Monday, May 20, 2019

The Disappointment at the Ending

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5

The big series ended last night and the final season was not a smash hit with everyone. It seems that a million signatures have already been added to a petition to redo the final season of the show. Ow, that hurts. I didn't see the thing, as you know I have no TV service, and certainly not the premium stuff like HBO. However, I cannot escape the news of the thing going around this morning as such a big disappointment at the ending is going to be noticed. And therein lies one of our great fears of this life, that we will be disappointed, or be one ourselves, at the ending.

Paul writes to the Romans to set their minds at ease about this. It is not a hope leading to disappointment because God is in charge of the ending. We would have every reason to fear if any or all of us were in charge of the ending of this life and world. We have no reason to fear while God is in charge. And the motivator of God's great finale is His love. Rejoicing will come in the end, His love will see it through!

Have a great week in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Partiality Reaction

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. James 2:1

It is almost too easy to find partiality or favoritism in the church life. We take to it like the proverbial fish to water. Have tasks needing done? It is easy to like the one who is always enthusiastic to take the next job and run with it. Need to expand the building or ministry? It is easy-peasy to like the one always ready with their checkbook. We find it is too much trouble to keep asking the one who never volunteers for the job. And we just know that family over there won't give more than the minimum anyway, so why ask them again to contribute to the building fund?

My church has no problem with those things or any other favoritism, we try to say with loyalty to our church family in mind. Oh really? Let a celebrity walk into your church next Sunday; hear the necks crack and pop as they strain to help the eyes catch a glimpse. See those eyeballs bug out over that designer outfit. Watch the anti-reactors as they swear to themselves they will not act in any of those ways to the point of being rude or even snobbish! Would the state senator have to sit near the back of the Bible study because he arrived last, or would that favored seat be quickly vacated? Who wouldn't think of answered prayers for the church gym fund when that well-known billionaire walked into the service? Are we so confident now that our church would pass the partiality test with flying colors?

Nope, favoritism is a hindrance of our faith and love, but raised in a celebrity culture we need the Lord's help to hold our faith without partiality. Part of the problem, pun intended, is that partiality is a reaction to someone we see. Those partial thoughts haven't formed into a reminder of not showing partiality before we find the reaction of the flesh has preceded our better intentions. That old flesh can't react faster than our Savior though, and He knows the future, and especially helpful in this case, He knows our future too. We need some proactive prayer before the test comes, that we might not fail yet again in favoring one over another.

Love in Christ,
Bucky

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Attention Grabbers?

Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains. Philippians 1:15-16

The minister took to the stage and bounded toward the lectern, his excitement in the preaching of the word evident to all the congregation. Who was to know in that moment that his motivation toward the kingdom of God was envy and strife? When did selfish ambition become the primary driver behind the passion of his delivery?

Some of that seems at odds, and yet Paul assures us that there are those who minister the word of God from the wrong motivations. Paul even states that some would take up their cross with the hands of selfish ambition! How could these things be?

Of course we know from experience the lure and lust of grabbing some attention for ourselves. Many are the temptations facing a minister of the word to grow some pride from being the center of attention in a church. And it would be so easy to spot 'em, those attention grabbers of the flock, if it were simply a matter of numbers. However, it can be just as easy to steal some of God's glory as a minister to 3 or 30 as it can be for the evangelist to 300 or 3,000.

We know quite well the center of attention in the church must be her bridegroom, for He is the One who saved us all on the cross.

Rejoice in the Lord!

Bucky

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How Wrong We Can Be

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Wait, didn't we gain the knowledge of good and evil from that tree and inheritance as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve? Aren't we so smart now in our own knowledge and wisdom? A quick look around the world leads us to the knowledge that we are about as wrong as we can be. And just to show us how wrong we can be even about how wrong we think we are, the Revelation shows that the world will get a whole lot wronger before the end. Please don't make me write that sentence again!

In my life, I have found that when I am wise in my own estimation any excellence and sincerity are long gone and offense goes way up; my fruit bin of righteousness is then found to be quite empty. And that is because there is too much of me in that case and not enough of my Lord Jesus. Want a full to overflowing fruit bin of righteousness? Get with Jesus and abide in Him, then the fruits of the Spirit can grow and be good.

Have a great Wednesday in Christ the Lord!

Bucky

Monday, May 13, 2019

They Told Him!

They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.” Matthew 21:41

Yes, they told our Lord what was what in the world, and He used it to show them how wrong they were. And of course they did not like it and in place of reforming their ways or asking of Him for salvation, they sought all the more to murder the Son of God.

Our sin monsters do not like to be shown in the light of the Lord. The light causes them to shrivel up and lose their hold on us. And it is also quite embarrassing to that part of us wanting to show the Lord a resume of our goodness when so many sin monsters are seen in the light of His Holy Spirit crawling back into their dens to snap and growl in the darkness. There would be no embarrassment if we believed the stone the builders rejected whose word states that there is none who does good, not one who is righteous, and all have sinned.

Where does this come from today? It seems that I held court with those monsters this weekend and had one of those "Am I saved?" times that I indulge in ever so often, wallowing in the slough of despond once more because I haven't yet saved myself. Tsk, tsk, Pride is the one who says that I can save myself. Despair is where Pride leads me. Jesus, my Lord, does not want me to entertain those foul fiends but only to believe that He has saved me and that one day the members of that foul gang of monsters will be banished forevermore!

Faith is a tough road, but daily our Lord places us back upon it.

Bucky

Friday, May 10, 2019

Not Here Forever

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

​​“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
​​In toil you shall eat of it
​​All the days of your life. Genesis 3:17

Adam's first question probably went something like, "For my sake?" That's what God said though. And what a gift it is.

For many, old age is a curse. As we can see here in Genesis, it is likely related to the cursed ground. The toil wears us down and the cursed ground stabs us with thorns, and in time we return to the dust of which we are made. Since we are made of that ground which is cursed, then it likely follows that our 'soil' is cursed too and we age and grow old and die. I'm a real spark of happiness on this Friday morning, eh?

Yes, part of God's love is that we don't have to stay here in this condition forever. We get to die! After we make that brief transition from what we think is living to what our Lord has gone to prepare for us, then we will understand or as Paul said, we will see clearly, and God's mercy, goodness, and love throughout all of our sufferings will become known fully to us.

Yes, it is tough to see it from this side, and that is where faith comes in. Rejoice in Him!

Bucky

Thursday, May 09, 2019

But, We Can't Hear Him!

Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard
Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. Ecclesiastes 9:17

There is a family of my acquaintance wherein two of them together will raise the loudness level considerably until one's ears ring from the din of it. And three or more of them... But that isn't where we are going this morning.

Solomon wrote a proverb from our modern world. We are surrounded by loudness. It is the weapon of choice among certain groups who want their way. It is almost like they want to shout down and shout over the words of wisdom from the quietly speaking ones. Duh, well yeah! In fact the volume of a particular group is proportional to the foolishness of its cause quite often in this age. And if you think that pointing that out to them will make them pause for a moment to reflect, then you are even more naive than me, and that's saying something!

It is interesting to see the quietness of our Lord Jesus. Shouting was not His way, and people gathered to hear Him. Much of our Lord's wisdom was imparted to small groups or individuals. He did speak to crowds, such as the Sermon on the Mount, but He did not shout over anyone to do so. I see there is another lesson for this age, people listened quietly, and that is something we see less of these days too. One has to wonder, if today Jesus tried to speak His great sermon would He be able to speak it without a group of sign-waving people showing up to shout Him down with bullhorns?

Praise God for His Word!

Bucky

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Not There Yet

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. Philippians 3:12 (NLT)

Do you sometimes doubt your salvation? In the test I think that every Christian, perhaps more than once, will find themselves enduring a dark night of the soul where salvation seems to have not taken root in them. Surely we must be a part of the garden choked off by the thorns of this life we tell ourselves as despair clutches hard at our faith. The circumstances we stare down in that dark night are not those of the blessed and joyous Christian we hear as though whispered to us somewhere in the depths of the heart, and we listen too easily to the temptation of doubt.

We know from the scriptures that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Yet, the heart seems to refuse the knowledge and we repent once more of every sin we can recall going back to the dawn of our time on this earth. A preacher from back in the days before cars and airplanes spoke to this in his particular way:

The Holy Spirit makes men penitents long before He makes them divines; and he who believes what he knows, shall soon know more clearly what he believes. Charles H. Spurgeon

What a lovely sentence! And of course the words of the preacher call upon us to remember faith. For it is the believing in Jesus that gave us salvation, not something we did or earned that can be lost, but something He did which can never be taken from us. How did the great preachers become as they were? By seeing the dawn come after that dark night of the soul, perhaps several times, and they through the Holy Spirit came to know more clearly what they believed.

Great and wonderful is our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Bucky

Monday, May 06, 2019

A Bit More Respect

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? Hebrews 12:9

God should have all the respect we can give and more, but this verse for today shows us what is so common among us, we need an earthly example in order to learn the spiritual lesson.

Some questions have no answers, but we try. How big is God? And then we bring up mountains or oceans, maybe a planet or a galaxy, and all those examples fall short, or maybe they don't, we cannot know unless God tells us just how big He is. What is love? We tend to think of that mating desire we had for that young man or woman, or we think of that possessiveness we feel for the spouse or children, but are those love? Jesus had an interesting answer for the greater love.

Throughout His ministry our Lord gave us wonderful earthly examples in parables for spiritual truths. The man I call, 'grain bin man' is one of my favorite parables in Luke 12:16-21, and one I struggle with still. You probably have your favorite too. Many of the examples, like ol' grain bin man are negative, as in don't be like him. Others show how one doing right, such as the Samaritan who did good, may be despised by the world, and he was! Still other parables are about the Lord Jesus Himself.

So, a bit more respect please for our God and Father who sent His Son to give the greater love for us on the cross, and who took the time to teach us so well.

Bucky

Friday, May 03, 2019

Is It Delivering Time Yet?

That Your beloved may be delivered,
Save with Your right hand, and hear me. Psalm 60:5

Thank you for the kind and loving birthday wishes yesterday. I did get to celebrate with a tiny subset of my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Like you, I look to that time of delivering from this world when we will no longer be separated from our Lord and each other by such distances and times as we have now.

When will that time arrive?

If I knew that I would be in violation of scripture, for as our Lord said, no man knows that time. Yet, we yearn for that time of delivery. We write of it, talk about it, and sing for the day, and like David we pray for the time when Christ our Lord will deliver us from this world and present us to God, not as a sacrifice (He took care of that!) but as His beloved bride adorned for the great wedding that is to come.

Rejoice in Christ!
Bucky

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Too Many Expectations Of Me

...to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening; 1 Chronicles 23:30

Brrr, it's only 29° out there this morning. As I sit here contemplating the start of my 57th year and my 56th birthday, I realize that I quite failed to pop out into this world and declare that I was zero, even though that was the beginning of my first year on this earth. Shameful of me really, ought to have remembered to do that. Such an absurd expectation from myself was only the beginning of a long parade of expectations placed by me upon me to succeed in this world by worldly terms. Of course the most extreme and by far the craziest was that I would save myself by my good works and be allowed into God's heaven because I was somehow good enough.

      Alas, absurd expectations and too many!
      Cease ye disenchanted yappers and desist!
      Jesus loved me and cried out my sin upon His cross!
      I am saved by Christ alone, and in His love stand atoned! 

With that out of the way, happy birthday to me and all those who were born on this day in May! I share my famous birthday with some sort of wrestling rock, but I think I would rather spend it with those who love me. May the Lord Jesus Christ be celebrated in our celebration today!

Bucky

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

You Mean, I Get To Decide?

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

This verse has been used throughout the centuries of the Way, but not always in the right manner or method. A quick glance might give one the impression that I get to decide by experimentation what is the will of God, what is right or wrong. This is the opposite of Paul's point however; for read in its entirety the first part of the verse puts that aside, for what is the world but men and women deciding for themselves what is right and wrong?

You can bet that if I were the judge of what God's will is and what is declared right or wrong then asparagus would be an abomination while pizza would be what is good and acceptable and perfect. You may laugh, but every individual would decide in a similar manner and with similar results. Lawyers and politicians could make their will sound official, writers and advertisers could make their will sound more appealing, and country bumpkins would do the thing with asparagus and pizza, but the entire world would have billions of sets of laws about rights and wrongses.

What Paul has in mind for each of us though is quite different.

First we believe in Jesus so that the transforming of our mind begins with our rebirth in the Spirit. Then we learn as a newborn babe does what is the will of God as we study His word, pray, sit under the discipleship of elders and deacons and ministers of God, come back for more prayer, live with the Lord at hand, and the many other things we do to test and learn what is the will of God and what He has decided is good and acceptable and perfect. Discerning what is the will of God seems to begin with accepting first that I was born wrong and God is always right. Hence the need, as our Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, for that second birth in Christ by the Spirit.

So, I don't get to decide? No, I get to discover what He has decided for me. What a relief! So many people actually like asparagus, I would hate to declare it an abomination.

Love in Christ,

Bucky

P.S. May Day Devotional? No, the world is going down; we need to send a mayday to God.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Sorry, No Conspiracy Today

For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:

“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’
​​Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy,
​​Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.  Isaiah 8:11-12

We have much information available to us in this age, and all that information might give to us a skewed picture of the way things are on the other guy's side. The Lord spoke to Isaiah with a strong hand to move the prophet away from worldly thinking. We are moved by His Spirit in the same way. Many of the things that might scream conspiracy at us, should we give in to that pride of self we face daily, are likely not concerned with us at all.

Yes, crushing as it may be, the universe is not out to get us and probably does not care about us at all. Want someone to care about you and me? Look to the One who died on the cross to save us. "Greater love has no man...", he said when speaking of the greatest love that gave up his life to save us from our sin. Need a little boost to that sense of self worth? The Son of God gave up His life to save you and me! The Son of God did that for us! Now that gives us a sense of worth and value that the world cannot convey to us.

Have a priceless day in Christ's love and goodness,

Bucky

Friday, April 26, 2019

Return

“Thus says the LORD:

‘I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The Mountain of the LORD of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.' Zechariah 8:3

We have all turned from the Lord and are invited in the holy scriptures to return to Him. However, the greatest promises in the Bible speak of His returning to us. This is a play on words of course and a very light touching of the enormous things our Lord Jesus did for us that we might ever return to Him and He to us. That great gulf that came between God and His creation was made by that first couple turning away from the Lord in disobedience, and it took the life of God's own Son to restore us to our Creator. A few words in a Friday morning email can hardly convey all that Christ has done for us in this!

Returning is on my mind this morning as having my Internet connection back here at home feels something like having been away on a business trip or something. It is a feeling at odds with the reality of it. But that is what we are in this world, we are at odds with the world around us and not in the place God wants for us to be, which is with Him for all time. There! Now I've made things clear as stone. I may not understand what I have typed, but I do know that I want to visit Jerusalem when it is called "The City of Truth", for that must be when my Lord Jesus, the Truth, has come to live there.

Have a great Friday in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Stuck Outside?

The whole time he has the infection he will be continually unclean. He must live in isolation, and his place of residence must be outside the camp. Leviticus 13:46

This infection was one of men, balding men. Oddly, or perhaps not so much, there is yet these thousands of years later still a social stigma hanging about balding men. Just look at all that advertising stating how wrong it is to be bald!

Of course balding wasn't of itself unclean. The law in our verse for today was due to an infectious disease that showed up in that area. The infected victim once confirmed by the priest was pronounced unclean, and then he had to tear his clothing, loose his hair, cover his mustache (?), and then call out his uncleanness to the world. Oh, and then he had to go live outside the camp alone. Unclean was a tough state back in the day.

Wife, family, and friends were all off limits for the unclean one. The B.C. version of Subway was off limits. That big game on Sunday, nope. And kids were allowed to throw rocks at your bald spot too! Okay, not that last one. Life for the unclean one was just not fun and games for as long as the uncleanness lasted. Keeping the mustache covered wouldn't be such a picnic either. Yet, during that time one could certainly give much attention to prayer and supplication with the Lord.

And misery has not changed much; turn away from your contemplation of the current misery, look to the Lord in prayer, and things are always better.

Have a better day my balding friends! And you others too.

Bucky

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Repent or Perish Likewise, Ye!

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? Luke 13:2

It is easy to see suffering, and then blame the sufferer for their problems. "It must be due to their sin," we say with our tongue once again on the loose. Jesus had an answer for those who thought so, repent or perish likewise.

Disasters, natural or man-made, were common in the day of our Lord too. And like now, there is always someone ready to blame those who suffered the disaster. It is about pride and control. The method goes something like: I didn't suffer the disaster, therefore the powers that be must be pleased with me, and thus I am a good man/woman and will live in peace and prosperity all of my days, 'cuz I earned it. Oh, wait, we forgot the blaming part where the tongue goes off with, "Look at them! Their sins must have been just heinous (or at least way worse than ours) for God to lower the boom on them in such a horrible way."

That's Old Testament stuff, we note with only slightly disguised superiority. Yes, Israel and Judea did suffer, but we must not ignore all that prophetic scripture which said the same thing Jesus did, "Repent or perish likewise, ye!" Repentance of who we are, the first step on the road of salvation our Lord earned for us. Amen.

Bucky

P.S. Yes, still writing from work, no Internet yet, but the new modem is on the way.

Monday, April 22, 2019

How Did It Start?

“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Matt 27:4

How did this Resurrection Day begin? Can we blame a certain man, to use a Bible expression? It would seem at the first that we can, and often do, blame Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of our Lord Jesus. However, our Lord, the very one who was betrayed, died on the cross, and rose again, had a different explanation for who to blame for His death:

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:18

So, it would seem that once again, all the glory or credit or even blame for our Lord's death is His alone. So why did Judas have to die? Well, we know quite well that he did not have to and that he took his own life on his own guilt. Jesus, as our Lord did with Peter, was likely ready to forgive and save poor Judas, if only he had waited to see this great day after the Resurrection.

We are here the day after celebrating Resurrection Day, so what are we trying to take the blame or credit for that belongs to our Lord Jesus? A good thing to take up with Him in prayer.

Love to you in Christ the Lord!

Bucky

P.S. There's no Internet at my house today!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Write No Less

​And He made His grave with the wicked—
​​But with the rich at His death,
​​Because He had done no violence,
​​Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Isaiah 53:9

Just another day in the life, what can one possibly write about for today? Ah, but of course this is the great celebration of our Lord's resurrection this weekend. How can one write about anything less than what our Savior and Lord did for us at this time of the year almost 2,000 years ago?

Passover had begun and the city was crowded with pilgrims from around the Roman world. Before the Sabbath of that particular celebration though, the Romans had a couple of prisoners to execute in their ghastly way before the holiday break, and one other. This other was a man who had committed no crime that the Roman governor could see, and yet there was orders from Rome to keep the peace in Judea, apparently at all costs for Pilate had given up the man to the executioners as though he had been caught in some act demanding the worst punishment.

And so it was done.

Another detail came to the governor though, with the Sabbath of Passover upon them this very evening, the bodies must needs be entombed before sundown, and a couple of them at least were not yet corpses. So the order came down to end the lives of the men on the crosses at Golgotha, but the other, that one, was found to have gone already. A soldier made sure with a spear, but the word was true and he had died. Two of the prominent Jewish citizens came to Pilate and requested the body of this other one and to them it was granted to bury that particular body.

And the rest of the story can be summed up in one stunning revelation, that other body would not stay buried and rose again on the most beautiful Sunday morning the world has ever seen, and believers everywhere know that it had nothing at all to do with the weather!

God be praised,
Bucky

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It Doesn't Quite Work

Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isaiah 13:6

Having worked with rentals for a few years now, I tend to apply those things I have learned to our circumstance and it doesn't quite work at times. For example: when an owner leases his property to a tenant, then the place is not quite his any longer. The leasehold cannot be inspected without permission just any old time because the tenant now has rights to privacy and other rights that one expects with a place called home. Most of the time the landlord should simply stay away and leave it to the tenant. I might be tempted to apply that to the Lord and His Earth as we are tenants now and He does not appear to be here in my sight. Of course, we know that the sight of humans is severely limited both in physics and in understanding. The Lord is at hand and for those who would oppose Him, His day is at hand as well.

The comparison with a human landlord does not quite work either because our Lord has not left the world; He is here in His Spirit at all times and even in the very heart of the believer. Our Lord does not view this world as a business proposition where He just wants the rent paid each month, nor does he care only that we treat His property respectfully and well. Our Lord cared so much for His tenants that He sent His only Son to save them (us!). The whole landlord thing really breaks down here as one cannot even imagine that slumlord over yonder way sending his son to save the tenants by sacrificing his life in a criminal execution.

Yes, we celebrate Easter, Resurrection Day, as we do because our Lord's sacrifice is so unique in this world! And for those who will steadfastly refuse the gift of grace our Lord Jesus gave to us by way of the cross, well, there is the word of woe given through Isaiah that we read today.

Bucky

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An Open Grave

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. John 20:1

A stone rolled away from the grave entrance, an obvious act of thievery one might think. And Mary did! The stone rolled away gives the imagination every opportunity for mischief. If a person leans toward those conspiracy theories about the government, then evidence is at hand for a plot by the ruling authority carried out in the dead of night. Perhaps a person was taken by the temple money changers and now looks upon the priests with a suspicious eye. No problem, the stone rolled away provides ample evidence of priestly misconduct. However, one could also recall that Jesus said He would be back from the grave and believe Him.

Why does that last one always come later and seem harder to accept?

The first two are business as usual in this world and do not require the power and presence of God; the fallen man likes that and he is always ready for an explanation that leaves out the Creator and Savior in one fell swoop. That last one requires first that we believe in God's Son and in the Word of God Himself. No wonder it is only with the mighty grace of the Holy Spirit that anyone comes to believe!

He lives! And from that we do too!

Bucky

Monday, April 15, 2019

G'day Monday!

Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Romans 12:16

Mondays are not the day that I typically leap from my bed ready to conquer the world. Actually for the past month, or at least since that last time change, you can add all the other days of the week to that as well. This one has been a difficult adjustment, and the sun sure goes to bed late these days too!

Paul has some words of counsel for us on this day. I hope that I am not wise in my own opinion or proud of my own humility. I'm not quite sure what these high things might be, but I will try to be down to earth in my mind. Oh, bother! Anytime a list comes up in the Bible, I'm almost sure to be in violation or worse. I can't even get this list right as I'm supposed to associate with the humble not worry over the state of my humbleness. I sure hope those I associate with do not have as high an opinion of themselves as I do of them! Wait, did I get that wrong too? No, I'm quite alright with being the lowest of the low in Heaven, just as long as all of us are there with the Lord Jesus.

So, while Monday beats me up some: be of good cheer, Jesus is near!

Bucky

Friday, April 12, 2019

Alone Is Not My Word

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. Romans 14:7

Decide to believe in Jesus and alone is not where a person lives anymore. As a practicing introvert, I do not always do well in a public place with more than one conversation going, but I am not alone. As a quiet person, noise may not be my preferred venue, but my taste in music notwithstanding, I am not alone. In the quiet of my home, I am not alone. My Lord Jesus is always with me even unto the end of the age. Alone is a word that no longer belongs to me.

A person may be lost in a trackless wasteland, but that term we have heard, god-forsaken, is simply not true. A person lying in a coma ward connected to various monitors and no longer able to communicate with loved ones is neither forsaken nor alone. Even in a crowd and feeling so out of place with the surrounding world that the phrase alone in a crowd seems appropriate the one believer in Jesus is never alone.

Therefore, we look to our verse for today and know that living or dying, we live not just for the self but for and with others as well. We also life for and with our Lord Jesus. Think that the world would be better off without you in it? Think again and believe on Him who is with you always. Remember those who love you, and one who loves you always is Jesus our Lord!

Love in Christ to you on this fine day,

Bucky

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The World Changes

One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5

As the day grows light outside, we look upon a changed world. Where it was 80° and green on Monday it has become a world of 20° and white on Thursday. With the second spring blizzard going on, dare we ask if this warming trend has peaked and the days of our vernal frozen moisture have returned? I'm trying to say that carefully so as not to excite the global warming crowd overmuch. Any hint of questioning or criticism of their pet theory tends to draw a rather heated reaction.

The world changes, and Paul was a part of that change, though not nearly so much as His Lord and Savior, Jesus. Days were the argument among those who believed in our Lord back in Paul's day. Some were likely afraid to violate the Friday evening to Saturday evening Sabbath having been raised under the Law of Moses. Others probably worked on that day and could not afford to lose a good job when they could worship God quite well on Sunday. And there are those then and today who realize that God doesn't want a percentage of our week but that we are His every day and all day.

Paul did not judge between the parties but said an interesting thing: "Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." Prayer time with the Lord, it seems to me, is the way to achieve that state of mind.

Have a convincing day in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Make Him Stand

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4

Uh, oh! It's another one of those 'what day is it?' mornings. Another storm is coming our way, and I can feel it already in my bones.

You scan the Old Testament for some handy rules to throw at me because I do not do this thing or that thing and have not avoided this other thing. And I respond with, "Who have you stoned recently?" That defensive reaction is of course just as judgmental. Who are we to judge the servant of God? And yet, it is done every day among those who believe in Jesus. And still, with all of this going on, God is able to make him and her stand.

Sometimes we wonder how God could come to accept the worldly ones when we should be asking how God could possibly accept those who call themselves by His name. And thus we get in a quick judgment on all the world at once! Yes, God is able to make us stand and quite able to cleanse us of all that judgmental unrighteousness too. And this cleansing is made possible by the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on the cross.

Praise God we are saved by the Lamb in spite of how we are and act in this age!

Bucky

Monday, April 08, 2019

Scriptural Warfare

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. Romans 14:1

Sometimes we look for our next doctrinal victim, an easy mark, one who cannot defend him/herself in the faith. With a few slashes of our sword of the word, we can reduce that one to a quivering disciple. And just let them bring up those debatable things; what scriptural warfare will ensue!

Yes, we have been with the church elder who has his sword ready to do doctrinal destruction on every new believer in his church. We have seen the scriptural sword-maiden ready to sharpen the tongue of her sword on the small faith of the newly born-again one.

Paul did not want the tender shoots cut off before they could mature in the Spirit and our Lord Jesus promised He would do no such thing. Gentle teaching and compassionate discipleship are the way for us. We do not need to prove scriptural superiority by scrapping with the babes in the faith over matters debatable. No one who believes in Jesus should need to alpha-dog the other saints of the church. We run the race to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus, and we run it together. We fight a scriptural war, but the sword is for use against the enemy! The full armor of God is not for gladiator sports in the church coliseum. And that helmet of salvation is not for butting heads over matters each believer must decide with God in prayer.

Peace in Christ,
Bucky

Friday, April 05, 2019

God's Testimony

And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you. Exodus 25:16

As a photographer, if I can be physically present and see something, then I am allowed record the image in my camera. This could be described as my testimony; I was there and this is what I saw. Much of the Bible could be described in this way as well. What about that prophecy stuff though? Who was there and saw it, as it has not yet happened? All prophecy, including those parts that were prophetic then but have now been set in our past, is God's testimony. And as we can read in our verse for today, His testimony is kept safely in the Ark of the Covenant!

If you are feeling the gates of symbolism opening before you, well yeah! The Hebrews literally placed the Testimony in the Ark, but there is also God's Word, His Testimony, placed securely in the heart of all who have believed and His name is Jesus, the Word of God. We are the ark of His new covenant and His testimony lives in us!

His testimony comes forth!

Bucky

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Talkin' Like Them

I said, “I will guard my ways,
​​Lest I sin with my tongue;
​​I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,
​​While the wicked are before me.” Psalm 39:1

Only while the wicked are in front of him? No, not quite. What David noticed and I'm sure you have by now as well, is how easy it is to slip into sinful speech while in the company of the wicked. It is far more difficult to set a good example for the wicked by restraining the tongue and mouth. Converse for any time with the wicked and the wicked words spill forth in our speech almost as quickly as the wild animal returns to its predatory ways when released from the cage. So, did David just say nothing?

Yes, for a time as we read in the 39th psalm, that is just what he did. But as king he did have to speak at some point to render his decisions and judgment. A few verses down the king would ask the Lord to show him humility. Show me the frailty of my life, Lord, David asked in lovely and poetic language. For to know the frailty of this life is to be reminded of the author of that life and to seek Him in order to maintain our gentle speech in the face of the wicked world. We do not want to be talkin' like them; we want to show the gentle speech of our Lord to the world that they may know a Savior lives in us.

“And now, Lord, what do I wait for,
​​My hope is in You.
​Deliver me from all my transgressions;
​​Do not make me the reproach of the foolish. Psalm 39:7-8
Bucky

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

How Valuable Is Our Faith?

“If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers..." Deuteronomy 13:6

The Law was perfectly strict and reading the start of a law in our verse for today we can see that it is from a book of the law and we can know already that this will not end well for someone. As usual, it ends badly for both.

Since Moses arrived on the scene and the Israelites were free from Egypt, God gave to His chosen nation the Law. And we read it today and marvel at the range of offenses for which death was the penalty. Which is kinda dumb given that the very first law stated, thou shalt not eat of that one tree or you will surely die. Death was always the result of sin and we should marvel rather at the range of things for which humans could yet live after a sin under the law. Well, the law for today's reading goes a step further. God will not strike down the enticer in this case, you will!

Yes, this particular law states not only that the soul-mate friend, the son or daughter, or even your wife, will be stoned to death should they entice you to worship other gods, but you, yes you, will throw the first stone. "...your hand shall be first against him to put him to death..." (v9) That is where we get our impression that the Law was so harsh. However, this is but the result of that fall we inherited from Adam. Want to have eternal life under the Law? You must not only obey the good behavior parts, but satisfy it by carrying out judgment as well. We don't like that part and neither did the Israelites in Moses' day and after. This is one of the reasons we cannot be saved by the Law. Stone your friend to death? Your wife or daughter? Much rather would we forget the whole thing, and that time and again was what the Israelites did back in the day. How valuable is our faith? We needed a savior and God provided His Son to save us from the Law of sin and death. And not just our death, but that death we would have to dispense in justice should our dear friend or child, or even the spouse we married, sin.

Praise God for the mercy we have in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Monday, April 01, 2019

Why Do We Speak?

...and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates! Jeremiah 22:2

Why do we speak of the Lord and the good news of His salvation? Would it not be easier to keep quiet and live at peace with all? In our verse for today, the prophet is commanded to go speak to the king of Judah. Yes, that fellow on the big chair with the power to say, "Off with his head!" and all that. We are not generally called before the king of the land, but we too face certain ridicule and scoffing by speaking out for the Lord. Whether emotional, intellectual, or physical, there is enough persecution to go around. So, why not keep our faith to ourselves?

Jesus would not have it so! In fact we refer often to the Great Commission spoken by our Lord just before He left to be with His Father in Heaven. And little is harder to keep to yourself than good news, and the salvation of our Lord is certainly that! So in our various ways of communication, we are going to communicate the joy we feel in Christ Jesus. It will not always be accepted, but share it we must.

And if no one around you wants to hear it today, then share your testimony with me. Our stories of His grace are well worth hearing!

Grace and love to you in Jesus our Lord and Savior!

Bucky

Friday, March 29, 2019

No Shopping Here!

Then I commanded that the gates of Jerusalem should be shut as darkness fell every Friday evening, not to be opened until the Sabbath ended. I sent some of my own servants to guard the gates so that no merchandise could be brought in on the Sabbath day. Nehemiah 13:19 NLT

It's Friday, and I tried to look up 'Friday' in the New King James Bible but it was a no-go. However, the newer translation had replaced 'the day before the Sabbath' with the simpler 'Friday', only to find that Nehemiah had shut the gates and guarded them to prevent shopping and freight hauling. Friday evening certainly was different in Nehemiah's day! Imagine for a moment the hollerin' and screamin' that would take place if President Trump tried to shut down all commerce on Friday evening and sent in the Marines to guard the gates to the shopping place. Yes, the noise in the streets and the media. The shouting of slogans and the roar from the angry mob. Actually, you would think he had tried it already!

Yes, today is the day of outrage and sometimes the reason for it seems to not matter very much. Any reason will do, just let us go outrage some more.

Nehemiah had good reason to prevent this thing though. He was trying to lead the nation of Israel back into obedience to the Law and there was resistance. Six days they could shop and work, but one day was for rest. And there were a great many other laws the fallen flesh did not want to obey. The desires of the fallen haven't changed, but praise to God we have a satisfaction for the Law! We certainly needed Him too. As we look at old Israel, we can but say, "Yes, and such am I in my flesh, wayward and disobedient just like them."

Praise God for His Son, our Lord Jesus,

Bucky

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Little Ol' Me

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

I have taken stock of my condition and found nothing in my body that would impress the world and its principalities, much less the powers and rulers and spiritual hosts of wickedness. My feet are slow, my knees are weak, my joints are stiff, and the rest of me doesn't even impress the people of this world; how could all of that impress a ruler of the darkness? Little ol' me just doesn't even register as a worthy foe to those powers and rulers. Like the little kid with that proverbial big brother, I always want to ask them, "Have you met my good friend, Jesus?"

Even the name of my Lord and good friend will send them running. His presence in the clouds of glory spells their doom. Just one of my Lord's angel servants can demolish an army or kill every firstborn son of a mighty nation. And He can call on 12 legions of them! With His death on the cross He redeemed all of the saints of the Most High God. A word from His lips stopped the storm on the Sea of Galilee in a moment. Yes, little ol' me is no threat at all to the world and its powers, but have you known my friend Jesus? He is mighty to save!

Have a happy Thursday in Christ the Lord!

Bucky

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Isolation Walk

As long as the serious disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp. Leviticus 13:46

Outside the camp... Imagine being exiled outside your town or city right now. Hungry? No going to the grocery store; you must place your hope in those who might leave a box of food for you nearby and then run away to avoid that which you carry. Lonesome, your only hope would be for another to contract the same disease afflicting yourself. Do you have another hope? The verse speaks of as long as the disease lasts. At the point of your isolation walk from your home to the outskirts (Good luck finding some public lands to squat on today!) of town, as your head hangs down wondering what awaits you in this new life, you would not know the length of your sentence. Life, is it worth it in these conditions? Well, there is that hope that the disease will run its course, perhaps in just a short time if you even dare to hope for that, and restoration to cleanliness will allow your return to home.

Of course each spring would bring some renewed hope as well. The cold and long darkness of winter has passed and the warmth of spring thaws the heart and bones...ah, what am I saying? In these parts an isolation walk into winter would almost surely mean a walk to a person's final resting place. However, spiritually speaking, maybe even socially speaking, each of us has taken an isolation walk from the world we knew as sinners. Led forth by our Lord Jesus, we said goodbye for good to the world of sin. But not quite! Now and then we return as missionaries and ambassadors to the world, not to participate, but to share the good news we have found in Christ. And lonesome? Not with Jesus with us always even to the end of this age.

Have a loving day in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Monday, March 25, 2019

Why Weren't You There?

And Jephthah said to them, “My people and I were in a great struggle with the people of Ammon; and when I called you, you did not deliver me out of their hands. Judges 12:2

We have likely seen the day after a colleague or friend did not show up for the struggle at hand. Without asking what may have happened in their life, we might jump right to the accusing phase of breaking a relationship. 'Why weren't you there?' May not come up as we jump on the former friend with both verbal feet, "You failed to show up and I suffered this, that, and the other thing! We're done!" And thus does a valuable and loving relationship end on the burning fires of our tongues. And to think that the friend might very much have wanted to share what happened to him or her, and why the space at your side was empty that terrible day. But no chance was given, and the Devil marked another notch on the stock of his deception gun.

The Lord describes our relationship with Him in this way, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." (Matt 28:20) While we have turned away from Him many times and failed to fill that spot at His side, He is always with us. Wait, how can that work? What is impossible for me and you, is always possible with God. We might try to ask that awful question of the Lord in our title for today, but He is always there and the question is but the worst sort of unbelief.

Thank You, Lord, that You are always here with me, Your beloved.

Bucky

Friday, March 22, 2019

Does The Lord Love?

The LORD delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 10:15

It seems like an obvious answer and indeed it is, but should someone ask of us we must be ready with a scriptural answer. Searching the Law of Moses, there are many verses about laws so that the children of Israel might love the Lord, as if that were the problem. Well, yes, fallen man must return to loving the Lord and as Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15) As we have not throughout the centuries shown a perfect record of keeping those commandments, it would seem that our love of the Lord is questionable as well. So, Israelite or Gentile, we do indeed need to return to or learn to love the Lord our God.

John 3:16 of course shows God's love without exception or qualification. Does the Lord love? Yes, He does and He did before we asked. The most prominent expression of the Lord's love has a name, and His name is Jesus.

Wait, how did Jesus get involved? You just kind of threw Him in there!

Not quite, Jesus was the one who spoke the great words of John 3:16 and He is the Son that was given in the verse and as promised by the prophet of old. (Isaiah 9:6) To know if God loves we need only look to Jesus who came to save us by laying down His life for us.

We need to love; He already does!

Bucky

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Ancient Asking of Intercession

So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away. Intercede for me.” Exodus 8:28

Gee, Pharaoh almost sounds contrite here, perhaps even a little repentant, but is that the case? The heart hardening of Pharaoh by the Lord had already been promised and was likely working in him or even completed by the Lord. This intercession seems a bit suspect then, kind of a get-something-for-me request; though Pharaoh probably didn't see it as a request.

Pharaoh and Egypt had a big problem: God had said to let His people go and those people were a source of cheap labor for Egypt. Four centuries had passed since the time an Israelite had saved and even prospered Egypt by way of the Lord. Joseph was a distant memory and his God was perhaps even unknown to many Egyptians. So much for gratitude. This Pharaoh reluctantly let the Israelites go just a little ways, commanded an intercession and quite likely expected their quick return to the slave quarters. In short, he wanted to maintain control. But God was exerting His control and Egypt was only in the fourth plague. Bargaining for control with Moses, God's messenger, Pharaoh had no idea what was yet to come.

So, bargain for control with God if you will, but like Pharaoh, we will fall under the Lord's command sooner or later. As for those who believe in Jesus, we have already surrendered to the Lord, and each day we get a little better at following Him more closely.

Great is the name of the Lord our God!

Bucky

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gone To The Father

You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. John 14:28

When we read the scriptures of the life of Jesus our Lord and read that His Father is greater, we must stand back with a bit of awe. His authority over the Sea of Galilee, the healing of so many, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead, all come from the greatness of God as He worked through His Son. Could Jesus have disobeyed His Father then, with the Father being God and all? Yes, I suppose He could have, but He never did. To worry over what He could have or might have done but didn't is a waste of time and energy. Jesus could go to the Father because He never disobeyed Him. Of course one of the reasons we can rejoice in Jesus going to the Father is that He has gone to plead the case of the disobedient ones; some of them being you and me.

Like the disciples we have trouble even rejoicing at the right time. Instead of jumping about with joy over Jesus being with the Father, we are wondering when He is coming back. Maybe we can start with praising God that He is coming back and learn to rejoice better from there.

Love in Christ Jesus,
Bucky

Monday, March 18, 2019

What About Eternity?

For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15

It seems about that time in life when many who lived the rock n' roll lifestyle of the 70's and 80's are giving up the goods in memoirs and autobiographies. Although I can see the worldly success written down in their prose, there is a question I want to ask them: What about eternity?

We are told not to envy the one who prospers in his way, and one way of doing that is to keep my mind on my Lord and Savior. With that in mind, that remains the question I want to ask those who have enjoyed a double (or triple or quadruple...) helping of earthly rewards. As God inhabits eternity and our Lord Jesus died to get us there, how will the earthly rewards prepare anyone for our far longer time spent in eternity? Are those worldly ones even considering the length or breadth of eternity as they enjoy their life here in this brief now?

Tough questions to be sure, and I would not make myself popular among the upper crust of this world by asking them. However, we have a duty to our neighbors to ask questions along those same lines of them too. Today is tough for you with all of the aches and pains we suffer in this life, but what about eternity? Tomorrow brings a new set of bills which you may not be able to pay, but what about what comes after? Is there a bill there that you could never pay when the judgment comes? Our answer is the Savior, what is yours?

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being the answer to a tough question,

Bucky

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Happy John 3:16 Day!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

There was such a celebration, at least in geek circles, over Pi day (3/14) that I thought we should celebrate John 3:16 day. If a bunch of math and computer types can get silly over an infinite decimal, then we should be able to celebrate eternal life with our Lord! Okay, that is a play on 'if' as we do not need a worldly celebration to rejoice in our Lord.

Universalism came up again in a Christian magazine article recently. And what is that you might ask? That is of course the belief that Christ died for all, all are thus saved, and anything goes. It comes up in church history from time to time and it has some popularity. However, John 3:16 has a bit of a qualifier for that eternal life: whoever believes in Him.

There are some who refuse to admit that God even exists. How can they believe in the Son if they refuse to confess there is God the Father? "Believes in Him" is such a big little set of words in just one little verse of but one book in the Bible, yet what a profound effect rings forth across the judgment of the world! And still there is no exclusion in it, for whoever...anyone, everyone who believes in Him has eternal life.

Praise God for His Son and everlasting life!

Bucky

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Lawless Age

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1

Have you ever met a people more against government obedience than us? We whine when government interferes in our business and we whine when government does not interfere. Don't think so? Watch every winter season as a high-speed interstate somewhere in the Midwest becomes a no-speed, snow-bound parking lot. Why didn't the governing authorities shut that road down before people got stuck? A question that will be asked many a time today as the Denver news is broadcast. Up in Nebraska the roads were clear in many places and no parking lot was seen after government interfered in goodly time and shut the roads down. Yet, somewhere along the interstate was whining that, "I could have got through, if they hadn't closed the road so soon." The governing authorities seldom win in the court of public opinion.

Yet, here we are living in a nation born by disobedience to the governing authority. It seems that we had the wrong George in 1776, so a revolution was fought to get rid of King George and elect President George. Go figure. Anyway, once the rejection of Romans 13:1 was concluded and we had a new George in charge, we congratulated ourselves that God had raised up a new nation of rugged individuals fresh from a startling victory over that governing authority and godless tyrant from over there across the sea. Ever since that day, we have grumbled in turn by parties over the current governing authority. I say 'we' because God judges the nations and we are a part of a nation whether we participate in the grumbling or not.

However, you are the one who obeys and submits to the governing authority, how can I call you lawless? There are so many laws in this age that you have likely violated more than one by now through ignorance that such a law even exists! And has our love grown cold also as our Lord said back on the Mount of Olives? There is news of so many tragedies throughout the world today that our capacity for loving is quite overwhelmed. Only our Lord can mourn all the dead as each day on the calendar draws to a close.

As we are caught up in these lawless and cold end times, who is our hope? Who indeed but the One who has always been our hope, Jesus the Christ! He can warm our love and encourage our obedience in these dark times.

Bucky

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Blizzard Day

When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, let us return, lest my father cease caring about the donkeys and become worried about us.” 1 Samuel 9:5

In a snow and blow such as we have going on here, it is obvious that we must care about and for the people. However, at some point yesterday there might have come that time when a father changed from being concerned about his car and began being concerned over his child driving home from school. Conditions changed slowly yesterday and with plenty of warning time to get into trouble, the unwise may have waited too long or tried just one more stop along the way. We can tell that conditions are not terrible when Dad is just worried about the car. Everyone joins in the worry when Dad looks out and worries about the kid and is no longer concerned with the car. Dad's have not changed since Saul's day a thousand years before our Lord Jesus came.

Does that apply to our Heavenly Father?

No it does not, for the Dad we have here has no control over the conditions and so as they deteriorate in the storm he may become worried over his youthfully reckless progeny. God is in complete control, even if we may doubt sometimes while watching the news, and is never worried over His sheep. Our Lord knows exactly where we are, exactly what will happen to us, and when we will be reunited with Him. We become less worried when we learn to trust in Him more; when the knowledge of Him becomes enough to overcome our doubts while staring into the storm conditions and we know, just know, fully and completely, that He is in control... always.

Always and forever, He has me!

Bucky

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Watch Yourselves Carefully

And command the people, saying, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. Therefore watch yourselves carefully. Deuteronomy 2:4

The people of Israel would not get one footstep of Esau's territory as it had already been promised by the Lord. It would seem that as they passed through this area, they might see something they wanted. The old lusts of the flesh would need to be watched carefully lest they sin against their brethren. In the next verses the children of Israel were commanded to purchase food and water if they needed anything. Territory and who lives in it is quite important to the Lord.

Having someone fear you can lead to temptation. That powerful feeling we might get from seeing such an attitude displayed toward us is also a danger to us. Just as the children of Israel might be tempted to lord it over the children of Esau, so that flesh of ours might also try to take advantage of someone in a fearful state. It is even the thoughts we might well watch carefully as we are to love one another and look down on no one.

Well, I'm not going to pass through a territory, we might say by way of denial. Oh, wait a minute, remember that house that was not up to our standard of cleanliness? How we looked down on that person in her territory. The shop with a few broken tools laying about in the filth, they were gone from the place but how we judged them unworthy. Yes, watch yourselves carefully!

Love and grace to you from Jesus Christ our Lord,
Bucky

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Hit Temptation

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:18-19

Simon, not Peter, saw something he wanted and he offered up some loot to get it. The Devil showed Jesus something any of us would want - all the kingdoms of the Earth - and our Lord resisted the temptation. In our social media age we have something called the hit temptation, that is the more hits one gets on a social media page the more money, popularity, etc. one has in this life.

Imagine just for demonstration purposes that I get paid for my blog posts, and there are many bloggers who have this going, but it isn't enough because money has that effect on us. One temptation that could increase my hits for a time would be to tell of my experience with meeting Jesus out in the desert. You will quickly recognize what our Lord said in His Olivet Discourse about someone saying that very thing (Matt 24:26 if you need a refresher). By coming up with a good story, I could certainly increase the attention paid to my writing for a time. That time being until someone goes out there and says, "No, He ain't!" That part of Matthew would have saved them the trip, but the temptation goes on.

Call it the hit temptation or the 'going viral' temptation or whatever, the lust to have lots of attention, and gain a pile of loot from it, are prevalent in our social media culture. Everything that our Lord saw and resisted in His temptations is laid out in ways without number for us to look at on the Internet. And among all of that, in order to get noticed there will be some who fall to the temptation to fake a story. The one about Messiah in the desert is coming around again; let us not run out there, we know better.

Grace to you in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Friday, March 08, 2019

Mr. Glasshouse

The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,
​​But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered. Proverbs 11:9

Two big forces at work in this verse, the one who enjoys scoffing at neighbors and the one who feels that compulsion but seeks to do what is right. A latter day proverb we use is: Don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house. This is not meant to criticize construction materials but to remind us not to destroy the neighbor with words of the mouth, very much along the same lines as the ancient proverb Solomon collected. That this problem still exists confirms another of bit of Solomon's wisdom: all things come around again. Mr. Glasshouse still chucks those rocks around and as he plays the hypocrite, he likes it.

Criticism, scoffing, and angry denunciations can make a person feel superior to his neighbor. Mr. Glasshouse looks down on his neighbors because he imagines that smashing sound is the effect of his stone throwing on them. One day, he thinks, they will have suffered enough to 'straighten out' and see the errors of their ways as he does. The bitterness of his loneliness will soon cause more rocks to fly. Why is he lonely? It seems that his rocks retain enough velocity to sting and hurt the neighbors even after smashing through his glass walls. And they do, and well we know it.

All of us have come under fire from Mr. Glasshouse and we have been hurt. There are many in the Glasshouse clan, and they throw those rocks with pepper on 'em.

Now comes the tough part. What are we in Christ to do with Mr. Glasshouse? Jesus already prepared us for this: "Do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matt 5:44) No returning that criticism stone for stone and no hateful defensiveness, just prayer and doing good to old Mr. Glasshouse. Whoa! We wanted a tough road to climb to prove our love for the Lord and there it is.

But, I'm not up to climbing this steep road! True, but our Lord Jesus will get us up there. Follow Him!

Love in Christ Jesus,
Bucky

Thursday, March 07, 2019

They Are At Work

Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you.” 1 Kings 22:23

This was about Ahab, but could just as easily describe the climate of the end times as many will fall for what the lying prophets will say. Note that the prophets belong to the king and not to God. Only one prophet speaks the words of the Lord, and he (Micaiah) brings a message of disaster. Another thing that may fit the end times, there were a lot more of them. The king had about 400 men in his prophet gang, the Lord sent one.

In this age we may see many of the false prophets, so many that without the Holy Spirit in us we might well fall under the sheer volume raised against the word of the Lord. Of course, we know the voices of the many false prophets are at work already in the world. So where should we look for them? It would make it easier if they gathered in one political party, maybe even too easy. One nation would also make it easy to spot them. One religion? Yes, but the most effective place, one which they would strive to get into if allowed, would be speaking from the pulpits of churches throughout the land. Too scary. How about the places of the powers that be, financial and government? They are probably there. The centers of communication: radio, television, movies, web sites and social media? Sure, probably there too. With odds of 400 to 1 against, the enemy has plenty of false prophets to put in all of those places and more. If I know of just 29 other people who love God and spread the good news of Jesus, we might be up against 12,000 false prophets already!

It isn't the numbers though, it is the One and His name is Jesus!

Bucky

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Never Give Them Up

Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 6:11

One way to get back at someone who killed you would be to come back as a ghost to haunt them. Perhaps asking "why?" endless times, making suggestions regarding their personal hygiene, hiding their car keys, or just showing up bloodied with wide staring eyes while pointing spectrally at them during their finer moments. That is how the story or joke usually goes anyway. Whether that can happen or not, I do not know.

As I look into the issue in the Revelation, one place to look is the tribulation saints whose souls are under the altar when the fifth seal is broken by the Lamb. They do not get to go back and haunt their killers but are told to rest for a little while longer. Another group would be those who have gone to sleep in Christ before the great tribulation, but it seems that they too, raised up in the Rapture, only follow Christ the Lord on white horses as He returns to deal with those armies arrayed against His city.

Therefore, one might conclude that once our Lord Jesus has us in Heaven with Him, that He will never give up His own. No ghostly missions to dispense a little justice to the killers? Nope, only a good Shepherd who will never give up His sheep. Amen! Once we are with the Lord Jesus, I don't think we will want to go anywhere else.

In Christ,
Bucky

Monday, March 04, 2019

John's Warning

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

That thermometer outside shows -12° on it this morning. Is it possible to have such cold and not talk (or write) about it? Divorcing ourselves from the circumstance is often difficult, but in this case being inside the house with the furnace going and hot oatmeal nearby certainly helps.

John the senior disciple writes to tell us of spirits that should not be believed. Swell, now it isn't only people we need to sift the words of but spirits too? Yes of course, Paul had already warned the Ephesians of powers and principalities in the present darkness. We too know that sometimes advice seems to come from a place that caters to the lusts and desires of the flesh. Whether it is another person speaking or a thought that seems to come out of nowhere, we must take care with what we hear. God sends dreams and visions in these end times and it would seem that the enemy does also. It is likely that both will increase as the end draws near. Do not forget, beloved, that the Spirit of God dwells within us and we have good warning of these messages which ought not to be believed.

God's warm blessings to you on this morning!

Bucky

Friday, March 01, 2019

The Question May Be

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

The question of what we will do when meeting Jesus is often asked. From Bart Millard's song, I Can Only Imagine, to the wonderings of believers in a moment of rest, we ponder that question. However, perhaps the question may be: What will Jesus do?

We tend to have this picture of the stern and silent God sitting on His mighty throne as we creep forward tentatively hoping to not be struck down. Then we turn to the Lord Jesus who is just waiting for us to do something. There is so much evidence in the Bible for an active, caring, and loving God that one must wonder where we get these impressions. So the question I want to ask this morning is that other one. When we meet Jesus for that first time, what will HE do?

Indeed the meeting Saul of Tarsus had on the road to Damascus should show us right away that there is not some restriction on our Lord Jesus that prevents Him from meeting us right here and now. There is no law set down in the Bible that states: The Son shall not return until that thing you call the Second Coming. Sorry, not there. In fact that whole 'Second Coming' thing is a misnomer, for the second time Jesus came was when He met Saul on that dusty road. We do not even await that Glorious Appearing, for at that time all of God's saints want to be with the Lord Jesus having gone to meet Him in the event we call the Rapture. So, don't sleep, let's go meet Jesus!

Love in Christ Jesus,

Bucky

P.S. March, coming in like a polar bear today.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Imaginary Dreams

I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the LORD, have spoken! Jeremiah 23:32

We often wonder why so many in Israel had trouble believing the prophets God sent to them. The history of Israel has so many of the mighty works of God to recall, what was the problem? Ah, false prophets and their imaginary dreams. It would seem that for every prophet sent by the Lord our God, there were several or even many false prophets with an easier to believe dream or vision and probably instructions that were more desirable to the worldly mind.

The imaginary dreams of the false prophets catered to the lustful desires that so easily grab our attention. The false prophets preached those daydreams we tend to have in idle moments, the sorts of imaginary dreams that turn the idle moment into idol moments. We are all tempted by them, the false prophets turned them into a way of life. Israel was supposed to have a short way with false prophets under the Law of Moses, but they were instead celebrating the liars and being entertained by them. I would insert a movie quote here, but somehow it just doesn't seem appropriate all of the sudden. Truly we do need to watch what we might watch in dreams or on the screen!

Trust in our Lord's guidance,

Bucky

P.S. And may we all wish my dear mother a happy birthday on this last day of February. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Word, Our Weapon in Hand

Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Nehemiah 4:17

That's going to slow down the construction. Today we would never do such a thing. Everything in the working world is about speed, productivity, and cutting costs. Think of the terrible production rates of workers with one hand holding a weapon. Think of the shrieks of dismay from the outraged at so many weapons in the workplace! It is interesting to note the political opposition to all three of the W's in this verse for today: work, weapons, and walls. We live in a strange time on the earth.

This verse is fascinating as we read about the accomplishment of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem while working in readiness to fight. Certainly not our vision of what Heaven would be like, but very much like what we face here on the Earth. As we work this day, we must have always ready to hand the word of the Lord, our one weapon in the fight against the Evil One and those temptations of the world. Once put down the Word, and a ravening horde of temptations claws at the door of the heart. Hold up that sword of the Word of God, and keep those things at bay.

And yet, all the time we work in Christ and keep the weapon of His Word in hand, the Spirit of God is in the heart of the believer, building and cleansing, polishing and pruning, always at work in us.

Praise the Lord,
Bucky

Monday, February 25, 2019

Final, But Not Ended

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Revelation 22:21

A mite chilly this morning at 11° with an expected high of only 27° today, and we count ourselves among the fortunate. There's a lot of cold going on in parts east, again. But, what are we still doing here? And why did John have to end the Revelation with that bit about grace?

Long ago to us, but just a short time for our Lord who sees all of this history we live, John finalized the Revelation and sent it out, but it was not ended yet. Much of the Word from our Lord is prophecy, and even in this day these centuries later, it remains a prophetic word. We need grace for today just as John did in about AD 95. We need His grace.

While it seems to us that the ending of all this must be just oh so close, day by day the march goes on toward that great day when our Lord returns in His majesty. We live today as though our Lord returns for us on this day, yet we also know that it may not be until tomorrow or even the next day. And because we can only live in today, we need our Lord's grace. Amen.

Bucky

Friday, February 22, 2019

Heman the Singer

And these are the ones who ministered with their sons: Of the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 1 Chronicles 6:33

If you enjoy music, then you probably have a lot of singers in your life. These singers may be of the local variety or international pop sensations, but they minister to you through the song. The singer might be a real he-man, like the one in our verse today, or a bit more feminine in tone and timbre. Boo hiss, I made a bad joke about a person's name from the Bible. Tell me it didn't occur to you as well and I'll promise not to do it again for at least a day or two.

For the musically inclined, singers are a blessing from the Lord. However, a singer may use his or her voice for the good news or to preach something a bit less moral. Yes, I know you were listening to The Devil's Greasy Creatures album by accident, but perhaps tossing it out a little sooner might have kept that tune from bouncing around inside your head, hmm? We must be careful and wise about what we listen to in song. For the mind of flesh does tend to grab onto things that excite its lusts, and that monster is certainly one we should feed less.

Enjoy a blessing or two in song this weekend, and remember to thank the Lord for His gift!

Bucky

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Watch and Pray

"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

My decrepit old flesh seems to get weaker with each passing day. As an old man in training, I think I have passed the first few tests with top marks! No, no, that is not the flesh weakness our Lord was warning us about here. The disciples were not worried over their advancing age at this time. The flesh of youth enters into temptation with an ease that us older folk know all too well, probably from all the practice we had as youths. However, our Lord begins here with the cure for this sad weakness of our flesh: watch and pray.

It is no easy task! The flesh whether young or old is constantly on the prowl, or on the gripe as we age, for something it wants. The things that it wants and the ways in which it imagines the getting of these things are where we may run into trouble. No doubt you can supply quite a few examples from your own experiences, so I will not give out any new ideas by way of example! Jesus indeed has the measure of us when He commands us to watch and pray. We need to look to the Lord in prayer while keeping an eye out for that clever and crafty flesh.

Rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ!

Bucky

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Beauty of God's Snow

He gives snow like wool;
​​He scatters the frost like ashes; Psalm 147:16

Frosted tree limbs, white streets and yards, it looks like winter out there! The furnace is struggling to overcome the chill the outside has put on the inside too. However, dress up a little in some insulating garments and put on some warm boots, and one can go out to see the beauty of God's snow.

It is perhaps a sign of our fallen birth through Adam that something so beautiful is also so uncomfortable and potentially deadly for us. A little snow and wind on a naked body and how soon we shut down and die! We in our flesh are so at odds with the beauty of God's creation and yet also able to appreciate it and see His handiwork. The spirit rejoices in the beauty God provides in His Earth, while the flesh quakes in a vain effort to survive on its own without heavy garments and a quick return trip back into the house. The good news in Jesus our Lord is that we are reconciled already through Him to God our Creator, and one lovely day we will be able to see the new Earth and be at home in it too.

God's blessings to you on this frosty cold day!

Bucky

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Well-earned Name

Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! 1 Samuel 25:25

Winter has come at last. We may not see much above freezing for this week. February is doing its best to make up for our warm January in these parts. There are those days when I think that my name might be Nabal (literally: fool) and that folly is with me. However, there seems to be another one with me always and His name is Jesus. In a great many things there is a difference of opinion between my folly and my friend.

My friend has the right answer for all things, while my folly is confused on what is right or wrong. It is quite clear that without my friend Jesus, I would truly show off my folly more often than I would care to. Indeed looking back on my life I can see that in those times where I wandered far from my friend, my folly became quite the showman and paraded me around as a great prize in far too many circumstances. So it would seem that I can either be Folly's showpiece or a friend of Jesus. In place of a well-earned name like Nabal, I might rather be known as one of my Lord's friends.

Be friendly with Jesus our Lord today,

Bucky

Friday, February 15, 2019

Looking Around Today

And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. 2 Chronicles 13:14

The believer in Christ today looks around and to his or her surprise finds the situation much as Judah did back in the day. The line of battle is both over there where the persecution is hot and over here where it is more subtle. The temptations are outside where the movies and magazines are but also inside where the mind is trying to go off and do its own thing. We find ourselves under attack both before and behind just as the soldiers of Judah did on that day.

However, Judah won the battle that day even though they faced what was a good and well-executed plan of attack by their enemy. How did they do it? The scripture has but one reason, "because they relied on the LORD God of their fathers." (v18) We have the same reason today and the reassurance of our Lord Jesus, "...but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Yes, look around and know the situation we face, but look up and see that our Redeemer comes soon and He has already overcome what we face.

Bucky

Thursday, February 14, 2019

If I Had Not Love

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

Love notes of many sorts will be traded this day, I wonder if any of them will recall the words of Paul as he told of love in his letter to the First Corinthians? Wait, it was his first letter to the church at Corinth, not some group of folks who founded the city. Ha, I'll bet in all of that 13th chapter of Corinthians you will not find that love insists on perfect correctness or accuracy in all things. Instead you will find a love that suffers long and bears all things.

Of course we must strive to be understood by all. It would be a bit harder to spread the good news if we misspelled our Lord's name all the time. Referencing Bible verses that do not exist in the copies of the Bible people have at home, such as 2 Philippians 25:3 or 5 John 2:2, might put an obstacle in the way of the diligent scripture student. All of this is covered under loving one another. Love helps us to correct one another gently and with courtesy. That goes both ways too. If you must blurt out, "There ain't no fifth John, ya moron!" I'll understand and strive to bear all things in love. If I had not love, then them's fightin' words and we'd have to go watch a few episodes of Yosemite Sam. (Well it's better than whacking each other with sticks.)

God's love to you on this Valentine's Day 2019 (I know, sometimes there's an apostrophe and sometimes there ain't.)

Bucky

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

What Has Come

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Wow, did Paul get up on the proverbial wrong side of the ol' bed that morning or what? No, Paul saw through the Spirit of God our time. What was apparent in the Roman Empire of that time would come around again in our time. As the nations of Rome and Babylon would return in the time of the restoration of Israel, so would people turn to everything opposite of the fruits of God's own Holy Spirit. We have seen that evil spirit at work in the world in this time, and we have seen it celebrated by many. Imagine now the restraint of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ being suddenly removed from the world.

Obviously the world cannot last with everyone doing and becoming those things in the list above. I'll go out on a limb here and predict about seven years. Does copycat prophet count as a job description? We know already the length of the final period of tribulation on this world as it is revealed in God's prophecy of weeks in Daniel. As our Lord Jesus said in His discourse on the end times, that time is shortened or no one would survive. Which, taking a quick glance down that dreadful list, one can easily see why none would be left after such a time when combined with the judgments of the Lord coming down upon them.

As we live daily in what has come, let us show all the more the gifts of the Spirit to the world. Those undecided have little time left.

Bucky

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Note of Comfort

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thinking that I had found the key to eternal joy and happiness, I came to know that He had already found me and that I was due no credit for my salvation. However, though I may not take credit for that quote either, I do have a mission, comfort. The Lord through Paul did not leave me to just accept in a passive way but to go forth in word and deed to comfort us one another. I get to be a comfort ye, my people!

My Monday morning silliness notwithstanding, one of the ways we show our love one to another is in comforting each other with the knowledge of our Lord's return. And looking around at the signs in the world of today, this is not something that is way out there beyond our ability to comprehend. The signs say to me that the summer of the fig tree is upon us and our Lord cannot be far behind, at the very door it seems.

Though you may be in pain today, hopefully just the pain of going to work on a Monday, I comfort you with the knowledge that Jesus comes for us soon. So soon that the surprise will still be stuck to our faces when we see each other in the train of His glory!

Have a glorious new day in Christ Jesus!

Bucky

Saturday, February 09, 2019

What's All This Jumping About?

But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land. Acts 27:43-44

Through some trial and error in this life, I have discovered that I am more of an analyzer, some would say hesitate-er, than an immediate action sort. There are certain environments, shall we say, where this sort of thing is discouraged. When the person in charge yells, "JUMP!" one is supposed to be striving for an orbital trajectory before asking such things as "How high, sir!" or "How far, ma'am!" or, heaven help us, that dreadful, "Why?" As one inclined to ask such questions as that latter one, I did find a bit of conflict on occasion in this sort of circumstance.

In Paul's story this morning, we see an allowance for analysis and reflection in the situation. The centurion needed to decide quickly but not immediately, and he wanted to spare one particular prisoner. Good show for the other prisoners, because reading earlier in the story we find the soldiers under his command ready to pass immediate death sentence on their prisoners to prevent an escape. If I had been one of those other prisoners, I should have liked to find out more about this Paul, as it is quite likely at this time that Paul did not appear particularly wealthy or impressive so as to merit the saving of one's life.

And yet, at this time these many years later, we might chuckle a bit in our knowing that Paul carried in him the very words of eternal life from the One who earned that life for us on the cross just outside of Jerusalem. The centurion's analysis saved Paul and the other prisoners from an earthly death, but Paul had much more than that in him!

Praise Jesus our Lord for eternal life!

Bucky

Friday, February 08, 2019

The Final Movement

Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. Isaiah 29:9

Fortunately we live in a nation of sensible laws and well-reasoned rhetoric in our halls of political, financial, and governmental power. I'll pause here for a moment and let you wonder how I could even type out such a statement. Hmm, hmm, la, la, a little hold-music tune while you wonder. Okay, now that you have pondered on that for a bit. Does it seem to you that the news from the power centers in the coastlands could not get any more loony than it is now? Fear not, they will top themselves tomorrow.

The pause before the final movement of this great symphony the Lord is producing on the earth has just about run its course and the music of the end is about to begin. This music will be loud and it will have its violent cymbal crashes accompanied by some booming bass notes. People will die. So many will be gone from the earth in the judgments poured out in the Revelation that in seven years less than 1/4 of the world's population will be left at the end. Probably a lot less as the prophecy does not say how many might die from the usual stuff in between the judgments of God. And those in power around the world will not be ready for it They are busy staggering, but not with intoxicating drink.

Call on the name of Jesus, and make it soon!

Bucky

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Woe, Incoming!

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
​​Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
​​Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

There are three woes prophesied in the Revelation of our Lord, and Isaiah lets us know to whom those woes will be delivered. The world in our time is truly becoming this opposite sort of thing we see in the verse today. There are woes coming and the world like an unwise athlete appears to be running to get under that woe ball as quickly as it can. It boggles the mind.

Lawlessness grows with each passing day. Unbelief dismisses the promised woe as some sort of myth. Warnings fall on deliberately deaf ears. Love has grown cold and hardened hearts cannot see the life in an unborn child. In a world of insecurity, the only source of security is rejected as unreal, imaginary, a creation of man's fantasy.

My imagination is no prophet, and my God lives and He is not amused at where this world is going. The terrible judgments of the Revelation come swiftly and woe unto those who will not believe. Come to Jesus, dear people we love, before it is too late.

Bucky

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A Little Blame

LORD, you coerced me into being a prophet, and I allowed you to do it. You overcame my resistance and prevailed over me. Now I have become a constant laughingstock. Everyone ridicules me. Jeremiah 20:7 NET

We would never dare, we think, to fire off a little blame at the Lord. Yet, Jeremiah did, and so did David. Moses got angry and Elijah ran like a scared chicken. Reserving our emotions from the Lord has been a habit of late, but it was not always so.

King David in his many psalms was one of the best at bringing his emotions to the Lord. He did not hide them as we may try in this age, and through the outpouring of that emotion he received healing from the Lord. Jeremiah was quite despondent and angry with the Lord in our verse for today. Later the prophet states: O LORD who rules over all, you test and prove the righteous. (v12). Ah, there it is. There is always a purpose behind what we suffer.

When I am despondent in the test or angry with the Lord for what seems a lack of action on His part, it is then that I can almost hear, "Aha, it's working at last. Now My little one will bring his emotion to Me in prayer!"

Of course the emotion or feeling I should bring most often is the one we consider the least manly of them all, "I'm scared, Lord!"

Bucky

Monday, February 04, 2019

A Vapor of Security

“And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 39:6

The larger part of the world's population lives on the coastlines to this day. By choice or by judgment, those folks will know who the Lord is on that great and terrible day of the Lord. Actually, it is by choice because the Word has gone forth and is preached in all the world. They dwell in a vapor of security, and whatever was their security is blown away as vapors will when the judgment of the Lord arrives.

Now, to the world our security is as a vapor. Faith is not quantifiable or measurable, and our Lord at this time cannot be touched or grasped. We appear to be the ones believing in that vapor of security. So, who is going to be the ones standing at the end?

This verse we read today is once again that choice all face in this age. Believe in the Lord Jesus and it is obvious that the world's security cannot stand when the Lord's judgment comes. Choose to not believe in the Lord Jesus, and it is we who seem the foolish ones. There may yet be some undecided ones in the world, but they will not remain so for long. The time of the end approaches swiftly, yea, even on the wings of the fiery storm.

Rejoice, believers in Christ, His time comes soon!
Bucky

Friday, February 01, 2019

Not The Stall!

But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. Malachi 4:2

Wait, what? Calves of the stall? Were not those the ones raised for the slaughter? It would be easy to read into this something other than what was intended. Calves in the stall were protected and fed. The weather was not a concern for them and neither was the wolf or lion. Yet, there was that ending...I have a doubt. Yes, there is that ending.

In our stall, that first stall into which all are born, we are trapped in the clutches of sin. That ending of death and eternal condemnation reaches out for us in our stalls and we tremble. In that stall we were fed seductive stuff that was bad for us, and there was only that one outcome awaiting. But, the Sun of righteousness arises and there is new hope. In Him we are healed and go forth! If you have ever seen calves let out into the pasture in the springtime you have some idea of that feeling the saved one has as he or she is let out of the stall of sin. Now, we are raised, loved, and protected as calves of the stall, but no longer are we trapped and awaiting the death sentence. We enjoy the green pastures of our Lord while being loved and raised as calves of the stall.

Praise the Lord for the old barnyard similes!

Bucky

Thursday, January 31, 2019

His Sentence

And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross." Matthew 27:39-40

Jesus, on the cross, fulfilling His sentence. No, my dear head-wagging Israelites of long ago, He was fulfilling my sentence and yours.

Praise God for the Son!

Bucky

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Warmth In God's Heart

My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath. Hosea 11:8b-9

Do we dare talk about the cold today? Should we remind our brothers and sisters of warmer times and places? In Hosea, God lamented the people, His people, turning away from Him, and yet, undeserving as they were, His compassion grew warm and tender. And then, God wills not! The goodness of God comes upon a wicked Israel again, and destruction does not come upon Ephraim. Why? God states that He is God and not a man. As humans, we have known this kind of anger and wished on occasion to see it poured out - on someone else usually.

Imagine for a moment God's righteous anger coming toward us, and suddenly the warmth of compassion grows in our Lord as He sees our weaknesses and tendency toward the sin of unbelief. How easily we doubt; how quickly we fail Him. And as that storm of anger thunders and flashes around the holy throne, God wills and we are saved from His burning anger! What relief, what joy in the Lord's compassion! But, then the next time comes around because we are still unchanged deep within.

In this time, we know of someone working from inside to change us. We know why our Lord's just anger was satisfied and set aside from us. His Son stood in our place. God's justice wins and so does His love, compassion and goodness. We owe everything to Jesus, and we pray that all will come to know His mercy. Show the world the warmth of Jesus we hold in the heart today.

Bucky