Posts Tagged ‘easter’

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

My pastor calls it night watch; those times you can’t sleep because the Lord has some stuff He’d like you to do. Sometimes its prayer time; i.e., allowing the Father to bring to mind certain folks and situations, and other times its just classroom victuals. Last night it was a little of both. I was up so long last night I concluded I’d surely be exhausted come morning, but amazingly, I was up earlier than usual feeling completely rested. Was it all a dream? I assure you it was not.

Help Me to Remember

I must have said that fifty times as He spoke to my heart. Several times I wanted to get up and jot things down, but I determined I could not interrupt what the Father was doing. The difficulty for me this morning was twofold: trying to recall it all (so it might make sense to the reader) and omitting personalities so as to not adulate or vilify anyone.

The gist of His impartation centered upon the doctrine of reverence. What God pointed out to me is that I rarely revere Him. Oh, I say that I do, but my actions don’t always acquiesce with my claims. It’s not that my deeds are evil necessarily, but that they do not consistently reflect a reverent attitude towards God. In other words, if I truly feared God, would I be saying the things I say and doing the things I do? God is watching and He is listening and my tendency (frequently) is to behave as if He was my high school, stoner buddy rather then the Creator of the Universe.

How it Started

This exchange with God began as I recounted five individuals that I thought I needed to pray for and forgive. I thought I needed to forgive them because I thought that they had somehow wronged me. As I poured over each case before the Lord, He led me to recognize that my legal positions were flawed. It wasn’t that these folks were innocent of the charges I levied against them, but rather the evidence to support the allegations was circumstantial at best. Are they guilty? God didn’t say. He didn’t say because their guilt or innocence was not the issue; of issue was the ‘whole duty’ of a Christian man in the light of whatever his circumstances.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Romans 13:1

“Under the legal system I have placed you,” God was saying to me, “is not every man considered innocent until his guilt is proven?”


God was telling me that because I felt I had to forgive them I had already determined they were guilty of something. The reality is that in each situation the evidence did not support my accusation. “That,” He added, “is not a ‘God Revering Response.’”

It was beginning to come together. It’s not about how I’ve been responding to others, it’s about how I have been responding before You! So simple, yet it so profound—my response in any given situation is but an opportunity to revere God. It’s never been a matter of overlooking someone else’s behavior, but a matter of demonstrating godly reverent behavior at every chance I am given. If I fear Him, in the best biblical sense, my attitude, my actions, my responses will reflect that reverence. It’s my whole duty to God! I knew this already, didn’t I?

Understand how freeing this is. Judicial bondage must give way to mercy because mercy is the spiritual byproduct of reverence to God. We don’t revere God to obtain mercy, but nevertheless mercy is the result. And God is pleased.

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy. Psalm 147:11

Charles Haddon Spurgeon summarized the verse this way:

“While the bodily powers give no content to God, spiritual qualities are his delight. He cares most for those emotions which centre in Himself: the fear which he approves is fear of Him, and the hope which He accepts is hope in His mercy. It is a striking thought that God should not only be at peace with some kinds of men, but even find a solace and a joy in their company. Oh! The matchless condescension of the Lord, that His greatness should take pleasure in the insignificant creatures of his hand. Who are these favoured men in whom Jehovah takes pleasure? Some of them are the least in His family, who have never risen beyond hoping and fearing. Others of them are more fully developed, but still they exhibit a blended character composed of fear and hope: they fear God with holy awe and filial (befitting of a son or daughter) reverence, and they also hope for forgiveness and blessedness because of the divine mercy. As a father takes pleasure in his own children, so doth the Lord solace himself in his own beloved ones, whose marks of new birth are fear and hope.”

This is going to sound incredibly obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: any action that does not express reverence to God is irreverent and irreverence is always a sin. If I sense a need (for example) to forgive someone based solely on what I think to be true rather than the actual facts of the case, regardless if they are guilty or not, I am in sin. Keep in mind, forgiveness is merely the vehicle by which God brought me to this place. The issue is and always will be the whole duty of man as it pertains to revering God in everything we say or do. Do we fear God? Is our behavior an expression of that fear?

What’s your God revering response (GRR); what are some of the ways we routinely express irreverence?

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?” Job 25:4-6

These are the words of Job’s friend Bildad and they are a response to Job’s lament to go before the Lord and plead his case. Essentially Bildad is saying to Job, “Because all men are unrighteousness, they cannot stand before the throne of God.”

Theologically speaking, Bildad was right. And so were the psalmist and the prophet when they wrote, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags…” (Psalm 14:2-3; Isaiah 64:6a)

But prophetically speaking, Bildad was wrong, for it is the believer’s good fortune to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ—those who believe by faith have access to God. What a glorious mystery it is!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Isaiah 61:10-11

There is however a predictive irony in Bildad’s reply; whether he realized it or not (probably not), he spoke prophetically of Christ Jesus. In the New Testament Jesus makes reference to Himself as the ‘Son of man’ over eighty times and He likens Himself to a worm one time in the Old Testament.

But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6

We collectively wonder, “Why would Jesus call Himself a worm?” The answer overwhelms us.

The word worm in Hebrew is towla and it is used to describe both a worm and the color scarlet. They are synonymous because the ‘towla worm’ was the source for the color scarlet; if you wanted scarlet material, you crushed some towlas in a bowl (I suppose) and tossed in the fabric you wanted to dye.

Henry Morris, in the book, “Biblical Basis for Modern Science”, give us this additional information on the towla: ‘When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood.’

Are you beginning to see the parallels between a worm and Jesus Christ? This next segment I borrowed from Calvin Ray Evans in an article he wrote for the ‘Insect man’ website. Savor and enjoy.

“First, the crimson worm climbs on the tree all by itself. Nobody forces it to get on the tree. It willingly searches out the kermes oak which is symbolic of its destiny. Then, by its own choice it climbs on the tree. Please understand that nobody forced Christ on the cross. What He did was of His own choice. He could have called all the angels of Heaven to release Him but He died alone for you and me.

The crimson worm knows when it climbs on the tree that it will not come back down alive. It is going to the tree to birth a family and to do that it must die. Jesus knowing all things still was willing to die on the cross to birth a family.

Once on the tree, the crimson worm then attaches itself to the tree. It makes sure it is secure because the body of the worm will eventually be the shelter for the young, which are born. Remember, it was not nails that held our Savior to the cross. It was love! That same love and broken body of our Lord is the protection for us against all the winds of heresy and unbelief of the ages. The worm will then lay its eggs and shelter them under her body.

During the birthing process, she secretes a crimson fluid or gel. The scarlet fluid covers her entire body and all the eggs she lays. It also leaves a stain on the tree, which will never fade away with the passing of time! (Please excuse me if I stop to shout right here! You may need to pause to join me too!) The blood of Jesus stained Him, the cross and all of us, which are saved! The blood will never lose its power!

After dying to birth the family, something amazing takes place. For a period of three days the worm can be scraped from the tree and the crimson gel can be used to make a dye. That dye was the same which was used in the tabernacle and in the garments of the High Priest.

On the morning of the fourth day, the worm has pulled the head and tail together and is now in the shape of a heart on the tree but it is no longer crimson. It is now a wax, which is white as snow. They can still harvest the wax and use it to make shellac, a preservative of wood. Praise God for the resurrection, which serves as the preservative of the message of the cross.

The crimson worm is also very fragrant when it is crushed. No other life in history has sweetened the pathway of humanity like the crimson worm who was crushed for our sin, Jesus.”

Here’s the bottom line. When Jesus referred to Himself as a worm, He was not coming down on Himself—the reference had doctrinal implications that would abide forever. The allusion was prophetic not poetic, it was momentous not insignificant; it was perfect and not irrelevant.

By the way…Happy Easter

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Putting on the VeilTherefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech– unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 2 Corinthians 3:12-13

Christians, unpurposefully perhaps, spend an awful lot of time attempting to convey how godly we are. We can find a little comfort in knowing that we are in good company, for Moses was guilty of the very same thing. Out of context we might be persuaded to believe that Moses veiled himself in an act of humility, but God through the Apostle Paul reveals the issue with Moses was actually pride—Moses did not want anyone to see his diminished spirituality.

A Fine Line

When we utter to another, “I have been praying for you, ” is it really about them or about telling them that we pray? Similarly when we declare, “I was fasting and the Lord revealed something to me, ” is it about the revelation or the fact that we fast? The truth just might be that we want others to know how saintly we are to cover up how saintly we are not. We wear our spiritual endeavors as a veil, akin to Moses, so that no one might know the reality of our fading glory. Sadly, the embellishment becomes routine and we likely do not even recognize the behavior having bought the lie.

To make matters worse, when we project a bogus façade, it could cause others to feel inadequate in their faith walk. A believer might look at us in our amped-up spirituality and surmise, “I can’t keep up with that! I’m no prayer warrior, I’m no faster, I’m no wonderful worshipper!” How dare we do that to another believer. A veil is nothing more that a false, legalistic barrier between them and their walk with Christ. We need to remember that Jesus took away that obstruction.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom… Matthew 27:50-51

This One’s for Me

We all may be culpable, but please know I choose to blog on this particular issue today because my spirit was convicted– this is a message I need to receive…again. Lord, let me remember that You are and I am not, that You are wonderful and worthy and I am not, and if there is any glow about me it is solely of You. Let me always be a reflection of Your glory, lest I give someone the impression it is me and lest I hinder the spiritual growth of another.

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