February 16. 2020

The heart knows its own bitterness, and no stranger shares its joy. – Prov 14:10

Warrior;

Bitterness of soul often arises from outward troubles, pains, and diseases of body, losses, crosses, and disappointments. When we MEET people where they HURT, we tell them, “I understand” your pain! Hurting people HURT PEOPLE! If we are honest everyone knows what bitterness and sorrow feel like. When we understand the PURPOSE OF OUR PAIN, the reason we are allowed to hurt, to struggle, to experience things that break our heart – then we are open to becoming SET APART, to the LORD. We are called to be HOLY, for our God is HOLY! (1 Peter 1:16) Nothing creates HOLINESS like enduring pain and suffering to the GLORY OF GOD!

Leader, The verse above can be translated literally, ‘the heart knoweth the bitterness of his soul’. Neither our joys nor our sorrows can be wholly shared with another; no person stands in such intimate relation to us, or can put himself so entirely in our place, as to feel that which we feel. There is many a dark spot, many a grief, of which our best friend knows nothing; the skeleton is locked in the cupboard, and no one has the key but ourselves. But we can turn with confidence to the God-Man, Jesus, who knows our frame, who wept human tears, and bore our sorrows, and was in all points tempted like as we are, and who has taken his human experience with him into heaven.

Conduit, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;(1 Tim 2:5) Jesus is described by the prophet Isaiah in 53:3; He was despised and rejected–a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Jesus knows the bitterness of your heart, He too was rejected and despised and people didn’t even care! You can be like JESUS by sharing in other’s brokenness and pain. Reach out to them, feel their pain, understand their brokenness and be an encouragement; BE LIKE JESUS! Amen!

February 15. 2020

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. – 1 John 3:1,2 ESV

Warrior;

Nobody is too far gone from God, HE is OMNIPRESENT. In Psalm 139 we are reminded of GOD’S VASTNESS; Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. (v7-13) There is nowhere to run or hide; nor is there a need!

Leader, scripture tells us we WERE enemies of God; And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds. (Col 1:21) It is not that you personally did something wrong inside the womb, it is a FLESH issue, it is part of our DNA thanks to the FIRST HUMAN, the FIRST MAN, and his bride. The first ADAM brought sin into our DNA and it has been here since GENESIS 3! For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor 15:21-22) How do we do this? By BELIEVING IN HIM! And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. (James 2:23) TODAY, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. And even more, we become sons and daughters!

Conduit, how blessed are we. That Abraham, the Father of our Faith became a FRIEND of GOD! AND we who trust in the LORD, JESUS, become children of God! For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. (Romans 5:10) We went from and ENEMY of GOD, to a FRIEND of GOD, to now have a SONSHIP with GOD; Romans 8:16 in the Amplified bibles says; The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. What a great progression to go from WHAT WE WERE, to WHAT WE WERE CREATED TO BE! It has been said- IF WILLING- God meets us where we are at, BUT HE LOVES US too much to leave us there! and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:17) What an incredible promotion to go from ENEMY to CO-HEIR with CHRIST! PROVIDED-that is an ‘If-Then’, a CONDITIONAL statement. If A then B; Provided we die to ourselves daily and pick up our cross and follow HIM! Today, PICK up your cross! Sacrifice your time, resources and talents from YOUR GLORY and LIVE AGAIN for HIS GLORY. Be willing to suffer for CHRIST and share HIS NAME and HIS LOVE in a world that is OFFENDED by HIM, HIS NAME, HIS WORD and HIS PEOPLE who humble themselves, turn from our wicked ways and PRAY in the name of JESUS! Amen!

February 14. 2020

So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. -Joshua 9:14-15 ESV

Warrior; What a sad statement for YOU, ME and the whole of humanity! We GET, TAKE, are BLESSED by, and from God, BUT do NOT seek HIS counsel- BEFORE we do! To get the FULL flavor of this, we must READ FROM Joshua 6 on. The book of Joshua consistently moves us to see things from God’s perspective and tells us to STOP with our selfishly tainted inclinations of personal gain and self-preservation. The Lord delivered them into a new land, Canaan. The Lord delivered Jericho into their hands- without lifting a SWORD, but only bY HIS WORD! God instilled a herem, a ban. Jericho’s spoils fell under a command that all things, whether people or property, must be subject to a law of TOTAL devotion! The victory was the Lords and HE demanded all the spoils. But Achan violated the herem- he felt he DESERVED better, more, his family had NEEDS. After God brought fire to cleanse the congregation, THEN God delivered Ai.

Leader, God did with Joshua, what He did with Moses- teaching him, and us, how to COMMIT to ‘FATHER MAY I’! As we see with Joshua, he still didn’t get it, because he was tricked into a treaty with the Gibeonites, which was against God’s original rule- remove ALL IN the land! Just like we can be like Joshua and think we GOT THIS, and mess things up Royally! We can also be like Joshua and be a trusting WARRIOR!

Conduit, God wants us to walk with HIM, LISTEN to Him and to trust ONLY in HIM. God is calling us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness- His WORD- and all the other things- STUFF-will be given to you as well! READ Matt 6:19-33 and then DO it! Our God has GREAT plans for us! Plans for a future and Hope, if we will just seek His will and DO HIS WILL! Amen!

February 13. 2020

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2 ESV
Warrior;

Some things need little explanation, but demand some expansive dialogue.  I like how some of the other translations make this clearer; Bear one another’s burdens and thus- in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. That IS NOT complicated!  You don’t need a seminary degree to understand what God is saying.  You don’t need to study Greek, Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrew or seek a Pastor or Priests wisdom to explain this, or understand this.  However you do need a desire to honor God and get yourself off your throne.  Rule #1 about being a leader; It is NOT about you- get off yourself.  The Bible puts it this way, in his letter to the church at Philippi Paul stated it like this; Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

 

Leader, when Jesus was incarnate, walking on this planet the religious leaders were attempting to trick him, so they could catch him in what they considered a situation where they could say He violated the “law”.  And when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they themselves gathered together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with a question: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40) For those who are called to be children of God, for those that God calls to be leaders we must remember, “It CANNOT be about us, it is about HIM and THEM and how we can be used by God to LOVE ON OTHERS.  We are called to be HIS HANDS, FEET and HIS HEART. We are called to LOVE!

 

Conduit, LOVE is a verb- it is NOT a feeling!  John 3:16 tells us this clearly: “For God so loved the world- THAT HE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT- that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. In John’s Gospel, what is called, “The Gospel of Love”, John recalls Jesus words: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13) Love is a VERB, it is Sacrifice, Service, putting others needs before your own and using your blessings of money, resources, gifts, talents, trauma and drama to serve others, to verb others- to LOVE OTHERS. Jesus goes on to finish His thought: You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (John 15:14-17) Valentines day is not about sex, candy, or a night out on the town with someone you have strong feelings for- it is about LOVE!  And Jesus said it best; If you love me, you will keep my commandments! (John 14:15) Today, LOVE Jesus, by LOVING- LIKE JESUS!

February 12. 2020

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Psalm 119:105 KJV

Warrior;

Sailing in a certain Italian harbor can be hazardous. To avoid a wreck, ships align themselves perfectly with three lights. When the captain sees three lights as one, he can safely proceed up the narrow channel. God also provides three harbor lights to guide us: God’s Word is an objective standard of righteousness; God’s Holy Spirit is our subjective witness; and circumstances are God’s providence. When these three align perfectly, they assure us we are in the HANDS OF GOD. There is a relationship between knowing God’s Word-which leads us to GOD’s WILL, which allows us to navigate the waters of life and do it GOD’s WAY! When God is our outcome then obedience to God and His guidance become a natural, normal WORLD VIEW! When this all LINES UPS- we can count on God’s guidance!

Leader, in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, under the heading of “DO NOT WORRY” we are given our COMPASS for this earthly sojourn in these temporary dwellings: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matt 6:33) When we do this, the prophet Isaiah says: “Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, “Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” (Is 58: 9-11) Be refreshed through and BY THE WORD of our GOD!

Conduit, The Message Bible 119:105-112 has this paraphrase: By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order. Everything’s falling apart on me. God; put me together again with your Word. Festoon me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules. My life is as close as my own hands, but I don’t forget what you have revealed. The wicked do their best to throw me off track, but I don’t swerve an inch from your course. I inherited your book on living; it’s mine forever—what a gift! And how happy it makes me! I concentrate on doing exactly what you say– I always have and always will. The TIME IS NOW, set your compass on the LORD, HIS righteousness, HIS glory, and HIS WILL! When we align the three and move safely through the TROUBLED WATERS of life, we will GET TO experience 1 Cor 2:9: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” God calls us, not only to have a vertical relationship with him by faith in His Son; but also, as a way of life, to show concern for others! Be willing!! Amen!

February 11. 2020

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. -Psalms 85:10-11 King James Version

Warrior;

“Mercy and truth” (or “lovingkindness and truth”) are brought together at least sixteen times in the Old Testament, including ten times in the psalms. And when God’s eternal truth can be united with His loving mercy, both mediated through His Holy Word, there is great blessing indeed! The first time the phrase is found in the Bible is in the prayer of Abraham’s servant, thanking God for “his mercy and his truth” (Genesis 24:27). The word translated as MERCY is “Chesed,” which additionally suggests God’s quality of “steadfast loyalty.” The psalm thus relates steadfastness and mercy with “truth” – in Hebrew “emet”– which means behaving ethically and being faithful to God’s will. Mercy sets the context for many of Jesus’ teachings. In the Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells the story of the “unmerciful servant” who has his own debt wiped away but refuses to forgive another servant who only owed him a few cents.

Leader look at the verbs in this psalm: “been favorable, brought back, hast forgiven, covered, taken away, turned [thyself] from”- HE SHALL GIVE, TRUTH SHALL SPRING FORTH! These ACTION WORDS highlight Gods redemptive work in Israel’s history. God’s gracious dealings with Israel in the past justify the hope that He will again show grace and forgiveness to ISRAEL and we can claim that same ‘NATURE OF GOD’, to our own lives and our own walk! You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11) When we fall short- WE ALL FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD (Romans 3:23)- Our FATHER, ABBA God, corrects us and with His correction comes TRUTH that we, at that point on, can walk in. This Psalm is about the Rebellion of Korah see Numbers 16. It was so important, that the Quran also talks about this in Sura 28. God’s Loving kindness, HIS LOVE- unfailing, steadfast, faithful, gracious, HIS FAVOR= HIS MERCY! Mercy without truth is a DEAD church. Truth without MERCY is the LAW. God has the perfect balance- we CALL HIM JESUS!

Conduit, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies” (Psalm 25:10) “I will worship toward thy holy temple and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. (Psalms 57:10) Dr. Henry M. Morris from the Institute for Creation research put it simply and truthfully: “God’s mercy and truth, of course, are really met together only in Jesus Christ, through whom God can both “be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). He is “our peace” (Ephesians 2:14) and is “made unto us . . . righteousness” (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is “the truth” (John 14:6) and will show in the ages to come “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).” This is OUR JESUS- DO YOU KNOW HIM- do you DESIRE to KNOW HIM MORE

February 10. 2020


As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
 – Luke 19:37-40 ESV

Warrior;

Our God is the GOD of PURPOSE.  Everything He does, or allows to be done, is done in the name of PURPISIVE STRIVING!  Our God is a GOD OF ORDER!  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) God has one acceptable place, and ONE ONLY- our FIRST LOVE- our MAIN SQUEEZE. All throughout the Bible, especially IN THE BEGINNING, we read- He is a jealous God: see Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:23-24, 32:16, Joshua 24:19, Psalms 78:58, 79:5.  The prophets were sent to Jerusalem, and they were silenced, John the Baptist was silenced, even Jesus was silenced- AND THE ROCKS- the Walls of Jerusalem CRY OUT with the story of the Gospel.  Just like an object of our desire for our flesh- a lover, wants to be sought, and pursued- our God wants the same thing!  He has hidden NUGGETS of joy and understanding, if we DESIRE HIM ENOUGH- to search HIS WORD! 

Leader, in the book of Nehemiah 3rd Chapter, Nehemiah, a business man, not a priest or a member of the priestly line, was called to go and ‘rebuild’ the walls of Jerusalem.  In the 3rdchapter, we are taken through the 10 gates of Jerusalem and in them you will find a hidden message about our redemption and reconciliation to God- we must look into the text: He starts at the SHEEP Gate and he ends at the SHEEP gate, because this gate represents the CROSS of Christ- He always entered through the sheep gate, that is where all the sacrifices entered, and all those condemned to die departed from. The Good news of the Gospel BEGINS and ENDS with JESUS and the cross. Jesus always entered through the sheep gate except this one time, of the Triumphal entry, and He Entered through the EAST gate, which is the gate that is opened at the break of dawn, with the rising of the MORNING SUN. Then there was the FISH GATE, for we are called to be fishers on men (Matt 4:19). Then we have the OLD gate, because nothing is NEW, and we are called to GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING, the basics- Keep it Simple Soldier! See Jeremiah 6:16. 

Conduit, After the OLD GATE, we find the VALLEY GATE- this is the place of humility, we are called through the valley, to grow into Christs likeness, so we can eventually get to the mountain of God. We then have the DUNG gate, where we must get rid of all the trash, the stuff that smells, that makes us impure.  Which takes us to the FOUNTAIN gate, which is about the HOLY SPIRIT; see John 7:37-39, and the woman at the well (John 4). Then we have the WATER gate, which represents the word of God- for we are to be washed by the word! (Ephesians 5:26, John 15:3 with Peter and washing of his feet). The WATER gate was the only ONE NOT destroyed- we need to ADD nothing; we need NO REPAIR of the WORD OF GOD- it is perfect, it never changes! We then come to the HORSE gate, which is a picture of POWER of WARFARE- for we are called to put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God and fight the good fight of SALVATION. (Ephesians 6:10-17) We then find the EAST gate, the one that is opened upon the RISING OF THE SON. We end with the MIPHKAD gate– the word means REVIEW, or REGISTER.  This is the gate where you would register as a stranger to enter the city, and King David would review HIS TROOPS as the returned from battle! Warrior, there is so much hidden in HIS WORD, and it is our PLEASURE to seek HIS MYSTERY: the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. (Col 1:26) Seek His WORD and HIS HEART, for the answer to this question asked of JOB is YES- if you DESIRE: “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? (Job 33:13)