Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Water On Mars' Hill

Water on Mars? Not surprising. Nor does the method NASA used sound very conclusive either.

"So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.' " - Acts 17:22-31 ESV

I see NASA as a great example of man 'feeling their way' towards God. The Greek word used there is pselaphao (Strong's G5584) and it means to grope or look with your hands for something.

Man tries to put God in a box but it is God who has limited us in our place and time but He did not limit us to keep us limited. Just as we are wise not to limit Him we can truly move and have our being in Him.

Here Paul is speaking to Greek philosophers and people who had gathered from other people groups. It was a place where ideas were presented before people who were curious. Many of them had a type of 'wisdom lust.' You know those people just as I do. They crave news and new ideas all the time but that knowledge does not seem to change them very much. They have become immune to it.

Paul's Spirit inspired approach is good for them and for us. Maybe we think more knowledge will save us. We grope along the terrain of ideas looking for something lost or a switch that will illuminate the room but all the while God is very near. God understands our groping and actually has designated a time for it in His plan but now it is time to repent (turn to Him) because there is One who was raised from the dead. There is One who has ventured into the greatest unknown terrain and returned with a message.

Perhaps there is water on Mars. Maybe it is some low gravity multicolored sand sculpture. I'm sure man will continue to grope for answers as long as we have the resources and means to do it.

Those of us who have found Jesus because He looked for us first have also found a light switch for the dark places. He becomes our spiritual illumination.

God isn't far away and beyond our imagination. He is here in the room. The room is in Him. Knowing that we can begin to converse with Him. He has things to say if we will pour out our hearts and listen.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Power Of Humility


I always marvel at the power of it.

"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.' " - Matthew 23:1-12 ESV

Interesting. Notice how Jesus doesn't tell the people to rebel against the Pharisees or refuse to cooperate with them.

Other men teach rebellion. They teach a person to fight in a moral framework. Christ is harmless. He creates life in what was dead and that life takes over.

In God's economy the humble person is the one who is exalted. God's economy is a grace economy. God doesn't favor those who carry heavier burdens or those who demand others carry heavy burdens.

In our desire to reclaim a sense of perfection that has been lost people get very concerned with right and wrong. Things being right and others getting things right becomes hyper-important. This isn't mysterious. When things are wrong life becomes uncomfortable.

God is holy and His things are in order but they are that way not because of effort but because of God's nature.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." - 1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?" - James 4:10-12 ESV

Humility produces integrity not rebellion. The humble person isn't a doormat for evil. Evil is recognized and resisted but the focus is on God and not the problem.

When we focus on God we are humbled.

I see person after person in the scriptures who were put in situations that challenged them to trust God and not in the power they themselves could muster up.

We face the same challenge. Will it be might or integrity? Will we rage against injustice or will we humble ourselves and let God work through us to be part of the solution?

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." - Philippians 2:14-16 ESV

God does amazing things though people who are being humbled by grace and rely on Him. Heaven's history books are filled with stories we won't hear about here on Earth. If we cling to grace and life in God's economy we are like salt and light wherever God has us.


Monday, September 28, 2015

A Significant Celestial Event

I look forward to seeing pictures of the eclipse. People do such a good job with celestial events these days because of the widespread availability of good camera equipment.

At the same time because I am tuned into 'a Biblical mindset' I know I am also going to have to contend with a bunch of strange prophetic correlations. People are going to look back upon this significant celestial event and make political, economic and spiritual connections to it. It is sure to appear in charts and graphs and as the years go by events will be linked to it that will make some folks scratch their heads.

There is a reason that the brass serpent used in the wilderness is lost and that the ark of the covenant is gone from our sight. People tend to worship the wrong things. They bring events and things into their life and hold unto them in strange ways.

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." - Deuteronomy 6:5-9 ESV

The Bible is something I keep close. God's words are things that I hold onto. I incorporate them into my life and living. I don't change them to suit me. I bring them just as they are into my life and they change me.

There is an event I return to and find significance in above any other. It happened on a day of celestial significance. It is the cross. I can't bring that into my life like I bring the Bible in. I must leave my life to get there.

Jesus left His life to go to the Cross. I find that I must do that also. The cross isn't going to be in my backyard or around my neck. It isn't just an event that appears on a theological chart. It is always outside the walls of the city. It can't be domesticated.

I find that I can't live the Christian life but I can go to Christ's cross and find life on the other side of it.

"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.' When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, 'Who then can be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.' " - Matthew 19:24-26 ESV

The cross is what makes it possible for us to pass through the narrow gate. My goods and currency can't fit through that gate. My life and deeds only disqualify me from righteousness. But at the same time they qualify me for the cross.

God did something unchangeable there. Ultimate betrayal and ultimate forgiveness are manifested in the same place. The cross also gives us the right to certain assurances.

We are sure of forgiveness because of the cross. Eternal salvation is possible because of that cross. I find that I am washed in an experiential way because I have been there.

I am going to enjoy the pictures and take all of the tabloid style theology with a grain or two of salt. No matter what people say happened this weekend my focus isn't going to change. I will carry the same seed to sow.

God's grace is what changes lives.

God's word is what we can take home with us.

Christ's cross is my daily destination.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sheep Among Wolves

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." - Matthew 10:16 ESV

The cosmic system is a complex wire framework operating and changing in tandem with the fallen souls of men. It's structure and solidity is determined in part by individual soul power and the group dynamic.

A person can escape to nature and bring only themselves but as soon as a group forms anywhere the cosmic system dynamic picks up right where it left off.

The only way to truly know a system is to experience the inside of it and the outside of it.

The redeemed soul has escaped and is sent back in again with eyes opened.

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." - Jude 1:20-25 ESV

We do in-reach among the other sheep but outreach is when we reach into the cosmic system as agents free of that system but with souls that can still be vulnerable to the dynamics involved.

"Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you.' " - John 20:26 ESV

The locked door was no barrier to Jesus neither was the wire frame of fear that blanked the room.

When we have received grace we are no longer looking for favor inside the system because we have found it outside the camp. Peace pulls us out of our culture and shows us the dynamic from the outside. Peace stills our minds so that we are free to see the patterns that were invisible to us when we were caught up in the motions.

Curse the culture if you want to but the strife and injustice is mostly the product of the souls involved. It isn't a mysterious 'them' that is calling the shots. Our souls power the system when we feed on the dust of a fallen life. The cosmic system is the faith field organized by fallen angels that presently blanket the Earth.

But before we go and break out the tin foil hats to feebly try and protect ourselves from ourselves we must know that the root of the issue is lostness not ignorance. If people are taken out by God and sent back in again then things can change for the better because God is able to 'keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy'.

We can discern the wire framework and step through it this weekend. There is a natural current that is moving in a set direction but we don't have to be moved by those forces. We have a new purpose and Heavenly priorities that move us. If we are citizens of Heaven then we are no longer under or energized by that power. It can affect us but we are above it even when we are in the middle of it.

"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." - Matthew 18:19-20 ESV

I'm not looking for a devil behind every rock and stone. I just want to love the people God has put in my life in unusual ways that ignores accepted barriers because it is really God loving people through me. I may be just a sheep but I can venture out among the wolves because I see something they don't see with a real peace that has been given to me by God.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Success Stories

How many success stories involve a more established person giving a less established person a chance? Many of them I would say.

All the talent and determination is the world can mean very little without a window of opportunity. For some that happens early in life and for others much later. Some never get that window or just plain miss it.

No doubt there is a natural success that involves fame and the realization of a skill or talent. Natural success involves resources, connections and security but there is a spiritual success that is set apart. It is holy and it involves God in a very intimate way.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world." - 1 Timothy 6:6-7 ESV

How true that is.

I was in a music store last night looking at instruments for a young fellow I often see who walks by my work place. He used to have a guitar strapped to his back to go and busk (play for donations) down by the water where the people gather. I spoke to him the other day and he didn't have the guitar anymore. He said it got stolen. Who knows what really happened to it. Either way he is just begging now because he lost his dignified way to survive so I was out looking for a replacement I can afford to get it to him.

A couple of middle aged musicians were talking in the store about a younger companion and lamenting about how he was wasting his life in a chaste relationship with one girl going to Bible studies when he could be living up his youth and being with many women instead.

I couldn't help but think, 'Wow. That young musician they are talking about is making good decisions.'

It's all about who you know isn't it?

A person who knows Jesus has the most powerful and influential friend.

Because we know Jesus we are out looking for ways to help others succeed. We can introduce people to who we know and it can make all the difference for them.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." - John 3:16-19 ESV

God sent us a connection. He sent a person who Is the way, the truth and the life.

Whatever you do... Don't miss getting to know Him. He Is the One you need to succeed. Maybe you can get rich without Him. Maybe your talents will be developed without Him but there is no lasting peace without Him. There Is no eternal life without him. Without Him time will erase whatever mark you have made. If you know him things will be written in Heaven that will never be erased.

If you know Him you will make it. God's hands will make sure you make it.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dignity Because Of The Foundation

What relationship does a beggar have to the people they are asking money from?

Is my prayer life just me begging from God or is it something more?

"May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." - 2 Peter 1:2-4 ESV

God gives us a dignified provision before the need even arises.

If you live in an urban center you see all kinds of hardship and people who have been stripped of their dignity because of their circumstances. They look at you and are hoping for something but they can't look you in the eye.

God doesn't want to just give us things. He Is not our vending machine. We can know Him and have a transfer of life that is dignified because of a foundation that was put down before the world came into existence.

Considering who we are that is amazing. We are not beggars. We are sons and daughters.

People's circumstances are so complex but we can have dignified exchanges with everyone because of the 'all things' flow that we have the great privileged of living in.

God help us to by people who live in dignity and impart dignity.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mind Not High Things

"A Song of Ascents. Of David.
O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore." - Psalm 131:1-3 ESV

Such a good psalm.

One key to apply the wisdom expressed in it is to understand the context. Songs of ascent were sung on the uphill journey to Jerusalem on the way to one of the feasts. At points in Jewish history they were sung going up the steps to the temple. Tradition says that some groups would stop on a step and sing a psalm and then move to the next step and sing another one.

The Hebrew word translated 'too great' is gadowl (Strong's H1419) and it means great in magnitude.

In a way this is the simplification we long to achieve when we go on a special trip like a wedding in another city, a vacation or a trip to a fair. The psalmist isn't saying they never mind high things or attempt large or complicated tasks they are saying that this is not the time to do those things because the family, with other families, is traveling to Jerusalem and it in a time for worship, fellowship and a narrowing of purpose.

It is also time to have a weaned soul that can endure discomfort knowing the provision is coming like a child that sees a schedule for feeding and is not driven and ruled by it's hunger to react and demand in panic.

"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his... For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." - Hebrews 4:9-10, 12-16 ESV

There is a rest to enter into. There is a throne to go boldly towards. On this trip things are simplified. The truth that is God's sword cuts and divides so that motives and intentions are defined and visible. Attitudes become evident on trips like these. We are not mentally wrestling with large luggage that breaks our back. We travel light and have what we need. We pack with purpose knowing when we are going and why we are going there.

We have a destination and we worship as we go and say, 'hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore' because we value the pilgrim life and the vacation journey.

The high things are for another time because when we function in God's word and simplicity we get definition that exposes and illuminates the light burden of being yoked up with Jesus. The word of God whittles that large unmanageable thing into smaller manageable parts.

Jesus has passed through the Heavens already. He has moved past principalities and powers and sits at our destination. We can rest going there also.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Use The Bronze Vessels

The priests represents many things in the Hebrew scriptures. They are mediators. They processed what was brought to them in a special way.

"The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD's food offerings as their inheritance." - Deuteronomy 18:1 ESV

"And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." - Revelation 1:6 KJV

We are a kingdom of priests... a royal priesthood. Our inheritance is different.

"Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering... The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tent of meeting... And the earthenware vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken. But if it is boiled in a bronze vessel, that shall be scoured and rinsed in water. Every male among the priests may eat of it; it is most holy. But no sin offering shall be eaten from which any blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place; it shall be burned up with fire." - Leviticus 6:25a, 26, 28-30 ESV

Notice how the clay vessels used to 'process' the offering are broken but the bronze ones are scoured and washed.

Earthen vessels speak of humanity.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." - 2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV

We are shaped things. Beautiful fragile and porous.

God's things are durable.

"But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD... And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD." - Joshua 6:19, 24 ESV

Jesus' earthen vessel was broken when he made an offering for our sin but God washed off the bronze vessel of His divine judgement.

The doctrine of the cross is a divine concept. It is unchanged by circumstances and time. It can be reused again and again but we are earthen vessels porous and fragile. If we process sin through our self life we will set ourselves up for destruction.

We need to let sin be processed by the doctrine of the cross. It is bronze and durable. The doctrine can be rinsed off and reused. The stress of processing sin is to much for us. We must live in newness.

Let's bring everything that has to do with sin and process it in the holy place. The offering goes in but nothing comes out again. The only thing that should leave the temple is ashes and even those are brought into the wilderness and left there where no one can find them.


Monday, September 21, 2015

What Will We Look For?

I never found lasting happiness by looking for it. Looking for happiness can be like a dog chasing it's tail.

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:31-33 ESV

This passage isn't even talking about what we want. It is talking about what we need. I read this and it challenges me. It is just the kind of challenge I need. It's so easy to look at things and say, 'This makes me happy and this doesn't.' or 'That isn't going to make me happy so I won't go there. I've tried something like that before.'

"You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God." - 1 Corinthians 7:23-24 ESV

"But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:17-20 ESV

What do you see in a well run restaurant or business. Happy people (for the most part anyway). When things are run well people have provisions and they are satisfied. There are connections and there is profit that is distributed in a proper way. A business that only makes money for a couple of people and grinds everyone else up isn't a good business. A business that keeps people for twenty or thirty years and puts children through college and pictures in your picture album.

God runs a good operation. The best operation. The only one of it's kind. The original one.

I am going to seek that operation first today. Then I can be a productive person in the spiritual sense.

Am I happy all the time? No. Could I be if I tried? It is vain pursuit if I am the one making it happen.

God keeps gifting me me with things, people and adventures that I would never have any other way.

Maybe you have made decisions that seem to have resulted in unhappiness. The natural thing to do is change what you can to be happier but it is a trap to live that way. We don't belong to ourselves. We own our decisions but we don't own ourselves. Self ownership soon becomes slavery.

God knows what we want and what we need. Let's seek the kingdom first.

We went out on evangelism on Saturday and it was so much fun. We met up and the Bible was opened as we sat on a wall in an open breezeway. We prayed some quick but powerful prayers then the men rode their motorcycles to the harbor we joked around and talked to people about Jesus. Afterwards we went and had burgers and sat in the sun drinking coffee.

I was out from 9:30am to 3:30pm and the time was so golden. Not a moment dragged. There is record of it in Heaven.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:28-31 ESV

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

We can keep spending our paycheck on the lottery of happiness where the only one who truly gets rich is the ones selling the tickets or we can leave that economy behind and realize that the God who sent His Son to die for us wants to give to us.

It won't be sentimental. His giving is purposeful like everything else He does.

We may not like the timing of it because it many time lacks the right now quality that we have become accustomed to but what we end up with is lasting.

If we live this way we have joy and joy is so much more then anything that circumstances could ever produce.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hands On The Rope

"What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool... If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord." - 2 Corinthians 11:17, 30-33 & 12:1 ESV

Can you picture the blocked gates and the many hands of the people that loved Paul and held the rope of that basket?

Paul needed people. He would not have survived without them.

Acts chapter 9 gives the account this way...

"But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket." - Acts 9:22-25 ESV

There are traps we end up in where the exits are blocked.

Only many hands on a prayer rope are the answer. Only the provision found in a calling will provide the way of escape.

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." - Galatians 1:3-5 ESV

This provision is given to 'us' and we can often find it alone on our knees for our personal issues but there are certain logistical issues that require the provision to be found in 'us'.

It's Sunday and I'm going to go be with people.

We will sing and worship. We will hear a fresh portion of Christ centered truth and who knows what we will escape from just because we spent that time there.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Entering Into Spiritual Quickening

I don't know about you but I rely heavily on spiritual quickening.

I quote this one verse often to myself...

"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." - Romans 8:11 NKJV

It is promise that I give back to God but it is only understood in context. God quickens our bodies in a whole spiritual dynamic that starts here...

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." - Romans 8:1-4 NKJV

We can't have spiritual quickening unless we have the Spirit. We have the Spirit because of what Jesus did.

Then the groaning moment comes.

"For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body." - Romans 8:22-23 NKJV

It is the moment when we are tired but more needs to done. It is the moment when a person is there who could hear but we have no words. All creation longs for redemption and we long with it. Jesus is dead. The healer isn't healing. He Is in the grave. The edifier is behind the stone. Wisdom is momentarily silenced. Then the Spirit quickens Him. Life comes into His body. The sunrise happens not only on the horizon but it happens inside the grave and that grave is not a grave anymore.

We have that! Those who believe in Jesus have that.

Thank you God!... Really... Really... Thank You.

Musts aren't our motivation. Shoulds are swallowed in light. We fold our grave clothes neatly and leave them in a tomb we will walk away from. We have no plans to return there. We are quickened ones moving in a new dynamic. There is a life where we are not alive this way and then there is a life where we are made to be alive by The Spirit. It is Jesus' life. It is the life where all requirements have already been met.

What will it be today? More living like Cain where we grow a garden of unapproved vegetables. More going as far as our talent and ingenuity can take us. More avoiding what we don't like. More making things happen or living in regret because we couldn't make them happen.

It doesn't have to be any of that. We can remember a resurrection and be quickened by the indwelling Spirit. We can move in new life and fresh perspective. We can groan in identification and pass from death to burial and into resurrection.

For now our bodies will stay here on Earth quickened as our minds ascend and sit with Christ at the right hand of God's approval.


Thursday, September 17, 2015


"I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel." - Philippians 1:12-16 ESV

Paul was in prison but he knew that he was 'put' there. The Greek word used is keimai (Strong's G2749) for the apologia (Strong's G627) of the Gospel. He was aware of his location but He was more aware of God in his location.

This passage precedes the above passage.

"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." - Philippians 1:9-11 ESV

Pure blameless thinking involves an awareness of placement. When we are aware that God functions in grace and has us where we are in grace then we are free from accusation and we have a redemptive expectation.

We are placed where we are and others are going to do what they do but we are there to be a living explanation of grace until God puts us somewhere else.

Paul was in prison but he was approving what is excellent because he had his eyes on Jesus.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One Sentence Battles

These days I often read booklets in the morning. Sometimes I read a whole booklet and other times I read part of it and a passage quoted from the scriptures grabs my attention so I put the booklet down and look at the passage and my study goes in another direction so the booklet remains open on my desk and I pick it up again the next morning. When I return to the booklet I reread a few pages so that I can continue in context. It can take quite awhile to get through a booklet because of this. Then when I'm finished I put the booklets in a box and take another booklet from another box. When all the booklets in my box have been read I just start over.

I have been reading a booklet called "The Battle Is the Lord's" which was a message from the book of Joshua that was transcribed and edited a bit. One morning I couldn't find the booklet so instead of looking and getting distracted from study by the search I just grabbed another booklet from my 'to-read' box and went from there. Yesterday I found the Joshua booklet again and now I have two booklets to read... one is about the Gospel and the other is about warfare... different authors.

This morning I picked up the Joshua booklet again and what struck me was the 'one sentence battles'. Joshua moves from place to place and Israel takes city after city seemingly in one sentence. Each battle in not described but you can imagine what they were like. War is terrible business. Each warrior had a different perspective. Each day had new challenges, victories and losses.

I am sensitive to war. More and more each year it seems. War has casualties. War is a struggle. Perhaps it is the most primal struggle because so much depends on each skirmish.

Our days are much like 'one sentence battles' aren't they?

I take a new booklet from the box and I only have this moment. I am not promised tomorrow. That is God's business not mine.

We just continue to take the land. We just continue to redeem the time. We do it until we have no more time. Life is like that.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Seeing What Will Be

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." - Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV

Then there is this chapter long list of people starting with Abel, Enoch and Noah stretching through the Hebrew scripture who believed God.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted." - Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV

The Bible says that we are surrounded in such a matter-of-fact way. Are we surrounded by all these people like athletes in a competition are surrounded by the crowd?

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God." - Colossians 3:1 ESV

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus," - Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV

It is our perception that is going to keep us from getting weary or fainthearted. We must see the invisible. Fairy tales do keep people from getting discouraged but God wants us to be bolstered up by what is real and not fiction.

The world isn't just fire, stone, water and gravity. The World was made by words. Can you see them is Genesis? 'Let there be ____ .' and it happened because God said it.

Can you see the people? Can you see Abel and Enoch and Noah? We are sitting with them... or we will be. They will be like a cloud around us. I'm sure there will be that moment of recognition when the scripture is realized in our mind.

This cloud of witnesses is not just a concept to keep us from getting worn out. It is prophetic. It will happen.

"During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel - and God knew." - Exodus 2:23-25 ESV

Every time God helped Israel he was thinking of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and countless others.

Let's lay aside sin like it is something tangible and run the race that is set before us. It is a faith race. People will not know why you and I are going forward. They don't see the creation words. They don't believe in the cloud of witnesses. Jesus is not real them.

Our faith has power because it is based on someone real but unseen. It is based on someone who Is remembering His commitments.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." - Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV


Monday, September 14, 2015

The Recognition Of The Invisible Participant

"I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:3-8 ESV

Saturday my meditation as I went to our outreach meeting was on how the believer senses God as an invisible participant in every event and situation and how the soul winner is a person that not only senses all the participants but wants everyone to be introduced and recognized... both visible and invisible. This person introduces principles and ideas but they never stand by themselves. They are presented in way of introduction. A minister of reconciliation reveals the invisible person and by doing that the visible people are recognized and a way is made to reconcile the visible participants to one another.

Then yesterday I built on this thought by shuffling pecking orders in my mind.

If there are three people (one invisible) then who is first, second and third? Is there an order? If there is a social order are we aware of it or in denial of it?

Are there rotations of order? If the same three people are present does the order change circumstantially?

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus," - Philippians 2:1-5 ESV

"And behold, a man came up to him, saying, 'Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?'
And he said to him, 'Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.'
He said to him, 'Which ones?'
And Jesus said, 'You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " - Matthew 19:16-19 ESV

This post may not be satisfying to some because I'm not going to say this is the order in this situation and that is the order in another situation.

There is a moral order and then there is a spiritual one. The moral order functions by principles and the spiritual one is discerned in God consciousness.

"But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, 'Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.'
And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son.
But God said to Abraham, 'Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.' " - Genesis 21:9-13 ESV

I am sprinkling verses into this post that mean something to me on this subject. Abraham needed to weigh the words of his wife in a different way in that situation. God weighted the scale and those words become heavy. He could not ignore them or discount them without discounting God. God communicated grace to Abraham and gave him promises to confirm that he wasn't being subjective in his thinking.

Grace does that. Grace often reveals a different and unusual order.

Naaman the commander of the Syrian army listened to a servant girl (see 2 Kings 5) and it resulted in him being healed of leprosy.

Shimei walked parallel to David throwing whatever he could find on the found at him while cursing (see 2 Samuel 16) and David let Shimei continue listening for the voice of God in the situation.

I never want the atmosphere of the room to set the pecking order. Many people fall right into an order they do not consciously recognize like cattle. Others resist just because they don't want to conform and that is equally predictable.

I want God to set the order.

Today I want to see God in each situation and be His linen clothed minister functioning in a mercy and grace provision.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Healed Twice

The healings recorded in the Gospels just fascinate me because they seem to travel to the depths of our pain and the roots of our fears.

This one account is in my brain this week. Every time I read it or think about it I get more out of it.

"Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.'

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'

When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: 'Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!'

Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, 'He is dead.'

But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose." - Mark 9:23-27 NKJV

Jesus dealt with this boy's issue in two parts but he also dealt with the father's issue in two parts.

If Jesus wasn't still standing there the boy would have never gotten up.

You can say what you want about the child's condition. The scriptures make the claim that this issue was spiritual and not medical at the root. People have medical conditions that seem like this. I'll go with what the Bible says and I dare not read into the scriptures and come at them from a so called 'modern' approach. Talk to some folks from India or Africa. This in happening right now with people. Children under spiritual attack.

That child was damaged from the first phase of this healing. Jesus needed to be there to lift up that child. He healed him twice. That happens to us also. We are healed from what happened to us. It is purged out of our life but then we need a lifting up into a new life.

Then there is the father. God addresses the root issue of his heart... his unbelief. Disappoint after disappoint after disappointment had done something to him. Barriers had been placed in his soul and the man had allowed those barriers to be erected. Now Jesus was here striding through the crowd with authority. Glowing hope and exuding absolute confidence. A window formed in that man's soul and he started to hope again. So much so that he spoke over top of the disciples who were doing what they thought was best and left his child and went to Jesus directly with the issue.

First God healed the man's hope.

But then the second healing came when the child became as one dead and was lifted up.

What must it have looked like to that father to see his child laying there? Dead... or so it seemed.

Jesus did what He did when He 'saw that the people came running together' so the whole crowd must have gasped as that father's life collapsed in that moment. How many times had that father burned himself in the fire getting his son... or dove into the water to rescue his boy only to have him die now that hope had been revived?

But, Then just as it was all falling apart Jesus took the child's hand and the child arose. The child was healed but the father was healed also. His years of struggling with the impossible ended in a death and a new life began with a resurrection.

We hate impossible problems. We fight against them. We surrender to them. We use them as an excuse for self indulgence and lose our power with God. We answer them with renewed commitments to greater discipline.

They will always be present in a life of faith.

We want deliverance from the impossible problem but God wants us to become available so that the impossible problem can be used to deliver us from our old identity. Then we can be lifted up into the new person God has already made us to be.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Treasury Of Hail

I was thinking this morning about hail stones and how the process of their formation mirrors our thought process when we are readying ourselves for war.

"Have you entered the treasury of snow, Or have you seen the treasury of hail, Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, For the day of battle and war? By what way is light diffused, Or the east wind scattered over the earth? "Who has divided a channel for the overflowing water, Or a path for the thunderbolt, To cause it to rain on a land where there is no one, A wilderness in which there is no man; To satisfy the desolate waste, And cause to spring forth the growth of tender grass? Has the rain a father? Or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth? The waters harden like stone, And the surface of the deep is frozen." - Job 38:22-30 NKJV

Our thoughts harden suspended and kept aloft in our minds. They are frozen nuggets that gather more weight as they swirl and swirl. Snow is gentle and beautiful but hail is ferocious. Hail is often accompanied by lightning and thunder.

God used hail against Egypt.

"And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation... Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail... And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD'S... And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth." - Exodus 9:23-24, 26, 29, 33 KJV

If you hold people captive the hail is going to come but if you let God's people go the hail that has taken time to form will cease in an instant.

In the garden there was only mist that formed dew. There was not even the violence of rain there. Water mingled and gently formed droplets of dew and nourished this garden.

"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:" - Deuteronomy 32:2 KJV

This is grace thinking. This is the thinking of one who has had the need for vengeance satisfied already.

Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sin of the person our thoughts swirl about. As that nugget hardens in our mind God is not angry the way we sometimes are.

"The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe." - Revelation 16:19-21 ESV

God's treasury of hail is still swirling. How long does it take to form hail stones that are a hundred pounds? How fierce must those winds be to keep them aloft before they fall?

God is angry about evil but not about sin. The hail will fall on evil but God has already expended His wrath on what we and every other human being has done in the way of transgression and missing the mark of what is right and good. The hail that fell on Egypt did not fall in the land of Goshen.

"Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." - 1 Peter 2:24-25 NKJV

God's thoughts are gentle towards those who have trusted in His Son. Sin doesn't add up and gain weight in God's mind. Sin is paid for.

I want to spread my arms to the Lord and think about the cross when the fierce winds begin to howl in my mind. The debt has been paid. Jesus is in my boat and the storm is gone.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Walking By Faith

"...for we walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV

This statement is said in the context of having trouble and seeking relief, answers and the covering we sense will be there when everything falls into place one day.

"For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened - not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." - 2 Corinthians 5:4-5 ESV

Yes. The Spirit of God is our down payment.

"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." - Ephesians 1:13-14 ESV

The puzzle pieces don't seem to all be there. We don't know what the future holds but we know Who holds the future.

God's Spirit is here with us. That means the Father and The Son are also present.

We can walk by faith knowing the goodness of God's character and nature.

We can walk in forgiveness by faith.

We can love by faith.

We can read scripture by faith.

We can knock on a door by faith.

We can walk by faith. God is pleased when we walk by faith because God the connection we have with Him can become experiential instead of just remaining theoretical.

Whatever today might hold for us... today is a day we can walk by faith.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Help Our Unbelief

"And someone from the crowd answered him, 'Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.'

And he answered them, 'O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.'

And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, 'How long has this been happening to him?'

And he said, 'From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.'

And Jesus said to him, 'If you can? All things are possible for one who believes.'

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!' " - Mark 9:17-24 ESV

Who doesn't identify with that father? This wasn't a new problem. This was an consistant scary problem right in the center of their family that involved one of their children.

Jesus didn't call that generation poor or ignorant. He called them faithless.

He healed the child. The disciples couldn't.

"And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting." - Mark 9:29 KJV

We indulge ourselves and we have no power. While we do it we walk by sight and cease to have a deep prayer connection.

Jesus used His liberty to draw near to God.

There is no condemnation for you or for me.

Healing is sovereign. The disciples didn't help anyone. God did. We don't heal anyone... not really. We might help by removing the thing that causes injury. We might help by introducing things that assist in the healing process. God designed our bodies to heal themselves if the conditions are right.

This morning I cry out to God and say, 'I believe; help my unbelief'

God can do many things today. He often chooses to use believing people who are available. The issues people have are so deep inside them... so hidden... so impossible. Jesus is the only one who could ever walk by and actually do something.

" ' ...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." - Matthew 28:20b NKJV

This scripture says 'Amen' and we say, 'Amen' to what the scriptures says.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Liberty That Is Produced And Maintained By Christ

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " - John 8:31-32 ESV

The freedom that knowing Christ produces is contained in the framework of the truth and a willing submission to Christ as a teacher. This freedom is produced and contained by Christ's true words. With Christ at the center the freedom is contained. This is as true for the individual as it is for a society. Without Him the very freedoms Christianity made possible will beat the society or person to pieces.

It is like building a water tower and filling it with water. If you destroy the structure the water will eventually leak, eroding what it is dripping on, or come pouring out and cause damage to whatever is in it's path.

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery... You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness... A little leaven leavens the whole lump... For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another... For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." - Galatians 5:1, 4-5, 9, 13, 17-18 ESV

Rules can't contain or produce freedom. Neither can humanistic man centered values. Left to himself man ruins things. History reveals that fact clearly enough.

If the Christian God produced the freedom why would we think we could maintain or contain it? Because we are proud people.

When liberty begins to fail it is replaced with associations with like-minded people who compliment us while excluding those who don't. We become conditional to protect ourselves.

When we exclude God or add to the message of grace until it is not grace anymore (only a pinch or leaven and time are needed to do that) then we are creating a vacuum that our flesh or some other tyrant will gladly come and fill.

"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel... But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." - Galatians 1:3-6, 11-12 KJV

The society or person that lives in the free gift God has given will be free and will grow progressively in freedom because this message truly is from Heaven and the freedom it produces is regulated by Heaven.

We are naive to think that we can't be drawn away. If it happened in the early Church it can happen to us. Jesus must be our focus and His grace must be our method. Then what He produces has a container that is also maintained by Him.


Friday, September 4, 2015


Spaces have uses and the person who has power over the space determines the use of the space. When multiple parties are involved things get interesting. If the person or people with greater power or ownership determine that one occupying the space are not using it as they should or they want other people to use the space they initiate a process to make that happen. The most drastic of these processes is eviction. When eviction happens people are removed by force.

Most of us would probably like to live our life and never be evicted from anywhere or ever have to evict anyone from anywhere. It is drastic thing and if you have ever gone through it you know how hard it can be.

God is the first landlord to evict anyone. He gently evicted Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden. Death is an individual eviction that was caused by the fall but was initiated by God. God would rather is be a reassignment or promotion but He Is prepared to evict us eventually if necessary. The space we are presently occupying will eventually be needed for something else. That is how a fallen world works.

You might be reading this and getting evicted from your comfort zone. In one way I am sorry about that because I don't want to cause anyone discomfort but at the same time I think it is necessary for us at times. I need to leave my comfort zone or else I will not grow. I need to visit places I'd rather not go.

I was thinking this morning about grace and eviction.

Earlier I mentioned 'reassignment' and looking at the scriptures it seems clear to me that God wants to reassign us but He will evict us if necessary. He also sees the injustice and brutality of unjustified evictions.

Grace creates an eviction-free zone for us. Oh, How wonderful. But at the same time it serves an eviction notice on everything that is carnal in our lives.

We will never be kicked out of Heaven. God will never leave us. Our place will never be taken away in His kingdom. There is however a different plan for things here on Earth. Redemption often requires rearrangement.

"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." - Philippians 3:20-21 ESV

Jesus has met all the conditions for us to have an eviction free zone with God. The requirements have already been met and there is a whole provision packet involved.

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder," - 2 Peter 1:3-13 ESV

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28 ESV

Yes... even the Earthly evictions we face become reassignments because God has a plan and that plan will result in good things.

Let's love one another. Comfort zones may get violated but let's love one another through it.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Giving God Glory

"Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands." - Isaiah 42:11-12 KJV

Giving glory to God is illumination mixed with recognition.

I love this verse because it reveals different cultures all recognizing God. The city, the village, the island people and mountain people all can see God's illumination and respond with true recognition.

Some will dance and sing and others may have a tendency to be quietly in awe. Some will focus on the practical while another dwells more on the philosophical.

Grace has an appeal to all people of all cultures. Grace is God's chosen method of expression. It is the avenue the God's attributes will be revealed.

"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." - Ephesians 1:6 KJV

Grace has been revealed and a recognition of acceptance is the result.

If you look at Jesus in the Gospels He Is every type of healthy personality. In one instance He appears to be an extrovert and in another He looks like an introvert. He relates and influences. He excites and Is strategic.

The island people can relate to Him and so can the mountain people. The wilderness person and the city dweller all can recognize Him and identify with Him in some way.

He Is grace and truth.

Let's give Him glory.

Let's recognize who He Is and not make Him into who we want Him to be. When we function in that which is contrary to His character we cease to give glory to God.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" - Hebrews 12:1-2a KJV

After we see Him we will have something to say. When we see Him as He really Is it will motivate us to action.

Then God will get His glory and we will be in sync with Heaven here on Earth.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Just As I Am... Now And Later

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' And he said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.' " - Revelation 21:4-8 ESV

"But the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.' So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths." - Genesis 3:4-7 ESV

Over time my view of Heaven has changed.

Many writers write about Heaven as this cure all, fix all pie in the sky place... but we will still be the person we are right now inside. Maybe we don't want that.

"But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'-- these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." - 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 ESV

Adam woke up one morning and life was good and he went to sleep that night and life was bad because his thinking had changed. The fruit gave him forbidden knowledge that he used against himself, his wife and then ultimately God. Things started to decay from that moment on and sin began to add to sin causing ever worsening problems as time passed.

Jesus did something amazing when He redeemed us.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:28-31 ESV

If we have received Christ then God has given us an identity in Heaven and we are not spiraling up to meet that identity. We are that person. It is just hidden in a body that hasn't been redeemed yet.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 ESV

Adam hated himself. If we know God then we have no reason to live that way anymore. Adam blamed others for his actions. We have no reason to do that anymore because of what Jesus has done.

"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed." - 1 Corinthians 15:52 ESV

Yes. What a glorious day that will be. That day does give us hope.

Today we don't have to live hoping that day will come to change us and fix everything. We can live in the present reality of the new nature. Yes. There is still pain and sorrow to deal with.

Adam was grumbling before he left the garden and got much more to grumble about. We can praise God when we are still on the Earth expecting that it won't be long before we are surrounded by glory all the time.

Living in grace uncovers who people really are now. Heaven will make that which is invisible visible... death will harden the mold of the decisions we have made in this life forever.

"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." - Daniel 12:2-3 ESV

Living in the truth now will add more light to what we see later.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Birds In The Tabernacle Of God

In David's time there was no temple yet. There was a tabernacle. It was a kind of elaborate pitched tent. The tabernacle, unlike the temple, could be moved from place to place.

At the time this Psalm was written David was troubled and he went to go visit the tabernacle to find God. Once there he sees that birds have made their nest in the tabernacle and they are singing and enjoying themselves in simplicity.

"To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise!


Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah" - Psalm 84:1-8 ESV

David is going through a valley but this demonstration of nature finding a refuge in God's house showed him a picture of the refuge we can find in His house.

The valley of weeping is a real place that we face as individuals. Locations can come to represent valleys. Places can have a spirit of defeat and sadness.

David went to find God and found God's place to be a place of birds singing.

The doctrine of God's grace is a place where our mind can go and find birds nesting. Jesus came as the embodiment of grace and truth. He healed all that he came in contact with... rich or poor... young or old... good or bad. He died on a cross and opened the doors of Heaven and gave men and women citizenship. He gives favor apart from merit. We can fail a thousand times and He will receive us as freely and openly as He did the first time we came to Him. Grace. Our mind can make a nest there and find shelter there.

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." - Hebrews 12:22-24 ESV

The thing about the tabernacle is that it can move. It isn't a fixed temple or mountain. The tabernacle can come to the valley and represent the mountain there. When grace teaching comes pools form from the springs of living water. Birds find the tabernacle and make their nest.

Oh, People need the tabernacle. Places need the tabernacle of fellowship. There are plenty of dead buildings in these valleys. No one needs another dead building but people need the refuge of grace. They need to retrace the steps of Christ and explore His mind. They need a safe place to come to on the Earth. A place free of judgement. A place to grow and raise their young.

Our valleys are real valleys. The tabernacle is the answer. Learning and remembering grace is the answer. Drawing near to people who live in grace is a real provision.

God help us. We can get so self absorbed that we abandon our provision. There is a whole world of places that need tabernacles out there. Help us God. Give us a vision and a provision to go out and sow the seed you have given us.