God’s Power Friday, Dec 15 2017 

It is important for us to understand the power of God Almighty. Without the knowledge of His power our faith grows dim. Without the knowledge of His power our praise grows silent. We can but whisper faintly.

I love what Jehoshaphat said in 2 Chronicles 20:6 …“O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.

I love Ezra 8:22  “The hand of our God is [c]favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.”

And Job said, 12:13 “With Him are wisdom and might;
To Him belong counsel and understanding.

Job 27:10 “Will he take delight in the Almighty?

Will he call on God at all times?
11 “I will instruct you in the [a]power of God;
What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 “Behold, all of you have seen it;
Why then do you [b]act foolishly.

Daniel said:

19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and [a]establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to [b]men of understanding.

Jesus said:  69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”

Jesus has power:  38 [a]You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, [b]and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

The Gospel has power: 18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who [b]are perishing, but to us who [c]are being saved it is the power of God.

The Holy Spirit has power: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Kingdom of God has power: 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in [b]words but in power.

Faith has power: so that your faith would not [b]rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

This power is in us: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.

For God has not given us a spirit of [a]timidity, but of power and love and [b]discipline.

His power protects us: who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

By power we praise God for all things: 11 Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they [a]existed, and were created.”

 

 

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The Widow’s Oil Wednesday, Nov 8 2017 

2 Kings 4:1-7

Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to [a]Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few. And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these vessels, and you shall set aside what is full.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing the vessels to her and she poured. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not one vessel more.” And the oil stopped. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Now the reason I bring you this story this morning is because last night, I had a dream where I was attempting to put some left over oil I had into suitcases in order to take them out. But when I put the suitcases upright the oil ran out onto the table.

I believe that this section of scripture holds the key to the interpretation of my dream.

Oil is representative of the Holy Spirit. It is my custom each morning to spend time in prayer, in the Word, and studying the bible. As I told you in earlier posts that the Lord had told me at the very beginning of this year, 2017, He would be my teacher and I no longer needed to purchase study guides from other people. He said, “It is just you and Me, kid.”

At the beginning of the year, I was pastoring a community group where all that He had been teaching me I was able to share, give, distribute to others. But after the summer break, we did not start the group up again but instead, I just continued my practice of morning quiet time.

I believe the dream is telling me that in order to be able to “use” my oil, I must “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, even empty vessels; do not get a few”; that is to say there are still “empty vessels” i.e. those without Christ, that He has ordained that I should “fill”.

I appreciate any comments you would like to make to add to this interpretation as the Spirit gives them to you.

 

 

God’s Grace Friday, Aug 25 2017 

Now here we have a topic of the utmost importance. Understanding the working’s of God’s grace in our lives is to possess the keys to the kingdom.

In order to fully explain the meaning and implication of this topic it is imperative that I use some form of analogy or word picture. His grace is like the oars of a rowboat. Without the oars, the rowboat wanders aimlessly driven by the wind and weather.

In fact the strength to row the boat comes from God as well. Philippians 4:13 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

It is by grace that we have been saved through faith-Eph2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God provides the map of the voyage as well. Proverbs 19:21 21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

He provides the purpose of the voyage. Ephesians 1:8-10 With all wisdom and understanding, he[a] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

He provides the means and the wherewithal. 1 Timothy 6:17b but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

He built the rowboat, “our bodies”.  Colossians 1:16-17

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

His Word is our lamp. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.

His grace is glorious, free, and rich. Ephesians 1: to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

He has given me grace to share with you this blog about His attributes.

 

 

 

 

 

God’s Conviction Thursday, Jun 8 2017 

Now, I understand if you do not want to read my blog today based upon the title. After all, who wants to be convicted? Why don’t I just blog about something more palatable?

Because, I am not blogging my own thoughts but the thoughts of Him who sent me.

First, I must explain the difference between conviction  and  condemnation. Let me expound upon this difference from scripture. Romans Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 For we know, brothers and sisters[a] loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

This conviction that comes to you when you read the Word was foretold by Christ himself: Luke 5: 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

And He keeps coming everyday. As you read the Scriptures and pray. He comes, He teaches, He admonishes, He convicts us of our sin, He corrects us.

The difference, dear reader, is that the devil condemns us daily before God. But Christ convicts us of sin so that we might repent of it. It is the Holy Spirit within you that is continually reminding you of the standard set out by the Word.

How can you tell the difference whether you are being condemned or convicted they feel so much the same? That is a good question and it is good to know this. With condemnation there is no solution, no answer, no remedy. But with conviction God makes a way of escape via repentance. The blood of Christ is the remedy, the answer, the solution.

Christ is a gentleman. He is not going to drag you to the foot of the cross to confess today. The devil would have you think “What’s the use? My sins are too grievous.”

But Christ says, “Come, all you who have labored and are heavy laden and I shall give you rest.” Tell Him. He listens. He answers prayer. He heals. He gives you power to overcome. In His name, I pray it all for you now.

 

 

God’s Visitation-Part 1 Thursday, Jun 1 2017 

I’d like to begin this post with the story of how Israel got its’ name:

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Here we have an example of a historical fact. I-sra-el, or “I struggled with God.” It is also an example of a visitation from God. One of many throughout the bible that I would like to now bring to your attention.

Another instance is Moses and the burning bush:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

Now here we have another instance of God’s Visitation. I will continue in Part 2.

God’s Way Saturday, May 20 2017 

Psalm 1:1Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

God’s Way is right.

God’s Anchor Tuesday, May 16 2017 

As we begin this study of God’s Anchor I’d like you to turn in your bible to the book of Acts, which is a record of the acts of the Apostles of Christ. It is in the New Testament. It is the first book after the four gospels. Now go to the 27th chapter beginning in verse 13. We have here the story of “The Storm.”  Just as in life, the story begins where “life is a breeze”. We see here in the first verse of this story, “When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity”; so far in the story things are going pretty good. If you know how the weather works on this earth, you know that a “south wind” is warm and a “gentle south wind” is even better. In order to move forward on the sea in a sailing ship you need the wind to blow. Back in the day of Paul, the people of that era did their business primarily by ship. It was their most rewarding form of transportation. So, as the story goes, “opportunity knocks.” They see their chance. And they take it. It says in the text, “So they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.” Now the word “Crete” means carnal or fleshly. You’ll notice that at first they “sailed along the shore”. This is like what our Christian life is like when we first get saved. Many times, God calls us away from our old life. Some of us, unsure of our bearings continue to hang around our old friends and continue to pursue fleshly and carnal pursuits.

But the Holy Spirit frequently sends us a reminder of our calling. As the story goes, “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.” Putting on our weatherman’s hat again, we know that winds from the northeast are “cold” and “harsh”.

 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” When we are first saved it can be difficult to pull away from “the world”. Many people flail. Change can be scary.

As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor[b] and let the ship be driven along.” We may even try to hold our old life together as it is falling apart. Cauda means tail. It is when we are at the “end” of our old life that the enemy attacks the hardest because he does not want to lose us. He lies to us about our destiny. He uses fear as a weapon against us. Syrtis means quicksand. “They lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.”

“We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” He steals our hope. He seeks to kill and destroy our new life. He blinds us to the truth. You see sailors use the stars to guide their ships. But when you cannot see the stars you flail, and the storms of life keep raging on.

  “After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” The truth comes out. Paul had warned them not to sail. Do we listen to our spiritual authorities in Christ? Or do we go on about doing things the old way? The truth is that everyone dies, “only the ship will be destroyed.” But we shall be saved. This is the encouragement of the gospel.

Do we anchor ourselves to this earth and just flail along?

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Do not be afraid.   “Keep up your courage.” “Have faith in God.” “It will happen just as He told us in His Word.” “We must run aground on some island”. i,e, pay the consequences of our actions. But we and our household shall be saved. This is the end of the story but the beginning of a new life in Christ.

 

My Brother Sunday, Jan 15 2017 

I have two brothers, one older and one younger. I also have three sisters, two older and one younger. Growing up, we were the epitome of sibling rivalry. My oldest sister could bake like a baker and the other older sister could sew like a tailor. My oldest brother was skilled at bikes and cars. I was the perennial student. My youngest brother was a lover of dogs and a consummate hair puller. My youngest sister was happier and cuter than all of the rest of us put together.

There are two all important questions we must ask ourselves: the first is “Who is my brother?”, and the second is “Am I my brother’s keeper?”.

When Jesus was teaching one of the things he said was, Matthew 12: 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

The answer to the second question comes from the book of Genesis 4: And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

This is what God did: 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground.

11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

12 When thou tills the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that finds me shall slay me.

15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore, whosoever slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

So, Cain became the first nomad, the first “wandering Jew.”

Another place that tells us we are all brothers is in Malachi 2: 10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

God’s Universe Saturday, Jan 14 2017 

When I was younger, I made dolls for three of my nieces from a pattern. I carefully cut out the arms, legs, heads, and bodices; sewed all the sides of each part but one side, stuffed them with cotton, sewed the pieces together and embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth. As I recall, I used yarn for the hair of the doll.  I tried to match the hair and eye color to each girl so they could always tell which doll was theirs. I made black felt shoes and little dresses for each of them. It was a labor of love.

When God created us, He put eternity into our hearts.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God sees us in the womb.

Psalm 139:13-15 13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

We are hidden in Christ.

Colossians 3:3  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

In Christ, we are reconciled.

Colossians 1:22 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours.

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God’s word is alive.

Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s law is written in our hearts.

Romans 2:15 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.

God predestined us.

Romans 8:29-30 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

God distributes gifts.

Hebrews 2:4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

God puts the seasons into the birds.

Jeremiah 8:7 Even the stork in the sky
    knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
    observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know
    the requirements of the Lord.

God makes all tremble.

Ezekiel 38:20 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground.

God gives kings dominion.

Daniel 2:37-38 Daniel 2:37-38

37 Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all.

God puts the weather forecast in the sky.

Matthew 16:2-3 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.[

We are God’s handiwork.

Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God makes a donkey speak.

Numbers 22:28 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

We must remember our position before the eternal, holy, incomprehensible God. The Lord Speaks. Job 38:1-41:34

What do you think? I hope you’ll forgive me for the long posts. His universe is big.

 

 

God’s Creation Wednesday, Jan 11 2017 

I just love the smell of lilacs. Oh and lavender is wonderful too. Roses are so sweet and full of fond memories of years gone by so long ago. Set aside for a moment all that we see in God’s universe and just concentrate on our sense of smell. The smell of food cooking sends us to the kitchen to see what it is that smells so good. What a wonderful part of God’s creation!

Before God created the universe and everything in it was the Word.

John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

God created all things.

Psalm 33:6-9 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

Until we understand that God spoke the universe into being we will never learn the power of the tongue.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

When our purpose is at odds with God’s purpose for his creation then his intervention supersedes ours.

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

It is within our desire to make a name for ourselves that we drift off the path of our true purpose and calling. It is by His grace, His glory, His purpose that we live and move and have our being.

 

 

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