Wow You Are Not Kidding!–Genesis 15 Final

There Abram stood looking at the Stars and listening to God promise him the Land of Canaan and many descendants…and he asked the most transparent question imaginable–So how do I know what you promise will really happen…?  God says, “Son go get a Heifer, a goat and a lamb!”  Covenants, in those days, were not nicely drafted components of a contract.  Instead, Covenants were life and death promises that required absolute performance or absolute sacrifice. 

Specifically, the parties would cut an animal into quarters and lay them out on the ground walk between the quarters to signify that failure to perform on the covenant would require like treatment of the failing party! Ouch! Here God took 3 animals as if to say not only me, but the entire trinity makes this covenant.  The Heifer representing the father, the lamb representing the son and the Goat (Scape goat) representing the Holy spirit! God was serious.

That is the same level of commitment God has made to us.  If we will follow him he promises to redeem us from the sin we are enslaved to and restore us to a family relationship with him.  Take comfort, believer–God is not kidding!!!

God Bless You

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Almost, But Not Quite–Genesis 11 Final

What do we know about Terah?  Oh, he was Abram’s Dad…The sad news is that he was the first man called to Canaan! He scooped up his little family and left Ur–on his way to Canaan.  But somewhere along the journey, he decided to stop in Harran.  Don’t get me wrong–Harran was a nice place, it just wasn’t where God was leading him and his family.  It was a convenient sidetrack that stopped his journey.

So many of God’s chosen take off on the journey the father calls them to and in the midst of it get sidetracked and rendered ineffective. Work, kids, illness, and a host of little foxes enter our lives and nip at us.  We then wake up at AARP + years and wonder where the time went and why did we lose our vision.  God says–its OK! Start a new vision today.  Read the word, pray continually and seek ways to serve.  You may have missed Canaan, but you do not have to miss God!!!

God Bless You

This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran

An Eye Witness’s Joy–1 John 1 Part 1

We sometimes forget that the New Testament was written by the guys that hung out with Jesus.  Their accounts were given and their encouragement shared because they were there and saw God on earth.  It had to be amazing to walk with Jesus every day.  To see the miracles, to hear the messages and to watch the sacrifice–left an indelible mark on the men he chose.  John, his beloved disciple stood by him to the end and through the resurrection.  He adopted Mary.

When we read this word, we are able to enjoy the first hand account of God’s love for us.  We should be changed when we hide the news of his amazing life and grace in our hearts.  He was the Lord God–He brought us life and light and a future. We should never doubt his impact on our lives and the lives of all who know him. We need to take hold of the amazing view we get of God through those that went before.  Thanks Lord for showing us who you are!

God Bless You

 We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,[a] whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy

Confession With Passion–2 Peter 1 Final

Peter’s confession is unrivaled in passion and in credibility.  Here, he is writing to the church–soon before being hung upside down on a cross, letting them know this is a passion he gained through eye witness experience.  This same Peter–that denied Christ the night of his arrest.  The Peter that told God he did not like his cooking on a roof in Joppa.  The Peter that avoided the barbeque when Paul and kosher Christians showed up to meet with Gentile Christians–now is telling what he saw and heard that would convince anyone of the deity of Christ!

We are the same. We can go from fear to Fanatic by simply clinging to the truth of Christ as it has been shown in our lives.  We have all seen and experienced the difference the relationship has brought in our lives.  We have done great things and we have failed–but, no matter what we can stand before others and passionately tell them What a difference he has made in our lives.  We simply need to remember and cling to the countless times he has intervened on  our behalf.

We need not be afraid–He loves us as we are and knows us as the frail children that we sadly remain.  We simply need to also know him for the mighty God he is and follow him accordingly!

God Bless You

For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life,[e] 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”[f] 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines[g] in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding,[h] 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Matthew 25 part 1–Always Be Prepared

We must live our lives being prepared for Christ’s return.  Jesus was trying to help the folk of his day understand that it took more than simply knowing the Messiah was coming—They needed to be ready to meet him.  The foolish ones knew he was coming, but when his arrival came they were not ready.  When they finally became ready, it was too late.  The same was true for Israel’s religious establishment.  They knew a Messiah was coming, they watched for him for generations.  But when the time came they were simply not prepared for him and totally missed him.  When they finally realize he is Lord, it will be too late.

The same holds true for our culture.  So many folks know of Jesus.  They have heard the stories and many think that someday they will deal with him.  But like the foolish ones in the story, they are not prepared for him and miss him in their lives.  When reality sets in—t will be too late.  We have to enter a relationship with him.  We have to allow him to be a part of our lives so that he can forgive us and restore us to the people he created us to be—free, forgiven and following him.  If we prepare, we will be ready for his return and follow him to eternity.  Do not allow yourself to be caught unaware, ask him to be a part of your life, today.

God Bless You

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.  11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Matthew 12 part 2-He Came to Change the World

Jesus was on a grand mission.  He came to the earth to change the world. Not the topography or even the alignment of nations—he came to change the heart of the world.  Sadly, that is a tall order.  So Jesus changed the hearts of those he came in contact with.  That is why the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders and the volume of people with needs did not affect his passion.  In the prophecy of Isaiah, God promised he would drive on without complaint.  He would accept what was done to him and not withdraw and he would change the world and even nations would cling to him.

In America, we did that very thing.  For generations we declared ourselves one nation under God.  Yet today, we, his people continue to seek his face and beg for his mercy to restore us to that nation that clings to him.  It will take a miracle—a miracle of parents becoming passionate about passing on the truth to their children.  Churches standing for the truth and not bowing to the culture.   Schools realizing they need less culturization and more truth and prayer.  Finally, we have to accept the responsibility for our actions and follow God’s lead and not the easy path the world offers.  Help me, Lord to obey and humbly follow you as the Lord that changes the World.

God Bless You

9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. 16 He warned them not to tell others about him. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
19 He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 10 Part 1–Buiding an Army

christain SoldierWell you have to start somewhere…once Jesus had established his ministry, he then began to build his disciples.  He chose men from the groups that were around him. He chose a variety of men from a variety of backgrounds—But the mission was simple—There is a harvest-I need harvesters.  The passage is amazing because he does not send these men out with the authority to preach and pray!! He sends them out with the authority to heal, to free and to save those lost and enslaved.  They were sent out to do what he was already doing.

In our churches and in our culture, Jesus does not call us simply to be friendly and mention his name on the streets; instead he calls us to continue what he was doing.  We are to pray and seek those whose lives have been crushed and entangled and provide them the message of hope, healing and provision.  We are not figureheads that wear a label and to look pretty—We are battle trained warriors called to harvest and heal a broken and Godless world.  We can never relent.  We can never give up.  We are called to press on to the end—shields up, swords in hand ready to fight to the death for the cause of freedom.  Help me Lord to humbly follow with my heart and head focused on the battle that lies before me!

God Bless You

35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 9 part 1–Your sins are forgiven

Immediate versus eternal–Throughout his ministry Jesus faced that battle.  There were many that believed or at least hoped that Jesus could heal their immediate needs and make them better.  Amazingly, the greater act of Lordship he could perform is the act of forgiveness and restoration of the relationship with the Father. Jesus came so that we could have eternal life in fellowship with God—but much of the crowd missed that.  They simply wanted to see the miracles and healing he performed.  They wanted to know him as entertainer and miracle worker—not as savior and Lord.

Sadly, the world has not changed much.  Many of us seek to leverage our faith to assure god does the miracles and healing in our life.  We want him to fix the problems we have now, but are not so concerned with the eternal needs we have. We still want to be the captain of our ship, but we want God to be there to plug the leaks if we start to sink. He just made clear on the mountain—“Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the these things will be added to you.” God wants the relationship.  If we surrender and follow him he will protect and provide our needs and we will be free from the immediate s we can seek the eternal.

God Bless You

9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.