Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Unchanging ...

"Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations." -- Psalm 145:13
Relevance; we constantly hear the term used to encourage our efforts in communicating to a newer generation. The cry goes out for new words and techniques because the younger people will never understand or consider old truth. Unless it's new and different it won't help the cause. The question comes to mind; is there anything that hasn't changed that retains any value? 
Solomon noted that there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) The years pass from one generation to the next and history repeats itself over and over again. Technology improves our lives, but daily needs and struggles continue without change. In a very real way we need help from someone that has stood the test of time and remains unchanged. David found just such a one in the Lord, whose kingdom is everlasting and whose dominion endures throughout all generations.
Build your life on things that never change my friend, and you will be relevant to every generation. In the face of unchanging struggles and storms of life, you need someone who "upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down". (verse 14) In this great truth we find relevance in the unchangeable person of our God and King.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Common Ground...

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” -- Revelation 7:9-10
History has been marked by the bigotry of men; one nation rising up against another simply because of prejudice. People belittle others, all because they are a different culture. In many parts of the world every effort to establish peaceful reconciliation has miserably failed. When will people of different backgrounds come together on common ground?
As we step back and gaze at the throne of heaven we are amazed at the multitude of diversity. Every nation, tribe, people and language is represented as they worship the Lamb. No matter the color or culture, they are all clothed in white robes, rejoicing in their salvation. The long sought after common ground has been found!
We who are believers in Jesus have a vastly diverse family. One day we will worship in heaven together, but how well do we live together on earth? Did a racial slur recently come from your lips my friend?  Have you forgotten that you are related to many from that people group by blood? Yes, you stand with them on common ground... the blood of the Lamb.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

You can run, but you can't hide

"Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” -- Revelation 6:15-17
Intrigue, conspiracy, espionage and secrets of every kind; such is our world past and present. Leaders get nervous over Wikileaks threats and fear the spreading of comments made behind closed doors. Hiding from each other protects us from accountability for wrong.
Adam and Eve hid when the Lord came walking in the Garden. When the Lamb comes in judgment in the last days, men and women will still be hiding. We far too often fear God a day late and a dollar short. Rather than fearing God and walking with him, we end up fearing God and running from him. We hide to be protected from ultimate accountability for sin.
Why do you avoid the Lord by skipping devotions, church and Bible studies? Are you hiding from God my friend? The day is coming when all who have run from God and his grace will try to hide from him and his wrath. But there will be no hiding and no protection from ultimate accountability. Walk with the Lord today, so you won't need to run from him then.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Only Cure...

"... and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” -- Revelation 5:4-5
People grieve and weep over many things. They express sorrow over the serious loss of a loved one all the way to a sad ending in a movie. Tears are shed over broken relationships as well as lost pets. Yet, is there not a greater cause and cure for tears?
John was moved to tears "because no one was found worthy to open the scroll". He was saddened by the missing holy character needed to open the seals. Sin and all its damaging influence caused John to grieve to the point of weeping. But at the same time hope was announced, found in the Lion of Judah, the Root of David who has conquered. Jesus alone is the cure for all tears.
Let me ask you something my friend. When was the last time you wept over sin? Have you been grieved to tears when sin has damaged your relationship with the Lord? Or when evil has destroyed someone you love? And in turn, have you found relief when focused on the Lord Jesus, the Lion of Judah who has conquered? Sin is always the greatest cause for tears and Jesus is always the only cure.

Friday, December 7, 2018

It's All About God...

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” -- Revelation 4:11
We live at at time when our entire society is being reworked to be politically correct. Our world revolves around mankind, giving him honor and glory for everything that exists. Every great accomplishment in life is attributed to the wisdom and skill of humanity. To put it simply, "It's all about man". 
As we read todays passage the message is very different. God, and God alone created all things. No matter where we turn, everything that is exists by the will of God. His plan and purpose is behind every star that shines and every breeze that brushes across the meadow. To put is simply, "It's all about God".
How do you greet each event in life my friend? Are you focused on yourself and how you can impact your world for your honor? Or are you overwhelmed with the works of great men and women and seek to be like them? Remember that the Lord alone is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). To put it simply, "It's all about God".

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Being Overconfident ...

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!” – Psalm 141:3-4
Why do public speakers use a teleprompter? Of all the possibilities, one important reason is to protect from saying the wrong thing. No matter how sure the speaker may be of their knowledge and ability to say what they should, they are bound to "misspeak". They have learned the danger of being overconfident.
David prayed with great humility and full knowledge of his own heart. He needed the Lord to "set a guard over his mouth" so he wouldn't "misspeak". David was well aware that his heart was "deceitful above all things, and desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9) and he needed the Lord's help to stay on track. He had learned the danger of being overconfident.
Have you ever said it wrong my friend? Were you ever led down the wrong path by so called friends? Was your heart deceived or just confused? The Lord is ready to Guard your mouth and direct your steps if you will only call on Him. Be careful to remember the danger of being overconfident.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

When Danger Lurks...

"Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet." -- Psalm 140:4
911. We all know the number and have trained our children and yes, even our dogs to dial that number in the case of danger. Communities have written extensive contracts with law enforcement agencies for quick response to emergency calls. Many new phones are automatically set on speed dial for 911. We know what to do when danger lurks.
There was no 911 in David's time. There were no pay phones or cell phones and no law enforcement agencies. David learned to call on the Lord for protection early in life. He knew where to go when he needed to be guarded and preserved from violent men. Yes, he knew how to use the sling quite well and he grew to be a very skilled soldier, but he always sought the Lord for protection. David knew what to do when danger lurked.
What do you depend on in the face of danger my friend? Do you have a dog, an alarm system or your trusty cell phone on your hip? While all this is a good preparation, how quickly do you call on the Lord when trouble comes? Consider David's 911, "Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!." - Psalm 9:11. The Lord is on his throne and he guards his people, preserving them from violent men. Remember what to do when danger lurks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Living Reality...

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God." -- Revelation 3:1-2
Have you ever purchased something because of the name on the product? Were you then disappointed by the lack of quality, surprised that the name didn't carry the same dependability that you once knew? It is sad but true that many great companies have lived long, just on their legend. Their reputation said one thing, but the reality was very different.
Jesus spoke to the Church of Sardis as the one who knew the heart. He knew their works, but he also knew their spiritual quality. They couldn't sell him on their name, because he knew the truth of who they really were down deep. They had a reputation of being alive, but they were dead.
As believers, Jesus called this church to "wake up" and strengthen what remained. How about you my friend? Have you slipped into the daze that lives on your past achievements while asleep at the present spiritual wheel? Remember... a reputation is only as good as its living reality.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Toleration...

"But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel... Only hold fast what you have until I come." -- Revelation 2:20, 25
Some things change at a very slow rate and age is one of them. We would never accept certain conduct when we were younger, but now we just adjust. There was a time that we would go into action in the face of injustice, but now we put up with it rather than fight. We may not agree, but we tolerate.
The church of Thyatira was commended for her "love and faith and service and patient endurance", and that her latter works exceeded the first. It's good to stay the course over time, but what wrongs do we slowly come to accept? We may work hard, but are we as willing to pay the price for righteousness in our later days as when we were young? Have we reached the point of toleration?
Have you suffered from a slow drift my friend? Has the crisp conviction of youth yielded to the soft acceptance of age? Why fight City Hall you say, and then leave the battle to the younger brethren. Remember, Jesus IS coming and he expects us to "hold fast" and not give in to toleration!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Great Expectations...

"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place..." -- Revelation 1:1
When my sons were born I knew the day would soon arrive for them to launch out on their own. The years have passed so very quickly and that day has come. While I am talking about 35 and 31 years respectively, they were not long at all. Great expectations overwhelmed me.
When the word "soon" is read there are skeptics that believe these events should have already come to pass. There are also those who seek to spiritualize the passage and suggest it already happened over time in the hearts of believers. But the word is quite simple in its meaning and filled with great expectations.
As the years pass for you my friend, are you filled with hope? Does the revelation of Jesus Christ make the time pass quickly? Are you living with your heart and mind focused on the future? Soon and very soon, we're going to see the King. So live your life with great expectations.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

He always answers...

"On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased." -- Psalm 138:3 (ESV)
The days of cell phones have made it easier to get through to the person you're calling. Yet, there are still times that you're left with pesky "voice-mails" and you hope against hope that they will call you back. Wouldn't it be nice if every time you made a call someone answered?
It's a joy to know the Lord and have an invitation to call upon his name anytime we desire. It's even a greater thrill to know that when we call, he always answers. No matter where we are or what the weather, our calls go through and our strength of soul is increased. We can be sure that when we call... the Lord answers.
With such a privilege to call on the Lord anytime, how often do you call? Do you prefer to fight the battle in your own strength even when your soul grows weary? Do you think that the Lord is too busy to respond to your need? Are you afraid that you'll get "Divine Voice-Mail"? You can be sure my friend, when you call on Jesus... he always answers.