“Your Grace Has Brought Me Safe Thus Far”

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So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. — Joshua 4:8 NLT

Often when a major event had occurred in the lives of the children of Israel, God would instruct them to set up stones or build an altar.  These stones or altars were built or erected as a token of remembrance for God’s help in bringing them safely this far. It was also a reminder to tell future generations about the goodness and the mercies of God. They were unique in that they were always built with natural, uncut stones.  Crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land for the first time was a once-in-a-lifetime major event. The Israelis put twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan to mark the spot of the crossing and carried twelve stones to Gilgal and erected them there to mark the spot of their first encampment in their new homeland.  We need to be aware of the major events in our lives and construct mental and/or physical landmarks as a way to remember these events.  We need to point out these times to our future generations as a remembrance of what God has done for us.  When Samuel erected the stone between Mizpah and Jeshanah (1 Samuel 7:12) to mark the spot where God had defeated the Philistines for the Israelis, he named it “Ebenezer” which means a stone of help.  It is by the help of God that we have come this far safely.  Let us stop, set up an Ebenezer, pray, worship and celebrate God’s goodness and mercies in our lives.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-12-2018

Spots In Our Love Feasts

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33 And though they worshiped the Lord, they continued to follow their own gods according to the religious customs of the nations from which they came. — 2 Kings 17:33 NLT
 
 
Again and again, God allowed other kings to invade and conquer portions of Israel.  He did this because they refused to obey His laws and they refused to keep His commandments.  Finally, God allowed the king of Assyria to remove all of Israel to other countries.  After doing this, the king of Assyria brought in foreigners to settle the land of Israel.  God did not like this, so God sent lions in to destroy the foreigners.  The king was informed that this was happening because the new settlers did not know how to worship God correctly.  He brought in an Israelite priest to instruct them in proper worship.  They learned and practiced the proper worship procedures, but they also continued to worship the idols of each of their respective homelands.  God will not stand for impurities in any worship service or offering to Him.  Either He is our God or He is not, there is no middle ground.  Our God is a jealous God and He will not allow any other god(s) to be a part of our love affair with Him.  Our God deserves worship from hearts that are pure and undefiled.  When we celebrate Jesus, our celebrations must be in obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We must lift up holy hands in His honor.  There can be no spots in our love feasts.  Everything must honor Him and Him alone.
 
Post 05-15-2016

“Hither By Thy Help I’ve Come”*

even-smaller-bug-light1So the men did as Joshua had commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe, just as the Lord had told Joshua. They carried them to the place where they camped for the night and constructed the memorial there. — Joshua 4:8 NLT

Often when a major event had occurred in the lives of the children of Israel, God would instruct them to set up stones or build an altar.  These stones or altars were built or erected as a token of remembrance for God’s help in bringing them safely this far. It was also a reminder to tell future generations about the goodness and the mercies of God. They were unique in that they were always built with natural, uncut stones.  Crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land for the first time was a once-in-a-lifetime major event. The Israelis put twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan to mark the spot of the crossing and carried twelve stones to Gilgal and erected them there to mark the spot of their first encampment in their new homeland.  We need to be aware of the major events in our lives and construct mental and/or physical landmarks as a way to remember these events.  We need to point out these times to our future generations as a remembrance of what God has done for us.  When Samuel erected the stone between Mizpah and Jeshanah (1 Samuel 7:12) to mark the spot where God had defeated the Philistines for the Israelis, he named it “Ebenezer” which means a stone of help.  It is by the help of God that we have come this far safely.  Let us stop, set up an Ebenezer, pray, worship and celebrate God’s goodness and mercies in our lives.
*From the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Post 03-18-2016

Celebrate! Give Gifts!

even-smaller-bug-light13 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. — Galatians 4: 3-7 NIV

Unlike humans, God is not concerned with the segments of time, such as minutes. hours, days, months, etc.  He sees things throughout eternity. There is a “set time” for all of the events in His plan to take place.  God is never surprised by any event or action by any being.​  God did not see man sin and then quickly devise a plan to redeem him from that sin.  The plan had been put into place “before the creation of the world”.
 

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. — Eph. 1:3, 4 NIV​ ​

As the Divine Trinity, He could not shed blood, but He had ordained that without the shedding of blood, there could be no forgiveness of sin.
 

22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. — Hebrews 9:22 NIV

​To fulfill the law, He, Himself, became human so that He might shed His blood for our sins.​ 
 

But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. — Hebrews 9:26a-28 NIV

He came that we might be redeemed, forgiven, and made sons of the only true and living God.  He placed HIs Spirit inside of us that we might call out to HIm, “Abba, Father”.   We, who were once slaves to sin, have now been made sons and heirs of the Father.  And He is coming again to complete our salvation and take us home to live with Him for eternity. There is no better gift to be given and no better reason to celebrate a birth!  From slaves to sons,  from heathens to heirs!  Celebrate!  Give gifts!
 

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.  ​
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” — Luke 3:10, 11 NIV

Post 12-22-2015

New Creations

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NRSV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.–Romans 12:1,2 (NRSV)

God has been so gracious and merciful to us to bring us to another New year’s Eve. As we contemplate our activities for the day and make our resolutions (if you do that), let us take into account the One who has given us this new day and this coming new year. Our activities should reflect the love that Christ Jesus has shown us and put in our hearts. The world desperately needs that message now more than ever. Let us resolve to make the new year a year that we dedicate or re-dedicate our lives, body and soul to Him for His service. If we, as Christians, everywhere, firmly resolved to do that and actually carried it out, then maybe our resolutions could turn into a revolution! (Yes, I got the idea from the phone commercial, but it is a great idea). Rejoice tonight and in the coming year, but do it so that God gets the glory!
Post 12/31