Monday, May 17, 2010

My Story Book

“They are written in the story of the book of kings.” How I remember my wife reading to our four children when they were small. She would take them up in her lap, and sitting in her rocker, would read to them from their favorite story books. I recall how attentive they were, and how they would hang on every word, as it were. You could see in their eyes how they were being transported in their imagination to that far off distant land she was reading about. How they looked forward to those times, even to the extent of pestering her to do so when other responsibilities were pressing their mother. But they always won out, knowing what a push-over she was. They knew she loved reading the stories to them as much as they loved to hear them.

As a child of God I have a favorite “Story Book”; but mine is not mythical, but factual. It’s Divine. Its words, characters, and events are all true. I get so excited reading it that more than often my heart burns within me. I enter into the stories so much so that at times I actually become a part of it; weeping, shouting, fighting, and praying along side my Blood-bought kin. But not only do I love reading it, I love telling it. As the old gospel song says, “I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” As children upon our mother’s lap, it seems no matter how many times we have read, or heard it, it is always new and fresh. Like my children, who, when their mother had finished reading their favorite story for the umpteenth time, would look up at her and say, “Read it again Mommy; please, read it again!”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

*The Wise Country Mother

"But without thy mind would I do nothing." Paul had a good mind, but he did not presume to know Philemon's mind concerning this most important matter. The great apostle would do nothing without first getting his friend's consent. He would not move forward until he had Philemon's permission. His friend's desire would be his command.

How this should shame us when it comes to our dealings with our Heavenly Friend. We use our carnal ingenuity and flawed understanding in the decisions of life without ever seeking the mind of Christ. And then we wonder why our thinking led us into a fruitless wilderness instead of a fruitful Canaan.

In olden times, it was the wise country mother who told her children she could do nothing until first finding out what their father's mind was concerning their wishes. We all would be wise to emulate her.

The mind of God is to be found only in the Word of God.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Those "Feisty" Old-Timers

“Whom say the people that I am? They answering said…some say…one of the old prophets.” Jesus didn’t mind being equated with the “old-timers.” Not even one like that ruff and tumble, testy Elijah. It didn’t bother Him a bit that the people of His day saw characteristics of the old time ways in His life and ministry. Nor did He hesitate quoting them on a regular basis.

I fear there are few in this present generation that would be mistaken for, or accused of, having any traits of the ancients. As one young Bible school student said to me, when I mentioned winning men to Jesus, “We don’t do it that way any more.” How sad; how very sad indeed! Most certainly, there should be changes over time, but never in the teachings and commands of Christ. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT CAN NEVER BE IMPROVED UPON!

Because of distancing and divorcing themselves from the old-time ways, we have a generation of powerless, compassionless prigs. I’m not speaking of a refusal to give up a washing machine for a scrub-board . I’m talking about “throwing the baby out with the wash.” You don’t pull every tooth left in a man’s head because he has one cavity. The prophets of old had a lot to be desired, but doing things God’s way was not one of them. Not everything that is old is outdated. You know, like “The Ancient of Days.”

One generation will never learn from another, until each believes there is something to be learned.

Friday, May 14, 2010

*The Triumphant Trinity

The word “trinity” is not found in the Bible, but its glorious truth is. The word is derived from Latin, meaning “three-ness.” This threesome mystery is stated, not explained. Because there is no explanation, some cover their ignorance by their words, rather than accept the fact that it’s unexplainable. As A.W. Tozer said, “It’s truth for the heart.” If we comprehended it, we’d lose the wonder. This is one of those “secret things” that belongs only to God. But while we cannot know it, we can enjoy it.

Trinitarianism doesn’t mean Deity is divided. It is not three separate roles played by one person, nor a cluster of gods working independently of one another. It is a harmonious unity, co-equal and co-eternal. Two are not inactive while the One works. They are, if you please, a “Team,” always working together. There is only one will, one plan, and one objective.

It is this Divine Trio who is on the Christian’s side, working everything out for their good and God’s glory. Is it any wonder then that the apostle said, “…if God be for us, who can be against us?” Child of God, rejoice, for we have working for us around the clock “The Triumphant Three!”

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deliverance

“Is thy God…able to deliver thee..? This question reverberates down the corridors of time to our present age. Every child of God, as Daniel of old, must give an answer; there can be no shirking it. Strong’s Concordance has five lengthy columns for the word “deliver” and its equivalent. God would have each of us to know that He is distinctively in the deliverance business.

Our age is infested with addictions such as drugs, drunkenness, immorality, gluttonies, and a host of other sins of the flesh. It seems that many have come to accept these evil habits in their lives, and feel they will plaque them till death do them part. They believe this is to be the norm. But if this be true, what are we to do with such statements as, “He hath sent me to…preach deliverance to the captives?”

Are Gods promises of deliverance only written to torment our souls? They are either true or not. If you believe the latter, then you have resigned yourself to live a miserable and torturous life of defeat. But He has not left us to grovel, groan, and despair; to tantalize us with the impossible and unattainable. There is no chain so binding that He cannot break it, nor yoke so burdensome that He will not remove it.

When Paul says, “Let not sin reign…” He is not speaking of sins banished presence, but rather its broken dominion. Though sin will always be present in our lives, its power over us has been broken. But to argue with the Spirit over this, will inevitably result in one’s downfall. “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.”

Daniel served the Master, therefore he had the mastery!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Covered With the Comforter

“…cover with a covering…of my spirit…” Woe be to the person who doesn’t, says the Lord. Our lives are to be completely immersed—baptized, if you please—in the Spirit of God. We are born of the Spirit, therefore we are admonished to be filled with the Spirit; to live in the Spirit; to walk after the Spirit; to be led by the Spirit; and we are to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. Would I be stretching the point to say a Christian is to be constantly under the control and dominion of the Spirit of God?

There is as much difference in a life lived in the Spirit and one lived under law, as there is night and day. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want to be a part of our lives; He wants to be all it. Too many Christians are living their lives with portions of it outside the Divine “blanket.” Or, as Isaiah says, “For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

Only the Spirit’s covering can keep you warm.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Benifits Without Baggage

We are told that God “…daily loadeth us with benefits.” But some cannot enjoy these blessings for the excess baggage they carry. It is not the weight of His benefits that causes us to cave in, but the extra baggage we lug around. There’s a reason they call it luggage!

God gave us richly all things to enjoy, but all of us do not enjoy everything. The “all things” is up to one’s individual liking. A smorgasbord is for everyone, but the choice is according to each one’s taste. Not everybody likes broccoli, but it’s there for the ones who do. And for those who do like it, don’t try to stuff it down another’s throat that has no taste for it.

Every Christian needs to read Romans chapter fourteen on a regular basis. This chapter should be mastered by all believers. Its about Diet (v2), Days (v5), Drink (21), and all in between. Without a doubt, it would do away with the greatest part of the dissentions that are so prevalent among God’s people today.

The overall teaching of the chapter is that some cannot, while others can. If what we do cannot be done in good faith, then we are not to do it. If we do, there will be a continual nagging of conscience. If the head says yes, and the heart no, you will be wise to cease from it. You need these two witnesses to agree to the truth, if you’re to be established. “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” Just make sure another’s personal preference is not pawned off on you and accepted by you as your own. When this happens you lose your God-given conscience to discern for yourself.

There may be nothing wrong with your baggage, unless it keeps you from getting to where you want to go.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Divisions Over Diversities

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” God never intended for diversities to cause divisions. They’re to compliment and balance out. It would be a sad picture indeed if, as my daughter Charity used to say when a child, “We’re same-alikes.”

The Body of Christ is one, but there are diversities within it. These diversities should not divide us; they were meant to unify us. Nowhere are our insecurities more evident than when we are confronted with a diversely gifted brother or sister. You’ll find the disciples had this problem also (Mk.9:38-40).

I think it would be beneficial for all of us to take a long hard look at First Corinthians chapter twelve again. I personally believe that one of the main reasons we no longer see spiritual gifts manifested in the Church today is because of the rigid regimentation of the saints. One dare not get out of step with the clone company, lest he or she be considered an oddity.

Your gift is not to be hidden under a bushel, nor is it to be suppressed by a totalitarian leader. It is given that others may, “…profit withal”. The gifts are not only for those who stand behind the pulpit preaching, and on the platform singing or playing an instrument, but also for the common folk in the pew. It is wise to remember, “…those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

*No Time like the Present

It’s not about what you were, but what you are that counts with God. He’s an ever-present God. He is a God who is here. To boast that we once stood in the presence of God won’t cut it. Satan can make that claim. It’s what you are at this moment that registers with God. Past laurels wither fast. They’re only good for kindling.

On the other hand, what an encouragement to those who have made a wreck of their past lives to realize God deals with us in the “now,” and not in some distant past. He’s the I AM, not I was or will be. God can take past nothings and make them into present something’s. And it’s this crowd that can ever say, “I am what I am, because of the great I AM. So, if you’re going to be one of these “new-lifers,” I’d remind you, there’s no time like the present.

I was so in the present moment the past was no longer part of me. ~Terri Guillemets

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God's Requirement

“…it is required...that a man be found faithful.” Both Isaiah and Jeremiah, though not fruitful, were found to be faithful. Today we are impressed with the first but not so much with the second. In fact, in some churches the former seems to take precedent over the latter. In Paul’s letters, he addresses “...the faithful in Christ Jesus.”

The wise man tells us it is difficult to find a faithful man. But goes on to say, once you have, you will see a person that “…abounds with blessings.”

We are told, “God is faithful.” It is a Godly characteristic to be faithful; therefore we should all strive to emulate Him. The main business of a child of God is faithfulness, above all else.

It is the faithful few that He commends with the coveted words, “Well done…” And this includes those of us who have been faithful over a little, as well as those who have been faithful over much.

When it is most difficult to be faithful, that is when it is most necessary.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Overemphasis

The devil knows most of us are extremists; “If ones good, two are better.” He is an expert in getting Christian’s to go off the deep end. He wants us to get in over our heads. This way we lose all sense of what’s going on around us. He gets us to put all our eggs in one basket, knowing we’ll give them all our attention; while he fills the other baskets with rotten ones. If he can convince us tunnel vision is best, we’ll sacrifice consciousness of other things of importance for just one thing. He’ll urge us to put something or someone on one side of the scale, and then tempt us to remove the just balance on the opposite side, thereby resulting in overestimating that thing or person’s value.

For example, if you go overboard on Calvinism you become a fatalist. But to go too far with Arminianism you end up being a humanist. And to be overly concerned with the prodigal child, neglecting the good one, you may end up loosing both. “If we pay attention to the Spiritual, the devil will pay attention to the nerves” (Oswald Chambers). Satan relies on your extreme loves and dislikes to drive you in the opposite direction. To the outer limits, if you please. This way you end up in no mans land, and that’s no place to be. One extreme is as bad as the other. The only way to keep your Spiritual sanity is by keeping to the middle ground. I’m not speaking of compromise, but of sound, sensible evaluation of things and people in life. No hang-ups!

All extremes, except our devotion to Christ, are to be guarded.