Sunday, March 31, 2013

I AM the RESURRECTION




Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait for the End.  I am, right now, the Resurrection and Life.  The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live.  And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all.  Do you believe this?” John 11:25 The Message    (Read Eph 2)

HE IS RISEN!! He is risen, indeed.  These are greetings that we here often today, Resurrection Sunday!
Hallelujah! What a Savior! He Lives!  He is NOT in the grave!!  HE IS RISEN!!!!

Jesus conquered sin and death and hell.  He experienced all those things.  The grave could not hold the Son of God!  Jesus took the keys of Hades and set the believers free.  Today, He is just the same as he offers each of us the passage from death to life.

Jesus said, “I AM the resurrection and life.” Not I was or will be but I AM!!  Resurrection literally means,  ‘to cause to stand’.  This was spoken to Martha at the death of her brother.  Can you hear the mourners wailing?  In that dark hour Jesus declared His supreme authority over life and death. He declared himself a present life-giving power as well as the giver of eternal life.  Yes, He had raised others before this and demonstrated his power over death ,but this had been 4 days! AND Jesus is the only one never to experience death again!!

What  hope of Glory  for all of us who have believing loved ones who have gone on before us because Jesus, by the hand of His Father, defeated death.  He told His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you”.
Later He revealed to Paul that those who live in Christ on the earth, have already been seated with the Father:   “Every believer who is in Christ Jesus is seated with him at the right hand of the Father” (Eph 2:6) The physically body may be on this earth, but Jesus bridged the gap from earth to heaven.  Hallelujah!!

I love to sing ‘He Lives’.  ‘You ask me how I know he lives…. He Lives with in my heart!!!!’ It is important for us to remember that, if He, Jesus, lives with in my heart, then I have all His power and authority in me!  I am the KINGS KID with all rights and privileges.  I am alive in Christ and need to act like I believe that, not just in eternity but as He did here on earth.  “He that hath the Son hath life….” ( I John 5:12)

“Don’t fear: I AM First, I AM Last, I’m Alive.  I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever.  See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates.  Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be.” (Revelation 1: 17-18 The Message)

Hallelujah, What a Savior who loved me enough to die in my place.
Jesus left His place, to come to my place, to die in my place, to take me to His place!
  
HE LIVES  

I serve a risen Saviour He's in the world today; I know that He is living, Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, And just the time I need Him He’s always near.
Chorus:

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives  today! He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way. He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives: He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care, And tho my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading Thro' all the stormy blast, The day of His appearing Will come at last.

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, Lift up your voice and sing Eternal hallelujahs To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, The help of all who find, None other is so loving, So good and kind.

AND…. Because HE Lives…..  Bill Gaither

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives! 

How sweet to hold a newborn baby, And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives! 

And then one day, I'll cross the river, I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry, I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

LAMB of GOD





                  “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)

How cute are little lambs! One of my earliest memories is feeding ‘BaBa’ at my friend’s farm.  However, my perception of lambs/sheep has changed with maturity, travel and study.  Today, my mind sees lambs/sheep as people – sea of humanity “All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isa 53:6) Today one Lamb stands out in my mind – “Jesus, Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:9). But in my mind I also see the picture of Shepherd Jesus holding a little lamb.  How can He be Shepherd and Lamb?? God and Son of God??  Lamb of God and Lion of Judah??   God is God – Awesome. Mysterious and unfathomable!!

John the Baptizer, son of a priest, was familiar with the sacrificial system. When He said “Lamb of God”, it was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The innocent Lamb of God would be the innocent sacrificial Lamb and give His life because He loved you and me. Our hindsight is much more clear; we know Yeshua ha Machaia was the Lamb sacrificed, Suffering Servant – but will return as King Jesus Lion of Judah!!  Prophets and scholars of the Old Testament didn’t have such insight.  God’s Lamb’s blood sacrifice was so effective that when God looks at His children, he sees Jesus!! How can I say thank you Lord?  Only in obedience.

In our travels to the Holy land, we have walked down the ‘Palm Sunday road from Bethany toward the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem; it is downhill and past the cemeteries.  As Jesus rode the donkey leading the joyous procession of ‘palm branches – symbol of earthly triumph, and heard the ‘Hosannas’, which recognized him as Messiah, he rode over a very special culvert near the gate.  In a few days, this culvert would run red with the blood of Passover lambs – being selected on this very day. (As many as 250000 lambs  representing about 2.5million people were probably sacrificed!)  

 Little did those Palm Sunday paraders know, at that time, that Jesus was already “ordained from the foundation of the earth“ ( Rev 13:8) to be our sacrificial Lamb and His blood would be shed on Passover for our sins.  The blood of the earthly lambs could only cover sin; Jesus’ blood washes, removes and forgives the curse of sin!!  “Without the shedding of Blood there is no remission of sin.” (Heb 9:22).

In the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned, they choose to try to cover their sin and same with fig leaves; God had another plan.  He choose an animal to give it’s blood as a covering.  Lev. 17:11 says, “It is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…..” (John 3:16). God loves people but hates sin… so he got rid of sin on the cross- not people as HE did in the flood.

The apostle John, now aged and looking toward heaven, mentions Christ as the Lamb 29 times, however, Strong’s Concordance indicates that the meaning of the word has changed from innocent Lamb to one stronger indicating a lamb slain but now ready to reign.  “Then I saw a Lamb looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center and he took the scroll…” (Rev 5:4-5).  Today on earth we sin from  Rev 5:12 “Worthy is the Lamb”.  I can only imagine singing with the crowds in Glory.

Let me close with a paragraph from Ann Spangler’s book Praying the Names of JesusFortunately God gave His Son to be both Lion and Lamb.  As Lamb He has taken the brunt of God’s wrath, bearing it away so that we can experience God’s mercy.  But as the Lion He stands in judgment on all who persist in opposing God.

SOOO, young and older… Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?   IF not, today is the day of salvation.  Sincerely repent and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, turn from sinning and walk in His Word, will and way.

Nothing but the Blood     Robert Lowery
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the 
blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

****


Jesus, Lamb of God Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God Worthy is Your name


You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I’d be a fool,  You are my all in all….




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I Wonder What My Life Would Have Been Like?


      
I pray this morning, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth, (in American, in my heart), as it is in heaven".  (Matt. 6:9a-10).

Hey Gang:  Note, Christ began his message with a statement that we can all identify with. There are times when we need His graciousness to carry us through tough times.  Wow, that is certainly a statement that carries many recollections with it. As Matthew said, it is not whether we will encounter but when. **

As I think of that a sense of deep compassion rises in my heart for those who do not have your Holy Spirit as a companion.  What does one do, to whom do they turn when the alligators are up to their arm pits and rising.  Your word says that none can come to the Father unless he is invited (John 6:44, 65).  But Peter also said Your heart's desire is "that none should perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).   

John tells us You created all that we survey, the universe and all it contains.  You created the wondrous miracle called man - what a mighty act of awesomeness - for we are wondrously made.  You removed all but eight at the flood and then totally restored your creation.  I know it grieves Your heart that you gave man a second chance to choose the better road but they soon returned to their vomit. 

You parted the Red Sea; You raised your Son from the dead; You are so very mighty and powerful, far beyond my limited human understanding.  I pray Lord you will fire a dart into the heart of those who say "Yes, Lord, I want to be a child of the King and break the bondage that Satan holds me” but just do not have the will to do so. 

I wonder, Lord ,what my life would have been like if I would have always given you the glory for what you did through me and in me  Now, I know I did nothing in my own strength.  I thought I did - and oft took credit for those successes.  How sad, Lord, I apologize, forgive me.  I want so badly to correct them but your Word says I can't - I can only be forgiven for them.   

And so I come to you, as David did and plead, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit From Me" (Psa. 51:10-11).   

Soooo.  my young friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, now hear me this morning for  my heart is heavy, we may not understand why we must go through the valley's and shadows of trials and tribulations, and when the yoke becomes almost too heavy to bear, we need to go back to the roots of our faith, "For God so loved You and me that He sent His only Son to die on a hideous cross that we might be freed from the sin burden that we have accumulated (John 3:16, Hainley rendition). Keep firmly tucked in the recesses of your heart that one day we will understand - when we are freed to "Run and leap and praise God in His presence".

Blessings
Gramps

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Wonderful Reprieve



"An excellent wife, who can find?  For her worth is far above jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life" (Pro. 31:10-12)
                   
Hey Gang:  Our family, friends and neighbors think we are kind of strange.  We often drive more than two hours for breakfast.  Is the food the motivational factor? not in your sweet bippy.   Our destination for breakfast is in the tiny Amish Community of Shipshewana, Indiana.   There is no question the cinnamon rolls are out of sight but going to Shipshewanna is like entering a different kind of atmosphere.

Many years ago, in the early years of development of the Village, we were visited by the feared agent from the Internal Revenue Service..  I wondered at the time why they would chose to come to Hersey, Michigan, a one-house program that did  not have two dimes to rub together, but learned another chapter in "God does work in mysterious ways".

He informed me he would be with us for a day and half and have a exit meeting with me at noon the next day.
But the next day ended with his announcement he would be there one more day.  Fear and trepidation suddenly invaded me from my tippy toes to the longest hair on my head.  Was he finding some hidden discrepancy in the books?
  
Day three arrived and went in the same manner, with the announcement he would return tomorrow and finish by noon.  Needless to say, by noon on the fourth day I was in a tizzy.  (Those of you who know me you know I tend to be a little (well maybe a lot) hyper when strange things are happening.) 

The hour of departure had finally arrived and  Mr.IRS was packed and ready to depart - but I would have no part of that until he told me why he extended his time from a day and half to three days.  Wow, what a blessing God gave to me that day!  He said, "I have done audits on hundreds of non-profit agencies but when I came here I felt something very different than the others.  I asked,  “What is that difference?”

He said,  “This place is  more than a program, or agency, it is like driving into an atmosphere.”  I had forgotten that experience that came just when I needed it.  Things were not going well in the development of the Village and now I had something to hang my faith and belief that we were in the will of God.

When I drive into Shipshewana I get that same feeling.  I feel like I am driving into an atmosphere that has overcome the rapid pace and coldness of the world.   I love to hear the clip-clop of the horse drawn carts,  I love to see the people in their plain dress.  And I love to see the families working together, playing together and on Sunday mornings to see the line of carts heading to their Elder’s home for worship and fellowship.    

An old Amish farmer was asked, "How come there are so few divorces among the Plain People?”.  He responded in a half amusing and half very serious way, "Well, he said, “when I am out plowing all day behind the animals and then  get home at night, my bride looks real good!  But the real reason is we make a lay down your life commitment to the one God sent into our lives. To leave them or forsake them would be a slap in our heavenly Father’s face for he choose her for me and He is all wise.”

Soooo,  my young and not so young friends, if you feel the walls closing in on you and the alligators snapping at your heals - take a day and go to Shipshewana and just sit on one of the many benches that are  placed for sojourners from the fast- paced world outside and listen to the clippity-clop of the horses and enjoy the ladies in their bonnets and long plain dresses and the men and boys in their common attire.  It is good for your physical body and even better for your soul.

Blessings, 

Gramps


Sunday, March 24, 2013

King of KINGS


Where is he who is born King of the Jews?”  (Matt 2:2)

This is the question asked by the Magi at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew.  They followed the Star to worship the ‘King of the Jews’. Maybe they had heard about the coming King from Daniel in Babylon.  There are several Old Testament passages that relate to Messiah King.  Zechariah 14 is one of my favorite.  Speaking of Lord as one God he writes, “The Lord will be King over the whole earth (v9) and “The survivors from all the nations who have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King “ (v 16). Through the ages and continuing, Jewish people have looked for  and anticipated Messiah’ coming to their rescue.

Matthews’s Gospel presents the Kingship of Yeshua ha Mashiach with might and authority over nature, disease and demons. Read this book with this Jesus in mind and you will picture the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and His glorious kingdom to come.

As I write this, I treasure memories of walking the “Palm Sunday Road.” This was a day in the life of Jesus when he allowed the people to hail Him as king, waving palm branches and shouting  ‘Hosanna’.   Palm branches were waved as earthly kings and royalty entered a city;  Shouts of Hosanna as He rode toward Jerusalem on a donkey fulfilled the Godly prophecy of Zech 9:9, “See your King comes to you… gentle and riding … on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”  Tradition tells us that a king riding into a city on a donkey indicates peace;  riding a mighty horse indicates triumphant in battle.   When Messiah returns it will be as triumphant King of Kings riding a white horse (Rev 19:11-16).   Hallelujah!!! 

I wonder if any of these were in the crowd a few days later when, before Pilate, they cried out “Crucify him”?  Pilate washed his hands, when he found no guilt in Jesus, but gave in to the mob.   The soldiers mocked Jesus with a royal robe, crown of thorns and a staff as a scepter.  However, Pilate had the last word when he had the notice placed on Jesus’ cross- “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS”!   

Today people and nations (including ours) continue to mock him and rile against Jesus, his people and His Kingdom.  Persecution and anti-Semitism are rampant.  We pray “Thy Kingdom come” but are they only words or do we mean that? Or do we say, “Not yet. Lord, have things in my ‘bucket list” or unsaved family and friends? Do we long for Jesus to return and set the world straight?  Do we act like Kings Kids and reflect His Heavenly Kingdom?

The Old Testament predicted Messiah King; that is what the Jews of His day expected.
The Magi searched for the King of the Jews; King Herod (and Satan) tried to destroy Him.
Crowds saw miracles, healings, people set free from demons and wanted to declare Him King.
Pilate declared him King of the Jews.

John the Revelator saw him as King on a white horse, called Faithful and True, King of KINGS!!!
Is Jesus King of your heart??  Do you look and act like The King’s Kid??

All hail King Jesus, All hail Emmanuel, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Bright Morning Star
And throughout eternity I'll sing Your Praises, And forevermore I shall reign with Him!!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Sometimes It Is Best To Be Naive


"Therefore, Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"(John 6:5).

Hey Gang:  Philip and the apostles didn't have just a bread problem, they had a bakery problem,  a distribution problem, a transportation problem, and a time problem.!  Five thousand men and not a  McDonald's in sight,  no porta potties, and  no artesian wells for drinking water.  What they did have was 5000 men who were hungry, thirsty and had full bladders and not a clue as to how to provide for their needs.  

Now tucked away in this passage of Scripture we find ten words that we need to tuck away deep into our hearts:  "For He Himself knew what He was going to do".   Did that pop a light bulb in your gizzard this morning?  Are you fixen’ to deal with some alligators this day?  Not sure where you are going to get enough bread to feed the problems. Sh....,SH....  quiet, listen to His words again,  "I know what I am going to do".   Sh....,sh.... quiet! The psalmist wrote, "Be still and know that I am God".  (Psa 46:10).

I have a confession to make to you this morning, if I would have had a clue as to the problems that I would face in developing the Village, I would have run screaming into the wilderness and become Kermit the Hermit!

When I told my friends what I was going to do their response was "Ya, sure, and hey diddle diddle and the cat and the fiddle and the cow jumped over the moon.”  From the moment that we turned our lives over to God and said "send us" the roadways looked more like ‘alligator alley’ than the smooth road many think will be our path after we surrender to Christ.  Sorry, Charlie, it just does not work that way.    BUT, in every trial, every conflict, every frustrating experience "He Himself knew what He was going to do". 

Problems yes!  But in each step of the way there was also God's provision.  Paul gave us the good news that "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus"  (Phil. 4:19).  

When Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified, God knew what He was going to do!

Sooooo, be advised, all you who are heavy laden this morning, God is still the God of miracles, he is still the God who "Knows what He is going to do" in each and every circumstance you come up against and it is through His strength that we "Can do all things"  (Phil 3:13). 

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Take My Yoke Upon You




“Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, or I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For My yoke is easy and My burden light”.  (Matt. 11:28-30).

Hey Gang:  For those who do not know what a yoke is, Webster defines the word as “a wooden frame for harnessing together a pair of oxen.”  It also describes it as meaning “bondage or servitude, or something that binds.”  I suspect Jesus is referring to all three of these definitions   when He said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”.  (Matt. 11:29-30).      

While serving in Korea, yoked oxen was a very common everyday sight; they used them to work the rice patties.  To watch them struggling with the yoke makes one wonder what Jesus really meant when He said, “My yoke is easy”. 

I found a neat little ditty that added some clarity to what I believe Jesus was saying in a book titled 199 Reasons To Be Thankful. God’s yoke is easy. Why?  Because He is the one carrying the load.     When you’re going thru those times when the alligators are nipping at your heels, He longs for you to hand over the heavy stuff to Him. Our deepest concerns are but a piece of cake to Him.  His deepest desire is that we have the faith to hand over our burdens, disappointments, our fears, our pains to Him. 

But - there is a prerequisite to Jesus becoming your burden bearer, you must enter into covenant relationship with Him, surrender your life and join yourself with Jesus, the “…author and perfecter of our faith.”  (Heb 12:2)
  
Jesus is talking to a crowd that knew what it meant for one animal to be yoked with another to pull a burden. His message was clear – you do not have to carry your burdens alone, but that they could be “yoked” with Him. In essence, He was sharing one of the basic principles of the Kingdom of God - when we are King’s Kids we are never alone!!!
Soooo friend and neighbors, as you traverse through this day, STOP and THINK about priorities. Jesus promised, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things [earthly needs] shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).  A single ox can pull a load, but when joined with another ox, the two can pull more than what each could pull separately.
Blessings,
Gramps

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Week of Opportunity to be a Bondservant



As the captain on the ship bellows through his fog horn to his crew, “Now hear this!” To His flock of sheep, Jesus said, “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  (John 10:28-29).  And that my friends can be taken to the bank!

Can there be any more satisfaction and peace in one’s heart than to know you and I are in the Lord’s hands?  No man or devil can pluck me out of His hand.  Is that not an awesome thought to begin this new week?.  When Satan or his minions come at us like a flood – bringing waves of fear, discouragement and lies – we can rest in this glorious truth: God gave us to Jesus.
Olive Tree....

I have come to the point in my life where my blood pressure will no long stand against the steady diet of very depressing news, so I have vastly restricted watching any news except ICEJ'  (International Christian Embassy from Jerusalem).  Their news is not any less depressing, but I can turn to the Word and see that in the end it will all work out to His glory, and that is sufficient to calm my nerves until the next onslaught from our national news outlets.

In the past several months the question "What is wrong with our government" has dominated my mind?  Why can they not see beyond the end of their noses.  I have come to the conclusion that when people cross the boundaries of the Belt Way, they leave their common sense behind.  I was recently asked why this seems to be.  My response from Solomon : “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov 9:10; and the companion verse, "The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding" (Pro, 4:7).

The Book of Proverbs is filled with similar words pertaining to the necessity of seeking wisdom until you find it.  I have concluded that the Belt Way has a serious deficiency in wisdom, so I must assume that the Belt Way is also deficient in the ‘Fear of the Lord’.  Solomon also goes on and takes this void a step further, "Fools despise wisdom and instruction" (1:7). Do you see a correlation here?

How many of you know when we are struggling with a question, we need to be especially keen on watching for God's answer to the question?  Once again I asked, "What is wrong with our government?" and He showed be a very neat passage that I have read at least eight times before but did not see the picture.  It is found in Judges 9:7-15. 
"Listen to me, O men of America (A Hillbilly Rendition) that God may listen to you.  "Once the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us!’  But the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my fatness with which God and men are honored, and go to wave over the trees?' Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'You come, reign over us!'  "But the fig tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to wave over the trees?'  Then the trees said to the vine, 'You come, reign over us!' "But the vine said to them, 'Shall I leave my new wine, which cheers God and men, and go to wave over the trees?'



  'Finally, all the trees said to the bramble, "You come, reign over us!’  the bramble said to the trees, 'If in truth you  are anointing me as king over you, come and take refuge in my (dole...oops) shade, but if not, may fire come out from the bramble and consume the cedars of Lebanon."  

Soooo, do you think we may have a barn full of brambles in the Belt Way?  The people elected a bramble, Abimeclech. who within three years God send an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech".  Something to think about!!!

Blessings,

Gramps

Sunday, March 17, 2013

JESUS LIVING WORD



Many of you know we spend several weeks, a couple times a year, volunteering at The Voice of the Martyrs ministry headquarters in Oklahoma.  Besides reading the many stories of changed hearts and lives we are privileged to meet those who share the WORD at great risk to their own lives and families as well.  They share Jesus’ love by sharing His WORD and as a living testimony. I challenge you to do the same, daily!

Most of us cannot live without words??  Sometimes they are soothing and sometimes hurtful, but also very important in our swaying opinions; check out ads, billboards, pastors, politicians, musicians, media!!!  Many of us treasure the words of great  writers,  BUT none can compare with the lasting Words of Scripture.  Our English language is beautiful, but often uses single words that have multiple meanings:  ‘WORD’, ‘LOVE’ are such words.

 Our New Testament was written mainly in Greek, which had different words for different meanings of these words. Here are two meanings I want to share.  I wish I could share all that my Jewish New Testament Commentary offers as supporting the Hebrew Genesis 1:1 and 26 with Greek John 1:1 and then Rev 19:13b :  “… His name is The Word of God.”

1.     1.   Logos  - indicates thought, expression, the embodiment of an idea: “In the beginning was the ‘Logos’” (John 1:1).
Here is a  quote from Stern’s Jewish New Testament Commentary on John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”:  “It is not that a man named Yeshua, who grew up in Nazareth, one day decided he was God.  Rather the Word,”… who was with God and was God,” gave up the glory {he} had with {the Father} before the world existed” (John 17:5) and emptied Himself in that he took the form of a slave, by becoming like human beings are.  WOW!! He did that for you and me! 

2.       2. Rhema - indicates ‘utterance by human voice’ according to Strong’s Concordance #4487.  It is so important that we ‘read the Red ’ in Scripture, the words of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.   (Can you imagine what would have happened in Bethany if Jesus had only said ‘Com e forth’ and not used Nazareth’s name?)

Christ was God become visible.  In John 1:1 we have the truth about the ‘WORD’.  (I don’t remember where I learned this outline of this verse, but I share these points with you):
1. His eternity   -“In the beginning
                        2. Fellowship with Godhead – “with God”
                        3. Deity – “was God”
                        4. Work of Creation… “All things made by him”
                        5. Marvelous incarnation – “was made flesh”

The Old Testament is full of ‘God said’; He spoke directly to the prophets ;  the New Testament reveals His  ultimate means of communication, His Son, Jesus –“ a new and LIVING way” (Heb 10:20). The Cross was the Bulletin Board on which God proclaimed to the world his amnesty  for rebellious sinners – Jesus God’s full revelation of His WORD. (Portraits of Christ by Henry Gariepy).

One more thing:  Jesus IS speaking today in visions and dreams to many who are seeking Him – especially those living in darkness and  in Hostile Nations where His Name is not allowed to be read or spoken.   When they accept Christ as Savior and learn of His love, they share with others in word and deed and suffer much for His name’s sake… and the WORD is being spread.    (If you are interested in more about this go to www.persecution.com.  Or contact me.)

Sooooo…… what does this mean for you and me?  God always reveals Himself to seekers.  Jesus, in the beginning with Father, is the most compelling revelation of our Father in Heaven. The Apostle John saw this with such vision and impact that He used the word ‘Logos’ for Jesus/ God who spoke the universe into being  Jesus is God’s dynamic life-giving Word; The Word who became flesh that through His teaching, miracles, death, resurrection, humanity could see God’s glory.

Jesus calls each of us to walk in Him who is Light and Life; to Be Light and life to others. Most of us do not hear His audible voice, but listen carefully – listen carefully, expectantly as you study, memorize and share the Rhema Word and pray.  Be nourished in mind and heart.  This is the way God converses with most of us.  It is important to pray using His Words.  I believe God smiles when we pray in Jesus’ Name using His inspired WORD.


Thomas Dubay,   The Evidential Power of Beauty
The Lord speaks in diverse ways: his deeds are words as in the creation account we read, “He spoke and so it came to be.” He speaks in the splendors of the universe and through all within it.  He teaches in human language and especially in the words of his incarnate Word… But in all these manners the Lord is communication through the beautiful, the true and the good.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why Are We So Much Smarter When We are Little Squeezers?




“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must do just as he has purpose din his heart” (I Cor. 9:6-7a)

Hey gang, When we are small and growing up we only stuck our finger in the fire once and learned that was not such a good idea and never to did it again.  We learned that to sass mom or dad was not a good idea.  We learned to wise crack with the bully down the street earned a fat lip and black eye and was not a good idea.  Each of us has our stories of woe, when we learned one of those irrevocable laws of nature and do our very best not to repeat them.

But,  as we grow older, do we not become slower learners?  I came across a neat little story where the daughter of a business executive asked her daddy, who was preparing to go out on the town, “Why do you wear that black suit and bow tie when you know you will be deathly sick and have a splitting head ache tomorrow”. 

A short trip through skid row with your children is not a bad idea;  but only if you are not making the same mistakes which earned a position in the gutter.  It is always amazing to me that there is no question smoking and boozing and drugs are not good for your body and you will pay the piper for using them down the road.  But it does not matter how much the price of these life–destroying things cost, people will sacrifice the finer things of life to purchase them.

I wonder, if someone opened a “Reap What You Sow School of Higher Learning, would anyone come? I confess that there are many times when I stuck my fingers in the fire, even though I knew it was going to be painful.  But did you know the more you stick your finger in the fire, the less the pain?
 
Paul gave fair warning to all when he wrote, “God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from he Spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:6-7).  Notice, also he adds a warning to the warning – ‘it ain’t going to happen in the twinkling of your eye.’  He says, “Hey gang “don’t lose heart in planting the good seeds, “for in due time we will reap….when we do not grow weary”. (v.9) 

Paul closes this bit of truth with a challenge to those who love the Lord: “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” (V.10).

Sooooo, it is time to close this epistle and get about some plowing, disking, planting, fertilizing and cultivating, but keep in mind God is the harvester.  

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Be Careful What You Ask For, God May Give It To YOU!


  
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also, and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”.  (John 14:12-15). 

Hey Gang:  Any body out there had visions of grandeur when they prayed for things that, after a season of time learned it was God’s blessing NOT to giving it to us;  we would have bombed big time?

Allow me to paint you a panoramic picture of what I am referring to here.  Not too long after we started the Village, the Reed City Airport was placed on the market and I thought it would be a great asset for the Village to have, soooo, I prayed fervently for weeks that God would place it on Mr. Miller’s heart to give it to the Village. 

A  month or so later, I drove by the airport and saw a huge “SOLD” on the real estate advertisement.   Disappointed, yes, even a little on the devastated side, but as the months passed and I found myself dealing with those issues that every new director of a new program deals with such as “enough money to keep the ship afloat one more day”, I realized that God did indeed answer my prayer in the way that He knew was best for me.  Every time I drive by the old Reed City Airport today, I say a very emphatic, “Thank You Jesus!” 

I wish I could tell you that I learned my lesson and never asked God to give me things I later learned would have been devastating to my witness for my Lord, but such is not the case. 

Paul prayed fervently to the Lord that He would remove the thorn in his flesh, but I suspect God knew that Paul needed a constant reminder that He was Lord and would provide for his every need.    I would draw your attention to the word “need”.  The airport would have been a wonderful gift at that moment, but, as I think back, remembering the many back-against-the wall experiences that I encountered just to keep the “ship afloat, there is no doubt having this additional burden piled on top could have been the death of the miracle that is Eagle Village today.

Oh but you say, does it not say “Ask and you will receive” and if you ask will He not give us provision to meet the need of that request.  Yes, indeed, but there is also another provision attached to that request – if it is in the will of Abba Father.  I truly wanted the airport for all the wrong reasons.  What I did learn from that early experience is my dependence was in God and needed to get rid of all my visions of grandeur and place my full dependence in allowing Him to lead my every action and thought. Anytime I violated that commitment, there was the ever present “pit” that I later found myself digging out of. 

Soooo, my young friends, and I suspect everyone who reads this is younger than I, there used to be a saying “God is my co-pilot.  I probably said that a dozen or so times but have long since learned I will find myself in constant trouble if I allow that saying to be my guiding light.  If He is not the pilot of your life, you will probably continue to do as I did many years ago - pray that He would give me something that would make my life a miserable mess.

Blessings,

Gramps