If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – Jesus – John 15:7 ESV
A co-worker (I’ll call him Joe) and I were talking on the phone at the end of a long day. We were exchanging notes about a project. The project is taking a lot of effort, both mentally and physically. I told Joe that just when I think I am ready to quit, I find that, if I dig deep enough, I have 10% more in me than I thought I did, and in finding it, I press on and do my best.
From that statement, my co-worker asked me what part of his mind or brain does he need to reach into to find that 10% so he can do the miracles that Jesus did.
In my heart, I prayed to God for insight and wisdom so I can help Joe understand the weight of what he is asking. We talked at length about what the Bible says about this, starting with the quote that heads this blog entry. I carefully guided him through several scriptures that deal with the things we would request of God. There is a lot of scripture involved in this topic, and God was amazing in that He helped me recall them as we talked.
Eventually, Joe told me that he was not familiar with the scriptures and that he doesn’t read the Bible. I tried ever so gently to tell him that before we can be responsible for greater things, we need to be responsible for what God has already given us. His word, our Bible, is the bedrock of understanding God and why He sent Jesus to die for us.
Joe told me that he thought it was great that I knew the Scriptures, but he is more of a “spiritual intuitive” and relies on that intuitiveness to understand the mind of God.
Joe is not the only one I have met that believes this way. Many people, over the last 3 years have stopped to talk with me about their spiritual life. Most of them are regular attendees at church. Some are church leaders. Some are even the best friends of their pastors. The majority of them, I have discovered, have no clue about what the Bible says about anything.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. – Apostle Paul – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV (CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT THIS)
The Modern American Church
We pack our Church’s pews by making the “Church” less uncomfortable to people who would normally not attend. We want to make non-believers believe that we are no different than they are, except we attend church and Jesus is our best pal. We avoid certain scriptural truths because we know it will scare people off.
We would rather offend God than offend people with the truths of the Bible. In our effort to make church “cool” we have made the scriptures irrelevant unless we can find a way to twist them into a message that will not offend anyone. We have compromised to the point that, apart from the fact we attend church, no one can tell us apart from anyone else.
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – King David of Israel- Psa 119:11 ESV
By the Grace of God, through Jesus Christ, I am saved.
By studying His word, I can see a benchmark that guides me to be closer to Him.
The Bible is God’s love letter to us.
We really should read it.
Let’s be about it
David G. Perkins
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isa. 5:20
You, individually, are responsible for your soul. Don’t be pulled in by group think.
Throughout history, every nation who has done what America is doing has been destroyed by others.
This is our time to repent and seek God.
You will not have anyone standing with you on the day of the Lord.
It will be just you.
Alone with Him.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – Joh 3:16
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Let’s be about it.
Evil and Oppression
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one enters suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs;
they weave the spider’s web;
he who eats their eggs dies,
and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
Their webs will not serve as clothing;
men will not cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths;
they have made their roads crooked;
no one who treads on them knows peace.
Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not overtake us;
we hope for light, and behold, darkness,
and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
We all growl like bears;
we moan and moan like doves;
we hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.
For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
transgressing, and denying the LORD,
and turning back from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.
Judgment and Redemption
Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
The LORD saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
So they shall fear the name of the LORD from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,b
which the wind of the LORD drives.
“And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD.
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” – Isaiah 59
For God So Loved the World
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – King James Version (KJV)
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8 ESV)
Romans 5:8 tells me that it is possible to love someone who doesn’t love you, and is , in fact, your enemy…but you prove your love by laying your life down for your enemy.
You know not everyone you love will receive this gift of love. They will still hate you and be your enemy. You also know that some of your enemies will receive this gift…and they will truly love you.
God thought it would be worth the risk.
Jesus did too.
If you don’t risk your love, your love isn’t proven to be true or steadfast.
Jesus proved it with His life.
I can’t claim to be worthy of that love…no one can. But Jesus made us worthy when He rose from the dead and gave us life.
We live because He died on our behalf, and He rose again.
We have life because He lives.
Tell someone you love about this Love of God.
Let’s be about it.
I love you in Jesus’ name.
David G. Perkins
I was trying to come up with something to write. I ran across this post I wrote a couple of years ago. I discovered two things. The pain is still very real, and the truths revealed in that pain are still true. So, forgive my repetition, but I am reposting this one.
James 1:2-4 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Testing of Your Faith?
Sometimes “life” comes along and kicks you square in the balls. There are events you just can’t prepare for. You THINK you are prepared, until the reality of it hits you. Thinking about what is real is not the same as living in the thing that is real. Virtual isn’t the same as real.
I’m talking about the kind of event that goes beyond mere pain. I’m talking about an event that makes you feel your soul was just sucked out through your tear ducts. An event so hard you spend at least one entire day crying until you think you will cry…
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If anyone knows me well, they will tell you if it can happen, it’ll happen to me. I often do things on the fly, without thinking.
I was at Fort Leonard Wood Military Base. Fort Leonard Wood is a Multi-disciplinary base, where Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and many foreign military came to learn specific skills.
I was troubleshooting some equipment in one of the Chapels on the base. This chapel was used by the Army and the Marines for their services. The Army had already had their morning services and I was told I have one hour to get in the Chapel and do whatever I needed to do.
There was a piece of equipment in the kitchen that was supposed to be telling a piece of equipment way on the otherside of the chappel what kind of day it was having. For that to happen, a wire was run from the kitchen clear across the chapel to the other side of the building. The nature of this wire is, it is intolerant of being bent to tightly, or of having anything sitting on it at all. If either of these things is true, the wire is not able to carry the signal that the Kitchen Device was sending .
I had one hour to get it fixed. The wire in question was running on top of a steel beam 2 feet above a 20 foot tall chapel ceiling. The problem was someone had laid a heavy board over the wire. By this time I had 15 minutes before the Marines were marched in by their Drill Instructor for the Marines Services.
I had a 15 foot ladder. I am a little ove 5’9″. If I stood on the very top of the ladder and hopped, I could reach the steel beam, pull myself up and fix the problem. My hope was the wire wasn’t crushed too badly and all I had to do was move the heavy board off the wire. I moved the board. The wire looked fine (It eventually passed the signals test.)
This is where life got interesting for me. I had to get back down from the rafter to the top of the ladder.
I forgot to mention that, ever since I turned 37, I began fighting a weight problem. I was over 40 by this time. And heavy. Getting up to the beam was very hard to do, but I did it. It never occurred to me how difficult it would be to get back down. I decided to hang by my hands off the beam right above the top of the ladder and drop down to the top of the ladder. It was, afterall, only about a foot space between the bottoms of my boots to the top of the ladder. (OK, all you OSHA safety nuts on Linkedin, get a grip. Breathe into a paper bag, you’ll be just fine in a jiffy.)
The good news about my weight is, I had recently lost about 20 pounds. My pants were nice and loose as opposed to being so tight I couldn’t breathe. This was good for climbing up to the rafters. This is not so good when getting back down.
When I let go of the rafter and landed solidly on the top of the ladder, my pants and underwear fell down around my boots. To say I was in an awkward state is to completely understate the situation.
I bent over to pull my pants back up just as the Marines were being escorted into the chapel. I was moonng the Marines. I didn’t know this unitl I heard the Drill Instructor bark, “Eyes Front!, One sound from anyone, and I’ll wreck your whole day.” Things got really quiet as the Chaplain and the Sergeant rounded my ladder to look up at me.
If ever I longed for the rapture, it was right then.
I did my best to spin around so I wouldn’t be mooning the Marines only to find myself mooning a portrait of Jesus that was hanging on the wall of the Chapel.
I was done for.
The Chaplain politely cleared his throat while the Sergeant stared daggers at me, and a bunch of raw recruits were doing all they could not to explode with laughter.
I recovered what was left of my dignity and got out of the chapel as fast as I could. I heard the Chaplain opening the service with, “All things bright and beautiful, all things great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”
Why did I just tell you one of the most embarasing moments of my life? (Trust me, hat’s not the only one, and hardly the most embarrasing!).
God tends to choose the last person we would chose to do the very thing no one else will do. What really matters isn’t how together you are, or intelligent, or beautiful, or any of that nonsense. What matters is you love the Lord and are willing and available to take up your cross and follow him.
Don’t worry how you look to others, but have the heart to reach out to all the rest of the messy people in this world. They need you.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8
Let’s be about it.
David G. Perkins