LebBlog

LebBlog

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Contend for the Truth

(Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIjhXt8jXsw&t=4s)

I watched an interesting movie today. A little grisly but the plot was stimulating.
Something filled the atmosphere and caused those whose eyes were open and engaging with their environment (which would be everyone) to face their worse fears to their ultimate demise. I did say it was a little grisly!

The fascinating plot unfolds. There were a few who discovered that if they blind-folded their eyes they could evade this evil. Many interesting twists and turns as the story continues to the end.

From the very beginning it was like a parable. Those that could see would die and those that were blind-folded were safer.

In the story of the blind man’s investigation in the Book of John (John 9:13-24) the Pharisees question the now restored man and badger him regarding his healing. The man answers their question by saying, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (v25)

Jesus was letting the world know that those who claimed their own righteousness would be justified by their own sinful efforts. Those who humbly came to Jesus knowing their own brokenness and sin, those Jesus would restore! The blind would have sight while those who could see would remain blind.

As the cinema continues, the main character who has an emotional detachment issue has to face her own fears. She finally overcomes by keeping her eyes closed and running toward the place of rescue. Through many toils and snares she reaches the place of salvation and security for her and her children.

I cheered, screamed and finally was able to breath as she enters the place where the birds are chirping, and safe haven is hers to dwell in. Interestingly, the place of refuge was a camp for the blind.

I love to dissect movies and their message to the viewer (me). This had an underlying message right out of the Word of God.

In the middle of the movie a stranger appears at the door where these few strangers are huddled together. Some urged and fought, contended not to let the stranger in. Nevertheless, the stranger is welcomed in. He seems to fit right in with them. The warning should have been adhered to. The man was an impostor desiring to bring chaos. He slipped right in bringing death inside their sanctuary.

The warning is sounded right out of the book of Jude. “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 1:3-4)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)

The alarm has been sounded! Contend for the truth. We must be careful not to allow compromise to mix with truth. Watered-down truth is no longer truth.

Jesus, the Savior of the world has arrived. He is the way the truth and the life! (John 14:6)

“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.” (John 9:25b)

God bless you!~Liz


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

GOD DOESN’T MAKES SENSE | WHY OBEY?

“I want God to use me.” “I want to experience a miracle.” “I want to hear God.”

The expressions of a heart desiring God are reflected by these statements. What if God is speaking and showing us who he is but we are just not responding?

Have you ever been in a restaurant and felt the need to buy someone lunch? I’m not referring to your co-workers, friend or mom. You are sitting down, and you really can’t fully explain it, but you know you must buy that stranger lunch.

The rationale behind such a decision does not makes sense. You don’t know the person. You don’t know their financial status. Hey, perhaps they should be buying you lunch!

So, you get up pay for your lunch and tell the waitress that you want to buy lunch for the lady across the diner who is sitting with her elderly mom. The mom and daughter will never know. You leave the restaurant with a joy in your heart that you can’t fully explain!

Obedience has rewards!

Liz, I’d like you to get up and go speak to the women sitting next to you and let her know I love her. “What, God? Are you speaking with me?” So, on I went trembling but delivered the message, that God loved her. The woman was startled at first but then began to share her heartache with me. The heartache that God knew off.

I believe part of the reason we don’t see God move in our lives is because we are too smart for our own good!

The world teaches us to be rational, to think for ourselves. Don’t let anyone take you for a fool! That’s great and I agree. But there are moments when God is trying to use us, teach us and reach us by allowing us to exhibit obedience.

As God impresses upon us what he would like us to do, we must be careful that we don’t scrutinize his request to the point of disobedience. “Lord, you sure you are talking to me?” Our intellect and logical reasoning could remove God right out of the equation for a blessing based on obedience.

It’s Christmas time and your budget it maxed out. God asks you to give someone $100! That clearly can’t be God, right?

“Rahab, hide the spies.” “Who said that!” Her obedience chronicles her in the lineage of God. She obeyed.

Abraham heard God, but would he follow through? Abraham built an alter and bound his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)

Early morning and the sun is rising. “Friends haven’t you any fish?” (John 21:5) I wonder if the disciples thought to themselves, “no fish, just tired and hungry.” “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” (John 21:6) What, are you kidding? This body of water has no fish, trust us!

We can’t just trust our own reasoning sometimes! In their obedience the disciples caught 153 large fish. Good thing they obeyed. They didn’t even realize it was Jesus speaking to them.

Sometimes we too fail to recognize that God is speaking to us. He desires to commune with us, use us, and help us experience him.

So what ridiculous blessing is awaiting you for your act of obedience? How can you bless someone you know or the stranger you will only pass by once in your life? Perhaps $100 is just pennies for you. God clearly is speaking but will we obey? Did we send the card he told us to send? Did he say get them two tires for their car? That does not make sense, clearly that can’t be God. Get lunch, well that’s more reasonable Lord! What, for an entire month?

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. (Matthew 14:17) “Bring them here to me.” (v18)

“Raise your staff and stretch out your hand.” (Genesis 14:16)

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4) “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-4)

God doesn’t always make sense. He bypasses our intellect and asks that FAITH arise. Obedience has its own reward. No one out-gives God. Obedience has rewards! Let faith arise and experience the joy of the Lord!

“I want God to use me.” “I want to experience a miracle.” “I want to hear God.”

Friend, he is waiting for your response.

God bless you!~Liz

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Passing Through...

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Just finishing a 9-day vacation.

Arriving at the airport I am in an unfamiliar car in unknown roads. The attendant asks me if I want to purchase a Travel Pass. It’s used for the roads I will travel on. It’s a toll card for the universal tax collection. I declined on the Travel Pass.

New construction everywhere. Ten minutes on the road and I have no clue where I am. A quick exit puts me in –you guessed it, a toll booth. I’m ready to pay but the sign says, “no cash”. It actually reads “no attendant!”

Well I broke the law. No where to go but down this crooked road. I wonder how much this is going to cost me? I should have taken the “pass”.

I became very familiar with the Google Maps navigation system.

One thing I learned during this trip is that I just can’t rely on what others tell me, including Google! I must look up and engage my environment.

During this trip we ended up on a on a one-way, 3-lane road. We were driving correctly, but we had a vehicle heading in our direction going the wrong way. Horns blare and praise God everyone is safe.

The Word of God is a map. It navigates us through this world, gives us warnings, insight and direction on how to travel. The Word reminds me that I am a sojourner traveling through a world I do not belong in. Look around and take it in. Note the culture but don’t adhere to all its directives. Collisions waiting to happen are everywhere.

I enjoy vacation, but I always like returning home. Maybe because its familiar.

The Bible says that our hearts long for home, he has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are just passing through. Don’t get used to this world because it is passing away. The never-ending changes appeal to our flesh. The lure is for us to become satisfied here. But we are not from this world (John 17:16).

There is a Navigation System available and offered to us. Take it! The tolls in this life are hefty! The Navigator himself has paid it all. We can’t afford the penalty of our errors and mistakes.

Look up! He has sent Help (Palm 121)!

Apart from God’s help we are lost. Destined for oncoming collisions. But help has arrived. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Welcome to LIFE. Would you like the Navigation System? It comes at no charge to you. You have a Personal Attendant and the price has been paid.

Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) He has been sent to rescue the lost.

After nine days, my heart longs for home. Vacation was great, but I’m just passing through. My cozy worn-out couch and its familiar sounds and scents call to me.

My soul too longs for eternity. Jesus draws me and speaks. It’s the presence of God I long for.

While traveling, Lord, lead me to your refreshing Spirit. Help me know you are near.  I desire to enjoy your familiar presence that brings me comfort, joy and an overwhelming peace.

Welcome to Earth. Would you like the Navigator to show you the way? The cost has been settled.

Yes please, I’ll take HIM!

God bless you!~Liz