The Cure

pill 1O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Corinthians 15:55-57

Imagine a pill. Not just an ordinary pill, but a totally free pill that can perform wonders. Specifically, twenty-four hours after taking this pill any type of cancer will be cured one-hundred percent of the time, every time – guaranteed.

As sure as water makes you wet or as the sun makes you warm you will be emphatically, instantaneously and unequivocally healed after ingesting this pill.

How wonderful would that be? In twenty-four hours any gnawing pain or bodily discomfort – gone. In twenty-four hours any mass, swelling tissue or surface skin abnormality – gone. In twenty-four hours any internal organ dysfunction – gone. It is that powerful of a pill.

But there are some caveats surrounding this pill. The administration of this pill is carefully regulated due to its precise chemical composition, high production costs, potent healing power and the immense potential for fraud and monetary abuse (i.e., the black market).

Therefore, this pill can only be administered by one and only one authorized distributor and its team of highly qualified individuals each with impeccable integrity. Additionally, because of its unique healing power there are no generic equivalents for this pill. It is a one of a kind pill with no substitute or cheap imitation.

Another Pill

There is another “pill” that shares similar properties to the one mentioned. But this cure is for a more fearful word than the “C” word. And that is for the dreaded “D” word – Death.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is “the pill” (if you will) for the emphatic, instantaneous and unequivocal cure over death.

Yes, that is right. How often we do not see things in the light of eternity, the most essential element of our existence. That space known as forever. The place beyond the grave where the voice of time is rendered speechless. And where the well-worn timepiece tracking humanity’s earthbound busyness gently folds her hands.

It has been said that eternity can be likened to the following analogy. Imagine a metal sphere the size of the earth. Each year a bird flies by and brushes its wing ever so lightly against this enormous ball of metal. When this ball is reduced to nothing by the friction of the bird’s wing, eternity …..has….. just….. begun!

Wow! In light of this thought, to somehow miss heaven and not escape the curse of eternal death is sobering. We have got to make heaven no matter what it takes.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is our escape route. Jesus is our hope, our salvation, our healer, our deliverer, our Saviour, our Light, our Friend, our Father and our Everything!

Now, going back to the description of the miracle pill notice some similarities between the earthly and the heavenly:

Jesus is the cure, but we have to choose him:

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38 
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46 

The gospel is free to all who would embrace it:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

Jesus is only effective when allowed on “the inside”:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:4-5

God paid an extremely high price to defeat the “D” word – Eternal Death:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Corinthians 5:21

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians  2:7-8

Jesus Christ is the only cure and remedy for death:

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:17

There is only one formula for Salvation:

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Act 2:37-38

There is only one source of Salvation (no generics or cheap imitations allowed!):

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. John 12:46

 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9

The Gospel Is Not Immune to the Black Market:

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:28-30

The church is the “distributor” of the message for the cure of death – the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

Jesus is the cure for death. And Jesus is not a pill. Jesus is a Person, a Prince, a Protector and a Provider. Embrace him every day, allow him on the inside and our victory over death is assured.

May God richly bless.

(Note: Any advertisements or web links that may be listed below this blog entry are not in any way endorsed or promulgated by the blog writer.)

White Noise

WN2Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psalm 22:12,16

White Noise

It is known that businesses and other workplaces broadcast what is known as “white noise”. The sound is a low-level, fuzzy noise projected through a sound system able to cancel ambient sound waves, thereby, casting an overall muffling effect within an area. The goal of white noise is to produce an environment where all noises and sounds are normalized. Immersed in this manicured space for any length of time and the white noise becomes unnoticeable and masks out all noise spikes or unique sound pitches.

There is a lot of white noise in our world. Hell rages. Voices of darkness come from every angle. It has been said the battle between heaven and hell is won or lost in one and only one place – the human mind. There is a spiritual onslaught today against the mind. It is a work originating from the depths and pit of hell.

God typically does not shout. And His voice is specific, unique and identifiable – a noise spike in a sea of voices. Is it possible that we can be desensitized by the white noise of the world, and as people of faith, loose our sensitivity to that “still small voice” of God? White noises consisting of lies, vulgarity, violence, foolishness, cursing and negativity? What was once considered a cacophonous roar is now simply considered white noise.

Let’s be real. We are affected greatly by what we allow into our hearing. The word tells us that there are many voices in the world. Voices all desperately vying to interject confusion and incite chaos into the hearts and minds of God’s creation:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1John 4:1

The Tongue & Voices of a Giant

It was not Goliath’s impressive stature that caused his ruin. Nor was it the designer labels strategically fixated on his fashionable battle attire that led to his fall. It was Goliath’s tongue that led to his downfall. His vulgarity and blasphemy of the one true God of Israel put him on the trajectory to destruction and eternal annihilation:

And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 1Samuel 17:43

The curses emanating from the mouth of a fool is what stirred righteous indignation and raised the hackles of a young shepherd boy. Had Goliath shut his mouth he would have lived to see the light of another day. But his foul mouth and curses set in motion a no-name shepherd boy to battle. David refused to allow an uncircumcised freak who berated and blasphemed his God stand unpunished:

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 1Samuel 17:45

The Word explicitly tells us that the tongue is the hardest body part to control. If something resides in the heart it will eventually percolate to the surface through the tongue. This is why we desperately need our lives empowered by God’s Spirit. It is interesting to note that when Jesus poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost on the early church, it was evidenced by “speaking in tongues” (Acts 2:1-4) – a sign of complete control over the individual.

Let’s digress here a moment. Some say that speaking in tongues is “of the devil“. This blogger can attest to the fact that before he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost some of his most prized word choices were of the profane and vulgar four-letter variety. These words forever ceased to ebb out of this blogger’s mouth upon receiving the baptism of the God’s Holy Spirit. Now, let me ask the question: who is “of the devil” – pre or post Holy Ghost? Now, back to the subject at hand.

In His sovereignty, God shows us that only He can truly control the tongue.

The Holy Ghost is the only power that will deliver one from a profane and vulgar tongue. We cannot deceive ourselves into thinking we have everything when God has an experience much deeper and richer for us.

A Kept Heart

It is a full-time job to keep our heart right with God. It is not an undertaking for the faint-hearted. It is a task that separates (if you will) “the men from the boys”.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Proverbs 4:23-24

Is it not interesting that according to God’s word the key to keeping one’s heart in healthy resonance depends on what goes out of our mouth. Jesus stated it best:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:18-20

We have authority to silence voices of the world by speaking the name of Jesus Christ over them. Jesus has empowered his church to subdue and bind evil spirits. God’s people should not be subjected to merciless, unrelenting attack by hell-bound spirits:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:19-20

Living Above The Snake Line

Speaking of snakes and scorpions, it is reported that a minister once spoke a message entitled “Living Above The Snake Line“. The thought being that there is a place of elevation where snakes cannot and will not inhabit. There is insufficient food at the higher elevation to sustain snakes and the bedrock here makes it impossible to conceal themselves in holes or in dirt tunnels. For snakes do not like to go hungry and they will not live where they can be exposed (now you can let that one seep in a while!).

God has empowered His church with everything it needs to squelch and counteract the white noise of dark voices – voices whose mission is to stifle the will and the word of God and limit fruit production in our lives.

The higher we climb, the closer we get to heaven and position ourselves in an area where spiritual snakes find harsh living conditions. Yes, living above the snake line may be a somewhat “hard” place to inhabit. The pleasures and comforts to satiate the flesh are not plentiful here. And the lack of cushion under our feet, the thin air and the weight of gravity can make the upward journey painful and discomforting at times. But, the good news is that spiritual snakes are thinned out up here and those that are stupid or dazed enough to make the journey are put under our feet anyway:

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. Psalms 18:36-40

If we choose, we can feed the snakes and allow them to hang around long enough to eventually ferret out holes to creep into. But, Jesus has given us the power to live above the snake line and be victorious over the white noise – voices that attempt to derail our journey towards King Jesus awaiting us in heaven.

The Heaven and The Earth – Christ or Carbon? Part II

majesticThe animal and plant kingdoms immediately come to mind in discussions centering on which kingdoms rule the earth. These are the two most visible and dominant.

Science has not mutually agreed on the exact number of kingdoms that do exist. The numbers vary depending on the scientific model one aspires to.  However, there is a foundational baseline within the scientific community that there are a minimum of six kingdoms that rule the earth – plants, animals, protists, fungi, archaebacteria and eubacteria.

Carbon Rules the Six Kingdoms

The six kingdoms mentioned above share a common bond, they all exist because of one earthly element, the element carbon. Carbon exists in every organic compound. Life as we know it cannot exist without its presence. Carbon atomic bonds stitch together the chemical skeletons of every protein, lipid, DNA/RNA structure and carbohydrate that are essential to life. Carbon is the basis of life in these six earthly kingdoms.

Moreover, these six kingdoms operate according to the finite laws of nature – laws whose purpose is to facilitate growth, sustain survival through reproduction, and ultimately, culminate in physical death.

These laws are “Carbon-based” – Carbon is finite, elemental, earthy and by itself – lifeless.

The food webs (“who eats who”) governing these six earthly kingdoms are regressive in that they are biased towards one finite objective – the survival of self at the expense of lower life forms. For example, a rabbit eats a plant, a snake eats the rabbit and a hawk eats the snake – I think you get the picture!

The Seventh Kingdom

However, there is another kingdom on earth that operates on an entirely more noble and grandeur plane. This kingdom’s purposes have infinite objectives and are orchestrated from the heavenly sphere. Its purposes are to preserve and enrich human life. It does this not at the expense of life forms lower than itself, but through the practice of sacrificing self to empower others like itself. This kingdom is also built upon a power on earth that supersedes all others – the power of the love of God.

And this kingdom built on the power of love could be manifested in its fullness only one way – true love expressed by the offering of a total and complete living sacrifice of one who is perfect and sinless (Jesus Christthe perfect sacrifice) for the sake of others (the “like kind”) who are everything but perfect and sinless to the extent that they may become perfect (Mat. 5:48) and sinless (the empowerment). This is what true love is all about.

For God so loved (God’s love) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (sacrifice), that whosoever (all humanity) believeth in him (God in humanity / flesh) should not perish, but have everlasting life (empowerment).  John3:16

And this is what the seventh kingdom is all about. I think this is going somewhere.

The Seventh Kingdom is ……  The Kingdom of God

This seventh kingdom that rules upon the earth is not commonly talked about or even taught in our educational systems today. This kingdom is predominately shunned and mocked by mainstream media and is increasingly marginalized by our judicial systems.

However, the kingdom of God is the most advanced of all the kingdoms reigning on earth. It is the highest life form on earth because its growth and purposes are orchestrated moment-by-moment, day-by-day by an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Creator.

A kingdom is defined by the nature of its king. Jesus Christ, not carbon, rules this seventh kingdom. Christ is eternal, carbon is finite. Christ lives, carbon is lifeless. Christ has all power, carbon has miniscule power.

Jesus Christ Rules The Seventh Kingdom

The highest kingdom, God’s kingdom, operates according to the Word and Spirit of God and are based on the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. These spiritual laws operate at the highest level because they transcend the linear laws of finite nature and are eternal in scope. God’s kingdom transcends the curse of death and offers rays of hope, love  and truth to all of humanity.

This kingdom also promotes growth, but with a different objective – the perfection of a body of believers unto the nature of Jesus Christ who is the express image of God himself (Heb 1:3).  God’s kingdom is in place for the maturation of an eternal body – the body of Christ, which is His Church he is coming back for:

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1Cor 12:12-13

It is this body of Christ that the God of all creation marvels at and has His full attention. Why? Because this living body on earth is an extension of God Himself. It is both a natural body and a spiritual body, alive through the spirit of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:11).

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Eph 1:10-11

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power Col 2:9-10

The spirit of Jesus Christ is what bonds this body together.  The grace, mercy and love of Jesus is sufficient for members of the body to work together, grow together and to be the true worshipers of God:

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:15-16 

The highest eternal laws of God are “Christ-based” – Christ is eternal.

Only that which is rooted and founded on the God-man, Jesus Christ, will endure time and have significance in eternity. Carbon life forms perish and through the passage of time will cease to exist. God’s laws are progressive in that they are biased towards an eternal objective through divine omniscience:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Did you read that? Not an uncertain end, a hopeless end or a “dead end”, but an expected end.

Jesus has come to restore humanity back to God’s original plan. The first man Adam failed. The last Adam, Jesus Christ, has come to make all things new and bridge the gulf between humanity that is sinful and spiritually bankrupt to a new life that has hope, peace and purpose.

Only Christ Infuses Life

In our unregenerated, sinful state we are nothing more than jars of carbon in the sight of God. Why? Because the word of God says so:

Like the plant kingdom …

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Psalm 37:1-2

And the animal kingdom …

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. Psalm 37:20 

It is only through the regeneration of the life of Jesus Christ in us that we escape sin’s dominion over our carnal-based (carbon-based?) nature and live. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

The first Adam offers no hope, the last Adam offers eternal life. Jn 3:16
The first Adam is dead, the last Adam lives for evermore. Jn 4:14
The first Adam is natural, the last Adam is spiritual. I Cor 15:-46
The first Adam is earthy, the last Adam is heavenly. I Cor 15:-47-48
The first Adam is earthbound, the last Adam is heaven bound. I Cor 15:49

The first Adam was carbon-centered, the last Adam is Christ-centered.

Are We Looking Forward or Looking Backward?

Is it not strange that most attention today is directed toward where we have come from (the past) and not where we are going (the future)? Is the human condition so pitifully disoriented that it has lost all sense of destiny and eternal consciousness?

May the God of heaven help us to look up and desire to peer into the things eternal which will never pass away:

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:4-5

So, which is the better choice – Christ or Carbon?

The Morning Sacrifice

And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon:
of shittim wood shalt thou make it. steam

And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. Exodus 30:1, 6-7

We like good scents, smell good things and be in an atmosphere that permeates with lush and aromatic vapors. There is something about exotic, sweet scents that get our attention and can even change our mood.

There is also something to be said about odors and smells that are not so pleasant. Visit any fast food establishment or other eatery, and you will find upon leaving, your clothes and hair will retain the smells and odors of the ionized food grease and smoke circulating in that atmosphere. This may not be so good depending on where you eat.

Now, this is going somewhere. The Bible tells us that one duty of the High Priest was to burn incense on the altar of incense every morning in the Tabernacle. However, this was not ordinary incense, but a God-ordained, specially formulated mixture of spices that was to be completely dispersed upon a fiery golden hearth. The incense was only to be used in God’s worship place and nowhere else. The Lord knows what he is doing.

In essence, the Tabernacle’s tapestries, coverings, the veil, even the High Priest and his assistants, all smelled like one glorious Yankee Candle store. The burning incense filled the room and latched onto its furnishings and occupants with an exotic fragrance that was unmatched anywhere in Israel.

We are sure that the Israelites encamped outside the Tabernacle could tell (without even looking) who administered in the Tabernacle; they could smell them. That aromatic, sweet fragrance from the Tabernacle stayed with its occupants and was detectable to those on the outside.

The New Testament shows us that the burning of incense in the Tabernacle was an Old Testament type and shadow of prayer and intercession.

You know, people can tell when you really pray and touch God; they can sense it in your spirit. The exotic and fragrant anointing that envelopes one after a fiery prayer encounter can only originate from a holy place, a place like nowhere else found on earth.

As with the burning of incense in the Tabernacle, prayers are limited unless they reach a flashpoint, a place where they are released from the gravitational pull of sin and reach the corridors of heaven:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

The words “effectual fervent” is translated from the Greek word: energeo; which is defined as something active or powerful. Prayers falling into this category are going to make a difference.

Jesus prayed these kinds of prayers. How do we know? His disciples were so astounded by his praying that they probed Jesus for deeper understanding and saw it fitting to let the rest of us know how much they impacted them:

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray…. Luke 11:1

The Bible tells us that God takes notice of those prayers and stores them for safekeeping:

And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. Revelation 5:8

In conclusion, never think that your prayers are not making it past the ceiling. Time spent in a prayer closet is time well spent. It will make a difference in your life, the life of others and to the mighty God whom we serve.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalms 141:2

Secrets

“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” Proverbs 11:13

We live in a world highly sensitized to personal confidentiality and the risks involved in its loss. Information data breaches, identity theft and information system compromise are news headlines we hear about almost daily and even experience ourselves.

The evidence is out that keeping anything “secret” is becoming more and more difficult as our personal lives are being increasingly intertwined with globalized information networks that we all inter-operate with.

However, there are some secrets that must be held in confidence, and if not, result in devastating consequences. National security, intellectual property and personal medical information (to name a few) all fall into the “secret” category. A breach in any of these areas could potentially result in massive loss of life, wealth or dignity.

Thinking on a more spiritual plane, I wonder if God Himself also has some secrets He wishes to keep confidential. Are there some “God secrets” He wishes to share, but cannot because of the presiding spiritual climate?

Could it be that the Lord does not reveal some things to His people because either they will not appreciate them or they cannot be trusted with the information (a Heavenly data breach)?

The Secret Place

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1

There is a place in God where secrets are shared, intimate thoughts exchanged and deep revelations of truth and knowledge is transmitted; it is called “the secret place” and getting there will cost something. There will be resistances of flesh, the world and the powers of darkness that will try hinder one from arriving. But, it is worth the trip.

It is not a place for cowards, lairs, backbiters or the insincere; it is a place for the thankful, those with wholeness of heart, a hunger for truth, right intentions and pure motives. The secret place is where God shares His most private thoughts.

The biblical record tells us that many have visited the secret place and they were never the same afterwards; Moses (Exo 34:29), Jacob (Gen 32:24, 30-31), Hannah (I Sam 1:10-12), Ester (Est 4:16), Jonah (Jon 2:1-10), Cornelius (Act 10:1-4), Saul of Tarsus (Act 22:6-11), the Apostle John (Rev 1:10-17), and of course Jesus (Luk 22:41-45).

There are some things that cannot be disclosed to just anyone, things only discussed behind closed doors and in intimate places. Can we be trusted with the secrets of God? Can the Lord speak “things in the dark” to us and trust that they will be protected by heart and mind?

Touching the Holy

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;” I John 1:1

As the disciples physically touched and “handled” Jesus (the Word of life), we today are touched and do touch God’s Holy spirit, the Holy Ghost. When the Holy Ghost fills the human soul with that infusion of new life (Acts 2:38), we are at that point literally “handling” the Word of life; Jesus Christ himself (Rom 8:11).

How do we act when our hands touch the Holy? Am I handling Jesus the way I should? Do I really appreciate the “secret” that God has revealed to me, the secret that was hidden in the O.T. (Gen 49:10, Psa 110:1), the secret the prophets could not yet perceive (Isa 28:11-12, Joel 2:28-29) and the angels themselves could only wonder about (I Peter 1:12) ?

The Good Part

We read in the N.T. a very personal narrative and discourse between Jesus and two of his favorite companions outside of his circle of disciples, Mary and Martha. There is hardly anything like it in the gospels. Here we see Jesus in conversation who delves down to the bare metal to unravel and defuse conflicting emotions between two sisters:

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.” Luke 10:38-40

As Mary clearly understood, some things can only be found close to Jesus, by sitting right at his feet. This is the place where his secrets are heard, felt and understood.

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

The “Good part” is a “God part“, it is a place where secrets are whispered, secrets that make the mind spin and the heart burn. It is a place where life takes on new meaning, one’s God-walk is energized and faith is rekindled. This is what the “good part” did for Mary, it will do the same for you and me.

As with Mary, we all need to strive to find the secret place in God, to desire the “good part”.

Could it be that the Lord wishes to give more people “the good part”, but because of a lack of interest his wishes often go unnoticed?

And can Mary be faulted for her desire for deeper truth, and to the chagrin of her sister Martha, neglect fleeting earthly concerns in the process? Apparently, Jesus did not think so. Am I spending more time on earthy pursuits, on mindless time drains and less time “at the feet” of Jesus?

The Lord has some secrets to tell us. Are we listening?

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.” Luke 24:45

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lost And Found

We have all lost or misplaced things. It is normally the usual stuff such as car or house keys, wallets, purses, and gloves. And let us not forget the inevitable lonely and unmatched sock that seems to surface in almost every other load of laundry!

You know there is something about lost things that also gets God’s attention. As we read the parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (Lk 15:3-24) we see a caring, merciful and detail-oriented God wondering about things lost or out-of-place. Apparently, Jesus is also discomforted and concerned when things are amiss in his kingdom.

In the O.T. King David faced a similar situation. The Amalekites attacked and pilfered the city of Ziklag and abducted all of the women and children:

And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 1 Sam 30:1

It was a devastating and embarrassing defeat for the king. The enemy directed a blow right at the heart of David and his men; their wives and children. (Are these not the same battle tactics the enemy uses today as he mercilessly takes aim at the sovereignty and cohesion of the family?)

The defeat was so demoralizing to the soldiers that they wanted to stone him (1 Sam 30:6).

Sometimes it takes losing something ‘dear‘ that we might find something ‘divine‘.

It did for King David. After discovering that his two wives were abducted we are certain that his imagination (as well as the imaginations of other men) must have tried to process some of the possible horrors that their families and the other women and children were now experiencing.

The king lost something dear that day, but he also found something divine. What did he find? He found his prayer life, his lifeline to glory. And he desperately needed to find it real fast:

And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. And David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. 1 Sam 30:7-8

The spirit of the Lord beckons us to rediscover and reclaim what we have lost in the heated battles of life. The Lord knows all about the ‘lost and found’ departments of our life.

Because, the Bible records in 1 Samuel 30:19 that:

… David and his men recovered all.

Everything. All the wives, sons and daughters were rescued.

The Lord is a perfectionist and does not take pleasure when His creation lives out of kilter to His perfect plan. Like the lost sheep (shepherd), the lost coin (woman) and the lost son (father) in the parables, Jesus will do all within his power to restore things that are lost. Someone once wrote: “You have never looked into the eyes of anyone who does not matter to God.” Jesus cares for lost souls.

What else is it that we could possibly have lost?

Let us revisit prayer one more time. Am I really praying until I am positive that those prayers are airtight and bottled in heaven (Rev 5:8)? Airtight from leaks due to: fear, doubt, sin, unbelief, insincerity or self-centeredness? Is my prayer life consistent and meaningful to both me and the Lord?

If I have lost my prayer life then I need to find it and get it back.

Or how about faithfulness? How faithful am I to the Lord? Do I give 100%, 95% or 80%? Do you know that if one is 99.91% faithful to one’s spouse that in one year (8760 hours) eight of those hours is spent being unfaithful? How would that make you feel tonight when you look over at your spouse lying next to you knowing that he or she is only faithful 99.91% of the time? Is eight hours of unfaithfulness acceptable to you? Or how about four hours of unfaithfulness (99.95% faithful)?

How do you think Jesus feels about his bride, the church he is coming back for (Rev 21:2, 22:16-17), that is maybe not faithful 100% of the time? It is something to think about.

If I have lost my faithfulness then I need to find it and get it back.

And then there is the study and meditation of the Word of God. Have I been spending quality time in the Word? Am I putting aside time to allow the Word to speak to my spirit and allow its light to shine and direct my path (Ps 119:105)?

If I have lost my daily devotions and quality time reserved to study God’s Word then I need to find it and get it back.

And then there is holiness; indeed a very ‘touchy’ subject these days. No apologizes, but without it one cannot even see the Lord (Heb 12:14). How well have I been keeping my inner person sanctified and crucified to corruptible things?

If I have lost holiness then I need to find it and get it back.

Do you feel like you have lost something? Is there something missing in life? Perhaps it is the Lord speaking to our spirit telling us that we have lost some precious things and need to go and find them.

Heaven’s ‘lost and found’ department is open 24 hours a day.

Oh, I think I just heard my number being called!

When God Prefers Darkness Over Light

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea,the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.  Psalms 139:11-12

It may seem paradoxical that the God of glory, the true Light of the world, would prefer darkness over light. One might also  think that darkness is the antithesis of God’s nature. We always perceive and equate the Holy with light, brilliance, and illumination; never obscure, shadowy, or undefined.

The role darkness plays in creation is an interesting subject. Could it be that there is a time and rightful place in God’s master plan when darkness is the preferred medium and approach? Let’s look at some examples and see.

Physical Growth

The most spectacular and wondrous process on earth occurs in total darkness; the growth of human life:

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child:  even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. (Eccl. 11:5)

From conception to birth, the handiwork of life emerging within a mother’s womb is unseen and cloaked in obscurity. God chose a realm devoid of light to fashion life created in His likeness.

Spiritual Growth

As with natural growth, spiritual growth also has its beginnings in the unseen domain of darkness. As the Apostle Paul writes in the Book of Galatians:

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you  (4:19)

Literally, the growth, development and maturity of Christ-likeness in a believer occurs over time unseen, invisible, and perhaps even unacknowledged to the believer themselves. How is this? Through the personal growth of God’s word in one’s life.

As one obeys and understands God’s word (or God’s will) the word slowly, but reassuringly, weaves itself into the fabric of the human soul (i.e., mind, will and emotions) to direct one’s thoughts, actions and behaviors that are pleasing and acceptable to God himself. Jesus chose two different natural processes to explain this growth process; all occurring in total darkness.

Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew,
and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Luke 13:18-21)

In both examples given to us by Jesus, the source of growth (the seed and leaven) work undercover, and in secret, naked to ‘human’ eyesight. Such is the growth of God’s kingdom on earth, in darkness.

Divine Revelation

Most often revelation given to mankind from God is done in darkness also:

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. (Matthew 10:27)

What Jesus is saying here is that during your time of devotions, in the darkened confines of your prayer closet, that will be the time when you will hear from me and the time when you receive my direction. And to add to this, share that direction and revelation revealed in the dark with others in the ‘light’ of public display.

Additionally, it is sometimes only during times of trials, difficulties and the so-called ‘dark’ times in life that we truly get a firm grasp and understanding of how deep God’s mercy, grace, and compassion can reach. Recall the journey leading to the safe harbor of hope is precipitated from a starting block located in a very dark place:

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (Romans 5:3-4)

The Darkness of Sin

Jesus came not to call the righteousness, but sinners to repentance. He came to ‘seek and to save that which is lost’. Jesus came to rescue the lost bound in the darkness of sin.

To do that, God had to leave the splendors of heaven’s light and majesty and visit a sinful and dark world. The Holy and sinless One chose darkness over light. God enrobed Himself in the veil of human flesh to redeem and offer hope to a world living in brokenness and despair.

And Jesus will always prefer darkness over artificial light. The Scribes, Pharisees and the religious hierarchy of Jesus’ day were nothing but artificial light. Jesus could not work with the man-made light of pretense, ritual, predictability, and self-glorified egotism that was and is called ‘religion’.

But give the true One some ‘darkness‘ to work with; an adulterous woman, a lady entangled in abusive relationships, lepers, the blind, a wealthy, cultured lady with a messed up home life, a corpse lying in a tomb for four days, a lady with an incurable  blood disorder, a daemon-whipped mad man, a corrupt tax collector, a foul-mouthed, arrogant fisherman, AND SEE WHAT THE MASTER CAN DO WITH THIS LOT. Yes, the King of Glory can take what is pitiful in the eyes of society and turn them into His pearls!

He who knew no sin, became sin for us! No one but a merciful and loving God would do such a thing. And why? So that we might become like him and partake of all His blessings and goodness:

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
(Luke 12:32)

What a mighty God we serve, angels bow before Him, heaven and earth adore Him, what a mighty God we serve!