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Cold Blooded

3 Sep

Cold blooded…

We were sitting on a big rock enjoying the sun when Grandfather asked do you see It?

Behind that rock I replied

It was a snake, brown and black, and slittering in the sand.

What do you know about snakes? he asked.

I know to keep my distance.

Nothing more?

Not much, I haven’t seen that many in my young life.

Grandfather then said, What You shwould k ow is that snakes are cold-blooded.

Why is that important?

You’re warm-blooded and because of that you can run and keep runnig. But a snake, being cold-blooded, is limited in its ability to eendure, to keep going. Therefore, you can outlast it.

Tha is good to know I responded.

In the Scriptures, the serpent is a symbol of evil, Grandfather said.

Why is that?

Well, he said, not because snakes are evil in themselves but because they provide a representation of evI’m. They often move by twisting. And the nature of evil is to twist. A lie is the twisting of the truth. The impure is the twisting ofthe pure. And evil, itself, it the twisting of the good.

So them if snakes are cold-blooded, then so, in some way, is evil? I asked

Yes, replied Grandfather, Evil is cold-blooded. What that means is tbis; Though evil may have its day, its victories, its time to move and strike– it remain s cold-blooded. Therefore, it can never endure. No matter how powerful the evil may aappear, no matter how triumphant and unstoppable it may seem, it cannot last. Deception is cold-blooded. Hatred is cold-blooded. Slander is cold-blooded. Oppression is cold-blooded. All evil is cold-blooded. And so the power of evil is only forthe short term and the momentary. Its days are always numbered. And in the lo g run, it always fails.

But the good is not cold-blooded, I said.

Correct, he said, So in the end goodwill always outlast and overcome evil. Therefore, persevere in the good, keep gpu g in what is true, keep standi g for what is right and you will overcome and prevail in the end. In the face of whatever evil, trouble, Tata k or sin you’re dealing with, don’t give in. Don’t give up. But press on in the good.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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The Gardener

3 Sep

The Gardener…

When sin entered the world on the day of man’s fall, God took man out of a garden of life. On the day when sin was put to death, the opposite happened: man took God down from the cross and into a garden of death – the garden tomb.

In the Song of Solomon, the bride says of the Bridegroom, “Awake, oh north wind, and come wind of south, and blow upon my garden that the spices may flow out.” So man brought God into a garden of death, and there laid upon him spices, which come from a garden.

So also in the Song of Solomon, the bride says, “Let my Beloved come into His garden.” The tomb of God is a garden tomb – meaning, it isn’t merely a tomb, the place of endings – it’s a garden, the place of beginnings and life.

For all life in God now comes out of that tomb. So don’t be afraid of entering Jesus’s tomb, and letting the old die. For it’s not just a tomb – it’s a garden tomb, and those who enter it will find true life.

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Friends Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.
Song of Solomon 5:1

Let the past go, die to self, and be raised to life in the work of Jesus.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

An Attitude Of Pleasing God

2 Sep

An Attitude Of Pleasing God….

The book of Philippians is filled with exhortations by the apostle Paul to the saints at Philippi about having a good attitude. In chapter one he talks about his own attitude of desiring to magnify Christ whether by life or death, and in chapter two he encourages the brethren to have the mind or the attitude in them that was in Christ. Listen now to what he tells them in Philippians 4:4-9: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” In this text, the apostle gives some specific advice on how to maintain an attitude well pleasing to God.

Joy

He says that we need to have an attitude of joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (v. 4). Sometimes we use the words joy and happiness pretty much as synonyms, but there are times when it is important to make a distinction. Happiness in primarily an outward emotional reaction to pleasant circumstances, but joy is a deep, inner characteristic that continues to exist even in unpleasant circumstances and in fact serves to sustain us through those bad times. That’s why Jesus could say, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12). In fact, we often define the word translated “blessed” as meaning happy or fortunate.

We all experience trials, difficulties, and problems in life that make us unhappy, and there is nothing wrong with feeling unhappy in such situations. But as Christians, we can still rejoice even when we are sad. Remember, Paul said, “Rejoice…always.” But how is that possible? We can rejoice always “in the Lord.” Paul helps us understand what this means in Romans 12:12 when he says, “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.” No matter what happens to us in this life, Christians can rejoice in their hope. Did not Jesus say, “For great is your reward in heaven”?

Gentleness

Paul also says that we need to have an attitude of gentleness. “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand” (v. 5). The King James Version uses the word “moderation.” The New King James footnote gives the alternate translations of “graciousness or forbearance.” McKnight says that the word “means meekness under provocation, readiness to forgive injuries, equity in the management of business, candor in judging of the characters and actions of others, sweetness of disposition, and the entire government of the passions.” A form of the same word is used in Titus 3:2, “to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” where it is translated “gentle.”

Basically, we should treat others as we expect others to treat us. We want people to be nice to us, so we should be nice to them. However, there is another reason that Paul gives. “The Lord is at hand.” He does not say coming of the Lord is at hand, but the Lord Himself is at hand, that is, He is near, both to mark how we behave and to assist us in doing what is right. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account… Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:13-16). Since nothing is hidden from His sight, we should come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us be gentle and forbearing.

Prayer

Then, Paul says that we need to have an attitude of prayer. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (v. 6). First, he tells us, “Be anxious for nothing.” Anxiety or worry, which has apparently always been a difficulty for mankind but seems to be a special problem in our time of uncertainty, is a symptom of a lack of trust in God. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus Himself warns us not to worry about such things as food, clothing, tomorrow. But how do we keep from being anxious or worrisome?

Paul tells us instead that in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should let our requests be made known to God. Prayer is God’s antidote to worry. Over and over again, the Bible promises Christians that God will hear and answer our prayers (James 5:13-18). “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Therefore, we can be assured that prayer will make a difference. Why? Because prayer is the supreme manifestation of trust in God.

Peace

Paul next says that we need to have an attitude of peace. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (v. 7). The result of casting all our cares on God in prayer is that His peace will guard or sustain our hearts and minds. While the Bible definitely teaches that we should strive to be at peace with others, the kind of peace that Paul’s talking about is peace with God, the kind of peace that Jesus came to bring mankind. “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation….And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:11-18). He made peace between Jew and Gentile because He made it possible for both to be at peace with God.

Therefore, by submitting ourselves to God and trusting implicitly in Him, we can have the kind of peace that Paul describes in Colossians 3:15. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you are called in one body, and be thankful.” So, either we can let anxiety and worry rule our hearts, or we can let the peace of God rule in our hearts. The people of this world are eagerly seeking peace, but they can never find it apart from Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Meditation

Again, Paul says that we need to have an attitude of meditation. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (v. 8). While Christians would oppose the mindless type of transcendental meditation found in Eastern religion, there is a kind of meditation that God wants. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). We do not sit around and say “ohm,” but we do think about what God’s word says in every choice we have to make and every situation we face. “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).

We are all going to think about something or other; to please God, we need to put away all thoughts that are in opposition to God’s word. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Rather, we ought to spend our time thinking about things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report according to the standard of God’s law. That is why we need to be careful about what we read, watch on television, hear in music, see in movies, etc. Do these things help us meditate on the law of the Lord or do they cause thoughts that are not in harmony with God’s ways?

Obedience

Finally, Paul says that we need an attitude of obedience. “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (v. 9). Basically, obedience is doing God’s will. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). One way in which we discern God’s will is by what we learn, receive, hear, and see from inspired men like Paul as recorded in the scriptures.

However, true obedience is not just following these men as such, but rather following what they reveal to us from Christ. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11.1). In fact, he also wrote, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Hence, our obedience is ultimately to Jesus Christ alone. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). When we obey Christ, we know that we are doing the will of the Father in heaven.

Conclusion
If we shall rejoice in the Lord always, let our gentleness be known to all men, be characterized by prayer rather than by anxiety, have the peace of God ruling our hearts, meditate on the law of the Lord, and do God’s will in all things, then we shall have an attitude well pleasing to God. Of course, as Christians, we sometimes fail in one or more of these areas and are guilty of sin. However, God is gracious to offer forgiveness as we repent, confess, and pray; and also He offers help to do better. Remember what we read in Hebrews 4:16. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” And in everything, let us strive to be obedient to Christ, knowing that He is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Edwin Christian
Efchristi2@Yahoo.com

Mountain Of The Sword

2 Sep

Mountain Of The Sword…

The Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai, which is also called “Mount Horeb.” Is there any significance in this? The Hebrew word “Horeb” is linked to the word “Herev.” “Herev” means “sword.”

The first time the word appears in the Bible is in Genesis when God stations the cherubim at the entrance to the Garden of Eden with the flaming sword, or herev. The herev is a sword raised up against sin. So the Ten Commadments were given on “Mt. Horeb,” – linked to herev, the sword – as the Ten Commandments, too, are a sword raised up against sin.

So too is the Word of God a sword. We must each learn to pick up the Word of God as a sword against sin – against our own sin. In other words, wherever your life doesn’t line up with the Word of God, use the Word as a sword to put to death that sin, that compromise, or that questionable thing in your life. For only by passing through the sword of the cherubim, in Jesus, can we enter the garden and the life of His blessing.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

Take inventory. Where does your life not line up with the Word of God? Make the change and conform your life to the Word.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Light Has No Shadow

1 Sep

Light Has No Shadow…

1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God is light. He is without any darkness or shadow. He is both perfect and without sin. This is really something to think about. Light has no shadow and until you really see it for yourself you won’t understand it.

Has anyone cast a shadow on your experience through an unkind word or hurtful deed? Well, we can’t control what other people do, but we can control what we do! We can pray to ensure that we don’t throw any shadows on other people’s path. How? By being a light.

A light never casts a shadow.

Notice the picture. There is no shadow cast by the flame. A flame of light cannot cast a shadow, for it radiates light.

Shadows are often symbolic for dark thoughts; anger, irritation, resentment, ill-will, suspicion, criticism, and fear. They are not innate to a child of God or part of a spiritually minded thinker’s way of thinking.

So, be a bright light in your neighbor’s experience. Don’t throw any shadows their way with less than inspired thinking. Illuminate their thought with your understanding of Love’s ever-present care and thoughtfulness. Brighten their path!

Be a light thrower not a shadow caster!

Walk daily with God at your side!!

Love always,

Ed

The Godless Rising?

1 Sep

The Godless Rising?….

What will faith look like in the end times? End time prophecy appears to give us a picture of both light and darkness. The findings of a major study sheds light on where we are – and where it’s heading. First, what’s happened to evangelicals or born again believers?

In 1972, the beginning of the period looked at in the study, the percentage of Americans who called themselves “evangelical” was somewhere around 16% of the population. Just five years later in 1977, that number had increased to around 24% or 1 in 4 Americans. By 1993, it reached its peak at 30% or almost 1 in every 3 Americans – a staggering number. From 1993 until now, the number decreased back to around 24%, where it was in 1977.

What about mainline Protestant denominations? What is revealed here is a change of stunning proportions. In 1972, the percentage of Americans in mainline Protestant denominations was around 28%, peaking in 1974 at a little over 30%. But since then, the percentage has plummeted to just over 10%. In other words, it went from about 1 in 3 Americans – to now 1 in 10 Americans.

But the most dramatic phenomenon concerns the “godless,” or those of no religion (from atheist to agnostic to simply those of no specific faith). In 1972, they made up about 5% of the population. In the early 1990s, the same period that marked the beginning of the decrease in evangelicals, the numbers of those with no religion suddenly shot up. They now make up around 24% of the population – the same as Evangelicals. In other words, they multiplied five times over. And if the study broke down these trends by age, looking at the younger generation, the result would likely be even more startling.

What does this reveal? America, at least as a whole, is becoming noticeably more unchristian and ungodly. At the same time, the form of Christianity that is most dramatically decreasing is mainline Protestantism, which is known for having departed from Biblical truths. Evangelical or born again Christianity, though affected by the culture’s apostasy, is showing strength and vitality – but how long this may depend on the younger generation and whether we see revival or not.

What the findings appear to show is a phenomenon of polarization. The middle is disappearing. The gray is being removed. What remains will be either very dark or very light, or both.

This month, pray for revival. Shine your light. Spread the word. And get any grayness out of your life and get to the light.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Watchman

30 Aug

The Watchman…

The Bible speaks much of the watchmen. They were the ones appointed to watch over the city, to protect it, and to sound the alarm in the face of danger.

When were the watchmen on duty? It was during the night, when darkness covered the land, and when the people of the city slept that the watchman’s call was especially critical.

When we look at what’s happening in the world, the direction of the end times, it’s easy to feel discouraged or overwhelmed. But we shouldn’t. It’s the times of darkness when the watchmen’s ministry is most important.

So the darker you see the world becoming, the more critical it is to take up your mantle as God’s watchman. It’s the call to stay spiritually awake in a time of spiritual sleep, to stay separate, to keep vigilant – vigilant in prayer, vigilant in the word, vigilant in purity and holiness, in righteousness, and worship – and to all the more sound the alarm to those who are perishing.

It is night, the people are sleeping, and they need the watchman more than ever. You are the watchman – do your duty!

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, Isaiah 62:6

Keep vigilant in purity, holiness, and righteousness, and sound the alarm to those who are perishing. Be a watchman!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed