Friday, November 09, 2012
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." That's in the book of Hosea. But what does that verse mean? It says also, that they reject knowledge. Well, we have lots of schools of higher education, and here in Chicago, we just had a big teacher's strike, so we have lots of opportunity to learn here in America. We can even take online courses in zillions of subjects. What kind of knowledge was Hosea talking about? Was it a head knowledge that you can learn by taking various courses? David in the book of Psalms said "Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the Law of the Lord." He also said the Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, and the testimonies of the Lord are sure making wise the simple. Psalm 19. So you are thinking that reading the book of the Law will do the trick! Reading and knowing are not the same. Reading is a definite start because you cannot know about God unless you first read His Word. When Jesus came along, He accused the Pharisees of many things...but they were keepers of the Law and teachers! He said they were like graves with a nice headstone on the outside ,perhaps, but still dead on the inside. They did have knowledge! Daniel said that in the end times, many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase. Look around you, and at yourself. We are so busy running everywhere to make money , to pay bills, to stay ahead of tax time in April ( which sounds like it will get tougher than ever for those with children), and knowledge is increasing. We have unmanned drones, and new types of cell phones every time you turn around, plus surgical equipment is far beyond 50 years ago. Are we better off? Are we more peaceful ? Are we happier? My people are destroyed for LACK of knowledge! Paul said "To know Christ and Him crucified" "and to know the Love of Christ, which passes knowledge that we may be filled with all the fullness of God." " But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yes, doubtless, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness,which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death." Phil 3. Knowing Christ is the knowledge that you need. But reading about Christ in the scriptures, is good, but still not enough. Look back to what Paul said in Philippians. He called Jesus "My Lord!" There is a huge difference between knowing about Christ and knowing Him ! HUGE ! I can say that for myself. One time when I was much younger, the Lord spoke to me and said just that ! He said "You have known about me these past 17 yrs but now I want you to know Me" Repentance is first. If you can't recognize that you are a sinner and that Jesus is the only Savior to set you free, then just forget it! You are still proud. Repentance is the recognition of your sinfulness and the asking Jesus to forgive you and take over your life...going a brand new direction. Then Peter in Acts said to all the people that after repentance, you need to be Baptized in water in Jesus name. This is a fulfillment of Matthew 28. Jesus is the name with all power and so we MUST be Baptized in His name. Then, you pray to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit where the evidence is speaking in tongues, just like they spoke in tongues in the book of Acts. Now what? Remember the song " Take my life and let it be, always only all for thee" You have a new Lord...but this Lord loves you and wants the best for you. We get to know Him in prayer, and reading His Word and by learning to say "Yes, Lord". Pride can still try to overtake you, but come back to Him and yield to His direction daily, hourly. As time goes by and you feed your spiritual life with His Word, good Christian books and good Christian music etc, you will fall in love with Him more and more. There's another song, "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, I only ask to be like Him." It's a journey...but we have The Good Shepherd, who Loves His sheep.
Friday, November 02, 2012
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM SORROW? There was a knock at my door, so I hurried to open it. When I looked through the window of the door, I saw who it was. I quickly locked the door, and secured it with a bolt. I even got hold of some furniture and pushed it in front of the door! My fears at seeing who was at the door somewhat subsided, but only somewhat…because Sorrow then started speaking to me from the other side of the door. Why won’t you let me come in? You will learn so much from me and from experiencing me in your life and in those around you. I will teach you many things, if you will let me! I can teach you Mercy, Compassion, Patience, Love, Kindness and Forgiveness. You cannot learn these things any other way. Are you sure you want to keep the door locked?” Mercy, Compassion, Patience, Love, Kindness, and Forgiveness, were standing in back of Sorrow. I could see them out there on my front sidewalk. There was something keeping them from getting past Sorrow. Something! And yet, they didn’t even want to get past Sorrow. So, I pondered and waited and wondered and prayed. “Yes, Lord, I want all you have for me, and if this is the only way for me to learn those wonderful things, then I will open the door.” I pulled away the furniture, unlocked the bolt, unlocked the door, and opened it. Sorrow flooded over me, and unseen with her, was Grief and Pain! I cried, “Lord, is this the only way? Are You sure? Are You with me? I cannot bear this alone, Lord! Please help me!” Then His Peace came and I felt His Everlasting Wings underneath me. The Sorrow, Grief and Pain were still there, but also Assurance of His Love, I said, Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou, Lord” As I yielded to Jesus, in this way for me, I started seeing that Mercy, Compassion, Patience, Love, Kindness, and Forgiveness were coming through my front door. I embraced then All…All! For I knew that I would not learn the last things without the first. Then I remembered what the Lord said…Sorrow, Tears, Death, Crying and Pain will someday pass away. (Rev 21:4) Thankyou, Lord!