I love to travel! I still remember our last trip overseas and what joy we found as we visited the beautiful Lake District in the northern UK.
In the same way Jesus says in Matthew 5:3, “God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”
Then in Matthew 5:10 He says, “God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of God is theirs.”
Wait a minute! First He gives them the Kingdom and then it is theirs. What does this mean? It is just like the Promise given to Israel of the Promised Land. All of Israel was given the promised land but only a few ever entered it of the many thousands promised it. And why? Because their belief in the promises of God only became a reality when they gave “feet to their faith”.
In the same way, as Christians, we are promised the Kingdom of God. But only those who put their trust in Him into practice in their lives show the evidence of their faith to actually possess His great gift. This is why He says there will be great anguish and many will cry because they are shut out.
Our churches are full of those who received the promise but failing to act upon their faith, living it out through a long life of one continued obedience, they dispossess themselves of the Kingdom of God. They become the salt thrown out and trampled under foot (Matt. 5:13). They become the branches cut from the vine and burned in the fires. (John 15:6). We must heed the words to the Church in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The one who overcomes will inherit all these things. Thanks be to God for His incredible Gift. But what profit is there if we gain the whole world but lose our immortal souls?
This morning while I was sitting quietly before the Lord, out cat Pixel came to sit in my lap. She would sit for a little while and delight in being there. Then up she would go to pull a tissue out of the box or check out an African violet, then back to my lap. I enjoyed her being in my lap and I also delighted in her curiosity as she explored our little world inside our home.
Then my eyes were opened to see that as she was in my lap, so I was in the lap of God. I was being a delight to God as I just rested there. As my mind wandered about I think God also loved my curiosity and exploration of His created world.
God allowed me in that moment to share His Feelings that He had through my own feelings about our cat Pixel. In what ways is God showing you His heart and feelings today?
It was early and walking toward the sun I had to shield my eyes from the brightness of the rising sun. Then, turning around to return home, I walked with my back to the sun and I saw beautiful shadows of trees and bushes and much more of God’s creative Hand.
Then it cam to me! In Exodus 33:18-23 Moses wants to see God’s Glory. But God replied that if Moses were to see God’s face he would die. So God arranged for a more ‘indirect’ view. I was blinded by the sun’s light when I looked toward it. But looking from a different perspective I saw Go’s hand in the shadows. That’s it! If we look carefully we will see the ‘Silhouette of God” all around us. In love God, for the time being, limits what we see. But the time will come when “We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
“Move your ***damned Prius and get over it! *** won the election” I read in an article forwarded to me. Every day from the local to the international stage we see more anger, more rage, more violence and more confusion. The term “Alternate Truth” has come to symbolize the times we are living in.
This morning in the shadow of all this I turn to Scripture and read again the story of Jeremiah and his rotten belt. God asked Jeremiah to buy a belt, wear it and then bury it. Much later, God told him to dig it up. It was rotten and useless.
“The Lord says: This illustrates how I will rot away the pride of Judah and Jerusalem (substitute America). These wicked people refuse to listen to me. They stubbornly follow their own desires and worship idols. Therefore, they will become like this linen belt – good for nothing! As a belt clings to a person’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel (America) to cling to me,’ says the Lord. ‘They were to be my people, my pride, my glory – an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.
“So tell them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says:… I will make everyone in this land so confused that they will seem drunk – from the king (President) and from the priests (preachers) right down to the common people. I will smash them one against the other, even parents against children, says the Lord. I will not let my pity or mercy or compassion keep me from destroying them.'” Jeremiah 13:12-14
America! Wake up! It is not about politics, budgets, military might, republican, democrat, or anything else. It is about God and His disappointment and anger at our unfaithfulness to Him.