Friday, December 2, 2011

No Where to Hide

Psalm 64:5

5They encourage each other in evil plans,

they talk about hiding their snares;

they say, "Who will see them?"

David prayed for protection from his enemies. He prayed with the confidence that the Lord would hear his plea. Those who plot, as David said, always perceive themselves as capable to not only carry out their plans but that they can be executed in secret. But where can one go that the eye of the Lord does not see? Where can one go that the Lord cannot search their heart? They believe for whatever reason that they will not be exposed but exposure by the Lord is inevitable. For we are in a time when men and women and the evil spirits that have taken root within them no longer fear the Lord. Yet when they are in need they call His name? Why should He answer when as David said, they encourage evil plans? God's wrath is not slow in coming but He gives evil doers the chance to reform their ways before he pronounces judgement. Once the judgement is rendered, it must be carried out. The Lord does not delight in harm to His children, the ones who bear His name. Do you bear His name or are you one that plots evil? If you bear His name and walk uprightly, just as David, you are protected. If you are one that plots evil, you can run from God but you cannot hide.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Never Trade Down

Hebrews 12:17
17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.

The apostle Paul gave a stern warning against refusing God to the Jewish converts. He employed the story of Esau and Jacob from the point of view of Esau in the Old Testament. The Jewish converts were very familiar with the Old Testament and therefore would take the story to heart. In the Old Testament, Esau was born first but he sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for food.  He traded a life long blessing from God for something temporary and of lessor value. Basically, Esau did not value what the Lord had given him. And later, when he realized the value, he sought to reclaim his birthright but God would not answer his cry because he did not see the error in his mistake. He just longed to have it back. For God, motive is at the top of His list. Esau only cried because he wanted back what was lost, he did not see what he did as wrong and therefore was not truly sorry for his actions. Hmmm.....interesting. As children, when were caught doing something we had no business doing and we began to cry because we knew the punishment was coming, our parents saw right through our actions. They knew we were not crying because we were really sorry, we cried because we didn't want to be punished. But the only way we would really learn was to face the punishment. Trading a life long blessing for something as temporary as food is spitting in God's face. That's telling God that what He desires to bless us with isn't worth our time. But to later know the value of what we gave up doesn't change that we already made the decision to mishandle it. And if we didn't honor what God wanted to give us then, why would now if we never understood what we did wrong? The error would likely be repeated.  NOTHING is more valuable than our Lord and Savior himself!! And anything He decides to bless us with (including the Holy Spirit) we must count as grace to us, not because we deserve it, but because He decided to give it. Never trade down for fake pearls when He offers the real pearls from His own hand.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Swept Away

Isaiah 59:19
19From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord,
and from the rising of the sun,
they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the Lord drives along.

It doesn't matter what part of the world we live in, everyone will come to fear the Lord. When the Lord returns in all His glory, we will all be in awe. Many of us have heard or seen pictures of re-enactments of what it will be like when the Lord returns, but honestly, outside of scripture, there is no depiction that can describe with accuracy what it will be like because it has not occurred yet. The images that we see or hear about are nothing more than one's interpretation or perception of what will be. The prophet Isaiah describes as God  gives him what He will do on behalf of His people. For the Lord will come like a pent-up flood. A flood comes quickly. It moves very fast knocking anything and everything loose or that "appears" to be rooted. And it continues to rise. For that is how the Lord works. Anything not rooted in Him will be swept away. We've all seen live pictures of floods after the water has hit. But a pent-up flood is one that can no longer be contained. Be rooted in Jesus for everything for that is how we His people are to be lest we be swept away.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Thin Veil of Cover Up

Mark 15:9-10
9"Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him.

Pilate knew that Jesus had not actually committed any crime. He did not plot against nor harm the chief priests. It was out of his popularity and the power of God in His grasp that sorely troubled the chief priests. Because Pilate knew that Jesus committed no crime he had to offer up Jesus for release. But the chief priests insisted on covering up their envy for seeking what they thought was Jesus' demise with a thin veil of stirring up the crowd. Now Pilate went along with it because he wanted to continue to have favor with the Jews but he knew it was wrong. The thin veil the chief priests chose involved getting what they wanted from Pilate by stirring up the crowd. They knew it was the only way their scheme would work. But all they did was play right into what God had determined ought to happen and in the end, they looked worse off then they had before Jesus had been arrested because what happened was recorded forever!! The chief priests allowed envy and deceit to be what they are remembered for. What is envy? According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, envy is a painful or resentful awareness of another's advantages. Yes, Jesus had an advantage over the chief priests, being the son of God trumps them all but Jesus has power that no one else possesses. And people were really hungry and still are for the word of God. As a kingdom kid, we will suffer persecutions maybe not to the extreme of Jesus but envy will be at the route in some cases. When we are children of light, we are subject to what Jesus was subject to. Whether it's because we smile, we interact well with others or whatever. Thankfully he still paid it all and in the end Jesus is triumphant and still sits on the throne. This makes us more than conquerors!! Bless the Lord!!!