Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: April 2015

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our Father Who Art in Heaven

You know, The Lord's prayer was never a prayer actually prayed BY Jesus. It's more fitting to call it the Disciple's prayer as it was what Jesus taught them to pray. For the next few weeks, or months or however long it takes me to finish, I plan on going through The Disciples Prayer, placing an emphasis on certain individual components and the way they these components resonate throughout The Scriptures.

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven - Mt 6:9

Chronicles 20:6 And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Sometimes, for some reason, Heaven seems really, really far away to us. It’s not.
Look at the verse in John 12 where Jesus speaks to The Father, saying “Glorify thy name” –the next word is THEN (like right then), The Father responds. Heaven is just beyond the vail of this temporal world and there is no delay. Everything that is happening in real time with us is being seen in real time in Heaven. God's Will and timing for His purposes are the only deciding factor - there's no account for distance when considering why your prayers haven't been answered.
And as God being Our Father: Many of us don’t know how to reconcile the idea of God being a Sovereign and inconceivably Glorious and Omnipotent Ruler with being a Father with real “fatherly” cares and concerns for His children. Some go too far and begin dismissing His attributes; conceptualizing Him into something less Holy, and inappropriately more common. All I can say is – spend time with Him. Let His word explain exactly who He is, and pray that He help you attain to a proper embracing of Him as God and Father.

So why do this? I think that it's simply in us to become liturgical and develop routines. Routines that become automatic rather than engaging. Many of us have repeated this prayer in church, following along with the Pastor. And as conceptually beautiful a thing it is to be unified in speech, I'd be careful to find a time where we can really internalize the weight of these words. This is for that. You may have already taken your prayer life to levels way beyond this, but if not, maybe this will spur you to attempt something new; Something that will draw you closer into your prayer closet (physically if that’s how you roll, as well as in your heart, spiritually) and closer to 'making it real' when you pray to Our Father, who art in Heaven.

In HIm,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

God Is

God is obviously a gardener, with an eclectic and varied style.
God is also patient, His processes can take a while.
God is a lover a beauty. Remark at His works and His ways
His handiwork prompts a worship response, "HOLY is the Ancient of Days!"

God is a Shepherd and Leader; He provides good for His sheep.
God is also a Strong Tower, I pray The Lord my soul to keep.
God is a warrior, El Gabor and Yahweh is His name.
Yesterday, today and forever, God is still the same.

God is bigger than you can imagine, existing outside of time.
God is concerned with little things, yours as well as mine.
God is not surprised at all, He knows us deep inside,
So imagine just how feeble we look, when we try to run and hide.

God is not a senseless Mocker; Though He waits for us to ask.
God is also maturing us to accomplish even greater tasks.
God allows us to play a part in the unfolding of His plan.
It’s a testament to His magnificence, as He owes nothing to man.

God is clear on who He is in Himself, never ever unsure.
God is incomparably Holy, nothing in His presence impure.
God is also Jealous, in a Holy and perfect way.
All we can do is be thankful that His love for us will stay.

God is mindful of the plans He has prepared for you and me.
He directs our paths toward His will, if we would only let Him lead.
God expects us to be like Him, as much as He’s blessed us to be.
God is still much different than us, and rules in Sovereignty.

God is revealing Himself to us, progressively as time goes on.
God will continue making us Holy, until He calls us home.
God is using His Word, which washes and transforms.
Know that it’s His love for us that grows us through life’s storms.

God is a Father to the children He’s chosen to call His own
God is also faithful and wants us to know that we’re never alone.
So with all the things we know of God, the very first step was His.
Imagine how much more He could possibly be, in addition to what He already is.

Here's The Word:

Deuteronomy 3:24 O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?

In Him,

Monday, April 13, 2015

Proof Positive

It’s absolutely a wonderful thing how God has set up the natural order. I remember having a discussion with my son about how everything in darkness is eventually brought to light (Luke 12:3, Mark 4:22): Even if “eventually” is a long time coming, it does come because that’s how it is. Another underlying characteristic of the natural order is that of Proof. It seems as of recent that the lines have been blurred and gray areas apply to practically everything, but God has already established and decreed that there is enough “proof” in the created order that no matter how well you craft your argument to the contrary, man is without excuse and is therefore accountable for his choices.

Taking this further, look at how many Biblical observations are made in support of the idea of proof; the fruit of the tree, proves the tree, the water of the fountain, proves its source, the words of the mouth, prove the heart, and the heart of the man, proves the man. It doesn't take the Spiritual Gift of discernment to navigate these waters: In the same way that there is obviously right and wrong, there's also a sensibility afforded to the method of testing to determine the difference.

God Himself has not only taken the first step, He even challenges us to prove Him all the more.

Here’s The Word;

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth (He proved) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

You see where Christ’s death is the proof of God’s Love. Proving is fundamental. It’s a big part of what this life is all about and it’s very necessary to understand that in proving, there’s the idea of a reliable standard whereby other things are measured. It takes time and effort but when you consider the alternatives, the time spent will not be regretted. God’s promises tell us that if we seek, we will find and as we draw closer to Him (and He IS Truth), He will draw closer to us. It will be to the world’s undoing when it realizes that attempting to invalidate the standard is not a reasonable excuse for coming up with the wrong answer. The only thing that is thereby proven is its desire to disregard the standard and fulfill its unfruitful desires.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

This may all seem very obvious to you and I don’t doubt that it is. I just don’t want us to take for granted how wonderful it is that God has instituted this system of proof as well as the command to validate. Furthermore, I definitely think it does us well to consider our ways lest we be influenced by the world’s departure from its reliability into the “all gray” world of relativism and subjectivism that is obviously counter to the clear direction found in the Word of God. I can’t think of anything more discouraging to us than futility: spending something for nothing, but as I’ve lived; starting at the basic proof of God as revealed in nature and moving on to the specific, His Spirit bearing witness. His promises are yea. And although it’s often difficult, nothing about living in Him is futile – not in this life, nor the life to come. His Word is Proof positive.

In Him,

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The U in Easter

Trust me, I realize that I need to be extra careful with this one: Easter is a time that an unequivocal and singularly intense spotlight is focused on the death, burial and resurrection of The LORD Jesus Christ. But have you ever thought….How does Jesus see Easter?
Previously, I’ve recounted a radio program I’d heard while driving through the dark, back roads in Northern Florida where a preacher talked about the many different viewpoints we commonly upstage when sharing the Christmas story; Mary, Joseph, the shepherds who watched their flocks by night and so forth. However, when he focused on how Jesus saw Christmas, teaching from Hebrews 10, I was genuinely, yet pleasantly astonished.

The Christmas story, as it relates to the aforementioned characters, revolves around the struggles of uncommon and in some cases irrational events as they're all are thrust into a position to witness, and play an active part in a miracle of God. However, in Hebrews, Jesus’ focus was not on "How can this be?" but steadfastly on fulfilling the will of His Father. Along with the entirety of what Jesus’ life was, I see that as a consistent theme throughout His life which makes it easily relatable to what would also be His death, burial and resurrection. The question is often asked; “Who killed Jesus?” and depending on the context of the question, there could be a more than a few different answers:

I killed Him - in recognition of the fact that Jesus was not only innocent, but absolutely sinless, and His substitutionary death was to placate the wrath duly deserved by my sinfulness.

Jews killed Him – the Sanhedrin brought Jesus up on charges of blasphemy and railroaded Him into the hands of Pilate, demanding crucifixion.

The Romans killed Him – their hands were the hands that scourged Jesus and nailed His body to the Cross.

Nobody killed Jesus – meaning, no one “took” Jesus’ life. Jesus laid down His own life and picked it up again just like He said He would.

God killed Jesus – It had been ordained of old that this Jesus, the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world, would die for the sake of fulfilling God’s purposes of reconciliation with fallen humanity.

All of these are correct in some ways, but standing alone, don’t accurately portray the full truth of the matter and only this last option points to the $64,000.00 question of “Why?” And it’s this understanding that Scripture resonates with the fulfillment of the Father’s Will.

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins

Hebrews 10: 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

In the mind of God, it was foreordained that a people be set apart to dwell with Him forever. This people needed to be made holy in order to commune with The Godhead because HE is Holy. Jesus is that Propitiation; the satisfying substitute by which we of the Household of Faith, are afforded access into the presence of a Holy God. So as you see, this is not a self-esteem message. The Why of Easter is that Christ submitted to the will of the Father, and we should aspire to that mind and follow hard after fulfilling the Will of The Father. Easter is about Christ, but hopefully you don’t miss seeing the U in Easter.

In Him,