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,


Friday, April 26, 2019


“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!


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.


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.


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!


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,

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.


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!


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!


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,


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!


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!


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,

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!


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

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!


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!