Sunday, May 09, 2010

A Mother's Love

I was reading some Mother's day sermons and came across this illustration:

The story is told - out of WW 2 & the holocaust that took the lives of millions of people - of Solomon Rosenberg & his family. It is a true story.

Solomon Rosenberg & his wife & their 2 sons & his mother & father were arrested & placed in a Nazi concentration camp. It was a labor camp, & the rules were simple. "As long as you can do your work, you are permitted to live. When you become too weak to do your work, then you are exterminated."

Rosenberg watched his mother & father marched off to their deaths, & he knew that next would be his youngest son, David, because David had always been a frail child.

Every evening Rosenberg came back into the barracks after his hours of labor & searched for the faces of his family. When he found them they would huddle together, embrace one another, & thank God for another day of life.

One day Rosenberg came back & didn’t see those familiar faces. He finally discovered his oldest son, Joshua, in a corner, huddled, weeping, & praying. He said, "Josh, tell me it’s not true." Joshua turned & said, "It is true, poppa. Today David was not strong enough to do his work. So they came for him."

"But where is your mother?" asked Mr. Rosenberg. "Oh poppa," he said, "When they came for David, he was afraid & he cried. Momma said, `There is nothing to be afraid of, David,’ & she took his hand & went with him."

That is motherhood. Mothers, this is your day. May God bless you in it. And I pray that if there is someone here who has never experienced the love of God that is so close to the love of a mother, that this will be your time of decision.

I pray that if you have felt that you have had to walk through that valley alone so many times, that you will recognize that there is a hand reaching out to you, saying, "There is nothing to be afraid of. I’ll go with you."

Friday, May 07, 2010

Him? or His help?

I heard a man recently who was remarking about America directly after 9/11/01.  He said when America came together to pray after the horrible tragedy, you could find many who prayed for God's help, but no one praying for Him.

I think we can see the same today when many are concerned about getting His blessings, but not Him.  I have often heard the scripture quoted: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."  Usually when I heard someone saying that, they are focusing on the second part....all these things shall be added unto you, and not the first part, seeking the kingdom of God and seeking Him.  He is a far better blessing then anything material.  He is not a means to an end, nor the  requirement before you get the goods, He is the center of life, in His presence is fullness of joy!

His presence in itself is a blessing!  He satisfies!

(Psa 73:25) Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What God is doing? or Who He is?

Oswald Chambers, was the author of "My Utmost For His Highest". Once, when his wife had asked  him "I wonder what God is doing?" he answered her:  "I don't care what God is doing, I am more concerned about who He is."  His wife understood his tender heart and that this was not meant to be a callous reply, but rather sometimes God's actions can be confusing, while the Lord Himself, never was.
(From the book "Abandoned to God")

Yes! much better to know Him, and to know He is unchangeable, then to try to understand with our finite minds the actions of God born out of  His infinite one.  His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than ours.

To Whom Belongest Thou?

The Amalekites had invaded Ziklag.  The families of David and his soldiers had been taken captive.  David and his army were pursuing them and came across a young man.  David asks the question "To whom belongest thou?"  The young man answered that he was an Egyptian and was a servant to one of the Amalekites, but had gotten sick and they had left him behind. There are thousands of soldiers and servants, what is just one?  He is sick now, he can't help us, just leave him behind.

Sounds just like the world and the devil's crowd!

When you get to the place that you are no good to them they leave you behind.  When the lights are bright and the music is playing, when the glow of youth is on your cheek, and your wallet is full then everything is fine.  But when you can't offer them anything, when you have a problem, when you are sick, or become a burden to them, then they leave you behind. They will forsake you.  Sooner or later, the devil and his crowd will forsake their weak.  They have no compassion, no mercy, no time for a wounded one. Their question is always "What have you done for me recently?"

Jesus and His people are always seeking the wounded, the sick, the forgotten, so that He may restore them.  Revive them.  Reconcile them.  There are no throw aways with God.

"The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds."—Ps. 147:2,3.

Clyde Box shared: During the Vietnam War, a certain nurse was the subject of much discussion. After a battle she would wander away from the medical camp onto the battlefield itself. Sometimes she would personally drag in a soldier who was in desperate need of medical attention. More than once she was reprimanded by the doctors. They told her she had no business on the battlefield. Not only that, she brought in Viet Cong soldiers along with the Americans. One day after a big battle an officer saw her on the battlefield amid all the suffering and dying and death. He began to rebuke her: "What are you doing on that battlefield?" She said without hesitation, "I’m looking for the wounded. That’s what I am here for."

And that is what we are here for...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The devil's armor

(Read "Whose Armor Are You Wearing?" first)
We have seen before that Judas had power, but piece by piece the devil clothed him with his armor.

Belt of Lies
Joh 12:5-6
(5) Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
(6) This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

We see Judas strapping on the belt of lies with these verses. Sometimes the most wicked lies are covered by a moral sounding excuse. Jesus used the example of the Pharisees who said I can't give this to my parents it is a gift to God. It sounded good to man, but Jesus identified it as a cover-up for their disobedience to God!

Helmet of Destruction
Matt 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

He thought it was too late. Even then God could have and would have forgiven him, if he tried. He says to himself, being prompted by the devil "I can't be forgiven, I am going to be destroyed"…and puts on the helmet of destruction.

Breastplate of unrighteousness
Joh 13:2
(2) And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
This betrayal and wickedness shoes us Judas donning the breastplate of unrighteousness.

Feet shod with shoes
John 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
The "Sop" was the most tender and delicious morsel of the meal and was usually given by the host to a guest to show honor and love or friendship. Jesus was in this act of giving the sop, reaching out to Judas one last time, but Judas had on the devil's shoes, he was ready and determined to do evil, and went out immediately!

Shield of unbelief
When he did not believe, he opened himself to betrayal.
John 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
John 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

He walked with Him three years and still did not believe! He had seen the miracles, even partook of them, but still did not believe!

Words of the devil…the sword
As we saw above, he complained about the "waste" of the ointment poured out upon Jesus. Complaining. never changes anything for the good. If you get your way, there is no peace about it afterwards. Complaining doesn't improve anything, it wastes your time, brings a shadow and a cloud over you.
God hates it!

Judas ended up clothed in the devil's armor and marched to his destruction. It doesn't have to be that way for you! Take off the devil's armor and put on the whole armor of God!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Whose Armor Are You Wearing?

Luk 11:21-22
(21) When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
(22) But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Clank, Clank, Clank the army of souls goes marching into God's house each week. Their helmets gleaming, swords sharpened, shields held high. Soldiers of the Lord you say? Wearing the Armor of the Lord? Some are, but when we read the book of Luke, we find there is another armor. The devil's armor. Everyone has on a spiritual armor, but the question I want to ask you is:

Whose armor are you wearing?

In Ephesians we find that God gives Christians His armor. Knowing the devil often imitates God's methods and that from our bible reading he has an armor, we can imagine that as God clothes Christians with His armor, the devil gives his armor to those he wants to "protect" from the power of God.
If he can't keep you from the house of God, then he wants to put his armor on you so that you will not come into full contact with God's power.

When Paul describes the armor of God, he began with the waistbelt of truth, the devil's armor would be the belt of lies. He is even called a liar and the father of lies. One Greek word used for the devil is diabolos, which means slanderer. Slander is defined as false statements injurious to a person's reputation. God desires truth in the inward parts, and the devil delights in lies, false accusations and slander.

The slander and lies told about God, His church, His preachers and His believers, sometimes keep others from receiving the truth.

God gives us a breastplate of righteousness, and the devil gives his people a breastplate of unrighteousness. Their sins and iniquities separate them from God. They love their sin so much, they don't want to let it go. One lady told a friend of mine "I would rather die and go to hell then give up this relationship!"

God gives His sons and daughters a helmet of salvation, but the devil clothes his children with a helmet of destruction. Saying: "You are going to die and go to hell anyway, you might as well live it up." or "It is too late for you, don't even try." He endeavors to get that person to destroy themselves literally or through a destructive lifestyle.

God's soldiers are wearing gospel shoes, prepared to do His work, and the minions of the enemy are ready to do evil Prov. 1:16 "For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood"

The warriors of the Lord are protected with a shield of faith, but doubt, suspicion and unbelief form the shield that keeps the enemy's people "shielded" from God.

The weapon in the hand of the Christian is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The words of the devil, prompted to the minds of humanity becomes the weapon fighting against the gospel. If the Word of the Lord is pure, converting the soul, the enemies words are impure, confirming the soul in it's situation.

My goal is not to lift up what the enemy is doing, but to point out his tactics so that you may examine yourself and see if you are indeed wearing his armor, and if it is keeping you from receiving all that God wants for you.

God is never limited, and there are times His arrows pierce between "the joints and the harness" of any armor. Other times people wonder why they are hindered, perhaps this could be part of the reason.

Part 2 tomorrow