Friday, March 20, 2015

The Folly of Man

For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. -- Rom 1:21

Truly this is the state of many in the world today. We have wrong priorities, wrong desires, and are deluded in our thinking. We don't think as God does. We don't understand His word to us. Many have an entitlement attitude, believing that they deserve to be blessed and that blessing them is God's priority.

God's priority has always been getting us into a right relationship with Him. He doesn't get sidetracked. He doesn't get too busy. No, He's always working towards that goal. He sent His only Son to die for us, that we might have access to salvation. It was a huge sacrifice that few truly appreciate today.

The Lord wasn't crucified that those who claim to be His might live in sin. He didn't suffer that we might have other priorities. No, He died to draw us to Him, that we might serve and belong to Him. There was a purpose to enduring such torture.

It was a horrendous thing to go through. He was spit on and mocked, beaten and flogged until His skin hung in shreds. The agony was extreme, but He endured it all for us. He took that punishment for us. He, literally, died that we might be saved.

Today many believe His sacrifice negates the need to live holy with His priorities. They are futile in their thinking. They have exchanged true wisdom for the folly of man.

One of the  areas where this can be seen with great clarity is the regard we give animals. While children are dying by the thousands, many are more concerned with animals. I'm not saying we shouldn't regard animals. No, I love animals as much as anyone. The thing is, though, that Christ did not die for animals. He did not suffer the cross for our pets. No, He died for us -- which includes our children.

Many will give everything to rescue an animal, but nothing to save the children. Many will pray for animals, but do not open their mouths for the children. Few take up the children's case, but many fight vigorously for the animals. Even our laws protect animals, but allow for the brutal murder of children. How can God not come against us? Truly, He is.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you think God is not offended by these things, you are sadly mistaken. It is another way we have blatantly shown a deep, disrespect for the cross. We will answer for this. We are going to pay for showing such great regard for those we were supposed to govern while ignoring the murder of those He died for. It really is that simple, but many are too deluded to see it.

The Lord got me out of my sick bed to share this with you. Before you discount it, please ask Him. He really is offended. It doesn't mean we should abuse the animals; but rather, that we should get our priorities straight.



The "Air of Heaven" is up at Putting up easy access buttons is proving harder and more expensive than anticipated.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Having Job's Perspective

"Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; I will surely defend my ways to His face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless man would dare come before Him!" -- Job 13:13-16

Job experienced serious trials in his life. He lost most of his servants, all his earthly wealth, and all his children. He went from being a richly blessed, wealthy man to a childless pauper in a flash. And, yet, he still worshipped the Lord.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." -- Job 1:20-21

Today we have an entitlement attitude. We believe we deserve to be blessed, and are furious when we aren't. We don't see the mercies of God as mercy. We see them as His obligation to us. Job had the right attitude. He realized that God is not obligated to see to our needs, let alone our desires.

In mercy God created all things. He gave us being, life, and all that we need for life. Then He topped it off by sacrificing His only Son that we might be redeemed to Him for eternity. His astounding magnificence took great care to regard for our pitiful ineptitude. We are literally dust in His hands. Yet, we think He owes us? No, the proper attitude is humble gratitude.

Thank You, Father, for Your great mercy.
Thank You for Your peace and grace.
Grant to us this day wisdom and direction --
  Wisdom that we might truly be thankful and
  Direction that we might use this day wisely.
All honor and praise are rightly Yours.
We submit to Your complete authority.
Have mercy, Father, for we are at Your mercy.
We ask it all in Yeshua's name.
Amen and amen.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Remaining in Him

"As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love." -- Joh 15:9-10

Starting the day with praise is one of the best ways to remain in Him. It gets us off on the right foot. If you have yet to memorize a few praise songs or Scriptures, take time to do so. It will add a spring to your step and help keep a smile on your face. As little girls my mother put my sisters and I in a children's choir. To this day I sing hymns, both while sleeping and throughout the day. Those within earshot may not enjoy it, but it keeps me smiling.

A thankful heart is pleasing to God. After all, He has provided us with everything. When we stop to think about all that He has done for us, we soon realize that we have much to be thankful for. Even the poorest of us can say He gave us air to breathe, the sun to brighten our day, ground to walk on (really, we could be floating in space), water to drink, and salvation for our souls. Further, in salvation is the hope of all eternity, the blessings of heaven, the mercy of His love . . . one could go on all day. Some of my favorite blessings are the green of spring, the blue of the sky, the shade of trees, and the smell of roses. In His riches He blesses us with so much that thankfulness should be a big part of our lives.

Praise and thankfulness abound when we remain in Him. To be near Him is to appreciate His incomparable kindness. The more we seek Him the more we desire Him and the closer we draw to Him. All good relationships take effort. Our relationship with the Lord is no different. If we are to have His joy, His peace, and His mercy; we must first firm up our relationship with Him. This requires that we put the same type of effort into being His that we would to be a good wife or a responsible husband or a close friend. Truly, our Heavenly Father is the ultimate helper, provider, and confidant. He is also the eternal Sovereign, the One before Whom all knees will bow. So He doesn't just care for us, He is completely in charge of us.

How much wiser it is to submit to the One Who is in complete control than to resist the inevitable. God's rules are unbreakable, meaning that we do not break them without facing consequences. When we remain in Him, He remains in us. When He remains in us, praise and gratitude just naturally flow from our hearts. It is a beautiful circle of love that stems from obedience.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finding Peace With God

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

One of the jobs given to parents is to raise honest, responsible, moral children. We don't do this for our own good, but for theirs. We know that honesty pays off. We know that responsibility will serve them well, and good morals will keep them from disastrous choices. God's rules are much the same. They were given to keep us from bad choices, destructive lifestyles, and an eternity of torment.

Today many try to edit God's word so that their choices do not appear bad. Much like disobedient children, they attempt to subvert the rules to have their way. A good parent will never allow their child to get away with such disrespect, and neither will God. Most parents know when their child has broken the rules. God always does.

It is out of love that parents discipline their children, and love that God expresses His displeasure. With earthly parents children may manage to get by with some things, but with God nothing eludes His attention. The difference here is that earthly parents have been disobedient themselves. So, we can relate to the desire to do what we should not. 

With God, He not only sacrificed His only Son to pay for our sins, but He cannot co-habitate with sin.  This makes disobedience or sin a far more serious infraction to Him. Just as earthly parents enjoy being with their children, He longs to have a relationship with us. If we are in sin, that cannot be. His holiness will not allow it.

Despite what some say the God of the Bible is intensely interested and concerned with the lives of His creation. 

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. -- Isa 30:18

The magnificent Creator of all that is literally gets up to see to His creation. Like our earthly parents, He is genuinely concerned for those who seek Him. But also, like our earthly parents, He requires submission and obedience to His rules. If we are to have peace with Him, that is what we must do -- regard Him as the Father He is, with respect and obedience.

Therefore, gird your minds for action; keep sober in spirit, fix  your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of  Yeshua the Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." -- 1 Pet 1:13-16

Monday, March 9, 2015

Choosing to Praise

We all have people and things in our lives that just make us want to run screaming, yet some still manage to go through life smiling. Truly there are many things that make life today seem almost impossible. The status of our nation alone is enough to stress one out. However, we serve a magnificently wonderful God and He still cares for us. Whatever our problems are He is still completely capable of delivering us from them all. So, the thing to do is not to let circumstances overwhelm us; but rather, to focus on who He is.

By focusing on Him we cannot help but realize just how absolutely in control He is. We are drawn to His incredible abilities and amazed at His regard for us. That leads to praise and choosing to praise lessens the impact of our troubles upon our hearts and minds. In time He surely does deliver us, but while we wait upon Him praise gives us strength in the valley.

I learned years ago to recite certain Scripture before I went to bed and sing His praises as I go through the day -- even if only in my head. These things have kept me through some pretty serious and difficult times. In addition to the 23rd Psalm, I love these verses from 103:

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits --
Who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases.
Who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion;
Who satisfies your desires with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.

Everyone has trials and tribulations. Everyone suffers loss. Everyone faces obstacles that seem impossible. Yet, our God is infinitely able. He keeps us even when it looks to the outside world like all is lost. We can trust Him, and we should. He isn't just our Creator, but our wonderful Master and Lord. If we remain in Him, He will keep us -- not because I say so, but because He does.

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." -- Joh 15:7