June 28, 2019

There are some defeats that are more triumphant than victories.

The Apostle Paul believed this to be true. He understood that "when I am weak then I am strong." He realized that when he came to the end of himself Jesus was there. Paul experienced the ailments of age. He knew what it was like to feel the natural consequences of the corruption of the body. But he also recognized that "though the outer man is decaying so the inner man is being renewed."

Each year I feel his pain and understand what he meant. And I hope each year I am coming a bit more to the end of myself and finding Jesus there to lift me up, straighten me out, and move me on to becoming more conformed to the image of Christ.

Please remember that it is the death of Christ that allows us to receive the gift of eternal life and justifies us before God. It is the life of Christ lived through us that allows us to be victorious and grow in sanctification and holiness.

We have all we need for life and godliness.
We have all we need to live life victorious.
How shall we then live?
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
June 21, 2019

                       Hominid, Humanoid or Human
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him....?" That is an important question. It has been queried and probed since the beginning of man, but that is another topic for discussion-- the beginning of man.

Is man simply a high-end machine or a highly evolved mammal?  Do we simply have an organic brain with a frontal cortex, or do we possess an actual moral conscience? Do we possess dignity and nobility, having been made in the image of God?  Or, are we as B.F. Skinner declared; there is no difference between a rat and a radish, a man or a sponge! Are we simply protoplasm that one day becomes manure? Are we simply chemical, material, and disposable?

The answer to these perennial questions is either grounded in the reason of man or revelation from God. The results of the answer to these fundamental questions are exhibited in our laws, educated through our schools, and expressed with life and death consequences on our streets.

All of this can cause anxiety. in fact, my serotonin levels have hit bottom, my brain is awash in glucocorticoids, my blood vessels are full of adrenaline, my dopamine levels need lifting.

What do I do? What do I need?

"Don't get drunk with - C2H6O, the chemical form of alcohol (wine) but be filled with the Spirit"  Ephesians  5:18
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

June 14, 2019

                                   What Do You Really Desire?
Living the Christian life has been described in many ways. But most people rarely remember that part of the motivation for living the Christian life is to "Please the Lord" and that it takes time and wise thinking to realize just how we can do that in this life.
Consider the following selections from sacred scripture:
Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:7-10
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17
Notice the emphasis the Apostle Paul places on how we are to live. We are called to live in the light and be wise. When we do this we actually please the Lord by doing His will. The Apostle penned those words in his day and they became scripture. Today, we have the completed canon of scripture and it is all we need for faith and practice & life and godliness.
If your desire is to be wise by walking in the light, which will please the Lord as you do His will, then you will invest a significant portion of each day reading, thinking, studying and praying through the word of God. Remember King David as he reminds us:
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Thy word. With all my heart I have sought Thee;
Do not let me wander from Thy commandments.
Thy word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against Thee.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
June 7, 2019

                           What or Who is Truly Awesome?
Most of us are sloppy with our words. We are imprecise and very uncritical in our use and choice of words. Most telling is our use of the word 'awesome.' A dinner or a dessert is called 'awesome.' A sports event or a concert is experienced as 'awesome.' Sometimes it seems that we set the bar very low for that which we call 'awesome.'
Some words should be reserved for a one-of-a-kind experience and expression of that experience. And that one-of-a-kind experience would be when we encounter the living God. Let me remind us of what happens when people come into the truly awesome presence of God.
In the Apostle John's vision:
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Rev 1:17
In Job's revelation:
Then the Lord said to Job,
"Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it." Then Job answered the Lord and said, "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand on my mouth. "Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add no more." Job 40:1-4
Then Job answered the Lord, and said;
"I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.
'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' "Therefore, I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."
'Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me.' "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees Thee; Therefore, I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes." Job 42:5-6
In Jacob's dream:
And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 "Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 "And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it." 17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." Gen. 28:16

The appropriate response to the revelation of our awesome God is to bow down in reverential awe. We might call that Worship!            
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,