Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Jesus is Beside Himself."

Mark 3:21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

He is beside himself???

Jesus' own friends were so concerned about the abuse of their Master, pressed into service, restless days and sleepless nights, lack of sustenance, disease all about, that they talked one another into the belief that He didn't realize what He was doing.

Who were these friends? Well, there were his new friends, the disciples. Then there were his neighbors - because he lived in Capernaum now. And possibly even some of his family.

Contrast the concern of these well-meaning friends with the spite of the enemies who accused Him of being demonized.

But His reasoning in 23-29 proved all of them misguided.

23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. 28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Truth is, it is Satan who is beside himself, and, to be honest, it is often we who are beside ourselves. He knows exactly what He is doing at all times. Best to take our hands off the wheel and cede the controls to Him. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Jesus in the House

Mark 2:1-13
When Jesus is in the house:
1. The house is filled. In this case, it was filled with people, but in any case, if He is present, the house is filled with all that He is. Vss 1-2
2. There is faith in the house. Took some work, but faith made it happen. Vss 3-4
3. There is forgiveness in the house. Vs 5
4. There may be fury present. Vss 6-7. Any work of God will be met with the enemy's wrath.
5. There is a certain amount of fashion! Vs 12, "We never saw it on this fashion." The  "fashionable" church goer isn't concerned about a change of clothes, but a change of life.

It would do us well to bathe every get together with prayer, pleading for Him to be present in the house.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Devil Went Down to Eden

Since the devil's holiday is in a few days, I will give him his due in this blog. 

We have recorded on 3 possessions by Satan himself.
1. The Serpent in the Garden of Eden
2. The Betrayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
3. The Anti-Christ in the Garden of Babylon

We talk about being harassed by the devil. But he is much too busy with the big fish to mess with you and me, so he dispatches his minions, emissaries, demons to our front door.

It is generally a misnomer to witness a demon possession and say of that person that they are possessed by the devil. A devil, maybe, but the devil, probably not.

He is going to and fro on the earth, seeking whom he may devour. He does wear out the saints. He is busy targeting nations, ministries, homes and individuals for destruction. He is the father of liars, who has come to steal, kill and destroy.

But he personally has much bigger fish to fry than you and me, so his sends his little uglies, his flying monkeys, his fallen angels to do his bidding to hassle us. I doubt he even knows my name. One, because he’s too stupid, two, because I am of little consequence to him.  So he employs his helpers for the like of me.

And he has plenty of them! For every two angels, there is one fallen angel. And just as God sends forth his angels as ministering spirits, Satan sends his brats to wreak havoc. 

He desired to have Peter, and no doubt, sift Perter as wheat and major damage will have been done the Kingdom of God.

Even Paul was assailed by a messenger of Satan to afflict him with a thorn in his flesh to distract him from his gospel mission. Praise God for the grace that was given to overcome.

But there were and are at least three times when the job was/is so important that he had to do it himself. These incidents portended the fall of the human race, the assassination of the Lord of glory and the future subjugation of the planet to himself.

However, what Satan means for evil, the Lord turns to good. Joseph said something similar to his brothers when he assured them that the evil they meant for him resulted in the preservation of the planet.

The Three Actual Possessions by the Devil Himself:

1. The Possession of the Serpent. Satan, through the creepy-crawly, convinced Eve that God was holding out on her and her husband, so she ate the tutti-fruty of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and plunged mankind into sin. But God had a plan in place. In Genesis 3:15, he promised the devil, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

This spoke of the victory Christ would have over Satan at Calvary. Which brings us to the next incident of satanic possession.

2. The Possession of Judas. Judas was an extremely flawed man. Though rising to the rank of Disciple, he was still dabbling in thievery, greed and sedition. He was an apt candidate to help bring about the end of the Messiah. He was physically close to Jesus, but his heart was a million miles away. But he was on the fence, all he needed was a nudge, a little filling of the prince of darkness himself and the deed was done. Judas betrayed the Lord, resulting in His death. Luke 22:3, "Then entered Satan into Judas..."

What God saw in advance and what we see in retrospect, neither the devil (due to pride) nor Judas (because of spite) were able to grasp at the time. Jesus is about to crush Satan's head in death...and resurrection.

3) The Possession of Anti-Christ. Satan, 2000 years down the road, give or take a few years, will give it another try when he enters into the Beast, squats on the ark in the temple, setting himself up as God and demanding universal worship and subsequently pursuing the Jews into the wilderness to destroy them.

Again, God will show up to guard and guide His own and destroy the works of Satan once and for all.

May I ask you even now, whose side are you on in this age old battle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death? Choose today who you will serve.

Personally, I've read the back of the Book and WE WIN!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If I Were a Rich Man

The tale of three very rich men in the book of Luke

1) The Rich Old Miser. 16:19-31
2) The Rich Young Ruler. 18:18-23
3) The Rich Little Publican. 19:1-10

One was carried away to hell, suffering because of his stinginess.
One went away sorrowing, because of his covetousness.
One came down joyfully, because of his resourcefulness.

One was brought up with a silver spoon because he was privileged, but he went
away condemned for his hedonism.
One was brought up righteous but went away a sinner condemned for his idolatry.
One was brought up a sinner, but that day, salvation came to his house because of
His obedience .

Riches, they are what you make of them. Or, you are what they make of you! 

There are two other rich men depicted in this gospel:

*Joseph, the rich man of Arimathaea, who cared for the body of Jesus and placed
him in his own tomb (Lk 23:50-53) Joseph represents all believers who use their
resources for the propagation of the Gospel. (The Gospel is the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus.)

*The rich man who called his steward to accountability (Lk 16:1-8) and
commended the steward for his wise use of his master’s riches. This rich man
represents He Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and commissions His 
stewards to invest wisely in the Kingdom. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Are You Ready?

"Death toll rising from one of biggest earthquakes ever to hit Mexico." (Tsunami warning issued) AP

"Worst Storm of Any Century; Unprecedented" Newsmax

Mt 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Are you ready? Jesus' prophecies are being broadcast daily on the news. He is the ark of safety. Enter in before the door is shut.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Remember September

The High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur
Leaves Turning and Days Shortening
Sapphire - State Fair - Bow Season
Cooler Temps - Grandparent’s Day
Football - Back to School
Switching out Wardrobes
Garden Harvest - Labor Day - Hot Drinks
Forget-Me-Nots, Morning Glories, Asters
Birth Month
(More born on an average day in Sept than any other month)
Rapture Month?

Make this the best September ever:
Win a soul to Christ,
Be faithful to every church service,
Read your Bible every day,
Deepen your prayer life,

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Sometimes I speed. I've also been known to text while I drive. I know, I know. It's wrong, it's illegal, it's dangerous, it's a horrible example and it's hypocritical. I'm not proud of it. I am addicted to both like Whitney  was to crack and Honey Boo Boo is to chocolate. I'm joining TA (Texters Anonymous) soon.

And I hate lectures. People get on their high horse and preach at you like a fundamentalist on the eve of the Apocalypse. And that's why I've kept my mouth shut about what I'm about to disclose now. I'm just letting you know and I don't need to hear "I told you so!" But you're gonna hear it eventually, so I might as well tell the world now.

I biffed it bad on my bike in Colorado last week. I hit a hairpin turn way too fast and had to bail. I should be dead, or crippled. My bike should be on a trash heap. But, God is still in the miracle working business and His guardian angels are still working overtime.

First, the bike. One leather saddlebag took the biggest share of the beating. The engine guard and slip on exhaust got scraped up a bit. Easy replacements. I just couldn't believe me and the good Lord got it upright and running with no problem.

Then there's me. Thank God for adrenaline! Oh, and good helmets and jackets. Without which, I'd have been life-flighted to some west slope hospital for TBI and skin grafts. How I don't have cracked ribs, a broken neck and severed appendages, I don't understand.

However, I've just got some bruised ribs, a few scrapes and a bunged up knee. So, other than not being able to breathe or walk, I'm fine.

Did I mention adrenaline? It's amazing how things go in slow motion and a million thoughts go through your head during an accident. Like, as I heard my helmet being sanded down by the pavement, thinking, "just stay on my head, I need you for a few more seconds." Or, "glad I didn't wear the Fossil watch they got me for Father's day, I lost the last one on the Sturgis trip." And, "Glad I gave the safe combo to my wife before this excursion."

So, after sliding along the pavement for a while, I took a few tumbles and then just lay there on the road under the beautifully blue Colorado sky. All was so serene as I lay here a dying. I turned over on my back and spread eagle to take inventory of my body. "I can't breathe, but I don't see a lot of blood, wish I'd had some gloves on. Arms and legs all work. Neck turns. Oh, there's the helmet sun visor laying on the center line, how bout I roll over there and get it? Okay, that worked. Still can't breathe though. Better roll off the road in case someone comes along."

So I lay there reassembling my helmet, wondering what internal injuries we're going to change my life. And why and how I'm still alive?

When I could get enough breath in my lungs to make the attempt, I got up to see if I was ambulatory and go check on the bike.

After assessing the situation, I grabbed the handlebars and hefted the 1200 ccs along with the stuffed saddlebags and 50lb suitcase upright. You're not supposed to lift the bike like that. Bikers would show you the proper method. But did I mention adrenaline?

So, it started right up, I got on and left the scene of the accident without reporting it. It would have taken law enforcement an hour and a half to reach me anyhow.

I couldn't believe it! How can this be? I should be waiting on a ride to the hospital or should have gone over the rim of the canyon I'd been riding for the past half hour. But I'm alive and riding! This, I told myself, has to be God, there's no other explanation.

My riding companions were at the next Canyon overlook. As I approached, Dan's jaw dropped and asked what happened. I explained the best I could then excused myself to go to the little boy's room. Halfway across the road, the adrenaline wore off. I about dropped to the pavement. My knee didn't work, my ribs felt like Mike Tyson just worked me over. All the scapes began screaming at me.

We remounted our bikes and rode another 6 miserable hours over passes made for mules in the mining days, through pouring rain (cold, cold rain) and drizzle and hail and maybe even a tornado, hurricane and tsunami for added measure.

By nightfall, I felt my body was going into shock. But, the others were convulsing as bad as I was, we we're all that cold. For me, the cold was just insult added to my injuries. Ouch, that cliche' hurts.

The next day, I had to ride another 3 hours, load the bike into a pick up, just me and the angels, and drive from Ft. Morgan to Lincoln. Easy-peasy.

Well, there you have it. I've delivered my soul. Now everybody knows. Now the church will know why I was walking like a 115 year old man this morning. Some will wonder how and why I carried the big ladder into the sanctuary and changed that lightbulb. I guess a guy's just gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

God is good...all the time...