Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Leopard's Spots

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions... - Colossians 2:13 NASB

"A leopard can't change his spots."  We often use this phrase when we have written someone off in the hope that they could change.  We may use the same phrase applied to ourselves with a shrug of our shoulders, despairing that we will ever change.  In both cases it may be a positive development!  It shows that we have given up hope that we (or the other person) will be able to change ourselves, which is true.  However, as followers of Jesus Christ we do not change ourselves!  He is the One who changes us, and while changing ourselves or others is impossible on our own "with God all things are possible."  Who have you given up on?  Is it a lack of faith in man, or a lack of faith in God?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Historical Sites

They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." - Act 1:11 NASB

Our nation is dotted with historical sites that commemorate where something happened, or even an important individual in history.  These monuments commemorate great lives and events that effected the course of history right down to the present moment.   While the mount of olives is far removed from most of our local experiences it is a real place, where one of the most amazing events in human history occured.  Zechariah tells us that it is also the same place to which He will return.  In Jesus Christ, God Almighty took on flesh and walked upon the earth that He created!  How remarkable indeed, that there is an actual location where He last touched the earth, and we know He will next touch the earth in that same place!  God is not distant and far off, He is near and will return to this earth at exactly the right moment, and we will be with Him!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Smelling the Roses

O Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Isaiah 25:1 NKJV

It shouldn't be hard to stop and "smell the roses", but it is.  If it were something that came naturally we probably wouldn't have an expression for it.  It is a great challenge to take a moment to appreciate the many wonderful blessings in our lives.  Be it family, friends, physical provision or even just appreciating the simple pleasures of a good book (or a good cup of coffee); taking time to appreciate the blessings in our lives is invaluable.  Yet, all of the blessings we take for granted don't hold a candle to the amazing God we serve.  Isaiah was clearly preoccupied with The Lord when He penned the words recorded in Isaiah 25:1.  Having beheld The Lord in some very special ways throughout his life Isaiah was ready to praise The Lord for His essence, His works and His wisdom.  I notice that when I forget the importance of The Lord and all of His splendor and faithfulness, I then  also begin to overlook all of the other wonderful blessings that He has given to me.  I hope to continue to cultivate an attitude of constant amazement at, and appreciation for, The Lord.  Only then will I correctly understand that He is the source of every blessing and appreciate each treasured relationship and blessing for the gift that it is, and the Giver from Whom it came.  

Time Troubles

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9 NASB

Young children are wonderful because they have nearly no concept of time.  As soon as they hear about Christmas they will wake up each morning asking "Is it Christmas yet?"  It is a pleasure to see them revel in the season and look forward each moment to the joys of Christmas day.  This difficulty understanding time only highlights their problems of perspective and patience.  When we look at the last 2,000 years it is easy to think that they Lord may have forgotten His promise, and many find this to challenge their faith.  Yet the Lord is the only One with a valid perspective of time, and He will return for us at exactly the right time.  It is our part to wake each morning and say, "Is it today?  Will I get to see the Lord face to face today?  I hope so!"