Remember Jesus Is

Christmas day. That means a whole lot to many people. It is a holiday and you can get off from work. It is a time of families gathering together, and enjoying one another’s laughs, jokes, and hearing of some different life situations from each other.

Christmas is about the birth of a King.  His name is Jesus. He is called Immanuel or Emmanuel meaning “God with us”.

This day each year is a reminder each year that God came down, in the Person of His Son, was born as a baby, and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. We also need to remember why He came down to us.

He came to redeem us to Himself. He did that by living a sinless life; without spot or blemish He obeyed God the Father in all things; went to the cross, shedding His own blood to give us a relationship with the Creator of all that is – the Heavenly Father.

I sometimes hear people speak of Jesus in the past tense. I have a few times caught myself doing the same, and I speak to myself, and or others and say, “He is”. He was there with the disciples, and He was in the manger. He died, was buried, and He rose again. Because He rose from the dead we can rest assured that He not only was; but Jesus is, as well.

Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope you remember each day that Jesus is.

Weeping

“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.” Lamentations 3:48-50 (KJB)

Jeremiah is known as being the “Weeping prophet”.  When you read his prophecy, and his laments in Lamentations you can see why he is called that.

As I read the Laments this morning I found myself weeping for the prophets pain, and his laments were just for a caring heart and soul.  He hurt for his people. He hurt because of their forsaking of God, and His way, and His word.

There are other verses which show his grieving, weeping heart.  Consider Jeremiah 4:19 and 9:1.

If I stop to think about what I have wept over I am too often ashamed of it.  What should cause me to weep?

  1. That many who call themselves Christian are departing from the worship of God our Creator through Christ Jesus;
  2. That the word of God is considered by too many as being an antiquated book no longer worthy of following, or believing;
  3. That there are many who are perishing in their sins, and are going untold of the wonderful gift of God displayed upon the cross of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection;
  4. That there are too many Christians who are in a backsliden condition, away from God, and do not seem to care;
  5. That Christians seem to see no need for the local church, and are forsaking the assembling of themselves together;
  6. That we have brethren in nations which persecute them for their faith in Jesus Christ while we go without any persecution;
  7. That Jesus Christ is not exalted as He should be.

That list is not exhaustive.  If you can think of another let me know in the comments; and let us pray to draw nearer to the LORD our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Earth: Why it is the LORD’S

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.”  Psalm 24:1-2 (KJV)

Adamkind, and that is all of us of the human race, have since sin came into the world became really tight fisted.  We want what we want, and we want it now, and we want it forever.  We grow into the mentality that this world and everything in it is ours.  The Bible has good news for us… It belongs to our Creator; the Creator of all that is… all that exists in this universe.

Let me share with you what the Treasury of David, written by C. H. Spurgeon says of verse two…

In the second verse we have the reason why the world belongs to God: namely, because he has created it, which is a title beyond all dispute. “For he hath founded it upon the seas.” It is God who lifts up the earth from out of the sea, so that the dry land, which otherwise might in a moment be submerged, as in the days of Noah, is kept from the floods. The hungry jaws of ocean would devour the dry land if a constant fiat of Omnipotence did not protect it. “He hath established it upon the floods.” The world is Jehovah’s, because from generation to generation he preserves and upholds it, having settled its foundations. Providence and Creation are the two legal seals upon the title-deeds of the great Owner of all things. He who built the house and bears up its foundation has surely a first claim upon it. Let it be noted, however, upon what insecure foundations all terrestrial things are founded. Founded on the seas! Established on the floods! Blessed be God the Christian has another world to look forward to, and rests his hopes upon a more stable foundation than this poor world affords. They who trust in worldly things build upon the sea; but we have laid our hopes, by God’s grace, upon the Rock of Ages; we are resting upon the promise of an immutable God, we are depending upon the constancy of a faithful Redeemer. Oh! ye worldlings, who have built your castles of confidence, your palaces of wealth, and your bowers of pleasure upon the seas, and established them upon the floods; how soon will your baseless fabrics melt, like foam upon the waters! Sand is treacherous enough, but what shall be said of the yet more unstable seas?

That same Creator has given life, gives life, and will continue to give life to all who live on earth.  He will give eternal life to all who will believe Him and receive Him through Jesus Christ His Son and His death, burial, and bodily resurrection.  It is all His.

Glad and Rejoicing in GOD

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Your marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You: I will sing praise to Your name, O You Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2 (KJV)

When one praises the LORD with the whole heart; with the life, in words, actions, devotion, commitment, and love; then, there will also be gladness and rejoicing.

When we praise Him, we see Him for who He says He is, and we recognize Him to be.  He is our Creator, He is our Sustainer, He is our Great Physician, He is our Advocate with the Father, He is our very bestest Friend, He is our Savior, King, and Lord;  just to give a few.  The next time you approach the LORD in prayer begin with words of praise, then Thanksgiving, then request, and end the prayer by again recognizing who He is.  This is very much the same way Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:8-13.

Let the people of God everywhere praise the LORD.  He is worthy of praise.  And when we praise Him with a sincere heart of  we will sing praises to His name.  To the name of the Most High GOD.

Be glad and rejoice in the LORD who is the Most High.

Happy Thanksgiving to Our God and Savior Jesus Christ

Let us give Thanks to the One who created us, who cares for us, and has shown great love for us by dying on the cross for our sins, being buried – carrying our sins away, then rising from the grave alive forever more.

Let us be Thankful for all those who have been a help and an encouragement to us, but never forget to whom we owe the greatest Thanks.  Let us be a Thankful people.

I do want to Thank the ones who have frequented this site and have left their likes and continue to visit.  I also Thank the Lord Jesus for you and your visits.  God bless you all richly.  Have a wonderful, and Happy Thanksgiving Day.  Be Thankful every day.

`t.a.

Christmas Day Seventy and Four

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want you and the world to know that without Christ Jesus, the Son of God, God the Son; was all things made, and that by Him all things are held together; that this One who holds all things together will also keep you and hold your life together when you call on His name.

“…Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him…” Colossians 1:15-16 (KJV)

Christmas Day One Hundred Eight

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to be a blessing to those around me; to be an encourager, to be a friend to all I meet, and to instill in them the desire for living right, to always point them to the Creator; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:4-7 (KJV)

Day Three Hundred Twenty and Six

What do I want for Christmas?

Today, and every day I want to thank the LORD the Creator of heaven and earth for His bountiful goodness, love, mercy, grace, for the cross of Jesus Christ; and for holding all things together; in my life and in the world.  Will you join me in being thankful to Him today.  Believe, trust the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will begin.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever…” Psalm 136:1-3

Day Three Hundred Forty and Seven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to no longer be selfish, or self promoting; I want my heart and mind to want what my Creator wants; for myself and for all His creation.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galations 2:20 (NKJV)

When GOD Speaks… Listen

There use to be a commercial on television of a financial firm called E. F. Hutton where in the midst of noisy crowds or other noises and such, a man would speak and all would get quiet. Then, a voice would say, “When E. F. Hutton speaks, people listen”. I do not know if I got it completely right, but that is close.

As far as I know now, E. F. Hutton’s firm is no longer in existence. The man himself is probably gone from life. You know what? When God the LORD speaks people ought to listen. He is our Creator. He is our salvation. He is our peace. He is our sustenance.

Reading from Ezekiel 24 – 27 I especially noted these three verses:

“I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.”
“It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.”
“And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 24:14; 26:5, 14 (KJV)

Again, let me share my journal thoughts with you…

I looked back a few chapters, and found this phrase “…For I the LORD have spoken it…” at least two other times; with 12:25 making a fourth. Though 12:25 does not use the phrase, it is strongly emphasized.

One of the reasons I love God’s Word is that what God says comes to pass just as He said it would. The truth of His Word shows us that He is trustworthy, faithful, and True. He cannot lie.

“I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.” 24:14

The Lord GOD is everlasting; and His word is forevermore. In You LORD, and in your Word do I trust.

There is no words of man or men that are sure, faithful, trustworthy or true. Let God be true and every man a liar.

What God was speaking above was to a place called Tyrus; warning them of judgment, and destruction. What He speaks concerning grace, peace, and salvation through His Son Jesus is faithful and true as well. Believe His Son today. Trust Him. He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and bodily arose and is alive forevermore. When GOD speaks… listen.  Thus saith the LORD.

Where?

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.” Psalm 148:1 (KJV)

Does a place make a difference?  Where is your heart?  Is it on the LORD?  We ought always be praising the LORD.

Maybe the best question would be, “Where is your treasure?”  Jesus said,

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:21

The place to begin praising Him is in your heart by making Him your treasure.  When He is your treasure you will look up to the stars, and see the handiwork of this marvelous Creator, and praise Him.

Then, when you are on the highest peaks, or looking toward the highest peaks you will praise the LORD; for He is the Creator of them all.

Hallelujah.

The Duty of Man, and All Creation

“Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: sing forth the honour of His name: make His praise glorious.” Psalm 66:1-2 (KJV)

God created man to voice praise to Him.  To bring honor and glory to His name.  There is no higher or nobler purpose for man than to praise the LORD; glory in His name.

When Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing, they fell out of that purpose; they fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  When they fell short they tried to hide from God as He came to walk among them in the day.

We are not told who this Psalmist was.  It could have been David.  It could have been another.  At any rate it is a song for all to sing.  We are to “Make a joyful noise unto God…”  Not to any other thing called god, but to our Creator alone who spoke all things, including you and me, into existence.

It is not only for the people of the United States of America; not just the nation of Israel; not just Egypt, Iran, Iraq, India, Korea, Japan or China.  It is the duty of all men, women, boys and girls; yea, even all creation to praise the Lord, and sing forth honor of His name.

The best and only way to do that is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “This is the work of God that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:29  Jesus was speaking of Himself as being the one who God sent.

Light, Salvation and Strength

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (KJV)

For many years this verse of Psalm 27 has been a great encouragement, and light for my path.  When the LORD is  your light there is no darkness He does not overcome; and when He is your strength there is no power in heaven or on earth or under the earth that He cannot deal with in quick order.

In recent days and months I have found myself quoting this verse; and O what joy He brings to my heart knowing that He is the One I love and fear, because He is not only my Lord and Saviour, but also my Creator.

Someone once said,  “When we fear GOD; we need fear nothing else.”   I say a hearty “Amen” to that.

Here is praying that all who come here may have a Christ filled Christmas.

In the Beginning

Sermon Points –

In the Beginning

Genesis 1:1-5, 26-31

1. The Bible Never Sets Out to Prove the Existence of God – It Assumes the Existence of God (v. 1).

2. God is the Creator of Heaven and Earth – All Things (v. 1).

3. The Earth Was the Foundation Upon Which God Made the Things on Earth (v. 2).

4. God Spoke Light Into Existence – This Was the First Day, and It Was Good (v. 3-5).

5. On the Sixth Day God Made Man In His Own Image To Have Dominion Upon the Earth (vv. 26-31

Through the Bible in a Year – Planned 110313

Counting Joy

James 1:1-4

We must realize that if we are to count joy…

1.  IT WILL BE A PURPOSEFUL DECISION (v. 2).
“Count” = consider, command (with authority), have the rule over.

2.  WE DO NOT HAVE A DECIDING FACTOR IN WHICH TRIALS WE WILL GO THROUGH
“Temptations” = trials, a  putting to proof, adversity
A.  That is the decision of the Creator;
B.  Sometimes bad decisions we make (‘Fall into divers temptations’ v. 2).

3.  WE CAN ALWAYS TRUST THAT THESE TRAILS WILL WORK OUT PATIENCE IN OUR LIVES (v. 3).
“Patience” = endurance, constancy,

4.  WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO OUR PATIENCE BEING PERFECT LACKING NOTHING (v. 4)
“Perfect” = complete, growth (mental and moral character)

-Tim A. Blankenship
This is the outline for the message I had prepared for Sunday November 03, 2013; but I had a heart attack on November 01 putting me in the hospital for the weekend.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence
07/04/1776

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitles them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of governments. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasion on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to the civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to ren-der it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They, too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliance, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

Signers of the Declaration of IndependenceNEW HAMPSHIRE: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
MASSACHUSETTS: John Hancock, John Adams, Samuel Adams, Robert Treat Paine
RHODE ISLAND: Elbridge Gerry, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
CONNECTICUT: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
NEW YORK: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
NEW JERSEY: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
PENNSYLVANIA: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
DELAWARE: Ceasar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
MARYLAND: Samuel Chase, Thomas Stone, William Paca, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
VIRGINIA: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
NORTH CAROLINA: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
SOUTH CAROLINA: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Authur Middleton
GEORGIA: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Adam’s Race and God’s Word

In the fall of Adam that could have been the end of the human race.  The Creator could have not only cast the man and woman out of the beautiful and bountiful, sustaining garden; but He could have wiped them from history and therefore the whole human event would have been ended.  God, however, loved Adam and Eve, provided them garments made from animal skins (Genesis 3:21) for covering, and drove them from the garden.

Then, we see…

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: and the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” Genesis 5:1-5 (KJV)

and we find that the Creator has a plan for the whole race of human kind.  “This is the book of the generations of Adam.”  we are told.  Previous to this we are told of Adam’s and Eve’s two sons, Cain and Abel, and due to sin Cain murdered Abel; then Cain was banished to roam the region as a vagabond, and was no longer able to be a farmer.  All hope may have seemed lost to the first parents.  They had a promise from God (Genesis 3:15) of One who would crush the head of the serpent or Satan.  Since Abel was dead, Cain banished and evil, then, what now?

By the above verses we see God blessed Adam and Eve with another godly son.  It is not by accident that the closing verse of chapter 4 tells us, “…Then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” and then, goes into chapter 5 with the genealogy of Adam.  Despite the fall, and the evil in man’s heart, God provides a Redeemer, and we will see many redeemers throughout the Old Testament; but each one is only a portrait of the genuine article.

We find that fulfilled in the New Testament in the birth of a baby in a manger, and the young child growing in the care of love of His mother Mary and Joseph.  We also see God working fulfilling every word He has spoken, in and through the life of His only begotten Son;

“But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.’ And he arose, and took the young child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: and he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.'” Matthew 2:19-23 (KJV)

Even, to the place He would spend His life growing up.  Let us not be fearful, neither be afraid.  God’s will is being done still in the lives of His people and in the world.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Sweetness of His Word, and His Presence

And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and He spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.  Moreover He said unto me, ‘Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.’  So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.  And He said unto me, ‘Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.’  Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.”  Ezekiel 2:9 – 3:3 (KJV)

How important is the Word of God?  For the Christian it is the very sustenance of life and faith.  For the world it is just as important as is the Creator.

-T.A.

Music, Singing and GOD

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.  O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”  Habakkuk 3:1-2 (KJV)

There is much that could be said about music and singing and for that matter GOD.  Habakkuk, at the beginning of his prophecy was asking questions.  It was like he was blaming God for not watching over His people, protecting them, but letting the enemies of the earth run rough shod over them.

At the end of his prophecy he uses a term which is probably related to music somehow.  It is not quite clear what the meaning of “Shigionoth” is.  God, however, must enjoy music and singing; and I know that the human race enjoys it very well.  Billions of dollars have been spent on buying recordings over the past 50 years in order for us to be able to drive down the road, put in a tape, a CD, plug in an iPod, or a jump drive, and listen to our hearts content.

Yesterday morning I heard on a radio program that NASA has discovered a “Plasma ring” around our planet; and within that ring are radio waves.  Evidently NASA sent up listening devices, and recorded sounds within that Plasma ring.  It almost sounds like a form of music.  Our Creator has made the earth to sing.

For more from Habakkuk you may want to follow this link to a post from February 28, 2008 here at Fire and Hammer.

The greatest song ever sung was in the death of God’s only begotten Son dying to pay the sin debt of the human race.

-T.A.

Day 61 – Vision of the Glory of God

In the reading of the Bible one thing that stands out to me is that God is about His own glory.  Now for a man or woman to be about themselves we call that arrogance, pride, no good even.  Yet, for the Creator who has made all things, and seeing how He also loves the people He has made; and also seeing Him as holy, righteous, and just; we can see that He has every right, even right or power, to promote Himself.  There is no other like Him.

In my reading this morning I only read 11 chapters rather than the usual 14.  I finished the prophecy of Ezekiel.  The judgment which God brought upon Israel/Judah is due to their rebellion, worshipping false gods, erecting idols along side the only God, and the  people being downright unholy, unjust, and unrighteous with God and other people; even their own people.

In chapters 38 – 39 we read five more times, and a sixth which is not worded quite the same;

“Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:23 (KJV)

“And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.   So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.”  39:6-7

“So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.”  39:22

“Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.”  39:28

“And thou shalt come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against My land, that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” 38:16

Ezekiel is taken by the LORD in a vision to the city of Jerusalem and to the temple.  There he meets a man with measuring rod, and measures the city and the temple.  One of the things we can see about this is that in the worship of the LORD our worship is to be patterned after His design not of our own making.  It is measured out to give God glory, honor, power and blessing.  He will receive no worship which is not after His fashion, in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

In the vision the LORD also gives Ezekiel the land allotments for the twelve tribes, for the city, and for the temple.

The final verse of Ezekiel tells us –

“It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.” 48:35

“The LORD is there”.  What a wonderful name for the place where people of all tribes, tongues and nations will be able to gather to worship the Creator of all that is; both the seen and the unseen.  He has made a way for you to be there by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.  Only through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of Christ will you be able to attend and receive blessing, and rest in His glory.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 52 – The Sovereign Holy One of Israel

There is one phrase which keeps coming up in the prophecy of Isaiah.  It is more than a phrase, it is a statement of the character of God.  In Isaiah, as well as in other parts of Scripture we hear of “the Holy One of Israel”.  It is a good term, a great reference to the character of the Creator of all that is; both seen and unseen.  As I read chapters 35 – 48 of Isaiah this morning I noticed the presence of God in the nations around the tiny nation of Israel.  You really cannot help but notice that God is God of the world when it gets right down to it.

If God reigns, and he does, in Israel; then, He also is reigning throughout the whole world.  He is, though, not often recognized as being the one who is reigning.

In chapters 36 – 39 we hear about Hezekiah, and his struggle against the pride, and arrogance of Assyria, and her king Sennacherib (36:1).  No army had been successful against the Assyrian army, and the king wanted Hezekiah to know it.  In his arrogance he blasphemed the God of Israel, seeing Him as nothing more than the idols of the fallen nations he had conquered.  However, since God is defensive of His own glory, and Hezekiah had a heart for God, then God was not going to let this arrogant king get by with it.

We also see in the reading that God is not at all well pleased with Israel, and that they are going into captivity because of their rejection of God, His Word, and His ways. Babylon was God’s source of captivity and judgment upon Israel, however Babylon showed them no mercy, and in their arrogance they brought judgment of God upon themselves to destruction;

“I was wroth with My people, I have polluted Mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke.  And thou saidst, ‘I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.’  Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children: but these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.  For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, ‘None seeth me.’ Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I am, and none else beside me.’   Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.   Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail.  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee.” Isaiah 47:6-13 (KJV)

If you will notice this announcement of judgment is due to “thou didst shew them no mercy”.  Because of this Babylon would fall to a king that God names in chapers 44 and 45;

“That saith of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, ‘Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, ‘Thy foundation shall be laid.” 44:28

“Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut…” 45:1

The LORD is THE SOVEREIGN HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL; however He is Sovereign of the whole world, yea, even of the Universe.  A final word in the reading for today says this,

“There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 (KJV)

The wicked are all those who refuse to submit to the Lordship and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ, and His finished work on Calvary’s cross.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 48 – Trouble with Life

Who does not have troubles in life and with life.  It begins with questions.  Questions like; “Where did I come from?”;  “Why am I here?”;  “What is my purpose in living?”  There is only one place we can find the answer for those questions and that is from our Creator.

I cannot tell you the answer to those questions you will need to find them for yourself.  You might even have some of the same thoughts as Solomon in Ecclesiastes.  My reading this morning was the final three chapters of the Proverbs 29- 31, and all the chapters of Ecclesiastes.  I do not know about you, but reading Ecclesiastes can be very discouraging.  At least, up until you get to the final verses.

If you have read Ecclesiastes, and think you have the problem of life solved, then let me say this as kindly as possible –  That is the thought of a fool.

Solomon, the wisest of men who ever walked on earth never solved the problem of life, and its troubles.  I know that I cannot; and I am not going to spend a lot of time with this book trying to explain what Solomon means when he tells us “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity”.  I know vanity means “vapor”, or “breath”, and comes down to meaning, “Meaningless”.  You would not think that you would hear that coming from the mouth of a wise man, but it does.

Let me give you a word of warning.  Do not build a doctrine or belief from this book.  It raises far more questions than it substantiates; with the exception of its conclusion.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.   For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (KJV)

The answers to life’s troubles, and questions are for you to find on your own, but let me give you a heads up.  For me and all who have eternal life, life begins with God.  You came from the mind and heart of God.  We are here to glorify God, to be His lightbearer in a dark world.  Our purpose is to love God and enjoy Him forever.

You will find the answers to these questions when you believe God, believe and trust His word and work through Christ Jesus death, burial and bodily resurrection; and submit to Him, and walk with/in Him.  Walking with and in God makes the problems of life more sensible, and bearable.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 42 – Thoughts from Psalms; Creator

When it comes to the Psalms we find much to sing and say about our Creator.  Some of the intellect of our day believe that all that is just came to pass by chance, or cosmic explosion alone; but where, O where did the materials come from that “caused the explosion”?

My reading today was Psalms 94 – 107 for my 14 chapters for the day.  My reading in the Psalms is not taking me as long in time as previously reading in Genesis through Esther; however, it is still quite fulfilling, and a great learning adventure.

The Bible speaks much about GOD, and His creating of all that is.  We seem most of it in the reading of the first two chapters of Genesis, but the rest of the Bible reveals things about creation as well.  We will today, look at the Creator, rather than His creation.

“O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.  Sing unto the LORD, bless His name; shew forth His salvation from day to day.  Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.”  Psalm 96:1-5 (KJV)

The psalmist sings “unto the LORD  a new song”, and calls on “all the earth” to sing unto the LORD.  Is there some reason for the psalmist to sing out and call for the earth to “Sing unto the LORD”?  Most certainly it is because the Creator is worthy of our song and singing.  The one’s who sing this “new song” unto the LORD are people who have experienced “His salvation” and we are to show it forth to all the earth every day.

There are far to many people who profess to know God, and who will give Him honor one day a week, but then, will live solely for themselves the other six days in a week.  They are ruthless, ungodly, cruel, and demeaning in the business place, and are indeed no blessing to the LORD during those days.

Those who sing the new song unto the LORD speak of His wonders among all the people.  We speak of the wonderful salvation He has provided for us through His Son Jesus Christ.  We speak of the glories of the cross, His burial, and His bodily resurrection; that He still lives, and is our intercessor daily before the throne of God.

Some might say, “Well the Bible recognizes that there are other gods”.  Oh really?  It recognizes that there are idols that people through deception have chosen to worship, but that is not a recognition of other gods.  It is a recognition of the frailty, rebellion and sin of the human.  It could also be seen as the need of the human to worship something greater than one’s self.  However, idols are man made, and are patterned after something GOD created.  As the psalmist has said elsewhere, “They that make them are like unto them” (Psalm 115:8; 135:18).  The only thing on earth that is supposed to be in the image of GOD, is the human race; and due to sin that image has been greatly marred.

That is why Jesus Christ came, bled and died on a cruel, rugged cross; was buried, and bodily rose from the grave, and eternally lives.

“Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the LORD: for He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.” 96:12-13

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 38 – Thoughts from Psalms; Help

Have you ever cried out for “Help”?  You found yourself in a very needy situation, fear was creeping in, and you find yourself overwhelmed by the moment?  I have no shame or fear in admitting that I have.  I am a very needy individual; and when I realize I need help I will call out for help; especially to my God and Savior.

As I was reading Psalms 38 – 51 this morning that is one word that seemed to leap of the page at me.  H-E-L-P!  There are only seven uses of the word “help” in these 14 chapters, and they all have to do with God being our help or the psalmist crying out to Him for help.

I found myself at the age of 17; having just graduated from High School; on a trip to Florida with a friend and two other boys; swimming in the huge Atlantic Ocean just South of Jacksonville.  None of us had ever been in the Ocean; I had never even seen it until that day.  We put on our swim shorts, and we ran right in until we had to swim, and we swam, and swam, and swam, and swam; out away from the beach.  When we tired we turned to look back.  I had never been so far from land, as I was at that moment; and fear set in.  I knew better than to panic, but I began to swim back to shore; or so I thought.  All four of us were in trouble, and we were separated by short distances, and a whole lot of water.

I began to wear out physically, would stop, tread water to rest a bit, then swim some more.  In my heart I knew at that moment my only help was in God; and I cried out to Him.  The other boys were in as big a mess as I was, and they needed help too.  I knew there would be no help coming from them.  They needed help too.  God did help me that day, and the other three boys.  We all made it back to shore and home.  Thanks to the good LORD who made the land and the seas, the stars, the planets, and everything there is.

The psalmist knows that his only help is in the LORD, and he cries out,

“Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.” Psalm 38:22 (KJV)

He knows that he is ready to fall, and that he cannot make it unless the LORD intervenes, give him strength, and “help”, and he even admits his iniquity and sin.  He cries out for the Lord to help him quickly.  And he acknowledges the Lord as his salvation.  We are all in need of His salvation.

“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.” Psalm 40:13

In this verse the psalmist asks that the LORD “Be pleased” even in delivering him; and again asks that the LORD act quickly to help him.

“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: Thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.” Psalm 40:17

This  Psalm is attributed to David.  We would not think of David as being “poor and needy”, but that is how he identifies himself.  No matter what our lot in life; our health, our finances, our investments, or lack thereof; our whole life situation; we are all “poor and needy”.  If you fail to admit that you will never fully give yourself to the LORD of all.  Again the psalmist asks the LORD to act quickly “Make no tarrying, O my God”.  We often see our need as immediate; do we not.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” Psalm 42:5

“Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.” Psalm 44:26

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.” Psalm 46:5

I will not write any further comments on the remaining verses in the reading this morning.  I do post them for your perusal and encouragement.

The Lord has given His help to all who will call on His name.  The name that we need to call on is the person of His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried carrying all the guilt and condemnation of sin away, and His bodily resurrection which justifies us forever.  Now that is the help we all need today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 9 – The Way to Go

In our readings of Leviticus, and now into Numbers we find much law; and there; probably by some people’s accounting; is little grace.  However, I find that assessment of “little grace” hard to accept.  It is, afterall, by God’s grace that He gave us Law.

I have a couple of sets of verses we will look at today.  The first is when Moses enters into the Tabernacle;

“And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and He spake unto him.”  Numbers 7:89 (KJV)

With the building of the Tabernacle finished and set up after the direction of the LORD; Moses enters into the finished work, to hear from the Creator/Architect.  To hear the voice of the one who is Lord of all is the desire of every child of God.  Most of the time it has been the LORD who is speaking; and that is as it should be.

Far too often we want to speak, even to God; and He approved of us speaking to Him; however, it is first necessary that we listen to and hear Him.  It is His heart we need when we come to Him.  It is He who gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4); we find those desires by knowing Him, His heart, and hearing His Word.

How do we know when it is time to do something?  Say, to move from where we live, to move out of what has become called our “Comfort zone”, and into a place less comfortable, or more threatening?  We often leave it to circumstances, our feelings, or outside or inside pressure (Outside  pressure being from the people around us).  When did the children of Israel know when to pack up and leave where they were?

“And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.   Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.  At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.”  Numbers 9:21-23

By the cloud, and pillar of fire by night.  For the Christian that cloud is the Spirit of God within.  All of those things mentioned – circumstances, pressure, threatenings all play a part if we are hearing the voice of God.  Many times it might not have to be those threatenings or fearful things; if we would but hear God and go the way the Spirit of God leads.

Far too many times we try and jump ahead of God; when what He is wanting is for us to stay, grow, and prosper in Him.

When God moves we should move.  When He stops we should stop.  If we are not seeing God work, then that is God’s invitation to stop and take an assessment of our lives.  We do not force God to move, nor should we move without God’s move.  So many do, and end up discouraged, in doubt and darkness.

The way to go is the way of God through His Son Jesus Christ.  The Spirit of God in you is Christ in you.

-Tim A. Blankenship