Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Have You Not Known Me?

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, 
and yet you have not known Me, Philip?
John 14:9

These words are not spoken as a rebuke, nor even
with surprise; Jesus is leading Philip on. The last
One with whom we get intimate is Jesus. "I have
called you friends." Friendship is rare on earth.
It means identity in thought and heart and spirit.
The whole discipline of life is to enable us to en-
ter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ.
We receive His blessings and know His Word. but
do we know Him?

When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never
lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all
the time without being pathetic. The saint who is in-
timate with Jesus will never leave the impression of
himself, but only the impression that Jesus is having
unhindered way, because the last abyss of his nature
has been satisfied by Jesus. The only impression left
by such a life is that of the strong calm of sanity that
Our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.
Oswald Chambers

Reader, I still get lonely, I do need sympathy, and
I am not sure that Jesus is unhindered in my life...
I wonder if this is possible in our technological,
our fast paced life?  However, the question that
Jesus asked of His disciple cut me. We have had
so many years together. 

The Scary Message

For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of 
God. Romans 3:23.  
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God 
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Last Saturday there was an alert given in Hawaii which
gave the people no more than 20 minutes to find shelter.
The targeted island had no basements because the is-
land is an island of sand. People ran out into the streets
filled with fear. Some drank and then sent texts to family
and friends, "I love you." One man put his daughter into
the sewer. What do you do upon finding out that you will
die in 20 minutes? Or consider the families that went to
bed and didn't wake up in their beds, or did not wake up
at all because of mud slides due to heavy rains along the
coast of California? None of us knows what the day will
bring--or the night either.

Many read my posts but I don't know who you are or whe-
ther you are a Christian. Then some of you want to share
the Gospel with friends and don't know what it contains
or how to say it. I found a simple presentation of the Gos-
pel from a Palestinian--who is a pastor in Hawaii. The
video below describes what it was like to have 20 min-
utes to live and how he lived it. He also shared how impor-
tant it is to know where you are going before you are faced
with death.

A  Admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior
      Rom. 3:23 and Rom 6:23

B  Believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus
     from the dead. Rom 10:9,10

C  Call on the Name of the Lord or Confess with
       your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Rom 10:13

For all who call upon the Name of the Lord will
be saved!

Reader, good works do not save you nor does prayer or
going to church or baptism. It is knowing that you can't
clean up your life by yourself and that God sent His
only Son that by believing and confessing you will be
saved--now and for all of eternity. What a great deal!

Time is short. Peter says,
"The end of all things is at hand; 
therefore, be of sound judgement and 
sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. 
Above all, 
keep fervent in your love for one another 
because love covers a miltitude of sins."
1 Peter 4: 7, 8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1mrUemeWss

Monday, January 15, 2018

Why The Delay?

Many of us are pondering as to why our Lord seems
to delay His coming. It reminds me of the ten Virgins
who slept even as they expected their Bride Groom
to come and take them into the Bridal Chamber.
(Matt 25)

Peter has plenty to say in 2 Peter 3
Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the
last days...and saying "Where is the promise of
His coming?

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as
some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward
us, not will that any should perish but that all
should come to repentance.  (verses 3, 4, 9)

God is doing great things in the world as He wants
to grab all of those whose hearts would be soft to
His call. Then Peter shares what is to come and
goes on to call us to walk in holiness.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the
night, in which the heavens will pass away with a
great noise, and the elements will melt with a fer-
vant heat; both the earth and the works that are in
it will be burned up. 

Since, therefore, all these things will be dissolved, 
what manner of persons ought you to be in holy 
conduct and godliness. Looking for and hastening 
the coming of the day of God...we, according to His 
promise, look fornew heavens and a new earth in 
which righteousness dwells.  (verses 10-13)

Reader, tomorrow I will share what God is putting on
my heart as a result of the two blogs this week. God
desires that all should come to repentance. He does
not want any to perish. We are living in such exciting
times where each day events show us how short the
 time really is.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Two Sides

Enter His gates with
     Thanksgiving,
And into His courts with
     Praise...
Ps 100:4

I have recently come across some statistics on the web
that have led me into thanksgiving and awe.

In 1900 there were no Christians in South Korea, but
today there are 7,000 churches in the capitol alone.

In the 1800's the southern part of  Africa had no Chris-
tians but today it is estimated Christianity at 63%.
There are 34,000 people coming to Christ each day in
Africa.

There are 140 million Untouchables in India and it is
estimated that 10% have come to Christ.

In China it is estimated that there are more self avowed
Christians than those who belong to the Communist
Party. It is also estimated that soon China will have
more Christians than any other part of the world.

More people in the Islamic world have come to Christ
in this generation than all the generations put together
before.

There are a massive number of people coming to Christ
in Iran. House churches are prominent and widely dis-
seminated.

Indonesia is the largest Islamic country but 15% of the
people are Christians.

Followers of Jesus globally are increasing more than
80,000 per day. It is believed that 510 new churches
are planted every day.

The Cost

Open Doors says that 250 million people are being per-
secuted today for their faith in Jesus. It comes to one 
out of every twelve Christians

Radical Religion is the primary cause of persecution, but
we pray for the Persecuted Church and it is wide spread
in every area where Christianity is vibrant and growing
in Asia and the Middle East. We read their stories and
are amazed at how many will not quit evangelizing even
after threats and prison. In some countries the new Be-
lievers know that they will have to take Prison 101.
However, once they find Jesus and are baptized, they
are committed and faithful--regardless.

Reader, the west looks so puny in comparison with other
areas where people have recently come to realize that
Jesus died for them and they can come into Eternal Life
through Him. I would encourage you to contact an organ-
ization, Voice of the Martyrs, and read the personal stories
of suffering and triumph. God is doing amazing things!

https://www.persecution.com






Thursday, January 11, 2018

Trusting

You would have no power over me if it were not 
given from above. John 19:11

Nothing that is not part of God's will is allowed to 
come into the life of someone who trusts and obeys 
Him. This truth should be enough to make our life 
one of ceaseless thanksgiving and joy, because 
God 's will is the most hopeful, pleasant, and glor-
ious thing in the world. It is the continuous work--
ing of His omnipotent power for our benefit, with
nothing to prevent it, if, we remain surrendered
and believing. 

Someone who was passing through the deep water
of affliction wrote a friend:

"Isn't it glorious to know that no matter how unjust
something may be, even when it seems to have 
come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us
it is God's will for us and will ultimately work for
our good?"

"And we know that all things God works for the 
good of those who love him." Rom 8:28

Think of what Christ said even as He was betrayed:
"Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given 
me?" John 18:11

We live fascinating lives if we are living in the center 
of God's will. All the attacks that Satan hurls at us 
through the sins of others are not only powerless to 
harm us but are transformed into blessings along the 
way.  Hannah Whitall Smith

Reader, this woman had so much sorrow in her life,
and yet she continued faithful to the God she believed.
I am sure that her emotions did not always match with
what she knew to be true, but she lived in victory. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Abounding In Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercies,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
Annie Johnson Flint


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Biblical Meditation and Intimacy

Meditation is very popular today, but it is not
fruitful unless it is done from the Bible.

I will meditate on Your
     precepts,
And contemplate your ways.

Make me understand the way
     of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your
     wonderful works.
Ps 119:15, 27

Many years ago a woman sat down with me and
taught me how to meditate in scripture. I was en-
raptured with what I learned when I took a verse
or two of a passage and pondered it until God
showed me what was within. I learned to write
out the things that I saw in the verse, to write
out a prayer and then to pray the truth back to
God, for others. I started a notebook which be-
came a journal for that year. I worked through
the 23rd and 139th Psalms and then I tackled
the book of Ephesians. I met with other women
to intercede for the church, the nation and the
world. We used the same format, shared what
we gleaned and then prayed. We stayed on tar-
get instead of getting lost in our own concerns.

As my children were growing up I taught them
how to do this and we worked through several
chapters of Proverbs. 'Wisdom' stood out for
my daughter and she gave a beautiful talk on
the subject of wisdom when she graduated
from High School.

What is my point? My point is that if you want
to know God, His character and His ways, and
if you want to hear Him, it has to be from His
book. Reading the Bible from cover to cover
is important, but if you want to see His heart it
is best to linger.

David says this in Psalm 1
Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the 
     Law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree
     Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in
     Its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
     Psalm 1: 1, 2, 3

Reader, may I encourage you to sit down with
someone else and take the verses above and
ponder them, write out what you hear, what
you see? Share it with each other and with God.
Once you catch on you will find a big boost in
your quiet times!

(If any of my readers have used this way of
reading the Bible, would you share it in the
comments below? CB, that means you!)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Speaking of Power...

That I may know Him and the power of His
resurrection. Philippians 3:10

What does our Lord desire from us? He wants us
to KNOW Him intimately. We run around doing
for Him, but what if, out of the knowing comes
the resurrection power? Power to do all His will.
In Ephesians 1 Paul links knowing and resurrec-
tion power.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Father of glory, may give to you the spirit
of wisdom and revelation in the know-
ledge of Him...and (to know) what is the 
exceeding greatness of His power toward 
us who believe, according to the working 
of His mighty power which He worked in 
Christ when He raised Him from the dead. 
Ephesians 1:17, 19, 20
(This is an amazing prayer that I pray over myself
and others daily. )

Reader, I used to think that all this power was only
for doing great things for God--and, yes, those
called to incredible ministries need it, BUT, I am
convinced that all of us need this power to live our
lives each day. Power to get out of bed, eat break-
fast, do the laundry, clean the toilets...

There is an old hymn that is floating through my
mind:

Learning to lean,
Learning to lean,
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
I need more power than I ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus.



Sunday, January 7, 2018

Encouragement From Peter

It appears that second Peter was written from
Rome toward the end of Nero's reign in 66 AD.
It was toward the end of Peter's life.
See 2 Peter 1:14

Peter's big concern is that Christians had gotten
sloppy in how they were living their lives, their
character, and so he calls them to repent and go
a new way. But before he does that in verses 5-8,
he gives the reasons why it is possible to live
those verses.
(See the list below)

"Grace...be multiplied to you in the knowledge 
of God and of Jesus our Lord. as His divine 
power has given to us all things that pertain to 
life and godliness through the knowledge of 
Him who called us to glory and virtue.
2 Peter 1:2,3

Peter starts with grace, knowledge of God, and
divine power to live the Christian life. He then
says:

"by which have been given to us exceedingly 
great and precious promises, that through 
these you may be partakers of the divine 
nature..." 2 Peter 1:4

Divine nature? Partakers? Exceedingly great pro-
mises? Peter is saying that we have everything
we need inside in order to live a victorious Chris-
tian life. He wants us to know the grace that is
multiplied to us through the knowledge of our
Lord. He wants us to grasp through faith that we
have exceedingly great and precious promises,
and that we have access to His divine nature.

Reader, the 'oughts' that are given by Peter in
verses five through eight have been held up to
me as something I must attain and must keep
attaining all of my life. All it did was to make
me feel unworthy of Him and it burdened me be-
yond belief.  No one, not one person, called my
attention to the verses that led into the list of vir-
tues. These verses clearly tell us that it is by faith
in God's great promises, and it is by entering into
what we all ready have--His divine nature--that
we can live out the verses below.

But also for this very reason, giving all 
diligence, add 
to your faith virtue
to virtue knowledge,
to knowledge self control,
to self-control perseverance,
to perseverance godliness,
to godliness, brotherly kindness,
to brotherly kindness love. 

For if these things are yours and abound, 
you will be neither barren 
nor unfruitful 
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1: 5-8






Friday, January 5, 2018

Weakness

I have been pondering what it means to live a vibrant
Christian life. Many people my age are looking at old
age, sickness now, and other various weaknesses. So,
what has God been emphasizing to me in this new year?

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, 
for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:2

Really, Lord? Are you speaking to me?
How does Paul respond to the words of Jesus because
he was at a place of great weakness.

"Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my 
infirmities, that the power of Christ might rest 
upon me...For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Reader, I want to stay on this for a few blogs as I have
continued to think about what Jesus said to Paul and
even how he responded. Is it not backward to all you
have been taught about how we should be strong and
do great things for God? Paul certainly lived a very
productive life.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Walking

If we walk in the light, as He is in the light...
the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanest
us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:7

No man knows what sin is until he is born again. Sin 
is what Jesus Christ faced on Calvary. The evidence 
that I am delivered from sin is that I know the real na-
ture of sin in me. It takes the impartation of His abso-
lute perfection, to make man know what sin is. It is 
only when we get grasp of the unrivaled power of 
the Spirit in us that we understand the meaning of 
1 John 1:7, 
"the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin." 

If we walk in the light as God is in the light, not in the 
light of my own conscience, but in the light of God, 
then there comes the amazing revelation, the blood of 
Jesus Christ cleanses me from all sin so that God Al-
mighty can see nothing to censure in me. The love of 
God at work in me makes me hate with the hatred of 
the Holy Spirit all that is not in keeping with God's 
holiness. To walk in the light means that everything 
that is of the darkness drives me closer into the center 
of the light. Oswald Chambers

Reader, it is a faith walk of believing that God can give
us such a revelation of His Son, in such a way, that we
can have the freedom to walk in light, instead of hiding
in the darkness.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Keep To The Point

My eager desire and hope being that I may never
be ashamed, but that now as ever I may do honor
to Christ in my own person by fearless courage.
Phil 1:20  (MOFFAT)

My Utmost for His Highest. "My eager desire and hope 
is that I may never feel ashamed." We shall all feel very 
much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus on the point 
He has asked us to yield to Him. Paul says--"My deter-
mination is to be my utmost for His Highest." To get there 
is a question of will, not of debate or reasoning, but a 
surrender of will, an absolute and irrevocable surrender 
on that point. When we consider what it will cost others 
if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He does not know 
what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point; He does 
know. Shut out every other consideration and keep your-
self before God for this one thing only: My Utmost for 
His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entire-
ly for Him and Him alone. Oswald Chambers

Reader, on this first day of 2018, what is on your mind?
Are you working out the resolutions for the year ahead?
How has that worked for you in the past? I chose the
January 1 reading of Oswald Chamber because he cuts
to the chase.