23 August 2012

Throwback Thursdays


This was a New Year post.  It's worth repeating mid-year.

"Alter the Altar"

Alter /vChange or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.
Altar /n/ A table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual, esp. for making sacrifices or offerings to a deity.


And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. Genesis 35:1-5
As we enter the new year, it's a time to reflect upon our habits as a believer and see if there are areas where we can adjust or change.  Is there a devotion that could be greater?  Is there an area of faith that needs feet put to it?


Jacob led his people to dedicate themselves to God.  First, they had to get rid of all the idols [mess] and be clean [a new dedication] and change their garments [a concerted effort].  Then they buried the gods [former practices] and the jewelry [unity with those who have same bad habits].  

Then they journeyed.

It takes time to get from one 'altar' to another.  They should be in different places.  That's not to say that you should pick up and move your whole household just because you've decided to dedicate yourself to more devotional time.  But the 'where you are' should be different.  It must be if you don't want to be confused about which altar to go to.  They left where they were because then they couldn't dig up the idols again.  Very. Important.  And let's not condemn ourselves if it seems we're without an altar for a bit.  God will protect you during your journey when He notes that your heart is right - and headed in the right direction - toward Him.

So, what is it for you?

Whose altar do you have now that's just not quite working for you?

What idols do you need to bury?

What altar should we build now?

{new devotions

{faithfulness to the body of believers

{more time for prayer

{greater giving

{praying as a family

Happy Building!

16 August 2012

A Must Have!

The book, "Scripture Keys for Kingdom Living" is a must-have book for any believer.  June Newman Davis compiles the scriptures into categories by which the verses may be applied. 

It's like a fully stocked spiritual medicine cabinet.  She first put this book out in the 60's but since then there have been many reprints.  

The same information is available electronically here.  But since you can't always whip out the internet, it's a good thing to have the book.  If you want to buy the book, check your local christian bookstore, online book seller or the book's website.  

Perla and I both have copies of this book and have utilized it many times over the years. 

Do you already have one?

14 August 2012

Where Do You Stand?


Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD.
Numbers 32:11-12 KJV
Out of all of the people who left Egypt, only two entered the promised land.  Only two received the promise.  Only two saw the reward of faith and faithfulness.

Only two.

Two.

The rest of the Israelites who left Egypt tested God, angered God, doubted God.

Our lives and walk with God will regularly test our faith.  Doubt calls out to us in the midst of trials.  Where do we stand when it really matters?  We have been delivered.  We know Who gets the credit for that.  Why then do we falter in our faith?

That same faltering.  The double-mindedness is what still causes so many of God's people to miss their destiny.  They were all supposed to cross the Jordan.  They were all supposed to make it!

Where do you stand?

Do you plan on making it over the Jordan?  Or are you content to die in the wilderness?

I am hoping you said 'no' to my second question.  So I'll just encourage you.  You can do it.  You can trust God.  You can exercise your faith when it matters.  That same faith can defeat doubt and fear.



Do it.

Believe.

Trust.

Enter your promised land.

Step in.

Go!

07 August 2012

Mine Clearance (aka Mind Clearance)


Warning: This post will be incomplete, because...
We started a series this past week at OLCC on "The Power of the Cross" which led me to this devotion.  If you're in the Lehigh Valley area next Sunday morning stop by for the next message in the series.

 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 KJV

The US military operates mine clearance operations during times of combat as well as during peacetime.  Mines are explosive devices hidden underground by the enemy with the intention of a surprise attack aimed at killing.  A mine field can be set in a larger area.  A mine field is a area of ground where multiple mines are buried out of sight.  In addition to death, the slowing or stopping of the advancing army is the goal of a mine field.

From Wikipedia regarding mine clearance:

The military priority is to breach the minefield quickly in order to create a safe path for troops ... speed is vital, both for tactical reasons and because units attempting to breach the minefield may be under enemy fire 
.. mines must be removed, although only in the lanes through which troops or vehicles are planned to advance 
... they are often aided by technical intelligence on the current adversary's mines, which are usually of a single type 
... In times of relative peace, the process of mine removal is referred to as demining. This is a thorough, time-intensive process that seeks to locate all mines so that the land or sea area may be safely returned to normal use. It is vital that this process be exhaustive. Even if only a small handful of mines remain undiscovered, incomplete demining can actually lead to an increase in civilian mine casualties as local people re-occupy an area they previously avoided in the belief that it has been made safe.
 
There's a lot there.  Let me draw the parallel and then we will go back and look at the parts I underlined.

In the simplest form: Land mines in the natural world are equivalent to wicked works in the spiritual realm.


And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled Colossians 1:21 KJV


You've been walking with God for a while now.  You know he has set you free. You believe it.  You have faith for it. You KNOW it. No doubts.

But, as you go through life, walking with God ready to re-occupy an area you previously avoided in the belief that it has been made safe, BOOM!

Where did that come from?  I thought my finances (marriage, addictions, habits, tongue) were under control!

Well, that's alright.  At least you're still here with us.  Now let's get to some mine clearance.

Fortunately, you have, in His Word, the intelligence on the current adversary's mines that you need in order to safely return the area of your mind to normal use and you can be exhaustive this time.  By the blood and the Power of the Cross, you can clear a safe path for His advancing troops in our lives.

It's important to renew your mind (Rom 12:2), so that as you walk with Him, you and Christ will be of one mind. 

No land mines.

No surprises.

No BOOM!

NOTE: Contrary to the post's poetic title, "mind clearance", or the clearing of your mind is not a biblical practice.  It is a new-age practice that stands in opposition to the Word of God.  As we see in the first scripture, we are to renew our minds.  Also scripture teaches that we are to have the mind of Christ.  No where does it tell us to clear our minds for any reason.

03 August 2012

Fridays With Francis Chan

This is a video from a group study for his book Crazy Love.

www.francischan.org

2e


I always pray to the great and glorious Father, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
I pray that he will give you the Spirit, who will let you know truths about God and help you understand them, so that you will know him better. 
I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. 

Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. 
You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious. 
And you will know that God's power is very great for us who believe.

It is the same as the mighty power he used to raise Christ from death and put him at his right side in the heavenly places. 
He put Christ over all rulers, authorities, powers, and kings. 
He gave him authority over everything that has power in this world or in the next world. 
God put everything under Christ's power and made him head over everything for the church.

The church is Christ's body. 
It is filled with him. 

He makes everything complete in every way. 

Ephesians 1:17-23 ERV
What does "2e" mean?

02 August 2012

No Division Here

I just want to share a verse or two with you.  I know there are several people who read here and never let us know they are reading here.  That's alright.  Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't.  I just wanted to pass along these three little verses.

Today, it's all about you.


May the LORD bless you, and keep you.

May the LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious toward you.

May the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 

Numbers 6:24-26