March 31, 2009

Manna in the Morning

04-01-09

Leviticus 6:13, “Fire must be kept burning on the altar continually; it must not go out.”

            This command from God to Aaron and the entire Priesthood is mentioned frequently and emphatically in this passage.  The fire to inaugurate the sacrifices in the
Tabernacle came from God Himself (Lev 9:24) and it was to never go out.  Aaron’s sons brought unsanctified fire to the altar and were burned alive for the sacrilege.  The fire was sacred, and cannot be replaced by another fire.

            Jesus is our sacrifice and He came from Heaven for that purpose.  God the Holy Spirit came from Heaven on Pentecost as the fire from Heaven to fill the newly instituted Church, and that fire has not been extinguished from that day until now.  When we were born into the family of God, the fire of God the Holy Spirit infused us to guide our lives into acts of witness and service.  He fulfills the promises that God has given us to light our paths and direct our steps.  He will also preserve and protect us.  We will never be without Him to keep us close to our Heavenly Father and to protect us from the attacks and seductive wiles of our adversary.  God also has sanctified us by choosing us as His Holy Temple, dwelling within our lives, helping us to remain pure and clean before Him.  All that we do that brings glory to our Heavenly Father is accomplished in and through the Power of God the Holy Spirit working in us. 

Just as God commanded the Priests in the Tabernacle to keep the fire well tended, the altar clean free from old ashes and fit for the purpose for which it was intended, we are to keep our Spiritual lives clean, vibrant, fit for our Savior’s use and never let the fire of God the Holy Spirit within us grow dim or lost among the cold ashes of accumulated things we have allowed to comfort our minds while neglecting to keep adding fresh fuel for our spiritual vibrancy or using an unsanctified fire from those who do not teach the Scriptures correctly to generate enthusiasm without spiritual benefit.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, the fire that burns within us is directly from your hand, may we tend it carefully, fuel it often and blaze for your glory. 

Manna in the Morning

March 31, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-31-09

Hebrews 10:2, “Otherwise, wouldn’t the sacrifices have stopped being offered, since the worshipers, once purified, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?

            The Law is now been completed by the Promised One, the sacrifices have indeed been stopped, even in the United States with significant freedom of religious practice, animal sacrifices are illegal.  No Jewish Synagogue, even the most Conservative and archaic in their practices performs animal sacrifices, not even on their most holy observance, The Day of Atonement.  Other practitioners of chicken or small animal sacrifices involving their death are subject to arrest and punishment if found to be killing animals in their worship. 

            Once Jesus had given His perfect sinless life for our redemption, there was no more need for the animal sacrifices and when the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, the practice soon died out.  All of those sacrifices, starting with Adam, were only to cover the sins for which they were sacrificed and were offered in faith in the Promise of Jehovah God that a Promised One would come to crush Satan’s head by providing the perfect sinless sacrifice to free us from sin’s deadly penalty.  Today there is no Temple in Jerusalem or elsewhere that is functioning, although there are plans and some materials stored up in order to rebuild a Temple in Jerusalem.  This will never happen so long as the Church is in existence on earth. 

            When Solomon disobeyed God’s instructions through Samuel, Samuel spoke under God’s leading in1 Samuel 15:22, does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?  Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,

to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. Our salvation was purchased by blood long before we were born physically, and became effective in our lives the instant we were born into the Family of God.  Let’s be careful to listen to His prompting in our hearts, to obey His commandments and to follow His plan for our lives, all for His greater Glory.  Lord God, Our Heavenly Father, make your path for us unmistakable today we ask in Jesus’ name.

March 30, 2009

Manna in the morning

03-30-01

Malachi 2:17, You have wearied the Lord with your words.  Yet you ask, “How have we wearied Him?”  When you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,” or “Where is the God of justice?”

      There are many people who say our God is a God of love and therefore He could never condemn any person to hell, or, they have the opinion that Jesus died for all sinners removing the need for anyone to come to him in humbleness and ask for His forgiveness.  It may be that we have fostered these ideas by our teaching over the years by emphasizing the love of God and letting go of the idea put forth with such clarity in Jonathan Edward’s sermon ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’ or by teaching little children ‘God is Love’ for their first Bible verse.  There is no doubt our Heavenly Father is a God of love, He is the source of all love, he deals with us in love, but He is not the Heavenly Father of anyone who has not come to Jesus for forgiveness and redemption.  In order to be truly redeemed, an individual has to be aware of his slavery.  Every one of us has to admit we would be shackled in chains of sin if it were not for our acceptance of the redemption through Jesus, and our acceptance of His free gift.  If the average unsaved person has any concept at all of Jesus death he or she thinks it was for all the world’s population, therefore they have no need to ask for His mercy and salvation, or they think there are those who are bound for heaven, those who are bound for hell and a great host of people in between who are not really ‘sinners’ but not really “Born again Christians” but God will not condemn that middle group. Neither of these myths has any truth in them, unfortunately in many churches, Pastors will either deliberately nor unwittingly strengthen these false beliefs. 

      Our Heavenly Father, we praise you for our Redemption and ask you to keep our Scriptural beliefs accurate and true, in Jesus’ name we pray.

March 27, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-27-09

1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.”

            I know the name ‘antichrist’ has been around for hundreds of years, but I personally like to use the term “False Christ” because he will be the great deceiver, the world will believe a lie, and his kingdom is a sham and façade of the real Kingdom of Jesus.  When we consider the false doctrines abounding in the world today, ranging from Islam, the eastern religions and cults, Mormonism, New Age to men who are frauds, passing themselves off as the Messiah, usually in the midst of a small communal following with sexually abhorrent practices, it is proper to call them anti Christian or having a spirit of anti-(Opposes to)-christ.

            In many places the Scriptures tell us that many antichrists will appear, and the False Christ, the one who promises and establishes a false peace, based upon tyranny, will rule the earth in an imitation of the reign of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  The False Christ will be under the complete control of his father the devil, and base all that he has and is on the basis of falsehood, just as the serpent did in Eden. 

            In Matthew 24:24 Jesus said to the Jewish People, “False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”   How is it that those who profess to be looking for the Promised One, both Jew and Gentile will be lead astray?  This is possible in no small part, because those who profess to know the Scriptures do not have the proper ‘World View.’  We must look at the world from God’s point of view, since we are members of His family.  We must not look at the world as a place of technological wonders, wealthy in earthly measures, having a standard of living that surpasses former centuries, but see it as it is; a place filled with sinful people who have no Savior, even when the technological wonders make it possible to hear the gospel in any part of the world.  We see global climate change as a problem, looking past the sin-wracked earth with floods, storms, earthquakes, volcanic and other seismic convulsions without recognizing earth’s condition is a result of the curse of sin.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, may our world view be the same as yours when we see the ravages of sin and give us courage to stand firm and share your cure, in Jesus’ name we pray.

March 26, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-26-09

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

            As Christians, we are to be known by our love.  First, there is a family love, a sincere deeply felt love for the generations that preceded us and for those that follow us.  How important it is for us to keep the reputation and character of those who bore our family name in generations past.  The trials through which they persevered and the legacy they left should give us a sense of comfort, love and genuine reverence for those who preceded us, especially our parents and grandparents.  The Bible is specific in telling us to honor our parents and ancestors.  Also, we are to have a deep, love for those who are our descendents, who will carry our name through the years yet to come until Jesus returns to earth.  We are responsible for their learning and loving our Savior, and the message of Redemption in Him.  We cannot live their lives, but we can give them guidance through the way we respond to difficulties and even tragedy because of our deep faith in God’s love and grace.  We are responsible to love our relatives, even if we dislike their lifestyle or choices.

            Second, we are to love others.  Our Christian Brothers and Sisters may be difficult to understand, to figure out or accept their particular biases, but we are to love them just as we do our families because we truly are their brothers and sisters in the Family of the Heavenly Father.  We also are to love the lost!  We have a responsibility to share the message of salvation with them, it may be in God’s plan for us to share the opportunity of salvation for the last time before they leave this earthly life and it is eternally too late.  If we love them in Christ, we have compassion on their lost condition, and as Jesus’ disciple we cannot evade our duty.  Heavenly Father, we do not have this capacity to love in our own selves, but with you we have the infinite supply of your grace to share with those we meet today.  Help us recognize the opportunities we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

March 25, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-25-09

1 Corinthians 13:3, “And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

            As followers of Jesus Christ we are used to giving.  We give to our church, missionaries, worthy causes, special projects and other Christian organizations that exist only because God’s children give.  Bertrand Russell, a well-known liberal intellectual wrote, scoffing at the idea he would leave his considerable fortune to charity, “I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong.  I am a Socialist.  We don’t pretend to be Christians!”  Christians are known for their compassion and charity, non-believers, especially Socialists, are known for their desire to give away other people’s money, not their own.  If we give all of our worldly goods, land and possessions to worthy causes and lie penniless in our grave, without loving the lost and showing compassion we have no lasting profit or reward for our actions.

            All Believers in the message of Jesus as Redeemer stand a chance of being killed for our faith.  Thousands of men and women across the globe are martyred for their faith in Countries dominated by militant Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and even by those who simply want to wipe the concept of God off the face of the earth.  A Pastor was shot and killed in his pulpit in the First Baptist Church of Maryville, Illinois less than a month ago.  As followers of Jesus, we must show His forgiveness and compassion for others even if we or a loved one are killed for our faith. 

            Each year in the United States hundreds of thousands of unborn babies have their lives taken, but how many people mourn them?  I am not suggesting anyone go looking for an opportunity to give everything away and live homeless for the rest of their lives or for someone to seek out martyrdom in an aggressive manner, but I do encourage all of us to live a life of love, compassion, caring and helping others by giving as God directs each of us.   

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, put within us a caring, loving spirit so we can truly walk in Jesus’ footsteps.  We ask this in His precious name.

March 24, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-24-09

1 Corinthians 13:2, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”

            The great Missionary apostle Paul wrote these words under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit describing the gifts of the Heavenly Father to those who are members of His family.  It is a vivid reminder we are to be humble, regardless of what gifts we have been given and to be sure the glory for the gift and its resulting blessings to others is given to our great God. 

Even if one had the gift of retelling the future, or the great gift of forth-telling, the gift of teaching and preaching to others of the wonderful gift of salvation, to even go into untouched areas of the world to tell others of the Promised One, Jesus, we are nothing without the love God has for the lost.  It might be possible for someone to understand the great mysteries of the future as God unfolds His plan for all people, or to have the knowledge that excels the abilities of others, to be able to teach the believers the deep truths of God’s inspired Word, but without love for those to be taught and help them understand the coming mysteries of the Word, we are less than nothing.

            We may have great faith, faith to reach unevangelized fields, to teach millions of people, to have an effect on lives that surpasses comprehension, faith that removes obstacles and our intercessory prayers to the Father uttered in great faith and assurance of His divine answer, if we lack the ability to love as Jesus did, we are and have nothing.

            Until we love the unloveable as our Heavenly Father does, have the compassion of Jesus for the lost souls, become grieved over rejection of the Biblical message as God the Holy Spirit is grieved, we have achieved nothing.  This day, as we face its challenges and meet those people God has determined as our field of service, We ask You, our Heavenly Father,  for the love we need with no regard for their status, clothes, manner of speech, cleanliness or its lack, always determined to meet them, teach them and allow our Savior to love them through us.  It is in the name of Jesus we ask this.

March 20, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-20-09

2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  We have looked at the wonderful gifts our Heavenly Father has given us, now it is time to see what we can give to Him.  Because God is omnipotent, He could choose to do all that has to be done just as He created the earth, without help.  He has given us the opportunity to be used of Him in many ways.  First we can give of our material wealth, as little or great as it is.  We should not give because the Church we attend charges ‘dues’ or a membership fee, but because we are grateful for the training, instruction in righteousness and opportunities for service it provides us.  We always think of money, because the church has a budget and we need to support it.  This is true and should not be neglected, each of us needs to cheerfully give. 

            In addition, we need to give of ourselves.  Giving a check does not release us from giving of our time in volunteering for many of the duties that need to be done around the buildings and grounds; painting, lawn work, Awana leaders, nursery, teaching of small groups and Bible classes, all of these things and more are a way to give back to the Lord of our time.  God has also blessed you with talents, some in visual artistry, others in music, many in various other fields where you can give of yourself. 

            When opportunities present themselves, we need to be ready to give our testimony; just as if we were in a courtroom, we can tell what happened to our hearts and lives when we accepted Christ Jesus as our Redeemer, simply offering others the opportunity to do the same thing.  When we do anything for which we receive an award, congratulations, or an accolade in any way, we deservedly need to give God the glory.  Whatever is done by us is done in the power and guidance of our Heavenly Father and He deserves all the glory, because we can do nothing of eternal value apart from Him.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father we give you thanks for what you have done in our lives, we give you praise for what you are about to do through us, and we give you glory for anything we achieve.  Thank you in Jesus’ matchless name.

March 19, 2009

Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

            We are going to our Great-grandson’s birthday party in a few days, and we already know he will be given many gifts from the family, many of those things he will enjoy for a short while, there will be clothes he will soon outgrow, some things that he will want to keep for many years, but there will be nothing given to him that will cause him harm or pain.  We all know how to give good gifts.

            Our Heavenly Father shows His love to us in giving us good gifts as well.  He gives us peace, first, a peace with God because the sin that had once separated us is now gone, next, His peace within us, that is the ability to trust Him implicitly regardless of the conflict or difficulties swirling around us.  He gives us the very faith with which we believe His promises of salvation and eternity in Heaven and He opens wide the doors of His mercy and grace, all of His grace and Mercy are available to each one of us without limit.  He has also given us the gifts of friends, laughter, joy, love, patience and special relationships with others who love our God. 

            If our Heavenly Father is so good to us, why do we pout and demand immediate answers to our prayers when we ask Him for things that will not bring Him the glory He deserves, but are not carefully considered supplications and intercessions on the behalf of others.  Prayer is to be our Priestly function when we intercede on behalf of others, pleading for their salvation and restoration, based on the perfect justice of God. 

            Our Great God and Heavenly Father we come before you in the name of Jesus’ asking for your blessing on our Nation and for the deep yearning in our hearts for the healing and salvation of those we love.  We trust you to answer in your perfect will and for your greater glory.

 

March 18, 2009

Manna in the Morning

03-18-09

Amos 9:5-6, “The Lord, the God of Hosts, He touches the earth; it melts, and all who dwell on it mourn; all of it rises like the Nile and subsides like the Nile of Egypt.  He builds His upper chambers in the heavens and lays the foundation of His vault on the earth.  He summons the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth.

JEHOVAH is His name.”

            As I have mentioned before, we must have a world view that recognizes with an unshakeable faith the certainty our God is the Creator and Sustainer of this earth.  We are here at His consent and should He decide to remove us, we are His to do with as He deems appropriate.  There is much talk and speculation about global warming, is it caused by man, what will happen and when?  This is not mankind’s decision, nor are we responsible for the future of our earthly home.  Climate cycles have been documented on the earth for millennia and will continue.  Almighty God can interrupt these cycles, make them greater or lesser and nothing mankind can do will have an effect on the earth’s surface.  God will melt the ice cap when it is part of His plan, or send glaciers to swell and cover the earth at His determination. 

            We are currently seeing seismic activity increase around the globe, climate changes in many areas, ice and snow storms and we will soon enter the active 2009 hurricane season.  These signs are all mentioned in Scripture as a prelude to the Great Day of the Lord, the time when God prepares the earth and its population for the return of Jesus to the earth at the Father’s own appointed time. 

            Now is the time to be certain of your own place in the Family of God, by accepting the Sacrifice of Jesus as your Redeemer and recognizing Him as the Leader and director of your earthly life.  By knowing Him as Savior, your place in the Heavenly Kingdom is prepared for you for the vast reaches of eternity.  If you are concerned about your eternal future, let God work in your life and contact me.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, our trust is in you and we ask that all who read this will know the fullness of your love and salvation.  In Jesus’ name we pray.