Monday, July 15, 2013

The King is Coming

"Look, a righteous king is coming!  And honest princes will rule under him. Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.  Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth, and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.  Those who stammer will speak out plainly."

-- Isaiah 32:1-4 NLT

I have been reading a multi-thousand-page series of fictional novels about a mythical medieval land that has been rocked by a murdered king and all of the machinations surrounding the struggle to sit upon that vacant throne.  This event threw the land into a chaotic situation where five claimant kings vie for power. In the current book, one king, the only king who truly has a right to the throne, is on the move and he is intent on claiming what is rightfully his.  City by city he begins to conquer, win over or cajole the major lords and chieftans as he sweeps toward the seat of power.

There is also a wave in our world today that is bringing the people of the Earth in line with the one true king who has the only rightful claim to the throne of our hearts as well as the throne of His creation.  Jesus Christ is his name.

As the mythical king goes from conquest to conquest, his army forms up around him, and he sends scouts to see what the enemy might have in the way of numbers and armament and provisions.  The scouts can also detect any sympathies that the local population may have to the rightful king, to see if they might side with him in the battle to come.  In victory these sympathizers will be rewarded.

So it is with our King Jesus.  There are no questions about the Enemy however.  Jesus knows him intimately.  But the Holy Spirit scouts the land and searches for people who are sensitive to Him, who want more of Him, who will surrender to Him, and who are willing to engage in the fight WITH Him.  His glory will pour out on His true followers.

"[U]ntil at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven.  Then the wilderness will become a fertile field, and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.  Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field.  And this righteousness will bring peace.  Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.  My people will live in safety, quietly at home.  They will be at rest."

-- Isaiah 32:15-18 NLT

Make no mistake, the King is coming!  The question to answer is whether we will be standing with Him, or standing idly by as others join in with Him for His glory.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Conquerors!


"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

-- Romans 8:35-39 ESV

"[M]ore than conquerors"....

Soak in that for a moment.

In the context of Paul the citizen, the conqerors were the Romans; an empire who ruled a fair portion of the world that was known to the people of Palestine and Asia Minor.  In the context of Paul the Israelite, when they had claimed the Promised Land, it was not uncommon to bring the existing settlement or city to utter ruin including all of the farm lands, cattle and sometimes, even people.  No tillable ground was left for the enemy to replant.  No stone left upon another.

The life of a committed follower "in Christ Jesus" sits ATOP these definitions of conqerors as "more than conqerors".  Ponder the implications of this.  No matter the circumstances of life, no matter the difficulties, no matter the distress that appears unbearable, being "in Christ" gives one access to the power, the love, and the self-control or a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6-7) to lay waste to any strongholds in the natural life, so there will be no fertile ground for our Enemy to replant seeds of destruction.

Paul's prayer was that we understand this position of "more than conqerors" and walk in it.  Notice again the appearance of power, love and self-control or a sound mind to comprehend.  He prayed:

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

-- Ephesians 3:14-21

Thursday, March 07, 2013

He Fights

I watched the first few minutes of a mini-series on the History Channel called, "Vikings". Hey, I'm a guy, how am I going to resist a show called "Vikings"?!

The main character takes his 12 year old son to the "city" for the rite of passage of becoming a man, and to hear the "assignments" from their liege lord for the coming year. You see, this man is apparently some sort of soldier for hire.

On their journey to the city, they have made camp and recline by the fire to rest for the night. The father begins a conversation with his son which I found intriguing.

"Are you ready to receive your arm ring and become a man?"

"Yes."

"And what does a man do?"

"He fights."

"And?"

"He looks after his family."

From the mind of a 12 year old comes his picture of manhood; a picture he has painted primarily from watching his father. It occurs to me that our world today is not so different. We men demonstrate manhood to our sons by our actions every day. We teach them to fight, but for what? We fight, sometimes physically, sometimes politically, sometimes emotionally, or we fight in our dedication to things. For things like cars or sports teams or clothes or whatever the toy of the day might be. We teach them to fight on behalf of their flesh. But do we teach them the value of their heart? That their heart is worth fighting for? Jesus thought my heart was worth fighting for or he would never have come.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. -- John 10:10 ESV

An abundant life begins in the heart.

This passage in John 10 speaks about how the Good Shepherd fights for his sheep. Jesus fought and died for your heart. For your son's heart to be in Christ, that is certainly something worth fighting for.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Carrying On

Isaiah 46:3-4 ESV

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from before your birth,
carried from the womb;
even to your old age I am he,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save."

Before we were knit in our mother's womb, He carried us.
When we broke forth into the light of this world, He carried us.
Day by day, even as we believe that we carry ourselves, He carries us.
As our eyes begin to grow dim, He will carry us.
When our Earthly time is done, He will carry us -- AWAY!