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Showing posts from November, 2014

Verily, verily I say unto you: Jesus Is The Amen

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
-John 6:47 (KJV)
"Verily, verily, I say unto you".  Did you know that Jesus said this phrase twenty times, all in John's gospel?  Verily is the King James word for "amen".  We are used to hearing, "amen", at the end of a statement, and not at the beginning.  Jesus says, "amen", at the beginning of a statement, to bring emphasis to what he is saying.  He says, "Amen, amen", at the beginning of a declaration to really emphasize what he is about to say.
The Catholic Bible is one of the few that reads, "Amen, amen, I say to you".  The Revised Standard, New American Standard, and English Standard Versions, read, "Truly, truly, I say to you."  the New Living and New International Versions read, "I tell you the truth".
When we say, "amen", while someone is sharing; we are saying, "I agree", "that's rig…

He's Got The Whole World In His Hands (You & Me)

For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being.
-Job 12:10

This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God's hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
-Ecclesiastes 9:1

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
-Colossians 1:17

The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.
-Hebrews 1:3

For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. -Romans 11:36 
He really does have the whole world in his hands, including you and me.  "How is this possible?", our little hearts ask.  It is because our God is big, mighty, all encompassing, and real.
And the person or face of our God is…

Sent Out Among Wolves (Street-wise)

Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
-Matt. 10:16 (NLT)
It is ironic or a paradox that Jesus sends us out as sheep among wolves.  Normally, sheep are kept away from wolves.  But Jesus' words here, say that we, as his messengers and missionaries, will be seemingly defenseless.
But, the good shepherd goes with us (John 10:12-15).  The point Jesus makes here, is that we have no self defense, in our own power.  We are completely reliant on our shepherd.
We are not force of power, in and of ourselves.  We have a powerful message.  We have a powerful King.  The King can even do powerful things through us.  But we are not a power.  We are defenseless, like sheep, utterly dependent on our shepherd.
But, we are to have a special way of functioning, in our vulnerability.  We are to be as shrewd as snakes and as harmless as doves.  This is a paradox.  
Snakes are careful.  Shrewd, prudent, sensible, or crafty.  All this implies t…

Watch Out For Wolves and That You Do Not Become One

“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it.  But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves.  You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles?  In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree can’t produce bad fruit. And a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit.  Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore, you will know them by their fruit.

 “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.
-Matt. 7:13-21 (CEB)


Jesus says to watch out for wolves, that are dressed like sheep.  Eve…

Participate Now, Understand Later

Jesus answered, “You don’t really know (realize now, know now) what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
-John 13:7 (CEV, NIRV, NRSV)
I am fond of the quote by Søren Kierkegaard, where he says that life can only be understood looking back, but it must be lived looking forward.  What is implied is that we walk through things that we do not understand, that we do not know.  Later, we can know or understand.  We gain experience.  We are seasoned.  We get it now.
It is encouraging that we do not need to understand all things in order to participate in life.  Not understanding is normal.  I believe that God wants us to participate.  I believe that God calls each one of us to walk with him, into the unknown, in order to grow and to gain working knowledge of how to walk the walk.
I don't really know what he is doing, and that is ok.  God chooses to not have us know.  He is doing something with me, and I don't need to understand it.  He says that I will understand it later.  I…

Forgive Seventy Times Seven

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and …

God Sees Me

Be still and know that I am God.
Cease striving and know that I am God.
Be in awe and know that I am God.
-Psalm 46:10a

It is a revelation that can change your life: To know that God is active in your life.  We ourselves are often the one thing that blocks us from knowing this.  If and when we slow down, dial down, and cease from striving, we make room to be aware of or to be in awe of God.  We can not 'do' awareness or awe.  We get to experience it.

The idea or concept that God is watching is something not just for children to get, but for adults too.   Like the song that says, "be careful little eyes what you see".
There's a Father up above
And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see God is watching as the loving Father.  When you watch your child, or grandchild, you get a glimpse of what God does all the time.

It is one thing to know that God knows me, because he is God.  But to know that he really knows me, as an individual, is…

Faithful in the Small or Few Things First

“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'

“The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
-Matt. 25:21-3 (NLT)
I was pondering what are things to have running or have working in our lives, as we walk into a new, upgraded season.  Upgraded software needs upgraded hardware.  The software comes in over the air, but the hardware must be up to spec. to receive it.

Some of the things that have occurred to me, are:
Gracious generosity: Give and it shall be given (Luke 6:38).The upside down job/ministry/life of being servant to all (…

Blessing God and Being Guided

I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
-Psalm 16:7 (NLT)
This verse contains a spiritual principle, that we receive counsel or guidance (leading) from God; after we first bless or praise him.  And, our innermost being, or the seat of our emotions, will get it, and fall into line.
We are blessed and are being blessed by God.  It is the state we live in.  We say, "I am so blessed", or, "you are so blessed".  When we give someone our blessing, we are saying, "amen", or "may it go well with you", or more specifically, "I say, may it go well with you".  That is also what is meant when we say, "God bless you", when someone sneezes.
But, what about blessing the Lord?  God does not need our encouragement.  Blessing God, is a lifestyle of being thankful and praising him always.  We do give God permission and we do welcome him and we do make a royal road for the king, with our praise, thanks, and ble…

My Inheritance: The Lord

LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
You hold my lot.
-Psalm 16:5 (NLT, ESV)

This verse says that my inheritance is the Lord, plus nothing.  What that means is that I may be rich or poor, have large amounts of stuff or little, and it does not matter.  What matters is that I have the Lord in my life and he has me.  This is personal and intimate.

This is what I now see here.  I would never want to discount the Lord himself being my inheritance, chosen for me.  The Lord has a destiny, a calling, and a design that is personally fitted for me (and for you too).

But, that destiny, calling, and design gift is not outside or beside the Lord.  It is in the Lord.  I can say, and I want to say, every day; "Lord, you are my portion in this life".  Knowing him is my greatest desire.  I want to see him.  I want to hear him.  I want to watch him do.  I want to let him live through me.

The Lord is my i…