Leb Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fearful and Wondering

Genesis 3:23-24 & 4:13-14, & 16

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had
been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.


Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear.  Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." So Cain went out from the LORDs presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.


As I was reading this passage I had a few a few questions. Who was Cain afraid off? If the Lord has created Adam & Eve and Cain had just killed his brother Abel; who was left?

Often when we sin, we have a tendency to hide and fear can grip us.  We run from God because we know that God sees all; somewhere deep inside, where the law of God is written in the hearts of men, we know we have done wrong (Roman 2:15 & Hebrews 10:16).

When Adam & Eve sinned the separation began; death had entered in just as the Lord said it would (Genesis 2:16-17). The Lord removed them from the Garden. Sin has a way of putting distance between us and God.  Death continues to push until we are far from the Lord.

Now here comes Cain.  Once again, sin was crouching at the door and Cain did not know how to master it
(Genesis 4:7). This time its murder. The Father speaks and Cain is further removed and sent to the land of Nod; a man left to wander, no longer part of the family, he was sent our from the presence of God.

So Cain what are you afraid?  I don't know that I can answer that question for Cain, but I do know that when sin has captured our hearts and we are left to wander and contemplate our condition, there is a loneliness that visits us. There is a fear of what will happen if all is disclosed? Will my family still love me? Will I still belong? Will God ever visit me again; will I be accepted? Often its not easy for us to admit we have wronged someone; that we have said the wrong thing, taken actions that have caused someone pain; ruined someones reputation, lied, cheated, stolen, every action & thought that opposes God.  Pride will bind us; shame wants to keep us, and we are left wandering and moving further
apart from God and those that love us.

As Adam & Eve left the Garden, the Word says that the Lord made them garments of skin (Genesis
2:21). The shedding of blood for the remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). The Lord did send them out; they may not have fully understood, but they had a map that covered them; it was a coat fashioned for them, a coat designed as blood spilled, a coat that would remind them of what the Lord had done for them. He covered them and then sent them out. Almost like a whisper, a reminder; the coat a shadowed for the things to come. I have covered you, I will cover you; you have done wrong, you have sinned, but I have paid the price for you disobedience.


How far can we drift? We can roam for a long time without peace. We can walk through life afraid.  It we allow it, the fear can keep us from a right relationship with God.  The enemy of our soul would love to keep us distance from the One that can give Life. Christ has come, sent by the Father. Christ has come and clothed himself in flesh.  He went to the cross, shed his blood and paid for our rebellion.  The
message is simple.  The price--the life of the Son of God for our forgiveness; a way back; forgiveness for all who turn to the Lord. Turn around, go in the opposite direction. No more running from God.  Draw near to God.  He wants us to come back home, back to fellowship with the Father. We must get up and go to the Father. He waits for our return. (Luke 15:20)



Can I get a Witness

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Can I get a witness?  Better question, what kind of witness are we?

A married couple coming to the apostles and laying before their feet, their money.  A good gesture, an offering if you will.  This couple has sold their house and are bringing the monies to the apostles' feet for distribution; to help those in need. So why did they die?

Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” Acts 5:8-9


What exactly is the role of a witness?  A witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion provides a testimony; to bear witness; to see, hear, or know by personal presence or perception; to be present at an occurrence as a formal witness, spectator; to testify.  These definitions found on the web gives us an idea why Sapphira dropped dead.  I am highlighting the wife because as I understand this passage; God was extending mercy and grace to Sapphira, but she missed it.


When we testify we have a choice to bring glory to God or perhaps glory to us.  One leads to life the other can bring death. Ever told a lie and had the Spirit of the Lord speak to you no sooner than the words came out of your mouth?  We have a choice; come clean and fix immediately or let the lie sleep in our hearts and give the enemy more ammunition to destroy us.   


I believe that if Sapphira had come clean, she would have encountered the mercy and grace of God.  But she chose to lie; to be a witness that robbed God; she spoke in a  manner that exposed her heart.  Perhaps she thought no one knew the truth.  The Word of God tells us that He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. 1 Corinthians 4:5. She bore witness to a lie and reaped the consequences.

John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ.  He testified of the One who would come.  His entire life lived as a witness to the Christ.  Then he ends up  in jail; even as doubt arose in his heart and he questioned if indeed Jesus was was the long awaited one.  He found strength and courage to endure as the words came to him;  “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22. We know that John is beheaded later on, but he did not lose his witness!


How amazing!  The encouragement and strength to be the witness came from God himself.  If we are not ashamed, if we just hold on, he breaths life and strengthens us. 


Elijah and the people of Israel "How long will you waver between two opinions" 1 Kings 18:21 Choose!  Either serve your false god Baal or serve the One True God.  Testify and be a witness. Choose!  Elijah found strength from God to stand against the opposition.  Later we see Elijah terrified as he runs from Jezebel.  But once again, Elijah receives encouragement from God; an angel ministered to him.  Jezebel, a witness to evil; "Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel".  1 Kings 21:23  She dies!  Elijah maintains his witness.


We always have a choice. 

 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15


can go on and on; the witnesses are all over Scripture. The witnesses of the Triumphal Entry, the spectators around the Cross; Saul the zealous witness, the observer even to Stephen death; discovered Christ on the road to Damascus and embraced the mercy & grace of God.  The one who thought could see was actually blind until he encountered the Lord. 

Then there is the Eunuch encountered by Philip (Acts 8).  Ever wondered how many other turned to the Lord?  Truly the Eunuch was not alone. he gave orders to stop the chariot; how many were with him; how many observers.  The message brought by Philip, the message of Salvation was received by the Eunuch; maybe it caused a rippling affect to those that were present.  They heard and saw; observed the Eunuch even get baptized!

I want to be a good witness!  I desire the strength and power of the Almighty that lives within me to lead me and "bear witness" not only to what God has done in me but what I expect him to do in others if they are willing.  I want this life to mean something; something bigger than myself.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20




God bless you!~Liz www.lizrod.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tight Laced Fingers - In His Grip!

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


This morning as I woke up I got on my computer to send out this daily email. But this morning I actually checked out the news; my eyes glanced over the words Typhoon.  It's another disaster that has occurred in this world; lives lost and families separated.

One of the images was what seemed like, a young mother; she is gripping her child with interlaced fingers, guaranteeing that nothing is going to cause her arms to let go.  She has created a secure grip not only to insure herself but to protect the child she is holding as well. She is not standing in the midst of a nice hotel room, she's not even in the center of her home.  Actually her feet are touching dirt; flip flops and pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  A few salvaged items, a blanket and probably whatever they were able to escape with.  Others are in worst shape; laying down in dirt that has been shifted as the water swept through their village.  No home, no possessions.  As I read Romans 8 this morning, it became an image, a visual aid as this verse came to life.  We don't go through Typhoons or earthquakes or any other disasters on a daily basis, but in this fallen world there are many enemies and disaster type events that indeed are trying to separate us from God.

The Bible says we have an advocate, a helper who teaches us all things and points us back to Jesus (John 14:26). Well, in the midst of my disaster, of my crisis, what is Jesus saying? Has your leader or mentor been stripped from you and fear is trying to negotiate your future?  The Bible says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.  These folks had alot of wavering going on; their hearts were going to capsize and give up.  The Lord spoke through Moses and made sure that they understood the pre-qualifications if you will to the promise; " and you must do all that I have commanded" ver 5.  My paraphrase, I got you, I will be with you.  My hand is leading and covering you, but you must obey. Neither the present or the future will separate us.
I remember when I first got saved.  I began to have vary strange and demonic like dreams.  I really did not understand all that was happening to me; I do remember fighting in my dreams.  I was not fighting physically, but there was a strong presence of "evil" that I could feel and images that I could see.  I did not understand spiritual warfare; I did not even know what I was supposed to do.  In the midst of my dream that was as real as you and I, I called on the Name of Jesus, that was the only thing I knew to do.  I did not know Scripture well; actually the only Scripture I knew was what I was taught in the Catholic Church "The Our Father" prayer that we find in Matthew 6. I began to pray in my dream until I woke up.  God was teaching me that he was and is my help; that his Name is Mighty, He is my Deliverer!  Neither angels nor demons can separate me from Christ.

How about death? The Bible says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 So, when death comes to visit, he sends a procession of agents ahead of it; fear, doubt, pain, confusion; all with the intention to discourage us from believing the promise of God.  I have crossed over, Hallelujah.  The Bible says that death has been swallowed up.  The one who paid the ransom is the one who grips me; he is the one who welcomes me home.  Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35  See, God holds us in a tight grip.  The seal on the tomb, the death to his physically body could not keep him from rising.  Try if you will and seal the tomb.  Crucify him and kill the flesh. Try and strip him of his identity, but he knows who he is. The purposes of the Father, the plan to call us back to himself will be done.  For it is not his will, but the Father's will that will be accomplished. Done; "It is finished" John 19:30. Death swallowed, our shame covered. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1.

The International Space Center has produced an image that shows the disaster hovering over the region of the Philippines.  The Lord saw the pending disaster as we disobeyed in the garden.  He has made provision; he has sent the Lamb of God, born in a manger, the begotten of the Father, to redeemed us. The Son leaves the presence of the Father; he walks on earth; defiled ground if you will.  He allows himself to be tortured, humiliated, beaten by the hands of sinners.  He overcomes the grave, he goes back to the Father and is interceding for us; he send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all this.  So, what is God saying?  What shall separate us from his love? Nothing, absolutely nothing; he has us in his grip!  Praise the Living God!
God bless you!~Liz
Be Inspired! Visit : www.lizrod.com

In His Grip

Romans 8:38-39 
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This morning as I woke up I got on my computer to send out this daily email. But this morning I actually checked out the news; my eyes glanced over the words Typhoon.  It's another disaster that has occurred in this world; lives lost and families separated.

One of the images was what seemed like, a young mother; she is gripping her child with interlaced fingers, guaranteeing that nothing is going to cause her arms to let go.  She has created a secure grip not only to insure herself but to protect the child she is holding as well. She is not standing in the midst of a nice hotel room, she's not even in the center of her home.  Actually her feet are touching dirt; flip flops and pair of shorts and a t-shirt.  A few salvaged items, a blanket and probably whatever they were able to escape with.  Others are in worst shape; laying down in dirt that has been shifted as the water swept through their village.  No home, no possessions.  As I read Romans 8 this morning, it became an image, a visual aid as this verse came to life.  We don't go through Typhoons or earthquakes or any other disasters on a daily basis, but in this fallen world there are many enemies and disaster type events that indeed are trying to separate us from God. 

The Bible says we have an advocate, a helper who teaches us all things and points us back to Jesus (John 14:26). Well, in the midst of my disaster, of my crisis, what is Jesus saying? Has your leader or mentor been stripped from you and fear is trying to negotiate your future?  The Bible says, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.  These folks had alot of wavering going on; their hearts were going to capsize and give up.  The Lord spoke through Moses and made sure that they understood the pre-qualifications if you will to the promise; " and you must do all that I have commanded" ver 5.  My paraphrase, I got you, I will be with you.  My hand is leading and covering you, but you must obey. Neither the present or the future will separate us.
I remember when I first got saved.  

I began to have vary strange and demonic like dreams.  I really did not understand all that was happening to me; I do remember fighting in my dreams.  I was not fighting physically, but there was a strong presence of "evil" that I could feel and images that I could see.  I did not understand spiritual warfare; I did not even know what I was supposed to do.  In the midst of my dream that was as real as you and I, I called on the Name of Jesus, that was the only thing I knew to do.  I did not know Scripture well; actually the only Scripture I knew was what I was taught in the Catholic Church "The Our Father" prayer that we find in Matthew 6. I began to pray in my dream until I woke up.  God was teaching me that he was and is my help; that his Name is Mighty, He is my Deliverer!  Neither angels nor demons can separate me from Christ.
How about death? The Bible says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 So, when death comes to visit, he sends a procession of agents ahead of it; fear, doubt, pain, confusion; all with the intention to discourage us from believing the promise of God.  I have crossed over, Hallelujah.  The Bible says that death has been swallowed up.  The one who paid the ransom is the one who grips me; he is the one who welcomes me home.  Neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35  See, God holds us in a tight grip.  The seal on the tomb, the death to his physically body could not keep him from rising.  Try if you will and seal the tomb.  Crucify him and kill the flesh. Try and strip him of his identity, but he knows who he is. The purposes of the Father, the plan to call us back to himself will be done.  For it is not his will, but the Father's will that will be accomplished. Done; "It is finished" John 19:30. Death swallowed, our shame covered. How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1.

The International Space Center has produced an image that shows the disaster hovering over the region of the Philippines.  The Lord saw the pending disaster as we disobeyed in the garden.  He has made provision; he has sent the Lamb of God, born in a manger, the begotten of the Father, to redeemed us. The Son leaves the presence of the Father; he walks on earth; defiled ground if you will.  He allows himself to be tortured, humiliated, beaten by the hands of sinners.  He overcomes the grave, he goes back to the Father and is interceding for us; he send the Holy Spirit to remind us of all this.  So, what is God saying?  What shall separate us from his love? Nothing, absolutely nothing; he has us in his grip!  Praise the Living God!

God bless you!~Liz www.lizrod.com