Author Archive

Seeing Salvation

I consider this work a work in progress.

It can be considered a Christmas poem. It can be considered a piece on the Gospel. It can be considered a prophetic word.

In any event, it fits this week leading into Christmas, and it is a good reminder after the events in Connecticut and around the world this past week.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on the two people, Simeon and Anna the Prophetess, who were waiting for the Messiah and saw Him in their old age. My thoughts concluded (indeed, centered around) expecting the soon return of the Messiah Jesus.

The entire reason for Jesus Coming to Earth was to save us from our sins and bring us into a right relationship with God. His return will be to finish the entire process, by bringing the physical up to speed with the spiritual, and bringing about ultimate peace on Earth for ever and ever.

It was easy for Jesus’ followers to forget His promise of coming back to life, and their new-found hope was a very pleasant surprise later at the resurrection of Jesus.

Because of His resurrection, we are able to give all of our troubles to Him, and we must remind ourselves of His soon return.

Now, see if you can find where I share each of these in this poem:

Seeing Salvation

They waited for years,
worshiping God daily in prayer.
God ever feeling more near,
as they awaited His Answer.

As their twilight years waned,
dutifully keeping their stations,
in came a couple with a babe.
They knew they were seeing Salvation. (Luke 2:21-38)

They walked with Him for years,
gladly hearing what He taught.
Now they only had tears,
with their Lord dying on a cross.

As their hope began to wane,
the women came with a proclamation.
The Lord was alive again!
Their faith was restored at seeing Salvation. (Matthew 28:1-10, Luke 24:1-12)

We live for many years,
wandering all over this earth.
We have troubles and fears,
wondering if we have any worth.

As our strength begins to wane,
there is hope in each situation.
We must turn to the Lamb who was slain.
Our souls are renewed in seeing Salvation.

There are not too many years,
this world will soon be decimated.
For God-lovers are jeered,
while sin and pride are celebrated.

After His long-suffering has waned,
His wrath will pour out on the nations.
Yet we will be reborn in His Name,
when we finally are seeing Salvation. (Revelation)

We must remember that all people are seeking redemption.

Some seek it and must wait.

Some are swept up and almost miss it.

Some find it out of their pain.

All people one day will see the Redeemer bringing redemption to all of Creation.

At Christmas, we must remember that God loved us enough to save. He came to us, born as a baby. He lived a perfect life, and died as the only acceptable sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. He seeks us out, and will one glorious day return to claim His redeemed and redeem all of Creation.

That is the true promise of Christmas. Peace on Earth will only come at the final consummation. When we pray for peace on Earth, we are asking for Jesus to come and save us all, people and Creation!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/16/2012

Head on over to Proverbial Thought for your daily dose of wisdom!

Last week I shared a poem about listening. Today I continue that theme.

speaks volumes

when i stop to listen
it speaks volumes
when you speak up
it speaks volumes
when i sacrifice for you
it speaks volumes
when i live to help
it speaks volumes
i rarely need to speak
when i live out this love
Christ dying for you and me
that spoke volumes

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 239.

Good thoughts here from David. We are not alone, but we travel differently than others. We work and worship together, but we are in different places in our walk with God.

Ebs and Flows...

A few years ago I had a dream in which I undertook a long and difficult journey, eventually arriving at a place of rest. When I entered this place I found it to be a single room. There were about twenty people there already, only of two of whom I recognised. It appeared that they had been waiting for me. This place of rest or retreat was not a place where I was allowed to remain for long. I felt quite shocked that I was expected to leave and continue my journey so soon after arriving. I felt that I deserved a rest. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to stay in this place for a while? The people there seemed so content.

The moment any of us asked Jesus Christ into our lives it wasn’t the end of a journey, but the beginning. There are certain things we need to…

View original post 286 more words

Seeing Stars

As usual, here is your friendly reminder to head over to Proverbial Thought for your daily dose of wisdom.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2

Last week I discussed expecting the coming Messiah. I am continuing this little series, not from the standpoint of believers, but from the perspective of “outsiders” to the faith.

Star-struck

Nobody is completely sure who they were, but the Magi were definitely by our modern definition astrologers (study the stars, planets, and other such heavenly bodies to better understand the present and future) and possibly Zoroastrians. This could make sense, as Zoroastrians, like the Jews, are monotheists (yes, they still exist), worshiping only one god. In fact, they may be willing to accept that the Jews worship this god in their own fashion.

Regardless, they would have had reason to believe that this “king of the Jews” could indeed be Savior of the world, for Zoroastrians also believe one is coming.

While they were watching the stars, they saw this one star that, according to all of the various alignments and timing, meant someone in the area of Palestine of the Jewish people was being born as a king. This king was worthy of their worship.

Misguided

What is amazing is that foreigners knew the Jewish Messiah was coming.

How many in Israel knew?

Some were expecting, as discussed last week, but none knew until He was right in front of them or someone (such as angels?) told them.

How is it that the very people who should have seen the Savior of the world coming missed it, but outsiders recognized the times for what they were?

Part of it is that most of the Jews had an idea of what the Messiah should look like, and he was not exactly what they envisioned.

These Magi, however, were open to the fact that the Creator of everything could work however He wanted. They could see what most others could not, because they expected God to move in unusual ways.

Many Jewish leaders ended up getting hit over the head with their own sins and obtuseness. They had all the answers, but could not see the Rock of Truth flying straight at them.

Us

Would we have known Jesus was coming?

Are we paying attention to our times? Can we judge (with the help of the Holy Spirit, especially) whether Jesus may be coming soon?

Think on this (keeping in mind this is simply food for thought): If many religions and even atheists are expecting a highly probable (some would say definite) end to life as we know it, perhaps even to our planet, why is it so weird that some Christians expect the soon return of Christ to this world?

What are you looking at? What are you watching?

Or are you going to be surprised by God coming and ruining your plans?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 12/09/2012

Head on over to Proverbial Thought for your daily dose of wisdom!

Here is a good reminder, not just for Christmas, but all year long, in every circumstance.

No matter who we are, what we are going through, or how we feel, God is waiting for us to call out to Him.

We also need to remember that He wants us to hear Him, too.

listening

when You are speaking
i want to be listening
for when i speak
You listen to me
help me to learn this
help me Lord Jesus
to listen completely
because you listen
to me

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 228.

Reblog: Will the Grinch Steal Christmas This Year

Once again, Matt Appling is listening to God. Read his great words about “The War on Christmas”:

Will the Grinch Steal Christmas This Year?

December 3, 2012

The Advent season has officially begun.

Cheri and I put our tree up and the decorations.  Our shopping is almost done, save that one difficult person to shop for.  Our soundtrack for the season is the record Vince Guaraldi created for Charlie Brown.  For the next month, I’ll try to not let the laundry pile up in the chair next to the Christmas tree.

But you know that in between hanging lights and caroling, a lot of people are rolling up their sleeves for another Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas culture war.watch-the-grinch-how-the-grinch-stole-christmas

You know what I’m talking about. We’ll hear a few stories from around the country – lawsuits forcing Nativities to be taken down, or retail stores that forbid employees to wish shoppers “Merry Christmas.”

And a bunch of Christians will scream and shout that those godless heathen Jesus-haters are taking Christmas away.

It almost seems that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is coming true.

So what battlegrounds in the war for Christmas matter this year? How will the fight to save Christmas turn out?

Continue reading over at The Church of No People.

Expecting the Messiah

I would like, firstly, to offer a reminder to check out Proverbial Thought. Wisdom is always helpful, and especially so during a busy holiday season!

Secondly, happy first week of Advent! Regardless of whether you practice celebrating Advent, we must always remember the importance of the coming of our Lord, which leads to the post:

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:21-38

I have fallen in with several different crowds in my life. Before this gets out of hand, I mean within Christianity. One of those crowds with which my history is long and varied is those expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ. I recently have been hearing people, due largely to last year’s predictions of the rapture and the coming of the “Mayan prediction” of December 21, 2012, being the end of the world (bunk), mocking people who expect His soon coming.

These people doing the mocking are mostly Christian.

Here is some food for thought about expecting Jesus:

Is it really so silly?

There was another time when many people were calling for the coming of the Savior, and many others mocked them. It was easy with so many other religions and pseudo-Saviors popping up to save the day … and failing. Some expecting the Messiah claimed God had revealed to them that His Messiah was coming soon. Others were astute enough from years of dedicated prayer and fasting to recognize what was going on around them.

And those few were right.

The story above relates how to elderly people were eagerly waiting for the coming Messiah. When others may have laughed, they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was coming.

I am pretty sure, however, that few laughed. In fact, when we consider the thousands that later followed Jesus, there were many people who expected a Messiah. In this story, it says Anna “spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Do you realize that many of those who heard this may not have even been alive, let alone remembered this, by the time Jesus began His ministry 30 years later?!

Sometimes, God speaks through the craziest things

Many people today eagerly await the returning King of kings. This is good!

Sure, there are problems with some people claiming to know the date. Some people flat-out deny Christ’s return. Some people say it is not really that important.

Sometimes, we disregard a truth because of where it comes from.

Joseph and Mary easily could have disregarded what was being said about their infant son, but I am pretty sure their dreams and visions from only the previous six to nine months were vividly fresh in their minds. They were seeing an impossible baby being born to verify the visions and dreams! These prophecies were becoming run of the mill for them, by now!

Perhaps that is our problem.

How many Christians today regularly fast and pray? How often do you set aside time for seeking God through prayer and listening for Him?

Jesus could be coming this month (even as you read this). How could we know if we are not daily seeking time to talk with God. We do not believe in miracles or spiritual gifts, so why should we expect His return to be soon.

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!
Philippians 3:17-4:1

This Christmas, and always, expect the Messiah to return soon. He may not, but we should live as though He is coming tonight but may wait another thousand years. Of course, we must praise Him always!