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Archive for the ‘heaven’ Category

Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
They are as frail as breath. What good are they?
– Isaiah 2:22 (NLT)

God questions man’s trust in man rather God Almighty.  He shares man’s futility and questions why anyone would seek to put his or her trust in another person, especially when God is seeking you out.  He wanted to rectify His relationship with His chosen people.

God had already called Israel out for its rebellion and idolatry.  He was sickened by their sacrifices.  He was not impressed by their rituals.  Nothing could overshadow their sins against God.

We need to see where our real help comes from in this life.  We can see people.  They are visible, but we need to answer whether or not such people are truly vital to your existence.

God is our true help.  He is in heaven, but He desires to be near to us.  He wants a deep relationship with us.  He is our true heavenly help.  His desire is for us to be better and that means better off with Him.

Don’t rely upon man.  Go to God.  God will send those who can help your way based upon His Holy Spirit’s urging.  It starts with you and God.

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Lord Help

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.s2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.- Psalm 122:1-3 (KJV)

Lift up your eyes.
Lift up your voices.
Let the burdens of your heart ascend to heaven.
Call on the Lord, for He is your Helper.
Call on His name, for we are in need of help.

God offers us help.  We need to see that God, He who is all-knowing, knows all too well about our troubles.  He has us in sight.  He has us in mind.  He has yet to forsake us.  He has yet to abandon us.  He has yet to leave us without help.

Share your concerns with the Lord.  Let them be heard as you speak aloud boldly towards His inclined ear.  Let your voice be heard lifting up both petitions and praise in His name.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.- 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

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When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.- Gen. 5:21-22 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings 

Change can come in many forms.  We may have different causes for our change, but we need to ready ourselves for change.  We need to prepare for it as much as possible.  You may never see it coming down pipe, but you still need to ready yourself for the day it comes.  Sam Cooke sang: “Change gonna come.” In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said,”In everything there is change.”

My suggestion is that you be so prayed up and prepared that no change catches you by surprise.  You need to downsize your home.  It will come one day.  Your children will move out.  Hope and pray that you have done all that you can to prepare them.  Your job is laying off people in every department.  Think over your next career move.  Your wife just said that she’s pregnant.  Get yourself ready, buddy.

I have always been amazed about Enoch’s walk.  Not only did he walk with God, but he walked with Him and “he was not” due to the fact that God did not let him see death.  The New International Version says: “he was no more.” Let’s take a factual approach to this.  He was gone.  He was out of everyone’s sight.  You could have turned over every rock east of Eden and still never would have found Enoch.

Why?

God’s sovereignty.  God did with Enoch as He does with us all.  He did whatever He chose to do with Enoch.  Let’s not get this theologically twisted.  Let’s not dummy-down the doctrine here. 


Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

He is sovereign.  Yes, Enoch walked differently due to his son being born.  He walked with the Lord.  Yet, we tend to stress the goodness of Enoch and his walk, not the greatness of God who “took him away.” 

Look at God and His power.  Who but God could open up heaven and allow on such as Enoch to walk in? Who but God could look from on high and be considerate of the ways of man, still saying that there is none that does good; no, not one? We have to pay more homage and honor to God for His goodness because He is holy.  Enoch shows us the power of God, not a perfect example of submission.  Don’t put too much emphasis on Enoch when you need to see the power and might of the Lord at work in Enoch’s life.  Surely, through His power, He can bring about change.

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Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the watersGenesis 1:2 (NIV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Not only did God create “the heavens and the earth” but He also was present with His Spirit, “hovering over the waters.” 

Picture that! God was omnipresent, even when the earth was “formless and empty”with “darkness over the surface of the deep.”  He was present when nothing else and no one else was anywhere in the picture.

Have you ever seen the Silver Surfer comic book superhero or Storm from the Uncanny X-Men? [Yeah, I know that I am truly giving my age away with that one.] They had powers that defied nature.  Storm could control wind and all of the elements in an instant.  The Silver Surfer could do some wild acrobatics and defy gravity at high rates of speed.  Yet, when we look at God’s Spirit just being in place and at ease just above the waters of the deep, we have to realize that God is not exhibiting powers that defy nature.  God is the Divine who designs nature. Nature is derived from God based upon Him being the Almighty and the Creator.

…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.- Gen. 1:2 (KJV)

I can imagine God just drifting above the shimmering waters, sitting alone in the darkness with His thoughts going to how He would create more and do more with what He had already started by creating the heavens and the earth.

Let your imagination run wild and try to conjure up an idea of what it must have been for that period.  The earth was formless and void.  Darkness covered the entire earthGod was moving about by His Spirit just above the waters.  What does your imagination tell you?

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

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For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.- Romans 5:19 (NIV)

For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Hebrews 10:10 (NLT)

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. – Hebrews 13:12 (ESV)

The debt of sin paid by His death.  I love how Isaiah 53 puts it in such poetic and picturesque terms, especially in the old English.

4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah calls Him a “man of sorrows.”  How else would you describe a man mocked for offering Himself as a sacrifice to for the world? What other label would you place upon a man sent to His own and they received Him not? Think of how hard it has been to love and forgive those who have hurt you or slandered you.  Imagine if you had the power to wipe them out with your very words.

Thank God for Jesus being the God-man.  He was fully God and He was fully human.  He had enough God in Him to refrain from unleashing armies of angels on Jerusalem that day.  He was human enough that He bled, though.   He was so godly that He asked the father to forgive the people who persecuted and ridiculed Him out of their ignorance, “for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). 

He wasn’t hung in the midst of the marketplace.  He wasn’t stretched before the other zealots  and insurrectionists for seditious acts of rebellion against the emperor and his constituents.  Pilate may have ordered it, but the Lord orchestrated it to happen.  He was taken to the outskirts of town and hung amidst the outcasts.  The King James Version used the phrase: and he was numbered with the transgressors.

Jesus died at Calvary.

Jesus died on the cross.

Jesus died as a cure for our condition.

… and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.– Isaiah 53: 12 (KJV)

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I am the bread of life.- John 6:48 (NKJV)

The bread that Jesus spoke of was Himself.  He had a rare experience in John 6:22-38 where people asked questions and didn’t receive the answers to their questions too favorably.  In fact, Jesus is clear to identify that He is not manna that their forefathers ate in the wilderness with Moses.  Yet, He openly states that there is bread that comes down from heaven to do the will of God.  That bread didn’t go down too easily with some Jews at that time.

The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
John 6:41-42 (NKJV)

God does a spiritual work through Jesus Christ that many overlooked.  They looked at the surface, what they could see and understand.  What Jesus was offering dealt with the spiritual and eternal, nothing superficial.  If you are unable to receive Him for who He is,  He cannot enter into your heart.  For the believer, each of us must share with those we interact with daily to lead them to Him.

Don’t overlook the blessing of His saving grace.  Don’t overlook the blessing of His salvation.  Don’t overlook all that He offers with His invitation to His kingdom.  Don’t be foolish and overlook any of what Jesus offers us.

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Thank God that the kingdom of God is not divided into areas for big, important
people and areas for little, unimportant people.
– A.W. Tozer

We have come a long way since Jesus ascended into heaven, leaving His disciples to await the coming of the Helper, the Holy Spirit of God. Yet, we seem to have splintered away from the Way. The early church was rooted in its actions and interactions with each other and the outside world. In fact, it was a known fact among the people that many respected the believers of that time. Nowadays, we have many denominations that it can be hard to keep up with who is doing what and what is going on with whom. Nevertheless, we seize the opportunity to possibly bridge some of the divide that men have created and build bonds on what Christ has established as the head of the church.

We need see Christ as the focus. Our agreement should be on the main thing, and the main thing should be Christ. If we can’t agree on baptism, the Lord’s Supper or the gifts of the Spirit, let us at least agree by faith that Christ is the main thing that we should focus upon.

We can agree that there are works to be done. We may not agree on how they should be done. We may not agree on whether they add to our salvation or not, but we certainly can agree that there are works that need to be done.

There is an enemy. He may take many forms. He do many things within this world. Our particular theology may see him as one thing as opposed to what other brothers and sisters may think, but we can agree that we have a common enemy who seeks to kill and destroy us.

Our nature is sinful. We may not be able to recite the whole five-point Calvinism and various “ministries” of the church based on our particular doctrine with agreement. Yet, we can admit that we need the pure and righteous sacrifice of the Lamb of God to take care of our sinfulness. We should be able to agree upon that much.

In doing so, we will find plenty of work to do based upon our common ground. We should find much to pray about based upon what we have accepted as true and agreeable. We can at least agree that we need to pray, even if we don’t agree on how to pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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