I continually find myself in complete and utter dismay with the current events in our precious country. The country that men and women have died to protect appears to be circling the drain claiming "rights" for those women who find themselves pregnant, but not desiring to give birth. My first thought, be it simplistic, if you don't want to risk getting pregnant with a child, then don't have sex. But, of course, who would deny the carnal animal instinct that was planted in each of us? Yes, this instinct was planted by God, but with very specific guidelines. Sex is a pleasure to be enjoyed by a man and women who enter into holy matrimony. And the crowd responds, "yeah, right"! How archaic is that thinking in the 21st Century? And thus we have it. The world at large has veered off the narrow road of God's GPS filling their lives with potholes of carnal self-satisfaction.
So the latest in a long list of "I can't believe we've stooped this low as a nation", is this new law coming out of New York. Evidently the lawmakers in this state hasn't one person who has read scripture from God Almighty. Aborting babies up until birth? You have got to be kidding me? Almost every single night on our local news we have descriptive pictures of animals that have been mistreated and individuals who are being punished by law for these actions. Now I'm not saying I'm against animals, but when did they get more important than people? Yep, people. Those babies are people from the time that sperm and egg got together. It is so important that God sent to us Psalm 139 beginning in verse 13. As a refresher, here is what it says....take a moment and read it.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.
Read the entire Psalm, it is a statement of our lives even before we came to be. There are no coincidences with God, there are divine appointments. If a woman's life is in danger with a pregnancy, she would know about it probably before she was with child. But, if not, she would certainly know about it before she was 6, 7, 8 or 9 months pregnant.
I know not all of us are going to be in agreement with laws that are made, but can you really say you agree with the law that is seemingly being voted upon in New York? How long will it be before it reaches other states? God help us all. There was a time Biblically when the world circled the drain and God said "enough".....and a flood covered the earth. Think God will keep on allowing His children, those He cared so much for that He sent His only Son to die on a cruel cross in order that they might live eternally, is just going to let those who minds and hearts are controlled by someone other than Him, continue to mock Him? We are trending on dangerous ground, friends. If you are a believer, it's time to make your thoughts and opinions known.
Psalm 12 states in The Message:
1-2 Quick, God, I need your helping hand!
The last decent person just went down,
All the friends I depended on gone.
Everyone talks in lie language;
Lies slide off their oily lips.
They doubletalk with forked tongues.
3-4 Slice their lips off their faces! Pull
The braggart tongues from their mouths!
I’m tired of hearing, “We can talk anyone into anything!
Our lips manage the world.”
5 Into the hovels of the poor,
Into the dark streets where the homeless groan, God speaks:
“I’ve had enough; I’m on my way
To heal the ache in the heart of the wretched.”
6-8 God’s words are pure words,
Pure silver words refined seven times
In the fires of his word-kiln,
Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
God, keep us safe from their lies,
From the wicked who stalk us with lies,
From the wicked who collect honors
For their wonderful lies.
God, our Father, forgive us, cleanse us, and deliver us from evil thoughts. Plant your Word in our hearts and change the hearts of stone that are so willing to sign a piece of paper into law that will kill thousands of babies. God save us and save those who can't defend themselves. In Jesus' Name, Amen
As I read through Day 7 in the Purpose Driven Life this morning, I was once again amazed at the simple prayer written for those who desire to follow Jesus. "Jesus I believe in you and I receive you." Not a load of words or a prewritten prayer, just nine words for a life to be completely changed forever and eternity with Christ sealed.
I grew up on a booklet entitled, "The Four Spiritual Laws". It was the way I was taught to witness to people about the Lord Jesus. The booklet was an aid in leading a person to Christ ending with a prayer of repentance. But I felt that in order for a person's prayer to be accepted the words of that prayer were needed. I have learned so much since then.
Jesus doesn't require a set prayer or a particular wording. He desires a change of heart. God knows us down to the number of hairs on our head. Of course He knows if we are truly being changed due to a change of our heart when it comes to believing in His Son, Jesus Christ. Remember the thief on the cross next to Jesus? He made a "death bed" conversion and Jesus told him that very day he would join him in paradise.
It's a simple meaningful prayer from a heart that has been touched by the Spirit of God. Trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is all it takes; for some it is easy, for others outrageous. I beg you to call out to your Creator God if you're riding the fence. One day your choices will render your eternal destiny and this simple prayer will no longer be available.
We have all faced needing to get an assignment completed whether it be for school, our career, or possibly a self appointed goal. But have we ever entertained the idea that life is an assignment with an expiration date attached? If you are anything like me, I don't dwell on the fact that one day I will no longer be living in this body and a resident of this earthly life. But if we all knew when that day will come, would we live differently? Would eternity be considered as a part of our lives, or would we continue to pretend that death isn't coming for us? Or at the very least, death isn't part of the scenario right now so why think about it?
Scripture states: "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away." Psalm 39:4, taken from the New Living Translation. Or how about "I am here on earth for just a little while." Psalm 119:19 from the Today's English Version and one of my personal favorites is taken from James 4 beginning in verse 13 of the New International Version, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
So I conclude this thought for today with what one author calls the two truths: 1) Life is brief, especially when compared to eternity and 2) earth is only your temporary residence. You were not made to last forever. So consider what will happen when that time comes; departure from your body, your family, your friends and co-workers. You've been feeding your body, educating your body, grooming your body, surrounding your body with environmental benefits, but have your done anything to feed, educate, groom or initiate beneficial growth to your soul? The clock is ticking....think about it.
"Measured against eternity, our time on earth is just a blink of an eye, but the consequences of it will last forever. There is more to life than just here and now."
- Rick Warren
I read this morning a question that I have heard throughout my lifetime. What is it going to be like in eternity with God? Of course we all know that it is impossible to answer this question because anyone who is still upright and breathing cannot know what eternity holds. But according to one writer, the capacity of our brains cannot come close to handling the wonder, majesty and greatness of heaven. He concludes with this statement, "It would be like trying to describe the Internet to an ant." I think he's correct. Our finite minds are not equipped to handle the knowledge and wisdom of the infinite mind of God.
An additional comparison concerning finite vs infinite wisdom, when we coo and talk with babies we don't give them equations of math, solutions dealing with chemicals or even quote the Ten Commandments to them. Why not? They are infants and their little minds cannot possibly consume, decipher or assimilate those elevated facts. They just continue to smile as we stare into those precious faces whose expressions seem to say, "I haven't a clue what you just said, but I love you anyway." So it is with us. We demand to know answers to our questions concerning God and His glory insisting we are intelligent enough to consume, decipher and assimilate His knowledge. Friends, it's not going to happen. If you could pull down Almighty God to your level and look Him eye to eye to understand the mysteries of faith....then He wouldn't be God. We need to cease trying to be Him and simply love and trust Him. One day it will all be revealed.
Keep your eyes on the Cross of Calvary and you will see heaven up close and personal one day.
"No mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what wonderful things
God has ready for those who love the Lord." I Corinthians 2:9 - the Living Bible
Resolution (a firm decision to do or not to do something)
Most everyone initiates a resolution, or possibly a list of enhancements to alter change in their lives, but how many continue to enact these commitments for 365 days?
As I dusted off my copy of Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life" and began reading it as part of my devotional time each morning, Rick brought to mind the final judgment when we are brought before God. Now for those of you who may not be familiar with this coming event, it is spoken of in scripture there will be a day when we are brought before God to give an account of the deeds, actions, words, etc., we have carried out in these earthly bodies. As a poor visual, it would be as if there were a huge screen on which all of your life will be displayed for viewing before your Creator God. Nothing will be left out because He sees, hears and knows every single thing you have done and said throughout your entire earthly life.
But here are the two questions Rick believes will be asked of us. They are good ones to ponder, so I will pass them along to you. 1) . What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ? and 2) What did you do with what I gave you?
We so often get caught up in our own self-fulfilling goals and dreams we might leave out the purpose we were given life in the first place. Just think with me for a minute....life was breathed into your body at birth not as a consequence of the Big Bang Theory. Breath came into your body due to the Will of our Heavenly Father. He knows all about you even to the point of counting the hairs on your head. You were not accidentally the collision of egg and sperm. The parents you have were selected and you were part of God's plan. As such, He didn't throw you out into the universe to survive anyway possible. He gifted you with talents and, in return, expected you to ignite those talents and use them for Him (by the way, those gifts and talents are being used to put bread on your tables). That gifting wasn't given so you could accumulate all the wealth, gadgets, homes, cars and educational pursuits galore. Although, those things in and of themselves are not defective or unacceptable. But when they are placed above God and His Son, Jesus Christ, then we have crossed some very important lines.
So I place those two questions before you as we head into another year. Even if you think the final judgement will never happen, that all I am writing is warped, what if I'm correct? What if, take time to consider, this will all transpire and these questions will be asked of you as your turn comes to stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. As He looks upon you with a face full of compassion and maybe sadness...."What did you do with my Son, Jesus Christ?" Not what religion were you, how many times you attended church, or how much money was given for ministry purposes. But did you believe in God's Son, Jesus Christ and if so, did you live like you believed it? Did you talk about him, read about him in scripture, live your life to honor him and tell your children about him?
And secondly, "What did you do with what I gave you?" Was one day out of all your days using those beautiful gifts and talents used for His glory and honor? Or was your life full of getting up, getting dressed, using your profession, living a good life that never uttered a word in God's direction, but always expecting Him to be present during times of troubles? God is not a genie in a bottle, friends. And when Jesus returns it won't be a laughing matter. Your time will be up to consider, to ponder and/or to change. He continues to wait with open arms for us to come to him.
Just think about it as the New Year unfolds.....
These were the words to a song I learned as a child at Flat Creek Baptist Church. The lyrics continued with our eyes, ears and tongues and I imagine you can fill in the blanks with the rest of the tune, but as I came across the picture posted on this particular link for the month of January taken by my good friend, Judy Ross, I couldn't help but look at the footprints. It seemed appropriate for the start of a new year to ask the question, "Where are your feet headed for the next 365 days? Well, minus four, but you get my jest.
Ironically, I read this morning an entry in Max Lucado's book entitled, "Jesus" that dealt with Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. It was an eye opener. Max listed, as only a human could, why would Jesus stoop to wash the feet of those who had experienced periods of being selfish and non believing? Added to that fact, Jesus knew in a very short time they would all run as fast as possible in a different direction as he was charged with crimes he didn't commit. And there we have it. Why should we do anything for another when we find we have been deserted, abandoned, lied to, given the silent treatment, left at the altar, disrespected or you might find descriptive words for past experiences.
If Max doesn't mind and his publisher doesn't come after me, I'd like to quote a few lines for you that deal with our logic versus the love and mindset of our Savior and outlined in Max's book:
Logic says: "Put up your fists."
Jesus says: "Fill up the basin."
Logic says: "Bloody his nose."
Jesus says: "Wash his feet."
Logic says: "She doesn't deserve it."
Jesus says: "You're right, but you don't either."
Why does God continue to love us and care for us? Why continue to fill our lungs with air when the air we breathe in doesn't utter one statement of gratitude? Why? Because our feet are filthy and we don't own one thing that can cleanse the mud and caked on sin except the basin of water Jesus is offering to personally wash it away. The God of the universe, of all creation, is willing to stoop down on his knees, tie a towel around his waist and wash away the grime that has you stuck in sin and self-importance.
Do you consistently utter, "It's okay, God, I can find my way, I don't need a personal foot wash...besides I don't think I'm that dirty. But if you want to sprinkle a few drops that's okay." I John 1:8 "If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
Jesus is forgiveness and love. He washed the feet of the betrayer, the turncoats and the confused. And he continues to wash sin away from every person requesting forgiveness. If you haven't already, allow the Master to wash your feet and give you an entirely new and beautiful outlook on life. Start the year with Jesus by your side.
II Peter 3:8-9 . KJV
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.