Skip to content

He’s Not Too Busy For Me!

John 8:58-9:1; 7 (KJV)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth…and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

 

In the closing verses of John 8, Jesus makes one of His “I Am” statements.  These were proclamations which identified Him as the Jehovah of the Old Testament (See Exodus 3:14).  When Jesus said “I Am” He was saying that He was God.

Of course, such statements didn’t endear Him to the religious leaders of His day.  John testifies that they tried to stone Him to death for saying “I Am”.  Narrowly escaping His murder, chapter 9 begins with “as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind…”.  Unbelievably, Jesus stopped and healed Him.  Running for His life He stopped to meet the needs of someone else.

This story shows me a powerful truth: He’s not too busy to help me!  If He’ll stop mid stride while His attempted murderers are still looking for Him to heal a blind man, how much more will He help me as He sits on His throne in glory?!  No one endangers Him today.  No one threatens Him today.  There is nothing that He puts a greater priority on than us.

We sometime don’t come to Him with our prayers because we think “it isn’t that important.  Surely God has more to deal with than my problem.  He has bigger things to work on than my sickness.  There are more important prayers than mine.”  But nothing could be further from the truth. He stops everything to attend to our legitimate needs.

As you go through this day be encourage by this thought “He’s not too busy for me.”

Advertisements

From What Are You Free?

Everyone is free, the question is from what are you free?

In Luke 8 the Bible records Jesus and His disciples coming into a city and they’re greeted by a demoniac.  So greatly possessed is this man that he’s called Legion, which is the designation of a large unit of the Roman army.  In other words, they were just saying “there’s a lot of us”.   Luke tells us the Gadarenes were afraid of this man and would capture him and bind him in chains and irons, however the demonic power was so great that he broke the restraints and would continue his campaign of terror.

It’s this thought of devils breaking chains that has captured my mind today.  The chains broken by the devils were placed there for a reason: to protect the villagers.  These chains were implemented so that others could live peaceably and securely.  They were there so women and children could live free of fear.  Yet the devil would break them.  I’m sure every time the devils broke free of the shackles the demoniac would think “Good, I’m free”.  But truthfully, he wasn’t.  His soul was still in the possession of hell, he could just sin uninhibited.

Luke tells us of another time chains were broken.  This time it’s in Acts 16 while the preachers Paul and Silas were being held in the Phillipian dungeon.  Around midnight they began to praise the Lord and He sent an earthquake which disjointed the walls, knocked down the doors and broke the chains.  The jailer, upon witnessing this miracle was so moved with fear and conviction he cried out “What must I do to be saved?”  Amazingly, after the chains were broken, Paul and Silas willingly spent the night there so they might preach this message and baptize the jailer.

The chains about Paul and Silas were broken by the Holy Spirit, and their breaking caused others to see His glory and to desire Him.

The demonic was unchained and roaming free, yet was in bondage.  Paul and Silas were bound and in prison, yet were free.

So I ask today “From what are you free”?  Are you “free” from God’s law, His moral code, and His convicting power?  Are you free from the alleged constraints of holiness and devoted service?  Are you free from conscience the way a dead man is free from pain?  This isn’t freedom at all, for the heart is still constrained by a force from which no man can liberate.

I’m free today, but it’s from the chains of sin and death.  It’s a liberty granted by the Holy Spirit; a liberty which allows me to live free from sin in a sin filled world.  It’s freedom that exists regardless of my circumstances.  The great news is this freedom is available to everyone.  The jailer asked Paul “what must I do?”  Paul said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”.  But Paul didn’t stop at a simple statement of belief; Paul “spake unto him the word of the Lord” (Acts 16:32).  Paul expounded the same message Peter gave on the day the church began: “Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

When we receive His Spirit, His Spirit fills our heart and as Paul told us “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Cor 3:17).

Be blessed

Man Shaped Scars…

Though we might not know the name Gutzon Borglem, we are all familiar with his work.  Mr. Borglem is the artist responsible for carving the images of four American presidents on the rock face of South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore.

The history of the “Shrine of Democracy” is interesting.  Construction began in 1927 and lasted 14 years, during which time around 400 men used dynamite, pneumatic hammers, drills and chisels to remove approximately 450,000 tons of granite from the mountain.  The cost of the project was a million dollars – adjusted for inflation that’s $11Billion of 2012’s dollars! 

Hundreds of men, a million pounds of rock, billions of dollars and a great collaborative effort; and I ask you what was accomplished?  At the project’s dedication President Coolidge said we were undertaking something “decidedly American in its conception, magnitude and meaning. It is altogether worthy of our country…”  Some would say it’s a lasting tribute to the greatness of our nation.  Longevity was intended, for Borglem said it would stand until the wind and rain erased it.  But looking at Mt Rushmore I see a great deal of human effort that has resulted in nothing more than man shaped scars on the handiwork of God.

In Acts 14 Paul told the men of Lyconia to turn unto “the living God, which made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are therein.”  In Genesis 1:31 God looked at His creation and said it was “very good”.  We can focus all of our time, talent and treasure and never truly improve what God has done.  Mt Rushmore — while a beautiful monument — is not an addition to God’s work, but a subtraction.  Rock had to be removed. 

Sometimes we think we can make our lives better, or worthy, or somehow improve upon what God has begun.  But the truth is, everything we do is a subtraction from, not an improvement upon, God’s work.  He makes things good, whole and complete.  Let God form your life without interfering and injecting your own human shaped scars on His work.

Be blessed

    

Man Shaped Scars…

Though we might not know the name Gutzon Borglem, we are all familiar with his work.  Mr. Borglem is the artist responsible for carving the images of four American presidents on the rock face of South Dakota’s Mt. Rushmore.

The history of the “Shrine of Democracy” is interesting.  Construction began in 1927 and lasted 14 years, during which time around 400 men used dynamite, pneumatic hammers, drills and chisels to remove approximately 450,000 tons of granite from the mountain.  The cost of the project was a million dollars – adjusted for inflation that’s $11Billion of 2012’s dollars! 

Hundreds of men, a million pounds of rock, billions of dollars and a great collaborative effort; and I ask you what was accomplished?  At the project’s dedication President Coolidge said we were undertaking something “decidedly American in its conception, magnitude and meaning. It is altogether worthy of our country…”  Some would say it’s a lasting tribute to the greatness of our nation.  Longevity was intended, for Borglem said it would stand until the wind and rain erased it.  But looking at Mt Rushmore I see a great deal of human effort that has resulted in nothing more than man shaped scars on the handiwork of God.

In Acts 14 Paul told the men of Lyconia to turn unto “the living God, which made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are therein.”  In Genesis 1:31 God looked at His creation and said it was “very good”.  We can focus all of our time, talent and treasure and never truly improve what God has done.  Mt Rushmore — while a beautiful monument — is not an addition to God’s work, but a subtraction.  Rock had to be removed. 

Sometimes we think we can make our lives better, or worthy, or somehow improve upon what God has begun.  But the truth is, everything we do is a subtraction from, not an improvement upon, God’s work.  He makes things good, whole and complete.  Let God form your life without interfering and injecting your own human shaped scars on His work.

Be blessed

    

Do you Trust God in the Graveyard?

    We love it when God visits the graveyard.  In Ezekiel 37, the prophet has a vision in which he is standing in a valley littered with human remains.  Bones, to be exact.  The bodies have long ago decayed and fed the buzzards, and now the bones have been scattered by the wind and baked dry by the sun.  The Lord asks the question “can these bones live again?”  As Ezekiel preaches, the Holy Spirit moves through the valley and the bones reconnect, muscle and tissue form, skin covers the corpses, and a strong wind fills their lungs.  God tells Ezekiel “I will open the graves of My people.”

    In John 11, Jesus visits a graveyard in Bethany.  He finds his friend Lazarus has died and was buried four days prior.  He visits the cemetary and asks the stone be removed from the tomb’s opening.  Over the protests of the family, the grave is opened.  Now the stage is set.  With tears streaming down his face, the burdened heart of our Lord sighs, then prays.  A loud voice then pierces the eerie silence “Lazarus. Come Forth!”  The formerly dead man walked out of his grave.

    We love it when God visits the graveyard.  It means we’ll live again.  It means hope isn’t gone.  It means the love we lost can be found again.  We love it when He visits the graveyard.

    But do you trust Him to stay in the graveyard?  In Exodus 32 Moses comes off the mountain with the Law in his hand.  His heart is broken and his spirit enraged as he see the people have turned themselves over to idolatry.  They’ve built an idol – a golden calf – and named it Jehovah.  They now worship and sacrifice to it.  Moses destroys the idol, and then God brings judgment.  By the days end, Moses has to dig 3,000 graves.

    The very next morning Moses goes to the Lord and begins to pray.  God tells him to lead the people to another place and Moses replied “I will not go if Your presence doesn’t go with us.”  Wait. What?

    Did Moses just say he would stay in the graveyard, surrounded by 3,000 monuments of failure, sin and shame, if it meant staying in the presence of God?  Did he just say that he’d forsake the natural tendency to flee from trouble, if it meant he also had to leave the comforting presence of God?  Yes, I believe he did.  God’s presence was there, and that mattered more to Moses than anything else.  If God were going to hang around the graveyard and never do anything special, Moses was still going to stay by Him.

    Sometimes we want to live life and bring God along.  We want things to be ‘just right’, and we want God to visit us.  But what if we find God’s presence amidst a trial, or in a hurtful time?  Should we rush away from that place because it’s painful, or should we linger where we find His presence, gleaning all of His comfort, peace and assurance?  Don’t be in a hurry to rush away from God because you don’t like the place you found Him.  God can be trusted even in the graveyard.

Our Blessed Hope

(Note: sorry it’s been so long since my last update.  In addition to being a husband, father and pastor, I’m also a full-time college student and this semester has been rather strenuous.  Only 4 more weeks until a much-needed summer break.)

We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ… Titus 2:13 (NIV)

One of the leading scientific theories concerning the origins of man is that we originated among the heavens.  The theory goes that all the heavy elements (anything heavier than helium) could have only been produced in the core of burning hot stars.  The stars which cooked up the elements then went supernova, spewing the ingredients of life across the galaxy.  Famed astronomer Carl Sagan once said “we are star stuff”.  More arrogantly, Lawrence Krauss proclaimed “forget Jesus, the stars died so you can be here today”.

This isn’t a science blog and I’m not a scientist.  If I tried to argue physics and astronomy and biology I’d quickly get in waters over my head.  However, I can’t help but notice how science has come to the complete opposite conclusion as the Word of God.  Evolution teaches that our past was in the heavens, our present is on earth, and our future is in the dirt.  The Bible teaches our past was in the dust, our present is on earth, and our future in heaven.

In Genesis, God took a handful of dust, formed a body and breathed the breath of life, and then placed that man into the Garden of Eden.  It’s been suggested that creation mirrors salvation, and if that’s true then we can see a pattern set in the creation of man: God calls us out of the world, puts His life in us, and brings us to fellowship with Him (isn’t this what happens when we’re filled with the Holy Spirit?).  Now, what could inspire more hope, encouragement and contentment than knowing that one day He will again repeat this process?

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  and so shall we be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NIV)

My hope is not in this world, but it’s founded upon the certain return of my Savior.  He came and ransomed my soul and left us.  He now indwells those who’ve placed their faith in Him by repenting of their sins, been baptized in His name and willfully accepting Him (Acts 2:38).  And He will come again to catch away His church.   His return isn’t a source of fear and dread for me, but rather a welcomed blessing.  All my hope is resting upon the certainty of this advent.  Where is yours?

Be blessed.

Where’s your Determination lie?

It’s a simple fact that the most successful people are the ones who show the greatest level of drive and determination.  Lazy, half-hearted and careless people don’t usually go far in life.  Determination is a must have quality, even in our walk with God.

The people used most mightly of God in the Bible had determination, and it’s easy to see that.  Moses displayed extraordinary determination.  He stood before the most powerful king on earth and demanded that he free his slaves.  He led the people of God when they didn’t want to leave Egypt.  He led them when they want ed to go back.  He led them when they didn’t believe they had anywhere to go.  He led them when they sinned.  He led them when they murmured and complained.  Moses was a determined leader.

David displayed determination.  1Samuel tells us he fought a lion and a bear.  He killed a giant.  He raised an army and countless times defeated the Philisines.  He recaptured the land stolen during Saul’s reign. He fought all Israel’s enemies.  David was often victorious.  David was a determined soldier.

Paul showed remarkable determination in preaching the Gospel.  In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul gives us an overview of the struggles he faced while preaching.  Shipwrecked three times, marooned on an island, beaten, stoned, jailed, falsely accused, ran out of towns, robbed, and mistreated.  He went without food, without water, without adequate shelter and clothing all so he could carry the Gospel.

But was Moses simply determined to be a leader? David a warrior? Paul a preacher?  Or did their determination run deeper?  I suspect it did.

Henrews 11:26 tells us Moses “was looking ahead to his great reward.”  The root of David”s determination is given in Psalms 27:4 (NLT): “The one thing I ask of the LORD–the thing I seek most–is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple”.  Paul famously told the church in Corinth “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

If Moses was simply determined to lead Israel, he might have quit after the turned on him.  If David was only determined to win battles, he might have given up when he lost a few.  If Paul was only determined to preach he surely would have stopped after his many misfortunes.  However, they desired to discover God’s rewards, live in His presence, and know Him.  If we can change our determination from “I must not fail” to “I must know Him” we to can overcome great obstacles and be used greatly by God.

Be Blessed