March 18, 2016
I attended a garden show with my friend and was greatly inspired by all I saw. While the displays appeared to be just tossed together, we determined that the placement of each and every plant was specific. While there seemed to be no pattern, there was in fact a pattern seen first by the creator of the display and then by anyone with an eye for detail.
In Genesis 6:14-17 God tells Noah the exact specifications for the ark. He continues to tell Noah who and what are to be in the ark. King Solomon built a temple in Jerusalem for the permanent home of the ark of the covenant. In 1 Kings 6 we see the exact specifications of this temple. There are many other times we see God being specific in His direction to His people about where they are to be and what they are to do. This brings us to the resurrection of Jesus which is what we are celebrating this month. Jesus did not die on just any day of the year, He died on Passover. The Feast of Passover is a remembrance of the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt when a lamb was killed and the blood was placed so the death angel would pass over the house. Jesus is the Lamb of God and His blood over our lives protects us from our enemy fulfilling this feast. The Feast of Unleavened Bread includes the cleansing or sweeping of the household of any leaven which represents sin. This feast was fulfilled when Jesus took our sin upon Himself on the cross, and then descended into hell to make payment for that sin. The Feast of First Fruits is the offering to the Lord of the first of the harvest. This feast was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead, going from being the only begotten son to being the first born of many brethren. These are three feasts which have been fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, showing us again that our God is specific! And brings us to the celebration of the risen Savior! However you decide to celebrate this special time of year, just celebrate!
My challenge to you this month is to think about the blood of Jesus, to think about your freedom from sin and its consequences, and to think about being a child of the Most High God! Meditate upon these things and see your hope, your expectation rise to increase your faith! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
FYI – The seven feasts of the Lord are described in Leviticus 23!
February 20, 2016
I have been thinking about love this month. I am not talking about what the current culture says is love. I think it is sad if all you know about love is sexual desire. Sexual desire is about your flesh and not about the other person. The love that I am thinking about is love for another where their desires become our desires, where their welfare becomes our priority, where your decisions are made with them in mind. True love takes you out of yourself and into the life of the other person.
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. God is love! And if God is love, then we who believe are to be love also. This is where our definition of love comes into play. If we don’t have a full understanding of the God kind of love, we will fall into the world’s ways of love which go against biblical teachings. We are to love one another as God loves us. We are to help one another, we are to encourage one another, we are to stand along side to hold each other up in difficult times. Does that mean we approve of every decision made by another—no! It means we allow others to take responsibility for their own lives while we love them as God loves. Jesus had His own words about the love we are to have. John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. I feel sad sometimes when I see my Christian brothers and sisters “not” loving one another. This goes against everything Jesus teaches. And this may be the answer as to why we have not taken the gospel to the ends of the earth—too busy pushing and pulling against each other to share the good news of the gospel with a lost and dying world.
My challenge to you this month is to look within. Do you find the love of God there? If it is not there, the Bible says you don’t know God and that is a matter to be dealt with immediately. If it is there, that love is to be flowing to your Christian brothers and sisters. Determine even today to be a pipeline for God’s love to flow from Him through you to others! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!
January 15, 2016
I am reading several devotionals along with reading a chapter each day with my church. One thing that has stood out to me this week is qualifying scriptures. These are scriptures that depend upon your action, or I should say upon your obedience. Many people like to think that everyone will be saved, that everyone will have a good life, and that everyone will live long. This is not the case. If you read your Bible, you will see that just as salvation is not automatic, the things of God do not just fall on everyone.
We will look at several scriptures that will show you what I am talking about. Psalm 91 is a well known scripture, and I hear it quoted time and time again. It definitely has some qualifiers. V2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. All the benefits of Psalm 91 depend upon you saying these words. In verse 14 it says, Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. This verse says the one who is delivered is the one who has set his love upon God. Romans 8:28 is another familiar scripture that is often quoted, and it is easy to see the qualifier in this verse. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Things only work out to the good IF the person loves God. Proverbs 3:5-7 are the last verses with qualifiers that I want to share with you this month. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. To receive direction from God you must trust Him, you must not rely on what you know, and you must acknowledge Him in every area of your life. These familiar references are examples to help you in your own Bible study of qualifying scriptures.
My challenge to you this month is to review the scriptures you are using in your faith life. If they are qualifying scriptures, do you meet the qualifications? Are there any adjustments needed for your faith to be on a secure foundation? These are questions I ask myself regularly in order to keep myself firm in my faith, and you should do the same! And remember—Jesus is coming soon!