Saturday, December 31, 2011
Pro 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
Whether we speak or write, our words powerfully affect those in our realm of influence. I know I tend to have a sharp, critical tongue if I am not careful. I need to be filled with the Spirit of God so that He is in control of my words. I also must be careful to filter what comes into my thinking though the gates of my eyes and ears, because the mouth speaks what the heart has been pondering.
How do you feel when the boss is in a good mood, saying complimentary things to you about your work? What happens when your spouse speaks loving words to you, encouraging you? You just want to be the best you can be. You are more productive, life is just a bit easier, you even feel better.
You have that power over people with whom you deal... your children, co-workers, spouse, neighbors, parents. They yearn for you to speak pleasant words to them.
Today, just be nice to people, give them a nice compliment, say something pleasant. Like honey, it is sweet to the soul and health to the bones.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Pro 16:17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Many, but not all of our problems are self-inflicted. The highway of life keeps us moving steadily and speedily toward success, but our sin and lack of wisdom bog us down in the roadside muck.
It is then we only have ourselves to blame for our lack of progress.
So, keep the vehicle between the lines today for some nice progress. Be careful of the common pitfalls; distracted driving, roadside hazards and falling asleep at the wheel.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Pro 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
Picture a gent hunched over his pock marked little table in his modest little home, eating a bowl of Ramen noodles. The hovel is quiet except for his slurping of the soup. A kitty squeezes between the table leg and his, wanting a little human interaction.
The man's Bible is open to the Psalms where he has just read about the goodness of the Lord. He is quietly giving thanks for his blessings.
According to the world's standards, the man is a loser. He has no set of wheels that would turn heads, no bank account to speak of, no large screen TV, no gaming system.
But he has the Lord, his well-worn Bible and assurance of eternal life. He never misses a meal, his work has been steady, his church is small but loving, supportive and very inspirational. Health ain't all that bad either.
Considering the options, if you offered him a fortune, he'd probably give it all away anyhow. His church would get that badly needed Sunday school addition, he'd see to it the pastor got a livable wage, the missionaries would be greatly blessed and his extended family would get some help. He'd be the first to say that a big house would mean a bigger tax burden and more to take care of. His old truck is all he needs to get from home to church, the grocery, work and the hardware store.
So, when everything is considered, this man is better off than the ultra-rich rap star who just passed away with a heart malfunction. He is really happier than the hotel heiress that is super famous for being famous, partying hard every night and shopping with a vengeance every day. He has more deep down joy than the rich folks a couple of neighborhoods over who have huge houses echoing with bitter words and selfish arguments.
It isn't so much about what you have as it about how you got it and what you plan to do with it. Be content with such things as you have and don't concern yourself with ill-gotten gain.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
HATCHED IN HELL
Deep in the bowels of the nether regions, imps and emissaries of evil continuously plot fiendish blueprints to foil the good and the right at every juncture.
Destruction, darkness and doom feed their vile imaginations. Leprous bile flows through their veins. Ghastly wisps of breath pour from their mouths and nostrils as they hatch unimaginable strategies against the human wretches and their Creator.
Their pitch-black fantasies imagine burning babies, drunken sots lying in vomit at the curb, sin-hardened women vying for the erotic fancies of imprudent men. They envision broken homes, wayward children, carnal churches, corrupt governments, duplicitous preachers and slothful saints. Their wicked goal is to steal, kill and destroy. They seek the annihilation of humanity and the overthrow of heaven.
Yet, God in His heaven will have them chasing their pointy little tails, dizzied by their maneuvers. He will laugh at them as they are foiled repeatedly, knowing that they will have their day, or rather, eternal night. He made them for such a time. He fashioned them with their impish appearance, foul odor, devilish imagination, sulfurous breath and pea-sized hearts and brains that they might have a ministry. They even have the ability to dress up their darkness to appear as light. They are able to morph from demon to delight.
God created man with the capacity of choice. Man opts to love God or not. But God refuses to bribe man with overwhelming goodness and blessing. That is too easy. Love is not love unless it is chosen and the choice cannot be a set up. He has also provided the flip side, the false advertising of hell, so that man could have a volitional option; good or evil, life or death, the true God or false pleasure.
IN A NUTSHELL
Jesus condensed the choice in the following verse: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
THE PLOT THICKENS
Both sides, clamoring for your loyalty, go to great lengths for your allegiance. Hades crossly offers you that which it can't deliver. Heaven offers deliverance by a cross. The wolves prepare to devour the sheep. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep. Satan offers you heaven and gives you hell. The Savior went through hell to secure your heaven.
You stand at a crossroads. Glitzy, glamorous billboards on a wide boulevard hail you toward destruction. A rocky narrow path beckons you to find abundant and eternal life.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Pro 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Do you know how to please the Lord? Really, there is a verse that is very clear on this. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
If you want to please the Lord, have faith! Not faith in your own abilities, not faith in faith, but faith in the promises and ability of the Lord.
I often hear people bragging about faith. "I have my faith." "I have a strong faith." Well, bully for you! Faith has a lot to do with God and not so much to do with us. Yet, it is our part of that equation which pleases God. Someone said, "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me." Well the truth is, it ought to be, "God said it and that settles it." But that, "I believe it" is the part that proffers God's favor upon us.
Once we have trusted God, believing on His promises, then our ways will align themselves according to that belief. For instance, if we believe God's promises concerning our finances, we will be faithful in our tithes and missions giving. If we believe God's Word concerning the rapture, we will live in the light of His coming by being pure, holy and trying to bring others to Him.
This is how God is pleased, by expressing our faith. And once we have accomplished this, we get a bonus...even our enemies will get along with us.
Now, I'm a nice guy. If you don't believe me, just ask me and I'll tell you. :<) But, believe it or not there are some people out there who just despise me. They don't like it that I smile a lot. They say, "He's got to be faking it." They hate it that when I sing for the Lord, I sing from my heart and my face shows it. They say, "He's just too dramatic, every song has to be some huge production." They don't like my preaching because, "He's not even qualified to be preaching." One guy hates me because his step-daughter ran away and we helped the police find her! Imagine that! I know another preacher hates me because, well, he hates everyone who doesn't dot their I's like he does. I know he pops into my blogs now and then to look for other reasons to be my enemy, Hi Todd!
Now, don't get me wrong, I want to please the Lord first, foremost and always. But I like it when people like me, even if they are jerks. :<) So I am going to make it my goal to please the Lord so much that these people can't help but say, "Hey, he ain't so bad a guy after all." So, time to me to put all my trust in the Lord like never before and live accordingly.
And that's that!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
I read this awhile back and wanted to share it today. Merry Christmas!
This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable. And after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids. She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year. Overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card. Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot." From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond, "Don't worry we already crucified him." For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Don't judge a book by its cover. That's the old adage. I still do! I'm just saying...
God does His work from the inside out. Men look on the outside of a person. That is what is evident and easy to discern. But God prepares the heart first.
CHOOSE THE RUNT
The prophet Samuel was tasked to search for the next Israeli king among the sons of Jesse. But God cautioned him to be careful not to dwell on the outward appearance too much. It is the heart, that which God discerns, which matters most. David, being the youngest brother, didn't have the brawn to be the king, but God knew he had what it took to lead.
OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART
Once the heart of an individual has been prepared, it is evidenced by the answer of the tongue. And we know that what proceeds from the mouth has been prepared in the heart.
The Lord taught us in Luke 6:45, A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Slips of the tongue are generally just overflow from the heart. Usually, we say it because we thought it.
PARDON MY FRENCH
As a preacher, I get the following a lot, "Oh, pardon my French!" Well, it is evident the heart has been dwelling on the French language lately and has not been prepared properly.
That which we think upon is going to evidence itself eventually. The prophet Isaiah had been ushered into the presence of the Almighty in a vision. He was concerned that he'd misspeak because he dwelt in the midst of an unclean people (no offense to the French people intended). He recognized the possibility that he might use vulgar language before the Lord.
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT
If you've ever worked construction or in a factory or served in the armed forces, you know exactly how Isaiah felt.
Therefore, we must pray with the Psalmist, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." And we need to determine that, "My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding."
It is one thing to guard our words, yet it is a better thing to guard our hearts.
THINK ABOUT THE GOOD THINGS
Psalm 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Pro 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Hearts ache, homes break and lives take a turn for the worse whenever a home is overcome by the foolish actions of selfish people.
Nobody wins when prideful, foolish individuals break their holy vows because they don't get their way at every turn. The only part of the vows they meant were, "For better, for richer, in health, until my lawyer says differently." In their ring vow, "with all thy worldly goods, endow me!"
The emotional, physical and spiritual damage that is done by foolish folks who tear their homes apart piece by piece leaves every loved one toting baggage they will never be able to fully unpack.
A successful home is built with wisdom, selflessness, deference to others and hard, hard, hard work. It doesn't come easy and it doesn't come right away, it takes years of persistence. I Corinthians 13, the charity chapter, must be employed many times daily.
We must continually be in building mode, adding, repairing and improving. We must never allow tearing down, disassembly and destruction.
A wise woman, or a man or child for that matter, needs to be patient, kind, loving, selfless, encouraging, forgiving, constantly building... day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out, year in, year out, decade in, decade out. The home building program is never complete.
How is your project coming along?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
2Cor 10:14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: 15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
In a previous blog, I shared with you the amazing story of the dear little Huichol Church near Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. There was one other thing that I learned down there that greatly impacted my ministry.
One young man who lived in a village about 14 miles away was also brought to Christ by the outreach of these faithful and evangelistic missionaries and the aged national pastor. He felt a burden for the people of his remote village, so he walked those 14 miles every Sunday to soak in all the Lord had for His people in the aforementioned village church. What he learned on Sunday morning and evening, and any material he could get his hands on, he then took the back home to his people to study during the week. He encountered grave dangers in doing so. There were others of the Huichols who were not pleased with this missionary work which made threats and there were the dangers of the jungle itself, pumas and the like. Yet, his indigenous tribe heard the Gospel of Christ.
Friends, this is pioneer missions work to the regions beyond . What are we doing to get the Gospel to the world?
Monday, December 19, 2011
Pro 13:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
3 decades ago, I was able to take a fascinating missions trip deep into the jungles of Nayarit, Mexico. I and our little missions team were led into the remote, mountainous back country that could only be reached by train, then trail. The area was beautiful. Citrus trees were everywhere. Parrots called from other treetops. Palm trees swayed lazily in the breeze.
And then we met the people, short, happy little folks dressed in colorful garb and friendly as can be. We were introduced to Juan, the 80 something year old, shriveled up little pastor of the village. He radiated Christ. Soon, the church services would begin and I would witness things I could never have imagined.
Try to picture this service. Ladies began indiscreetly breast feeding their little ones on benches hewn from local trees. Chickens were scurrying about inside the thatched hut. We were even visited by a piglet who came in to enjoy some of the song service.
A man began strumming a homespun guitar and singing to the glory of God. He was perhaps the greatest Christian I will ever meet. Here's the deal. This brother was reached for Christ in a distant village. Since the church was planted in this particular locale, he had to walk 7 miles through the jungle to attend. He would come on Sunday morning, stay the day so he could attend the Sunday evening services and then traverse the seven miles back through jungle trails to his village. He made the same trek on Wednesdays for prayer meeting.
A person would think that to be pretty amazing, even a little far-fetched. But his dedication to the Lord and God’s house is really astounding when you find that the man is totally blind AND crippled! His feet were actually turned up-side-down AND backwards! He had made special sandals to conform to his twisted feet. He had marked the trees along the trail in the jungle by notching them with his machete so he could make his way to church. (Isn’t it strange how a little rain or a few snowflakes can keep so many of God's choice "servants" home on a Sunday morning! But I digress.)
After the soulful singing of the hymns going on concurrently in three languages, the guest preacher from our team was introduced. get this, He spoke in English, a translator then spoke the words in Spanish to the old Huichol preacher who gave the words in the Indian dialect of the people and all were blessed!
I don't suppose there were more than 25 people in that little hut, but I know that God was there just as much or more than He is in a lot of our dignified church services with padded seating, A/C and no livestock.
That afternoon, our little team took turns with an old spade digging a large hole in the ground, then mixing concrete on the ground and troweling the floor and walls of the outdoor baptistery. Before the concrete was even cured, water was added and saints were following the Lord in believer's baptism.
These were, by far, the poorest people with the least amount of worldly goods I have ever met. And yet, they were richer than Bill Gates' and Warren Buffet's combined bank accounts. And so, for these past thirty some years, I have made it a practice of getting to church, no matter what, every Lord’s day. (I will tell you of the few occasions where “God was not willing” in another blog.)
Hey, if a crippled blind man can make it seven miles through the jungle on foot twice a week, I can surely crawl out of my comfortable bed, take a warm shower, hop in my nice car and make the short drive on paved roads to the plush church and park my backside on a posh pew chair to hear the Word clearly spoken in my own language.
May we find our riches in Jesus Christ alone.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Pro 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
A terrible time is coming upon the earth. It is called "Jacob's trouble," "the tribulation," "the day of the Lord," and "the day of wrath."
In that day, paper money might as well be used for toilet paper. Pricey art will mean nothing. A Lamborghini won't run without gas. Riches, in that day will profit nothing.
Therefore, it is wise to heed the words of Jesus in Mt 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The Bible does not teach against people having riches, but it warns against riches having them. There is nothing wrong with being "well-to-do," but we are encouraged "to do well" to others with what we have. God bless those folks to whom He has given the gift of giving. He enriches them to be a blessing to others. These kindS of riches are called "durable riches and righteousness." Proverbs 8:18.
Invest in eternity by winning souls, supporting missions, blessing others, helping the poor, visiting widows and orphans in their need, etc. God will bless you in this life and in the life to come.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Pro 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Do you know what really puts the kibosh on God's blessings? Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Do you know what starts every fight, what is the cause of every war? Why each divorce is initiated? Pro 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Do you realize what brings a person low? Pro 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Do you know what comes on the heels of pride? Pro 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame:
Do you understand what brings any person down? Pro 29:23 A man's pride shall bring him low:
There you have it. We thought all our problems are due to the idiots that surround us. We figured others were to blame for our lot in life. Know we know, our own pride is keeping us from prospering. As long as we retain the title "Captain of my own soul, Master of my own ship" we will flounder.
But if we will relinquish the throne of our heart to the Lover of our soul, we will find life a much easier and a more enjoyable go.
God, you know how full of myself I am. Though I don't say it out loud, I scream it within all the time, "I want..." Lord, it's not about me and what I want, it's all about you. With Paul, I wish to crucify my flesh today and yield my members to your leadership. I trust in your plan today, claiming your grace, seeking your kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Pro 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
It just seems inherent with fundamentalists to get out of balance. So many have gone out on the proverbial limb, only to see the lumberjack with his saw doing his thing to the base of the limb.
Whether it be Bible versions, styles of music or pet doctrines such as hyper-grace, hyper-soul-winning or hyper-Calvinism, preachers get themselves out of balance and lose their effectiveness. We have all heard about ministers that have gone overboard on issues like; not paying taxes, whether to incorporate the church, KJVO, date-setting for the rapture, etc.
I don't think God wants us to be weak-kneed compromisers. We ought to know what we believe, have good reason for believing it and then commit ourselves to stand for those truths. But we dare not go to seed on issues.
So many are straightening the pictures on the walls while the house is burning down around them. It is better to stay focused on the task the Lord has called us to as contained in the Great Commission, than to fight battles nobody even cares about.
Let's stay in balance and have a fruitful ministry.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Pro 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. 8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Throw a pearl to someone with their head screwed on straight and you get appreciation, even if that pearl is a bit of wisdom given to help someone who has made a mistake.
Throw that same pearl to some overgrown sow with tusks and she'll have absolutely no idea of its value, but she will try to chase you down and rip your leg open. Interesting, the word "scorner" means to make faces, especially with the mouth. Hmmm
Jesus said that! Here Solomon is trying to teach us the same thing.
In short, you can try to correct a wicked person, but all you will get is scorn. If you do the same to the godly person who has made a mistake, they may gladly accept the reprove, learn from it and become a better person.
The able minister has this charge: 2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
If you possess wisdom from God and you know of someone in need of, and will benefit from reproof, seek God's leadership in approaching that person in humility. Otherwise, let God deal with them.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Pro 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
I. Fear of the Lord Ps 111:10, Pro 1:7
II. Understanding Pro 4:7
III. True Riches Pro 8:11, 16:16, 23:23
IV. Discretion (carefully chosen words) Pro 10:13, 31, 18:4
V. Humility 11:12, 15:33
VI. Patience 11:12
VII. Righteousness Pro 15:21
These are the pillars of a good life. As Jesus said, the wise man built his house upon the rock. Building on any thing else is foolish. Build your house on the foundation of Christ and using the pillars of wisdom.
Pro 24:3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:
Monday, December 12, 2011
Psalm 26:8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
It is such a blessing to be part of a lively church in which the Spirit of the Lord is present, where His honor dwells.
I am cognizant that multiplied millions of dear souls are subjugated to regularly gather in cold cathedrals, boring basilicas, lackluster churches, and all sorts of mind-numbing religious venues to light candles and hear a bunch of irrelevant mumbo-jumbo. Prayers come from a book rather than from the heart. Sermons emanate from a lectionary instead of Spirit-filled study. The music is ineffective. The congregants leave without change or challenge.
If a person is going to devote their day of worship week in, week out, year in year out, decade after decade, to a house of God, then each experience ought to count. They ought to feel as if they truly encountered God, that He spoke to their heart, that He challenged them to elevate their salvation, service, spirituality and sanctification.
And what a bonus when a believer lingers to fellowship with the family of God! How blessed is the body of Christ when a saint shares testimonies and prayers with the brethren? How wonderful to be inspired by soul-stirring music that grips the heart? How awesome to hear straight Bible preaching that piques the whole range of emotions and demands response?
The local church is the Bride of Christ. No doubt He desires an energetic, active bride which is passionate, not passive, about her Groom.
I hope your church is alive. I desire that every pulpit burn with holy fire. I pray that your altars are packed with penitents and pray-ers. Oh that our pews will be filled with missons-minded, soul-winning worshipers who are growing in grace and itching to serve God inside and outside of the church.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Pro 6:26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
Pro 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
Down, down, down. This is the direction of the adulterer. A few moments of pleasure or the intrigue of a fling cannot hold a candle to the sorrow, heartache, guilt, and brokenness that are as sure to follow as thunder follows lightening.
Oh, the devil is so clever with his little lies. "The grass is greener...", "Nobody will know.", "It won't hurt anyone else.", "God understands your frustration.", etc.
His billboards never show the backside. The crushed family, divorce court, ruined lives, destroyed trust.
The scarlet letter comes only in CAPS and one screaming color. The wound that you will receive and the wounds that you will inflict in others never heal. Adultery not only breaks God's seventh commandment, but it smashes any hope you will ever have of a happy life.
Don't fall prey to the devilish device of lust. You cannot come away a winner.
Stay safely away from the precipice, for once you go over the edge, you will never stop falling. Keep your eyes focused, your feet on the right path and your heart set on the right person.
Pro 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Pro 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
I am a list person. I like lists like: “Ten best cities in America to live.” “Ten strategies to better your (fill in the blank).”
Here is a list to which we must pay heed. God's list of the things He hates. They are as follows:
1. A proud look - you know the look! It is that expression that either says, "I am better than you," or maybe, "I will not accept responsibility," Or even, "It will be a cold day where the boogie man lives before I talk to her again." etc. We know that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
2. A lying tongue – Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Lying sets itself in opposition to God. Lying is a source sin. If you lie, you will cheat. If you will cheat, you will steal. If you will steal you will kill. Lying is born of the evil one and is a jumping off sin. Like smoking leads to drinking or drugs, lying leads to other wickedness. God hates lying of all kinds, little white lies not excluded.
3. Hands that shed innocent blood - What is more destructive or hurtful than the taking of an innocent life? It is unconscionable that civilians lose their lives during war, collateral damage notwithstanding. We recoil in horror at the pictures or film clips of Jews dying at the hands of the Nazis. Who hasn't been saddened and sickened by the pictures of the mounds of skulls of innocent Cambodians slain by Pol Pot's wicked regime. And most horrific is the modern American holocaust of the unborn. 4,000 innocent lives a day are snuffed out by those clinician's hands which shed innocent blood. God hates those hands, which are connected to bodies, which house very dark hearts.
4. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations - Has there been a generation more characterized by evil imaginations than ours? With the proliferation of media, imagination has been piqued to the highest, perhaps I should say, the lowest level ever. Minds are dragged to the gutter at every turn. TV, movies, radio, internet, magazines, texting, tweeting, etc., are tools that can bless or curse. Because of man's degenerate state, they are most often used to foist the produce of evil imaginations.
5. Feet that be swift in running to mischief - Let's be honest, people need to get a good job, a godly family, a decent hobby and serve God. Then, they won't have time or interest to run to mischief (moral evil).
6. A false witness that speaketh lies - a healthy society depends upon the honesty of its citizenry. A true witness is necessary to ensure proper judgment. False witness tends to wrong that which is right and excuse that which is wrong. God's ninth commandment orders that we must not bear false witness against our neighbor. The breakdown of an orderly society will result from false witness.
7. He that soweth discord among brethren - some commentators infer that this seventh item is the one that ultimately morphs the list from "hatred" to "abomination." Hatred is a strong emotion of distaste against an enemy. An abomination is something considered morally disgusting. Pitting a believer against a believer rates "abomination" status with the Lord.
May the items on this list never once be named among believers.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Almost daily, I text my wife to find out when she will be home. Work, for her, has become somewhat unpredictable from day to day. Each day brings different challenges with new deadlines. Therefore, her departure from work and her arrival home is varied.
I do get anxious for her to be home. When she gets in, the family is together, we all talk about our day and then we sit together around the supper table to partake of some delectable creation.
Well, the text - the Bible - alerts us that our Lord will soon be on His way and when he comes it will be quickly. Once we all get together, it is on to the Bema where we will talk about how our day was. Then, the family will gather together around the table for the marriage supper. Oh, what a day that will be!
Until then, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be with us all.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Everybody is intrigued by secrets. Just look at the magazines next to the Tic-Tacs at the checkout in the grocery store. They all offer up secrets in bold headlines: "THE SECRET TO HOLLYWOOD WEIGHT LOSS," "THE SECRETS TO A BETTER LOVE LIFE," "SECRET WISHES OF YOUR LOVER," ad nauseam. Now, I would NEVER buy one of those wicked magazines! But I sure would peruse one while waiting in that line. :<)
One kid defined a secret as something you tell to only one person at a time. Perhaps you remember what happens when E.F. Hutton talks?
Well, what I am about to write is really no secret at all, it has been available to us for a long time, but maybe I piqued your curiosity . So here it is, the secret to happiness... wait for it...
Perform God's commandments!
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments...
And what are His commandments? Simple, all the law and the prophets are summed up in 2 commands, 1) love God with all you heart, soul and mind, 2) love your neighbor as yourself.
Aha! The secret is out. You will be blessed (made happy) by keeping these commandments of God, do what He says. Jesus told us that if we love Him, we would keep His commands. John emphasized that commandment to love one another.
Your happy life can begin even now as you read this. Part of the secret is this, you cannot find true and lasting happiness in making a good living, by acquiring things, by landing that perfect person as your significant other, or a thousand other things. You have to love God and love your neighbor. Jesus described who that neighbor is, by the way. It is the person God places in your path who is in need of your compassion.
So now you know the secret to happiness. Time to get started.
Other secrets to happiness:
Psa 2:12 Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Psa 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 41:1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
Psa 84:4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
Psa 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
Psa 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Isa 30:18 blessed are all they that wait for him.
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn:
Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek:
Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
Mat 5:7 Blessed are the merciful:
Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart:
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers:
Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
Mat 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection:
Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Creation, Exodus, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Rapture, Armageddon, Coronation... these are some of the red letter days of eternity. But once all has been said and done and the clock of time, as we know it, is stopped, then it is out with the old and in with the new. A total makeover of creation will take place on this happy day. The new Jerusalem will descend down to the new earth, its beauty incomparable. Tears will forever be banished. Evil will be destroyed. The relationship between God and His people will be enhanced. They will inherit all things.
Thus will begin the eternity that we all long for, where all is totally about God. And that should be our daily goal right now, heaven on earth, the sovereignty of God in our lives, our unending devotion to Him.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Can you imagine the absolute rage the devil is going to foist upon the unsuspecting world when he gets out of prison? After 900 and some odd years chained in the bottomless pit, he gets a short reprieve and boy, is he going to go ballistic!
Rev 12:12 tells us about his increased activity during the tribulation because he knows how short his time is. But now, after breathing brimstone for several centuries, he will pull out all the stops in deceiving the nations. He will try one last time to deceive and destroy.
But his eternal doom is sure. His little rant will be put to a sudden stop and he will be banished to the deepest part of the lake of fire to be tormented 24/7/forever.
And so will end the reign of the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world.
Amen! Hallelujah! Wave a hankie!!!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
In this short span of verses from 11-16, Our Lord is called by 5 different names. 2 of the names were actually emblazoned on His person or clothing:
1. Faithful and True - Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
2. An Unknown Name - Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
3. The Word of God - Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
4. Almighty God - Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
5. KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS - Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Yeshua, Jesus, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Son of God, Son of Man, Lion of Judah, the Branch, Root of David, etc... He is called so many wonderful names, but I am so happy to call Him Saviour, Lord and Friend!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Rev 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
When I See Myself in Prophecy, I get pretty excited. Of course, I am just one of multiplied millions here, but here I am in prophecy, praising the Lord in heaven.
Do you see me there? I am in that group over there with my hands raised, tears of joy streaming down my cheeks, doing a little bit of Baptist dancing and then falling before the throne of Jesus. No pain, no sorrow, no heartache, no inhibitions, just pure praise.
Do you see yourself among these sainted millions, unembarrassed to praise the worthy Lamb with every fiber of your being?
I think I might do a little practicing in church this Sunday. Join me?
Thursday, December 1, 2011
*Note: I love the dear Catholic people. I have some very good friends who are Catholic. I even have a priest friend. I hold absolutely nothing against these good folks. Many were born into their religion and have never even considered anything else. Having said that...
Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
When religious Babylon is utterly destroyed by God for her martyrdom of 50 million of His saints, the holy apostles and prophets will rejoice.
Babylon, that mixture of Nimrod, Semiramis, the “queen of heaven,” the son god, Popes, cardinals and bishops is well deserving of what is coming. She daily mocks Christ by introducing the death cookie as the actual body of Christ to her billion plus adherents. She persecutes the gospel throughout Latin America and elsewhere. She makes merchandise of souls by selling masses, high and low, to say prayers for the dead, hoping to deliver them from purgatory. She sells indulgences in hopes of absolution for sins. She compels and corrupts her little children at their first confession (and each subsequent one) by bearing every wicked thought and deed to a priest in the confessional. She encourages prayers to the dead, to angels and to idols. She claims that she is the only repository of salvation and there is no redemption outside of her auspices. She asserts that her leader speaks ex cathedra, as the infallible voice of God. Such are the doctrines and practices of Romanism.
But her day of destruction is coming in which her fine linen and purple, her gold, precious stones and pearls will come to nothing in one hour.
God calls unto Babylon's citizens, "Come out of her!" (vs 4) They who answer that call will escape the plagues coming upon her.
Peter was a humble apostle of Christ who preached the true gospel of faith in Jesus Christ alone. He was not the vicar of the Roman church as they falsely claim.