RSS

Tag Archives: God

The Rainbow

rainbowbridge4

I wanted to write something here about the rainbow. I logged into my WordPress account to write, only to be confronted yet again by a rainbow:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 1.26.54 PM

Even WordPress is on board with the rainbow theme. I went to the Chase ATM the other day and was greeted by a rainbow and the reminder that “it’s PRIDE month. I saw on WA State Governor Jay Inslee’s Instagram that they had hoisted the rainbow flag up alongside the state and national flags. It was interesting that the picture was taken at an angle that elevated the PRIDE flag above the others.

Interesting camera angle.

Interesting camera angle.

State Ferrys are flying the rainbow flags; (I was careful on the spelling there) Seattle painted 11 crosswalks with rainbow colors; even christian authors are using rainbow themes in their discussions of homosexual issues.

It all makes me wonder if anyone remembers where that rainbow came from and what it means?
In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I do not think it means what you think it means.”

The rainbow is a symbol or sign from God, and it is a reminder of things past. It is a reminder of the deluge.
Before the flood the sin on the earth was terrible.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.  –Genesis 6:5-8 (NASB)

God caused a worldwide flood that destroyed every man, woman, child, & animal, except those who were preserved by Him in the ark of Noah. For the first time in history there was rain, as the firmament above and depths below erupted with water.
God wiped away the wickedness of humanity and preserved Noah, a man of faith. When it was all over, God made a promise, that never again would He cause a worldwide flood to wipe out humanity. The bible tells us that God set a bow in the cloud as a reminder of this promise.

I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”  –Genesis 9:11-17 (NASB)

Like all symbols, the rainbow means something: God, although a Righteous Judge, is also full of mercy.
There is another symbol that God has given for us to consider, it’s the cross. The cross is where the justice of a Righteous God was satisfied for sin. It’s also a place where the grace and mercy of God was demonstrated for all of humanity. God, gave His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for sin. The rainbow and the cross should remind us of the same things. God is righteous, and He has and will judge sin. But He has also provided escape by faith using a the ark, the cross, -symbols of His lovingkindness and salvation.

It would be nice to leave it there, however there is more to the rainbow. Matthew Henry has this to say:
“As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of justice, so this world remains to this day a monument of mercy. But sin, that drowned the old world, will burn this.” -Matthew Henry
Even as the prediluvian world was reviling in their sin prior to judgment, so the antediluvian world will be culminating in the same apostasies. Jesus spoke of the day in which the world could expect His return:

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.  –Matthew 24:37-39 (NASB)

Men and women are celebrating under a symbol that they do not understand. They are reviling in sin against God and nature. Although God has extended mercy and grace through Jesus,… like the ark, if people refuse to get on board (by faith in Jesus) -only judgement remains. Future judgement is a certain as it was in the past, and that judgement is not through water, but fire.

 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,  through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  –2 Peter 3:3-9 (NASB)

I pray for our nation, our leaders, our world,… that many would come to repentance and put faith in Jesus, the only hope of salvation.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2014 Retrospective

I watched the movie “Live, Die, Repeat” recently, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It’s kind a like a military, sci-fi version of “Groundhogs Day” but with a lot fewer laughs and a lot more action.
It got me thinking… in light of the New Year, about all the events of the last year. Many great things happened in 2014, but there were also some missteps along the way. Probably a lot like you, I said things I wished I hadn’t, and held back things I should’ve said. I was blessed to be involved in many good works, yet I’m nagged by the good things I failed to do. I’m not living with regret, I trust the Lord and his ability to make good out of even the worst of circumstances. Nevertheless, it’s important for all of us to learn from our mistakes, and to apply those lessons as we grow and move forward in our lives.

I would suggest the following retrospective questions as you consider the new year…

1. What things did I say, that didn’t need to be said?

2. Where was I dishonest, either lying, or withholding accuracy in my statements?

3. What things that I engage in that were a waste of time and energy?

4. What things did I fail to do, that would’ve been a blessing to others?

5. In what ways did my life honor the Lord, and in what ways did I dishonor Him or his name?

6. Could it be said that I loved too much, or too little?

7. Does my checkbook register accurately reflect what I believe about the Kingdom of God and His work on earth?

8. If my coworkers, or neighbors, were tasked with writing a summary of what they see in me, what would that look like?

9. Did I spend too much time in 2014 praying?

10. Do I plan on applying new lessons in 2015, or simply repeating the same old patterns?

May God bless you with His own richness in the coming year. May you know His grace, love, and peace.
– Jim

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Meditation, Real Life

 

Tags: , , ,

Pride

On one hand, we can be proud of the flesh that God made and take glory in it. We nurture it and keep it looking good as though it is who we are.

On the other hand, we can also be embarrassed about that same flesh that God made and provided us with, pitying ourselves as though it defines us.

Either way is vanity, and comes from not believing who we are as children of God.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. -1 John 2:16

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Meditation

 

Tags: , , ,

We Need Each Other

We Need Each Other

“let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:24,25

Notice the language in this passage: us; one another; our; assembling together… without question God wants the church to be united.

Jesus prayed that we would “be one” (John 17:22) and when the church is assembled, united in the purpose of receiving instruction, worship, and service, -that prayer is fulfilled.

Notice the word “stimulate” – that’s the Greek word paroxusmos and can mean sharpen or provoke.
This is what happens when we stick together, we sharpen each other’s faith and walk. The wisdom of the proverbs puts it this way: “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

So what happens when members of the body of Christ decide to withdraw or not participate or assemble together?

History provides a great lesson in this regard… when the children of Israel entered the promised land, there were two and a half tribes that did not want to go in to the land with the rest of the nation. They found land east of the Jordan that they felt was “better for them.”
Although God wanted the nation to dwell and participate together, these tribes were allowed to settle apart from the rest of the nation.
Over time those tribes faded out of the record of the nation. They produced no great heroes or prophets, and are gone from the annuls of history.

Staying together is not always easy, and there are legitimate reasons to part company with a particular group, but “not gathering together” is both unbiblical and unwise.

When individuals withdraw from the church, both the individual as well as the church suffer loss. Sometimes that loss can be significant.

Paul gave us the image of the body in terms of our human body, with limbs and parts that all work together as a whole (1 Corinthians 12). He says: “God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” – 1 Cor 12:18
This is God’s work!

Imagine if your eye decided it no longer wanted to be a part of your body. What if it could separate itself from you.. just pop out and run away!
It would quickly wither and die, and the rest of the body would suffer.
Just as the body needs the individual parts, the individual needs the body.

Christian, don’t listen to the voices that claim that there are deficiencies in the corporate church gathering and that withdrawing is the answer. There will always be problems in every church and every family, because we are all broken sinners. Remember that this is God’s plan, method, and expression in this current age.

We need each other, and it could be, that we need your ideas, gifting, and input to make us all better!

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Video

Synchronization.

I thought this was an amazing video. If these metronomes were on a solid surface, they would never get in sync with one another, and there would be no harmony.
But, when placed on a soft, movable, surface, they yield to one another and within a short time the chatter of them being “individuals” is replaced by the peaceful harmony of rhythm.
“…make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. -Phil 2:2-4 (NASB)

Be loving, be flexible.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Does Location Matter?

Convicted Murderer Kermit Gosnell  / Courtesy of NBC News

Convicted Murderer Kermit Gosnell / Courtesy of NBC News


Like many of you, I was glad to hear that Kermit Gosnell was convicted on three counts of first degree murder today. If ever there was a case for the death penalty, I think his deserves no less. The jury’s finding however, leaves a nagging question about life and the practice of abortion.

Does location really matter?
If a baby is outside the womb and it’s neck is snipped -that is murder.
But If the baby is dismembered within the womb it is not?
We are a nation of great hypocrisy on this issue.

Mr. Gosnell believed that he was simply providing a service for women with unwanted pregnancies. He saw nothing wrong with killing the babies inside the womb, or outside the womb. His logic, though tragically flawed, is actually more reasonable than that of those who believe that the location of the baby matters.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Abortion, Culture

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Every Jug Filled With Wine, A Chicken In Every Pot

“Therefore you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”‘ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them.”‘” – Jer 13:12-14 (NASB)

God told Jeremiah to use this picture to illustrate the trouble that was coming on the nation, because of their persitence in rebellion, and their failure to follow His word,-they wouldn’t even listen to Him anymore.
The image of “everyone’s jug being filled” reminded me of the phrase “a chicken in every pot.”
First spoken by Henry IV of France, he said: “I want there to be no peasant in my realm so poor that he will not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” This phrase became part of the Hoover election campaign for President. It was the idea of general prosperity for all, certainly an effective campaign idea.

These ideas resonate with us, we want our pots full. We want prosperity and provision.
The problem is, the context of Jeremiah’s words, was judgement from God on a nation that was in rebellion.
So, God pronounced… “yeah, I’m gonna fill your jugs with wine, but your are going to become drunkards.”
It’s similar to the story of the children of Israel complaining about not having any meat when they were wandering in the wilderness. (Numbers 11) They wanted meat, and they were unhappy with God’s provision. So, God gave them meat. He sent quail. Not only did God give them meat to eat, he gave them so much meat, that it made them sick. One can only imagine the kind of sickness that over 3 million people gorging themselves on oily meat (for an entire month) might bring… I picture mass dysentery. Ponder that for a moment.

Isaiah wrote about a particular problem with the tribe of Ephriam:
And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place. –Isaiah 28:7-8 (NASB)

In one case, the pots were full of chicken, so to speak, in another, the jugs were full of wine. In both instances sickness ensued. Isn’t it interesting that when we get the thing we crave, when it’s something other than the Lord Himself, it never works out, we are never satisfied, but rather, we are sick. Wine is symbolic of blessing and joy, meat is symbolic of God’s provision of food. Both are good, but neither should be craved as something that will satisfy us.

God revealed to Jeremiah what He intended for His people…  “…I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’ – Jer 13:11 (NASB)

This is what God wants, not to fill our jugs, or fill our pots, but to fill our hearts with His Spirit. He wants to have a relationship with His people. When we find ourselves seeking anything other than that for satisfaction or enjoyment, we should know that it won’t work out for us. This is just a simple truth of life. Make the Lord the pursuit of your life, and you will be blessed. He is pursuing you, He’s been pursuing you for your whole life.
There is no greater source of contentment and joy than being filled with the Spirit of God!

Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. –Psalms 37:4 (NASB)

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Meditation, Teaching

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: