and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Burden of Sin

       Sin can be pleasurable for a time, but what we can’t see is the great burden it leads to in life.  It is like a load on our shoulders that serves no purpose other than to weigh us down.  David spoke about the heaviness of sin in his life:
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. Ps. 38:4-6

       David is talking about sin overwhelming him and what a heavy burden it was.  It made him feel stinky, troubled, weighed down, and sorrowful.  That is not the way the Lord wants us to live.  He wants us to have abundant life (John ), not a life of bondage (Luke )… and sin brings bondage.  Whether or not you see or feel it, sin will affect your spirit, mind and body as well as your relationships with others and with the Lord.

       But… there is hope for us in the Lord.  He hears our cry (Ps. 3:4) and delivers us (Ps. 56:13) out of the bondage and death we have brought into our own lives with our sin.  So, how does this happen?  Let’s read further:
For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God. v.15
For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. v.18
Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste
                                                        to help me, O Lord my salvation. v. 21,22

       David keeps on trusting and hoping in God, but he also does something about his sin.  He exposes/ announces it- in other words, he takes responsibility.  He doesn’t blame someone else, fate, or the wickedness surrounding him, but acknowledges it as his problem.  Then, David expresses his sorrow for his sin.  (Do we really ever consider how much our sin hurts the Lord?  He must be saddened to see us live under such bondage and heaviness when He has offered us so much better.)  Then David continues to cry out for the Lord’s help.

       There is forgiveness in Christ if we go to Him and confess (1Jn. 1:9).  Turning away from the sin (repentance) is also important.  Ez. says, “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.” Heb 12:1 says, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us   In other words, we have an action to do- repent, turn, and lay aside the sin.  And keep crying out to God for mercy and help, for our help comes from the Lord (Ps. 121:2) for as long as we live. (Ps. 116:1,2)

Lord, help us to despise all unrighteousness in this world and in our lives.  Let us see the burden of sin, give us strength to turn from it and a desire for true freedom in You.  Hear our cries oh Lord, and help us!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Water and Blood

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood...
1Jn. 5:6 

       I’m not going to get 'into a discussion' of what I believe this passage means, or what the great Christian thinkers consider it to mean.  I am just thinking about how Jesus’ human life began and ended.

---Jesus grew in the protection of Mary’s amniotic fluid which is where his lungs developed and other benefits were received.  This liquid was released when her ‘water broke’ sometime before He was born.  Like all babies, Jesus would have been born covered with blood.

---Jesus died on the cross, blood pouring out from almost every conceivable part of His body, then “…one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”  John 19:34 

       So we see that Jesus’ life in human form started with water and blood, and ended with water and blood.  Does that make His life seem rather pointless?  No.  In between His earthbound beginning and end He lived for most of 30 years in anonymity, and then had three incredible years in the public eye, of powerful teaching that would forever rock our world.  He always did His Father’s will and work. (John 4:34) His astounding claims of heritage were verified by the Father, the Spirit, (Mt. ; 1John 5:6) and by miracles far beyond anything ever seen before in any one man.

        Maybe it doesn’t matter how we entered this world, or how we leave it, but what matters is what we do with our time while we are here.  Perhaps we feel we have ‘wasted’ a lot of years ineffectually, but we can’t negate the learning and growing (character building) we have done.  What is important is doing what God’s will and work in His timing.  And our reward will be eternal life with the One who showed us the way of salvation  Jesus Christ.

Thank You Lord for showing us the way of truth,
                and for shedding Your blood for our salvation.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Storm’s Coming

       Close the windows, batten down the hatches, get the light unsecured items into the garage, and take cover in the house.  There’s a storm coming.  In some places that means hurricanes and covering windows up, in other places it means hiding in deep shelters to protect from the tornadoes.  We seem to know the unwritten rules of how to keep safe when danger is approaching- just as long as it is physical danger.  But, what about the spiritually dangerous storm coming… the end times?

        Some of us have given our lives to the Lord God, Creator and King over the universe, and for us, the end is not a fearful thing for He will be with us through it all and at some point- in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor. 15:52)- the rapture will take us away to be with Jesus Christ in the air, and we will be with Him forever. (1Th. ,17)  It is a different story for those who are playing in Christianity thinking that going to church and doing good works are their salvation.  These are hay and stubble (1Cor. ,13) and will be burned up as useless in the end.
       Far too many others think there is plenty of time for them to ‘straighten up’ or ‘get religion’ later, or maybe they’ll just have to spend some time in purgatory to pay for their sins before being allowed into Heaven.  Let me be clear: once you are dead your choice cannot be altered and you are either headed for Heaven or Hell. (Heb. 9:27)  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.(John 14:6) and “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,” (John 10:9)  There is only One Way- the Lord Jesus Christ.
       Please don’t wait until the storm is upon you to make up your mind.  No man knows how much time he has and his life can be taken in an instant. (Ecc. 9:12) Be prepared.  Do what you need to do to protect your spirit.  Get right with the God of creation before it is too late.  The best part is, He really wants to know you now and He has an abundant life for you to live on earth if you totally surrender to Him.

Jesus says:
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:20 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Starry Night (Song by Chris August)

Here is part of the lyrics from this song I like:
I'm giving my life to the only One, Who makes the moon reflect the sun
Every starry night, That was His design

        While I was pondering the words of this song, I thought about Genesis and God’s creation on the fourth day.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.(Gen. 1:16)  Why was the second light which rules the night (the moon) considered lesser?  One, because it was smaller, two, less intense, and three, because it was not considered as important.

       Consider what we have learned from science:  The sun, which is hot and made up of gases (intense/ powerful), is bigger than our moon which is ‘less important’ because it gives off no light on its own but only reflects the light of the sun.  The earth could not survive without the light and heat of the sun, but (I’m pretty sure) it could survive without the moon.

Ye are the light of the worldLet your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Mt. -16

       Perhaps Jesus is the sun compared to us, the moon.  He is (the original source of) Light (John ) that gives off heat and light to keep plants and animals alive and growing- and we cannot survive without Him, meanwhile, we His people reflect His light for the world around us to see.  Sometimes we are full and bright.  Other times the earth creates a shadow and we only reflect part of our surface: ¾, ½, ¼ or sometimes even just a sliver.

       Occasionally, like the moon we don’t reflect the light of Jesus very well for one reason or another.  The earth and clouds can obstruct the light of the moon just like troubles, sorrows, sin and shame etc. can cover the moon’s light from shining down on the earth.  In order for us (the moon) to fully shine we must remain in full view of the Son with no obstructions.  And those in the world who are losing interest in the darkness will be drawn to our light and thereby be drawn to the Lord.

Stay fully in the Lord’s presence, and let His Light reflect off you and your life!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time for Rest

       If you have ever read about some of the ‘great’ Christian men and woman of the past, you would see a few who did well into their later years, but many more who, often through sheer enthusiasm in serving God, over extended themselves.  Always feeling the needs of the people pressing in, they would put off needed rest, and in the end it cost their health and mental stability.

       When I read the gospels, it speaks of Jesus being on His own in prayer.  While I can’t say what it was like for Him, I find prayer a place of peace, joy and rest unlike any other.

               Alone morning prayer. Mark
               Prayer alone on mountain. Mark
               Jesus tells disciples to rest after ministering. Mark ,32
               Prayer in Gethsemane Mark 14:32
               Jesus alone. Luke
               Often alone in desert to pray. Luke 5:16
               Alone on mountain to pray all night. Luke 6:12

       So Jesus would go off on His own and pray.  Remember, He spent time in communion with the Father as is shown in John 17.  He knew the Father intimately, not just because they were both in the beginning, but because Jesus spent time with the Father here in His human form.  And Jesus knew He needed rest.  Often in times of mental attacks (death of John the Baptist), mental and emotional stress (crowds needing teaching, deliverance and healing), decision making (apostles), and physical stress (again, large crowds) Jesus, who understood the needs of the human body, would go off alone to find rest. 

Personally, I think we should follow His example.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How Much Do I Love the Lord?

       The Bible says if we love him we will obey him (John ) and if we love Him we will love our brothers. (1John )  We are supposed to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27)
       heart = thoughts, feelings
       soul = breath, spirit
       strength = force, ability, might
       mind = deep thought in its exercise = imagination, mind,

       When I think of questions like the post title, the answers always seem to be comparative to other things or in this case to other people.  It is logical to assume I love Him more than some and less than others.  That is an unsatisfactory answer as it seems unhelpful.  You and I are so used to comparing ourselves to others and yet it is all for naught.

       Here are my thoughts: a blind person walking around a city block has accomplished more than a sighted person, an intellectually challenged person achieving a 60% on a math test is likely better than a genius who scores 97%, and a person who was abused all their life… trusting and loving God just might mean more than someone who has never been hurt.  In other words, we should only compare ourselves to ourselves.  Perhaps a better question is: do I love God with all of my being and all of my ability?  In answer to that I can only say…

Not enough… yet!

Hopefully tomorrow I can do better
      And improve every day thereafter!

Precious Lord, please help me to love You more- completely and enthusiastically
And help me to express that love in the way You desire me to.