Memorable Scripture: Wait for it!

Psalms 27:14
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord! Continue reading

Memorable Scripture: Yahweh Yir'eh – look around and see how God provides for you.

And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Gen 22:8

I remember the first time I read this scripture and thought how prophetic. Continue reading

Memorable Scripture: How much love and faith do you have in the Lord God?

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Gen 22:2

Many are troubled by this scripture Continue reading

Self-examination, worldly gain, and honoring God!

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 1 Cor 11:28

The first of a year is always a great time for self examination of one’s spiritual condition. Continue reading

Family and Reunions

Over the past weekend, I had a family reunion on my mother’s side. It’s called the Hook Reunion.

My great grandfather, Ed Hook, and his wife, Mary Ellen Goodwin, had nine children. Continue reading

The Funeral

I’ve done many funerals in my time as a pastor. Each varies in length with how much the family tells me about someone, how much I know about the deceased, and what God lays on my heart.

I like to honor the one that has died, which is easier and much more joyful when the person knew Jesus as Savior.

It’s really not much different from a sermon – taking anywhere from twenty to forty-five minutes.

So I was a bit surprised by the amount of time the Bible spent on the death of a great man of God – a Patriarch of the Hebrews, Abraham.

Just forty-three words.

This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Gen 25:7-8

But when you think of the words of Jesus, who said,

“Have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Matt 22:31-32

Abraham did not have a funeral – but a homecoming!

And so it is with all that die in this life to wake up in NEW LIFE!
Death is not the closing of one’s eyes and seeing the darkness – it is closing your eyes and seeing the Light!

And Abraham’s life speaks for itself in the descendants he left behind, including a Child born into his family under the family of Judah – Jesus!

Abba, when I die, may the words at my funeral be “He lived for Christ!” YES&AMEN

Look for your blessing!

Linda sends me to the pantry to get a can of tomato sauce. I look and look and don’t find any. She comes in there and just grabs it.
I’m like “it wasn’t there a moment ago!”

There are those times each of us can’t see the forest for the trees. I believe that includes our spiritual lives.

Part of some of problem is the intensity of looking too hard.

There are times I know I missed the blessing from God because I didn’t see it or, better yet, I just didn’t recognize it.

Many times I can moan and complain about a problem and not realize that the problem is a blessing and the real problem could be much worse. Then I see the hand of God staring me in the face!

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. Gen 22:13

When Abraham was in the process of sacrificing his son, he was so focused on that he did not see what was behind him the whole time – a ram!

God had provided a blessing.
God had provided a solution.
God had provided a way out.
And Abraham just failed to see it.

Do not let the world distract you from what God wants you to see.

Abba, I definitely want every blessing You want for me. Help me see them today, in Jesus name, YES&AMEN

God has Provided

God has never demanded anything from you that will allow you to provide salvation for yourself.

It is revealed that –

all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; Isa 64:6

So why would God demand a self-prescribed fix for you – a fix doomed to fail?
He wouldn’t!

Even the Law is not a cure for sin. Paul said,

I would not have known sin except through the law. Rom 7:7

So God’s demand for Abraham was not a sacrifice for sin. It was a method to increase the faith of Abraham.

A test is different from a temptation.
A temptation will entice you to sin.
A test will encourage you to do what is right.

A test will make you realize your dependence on God.

As Abraham said (and discovered) at his sacrifice of his own son, Isaac,

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. Gen 22:8

God did this for Abraham and has done this for you. Jesus is the Lamb of God provided for you. (John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19; Rev 5:6)

Abba, You have provided the way for me through Jesus! I am grateful! 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

Your Ministry

I believe everyone has something to do in ministry.

The Bible says,

He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, Eph 4:11

And

God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 1 Cor 12:28

Sometimes the ministry is not glamorous or giving much credit.

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” Gen 22:5

Abraham and Isaac were going to worship and sacrifice to God. The young men with them were told to stay with the donkey.

On the surface it seems like Abraham is doing all the important ministry – the worshipping, the sacrifice, and the fellowship.

But the young men have just as important job. They had to watch the stuff. Perhaps Abraham set up camp and the young men are waiting on their return with a hot meal and drink.

When I was in elementary school I thought the coolest adult at school was the janitor. He got to handle all that neat trash, push garbage cans around, mop up messes, and he picked at us kids.

Now that I’m grown it’s just not as glamorous but I see how important it is.

Whatever God has you doing, whether it’s pastoring a church or handing out tracks on a sidewalk – be the best you can be at it. If it wasn’t important He wouldn’t have you doing it.

Abba, thank You for the ministry You have given me. I want to do my best in it. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN