Archive | August, 2019

Serve Him

19 Aug

Serve Him…

I had a friend who had a dramatic experience coming to the Lord, so I thought that this is how it was for every salvation – that when you come to the Lord, you get some kind of sign indicating you made it in.

So when I prayed to receive the Lord, I was expecting something, some sign- the sound of a bell, a trumpet, fireworks, anything, telling me I was received, but there was nothing, no fireworks. Such is the mind of a 12 year old.

Twenty years later I returned to the place where I received the Lord – on a mountaintop – at night. As I reached the place where I prayed, something caught my eye – to my right was a display of fireworks. So after 20 years of serving the Lord, He finally gave me my firework display.

The Lord calls us to live a life of faith. To serve Him even when you see no sign of blessing or reward. Even when it’s hard, do the right thing, keep going – because your reward will surely come, no matter what, and the one who lives by faith will be blessed – even with a display of fireworks.

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Even when it’s hard, do the right thing, keep going, and live strong in faith.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Eight Spirits

16 Aug

The Eight Spirits…

Jesus told his disciples of the possessed man from whom a demon was cast out. Later on, the demon returns to the man with seven other spirits – thus the man’s state becomes eight times worse than before. This reveals a profound principle which not only applies to people but to civilization – and to the end times.

Civilization was once pagan– as in possessed. But then it became, in a sense, exorcised of paganism – swept clean. But now we are witnessing a return to darkness – post-Christian era. Therefore according to the principle, if it does so, it will end up eight times worse; eight times more demonic than at the start. This is why a post-Christian civilization is far worse than a pre-Christian one. Thus, an end-time culture will be especially evil.

What does that mean for you as an end-time believer if the power of darkness is stronger and more brazen? It means you must be all the more bold and powerful in the good. If we find ourselves in a world eight times more evil than what once was – let us be eight times more all out for God.

Then it says, I will return to the house I left. When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. Matthew 12: 44-45

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Distractions

15 Aug

Distractions…

In 1941, the Japanese ambassador was in Washington D.C. It seemed he was there to seek peace. But at the same moment, the Japanese empire was about to launch the attack on Pearl Harbor. They had sent their ambassador to Washington as a distraction so that the American government would have no clue what was about to happen. Distraction is a key strategy of warfare. The aim is to keep one’s enemy bogged down with falsehood or non-essential battles – that he loses the real war.

Satan also uses distractions to take you away from your calling and your victory. He wants you to get caught up in issues which mean nothing, secondary doctrines, personal rivalries, pointless worries, fruitless endeavors. He wants you so bogged down with losing battles so that you stay far away from the good fight you’re called to fight. And you’ll be so exhausted in the wrong fight, that you’ll lose the war.

So all the more reason to fix your eyes straight ahead, and don’t be moved. For the devil is in the distraction.

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1 Timothy 1:4

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Illusion vs Truth

14 Aug

Illusion vs Truth…

Eastern religions and new age philosophies hold to a concept called maya. Maya means that everything is an illusion. But that creates a problem because if everything’s an illusion, how could you ever know it – that too would be an illusion. Without truth, how would you determine an illusion, and if everything is an illusion, a lie, then what choice does anyone have? Eastern religion is ultimately hopeless.

On the other hand, the Bible never says that reality is an illusion. Rather, it declares that Truth is real. Thus, where there is truth, there is also falsehood. And where there is truth and falsehood, there is a choice. Therefore in biblical faith, everyone has a choice. God says, “Choose life.”

Every moment of your life, every moment of your day, there are choices; choices between good and evil, truth and falsehood, the spirit and the flesh, and God’s best and everything else. Make the right choice, and every choice will propel you up to the next level. For Jesus is the Truth – and it’s for us to choose Him, every day, every moment.

These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace. Zechariah 8:16

Make the right choices by choosing what the Word of God says over everything else.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

He’ll Meet Your Needs

13 Aug

He’ll Meet Your Needs…

One of the key strategies of salesmanship is to locate an unmet need and seek to connect that unmet need with the product or thing you’re trying to sell. If they can do that – they’ve got the customer hooked.

Satan, too, wants to sell you something. He wants to sell you sin and evil. And he does it the same way. He looks for an unmet need in your life. A need for recognition, love, praise, a relationship, financial security, vindication, comfort. Then he seeks to convince you that the only way you can get it is his way, by finding it illegitimately – in immorality, cheating, substance abuse, or just anything that isn’t the way of God. And if he can convince you of that, then you’re hooked.

So what’s the key? Don’t give Satan anything to work with. It’s the unmet need that is your weak spot. Close up the gap. Give your unmet need to God. Bring it to Him. And get it filled by Him. For when you remove the need – the salesman is out of business.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Ezekiel’s Vision

12 Aug

Ezekiel’s Vision…

The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of a valley of dry bones. In the vision, the Wind or Spirit came upon the bones and the bones came together to form an army. The army represents the nation of Israel.

Notice something, it all starts with just two ingredients, bones and the Spirit. Bones by themselves, are not known for being strong. Even if you assemble them into skeletons, you still end up with something that has no strength. And yet these bones become something mighty, a mighty army for God.

It doesn’t matter how weak you are in righteousness or self-control. What matters is the Spirit. It doesn’t matter how weak you are in the flesh or in your own strength. The key is don’t go by your own strength – go by the Spirit. The more you move by the Spirit and not by the flesh – the more powerful you’ll become in the Lord.

It was the Spirit that made Samson strong. And it’s the Spirit that will make you mighty – For in the power of the Spirit, even skeletons become mighty.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

Move by the Spirit and not your own strength. Flex your spiritual muscles and become mighty.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Like the Moon

10 Aug

Like the Moon…

It was one of those bright nights. Grandfather took me out and we gazed at the Moon. It was a full moon, and it’s light illuminated us to the point where I could have taken notes right there if I choose to.

Do you remember what the Song of Solomon is about?, he asked

I quickly responded, it’s a love song between a bride and groom.

And in its deepest realms?

An allegory of God and His people, the Lord and Israel, Jesus and His bride, God and us.

We are the bride, Grandfather said. In one of the verses of the Song of Solomon the bride is described as beautiful as the moon. Do you find the moon to be beautiful?

I guess if you look at its surface, it’s not very beautiful.

No, it’s filled with imperfections, markings, irregularities, patches of darkness and creators. Yet it is called beautiful and connected to the beauty of the bride. It’s really fitting. For as the Moon is filled with imperfections, irregularities, and darkness, so too is the bride. Also, as the Moon is filled with scars of past wounds, so too are we.

Then, I asked, how can then it be called beautiful?

Her beauty is the beauty of the moon. The moon isn’t beautiful in itself. Neither are we. The moon’s beauty is in something other than itself. It’s beauty is in its light. And it’s light is not it’s own, but the light of the sun. The moon is beautiful inasmuch as it reflects the light of the sun. If it were able to look at itself in a mirror, it would only see imperfection, scars, and darkness. But if it forgets about itself and looks into the face of the sun, then it will shine with the radiance of the sun. This too is the secret of the bride’s beauty.

That we aren’t beautiful in ourselves, but that our beauty is in that which is other than ourselves.

Think about it, we are as the moon and He is as the sun. So as the moon’s light and beauty comes from the sun, so our light and beauty comes from God. So if you focus on yourself, you’ll only see the imperfections, the scars, and the darkness. But if you forget about yourself and turn your focus on the beauty of His radiance, then you will shine with His light. That light will overcome your imperfections. Then you’ll become beautiful. Don’t make the mistake of living a life focused on yourself. Forget yourself. Turn to Him. Dwell in the beauty of His presence and your life will become a reflection of His… and you’ll shine with the light of His radiance.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Shadow

10 Aug

The Shadow…

It was a dark night. There was no moon and only a few stars could be seen in the desert sky, just darkness and the howling of the cold night winds. A typical October night in the desert.

Are you afraid of the dark?, Grandfather asked

Sometimes, I replied.

In the Scriptures, Grandfather said, darkness is a symbol of evil. Darkness is an absence, the absence of light. So too is evil…

Evil is an absence?, I replied.

Then Grandfather continued. Evil is not so much a reality as the absence of a reality. It is not the creation, but a denial of creation, a negation of what is, the negation of God. So it can’t exist on its own, but only in opposition to existence.

What does that mean?

Truth exists of itself. It is that which is. But a lie cannot exist without truth. A lie is the twisting of the truth, and so it can only exist by the truth and in the denial of it. So too life exists without death. But death cannot exist without life. Death exists as a negation of life. So too the good can exist without evil. But evil cannot exist without good. Evil is the denial of the good.

It’s the force of opposition, I said.

Yes, he replied, in Hebrew that which opposes, that which goes against, is called sahtan.

Sahtan, I repeated, and paused until it hit me. Satan! You can have God without Satan, but you can’t have Satan without God.

Yes, he replied. So we can only discern darkness because of the existence of the light and what is false by the true, and what is wrong, by the right. So then evil is actually…

A witness, I said, a hostile witness, that, despite itself, testifies of the truth.

Yes, Grandfather said, the witness of a shadow. The darkness of falsehood bears witness that Truth exists. The darkness of hatred bears witness that Love exists. The darkness of evil bears witness that God exists. So never let your heart lose its focus by dwelling on evil, on a shadow, on that which is not, to obscure that which is. Seek always beyond the shadow, and above it, to the Good, which is always there upon the throne, and to which even the darkness must ultimately bear witness and bow it’s knee.

Today, practice seeing through the darkness of every problem or evil that confronts you – to the good that lies beyond it.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Big Picture

10 Aug

The Big Picture…

It was early morning, the sun had just begun to rise. Grandfather took me on a journey to the city through the desert riding on horses. The purpose of the trip was to pick up supplies for the school. But, as usual, he had more than one purpose in mind.

One thing I want you do today, he said, is to keep watch over the sun.

It was a strange directive, even for a nine year old, but I did my best, noting from time to time it’s position in the sky. At journeys end, upon our return, he questioned me.

What did you see? He asked

Nothing out of the ordinary, I replied, nothing of note. The sun was just the sun.

I imagine, Grandfather said, that at times it was obscured by the mountains, the trees, and the buildings of the city. But otherwise, I imagine it stayed the same, certainly the same size. I would also imagine that the landscape was continually changing, everything was changing around us except for the sun.

That’s true, I said, but isn’t that the way the sun works?

Yes, but why is that the way the sun works? Then he added, It’s because although a mountain or a house or even a hand can appear bigger than the sun and can, for a time obscure it, the reality is that the sun’s true magnitude, it’s actual size, is so enormous, so colossal, that the highest mountain on earth is as nothing in comparison. It doesn’t appear so in the short run, but it becomes clear over the long run. Even in our little journey, everything we saw completely changed, the hills, the mountains, everything but the sun. If we had traveled thousands of miles, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The sun’s colossal magnitude is manifested by it’s changelessness.

What does that reveal? I asked.

Then Grandfather smiled and said two thousand years ago, Jesus said, ‘ I am the Light of the World.’ Since that time, ages have begun and ended, continents and civilizations have been discovered, kingdoms and empires have risen and fallen, kings and luminaries have appeared and passed away. And some of these have, for a moment, seemed larger. For a time they obscured the figure of the Nazarene. But in the long run, over the course of the long journey, they’ve all passed away. Everything has changed… except Him. All the rest lies in ruins and rubble or in the pages of history… but He remains, unchanged, undiminished.. as central, as pivotal and as colossal as He has ever been. Everything changes but Him. He is the sun. And the immensity of His magnitude is manifested by His changelessness.

Today, see all things in view of the big picture. Whatever problems or issues you have are small in comparison to Him and will pass away in the magnitude of the Son.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Intimate With God

9 Aug

Intimate With God…

Saul, the apostle Paul, was one of the most influential people who ever walked the earth. He changed the world. He changed history. He lived a practical life, a strategic life, and an effective life.

But notice something else about him. He also was a man of the Spirit. He would pray and fall into a trance. He would receive supernatural words and dreams.

Paul treasured being intimate with God. That’s why he was able to do such great things. That’s why he was unstoppable and why he changed the world. Prayer is not often seen as something practical, but prayer is the most practical of things. Without prayer, everything else you do, every plan, every effort, every work, will be hindered. It will be like walking against the wind.

But with prayer, everything else will fall into place. So if you want to do great things. If you want to live an effective and powerful life… then be practical – get into God’s presence. Become a person of prayer and the Spirit. Yes, it’s supernatural – but it’s the most practical thing you can do!

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:17

Today, get into God’s presence. Practice being a person of prayer and the Spirit.

Walk daily with God at your side.

Love always,

Ed