Keep your eyes on the road and keep your hands on the wheel, was one of the lines in an old 60’s song. How prophetic that song turned out to be in these few words when it comes to the word of God. [Proverbs 4:27] Australia is the latest country to fall into the trap of turning against God’s Word with their same sex marriage vote. When will it ever end? yes when will it ever end? [Matthew 24:14] God is patient God is kind [Romans 2:4] and God is always loving. [Psalm 52:1] We have a free will, so does allowing us to make up our own rules still enable us to walk in to His Kingdom?
Well the short answer is that sin and God cannot be in the same place. As shown by Adam and Eve when they thought they could be in God’s presence and still disobey Him demonstrated this. [Genesis 3:23] He is a Holy God, [Isaiah 5:16] He is all-powerful and is all knowing [Revelation 4:8] and all forgiving if we repent. [1 John 1:9] And there is the key word - repent, just about every major character in the Bible sinned but came to a place of repentance. As King David said: “Against You only Lord have I sinned.” [Psalm 51:4] To repent is very hard to do when we believe we have nothing to repent of. After all we did the sin in the first place believing the action was OK to do but then God tapped us on the shoulder and said repent. [Revelation 2:16]
The day is new every morning as we wake to the birdcall and everything is fine and then we get convicted to what we did yesterday. [Revelation 3:19] There is only one person who has every walked this earth that does not need to repent and that is the Lord Himself. [Hebrews 4:15] We can go through the day blinded by the things around us, as the day gets busier and God gets forgotten. We can end up speaking or acting incorrectly and sometimes we don't even realise we have done something that requires repentance, but the Lord does. [1 John 3:20]
Of course we don't have to run around repenting at every little move but we do have to listen for the voice of the Lord, which is everything. But when the Lord speaks we should listen and then act on what He says. [Psalm 29:4] We rejoice when the April showers come to water the ground but rejoicing when the Lord showers us with His Holy Spirit seems to miss us. The Spirit of the Lord directs, teaches and convicts. [John 14:26] The Lord directs our paths, teaches us the Word and about life and tells us when we have fallen short of the glory of the Lord. [Romans 3:23]
When the jailhouse rocked and the doors flew open to allow Paul to walk free. The jailer knew the fate that awaited him for letting prisoners escape. So as he was about to take matters into his own hands, [Acts 16:25-27] Paul said “Stop!” The action of Paul giving up the chance to run spoke much to the jailer, so much so it brought repentance. What must I do to be saved? Confess to Yeshua, meaning repent and be baptised and you and your family will be saved. [16:30-31]
One day we will all walk that lonesome valley and the difference in what direction we take is because of the decisions we take before we start that final journey. Repentance is one of the first actions we as believers should learn, but sadly it is one of the last. Why is it so hard to learn to kneel before our Lord and say, I'm sorry now and forgive me Lord? Why is it so difficult to go to someone and swallow our pride and say sorry? [Psalm 86:5] After all we can see clearly the person standing in front of us and yet the first thing we do is say sorry to a God we cannot see. God no doubt is pleased and there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents so if they have a party in heaven over repentance [Luke 15:7] why don't we on earth. Scripture says - on earth as in heaven – [Matthew 6:10] so if we are going to dance around the throne in heaven why can't we rejoice on earth?
Jesus said: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”. [Mark 1:15] If this is the case surely we should be looking at the bigger picture because it is going to be a hard days night if we stand in front of the Lord unrepentant. Look what happened to King David when it took the Prophet Nathan to tell him he had sinned. [] King David, the man who would not touch King Saul because he knew to do so was wrong, and yet it took the Lord to point out the murder of Uriah was a sin. [Psalm 51:1] before he repented.
Most people know when we have done wrong, we know the difference between right and wrong but do we care is the question? Abortion the death of the innocent [Proverbs 6:17] Politicians, community leaders and even church leaders know this is wrong, but they allow it any way. People who rob know they have done wrong and there is a punishment to come, why else would they hide? Yes these may be the extreme but we know wrong from right. And we know when we need to repent, so why don’t we?
Jesus said we can determined the signs of the times when we look at the sky but what about when we see what is happening in the world around us? [Luke 12:56] But it is the things of the Word of God being fulfilled before our very eyes that are warning us of what we need to take note of: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. [Matthew 4:17] Repentance and forgiveness come easy once tried. At first I felt uneasy with this new way of living but each time we do, it becomes easier. When we do repent there is a peace, a peace that can only come through the love of the Lord. We have to put our hand in the hand of the one and only man to walk this earth that can lead us to the Father. For this reason we need to stand before our Lord with clean hands and a pure heart. [Psalm 24:4]
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 2 Corinthians 7:13-15
Why are we here?
We might ask why are we here on this earth, what is to happen to me in this life? The answer is to know God, to Love God and to serve God with all our being. [Deuteronomy 6:5] We might think that things have not gone so good so far but what have we put that down to? Is it God who has put a block in our path? or is it a personal decision that we made, a decision that haunts us for many years. [Psalm 94:11]
Well there is good news for each and every one of us, God wants to take us from our pasts and place us into a new future. [Psalm 37:37] A future created by Him, a future so glorious that the past becomes just that, the past. [Isaiah 51:9] The past we cannot change, what has occurred has occurred and there is nothing we can do to change that. But what I do know from loving and accepting Yeshua as Lord and Saviour is we can change our futures. [Ephesians 2:7] This is the promise in the words “Seek me while I can be found, [Isaiah 55:6] I stand at the door and knock, [Revelation 3:20] I love you with an outstretched arm [Exodus 6:6] and I will never leave you nor forsake you.” [Deuteronomy 31:8]
We might say, “But who am I that the Lord would concern Himself with me?” I stood recently, in New York City, one of the largest cities in the world. Me, just one person amongst twelve million plus and you know He still knew every hair on my head, yes me as an individual. [Luke 12:7] We cannot live in this world as individuals we need people around us, like family or friends. Well we have the greatest friend that ever walked this earth [John 15:15] to help and to guide us and who loves each of us as individuals, [Luke 15:8-9] He knows each and everyone of us by name. [Isaiah 43:1] This He demonstrated in the story of the lost sheep, He knows every one by name that is why the shepherd knew one was missing. [Luke 15:6] One that He loved and cried for which is you and me, He came and He searched for each us by name and does not want to lose any of His friends. [John 17:24]
Hurting people need the love of the Lord and that can come from us, a hug and a kind word goes a long way in carrying a person through the day or a rough situation. Before I knew the Lord and bad things happened I thought of the nicest thing I could think of and that was ice cream and strawberries. It worked for a short time but not for long. Then I accepted the Lord, now my thoughts went to Him and off the strawberries. Now the smiles lasted longer and longer even through the hard times. This is what Yeshua does to lives. He gives a smile where there is a tear. He gives hope where there is despair and life where there is death. When storms rage He can calm the waves that try to swamp us. [Matthew 8:25-27]
He is from here to eternity and He wants each of us to go with Him on His journey to be with the Father when the journey is over. [John 14:2] The night I started on that journey by getting on my knees was some thirty-seven years ago and what a journey it has been. At the end of the day I can truly say I have come to know the love of the Lord, the promises of the Lord are true, [Psalm 71:2] the righteousness of the Lord is true and that He really does change lives. [Colossians 1:6] The Lord took this boy from the backwaters who had grown into a frightened teenager and then into someone who was scared to move into adulthood as well. But as one man has stated recently, I have grown into a man on a mission for God, and all glory must go to the Lord. God is good and God is faithful, faithful in all things and at all times. [Deuteronomy 7:9]
This is why and countless others have said: My life is yours Lord do with it as you want. [Isaiah 6:8] As I walk through what life the Lord has left for me I repeat the words, give me one more Lord, one more person that needs to know about your saving grace. [Acts 4:12] Give me more time to take all you have taught me to the people around me, to family and to the people in the world. This should be our cry from the heart for the lost and hurting world, they need the Lord Yeshua in their lives, we all need Yeshua in our lives, yes Lord give us one more that you want to touch with your love. This is why we are here on this earth, to further the Kingdom of God and to help fill the seats at the marriage of the Lamb, when He returns for His Bride. [Revelation 19:7-9]
It is God’s will that we should be saved and it is our will to choose whether to accept that invitation [Ezekiel 33:11] but if the people don’t hear how can they choose? [Romans 10:14] People have given their lives so we can have the Word of God in written form and in our own language so we can tell others of the wonder of God. We are here in this world to take the truth of the Word and to give it away freely to all, freely received therefore it should be freely given, [Matthew 10:8] in words in action and in love, the love of the Lord. [Lamentations 3:22]
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:1-3
Where is our heart leading us?
When we hear of another shooting and the terror attacks that are now occurring on a daily basis, the scripture that has been on my heart is, “They worship me with their mouths but their hearts are from me” becomes very real. [Isaiah 29:13] We are now living in a world so very different to the one I grew up in. Even forty years ago a terror attack had that ‘over there’ aspect to it. In the book Beirut to Jerusalem, the author spoke of the ‘over there syndrome’, if it happened over there and not here just get on with what you are doing. But now this world has forgotten what it is to live in peace and no one is truly safe because of what is happening over there is also happening here and we have to be on full alert. Ever been through an airport lately? No matter where we are trouble could come. [Psalm 119:71]
I have just returned from seeing my nephew and his family in San Antonio near where this latest massacre has taken place. This is not a time to take on the ‘over there syndrome’ but a time to stand firmly on the Word and pray. [Isaiah 8:10] Yeshua said we would have trouble in the world and trouble we are having. [John 16:33] The Word of God is under attack, in our schools our societies, our governments and in our Churches. [John 15:25]
A famous Rabbi of long ago stated when you see these things happening the Messiah is about to come. The Rabbis name? Yeshua, yes He was asked when the end will come and he replied, these things will come but that is quite not the end. [Matthew 24:6] This does not make things easier when they do but we know He is there with us always. [Matthew 28:20]
Is the Messiah coming is the question soon, is the on going question and of course nobody knows. [Matthew 24:36] But what we do know is that He is returning and with all that is going on it could be sooner rather than later. Whenever He arrives one thing is obvious from scripture, the fact we are all going to stand at the Judgment seat of Messiah. [2 Corinthians 5:10] If this is the case then as I told a Muslim taxi driver in New York, who the Koran says Yeshua is the great redeemer who is coming back to judge the world, if I believed that Yeshua was coming back to judge the world, then I would be paying Him a little more attention.
Which brings me back to the scripture, “They worship me with their mouths but their heart is far from me”. We all have to ask that question of ourselves, how much time am I giving to the Lord? [Matthew 4:19] Is the Lord central to my life in all things or is He just an hour on or two on whatever day we meet. Is the Lord just another prophet as the Muslims believe or is He who He said He was? Is He the only way to salvation? [John 14:6] is He the Light of the world [John 8:12] and the springs of living water? Revelation 7:17]. The One who over came the grave and sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven? [Hebrews 1:3] The One who was before time began and will be after time ends, [1 Peter 1:20] the One who has the right to command our full attention. [Psalm 98:1]
He is the One who did create the whole week and blessed the seventh day as holy? [Genesis 1] The One who has done marvelous things day in and day out for our benefit, our wellbeing. So I am sure God is asking the question of us all, where is your heart in your worship of Me? [Matthew 6:21] If those who believe He is coming soon are wrong and the Lord delays His arrival, at least they are ready for the greatest event the world will ever see. For those who say there is time and give little notice to the Lord, what if He comes earlier then they suspect? [2 Peter 3:10] then like the five they just could miss this event. [Matthew 25:2] I believe the Lord is asking the question of us all, “Are you for Me or against Me”, [Joshua 24:15] in which camp do we stand, [Exodus 32:25-26] where are our hearts and are we ready to serve Him now with all our heart mind and body today and forever more? [Matthew 22:37] Of course we can only do this if we allow the Lord to replace our stony heart so that He can give us that heart of flesh, the only one He can write His commands upon. [Ezekiel 36:26-27]
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5
Love in the Image of God
There is an old saying that says it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. Some may debate this saying but as for myself I would agree with it. I grew up in a loveless home; there was no open expression of love of any type. The only time my mother gave me a hug was the day I nearly choked to death, not a nice feeling I assure you. However when it all settled down my mother gave me a quick hug and then said, “Run along and do your work”. Affection was something very foreign to me and as I grew I longed for some affection or just to be noticed.
This lack of affection can and does have many everlasting effects on people. As a teenager I longed for affection. I was introduced to the Lord and heard many stories about Yeshua but was never taught about His love, a love that passes all understanding [John 14:27] and a love that stretches to the heavens. [1 John 3:1] The love that is missing from many lives in the world today.
We hear many stories of children abandoned by a parent and end up making the wrong decisions in life. They end up on drugs and such like and or in prison all because they longed for attention that they never received. A child is born and we look upon the baby with such wonder and love and with such high hopes for their future, but their future can be torn from them by a simple negative act of a parent, a teacher or even a friend. I suffered for years from rejection as my mother rejected me even into adulthood. Whether they are a boy or a girl, we all need to know we are loved. A kiss goodnight, a hug and a word of ‘I love you and I am proud of you’, goes a long way in the self-esteem we all need to feel as we walk through this life. We need to create memories with our children while they are children because they have soon grown and we miss the chance to do so. This is what our Father in Heaven has done, He has created memories for all of mankind through His Word and promises and His actions. [1 John 5:9]
Our earthly father may fail to say I love you and our mother may fail to do the same. However we have a Father in heaven who will never leave us or forsake us and who demonstrated His love through Yeshua. [1 Kings 8:57] A love that can over come all things, a love that those who have never experienced this love cannot understand. [2 Corinthians 4:4] But once touched by this love, lives make dramatic changes as I can give testimony to. Unloved as a child but then I came to experience the love of God that removed all the hurt of those years in an instant. [Jude 1:21]
We as parents can't stand back and say I love my family by taking them to this or that or this event or show. All good but children long for that special touch or special word that can only come from a parent. God, the Father of all [Ephesians 4:6] has showed love and understanding down through the ages. Then came the cross, a father does all he can for his children and when they ask for bread will He give them a stone? [Matthew 7:9] He keeps us fed not by ignoring us but by doing all he can to keep us well and safe. Our Heavenly Father does just that, He supplies all our needs, He clothes us, feeds us, protects us and saves us from ourselves. This He did when Yeshua said is there a lesser price to pay for the salvation of the people of the World. The Father answered, I love the people so much this is what has to be done for you. [Luke 22:42]
Do we love our children the same? Would we do what the Father did so they could live? We may do, but as parents we see little fault in our offspring, but God saw our sin as he did in the time of Noah, [Genesis 7:1] and we all know what happened then. Now it was not a time to destroy but to rescue and rescue us all He did from ourselves. [Romans 5:8] This is the true Father of the Bible the One in whose image we are made. The one who loves unconditionally, so why can't we live the same? God is love, [1 John 4:16] He loves you and He loves me and he showed this on the Cross. Time is short as we are here for just a moment [Psalm 39:4] so we need to start showing the type of love God showed us.
We are made in the image of God so we could have physical life. Then God took on our image so He could take our punishment and He could only do this if He came like us, flesh and blood. He became fully human to become our High Priest and make atonement for our sins, so we could have true life forever. [Hebrews 2:14-18] This is the Father who replaced the father I never had but was always there, waiting for me to reach out to Him. When I did I saw the arms stretched out saying “This is how much I love you.” [John 3:16] Arms held in place by huge Roman nails and in pain we cannot even start to imagine, He cried out to the Father in Heaven, “Forgive them they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34]
We are made in the image of this Father who showed us what true love is when He did not have to. [John 10:15] It is this love that changes lives and gives a hope for the future here and now and the future to come. [Proverbs 23:18] It is this type of love we have inherited from our Heavenly Father and it is this love we should show to our own children, no matter what. Children throughout the world, who have no father and or no mother, are crying out for the love of a parent. So if a child has two parents surely they must know such love, feel the hugs and feel so secure in the family as we do when we become part of the family of God. [Ephesians 2:19]
This is why I feel so secure as a child of God, [John 1:12] His love is always there His love is always on display and I know I can talk and rely on Him at all times. His Word is truth [Psalm 33:4] as our word to our children should be the same. We all require security and it comes in knowing Yeshua who took our punishment, this gives us all a place in His Kingdom through a new and living way and that way is the cross. [Hebrews 10:20] So then living within this love we can:
Love the Lord thy God with all your heart mind body and spirit, this is the first and greatest commandment and the second is love your neighbour as yourselves. All the law of God rests on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-38.
The Narrow Path
Today Sunday, I have driven for three and a half hours across America from San Antonia to the Houston Airport. An interesting drive and I am very grateful to my Nephew Craig for taking the time to deliver me safely to the airport. The road passed through varying terrain but the point I really noticed about the trip was the long and reasonably straight road. For the amount of traffic on the road there were only two lanes and it looked very narrow. Craig had the GPS working to guide us to our destination.
There were a few times the machine tried to take us from the planned course with promises the trip could be shorter, in other words take a short cut but the Word says to follow the Lord at all times. [2 Chronicles 34:31] But Craig had an idea of the course he should take. This reminded me of the obstacles that come across our path [John 16:33] that try to take our eyes off the Lord and we then try to take our own path. [Isaiah 53:6] What may seem good in the eyes of man may not be the course the Lord wants us to take. [Jeremiah 18:12] Short cuts in our walk with the Lord could lead us from the path He has set before us. [Proverbs 5:21]
The other thing we noticed were the toll roads, we had to pay a toll to get on to the road and another toll to get off again. There may have been another route to take but the one we were on took us straight to our destination. Following Yeshua on the correct road there could be a price to pay. [John 15:18] Some have suffered much by keeping to the narrow road over the years, but not as much as the Lord did for us. Following the path of the Lord there may be things we have to give up, a life style might have to go or there may be the loss of friends who think us strange. [Matthew 10:22] Or, as some have done, paid the full cost with their lives [Acts 7:56-60] rather than deny the truth of the Word [Psalm 119:160] and the beauty of knowing Yeshua and the world to come.
The road to glory and the right hand of the Father was one Yeshua did not have to take but take it He did. [John 10:18] As we are told in scripture, He came, He suffered, He died and was buried but thankfully for us His journey did not end there. [1 Corinthians 15:4] Because He rose again to prove to all there is only one narrow road we can take to be with the Father and that is truly through Him. [John 14:6] The moment man was created He knew what His task would be and this was confirmed when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of life. [Genesis 3:1-7] Yeshua paid the highest price for our salvation. He was without sin but became sin for us. [1 Peter 2:24] Why would He do such a thing if John 3:16 was not correct in every way? All this was done for us to be able to return to the Tree of Life in the end of days. [Revelation 22:14
There is a price to pay if we follow the narrow road that God built for us. [Luke 9:57-62] There are things we have to give up when we step onto that narrow path. [Matthew 7:14] And, like a horse that wears blinkers in a race so it does not get distracted by things on its left or right and will run straight for the prize. [1 Corinthians 9:24] We too must wear our spiritual blinkers [Psalm 119:123-125] so we will run straight for the prize [2 Timothy 2:5] that the Lord has put before us, the Crown of Righteousness. [2 Timothy 4:8] As we walk that path, let us take up our cross and follow in the footsteps of Yeshua and walk not as the world walks [John 17:16] but keep our eyes firmly on the wonder of the Lord and the beauty He can bring into our lives [Matthew 6:32-33] day after day as we walk in the footsteps of the Lord along the path the Lord has set before us.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength and makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped. Psalm 18:31-36