Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Only Mercy

Why do we hold our salvation so lightly? There is nothing between us and sure damnation but mercy... only mercy. There is nothing we can do, nothing at all, except to accept that mercy and hold to it.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10

Even then, we will answer for our sins. Thank God that we have an Advocate Who will not forsake us, either nor or then.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Acts 13:2a

"As they ministered to the Lord and fasted,"

How does one minister to the Lord?

Ministering and serving are the same thing. Remember when Jesus washed the disciples' feet? He was ministering to them (serving them.)

Serving is used so loosely these days! "We serve a mighty God." We go to a Sunday morning "service." "Serve the Lord by (cleaning the church, being a greeter, paying your tithes..)..."

What a great leap from doing the humble task of a servant to shouting about what an awesome God we "serve."

How do you serve the Lord? What do you do? I can tell you, I had to think long and hard about this. Because we are in a certain position or we do a certain thing in church or in a group doesn't mean we are serving.

A servant is tuned in to his master at all times. He anticipates and tries to prepare for tasks without getting ahead of his master. He waits and moves at the appropriate time, never taking on himself to do anything that the master does not command or want.

Serving the Lord is an "always on call" occupation. How do you serve the Lord?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

He will

Remember the "loaves and the fishes." It was just an example of... not of what God can do. Anyone should know that the God who created the heavens and the earth and mankind itself can do anything He wants, including feeding people from nothing. Of course He can.

The story of the loaves and the fishes is an example of what God WILL do - for you and me and anyone who believes Him. It's not what He CAN do, but what he WILL do, that changes the picture for those who trust Him.

He WILL do it for you. Believe Him.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

With good will

With good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men
Ephesians 6:7

It's easy to do service, i.e, help and support others when you love them or even like them. It's easy to have compassion on faceless groups of people after a hurricane or flood or earthquake. It's not always easy to reach out to an enemy, even when he/she is hurting.

We are told to pray for our enemies and that's hard sometimes, but we can do it.

Praying should lead to doing. Have you "felt led" to send money or support in other ways to people who are your enemy? Have you been angry with someone and found out they had been hurt and gone to them with help in your heart?

If not, you're not alone.

Why should we feel compassion on those who oppose us (think politics, criminals, football)? Because God cares. He loves every human being on this earth, and yes, that includes the ones who called you names and the ones in prison for crimes we don't even want to think about. It includes the guy who cheated you out of money and the woman who slighted you in the store.

God loves them. And if we love God, we can grow to feel that love toward them, deeply and sincerely.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Silver and Gold

Going through some old choruses and songs we used to sing, I came across one that went: "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

It's from Acts chapter 3, when Peter and John went to the temple and a lame man was there. If you don't remember the story, read Acts 3:1-9. The lame man was healed and began leaping and praising God!

What they had was so much more precious than all the silver and gold in the world.

That's easy to say, isn't it? Too many churches depend on "silver and gold" to survive instead of the power of the Holy Spirit. Too many pass the offering plate instead of the prayer request plate.

But it takes money to run the church business! Sure,  it does. Peter and John didn't have a business, but what did they do?

What's the most important thing to do?

Revelation 3:17 - Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

Read the rest: Revelation 3:13-19.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

It's harder

Quite some time ago I was praying that God would let me know what He wanted me to do, and He spoke plainly to me: "I don't want you to do. I want you to be."

You know, it's harder to be than to do.

Try it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

If My People

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We have had a very long dry spell, with no rain or snow to speak of for a couple of months at least, so I was happy to hear the forecast of snow. I had prayed for rain or snow a few times but not desperately, but I was thinking of how God shows Himself through such things. Into my head popped 11 Chronicles 7:14, so I read it and the verse before and the one after.

I thought, "There's more to it than this one verse!" The verse just before says, "If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people"

I'm pretty sure that was no coincidence, since I had just been contemplating the dry weather.

Good lesson, right? Except that I hadn't quite got what God wanted to show me.

The next time I picked up my Bible, I turned to that scripture again and this time I read the entire chapter. This word came from God after the dedication of Solomon's Temple. It dawned on me that we need to take this in the context that we are now the Temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). What he promised and warned Israel at the dedication of Solomon's Temple holds true to His temple today.

Interesting! Good revelation.

I went to bed early and woke up about an hour later with that verse on my mind. As I went through it in my mind, God emphasized "WHICH ARE CALLED BY MY NAME." That means us, fellow Christians. Of course. Don't we always think that, preach that, pray that? We, who are called by His name should humble ourselves and pray... oh, wait.

Yes, we get that far. And then we go off into this "Pray for our nation" thing, which is not at all what the verse says. It says that if we will humble ourselves and pray, and take the time to really seek God's face AND turn from our wicked ways, then He will forgive our sin and heal our land.

There is sin in the church today. There is sin in the body of Christ, in His temple. This is what must be dealt with. This is what God is saying. First, we must examine ourselves and we must allow God to examine us and then we must sincerely repent of our sins.

That doesn't happen overnight. Some things we have to struggle with, but when we have truly repented (turned completely away from our sin), then God will heal our land and not from a lack of rain. We know what needs to be healed. 

It's a promise. So while you're praying for yourself, pray sincerely for others in the body of Christ, not with an arrogant spirit, but humbly with a heart willing to bear another's burdens.