and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Am Unnecessary to God.

       The Lord brought this up to me the other day.  You might think it cruel or maybe even untrue, but the Lord doesn't lie.  It didn't invoke any strong feelings good or bad, but just made me think about the statement.  God always was.  He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; who was, and is, and is to come...
      God is all powerful, all-knowing, all present and can do all He pleases.  No one may stand in His way for His purposes will be accomplished.  "...My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose," (Is. 46:10).  The Lord is complete within Himself; in other words, He doesn't need man to complete Him.  We are not necessary to Him.
       Perhaps this is scary to consider, but I think it is a good thing to know for two basic reasons.  The first is that we realize how small we (as humans) are in the grand scheme of life.  It helps us to remain humble in God's service.  We are but ashes and dust (Gn. 18:27).  We are like vapour, breath, grass, shadows and swiftly over.  (Here are only some Scriptures...)
...For what is your life? For it is a vapor, which appears for a little time, and then disappears. Jm. 4:14
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!... Ps. 39:5 ESV & all after this
...All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 1Pt. 1:24 (also Is. 40:6)
Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. Ps. 144:4
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle... Job. 7:6
       The other thing is, we all want to feel special, important and indispensable because it makes us feel good, wanted, powerful, and like only we can do certain tasks or do them better than others.  (As I pondered my 'unnecessity', it was actually a somewhat liberating.)  See, He could use anyone He wants to so it doesn't have to be us.  His kingdom will still advance if we aren't doing His will because what He wants will be accomplished (Is. 46:10; 55:11); He can always find someone else to do the job... like a donkey (Nm. 22:28+) or a raven (1Kn. 17:6) or a Samaritan (Lk. 10:33+)
       This means that if I mess up in sharing the Gospel, accomplishing a task, or showing His light to others, He will use another person to fill in the void so that His will will ultimately be done.  It takes some of the pressure off me.  It certainly doesn't make me want to sit back and let everyone else do it.  I am honoured that He desires to be with me, work with me and allow me to help further His kingdom.  Our lives are so fleeting it amazes me that He invests so much time in us and that even though we mess up so often, He still wants to use us as His vessels for His glory.  Wow!  What an opportunity!
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.
1Cr. 10:31
Lord, You continue to amaze me...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

       Jesus, I'd just like to say Happy Birthday.  We actually don't celebrate Your eternal birthday because You always were so we'll just celebrate Your birthday in human flesh today. I guess it's been about 2010 years ago.  I am so thankful that You came.  It will always amaze me that You willingly came into such a limited form, went through all the trials of life for me, and then gave Your life over to death so that I could live.

       I am so very grateful that You were born.  You are Emmanuel, God with us.  Be with us today and help us to grow closer to You every day.  Thank You for all You've done but most of all, thank You for who You are.  We love You!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Only One

          or One Day to Christmas

       Jesus.  Only one baby born both God and man.  Only one man came to save us from our sin and eternal damnation.  Only one man bore the judgment, beatings and torture for our deliverance.  Only one man laid down His life to pay the penalty of our sin.  Only one man died on the cross where I should have been- for the joy of my salvation.  Only one man.

       Only one man rose from the dead.  Only one man poured out His blood on the mercy seat for us.  Only one man intercedes on our behalf to the Father.  Only one man is our mediator.  There is only one man who is our hope, our peace, our joy, our strength, our life.  There is only one we need to trust and have faith in, the great I AM.

but there is to us only one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we by Him. 1Cr. 8:6
There is one body and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all. Ep. 4:4-6
For God is one, and there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, 1Tm. 2:5

In this season it is important to remember…  
                                                We must seek Him still.

Rachel weeping for her children…

          or Two Days to Christmas

       Sometime between Jesus’ birth and Herod’s death (v.19) some wise men from the east came to the king in Jerusalem and wanted to know, “…Where is He who is born king of the Jews?...” (Mt. 2:2)  Herod was troubled when he heard the things of which they spoke (v.3).  His own men told him the baby was to be born in Bethlehem (v.5), so Herod inquired exactly when the star appeared (v.7).  He asked that when they find the king of the Jews that they return and tell Herod where the lad was, but they never returned.

       Joseph was warned to flee to Egypt with Mary and the young child.  Enraged and afraid there was a contender for his throne, Herod set out to kill Jesus. 

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was greatly enraged. And he sent and killed all the boys in Bethlehem, and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had carefully inquired of the wise men. v.16

       Herod chose that age carefully factoring in the information the wise men gave him.  To be certain Jesus would die, all those that were two and under in Bethlehem and surrounding area were to be murdered.  In fulfillment of Jr. 31:15, these words were written:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." v.18

       Weeping, wailing, screaming, and mourning over two years worth of babies.  I can’t imagine what it was like having your child (or possibly 2) ripped out of your arms only to be slaughtered.  Remember, they didn’t have birth certificates back then so to ensure the job was done, they probably erred on the ‘older than’ side.  For two years there were no birthdays around Bethlehem for two year old boys because one man was afraid to lose his power…  How sad is that!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Trinity, Three In One

          or Three Days to Christmas
       My favorite 'three' of all is my favorite three people in the world.  My Father, My Savior (Jesus), and My Comforter.  It took me decades to understand the trinity and I know my understanding is humanly limited. Three distinct people- one God.  At one point I realized whether or not I ever understood the concept, it didn't matter.  All that mattered is that I believe / trust God's Word and what it said on the matter.  Eventually more understanding would come (and it did) but total understanding will only be had in the presence of my God...
And quite honestly, I need all three in my life. 
I cannot be complete if I exclude any one of them.
And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness... Gn. 1:26
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. 1Jh. 5:7
Hear, O, Israel. Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. Dt. 6:4
I and the Father are one! Jh. 10:30
that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. Jh. 17:21
Some think the Old Testament doesn't verify the Trinity, but it does:
     Father- Is. 64:8; Dt. 32:6; Ps. 89:26
     Son- Is. 9:6; Ps. 2:7; Pr. 30:4
     Holy Spirit- 1Sm. 19:20; Is. 32:15; Ps. 51:11

(Some other Trinity Scriptures: Mt, 28:19; Lk. 1:35; Jh. 14:26; Ac. 2:32,33; 1Cr. 12:4-6; 2Cr. 13:14; Gl. 4:6; Ep. 4:4-6; Cl. 2:9;  1Pt. 1:2)

Four Mistreated Men Do the Right Thing

           or Four Days to Christmas
       I have never had a serious medical physical appearance issue that made me embarrassed to be seen in public.  The worst that ever happened was a kind of skin infection under my nose that extended down close to my lips, but it went away in a few days.  I can't imagine the lepers of Bible days, shunned out of fear, considered punished for impurity and sin, seeing looks of disgust from those passing by, never knowing a loved one's touch again, banished from your home... that's where we meet four lepers sitting outside the besieged Samaria (2Kn. 6:24).
(The famine was so bad food became incredible expensive and they began eating children.  Of course this meant lepers were probably completely ignored.)
And four men, lepers, were at the gate entrance. And they said to one another, Why do we sit here until we die? ...come and let us fall to the army of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we shall live. And if they kill us, we shall only die. And they rose up in the twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. And when they had come to the outermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, no man was there!  For Jehovah had made the army of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, the noise of a great army. ...And they arose and fled in the twilight and left their tents and their
horses and their asses, the camp, as it was, and fled for their life. 2Kn. 7:3-7
       Four men banished to isolation from the ones they love decide to throw themselves on the mercy of their enemies instead of starving to death.  I can't imagine the fear they would have felt heading toward the enemy camp, but the surprise to find no one there, only spoils, must have been shocking.  God provided food, clothing, and finances for these four abandoned men (and His people).  They took spoils, hid them for future needs, returned and did it again.
       Eventually, the four decided to share the news with the townspeople.  They went back and told the gate porter who informed the king.  After verifying the information, the townspeople went out and plundered the camp (v.15).  What amazes me is that these four men could have been bitter about how they were treated, nearly starved and despised, but instead they shared the good news, and helped others.  Sometimes we feel justified in our bad treatment of others, but God is always good to us and so we should always do good to others.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you. Ep. 4:32
And as you desire that men should do to you, you do also to them likewise. Lk. 6:31