“Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” John 19:27 Jesus made an oral testament to John, the beloved disciple to provide as He would for her after His death. It was a binding agreement in the company of others if accepted, to care for her needs as the second oldest son. Even though there were other children, his responsibility was to treat her as He would treat her in absentia. John knowing Jesus was to compensate for the void that would otherwise be in her life. This example is a challenge to every son and daughter to consider the needs of parents. To honor our father and mother is to provide for them what is needed. Jesus told John to look intensively at the woman that will become his mother. And He told His mother Mary to look intensively at the man who would become her son. A new relationship was to be forged at that very moment. As we look at our mothers, if we could for a moment see what Jesus saw in His own mother. She was the vessel chosen by God for Him to enter into the earth. We owe a great degree of…
- May 8, 2013
“He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children.” Ps 113:9 The exercise of affection in guiding the household and caring for children produces a joy in the heart of mothers. She was made to love her children and to maintain the household in which she has the pleasure to occupy. But what if there was no household to care for, nor child to guide? It would leave the woman who has the affection deep within without an outlet to express the innate love given to women. Yet God provides for her a home. Instead of being homeless, her place is in Christ with God. He draws her close to Himself so that nothing is lacking in her life. She will find in Him a satisfaction as joyful as that of a mother of children. It is only when she allow her mind to be influenced by thoughts of being incomplete will she be drawn away from the richness of God’s love. To some the circumstance is temporal until she is granted the privilege of mothering, while with others, her devotion is to be given over to God absolutely with a special grace to be drawn…
- May 7, 2013
“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.” Eccl 10:10 The energy and strength exerted by the man who tries to figure things out on his own is constantly exerted. Yet the results are minimal because it is only mind challenging matter. The mind cannot achieve all that is believed when the axe is dull. But when God sharpens the edge, His Spirit begins to work and the prayer on earth is answered from heaven. God sharpens our axe in order to allow us to work with wisdom guiding us along the way. The Eternal God uses His faculties seeing the end before the beginning. He knows what it takes beforehand for the children of God to accomplish His will. We have a sharper cutting edge when we pray continually and do not lean to our own understanding. Then when His Word is spoken, it is sensible because the heart has been prepared to make room for the truth. Each moment must count with eternity in view. The wise seeks after wisdom and more is given to him. But the fool thinks that he has already…
- May 6, 2013
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15 A sanctified heart is directed towards God alone. There is no other direction to which it may be turned that can satisfy the believer for he knows that only God alone can meet the needs existing deep in the recesses of the soul. There are many things around to lure him away from the position in which he stands. But he does not see things as others who are blind to the devices of the devil. The enemy constantly works in attempting to raise doubt in his heart. He has heard the Lord speak concerning His own. He is affirmed as being God’s Son, and continually dwelling in the place of God’s pleasure. Since his heart overflows with love, he has an answer for everyone. Because he is able to see beyond the current crisis, his answer remains prophetic. The pure and heart is able to see God. God is with him, therefore his hope is to take on the character of God….
- May 5, 2013
“When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.” John 2:9 Only the servants were knowledgeable of the source of the wine that was changed from water. Those who served had knowledge beyond those who mastered over them. Their obedience to the Master that ruled over masters had given them the instructions. As they had filled the water pots with water, they were firsthand to give witness to the first miracle of Jesus Christ. Jesus will reveal Himself to those who are willing to obey Him at His Word. They did not see first and then obey but rather, their obedience positioned them to see. The master of the feast was in amazement because he tasted the best wine last. The master of the feast was pleased, the bridegroom was pleased and the guests were pleased because the feast could continue. But only the servants knew the secret. Who would get the credit for the miracle? Jesus, who was only a guest, had rescued the feast by turning water into…
- May 4, 2013
“God, my strength, my stronghold, my safe retreat when trouble descends:” Jer 16:19 (MSG) Trouble descends as a storm from above. Rain can be gentle and refreshing or it can come down as a deluge leading to a flood. The former is refreshing producing growth and clears the pollen. While the latter overflows the banks and destroys everything in its path. It is evident that there will be times of trouble as there are times of refreshing. A troubled people will live in a troubled world. The environment is not determined by the righteous alone. We are in this world and not the environment that we will one day attain. Yet while we are here, we have a refuge. God is our strength and our safe retreat. We are guarded by our Master who is also our Savior. We are safe as we find shelter under the covering of His grace. He refreshes us and protects us from the apparent dangers as well as those unseen. As it descends, before it reaches us, we are protected even before the clouds gather and the forecast is given.
- May 3, 2013
“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:10 Those who trust in the living God labor with a goal in view that is different from the activities of others. There are luxuries not afforded the faithful for he must live his life with purpose. Every day must have a degree of significance that further sets him aside as God’s representative on the earth, maintaining the course leading to a destination. Kingdom business is his primary business. Now the world system will notice the difference but will not know how to interpret it. His strangeness will be repulsive to many who would much rather he be silent rather than to speak. His activity appears to run counter to values of his contemporaries. Yet he has fully embraced his call and end to suffer reproach because his life is not his own; he has been bought with a price. Therefore he trusts in the living God who is his constant companion to guide him through this maze of life to his eternal home. His life is a gift…
- May 2, 2013
“So, when you pray in your private prayer language, don’t hoard the experience for yourself. Pray for the insight and ability to bring others into that intimacy.” 1 Corinthians 14:13 (MSG) True love is never selfish. It takes pleasure in giving more than receiving. God has called us into deeper levels as our hearts are in sync with His own. Our thoughts and His thoughts become the same. Our passions and His passions align. Only then will our hearts soar beyond our intellect, or our abilities to articulate what is burning deeply within it. It is from the overflow of our hearts that a language that is not our own is given expression. Our prayers are in private and our language is privately expressed. Yet we are provoked by the Holy Spirit not to be ascetic with the pleasures of our private devotions. Pray that we may be able to share with others what we have privately shared with God. God is able to unleash within us the abilities to give expression to what He imparts so that all may benefit from the Divine impartation.
- May 1, 2013
“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” 1 John 4:6 The language of the Spirit of God rings differently in the ears of unbelievers than it does in the ears of believers. Those who have rejected God have an affinity towards things pertaining to the flesh. Any other message seems not to have any relevancy to them for their hearts are drawn in an opposite direction. When the Holy Spirit enters into one’s heart He makes room for the truth. Only then can it become sensible and for passions to rise within him to embrace a level of teaching beyond what is commonly understood. What God has to say to us is uncommon to mankind therefore it requires more than mere common sense. In his natural state it is foolishness. But when the spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error, he will seek out teachers that will teach him things that he did not see because they cannot be seen without divine assistance.
- April 30, 2013
“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32 One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.”
- April 29, 2013