Friday, March 27, 2015


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The Trail Of Faithfulness

I was thinking today on the lives of many in history and realizing the trail that led to my own salvation. If those who had given their lives to translate the Bible into English had not done so, I would not have a Bible to read that showed me the love and salvation of the Lord. If others had not carried that Bible with them and been obedient to its Words and brought it to others, who finally brought it through to my own generation and to me personally, I would not have found the Word of life that led to my salvation. So many had a part to play in my being able to hear of the salvation of the Lord! Not just one person.

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 preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:14-17)

Does our faithfulness to God mean anything? Does our simple acts of obedience mean anything? How do we know what a small act of obedience in sharing His Word will mean not only to one other person but perhaps to generations of persons? Only God does. I'm so thankful for those in my own trail of faithfulness, who only God knows, who finally were responsible for bringing that Word of life to me and enabling me to find His life as my own. My heart almost faints thinking of it, and realizing how weak I am at times, in sharing His Word with others. What part did God want me to play in His trail of faithfulness? If not me, God can use others, but I miss out on being a part of that trail of faithfulness and the life and rewards that are many in being a part of that.

What may seem to us as small conversations, chance encounters, getting together with friends, chatting with co-workers, or meetings of new people, could all be part of God's planting me where He wanted me to be in order to be faithful and obedient to submit to His working through us to touch that person, bring them a needed truth, encourage their hearts to continue on with the Lord, or perhaps to bring fresh truth that they never heard before, to cause them as well to be a part in His trail of life giving fruitfulness passed on yet more and more. That fruitfulness only came from "abiding" in Him. We may think we are doing nothing for the Lord. We may think our little get-togethers and conversations are unimportant. We may wonder at our part in God's working for His kingdom. Yet each day we have a part in being submitted to Him, in putting off the flesh, in putting on Christ, and letting His Word fill our hearts and minds so that we can be a part in that trail. It's Christ Himself Who builds this trail. It's a work of His and not of us, yet our part in it is very important. That part is to submit to His Spirit's working in us, allowing Him to teach us, train us, work in our lives, and feed us, so that we have fruit that is eaten and that nourishes others, so that they also may partake and give likewise. Our part is to put into practice His Word, every day of our lives, enabling our daily walk to touch those around us, however God chooses it to.

If we neglect our spiritual growth, we neglect also our part in this process. If we fail to obey the Lord, we fail not only the Lord but ourselves and others He brings into our lives.

Some are part of a trail of destruction instead. They constantly cater to their own flesh and selfish living. In doing so they bring harm to themselves, those around them, and leave a trail of corruption that is carried on and more corruption is built on that. Corruption in a parent's life tends to bring twice the corruption in their children's lives. Children tend to not only imitate their parent's sins but build on them and double them. The progress of sin and evil and lawlessness in the world has grown worse and worse the more the world emboldens itself against God and His Word. In the church there is a trail of corruption, disregard for God's Word, and self-centered "worship" traced back to those who disregarded His Word and brought man's teachings and even the teachings of demons into the church.

But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, being seared in their own conscience (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

This has brought such a trail of apostasy that it's hard for many to discern what is true and what is false in the church today. In order to break this trail one needs to go back to the foundation of what is true. Go back to the foundation of what was left in the first place where it all started. Go back to His Word with a pure heart of seeking His truth and His light alone, surrendering self up to His cross, denying your own life in this world and receiving His true life. May God bring a true revival of love for His Word and true submission to Him. Instead today's so-called "revival" consists of a disregarding of His Word, and self-centered "spiritual ecstasies" and mystical experience, leaving the God of the Bible outside the door as they claim "we are rich and in need of nothing."

Many families have a trail of certain sins or bondages. They have been passed down from generation to generation. Alcoholism is one example of that. Adultery is an example of that. When a conscience becomes corrupted and compromises with the truth of what is sin, and excuses it, that sin is many times passed down to the children and they become even worse and more in bondage and deceived by it than their parents. But when one turns to the truth of the Gospel it is the truth that sets one free. When one realizes it is not some "curse" they must be prayed over and delivered from, but it is sin that must be acknowledged before God and repented of, that trail of sin is broken in them. Sin has no power at the cross. It is only the cross that sets us free. It is taking up our cross and following Him and believing that He alone is the truth, the life, and the way, and living according to that faith. The cross leads to resurrection and the power of that resurrection fills our lives as we submit ourselves to Him (Ephesians 1:17-2:6)

Do you want to be a part of a trail of corruption and unfaithfulness to His Word? Or do you want to be a part of that trail of faithfulness whereby many come to His living Word of life and find His life and salvation? You may never lead someone yourself to salvation, but you are a part of a trail, one or the other, and hopefully part of the trail that leads many to His saving grace and life and faithfulness.

Paul understood the dangers of this conflict and the trail that would be left by false teachers, and struggled against that with all the power of God in Him to make sure the Gospel was kept pure (Colossians 1:29).

Jamieson, Faucett, and Brown commentary on Col. 1:29:

He explains in what respect he “labored striving” (Col_1:29). Translate as Greek, “I wish you to know how great a conflict (the same Greek word as in Col_1:29, “agony of a conflict” of fervent, anxious prayer...

And again in Acts, Paul warns them fervently, wanting them all to remain on God's path and not be deterred from it with, as he calls them, "ravening wolves"...

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:26-32)

A true love of God and of His Word is a part of a trail of life that is passed on from generation to generation. Whose trail do we want to be on? And whose trail do we want to pass on to others we love? On God's path, everything we read and pass on, everything we do, everything we say, is important and must be taken before the Lord, examined by His Word, and dealt with accordingly, as we are on a path, whether we know it or not, that leads to life or corruption, one or the other. Our lives are not our own, and our choices all have consequences for us and others. Satan knows well of this trail and seeks to corrupt it every day, and succeeds in many places to change the truth for a lie.

Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus, open our hearts Lord, to the truth of Your Word and light our path, so that others may follow as well.

If you are not sure you have eternal life, if you want to know more about salvation through Jesus Christ, and how you can be sure, you can read more about it here.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


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Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (Psalms 150:1-6)

We do have a God of unspeakable Glory. So much so that even a small glimpse of that manifested to us here in this life causes our hearts to swell in praise to Him that cannot be held back. His glory is our delight. It causes our hearts to rise up in praises to Him. We want to use all that we have available to us to express that praise. When our eyes are turned to Him receiving the truth about ourselves, being humbled before Him, and seeing the truth about Him, true praise comes forth from our spirit and we worthip Him in spirit and in truth.

PRAISE, v.t. [L. tollo, extollo; pretium.] (Webster's 1828 dictionary)

1. To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of personal worth or actions.
2. To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works.
3. To express gratitude for personal favors. Psa 138.
4. To do honor to; to display the excellence of.

Why would this God command worship and praise? Some think He must have such a big "ego" to have to continually have beings that praise Him. That would be true if He were merely a man with flaws and selfishness. But Who He truly is with all the true and very real glory that goes with that, His attributes, His majesty, His perfection in every way, with no flaw - His love and goodness toward mankind - this in itself is what commands His praise, because He is truly worthy of it, and one cannot but help to praise Him when these attributes are seen and manifested in some way. As we worship Him we receive of that glory into our own souls, and partake of His divine life. The hymns many have written attempt to explain His attributes and His glory. When we sing these hymns it reminds us of His goodness. When reminded of His glory our hearts are lifted up to Him. We receive life as we see the truth and our hearts are set free in His presence. Men will praise themselves and each other though deceptive, self-centered, and undeserving of such praise, but they will not praise the God Who created all things, and Who is the only One that is truly worthy of such praise, because to do so would admit submission to such a God, and that they themselves cannot be their own god.

I remember a time when I was in a Christian meeting and it was time for "worship". I had just had a very bad day and a conflict with someone. I said, "Oh Lord how can I worship You when I'm feeling this way?" The answer came to me quickly. "You can worship Me, because of Who I am." I realized it wasn't about how I felt, what mood I was in, or if I could conjure up some feelings of praise. It was about turning my eyes to the One Who is true, Who is worthy, and looking at Him and not myself. It was about pondering His attributes and Who He is and giving the thanks and praise due to Him. As I did that I was lifted above my situation and able to rejoice in Him.

Many times in my early Christian life, in worship services the worship became a "worship of the worship" rather than a praise to God and a true bowing down to all that He is in reverence and praise to Him, and in fact the carnal feelings it brought was akin to the carnal feelings I had at dances I went to before being saved. Many mistake the carnal good feelings for spiritual experience or the presence of God. Who is worthy of true praise but God Himself? So many "worship songs" can be repetitive meaningless phrases sung over and over about how we feel rather than words of Who God is and what He has done for us and our response of thanks and praise to Him. It's those truths of praise to Who He is that lift our hearts in true love and praise to Him. We can work ourselves up to an altered state of consciousness singing meaningless phrases over and over worshipping the feelings we have while doing so and call that God's presence. I know, I've been a part of worship teams that have done that many times. In fact in one instance after singing the same phrase over and over and over, when we as a team tried to change to a different song, the pastor said to us, "no...when you change it breaks the anointing." It was no anointing, it was a mesmerizing that was being built up in order to put people in a trance that would receive whatever this man told them to receive. When we get away from the true presence of God and His Word, we cannot tell the true from the false in what God's "presence" is. I did not see it until I got out from under it.

Feelings are a funny thing. They can counterfeit a true presence of God. They can lie to us in many ways. If we are a person that depends on feelings or sensational experiences, or impressions, we can easily be deceived. God had to chastise me in my walk to break away from what my feelings told me and learn to trust in Him alone and what His Word told me. I had to choose at one point, what I was being told to accept from God and what His Word was telling me when the two were in conflict. I had to choose His Word alone as the only true "Word" I could count on and the voice of the Spirit which is expressed to us in His written Word. I remember in an intense "worship" one time, supposedly during "revival" in a church I was in at the time, I suddenly realized in all the hype and liveliness and supposed manifestations of the Spirit, I was sensing a wall between God and I and I said to myself, "I have to get away from this and get back to God." What? During revival I had to get "back to God?" I shocked myself. Here I had been going to all these meetings to get "revived." I was spending time fasting, praying, worshipping, etc. Why was I so spiritually dry and empty? I did get away from it all and got alone with my Bible instead and sought God with all my heart, bowing down to Him in spirit and in truth. The Lord, little by little began showing me I was depending on the wrong thing to draw close to Him, and that He was testing my heart to see if I would truly submit to Him. I saw what I had thought was my pursuit of a stronger spiritual life and more of God, as a very self-centered pursuit. It was for me, not for His truth and glory. I got on my face before God and said, "Lord I surrender every experience, every feeling, all of what I've learned, to You, and ask You to cleanse me, to teach me all over again, and to lead me in Your truth."

God has been doing that, and opened up His Word of life to me in so many ways that my heart cannot help but delight in His glory and from my innermost being give Him true praise and honor. My desire to glorify Him with my whole life grows stronger and stronger the more I see His glory. That glory is manifested more through my life as I spend time "sitting at His feet" feasting on His manna from Heaven. My eyes are on Him as I see Him revealed to me through His Word, and my sin and pride becomes repulsive to me. I would rather die than fail to please Him and it grieves my heart when I do. This was not a feeling worked up in a moment of hyper "praise" but it is something He has slowly worked in my heart over time of learning from Him and letting Him teach me and reveal Himself to me. I learned there is no short cuts to "spirituality" or spiritual maturity, and to be truly filled with the Holy Spirit one must be truly filled with and submitted to His Word which has control of their life. The Spirit and the Word agree and the Word is the written expression of all He is and does and desires to do in us and through us. It has not changed, because God never changes. It is perfect and needs no adjustments according to cultural changes.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

I'm sitting here listening to hymns as I write this. The words are rich and full of meaning of God's glory, His grace to us, His love, His attributes, and my heart responds in delight and in praise to Him. It is in true response of our heart toward God's revealing Himself to us, that causes true praise. It is a living according to that once our hearts are open to Him, that shows a worship "in spirit and in truth." I always wondered why someone could loudly praise God in a service at church raising their hands and tears coming down their eyes, and then continue in a very carnal Christian life where self was obviously first in all they did and little thought was given to God's will in their life. It's because their so-called worship was an emotional experience worked up more for themselves than to God's glory, rather than a response to God's holiness truly seen, calling them to a holy life in Him. There was no bowing down to Him in adoration and submission.

There is a difference between praise and worship. We worship Him not just with our words, but with our lives and how they are lived.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)

Worship (Webster's 1828 dictionary)

1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.
3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover.



A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.

So much of what pretends to be worship today is a mockery of truly bowing down before a holy God prostrate before Him in submission to Him and giving Him the praise and thanks due His name. To bow ourselves down before Him in true humility and submission to all that He is, adoring Him, giving reverence to Him, and praising Him - extolling Him in gratefulness for all He is and has done - this is what God is looking for. This is the kind of true worship and praise that truly glorifies Him in our hearts and to all who are around us. This is the kind of praise and worship that changes our lives, strengthens our hearts toward righteousness and living in harmony with His Word. It's what purifies our hearts before Him, because the more we truly look at Him, the more we want to be like Him and live pleasing to Him. This kind of worship takes us out of ourselves and is not about "me" but about God, and continues in our life lived for His glory.

True praise and true worship will bring true experience with God, that will last and have an effect of godliness in our lives and desire to walk as He walked, pleasing to God always in all we think, do, and say before the God Who sees all. And that day when we finally see Him face to face we will truly not be able to hold back the praises that will want to come forth from our innermost being with all that is within us in a very true purity. That will be an amazing day! A day we will share in His glory and know Him fully as we are fully known.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)

Amen, come Lord Jesus! We long for that day!

If you are not sure you have eternal life, if you want to know more about salvation through Jesus Christ, and how you can be sure, you can read more about it here.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


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The Lord is merciful, and the Lord is full of compassion. I am dwelling on these words today, musing over them, gleaning more of my Lord. So much on this subject for me to draw from, and receive of Him! It's almost more than my heart can stand as I look into it just getting a small glimpse. And what faith it brings to my heart for His answer to my need as I cry out to Him. I have no doubt about His mercy, His compassion, His love, His perfect care of my life as I do. My faith is built up on Who He is, and that will never fail. It will not fail all He has planned for those who love Him and trust in His full redemption. It will not fail those who trust in His righteousness, the blood that compassion and mercy drove Him to shed for us. It's enough to look at that cross and see such unspeakable love there, but when one looks deeper into His mercy, His compassion, and sees this is the attributes of this God Who IS love itself, and He could do nothing other than go to that cross, suffer, and shed His blood for me, a sinner, in no way deserving of that, my heart is so overwhelmed with gratefulness that I cannot even express it.

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. (Exodus 34:5-8)

What is His glory? It is Who He is revealed. When His glory is revealed we receive it and live. We are given life from Him. The more He is glorified to us, the more we receive of that marvelous life and glory into our being and partake of His divine nature. What glory He shares with us of Himself through His Word and how sad when we neglect it and don't receive it!! What true and pure worship springs from our innermost being as we take in that glory!! How sad when it is hidden from us through men's perverted teachings and religions, drawing men to their own glory which is none at all, keeping them from receiving the mercy and compassion of the Lord and from receiving His true life in themselves and so to be saved from the selfishness and the corruption of this world and have eternal life sharing His glory. How very sad indeed!! No wonder satan seeks to pervert His glory, His love, His mercy, His grace, and His compassion and turn it into a lie. They exchange His truth for a lie, His love for lust, His grace for licentiousness. How very sad to clutch onto these things and miss His true salvation full of His very being as our portion in this life, learning of Him, growing in true knowledge of Him, being filled with Him. How sad when His own children look for sensationalism and a counterfeit experience rather than or in place of true knowledge of His compassions, His mercies, His truth, and His Word of life.

How is God's glory manifest? It is manifest through His living Word in His children through His attributes being formed in them as they are feeding on Him, and being conformed to His image. It is manifest in and through them as they are filled with His Spirit, and His fruit fills their lives overflowing to others. If it does not resemble the fruit of the Spirit, the character or attributes of God, it does not come from God. If it leads to His glory rather than the glory of man, or the selfishness and sensationalism of the flesh, only then can it be from Him. If we don't know His Word we won't know His glory or see it when it is right before us.

I came before the Lord recently crying out to Him for a need. Through my persevering in seeking His face, He is giving me so much more than I asked for! Sometimes we need to persevere because if we don't immediately receive an answer, it could just be there is more He has for us in the asking and the seeking. He has told us "ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matt. 7:7) We fear to believe it or trust it! It's too great a promise!

What if I don't receive, and what if I don't find, and what if the door is still closed after I ask, seek, and knock with all my strength? What if nothing happens? I think we hide in unbelief at times because this is what we fear. We fear that if He does not answer we'll have to somehow in our minds justify God to ourselves so we can somehow go on. He tells us to ask. We must ask.

"ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2b)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

It's much easier to hide in our unbelief and pretend it's actually faith in "whatever He wills." I do believe we must trust whatever He wills, of course, and to seek nothing but His will, but we must also seek to know His will, to ask, in faith in Who God is, and in the process, if we don't get an answer rather than overlook it and pass on, to ask ourselves and God why, and then to seek Him until we find Him, and to persevere in knocking until He opens the door of His heart to us and draws us in and teaches us of Himself. In the process our hearts are humbled and we come to examine our hearts before Him. Truth in our inner being is exposed and we are forced to let His light in to reveal our heart of hearts before Him, and to reveal His heart to us. In the process of the asking, seeking, and knocking, we are filled with an earnest desire to truly know Him, and we won't settle then for anything else. We MUST know Him. We MUST know His will, and we bow ourselves before Him. "Lord, I must know You in this thing I bring before You! Don't hide Yourself from me!"

We have a choice when God seems to not answer our prayers. Especially when it is the earnest most desperate prayer of our heart and soul. Why won't You answer Lord? We fear to ask Him why? David cried out to God many times in the Psalms and asked why. Our choice? We can fall into unbelief and bitterness, and become distant from God and others. Or we can humble ourselves under His mighty hand and wait on Him, persevering in faith in all He is. We can say, "You are God, You are righteous, You are compassion, love, mercy, and You alone are MY God and I will praise You and give You glory. You are not limited to my understanding but I am limited oh God, and I ask You now to give me understanding and faith and courage. No matter what I will praise You." When He does not immediately answer it does not mean we should quit praying, or that He is saying no. It means to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. What wondrous things about Himself He may reveal to you along the way. Perhaps in the waiting on Him, He may also purify your heart, your motives, clarifying your path, strengthening your faith, and preparing you for the very answer you are asking for. In His time...all is in His time, which is perfect. His compassions never fail.

"God of compassion, thank You for Who You are and the more of that which You reveal to me through every trial I go through!" In each hardship, suffering, loss, or trial if we ask Him to help us to know Him more in it, and through it, and to reveal His compassions and mercies to us, He will. That is the heart of the whole matter! Don't miss that opportunity when you are going through a trial. Don't think the only purpose is to get through it and come out of it. It's to come through it and out of it different than you were when you went in...with His life more revealed to you, and in you and now living through you - to know Him (John 17:3). With God, we get way more than what we ask for. Because there is just too much of Him for us to know all at once, and too much He desires for us to have to just give us a small answer. There is not just the "thing" we requested, but He Himself He desires to give us.

Be my portion Oh Lord. Let Your compassion, Your mercy, Your truth, Your love, Your justice and righteousness be seen in Your answers to my prayers. You came to destroy the works of the enemy. Destroy them in me, and let Your glory shine. In Jesus name, amen.

If you are not sure you have eternal life, if you want to know more about salvation through Jesus Christ, and how you can be sure, you can read more about it here.