Welcome to the June Archive. You are welcome to read the entire archive, or find a topic on the list below that is of interest to you. Just click the link, and you will be taken directly to the day it was written. Enjoy, and may you know God's peace as you read His Word.
When writing, I used the New International Version of the Bible. Due to copyright restrictions, I have not included quotes for the scriptures, but highly encourage you to open your own bibles to read the scripture passages for yourselves.
A WORD FOR TODAY, June 2000
June 1, 2000
Ascension Living in England has given our children the wonderful opportunity to visit places they would never had the chance to see. We have been to castles, cathedrals and palaces. We have been to Roman villas, Saxon villages, and Norman strongholds. In school, one of the special teachers the children visit every week is the Host Nation teacher. She is a lovely British woman who shares information and history of England with the children so that they get the most out of our tour. Each grade level has specific field trips to important local landmarks, which they learn about in the Host Nation class. Today we are visiting Sandringham, the queen of England’s summer home.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary succeeded her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. Due to the illness of her father, she was already performing the duties attributed to the monarch of this land, however it was not until his death her position became official. Even at his death, it was necessary to go through the pomp and circumstance of her crowning. A royal coronation is not a simple affair. It takes some time to plan and execute such an event. The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth did not occur until June 2, 1953. Every detail needed to be perfect, every person properly briefed, and every item in its place. Pictures and video from this glorious day certainly show the outcome of hard work and painstaking attention to detail.
During His life on this earth, Jesus Christ was already performing the work of the Father. He lived, died and rose again so that all might benefit from God’s promises to His children. His resurrection defeated the power of death so that all that believe will have eternal life. The prince of this world lost the war. After His resurrection, Jesus Christ stayed with the disciples for a time so that many could see Him in His glory before He returned to the Father. He continued to instruct His chosen representatives so that they would be fully prepared to continue His Work. Yet, the day had to come for Him to leave, or the Holy Spirit could not come to fill them with His power.
In the first chapter of the book of Acts, we hear the story of Christ’s ascension. Even to this very last moment, the disciples question Jesus as to the time when the kingdom of Israel will be restored. Jesus responded by saying, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Then He was taken up into heaven. Mark tells us that He sat at the right hand of God. This was Jesus’ Coronation day. He was crowned with all the glory of heaven and now reigns forever as the King.
Read Psalm 110
Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to God’s people on earth. I am so thankful to be part of God’s Kingdom, and I praise God for His mercy and love. God does not forget His promises, and we live today in the assurance that we filled with His life. My King reigns forever and He reigns in me. Thanks be to God.
Volunteers This past Wednesday, the Teacher’s Association at our children’s school had a tea to honour the moms, dads and other who put time and energy into helping around the school. Volunteers play an important role in any school, helping the administration, staff and teachers to accomplish the little things so that they can focus on the children. The Parent-Teacher-Student Association, School Advisory Committee, library aids, classroom aids, office help and cookie moms, make the day-to-day running of our school easier. These volunteers provide programmes that enhance the education of our children, and free the teachers to teach.
One of the phrases in the English language that has always bothered me, is ‘she has her work cut out for her.’ This is generally used to describe a situation that is quite difficult to handle. Yet, I think about Dani, a mom from Zack’s class, whose job it has been this year to cut out shapes for craft projects. When the children sit at their tables to begin the project, the items necessary are ‘cut out for them.’ This mom, who tirelessly accomplished this simple task before the class, made the projects run more smoothly and quickly. By having the work ‘cut out for them’ the children are better able to do all they need to do.
Christians spend a great deal of our time doing good works for God’s Kingdom. We sit on committees at church, we bake cookies for school or we act as mentors for children who need a stable relationship in their life. Volunteers constantly give of themselves to make life a little better for others. This is a noble sacrifice, yet we must beware of the dangers. Often we get so caught up in the service, we forget whom we are serving. We begin to focus on the tasks that need to be accomplished and we ignore the One who gives us the gifts and strength to carry them out. Serving God becomes our god – our works are not according to His Will, but we follow our own desires.
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
In the earlier verses of this chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians, Paul talks about sin and following the desires of the flesh. Those desires are anything that is not according to God’s Will – including good works. Do you get stressed or burnt out from your selfless acts of service? Then you are trying too hard, and not listening to God.
God has our work ‘cut out for us.’ Everything is prepared; we need only to be obedient.
Politicians Politicians make many promises to get elected. They look at the needs of the country, they promise to make things better. Candidates in the past have promised a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. In more recent times, they have made the promise to have phone service or cable in every home. The latest promises are about computers and Internet access for every citizen. The aim of these promises is to equalize the society to bring about fairness, which cannot exist if there are ‘have and have-nots.’
There is one thing the politicians don’t talk about when promising things in their campaigns – our responsibility. The car is vital in American society. Many people live some distance from their jobs, and public transportation is not possible in every corner of America. However, to own a car means having a great responsibility. You must know how to drive the car and how to take care of the upkeep. Gas, insurance and maintenance adds a financial burden to the family. The same is true about Internet access. While it is true that the World Wide Web provides a wonderful resource for information, there is also much false and immoral information available. There is a large amount of pornography and violence available to view. Shopaholics can overspend without even leaving their homes. Gamblers also have access to sites that feed their addictions. Many people rely upon the chat rooms for companionship and never leave their homes.
In the eleventh chapter of Numbers, Moses was getting tired. They Israelites were in the desert and they were complaining about everything. God was providing them with sustenance, manna, however they recalled the wonderful food they ate in Egypt – meat, cucumbers, melons and more. Moses listened to the wailing and was troubled. God was angry. Moses was responsible because he was chosen by God to be the leader and he was anointed by the Holy Spirit to carry out the duties entrusted to him. Moses asked God why he was burdened with this great responsibility and God heard his plea. Moses was told to bring before the Lord seventy of Israel’s elders to be anointed. Then He would provide so much meat that they will be ill of it. Moses was uncertain.
Read Numbers 11:23-29
Moses was given the power of God, and with that power came great responsibility. He was not jealous of those who were given the same power but rather hoped that all would know it. In the New Covenant, that wish was fulfilled, when God offered His Holy Spirit to all men. It began at Pentecost, and even to this day, the Holy Spirit fills His children so that they might do His Will. This filling comes with great responsibility. May we ever walk in His ways and may we glorify Him each moment. Thanks be to God.
Optical Illusions An optical illusion usually refers to an illusion affecting spatial relations. We have all been in situations where we have been shown a picture and asked what we see. One favourite is a black and white pen drawing of a woman. At first glance, she appears to be young and beautiful looking away from you. When you look more closely, you can see an old woman looking toward you. Some people become quite frustrated by these pictures because they are never able to see the other image.
M. C. Escher was a master at drawing pictures of illusions. In one picture called “Relativity,” you find a room with several people living on different planes of existence. In his words, “It is impossible for the inhabitants of different worlds to walk or sit or stand on the same floor, because they have differing conceptions of what is horizontal and what is vertical.” Escher’s work is somewhat disturbing to look at because we know it is not possible for there to be three forces of gravity.
I once saw a picture of Christ, painted in a surreal-impressionist style. At first glance, the picture looks like nothing more than a tropical rain forest, lush and green. As I continued to look at the picture, subtleties in the colours began to show and I could see that there was a face. On closer examination, I realized that the red spots were not flowers, but rather drops of blood from His thorny crown. Then I saw it was Jesus. Once I was able to see His face I was unable to go back to my first impression.
Read Luke 10:17-24
Some people have difficulty seeing the other images in the optical illusions or works of art. It is difficult for them to move beyond their first impression. Jesus sent the seventy-two into the world to preach the Kingdom, so that they would know the power in His name. When they returned, they were excited about the things they could do. I feel the same way each day as I’m led to write these words.
However, Jesus reminds us to not focus on our first impression, but to look at things in a better way. We are to see that our joy comes not from the things we can do for Him and in Him, but rather that we are His. Thanks be to God.
Buried I once read the book called “The Source” written by James Michener. This book describes a ‘tell’ in Israel that is studied by archeologists. In places like Israel, where human beings have existed for many millennia, there are hills that reveal that many civilizations have used the same location over the years. As one civilization dies, the remains of its city fall to ruin and are covered up. That spot is then discovered some years later by a new people, ready to begin a new life for that spot. Why do they choose the same place? There is always a good source of water, and generally it lie on an ancient established trading route.
As I read the book, I wondered how a whole city could be covered over in a matter of years. In many cases, the decline of the civilization came due to natural disaster or war. They buildings fell from fire or earthquake, or were weakened by attacks from other men. When the walls come tumbling down, as in the case of Jericho, it only took a few feet of dust and dirt to completely cover the remains of such destruction.
I have noticed this phenomenon at the castles we have visited. There are some sites that have not been excavated. When you visit, all that is visible are the tops of a few walls. These walls still stand proudly, but have been covered over by dirt and vegetation. These particular buildings are only a thousand years old, abandoned for five hundred. How could walls that once stood ten feet high be completely covered?
I watched a gardener trim beside a sidewalk one day. He was using a tool that was designed to cut away the grass and dirt that overgrows the edge of the sidewalk. When that garden was first built, the level of the grass was even with the sidewalk. Over the years, as the grass dies, it mixes with the soil, raising the level a little. Add to that the effects of rain, underground animals and the wind bringing other dust and dirt. The gardener had to cut through several inches of dirt and grass to trim this edge. This particular sidewalk is probably only a decade or so old, yet with constant care is under threat of being buried.
Read James 1:12-14
Our lives are like that sidewalk, and sin like the grass creeping over the edge until we are buried. It comes slowly, not even noticeable at first, one small lie or bout of anger. If we do not continuously care for our lives, through prayer, confession, repentance and scripture study, the sins become worse and cover over our lives. Thanks be to God that He loved us so much that He gave us His Son Jesus Christ to die for us. His blood lifts us above the sin so that we will not be buried into death, but rather we live in Him and for His glory.
Scouts Both our children are involved in scouts. Vicki has been a Girl Scout for a number of years now, and Zack is completing his year as a Tiger Cub Scout. Belonging to organizations such as these takes a great deal of commitment – financial, emotional and physical. We must commit our time to take the children to meetings but also to be an active part of the group. Adult participation is required of Tiger Cub families, and whole family participation is encouraged. There is commitment at home to work on the badges and prepare materials for upcoming events.
Most organizations try to keep the financial commitment at a minimum, but there are still certain things that must be purchased. We just ordered Zack’s new uniform for his bridging to Wolves on Saturday. I was surprised at the cost of one small shirt and belt. We also have to pay dues and buy from their fund-raisers.
As is true of any organization, there is emotional stress involved with the Scouts. At the kite derby, I watched as a mother comforted her child when his kite broke. It happened very early in the flying demonstration, so was quickly disqualified from the prize. There has been some personality conflicts within the organizations. These problems make being part of such a group difficult as innocent bystanders are drawn in to the battles. It is unfortunate when such stress exists when we are meant to be serving the children. Yet, it is part of the cost of being a member.
Read Matthew 8:18-22
There is a cost to being a disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. As is true of the Scouts, church membership comes with its own financial, emotional and physical costs. However, being part of God’s Kingdom has an even greater cost. Jesus tells us that we are to leave behind everything that is dead and walk in His light and life. This means complete surrender of everything we have and are. Jesus had no possessions; Jesus had no family commitments. Jesus left it all behind to go do His Father’s work.
Are you ready to pay the real cost for discipleship for your Lord?
Alex I was at our vicar’s house for Bible Study last night and had the pleasure of meeting ‘Alex,’ an eight week old fur ball filled with energy. This kitten spent the evening zooming, bouncing and climbing all over the room, entertaining us with her zest and curiosity. She is a brand new member of the family, and she had not yet come to know the room where we sat. Imagine her surprise when she leaped from the chair on to the keys of the piano, creating such a noise as to make all of us jump.
Another member of their family, the hamster, had been sleeping all day. Alex didn’t even notice the cage as she raced around the room. That is, she didn’t notice it until the hamster woke up. ‘Tilly’ began to do all the things that hamsters do, which was mostly chewing away at her cage. When Alex noticed something moving in the cage, she stopped and watched, mesmerized by this moving thing in the cage. After some time, she became bored with the hamster, and she took off to zoom, bounce and climb again. When Tily was done chewing, she moved to another room of her cage. Alex noticed the movement and went back to investigate. She sniffed at the plastic walls of the cage and tapped them with her paws. No matter what she tried she was unable to reach Tilly.
Through it all, Tilly remained very peaceful. She went about her business, climbing through the rooms of her house, chewing on everything she could get her teeth on. She had no concern for this playful fellow outside her cage, even though the way Alex began to attack the walls could have been seen as threatening. Now, Alex is just a tiny ball of fluff, certainly non-threatening to the eight men and women in that room. However, Alex is larger than Tilly, and she did attack the cage. Tilly never flinched.
I often feel like a hamster in a cage, attacked by the pressures of the world and the affects of sin. Sometimes evil seems to come in a package that looks like a tiny ball of fluff, yet it can be overwhelming at times. It is my prayer that I can be more like Tilly, at peace within my home, which is the Kingdom of God, unflinching when the attacks come.
Read Psalm 63:2-8
When we see the attacks of evil, we should sing for joy to the God of our salvation and remember that He will guard and protect us from harm. He covers us with his wings; He is our refuge – our peace. Thank you, Lord, for being with me at every moment. Help me to remember and live accordingly.
Teachers Teaching is a difficult job. Each year, a teacher welcomes into his or her classroom a group of strangers. She takes them under her wing, guides, teaches and molds them for a year, then must say good-bye and send them on to a new teacher in the fall. Throughout the year, he must accomplish certain things according to the guidelines established by the administration and higher level officials. Through all this, each teacher must provide discipline and encouragement, information and opportunity, fun in the midst of serious learning.
Our children attend the school on base run by the Department of Defense. Military children are different than other children in many ways, and teaching in such a system is extremely challenging and rewarding.
Since military life tends to be rather transient, particularly life in overseas assignments, there is a constant turnover of children. The atmosphere in the class changes often, as children move to a new assignment – coming in and going out at a rate of about thirty percent a year.
Military members spend a great deal of time doing temporary duty away from their homes. The spouse who remains behind is like a single parent for a time as he or she cares for the children. The duty assignment of the military spouse is often dangerous. No matter how hard we try to mask our worries and concerns, our children are aware of the news and the stress we are feeling. These small children deal with fears and concerns, which are unheard of to children in the civilian world. A child’s behaviour often changes with the absence of the parent, and the DoDDs teachers must cope with those changes in the classroom.
There are positive aspects, such as their ability to adapt easily to change and the wide scope of experience brought into the classroom by these children who have lived around the whole world. All teachers are special, because they have chosen to embark on a lifetime of molding young lives into the next generation of citizens. However, the men and women that work in the DoDDs system are a special breed of teachers who are able to cope with the unusual circumstances of such a unique group of children.
Read 2 Timothy 2:22-26
Teachers of God’s Word are also a special breed, selected by God and gifted by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Today we are honouring the teachers in our school, for the work they’ve done to enhance the lives of our children. Today, let us remember all the teachers in our lives – those from our childhood, as well as the teachers who still touch our lives today with bits of life changing wisdom. Thank you God for teachers, particularly those who walk in your light and life and share that with the world.
Zoo The first modern zoo was that of the Royal Zoological Society, located in Regent’s Park London. It was established in 1826. The 19th century was a time of scientific discovery. The British Empire stretched to the four corners of the earth, and the nobility of the day was very interested in the natural sciences. Explorers were sent all over the world to gather new species of plant and animal life to study here in England. The specimens were often brought back stuffed, so that the intellectuals of the day could study them. The country homes which were quite popular through the Regency and Victorian eras are filled with examples of every sort of bird and insect life, as well as animals of every shape and form.
In many cases, the animals were brought back live, and placed in cages so that the lifestyles could be studied. Leeds Castle in Kent has a lovely aviary, which was created out of the owner’s desire to study tropical birds. The zoological parks became a place of wonder and amazement, where every day folk could see animals from all over the world.
Unfortunately, in the early days, the designers of the zoos were unconcerned by the welfare of the animals. The cages were small and uncomfortable. This has been true until the last few decades of the twentieth century, when conservationists began to realize the importance of protecting the animals from harm. Most modern zoos today are undergoing tremendous changes to ensure that the animals receive the proper care. Zoos are once again zoological parks, where the animals are studied in the hopes of understanding how to protect them in the wild.
In the beginning, the whole world lived in harmony. Man was created to rule over the rest of creation. When sin entered the world through the willful disobedience of Adam and Eve, the original harmony of creation was upset. Through the ages, sin increased until the days of Noah, when God saw that man could not live as He intended. He commanded Noah to build the ark and organize the first zoo – a floating zoo – to guard and protect the created from harm. The rains came; the earth was destroyed except for those who were on board the ark. After the flood, God established a new order. The harmony had been broken; the flesh of animals became acceptable as sustenance for man and beast alike. While man still had dominion over the animals, there was no longer peace on the earth between man and beast.
However, the day will come when the world will be restored to its former glory.
Read Isaiah 65:20-25
The day is coming when the whole world will live in peace again. Zoos will not need cages because the lion will lay with the lamb, and man will once again rule the creation as it was intended. Jesus Christ died on the cross to restore the harmony of creation on earth and in heaven. That harmony can begin today, with us, as we live according to the will and purpose of God our Father, in the name of Jesus our Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pride We all struggle with something. I was chatting with a woman yesterday who has known Jesus for many years. She is struggling with an addiction, and it has been a test of her faith. She was so sure that when she was saved all the struggles would disappear, so each time she has to fight the battle against her addiction, she feels as though she has failed. The self-help books teach that you can overcome your addictions, you can be the master of your destiny. The trouble with self help is that when its all over, we can claim, “I did it all by myself.” Then pride sets in.
Many people want to turn to God for help with their addictions, however they feel they are unworthy of that relationship. I’ve heard people say, “I’ll pray when I can stop doing this.” Or, “I will go to church when I have changed.” We try so hard to overcome those things that stand in the way of our relationship with God. Yet, it is only by God’s Hand that we can overcome these things.
And it is only by God’s Hand that we succeed. God often uses His children to do magnificent works in this world. However, we often mistake His work for our own. We take pride in the number of people who are saved because of our ministries. We count every change we see in others as a statement of our own righteousness, as a success. I battle these things regularly with this ministry. Each day, people send letters of thankfulness for the WORD and the writings on the website. It is very encouraging to know that something I have shared has touched lives in such a way. Yet, I must carefully guard each thought and word; not only so that others will understand that it is not by my hand, but also to remind myself that I am merely a vessel used by God. It is very easy to fall into pride, to accept credit for our successes.
We read in the book of Proverbs 29:23, “A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Jesus reiterates this statement in the Sermon on the Mount when He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) In our world today, we are taught to be proud of our achievements, that humility is foolishness. We are taught self-respect and self-confidence. However the scriptures teach us that we should be emptied of self so that we might be filled with God and that it is for His glory.
Read Ezekiel 36:22-27
These verses are filled with the word “I,” because God is laying it all on the line. It is not by our own hands that we are cleansed, or for our own glory. He is clearly stating that it is by His hand and for His glory. We have nothing to be proud about, except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which has reconciled us to God our Father and has allowed His Spirit to live within us. He does His work in us and through us so that the world will see His power. Thanks be to God.
Pentecost In the days following Jesus’ ascension, the disciples faithfully waited for baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gift Jesus promised. They spent time in prayer and fellowship.
Read Acts 2:1-21
Pentecost was the Jewish festival also known as the Feast of Harvest. It was celebrated in the springtime, fifty days after the Passover Sabbath. This was the time in the agricultural year when the first fruits of the season were being harvested. Jews from all over the world were in Jerusalem to worship at the temple to thank God for the abundance of His creation and to give back to Him a portion of the first fruits of their harvest.
Jesus often used agricultural themes to describe what it would be like for those who share the gospel. They would be like workers in a field harvesting the fruit of God’s labour. At this Pentecost celebration, God laid upon the disciples a powerful anointing of His Holy Spirit, that they might share the gospel message in a way, which the world would understand. They were gathered together, most likely in the temple courts, praying and waiting. Then there was a loud sound like wind and flames of fire rested upon them. They began to speak in a language those gathered could understand, and the foreigners heard the gospel for the first time. God gifted the disciples with the tools necessary to share His message and harvest the first fruits of His New Covenant.
God still gifts us today so that we might share His Word with the world and continue to work as harvesters for His Kingdom. Last night we attended a concert to celebrate the millennium. There were approximately eighty musicians and singers, including Bruce, who shared “Music through the Ages,” a programme highlighting music from the last fourteen hundred years. They sang everything from a monastic chant to a chorus from Handel’s Messiah to “My Jesus, My Saviour” a modern praise song. There was even a new song called “Jubilate Deo” a beautiful piece composed just a few weeks ago by a local composer named Stephen Dean.
As I sat, listening to the melding of the voices and instruments in praise to God, I realized that music is often used as a way to share the gospel message. They performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria”. Though the piece is sung in Latin, I could hear in my spirit that they were praising God and I joined in that worship. The final section of the piece is called “Cum Sancto Spiritu.” This phrase means, “with Holy Spirit” and throughout the piece I found myself appealing to God to send a mighty outpouring of His Holy Spirit on His children.
Today is the Christian celebration of Pentecost, the Feast of the Harvest. Let us call upon God this day for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit upon us, that we might be the labourers who harvest the fruits of His labour.
Tomorrow The last few weeks have been very busy for our family. As the school year draws to a close, and summer vacation hovers nearby, we are thinking about tomorrow and all the fun things we will do this summer. Unfortunately, there is so much to do at this time of year. Projects need to be completed, after-action reports written. Every organization is having end of year meetings and parties. There are only so many hours in a day, and it seems that some things have been put off because we do not have the time or energy to accomplish everything.
“That will have to wait until tomorrow,” is a statement that occurs frequently in our home. Usually, we put off the pleasurable tasks, like reading a good book just for the fun of it or doing a craft project. Sometimes it is the vacuuming or laundry that gets pushed off into tomorrow.
How often do we push off our labour for God from one day to the next? We commit to a regular pattern of prayer and Bible study, but then we just run out of time in our day. Perhaps we send a quick prayer for the needs of our family or friends, but we do not find the moment we need to have a real chat with our Father. Perhaps we manage to read a quick daily devotional, but we do find the time to go into the scriptures for our selves and read His words directly. “That will have to wait until tomorrow” we say, hoping that tomorrow we will have more time to sit and concentrate on the task at hand.
A friend calls. She is depressed and needs a chat over a cup of coffee. You have two meetings and need to manage a trip to the grocery store because there is no food in the house to feed your family. “Can we do this tomorrow?” you ask. You are standing in line at the bookstore with the latest publication from your favourite Christian writer. The woman behind you notices and asks about your faith. You’ve got people to see and things to do. You think to yourself, “Why couldn’t this opportunity happen tomorrow?” The coordinator of your prayer list calls to say that someone is very sick and needs prayer right now. The group is going to gather in an hour at the church to pray together for his healing. Your house needs to be cleaned. How often do we miss opportunities to serve the Lord because we are too busy and push the task off until another time?
Read John 4:35-38
We have been given a marvelous task, and that is to share the light of our Lord with the world. Are we going to continue to miss opportunities to share that light because we don’t have the time to share a cup of coffee or our faith with someone who needs it?
Must The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word must, “to be required or obliged by law, morality, or custom” or “to be compelled, as by a physical necessity or requirement.” There are things we must do each day – eat, drink and rest. We can spend a day listing the things that we are required or obliged to do to be considered acceptable in today’s society.
Yet, in today’s world, there are many things that we refuse to do, which have in the past been considered requirements. There was a day when church attendance was an obligation of every member of a community. Today, many Christians openly rebel against established denominations. The leadership in those churches looks down on these Christians, harassing them who for various reasons find it necessary to leave such fellowship for a time. Their brethren condemn them to hell, because they are no longer doing what is considered an obligation.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus is asked the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” In the Old Testament, there was a long list of laws, which were requirements for a righteous life. Many leaders saw themselves as righteous because they did all those things in the Law. Jesus turned the world upside by showing obedience to God was not about the requirements of the law, but rather the compelling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was obedient to God, not because it was a requirement or obligation, but because He was compelled to do according to His Father’s command.
Read 1 John 2:3-6
In the Gospel of John, the crowd asks Jesus, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “Believe in me.” That is the work of God, to simply believe. We know we are telling the truth by doing as Jesus commands. His command is simple: Love the Lord your God with your whole being, and love your neighbour as yourself. In other words, “Walk like me.”
What must we do? We must deny self. We must be servants. We must obey authority. We must be ready. We must be born again. We must worship in spirit and truth. We must follow. We must love one another. We must remain in Jesus. We must testify. These things must be done, not by our own sense of power and obligation, but by the compelling force of God’s Holy Spirit.
Will We have lived here in England for over three years. While we do love the experience of living in this lovely country, there are things about home that we miss a great deal. Several months ago, I really wanted to move back to the United States. I desired this move so greatly, that I was sure my husband would receive the promotion necessary to make an early move possible.
The promotion list was released in mid-November. I mentioned to a friend that day that I was certain my purpose in England was complete and that everything would go according to my desires because God was ready to send me on the next leg of my spiritual journey. I had turned my wants into God’s Will.
Yesterday was the feast day for Antony of Padua, a little known saint whose work took him to missionize in Italy. He was a powerful preacher, and his ambition was to convert Moslems to Christianity. When he arrived in Morocco to begin his work, he became quite sick and was forced to return home. His ship was blown off course and landed on Sicily where he lived as a hermit for some time. One day, he preached a sermon for a group of Franciscan monks who were so impressed by his ability that he was quickly sent into mission work. He died on June 13 in the year 1231, at the age of 36. Though he had not accomplished the work he set out to do, he is remembered today as a great preacher of God’s Word.
We often set out on a task thinking we are doing God’s work, only to be sent in another direction. How do we react to this change? When I faced the disappointment of not moving home, I grumbled a bit but continued on the path set before me in faith that God knew what He was doing. We do not always enjoy the task we’ve been called to do, however when done in faith and obedience, we find peace and joy in our work.
Read Ephesians 6:5-8
As I look back upon that time, I see God’s sense of humour in the way He dealt with my desire. It was only moments after saying, “My purpose is done in England,” that I learned that Bruce did not get the promotion. I understood at that moment that I was trying to force my desires to be God’s Will. As I knelt in prayer, I said to my God, “I get your point, you aren’t done with me yet.” Then I asked for clarity of purpose, and committed to His Will rather than my own.
Are you in a place you’d rather not be? Do you feel like a slave to your job or your home life? Do not grumble about the task, but do it in faith and obedience to God’s Will, and you’ll find joy and peace.
Spirits We recently had a caravan of gypsies move into the neighborhood. The local constabulary and military police worked together to keep the group under control, since in the past they have caused trouble. They have been known to destroy and steal property, abuse the health care system, harass residents and leave the field looking like a garbage dump when they finally move. The owner of the property where they took up residence made a deal with them, and then he left town. We do not know if this man is aware of the past trouble caused by this roving group of people, but it is likely he will return to a field in ruins.
There was an article in today’s paper about a man in Kansas who has recently pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. He says that he was in a mystical state involving separation of mind and body when he had an encounter with an evil spirit. While in this state, he cut the throats of his three children and assaulted his wife.
People often ask, “What harm is there in playing with mystical games such as tarot and ouija boards?” These two stories show what can happen when we allow the wrong folk to move in to our territory. In the natural world, these gypsies steal and destroy. The same happens in the spiritual. The games may look harmless. They may even be harmless. However, you can not know for sure the spirits you will encounter while playing the game. Then perhaps you will spend your life in jail for the murder of your own children.
Read Isaiah 8:19-22
There is a real spiritual battle being fought at every moment. Don’t risk allowing the enemy to move in to your territory. Always keep your heart and mind focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and never seek to find answers from anyone but Him. Seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit in all things you do, and know the presence of the Lord God Almighty. No harm can come when it is His Spirit you seek. Thanks be to God.
Poppies The grassy areas beside our country roads are filled with wildflowers throughout the warmer months. The colour begins in spring with the daffodils and continues through the fall with purple, white and yellow flowers growing in the midst of the wild grasses.
This week, I noticed poppies are in bloom. I’ve always loved the poppies, with their bright red petals, which stand out so well against the green and yellow of the grasses. The stems are long and skinny so the flowers dance gracefully in the wind. No matter how heavy the breeze, the soft petals cling to the stem. One day last year, Zack decided to take some poppies to his teacher. We picked them on the walk to school, but the petals quickly fell to the ground. We carried them as gently as we could; yet they still fell apart.
We are like the poppy on our walk with Jesus. A Christian who shines the pure light of Jesus stands out from the crowd when in this world of sin. They are beautiful in the eyes of the Lord, and His love shining through is beautiful to those who witness that life. They are able to stand against the winds of change, as long as they are firmly connected to their root, which is Jesus Christ. Just as a poppy falls apart when separated from the root, so to do Christians fall when they are separated from their Father.
There is one other comparison that can be made. No matter how strong they are, their life in this world is fleeting. The body passes away, but two things remain. The flowers leave seeds, which will be the next generation of flowers to inspire all who witness the beauty. The two things that remain are the remembrance of the beauty from days gone by, as well as the hope for future glory.
The same is true with a beloved child of God. Though their body passes from this life, two things remain – the remembrance of the life of Christ which shined in all they did, and the hope for eternal life in Him for future generations.
Read Phillipians 4:8-9
Live the life God has called you to live. Be like the poppy – shine in this world of sin, show the beauty of God’s love, stand fast against the wind and leave behind the seed of hope for the next generation. Do all this in the name of Jesus our Lord, by the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Love You’ve heard it said, “Love is blind.” The origins of this statement come from Roman mythology. Cupid, the god of love, is often depicted blindfolded. He strikes with his bow and arrow at random. He points, shoots and his arrow wounds the one in the line of fire. The next young man or women in that person’s path becomes prey for the love-starved victim.
In “The Merchant of Venice,” Shakespeare writes,
“But love is blind and lovers cannot see
Lovers cannot see each other’s weaknesses and shortcomings. Neither do they see their own weaknesses and how they might affect the relationship in the future. As time goes on and the sting of cupid’s arrow begins to fade, those weaknesses become magnified, and they become the foundation of trouble in the relationship. Divorce is rampant in today’s society. When the initial passion fades, the blindfold is removed and they find they can no longer live with the weaknesses.
When there is trouble in a relationship, friends and family often remind the couple of the phrase, “Love is blind.” These experts recommend that they overlook their weaknesses and put the blindfolds back on. However, the scriptures speak of a better way. Love should not be blind. We should make known in our relationships the weaknesses and shortcomings of both parties, and forgive.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Are you in the midst of a relationship that is in trouble? Consider the words of Paul to the Corinthians. These words are used during many marriage ceremonies. However, does anyone really take heed of these words? Love does not react quickly against the things that disturb us, but with mercy. Lovers humble themselves. Love considers the other greater than self. Love forgives. Love is not blind, but sees the truth. Love is an everlasting refuge where two people become one.
God is not blind to our weaknesses and shortcomings, however He loves us and through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, forgives us. We must see as God sees and walk as He walks. Love should not be blind, but we must sacrifice ourselves by seeing truth, living in forgiveness and loving with mercy and grace. Thanks be to God.
Shakespeare In the Merchant of Venice, there is a beautiful young woman named Portia. It seems that everyone would like her to be his lover, so she has devised a way to test hearts. She displays before them three caskets – one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead. If the suitor chooses the casket with her picture, then she will be his. The gold casket comes with a promise, “Who chooseth me will gain what many men desire.” The silver casket comes with a promise, “Who chooseth me will get as much as he deserves.” The lead casket comes with a threat, “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” Three men visit Portia to ask for her hand – The Prince of Morocco, the Prince of Arragon, and Bassanio.
The Prince of Morocco immediately dismisses the lead casket, for who would want to risk everything for dull lead? He looks upon the silver casket and knows he deserves the fine lady, however he takes a moment to consider the gold casket. The promise says he will gain what many men desire, and he believes that to be Portia. Since silver is far less valuable than gold, he selects the gold casket. Inside, Morocco found a scroll, which included the words, “All that glitters is not gold.” He did not win the fair maiden.
The Prince of Arragon immediately dismisses the lead casket then turns to the gold. The promise of gaining what many men desire causes him to pause and think. He does not want to gain what the multitude desire, for he deserves far more. He turns to the silver casket and asks for the key. He is sure her picture will be within the silver casket and that he deserves her hand. When it is opened, he finds a fool’s picture and a scroll. He is angry, yet he got just what he deserved. He did not win the fair maiden.
Then enters Bassanio. Portia warns him to choose carefully, for she does not want to lose his friendship. Portia begs Bassanio to wait before he chooses, for she would like to teach him how to choose properly. Bassanio knows that gold and silver are merely adornments “the seeming truth which cunning times put on to entrap the wisest”, but lead is strong and heavy and lasting. He chose correctly, and gained the fair maiden's hand.
The two caskets with promises held nothing, but the one with a warning held the real promise, the promise of love and life.
Read Proverbs 8:12-21
Morocco, Arragon and Bassanio faced a difficult choice. Bassanio chose in wisdom. We face similar questions in our journey in this world. Earthly things have a lovely façade and are very tempting to our flesh. Those things promise to give us what we desire and deserve. However, true life and love comes with a warning – that we must give up all that we are to receive the promise. When we give up our selfish desires and our arrogant self-centeredness, we find true life. That life is in Christ Jesus, thanks be to God.
Dungeon We spent the day at a castle on the coast of the North Sea in a tiny village called Orford. While we were at the castle, a historian came to talk about history and the castle. It was fascinating to hear him describe the purpose of many aspects of this castle, and to tell what life was like at the time it was built and used. Brian commented about how history is a continuum not separate moments in time. Each era weaves together into a complete story, and we better understand ourselves by understanding the events of the past.
This is particularly true with language. There are many words and phrases we use today that come from those days. In some cases, the meanings of words have changed. It is interesting to see how and why this came to be. Orford Castle was built as a defensive residence for King Henry II. These buildings were called ‘donjons,’ a French word for the great keep. As the years wore on, it was no longer necessary for the kings to live in such secure buildings, so they began to build for comfort and beauty rather than defense. The medieval castles were abandoned for country homes and grand palaces. The local authorities used the castles as holding cells for those who were awaiting trial. Eventually in some towns, they became the prisons. Our understanding of the word dungeon comes from this use of the original buildings called donjon. A dungeon (donjon) was once a home for a king, but time and history changed our understanding.
Read 1 John 3:18-24
Is your heart a dungeon or a donjon? Is it a place of condemnation or a royal residence? Since language changes over time, even from one generation to another, it is more important that we demonstrate the Word in our lives, by showing our love in actions. God loved us so much that Jesus died on the cross that we might have His life in us. He gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit so that we might know of His presence in our hearts. We can speak the words of love to the world, however it is when we live the Word and obey His commands that we walk confidently in faith that God lives in us. Orford Castle was used as a prison, but it is remembered as a royal residence. What is the state of your heart? Is it a prison, offering only condemnation? Or is it a royal residence, for the King of Kings?
Undermining Ancient castles were built with defense in mind. Inside the inner most wall was the keep and other buildings. This sat atop a mound, created by digging trenches around the castle in concentric circles for some distance outside the wall. An approaching enemy’s progress was slowed by this series of mounds and ditches. In the movies we often see a moat around the castle, but in these Norman castles the moat is rarely filled with water. It is simply a trench around the castle with a very steep, very difficult hill to climb. The defenders inside the walls made it more difficult by shooting arrows or throwing rocks upon the enemy as they tried to climb the hill.
As each mound and ditch was overcome, the defenders were forced to retreat into the inner precincts of the castle. The defenders would make a “last ditch effort” to protect the castle wall before retreating into the nearly impenetrable castle keep. Most wars were not won by sword, but by the siege. The enemy would trap the defense inside the walls of the keep. Though the walls protected them, they were unable to get in and out, so they could not restock their supplies. After several months, those within the castle either died of starvation or simply gave up.
The enemy did not simply sit around during this time, however. They still tried to breech the walls of the castle keep. One technique used was called undermining. They would dig a mine underneath the wall. As they were building, they shored up the tunnel with wood supports. When the mine was large enough and properly positioned, they would set fire to the supports and the weight of the castle would cause it to collapse into the mine below. Once the wall was down, it was much easier for the enemy to gain entrance and win the battle.
The enemy didn’t waste their energy or supplies on frontal attacks against a strongly built castle keep. They dug under the surface, breaking down the foundation. Satan does the same thing to God’s children. He knows that it is impossible to break the walls built around us, so he digs beneath the surface, trying to cause a weakness in the foundation.
Read Ephesians 6:10-13
The defense had strategies they used against attacks such as undermining. They kept bowls of water near the walls on the ground level of the keep. If they saw ripples in the water, they knew that work was being done underground approaching their wall. They would countermine, and then cause fire to bring down the tunnel supports before the enemy could build the mine large enough to damage their wall.
We have the ability to fight Satan, by the power of God Almighty. He is our refuge, our strength. Satan tries to undermine His authority, but will fail repeatedly if we wear God’s armour, and stand our ground.
Links One of my favourite pastimes is to learn and grow in my knowledge of Jesus through Internet discussions. I like to be involved in chat rooms, email discussion groups and message boards. Through these experiences, I am granted the opportunity to hear other points of view as well as share my own beliefs. With each post I seek God’s meaning through prayer, while searching my heart, head and the scriptures. There are many disagreements, however, these discussions force me to understand my beliefs and find a way to share them with others. This helps to firmly root the Word in my heart so that I can stand strong against the false teachings that occur in this world.
I was reading the latest posts on a message board today when I came across a link. Since I am rather careful about the places I surf on the Internet, I had decided to ignore this website. I became quite tempted to go visit when the next few posts mentioned how inappropriate the link was for this message board. It only became a temptation after my curiousity was piqued.
How often do we see the ad for a movie or TV and decide not to go see it, yet as time goes on and we hear the hype created by the media or our friends and decide to view it for ourselves. We know the subject matter is inappropriate, yet we want to form our own opinions. We buy products because of peer pressure or curiousity, even though we know they are not good for us. We just want to see what all the fuss is about.
Read James 1:13-15
I did go to the website. The link did not work, either there was something wrong with the address or the site had been removed. I fell into the trap of temptation and followed my desires rather than what I knew to be the right thing to do. This time it worked out just fine, however that link could have been dangerous in a number of ways.
The next time you see a product or programme and decide not to buy into it, ask God for the strength to stick by your decision. Do not give into the temptation no matter how much pressure is thrust upon you by the world. The initial decision to avoid the things you know to be harmful is the quickening of God’s Holy Spirit guiding you away from the evil. Do not choose to ignore that counsel or you will end up back in the darkness of sin and death.
Housecleaning I am a packrat. I keep stuff, just in case. You never know when you might need that three-year-old phone bill or that sock with a hole. My desk is filled with piles of papers - old mail, scribbled notes, piles of photos. I have a box where I put all the papers that need to be filed, and most of them need to be filed in the trashcan. The last few days have been spent dealing with this mess.
My children inherited this attribute of mine. They too are packrats. Every paper from school, every Scout project, every toy from Burger King are treasured possessions. Their rooms, like my desk, are overflowing with unnecessary stuff. So, for the last few days, we have been dealing with those messes. We have thrown away bags of papers, gathered piles of outgrown clothes and collected toys, which were outgrown years ago to be given away or sold. There is still work to do, but the piles are shrinking.
I’m a packrat emotionally, too. I remember experiences from the past that should long have been forgotten. I keep a treasure box filled with all the wonderful things I’ve done, just in case. When I’m feeling a bit down or attacked by the fears and uncertainty of this life, I open my box and remember the awards I’ve won or how I helped so and so. These things make me feel good, worthwhile. I look at them remembering those moments of strength and good works in my life, and hope I can do it again. I even wonder if they might bring me closer to God. However, they are not a very stable foundation to rest upon.
Read Psalm 62
We are doing all this housecleaning since this stuff is not worthwhile to carry with us when we move in a few months. We need to get rid of the unnecessary baggage so that the move to our next base goes more smoothly. We are not only ridding ourselves of garbage, but also good things which we have kept for so long. It is hard to give away a perfectly good toy or book, after all, we may use it some day. Yet, they really just clutter up the house.
We need to do the same thing with our emotions and past actions; we hold on to our memories just in case we need them someday. The final line in this Psalm, “Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.” We think that perhaps God won’t remember so we present these to Him as an offering. We rest in our past works, a very shaky foundation. .” Do you hold on to any memories to present to God, just in case? Perhaps its time to do a bit of spring cleaning in our lives, to rid ourselves of the unnecessary baggage and rest solely on Him.
Closets The housecleaning continues at our house today. It is time to attack a closet or two. Zack has a closet where we keep all his games. This closet tends to get out of control because the boxes are worn and torn from being pulled in and out. They no longer stack neatly. The bits and pieces fall out and get lost. It is a terrible mess. Since the kids have made the mess in their rooms, I’ve made them do the cleaning. It is up to them to decide what needs to be thrown away, and where to put the stuff they keep. There comes a time, however, when mom needs to go in and do a thorough cleaning. Yesterday we purchased some Rubbermaid containers, and I am going to go in and reorganize the closet. It will not only look better when I’m done, but it will be easier to play with the games. By doing a thorough cleaning, we will attack the root problem
The Israelites had a pretty good thing going. They were the chosen people of God, were granted incredible blessings throughout history. Yet, they still made messes. They sinned against God and against each other. A large number of laws were established to define good from bad, and to establish a system of earthly punishment for the acts against each other. God also established a system of sacrifice for the atonement of sin. It was necessary to sacrifice a bird for this sin, a ram for another. When someone did something wrong, they went to the temple, did the sacrifice and the person was cleansed of the sin.
Yet, these human acts of sacrifice did nothing to solve the root problem, the sinful nature of man. So, God decided to get in there Himself and do a bit of spring-cleaning. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to be the final atoning sacrifice, so that we would be cleansed forever from sin. He reordered the world.
Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-12
Just as I am going into Zack’s closet today to bring order to the mess that he created, so does God come into our closets and cleanse us from our sin. When He’s done, it is our responsibility to keep the clutter from becoming overwhelming. We need to keep it clean by living according to His nature within us. We are no longer sinners, but beloved children of God. Let’s walk that path and live the life that is mastered by nothing except God Himself.
Ugh The WORD FOR TODAY has been delayed due to technical difficulties. So today, I will not be writing, but here’s some lovely praise for our Lord.
Read Psalm 148
Promotion The past few weeks have been quite exciting for some of our friends. Several promotion lists were released at the beginning of June and our friends found they had made the grade. It takes a great deal of work to make a promotion, particularly the higher ranks, enlisted and officer. A military member wishing to move up in the service must show his or her knowledge and the ability to do the job. They have to prove themselves to be made of the right stuff.
Once they are selected for promotion, the work does not end. Higher rank means greater responsibility. A senior non-commissioned officer is expected to lead his troops in a manner that proves the trust is well placed. He must know and execute his job, and take care of the men and women who have been placed under his leadership.
God’s army is a little different. In the world we need to prove our worth, to earn our rank. As children of God, we have to empty ourselves of everything we think makes us worthy of that special place, and let Him fill it. He is the strength of His army. All that we have as soldiers for God has been given to us from God Himself – our gifts, opportunities and wisdom. We cannot earn a higher place at His table.
When we accept our position as a child of God, we are responsible for acting accordingly. We were once wicked people, but by the will and power of God, we are now members of His army. We should no longer seek the ways of the flesh.
Read 1 Timothy 6:11-16
In Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus answers Pilate’s query “Are you the king of the Jews?” with the statement, “Yes, it is as you say.” In John, Jesus goes on to say, “My kingdom is not of this world.” When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, as our King, we no longer belong to this world. We belong to Him. As such, we must be responsible to obey His commands and live the life He has called us to live. We live this life, by His Power, in His Name, for the Glory of God our Father. Thanks be to God.
Flower Festival There are a number of things from our churches we will long remember after we move back to the US. We will remember worshipping in the 800-year-old churches. We will remember the people who welcomed us and love us despite our differences. We will remember the freezing cold of mid-winter and the butterflies in the sanctuary in the spring. We will remember the Christmas Carole Candlelight Services. We will remember the Flower Festivals.
In the spring, many of the churches hold a festival. It is a way to invite people into the church, to share the light and love of God with the community. These festivals are often accompanied by fetes, or carnivals, which help raise funds for the necessary work on the church buildings. The church is filled with flowers. Members of the community sponsor or provide bouquets and arrangements of flowers, which are placed around the church. The festival often has a theme. At St. Mary’s the festival was held on Pentecost weekend, so the arrangements all showed the power and glory of God, particularly His Holy Spirit. Last night we attended a Songs of Praise Service at St. Peter’s, a tiny church in a tiny village near our home. The theme was communication, and the church was filled to the rafters with decorations depicting forms of communication from the beginning of time through to the modern age of technology. It would have been difficult to fit any more flowers in this church. It smelled lovely, and looked so beautiful. The artists used God’s own creation, the flowers of the field, to honour His name and His Word.
Communication is vital to our living. We need to communicate with our spouses for our relationship to stay strong. We need to communicate with our families, our friends, our boss and employees. We need to communicate with the world, to understand current events as well as to share God’s Word. Most importantly we need to communicate with God. He speaks to us daily, through the scriptures and His creation. We speak to Him in prayer. It is through this communication that we come to understand Him; to live as we are called to live and be obedient to His Will.
Read Isaiah 40:1-8
The floral artists at the festival communicated their impressions of God through flowers. Yet, those flowers will eventually die and be thrown on the compost heap. God communicates His love for us through His Word, which we find in the scriptures. His Word has stood strong for thousands of years, and it is still vital to our lives today. His Word will never die. We, too, will die, yet through the blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ, we have eternal life. Let us commit today to spend time in the scriptures - to hear Him speak to our lives and live according to the new life He has given us.
Restore Our computer has been running slow lately and there have been slight glitches, which we knew were not quite right. We checked for viruses and did all sorts of system maintenance. We even uninstalled and reinstalled some of our software. Nothing helped. Friday night, the CD-ROM stopped working. Saturday morning, we were unable to use the computer.
We bought new hardware and a better virus detector, and started the system maintenance ritual again. After all this time and energy, there were still problems. We aren’t sure how we got to that moment. Perhaps we’d picked up a bug somewhere that was not detected by our anti-virus program. Perhaps I had caused it by not following proper procedures for shutting down the computer or uninstalling programs. No matter what caused the computer to act this way, it was time for a change.
Throughout the process of trying to discover the easy fix for our problem, everyone suggested, “You many need to restore the computer.” I avoided this solution as long as I could. After all, when you restore a computer to factory specifications, you lose everything - all your programs and all your files. To save those things, you must have a copy stored elsewhere. So, we went through our computer, storing our files onto disc. Finally, when we were satisfied with what we saved, we began the restore process. Funny, it is called Quick Restore, yet it took hours to complete. I held my breath each step of the way, hoping that everything would be fine in the end.
It was fine. As a matter of fact, by the time it was over, I sat in front of a computer that was like new. The computer has been returned to the original condition, as it was created to be. The hard drive had been cleansed of all our ‘sins.’
Read Titus 3:3-7
In the beginning, God created us. After Adam, and over time, our ‘hard drive’ was filled with little glitches, sins, which caused imperfection in the way we lived the life we were called to live. Jesus Christ did a Quick Restore on our lives, by dying on the cross to cleanse us of our sin. His life, death and resurrection made it possible for us to live as we were created to live. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He does a Quick Restore on our lives. Reformatting the hard drive is not a quick process. The transformation of our lives to one that is fresh and clean is a process that takes some time and is not always pleasant. It takes a lifetime to complete.
Today, we have a computer that works like new. Daily, I have a life in Christ Jesus that works like new. Thanks be to God.
Backup One of the most important steps to restoring the computer to factory specifications is to backup all the important files. We looked through each folder, checking to make sure we had the original program on a disk. We also made a backup of our most important files, such as writings or webpages, our checkbook program and our Internet files. Quick Restore wipes the hard disk clean of everything - nothing is left behind. It was very important to keep these files, because it would be impossible to remember all the information and replace it. When the computer was finished with the restore process and like new, we were easily able to replace our important files in the programs.
We still don’t know what caused the glitches in the computer. It could have been heavy use, old age, full hard drive, or a virus. If a virus caused it, we do not know how it got into our system. It could come from any of our programs, a file, or a download off the Internet. One of the troubles with restoring the old files to the clean drive is that we risk corrupting the system with an old problem.
In the book of Genesis, we can see the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people in those towns were so wicked that the LORD decided to destroy them. Abraham learned of God’s plan, and tried to save the righteous of those towns from this destruction. He negotiated with God, asking God to have mercy on the whole town for the sake of a few righteous people. God agreed so went to Sodom and Gomorrah to see if He could find ten righteous men. He found that the entire towns were wicked except for Abraham’s nephew Lot. Lot and his family were told to flee. When they hesitated, they were led out of town. They were told not to look back. Lots wife did look back, and she became a pillar of salt. She did not want to leave her old way of life.
Read Ephesians 4:22-24
When people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, they are transformed. They are a new creation in Him. Yet, there always seems to be some things that do not change dramatically. They still smoke or enjoy a drink. They still gossip about folk or are selfish with some aspect of their wealth. After a time, they realize that they are still living the old ways, not that new, and they become discouraged. With each sin, they begin to wonder if they are worthy of the salvation given them by Jesus Christ. They doubt their salvation. They fall into deeper sin.
The trouble lies in the fact that when we are made clean by the blood of our Lord Jesus, we bring into the relationship our backup files. Events of the past linger in our minds, such as hurts that were never forgiven or habits that have yet to be broken. We know we need to lay these burdens at the foot of the cross. Yet we hold on to them. What backup files have you brought into your relationship with Jesus Christ? Take them to the foot of the cross and lay them before Him. Give them up forever, and let Him truly wipe the slate clean. Thanks be to God.
On Vacation until July 9