Monday, June 27, 2011

The Name of God!

This thought came to to me yesterday while I was asking God to show me what He wanted me to know:

Psalm 79 :8-10

Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us;
Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us,
For we are brought very low.

For generations, now, the "forefathers" of our faith have let us down. Once there was a bold and faithful church that, even with all of its problems, held the line against moral decline in our country. We haven't gotten here overnight.

There was a time when difficult times like we are going through would bring our society back to God. Today, we simply brace ourselves against the wind and press on with our dysfunctional lifestyles.

The psalmist realized that the current state of God's people was not simply a casual drift to worldliness but, rather, an accumulation of sins that started long ago and built one on top of the other until God was not to be found.

He also realized that the people had left God so far behind that it was not longer and option for God to restore His people. He asked, rather, that God's compassion" would be aligned to meet up with His people as they were walking their own direction.

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

Here is where we find the tender heart of the psalmist. He was no longer willing to excuse the people; no longer willing to strike a bargain with God!

No, his heart was after protecting God's name! The pathetic record of the people had brought scorn upon their God and the psalmist appealed to God about protecting His name. Not for the people; not for the "church" leaders; not for restoring their relationship! Just for God's name alone!

Has God's name ever been in less regard than in our current society? Perhaps it is time that we turn our attention toward God's name and to begin asking for Him to protect and exalt His own name!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tough Times Bring New Opportunities

Many of our friends and family members, even many of us, are dealing with some pretty difficult situations right now. Last week I was reading in the Book of James and a couple of scriptures jumped out to me:

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12

The crown of life comes to those who know the deep, deep rest and security by a tested faith.

But the one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, having not been a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be bless in all that he does. James 2:25

Read this scripture a couple of times!

The "perfect" law is the law of liberty. Scripture says, "It is for freedom that Jesus you free". Galatians 5:1

Our greatest stress and our heaviest burdens come out of false expectations and self delusions. The law of rules brings its ugly results of death and drudgery. The perfect law of liberty brings life that flows from within like streams of living water.

The choice lies before you; enter His rest or logic your way into continued frustration and misery.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Promised But Seldom Entered

The story of the nation of Israel’s release from years of captivity in Egypt begins in Exodus 4. The final act that “buys” their release, the blood of the lamb, is in chapter 11.

To assure that this freed people would not lose their way to God's blessings and provision, a pillar of fire in the night and a cloud during the day wold guide them every step of the way on their journey (Exodus 13:21-22)

For several generations, God had promised a specific land to Israel. Not only did He promise the land, but He released them from their captors and guided them directly to the place of entrance into the promised land.

Israel balked. They came right up to the point of decision and they chose not to enter the land. ( Numbers 13). God’s reaction to Israel’s balking?:

Surely, all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. Numbers 14:22-23

After the "balking" generation passed away the Nation of Israel is again at the entry point of the promised land.

Deuteronomy 12:8-12 is the key section for us to understand clearly what the new terms of their entrance would be: It explicitly states that "tomorrow" everything changes. you shall not do all that we are doing here today…” All of the do's and don'ts of the law were being left on the wilderness side to the border.

The promise is that Israel will live in rest and security provided they enter the land of promise as God intended.

Unfortunately, Hebrews 4 states that Israel NEVER entered the promised rest and security and continues on warning us that we also might miss it if we respond to God the way Israel did. The crowning statement is verse 19: ..they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

The bottom line is that the people of Israel never entered the land of security and rest because every step of the way they “Logic-ed” their way through the enemies and issues. God required that they enter the land knowing the He had given it to them and that it was He who would clear the way and fight their enemies.

The invitation to us is the same. Cross the Jordan that separates the dominion of this world from the kingdom of God; the world from the promised land; drudgery and toil from rest and security. It is only by faith that we can enter the promised land!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Values in Question

Today we take a look at a difficult issue. This comes from the book of 2 Timothy chapter 4.

Make every effort to come to me soon; for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica... (v 9&10)

So here is the tough question for you: What evidence is there that you don't love "this present world" more than Jesus?

Where do you spend your time and energy? Where is your "treasure"? Jesus said it plainly enough, it is impossible to love both God and mammon.

Look at your past week. Except for an hour or two on Sunday, how much attention did you give toward our gracious God?

(On a personal note, I am not certain if this blog makes any difference. I am thinking of discontinuing the blog and figuring our another way to communicate more effectively what God is telling me.)

Jesus talked about a church (Book of Revelation) that had "lost its first love". Has your passion for Jesus abated or diminished from the past? Do what Jesus told the church "repent" and return to the lover of your soul.