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Showing posts from May 3, 2015

Exchange

In finance we understand exchange of two currencies to be the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. What is the value of a U.S. dollar compared to another country's currency dollar is the rate of exchange. To illustrate: if the dollar is worth twice as much as that of another country it allows its possessor to buy more to essentially paying less for more there. In the spiritual world exchange happens as well. The Psalmist said of the people of Israel at the base of Mt. Horeb during the Exodus when Moses had been on the mountain for forty days, "They made a calf and worshiped an idol cast from metal. They exchanged their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass. They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt, miracles in the land of Ham [Egypt] and awesome deeds by the Red Sea." (Psalm 105:19-22) Paul talks about exchange also when he says, "Although they [godless and wicked men] claimed to be wise, they became fool…

Crossing Over

Jesus went to the Pool of Bethesda while in Jerusalem and among all the disabled people laying around the pool he focused on one man. This man had been there disabled for thirty-six years (a major portion of his life, if not the whole of it). He asked one question of him, "Do you want to get well?" And his reply was "yes, but. "To which Jesus replied, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." And John says, "At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked." (John 5:6-9) Notice, it does not say he picked up his mat and was cured. He had crossed over inside his heart and was cured and then got up and walked. Later in chapter 5, Jesus says this, "whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (5:24) The disabled man and his healing was an illustration of these words. He heard what Jesus said, believed, and went from disabled to healed in a mome…

Prayer

Hannah was a woman who experienced "bitterness of soul." She was "deeply troubled" and in "great anguish and grief" because she could not bear children for her beloved husband Elkanah. He had two wives, the other, Peninnah, had many sons and daughters but Hannah had none. In this time, it was important to be a mother and to provide for your husband a number of children as an inheritance, so this was the struggle of heart she faced. She could have been angry and argumentative, blaming her husband for her inability but she did not, she prayed. This was not a quick prayer but she "wept much" and "made a vow" to the Lord while at Shiloh, the place where the tabernacle had been set up by Joshua, which their family visited every year. (Joshua 18:1) Her prayer was granted and she gave birth to Samuel. So Hannah, after weaning him, brought him to Shiloh and gave him to Eli, the high priest, to serve in the temple as she had vowed. She did no…

Fear - The Fountain of Life

How can fear have a positive impact on our lives? It seems a negative thing to even think about but understanding how it works helps us to better see it as a positive benefit. Solomon said, "The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death."(Proverbs 14:27) Think about water. It is an essential ingredient to life. It has what the body cannot produce on its own. If you lack water, you lack life. Try living in a desert without it. It will kill you. And, water has several other functions. It is a lubricant found in saliva, the fluid surrounding your joints, and a vital component of most major body functions. It is a regulator of temperature by perspiration and also by its ability to store heat. Third, it is an enabler of absorption for proteins and carbohydrates. And finally, it is an important part of the body's transportation system because without water as the movement medium the body would not function. Fear is respect, reverence and …

Manliness

Our society suggests much about what it means to be a man. It views it as brave, raw, macho, violent, self-centered, powerful and unmerciful. It views it as physical strength or mental acuity or being emotionally strong. These however are only man's images of manliness. God's view of manliness is a journey up a mountain which has three legs illustrated by the life of Christ. After all, Jesus was the ultimate man, without imperfection and full of the Spirit. He was the only man who was ever born to die and knew it. The first leg of his journey on earth was submission. These would be his first thirty years. He emptied himself and took upon himself weakness, dependence, and reliance. He submitted to his parents, to John the baptizer's baptism, and to the Holy Spirit. The second leg of his journey was strength. This was the first three years of his ministry. He accepted the power God gave him through the Spirit and executed the plan to build up a heritage; leadership for when…

Meaningful Words

What are words that mean something to you? Perhaps, in a quiet moment, the words of a child as they look into your eyes and say, "I love you." Perhaps a "well done!" by your father or a friend? God has placed in the book of John some words that should always impact us. Too often we pass over them as they are so familiar and been spoken of by many, even their address has been displayed before us. And yet, their meaning is still strong and clear. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) The ultimate person (God) has expressed the ultimate emotion (love) toward each person of this world (past, present and future) and in the ultimate act (giving) of the ultimate gift (His one and only Son) brought the ultimate decision (believing in the Son) to change each one's destiny (from perish to possession of eternal life). Examine these words closely; drive th…