He was no stranger to the attacks of the enemy and his minions. Although he could not see them, he sensed their presence, and he was sure that confrontation would come. Confrontation must come. There were hints from the congregation that the insidious infiltration had begun. He had prayed, and he was ready. It was time to lay the deceptive demon to rest. Thursday night would be the moment of truth. The pastor stepped to the pulpit and opened up his worn, brown, leather covered Bible. A tension filled the air that was reminiscent of the prelude to the showdown at the O.K. Corral.
Suddenly Scriptures fired off in rapid succession, quick and powerful, one after another, repeatedly pommeling their target. Unseen to the naked eye, but in the Spirit, false doctrine buckled and fell over. Stone cold dead.
Hebrews 4:12 ” For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Psalm 119:104,105 “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Psalm 119:89 “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Psalm 119:130 “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
Proverbs 9:6 ” Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.”
Proverbs 15:32 “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.”
John 17:17 ” Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Hidden deep within
the recesses of my heart was
a seed of sedition
that I could not perceive –
until the day
the preacher I did not know
stepped up to the pulpit
and began to speak about
I was just nursing a little grudge, because
after all, she did say
some very hurtful things.
Was this really a big deal?
I still loved God.
As war raged inside me,
my epiphany led me to realize
I was the deer in
the unclothed emperor
not knowing he was
someone with audacity
Some very strong words
came to my mind.
“Kill or be killed!”
Suddenly, I found myself
at an altar,
that seed with
tears of repentance.
I arose feeling confident that
something died inside of me,
and I pray it
I am blessed to be able to listen in on high school Bible class along with our distance learners every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Brother Johnson has done a wonderful job teaching on the life of Christ, and recently he has been teaching on the events leading up to Jesus’ death. We were studying the trial of Jesus and the beating that He endured before the crucifixion. One of the Scriptures we read was Isaiah 53:5.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
One of the things Brother Johnson mentioned was the Hebrew word used for bruised in that passage has the connotation of being ground up or crushed. I have a Spanish-English Bible that I use, and I looked over and saw that the word used for bruised in Spanish is “molido”. I knew that this word meant ground, but I looked it up to see if there were any other meanings and found that it can also mean “crushed, milled or aching all over.” What an incredible glimpse and insight this gave me of Calvary! The presence of God came down in this class, and you could hear many of the students weeping and giving praise and thanks to God.
Another thought that entered my mind was where I have seen that word “molido” used. I thought of Hispanic markets where you can buy “carne molida”(femine form of the word), which is ground beef. Can you imagine God loving mankind so much that He was willing to come to earth to take on the form of flesh and endure a torturous death that would reduce Him to appear as a piece of bloody ground up meat? His love is amazing beyond words, and I am so thankful that He let me experience the awesome wonder of it afresh and anew once again!
Que amor! Mi Díos en carne fue reducido
a un cuerpo roto, completamente molido.
Más que cualquier hombre fue estropeado y maltratado.
Pagó el precio por mi pecado.
Su amor es asombroso y muy profundo.
Se extiende a todo el mundo.
Que nunca me olvide el sacrificio del Calvario
por la pena del pecado se convirtió en mi vicario.
Sitting at the kitchen table
she heard the loud, persistent pounding of a hammer and
ferocious clamor of an impassioned mob. An acrid, almost
sulfurous stench began to penetrate the air accompanied by
a sick foreboding. A strange tang like blood mixed with
some type of bitter herb began to invade her taste buds. In the
distance, a bloody, beaten and battered figure hung from a crude wooden
beam, and although clearly in the throes of agony, love
radiated from his tortured eyes. Compelled by a longing deep
inside of her, she reached out her trembling hand to touch
his blood caked brow.
upon her senses as fresh tears spilled from
her eyes, landing on her opened Bible.
Upon each tiny toe
upon each little finger
the tender, loving gaze
from her eyes did linger.
She wondered at this miracle
the Lord God did impart.
A holy reverence shrouded her
A great joy warmed her heart.
The years, they passed so swiftly
of watching baby grow.
Time moves with swift transition,
much faster than we know.
This Babe once held so lovingly
grew up to be a man,
In an instant of darkest history
He filled God’s eternal plan.
She viewed His punctured feet
and surveyed the nail scarred hands.
A wrenching sorrow pierced her heart,
almost more than she could stand.
Sometimes the grief we bear is great
and we may wonder then.
Will the clouds abide forever?
Will the sun ever shine again?
Mary and others assembled in Jerusalem
fifty days after Jesus’s passion.
God was about to pour out His Spirit
in an awesome, most glorious fashion.
As they prayed there fervently
together ,in one accord,
a sound of mighty wind entered the room.
They were filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
A rapturous joy saturated their hearts.
Praises to God were sung.
Hands were uplifted in worship
as they spoke with other tongues.
The jubilee Mary once felt in her heart
at the birth of her baby boy,
was magnified many times over
in the form of Holy Ghost joy.
Joh 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-4 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The date was May 30, 2017. I was sitting in the waiting area of the doctor’s office before being called in for my appointment. I had what was most likely an infection in my body and would probably need an antibiotic. Going to the doctor always makes me a little nervous, so I had prayed that Jessica would be there. She is one of my doctor’s assistants and a genuinely caring person that has the type of positive, happy go lucky, friendly attitude that helps put people at ease. After a few minutes the door opened, and Jessica was there calling my name. She had me step onto the scale, and I inwardly cringed when I saw my weight. We happily chatted as we went into the examination room. It is a routine procedure to have your blood pressure checked at doctor’s visits, so I didn’t think anything of it when she put the cuff around my arm and began the procedure. I was watching Jessica performing her duty when I noticed the calm expression on her face turn to a look of concern. Then she mentioned that my blood pressure was kind of high. 178/108 to be exact.
I was not expecting this, and to be honest, it scared the liver out of me. I am unaware of anybody in my family with a history of high blood pressure, although my dad could have had it. He died of a massive heart attack at 56. My doctor did gave me an antibiotic, gave me some information on diet recommendations(lowering sodium intake mostly)and wanted to see me the next day for another blood pressure check.
I left the doctor’s office that day feeling like I had received a wake up call. How long had I had high blood pressure and was not even aware of it? I could have had a heart attack or stroke and died. I decided right then that I was going to change my diet and try to do what I could to get my blood pressure back to normal. My blood pressure was a little lower the following day but still well above normal. My doctor decided to treat the infection first, and then we would focus on the blood pressure. In the meantime, I was praying and doing what I could do diet wise to try to avoid going on blood pressure medication. After another week, I returned for a follow up visit with blood pressure that was still high. My doctor decided to put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. To make a long story short, my blood pressure is pretty much back in normal range. My doctor decreased my medication dose, and I am praying and believing when I go back for a physical next month that I will get off the medication entirely.
As I was thinking of this whole scenario I saw how this could apply to a person spiritually. Sometimes God will allow things to happen in the life of a sinner or someone who has fallen away from Him to get their attention, so that they will turn to Him. Years ago there was a young man named Clint that came and visited one of our services. I found out later that he had been raised in church but had fallen away from God as a teenager. A few days before coming to our church, he had been involved in a horrible motorcycle accident, which had left him with a broken leg and a lot of bruises. Clint came several times to church, and I remember a time when after a service a group of us were standing around conversing, with Clint among us. He mentioned that he felt like his accident was a wake up call from God. He could have been killed, but God spared his life. He also stated that once his leg was healed up he would be shouting and running the aisles with the rest of us.
Unfortunately, we never saw that day come. I’m not sure what happened, but he did not continue coming to church. Is it possible that the fear he had when he first had his wreck wore off? As his physical condition improved did he let the cares of life, responsibilities or pleasures that this world offers hinder him from continuing to walk with God and serve Him? I have seen many come to church that have had a near death experience or some kind of crisis in their life that caused them to realize that they need God. This is really the mercy of God reaching for a soul, and the Bible speaks about this in Psalm 107.
Psalm 107:8-15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
It is truly a tragic thing though when the crisis is past, God has come through and helped the individual, to see the fear they had seemingly wear off and they walk out on God and return to the way they were living before. Perhaps there is someone reading this who has had a spiritual wake up call. God has allowed a crisis to happen in your life to help you realize your need of Him. I want to encourage you to seek God in true repentance. Let that fear that brought you to Him cause you to turn to Him with all your heart and not just to seek Him for a temporary fix. He wants to do so much more than that. Let Him work in your life and change you so that you will be ready to go to heaven. He wants to see you saved through all eternity!
Rev 21:1-4 ” And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”