Thursday, March 31, 2016

What Are We Becoming?

'We are becoming what we already are.' is a theme that is repeating again and again in the booklet I'm reading.

Our world view is so vital isn't it? The theory of macro evolution states that change is happening slowly. Some change is useful and some isn't. The useful change will survive and the less useful change will die out. But Christian thought makes a distinction between natural replication and spiritual replication making the claim that the natural is missing something vital and that over time that missing piece causes a more and more degraded product.

"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;" - 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 ESV

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:10a ESV

When what was missing (spiritual life) has been restored we are what we are by the grace of God and we are becoming what we are by the grace of God.

The flesh isn't 'regarded' in this dynamic because our bodies continue on the course they were on from birth. They age and experience quickenings at times but our identity is new. This new person can live in newness. The new person can glorify God in the moment. The new person can love, forgive and have mercy. The natural person can dabble in those elements but the new person thrives in those concepts. A new person inhales mercy and exhales forgiveness.

If a person hasn't believed in Jesus they have an identity based on the fall. The God of the Bible sees two identities. One is found in the fall and the other is found in His Son Jesus.

"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." - Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV

Yes, I am convinced that we are all becoming what we already are. Are we hidden in Christ or do we have only one birth to identify with?


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Prepared Place

This booklet I'm reading Is very intense (Last Looks, Last Thoughts, Last Words).

"I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven," - Matthew 8:11 ESV

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." - John 14:1-3 ESV

The prepared place. The family place where Abraham and Jacob fellowship even though they are from different generations and couldn't know each other on Earth.

Isn't it good to have a place... a reserved seat in the crowded event. It is so good.

"But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him." - Genesis 8:9 ESV

I think of the Church. There was a great flood and the dove looked for land but there was none yet. The waters were too high. Things were not settled yet so it came back and found a place on Noah's arm. People go and search for a while but then they come back because there is a place to rest in the Church.

But then just past the end of time we see this terrible scene.

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." - Revelation 20:11-15 ESV

It is almost to hard to look at and imagine. No place at the table. No arm to rest on. No friend with connections. No place.

I have faced social rejection. The ones I have loved the most have said, 'Bye, Bye' and there is no other feeling like it. (I apologize if this stirs those memories up in you as you read. I am weeping as I write it.)

Jesus will never say, 'Bye, Bye' or 'Oops, There must have been some mix up.' If you know Him He has made a place for you. If you you believe the place is yours and Jesus will have prepared it special just for you. You will sit next to your favorite people. The ones you know and the ones that came before your time and never got to know in this life.

Imagine it... a special place or no place... there is no in between. Wow. The different is one small decision. One conversation. One faith transaction. One 'Jesus I believe in you... Save me.'

I'm praying for my friends that need a place right now. We can take it for granted when we have one but when we need one it becomes so vital. Please God have mercy on them. Thank you God. You have made Heaven our home. You have opened up your home to us and what glorious home it will be.

Lord, I believe if you are preparing one there then you can do it here also. This isn't 'pie in the sky' theology. Show that your hand is strong for these people we, the writer and the reader, are thinking of. Your arm isn't short. You can save. You have before so many times and we believe you will again. Thank You God. Thank You for the great security You have given those who believe in You. Wow. You are amazing.


Monday, March 28, 2016

The Cattle On A Thousand Hills

What do you give the person who has everything?

"I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine... Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me." - Psalm 50:9-12, 14-15 ESV


God is gracious and He doesn't need anything from us. The literal translation of 'a sacrifice of thanksgiving' is 'make thanksgiving your sacrifice'. That changes things doesn't it?

I'm meditating on this idea and it is very convicting. God has great ability. Am I tying His hands?

If we owned 100 million dollars we would have some amazing abilities wouldn't we. Think of the equipment at our disposal and the real estate we could purchase. If we were smart we wouldn't ever have to use the money. Just having it would give us leverage.

This Psalm isn't directed at the needy person. Needy people claim these promises all the time but it isn't directed at that crowd. It is directed at those who think they have something to give.

Can't God sell some of that cattle and provide for the needy people? If He did then what kind of power would He have? His ability is rooted in His ownership.

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.' And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." - Matthew 25:1-13 ESV

The virgins had oil so they had illumination and access. No one can give me their oil and I can't give anyone my oil. I don't see God selling any cattle.

Grace is God's willingness to give favor. I see a God who is willing to deliver and wants us to have wisdom so that we can access what we already possess if we know Him. A child of God is an the heir of a King who will never die.

I often see a need for my thinking to shift. Does God need what ever it is I have to give? No. People might but God doesn't. The sacrifice is praise. If I use my brain and cry out to Him it the time of trouble He is glorified. He never sells anything and I never sacrifice anything. It is finished.

Progress is made when our lamp is full of oil. We can help in other ways because we love people. We can give time and resources. There is no out giving God.  Best of all we can point people to the richest One of All who will give a person their own oil.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Valley In Between

The Saturday before Easter is a very interesting day. Jesus died on Friday and rose on Sunday. This is the day in between. The disciples are in disarray and Jesus is preaching to demons in Tartarus and the old testament saints awaiting release.

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water." - 1 Peter 3:18-20 ESV

The days in between are interesting days. The morning is coming but is not here yet. The trauma of yesterday is still fresh in our minds.

My study of burial this morning brought me to this passage...

"On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land." - Ezekiel 39:11-12 ESV

This hasn't happened yet. This is a valley between Jerusalem, a city set on seven hills (approximately 2,500 ft above sea level), and the Dead Sea (approximately 1,400 ft below sea level). Tour buses used to go down a treacherous road translated 'Old Jericho Road' to take people to the Dead Sea. It is my understanding that Palestinians presently occupy this land.

This valley is believed to be the 'Valley of the Shadow of Death' referred to in Psalm 23 because a great shadow was cast as the sun went down making it a dangerous place to be. The story of the good Samaritan may have been based on the accounts of robbery that occurred while passing through this valley.

In the future an army that comes against Israel will be buried there and it will inconvenience travelers. A mass grave between the Holy city and the Dead Sea.

This reminds me of this day between death and resurrection. Our life resembles this day at times. We have believed and God has saved us but our bodies are not raised from the dead yet. Large swaths of land next to our spiritual life is unpassable. We see through a glass darkly.

But then Sunday comes. Then life is reborn. Then hope is stirred within us.

Easter is a day to celebrate. God has won a victory for us on the cross and our travels may be inconvenienced at times but what a great victory it is. Sunday will soon be upon us.

I hope you all have a great Sunday tomorrow.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Water Droplet Unions

What binds us to one another in groups is like surface tension. We gather in groups like a droplet of water gathers but we also can be scattered easily.

"For it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' " - Matthew 26:31b ESV

Leadership can be a gathering force but it can also be a scattering one.

"Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply." - Jeremiah 23:1-3 ESV

We see loving families that are tightly joined and it is a beautiful union based on love and commitment.

"He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.' " - Matthew 19:4-6 ESV

This is a great union.

"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." - 1 Samuel 18:1 ESV

Jonathan was a friend to David when David was in trouble. David was anointed to be king but was hounded by Jonathan's father for years and years. King Saul was a scatterer but Jonathan was bound to the friendship.

"But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him." - 1 Corinthians 6:17 ESV

The Greek word translated joined is Kollao (Strong's G2853) and it speaks of a vegetable glue that was used in making sandals. Once this glue was applied the leather of the sole and material used to touch a person's foot was fused together so strongly that you would destroy the parts if you tried to remove them from each other.

As individuals we become fused to God in our human spirit at a certain moment in time.

"Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' " - Hebrews 13:5 ESV

" were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree..." - Romans 11:24a ESV (a part of verse)

Israel is the cultivated tree that is connected by a heritage. Israel holds the bloodline of Messiah and the Church has been grafted into the base. The Church is not Israel but it is nourished by the root and the fruit is a result of being grafted in.

I have seen leadership that produces unity and it is beautiful. I have also experience leadership that divides and it is brutal. Nothing can separate us from God once we have been joined to Him. The moment we mix faith with what Jesus has done for us on the cross spiritual glue is applied to us and we have a new root system that will never fail us.

David was anointed to be king but when he was poor and needy Jonathan was a person that treated him like a king. David's mighty men got a reflection of the investment that David got from Jonathan.

I think this morning of our many group attachments that are like water droplets... family... work... groups of friends... Church life... let's be people that gather and not scatter. There may be real scattering forces in the mix but we can be ones that have a 'seek and save' mentality because God sought us and saved us.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Message In A Bottle

I have several thoughts this morning as I sit here. I pulled a new booklet out of my booklet box this morning. I don't rummage through the box. I just pull out the next one. It is booklet based on a message preached in 1971 called, 'Last Looks, Last Thoughts, Last Words'. It was a very powerful message. At the moment it can be found on the internet (I'll post a link in the comments). It made me think of all the tapes, booklets, materials and letters that have been made over the last two thousand years. They were almost like 'message in bottle' communications handed from person to person. The Bible is a compilation of God's message in a bottle communications.

"Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.' " - Romans 3:1-4 ESV

God used a nation to keep His words and not all of the individuals were faithful but The Bible is a faithful complete collection because God is faithful.

"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 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. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.

Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, 'How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?' And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished.

I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, 'O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?' He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.' " - Daniel 12:1-10 ESV

The Book of Daniel is a message in bottle book. It is tape that was handed from one person to another. It is a promise from Heaven held in a faithful communication.

These are days when people move quickly and knowledge increases at an alarming rate but only some people understand what is happening and what is coming towards humanity. People look to the stars as a possible future but others look up looking at what is not visible to the naked eye and hope in a Messiah that will one day split the eastern sky.

"For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." - Matthew 24:24-31 ESV

This message in Matthew is not for our generation. Those who live or have died in Christ will have already met Him in the air.

"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words." - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 ESV

After that happens there will be strong delusion on the Earth but also there will be people searching for God. They won't find Him in the information or rumors. The sealed book will be their provision. The Bible will become a road map to tell them there is hope.

Bibles are common right now in many places. It won't always be that way. They will become precious. I think that happens to people now also. A person in prison finds a Bible and it becomes a life line for him or her. God speaks to them through the words of a book. Like Daniel they don't understand many things but God unfolds His truth to them on His timetable and gives them a freedom that no person can take from them.

I have seen and heard of some crazy unhinged people quote the scriptures but I have also seen incredibly loving and stable people who live and move in what the Bible teaches and hold it up as the one book they trust. I understand why people might distrust someone quoting scripture. The Bible is a wonderful but dangerous book. In the wrong hands it is a weapon but in other hands it is a key that unlocks freedom, cleansing and communion. This key is rare and can only be found in one place.

I love my Bible. God comes to me in this book. It is my lifeline. I have shined light into it's darker corners and found gold and silver there. When I was hungry it has fed me. Grace has taught my how to handle it's sharp edges so that it can be used as a tool and not a weapon.

I consider it a personal gift from God.

Thank You God. You did not leave me lost, wandering and searching. You found me and gave me a wonderful book. I cling to it. I will treasure it until I see You face to face. Thank You God.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Flank The Enemies With The Finished Work

"Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. Therefore when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget." - Deuteronomy 25:17-19 ESV

Remember your enemy so you can blot out your enemy.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." - 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Remember what your flesh is like. Observe what the world is. Identity that the Devil is a lying accuser and always will be. Then blot out the memory of the past hurtful actions because God has given us a new identity. Cut it off like extra string on a newly sewn button. Jesus' work on the cross has tied it up tight so we can cut off any extra and be done with it.

"And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it. So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night.

And he commanded them, 'Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us just as before, we shall flee before them. And they will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city. For they will say, "They are fleeing from us, just as before." So we will flee before them. Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the LORD your God will give it into your hand. And as soon as you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire. You shall do according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.' " - Joshua 8:2-8 ESV

The memory baits the enemy and draws that thing out. The finished work of Christ flanks all three foes so that they are caught out in the open. The finished work now gives us back the life they used to possess as a stronghold.

Jericho fell because we circled it and surveyed it with the finished work in mind. Seven is the number of completion... 5, 6, 7... grace, man, 'It is finished!'... The trumpets blew and the Israelites shouted and the wall was pushed down into the ground by angels.

Each stronghold falls like Jericho fell. We do what we did to Jericho. We claim the finished work. Draw out the enemy. Let the flesh think for a moment that it has a victory then take it down just like God took it down at Jericho by refusing to live in the wounds of the past. We draw the thing skulking in darkness out into the light and that take it down by standing in the knowledge of a new identity. We confess the reality of newness aloud. Our foot gets pressed on the neck of the past and we take what God has given us. The flesh has a stiff neck. We immobilize the will of the old man and exercise the rights and privileges given to who we are in the Spirit.

"For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation." - Hebrews 6:7-9 ESV

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete." - 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 ESV

We remember the battles so we can put them behind us. We don't have to let our past hold us hostage. This is a new day and we face a new city with old enemies in it. When the time is right we draw them out into the open, flank them with the finished work of Christ and blot out the memory of past pain.

Help us God. It is not by our might or power but by Your Spirit. We claim that the work of the cross is a victory that we can live in moment by moment and situation by situation. We trust you to give us victory. You are our strong tower. We run to You and take shelter in what You have accomplished.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Water And Walls

Lately I have been relating to theology as a thinking environment. Grace thinking is buoyant thinking. You can float and swim in it. If water is to shallow it is difficult to swim but once you get into deeper water you can dive, swim and float.

"Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through." - Ezekiel 47:3-5 ESV

But doctrine is also a wall and the people who are filled with doctrine become a wall and that is what I was studying this morning.

"But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you." - Jeremiah 1:17-19 ESV

"And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him and said to him, "Run, say to that young man, 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst.' "" - Zechariah 2:3-5 ESV

Freedom with God's person and character as protection. God himself is our wall of fire and we become walls of bronze.

"In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: 'We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.' " - Isaiah 26:1 ESV

"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent. You who put the LORD in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest until he establishes Jerusalem and makes it a praise in the earth." - Isaiah 62:6-7 ESV

The watchmen would call to each other. They were not silent.

A river is a natural boundary. So is an ocean or a lake. The person on land must be prepared to cross or enter it. They need a boat or they must be prepared to get wet.

People talk about building bridges but I don't want to do that with this water. A person filled with doctrine will be like a bronze wall. I want people to get wet and experience grace thinking first hand without compromising holiness.


Monday, March 21, 2016

The Immeasurable Gift Of God

I have a 'hard saying' in mind this morning and I was taught long ago never to start any communication with a hard saying because the hearer is likely not to have any capacity to hear it. Communication should address the capacity of the hearer or you might as well be talking to yourself.

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ... Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." - Ephesians 4:1-7, 25-29 KJV

'Neither give place to the Devil' is the hard saying.

Paul has spoken for three glorious chapters before he gets to chapter four and he talks about the gift(s) God has given. The measure of the gift of Christ is an immeasurable measure. It is a gift beyond calculable value.

All anger is not wrong. There is a righteous indignation but it seems that anger is often what leads to people marking off a territory to the accuser.

I like the advice given to the thief. Instead of stealing the thief is advised to work hard and give what he or she has worked for to others. Like wise grace words are the substitute for angry words. Grace must crowd out the place that was formerly given over to accusation.

As we all know anger isn't easily displaced.

"With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace... That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ... That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another... Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." - Ephesians 4:2-3, 14-15, 22-25, 29-32 KJV

Worship, Truth and Fellowship reveal the immeasurable gift of God and that gift displaces anger and accusation. God has not made us to be disappointed people. He has made us to be rich in grace and mercy.

These footholds freeze us in a mindset and no one wants that.

God please help us. We are not going to get introspective about our lives. Secure for us a place of worship for this season of life. Give us a place where truth is flowing and fellowship is real. We pray that also for the people that we love that don't seem to have freedom. Let all bitterness, clamour and evil speaking be far from us and them. We want to live in the measure of the immeasurable gift. We want that to fill up and displace any footholds. Thank You God. We want hearts that are so full of truth that accusation can find no place to land and settle in. Thank You God. Your gifts have no limit. Your love is endless. Your mercy overflows. Thank You God.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

When The Veils Are Lifted

It seems that human beings have perfect memories. Recall is faulty but memory is perfect. Imagine with me if all that is invisible to us now is still being recorded but is as yet undeveloped like film in a camera. Angels are seen by us and God is speaking to us now. Darkness is seducing and angels preserving and protecting. It is invisible to us like ultraviolet is invisible. Recorded by our eyes, ears and other senses but not registering in our conscious mind.

The believer's life ends and angels carry him or her to God. Unbelievers die and their heavy unwashed soul descends into the depths. Thick darkness covers the mind of one and light begins to develops the film of the other. Angels become present in our memory because they were there all along. We see God's work and hear what He was whispering to us pre-salvation and post-salvation. Our memory will be redeemed. Amazing.

"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." 1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV

When we are finally face to face He will suddenly become an old friend. To the person in Hell He will be an ancient enemy who chased them their whole life but to those who believed He will be a precious friend who loved them even when they themselves were an enemy of God.

Angels will not be strange. They will be wonderfully familiar beings we remember from childhood who lingered with us faithfully for decades.

One day every veil will either be lifted or our eyes will be permanently darkened.

I choose light. I opted to let the blood of Christ wash me in 1992. I accepted Jesus and my eternal destiny was changed. Jesus is redemption personified. Anyone can choose to believe. Anyone who does believe is guaranteed future clarity beyond what we can imagine now... clarity beyond what any of us can ask for or think of. Hope for the future and illumination of the past.





It is concept I have been studying and listening to speakers about for the last couple of days. There are some very compelling speakers who argue for the decriminalization of drugs and prostitution anyone who has a computer can listen to on TED talks and other places on the internet.

What laws will help and protect the most people? It is good question. Many approaches have been tried and some of them end up hurting the most vulnerable people involved instead of helping them. Some laws leave to much room for corruption and abuse.

Here are a few scriptures that came to mind as I have been studying and hashing these issues out in my mind.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire." - Matthew 5:17-22 ESV

"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. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." - Romans 8:3-6 NKJV

Regulation is always going to be 'weak through the flesh' but God does not relax His standards. As a matter of fact he 'ups the ante' of morality by telling us that external crimes have meaning to God but internal crimes do also.

This meditation made me think of the street I live on and the children running around outside on it. What if there was no speed limit or theft was decriminalized? How safe would they be? I care deeply for the addict and his or her recovery but I also don't want a drug den or a brothel right down my street.

I listened to all the benefits that were proposed by the speakers who were pitching decriminalization and thought. Wow. Grace gives me those things. My God loves me and gives me freedom to self govern myself with His guidance and direction. Grace never gives me a criminal record. Grace supports me. Grace teaches me and helps me to deny all ungodliness and worldly lust.

Grace does all this without removing the law. Grace gives me aerodynamics to balance the gravity of the law without removing the gravity that holds things down in the world.

I think the punishment should fit the crime. I hate to think that a young person would suffer for a decade in prison for a youthful indiscretion or that a young woman in a desperate financial situation would be placed deeper in harms way because she feels forced to sell her body. No. I don't want that. But lawlessness isn't God's answer and I don't think it should be ours either.

I want safe streets and I want eternal souls saved. I want to have my cake and eat it too. I think working hard to see those things happen is worth the struggle. We have been commissioned to seek and save that which is lost. The flesh will continue to be weak but love is a strong force that binds us together if we let it.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Feet Of Clay

Ancient Babylon was a great civilization. The king of Babylon had a troubling dream and he was desperate to find some one who could tell him what it meant. There was no one above him and he was a brilliant man. Help was hard to find.

This sounds like a story but it actually happened and it is recorded in the book of Daniel.

"Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste and said thus to him: 'I have found among the exiles from Judah a man who will make known to the king the interpretation.' The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, 'Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?' Daniel answered the king and said, 'No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.' " - Daniel 2:25-30 ESV

The king said, 'Are you able?' because that is what kings say. Unless you are able to do things you have no use. A king is 'able' or he is not a king for very long.

Daniel does not have ability like the king does. Daniel is a revealer not a doer. Daniel tells the king, 'God has favored you with a special dream.'

It was a very special dream. It would map out ancient human history. Scholars insist that the book of Daniel must have been written later or changed because it is so accurate to ancient civilizations and events.

"You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all--you are the head of gold. Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure."" - Daniel 2:31-45 ESV

This is a map of human history. Things have unfolded just this way. Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome are each represented. Europe and western civilization as we see it today is an extension of Rome. It is iron mixed with clay and it bears the weight of history on it's brittle structure.

Yes. This speaks of men and their history but it also tells us of each individual man and his history. All fallen men have heads of gold and feet of iron mixed with clay. Victory is mingled with failure.

"Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, 'Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.' " - Daniel 2:46-47 ESV

This King had a troubling dream. It was so troubling and mystifying that he could not solve it by natural means. He was a monument to his own accomplishments. Most men are.

The 'stone cut by no human hand' is Jesus and when He comes on the scene he destroys our constructs so that a vast kingdom can be established. Our idol of self must be smashed so that an eternal kingdom can be revealed.

We as listeners are most favored. That is the message of those who speak for God.

"Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:2 KJV

God doesn't sugar coat our natural failings but He also doesn't dilute His favor. That stone does a complete work. He died in our place and is raised to sit on a throne in Heaven as our justification.

Your feet are made of clay but grace unto you.

That grace is where we find our identity. That grace puts praise on our lips if our identity shifts from personal accomplishment to eternal perspective.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Accuser In Atari

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." - James 4:7-10 ESV

This goes along with the 'In Atari' message. We said yesterday that Atari is a term used in the game of Go that describes when a piece is forced into a position where it's liberties are reduced until one choice is left before surrender.

Here we see the moves we must make to place the accuser in Atari.

Joseki is another concept in Go. A Joseki is a known pattern that a player sets up to put himself in a defensible position. A player puts pieces in specific patterns in close proximity to one another so that future attacks from an opponent can be countered easily.

Humbling ourselves, drawing near to God based on His grace and breaking ties with evil and low thinking act as a joseki that will eventually place the accuser of the brethren in atari.

Faced with only one option the Devil will flee because the fire can't keep burning without fuel. The accuser is left with no other option.

Humility is a wonderful strategy for any situation.


Endure Hardship

"You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules. The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." - 2 Timothy 2:1-7 NASB

We are not soldiers, athletes or farmers for God. Our goals are different but those vocations have qualities that we bring to our cause and our cause is clear. We entrust grace thinking to faithful people.

Soldiers share in hardship together. What is expressed here is the team aspect of our calling.

Athletes must have an internal mindset to push themselves and compete within certain boundaries so they are not disqualified. This isn't team. This is singular determination and commitment. This is learning to run inside the lines so that our effort is not disqualified.

A farmer lives on what he or she is doing. He doesn't plant to please others. The carrots his family doesn't eat are for sale and He makes sure there are a lot of carrots.

"By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:17-19 NASB

A disciple studies under a master to make what the master makes. That ancient disciples swept the floors, cooked the food and did menial tasks for the master to be close to him so that they could learn.

If Jesus is our Lord we have taken on a love apprenticeship. When we follow Him we learn to love and learn the doctrines of love. Hardship, sweat and tears go hand in hand with the joy, learning and laughter.

Faithful witnesses of the cross say, 'It is finished. He is risen. Cease from striving. God has loved you with a perfect love.'

If this is true and can be a provision for every suffering person on the planet then comfort must take a backseat. Our liberty is real and becomes focused. We plant so that there will be more than we ourselves can eat.

This love will cast out all fear.


Monday, March 14, 2016

In Atari

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

Go is a fascinating game. I have been looking at strategy and terminology for this game the last few days and God has been ministering to me through it. Because it is a visual game it is hard to describe. Unlike chess you don't have different kinds of pieces that move with different rules. All of a players pieces look the same. Modern go is played with white and black pieces. It is a pattern game where you take territory and surround your opponent. If you surround your opponents piece or groups of pieces then you take it or them off the board. You can place a piece anywhere on the board that is not already surrounded by your opponent. In the end whoever has the most territory wins.

If a piece or group of pieces is almost surrounded is in what is called 'atari'. It is much like 'check' in chess. If you are in 'atari' then you need to make a choice. You can move to block so that your opponent will not take your territory or risk losing that piece or those pieces to your opponent.  Each move is very important because once you put a piece down it can't be moved and your opponent then takes a turn to move.

The concept of 'atari' made me think of the above passage. God gives us a way of escape and that way of escape links us to Him. Once linked to Him we can't be surrounded and taken. We may look trapped by a situation but our presence in a place is a claim Heaven has staked on that territory.

If you have never seen this game or heard of it what I'm saying seems strange and disconnected. I didn't know very much about the game before this weekend.

Imagine with me that each minute we are given is like territory that is taken or lost. Some decisions link us to large territories such as careers or long term relationships. Then image how vital it is to connect to God so that we will not be swallowed up by darkness. Perhaps the details of life are the enemy to the vision we have for our family or for our desire to make a difference in our community or our world. We don't want to be surrounded and taken. We have seen people who once stood for something but their territory is gone now.

If we connect to God we can rest. We will never be swallowed up. God's kingdom has gates that Hell can't penetrate.

"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." - Matthew 16:18-19 ESV

The last part of that passage has been widely misunderstood. If we proclaim God's Heavenly policy on Earth it is backed up by His kingdom in Heaven. We bind and loose here on Earth that which has already been bound and loosed in Heaven. God's attributes are expressed in His policies and His policies involve grace, mercy and forgiveness.

I'm praying for a few people today. They look trapped in 'atari' and have few options but I know with God all things are possible. The bondage of the moment is something God will use to set them free. I pray that these situations would result in great victories and that God would be glorified.

Connecting with God has such value. It is beyond what we can see or understand. Grace has removed all barriers. We can come boldly to His throne today. It is a passage that God will never block off. Thank You God for the way of escape. You are our strong tower. In you we have eternal victory. All who know You praise Your name and You are worthy of our praise.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Iron Filings

I came across this passage as I was studying and meditating on the subject of water.

"And he said, 'Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.' " - Matthew 15:16-20 ESV

"And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh," - Ezekiel 11:19 ESV

Our world has a lot of water in it. We are made hydrated creatures. Jesus makes references to water in many places. Water is very unique in it's properties.

"And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?' And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?' And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, 'Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?' " - Mark 4:36-41 ESV

Scholars say that the storm was a demonic assassination attempt. The scripture does not verify this.

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind." - Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV

But then I must return to the concept that we are not defiled but what we ingest. Our heart speaks of our nature. What passes through it does not form it.

If you put iron filings on a white piece of paper then place a magnetic under that paper those filings will order themselves according to that magnetic field. The stronger the magnet is the more ordered those filings will be. If the magnet moves then the filings will move in a group also. If the magnet is removed the order will crumble into relative disorder again.

When I see formerly disorganized groups moving together I think of this principle. Groups of people and individuals can become similarly energized. It isn't magnetism but the natural man can be moved by forces also.

"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 has given us precious promises and by them we escape this magnetism because we become partakers. The Greek word translated partaker here is koinonos (Strong's G2844). It speaks of a companion that shares in a mutual provision. Our mutual provision is the divine nature.

That spiritual person is not magnetized to the degree that the natural man is magnetized.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

We feel the tug of the world but God has given us His book so that we might answer a different call. His call is never abusive. He draws us with love. His gentleness makes us great.

Thank you God for this great way of escape! You speak peace to our hearts and we are made still again.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Worldly Attraction

"Do not love the world or the things in the world." - 1 John 2:15a ESV

What an interesting and expansive command.

It makes me think of a circumstance when someone is doing something annoying and the other annoyed person just says, 'Knock it off!' and the offender says, 'What do you mean!?!' The offender just has no clue as to what they are doing wrong.

Here is the context of the above passage.

"I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life - is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." - 1 John 2:12-17 ESV

If we really read 1 John chapter 2 it gives us good reasons to, 'Knock it off.' doesn't it?

These children and these fathers have known victory. They have known God and He transcends culture and every counter cultural or sub-cultural movement. He created the planet but He does not love the world. He loves people but not the systems and fads of the world.

In fiction if you want to establish the 'coolness' of a character there are certain methods you can employ. Making them love something cool is one way to do it. A dull character loves nothing.

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled." - Titus 1:15 ESV

"I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." - John 17:15-17 ESV

Yes. We are in the world but not of the world.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1 ESV

God does not condemn us for being attracted to things. We live in a culture that tells us to explore every attraction and derive an identity from the bond that forms in that exploration but we have a holy God that tells us to refuse to love the world and love His mind instead.

God's way restores purity and innocent appreciation. Love of the world will only defile us.

End the affair now and return to your true love. He already thinks you are cool.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Dream State And The Cross

I had an interesting night with some very fun unique dreams I can't remember having before. I wrote down a few sentences of what they were about on a piece of paper knowing that what I was writing might not make sense to me later. Dreams are like that. They make sense to the sleeping mind but not the wakeful one.

It makes me think of this portion of scripture.

"Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and SPOKE OF HIS DEPARTURE, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah' - not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!' And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, 'Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.' Jesus answered, 'O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.' While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is ABOUT TO BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN.' But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying." - Luke 9:28-45 ESV

The mountain must have seemed like dream to them and the valley was very much a reality. It was almost as if Peter spoke from the contents of his heart that was still in bondage and the dream state was broken.

I capitalized a couple of statements in the narrative above because they speak to me this morning. The content of what Jesus said to Moses and Elijah was the same as what he spoke to Peter and His disciples. The difference was that Moses and Elijah were in a different place and had a different vantage point. Jesus could have a real conversation with them about the cross but the conversation he had with them just made the disciples sleepy. Then when He talked to Peter and the rest of the disciples later they still did not understand and avoided the subject.

Knowledge of the cross was concealed from them like the dream is concealed from the mind that is awake to the pressures and harsh realities of life.

"But Jesus called them to him, saying, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' " - Luke 18:16-17 ESV

Jesus is innocent. He isn't naive. He is wise and deals with the harshest of realities in innocence.

Peter was an adult and spoke like an adult. He wanted something to do so that he could frame his identity by his actions and all it did was pull him out of Heaven's conversation.

Heaven's conversation involves the cross. He spoke on the mountain as if it was behind him. It was His point of departure. We can say that also if we have believed. We have passed from death into life because of it. We have traveled through it with Christ.

For those who haven't believed the cross is in front of them. Maybe it puts them to sleep or maybe they avoid it because it is a conversation they would rather postpone.

Either way... It must be our message.

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." - 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 ESV

One day we will be on Moses and Elijah's side of life. We will see Jesus aflame in all His glory and we won't want to take a nap. We won't need to sleep. We will live the waking dream of heroes and kings.

Thank you God. We have hope for a good awakening someday. Please let our mind reflect that glory now in the details of life we all have to face. You are so good to us.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A Good Companion For An Agitator

I'm reading Acts this morning. It is very encouraging. I decided to read the portion of acts that includes Silas. He is first mentioned here...

"Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers," - Acts 15:22 ESV

He travels with Paul on and off through Acts 18 and is last mentioned in Acts chapter 18 verse 5.

Paul can easily be described as an agitator. Trouble seems to go with him. Silas however seemed to be a good person for Paul to have around.

"And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words." - Acts 15:32 ESV

There were times that Paul had to leave a place because he had worn out his welcome but he could leave Silas there to edify, stabilize and continue the work.

"But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed." - Acts 17:13-15 ESV

Acts is such an interesting book. You can use it to build time lines and strategies. You can see patterns and then employ the methods you see to an outreach. Those are all valid uses of the book but this morning I am refreshed by the hearts of men who are going forward by faith. These men are very different from one another. They argue. They go to prison together. Some forge forward and others are left behind for a season. They are a team. Being on a team is awesome.

Paul eventually ends up in prison. I wonder what happened to Silas after Acts chapter 18. The scriptures don't mention him so we can't know for sure.

I pray that God raises up leaders for today that aren't afraid to shake things up. This morning I am also praying for men like Silas. Edifiers who will sing in the prison cells. Men who will stay in a place when the leader who shook things up must move on to the next destination.

The book of Acts has 28 chapters but in a way it is still being written. Men are still sent like Silas was sent. Men still teach. People go to prison and sing hymns.

The scripture gives us all we need. It is complete but history is still being written and different types of men and women are used by God. Silas was who he was. He made choices and we have choices to make. It's convicting to think about isn't it?


Monday, March 7, 2016

Be Transformed

Some one who is being conformed feels the responsibility to be different. A person who is transformed is different.

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." - Romans 12:1-3 ESV

I see people who try to conform and others who rebel against the idea. I have been both of those types of people. People feel the pressure in all kinds of circles. Both secular and sacred ones. Conforming is a middle voice action. English doesn't have the middle voice. Greek does. It is an action that people perform to themselves.

Conforming is like that. We try to reshape ourselves. This concept reminds me of this seemingly contradictory passage.

"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." - Matthew 5:28-32 ESV

The context of the passage above is marriage and commitment and it is brutal because divorce is brutal. Lust outside of commitment is torturous but people live in it. They live wanting something else and torn between two worlds.

Transformation is the only true release. Cutting off the old identity is what has to happen in order for there to be freedom.

The natural man feels the pressure to change and the lure of lust very keenly.

Paul speaks of the 'grace given to me' like it is his possession... and it is his. It is what gives him the disconnect to talk about these pressures as if he is outside of them and they are outside of him. He isn't trying to be anything. He is discovering again and again who Jesus Is and who Jesus has made him to be in his new identity.

Someone can explain this over and over but until grace becomes 'your grace' it isn't going to make sense. We can't change ourselves. We can't be what we need to be. But when grace is ours we realize that we are what God has made us to be.

"Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." - 1 Corinthians 15:8-10 ESV

Paul spent his youth untransformed. The other Apostles walked with Jesus and he was converted later. In a sense it gave him an advantage because he was unfamiliar with grace. It was a contrast to him in a profound way.

I see people who grew up in Church struggle to conform but God doesn't have any grandchildren. He only has children and they are born in transformation. The old identity must become old. Then to live day to day there must be an act of will that reckons that the old is old and must be replaced by grace.

"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 ESV

You can keep on being a good little girl or boy or you can keep running from God and every authority that reminds you of Him. The answer isn't ever going to come by you changing yourself. It can only come by you choosing Him.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." - 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ESV

I can talk about this but I can't cause anyone to experience it. Christ is the water. It is your choice. Are you thirsty enough? Are you tired of trying yet or do you want to spend a few more years trying to change what you can't ever change yourself?

For those of you out there who have experienced this and have tasted of the goodness and graciousness of God... isn't this a good reminder. The pressures from outside don't need to make their way inside. We can live in transformation and not even feel the heat when it comes. Hallelujah. Thank You Lord.

When water freezes and turns to ice it expands with a power that can crack those things that try to contain it. Please use us that way Lord. Thank You God. Just seeing You changes us. You are amazing.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Gardens And More Gardens

God's precreation garden was a rock garden.

"You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared." - Ezekiel 28:13 ESV

He walked in a garden on Earth with Adam that had plants and animals.

"And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day..." - Genesis 3:8a ESV

Then Jesus sang with His disciples and prayed in a garden. He sang praise knowing He was about to be betrayed.

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives... Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I go over there and pray.' " - Matthew 26:30, 36 ESV

Jesus has ascended but there are gardens waiting in the future. God seems to like them. Will you be there with him to see what comes next? I hope so.

You will only be there if you know Him. Do you know Him? Jesus died on a tree and rose again for you and for me. Don't let the fruit of what He has done be in vain for you. He died when you were an enemy with the hope that you and anyone else who would believe would become a friend.

He still wants to walk with you in the cool of the morning. God wants more than beauty and wildlife. His desires fellowship and company.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." - Revelation 3:20 ESV

There is a knock at the door. Please answer it.


Today we went to a market on outreach and there was a booth there with all kinds of stones and minerals. The two people minding it were watching it for a friend. I quoted them the verse I used in the devotional thought above in Ezekiel.

I also talked to them about this one.

"Over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse, shining like awe-inspiring crystal, spread out above their heads. And under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward another. And each creature had two wings covering its body. And when they went, I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of many waters, like the sound of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads. When they stood still, they let down their wings. And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance." - Ezekiel 1:22-26 ESV

God sits on a sapphire throne. A huge sapphire throne not made on Earth. Precious stones can only be so large here because of gravity and the density of our planet. What makes a stone like that exist? A stone large enough to carve out a throne.

"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass." - Revelation 21:21 ESV

Where can you get pearls like that I said and they just looked at me. A man who was standing there asked me what verse I was quoting so I told him.

"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." - John 14:2-3 ESV

I asked them 'What will these mansions be like if God can make stone like the ones you have on this table? It's hard to imagine isn't it?'

Those who don't know Jesus are condemned already and they will never see those gates or that throne. Jesus died to remove that condemnation. Jesus wants to bring life where there is only death.

Only believe.

They were polite. After all they were watching their friends stand and it isn't good business to be rude to potential customers. I bought a green rock and we moved on.

I hope they heard what I said.


Friday, March 4, 2016

A Majestic Restoration

This morning I am reading Isaiah chapter 60 over and over again and it is washing me. God is describing the restoration of Israel and the descriptions alone are so majestic.

I know for some large chunks of scripture are hard to digest but in some cases I think dicing up passages do injustice to them because context is lost and context is a key to understanding.

Just imagine yourself as a ruined used up nation who had a time of power and prosperity but now that time is past. You are broken and disgraced by your own failures but God speaks the following words to you...

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house. Who are these that fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows? For the coastlands shall hope for me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar, their silver and gold with them, for the name of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has made you beautiful. Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you. Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut, that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste. The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age. You shall suck the milk of nations; you shall nurse at the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring gold, and instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will make your overseers peace and your taskmasters righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified. The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it." - Isaiah 60:1-22 ESV

A nation can't think. It is an entity with no mind similar to a corporation or a continent.

People think and have sensibilities. We see, feel and understand. When God speaks to this nation who is He addressing? He is speaking indirectly to you and to me isn't He? He knows our needs. He recognizes our lack and our desires.

"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." - Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." - John 10:10-11 ESV

I read Isaiah 60 and marvel and the sensitivity of my God. The God of this nation has become my Father. I am not just His creation. He has adopted me into His family because I have accepted the friendship of His Son.

If He knows how to restore His nation with such flair and abundance doesn't He know how to restore us?

If we look to long at the suffering around us bitterness and despair can enter into our hearts. People can seem forgotten and obscure like this tiny nation whose impact seemed to be a thing of the past.

Israel has hope because of God. Israel could have been wiped from history like so many tiny nations but it remains and it will be restored. God has made them a promise and this great Restorer is thinking of You today. He has good plans for You right this minute.

I read the chapter and let it wash me. I have failed and will fail but the best is yet to come. I have a God who know every cell in my body and loves me in spite of me. Good things wait down the road. A great majestic restoration awaits all who believe.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

The God Who Can

Many times the Bible uses what some scholars call the 'prophetic tense.'

"I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins." - Isaiah 43:25 ESV

The cross had not happened yet in Isaiah's day. The writer speaks of something in the past tense that has not happened yet.

" 'I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish, who confirms the word of his servant and fulfills the counsel of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited,' and of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built, and I will raise up their ruins'; who says to the deep, 'Be dry; I will dry up your rivers'; who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall fulfill all my purpose'; saying of Jerusalem, 'She shall be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.' " - Isaiah 44:22-28 ESV

You can say that this prophetic tense is based on foreknowledge and it is but there is also a sense of God's competence and faithfulness.

"The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation," - 2 Samuel 22:47 ESV

"The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble." - Psalm 37:39 ESV

"Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death." - Psalm 68:20 ESV

Salvation is 'of the Lord'.

My God is a God who gets things done. That is comforting to me this morning. Salvation from Hell and citizenship in Heaven are things that are utterly beyond me in some ways but there are very real things to face in the coming days and years.

I want my niece and nephew to to have safe and happy lives. I want my friend to find a good place to live. I want to see some men go forward in their calling and stop playing around and wasting time. I want health and comfort for people. I want to see evil momentum halted and reversed in the place where I live. I want a good job in a city that doesn't have a Church from my particular ministry so that a Church can be planted in that place.

I can't buy a ticket to Heaven. That is beyond me. God had to orchestrate that or it wouldn't have happened. I can buy tickets to other places but these things I want are still impossible for me. I can take steps but I can't make things like that happen. God must do them.

Fortunately I have a sovereign saving God. Jesus touched people and made them whole. He said that He came to be a ransom for many and He did it. He got it done. He didn't fail.

"...for the righteous falls seven times and rises again..." - Proverbs 24:16a ESV

Why does this righteous person get up? He or she does because they have 'right standing' with the God who gets things done.

It is easy to look at ourselves and say, 'Look at me. I can't.'

Why should that matter? I can't get to Heaven either. I wouldn't know where to start to even find Heaven. God is going to get me there.

"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit." - James 5:16b-18 ESV

My plan today is to be a good steward of what I have been given and to pray to the God who gets things done and believe that He will be faithful far beyond my effort.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Carving Out Spaces

I've been reading and studying this morning but my overwhelming thought is one of the territorial nature of intelligence. Man splits places up and creates spaces. This is my space and that is your space. Free people can roam here but criminals must be imprisoned there. This room is off limits. We make locks. We create elaborate doorways. Primitive cultures designate areas that belong to certain gods.

"Now when the king lived in his house and the LORD had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.'

And Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.'

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, 'Go and tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, 'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?''

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.'"

In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David." - 2 Samuel 7:1-17 ESV

This is a great chapter. It seems that when David's mind shifted to giving the LORD a special place then God was able to promise David special places. God gave promises about David's offspring when David began to inquire with Nathan about 'building a house' for God. David was unique in many ways. He acted like a new testament believer in the old testament. He seemed to have insight into God's heart.

God had never asked for a house and no one ever thought to give Him one.

"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." - 1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV

A group of believers becomes a house for God when that group is bound together in a unique purpose.

David said, 'You have given me a dwelling place where I can rest. I want to know if God wants a dwelling place also or would He rather live in His tent?'

I find myself asking that question also. Missions is like house hunting with God. We look at spaces wondering and asking God if He wants to live in a certain place. It isn't going to be just a place of course. His Church is a group of people and the place is just where they are going to meet.

God has given us a home in Heaven. Is it right for Him to be a nomad on the Earth? I look at David's heart and it convicts me.

God give us that heart. Give us a reflection of the heart of a king. Make us men and women who set apart places for you. Not like a primitive villager would but like a new testament believer would. Make us gatherers not scatterers. Lead us to the people that will be stones for your home. Thank You Lord.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Single Eye

"The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness." - Luke 11:34 KJV

Having a single eye.

The Greek word there is haplous (Strong's G573) and it is best translated in the KJV. Other translations say healthy or something like it but we have two eyes don't we? Each eye is only healthy when it is in focus with the other eye. It can be healthy on it's own but we can only see clearly if it is single.

This speaks to me of eternal perspective. Eternal perspective sees with God. The world is truly in focus. Is our eye the left one or the right one? Both are His and both are ours. It is the focus that matters

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:33 ESV

I don't know about you but I get annoyed when I walk by a security desk and they don't seem to see me. That is a the largest part of their job. They need to see everything. That is the contribution that they are bringing to the well being of the place they are guarding.

The single eyed person is not looking for sin. They are looking with God. God has eyes of grace. Sin is paid for. They can pray because they see things. They spot evil and act accordingly. They seek God's kingdom. They are looking for what will last forever and focusing their energy on those things that replenish life.

Perhaps yesterday our eye was unhealthy because we saw situations or circumstances and made judgments by sight. But what about today? Can we look with God? Can we look seeing the cross behind us. Can we see Heaven and Hell before us? Everyone we are dealing with is going one place or the other and God desires that none would perish.

God give us a single eye. Add an eternal dimension to our sight so that our eye is filled with light. Thank You God. Thank You for having a pace that is quick enough for us to move forward but just right for us to join You and follow You at any moment. We want to see what You see. We want a single eye.