the rule of law and the authority figures who both policed and prosecuted the law were removed by time or distance, I found that my good behavior was far more apt to slip out from under me. This hardly makes me unique of course, many a child has grown up to college age and found the college life to be much more libertine than expected, and then been further surprised by his or her participation in those liberties. (The feminists of the world will be glad to note that in my observations the girls were no less apt toward slippage than the boys.) You might say that without the authorities, the authority of the law was not recognized.

In fact during my time serving in that most authoritarian of places, boot camp, I found that as soon as the authority turned his back I could be sneaky, underhanded, and even devious. I'm quite sure that I listed no such goal in the 10-year plan portion of my high school graduation book. Yes, like many a young man or woman, I discovered the sinner in me really liked to stand forth when I was strong.

Ah, there it is, not only was it when the authority seemed absent, but it was those times when I thought of my own strength that I fell hardest into sin. The good kid was only good when under a mightier thumb. Rehoboam seems to have discovered the same thing. Established and strong, at least in his own sight, he abandoned the law of the Lord. Sadly, as he was king the entire nation fell with him.

In order to return to my Lord and His law, I had first to become weak in my own estimation. We do this through repentance and confession, but it is enabled by my Lord's dear Holy Spirit. (And yes, He can use a traumatic circumstance!) It is told best in the parable of the prodigal son by Jesus. And it is experienced by about every Christian I have met. We all endure a time of strength and disobedience and return to the Father weak and more available to His authority, whether we think He is looking or not. Of course as love grows in us from the Father's love for us, we know that He is always looking and that gives us comfort where once it incited a desire to rebel. The prodigals returned weak and willing to submit to the rule of love.

Praise God for His patience with the prodigals!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Anger Dump Truck Meets The Anger Incinerator

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8

While there are several types of anger and the people who use them, there are two that struck me today which I will name the anger dump truck and the anger incinerator.

The first, the anger dump truck, is that person who carries a load of anger out in the open and quickly finds a place to dump it. The wise one will learn to find a dumping ground with nothing in it of value, particularly not other persons. Which brings us to the worst behavior of these anger dump trucks, and that is to dump that anger on another person. Great harm is caused by this sort of dumping, harm that can last for generations.

The other type for today is a behavior that I have done too often: the anger incinerator. This type is that person who receives a load of anger and internalizes it with heat and burns quietly keeping all of it until the last bit of anger fuel is burned away. Obviously this is quite a stress on the machinery. While no one but the incinerator is harmed by this behavior, the harm to this type of person is also great.

This is not a call for judging one behavior worse than the other, but recently it has been shown to me how terrible it is when the worst of the anger dump trucks - those who dump their load of anger on other people, and the anger incinerator come together through the circumstances of this world or perhaps the designs of the evil one...and perhaps we should recognize that God may also bring them together to test both and refine them for His glory.

What form shall this refinement take? I believe that a bit of the Lord's word from our dear friend Paul will help in this: put off all these! Read our verse above for today, and the command is clear. I should no longer be the anger incinerator. While it is up to the brother to stop being the anger dump truck, it is certainly up to me to come to my Lord in prayer and learn to put off these things. And, brother, does this verse ever describe exactly what the boss and I have endured from this dumper in the past several weeks!

And now, before the next test, I need prayer preparation and faith in the healing power of my Lord and Savior!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Some More Bad News

And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments. Exodus 33:4

Another sexual harassment allegation? Where does the bad news end? I can tell you today that if we are going all the way back to the beginning of my life, we will find plenty of sin for me to feel guilty about. This political tool may fulfill the devil's purpose for today, but any of us are likely targets. Take me back to the days of my youth and you may well hear the exhortations of Paul to avoid sexual immorality ringing from the rafters of the little church I grew up in. And yet, you would also find ample evidence that I did not listen very well. All of that is simply some more bad news, and that is not what I am called to share in this world of today.

Long ago God established that we are sinful and stubborn people. His chosen nation of Israel in Exodus 33 received a tongue lashing from the Lord and they mourned. I fear that in this age that same message would bounce off of many and that mourning would be only among a few. As sinful as we are in person or as a nation, the good news of Jesus Christ remains the same. God provided in His Son a solution to this problem of sin, and that solution is wholly of Him and not of us.

The good news of Jesus Christ begins in forgiveness and it continues through grace and onto eternal life in Christ Jesus. All of this was paid for by our Lord long ago and He makes it available to us freely for the asking. Ask, seek, and knock on the door, our Lord tells us and we will find the good news we need in the midst of this present darkness. Repentance brings mercy and forgiveness of sin, and then the Lord will never bring that old sin up ever again. As far as the east is from the west our Lord puts away those dreadful deeds and thoughts of sin in which we have wallowed. In Him - we live!

There is too much bad news in the media today; put away the news and read God's good news instead.


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Great Hallelujah!

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Revelation 19:6

We say 'Hallelujah!' or its King James counterpart 'Alleluia!' often in our praising of the Lord God. It is interesting that in all of the Bible this word only occurs four times: all of them in chapter nineteen of the Revelation. The people in Heaven say it first in verses one and three, and then the four and twenty elders and the four beasts in verse four, until finally all of God's servants shout the word in verse six. It's like the word is saved up until we can all use it best.

No need to stop using it though, practice will do great good for us until that day we can say it best unto our Lord. Indeed there are many things we practice here until we can do them properly in that great day when our Lord welcomes us to eternity. Love for example is something we need much practice at in our relationships. I cannot think of a single relationship that I have not done something to harm through either inaction or a hurtful action on my part. To love well I need some more practice. Faith and prayer are also skills we must practice at often. Ever become distracted on a big project and then knelt down to pray only to feel a cool distance? Yes sir, out of practice and the relationship suffers.

One day though, we will be promoted by our Lord Jesus from fumbling amateurs to pro status, and then we will join in that great "Hallelujah!"

God's grace and peace to you this week,

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veteran's Day 2017

“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Revelation 2:19

Jesus knew well the service of the church in Thyatira, but there was some tough stuff behind His 'nevertheless' too. That could easily describe any of us. We do have the fruits of the Spirit growing from our branches, but we also have some things in our lives that the Lord would have against us. I have yet to meet the perfect Christian.

In 1983, I began four years of military service in the United States Marine Corps. In those four years, and contrary to some of the boasting I heard, I did not meet one perfect person. Nope, sorry, not one. Since the end of my active service, I have not yet met a perfect human being in the flesh. Nope, still looking for that perfect human.

In our verse for today, Jesus cut down the church at Thyatira because they were not, no, no, dead wrong! Congratulated on works, love, service, faith, and patience, the church had some thing that needed a cleansing, but perfection was not the issue. Perfecting is our Lord's work; and if He were to hold a lack of perfection against any of His saved ones He would only be holding it against Himself. After all, imperfection cannot perfect itself - how could it know perfection being imperfect?

No one that I knew joined the service to become perfect. We served and we are thanked for our service on this day. In a similar way, we give ourselves to Jesus to serve Him. And from the day of salvation we are all perfect humans? Nope, sorry, Christians join the service of God, but if it was an army of human all-stars He sought, I don't think I could belong and my brothers and sisters in Christ would say the same thing.

Perfection is something I leave with God; service is something to which I can say, "Yes, Lord!" And perhaps one day too, my Lord will say to me, "And as for your works, the last are more than the first."

Ever increasing faith!

Friday, November 10, 2017

We Have A Better Message!

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Matthew 4:23

In Galilee of the Gentiles, sounds like the fulfillment of a prophecy! The world has a great many messages for us, and it likes to say them as loudly as it can. Here in the witness from Matthew the tax collector, we find Jesus going about His Father's work. What we may not think about in the wonder of our Lord's ministry was that at this time there was quite likely a similar 'sea' roaring and sloshing about as we see in today's protests around the world. Jesus could have dropped everything to go answer them with His truth, but He continued about His Father's work in Galilee...of the Gentiles.

We have a better message than this right or that right, right or left, front or center, politician A or politician B. We have the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. Injustice, or at least some person's view of it, like poverty will be with us until our Lord returns. Shouting won't get rid of it; loud foul language will not banish the fallen characteristics of this world. Joining in a fruitless debate with name calling will not shine in the darkness as our Lord did so well. With our Lord as an example, let us go forth bearing the good news of Jesus. We have, after all, a better message.

Happy Birthday! To all those Marines out there bearing a gift of good news from our Lord and Savior,


Thursday, November 09, 2017

Great In The Sight Of The Lord

For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. Luke 1:15-16

We enjoy watching those who have practiced a skill since a very young age as they show a talent far beyond our own ability. Imagine then how skilled John the Baptist was at his craft having begun before his conception in the womb of his mother!

But was it that way? Practice, dedication, perseverance... human effort? The order of things in these verses is interesting: John will be great in the sight of the Lord before all those other things he will do. We tend to reverse that order, as in I haven't touched wine or strong drink therefore I must be great in the sight of the Lord. ("I" in this case not meaning me, as I have touched both in this life.) Always it is our accomplishments we want to make us great in the Lord's sight. But here the Lord declares it first, and then all of those great things follow. Very similar to the command Jesus gave in His great sermon to seek ye first the kingdom of God, and then all the other things will be added unto ye.

I cannot by my effort make myself great in the Lord's sight. If the Lord wills it, the Lord declares it and it is so. And so it is with our salvation. My behavior doesn't save me, the efforts and declaration of the Lord makes it so. When we pray that His will be done, we pray that all will be saved. Therefore, let His will be done today in the lives of neighbors, friends, all we love in Christ!

Greatest is His gift to us of His Son, our Lord and Savior,


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Why Do We Suffer Old?

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:26

The saying goes: there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots. There are old, bold Christians however, but why must we suffer old?

It would be much easier to tell the true believers apart from the world at large if they one and all stopped aging at their rebirth in Christ. This would also be a powerful incentive to believe in my Lord Jesus. However, faith would not be involved at all in this scenario, only a self-interested decision on whether to accept Jesus as savior at 19 or wait until 25, or perhaps 33 years old is the perfect age for some others. One can only imagine the number of books that would be printed and read on what age is the perfect one for that eternal youth with just the right amount of maturity. And then the Union of Nineteen Year Old Believers voted to renounce our Lord in order to gain a few more years maturity and all hell broke loose.

No, no, no... it is about faith and yes, we who believe in our Lord Jesus the Christ do have to suffer old. However, the way we see it is that each day is but one day closer to our being called home by our beloved Jesus to an eternity with Him that we can scarcely imagine in this age. The world has an evil ark loaded with pairs of sufferings and it is just waiting to inflict them on any who will believe in Jesus. Of course, the gunner of that dark ship may say, "There's another Job, get 'im!" but we are only afflicted with what our Lord allows. And every suffering we endure is used by our Lord to make us into something beautiful beyond our ability to describe at this time.

My Lord Jesus is coming, and He is going to sink that dark ark!


Monday, November 06, 2017

A Church Test

And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14

Did you go to church expecting armed combat yesterday? No, you and millions of people attended church yesterday and did not need to tote a firearm. Do we wear body armor as the new church fashion? The time for that may be nearer than we thought yesterday morning. While you and I look forward to that day when we turn our swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, we need to have wisdom in this.

Nehemiah writes of a time when Jerusalem was rebuilt. Families armed themselves and faced the enemy. Half stood guard with sword, spear and bow while the other half worked to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Their vigilance and willingness prevented the fight they feared. Are we to do the same now? Or, is this the time for martyrdom?

In the early years of the church, persecution by the ruling government caused many a martyr's death. They did not take up the sword but went willingly to die for the cause of Christ. In chapter 11 of Hebrews we read a rather gruesome list of those who died for their faith in Jesus. Is this that time foretold to us when many of our brothers and sisters in Christ will fall as martyrs? We need wisdom in this.

There is always one way to wisdom and that is by prayer to our loving Father in Heaven. He always waits for those who will ask of Him. Churches and individuals must ask for themselves. It is not for me to say do this or do that when God the Father is just a prayer away. Please do not put a pastor or a pope or, gulp, me between you and God; go to Him in prayer. And then, accept His answer: it will lead to something wonderful!

In Christ,

Friday, November 03, 2017

Looking Past Today

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30

That grass would not have a rejoicing day if all it did was look at 'oven day' coming tomorrow. So, how long has it been since you looked ahead past today to your own 'oven day'? As a person tempted often by anxiety and worry, you may ask me that and I might have to confess that I was doing just that until you interrupted me.

Worrying tomorrow's worries, imagining a today that won't happen, and borrowing fear from days ahead are and have been specialties of mine. I have grown quite proficient in this sort of activity, and every bit of it is sin.

Then, there is a sort of complimentary benefit to that kind of activity: having a worry for today that I am tempted to look past to an imaginary better tomorrow. It is certainly right to live in faith that tomorrow will be better than today; I'm not asking anyone to give up the promises our Lord left with us. The trial the Lord has set for me today does merit my attention though, and procrastination is another of those temptation things to be resisted in prayer and the strength our Lord gives to us.

Taking out a high-interest loan of imaginary trouble from tomorrow is as bad as stockpiling real troubles for tomorrow that should be solved today. And of course a brother or sister in Christ might be depending upon me to do my part in today's trouble lest their daily burden become overwhelming tomorrow.

Today is where my Lord Jesus walks and my place is with Him. Tomorrow will have to wait its turn.

Have a great today with Jesus!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Fallen Bodies, Fallen Lives

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34

"Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!" the minister quoted to the young men and women gathered before him, each of them convinced of his or her own might and all ready to begin their prodigal journey. Raised in the church, some would meet drinkers of beer and learn to drink beer, while others would meet promiscuous sexual adventurers and soon learn to experiment sexually. The most pitiable of all among this group of young prodigals met unbelief, and soon learned to walk very far away from the Lord of their childhood to a land where every sort of sin was encouraged and celebrated.

Some part of this story could of course be our own for those of us who grew up attending church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening and any other time a group of any sort gathered in the church. We may have learned that God lived there in that church; it was His house after all. To the young prodigal, stepping out of the church meant freedom from God and His almost countless rules and regulations. Furthermore, at a certain age we got to step away from the parents and their rule and rules. Freedom!

Like the young prodigals of our story, we probably soon found our free young minds and bodies keeping company with evil. Not vampires and werewolves of course, even the prodigal son in our Lord's parable did not keep company with the pigs right away. No, in evil company we gradually fell away from good habits. In place of awakening to righteousness, we woke up with a bad taste in the mouth and perhaps a head spinning round and round, and we learned to boast of it! Evil company loves fallen bodies; sin latches on to fallen lives.

Praise our Lord Jesus that His tale of the prodigal does not end there! The God who loved us in our youth is always ready to welcome another prodigal home to a white robe and a feast. Why was the prodigal so ashamed when he returned? Paul tells it; the evil company may not have a knowledge of God, but those of us raised in His knowledge should be ashamed of any prodigal habits we might be clinging to years after our return to the Father. "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin."

Rejoice in Christ, former prodigal, let us live together in Him! And may I say a 'Hallelujah!' that our Lord is not confined to a building back in my hometown? Amen. Hallelujah!


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Remove the Temptation!

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38

Put up the Halloween decorations, it's over for another year. Take the leftover candy into work and share the calories with your mates. Get all that sugar stuff out of the house and remove the temptation.

Temptation is tough for our poor flesh. My flesh seems to have the willpower of an old rusty push mower: it only does what I want with a lot of effort. Keep candy in the house, and I will eat it until it is gone. The best credit card for me is the one with a charge limit of $zero. All of that weakness comes just as my Lord said, from me depending upon my weak flesh to have the power to resist. The new spirit born in me at salvation is indeed willing, but the flesh is an enemy agent working behind the lines.

One great day of the Lord though, all temptation will be removed and a cleansed heart will have no use for any tempting thing. In this day temptation is everywhere for us, so much so that our Lord taught us to pray that we not be led into it. We must be constantly on guard lest temptation strike its underhanded blows. And of course we know from cruel experience that temptation is going to come on strong when circumstances place us at our weakest. Thank the Lord that He is never weakened, slow, or careless in His almighty attention to our staggering steps. The power to firm up our walk with Christ and to resist temptation is in Him, and we access it through prayer constantly!

Great is the Lord!