and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Four Day Festival

       It’s day three volunteering at the town festival and for the first time in a long time the weather is co-operating.  Though I am enjoying most of it, I get very tired in the outside air.  It makes me wonder how the Jews managed to do so many festivals; in one of them (Sukkot) you have to stay outside in a booth for seven days as much as possible!  Why do they do so many festivals?  Frankly, because the festivals are to remind them of all God has done for them personally and as a nation.

We are also told to remember (to me these are the most interesting parts):  

And remember that you were a slave… Dt. 5:15
And you shall remember all the way which Jehovah your God led you… Dt. 8:2
Remember, and do not forget, how you provoked Jehovah your God… Dt. 9:7
Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, Ps. 105:5
…remember what Jehovah your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. Dt. 7:18
Remember what Amalek did to you by the way… Dt. 25:17
Remember His marvelous works which He had done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, 1Chr. 16:12
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth… Ec. 12:1
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Is. 43:18
you who remember Jehovah, do not be silent. Is. 62:6
You who have escaped the sword, go away; do not stand still. Remember Jehovah afar off… Jer. 51:50
And you shall remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall despise yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Ez. 36:31
Remember Lot's wife. Lk. 17:32
But you, beloved, remember the words spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, Jude 1:17
Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the first works Rev. 2:5
Remember then how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief… Rev. 3:3

       It’s fascinating to think about these Scriptures and how they impact our lives. Some of them require meditation on why God would say such a thing and how we should respond the same way.  One mentions not to remember the former things or things of old, not just because of the ‘bad’, but because of the ‘good’.  Sometimes we get caught up in the glory of the great things God did in the past that it hinders us from moving forward with Him.  Anyway, I think I’m going to meditate on one a day until I’m done and see what kind of nourishment I get.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

The Light Came into the Darkness

(Jesus said) I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Jh. 8:12

       God can speak to us in many ways, and for me, one of the ways He occasionally speaks is through music.  At service on Wednesday we began singing ‘Here I am to Worship’ by Chris Tomlin, just the first couple lines, ‘Light of the world, You step down into darkness. Opened my eyes let me see.’  It dawned on me that it wasn’t just the darkness in the world that Jesus stepped into, but also the darkness in me.

delivering you from the people and the nations, to whom I now send you in order to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the authority of Satan to God… Ac. 26:17,18
For He has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; Col. 1:13
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1Pt. 2L9

       These Scriptures speak about man being in darkness under Satan’s authority until we are called out, our eyes are opened and we are translated into Jesus’ kingdom of light.  We all lived in darkness at some point.  For me, the darkness was mostly internal, but it was a deep abiding darkness, one I had no power to escape.  The Lord stepped into my personal darkness bringing hope and light into my life and changing me forever.

Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God. 1Jh. 4:15
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1Cor. 3:15
I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me… Gal. 2:20

       God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ are all mentioned.  God came to dwell in me.  Me!  Why would He want to come dwell in the disgusting filth that was me?  Sinner.  I was (and am still) a sinner (Rom. 3:23) yet He came to live in me, and still does today.

       “…He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.(Jh. 8:12) Personally, I wouldn’t choose to live in filth, always feeling dirty, but He loves me enough to do that, and He has never turned His back on me, even when I accused Him of that very thing.   

Oh Lord, every day I understand more of Who You are and what You have done.  Thank You, thank You, thank You!

We have the victory because of You

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overtake it.
Jh. 1:5

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Ages of Time

       I never lived in medieval days, but it’s fun to dress up and go to medieval villages, pretend that we lived in that ‘noble’ time (when in reality we know there was much grief, corruption and oppression), root for our favorite knights in the games, and watching old time crafts like metal work or glass blowing being done.  There have been many ages of time out there, but though some say we are now in the modern age, I believe we are in the age of last days.  How do I know?  The Bible says so.    

Know this also, that in the last days grievous times will be at hand. For men will be self-lovers, money-lovers, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, false accusers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, reckless, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it; even turn away from these.
For of these are those who creep into houses and lead captive silly women loaded with sins, led away with different kinds of lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth. But as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so these also resist the truth, men of corrupt mind, reprobate concerning the faith. 2Tm. 3:1-8

knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation." 2Pt. 3:3,4 ESV

       It doesn’t take long reading the descriptions of what people will be like in that last days to realize we ARE living them now.  Ah, but people have been saying that forever and it hasn’t happened yet!  Go back and read 2Peter again.  When we say that, we become the scoffers in that passage.  Scoffers are those who jeer (laugh at, boo), mock (ridicule, scorn), or treat something with contempt (disdain, disrespect, disapproval, with condescension).  So, let’s look at the list and see what we are living with, in the world around us and unfortunately in the church as well.

  • grievous times- hard to do, hard to bear, troublesome, harsh, dangerous
  • self lovers- selfish, care more about self interest than others
  • money lovers- money has become more important than people
  • boasters- empty pretender, braggers, of what we have/ buy, what we do, where we work
  • proud- haughty, showing self above others, pre-eminent, haughty of merits, despising others, treating others with contempt
  • blasphemers- speak evil, slanderous (malicious), reproachful (accusing, critical, judgmental), abusive (rude, insulting, foul, offensive)
  • disobedient to parents- impersuasible, not compliant, contumacious (stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority)
  • unthankful- ungracious, thankless, ungrateful
  • unholy- impious, irreverent, immoral, wicked
  • without natural affection- hard hearted towards others, unfriendly or distant, inhuman (ruthless, cruel), unloving
  • unyielding- promise or covenant breakers, implacable (relentless, cold hearted, callous)
  • false accusers- prone to falsely accusing, slander, sides with devil or his kingdom
  • without self-control- intemperate (immoderate, unbalanced, extreme, hot headed)
  • savage- fierce (brutal, violent, stern, angry, vicious)
  • despisers of good- opposed to goodness and good men
  • traitors- betrayer (rebel, deserter)
  • reckless- fall headlong, precipitously, rash, reckless (irresponsible, wild, thoughtless, uncontrolled, inattentive)
  • puffed up- puff up with pride, render insolent, blind with conceit, render foolish or stupid
  • lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- self explanatory
  • having a form of godliness, but denying the power of it- appearance of godliness/ holiness but deny, abjure not accept (renounce, reject, give up), reject
  • creep into houses and lead captive silly women loaded with sins- sneak or insinuate one’s self into residences
  • led away with different kinds of lusts- led by various desires
  • ever learning and never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth- getting smarter in facts, increasing knowledge, but no recognition of ethical and divine knowledge
  • these also resist the truth- resist (set self against, withstand, resist, oppose)
  • men of corrupt mind- depraved, corrupted, destroyed minds (perception, understanding, feeling)
  • reprobate concerning the faith- unfit, spurious (false, bogus, imitation)
  • scoffers- mocker, ridiculer
  • following their own sinful desires- leading or following their own sinful desires, cravings, lusts

       After reading this list you’ve got to believe we are in the last days too and that much of this has snuck into the church.  But we do not have to accept any of these in ourselves or our brothers.  We can encourage each other toward godliness, pray for help from our Savior and eventually we will become the Bride without spot or wrinkle for which the Lord returns.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Monday, June 03, 2013


       From the time I was about a week old until I was 17ish I went to the Roman Catholic Church every Sunday unless I was contagious or in the hospital.  The grade school I attended was right next door and we would learn our catechism and attend additional services.  Sometime in grade 2ish I took part in a new sacrament called penance.  Though I don’t remember my first time I’m sure it went something like this: wait forever, go into the small, dark, scary room, kneel down, tell the priest the bad things you did (or lie about it if you can’t think of any), then listen to his absolution, leave and say prayers to be forgiven.

       Little did I know then that a man could never take the place of The Son of Man and what He did for me.  Jesus Christ was sinless (2Cor. 5:21; 1Pt. 2:22; Heb. 4:15) yet He died for our sins, rose again (1Cor. 15:3,4) to sit at the right hand of God (Mr. 16:19; Heb. 8:1) and lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25).  It wasn’t until later that I realized Jesus had gone into the Heavenly Holy of Holies to ‘pour His blood on the altar for us’, not a temporary atonement like the blood of animals was, but an eternal atonement only possible by the blood of the sinless Lamb.

The next day John sees Jesus coming to him and says, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Jh. 1:29
nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. 9:12
even as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies every year with the blood of others  now once in the end of the world He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Heb. 9:25,26

       So Jesus is our last and high priest forever, the only one able to obtain a lasting sacrifice for our sins (Heb. 10:10) because of His divinity- humanity and sinlessness; not one that just covers them like animal sacrifices (Heb. 10:4), but one that washes them completely away (Rev. 1:5; 1Jh. 1:7).

where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone on our behalf, having become a high priest forever... Heb. 6:20 ISV
But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. We need such a high priest—one who is holy, innocent, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.  Heb. 7:24,26 ISV

       Jesus is our mediator, to obtain our salvation from God.  We do not need a man to do such a job as Jesus has already provided what is needed.  We do not need to kneel in a box and confess only to be absolved by another human being.  We have the Precious Son, the Redeemer, and our eternal High Priest Jesus Christ to forgive us and wash away our sins by His sacrificed blood.

For God is one, and there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1Tm. 2:5,6
And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new covenant… Heb. 9:15

And there is salvation in no other One;
for there is no other name under Heaven given among men
by which we must be saved.
Ac. 4:12