Saturday, January 30, 2010

Luke 2 in a nutshell

Luke 2

Ceasar taxed
Couple traveled
Angel announced
Heavenly host praised
Shepherds hasted
People wondered
Parents presented
Simeon blessed
Joseph and Mary marvelled
Anna thanked
God graced
Jesus grew

Friday, January 29, 2010

Luke's Gospel

Lk 1

The gospel of Luke, the longest book in the New Testament, was written by Luke to Theophilus.

The word Theophilus means “a friend (or lover) of God,” or a pious man; and it has been supposed by some that Luke did not refer to any particular “individual,” but to any man that loved God;

It is probable that he was some distinguished Roman or Greek who had been converted, who was a friend of Luke, and who had requested an account of these things. (Barnes)

Therefore, though this gospel was intended by Luke for an individual in his contemporary time, the Holy Ghost intends it for a lovers of God for all time.

This book is a tremendous gift of God's love to us as it presents the story of Jesus' birth and ministry from the perspective of a medical doctor.

We are excited about this journey through Luke's good news of the gospel.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Every Day is a New day

Lev 15:5 And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.

This phrase, "...and be unclean until the even." appears 28 times in the Word. It deals with situations where folks who have touched something else unclean have to bathe and then are considered unclean themselves until sunset, which, in the Old Testament, starts a brand new day.

Genesis, chapter one, sets this pattern for the new day when it states. "and the evening and the morning were the first day." etc.

Now, let's make this relative to us. We rightfully regret our failures. But we have to repent, learn from them and move on. Each day is a new day and God intends for it to be fresh, sin free and devoted to fellowship with Him.

Is it any wonder the Apostle instructs us, "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."? It is a great idea to start a new day putting the past where it belongs, in the past.

I wonder, are you allowing hurts, mistakes, offenses and the like to fester day after day? Imagine a beast of burden, say a camel, being laden down with items and never being relieved of the burden. Eventually that animal will succumb to the weight.

Now, think about the load you are carrying. Understand the additional issues that are heaped upon you. What do you think is going to eventually happen to you?

So Peter tells us to cast our every care upon the Lord because He cares for you.

Friend, why not lay your burden down before the close of the day? Jesus invites
us, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Mt 11:28-30

Hey, if you will confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you of ALL your unrighteousness.

Bring your sins, your heartaches and your burdens to the Lord and let Him start for you a new, clean day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


My blogs have been somewhat spotty over the past week and a half due to my Central America trip. Well, 5 volcano eruptions and an earthquake later, I am back home and blogging regularly again. Thanks for checking in and, just for the fun of it, please comment if you read this.

Night of the Living Dead – Day of the Living Living

Lev 14:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Lev 14:2 This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:

Just reading the 13th and 14th chapters of Leviticus hurts on several levels. The details of the pronouncement of the disease, the instructions and restrictions for the leper, their cleansing and their offerings once they were cleansed, are tedious reading.

The worst hurt though, is for the victims of leprosy. It was a horrible disease that made the sick person one of the living dead. "Tsarim" is what they were called. They were banished from society. They were miserable, they stank, they were ugly, they were hated, oh, they were in the worst imaginable class of people on earth.

Leprosy no longer is the danger it once was, praise the Lord! The last leper colony, in Hawaii, was closed down not too long ago.

But another type of leprosy lingers, and that is the disease of sin. Leprosy, in the Bible, is analogous with the sinner's condition.

Reading the laws of offerings for the cleansed leper here in chapter 14 is interesting, because lepers were never healed. It would take an absolute miracle for that to happen. Elisha was instrumental in the healing of Naaman and Jesus, of course, healed many lepers. Other than that, it is unheard of.

If a leper did receive healing, chapter 14 constrains him to offer 2 birds, 3 sheep, some flour and oil. That may seem like a lot to a poor leper, but, believe me, any leper would love to have the chance to make such an offering.

The Walking Dead: Recalling that leprosy is the type of the sinner's condition, salvation is the sinner's healing. We notice that the actual pronouncement of cleansing comes after the offering. The lambs represent Jesus, the Lamb for sinners, slain. The blood is applied to his ear, thumb and big toe. This represents total cleansing; of the sinful things we hear and think, the things we do and the places we have gone.

Subsequently, the oil, the Holy Spirit, is then applied to the same body parts that he may be filled with Spirit power in his thinking, hearing, doing and going. Additionally, the priest sprinkles the oil 7 times with his finger. This represents the 7 fold ministry of the Holy Spirit. Then, the remaining oil is poured over the head of the person, representing the one baptism and many fillings of the Spirit.

The Walking Living: Oh, thank God for the miraculous that has taken place in our lives. We, the leprous, are washed whiter than snow and filled with the Holy Ghost for power for living.

Now we are the walking living.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Glory of the Lord

Exo 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

As I read about the details of the tabernacle in the wilderness in the last several chapters of Exodus, I am amazed by the intricacies of its color, its gold, brass and other materials.

The detail was absolutely astounding. Two extremely skilled men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, were employed by Moses to cunningly construct the tabernacle and its furniture.

I suppose "eye-popping" would be an apt description once the tent was erected and everything was put in place.

Beauty, holiness, functionality and detail graced this marvelous worship center. And yet, we have to recognize that it all points to Jesus. The typology shown in the tabernacle is wonderful to the most minute detail.

I have a thought that boggles my mind. As grandiose as the wilderness project of Moses was, one day we will be in the presence of Jesus, Whom the Bible calls the temple of heaven. There, we will behold His glory and beauty. Imagine our gatherings at that heavenly temple replete with the eternal Sacrifice and the very presence of the Shekinah glory of God.

What a day that will be!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buenas Dias!

Good day from Central America! Heading out the door to go to Guatemala for some R&R after a great day yesterday in El Salvador. Will post a new blog soon. Thanks for checking.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

God Will Make a Way

Ex 14:3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
Exo 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
Exo 14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Exo 14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

God does make a way when there is no other way. When the wilderness has us hemmed in on every side, the sea is in front of us and the enemy behind and ready to attack. On either side of us there are only impossibilities.

Hope is gone, the money is too. The bills are due, the enemy is breathing down your neck. There is no way to turn. There is really no where to look but up.

Here are the Lord's instructions from His man to His people;
*Fear ye not
*Stand still
*See the salvation of the Lord
*The Lord will fight for you
*Go forward

A few questions;
Has the Lord every failed you yet?
Hasn't He brought you this far?
Do you think the wilderness is your final destination?
Or is it the Promised Land?
Do you think the road to Canaan is smooth?

Here is the deal, God had to do some mighty big things to, through and for Israel before they could ever reach the Promised land.

1. He had to bring them out with a high hand.
vs 8 - and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

This is the miracle of salvation, the Passover and the miracles which led up to it. This meant freedom from 3 things;
-Bondage - we were slaves to sin.
-Pharaoh is Satan.
-Death, in Egypt, they were dying a slow death.

2. He had to bring them to a place of complete dependence on Him - here at the Red Sea.
-God had to make the way
-He had to win the battle
-He kept the enemy at bay by a cloud and pillar of fire
-He opened up the Red Sea
-He destroyed the enemy (which was too much for us, but no match for Him)

3. He miraculously provided for them for 40 years. He fed them in the wilderness.
"Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Ps 78:19
He gave them the manna, the water from the rock and the quail. Their shoes never wore out. He was for them a cloud by to shield them from the harsh desert sun. He became for them a pillar of fire by night to give them light and warmth.

4. He took them through a process. The journey might have only taken a few weeks, but it took 40 years. Why? He had taken them out of Egypt, but the Egypt hadn't been taken out of them yet.

5. He had to instill His law into them at Sinai. As we journey through this wilderness, we need to know all the dos and don'ts, the thou shalts and the thou shalt nots.

6. They had to learn that the journey was almost as important as the destination.

Note: The Promised Land for the believer is not necessarily heaven. God wants us to enter into the land flowing with milk and honey down here!

Well, child of God, you are up against an impossible situation, look up, rather than at the impossibilities, stand still and see His salvation AGAIN, then go forward when He opens up the way.

And now, the conclusion of what He accomplished in them at the Red Sea,
Exo 14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

They witnessed God's great work, they feared Him, they believed Him and they gained a great respect for His Servant Moses.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hola de El Salvador

I am sitting in the patio of our good friend, Bro. Herbert, in San Salvador, EL Salvador. 2 weeks ago brought -35 degree wind chills to Nebraska and now I get to experience 90 degrees as summer has begun down here in Central America. That's a difference of 125 degrees!!!

A 2 foot iguana is sunning itself on top of the fence, tropical birds are calling to each other from tree to tree, I am snacking on a wonderful candy made of coconut strips and sugar. Wow!!!

Tonight, my hosts are taking me way up into the hills to a restaurant call Las Planes, where we will feast on papusas. What the taco is to Mexico and the burger is to the US, the papusa is to El Salvador.

I know, it's not much of a devotion today, just an update because I am thrilled to be tapping into the WWW here in the 3rd world.
All is well. Oh, except there have already been 2 earthquakes here today, the first one was a 6.0, but occurred before our plane landed. I am sure aftershocks will follow.

I covet your prayers for the ministry we have this week here. Much to do.

Blessings to all!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Poor Locusts!

Exo 10:19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.

Now, I have no love for the PETA organization, but I am thinking that the Locusts were plagued by Pharaoh rather than the other way around. Once the conflicted king confessed his sin against Moses, Aaron and the Lord...AGAIN, the poor locusts were driven by the winds into the Red Sea. In my little mind, the locusts had more honor than Mr. Pharaoh.

But, it shows that the Lord has more regard and patience with even those on the bottom rung of that race created in his image than expendable insects.

You see, one soul is worth more than the entire world, even if that soul is Pharaoh. Jesus questioned rhetorically, "...for what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

Amazing patience and restraint God shows to this hard-hearted Egyptian. AND, amazing grace He exhibits to us also! But, there is a limit on God's patience. "My spirit shall not always strive with a man."

Is there something in which the Lord is dealing with you? Give up that sin and the pride which could bring God's wrath and keeps you from God's blessing.

In the meanwhile, think about those poor locusts which have to suffer in the process. John the Baptist would love to have had them, deep fried and dipped in a nice honey mustard sauce, Mmmm!

Friday, January 15, 2010

One More Night With Those Stinkin' Frogs

Exo 8:6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.
Exo 8:9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?
Exo 8:10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God.

Our old buddy from Pampa, Texas, Johnny Flanagan wrote the following lyrics:
One more night with them stinkin' frogs,
One more night in sin,
I had a terrible time, again last night,
But I just gotta’ do it again

It is truly amazing how old Pharaoh would plead for Moses and Aaron to intercede to the Lord to send the frogs back into the river, then, when Moses asked when he should take care of that,Pharaoh answered, in the morning!

Goodness, if you had frogs in your soup, in your bed, on the floorboard of your chariot, in your bathtub, in your closet, jumping around on your kids, wouldn't you want to be rid of them, like... yesterday???

Funny, how it is with sin. It is pleasurable...for a season. We know we should deal with it and get it out of our lives. However, perhaps another day of procrastination might be ok.

I love the words of Moses when Pharaoh first asked him to deal with the frogs. "Well, glory over me!" was his response. How that glory must have turned to disbelief when Pharaoh added, "tomorrow."

Why waller in the pig pen another day? Why set in the stench of iniquity another minute? If we are caught up in sin, let Jesus cleanse it this moment so we can get back to living in victory.

If you are presently bound in iniquity, why don't you just "First John One Nine" that sin and get right with the One Who deeply desires your fellowship once again. Don't spend another night in sin.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Who is the Lord?

Exo 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

An old children's song said:
O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E, obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.

Of course, the hymn also says it well: Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Sadly, I see too many Christians who refuse obedience to the Lord, their attitudes and actions say, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”

For me, it is more, “Who am I that I should not obey His voice?”

As the heavens are far above the earth, so are His ways so much higher than mine. I grope in darkness, He shines the light. I don't know what a day may bring forth, He knows the end from the beginning.

Pharaoh's attitude towards God's leadership cost him dearly. The nation was bombarded with the worst kinds of plagues, culminating with the deaths of the firstborn children, including his own son. This was all due to his refusal to obey the Lord.

God's voice to us is one of guidance and wisdom. He has a wonderful plan for all who choose to follow Him. Why not just obey and be blessed rather than fighting the One Who will always win?

Father, show us the path you have for us today. Give us the grace, wisdom and strength to surrender to your perfect will in every event. May we be happy in Jesus today, as we trust and obey. Amen!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Satan is a Horrible Taskmaster

Exo 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
Exo 1:11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
Exo 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
Exo 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
Exo 1:14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
Exo 1:15 And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:
Exo 1:16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

First, let's draw the obvious comparisons
1. Pharaoh - Satan
2. Hebrews - Children of God
3. Slavery - Sin
4. Midwives - Forced Abortion
5. Moses - Jesus

Satan, like Pharaoh, sees God's children as a huge threat to his kingdom. He'll do anything to keep them in bondage and from joining forces with his arch enemy, God.

So he puts us in great bondage to our filthy habits, all the while increasing his holdings and his fame.

Lest we become too blessed, he attempts to stamp out life, even before it has a chance to begin. As he ordered Shiphrah and Puah to kill the males they deliver for the Jews, he wants our children destroyed. If he can't get them aborted, then he attempts to kill them spiritually through ungodly education, negative peer pressure, worldly entertainment, apathy, etc.

But God has raised up a Deliverer to save us from the servitude to sin and Satan. Though the wicked one has done all he could to snuff out the life of that Deliverer, never-the-less, He lives to bring His people out of bondage.

Soon we will be reading of the Passover sacrifice, in which the blood of the innocent lamb is placed on the door posts and lentil of the house in the form of a cross. When the blood is applied, the people are set free.

What a wonderful picture in the Old Testament of salvation in the New!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The King Which Knew Not Joseph

Exo 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

The Jews had gained great favor in Egypt, primarily due to Joseph's providential work which saved the nation and the world. For centuries, they enjoyed a favored status. However, over periods of time, important elements of history and custom give way to cynicism and what seems to be pragmatic.

Thus, with a succession of Pharaohs and generations, the Jews were relegated to 3rd rate citizens. They became slaves to the Pharaoh's visions of grandeur. The question is often, how were the pyramids built? The answer is simply - on the backs of the Jews.

History is repeating itself in modern America. This once great nation, begun as a church relocation effort and built on Christian principles, now has at its head, a Pharaoh who knows not Christianity.

He has shamed our nation to the world by bowing to Muslim Kings, apologizing for our greatness and declaring that America is not a Christian nation. He has done away with the presidential prayer breakfast, refused to give a Christmas speech, and has changed the White House decorations from "Christmas" to "holiday."

Soon, we will find ourselves in slavery to our new Pharaoh as a reparative act for the slavery of the past.

Mark my words, the America of prosperity, liberty, opportunity and Christianity we have all known for so long is gone. Our new "massa" is going to be heavy taxation so that the slothful can live like royalty, have their gas tanks full and their bills paid by their messiah. Decent Americans will be stripped the straw used to make our bricks, our God given and Constitutional rights, and be forced to double our labors so the shiftless may have their entitlements.

We need a revival and a revolution. The bums have to be thrown out while there is still a vestige of those who know Joseph!

Monday, January 11, 2010

God Meant it for Good

Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Gen 50:21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

I am struck by ability of our great and gracious God to take our tragedies and turn them into triumphs.

This past Lord's day was one of great victories, but also one of great sorrows. For sure, we were able to rejoice with those who rejoiced, but we also found ourselves weeping with those who wept. The depths of sorrows which some are experiencing go beyond the pale of the norm.

Yet, even in that suffering, I know that, like Joseph of old, the evil intended by our arch enemy will eventually be turned into great good by our God.

I think of one dear saint whose children are standing on her last nerve. They flaunt their rebellion in her face and dishonor her at almost every turn. I think of another gent who is struggling with his place in the family of God. Yet another is gripped in the clutches of a dangerous habit. Another lady is on the brink of losing so much. Still another feels weighted down false imaginations. How the tears flowed.

But I know, yonder out there on the horizon, victory is looming. God has salvation and blessing in store for these sample saints and many others if we will remain as faithful as Joseph.

As Joseph comforted his brethren with these words of hope, I kindly speak unto you, my dear friend. Hang on to God, stay in the Word, pray as if the world depended on your prayers, stay faithful and know that victory's a comin' over yonder.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Judah's Payback - Gen 38

Please read this chapter and see if you are not disgusted.

Having read in the previous chapter that Judah was the one who concocted the plan to sell Joseph into slavery, we now see him reaping the whirlwind in Chapter 38.

This family is a mess! The players are Judah, his sons Er, Onan and Shelah. Er's wife Tamar and her two sons, Pharez and Zarah.

My, what a sordid tale this chapter this is.

Long story short, you reap what you sow! Gal 6:7,8.

However, we are amazed to find that it is into the tribe of Judah that our Lord Jesus was born.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sins of the Patriarchs

Gen 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

1. Why did Reuben go into his father's concubine?
2. Why did Isaac have a concubine?

I weary of reading of the Patriarchs and their sinful ways; polygamy, taking wive's maids to themselves, visiting prostitutes. It is amazing that God could ever use any of these people.

Well, we can glean a few things from these stories.
1. God is no respecter of persons. Even tho these people were key to God's overall plan, they all paid dearly for their transgressions. As Moses said so long ago, your sins shall find you out.
2. The Bible tells it like it is, blemishes and all. No other "holy book" tells the whole truth about its "heroes."
3. If God can use these guys, He can use anybody, blemishes and all. God is able to salvage, rectify, reclaim and redeem. No matter how far we stray, the Father of prodigals awaits His erring children.
4. In reality, we are all under the condemnation of sin, until freed by grace. The sins of the patriarchs is glaring because they are recorded for the scrutiny of the ages. Our sins are hidden to most, but not to God.

Father, how pained you must be to witness your erring children as we fail to do that which we are called to accomplish and even more often, we commit that which is forbidden. Thank you for your love, patience, mercy and grace. Especially, we thank you for the blood of Jesus which cleanses all sin. Forgive us, not only of that which we have committed but that which we have thought which is contrary to your law. With your leadership and strength, may we steer clear of temptation today and draw ever the closer to your side. Amen!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Treasures of the Snow

Job 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?

Recent weeks have brought us winter conditions unlike any we have seen in decades. I was thinking of a recent winter in which we experienced a good snow the day before winter officially started and another one the day after it ended, in between, nothing over an inch or two at a time. It was an unbelievable and unheard of winter. Then, we have had some very mild winters in which the temps were almost balmy.

Not so, the winter of 2009/2010. The Lord must have a real sense of humor when it comes to ‘global warming’. I think of the climate summit in Copenhagen in which US officials arrived to the worst blizzard in decades and came back home to the same here. And now, we experience this nationwide deluge of frigid temps, blankets of snow, high winds and all the trappings of blizzard conditions. This morning’s news showed snowy conditions in Memphis and Atlanta. Recently Dallas and parts of North Carolina and West Virginia received record amounts of snowfall. In addition, Europe is also being slammed with record winter weather.

I get the sense that others, besides myself, are already extremely weary of the treacherous weather. Today is the 5th day of school snow days in this young winter season. The kids are thrilled to be out of school…again. However, they have only attended school for 4 of the last 27 days. Church has already been cancelled a record 6 times this year! Even now, I am listening to the police radio as it is abuzz with traffic incidents on the slick roads. We are heading for 15 degrees below zero tonight and 22 below tomorrow night, add to that the real feel temps and we are going to break some more records.

I am getting cabin fever! I love my family, but hey, they really need to be in school!

The book of Job has a strange, yet wonderful take on this weather when it says, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow?” What treasures can we find in snow (other than maybe our keys which fell from frozen, trembling fingers)?
The Word says that salvation causes our sins to go from red, like crimson to as white as snow.

It gives us the picture of a covering. All of our sins and flaws, just like the thorns and briars, are covered up with the beauty of snow.

Each snowflake is an individual. Each is comprised of 6 sides, the number of man. Each snow fall is comprised of billions upon billions of flakes, yet not a one of them is exactly alike. This helps us relate that God has made each of us alike in many ways and yet unique.

Snow can be very unhandy, but we have to admit, God has given us a great treasure in the snow which blankets the sin-cursed earth. Perhaps we should all share the enjoyment of it and find great glee when it falls as do our children!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Come all the way out!

Gen 31:19 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's.

Rachel is guilty here of a common crime among God's people. God had called her out of her home to go to the Promised Land. But we see her stealing a couple of idols and hiding them in the pleats of her garment on the way out the door. She came out alright, but not totally out.

It is kind of like the Church of England and a few others of the Protestants who 'reformed' from the Roman Church a few centuries ago. They came out, but brought a few of Mama's gods with them; liturgy, mass, formalism, etc.

We Christians tend to do the same, in that, while we are the called out from the world, the ecclesia, we are like to carry a few of our idols with us. Ungodly habits, worship of our own egos, money, pleasure, ad infinitum.

God has invited us from the world and to Himself in saying, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." II Cor 6:17

Let us be diligent in coming all the way out and not hang on to the useless false gods. God's promise is that He will receive us unto Himself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In My Bible Every Day

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Helpful Tips For Bible Reading:
1. Location, Location, Location – great for Real Estate, better for Bible reading. In forming habits, triggers are helpful. The kitchen table, your easy chair, or some other familiar, quiet place will trigger your mind and heart. “This is my regular, daily place to read and study my Bible.” Find a regular place for your reading.
2. Shush! Turn of the TV (and hopefully the kids too!) Obviously, it is hard to concentrate if there are a lot of other things going on. Try to make your Bible reading the one and only event happening during your devotions.
3. Pray! The Lord wants to speak to your heart, life and situation each and every day. His primary method is through His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through today’s reading. It may be that, of all the chapters you read, He will use one verse, or just a portion of a verse to help you today.
4. Meditate. Chew thoughtfully on that portion of Scripture the Lord has impressed on your heart.
5. Ask some questions. Asking the questions: Who? What? When? Where? And Why? Will give you the proper context of the passages you read which can really aid in your understanding and edification.
6. Apply in Person. Make sure you put the Word to work. Make it practical. Find a way to live what God has shown you.
7. Hang in there. The enemy does not want you feeding on the Word. Your growth is inevitable. He will do everything he can to distract or discourage you. Don’t give up, rich rewards await you during and at the conclusion of your journey through the Bible.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Deja Vu for Abimelech.

Gen 26:1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
Gen 26:2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
Gen 26:4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Gen 26:6 And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
Gen 26:7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
Gen 26:8 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
Gen 26:9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die for her.
Gen 26:10 And Abimelech said, What is this thou hast done unto us? one of the people might lightly have lien with thy wife, and thou shouldest have brought guiltiness upon us.
Gen 26:11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, He that toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.
Gen 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
Gen 26:13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:
Gen 26:14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
Gen 26:15 For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
Gen 26:16 And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we.

If we look back to Gen 20, Abimelech is tempted to take in Sarah as a concubine. Abraham had told the half truth that she was his sister so he wouldn't be killed for her. Abimelech was warned by God and did the right thing in returning Sarah to her husband. He was king of Gerar at the time.

Now, he is ascended to rulership over all the Philistines and Isaac and Rebekah come into his domain. Just like his dad, Isaac tells a lie about his wife to save his own neck. Abimelech begins to consider her as a possible wife or concubine for himself or one of the Philistines, when he observes the couple having some marital fun together. He is convinced that brother and sister don't act like this, they must be a couple.

Twice now, the providence of the Lord allows the king to dodge a bullet. He is allowed to bless Isaac as he did Abraham, and, according to the Abrahamic covenant, he was also greatly blessed.

Thank God for His leadership in our lives. How many are the times He keeps us from great error by speaking to us with His still small voice and allowing circumstances to steer us away from trouble.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gen 19 Entertaining Angels.

The Word tells us that we may possibly entertain angels unawares. Abraham received a visit from 3 men, 2 angels and the Lord. Here, in Gen 19, Lot receives a visit from 2men (angels).

Contrast Lot's angelic visit with the visitation to Abraham's tent. I think these angels are two of the same visitors to each, minus the Christophanes (an appearance of Christ in the Old Testament).

In contrast, we see...

1. Good news to came to Abraham, Bad news to Lot.
2. An announcement of life was given to Abraham, an announcement of death to Sodom and Gomorrah.
3. Sarah laughed, Lot's wife cried.
4. Sarah was to bring forth kings, Lot's wife would turn to a pillar of salt.
5. Abraham's visitors received a meal and great hospitality, Lot's visitors were assaulted.
6. Abraham was blessed, Lot was cursed.

These people were all related, yet their angelic visitation was completely different. Why? It is due to:
1. Where they lived
2. What they did
3. What their purpose was
4. What their reaction was

The Word says that the sinful atmosphere of Lot's poor choice vexed his righteous soul.

Some of us choose the well watered plains or bright lights and big city over God's will. Lot's choice was made because what he saw appealed to his senses, but it cost him his wife and his home. Be careful how you make the big decisions of life.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Y Prospero Ano a Todos!!!