"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)

Behold The Man!

Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, "Behold the man"! (John 19:1-5 KJV)

Krystal Meyers - The Beauty of Grace

Which Man Will You Receive?

Originally Published: March 16, 2008

“I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41-44 NIV)

Jesus, of course, is speaking to the “holy” men of the day. The righteous, or shall I say “self-righteous” teachers of Israel. The very ones who loved to pray on the street corners to be noticed and receive praises for their piteousness. Yet, they were the very ones who would deny others entry into the kingdom, heaping upon them a multitude of verbal rules and regulations. Rules and regulations they themselves did not keep, nor could they even begin to keep.

Jesus is healing on the Sabbath. How utterly outrageous!

Let’s see, under the law a man could pull his horse, bull or whatever out of a pit. This would be considered an act of pity, mercy upon the animal. Or, was the law being read in light of the material loss should the animal die and the man lose the animal’s value or worth? How much more should the Lord Jesus heal this tortured human being? How much more was He led by mercy and pity using the very same reasoning this “law” entailed? Of how much more value a soul? Oh, what a warped sense of value, or worth we place on a human soul. Jesus warned us we would worship the creation rather than the Creator. Woe unto us!

Since the “preachers” of that day didn’t like Jesus’ truth, they had Him crucified. Remember what He said?

“one” will come. No connection to the Father, God Almighty. No, this “one” will dare to come in his own name. “him” the people will joyfully receive.

Will “he” heap the praises upon mankind, the kind of justification that they so deeply desire for their dirty deeds? All around us are ”whitewashed tombs”. Outwardly, they are as white as the driven snow. Inside, dark, ugly–black hearted. Still, they want, they need some type of praise. And, ”he will give it to them. Every dark, dirty, hidden, thing they’ve done will be praised as “good”. Okay–acceptable.

It’s here today. I’m okay, you’re okay, too. If you want to be a pervert, if you want to stay high, it you want to fornicate, if you want to adulterate. Okay, by me. That’s just a bunch of laws written by a bunch of old Jewish men. What do God’s laws have to do with the “civilized” and “educated” people of today’s world?

Trouble is, mankind can’t touch God’s wisdom. He fully knows each of them through and through. He knows “him” through and through, too. “his” time is limited. “he” knows it, too. And, believe me, he is angry!

So, why can’t they have all they want and desire now? Simple. You and I are still here. God’s Holy Spirit in us is holding back these dark forces until we are safely removed. If you think things are bad now. Watch out! You haven’t seen anything, yet!

Recently, I heard someone speak on the coming wrath. It is three-fold. It is that awful beast—that, “him”, yes. It is mankind at it’s vilest, yes. But, more than anything it is God’s wrath being poured out upon this earth and all sinners in it. As much as I hate what I know will befall mankind because of his sin, I can’t wait for this day.

Do I want my loved ones hurt? No! A thousands, millions time–no. I grieve in my heart and I pray they will turn, but I know they may not. Before God allows this to come, I pray He will pour down His healing rain, bringing revival to our land. Please, God!

God’s wrath is not, was never intended for you and me! This need not be. You see, Jesus had everyone’s sin nailed with Him on the cross. Everyone’s! Mine! Yours! All we have to do is believe He is God and He is able to do this!

Mankind wants to help out—make themselves good on their own. This started with Cain (Genesis 4:1-8) and mankind will sadly attempt this futile effort until the very end. And, there will be an end. From the time that “one” steps up. From the time “he” offers peace to Israel, 7 years are laid out for God’s wrath. Nothing like it has ever been and nothing like it will ever be again.

Take Jesus up on His offer–now! Accept your dept as paid in full–”It is finished!” (John 19:30) It was, it is–but, you have to believe and take it!

Belief means to put your full weight into and/or onto something. We do it everyday. Every time you sit in a chair–you believe it will hold you, and most often it does! You step into an elevator and expect to be taken to the top, and most of the time–it does!

Jesus is not a “most of the time” God! No, everyone who turns to Him in faith–belief, will not be cast away (John 6:37). No, in that moment you have actually stepped into everlasting life. God’s word says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!” No “most of the time” in those words, dear one!” John 3:15

Simple? For us, yes. That’s where so many stumble. They stumble on the cornerstone—on the Rock, Jesus Christ. It was anything but simple for Christ—it cost Him death on a cursed cross. Worse, it cost Him a first time ever separation from His Father. His Father who must turn His back on His own Son because His eyes cannot behold sin! Jesus became our sin! He carried your sin, my sin with Him on that cross. Simple? Not for Christ!

We will soon be celebrating Easter, Resurrection Morning! Oh, come to Him and receive your new life–today, while it is still today!

When “he” comes, how shall any stand? Except for Christ Jesus!

Come quickly, Lord, Jesus! Come!

God Fast?

Originally Published: January 18, 2008

Like many believers, I strongly believe in the spiritual benefits of fasting. Though, admittedly, like many other Christians, I find this a very difficult spiritual discipline.

Recently, I learned that sometimes a fast can be God-initiated.

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I haven’t written anything for a couple of months. It was during this period that I was introduced to this type of fast. Couldn’t eat, didn’t want to eat–no explanation. However, prior to this “fast” I had pleaded with the Lord to show me His purity so sin would be less appealing to me.

It was 8-10 days into this “God-fast” that I came under unbelievable spiritual attack. I tell you, it drove me to my knees and straight into the Cleft of the Rock–Jesus Christ!

I remember having come through this attack (purely by the grace of Almighty God), that it hit me one morning that I could eat again. I smiled up knowingly to God. Yes, eating again was okay.

I’m not sure all that this spiritual attack was meant to divinely produce in my life, but I can tell you I did get an answer to my previous prayer!

No, God didn’t “show” me his purity. Instead, He showed me my sinfulness!

When that happens, all you can do is call out to God and cry, “Lord! Save me!”

Thank God He did, He does, and I am confident He always will!

And, yes, I can write again, too!

Are We in Those End-Time Days?

Originally Published: October 30, 2007

This bit of information was passed along to me by a friend. While I cannot swear to the veracity of its content, I do find the article to be though provoking and quite sobering, so I am passing this along to you, my readers:

“This is very interesting and just a bit scary …

The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States, especially in the minority races!!!

Allah or The Lord Jesus Christ? … By Rick Mathes.

Last month I attended my annual training session that’s required for maintaining my state prison security clearance. During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained each of their beliefs.

After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Imam and asked: “Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven. If that’s the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?”

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, “Non-believers!”

I responded, “So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?”

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of “a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.”

He sheepishly replied, “Yes.”

I then stated, “Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope John Paul commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!”

The Imam was speechless!

I continued, “I also have problem with being your ‘friend’ when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?”

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame. Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the ‘Diversification’ training seminar were Not happy with Rick’s way of dealing with the Islamic Imam and exposing the truth about the Muslims’ beliefs.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. To elect the President! I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the Liberal justice system, liberal media and the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized. Please pass this on…

Yes, this information will be enlightening to many. However, we know we are in those days when many will fall away from the true faith. All these things must take place. Persecution is going to happen to believers. Yes, even in the United States!

In fact, it has already begun. You already see it taking root in politics especially, but soon our own neighbors and, sadly, even our own family members will despise and hate us for our belief in Christ Jesus. Haven’t you already seen this anger toward Christians? Don’t be dismayed. They hated Jesus, so naturally they will hate the Jesus in us!

America has been under God’s protective wing because of her sweet beginnings, and because of the body of believers in our once great land. Tragically, we may soon find our beloved country under God’s fierce judgment because of the sins we have allowed to take place on our soil. Perhaps that is what we are seeing now. Our people are killing innocent children. Not much different from the sacrifices of pagans millennium’s ago. Only now instead of Asherah poles, we go to abortion clinics to sacrifice our children. We have stood by, allowed, even agreed with the philosophy and the political correctness that the immorality of the homosexuality and other illegitimate lifestyles are acceptable, even morally correct. Oh, those gross and grievous sins are just the result of other heaped upon sins we have allowed to fester and grow in our lives. Our country’s and our own indulgences, our covetousness, our idolatries. Woe unto us!

I tell you unless we repent we will surely perish as a nation. You know, America is not seen as any type of player in the end time events. Probably because we are no longer able to participate in that evil government as the result of some catastrophic event, or that we have joined with or be overrun by another form of government, i.e. the European Union.

You see the beginnings of this “one world” thinking in Obama’s refusal to wear the American flag on his lapel, or to pledge to the American flag. Is he embracing this concept of a ”world” government instead of acknowledging and honoring our own constitutionally established government? Now, that’s scary!

Still, if this must be I would that all this come so that Jesus could also come. Even, I guess, if that means suffering, persecution and possible death–even death by decapitation from the sword of an Islamic radical. God help me to stand!

You do know that after Christ takes His children home the method that will be used to martyr saints is the beheading by sword? Welcome to Islam and all other forms of crazed religious fanaticism. All followers of that anti-Christ, anti-God mind-set will rejoice and actually believe they are doing God’s will. Unthinkable!

Let us prepare our hearts now, and seek revival–in our own hearts and in our land. We must repent!

I love you all. Stand firm in the most holy faith! Stand firm in Christ Jesus!

Allure Me, O, My Lord!

Originally Published: October 30, 2007

“Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.” (Hosea 2:6-17 KJV)

Yes, God is speaking of Israel in these verses, but let’s put that truth aside for the moment. These verses could be the ”femiinine” equivalent to the “prodical son”.

As a believer and follower of Christ Jesus, the scary part is that I can totally relate to the woman in these verses! Far too often I find myself feeling much like stubborn, hard-hearted Israel, always wandering after things that do not satisfy. Why? I know going into them that they won’t begin to touch on my real need, but I can’t seem to quench the desire. That desire for instant gratification of perceived needs and ”gotta haves”. Or, the desire for some type of spontaneious diversion from ever increasing weariness, pain, suffering and sorrow. I find myself actually believing that this immediate ”okay” thing or this immediate “good” thing, or worse, this immediate “not good at all” thing is an acceptable alternative for what I what I know is God’s “best” thing for my life. Woe is Israel! Woe is me!

Woe is me, because what I am doing is settling for an “idol”, and let’s call it what it truly is, what God says it is, worshipping Baalim! Now, none of us want to admit that we worship Baalim, but we do! Everytime we go for the instant or the immediate–everytime we go for that substitute, we are picking up “idols” and calling them our lovers. God helps us all, calling them our “god”.
Oh, I pray that you heard God refer to these “idols” as our lovers! Dear one, as believers when you and I hold those “idols” in our right hand we have entered into an adulterous affair. Why? Because we are the “bride” of Christ Jesus!

Marriage is a holy and sacred ”covenant” between a man and a woman, which was initiated, instituted and blessed by Almighty God. Marriage is a “blood” covenant. Marriage is a solemon and binding covenant and should only be entered into after having being been most seriously weighed and considered.

Please hear me, my intent is not to bring condemenation, but the truth is when we enter into this holy ”covenant” called marriage we are to be “virgins”. Yes, both the male and the female. The marriage covenant is not fully consummated nor binding until after the wedding night. The intimate ”knowing” of one another, with that blood evidenced is the final seal or stamp upon the marriage contract.

As believers, we are ”married” to Christ Jesus. Our marriage to Christ is the most holy, and sacred of all covenants. We enter into this convenant knowing that it was ”sealed” by the shedding of Our Lord’s own precious blood! Why on earth God would still claim us as His “bride”, I’ll never know, but God Himself is our Ishi, our Husband! To seek after other lovers is unthinkable, yet still we chase after them.

I’ll tell you the truth, I’m tired of chasing! I want to be hedged in! I need to be hedged in! Amen? That is not a bad thing. No! God’s hedge is a necessary wall of needed protection. Oh, and it is within the boundaries of that hedge that we find our place of comfort and rest! Glory to God, dear children, Christ Jesus is that Hedge!

You know, I want so badly to be “allured”! Don’t you? Oh, my heart and soul yearns to be adored and sought after. To be spoken gently to. Can’t you just hear the Lord whispering tenderly in our ears of His unfailing love?

How long will we run from His sweet wooing? I’ll tell you. We’ll run until God leads us to that “wilderness” place. Oh, I’ve been there. My pastor calls it a “dent” in the road. You’re going along thinking everything is just fine and ”Bam”! The good news is it’s not the bottomless pit!

Oh, you’ll think it is because you’re stuck, in a rut and going no where! Wilderness experiences can get ugly! How long did it take Israel? 40 years? Round and round they went, passing God’s best time after countless time! Going in circles is not good, but it does make you cry out to the only One who knows the Way out of your present wilderness!

The Valley of Achor–a Valley of Trouble! It was there that the fierceness of God’s wrath was poured out upon Achan for troubling Israel with his idolatry (Joshua 7). In that valley, in one day, Achan and his entire family lay dead under a heap of stones! Indeed, all Achan’s possessions including the very items he coveted were buried under that heap with him.

Oh, I pray you see the beautiful picture that God is painting for Israel. How well she remembers God’s fierce wrath! Now, our great God extends the Branch of peace and goodwill to Israel and all other weary idolators–all weary sinners! Now, instead of God’s wrath we graciously receive God’s mercy! God has done a new thing through His precious Son, Christ Jesus! it is through this Doorway of Hope that our God leads us–straight to His mercy and grace! What rest! I’ve been there, too. Why on earth I try to flee and chase after other gods is a complete and utter mystery to me.

Oh, here among the vineyards God has planted for my pleasure, I am like a young virgin, playing upon the string instruments, the tamborine shaking high over my head. My heart is light and I find myself merrily dancing–my feet barely touching the the rich furtile earth beneath me! I can’t help but sing the praises of my Lord and my God! What joy is mine inside these boundaries of God’s protective Hedge! Oh, the sweetness of God’s wooing!

Virgin? Did this person seriously say virgin? Yes! You see, my marriage to the Lamb has not been fully consummated. I await that day when I will be joined in the flesh as I am in the the spirit with my Beloved. How I long for that moment when I am ushered into His presence, for that instant I hear His voice, the sound of that trumpet and that shout! Then, my Savior, My Ishi will be mine forevermore!

Praise be to our God who has become our Salvation, Our Hope and our Ishi!

Pray for Israel!

Pray for me!

I’ll be praying for you!

The Holiness of God!

Originally Published: September 13, 2007

Please read prayerfully through Ezekiel 23.

I have witnessed almost as if from standing afar off, my own slow, steady drift from my first love—the Lord. The very thought is absolutely terrifying to me, but much to my sorrow and shame I find that my sin has a very powerful, sensual draw.

Since I obviously do not have a clear grasp on the vileness of my own nature, I have repeatedly asked the Lord to reveal to me His holiness, His purity. Last night, I again earnestly sought the Lord with my petition. Oddly, I was reminded of a time I happened upon Ezekiel 23. I remember quickly closing and placing the Bible far from me because I was horrified to hear such language being spoken from the lips of a holy God. I had difficulty “justifying” the need of such expression—from God (as if God need justify Himself to anyone)! The imagery was too horrible for me to even read then, and it is still difficult today. Now, I understand why.

Ezekiel 23 is a graphic word picture of how God views sin—our sin and idolatry. He expresses His hatred of sin in the most vulgar of terms. Terms we can fully identify with because they describe in great detail our rebellion and rejection of Almighty God.

True, these words were spoken to God’s chosen people, the divided lands of Israel and Judah, but can I dare claim that my own sin is any less vile? The truth is my sin is worse because I am called by the name of Christ. I am His bride—brought at a very high price with the precious blood of the Sinless One— Jesus Christ, the only begotton Son of the One Living and True God!
God did not answer my pleas to see His holiness, at least not in the way I supposed. Rather, God did a far, far better thing. He gave me the grace gift of showing me the filthiness of my own sin.
Praise be to His Holy Name!

Jesus the Christ Revealed Through the Study of God’s Holy Word!

Your Concept of God Just Might Be the Problem!

Originally Published: October 4, 2007

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “`Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25:24-30

Whoa! I hope you are reading all there is to be read into this parable. You see, Jesus is speaking of His kingdom and His servants. This man was a chosen believer and follower of Jesus Christ! Saved, sanctified and gifted like all believers. Sadly, this man did not recognize the heart and intent of His Master. Indeed, his skewed perception of the very character and the person of his Master got him into the worst of all places–utter darkness!

Now, one simply can’t use this parable to support the claim that a believer can “lose” his salvation. Salvation is a free gift of God–brought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ! God is not an liar, and He is called Faithful!

However, when we appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ any work or works done in our flesh that bring honor and glory to our Lord will be justly rewarded. Yes, some will receive greater honor and position, but all are saved and gloriously freed to enter into the glory of our Lord–even if it were as by fire! (1 Corinthians 3:9-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:10)

Oh, we are witness to a bitter lesson hard-learned by the poor servant in this parable! The sad result of coming to His Lord emptied-handed was that this servant was cast or positioned to ”exoteros skotos”, an exterior place of obscurity in God’s kingdom. Now, if you have ever been in a place where you have pondered your own “what if’s” or your own “what could have been’s” then you can fully understand why this servant and others like him find themselves in a place of weeping and gnashing their teeth. A place of–”if only”!

If we are not careful this is exactly where our own misconceptions toward God and His plans and purposes for our lives can lead us–stumbling around in total darkness–completely oblivious to the goodness, mercy and faithfulness of our God! Yes, even when it stares us right in the face!

This man, this servant thought his Master hard–a harsh taskmaster. Demanding, unmerciful, quick to judge and quick with retribution. He viewed his Master as One to be feared! His view was sorely tainted because he attributed to his Master the earthly characteristics of mere humanity. Yes, it may be true that this servant may have learned these ”earthly” or “human” attributes under the most dire of circumstances, or, worse through his own sin nature! Oh, beloved, this is never, ever going to wash, or hold up under the judgment of Christ! Why? Because it was Jesus Christ, the God-Man Who came to this earth, took on flesh, suffered and died upon a hated cross to reveal the true heart of the Father to us!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!” (John 3:16)

God loved this servant and meant him only good! Why else give him any gift? This servant failed to move past his misconceptions of God to the truth about God–God is love and God loves us! He never grew up in the Lord.

Misunderstanding God’s intent can cause us to try to hide or ”bury” many things; our gifts, our talents, even our sin. Sound familiar? It should because this is just what happened to Adam and Eve once satan tricked them and their eyes were opened to the “knowledge of good and evil.” They, too, tried to hide their sin from God–with just about as much success!

Come on. You and I can relate. How often have we waited for that frying pan, that jackhammer, boulder or mountain to come crashing down upon our heads? How many times have we accused God of evil towards us, even if only in the deepest recesses of our hearts? Okay, maybe it’s just me!

Anyway, for me, I think this “hard” concept of Almighty God developed in my early childhood years. Parents too often fail to realize that they play a major role in demonstrating the attributes of God to their children. Heavy responsibility I know, but so true. As children we learn the Godly characteristics of unconditional love, nuturing, and acceptance, We learn to develop a God-sense of value and worth. Our parents teach us the concept of right and wrong as well as the probable consequences of wrong choices. We learn the value of correction and discipline all within the family environment. In learning these early attributes of God, we develop the ability to readily respond first to the God-given authority of our parents, then to our Almighty God in reverent fear, obedience, respect, honor and love.

Apparently, this servant had not learn these vital truths about God! Thank goodness, this is only a parable–an illustrative story. A story that portrays truth–truth with a warning! Oh, dear one, a warning not to miss your blessing–your reward! A warning not to distrust or accuse your God!

Unfortunately we also have to touch on the fact that for too many of us, our early “church” experiences can help mis-shape our concept of God. For me, “church” only reinforced what I was already learning in my home environment. Sadly, the concept of God’s harsh retribution was reinforced–Sunday after Sunday!

Now, I could stop right there and place the blame for any misconceptions I may have about God on the shoulders of my parents and the “church”. Wrong! Again, that is just what Adam and Eve tried to do. They didn’t get away with that one either! (Genesis 3)

Beloved, once the idea of God has entered our thought process and seed has been “planted” in our hearts, we have to accept the responsibility to ever move forward to discover Biblical truth for ourselves! Caution: Just because you choose to believe something doesn’t necessary constitute that belief as being “truth”! “Study to show thyself approved”! Makes sure your “beliefs” line up with the Word of God!

An example of this is that this servant stated that his Master “…harvested where he had not sown and gathered where he had not scattered seed.” Wrong!

God introduced the concept of sowing and reaping! We have only to go back to the book of Genesis to see this God-given concept laid out for us and for all creation.

“Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Genesis 1:11)

“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22)

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:27-28)

If you know anything about reproduction, then you know that every plant and living thing reproduces either through a seed or egg. A seed is sown and reaps of its own kind! The egg is fertilized and reproduces of its own kind.

Oh, God is the great ”Sower” of the universe and everything in it! Beloved, He fully intends to “reap” or bring forth a mighty harvest–reaped from the blood, sweat and tears of His own dear Son, Jesus the Christ! Count on it!

We can’t miss another great truth in this parable. I was recently listening to someone explaining sowing and reaping. He stated that a farmer plants a seed (sows) and is responsible to make sure that he does everything within his ability to ensure that he reaps a crop. However, this is never a guarantee because it is always God who brings forth the harvest! A farmer cannot reap without God and we cannot increase our abilities, gifts and talents without God! Like Jesus said, sometimes tenfold, sometimes a hundred fold. This servant probably understood that concept of reaping and sowing, but he failed to believe that God would love him enough to perform that great miracle for him. Pity!

Oh, let’s not make the same mistake. Fear not! Trust in your God! He is Faithful Who has called you!

Jesus Christ revealed through the study of God’s Word!

Our All Merciful God!

Originally Published: October 20, 2007

If you are a believer who has experienced the merciful saving power and grace of Almighty God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, then your heart just naturally bleds for all lost sinners. Perhaps, like me, your heart bleds even more profusely for those young, foolish souls who leave this earth without any indication that they have ever called upon the name of Jesus. It is far worse if they perish having committed gross sins against the laws of man, or the commandments of God. That piercing of the heart is even more searing if such a foolish one happens to be particularly close to you–an acquaintance, a friend or a dear beloved one.

Shortly after moving back to my hometown the Lord permitted satan to “sift” me like wheat. I experienced a time of ”walking through that valley of the shadow of death.” Many of you will know what I mean by that phrase. The Lord used satan’s plans against me to “refine” me. As some may know, the refining process is quite often by fire, and believe me, fire burns! I know I have mentioned this before I know, but, beloved, fire can also heal and cleanse. Yes, the Lord gave His permission for me to pass through this valley of fire, but praise God, He did not leave me there. And, yes, He was there with me–always!

It was during that two year period I came face to face with the reality of sin’s consequences in a way I would have never otherwise understood. God gave me the bitter, but at the same time praiseworthy ”grace gift” of a tasting of the horrors hell holds for the lost.

Shortly after this experience, a young man in our area died while trying to escape the police. He tried to hide out in a pond behind the jewelry store he and a friend or friends had attempted to rob. He was later found by the police but, unfortunately, he perished in that pond.

I did not know this young man, but I can tell you his untimely death has haunted me. He was barely 16. That may sound like a responsible age to some of you, but when I look back at my own children at that age, I can remember full well how at times they were very foolish. No, they never did anything as drastic or desperate as robbery, thank God, but yes, kids do stupid things. I did, and so did you.

This tragic event brought to mind a close friend and neighbor who perished at the age of 17-18 many long years ago. His was probably the first person I knew who died at such a young age.

Then, a year later, almost to the date, the girl he was with (who had been hospitalized for months as the result of that accident that killed this young boy) was later killed in an automobile accident of the same nature (drinking and driving) almost in the exact place the first accident had taken place!

Another such tragedy was that of a lovely young woman who died of breast cancer in her late twenties or early thirties. I was told that she cursed God on her death bed. Oh, I grieved because I loved her. No, we weren’t close, she was a bit older, but, yes, I loved her and I knew she and her family very well. I know her last words must have wounded them to the very core.

Did God see my grief and pain? Does God see yours? Yes, Yes, Yes! I just have to tell you about the loving mercy of our God. A couple of days ago, I was listening to Real Family Life with Dennis Rainey (October 15, 16?). He and his guest were speaking on the brain development of a child to that of a full grown adult. His guest stated that doctors have now found that a person’s brain does not reach full development until their early to mid twenties.

I can personally attest to this truth. I clearly remember hitting age 21-22 and suddenly getting it! My parents weren’t complete morons! True, it was around that time that I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I definitely think this brain development thing had something to do with it, too!

As I pondered this new information I remembered God’s commands regarding offerings and those who could enter into the Promised Land. These passages can be found in Exodus 30:11-14:

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the Lord. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the Lord.”

Exodus 38:22-26:”And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the Lord commanded Moses. And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen. All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.”

and Numbers 14, especially verses 27-32:

“And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea. And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me. Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly. And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the Lord? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.”

Again, just this past Wednesday night in church our pastor spoke of a time long ago when he, by mere chance, (As if there were such a thing!) visited a Christian family who was so deeply grieved, believing their aged Christian relative was going straight to hell because on her death bed she was cursing like a sailor. Oh, God is so good, because just a few days prior to visiting this family my pastor had just finished reading an article in a Christian magazine that explained that many cancers and the resulting chemotherapies (especially those that were first used years ago) somehow effected a part of the brain that caused cursing, even if that person had never uttered a curse who before. My dear pastor went back to his room and brought that magazine and article to that grieving family. He was also able to share with them that God does not retract His free gift of salvation! Every sin–past, present and future that dear woman had ever committed or would commit until she drew her last breath had been nailed with Jesus Christ on that cross! Glory!

I rejoice that God was so precious in letting me hear these truths through very reliable sources. I rejoice, not because I know that my young friends will be in heaven or, in hell for that matter, but because I know God is good, full of compassion and mercy. I can rest and know the peace the surpasseth all understanding because I trust that He Who judges–judges justly and fairly, always taking every single detail in account!

Oh, I pray you will call on Him and trust Him with all your cares. He is so Faithful!

Jesus Christ Revealed Through the Study of God’s Word!