Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Luke 14:1-6

In Luke chapter 14 we see that Jesus had been going through a long discourse giving numerous examples of the wickedness of the human heart and the heart specifically of the pharisees. As we read, I want you to ask yourself the “why” questions.Questions like, what is Jesus' aim? What is his point? Why is he asking that? Why did he say that? Hopefully Christ will take this time open our hearts to Him as we grow in His Word.

Luke 14:1 One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2 And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3 And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?" 4 But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5 And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?" 6 And they could not reply to these things.

Verse 14 starts with Jesus at the house of one of the chief pharisees for dinner and it then says that they were watching him intently.  Why so intently? I believe they were trying to find something to use against him.  Jesus had healed on the Sabbath before and they knew it.  Yet here they were, watching his every move. They listened to him.  And Jesus knowing what was in their hearts did what they were hoping for.  Only their hope was misplaced. They were hoping for a reason to criticize him, to accuse him. They didn't care that a man that had dealt with such a serious sickness was healed.  After all, he was a sinner. In fact, according to their Pharisaical customs, he shouldn't even have been invited. He was unclean and there was a chance of his uncleanness rubbing off on them making the pharisees unclean too.  Yet here he was, with his dropsy or edema on full display (it was a condition that caused swelling in parts of the body). This was a very visible illness.  Often times, the Hebrews believed that it was divine punishment for sin- even sexual sin.  So they knew for sure that he was a base creature, that he was unclean. But they invited him anyhow- even if it was just for bait to catch Jesus with.

Yet Christ wasn't fooled. He had healed the man- on the Sabbath no less. The very same day they were so adamant about protecting. Yet no sooner than he had healed the man, he addressed the Pharisees in their own sinfulness. Jesus began to question them.  But the Pharisees remained quiet.  They knew that either answer that they could give would make them look like fools.  Fools for not wanting their kinsman to be healed or fools for blatantly ignoring the facts facing them, i.e. that they were guilty before God.  This is especially true as the questions he asked them seared their hearts.  Which of you who have a son, cow or donkey fall, sits back as they fall into a ditch? What did you do when something that belonged to you, something that was dear and precious to you, had fallen into the earth? Furthermore, what did you do when it happened on the Sabbath? Did you leave them there and wait till the following day? Or did you stage a rescue?  Did you work on the Sabbath to get back the very thing that you lost? Jesus candidly pointed out the wickedness in their hearts.

In this story, Jesus also points out the wickedness in our own hearts. In our own hearts where our wicked desires live, we create our own hypocrisies.  We often set rules for others that we easily break because we have our own "reasons." We often do so void of instruction from the Lord. Like the folk in Mark 10:48, And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me... We try to act like holy club bouncers, refusing to let people in because they don't "look the part." We create bars and tell people that they have to live to this standard or that standard and condemn them when they fall short. We do this at the same time as we plead to God for mercy. Often we easily portray ourselves as the pharisee looking down on the sinner.  Both prayed to God, but only one left justified (and it wasn't the pharisee).  

The point is this, we are called to have mercy, even as we beg for mercy.  It is hypocrisy to do otherwise.  It is a slap in the face to our consciences and we grieve the Holy Spirit in our actions.  That's why Jesus told his followers to hear the pharisees, but to not do, act or behave like them or else they (and you) would be found wanting.  

Mercy is a gift. One that is easily bestowed on others, yet so easily withheld. But as Christians we are called to mercy. Even when dealing with egregious sins.  This does not mean that sin does not have consequences.  But it does mean that our outward dealings with others must be done under the banner of Christ and in the mind of the Spirit.  If we belong to him, then we must recognize that a weak brother or sister is our own family and we are called to pull them out of the ditch as if it were ourselves. 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Chicken or the Egg Conundrum...

You all have heard the question asked, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" The answers will always vary on whom you're conversing with, but there can only be one truth- yes.  Well you may ask, "What do you mean by saying 'yes'?" What I mean is that the chicken comes purposed with the egg within.  Just like humanity is purposed from the foundation of the world to roll one of two ways.

The believer comes to know Christ because like Jeremiah, our Father knew us long before we were formed in the belly (Jeremiah 1:5).  You see, there is a purpose for everything that was ever created.  For a seed to become a tree, a rock to become a mountain, and every man, woman and child that has ever lived on this planet to become a vessel of honor or dishonor.  We are all purposed long before we are formed. That is the essence of election. Jeremiah was purposed to become the "weeping prophet" who would speak as the oracle of Jehovah. We come to Christ not because we felt it was time, but the fact that He choose us before we stepped into the world.  And so in His infinite wisdom He awakens within us the reminder of our election. One need not look any further to this claim than in Romans chapter 9.
"11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Romans 9:11-13"
 Long before the children of Issac were born, God's plans were in motion. There was nothing their mother, father or either one of the boys could do that could change their fate.  Now to be honest, there will be a lot of people who find fault with this. Yet you can't deny scripture.  Humanity wants to feel that it has the ability to choose what it wants- and they are partially right. We do get to choose our sin over Christ, but only because God has defined his purpose on us from before the beginning of time.  God is the one who sets us on our life's journey and it is He who calls upon the darkness of our hearts to reach out to Him.

This is why understanding His purpose in election is so necessary.  While we deserve the punishment of being born into sinful flesh, had He left it to us, we would have continued in our pleasure in running from Him.  However, because He is the one who "wills" us to Him before our creation, He knows that only He can pay the price of our sin- and that He does ever so majestically!

So in the end, the question really isn't what came first the chicken or the egg, rather it is, "What is God's purpose for my life?" And that is a question that gets answered as you walk in His election!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

1 Thessalonians 5:9

1 Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ...

Here in this teaching (chapter 5), Paul is reminding the believers at Thessalonica of the return of the Lord.  The blatant consistency of what Jesus taught in the Gospels down to what Paul is saying here is fascinating.  There is no lacking, there is no difference- all of scripture concurs- the Lord Jesus Christ will return!  Yet, the truth is, no one person knows the exact day or time!  And this is where we find Paul. He is encouraging the believers to remember that the King is coming back swiftly and that they are to live in holiness for His namesake.  So where does 1 Thessalonians 5:9 leave us?  It gives us this biblical gem- not only is Christ coming back for the believers of Thessalonica, but that He is keeping them and upholding them in His glory.  Paul is saying in vs 9 that those who belong to the Lord are not subject to the wrath to come.  He that has called the Thessalonians out of darkness did so by first calling them into His salvation.  Conversely, those whom are not called are appointed to a damning judgment which the believers will never be subject to.  In truth, believers today also get to rejoice in the same way.  Just as Christ called us out of sin and depravity, we too have been destined and set aside for salvation, escaping the wrath and fury of the Lord that is to come upon the wickedness humanity.  So let us rejoice in the love and mercy of Christ.  Let us redeem the time, living our lives in holiness unto the Lord.  Yet let us also solemnly remember that there is a still perishing world that needs to hear the Gospel.  Who knows the will of God for another? Your witness may be the vessel that Christ uses to pull others out of the judgment and fiery wrath to come.  So let us, in holiness to God, with our hands lifted high and our hearts bowing low, give the honor and glory to Christ that He so richly deserves.  Let us remember Him in our daily walk humbling ourselves in His mercy and in the witnessing His greatness! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Romans 9:18

Romans 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Here, Paul is in the midst of explaining the way God chooses His children.  Many would find that a funny saying because the world is quick to say in a very non-threatening manner that we, "are all children of god!"  And with good reason, to the world, its own created deity lives to wait hand and foot upon the children of men.  Yet, that is in stark contrast to the God of the Bible. The Lord Yahweh makes it abundantly clear that "He will have mercy on whom He will, and on whom He will, He hardens."  The world cannot fathom that their God would reject them for anything, after all, they created him/it/her.  Yet the Lord is not without mercy, He does choose men to belong to Him.  Even when the wickedness of the world abounds, the Lord, "...reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Rom 11:14.  The Lord will choose. Still, it is not the way man chooses. When Samuel sought to find the next king of Israel the Lord said, "...Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."  1 Sam 16:7.  Now before someone thinks that they are "good" and have "a good heart", remember that, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer 17:9. So if the heart of man is "desperately wicked," how then does the Lord choose for himself men (and women) who will not bow down to the god of this world? Simply put, He will have mercy on whomever He will. That is a grande notion!  To be chosen by the creator of the universe to do His will is a most magnificent happening. He looks past our wickedness that would surely cause Him to deny us. He looks past our sin to bring us into His kingdom. He looks past our sad state of "rejectedness"(sic) and makes us His own. He will have mercy on whom He will. Conversely, those whom He will, He hardens. Oh, to be rejected by the King of Kings! How great a travesty of our own hearts. How great and intimidating is the power of the Most High God! To pick and choose as He will, He truly is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Brothers and sisters, let us not forget the great mercy of our Lord, both in our own lives and in the lives of those who will come to know His mercy! And seeing His greatness in mercy, we must be swift in telling others of His goodness of the cross. There is the righteousness of God, the greatness of His mercy exploding upon the individual whom He chooses, the one who has received His mercy....Amen

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Absence


It's been awhile- too long- since I last posted. I have to say that I miss it. Life for me in the last two years has had its fair share of ups and downs- even a crazy lull. But, "Times, they are a changing..." Needless to say that Christ has not left me, nor have I left Him. If you stick around long enough you"ll see me post more and more as I used to. Thanks for reading and don't be afraid to go back to older posts in the meantime. Stay strong in the might of The Lord and do not fear. He is with us always, even until the end of the world!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Freedom From Sin and of Letting It Go- A Poem


I had to let you go
Your desires cost me more than I could ever know
Yet you still call to me with a whisper in the ear
Every corner that I turn I feel you oh so near
My mind habitually worked against me when it relished in your touch
Your scent drove me wild, your gaze made me smile; you became to me a crutch
You held me in your bosom and softly spoke of what could be
You gave me the grandest of thoughts, of visions of clarity
My heart raced and it pranced with a joy that seemed unfailing
Blinded to the pain that came with you- the debt that would be trailing
Yet as the sun repelled on the hottest of days
My Lord showed me your intentions and the doom of your ways
You lied to me about pain; you said there’d be none
For a moment I felt alive and in a twinkle it was gone
You made me bitter and tore my heart into pieces
And then you lied again, soft words and the pain releases
I turned from my Lord because you called to my desire
But when I came to your beckoning, I saw you standing with the "Liar"
But my Lord full of mercy followed me to your indwelling
And while you made a mockery of me, and beat me with your yelling
He snatched me from your grasp as you lay the barrage of whips
And took the consign of my penalty as He lay upon the sticks
And so you killed him with a fervor and tenacity meant solely for the hated
You poured out your wickedness on Him, you stood there and you waited
You mused and you glistened at your triumph with delight
You knew He was the King of Glory, You knew He was the light
And all the little words you sang to me oh how it was sublime
Melted away my heart’s contentment for the one you killed was mine
As sorrow replaced my joy, what now of its significance
I see truly what you used me for, exacting out his vengeance
Your father was a liar and that from the beginning
You failed to see my God arise for His desire made the ending
You failed to see His zeal of hatred I know HE has for you
The God of glory, the bright and morning, declared what He would do
And that’s to take what is His, the Father’s shaming you to hell
Where you’ll scream and cry, whilst you beg and wry in the place that you befell
He has saved me now, from sin and death and given life abundantly
The Alpha and Omega, I AM that I AM, the Light of Majesty
Faithful and True, the King of Kings, His name is El Shaddai,
Blessed Redeemer, Jesus the Savior, The Lord God Adonai!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Sin:

I had to let you go


Your desires cost me more than I could ever know

Yet you still call to me with a whisper in the ear

Every corner that I turn I feel you oh so near

My mind habitually worked against me when it relished in your touch

Your scent drove me wild, your gaze made me smile, you became to me a crutch

You held me in your bosom and softly spoke of what could be

You gave me the grandest of thoughts, of visions of clarity

My heart raced and it pranced with a joy that seemed unfailing

Blinded to the pain that came with you- the debt that would be trailing

Yet as the sun repelled on the hottest of days

My Lord showed me your intentions and the doom of your ways

You lied to me about pain, you said there’d be none

For a moment I felt alive and in a twinkle it was gone

You made me bitter and tore my heart into pieces

And then you lied again, soft words and the pain releases

I turned from my Lord because you called to my desire

But when I came to your beckoning, I saw you standing with the liar

But my Lord full of mercy followed me to your indwelling

And while you made a mockery of me, and beat me with your yelling

He snatched me from your grasp as you lay the barrage of whips

And took the consign of my penalty as He lay upon the sticks

And so you killed him with a fervor and tenacity meant solely for the hated

you poured out your wickedness on Him, you stood there and you waited

You mused and you glistened at your triumph with delight

You knew He was the King of Glory, You knew He was the light

And all the little words you sang to me oh how it was sublime

Melted away my heart’s contentment for the one you killed was mine

As sorrow replaced my joy, what now of its significance

I see truly what you used me for, exacting out his vengeance

Your father was a liar and that from the beginning

You failed to see my God arise for His desire made the ending

You failed to see His zeal of hatred I know HE has for you

The God of glory, the bright and morning, declared what He would do

And that’s to take what is His, the Father’s calling to shame you into hell

Where you’ll scream and cry, whilst you beg and wry in the place that you befell

He has saved me now, from sin and death and given life abundantly

The Alpha and Omega, I AM that I AM, the Light of Majesty

Faithful and True, the King of Kings, His name is El Shaddai,

Blessed Redeemer, Jesus the Savior, The Lord God Adonai!















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