“He has endured the Cross. . . and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:2 With this declaration the Letter to the Hebrews announces that through the Cross, Jesus has brought about a new relationship between humankind and God. We have been reconciled to God, ransomed from our enslavement to sin, freed from the barriers which separated us from God, and redeemed in the eyes of God. Jesus lifted up on the Cross is now lifted up to the throne of Heaven and it is from this throne that he allows us to enter into the home of His Father. We no longer are limited to worshipping God through animal sacrifice, downcast eyes, hushed tones, and repetitive rituals. These things have been rendered to the trappings of faith, not its substance. Our worship is now based on faith and the actions which are manifested from this faith. Jesus has revealed the Father’s will and power to us and has paid our price;Continue reading »

Now that we know what we have – Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God – let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:14-16 (MSG) Why, when we petition God for something – an earnest prayer of need – and we see the answer clearly, do we question the result? When we’ve been on our knees, and on our knees, and on our knees, praying, petitioning with tears and desperation, asking God to intervene, interfere, release, and restore, do we doubt? Doubt what? Doubt it all. Oh, not the reality of God, or His ability to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. We just can’t imagine it happening to us. We sayContinue reading »

“I make all things new” – Revelation 21:5 This is a time of power and a time to be empowered in our world! The created world has just worked through another cycle and the Winter Solstice has occurred, a natural marker that the long and cold nights are now becoming shorter and the earth prepares for new life. Humankind has completed another cycle as well, we have turned the calendar to begin a new year. Hopes are high, businesses are now moving past the holiday season, ministries can now renew themselves, and now we can call upon ourselves to be better than we have been in the past. In the world of the Bible, new things were thought to have had a special power that was almost mystical. The properties of something that is “new” gave it particular effectiveness. When something is new, it has not been strained or weakened- power is new in the object. The new person or thing is at its fullest potential and strength. We see this belief inContinue reading »

Writer George Bernard Shaw once offered some advice at the threshold of the New Year. He said: “What life is all about? It’s about having a goal; an ideal. Your life must have purpose and a dream. There must be something that makes you get up in the morning; something that takes everything out of you and that burns within you. Then you will be a positive force in this world. Then you move things and you will no longer just be a piece of mud in the mire that complains and murmurs because the world doesn’t seem to be concerned about your personal happiness.” As children of the King we have such a goal. Because of Jesus, our lives are filled with meaning and excitement. One moment with the Savior and everything sparkles and shines. And now we are standing with Jesus on the mountain top of the old year and look back at the year that is past. Our eyes scan the old dusty roads that we travelledContinue reading »

The Message is a paraphrase that, much like The Amplified Bible, shines a light on scripture in a new and fresh way – opening our eyes to see new insights we hadn’t before. I know some people don’t agree that the Message is appropriate, and I personally don’t think it is necessarily good for in-depth study, but I believe that anything that brings you closer to God – that helps you understand scripture more – is a useful tool. To me, The Message is like unto books, such as those by Max Lucado, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, and others. It takes concepts of scripture and expounds upon them in a way that we may not have thought of, but boosts our love for, and understanding of, God’s Word. Do not call common what God has called holy. I have read both the NIV & the New Living Translation and I know how it feels when God’s Holy Spirit moves and reveals Himself, and I feel that when I read TheContinue reading »

Emily Connors is known as the neighborhood crank. Regularly, she’s in a bad mood. Most folks in the community steer clear of Emily’s grumpy demeanor. There’s a group of friends, Martin, Gordon, Philip and Peter. They like to tease Emily and routinely go by her house hurling loud taunts and cruel expressions. Sometimes she comes out in her threadbare robe, curses and shakes her fist at the rowdy boys. Emily has lived at 101 Crescent Drive for more than fifteen years. No one in the neighborhood has bothered to learn her story as to why she’s so often unpleasant. Years ago, Emily’s husband, Ed left her for her cousin, Martha. Emily never recovered from that matrimonial and family betrayal. She and Ed didn’t have any children so Emily is much alone in her misery. Suicide has been a consideration on more than a few occasions. Emily could never, though, muster up the “courage” to go through with her self-inflicted exit from this life. She continues existing — but living —Continue reading »

“the ropes around his arms. . . melted” – Judges 15:14   Like the powerful Samson, we often find ourselves in positions where we are overwhelmed- bound and restrained by life’s demands and every way we turn we are halted or obstructed. We are limited by the knots, sometimes endless snarls of complications, in our lives. Samson was given the power by God and through the Spirit to burst any bond or rope that was put upon him. Samson’s power and gifts were matchless throughout history. However, we are not without resources and gifts. The power of God is always stronger than the tangles of life. It does not matter the size or gravity of the knots, for as the prayer says- “in your hands there is no knot which can not be undone”

Pressing on and going forward Philippians 3:13-14 ( NKJV ) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Forgiving and forgetting is the prerequisite to going forward. As we follow the example of the apostle Paul and echo his words of “this one thing I do,” let’s not miss the truth that in order to reach ahead and press forward it is at times necessary to forgive and forget the things of our past. Looking back keeps us from looking upward to God for help. Forgiving and forgetting are keys to true freedom in the Christian life. The hardest thing about being a Christian is keeping your eyes on God. We get so easily distracted in this fallen world. We need to have our mind set on the things that will glorifyContinue reading »

“If your people Israel. . .return to you” – I Kings 8:33 These are among the words Solomon used to dedicate the new Temple in Jerusalem. A recurring theme in the powerful prayer is that YHWH, God of Israel, will always accept those who return to Him in faith. This is part of the constant and steadfast love God has for His people. It is always there, always ready to protect and save. He rejects no one who comes to Him in faith or “repentance”. Repentance, it does occur easily for people. Literally, it means to turn around. However, this Latin understanding does not present the true connotations which Solomon knew and what he knew of his people, over whom he reigned. The Israelites were often called a “stiff-necked” people throughout the Bible. One must remember, the Hebrew language is very image oriented, it is concrete and graphic. This description depicted the Israelites as people who would not or could not make the effort to turn to God and completely renounce theContinue reading »

We live in a material world. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, there’s nothing we can do about it. However, living in the world is not the same as letting the world live in us. John tells us: “The world and the lust thereof passeth away, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” This world as it is today is not our final resting place. *** The other day, when I was laden with care and anxiety, I fled into a beautiful forest to find rest and repose, and sat down at a babbling brook. “Lord, sometimes it gets too much,” I prayed. But while I was sitting there, I noticed these little flies that hovered over the water. They caught my interest. They seemed to be happily playing and dancing over the waters, blissfully unaware of the weightier matters of this world. Then, I noticed that some of them dove into the moving stream and took a refreshing bath, but all the while they keptContinue reading »

Truth is eternal. It never dies; no — truth lives on and channels with solid motions in free flow, fluid movements. Precise motions are its signature style. How many ages have folks sought to stop truth? Have they succeeded? No. It’s impossible to stop truth. Hinder it — yes. Distort it — yes. Hide it — yes. Stop it — never! Hunger and thirst for pure truth. Certainly it can fill. The pursuit of truth is forever a worthy exercise. Satisfying beyond any and all — yes, that is truth. Embrace it — possess it — cleave to it and witness the rewards that stream marvelously from stands of truth. It’s not a weakling. Love is contained in truth. Power is contained in truth. Freedom is contained in truth. Yet, truth itself cannot be contained. It overflows from the fountain of living waters, God Almighty. Jeremiah 17:13 – KJV, “. . . the fountain of living waters.” Truth springs up with its appearances of splendor and magnificence. It’s stunning toContinue reading »