What a beautiful weekend here in Va after a week of cold and snow to top off the winter! Even in the midst of the dreary winter, what a blessing it has been to have the opportunity to continue praising the LORD for all His wonderful blessings! I also want to thank all of you for your prayers and those of you that have helped make another trip to Mexico possible! That's right! Here we go again and we are expecting to see greater things in the LORD as we make our way there loaded up with the Holy Ghost and plenty of tracts, thanks to your prayers and support! While we are by far not going with exceeding riches, I feel certain that things will work out well enough with what has been provided.
Over the last month I had the opportunity to spend some time with a fairly spiritual woman that shared some pretty interesting views on her beliefs towards God. While honestly I would say I disagreed with most of what she had to say, she did say one thing that I considered worth pondering. She mentioned that it seemed to her that most people were going to church to protect themselves from God rather than the
wicked one. Now at first glance that may seem like a statement you wish you had
never read but when we really consider what Jesus went through as He attempted
to enter the churches when He was here the first time, we can actually see a
little truth in this statement.
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill Him.
It seems that at Jesus' first coming, as He entered the places that had been teaching God would visit them one day, they actually got a little upset when God finally showed up! In fact, some even said that the disciples of Jesus were demonized as they continued to do good amongst the people. We see this when we read the words of Jesus Himself as He referred to the persecution that had come against John the Baptist.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Sometimes still, we can hear more talk about demons than the goodness of the Power in Jesus! It amazes me how many people you will hear calling someone a demon or gossiping behind their back, then, end up sick or something goes wrong and they start blaming the devil for what is happening to them. Many times there is nothing you can do except let them continue to shadow box until they wear out which sometimes can take years! More often than not, the biggest demon any of us will ever battle will be the one in the mirror, and that tiny tongue connected to it's face is usually the main source of energy powering it!
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire in hell.
Hard to believe the priests in Jesus' time kicked God out of the church time after time! I guess that big temple they built pumped their head up just a bit and even now as many go there to pray towards the one part of a wall that remains, they still don't seem to understand that it was NOT the power of the devil that tore it down! After all JESUS Himself did say;
And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said, "As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
While many in the temple in 70AD were probably yelling "The Devil, The Devil", they would have known the devil was coming if they had listened closer to the Words of the God they preached for so many years!
It actually took me a long time to really understand this, but, as we experience some of the same cruelty from people that Jesus experienced it begins to come in a little clearer. The way I see it now is that Jesus is a lover of human temples, meaning our bodies and His people, while many become obsessed with temples made with human hands. The priests in Jesus' time were so obsessed with the temple they had built that they nailed the most Precious Temple to ever walk the earth to a cross and laughed and mocked with that tongue of theirs as they did it! Although this brutal act of murder had to take place in order for you and I to make heaven one day, we can still see Jesus' reason for being angry with the church leaders in His time.
What Jesus prophesied here did not actually take place until nearly 40 years after He was crucified! We can only wonder how many parties were thrown as those that crucified Him and mocked that day laughed during that time!
Although the church building will NEVER protect us from God, there is ONE thing that can protect us from God and that would be God Himself! What an Awesome God we serve that would come down from Paradise and shed that Precious Blood for you and I to protect us from Himself! It's actually pretty amazing if you really think about it, but, God came in the flesh to protect us from Himself! The way I see it, God is so Holy that you and I would never have stood a chance from His wrath if it were not for that Blood He shed to cover us in mercy and grace!
I remember hearing it said many years ago that biblically there is always a pattern to the fall of every nation. In the very end of the pattern the last two stages were that the nation clung to God and God blessed it. The interesting part here was that this was always the biblical beginning of the fall of that nation, because , after God blessed the nation the people got greedy, and not long after the greed took over, the nation would always fall.
Some of Jesus' final words as He was being led to one of the most brutal deaths that anybody could ever experience, especially when you consider the fact that He did absolutely nothing wrong are these;
For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry.
In other words, if they can be like this when everything is going well, how will they act when it is really bad out there?
Thank God we recognize Jesus for who He really is as we find our refuge under the shadow of His wings!
God bless you!
Have an awesome week!
And be SURE,
to tell someone about the GOODNESS of JESUS!