Friday, May 27, 2011

Unlawfully Right

Matthew 12:5
5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?

Do you know what rest means? In Mosaic law, there is to be no work done on the Sabbath or day of rest. Even God rested one day after six days of creating the world. Jesus was in the temple on the Sabbath and healed a man. He was considered to be breaking the law and was reminded by the Pharisees. But as Jesus pointed out, the priests that worked in the temple had to put that aside yet they were not condemned for it. The pharisees were looking for another excuse to find Jesus guilty. But Jesus knew none of them could heal the man. The man at the temple needed healing and Jesus worked to give him what he needed.

How many of us work on the Sabbath? For some that day is Saturday for others it is Sunday. What are we doing on the Sabbath? Are we working for our families? Is it because if we don't work and provide the food, they will not eat? Or just as Jesus said, ministry leaders must prepare to feed God's people the Word. Yes some things must be done. But we all need rest.

P.S. There will be no message on Monday, May 30th. For God has said it's time for rest. Listen for the ways in which God speaks. He doesn't always speak to us in the same manner. However, it is for us to observe and listen.  May your heart be receptive to all the ways in which he will speak to you. May you take note not just of him speaking but what he has to say to YOU.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Only For a Moment

Amos 9:11
11 “In that day I will restore
   David’s fallen tent.
I will repair its broken places,
   restore its ruins,
   and build it as it used to be,

Did you know that God's anger doesn't last always? He does believe in restoration. Amos was considered a minor prophet. He was a shepherd from Tekoa. Israel and Judah were enjoying great prosperity but it was coming to an end and they would all be scattered. But God's mercy would restore them. God was determined to restore his people to where they used to be once they learned the lesson.

Has God ever showed mercy on your life? God's anger doesn't last always. The anger is like that of a parent who desires for their child's growth. God will make a point with us and punish us as a parent punishes a child because he desires for our maturity in him. But once the lesson is learned, the relationship can be restored. It's like a child who gets a spanking and the parent says, "this hurts me more than it hurts you." The parent doesn't delight in spanking the child or taking away something the child loves but it's necessary for the lesson to be understood. It's good to know that God thinks enough of us and loves us to want to teach us. And even more to restore us. Where in your life have you made mistakes and received the punishment? Were you not restored? Or are you just coming through this process? If so, find peace and comfort in the following:

Psalm 30:5 NKJV
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
         His favor is for life;
         Weeping may endure for a night,
         But joy comes in the morning.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daily Regimen

Luke 9:23
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Did you know that "taking up the cross" or living a life pleasing to the Lord is a daily process? Jesus had a frank conversation with the disciples. He first reminded them of what was soon to happen to him, that he would be denied but then be restored. The conversation extended to show the disciples that they too would go through a denial but more of self-denial. Notice Jesus used the word "daily". Daily is just that, every day, not once a week. It is every day that if we call ourselves followers of Christ that we seek to do God's will instead of our own. For this is the meaning of self-denial. It means we are willing to be obedient to God even if it means not doing what "we think" is best. Only God has the full 360 degree view of our life. Only he knows all aspects so he knows whats coming before it's even in our peripheral view. Most of us, unfortunately, don't like the daily part. We attempt to follow maybe one day a week no matter what the belief or doctrine but what about the other six days? Are we willing put God's will above our own? Are we willing to put one foot in front of the other and take steps each day to live a life of obedience to him?  How do we start? Taking small steps each day means to pray, read and apply his word to our lives. To hear the word because as the apostle Paul said faith comes by hearing. It means inquiring of God daily to learn his will and line with him. Taking up the cross as a daily regimen isn't just about loving God and following him one day a week but 365 days/52 weeks a year.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seek Understanding

Psalm 119:169
 169 May my cry come before you, O LORD;
   give me understanding according to your word.

Did you know that one of the greatest things we could ask the Lord for is wisdom and understanding? Not riches, nor friends or anything else.  The psalmist is crying out to the Lord for understanding but according to His word. Not the world's understanding or even his own but according to the Word of God. As a society we have come to a place where we will seek and search anything we can for answers accept from the source of the created world. Why? Is it because we cannot physically see him? We consult sources all the time where the author is not present or one we do not know personally. The difference with God is that we can come to know him through his son, Jesus Christ. We can come to understand the things we do not know if we only ask. "Understanding according to your word" is another way of saying, through the eyes or perspective of God. God's ways are not ours so it takes putting on a different pair of glasses to see life, including ours, from God's perspective. If we only had a 1/1000 of the understanding of God's ways and how our lives could be if we absorb and apply what he desires, our results would be sweeter.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't Get Hoodwinked!

2 Corinthians 6:14
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

Many followers of Christ have heard this verse. But have we really understood it? According to the New International Version (NIV) Study Bible, the Corinthians were listening to false teachers. Now it did not say those that had never been exposed to Christ but false teachers. There is a difference. Those that have never been exposed to Christ simply do not know anything about him. And as believers, we are to assist to expose them, by walking upright and being bold for Christ. False teachers are providing incorrect information. They are being used to cause confusion. God is not the author of confusion but we know who is, the father of lies who seeks to steal, kill and destroy. What better way to do it then to spread false teachings. But why? Simply put, if the enemy can use the pride of man who "thinks he knows" then that's enough to get the ball rolling. But the enemy's goal as always is to manifest discord and disharmony within the body of Christ. Remember, there are many parts but one body. So if the enemy can cause the mind to stop working, then it affects the rest of the body. Here's a clue for one to remember:

The Lord does not operate contrary to His word. But if we are ignorant of the word then it makes it that much easier for the enemy to use false teachers that can easily manipulate the word. Who will you believe? Jesus said many will come in his name but will we know the difference?