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Isaiah 52:7

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Truth or Consequences (One Way to Heaven)

Posted on 6 May, 2016 at 8:27 Comments comments (0)
 




I’ve come to enjoy going on Facebook and talking with other people. It reminds me of the Ham radio’s in the old days. People today are much more opinionated and sometimes the language is inappropriate and downright rude to say the least. When that happens, I ask them once to refrain from that language and if they don’t I just don’t respond to them anymore.

I’ve met one gentlemen from California. We argue about everything, but we do it respectfully and often end the day with something funny. Although I have a sense of humor, I also have a serious side. I am a strong conservative Christian who follows the Bible. I will often post something with other people who claim to be Christians, but go against what the Bible says.

I have been told that all religions will be up in heaven; I then point out what the Jesus says in John 14:6 NIV “I am the way and the truth and the life No one comes to the Father except through me.” Also Romans 10:9 NIV says, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

They seem to disregard what the Bible says. I was told that I would be surprised at all the different religions that will be up there. They add that the God that they know would let everyone into heaven.

While again we have to go back to what the Bible says. In Exodus 20:3-6, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

On my job I attended my first class on unionism. I was taught that it doesn’t matter what the contract says, interpret it to mean what you want it to mean. I have found that people do the same with the Bible. Example 1Timothy 6:10 has been shortened to say that money is the root of all evil. What it really says is, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Notice the big difference? 

Another argument is when we are discussing homosexuality. Although there are numerous Bible verses against it, people will say that Jesus never said anything against it. There is a lot of thing Jesus didn’t say. Jesus didn’t say that we shouldn’t do drugs, rob banks, etc. I believe you get my point.

What I don’t understand is how someone can call them self a Christian, but do not believe what is written in the Bible. God has a simple, but precise plan for salvation and eternal life. We are all sinners. Therefore, unless we repent of our sins, and believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the Son of God, who died in our place for our sins. We will not see or enter into Heave, but rather hell and damnation for eternity. No other gods or prophet died for you, they are idols and men who could not redeem you, why? Because they are mortal men, who sinned just like you and I. If you believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and risen from the grave, you will receive forgiveness for all of your sins, and the gift of eternal life.

It is a gift, Christ paid the price with His life so you can have eternal life. It is not something you deserve or earned. Remember, God does the saving, all of it.

If I am wrong I have lost nothing, but if you are wrong you have lost your very soul and sentence yourself to eternal damnation, because you choose to believe a lie instead of the truth. Truth or Consequence you choose, I already have.

If you are ready to make this commitment repeat this prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. That He came to earth in the form of man, to redeem mankind by taking our sins on the cross. I realize now that sin is what separate me from you. I asked for forgiveness for all my sins that I have committed and receive what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. I ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart, and my life and change me into the child of God that you have called me to be.

If you prayed that prayer, the Bible says your name is written in the Lamb book of Life. Read the Bible and find a church that teaches the word of God.


Out on the Limb

Posted on 4 April, 2016 at 22:43 Comments comments (1)
 




Luke 19:3 say, “And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.”

We can allow our handicaps, shortcomings, or our past struggles and failures, to keep us from drawing closer to Jesus. Our past does not define who we are, Christ does. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who was hated by his own people, however he was also a child of Israel. 

We can blame God or others for our circumstance or we can get a closer look at who and what our Lord is saying to us.

“And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.” He used what was available, accessible to him to get to where he needed to be. Men normally don’t climb trees unless their hunting game, but kids do. He had to forget about what others thought of him, he had to do what he would normally not do in order to get what he needed— a closer look at Jesus.

Mathew 18:3 says, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”Why children? Children are uninhibited, have tremendous faith and quick to forgive. 

In order for Zacchaeus to get a closer look at Jesus, he had to use what was accessible and at his disposable. He reached back into his memories of his childhood and didn’t care how foolish he made have looked God always bring us a boat, canoe, helicopter to help us transition from where we are to where we need to be. The problem is sometime we don’t recognize the help, blessings, or the opportunities.

How many of us have climbed a tree as a child? I’m sure most of us did. But, how many of us as an adult still do? Most of us would feel foolish, not to mention our bodily limbs don’t work like they use to when we were children.

When I was a child there was a favorite tree that my cousin and I would climb. We would climb the tree to get away from our annoying siblings. We could see them looking for us as they called our names, but they never saw us, because they never looked up.

“5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.” Jesus Looked Up! Jesus knew exactly where Zacchaeus was, just like he knows where we are, whether we are up a tree or up a creek without a paddle. 

Jesus looked up and He knew Zacchaeus name. Jesus stopped to let Zacchaeus know he knows him and desires to abide at his place. To abide in his house and in his life.“6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. “ 

Who are they? The religious sector who could see the speck in other people lives, but not the beam in their own eyes. Not only did they judge Zacchaeus but they were jealous of him. Your greatest opportunity will always come with opposition.

“8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.” Zacchaesus begins to justify or make excuses, or perhaps he is convicted of his lifestyle and is attempting to make amends. 

When you get close to Jesus, something changes; your heart and lifestyle take a transformation. The thing you use to do, and believe, changes. You are not the same person you were before you met Jesus.

“9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Sometimes being out on a limb isn’t a bad place to be, if it brings you closer to Jesus.

Out on a Limb (Part 1 of 2)

Posted on 11 March, 2016 at 15:53 Comments comments (0)
 




A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters. He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him. A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police came by in a boat. “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said. “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.” “No thanks” replied the religious man. “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise, until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned. When he arrived at heaven he demanded an audience with God. Ushered into God’s throne room he said, “Lord, why am I here in heaven? I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me from that flood.”

“Yes you did my child” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat and a helicopter. But you never got in. 

”How often has the Lord sent us the answers we needed, but because it did not come in the way we expected it to come, we missed it? We think God isn’t answering our prayers, when the problem isn’t God, but our ability to discern and accept what He has for us. To receive what the Lord has, may require us to step out of our preconceived ideals, fears, and do what we have never done before. The opportunity of a lifetime begins with letting go. Let go of your past sins, let go of that relationship, let go of the pain, This may be your divine appointment, divine connection or an opportunity to help you transition into your God given destiny.

Luke 19:1-3 says, “1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature."

These three verses tell us a lot about Zacchaeus. Most people names are not mentioned in the gospels, but his was. He was a real person who lived a life that most people judged and hated him for. Zacchaeus collected taxes for the Roman government from his own people. That in and of it self isn’t wrong someone had to collect the taxes—it was just a job. We have tax and bill collectors today; we simply avoid them or hang the phone up on them. But, you couldn’t do that in Rome, you either paid what was owed or asked, or go to jail. There was no payment plan, no debt consolation, or bankruptcy. 

However, if we read further he was rich and chief among the publicans. Zacchaeus was rich because he most likely taxed the people more than he should have and kept a portion for himself. He was chief publicans, and rich at other people’s expense. 

Zacchaeus was little in stature, and may have been ridiculed and the brunt of most childhood pranks or jokes. He at this point in his life didn’t care what they thought of him. He was rich and admired by friends who were thieves and rejected by the multitudes— just like him.

One day an opportunity arose that would change Zacchaeus life forever. This was a divine opportunity for something better. Scripture says he sought to see who Jesus was. Perhaps Zacchaeus heard of the miracles of healings that Jesus did, or the feeding the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Could he have heard Jesus say to others, go and sin no more? Maybe he too could be forgiven and healed. If only he could get a closer look at Jesus he just might be given an opportunity to change, not just his lifestyle, but his heart. Healed of a lifetime of pain, rejection, and ridicule from his own people. 

Christians today are wounded and rejected just like Zacchaeus was. Jesus is more than our Savior, He is also our Healer, Deliverer, Restorer, and so much more. Sadly, many stop at the Son of God, who took our sins on the cross, paid the price for our redemption. We stare at the empty cross, and fail to see the Resurrected Christ who has fulfilled all things, and has become all things to us. Surely Zacchaeus must of heard that Jesus was a great teacher, a mighty prophet, a miracle worker, could Jesus be the Messiah? The only way to find out who Jesus was is to get a closer look at Him. This has not changed; we must still seek Him, to know Him...To be continued

Learning to Lean (Part 2)

Posted on 24 February, 2016 at 17:18 Comments comments (0)


 




When Israel was about to cross over Jordan into the promise land, God reminded Israel of Amalek's treacherous act, and charges them:Det. 25:17-18 “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.“

It is just like the enemy of our soul to attack us when we are weary, and weak in our faith. Just like when the enemy (Amalekites) came out against the faint and weary of the children of Israel in the wilderness. 

When the Israelites came out of Egypt it was a different story. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob solely delivered the children of Israel out of the hands of the mightiest empire during that era. The only role the Israelites had was to obey the words of the Lord. Every time Moses stretched fourth that rod in Egypt, some natural disaster or plague struck the Egyptians. God literally fought their battles while they watched in amazement.

The red sea opened up and they walk through on dry land while the Egyptian army drowned pursuing God’s chosen people. Soon after in the wilderness they complained about water, bread, and meat. God provide all they needed.

Exodus 16:10-12 “ And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.”

God did everything for them. But, the one thing God would not do, without their involvement was to fight their battle for them once they were set free from bondage, Egypt (World). They were no longer slaves, but they like us have been set free, and were being prepared to be a army that would inherit the promise of God, and defeat the enemy.

Exodus 17:8-16    
“8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” I wondered how long did Amalek torment and fought against the weary and the faint before Moses, and the rest of the group realized that God was not going to intervene. They would have to decide to take the initiative to stand and fight their own battles, with God’s help.

“9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.” 

There is one thing you just can’t ignore, the enemy, he will not go away on his own. He will continue to torment you, until you put an end to it. “10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.”

"12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."

Moses became weary from holding up the rod, that rod represented his faith. Every time Moses stretched forth his rod (faith), God acted in Moses behalf, just like He does for us. 

During this battle Moses hands became weary from holding up the rod. Aaron and Hur finds’ a stone (rock), and Moses sat upon that ROCK, Moses had to rest in the midst of the battle. He rested upon the ROCK, which represents Christ. Both Aaron and Hur held up Moses hands, as Moses rested upon the ROCK. We must learn in the midst of the storms to rest on the ROCK. It is the only way to recover from being weary and find strength and endurance to preserver.

In the midst of the battles we, like Aaron and Hur, should be holding up one another’s faith with encouragement and prayers. Moses was not alone, God always bring someone in our lives to be are Aaron and Hur.

“13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.”













Learning to Lean (Part 1)

Posted on 4 February, 2016 at 11:46 Comments comments (0)






 




Mohammed Ali, Sunny Liston, Sugar Ray Lenard were all name synonymous to boxing champions in a different era. I used to watch and cheer them on in the comfort of my home. 

A boxing match consisted of twelve rounds that last three minutes. The break was only one minute long. To the one loosing three minutes in the ring must seem like an eternity. The fans would cheer for their favorite boxer even if he were loosing the match. The lively crowd would instruct the boxer what he should do and yell words of encouragement at the battered boxer. The upper cuts and blow to his body was much more forceful then any words being spoken from the crowd or the boxer’s manager during the one minute break. The fans weren’t in the ring, they weren’t receiving the painful blows, but they all knew what he should do to win from the protective sidelines.The one minute break, to tend the cuts, hydrate, and instruct them wasn’t long enough break if they are loosing the fight. Why do they continue? What make a battered and bloody boxer get up and continue to fight? They do it for the prize, the championship belt, and the title.

The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” We too are in a battle for a bigger prize, that we would be found in Christ and finish our course. Like the boxer we sometimes find ourselves feeling the onslaught of the battle. It appears we are loosing and barely can hold on. The blows of disappointment, and upper cuts of trials seem to wear down and weaken our faith.                                                                        
Our well meaning Christian friends try to encourage us with scriptures verses like “You are the head, and not the tail; above and not beneath;..” (Deut. 28:13). Also  “You can do all things through Christ which strengthened you.” Philippians 4:13    Then they solidify the charge with the words, “I’m praying for you,” as they practically throw you back into the lion’s den. Unfortunately they are doing what they have been taught. We as pastors, and teachers have taught them the fundamentals of fighting without teaching them how to win.

I remember as a child watching the Mickey Mouse Club. At the end of the program they would sing to their special guest “Here’s your hat, here's your ears, you're an honorary Mouseketeer.”  We have done that with Christians saying here’s your shield, here’s your helmet, and your sword, you are a Christian. Now fight! (Ephesians 6:15-18)

I want you to understand we are not alone in our fears and struggles. Let’s look at a few people from the bible and know how they felt in the midst of a battle. What did these men of God have in common?

David Psalm 142:4-6 4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.                                                                                                                                            
Jeremiah 20:14, 18 “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.”18 Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?                                                                                 
Elijah 1 King 19:1-4 “1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

Paul 2 Timothy 4:16-18 “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. 17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;..." 

What did these men have in common? It appears that they all were discouraged,
Merriam-Webster defines disappointment, discouragement and wearyness as;
Disappointment: someone or something that fails to satisfy hopes or expectations. Another words when what we expect to happen doesn’t happen then we become disappointed.
Discouragement: A feeling of having lost hope or confidence. When we continue to be disappointed we lose hope and become discouraged.
Wearyness: lacking strength, energy, or freshness because of a need for rest. Another words you have no strength left to endure, you are tired of the same thing without the desired results. 

These men where past being disappoint and discourage, they were all weary in well doing. Many in the body of Christ have become weary in well doing. This is why Apostle Paul said, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9

These men had something else in common. They all over came their situation because They had learned to lean. David said it best when he said, in Ps.143: 6 “ I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah”

Unfortunately we have placed our emphasis on how to fight, but we have not taught God’s people how to rest in the midst of the storm…to be continued.  

Kinsmen Redeemer (Ruth Part 3)

Posted on 11 January, 2016 at 16:31 Comments comments (0)
 
  






Ruth 3:1-2 “Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.”

Boaz was a kinsmen redeemer. A kinsmen redeemer must be a male relative who delivers or rescues (Gen.48:16; Exodus 6:6); redeems property (Lev. 27:9-25) or person (Lev. 25:47-55); avenges the murder of a relative as a guiltless executioner (Num. 35:9-34); and receives restitution for wrong done to a relative who has since died (Num. 5:8). 
The unique emphasis of the redemption/salvation/vindication associated with the kinsman-redeemer is the fact that this action is carried out by a kinsman on behalf of a near relative in need. One related by blood. This is most clearly illustrated here in the Book of Ruth. Boaz is the kinsmen redeemer for Ruth. Boaz is a type and shadow of Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus blood that was shed for us that we become heirs of salvation and Jesus becomes our Kinsmen Redeemer.
Naomi tells Ruth in Ruth 3:3-4 “Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do”

Ruth approaches Boaz while he is sleeping and slightly removes his skirt from his feet. Once she has his attention she requests Boaz to spread his skirt over her as he is a near kinsman. This is not the kind of proposition many people assume it to be.“The shul (skirt), or hem, was the emblem of rank or authority in Israel, much like the stripes on the sleeve of a military officer in our culture. (This insight is essential to really understand David’s cutting Saul’s hem, or why the woman with the issue of blood touched Christ’s hem.

”When Ruth uncovered Boaz feet and laid down at the bottom of his feet she was saying, I want you to be my covering, my protection, and my provider.  Ruth was asking Boaz to put the authority of his house over her. She is invoking her right under the laws of Israel for him to take her to wife. 
Ruth purposed to Boaz. It’s amazing how the Lord has pursued us all our lives. But, there comes a time when we must pursue the pursuer. He rests while we wrestles with our fleshly desires. Finally we get serious about desiring God’s will and purpose for our lives. Usually it is when we realize what a mess we have made with our lives. It is at our lowest place at the foot of the cross; near His (pierce) feet like Ruth we humbly look to our Boaz and ask Him to be our Redeemer. 
Our greatest revelation is when we realize without Jesus we our helpless and hopeless. At this point we must surrender every part of ourselves to Him. He longs for the true bride that we are called to be, to come forth. He takes the fragmented pieces of our live and weaves His finest tapestry, a masterpiece, us! We are His greatest work and miracle. The miracle being when Christ is seen in us and lived through us.

Boaz like our Savior accepts the request and proceeds to redeem his bride. The role of Boaz as the kinsman-redeemer, pre-figures our own kinsman-redeemer, Jesus Christ. Through his act of redemption, Boaz returns Naomi (Israel) to her land, and also takes Ruth (a Gentile) as his bride. This suggests a parallel with the Church as the Gentile bride of Christ.

Ruth Part 2 of 3 Under The Wings Of The Almighty

Posted on 29 December, 2015 at 20:40 Comments comments (0)
 
        




Ruth 1:22 “So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest.”                                                                                                                               

Ruth 2:1-3 “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter. 3 And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.”

Ruth goes to glean in the field, and just happens to gleam partially on Boaz land. Nothing is by coincidence or luck. The Lord divinely orders her steps, just like He does ours. Boaz tells Ruth, not to glean in another field, but abide in his field and she will be taken care of.                                                                                                                            

“Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” Ruth 2:10 
Another words Ruth wants to know what makes her special, or favored over the other widows and less fortunate. 
”And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.12.The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:11-12
Here in chapter two we see a Gentile come under the wings of the Lord. There would come a time when many more among the nations would do the same. But not until, in a stunning twist of irony, God’s own people reject the Lord Jesus, the Redeemer, and their Messiah.                                                                                                                            

It was Israel’s rejection of Jesus, which included his atoning death on the cross that opened the door for the Gentile nations –you and I – to come under his wing of protection from God’s wrath. It is Naomi and Elemelich refusal to come under God’s wings of protection and provisions that in a strange turn of events Ruth comes under the LORD God of Israel, wings whom she has come to trust.”

Ruth ask Boaz, Why? “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?” Have you ever asked God WHY? I have, and he answer’s me in his time, when I am ready to receive it.

Ruth had to work. If Ruth wanted to eat, she had no other choice. There was no welfare system, no husband, no children, nor other options available. When we come to God, there are still trials and hard times, however we are not alone. Just like Boaz noticed Ruth, Jesus noticed us. Ruth situation wasn’t just a sacrifice or hardship, but really a blessing in disguised. We don’t always understand why we go through what we do, but God sees everything and He is well able to turn it around for good, once we choose to follow Him.                                                               

I cannot help to think there may be also another reason that Boaz showed favor to Ruth. Boaz mother was also a stranger, a gentile; a woman named Rehab of Jericho a former prostitute. Rehab also came under the LORD God of Israel, wings that she had come to trust. This is not coincident but divine province. No more than Ruth stumbling onto Boaz property is luck or coincident. Surely Boaz knew how cruel people could be. The Jewish women may have rejected his own mother, due to her sultry past, and being a gentile. 

Ruth must have been very attractive, but much too young for Boaz. He refers to her as daughter, in a sense showing a protective nature toward her.Thank God for Boaz compassion. Our past does affect our present. The Lord is so much bigger than us. He plans our lives before we are born. God orchestrates every detail of our lives. Proverbs 16:9 says “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” 

The lives of those who will be a part of His glorious plan in our lives have already been put into motion. All we have to do is trust and obey God. The Lord hasn’t forgotten you! Keep working the harvest field, whether it’s working on saving your marriage, praying for your rebellious children or struggling with a ministry, don’t give up on God.
“The Lord is able to recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:12

To be continued...

There Were Two

Posted on 3 December, 2015 at 17:54 Comments comments (0)
 
         





Ruth1:1-4 (1) "Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. (2). And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. (3) And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. (4) And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years."

There is a lot of symbolism in the book of Ruth from a Theological point of view. Ruth represents the Gentiles who will enter into the covenant of God. Naomi and her husband and sons represent the Israelites who have wander away from God’s will. Boaz is the type (pattern) of the coming Christ who would be the kinsman-redeemer to God's people of any descent or background.

From of spiritual perspective the book of Ruth is more than a story of Naomi's transformation from despair to happiness, emptiness to fullness. The book of Ruth is more than the selflessness and sacrifices of Ruth and Boaz. This book should be a witness of our own testimony in finding, unmerited favor, grace, and salvation through the true kinsmen-redeemer, Jesus Christ. 

Many of us whether Hebrew or Gentile, should be able to identify with Naomi and her husband Elimelech. They left their home in Bethlehem, which means “House of Bread” because of famine. They didn’t just leave the area, but they left territory of Israel. They left the land that God gave to them as an inheritance and generational blessing. 

Many of us have left a place where we once were blessed. We left because we were dissatisfied and unfulfilled, feeling emotionally fatigue and spiritually deplenished. Many of us leave Church, a place of employment or a relationship because of this. God does sever us in His time from certain relationships, location, and churches for a reason. However, when we leave because we are angry or offended we left for the wrong reason, and failed to allow God to finish in us what he wanted to accomplish. We think we our running away from a bad situation, when we are really running from ourselves and from God. 

Although it doesn’t say Naomi and her family ran from Bethlehem, it does say they went and dwelt in Moab. A place God never called his people to dwell, a land of strange custom, and idols. The descendants of Moab are the children of Lot and his daughters, conceived through incest. They settle in Moab and allowed their sons to intermarry. Moab represents the world. Naomi husband dies soon after arriving in Moab. However, Naomi and her sons stay in Moab for ten years. If her sons had not died, and had children, we would never have the book of Ruth. 

Naomi sons do die without leaving an heir and the wives Orpah and Ruth are widows, without any means of support. Another word there is no bread in their house. God will not, He cannot bless our disobedience. I have learned over the years that God will not bless our mess, but He will fix it if we allow Him. 

Ruth 1:6-8 “(6) Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. (7). Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. (8) And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.”

Naomi hears in the land of Moab that there is bread in her land of the Israelites. As they reached the borders of Judah she tell her two daughters in laws to leave and return to their land and people. Ruth and Orpah are not obligated to go with her, because there is nothing left that she can do or give them, especially sons.

Ruth 1:14. “And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.”
Orpah decides to go back and return to Moab a place of familiarity and possibilities. Naomi tells Ruth that Orpah has returned to her people and her gods. Orpah represents those who say they are Christians, but they are not fully committed to following God, or keeping His Word. When things get hard they go back into the world, and their ungodly ways. 

Ruth 1:16-17 “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:17. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.”

Ruth has made her decision, to forsake all and follow the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God that she has heard so much about, and chooses to trust and lean on in good and hard times. She was willing to let go of the comfort and familiarity of home, to move forward with reckless spiritual abandonment to God. Ruth like many of us desire more than just existing, she was trusting in the living God to give her purpose and destiny. Yet, far to many of us our afraid to let go and trust God, for fear of loosing control. Sadly like Orpah, whose name means stiff neck, we still want to be in control of our lives instead of letting God be in control.…To be continued.

They That Believe

Posted on 3 November, 2015 at 12:47 Comments comments (1)
 




I was praying for one of our church members who was recovering from leg surgery. I prayed like I always have, “Lord, heal her leg in Jesus name.” Immediately I heard the words, “Why are you asking me to do something I already did?” It was obvious to me that her leg was not heal so what was the Lord saying?

I then was reminded of time when I was much younger in the Lord. I remembered praying for the Lord to save my husband. As soon as I said, “Lord save him” I heard the words, “He’s already saved.” Immediately I dismissed those words and repeated, “Lord save him.” Once again I heard the words, “He is saved.” Again I ignored that still small voice and repeated a third time, “ Lord save him.” The same answer came back, “He is saved.” I responded with, “If he’s save, why don’t he act like it?" My husband never acknowledge he was saved. Three times I heard, He’s is saved, and yet evidence showed other wise. But, I knew the Lord had spoken to me, but how could my husband be saved?

1Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit,”

I asked the Lord what did He mean when He said, that he was saved? The Lord revealed to me that He died once for all humanity. He saved humanity, but they can either accept or reject what Jesus did for them at Calvary. Jesus wasn’t going to die again to save humanity. I realized I needed to change how I was praying. Instead of praying that he would be saved, I prayed he would receive salvation that was purchased for him with a great price, Jesus life.

The Lord then said to me, “When you do deliverance, do you ask the demons to leave, or command them to leave in my name? I replied, "I command them to leave in Jesus name." I knew the authority I had as a deliverance minister. The Lord was showing me that healing was no different. Why was I asking the Lord to heal someone when he already did that? Mark 16:17-18 “ And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Mark 16:17-18 says,”These signs shall follow them that believe.” It doesn’t say, that if it is God’s will to heal, or cast out devils. Nor does it say we should ask and cry to God. 

James 5:14-15 “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up;”

“They that believe” in Mark 16:17 and the verse “The prayer of faith” in James 5:15 is a key to walking in the authority we have through Jesus Christ. 
I have come to realize my faith is limited; it is based on my personal experiences.  

Once I have over come an obstacle or trial and saw what Christ did through that situation my faith increased. However, I am convince that the faith we must have isn’t our faith to believe because of our ability to be challenged in a situation, but rather the Faith in the one (Jesus) who over-came death, sin, sickness, etc. 

The faith I must have is not faith in myself to do it, but faith in the one who accomplished, finished, and triumph in every area of our lives. Do I have faith, do I believe in what Christ did, and will I stand on that belief?" 

 John 19:28-30 "28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. It is time to believe the report of the Lord, and to walk in the AUTHORITY we have in Jesus name.

Conclusion part three: “Who hath believed our report?”

Posted on 24 September, 2015 at 10:38 Comments comments (0)






 
        





Isaiah 53:1 says, “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”

Jesus revealed to Nicodemus what man must do in order to see or plainly put, enter the kingdom of God. Eventually Nicodemus did believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and why Jesus, not sacrificial animal offerings was the only way to redeem mankind.

John 3:1-3 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Jesus himself said, “Except a man (woman) be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Mankind cannot enter heaven on religious traditions or good deeds.

Nicodemus was a good man, a leader in the Jewish religious sector, a Pharisee. He kept the traditions of the Jewish people. Yet, Jesus told Nicodemus you must be born again or you will not see the Kingdom of God. 

Why is it so important to be born again or saved? Why, because the other alternative is hell and damnation.

I am reminded of a story of a farmer who was told by an old evangelist that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, left His kingdom in heaven and came to earth as a man to save humanity from eternal damnation. The farmer could not understand the reason why the Son of God, would have to be born of a virgin, become a man, and die for our sins on a cross that we might be saved. Why was this the only way to save humanity? 

One day the farmer noticed a storm brewing, so he hurried to put his animals in a secure barn. When the farmer attempted to rally the ducks into the barn they scattered in different directions. The sky now filled with a foreboding darkness, the hollowing wind picked up indiscriminative objects scattering them in different directions. The farmer frantically yelled to his ducks to follow him. Couldn’t they see the danger, didn’t they understand he was there to save them from ultimate destruction. He knew he had to do something, but what?  He yelled at them, running frantically toward them, as they seem to quacked in unison “Go away.” The ducks escapes the farmer futile attempts and pleas to following him to a place of safety from the emanate danger. As the farmer wondered what to do, it hit him, he remembered what an old evangelist had told him, about the Son of God.

The only way he could reach these ducks, and save them, was to become one of them, and show them the way. He stooped down almost in a fetal position, flapping his arms, and quacking like a duck, as he headed for the barn. The ducks quickly followed suit, and were saved.

Jesus had to be born of the flesh, so we could be born again of the spirit. He had to come in the form of man, take our sins upon himself at the cross, to show man the way back to our Heavenly Father and away from eternal damnation, because of sin. 

Sin, is like the perfect storm, reaping havoc wherever it is, destroying lives, and souls. Like the duck we think we are ok, when we really are headed in the wrong direction.

Isaiah 53: 5-6 says “5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”Sin separates us from God. Although God is a loving and merciful God, he is also a Righteous and Holy God. He has made provisions for us to be reconciled back to him since the fall of man (Adam) through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. 

John 1:10-13 “10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

”Isaiah 53:1 “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” What does it mean to believe?

I like the way the Amplified version expounds of the word BELIEVE; for it clearly puts the word believe in a clearer perspective. To believe means to adhere to, trust and rely on Jesus and the word of God.

Amplified says “12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—“

To believe means to put into practice what the word of God says. It is one thing to hear the word, and another to obey it. 

A person born again has been Born Again of the spirit. Christians are those who have a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, they have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as Savior, and Lord.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

”John 14:6 6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

No other religions speak of a need to be set free from our sins. They only speak of doing good deeds to feel good about our selves. These so call religions or cults offer no solution for sin, just restitution, while our sins are magnified and out of control in our lives. The bible speaks of a Divine God, who created man and women in His image, and placed them in paradise. In a perfect environment Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, and sinned. Now we who live in an imperfect environment can choose to live righteous because of Jesus Christ.

Satan and hell is not a symbol, both are real. We can believe it doesn’t exist but that doesn’t make it so. 

Isaiah 5:14 says, “Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” Hell is not a symbol, but a real place of torment and punishment for the Devil, and all those who choose to follow him, instead of following Jesus Christ.Do you want to gamble with your soul and hope I’m wrong? Death is not the end, for your spirit lives for eternity, either in heaven or hell according to the choice you make. Eternity is too long to make the wrong choice. 

If you want to receive the gift of eternal life and be set free from the bondages of sin, fear and torment then pray: 

Heavenly Father I acknowledge my sins before you. I believe your son Jesus Christ paid the full price on the cross for all of my sins. I ask you to forgive me of my sins, cleanse, and deliver me from all my iniquities and strongholds. I ask Jesus Christ to come to my heart and life. I acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I ask to receive the Holy Spirit who will equip and teach me the word of God, and lead me in the path of righteousness. I ask this in the Name Of Jesus Christ.

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