Intimacy with God

There are certain moments with God without comparison such as Jesus being in the temple with doctors of the law interpreting scriptures, in the desert resisting evil temptation when the devil was present, and a prayer time before his death at Gesethsemane.

And Jesus became sure of his mission.

Nothing else mattered because he communed with his Father in Heaven in private who ordained it.

Consider sacred moments of God are something to remember in times of trouble, persecution, or sickness.

The holiness of God through the sacrificial blood of Christ comforts, protects, and guides us through life to witness and share God’s word, along with achieving good works.

Know also Jesus provides a path of peace for the godless to find hope and mercy despite a life of conceit, selfishness, lust, and inordinate greed.

Come out from among them! God might say.

Consider reading the book of Isaiah in the Bible, Chapters 56-58, for intimate moments of holiness and separation to God.

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A Search for Truth

I went looking for truth one day. I didn’t find it, though there were thousands of books stacked five shelves high in long rows at a religious library with titles from every religion of the world.

No. I found it in a dark sanctuary filled with the presence of God in sorrow: there was nothing better than experience.

Only Christianity provided an answer for spiritual hopelessness in the person of Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh and died for sin.

And the Bible says: He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2: 2).

Neither are we to follow false doctrine (Ephesians 4: 14; Hebrews 13: 9); but speaking the truth in love, as Christ is the center of life.

Truth guides us to find God.

The Biblical man David recognized this and prayed as such: Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul . . : lead me in thy truth and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day (Psalms 25: 1-5).

And David found redemption (Psalms 31: 5).

Consider your search for truth but also Jesus Christ, who lives in us and redeems us from sin to find God.

God’s truth endures forever (Psalms 117).

The Suffering Christ

Persecuted, scouraged, and ridiculed the suffering Christ kept his focus on serving His Father in Heaven with joy (see Hebrews 12: 2)..

Consider the humiliation this man must have felt, being “defamed” in court, laughed at and disrespected by authorities, though he had all the wisdom of the world and taught in the temple.

Come up with a good idea that has God’s blessing, and the world culture wants to do everything to hinder it.

Most of us have been there, but it’s how we find our place to achieve great things with the confidence of God and Jesus independently of devilish ways and control.

That’s the situation Jesus faced, but God had ordained his work and preaching, before his birth, and so it would be to glorify God, which has helped many people find peace in an otherwise troubled world.

Consider your suffering. But also know Jesus has died for it and rose above it sit on God’s right hand to intercede for us and give grace.

Seditious Acts in the Bible and Their Consequences

Sedition is the act of people stirring up trouble within government operations that have been declared in a pre-amble or constitution that has been ratified by a group of authorities.

Haman in the Book of Esther was guilty of sedition, for he tried to bribe King Ahasuerus with money to extinguish Esther and Mordecai’s people.

“It is not for the King’s profit to tolerate them, Haman exclaimed (Esther 3: 8).

Esther heard of the plot, told the king the whole story and jealousy of Haman, the King’s officer, and Haman instead of Mordecai was hanged.

And officers conspired against the ruler Daniel in The Book of Daniel, Chapter 6, wasting time writing up false policies, and putting Daniel into a den of lions when he would not bow before King Darius.

He escaped – and the conspirators who accused Daniel were thrown into the den and mauled, along with their children and wives. No need to leave any testimonies behind I suppose.

Seditious acts receive consequences from God.

But consider Jesus the Son of God. When confronted with government intrusion said, “Render unto Caesar (the ruler) the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God, the things that are God’s (Matthew 22: 21).

God’s law have prevailed throughout generations, but sedition is like wickedness

Proverbs 12: 19 says: The lip of truth shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Know also Jesus who overcame all of it by his death on the cross and resurrection into heaven.

The Need For Christ

Biblically, the need of Christ came along at a time when man could no longer find complete salvation and peace from the ways of the world.

And one man named Simeon did not even want to die until he saw the Christ so he could have peace (Luke 2: 25-35).

Imagine his prayer: “Lord, now letttest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”

God would be so merciful to us as sinners.

No longer would people look to worldly ways to get rid of sin,  exchanging money for false idols and sacrifices, committing suicides, or even wandering in mountains and caves looking for peace

No, God has provided the Christ as a full sacrifice for any wrongdoing that you may have done.

And when there is nowhere else to turn, no friend or family to provide relief, or a counselor, God in his infinite wisdom has provided Jesus as the answer for the problem in whom we can identify with because he came by flesh and blood such as we.

How great is that!

Consider the story of Christ who entered into the holiest of holiest beyond the dark veil of sin.

“He is alive”, they said after the tomb stone was rolled away (Luke 24: 23).

And you can have be alive from dead works in the world after remorsefulness and forgiveness by God through Christ.

Praise God and the need for Christ.

The Fallen Priest

 

Aaron the priest was put to shame in front of his people in Numbers 20: 27-29 because he did not believe God would provide water of a rock when the people were thirsty.

No. Him and companion Moses rebelled against God at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20: 7-13).

“Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? “ Moses said.

The Lord had wanted sanctification for this water issue but Moses and Aaron basically took credit for the water miracle.

As a result, not only did Aaron lose his priesthood when God ordered his garments be given to his son Eleazar– but he lost his life when God issued the decree (Numbers 20: 24-26)..

Consider the infallibility of Aaron who had once seen God’s glory at Mount Sinai but now receives God’s harsh judgment at Mount Hor; for no one can escape a holy judgment from God.

But also consider God’s Son Jesus, though made a priest on earth with crown of thorns, now sits on the right hand side of God to intercede for us for the remission of sins and to give us life everlasting upon confession of sin and belief in his resurrection.

No one on earth is perfect but now we have Jesus who is without sin.

The Sign from Jesus

A day before the last hurricane I was sitting on a pier bench looking at a blue sky with few clouds in the east that resembled anything but look hurricane force driven  — when right before me was a high water mark topping concrete pilings and lapping 3’ foot above a marsh line.

In other words, the most obvious sign of bad weather was nearby.

The Son of God said in a parable in Luke 11: 29 about people looking for a sign for the end of the world – but there would be none – except the sign of Jonah the Prophet, which signified God’s judgment time, and in Jonah’s case — over the people of Ninevah.

But now a greater than Jonah is here in Jesus, the scriptures go on to say.

The righteous Jesus brings judgment.

Consider signs for safety in the environment, but also consider Jesus, who, despite the dangers in society and the world, provides salvation from sin and a peace from God upon confession and obedience to his righteous life and resurrection into heaven this Easter Season.

The Altar of God

Abraham built an altar to the Lord shortly after God visited him with a blessing for Abraham to receive land and his people to be a great nation (Genesis 12: 1-7).

The Biblical figure Jacob also built an altar after a visitation by God. Moses, Noah, Isaac and others did the same, all in commemoration of God visiting them with holy instructions and a presence of divine nature.

But building an altar can be a lot of work. I know, because I built one that took me a complete summer. If it’s stone, then rocks must be gathered, laid, leveled, and capped. The instructions for building materials are in Exodus 20:24-25; and for wood in Chapter 27.

I suppose a cemetery monument could be an altar – the last place of an offering back to God! People want to leave something behind. Devotional markings  have been found on cliffs, doorways, shrines, sanctuaries, along trade routes, and in caves – of menorahs, crosses, flowers, ships, and animals as early as 5th B.C.E. – 5 C.E. –not desecrations but testaments.

Consider your testament. Is it worldly or divine? It may be a final will of testament on paper.

But also consider Jesus Christ, who entered into the holiest of holies when he sat down on God’s right hand to be a high priest with one offering of sanctification for us all upon confession of sin and faith in the living God.

Quiet Faith

The rugless living room floor would be freezing I thought as I lay in bed and heard grandma’s feet shuffle slowly on the kitchen floor towards the sink, and the room would be dark this wintry morning with sunlight yet to find its way through the tall hemlocks the filled an eastern mountain.

But it was cold, and I knew the heater would need loaded up with wood, so I quietly exited the bedroom as glanced at the stove which I knew to be harboring the last few coals of an oak log last night and made my way out the side door to get some small dried kindling limbs: Better than a smoked up house this morning with coals from a pine log, I thought.

Grandma quietly put two bowls of hot oatmeal on the table, donned her coat to go outside and start her own fire – for the days stripping of skins off honeysuckle vines to ready them for weaving baskets and dyeing them with walnut shells.

Her quiet faith in God spoke through her work.

Consider your quiet faith.

Know also God’s Son Jesus quieted himself in front of a sinful woman letting her talk – to give her peace and salvation.

The Bible has many more examples of quiet faith, but Jesus is the sacrifice we need to receive salvation from sin and produce good work.

Joseph’s Vengeance

It wasn’t enough for Joseph to hide his goods in his brothers’ packs and later blame them for stealing them — after years earlier of being deserted by them — left in a pit to die, bought by merchantmen, and jailed.

No, Joseph had vengeance on his mind; no matter how long it took.

So when the brothers discovered that this ruler in Egypt was indeed their brother Joseph; their sin was also discovered from years earlier; and they asked forgiveness.

But Joseph denied them — told them it wasn’t his place to forgive but God’s –knowing that only God can completely redeem sin and harsh judgment would take place as the brothers made their back journey back home across rough terrain with stricken conscience.

Consider this vengeance sparing Joseph of retaliation, disciplining the brothers, and giving God the glory. But know harboring unforgiveness can be unhealthy and burdens the soul.

Know also that God grants complete forgiveness through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ who takes away the sin of the world by his death on the cross.

Jesus was made sin for us, so that we might be free of sin.