Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sent Ones

"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!'... The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me." - Luke 10:1-5, 16 ESV

The 'greet no one on the road' statement got me this morning. The disciples were to treat this like a business trip and not a vacation in that they weren't supposed to get sidetracked by social matters and not get around to talking about Christ.

They said this when they returned...

"The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!' " - Luke 10:17 ESV

There is power in this focus of being 'sent ahead of Him' like a plough is sent into the fallow ground to get it ready for seed.


Friday, August 24, 2018

The Valley Of Dry Bones

"And he said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, you know.' " Ezekiel 37:3 ESV

Take a look at the field of dry bones (the dead structure of a promise from God) and answer God out loud. Ezekiel gave the right answer. It was health to Ezekiel's bones to answer with a faith answer. He didn't say 'Yes'. That would have been a hyper-spiritual lie. He didn't say 'No' because He knew He was conversing with The Almighty God. Ezekiel was ready to witness a miracle if that is what God had in mind. Are we?

"The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' And I answered, 'O Lord GOD, you know.' Then he said to me, 'Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.' So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.' So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then he said to me, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.' " - Ezekiel 37:1-14 ESV

I see stages here. I see stages of edification and faith. A vision dies and leaves full grown bones but then God has a person speak faith over that dead vision and the bones take form and get covered with sinew, muscle and skin. Then in another stage breath is given by words of faith. Then hope.

Bones are out there in a field like that because there was a battle and the ones who fell in that battle were left out there to rot and get bleached by the sun.

Our world is filled with valleys of dry bones. People have souls that resemble a field of dry bones.

We, the ones who believe, are the ones who look out at the disaster and say 'O Lord GOD, you know.' and speak the life found in the finished work of Christ by faith.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

We Need Talk About It To Heal

There is a right time and place to talk about things. Verbalizing is often an important part of healing. God is our high rock and strong tower. We can discuss issues with Him first as we live in awe that we are granted a daily audience with The King and Saviour. We don't only vent or gossip with Him. He Is holy and has done things already that relate to the present situation. He has given us precious promises. Venting soon turns to praise. The psalms are full of this type of communication. If we bottle it up it can fester and rot but we have the option to cast all our cares on God and He will take them. If we have guilt or shame or blame he will take that red wound and make us white like snow.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018


The Bible teaches us that rosters are used in spiritual matters. There is a 'book of life' and there are other books also. Names are written in those books. The living have their name written in specific place. Names get blotted out. That is how they are removed. This concept reveals a high level of organization. This isn't random or unorganized. It is purposeful.

Jesus has blotted out our sins. Our name was on a list but now our name is covered and no one who reads that ledger can see our name. At the same time our names are written in the palms of His hands which is a profound concept. The lamb has his own book of life that has names. Once your name gets added to that roster it never gets removed. That book is spotless. It has no stains or blots. Amazing isn't it?

The lists of this world will pass away. The junk mail will turn to dust but the lists in Heaven last forever and shine with newness that will never fade. They will be memorials to God's care and complex loving artistry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Good Shepherd

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." - John 10:1-3 ESV

This says so much to me.

Ministry enters through the gate. Manipulation enters another way and tries to 'steal' an outcome.

I picture the sheep responding all at once to that voice. It is the voice they know. It is a voice I know. People need that voice.

Jesus is the good shepherd. He enters and He owns each place. He goes in the authority of Heaven.


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Extra Sandwich

"See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no 'root of bitterness' springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;" - Hebrews 12:15 ESV

The Greek word translated 'fails to obtain' is hystereo (Strong's G5302) and it means to 'fall behind' or 'to be devoid of'. The picture I'm getting is of bagged lunches on a field trip. Twenty sandwiches get made for a dozen children but somehow one child is sitting there without a sandwich.

If we don't experience grace even though it is there for us roots of bitterness can form and in time they spring up and hurt others.

People start saying things like, 'No one ever brings a sandwich for me.' or even 'I don't believe in sandwiches.'

God has grace for you today. He has it for you every day. He is gracious.

We can sit on a rock grumbling because we are hungry or we can go to God and say, 'I know You have a provision for me. You never forget about me. I am hungry God. Help me.'

God is the kind of person who makes an extra sandwich or two 'just in case' and it is there for those who come and ask for one.