Friday, June 21, 2019

THE ULTIMATE PAIR


Some people who drive a sedan and later drive a truck, choose never to go back to a sedan. Certain features, ways that the new one drives, a plethora of other reasons are given as the keeping factors of the truck. In the same fashion, some individuals who were once single and now have been married for quite some time cannot view ever being single again. The pros/cons to a shared life for them outweigh the pros/cons of a single life. Like I have stated, this is for some people, not all. However, I find it interesting that God does marvelous works with Pairs.

When speaking about the Two Witnesses to come in The Tribulation Period, Dr. David Jeremiah in his book, The Book of Signs, states -

"Another reason for sending two witnesses is to comply with the legal standards of Jewish law. At least two witnesses were required to establish the truth of a testimony:  'Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.' (Deut. 17:6). One witness may be mistaken or corrupted. But the corroboration of two witnesses confirms the truth.

The Bible often records God using two witnesses to confirm a truth. Two angels testified to the woman at the tomb that Christ had risen. Two angels testified to the disciples that He had ascended. God has often paired people to perform His missions:  Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Zerubbabel and Joshua, Peter and John, Paul and Silas, Timothy and Titus. Jesus sent out the apostles in pairs (Mark 6:7), as well as the seventy (Luke 10:1). These two witnesses will confirm God's message of judgment and His call to repentance with their perfect meshing testimony." (p.303)

Right now there is a pairing, a supernatural marriage of the spirit with The Holy Spirit for those who choose to believe in Christ as their Savior. Corporately, The Scripture calls Christians - Christ's Bride. As His Bride, we are betrothed to Him and His Holy Spirit is our seal upon our lives that the dowry has been paid in full. After Jesus returns to Rapture His Bride away, the two of us will have a wedding and wedding banquet that has no rival. At this joining, God the Father will not have to say, "What I have brought together, let no person separate." - for we, Christ and His Bride, shall be The Ultimate Pair.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

OUR PURPOSE

Matthew 27:37-40 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
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And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Interesting, Scripture mentions two Fathers that begin with “L” that we might be a family member of – The Father of Lies, which is Satan or The Father of Love, which is God. Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection for all makes it possible for those who accept Him by faith to become part of God’s Family, a child of Love.

First you have to understand and experience God as Love through a relationship with His Only Son – Christ Jesus in order to express your love to God with your ALL. In order to give your all you must recognize Father God sacrificed His All – For You, For All. Therefore, the most important thing we were created for, was an utterly devoted, loving relationship with God. Hope, faith and many other holy character traits are wonderful in our walk, but we were created to love and for a sold-out loving relationship with God.

Secondly, if we can glimpse how much God loved us in Christ and continues to love us everyday in the relationship we have with Him, then how much more should we be Sons and Daughters of Love to others. This is a family that can acquire adoptions every day. And if you are not the one to make the invitation to someone to be a member of God’s Family – the least you and I can do is show His Love. The appreciation we have, the Love we have toward our Savior for Him Loving us first and continuing to do so, should make us Lovers of Souls also.

As God is Love and cannot do anything aside from the foundation of Love, we ought to be likewise. Our dealings with everything should launch from a platform of Love. To be Christ-like is to be full of compassion and looking for ways to display Love, as a servant, upon others. Observe what loving others does - 
  1. improves or adds to a situation to make it that much better for someone so that another benefits.
  2. the delivery of love by you grants a great amount of joy, which is healthy.
  3. loving others continues to develop you more into the image of Christ.
  4. loving others stores up treasures in Heaven where rot cannot touch and thief cannot steal.
The above two commandments were in this order on purpose. Know Love first and know Him as Love first, So That you can effectively and supernaturally Love others. We need to Know and Experience Love before we Operate in Love to recognize and move in Our Purpose.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

MORALITY AND RELATIONSHIP


There are people that do not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, but they know right from wrong and do “The Right”. They are moral individuals. Conversely, there are those that choose to cheat anyone and anything in life to live their life and these individuals are immoral.

Our “Moral Compass” is important. We all have one. The issue is whether or not we listen to “The Right” or Moral side of the equations in life to make decisions. When I was a non-believer in Christ, there was a part of me that saw Jesus as a good man, doing wonderful things for all around Him and eventually me. This was my moral barometer, that God has placed in everyone.

However, there comes a point where knowing right from wrong and trying to do the right thing all the time is not enough. If we heed our common sense, we will ask – “What then is needed?” Answer: A hero is needed – a perfect person to save us from everything, including ourselves. A person to restore our relationship with The One who established The Moral Principles to begin with.

Paul starts off in Romans 1:18-20 by stating that even before God’s Hero, Jesus Christ, comes on the scene and after His ascension, everyone has no excuse for acknowledgement of Creator God.

“…for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”

But God, went so much above and beyond that we cannot begin to fathom – we can only accept by faith through a relationship with Jesus Christ, His everlasting love for us.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones stated in his Romans: An Exposition of Chapters 3:20-4:25, Atonement and Justification“There is no more wonderful word than ‘grace’. It means unmerited favor or kindness shown to one who is utterly undeserving….It is not merely a free gift, but a free gift to those who deserve the exact opposite and it is given to us while we are ‘without hope and without God in the world.’”
I am not writing today to say morality is better than relationship. I am here to say that morality should point us to The Ultimate Relationship in our lives – one with The Savior of the world – Christ Jesus. The fact is true that we are born into this world with a rebellious nature toward God – a nature that contains selfish tendencies instead of God’s will for our lives. However, that moral compass sets us looking for what is right and when we think we have found it, our moral barometer begins to “gauge it’s temperature” or determine it’s application to our lives. It is my hope and prayer that your Moral compass and barometer has led to OR will lead to a Relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

DANCE WITH THE ONE WHO BRUNG YA


There is a saying that goes - Dance with the one who brung ya! The idea is to honor the one who has supported you in all your endeavors from start to now. The Hebrew people would appreciate God as He "danced" or favored them in their lives, but eventually other "partners" or spiritual and cultural distractions drew them away from God. This was a vicious cycle that still has lessons of relevance for Believers in Christ today.

If you have not recognized God as your Dance Partner in life, the time is at hand for you to do so. For those, who have been dancing with The Lord for some time and have been enticed to dance with another partner and have been - stop, turn back around to your true love or repent and start dancing with Christ Jesus again.

I know of a Scripture that speaks of God singing over us - Zephaniah 3:17. I do not know of a Scripture that flat out speaks of God dancing with us. There is a reference to God accepting dance as worship unto Him in the story of David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6:14-22). For me, the idea is not a great leap to imagine our passionate Savior desiring to not only dance with us through life, but one day physically dance together as we celebrate our eternal union with each other at the Wedding Super of the Lamb!

Peter gets rather stern about keeping Christ as Life's Dance Partner.

"...when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: 'A dog returns to its vomit.' And another says, 'A washed pig returns to the mud.' " - 2 Peter 2:20-22

The "Ticket" to dance with us throughout our life was paid at too high of a price - Christ's life - for us to be wishy-washy or undecided about our Life's Dance Partner. When we choose Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He is Faithful, but we also need to stick with Him through thick and thin - we need to Dance With The One Who Brung Ya!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING


Thank you Father God for relating to me through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ - your Son. I believe beyond the shadow of a doubt, had Christ not come - you would have still known everything and anything about me and my experiences. However, you took your knowledge and care to a whole other level when you loved me by relating to me through Jesus.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." - Hebrews 4:15

Many of us have heard the phrase - Do not judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. This is a plea to empathize or understand the experiences of another before passing a critical comment, generalization or damning statement. One of the things that makes Christ's love and grace for us so Amazing, as the song says, is Jesus loved all of us while we were still in our default setting of rebellion against God OR our sinful nature (Romans 5:8). That default setting is spoken of by John in John 3:18, where he says, 

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."

Jesus went above and beyond. Not only did He know everything and anything about everybody and everything because He was and is Creator, but now He also sets aside His glory and becomes or cloaks Himself with human flesh.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" - Philippians 2:5-8

Notice right away in this passage Paul mentions relationships OR relating - "In your relationships with one another". Our charge is to take on the humility in our relationships just as Christ Jesus did for all of us. He died for me, I'll live for Him. He first loved me and you, remember that. Because He lives I can face tomorrow. And some ways we can face each day and show we live for Him are -

"Love must be sincere.

Hate what is evil;

cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love.

Honor one another above yourselves.

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.

Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Live in harmony with one another.

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.

Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:9-21


We think we have problems or have been placed through the "Ringer" of life sometimes. However, Christ Jesus has experienced all that you could ever think or imagine. He has more than just done it AND have the t-shirt as they say. In addition, He now comes alongside us So That we may help others and call on Him in a bond where He relates to Anything And Everything.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

HE DOES NOT LEAVE US HANGING


There are some things we pick up from hearsay. There are those things we pick up from oral tradition. However, there is nothing like getting the information you need straight from The Source.

One of the main responsibilities of the Old Testament prophets was to foretell the coming of The Messiah who would deliver His people and reign on the earth over them and the entire human race. However, another responsibility was to foretell and describe the same Messiah or Savior that must come, but as a Sacrifice for those who would believe in Him by faith. Christ would come as a Servant before He arrives as the ultimate Soldier. 

Even when Christ was here in the flesh, nobody was understanding in full or paying full attention to the fact that Jesus was and is The Messiah prophesied to come. We see deep into the ministry of Jesus and deep into the book of Matthew the account of when Jesus begins to announce His personal sacrifice for the salvation of all and His resurrection.

"From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." (Matthew 16:21)

Is it any wonder that confusion and doubt raise their nasty little heads here? Most of what anybody had heard about was the Military Messiah that would come to vanquish their enemies and set up a wonderful, global kingdom. But here was Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding thousands from very little, teaching them what was on Father God's heart and riding into Jerusalem on a donkey - not a warhorse.

Jesus would fulfill the prophecies about Himself and His own words to His disciples. Jesus suffered, was crucified, died and buried - but on the third day rose again from death, hell and the grave and sits at the right hand of Father God with the keys of Death and Hell in His possession.

However, the impact of these last few days of Christ's life on earth still needed to be revealed or unveiled to the disciples. This is one of the many things I love about my Savior. We may have one idea about Him or a plan for our lives and it could be correct, but not in the right order or sequence. The lovely thing is Jesus does not leave us hanging. 

"Now that same day [Resurrection Day] two of them [Christ followers] were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them,
“What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.

[Then the disciples described the events of the last few days.]

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Luke 24:13-35)

However, the veil was not lifted from their understanding of who Jesus was until He broke bread with them.

Are you at a point in your life where a view or plan that was given seems near, but is not making sense? Seek the Lord. As the song says - have a little talk with Jesus. Sometimes we miss the boat on understanding. Sometimes we go purely on hearsay. Sometimes things are veiled for God's timing and purposes. So, keep in contact with Christ - pray, break spiritual bread with Him by reading His Word and talk to someone about your situation with whom you trust. You never know, the Lord may send someone else, an angel or reveal to you in a dream Himself and next steps for your life. But as you see from the example with the disciples on the Road To Emmaus - He Does Not Leave Us Hanging.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

FOCUS AND PERSPECTIVE


Ever had an experience where you felt the Holy Spirit's presence in your midst and immediately had a reaction to Him - sense of awe, respectful cry, burst of laughter and so forth? I have also.

Ever continued on your walk of faith and encountered a time when God blessed your service for Him? I have also.

Ever had a situation come along that made you ask God - Are you really the one I'm to believe in? I have been there. 

John the Baptist was a special man. John leaped in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, as Mary was pregnant with Jesus and came in close proximity of him (Luke 1:39-41). This was an incredible experience of the presence of God's Son and Spirit manifesting in a physical reaction - a jump/leap, by even an unborn child.

John's life continued until we find him dressed in camel hair, eating locust and out in the desert by the Jordan River baptizing people as he proclaimed the Kingdom of God is near. However, his next experience with his cousin, Jesus, would be with the Son of God requesting John to fulfill his service of baptism upon Him. John knew the Messiah was coming whose sandals he was unworthy to carry or tie. John even tried to reverse roles and receive the baptism instead of give it. But baptism was part of John's service to God and God blessed and honored it (Matthew 3:11-17).

Then in Matthew 11:2, John is in prison and facing death when he sends his messengers to Jesus to ask Him - "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?" No matter how important or special we might be or feel; no matter the significance of our calling - doubt, fear and circumstances will always be waiting to inject second guessing into our Faith in Christ and Fervor of service for Him.

BUT GOD...replies to John through Christ by having Jesus send John the encouraging and affirming message - 
  1. the blind see
  2. the lame walk
  3. those with leprosy are cleansed 
  4. the deaf hear
  5. the dead are raised and
  6. the Good News is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:4-6)
Jesus goes the extra mile and dotes on His cousin calling him "the Elijah who was to come" and "among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater." Jesus knows what is about to happen to John and takes a moment to eulogize His cousin, His servant, His Kid of the Kingdom - John the Baptist. Even after John's death, when Jesus learns of the beheading, Jesus shows emotion and goes to reflect and this is recorded in Matthew 14:13 - "When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place."

The lessons to learn here are not only to keep your focus on Christ, but as you continue to focus on Him you will assimilate His perspective. Even with John's special birth, family connection to Jesus, calling on his life and powerful experiences with Christ - John was not able to remain focused on Jesus, therefore see, understand and appreciate Christ's deeds. John heard Father God's voice after he baptized Jesus saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased." (John 3:16-17) But fear and doubt are liars and will make you create scenarios that are not there and ask a question, after all this, such as - "Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?"

Therefore, my encouragement, especially if you empathize with John, is to keep your Focus on Christ So That His Perspective will become yours. Even in those challenging moments God will reveal Himself to you and confirm everything about Himself and your calling - like He did with John.