Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Shipwrecked

Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 
 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me! 
Psalm 19:12-13


A dear brother in one of the prison units asked if I would share about what David meant about the sin of presumption.  I always thought it meant sin you do out of ignorance but the more I began to study the word about it, I couldn't be more wrong about that. What he was really saying was for God to keep Him from outright rebellion. 

God has put within us a knowledge of right and wrong and a presumptuous sin is a sin that disregards that inner conscience. It is where you know something is wrong but you set your heart to go in that direction anyway. One of your most prized possessions is your conscience! It is there to help you and guide you what is right and wrong to help you make right decisions.

The sin of presumption is a sin against your own conscience and it is a serious thing. 1st Timothy 1:5 says;

 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Here Paul is saying that everything his teaching is working toward is to produce love, true faith and a good conscience. He goes on to say in verse 18;


 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
Here he is saying there are some that have compromised the light of conscience within them and some having done so have become, "shipwrecked" in their faith. They no longer listened to their conscience and were walking in outright rebellion to the faith. Paul said he turned such men over to Satan so that they might learn not to blaspheme. 
How many of us would have been delivered or kept from a bad situation had we only listened to conscience. Sometimes the Lord uses Godly friends and family to speak to your conscience and warn or guide you.  It's dangerous to disregard Godly counsel when we know it is bearing witness with our conscience. 
Consider Proverbs 1:20-31 where God is trying to speak to us....
20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

There is coming a day in every one of our lives when we are going to die. Then we will see every time God extended His hand in love and we refused Him. 
There is a passage in 1st Corinthians 10:13 which says;
 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Don't harden your heart today if the Lord is speaking to you through your conscience or even the Godly counsel of others. 
The sin of presumption is to ignore your conscience, to ignore Godly counsel and it's a deliberate act of the heart.
David knew he was capable of willful sins and so he cried out to the Lord for help.
Throughout this brief blog has the Lord convicted you of any presumptuous sin? Have you become shipwrecked in your faith? Ask God to help you and restore tenderness to your heart.
Today if God is speaking to your heart don't disregard the commandments of God or His counsel.  Today is the day of your salvation and remember, obedience to God's ways always leads to righteousness and assurance with God.

 Sin always leads to death and leaves a path of suffering and destruction in our lives and the lives of others. Today while there is hope, repent and walk in obedience to God's counsel and instruction.  

                  Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
            But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
                                               Proverbs 27:6

For further study today, consider this podcast:



Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Star led them to Christ


"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 2:2


The main thing about the star in this passage was that it led men to Christ, that was it's purpose. It led these wise men until they found Christ and then you don't hear anything more about it. 

In Philippians 1:12-18 Paul talked about how some people preached Christ out of selfish ambition wanting to be noticed. The stars only purpose was to lead men to Christ.




In this coming year in your personal arena my prayer for you is that like the star you will shine and bring glory to Christ alone and for His pleasure. 


As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”  But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
Luke 19:37-40

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Blessed Inconvenience


The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

Proverbs 21:1

I was meditating on how the heart of all authority is in the hands of the Lord and how it turns it whatever way He wishes. Think back to the time when Caesar Augustus called for the census in Luke 2:1 and what an inconvenience it must have been for Joseph and Mary. 

Mary was very with child and they had to pack up the donkey and make the arduous trek to Joseph's hometown of Bethlehem. There weren't roads back then like we have today and travel was difficult, making it a major hassle for the couple to endure the journey.

So many times we read through these stories and we forget they were people just like us. They must have questioned the decree..."Why does he want to count everybody anyway?" "Why now, Mary, at the time when your pregnant?"

All the while God was the one orchestrating the circumstances to fulfill prophesies from long ago. How many times in our lives do we complain about the inconvenience of things? We find ourselves complaining without realizing that God is guiding things to achieve His glorious eternal purposes and we are a part of that! 

Think of Mary being told by the angel that she was going to be the mother of the Messiah. What a life changing experience! Her response was the acceptance of God's will without reservation. 

We can trust God's guiding hand even in the inconveniences of life and joyfully trust that He is involved in our circumstances.

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me according to your word.”
Luke 1:38

Monday, November 19, 2018

At thy Word


And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
Luke 5:5

The Word of God is not just a mile marker to mark certain parts of your life, it's an intersection. Over and over again it will bring you to a place of choice. You'll have to choose between adhering to the Word or choose your own human reasoning.

  In Luke 5:3, Jesus got into a boat and began to speak to the multitudes. I believe that even though he had been working all night, Peter's heart was being touched by the word. Jesus turned to him and told him to take the boat back out and lower his nets. Peter told Jesus, "We've been working all night, but at your word, I'll do it." Peter had begun to recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Isn't it interesting how often God leads us in ways we do not understand. I remember as a young man in college the Lord spoke to me and said, "It's time for you to go." The decision to leave college was huge but I knew I had heard the Lord clearly. All I knew to say was, "Yes Lord." No one else agreed with me but I knew I had to obey the word the Lord was speaking to me.

  When was the last time the word of the Lord shed light upon your path? Do we still delight in the word of the Lord or do we want God on our own terms? I am reading through the book of Proverbs with one of my son's every day before he goes to school and today we read, "Cease from your pursuit of wealth and prize wisdom above gold and silver." When was the last time you heard that? If a preacher can use the word to manipulate you to give money to them,  they can take advantage of you. God wants you to delight in His word and let it teach you and counsel you and renew your mind. Why do you think John said in 1st John 2:27 that the anointing of the Holy One abides in you and you don't need anyone to teach you. The Holy Spirit wants to teach you and lead you into all truth. The five fold ministry was not set apart to be the mouthpiece of God for you. Their purpose is to cultivate within the body of Christ the ability to hear God and do what He says. When you are rightly related to the headship of Christ you can hear God and obey Him for yourself.

  Faith is not going to grow in your heart until you learn to obey Him. Peter heard the word of God and was transformed inside by it. When Jesus asked him to cast off and go out fishing again he didn't try to talk Jesus out of it, he obeyed and experienced a miracle. When God is speaking we want to hear His voice for ourselves and obey Him.

  Consider 1 Kings chapter 13 where a young prophet is sent by God to Bethel to speak a word of judgement. God gave Him specific instructions to speak the word and then to leave and go back home. He was told not to eat with or stay with anyone but to return immediately by a different way. An older prophet heard what had happened that day and he went and told that young prophet that an angel told him he should come and eat with him and stay with him. The young prophet did not listen to what God told him to do and instead listened to the old prophet that was lying to him. Because he didn't listen that young prophet was eaten by a lion. What a picture for us today!

  Jesus told us that in the last days their will be false teachers and many will be lead astray. It says because lawlessness has increased people will be deceived. They will be unwilling to die to self and false prophets will tell them it's okay to live lawlessly. If you listen to the counsel of this world it's not going to keep you! When the storm comes you can only stand on the truth of God's word.

I want to challenge you today to spend time in God's word. Even if you read just one scripture a day it can build you up in your faith. The Bible is not made just for colleges and seminaries. The Holy Spirit wants to break it open for YOU and provide direction for your life.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

Friday, November 2, 2018

At the Cross


For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek;
You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the Lord;
Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.

Psalm 3:7-8



One of the great hopes that keeps us moving forward is Christ's victory at the cross.

The spiritual battle is going on all around us and the Lord is teaching us to fight and to walk victoriously.

I want to encourage you today that the Lord has shattered the teeth of our enemy at the cross!  As we look and keep our attention upon that cross we know that Jesus is able to do in us, that which we are incapable of doing ourselves. 

Our part is to continue to come to the light and agree with Christ.  We must trust the Lord and agree with Him as He teaches us how to overcome. He is faithful to help us to walk in freedom in every area of our lives.


 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
 But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.
 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
Isaiah 49:24-26




Sunday, October 14, 2018

Engaged in the Battle


        The Lord God said to the serpent,
Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed
Genesis 3:14-15

  Obviously we know what the word says about the temptation that took place with Satan in the Garden of Eden. We could go through a study of that temptation, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. The part where Satan told them, "you shall be like God,"...and the tearing down of the nature of God, He doesn't love you...He's withholding something good from you and all those things...

However, what I really what to talk about is Genesis 3:14-15, this war against the church. There is a spiritual battle between the Spirit of Life and the spirit of darkness and the enemy. We are facing a "war against the church," and I ask you, why would God use that terminology if it was not happening? The more you actually see it in the word, the more you will be able to see it everywhere in the scriptures, all the way through. 

  Today as you read this I hope you will become more aware to waking back up and spiritually engaging in the battle. Lord help us to spiritually engage today. The enemies goals are to divide our hearts, (through idolatry,) and break up our relationships. If you are not engaging in the battle you are losing it.

    In second Corinthians 10 we are encouraged to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Whether it's thoughts of anger or resentment, fear, lust or self pity, when we begin to listen to those lying thoughts we begin to give them place. We begin to listen and agree with lies and the only thing real about lies is the credibility we give them. 

Satan is the father of lies, there is no truth in him and we have to recognize and take those, "fiery dart thoughts," captive to what God's word says. You can't be free until you recognize the battle and then God can show you how to overcome it. 

Let me clarify, there is no battle in the heavens, God versus Satan because the word says in Colossians that Jesus made a public display of the enemy, triumphing over him. 

It's when we believe the lies of the enemy that it begins to change the course of our lives. The enemy lies that our lives are out of control but I lift the shield of faith that says, "All things are working together according to the counsel of His will." Remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a of a sound mind!

  Our mind must be renewed by the word of God and we must answer the enemies lies with the truth of the word of God.

 Engage in the battle with your eyes upon the Lord. He is faithful and wants to show you how to take thoughts captive as you spend time with Him. There are two voices out there, which one will you listen to today?

Wisdom has built her house,
She has hewn out her seven pillars;
 She has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine;
She has also set her table;
 She has sent out her maidens, she calls
From the tops of the heights of the city:

Whoever is naive, let him turn in here!”

To him who lacks understanding she says,
 “Come, eat of my food
And drink of the wine I have mixed.
 “Forsake your folly and live,
And proceed in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 9:1-8






Saturday, October 6, 2018

Let Him Who Thinks He Stands...


For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;  and all ate the same spiritual food;  and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”  Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  
1 Corinthians 10:1-12

As I began to think about this, there are times in your life when you become aware that your life is a vapor. I know that I want to finish well and pleasing to the Lord. 
For the prodigal son, the pig trough was a place that he had ended up where he realized he had wasted his life. That journey to the pig trough didn't happen overnight. It started with discontent in his heart about his situation. That discontent was the first step toward the pig trough. Satan is crafty and subtle in leading us off of the path of life. Paul told the Corinthian church...
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 
2 Corinthians 11:3
Paul points out here that the serpent is crafty! He doesn't say, "Hey, today I'm going to deceive you!" It's subtle over time that you can be led astray as you run from work to home and hurdle to hurdle. We are so busy that we miss the signs as we leave the path and begin the journey to the pig trough.
If you find yourself in this place today, begin to cry out, "I want to finish well, so Lord help me to start by dealing with the seed of discontent." Begin to cry out to the Lord in thanksgiving and for grace to help you stand. 

 Listen folks, you don't have to go to the pig trough. You don't have to come to the place of public exposure and humiliation. You can deal with discontent and sin one on one with the Father before it brings destruction to your life. 

The prodigal didn't realize how good he had it until he was at the pig trough and had lost everything. If you already find yourself there, return to the Father in repentance and you will find He is rich in mercy.  

 Lord help us submit to our trials and let them have their work in us. Let us love you with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. Help us to cast aside discontentment and begin anew with a grateful heart of thanksgiving. Lord this life is just a vanishing vapor, help us to finish well. In Jesus name, Amen.