The Faith of Joshua and Caleb

Warrior

WarriorWhat was the faith of Joshua and Caleb?. The same faith that made David stand before the giant  Goliath and say ” who is this uncircumcised philistine that He should stand against the people of God?”

1 Samuel 17:26

Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

In the time of the Exodus 12 spies were sent into the land promised to the people of Israel when they came from Egypt.   Ten of them said yes, the land is flowing with Milk and Honey, but there are giants in the land and we cannot come against them. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb saw the same thing, but they KNEW the promise of God would overcome all enemies and all giants and everything that would stand against them. But the people of God quailed and did not do what God commanded. And so they were left to wander the wilderness until that weak generation died off, and a new generation born to trial took its place and followed Joshua into the promised land.

How much is today’s Christian sitting on their haunches, afraid or willing to speak the hard truth to a wandering generation because they fear the reprisal and disapproval?  This world is literally going to hell in a hand basket, and the only ones who can show them a better way have allowed themselves to be bullied and shamed into hiding that saving light under a basket.

We , the whole world, could user a little the boldness of Joshua and Caleb right now, because it doesn’t matter what giants face us, we are marching on the orders of God.  It is time to put on your big boy and girl pants ( or as the bible says gird your loins) and put on the Armor of God and Go out into the world, your community your home, and make a stand for Jesus.

Because if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

a

Be Still And Know That I Am God

wave
wave

Surrounded by trouble, somewhere there is a light

There are times I feel like chicken little, when an acorn to falls on my head and I think the sky is falling. Over reacting and panicking when there is little to be afraid of. Then there are times when we face great disaster with dire consequences where it would not be possible to over react to the impending doom that hangs over us, restrained only by the thinnest of threads.  In both cases the Christian response  should be the same.

“Be Still and know that I am God”

Each Christian should hold fast to the reality that it is God that is is in control of our life, and orders its days and outcome. He is God, and his way is supreme.   It doesn’t matter the evil man has planned, God will surely turn it for the good of his people. Though for a time we might endure a trial to get there.

We know that joseph grew up in the favor of his father Jacob who delighted in him. He was adorned with a special coat of many colors, surely his life was blessed. Until one day his brothers fell upon him and took it all away and sold him into slavery. Abandoned by his family and fallen from the favor of his father, Joseph was bereft and alone, but what was his response?

“Be Still and know that I am God”

We know how the story ends, through the tests of Joseph a family was saved, and because a family was saved, a nation was born, a nation accustomed to both happiness and tears. Because of a nation that was born, a Messiah was born that saved all who would come to Him. Because God takes the long view, and knows that a season of suffering can reap a bounty of eternal life

As Joseph tells his brothers: (Gen 50: 20) But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

“Be Still and know that I am God”

Today our country faces what seems to be disaster as the people who would like to destroy God and his morality seem to be taking power…but never forget, God is in control, and he is taking the long view. so what should be our response when we face and see the trial that is coming?

“Be Still and know that I am God”

God has it all in his hands, and if we face a season of suffering, it will bring a bountiful harvest of blessings.  Trust God, rejoice in Him and His promises to us and let not your heart be troubled.

“Be Still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength,
A[a] very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the [b]midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the [c]tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be [d]moved;
God shall help her, just [e]at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

 

 

 

 

 

Fervency – The Steam Of Determination

Fervancy

fer·vor
ˈfərvər
noun
intense and passionate feeling.
“he talked with all the fervor of a new convert”
synonyms: passion, ardor, intensity, zeal, vehemence, emotion, warmth, earnestness, avidity, eagerness, keenness, enthusiasm, excitement, animation, vigor, energy, fire, spirit, zest, fervency


There was a story from my childhood called “the Little Engine Who Could”. It was about a steam engine that had to drag a train up a hill, a big train. He needed coal, he needed fire and he needed water and the combination of these three things produced steam – the fervency of determination. No one thought he could do it, but with the fervor of determination “I think I can, I Think I can…..” he could and did  “I knew i could”

Life can wear you down and when you let the world come in and attach to you like a leach it can empty you of the zeal of Christ, the fervency. We must protect our fervor, we must nurture it and grow it and not let it get robbed by circumstances that can act like a relief valve and dump all of our steam. How do we do that? We produce spiritual steam. Read the word (the coal), praise the Lord (the fire), Be one with the Holy Spirit in prayer (the water) stoke them all and you will possess the steam of fervency to get your self up that hill and over that hill.

 

Romans 12: 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

The prayer that avails much has three components, effectiveness (that is inline with the word and will of God), that the prayer is righteous (that is saved) and it must be fervent, full of faith and the energy and determination that we will see it through to the end.

James 5
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

If you want to overcome that hill that has been placed before you, you must stoke your engine with the things of God

Be Content Where Ever You Are.

Be Content

 

romans-8_25Philippians 4

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Matthew 3

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

The message today is a simple one, where ever you are in your life, God is with you, and unless you stumbled out into the wilderness alone, He has you there for a reason. His reason.  And if you did go blundering out on your own, he is bringing you back.  So be content.

This does not mean you should have a lack of ambition or goals. It simply means you should not stew in bitterness and dissatisfaction because of where you happen to be at the moment.  God has the long view in mind and He will get you where you want to go. Most likely if you are following Him, he put those desires in your heart to begin with.  Because He knows what you want and what you need and He has chosen the best for you with those in mind.

When I was a kid, we took a trip from San Jose to Anaheim California, about eight hours.  It was the longest trip in the world, looking out the window, seeing hundreds of cows, dry land, farms and countless other monotonous images. The trip was made more intense by what was waiting at the end….Disneyland.  I could hardly stand it, soon farms gave way to freeways , and concrete vistas and yet we were still more than an hour away. I was beside myself because i didn’t not understand what I understand now. If I wanted to enjoy Disneyland, then the cows and the farms and the miles and the hours were part of that process.

Well we may be in a very uninteresting and even difficult part of our lives right now, but remember, the reward is coming, and if you can’t enjoy the moments along the way, at least be content in them knowing that in the end, its all worth it.

As For Me and My House, We Will Serve the Lord

Two ways

rightwayWe live in perilous time my friends.  As the distance between the path that God favors and the path the world favors become increasingly wider we will find that we can no longer have a foot on each path. We will have to choose which path we will follow. And make no mistake, the choice will be costly either way.  Choose the way of the world and you will leave God behind.  Choose God’s way and you will face derision persecution and possibly worse.  There is soon to be no middle path.

I am not a doom and gloom type of person. I consider myself to be a realist, and my wife thinks I am a skeptic ;),  but Jesus told us to count the cost and be prepared to give up the world to follow Him

Luke 14

25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Likewise Joshua tells the people of Israel they cannot flirt with two Gods…you must choose one way or another, and that way has consequences

Joshua 34

14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

16 So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18 And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve theLord, for He is our God.”

19 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”

21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!”

22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses!”

23 “Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.”

24 And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”

Through  out my life, as an American citizen, I have been able to stand against the worldly system and oppose it.  Abortion, gay marriage, et al, but the day is coming that such opposition will no longer be free.  They will pass laws forcing me to comply with their will, as they are already doing in California Schools. And I will not comply with their laws, and I will be an outlaw

Because I have counted the cost.  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

and the Lord will be with me and all who choose to serve Him

God Bless you Children of God….stay faithful

The Sufficiency Of Grace- Making It Through The Valleys

Making it through the valleys

HOTAs with a lot of people we are in the middle of a heat wave here in Fresno. But unlike most people, I do not have air conditioning at my current clients place of business. So yesterday was 109 degrees Fahrenheit  today will be 110 degrees  and tomorrow is going to be 111 degrees , 110 the next day until we dip down to the polar 105  on Sunday

Now being a dweller of the central valley of California I am used to the heat, and  it is thankfully dry heat  but working with no A/C in a 110 degree heat is just a little too much for me and I am ready to throw in the towel….but I can’t. So I am going to need the sufficiency of the grace of God.

We know grace is what saves us, the unmerited favor of God, but it is also grace that helps us, when we can’t do it ourselves

2 Cor 12:

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

mountainIn life we face valleys, on our way to the mountain of God, and these can seem very daunting.  The gap between what we can accomplish and what needs to be accomplished can seem overwhelming. But Grace is that gap filler. God’s loving grace provides us with HIS strength and HIS ability to go through those valleys and rise upon the mountain. His Grace is enough.   We may not like the trial we are going through, it may be painful and sorrowful, but there are purposes for this.  It keeps us reliant on the grace of God, walking in faith growing and maturing.

God does not promise we will not have to go through valleys, but He does promise to help us through.  So don’t hesitate to call on in times of need. He is waiting to perform miracles for you.

He loves you.

 

Sin Is An Anchor

anchor-underwater

Do Not Let Sin Be The Anchor that holds you down

We all make mistakes. We all stumble. We all sin. Anyone who tells you they do not sin, is not in fellowship with God (b)

But for the rest of us we sin. Why do we sin, well because we are not yet completely Holy yet. You see we are a three part being, we are a spirit (created in God’s image), we have a soul and we live in a body.

When we are saved our spirit is miraculously and instantly transformed from death to life, and we are in fellowship with God. Our soul, which is our mind will and emotions is still thinking in old ways. And our flesh…..that is our body, will always be of the world, base and desirous of base and sinful things.

Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we must bring the soul into God’s way of thinking, and that we must bring our body into submission to the will of God.

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2nd do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The Body is never going to be redeemed. It is going to rot into the earth from when it came.

The Soul is the battle ground. when we sin it is because some element of the soul, The mind, the will or the emotion, or all three, have heeded the call of the body or our base nature the flesh and has chosen to walk in that path.

Romans 12 tells us we must not be conformed to this world, which is evil, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. It is almost a wrestling match to manhandle the mind away from the world and force it walk in the way of light. It takes effort, it takes determination and even with all the determination in the world, we all some times fail.

So how do we deal with Sin?

First we train the mind to walk in God’s light by reading the word….fill ourselves with his truth. Like changing oil in the car, you have to drain the old decrepit oil and fill the engine block with new oil. So too do we need to fill our block heads (or maybe this is just me) of the New Life, the word of God, and drain it of the old insensible sensibilities.

We are at war and the battle field is the soul….who will win? God or the flesh? If we follow the directions of 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5, then God will win our souls.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Bringing into captivity every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….YOUR knowledge of God. So how do you win the battle? Educated yourself, fill yourself with the word of God and you will succeed. Let us not be destroyed in sin by our lack of knowledge, but let us stock the armory of our mind with the word of God that we may pull down the strong hold that bind us to sin.

What’s second…..well even the Holiest of mortal men (not speaking of myself here…no sir) will fall. We will, as Christians, against our own sense and in utter disbelief find ourselves committing sins, perhaps the same sin over and over again. What do you do then? Beat yourself up about it, throw in the towel and admit defeat? Never! Do we deny the power of sin in our lives and pretend all is well? again, never! Here is what you do:

1st John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

We RUN to God and ask forgiveness, we pick ourselves up and get clean again. Then we march forward intent on never doing that again. What is the difference between a saint and a sinner, the saint gets up when they fall and run to Jesus for forgiveness.

 

The Body is never going to be redeemed. It is going to rot into the earth from when it came.

The Soul is the battle ground. when we sin it is because some element of the soul, The mind, the will or the emotion, or all three, have heeded the call of the body or our base nature the flesh and has chosen to walk in that path.

Romans 12 tells us we must not be conformed to this world, which is evil, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. It is almost a wrestling match to manhandle the mind away from the world and force it walk in the way of light. It takes effort, it takes determination and even with all the determination in the world, we all some times fail.

So how do we deal with Sin?

First we train the mind to walk in God’s light by reading the word….fill ourselves with his truth. Like changing oil in the car, you have to drain the old decrepit oil and fill the engine block with new oil. So too do we need to fill our block heads (or maybe this is just me) of the New Life, the word of God, and drain it of the old insensible sensibilities.

We are at war and the battle field is the soul….who will win? God or the flesh? If we follow the directions of 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5, then God will win our souls.

4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Bringing into captivity every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….YOUR knowledge of God. So how do you win the battle? Educated yourself, fill yourself with the word of God and you will succeed. Let us not be destroyed in sin by our lack of knowledge, but let us stock the armory of our mind with the word of God that we may pull down the strong hold that bind us to sin.

What’s second…..well even the Holiest of mortal men (not speaking of myself here…no sir) will fall. We will, as Christians, against our own sense and in utter disbelief find ourselves committing sins, perhaps the same sin over and over again. What do you do then? Beat yourself up about it, throw in the towel and admit defeat? Never! Do we deny the power of sin in our lives and pretend all is well? again, never! Here is what you do:

1st John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

We RUN to God and ask forgiveness, we pick ourselves up and get clean again. Then we march forward intent on never doing that again. What is the difference between a saint and a sinner, the saint gets up when they fall and run to Jesus for forgiveness.

God Bless you this day