Saturday, March 6, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Foolish people have foolish thoughts. The great insight into the foolish mind is the non-existence of God. They may possess a fine education and hold many degrees, but when it comes to spiritual truth they are bankrupt. "Claiming to be wise they became fools and they have exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (Romans 1). The Great Lie of the ages, "There is no God." All who have ever held to this position find their conscience warring inside against their Maker. If you want to see an unhappy person look at him. They deny the basic fundamental reason for their existence and as a result they lose their heading. They have gone out of orbit and have become asteroidal-running the gambit of the world till they burn and fizzle out. You dig them a bit about God and you'll find all sorts of angers, resentments, hostilities. They will actually become prideful in their speculations about God and his non-being. But all the while, since they are not omniscient, the phrase "what if" beats consistently in the back ground. They are terrified at the prospect and rightly so.
The fools heart speaks to him making false declarations of unholy things. Reason has been denied and rationalism and been forfeited. His reason has led him to unreasonable conclusions and his rationalism has been rationed out. This is the way in which the carnal/unregenerate mind functions. Human depravity affecting the heart. The also pat themselves on the back for "freeing" themselves from the chains of religion and traditonalism. The atheist/agnostics “coming out” is really a “going into.” He moves from one sphere to the next, a sphere that has already has been established and articulated for centuries, but as it progresses becomes more refined and defined. The attraction is actually a distraction to another matrix (mold, template, environment, atmosphere)
I've also heard that the text in Hebrew actually reads, "The fool has said in his heart-no God!" God continues to ask them questions in the heart, "Turn from your sin"-no God! "Believe on me"- no God! "Pick up and read"- no God! "I am the way, the truth, and the life"-no God! The ultimate defiance. The pot yelling at the potter, "you did not make me!" The painting telling the painter, "you did not paint me!" The watch telling the watchmaker, "you did not design me and wind me!" The apex of idiocy. They are stunted creatures, mere animals who are dwarfed in their ideas about God; retarded in growth. In everything else in life they pride themselves in being "well-rounded individuals"-in their studies, travels, music, culture, careers, relationships, but without God as the key component they lose the meaning behind it all, they lose their moral compass. Their compass spins and points to themselves, they believe they are true north; and the whole time they are on a terrestrial planet spinning through the galaxy going 67,000 miles per hour. Foolish conclusions because they have a foolish premise.
Atheism clouds the mind with a dense fog of satanic lies; it keeps man from seeing and apprehending the truth of Gods existence. Dead hearts (Eph 2) don't arrive at Living Truths. Jesus told the church at Laodecia, "I advise you to buy from me gold refined in the fire"; they think they have gold but its fools gold, they need the golden truth of Gods word. Only through rebirth (salvation) can man be brought up out of the quagmire of ignorance. Once a person is transferred from darkness to light (Col. 1), from dead in sin to alive in Christ he moves into the realm of spiritual awakedness and truth. Instead of speaking and thinking foolish thoughts he can now speak truth in his heart. Only the Spirit of God can cause this chain reaction, this metamorphosis to occur. He awakens the heart from a dead slumber and causes it to beat with the beat of Gods presence and existence. He sees with new glasses through the lens of faith with the frame of truth. The rebellion has been lifted and the pardon of forgiveness applied. Once he hated God, but now he loves God. His allegiance changes and his fist clenched at the heavens is opened. We were all fools once but love breaks through even to fools and our hard defiant disposition changes and now we are pliable, rational, logical lovers and thinkers. God has given us new hearts to think Gods rational after him, to mediate on the logic of God, to love and think with a new grid that is honoring and glorifying to Him. We no longer say no God!, but yes God! Will you go love that person that is hard to love? yes God; will you go speak my word to a people who were just like you? yes Lord. Will you fight against the injustices of the world? yes Lord. Will you take my name to the ends of the earth? yes Lord. Will you sacrificially love your wife and children without reciprocation? Yes Lord. Yes, Lord; yes Lord. It's a life characterized by this statement. The fool fights an unwinable war, a treaty has been declared 2000 years ago and through grace we now fall under this new treaty.We are all fools till we come to Christ, we are all spiritual morons till Christ is formed in us. We are now given a new teacher with a new curriculum. We have entered into a unique apprenticeship as a spiritual pupil enrolled in divine studies where the mysteries of God are unfolded and Christ is treasured. Atheism is not just an intellectual resistance in the mind but it starts in he heart. There is atheism in the heart of all men and until God quickens us we all remain in this state. We don't claim superiority to the atheist for we know its only by grace that God has drawn us out from ourselves. God has declared the atheist a fool in this text. He is a fool because of the thoughts that flow in his heart. And how you define God is what defines you.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
1. Keep me 2. Hide me
The psalmist asks two things of God, that he might hide him and keep him. The apple of the eye seems to convey the thought, 'don't lose sight of me God'. The "apple of the eye" communicates position or station. As God looks through omniscient eyes he views the psalmist always. He is front and center at the cross hairs of Gods scope. An apple denotes sweet flavor, an aesthetic quality that is-full of color, symmetrical, and shapely. God in his sweet and favorable disposition keeps his children (the Church) always at the fore-front of his eternal eye. The worm of sin seeks to invade and destroy from the inside out, but in Gods keeping we are always preserved-fresh, ripe. The apple could also mean the iris of the eye. When a person sees with the eye, he is seeing the world through the window of the iris. God metaphorically peers through the iris of infinite wisdom and sees his beautiful Bride. In redemptive history God has positioned her at the center of the new creation which God has initiated. The bride is swept into the unfolding drama and God is keeping her as the apple of his eye as she fulfills her calling. He not only is keeping her but he hides her in the shadow of his wings. The imagery is that of a mother bird hiding her young under her pinions. This is for warmth, protection, comfort. They are sheltered from the adverse weather and lurking prey. The wild weather of false doctrines and cults which seek to uproot and destroy the Church; the prey from within and without-those buzzards and wolves who are attacking Gods word and Gods people. Even as Christ church is moving about the eagle of God is soaring above and we are continually kept in his shadow. He is not only our defense, swooping down in times of trouble and duress, but he is there ever flying with us in times of joy. The Sons pinions are unbreakable and the predators and purveyors of false religion cannot harm her. She is the apple of his eye and she is under his shadow. We have nothing to fear.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I stand: because He left Heaven, became a man, lived a perfect life, fulfilled the law, died and was buried, rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Father. He came to make men stand. His dissension was the beginnings of our ascension.
We are a fallen race. Adams decision brought us down. We were down in the dumps, beaten with sin, ravaged by Satan, playing in the sewer system of the world. We were down. Down without God, down without hope, down without peace, down without a leg to stand upon, down in death valley, down in wrath warranted, down in judgment deserved, down in man made pride. We were awaiting our final destination were we would go down to the depths of the pit. There is a 'downess' in us. Down on others, down on ourselves, down on our government, down on our teachers, down on our employers, down on our spouses and children. We are down and outers.
Christ Jesus comes and lifts me up from the pit of despair and makes me stand upon solid rock. My legs were too lame, but he made me stand. Sin had broken down my house and the Spirit of grace swooped in and renovated and redecorated it. I stand. The only way that anyone can ever truly stand is if he bows the knee to Christ in repentance. Brokenness is prerequisite to your standing. The knee must be bent before it can be straightened. I now stand. Standing with assurance of salvation, standing with the guarantee of His presence, standing with promises, standing with the hope for eternity. I now stand side by side with the mighty throng of saints of a by-gone era and saints who are still alive. I even stand with Gods elect angels who daily attend Gods temple. I stand in the building of God as a stone, grafted into a community of standers. I look forward to the Day when I will stand with the whole Heavenly Host and worship Jesus. Better to stand now by grace in the Kingdom of Light than to later be bent with a shattered knee in eternal gloom. The Spirit worketh this in his children.
He rescued me. I was a spiritual POW. Born into this captivity, this bondage. In my sin I nurtured and created my own captors. I invested in my own chains. I employed those who would run my self-contained prison. The iron bands which bind me I have smelted in the fires of rebellion. The dark dungeon of depravity became my home, my asylum. Then one night lights shadows danced off the cold walls and grace broke through. In a flash of light all my restraints turned to dust and I fled. I began to run and with my freedom I felt something I never felt before, I believe it was joy. Then I saw Him, my Liberator, my Emancipator shining as the noon day sun, illuminating my world. He rescued me.
Now He continues to rescue me because He delights in me. These are daily extractions from hostile situations and deadly environments. Why does He delight in me? Is it delight for delight sake? Does God want to be delighted because he is lacking in delight? No. He is eternally delighted in himself and has no need or lack in delight. Is this delight conditional based on my performance and obedience? No. The delight that God has is not contingent based on conditions met in us, but solely based on the conditions met in himself. He fulfilled the conditions of the Law through Christ Jesus. Therefore, this delight is guaranteed to us who belong to Christ. And as the Father delights in His Son, so He delights in us who are in Him. Because of Christ victory He can look upon all His people with heavenly delight.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
The confines of my small claustrophobic self-absorbed narcissistic world. The ever decreasing borders of my tiny universe with my plans, my goals, my dreams orbiting around self-driven desires and wants. Turned in on myself with self-rule, self-reign, self-supremacy, self-sovereignty. I have built my own throne to my tiny kingdom, a tiny crown, with few subjects who serve my ever-increasing demands. And then my miniature kingdom crumbles as He shows me his. What I thought in myself was great and grand was nothing by comparison. He then brings me forth into a broad place. My world now truly begins to expand. I have now stepped into the wide expanse of the hill-country of God. I now, with eyes turned up and off self, can see for miles. Placed in the open plains with limitless borders there is now freedom to move about; there is elbow room for my soul. The land is vast and beautiful. I love the broad plain.
The horn was often sounded in battle. As the regiment of soldiers would march onto the battlefield the horns would announce their arrival. This is the horn of salvation...the sound of victory for it pertains to our redemption as Kingdom citizens. But just as God was shield he is also horn. It is God who sounds forth the victory blast. He has gathered his Bride militant, the horn is heard, we stand at attention and receive our marching orders. We move out apologetically in love.
The horn is also an allusion to the altar of incense. If a man had committed a crime he could flee to the altar and grab one of four horns and plead his case before the high priest and his accusers, thus escaping certain death. The greater reality points us forward to Christ who is God's horn. He is our Horn of Salvation. We flee to Christ and cling to him for our rescue, he being our High priest/lawyer who will deliberate our case and defend our cause. When the great accuser heaps accusations upon me I cling more closely to the Horn. For I know that it is here that I am acquitted and pardoned. And just as the altars horn was sprinkled in blood for remittance of sins offense, so too, do I need remittance as I cling to Jesus, my only hope in this world. I now wait and look to the sky and listen for that final trumpet blast which will cause everyone to look up and drop their mp3 and ipods and for some of you your walkman's. God will have the last note.
The Lord is my shield. He has given me defensive weaponry and capabilities to fend off the foe. This is no ordinary shield. It is not crafted by the hands of man but designed in the Heavens. It is gilded with a spiritual alloy that makes it impenetrable. It is made for heavy warfare and can withstand the fiery dart by day or by night. Hells ramparts are no match against the shield. There is an inscription upon its edge, "The Lord is my defense." When the battle is heavy and the smoke thick I can take shelter under Gods shield. I sit there and smile. God not only gives the weaponry but He himself is the weaponry. God works both sides of our field in offense and defense. The shield looks as if it glowing red metal for it has been dipped in Calvary's blood and was purchased for his elect children. The under belly also has writing upon, "Fear not, be strong and courageous. Just as it was a reminder to Joshua the commander of the Lords army, so too it reminds a simple soldier. Even as I sit under my shield when all hell breaks loose Gods word is above me, reminding, comforting, protecting, defending.
Many years ago Jesus became our shield. He deflected the wrath of the Father. My minature man made shield could not expunge Gods fury, but when Gods grace came He covered me with His Son, His shield. I sit under Christ and surely if he could deflect holy justice, he can protect me from any onslaught.
Friday, February 5, 2010
The affections of the heart well up and spill out in beautiful statements. If you love someone you tell them. The psalmist is not ashamed. Its a private love that makes itself public. The strength of this statement finds its energy in the strength of God. The psalmist would not even be able to voice his love unless God had granted the strength. There is strength in love-true genuine biblical love. Christ Jesus reflected both strength and love. In his strength he lived a life without sin in perfect obedience to the Father. In his strength he calmed a storm; transformed water into wine; multiplied bread and fish for thousands; he cast out devils; brought sight to the blind and regenerated the lame; he raised the dead. He proclaimed the most powerful message the world has ever heard and his words have not lost a single drop of there power. In his passion/suffering he exuded the most strength as he held back legions of angels from worldwide retribution; he overcame sin, Satan, death. In his strength he rose from the grave by resurrection power and now he sits at the right hand throne of power ruling the cosmos in power. In blazing glory he will come again with the title deed to the earth and renovate the real estate and in this power create a new heaven and earth. He does this for all those who can and have said, "I love you O' Lord my strength." Only the Spirit can cause man to speak this in his heart and to have it upon his lips. This is a declaration from heaven. This is extraterrestial love, a supernatural affinity. It doesn't find its origin in the will of man. Only when God overcomes our resistance to the Gospel and renovates the heart can man truly love God. We behold his strength and speak tenderly.