Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Unique Love

"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8 ESV

Aren't we fortunate that God didn't expect anything from us and hold back His affection when He didn't get it.

He didn't say, 'They never call me so I won't call them.'

He said, 'They are in trouble. Son, please go to them and restore the relationship. Pay the highest price. Do all that can be done.'

Jesus, being His Father's Son, did just that.

Is there a higher love than this? A love that reaches out and gives all.

I haven't found one. Thank You God.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Always A Handful Of Something Good

In the 1930s people in Baltimore were going through hard times. After the stock market crash money and food was scarce but at Thomas and Thompson's drugstore there was always a bowl of Graham crackers that anyone could eat from by the soda fountain. It would be constantly refilled. The owners did it so that those who were buying drinks would be thirstier and spend more money and so that those who had nothing could always get a handful of something to eat in a dignified way. Many a person survived that dark time because of that bowl that was always restocked no matter how many hands took from it.

"Then I said, 'Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.' I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD. I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation. As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!" - Psalm 40:7-11 ESV

Jesus comes to us in the Bible and we become a bowl that gets low at times but is then refilled. Jesus is the lamp that lights us for the dark times. Those who have get more and those with nothing get something.

It cost money to keep that bowl full. Jesus has paid the price to keep us full. Thank you God for your mercy and compassion.

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God's Method Of Supply

This is a good 'memory verse'.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19 ESV

The word translated 'need' is chreia (Strong's G5532) and it is more of a business need or necessity related to supply and demand.

God meets every 'transactional demand' with the 'abundant outward possessions' of His 'actual character on display' in Christ Jesus.

That is mysterious and wonderful if we let that statement sink in. Here is the context of the passage.

"Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:14-19 ESV

Paul was hoping all the Churches would work together and give a little to help the work. That way no one would be overburdened. Good plan. It made sense. It didn't go that way. No one helped and when the Philippians found out they took on a large burden and showed Paul great almost uncomfortable love. God was glorified in their sacrifical love.

Paul was saying that it was going to be that way for them also. Needs 'to do Gospel business' were going to be met but in mysterious ways.

Perhaps things haven't gone the way you planned? Take heart... and get used to it. {smile}

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Depressed? Please Don't Condemn Yourself

If you are depressed it isn't your fault.

Oppression causes depressions. There is an aerodynamic action we can live in. Eternal security protects the mind. Being given Christ's righteousness protects our heart and vital organs. Faith can block all the fiery darts that would cut us off from our supply. Don't blame yourself. Don't blame anyone. The night is dark but the dawn will come. Get help for your body if that is needed but your soul needs God's sunshine to win this battle. You are a precious needed human being. You are important. God loves you in a special way... please don't blame yourself... see yourself through God's eyes and sometime soon you will soar again.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Believing Caleb / Winning The Wolf

March 17th, 2017

Today is going to be the best day of my life. I have chosen to believe Caleb about the promised land and skip Numbers chapter 14 and all of the rest of the wanderings of that book. The Gospel gives me (us) a land overflowing with milk and honey and giants that will make a big thud when they fall.

A Rhema (divinely inspired word) for me today... We can agree with Caleb this morning when the day is fresh and new and skip to Joshua 1:2 or we can deal with Korah and Balaam for the rest of our lives.

There may be no wedding today... no babies born... no graduation planned... just the Gospel makes this potentially the best day of our lives.

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March 18th, 2017

"But David said to Saul, 'Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears...' " - 1 Samuel 17:34-36a ESV

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." - Isaiah 11:6 KJV

"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." - Isaiah 65:25 KJV

Is nature normal? Seems like an odd question. Secular science says, 'Yes, Of course it is.' but the Bible says that what we see now is not what we will see later.

Wolves don't live with lambs but they will.

Dogs are canines but they live with us they are close to wolves.

I heard an account a while back on radio about an area that had a large number of dogs go missing. One wolf would appear near a dogs yard and play with him or her. Then one day the dog would just disappear. One dog can play with one wolf but then the pack shows up and that dog has no place there. It becomes food for the pack.

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." - Luke 11:21-23 ESV

Jesus is the stronger man in this picture. He enters the broken natural world that is influenced by fallen angels and He binds the strong man in his own fortress. He pulls the wild man out of the pack and makes him into something else. That man gets saved not eaten. He is transformed. He or she is made into a family member.

Fitting in (if it is even possible) only makes us vulnerable to a vicious nature. God wants to restore normality. Being with Him is normal and right. This world has been wrong for a long long time. It has been wrong for as long as anyone can remember.

Win a soul today and make it right again.

In this age this restoration is done one person at a time. Walk with the stronger man who isn't lying in wait to shed blood. He is a king who has taken on the role of a servant. He Is the royal lion uncorrupted by the world and the lamb who is no one's victim. He is the Savior and He has come into this world to seek and save the lost. He washes feet and wins hearts and minds with his gracious kindness. We can be 'about' His Father's business.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Time In A Promise Book

Up at 3am. Got out of bed at 3:30am. Prayer and promises... a good way to start the day...

I like how David Wilkerson organized 'The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book'. He breaks the book into three sections.
- God's Promises for your Spiritual Needs
- God's Promises for your Personal Needs
- God's Promises for your Future Needs

Then he has Key verses with supporting passages for a list of topics in each section. It is very well done.

I think I am going to incorporate a study of God's names in the Hebrew and Greek into my promise book study. God's character is intertwined with his commitment. One hinges on the other. His commitments show something about His character and His attributes (names) prove that He is capable of keeping His commitments.

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." - Psalm 20:7 KJV

"Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." - Psalm 124:8 KJV

I also like the idea of knowing the context of the promise. Who is speaking? Who is the speaker addressing? I don't what to quote Job's friends and say that God is speaking when God says Job's friends have wrong ideas. (see Job 42:7)

On the other hand, we can quote passages that are in the scriptures and say, 'God dealt with this person in a certain way...' and then make the claim that God may very well deal with us in the same way as long as it is in the context of grace.

God clearly deals with corporate entities (Isreal, the Church, foreign nations, etc..) differently than He does with a person. I think it is a mistake sometimes to quote a passage directed at Israel or the Church and claim that it is a personal promise or provision. The Church is not Israel and we are not structures with a mission statement. We are sons and daughters and God has mercy for us that He does not have for groups per se. A King deals differently with His child than He does with a foreign nation and with good reason.

Grace isn't for good people or nations. It is for God's people. It is for heirs. The Gospel is a grace initiation to an individual. Salvation then puts people in a place to receive grace. God's holiness and justice are going to be seen clearly by all. If salvation hasn't placed us as individuals into God's kingdom then mercy is going to be far removed from a person's experience. God has promises about that also.

"He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail." - 1 Samuel 2:9 ESV

'Ouch.' But also 'Praise God'. He is just. He is gracious. He is precise. He communicates is a way we can understand if we incline our ear to hear.

Thank You God for Your wonderful book. Thank You for your lasting commitments. You are the Alpha and Omega. You will be around to see every promise fulfilled. You have the power. You are The faithful and True One. We worship You for who You are and Thank You for all that You have done and will do.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dusting Off Old Projects

Yesterday was a great day to pull out old projects and work on them. I reviewed a 'promise book' project that I put a great deal of work into years ago.

It is a colossal subject... huge... and very edifying.

I understand why people look for 'Bible codes' or other hidden messages in the scripture. People crave mystical theatrics that will solve problems all at once. I have to say after looking over my references just briefly again that there is no need to look for what is hidden. What has been revealed is just plain amazing.

"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." - Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV

That last word translated 'law' is torah (Strong's H8451) and it isn't talking about rules and regulations. It is referring to inspired scripture as a whole. God's mind given to us. Living eternal ideas. We 'do all the words of Torah' when we have God's mind... when we 'think with God'.

This morning I have been looking through a small book...

'New Covenant Prophecy Edition' by International Bible Society

A man with a heart for Israel gave it to me years ago.

Wow. It is dynamite. I wish a had 1,000 of them and I could just mail you all a copy. Simple. All scripture linked to scripture with a full New Testament and references to prophetic fulfillments.

It has no price on it and no ISBN number. It was made to give away.

Sure. God has His secrets but what He has given us is amazing. I don't ever want to let what He has given sit unused and unappreciated on a shelf somewhere.

Let our minds be a little like this small book... scripture linked to scripture in a stream of understanding... of past, present and future. Oh God! Please illuminate our minds with truth that causes us to connect with You and other people... not antisocial scholars and also not extroverted idiots. Give us a balance of wisdom and love... truth and social connectedness... knowledge and sensitivity. What you have given belongs to us. We want to possess our possessions. Help us Lord. Thank You God.

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