Friday, November 30, 2012

The Disposition of Your Prayers

Rev 5:8  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Though we may feel at times as if our prayers don't make it through the ceiling, rest assured, they are precious to Heaven and are preserved for safe keeping.

No less than golden vials in glory contain your prayers of praise, supplication and intercession. We are not asked to let our requests be made known unto God so that they might be stowed away in some obscure filing cabinet. We may forget our petitions, but in heaven they are well-looked-after.

In fact, our prayers have an aromatic fragrance to them, a perfumed quality which surrounds the Throne with the odorous reminders of our needs.

So, don't stop praying. Believer's prayers are precious to God and are always answered.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thou art Worthy!

Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Elders falling down and worshipping, six-winged beasts, full of eyes, proclaiming 24/7, "Holy, holy, holy..." Lightnings, thunderings and voices out of the throne, all giving praise and glory to Jesus! Seven eternal torches blaze to illumine the scene.

Of such is the glory of heaven. It is all about Jesus; Alpha and Omega, beginning and ending, the first and the last. Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer.

Of all that He is, imminently, He is worthy! Worthy of praise, worship, adoration. He is worthy of our service, our efforts, our love.

Someday, some glad, longed-for time, I get to attend this celebration of His worthiness and my little expression will be blended with these powerful voices of praise.

Perhaps today, I will exercise my exaltation of the Lamb and practice my praise of the One Who is, far above all else, worthy.

Hear the cries of the shackled from the onset of time,
For the chains of defeat there’s no key.
See the tears of the broken, the cries of the slaves:
Is there no one worthy to set us free?

Then the crying is stilled as the chorus rings out,
The shackled released from their chains.
And thousands of voices are swelling the song:
Worthy the Lamb that was slain.

Worthy, worthy,
Worthy the Lamb that was slain  

Then all the archangels, the saints of all time,
Holding their crowns in their hands,
Fall down before Him joining the song:
Worthy, worthy the Lamb!

Worthy, worthy, Worthy the Lamb that was slain
Praise Him, praise Him, Praise the Lamb that was slain

(Wm J. Gaither)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Bright and Shining One

Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Rev 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
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. 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. 13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 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. 16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Someday soon, and it won't be too long
Saints will gather in heaven to sing a new song...

To the Lamb Who is worthy to merit our praise
For He has prevailed, the Ancient of Days

One glimpse of His face, our rapture complete
This is the visage full of glory replete

A rainbow will circle His shoulders and crown
Upon an emerald throne, He will be set down

A river of water of life freely flows
From under His feet and to all heaven it goes

A brilliant white robe with glory He'll wear
With a belt made of gold on which we may stare

His feet will appear as if they are brass
It is there with thanks we will gladly amass...

Our crowns, full of jewels, like the stars they will shine
Belong only to Him, Who gave us the "oil" and the "wine"

And that Face! from which the heavens do flee
May finally be looked upon by you and by me

Eyes full of fire, which at the same time show grace
No, there has never shone in eternity quite like this face

Hair, white as snow, not from age but from wisdom
Seen from afar, from every corner of His kingdom

The earth is His footstool, the heavens His playground
"Holy, Holy" the angels, beasts and elders day and night do resound

Heaven, blessed home of the soul, the sweet bye and bye
Beulah land, Canaan, Rest, ear hasn't heard nor has it been seen with the eye

Soon, so very soon, earth's journey will be done
Then we shall see Him, the bright and shining One

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I Was in the Spirit

Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 Get this down... The Spirit of baptism, many fillings.

I have coffee every once in a while with an acquaintance. He believes he was baptized with the Spirit of the Lord at an altar at an sales conference and consequently, he feels that he is continuously filled with the Spirit. This, despite the fact he never attends church, drinks, cusses, lusts and is about as full of himself as anyone I know. (Don't get me wrong, I count him as a friend and will do all I can to help him. I am not downing him, just his Pneumatology.)

The fact is, everyone that has been born again has received the Spirit of God. We have this on the authority of Romans 6 and 8. If you don't have the Spirit, you are none of His. Obviously, there are a lot of people who may call heaven their home, who are not walking in the Spirit, but in the power of the flesh. I would say, most!

As I said, there are many "fillings." Paul said, “I die daily.” We must crucify the flesh on a regular basis. The Lord will not fill a dirty vessel. Once we are emptied of self, then we are ready to receive the filling of the Holy Ghost. Consequently, don't expect to be leaping pews and swinging from chandeliers, rather, be ready to find the Spirit producing His fruit in you: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Gal 5). Be prepared to have witnessing power. (Acts 1:8)

Once we are drawn away from this blessed state by our own lusts, we stand in need of cleansing once again and to be refilled.

John experienced this. At an advanced age, He was cast upon a rocky, snake-infested island. Having been boiled in oil, he somehow escaped this martyrdom only to be expelled from society and the church he pastored in Ephesus.

You can imagine the battles raging within his soul. He flesh must have desired an end to this misery. His old nature, which once wanted to call fire down out of heaven upon others, might have crept in, causing him to want revenge upon the Romans who had treated him so inhumanely. But suddenly, he was in the Spirit. Oh, what a change!

No longer did he see red, born of rage, toward his persecutors. Now, he sees the Lord on His throne in heaven being glorified by the 24 elders and the 4 beasts.

You see, being filled with the Spirit results in a change of perspective. Our vision is lifted above the nasty now and now to the sweet bye and bye. We don't dwell upon the temporary, the evil and our inconvenience, but upon things eternal, good and liberating. 

The same blessedness conferred upon John during his duress is available to you in your difficulty. It is the filling of the Spirit which changes everything dramatically. He desires to fill you even now. Just confess and forsake your sin, ask to be filled, thank Him for filling you and then put that holy Presence to work in your day.

Please, don’t rely upon an obscure past experience you have had concerning the Spirit of the Lord, ask for a fresh filling today and every day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Blessedness of the Woodshed

Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Jesus saved His strongest rebuke for the church of Laodicea. He had no commendation for them and plenty of condemnation. Still, they were His children, it was His church and He had this to say to them, “I love you, therefore I am taking you out behind the woodshed.”

Parents are not supposed to discipline other people's children. But they have need of taking care of their own. So it is with the Heavenly Father. The Devil’s kids will be punished, but not chastised by the Lord. If we find ourselves being spanked by the Lord, we are blessed to know it is because we belong to Him and are loved by Him.

The writer of Hebrews is careful to explain this parental care of the Father:

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

In short, when we find ourselves being rebuked or corrected by the Lord, it is because He is our Lord and cares enough to ensure that we learn from our mistakes.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving: Make His Praise Glorious

Psalm 66:1  Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: 2  Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. 3  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4  All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. 5  Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

If half our country, 150 million people, make it a true Thanksgiving today by giving thanks to almighty God for his blessings, His throne will be bombarded with glorious praise.

Surely, He is worthy of our praise. His name is honorable, His works are terrible and His power is great.

Friends, make sure that your praise of God is glorious on this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jesus is Knocking

Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Jesus is knocking, His hand is on the latch
He humbly seeks admission, for you to loose the hasp
If you would simply open, and invite Him to come in
You will find a gracious Guest, Who will wash away your sin

There is nothing He cannot do, no sin He cannot cleanse
Just bid Him enter now, the old life He will dispense
You will find all things new, as you see with different eyes
Base things you used to love, now you will despise

And when the Savior enters, true joy and peace you'll find
Things you ne'er imagined, and, finally, peace of mind
According to His riches, He will meet your every need
He is so good and loving, Open the door and let Him lead!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Hope?

Rom 8:24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

The word "saved" in verse 24 is used just as we normally use the word in a non-religious sense. That is, preserved, kept, protected. Much like when we would keep money in an account for a later date would be to save it. Or, if a lady were to put up some vegetables by canning them, they are saved for a later supper.

And so is the saint who knows that he is kept, protected or preserved until he safely reaches heaven's shore.

It is the hope of the believer, a future transition to his home in heaven, that keeps us sane in this crazy world and tools us with the patience to look beyond the crazy cosmos into a blessed eternity.

By grace, through faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ we are gifted with salvation. But by actively awaiting moving day to our heavenly address are we saved, kept, preserved and protected in our minds and spirits.

Do you have this hope?