Foreword:

Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.

A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching for a while, and I'm working through Revelation here. My YouTube videos are currently short studies in Matthew, and at present I'm posting videos on Revelation as well. Both appear on the blog, which is turning into a Vlog. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The God of All Comfort...

I, even I, am he who comforts you.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. — Like a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. For he knows how we are made; he remembers that we are dust. — As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you. — Cast all your care upon him, for he cares for you.
You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and full of mercy and truth.
Another Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth. — The Spirit ... helps our infirmities.
God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Sometimes pain is the most prominent feature of our lives.  Physical pain. Emotional pain.  These lead to depression.  God is willing to comfort us--you, in those dark and difficult times, when it seems hope has fled, and life is not worth living--God is the One who "comforts the downcast;" when all His "waves and billows roll over us," we can still reach out to Him, call out to Him.  Even when you think, "I have been cast out of His sight," He still holds out His hand to you, to take you up, care for you, and comfort you.  In fact, David wrote, "When my father and mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up."  He never gives up on you, never throws you away, never calls it quits with you, and He's always waiting for you to reach out to Him and call out for His help.  If it's tough for you today, He is willing to comfort you and encourage you.  He is willing to fill your heart with His presence.  You may be sad and troubled, but you can still know His love in the midst of your difficulty.  


ISA. 51:12. II Cor. 1:3,4. ‑Psa. 103:3,14. ‑Isa. 66:13. ‑I Pet. 5:7. Psa. 86:15. John 14:16,17. ‑Rom. 8:26. Rev. 21:4.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thirst and Drinking.

If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.
My soul longs, yes even faints away for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cries out for the living God. — O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see your power and your glory, just as I have seen you in the sanctuary.
Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. — The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is athirst come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely. — Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

It's difficult to imagine that eternal life would be as simple as drinking (or eating). Or that the drink would be free. But that's how it is.  If it was less natural, more difficult, not everyone could do it.  God made it as simple as a prayer, a thought, the opening of a door, a step, a look, a drink, a meal, a bath, washing the eyes, a sermon and response (all these are exemplified in some scene in the Bible). He made it free. "Without money and without price;" in other words, you don't have to pay, and there's no "fine print." HE paid.  He bought your ticket.  You want it? Take it.

Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.





JOHN 7:37. Psa. 84:2. -Psa. 63:1,2. Isa. 55:1. -Rev. 22:17. -John 4:14. ‑John 6:55. Song 5:1.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Healing.

I have seen his ways, and will heal him. I am the Lord, who heals you.

O Lord, you have searched me, and known me. You know my down-sitting and mine uprising, you understand my thoughts afar off. You surround my path and my lying down, you are acquainted with all my ways. — You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance. — All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. — He is gracious to him, and says, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. — He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him: and with his stripes we are healed. — He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted. — Your faith has made you whole; go in peace, and be healed from your plague.

Healing is what we need.  We need compassion, redirection, sometimes discipline, but above all we need healing--mind, soul, and body.  God offers that through His Son, the Lord Jesus. We can't always count on physical healing (many times we can!) because full physical healing comes on Resurrection Day, but we can always count on our souls being healed through God's grace.  
Healing comes through a single avenue, Jesus Christ, God's Son. When He healed people's bodies, we read, "He Himself took our infirmities, and carried our sicknesses" as the explanation.  When He healed their souls, we read, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." And, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit, and with power, [and He] went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil." And, "He bore our sins in His own body on the tree...By [His] wounds you were healed."
In this, as in everything else, it is Jesus who empowers, helps, transforms, heals--just as He Himself said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Nobody comes to the Father except through Me."  
He means (among other things) that He is the access point for all that God will do for us.  ALL of Gods' blessing comes through Him. All of God comes to you through Him.
Call out to Him and see.


ISA. 57:18. Exo. 15:26. Psa. 139:1‑3. -Psa. 90:8. -Heb. 4:13. Isa. 1:18. ‑Job 33:24. -Isa. 53:5. -Isa. 61:1. ‑Mark 5:34.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

All things new.

Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
You shall not follow a multitude to do evil.
Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he who believes with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? — Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The world passes away, and all its desires, but he who does the will of God abides for ever.
In times past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. — You have not so learned Christ; if indeed you have heard him, ... as the truth is in Jesus.

Lots of negative verses here, but here are some positive truths built on them:
1.  Your mind CAN be renewed.  Your life, as it is today, can be changed through the renewing of your mind, so that you do not conform to what you used to be, but instead, you become who God has planned for you to be. In some sense, this is passive. You let God do it through His mighty power.

2. You can choose to either be God's friend, or the world's.  The friendships are mutually exclusive, so that when you choose God, He is always on your side. You'll note how the text goes: "makes himself the enemy of God." It does not say that God becomes your enemy.  You may stand against Him, but He always stands ready to forgive and receive you. He is the eternal friend.

3. The great division that exists between godly and ungodly, between good and evil, between Christ and Satan, makes the choice between them much simpler. You're not choosing between two kinds of good, but between good and evil.  Beware, though, that you don't excuse true evil with apparent "righteousness." The Pharisees made long prayers in public, but devoured widow's houses.

4. Doing what God wants prepares you for eternity, where you will live with Him--"abide forever."

5. The "past" is what you were.  What you are now is Christ's man or woman, and you belong to Him, both for His purposes, and complete salvation and transformation, so that you are different from the person you once were. You CAN "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure." He is there, and always available.

ROM. 12:2. Exo. 23:2. Jas. 4:4. II Cor. 6:14-16. ‑I John 2:15,17. Eph. 2:2. ‑Eph. 4:20,21.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ONE...In Him!

I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them.

A new heart ... will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you. — Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.
I ... beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling to which you were called, with all lowliness and meekness, ... endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The old song goes, "We are one in the Spirit..." and it's true.  The oneness of Christians, their unity with each other, and with the Lord, is an absolute.  It's a fact. However, it's much more difficult to live than it is to know.  There are temptations along the way, which mean we must "endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;" in plain terms, the unity we have in Him requires work to maintain.  We may indeed "have one heart," but often it's difficult to live that way every day. There is a way, though--remind yourself, when you are talking to an annoying fellow Christian that you stand on one side, he or she stands on the other, and the Lord is between you.  Let everything you do and say to that person go through Him first.  That will help. Meditate on these verses so that they will come up into your mind constantly.  God's family is very much like an earthly family--you may have a tough time with the other members of your family, but in the final analysis, they ARE family, and you tolerate much more from them than from those who are not.  Finally, remember this: Jesus said, "a new commandment I give to you: that you love one another, as I have loved you." Love your brother or sister in the Lord. Love God. "He who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he has not seen?"



JER. 32:39. Ezek. 36:26. ‑Psa. 25:8‑10. John 17:21. Eph. 4:1‑6.



Monday, September 9, 2013

Good things from the Father.

He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent away
empty.--LUKE 1:53.

You say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of
nothing: but you do not know that you are wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold tried in
the fire, that you may be rich. As many as I love, I rebuke and
chasten: be zealous therefore and repent.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness: for
they shall be filled.--When the poor and needy seek water, and there is
none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I
the God of Israel will not forsake them.--I am the Lord your God . . .
open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread? and your
labour for what doesn't satisfy? hearken diligently to me, and
eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in
fatness.--I am the bread of life: he who comes to me shall never
hunger; and he who believes in me shall never thirst.

The source of all good things is God.  He is, we are told, "the Giver of every good and perfect gift, who never varies." So the question is, "what do you need?" When you answer, don't insult Him by saying, "A new motorhome,"  because your needs are more than the stuff you want to buy. They extend into eternity future, and consist primarily in what has to do with your heart and soul.  In the texts above, you can see this emphasis; "You say, I am rich and increased with goods..." and then Jesus says, "get the gold tried in the fire," [which you can't buy with money!]; in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that to hunger and thirst for righteousness puts you in the path to be filled with them.  And finally, Jesus says, "I am the bread of life..." If you seek Him, you will find Him--and everything else besides.  

Rev. 3:17-19.Matt. 5:6. -Isa. 41:17. -Psa. 81:10.Isa. 55:2. -John 6:35.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Into your heart.

You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting.
       
The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. — What is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. — The Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. — Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows,  he shall reap. For he who sows to his flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit shall reap life everlasting from the Spirit.

What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? — What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts. — you have tested my heart; thou hast visited me in the night; you have tried me, and shall find nothing.

That is where God looks--in your heart.  He sees beyond what we put forward to the world around us, whether good or bad.  He knows where the little child is hiding inside the gangster; where the evil is inside the woman who gossips; He measures your heart on His "balances" (scale), and sees everything about it. He says, "the heart is desperately wicked, and beyond cure--who can know it?"
and answers His own question with:
"I the LORD search the heart, I test the inner man..." God knows all about you, and though the texts above don't mention it, He loves you despite who you may be.  He doesn't pick favorites, and you have as much opportunity for His blessing as anyone else. You just have to decide to follow Him.  He does desire "truth in the inward parts"--in other words, you face and accept the truth about yourself, and refuse to hide from Him. Then you offer up your life and soul to God, and follow Him with all your heart. It's all any of us can do.
       
DAN. 5:27.  I Sam. 2:3. -Luke 16:15. -I Sam. 16:7. -Gal. 6:7,8. Matt. 16:26. -Phi. 3:7. Psa. 51:6. -Psa. 17:3.