Sunday, December 25, 2005

An Electric Christmas

So I got back from the hospital about an hour and a half ago. I'm going to be taking it easy for a few days. Apparently you have to make sure all the power to a light fixture is turned off before you try to hook up a new chandelier set. Needless to say (but I will anyway) I received a pretty good shock and made my way to the floor. Thankfully I was conscious and my wife and I spoke for a few moments. When I tried to get up and was unable to we knew it was time to call the ambulance. In the very few minutes it took for the 9-1-1 operator to get help here my wife and I were able to pray it through. There's something very comforting and powerful about being able to praise God in a situation that's out of your control. Acknowledging that it's in His control is a calming thing to do and I encourage you all to do this in the face of all situations.

The medics came through our front door and after a quick ride in a commfy white van with Christmas like lights on top, I spent the day at the hospital getting tests done. They sent me home with the suggestion of hiring an electrician, and instructions to take it easy for a few days.

Thank God for people willing to work on Christmas to help others! Praise God for the calmness we had and for the protection we experienced. And also for the very probable healing, as I can walk around just fine now and was completely unable to do so earlier.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

How to spell "His" name

We have a family tradition of buying an Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen at Christmas and having it as a Birthday Cake for the "Big Guy". This year the tradition has given me just one more reason to go forward and into battle.

When asked to put a birthday message on the cake for our Lord and Savior, the young woman on cash replied. "I can never remember how to spell it." Now I'm thankful for the grace our Lord has poured out into my life, and for the work of the Holy Spirit. Because of these I was able to simply respond to her courteously. As was mentioned during the prayer meeting last night, it's important to remember that people are "where they are right now" not "where they're going to be." This is important in that it helps us respond to people as they will be (once they have Love) instead of how they are now. This particular young woman can't be faulted that we (The Church) have failed to lived changed lives, and to be credible witnesses for The Anointed One.

Has anyone reading this noticed that I haven't actually used His given name yet?

For the record, Jesus is spelt J E S U S. :)

Blessings all!! Remember to love everyone you meet, they'll know us by our love after all. And Merry Christmas!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The 10th Leper

That's me! I'm so very thankful for the work He has done and is doing in my life. The rest of the world can go on breathing the air He provided and eating the food He provides in the health He maintains but I shall be the one who turns and gives thanks.

You know Christ came at "Christmas" in "the shadow of the Cross" (as my pastor says). I'm so very thankful for the saving grace that He has for me. Today I live free! Today I am a servant and even a son. Thank You Father, thank You Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit for all and everything.

Oh here's the recount of the 10 lepers. Luke 17:11-19

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Whirlwind Bible Tour

For those familiar with the Word this will be a great laugh. For those still learning, it'll be a friendly and very funny way to see the whole shebang at once.

Check out this very well done Whirlwind Bible Tour

Sorry for the lack of HTML editing in this post.. work computer...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Kingdom of God Is Like

Luke 13:18-21

:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his own garden. And it grew and became a tree, and the wild birds found shelter and roosted and nested in its branches.

It is something planted in you, it is shelter and home for those who do not deserve, nor who could earn it.

:21 It is like leaven (yeast) which a woman took and hid in three measures of wheat flour or meal until it was all leavened (fermented).

It can not be hidden. What it is planted in, or put inside of, it changes unto it's self. If you have God in you, (you are in God) then you will be changed. And this change will progress until you are fully changed. This is Sanctification, and that will be completed the day you are face to face with our Creator, Christ Jesus.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Proof is in the Pudding

Yesterday as I was studying in Luke and found a section which I simply could not follow. As many Christians know, understanding the Word of God is a work of God The Holy Spirit. As I picked up this morning I was again dumbfounded and unable to follow what Our Lord was teaching the people. I was taking notes and the notes were mostly questions that I hoped to ask someone about, or figure out at a later date.

The mistake I was making was trying to learn in my strength. Big mistake... Believers and non-believers often claim the Bible is too hard to understand. Non-believers at least have an excuse, they don't have the Holy Spirit. Believers on the other hand do have the Holy Spirit. If they are having a hard time understanding something it could simply be that God doesn't want this part of the Word revealed to them yet. However, it is more often than not simply that the believer hasn't asked for understanding and is not letting Him do a work in their learning. This was what I was doing. Shortly I noticed my mistake and asked for understanding.

Immediately I started to gain understanding, and it grew over the next hour. This was answered prayer, practical and effective! This section of Scripture may be very simple for you readers, but I am going to cover it anyway.

So let's look at Luke 11:14-26 Once again Jesus was being accused of driving demons out by the power of the devil. Jesus answers with the simple answer, that can be read of several times in the Word, of a house divided against it's self can not stand. There are several "lessons" in this section but I want to deal with only one. Jesus explains how you can tell if the work was done by God or the devil. Jesus describes the possessed person as a "dwelling" and the demon as a "strong man" who is overcome by a stronger man and therefore driven out of the dwelling. If the demon is driven out, it will find no comfort in the air and will seek to return to the dwelling it knows. If the work was done by Beelzebub the demon will find the dwelling swept clean and well prepared. The demon will gather with it 7 more which are even more evil than it's self and return to dwell in the person again. In this case the state of the person will be worse than it was in the first place. If the work is of God then the demon will be driven out and will not be able to return as the person (or dwelling) will then be protected by One Who is Stronger.

Clearly if Jesus does the work by "the finger of God" then the person will be better off. Jesus does complete works.

I'm not sure why I found this so hard to understand, but I couldn't put together the story and the point He was making. Thankfully, God answers prayers!! Thank You Father!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Good Samaritan is a Good Neighbor

Luke 10:24-37 tells us about a conversation that Our Lord had with a Lawyer seeking to test Him. They are talking about what the Law demands in order that a man receive eternal life. They come to agreement that we are to love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and your neighbor as yourself. Now the Lawyer was seeking to remove all reproach from himself and asked who his neighbor is. The Lord replies with a story about the "Good Samaritan" who helped the man who had been robbed and beaten and left for dead. This Samaritan not only helped the man with his wounds, he brought him to an inn and put him up there paying the full price and telling the Inn Keeper that whatever else is spent in the man's care the Samaritan would pay. This is in stark contrast with the Levite and the Priest who had walked past the dying man by going to the other side of the road.

When Jesus asks the Lawyer which of the three had done right, He asks it this way. "Which of these three do you think proved himself a good neighbor to him who fell among the robbers?"

The point Our Lord is making here, I believe, is that it's not the person in need who must be our neighbor but us are able to help who must. When prompted to help someone don't ask, "Is this my neighbor?" but do ask "How can I be a neighbor to this person?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Checkout Clerks

Here's a first for the blog, I'm going to make a social comment! Bet ya can't wait! ;)

So tonight I'm walking through the biggest SuperStore in Atlantic Canada when I come across some clerkless checkouts. The customer swipes the items.. bags them.. then swipes their debit or credit card and bob's their uncle they're done. There were two ladies at the machines to "introduce" them to the customers. When I stated I wasn't impressed they were shocked.

I don't know how customer service is fairing elsewhere in the world, but here in Atlantic Canada it is in it's death throws. Banks that used to have 6 or 7 clerks now have 1, maybe 2. And it looks like now we're going to get to pack our own groceries as well. When we go to a store here the only attention we get from staff is hard-sells and up-sells.

The poor young women were stunned that I preferred to get good service over self-service. They couldn't fathom why I would want to interact with a human being during my purchase experience.

I'm not sure what my point is here, beyond this - when we devalue human beings it makes it that much harder to spread the Gospel. As we become more and more disposable it will be harder and harder for people to believe God valued us enough to give up His only begotten Son. Don't get me started on the signs and commercials that equate pets with your children....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This Day In My Walk

It's been a while since I posted about my personal walk. I find it so easy to get caught up in "teaching" something I've learned, or forwarding some idea that I have.

I'm at a point where I'm excited about my future again. We as Christians can get bogged down by the world. I'm still in my Valley, but I see the brightness of the future that lays atop the mountain in front of me now. I'm learning about surrender, and about His victory. Mostly, I'm learning how He has purchased me with His blood. I'm His. I'm putting everything in His hands. I say "putting" because I have not yet, I'm sure, fully surrendered. If you're reading this would you pray for me that I would before I have to. That I'd be eager to do so daily, instead of when situations get out of control. Thank you so very much.

On Sunday I had opportunity to meet the drummer from a popular Christian band. He related how there is always work for a bass player in the Christian music industry. This is of little surprise since the same is true in the secular industry. This is one area that I'd like to explore as the Lord directs and releases me to do so. Also, there are several other opportunities to study, and minister of which I have heard.

Today I'm excited about what the Lord has planned for me! It should be this way every day no matter what is going on, but that being said today is a day when it surely is so.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Thought About Prophesy

Jews, in Jesus' time and I suppose even today had and have a hard time believing Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ because He seemed nothing like what they were expecting. They were expecting a King, someone who would not only restore Israel but who would defeat all her enemies. The last thing they were looking for is a humble Child born in a manger because no where would have Him. They expected this beautiful stately man, and what they got was a humble man who showed no physical signs of distinction.

Though they had read what Moses, the prophets and psalms have to say about Him they didn't recognize Him. They were expecting the Judge and found the servant in His place. They were not expecting anything but wrath, and were completely unprepared for Grace.

So, given that the Jews were studious, legalistic and highly trained and still completely missed the nature of God. Even with everything going for them, they still inserted their own wants and sensibilities into the Word. What might we do today with our lax attitude towards the Bible? Our constant seeking for something that pleases our sensibilities and doesn't offend anyone. Will our expectations be any closer to the mark than those of the Jews were?

Here's my point. We are told to be watching for His return. We are all interested in the topic. Yet, do we really know what we're looking for? Lets all remind ourselves that God's Word is true no matter if we agree with it or not. Once the believers are taken up in the sky to be with Our Lord, and once He returns to judge the world.. once the thousand year reign is over.. once Satan is finally sent for final judgment.. then we'll know exactly how it all happens. Then we'll see prophesy confirmed.

The danger is, if we insert our own ideas into the Word now we might have to wait until it's all happened before we realize it's going on at all. We should all read the psalms and ask ourselves how the people didn't see the Son of God written in them. Then go back and read the prophesies which have not been fulfilled yet and ask God what they are saying, not ourselves.

Blessings all, the walk we are on is incredible isn't it? Let's keep our eyes open for He who was, and is and is to come - lest He come like a thief in the night.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lord, Lord and Master, Master

I received a small but scarey revelation this week. It came up as soon as I sat to study again this morning. Many of us have heard or read Matt 7:21-23 and heeded the warning, or not. This warning has always put reverent fear in my heart. It reminds us that Salvation is a "heart issue" it's not a game we can play at. We may be able to "play" church on Sunday mornings, but He knows us to the core. We may call Him "Lord, Lord" yet He may never have known us. We may never have had a relationship with Him. If that's the case then we will be tossed aside for those who truly do love Him.

OK So that's basically the message we've heard in church a few times, unless of course we go to a church that calls Him "Lord, Lord". The implication here being, unless we go to a church that doesn't actually worship Christ, but some other thing or feeling.

Now lets look at the other places in the Word where someone calls Him "Lord, Lord", and even "Master, Master".

Matt 25:10-12, the door closes before some people heed Him and even know that it was ever opened wide. Those who truly love Him will prepare themselves, will be seeking He Who is the Door.

Mark 14:44-46, Jesus kissed the one who was to betray Him. That man, Judas, came in and called Him "Master, Master".

Luke 8:23-25, Jesus fell asleep on the boat with His disciples (the subject is His disciples, or those who were following along with Him, many of whom honestly believed and trusted in Him, not His Apostles) a storm raged and they awoke Him saying "Master, Master we are perishing". He challenges them about their faith.

While the situations all are different, and surely the perceived dangers by those involved are different, the real issue and the real danger is exactly the same in each situation. The real issue is the people involved didn't have faith in Christ Jesus. They didn't truly trust Him, and therefore they didn't truly love Him. If you imagine each situation think of how the people said the words "Lord, Lord" and "Master, Master" can you hear the panic building up inside them?

The one real danger they all face is separation from God. Eternal damnation because they did not trust nor love Jesus, The Christ. Hebrews 11:6 says it's impossible to please God without faith.

Oh I've been panicked, and recently so. Pray for me that I will never reduce my faith to calling Him "Lord, Lord" or "Master, Master" but that I would speak to my sovereign Lord, who is powerful above all things in such a way that acknowledges His total sovereignty and authority above all. Pray I never doubt His ability, His plan, His love, His faithfulness. Thank you. We are so very blessed that He has loved us so very much. Let us not forget He isn't just a loving guy, but He is All Mighty God!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Lighted Lamp

Luke 8:17 is often used as a warning about how we live our lives now. It is often said that everything we do is secret now will be revealed later. This may be so, though I'm not sure because our works will be tried by fired, that which is consumed we will suffer loss for and that which lasts we will gain reward for. Also that our old selves are put to death leads me to think the common interpretation of Luke 8:17 isn't what God is talking about in the verse.

So what DO I think He's talking about then? Well lets look at this section of scripture Luke 8:16-18 then.

In verse 16 God is talking about how no one lights a lamp and then covers it up. How it doesn't get hidden under a couch but gets put on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. This to ME sounds very much like Jesus on the Cross. The Crucifixion was to be a visible sign to all the world for all time to know that Jesus' work was completed. Jesus is the Light of The World.

With this in mind lets now look at verse 17. "For there is nothing hidden that shall not be disclosed, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come out into the open". If Verse 16 is talking of Christ, then so is verse 17. Since Christ is the very image of God the Father then it is safe to say that nothing about the Father will be hidden from us.

The real kicker is when will all this be revealed. After all the Bible is full of things referred to as mysteries. Quickly check out Luke 8:10 where Jesus tells His disciples that they have been given to progressively know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. He's talking about Sanctification here.

But when will all this be revealed fully? When Sanctification is done. When we are in the very presence of Christ Jesus. See verse 18 now. It is clearly talking about who is going to be Saved and who is not.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Law & Grace

I've just read something written a very long time ago, but brings to such clarity the difference between Law and Grace that I just have to share it here. At the end I will post a single statement which brings the importance of keeping the two, Law & Grace separate.

There was Law before Moses (Adam forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:17 was law) and there was Grace before Christ Jesus’ on the Cross. Surely grace was most sweetly manifested by the Lord God’s seeking His sinning creatures and in His clothing them with coats of skins (Gen 3:21).

However the “the Law” everywhere mentioned in Scripture was given by Moses and from Sinai to Calvary dominates, characterizes the time (dispensation) just as Grace dominates or gives it’s peculiar character to the dispensation which begins at Calvary and has it’s predicted termination in the Rapture of the Church.

It is of the most vital moment to observe that Scripture never, in any dispensation mingles these two principles. Law always has a place and work distinct and wholly divers from that of Grace. Law is God prohibiting and requiring. Grace is God beseeching and bestowing. Law is a ministry of condemnation, Grace is of forgiveness. Law curses, grace redeems from that curse. Law kills and grace makes alive. Law shuts every mouth before God, Grace makes guilty man nigh to God. Law says “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” Grace says “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also”. Law says hate your enemy and Grace says love your enemies. Law says “do” and live, Grace says “Believe” and live. Law utterly condemns the best man while Grace freely justices the worst (Luke 23:43, Tom 5:8, I Tim 1:15, I Cor 6:9-11). Law stones an adulteress, grace says “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.” Under law the sheep dies by the hand of the shepherd, under Grace the Shepherd dies for the sheep.

Now here's the kicker-

The mingling of these two together in the way we often teach today spoils both! The Law is robbed of it’s terror and Grace is robbed of it’s freeness.

I can't sum it up any better than that.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Instantly in Bliss or Woe

So I failed yesterday, because like the man full of pride that I can be (if I let my flesh rule). I did not pray but ran off thinking "I" knew enough instead of asking what "I AM" wanted me to say.

Two women knocked on my door. Jehova's Witnesses. They were out collecting souls in the afternoon. I had opportunity to speak with them for some time. Though I thought I was getting through to them at points they did have points which I could not defend against. Shame Shame I have not studied enough. Forgive me Lord and help my study to be fruitful, and when I am prepared, and you have prepared them please bring them back to my home.

They were denying the deity of Christ Jesus, they did not believe in the Trinity - or as it is called in the Word "The Godhead". I found I could not adequately defend this basic but mysterious principle of Christianity. Shame. I must study more.

Further they did not believe they had the assurance of Salvation. The finished work of Christ was not enough for their beliefs. This was easily defeated by directing them to read Hebrews where it is explained that our Eternal Lord does eternal work. They believed that salvation comes and goes. Since we are healed by His stripes I guess they think Christ Jesus is continuing to pay the price for our sins. Shame Shame!!! Jesus is ascended and is at the right hand of the Father!! Victory!! GLORY! Thank You Father!

Lastly they didn't believe that those who are Saved are with Jesus instantly after we die. They believed they had a "hope" of resurrection from death at some point, but no assurance of such. They believed their good works would some how be judged and resurrection would be based on that. THIS is what I wish to address here today.

What happens the instant we die? Well we are either brought in to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ or we are separated from Him by a great chasm and are left in a state of torment.

Here are some scriptures you can read yourself, but we'll study the event of the "rich man" and Lazarus as detailed by Dr. Luke in a moment.

Philippians 1:23 if Paul were to die he would be instantly with Christ.

II Cor 5:9 While we are at home with the Body we are away from Home with the Lord, and vise-versa, there is no other place for a believer to be.

Luke 16:19-26 This one is the real kicker. You see the rich man is aware of his separation and of where Abraham and Lazarus are. He died and is instantly in Woe, while Abraham and Lazarus are in Bliss. It can't get clearer than this. The believer is instantly brought to Heaven (the Third Heaven as it actually is).

Brothers and Sisters, the resurrection of those sleeping in Christ is of their bodies not their spirits. Just as the thief on the cross beside Our Lord on Calvary was to be in Heaven that very day so will we who believe be with Our Redeemer on the day we die, or are raptured.

Make haste Our Lord we are eager to be with You! Lord we await the full harvest and thank You that you'll leave no one believer behind!

Why Is The Old Testament relevant?

Because Jesus said so!

We can not pick and choose what we will believe in the Word. Either it is all true or it is a lie, because it claims to be all true. If God is wrong about something then He can hardly be trusted now can He?

God is, nor ever was, nor ever will be wrong in any way at all. Period. From the very first verse in the Word until the very last one the Word is without error. This includes the Creation account. Animals didn't eat animals in the beginning, there was no death and no disease until Eve was deceived and Adam sinned.

Ok so what's the big deal? Why is everyone so up about this "Creation stuff" lately? Well Our Lord (yes the LORD of our lives), the Author and perfecter of our faith said that if someone doesn't believe what Moses and the Prophets said then a resurrection will not cause them to believe.

Luke 16:31 "He said to him, If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead."

Oh isn't it amazing how God can see our true nature? How He alone knows us to the core.

Friday, November 25, 2005

What If

Thank You Father that your love is based on You and not on me. There's a very pretty song written by Jadon Lavik (there's a handle eh?) called "What If". This song speaks to me about my walk. For so long I have thought I had to be good enough to come to Christ. Well recently I have learned that is just not going to happen in my own strength. In fact, I won't be "good enough" until I am face to face with Christ Jesus and my Sanctification is complete.

So what's so good about that? Well Jesus, our Lord and Savior, the Great Physician didn't come for the healthy, nor the righteous. He came for the sick and the sinners. He came for those who have fallen short of God's glory!!! That would be all of us by the way. If it is possible for me to be good enough, then Christ Jesus has died in vain.

Thank You Christ for saving this poor child that I am. I no longer have to wonder "What If" but I know that "I belong to You, apart from the things I do." And yes Lord, "I'm in awe of why You do."

Check out Jadon's music he's a talented guy.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

We Should Be Humble

Jesus humbled Himself when He came to Earth and lived as a child. He was fully human, while still being fully God. He allowed Himself to be a child. This is yet another indication of the consistency of the Word. We are to be as Christ is, and we are to be humble – as is His character revealed in His earthly life.

Matthew 18

1AT THAT time the disciples came up and asked Jesus, Who then is [really] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
2And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them,
3And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].
4Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me.Now Jesus is speaking about the character of a child, [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5And whoever receives and accepts and welcomes one little child like this for My sake and in My name receives and accepts and welcomes Me.

Now Jesus is speaking about the character of a child, not himself but since He was a child Himself the character illustration is, I believe, valid.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bless Those Who Hate You

Jesus told us to "invoke" blessings upon and pray for the happiness of those who curse us. To "implore" God's blessing upon those who abuse us.

Wow, who's up for that? Well I've recently started a personal policy of "forgive them and watch them transform". This came from conversations with my Brother in Christ, Cory. I've been watching this bring fruit in my workplace. Just yesterday I started to actually try to follow what Jesus said about those who hate us. I can't tell you how those people (in my life) have reacted so far, but I'm absolutely sure of God's faithfulness.

Check it out yourself, read and heed Brothers and Sisters. Luke 6:27-28.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Remembering The Depths

As I walk through this valley I constantly receive blessing, and comfort. From the touch of God, and from my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. It's been suggested that I record what it's like to walk through this valley so I will always remember, and be able to help those who visit their own valleys in the future. I'm going to do this, and I encourage you all to do the same in your life.

All thanks, and Glory be to Him, Christ Jesus. In Him all things are possible, without Him all things are worthless. All praise to He who would save such a soul as mine. Who loved me before I even knew of Him.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The War Is Over!

Nope, this isn't about Iraq, or any other carnal conflict in the world.

1 John 4:4 "Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world."

Lets understand this. Evil is already defeated. Let's live in the freedom Christ has purchased with His blood for us!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says

Early in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John we read what Christ has to say to each of the seven assemblies (or churches). At the end of each message there is the statement "He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies". See Rev 2:7,11,17,29 & 3:6,13,22. Either just after or shortly before this statement (but always tied to it) there is a message of Salvation. The message of Salvation reflects how Christ is described in the beginning of the message to each church, and or the things that Christ has against each church.

Previously, I have mentioned how the Church is built up as individuals are built up and vice-versa. These messages are great examples of this. If you read them you can see more than just the church He is speaking to. You can see yourself. If you do see yourself in one or more of the messages, then you will also see your exact path to Salvation there as well.

To make use of an American political phrase, as the church goes so goes the believer. And, as the believer goes, so goes the church. I'm talking about local churches here, but the same is true of the Church (all believers dead, alive, and yet to live) as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dealing With Those in Positions of Authority

We are often familiar with what is said about servants and masters in the New Testament. We look in scriptures like Col 3:22-23, and Eph 4:5-8 and see that we are to honor our masters. However, it's not just our masters whom we have to some sort of respect. All people in positions of authority have to be respected. In that if they are doing wrong, we allow God to rebuke them. We are to pray for them.

Even the Archangel Michael dared not bring abusive condemnation against the devil but simply said "The Lord Rebuke You!". Jude 1:8-9 and Zech 3:2.

So the next time we feel like lashing out abusively at people who are in authority we should remember what Michael did, and follow suit.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

There Are No Aliens

How can I, a simple man from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who's never studied the topic in depth, who's never been to and likely never will be to "outer space" say such a bold statement? Simple.

Because God is just. (amplified version) Luke 18:7, John 5:30, 2 Thes 1:5 and the Word goes on and on about our righteous (just) God.

So what does God being "just" have to do with it? Read Genesis.

All of creation was cursed because of Adam's sin. This includes the stars and planets in the "expanse of the heavens" where "aliens" would be living. These "aliens" would not be related to Adam and therefore they would not share in Adam's sin debt (as we looked at yesterday here). Since death is the "wages" of sin they ought not be bound to die, yet the curse would cause them to die. Since there is no way to pay a debt that doesn't exist, there would be no way for them to attain salvation. All of them would die unjustly, with no way to be redeemed.

God can not break His promise or go against His Word Heb 6:13-17. Since the situation above would surely do both it is clear that there can be no "aliens" in "outer space".

Cool Eh? - Thanks to God for sending John with this wisdom.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Wages of Sin

We all love to inherit stuff don't we? Many people think it's a good thing.

Have you ever wondered why the Word calls death the "wages of sin"? Just as an inheritance is paid to you, or if you actually inherit a debt you have to pay it, we have inherited Adam's sin debt. We have to pay his debt.

Everyone on the planet is related to Adam, even Eve who was made from him. Together they produced the whole of humanity. Adam died with a sin debt, and all of the generations beyond him have inherited it.

This is what is meant by the "wages of sin". The payment for sin is death. When Adam sinned God cursed all of creation, as Adam had been given dominion over it. All creation was to know death, corruption, disease and decay. This is why the world is the way it is today. It was created perfect, and it was cursed because of sin.

Thankfully, for those who believe the Gospel (The Good News!) we can avoid the eternal death that is the wages of sin. What's this Good News? Jesus came to earth, led a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins (paying the sin debt we owe), was buried, raised from the grave in a bodily resurrection on the third day after His crucifixion, and after a short time rose to sit at the right hand of the Father where He is now intercessing for us.

If you believe that, then your sin debt has been paid in full. Not because of how good you might be, but because of how good He is.

Here's some good news for those of you who don't believe it yet, but want to. Pray about it. Do an honest investigation of the Word. Test it. If you honestly seek God you will find Him. Whatever you find out through your investigation follow it, as long as it was a truly honest investigation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


A one word title means I don't have to be as creative this early in the AM. :)

The Lord woke us very early/late last night. We took the time to pray which was nice. If you don't pray with your spouse you should start. I don't know if I've ever felt more intimate with her than when I pray with her. We didn't get back to sleep for some time, and so I'm a little groggy this morning. So bear with me would ya?

Hebrews 11. If you're interested in the power of Faith this chapter is for you. Heb 11:1-2 describes faith as the assurance of the things we hope for. It is the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality - to perceive them as real though they have not been revealed.

In the New Testament, God over and over again states that believers are saved by faith through grace (unmerited favor from the Lord). Hebrews 11:6 says it's impossible to please God without faith. For whoever draws close to Him must first believe He is real, and a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently.

As we read through Hebrews 11 we are given the "short form" of the lives of many of our great "faith heroes" in the Word. I am personally humbled when reading all these recounts of these great acts of faith by people of all walks of life. Heb 11:15-16 is particularly humbling to me. It says if they had been thinking of where they came from they would have found constant opportunity to return to it. However, they were thinking about where God was taking them instead. I have often found myself longing to return to my own Egypt. The lifeless cage that it was, was still familiar to me. There is false safety in the familiar. We may be damaged there, but believe we are aware of all the ways we are damaged and don't often wish to risk new or different damages. God never seeks to damage us believers, only to grow us.

The issue (as it seemingly always is for the believer) is sanctification, being separated from Sin. It's a progressive process. Encouragement for me comes in Heb 11:24-25 where the Word says when Moses had grown to maturity and became great he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He did this so as not to deny his lineage, and to avoid being treated "better" than his brethren. So he would not lead a life of sin. Now you could read this as when Moses grew up and became a man, however after reading the Pauline Epistles I'm reading this as the process of sanctification. When Moses was mature in his faith he was able to be obedient. As we grow closer to God, our faith grows stronger. It is evidence of our closeness to Him.

Heb 11:40 is the hammer verse in my opinion! What do all these great people of faith that Hebrews 11 recounts have in common? None of them witnessed the fulfillment of the promise of the Christ, Jesus. Why not? Why if these men and women had so much faith did He not send His Son to them at that time? Because He was thinking of us, and those that may come after us. He didn't send Christ to them because He didn't want them to come to perfection before we will. We will all attain perfection at the same time when we are bodily resurrected on the day of His return! This will happen when the full number has been saved, and not before.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Eternal High Priest Does Eternal Work

Christ Jesus is The High Priest now. He was well prepared for this position and works in it on our behalf. In the time before the coming of the Messiah, worshippers had High Priests who were men, fallen, sinning, human men who did temporary half works of cleansing. They washed sin away with the blood of animals, only cleaning the surface. This had to be redone often and left no lasting change in the worshipper who's sin had been forgiven. These men also worked in a copy of the TRUE Holy of Holies (the closed room of the tabernacle that only the High Priests could enter) that had been built by human hands. They passed on their ranks to their sons and proceeded to die. There was no lasting salvation from these men or their actions. If the worshipper is cleansed this week by one priest and then is seen the following week by the priest's successor will that successor remember the worshipper's being cleaned? If the man priests could clean a worshipper completely why did the acts have to be repeated so often and always?

Christ, who has and will eternally exist as a third of the Godhead came to bring a better agreement. A lasting salvation. Because Christ washes away sins with His perfect blood the worshipper is cleaned to his core. His very being is washed in it. Because He is eternal His work is eternal, if Christ cleans you today He will always be present to remember you have been cleaned. Because Christ is in the true Holy of Holies in the very presence of the Father His work is seen directly by the Father. Because Christ is sinless His work can not be brought into question.

The Eternal High Priest does eternal work! His salvation is forever and unchangeable. Rejoice all who believe! You are to be envied for your sins have been nailed to the cross and buried with Christ! He has risen to take you with Him! Glory be to God!

Monday, October 24, 2005


Hebrews 5:12-13 encourages us who have been believers for some time to grow up and move on to solid food. He who feeds on milk is inexperienced and like an infant, so he cannot teach as he should.

Hebrews 6:1 Tells us to stop laying the foundation of repentance, turning from dead works and faith in God. Now this doesn't mean these things are to be forgotten. It means we are to take care of these and then move on to bigger and better things such as completeness and perfection in spiritual maturity. As believers we don't have to keep coming back to these topics and re-learning them. We are saved, and should move on to walking in the Holy Spirit.

This is all well and good you say, but what's this milk He's talking about?

According to Hebrews 6:2 the following are "milk";

Laying on of hands
Resurrection of the dead, and
Eternal Judgment and Punishment

Well that's a list isn't it? If all we do is go to church on Sunday morning and listen to a preacher for 40 mins and then go home these topics are likely as simple as Quantum Mechanics is to most of us.

We NEED to be studying and praying. We need to move forward. A thing that scares me is most Christians I speak with have a hard time understanding that we are saved by Grace (unmerited favor)and not our good works let alone resurrecting the dead! As I look at the above list I know I'm still stuck on much milk as well.

Want some encouragement? OK, I guess if I have to.... ;)

As I have shown here before, Christ was a student in His early life as a man. Luke 2:40-52 So lets go on to more than just that bit of learning and understand the reason why Christ had to come here as a man. He came here as a man because He had to be prepared for His position as intercessor on our behalf to the Father. Check out Hebrews 2:10

As Christ learned, and was prepared for His position so must we learn and be prepared for ours. If you want to be of great use to the Lord, you'll need to be greatly prepared!

Lets get cracking!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Patients, it's all about trusting God.

The Word talks about being patient quite a bit. This could indicate I should actually be patient. I'm not going to rush in to it though. ;)

How does patients and trusting God get tied together? Well normally I'd be tying verses from several books or at least different chapters of the same book, but today this was made clear to me in one chapter of one book. We'll be looking at Hebrews 6:12-17 (see the Link as I'm at work and cannot edit the HTML of this post on this computer)

We're called to be patient as Abraham was patient waiting for a child to come of his wife's barren womb. He had been given a promise (an oath) from God Himself that he would be blessed and multiplied through a son with his wife. The blessing was the Christ Child, and the multiplication was all the nations of the earth (Jews through blood, and Gentiles through faith - being graphed into His and Abraham's family).

So how on Earth could Abraham actually patiently await a child to be born of his wife's barren womb? She was old, well beyond child baring age. He challenged God on this and God told Him to be patient, that it would happen. How could he trust God? Well God gave His word as an oath. In the world men swear by something higher (God, the Bible and so on) when they swear an oath. God swore on Himself because there is no one, nor anything higher than He. When someone swears an oath we take it as truth, how much more assured can we be of truth when God is taking an oath on Himself - the Highest? This was enough for Abraham, as it should be for us as well.

Abraham was patient, faithful and believing. After his obedience he received Isaac who was born as a pledge of Christ who would come. Because Abraham was patiently obedient and faithful, believing our Father the world was blessed with the greatest blessing. Christ, and salvation through faith in Him, his physical death, His burial, His physical bodily raising from the grave, and His ascension to Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes on our (pre-elect believers) behalf.

Because Abraham trusted God he was able to be patient, and received great blessing. Being patient is an outward sign of our belief and trust in our Heavenly Father and therefore in His Holy Son, Christ Jesus. Our gifts such as faith and patients are works of the Holy Spirit and are given to those who love Him, whom He loved before the foundations of the Earth were laid. For we love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19. I couldn’t resist going somewhere else in the Word with this post today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Brotherly Love

1 John 4:12 "No Man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is brought to completion in us!"

Though we have not seen the Father, we can see Him "in" us if we love one another.;&version=45;
1 John 4:20 "If anyone says, I love God, and hates his brother (in Christ), he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, can not love God, Whom he has not seen."

1 John 4:21 "And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother (in Christ) also."

If we don't love the man in whom we see God then we can't possibly love God Himself.

Check out 2nd Peter 5-7 (;&version=45;) and you'll find that Christian love, love of each other, is the highest goal on the path of sanctification.

If you're finding it hard to love your brethren in Christ, pray for it. Prayer is the solution. We only lack things because we fail to ask for them. James 4:2 makes this clear where the Word states "you do not have, because you do not ask." James is teaching about jealousy here, but the point is the same. See also 1 John5:14-15;&version=45;

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Strange Secret Place

It's another rainy Saturday in Nova Scotia. I woke up with my wife this morning and watched as she got ready for her workday with a sense of no particular purpose for my day. She had a ride into work and so I didn't even have to take a shower if I didn't want to. So of course I didn't. The Lord didn't get me out of bed to study, which is odd as He has every morning (other than two) for the last 7 weeks. After a kiss good-bye and the closing of the front door I didn't take long to fall asleep on one of the couches. 2 Hours later I awoke, still with no real "get up and go".

Figuring this was just a test of my diligence I decided I'd use my own will to get into the Word and study a bit. Nearing the end of 2nd Peter it just wasn't "happening". I started to think about Scott Holtz's description of the "secrete place". He has these places he goes to where he can connect with the Holy Spirit and hear clearly from Him. I've been praying about this idea, wondering if it was just some flakey idea or if there really was something to it. So in the most casual of ways I start praying. I turn on the radio to my fav station CJLU (Christ Jesus Loves You I'm listening right now via their listen online function), and wouldn't you know it theres a person talking about "the secrete place". I decided that since I didn't have a big "logical" plan for the day so I could afford to be what I call "flakey" (so spirit led that you seem to just drift everywhere). As it turns out there was nothing flakey about my purpose for the day.

I showered, got presentable, and headed out in my car. After some debate and prayer I found myself in a strange spot. The last spot you'd think to go to hear clearly from the Holy Spirit. I parked my car in a small parking lot near a park where men meet for homosexual sex. As I had been driving up to it I was a bit confused and then it hit me that it was perfect. I could be there in a dark place reading the Bible and praying for those poor souls.

As I sat in my car I finished 2nd Peter and then started in James . I was learning, but better yet as men drove into the parking lot I would pray for them. Pray they would be released from their burdensome sin. They would come park and then leave. I didn't see anyone "connect". After about 40 mins there were no more cars! I got a clear sense or inspiration that I had done what the Father had asked me to do and I should leave. As I left I saw one SUV pull into the parking lot. I offered a quick prayer for the man but I knew it was time for me to carry on with my day.

I don't know how to tell you how you can determine if something is flakey or is actually of the Spirit. What I can suggest is this - what do you have to lose if it is flakey? Nothing but your pride. I know for sure God wants us not to be full of pride. He's surely beaten the pride out of me. Remember to test all spirits with the Word. Beyond that just do it! (sorry Nike it's a good phrase)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Mercy - Explained Further

Yesterday was full of powerful learning, however I left out some the teaching side of things.

Hosea 6:6 -

King James Version (KJV) For I have desired mercy and not sacrifice; Knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Amplified Version (AMP) For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.

Matthew 9:13 Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy [that is, readiness to help those in trouble] and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims. For I came not to call and invite [to repentance] the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).

Matthew 12:7 For if you had only known what this saying means, I desire mercy [readiness to help, to spare, to forgive] rather than sacrifice and sacrificial victims, you would not have condemned the guiltless.

As my wife and I were studying this last night it became clear that while I understood what was happening in Hosea 6:6, I hadn't made it very clear to my wife. And, since I explained it the same way to her as I did in yesterday's post.. well I think I need to add a bit today.

As we try to get closer to God, to please Him, to be forgiven of our sins by Him we are eager to DO something. Prior to Christ's coming, man had been given the Law which showed us our sin and need for God. We were told to bring sacrifices to get closer to God, to atone for our Sin, to aid in our communication and fellowship with God. Even then God wanted our hearts, not our deeds. God wanted us to be like Him. Gal 3:23-24

Today He is good and just to forgive our sins (through our faith in the Gospel of Christ which includes confessing our sinful nature to Him). However, just like before Christ came, this isn't what God desires most of the believers (the already saved). What He desires is that we would be like Him. That we would have mercy like His. He has forgiven us (believers, those who are already saved), but if we were like Him there would be no further sins for Him to forgive of us.

See Matt 5:48 (check my post "Be Perfect"

So since God has forgiven us while we were still sinners working against Him, so should we forgive those who are working against us, even as they are in the thick of hating us.

Titus 1:2, 3:3-7
Col 1:21-23, 2:13-15, 3:13

There are more references to how God forgave us while we were still sinners. Have a read and see how many you can find! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Desire Mercy Not Sacrifice

*note I've updated this with an other post to complete the "teaching"

So I thought I was just going out for lunch.... :)

God had a plan today! Doesn't He always? I'm listening to the radio (CJLU Christ Jesus Loves You - FM in Halifax and trying to decide what I'm going to do.. I've just finished a McDonald's burger and fries.. which is way out of my normal diet. I had planned on going to a coffee shop but it just didn't seem like the thing to do. So off I go to Chapters. That's when I heard a preacher on the radio bring up Hosea 6:6 "I desire mercy more than sacrifice.." This is the very same verse Cory and I had been talking about a week ago.

Rewind to last night's bedtime prayers. I was praying in the Spirit (not in tongues, just letting myself be led to pray what God wanted me to pray). I found myself praying for many of mine and the Lord's enemies throughout the world! I even told God how I find it hard to understand why I'm to pray for these people, but that it's just more proof of his incredible mercy and love.

Today as I heard Hosea 6:6 the Spirit gripped me and held my mind and heart still so I could hear. I found myself getting out of my car and walking into Chapters - albeit completely "out of it". The Spirit was talking to me. I could feel the stillness in me. People all around, not noticing my presence, and me in the grips of learning.

It was told to me that my own Sanctification is the work of the Spirit, not me. I am to do the things my Father has told me to do. I am to show mercy and love. I'm to forgive as I have been forgiven. I still have this sense of stillness about me as I write this post. It's almost (but not quite) like my body is heavy, and disconnected from the immediate world.

I'm SO not into any kind of "feeling" ministry. I believe God wants faith in Him not in some feeling you get because you're emotionally worked up.

So I forgive all these people. There are so many people who have "wronged" me in my life. I realize that God forgave me before I ever wronged Him the first time, and kept that forgiveness in His heart all the time I did wrong Him. He has loved me since before the world was formed. This is how I must forgive, not because of anything a person may say or do, but simply because my Holy Father has told me to do so.

If you're like me and you feel reasonably confident in your own mental prowess you may also experience God telling you the same thing over and over again.. only to find yourself shocked when you finally "get it".

Here's a couple other supporting verses;

Hosea 12:6 Matthew 9:13

We're in this thing together!

If someone puts a stumbling block in his brother's way he's helping his brother to possibly sin. We're to share each other's burdens. We are to help the weak (in faith). All of these boil down to one just one thing.

We're in this thing together.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is how I live my life affects how you live yours and vice-versa. We spend so much time worrying about keeping our lives "clean" so when we witness we can do so credibly. But honestly, we witness much more in living than we do in speaking. What does it matter if 5 people believe what we say, when hundreds might believe the way we act? What is the real effect if these two things are apposed to each other?

What does it matter if we have the right to do something of our own free will, if in doing what we wish we help a brother or sister stumble in to bondage?

Is our personal freedom worth putting chains on those we love?

As we each live this day, I pray we would think about our actions and how they directly and indirectly affect the people around us. I pray that we would share our brother’s burden by changing the way we act to make his walk easier.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Well it was a very nice weekend. It was Thanksgiving here in Canada and I was able to give thanks for many things. I was able to get out to a dear friend's home and play bass with a few fellows playing worship tunes into the night Sunday.

I've started thanking God for the "valley" or dark area of my life I'm in. Through adversity growth comes. As I was waking on Sunday morning an illustration came to mind.

Water flows in the valleys!

Oh Living Water of Life flow into and restore me! Let me turn from all old ways and live in the new life, which is Christ! Thank you Lord for having your hand on my life! Thank you for your devine purpose. For the love you have shown this child. Thank you for the blessing of revelation and growth!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seeing Victory in the Victor

The Apostle Paul. He really got a pounding. He was working so hard and so effectively for God that Satan just kept at him. Paul starts off humble (after his conversion from Saul to Paul that is) and as his walk moves on he just gets more and more meek. He's one of the wisest men ever to have lived, but he calls himself witless and a fool. He constantly talks of having no power but that which comes from Christ. In 1 Thes 2:17-19 Paul is writing of his deep want to go to the Thessalonians. They are strong believers and have been living by the Spirit. Paul states that though his want to be with them is deep and on going, Satan has been impeding him. Then Paul pulls out the big guns and states (basically) that the joke is on Satan. While the Enemy can put road blocks in our lives he can not stop Christ Our Lord! Paul says that he sees victory in the Victor because we'll all (all believers) will be with the Lord at His return!! (The Rapture)

No matter what Satan throws at you, know that the Lord's will, shall be done. In that there is always victory!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Readily Forgive

We are told to forgive each other (brothers and sisters in Christ) as Christ did for us. This is important in that we shouldn't base our forgiveness on whether the brother deserves it or not. We should just simply do it of our own selves, no matter the state of our brother. For Christ forgave us while we were still sinners.

Eph 4:2 "[Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness) with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another."

Col 3:13 "Be gentle and forbearing with one another and if one has a difference (a grievence or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive]."

The Tie That Binds

Ah the joy of having something revealed to you in the Word! A few weeks back I was reading in Ephesians about the Body of Christ (The Church). How we all are different parts, we are not all hands nor are we all feet. But we all come together to form the whole, which is the Body of Christ. The following verse stood out of the text and gave me joy.

Eph 4:16 "For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part (with power adapted functions), grows to full maturity, building itself up in love."

On reading it again I notice how it speaks of each part growing to full maturity and building itself up - which echoes so many other verses about individual growth and the growth of the Church being tied to each other.

But, what was giving me joy the last time I read it was how that which binds us together as one body is SUPPLIED. It does not come from us. We are held together by Christ! We can not fail to be brothers and sisters as (like everything else) that has nothing to do with US!

Col 3:14 makes this same point again. Colossians 3 is talking about wearing Christ as your new cloths now that you've stripped off the old self (the sinful flesh) and goes on to talk about traits of your personality you should "wear". The verse reads;

Col 3:14 "And above all these [put on]love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony]."

Of course the perfectness being written of is Christ. Echoing the statement in Col 1:20 that all things are reconciled back to Him - whether it is done here on Earth or in Heaven. (I'd choose here on Earth by the way)

So I guess the point is, Christ is the Head of the Church (the Body) and it is by Him that we are built up together and individually so that we can all work together closely in harmony. Live in Christ, let Him be the life in you! It's much less work and it's what He wants of us!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Walking, Walking, on my Merry Way

So how about an update on my walk? The last month has been a time of incredible growth. Adversity has a tendency to do that to you I guess. I'm coming to rely completely on Christ. You know it's no work at all when you simply do it... but it sure is a lot of work when you want to do it but you just can't seem to let go. Thankfully, I'm spending much more time actually doing it than I am just wanting to. The Lord continues to wake me up early in the AM for my study time.

As you know I've been seeking after my 'calling'. We are to seek after the higher gifts (callings). I've always wanted to be a Pastor, however I'm hardly qualified or worthy. This week past it seemed confirmed that I was to be a Teacher in the Body of Christ. Two days ago someone made quite a case of why I should be a Pastor. It's not a decision that I have to make, as what will be will be, but it is something I need to pray about. A Pastor does teach, but he does so much more. I have a few friends who are Pastors and they love their work. They are lovers of God and they get to spend all their time doing His work.

So the question remains how do you find out what your calling actually is? I'm sure (beyond doubt) that Teaching is in my future but is that all?

So here I am on my walk, as of today I'm believing in and trusting Christ. I'm seeking after the Father's face. I'm resting in His provision. I'm praying to be of service. I'm praying for the growth of my brothers and for revelation to the lost. Where are you on your walk today?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Man

Just ONE man.. that's what God searched for in Jerusalem. The Isrealites had fallen into sin, and God was looking for a man who would live righteously. Just one man who would "build a wall and stand in the gap". One man who would follow God, one man who would pray, one man who loved God and would protect his city and family with prayer. Who would live for God.

Ezekiel 22:30 "And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none"

But (He) found none...

This is the message spoken at our "men's breakfast" today. It's a powerful one. What work God will do, what restoration, what holding off destruction will God do if just one (a) man will follow after Him?

Are you that man?

Friday, September 30, 2005

Of Husband's & Wives, this the Mystery Revealed

The Word describes the relationship of Husbands and Wives in detail. It also calls The Church the Body of Christ - and the Bride of Christ. This is a mystery as Paul points out. However, thankfully it has been revealed to Paul and he forwards this revelation to us. Have a look at Eph 5:22-33, you’ll find a Husband is to love his wife as his own body. In verse 32 Paul says the real mystery is that he's actually talking about Christ and the Church. If you can understand how a man and woman are to love each other then you'll understand how Christ and the Church love each other and vise-versa.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Be Perfect

Now there's a title! Pastor Cory of Royal View church pointed this out to me recently. It surprised me and impacted my walk so I'll share it here.

Matt 5:48 "You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect."

The verses leading up to 5:48, explain actions and character traits you should have. These are a repeat of what can be found in Leviticus 19:2-18, Prov 25:21-22, Ps 139:21-22, Deut 15:8, Prov 24:29.... and so on. The AMP version of the Bible is great for linking you to OT scripture.

But how on Earth does a HUMAN be "perfect" like GOD? Well it's through Justification, the Rebirth into Christ and further Sanctification. But I'll give you the simple answer for now. Two steps. 1 - Get Saved! 2 - Be a student of the Word, just as Christ was.

"Wait!" you say "Christ IS the Word in the Flesh, why would He have been a student?". Because He came to Earth and lived as a man. He was all God but He was also all Man. (I personally believe this explains why He was called the Son of Man - He's the Son of God, and while He was on Earth He was a man - so He was of the same stuff that is a man). So then you might be tempted to ask where in the Word does it say Christ was ever a student?

I was deceived, as many other people are and have been about Christ's childhood. I had believed He had taught at the Temple. However if you read Luke 2:40-52 for yourself you will clearly see that the developing Christ was a student! Particularly verses 46-47 where you see He was sitting and LISTENING and ASKING questions. All were astonished and overwhelmed at His intelligence and understanding and His REPLIES. Verse 52 shows that this process didn't just go on for the 3 days He was missing from His earthly parents but in went on for years, His developing years. He grew in body, wisdom AND in favor with God and man.

As you can see, we are called to be "perfect" as our Father is. And we're shown how to do it. Christ said that those who have known Him know His Father. If we pattern ourselves after Christ then surely we are patterning ourselves after our Holy Father. So as a child in Christ we are to set ourselves to learning. That learning will be fruitful and we also will grow in wisdom and favor in God.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Ministry of Reconciliation

We believers have been given a great commission to spread the Gospel, the Good News to all the world. This we all seem to understand quite easily, even if we each apply it with differing zeal. What isn’t as readily apparent to us is that we’ve been called into a ministry of reconciliation. To my benefit the Lord has put strong servants around me of late, those who do understand this ministry and are filled with zeal in it. The idea that we are called to reconcile is new to me. I believed that reconciliation was from and about the Lord only. Thinking I was to be a lover of my brother (in Christ) and to have a heart for the lost I missed the point. Little did I know but we are given our own burdens so we can understand and sympathize with others who also have burdens. Remember this the next time you’re thinking of waving a sign in front of an establishment, or the next time you think about yelling out at someone. Are you helping them to reconcile with God? Or are you pushing them away?

2 Cor 3:6 [It is He] Who has qualified us as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive.

2 Cor 3:7-18 Explains in detail the Law –vs- the Spirit. To paraphrase, if the Law was in splendor and it brought death and was not to last, how much more splendorous is the Spirit which brings life and will last forever.

2 Cor 5:18-21 Explains we’ve been given a ministry of reconciliation so that by word and deed we might bring others into harmony with Him. It was God in Christ reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself. So we are to be as well.

Finally, we get to the point of who’s to give the Sinner grief

2 Cor 7:9 *this verse is pointed at an event, but I believe the principle carries over as you’ll see in the next verse. “For you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel…”

2 Cor 7:9-16 Explains Godly grief leads to repentance which is glorifying to God and is walking in true faith.

This is how we are reconciled to God and each other.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Behold all things ARE new! Talk about a weekend. I could spend the rest of my life talking about the last four days. To keep up with my identification with Paul, I feel like I was on the road to Damascus. I was blinded and for three days I was lead by believers in to the city. When I was there and broken, my sight was given to me. Not only that but my sight was greatly restored.

We're talking life changing, amazing, seemingly impossilbe sort of restoration. If I were to talk about the fruits of just yesterday it would take me a day to write it down here.

Thank you all who prayed for me this weekend. You held me up as we should be doing for each other. It was fruitful. I now know my calling!! AND I have a small lesson for all of you. And yes I mean all. :)

When you are listening for the voice of God. And it gets to the point where you don't think He's going to speak to you. Take a moment and replay the recent past. He likely already has. My calling was revealed on Saturday, but I didn't KNOW it until Monday night when my brother in Christ was the third person to confirm it. Suddenly, everything became clear. My point is, when you're asking for His voice, be aware this prayer may have already been answered. He knew us before the foundations of the world were laid. I'm guessing He knows what we're going to pray for as well.

God revealed to me this weekend, much in the same way as Christ called Peter a rock when he was still foolish, that I will be a Teacher. By His strength, and wholly for His glory. God saw Peter as he would be in Christ. He is seeing me as the teacher I will be in Christ. Thank you God!! Abba Father!

One last thing. When I was asking for protection. When I was asking for direction. When I was broken and laying everything at His feet. His simple reply, that spoke, and has spoken volumes everytime He's uttered it, was I AM. Thank you Lord! I'll leave that mystery for you to figure out, for now.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Great Expectations!

I'm believing in God, that He'll speak to me over the next three days. I'm praying for my calling to be revealed, and for the path out of the vally I'm in to be made clear to me. I want to know what I'm supposed to be doing with my life so I can run after it.

Please offer the Father a prayer in the Son's name that I would have "big ears" this weekend and that the Holy Spirit would more than whisper, even yell at me so that I would hear and understand.

Thanks! God Bless you all!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Better than Ezra?

Well I’m just back from my exercise. I’m a runner, but today I wanted to do the stationary bike and some work on my abs. While I was on the bike I wanted some light reading so I popped open the Good Book and looked through the Old Testament. Lots of light reading in there right? Well maybe not, but I did manage to turn to Ezra and decided to finish it while I was on the bike. Thanks to the Holy Spirit it was profitable.

Recently pastor Don spoke a message on how Israel has over and over again backslid away from God. His point was that our walks as Christians are often the same. God is there willing and loving, but we often turn away from Him when the going gets EASY. We’re always seeking Him in the hard times, but when things are easy we think (as I would say) we’ve got it cased. He was speaking from Nehemiah but I think Ezra tells the same story. Ezra also points to Christ, but that is a real big topic. :)

Anyway, the book of Ezra talks about the building of the temple at Jerusalem. Permission is given and then taken away (by the earthly kings that is) and then permission is again given and great blessings of funds and resources are poured all over the project. No sooner was the Temple completed but the Israelites, priests and Levites started to committing abominations against God’s Law. The dirty of it was they were taking daughters of foreign nations for wives of their sons and giving away their daughters as well. This is an other subject but let it be said that this is not what God wanted them to do at the time.

So Ezra rebukes them and tells them to repent of their sins. Ezra gets down on his knees and spreads his arms. He prays agreement with God and seeks forgiveness for all for their sins. The people come to him and see him while he’s praying. They all repent, and not only that they send away the foreign dauthers and sons, and God is glorified.

Vessels of Earth

As much as it is pleasing to ourselves to be good at something, to be seen as skilled, I believe sometimes God puts us where we feel least comfortable. This He does in order that we might glorify His Son. It is often in our failure, and inability that His victory and His power are most clearly shown.

1 Cor 1:17 says Christ sent Paul out to preach the Gospel, but not with "verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain."

2 Cor 3:5 says we are not fit in of ourselves, but that from God we get power, ability, and sufficiency.

2 Cor 4:7 says we posses the precious treasure of the Gospel in "vessels of earth" that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. Our flesh bodies (these vessels of earth) are earthly and fallible. They are broken and decaying.

It is my prayer that this vessel can be of some use to the Lord. That I can work good in the world for His purpose.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

First the Jew, then the Gentile

One of the many things I've learned through my recent study of Romans has been the true reason why Salvation was given to the Gentiles. I was studying Romans to learn more about Justification and Sanctification. Specifically I'm looking for the answer of how to live a Godly life. That study continues for me, and I'll be visiting it here soon. However, while I was looking for that knowledge the answer to why the Gentiles can now be saved was revealed to me. In simple terms the Gentile is saved to make the Jew so jealous he'll seek the grace that saves. The Word describes the Jews as "Law Keepers" speaking of spiritual law which has the purpose of showing us we are not worthy of salvation and moving us toward belief and trust in God for our salvation. However, many believe if you "keep" the law then you will be sinless. This is not the case.

For me, the reveal started in Romans 4:7

"Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried."

Now the Word is saying those of us who are Saved, (our sins covered by the Blood of Christ and buried in death)are to be "envied". The word "envied" stood out of the text like it was highlighted.

Then Romans 11:11-12 reveals

11 "So I ask, Have they (the Gentiles) stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their false step and transgression salvation [has come] to the Gentiles, so as to arouse Israel and so to make them jealous"

12 "Now if their stumbling has so enriched the world, and if [Israel's] failure means such riches for the Gentiles, think what an enrichment and greater advantage will follow their [Israel's] full reinstatement!"

In Romans 11:14 Paul goes on to make it perfectly clear.

"In the hope of making my fellow Jews jealous, and thus managing to save some of them."

Isn't it incredible? God has forever pursued the Jew. He has loved them from the begining and constantly given them everything they needed to stay with or return to Him. He is forever working for their good! Some have said it is an inconsistancy that the Gentile was not saved before but now is. However, this is God's expression to the Jew that Salvation doesn't come from the person but from God. That no matter how good or bad we think we are, God is the one who Saves. For even though the Gentiles were never given the Law, and so never kept it God's grace saves none the less! Thank you Jesus! We are saved by Grace, as all men have always been. Grace is simply, as the Amplified version repeats over and over, "unmerited favor". We do not deserve it, nor could we. It is given in and out of love.

That's all for today,

Why Me? Why Now? Why Here?

So the title is full of whys. Isn't that a lot like the world? We're always looking for why this or why that. Well the why of this blog is simply that I'm anxious to be closer to Him. I'm a Christian who's learning. I'm a Christian on my personal walk to be closer to Him. I figure if I'm learning, I should be sharing. So I'm going to be talking about what I'm learning and what's happening in my life as the days go by. The Holy Spirit is working in my life in a great way right now. I'm studying like I've never been able to before. I'm currently working through the Pauline Epistles. I'm taking notes and so I'm going to be sharing what I learn with who ever manages to find this blog. I'm a Gentile and Paul is the appostle who was sent to the Gentiles. I'm praying for and receiving understanding of God's Will and His Word through Paul's writings.

I'm a bassplayer as well. So I'm sure I'll be touching on music and how it affects my life.

May God's love be the light of your life, may you walk on His path and by His wisdom. May the Lord sustain you.