Archive for July, 2007

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The Patience of the Saints

July 22, 2007

Today is July 22, 2007.  As this phase of blogging comes to a conclusion, I was pondering exactly what is needful as the out years of this age run their course.   A casual study of scripture concerning these times will reveal the treacheries that we all must navigate.  Pitfalls that have confronted every generation, however are greatly magnified in our time.  The following verse is as telling as it is familiar.

Matthew 24:12  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

The blatant ungodliness of the age is evident in every facet of society.  When iniquity is rampant as it is today, accelerated by the ease of access, (mass-media, internet, etc) the hearts of the unregenerated will naturally be hardened.  This combined with a lifting of spiritual restraints that have been in place for generations makes for a most volatile set of circumstances as the middle ground of indifference quickly dissipates and each of us are called upon to make a decision.  It’s a time when the true saints of God are drawing closer to the Lord Jesus, the wicked are being conditioned to receive a mark, and the half-hearted are running the risk of being spewed out .  None of us dare approach this with a “ho-hum” attitude.  In the meme questions, I asked for input on passages of scripture that seem to appear often.  Here’s one that I quote regularly, but it seems so needful that I must resort to it once again.

Daniel 11:32  “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”

The wicked will believe a lie; laced with smooth phrases and promises of a better tomorrow as the “myths” of religion give way to a great “awakening.  (This is how it will be packaged)  At the same time, those who know Jesus Christ as Savior will be maintain their faith and continue to reach out to those who are still lost and undone.  One cannot stress enough the need for each of us to be close to the Lord Jesus and not be following from afar.  To rid ourselves of every distraction, every self-serving motive, and every tradition.   Three things come to mind as being imperative. 

( 1 )  Endurance.  Holding fast the profession of our faith, regardless of the fallout in the physical realm.  Imagine for a moment, coming into contact with a person who is convinced that the world is flat.  Most of us would be convinced that the individuals elevator stops a few stories short of the top floor and is in need of prayer.  The coming delusions will make our faith appear to be just as ludicrous as the person who thinks that the earth is flat.  Science, common sense, and supernatural fireworks will all appear to give credance to a way that is in error.  In the same manner that the Soviets labeled christianity as a “psychological disorder” our faith will be so contrary to things which looks like indisputable knowledge that we will appear downright looney in the eyes of the deceived.  What we see happening today is nothing when compared to that which is coming.

It’s imperative to not be troubled by those things which are to come, but to be in continuous fellowship with the Lord Jesus.  To know that he will be with us in any trial and his grace will be sufficient for any circumstance that we find ourselves in.   Just as it was for Stephen when he had finished his testimony, along with countless others throughout the ages who laid down their lives for the sake of the gospel. 

( 2 )  Do all that we can do to reach the lost.  Each of us have acquaintances that are outside the household of faith.  We never know when our final encounter with them will transpire as none of us know what a day may bring forth.  Last thursday morning at around 3:30 am, there was a fatal auto accident about two miles from here.  Two guys, ages 23 and 24 were intoxicated and travelling at a high speed when they ran a stop sign, lost control of the vehicle and hit two trees.  The force of the impact tore the Ford Mustang in two and the transmission was found two hundred feet from the rest of the vehicle.  Two souls for whom Jesus died were launched into eternity that night while I was on a balancer at work.  Whenever I hear such a report, I wonder if anyone had tried to tell them about Jesus.  Whenever we encounter someone, we never know if we might be carrying with us their last opportunity to hear the gospel. 

This hits me more than words can express because I’ve squandered a lot of opportunities in the past.  It’s something that we must take seriously.  It’s also another place where patience is a must.  To be led of the Spirit at all times as we present truth to those around us.  The line between gathering and scattering is a very fine one and we’re unable to effectively navigate it in our own wisdom.  Another verse which I have quoted more times than I can count.

II Timothy 2:24-26  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

 While we plant seed and water that which has been planted, God gives the increase.  He can open even the hardest of hearts and we have to be instant in season whenever those divine appointments pop up.  (They often show up without warning)  Even in the darkest of times there will be those whose hearts the Lord opens.  I often find it frustrating when those whom I love dearly seem to have no interest in the Lord Jesus.  Yet I know that the Lord is working and am believing for the salvation of my household.  I have to walk in obediance to the Lord and let him do his perfect work.

( 3 )  Ensure that Jesus is truly our first love.  To not allow another person, a religious structure, or any idols of this life take up the dominant place in our heart.  It’s imperative that we have our affections set firmly on things above and upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  People make really bad choices when they have something or someone other than Jesus reigning in their heart. 

Luke 17:32  “Remember Lot’s wife.”

Well, I’ll be going for now.  As mentioned before, my blogging activities will be decreasing from here on.  Today marks the one year anniversary of engaging in this method, starting out on blogger and then opening up a second account on wordpress.  (I can no longer access the blogger account and havent touched it since march)  As of now, the plan is to post on the 22nd of each month minimum.  In between these dates, I’ll post whenever something hits me as needful, be it a scripture, a news event with prophetic implications, or just to say “howdy.”  I really like blogging, but it takes up a lot of time.  So until the next time, I will keep all in prayer upon every rememberance, and I wish a blessed day to all in Jesus. 

Revelation 14:12  “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of god, and the faith of Jesus.”

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Hello again.  I just wanted to share a very needful post from Peter. Here’s the link

www.theagetocome.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/pride/  

It tells about pride; one of the most destructive attributes that we wrestle with.  Please check it out. 

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Thanks For The “Meme”ry

July 18, 2007

I was recently one of five people tagged by Pastor Scott of www.pasturescott.wordpress.com to answer the following questions and then to formulate five additonal questions to send on to others.  So here it goes.  The following five questions come from Pastor Scott.

( 1 )  What teacher has had the most influence in your life? Why? 

Answer:  A hard question because ther have been so many.  I think that the group of brothers that I knew in the navy had the most profound influence as I was new in the Lord and much growth came about while in fellowship with them.  It has seemed that over the years there has always been someone to offer the necessary instruction at the needed time, including many from whom I’ve learned a great deal in the blogger realm. 

( 2 )  If you could write the “Great American Novel” what would the first line be? 

Answer:  This is the hardest of the five questions.  First, the title: “A Nafta Highway Runs Through It.”  It would open as such:

“Six Lanes Running south, Six lanes running North.  A globalist scheme, across the land goes forth.  Agents of logic and flesh loudly say, Here’s to our kingdom of iron and clay.” 

This is why I’m a factory worker and not an author.  lol

( 3 )  What job would you prefer?  The guy holding the slowdown sign in a work zone, a ring announcer at a world championship boxing match, or the person serving sample snacks at Sams grocery?

Answer: The ring announcer at a boxing match.  Then I could say “And in this corner weighing three hundred and ten pounds; which will mean absolutely nothing on the last day, Billy So and So!”

( 4 )  You have awakened from a coma.  Who would you like to see first and why?

Answer:  My family first of all.  Not only because I love them dearly but also that they might realize the temporal nature of this realm and that we never know what a day may bring forth.  Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “I think I’ll go into a coma today.” 

( 5 )  If you could get a do-over in high school what would you change? 

Answer:  To come to Jesus before I reached high school.  I was kind of a mean-spirited kid and ever so confused during those teenage years.  Praise God for loving us when we were completely rebellious and contrary. 

I guess now I need to tag five others and ask questions.  Here it goes, however, it’s going to be more than five probably.  (I’ll limit it to ten)

www.heaintthroughwithmeyet.wordpress.com   (Andrea)

www.totaltransformation.wordpress.com  (J. Kaiser)

www.writeathome.wordpress.com   (Carol)

www.scotti.wordpress.com   (Scotti)

www.code6.wordpress.com  (code…I only know her screen name) 

www.gritsngrace.wordpress.com  (David) 

www.cumby.wordpress.com  (Peter)

www.iluv2prshim.wordpress.com   (Rhonda)

www.rjperalta.wordpress.com  (Richard)

www.faithwalk.wordpress.com  (Susan)

www.inhisgrace.wordpress.com  (inhisgrace…I only know her screen name)

Oops.  That’s eleven.  I REALLY want to tag about thirty more, but I’ll stop for now.  Anyone is welcome to answer these . 

And now for the questions. 

( 1 )  “Turn the World Upside Down”  If you were called to become a missionary, however, given liberty to choose any place on earth, where would you go and why?

( 2 )  “Just Tagging Along”  What old testament person (or persons) do you think it would have been the most fascinating to have travelled alongside on the journey through life?

( 3 )  “Catch phrase”  What passage of scripture do you seem to hear others make mention of to the point that it really stands out in frequency?  For example, I find myself quoting Isaiah 26:3 quite often, while the pastors at a church that I used to attend mentioned Philippians 4:19 so often that I almost started a tally in my notebook of each time it was mentioned.  (Both veses are really good by the way, as is all scripture.  Yet we all tend to gravitate toward certain passages)

( 4 )  “Extended Forcast”  As you ponder the next year; looking into the days ahead, what do you see transpiring?  Is this conclusion:

a. direct revelation (Thus saith the Lord)

b. an estimate based upon current trends and circumstances

c. an unexplainable hunch (gut feeling as it were)

d. just a wild “shot in the dark” guess.  (these answers are good too, so let em fly)

( 5 )  “A Song of Degrees”  What particular hymn or spiritual song do you, upon hearing or singing, find yourself “launched beyond the stratosphere” as you ponder the sheer awesomeness of God and the price that he paid at Calvary to redeem us from everlasting death.  I imagine that each of us have our favorite songs; those select melodies that just seem to take us into the heavenly realm whenever we hear them. 

“Bonus Question”  What person (or persons) were very influential in your decision to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?  For me, it was the aunt and uncle of the girl next door.  Throughout the summer of 1983, while Teresa was living with them, the Lord used them to bring me to the realization that I was lost and undone.  I am forever grateful to the Lord that Dennis and MaryAnn were a city set upon a hill. 

Well, I’ll be going for now.  I’m back on second shift and so middle-of-the-night blogging is back also.  (It’s 3:00am right now)  This is a good thing because third shift was physically draining.  Until next time, I wish a blessed day in Christ to all. 

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Till There Was No Remedy

July 13, 2007

I Peter 4:7-8  “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.”

This passage reveals two things. 

( 1 )  The age has a conclusion to it.  There will be a “final moment” to the paradigm that we have all come to know as the status quo.  For most of us in the west, its a hard concept to grasp in that we have always lived in a world of relative stability.  Most changes have been superficial in nature as fads move along in their predictable pattern and technologies advance.   Nonetheless, the mail arrives every day, the lights are always on, (except for when a storm knocks out power for a brief period) and the marketplaces are stocked with everything that ones heart could desire.  Yet all of this supposed stability is based upon the promises of atoms and is unable to deliver in times of unprecidented upheaval.  Isaiah 31 offers a warning to not trust in the chariots of Egypt which appear steadfast but are not.  (Their horses are flesh and not spirit)

( 2 )  It tells us how to be prepared for such times.  To be sober minded and remain in fellowship with the Lord Jesus, knowing that he is our strong tower.  Our sure foundation at a time when everything is being shaken to the core.  Also to have no contrary attitudes residing in our hearts.  To love the brethren and all who reside around us with the love of Christ.  Keeping our hearts with all diligence and not allowing self-serving motivations to crop up.  To truly love our neighbor as ourself, both the saints and those who are still parked in the valley of decision.  The following passage is one that we are all familiar with but is ever so imperative. 

Matthew 6:14-15  “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.”

Last night was a sleepless one.  I pondered coming out here and posting about this at around 2:30 am, but was hesitant because it seems as though such posts have become quite common as of late.  Yet this sense of urgency is so great that it could almost be equated with “fire shut up in my bones.”  It’s not a sense of panic or anxiety.   It’s simply an understanding that this current situation is coming to its end.  As such, it’s imperative that each of us be not unwise but knowing what the will of the Lord is.  It will be different for each of us as there are different circumstances, different gifts, and different callings.  We cannot rely solely on the advice of others in this and we cannot simply follow the crowd. 

The peace of God which passes all understanding, will supercede any and all physical transpirations, so long as we look to Jesus and not trust in the arm of flesh.  If we should find ourselves becoming anxious or fearful, we need to get in closer to the Lord.  He will abide with those who know him and place their complete confidence in him.  This is important because so many people that I know of seem to become rattled when such things are discussed.  Anything which suggests an abrupt departure from the realm of familiarity causes panic and this panic is the result of having some level of confidence in the flesh.   But if we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, his peace will be with us, no matter what takes place.  Another familiar passage:

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.”

I have mentioned it before, but I was a very fearful person in my earlier years.  Even as a christian, I found myself worrying over how to pay all of the bills, how to get this done or that done, what happens if my job disappears and what-have-you.  I knew that it was wrong to be like that, and yet victory seemed unattainable.  By the grace of God, this is not a problem in 2007, even though my job could go south overnight and I now have a household to care for.  The joy of the Lord doesn’t depend upon favorable circumstances nor does it depend upon what other around us are doing.  In fact, when we allow fear to set in, we are doing a disservice to those around us who may be outside the household of faith and wondering if what we have is real.  But when they see Gods peace in our lives and the fruit of the Spirit being manifest despite the most adverse of conditions, they’ll know that Jesus is real and that his word is true.

There is no doubt in my mind that judgment is in the land as folks have continuously disregarded warning after warning.  Yet I know that the lord Jesus will take care of his own and I pray that the events coming shortly will cause those in my household to come to Jesus.  Just as winds of Euroclydon led to the salvation of not only members of the ships crew (Acts 27:24) but to folks on the island of Malta I pray that the events to come will have similar results. 

About two years ago, (maybe longer) I remember reading a prophecy.  In the ever increasing vastness of cyberspace one can find any number of such writings, however this one struck me as peculiar to the point of making a note of it.  It told of judgment now being in the land as a point of no return had been crossed.  Part of this judgment would be noticable in that we would see those in positions of authority making decisions which make absolutely no sense and are actually destructive.  Just as Rehoboam chose the bad advise of the younger guys that he grew up with over the good advise of the aged men who stood before Solomon, (I Kings 12:1-17 with verse 15 explaining “why”) their decisions will be seemingly backwards.  Today we have blatant sin in the land, a lukewarm church which equates “gain for godliness” and a refusal by many to repent of their contrary ways.  This has been a recipe for disaster throughout history.

Just as the aged men must have looked at Rehoboams decisions with astonishment, we look at the flurry of contrary policies coming from those in authority and wonder what type of thinking is taking place.  (For example, waging a war on terror without securing the border.  Brilliant!)  I suspect that it’s part of the judgment on a nation that proclaims ” I sit a queen and am no widow.”  A nation that loves pleasure more than God and a generation that’s  heaping to itself treasures for the last days.  The title of this post comes from II Chronicles 36:15-16 where the children of Israel had disregarded the warnings from God time after time until there was no other option but to carry out judgment.  (II Peter 3:8-10 describes the mechanics of this in greater detail.)  

Well, I have to be going.  It’s almost 4:00 pm and I haven’t accomplished much today around here.  Sunday night, it’s back to work as the two week shutdown period is over.  I’m posting less than in previous times as  a change of seasons is well underway.  I pray that we all would be understanding as to the will of the Lord and that we would draw increasingly closer to him in these most perilous of times.    I wish a blessed day in Christ to all, and will conclude with the following passage.

II Peter 3:13-14  “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.”

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Echoes of Eternity

July 6, 2007

revelation 15:2-3  “And saw as it were a sew 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.”

Revelation 21:3-5  “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.  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.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me, Write: for these things are true and faithful.”

Two incredible passages of scripture that grant us an insight to that which is to come.  When pondering the world to come each of us probably have a differing picture in our mind of what it will be like.  To me, the single most fascinating element is that we will never again be out of the presence of the Lord.  We will be forever with the Lord Jesus and we will be like him as every shread of the former things has passed away.  Just thinking about this one thing makes it difficult to be alarmed by the changes and events coming to pass on planet earth; a world destined to be dissolved by fire. 

The environment of the everlasting will be a most incredible one.  Some folks think of the streets of gold (which is scriptural) the mansions (which is scriptural) or the splendor of the new Jerusalem.  (Which is scriptural)  Of all the elements which make up the ambience of eternity, for me, the most fascinating element has to be the sound.  The singing, the holy conversations, the pure unadulterated worship of the Lord Jesus.  Words and melodies; the likes of which we read about in II Corinthians 12:1-5  when Paul tells about a man who saw the third heaven.   In fact, I wonder if the very language of eternity will be like a melody.  A neverending song of adoration as every word, every thought, every tone will worship the Lord. 

One may ask why spend time pondering such things.  The truth is that for those who love the Lord Jesus, this world simply holds nothing that is to be desired.  The trappings, the vanity, the shallow conversations, of this fallen world cause us to all the more desire to be present with the Lord.  To be delivered from this realm where we must be on continuous guard, lest any contrary attitude or idol of this life sets up shop in our heart.  A world where we must (not should; must) die daily to the old nature which looks for any opportunity to reassert the dominance that it once had in our lives.  As we sojourn in this contrary world, our primary desire should be the furtherance of the kingdom of God and doing all to admonish those in the valley of decision to come to Jesus and live. 

The second passage above grants such an awesome picture of the world to come.  Sorrow, pain, dying, departings, and tears will no longer be present.  I was noticing in verse 5 where John is told to “write” even though he had been writing.  He might have been so overwhelmed at what he was being shown that his hand just kind of “stopped” possibly in the middle of a word.  He was being shown a realm that none of us have ever seen or been a part of.  We wake up each day not knowing what the day has in store for us.  It could be a peaceful day or it could be one filled with unforseen tragedy.  We’ve never experienced a situation which is so perfect that even time is no longer a player. 

II Corinthians 4:17  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

No matter what our circumstances are in this life, it’s but for a brief moment.  A moment so tiny when compared to the eons of forever that it doesn’t even register.  With this in mind, we should do all to make serving the Lord Jesus and doing all to further the kingdom of God our utmost priority.  Not heaping up treasures for the last days or making a name for ourselves but lifting up the Lord Jesus and giving all diligence to ensure that our actions are gathering instead of scattering.  (Luke 11:23)

What the melodies of eternity will sound like none of us can say for certain.  I know that lately (actually for the past several months) praying if the spirit quickly moves into singing in the spirit.  It’s almost a natural response as our thoughts turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and just how awesome he really is.  Our God truly is an awesome God.  Awesome beyond our capacity to understand and yet so loving toward us that he would come into this fallen world, endure such a contradiction of sinners against himself and pay for our sins with his own blood. 

I pray that each day, we all would have a deeper grasp of just how great a salvation we have through Jesus Christ.  That each day, our love for him would be greater than the day before.  That each day we would be closer to him than the day before.  I need to be going for now.  Actually I wasn’t planning to post this morning but this was on my heart.  Today is July 6 which means my blogging season has 16 days left in it.   After that I plan to post once a month, probably around the 22nd of each month.  With events transpiring at such a rapid pace, it’s imperative to draw ever closer to the Lord and hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  Until next time, I wish a blessed day in Jesus to all.

II Peter 3:11-14  “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.”

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The Italian Band

July 4, 2007

It was a notable time concerning the first moments of the church.  The promise of the Holy Ghost had not yet been poured out unto the Gentiles and in fact there were even disputings over whether or not salvation even applied to the Gentiles.   At the appropriate time, the Holy Ghost was poured out on the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius and the issue was settled.  Without a doubt, the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ was for all and in the years to come, the apostle Paul would be sent far hence into Gentile lands; even to Rome and the palace of Ceasar. 

Acts 10:1-2  “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurian of the band called the Italian band.  A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”

A Gentile soldier and his household who worshipped the Holy One of Israel to the best of their understanding.  He feared God and prayed always.  It’s amazing that a man from a predominately pagan background would grasp the understanding of sincerety toward God.  Somehow, he knew that the God of Israel was real and he was fearful.  As a result of his belief in the God of Israel from his heart, he gave much to the people and prayed often.  It wasn’t for show or favor of man; it was authentic. 

Acts 10:3-5  “He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him Cornelius.  And when he looked on him, he was afraid and said, What is it Lord?  And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for for a memorial before God.  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” 

He sought after God in all sincerety and this didn’t go unnoticed.  And when he received instruction to call for Peter, he did what any would do who desire to worship God in spirit and in truth.  He was obediant.  When the Lord told him what he must do in order to receive instruction, he didn’t hesitate.  He revealed the matter to his two servants along the soldier who stayed with him and sent them to Joppa to call for Peter.  He probably would have compassed sea and land if he had been instructed to do so. 

As they approached Joppa, Peter was on the roof of the house in prayer while dinner was being prepared.  Here, while in prayer, he fell into a trance. 

Acts 10:11-13  “And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at four corners, and let down to the earth:  Wherein all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.  And there arose a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

Suddenly, he was being instructed to do something contrary to all of his upbringing.  Contrary to scripture it would seem.  To this, Peter responds in a way that…well…sounds like a vintage Peter response.

Acts 10:14-15  “But peter said, Not so Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” 

This vision takes place three times and is received again into heaven.  It leaves Peter a little bewildered.  “What was that all about?” A vision that seemed to defy longheld standards suddenly transpiring at a time when peter was probably somewhat preoccupied with the dinner that was being prepared.  To add to this confusion, the men sent by Cornelius suddenly arrived at Simon the tanners house to inquire of Simon whose surname is Peter.  (That had to be a little confusing.  Kind of like the weekend when our daughter Megan had a friend, also named Megan staying and Morgan likewise had a friend named Megan staying over.  Three Megans at once!)

Acts 10:19-20  “While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, behold three men seek thee.  Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”

At this point it all comes into focus that the Lord is doing a work and the thing for Peter to do is just “go with it.”  Knowing that if God’s in it all will be well and the name of Jesus will be magnified.  (This is getting long; I’ll try to hurry.) 

The next day, Peter and certain brethren from Joppa return with the three men back to Caesarea.  For Peter it had to be an uneasy experience; knowing that he would be interracting with folks who, most likely, have no knowledge of the God of Israel.  His entire life had most likely been spent avoiding such interractions.   I wonder if perhaps the “tall tales” concerning the ungodly lifestyles of the Gentiles that he must have heard as a youth were playing in his mind.  (That’s not scripture; just my own imagination imagining what Peter might have been imagining.  I imagine.)  

When Cornelius meets Peter he bows down in worship.  I don’t think it was so much a worship of Peter but a spontaneous reaction to knowing that God had sent him to reveal truth.  Truth that Cornelius was so hungry for.  This scene had to be incredible.  Cornelius had called together many acquaintances and the house must have been filled to capacity with Gentiles.  A completely awkward situation for Peter to be walking into and had God not prepared his heart ahead of time, one that he wouldn’t have ventured into.  Peter comments as follows:

 Acts 10:28-29  “And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.  Therefore came i unto you without gasinsaying, as soon as I was sent for:  I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?” 

Cornelius then tells Peter about the vision and Peter, after acknowledging that God is no respector of persons, presents the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He presents a complete picture to the audience of Jesus and how that all who believe on him should receive remission of sins.  However, even though he knew that this meeting was a divine appointment I imagine that what took place next caught him completely by surprise.

Acts 10:44-47  “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.  Then answered peter,  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”

The question of whether or not salvation was offered to the Gentiles was resolved.  In a most undeniable fashion.  It was the beginning of what Jesus said must transpire before the end.  The gospel must be preached into all the world for a witness unto all nations.  (Matthew 24:14)  For Peter and the other jewish disciples, it was a new way of viewing the Gentiles.  Viewing them not as barbaric pagans outside the house of Israel, but as people for whom Christ died.  Their sins were paid for at Calvary also, and those Gentiles who believe upon Jesus were to be counted as brethren.  All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Jesus shed his blood on Calvary for all. 

Well I have to be going for now.  I was just visiting this passage of scripture a couple of days ago and became minded to post on it.  We truly have a great salvation. A salvation so amazing that none of us can completely grasp just how incredible it is.  (Though we can continuously gain in understanding)  Or just how awesome our Father in heaven is who loved us so much that he would make a way for us to be reconciled unto himself. 

Romans 3:21-23  “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” 

h1

Oh, How I Love Jesus

July 2, 2007

A reply to Rachels challenge from a few days ago. 

I’m really late at getting back to this as there has been a flurry of activity here as of late.  In fact, while I’m starting this in the afternoon of July 1, I’ll have to finish it later tonight.  (Or tomorrow)  In thinking of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ, who blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, nailing it to the cross, every aspect that comes to mind is worthy of a post unto itself.  This post comes at the urging of Rachels comment on the previous post and is a great thing to ponder; not only now, but at all times.

( 1 )  He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and nailed it to the cross.  By the sheer fact that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, each of us deserve eternal separation from God.  Jesus Christ; God manifest in the flesh, came into this world that was completely contrary to his holy nature, was tempted in all points as we are, lived a completely sinless life here, and paid for our sins with his own blood.  The more that we ponder our great salvation, the more incredible it is.  He steped out of eternity for us.  He endured the most humiliating and agonizing death imaginable for us.  He could have called ten thousand angels and destroyed the world, but he was obediant unto death.  For us! 

( 2 )  He is our high Priest forever and he ever lives to make intercession for us.  Because of our love for the Lord and gratefulness that he has redeemed us, we desire to live for him.  In fact, the changed heart and the fruit thereof is direct evidence that a person has truly been born again.  But we are certain to screw up occasionally and it’s great to know that when we do stumble, we can come to him for forgiveness.  We don’t desire to sin and we have been granted victory over sin.  But if we do slip, he’s always ready to forgive.  He will complete the good work that he has started in us.

( 3 )  Jesus is as close as the mention  of his name.  He is never afar off; he never takes holiday or goes off on a safari, leaving us to go it alone for a while.  He will place us into trying situations and oftentimes we may feel at our wits end.  But he will never ever leave us hanging.  Jesus truly is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. 

( 4 )  We shall forever be with the Lord.  He has promised us an everlasting habitation, with him, throughout the eons to come.  In other words, when we leave this world; be it through death or through an instantaneous putting on of incorruption, we will never again be absent from the presence of the Lord.  We will be in a state of perfection as every hint of the old fallen nature is forever gone.  We will be forever rejoicing in our great salvation and be in fellowship; both with the Lord Jesus and each other.

( 5a )  In him is no variance or turning.  He never changes. He’s the same today as he was in all of the eons past.  He will be the same in all of the eons to come as he is today.  Just imagine how terrifying it would be to wake up one morning and find out that God had changed.  We know that this will never happen as any alteration from perfection would be an imperfection.  He truly is eternally the same. 

( 5b )  His ways are past finding out.  We’ll never be able to “put him in a box” because he is simply awesome beyond our wildest thoughts or ability to comprehend.  Try as we may, we’ll never be able to wrap our minds around it in this present world.  We are ever learning of his incredible nature and without a doubt, he becomes more awesome daily.

( 5c )  He is King of kings and Lord of lords.  I was thinking on this a couple of nights ago.  Despite what we see take place in the physical realm, God really is all powerful and omnipotent.  This fallen world is but a small piece of all that is.  We know that this present heavens and earth will be dissolved and that there will be a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.  The former things will be passed away. 

Well now for some links.  Since I tend to link to certain places on a regular basis, I’ll try to go to some different ones here.

( 1 )  www.redeemed1.blogspot.com  Rachels blog, the one who started the ball rolling on this post.  She’s preparing to take a group of youth to Africa and her posts are always encouraging. 

( 2a)  www.rjperalta.wordpress.com  Richards site.  Yesterday he placed a very needful post eneitled “And all the while, the kingdom of God lies in want.”  It’s a most needful post as we are to be laying treasures in heaven instead of this temporal world.  This is a must read.  The following is a link to the particular post.

( 2b ) www.rjperalta.wordpress.com/2007/06/30/and-all-the-while-the-kingdom-of-god-lies-in-want/ 

( 3 )  www.theagetocome.wordpress.com  Peters site.  I haven’t linked to it too often in the past although it always has needful information.  Here’s a chance to do so now.  (One of ther problems in doing links is that I know of so many good sites that placing them all down is almost impossible.) 

( 4 )  www.pasturescott.wordpress.com  Pastor Scott.  I learned of this site through Marie only recently and it is always timely. 

( 5a )  www.heaintthroughwithmeyet.wordpress.com  Andreas site.  She has a domestic situation that is not too unlike my own.  She really loves the Lord and her compassion for the lost should encourage us all to be mindful of those around us who are in the valley of decision.

( 5b )  www.johnmichaeltalbot.blogspot.com  An unexpected entry perhaps, but I really like his music and just this past week I learned that he has a blog.  The worship songs; primarily scripture set to music, are such a blessing that in listening to them, one is continuously reminded the incredible goodness of the Lord Jesus.    

There are so many more in the blogroll that are good to visit.  A thank you to Rachel for encouraging this post as it’s been a real blessing.  I’ve had to work at it in spurts today as things have been going on.  (It’s now almost 10:00 pm)  As mentioned before, I’ll probably be cutting back on some blogging activity because other things are needful at the moment.  How much I don’t know.  But other things are imperative at the moment.  I’ll strive to post and comment as much as possible without getting priorities out of order.  Until next time, I wish all a blessed evening in Jesus.