Monthly Archives: March 2020

Is love on the way out?

Is love on the way out?

A progressive thing might be

For me to love you and you to love me

But oh – what does this all mean?

For love goes up or down the graph of

Human feeling

Whether agape or eros or phileo or storge 

Loving seems best in every way

While you reach out a hand

Or you are willing to understand

Love triumphs and conquers

Will love leave the earth?

Is it on it’s way?

In these days Phileo decreases 

But The Son responds to our invitation

And releases…

Why did this happen (C19)?

Why did this happen? (Covid 19)

Matthew 5:44-46 (NKJV)

for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

The question in the title of this post, is a question, that mankind has asked individually and corporately throughout history.

Individually, things befall humans, that are common to all.

There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to ‘happenings’. 

There are things that everyone has similarly experienced somewhere on the planet, in the past, present, or future. Good things and bad things.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust.

In other words everybody, whether they are the so called – good bad or ugly – experience the rain and the sunshine.

The natural elements are there for everyone to either enjoy or try to escape.

If we were to go out in the sun and not make provision for the coming storm, we end up soaked to the skin, and returning home, may well (as we shiver into the shower) ask: “Why did this happen to me?”

Pretty obvious answer – ‘you went out…’

Often the ‘reaping what we sowed’ principle clearly decides what happens.

Romans 6/

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

The younger or older person went out and fired the alcohol into their bodies and now are falling about the place, and experience a hangover the next morning.

“How did this happen to me?”

Pretty obvious answer – you sowed what you sowed and reaped the consequences.

In the beginning, in a paradisiacal garden, mankind rebelled and stopped believing and obeying what God said and reaped the consequences, through choices made.

Genesis 3:3

But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Genesis 2:17

she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Mankind sowed disobedience and unbelief, and reaped the fall.

In the biblical story of Job, he did everything right. But eventually disaster came into his life.

What!!?

Surely then – what is the point of being righteous?

Job 1:1

[ Job and His Family in Uz ] There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

He reaped what he didn’t deserve – did he not?

On the surface in the realm of face value – he reaped what he did not sow. Or conversely, he stopped reaping the blessing of what he did sow. (Read the book for the whole story)

He sowed righteousness or right living, was pleasing to God, and reaped God’s enablement and blessing. Then low and behold he reaped what he didn’t sow.

“Agh!” some say – “but God was testing him”. Can’t argue with that, he certainly was having his faith tested – that, we can safely conclude.

In the book of Job, there is a big emphasis on wrongly accusing the creator. Job was conscious of this and made the necessary sacrifices perchance his sons had done so, i.e. ‘cursed God’ or wrongly accused Him.

So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

His wife after their initial family disasters – (to arrest a modern phrase) – that through material and family loss ‘put them on the street’, was also conscious of the choice to ‘curse God’.

Especially when the devil touched Job’s physical person, she was up for her husband taking the ‘curse God and die’ option.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

In all that befell Job, he did not choose this option.

He couldn’t understand it all and simply put, was questioning “Why did this happen to me?”.

Paraphrasing in summary: ’I am not reaping the continued blessing I have experienced up to now. My uprightness and integrity intact, and this happens? What’s this all about?’

Paul the apostle, as it were, shouts back down through the ages to Job and forward to us, and says:

20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God..?

So we are all – as we say colloquially in my culture: ‘A beaten docket’, when it comes to questioning God and His unsearchable ways.

NB: [a beaten docket is a piece of paper a betting person has to enable them to lift their winnings after having bet on a winning horse. Therefore a beaten docket is proof they bet on a losing horse..]

In other words we cannot reply against the judgement of, or divine reasoning behind, the works of God.

Romans 11:33

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

We are a beaten docket when it comes to speaking against or being displeased with God:

Proverbs 21:29-31 (NKJV)

There is no wisdom or understanding

Or counsel against the Lord.

So that leaves us with blind acceptance then?

Yes and no.

God looks for trust above all, regardless of what befalls us.

When we can see no light at the end of the tunnel. Our only option is to have God Himself, as our all in all. That’s faith.

It isn’t blind because God reveals Himself clearly in the person of Jesus Christ The Lord.  We can know Him, and know the character of Him in whom we have believed. Follow Him!

God does reveal things in His time. At the end of the book of Job, he was replenished one hundred fold. He was made to understand, and was healed.

But for a period of time, he saw no light at the end of the tunnel.

The three men who went into the fiery furnace, had (one could say) the perfect attitude of faith and love for God, when whether they were delivered or not, was not the issue.

Daniel 3:16-18 King James Version (KJV)

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Whether they were pleasing to God or not was the issue for them.

The most important thing, was making sure by faith that they would be in God’s hands, the One who joined them in the furnace.

Hebrews 11/6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Is Covid 19 falling on the just and the unjust?

Now we begin, (Christian believer and unbeliever alike), to use our intellect to reason the why’s and wherefore’s of the world’s dilemma.

Stop there!

We use our intellects, – exactly.

‘After all’ – our intellects reason: ‘What else have we got to use?” 

Surely we cannot abandon reason? Certainly not. But we must see it’s limitations, and allow humility to become our choice before The Almighty. Let’s take on God’s reasoning (Bible).

There is no room for self-satisfied pride about the advancements mankind has made, when a virus puts the world, into shutdown. 

The helplessness and imperfections of man, come clearly into full view.

We are to affirm only what we know of the divine counsel, and don’t accuse God wrongly, about things we do not easily get a handle on, when it comes to “Why?” questions.

But consider also the stench that has been arising to His ‘nostrils’, and has been for years, regarding the rebellious behaviour of a morally corrupt mankind.

Consider also that the ‘what we sow we reap’ principle will always operate.

Turning away from the Only Living and True God in increasing measure and mankind will suffer the consequences in increasing measure.

However if we seek Him in our hour of need he says:…and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.(KJV)

Acts 16:31

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

What is required?

What is REQUIRED?

Nearing the end of last year I organised an Open Forum. I invited various folks – pastors and others to an event where they were invited to share on the subject: What does God require of us?”

This was based on the scripture in (Micah 6/7-9).

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each person had an eight minute opportunity to share. And so everyone got to share, before we knew it, the night was gone.

Some came more prepared than others. And I realised I had not made it clear enough that the exhortation through the invitation and theme was to seek God seriously in prayer and wait upon Him for direction.

I was hoping that I would be educated through God’s members of His church and enlightened further, as to how God wants us to respond to the days in which we live.

My own sense of what God requires is/was UNITY. We are assured that God commands a blessing when there is unity – it is good and pleasant, and fruitful.(Psalm 133)

Unfortunately human nature is prone to wander. Human nature is prone to self-righteousness. Human nature is that which must be subdued and harnessed so as not to hinder the ‘unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace’ – This is what the Lord requires. Only as we seek God, pray, and worship etc can the old nature stay ‘under’.

There is unity in error or unity in truth. Unity among thieves, or unity among the saints.

Light has no fellowship with darkness and therefore has no unity with it.

There is political-type unity or spiritual-unity.

Even the devil by dictatorship has unity in his own kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 12:24-26 (NKJV)

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by [a]Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Division or unity. There cannot be unity at any cost.

Differences of opinion can only be resolved when believers, laying aside their own ‘pet’ opinions, are willing to wait on God for fresh revelation.

Then having heard together from God’s word, after patience and perseverance, they enter into unity as they hear the same thing from The Lord, they fulfil the condition described below:

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There are degrees of unity amongst believers. There is however, a greater unity that the church falls short of achieving.

And this unity brings the commanded blessing of God. To my ears – that is what we refer to as revival.

Unity must be wrought by the Holy Spirit amongst believers. It is the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4/3) – as we hear and speak the same thing together.

No one else left me, at the Forum, with a message that went beyond what the opening scripture upon which the forum was called contributed to our understanding:

i.e. But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each (esp. Christian) man or women must answer the question individually, regarding what God requires of them. It is more difficult, however, to answer it as the corporate body of Christ.

What He requires of the church – we continue to search for, in order that we may respond correctly and in keeping with Christ’s proclamation: …I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

In these days when the church may end-up going ‘underground’ – I want to hear from and be part of the genuine followers of Christ, throughout the world, who find the wisdom of God and respond corporately to His requirements.

As what is coming upon the earth purges and perfects those who have not bowed the knee to Baal, I hope I will know many of the true, the genuine, the wholesome, and the sincere. The true members that make up the bride of Christ, the church of The Living God.

What is your hope?

Into Higher Hands

INTO HIGHER HANDS

 

As though it all hinged on getting you to agree

As though your nod of recognition

was a blood transfusion to me

Try and try as I will

You don’t turn your head for a straight-on look

You hear and don’t hear at the same time

My message seems dated – out of touch with reality

You cannot grasp there are alien forces at work

Nor grasp the language –

My heart’s language vibrating out in words

is not to your taste – but even when I change

my vocabulary – to make you see

Your head turns from me

It just doesn’t appeal

The natural man cannot receive

I walk away and leave you in higher hands

Leave you to

the only One who can make you understand

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

One of the possible problems (it’s ‘kind of’ a nice problem to have) certain preachers of the gospel, or teachers of biblical truth, may have to face, is the fact that others can conclude that they are somehow of a different kind, other than ‘human’-kind.

Paul was looked upon as weak in appearance: “… his bodily presence is weak,”

lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

However his preaching, his letters, and his exhortations to the churches, his spiritual revelation communicated in his epistles were weighty and powerful.

When someone carries that kind of spiritual authority, it is the presence of God that others sense, and as a result sometimes, they can want to run and hide.

We read concerning Peter the Apostle:

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

A great sense of unworthiness at the manifest presence of God (in this case in miracle supply through the Son of God) can take hold of us if we are truly in the Presence of the King of kings, in Peter’s case after a miracle.

Then we read of how Peter was on the receiving end of unusual behaviour, after God had revealed to Cornelius that Peter was chosen by Him to deliver a message.

Cornelius responding to the Revelation of God through a supernaturally given vision in which an angel spoke to him, concluded that Peter was something more than human.

Acts 10:25-27 King James Version (KJV)

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

“Stand up; I myself also am a man…” was Peter’s correct response. The man was awed by The Presence of God, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with Peter being other than human.

So sometimes when we read the revelation of God in scripture, as written via dictation from God – we don’t know how to respond, it can be overwhelming.

This does not happen every time, but this sense of God’s presence is given that we might know what we stand upon – Christ the rock of revelation!

People can withdraw and feel their unworthiness in the Presence of God, if a preacher happens to carry that Presence.

So it is the Presence of God, that leaves us strangely uneasy, it is not that these ministers, are somehow superior to us. Or are somehow more than mere mortals.

There are other ‘presences’ that are not of the Only Living and True God, – these too can cause us to feel uneasy.

But this is a different experience entirely.

Alas some do not know the difference and end up deceived into following some cult.

Spiritual discernment is a given portion to true Christians. However, even they – can make mistakes, demonstrated in the rebuke of The Lord Jesus to his wrongly discerning disciples: But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9)

The reality of both the existence of God and the experience of His unseen Presence, is lost because of a veil of unbelief that is over the minds of the unbelieving.

When we turn to Christ opportunity arises for the veil to be lifted and the reality of God to dawn upon the soul and spirit of mankind.

II Corinthians 3/

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

In these days of falling away, we can nevertheless be sure that God working all things after the counsel of His own will – will manifest Himself to spiritually hungry hearts. The extent of this manifestation will be determined by The Lord Himself.

There was a time in Samuel the prophet’s day when there was what the scripture refers to as a time of ‘no open vision’. Here is how different bible translations express it:-

And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

Living in such a day not dis-similar to what is described above – what is to be our response?

Well, Samuel was specially chosen to change the situation in as much as he had prophetic revelation, against the tide as it where of it’s absence.

Today the gospel message is sent out to all who will come unto Christ for salvation.

Those who receive Him become part of a priesthood of all believers and all receive this spiritual discernment, and enjoy fellowship with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though they still live in an evil society in which there is no spiritual revelation, because of the rejection of the gospel, they are given God’s grace, and He will respond to them, when they come to Him.

Whether they are overwhelmed by the river of God’s Presence or they take a drink of the Water of Life, they belong to The One to whom they yield their lives.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Christ’s spiritual reality!