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Archive for April 29th, 2015

REFLECTIONS

Reflections existed before time began when the Spirit of God reflected the glory and power of God as He hovered over the face of the waters. And the Son of God gave glory to the Father, when He enunciated the magnificent dawn of creation, “Let their be light; and there was light.” DSCN2934 And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Genesis 1:2-3, 5 NAS). God’s created light illuminated the brilliance of the sun and placed the soft glow of the moon over all mankind reflecting His glory back to Him. And reflections have grown and multiplied through corridors of time to today. Right this moment, whose image do you reflect? The holy or the profane? Jesus left two perpetual instructions for all generations—God’s truth—how to have the reflection of God’s glory in us. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40 NAS). But we have failed. Failed to love Him with all of our hearts. Because if we had loved Him as He commanded, we would have obeyed Him. In all things. And would not have refused to love our neighbor, unless they were just like us. But you can’t do or teach what you don’t know. And many, even in the church have no knowledge nor appetite to study and learn God’s Word. 2015 05 26 013 Many tiptoe through the scriptures picking and choosing what to believe and throwing out the rest. And the reflections they mirror are muddied, rebellious images. Incorrect representations of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Is it any wonder the growing majority of mankind turns their backs on hypocritical religious rites? They can’t see. Their eyes are blinded. They don’t know God’s truth. And many have chosen to reflect other images. Images of chaos. Images of pride. Even images of death. Before Jesus was crucified, He prayed for those who belong to Him. Yes, for you and me, and for all generations who claim the name of Jesus, and He asked: “…I come to Thee, Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou has given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that Thou didst sent Me…I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me” (John 17:11,15-17, 20-21, 23 NAS). Church are we one? One crisp, clearly defined image, reflecting His Word, His love, His forgiveness, His grace (salvation), His peace, His joy, His righteousness, His holiness? Are we standing firm, as He commanded, in the foundational truths of His Word? 2015 05 26 001 Or are we a muddled mess? Or have winds of deception, ripples of discord, and murmurings of boastful pride stirred the reflections of the churches into grotesque, false representations? Do you really think there’s going to be an Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist or Presbyterian or Church of God or countless other congregations in eternity? Separated by their own special quirks? I’m afraid that’s where many congregations find themselves today. Choosing to walk in their own understanding rather than the truth of the Word of God. Picking and choosing what they perceive to be popular. Divided. Deceived. Doomed. 2015 05 26 030 Or will this eternity purchased by the perfect Son of God, born of a virgin, who was sent—fully God and fully man—to shed His blood as God’s once for all sacrifice, then three days later resurrected, just like God said, so you and I could be forgiven and live forever with Him—will this eternity ring with one unanimous voice of praise and glory? Saying: “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. And Thou has made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10 NAS). Then why can’t we praise Him with one accord now? Why can’t we speak in one accord the Truth, known from the beginning? There’s only one answer, “there are enemies in the camp.” Unbelievers who don’t know Jesus. But like the first century church, the refining fires of persecution are heating seven times hot in the Middle East, Africa, Afghanistan, and these fires will rage across the globe, across America, purifying God’s people. Until God’s people return, repent, and obey our Father’s commands. Or until the appointed day when God says, Son go get My children. Or until the moment of Christ’s return catches many by surprise? 2015 05 26 025 What image does your heart reflect today? Images of a world gone mad or images of our Lord Jesus Christ? I wish I could say my reflection was never muddy. But as my mama used to say, wish in one hand, spit in the other and see which gets full first. Trials have taught me to depend on the Lord Jesus. Tests have given His strength when I ask—when I choose peace—rather than grumbling. Tribulations teach me to trust Him…even in death. “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy. If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:13-19 NAS). Now it’s your choice. Which image will you reflect? Christ Jesus as Lord of your life, regardless of your circumstances? Or images of whatever you’ve chosen to worship? 2015 05 26 038 Christ tells His own people: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10-11 NAS). God promises to transform you, from faith to faith, into a clear, concise, mirror reflection of His only Son. If you will let Him. Forever.

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