Hope And Change

Monday, March 17, 2014, 8:35 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put this song in mind:

Arise and Shine / An Original Work
March 6, 2014 / Based off Isaiah 60

Arise and shine; your Lord has come.
Allow His light to flow through you,
For many walk in wickedness.
Show them the way to life anew.
Arise and shine. Your Lord loves you.

Lift up your eyes, and look about.
Some do believe, while others doubt.
Believe in all God’s promises.
The many will, In Christ, find rest.
Lift up your eyes, and you’ll be blessed.

Arise and shine; salvation comes
To all who trust in Christ, God’s Son.
Forgiven of their sins, they’ll be,
When they repent on bended knee.
Arise and shine, so all will see.

Lift up your eyes, and see your Lord.
He will revive his church, forlorn.
Though humans have forsaken you,
They will find Christ, and walk in truth.
Lift up your eyes; God honors you.


Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Jeremiah 14 (NIV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+14&version=NIV

Hunger and Thirst

This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,
her cities languish;
they wail for the land,
and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.
…find no water… unfilled…
…their eyes fail
for lack of food.” ~ vv. 1-6

The people of God of old were being punished for their sins of rebellion against Almighty God. Time and time again the Lord sent messages to his people through his prophets, calling on them to repent of their sins and to return to their Lord, but so many of them did not listen to the words of the Lord. They continued in their sin and refused to listen to God’s words, even though the Lord warned them that if they continued in their rebellion that he would come against them in judgment.

Although this was speaking of physical judgment in the form of famine and drought against God’s people, I saw a spiritual parallel here regarding the subject of sin. Because of man’s original sin in the Garden of Eden, all of mankind has been born with a sin nature, separated from God, and destined to die in their sins and to face eternal punishment in hell. Humankind, thus, has since been in a spiritual drought, void of the Living Water to quench their spiritual thirst; hungering after what will never satisfy the deep longings of their souls. They will search and search, but come up empty, because they are trying to fill up their lives with stuff, junk, temporal pleasures and that which will always leave them unfulfilled.

Our Only Hope

“Although our sins testify against us,
do something, Lord, for the sake of your name.
For we have often rebelled;
we have sinned against you.
You who are the hope of Israel,
its Savior in times of distress,
…do not forsake us!” ~ vv. 7-9

God did do something about sin. Amen! God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth to take on the likeness of human flesh, to suffer as we suffer, to be tempted in like manner in which we are tempted, yet without sin, and to die on the cross for our sins. When he died, he took the sins of the entire world upon him, putting them to death with him, burying them with him, and then when he was resurrected from the dead he conquered our sin. He did all of this for you and for me so that we could be forgiven of our sin and have the hope of eternal life with him in heaven. Yet, he didn’t die just so we could go to heaven one day. He died so we would be set free from slavery (bondage) to sin on a daily basis, and so we could daily walk with him in his righteousness and holiness, in the power of his strength within us.

Love to Wander

This is what the Lord says about this people:

“They greatly love to wander;
they do not restrain their feet.
So the Lord does not accept them;
he will now remember their wickedness
and punish them for their sins.”

Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them...” ~ vv. 10-12

For those of us who have received Jesus Christ into our lives to be our Lord and Savior, and who have submitted to the cross of Christ and to the Spirit’s work of transformation in our hearts in death to sin and to new life in Christ, we have been forgiven of our sins, and we have been set free to no longer live for ourselves but to walk in the freedom of the Spirit of God within us in Christ’s true holiness and righteousness (See 2 Co. 5:15; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

Yet, many of Christ’s followers have since wandered away from the truth and have gone off to follow after the gods of this world and of the flesh of humankind, and they have forsaken their Lord. Though they may be genuinely saved, they have broken fellowship with their Lord through their unfaithfulness. And, so God is calling them to repentance and renewed faith, yet he is also warning of divine discipline if repentance is lacking (See Rev. 2-3). He is not interested in our empty forms of religion, but he desires our hearts to be faithful to Him.

Lies and Deceptions

But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. ~ vv. 13-16a

Alas, one of the big problems that Christians face in this world is that the true word of God is not being taught much in today’s evangelical church (especially here in America). So many teachers have diluted the gospel of Jesus Christ to where it is barely recognizable as the gospel anymore. They give feel-good messages which are pleasing to the itching ears of those who want to hear them. Sin, the Fall of Man, separation from God, the destiny of hell and/or our need of salvation are rarely mentioned anymore, though there are exceptions.

So many are teaching (or implying) that everyone has God within them, and that we should just love on each other and all get along (ecumenicalism and syncretism), while others, though they preach salvation, do not mention the need for repentance and for a walk of faith in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Still others give the impression that God never disciplines his rebellious children, and so many who profess Christ have lost the fear (awe, respect, and honor) of God, and have become very casual (unconcerned) about their relationships with Christ and about holy living.

Acknowledging Sin

We hoped for peace
but no good has come,
for a time of healing
but there is only terror.
We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,
and the guilt of our ancestors;
we have indeed sinned against you.
For the sake of your name do not despise us;
do not dishonor your glorious throne.
Remember your covenant with us
and do not break it. ~ vv. 19b-21

The people had hoped for physical peace because they were listening to the wrong voices. They thought they could continue in their sinful rebellion against God, and that God would do nothing. What loving parent does nothing when his or her child refuses to listen, to heed his instruction, and to do what is right? God is love! Because he loves us, he will discipline his children as he sees fit in order to help us to remain faithful to him and to walk in his ways, because he knows that is what is best for us. Yet, even though we are faithless, our God is always faithful! Amen! He will never break covenant with us, but he may allow us to go through difficult times in order to bring us to repentance and renewed faith in him.

When we repent of our sin and rebellion against God, forsaking our idols, and we turn to follow our Lord Jesus again, he will revive us, renew us, and he will comfort us with his love and mercy. I am a living testimony of his forgiving grace and his awesome mercy! Amen!

Praise Be Told! / An Original Work / December 28, 2013

Based off Various Scriptures

He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.

He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.

He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.

By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.

He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.

Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.