Tag Archives: the Savior

Feb 22 – God Speaks Through Scripture

Leviticus 26&27

I know that the Old Testament was written about and to real flesh and blood people. I know the crops spoken of were real plants, the rain wet droplets, disease, and war, and bread were things you could touch, taste, and experience in the flesh. God is talking to His material kingdom of Abraham’s ancestors in these pages of the Bible.

But I think we miss something beautiful if we don’t recognize there is a spiritual application in every word, too. And reading the first part of chapter 26 thrilled my soul this morning as though God were talking right to me here in 2016. Here’s what I heard Him say:

If you obey Me, Connie, I will give you exactly what you need to bear fruit for My kingdom as you lead people to their Savior (vs 4). Your ability to reap souls will last season upon season, their numbers strengthening you to continue in the work  (5). I’ll give you peace in your soul so you can sleep at night (6). We’ll defeat sin in your life (7&8). If you obey Me, I’ll be right with you, Connie, and I’ll make you fruitful in My work (9). You’ll leave your past behind and become a new person through the blood of Jesus (10). I WILL LIVE RIGHT INSIDE YOU. I won’t reject you (11). I’ll walk with you. I’ll be your God. You will be my child (12). I freed you from the chains of sin so you wouldn’t be a slave to it. I broke the hold sin had over you. And you, Connie, can stand straight, hold your head high, and do the work I have for you with confidence in Me (13).

Wow! I love reading the Bible because it is alive and active and powerful and relevant and personal.

Thank You, God, for speaking to me this morning through the words You inspired men to write thousands of years ago. Thank You for forgiving me. May I obey You. May I go into this day with confidence that You are going to do a great work in my life for Jesus’ sake. And may hearts be drawn to their Savior because I’ve been faithful to You.

What’s The Loving Thing To Do?

Paul begins the fifth chapter of Ephesians with a challenge for us to imitate God as dear children. Walk in love, he says. And some would like it better if he had just stopped with that thought.

But he didn’t. In verse three he starts talking about sin: fornication, foolish talk, coarse joking, jealousy, idolatry. He warns us against participating in any of it.

Walk as children of light, he says. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful work of darkness, he says. Then  he adds: but rather expose them. (Eph 5:11)

Is it possible to walk in love AND expose sin as sin? Friend, that’s the only loving thing to do. Tolerance is not love. It’s not love to turn a blind eye to or accept a sin that will usher someone into hell.

Paul compares light to darkness. You do know, don’t you, that darkness can never win over light? When you turn on the light switch there is never a struggle as to whether the darkness will disappear. When light is present, darkness can’t be.

So if we walk in the Light which is God in us, sin will be exposed. The only way we don’t expose sin is by hiding the Light, keeping it to ourselves. Satan loves it when we do that.

So here’s how much I love you: Homosexuality is sin. Abortion is sin. Lying is sin. Looking at porn or watching ungodly TV shows are sin. Having sex outside of marriage is sin. Laughing at dirty jokes is sin. Hatred, unforgiveness, jealousy, greed, drunkenness, gluttony, are all sin.

And if you are guilty of sin you need the Savior. You need to ask God to forgive you and change you so that you don’t repeat the sin. You need to surrender to God, plain and simple.

My prayer is that we will all imitate God in our walk today. May we love our family members, our neighbors, our friends with the same kind of love God loves. May we lovingly identify sin and introduce them to the One who loves them and gave Himself for them so that they can walk in the Light here and in eternity.

That’s the loving thing to do.

It’s just a tiny sin

I find it interesting that Christians can assign degrees of seriousness to sin. Some, they say, are small sins. Some sins send you straight to hell. But I don’t see the Bible teaching that.

What degree of sin did Ham commit? In Genesis 9 we see that Ham saw his father, Noah, drunk and naked, then ran to tell his brothers what he had seen. Sounds serious to me. But he didn’t murder anyone.

How can you tell where any sin falls on the mortal scale of degrees of sin? Jesus pretty much answers that. He said, in Matthew 5: You think murder is a big sin? I’m saying if you hate someone you are a murderer. You think adultery’s bad? You better be careful how you look at someone you’re not married to because you commit adultery if you even think about having sex with them.

Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law. He came to fulfill all the requirements of the law. But that doesn’t mean we have it easier than those Old Testament saints.

In fact, Jesus takes us one step further. He makes it plain that we can and do sin in our minds. The point is that sin is sin, there is no such thing as a big or a little sin. Committing a sin makes me a sinner, whether I act it out in my mind or in my body. And being a sinner, I need a Savior.

The good news is that all sin is forgivable. (I John 1:9) I need to go to Jesus with every sin I commit. When I ask him to forgive me, he does! Jesus reminds us his standard of behavior is perfection, holiness. (Matthew 5:48).

I, for one, need Jesus’ holiness because that train has already left the station in my life.

Dear Jesus, may your people recognize the seriousness of any sin in our lives. May we be quick to come to you for forgiveness when our thoughts, our feelings, our actions become sin. May we allow you to place your holiness on our shoulders, because frankly, we have none of our own. We want to stand before you wearing your perfection, and we thank you for the privilege you’ve given us through your own precious blood. Defeat Satan in our lives today. And may we show an unbelieving world what your holiness looks in us.

Stand

Numbers 16:48 hit me today. A plague was destroying the Israelites. Aaron ran out and stood among them to purify them so they would be saved. “He stood between the dead and the living.”

That strikes me as a role we Christians should be playing in 2014. Rather, it’s a role we are playing. It’s a position God has placed us in by virtue of our relationship with him. What are we doing about it? And do we understand the implications?

I am standing between the dead and the living. I have the responsibility to reach out and bring those who are headed for that horrible eternal death into the life offered by God through his Son. I picture a hoard of people running toward a cliff that only I can see. Am I going to just stand there? Or am I going to shout a warning? Point to solid ground? Stand in the way to stop them from falling? If I don’t, they will go to hell.

There is a rampant plague in our world today. And we Christians stand between the dead and the living. God has placed us there because he is not willing that any should perish.

I pray that we will stand our ground, that we will reach out to the lost, that we will be effective as we lead people to the cross. God wants us to defeat this plague and, in Him, we can do it! Let’s join hands with other Christians and form a barrier between the dead and the living in order to save those who are dying without Christ. Let’s pray, and go, and encourage one another to stand for the Truth of Scripture and against Satan’s lies.

If we don’t, we’ll have failed our mission. We’ll have failed our Savior.

 

I Will See God

You remember Job, right? He was a good man who lost literally everything. We read that Job felt as though God was against him for some unknown reason. He said things like, God’s fury is against me, God’s troops attack me, God has stripped me of my honor.

Job had nothing left. Not his family. Not his possessions. Not his position in society. Not his health. He is at the lowest point known to man. 

And yet, believing God had unfairly targeted him, Job still put his hope in God. In Job 19:25-27 we read that Job believed one day he would bodily meet God face to face. He knew death is not an end, but a beginning. And Job was overwhelmed at the thought.

I think God would like us all to have that same excitement at the thought of meeting him face to face. Sure, heaven will be a beautiful place. Yes, our loved ones will be there. But I am pretty sure none of that will seem important when we actually see Jesus in the flesh.

Some people picture heaven as a cleaned-up earth. Tea parties. Long chats with the saints. Waving to Jesus as they pass him on a gold street. Worshiping God on Sundays like they do down here.

Do we understand the enormity of the truth that Jesus himself will be there? God the Father will gather us around his throne! Nothing and no one will be as important.

Are you overwhelmed with the thought of being with God in a very physical way – forever? Does the very idea of grasping Jesus’ hand give you chills of excitement? Think of it. We who know the Savior will look into those eyes and for the first time realize just how loved we really are. We will receive everything our longing hearts have desired. And from that moment on we will not want to be anywhere else. Ever.

December 28

Revelation 6-10

As I read further into the book of Revelation I am encouraged. True, people kill people, mistreat and cheat each other. People have disease and struggles and it looks like Satan is winning. The encouraging thing is what the angel revealed to John. “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (7:10) And about we who are washed in the blood of the Lamb:

they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (7:15-17)

God doesn’t promise that things will go smoothly here in this lifetime on this planet. There will be hardships and suffering. People will continue to die for the Name. But our hope is in heaven, our Savior is on the throne!

Let’s hold on to him no matter what Satan throws our way. Let’s, with the angels and elders, worship God by saying:

Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen! (7:12)

“For ever and ever” isn’t just about some far off time. It’s today. It’s 2014. God has power and strength, wisdom and honor, to see us through whatever circumstances we face. May we give him our problems because he can handle them. May we trust him because he an be trusted.

Father, I know that this life is full of blessings and hardships. Some reading this today are carrying heavy burdens. And sometimes, Lord, if seems as if Satan is winning as we watch the news and see the acceptance of sin in our society. We could despair. But I thank you for John’s vision and the reminder that you are on the throne, that you are all powerful, that nothing happens in this life that surprises you. May we trust you. May we worship you. May Satan be defeated in each of us as we look forward to a new year.