He is Dead, Now What?
"They crucified Him, brutally beat Him beyond recognition, mocked Him and wanted to silence Him once for all. What are we going to do, our master has been exterminated. We must stay in hiding or we will be next. This is the end, all our hope is gone. Was this all just a dream? A figment of our imagination? Confusion, despair, agony, hopelessness has overcome us." The Disciples
Friday, March 25, 2016
He is Dead, Now What?
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Salt and Light
Salt makes one thirsty and light exposes darkness. So I wonder how well we have been doing amidst all the political rhetoric flying around social media. Little snide remarks about this candidate or that one's family affairs or this one's past. We may be better served spending more time being salt and light about Jesus than Donald or Ted or John or Hillary or Bernie. Now that's not to say we can't or shouldn't weigh in on the great political debate of the century, because we should...I have. But, let's focus on the virtues of Christ, after all this is Easter right? It was Jesus that died on the cross, was buried and on the third day rose again and is the only candidate capable of taking away our sins!
Jesus said it this way...
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
No matter the offer be it fame, wealth or power. No matter how hungry or tired you may be don't be lured by promises that will destroy your present and your future. No matter how luring and delightful it may seem at the moment don't give in! Stand and fight with the Word that is able to fend off the temptation that seems to be yours for the taking. Resist the devil by the Word and he will flee from you.(James 4:7) Don't give in, he is standing over your shoulder promising you the world and your desires to be satisfied...DON'T LISTEN!
And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God's Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. [Deut. 8:3.] Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. [Neh. 11:1; Dan. 9:24.] And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. [Ps. 91:11, 12.] Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. [Deut. 6:16.] Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. [Deut. 6:13.] Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Monday, March 21, 2016
We tend to think that the swelling tide against Judeo-Christian values is some sort of "new thing" in the 21st century. Yes the "ACLU" and the "People For The Separation of Church and State" were alive and well long ago hiring thier attorneys to frustrate matters.
Then [the Samaritans] the people of the land [continually] weakened the hands of the people of Judah and troubled and terrified them in building and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose and plans all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius [II] king of Persia.
Don't be surprised at opposition, it's nothing new. Don't let the opposition silence you, just keep sharing the love of Christ.
Friday, March 18, 2016
Too Sophisticated To Shout!
Have you ever been so excited that you shouted? My guess is of course, at the ball game or because of some other thing that was just so exciting you couldn't contain yourself. What about because of something God has done? Why is it that our Christianity is too sophisticated for shouting because of the goodness and glory of God? Shouting or not shouting doesn't determine our standing before God. Just thought I would pose the question for you to ponder. Go ahead...SHOUT! You will freak everyone out.
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their vestments with trumpets, and the Levite sons of Asaph with their cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the order of David king of Israel. They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid! But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house [Solomon's temple], when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, though many shouted aloud for joy. So the people could not distinguish the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far off.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Providential "Chess Master"
In the game of Chess one move now is critical to several moves later. God has always been the grand "Chess Master" of life moving things today that will affect things years from now. God has and continues to use whatever he determines for His divine purposes. The heathen King Cyrus, King of the great Persian Empire was moved by God to send the Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city and temple. Think of the number of "moves" God has divinely made over the coarse of history on your behalf so as to have you right where He wants you today.
NOW IN the first year of Cyrus king of Persia [almost seventy years after the first Jewish captives were taken to Babylon], that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might begin to be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and put it also in writing: [Jer. 29:10-14.] Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever is among you of all His people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and re build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel, in Jerusalem; He is God. Ezra 1:1-3
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Great Man Of God
We seldom think of Joseph(the earthly father of Jesus) as a "great man of God" someone special yes but not a giant hero. I believe he was a hero because of the great discipline and godliness he demonstrated in one verse of scripture. I mean after all she was already pregnant and she is going to be my wife so why not. No, Joseph was a great man of God with incredible discipline. He wanted above all to honor God.
And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Don't Test His Limits
God is merciful and longsuffering, He is slow to anger and not willing that any should perish. He is gracious and loving, kind and forgiving. Don't push Him to far or you will reach a place of no remedy or healing. This is a dangerous point for us as individuals or a culture. We may be close to that point.
"What you applaud, you encourage. And: Watch out what you celebrate." Peggy Noonan (speech writer for former President Ronald Regan)
The children of Israel kept pushing and the result:
But they kept mocking the messengers of God and despising His words and scoffing at His prophets till the wrath of the Lord rose against His people, till there was no remedy or healing.
2 Chronicles 36:16 AMP
Monday, March 14, 2016
A Future Truth That Never Gets Old
We have heard it quoted read and referred to as much as any passage in scripture but it never gets old!
Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
Friday, March 11, 2016
GENESIS 3:15 Completed
Lucifer started his rebellion in heaven (Isa. 14:12-15), moved his deceptive work to the garden (Gen. 3) and has been doing all he can ever since to bring about destruction (John 10:10). But make no mistake, his "reign of terror" will come to an end!
Then the devil who had led them astray [deceiving and seducing them] was hurled into the fiery lake of burning brimstone, where the beast and false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (through the ages of the ages).
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiritual Leader
When we think of teenagers we often think of attitude, rebellion, drama, school, sports, girlfriends, boyfriends, messy bedrooms, driving, peer pressure and the list goes on. Why do we never think...Godly leader? If a teenager started being sold out for God most would think it's just a fad or they would get little support or even ridicule from home because they aren't doing what "normal teens" are supposed to be doing. Shame on us!!! Josiah was 8 years old when he became King and at age 16 he began to seek God. Then he went on a literal "Holy campaign" transforming the ungodliness of a nation. We need more Teenage Mutant Ninja Spiritual Leaders!
JOSIAH WAS eight years old when he began his thirty-one-year reign in Jerusalem. He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in the ways of David his father [forefather] and turned aside neither to the right hand nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young [sixteen], he began to seek after and yearn for the God of David his father [forefather]; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and molten images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; the sun-images that were high above them he hewed down; the Asherim and the graven images and the molten images he broke in pieces and made dust of them and strewed it upon the graves of those who sacrificed to them. Josiah burned the bones of the [idolatrous] priests upon their altars, and so cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 34:1-5
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
A Dreadful Legacy
We often think of legacy in a positive respect yet there have been countless examples of the contrary. Manasseth, King of Judah waffles(sacrificed his children among other things) in his obedience to God, is carried into captivity(with a hook in his nose) and eventually humbles himself and finishes his life serving God. However, the damage was done and as has been said by many what we do in moderation our children will do in excess. This came true with his son Amon. You will leave a legacy one way or the other! Here is a sample reading from II Chronicles 33 that tells the story.
MANASSEH WAS twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the Lord's sight, like the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites. And he burned his children as an offering [to his god] in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom], and practiced soothsaying, augury, and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they would not hearken. So the Lord brought against them the commanders of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks and in fetters and brought him to Babylon. When he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to Him, and God, entreated by him, heard his supplication and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God. Amon was twenty-two years old when he began his two-year reign in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did Manasseh his father; for Amon sacrificed to all the images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them, And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as Manasseh his father [finally] did; but Amon trespassed and became more and more guilty.
2 Chronicles 33:1-2, 6, 10-13, 21-23
Monday, March 7, 2016
Great Leaders Inspire
Throughout history great leaders have inspired nations and people's because of thier ability to exude confidence and to perform great tasks. People love to follow great leaders. Hezekiah was was a great leader. At a time when one of the strongest most wicked nations, the Assyrians, came to destroy Israel Hezekiah steps up and delivers the speech the people needed. It wasn't just what Hezekiah said but it was the reality of what he lived. This was not just "political rhetoric", this was what Hezekiah believed and lived.
AFTER THESE things and this loyalty, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, invaded Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, thinking to take them. And he(Hezekiah) set captains of war over the people and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, Be strong and courageous. Be not afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there is Another with us greater than [all those] with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2 Chronicles 32:1, 6-8
You need to read the rest of the chapter to see the follow through. Hezekiah put actions to his speech.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Response to Spiritual Reform
In the days of King Hezekiah things were not going well spiritually. Idolatry had become the norm and the people were doing everything that was right in thier owns eyes not the eyes of God. Hezekiah comes along begins to set things right spiritually and a major spiritual transformation takes place and note the first two immediate responses of the people.
1. They get rid of all thier idols
2. They give so much it is in heaps
There is the solution to declining spiritual temperature and stinginess.
2 Chronicles 31:1, 7-10
NOW WHEN all this was finished, all Israel present there went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars or obelisks, cut down the Asherim, and threw down the high places [of idolatry] and the altars in all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the Israelites returned to their own cities, every man to his possession. In the third month [at the end of wheat harvest] they began to lay the foundation or beginning of the heaps and finished them in the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and Levites about the heaps. Azariah the high priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the Lord's house, we have eaten and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people, and what is left is this great store.
Friday, March 4, 2016
Who' s Who
Since the late 1800's there have been several publications listing outstanding men and women who have accomplished great things. Some of those publications today you can even buy your way in to be a part of the infamous listings. I have seen faxes, letters and emails offering those opportunities. There is a Who's Who book that will reveal something far more than just your great accomplishments. The book is called the Lamb's Book of Life. You can't buy your way in nor can you demonstrate enough marvelous deeds, or acts of kindness or philanthropic gestures to find yourself inscribed on its pages. Your name will only find its way onto it's pages by receiving the the offer of salvation which demands you repent of your sin and selfishness and trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
If not, then what? "And if anyone's [name] was not found recorded in the Book of Life, he was hurled into the lake of fire."
Is your name inscribed in the eternal Who's Who book?
Thursday, March 3, 2016
What have you got more anticipation about the coming new president or the coming KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS? A valid question, not that we ignore current events, but let's focus on something that is absolute and true, something glorious and freeing. When Christ comes in this text of scripture it will be to defeat once and for all human government and establish a universal Theocracy! You think the debates look wild and crazy, wait until this event takes place.
After that I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [appeared]! The One Who was riding it is called Faithful (Trustworthy, Loyal, Incorruptible, Steady) and True, and He passes judgment and wages war in righteousness (holiness, justice, and uprightness). [Ezek. 1:1.] His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand. [Dan. 10:6.] He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God. And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the All-Ruler (the Almighty, the Omnipotent). [Ps. 2:9.] And on His garment (robe) and on His thigh He has a name (title) inscribed, king of kings and Lord of Lords. [Deut. 10:17; Dan. 2:47.] Then I saw a single angel stationed in the sun's light, and with a mighty voice he shouted to all the birds that fly across the sky, Come, gather yourselves together for the great supper of God, [Ezek. 39:4, 17-20.] That you may feast on the flesh of rulers, the flesh of generals and captains, the flesh of powerful and mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all humanity, both free and slave, both small and great!
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Commander In Chief
We may not be electing a "Pastor in Chief" as I have heard many say however it would be incredibly refreshing and an enormous blessing to our nation if the first order of business by the next President was to put our national "spiritual house" in order. Our founding fathers gave thier lives and fortunes to secure our rights and benefits that have been thrown to the wind for far to many years beginning from the highest office in the land even down to the pulpits of America. Maybe it's time to take a lesson from Hezekiah.
In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord [which his father had closed] and repaired them. And said to them, Levites, hear me! Now sanctify (purify and make free from sin) yourselves and the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, that His fierce anger may turn away from us.
2 Chronicles 29:3, 5, 10
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
4 Valiant Men
In the midst of wrong doing there are few who will stand up and do right. From time to time there is a bright spot with valiant men of character. Azariah, Berechiah, Jehizkiah and Amana stood up and did the right thing. When things are not going in the right direction will you be a man or woman who conducts themselves in a valiant, Godly fashion? Here is their story.
Then certain of the heads of the Ephraimites [Israel]–Azariah son of Johanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai–stood up against those returning from the war And said, You shall not bring the captives in here; we are guilty before the Lord already, and what you intend will add more to our sins and our guilt. For our trespass (guilt) is great, and there is fierce anger against Israel. So the armed men [of Israel] left the captives and the spoil [of Judah] before the princes and all the assembly. And the men who have been mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them; and having clothed them, shod them, given them food and drink, anointed them [as was a host's duty], and carried all the feeble of them upon donkeys, they brought them to Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, to their brethren. Then they returned to Samaria.
2 Chronicles 28:12-15