Moses was reviewing the Law with Israel and said, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in our house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontal on your fore head. You shall write them on the doorpost of your house and on your gates.” Moses said this because he did not want the people of Israel to forget God, His laws, and what He had done.
Jesus once also spoke some encouraging words, “With God all things are possible.” May I borrow from Moses’ command of long ago, and suggest you do something similar with them. Take Jesus’ words, “With God all things are possible,” and write them on the doorpost of your home. Write them on your hand. Memorize and repeat them through the day. Teach them to your family. Do this so when you go through your days, and when you find the world intruding on you with doubts and temptations that you have an answer to those doubts and temptations.
Do it! Write it! Remember it! Then you will remember that you are God’s child. Though all your question are not answered, one day they will be. Until then walk in faith knowing that, “With God all things are possible.”
When we read the Bible we are introduced to people who, because of various factors of life, find themselves distant from God. This theme of distance reminds me of Dt. 4:29, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse speaks to us, for at one time we all have found ourselves separated from God. The verse teaches that distance between us and God matters not; what matters is if a person chooses to remain distant from God.
The question is, “How does one find their way back to God?” The answer is in three parts: First, “From there.” From where you find yourself at this very moment. The second is “If.” If is the emphasis, for it means the choice is yours. If you seek with all your heart and soul. Then comes the great song of the verse, “You shall find him.”
Where do you find yourself today? Desperate, weighted down, and distant from God? Then this verse is for you. When you are done with your games, and emotional foolishness God can be found. If you will put the fiber of your being in to the business of seeking God, He will break upon you in light and glory, but never till then. The moment you set out to find God with your heart and soul you will find God close at hand as your next breath.
Once when King David was being chased and threatened he asked this question, “Who can show us any good,” (Ps 4:6)? This is a question for all ages, for though there have been great changes in society, they are but surface changes; underneath the same human nature exists. It’s true, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
Take three examples: Those who are successful, those in the middle, and those who fail. Successful people who have obtained all the world can offer, in the end can be heard saying, “Who can show us any good?” Then those who always seem to fail; trial after trial, effort after effort, but always they are beaten, until at last heartbroken the say, “Who will show us any good?” Is not the same cry heard from those in the middle? It is worth our attention that people in all circumstances ask the same question. This fact suggest an underlying problem which is independent of circumstances.
The Psalmist answers our question, “Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety,” (6b-8). If you are restless, sleepless, crying out in agony, asking if life is worth living, and who can show us any good? The reason for the question is that you have lost touch with God.
Get back to God,
Matthew 13 is titled, “Jesus Sermon of Parables,” and that is because there are eight parables in the chapter. As Jesus was concluding his points he asked the disciples, “Have you understood all these things,” (51). What was Jesus asking them that they understood? He was asking them if they understood how the Kingdom of Heaven begins, what it is like, and how the present age would end. They simply replied “Yes.”
I think Jesus at this moment showed a remarkable amount of patience with his disciples, for he knew the truth; they really didn’t understand. What Jesus did know was He had planted the concepts of the kingdom in their minds. He knew that after His resurrection the Holy Spirit would come and bring those parables to their remembrance, and then their true meanings and understandings would explode in their minds and hearts revealing the truths of the kingdom.
As Jesus had patience with the disciples, he has patience with us, and thus we need not to be impatient with others. Always remember how Jesus dealt with you – with patience and gentleness. I’m not suggesting that we are to water down the truth of God. Let it have its way as Jesus did, and never apologize for it. Remember Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” He did not say make converts to your own thoughts and opinions.
The Law of the Jewish Religion was first written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. Jesus brought to fulfillment the Law of the Jewish religion, and in so doing fulfilled all the ceremonies of the Law. Therefore, there is no need today for the Temple, priests, and sacrifices – with the exception of communion and baptism.
Jesus came into this world, and when we allow him to write, with the Finger of God, on the tablet of our heart His Law we then no longer need or want a tablet of stone, for we know when we put our self in bondage to the tablets of stone, written with the finger of God, we are in bondage to a thing depleted of its vitality, depleted of its force, and depleted of its effectiveness. Thus Paul wrote, “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone but on tables of human hearts,” (2Cor 3:2-3).
The stone tablets of the Law have been replaced by the law written on the human hearts of men and women who have accepted God’s offer of salvation. And to those who have accepted God’s Spirit, His Spirit is making those men and women like Jesus Christ.
Make me like Him,
3030 W. Van Buren, is an unlikely place for a church. In the day it was a motor court, now it’s a large tent open at both ends. Under the tent are three rows of tables that are broken, and stained. The table’s chairs are no better, for no two are alike. At one end is the pulpit, often in the sun, and the other end there is a constant stream of wandering people. Who goes to this unlikely church? The homeless go there.
How does one serve such an unlikely church? First you bring music, for the homeless have restless souls, and music soothes their restlessness. You bring the Word, Jesus is the Christ, to feed their souls. You bring clothing, for the clothes they have don’t last long on the streets. You bring food to feed their bodies. It is at the serving line where their desperation is most visible, for there are always elbows. Who knows when they last ate, or when they will eat again?
3030 W. Van Buren is an unlikely place for a church, but it is where Christ is preached, souls are ministered to, shelter is given, bodies are fed, and people find Jesus. Yes it is unlikely place, but it is Christ’s church, and that is why we were there.
His Word Goes Forward,
From the Pilgrims, to the leaders of the colonies each declared publicly and in writing their new commonwealth came into existence solely for the glory of God. This is our country’s history. No historian can rewrite it, no president can expunge it, if a 1,000 angels swore on a 1,000 Bibles that this was not true it would in no way alter the fact that the United States was conceived, established, dedicated, and founded on a biblical cornerstone.
Today God cannot be found in our country, for we have driven Him out of our land. We have exchanged our God for idols, our life for darkness, and our glory for that which cannot save us. Sadly, we are ready to risk what comes on the other side of that exchange when the blessings of God are removed from us.
We have come to a critical moment in our land. A moment similar to one when Elijah stood on the top of Mt. Carmel and cried out to Israel in her hour of decision. Standing between two altars and 2 Gods Elijah’s voice cried out to Israel to choose this day whom you will serve. If the Lord be your God then follow him, but if Baal be your god then follow him, and go to hell.
John the Baptist questioned Jesus’ request to be baptized, for Jesus did not need to repent or to be forgiven. Jesus replied to John, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” In this statement we see Jesus’ vision, his mission, what was on his mind, and his ultimate goal for which he set his face to do; to fulfill righteousness.
Augustine said, “God has so fashioned the human heart that it never can find rest until it rests in Him.” Augustine saw in his statement that it is possible for men and women to become adjusted to God, for men and women are made in God’s image and thus are made for such an adjustment. Jesus, God/Man, by fulfilling all righteousness was and is able to make the righteous adjustment in all men and women possible.
We are not made for houses, cars, credit cards, and bank accounts, but for God and God alone. God has it in His mind for those who bear God’s own image, which is every one of us, to be adjusted to God’s righteousness. Jesus came to make such an adjustment. The question is: Will you allow him to make it?
My son has relocated to a new city, so he is church shopping. Last Sunday he visited a church near his apartment. After the service he called to tell me about the church. He said, “Dad, I had to leave, for they spent the entire service criticizing others about their sins.” I recalled this truism, “The chief insult we have about others is actually our chief compliment to ourselves.”
After the phone call I read this, “The Church itself has not yet grasped the fullness of the love of God in Jesus as seen in His attitude toward sinning men. Never were his lips disfigured by the curve of contempt. Never did His face convey to sinning men the assumption of superiority. Never did he say a hard thing to a sinning soul.”
Jesus loved sinners, made friends with them, did not patronize them, or denounce them. Oh that the Church might begin to share the love of God as revealed by Jesus. That love is not a pity that excuses wrong, it is love that dies for wrong. The measure in which we have seen God as Jesus revealed Him is the measure in which we are prepared to be the friend to sinners.
I’m One Too,
Daniel was a man of purpose. His purpose was simple, yet it was sublime; simple in expression, and sublime in its principle. What was his purpose in the midst of heathen rulers? He would not touch the king’s food, nor drink the king’s wine! That was the simplicity of his purpose, but not what made it sublime. What made it sublime was that he purposed that nothing in this world would rob him of his spiritual life.
Daniel’s deepest purpose was loyalty to God. This was expressed in separation from the corrupting influences of his high position. Because he took a stand at the beginning, he was victorious till the end.
You and I live in a much easier age than Daniel lived in, but with temptations at our disposal more dangerous than Daniel had. Today therefore, everyone needs to be a Daniel with a definite purpose and it should be announced; this is especially true in the matters of the spirit, and the things of the Christian life. Today, surrounded by the allurement and enticement of a godless age, let every man and woman purpose in their heart that he will be loyal to Jesus Christ first, and declare that purpose at the start of each day.
Purposed to God,