Archive for The Word of the Lord

Guard your heart: Avoid a Computer Brain

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I’ve been battling unusual thoughts sneaking in lately. Bizarre, out of the blue, sinful thoughts. And my first thought about these thoughts were… “WHERE are they coming from? WHY are these entering my head?”

My Mom rightfully taught me to watch what I read, watched, and looked at. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Somewhere, I have opened a door recently that is letting something flood in.

So I’ve sat long and hard to think about what is “new” in my life and I came up with two. The first is the new Trending menu on Facebook. I hate it. I don’t care what the celebrities are doing or what gossip is making the news. It isn’t even news! However, the longer the trending menu was there the more I found myself clicking the links to see the gossip. No, I’m not immune to that stuff but I DO know that isn’t good for me. (and I just found out this morning that if you have adblock plus you can make your trending menu disappear. Click the link. Yippee!!!!)

The second place I could think of was the humor board on Pinterest. I love to go find funny things to laugh at or post. The problem with it is that you have to wade through some really bad garbage to find something worth posting. Even though I was taking care not to read the yucky ones, the picture of it still exists in your mind and comes back later in your random thoughts. This is easy enough for me. I will have to no longer visit the Humor board.

And of all things… I remembered this Petra song from my younger years and thought how even more appropriate it is in this era of our lives…

How do you guard your heart? And what do you have to avoid looking at? What do you fill your heart with so that good things come out?

The Lion and the lamb

From the shore – through observation- the sea often looks calm and placid. Standing there you can’t see the undercurrents that swirl and screaming jet fast undertows that can sink the best of swimmers. Faith can be like that too. The water can be smooth in appearance while the inner man struggles. You know what your response is supposed to be but underneath you are struggling in the undertow of the questions that go unanswered, fears for the future, understanding the mysteries of Jehovah.

The Tireman and our oldest daughter were cutting and stacking wood in the dark before some coming weather. In a moment of bad timing the Tireman threw a piece of wood just as she stepped forward and it caught her across the front of her face giving her a black eye. It scared the Tireman to pieces and of course it hurt our daughter terribly but she is a pretty tough girl. What she said to me yesterday entirely blew me away…. “Mom, it was almost worth it.” I look at her puzzled. How could a black eye be almost worth it?! “Daddy held me all the way home in his strong arm as I cried through my pain.” And she doesn’t even know how these words took a grip on my heart. “Daddy held me…through my pain…” Her words caused a rip tide in my soul… Does the lamb go back to the lion after it has been mauled?

His words in my ear…  Not one sparrows falls to the ground apart from ME…. I  discipline those I love… I love you more than many sparrows… I know the number of hairs on your head…. … even MY son Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered… I wrote your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world…

I tremble as the Master Gardener prunes my branches. As a gardener myself I am well aware of the beauty of pruning. The year I planted strawberries I pinched off all the flowers. Sure, I could have had a few strawberries that year but I knew if I pruned those flowers that I would encourage the roots of the plant to go deep and that the runners coming off of them would be massive. The following year I was rewarded with massive amounts of fruit ~ almost too much to keep up with.

And I find comfort that He will not let me goThat the Man who wounded me will hold me in His strong arm as I cry through my pain… and paradoxically I will love Him the more for it… and there will be fruit in abundance. I’ve known this to be true before in my life. I know it too be true even now… as promised the Lion will lay with the lamb and there will be peace.

How Titus 2:3-5 really looks in the church today…

Here is what I have witnessed and have been myself on many occassions…

Older women likewise are to lack proper respect towards others, expert at gossiping or slaves to a worldly goal of their choice usually involving greed of some sort. They are to teach what scripture is convenient to them and pass over what doesn’t fit their style, and so train the young women to look for every misdeed in their husbands instead of themselves and put their children aside for their “me time.”, to be selfish, making crass jokes in private with other sympathizing young women who are neglecting their duties and pursuing worldly endeavors, they should be impatient, and tell their husbands how submissive they would be if THEY would change their deeds first, in this way the word of God is reviled.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Titus 2:3-5 Here is what it really says…

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

(Titus 2:3-5)

The Bright Morning Star

My week has been unorganized, busy, and chaotic. Rushing like Martha in preparation for THE big weekend of the year; our annual birthday celebration.There is some unspoken addiction that pulls me into biting off more than I can chew. Rearranging entire rooms and the closets have thrown up everything in them. It happens when I’m searching for that one item that I can’t find and I know its in there…

My mind races every night this week when I lay down. Can’t sleep for all the to do’s rumbling around in my  head. Should I do this… Should this be first… How am I going to cook all of that in my one day… Maybe I can cook this the day before…

Because I moved it last week, our bed is now surrounded by windows….the eastern, northern, and western sky is visible from the tiny bed placed in our tiny house in the middle of a great big galaxy. Miniscule in the middle of all this creation I struggled with unsuccessful prayers before falling asleep late last night. Defeated and useless sleep. 

It was early this morning when something woke me. Like every mother I listened for children in distress.  I lay there waiting to hear the next peep but there wasn’t one.  Facing the eastern window-head on the pillow- I turned over to stare out the window… 

And there in the dark sky blazed the morning star… I’m sure I have never seen it like that before; hanging in the black above the trees…  He whispered in my mind, “I am the bright morning star.” Like the star, HIS glory rises above the earth, above men. Above birthday celebrations and hectic weeks…and I have to capture this in my mind, write it down before I forget.

This morning I think about what He is telling me… “Glorify Me. Pursue Me. Make me the first part. I am the only thing that matters. Seek me first…” And I can’t believe that He takes time to catch my attention. That He wakes me before dawn to remind me of His glory… to “Come” and “choose the better portion.”

“I, Jesus…I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Revelation 22:16-17)

A Good Tree Produces

From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits. A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits. Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire. Then surely from their fruits you shall know them. - Matthew 7:16-20

H​ow to be a tree that bears good fruit…

Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of scorners. But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah, and he meditates in His Law day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of waters, which will give its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf will not wither, and all which he does will prosper. - Psalms 1:1-3

Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge.For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters.It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit. . – Jeremiah 17: ​7-8”

A Good Tree

A Good Tree Produces Good Fruit…

“From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits. A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits. Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire. Then surely from their fruits you shall know them. - Matthew 7:16-20

How to be a tree that bears good fruit…

Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the seat of scorners. But his delight is only in the Law of Jehovah, and he meditates in His Law day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivulets of waters, which will give its fruit in its seasons, and its leaf will not wither, and all which he does will prosper. – Psalms 1:1-3

Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge.For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters.It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the year of drought, nor will it cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is incurable; who can know it? I, Jehovah, search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings. As a partridge broods and does not hatch, so is he who makes riches, and not by right; it will leave him in the middle of his days, and in his end he will be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Jehovah, the Hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Jehovah, the Fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Jehovah, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved; for You are my praise. Behold, they say to me, Where is the Word of Jehovah? Let it come now. – Jeremiah 17: 7-15”

 

 

 


 

A Sermon on the Doxology

by Christian Blackshear
Praise Jehovah. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the expanse of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the harp and lyre. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and pipes. Praise Him on the sounding cymbals; praise Him with the resounding cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise Jehovah. Praise Jehovah! - Psalms 150:1-6
~Doxology~

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts,

Praise Father,Son and Holy ghost.Amen.

Quite often do I sing the Doxology and every time I would not here the song I was singing. So I took the time to look at the words I was singing.  A lot can be seen in this little song. I missed it all until I read it by itself and then I saw what I was missing. As there are many passages of praise in the bible we will only focus on this one.

The first  word I will look at is praise. This word does not mean to just worship but to give glory to and extol. But what do we praise, the answer is the next name GOD. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. The rest of this line caught my attention it made me be grateful about what we already have because it all came from God.

The next line is praise him all creatures here below. Which means give glory to God ye inhabitants of the earth. Praise him above ye heavenly hosts. This line says for all of the heavenly hosts to praise God. A heavenly host would be the soldiers of Christ which are also mentioned in Luke 2:13 where it says, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host.”

The last part of the song says, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen. Which means give glory to the triune God. Amen.

If prosperity preachers were truly Christ.

As I listened to this in whole hearted agreement with John Piper, his statement about WHY don’t these preachers go into the hospital emergency rooms or cancer wards or places like this if they are such servants of Christ hit me like a ton of  bricks. In all the years that I used to follow this line of prosperity gospel I don’t know why it never crossed my mind. A religion of selfishness and greed in the name of Christ.

1BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].2For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

3[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

4[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

5For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].          2 Timothy 3:1-5

Happy Birthday To Me!

In celebration of my 36th birthday I’m going to post 36 things about myself.

  1. I am a sinner, born totally depraved  just like everyone else.
  2. I believe in Christ through no merit of my own.
  3. Nothing good have I done save by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  4. I rejoice that my name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
  5. Once again, his grace and mercy have sought me and bought me.
  6. I am not my own but the servant of the Lord.
  7. On my best day my works are nothing but filthy rags.
  8. I do not do the things I want to do &  find myself doing the things I hate.
  9. My faith is a gift from God.
  10. I am co-heir with Christ.
  11. God removed my stony heart and has  replaced it with a heart of flesh.
  12. Am being equipped with everything good so that I can do His will.
  13. God is working through me to do that which is pleasing in His sight.
  14. I bless the feet of those who brought me the Good News.
  15. I’ve been called according to His purpose.
  16. The law has condemned me.
  17. Christ has justified me.
  18. I am sanctified by His word.
  19. I am a new creation, the old has fallen away.
  20. I reap what I sow.
  21. I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing Christ Jesus.
  22. I am redeemed by His blood by his lavish grace.
  23. I was chosen before the foundation of the world was laid.
  24. When I heard the gospel I was sealed by the promised Holy Spirit.
  25. In Christ I have obtained my inheritance.
  26. Called to hope.
  27. I’ve been made known the mystery of His will.
  28. I get the do the good works He has prepared for me to do.
  29. My flesh will always be at war against my spirit.
  30. The Lord is my strong tower and refuge.
  31. I am delivered from the dark domain.
  32. I was created for His own glory.
  33. I was created by Him.
  34. I have been reconciled.
  35. He will present me one day holy and blameless.
  36. So you see, I can not boast of myself  but only in Christ.

Another Shocking Discovery: Approaching the Bible with a Zen Mentality

Sometimes the Lord comes in with a flood lamp and reveals things that lay in the dusty corner of ignorance about our lives.  This was a recent revelation for me brought on by something said in a sermon.  Many of us approach the Bible with a Zen Mentality.  Meditating on it and contemplating the words of God trying to reach a higher level of understanding.  Of course, initially this is not a bad thing.  What can make it bad is when we rely on ourselves to reach an understanding instead of asking God to revel Himself as we read because only HE can illuminate scripture.  It is like banging your head against a break wall trying to knock it down.

Basically, I am writing this for my own admonition; this has been a real issue in my life.  I can not achieve understanding of God’s word apart from His revelation to me.  How futile to think that I could rely on a daily readings and obtain ‘enlightenment.”  I am totally sure that is why my daily Bible reading is often dull and I find myself rereading the same passage over and over in an effort to concentrate on what is being said and lacking any discernment.

In Hebrews 6:1-3 Paul admonishes us to move past the milk of the word to the meat and then states, “And this we will do if God permits.”  Here are a few more verses along this line.

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything–and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you–abide in him.   ~ 1 John 2:27

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.  - John 14:26
In America we love to rely on ourselves and our own abilities to perform and excel.  We’re even taught to look within to realize our dreams and our potentials about life.  I never realized until now that truly this is the philosophy of a false religion and how it permeates this society on every level.  What a shock to discover it in my own life regarding my personal relationship with Christ.  How can my darkened mind and my deceitful heart ever expect to understand the things of God without the revelation of the Spirit.  I repent!
Lord, gracious revealer of Your Word, give us Your wisdom as we read your words!
« Older Entries