A word of encouragement from a sojourner for Truth

His way or mine
Mat 12:3-4
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?

Several things intrigue me here in this passage. I just love the way Jesus deals with challenges. In the face of the Pharisees challenge to Jesus authority he challenges their knowlege of the word of God. He implies they have forgotten the word of God. He asks them if they have ever read the story where David and his men ate the shewbread meant only for use in the Lord’s tabernacle. They had forgotten and loved to take texts out of context to aid their control of the people. They were too quick to judge. Jesus never taught that we should not judge. He warned us to be cautious when we jusge. He taught that we should judge ourselves first. Then in judging others it ought to help and not to hurt. The Pharisees were charging Jesus disciples for working on the Sabbath. They were always quick to forget the import of the word. Further they invariably applied the word to others while neglecting to judge themselves by it at the first. Jesus however reminds them that David and his men were hungry and they had done the same as his disciples in their hunger. Essentially jesus is saying where David and his men were not condemned neither should they be condemned. He always taught doing good on the Lords day was right. His defense is simple. His word supercedes our interpretation. What about the Lord’s day have you been neglecting? Do you forget the assembling together as God designed? If you do assemble do you make tradition more important than doing good. Have you read his word and forgotten it’s meaning and the changes it requires in your life? Are you quick to judge others with the word while neglecting measuring yourself by the word first? Whatever our fault with the Lord’s day, Jesus knows best. It is his word after all.

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Mat 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

No other God invites you to come to Him in spite of your sins.  All others want you to clean up and earn your way to them. Jesus says come as you are and be forgiven. The poor in spirit will be made Kings and Priests. You are welcomed into His royal family.  Adoption into God’s family is the best gift one could ever have given to them. Yet so many do not receive such a gift. Fear of failure, the human desire to earn ones worth, and the simple desire for sin keeps people from asking for that gift. Sad to say even those who receive adoption do not always enjoy the love and acceptance given by their forgiveness of sins. They somehow wander into sin, stumble into sin and even walk bald faced into sin. Then because of fear that God doesn’t accept them, fear that others will not forgive them, they miss out on the pleasure of being restored and accepted in the fellowship with God and their church family. God promises if we confess he will forgive and restore fellowship (1 John 1:9). Too often they are like a bird with a broken wing. The bird will flee from those who would help mend the wing. On the other hand when a child is sick with their parent at the doctor, knowing they will get a shot, they cling the more tightly to their father. Today, you are in failure, you fear not being forgiven, not being accepted and restored. Today I implore you not to be like the little bird. Don’t run from God anymore. Be like a child and cling to your father. God loves you. Jesus asks you to simply come. Aren’t you tired of running? Come just as you are and He will give you rest.

The God of Angel Armies
Psa 46:1-4
A song of the sons of Korah
1 God is a safe place to hide,
ready to help when we need him.
2 We stand fearless at the cliff–edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, 3 Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob–wrestling God fights for us,
God of angel armies protects us.
4 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city, this sacred haunt of the Most High.
(Message)

Do you ever feel like this? I mean the first half of this picture. The mountains slide into the sea utter chaos is within and without. I’ve been there and I know you have too. Literally I stood once at the edge of the Washita river when the waters were rising and whole trees and river banks were sliding off into the turbulent water with resounding booms. Life is like that sometimes. Someone facing cancer surgery or the implosion of debt can tighten like a noose about your neck. Freedom of restriction calls with your every thought and breath. However even if your shackles came loose and you were to fly to the heavens when you returned to earth you would still have your problems. God wants us to find in him refuge even in the midst of the storm. He is our strength our help and hope in the storm. Rest in his promises. Rely on his character. Find the calm in the storm, the peace in the turbulence, the quiet overwhelming confidence that only satisfies the soul. You’ll not find it apart from him. The world creator, wind calmer, water walker and fire treader, lion tamer, giant killer and God of angel armies stands up for you. He is our defence and our refuge. He is our hope and help when he is needed most.

Pro 8:7-9
7 For my mouth shall speak truth;
and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. 9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

Anyone can speak foolishly, swear falsely, or with empty cuss words. However not everyone hears the voice of ageless wisdom and can speak wisely. Wisdom must be found like precious gold. With much seeking it is discovered and possessed. However it is better than gold because once you learn it you can never lose it. Yet the appropriation of gold when given away it is lost to you. When wisdom is spent or shared you still have the same that you originally found. Its the only true investment that never sees exhaustion. Its more than knowledge for it can be forgotten. Its more than common sense because it too can be lost. Wisdom and its application shared to others never finds the end of its increase. Listen to wisdom’s voice. Learn to speak her language, think her way and share her riches for your lifetime. Only speak righteously and in truth. Walk in her precepts in grace and integrity. Wisdom, life’s best pursuit does not bring shame but ageless life and endless joy.

Daily devotional: Luk 15:8
8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Are you a seeker? Are you lost?
I can relate to seekers. We seek truth, hope, and help. Relationships,satisfaction, homework and peace rank high on the scale of seeking. Even in a practical sense I relate to this woman seeking this lost coin. It was important to her wasn’t it? It may have been part of a dowry or just coins being saved for a future purpose. It would probably be the drachma worth the equivalent of the roman denarii which equaled one days wage. Whatever it’s worth it was imperative it be found. I don’t know about you but I spend many hours of my life seeking lost things. I remember dumpster diving looking for my sisters retainer. Even this morning I woke up looking for my wife’s glasses and my paperwork. Sometimes its people who don’t know they are lost. Other times its a tool I need or a pair of glasses. Whatever the object the need is weighted against the effort spent looking. Spend some time today pondering the lost. Its either a person,  place or thing. Then take a moment to ponder your estate. What is lost in you? What are you seeking and what is God seeking in you? How like this woman are you? How like this coin? The value here is placed by the seeker. God has moved heaven and earth to find you. What’s hindering you being found today. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Seeker, finder, lost and found. We all can relate to the joy of being found. The excitement of finding and the hope that these moments engender. Go find lost things. Go be found of him today. Go and rejoice.

2Co 4:15-17
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

In the eyes of God

We are worth too much to waste inefficient methods or materials on to prove in us things worthy of reward. Like a precious stone that is coaxed from the matrix surrounding it God works with precision and perfect timing to release us from the inefficient insufficient and ineffective matter that surrounds us. Like a experienced jeweler he cleans and painstakingly grinds and polishes us until the facets are beautiful with perfect symmetry. His will surmounts all other wishes and wills that grope for our attention. He opens our life as a bud to blooming not only for our benefit but for others benefit and ultimately His glory. Such beauty he creates in us as His light shines through the facets of our life we only glimpse. However what we catch only a fleeting glimpse of, others see in greater detail. Ultimately the Master Jeweler sees with perfect clarity. Those struggles that caused pain in the reshaping of ourselves become the focal point of His light as its reflection rebounds to and through the vision of others. Paul exhorts us elsewhere that the comfort we receive from God in our trials must be shared with others who suffer. This comfort to comfort and the reflection of His glory must shine to others and reflect in them as well. That is why it is glory to glory and from weakness to weakness that the power of Christ may rest upon us. That is what Paul meant when he said he would glory in weakness. Its the crucified life exposing the resurection and life. Its dieing to self and loving and forgiving as we have been loved and forgiven. That’s what he meant that the thanksgiving of others redound unto the glory of God. Much like the beauty of a well crafted diamond the inner fire begets the outer depth of beauty. Him in us the confidence of glory. May you today face your trials of faith not only for yourself but for the help of others and ultimately His glory that it might shine in you and through you against the backdrop of eternity.

What do you need? What do you have?
Act 3:5-6
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee:In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Peter and John headed to the temple to pray at 3:00. The gate they chose is described as the beautiful gate. As was common in the east cripple and hurting people often sat at these entrances begging for help. The man there today was helpless. He could not help himself because he was lame. He was hopeless. He had tried all avenues of help and found no quick cures from mankind. This entrance to the temple might have been the Shushan or golden gate, the Nicanor gate or the Corinthian or eastern gate. All of these gates were used to access the temple. Jesus and his disciples passed thru these gates all of the time. They lead from the outside world thru the court of gentiles thru the women’s court into the Jewish court. Have you ever felt like God and good had forsaken you? This man knew despair. He had lain there a lifetime and Jesus had passed him by time and again. Have you ever felt worthless in the ministry of helping others? Peter and John came and had no silver and gold to give this man. He looked to them to receive money for his living. However much like the gifts of the world money fades, rusts and corrupts. This man had a need he had lost and a dream he had forgotten because of deferred hope. He had dreamt of walking but hope had given way to despair. His life was a cycle of meals and sleep till death. He needed Christ and he did not even know it. Tho you despair, rest in the truth, God’s timing is perfect. When the time is right God rains His blessings down. Love never tarnishes. Peter gave this man what God had freely given him. HOPE That’s a gift of grace. That’s ministry. So what do you have God has freely given you today? Go and give it away and fulfill the law of love. What do you need? Jesus is the answer