Listen to the Holy Spirit

Right after the gentleman died of Ebola in Dallas, I saw a report on Facebook that a family of five were diagnosed with the disease, thus quarantining an entire town in Texas.

I saw this same story shared over and over, which seems to give credibility to it.
But it was a false report.

We tend to believe something we hear over and over, especially from different sources.

This can even take place with false information about the Bible. All it takes is some pastor doing some studying online and seeing the same comments made about a subject.

Recently I taught on the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-26. It ends with Jesus mentioning an eye of a needle.

For the last few centuries it has been commonly taught that this refers to a small gate in the city that travelers had to stoop to get through and a camel had to get down on it’s knees to get through.

For years it has been taught as gospel but for me something just wasn’t right about it.

The Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; Heb 10:15

I believe the Holy Spirit checks our spirit and bears witness to us. The Holy Spirit will lead you to the truth.

My thought is why a small door would be necessary. Of course there was an answer for that but that didn’t make since either.
Why a small door that would cause animals such difficulty to enter with their owners?

The main thing that bothered me about the story is this – it wasn’t impossible for a camel to enter such a gate; it was just difficult. It could be done.

When Jesus made the statement that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, the disciples wondered who could be saved!

In my entire ministry I have never taught the small gate theory. Today there are many commentaries that give no evidence that such a gate ever existed.

So listen to the Holy Spirit when you study your Bible. And listen when you read about things outside the Bible.

Abba, give me guidance to discover the truth so I may teach others Your perfect truth! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

The Sacrifice of a Child

And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Gen 22:10

Child sacrifice has been part of many civilizations and cultures from the earliest of time.

It would have been part of Abraham’s world and a part of worship that he and Sarah were denied, since they were childless.

It may have been they wanted children so bad they could not comprehend how others could so carelessly toss away those innocent lives to a god.

God’s calling came to Abraham and it removed him from the land of the Chaldeans to the land of the Canaanites.

In time Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac. For me the test of Abraham and Isaac is perhaps about Abraham’s giving of Isaac because he loves God as compared to the devotion of those pagans he left behind all those years ago; pagans that willingly gave their children to a god of wood or stone.

Then again, Abraham’s faith is in the ability of what God can do.

He concluded that God was able to raise [Isaac] up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. Heb 11:19

As for God, He gave His only Son for us.

He became sin for us!
He became despised for us!
He was rejected for us!
He was cursed for us!

That we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Today children are still sacrificed but only for the god of selfishness. Abortion is a blight on our land and it is the demise of any civilization – when it’s citizens are destroyed even before they are born.

There is forgiveness, even after abortion!

If you know someone that has had an abortion, you could minister to them or at least pray for that person. Perhaps seek the council of a pregnancy help center for advice.

Abba, children are a blessing. Help me to touch the life of a child today or the life of someone that has loss one. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Bad Decisions

Have you ever made a bad decision that you wish you could undo?

If only you could turn back the hands of time and do it all different.

But you can’t. You have to live with what was done and perhaps try to make it right, though there may never be a way to do that.

The Bible gives an example of someone that made a bad decision.

Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. Heb 12:16

Esau thought he was going to starve. He wasn’t. You’d be surprised how long you can go without food, especially if you seek God. That’s called a fast.

The day came when Esau wanted everything to be alright. It did not happen.

For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. Heb 12:17

Some mistakes and decisions can’t be undone.

Even forgiveness cannot change it all. For instance, you may forgive a drunk driver that killed someone but it won’t bring that person back.

But it may just save and change the drunk driver.

In the end it all depends on trusting God, having faith, and loving others.

Abba, I have made mistakes and bad decisions. But one of them was not in accepting Jesus as my Savior. My life has been complete since that time. YES&AMEN

God’s Prescribed Sacrifice

“It is only by obedience that we understand the teaching of God.” ~Oswald Chambers

Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.

Abram obeyed God and had taken the five sacrifices and prepared them.

This obedience became a reassuring teaching from God – teaching involving the future of his descendants. (Gen 15:13-16)

Then a firepot and burning torch went between the pieces.

The pieces were the complete blood sacrifices the Law would prescribe. Those sacrifices would be offered by the priests.

In this text, God, Himself, burns the sacrifice…

…which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Col 2:17

1 John 3:16 He laid down His life for us.
Heb 7:27 He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

For all the sacrifices that mankind can offer, it is the one offered by Christ, the complete Sacrifice, that satisfies the Father.

No matter what trouble may come, the Father will fulfill His promise to deliver His people.

That promise is yours when you accept God’s sacrifice for you – His own Son!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

YES&AMEN

The Complete Offering

God’s word is not always easy to understand. For years I avoided the following, never preaching or teaching on it.

But God’s word is meant to be understood. It is given so we can know the fullness of the Father.

Gen 15:9-11 So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

The greatest proof of God’s promises is found in the text and those that follow.

Sacrifice is important to God.

According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Heb 9:22

The sacrifices of Adam, Noah, Abram, and all before Sinai, were done without the demand of the Law.

In Abram’s case, he brought every blood sacrifice allowed by the future Law. The complete set, as it were.

Jesus is the complete sacrifice. He did what the heifer, goat, ram, turtledove, and pigeon could not do – satisfy God.

Satan wants to take that away, like the vultures. He doesn’t want you to know or depend on the offering of Jesus.
He wants the world to be confused, divided, and confrontational over Jesus.

Break through the confusion and misunderstanding. Read God’s word and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth, in Jesus name, YES&AMEN!!!

Big Promise

My promises to others are small. I try not to commit to what I cannot do. And sometimes I forget something, so I try to keep notes in my iPhone.

You don’t want to promise what you cannot deliver to begin with. Time and effort work against promises

I know I have broken promises, both intentionally and unintentionally. And promises have been broken to me.

God is the opposite of you and me.

Gen 15:5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

God’s promises are big. I mean to say your descendants will be as numerous as the stars is a huge commitment. It’s happened! How many descendants of Abraham have there been through the ages – both born naturally and adopted and grafted in!

It’s not the only promise He has made!

Isa 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.

Matt 28:20 “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Rom 10:13 “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Heb 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:7 the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Acts 1:11 This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.

Rev 22:20 “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Abba, I have yet to see a broken promise from You. I believe them all, in Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Here is your reward!

You walk into a business and see a notice taped to the window. There’s a picture of the cure little dog and the words “lost” and “reward”.

As you leave the store and drive home you are surprised to see a dog running loose that amazingly favors the one you saw on the window.

You stop and gently speak to the little dog. It wags his tail and slowly comes to you. You pick up the dog and place him in your lap. He licks you and happily settles down while you drive home.

You call the number you saw on the poster in the window. The owner meets you, thanks you over and over and wants to give you $50 for finding the dog.

You hesitate to take it but the owner insists! It is your reward.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Abram was definitely a man of faith. But even people of faith can have those moments of doubt. God assurance to Abram –

Gen 15:1 “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

God, Himself, is your reward.

He rewards with forgiveness. Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

He rewards with salvation. Rom 10:9-1o if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

He rewards with eternal life. 1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life.

Abba, I found You and I am rewarded. YES&AMEN

Do not be afraid!

Abram’s concern over 4 different military forces seeking revenge is soothed by God Himself.

Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

God first told Abram, “Do not be afraid!”

There are several things that can bring on fear.

Sin can bring fear. After sinning in the Garden of Eden Adam hid in the bushes because he was afraid! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31
Meeting God with sin on your hands is a fearful thing.

The unknown can cause fear. Not knowing what tomorrow holds. Not knowing what is in the closet or not knowing what animal is growling in the dark. David said,

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Psalm 23:4

Though he did not know what was lying ahead or what was unseen in the shadow.

Fear can also be caused by doubt. If a mustard seed of faith can move a mountain then I think a mustard seed of doubt can keep it there.
The night Jesus came walking on the water only one man had the faith to get out of the boat – Peter!

But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink. Matt 14:30

He did the impossible but then doubted and became afraid that he could not do it.

Any fear you have doesn’t come from God.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7

Maybe your response is you are afraid of snakes, spiders, or swimming at the beach.
That’s not fear, it’s just common sense. It is best to have respect for those things.

A Christian should never be afraid of spiritual matters.

Abba, with You I have no fear. You give peace. You give life. You give comfort. In Jesus’ name, I receive that! YES&AMEN

Unlimited Giving

Heb 7:1-2 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all,

I admit that tithing was required under the Law of Moses but Abram and Jacob practiced it before the Law demanded it.

Giving to support the work of God is supported by God and by His people.

God doesn’t move backwards but forward; He doesn’t lower the standard but raises it. He didn’t move from the blood of bulls and goats down to the blood of chickens or squeezing blood from a turnip – He moved the standard up and gave the blood of HIS OWN SON!

So if God once demanded 10% from His people, do you think He would now be happy with 5% or 1%?

But you do how you feel led to do! The early church did and they did not limit themselves.
Acts 4:34-for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

But you do how you feel led to do!
2 Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Abba, I don’t want to give just 10%. In Jesus’ name, I want to give all I have for Your service. I want to do it cheerfully. I know Your blessings for me will far out-weigh any anything I can give back. YES&AMEN

Let Christ bring us together!

Heb 7:21-22 “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek'”), by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Many believe that Melchizedek is the pre-incarnate Jesus making an appearance in the Old Testament. As one commenter to the blog said, “I have heard it said that Melchizedek was Jesus in the flesh. Maybe, maybe not!”

I, personally, think not. I lean more toward Shem.

Perhaps the author of Hebrews does the same. The scripture mentions the order of Melchizedek and the better covenant of Jesus. It seems to me that if they were one in the same the writer of Hebrews could have indicated it in this verse.

Whether you believe it’s Shem, the pre-incarnate Christ, or a totally different individual, do not let it divide you from others that believe differently.

Melchizedek is not the real issue – Jesus is!

Christ brings all of us together. Man-made ideas divide and separate.

For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 1 Cor 3:3

Abba, there is much about Your word I do not know completely or understand. But I know what Jesus has done for me and it seems sufficient. YES&AMEN