Sunday, September 20, 2015

Grace is almost too good to be true but IT IS absolutely true!

Recently, I was drawn to a verse in Jonah that I wanted to mine for its gems. As I started to find a whole lot more, I was amazed again how magnificent the Word of God is in its simple depth. Jonah is an amazing story obviously shadowing the then future resurrection of Jesus Christ. With its 3 days/3 nights in the belly of the whale incident, it sits as a sparkling jewel amid the Old Testament records. It is the story of salvation, not only for Jonah and Nineveh, but it is a type for us to read and think about.
7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed.Salvation is of the LORD. 10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
The world is full of 'lying vanities'. Psychobabble, politics, self-interest and secular humanism opine at us daily dropping the veil of unbelief wherever they can gain access and distort or even remove our view of a compassionate, loving and willing God.

I am thrilled by the beauty of the Word and how God has protected it through the ages. There are many precious gems of truth sitting in the tiny book of Jonah. Just being in it a couple of days has generated fellowship, dialogue and joint amazement with other people who have reflected back more light off the facets of the same jewel.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Prayer Is The Answer Itself!

Thank God that God has provided an open door to His heart. We can communicate directly with Him heart to heart! Thank God that communication to him is not through text messages, emails, twitter and Facebook. Cyber communication has many pitfalls. Just look at all the quotes and conversations that appear on Facebook alone. Sometimes posts seem inspiring, but may still contain what I call the 'complaining' effect that when the 'Post' button is pushed it unloads something negative on all who read it.

Communication on a human level is tough. God is a great listener. We can talk to Him and we don't have to worry about being misinterpreted. Have you ever poured out your heart to someone and gotten frustrated because he/she didn't understand what you were saying.  The more you try to explain, the deeper trouble you get into. I have worried about being misinterpreted and wanted to fix it, but the older and wiser (hopefully) I get, the more I realize that this too is what prayer is for. I have grown to love praying for people I have trouble talking to or don't understand. Prayer is the greatest action you can do for someone else and for yourself.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Psalm 62:8
Sometimes, and I have said this many times before, we feel like we are boxed in; that is the way of the world. When David was hiding in a cave away from Saul, his prayer was that he might praise God's name through it all. The situations we find ourselves in today may not involve a Saul problem, but a maybe its a dilemma that seems like there is no answer.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. Psalm 142:7
Difficult things tend to make us feel very defective, David's psalms expressed the same feeling. David was a man after God's heart so despite his shortcomings, David trusted God. That is our job too!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sin

In Genesis 4, God had an interesting discussion about worship. Cain brought an offering to God and Abel did too. Cain's offering was not a blessing to God and Cain got irritated. A response like Cain's defeats the whole purpose of showing God how much one loves and reveres Him. God addressed the issue at hand:
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. Genesis 4:5-7
God asked Cain why he was downcast and mad.  It was a logical question. If the whole reason for an 'offering' is to show appreciation for God, why would Cain explode about this. God said 'sin' (actually the first use of the word 'sin') is lying at the door. There is indication that the (namely Eve) believed Cain was the man from the Lord.  Could Cain have developed some religious pride about this and thought he was something he was not? The whole thing humiliated him and he was angry. God lovingly explained to Cain that evil repercussions were around the corner and he would need to get a handle on dealing with his heart. Cain didn't do that, but allowed pride and jealousy to get the worst of him.

Focusing on God and doing things out of gratefulness for all he has done for us keeps us out of the soup. That means rethinking through something that is less than the best. Certainly a 'very wroth' attitude does not fit. It is an attitude that needed to be 'ruled' over. Cain rejected God's loving advice and turned another direction which ended up ruining his life.

The Rainbow and Gravity- Just to clarify

God's creation is truly to be admired (but not worshipped, I might add). A rainbow occurs when light travels through prismatic type matter such as glass or water.  Because light is made up of various wavelengths of various speeds, the light gets divided into its component colors to produce a rainbow. After the great flood in Noah's time the rainbow appeared and God told Noah that this would be a reminder of God's covenant with man. Today, just because a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean that something significant is going on, but it does remind us of God's heart in his creation. God wanted to bless man with the rainbow and every time I see one I get blessed because I am reminded of the heart of God to create something very beautiful to see and something incredibly technical by design.

Gravity is an amazing force. We are held to the earth through gravity.  The universe is held together by gravitational forces among other forces. We are protected by gravity. However if we get to the edge of a cliff and continue to walk, gravity can have some very harmful effects. We decide by our own free will to turn around and take the safe route. We can figure out how gravity works and its effect as we are awed by it great pull.

People have free will. That means they can decide whatever path they want to take. No one can force or push you to believe one way or another. Our ability to think is also a gift of God. He designed humans, not robots. The greatest path to abundance and true freedom, however, is in respecting the design of God which we can see and understand through His Word.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend and we got to talking about respect and the current culture. He made a statement to me t...