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Archive for December, 2009

Yesterday I almost had this blog done and somehow amidst all the stupid doin’s in my life, I cut it off and lost all the work.  However, I was again reminded this morning of what impressed my own heart yesterday.

5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”[a] 6So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”[b]

The reference in the OT quote that was mentioned was when Moses who was an old man – an old seasoned man, warrior, and leader gave some great advice to a young guy who was to step into some of the biggest shoes of his life.  Joshua needed the care and leading of this old man.  I get so concerned at times with these young preachers and young leaders who do not have the sense to pull some older men around them and learn from their stable wisdom.  They get themselves in so much trouble.  Young doesn’t listen as well as old.  Old could teach us a great deal.

He told this young leader that He would never be alone.  He would never be forsaken.  A life of faith, especially when that faith is placed in the living God, brings blessings untold to the believer.  One of which is that you are in the presence of One who loves you more than you could possibly imagine.  Captivated by that word “never”, I found myself remembering that my journey – even though (as I used to say) squiggly at best – even though not a straight line of righteousness – that I have with my loving Father is surrounded again by that promise that I am “never” alone.  “Never!”  Big concept.  A Grace Concept!  Never – leaves me!  Never – forsakes Me –  Never – be put to confusion.   Never – thirst!  Never – Perish!  Never – fails!  Never – destroy the earth by flood!  Never – AT NO TIME!

I see “never” happen all the time.  I do enough counseling to hear people make promises and break them.  I hang around people who say “never” and finish that by saying, “Not!!!!!!”  I guess sinful people struggle with “never.”  I guess little people find it hard to do “never.”  My guess is that as long as we are on this side of eternity, the only thing we can depend on is our trust in God’s unchanging promises which are always perfect!

Big concept for a Big God…It takes a Big God to say “never”…  He NEVER changes!

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God is always “Spot On”

15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Jesus Christ connects all the dots.  In Genesis 3 God promised that Eve’s seed would strike the heel of Satan.  15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [a] and hers; he will crush [b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”  Two forces!  Two at war and we need a Redeemer and a Savior.  Who is going to win?  God said from the beginning that He would win.  Hebrews said “…that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”  I am reminded again that what started in a feed trough in a animal shelter  in Bethlehem was the start of a journey that would lead to an old rugged cross and ultimately to an empty tomb.  He came, lived a perfect life, died a cruel death, was buried in a borrowed tomb, was raised again by the power of God, and is now in God’s presence awaiting the perfect timing of God to come again.  He promised he would come.  He always tells the truth.

Walking by the nativity scene on the coffee table gave rise to a long pause this morning.  I was reminded that God always keeps his word.  He has never missed one promise yet.  He sets the standard.  He doesn’t lie.  Sometimes a simple illustration helps put a real different twist on how you trust God.  If you took ten men and put them in a dark room.  They all had a bow and arrow.  You tell the then men that on the opposite wall is a target.  The lights are out, you blindfold them and tell them to shoot at the target on the other wall and hit a bullseye.  If all ten men shoot and hit a bullseye then you have a miracle on your hand.  In the bible there are over 300 promises about the coming of Christ both his first and second coming.  They come from all kinds of places from different parts of the world written by folk who never knew each other – and not a one has missed the bullseye.  They have all come true.  The odds of that are off the chain.  One man said that if you take just 8 of the promises about Christ, the odds of 8 hitting the bullseye is ten to the seventeenth power.  (one out of 100,000,000,000,000,000)  Can you begin to imagine what the odds are of 300 hitting the bulls eye.  Micah declared that he would be born in Bethlehem – boom – it happened.  Isaiah said that he would be born of a virgin – boom – it happened.  He also said in Isaiah 9:6 that a child would be born…  He never lies.  He always tells the truth.

God is always “spot on”.  The Bible is without a doubt the most reliable source on the planet.  Christmas reminds me that God tells the truth.  He doesn’t miss.

Let’s see – I remember him saying that he will never leave me nor forsake me – you can bank on it.

He said – I go to prepare a place for you – bank on it!

For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever would believe in him they would not perish but have everlasting life – I have banked my whole life on that truth!

Bullseye!

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3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.

When God sent his son into the world – he made him a missionary!  He came here longing to provide a way where we could be in a relationship with the One who made us.  Good news!  He came to deal with and provide life for others.  He came to tell the good news!  He is the good news.

http://www.imb.org/main/downloads/flashvideos.asp?filename=/files/62/6294/6294-34373.flv Click the link and watch!

One of the joys of being saved is God helps me get beyond a life that is fill in that “its all about me” deal.  When I gave my life to Christ He helped me see that there were others in this world.  This old sinful flesh has its own focus – me.  I know it just like all the others do.  There is nothing wrong with what I want.  There is nothing wrong with having desires or needs that need to be me.  There is nothing unspiritual about wanting to do a specific thing because you enjoy it.  Becoming a Christian does not negate YOU!  Becoming a child of God simply adds other people to your life for whom you deeply care and love.  In other words, becoming a Christian helps you to see beyond your own world and now other people become important.

How do I relate to others?  I have the joy of serving them.  And it is not onesided because of the joy of being with believers we all serve each other.  In a perfect world that works!  In a spirit-filled world that is a certain expectation.  It’s fullness will be seen in heaven one of these days.

I will walk in a building full of people in a moment.  It can be all about me…or…it can be – for me – about others and serving them.  I am so glad that I have the chance to serve other people.  I wake up this morning knowing I get to worship God, Thank Jesus, depend upon the Spirit of God and God gives me the chance to be used by him to minister to the needs of people.  I am one fortunate fella!

Servant, huh?  Maybe that is what missions is all about!

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Blameless

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.

The readings this morning started in Ephesians.  And this section is just one of the sections… 15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In light of the world around him, the culture in which he lived, the needy condition of the believers in Ephesus, Paul had to speak straight to them.  He did not cut it a bit.  The traveling through Psalm 119 seems to have parallel perspectives about the same issue.  Live according to the Word of God and you will be blameless.

תָּמִים – (I know you are impressed at my ability to put Hebrew characters here)  the word is undefiled in the King James Version.  In Strong’s it is defined as –1 complete, whole, entire, sound. 1a complete, whole, entire. 1b whole, sound, healthful. 1c complete, entire (of time). 1d sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity. 1e what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact (neuter adj/subst).  Strong, James: Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1996, S. H8549.  I usually don’t go to any support work when I work through this discipline…however, I was trying to get my heart around the word blameless…or Undefiled…  sound, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity.  In other words there is some weight to the life of those believers who put their faith in the directives of God’s Word.  The whole of Psalm 119 is that we “live out” what we are reading.

Grace is not the ability to live like I want.  It is the privilege given to us by a loving God on the basis of what our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ once and for all purchased for us on Calvary, to live like we should live and our guideline is the written Word of God!  Happy people “blessed people”, those who are to be congratulated are people who live out the Word of God.  We do march to the beat of a different drummer.  We chose when we gave our lives to Christ to walk to the beat of the Word of God…He is a different drummer.  I died to my self.  He is doing His best work when He is allowed to work in my life through the guidance of the Word of God.

Stay in the Word is his command to me today.  A byproduct of that will be a life that is well pleasing to the Father in heaven.  Oh, that it would be so this day!

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Paths Beyond…

33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!

Yesterday I sat at the funeral for a young lady in her 40’s.  Fortune had been hers for she was trying her best to deal with the second set of lungs that were provided for her.  She spend her entire life headed toward a life of struggle.  I listened as Preacher Tedder did a splendid job of reminding us of how God is Sovereign and how He alone is in charge of everything in life.  She had a life time of miracle after miracle and for the last 19 of them struggled each day to overcome each challenge.

I am reminded again that He knows!  Nothing passes his gaze and directions.  My life verse rings again in my ear when Proverbs 3:5-6 screams, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and HE WILL DIRECT YOUR PATHS…”  His paths are as my verse says today “beyond tracing out…”  I am reminded to look at my own circumstances in light of His direction.  I am to trust in the “…the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!”  Living by faith demands that I trust him in the now.  I am taking my journey with Him and He is leading and He is guiding toward His divine end.

His grace still amazes me.  I am asked today to be caught up with wonder and praise at the goodness of God.  His perfect plan for my life is in order.  His journey for my life finds good days and tough days.  He is so in love with me.  I am so glad.  Today I am reminded of a quote provided to me by one of my Whitestone Friends!  Len Strozier quoted –

“God is thrust onward by his love, not attracted by our beauty. He comes even in moments when we have done everything wrong, when we have done nothing… when we have sinned.” (Carlo Carretto)

I am glad he is still coming to me!  How awesome is His wisdom and ways!

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