Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2013

Ready or Not, Ready For The Lord

But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look, the groom! Come out to meet him.’  “Then all those bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps.  But the foolish bridesmaids said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps have gone out.’

“But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘No, because if we share with you, there won’t be enough for our lamps and yours. We have a better idea. You go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’  But while they were gone to buy oil, the groom came. Those who were ready went with him into the wedding. Then the door was shut.

“Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us.’

“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

“Not everybody who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter.  On the Judgment Day, many people will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name and expel demons in your name a…

Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)

Who is like you, Lord God of heavenly forces?
Mighty Lord, your faithfulness surrounds you!
Your throne is built on righteousness and justice;
loyal love and faithfulness stand in front of you.
-Psalm 89:8 & 14

I have an announcement to make.  God is always faithful.  Great is God's faithfulness.  It is part of God's character.  God is trustworthy, reliable, and loyal.  God is so faithful that you and I can always put our faith in him.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
God is always faithful.  Every good and perfect gift comes from God who does not waver (James 1:16-18).  If you are in the pits, depressed, down and out, beat up, or suffering; there are still n…

Sky Links, 7-27-13

Houses and riches may be inherited from parents, but a sensible wife is a gift from the Eternal.
The man who finds a wife finds something good, and the favor of the Eternal is indeed his. -Proverbs 19:14, 18:22
I read this post, My Husband Is Not My Soul Mate, by Hannah.  I was already thinking about those verses above, reflecting about my own time before I got married.  Like Hannah, I also read some of the books she mentions, like "I Kissed Dating Goodbye".  The one that sticks in my memory the most is, "Passion and Purity", by Elisabeth Elliot.

I had a close friend who read a book on "Soul Mates", and he really believed in the concept, as did another close friend.  I did not.  But when I met my wife, I did realize that God can select a person for you. 

An interesting thing about Elisabeth Elliot is that she has been married to the "right person" several times.  She had a great husband, who died; then another great husband, but different that…

Call To Me

Let your cry come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge.
-Jeremiah 33:3

What if God suddenly interrupted whatever you were doing and whispered these words to you, "Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known".  What would you say?

Maybe you would hesitate or get tongue-tied.  Are you and I more used to the status quo than than asking what we really want?  Children are always asking for stuff.  We are God's children.  Perhaps we are a little bit "too adult" towards God, or are perfectionists and want to ask rightly. Our minds get in the way, so we don't know what to ask for.


Our minds can get log-jammed, so it is hard to know what to ask.  We think too much.  Some of us, because of the disappointments with asking and not seeming to get, have, "hope deferred makes the heart sick", disease.  This heart disease is fatal, but revers…

Musing In The Solitary Place: Intimacy With God

One evening, Isaac went out to inspect the pasture, [to walk around in the pasture or to meditate in the pasture] and while staring he saw camels approaching.-Genesis 24:63

How are you doing with getting alone and focusing on God, daily?  Bible study and reading is a good activity.  Singing worship songs is another good thing to do.  Fellowship and service are other good things.  But what about just you, being still?  You can walk and be still, because being still is about your heart and your mind.

Isaac had a practice of doing something that we could call meditation.  The Hebrew word might be closer to the English word "muse".  To muse means to be absorbed in thought, to reflect, to meditate, to ponder, contemplate, or ruminate.

Meditation is Biblical and Biblical meditation is not the same as in other religions.  Joshua told the Hebrews  to meditate on the Law day and night.  Psalm 1 says the same thing, and many other times in the Psalms, mediation is mentioned.  This ki…

Sky Links, 7-21-13

Now to the king of the ages, to the immortal, invisible, and only God, may honor and glory be given to him forever and always! Amen. 
-1 Timothy 1:17

The most precious thing I read this past week was Becky Lynn Black's essay called Running To Home Base.  Becky is Dave Black's wife.  Becky has been dealing with cancer for almost 5 years now and is focused on Jesus more than ever.  What is precious is how she articulates a wholly Christ perspective.  I am deeply touched by her words.
And now my dear friend, I want to say a special word to you. I want to tell you as clearly as I can that there is nothing, nothing, nothing in this life that is worth the cost, and worth the sacrifice, except the Lord Jesus. Everything in life will fail: marriage, children, career, money, prestige, possessions, relationships, all things will turn to vanity. All things will fail you. Only Jesus will never fail. Only Jesus will stand by you in thick and thin, in peace and in turmo…

Lazy

The lazy have strong desires but receive nothing; the appetite of the diligent is satisfied.

The path of the lazy is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of those who do right is a clear road.

The desires of the lazy will kill them, because their hands refuse to do anything.
The lazy desire things constantly, but the righteous give without holding back.

A lazy person says, “There’s a lion in the street! I’ll be killed in the town square!”

-Proverbs 13:4, 15:19, 21:25-6, 22:13

Laziness is epidemic in our society today.  We have a consumerist, entitlement culture; where many people are lazy.  There are people who don't want to work.  There are people who do have jobs, but there lives are filled with couch time.  They expect to be entertained, amused, or catered to.  They work so that they have money to shop, eat out, and be entertained.

You have probably heard the saying that I heard growing up, "idle time is the devil's workshop."  Another saying is, "the idle pe…

Friend

Friends love all the time, and kinsfolk are born for times of trouble.

There are persons for companionship, but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.

Trustworthy are the bruises of a friend;excessive are the kisses of an enemy.

Someone will say to him, “What are these wounds between your hands?”
And he will say, “These happened when I was hit in my friends’ home.”

But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

-Proverbs 17:17 & 18:24, Zech. 13:6. Matt. 26:47-50

I've had the idea that friendships are important to God and I believe God notices lonely people and tries to find friends for them.  If you are a child of God, it is likely that God may place you next to someone who needs a friend.

A friend can be someone just a bit beyond an acquaintance.  They might be someone you connect with, have something in common with, or enjoy laughing with.  This friend might not be there for you on your rainy day, whi…

Sky Links, 7/13/13

Here are my links to share, or Sky Links, for the week.

Holy Discontent

Gene Redlin wrote this word, that he says Father God spoke to him :
I have placed discontent in your heart.  It is designed to move you from complacency to action.  Only when you find yourself in that place where you no longer can abide circumstances as they are, will you be motivated to step into the destiny I designed for you.  I so loved the world I SENT. Holy Discontent has caused ME to reveal a new level for you.  Greater than you can think or imagine.  Don't allow complacency to be misidentified as contentment.  Start again.  It is a new day. Do you know 'Holy Discontent'?  It's when God is rustling the nest of your life.  Time to move on, time
to do something more, something different, time to grow, time to move up.  Your discontentment is not depression, but it is God lifting off a little bit of that feel good, snuggled in feeling.  You are like the teenager, who's parent has ha…

God is Good - Tobias

You are good and you do good.  Teach me your statutes!

The Lord is good, a haven in a day of distress.  He acknowledges those who take refuge in him.

-Psalm 119:68, Nahum 1:7

Tobias or Tobit means "God is good".  The book of Tobit is the story of God's goodness.  Tobit is a good man  who has a good son, named Tobias.  Good, meaning godly.  Tobit has themes of the importance of family, angelic help, spiritual warfare, romance, inheritance, prayers for divine help, hospitality, revering the dead, and it is the only book of the Bible that features a pet dog.  I highly recommend reading Tobit.


Mountains Into Roads

I will turn all my mountains into roads; my highways will be built up.
-Isaiah 49:11

The mountains before you, in your life seem to be the obstacles, but they are also your higher calling in Christ.  What seems to have blocked you from blessings is actually the path nearest to God.  You have heard right, God's call to you; and you are also right, that it is impossible.. without God. 

What if the mountains in front of you may have been made by you?  If you belong to Christ, God calls those mountains his.  He will make a highway through his mountains.  You can't fail so badly as to exhaust the grace of God.  You may have failed, sinned, backslid, hardened your heart, been a rebel, or been deceived after you became a Christian.  The Cross of Christ can get you through those mountains.

It says, "where sin increased, grace multiplied even more", in Romans 5:20.  As Eugene Petersen put it in The Message Bible, "Sin does not have a chance in competition against the a…

Sky Links, 7-7-13

"Skylinks" are topics that other people wrote about, that got me thinking.

Tim Stevens wrote about grief this past week.  Grieving is a healing process in time.

There is a grieving process that heals us, but we may
still have a scar.  The person who has not done their "grief work" is not healed or healing and has an open wound.  That open wound hurts, might be infected, and can lead to premature death.

Last week, I wrote about Leonard Hjalmarson's post on preaching and growth.  The main point is that we only retain or remember 10-20% of a lecture, monologue, or talk.  Preaching is a tradition that is deeply embedded in today's, western church.  A very high percentage of self-identified Christians file into buildings that resemble class rooms or theaters and listen to a person give a talk or a lesson, sermon, or monologue.

Preachers or pastors who give sermons do it because they believe in it.  We equate church with sermons and the pastor or preacher.  It i…

Give Your Attention To What God Is Doing Right Now

Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.
-Matthew 6:34

Stop worrying about tomorrow

God has got our past settled and our future planned.  God has covered our past and has our future supplied for.  Forgiving our past sins and having plans and a budget for our future is not a problem for our heavenly Father.  So, Jesus says to stop worrying about tomorrow.

Don't go to pieces

When we worry, we are unnecessarily dividing out energies.  Jesus is saying, "don't go to pieces".  The worrying that Jesus says to stop, is an anxiety that preoccupies you over your future.  Jesus says,. "stop it, and live in today."

Don't miss today

A person who worries about tomorrow misses out on today.  God has the future covered.  He will be with you, when you get there.  God is already in your future, if you consider that God is not in time.

God's mercies are new every morning

The Bible teaches …