Thursday, May 25, 2017
"For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village." Luke 9:56. Messengers had been sent by Jesus into a village of the Samaritans to receive Him in His journey toward Jerusalem. These Samaritans would not receive Him. James and John wanted fire to be sent from heaven to destroy them. Hence, the rebuke of Christ and the reminder of His mission into the world. Jesus came to save. There will be those who reject Him, but they may later change their mind about Him. However, to reject Christ is to reject His salvation. Jesus has sent His church to make ready the hearts of people to receive Him. Many do not hear our plea for their salvation. Our spirit is not for God to destroy them, but to hope that they might change their mind and come to know Him. Jesus and His disciples went to another village. There are so many more villages to which we must go. There is a world of people that we must tell the story of heaven's offer of redemption. Jesus came to earth because of His will for the salvation of those who would receive Him. Christ must be received into our hearts by obedience to His truth. He came to save. Let us not reject Him, but rather, receive Him.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord." Jeremiah 23:16. The Lord consistently warns us to be careful of prophets. Not all prophets are of God. Not all speak the word of God. False prophets speak of their own heart. They prophesy their own will. If the prophet does not speak out of the mouth of the Lord, we are not to hear that prophet. A prophet who speaks a vision of his own heart will take us into error and sin. Prophets who speak a vision of their own heart do not give us warning against danger. Prophets who speak a vision of their own heart do not condemn sin and evil. A vision of one's own heart violates the word of the Lord. A vision of one's own heart turns from the truth of God. A vision of one's own heart is a lie that cannot save. A vision of one's own heart is a word that soothes, calms, and relaxes. A prophet who speaks his own vision has closed his ears to the word of the Lord. Such who hear a vision of one's own heart will finally feel the whirlwind of God's anger and wrath. Hear God's prophet and no other.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
"Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister, Martha." John 11:1. These three people were very close friends of Jesus. As we read through this chapter, we will see that Lazarus dies from his sickness. The Lord goes down to Bethany and raises Lazarus from the dead. Those who know Christ, and serve Him as their Lord, get sick. Sickness afflicts the human family. Those who are Christians and members of the Lord's church have disease. Sometimes that disease will cause one to die. Christians live in a world that is afflicted with many maladies. Servants of Jesus are not exempt from those maladies. We must understand as we see the sickness of Lazarus that we too will have illnesses. We are mortal, and therefore, we are subject to mortal weakness. But, our weakness and illness is not unto death. This was true for Lazarus. The Lord raised up Lazarus after four days in the grave for the glory of God. Death is a farewell to this world, and a good morning to the next world. We, as God's chosen, will know sickness in this life, but none in the life to come.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." I Timothy 6:17. Wealth has its responsibility. Sharing with those who need is one of those. I Timothy 6:18. Those who are rich must not trust in their wealth for it can soon be gone. They who possess it may not be able to keep it. All the things of this world have no guarantee. Therefore, trust in God. God is alive, and will always remain. God blesses time and again. The blessings that He bestows so freely are to be enjoyed. But never in a carnal way. Our joy comes from the service that we can offer unto Him. His blessings never cease. There is no uncertainty with God. Riches of this world are uncertain, but God is sure. While worldly riches can fly away, God does not. His children are ever under His watchful care. And, He ever gives us that which we need. His grace cannot cease, and His love cannot be diminished. Whatever He gives, He gives richly. His throne is a fountain of wealth.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6. Neither godliness nor contentment is easily found in our society of today. We are a people that are enveloped in sinfulness and a people who are constantly seeking to have more and more. Godliness is found when we submit to God and seek His will in our lives. We strive to be as pure and holy as He is. Godliness avoids sin, and seeks righteousness. Godliness does not follow the path of the wicked. Godliness will promote self worth, and free one from guilt. Godliness will lift one to a higher plane of living. Contentment will free one from materialistic pursuits, and seeking to surround one with those things that are only temporary. Contentment is satisfaction with what one has. It does not covet the things that are unnecessary in one's life. Discontent causes one to seek more and more. The more one seeks, the less satisfied one becomes. All things worldly do not last. Godliness will continue on into the next life. It fact, godliness promises one the abundant life. The true worth of an individual is not what one possesses, but rather what possesses the individual. True happiness is found when one becomes godly and content with blessings possessed.
Friday, May 5, 2017
"But the Lord shall endure forever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment." Psalm 9:7. We are consoled with the divine truth that the Lord endures. Enemies wage against heaven, but the Lord endures. The Lord conquers all. God cannot be overthrown. Our hearts rejoice in the endurance and continuance of the Lord. Stars burn out, but the Lord endures. The earth is draped in death, but the Lord endures. And His throne is set in heaven above. The Lord rules from His eternal habitation. And judgment goes forth. The judgment of God is swift and righteous. His throne is without error and prejudice is unknown. The Lord judges our enemies. Divine retribution is poured out upon the doers of evil. All errors of humanity are brought before the judgment of God. The Lord judges those who rise up against Him and His eternal cause. All that rise against Him fall before Him. His throne continues to stand. And judgment goes forth throughout all the earth. We rejoice in the doing of His will for we know that all who oppose Him shall come under His judgment. We fear not the wicked nor do we flee from the heathen for the Lord judges. The Lord has set a throne of judgment.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
"The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God." Psalm 14:2. God is in heaven, and He looks upon us. God beholds all of our deeds, whether those deeds be good or bad. God does not look from heaven to see our wealth and our achievement. God does not look from heaven to behold our strides in medicine and education. God looks from heaven to see if we understand and seek Him. God is not sought without understanding. We must understand that we are His creation, and that He is God. We must understand that we have a duty toward Him. We are to understand that He is the Giver of all blessings. We are to understand that service to Him is the height of all of our accomplishment. God looks upon us with an eye of intent. He beholds with patience and love. God desires our heart and our devotion. We are to understand that we are but pilgrims on a journey that is brief. With that understanding, let us seek Him and know Him as the One who can bless, but also curse.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
"And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." Colossians 1:21. Oh, what a mighty act can be wrought by grace. Alienated from God without a bridge. Enemies of God without a mediator. Wickedness had created the great divide. Evil never works any good. Man without the help of God. Man engaged in war with God. That is such a hopeless battle. But, God acted. God sought for the restoration of humanity unto Himself. Christ became the Mediator. His blood dissolved the sin. Restoration was possible. Man must come through faith. Grace is ineffective without faith. Faith is impossible without grace. God offers reconciliation, and man must respond. As God reaches forth His hand from heaven, we must take hold. God pulls us from the fire. God gives us a place in His house. God gives to the one who is now reconciled food from His table and clothes from His closet. The wicked worker is renewed. Reconciliation makes new. The old sinful self dies, and a new person is born. Reconciliation gives back what has been lost. Reconciliation restores friendship. No longer alienated. No longer enemies. United with God, and friends with the Creator.
Monday, May 1, 2017
"And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and shall bring you again unto the land of your fathers." Genesis 48:21. Israel had lived to see the son that had been taken from him so long ago. The reunion was sweet. But now, Israel, or Jacob, must die. His pilgrimage upon the earth was coming to a close. One day each one of us will say, Behold, I die. Death is the appointed end of all. Some die in infancy. Some die in youth. And, some live enough years to see old age. But, finally all will die. The grim reaper will visit each one. Our years upon the earth, regardless of how many, will come to a close. The curtain of our life will fall. It does not really matter how many years we live, but how well we have lived. Are we serving God? Are we preparing for the life that awaits us beyond the grave? Our earthly life is very short compared to the eternity that awaits us. We were born to live forever, just not upon the earth. We are traveling toward a destiny. How will the end of life find us? God will either judge us to be saved or lost. God will either accept us or He will reject us. Let us so live that we may say at the moment of our death, Behold, I am translated into life forever.