A hard lesson

Lessons will be learned by anyone running their first marathon, where physical and mental prowess are put to the test. As with God’s calling, one must first learn of His great salvation, before he may begin to enter the field of service. The service or ministry of the Lord is often where one’s convictions are tested. Most begin with honorable motives, seeking to better know and please the Lord. However many begin this battle using the wrong weaponry. A Spiriual war must be fought with spiritual weapons provided by God. In the spiritual arena, the old man of flesh is greatly challenged by a hard fought or losing battle. Eventually some grow weary and lose heart. Some may even begin to question if it is all worth it. In layman’s terms, if one finds it difficult to love and serve God when it is easy, what will happen in the occasion persecutions arises or there is a need for self sacrifice. Good news! The Lord has not asked any to enter the field of service alone. In fact, He states in Matt 28:20, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. God’s presence and promises bring us peace, comfort and renewed strength.

Jeremiah delivers this powerful illustration in this verse. May all consider the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who loved us to the end.

Jer 12:5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan

Trash & Treasure

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

This old saying still holds true. One man stumbles across an old piece of wood, while an artisan sees the makings of a guitar which will resonate a range of tones appealing to all who hear. In the hands of God all men have great value! While our natural condition has many flaws, in the hands of God we can be recreated, redeemed and recycled, made new.

Paul recounts a time when he did not esteam his life very highly, nor seeing any value in his life’s work, howerver God’s love, grace and mercy changed everything.

1 Tim 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love 15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
16 Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

In the hands of a good cook, even beat up old, dingy pots and pans can be used to make a tasty, healthy supper.

Consider what God can do withthose having a willing heart, willing to love and surrender to Him in faith. 

1 Cor 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, 29 so that no man may boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

Praise the Lord for His great salvation! 

Love for the God of our Salvation

Isa 12:1 Then you will say on that day, “I will give thanks to You, O LORD; For although You were angry with me,Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.

2 “Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the LORD GOD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”

3 Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.

4 And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted.”

5 Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.

6 Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.  

An appeal for a clean Heart

Psalm 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.

4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9 Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.

16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

Blessing of a Clean Heart

Matt 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

The Holy Spirit of God does not need bells, whistles and heart pounding music to lead one to know God and His will

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Cleaning up our hearts is the work of God. This is done in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and Word of Truth

2 Tim 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

Our Lord calls us to sweet fellowship with those having a pure heart.

May we follow the teachings found in the 51Chapter of the book of Psalms and petition our Lord to create in each of us a clean heart

God Bless

Faith that can not be shaken

Luke 6:47 “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

As our world continues to go through rapid change, one is left to question what will be tomorrow. Consider the succession of advavnces in personal technology, such as, communications, healthcare, banking, entertainment. The World Wide Web was created in 1989-90, but did not come to find mass appeal until the mid 90’s. In 2007, the IPhone
and it’s contemporarys, brought mass market pocket computers to nearly every man, woman and child. Now many are investing in crypto- currencies that have no allegiance to any nation or government. How does one discern the future?

Let the Bible student remember, these things must happen. Let us take comfort in the solid rock, our firm foundation, Jesus Christ and His word.

Heb 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
29 for our God is a consuming fire.


The resurrection from the dead

There are some who believe that life begins and ends without purpose. While others hope there will one day be a resurrection from the dead, where each will stand before his maker. The subject of the resurrection and the means by which it will happen has been a source of controversy since Bible times. 

Acts 17:30 “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,

31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”

Does one sneer at the thought or search the Holy Scriptures to hear more of the hope of the resurrection in Jesus Christ?

Teaching the fear of The Lord

Psalm 34:11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?

13 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.

14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.

16 The face of the LORD is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.

18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.

20 He keeps all his bones,
Not one of them is broken.

21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

Clashing Cultures

Around the world, from place to place ideas, customs and social behaviors vary. What is considered acceptable in the United States may be found unacceptable, offensive and wrong in other parts of the world. Time is another influence on cultures. Change can be a heavy burden when it come to culture. As values change, ideas, emotions and behaviors collide. One important value taught in the Holy Scriptures is the fear of The Lord. This teaching is often hard to understand causing many to stumble. However, the Scripture speak of great blessings promised to the one who fears The Lord.

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap;
He lays up the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.

Psalm 25:12 Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.

13 His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.

14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.

Better than life

Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2 Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.

4 So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.

5 My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,

7 For You have been my help,
And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy

8 My soul clings to You;
Your right hand upholds