The Blessings of a New Life in Jesus (Leviticus 25-27)

August 8, 2022

“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom.” Leviticus 26:13

As I rose this morning, it was to the reality of how blessed I am in God’s family. My reason for this reality was simply this: God showed me this as I read His Word. His Word is perfect. It converts the soul and it directs the mind.

Leviticus 26 reminds us of God’s blessings and God bruises. God blesses those who obey Him and He disciplines (bruises) those who disobey Him.

Question: In which place do you find yourself today?

In my own life I can truly count my blessings (more than I could possible ever finish counting) and I can identify my bruises. Here is one of them: I have not been taking time of rest as I should. God clearly taught Israel the value of Sabbath rest.

For the last 21 days I have been fasting and praying for God’s clear Word to my life about every part of this life I live. One of those things that God told me to do was rest. So, for the next seven days I am going to rest from all that I do in ministry. Yes, beginning now I will be resting with my family.

So for the next seven days the blog site will remain silent as I rest in God’s presence. Please do not think anything is wrong with our family or we are considering a ministry change. We are blessed and by God’s grace where we belong. We are just taking 7 days to rest before the Lord.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US AS WE REST FOR HIS GLORY! I LOVE YOU EACH WITH THE LOVE OF CHRIST!!!

The Name of your city (Ezekiel 43-48)

August 5, 2022

” And the name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord Is There.” Ezekiel 48:35

Have you ever paused at a city limits sign as you either entered or exited a city? I can remember years ago being intrigued with the woodwork and signage at the entrance of smaller cities in Romania. Each city had a name that reflected the character of the city.

In America there are many cities that are named after certain people who were instrumental in the founding of that city. As I considered the ending chapters of Ezekiel this morning, I could not get away from the beauty of how the book ended. God encouraged the exiles that there would be a day when the city would be blessed with the presence of the Lord.

Back in Ezekiel 9 the Lord had left the temple and now in a new temple the Lord would return. Question, when people enter the city or country where you live, who is God of that place? Now let me become personal with you: Who is God of your temple?

According to Paul, I Corinthians 6:16-19, when a person becomes a Christian, they are born again (they become a new temple) where God (Holy Spirit) takes up residence for the purpose of leadership and fellowship.

Friends, I want people to know that in this temple of my life-The Lord is here. I think each of you want this as well. Here are 4 actions that we take as Christians who follow the Lord:

We first desire for our lives to reflect who is in residence so we seek and obey His directions each day.

We also work on our lives for the purpose of spiritual transformation, Rom. 12:1-2.

Our lives are also characterized through outreach. We go with God reaching others, Acts 1:8.

Finally we are living in anticipation of when King Jesus will come to rule in person, Rev. 20:2.

Rev. 21: 3 “Beloved He is coming to dwell with us, and we shall be His people, and God will be with us as our God.”

I am so thankful He has come and saved up and has taken up leadership residence in my life. Father forgive me when I attempt to take leadership that is yours alone. God help those who have not surrendered their lives to you, to do so this very moment!

What’s Happening at your table? (Prov. 14-15)

August 4, 2022

“Better is a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fatted ox with hatred.” Proverbs 15:17

Friends, I have been blessed over the years of my life to share meals with people in many different places and settings. I have eaten at tables were there was the finest of food and I have eaten at tables where there was the least of food. At each of those tables there were lasting impressions made.

At some of those tables there was joy, happiness, and a lingering to talk as long as possible. At other tables there was little joy and happiness. At such tables people left as quickly as possible. Now the assumption would be that the tables were there was fine food was where the joy was. However, that would be the wrong assumption. The tables where the joy and lingering happened were the tables where there was love at the table. It was what was happening at the table.

God said, it is better to have a little with love than a lot without love. This morning I ask you, how does one get love at the table? I believe we find our answer from I John 4:7-8 which reads as follows:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Wow!!! Its Christ at our table that makes our table a place of love. How does this happen? Here are three pictures of this answer

A genuine born again person will carry love to the table. A genuine born again person will work through issues so that love stays at the table. A genuine born again person will have as a goal that everyone at the table would come to receive the love of God.

Oh how I pray that everyone who reads this today will have genuine love at their table!!!

Walking With God (Psalm 90-92)

August 3, 2022

Teach us to number our days carefully
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts, Psalm 90:12
.

It is a certain fact that God is eternal and we are not! At our birth people rejoice and at our death some will be sorrowful, but God has not birth date and God has no end date. This is so powerful in my heart and mind today.

Moses, led by God, had come to understand this truth as he wrote Psalm 90. Charles Spurgeon’s commentary notes on this passage reminds us that for forty years, Moses had walked with God in the wilderness. Spurgeon comments:

“As the people walked through the wilderness they would have on a daily basis walked by countless numbers of graves of their family members who had died in the wilderness wanderings. Over 2 million died in those days. Moses was well aware of how quickly our days go by.” (CSB Spurgeon Edition, Pg. 797).

Moses wrote: Our lives last seventy years
or, if we are strong, eighty years.
Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow;
indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away. (90:10)

Moses asked the Lord to teach us to number our days. In doing so Moses was asking God for wisdom to understand our purpose in life. Moses was also asking God to walk with us in life so that we can certainly fulfill our purpose in life.

Brothers and sisters, how do we accomplish this task? I believe we find our answer in Hebrews 11:6

 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

God outlines our steps forward if we want to walk with God:

  1. Every day we are to believe He is God.
  2. Every day we are to trust that His plan is the only plan worth following.
  3. Every day we are to seek His intimate fellowship as the greatest value in life.

As we do these things we have the honor of walking with our eternal God!!! Wow, what an honor.

What Can We Do? (II Kings 21-25)

August 2, 2022

19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I myself have heard’—this is the Lord’s declaration. 20 ‘Therefore, I will indeed gather you to your ancestors, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place.’” II Kings 22:19-20

In recent days the part of the country of my childhood has experienced a major disaster from flooding. People from everywhere in the surrounding regions have been asking, what can we do. Personally, I am always encouraged by our nations resolve to help in times of natural disasters. But at the same time I am greatly alarmed at how our nation does not realize the spiritual disaster that has come to be the norm in our nation.

I believe God is judging our nation because of our countless sins. Last week the economic reports confirmed we are now in a recession. Even worse, Scripture confirms we are in a spiritual collapse.

Consider how our nations mirrors that of other nations that collapsed in the past. Take this days readings as an example. The Scriptures take us back to Judah’s final years leading up to disaster and exile. The sins of Judah are the sins of our day as well.

This day I am asking the same question that people are asking our friends in Eastern Kentucky, what can I do? But I am not asking my fellow American’s this question. I am truly asking God, what can I do.

This morning I believe the Lord spoke to me the following, Keith, follow the example of Josiah. Friends, Josiah’s faith journey was an amazing journey. If you have not read his story, pause reading here and read II Kings 22-23.

Here are three things, we as Christians can do in our day:

  1. We can love God in the way Josiah did. “He turned to the Lord with all his heart, mind, and soul,” 23:25.
  2. We can obey God’s Word and teach it to others. This is what Josiah did.

This king heard and obeyed God in his own life first, 22:8-11. This king was cut to the heart. He made the changes that God called him to change, 22:19-20. This king influenced people who were in his sphere of influence., 23:1-24.

3. We must trust those things that are beyond our influence into the hands of God.

Josiah could not undo the past nor could he convince those who came behind him to do the correct things. But he could place before people an example of a person who loved and obeyed God.

I pray that each of you who are reading this will simply place your life before God and say, I will love you Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. I pray that each of you will obey and teach others. I pray that each of you will do your best to set up your family for future generations to know God.

God this is what we can do!!!

More than a Prayer (Leviticus 22-24)

August 1, 2022

“The offering from the heard or the flock must be without blemish to be accepted without defect in it.” Lev. 22:21

This morning my heart and mind were drawn to a reality of my life that I need to work on. The Lord revealed to me that I often ask for forgiveness without considering the cost of my prayer. It is true, prayer is costly. Consider the truth of what I am writing.

As we read Leviticus 22, there is the clear reminder that a sacrifice must be offered for our sin. Spurgeon wrote: “As a person looked on the blood of the victim, he would remember the sacred rule. The sacrifice must be perfect to be accepted. This was a declaration of the holiness of God.” (CSB Study Bible, Spurgeon Edition, Pg. 158).

Each time a sacrifice was offered it was a reminder that someone else would have to pay the price for our prayers for forgiveness to be accepted. Ultimately there was only one eternal sacrifice that God would accept for the sins of the world. It was the eternal sacrifice of His Own Son (I John 2:1-2).

This day I am amazed new and fresh about the countless times, Jesus blood has been applied to my prayer life. Even I prayed this morning His blood was applied as I asked God to forgive me for taking for granted the high price that was paid so that I could pray for forgiveness.

The words of a great song fill my heart. “Thank you for the cross Lord.” Let us rejoice in what He did for us. Let us tell others that they can pray and they can be forgiven because Jesus loves them that much!!!

Good News In the Valley (Ezekiel 37-42)

July 29, 2022

 25 They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land[g] and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore. Ezekiel 37:25-28

The opening verses of Ezekiel 37 are verses that amaze the mind of a person seeking to know God deeply. The Scriptures teach us that the prophet was carried by God to a massive valley where a vast number of people had died (Probably from a battle). The slain had been dead for a long period of time based upon the dryness of the bones that remained (37:3).

The Lord asked the prophet a question. The question was, “Can these bones live?” The prophets answer was wise, “God you know.” The prophet believed that God could do it if he desired.

Brothers and sisters, the miracle that took place is truly good news for those who are in valley moments. Scripture teaches that God brought life to the entire valley of dry bones. The message was clear: Israel would become the bones in the valley and God would bring them back to life.

Oh, what good news that came from that valley. I wonder, are you in a valley today? Do you feel as if death is creeping spiritually into your life? Are you, despite all efforts, being pulled into a valley?

Take heart, God is with you. The same God who gave you spiritual life (Eph. 2:4-5) can give you life in the valley. Repeat this out loud as you read it:

God, you know I am in a valley. You know what I need to learn here. Open my eyes to see and my mind to understand. Deliver me from the valley. Bring life to what is dying or is already dead. Make me to wait on you and to trust you in every second in my valley. I know victory is coming, in Jesus name.

Brothers and sisters, King Jesus is coming, even as I write, to your side in the valley. Trust Him and walk with Him because He makes every valley straight.

It Hurt’s but it is for our Good (Proverbs 13; Colossians 3)

July 28, 2022

Poverty and disgrace come to those
who ignore discipline,
but the one who accepts correction will be honored. Proverbs 13:18

As I stood there in the door way, anger rose up in my heart. My wonderful wife, who loves and cares for me unconditionally, had just confronted me about a sin in my life. At first, I wanted to respond in anger. Secondly, I want to walk away. But then the Holy Spirit whispered, “she is right, let this hurt as she is my tool to cut this sin out of your life.”

Wow! It was true, what she was saying was true and it hurt. But it was for my good. Question, do you have people in your life who hurt you for your good?

Hear the wisdom of God from Proverbs 13:18. If we ignore the correction of such people we will end up in deeper hurt than the wound that comes with gentle rebuke. But if we receive the correction the hurt is brief because you and I will turn away from the sin that would hurt us deeply over the long haul.

Here are three suggestions for your life based on Proverbs 13:18:

  1. Become a person who surrounds yourself with people who hold you accountable. Prov. 13:20 “Walk with the wise.”
  2. Become a person who accepts the gentle rebuke of the wise people around you. Prov. 13:16 “Every sensible person acts knowledgeably.”
  3. Become a person who speaks gentle rebuke to those in your circle of influence. Prov. 13:14 “A wise person’s instruction is a fountain of life.”

Who Compares to the Lord? (Psalm 87-89)

July 27, 2022

O Lord God of hosts,
    who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
    with your faithfulness all around you? Psalm 89:8

Brothers and sisters, do you and I truly believe there is no on like our God? If this be true, then why do we know so little about God? In this season of my life, God is deeply convicting me about how little I know about Him. The truth be told, I have more knowledge of the world and of world events than I do Him.

This morning my prayer is simple: Lord strip away those things that are not of you so that I will have more room to know you.

In Psalm 88 we find the writer pleading with God about his dire circumstances. In the midst of his pleading with God, the reader will notice what the Psalmist knows about God. Please take time to find out what he knows about God.

This day I want to focus one attribute of God. GOD IS FAITHFUL.

Brothers and sisters, do you know that God is faithful? The Psalmist points us into the very throne room of God and he reveals to us, God’s faithfulness. Because He is faithful, everything that comes from Him is faithful.

Because of this we can affirm the following:

  • God never lies because He is faithful.
  • God keeps His promises because He is faithful.
  • God never bails on us because He is faithful.
  • God never changes because He is faithful.

Paul writes in II Timothy 2:13, “Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful.” Psalm 100:5 “He is faithful through all generations.”

Brothers and sisters, the more I lean into knowing Him the clearer my days are and the more faithful He makes me because He is chipping away my old nature. It is my prayer that someday the Lord will be able to say of our lives, “well done thy good and faithful servant,” Matt. 25:41. Oh how I pray that you and I will come to know more of who He is!!!

Who Is Your God? (II Kings 16-20)

July 26, 2022

“So one of the priests they had deported came and lived in Bethel, and he began to teach them how they should fear the Lord,” II Kings 17:28.

In these days of uncertainty around the world, it seems to me that God is lovingly and mercifully seeking to gain the world’s attention. For example, the rising inflation and the extreme heat and lack of rain in parts of the country are a wake-up call. At the same time, it seems as if God is allowing our country to fall deeper and deeper into division and political chaos. In many ways God has moved His hand away from us and is allowing the enemy to work his evil.

In the Old Testament, the divided nations of Israel and Judah were both (During the days of the Kings) headed down a slippery slope. Today’s readings clearly outline the why of Israel’s fall (check out II Kings 17:7-20) and their deportation.

According to Scripture, the King of Assyria brought people from other countries to live in Israel (17:24). These foreign people brought their dead gods with them (Check out 17:29-31 for a listing of their dead Gods). Scripture teaches us that God began to destroy the people with lions that attacked these people. The king of Assyria commanded that one priest be sent back to teach them how to “follow the requirements of the god of the land,” (17:26).

Brothers and sisters, a priest did go back, but the people did not change. They were afraid of the true God but they continued worshipping their own gods (17:32).

Brothers and sisters, The True God will not share His worship with dead gods or with Satan who props them up. The Living God will not bless people who desire to be their own God.

Question: Who is your God?

This is not a time (nor is anytime) for competing Gods or for faking as if we are following God. It is a time for all-in genuine worship of The True God. Paul lifted up the true God in I Timothy 1:17 “Now to the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisibly, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Brothers and sisters, let us join together in serving The One True God!

It is my prayer that America and all nations would come to know the True God. King Hezekiah prayed this very way when he said, “Now, Lord our God, please save us from his people so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God-alone.” (19:19). May it be, in Jesus Name!