Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baby’s Daddy Bashing

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I think it would be neat if the women of our generation took a little while to work on taking the planks out of our own eyes.  It would be neat if that freed us up to help the guys around us with the specks in their eyes; not out of selfish interest or self-preservation but out of a genuine desire for everyone in our lives to see our sweet savior a little more clearly. ~ thoughts from fab

 

I read this most post several months ago and began this post, but got distracted. However after a little study today in 1 Kings I am drawn back to complete my thoughts.

When I read the post from “thoughts from fabs” the first time, it brought to my remembrance a little something that concerns me more and more as I see it…

The baby’s daddy bashing.

It is actually doing more than concerning me, I actually am growing to despise it.

There was a day when a girl’s own father and mother chose her future spouse for her. However, we women decided that we wanted the freedom, “the right” to chose our own husbands.

This clip is entitled “Jasmin’s Cage”

Jasmin was under the protection of a loving father who was seeking to provide a man for her that would love her as much as he did. A man that would protect her and provide for her… but Jasmin was not happy with that… no she identified that with being locked in a cage like the birds in her courtyard. Jasmin wanted to marry for love…

Then you see the starry eyed, dreamy snuggle of the bird in her hand.

The law just was not good enough for Jasmin… she wanted to be her own guide… She did not want to be guided by the law or her father.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate…

Genesis 3:6

 

Ladies, we wanted the “right” to choose our man. This father of your child was your choice. He was who he was when you began the relationship with him.

How many advised you to not walk this path with this one?

If you chose to give your body to a boy before he ever promised to make a commitment to you… then why are you so shocked over his lack of commitment now?

It is time to accept responsibility in this area. It’s time to stop bashing your baby’s daddy and admit that you are the one that was deceived… or covered your eyes to the truth and shut your ears to the words of those who truly loved you and you chose to follow your own emotions.

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Genesis 3:13

You can lie to yourselves and you can surround yourself with other women who will help you bash your “baby’s daddy” and they will help you put all the blame on this man… and that will make you feel better for a moment and it will help you push your own responsibility in the relationship to the side in your own mind… but how does that affect the heart of the child that was created?

In the baby’s daddy bashing have you even stopped thinking about yourself long enough to consider the damage your words have on this child who is from him? The one you bash… the one you chose to lie down with… is indeed the father of this child and this child will seek their identity, who they are, from him.

Maybe you did it in the right in order. Maybe you married him and then the children came… and now the marriage is crumbling… maybe he has already left and the divorce is in process or final…

Maybe you are convincing yourself that he “changed” and that’s why the divorce came… did he really?

Once again, you chose him.

Who advised you not to walk down the aisle with him? What trials did you go through with him before you said “I do” and yet convinced yourself that things would be different once you were married…

Ladies, we wanted the freedom to choose. With freedom comes responsibility. So take it. Own it. And guard your mouth as you speak over your child concerning their father.

For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

1 Timothy 2:13-15

 

Believe

Believe, Do You Believe

Beauty indescribable in awe at Your sight
Eternal Undivided, bathed in Your Light
Love unconditional, captured by Your grace
Insecurities unraveled strengthened by faith
Everlasting to everlasting my God You shall reign
Victorious all powerful my Christ, the King of kings
Elevated to all authority, all power is in Your hands

Dancing for You, kneel before You, my allegiance You have
Omnipotent, King of glory, I give You all my praise

You are worthy, oh so worthy, the Lamb who was slain
Omniscient, omnipresent, Your lovingkindness forever endures
Undeniable is Your presence every heart has felt You stir

Believe, oh believe, He is the Alpha and the Omega
Elohim, my Creator, Lord of heaven, Lord of earth
Lifted high, drawing nigh, every man to Yourself
Incomparable You alone are the One Living God
Empowered am I through being justified by Your blood
Validated before my Father, by faith in Your love
Every knee one day will bow, every eye one day will see

But blessings, upon blessings, for those who without seeing BELIEVE

**************************************************

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them,

“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails,

and put my finger into the place of the nails,

and put my hand into His side,

I will not believe.”

 After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them.

 Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said,

“Peace be with you.” 

Then He said to Thomas,

“Reach here with your finger, and see My hands;

and reach here your hand and put it into My side;

and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 

Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 

Jesus said to him,

“Because you have seen Me, have you believed?

Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

John 20:24-29

>Admitting Is Not Enough

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Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron,
and said to them,
‘I have sinned this time;
the LORD is the righteous one,
and I and my people are the wicked ones.’ 
Exodus 9:27
In the midst of the seventh plague, Pharaoh admits he has sinned against the Lord. He calls out to Moses and Aaron and asks them to go before God on his behalf and ask for the thunder and hail to cease. He proclaims that the Lord is righteous and he and his servants are wicked. Could it possibly be that Pharaoh is beginning to get it?  
Sadly, no, Pharaoh still is not getting it. Moses goes before the Lord to ask Him to stop the thunder and hail, but it will be so that Pharaoh will know that the earth belongs to the God of the Hebrew slaves. Before Moses asks for this seventh plague to cease he looks at Pharaoh and assures him that he knows that this profession of his sin and wickedness is empty words. Moses is well aware that Pharaoh and his servants do not yet fear the LORD God.
Oh precious one, it is so much more than just admitting that we have sinned and that God is righteous.
Some will look at themselves and admit that they are sinners and then use this admittance to justify their sin. They will then point their finger in the face of God and claim that He has no right to judge them because it’s His fault that they are a sinner to begin with. They claim He made them this way. The arrogance of man unrestrained by the Spirit of God has no bounds.
When we look at the many religions in the world, very few profess man as originally good. Most openly declare man as wicked and their god as the one who is the judge of his goodness. In most of the religions of the earth man must work to gain his goodness in order to please his god or, at the very least, to please the men around them who also serve his god. So for Pharaoh to proclaim himself wicked, to admit that he has sinned, does not mean that he is choosing to bow the knee to this righteous God.
Some can see the obvious power of our Creator and submit immediately, others eventually, yet there are and will be many who refuse to the end. They are unwilling to deny themselves and surrender to God’s authority.
At the end of the age God will once again display His power through plagues and judgments upon the earth. Just as He did in Egypt, the plagues will begin small and will increase in intensity. God’s desire is not for mankind to be destroyed but for mankind to repent and turn to Him and be saved. However, just as in Egypt, many will refuse until the very end and their opportunity will be gone.
In Revelation 6:15-16 we read how the kings of the earth, the great men, the commanders, the rich, the strong, the slave, the free, all hide themselves from God after they have seen His display of power through the breaking of the first six seals.
They could have came to Him in repentance and cried out for His mercy and grace, but instead they hid and cried out to the mountains and the rocks of the earth. We hide from God when we know we have sinned and we do not want to stand before His righteousness. Just acknowledging our wickedness is not repentance.
In Revelation 9:20-21 we read once again how mankind refuses to “repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass and of stone, and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorcereries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” This refusal comes after the plagues within the six seals, and after the plagues within six of the seven trumpets that are within the seventh seal.
Twelve plagues later God is still giving mankind an opportunity to repent and be saved. The gospel of God is still being preached. The one-hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from the tribes of Israel are still preaching salvation. Yet, mankind will not submit to the authority of their Creator God. They still will not fear the word of the LORD.   
Pharaoh and his servants still would not fear God. Seven plagues behind them and still they shake their fist in the face of God. Why will they not humble themselves? Why do they refuse to honor this God?
They refuse because it would mean that they would have to exalt Him above themselves.
My friend, the root of sin is not evil acts.
The root of sin is self.      
Oh Father,
How very stubborn we can be. In Proverbs 18:14 your Word declares, “The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, but as for a broken spirit who can bear it?” We can endure our sin when we have pride to stand on. Our strong wills can hold our fist up high and tightly balled for the fight when we refuse humility. Oh, but Father, when you finally choose to break our spirit, to bring our pride crumbling down around us, this we cannot endure. Here is the point we often must reach before we finally willingly submit to Your authority. How thankful I am that You chose to break me.
My Jesus, I love You and it’s in Your name I pray,
Amen

Names of God Study: Jehovah-sabaoth

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It’s time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El ShaddaiEl OlamAdoniaJehovahJehovah-jirehJehovah-raphaJehovah-nissiJehovah-mekoddishkem and Jehovah-shalom. Now we will look at Jehovah-sabaoth.

We are introduced to this name of God through the lips of a woman named Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1 we read of woman who was unable to give her husband a child. Her husband had taken another wife and she had given him children. This other wife, because of her children, and I am sure also her jealousy toward the husband’s love for his barren wife, was tormenting Hannah.

Hannah lived with another woman who was giving her husband what she could not… I cannot even begin to imagine her pain. Here in 1 Samuel we are given a glimpse into as Hannah is in the temple. We find her crying out to God, praying that He would give her a child.

Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh.
Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat
by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 
She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 
She made a vow and said,
“O LORD of hosts,
if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant
and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,
but will give Your maidservant a son,
then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life,
and a razor shall never come on his head.” 
1 Samuel 1:9-11

 

Here Hannah cries out for Jehovah-sabaoth, the LORD of hosts. She cries out for Him to deliver her from this pain. From her lips and out of this pain is where God chose to reveal this beautiful name.

Sabaoth means mass, and refers to a mass of angels, the heavenly host, an army.

We need to remember that at this time there were temples and altars throughout the land to a myriad of gods. Many of those were fertility gods. If you were to go to China today you would still find a Buddha temple that is set aside to pray to in order to have a child. There is even one to specify whether you want a boy or a girl.

But Hannah did not cry out to a fertility god. She did not seek out an idol to pour her heart out to or to put her hope in. She cried out to Jehovah-sabaoth, the God of gods.

We see this name of God come again from a young man named David.

In 1 Samuel 17 we read of how Israel is at war with the Philistines. The Philistine army has Israel at a standstill as the giant Goliath stands over them mocking them and their God. David has been sent by his father to check on his older brothers who are at the battlefield. David is shocked by what he sees. There is not a man in all of the Israeli army that is willing to go head to head with Goliath. Therefore David says, “I’ll do it”

Goliath stands before David and laughs in his face. He mocks David and he curses him by his Philistine gods and he insults David’s God. David is not frightened by this giant and he is not impressed by his big mouthed threats. David knows that this giant comes at him in the power of his strength and the non-existent power of his false gods, while David comes at him with Jehovah-sabaoth.

Then David said to the Philistine,
“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin,
but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 
This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands,
and I will strike you down and remove your head from you.
And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines
this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 
and that all this assembly may know that
the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear;
for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”

1Samuel 17:45-47

We know that David received the victory. Goliath, as big and mighty as he appeared, was no match for God.

God will always be victorious.

Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel, declares,
“Ah, I will be relieved of My adversaries
And avenge Myself on My foes.

Isaiah 1:24

We can be certain that we will all face our own “goliaths” in this life. There will be people and problems and trials and tribulations that we all will face. There will be those who mock us for trusting in our God. There will be those who hate us and seek to destroy us and our witness. Rest assured that Satan is looking for every opportunity he can to devour you, but not even Satan is a match for Jehovah-sabaoth.

Precious one, also remember that David was able to defeat Goliath because he was willing and able to face to him. He was ready to take him head on. He was ready because he had prepared for this battle by his daily walk with God. He knew God by name, by character, and by personal experience with Him.

David never doubted God. He believed God was who God said He was. All the others standing on the sidelines, shaking in fear… they doubted God. They doubted that God would deliver them, therefore they were not willing to face this fear.

My friend, get to know your God.

His name, Jehovah-sabaoth is only a small part of Him. Get to know every part of Him that He will reveal to you. If you are just stepping into this study I implore you to scroll back up to the top and get to know these other characteristics of our God that He so graciously reveals to us in His Word through His name.

ABC Poem of Praise

I wrote this as I was studying through the book of Psalms and learned that some of the Psalms had been written with each line beginning with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet…

Almighty God, in You do I trust.
By Thy hand I am guided,
Comforted by Thy touch.
Deliver me, my Father
Encompass me in Your arms.
For in Thee, my LORD, I shall not remain in harm.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Honored is Your name.
In Thee be all majesty in glorious display.
Justice and righteousness alone are found in You.
Kindness and mercies,
Love, every morning they are new.
Mighty and awesome, before Thee I bow,
Not a God besides You,
O LORD, in Thee all things be, in, from, and through.
Peoples and nations shall one day Your name confess.
Quickly come my Saviour,
Redeem Thy saints from all distress.
Salvation is found in Thy name alone.
True is Your word, perfect is Thy law,
Upright are Your judgments, before Thee I fall.
Victory is found in Jesus Christ my Lord.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain before the world.
Xplained by all creation, for creation Thy did create.
You uphold all things by the power of Your word.
Zion is Thy mountain, O come my King and reign!

>Calling His Shot

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The LORD set a definite time, saying, “Tomorrow
the LORD will do this thing in the land.”
Exodus 9:5
Our God is not a God of chance. He is not a God of happenstance. His work is not dependant upon anyone or anything outside of Himself. He is self-existent and self-sufficient. Our Creator God is omnipotent. He is all powerful and His power comes from within Himself. He is sovereign over all the universe, even over time. God decides to specifically point this out to Pharaoh as He brings His next three plagues upon the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh’s refusal to keep his word after the fourth plague leads to this fifth plague, a severe pestilence upon the livestock. This fifth plague is an attack upon the Egyptian god Apis, who was worshiped as the bull god.
The Egyptians believed that the souls of their gods lived in these bulls, as well as in goats, rams, and cows. Moses tells Pharaoh that “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing…” (Exodus 9:5) and we read in Exodus 9:6, “So the LORD did this thing on the next day…”
I read this and I think of the late and great baseball player, Babe Ruth. I am reminded of the legend that speaks of him standing at home plate in the 1932 World Series and pointing to the outfield stands and “calling his shot” right before he knocks the ball out of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. However, God is not going to leave any room for controversy.
Once again God will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. The pestilence comes and all the livestock in Egypt dies, but not even one dies from Israel.
Pharaoh once again hardens his heart and would not let the people go.
God then sends the sixth plague, boils upon the beast and men of Egypt. This plague is against the Egyptian god Thoth, who was known as the god of medicine and wisdom. The Egyptians had several medicinal gods and it is believed that it was to these gods that human sacrifices were made.
Humans were burnt upon a high altar and their ashes were scattered into the air in order to send out a blessing to the people. Moses does as the LORD commanded and takes handfuls of soot from a kiln and throws it toward the sky and instead of a blessing the people of Egypt receive a plague of boils.
The magicians who probably were the ones who used to toss the ashes of human sacrifices into the air are also covered in these sores. So much so, that they cannot stand before Moses because of the boils. Yet still, Pharaoh, covered in his own sores, hardens his heart and refuses to submit to God.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 the Word of God declares, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-“ It is now time for Pharaoh and the people of Egypt to know that there is no one like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
When God calls Moses to stand before Pharaoh to deliver the coming of the seventh plague He tells him “For this time I will send all My plagues on you and your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:14) This nation has been worshiping false gods formed by there own hands through their own imaginations. They have been worshiping mere men and bowing before pharaohs who had set themselves up as gods. They have refused to look at the creation around them and give glory to the one true God. Instead they have believed the lie and worshiped the creation instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25). Now, one plague at a time, God is opening the hearts and minds of those not only of Israel, but those throughout all the land of Egypt.
“Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a heavy hail, such has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now.” (Exodus 9:18) God is calling His shot. He is pointing out His finger. He is extending His hand. He is giving fair warning to His opponent and giving them a heads up so that they may position themselves accordingly. God has always done so, and He will do so until the end of the age.
I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
‘Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not participate in her sins
and receive of her plagues;
for her sins have piled up as high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
Revelation 18:4-5
God does not act in secret. He never has. He never has to, because He is just in all his ways.
Before God sends this seventh plague upon the land of Egypt He has Moses announce to Pharaoh that He could have already destroyed him and his land, but that He has allowed him to remain in order to display His power and to proclaim His name through all the earth.
With each plague that comes because of Pharaoh’s refusal to submit, the LORD God takes His stand against the false gods the people of Egypt have lifted up in worship. With each plague more people hear about this great God of the Hebrew slaves.
This seventh plague of hail is God’s stand against the Egyptian god Nut. She was the sky goddess, the god of the harvest. Her husband was Geb, the Egyptian god of the earth that God came against with the third plague, the plague of lice. This plague was also against Shu, the god of the wind, storm, and violence from the sky. He supposedly held the ladder to heaven.
Our God is showing the world that He alone is omnipotent. He alone is to be feared. “The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses; but he who paid no regard to the word of the LORD left his servants and his livestock in the field.” (Exodus 9:20-21) The people of Egypt could trust in their gods, or they could trust in the God of Moses. They would have to choose whose word they would fear.
How about you?
Do you fear the word of the LORD?
That is really the bottom line. God has given us all fair warning of the judgment that is to come. He has laid out to us what is true and good. He has set before us blessings and cursings (Deuteronomy 11:26) and He leaves the choice to us. He has not acted in secret. He has given us all ample time and opportunity to take Him at His word. He has the power, authority, and right to destroy us but He waits, and still so many of us, like Pharaoh, exalt ourselves or choose to trust in our own little “g” gods and refuse to regard His word.  
Oh Father,
You leave us without excuse (Romans 1:20). You have made Yourself known to us. You have allowed us all to experience good and evil. You have openly displayed Your glory for all to see.  Your Word does not sugar coat the actions of Your people. You have recorded their failures along with their victories. You have recorded Your judgments along with Your mercies. You are good, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness (Numbers 14:18). All You ask is for us to trust You. To acknowledge You alone as God and submit ourselves in obedience to Your Word. Oh Father, forgive me for the times that I have exalted myself andf trusted in my own ways and not had regard for Your Word. You alone are God and I humble myself before You.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,

Amen

>God Doesn’t Swing

>This FB status lost me a few FB friends…

If you are married to Jesus (Eph 5:31-32), why are you still having sex with the world (Jam 4:4), God doesn’t swing!!(Heb 10:26-31, Ex 34:14)

So I followed the status with a FB note:

In the Scriptures God refers to Israel as His wife and the Church as the bride of Christ. God first instituted marriage in the beginning. It is the first blood covenant recorded in Scripture. When a man and a woman are joined together as “one flesh” there is in this act the shedding of blood. This act was designed to take place under the marriage covenant, the seal of this covenant being the shedding of blood that occurs at first intercourse.

A covenant is a lifelong binding agreement. That is how God designed marriage. One man, one woman, one flesh, one life. This marriage covenant has and always will be one of God’s illustrations of His relationship with man.

When Israel entered into her covenant with God at Mt Horeb it was inaugurated with blood from that moment on God referred to Israel as His wife. When Christ shed His blood on Calvary it was His blood that inaugurated the new covenant by which we are redeemed, justified, and become from then on His betrothed.

In the Old Testament Scriptures Israel’s unfaithfulness to God is spoken of as harlotry, as adultery. A wife unfaithful to her Husband. You can read the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea so many of the prophets and you see the truth illustrated.

In the New Testament Scriptures the church as the bride of Christ is there in Ephesians, Revelations, and weaved in and out throughout the books of the New Testament. Don’t take my word for it, read it for yourselves.

So therefore if we are married to Jesus why should we be having sex with the world. In other words, bride of Christ, why are we intimately joined, playfully engaged, flirtatiously indulged, sensually entertained, by those things that we sought forgiveness, this world that held us captive, this flesh, this nature, that put our Bridegroom on the cross?

There is a difference between willful and unwillful sin.
God knows the difference, and I believe so do we.

James 4:4 calls those who play with the world adulteresses. You cannot be a friend of this world and a friend of God. You cannot sleep with the enemy and sleep with the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. God will not allow you to continue to hop in and out of His bed. He wrote Israel a writ of divorce. She can only return to Him through a new covenant (Jer 33), the New Covenant, through Christ.

Yet those who claim to be the church, the bride of Christ, if we commit adultery through whom shall we return? Hebrews 10:26 says “if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice of sins…”

First of all ask yourself am I truly married to Christ?
Have I forsaken all others and cleaved only to Him?
Do I love, honor, cherish, and obey Him, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, till death us unite?

If you can say yes to these questions then know that just as our physical marriages have ups and downs, fears and failures, joys and sorrows, so does our marriage with Christ. Just as we seek forgiveness and healing and growth and intimacy in our physical marriage so we do in our marriage with Christ. He is perfect but we are not, but He is also mindful that we are not, and He is a patient, loving, compassionate, and merciful spouse.

He promises to never stop loving His bride and His faithfulness is forever (Psalm 89:19-37). Our physical marriages sometimes fail, but our marriage to Christ will never fail. “Love never fails” (1 Corin 13:8) and “God is love” (1 John 4:16). The question is will you try with all that is within you to be His faithful bride? He would and has died for you. Will you do the same for Him?

Oh do not be one who is a dog that has returned to its vomit (2 Peter 2:17-22)
Oh do not be the virgins who delayed in filling their lamps with oil and missed the Bridegroom (Matt 25:1:13)
Oh do not be those who were too preoccupied with the things of this world to go to the wedding feast or the man who showed up for the wedding feast without being properly clothed (Matt 22:1-14)

Today is the day of salvation (Hebrews 3-4)
Today is the day of repentance and forgiveness (1 John 1:5-10)
Today is the day of reconciliation (Romans 5:1-11)
Today is the day to be clothed in Christ (Romans 13:14)

Casting Crowns has a song “While You Were Sleeping” and these are some of the words:

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night
America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping?

Dear one, are you sleeping? (Song of Solomon 5:2-16)

>Kingdom Seals

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I will put a division between My people
and your people.
Tomorrow this sign will occur.
Exodus 8:23

Pharaoh’s refusal to listen to his magicians leads to the next plague, swarms of insects. This plague is an attack upon the Egyptian god Khepfi, who was worshiped as the god of insects and dung beetles. The Lord sends this fourth plague upon the land of Egypt.

However, this time God is making a distinction in the land. This plague will not touch the land of Goshen. Goshen was the land in which the Hebrews lived. It was given to them by the Pharaoh whom Joseph served when Jacob and the rest of his sons came to live in Egypt during the famine (Genesis 47:6).

The last three plagues affected all the land of Egypt, including the Hebrews land of Goshen, but this plague shall not. God has always drawn a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. He does this so that we may know He is God. He does this so that we may know that His way is right and good.

We all live in this fallen world, the righteous and the unrighteous. We all, whether believer or non-believer, experience both good and evil. We all deal with the consequences of sin, our sin and the sins of others. Yet there will always come a time when the plumb line is dropped (Zechariah 4:10).

We read in the book of Ezekiel about God’s judgment on Jerusalem. The temple of God had become a place of idol worship. The priests of God were worshipping false gods within the walls of the temple and there were women prostituting themselves at the temple gates. God had finally had enough, but before He brought His judgment, He marked His remnant.

The LORD said to him,
‘Go through the midst of the midst of the city,
 even through the midst of Jerusalem,
and put a mark on the foreheads of the men
who sigh and groan over all the abominations
which are being committed in its midst.’
But to the others He said in my hearing,
‘Go through the city after him and strike;
do not let your eye have pity and do not spare.’
Ezekiel 9:4-5

God will continue to spare His righteous ones even until the end of the age. In Revelation 7:3 we read of an angel crying out after the breaking of the sixth seal “saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.'” After the breaking of the seventh seal we read in Revelation 9:4 how God protects those who serve Him, those with the seal on their foreheads, and He would not allow the plague of locusts and scorpions to harm them.

In Psalm 37:25 David wrote “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” My friend, God knows those who are His, and He will not forsake them. He has promised us over and over in His Word that when the righteous cry, He hears and He delivers them out of their trouble in His time and in His way (Psalm 34:17).

Oh precious one, the question that remains is are you His?
Do you wear His mark on your forehead?
Do you sigh and groan over the abominations you see committed around you?
Is your righteous soul oppressed and tormented day after day by the lawless deeds and sensual conduct of unprincipled men (2 Peter 2:7-8)?
Do you wear His seal or are you more the “fellow citizen” we read about in Ezekiel 33…

But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens
who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses,
speak to one another, each to his brother, saying,
‘Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from the LORD.’
They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people
and hear your words, but they do not do them,
for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth,
and their heart goes after their gain.
Behold, you are to them like a sensual song
by one who has a beautiful voice
and plays well on an instrument;
for they hear your words but they do not practice them.
Ezekiel 33:30-32

My friend, we can sit in church every Sunday and sit before the pastor and claim to be a child of God, we can sing our songs of worship with our arms lifted up, but if we refuse to practice what we hear and sing then all we have to look forward to is judgment.

What is even worse, is that with every word, with every song, with every refusal, we harden our hearts. Every opportunity we have to believe and we do not do it, we harden our hearts (Mark 8:16-17, Hebrews 3:15-16).

Perhaps you feel you are offering up to God a good effort, that you have found a good compromise. You are after all there, and maybe you serve in an area, possibly you even tithe regularly. Maybe you feel you can rationalize and excuse your disobedience in other areas of your life by holding up your list of works. Oh precious one, we can see through God’s dealings with Pharaoh that our God just does not accept compromise.

God has sent this fourth plague upon the land of Egypt. He has made a distinction between the land of Goshen where the Hebrews live and the rest of the land of Egypt. God is demonstrating His power and authority once again before Pharaoh. God is giving Pharaoh another opportunity to hear and to be obedient.

Pharaoh offers a compromise up to Moses and tells him that his people can sacrifice to their God in the land of Egypt, but Moses refuses because that is not what the LORD commanded. Pharaoh concedes and says that he will let the people go. However, as soon as Pharaoh experiences the relief of the mercy of God, he once again goes back on his word.

Mercy has hardened him again. He professed to obey God out of the desire for his own comfort. His obedience had nothing to do with surrender from the heart. It was fake. It was for selfish gain, but my friend do not think that this took God, or even Moses, by surprise.

Oh Father,

As I live in this world I am surrounded by both good and evil. This plague of sin is all around me. I fight it from within and without, but I fight to win. I know that you see my heart. I know that you see whether I am oppressed and tormented by my sin and the sin of others or whether I secretly seek it for pleasure and put on a face of hating sin for show. Oh Father, open my eyes to any disobedience that is within me. Purge me of all iniquity. Let me not deal deceitfully with You, with others, or myself. May my heart be pleasing to You.

My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,
Amen

>Be Nice, Be Nice, Be Nice

>Well today I am going on my third day without Internet access in my home.
There are two things that usually can get me in a tizzy… at&t customer service and credit card calls.

So I have been hanging on the thread of be nice, be nice, be nice… for the last three days as I stand my ground with this company and try not to be rude and obnoxious to the poor person on the other end of the line that has the unfortunate job of delivering the bad company policy to my ears.

The deal is a bad modem

This is our 4th modem in 4years with at&t. The modem was recalled, though we received no notification of a modem recall, and now the modem is out of warranty and at&t refuses to replace it. The phone call resulted in me being hung up on in a transition to speak with getting back on dial-up because I refuse to pay for another modem on top of our monthly service bill.

I understand I might be being stubborn… but it makes no sense to me.

So I called again to attempt to reason with this company and was then informed that if I had been paying an extra $8 a month for an insurance plan, they would send me a new modem for free. Hmmmm so if I had of paid them an extra $96 they would have sent me a “free” $75 modem…

See my frustration?

Yes I struggle with the whole money=security thing, so I am constantly checking my heart at this time to see if I am standing solid ground or biting my nose off to spite my face.

More of my frustration is that we have been loyal customers to this company for over 13 years. This includes a mobile with them, Internet with them, home phone with them, and satellite tv with them. Yet our loyalty to them does not warrant a modem which is required to use the service that we are paying monthly for…

So Friday night I was ready to unbundle the satellite, buy out the mobile contract and cancel the Internet… the home phone went 2 years ago… yes all over a $75 modem.

I am still not so sure that this won’t be the path we take… it all lies in tomorrows phone call to the service department.

So, if you miss my random craziness, and moments of revelation, and product and book reviews… I have not gone AWOL… I am fighting it out with my Internet provider and my own heart as I try to discern whether this is the stubborn red-headed female in me… or a flat out loyalty issue and bad business. 

So I will be taking deep breaths tomorrow and saying over and over to myself… be nice, be nice, be nice… as I try to stay focused on the fact that I am having a problem with a policy not the person on the other end of the line and praying that in the process I don’t disqualify myself in this race of life from being an accurate witness of my Christ.

Hopefully you will still respect me in the morning!

>Pride Falls

>

Then the magicians said to Pharaoh,
“This is the finger of God…”
Exodus 8:19

Pharaoh’s hardened heart and his refusal to keep his word leads to another plague upon his land. This third plague that the LORD sends upon Egypt, is a plague of gnats or lice. This plague was an attack upon the Egyptian god Geb, worshiped as the god of the earth.

Moses strikes the dust of the earth with his staff and the dust becomes the gnats. We do not know how much time passed between the plague of frogs and this plague of gnats. Quite possibly the plague of gnats from the dust of the earth have come while the piles of frogs are still stinking up the land of Egypt.

I am sure that Pharaoh is slightly annoyed by this point, but I am also sure that he is still smug in his attitude. I can picture him walking arrogantly into his throne room while he struggles to not slap and scratch at the lice covering his body. I can hear him loudly summon his magicians once again, expecting them to diminish his hidden fear.

How arrogant we humans can be when we do not want to be humbled. So many times we would rather struggle in our sin, suffer in our consequences, and sink deeper in our pits than just admit we are wrong. Proverbs 16:5 declares, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; assuredly he will not be unpunished.”

The magicians come and they pull all their tricks out of the bag. They try, but their secret arts cannot bring forth gnats. The magicians look at their Pharaoh and they say, “This is the finger of God.” (Exodus 8:19) God is through playing games. The magicians now realize this.

They now fully understand that the power of trickery and illusion that they held in their hands is no match for the One True Living God. They now understand that they are not dealing with a false god that they have created, that they have given power through their own manipulation, but they now understand that this God is real.

The magicians attempt to convince Pharaoh that he needs to listen to this God. His heart is so hard that he will not hear, and he hardens it further still.

When we see the obvious power of our God and yet refuse to bow to His authority we, like Pharaoh, harden our heart. Oh precious one, how careful we must be. Let us not excuse, rationalize, or dismiss the obvious finger of our God. Let us not chalk unexplained events up to circumstance and coincidence. Their are no coincidences with God. He is sovereign and is at work at all times.

When Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross it is written that the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. It is written that the tombs were opened and the dead arose. It is written that the earth quaked and the rocks shook and darkness fell over the land. It is written that when Jesus yielded up His spirit a centurion who was standing at the foot of the cross said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:50-54, Mark 15:33-39) It is also written that after even all of this obvious finger of God upon this moment in history, many still refused to believe.

Religious leaders came and asked for guards to be placed at the tomb because they knew that Jesus had foretold His resurrection. Then, even after the resurrection, when these eyes saw the risen Christ walking and appearing to many, they still attempted to excuse, to rationalize, to dismiss the obvious power of God. And their hearts were hardened. In Luke 16:31 we read “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'”

Pharaoh is a man blinded by his own pride. Pharaoh curses and spurns the Lord. He is a man who in the haughtiness of his countenance refuses to seek God or even admit that there is a God besides the god that he himself claims to be (Psalm 10:3-4).

He has seen the evidence of the existence of the God of the Hebrews, yet denies Him still. He has seen the signs of the power of this God, yet still refuses to acknowledge Him as God. He has even experienced the mercy of this God, yet still refuses to give Him praise. Oh how stubborn we in our pride can be.

Oh Father,

Your Word says that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” (Proverbs 16:18) How easily I can find myself stumbling in my pride. It was pride that led to the fall of man. It is pride that can keep us from ever getting up from that fall. Oh how the arrogance of our heart can deceive us (Obadiah 1:3). Father, forgive me for the times that I have let pride overtake me. My God, may I always be quick to recognize your power and your work in my life. May I always give You all the glory and praise.

My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,
Amen