SOME THINGS STAND THE TEST OF TIME…


1 Peter 1:24-25 – “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.” NKJV

This is a quote from Isaiah 40:6 that Peter is using to illustrate the abiding nature of God’s Word and the brevity of man.  Too often we seem to get those two reversed or so it would seem based on how we live.  From the time a person is born, they are in the process of dying naturally.  Once we are “born-again” spiritually, from that moment of birth we being the process of living eternally. 

As we watch the seasons come and go we see seed-time and harvest, summer and winter.  We see things die or go dormant and then in the springtime, we seem them bud forth and there is “newness of life” all around us.  The weather begins to warm, the grass turns green, the flowers begin to bloom, the trees bud forth and life is everywhere.  Then in a few short months, the cold death of winter sets in and all that life fades into the background.  It is the cycle of life.

We are like the grass that lives for a few months then becomes dormant.  Our glory or supposed glory withers like the grass, it is fleeting and temporary, but God’s Word endures forever!  So, it is not wise to become too absorbed with ourselves and our seeming successes or even our failures because they are temporary.  Only that which is birthed out of the Word and Spirit of God lives forever all else fades away into eternal darkness and death.

I have some methods I use doing things. I sometimes find myself telling my wife and others these methods have stood the test of time and work so why change them.  But, if I’m not careful I’ll become closed minded and not see the newness that God wants to bring into my life through change.  As the cloud moves spiritually we have to move with the cloud-like Israel in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. 

When God sends His “new wine” of the Spirit and begins to do something a bit different than what we are used to we must be willing to allow Him to make us into “new wine-skins” or we’ll find that the “new wine” bursts the old wine-skins and that which He was doing is lost to us.  One thing will NEVER CHANGE and that is The Word of God, the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and the Promise of His Return.  Those are etched in granite and will never change!

If you are facing problems know that “this too shall pass.”  In, your struggles please know that God and His Word will NEVER change nor will they ever fail.  So when the storms clouds roll in, run to the Rock of our Salvation and under the Shelter of His Loving Arms, letting Him hide you in the cleft of the Rock until the storm passes over.  His Word, His Promise, His Love will NEVER FAIL!

May God be with you as you go through your day!

MOSES’ QUESTION…


Exodus 3:11 – “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  NKJV

The account that led up to this question was during Moses self-imposed exile from Egypt.  He was tending the flock of his father-in-law “Jethro” in the land of Midian and as he neared Mt. Horeb the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a burning bush. 

Seeing a bush burning in the desert heat was not an unusual sight but seeing one burning that was not being consumed was something that would catch the attention of anyone and it certainly caught Moses’ eye.  As Moses turned to see what this phenomenon was the LORD called out to him and instructed him to not approach as he was but to realize that this was a “divine encounter” and therefore the ground upon which he was standing because of God’s presence was holy ground.  God began to detail His knowledge of the oppression of the Children of Israel in Egypt and His plan to send Moses to deliver them. 

You must remember this is the same Moses who had been raised in Pharaoh’s house, schooled and prepared to be the leader of a nation.  His Egyptian education would have included military strategy, economics, rulership, and many other things to prepare him for the position of leading the people of Israel as God formed them into a nation.  He was qualified for the task but having thought that God placed him in Egypt to lead them there by ascending to the throne and finding himself on the run for his life Moses has allowed many questions to become part of who he was.

Therefore, the question Moses asked, “Who am I?” could express humility but in my opinion, it also was a statement of doubt and resistance to the will of God.  He had been humbled and humiliated to the point that his self-confidence was gone.  One who had walked proudly as an Egyptian Prince now tended sheep in Midian.  His view of himself was totally different than the one he held forty years earlier as he walked the palace halls in Egypt.  So, the question is valid for any of us about anything that God should choose for us should only be an expression of humility and recognition that we cannot accomplish it in our own strength. 

God then said to Moses in the next few verses:

I will go with you.

Moses’ objection expresses his doubt of not only himself but of God.  He had believed that it was God’s plan for him to free Israel as a ruler in Egypt.  Often when what we believe is God’s plan falls apart and God comes to us with His real plan we hesitate, resist, and even object usually offering what we believe to be legitimate and valid reason (not excuses) as to why this can’t be.

Moses insisted that God tell Him His Name.

This was more of a question by Moses of “by whose authority am I doing this?”  God in His incredible patience said “I AM WHO I AM.”  Moses was instructed to tell Israel that “I AM” sent him.  [I AM whatever you need.  I AM all that you need]  But he went beyond that and said tell them that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or Israel has sent you.  That should have been enough but it wasn’t for Moses continued to offer objections.

God’s Patience began to grow thin.

He gave Moses signs but it wasn’t enough he still objected that he was not eloquent enough for the task. God assured him that He (GOD) was the one that would speak through Him but that still didn’t satisfy Moses and he objected. That ticked God off and He gave him Aaron his brother to be Moses’ spokesman.

How many times do we ask “Who am I?” as an expression of self-doubt, lack of faith, fear, or outright resistance to the plan of God?  Moses could have gone to Egypt, accomplished all that God desired without Aaron who later caused some problems for Israel and Moses as did their sister, but Moses’ resistance opened the door for unnecessary problems.  How often do we bring into play problems in fulfilling the purposes of God that could have been avoided had we simply and willingly “taken God at His Word” and obeyed?

May God bless you as you go through your day is my sincere desire and prayer!

IS AMERICA DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THIS…


1 Samuel 4:19-22 – “Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, due to be delivered; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for her labor pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not fear, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer, nor did she regard it.  21 Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”  NKJV

The account leading up to this was during the time Eli was a judge in Israel and the Ark of the Lord was captured by the Philistines resulting in the death of both Eli’s sons and the death of Eli as the news was brought to him.  Phinehas’ wife bore a son and named him ICHABOD saying, “The glory has departed from Israel.”  The name means: “There is no glory.”

We have heard some politicians including a former president declare that America is no longer a Christian nation yet over 80% of Americans claim to believe in God.  America has never been 100% Christian and is not today. Yet our founding principles find biblical roots and biblical truth interwoven in everything. Our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, on numerous buildings and monuments throughout the land and the Bible has been incredibly influential in our laws and society since our founding.  Has that changed?  Are we dangerously close to having ICHABOD written over the name America?

We have taken prayer from our schools, banned the use of God’s name in public gathers or prayers at public functions, promoted abortion and many other lifestyles or activities that the Bible speaks clearly on regarding God’s view of them.  We have seen the decline of family values, integrity, and honesty in business, government, and the media.  We have become, seemingly, less dependent upon God and more dependent on our own abilities or some other source such as the government rather than God.  We have abdicated our responsibility to the poor, needy, widows, and orphans and turned those over to the Welfare System rather than the Church and the Family. 

Are we a Christian nation?  Is God paramount in our individual lives or this nation?  Is our core philosophy – “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”?  Have we come to the place that we are willing to “wink at sin” in the name of tolerance?  Have we come to the place that we wish to violate the biblical directive to “have no other gods before Me” and make Jehovah one of many gods in this nation?

Please understand, I do not oppose people having the right to believe what they will, but in our beginning, we recognized the God of the Bible as being GOD.  We allowed people to worship freely and as they choose but as a nation, the overriding consensus was that the God of the Bible was GOD and that He created all things.  Today we find that our public schools are hard-pressed to allow even equal footing of Creationism with Evolution. 

So again, I ask, “Are we a Christian nation?”  My heart cries out “I pray we are.”  My spirit cries out for this nation to follow the directive of 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” NKJV 

I know deep inside that if we do not return to the Lord America, is heading for deeper trouble than it now sees.  The condition of this nation affects the entire world! It was not God’s will that Israel have a King. God wanted to be their King but He allowed them to have what the asked for. 

It is not God’s will that people die lost but He allows them to reject Him if they choose to do so.  God’s will is not always done. We see that in the Garden of Eden in the actions of Adam and Eve. However, when people and nations repent as the City of Nineveh after the proclamation of judgment by Jonah God often spares them.  Remember the cry of Israel while in Egyptian bondage, God spared them.  Over and over again in the Bible and history when a people or a nation repent and return to the LORD He responds in deliverance, forgiveness, and restoration.  Continual rejection will eventually bring a condition where “His Glory Departs.”

I don’t want that for this nation so I call everyone personally, individually, and collectively to come before God with a repentant heart for our own sins and those of the nation.  It is time that we humble ourselves in repentance and call upon the Lord in intercession.  Today is the day of salvation and now is the accepted time to return to the LORD!

May God be with us and be merciful to us is my prayer!

ARE YOU WORRIED?


Matthew 6:25-34 – “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” NKJV

My question is a valid one especially in the times in which we live today.  “Are You Worried?”  I have contended that often the opposite of faith is not doubt but fear.  Fear may be the result of doubt and will most assuredly cause the condition we call “worry.”  Many people are worriers and I have heard some say, “I’m a natural born worrier.”  I challenge that because in my view worry is a learned trait, not something that you just instinctively have at birth. 

My mother was a worrier!  We could be driving along the highway and she would hear noises that my dad could not hear due to his loss of hearing. She would worry over that sound and the more she worried the worse the potential problem became. She worried about my brother, sister, and me (although I confess it may have been justified in my case).  I told her one time, laughingly, “Mother you’d worry if you had nothing to worry about worrying about not worrying.”  She smiled and acknowledged that was probably true.  Her mother was a worrier although her father was not.  My dad was more of a person who faced whatever came and dealt with it to the best of his ability and then let things take their course but mother worried. 

Jesus instructed us in this passage, not to worry about our lives (what we would eat, drink, wear, etc.)  He focused on that which is of ultimate importance of the “spiritual” rather than the “physical.”  He gave us the descriptive picture of how God cares for the birds the flowers, and things in nature and if He cared for and about those things He cared Even More for us – (Some environmental extremist should read this).  

You can’t make yourself taller by worrying about your height.  You can’t lose weight by worrying about the reading on the scales.  You can’t make yourself well by worrying about your health.  You can’t make yourself rich by worrying about your lack of money. 

We have God’s promise to take care of us.  I like what David said in Psalm 37:25 – “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsake or his descendants begging for bread.”  God knows full well what we need even before we bring them to Him. 

Jesus gives us a view of the valuable and vital in verse 33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  God first in our lives identifies a total surrender and commitment to Him and opens the door for the provisions of the Lord to flow out to us in all things.  Jesus then said something that is almost amusing in the next verse – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”  Simply, each day has enough of its own problems to worry about things that have not yet happened.

The bottom line is either we are confident that God is who the Bible declares Him to be or we are not.  If He is, then “worry” should not be a part of our lives. If He is not, the “worry” won’t help.  When that ugly enemy of peace comes in we should remind it of the Promises and Provisions of the Heavenly Father and resist it refusing to allow its place in our lives.  I know that is much easier said than done but it is doable in Christ through the Power of the Spirit of God.

Instead of being a Worrier be a Warrior! Instead of allowing “worry” to rob you of your peace allow the Holy Spirit to flood your heart with the Peace that passes all human understanding!  I’ve been in the place more than once where either God came through and proved to be the God of the Bible or I went under and He has never failed and I’m still here.  To God be all the glory!

May God bless you is my prayer and give you a worry free day and life!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

WHERE ARE THE WATCHMEN…


Ezekiel 33:1-6 – “Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’  NKJV

This passage has troubled my heart for months now and I keep coming back to it time and again in my study and prayer time.  I look around me and see the condition of our world, our nation, much of the church, and multitudes of people who walk in deception and darkness. 

I’ve been trying to sound the alarm but my heart cries out remembering the passage in Matthew 9 when Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  Then I think of the words of John the Baptist when questioned if he was the Christ, Elijah, or the prophet in John 1 he said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.”  My heart keeps crying out, “Where are the Watchmen?”

The duty of the watchman is to sound the alarm.  He cannot control whether or not people take heed and respond, he can only sound the alarm.  If he fails to give warning then the blood of the slain is on his hands and I fear that we have come to that place in our world and our nation. Today multitudes are being slain (literally, figuratively, economically, socially, morally, and spiritually) and too many who have been called to be “Watchmen” are sitting silent fearing upsetting some so that their position can be secure.  The Gospel has not concern about Political Correctness or the man-made ideology of separation of Church and State.  It has the lost in view and the redemption offered.

Likewise, on the political front (some may castigate me over this) if we see destruction, the sword, the evil, the calamity and remain silent will we not also be judged for our silence?  We know the truth.  We know the potential problem.  We know the danger.  We know the answer.  If we sit silent how will God view that when we stand before Him? 

I fully believe that America is a catalyst for the Last Days Harvest and if she is destroyed then we will find ourselves on the outside looking in at what God is doing because He Will Build His Church! His will is not always done so don’t tell me that whoever is elected is necessarily God’s will it might just be due to the negligence and silence of people.  When good people do nothing evil triumphs!

I am first and foremost interested in the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.  I am also interested in preserving a Free Nation for posterity and a nation where one can openly and freely worship and spread the Good News that Jesus saves!  If you are interested in the souls of men, I beg of you, pray to the Lord and ask Him what He would have you do in these days.  I ask you to do nothing more than what He directs.  It is His Harvest not mine or yours! He is in charge we are not.  We are fellow laborers and that is it!  I know that I’ve been called to be a Voice, so I pursue that with all diligence and only death will silence me.

You must understand that I believe that we have A Life not a bunch of compartments in which we move and operate.  That Life touches everything about us and in any and all those areas which are touched We are to be Watchmen! I am not and do not want to be your Judge, I am simply a Voice! What you do with the sound of the Alarm is your choice!  I pray that you choose what God chooses and if you do we have both done our jobs!

May the Lord Bless you richly is my prayer!

NOT OPTIONAL BUT AN ESSENTIAL…


John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  NKJV

Recently I have had a number of people suggest to me that there are “many roads” or “doors” to heaven and that Jesus is just one of them.  I declare to you that according to the Bible, as I understand it, their assertion is false and there is Only One Way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. The Bible describes Him as “The Door.” 

Here the Pharisee Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews questioned Jesus and Jesus began his discussion with the words of the passage listed above.  This so caught Nicodemus off guard that he was flabbergasted. That opened the door for Jesus to give him and us some of the most powerful statements regarding God’s purpose and provision for man with regard to Salvation.  But the one thing Jesus made clear was This is not Optional!

The New Birth is not like an option on a car that you can take or leave it is an absolute requirement for access to the Father and Heaven.  Jesus identified the difference between “natural birth” and “spiritual birth”.  Then He comes to one of the most quoted passages in the Bible:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  (v. 16)

 We stop quoting there but should not.  If you consider the verses that follow you see a very powerful truth that we sometimes miss.

  1. In Verse Seventeen we find the desire, will, and purpose of God is not “condemnation” but “redemption.  Will all be saved – NO!  So is the will of God “always done” – NO!  Man can reject the will and purpose of God as was seen in the Garden of Eden and has been seen through the ages and even in our own lives.
  2. In Verse Eighteen we find that if we believe which implies receiving the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and the fact that He is the Only Begotten of the Father who died for us – we escape condemnation but if we do not believe we are under condemnation already.
  3. In Verse Nineteen we find an explanation of that condemnation and an understanding of the nature of man outside Christ.  The Light or Christ bringing us the Good News (Gospel) and because of the evil nature of man’s heart and his rejection of Jesus men chose darkness and sin over light and redemption.
  4. In Verse Twenty we find that everyone who practices evil Hates the Light and refuses to come to the light because the light will expose his lifestyle and actions and force him to deal with them.  That person tries to remain hidden in the shadows and continue his lifestyle thinking that by being hidden he is somehow escaping the condemnation and judgment to follow.
  5. In Verse Twenty-One we find that those who love the truth come to the light willingly so that their deeds may be clearly seen and examined by God which opens the door for chastisement and correction because the heart cries out to Please God!

Many religions of the world claim to be roads to Heaven but I declare to you that based on the biblical truth there is ONLY ONE ROAD, One Door, One Way and that is Jesus Christ!  So, if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior I urge you to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you your lost condition and the offer that God has made through the Sacrificial Work of Christ on the Cross and Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ today!  If you do, God says and I say – “Welcome to the Family.”

Will that immediately solve all your problems – NO!  But it will give you access to the throne room of heaven and the Father and provide the Holy Spirit a means of “transforming” your life into the Image of Christ.  It will be the beginning of your preparation for Eternity with God in Heaven rather than Eternity in Hell.  The choice is yours because God’s offer is to “Whosoever will.”

May God bless you is my prayer!

ISAIAH’S PROPHECY – – DOES IT INCLUDE AMERICA TODAY?


Isaiah 1:4 – “Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward.” NJV

Israel had turned from the Lord and He was no longer the central figure in their lives, their nation, their government, or their focus.  Isaiah calls them:

  1. A people laden with iniquity.

They were burdened, encumbered, weighed down, saddled with or loaded with iniquity.  It wasn’t just a casual infrequent situation but a “lifestyle” that had developed in the people and the nation.  I sometimes wonder if our “casual Christian Theology” and our willingness as a nation to allow laws to be passed that relegate God to the back burner in our nation our government and our lives compares to Isaiah’s description of Israel.  I’m afraid I have to say – I Believe It Does!  When we allow laws to be passed that devalue human life, especially a life that cannot defend itself or argue for itself such as the unborn, have we not become laden with iniquity?  When we have become calloused to sin have we not become laden with iniquity?

  • A brood of evildoers.

The imagery of a group of birds hatched at the same time is clear but it goes beyond that to a species, a breed, a group, or a kind that are of the same nature and character.  Isaiah calls them a “brood of evildoers.”  So this brood is a special group and the whole of their nature is bent toward and focused on evil.  It is self-centered to be sure and man-centered without question leaving one to conclude that it is anything but God-centered.  Evil is commonplace and the philosophy of “the end justifies the means,” “all is fair in love and war,” or as some in modern politics have argued, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” is paramount in this attitude.  Evil is the root, the objective, the vehicle, the tool, the means to accomplish the desired purposes.  Does that not fit much of our society today?

  • Children who are corrupters!

Those who lack moral integrity, are open to bribery and other dishonest practices, morally depraved, putrid or rotten, contaminated, unclean depicts this group.  People who go out of their way to pollute the minds and hearts of others to achieve their purposes or somehow make them feel better about their own sinful ways are pictured here.  Is this now what we see especially in politics today?  We see it in business, in interpersonal relationships and sadly, at times, in the Church.  Is this not prevalent in America today?

  • They have forsaken the LORD.

Israel had turned their back on God for their own self-centered purposes.  The problem in the Garden of Eden was that Adam and Eve made the choice to fire God as the “Center of their Universe” and install self.  That resulted in the fall and that depravity has run rampant in man’s heart from generation to generation.  Only through the Blood of Jesus can we be free.  Today, I fear that many in our nation have forsaken God and have no doubt that our Government does not honor Him at all.  So, this would be a picture applicable to America today as well!

  • They have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel.

I don’t believe that I even have to comment here.  There is little doubt that if America continues in the direction that we are going for God not to judge us would require Him to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.  We are testing the longsuffering character of God and pushing Him to the limit.

  • They have turned away backward.

That is a picture of “backsliding” if you will.  It is to reverse course and go the opposite direction which is what “repentance” is.  Repentance involves doing a 180 degree turn from sin toward God.  To turn from God back toward sin and the evil depraved nature, character, and actions of the human spirit is to “backslide.”  It is to insult the very Grace of God and demands God’s action.  Israel felt His wrath, so I must ask are we in that place today in America?  If we are not already there how much further can we go before we are?

My call is for us to “return to the Lord” knowing that if we return to Him with a whole heart He will return to us and receive us into the beloved.  It is time for a revival of repentance in America and that must begin with each of us.

May God bless you as you go through your day!