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Pagan Temple of Jerusalem

25 May

Pagan Temple of Jerusalem…

Chanukah is the story of a pagan temple dedicated to the Greek god Zeus, full of ungodliness, idolatry. There were many pagan temples in ancient times but this pagan temple was different.

It was made to be the Temple of God. Its walls and courts were made for pure worship, its holy place for the flame of God, its holy of holies for His presence. It was as a Temple with amnesia, as if it had been made for sin with the Temple of God underneath it.

We’ve lived much of our lives as pagan temples, giving ourselves to ungodliness as if it were natural to be a vessel of sin. You were created to be the very Temple of God, for holiness.

Your mind was created to know the pure thoughts of God, your heart to worship Him, your life to serve and glorify His name. Give yourself no more to that which has no place in the chambers of the Holy Temple of God.

You are the Temple of the Living God. Remove darkness from your midst and be filled with the presence of the Living God, for whose glory you were created.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19

Today, sanctify your mind and heart, set it apart and let no sin dwell within you that separates you from His Holy presence.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Stay Awake

24 May

Stay Awake… Keep Serving Faithfully

Stay awake!” These are Jesus’ words to us today. He tells us that we do not know the day or the time when the Lord will come to us. Thus, each and every moment we must be awake and watchful.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. Matthew 24:42-44

Jesus now arrives at His main point about His return as judge and king. It will come unexpectedly, as the flood did in Noah’s day. Before being swept away, the people then were just going about their daily lives as if nothing would ever change. Then they were gone. In that same way, Christ’s return will be unexpected. The signs will be clear, but only when they occur, at which point it will be too late to react.

Pointedly, Christ made it clear that no person can claim to know the time of His return. Absolutely every prediction that gives a date of the second coming is based on false premises.

That leaves only one option for those who want to be ready: His followers must “stay awake” all the time. Of course, Jesus is not speaking literally, suggesting one should avoid actual sleep. Instead, He is telling them to live in a state of awareness.

Believers should never lapse into the false notion that what happens in this life, from day to day, is all that will ever happen. Wakeful believers remember that this life is temporary, and the next life is eternal. The next life can begin without warning.

In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14


Far too many people live only for today or for the days before this life ends. They put off dealing with the reality of God’s judgment and eternity as if they are sleeping through the alarm. The opportunity to trust in Christ for salvation is limited to the length of one’s life before death as in Hebrews 9:27, or the return of Christ in Revelation 19. In either case, the time is short. By the time a person knows their moment has come, their choice has already been made.

This may sound impossible to do. However, I think of parents who have young children; I assume their radar is always attuned to where their children are and what they are doing. It becomes second nature. I assume that each one us of us also have our radar attuned to the individuals in our lives who are significant to us.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. Matthew 24:45-47

Today Jesus desires that we also have our radar scanning for His coming and His presence. The reality is we do not know when, how or through whom Jesus may come to us or be present to us.

However, staying awake and alert every moment is not easy. Perhaps though, we can enhance our radar system to be more closely attuned to Jesus’ vibes, to His presence with us.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:48-51

Jesus concludes this parable by describing what the abruptly returning master will do to the wicked servant who betrayed his trust and abused his household. Having been away some time, the master will return and find that the servant has been beating the other servants instead of caring for them and has been carousing with local troublemakers.

The consequences for that servant will be severe: the master will cut him to pieces. This seems like a graphic choice, which is very much the point of Jesus’ parable. This is possibly the harshest punishment any master could execute on a slave under his control. Jesus describes no second chances or demotions at this point, only painful retribution and horror as found in Mark 9:47–48.

The parable ends with Jesus blending the story with the reality it is meant to represent. The Master—God—will both cut the abusive servant into pieces and put him with the hypocrites in a place of misery and suffering. This uses the common description for the place of eternal torment, also referred to as hell.

The disciples would have clearly understood who Jesus meant when He mentioned hypocrites. This English term comes from the Greek word hypocrites, literally referring to “an actor.” On stage, these are people who pretend to be what they are not. In life, they are those whose words and public actions cover their inner, private spiritual bankruptcy. In blistering terms, Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites repeatedly and directly in Matthew 23.

The servant of this parable has revealed that his faith was not in that master, at all. His actions prove as much. He represents all those who claim to belong to Jesus but in truth serve themselves. Their faith in Christ is play-acting “hypocrisy” at best, and they will be sent away from Christ into torment at the time of judgment.

If we truly desire to be attentive to Jesus’ presence throughout our day, we can train ourselves to do so just as first-time parents attune themselves to the presence of a new baby. Today, attune the ear of your heart to Jesus’ presence with you! Jesus will not disappoint you!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Jesus the Shamash

24 May

Jesus the Shamash…

There’s a mystery concerning the ninth candle on the Chanukah menorah. The Chanukah menorah has eight candles, each candle representing one of the eight days of Chanukah.

Then there’s a ninth candle called the ‘shamash.’ ‘Shamash’ in Hebrew means ‘the servant.’ The shamash candle is the light that lights up all the other candles. Jesus is called the servant of the Lord. Yeshua,

Jesus, said ‘I am the Light of the world.’ He’s the shamash, the servant of the Lord, and the light that gives light to our lives. If you follow Jesus, then you must be like Him – a servant of the Lord.

Live seeking to do His will above your own and rejoicing in the joy of doing it. Those who serve the Lord will be filled with light, just as the servant candle is filled with light, just as Jesus is the light – called not only to shine, but to light up the lives of others, to set aflame those who dwell in darkness.

Serve the Lord with all your heart and you will shine with the light that lights up the darkness. For you, in Jesus, are the shamash.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Seek out God’s will for you today. Find the joy in serving others and be the source of Light in your part of the world.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love.always,

Ed

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Bright As The Sun

23 May

Bright As The Sun

In Song of Solomon 6:10, it says, “Who is this that appears like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?” Jesus says that God causes His sun to rise, and it shines on the just and the unjust, so we have to be like God who does that.

What does it mean, to be bright as the sun? It is speaking of the bride. We are to be a bit more like the sun. The sun is bright because it just shines. Its light is independent from the circumstance, sovereign in a sense from its circumstance.

Be as bright as the sun. You need to shine. You are the light of the world. You can’t shine because people love you, or you can’t stop shining because they don’t.

You have to shine on those who don’t, those who hate you, those who persecute you, in good times and in bad times, because that’s who you are. You are the light of the world, and if you stop shining, you cease to live. You must shine. Be as bright as the sun.

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; fhen your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8

Shine brightly for God today. Let your light so shine that people will have no doubt the presence of the Lord is within you.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love.always,

Ed

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Away From The Lion

22 May

Away From The Lion…

There was a minister who was going through a really tough time in his life, who was dwelling on a problem. A woman from his congregation gave him a picture of Daniel in the lion’s den.

In the picture, Daniel was looking away from the lion; he was looking to God. He was trusting in God. The armies of Israel won the battles when they were more focused on God than on the enemy; more focused on who was for them than all those who were against them.

All the more in your battle, focus more on God. Remember, God is the answer. The bigger the problem, the more you have to look away from it and turn to the presence of God. You might be in a lion’s den, but the lion is not going to touch you.

Surely God is my salvatiion; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

You just trust the Lord, look to Him, and you don’t have to worry about the lion. You will be filled with peace and the grace of God and His power. In that way, you will overcome the lion, you will overcome the enemy and you will win the war.

Remember, whatever problem you are experiencing today, do not dwell on it, but keep your eyes steadfast on the Lord. He is above your problem, and more important.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Love Against Feeling

21 May

Love Against Feeling…

Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. He was sweating and praying, “Not My will, but Thy will be done. If you can take this away from Me, please do, but Your will be done.” Some people wonder how this could be.

If He is the Redeemer, if He is God, how could He be struggling? He should be saying I cannot wait to die on the cross. No, that is the point. The cross was going to be terrible. He was going to feel pain.

Clearly, He was struggling and He still chose to go to the cross. He chose against feeling. It was not easy and it was not natural. It was excruciating. He is showing us something.

The greatest love we can give, is love when it is not easy, when it is not pleasurable. When we do not feel like it, when it hurts, when it is humiliating, love anyway.

Jesus loved you and it cost Him everything. Love today, against feeling, against the flesh. Love where there is no love, when there is no pleasure in it. That is Jesus’s love, the greatest love.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Push past the natural, giving love to those who hate you, who hurt you and mistreat you. Even love your loved ones with a new supernatural love!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love.always,

Ed

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The Valley of Brakahah

20 May

The Valley of Brakahah…

Some believers are always in a valley. You ask them, “how are you doing?” They are depressed, defeated, or sad. Maybe you are in one right now, but there is a scripture in 2 Chronicles 20. It says on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Barakhah, where they praised the Lord. Barakhah in Hebrew means “blessing” or “praise.”

The valley was not first called Barakhah, but when they blessed it, it became the Valley of Barakhah, the Valley of Blessing. They praised God there, so it became the Valley of Praise. Valleys are not to be feared.

You can be on a mountain of curses or a valley of blessings. You have the power to turn your valley into a Barakhah Valley by praising the Lord. You have the power to transform your valley into blessing.

Start praising God in it, start blessing God, start thanking Him. Start giving Him praise where you are, whatever it is. It does not matter if you are on the mountain, or in the valley. If you praise God, the valley you will be in will be the Valley of Barakhah, the Valley of Blessing.

Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

Today, claim victory through the Lord your God. Declare His blessings on you. It does not matter your situation. Praise Him anyway.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love.always,

Ed

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Our Eyes Are On You

19 May

Our Eues Are On You…

Jehoshaphat had the armies of Moab, Ammon and others coming against him. He did not know what to do. He cried out to God and said, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on YOU!”

He did not say our eyes are on the army, or our eyes are on the house payment. He said, “Our eyes are on YOU!” The problem is never to be the focus of the prayer.

It is what got you praying, but it is not the point. Problems are used for good. They are never ends in themselves; they are just a launching pad of prayer. We are to lift them up, but the focus has to be God.

God uses these things so that we will come to Him. He does not want us to figure everything out, but trust Him. Salvation is not about your problems, it is about God’s answer.

You have problems. Jehoshaphat had more, but the answer from God is greater than the problems. Let go of the problem. Say, “Lord, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on YOU!”

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Today, look away from your problem and to the Lord. Become less problem-oriented – and more answer-oriented.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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The Eastern Apathy

18 May

The Eastern Apathy…

In Eastern religion and philosophy, Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age teaching, the goal is detachment. The self is God, so the individual selfhood is an illusion. The key is to detach from this illusion, from care, passion and desire.

Behind the flowery talk in Eastern religion, is apathy and detachment. In India, you will find the fruit of all this, which is misery. Many believers in Jesus live as if they are believers in apathy instead of the gospel.

They live lives apathetic about serving the Lord detached from the poor, the hungry, and those needing salvation. God is the opposite of apathy, which means to be without passion. God got so involved in the world He became one of us.

He was passionate about loving you, saving you and dying for you. If you belong to Him, renounce this apathy. Get passion into your life, your walk, your faith, your service and into your heart.

Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, spread the gospel, touch, care, and love, because your God is passionate about you. And the only way to respond is to live a life of passion for Him.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:34-36

Renew your passion in your walk with God, focus on those who need to experience His love today. Reach out with a servant’s heart.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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Shut That Mouth

17 May

Shut That Mouth…

We think of possession as in the Exorcist, a movie about a girl whose head spins around, or of the guy who lives in tombs and scares people.

There’s another kind of possession that’s just as real. The kind that takes place even with believers when we give the enemy a place in our lives by acting with sinful motives, or speaking words of destruction; gossip.

Then the enemy can spread destruction, not only in us, but through us. We offer ourselves to be used for the enemy’s purposes when we allow ourselves to be controlled by bitterness, pride, and selfishness.

Peter loved God, but he allowed himself to be used by the enemy. He rebuked Jesus and told him not to go to Jerusalem. Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.”

When we allow ourselves to be used by the enemy to tear down, hinder, discourage, or harm, we’re allowing ourselves to be possessed for his purposes.

It’s not just people whose head spins around, it’s when you let yourself be used. Reject the slightest hint of possession. Be moved only by the Spirit; you are God’s possession.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds along with those who are evildoers; do not let me eat their delicacies. Psalm 131:3-4

Guard your mouth today, let it speak uplifting and of praise, allow the Holy Spirit to move through you.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed