Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What Brought Them Out Brought Them Forward

Joshua 4:23 KJV
For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:

The same God that brought Israel out of slavery will bring them forward into newness of life.

There are at least two ways to view the two partings:
First, as a nation.
It was through this impossible feat that God delivered them and through the same impossible feat that God gave them the land of the Canaanites.
The God who saves us is not shortened after our salvation. After forty years of living after the flesh Israel needed to see, as we do today, that God is very able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

The second view is to take into consideration that we are looking at a brand new generation.
Those who had crossed the Red Sea were all dead by now. These are their children and children's children. 1 Corinthians 10 says that the Red Sea was a baptism. Now it is their children's turn. They cannot go on their parent's baptism. What is the spiritual experience of Mom and Dad does not translate to their children. Each generation must meet God personally and each new generation must follow Him as their own God.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Father and My Mother and My Brethren

Joshua 2:13 KJV
And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

Rahab's concern is not only for the saving of herself but also for those she loved.
• She believed that the God of Israel is the true God.
• She believed that destruction and wrath were imminent.
• She believed that salvation was possible by seeking it.
But she could not ask for it for herself alone. Others must be saved too.

And that is the way it is with true conversion. The one who is born again has a supernatural desire to see others saved as well. They cannot help but be so. The truth of wrath is too real to them to keep it as a secret sort of salvation. They must warn others and, being convinced they have the means of salvation they must convince others to come into that means with them.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Today

Luke 10:2 KJV
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

Yesterday I got my third picking of green beans from our garden. I planted a lot of green beans this year: more than anything else, because we like them and because the seed went farther than the seeds for anything else.

Picking the beans is not easy work. By the time I am done I am very sore. We also picked squash and zucchini and had to pick it all because it was getting too big.

All of this meant that Anita spent all day putting up the produce.

And I got to thinking about the harvest. When it comes ripe you have to either
• eat it up or
• put it up or you will ultimately
• give it up.
It will not keep.

So in the spiritual world, what God is doing in our lives must be responded to. We must not put off the word of God as it is preached to us. We must not ignore or otherwise procrastinate when God is doing a work in our lives.
• It will not keep.
• It will not wait.
What God is doing, He intends to do now.

Today is the day, now is the time. Respond to God today.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Luke 1:23 KJV
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

What an amazing testimony has Zacharias.
First. He was doing his ministry according to the order for the priesthood.
He did HIS job.

Second, he did it for years with a broken heart.
Though he and his wife were well-striken in years, the desire and prayer for a child had not diminished. Still, he kept on.

Third, the Bible says that even after the two very BIG events of
• a promised child and
• his speech being taken from him
he still stayed and finished his days of ministry before returning home.

Lord, give us people like this today!

Friday, August 27, 2010

For I Know

Deuteronomy 31:27 KJV
For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD; and how much more after my death?

Deuteronomy 31:29 KJV
For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Moses knew the hearts of the people to be both rebellious and of a corrupt nature. And no wonder.
First, he had the experience of 40 years.
• He had seen their rebellion.
• He had heard their murmuring.
• He had witnessed how quickly they could be turned aside to other gods.

Secondly Moses knew his own heart.
While he had been a humble and meek servant of the Lord, still he would not personally enter into the Promised Land because of his unbelief.

Now, against this rebellious and corrupt nature; God placed the Law. It was "a witness against thee".

God's law both highlights our nature as sinful and points us to a way of life. Covered as it was, in that ark, the people were forever reminded that blood atoned for the breaking of the Law, which is sin. Christ's blood shed at Calvary forever atones for that sin and provides access into the holiest place with God.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

For Those There; and Not

Deuteronomy 29:14-15 KJV
Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath;
But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:

While the covenant and oath was first to the Jews this text tells us plainly that it belongs to even those that were not there that day.

Let the Gentile peoples take heed.
Ignorance of God's covenant and oath does not excuse us from it.
• We are as responsible for our sins as ever a Jew was.
• We are as guilty of rebellion as if we had been standing before God when He gave out the Word and
• We are as needy of Jesus Christ as any of the children of Israel.

But too,
Let the Gentile take heart.
We have every bit the access to the promises of God for
• Redemption
• Forgiveness of sins and
• Salvation from eternal damnation.

No one is excluded from the grace of God. Though we were not there when the covenant and oath was given, we still bear responsibility to it and may partake in the blessings of it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is America a Cursed People?

Deuteronomy 28:15-16 KJV
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

Is America cursed? The media argues the point whenever any well known preacher says it. How dare any man, even a preacher, to say that God would judge us! But God defines what is a cursed people in Deuteronomy 28. All we have to do is see it.

America                                                                    Not

Vexation and Rebuke Vs 20                                   Pestilence Vs 21
Americans are not well liked in the world

Illness Vs 22                                                            Sword and drought Vs 22
Americans have illnesses that are known only in
wealthy Western cultures

Fleeing from enemies Vs 25                                   Scorching sun Vs 23-24
We have now left at least three battlefields before the
victory was secured: Viet Nam, First Gulf and Iran

No allies Vs 26                                                        The botch of Egypt Vs 27
Fewer and fewer nations of the world will side with us.

Madness and blindness Vs 28-29
Americans are hopelessly blind to the course we are currently
taking. We are blind to the curses we endure right now.

Immorality and divorce Vs 30-31
America's divorce rate, and America's tolerance, even glorying
in our immorality is a sure sign of judgment. It is so bad that even
preachers now justify divorce and compromise the Scriptures
to allow for divorced men to serve in the pastorate.

The scattering of the family Vs 32, 41
A mark of our blindness; we encourage our children to grow up
and move so far away we only see them infrequently, if at all.
We marry them off to people whose homes are so far away that
we inevitably split some family.

The overtaking of our land by other nations Vs 33-34, 43
Go to almost any convenience store, service station or motel in America
and it becomes obvious that we are giving our business away to people
who have no intention of integrating among us but only to take our wealth
and give it to their homeland.

Weakness Vs 35-37
If we use this allegorically we may easily see that America is becoming
a weak and tired people, We are losing our ability to be a leader in the world.

Poor economy, little product Vs 38-40, 44
Too much of American product is made in another land. We live as a nation on
that money we have borrowed from nations that are philosophically our enemies.
Recently our own military considered purchasing aircraft made by other countries.
Even when we do make a product in the United States much of it is outsourced to
businesses outside of America.

Ten out of the fourteen curses are easily identified with America's current circumstances. No question about it; America is cursed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Watch

Mark 13:37 KJV
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

I count four times in this chapter Jesus says "take heed. "

Mark 13:5 KJV
And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

There will be those who, satanically inspired, will seek to deceive you and draw you after false Christs. Deception is a tool of the devil and is active in the world today. Deception renders the lost blind to the gospel. Deception prevents the believer from surrendering fully to Christ. Take heed of deception.

Mark 13:9 KJV
But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

There will be dangers that come from leaders and governments, both political and spiritual. This world is a dangerous place for the person who is surrendered to Christ. We do not take heed to avoid the danger. We take heed that our message is of the Holy Ghost despite the danger.

Mark 13:23 KJV
But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

There is among us a place to find the warnings concerning these troubles. Jesus has given us His Word and it forewarns us of all these things. Ours is to know the Word of God clearly and carefully.

Mark 13:33 KJV
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

There is this one uncertainty; we "know not when the time is". Therefore we are told to watch and pray.

So all of these "take heeds" l become summed up in this one word, "watch."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Remember Our Lowly Stock

Deuteronomy 24:22 KJV
And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

God's Word mentions repeatedly that Israel was a slave in Egypt. Because they were slaves in Egypt they were
• To be kind to strangers
• Never to hate the Egyptians
• Make provisions for the poor and the traveler.
God ends chapter 24 by reminding them to remember they were bondmen.

It would do us all well to remember we come from lowly stock. Our heritage is not that of which one would boast.
• We are sinners, redeemed out of the waste.
• We were strangers from God and His covenants.
• We have been raised to this place before God only through His grace.

May we never forget!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One, Two Three

Mark 11:11 KJV
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

This chapter marks the beginning of the last week of the Lord's life. It contains three days and three visits to Jerusalem.

Day one, Triumphal Entry
He looked round about on all things. He surveys the city for the great event.

Day two, He cast the money changers from the Temple and teaches.
His house must be prepared for the great event.

Day three, He is questioned by the scribes and He teaches the parables of Mark 12.
He describes the consequences of the great event.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

See More Than You See

Mark 10:14 KJV
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Sometimes just the order of things in the Bible teaches volumes.

Chapter 9, in teaching them about the greatest in heaven, Jesus took a child in His arms and taught them to receive children. Here we are just one chapter further into the Word and those same disciples were rebuking people for bringing children to Jesus.

No wonder the Lord was displeased.

There is a lesson here about children's ministries, but there is also a lesson about lessons. Chapter nine is concerning the subject of greatness: it appears that the disciples may have so focused on that part of the lesson they did not see the second lesson about children. This chapter comes along to clarify that second lesson's validity.

We too can be so focused in our minds about one thing in the Scriptures that other and equally important lessons escape us. A man may be so caught up in a mountain view that he does not see the eagle soaring in the same frame.

Learn to take in all, or at least as much of the truth of God's word as possible. Refuse to allow your mind to have such a narrow focus that it misses everything that is not in its already determined search.
• Learn
• Grow
Let Christ be your teacher rather than just using the Bible to find what you want to teach.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Man

Mark 9:32 KJV
But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

The Word of God is, among other things, a remarkable study of man. We have in this chapter the contrast between the saved and the lost.

The lost come running together, vs. 25, to see the side show.
A demoniac was about to be healed. I wonder if the language doesn't suggest Jesus cast out the demon BEFORE the crowd could gather for the spectacle.

Then we have the man who believed even with unbelief.
This seems to me to be a description of every believer. The more we believe the Lord, the more we realize how little we trust Him.

Finally there are the disciples.
They are,
• Afraid to learn what they don't know
• Jealous over who is greatest
• Angry at anyone who isn't with them

True lessons in humankind!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Value of the Soul

Mark 8:35-37 KJV
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

In today's Christianity most do not see the problem here.
• There is, in their opinion, no exchange to be made.
• They can, they believe, have the world and have their soul.
This sort of thinking suits the modern day mentality but not the Word of God. No such compromise with the world has been hammered out with Christ. The expectation still is (vs 34) "let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

Nothing in this world is worth the loss of the soul. Modern men have come to feel eternity without God is not so bad so long as life now is grand. We have,
• Devalued the worth of our soul
• Inflated the worth of the world and
• Trivialized the price of hell.

May God give us eyes to see our error!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

He Cannot Be Hid

Mark 7:24 KJV
And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

He could not be hid...
It is the nature of the presence of God that He cannot be hid. Where ever God is
• There is truth
• There is light

Light always drives away darkness just as truth always drives away the lie.
• The presence of the Lord confronts evil and sin.
• The presence of the Lord exposes error.
He just cannot be hid.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Damage of Unbelief

Mark 6:6 KJV
And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

That Jesus Christ could enter the town where He has grown up;
• They knowing best His testimony since a child
• They being best able to compare His testimony with the claim of deity
• They seeing Him heal sick folk (though it was but a few) and
• He, having preached with such authority among them:

That they would not believe was a wonderment to the Lord.

We ought to take care to cultivate a heart of faith and belief in the things of the Lord. We ought to be cautious lest an evil heart of unbelief well up in us and much damage is done in our souls.

Monday, August 16, 2010

All The Truth

Mark 5:33 KJV
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

She told Him all the truth.
• About her illness
• About her efforts to be healed
• About her thoughts concerning Him
• About touching His garment
• About shrinking back in the crowd.

While Jesus would have known these without her confessing them, the disciples would not have know and consequently, we know all these things only because she told Him all the truth.
Jesus did not need to speak to her as much as
• We needed her to tell all the truth so we could know what had happened and
• She needed to tell all the truth to become accustomed to being an open witness for Christ.

And we learn from her to be equally forthcoming.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Candle and the Candlestick

Mark 4:21 KJV
And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

A candle is not to be hidden but on a candlestick. Light is only useful when it is set out and up.

Our church parking lot has light set twenty feet in the air. The higher they are, the more ground they will light. So is the light the Christ places in those who are His. Our Christian light needs to shine. We need to give ourselves devotedly to let the world see the light.

And if that light be in us it should not be so difficult. All that must happen is that we set the light out.

The candlestick, according to Revelation chapter one is the church. So when the candle, which is the believer, is placed in the church and then sets to work for God in that church, the light becomes compounded and more brilliant.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Those Drawn To Christ

Mark 3:9 KJV
And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.

Jesus had opportunity to minister to and heal multitudes but He is continually seen withdrawing from doing so.
• He commanded that they would not make Him known
• He requested a ship so the crowd could not throng Him
• He took His twelve into several retreats

True enough, He had compassion on the multitudes and would not send them away hungry, but He did send them away.

There are two kinds of people who seem to be drawn to Jesus:
One kind comes for what they believe He can do for them.
It is that crowd that never lasts and it is that crowd He seems to shy away from. Not that He does not love them, nor that He will not do them some good, but they are not His true disciples.
The other kind comes because He alone has the Words of eternal life.
It is Christ alone who can spare us from the wrath which is to come. It is Christ alone who can redeem us and make us whole spiritually. And it is this group the Lord invests in.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How Is It With Our Children?

Deuteronomy 12:25 KJV
Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

 
Deuteronomy 12:28 KJV
Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.

 
Deuteronomy 11:21 KJV
That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

 
Once in chapter eleven and twice in this chapter I find this same concern of the Lord. What goes with us will almost surely go with our children too.

 
If we observe to do what is right with the Lord the likelihood is that our children will as well. But if we begin to compromise; if we follow after only some of what God chooses and live much of what we please, then we can expect that it will not go so well for us and certainly not for our children. 
  • We see that fleshed out in Israel today; a people who are nothing like the promises God made them.
  • We see it too among many Christians whose walk with God is not wholly for the Lord, they are not seeing their kids growing up to follow Christ.

 The reason so many are leaving the church after reaching adulthood is not because of what they learned at church but because of what they learned at home. The fault of the church is that it has too long tolerated half hearted Christianity as being the real thing (probably because that keeps them in the church and that keeps them giving) and not insisting that true faith always leads to true godliness.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This One Thing

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 KJV
And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

The word of God is written in such a way as to make these requirements seem, small, easy to be accomplished. God does not require much for Israel to be are right with Him. Only,
• Fear the Lord thy God.
• Walk in all His ways.
• Love Him
• Serve Him with all the heart and soul.
• Keep His commandments and statutes.

No big deal. But no man is able to do this perfectly. Israel never did keep these five. Of all that God commands, if we boil it down to just this, we still can't keep the requirements. And that is the major point of the law: we can't do it. God never intended that we do this for our righteousness. He has provided a better way in Christ, our Righteousness.

This is something I can do. I can trust Christ for righteousness. I can lay all my sin on Him and believe He is able to keep my soul before God.

And this is all I need to do. Christ does the rest in me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Remember, Observe and Consider

Deuteronomy 7:18 KJV
Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;

Deuteronomy 8:1 KJV
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

Deuteronomy 8:5 KJV
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Here are three admonishing words given to the Jews, but have some implication for Christians too.
First, remember what God did in Egypt.
When fear begins to overwhelm and when the enemy appears too powerful to face, remember what God has done. His power has not abated and His hand is not shortened. He is still able to fight for us.

Second, observe to do His commands.
Obedience to the Lord does not come naturally but supernaturally. If we are to obey the Lord we will need to study His Word and seek His enablement.

Third, consider that just as a father chastens his children so does the Lord His people.
This is not meant to bring fear into our hearts, but comfort. God will not leave us to ourselves. His plan is to bring His people up, to parent them and guide them and train them until they be formed into the image of Christ.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If God Had a Wish

Deuteronomy 5:29 KJV
O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

I am sure God is sovereign. But I am also aware that, for the sake of bringing man to worship Him out of love, He has allowed the devil to influence this world and He has given man the right to disregard Him if they please.

Here we find people whose plan is to have Moses speak with God and bring the message back to them. They say that all that God tells Moses they will hear and they will do. God's response is "O, that there were such a heart in man..."

God's great desire is that
• Man would fear Him from the heart, that
• We would keep His commandments, and that
• It would be well with our children

That desire will be fully the realized in the eternal future, when God's plan is finalized that the mankind that enters eternity will be such
• That love and fear of God,
• That keep His commandments without the rod, and
• That go into eternity in perpetual wellness.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Consideration

Deuteronomy 4:39 KJV
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

The difference between knowing something and having it in our heart might be defined by the word consideration. Reflecting on the things of the spirit; allowing them to slowly and deeply sink in, these are the things that make truth dwell in us. God promises to bless the one who meditates upon the Word of God, and not just reads it. Consider this in your heart;
The Lord is God and there is none else.
• There is no other God in which to turn.
• There is no other God upon which we should give worship.
• There is no other God whose commands we should obey.

The Lord is God in heaven and in earth.
• He is not just the God of the mountains, but also of the valleys.
• He is not only God in a perfect environment but in the dark world too.
• He is not only God of His dwelling, he is God of the devil's habitation.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Not In Vain

1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Andrew Murray in his book, Working for God points out that, "after fifty seven verses of exultant teaching concerning the mystery and the glory of the resurrection life in our Lord [there is] ...just one verse of practical application." The whole chapter on the resurrection glories boils down to this - always abound in the work of the Lord.
• Never slow down
• Never give up
• Never faint.

Though there may be times when it appears that the labor is not going so well, though you will sometimes not see the fruit and the produce of your work you may be assured of this truth.

Your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
• Labor on in the Lord
• Labor with anticipation and fervor and hope
Your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cities and Suburbs

Numbers 35:8 KJV
And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.

The cities of given to Levi remind me of today's tithe:
• They were given for the cares for those who were their ministers
• They were given so those ministers could be scattered among the people
• They were given in proportion to their possessions:
Those who had many cities were to give many; those who had fewer cities were to give fewer, each tribe according to their gift.

The cities not only provided for the Levites a place to live but a means of making a living. Around each city was a designated space called the suburbs and it was in that space the Levites could raise their own crops and meet their own needs.

God has provided that those who give their lives would be provided for. The Levites and the priests do not answer directly to the ministry of today, but in principle that same is true. God cares for those who take up the care of His flock.

Friday, August 06, 2010

That's How!

Matthew 23:33 KJV
Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

This chapter is filled with the accusations of Christ against the scribes and Pharisees. When the devil accuses it is nothing for the brethren because our Saviour advocates for us. But when God points his finger at our sin, how miserable must be our case!

And the question Christ brings is one every man must ask himself. When confronted with such sin, "how can we possibly escape damnation?" It is the work of the Holy Ghost to bring us to see our miserable and helpless condition. It is impossible for us to escape the judgment for our sins.

It would not be difficult for us to say, based upon this passage that it would be impossible for these Pharisees to escape. And we would not be far off. But with God nothing is impossible.

We have proof in the account of Saul. This Pharisee of the Pharisees this persecutor of the saints not only escaped the damnation of hell himself but has accounted for the saving of countless numbers through two millennium.

It is God.
That is how a soul escapes damnation.

In the middle of sin; in the heat of his own way Christ confronted Saul of Tarsus, called him and converted Him.

That is how any soul escapes the damnation of hell.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Live!

Numbers 33:1
These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Something I have been noticing for several days now:
• It was in chapter 27 that God said Moses was to die and Joshua was chosen to replace him.
• Then in chapter 31 God told Moses to enter battle with the Midianites and then he would die.
• Today I read through chapter 34 and Moses has still not gone to be with the Lord.

This does not mean that God doesn't say what He means.

Perhaps the chronology is blended some. After all it is Moses who wrote this and he could not have done that had he died on the spot.

I see in the passage a man getting things in order. Moses did not receive a death sentence and give up living. He used every day of life to live fully and serve God wholly even when that day would be his last day.

And there is in this a great lesson for us to never give up. I would say
• Raising up a leader of Israel
• Defeating the Midianites and
• Giving a recording of the travels of Israel in the wilderness
Was a pretty fair work for a man who had one foot in the grave!

Live!
• Even when the body begins to wax old and the strength begins to decay.
• Even when the doctors tell you the worst;
Live!

It may be a man can accomplish more in his last days on earth than he ever accomplished when he had his whole life ahead of him.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Blind Pride

Matthew 21:38
But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

How blind a man can become who has taken advantage of God's grace!

• It was the lord who had planted this vineyard and it was the lord who had let it out to these husbandmen.
• It was the lord who had been gracious in their treatment of the servants.

Why they would not fear when they killed the heir and why they would presume that they would keep the inheritance is beyond reason except that they, being emboldened by their previous sins and blinded by their own pride could not think right?

And so it is with man today. God has planted this great garden we call life. He has let it out to us to tend and use for His good pleasure. But we have mistreated it. We have done with it as we have pleased. From time to time God has sent to us witnesses to call us into account, but we have shunned them. In the case of the lost, He sent his Son to save them but we have denied Him and wicked man crucified Him. Now we have a generation so emboldened in sin as to presume there is no God. They have determined that this inheritance may be seized upon by us. And they disregard any warnings of future reprisals. Would to God our eyes were opened to the grace of God before it is eternally too late.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Servanthood

Matthew 20:26-28
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Matthew Poole says that by these instructs our Lord means:
"1. To distinguish his kingdom from the kingdoms of the world. …
2. To condemn ambition and pride in his disciples, as making them most unfit for this kingdom."

Our Lord values servanthood above leadership. Jesus came not to be a leader but to be a servant, not to organize and inspire a movement, but to give His life.

The highest ideal a man may aspire to is a life given for the sake of God and of others. May our Lord so impress upon us our tendency to sin and to reverse this concept.

Ours is to spend ours lives for the good of others and for the glory of God.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Lacking

Matthew 19:20
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

The rich young ruler had no trouble approaching Christ to ask about eternal life. He was not hesitant to say that he had kept the laws of God (and went so far to ask the Lord to be specific) but he still knew he lacked something. He knew he did not possess eternal life.

I believe there is in every unsaved man this same sense of lack. Though they may not speak of it; thought they may deny it and cover it up, still this sense of failure before God exists. They may have added to their lives things intended to ease the conscience over this lack, but still, the lack is there. When the young man admitted his need, Jesus drew deeper and instructed him to give away his wealth and follow Christ.

It seems to me this is the process of coming to faith. We have to get past morality. We have to go deeper than good works. The Lord will bring us to that one thing we cling to that is not God. When we let go of that and follow Christ, we are where eternal life dwells. It must be Christ alone.

Not that every believer must forsake all in order to be saved but every believer must let go of it all to be saved. Christ alone. That is our hope.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Faith, Prayer and Fasting

Matthew 17:20-21
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Jesus said two very important things about why the disciples could not cast out the demon.

• It was because of their unbelief.
• It was because this kind required prayer and fasting.

Prayer and fasting are effective tools only when supported by faith. Or else prayer and fasting are those tools that serve to increase our faith. No real work is accomplished simply because we go without a meal; the why is the key. The faith, the belief is the answer to it all. It is the faith that transforms the work of a man to the work of God through the man.