Monday, October 25, 2010

A Challenge to Hear

There is something that I would like to challenge with. Recently, God showed me this simple plan to an incredible life in faith.

This very first qualification is that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. It is at that time that each of us is given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our future.

Galatians 5:22&23 tells us what comes to us with the Holy Spirits presence:

the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I invite you discover the connection between two of the Holy Spirit's gifts.

From Isaiah 55: 12&13 (God is speaking to His people)

"For you will go out with joy

And be led forth with peace;

The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,

And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

"Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,

And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,

And it will be a memorial to the LORD,

For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."

Could it be as simple as that? Begin each day with joy and we will not only find true peace but all of creation has been set up to respond to us. Together, the joy, the peace and the miraculous events surrounding us will testify to Jesus as an eternal sign!

He said it. Will you put it to the test?

Come back and let us all know what you find.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Four Hundred Years

An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. And Zaharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him.

So opens the communication, once again between the Creator and His creation!

400 years; that’s a long, long time.

400 years had been how long it had been since God had spoken to mankind. No prophets, no angelic appearances, no visions, no dreams; absolutely no communication whatsoever!

Silence, how does that make sense. Mankind left to himself leads only to degradation; nothing good comes from this type of silence.

"Do not be afraid” were the first words from God in over 400 years. “Do not be afraid” four words that speak volumes.

-God chose to open is communications once again with one single man.

-God did not allow the urgency of the message to be delivered to override His care for the individual.

-God chose to speak to an individual who was available; just doing his assigned duties.

-God re-opened communications with the physical presence of an angel to confirm the message.

So, how long has it been since you have heard from Him? The good news is that, at least, it couldn’t have been 400 years.

Perhaps He will choose to speak to you today during the course of your "assigned duty".

Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" John 10:27

Do you have ears to hear? He said if you are His you WILL hear his voice.

Monday, October 11, 2010

When Did We?

But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

"All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

"Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

"The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the (AO)eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

"Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'

"Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

"These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:31-46

When did we....? The significant question. For the one it was used to deflect the problem by saying when did we see something and not do it? When did we not do? For the other it was a declaration of concern as in: when did we do such things?

See true faith does things that are significant to Jesus without realizing that it is doing anything important at all.

James sums it up this way:

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:26

As surely as there are things like, a beating heart and taking a breath, that take place in the body simply because it is alive so, a reborn individual will do things to serve others simply because it is an out-flowing of the love within him/her.

Does your heart lean toward the plight and the needs of others? Do you see a hurt and want to comfort? Do you see a struggling family and run away or run toward the need?

The single marker of how our hearts respond to need and hurt is the most dependable indicator of our security in Jesus!

If you look at your life and see mostly a life of working and living for yourself or our own family and you claim to be a follower of Jesus you must revisit what He has to say to you right now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The True Gift of Manna

Manna is a gift of God to His people and like so many of His generous gifts it just keep giving and giving. Let's take a brief look at one of the gifts of manna.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.

"On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily."

So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, "At evening you will know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt;

and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?" Exodus 16:4-7

Manna was given to His people with restrictions. They could collect as much as they could eat in one day and one day only, except for Fridays which preceded the Sabbath. Any excess gathered would rot and be worse that worthless to the possessors.

The gift accepted would rebound to gratitude. The memory of how God delivered them from captivity and the magnificent glory of the God who provided their base needs.

Let's see how Jesus applied that to Himself and to us.

Jesus said to them, " I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35

Jesus is our manna. We can not stock up on Him on Sundays and think that it will carry us through the week. As a matter of fact, any excess taken in on Sunday will rot before the sun comes up on Monday. Is it any wonder that the church of Jesus is so weak and timid today. We are under-nourished and sickly because we have accepted the generous gift of God but don't understand the conditions.

Stop right now and think about your week for the last 7 days. Have you skipped a meal or two? We all know what crises would arise if we actually missed a physical meal or two but we don't connect the crisis in our spiritual health when we miss the manna.

He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3

The gift of daily manna is not about nourishment alone, but is also a gift to keep us humble. We simply can not build a life in Jesus without clinging to the source.

He humbled us and let us be hungry. He then fed us that we might understand how desperately we need Him. We then would seek after Him like a starving child.

We have dropped the ball. We are indeed hungry but we seek to fill ourselves with television, food, alcohol, movies, sex and a myriad of other temporary fixes for our desperate hunger.

Return to the Bread of Life and return daily. Experience real life!