Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ashamed of the Brethren?

Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

Heb 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Alright, I admit it... I look around at my brethren and "sistern" and get a little embarrassed, as, I am sure, the feelings are sometimes mutual.

I witness the incredible lack of soul winning effort, the ease at which some of believerdom sell out the Lord for a mess of pottage, and the lackadaisical worship and half-hearted service. I see the tremendous hypocrisy, self-centeredness, the emotional neediness and am ashamed to call many of the family "brethren."

Today, I am ashamed to call myself one of the brethren, having read the prescribed verses. Jesus is not afraid to be lumped in with us losers who have been sanctified by His work on Calvary. He is not ashamed to call me a brother. I could think of better titles; unprofitable servant, worthless slave, wandering sheep, doubting Gary, unfaithful one, but when I am called "brother," He doesn't even wince!

In the church service, as I am told in verse 12, He sidles right up next to me and bellows out tunes of praise as I think of everything but the words of the hymn at hand. His harmony makes my song worthy and acceptable to Heaven's throne.

Thank you, dear Saviour, for counting me worthy to be called a sainted sibling, a blessed brother. I can only imagine how your physical half-brothers must have felt trying to measure up. Alas, I fall short of your glory, but you don't stress over that, you just accept me. Thanks!

Please help me to be a little more patient with my little brothers who just don't seem to "get it."

Monday, September 28, 2009

God Has a Job for You

Heb 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
Heb 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Heb 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
Heb 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Your Upcoming Assignment.

Shortly, I believe, the trumpet will sound and believers will be called away to meet Jesus in the air. From there we will travel to God's heaven for the rewards ceremony, then the heavenly banquet of the marriage of the Lamb. For 7 years we will enjoy reunions, occupy our mansions and view earths tribulation from heaven's vantage point.

But then, it will be time to roll up our sleeves and do some righteous ruling over the earth for about a thousand years. This is one part of eschatology that is usually underreported. We really look forward to eternal rest, being forever with saints and loved ones, worshipping at the feet of Jesus, etc., but when the thought of a job hits us, we push that from our minds.

What is the longest you have stayed at one job in your career? 20, 30 years, even longer? Can you imagine staying in the same position for close to 1000 years? Think you'd have the job down pat by then? You'd hope to know the landscape by year 160 or so, huh?

Well, it is true. We will be set over the works of God's hand, we will be His authorized rulers in His millennial kingdom. We will have been made kings and priests unto Him in that glorious, golden age of the earth.

You have wanted to try being the boss for a long time, haven't you? Well, in a short time you will get your wish and more!

The scope of your authority in that future age is being established by your faithfulness to God now. When we step before the Lord Jesus, we hope to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

And therein lies the difference between work and being in authority or under authority now and that time we look forward to… it is the joy of our Lord.

You see, the work we will do for Him in the kingdom will be enjoyable!

Imagine your "dream job." Have you ever thought, “how wonderful it must be to play sports for a living and make a ton of money doing so?” I have wondered how hard it must be to be a professional bass fisherman. Now there's a tough gig!

But in the kingdom, the Lord will have tailored our jobs to our talents and desires and tempered them with our present faithfulness.

Some will rule deserts, others, hamlets and villages, some metropolises, others vast kingdoms, all predicated on today's stewardship.

You are presently formulating your job description for the next thousand years. Be faithful weary pilgrim, your stewardship is eminently important.

Gad has a job for you, are you up to it?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Status of the Preacher's Blog

I am taking a short break from the blogosphere to rededicate myself to the basics.

Blogging has been very profitable to me over the past couple of years, so I have the feeling I will restart my blogging motor soon. My blogs have grown out of my daily devotions. However, I have found myself using my devotion time more for others than for myself. Again, God has used that in my life, and I hope for the life of others, but I am trying to tackle some Scripture in my personal devotional material which can be pretty heady material and may not quite lend itself to writing for the sake of others.

Surely, if a passage bears writing about, I will do so, but for now, I am going to try to internalize the Word for myself.

I find myself producing blogs, TV programs, messages and lessons, bulletins, articles for publication and so many of the things I do for others and really don't know how effective I am being because there is so little response and seemingly very little fruit.

So, I am going to not be pressured to blog daily for a while until the Lord tells me to do so again.

See you here again soon, the good Lord willing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Virtuous Woman

Note: “Virtuous” means to have moral integrity.

Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
I couldn’t find her, the Lord had to bring her to me! Rubies? She is worth more than the world!

Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
I trust her with my life and all my heart. “Spoil” = acquired stuff. I’d trade everything I have for her.

Pro 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She means well in everything she does, Her motives are pure.
Pro 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
A harder worker, I have never seen.

Pro 31:14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
Sam’s Club

Pro 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She is up before daylight, preparing for the family’s day.

Pro 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
Business acumen, and a gardener to boot!

Pro 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
In shape and shapely!

Pro 31:18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
Her laptop goeth not out by night. She is the best at what she does. 2 degrees, the best at what she does. The cream rises to the top.

Pro 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
Whatever her hands find to do prospers.

Pro 31:20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She has the gift of giving, sometimes to my chagrin.

Pro 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She knows how to find good quality at great bargains.

Pro 31:22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
See picture above!

Pro 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
Without her I am nothing. She is definitely an help meet for me, the better half.

Pro 31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Productive and industrious.

Pro 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
This verse, as well as her clothes, fit her to a tee! Oh, and she's getting a CCW!

Pro 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She is as wise as anyone I know.

Pro 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Up early, to bed late, runs all day, pillows her head and is out like a light.

Pro 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Her husband can’t say enough good, the children? They need to work on this.

Pro 31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
How did Solomon know so much about my wife?

Pro 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Godly, humble and still so beautiful.

Pro 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
‘nuff said.

Friday, September 11, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man

Pro 30:7-9 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die:
Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Solomon pleads with the Lord for these 2 things, deliverance from vanity and lies and to stay dependant on God.

It's a worthy request.

If you read the book of Ecclesiastes, you see Solomon's obsession with vanity. He despises emptiness. He went to every imaginable length to avoid vanity, unfortunately, most of it was apart from God. That only exacerbates the problem. As to the lies, put yourself on King Sol's throne for a day! Imagine the whoppers he had to sort through. The only place I can imagine where lies are more common is in the back seat of a police cruiser or at the door on church visitation.

The second request shows that uncanny wisdom that God granted him. I would suppose this proverb must have been written at the end of Solomon's life when things became clear to him once again. Seems like the words of one who had went the route of royal lavishness, departed from the Lord's way and realized that was not the right path to take. It really does seem a hypocritical prayer for someone pulling down $17M a year, not to mention the apes and peacocks to boot!

Live and learn Solomon, live and learn. Thanks for the proverb though. Perhaps, since I will never have a pile of shekels and will probably never end up penniless on the street, I will learn to desire modesty and dependence on the Almighty.

Remember the guy in Fiddler on the Roof and his famous song, "If I Were a Rich Man?" I guess it doesn't hurt to dream, but the reality is that most of us would fall into the same pitfalls as old King Solomon.