Friday, November 30, 2018

The Taint Of Corruption

...because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21

If you have cleaned out a corrupted house, then you will know how the taint of that corruption tends to cling to stuff brought out from the house. This of course includes the clothing and people who have lingered in the house for work or other purposes. Since Adam and Eve reached out and took of the forbidden tree, we have lived in a corrupted house. It should be no wonder then that the taint of corruption lingers about us.

Paul promises that we and the world will be delivered from the bondage of corruption. Earlier in this passage Paul states that creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God. That revealing is like the first sign of creation's freedom from bondage to this corruption. Bold and powerful statements from Paul. We can see how creation and those in the creation would eagerly await the great day when the Lord Jesus reveals us and frees His creation. For the moment though, we do still have that taint of corruption lingering in and around us.

Rejoice though, for with each test and trail our Lord is removing the corruption and revealing the child of God in you and me. Why does it take a lifetime, you might ask? Consider the difficulty in removing the native language of a man or woman. In a similar way, but deeper, we are born into this corruption. Unlike a language we don't even have to learn it, and so it is much more difficult and the process longer. Could God yank it away all at once? Surely He can do all things, but His way is gentle and loving in this and He takes His time with us, perhaps so that the end result is all the sweeter to us.

Trust in Him,

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Fear Comes Easily

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1

Fear comes easily in this age. If you do not have any yet this morning from your circumstances or bodily condition, then simply read the news as they have shovelfuls to dump on you. Our Lord on the other hand does not offer up fear but comfort, peace, and love.

Early in the Bible, as the nation of Israel was beginning in the person of Abram, he was afraid. Not surprising to us as he probably had just received a news report from his media of that time. The world backs up the dump truck of fear to our loading dock every day. It seems the world is a bit confused on the purpose of a loading dock, but the fear it dumps out is all too effective just the same. The Lord appeared to Abram as the word of the LORD, I have no doubt this was Jesus reassuring His ancestor that the Christ's birth and victory were safe in the hands of God. And, as the shield of faith, Abram's very life was safely protected by the word of the LORD too! The cure to our fear of the day therefore must be this word of the LORD as well. As John has told us that Jesus is the Word of God, we stand fearlessly in Him.

Yes, I know, like Peter it is all too easy to look at the wind and waves. I get afraid too. Look to the Lord in prayer, look to Jesus in faith, and let all of us just keep returning to our Lord Jesus!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018


You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! Ezekiel 33:32 NLT

The other son of man, Ezekiel, had become a rare entertainer to the city of Jerusalem. They looked upon him as a writer and performer of shows for their own consumption, but not as a prophet of the Word of God. Though having the strongest words and examples possible, Ezekiel was insufficient to break through the hardened hearts of the people of Israel. The desired action of repentance, of turning again to God, was not happening.

The word goes out from our actions, songs, life, and of course, our words, but we too like our brother Ezekiel are insufficient to save anyone. Only the Holy Spirit of our God can convict and convince the unbeliever that there is good news in Jesus the Christ. Our Lord is more than sufficient, but He did not force anyone to believe, not even those He stood before in Galilee back in His day. There is insufficiency aplenty in us, but all sufficiency in Him. It is therefore a desire for us to bring those who do not believe a picture of our Lord Jesus by the lives we live in Him.

Is perfection required for this? I hope not! My insufficiency in many things is readily apparent and seems to be growing with age. Good thing His strength is made perfect in weakness.


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Try That One

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Try that one, I dare ya'! If we have delusions as to our place in this world, try scooping up a sufficient amount of dust, from on top of your furniture maybe, and form a man; then, breathe life into his nostrils. This verse today is so simple sounding, to us a gross understatement, and yet, the Bible faithfully reports just what the Lord God did.

Dr. Frankenstein read this verse and decided to give it a try. He was horrified by what he had made, and he didn't even start with dust. Given enough dust, I could make an approximate form of a man, hopefully not forgetting the detailed parts, but I have no idea how to make the pile of dust live. There are paintings, sculptures, carvings, and statues of the forms of men all over the world, but not one of them lives. In fact, it will be one such thing in the Great Tribulation that will be for us a sign of the Antichrist and his False Prophet when a form is made to simulate life. No, I guess we had better leave that sort of thing to the Lord our God.

And what a wonder it was: dust to living man. How awesome is God?


Monday, November 26, 2018

The Word Lives!

And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables." Mark 4:11

Recently, Mike and I have listened to persons in the office speak of reading the Bible, but not wanting to hear more about Jesus the Christ. "Oh, I've read the Bible," they will tell us by way of ending the conversation, if that were possible, but it appears obvious to us that the word does not live in them. We know this because at some point in our lives the word came alive in us as it never had before.

My witness in this is that in my youth I heard the Bible in church from about as early an age as a person can. Sunday school, after school activities, quiz teams, and Wednesday night prayer meetings would all follow in their time. I read through the Bible in a year and listened to it in classes. I knew the Word intellectually long before it came alive to me in my heart. Many Christ-ones who were raised in the church have experienced this same sort of thing.

There is something in us that does not fall before Sunday School, cannot be overcome with a sermon, and stands firm against all manner of religious activity. However, once the Lord sends His Holy Spirit into our heart, then the Word comes alive to us as never before. Sermons, Bible studies, and spiritual songs can all help to open the door a crack, but it is the Spirit of God who does the enlightening work bringing the Word to life in that dormant heart of ours. Somehow along that way, we began to see when the Word was alive or simply a bit of intellectual knowledge in a person. Not my doing, must be His.

God's love and grace to you, and a very Merry Christmas too!


Friday, November 23, 2018

Saved From Sins

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

The pastor's family served an excellent Thanksgiving feast yesterday, and even picked up a couple of strays along the way; those being Ron and I. The feast was so good it knocked Ron right out after the first round of eating. We have photos to prove it!

One of the other great things about our annual celebration of thanksgiving to our Lord is that we immediately begin the celebration of the season of His birth. Whether in prayer or in Bible study, we begin a special season because our Lord Jesus is so special to us. We read in our verse for today of the saving power of the coming Son. He will save His people from their sins. Certainly a casual read of the histories and prophecies in the Old Testament will show they need it! But, wait! The Israelites are not our Lord's only peoples, for in the end the Revelation speaks of nations, peoples, tribes, and tongues gathered as the saved of our Lord. We too need His saving grace for our sins. Praise God in thanksgiving, for our Lord did not short us peoples still to come in His sacrifice and saving. We can know that we too are saved from sins.

Have a blessed Christmas season!


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Among the Gentiles

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles,
​​And sing praises to Your name. 2 Samuel 22:50

Among the Gentiles, where the Word of the Lord has shined on us the light of His love, we praise the name of our Lord Jesus with thanksgiving on this day.

One day of thanksgiving to the Lord is not enough, and so we give thanks daily, perhaps even moment by moment to our Lord. However, setting aside one day to give thanks to the Lord and celebrate it with traditional meals and other activities is good for us and pleasing to Him. As we gather together on this day of thanksgiving, we remember our Lord's sacrifice to save us from the stain of sin under which we were first born. We recall in gratitude all that our Lord has done for us and provided to us. Thanksgiving sets us apart from the many nations who do not celebrate a day of expressing our gratitude to the Lord our God. Lift up your praises of grateful joy to the Lord on this day, and enjoy to the fullest what He has provided in this feast.

Love in Christ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Under His Authority

For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Matthew 8:9

Did this Roman fellow just claim a kinship with our Lord Jesus? And then does not our Lord marvel at the faith in this Gentile man? Our Lord Jesus was a man under authority, that is the authority of God. A man raised in the pagan empire of Rome recognized the coming of the one God and saw His Son, and then asked of our Lord Jesus a favor. He asked in faith and did not doubt, and he also knew that he was not worthy to have Jesus the Lord under his roof. We have done the same thing.

What? I do not have servants and soldiers under my authority, how could this be the same?

One day you and I believed in Jesus. We came to the altar to be saved and in that moment we believed completely in Christ alone to save us. We may have knelt at an altar in a church, or stood in a room at our home, but we knew then our unworthiness and need for His salvation. We also knew that each of us could in no way save ourselves. Whatever religion might have been our earlier salve for sin was no longer enough, and each of us came to Jesus to be saved and placed ourselves under His authority in that moment. In an unworthy person, Jesus our Lord sent His Spirit to dwell and made a new home in you and me.

Blessed be the name of our Lord Jesus!


Monday, November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Week

Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD." Jeremiah 28:16

Whoa, how can this verse be one of thanksgiving? Kind of heavy to start the week of our great thanksgiving celebration given to us by the Lord. The story is of a false prophet, one who opposed the prophet Jeremiah as he gave the Lord's word to the people. This promise was given to that false prophet and fulfilled in the seventh month of that very year, just as the Lord promised. From this we can give thanks to the Lord that false prophets have and will receive the Lord's justice. We can also give thanks that the prophecies of the Lord, given by His chosen prophets are and will be fulfilled in their time.

We have such great prophecies to look forward to also, including those of Heaven and the new Earth, the banishing of the Tempter and the locking up in the bottomless pit of his false prophet. The one prophecy even above those we yearn for is that of the return of our Lord Jesus and the gathering of His lost sheep to Himself forever. Yes, let us be thankful this week for the Lord's word of promise to us.

Grateful to be one of His,

Friday, November 16, 2018

A Question of Money

“Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” John 12:5

In this story from our Lord's word, it was stated that the protester was focused on money and not on the Lord. As he would later go on to sell our Lord's life to the religious authorities for a mere 30 pieces of silver, I cannot defend him against this charge. Today, to call someone by this man's name is the insult of an enemy, and hopefully untrue.

This story is also a common criticism from the world toward the church. Build a large church building and do a good job as unto the Lord, decorating it and outfitting it to the best of your ability, and surely along the way someone will wag the tongue about giving to the poor instead. Never mind the prayer and supplication, hard-earned donations, effort and sweat put into it, and of course the hiring of workers of every sort glad to have a job to work and earn money to feed their families, the critics would say, just don't do it and give that money away.

As someone who lived on the charity of others for a time, and then went back to work at a job, I can bear witness that having a job is better for praising the Lord and overall well being. I cannot perform a job without the Lord's freely-given strength and endurance, but to live off the hard work of others should only be done when the need is there and for as brief a time as possible. So, please build those churches, refurbish houses, grow companies, or whatever the Lord has called us to do and let us all work for the glory of the Lord Jesus!


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Get That Last Bit Right, Please!

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

But wasn't my time due some time ago? We may be confused about many things in these two verses from our brother Peter. Humbling ourselves is not to make disparaging comments about our self. The Lord's due time is probably not the time we think we deserve some recognition. And casting our cares upon Him does not mean we get to keep some worry to mull over in a spare moment. All of that God in His dear Holy Spirit will take care of in us. However, can we get that last bit right, please?

"For He cares for you," is such a personal statement meant to uplift us and ease that burden we feel, you know the one we haven't give up to Him yet. God cares for me? We might ask that with a bit of disbelief on the side. Peter our senior brother assures us in this age that, yes, He cares for you and me. God cares for you and me! No question about it. He proved it on the cross and in the resurrection. God cares for people like you and me. Rejoice in that today.

Grace to you on this great day in Jesus,


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

To Your Shame

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

Um, how do missionaries get their job done if they can't keep company with those having no knowledge of God?

That old human sinner we were born with would like it very much if Paul had meant anything like that. But we who have been born again know the prompting of the Holy Spirit and we know that hanging out with the old crowd is what is meant here; that group of sinners who have heard the good news of Jesus Christ and rejected it because they love the darkness.

It works something like the old Home Improvement episode where Tim gets to talking with the guys and runs his mouth about Jill too much. Yes, there is more than one episode along those lines because such a thing is so common among us. Men, yes we are the scourge of the world, the most easily corrupted... ah, no, all of us humans have that same problem of so easily bending in an evil breeze instead of resisting as we ought. The answer to this quickness toward the old ways of sin is of course the answer who first found us in our past sin, Jesus the Christ. Want to awaken to righteousness and avoid sin? Awaken to Jesus and keep company with Him all the day long.

Rejoice with Jesus this day, then we won't have to go to our shame,


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Under the Gibbous Moon

Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all who were before him. 1 Kings 16:25

The kings of Israel were in a downward spiral, a de-evolution sort of thing. We might wonder how each king might be worse than all those before him, but this Omri managed it. We find the same in the houses we clean out. This house we say must surely be the worst of it. Then, we find another house that is worse. By using the end word, worst, we only find that there is another next worst thing. I guess that we really don't know what is the worst.

It was on this latest and worstest house that I realized the short distance I stood from being in a pulp fiction novel. One nacreous tentacle coming out of that loathsome pile in that crepuscular room under a gibbous moon, and I'm right there with Conan or Tarzan or perhaps Doc Savage. The only problem being that it would never do for the 'hero' to shriek and run out of the 'dungeon'. So maybe I stand further from those pulp stories than I thought.

I am glad that we have a hero to follow and look up to in this life. And I am glad that He did not run from the dangers and disgusting things that He faced in saving us from sin. I am even more glad that our Lord Jesus didn't reserve His kingdom for a bunch of pulp fiction heroes, because if I see a cadaverous necromancer chanting over a nacreous pool moving in an otherworldly way in the basement of this house, I'm outta there!

Love in Christ,

Monday, November 12, 2018


And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?”
So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Acts 10:4

Happy Veterans Day (Observed)! The actual day was yesterday, but we observe it today. To observe something is to notice it, to make it significant. Here in our verse, the Roman centurion, Cornelius observes an angel coming to him in a vision. This is a good thing to observe because in our reading through God's Word, we see that angels do not typically make themselves known just to enjoy a little chat or to pass the time of day. There are no idle words in God's service and angels bear messages for us to know and understand, messages of significance from God our Father. We do well to observe an angelic visitation.

Cornelius was commanded to send for Peter, and this was significant for Peter too as the disciple is about to have his three sheets vision. In this vision is an important message: "What God has cleansed you must not call common." Indeed those cleansed by the blood of the Lamb are no longer common. Cease and desist belittling yourself, child of the living God, you are no longer common but reborn in Christ the Lord! He has observed you.

Have a fine day in Christ, our Lord has made you significant in His sight!


Friday, November 09, 2018

The Ominous Final Battle

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Revelation 19:19

A great battle stands before us in this verse. How many hours or days might this play out on the stage of military chronicles ? What drama of valor? How will the tides of combat rise and fall until a victor is determined? We might expect a lengthy account more in keeping with our expectations of war that we have read about or experienced. The next verse begins the story of this great conflict: "Then the beast was captured."

Wait, that's it? Yes, the end has come and our Lord does not draw out the pain and suffering of this conflict. That war between good and evil that has ebbed and flowed around us for millennia will be closed with a brief final conflict. Verse 19 is so ominous in its staging for that great battle that we expect a protracted tale of woe and dread. But then, its all over in verses 20 and 21, the enemy king is captured with his lieutenants and the enemy forces quickly destroyed by the sword of our Lord Jesus. And what has seemed so long to us will be so quickly won by our Lord. Is there any reason to believe that today is not just as much under His control?

Let us trust in our sovereign Lord Jesus!


Thursday, November 08, 2018

Strength and Song

​The LORD is my strength and song,
​​And He has become my salvation;
​​He is my God, and I will praise Him;
​​My father’s God, and I will exalt Him. Exodus 15:2

Strength, song, salvation, how does He do that? There are those times when it seems that we can little understand the words we use in regard to our Lord God. The Israelites had just escaped through the Lord's strength 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They didn't do a thing to save themselves from it, and soon they would want to go back. Yet, in the moment they stood with Moses and rejoiced in the Lord's strength and salvation with a song of praise. The Israelites stood on the other side of the Red Sea having just walked through a miracle. Many more works of the Lord God would soon follow, and yet they struggled daily with unbelief.

The Pharisees in our Lord Jesus' time demanded a sign. They had a record of the great works of God done in their ancestor's times, but still they wanted another one. Jesus did many works of heavenly authority before them, but just one more sign they demanded. They too struggled with unbelief, but in most cases the Pharisees lost that struggle and surrendered to the world and its prince.

We have a record of both the works of old and the new works our Lord did in Galilee and Judea in His time. We too struggle daily with unbelief. How will we win our fight? Not in my strength or yours, but in the strength and song of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! We know that it is His salvation that saves us from this stain of sin and the world that sin has produced. And so as we tarry just a little while in God's grace in this alien land, let us too sing a song of praise to our Lord.

Love in Christ Jesus,

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Elect Grace!

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. Romans 11:5

Elections in America garner a lot of media coverage, but there is a far more important election to concern ourselves with in this age: the election of grace. But may I take a moment to thank the Lord that this latest political election is done? As the Grinch said, "Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!"

Yes, it is difficult to hear the joy in Heaven over one sinner's repentance when the noise of the world is so large and annoying during an election cycle. The election of grace is for eternity; the election of a few more bums, excuse me, politicians, we will survive. Up to each of you of course to decide which are the bums and which are not according to your own political leanings. To us who have elected grace, the results of a political election are not quite so important as it may be to those who do not have our hope in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice in your election to grace in Christ the Lord! This other stuff will all pass away,


Monday, November 05, 2018

Going His Way

​Through Your precepts I get understanding;
​​Therefore I hate every false way. Psalm 119:104

A few years ago, like 1605 on our calendar, a man tried to demolish the Houses of Parliament with a few kegs of gunpowder. He was upset over something and decided that his way was the best for everyone. I should imagine that everyone who has ever attempted or managed to destroy a building by way of terrorism is firmly convinced that their way is what is best for all of us. It is a strange way to try convincing someone of the rightness of another way.

If I were to blow up your house and say, "I did that because your way is not right and mine is." I'm thinking that your first thought will not be one of brotherly goodwill and a firm new resolution to follow my way. In fact, it would be difficult for me to tell you of my way with your hands around my throat in anger. Terrorists do not quite seem to be able to grasp that sort of thing.

Jesus brought the good news of His way in a very different manner, saying in plain words that He was the way and the truth and the life. No blowing up of buildings, no bashing another person in the media, no flags and armies, just a simple statement that we can decide to believe or to reject. How very odd in comparison to the ways of the world!

May God bless our nation as the votes are cast,


Friday, November 02, 2018

Take One Tablet Daily, With Food

​The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
​​But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Command an instruction and people immediately rebel in their heart. It is a condition of fallen man that instruction is not received well even in polite words read from a book. The only source I need cite for this is you, for you and I have both felt that tug of rebellion from an early age when instruction was given. We want to do what we want to do, even if we have a suspicion that it might be bad for us. Things that are good for us and things that we like do not always come together in one thing, but when they do the thing must carry an instruction not to take too much.

My vitamin bottle carried the title I used for today's writing, and that is what got me to thinking of how resistant we can be to good instruction. The Bible is a love letter from God with instructions. Jesus repeated two of those instructions and named them most important of all and a concise summary of all the books of the Law and the Prophets. And still there are those who resist admitting there is someone named God whom they are to love with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. But worse are those who believe in our Lord God and yet resist His instructions.

Raise up in me a trusting heart, dear Lord, that I may obey You always,


Thursday, November 01, 2018

He Made That Promise!

He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
​​And broke their chains in pieces. Psalm 107:14

Halloween is over for another year, praise the Lord! This year I get a little pat on the back; I did not purchase my Halloween candy until yesterday morning. I figure that gave me at least 20 days that I used in years past to get into the candy that I did not do this year. Pat, pat, good job, mate! Then, I was generous in giving it out last night, so that I have less to get out of the house this morning...and take to work. We'll have to work on that last bit. To me candy in my house is a lot like an addict's stash, and candy at work is only slightly easier to refuse.

Why does this sound like one of those chains? Are we not released yet? This ongoing divorce from the flesh happens in the Lord's time and timing. The desires of the flesh serve the Lord's purpose, but that does not mean we must always give in to them. The development of self control or discipline in some areas of my life seems rather slow, perhaps even glacial. Yet, God is in charge of my remodeling and rebuilding. What appears slow to me may be a fast track project of the Lord's. As a fallen man walking on the cursed Earth, my perspective is skewed. I am reborn in Christ, and this sanctification project of the Lord's is probably going just as fast as I can stand. If I had His perspective for just a moment, I would surely understand the Lord's great work in me, pacing and timing all done in His awesome love.

The verse for today is God's word, and He made that promise! Patience, soldier of the Lord, He will complete His good work in us!