Category: <span>Liberty – Redemption</span>

We often add sorrow to our blessings, but we should not because: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” Proverbs 10:22 These “blessings” are upon the head of the righteous as spoken in Proverbs 10:6. They are augmented with no “pangs” of grief, no cuttings or wounds. Yes, these “adorings” of God, these deep soul thanksgivings, these praise evokings, are without painful regrets, feelings of deceit, cautions of being cheated, or suspicions of fraud. There is no distortion, violation of rights, or irreverent treatment; as “violence” is on the mouth of those who receive unjust gain. Their mouths are well concealed as their intents are also — but the mouth of the righteous is a well of life, and his lips feed many. Proverbs 10:11 and 21 “The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver.” Proverbs 10:20 So, In John’s gospel we…

Fishermen wade smack-dab into the water where fish swim, as a blue heron readies for it’s own breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why do they go in the water as opposed to fishing from the shore? Here are some answers: “…wearing waders permits me to fish down stream and positioning my lures in the spot that is only possible while being in the water.”  “…helps me to avoid the many snags such as branches and tree trunks that are commonly found on the banks of many water ways.” “…With waders on I am able to go upstream 100 meters or so from the group and get the big ones all by myself. ”  outdoors.stackexchange As Jesus promises to make us “Fishers of men,” in Mark 1:18,  maybe lessons from fish anglers apply. The Pulpit commentary remarks, “It is plain that, in the pursuit of his calling, the fisherman has no power to…

Life presents certain complexities, and within a course of life, choices impair or facilitate the better way. For example, a grandfather rates hanging with his grandchildren a top priority. He is enamored by the sweet exchanges, and they love him. But, he has a second love and that one presents a conflict. He eats late and long and uses little discretion on his food choices. One day his doctor warns him that if he doesn’t stop the binge eating, he will have a heart attack and could die. Granddad weighs his loves. He must make a choice — the toddlers or — pizza at midnight. Tim Keller tells this story and more in  “Making Sense of God” A young person buys a sailboat. He or she wants to experience the exuberance of sailing on the bay. Quickly found out, a learning curve mandates itself. The laws of the winds and…

The love of many will wax cold — iniquity will abound. Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Chilling love, hearts expire. Interesting it is, how heart and love go together. A heart holds the issue of life for a person and possibly that “go” is goodness and kindness. A man believes and embraces these noble attributes and holds them firm in his value system. But can that value system sustain him in the time of testing? Is that value system changeable? In a book by Carl H. Stevens, “cosmic loneliness,” our Pastor quotes Rollo May: he defines Anxiety as “the reaction to the threat to values one identifies with his existence as a self, ” “a person can meet anxiety to the extent that his Values are stronger than the threat.” Again from May, “man defines maturity as the holding of values, with no importance placed on the truth…

“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.” Matthew 9:10 Publicans, who were often of their own Jewish people, were the collectors of tax. The Jewish people of Jesus time hated paying tribute money to the Romans. “So Publicans were accused, sometimes correctly, of being: of “great detestation.” “people often of abandoned character,” “oppressive in their exactions.” “associated in character with thieves and adulterers; “profane.” “lacking honesty and moral integrity” material rapists — lacking restraint. They indulged in vice. The Religious Pharisees also accused Jesus of being a friend of these, “publicans and sinners.” Indeed He sat with them. And ate with them. Jesus list goes this way: gluttonous Winebibber Friend of sinners Friend of Publicans Blasphemer Judging by their appearance, the “all knowing” Pharisee conjured and surmised many things. Lets borrow some…

  When Christ came into my life, He gave me a purpose for living. Let me explain: Before I met Christ I had some purposes, but I didn’t have the faculty to discern my true purpose, and I settled for purposes of my best understanding. Most of my problems stemmed from just not understanding the design of the playing field (of life). Then, I had not a clue as to what equipment was available and necessary for the “game” on that field. So, to run with this illustration, I had no hash marks, no out of bounds lines, and most of all, no goal line. There were no “first down markers” to measure my progress, no scoreboard to keep track of my accomplishments, no referees to monitor correct conduct required for this contest. Back then, before I met my Savior, every person and purpose wore the same color on their…

There’s a new world coming, with a new world order. Are we excited yet? “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” Isaiah 11:6 On the earth, yet “not of this world,” the righteous shall enter the kingdom; Matt 25:37 teaches, “then shall the righteous answer.” and Isaiah 60:21, “Thy people also shall be righteous, they shall inherit the land forever.” In that day, “Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Psalm 85:10 “With righteousness shall He judge the poor; righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins.” Isaiah 11:4-5 Other characteristics: Israel shall…

  The times were post-modern, the setting? — anywhere U.S.A. The question then, “hath God said?” Answer, “you shall not surely die.” Heard this before? Yes, we have read it in our Bibles, pages 1-3. Quohelet later speaks in Ecclesiastes, “All is breath, and herding of the wind.” There is nothing new under the sun. Same old — same old! The dialectics tell us of new forms for reasoning, that the truth-based deductive reasoning is obsolete. They tell us we must accept both sides of the question and reject the law of non-contradiction. They want us to tolerate the lie, accept it’s right to express itself, and even exalt it to a place of equality with truth. Red dogs bark louder, my dog is red my dog barks louder. They dismiss the simple reasoning. Ho hum; the Bible calls these folks, “fools” because they have no delight in understanding —…

Behind vision, we find redemptive revelation; nothing else quite produces a vision by which people do not perish. 2 Corinthians 4:16 reminds us, “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. “ Inward renewal keys the visionary’s gaze which is the image of Christ and Him crucified. This must be a constant for every believer or the restraints for forward movement are nullified. Folks, it remains that the image of Christ and Him crucified includes”Love” which covers the multitude of sins — those acknowledged and those denied. Yes, Love with sins’ final judgment is the vision-maker of every blood-bought believer. Standing opposed to vision are man’s many differences. These differences should find solution in the uniting of all men under the banner of Christ’s “breaking down the middle wall of partition” between individuals and groups, a by-product of His dying, and so making peace. With Christ’s…

 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. “ Romans 5:6 Expressly declares! “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ” Romans 5:8 “…when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” Romans 5:10 “Due time,” signifies the precise moment which eternity met time. John Gill tells us why: “…to illustrate the love of God to them, notwithstanding this their character and condition; and to show that the love of God to them was very early; it anteceded their conversion; it was before the death of Christ for them; yea, it was from everlasting: “… to express the freeness of it, and to make it appear, that it did not arise from any loveliness in them; or from any love in them to him; nor from any works of righteousness done by them, but from…