Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Son Who Saves

Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 

So what do we do? Tell the truth or lie? Speak what offends or what coddles? Speak life or death? Speak or remain silent? Jesus spoke the truth...that He was able to do more than those who tried to kill. He was able to destroy...take out evil altogether....and in the process save those who would believe in Him. But first He had to die and be risen again. 

I am also reminded of the verse in Ephesians: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians‬ ‭6:12)  Those who kill the body are flesh and blood, who live in the darkness of this age, who are great deceivers, those who would deny Christ and like the old serpent in Genesis, ask, "Did God really say...?" But there is One greater, who is truth, who can destroy those deceivers, if we just allow ourselves to listen to Him. 

Jesus was hated by many people because His words of truth were offensive. You'll hear me say that often. Yet He spoke words that allow the soul to remain alive even after the body is gone. And He spoke them no matter what price. He trusted His Father over the men who despised Him and had the earthly power to kill Him. He allowed Himself to die in this trust. And we know what happened after they killed Him. He rose again in three days and now sits at the right hand of God. He is alive today to draw us to Him and eternal life.

One of the things we are called to do as believers is share the same message that Jesus did. It won't sit well with many. As Jesus was scoffed, so will we be. That comes with peculiar people territory! But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (‭1Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭9-10‬)  It is a privilege to call myself comes with receiving Christ. 

I once lived far away from God. I lived as I desired, did as I wished, pursued my own dreams, believed my accomplishments were just the start of things. All is vanity, a grasping for the wind, as Ecclesiastes tells us. Without God we keep striving for more because what we have is never enough. 
The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 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. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:8-10)

That's not an easy message for anyone who puts their faith in self and all they do or accomplish...without God. What? I didn't work hard for this house, this car, this family? Who says? God does! There may be nothing new under the sun but all things become new under the Son

Oh how we are changed when we meet Jesus Christ. When we meet Truth and He opens our eyes. He who saves the soul from those who want to kill it. The One we should fear over the one who kills the soul with deception. If we do not accept this the Bible says we are deceived. That deception is caused by a sin we are born into and need to have covered by the One who saves. 

1John 1:8,10,9 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. BUT: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Jesus Said

John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Out of curiosity I wanted to see what the first words Jesus spoke were in the Bible. I checked each of the four gospels. One problem...they weren't the same! 

Matthew: Jesus approached John the Baptist and asked him to baptize Him to which John suggested that it be more proper for Jesus to baptize him. Jesus' words were: Permit it to be so now, [that He be baptized] for this it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. 

Mark: John was in prison now. Jesus had spent His 40 days in the desert being tempted by the devil. Now He was in Galilee to begin His ministry of the gospel: The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel

Luke: While Jesus is fasting and praying those 40 days in the desert, satan tempts Him. It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." 

John: John the baptist was explaining his encounter with baptizing Jesus and realizing this was the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world and that this was the Son of God. Two of John's disciples saw Jesus approaching and John announced Him as the Lamb of God. Jesus asked, What do you seek?  Is it the way, the truth and the life? 

Four different scenarios and times. Three commands and a question. Jesus' statement in Matthew showed humility and obedience. He asked his cousin to baptize Him, the Son of God. Even He needed to be given the power to begin His ministry...of His Father. If He needed it, how much more do we?

The second was during His ministry. A comment about a further fulfilling of time and a command. If we do what He has said, His Spirit will become part of our lives, like it did with Jesus at His baptism. 

The third was a rebuke to the devil...and one we should heed: it is through Him, His words because He is the Word, that we live, not just by the bread we put into our mouths...but what we put into our spirits, by the Spirit of God, by knowing Jesus.

The fourth: What do you seek? Do you seek Him or do you seek what the world has? Do you seek Him in His Word? We can only know Him by repenting and receiving Him, looking for Him in His Word and letting His Spirit teach us further who He is. We will still die eating the sustenance of the physical world but partaking in Him will give us eternal life.

Feed the mind, heart, soul, not the belly. 

Then I had to see what the last words were that Jesus said...

Matthew: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Mark: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow [through the power of the Holy Spirit] upon those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Luke: Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” 

John: Talking with Peter...Follow Me. If I will that he [John the disciple] remain till I come, what is that to you? 

Jesus calls us all. It is a road we must follow alone. We each make the choice, regardless of anyone else. It is between Jesus and me...and you. It's why it is called a personal relationship. We do not have this relationship because we know someone who has it or because we go to church regularly or belong to a particular denomination. We obtain life through Jesus, no one and no way else. We do as He said: Repent and believe, be baptized, receive His Holy Spirit, do the will of the Father like He did and preach the gospel. It can't get much plainer. 

He has spoken a lot of things to us. The message is always the same, to glorify God through our repentance, belief and doing the will of the Father. Jesus submitted to His Father; so should we, for this outcome:

John 17:3 - And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Luke 10:39 - And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.

I was out walking the other morning. The thought crossed my mind, Gosh, I wish I was better at doing some things. There are times when you just can't do two things at once. For instance, I have tried on numerous occasions to listen to a sermon while I was doing something else like making supper, baking something or working on a project of some sort, even walking.

I got to thinking there are times, just like in the story of Mary and Martha, where devoting oneself to one thing was the best. Martha fussed over the fact that she was serving Jesus by herself as He visited them while her sister Mary sat at His feet, engrossed in what He spoke. She groused about her circumstance to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Jesus told her Mary did the right thing. It reminded me of another scripture: In His own words Jesus said, "...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Just like He did not come to redeem us because we think we have been "good" people or have done much serving to gain His approval. He came to serve us...He came and gave His life for us. That's a servant! 

Martha was all about the serving. Nothing wrong with that but in this circumstance He wasn't concerned with being served. He came to spend time with them. He wanted to serve them with His words. He has said it's not about the food which's about the bread of life which saves. Physical vs. spiritual. He has shown us which is most important. He wants to serve us with His words. 

So, He has come that He might bring us life. Mary and Martha had a chance to take in some of His life-giving words. Mary was receiving while Martha was fussing! In order to receive that life we also must sit at His feet and receive the words of life He has to offer. No distractions, just Him, just His Word, words. We sit at His feet and partake in those words of life. He has much to tell us if we just sit and "listen."

I must be in total concentration to what I am reading or what is being preached or I just won't get it! That means stopping what I do...completely. Just an aside here, we must be careful who we listen to; this preacher had better be a solid man of God whose messages are right out of the Word, expressing His truth out of the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and spend time with Him, listening to him, learning from just being with Him. Martha didn't take the time to learn At this moment. I presume this was a lesson for her. It should be a lesson for us all.

When we are in relationship with Christ do we find ourselves too distracted to listen to Him? Let's take the time to sit at His feet and learn, take in life-giving, eternal words...preferably from His Word! 

John 6:27 - 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.” 

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Ephesians 1:7,14 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace...who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 

In between these two verses about redemption we are given a list of other things we are promised.
  • He has made known to us the mystery of His will
  • When the last days are here all that He has made will be gathered in Him...if we are in Him, we will be among that gathering
  • We have obtained an inheritance by His will
  • We have heard the truth which is His gospel of salvation
  • We have gained trust in Him
  • We are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise

Do you realize how amazing this is? Guaranteed redemption! These are not just some words. They are words promised to any who call on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins. This can be done any time, anywhere. I've heard of people being convicted in a car, at church, in the middle of the night. It happens between you and Jesus. You know in your heart of hearts that He has heard your plea and He has supernaturally entered into you...making you in Him.

I have a note in the margin of my Bible that it says in Him and in Christ appear 36 times in Ephesians. I see them underlined. In Him. I wonder how many times in the New Testament these phrases are found? A quick search online came up with about 201. Depends on the Bible version. At any rate, we are nothing if we are not in Christ. before then we walk according to the course of this world, the prince of the power of the air and the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1). We live for self and are wrathful against God (2:2-3). That should give one something to think about. 

Do you know that you know you are in Him? You would definitely know of a time if it happened. You would know you'd been changed. It's unlike any other experience you've had. 

God loves us so much He is willing and definitely able to forgive and give us new life in Him through His mercy and grace, not by anything we can do. We are saved to serve; we do not serve to save, I see written in another margin of my Bible! We are made new IN Christ Jesus FOR good works. 

In chapter 2 there are more promises: 

  • We've been made alive with Christ after having been dead in our sins
  • We sit in the heavenly places in Him and with Him
  • We receive the exceeding riches of His grace
  • We are reconciled to God after having been separated by our own desires and wills
  • Death is no longer in our spiritual vocabulary

And it's all because of Jesus. Being in Christ, in Jesus, in Him. He invites us in. When you hear Him, respond. It will only be good. It's not so hard to do. Only good comes of it because He is only good. 

My prayer always is: 

Ephesians 1:17-19 - ...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Lord Reigns

Psalm 96:10-13 - Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously.” Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and all its fullness; let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.

The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice. Let the people be glad that He reigns. Amen. This Psalm was read in church Sunday. It's an encouragement to those who know God. 

This Psalm, along with Psalm 97, tell us this truth, that our Lord reigns. The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad! (‭Psalms‬ ‭97‬:‭1)  No matter what we go through or see around us, He reigns. If we can get our heads around this truth we can be content. He reigns whether you believe it or not, whether you sense it or not. Greater still He reigns in the hearts of those who know Him. He brings comfort to them, even if an outcome isn't the best. If we know Him we know our future is secure and anything we go through here in this life is minuscule compared to our eternity. 

He will come to judge someday. There have been several predictions of His return which have not occurred, but He will His own time. We are to be awaiting this return, not in fear but expectantly! In the meantime, we acknowledge He reigns. If we do not allow ourselves to be under His reign we will not have the great future He holds. 

So let the earth rejoice because He reigns! Let His people rejoice in all situations because He reigns.

If one is not comforted by this truth it might be time to believe it. It is a very good time to know this God. This God created each of us. ...You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭13-14‬) Yes, He reigns. 

There is a purpose for each of us. Either it will be His purpose or your own. His way or yours. "‬For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭11)  There it is...a hope and a future. It's ours if we will know this God. He reigns and knows all things. If He reigns in your heart, you will want to be in His will. If He is not, you will do as your own will desires. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8-9‬)  

The Lord reigns. 

Psalm 146:3,5-6,10 - Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever... The LORD shall reign forever—your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! 

Friday, August 14, 2015


Isaiah 52:7 - How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 
Romans 10:15 - And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
Nahum 1:15 - Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! 

Heavenly Father,

I thank You for this day. It is the day You have made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I thank You for who You are, Your wisdom (which You impart to us), Your Word, Your Son, Your gift of salvation.

When we take the time to consider all Your ways, while we cannot know them all, can't always understand them or know what direction You will take next, we can know You are in complete control, have everything in Your hands and all we need to do is believe that, trust in it and go with Your flow. Teach us, O Lord, to rely only on You.

Ephesians 6:10 tells us to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. All throughout His Word it is about standing firm in Him. He is the solid rock beneath our feet. In Ephesians 6:11 we are told to put on the armor of God that we may stand against the wiles of the enemy. And again in verse 13 it tells us to withstand the evil by taking up the armor of God. His armor. Not ours, not the government's, not any man's, but God's. Because of His wisdom. Because He knows the times we are living in because He puts all things in place for His perfect will to be done. 

Ephesians 6:15 tells us to stand firm in the gospel message that has been presented to us. It is a sure thing. If we find it so firm a foundation why, then, shouldn't we share it? With our feet we stand up, stand firm, stand for and go forth with the sure Word God in the wisdom has given us by the power of His Holy Spirit.

How will they know if we do not go? How will they know if we do not speak? (Romans 10:14) Lord, let them hear. Let the words not be cut off or squelched. Let the words be life. Let them fall on ears that hear...and as I write this the thought comes that only those with ears willing to hear will hear. And this is in Your hands as well. 

There is nothing like knowing this God. To know that He is in control is a comfort. To have someone this huge to rely on, to trust in, to go to, is amazing. He who has an ear, let him hear....

Isaiah 40:9 - O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, you who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Israel's Resistance

Micah 6:2 - Hear, O mountains, the LORD's complaint, and you strong foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a complaint against His people, and He will contend with Israel.

Jesus has done a great thing for us. He has died for our sins to restore our relationship with the Father. We are counted as His people if we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, if we have decided to be content in Him, follow Him and His commands, trust in Him and remain in Him.

The Old Testament talks all about Israel, the LORD and His people. If we are in Christ we understand that anywhere these words are written they are words for us also. Israel is a nation, a people. They are the LORD's chosen people. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. (Exodus 19:5). In the New Testament that relates to anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ. We have become part of His chosen people. The entire Bible is intertwined. 

So this complaint in a complaint even today, for the nation of Israel and for all His people. God is not done with Israel. There will still be a struggle ahead for this nation and these people. When things look like the very end of this nation, which seems to have been in the crosshairs of many enemies over the years, God will intervene. The Bible tells us there will be a time when even the Jews will look and see and realize that Jesus IS and was the Christ they rejected so many years ago.

Here the LORD continues to speak through the prophet Micah. God asks what has He done to us (that we should reject Him). I ask, what has He done for us? In Micah the answers are He has delivered them out of Egypt, captivity. In the New Testament He delivers us out of the sin of this world, those sins we are trapped within until we receive Christ. In both cases He has allowed us to know His righteousness in our lives. (Micah 6:5)

The other day I mentioned that so often people want to prove in and of themselves that they are good before God. But God does not recognize that. What He wants more than anything else is our humble devotion to Him. (Micah 6:6-8)
One can't know God without spending time with Him in prayer and in the Word. That's how He communicates to us. It's how we know what our future holds. We learn from the past. Further in Micah 6 the LORD has the prophet suggest that without the righteousness that comes from Him He cannot stand with them. He does not recognize the things of the world which is filled with wickedness, deceit, lies and abominations. It's not about flesh and blood but those spiritual things unseen in the heavenlies. Only through Him will all things be good and secure.

We learn from the Old Testament. Things are no different today than back then. There are followers and non-followers, His people or the world's people. There is life or death. There is humble submission or proud/rebellious resistance. God loves us all but He has His standards. They are all set forth in His Word. Do you know them? Do you know His desires for you? There is only good for you when you do. You too can be part of His chosen people. To be set apart by God is a privilege. 

There will be a remnant in the last days, those who have stood by God and refused to be swayed by the world views, which are becoming greater each day. You can be part of that remnant. He will watch over you. The rewards are great, the promises sure. You know the phrase that's so popular these days, life is good. In Christ it is better than good. Can you say you are part of His people? Remember, Israel = all His followers.

Isaiah 43:1-3 - But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 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. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


John 15:1-2 - I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

We've had a few storms this spring and summer. After our yard spring cleanup I remember walking through a garden and getting tangled in twigs and branches. I wondered why they hadn't been picked up; were they missed.

Then after I had picked those branches up and another storm came through and I was again in the garden being attacked by branches, it dawned on me they were the product of nature's pruning. These branches were of no further use to the tree. And so every rain that came or every strong wind that blew through our yard, more twigs and branches dropped to the ground.

Let me add this tree is abundant with branches and leaves. The pruning no doubt allowed this to happen. More larger branches need to be cut back soon. Anything no longer needed in our own lives should be removed that more of Him can enter in. Let Him prune away. Let the axe fall at the root of any hindrance. 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5)

So, storms of life might arise. They might just be there to help prune us of unnecessary things. Maybe to prompt us to ditch some things in our life. Could be anything. It would be different for all of us, to some degree. What hinders our relationship with God? We need to go to God for guidance. Maybe we don't feel strong enough on our own to let something go. Ask Him.

I think of the temptations and trials Jesus went through because people were offended by Him. He was able to go through them all because He was in communion with and trusting in His Father. Jesus paid it all. He went through it all for us. That is some Savior. 

I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

So we are to consider it pure joy that we go through trials. We may not see it but He is pruning those branches through our trials and but one day we will see. We'll see the next trial and recall how we got through the last one...through Him. Little by little He cuts away the chaff leaving only good growth. Lord, prune more of me.

Matthew 3:10 - And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

What Is Good?

Micah 6:6-7 - “With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”‭‭

...Proof we cannot do anything on our own to be once again reconciled to God. No offerings with improper motives. No works or labors of our hand. The Old Testament offerings were futile; they did not bring about permanent atonement for their sins. No sacrifices that we might choose.

That was then, this is now. 

New Testament, new man that God has redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. 
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭9‬:‭22) No jumping through hoops, attempting to be better than so and so. No ladder climbing to make the bucks to be the man!  Receive  Christ. That's it.

Jesus requires what we can often miss as important.

Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭- “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but 
to do justly, 
to love mercy, and 
to walk humbly with your God?”

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Did God Really Say???

Genesis 3:1,5 - Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Did God really say...? Those were the first words the enemy said. Seeds of doubt planted in an about-to-be-separated-from-God being...Eve. So it all started, this thing about sin and separation.

The enemy, a deceiver and liar. He had the upper hand, although he had no hands! He had been relegated to slithering on the ground. Amazing, seeing as how snakes have that reputation of being slimy and scaly. A snake in the grass, a cold-blooded snake, one who feigns friendship. How can we be so deceived by something many abhor? And what is it that is said about removing the scales from one's eyes? It's all about particular snake from 6,000 years ago.

This serpent had cunning words. He only wanted revenge for something he had brought upon himself through pride...extinction from the heavenly God Himself. His anger toward God has festered in him ever since and he takes it out on us. He still has an upper hand in this world. He only wants evil, brings evil, speaks evil through his deception. And we listen...

There is another hand that is greater than his, though. Thankfully. Gratefully. 

Do you know the story of Saul who became the Apostle Paul? It's one of my favorite stories. From unbeliever and persecutor to believer in a heartbeat. He was met by Jesus on the road to Damascus. He saw a great light which blinded him. A great light! He was blind for...get this...three days. On the third day... Here, read it yourself: As he journeyed he [Saul] came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem..." (‭Acts‬ ‭9‬:‭3,8-9,17-18,20-21‬)

We once were blind and now we see. The scales fall from our eyes when the light of Christ is revealed to us, when truth is revealed and the lies diminish. And we are then called to preach the gospel! And I need to remind myself it can happen to anyone. And I need to remember that I was there once myself. Oh, the grace we must give...

We all believe the lie, his words, until the truth of God's Word becomes known to us. Did God really say??? Yes, He did. He does not lie, never has, never will. He has given us the means to know the truth of His Word and live by it and know if we falter we can be again forgiven by Him, the Word of God made flesh, Who died but rose again and still lives, as do the words He speaks through His Word. Jesus, God's only Son. There at the beginning, Creator of all. Worthy of all honor, praise and glory, forever and ever. Who only wants good for us. Hallelujah!

He has been made known to us, this Word, this God, this Creator...this Jesus. We either believe in Him or we do not. There is no middle of the road. We either believe His Word or we do not. We either read His Word or we do not. We either trust His Word or we do not. We either follow or we do not. Black and white just like good and evil. We do or do not. Which leads to...

Either life or death. If we believe in Jesus, believe His Word, understand what His Word says and obey His commands we have life. His Word is life. It is the water that quenches our thirst. It is the daily bread of life, our fresh manna. Life - life - life. He's all about life.

What good has satan brought? I'm waiting for an answer. Hmmmm. Nothing. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Times up! No good, that's what he is. That's what he's up to. Has God really said??? He's quick to plant seeds of doubt of God's Word as truth. 

Know the Word and those seeds of doubt can be like the seeds planted on rocky soil. They will blow away. I say, satan, blow away! Get lost. Let his tongue stick to the roof of his mouth, never more to yield words of doubt. Did God really say??? Yes, He did. He not only said, He promised. He has told us all about this snake in the grass and his wicked ways. He has shown us how he has deceived and still does today. He has shown us Who is victorious in the end. How many want to follow a loser? How many want to follow One who is victorious? My name is Laurie...or Lauren. My name means crowned with laurels...victorious. I will stand by that as a promise from God. 

We are either for God or against Him. We either live or we die. We either believe the truth or are deceived. We either believe His Word or we reject it. We either receive the Word or reject Him. If we do not believe what the Word of God says we believe him who asked did God really say...

We are called to run to Him, not away. Call on the name of the Lord so the enemy must flee. We are to humble ourselves before a mighty God or be humbled by Him. We either submit on our own or we will be submitted some day. We are either joined with God or separated from Him. 

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other... (‭‬Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭30‬,6‬:‭24)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Eternal Light

Malachi 4:2 - But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.

A thought ran quickly through my head, as often they do! Haven't I always said it's all about Jesus?

In this world we live in there is day and night. They were created. There is good and evil. Often day is linked to goodness where night is associated with evil. When we are able to see because of the light we are able to avoid evil, which must do its best (worst) work at night under cover of darkness. 

While we are in this world we will always have good and evil. Some day the Light of the world will return and all evil will be removed and those who have found, received and followed the Light will reign with Him on earth before experiencing eternal life in Christ, in the Light. 

So, we have a sun in the sky...the heavens, as it were...that brings the day. We also have the Son in the heavens who is also called the Light. It is His light which shines the truth upon us that prevents us from falling into evil. I'm convinced there was a reason for the two words, Sun and Son, sounding the same and both being in the heavens, and considered the light in/of the world.

Great words from Jesus Himself: ...“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."  ...“he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (‭John‬ 8:12,12‬:‭35-36‬)  If you do not have Jesus you walk in darkness...

While you have the light... Reminds me of something else: Isaiah 55:6 - Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. And even better: I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭45‬:‭19‬). Jesus has not hidden Himself from us. For 2,000 years people have been proclaiming the name of the Lord. People have declared those things that are right. He reveals Himself to those who choose to seek.

As I was reading in Revelation I was reminded of a scripture at the end that so fits with this. We are told when Jesus returns He brings a new earth with no more tears, death, sorrow, pain, crying, and a there will be a pure river of life, a tree of life, and no more condemnation (curse). (There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:1)  All things will be new, just like all things are new when we receive Christ as Lord and Savior. Today we have light and dark. We have lamps, fire, lanterns or flashlights, whatever it takes to bring light at night. But some day we will have no need for those things. All evil will be expunged. The Son alone will be our Light; an eternal light. We can walk in that light if we seriously seek Him.

Revelation 22:5 - There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015


1Peter 1:10,12 - Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you...To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

I've mentioned before how the Bible shows us all we need to know about God and His Son, to understand and adhere to. In the Old Testament Jesus was written about but not by this name. He was hidden, as it were. He was in the tabernacle, the temple, the feasts and suggestions all throughout Psalms. Not one book of the Old Testament goes without alluding to the One so important who would come to bring us  our salvation. Here are just a handful of examples:
He was the sacrificial Lamb in the Passover, whose blood was sprinkled over the doorposts then and over our hearts now.
There were high priests who made all the endless sacrifices for the people; Jesus has become our Great High Priest having sacrificed Himself once for all.
Jonah was in the belly of a whale for three days and delivered; as was Jesus dead for three days and resurrected.
All the materials used in building the tabernacle listed in Exodus (25-30) describe Him; in the Holy of Holies, the furniture describes Him.
Psalm 119 (176 verses) mentions Him, not by name, all throughout. Here are just three verses from the very beginning of this Psalm: 
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart! How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (‭Psalms‬ 119‬:‭2,9,11‬)

This Book is phenomenal. Oh, the depth of the wisdom and truth. Every time one picks it up He speaks to us and opens our eyes even more to the wonders of Him, His love, promises, judgments, His words of life to us. Again my heart feels like it will burst thinking on these things. It's exciting and glorious. This is worship to our God!

He longs to share these with anyone who desires to know Him more. That's love. He won't choose one over another or think one is more worthy to receive than another. We are all His creation and His desire is for all to know Him, to receive Him as our own, to be saved from eternal death and made righteous and holy through Him. Only He can do this. We cannot do it on our own. 

All He desires: “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (‭John‬ ‭17‬:‭24‬)  Remember, He loves each of us with the same love. He does not relish the idea that some will perish without knowing Him.  

So prophecies from the Old Testament and the actual words of Christ in the New Testament are all available for us to see Who this Man is. Before He even existed He was being made known to any who would listen. He speaks to each of us. If you do not know this Man, ask Him to show you Who He is. He will be very accommodating. His Word is very descriptive and true. Are you in a dark place? Are you in need of encouragement? Do you not know which way to turn? Look up. Look to Jesus.

2Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭19-21 - And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of  Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Something A Little Different

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." (John 3:3,5-7,18-21) 

The scriptures may be different. 
The approach may be different. 
The message is always the same because Jesus never changes, 
nor do His words, 
nor what He has done, 
nor what He says we must do to receive everlasting life.

I'm attaching this old video. It speaks for itself. I hope you take the 3:53 minutes to watch. 

Acts 16:30-31 - And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Monday, August 3, 2015


Psalm 146:5 -  Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.

Romans 8:24-25 - For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 

Our hope should be in the Lord. I could end it right there! But I'm not so short-winded.

I have written for a time about the uncomfortable feelings some are having in our country. I blame it on one thing...loss of God. There is nothing wrong about judging as long as truth is brought into this judgment. What would God think? That's what we should be concerned about.

We do not know for certain where our nation is heading. While I don't want to present a calamitous view on this, the Bible specifically states in the last days what we see happening will greater and greater extent. Let me just say that the leadership of this nation adds to the outcome. And, boy, there are opposing views on leadership. I want only to point out where we can look for help and hope in difficult times. 

The Bible tells us as believers and followers of Christ that no matter what happens, we will not be spared difficulties just because we are Christians. That's where hope in the Lord comes in. It will not come in the form of leadership of this country unless this person is a follower of Christ and tries to lead us based on God's principals. But He often gives us what we deserve, not need. God, however, will guide, strengthen, give wisdom and allow us peace, individually, in our spirits in the midst of turmoil. If our faith in God is strong, His strength will allow us to endure even the most difficult of circumstances. We can be a light in the darkness for those struggling--without a relationship in Jesus Christ.  

We are called to live by faith, not by sight. When we cannot understand in the natural what is happening around us and we begin to fear, we are living by sight. We are living with our own understanding. God's ways are not like ours. They are greater than ours. He knows the beginning from the end in any situation. He knew before time even began, before He created the earth, just how everything would happen, EVERYTHING. If He is able to keep all that straight and we can't, wouldn't we want to put our trust in Him, our Almighty Father? 

When I look at our country and see where we've come from, disappoint grows. Our country was founded on the principles of Christianity. Congress used to begin their sessions in prayer. The Constitution states "One nation, under God." Many of the first states referred to God as "one God," "Almighty, "the Supreme Being," "the Creator," "Savior" and "Lord."  What I'm seeing today does not resemble anything like that.   

I believe the problems arising in this country are because we have changed our course. The world has changed its course as well. I don't believe God is very pleased about it. We're in the birth pangs of the last days, as the Bible states, of turmoil and uncertainty because we have turned our backs, as a nation and world, on God. What's good is now considered evil and evil is good. Millions of abortions are glossed over but the life of one lion (and I am not too keen on killing animals) takes center stage. There's something wrong with that picture. The commandments of the Bible are not looked upon as truth anymore. There is a lack of closeness with God and a lack of wanting a relationship with Him or desire to know who He is and what He says. 

I thank God that even though He might be turning His back on us, He has not turned His back on His children. He stands firm in His covenant with those whose hope is in Him, who do not lose faith in Him and maintain focus on Him. He will not break His covenant with us, although we might with Him, as is seen in this country. He is our deliverer. He delivered Israel out of Egypt and He will deliver us out of this world someday. I eagerly await what I cannot see...for Him, for His return. In the meantime...

Psalm 121:1-2 - I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.