Wednesday, March 21, 2018


     Imagine this conversation, "I have a better place, than what God has in mind, I would prefer this, no really, go ahead, this is good, trust me, I know, but God had ......I know, I know, but this will do, thank-you for offering Lord, but I'm good, really!!  That's what this group of people is saying to God. And I say, "are you kidding me?"  What is this, what can you call this, I don't even it stupid, arrogant, ignorant, fearful, or all of the above and more?!  Imagine telling God, who knows what's best for us and is trying to offer us "His" best and we turn around and say to Him, "no thanks, this will do just fine".  I know I've tried to offer people good things I had for them and had them tell me "no thanks", I was a little insulted, but can you imagine a human being saying that to God himself.  Maybe this group was thinking "at least we won't have to fight for this, we already have it, it may not be the best but we could have this NOW and why not just settle for this!  Notice the first issue Moses addresses (and you can tell he's angry) is..."don't think you're going to sit here while we go fight!".  Could I, could you, could "we" be guilty of doing this with God at times? I wonder.....???  I think we have.  I believe many of God's people are living on "the east side of the Jordan" rather than crossing over and contending for God's best.  Why would a human being that believes in the goodness and omniscience of God, say "no thanks" to what God offers them and "willingly know" they are settling for God's 2nd best.  And what's even scarier, is God lets them!!! He doesn't force them to cross. We force our will upon others, we force what we think is best because we don't want to have to deal with the heartache and this is how different we are from God.  God knowingly let's people choose what's not best for them and suffers the heartbreak. There are certain situations where we have forced our will, but if we would watch our God and his methods we would realize, in the larger picture, we have accomplished nothing.  God does this in all areas of our lives, even in the most critical decision of our lives, Heaven and Hell He does this, He lays his best before us, Heaven and even then He says, "if you want Hell, than I give you the full right to choose hell". If God will allow us to do this with our eternity, how much more so will he allow us to choose in the every day decisions; who we will marry, where we will live, what church we will go to, what city we will live in, what carreer path we will choose, in all these decisions God has an opinion, God has a will, God knows what's best and often impresses upon us what's best but he will ALWAYS allow us to tell him, "no thanks Lord, this is what I choose, I choose to remain on the east side of the Jordan" and though his heart aches, he lets it be.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


     WELL, poor Balaam is killed...and once again this confirms the idea in our previous reading, that God will use the wicked, but eventually He will judge them.   Balaam was the wicked one that was hired to curse Israel, but even Balaam turns around and says, "I cannot curse those whom God has not cursed" and we love that scripture, don't we! The problem is, we fail to read on because the people of Israel end up being cursed regardless, so in the end God's people are cursed. So if our aim is "not to be cursed" it is not enough to simply quote one random text from God's word but to understand the full idea of the story of Balaam.  Verse 15 to 16 goes on to tell us that Balaam could not curse them directly or by his own will, BUT Balaam thought of a better way to curse God's people, Balaam figured out that he could get them to curse themselves"They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord's people".  This is such a big issue it is brought up by Jesus himself in the very last book of the bible, in Revelations 2:14, "Nevertheless I have a few things against you:  You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality."  Perhaps our greatest fear should not be a witch in some back room trying to put a curse on us, but rather our greatest fear should be the flesh that lives within, when we are tempted we are only baited by our own desires, James admonishes us in his epistle. Balaam realizes "I can't curse those whom God won't curse" so let's bait them, especially the men, by the desires that lurk within. Are we praying for people that have cursed themselves? Are we showing sympathy for brothers and sisters who are merely reaping what they have sown? He who sows to the flesh will he/she not reap, corruption!? You're greatest fear when it comes to being cursed should not be the invisible, it is actually a visible entity you should fear, it is the man, the woman that stares back at you every morning when you look int the mirror. He/she is the one that can curse you!!! When we fear what we ought, and fear not what we should not, then we can walk circumspect and with confidence that those those whom God has not cursed cannot be cursed".

Monday, March 19, 2018


I wrote a mini e-book, available on entitled “The Reality of God”.  How important it is that we have the ever and present Reality of God in our lives. How important it was back then, but even more, how important it is today. We can discuss all day long the significant aspects to all these offerings, but one thing we can say for sure, without speculation, is that it kept God, His purposes, His reality, at the forefront of the minds of His people. It is so easy to get caught up in the business of life and become distracted and lured away, from this relationship with this invisible God. In obeying these commands to have these frequent offerings, no matter how busy they were, this had to be done and it brought them constantly back to the place God wanted them. Today, we don’t have these laws, we don’t have these constant offerings, sacrifices, rituals, so what keeps God at the forefront of our minds? When Jesus describes the seeds (the Word of God) that the sower sows in the ground (the hearts of men) and how they are one by one snatched away, one of the ways the seeds are snatched away is by “the cares of this world”. Many people slip away from the church not because of “evil intentions” they simply allow the business of life to distract them away from their walk with God. They don’t hate God, haven’t turned against God, they are simply distracted. Should we re-engage these old rituals of constant sacrifices to help people re-connect and more important, stay connected with God? It’s almost as if the Old Testament people of God were “the children” and we are the New Testament people of God are they adults. The idea with children is that we have all these rules & regulations so that when they are out of the house , as adults they have formed habits and have a structure that will lead them on successfully in life. We are the “adult people of God now” many of the rules and regulations are gone now and God hopes that we have learned and will now as adult Christians, apply these ideas and concepts to our lives, and somewhat govern ourselves in our relationship with God. Paul writes, “work out your own salvation”.  For some this concept will work fine, for others, unfortunately it will work horribly.  For some, the freedom you have in college works for them, for others they cannot handle that much freedom and they fall apart and either end up getting kicked out of college or drop out voluntarily. One thing is for sure and one thing has not changed between the Old Testament and the New; and that is, that we need the ever and constant reality of God in our lives or we drift.  And it is up to us, as the adult people of God (so to speak) to figure out a way to have that. God does not govern and rule our lives anymore with constant sacrifices, but that doesn't mean the concept is gone, it is up to you, to reinvent, re-create this practice, daily and weekly in your life, so you don’t drift. You must contend for the ever and constant reality of God in your life, one way or another!


     WE want to bury the past, but the past cannot be buried, the past becomes part of our history. What will your history be? Well who are you banding with?  3 “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the LORD"  Why is this coming up now? Because the past, our history always comes back. Men who forget history repeat the same mistakes, this we know!  Israel has certain reference points (a history) just as we do. Korah and what happened is part of their history and will be until their death. Mahlah and her sisters are quick to mention that their father was not part of the group that "banded together" against the Lord.  A few thoughts here, #1. It was not against the Lord that they banded, I thought it was against Moses? But when God inspires this text to be written, it is written for eternity, that they banded not against Moses but against God, Wow!  Moses has issues, we all do, and God deals with Moses later on in our text (12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, 14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.”) but God clearly states here that when we rise up against the Lord's anointed, we rise up against him.  Yes, God will use certain individuals to brings his purposes about, but I would advise you not to be the individual he uses, because He will always come back to judge those that made themselves available to be used.  God does not predispose us to wickedness, he simply works with what we give him.  He did not make Judas wicked, but he used his wickedness to bring his sovereign purposes to pass, He did not make Pharaoh wicked, but he used ......He did not make King Nebuchadnezzar wicked, but He did use him to judge Israel, but never forget then He went back to Judge him.  Don't be the vessel, the instrument that God uses to judge his anointed. David refused to be that vessel, even though at times it seemed as if God wanted him to be that vessel, but David kept to the scriptures "though shall not raise a hand against my anointed" even when it seemed that God did want to use him to judge Saul, David did not sin by doing this. A situation may be arising that seems like you are "the one" that God wants to use, don't ever fall for that, tell God, like David, "use somebody else to strike/bring him down, it will not be me!".  Zelophehad’s daughters are quick to claim that their father had no part in Korah's uprising against Moses, ughhh, I mean The Lord.  Secondly Zelophehad’s daughters point out that there was a "banding together".  People who have grievances against headship/leadership tend not to just stick to themselves and self implode they tend to gravitate towards one another, they tend to "band together" and once they have banded together comes the thought..."let's confront" because we know there is security in numbers. No matter what bridges you ever have to cross in life, in ministry, in the church; like Zelophehad’s daughters let them always say, "my father was not part of those that banded against Moses, ughh....I mean The Lord"  he died for his own sins, but he WAS NEVER part of that ugly part in our history and our scripture tells us "The Lord" heard them and honored their request, and that's a whole other blog in itself!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Zelophehad's daughters bring their grievance before Moses, their leader and you notice Moses doesn't send them away and accuse them of being just a bunch of malcontents, especially, they being women. "Rights, you have no rights, get out of here!" Moses did not pretend to be concerned and then come back with his own answer, as if he had prayed about it. Moses actually does bring their grievance before God and interestingly, God sides with the Zelophehad's daughters; in essence, God says, "they're right!"  What if the daughters of Zelophehad had not brought their grievance to Moses; and worse, what if Moses had not actually gone before God with their grievance?  We see in this story that God ids willing to let a lot of things slip by, unless someone speaks up. There's a fine line between fighting and contending for your rights and just being a malcontent and it is up to you and I, to discern between the two. Jabez also cries out to God, "oh Lord that you would bless me and enlarge my territory" and The Lord granted him his request. Secondly we see a leader who is willing to listen to his people, regardless of their gender; and petition God on their behalf and seek God for the best interest of the people, a true leader. This story also allows us to see what God is like and He is quite different than many portray Him to be. He is not this stoic enigma unmoved by the plight of man and indifferent. God, listens to reason. In Isaiah we have the scripture, "Come now let us reason together". If you cannot be bothered to petition God, ever, for your needs, what you sense are your rights, blessing and promises, then don't be surprised if you get nothing. "You have not because you ask not".  Or....when you ask, you ask not believing that you will receive anything that you ask for.  The Zelophehad's daughters are very, very close from missing out on a huge blessing and it's not Moses, nor even God, that is to credit for their getting what they received, we can only look back at this story and credit these brave, courageous women, for coming to Moses, in essence, coming to God, and bringing their petitions before him and trusting in a just God and a just leader, to do them right, and it pays off tremendously and a lesson for all of us to learn! Never be afraid, to petition God for your needs or what you think is rightfully yours!

Friday, March 16, 2018


     HOW spiritual are you?  Of course nobody likes "super spiritual" people, but that does not mean we should not be spiritual. "Super Spiritual" people are those who try to spiritualize matters that are more practical in nature than anything else, they also try to hide their flaws and judgmentalism behind "spirituality"...., well we know all about them, but let's talk about us. We are proud that nobody would call us "super spiritual" but would anybody call us "spiritual" ???  THE FACT IS some of us are more spiritual, more in tune with God and seem to have more of his Spirit, than others. Paul prayed, "that they may be filled to FULL measure with His Spirit".  Full meaning that any Christian can be from a quarter empty to overflowing full (just like a gas tank) with God's Spirit.  If only we had a gage like our gas tank, to show us where we are at.  A side from violations & money problems, the balance of divorces stems from two lovers that have let their love fizzle away.  Is it possible that our love for God could fizzle away? Are we divorced from God? Perhaps not officially, we have not made it official but many couples before making it official lived a very stoic relationship together. What does this have to do with today's reading?   "25 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 on him26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts....." 
     We look suspiciously at people who say, "the Holy Spirit spoke to me about this and that". Why do we, because we can't relate and therefore anyone who says that the Holy Spirit is either crazy or super spiritual.  Some serve God as if there was no Holy Spirit.  Joseph and Mary were also spiritual people and the Holy Spirit also spoke to them.  My Pastor a few weeks ago said, "God spoke to him that his ankle would (that was in a cast) be healed when he awoke the next morning and we to looked at him as if he was crazy or super spiritual, but he showed up the next day for church, HEALED.  TRUTH BE KNOWN, most of us (speak for yourself...I AM) are not spiritual. The business of our lives has turned us into Christians by necessity.  We have been around long enough to know what Christians do and what Christians do not do and that is the place our Christianity has come to, it stops there and goes no further. Instead of judging Simeon and others as "super spiritual" (as we would have) we should be convicted by this man's devotion to God and his "superior" relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. WARNING: When we try to conjure up the "voice of the Holy Spirit" rather than conjure up our relationship with Him, that's when we turn into flakes.  Don't sit there and try to hear the voice of God, sit there and seek Him, not His voice and the by-product of that will be you will hear from God and have clarity of mind, clarity of purpose and perspective on life and all matters pertaining to it.  Nobody will want to answer this question "how spiritual are you?" and we shouldn't answer it, it's not a question to answer, it is more a question to ponder, it is more something to be, rather than something to profess. I doubt Simeon ever would have said, "I am spiritual" he simply was.  But if you ever asked him if he knew his God, that he would have confidently answered, "yes indeed I know my Lord, I speak to him daily and he daily speaks with me".  Sound overly spiritual, perhaps to us that are not, but to those that are, it makes perfect sense!

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Balaam is a confusing character to many people. At first when we are reading about him going over to meet Balak to partner with him against Israel. However when Balaam pronounces blessing on Israel instead of cursing; Balak sends him off angry so now we think, "oh, he's a good guy". Balaam is saying good things, but he is still bad.  Later on Balaam mentions to King Balak that although he cannot curse Israel himself, Balaam suggests to King Balak that he can have the Israelites curse themselves by enticing them into sexual immorality. This turns out to be quite an effective course and thousands of Israelites die in a plague that strikes the Israelite community because of their sexual immorality between the moabite women and the men of Israel..What we can learn from this is "saying good things does not make you good", doing good things makes you good, even if you don't say a thing. We are confused about Balaam, but there really is nothing to be confused about. He is bad. The problem with Balaam is his giftings.   The giftings of men throw us off and confuse us. Balaam is a prophet, he has a gift and he cannot change that, but his character is bad. If there's one thing I might take issue with, is that "the giftings of God are irrevocable". I would petition God to have that changed if I could. If only when a man did not keep up his character his giftings would be lost. We would be less confused and the men/women involved in sin would be less confused. Often what encourages a person to continue in his/her sin is that they still feel gifted and are; and somehow take that as God's approval or they take it as, "maybe God doesn't think this is so bad? I know my Pastor does, I know my friends do, but what do they know? If God himself is not angry, upset, maybe they are just be too judgmental? We are confused about Balaam and we are confused about many others who seem to display horrible character one moment, but speak so profoundly the next. There is nothing really to be confused about if you hold on to this cardinal rule, "character trumps all".  No matter how successful we are running a Country, a business, a church, a youth group, if our character is bad, we are bad and we should never judge a man or woman by success of works/ministries, we judge them by character. Whether they speak good things or not, whether they speak truths we are agree with or not, if they have bad character, they are bad and we are not to be confused. The sad reality of life and God in His Wisdom that is far beyond us, has made it, that the Gifts and Callings of God, are irrevocable.