Proverbs 31 5-31-20

Civil unrest is alway unsettling. It is nearly always taken advantage of by those who would wreak havoc. PRAY!

9 Speak up judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Justice is being performed, the perpetrators charged. Our sympathy goes out to the family. How are demonstrations going to help? They usually bring senseless violence and are an excuse for some to spread fear and chaos. There are those who are “obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.” Ephesians 2:2What we need to remember is that people act out of their sinful nature and are being led.

We also need to remember that “all of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.” Ephesians 2:3. They need the LORD. Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to fall on our nation beginning right here in OKC.

Heavenly Father, first of all, I want to thank You for the next verses in Ephesians 2, which tell us that because of Your great love and mercy, you have made us alive in Christ Jesus and have seated us in the heavenly realms with You! So, I turn to You, Abba, and ask for Your Holy Spirit to fall like fire upon our city, upon our state, and upon our country. May REVIVAL begin at Brookwood or one of our sister churches. May we see an outpouring of Your love and mercy and grace upon us. Call us to prayer, LORD, then empower us and embolden us to speak Your salvation and Your truth to everyone to whom You direct us, whether neighbors or congressmen.

Abba, we can’t have business as usual this morning. We are in a battle! Call us into service, O LORD. Amen.

Proverbs 30 5-30-20

Today, we are on #6 of the Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say

Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right. 
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

32 If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil,
    cover your mouth in shame.

33 As the beating of cream yields butter
    and striking the nose causes bleeding,
    so stirring up anger causes quarrels.

#6
Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course.
How much depends
upon the decision, and how long depends
upon our own stubbornness.

“The devil is in the details” may be a phrase for visionaries (they hate details), but we are made up of a lot of little decisions, i.e. details. The “little decision” by the five foolish bridesmaids to not have extra oil cost them the banquet (Matthew 25:1-13). The “little decision” by the foolish servant in not investing his master’s money cost him his position (Matthew 25:14-30). Our “little decisions” cost us in ways that we cannot see from where we are.

Here’s how it works:

The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  1. The first three (1-syllable words) are given us by Jesus: Love, Joy and Peace. By the way, these are how we sense God’s Presence; they radiate from Him. They form the fragrance of Christ and are His “aroma.” See 2 Corinthians 2:15.
  2. The second three (2-syllable words) are work: Patience, Kindness, Goodness
  3. The third three (3-syllable words) are character: Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control
    We share the first three through the second three; they create in us the third three. If we don’t share the first three through the second three, then we miss the character-building activities of the Spirit in us to get the third three.

Here are two examples:

  1. A ship’s captain in the old days would go up on deck at night and check his position using the stars. If he didn’t do it every night, but, say, only once a week, he could miss his destination by quite a bit.
  2. When the weatherman shows a tornado on his “board,” he uses an expanding cone to show the path the tornado may take. As the tornado moves, the cone adjusts to keep the most likely path in the center of the cone.

If we decide for a day to ignore the Holy Spirit within us and go our own way (actually, it’s every decision), we will drift off-course just like the ship. As we move away from God’s intended path to build our character (to look like Jesus), the expanding cone that indicates our likely path shifts. Now, instead of God’s best in the center of the cone, it moves to the outside and whatever it is that we think we want is now in the center. Do that a few more times and God’s best is no longer in the cone at all! We will surely miss our destination, which is to be transformed into the image of Christ.

The Church at Laodicea in Revelation 3 had wandered off-course. The problem was that they didn’t know it. Jesus explained it to them:

17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

For a city known for its banking ventures, thriving textile (clothing) business, eye salve industry, and piped-in water, that’s a pretty harsh assessment! Jesus was more concerned with their character than their bank account. How did Jesus view them?

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

The water piped in from Heliopolis was hot; the water piped in from Colossae was cold. By the time the water reached Laodicea, it was tepid (lukewarm). They knew exactly what Jesus meant by His terminology. Even His exhortation was pointed:

18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Their banking industry wouldn’t save them; their textile business wouldn’t save them; their eye salve business wouldn’t save them. Only what Jesus had to offer would save them. What is it that Jesus offered them?

9 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 

His personal attention! If we sincerely repent and put Him back in the center of our path, we get back on course. His rebuke shows that He loves us and refuses to allow us to continue in our destructive behavior. His discipline teaches us and builds character–His character–in us. We look more like Jesus!

Here’s the best part:

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Jesus wants to be with us and have sweet fellowship with us! All we have to do is open the door and invite Him in. This fellowship is ongoing if we will keep Him in the center of our path. He is our North Star for every decision. How long will it take you to admit it and come to your senses? The Prodigal Son did (Luke 15:11-32). He went home and his Dad ran to meet him (unheard of back then), hugged him (even though he smelled like pigs), reinstated him (even though he had all but said that his dad was dead to him), and threw a big party (much to the chagrin of the older brother). Until you do, I reckon you’ll smell like a pig and long to eat pig slop. Lift up your eyes! Change your course! Turn your eyes upon Jesus! He’s waiting for you–even as He is rejoicing over you. You have everything you need in Him:

7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into fellowship and partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Abba, I pray that Y0u will lock into each of us the passion to follow You diligently, daily, and with great fervor. Yet, in our zeal, keep us close to You so that we will not run ahead of You or lag behind You or wander off to the left or to the right. Help us through Your Word to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Beginner and our End. To this End I commit myself today. Amen.

Proverbs 29 5-29-20

We are on #5 of the Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say

Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right. 
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

We are designed to create, but not by ourselves.
The Spirit wants to create with us!

18 Where there is no revelation [communication with the LORD], people cast off restraint [ go their own way; any way but God’s way is evil]; but blessed is the one who heeds [discerns and obeys] wisdom’s [the Spirit’s] instruction.

Based upon Acts 27:1-28:10.

Paul was headed to Rome. The ship that he, Luke, Aristarchus, and a few others, were on tried to make it to a safe port for winter. A Northeaster blew them west all the way to Malta, where they all made it to land safely, as was prophesied by Paul: Paul, Luke, Aristarchus, the centurion and soldiers, and the crew–276 in all. The interesting part is the interaction of the Spirit through this entire episode:

  1. Paul had a word from the Spirit that a trip beyond where they were would end in disaster (v.9-10). Paul was used to getting nudges and insights like this one. In fact, Jesus Himself unveiled His Plan to reach the Gentiles and the consummation of the ages to him (2 Corinthians 12:2-4). The Spirit also prevented him from going into Asia and Bithynia, and spoke to him in a dream about going over to Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10).
  2. Even the angels wanted to get in on what was going on (v. 23-24). When Jesus said, “I am making all things new (Revelation 21:5),” He was talking about WITH US. It’s a partnership where everything we do with the Spirit is NEW. The Spirit could have done all the things that Paul did, but it wouldn’t be new. It had to be with Paul. The interaction is primary. They were a team.
  3. Paul heard again from the Spirit in verse 31 about how to have the best outcome during the storm. There was a lot of obedience going on. We have to assume that the word, “unless,” infers there are multiple outcomes, all depending upon obedience or disobedience. The centurion chose well.
  4. Paul’s faith was in the promise from the Spirit that he would testify in Rome (v. 24). So, what did he do? He broke bread and gave thanks, and encouraged all of them to eat (v. 34-36).
  5. Paul didn’t even care when he got bitten by the snake (28:3). The end result of that episode was all the sick on the island came to him and were cured (v. 8-9). Probably lots of salvations, too. The natives honored them and sent them off with everything they needed (v. 10).

In our lives, the Spirit wants to interact with us in the same way. Everything we do in obedience and in partnership with the Spirit is first of all eternal (it carries into eternity as a good work and could quite possibly be involved in someone’s salvation), and is secondly the synthesis of something new. Right now, I am writing this lesson. The Spirit could dictate to me what to write, but then it would be His and not ours. I could write it FOR Him, but then it would be mine and not ours. If I write it under His influence and prompting, it still comes from my mind and hand (personality) while I am being directed by Him to include certain things, turn certain phrases, and be doctrinally correct. NOW it is OURS.

When it comes to writing songs, we write them together. Most are just for the LORD and are one-timers. Some I keep for personal pleasure and praise. A few I have shared publicly. It just depends upon the application for each song. It is something we do together.

Conversations with friends, work that we do around the house or at work, and even our play time is designed to be done with Him as a partnership. He is with us 24/7 ON PURPOSE! We are always creating something new with Him–provided we include Him in what we are doing. Remember the word, “Unless…” There are multiple outcomes to every opportunity. If we choose Him, we may witness the calming of a sea, the feeding of 5,000+ people, the healing of a blind man, or even survive a shipwreck!

Instead of worrying about whether He is pleased with us (or disappointed with us–which He’s not), let’s start including Him in what we are doing. I promise you will find life and following the LORD much more interesting.

Abba, I praise You for Your all-encompassing plan! You didn’t just save us for our own sake, but for fellowship, partnership, and communion. Being with us and in us is what You had in mind all along! May I capitalize on Your “residency” and enjoy You today. Thank You for getting me up so early. I have enjoyed the extra time with You. Send a fresh wind and a fresh fire upon Your people, O LORD. Amen.

Proverbs 28 5-28-20

We’re on #4 of the:

Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say

Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right. 
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

Why I Believe in Jesus

It’s interesting that today’s topic should fall on a day when I don’t feel all that good. It reminds me once again that my faith in Jesus is not based on feelings, but on fact and experience. Let’s explore the facts:

  1. Jesus was a historical figure. He was a real person who lived in the first century. In fact, our calendar is set according to His birth!
  2. His fulfillment of so many of the Messianic prophecies is enough, from a logical standpoint, to accept His claim as Messiah. Statically, He is a miracle. He fulfilled 30+ prophecies in 24 hours the night before His death and subsequent crucifixion–to say nothing of the ones foretelling His birth, birthplace, timing, His escape to Egypt, His growing up in Nazareth, and many more.
  3. His substitutionary sacrifice was something I learned after I had come to faith in Him. I am supremely grateful that He died in my place and took my sins to the grave. I am also grateful that He rose from the dead and offered me new life through Him.

What drew me to Christ, though, was not logic or history. It was the prospect of having a one-on-one, personal relationship with Him. My temperament is Sanguine (yellow); I am a very social person. Connection is ultra-important to me, and when I learned that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wanted to be my Friend, I wanted it–greatly!

At six years old, I didn’t do a lot of logical analysis; I just followed what I thought I should do next. I know now that I was following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Even to be saved, He led me in what to do, who to ask (my mom), and how to do it. In effect, my obedience to Him began BEFORE I got saved in order for Him to lead me in how to BE saved.

From that point on, I have felt His presence with me. What does His presence feel like? To me, He feels like the third dimension of my being. He has permanently affixed Himself to me. I never fear Him leaving me; that notion seems impossible. Our minds are joined, as well. I hear/feel His thoughts about me: His love, His encouragement, His joy, His peace, His radiance of the Father, His purity, His strength, His confidence, His zeal, His compassion, and even His patience as He puts up with evil until all of His children are gathered in. These are intuitive feelings and impressions that I get when I turn my awareness toward Him.

Why do I believe in Jesus? Because He’s a major part of me. I can’t imagine life without Him. He has definitely made Himself known to me!  When I read His Word, He points out things, confirms things, and teaches me about Him, His will and plan, and what is coming. He then instructs me on how to live according to what He has revealed. It’s always WITH Him, though. I am never to do anything without Him. He leads me in conversations, in kind acts, in my routine at work, in what we watch on tv, and interacts with me as I write (like right now!).

Why do I believe in Jesus? Because He is who He says He is and is doing what He said He would do. He said that He is God’s Son (God in the flesh, actually), and I believe Him. He said that He would come into my heart, forgive me of all wrongdoing and cleanse me of all unrighteousness, and I believe Him. He said that He would never leave me–more than that, He would lead me with His counsel, teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me in His righteousness, and I believe Him. In fact, I just summed up my entire 53 years of walking with Him!

Do you believe in Jesus? If no, then I pray that you will soon. If yes, then I pray that you will come to know Him as I do–even better!

Abba, I pray for my readers that they would be encouraged to cling to You as if our lives depended on it, which they do. You are our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer; You are in Whom we trust. Increase our faith even as we come to know You and follow You and obey You, LORD. Be real in our lives! Amen.

Proverbs 27 5-27-20

We’re on #3 of the:

Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say

Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right. 
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?

John 16:12-15 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus was about to rock the disciples’ world–as if He already hadn’t–which is what makes today’s Proverbs verse so poignant:

27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

The disciples were about to have a really bad night and even worse few days as Jesus would be arrested, tried, sentenced, and crucified. But, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, which did come 50 days after His resurrection on Pentecost–which, by the way, is this Sunday. Be sure to thank the LORD for His indescribable gift! Let’s look at the passage from John:

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” Jesus knows how much we can absorb at one time. He would never overdose us on revelation. In fact, we should be more concerned about “under-dosing” on revelation. Most times, we are not interested in learning something new. Why? Because it requires getting out of our comfort zone. It may cause pain or at least discomfort. And effort. Yet, if we want to be like Jesus, the Holy Spirit has a whopping job ahead of Him. We should probably do whatever He wants to do.

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. Let’s take it apart:

  1. He is the Spirit of truth–straight from the Father. We can trust Him. He will never lead us wrong.
  2. He will guide us into all truth. There is nothing dressed up or spun to look better than it is. It is the unvarnished truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which is the only way to be able to deal accurately and effectively with circumstances or situations.
  3. He speaks only what He hears…from whom? Jesus said it was from Him that the Spirit receives what to give to us. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. We can trust the Spirit to give us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Want to know what Christ thinks about any given subject? Ask the Spirit. He will tell you. But, be ready to act on whatever He tells you, because He never reveals something just for knowledge sake; it’s for awareness and action.
  4. The Spirit will prepare us for what is coming in our lives–if we will listen. We get so caught up in living for the moment that we forget that things NEVER stay the same for very long. Christ is always preparing us for the next step, the next season in our lives, and He speaks to us through His Spirit. Let’s be ready.

15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” Only the Son can claim His Father’s stuff. We can only imagine to what Jesus was referring. His power? His dominion? His omniscience? His glory? All of the above? Yet, in the next 24 hours of he passage, He would die on a cross for us. Now THAT’S love! This verse is the closest one to a Trinity verse that I know. Jesus = the Father = the Holy Spirit. They are three-in-one. Don’t ask me to explain it. We may understand when we get to heaven and see all three in person. Until then, we just take it on faith to be true.

Here’s the point: The Father wants us to learn from His Son, who wants to teach us through His Spirit, the One who lives inside us and with us. Since He never sleeps, He is constantly communicating with us His love, His peace, His joy, as well as hope, grace, revelations from His Word, snippets of the future, insights about people, events, and circumstances, and the approach of the enemy. He even sings over us in our sleep! See Job 35:10

Let’s do the prep work. Let’s read our Bibles with the intention of giving the Spirit as much to work with in our minds as we can. Let’s stay in constant contact with Him throughout the day as we listen for His instruction and direction. Each time we mess up, let’s back up and correct it as He directs. Start with, “I’m sorry. That didn’t come out right. Let me try again…” Each time we correct ourselves, the quicker we will be to catch ourselves the next time we begin to mess up. It doesn’t disappoint God; in fact, He is happy that we learned something! We have become more like Him!!! Everyone rejoices.

One more verse: Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” The verse is speaking specifically about salvation, but we can take it a step further in light of our John 16 text. The message we hear are the words of Christ that He has given the Spirit to say to us. These words have their origin in the Father. The more we listen to His voice, the more faith we will have as we discern and obey.

The Spirit has lots to say to His Church, His Bride–us! Are we ready to listen?

Abba, if there’s one thing You have taught me, it’s not to ask, “Why?” but to ask, “What?” “What is it You want me to see, know, and/or do next?” Walking with You is exercise, LORD. May I be up for the task and the challenge. My You give me the strength, stamina, and desire to do Your will today as opportunities come my way. I’m saddled up, LORD. Let’s ride! Amen.

The Great Adventure – Steven Curtis Chapman

Proverbs 26 5-26-20

Yesterday, we began the Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say.
Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right (see #1).
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us through the Indwelling and Filling!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

Today, we look at number two,

Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right.

 26:3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!
18:2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
26:12 Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.

I have done extensive research into Evolution vs. Creation; I have 150+ slides with explanations of why Creation is true and Macro-Evolution is not. I have great reasons and explanations as to why I believe in a literal six-day creation. I have loads of data on the worldwide flood of Noah. So, I began to write out my beginning argument–and WHAM. God opened my eyes to this: If a person is not willing to consider that I may be right, then he will not “hear” a word I say. If he is not looking for truth, then no amount of truth will convince him. So, I shut it all down and put it away until the LORD calls me to get it out.

There’s only one way a person will even consider truth, and that is if the Holy Spirit calls him to it. I believe that every person has the opportunity to choose Christ at some point in his life. But, I also believe that many won’t–and God knows who they are. He doesn’t make them not choose Christ; He simply knows they won’t because He is omniscient. And, because He is omnipotent, He causes all things to work for the good of those who DO choose Him and according to His good purpose in spite of those who are enemies of the cross.

Since I am NOT omniscient nor omnipotent, I trust that God will use me as His instrument to bring a person to Christ, or to be a witness whose testimony will ultimately be used against that person at judgement when my testimony is played back and any excuse the person may have had evaporates. I view every person I talk to as a potential brother or sister in Christ. I try to follow the Spirit’s leadership when talking to someone. Sometimes, I drop a nugget of knowledge; other times, I get into a conversation about spiritual things. A lot of times, I am told to keep my mouth shut and keep moving. I can only trust that God is keeping me away from scoffers and mockers. I always pray for them. 

Heed the Father’s words:

23:9 Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

9:7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” – Jesus

If a person is willing to listen with an open mind, then I consider him under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He may not realize it, yet, but God is working on his heart. Every word I share from that point on must be designed to show him God: His attributes, His love, and His Son. I can win the argument, but lose the war if I offend him or humiliate him. If he is truly interested in hearing the truth, then he may be interested in hearing about God’s plan for his life.

Also, regardless of how many facts I have, they don’t hold a candle to my own personal testimony about my relationship with the Father through the Son via the Holy Spirit. It’s the part of the story that moves from the intellect to the heart. If the LORD doesn’t confirm in his heart what I am saying, then the person has no conviction of his sin and separation. If there is no conviction, then there is no way for the person to come to Christ. Jesus must be knocking on his heart’s door. It may simply not be time, yet. The statistic is that a person will be exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ seven times before making the decision to follow Him. I am usually number 2, 3, or 4. I see my job as opening a person’s mind to truth by revealing God to him in ways he may not have previously been presented–according to the Scriptures. Clarity is essential to understanding. The Holy Spirit makes things clear.

From my journal this morning:

If we never learn another thing about the history of the world and the universe, it would not affect the way we live our lives. What matters most is what we do with Jesus. He has the power to save us from our sins and to release us from our chains. Through Him we can have a relationship with God!

  • Believe that HE is the Son of God who came from heaven to die in our place.
  • Believe that He is the Lamb of God who is the perfect sacrifice that takes away our sin.
  • Believe that He is the Priest of God who lives forever, sits at the right hand of God, and intercedes for us to the Father.
  • Believe that He is the King of kings who is coming back to restore all things.
  • Believe that He is the LORD of lords and will rule all the earth.
  • Believe that He is the Judge of all mankind, the living and the dead, and will dispense justice.
  • Believe that He is the Messiah, Savior of Israel and all who believe on Him and in Him for salvation, life, and even our next breath.

As you are made aware of who Christ is and your sinful condition, do you regret your sins and your broken relationship with God? Will you turn from your sinful, self-centered ways and turn to Christ for forgiveness? He’s standing at the door of your heart. Will you let Him in? Are you willing to live for Christ from now on?

Abba, I pray for all who read this post that they would know You. Make Yourself known to them. Reveal Yourself, LORD! Call them to walk with You daily, continuously. May we move from glory to greater glory as we gain insight and understanding, wisdom and knowledge, discernment and prudence. May today be all about You, LORD Jesus. Amen.

Proverbs 25 5-25-20

Sometimes a guy just needs a platform, a soapbox from which to speak. I give you:

Top 10 Things I Would Like to Say

Their importance is not necessarily rated, but their order has a flow to it. They move from initial contact to ultimate destiny.

  1. Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion, it must stand the closest scrutiny.
  2. Debating Evolution vs. Creation does no one any good unless a person is willing to consider that the other person may be right (see #1). 
  3. Faith comes by hearing; are you ready to listen?
  4. Why I believe in Jesus.
  5. We are designed to create, but not by ourselves. The Spirit wants to create with us through the Indwelling and Filling!
  6. Every decision we make shifts our direction, vision, and course. How much depends upon the decision, and how long depends upon our own stubbornness.
  7. Jesus is Jewish.
  8. We owe quite a debt to Israel.
  9. Jesus is coming soon! How do we get ready?
  10. What awaits us in heaven?

Today, we look at number one,

Absolute truth is based upon empirical, changeless evidence. When followed to its logical conclusion,      it must stand the closest scrutiny.

Proverbs 25:7b-8 What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily into court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?

Without evidence, all we have are opinions. The natural laws, of which Gravity, Electromagnetism, Physics, and Chemistry are examples, have empirical, changeless evidence, which gives us absolute truth. We cannot add “science” to the group because science is the study of the natural laws. Also, it is progressive in nature, meaning that it is always in flux based upon revelation. For example, blood-letting used to be good science; now we know it kills people. Likewise, chocolate and caffeine are good for you one year and then bad for you the next, and then back again.

Since mankind is physical and controlled (regulated) by natural laws, we should consider that our psyche has absolute truth, too. True, we are subject to our heredity, environment, and experiences, but it all comes down to CHOICE. What’s the choice? The choice is whether we will please ourselves or take into consideration the needs of others. All moral law is built upon this choice.

Since chaos cannot produce order, but rather more chaos, we must acknowledge that God created the universe and, thus, the natural laws. We must also conclude that He built within us His moral law and the ability to CHOOSE. It is called Free Will. There are three choices to Free Will:

  1. We choose to please ourselves. We take what we want and do not consider the health, safety or needs of anyone else. Followed to its logical conclusion, we will either rule the world or die/be killed in the process. Even ruling the world would be only for a short time on the scale of eternity–or even human history–with no consideration of God.
  2. We choose to consider others’ needs. From a philanthropic standpoint, we can do this without God. Bill Gates has a philanthropic organization out of which he spends millions of dollars in aide, but he does not believe or follow God. Followed to its logical conclusion, why? The only reason is that meeting the needs of others pleases us, which takes us back to #1.
  3. We choose to obey Jesus Christ. We believe that Christ created everything and everyone and is actively working in this world in events, circumstances, and in people’s lives. To obey Christ is to deny ourselves and consider the needs of others. Consider these verses:

Luke 14:11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

James 1:27 The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world. CJB

Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus…

Followed to its logical conclusion, we receive the Father’s love and grace, forgiveness and acceptance along with His love, joy, peace, His constant companionship, and a hope for an eternal home with Him with all the privileges of sonship.

From a logical standpoint, it makes sense to follow Christ. But, it’s not as simple as deciding with our intellect that Christ is the better deal. HE must call us. He IS God, you know. We don’t just waltz into the throne room and demand our way. That way of thinking/acting would put us right back into numbers 1 and 2. Fortunately, Jesus may even now be knocking on your heart’s door. Will you let Him in?

Tomorrow, we will look at what it means to consider another option. A better one.

Abba, thank You for calling me to be Your son. I choose Jesus as my Savior and Lord, my Companion and Friend. Answering the door of my heart when You knocked on it was the smartest and wisest thing I have ever done! We have been walking together for 53 years, LORD. “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My heart and my flesh fail, but YOU are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26. The words of this hymn speak my heart to You, O LORD, and is my benediction:

v.1 Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
v.2 Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one
v.3 Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
v.4 High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

Be Thou My Vision – Glad