Wanderers

wan·der·er – a person who travels aimlessly; a traveler. “he is a longtime seaman, a rootless wanderer”

Psalms 146:1-10 MSG
1  Hallelujah! O my soul, praise GOD!
2  All my life long I’ll praise GOD, singing songs to my God as long as I live.
3  Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
4  Mere humans don’t have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them.
5  Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in GOD and know real blessing!
6  GOD made sky and soil, sea and all the fish in it. He always does what he says—
7  he defends the wronged, he feeds the hungry. GOD frees prisoners—
8  he gives sight to the blind, he lifts up the fallen. GOD loves good people,
9  protects strangers, takes the side of orphans and widows, but makes short work of the wicked.
10  GOD’s in charge—always. Zion’s God is God for good! Hallelujah!

Matthew 25:31-45 MSG
31  “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne.
32  Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats,
33  putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation.
35  And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room,
36  I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37  “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
38  And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’
40  Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
41  “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell.
42  And why? Because— I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
43  I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44  “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45  “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

Hebrews 13:2 MSG  Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!

 

Over the past several years I have listened to the debates from around the world about migrants, refugees, immigrants, and how should countries deal with these current topics.  It is not only one country, but almost every country including my home country Canada has been confronted head on with all of the above issues.  

Like many other issues which are divided, the issue of immigration is not immune from division and brings to the top a full range of emotions, the worst being outright hatred and bodily harm.

Every article I write is given the utmost sincerity and thoughtfulness.  I feel if I am experiencing then there must be others facing the same thoughts and emotions also.

I am not speaking to the politics of the matter for that is left up to the leaders of every sovereign country.  I would like to speak about the issues from a Biblical view within the Holy Scriptures.

The universal church has been given the handbook about how to tackle the issue of migrants, refugees, immigrants, widows, and even the orphans.  The church can and should be the prime example of God’s blueprint to the entire world.

Moses led God’s people out of Egypt to become Israel and for forty years they were a nation without a country to call home.  So it is so with the Body of Christ.  It is a people without a home also.  Yes, we have in our physical realm the countries where we were born.  We live in that country or by choice live in another.

My pastor when I was young told me this, “strangers are friends we haven’t met yet”.  I have kept that with me everywhere I have travelled.

My maternal grandmother was one who would never turn anyone away from her home.  I knew I could take anyone of my friends or aquaintences there and they would be accepted without question.  She would always offer a coffee or tea, and most times asked if they would like something to eat, especially if she had baked a pie.  She lived on a modest amount of money after my grandfather passed away.  She was an example for me that I would keep all these years.

I have always knew about the verse in Hebrews that Paul writes that we just might have entertained angels unaware.  I truly believe that even to this day.  Every stranger that I cross paths with in the back of my mind wonder if this person might be an angel of God.

Christ spoke to his disciples about visiting those in prison, giving aid the those that are sick, the homeless, the hungry, and those that are thirsty.  He told them:

Matthew 25:40 MSG
40  Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’

That statement should give each and everyone one of us pause and cause us to think and act when it comes to those who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

Please, read the above portions of Scriptures and then ask the Lord to give you insight on how to react when a stranger, someone who is hungry and thirsty, comes to you when in need.

For that one who is impoverished and needs some kindness, be the extended arms of Christ to that one.  Bind up their wounds, give them food and water for you just might be the only Bible some will ever read.

Like President Reagan talked about ‘the shining city on the hill so must the Body of Christ be to all those around us.

Oh I know we cannot change the world all at once, but, we can change the corner and the garden that is around us, thus changing the world piece by piece.

The Church needs to be found busy when on that glorious day that we see Christ face to face and hear him say, “well done my good and faithful child”.

Advertisements

Special Commentary – Pittsburgh Synagogue Killings Oct. 27, 2018

israeli-flag

Zechariah 2:8 KJV  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.

First, my heart goes out to the victims and their families who are going through what must seem like the world is coming to an end.

Growing up I was taught that Israel was the apple of God’s eye.  They were the anointed ones of God.

Since Saturday’s murder of eleven and the shooting of sixteen others I have tried to understand how a human could sink so low as to going inside a place that is consecrated for the purpose of the Worship of God.  A safe place, shelter, and also a social place for a community to gather and practice their form of worship.

My spirit and heart was grieved when the news came across the tv screen.  

How does one become so overly filled with hatred, racism, and murder?  I know I don’t have the answer to this question!

It is my hope that yesterday as the pulpits were filled with Pastors, Evangelists that a message against this hatred and racism.  There needs to be a message of how God hates racism.  The color of one’s skin, or the method they use to worship should not be the basis of hate towards that person.

So, I can only pray for those caught up in this horrible wave of hatred and racism that the God of Israel bring comfort to the hurting and to those who grieve for their loved ones and friends who have been taken.

Special Commentary: 10.24.18 The Churches Finest Hour?

Acts 1:8 KJV
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Power: 

doo’-nam-is
From G1410; force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself): – ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.

I woke up this morning and what I saw being brought to my tv made me shudder.  Someone who must be full of hate sending pipe bombs through the mail targeting a certain group of people, leaders.

In America this could be the church’s finest hour.  They could be the light drawing all to the comforting arms of Christ Jesus.  Yet this will not be the case.  Instead they have looked to government and politicians for validation.  The only validation that the body of Christ needs is that which comes from the throne room of God in the person of the Holy Ghost.

The witness that Christ commanded us to be is diluted by politics.  The church is not a political body, but rather a powerhouse for God.  The message that is needed is that of the cross, not arguments of policy.

As a pastor I was taught ethics about politics.  When there was an election I was taught to just tell those within the sound of my voice was to say, ‘vote your conscience’.  Please, do not think that I don’t have political views, but they should never take center stage when I would stand behind the pulpit.

I find no place in the New Testament where the Apostles joined hands with the government that ruled the land.  Now, Paul the Apostle was quite equipped that he could have stood face to face with the government on all things political.  Paul was highly educated in the Roman Law and also the Law of the Torah.  He was a Jewish man who also was a Roman citizen.

The only thing that matters in this life is one thing that being what we do for Christ.

Only One Life Twill Soon Be Past

Poem by:  C. T. Studd

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee

Pure Joy -Part Two – Matters Of The Heart

bright-cardiac-cardiology-433267

Proverbs 17:22 KJV
22  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

A relative of mine several decades ago was expierencing stomach and digesting problems.  She was referred to a specialist about these problems.  When she ate it would cause severe pain.  Her family physician thought it was ulcers.  When she met the specialist he asked her a question that was quite shocking to her.  Instead of asking what she was eating, instead he asked her what was eating her.  She was carrying grudges and bitter feelings directed at those who had hurt her.  These things were the link to her stomach and digestive problems.

Here is what the experts tell us about grudges and how they hurt us physically.

They stress you out

“Countless studies have shown that holding grudges and keeping in negative feelings is bad for your mental health, increasing anxiety and frustration,” says Meyers. Case in point: Research published in the journal Psychological Science found that when people were told to nurse a grudge when thinking about wrongdoers, they had stronger negative emotions and greater stress responses (namely, higher heart rate and blood pressure) than those who were instructed to imagine granting forgiveness.

From the website:  https://www.health.com/celebrities/3-reasons-holding-a-grudge-is-bad-for-your-health

It can only be God who would have a servant to write about a condition more than 3,000 years ago.  God gave us the remedy to healing our spirit and calming it.

Isaiah 26:3 KJV
3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

So we see that there is a pattern to follow to have pure joy in our lives.  It is a daily struggle to keep down those things that would rob us of joy.

There is an old hymn that comes to mind:

Leave It There

Charles A. Tindley, 1916

  1. If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
    And you have to get along with meager fare,
    Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird—
    Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

    • Refrain:
      Leave it there, leave it there,
      Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there;
      If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out—
      Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
  2. If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
    And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
    Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal—
    Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
  3. When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
    Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
    He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through—
    Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

So dear follower of Christ if you are suffering from a broken spirit turn your burdens over to God lay them on the altar and when you stand up do not pick up those burdens.  Leave them at the altar and let the Lord start His healing in your spirit and then your body!

 

Pure Joy – Part One

brush-happiness-joy-22221

James 1:2-16 MSG
2  Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
3  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
4  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
5  If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.
6  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.
7  Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way,
8  adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
9  When down-and-outers get a break, cheer!
10  And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it.
11  You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.
12  Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.
13  Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way.
14  The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.
15  Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
16  So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course.

For the next few articles I would like to bring to focus on how Christians should re-act to trials and persecutions. 

I believe I shared this before but this is relevent to the subject.  I was on my job in a fast food chain when I was told there was an important phone call for me.  On the phone was my mother and she told me that a cousin has died, he fell off of scaffolding while working on a barn.  I attended the funeral and the pastor first sentence was this, “Life is not fair”.  That statement was shocking, but, oh so true.  Remember the words of Christ, “it rains on the just and unjust”.[Matthew 5;45]

A pastor once told me concerning trials that we face, “whatever doesn’t make you bitter will make you better”.  There it is, it is our choice, bitter or better.  I choose better.  It would be so easy to fall into the former, human nature is one that likes to complain and take the attitude ‘poor me, I must be the only one going through this’.

We have such a greater witness about how we should handle trials and temptations. Job decided not to curse God.  Paul and Silas when put in jail decided to give praise to God even at the midnight hour.  The Christian author, Watchman Nee, wrote many of his’ books in China while in jail for being a Christian.  So, I guess compared to those, my trials and temptations seem somewhat small and trivial.

I choose to be like what the Christian songwriter wrote in the following song:

 

Through It All
I’ve had many tears and sorrows,
I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
there’s been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consolation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
I’ve been to lots of places,
I’ve seen a lot of faces,
there’s been times I felt so all alone.
But in my lonely hours,
yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus lets me know that I was His own
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through

Dear reader it is my prayer that you will choose ‘Pure Joy’ and not the ‘Bitter’ when you are facing trials and temtations.

 

 

Keeping The Faith

adult-ancient-arena-289831

Jude 1:3-5 MSG
3  Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.
4  What has happened is that some people have infiltrated our ranks (our Scriptures warned us this would happen), who beneath their pious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with sheer license—which means doing away with Jesus Christ, our one and only Master.
5  I’m laying this out as clearly as I can, even though you once knew all this well enough and shouldn’t need reminding. Here it is in brief: The Master saved a people out of the land of Egypt. Later he destroyed those who defected.

If you are someone who likes to hear the news then you will know that there is chaos, wars, division within countries, hatred, racism, etc.,  I like to keep up on the news within different ministries, churches and very little commentary is coming from the pulpits.

It was 1980 and I had bought my first car.  I worked in an orchard and after work I would visit different churches.  I went to this one congregation and some of those in attendance would greet you by asking, “are you keeping the faith”.  At first I did not understand the meaning behind the greeting.  As I grew older and started travelling through Canada and the United States I saw first hand how many of those sitting in the pews were facing some dire circumstances and I would ask myself “how do they keep going?”.

In the past several weeks I have been going through somewhat of asking the Lord “how much longer can this go on?”

Someone once said, “anything worth having is worth fighting for”.  It is so true when it comes to the Kingdom of God and our Christian life.  It is a constant battle to keep the faith within ourselves alive.  Christians must always be diligent and be on guard so that the thief cannot rob us of our faith.  It is important to always keep the armour of God on.

True faith is what we have when ‘the rubber meets the road’.  This faith is what determines a true soldier of the cross as it brings to the surface the character of you we truly are.  I have met those who believe that we should never confess when going through hard times, never say when we are ill.  Yet, most of these talk a great talk, but, when it really comes to action the two things are completely at odds.  Someone made a comment about that type of person, “they are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good”.

The other day an old hymn came to my memory that I believe sums up of what I am trying to write about. It is “Faith Of Our Fathers”.

Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!

So dear reader, if you are in distress of current affairs take courage for your ‘faith’ will see you through.