Archive for March, 2007

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Coming Attractions:

March 29, 2007

Mark 13:36-37  “Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

Last night, as I was thinking on things, one recurring thought kept coming back; that of establishing our hearts.  Laying aside every self-serving motive and anything which we know to be displeasing to God.  To prepare ourselves for some very tumultuous times.  This is not a time to be fearful; it’s a time to draw nigh to the Lord and “know” that he is our refuge.  To know that the righteous will “never” be forsaken and that Jesus has promised to be with us always; even unto the end of the world.  To know that he is a very present help in trouble.  There’s some things that I want to link to which are quite insightful concerning the times that we’re in and being prepared for such.  Here’s the first.

www.faithwalk.wordpress.com/2007/03/25/are-you-feeling-brave/

This is a great post which deals with having faith to just “let go” of the things that we tend to cleave to and move into the fulness of Christ.  To “be strong and of good courage” knowing that God knows them that trust in him. 

www.abmi.wordpress.com/2007/03/26/the-great-falling-away/

This post talks extensively about the pitfalls of this age.  One notable quote, made by Phil, is when he discusses the night when the disciples were asleep at the time when Jesus was betrayed.  he states “The time had come and there was no more time to prepare.”  This sentance really grabbed me as I read it. 

www.lasttrumpetministries.org/2007/April2007.html 

This is Pastor David Meyers monthly newsletter which always documents current happenings and is a great source of prophetic insight. 

If there’s been one primary thing on my heart lately, it’s this need for being aware of the times.  I’m concerned greatly at the number of folks who seem to think that the status quo will just continue on unabated.  We live in a time when it’s easy to just follow he crowd.  To get comfortable and proclaim to ourselves “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”  This form of thinking is every bit as dangerous today as it was when the Laodiceans were likewise minded.  It’s imperative that we place our complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and not cling to the chariots of Egypt; that being the things of this world which cannot deliver.  To get so close to him that this all of this worlds empty promises lose their hold on us.  To proclaim, as did the apostle Paul, “To live is christ and to die is gain.”  I pray that we all would move into a place where we are 100% commited to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

This isn’t what I wanted to post on right before taking off for the weekend, however, it’s what has been on my heart.  This may sound strange to some, but I have no fear concerning those things to come.  This is the grace of God who has granted such peace to one who was a perpetual worrier in times past.  (anyone who has known me in times past will know how profound this is.)  Truly the joy of the Lord passes all understanding and if we abide in him, he’ll keep us in perfect peace.  His peace is steadfast and not dependant upon the ambience. 

John 16:33  “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

What an awesome Savior we have.  Jesus truly is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  My wife and I are going to be up north this weekend and so I’ll not be around until Monday morning.  I do, however, have a request that I would ask anyone who stops by to please feel free to comment on. 

What’s on your heart?  As you spend time with the Lord in prayer, what seems to stand out?  Looking down the road what do you see transpiring?  I ask this because these are trying times and I really want to know what others are seeing. 

Thank you in advance for any coments concerning this.  I need to close this up as I have go tend to some things around here.  One blogger, whom I greatly respect, is taking a leave of absence so that he can tend to other pressing matters.  His site is filled with very insightful postings which will be a blessing to any who stop by.  Here’s one more link before I close out. 

 www.cumby.wordpress.com  Since he’ll not be posting for a time, this is a good opportunity to read up on archived material.    Until Monday, I wish all a most blessed weekend in Christ. 

timbob

Daniel 12:3  “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

WOW!

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The Surreal World

March 28, 2007

Ephesians 2:4-7  “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  Even when we were yet dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace yue are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

I just had a fascinating event take place.  This post was completed and I was finishing up the final paragraph when our cat “Daisy” jumped onto the keyboard and managed to delete the entire thing.  So now to start over while Daisy gets to prowl the fields.  (This is what she usually does anyways.) 

To the agnostic-minded person, religion may well seem like a “make-believe world” of stories and regulations which they will claim to have no scientific proof.  I Corinthians chapter 1 tells of this phenomenon and it tells how God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.  To take them in their own craftiness.  They observe all that appears and ask the question:

“How could one entity possibly do all of this?” 

Such is the reasoning of the natural man as it would seem to be impossible for a single God to create all of the billions of galaxies and yet fabricate the most complex of biological structurs.  To create billions of consious beings and know what’s in the heart of each one of them.  It seems to be simply beyond the range of possibilities unless we think of the alternative.  Therefore to this question we can respond:

“How could all of this do this to itself when it wasnt?”

Before being born again, many of us probably had a similar view of “religion.”  Good morals to live by and a lot of stories which took place long ago, but the physical realm seemed much more relevant.  The things that registered on the five senses which we could verify their existance through natural means.  The spiritual realm may have seemed like a venturing into the surreal for most.  (Not so much for me as I had a fascination with the spitiual realm; a fascination that could have led to a whole lot of trouble had I not come to Jesus.)  Principals of faith may have seemed “contrary” to common sense. 

When we come to Jesus; repenting (being sincerely sorry) of our sins and asking the Lord to save us; accepting his shed blood on Calvary as payment for our sins, our lives are forever altered and we begin to “change.”  When a person truly accepts Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit begins a work in their life; that of transforming them into the image of Christ.  This process continues for the rest of our earthly lives.  The first steps can be small; sometimes slow, but they take place nonetheless as a new christian will have a “desire” for such.  Lord begins to open our understanding to things.  One of the first things that I noticed was the bible “making sense.”  Even the King James version; the old English wordings which beforehand seemed incomprehensible could now be understood.  

John 14:26  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.”

 We learn what it is to be truly “alive” and to have a relationship with a risen Savior.  We begin to long for a closer relationship with him and our desire to meditate on heavenly things grows.  Things in this world, which once brought with them the illusion of fulfillment now seemed empty and “cold.”  The realm of the spiritual which once seemed so alien now becomes real while the physical world begins to lose its appeal.  We begin to see it for what it is; a very temporal dwelling place that cannot even begin to compare to eternity.   The concept of prayer transforms from a tradition-driven set of rehearsed phrases into a direct line of communication with the Almighty. 

We learn that our Savior, Jesus Christ, who loved us when we were lost and at our worst, is our high priest forever, after the order of Melchizedec and forever lives to make intercession for us.  He is as close as the mention of his name, 24/7 and hears our faintest cry.  As we spend time with him in prayer and search the scriptures, we begin to understand more and more of just how awesome he really is.  And yet despite all of the understanding that one may be granted in this life, his ways are still past finding out.  The following verses will show this to be true; not only for a person who has no regard for the God of all eternity, but also for the saint who seeks him diligently.  The first one deals with a natural man that has no interest in the things of God

II Timothy 3:7  “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

They will heap to themselves diploma after diploma in a pursuit for earthly knowledge while paying no heed to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Creator of all that we see and think that we own.  “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”  But while a person who is of such a mindset won’t so much as entertain the notion that “God is” a true born again christian will never be able to fully grasp Gods awesomeness either.  The difference is that the saint “knows God” and desires to know more about him.  While we’ll never be able to grasp the full extent of just how incredible he is, we keep seeking after him; knowing that “he is” and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

Job 9:10  “Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.” 

The entire ninth chapter of Job is incredible.

Psalm 139:6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” 

Psalm 139 is also incredible.  When we begin to grasp the significance of these things; that we have a relationship with the Ancient of Days through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and that his ways are as far above ours as the heavens are above the earth, our entire perception of this world changes.  It becomes a “surreal landscape” of things which can be seen and touched, and yet have no space in eternity.  The world and all that is therein will eventually melt with a fervent heat.   

This post is getting long and I haven’t yet reached the material that was on the previous one which Daisy launched into the space-time continuum.  Actually this version seems more relevant than the previous one and so, “Praise God for cats!  As we draw ever closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, the things of this world become “strangely dim” in the process.  Things which I used to get so worked up about simply have no bearing on me.  This process is an ongoing one and I can point to things which, three years ago seemed ever so important but now fail to get me worked up.  A primary example of this would be the ongoing drama of American Axle & Manufacturing. 

I used to worry about the future of the plant.  The list of “what ifs” never ended as I would ponder the array of senarios; most of which seemed to end in its physical demise.  Today I really don’t worry as God doesn’t require the help of American Axle to provide a table in the wilderness.  The righteous are never forsaken and if this present situation comes apart, as physical situations are known to do, the Lord would be moving us elsewhere.  I don’t “pray” for this to take place; only for the Lords will to be done in all things.  But if it happens, the joy of the Lord is greater than any circumstance.  We need, in this hour, the resolve of Job; that we’re going to serve God no matter what.  This world really is not our home; a truth that applies to every saint of God.  We truly have no continuing city here and while there are many places that I would like to visit, none of them will be “home.”  

I need to close up for now.  One thing that the other version of this went into extensively is how the more we have our hearts on the world to come, the more compassion we’ll have for those who are lost and undone.  (This post needs a part two)  There’s a direct link between our love for the Lord Jesus and our love for those who keep themselves outside the household of faith. The more heavenly minded a person is, the more concern they’ll have for the lost and the more they’ll do to reach them with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  As this age is quickly coming to a close, I pray that we would be about our fathers business like never before.  I’ll close out with the following passage:

Hebrews 1:10-12  “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they shall all wax old as doth a garment;  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed:  but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”

Hebrews chapter 1 is awesome too.  Sometimes it’s really hard to just choose a couple of verses to write when the whole chapter is so powerful.

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Be Still and Know

March 26, 2007

This morning, the temperature must be in the mid sixties.  After getting the kids on the bus, we take care of the growing numbers of goats with Bouton (I didn’t name her) still a ways off from her due date.  Oftentimes, after my wife goes to work, I hang around here as the goat barn is a favorite prayer closet.  This morning, however, I visited my true favorite.  With the weather mild, I traversed the field behind the house.  In the middle of this field, northwest of where we live, there’s a small pond which is continuously fed by a small stream.  This stream originates from a spring that lies still farther northwest in the low lying hills which contain a number of springs. 

Just getting there gives one a sense of the awesomeness of God; even though one would normally think of a corn field as being a place of inspiration  An open field with nothing but sky above gives one the understanding that our space in creation is ever so insignificant.  One cannot help but find their mind on heavenly things; should this be the desire of their heart.  A moment to just be still and know that God “is.”  He always has been, and he always will be.  Such a comforting truth in a world where nothing stays the same for very long.   A truth that defies logic and all earhly comprehension, and yet it’s the very foundation of understanding.  The first four words of the bible declare:

“In the beginning, God”

In the very beginning of all that we see, God already was.  Just as he has always been, he is today, and he will be the same ten thousand million eons from now.  Such are the thoughts that come to mind down by the pond.  Usually, I don’t bring an array of petitions during such moments.  It’s just a time to think upon the Lord and the awesome salvation that we have through Jesus Christ.  A few moments to just meditate on that which really matters and to let all earthly cares of a temporal nature drift away for a time.  It’s like a time of reconnecting to reality; that being a drawing closer to the Lord and just enjoying his everlasting presence.   A time of remembering just how insignificant the trappings of this life really are and that soon, we’ll be in the presence of the Lord forever. 

Soon, we’ll no longer have to leave the mountain and return to the wilderness of sin.  Soon, if we hold fast the profession of our faith, there will be a moment when he tells us “come up hither.”  Soon, all that we see and concern ourselves with will be but a distant memory as we take up residence in our eternal home.  Where God himself is the light thereof and nothing sinister can ever again bring about anguish. 

One thing that did come to mind this morning, was the thought of being transformed into the image of Christ.  Today we have manuals, classes, ten-step programs, and an array of other devices all designed to make us better christians.  This is not a problem, as long as truth is being taught.  The Lord does give us pastors, teachers, and evangelists, but ultimately, the Holy spirit will lead us into all truth and bring all things to our rememberance.  He lets us know when we’re starting to drift and always warns us when error is being proclaimed.  If were in prayer and in the word of God, we’ll know when we’re hearing truth and when we’re hearing the thoughts of men.  All truth will line up with the Word of God. 

Last night in Galatians, I was revisiting Pauls telling of how he receied the gospel, not by mans wisdom, but divine revelation.  The Galatians had been “persuaded” by others to follow a distorted version of the gospel and Paul had to, once again, put out a fire. 

Galatians 4:19  “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”

Galatians 5:7-8  “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.”

The world today is filled with persuaders.  Folks who will hold up the traditions of men or vain philosophies in the place of sound doctrine.  Folks who will proclaim “he is Christ” and will then go about proclaiming a different Christ.  Folks who will demand that we get on board with their program instead of seeking the Lords will in all things.  Persuaders who will employ the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life to assemble a following.  They construct collosal buildings with all the allurements of this world to bring in greater numbers, and then offer them a fleshy gospel to keep them coming back for more.  (I’m sorry.  Perhaps I should stay away from the pond.)

To simply seek the Lord Jesus with a pure heart.  To just be still and know that he is our strength and peace.  To know that when all of the worlds treasures have gone the way of all the previous treasures, Jesus will still be with us.  This post wasn’t even planned.  I had planned to post tomorrow on a different topic in keeping up with the “every-other-day or so” program.  This morning however, was a needful interlude and “I just felt like blogging.”  I’ll try to hold off tomorow. 

I wish all a great day in Christ Jesus.

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Greetings again.  It’s now 12:30 pm.  Below is a link to a post that was done back in January that has just stayed with me.  I pray that Susan wont mind a link to it.  It reminds one of the important things in life; that being our relationship with the Lord Jesus.  It has, since the first time that I read it, inspired me to strive in drawing ever closer to the Lord and rid myself of every little thing which is contrary.  Every little weight and sin has to go; a task which is ongoing daily.  Here’s the link:

http://faithwalk.wordpress.com/2007/01/26/iona/

When we read of such accounts, it should make us all the more determined to seek the Lord Jesus with all that is in us.  Such should be the case anyways.  This post really did something to me when I first read it; a change which is still present in my life took place.  A greater determination to finish the race that is set before us and a greater focusing on the world to come.  I’ve never seen the third heaven like the man that Paul writes about in II Corinthians 11:1-5 and I rarely have dreams.  (not even the cold pizza variety)  Nonetheless, I’m always encouraged by such accounts and in such testimonies, I glorify the Lord Jesus.  I appreciate all who place their wisdom and insight out here.  To all I say “thanks.”  And to all, have a blessed day in Christ.

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Cloud of Witnesses VII

March 25, 2007

I really like going through Hebrews chapter eleven for two reasons:

( 1 ) It’s a great collection of many accounts in which folks trusted in God and looked to the world to come despite the ambient situation in which they found themselves.

( 2 ) It provides a rare opportunity to utilize Roman numerals.

Hebrews11:32  “And what shall I more say?  for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets.”

In other words, if Paul had been alive in the twenty first century, he would have stated “This blog is getting long.”  History is filled with account after account of God delivering those who trust in him.  The more dire the situation, the greater Gods deliverance is manifest in the land of the breathing.  In each story, we have a continuing theme in which folks turn to the Holy One of Israel, trusting him in the face of what would appear to be certain disaster.  In each account, God is a faithful Creator and he proves to be far more reliable than the arm of flesh which has a long history of leaving folks hanging out to dry.  A study of the books of Judges, I and II Samuel, will tell, in detail the accounts of the Barak, Gideon, Sampson, david, Samuel, and many other hall of faith inductees who aren’t listed here.

Hebrews 11:33-34  “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.   Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valient in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” 

One thing that stands out in the above passage is “wrought righteousness.”  There has been much writing, all of it timely, on the importance of living a life of holiness.  Not a legalistic “traditions of men” type of conformity, but a life of simply doing those things which are pleasing to God; a desire that will be present in the heart of all true saints.  The church today is hindered greatly by sin in the camp while folks all around us who need Jesus are slipping into eternity. This sould become the topic of a post unto itself.  We have a church building in nearly every neighborhood in every town in the country and yet iniquity in the land is growing at an alarming rate.  Traditions of men, vain philosophies, and an appetite for entertainment has neutralized many in this most critical hour. 

In an earlier post, I mentioned the book of acts as being accurately named.  To be completely honest, the entire bible is a “book of acts” as God has always been the same and always comes through for those who place their complete trust in him.  I don’t know why it’s been on my mind today, but the incident of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo is most fascinating.  Told to bow to Nebudchadnezzars image of gold they replied as follows

Daniel 3:17  “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to delever us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand. ”

In other words, God will deliver us; one way or the other.  Whether it be through a supernatural deliverance or a taking up residence in Abrahams bosom, this was a win-win situation for these three saints. 

Daniel 3:18  “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

This results in the three saints being cast into a fiery furnace which is seven times hotter than normal; so hot that the guys doing the throwing were consumed.  When Nebudchadnezzar peers into the fiery furnace he sees the three, unbound and walking around, and he sees Jesus.  He calls them to come forth from the fire, unsinged and not smelling of smoke.  A total deliverance in seemingly impossible circumstances.   I imagine that, as they were defying the order to bow to Nebudchadnezzars image, they knew that God could do this but quite possibly weren’t expecting it. 

Hebrews 11:35  “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:”

The incident of the Shunamite woman stands out in this.  When her son died upon her knees (I’m speed paraphrasing.  The incident is in II Kings chapter 4)  she places him on the bed in the chamber that they built for Elisha.  She goes to Elisha who then sends Gehazi with his staff to lay it upon the child.  When nothing hapens, Elisha comes into the house and goes into the room where the childs body is on the bed. 

II Kings 4:34-35  “And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.” 

This took a while as a stretching of the faith was in the works here.  Elisha presents the child alive and God is glorified.  Another example takes place in II Kings 13:21 and in this case, Elisha has passed from the land of the living.  This incident simply blows the mind.

II Kings 13:20-21  “And Elisha died, and they buried him.  And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.  And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” 

As we read of such acounts, it becomes all the more clear that Gods ability to deliver isnt restricted when the physical realm seems unfavorable.  It’s simply a lack of faith to be “worried” about the economy, political and social upheaval at home, or the tensions in the middle east.  We prayerfully monitor the current events of the day, but we stay in prayer, stay in the word of God, and we know that God is in control, regardless of what we see taking place in the physical realm.  While others are banking on such events to go favorably in order to keep the status quo rolling along, we have a most blessed hope and can abide in the rest that comes from having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Being tossed into a fiery furnace is about as extreme of a circumstance as one can find themselves in and yet God is able to deliver.  A man coming back to life after coming into contact with Elishas bones is beyond fascinating.  Nothing is too difficult for God and indeed , if we pray for a mountain to be cast into the sea, truly believing, it shall come to pass.  Not only physical mountains, but also spiritual mountains as the enemy is going all out to keep as many in darkness as he can.

Luke 17:5  “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”

This should be our fervent prayer today; that our faith would grow daily and we would learn to simply trust the Lord Jesus in all things.  I need to wrap this up for now.  This has been an “all over the map” post somewhat, but there are just so many instances that should be covered.  Indeed, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  So I’ll close out with the response that Jesus gave to the above request.

Luke 17:6  “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say to this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” 

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We Shall Be Like Him

March 23, 2007

I had been pondering the thought of trying to post every other day or so as to regain some balance in some areas of my whirlwind life.  Thursday morning, when I read Phils comment, I knew instantly that such a change is needed and I now have peace about striving to post on an every other day basis; unless something comes up or is really on my heart.  As for now, however, I’ll pander to another problem that I struggle with and “procrastinate” on this until next week.  This is because last night, after returning home from work, I found myself pondering the moment when this corruption puts on incorruption and this mortality puts on immortality.   

I John 3:2-3  “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  and every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

Three things stand out in this incredible passage.

( 1 )  If we’ve truly repented of our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we are the Lords.  Although we’re still a work in progress, our names are written in glory and we can trust the Lord to finish the work that he has started in us.  We need simply to keep on keeping on. 

( 2 )  We simply don’t know what it will actually be like to put on incorruption.  We know that this moment “will” arrive (an awesome thought in itself) but cannot actually fathom what it will be like to have “finished the course.” 

( 3 )  If we’re truly born again, we’ll strive to live for him.  We’ll “purfy ourselves through repentance and seeking to be always pleasing to the Lord.  We’ll desire the things that he desire’s.  The following verse is a telling one concerning this desire for holiness that will be present in the true saint.

Hebrews 12:4  “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”

My perception here is that the saints to whom this was written weren’t putting forth a wholehearted effort to live a holy life.  If we love Jesus and are looking for his appearing, we’ll be diligent on such matters.  If we’re struggling in an area, we’ll take it to the Lord and do all to gain victory over it; knowing that we are no longer to be in bondage to sin. 

The concept of immortality has been approached from a number of angles through the imaginations of fallen man.  A good example is the search for the mythological “fountain of youth” where a person can drink from it and never grow old.  Or the story of Peter Pan which tells of a land where people never grow up.  (Sounds like American Axle & Mfg. lol)  Every form of mythology professes there to be “immortal gods” who exist beyond the limitations of the physical world.  (like the goddess Diana and the image that fell from Jupiter)  Men have dreamed of this concept since the beginning of history and such tales are the result of lengthy ponderings about the topic.  A few years ago, there was a program on one of the science channels which reported how researchers and doctors are actively pursuing “immortality” through science.  Seeking the mechanism whereby the aging process could be slowed or even stopped.  (Your tax dollars at work)

For the born again christian, immortality isn’t simply a far out concept dwelling only within the confines of the imagination.  It’s a very present reality as we have the Holy Spirit abiding within and we love the Lord Jesus in all sincerety.  We know that one day this fallen nature that works within our members, will no longer have to be contended with.  We know that one day, time will be a non-factor and we will be forever with the Lord Jesus.  We know that as the song goes “Soon and very soon, we are goping to see the King.”  It’s not a pipe dream or a ten-step coping mechanism; it is very much “real.”  Far more real than the array of trappings that folks surround themselves with or the things which folks hold in high esteem here. 

Romans 8:22-23  “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

I know of professing christians who seem to have no victory over the things of this life; and live in a lukewarm state at best.  When talking to them, they prefer to talk about the things of the world.  It’s the telling indicator of a person who isn’t longing for this moment as they ought.  The more that we love the Lord Jesus, the more that we will desire to be like him and with him.  This love displaces the attraction to the things of this ever so temporal world which can offer neither lasting happiness or deliverance.  Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly; everlasting life which doesn’t subscribe to the ravages of time or corruption.  The aopstle Paul stated it perfectly; the desire to be with Christ and the context for which we are to live while here.

Philippians 1:21-24  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.”

In other words, “I really want to go home but there are souls in the balance.”  It’s the ongoing betwixt-ness that resides in the heart of every true saint of God.  A fervent longing to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, and yet a love for the lost who are all around us.  Love ones and acquaintances whom we pray will come into the household of faith.  Folks who aren’t ready for the door to close.   The more that we are focused on the world to come, the more diligent we’ll be while in this vessel of clay. 

I need to wrap this up as it’s getting long and I may have to pick Matthew up from school.  I pray that we would all long for the Lords appearing as we should.  The concept should place a song in our heart and a sense of urgency concerning the souls who aren’t ready to leave this world.  A departure that can take place for any one of us with little or no warning.  This morning, after getting the kids on the bus, I snoozed for about an hour and a half before posting.  What a difference that additional time makes and I am thankful for the advice.  Nonetheless, I need to start posting every other day as to keep from neglecting other things.  Some folks have the time to do this daily but with four kids, extra-curricular activities, baby goats soon to be born, work schedules, and the nonstop surprises that seem to come out of nowhere, every day posting is difficult.  I really like blogging and talking about the deep things of God, however, a more realistic approach is needed.   In context with this post, I’ll leave off with the following passage.

II Corinthians 5:1-4  “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not that we should be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

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Cloud of Witnesses VI

March 22, 2007

Hebrews 11:30-31  “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compased about seven days.  By faith Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” 

It’s a story that we remember hearing of as kids in Sunday school.  How the Lord brought down the walls of Jericho as the children of Israel were obediant to do as he told them.  The story begins with Joshua sending two men to spy out the city.  They entered the city and lodged at the house of Rahab.  The king, upon learning this sent word unto Rahab to bring the men forth, however she hid them and persuaded the kings agents that the men had left the city.  As they were outside of the city chasing illusions, Rahab went onto the roof and spoke with the men of Israel. 

Joshua 2:9-11  “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that al the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what he did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.  And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

Because of the mighty works that she had heard about, Rahab had more trust in the invisible God of the children of Israel than the fortress city where she lived.  She placed her hope in the God who inhabits heaven and earth.  Everyone else in the city was afraid, but never did anything about it.  They just kept being afraid.  This lady, who was most likely not held in great esteem by her contemporaries, was far wiser than all of them.  She asked only that she be spared along with her family.  Upon securing this, she let the men down by a cord through the window as her house sat literally atop the wall protecting the city. The men instructed her on what to do when “it all comes down.” 

Joshua 2:18-19  Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy fathers household, home unto thee.  And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doore of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his own head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be upon our head, if any hand be upon him.”

Rahab must have suddenly became quite the evangelist; persuading anyone who would listen, to come into her house where they would be spared.  When the walls came down, many lives were spared because of a lady who, upon knowing that judgment was coming, threw herself upon the mercy of God, despite having a contrary lifestyle.  One could well say, she elected to fall on the rock and be broken, before the rock fell on her as this would grind one to powder.  Her faith in God caused her to act accordingly and the result was a continuation of life after Jericho was “wiped off the map.” 

In the next passage, Joshua has an unexpected visitation.

Joshua 5:13  “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold,there stood a man over against him with a sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?  And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?  And the captain of the LORDs host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place wherein thou standest is holy.  And Joshua did so.”

Like a thief in the night.  An unexpected visitation in which Joshua is instructed on what to do before Jericho.  I’m always fascinated by accounts where God just “shows up” without warning, be it through an angel or by a prophet such as when Elijah just seems to “show up” in scripture.  There’s a post on my old blog site entitled “The Wind Bloweth” which I want to eventually modify and place over here. 

As is often the case in scripture, the instructions concerning Jericho are completly contrary to conventional wisdom.  The men of war are to compass the city once a day for six days.  Then on the seventh day they were to compass it about seven  times,  the priests shall blow the trumpets, they shall shout and a long blast from the rams horn shall be heard.  Then the wll of the city would fall down flat. 

So many interesting things here.  This demanded complete obediance and faith.  The wall of Jericho looked every bit as strong on the seventh day as it did on the first.  But they believed the promise of God who promised to bring the wall down.  As we know this is what took place.  I was thinking on another thing here.  Rahabs house was on that wall.  This means that it came down also and probably broke apart as well.  Nonetheless, all who were in the house were spared.  God is able to save those who put their trust in him, despite what may be going on in the natural realm.   Once again, Psalm 91 comes to mind.

I need to stop here as I had less than two hours of sleep and I’m nodding, even as I type.  So, lest I nod off and write something that makes absolutely no sense, or worse yet, is embarrassingly contrary, I need to stop for now.  Later on I’ll try to comment in some places; a practice that I’m way behind on.  There are so many great bloggers out here and I try to get to all as often as I can.  I shouldn’t do it right now, however, because of sheer exhaustion.  A comment that comes out wrong can make a person “famous in a hurry.” lol.  So I’ll close for now.  I wish all a great day in Christ Jesus.

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Unfeigned Melody

March 21, 2007

Psalm 42:8  “Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

A song in the night. Not half-hearted singing of lyrics in an attempt to drum up comfort but the supernatural joy of the Lord that causes one to sing in the spirit and with the understanding also. A song of absdolute unconditional love for the Lord Jesus Christ that will abide in even the most traumatic of circumstances. A song that eminates not from trophies accumulated in this world but from having a close relationship with the very Creator of all that is. A song of salvation that is in the heart of all who once were lost and undone but are now washed in the blood of Jesus Christ which was shed for us.

In the last few months, I have found that a majority of prayer time is spent in singing rather than talking. It’s not a planned change; it has just “happened.” I have no intention of changing it; preferring to just “go with it” as it is a blessing indeed. Many times its with melodies that almost seem to have no earthly counterpart. I think that song is an enhancement of that which is simply said. Not to downplay the importance o spoken words. We know that God “spoke” the worlds into being and the book of James is very adament about the importance of watching our words. But when we sing about something, it enhances our expression of feeling toward it. For example, you can say to your significant other (of the opposite sex; these days we have to clarify such things) “I love you” and it will have real meaning if spoken in sincerity. However if you serenade them with a love song, the experience will take on an even deeper, more personal meaning. (Either that or your significant other will wonder what you’re up to lol)

This is going to sound as though I’ve forgotten to take medication, but it’s very possible to pray for others in the form of singing. This sounds totally weird and I don’t even know how to describe it. In fact just reading it sounds “not ordinary” but it’s real and actually makes praying for others for an extended amount of time easier. If this sounds totally nutty, please tell me. (In fact, this paragraph may be removed prior to posting.) I guess a good parable might be a broadway musical. A moment of importance or intensity will often be amplified by the singing of a show stopping number. This musical rendition interrupts the flow of events and causes the audience to ponder for a few moments that which is being portrayed. It might be a happy moment or it may be a moment in which one is experiencing anguish or grief. Nonetheless, the moment is made to be not easily forgotten by those witnessing the performance.

A good example is that of praying for those who are outside of the household of faith. Such a prayer will have a much deeper urgency than praying for a parking place at the supermarket. (Although neither is wrong as were to be “careful for nothing”) Praying for my family or for the saints will oftentimes elevate into singing and oftentimes that in the spirit. Praying for a parking place will most likely not.

Primarily, music is a form of worship. We sing praises unto the Lord as we love him with all of our heart. At least this is supposed to be the case. Anyone can pay lip service, but only when we are born again and have a personal relationship with Jesus are we able to worship in spirit and in truth. When we think about our great salvation; that we were on our way to an eternity of torment where there’s no hope of any further visitations. Then one day, we came to understand that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God stepped out of eternity, went to an old rugged cross and paid for our sins with his own innocent blood. We repented of (true sorrow and turning from) our sin and accepted him as Savior and Lord. Our names were written down in glory and the angels rejoiced as another eternal soul was pulled from the flames. Last Sunday, we sang the old song “Power in the Blood.” It’s one of those songs that we could sing millions of times and it would never become old.

One of the most powerful examples of pure heartfelt worship was when Paul and Silas were in the Plilippian jail. The scene begins when a damsel with a spirit of divination is following Paul and Silas saying “these men are servants of God and show us the way to salvation.” This is a side point to this post, but it’s interesting that she is saying all the right words. Paul, however, is atuned to the reality of the situation. He casts out the spirit of divination and the damsels masters suddenly saw the arm of flesh fail them. They brought them to the authorities charged them with teaching unlawful things.

Acts 16:22 “Then the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.”

It’s always baffled me somewhat; that in those days when someone was furiously angry, they ripped their clothes off. I’m truly glad that such isn’t the case today.

Acts 16:3-24 “And when they laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, cast them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.”

He wasn’t taking any chances of these two escaping. Pauk and Silas were in the midst of very uncomfortable circumstances to put it mildly. In the natural, despair would have set in; especially when they hadn’t done anything to warrent imprisonment. In fact a soul had been delivered from a spirit of divination which is what led to this imprisonment and shackling.

Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

Amen. God is still God. This wasn’t a “worked up; lets try singing” form of coping with a dire situation. It was a heartfelt love and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ who was about to work a mighty salvation. This salvation would very well not have taken place had the damsel with a spirit of divination not been troubling them. It’s amazing when the devils attempts to hinder to gospel backfire. (I need to speed this up)

Acts 16:26-27 “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyones bands were loosed.” And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.”

This is so amazing. They could have fled. Paul ans Silas could have been free and praised God for such a deliverance. But they stayed put and what happened next is eternally awesome. To shorten this post up, the jailer saw that everyone was put and he asked “what must I do to be saved. He and his house believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, they were baptized that night, and a great victory was won. Priceless souls which have been present with the Lord Jesus for two thousand years; all because Paul and Silas were singing at midnight.

I need to conclude for this morning. It’s a different topic; and yet not completely, but Phil has a very needful post on http://www.abmi.wordpress.com. The link in the blogroll will have to be used to get there because the “write” page is acting up and I haven’t reported it yet. Or it could be a problem with our computer.  “I cannot ping.” So I’ll close for now and leave with the following passage:

Revelation 15:2-4 “And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”

There’s going to be a lot of singing in the eons to come. May we all look forward to being forever with the Lord Jesus, having songs upon out lips that will be forever new.

Greetings again.  The “write” page seems to be working again so I’ll try the link to Phils site. www.abmi.wordpress.com  “I CAN PING AGAIN!”  Pinging is to blogging what whipped topping is to ice cream.  The two most recent posts are needful and will attest to the hour that we find ourselves in.