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Showing posts from December 27, 2015

The Tree of Life - Life Series #1

Today we begin a series on several four-word phrases in the Bible. We start at the beginning with "the tree of life" that stood in the center of the Garden of Eden. Now, it is not an allegorical use of a word picture with only some spiritual significance but rather a real tree in a real Garden of Eden at the beginning of real life on earth. It was placed in the center of the Garden with another tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9) It is curious that when God stated that Adam was "free [had the right] to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.." (2:19) that He did not prohibit eating from the tree of life, too. So, man could have partaken of this tree as well as all other trees which God also said were, "pleasing to the eye and good for food."(2:9) Obviously, we know that Adam and Eve partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that God removed them from t…

Purpose

Beginnings always have a purpose. Whether it is a beginning of a new job, new family, new routine, new car doesn't matter all are begun with a specific purpose in mind.  You might have made a New Year's resolution and that had a purpose, whether to quit smoking or start exercising, you did it because you felt you needed to so your life could change for the better…that is its purpose. God starts out the Bible with the words, "In the beginning…" (Genesis 1:1) This reveals that He has a purpose for all that will follow. So, He begins creation by separating the light from the darkness, then the water from the water (creating an atmosphere on earth with water below and water above), then the water from land on which vegetation can grow. Separation continues as He separates day and night for several reasons: to serve as signs to mark seasons, days, years; to give light on all the earth not just one place (the reason for the revolution of the planet); to identify what is day…

New Years Eve Day

Is the last day of the year any more significant than any other day? It is 24 hours long just like the other 364 days. It has a sun rising and setting and a moon in the night. It can have clouds, clear skies or wind just like other days. But it does hold a particular importance because it is a transitional day. The old year is coming to a close at midnight and the new year begins the next day. It is the last day of the tax year…yeah for that, I guess? It is a chance to "take stock" of what you have accomplished during the year and then seek a clean start tomorrow. What does the Bible say? We do not know what the next day will bring forth, so good not to boast and good also to say "if the Lord wills" each day. (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-17) Each day also has enough trouble of its own, so do not worry about the next day keep your focus on this day. (Matthew 6:34) We are to pray every day, "give us each day our daily bread." (Luke 11:3) We should imitate th…

Heaven

Have you ever wondered what heaven is like? Is it an ethereal place where we walk on clouds and see winged angels jotting here and there, and where there is a gigantic and beautiful throne on which God sits? I believe we can understand a better picture than this from Revelation 21. In Revelation, John the apostle, has been made privy to many dramatic acts of God on a rebellious world. But when he writes the end of the book, he shares beautiful and majestic visions. One of these is the New Jerusalem. "I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband." (Rev. 21:2) This relates to a bride coming down the aisle, beautifully adorned, walking towards her husband, ready to be united with him. I have three daughters and one daughter-in-law and have viewed each of them walking down the aisle all radiant and adorned in beauty. Each time has been a glorious sight for me. So, comes an eternal city down o…

The Devil's End

There are many that mock the existence of a spirit being who is called in Scripture the "devil, dragon, ancient serpent, and Satan." However, their mocking does not eliminate the truth that he has existed longer than man. Satan is identified as the one controlling the world system (1 John 5:19) and empowering the Antichrist and the False Prophet during the time of the Tribulation. (Revelation 13:2) But his end takes two intriguing turns. First, an angel comes down from heaven with a key and a chain. “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him…” (Revelation 20:2-3) This is done to alter the environment on the earth during the Millennial (thousand year) reign of Christ. It puts the blame for all rebellion squarely back on men's sin natures which Satan has manipulated. There is no excuse, not even "the devil made me do it," and men must…

Greatness and Care

Having a listing appointment eight miles south of Rockwall, I drove out at 6:30 PM on Wednesday. It was just getting dark as I arrived and I walked in with confidence that I could answer the questions my new sellers would ask. It all went well and as I returned to my car I became aware of how dark it was out there in the "boon docks." That cause me to look up and as I had seen from the Colorado Rocky Mountains at 12,000 feet above sea level, here I saw it also…a sky full of stars. The psalmist in explaining how caring God is for those who "delight" in Him used an infinite to finite comparison. He said, "He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name." (Psalm 147:4) Think about that. God has the stars all counted (because He created them) and they are each appointed to a specific task. Each one fills a place in the darkened sky where there would be only emptiness without them doing their job. Searching the internet on the question of  &…

Evaluate

It is good to evaluate your year as it comes to a close. What went right? What were your successes? What did you accomplish? How are you better at years end than you were at years beginning? We should also consider our nation as another year passes before us. We think that we are in a stable country that has the rule of law but consider the mightiest of cities spoken about in the book of Revelation. Here is Babylon, the center of the commercial universe. She is "dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!" (Rev. 18:16-17) Note the swiftness of her demise. Just one hour and she was totally ruined. It is good to evaluate your gains and losses but also to not be prideful of them. Rather, to be wary of changing tides and wise about how you are preparing for the future. So many of us live only in the moment and do very little about the future. Last night powerful storms …