The Business

“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the Child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it. But they, supposing Him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found Him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, ‘Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.’ And He said unto them,
‘How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’
And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:41-52 (KJB)

At the age of twelve Jesus had more knowledge and understanding than the wisest of the scholars of that time. They were awed by this boy who was asking questions and listening to their answers.

He said to His mother and to Joseph that He must be about His Father’s business. Just what is the Father’s business. Jesus would say when His ministry began,

“For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10).

He would also say,

“This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (John 6:29).

It should be quite clear to all that the reason for Jesus coming the first time was to redeem a people to Himself; to redeem us from our sins by His death on the cross, His burial and bodily resurrection. That is the business Jesus was and is still in.

Call on His name. Believe Him and be saved for all eternity.

Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – 082920

“And when He had called all the people, He said unto them,
‘Hearken unto Me every one and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.’

and when He was entered into the house from the people, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them,
‘Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?’
And He said,
‘That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ ” Mark 7:14-23

Words Of Jesus; Son Of God, God The Son – 072320

“And the disciples came, and said unto Him, ‘Why speakest thou unto them in parables?’ He answered and said unto them,
‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.’
”  Matthew 13:10-17 (KJB)

Hearing

“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)

Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).

Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9;  Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.

In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.

The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”

That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.

Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.

Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.

The Eyes and the Ears

“The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying,

‘Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.’ ”  Ezekiel 12:1-2 (KJB)

I thank the Lord God of Heaven and earth, for my eyes and my hearing as often as I think of the blessing.  That is almost every day, and sometimes several times through the day.

The above text tells us that this rebellious house had eyes, but did not see; and ears, but did not hear.  That means to me that they had chosen not to see what God did; and chose not to hear what God said.

This is a people to whom God had blessed with His word, His commandments, and they would also (and did) be the people through whom God would bring the Savior into the world.

When Jesus came into the world many still refused to see and hear. Even though it was quite clearly spoken in their covenant word of God, many of the elite scribes and priests refused to see and hear the One God had sent.

The Body of Christ, the Christian Church needs to realize today that we have been given the one way to salvation from sin and death; we have only one word from God; and today, neither any other day is the day to refuse to see God fulfilling His word, or hearing what He says.

See, and witness the power of God through the cross of Jesus Christ. Hear what God says, and do it. Several times Jesus said, “He that has ears to hear, let him hear”.

eyes to see, and see not, … ears to hear, and hear not — fulfilling the prophecy of Deu_29:4, here quoted by Ezekiel (compare Isa_6:9; Jer_5:21). Ezekiel needed often to be reminded of the people’s perversity, lest he should be discouraged by the little effect produced by his prophecies. Their “not seeing” is the result of perversity, not incapacity. They are willfully blind. The persons most interested in this prophecy were those dwelling at Jerusalem; and it is among them that Ezekiel was transported in spirit, and performed in vision, not outwardly, the typical acts. At the same time, the symbolical prophecy was designed to warn the exiles at Chebar against cherishing hopes, as many did in opposition to God’s revealed word, of returning to Jerusalem, as if that city was to stand; externally living afar off, their hearts dwelt in that corrupt and doomed capital.”    From the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary for Ezekiel 12:1-2

The Mark of Salvation

“And the LORD said unto him,

‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.’

And to the others He said in mine hearing,

‘Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’

Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them,

‘Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.’

And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, ‘Ah Lord GOD! Wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?” Ezekiel 9:4-8 (KJB)

From the Matthew Henry Commentary on verses 1-4:

“What this notice is. There are those that have charge over the city to destroy it, not the Chaldean armies, they are to be indeed employed in this work, but they are not the visitors, they are only the servants, or tools rather. God’s angels have received a charge now to lay that city waste, which they had long had a charge to protect and watch over. They are at hand, as destroying angels, as ministers of wrath, for every man has his destroying weapon in his hand, as the angel that kept the way of the tree of life with a flaming sword. Note, Those that have by sin made God their enemy have made the good angels their enemies too. These visitors are called and caused to draw near. Note, God has ministers of wrath always within call, always at command, invisible powers, by whom he accomplishes is purposes. The prophet is made to see this in vision, that he might with the greater assurance in his preaching denounce these judgments. God told it him with a loud voice, taught it him with a strong hand (Isa_8:11), that it might make the deeper impression upon him and that he might thus proclaim it in the people’s ears.”

As believers in 2019 we need to consider the words of the apostle Peter…

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”  1 Peter 4:17

 

I share these posts because they are what the word of the LORD has given me for the day. I would much rather share a positive thought, and maybe that would be selfish of me to always be presenting the positive of Scripture. God is the only One who sees things as they ought to be, and is working all things for our good, and His glory.

The Church of Jesus Christ is the power of God on earth when we are sound in our faith, practice, life and living in the Spirit.  However when we get away from the Scriptures, begin equating it to only the past, and believing the word is powerless, and not believing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only power of God unto salvation; then we have become instruments of the world, and no benefit to the way of salvation.

O will you turn to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He is the only hope for the world. Call on His name. He will hear your cry, and He will save you.

The Hearing and The Understanding

“And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, ‘Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, ‘Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
‘Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it.'” Acts 28:24-28 (KJB)

Standing before the Jewish leaders in Rome Paul tells them of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection.  Some heard and believed.  Many of them turned away from the truth and life to remain in lies and death.

The apostle reminds them of the words of Isaiah in chapter six of that prophecy, and Isaiah’s call.  The prophet was told that he would tell the people of the time what God said, but they would not hear and believe. However, he was to be faithful in preaching what God said, no matter what.

It is evident to me that there is basically no difference in the people of the eighth century B.C. and the people of this twenty first century.  There are people in every era of time who do not like the truth.  Many want to continue doing things their way, in their time; or maybe not.  They have the mentality, “Do not mix God/religion with life.  It causes problems”.

God, His word, and His people have always been against sin.  You have the choice of believing God and His word or of going, continuing down your slippery slope to death and eternal judgment

I pray you will hear and understand. I pray your eyes will be opened to see the truth of the true identity of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, God the Son; who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again.  He is alive.

Believe Him.

Hearing and Doing

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, ‘If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” John 8:31-32 (KJB)

“He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear not, because ye are not of God.” John 8:47

Verses 31 and 32 were spoken to seems to have believed in Him, but they could not see themselves as being in bondage; even while they as a people were enslaved to the Roman empire.

The words of verse 47 seems to show that they were not hearing God’s word to the point that Jesus was teaching. To “Continue” in His word is to live, to abide in it; making it every bit a part of one’s life.  Many of these leaders of religion could quote the whole law, but did not rest in neither trust their God and only Savior.

They were in fact still bound by the law which condemns them, and shows them their is only one hope.  That hope is found by means of a single sacrifice for sin.

That single sacrifice for sin was given when Jesus went to the cross and died for the sins of the world.

Do you want to be free, truly free?  Then, the only way is through the death, burial, and resurrection of the God-Man Christ Jesus.  He forever lives.  This is God’s grace.  Grace is not free.  It was paid for with the life of God’s own Son.

Now, what are you going to do with that information?

Leaven and Bread

“Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them more than one loaf.  And He charged them, saying, ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, ‘Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened?  Having eyes, see ye not?, and having ears, hear ye not?, and do ye not remember?
When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’
They say unto Him, ‘Twelve.’  ‘And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up?’ And they said, ‘Seven.’  And He said unto them, ‘How is it that ye do not understand?’” Mark 8:14-21  (KJB)

Leaven is an ingredient which causes bread to rise giving the appearance of being more than what it is.  It is puffed up.  It is often used in Scripture as representative of evil and its influence in people, and doctrines of religion and men.

The leaven of the Pharisees, Sadducees, the Herodians which the Sadducees were part of and was more political than religious.  The Pharisees were always twisting Scripture to fit their own understanding to keep the people in bondage to them, and their understanding of Scripture.  They put burdens on others that they would not do themselves.

I realize there is more to understand in the above verses than of leaven, but it was the words of Jesus ‘Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and the leaven of Herod.’ which aroused my attention this morning.

Using Scripture to control others as did the Pharisees, and they tried to control Jesus too but could not; is an evil beyond description.  The preacher, the messenger of the word of God is to proclaim the truth of the word of God [Scripture] with clarity, understanding, and love letting the word and the Holy Spirit convict, comfort, encourage, and draw the lost, condemned soul to God.

Having a “Must do” list in order to be saved is leaven to the Scripture.  Salvation, sanctification, and glorification is solely the work of God.  Let us leave it there.

When You Hear the Father

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He which is of God, He hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.” John 6:45-47

When you hear the Father; that is Jehovah [YHWH]; then you will know Jesus the Christ.  If or when you know Jesus you will hear and know the Father.

Man of Understanding

THE MAN OF UNDERSTANDING

Hearing Wisdom From Human Sources – Proverbs 1:8-19

Verse 8 –  The first line of defense against evil for the child is the parents and their wisdom concerning good, right, wrong, godliness, evil, Righteousness and unrighteousness.

If the parents are not wise in the things of God, then their children are in danger of great peril.  The child is to listen to their parents teaching with interest in what they are teaching.
“Obey the correction, discipline, chastisement of your father.  Do not throw away, cast off the law of your mother.”

Verse 9 –  By hearing, obeying your father, and grasping hold of your mother’s teaching, and cherishing her teachings they will be like a golden chain around your neck (Genesis 41:42-43).

For they (shall be) an ornament of grace unto thy head. The sentiment here expressed is put forward as an inducement to youth to observe obedience towards the instruction of the father and the law of the mother, and the meaning is that, just as in popular opinion ornaments and jewels are supposed to set off the personal form, so obedience towards parents in the ways of virtue embellishes the moral character (Bayne, Cartwright, Holden).  From The Pulpit Commentary (e-Sword edition).

Could it be that a child who grows in wisdom will be seen as having a “Good head on his shoulders”?

Verses 10-19 –  The enticements, alluring and greed of the evil will lead to murder.

There is temptation which comes from outside the individual sinner.  Those who “lay wait for blood”  There is a certain greed, lust, thirst for power which cares not whose life it may harm.

This greed for blood comes from lustful desire for material gain to be seen as powerful, famous, and beautiful.

Within these verses are two warnings to “consent thou not”, and of what this evil does.  Verse 10, and verse 15 is a call to “walk not in the way with them”.
The Pulpit Commentary gives us a point to think about,

“HOW THE TEMPTATION IS TO BE MET. “Consent thou not.” Let no man deem himself the helpless victim of temptation. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able,” etc. (1Co_10:13) We have wills. We can say “Yes” and “No.” We are not responsible for meeting with temptation, since even Christ felt the cruel force of this trial, but we are responsible for the way we behave under it. one thing to be tempted, Another thing to fall.

Psalm 119 gives some words of wisdom and instruction as well, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”  Psalm 119:9-11 (KJV)

-Tim A. Blankenship

Salvation Preaching, Hearing, and Unbelief

Salvation, Preaching, and Unbelief

Romans 10:9-21

The leaders of Israel had been so blinded by their religion that they missed the very one for whom their Scriptures had foretold. It seems they had been searching, searching, looking in the stars, over the seas, over lands, and in their own righteousness, but to no avail. Paul tell them and us that it is near, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;“ v. 8 ; Deut. 30:12-13 (KJV). Jesus even told them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40 (KJV). They had the truth of Jesus before their faces and missed it.

SO WHAT IS NEEDED FOR SALVATION?

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-11 (KJV).

Confession – this includes an admission of one’s sins; it also includes confession of God,

“…a deep personal conviction, without reservation, that Jesus is that person’s own master or sovereign. This phrase includes the repenting from sin, trusting in Jesus for salvation, and submitting to Him as Lord.” The MACARTHUR Study Bible pg. 1712 study notes.

Believe the resurrection as the validation of the ministry of Jesus Christ; it proves beyond doubt that Jesus is all and everything He claimed to be.

For those who will confess and believe there is no shame.

All who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

THE NEED FOR PREACHING.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:14-17 (KJV)

If we are going to preach we must be sure of the message we proclaim.

Those who know the truth of the Gospel have a responsibility to proclaim it.

God has called every saved individual to live as a witness, and proclaim the Gospel to the people they know and come in contact with.

Those who hear the Word and believe have received faith by grace through hearing the Word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” v. 17.

THE PERIL OF UNBELIEF

“But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” Romans 10:18-21 (KJV)

Israel was a Nation who had been born under the message of their Messiah, yet when He came they would not believe Him. They had Moses telling them (Deut.32:21), and the prophets; Isaiah which is mentioned by Paul here (Isaiah 65:1).

God’s patience with Israel is not without notice.

Because of their blindness their hearts have been hardened

Unbelief is a peril that leads to darkness.

Page after page of the Old Testament is filled with His patient call to return. His promise of sustenance for them. His promises of returning them to their land. Yet, they harden their hearts. God has always had a remnant.

No Christian can or will abide in unbelief.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Preacher for the People

Let me say this up front, then, you can and will decide if you want to finish reading this or not.  The preacher who preaches to please the people, the largest groups, does not please God.  The Preacher of God; the prophet of God preaches what God says, not what men say.  Having said that hear the prophet Micah…

“Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame. O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the Spirit of the LORD straitened? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly? Even of late My people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. The women of My people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away My glory for ever. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.” Micah 2:6-11 (KJV)

Micah lived during some of, if not most of the time of Isaiah (See Isaiah 1:1 and Micah 1:1); they were in the era of the same kings.  Isaiah had told the people…

Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceit… Isaiah 30:10

I have always heard that you can catch more flies with honey. I have always wondered why you would want to ruin good honey by catching flies in it.  Besides I am offended at the thought that a human being is thought of as a fly.  People with a mind, who can think.  People can see the peril they are headed toward if they are warned of it; and that is what a prophet/preacher of God actually does.  Remember this; God’s warnings are also God’s promises.  He does fulfill every word He speaks – the negative and the positive.

Let me give you a study note from the MacArthur Study Bible then I will close this lesson…

2:6-11  False prophets, commanding Micah to cease prophesying, would certainly not prophesy against the people’s evil doings; they would not confront them with the divine standard of holiness.  Rather their false message (v. 7) had stopped the mouths of the true prophets and had permitted the rulers to engage  in social atrocities (vv. 8,9), leading the people to destruction (v. 10).  They didn’t want true prophecies; therefore, they got what they wanted (cf. Is. 30:10). It is best to understand that Micah speaks in v. 6 and God in vv. 7-11.

Who will you listen to?

If you truly love Jesus the one who died for your sins, was buried and rose again; then you will listen to His words.  “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15

Christmas Day 7

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to always hear the word of God, and to do it; and I want all who are neglecting to hear His word, and searching in other documents, and signs, and wonders, and sorcery to know that if you will not hear God’s word in the Holy Bible you will not hear Him, though One rose from the dead.

“…Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” Luke 16:29-31 (KJV)

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Forty and Three

“…Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear My words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto Me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says the LORD; that they might be unto Me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.” Jeremiah 13:8-11 (KJV)

Jeremiah had just been given a lesson on decay and ruin with a girdle (a sash), along side the Euphrates River, and a word from God for the people of Judah and Israel.

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want to learn from the events of life the word, and ways of God, to be obedient to His Word, hear Him, and do His will; and I want all who are God’s people through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of God the Son, the Son of God, to hear Him and do His will as well.

Seeing, Hearing and Understanding

Seeing and hearing are an important part of human living and existence. Without seeing we could not see the beauties of the created order around us; neither could we see to navigate as we walk, ride or drive through a countryside.

Without hearing we could not hear the sounds of animals in the creation, neither the cries of our children as young babies crying out for care and nourishment; neither the voices of our spouses and friends, or other family members. We would not be able to hear the warning shouts of someone warning us of an upcoming danger.

These two senses are an important part of human life. They are also an important part of our spiritual existence. In the spiritual realm we can be very easily deceived, unless we have someone in whom we can trust and depend.

In Jesus’s days on earth He taught people, and called people to Himself; teaching them how to live in the Word of God, to do justly, to love mercy, and how to walk humbly with God. Yet, there were many who would not hear; nor would they see who He really is. Jesus says that this too is a fulfillment of prophecy:

“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:14-16 (KJV)

Isaiah is the prophet whom Jesus quotes (Isaiah 6:9-10). The blindness and deafness of the religious leaders was fulfillment of that. It is a truth we cannot neglect to hear. When the truth of Scripture is rejected the truths of God will grow more and more dim; the hearing will fade away into oblivion and there will be no knowledge or understanding of God or His Word.

Those who know God through His Son Jesus Christ love the Word of God, and hide in the heart that we might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11), and make it a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).

The path to understanding God and His Word is through the cross of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave. Believe Him, trust His Word. It is the way of life, and life everlasting.

GOD Does Not Turn Away My Prayer

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.” Psalm 66:18-20 (KJV)

Have you ever noticed a time when it seems as though you are not getting through to God, as you pray? It just seems to feel as though your prayers are not even getting past the ceiling? That is; should I say; a painful, sorrowful feeling.

When God hears our prayer it is due solely to His mercy and grace. He hears your prayer, my prayer every time we pray. Yet, it seems as though He does not.

Part of the problem is addressed by the Psalmist when he writes, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me…” To “regard iniquity” is to hold on to it; refusing to let it go; even to the point of rejecting God, His word and His direction for our lives.

There are things which is within the realm of “regarding iniquity” which hinders our prayers. One is for the husband not to treat his wife well (1 Peter 3:7), and I am almost certain that that would include the wife not treating her husband well. Another thing is praying with lustful desire which would include greed for things (James 4:3).

The prayers God hears are those we pray in His name. Jesus said, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24). Also, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. When we have received the change which comes with receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour our heart’s desire changes too. We desire what God desire, and so pray accordingly “In His name”.

Jesus said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

God hears the prayer of His people whose hearts are directed toward His heart by the cross of Jesus Christ.

Now My Eyes See

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that Thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from Thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 (KJV)

Job is not told why he has been through the trials, pain, sickness, loss, despair, which he has endured. We simply see in these verses that he has his chance to speak with God.

God, the LORD, has spoken in chapters 38 – 41, and He has asked Job the question stated above; “Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?” Job confesses, “I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.”

We can learn from this that when we have truly seen God through faith, His Word, and His Son, then all our questions cease.

There has been many a time that I have questioned God; fallen before Him in prayer with fear and trembling; and arose without an answer, but I did not need one any longer. I had seen God; heard Him and that was sufficient.

When I say “I had seen God”; I mean that I had seen Him through eyes of faith, through His Word. One day I will look into the eyes of my Lord and Saviour, and I so long for that day.

Like Job, when we see God, we will see ourselves as we truly are. In need of repentance and forgiveness which only God gives through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Listening to His Story

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old. Psalm 44:1 (KJV)

How often do we pay attention to the history of the past?  We often hear some people say things like “History is written by the people who won the wars”.  Only a one sided story in other words, and in many cases that may be the truth.

I love reading the Word of God.  It is about GOD.  It is about our beginning, and our end of this life.  It is His story.  It is about God working to call a people to Himself.  It is about God delivering a people from sin, its condemnation, and the wrath of God upon sin, and upon His own Son whom He sent to be the Redeemer of mankind.

Someone might ask, “What if “Our fathers” were wrong, or just flat out told a lie?”  Do we have no confidence in our fathers of the faith?  We cannot however, only believe because of what the fathers have told us in Scripture.  We must believe because we too have heard God for ourselves.  We have seen Him move.  We have seen Him work changing the lives of people who came to Him.  Beginning with ourselves we see the change.

It is often because of His story from the past that we are led to believe Him today.  His story from the past is His story still today.  The history we speak of is usually of what happened in years past.  The story of God, and His salvation is His story that lives today, and into the future.

Listen to what the faithful “Fathers” have told us; then we can believe the faithful Father today.

Patience and the LORD

I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 (KJV)

Are you a patient person?  I probably could have gone all day without asking that question. right?  If your honest answer to that question is NO! Then join the growing crowd.  I am not normally a patient man.

Many Christians when we pray we want an answer to our prayers really quick; you know –  “Lord give me patience, and give it to me now.”

The Psalmist David “waited patiently for the LORD”.  If there is any where we should be patient it is in our walk with GOD.  I am growing to understand that He sees the bigger picture, and I only see a very small portion of it.  It is true of us all.  The LORD knows the beginning from the end.  He Himself is the First and the Last.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.

Waiting is not sitting down doing nothing.  Waiting takes much effort, much trust, and obedience.  So, in that time of waiting, what am I supposed to do?  Do all that He has said.

One of my favorite verses of Scripture is Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…”  I will let you look it up yourself, and be blessed.  The LORD He hears the cry of those who “Wait” on Him.

Invited From the Door

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; ‘These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  Revelation 3:14-22 (KJV)

For more on the church of Laodicea follow this link.

-T.A.