Two of my favorite things in this world; coffee and my Bible. When used together….amazing!
The Lord has put it upon my heart that it is time to read the Book of Revelation from beginning to end. That particular book of the Bible is one that I have avoided for the major portion of my Christian life. Call me a chicken, but I just did not want to know all of that End Times stuff. So for the first time in my Christian walk I am comfortable with reading the Book of Revelation and I am curious to find out what the Lord desires for me to learn. I am not a speed reader when to comes to the Bible (ask anyone who has attended a Bible study I have led!). I come upon a passage that hits me square between the eyes and I find the need to chew on that passage and be nourished. Needless to say, the Lord put it upon my heart and mind to read the Book of Revelation a couple weeks ago and I am still in chapter 1; that is just how I roll!
Back to the coffee and Bible……… It is a rainy, gloomy day here today; perfect day for a fresh brewed mug of my favorite coffee. I take that mug of java, pick up my Bible and hunker down in a cozy chair….Ahhh heaven! And what I read fills me with warmth and comfort that adds to and intensifies the warmth and comfort I receive from my favorite beverage. So today I just want to share with you the passage of scripture that is beauty and poetry and promise and truth and pray that it washes over you as it did me with warmth and comfort.
Revelation 1: 12-18
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
“I was in the Spirit.” When was the last time you heard someone make that statement? I have been a sold out Christian since 1975 and I don’t know that I have ever heard someone say that they where “in” the Spirit. Hmmm… I have felt the weightiness of the Spirit. I have felt and known the Spirit’s presence. I have been given understanding through the Spirit. I have a relationship with the Spirit (Holy Spirit). But now while I write I remember many times of being “in” the Spirit. The best why I can describe it is like being somewhere completely free, where total peace and understanding reigns. There are no boundaries, no complications, no discord or fear. Being in the Spirit; being in the Kingdom of God.
I feel like a I am just rattling on here this morning but I know there is something in this passage that is the message for today. Maybe it is simply God laying it upon my heart that “in” the Spirit is where the Lord desires for His children to live and move and be. We need to pay attention to that good ole preposition, in. Don’t just talk about the Spirit or feel His nearness or cling to His gifts but be IN Him. Chew on that one today as I will. Be not of this world but be in the Spirit.
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”
You just never know what a day will bring!
In passing I heard a commercial on the history channel for an upcoming special on the Bible. Unfortunately this is a program to “prove” the falsehoods in the Bible and in Christian belief. One brief statement on the commercial claimed that the virgin birth was a misinterpretation of the original language. Oh my! Sometimes you have to wonder; Will it ever end? Is Christ’s persecution over yet? I sit in my chair and hear this “stuff” and I think, “You have no idea with Whom you are messing!”
We have had something very sudden and very unexpected happen in our small nuclear family. It hit us all by surprise and left us sad and wounded. Something not seen, something not prepared for, something from out of left field and it makes you realize, you just never know what a day will bring; both good and bad.
My dear friends, don’t let this world pull you into it’s false sense of comfort with lies created to make life what they want. Don’t trust what any human says, go to the Source. Pray. Seek. Listen. If one truly seeks Truth, He will be found. Because A Day will come! Unexpected! Unaware! From out of the blue! And all of those who love the Lord will shout, “Hosanna” and all of those who mock the Lord will cry and weep and mourn.
You just never know what a day will bring,
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
What is needed in order for all to be of like mind and be united? I tend to believe the answer is “point of focus”.
We have recently moved Mom back to the assisted living where she was before the hospital stay in July. It has been a long haul but she is finally home. Mom needs a high level of care due to the fact that at this time she is wheel chair bound and still needing to regain strength. The focus should be Mom’s care and health and for many at the assisted living that is exactly where their mind is set but for others, not so much. For some working at the facility their focus is all about self and their wants and desires. Creating a smooth communication line in this atmosphere is a challenge because the “point of focus” is not universal. And who suffers in all of this? Actually, everyone does.
How about the church, the body of Christ. Conflict arises when the point of focus is anything other than the Kingdom of God. How many battles have raged on in the church under the declaration of Christ but the point of focus was in reality self? If there is conflict, then “self” is involved somewhere in some way. Communication fails. Feelings are hurt. Progress turns to backward motion and all suffer.
So here is the challenge for those whose hearts are in love with Christ, when division, conflict, miscommunication arises we need to check our point of focus. No finger pointing, start with the brain positioned behind our own eyeballs. Look within. Pray for discernment. Be willing to be humble. Be willing to be honest. Look to Him who Was and Is and Always will Be.
United in and through Christ,
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sorry that I have been away from my computer once again. I was fighting getting sick for several days and then lost the fight and have been sick for a few days now. For me being sick is much like walking through a land mine with varying size explosives. I sway this way and that setting off “booms!” as I move through out the day, some just grazing me, others with direct hits that create massive wounds leaving me exposed and vulnerable. When ill I seem to toss back and forth with every thought that is suggested to my illness fogged brain. It usually leads to darkness and struggle.
When we allow anything to toss us around it is never good and pretty dumb on our part. Why? God has provided us a firm foundation on which to stand and hold fast; His Word, His Son, His grace and mercy. When sick I get absorbed in me. I lay around feeling awful. I just want to get better; I have little to no patience when I am ill. I allow all of these “obstacles” to sift my focus from Him who is Almighty to my present state of being. 1 Cor 1:9 is a sight healer. Once I was blind and now I see! GOD IS FAITHFUL! Even in a illness induced mind fog, I can remember that truth and this captive is once again set free!
If you are being tossed back and forth today, remember that the God who called you to His Son is faithful. He will not leave you or the work He has begun in you.
Revelation 1: 4-5
Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Yesterday morning when I stepped out my back door and began to walk down the stairs I was stopped immediately when I looked up and saw the reflect on my car window; took my breath away. Then I looked up at the sky.
Sometimes we forget who really is in charge. The universe loves to remind us.
For today, turn off the news, put down the newspaper and worship the One True Ruler; King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Untied States Federal Government may be shut down but the Lord is always on His throne!
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.
Work continues on the home renovation. After two months without, we finally have hot water! Oh how I appreciate that simple pleasure. Interesting what happens to a hundred year old home with galvanized pipes with water that had been turned off for nearly two years; once everything was back to “working” order, gunk cloaked all the new stuff!!!! Does it ever end?! Everyday feels as though we take one step forward and two steps back. Today is ungunking day and letting the clear water flow and purge the pipes.
Sometimes it is difficult to see the “new thing” that God is doing because we are so preoccupied with the gunk that seems to get stirred up whenever God is in action. When God’s plans are unfolding, evil is always disturbed. It takes faith, trust and perseverance to walk in the way of our Lord. Gunk will happen but if we stay the coarse there is a promise of crystal clear water that will refresh and satisfy. He will “provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the Lord who has provided this new home for my family. I have to remind myself daily to perceive the “new thing” that God is doing; that He is making a way in this wasteland and my job is to rejoice and praise Him.