Archive | July, 2019

The Titanic Fact?

31 Jul

The Titanic Fact?…

Some years back, the director of “The Titanic” called a press conference announcing a discovery that was supposed to shake the world and disprove the Gospel. What was it? The discovery of the “real tomb” of Jesus, full of the bones of Jesus and his family.

The media swarmed around it. It turned out that it was all based on the fact that there seemed to be an inscription reading, “Yeshua bar Yosef,” or “Jesus, son of Joseph.” Israeli archaeologists scoffed at the “revelation.” The fact is “Yeshua,” and “Yosef” were among the most common names in first-century Judea. It’d be as ludicrous as going through the records of everyone born in an American city named “Joe” with a son named “John” and concluding that they all had to be the same person.

The claims were dismissed and this “titanic theory,” promoted by the director of “The Titanic,’ hit its iceberg and promptly sank. It was just one of many attacks against the resurrection. The attack failed, the resurrection stands, and nothing will overcome it, or the one who walks in it.

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor 15:21

Be confident and strong in the power of the resurrection, walk in it, and overcome!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Without Hesitation

30 Jul

Without Hesitation…

The Emancipation Proclamation officially abolished slavery in the South. It was brought to Abraham Lincoln’s desk on January 1, 1863. Lincoln picked up a pen, dipped it in ink, and unrolled the document. He was about to sign it when he hesitated.

He laid down his pen and did nothing for several minutes. His hand was tired, and he was afraid it might tremble as he signed the document and that his trembling would cause people to think that he hesitated in signing what would be the greatest act of his life. After resting his hand a few minutes, Lincoln again picked up his pen and wrote with a firm hand, “Abraham Lincoln.”

One of the secrets of living a life of greatness is not only doing what’s right, but doing what’s right with all your heart, without hesitation, or wavering.

The Bible tells us to do all things wholeheartedly. Therefore, whatever you can’t do with your whole heart – stop doing it. But, on the other hand, if something is right, then do it with all your heart, without hesitation or wavering and like Abraham Lincoln, with a very firm hand.

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; considerwhat great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

Today, do what’s right in the sight of God with all your heart, all out, with full assurance, and without any hesitation.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Apocalypse of Palms

29 Jul

The Apocalypse of Palms…

Did you know, asked Grandfather, it took centuries for the land of Israel to be given back to the Jewish people? As the story goes, he continued, the land of Israel had been under the rule of the Islamic Ottoman Empire for four centuries. But being Muslim, the empire was hardly sympathetic with the idea of the Jewish people returning to the land of Israel. And yet the Bible said it would happen.

So what happened? The First World War happened. And because of a series of geopolitical factors, the Ottoman Turkish Empire became involved in the conflict and sided with Germany against the British Empire. And because of that war, the great and many-centuries old Ottoman Empire suddenly collapsed. The British entered Jerusalem and granted the Jewish people the right to return to their homeland.

The words of the ancient Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled. Think about that. God allowed the whirlwind of history to cause the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, in order to be faithful to His people and to fulfill His promise.

That same God will work all things together, even the entire world, and every event of human history, for your good and to fulfill the promise of your life.

I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. Micah 4:7

Take time to look back at your life to see all the things God did and worked together so that you could be where you are today. Take time to thank Him for it.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

All Things

27 Jul

All Things…

We were out hiking in a large valley headed toward a mountain on the other side. Imagine, Grandfather said, you had to make your way across this valley to get to the mountains as fast as you could. But the valley is filled with soldiers, half dressed in white and half in black.

As you try to make your way across the valley, you discover the soldiers in white are there to help you across and get you to the mountain as quickly as possible. But you soon discover that soldiers in black are there for the opposite purpose. They battle the soldiers in white, resisting every step of advance. Finally, after a long and ardious battle, you make it across to the base of the mountain on the other side. The battle is over. It is then that you notice a strange thing, the soldiers in black begin removing their outer garments to reveal of white underneath.

The soldiers in black were really soldiers in white. The soldiers were all on the same side. And the ultimate goal wasn’t to bring you to the other side as fast as possible but to get you there at the exact time. And for that to happen, both the soldiers in white and the soldiers in black had to fulfill their mission. And though it looked like war, both sides were actually working together for your good. So then which side was against you?

Neither, I said, both were battling for my benefit.

Exactly, Grandfather replied, and so it is written in the Book of Romans that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” So, if you love God and belong to Him, He will work all things in your life together for good, the good and the evil, the beautiful and the ugly, the joyous and the sorrowful, the problems and the triumphs, all for your blessing and good. Now, if both the good and the bad are working for your good, then in the end, was there any bad?

No, if even the bad is working for my good, then it’s ultimately good.

So, for the child of God, for you, there are only two realities… blessings.. and blessings in disquise. Sometimes the blessings are very well disguised, but they remain blessings nevertheless. Hold on to this. And learn to see and believe through the disguises. Remember, it only looks like a battlefield. But in the end, you will see it is and always was, a field of blessings where even your darkest enemies, your greatest adversities were in the end, your blessings in disguise.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Give thanks today for all your blessings and for all your blessings in disquise, those of the past and the still-disguised blessings of the present.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Yehudim

27 Jul

The Yehudim…

Did you ever wonder, Grandfather asked, what the word Jew means or where it comes from? In Hebrew, the word for the Jewish people is the Yehundim. It comes from the Hebrew word for praise, thanksgiving and worship. A Jew is one whose identity is based on praising God, giving thanks and worshiping the Almighty. A Jew is one whose very existence is a praise and witness to the existence of God.

It’s strange that a name linked to praise should become a word of vilification, that a word linked to worship should be used as a profanity and a word linked to thanksgiving could be used for cursing. It seems disconcerting to me I replied.

Yes, it’s a strange world, replied Grandfather, where those born to praise and give thanks should be so hated, cursed and warred against. What was it that was written over Jesus’s head when He died?

King of the Jews, I replied.

King of the Yehudim, Grandfather said. His life was the epitome of the word Jew. His life itself was a praise to God. Everything He did was to bless, to worship, to glorify God.

And the world crucified Him whose life was a praise to God.

A strange world, Grandfather said again, and yet even in the crucifixion, He didn’t stop being the King of the Jews, the epitome of the Yehudim. Even the act of dying was an act of praise, a gloifying of God. He never succumbed to the evil…but overcame the evil with good. He blessed those who cursed Him and even gave His life to save them.

And those who follow Him, I said, those who are His, must do likewise.

Yes. Never be overcome by evil or let it stop you from blessing or giving praise. In all things give thanks. At all times, give praise. Bless in the face of cursing. Make your life a vessel of praise. For if He who is King of the Yehudim is your King, then you also be of the Yehudim

Meaning Jewish?

Meaning one whose very existence …is now a praise to God!

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives m strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Today, praise God, give thanks and bless. No matter what the circumstance, no matter what goes on around you or against you, praise God.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Candle

27 Jul

The candle…

Grandfather led us outside his living quarters where we all sat down by a table. On the table was a lit candle. The sky began to darken. When we first sat down, he said, the sun was still shining, even on the candle. The light of the candle blended in with the light of the day. The two lights were in harmony. But then what happened?

It grew dark, I said.

So now the light of the candle was no longer in harmony with its surroundings. It no longer blended in. As the sky darkened, the candle stood out more and more dramatically. It was not the candle that changed, but everything around it. So now it was shining in marked contrast to its surroundings and against the darkness.

And what does that tells us? I asked.

The candle in the day, Grandfather said, represents the believer who shines in the midst of the Christian civilization. It’s light blends in with the surrounding culture. The culture is in harmony with the light, at least on the outside, and appears to support it.

But the candle in the night represents the believer who shines in the midst of a post-Christian civilization, an apostate civilization, an anti-Christian, anti-biblical, anti-God civilization. Now the culture supports and the external props are removed. The light of the Gospel is no longer in harmony with the surrounding culture. The surrounding culture now stands increasingly in opposition to the light. The light cannot blend in. It must now increasingly stand out in contrast to its surroundings and increasingly shine against the flow. So if you had a choice, which candle would you rather be, the candle of the day or the candle of the night?

Most would say the candle of the day, I responded.

But it is the the candle of the night that changes the world. The candle that shines in the daylight can hardly be seen. But the candle that shines in the darkness can be seen miles away. It is at the very time when it’s hardest to shine the light, that it is the most crucial that you do. It is then that the light is most needed. And that is when the light becomes its most powerful. So never fear the darkness. You’re a light. Shine into it, especially into the night…and you’ll light up the world.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Live today as a candle in the night. Don’t fear the darkness or be intimidated by it. But shine all the more brightly against the night.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Stone Of Contempt

26 Jul

Stone Of Contempt…

Psalms 118:22 says, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” In Hebrew, the word used for rejected is the word “ma‘as.” Jesus is the stone, and according to the Hebrew “ma‘as” – He, as the stone, would be spurned, abhorred, held in contempt, despised, and loathed. And so He was. But “ma‘as” also means “cut off” – a Biblical way of saying “killed.”

Jesus was killed – crucified. If Messiah Yeshua, Jesus fulfilled the first part of that ancient prophecy, then He will fulfill the second part as well. “The rejected stone will become the chief cornerstone.” He’ll be lifted up as the final and most glorious crowning stone of the Kingdom of Israel.

That’s the way of Jesus, the Cornerstone. And if you are His follower, then it’s true for you too. As you follow the Lord, every rejection, pain, wound, and wrong you’ve ever suffered will be turned around for your good as the Lord lifts you up and turns every sorrow to glory. For that is the final chapter of the Stone of Contempt.

So this is what the Sovereign Lordsays: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. Isaiah 28:16

Today, bring every wrong, pain, wound, and rejection you’ve known to the Lord. Let go of it and trust Him to turn everything around for good.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed