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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ever Of Old

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"  Numbers 23:19

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Many people have difficulty reconciling the God in the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The wrath-filled rule giver compared to the merciful grace giver seems rather bi-polar, and has caused many to question His nature.  Albeit this is a superficial view of God's behavior in the Old Testament; as, His love and grace are illustrated throughout the Word.  Marcion of Sinope in AD 144 went so far as to form a heresy claiming that the God of the Old Testament and of the New were separate beings.  Marcion also dissected the scripture and reorganized a revised version of the Bible that fit his theory.  Interestingly, the existence of heresy historically has caused the Church to be cautious and crystallize it's doctrine all the more.  The imprecatory Psalms are another instance of seeming contradiction in scripture.  The word imprecatory is derived from the Latin word imprecatus, and it means "to curse."  Psalm 55:15 is an example, "Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them" (KJV).  This is the antithesis of Jesus directing his disciples to, ". . . Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44, KJV).  There is a seeming chasm between what The Old Testament and The New Testament teach.  What is the truth that bridges this apparent gap?  The cross!  Jesus' sacrifice spans the gap and brings us to the place in which we are given the opportunity to step into His imputed righteousness and out of the sin nature we inherited from Adam.  God's first intention was a loving fellowship relationship with man which was marred by sin.  There is no confliction between God's nature in The Old and New Testaments, only the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Issues of the Heart

"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." 
Proverbs 4:23 

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We may feel that our unexpressed desires and thoughts do not affect our outer lives, but this is a fallacy.  Our physical hearts are vital to the health of our entire body; the same way as, our spiritual hearts are integral to our spiritual health.  We know that ingesting poison is detrimental or fatal to our bodies, if we allow it into our systems it will maim or kill us eventually.  What we allow into our hearts is even more dangerous.  The word "issue" can be used as a noun or a verb.  In the sense that it is a noun it means, "Something that is sent out or put forth in any form."  Likewise as a verb, its meaning is, "To send out; discharge; emit" (  So what we allow into our hearts, will become an issue and will issue forth from our lives.  It is said that the eyes are the gateway to the soul; more aptly, they are the gateway to what we allow into our souls.  Job had the right idea in verse 31:1 when he said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"  We must consciously not allow ourselves to indulge in things that we know will lead to sin.  Adding sin to loneliness or problems in our lives will not accomplish anything but digging us deeper in the problem.  The enemy would have us believe that lie in order to drag us away from God and entangle us further.  Be careful of what you allow your heart to dwell on, it certainly will become an issue.

Lord, in Jesus' name please show us the areas of our lives that we have allowed wrong thinking to invade.  Please help us to guard our eyes and hearts.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace, for without it we would be lost. Thank You for loving us in our sin, You are our only hope.  I praise You and love You.  Amen.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things I Used To Do 07/11

    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

      Standing on the beach watching my sister and brother-in-law play with their two young children in the surf, I began to think about the things in my life that have gone by the wayside. It had been at least ten years since I swam in the ocean. Before that I would swim out past the breakers and float on my back in the briny deep. Now I strive to go to the beach, not get wet and not bring any sand home with me in my shoes, bag, ears etc. In our lives it is very easy to lose sight of what is beneficial to us, the small simple things that nurture our souls and make us feel like a two-year-old again. When we allow ourselves to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, joyfulness will ensue. There is an enemy of our souls, if he is able to steal our joy, the battle is half won. In Christ, we have the freedom to live our lives in His joy, and as John 10:10 tells us we can live that life more abundantly. God is interested in our having joyful life, in Him. The enemy would have us to believe that a joyful life is gained by wealth and prominence. While wealth is not inherently bad, it is not the secret to joy. What price can you put on the delighted face of a child as they splash in the ocean waves? Don't allow the enemy to steal your joy.
         I jumped in the ocean at my brother-in-law's prodding, ok he actually dragged me in, and I swam out past the breakers. As I floated on my back and gazed at the azure blue sky streaked with long white clouds, I promised God and myself that I was going to jump back into life more fully. In the fall I will rake leaves and jump in the pile. This winter I shall be playing in the snow and building a snowman.  I will be chasing fireflies and listening to the song of frogs and crickets next spring. If you see me trouncing in a puddle next summer, know that I haven 't gone mad.
         Lord, thank you for the joy that You have promised to us. I pray that you inspire each of us to live our lives joyfully in You. Father please keep Your hand on our lives and empower us to do the work on this earth that you have ordained for us. In Jesus' name thank You and Amen.


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