Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"A Trusted Love"

It seems there is too much sweetener in our understanding love. As a result we make our Heavenly Father a "Heavenly Sweetheart." We take the approach in our sins to God as a God who approaches us in our wickedness saying, "There, there now, I know you didn't mean to be sinful!" But is that really true? There are times we want to behave badly because we are upset about something or someone! Just try to talk to someone when they are angry about something and just see how difficult it is to speak to them about a holy love.
What we need is a love that is a holy love. We are missing true love. People speak of God loving us unconditionally. God's love is holy! A love that isn't holy can't be trusted!! A love that finds no offense in corruption and sinful attitudes isn't holy. A love that yawns at our sins will yawn at the sins of a universe. A god who loves like this is not a god worthy of our worship because he is not a righteous god.
God wants to forgive us and longs to forgive us and made means for our forgiveness by providing a sacrifice of justification. That sacrifice is Jesus Christ. Jesus came into our world and identified Himself with us. But there is another side. He identified Himself with the holiness of God that He offered His Father nothing less than complete, holy obedience. He identified Himself with sinful humanity that He took on our sins because we have sinned against a holy God and dishonored His holy name. He died our death, bore our sin, confessing for us the justice of God's holy judgment.
There we have it! This Lord and Savior Jesus Christ knew what God's love was about and His love was holy. God's holiness was met in Jesus and we as humans can meet and face the holiness of God. Forgiveness is not something just shrugged off by God. It was met in Jesus completely. That's why we repent, we are baptized into His name because God's holiness demands it. God abhors sin and His abhorrence is seen in the cross. Why? Because God loves and this holiness is a love that can be trusted!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"My Classmate"

While visiting home, my parents were sharing with me about one of my classmates of years gone by. We weren't really that good of friends growing up but I do remember many things we did. He was a handsome guy and many admired him but he had a wild side which seemed to attract certain type of girls. He started drinking in Jr. High. By the time we hit high school, he would be drunk, sometimes at school! I couldn't believe the teachers never noticed but it was obvious to all of us.
After graduation, he went to college, only to drop out...yes, drinking cost him. He got engaged but soon afterward, she dropped him. That seemed to do it! It started a downward spiral in his life like a rock falling from the sky. He would frequent bars, get into fights and his body was having the markings of scars. He got hooked on drugs along with his alcohol. Rehab came and went. Visits to the "6th floor" at the hospital were in order. (That's the floor of those mentally unstable.) His life was completely out of control.
A picture was handed to me. It was his obituary. He looked worn and wrinkled. It was hard to believe this man was my age with the way he looked. His face was one of sadness and lostness. His life had spiraled downward so far that he lost everything in life and for eternity! He was lost in relationships and to himself and lost with the Lord. 
Too many are like my classmate. Chasing things that cost and ruining their lives in the process. Trying to find meaning while in the process of losing! We see it today. Many a young man or woman thinking that living a life of wanton pleasure, party spirit is where life is while it spirals them downward into self-pity and ruin. Here we have a gospel message for people like this yet we keep it to ourselves because of fear. Fear of offending. Fear of rejection. Fear of not saying something the right way. Yet here people are looking for some meaning in life and we withhold that life from them because of fear. Maybe we don't see the power of God that's found in that gospel (Rom. 1:16-17)? Maybe we are searching too? The Lord God is right there, found in Jesus if we would only look and get others to look.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Sometimes we need to sit and reflect about things. Reflections about our lives, our loved ones and the journey we are taking. Some bring great joy to our hearts while other things make us realize how we really missed things.
As we spent our time with our family in Texas over the Thankgiving holiday, my mind was filled with reflections. I spent a day with my brother and sister-in-law. She has a serious brain tumor that only the Lord knows what will be the outcome. I reflected on our past as we spoke. We brought up things we did and where we had gone. It was good to bring back the memories. But in the reflection I saw a strength in my sister-in-law that was extremely encouraging. She knows she has a life threatening situation but her attitude and view of it was what we would call...GODLY. She had her hope and heart set. As we reflected that was good to see.
While at my parents house, my dad told me to go out into his garage, which was his work place over the last few years since closing down his tv and appliance business, and look through the things to see what I wanted. He brought so much from his shop with him and it is all set up in his garage. There were so many memories when I would pick something up that would flood my mind. My two sons were with me and they would find something and ask me what this was or that was. I found myself explaining things to them as I reflected. My grandkids were just having fun with it all. There was an old televsion set my dad has been tinkering with for several years trying to fix and my grandaughter asked, "What is that grandpa?" I explained about the older tv's to her surprise. I showed them soldering irons, tools and parts from years gone by. There were so many things that I can't begin to say how it made me feel. I was handling my past and how my dad had been blessed by the Lord to support us. It was incredible.
It is good to reflect. Sometimes it is good to sit and reflect where we came from and how we got to where we are presently. In the whole, as we each look at the journey we have taken, make certain you reflect on the Lord who brought it all about and where He is leading us. That's a reflection that leads to our present reality. Let's reflect on our past how it brought us to the present but this isn't over yet. We still have a future, a bright and blessed future, if we just hold to the promises of God in Christ Jesus. And smile as you reflect! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Until Later..."

I want to wish all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love the Thanksgiving holiday because it is one of those holidays where people can sit and enjoy their family together without all the craziness of gift buying and fear of debts. Just simply familes getting together and sharing in a meal.
It's a lot like some of the times in the OT. Families would sit together and eat in a meal and reflect on the Lord. I know many don't do this but what a great opportunity for each of us. The Lord has blessed us and blessed over and over. Even in our down times, we are still blessed. It's the difficulties that make one thankful or that's how it should work.
Enjoy your time to get away from everyday business! Take time with your family. Make it an opportunity to listen to those around you. You might be surprised what you hear and find out they have a heart for things you were unaware. This is my last post until after the Thanksgiving holiday. May God richly grant you His graciousness and care for you and your loved ones.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Peter Did!"

There were few as up and down as Peter. One minute we find him rebuking His Savior and the next calling out to Him to save from a situation. He fought to defend His Lord and yet denied Him at the most critical time. Peter was so different than Judas. Judas was just...well, the devil. Jesus calls Him that! Judas was a petty thief, a deceiver and greedy! Judas had no answers for life but suicide.
But that night of Jesus' arrest, Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded permission "to sift you like wheat." (Luke 22:31) The devil didn't have any right over Jesus. It shows his weakness in dealing with Father and Son. He had to ask permission. That alone speaks volumes to us.
That night, Peter loudly and boldly proclaimed not to allow anything to happen to his Master. But that was short lived. Peter observed Jesus taken into custody and stayed back to watch until his hand was called. "This man was with him too!" a servant-girl said (Luke 22:56). Peter denied it!  Another person approaches Peter and speaks "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." Peter didn't just deny it, he denied it with an oath (Matt. 26:72). A third bystander came up and said, "Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away." Peter didn't just deny it or swear with an oath. He began to curse and swear (Matt. 27:74). Can you imagine an apostle of the Lord doing such?
What was Peter to do? Suddenly out of nowhere, Jesus locks eyes with Peter. There you were, looking into the eyes of the Redeemer of mankind that you had just sworn and cursed about! As we would say, Peter threw Jesus under the bus. The cross was for Peter too! Peter went out and wept bitterly. Bitterly! Not just a few flowing tears but tears of pain and sorrow for having sold out the One who he said he would defend. It makes us wonder where Peter was (or the others as well) when that sky turned black upon the death of Jesus? More tears and sorrow!
But here is the thing. While Peter and Judas both walked with Jesus, they had witnessed His miracles, His working with and among people, heard His teachings of truth and knew what forgiveness of sins was. Judas didn't believe. Peter did! Jesus prayed for Peter and knew that Peter would turn after his great and horrific failure in his life. Peter did! Peter found forgiveness! Peter knew forgiveness!
We've been there. We have failed and too ashamed to ask for forgiveness but our faith won't give up asking. That part in our lives where shame and guilt hit us but we just had to respond to our Savior with an open heart. We walked in the shoes of Peter many times. The ups and downs. The arrogance and humblings. The denying and realizing we are nothing. What made Peter return? He witnessed Jesus forgiveness among many. Jesus willingly forgiving those of faith. There was a rock, a security for the heart of mankind if man would be honest. What about us? What makes us return? What makes some never to return? Jesus showed His willingness and the depth of His forgiveness. What are we going to do with that? Are we going to humble ourselves and cling to Jesus? Peter did!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Close But Far Away"

If we look closely we will see it. Here the men were, soldiers close to the cross but so far away. It meant little to them as they saw Jesus as another commoner. I don't know what really happened but John gives us a little insight: "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be'; this was to fulfill the Scripture: 'They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.'" (John 19:23-24)
Heartless, unfeeling men below the feet of Jesus gambling for His clothing! Close to the cross but so far removed from the impact of what was happening. It makes me wonder what Mary, her sister and Mary Magdalene thought as stood by the cross watching the thoughtless and uncaring actions? What a scene that demonstrates man's calloused hearts.
But wait, could that be us today? Our eyes on everything around, our faces turned away from the cross while we claim we stand beneath it. Many have been carried away by the things of the world while claiming Christ. What about those who have little interest in worship but they claim Christ? Personal gains and condemning one another seem to run rampant. Why, if things don't go just the way we want, we take what little we have left of ourselves and walk away justifying why we did what we did. It didn't matter if Jesus wants us to love and forgive. You know we were hurt, or at least believe we were. Many are so close to the cross but so far away.
Swords of bitterness are drawn ready for battle the next time something happens. Blame, divisions, make worship about what we think is okay, another doctrine, new twists in teachings, misuse of Scripture and in some places that are so small in population, the church has 3, 4, 5 different congregations that have started all in the name of the Lord but the motive for starting them was far from the Lord. Wasn't it Jesus who spoke, "That they all may be one, just as We are one!"? (John 17:22)
Are we really so different from those soldiers that day? As they gambled for the clothes of Jesus, they were throwing eternal life away. How many are at the foot of the cross playing the same games? Little pursuit of His righteousness. Just day by day throwing away our lives. I wonder what Jesus thought that day? Too many are close but so far away. Have you ever sat down and taken serious inventory of yourself? Are you close but far away?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"Almost!" It can be one of the saddest words that so many use today. It comes in different flavors. The one that got away. I nearly did it. It was right there in front of me. But most of the time it's "almost!" I "almost" got to play. I "almost" closed the largest sale in history. I "almost" got married. I "almost" climbed to the top.
We listen closely to Scripture and read about Jesus standing face to face with Pilate. Can you imagine? The governor standing face to face, eye to eye with His Creator and His Redeemer. The accusations were flying at Jesus past Pilate like hot volcanic rocks that have been hurled into the air. Each time Pilate brought Jesus before himself and found no crime, no fault and nothing to accuse Him. All the power that Pilate had to release Jesus was there too and Pilate knew it. Jesus did explain that Pilate's authority came from heaven above but still the decision was Pilate's to make. There are at least five times Pilate was weighing in on what to do. The crowd roared. Our Savior stood quietly. His silence had to be more deafening than the crowd yelling!
But then we have that sad word show up..."almost." Pilate's wife sent him a message to have nothing to do with this righteous man (Matt. 27:19). Pilate "almost" listened. Pilate over and over wanted to release Jesus and "almost" did. Who knows what Pilate really felt after handing Jesus over and knowing what happened from that point.
"Almost" is to fail! Just as Pilate washed his hands, that didn't eliminate the decision. One can't close their eyes to their wrongs with some outward justification and be released of their guilt. We too, because we "almost" did it God's way, we "almost" helped someone in need, we "almost" gave Jesus 100 % entrance into our heart but yet many stand still in their filth and defilement. There is no "almost" with Jesus! Jesus doesn't "almost" forgive us of everything. We are forgiven or not forgiven. We are either with Him wholly or against Him...there is no place for "almost" in relationship to Jesus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

"The Tale of Two Trees"

On that dark night of the betrayal and arrest, there were two hills being climbed. At the end of each hill was a tree. One was the hill of Calvary the other was a hill of regret. Even though Judas arranged everything, upon seeing Jesus condemned, the regret hit him hard. All Jesus saw before Him was a monumental task of bearing the sins of the world. All Judas saw before him was the monumental task of betraying innocent blood. While Jesus was giving up His life freely to save, Judas was giving up his life stricken with life-ending grief. While Jesus entrusted Himself to the Father to raise Him up, Judas was alone, died alone and lost!
Too many today are climbing a hill of regret. Mistakes made, regrets of the past, times of great anxiety, tears of frustrations and years of doubts. Sometimes the pain is on the surface while other times is deep-seated within the heart. Some can remember. Others want to forget. All want to cope!
Why are so many living lives so empty? Why does it seem so many are climbing up the same hill Judas climbed? Oh, maybe not because we betrayed the Son of God with a kiss but yet, maybe we have? Many live with such guilt and heartache they head to an end that's barren. Why?
Because they have not looked to the One who climbed the hill of Calvary! Judas choose a tree at the top of the hill to end His life. Jesus took a tree at the top of His hill that gives life. Too many refuse to embrace the forgiveness offered. Our sin bearer, our eternal Redeemer, our Covenant Maker, our Savior is the only One that can rescue us from the sins of our past and take them from us. That's what the promise is that is made. "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Heb. 10:17)
The choice is ours. Jesus offers to those of faith. To those who refuse and look other directions to relieve their downtrodden past, it is a painful and pitiful life that will lead to fears. Two trees, two completely different results. Which tree will you arrive at?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Love Never Fails"

It doesn't take much to look around and see a world filled with sin. Look at families (maybe our own), crime rates, prisons overflowing, nations killing and being killed, abuse of children before they are born as well as after, murderers become hero's, divorce is pandemic and greed pushes all. We look at the church where people can't get along, won't get along. Hostilities toward one another, the church splits and splits while everyone believes they will have their share in heaven.
God speaks: "Love never fails!" (I Cor. 13:8) Never? That's what God says. Never! Man fails. Man's attempts fail but God's love...NEVER! We live in a world that glamorizes immorality and we "Don't get mad, we get even!" is prevalent. But God still speaks: "Love never fails!" Not man's love or idea of love but God's love. What's amazing, we rarely see or hear anything of God's love. God's love doesn't beg to be given room to work and enter. It simply is. God's love stands waiting for someone to respond and use it.
It happened years ago on the Larry King program. He was going to interview one of the president's closest workers. After the interview, Larry King announced to come back and watch because the next portion would simply knock you off your feet. It was about a woman who's son was killed by a drunk driver. She went to court listening, seething and hurting. As the court case drew to a conviction, she made sure the judge and jury heard her case against this man. He was sentenced to jail and to go to the schools as a public spokesman against drinking. She decided to follow him when he spoke at a high school. The first speaking she watched him closely in front of these young people and could sense a sincerity she hadn't seen before. She went to another school where he spoke and afterward walked up to him. Suddenly she couldn't speak. She smelled the alcohol on his breath and was furious, going back to court and getting the man thrown in prison for breaking the law. 
As time went by, one day her husband decided to go by and visit this man who had taken the life of their son. The husband was touched as the man was making progress. He encouraged his wife to go with him. She finally agreed. They began going to the prison each week and something began happening on both sides. You see, the lady began having bible studies with him. Eventually, he requested to be baptized into Christ. She went back to court, paying out of their own pocket to get his sentence reduced and to see if they could pick him up and bring him to worship with them. The judge was shocked but it was granted. After his release from prison, he came and lived with the family.
This true story shows the power "Love never fails!" God's love practiced will bring people together, not separate them. It was Jesus who said: "By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) What are we missing? 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Raising Children In A Whatever World"

I know it is difficult to raise godly children in a "whatever" world! It can be done. How you ask? By being a godly parent! I'm not talking about being one who says they believe but a parent who believes by following the Lord with all their heart. We need parents dedicated to the Lord filling their hearts with the godly attributes and allowing the Lord complete rights over their lives.
We need to be parents walking, talking and praying with our children when they rise up and when they lay down. Godly fathers that provide comfort, nourishing and instructing their children, keeping them from the evils that lurk. Godly mothers that will not allow the world styles of cloths, the latest fads become dominate in their lives. Too many parents are not leading their children away from the spiritual dangers and traps that are set in this world.
What would be the first thing the devil would do to children and parents? Lead them away from love of the Lord and to love the world! We are speaking of 'agape' love, the love God has for us. It is a love of sacrifice and choice for the betterment of another. Parents tend to lead their children into loving the world and the things in the world. As our children grow, many just watch them love the world more, being more dedicated to the things of the world than the Lord. Love for God is lost. Children are lost. Parents are lost. We need parents set on developing a deep, trusting relationship with God.
During a child's tender years, parents are just over-whelmed sometimes at their heart for God. Then something happens. Most can't figure it out. What happened to that little child that was thrilled with worship, bible study and singing to the Lord? It's called love. Something has stolen their love.
Step up fathers and be godly fathers! Step up mothers and be godly mothers! Your soul is at stake and so is your children. Your children will have relationships and many will be based on the spiritual character you placed within them. If they have had little guidance, their standard in their relationships will be low. We live in a "whatever" world and we need parents dedicated to the Lord more than ever to avoid "whatever!"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Thinking With Sound Judgment"

Our society pushes us away from focusing on God and His ways. Busy! Everyone is so busy but where are we really headed in all our business? Go, run here, do this, get this done surrounds us. Worn out and frazzled is where many find themselves. The result: little sound judgement and soberness in our thinking. " of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." (I Pet. 4:7)
Sound judgment and soberness have behind it clear thinking and a mental calmness. When you contrast these two thoughts with I Pet. 3:3, where the terms of sensuality, lusts, drinking and idolatries (whatever takes the place of God in our lives) are spoken, we can see the need for sound judgment and soberness. Sensuality, lusts and idolatry muddle the mind. Intoxication by alcohol and drugs affect the mind physically interfering with sound judgment.
We can think back in our lives to times where something important happened to our nation and we were caught paying close attention to every detail. Everything around you at that moment was blocked out. I remember when 9-11 took place that parents went to school and pulled their children out to be home with them. There was a sobering mind set and sound judgment was being used as the important things were brought into view.
Jesus is teaching at Mary and Martha's house. Martha was put out that Mary was not helping her prepare and serve (Luke 10). Jesus calls her hand, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Martha was no longer sound in her thinking and in her distraction was losing ground. What about us? How many opportunities to gain real ground are forfeited because we aren't thinking clearly much less have a mental alertness. What do you find going on in your mind? Is your mind clear and mentally alert so you spend time in prayer? What is distracting you?
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."  (Phil. 4:8) That's sound judgment and sober thinking!

Monday, November 7, 2011

"What Would I Say As President?"

What would I tell Congress if I were President? What would I say to the people if I were President? Hmmm.... I would tell Congress to stop all the game playing, Independent, Republican and Democrat! We need to humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord and get some Divine help for our nation. We need true direction and stop all the rhetoric.
I would tell this nation we need to come together in the word of the Lord and listen (like the days of Josiah).
I would tell all policitians to wash their necks so their shirt collars aren't dirty. Make sure they pay for their own sodas. Use their own vehicles for personal business. Buy their own stamps. Let's go fishing! Fishing always helps clear the mind so you can meditate on God's proper things. Yep, that's what I believe I would say if I were President. 
What's that? You don't think it would ever happen? Me either but just in case you were wondering what I would say, that's what I would say! Just sayin'!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"To Preach or Not to Preach"

This week I have had two dear brothers contact me asking me about preaching and wanting insight. I was requested by both to address this through my blog. I am speaking presently with a preacher that wants to quit preaching as he has been wounded by the brethren and is ready to walk away.
We must start with God. Preaching takes an honest and sincere heart for the Lord and His word. You must seek the truth and glean for yourself the things from God's word. That's where it begins. We have had those individuals instrumental in directing us but it still comes down to your heart seeking the truth and applying it properly. Will you misapply the Scripture sometimes? Absolutely! But not with intent to misapply. You just keep looking, praying and seeking and the Lord brings you around.
Back to the thought: to preach or not to preach, that is the question! There is an element I would say to all young men wanting to preach they need to understand (and also those who have matured and want to start preaching). In the line of preaching, you must realize that there will be times where brethren will use you as a whipping post! Sometimes you will be hurt. It is tough. Sometimes as a preacher, you bring on your own difficulties because of your weakness and other times people simply don't like you! Remember many didn't like Jesus either. It's not about whether someone likes you or dislikes you, it's about helping the souls.
Preaching has many challenges. The one who substitutes for someone who preaches rarely touches the challenges because people know they are a fill-in. Brethren are more merciful to a substitute.  It's when you take up that position for the Lord week in and week out that the shots will come. Now, I am not trying to discourage those wanting to preach but prepare you. The Lord is gracious and it is always a thrill to speak for Him. As a preacher you get to see people turn with the heart and move from unbelief to belief. It is wonderful to see a heart touched coming from a world of sin and death into the love of Christ. I know of nothing else more encouraging and exciting. I never felt that from winning a ball game or other things this life offers. It simply is amazing to see Jesus work in the heart and lives of others.
Have I wanted to quit? Oh yes! Have I wanted to walk away and leave a place? Absolutely! Sometimes you get feeling sorry for yourself because people berate you or treat you with contempt of what they believe to be sinful behavior on your part and you can't do anything about it. Minds and hearts get set and you just simply must endure. The people of God, surprisingly to many, can treat you worse than the world. It can become lonely from man's view and difficult. But what keeps a preacher on track? The cross before your eyes. You see Jesus attacked with words, accused of wrongs He didn't do and you realize you are trying to walk in His steps. That's good company to keep. The Lord carries you through it all.
To preach or not to depends on your heart toward the Lord. If your motive to preach comes from what you see in a class or sermon and you think you could do that, that's not a good reason. To preach because of the love of Christ and wanting others to share in His love, that's proper. It is rewarding and one day, holding to His love and faithfulness, trying to be faithful and honest with Him, you will hear the words spoken..."Well done, you good and faithful servant." Yep, preaching is about servanthood. Preaching is about Jesus. Preaching is about saving the lost and sometimes it's the church that needs saving! Preach the word!! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Jephthah the Warrior"

His name is Jephthah the Gileadite. He was a valiant warrior. His mother was a harlot. Because of his mothers reputation, Jephthah was driven out of Israel and from among his own family. Those who left with him were called "worthless fellows." (Judges 11) Suddenly, Israel found herself at war with Ammon and in dire need of help. The elders of Israel come to Jephthah asking him to come be their leader and help them fight against Ammon. Jephthah was confused as to why he was treated the way he was and now they need his leadership!
Jephthah agreed to lead Israel but under one condition: He would be their head! Jephthah spoke before Lord. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. Jephthah made a vow to the Lord God saying, "If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering." (Judges 11:30-31) What a vow to make to the Lord! As we read this, we can be sure that Jephthah was thinking an animal or something else to come out of his house upon his return. A burnt offering of such an animal would be offered with a heart of thanksgiving! But what happened next was beyond his thinking!
The Lord gave Jephthah the victory over Ammon and he returned home. The first thing that exited his house was not an animal but his own daughter. Jephthah was devastated! He knew he had made a vow to God and he could not take it back. 
How could Jephthah made such a foolish vow? Why did he not think this thing through before he made such vow? It is a horrible thought. Jephthah followed through on his vow. Devastated, heartbroken and brought low, how could he continue knowing what he had done?
We turn our attention to think about our world, every single person that lived and is living on this earth. Sin filled. Wicked. Hearts against God. Mankind following their lusts and doing all sorts of ungodly acts. Haven't we all done things we are ashamed of today? God looked upon our world from the very beginning of His creation and made a vow. I vow to offer MY SON for the sins of the world. It makes us wonder, what did Jehovah God really go through in His heart? What did He have to endure for our sake? That should give us reason to pause and reflect on our relationship to Him, don't you think? 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

"Dull of Hearing"

One of the greatest dangers that we face is what the Hebrew writer was dealing with in his writing. "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing." (Heb. 5:11)
"Dull of hearing" happens when one cannot give up their present mind set and embrace the Lord's mind set. In the context of this verse, the writer was pointing to the priesthood of Jesus and because of their mind set toward the Law, it was difficult to explain things further. We too can do the same. It becomes difficult for many in Christ to move forward because they have become "dull of hearing."
The term "dull" is 'nothros' in the Greek. It is made up of two words: (1) "no"  (2) "to push". In other words, there is no push! It comes from the idea of numb limbs of a sick lion. When the limbs are numb, they can't sense or push off them. It is the same word used in Hebrews 6:12 speaking of being "sluggish" or "lazy".
When one becomes "dull of hearing" they are difficult to teach because they have no real push to desire to listen. Their mind set is one that holds to their present and refuses to let go in order to gain. How difficult is it to explain anything to someone if they won't listen? People who say they know the word of the Lord yet stay in their present mind set, without listening carefully to His word, they are "dull of hearing." As long as one remains devoted to their present mind set, it is difficult, if not impossible to move them forward.
The "dull of hearing" can lead one into hardness of heart if the hearts not willing to listen. Paul explains in Rom. 11:8-10, speaking of the Jew's, that they were given a "spirit of stupor" which is eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. Not only is "dull of hearing" a problem but being given a "spirit of stupor" on top can take one into the depths of spiritual ruin. The Lord gives according to the desires of the hearer. 
How can we avoid such traps? Be tender to the word! Listen with a heart of faith and sensitivity. Make certain you hear and if you are convicted, don't fight it but submit to the voice of the Lord. Our very souls depend on the condition of our hearts and we need to watch over our hearts diligently to make certain we follow and hear in purity. The majority of time, it's not the subject matter is difficult, it's not the messenger but it can lie in the heart of the hearers."Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." (Prov. 4:23)