Harvest Laborers

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Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38 (KJV)

The Lord Jesus said these words many years ago; nearly 2000 years ago.  They are just as applicable and relevant to our day as then.

There are many concerned about the immigration of people into the United States of America, and particularly the illegal ones – as am I.  However, maybe we as Christians need to see it as “The Harvest” of which Jesus speaks above.

There are millions of people coming to the U. S. of A. who need Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and there are millions of our own citizens who do as well.

The harvest is ripe, ready to pick, and God will do the saving.  Let us pray that He will send forth His laborers into His harvest.  It is His.

Dogs and Swine

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“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” [Jesus] Matthew 7:6 (KJV)

The dogs of Jesus’ day were not family pets.  They roamed the streets of towns and cities, looking for food scraps, and were very vicious.  Swine were unclean for the Jewish people, and they were not allowed by law to eat pork in any form.

We as Christians of 2016 and beyond need to realize that the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a holy message.

Sad to say, but there are people in this world who hate God, His Son Jesus, and any form of true holiness; they are the vicious ones to anything of God and holiness.  They are the ones also who hate God’s people, and would rather see a dead Christian, than be confronted with their sin and rebellion against God.

We are given the great commission to go into the world with the gospel of Christ, but if they do not receive it, to shake the dust off our feet as we leave that home or city or province (Matthew 10:14;  Mark 6:11)

For those let us live the life of Christ Jesus before them, be faithful to Him, and glorify His name.  Who knows what might happen when we do.

Fishing

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“And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 (KJV)

Most of the fishing we know about from the Bible is done with a net, which would net all different types of fish and other things.  Angling was done though, and is not a new form of fishing (Isaiah 19:8). Isaiah speaking of it would have been somewhere around 700 B.C.

I am not a fisherman.  I pray I become a greater fisherman for men in following Jesus.  To be a fisher of souls you and I must follow Jesus.

Let us commit to following Jesus, and He will make us “Fishers of men”.

Today’s Bible Relevance

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“And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet…” Matthew 2:5 (Micah 5:2)(KJV)

“And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son.” Matthew 2:15 (Hosea 11:1)

“Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying…” Matthew 2:17 (Jeremiah 31:15)

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:23

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” are the words of an old, and often called “Children’s Hymn”.  I disagree with the “Children’s Hymn” part, unless you refer to all those who are “Children of God” through the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Those words to that song were used in a pastor’s sermon some weeks ago, and some have bashed the man for his lack of agreement with the words.  I have not heard him, neither read the transcript, but I will leave you with this.

The reason I used the above verses is that they are verses relevant to the first coming of Jesus Christ as a baby born in a manger in Bethlehem.  They were written some hundreds of years prior to the advent of His birth – maybe seven hundred to eight hundred years prior.  Were the verses of the Old Testament relevant for that time?  Most definitely.

The verses above declare the fulfillment of those prophecies.  Let me leave you with this thought.  If the Old Testament was relevant for Jesus in His day; then the Old and New Testaments are most definitely relevant for 2016 and beyond.

Jesus does love you and me.  This I know and am assured of because the Bible tells me so.

Hear the word of the LORD.

The Unchanging One

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“For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6 (KJV)

In a world that is constantly changing in politics, personal, families, the work place, the play place, medicine, law, and life overall. I find it peaceful, and encouraging to know that the One who created all things never changes; and neither does His Word, His law; or His ways.

It is because He never changes that He does not “consume Jacob”, and it is because He never changes that He does not consume you or me.

Yes, the “Consume” means to waste, to bring to an end.  We must remember the words of the Hebrews, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).  Always remember He is merciful, and full of grace as well.

His mercy is displayed everyday as we see peril all around us.  There is such hate, shown in racial division, and others too; yet God does not destroy us; that is His mercy.

In His grace He sent us His only begotten Son – Jesus – to die on the cross to pay the price of our redemption, and to redeem us unto God.  Jesus was buried, taking death, sin, guilt, condemnation, and shame with him, leaving it there, and rising bodily from the grave.

Now we all can live eternally with Him by repenting of our sin, calling on His name, and trusting Him with our very being.

He says, “I am the LORD, I change not…”

The One Pierced

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And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10 (NKJV)

Paul the apostle speaks of the salvation of all of Israel (Romans 11:26), and the Old Testament spoke of it coming to pass long before the apostle was born.

It has not happened yet.  They did pierce His hands and His feet (John 19:34, 37; Revelation 1:7) and the resurrected Jesus invited the doubter [Thomas] to touch the wounds in His hands and side (John 20:27).

One day all the people of Israel will see Jesus with His scars, and they will bow before Him, knowing that He is the Messiah, the Christ.

All who live today can bow before Him today, and submit to His Lordship, and live eternally in His presence.  Call on Him today.

God is With You

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“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:23 (NKJV)

This prophecy of Zechariah is directed to the Jews who need some encouragement, and to hear God’s promises for them.  The above verse speaks of a time yet to come, and it will come.

Though the prophecy is directed toward the Hebrew people it is a reminder to them of their original calling and purpose in God’s purview of things in the world.  They were to share the LORD with their neighbors, and the rest of the world.

When God’s people, though, will not do God’s word and will, God will direct people to Himself by His chastisement of His people directing them back to His word and His will.

God is with us.  That is the meaning of the name “Immanuel” which speaks of Jesus.  Sadly though, many of people who name the name of Jesus are not living any different than the rest of the world; and the world says, “There is no difference. Why do I need God?”

The idea is for you and me to live like Christ who lives in us.  Then, the world will see Him, desire Him, and come to us seeking Him.

A world full of professing Christians telling the world, through evangelistic efforts, of Jesus and His cross; without living for Him themselves; is nothing more than  hypocrisy, and will gain no souls for the name of Christ. Live your life for Christ Jesus so others can see Him in you, then…

 

Small Things

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“For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10 (KJV)

Remember or go see 2 Chronicles 16:9

All Flesh… Be Silent Before the LORD

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“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent Me unto thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah His portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.” Zechariah 2:10-13 (KJV)

 

Consider This

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“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” Haggai 1:5-7 (KJV)

The prophet Haggai uses the word “Consider” at least five times; twice in this passage, and three more times in 2:15, and 18.

The problem Haggai is addressing was after their return to Jerusalem, from the captivity in Babylon/Persia, and the temple was still lying in ruins from the time of its destruction.  They had built their own houses, but neglected the temple.

“Consider your ways” is a call for the people; beginning with the leaders; to look into their own hearts, and to think; initially to make a heart decision to build the temple; and they did.

“Consider your ways” is a good word for Christians today.  We are giving our time and efforts to good causes; cancer walks and runs to raise funds – good;  giving to political causes – a favored candidate, etc,; even giving our tithe to our local Church. But how is the temple?

I want us to all “Consider” this:

“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

And consider these verses as well: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.

The Day of the LORD

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“Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD; for the day of the LORD is at hand, for the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has invited His guests.” Zephaniah 1:7 (NKJV)

The “Day of the LORD” is not a good day for humankind; yet it is a good day for humankind.  It will be a day when wrong will be put away, evil will be destroyed, and then, there will be peace unlike any peace mankind could imagine.

I have noticed something in blogging;  that when a positive, uplifting post is given it receives more hits, likes and such; and I understand that.  I like the positives too.

Let me give you an illustration of why both are a necessity to life, and particularly Christian life, and living;

Think of a battery, automotive battery, flashlight battery, or a remote control battery.  That battery has a positive pole, and a negative pole; and without one or the other it has no use.  When the negative is connected to a ground source, and the positive is hooked to the starting device, with good connections, then you have a useful battery.

I hope you get the point.  Both positive and negative are necessary.  The day of the LORD is both negative in that is sounds very destructive, life ending, and terrible; however, it is also positive, because God is putting away all that is wicked, vile and evil – all that offends Him, and He has that right, because He is our Creator, and of all things.

Be sure you know Him.  He has provided the way through the cross of Jesus Christ His Son.

Watching For What God Says

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“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.” Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV)

Follow the link.

It is of greater importance for the child of God to hear what God says, than all the words of pundits or commentators, or politicians, or even advisors combined.  Listen to God speak.

A Jealous God

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“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked…” Nahum 1:2-3a (KJV)

Some people get angry over the concept of a jealous God.  However, the One who has made all things, and sustains all things, and sent His Son to die for our sins is a Jealous God.

He is angry with the wicked everyday (Psalm 7:11).  It says above that He will not “at all acquit the wicked”.  There is no peace for the wicked says the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 48:22;  57:21).

The LORD God is angry with those who oppose Him, do not believe Him, and abuse, and misuse His people.  You do not want to be the enemy of God.

We were all the enemies of God, but even while we were His enemies He sent His Son to die for our sins, become the payment for our redemption, and redeem us to Himself (Romans 5:8).  The unrepentant, unbelieving sinner is still the enemy of God, yet He loves you, and calls you to His Son Jesus Christ.

 

GOD Who Pardons Iniquity

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“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will give truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham, which You have sworn to our fathers from days of old.” Micah 7:18-20 (NKJV)

The LORD God has given pardon to all who will call on the name of His Son Jesus believing that He died on the cross, was buried, and on the third day was resurrected, and came out alive.

There is no other redemption or forgiveness from God except through the cross of Jesus.

The Father’s anger, and wrath was poured out on the Son as He bled and died as sin, for our sin, redeeming us to the Father.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:21.

To Walk in the Name of the LORD Our God

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“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.’ For the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. 5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:1-5 (KJV)

The Patriotic Prophet

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So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the LORD God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:5-8 (NKJV)

I am not going to spend much time on talking of the patriotism of the prophet Jonah.  He loved Israel, Jerusalem, and God’s people, and despised all the enemies of God’s people.  The  prophet had much to learn about God; as we all do.

Compassion is the heart of God.  We are told by John the apostle “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  Where is the prophet’s compassion and love?

In these four chapters God prepares four things to teach Jonah compassion.

  1. God prepared a great fish (1:17);
  2. God prepared a plant (castor oil plant);
  3. God prepared a worm;
  4. God prepared a vehement east wind.

God had compassion on the people of Nineveh, and on the prophet.  The prophet had compassion for a plant, and lack of it for Nineveh.

Is it better to be patriotic, or compassionate?  When patriotism is greater than our compassion there is something mighty wrong.

Father forgive me.  Forgive us.

Deliverance is Coming

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But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” Obadiah 1:17 (KJV)

Mount Zion for the Jew was and is a place of hope, peace, the presence of God the LORD.  Of course this is speaking of Jerusalem which sits on a hill in Israel, and is the city where our blessed Lord and Savior was crucified.

Upon Mount Zion there is deliverance and that deliverance is deliverance from our sins, and transgressions against holy God.  Deliverance is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ who paid my sin debt and yours upon that hill nearly two thousand years ago.

Though it has been so long in our thinking of years; that blood that was shed for our salvation is still sufficient, and powerful enough to save, and repentant sinner.

No matter what your sin.  No matter what evil you may have done the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ has His hand outstretched to you saying “Come to Me, and I will give you rest”.  That is the greatest deliverance you will ever experience.

Word of GOD from Amos

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“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” Amos 9:11-15 (KJV)

Being Prepared

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Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”For behold, He who forms mountains, and creates the wind, who declares to man what his thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth— The LORD God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:12-13 (NKJV)

The LORD speaking to Israel of His chastisement for their departure from Him, His word, and His ways to follow the ways of the surrounding people and their cultures.

Getting right, and Being Prepared to meet God begins by knowing who He is.  He is the One who formed the earth, and its mountains; He creates the wind, and He knows every man, woman and child and all of our thoughts.

He knows you.  He is calling you to know Him.

Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (Jesus) KJV)

The only way of being prepared to meet God, is through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus.

When You are Burdened

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“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (KJV)

We all have burdens sometimes which weigh us down, and seem too heavy to bear alone.

Let us all remember that the LORD is with us wherever we are, and He longs to come, and help us; even to carrying us with the load.