and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pink Grasshopper

       It was a late summer day and I went to the back door of my house in order to go outside.  What I saw on the screen door made me stop, stare and wonder if I was seeing things, but yet, there it was- a bright pink grasshopper.  I captured it in a glass jar, poking holes in the lid, and showed it to my Mom.  We marveled at it for a while and I carried it around with me for a bit that day, but eventually the fact it was captive and not free made me sad.  I went out into the yard and let it go.  Later when I tried to tell anyone about it, they didn't believe me.  Many of them asked if I saw pink elephants too.

       I can't imagine what it would feel like to be a captive of someone's, stuck under their constant scrutiny.  There must be a strong pull towards freedom.  Is captivity ever a good thing?  Well, according to many Harlequin romances I read when younger, there is a great chance in 'falling in love' with your gorgeous captor because they are all gorgeous, right?  But the best captivity is that which is ascribed to Jesus after His death.

     Therefore He says, "When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive and gave gifts
     to men."  Ep. 4:8 (also Ps. 68:18) 

      Praise the Lord Jesus!  So it says that Jesus lead captivity captive; but just what does that mean?  I would guess it means those terrible things that hold humanity captive- like my pink grasshopper- such as sin, death, the Devil, the world.  Just my opinion, but I think those things deserve to be captured and never released again!  Of course, we all know they aren't completely gone, but the work of redemption on the cross means that Jesus Christ has the victory, and because we are His, His victory becomes ours.

     These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have
     peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;
     I have overcome the world. Jh. 16:33
     And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of
     them openly, triumphing over them in it. Cl. 2:15
     1Cr. 15:54-57 Christ gave victory over death, the grave, and sin. 
     ...our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death... 2Tm. 1:10
     through death He might destroy him who had the power of death (that is, the Devil) Hb. 2:14

       One day the world, the principalities and powers of darkness, death, the grave and sin and he who destroys (the Devil) will all be completely gone from our lives forever.  For now we know that the promises of our Lord are true and He has the victory.  The grave could not keep Him, Satan could not have victory over Him, sin could not put Him in bondage.  That is why we have a great victory in our own future, and I, for one, look forward to not being in captivity to anything anymore.  Death cannot keep 'this body' in the grave for I will rise again!  Halleluiah! 

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives,... 
Lk. 4:18

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Boundless Love of God

       I heard an interesting saying tonight and it went something like this: if you understand God then He probably isn’t God.  The reason being is that we can never totally understand God because if our finite minds can comprehend God then He can’t possibly be the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God of the holy Bible.

       His love is so boundless that it doesn’t make sense to our human minds.  He loves me.  I’ve messed up more times than I can remember or count.  I’ve ignored and been bitter and angry at Him.  Why does He continue to love me?  Why did Jesus give up the glories of Heaven to come down into a helpless baby that had to be fed and diaper changed?  Why did He live in obscurity for about 30 years, then minister for only three, putting up with rejection, hate and murderous intent all for love of a people most of whom would reject His love?

       Why did He allow Himself to be betrayed, go through such horrific torture, and hang shamefully on a cross for our sins?  Why did He let Himself die?  It was an immeasurable love that we can’t understand.  So boundless it can forgive murderers, drunks, thieves, even pedophiles or the person who killed our child.  (Wow, that was hard to type…)  So boundless that He accepts the young ‘born agains’ and those who ignored Him until the last seconds of their lives.  He chooses to love the stinky, the bitter, the hopeless, the obnoxious, and all those considered unlovable by most of society.

who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame… Hb. 12:2

       Is this joy set before Him solely the joy of salvation and eternal life for those who believe?  If so, I’m not sure my love would have done what Jesus did for the salvation of one in seven people* or maybe less.  ‘Oh hey, you will save 15 billion people in the lifetime of earth, but 92 billion^ will reject you and go to hell…”  Well, those stats wouldn’t really change my mind.  Of course if the joy was simply to be in Heaven on the throne again, then maybe… probably not.

       His boundless love doesn’t give us license to sin but it’s funny how the ones who point that out most often are those whose lives seem outwardly cleaner.  I am wicked.  I am a sinner.  I am no better than the prostitute, drug dealer, gun seller, political liar, uncharitable rich man, human trafficker or any other sinner.  The only difference is that I am saved by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ because of His boundless love.  It’s the same immeasurable love Christ has for ALL.  So much that He stretched out His hands on the cross and died for you.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 8:38,39
that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ… Ep. 3:17-19

But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rm. 5:8
Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Hb. 3:12,13
Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts… (v.15)

*Stats say 2.18 billion are Christians but considering many are in name only I’m halving that amount which is still generous.
^Carl Haub estimated there have been 107 billion people on the earth to date.  If this is accurate at all and 1/7 of them are genuine Christians… 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The Empty Candy Jar

       So I’m sitting in front of an empty glass candy jar right now and it’s kind of sad because I have no candy to put in it.  What’s even sadder is it means I have nothing sweet (or sour, my favorites) to chew on.  I must remedy that soon!  So the jar is empty simply because it hasn’t been filled up.  And it can’t be filled up because there is nothing with which to fill it up.  I know this sounds redundant, but think about the simplicity of what I’ve said.

       Now let’s compare that to the spiritual lives we wish we had as Christians.  You know, it seems we can’t move ahead spiritually without complicating the journey: seven steps for prayer, five steps to understanding the Word, stand on your head, twinkle your toes in the air, pat your belly and sing ‘Amazing Love’ to the tune of Yankee Doodle to be more intimate with Christ Jesus.  Or perhaps we’re just feeling so empty…  What I’m saying is maybe it isn’t so complicated.

       We need to get close to God, the source of the Spirit.  We need to open our lid up or the candy’s just gonna fall all around us but not in us.  We need to allow the candy in instead of running away from it.  We need to be willing to allow others to enjoy the candy inside of us by tasting of God’s goodness through us.  We need to be filled so that the world has a way to find salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.  We need to seek God with every fiber of our being and be filled with the Spirit He promised us. (Jl. 2:28; Jh. 14:16, 16:7; Lk. 24:49 & Ac. 2:1-4)

Seek God:
And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jr. 29:13
But if you shall seek Jehovah your God from there, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Dt. 4:29
Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face continually. 1Ch. 16:11
If you seek Him, He will be found by you… 1Ch. 28:9
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Jehovah, have not forsaken those who seek You. Ps. 9:10
those who seek Jehovah shall not lack any good thing. Ps. 34:10

Be Filled:
be filled with the Spirit, Ep. 5:18
And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. And he who seeks finds. And to him who knocks it shall be opened. For what father of you, if the son asks for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake for a fish? Or if he shall ask for an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? Lk. 11:9-13
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness. Ac. 4:31
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Ac. 13:52

Monday, October 06, 2014


       There’s a new tv series on this season based in the U.S.  It is a reality show with 15 people who go to live in a sparse community where they try to thrive and survive with very limited resources.  There are no rules and chaos ensues.  I only saw the first show but overall it made me think of one fact: there can never be a Utopia (a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions) as long as two human beings reside in that place, due to our sinful, selfish natures.

       Not that I think 15 Christians would make a better go of it because the truth is we are still all sinners and struggle with selfishness.  In fact, until sin is gone and righteousness reigns in the hearts of ALL, there will never be a Utopia on earth because one man’s utopia is another man’s hell and visa versa.

       Even during the Millenial reign of Jesus Christ- while Satan is bound (Rv. 20:1-3), man will not be perfect, as Jesus and we will have to reign with a rod of iron (Rv. 19:15; Ps. 2:9 and Rv. 2:26,27).  That means some will not want to behave righteously.  People will live very long lives, a child of 100 (Is. 65:20) and then after the thousand years, Satan convinces many to fight the Lord again, and they are destroyed by God (Rv. 20:7-9)

       See, man from the start wants his own ways (Gn. 3:6,7) and then later at the end of the time of judges, Samuel and God are upset for the people desire a fallible human to rule them (1Sm 8:5-8) instead of God. So, no utopia in the Garden of Eden- two fallible humans, and no utopia after Israel is given the Promised Land and definitely no utopia now!  There will only be a utopia when sin is no more (nothing defiling Rv. 21:27), all enemies are vanquished (Rv. 19:20; 20:10,14,15), and God is on the throne forevermore.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.

And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. And He sitting on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful. Rv. 21:1-5