The Power of Forgiveness

forgiveness2“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.  But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1). This scripture is deep in truth and power.  I’m reading “Total Forgiveness”, by R.T. Kendall, which is an outstanding book so far.  In it he describes a scenario that directly illustrates the significance of this scripture.  “A few years ago two elders had the task of approaching a man in their church who was in an adulterous relationship.  On their way to the man’s house, one elder said to the other, ‘Do you believe that you too could fall into this sin?’  The reply was, ‘No.’  The elder who asked the question then said, ‘You are not qualified to approach this man’ — and the visit was cancelled.”

This is a great example of holding to scripture without straining, so as to rely on human strength, which is in fact weak and worthless.  Mature believers love the word of God. The Pharisees in Yeshua’s time claimed to follow the word, but opposed and rejected their Messiah, Yeshua, who was the Word of God.  They condemned people rather than show mercy.  They misunderstood and misapplied the scriptures.  They put their traditions and self-interest above the word of God — they were hypocrites.   With our forgiveness we must forgive others.  In the Lord’s prayer, we pray , “Forgive us as we forgive our debtors.”  To do otherwise makes us hypocritical.  May the Lord, Yeshua, keep our hearts and eyes fixed on Him, so that we will love as we are loved, forgive as we are forgiven, and set free others as we have been set free ourselves.

A Fountain of Life

7cb632c7ffdc0b02862f0f3ec58e2938--isaiah--beautiful-things“…and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isa. 61:3).

This is just one verse, but Messiah Yeshua read it in the congregation and proclaimed it fulfilled.  I like to take God’s word literally, unless obviously figurative, and I like to take it as though it applies to me.  I could occasionally be wrong in these perspectives and be disappointed, but the alternative is to risk unbelief and that is a very difficult Read More »

The Poor in Spirit

poor_in_spirit.pngBlessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3.  “Poor in spirit” translated here literally means “to crouch or cower as one helpless.”  In Galatians 4:9 it is translated “beggarly.”  It is a humble spirit that all believers should have where they understand that only through God’s grace can they be saved and their lives have any meaning.  This verse calls on Christians to recognize that there is no room for pride in their lives or any faith in themselves to be good or otherwise worthy without God.

John McArthur has described poor in spirit as “The opposite of self-sufficiency.  This speaks of the deep humility of recognizing Read More »

Contrasting Actions

065-065-jesus-at-the-door-mediumI recalled the words of a song, by Children of the day, “New Life”, that says, “I’m so glad you decided to turn your life over to Jesus. I’m so glad you decided to let Him in”. The Lord talked a lot about His Children being in Him and He in us. “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.” (Rev. 3:20). God is good beyond description, His glory and majesty are too marvelous for human eyes to behold. He is love, unlimited and unconditional. Therefore, without question having God come in and dwell in us must be desirable, but He stands at the door, knocks and speaks. Believer’s hear His voice and respond.

Consider the enemy, He is evil and wicked, bent on our destruction. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). He sets traps and snares seeking to capture Read More »

Child of Promise

Isaac_a_Lover_of_Peace.jpgWhat do we know of Isaac? He was the promised son of Abraham and Sarah in their old age. He was to be sacrificed by Abraham, but God intervened and provided a ram. He married Rebecca whom God selected and was the father of paternal twins Esau and Jacob. He was tricked into granting the first-born blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. In each of these significant events Issac was a participant rather than the initiator.

Isaac was a well digger, like his father, who had dug wells all around the area of Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. “The Lord appeared to Isaac Read More »

God’s Initiative

1136_whiteAll through the Bible we see Interactions with men initiated by God. God called Noah and Abraham, He blessed Issac abundantly, He gave promises to Jacob. God revealed Himself and conversed directly with Moses. God chose David as King and all the Prophets, giving them specific direction for the welfare of the people of Israel. Yeshua sought out those with responsive hearts, the disciples, the Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and many more.

We are His people, He cares for us with an everlasting Read More »

A Glimpse of Heaven

637e1d6d3dadce00d43a093e7767ce97--sun-shine-sun-raysYesterday, The Lord gave me a glimpse of heaven. A glimpse is enough to see and recognize but not to behold in fullness, it is only partial. I was driving down the highway and remembered someone’s offense toward me; I didn’t want this thought, so I prayed, Lord please forgive this person and remove this offense completely. I confessed my offenses against others and asked for His forgiveness. I asked Him how would it be to be totally free of these wrongs done to me, and that I have done to others. Then in an epiphany I saw the light of this world as though it was a shadow, and it parted revealing the bright light of Heaven. I knew this was Heaven because my prayer was answered; I felt totally free, light as a feather and had absolute freedom from any consciousness Read More »

Ensure the Lampstand Remains

menorahchurches“Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his Read More »

Ascribe to the Lord

ad973d3689d4ef87288ca7b672333c75This morning I was a little tired and distraught by a night of frustrating dreams. As I started the day, my mind turned to my duty and my desire, which seemed alike – how can I love others today. With uncertainty about how this was to be achieved came more questions regarding my capability and resolve. I had no answers. Then some insight came, “I will leave it all with the Lord.” Be still and see the salvation of the Lord. I will surrender my reasonings, uncertainty, doubt and good intentions.

Turning to Him, I read:

“Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look Read More »

Deception and Enlightenment

UnknownWhere did we get this idea that God does not, nor will not, work within and upon His creation of which we are a part? Our physical senses are our primary connection to the world around us, but they are limited to the physical while God is Spirit. The interaction of God in this world is not limited to the physical. Does God make the sun rise and the earth spin on its axis? Does God cause seeds to germinate and plants to grow; animals to live and reproduce? Some will say that these processes happen independently of God. This brings us back to the original question, is the creation self-sustaining? We know Read More »

The Power of Chance

ab1e99750fd30cab5e29c4201ca9a8b5--creation-vs-evolution-darwin-evolutionEveryone seems to agree that in chance there is hidden great power. The theory of evolution is based on chance events that happen randomly over millions of years. This theory is now generally accepted as fact and forms a basis for the origin of species. I was watching a nature show recently that cited certain animal species that evolved to live on land, but rejected it and returned to the sea. Perhaps this explains the large brain and mental capacity of dolphins that breathe air and are mammals like humans. Could they be the missing link? Might humans be the predecessors of dolphins? Did early men slithered upon shore, become upright, become apes, then a portion of them dove back into the sea and evolved into dolphins? Maybe the laughing sound they make is their laughing at us for remaining Read More »

Empty of Power

BylinerCOVER_FINALI’ve read some books and watched some movies lately that got me thinking about worldly perspectives. The book “Three Cups of Deceit”, by Jon Krakauer, is an interesting book about the founder of Central Asia Institute which was organized to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The founder fabricated lies and fake events to concoct a book that would appeal to the good intentions of a guilt ridden public. The founder may have possessed good intentions as well, but the substance and reality was that he secretly robbed and defrauded the public becoming personally famous and wealthy, instead of building and operating schools in Asia. He was slapped on the hand by the liberal government and exonerated in the liberal courts, because we live in a society that exalts good intentions Read More »

Times in This Age

imagesWhat is God about during our time? He is bringing salvation to many, perhaps multitudes. Today is the day of salvation, and it began, perhaps with the coming of spiritual Elijah, John the Baptist, the forerunner of Messiah Yeshua. His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember Read More »

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

george-inness-the-valley-of-the-shadow-of-death“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4.

As I grow older, approaching my 60’s, my thoughts turn more and more to my mortality. It is comforting to note that, if one is a Believer, God has promised to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  In Psalm 23 this extends even to when we die as the Lord leads us through the “shadow of death” while comforting us with his rod and staff. The rod and staff were used by a shepherd as Read More »

A Modern World’s Snare

article-2142640-04FD7975000005DC-762_634x405Has this modern world in which we live failed us? Have we missed out on the processes that enable growth in virtue and wisdom? Have the baits of this modern society left us unsatisfied and longing for the substantial, the experience through which depth of meaning are found? The modern world is not just American, but largely world-wide, due to advances in communication delivery, transportation, and technology in general. These are not bad in themselves, but the snares that trap and enslave us are. We can not go back, and I’m not suggesting an Amish approach Read More »

The Opposite Spirit

531-2This is a term I first heard from a friend of mine to describe the ways of God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is contrary to our natural inclinations. Yeshua taught us to love our enemies; to give out of our poverty; to turn the other cheek when struck; to forgive those who despitefully treat us; summed up – to lose our life in order to save it. This teaching goes against every natural reasoning and inclination we have, thus it seems “the Opposite way”.

God says to his people, they seek me daily, seem eager to know my ways, ask me for just decisions, and take delight in approaching me. “Why have we fasted, they say, and you have not seen it? Why have Read More »

The Parable of the Laborers

matthew.20.1-16We see in Matthew 20:1-16 the Parable of the Laborers. A landowner went out to hire workers for his vineyard. He first went out early in the morning, and then again at several different times during the day, including one hour before quitting time, and hired more laborers. At the end of the day he paid the last hired the same as the first hired even though the first hired worked longer and during the heat of the day. Matthew 20:13-16 describes the landowner’s Read More »

God’s Way – Led by the Spirit

mt_sinaiI’ve observed some things that disturbed me, things in the church that are based in worldly thinking and the good intentions of men.  Who can discern the way in which the Spirit of God leads? When God led the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Moses was God’s messenger, spokesman, and servant. However, it was clearly God who led the people with a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night and His intention was that each one of His people would hear His voice. (Heb. 8:9; 10:16). At mount Moriah God called the people to come to Him, so they would know His ways. The people refused out of fear and begged that Moses be their intermediary.  (Exodus 20:18-21).

God wants His people to worship Him alone and be free from the bondage, error, and futility of Read More »

Enter the Narrow Way

sycamore_200414A profound spiritual experience seems necessary for one to engage the pathway of truth. Yeshua described it as being born again, which is certainly a profound personal spiritual experience. It happened to Zacchaeus when Yeshua called him out and offered to eat at his house. Having the Son of God accept you, particularly when society has rejected you, is a profound personal spiritual experience. Cornelius experienced it via an angelic visitation that brought about the sharing of the good news of Yeshua, by Peter. Nathanael and all the apostles had profound personal spiritual encounters with Yeshua, but we don’t have anything recorded about Judas having any sort of profound encounter Read More »

A Three Faceted Blessing

joyouly-giving-thanks-2-728What amazing grace and love believers have received, to be called Children of God. (1 John 3:1). It is a theme of our praise to God. I remember years ago someone came up with a bumper sticker that said, “Found it”, meaning that he found eternal Life in Yeshua Messiah, perhaps referring to Matt. 13:44-46 or Romans 10:20. It was popular in the Christian community but unbelievers ridiculed it because they could not understand. Believers can’t stop marveling in the grace and mercy of salvation.

“Father God, who has qualified us Read More »

Spiritual Israel and God’s Promise

gods-chosen-people.png“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus Read More »

Discerning God’s Will

f9a287f6f15c70bd6063af2081108ca9George Muller, the man of great faith, said he did not have a gift of faith as mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:9, his was the same faith of any other child of God.  The most convincing explanation of this was that he simply believed that if the work he was doing was God’s work, God would supply it.  This is further supported by the lengths to which he went to establish that a matter was in accordance with God will.  Once a woman offered to rent her house to him for an orphans house.  As he pondered, he observed Read More »

Legacy

imagesThere is an awful lot of legacy software in use by companies throughout many industries.  Legacy software is old software, outdated by current standards, that is still in use.  It may not be the most efficient, fastest, or look slick, but it works and gets the job done, which makes it worth keeping.  A person’s legacy is the gist and meaningfulness of one’s life work.  When I was in my early forties I had a mid-life crisis, I didn’t buy a sports car or Harley, but I longed for meaning, for virtue and significance.  Now some twenty years later I listened to a talk about significance and meaningfulness and I considered Read More »

The Dominion of Darkness

article-2242722-1657FE04000005DC-339_634x474.jpgI’ve been thinking of what could be done to quiet the liars who fill our airways today.  Darkness is the domain of evil, injustice, wickedness, lies, theft, murder, assault, immorality, avarice, malice, hate, tyranny, bondage, oppression, rage, lust and greed.  “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…” (Rom. 1: 18-32).  “To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, to deny people their rights before the Most High, to depriveRead More »