Monday, September 27, 2010


Just recently, I was reading a book by Jay Adams, From Forgiven To Forgiving.  It is a tremendous book and many of his points reminded me of the Joseph record in the Old Testament. Several years ago, I did a study on Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob. Many chapters in Genesis are devoted to the events in this man's life. His life was not easy but to his credit he is described as a man on whom the spirit of God resided. Perhaps because of this he had huge challenges, but through them all God guided and strengthened him as he handled them one by one. He is an amazing example of how forgiveness is brought about. He handled things God's way.  He had the humility to not try to outdo God and thus was able to be an instrument of true deliverance.

Forgiveness is a much written about subject. There is no question in my mind that the adversary wants to muddle and twist people's ideas in this particular area.
Ephesians 4:32 (King James Version)And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
'Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you'.  That sets the standard. Jesus Christ died for our sins once and for all.  This doesn't mean we have to be crucified to serve God but it does mean that we have answers to life's challenges and that we extend those answers to others. When we teach God's word to others and help them to apply God's word to every situation we are 'kind'.

Joseph's goal was restoration.  His brothers were pretty much a mess and had displayed very cruel behavior toward him in the past.  God worked in Joseph's heart to help facilitate the change that was necessary to cause them to see what changes they needed to make. God knew how to handle them and Joseph carried it out. God knew also that Judah would change and he showed Joseph how to bring that out. Several steps were needed. At one point Joseph spoke roughly to them and threw them in prison. It was there that they started to admit their lives had not been sterling and they repented of what they had done to their brother. It is a great record, one to be digested and re-digested.

God is real and he knows the best way to deal with life's issues. In the age that we live in of secular humanism, we need to take heed to a man like Joseph and how he did things. Our relationships with others should be based on truth, not feeling. Our goal is to help others come up and out of the quicksand of this world. It is  a world of competition, strife, ambition, greed and control. We can't just do that by patting someone on the head and saying nice things. We need to help people by giving them the words of God and telling them how Jesus Christ stood in the gap for us and that we have full access to the throne room of God. That is the promotion of true forgiveness!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bloom where you are planted but don’t let any grass grow under your feet!

Speaking the truth in love involves a mature balanced approach to relationships. Ephesians 4:15 enlists God’s wisdom without which we could not flourish. In the Bible speaking the truth is really ‘truthing it’ in the Greek and it involves integrity, commitment  and oftentimes loving courage to carry out. As we lean on God and his magnificent gift of holy spirit we blossom into strong individuals capable of achieving more than we ever expected.

God’s sufficiency is ours for the asking by simply believing what he has made available. Believing is assertive action and is never static. We can never allow ourselves to become passive followers of God.  That condition is for ‘pew potatoes’. As we act by walking out on whatever limb is set in front of us, God supports us all the way. Think about when Jesus beckoned Peter to walk out on the water. As Peter kept his eyes on him he walked on water. He could have been the star of the Cypress Garden Water ski team!  The minute he looked down he went down! Human beings were designed to go towards the way they are looking. Just look at how the eyes are positioned in the human body. It is God’s sufficiency we look to in absolutely every situation  and our feet carry us toward that sufficiency by putting one foot in front of the other.
In Ephesians we are exhorted to walk in love, walk in light and walk circumspectly.
Ephesians 5:16-17(Amplified)Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. 
We have the great reassurance of God, who He is and what he has done for us through the written word. We need not waste our time any longer in cringing insufficiency. In this administration we are not only able to walk on water. We are able to handle the ski jumps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 11, 3 BC

Another September 11 has come and gone and the impact of that day 2007 years ago will continue forever to effect our lives. Of course, I’m talking about the birth of Jesus Christ: September 11, 3 BC.  No, I haven’t got my dates screwed up. Actually December 25 in those days was the time of the winter solstice, when the earth’s axis was pointed away from the sun. It was a pagan feast. It was longest night of the year too. Doesn't sound like too cool of a birthday date to me!

September 11, 3 BC was Rosh-sha-shana or the Feast of Trumpets in the Judean religion. It seems like that was a good day for God  to select for the birthday of His only-begotten Son. 
He is a proud Father and blowing trumpets would be a great way to celebrate.                                                                
The record shown in the stars is stellar (pun or no pun intended)! Adam named the constellations  back in Genesis. God gave Adam the names and groupings: 
Psalm 147:4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
On August 12th, 3BC the king planet Jupiter and the 'bright and morning star' Venus were in conjunction in the king constellation Leo (the constellation of rulership in Judea). On September 14, the king planet, Jupiter and the king star, Regulus were in conjunction in the king constellation Leo. Coincidence? Hmmmmm...........
Happy Birthday to the Son of God!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Commitment: The Integrity of the Word

Everybody knows what a bible is and represents. The words 'Holy Bible', however, written on the front cover are misleading. No version or translation of the Bible really can be called the Word of God because there are no original texts in existence today. At best all we have are copies of ancient scripts. The text from which the King James Version was translated is the Stephen's Greek text. The first copy is the translation, anything after that which is tweaked or modified is called a version. In fact if you look at everything, copies, translations, versions etc, you wonder whether any of them can be trusted to present the Word of God without bias, politics, and yes! religion. God knew this problem ahead of time (He's omniscient, all-powerful and all-knowing you know! That means He's pretty smart!) so he incorporated  in the Word certain keys to unlock it's undeniable truth. He has given us a totally ingenious search engine called holy spirit to magnify the truth in our hearts as we read. The Word is not just words on a page, it is a living breathing reality. The Word rightly divided has life!

Man has a tendency towards complication; with God things are simple.  The Word of God is not about man's ideas about God. It is about God and His love to man. God gives freely to those who ask, but many of us have been led to believe the common person cannot access God except through a certain translation or version, denomination, non-denomination or whatever.  People who have truly shown me how to access the Word for myself are people who are genuinely excited about God and it is pretty evident in the way they live! The Word of God is a living reality in everyday living. God is the most powerful force in the universe. Man really needs to believe that!

Real commitment is based on the integrity of God.  We love Him because He first loved us. How can we love Him if we don't know what He is about? The integrity of God can be seen by His creation. Included in His creation are His Word and His Son.

Psalm 138 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. 3In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Having the keys to tapping the Word of God is vital.  God meant us to know all about Him and in knowing all about Him we realize how much he has loved us, is loving us and and will love us. In the knowledge of God is true freedom and sufficiency!