Saturday, April 26th, 2014
Today I was reading Revelation and noticed something in 6:5-6. I always wondered the meaning of the black horse, and I now may have an idea. Here is the text:
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”
It occurs to me that God is sending these horses out as a preparation for what will be transpiring during the great tribulation. God is a God of justice and perfect equality. He's proclaiming that any wrath poured out is carefully measured, and not to be too little, or too much according to the iniquity of the world. He's saying that his wrath is justified, and that the wrath was purchased by the sin on the earth that could not be covered by the Blood of Jesus. Jesus paid once and for all, for the sin of the world, but for only that sin that was laid at the cross through the acceptance of the free gift through the cross. The sin that the wrath covers is that done by people who refuse to acknowledge Him as the Lord of Lords, and accept the gift of atonement. The reference to oil and wine is that he will be careful not to inflict collateral damage. What a comfort to the saints who trust in Him and leave their sins at the Cross. During this time the ongoing work of the Blood (wine) and the Holy Spirit (oil) must not be disturbed.
Sunday, April 27th, 2014
I propose that a possible reason for our lack of ability to walk in the supernatural, is that God opposes the proud. When problems come our way, our reaction is to combat it so that we will live in comfort. If that doesn’t work, we feel defeated and wanting.
Everything has a reason. I suspect there isn’t anything that’s random, for everything has an order to it. God made the universe complete. So when we are met with adversity, there is always either God’s way, or Satan’s way out. Satan would have us complain about things and beg God to take away the situation. God doesn’t respond to begging because begging is basically telling God he’s not doing things right. When we are dissatisfied with a situation that directly affects us that we cannot control, and ask (as we should) God to intervene on our behalf, we then should rejoice in God that he heard our prayer, and that he has already taken the situation over and that we are no longer victims of it. A prayer of deliverance by definition HAS to be “I give this to you, and I give up the right to dictate how it will be handled.” But if God does not seem (to us) to resolve it, or if it becomes worse, we start feeling resentful or bitter about it, that means that we have pride and feel we know better than him. No wonder we see so little victory in our lives. The solution? We have the choice in everything to be humble, tell ourselves that God is in control, and let him have it. Then the peace that passes understanding can rule our hearts, because we choose to. Be intentional about your circumstances.
Tuesday April 29th, 3014
This morning I was reflecting on a concept that literally was a breakthrough in my walk with the Lord that I learned a few weeks ago at Tres Dias. I thought I'd share it here. All my life I've been taught about the grace of God that Jesus's blood on the cross bought for our redemption. I've also read and understood that much of the New Testament is filled with admonitions of good deeds and works, with warnings of weeping and gnasing of teeth should one not apply what was being taught. For years I've heard the "Jesus plus nothing" concept-- that is Jesus paid it ALL, and there's nothing we can do to earn salvation, and if we try to "do what we can and let Jesus meet us somewhere in the middle", we're not letting him pay it all. So for years I've wrestled with what is God's responsibility versus mine in terms of what I work on in me. I've also wrestled with the concept of Love. Have you ever felt guilty that you didn't feel love for a homeless person? I've been there and that's part of my struggle. According to the Word, love empowers us to be used of God and be fruitful. God wants our heart to be right, and that's not something that we can easily do because the Word says the heart is deceitful.
Well, it turns out there's only three things we're responsible for.. the rest is up to Him. All three are things we can do as a decision, and that is truly liberating.
1. Get the Word in you. Both from God speaking and the written Word. Invite Holy Spirit to reveal revelation to you as you study.
2. Be grateful! An attitude of gratitude automatically squashes resentmeent and any bad attitude. Something that's really difficult otherwise. Just list your blessings.
3. Now that our heart is right before God, be available. "Here am I Lord, use me for whatever you have for me." This should be our daily montra.
Watch as the Lord speaks to you with nuggets from the Word that you've never seen before, and watch as your love toward others grows. Then watch and see the opportunities God brings to you to share His love with others.
September 25, 2016
In light of the escalating violence in our country, I'd like to add a perspective that I've been thinking about and see if it resonates in anyone else.
It has to do with Jesus words recorded in the Gospels. Jesus’ teachings of the Golden Rule, the greatest and second greatest commandments, and the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, put together, precisely paints a picture of the heart of the Father as it relates to our relationship with him and each other. In case you’re not familiar with these, here they are for convenience:
In Matt 7:12 Jesus is quoted as saying,
”In everything, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This sums up the law and the prophets.” This is commonly called the Golden Rule.
The second reference is found in Mark 12:28-31, and discusses the first and second greatest commandment:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The third reference is in the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray with certain concepts in mind; the one I’d like to focus in on is the first one which reads:
“Our Father who art in Heaven, Hollowed be thy name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
As familiar as many of us are with these passages, I suspect most of us haven’t taken the time to discover the depth of what this really means in our reality. Let’s start with the Golden Rule. The easiest way to explain the issue is to start with stories that we all know and are familiar with in fiction. Let’s look at the story of Cinderella. She was an adult slave essentially, and put into bondage by her step-sisters. If confronted by the Golden Rule, everything that the stepsisters demanded from Cinderella would have been dependent upon them doing the same for her. If this rule is followed as Jesus had intended it to be followed, then it would have equalized the difference of authority power that existed. At the least, it would have put respect between Cinderella and her stepsisters. They would have to serve to be served. This is what Jesus meant by the first will be last and the last will be first. His kingdom is totally upside down from our worldview. It's no wonder that the enemies of Jesus hate the Bible and hate what Jesus was about, because in reality he strips power from despots and gives respect and honor to peasants.
Let's consider the United States as another example. When this nation was founded, it was based upon as little government intervention as possible when it comes to American freedom and individual exceptionalism. The Golden Rule actually was the standard in making America’s form of democracy work. We actually trusted the Government to do its job, leaving us to be what we were meant to be, and Government trusted the people to do what was right, leaving the states and local governments to handle local issues. Now, Government doesn’t trust the citizenry and we don’t trust the Government. Kingdom principals would once again bring in humility and trust, and bring harmony between Government and citizens.
We pray, “Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Powerful words that we often don’t think about, yet those words are echoed again and again in rote response in Churches around the world. So what are we actually saying? I think it goes something like this:
“Let your kingdom principals (Kings serving Peasants, and the lowly lifted up) be the rule here, not the exception.”
Regarding the first and second commandment, I see this as God’s commandment for us to make things square with Him (golden rule applied to God; Whatsoever you would like me (Jesus) to do for you, do the same to me... i.e. Serve the poor and do my work). This is our top mandate, to set up vertical relationship, while at the same time, apply the Golden rule to each other—loving others as much as we love ourselves. How many of us love and take care of our neighbor as much as ourselves? When we have both the vertical and horizontal taken care of, the lines form a Cross, our symbol of harmony with God.
I’m afraid that the current situation with these riots over Police shootings can’t get any better until trust is restored. Trust can only be restored if humility is present, and I don’t see that happening unless God’s ways are once again considered. When God’s ways are prevented from being taught, we get what we have; people who look only to themselves for their existence, and oh what stress and anguish we go through when we have no comfort or safety net, and everything is dependent on oneself.