July 16 – Test. Refine. Purify.


“Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.” – Psalm 26:2-3 (NASB)

The love God promises to all who love Him is always before us. It is always for our benefit and never fails. We are the ones that fail in this love. David, who wrote this song seeks vindication that he has not failed. He calls on God to examine, try, and test his inner self – deeper emotion than what he might show to others. It is interesting that the phrase “test my mind and my heart” is translated from the Hebrew original “test my kidneys and my heart.” The use of kidneys is a figurative way to speak of the seat of emotion and affection; hence, it is involving character. It was seen as the most sensitive vital part of a person, thus, the “mind” as we today see the mind as the most vital part of a person along with the heart. These three invitations to divine scrutiny are essentially synonymous ways of testing, refining, and purifying. If we include the first verse, we can understand that David wanted confirmation of his faithfulness and trust in God. Can we claim that our integrity guides our way and our trust is steadfast? Let’s commit to that today.

197

June 30 – Tested and True


“Your word is very pure, Therefore Your servant loves it.” Psalm 119:140 (NASB)

In a book about promises is it not natural that we want those promises to be tested and prove true? Yes, we do. The Psalmist writing this song knew of the power and trustworthiness of God’s promises as they were revealed in the Holy Scriptures at that time. Psalm 119 is not only the longest chapter in verses, it is a psalm that references and says something true and good about God’s words in each verse. He saw and knew that any promises given by God were pure truth because they came from God. If God is who He says He is, then His word is true and His promises are as good as tested. Every word that we have from God is righteous and pure and we have solid reason to trust and love God’s word. His promises abound in number and in power. Nothing is stronger than a promise from God. What was the psalmist’s reaction to that truth? He said the he loved the promises. We too love the promises we find in God’s word. We love them because they are true, they encourage us, they guide us and give us strength to press on.

198

May 25 – Living In Truth, Not Denial

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8-10 (NASB)

Now here is a little word that none of us consider a favorite word. In fact we don’t even want to think about the sinful acts that we do. Yet, the truth is this, we cannot escape from sin being a part of our lives. We do sin. Everyone sins. There is no one who does not sin. If we refuse to acknowledge the sin that assails us and pretend to claim that we have no sin, as our verse tells us, we are deceiving ourselves. We can’t profess to live in truth if we are not addressing the sinful actions and thoughts we do and have. In fact, if we deny having sinned, we make God a liar. Our promise is if we sin (and we do) then we confess our sins. What is confessing? It is being honest and saying the same thing about our actions that God says. We agree with God that we have sinned and God faithfully and lovingly promises to forgive and clean us up. The bad thoughts and actions are washed away. We’re done with them. It is an ongoing process in our lives until we get to heaven.  

196

March 30 – I AM the Way, Truth, Life


“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” – John 14:6-7 (ESV)

Our promise today is pure, and powerful. For all who hope to live in heaven after our time on earth is over, Jesus is the only Way there. There are no options to having faith in Jesus the Christ. Jesus is speaking to His disciples about His death and departure and they still do not understand. Jesus tells them He is going to be leaving them but one day He will return for them. “You know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:4) But Thomas says, “No, Lord we don’t know where you are going, how do you expect us to know the way?” Thomas needed to understand that “The Way” was not a pathway or route to heaven but the means to receive eternal life and a reservation e in heaven, then these words make sense. Jesus the Son of God and God the Father; – to know one, is to know the other and The Way. No pretense, no self-effort, no good enough, no buying our way; it is only in believing Jesus, His sacrifice and resurrection. If you know Jesus as Savior and Lord, you know God the Father, you know The Way.

197

March 13 – Verily True

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” – John 16:13 (ESV)

We learn through these passages and others that a primary objective of the Holy Spirit of God was to reveal truth. For three years Jesus had taught and demonstrated by example who He was and the program of God as it would be worked out.  Recorded in chapter 14, that same evening, Jesus had said, The Helper, the Holy Spirit, … he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” It was not going to be possible for the apostles and disciples to remember all that they had be taught and would proclaim by to the nations. Especially those who would be authors of the books and letters in the New Testament. That was the role of the Holy Spirit. One God indivisible, The Spirit was with the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit would be the one to convey to the apostles and others who would be used to record what the Father says and the Son did. It was what made the inspired scriptures truly the Word of God. All that they remembered and all that was revealed to them would come through the Spirit of truth.

199

March 7 – The Seal of the Spirit


“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV)

God never promises the absence of distress or a journey without challenges to meet and obstacles to overcome. What He promises is His presence as the Holy Spirit. The presence of God’s Spirit assures us that we have Him and in Him, is God being our paraclete*, alongside as our guide and comforter. We also have the guarantee that our inheritance is reserved for us and kept for us we cannot and will not lose it. There is no one who can barge into our lives and overwhelm us with anything that will cause our separation from God. Like a ship or boat, small or massive, The Holy Spirit invisibly, yet indispensably, is the rudder for the ship of our soul. He keeps us from crashing on the rocks, keeps us afloat and going the right direction. The Holy Spirit is also our pilot. We are not alone on our journey. We’re sealed in Christ. Once upon a time, red wax with an identifying stamp in the wax was used seal the ownership of a letter. Sealing declares ownership and secures contents. It is the Holy Spirit as God’s seal that protects us. His word of promise is our seal.

200

*The Holy Spirit as Paraclete: The term Paraclete (παράκλητος, paraklētos) appears four times in John’s Gospel in reference to the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 and once in 1 John 2:1 in reference to Jesus. English bibles translate the Greek word as Helper, Advocate, Comforter, Counselor.

February 23 – Absolute Trust in Absolute Truth


“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” – Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

Of what truth do you have such confidence that nothing and no one is able to dissuade you from your belief? A common crisis for many is the struggle to believe the promises of God. Especially that His care for them and their lives are untouchable by the enemy. The good work, the good and blessed outcome promised by God will happen according to His promise in today’s verse. It’s a process. It takes time. In fact, it will take the rest of our earthly lives before God completes the good work He has begun in each of us. We can absolutely trust that absolute truth.

Warren Wiersbe writes about the battle for God’s truth “God works in this world through the truth of His Word, and (our evil enemy) Satan opposes this truth by substituting his lies. Human nature is prone to believe a lie and resist the truth. Satan accomplishes his best work through people in so-called Christian institutions (churches, schools, etc.) who do not believe God’s truth.”* Each time the truth of God is spoken, heard, read, and studied, the enemy uses lies to steal it away from us by tempting us to doubt God’s truth.


199

*Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 2:201.

February 6 – Honest Before God


“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8-10 (NASB)

We do not much care for the parts of the bible that reveal our weaknesses and our sinful nature do we? Yet these truths are there for us to learn the grace and love of God. John wrote this short letter to those who were living under some serious persecution from Rome and the non-believing population. The reminder in these three verses is our promise. We still sin and we cannot claim to be sinless. If we claim to have no sin or have not sinned we deceive ourselves of any truth in us and we make God a liar. In that state we need forgiveness for we can’t claim we hold the Word of God in us. But we can confess our sins each time and our faithful God, who is righteous promises to forgive us our sins. He washes the unrighteousness out of us. Those who suffer difficulty might be tempted to sin in many ways. John writes for us. If we live according to the flesh we will transgress God’s law. But He gives us grace to confess and be forgiven each time. We are restored by His promise to live according the His Spirit.

198

January 15 – Truth Absolutely Truth

“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” Romans 3:3 (ESV)

Our concern with truth is a predictable expression of our concern with God. If God exists, then He exists just as the Bible presents Him. God, then is the measure of all things, and what he thinks about all things is the measure of what we should think. We believe the Bible is the Word of God because God says it is and God cannot lie. Every thing God has said, and that includes every word spoken by Jesus Christ, is true. When Jesus says He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and that no one can come to God the Father except through Him, God the Son, it is absolute truth. Believing in absolute truth is not a popular position these days. Once we learn a truth is absolute it will never change. Not to care about truth is not to care about God. To love God passionately is to love truth passionately. Being God-centered in life means being truth-driven in our lives. What is not true is not of God. We can know by this promise that if all were untruthful, God remains truthful. When we trust none other, we still trust God completely.

198

An Option When the Fork in the Road Leads to Desolation

From time to time we come upon a fork in our road that offers little hope for anything better than what we have presently. If there is any promise from the world it is more of the same desolation. The options while appearing to be different are not different. The common characteristics are many and each has touched on the serious angst that has our country and our world in turmoil.

Is there any hope for repair? Is there any hope for a return to conditions which are more comfortable and civil? Honestly, I think not. The changes in our society, in our country, in our world, have been going on without interruption since creation. Snippets of history will show ideas that the world has made changes for the better from time to time. However, the larger picture shows the trend of continual depravity and selfishness throughout history. Greed and despotism may be subdued for a time by righteousness but eventually the evil that is allowed to rule this earth will raise up yet another godless leader who has the powers to captivate large numbers under a web of lies and false promises. Eventually enslaved, the oppression begins and there is little that can be done. The process does not happen quickly and not even in large chunks but by increments that are hardly noticed.

The advance squads are here and have been working. For those who will look around and shake the spell off, the will see the changes and hopefully if they consider they will begin to understand and take serious notice. Civility is declining. Hope is failing. Faith is fading. Despair is on the uptake. We are in a new dawn. What lies ahead for this world is not pretty. Our country is in for some dark days and the global events which have already been set will evolve and manifest. It is just a matter of time.

God will not ever forsake us because we are his own – we belong to Him. He will never fail to fulfill any of his promises. He promises to not desert us and commands us to not fear because he is with us. He is our Lord and the only God. Believers who follow of the true Way* can rest secure that though they will suffer trial, tribulation and persecution, God is with them.

The question raised then, especially in the midst of this 2016 election of a president, is what our responsibility is. Without delving into yet another dialogue it is enough to say that neither political party has done much to stand up for the traditions that made our country strong. We need something else something that has a foundation that professes the sovereignty of God and builds its platform on solid moral principles. If it is time to dispense with our current two primary parties (and I believe as followers of the Way, this is up for serious consideration) then perhaps it is time to turn to a party that has the foundation and principles that align very closely to my beliefs as a child of God.

The preamble of the Platform for the Constitution Party is:
The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

The statement on the sanctity of life:
We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all human beings from fertilization to natural death, without exception. The first duty of the law is to protect innocent life, created in the image of God. No government may legalize the taking of life without justification. Legalizing the termination of innocent life of the born or unborn, whether by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia or suicide, is a direct violation of their unalienable right to life. As to matters of rape and incest, we find it unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his father.

I’ve not settled yet but I am close to making Darell Castle my choice on November 8.

  • On the ballot in 23 states.
  • Write in Status in 20 states including Texas and Illinois.
  • Write in Status pending in 4 states including California
  • NOT on the ballot in any legal way in 3 states including Oklahoma

https://www.constitutionparty.com/our-principles/platform-and-resolutions/

*There is evidence that the earliest name which follower of Jesus Christ was “The Way” or “Followers of The Way.” It was the followers of the Way that Saul has secured letters from the Jewish leaders in order to go to Damascus and roust them and bring them back bound to Jerusalem. Saul was dedicated to destruction of the so-called sect of Judiasm as he saw it. But Jesus met him on his way and Saul was converted to Paul and began to follow the Way. His own testimony in Acts 24:14-15 bears witness to this.