You here a lot of people say, “This is the House of the Lord”. Did you ever think, what makes it the House of the Lord? It means that the Lord dwells in that house. What would cause the Lord to dwell in that house? It is because that house was a fitting place for Him. There are some places that are not the House of the Lord, they are the house of man. One thing you need to realize, if it is the House of the Lord, He will dwell in that place, if it is the house of man, He will not. When the tabernacle was built, it was laid out by God and the ones who built it were anointed by the Holy Spirit to do the work. No one was allowed to use their opinion; it was by God’s plan, period.
Over the years, man has decided to improve on what God had intended for this place that He wanted to dwell in and now many buildings are going through the motions, with very little real results. Why? It is because God does not have a place to dwell. The Lord says, “My Word is enough, it has always been enough and it will always be enough". Has it ever crossed your mind why people leave a church service and go right back to what ever they were doing before they came to that service? It is because all they had to change their life was dependent on who was singing or preaching. They look to the program and not to the One who can change their life. The service is filled with the latest slide show, or what ever new buzz phrases that are popular for that time in hopes that it will cause people to think. There are sad stories and sad videos presented, in the hopes that the people would be moved emotionally.
I am sure that when they were building the tabernacle, there were all kinds of people putting their two cents in, but the ones building the tabernacle had their orders from God and that was all that counted. I wonder how many were given the plans for a House of the Lord and somewhere along the way; they changed it because of some committee recommendations. Do you know what would have happened if the ones that built the tabernacle changed what God had wanted for His dwelling place, He would not have dwelt there? If you changed the plans that the Holy Spirit laid out for your House of the Lord, do you think God will dwell there? Do you think you can be in the presence of God and not be aware of it? I don’t think so! If you do not feel the presence of God in this place where you go, it is because God has a problem dwelling there. The problem is that, it is not a House of God; it is a house of man. Week after week the Pastor begs for people to get involved in the church, yet few get involved, why? If God was there, He would have conviction fall on everyone there and one of two things would happen, some would get involved and the others would never come back to that church again. This sounds a little severe, but when the sea was parted, it would remain as God’s House. God would dwell in such a place because He without a shadow of doubt would be the purpose of that place. It would be a place where man could go to be with God and not a place where God could go to be with man. Remember, it is the House of God, not the house of man. If it is a House of God, then God will always be there,whether man is there or not. If someone is troubled and it is late at night, they could go to the House of the Lord and be with Him. If it is a house of man, that troubled person will have to make an appointment. God is not like man, He never sleeps, He never gets weary, and He never goes on vacation. Wouldn’t it be fitting to make a dwelling place for the Lord, a place where people could come to be with Him? You can not go to a man’s house anytime you want. You should be able to go to the Lords house and be with Him anytime you want.
Who would build a house without first counting the cost? What materials did you use to build your house? Did you use materials that you thought would attract man or did you use what the Lord wanted you to use. Do you know more than God on what the needs of man are? His materials are His Word, His Love, His Sacrifice, His Grace, and His Mercy. Is this what you used to build your house, or do you think that all you had to use were the things of this world. When they built the tabernacle, God supplied everything they needed; they only had to follow His floor plan. You can not build His House with your materials, you must use His. If you use His floor plan and His materials, it will truly be a House of God and He will surely dwell there.
Ex 25:8"Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.
1. Killing yourself: the act of deliberately killing yourself 2. Doing something against one's own best interests: the act of doing something that seems contrary to your own best interests and likely to lead to a disaster such as financial ruin or loss of position or reputation To Kill: To cause something to end or be ruined To Kill: To destroy or severely damage an essential, often delicate quality in something by superimposing something stronger.
When we hear of someone committing suicide, we picture that person taking their own life. What tells us that they have committed suicide is the result of a dead body. Do you know that a person that has committed suicide is actually dead before the evidence of a dead body is found? If a person jumps off a cliff that is 1000 feet high with the intention of killing themselves, they are dead the minute they jump, even though their death isn’t acknowledged until they hit the ground. What causes a person to commit suicide? It comes from a person who has no hope of their situation getting any better. It could also be that the person’s situation could get better, but they are unwilling or unable to wait for it to get better. What could be so bad in your life that you should commit suicide? I have heard from people, “I have no options” or “I have nothing to live for”. Some people commit suicide because they think, “I’ll show them, they’ll miss me when I am gone and they will feel bad because they didn’t help me”. Their purpose is to make someone else pay for what they have done to themselves.
There are only two views to your situation and it is a matter of perspective.
If you look at it through the world’s eyes, it will be that...
Satan says: Give Up. To hand over or part with somebody or something, being you.God says: Persist.To continue steadily or persistently despite problems, difficulties, or obstacles, and I will be with you.
If you look at it through Jesus’ eyes, it will be that...
Satan says: Persist. To continue steadily or persistently despite problems, difficulties, or obstacles, and I will be with you.God says: Give Up. To hand over or part with somebody or something, being you.
I wonder how many people when they reached the end of their rope and heard, “You must die to yourself”, thought they heard, “You must die yourself”? It is sad that some would rather listen to Satan and kill themselves, rather than listen to God and live. A loving Father would not tell His children to kill themselves, so I wonder who is doing the talking.
Mark 8:3535 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it".
John 10:1010 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly".
Shelter or Home, it is a Matter of Perspective
Shelter A structure or building that provides cover from weather or protection against danger. An establishment providing accommodations and food for people who need to leave a violent or otherwise dangerous situation. An establishment that takes in and looks after the lost or unwanted. A place to live, considered as one of life's necessities. To provide somebody or something with protection, cover, refuge, or safety.
Home The place where a person, family, or household lives. A family or any other group that lives together. Where somebody was born or raised or feels he or she belongs. The place where something is most common or indigenous, or where something had its origins. A place where a person or animal can find refuge and safety or live in security. An establishment where somebody who is in need of care, rest, or medical attention can stay or find help. The term, “Living in a Shelter” implies that you are in need of help. It is not difficult to realize that you need.
One time I had come down with scabies, which is an infection that causes you to break out and generally appear between your legs. When I went to the doctor to get help, he said it was the worse case he had ever seen. I was not embarrassed that the doctor knew what I had or even that I had to go to County General to get some shots. I knew I needed help and this was the place I needed to be. While I was waiting in the examining room for my shots with my pants off, the door opened up and about ten interns came in with the doctor. This was a teaching hospital and the doctor wanted his students to see this full blown case of scabies that I had. The amount of embarrassment that I felt while I stood there answering questions and having these men and women looking at my infected crotch was almost more than I could take. Not to mention what I felt when I saw that one of the female interns that was looking at this disgusting infection was the same woman that moments before I was flirting with in the outer waiting room, so much for my macho image. Needless to say, it was one of my top ten worse situations that I have ever been in. Do you know that you can be sheltered in a home and you can have a home in a shelter, it all depends how you look at it. The term, “The Alpha House Men’s Shelter", describes what it does, not what it is, just like a home is different than a house. This house provides shelter, which is what it does. This house is a home, which is what it is. For the most part, it is not that you are here, that is embarrassing, it is that people know why you are here, that is embarrassing. I wasn’t embarrassed being at the hospital, only embarrassed because there were people who knew why I was there. Being in need of a shelter is not just for protection from your surroundings, it can be to help you with the things inside of you that you need to be sheltered from. Being sheltered in not a location, it is a condition. There are people who live in a home and have a lot of things around them, and they have no shelter. They have nothing to protect them from the influences of this world. Maybe we should say that we are being sheltered rather than we are living in a shelter.
Ps 91:11He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Notice how it doesn’t say: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will be embarrassed by being there.
The Pure Shot
I have a dear friend who is a golf instructor. We frequently play golf and what is also nice, is that he helps me with various parts of my game. He shows me how to grip the club, place the ball, aim the shot, and check my alignment. Who could have a better playing partner than me? With Pete’s help, in five months my score has gone from a 112 to a 92. Pete has an unusual teaching style. He looks at what you have and then works with that. He stays with the basics and tells his students to practice them and the more they practice, the better they will get.
I have played golf with other people who have the same problems that I had and I tried to show them what my friend Pete showed me. I figured that if the lessons I learned from Pete helped me, they would also benefit them, but for some reason, they don’t want to listen to me, so they go on making bad shots and then get upset because they can’t hit the ball well. It is sad that they would rather hit a bad shot than ask for, or take advice. I think it might be a pride issue. I could understand if I was hitting bad shots and tried to tell them something, then they would probably think, “If he learned the lesson, why isn’t he hitting a good shot”?
A lot of golfers are used to hitting bad shots and instead of learning how to do it correct, they just adjust for that terrible slice by aiming for the left side of the fairway. What they are saying is that they don’t want to change themselves, so they will change the way the course is played. The problem with this approach is that when they do hit a good shot, it is of no value because they are in the rough on the left side of the fairway.
Pete is pretty much a scratch golfer and I know that I will never be Pete. All I want to do is practice what he has taught me and be able to hit a pure shot once in awhile. You see, I enjoy the game, and as long as I don’t focus on the score too much, I will continue to enjoy the game. When I have a problem, I ask Pete to look at what I am doing and make a suggestion on what I can do to overcome it. If I continually asked for help and never took his advice, he would probably think, “What’s the use in telling him, he never uses my advice”.
In this game of life people face many problems that hinder them from hitting the ball straight. They have Depression, Financial Worries, Family Problems, Addictions, and Health Issues. Instead of listening to the Instructor and overcoming these bad shots, people adjust their life. The adjustments that people use are; Anti-depressants, Credit Cards, Divorce, Alcohol, Drugs, and Over-Eating.
Your life in never going to be perfect, just like I am never going to be on the P.G.A. circuit. What are you willing to do to change the way your game is going? Do you want to go through life in a constant state of making adjustments for not doing the things that you should do in order to hit your ball straight? Do you find, like some golfers, you have an excuse for every bad shot you make, when in reality, the only excuse you have is that you just want to do it your way. Golfers that hack their way through the game usually play with other hackers. Golfers that take the game serious, usually play with other golfers who also take the game serious. Why is that? I can tell you from experience that listening to someone, shot after shot, complaining about everything from, waiting on someone throws off their timing, to how bad the greens are, when in reality, the fact is that they are not doing what they need to do to hit a good shot. Golfers that take the game serious may not score great, but they are constantly looking for ways to improve their game. I used to dread hitting into a bunker, until Pete showed me how to hit out of hit, and just so you know, he showed me more than once. The reason he showed me more than once is because I asked and then I listened.
The course that you walk is full of traps and out of bounds, just like a golf course. I like playing the course with Pete, because if I get into trouble, I can turn and ask for help. If I was playing by myself, well, I would have to depend on my skills. When you walk through life and you walk with Jesus, He will advise you when you get into trouble, you know, when you accidentally hit one into a trap. If you walk through life alone, all you have is yourself and your skills. Pete will never expect me to be him and likewise Jesus will never expect you to be Him.
Let Me Tell You What I Think
As I was sitting here this morning and a thought came to me. Isn’t it funny how people say, “God is really using you”, when you say something that they agree on or do something they approve of, but if it is something that they don’t like or something they don’t understand, now your outside of God’s will. I wonder if the Prophets of old had to put up with the same thing. I guess that everything God wants to say and do should be accepted with open arms, even though it has never been fully accepted since time began. God uses those who are not conformed to what the general population thinks, after all, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. What a lonesome task it is to be a messenger of God, everyone wants to tell you what God is telling you, like God chose you because you couldn’t hear His voice. Maybe He chose to use you because you had people around you who could speak for God. I don’t think so! It is only important that you know what God is telling you. If these people are so in tune, why doesn’t God just use them and bypass you?
When God speaks to you, it is because He wants you to do something that He wants done. When people speak to you, they want you to do something that they want done. God uses you according to how you interact with Him, not how you interact with people. People often hang with you based on how you interact with them more than how you interact with God, do the math. Jesus constantly interacted with His Father and the people either got it or not. Jesus did not interact with the people and figured His Father would either get it or not. Jesus had a plan that was His Father’s will and He followed that plan. Can you imagine what would have happened if He had followed the people’s plan? Lots of people disagreed with what Jesus was saying, now as long as He was doing the miracle thing, everything was all right, but when He started with that, you must do this and you must be like that, well, everybody started voicing their opinion. God’s plan didn’t change just because the people’s wants changed. God has not chosen everyone to be His messenger because He knows that a lot of people would become their own messenger. Know this, you know that you are God’s messenger if they throw stones at you and try and get you to do things that are pleasing in their eyes.
They have never wanted to face God alone and always wanted someone to be the middle man, look at Moses. If you go up on the mountain and come back with something from God, what would they do? As they sit there and you are on the mountain, they are building a golden calf in their minds. Does the golden calf mean that you spoke to the wrong Person on the mountain, may it never be. Stand on that ground that God has called you to and know that there are many who have some new idol they want to display. What made the people fall was that they were looking at Moses and judging him and not looking at the One who had chosen him. Moses did what God wanted, regardless of what the people wanted. Oh, by the way, Moses had his faults too.
Lead the Followers or Follow the Leader
I was sitting at my desk this morning and I was making yet another list of the things I need to do. I have made so many lists and I rarely ever finish them. I wonder if I purposely make them so long that I can’t finish them or maybe I just can’t seem to ever stay focused. Maybe I am drawn to the things that are pleasing and shy away from the things that require too much time and effort. Sound like anyone you know? I have been thinking, maybe I am a leader and I just need some followers to do the things that I need done. What if I am a follower and I just need someone to lead me. Can you see what a state of confusion I am in? Maybe I need to look at what it means to follow and what it means to lead. To follow means to be influenced, led, guided, by somebody or something. To lead means to control, direct, or command others. It seems that in order to be a leader, you must first be a follower.
When I sit down and make this list, I am a follower. When I take control of this list, I become a leader. If I had nothing on my list, I would not be influenced by anything and if I am not influenced by anything, I would have nothing to take control of. So you see, you must first follow, and then you can lead. Putting it another way, before you can lead, you must be led. There are many Christians that want to lead and there are many that are content with being led. Many times these Christians that want to lead forget that it is first, Christ is in you, (You being Led) and then, who you are in Christ, (You being a leader). God wouldn’t have you lead His people if you yourself could not be led. Maybe what makes you a leader is the amount of influence your following had on you? Remember my list, maybe the taking control of my list was hinging on how much influence it had on me? A friend of mine once said, “You must first give and then you can receive”. You must first give in to that which has influenced you, and then you can direct others in that which you have been influenced. If you are not influenced then you have nothing to direct others with.
This list represents all the things that I need to do. Being aware of these things and doing these things are two different issues. I can make out a list at the drop of a hat, now doing them, well that is another story. Being aware of all the things that can influence you and being influenced by them, well that’s another story. You can read all the things that are in the Bible and if they don’t influence your life, it is like making a long list that you don’t ever do anything with. How can you direct somebody with the things that are in the Bible if you yourself have not been directed by them? How can you teach what you have not learned? Is the purpose of making a list to show somebody that you have a list or is the purpose of making a list so that you can be influenced by that list? Jesus said, “I can to fulfill the list”.
I think I will spend more time with the list that God has given me and be influenced by it and stop making myself a new list everyday. I want to first follow the One leader and then I want to lead those who want to follow.
What is the definition of “To Change”?
What is the definition of “To Change”? To become different.To remove something dirty or used and replace it with another that is clean or unused.To pass from one state or stage to another.
Sometimes you change something that only changes its appearance but not its value. Changing a quarter for two dimes and a nickel. Putting on expensive cloths Sometimes you can change the outside and not change the inside. Putting on clean cloths without taking a bath gives the impression that you are clean. Acting as if you like someone, even though inside, you really don’t. Sometimes you can change into something totally different than what you were. A caterpillar changes into a butterfly. When enough heat is applied, sand changes into glass.
Whether you like it or not, you are in a constant state of change. The question is, “What are you changing into? Since the moment you were born, you have been changing. How you conduct yourself through life is a direct refection of what you are changing into. The changes that you go through are either for appearance or value. Appearance changes are graded solely by those who look at your appearance. Value changes are graded by you. If you put on expensive cloths, those who see you will think that you have money, even though you are poor. You see, even though you have changed your appearance, your value has not changed. If your cloths are dirty because you have been cleaning out the septic tank for someone who could not afford to have it pumped, well, your value has changed even though your appearance has gotten worse. The question is, “What is more important, appearance or value”? Appearance is on the outside and Value is on the inside. Appearance is of man and Value is of God. In God’s eyes, your appearance does not change your value, but rather, your value changes your appearance. You can put on all the clean cloths you want, but if you are dirty, you still smell. What does God consider value in a person? God considers Truth, Obedience, and Faithfulness to be of great value.
*Value: The worth, importance, or usefulness of something to somebody *Truth: Something that corresponds to fact or reality *Obedience: The act of obeying, the action, or condition of obeying authority *Faithfulness: To be consistently trustworthy and loyal *Appearance: A performance or exhibition before a public audience Remember, you are going to change. The question is, “Are you changing your appearance or are you changing your value”?Matt 13:45-46
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it"
It's Going to be One of Those Days
I woke up this morning and started thinking about all the things that I needed to do. What a list, but I think I can get through it. I need to ship off a table that is a week past due, go to the bank, take my truck in because there is a terrible rattling in the transmission, go to the post office, go to the chiropractor because I threw my back out a few days ago, and format ninety two lessons and load them on our web site so that it will be complete. It’s going to be one of those days. I feel myself getting into one of those moods, you know the one, where you are running ninety-to-nothing, and you have no patience with anyone or anything. I can’t take one more thing going wrong. I need to get a handle on all this stuff or it will be the end of me.
I was driving to my first task, which was to have my truck looked at. I was thinking that if they told me I would not be able to drive it until I got it repaired, well that would really jack things up. On my way to the garage, I looked up to the sky and said, “I having a really bad day Jesus, but I still love You”. I pulled into the garage and they checked my truck and said it might be something in the transmission. The mechanic said he wanted to try some of this special additive that he had. He said that it might fix the rattle. If this didn’t fix the rattle, it would need to be repaired, which would be about $300. He added the fluid and took it for a test drive and when he came back he said, “The additive seemed to do the trick”. The day just kept getting better from there.
I stopped and picked up a friend of mine to ride with me while I was trying to complete all these tasks so that I would have someone to talk with. The entire time we talked about walking with Christ and what that meant. I got the table delivered, got to the bank, picked up the mail, and I even was able to see the chiropractor and he put everything back in order and I am now starting to feel like I can sit without pain. Yes, the day definitely was getting better. After I left the chiropractor, I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in awhile and after a short visit, he told me to call him that he would really like to go fishing with me. That was a good thing. After all the running around, we stopped and got a couple of meatball sandwiches and a coke. That was a good thing. I dropped off my friend and went home to lay down for awhile and catch a little nap.
When I woke up I put on some coffee and started working on some of the lessons that I needed to format for the web site and while I was typing, the phone rang. There was a lady on the phone from the VFW and she said that she has been trying to get a hold of me for a month because they took up a donation for our men’s shelter, but she could not find our phone number. She said that she had been carrying a check around in her purse for a month. I gave her our address and thanked her. That was a good thing. I called a dear friend of mine to tell her and her husband about the web site we had and ended up talking about Jesus for about an hour. It really did my heart good to talk about Jesus. That was a good thing. When I woke up this morning and looked at all the things that I had to do and how far behind the curve I was, I knew it was going to be one of those days. When I was driving in my truck and told Jesus that even though I was having a rough time, I still loved Him, He knew it was going to be one of those days.
There are two ways to go through life, your point of view, or His point of view. Our point of view says, “I can’t take another thing or I will lose it”. His point of view says, “Draw near with confidence to My throne so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need”. God knew how my day could turn out if only I didn’t lose sight of where the help came from. It is late and it has been a long day. As I write this story, I guess it is sort of a thank you letter to Jesus. I hope and pray that I will always find the strength to say, “Jesus I love you even though I am having one of those days”, and then know that He will welcome me to His throne of mercy and grace so that I can have one of His days.
Luke 12:31 31 He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
What is the Purpose of Knowledge?
You can gain the knowledge of how to build a house, but if you never build a house or help someone build a house, what good is that knowledge? Knowledge that is acted upon becomes wisdom. Knowledge that is for the sake of knowing is vanity. Is money that is stored up considered great wealth, if it is never spent? What value does it have? There will come a day when you will be judged by what you spent, not what you saved. The purpose of working is to gain money. The purpose of gaining money is to spend it. Why would you work for something if you were never going to spend it? In the Garden of Eden, it was a situation of gaining knowledge for the sake of gaining knowledge. Adam and Eve were better off before they gained this knowledge of good and evil.
As we go through life, we mimic the Garden of Eden scenario day after day. We constantly eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We feel that it is pleasing to gain all of this knowledge. What has this knowledge done for us? We want to have the mind of God, why? Because we want to know what He is going to do and how He is going to do it. Adam and Eve only had to take care of what God had given them and everything would have been fine. That wasn’t enough. They wanted to have the same knowledge that God had. The problem with this is that even if they had the knowledge that God had, they had no means to put it into action. It would be like having the knowledge of how to build a house and not having anything to build it with. Would that knowledge benefit you, no? Things might have been different if the serpent would have said, “If you eat of this tree, you will be like God with the exception of being able to do any of the things you have gained the knowledge of”.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I have forgotten more than you know”? What was the benefit of gaining that knowledge that was forgotten? Some people are impressed by what you know; maybe they should look at what you do. Many people are led astray by what someone says, but few are led astray by what someone does. I wonder why the serpent didn’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I mean he was right there. After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, I guess they didn’t get all the knowledge, because if they had, they would have known that God would find them, so there was no use in hiding. Maybe they had that knowledge but didn’t put it into action; therefore that particular bit of knowledge was pretty much useless.
The amount of knowledge you have affects you. The amount of knowledge you use affects others. What is the purpose of you gaining knowledge? If you have a check for a million dollars and never cash it, are you a millionaire, or are you someone who has a piece of paper that is worth two cents? Ask yourself this question, “Am I gaining knowledge to make me a better person or am I gaining knowledge to make someone else a better person”? Adam and Eve ate from the tree so that they would better themselves, not so that they could benefit others.
Gen 3:55 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Phil 1:9-109 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
New Updates are Ready to Install
It is 6 am and I am sitting at my desk reading my Bible. Before I started reading, I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal something to me in what I was reading. Before I opened my Bible I was just sitting there thinking about what it was that I should read and the word “Parable” came into my thoughts. I was drawn to Ezekiel 21. In this chapter, the Lord was speaking to Ezekiel about what He wanted him to do, in the form of a parable. It was a parable about a sword. After reading this chapter twice, I didn’t quite understand what it had to do with me, although I felt that the Holy Spirit somehow led me there.
After reading it twice and sitting there reaching for the significance of what I read, I looked at the computer on my desk and it had a pop up message that said, “New updates are ready to install”. All of a sudden, it was clear what the Holy Spirit was trying to reveal to me. The chapter I read was about God installing updates in Ezekiel. The lesson for me was not what God was saying to Ezekiel, but that He was saying something to Ezekiel. The pop up box that told me that I had updates to install gives me the option of installing them now or later. I was in the middle of trying to hear from the Holy Spirit, so I chose to install them later, since it would distract me from what I was currently doing. I had no idea that this update window was going to pop up, especially at such an inconvenient time for me. I was trying to hear from the Holy Spirit and the last thing I needed was a distraction. What I didn’t realize was that the Holy Spirit had the pop up window appear so that I could learn what He was trying to teach me. Pop up windows aren’t mentioned in the Bible or are they. When God spoke to Ezekiel, Ezekiel’s routine was interrupted by a pop up window that said, “New updates are ready to install”.
The purpose of updates for a computer is because there are imperfections in the operating system and these updates make the system run better. I wonder if God’s updates for our operating system serve the same purpose. I don’t understand exactly what all these updates do for my computer, but never the less, I need them. Sometimes I am short of time and I put off updating my operating system because that means that I would have to stop whatever I am doing and just sit there while I am being updated, and you know I am a busy man. The sad thing is that if I don’t update my operating system, it might cause my system to crash.
God constantly monitors your operating system and in order to keep your system from crashing, He sends a pop up window that says, “New updates are ready to install”. Are you to busy to let these updates be installed or are you more concerned about having a system that will not crash? The choice is yours. You will never know when one of God’s windows will appear, but I can tell you that if your system needs updating, He will send you a notice. The question is whether or not you will stop what you are doing and allow God to update you. One more thing, a computer that needs an update to keep it from crashing, will crash if the update is not installed. You are no different.
Jonah 1:1-4 Jonah's Disobedience 1The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. 4 The LORD hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
Update: to provide somebody with more recent information than was previously available.
Sounds like Jonah refused to have his operating system updated!
Repentance One or Two, You be the Judge
Repentance One: Produces regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart
3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? See to that yourself!" 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.
Judas felt remorse because of the sin he committed, but didn’t have a change of heart. He turned to the chief priests and elders for mercy and found none. Without the hope of mercy and forgiveness, you have no real reason for changing. True repentance leads to mercy and forgiveness.
2 Cor 7:10 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Repentance Two: Is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised. Turning from sin to God and a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments, this leads to mercy and forgiveness.
Ps 51:10 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
There are those who sin and are remorseful and sorry, but do not truly repent. Since they do not truly repent, there can be no true mercy or true forgiveness. Like Judas, they are left to themselves to work out their own mercy and forgiveness. Have you ever heard someone say, “I just can’t forgive myself”? They are making a true statement. Only God can forgive. It takes mercy to forgive and that is something that we lack. If you don’t believe me, think about it the next time someone cuts in front of you in the grocery line. If you don’t have enough mercy for that, you surely don’t have enough mercy for the really life changing things. It all boils down to whether or not you want to change.
Luke 17:3 3 Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother should sin, rebuke him; and if he should repent, forgive him.
This is a law from God. Isn’t it nice that He also practices what He preaches? When you sin, the Holy Spirit rebukes you and then you have the opportunity to repent. If you repent, then you will be forgiven. If you are rebuked by the Holy Spirit and choose not to repent, well, you do the math.
A psalm of Hunger
As I sit here, there is a void in my soul; I feel emptiness in my heart. I am in a place of restlessness, and the task, I can not see. Nothing seems to stop this urge that is tearing at my heart. I am walking in circles, with no destination. Lord, why do I feel this way? Why can I not be content with this day? I search my mind and I search the highways. I find no knowledge of that which I need to fill this void. I go out aimlessly to find that thing that is drawing me. I go from one place to another and only find emptiness. I have no direction, only desire. I look for a sign and only find this desire that is drawing me. When will Your will make itself known? When will this emptiness be filled? When will You come to me and tell me how to quench this fire? I pray that my soul can withstand this burning. I know only to go and hope to find that with is waiting for me. I will not come to you, you must come to Me. I am drawing you to where I am at. I am with the lost and hurting. I am with the ones that are crying out. You must follow the desire of your heart. If I am the desire of your heart, you will find me. I have set you apart to be where I am, not to be where you are. I am drawing you away from where you are to be with me. You were called to be with me. When you are not with me, you will feel the emptiness of where I am not. Do not seek to do for Me, only seek to be with Me. There is nothing that needs to be done that I am not doing. If you are with Me, then you can partake in what I am doing. I will not create something outside of what I am doing, So that you will have something to do, seek Me. The emptiness you feel is not because I am not with you, For I am with you always. Your feeling of emptiness is because you are not with Me. My sheep here My voice and that is what is drawing you. I am drawing you to where I am at. You have no direction because where I am at can not be found with a map or compass. What device can be used to locate the path to someone’s heart? I, only, I can draw you to that place. One heart is drawn to another. One heart cries out to another. You will find Me between the one that cries out and the one that is drawn. For Love is who I am and only Love can bring these two together. If you are not crying out and if you are not being drawn, there I will not be. A place of emptiness is where you are nether crying out or being drawn.
A Psalm from the darkness
Oh Father, it is the middle of the night There is darkness all around me and the enemy is screaming in my soul. When I open my eyes I get sick and vomit, where can I run from this. What forces torment me and who is ripping at my flesh? My skin is on fire and my stomach is convulsing. I call out to You and look for Your presence. Oh when will you deliver me from the hands of the destroyer? As the weight of my affliction bears down on me, I cry out Your name. In the midst of this darkness, I search for Your light. How long can my soul withstand this pain? Where is this rest that You speak of? I exult Your name above all others And I sing your praises above that of the angles. Hear my heart and feel my desperation Lord. Let Your Grace and Mercy find me where I am at. In that place where salvation is the center of my pain. Send me the One Who walked and healed my fathers. I need the One whose Grace was the cross, and whose Mercy was forgiveness. Would You bear me up that I might stand another day? Would You have the wind of Your Spirit clear this fog that I walk in? I have no knowledge of my own, only this thing that drives me. Make straight this path that I walk and open my eyes. My Grace and Mercy walks among you. Just close your eyes and see My Son. The destroyer will temp you with your eyes, But your path will be clear when your eyes are closed. Lean not on what you see, but with what you feel. This pain you feel is the fog of illusion. The Wind of Truth will blow it away that you might see clearly. Calling out to Me is not so I know where you are, But that you might know where I am. The flesh is but a reflector of the soul And the soul is but a reflector of the spirit. The more you close your eyes, the better you feed your spirit. The more you feed your spirit, the better you feed your soul. The more you feed your soul, the better you feed your flesh. Seek ye first this Kingdom that I have given you, And all things will be given unto you, through that Kingdom. Just remember, that if you love Me, they will also cast lots for what you have.
A psalm for the Lost
Who is this person that you see? I have known them all my life. Why do you not see them as I see them? What do you see? What causes them to hide in the forest? What causes them to run from the light? Is it the darkness that frightens them? Or is it the light? What is this light that drives them away? Is it the light of their awareness or Is the light of your awareness? Does the light only shine on their outward appearance or Does it shine on the inward parts? What do you see? Who are you looking at? They put on a mask to try and hide their shame. Which one of you gave them this shame? I did not give them any shame, So it must have come from you. When you look at them, you are looking at Me. Just like when I look at you, I am looking at them.If you look at them through your eyes, I will look at you through their eyes.But if you look at them through My eyes, I will look at you through My Son’s eyes. I will have mercy, on who I will have mercy on,Not whom you will have mercy on. I love them because they belong of Me, Do you love them for the same reason? Who will go into the forest and find My children? Who will tell them about the feast that I have prepared? They are blinded by light of your awareness, And can not find their way. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, Does it still make a sound when it falls? Yes! I hear it!
A psalm for the new-born Oh Lord, what do I do now? Every eye is upon me, the good, as well as the bad. How do I follow you? How do I keep from those things that haunt me? You say my sins are forgiven, but I still remember the darkness, Oh help me hold on to you. They say there is so much to do, And I know so little. Why can’t it be as it was when you touched my heart? Sometimes the pain of changing overcomes me. Where is that place of rest? I am weary and my strength is fading, Oh rescue me my Lord. I long to follow but your voice is faint. There are so many voices that confuse me. When will I feel the victory? When will I walk in faith? When will you here my prayers? My thoughts consume me. The enemy is at every turn and I can’t outrun him. Temptation is in every thing I see. Sometimes you seem so far, yet terror seems so near. Please hear my cry and come to comfort me. I am your God and I am near. The terror is near, but I am between you and the terror. I hear your prayers and I hear your cries. I see those who come to temp you, for they were here from the beginning. Fear not the tempters, they can only temp you. Fear the Lord, for He can deliver you in your time of need. It is not easy to walk with Me, for I walk upright. There is one who is low to the ground And does not walk upright, he is easy to follow. Stay firm to what you have been shown by my Spirit, And I will lift you up in times of lowness.\ There are many voices that have remained through the ages. They cry out for companions because they dwell in darkness. You only need to know that I love you. Walk upright, as I walk upright. Remember, every knee will bow down to My Son. Make sure you know whom you are bowing down before. Your journey is one step at a time.
A psalm of faith
My Lord, teach me what faith really is. They say it is believing in something that I can not see nor touch nor taste. Every time I try and have faith, it seems to be replaced with Something that I can touch or hold Why can’t I touch or hold faith? Why can’t faith be something I can see, like a flower or a rock? What is there that can contain this thing called faith and where can I get it? It is like the air, invisible to see, yet still there. Why do I need proof that this faith is there? Is it lack of faith that causes faith not to be there? Help me to have faith. Help me feel this faith. Reveal something to me so that I may start to understand this thing called faith. Who are you writing to and where will you send this plea. What address do you use and who will take it there. Faith is hope. Faith is a destination and lack of faith is an endless road. Faith is being drawn and lack of faith is being still. Faith is knowing nothing and lack of faith is nothing it all. Faith is the hope of things that are going to happen. Lack of faith doesn’t stop these things from happening. My Son died for your sins. Your lack of faith doesn’t change that fact. It just means that you don’t believe He did. The sun rises and sets. Lack of faith does not change that fact. The question you should be asking is not so much how or when, but why. If you know why, then how is not so important. You know why there is air, even if you don’t know how. Faith is excepting what is going to happen even if you do not know how. I Am, that I Am Your lack of faith can not change that fact. If you believe in Me, I will prepare your path. If you do not believe in me, I will prepare your path. Your path has been prepared from the beginning of time. Your path will either be one of hope or one of hopelessness. Remember, the question should be why, not how. If you knew how I did everything, you still couldn’t comprehend it. So it is only important that you know why. The why is because I love you!
What is Behind Door #2 Johnny?
Have you ever seen one of those game shows, where the contestant gets to choose their prize, which is behind one of three doors? They never go right to the door that they chose; they always show the other prizes first. They want everyone to see what they could have won. The reality is that they won what they were supposed to win, because they chose the door they did. What was behind the other doors has no purpose for them, other than letting them see what was not theirs. Everyone in the audience is saying, “They should have chosen the other door”. Most people that are poor think that people that are rich are greedy, untruthful, and are there to take advantage of the poor. Most rich people think that poor people are unwilling to work, uneducated, and have no desire to do better. The poor people chose door # 1 and the rich people chose door #3. In each case, they got what was behind the door that they chose.
Eccl 5:18-2018 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. 19 Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart. It sounds like it is saying to be happy with what God has given you as a gift and don’t be so concerned about what is behind the other doors. Can you imagine what the host of the show would say if the contestant said, “I don’t think it is fair that I didn’t get what was behind the other door”? The host would probably say, “You didn’t have to pay for your gifts, they were free, why are you complaining”? The contestant would probably say, “I would not have complained if I would not have seen what I didn’t get”? Just because something is there, doesn’t mean it is there for you. The gifts that you are given are from God. It is what God wants you to have. You should be happy and rejoice that you were given any gifts at all.
What you don’t know is that the gifts behind door #2, the vacation for two, the $1000 gift certificate to Sears, were just what the man needed. His marriage was falling apart because he and his wife never get to get away and spend any time together. There is a lot of stress in their marriage because of bad credit and they need a washer and dryer, so that his wife doesn’t have to go the laundry mat late at night when see gets off work. Now behind one of the other doors, there was a house full of furniture, and they lived in a little apartment. Behind the other door was a new car, and if they won it, they couldn’t afford the sales tax nor the insurance. Now they could have sold the other stuff and used the money to take a vacation and buy that washer and dryer, but the vacation would have probably not happened, because they would have used the money for bills and things. So you see, God gave them exactly what they needed, even though you might have thought they got the short end of the stick.
God knows what you need and you know what you want. Sometimes they are not the same thing. Be happy with what God has given you and know it is what you need. Stop looking at what other people have and wishing you had it. It is better to be happy in what God has given you than to be unhappy with what you have given you.