Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bondage and Sin

Mark 5:5 - And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

This might be a controversial subject! Oh well. There was a man named Legion. A fitting name for one who had a legion--many--demons within him. This man was forced to live in mountainous tombs to distance him from others. An attempt to chain him proved futile because these demons were too strong. The chains were no match for them. 

We see Legion cried out, no doubt in torment because of these demons. And he cut himself. Yet he could not, on his own, live without them. He was in bondage. Chained.

I think about the people who can't help but cut themselves. Could there be something demonic controlling them? Demonic may seem a strong word, but I believe it is a true one. Our thoughts can be manipulated by these demons. What else could it be? We are told our minds are a battlefield. not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2‬) If the enemy can control our mind, things like what Legion lived through can happen. 

Modern medicine or psychology might help for awhile but is unable to do what a powerful God can do. Legion recognized Jesus, knew His power, and worshiped Him, yet I believe was worried by what He might do. Jesus, knowing his situation, called for the unclean spirit to come out. He had to already have known it wasn't just one residing within this man. Still this man implored Jesus not to remove these demons from the country. A mind so controlled by them... 

Counseling today may not treat the real root cause because it doesn't understand the real reason. Jesus told us this: “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭43-45‬)

What a sobering thought. This is what Legion might have gone through. This may be what many today go through. All avenues of treatment are tried and perhaps momentary solutions obtained. Some may work, some not. But I wonder if with each new occurrence and added treatment if more wicked spirits enter? 

I would say, like with the account of Legion, an encounter with Jesus would be the only solution. An uncommon thought, however. A facility with doctors is tangible. But Jesus is not, to the unbeliever. When all else fails, calling on the Lord, the Great Physician, is always viable. Legion may eventually have had to change his name! He was delivered by Jesus of all his demons! 

We live in a physical world yet there is a very real, while unseen, spiritual world all around us. We do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers and rulers and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). Some might laugh at this, but we see the proof in scripture. Thankfully, in and through Christ, we are able to overcome these spirits. HE removes the chains of bondage to such things. Any form of self-mutilation is a sin (Leviticus 19:28). Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave [bondage] of sin." (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭34) But Jesus came to remove all our sins. Only Jesus saves. Seek Him, seek freedom, seek healing. 

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; with long life I will 
satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭91‬:‭1,3,9-10,16)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Mark 1:18 - They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

I was struck by how many times in the first two chapters of Mark the word immediately was written. We often hear how we must wait upon the Lord. But here there is an immediacy. God moved in the hearts of men and He moved in the life of Christ.

Mark 1:20 - And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat...and went after Him. 
Mark 1:21 - Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.
Mark 1:28 - And immediately His fame spread...
Mark 1:31 - So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever was gone.
Mark 1:42 - As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
Mark 2: 2 - Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them...
Mark 2:12 - Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God.

Our salvation is the most important thing we can have. We can have prominence, a great job, fortune, family, all good things, but if we do not have a relationship with Christ Jesus our Lord, nothing else means a darn thing. As we study the Book of Ecclesiastes on Sunday mornings we see how Job struggled with the concept of "nothing new under the sun," that nothing we do is new, is vanity and a "grasping for the wind," or "vexation of the spirit" as another Bible translation states. So what's the point of life, is ultimately Job's question. 

I've said this in previous blogs...the answer is at the end of Ecclesiastes! If we all live to strive for things in life, things that satisfy self, just like everyone else has, and we still die (and cannot take anything with us), what's the whole point of life? We get hurt, we are rejected, we do stupid things, we lose at this or that, we are successful here or there. So as someone we all know recently said, "What's the point!?" The point is we need Jesus. 

With Jesus there was an immediacy in and to His life. When He was baptized, He was immediately filled with the Spirit that He might be able to do many other things...with an immediacy. His disciples immediately followed Him; there had to have been something so amazing about Jesus that they couldn't help but drop what they did and immediately follow Him. He was quickly (immediately) making a name for Himself. What He did brought immediate results. The crowds grew, His reputation grew.

So where am I going with all this? There can be an immediate response to the call of Christ in our lives. If we make the decision to drop all and follow Him, we have heard His call. We are immediately filled with the same Spirit that Jesus was filled with. We experience the healing He provided for so many people in His day. But the healing is not always physical, although it can's strictly up to God. The healing is spiritual. Our eternal lives are at stake when that call of His comes and we immediately follow. 

I didn't follow immediately when I first heard the message. I didn't get it. But the Lord was persistent in His own way until one day I heard and immediately responded...and healed and set free from the bondage of sin. It was immediate. Did I know this? No. Did I think I was a sinner? No. But now there was something so powerful and commanding about being called by God to follow that I had to respond immediately. 

Jesus came to heal our spiritual blindness, the idea that we can be self-made or self-sufficient. He came to heal broken or hard-hearted hearts. He came to heal the worst of the worst and I would venture to say in His eyes we all fall into that category. He came to save all people. There is as much an immediacy today as then. If we see what the Bible tells us about Jesu we get a better understanding of what He can do...even today.

The moment we give up and give ourselves to the Lord we are healed. We have taken that immediate step. If we think we do not need Him, that we are good on our own we believe one of the oldest lies known, going back to the Garden of Eden. He has come to save us all from this lie of self-righteousness, apart from God. We cannot live our lives without Him...which is what Job moaned about for about 41 chapters!! Our lives are meaningless without Him and we are sinners to death. Even with Him we will die a physical death but if we are in Christ there is eternal life. And in the end all new lives in Christ glorify God. We are all sinners with an opportunity to be saved by grace. 

..."Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." ...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (‭Mark 2:17, Luke‬ ‭19‬:‭10‬)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Feast on the Lord

Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 

There's more to feeding bread and water to the poor and starving in this world or here at home. While we are to do this in the natural, it is best to first have and do it through Christ who is the living water and bread of life.

Out of His own mouth, Jesus tells us:

"...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." (‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭35,4:14)
"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirstI am the bread of life. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." (‭John‬ ‭6‬:‭27,7:37,6:48‬,51)

It's  a simple message. Jesus Christ saves. He quenches our thirst and satisfies a spiritual hunger. Yes, we are commanded to feed the poor and take care of those in need...but it should not just be with the water and bread that never satisfies. It should include a large portion of Jesus Christ, the living water and bread of life. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! (Psalm 22:26)

Psalm 107:9 - For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Romans‬ ‭15‬:‭13‬ - Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

I saw someone had posted a photo on Facebook she had taken of a sign that only said BELIEVE... It no doubt had some special meaning. But what did this believe mean? 

My question is: believe what?
Another question, when told to keep the faith, is: faith in what?

I don't know what others believe or have faith in. I know that I believe and have faith in Jesus Christ alone. He is the answer to everything. Hope for "whatever" grows stronger through Him. We can believe He is able to do all He says He can do. We believe that He will do what is best...not always what we expect...and often times for some unknown reason we may never know about...a concept we understand if we know Him. 

In and through Him we awake with strength for each new day. Peace and joy in the midst of trials is evident. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭3-4‬)

Trusting in ourselves or others is a scary thing. We do not have all the answers. But our God I will trust in Him. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (‭Psalm ‭18‬:‭2‬)

We do not know how to handle some of life's situations. But if we give it to God, leave the trouble at His throne, He will handle it. If we try to handle on our own we get in His way. Jesus said, Do not be afraid; only believe.” (‭Mark‬ ‭5‬:‭36‬)  And He meant in Him!

When we come to Christ and recognize Him for who He is, our strong tower, protector, wise counselor, Father God, He will come through even if it doesn't always look like it at first. Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭30‬:‭5‬)

After I wrote this I read a devotion referring to Romans 1:24-25. The commentary with it stated that there are many who recognize that God exists but do not believe in Him. They will believe what they choose to believe. They might believe a lie, what suits their fancy. When that happens, because it is their choice not to believe in Him He gives us over to those things so desired that are not always of Him. And we end up without hope, joy, peace...

Give in to Him. Give yourself to Him and He will be beside you so you can lean on Him.

2Corinthians 3:5 - Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Am the LORD

Exodus 31:1-6,13,17 - Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: See, I have called...I have filled him...I, indeed I, have appointed...I have put wisdom in the hearts...that they may make all that I have commanded is a sign between Me and you...that you may know that I am the is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever...

While these scriptures describe God's hand in gathering the men in Israel and equipping them to build a tabernacle, giving them the wisdom and ability to do as He commanded, it's also His command for us in our own lives. 

Our God is not some taskmaster telling us what to do just because He has the power. He does this because He knows what is best for us. He will properly and mightily equip anyone who will heed His commands. You'll hear me say this repeatedly (probably because His message is a very simple one), He created all things...and it was good. When we obey, it is good, it benefits us greatly and we are blessed with the good which comes only from God. If we do not obey, to coin a phrase, life is good, or might seem to be, although we don't know how much better it could be. Really!

Imagine if this country adhered to the laws of God, as did the founding fathers, and not man's. Imagine if God actually came first, not ourselves or the gods we have created. We might not see the blessings of this country dwindling as they are. One cannot turn a blind eye to this. Somewhere deep inside one knows things aren't as good as they used to be. Somewhere God was pushed aside for the selfish "rights" of man. Two especially stand out and I could easily anger some by listing two that God abhors. In His words:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (‭Leviticus‬ ‭18:22)
You shall not murder. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. (‭Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭13‬, Psalm 127:3)

There are many other things He abhors. Check out the Ten Commandments in their entirety. He hasn't changed His mind about them. 

The Bible was written for our instruction. Even though the things were written about ancient times, God does not change just because we have changed our culture. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭14‬:‭12‬)

Here are just a handful of things that could happen, even to our country, for our disobedience to God (‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭28‬:‭16-20,24-25,45‬):
Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 
Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 
Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 
Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 
The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. 
The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies...and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.
Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you."

But He also says:
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. (‭2Chronicles‬ ‭7‬:‭14‬)

IF we would humble ourselves before God and turn back to Him we as individuals and a nation could avoid all these things. However, despite the negative, there is a positive. In order to know and possess what is good we must first know what is evil. His thought toward us is for good...that's why He sent His Son. 

Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Door Will be Shut

Matthew 25:9-10 - "But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut."

There is a lot of scripture on wisdom and foolishness in the Bible. God lets us know in uncertain terms the difference between the two and the results of our choices. In this instance we are shown ten virgins, five wise and five foolish. Five were ready for the return of the Bridegroom. They had their lamps filled with oil and the wicks trimmed. Five knew He would be coming but were lax in their preparation.

Of course this is an example of being prepared for the return of Jesus. They await His glorious coming. As I read this scripture above, what stood out this time was sending the unprepared virgins out for their own supply of oil. I thought, There are some who might say the wise should have shared the oil they had. These wise virgins were completely prepared. The not so wise who knew hoped to come, at the last minute, with the help of someone else who had been faithfully waiting. While we are to help the poor, there comes a time when they must try on their this case, receive Christ on their own.

Some know, have heard, Christ is returning and they await, prepared for His glorious coming. Others have heard, they know, but they continue believing they do not need to be prepared...after all Christ's return has been talked about for so many years and it has not happened. But, He will come as a thief in the night. We must be prepared. It is an individual thing, a decision only the individual can make. 

So here we are, as in the days of Noah...people will be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but not so ready for His return. As also in those days, Noah was prepared (he built the ark, gathered the animals, stocked it) and he strongly urged the others, offered them safety on the Ark. But they did not heed the warning. They scoffed.

There comes a time when it's just too late for someone to help another. One has to go directly to the Lord. Like the door of the Ark was closed and those who did not heed perished, as will be the door to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:6-9). Once that door is closed, it's closed. No more invitations. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

We are all invited, but only some will attend. Only some will be ready. Whether one is wise or foolish, our God's words are true and He never changes. One must be wise to enter into the Kingdom. One must be ready. One must seek the Lord personally. One must be born again in the Spirit and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If one is not, God shuts the door.  

--Remember, Jesus is also known as the Door--we enter through Him alone--

Matthew 25:11-12 - “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our God is Good

Psalm 136:1 - Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 

There is no doubt that our God is good and His judgment right and just. We are all sinners and there's no getting away from that.

Only God can make us right. Only God. No works of man, so we cannot boast of "our goodness." We are to boast only in Christ. Through Him, only, we receive our goodness. 

Hear what He has to say and how it can affect us:

The law of the LORD is PERFECT, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is SURE, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are RIGHT, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is PURE, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is CLEAN, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are TRUE and RIGHTEOUS altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (‭Psalms‬ ‭19‬:‭7-10‬)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are TRUE, whatever things are NOBLE, whatever things are JUST, whatever things are PURE, whatever things are LOVELY, whatever things are of GOOD REPORT, if there is any VIRTUE and if there is anything PRAISEWORTHY—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭8-9‬)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Recap On Vanity or We Can Have It All!

We are in the Book of Ecclesiastes in Sunday school. It tied in to what we consider important in life. It has come at a time when others and myself have been giving thought to simplifying our lives and homes and the accumulation of things we have.nlet me add, the loss of a family member has been another reminder of accumulating stuff as we go through to sort what has been left behind.

All that we have, all we have worked for will someday be meaningless. It's like the old saying, you can't take it with you. Or, you come into this world with nothing and leave with nothing. All the things we hold so dear might just mean nothing to the next person. We strive for all the worldly goods and accolades from others in this life. And why, is the question Solomon is bringing up. Why, when we can't take it with us? What's the point? 

Here's the can have all the stuff in the world, a big house, nice car, greatest college education, high paying job, all that money can afford, and still not have it all and will never be satisfied. All the worldly pleasures. One only wants more. The stuff never satisfies. Think about it. Solomon had it all and this is what he narrowed it down to for us to an example. There's only one thing that satisfies. That is our relationship with God. Do we know Jesus? Do we have His Holy Spirit? This is what is meant by having it all. It all boils down to it should be.

I knew I had written something about Solomon and wisdom and what should really be important in our lives. I thought it was just days ago when it actually was two years ago! I will simply repost it because it pretty much added to the most recent thoughts.

October 2013
God Never Changes

Ecclesiastes 1:2 - “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

Solomon, son of King David, was a wise man. Most of Solomon's life was lived in godliness. God granted him wisdom when he asked for it and because he asked only for wisdom, God granted him riches as well, which in the end was his downfall.

Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. This book was written as a reflection on the vanity of human life. It shows us how nothing is ever new but that all things have been done before. I began writing the other day about Psalm 100:5 - For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.

There is, in my mind, a connection between that psalm and Ecclesiastes! As I began to write my post for the other day (I wanted to let it rest before editing) I was going to discuss how since God has created all things, everything seems to fall into its own the life of the earth and human life. Seasons of life on earth and seasons of human life. They never change...and God never changes. He's the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I guess I'm trying to say that because God never changes, His truth endures forever, that which has been done is what will be. Why the Bible is an excellent guide into seeing what has been done in the past has been repeated...and what the outcomes are.

So Solomon sought wisdom and came to the conclusion all is vanity, that which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). God never changes.

God's plan all along was for all generations to seek Him and believe, trust and have faith in Him. He has not changed. Sadly, man wants to believe in himself before God. Sadly, also, that is nothing new 

under the sun! His desire will remain the same till the Lord returns.

So, it is vain to think we can live our lives without knowing God. It is vain to think our lives are fine without any thought or obedience to Him. That, as Ecclesiastes tells us:

Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11) Later he says, He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

Oh my. So what is life all about if all we desire, all pleasures of our labors is not at all profitable in the end? And neither has it been for anyone in life? What is all this? What do we do?

Ecclesiastes continues by telling us that we should enjoy what we have, enjoy our life...but not without first knowing and believing that God has given us all we have. And if He has given it, it can be taken away...why it is important to know He is our greatest reward, not all we achieve or store up in the world.

I know, you can't put a finger on what is most valuable that He has to give. You can't hold it in your hand or look at it to admire it. Well, we are told that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Maybe that's why many do not trust the Lord. They want what they can hold, see, smell, taste. God wants us to trust Him, not self.

If one is willing to give himself over to Him, there is a true presence, contentment, peace and joy. It cannot be explained. It's a spiritual knowing. Minds discern and eyes see things differently. Hearts long not for the things of the world but the things of God. All the stuff one has might be seen as part 

of those things eyes desired, the pleasures of labor...which when one has received those desires one is quickly dissatisfied with and something new must replace it. A perpetual grasping for the wind??? God gives good things. Wouldn't it be better to receive His good things instead?

Solomon goes on to reveal more of God's truths (Ecclesiastes 3) everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven. You know the old song...a time to live and a time to die...a time to plant and a time to reap... Plus, He has made everything beautiful in its time. Oh, those seasons, those lives I was about to write about. Those things God, who never changes, has created.

I know that whatever God has done or does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to nor taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past. (Ecclesiastes 3:14-15)

This book reminds us all that God gives and takes away. He brings us into this world, like He does the seasons. They come, they go. The sun rises and sets, as does the moon. He controls all things. We can conclude that wisdom is a good thing...God's wisdom the best...and we should be thankful for what we have and acknowledge God in the process. Enjoy what we have but realize it's not all about our stuff, which can still leave us unsatisfied...and which God can take away. Be of proper mind to let it go if necessary.

There will always be rich and poor, oppressed and blessed. Our fates are equal. We die taking nothing with us. But where we end up after death is what is important. Rich and poor, oppressed and blessed can all be assured of their end if they look to God now. As Solomon says, 4:9-10: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. If we have the Lord with us, we have that One who will lift us up.

Everything is still always about God. Start with Him, gain His wisdom, receive the good things He has to offer. Proverb 21:21 states He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. See, it is God's way, the best way.

Receive His gift of life can be taken away in a moment's notice...and what good does it do to strive for so much without acknowledging Him? We long to live longer to enjoy more when God knows the actual number of our we should be right with God before it's too late.

Besides the greatest gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we can receive His wisdom. Through both of these we will know what is beneficial. Nothing of God is a mistake or disappointment. Trust Him with our lives and with all He gives us. Solomon figured it all out for us. His words were written for our understanding and guidance. It all begins and ends with God. In Genesis He created the world; in Revelation He destroys all wickedness and returns to reign in peace and holiness.

He has shown us what He desires. He has shown us that wisdom is greater than stuff. He has shown those who seek wisdom what is's all about Him. Seek Him and all "real" life may be yours, in difficult times or good. It is His miracle worked out in us.

All throughout this book Solomon shows us, like he does in his proverbs, the difference between the wise man and the fool, the one who seeks God and the one who does not believe that God provides all the answers. God gives and takes away; He is the Judge of our sin; He determines where we go on our last day. Jesus also told us not to worry about our lives (Matthew 6:25-34)...these words of wisdom are understood by true believers.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 - Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Light and Darkness

Exodus 14:19-20 - And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night. 

I praise God for being a light in this dark world. I am able to see the darkness around me but know that I don't need to be consumed by it. I know what God's Word says about the darkness and know that  in these days it will only get worse. While I praise Him for His light, I pray that more would see it. 

Israel was set free from captivity in Egypt and set out following God to their Promised Land. It would be a longer journey than necessary, but some would eventually arrive. He went before and behind them as their protection. As long as they had His protection they had life. Remember, Pharaoh's army was out to kill them. While Israel crossed the dry sea bed and probably marveled at how the water could stand straight up on either side of them, in one fell swoop, God was able to kill Israel's enemy. 

I loved these scriptures for this reason: In the same way God guided and protected Israel, He becomes our guide and protection, but only when we set our hearts upon Him and seek Him.  He plants Himself between our enemies and us. He can be the cloud behind us that we might not be seen, yet be the light to our feet before us to light the path He has for us. 

There are other verses that show that He surrounds those whom He calls His children, those who have received Him to themselves and are in relationship with Him.
Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. 
Psalm 125:2 - As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever. 
Deuteronomy‬ ‭31‬:‭8 - And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.
Isaiah 43:2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. 
There are many more illustrative scriptures like this. Many...all promises Of God for those who walk with Him.

Jesus is the light of the world and the world is in darkness until they know Him. They do not see the need for Him...they are in darkness. They do not follow after Him...they are in darkness. The truth of His word is offensive...they are in darkness. We all start out like that. I was a good example of stubbornness against seriously seeking Him. But He became a light in my life.

When our enemy comes chasing after us, whether it be real, emotional, mental, whatever that sly devil wishes to do to steal, kill and/or destroy us, if we know Jesus all we need to do is call on the name of the Lord and be saved. That's also what He wants us to do to come into right relationship with Him. Call on His name with a sincere heart and receive true life. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭13‬)

John 8:12 - Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”