Archive for category Ponderings
Job sought an intercessor and regrettably his friends never interceded on his behalf. Job stated in Job 9, 33 “If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together”. He yearned for intercession, yet received nothing but accusations and judgement from his friends. After a lengthy debate with his so-called friends, he finally receives intercession from his Maker. God the Father intercedes for Himself (since He was misrepresented by both Job and his friends) as well as for Job. God then encourages Job to be an intercessor for his friends since their judgemental attitude and false statements against God’s righteous servant earned them a punishment befitting their lack of compassion and misrepresentation of God. Job is humbled and capitulates to intercede and receives a complete restoration of his former blessings.
When you’re faced with a seemingly impossible situation, do you have a friend who you can count on to intercede for you? I do, and His name is Jesus!
Do we, as believers in Christ, take the meaning of Immanuel literally? Speaking for myself; if I did I would have a whole lot more faith than my actions, thoughts, and words often reveal.
When Jesus sent the disciples away to do His work of spreading the gospel: healing the sick, ministering to the needy and doing miracles in His name; Jesus knew His disciples were at a place where they trusted God would be with them wherever they went. Jesus gave them the “power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases”. -Luke 9:1 This authority He gave them was an authority of the ultimate kind and is not given to those who cannot be trusted with it.
We should beware those who claim to have such authority. Are they giving glory to God or to themselves? Do their lives exemplify persons who fully trust in Christ? Are they walking with God in their personal lives?
The disciples had the greatest example of faith in the person of Jesus. One whose very name means God With Us, Jesus always gave glory to His Father in heaven for the miracles that were done through Him. (see Luke 8:26-38) Even Jesus knew who the authority and power belonged to and the One who decides who to share that authority and power with.
I must ask myself, can I be trusted with God’s power and authority?, and honestly admit that I cannot. I must first believe that God is literally with me. The meaning of His name is not just figuratively speaking, but it is a reality that I can count on. I must trust that God is with me at all times and in all situations. My actions, reactions, words and deeds must prove that He exists among us.
Please join me in the goal of proving with our lives that Immanuel = God with us!
Does anyone remember those old “Happiness is…” definitions that used to be in newspapers and magazines, and on billboards across the country? Sayings like “Happiness is like jam. You can’t even spread a little without getting some on yourself.” -anon. Even the Peanuts comic strip incorporated the “Happiness is” craze into some of their newspaper comic strips, the most popular being “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” -Charles Shultz.
I was reminded of this when I was about to begin my morning devotional. The Spirit of the Lord was convicting me about what my devotions had become: a daily ritual; one of many “daily duties” that I felt was a fullfillment of one of the requirements to call myself a “Christian”. In essence, I’ve been saying, “See You tomorrow, Jesus” and going about my other daily routines. Not to say it is bad to have routines. I’m just saying that Jesus should not just be one part of the Christian’s daily life, but should be the mainstay. He should be invited to walk with us throughought the whole day; throughout all our routines and everthing else that comes across our paths. This is the key to our happiness. The apostle Paul figured this out when he wrote, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks to the Lord. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Today, I’ve been given this definition of happiness:
Happiness is: not ever having to say goodbye to Jesus! You can quote me on that!
May God Bless Everyone In Their Honest Pursuit of the Truth,
Remember this good ol’ hymn, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”? ZECHARIAH 13:1 says “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.”
The fountain was opened when Christ was pierced! 1 JOHN 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” I have heard it preached that once you have confessed your sins when you have received Christ as Savior, you should never have to confess them again, since He has forgiven all your sins, past, present, and future, and any further confessing of sins is likened to having Christ die all over again for our sins. I know that once we’re saved, we’re always saved, however, I do not believe that once we have confessed our sins, that we’re always “fessed up”. 1 JOHN 1:9 was written to believers. Besides, I haven’t found anywhere in the Bible that tells us that confession saves us, but that believing in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and accepting His grace towards us, that is what saves us. I’ve overheard non believers confess their sins to one another, but that doesn’t cleanse them from their sin. I have even confessed some of my own sins to God before I was a believer, but I did not yet make Him my Lord. My motive was simply in hope of having God save me from the superficial consequences of my sin, but not of the eternal consequences. I am not saying that Jesus’ blood was not powerful enough to cleanse all sin, past present and future, for it has certainly done that! I am saying that since we operate within the confines of time (where God doesn’t) I believe God requires us to confess our sins as we commit them. I believe this keeps us ever mindful of God, and ever mindful of our fallen condition that requires our continual cleansing. Just as a fountain does not pour out just once and stops flowing, for then it wouldn’t be called a fountain. His fountain hasn’t just poured out the day of His piercing, but continues to flow daily throughout eternity.
Yes, all sins were forgiven and paid for at the cross, and yes, we should not ask to be forgiven since all is forgiven except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But there is a distinction between confessing and asking forgiveness. Confessing is just admitting that we are wrong. Confession and asking for forgiveness usually go hand in hand and we need to do that when we wrong someone. All our wrongs against the Lord are forgiven, but He still requires confession. Therefore I believe this “once for all time confession” doctrine is false doctrine, directly from Satan, to get God’s children out of fellowship with Him, since unconfessed sin causes our fellowship with Him to be broken. This is a heresy that I will no longer tolerate and I will rebuke anyone who tries to spread this heresy if it ever falls on my ears again!”
Confess Your Sins! Accept the Lord’s Forgiveness! Live Every Day In Gratitude and Give Him the Glory!
With Peace in Christ,
The scriptures tell us that “Enoch walked with God…” and God was so pleased with Enoch that “Enoch walked with God and was not, for the Lord took him”. The scriptures also tell us that “Noah walked with God”. This also pleased the Lord so much that the Lord spared him, his wife, his three sons and their wives and two of every kind of living creatures from the destruction of all flesh. God made Noah the new father of all mankind and a savior of all living creatures.
Men tend to be very selfish creatures. Oftentimes, when we do seek God, we seek Him for selfish reasons. We constantly present Him with petitions and requests that would ultimately, if we are honest, mostly benefit ourselves. How many times do we seek to walk with God, to go wherever He goes, and invite Him to be with us on the journey of life?
Though man was cast out of the Garden of Eden, he was not cast out of God’s presence. We are yet able to walk with God, just as Adam and Eve did, Enoch did, and Noah did and thereby please God.
Lord, may my epitaph say that I – Jim Spiegle – walked with God.