Searchlight Of HIS WORD??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 24

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 24  Searchlight Of HIS WORD???

 

I would like to challenge us today to examine our lives in light of what God’s Word says we are to ‘be’ and ‘do’.  We are bombarded with so much conflicting information and choices, that it is imperative that we know what God says.  I am truly weary of misinformation which some proclaim to be God’s Word, and people just take it as truth; and while God’s Word is truth not everything that is attributed to God, or His Word is actually from God’s Word.  Please, understand that we MUST get into God’s Word for ourselves, so that we will KNOW what God has said for ourselves, only then can we truly judge our lives and behavior by God’s standard instead of the world’s!

Search me,

O God,

and know

my heart:

try me,

and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way

in me,

and lead me

in the way everlasting.”  Psalm 139:23-24

We are to seek God’s favor not man’s, and the Psalmist knew that we must open ourselves up for God’s searchlight of truth; and while it is often (almost always) somewhat painful—it is always a work of God’s grace, love, and purification of His own, for our good and HIS glory!

Hearken unto me,

ye that know righteousness,

the people

in whose heart is my law;

fear ye not

the reproach of men,

neither be ye afraid

of their revilings.”  Isaiah 51:7

Paul often shared the import of examining our own lives according to God’s Word and standard, may we heed his advice!

Wherefore whosoever shall eat

this bread,

and drink

this cup of the Lord,

unworthily,

shall be guilty

of the body

and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself,

and so let him eat of that bread,

and drink of that cup…

…. 31 For if we would judge ourselves,

we should not be judged.

32 But when we are judged,

we are chastened of the Lord,

that we should not be condemned

with the world.”  Portions of 1 Corinthians 11:27-32

Hebrews gives us one of the clearest messages about how God views our life choice, and how urgent it is that we don’t fail to receive truth and obey it, for God will act and discipline His own, for their good and HIS glory!  I encourage us to ponder the truths contained in this message!

And ye have forgotten

the exhortation which speaketh unto you

as unto children,

My son,

despise not thou the chastening

of the Lord,

nor faint when thou art rebuked

of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth

he chasteneth,

and scourgeth

every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening,

God dealeth with you as with sons;

for what son is he

whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement,

whereof all are partakers,

then are ye bastards,

and not sons.

9 Furthermore

we have had fathers of our flesh

which corrected us,

and we gave them reverence:

shall we not much rather

be in subjection unto the Father of spirits,

and live?

10 For they verily for a few days

chastened us

after their own pleasure;

but he for our profit,

that we might be partakers

of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present

seemeth to be joyous,

but grievous:

nevertheless afterward

it yieldeth the peaceable fruit

of righteousness

 unto them which are exercised

thereby.”   Hebrews 12:5-11

Not a passage that we hear very often, but it is God’s Word and we need to not only heed it, but also take note of what God is doing in our lives—especially when HE is correcting us (even if we say ‘ouch’!).  And just FYI, the words in this passage from Hebrews 12, ‘chasten’ and ‘chastise’, are forms of a word that means “child training”, which includes all those lessons that are necessary to help a child learn and grow to maturity!  How many of us are ‘growing’?  How many of us are ‘mature’ users of God’s Word, those who are “approved unto God”?

Study to shew thyself approved

unto God,

a workman

that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

And Paul also told Timothy that God’s Word and the study of it is ever profitable—and that is true for us today as well.  What are we doing about it?  And FYI, ‘perfect’ in this passage simply means ‘mature’ not sinless!  And there is also an implication that we need to keep in mind, if we are called to be “rightly dividing the word of truth”, it implies that we can (as many today do) “wrongly divide” God’s Word! We must let The Word say what it says, and heed and obey it!

All scripture is given

by inspiration of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God

may be perfect,

thoroughly furnished

unto all good works.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

Oh, that we would dive into the word of God like we do into our favorite sport, or novel, TV program, or other pleasures. Which can cause us to neglect God’s Word and HIS very presence (oh, Father forgive me for the neglect that marks so many of my days, may I draw near to Thee to hear Your voice and heed Your direction in my life?)!  Oh, may we remember the declaration of the Psalmist:

The steps of a good man

are ordered by the LORD:

and he delighteth

in his way.

24 Though he fall,

he shall not be utterly cast down:

for the LORD upholdeth him

with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

May our cry be:

Order my steps

in thy word:

and let not any iniquity

have dominion over me.”  Psalm 119:133

May we truly pursue the face of God and His holiness in all we are (to be more like Jesus every day) and all we do—for what we ‘do’ comes out of our heart and reveals who/what we ‘are’!  May our heart pursue steps that HE is ordering, for us, day by day!  (See Hebrews 12:1-3)

And Jesus said,

Are ye also yet without understanding?

17 Do not ye yet understand,

that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth

goeth into the belly,

and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things which proceed

out of the mouth

come forth from the heart;

and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed

evil thoughts,

murders,

adulteries,

fornications,

thefts,

false witness,

blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man:

but to eat with unwashen hands

defileth not a man.”   Matthew 15:16-20

And again, Jesus said:

Either make the tree good,

and his fruit good;

or else make the tree corrupt,

and his fruit corrupt:

for the tree is known by his fruit.

34 O generation of vipers,

how can ye,

being evil,

speak good things?

for out of the abundance of the heart

the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man

out of the good treasure of the heart

bringeth forth good things:

and an evil man

out of the evil treasure

bringeth forth evil things.”   Matthew 12:33-35

And one last thing to measure by: a question for us all, “What’s in my heart?  The love of God, and Word of God, or not?”   Remember what’s hidden in the heart will come out in word and deed!  What will HIS searchlight find in my/your heart?  God’s light is true!  Am I?

With my whole heart

have I sought thee:

O let me not wander

from thy commandments.

11 Thy word

have I hid in mine heart,

that I might not sin

against thee.”  Psalm 119:10-11

What’s hiding in my heart?  In yours?

Amen and Amen!!!

 

Pray On Knowing God Hears??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #756

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #756  Pray On Knowing God Hears???

 

Just a brief word this morning to encourage our hearts to keep on praying, not matter what you “see” or “hear”!  It’s all about “the God who sees” not the world around us!

Hear my prayer,

O LORD,

give ear

to my supplications:

in thy faithfulness

answer me,

and in thy righteousness.”  Psalm 143:1

We can pray because our God is truly the faithful “answerer”; and while we may not always understand what we see, or what HE seems to be doing we can trust to HIS care in all things.  So, my friend, pray on!  Believing in the goodness, wisdom, and grace of God Almighty and His Son, our Redeemer, Jesus!

Seeing then that we have a great high priest,

that is passed into the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points

tempted like as we are,

yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly

unto the throne of grace,

that we may obtain mercy,

and find grace to help

in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:14-16

We can pray in confidence knowing that Jesus paid the price for your sin and mine, HE hears the prayers of HIS children, and HE is ever working for our good and HIS glory.

But ye, beloved,

building up yourselves

on your most holy faith,            

praying in the Holy Ghost,” Jude 1:20

Pray on dear ones!!!  We win!

And I heard as it were

the voice of a great multitude,

and as the voice of many waters,

and as the voice of mighty thunderings,

saying,

Alleluia:

for the Lord God omnipotent

reigneth.”  Revelation 19:6

Pray with assurance “for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”!!!

Amen and Amen!!!

If Not The CROSS, What??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #755

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #755  If Not The CROSS, What???

 

I am burdened greatly that we seem to have mindlessly set aside the CROSS in our zeal, compassion, and sometimes a simple desire to “help” people.  Yet, like Paul I truly believe we must, yes, we must, get back to the cross; for no matter how much kindness, love, compassion, and benevolence we bestow on those in need—be it spiritual, physical, emotional, or any other apparent need—when we put meeting their material or emotional needs over, or in place of, the need to bring them to see that they need the cross, we have missed the mark.

Paul had a lot to say about the preeminence of the cross and the Gospel of the cross of Christ Jesus.  Let’s peruse a few.

For I will not dare to speak

of any of those things which Christ

hath not wrought by me,

to make the Gentiles obedient,

by word and deed,

19 Through mighty signs and wonders,

by the power of the Spirit of God;

so that from Jerusalem,

and round about unto Illyricum,

I have fully preached

the gospel of Christ.”    Romans 15:18-19

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

be with you all. Amen.

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you

according to my gospel,

and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

according to the revelation

of the mystery,

which was kept secret

since the world began,

26 But now is made manifest,

and by the scriptures of the prophets,

according to the commandment

of the everlasting God,

made known to all nations

for the obedience of faith:

27 To God only wise,

be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.

Amen. ……”     Romans 16:24-27a

And one of the most powerful and foundational calls for us to be faithful to preach Christ and HIS CROSS:

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing

among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.”    1 Corinthians 2:1-2

Nothing but JESUS–and the call for us to live unto Christ through the new life that HE gives to each one who comes to HIM in repentance and faith in HIS substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for MY sin and yours! And by the power of HIS HOLY SPIRIT, we can die to self and LIVE UNTO JESUS in all we are, and all we do!

I am crucified

with Christ:

nevertheless

I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

Jesus Himself, makes it clear that it’s all about HIM, and only HIM!

Jesus answered and said unto him,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again,

he cannot see

the kingdom of God…

5 Jesus answered,

Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born

of water

and of the Spirit,

he cannot enter

into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh

is flesh;

and that which is born of the Spirit

is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee,

Ye must be born again

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the wilderness,

even so must the Son of man

be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.”   Portions of John 3:4-16

The Apostle John clarified this “birth” in chapter 1 of His Gospel:

But as many as received him,

to them gave he power

to become the sons of God,

even to them

that believe on his name:

13 Which were born,

not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,

nor of the will of man,

but of God.”  John 1:12-13

And as Jesus declared before His death:

And I,

if I be lifted up from the earth,

will draw all men

unto me.

33 This he said,

signifying what death

he should die.”  John 12:32-33

He died for YOU and ME—HIS life for mine!  What is your life preaching?  What “Gospel” are you spreading?  Jesus or some other message?  As the Apostle Paul reminds us again and again, our hope isn’t in “doing” good but it’s in “being” Christ’s and “having” HIS Spirit within us: “Christ in you, the hope of glory”!  Oh, if we could just return to and pursue devotion to “Jesus Christ, and him crucified”!  That’s the only hope that is real HOPE, and may we be lifting up Jesus and not man’s philosophies, plans or programs!

Whereof I am made a minister,

according to the dispensation of God

which is given to me for you,

to fulfil the word of God;

26 Even the mystery which hath been hid

from ages

and from generations,

but now is made manifest

to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known

what is the riches of the glory

of this mystery among the Gentiles;

which is

Christ in you,

the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach,

warning every man,

and teaching every man

in all wisdom;

that we may present every man

perfect in Christ Jesus:

29 Whereunto I also labour,

striving according to his working,

which worketh in me mightily.   Colossians 1:25-29

In closing for today (for we will come back to this theme again!) may we ever take Romans 12:1-2 as our battle plan, remembering that “the battle is not yours, but God’s” (See 2 Chronicles 20:15)!  Yet, we have a part—may we pursue God in every step—HIS way not ours!  And if I may add, ‘God’s will’ will never contradict or compromise HIS Word!

I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies

a living sacrifice,

holy,

acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed

to this world:

but be ye transformed

by the renewing of your mind,

that ye may prove

what is that

good,

and acceptable,

and perfect,

will of God.”  Romans 12:1-2

All by HIS power—not mine!!!

I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth

much fruit:

for without me

ye can do nothing.”  John 15:5

Amen and Amen!!!

Baskets And Palaces??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 23

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 23  Baskets And Palaces???

 

Just a few thoughts on whether we are being willing to serve with ‘baskets’ if that’s where God has us, or if we are so busy pursuing ‘palaces’ on our own, that we reject and diminish the value of ‘baskets’!

There be four things which are little

upon the earth,

but they are exceeding wise:

25 The ants are a people not strong,

yet they prepare their meat

in the summer;

26 The conies are but a feeble folk,

yet make they their houses

in the rocks;

27 The locusts

have no king, yet go they forth

all of them by bands;

28 The spider

taketh hold with her hands,

and is in kings’ palaces.”   Proverbs 30:24-28

There are good things of God’s creation that are small but powerful, and God wants us to learn from His creation.  Yet, there are small things of God’s creation that while small, they demand caution and care, and we often forget to beware of the difference.  James warns us of one of the greatest dangers we face daily—our words, our tongue!

For in many things we offend all.

If any man offend not in word,

the same is a perfect man,

and able also to bridle the whole body.

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths,

that they may obey us;

and we turn about their whole body.

4 Behold also the ships,

which though they be so great,

and are driven of fierce winds,

yet are they turned about

with a very small helm,

whithersoever the governor listeth.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member,

and boasteth great things.

Behold, how great a matter

a little fire kindleth!

6 And the tongue is a fire,

a world of iniquity:

so is the tongue

among our members,

that it defileth

the whole body,

and setteth on fire

the course of nature;

and it is set on fire

of hell.

7 For every kind of beasts,

and of birds,

and of serpents,

and of things in the sea,

is tamed,

and hath been tamed

of mankind:

8 But the tongue

can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil,

full of deadly poison.”  James 3:2-8

James goes on to tell us even more about our tongue—in a nut-shell— ‘we can control our tongue with God’s help and the work of The Holy Spirit’, or ‘we can allow our tongue to control us’!  Our words can bring life, peace and hope to others, or we can speak things that do more harm than a gun or knife could ever do!  How often have we wished we could take back “our words”—but once they are out, they are irretrievable.  How true is the proverb (not a biblical one, but a true one, nonetheless) that I have often quoted, “Watch your words and keep them sweet!  You never know which ones you’ll eat!”  What are you doing with your words?

But the tongue

can no man tame;

it is an unruly evil,

full of deadly poison.

9 Therewith bless we God,

even the Father;

and therewith curse we men,

which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth

proceedeth blessing

and cursing.

My brethren,

these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place

sweet water

and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren,

bear olive berries?

either a vine,

figs?

so can no fountain both yield

salt water

and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man

and endued with knowledge among you?

let him shew out of a good conversation

his works

with meekness of wisdom.”  James 3:8-13

Do our words reveal meekness and wisdom?  If our fountain is full of God’s Spirit, may our words reflect it!

You all remember Moses? Well, I’d like to consider Moses and his parents—scripture tells us that they had a heart to believe God and pursue HIS purposes, even if it meant relying on a small basket; even though it could have cost them their lives as well as the life of their tiny baby!

But God took that “basket” into the “palace”.  Many today are busy trying to push their children into “palaces” of fame, fortune, or popularity at any cost.  We dress them up like harlots, and immoral movie stars, actors, musicians, and other rabble, with no regard for what we are encouraging them to pursue.  We send them out with all their virtue uncovered and wonder why their morals fail.  We fill their lives with constant activity, yet we take very little time to teach them what God expects of them; and how to follow God’s Word.  May heaven help us see the import of teaching them about modesty, dignity, self-respect, and respectability!  Oh, please God our Father, open our eyes to see YOUR truth.

And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi.

2 And the woman conceived,

and bare a son:

and when she saw him that he was a goodly child,

she hid him three months.

3 And when she could not longer hide him,

she took for him an ark of bulrushes,

and daubed it with slime and with pitch,

and put the child therein;

and she laid it in the flags

by the river’s brink.

4 And his sister stood afar off,

to wit what would be done to him.

5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down

to wash herself at the river;

and her maidens walked along by the river’s side;

and when she saw the ark among the flags,

she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it,

she saw the child:

and, behold, the babe wept.

And she had compassion on him, and said,

This is one of the Hebrews’ children.

7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter,

Shall I go and call to thee a nurse

of the Hebrew women,

that she may nurse the child

for thee?…

10 And the child grew,

and she brought him

unto Pharaoh’s daughter,

and he became her son.

And she called his name Moses:

and she said,

Because I drew him

out of the water.”   Exodus 2:1-7 & 10

God knew where that basket would end up, and while Moses’ mother didn’t know that I believe she had an idea of the possibility of his rescue, especially since she sent his older sister to watch the outcome of her actions.  She acted in faith and knew her God would provide somehow!  I’m so glad that the book of Hebrews describes the events from God’s perspective that she didn’t have at the time—but she did know the God who did KNOW!!!  Remember that faithfulness to God produces obedience, and obedience will result in other’s seeing the faithfulness of GOD ALMIGHTY! And a mother of faith, changed the future of her son and her people—not by her own power, but by trusting in the God who did have the power!

Moses Parents:

By faith Moses,

when he was born,

was hid three months

of his parents,

because they saw

he was a proper child;

and they were not afraid

of the king’s commandment.”  Hebrews 11:23

Moses the adult:

By faith Moses,

when he was come to years,

refused to be called the son

of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction

with the people of God,

than to enjoy the pleasures of sin

for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ

greater riches

than the treasures in Egypt:

for he had respect

unto the recompence of the reward.

27 By faith

he forsook Egypt,

not fearing the wrath of the king:

for he endured,

as seeing him who is invisible.

28 Through faith he kept the passover,

and the sprinkling of blood,

lest he that destroyed the firstborn

should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red sea

as by dry land:

which the Egyptians assaying to do

were drowned.”  Hebrews 11:24-29

Both Moses and his parents chose to go God’s way even when it was unpopular, even when it was against the law for him to be kept alive as an infant, yet his mother and father believed that God had a plan even though it might cost them their lives as well as Moses’ life.  How is it that we would rather blend in than stand for what we say we believe?  I find it interesting that while most have read and stand by what they read in the first half of Hebrews 11, many often overlook the last half that describes those whose faith appeared to “fail” before the world—according to the “name-it-and-claim-it” folks.  God says faith is faith in HIM and HIS provision, not in how things may look, nor the opinion of the world!  When did we choose popular opinion over biblical obedience?  See what God says in the last part of Hebrews 11.

And others had trial

of cruel mockings

and scourgings,

yea, moreover

of bonds

and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned,

they were sawn asunder,

were tempted,

were slain with the sword:

they wandered about

in sheepskins

and goatskins;

being destitute,

afflicted,

tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:)

they wandered in deserts,

and in mountains,

and in dens

and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report

through faith,

received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us,

that they without us

should not be made perfect.”   Hebrews 11:36-40

Whose approval are you after?  I think I’d rather seek God’s approval in a basket, than the world’s in a palace void of God’s presence.  God’s plan seldom matches what the world is expecting.  What do your kids see in your choices?  Are you leading them to trust in God or something or someone else?  What do those around you see in you?  God or the world?  We must choose!

Study to shew thyself approved unto God,

a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

May we heed Paul’s call unto Timothy and see the import of God’s Word, and use it to “order” our steps; it will surely lead us into the ways of God—which the world will never do.  May we learn like Joshua to choose rightly, regardless of what others do.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD,

choose you this day

whom ye will serve;

whether the gods which your fathers served

that were on the other side of the flood,

or the gods of the Amorites,

in whose land ye dwell:

but as for me and my house,

we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24:15

God’s rules have never changed—and they never will!

Jesus Christ

the same yesterday,

and to day,

and for ever.”  Hebrews 13:8

Will you stand with the unchanging Christ or the transient world around us?  It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test.

To him that overcometh

will I grant to sit with me

in my throne,

even as I also overcame,

and am set down with my Father

in his throne.”  Revelation 3:21

Amen and Amen!!!

Is Small Insignificant??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 22

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 22   Is Small Insignificant???

 

We live in a world of “king size” it. Extra large please?  Cups so big they won’t fit in the ‘cup’ holder?  Double, triple and even bigger burgers.  Houses that parallel castles, and cars that are more like a greyhound bus than a family car!  Yet, what has all this brought us to?  I think, in part, the inability to discern between the small in size and the insignificant in reality.  Let’s consider some small things and see what God’s Word has to say about “size”

There was a lunch of 5 loaves and 3 small fish—that fed 5,000+; a young boy with a sling and 5 stones—who brought down a giant with only 1 stone; there was another young boy whom God called to deliver a man-sized message—Samuel delivered God’s message of judgment to Eli; there was a small town which hosted the birth of the King of Kings—tiny Bethlehem!

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,

though thou be little

among the thousands of Judah,

yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me

that is to be ruler in Israel;

whose goings forth

have been from of old,

from everlasting.”  Micah 5:2

God doesn’t see what we see—and we, sad to say, often don’t see what God is calling us to see.

Seek ye the LORD

while he may be found,

call ye upon him

while he is near:

7 Let the wicked

forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man

his thoughts:

and let him return

unto the LORD,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God,

for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

my ways,

saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens

are higher than the earth,

so are my ways

higher than your ways,

and my thoughts

than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:6-9

And as the Proverbs tells us:

There is a way

that seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 16:25

There is a way

which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof

are the ways of death.”  Proverbs 14:12

Jesus talked about a narrow gate, and the “few” that find it.  And that is about as significant a passage as we will find regarding the import of seeking God’s “small” things, which in reality are the “big” things!  For you see, sometimes the seemingly small things have giant consequences!  Both of the above proverbs make it clear to us that when we miss the things of God, by choosing our own wisdom over God’s the consequence can be “deadly”!  Just because it’s popular or the “buzz word” of the day, doesn’t make it true—and regardless of what is accepted today—JESUS IS TRUTH!–  and HE is the standard by which we will all be judged.

For the word of God

is quick,

and powerful,

and sharper than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder

of soul and spirit,

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner

of the thoughts

and intents

of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature

that is not manifest in his sight:

but all things are naked and opened

unto the eyes of him

with whom

we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:12-13

Jesus Himself reminds us that we must choose between that which is popular and that which is right!  The majority is seldom spiritually right!  Don’t believe everything you see or hear, we must compare all things to what God has said, and by the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ—The Truth! (see John 14:6)!  There are many false voices proclaiming themselves wise today—beware!

Enter ye in

at the strait gate:

for wide is the gate,

and broad is the way,

that leadeth to destruction,

and many there be

which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate,

and narrow is the way,

which leadeth unto life,

and few there be

that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets,

which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly

they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:13-15

Paul had a lot to say about being aware of what we hear and see and being wise to discern between the true and false—what may appear to be small is often truly foundational to know God and HIS truth!  While your call or mine may seem insignificant to the world—if God has called us to it, may we go forward in faith, confidence and obedience and leave the results up to our God.  It worked for David, Samuel, and Andrew who brought a small lunch to The Master, and it will still work God’s way for us too, if we but learn to exercise our faith and trust in God and HIS Word!  Oh my, YES!

For Christ sent me not to baptize,

but to preach the gospel:

not with wisdom of words,

lest the cross of Christ

should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross

is to them that perish

foolishness;

but unto us

which are saved

 it is the power of God.

19 For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom

of the wise,

and will bring to nothing

the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise?

where is the scribe?

where is the disputer of this world?

hath not God made foolish

the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God

the world by wisdom knew not God,

it pleased God

by the foolishness of preaching

to save them that believe.”    1 Corinthians 1:17-21

Ouch!  Remember our passage above from Isaiah:

For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

 my ways,

saith the LORD

I just love the way that God gave Paul to weave truths together, and that is just what he did in this first letter to the Corinthian believers; he goes on in chapter 3 to paint a most profound picture of the difference between doing things our way and doing them God’s way!

According to the grace of God

which is given unto me,

as a wise masterbuilder,

I have laid the foundation,

and another buildeth thereon.

But let every man take heed

how he buildeth thereupon.

11 For other foundation

can no man lay

than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold,

silver,

 precious stones,

wood,

hay,

stubble;

13 Every man’s work

shall be made manifest:

for the day shall declare it,

because it shall be revealed

by fire;

and the fire shall try

every man’s work

of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide

which he hath built thereupon,

he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned,

he shall suffer loss:

but he himself shall be saved;

yet so as by fire.

16 Know ye not

that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God

dwelleth in you?  1 Corinthians 3:10-16

Wow!  What a picture—we can choose to do God’s work with God’s materials—gold, silver, precious stones (those things which are created by God, and only mined by diligent pursuit of God’s treasure)!  Or we can choose to appear to do “God’s” work our own way, using the feeble, temporal, flammable materials of this earth (those things which can be produced by human effort!  Think about that!)!  When we belong to Jesus, we are to pursue HIS works, not our own works—usually done for our own glory, in our own power, hence the lack of reward, when our works lay in ashes with nothing to offer our KING!

Can you see the difference between the seemingly insignificant and that which is of eternal value?  It kind of makes it clear why we see so few Goliaths falling around us!  Please God, help us see what you see in all these distracting things around us, and help me/us to pursue Your will, that we might do Your work, Your way!

I would like to simply close with the words of our Lord to help us reevaluate our focus.

And when thou prayest,

thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:

for they love to pray standing in the synagogues                                       and in the corners of the streets,

that they may be seen of men.

Verily I say unto you,

They have their reward.

6 But thou,

when thou prayest,

enter into thy closet,

and when thou hast shut thy door,

pray to thy Father

which is in secret;

and thy Father

which seeth in secret

shall reward thee openly.

7 But when ye pray,

use not vain repetitions,

as the heathen do:

for they think that they

shall be heard

for their much speaking.

8 Be not ye therefore

like unto them:

for your Father knoweth

what things ye have need of,

before ye ask him.

9 After this manner therefore

pray ye:

Our Father

which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

in earth,

as it is in heaven.”   Matthew 6:5-10

Amen and Amen!!!