Finding God in the Mystery of every day

030203 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

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1 Samuel 8: 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

            Just as the image of the snake oil salesman has come to be synonymous with deceiving ignorant “low class” country bumpkins so to the electoral process has become such an overwhelming joke as to be almost completely meaningless. You can never tell really tell what a politician stands for or whether they are telling the truth. There are certain axiomatic assumptions to be made that can be gleaned from the text above. Regardless of the promises made all politicians are going to try to get at whatever you’ve worked to gain in your life.             There is, however one thing than can never be taken from you, and that is your freedom in Jesus Christ. We are obligated through our relationship, and because of that relationship with Him to choose wisely and vote accordingly for the “most righteous” candidates possible learning to discern those who will pander to one group after another to get votes rather than really ever engaging the complex issues before the nation. With so called “midterm elections” it becomes extremely difficult to discern the right and wrong between the left and he right. At this point, there is a very old and poignant question every Christian voter should be praying about.

“What would Jesus do?”

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

030202 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

e-mail- larrymlawrence@larrymlawrence.com  (*New e-mail), or

on facebook search Larry Lawrence Mysteries, Twitter LarryLa2776706

1 Samuel 7b:“Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” (NASB)

            Power. That is the end game of all politicians. Like a bloated overfed being somehow obsessed with more and greater power, from the minute a person enters the so called political arena the lust for power and it’s parasite of privilege overwhelm to the point of absolute and total corruption.

            “Tut, tut” you say, the ones I vote for are not like that. They are people of integrity. Like the “unknown comic” from years ago we all walk around with these bags of delusion over our heads and fall for the same lies over and over. Regardless of the promises made the programs initiated, there always seems to be sufficient opposition to derail any meaningful “progress”.

            I don’t particularly care which political stripe you wear. Government by humans is a sick and wretched affair existing now in perpetuity until Jesus comes to redeem our sad sorry circumstances. Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, floods, famine all seem at once to signal the time of that coming. Are you ready?

Finding God in the mystery of every day

030201 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

e-mail- larrymlawrence@larrymlawrence.com  (*New e-mail), or

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Romans 12:4-5 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Many gifts, one body, one mission

            I have heard (and preached) sermons many times on the need to “discover” our spiritual gifts. I have participated in innumerable seminars to accomplish something that is usually obvious to any even somewhat discerning eye. It is true that some are gifted, just as the twelve Jesus “left behind” to accomplish His mission. As mission delegates they all were to “ be making disciples as they were going out to the ends of the earth”. (my translation from the Greek Matthew 28:19)

                        You see, that is what is too seldom driven home in the above-mentioned seminars. Far too often the “results” of the questionnaires and the interpretation of the scoring become “self-fulfilling prophecies” and the result is that many participants put a cap on their gift working solely in that regard and then forget the total mission imperative working solely within their understanding of their “gifting”. The result, as we have seen in the modern American protestant churches is a tendency to grow inward and shrink by degrees until they are so diminished by age and disaffection that they die.

            The greatest need I see is that we be out there in the world sharing the good news of Jesus our Christ. Yes, we should be working within our particular strengths, but just as we assume many roles in secular life, so too we need to “be ready, in season and out of season” to give the world a reason for our joy. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025307 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

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Matthew 9 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the Sea of Galilee and came to His own city.

And they brought to Him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed, “Take courage, [son; your sins are forgiven.” And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!” And Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” And he got up and [c]went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were [d]awestruck, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. NASB

           Did you ever notice that in moments of highest faith, the devil and his minions are there to cast doubt. The lurk in the shadows ever asking the same question as Eve was asked in the garden, “Did God really say…” Genesis 3:1 (my translation)

            Be assured my friends that God did really say… and we have reaped the terrible consequences of that deception from the beginning of humankind’s journey on this earth. The faith we have in Jesus is going to be tested daily. The more active we are in expressing and living out our faith in doing good to others the more the devil takes an interest and sends someone to try to make you stumble and fall. Learn to recognize this and respond in love saying things that are likely to undo the detractors, such as: “God loves you, and so do I”, or “I will pray for you,” or “How can I help you understand.”

            Remember that as you are bombarded with the sad sorry “news” about everything that is wrong with the world today that Jesus is the master of all creation and will “make all things work together for good for those who love Him”. Romans 8:28 NASB

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025306 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

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Hebrews 12:In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

            Christian bookstores and catalogues are rife with various “expert” writings on the answer to human suffering. Throughout the varying slate of ideas lurks the question; Why? The fact of the matter is this. We are here living out our lives in a fallen world in which every aspect of nature and life has been perverted and poisoned by the inbred sin nature of humankind. [Romans 8: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.]

            As if that were not enough, we are born and condemned to death and from the moment when our childhood innocence passes from us, we are alienated from God our Father and subject to His wrath. [Romans 3: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,]

           I am in the greatest sympathy for those who suffer. While I know comparatively little of this myself in the light of what I have seen others endure, I have been at the bedside of many dying folk whose faces almost always reflect an understanding at the very last of what is next to come in their lives.

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025305 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

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Psalm 94:18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. 19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.(NIV)

            If we are in the habit of taking everything to the Lord, when we fall it is an autonomic response to cry out to Him. My question to you is this; Do you take His grace and understanding for granted and get up and walk away without thanking Him for hearing and empathizing with you in your pain and embarrassment. Surely that is the great need that alienates people from God and one another. When we realize that we are not alone in our moments of suffering, that our Savior knew much more and much worse and yet intercedes moment to moment to the Father for His own we must begin to know and express the thankfulness so lacking in the whole world.

            Romans 1: 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools …

More to come…

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025304Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

e-mail- larrymlawrence@larrymlawrence.com  (*New e-mail), or

on facebook search Larry Lawrence Mysteries, Twitter LarryLa2776706

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray,

            Even before the birth (advent) of Jesus people were praying, waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promise. One such was Anna and elder woman who had committed her life to prayer. I have come to believe with all my heart that the missing key to healthy faith and growing churches is fervent prayer (see James 5:16 KJV) Do you prayer for the lost people surrounding you? That’s not being judgmental. A person’s outward life is a pretty clear indicator of their inward spiritual condition.

            I don’t know if it would help you, but perhaps you might want to fill out a card with the names and contact information of people you are close to and begin to carry them in your heart day in and day out praying for them at every opportunity. Be bold in the Lord and invite and offer to them into the fellowship that you have found valuable in the body of Christ.

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025303 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

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Galatians 5: 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, 20 idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

“…things like these” With every form of sin, debauchery, and unrighteousness proudly on display in the world today it is little wonder that Paul had to add this inclusion to his caveat. The very fact that they are evident ot the “enlightened” heart of a Christian should cause each and every one of us to look deep inside to see where these thoughts and temptations lie. As a certified
“grumpy old man” I recognize in myself that frustration and its parasite emotion, anger, can all too often lead me to “unbridle” my tongue and spew forth the very worst venom imaginable.

            The focus of being in a relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit is not something that can or should be ignored. The old axiom, “Act in haste, repent in leisure” is a kind way of saying you cannot undo words spoken in anger. Far too many Christian folk I know are nearly consumed by regret for words that were needlessly harmful.

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025302 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

e-mail- larrymlawrence@larrymlawrence.com  (*New e-mail), or

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1 John 5:12 ) The one who has the Son has the life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (NASB)

(Ethnically accurate representation of Jesus)

            It really is as simple as that. All of Christianity boils down to the person of Jesus the Christ (Savior, Messiah, Deliverer) of God. Do you recall the ad campaign for milk several years ago? In the campaign many stars and ordinary people were pictured with a prominent milk “moustache” over a banner line which asked “Got milk?”

            We could probably best strategize our efforts at evangelism by beginning here with this question: “Got Jesus?” Moving on from that particular question the next likely effective question if we are responding to a negative would be perhaps: “Would you like to?” I have seen this approach more effective at times than a lot of well “strategized” evangelism programs.

            Many people have heard of Jesus. Many people are misinformed about Jesus. Many people wrongly associate Jesus with the more aberrant aspects of what I might term “churchianity” which often, either in misdirected zeal or plain sloth and have thereby been alienated by the whole idea of Jesus. How sad and tragic.

Francis Schaeffer wrote a book several years ago entitled The Church before a watching World. It’s true. Many people are waiting to be invited to the “wedding feast”. How long will we keep mute?

Finding God in the Mystery of every day

025301 Finding God in the Mystery of every day.

Your comments or questions are welcome

Contact me at larrymlawrence.com or,

e-mail- larrymlawrence@larrymlawrence.com  (*New e-mail), or

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1 Thessalonians 5:12 But we ask you, brothers and sisters, to recognize those who diligently labor among you and are in leadership over you in the Lord, and give you instruction, 13 and that you regard them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek what is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit, 20 do not utterly reject prophecies, 21 but examine everything; hold firmly to that which is good, 22 abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will do it.

            Whether it is a quiet reckoning of the soul conducted in the quiet of a singular moment, or whether it happens by a “lashing of your self to the mast” (Odyssey, Homer) coming to grips with the storms of passion that frequently rage in a person’s soul this particular scripture shines as a beacon of hope, light and clarity answering the question for all time; “What do I do now?”

            There is no more clear or succinct instruction and promise leading the believer to a holy and blameless life than this. The more we engage every instruction above the more the Holy Spirit works in us. Consider if you will any of the academic disciplines. The issue of continuing education is always adding some upward emphasis to the life of the true academic. Keeping abreast of the latest developments in their field. So too with the Christian life. We bask in the glory of a new relationship. Then we are challenged to go forth in that relationship and “do the works” (1 Timothy 6:18) which bring about good to the Christian community. In this we grow and move upward toward the goal of being entirely sanctified.

…more to come