The Bride

25 Apr
The Bride…

When my sister got married, there was a hairdresser who volunteered to do the hair for all the bridesmaids. The problem was that she didn’t exactly know what she was doing and they ended up looking like the bride… of Frankenstein. So we were waiting for my sister and her maids for two hours! Fortunately, there were a lot of recording artists present to keep everyone busy, but I wouldn’t recommend that any bride come two hours late to her own wedding.

In the same way, the Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Bridegroom and He’s looking for a bride who is prepared and ready for the wedding. That’s you. Your wedding is coming, and the only time you have to prepare for it is your days on earth. Make the most of every moment. Use it to become more spiritually beautiful, more loving, more pure, more righteous, more filled with the Holy Spirit and grace.

This is the only time you have, and you don’t want to be late for your own wedding. You want to come out looking like the Bride of Jesus – not the Bride of Frankenstein!

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1John 3:3

Today, make it your aim to become a more beautiful person. Make the most of every moment to become more like Messiah.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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The Greatness Of God

23 Apr

The Greatness Of God…

Grandfather taught me the bible and about life. He told me you will sin, as everyone does, but God is great and forgives us our sins.

One day I was troubled by my sins and confessed them to Grandfather. He replied, “You have indeed sinned and you will undoubtedly sin again. But one sin you must never commit. Never commit the sin of forgetting that no matter how great your sin is, the love of God is greater still to forgive it.” It was that counsel, which focused not on my sin but on the greatness of the grace of God, that helped to set him free. As it is written, “The grace of God leads us to repentance.”

The point is, the point is not us, or even our sins. The point is the love of God is so great that it washes away all of our sins. Whatever you’re going through, you will undoubtedly disappoint and grieve God. But never forget that no matter what your sin, if you repent, the love of God will be there for you and will be greater than all your sins.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25

Today, if you need to repent, do it. Then accept His love and forgiveness. Be free and rejoice in the amazing grace of God.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Shalem

22 Apr
Shalem…

As Grandfather was teaching me the bible, he would always reference the Shalem or Peace Sacrifice. It is the greatest of all sacrifices made for man.

Among the sacrifices of the Bible one was called the “Shalem.” The root word behind this sacrifice means “peace” but also “to make complete”. Jesus is the fulfillment of all the sacrifices of the Bible, and certainly of the Shalem.

If you live with a spirit of want, discontent, neediness, desperation, unhappiness, selfish-ambition, regret, longing, etc., it means that you’re not complete.

Even in salvation, most believers live as if they were incomplete people. But Jesus is the Sacrifice. That means that He died not only to save you from sin, but to make you complete. It means that in Jesus, it’s not only God’s will that you become complete, but that you have the power to see it happen.

What’s the key? The closer you get to Jesus, the more the power of completion and wholeness will become yours. Jesus is that sacrifice. Therefore, get close to Him— in prayer, in the Word, in devotion, and in love. Your life will become more and more complete, full and whole, the closer you get to the Lord.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Is there an area where you feel lacking today? Invite Jesus into it and allow Him to make you whole.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Faith – Where It Comes From

19 Apr

Faith – Where It Comes From…

We are all familiar with the definition of Faith for Hebrews 11:1 does a pretty good job of defining it. Actually Hebrews 11 is called the Faith chapter and you should all take the time to read it.

But, where does Faith come from? We all assume it is something we learned while growing up. Something our parents taught us or we learned while going to Sunday school. It isn’t!

Now let us go to the Bible and see if it tells us where faith comes from. Heb 12:2 says “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”. And Rom 12:3 says ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” These two verses clearly tell us that faith is not something that we do or a presence of mind that we develop, but that faith is a gift from God. Rom 10:17 says ” … faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ, which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. So in His time He will allot faith to us as needed from the word of the Bible. In 2 Cor 10:15 we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.

Rom 5:1 says, ” … justified by faith” and Rom 4:5 says, ” … his faith is counted as righteousness”. We clearly see from these verses that faith is not of our doing for that would be a works-based salvation and we know from Eph 2:8, 9 that salvation is surely not from works.

However Eph 2:8 says something else that I never hear proclaimed in church and that is “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” In Eph 2:8 the “it” refers back to faith, which is consistent with Rom 12:3 and the other scriptures above and speakers very seldom talk about that. Faith is a gift from God. Rom 3:28 also says, ” … a man is justified by faith.” We read in Rom 9:32 that Israel did not arrive at righteousness because they did not pursue righteous by faith but as though it were by works. If we must muster up our own faith then justification is by works and again we know that is not correct.

We also see in Heb 12:2 that ” …Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith.” which fits in nicely with what we have already seen. Jesus is not only the author — the originator of faith –; He is also the one who perfects it in us.

So now we know that Faith is a gift from Jeaus and we should use it wisely. He also told us to love our neighbors as I have loved you in Matthew 6. That being said I presented a question to a few biblical people asking if our Faith in man should be the same as our Faith in God.

It was presented to get them to think more with an open mind and to think more about how they answer. The answers I received were pretty much what I expected and very one sided. Faith in God is one thing but Faith in man is another. God keeps His promises, but man can deceive you and let you down.

That got me to thinking, God knows our every move before we make them. He also, as I wrote in “Crossed Paths”, brings people to us for a reason either because they have a gift for us or we have one for them. Yes, some people are unreliable, but for the most part people are honest and ready to lend a hand where needed. I would guess people base their value on Faith in others as it reflects in their Faith in themselves. If you can’t be counted on to follow through on your committments, you won’t count on others to follow through on theirs.

I believe, maybe because of experience, that most people will follow through with their promises to the best of their ability. So I wonder should there be a difference on how we define Faith in man? After all Faith is a gift from God and He gives a measure to each of us as Christians. Is it not our job to share this Faith, by example, with our fellow man?

I’ve seen many times where God has brought people together from all walks of life to pull together and bring a solution to a problem. Somewhere in there Faith in man to complete his or her portion has to be considered. God may be at the helm, but we make our own choices.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Lord’s Supper

19 Apr
The Lord’s Supper…

The “Lord’s Supper” was a “Passover Seder”, the same meal the Jewish people partake of every year at Passover. However, the Passover is not just a meal, it’s a service. The one who leads it is the one who serves the matzah and all the other required foods. It’s not a buffet— you let the leader serve you.

Thus, the Lord’s Supper is not about serving yourself, it’s about being served. When you sit at the Lord’s Table, He’s the one who serves you the bread of life. Jesus is love, and He wants you to learn of love as well. Too often, even as believers, we live to serve ourselves.

But in the Lord’s Supper, God is saying in effect, “I’ll take care of your needs. I’ll give you the bread of life and the new wine of joy. Sit at My table and let Me minister to you.” So, first receive and then you can live your life serving— not yourself, but others.

Sit at the Lord’s Table and let Him minister to you. Then in His love, serve another, because this life is not a buffet— it’s the Lord’s Supper.

Scripture: Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

Spend time today at the Lord’s Table. Let Him serve you so that you can serve others.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What You Are

17 Apr
What You Are…

One of Grandfather’s favorite expressions was, “You are what you eat.” Of course, it’s true. Whatever you eat, that’s what you are. That’s true in the physical realm and also in the spiritual. If you partake of spiritually bad food, if you receive into your heart what is impure, carnal and ungodly, your life will become the same.

You might say, “I stay far away from those things.” That’s good, but it’s not enough because the inverse is also true— you are not what you don’t eat.

All believers are called to be as Jesus, in every part of their lives. So here’s the question— are you like Jesus in every part of your life? If not, the problem can be solved with a change of diet. You are what you eat— so the more you partake of Jesus, the more you’ll become like Him. Just as you can’t partake of a food without becoming like it, it can’t fail.

Commit yourself to partaking more of His word, His presence, His love, and His beauty, and your life will become more and more Jesus-like. It’s a basic law— you are what you eat.

Scripture: Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. John 6:27

Today, spend time in His presence and partake of the bread of Life.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Hedges

16 Apr
Hedges…

Hollywood used to have something called the “Production Code”. It stated, among other things, “No film or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith. Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains…”. This code was followed up until the 1960s. Then, they threw the code out and broke their own hedge. It’s no accident that movies are now filled with every kind of immorality, impurity, and perversity.

That same media now ridicules Christian faith and depicts ministers with contempt as comic characters. The explosion of immorality is joined to the ridicule of faith, as both represent society’s progressive movement away from faith, the Bible, God and the Gospel.

All the more, in a day when society is breaking age-old hedges of right and wrong, you as God’s servant must be stronger to establish even higher standards, codes and hedges for your own life. As it’s written: Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Ecclesiastes 10:8

Scripture: Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. Isaiah 62:10

Today, seek the Lord about areas in your life where your standards may need to be raised to His. Then raise up your Hedges.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed