June 27, 2017

The Beauty of Blood

Bob mentioned the blood Sunday and with what he was saying it made me think of how precious and beautiful blood can be. First of all, it is a pretty color! Red is bright and about as colorful as it gets. Our American flag is beautiful with its three colors and without the red it would just not be the same. 

Secondly, when you think of what blood does in the human body, you realize how special it is. Without blood there is no life! Every part of your body needs blood supply to survive. So many things are carried in the blood for our good. 

Thirdly, when I picture the work Jesus did on the cross and how He shed His blood for my sake, it makes the thought of blood even more beautiful. He took His shed blood and poured it out on the Mercy Seat in Heaven to atone for my sins. This was the end of the sacrificial law because He was the perfect and complete sacrifice. Before Jesus came, the Jews had to sacrifice daily and yearly for the forgiveness of sin as representative of the coming Savior. The Bible tells us that without shedding of blood there is no remission (forgiveness). (Heb. 9:22) 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

When I picture the scene at the cross, I can see that pretty blood flowing down the body of Jesus to the bottom of the cross and it is beautiful. It is a picture of His love for me. With it comes forgiveness and bold access to the throne of grace. No longer must I confess my sins to a priest because I have but one mediator between me and God, the man, Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5) With this picture in my mind, comes thankfulness, humbleness and a willingness to please Him. In my mind, the blood is as beautiful as a mountain or ocean scene. How about you? Does the blood mean that much to you? Have you given it any thought? Maybe this post will bring a new appreciation. 

June 24, 2017

When a Soldier Lays Down Their Weapon

When you enter the military, you are trained in how to use your weapon. You are required to become completely familiar with it. You are trained how to use it in attack on the offensive and also how to use it to defend yourself and your company. As a soldier in the Army of the Lord, you are to be trained in the use of your weapon both offensively and defensively just as a soldier in the military. 

Today I want to look at what happens when the soldier lays down their weapon. 

In the military if you put down your weapon, you are vulnerable. You can no longer take the battle to the enemy nor can you defend yourself, your company or battle for the cause of your country. 

In the same manner, when a Christian soldier lays down their weapon (the sword of the Lord or Bible), they, too, are vulnerable. It is harder to stand against the fiery darts of the devil. It is harder to avoid temptations. It is harder to attack against false doctrine or teachings when you have laid down your weapon and not familiarized yourself with it. Psalm 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 
The more we have God's Word in our heart, the less we will do in offence against him. 

When we leave our weapon laying on the table or the book shelf, we cannot use it to defend our beliefs, nor can we use it to fight against wrong when we do not keep it close and use it. We cannot use it to show others why they should also have the same weapon when we are not using ours. 

Make sure you are armed at all times with your weapon. Even when we have scripture memorized, in the heat of a battle, sometimes those scriptures are not as easily recalled, if you have your Bible close and handy, you can open it and find help. Keep a New Testament in your purse or car. Don't allow yourself to become complacent and lay it down and let it gather dust. If you do, you will not be able to be the soldier you need to be as the battle rages. 

June 7, 2017

Remembering Your Place

Whenever someone decides to stand up to someone bigger, more powerful, older, or the authority over them, often they get told "You forget your place!". Well, whenever this happens to you as a Christian, when you are quoting and believing the truth of Scripture, it's ok to reply, "My place is standing firmly on God's Word". This is our place as Christians! 

As you remember your place you must also remember that along with being able to stand on the Word of God, comes a home in heaven, being part of God's family, blessings from your heavenly Father, correction from your heavenly Father, bold access to the throne of grace where you can pray openly and forgiveness.

Sounds like a pretty good place to me! It's a place to seek comfort and peace in your heart and mind in the above knowledge.  Not only should it bring comfort and peace, it should bring boldness to make the statement, "My place is standing firmly on God's Word".

Just some encouragement for your week.

June 2, 2017

Affecting Our World

As Christians we are to affect our world. We are to spread the Gospel to others. We are to share the love of Christ. We are to be a witness for the Lord wherever and whenever we have opportunity. We can do this by using our mouth to talk to people and we can give money to missionaries around the world to reach those we've never seen in other countries. There is no question about the command when we read our Bible. 

However, I'd like to look at this from a different perspective. Is not, "our world" those we see most? "Our world" consists of our spouse, our children, extended family members, friends and coworkers. Shouldn't we share the Gospel, love and compassion of Jesus to these first and foremost? We will often speak up or give a tract to a stranger at the store but never do so to our own kids or lost spouse or parents or friends or especially coworkers. We often show more mercy and love towards the stranger than to extend it to our own family. We stay angry at our spouse or children when they make a mistake yet we are quicker to forgive a stranger or acquaintance. It's the same example that preacher's use often...men will hold open a door for other women before their own wife or daughter. --Not right! Men should hold doors for ALL females, first and foremost their own family members! (just a pet peeve of mine)

Especially with our children we should be showing them and teaching them by our example the love of Jesus and His saving grace. At every opportunity and teachable moment in their daily lives, they should be hearing about the Lord and all He can do and is doing in ours and their lives. Believe me, their are those teachable moments every single day if we will just look for and seize them. This is one of the best ways to affect your world and theirs! 

Just a thought provoker. Are you affecting YOUR world? Don't look to the world at large and neglect your own.

May 20, 2017

Jesus the Carpenter

I have always found it interesting that Jesus was a carpenter. His earthly father, Joseph was a carpenter and had obviously passed the trade on to Jesus. In Matthew 13:55 the Jews ask if this was not the carpenter's son. In Mark 6:3 the Jews ask if Jesus was not the carpenter. I like that Jesus was taught to work with his hands as he was growing up and while the Bible is silent about this, we can easily assume that he carried that trade right up until he began his ministry. That would be why the Jews were astonished at his doctrine as he taught and questioned "is not this the carpenter?" That was how he was known up to this point. I don't know why but that makes me smile. 

I think it is a lovely thought that the carpenter (builder) learned that profession and also is the builder of the bridge (metaphorically & spiritually) between us and God. The song "Jesus Built a Bridge" has always made my mind picture that of a carpenter and I am not even sure that was the intent or thought when the song was written. Jesus the carpenter builds. He uses trials in our lives to build us and make us strong. He uses relationships to bless us, try us and help us build our faith in Him and one another. It is a beautiful thought and picture! 

Just a little thought to help you picture Jesus in a different way. I know a young man that once told me when we worked with youth that he was going to be a carpenter and that he figured it was good enough for Jesus so it was good enough for him. ---He did become one by the way! 

Jesus already built that bridge between you and God when He died on the cross and rose from the grave. Have you taken the opportunity to use the bridge? You can use it by accepting that you are a sinner and that your sin separates you from God. When you put your trust and faith in what Jesus did, you become a child of God and therefore may use the bridge. 

May 9, 2017

Building Strong Muscles

We are having Revival meetings this week and the preacher said something Sunday night that triggered this thought. He talked about building our spiritual muscles is just like building our physical muscles. How true!!

If you do not want weak muscles you must exercise to build them up and make them strong. In the same manner, we must also exercise spiritually. Sometimes God forces us to do this! ---because we know that what is not used grows weak. 

One way we exercise spiritually is to read our Bibles and study it. Another way is by spending time in prayer both in thanksgiving, and in asking for help for ourselves and others. Yet another way to exercise spiritually is to go to church and spend time with other Christians. One of the best ways is to have open discussions about God's Word with friends, family and other church members. (Iron sharpeneth iron!) 

Sometimes God uses trials or just every day situations to build our spiritual muscles by forcing us to rely on Him. By allowing us to go through the fiery trials and then letting us see the outcome He had planned. Letting us experience His good for us and His glory, builds our faith like nothing else. 

Some folks continue to have weak spiritual muscles because they do not exercise them.  They coast along on the coattails of others or just meandering through life without a care in the world for staying strong spiritually. Eventually, they will be too weak to fight against the fiery darts that come their way. This will lead them to turn from church and God and they will be left with nothing but anger, bitterness, cynicism, apathy, and sarcasm towards the things of God. In reality it was their own lack of muscle building, yet they will blame God and God's servants. 

How about you? Do you exercise on a regular basis to build your spiritual muscles? If you have been lax in this area and allowed yourself to become weak, there's no better time like the present to start your spiritual exercising.

April 23, 2017

Three Things God Cannot Do

Just a quick thought today. Over the years and here recently, I've heard people say, "God wouldn't do that," or "God already did this, so He won't do that to me," or "I just don't think God is fair," or "I just don't think God is that way," or "I don't understand why God...". Well, my response is always "what makes you say that or think that?" There are only three things God cannot do and that is 1-Lie, 2- be unjust, 3- make a mistake. That's it!!!  

God can do anything and everything He so chooses! It his His ball game. He created it (the world, and everything in it). He gets to make ALL the rules! Just because we have a Bible example over here in this spot where He did this, doesn't mean He must follow through in that same aspect over there in that situation. Just in case you aren't well versed in Bible, in some places he removes enemies, diseases, or situations that arise. While in others He allows a different person to suffer through situations. Hence the verse that says ...I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I show mercy on whom I will show mercy. (Ex. 33:19) The Bible also says it rains on the just and the unjust. 

God is the Supreme Being! Telling me or Him that He can't or won't do something is absurd. (such as, let a mom die of cancer and never allow a sister to then get cancer so as to not put the family through more) Telling me or God that He made a mistake or is wrong is also absurd. To me that is what transgender people are saying. God messed up and made them wrong. NO! God made them male and female. He made them separate. He DID NOT make a mistake and give one of them the wrong genital parts. --- Let me get this straight, He can create the whole world from nothing and speak it into being, create humans from dirt, His own breath and then a rib in 6 literal days, but He messed up making some of the people walking today by giving them the incorrect body parts to match what their brain tells them? Hmm? Who is making the mistake? Not God!

This last part was just something that came to me as I was typing. It actually wasn't the point of the post. It wasn't a lead in to get to rant. It just happened. It was more about saying that God wouldn't or can't or must... 

Even many Christians seem to have the attitude that God must fit their mold and thought process. I believe completely that He can and will do whatever and anything He wants to do. He is not required to fit a mold. Even in His wrath He is loving. You don't have to believe it, but just because you don't; doesn't mean it isn't true! 

Just to get you thinking and because I've gone too long without blogging. It's been an emotional month for me as April always is, so I haven't taken time to post. It's not like I'm reaching hundreds anyways! lol My average readership is between 25 and 35 sooo.  But, if I can get one of those to think and reason for themselves, I've accomplished my task.