Friday, December 9, 2011

Standing or Wavering

Luke 24:39
39Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.

Jesus had appeared to the disciples after he rose from the dead. The disciples were in a locked room and there was no way anyone could enter. Jesus did. The disciples were shocked. But Jesus told them not to be. He did exactly what He said He would do. And His proof were the scars left on His body from being nailed to the cross. The Lord is not a man that He should lie. He told them that in 3 days He would take the keys to the kingdom. He took the sting of death from sin away from Satan. Jesus also said they would see him again. We don't always believe the Lord when He tells us He will do something. Our problem is doubt. We are amazed when what He said comes to pass. But why? He can't lie so if He made us a promise, no matter what it is, He will make good on it. Our problem, sometimes we don't believe that it was the Lord that spoke to us. Our own faith is often in question. It just means we need to spend more time reading and studying His word daily not just on Saturday or Sunday so we can learn His promises and handiwork. What promise did the Lord make to you? Are you standing or wavering? Do you trust His way or your own?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Odd Selection

1Samuel 16:13
13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.

The Lord sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king because of King Saul's disobedience. The Lord told Samuel to fill his horn with oil to anoint the new king. The Lord instructed Samuel to visit Jesse who had many sons. Samuel was to look at each son but appoint only the one the Lord had instructed him to. Jesse didn't even present all of his sons. David was considered least because he was the smallest yet God had selected David for service. It seemed odd to the family that David would be selected. God's criteria is never the same as man's. David was the only one of his brothers who was out tending to the sheep. He kept watch and protected them. David was already in preparation for his appointed role yet didn't know. How many of us have had experiences in other environments yet didn't know God would use that experience to further His cause? There's a purpose in everything even if we don't perceive it. A shepherd must be patient with his sheep and has to protect them when they cannot see danger. Much like a leader would do. David was anointed in the presence of his brothers. They were to witness God's selection. And most importantly, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David when needed in order for David to carry out the work of the Lord. The Lord always has a witness to what He does. It's the eye witness testimony that confirms what God has done. How many of us have been a witness at the scene of something? Have you ever been called on to give the eye witness account? It's the testimony that provides confirmation of what took place whether good or bad. During the times of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit could not rest on man for long because of the stench of sin but when it did come down, it made impact. It was for this reason that David was able to not just play the harp but to soothe the evil spirit that inhabited King Saul. It is by the Holy Spirit that we have strength and power to do anything. The events in Jesse's house that day were a turning point not just for David but for the entire family of what was to come to pass in David's future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Separating Friend From Foe

Galatians 4:16
16Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?

Christ is truth and the Holy Spirit is the revealer of ALL truth. The apostle Paul wrote letters to the churches in Galatia because the Gentiles were being influenced by the Jewish Christians who demanded they be circumcised in order to be accepted by God. But it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that Gentiles are accepted just as the Jewish Christians. When Paul began unraveling the arguments held by those that the Gentiles were being influenced by, the Gentiles who once loved Paul no longer saw him in the same light. As Paul employed the Holy Spirit to reveal truth, not only was it not accepted, but Paul himself was no longer accepted. It's even a Biblical fact that when a friend reveals truth, it is likely they become the foe of one that does not want to acknowledge truth. Not only have they turned away a friend, they have essentially turned away God as He is truth. If the truth is spoken in love yet not accepted, then what can be? Satan is the father of lies and if only lies are accepted, then people choose to remain in darkness and do not seek God. If one looses a friend because they have told the truth, then one must examine whether the person was truly a friend. Yes, friends support you but REAL friends tell you what you need to hear not just what you want to hear. When truth is what separates friend from foe, then it is certainly the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the true nature of the friendship or the lack there of.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the Surface

2 Corinthians 10:7a
7You are looking only on the surface of things.

The apostle Paul had a frank talk with the church in Corinth through his letter.  Paul was being accused of only being bold in letter yet lacking it in person. But he reminded them that he spoke as he did in the letter so that it wouldn't be necessary to do so when he arrived. He reminded them that the church is not to operate according to the standards of the world but to stand out from it.  The apostle Paul also reminded the church in Corinth that the weapons used by the church to battle strongholds are not that of world nor based upon its standards. His point was that in anything he said to them, they only looked at and received it solely based on the surface. The surface is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as 1) the outside of an object or body and 2) the outward aspect or appearance. As believers in Christ, it is for us to look beyond the surface of anything and everything. Just as the apostle Paul was disputing the false teachers that had infiltrated the church then, we deal with the same issue today. So when words are spoken we must look beyond what they appear to be on the surface and discern the true meaning and intent. We are to do this in everything. We must always look beyond the surface for there are many things that "appear" to be what they are not. But if we only see with our natural eyes and hear with our natural ears, then we will miss the ques and therefore we are subject to being led astray. The surface can be dug up and it's below the surface that we see all the cracks and crevices. Everything taught must be held according to the word of God. If it doesn't match the word of God, it must be counted as less than or substandard. Everything must be tested not according to what we think but according to the Holy Spirit. The word of God and the Holy Spirit will coincide not contradict. Do you look only at the surface? Have you taken a sledge hammer and cracked the surface to see what's underneath?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Praise HIM in ALL Circumstances!

Psalm 76:10
10Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.

The psalmist wrote of God's great power in defending the Israelites against their enemies. We usually think of God's wrath as bringing damnation. But sometimes His wrath is meant to set people in the right direction. There are times when His wrath is the catalyst of change. A delivering change that will bring about the freedom from the bondage and strongholds that have gripped ones' neck like a noose. When this does occur, it is meant to show God's everlasting power and He is meant to be praised. And that's the point of the psalmist,  but even those who have not been delivered and have suffered at the hand of God for misdeeds, God still deserves the praise because the misdeeds are usually against others or more importantly against Him. We do not recognize that misdeeds done against one of His children is the same as doing it to God. So a lesson must be taught in either case. God sits on the throne and no matter what, He deserves the praise in any and all circumstances. JUST PRAISE GOD because He is worthy to be praised!

P.S. GOD is NEVER late! He's always on time!