Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Hope...

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Luke 17:26-30

"I hope Jesus doesn't come back today because I have some fun things to do and there is lots to get done."
Come to think of it, this summer would really be a bad time for Him to return.  There is just so much to do that is really important.  This is the time when our family goes on vacation or to the beach.  Surely the Lord knows that it is also baseball season.  Next week we are planning to go out to the lake for a couple days of fishing. If He comes back before I get to the amusement park or free day at the fair, I'll be really sad.  Gardening--this is the time of year I enjoy my walks in the garden.  I am sure we will not be able to pick flowers, swing, or play frisbee in Heaven so I hope he won't come this summer.

Of course, I am also worried that He might come this fall because it really is a bad time for me.  There are friends with wedding plans.  Deer season, I just can't miss that!  What about those beautiful leaves and the family camping trip during this cool and beautiful season.  I'll miss eating all of the things that I planted in my garden.  Football--surely Jesus knows that it is football season--I just can't miss that.  He has to know how much I enjoy those woodland hikes where I pick apples and enjoy campfires with smores and such.  He absolutely can't come back during Thanksgiving time!!  Surely Heaven can't top that, so I hope He does not come back this fall.

Winter would also be a very bad time for an imminent return.  Jesus knows that I like snowmen, snowball fights, Christmas and New Years.  I am positive that He won't come then because He knows how important it is getting all of those presents and having family fun.  This is when friends come over and I share all of the food I worked so hard canning in the garden.  It is also when I enjoy sitting around the fireplace with hot chocolate and friends while we tell stories.  That is always when we plan the family skiing trip.  I'm sure Jesus understands how important the hockey tournaments are to me.  Really!  I hope He will consider all of this before He returns this winter.

Even spring would be a bad time!  Jesus, you have to understand that spring is turkey season.  Also, we have to have the annual family trip to the mountains during this time.  He won't come back then for sure since that is the time of Easter.  It would be really inconvenient.  I'll need to prepare the ground for my garden.  March Madness--I can't miss the college basketball championships. No!  Spring would not fit my schedule either.

Now that I come to think of it, His return might really be inconvenient.  Or maybe I have a spiritual problem?  Could I be so earthbound that I forgot that I am to live a Heaven bound life?  These are many of the same excuses that I use to skip out at church regularly.  Maybe I don't love Jesus as much as I thought?  Hmmmmm!"

Jesus Is Soon2Come!

Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:40

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jesus Our Refuge

And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
Joshua 20: 7-8

This is the post that almost wasn't.  Thanks to the friends who encouraged me to take the time to write this one out.  Also, there are many believers who are too stressed with all the negative news.  You need a refuge from the storm!  This is for you.  I believe I will dedicate this to some friends, Brandt and Judy.

The LORD instructed Moses to immediately have the children of Israel to appoint 6 cities of refuge under the direction of the Levites directly upon entering the promised land according to Numbers 35.  These cities would protect one who had committed manslaughter as a place to hide from those who would avenge a grieving family for the loss of life of a loved one.  The cities were later appointed on both sides of the Jordan River for easy access.  Furthermore, the one seeking refuge was given asylum until the current High Priest died.  As always, the Spirit of the LORD had another shadow of the ministry of Christ in mind for us to glean from.

The number six immediately points to man in biblical symbolism.  These cities would be a shelter for men (and women) who were not guilty of premeditated murder.  What is even more amazing is that the names themselves seem to bear out many of the greatest needs of man.  Let's investigate:

God wants us to always realize that the single greatest need of mankind is the forgiveness of sin.  Repeatedly, we are warned and reminded that all have sinned and that not one is righteous in and of themselves in the eyes of the LORD.  Therefore, the forgiveness of sin is our utmost need.  It is interesting that Kedesh is listed first.  This name in Hebrews means "holy place".  It comes from a root word meaning "to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate." Do you need a refuge from sin?  There is a man from Galilee, Jesus Christ by name, who is all of the refuge from sin you will ever need.  Moreover, there is NO OTHER refuge for sin!  Are you unclean?  Run to Kedesh!

Have you ever just felt weak?  There just seems to be days when the burdens of life weigh us down to the point we feel as if we can't go on.  There is a place of refuge for you.  It is Shechem.  This name means "shoulder".  Immediately, one might think of the old hymn, "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms."  You can lean on the shoulders of one whose shoulders, at the cross, withheld the very weight of the world.  Christ is that shoulder for you in that time of weakness and helplessness!  Run to Shechem!

Several of the Bible's patriarchs of faith are buried in Hebron including Abraham, the friend of GOD (
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. James 2:23). This name means association as in friendship.  When we are lonely or in need of one to talk to who cares immensely for us, we can always go to Jesus.  Does the Word not say, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7)"?  Feeling friendless?  Run to Hebron!

Bezer is an interesting word.  It relates to gold or a goldmine.  However, there is a dual meaning of being a shelter, hiding place, or fortress.  Gold is always symbolic of Christ's divine nature--this One who was wholly man yet wholly God.  When gold is mined it leaves a place that could be used as a storm shelter much like those used to hide from a tornado.  The LORD Yeshua left us a storm shelter in the shadow of His cross.  When the storms of life come at us with rage and fury we have a hiding place!  Run to Bezer!

Most folks have times in their lives when they are depressed, down, or discouraged.  In these times we need a place to go where we can be lifted up again.  There is such a place.  It is Ramoth in Gilead.  This means heights in the rocky place--a mountain top.  If we run to Jesus when we are down, He will surely give us "hinds' feet."  "
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places (Habakkuk 3:19)."  Down?  Run to Ramoth!

There are just times we feel like pilgrims or aliens in a strange land as we make this journey with Christ.  "
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light...(1 Peter 2:9)"  While on this exile journey, we need to often just begin to sing the praises of the One who has called us to this journey.  Golan means "their captivity: their rejoicing".  That reminds me of another song"

I've been traveling here in this life
With its heartaches, trouble and strife.
Sometimes Satan tries to tell me to turn aside(aside)
I say "Satan, get thee behind."
No returning in me you'll find,
I'm too near my heavenly home where I'll abide.

I'm too near home with my Lord
To miss sweet heaven's reward.
I'm not returning to sin.
I've made my vow!
There's nothing to go back to.
Oh praise God, Heaven's in view.
I'm too near my heavenly home
To turn back now.

Are you on that journey and need a place of rejoicing?  Run to Golan!

Like the cities of refuge that were all easily accessible--Jesus is only a prayer away at all times.  Finally our King, who is Soon2Come, will never die.  He is an eternal refuge.  Run to Jesus!