“The Healing Stream”

Deep and wide

Ezekiel 47  They tell us that there is a fountain in Jerusalem which flows deep and wide just like the Sunday School song titled: “Deep and Wide.” Children are captivated by its hand motions and simple tune

Deep and Wide; Deep and Wide; there is a fountain flowing deep and wide.

Ezekiel saw a trickling stream flowing from under the new Temple’s threshold. It began as a trickle, and then it grew until it was a mighty river. It had healing powers and provided nourishment for the trees along its bank. Indeed it was a fountain flowing deep and wide. In Psalm 1, the author likens a man to a tree planted by a flowing stream which produces fruit, and healing leaves.

Just as the river has healing powers, so does the gospel message. It begins with a small trickling stream of faith. Soon the gospel reaches and heals men and women with its message. So too, when the Holy Spirit indwells us, our faith starts as a little trickle, then expands and seeks to heal others with its message of healing. We can stop at the Temple’s threshold or let our love overflow and heal the “Dead Sea” of dead men.

Is your fountain deep and wide or still just a trickle? 

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God can raise to new life

the valley of dead bones

Ezekiel 37 God’s love is beyond our ability to comprehend, but our eyes are more often focused on the “valley of dry bones,” our Death Valley. We say, “I know God can do anything, “but in the next breath, we say, “I fail to see how God can work in this situation.” Martha and Ezekiel stood among the dead and thought those very words.

Martha stood before a closed tomb; Ezekiel stood in a valley of dead bones. Both were left speechless when God asked: Can these bones live?  But, God in his mercy said: I am about to infuse breath into that which was dead.

Just as the pioneers of old, who wandered into Death Valley, had to be rescued, we find ourselves in need of being saved.  Beloved, know God sees, and He alone can resurrect the dead out of our valley or tombs.

Jesus is our rescuer from our death valley. He came, lived amongst us even while the enemy even sought to kill and destroy. But, our God was then and is today more remarkable than any impossibility. He conquered death by rising on the third day to restore our dead bones with His living power. The one who believes in Him will experience his resurrection power.

Do you believe this?

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“What Are You Doing?”

The Cross

Ezekiel 12-14 Marcel Marceau was arguably the most famous mime artist of the century. Using white face and dramatic eyes, he referred to mime as the “art of silence.”  Hundreds of years before he stepped on the stage, God had Ezekiel pantomime the end of Zedekiah’s reign and the end of Jerusalem. Instead of watching and learning, the hardhearted exiles just wanted to know what he was doing. Jeremiah’s words should have been ringing in their ears, but they didn’t want to hear that God would allow the destruction of His Temple!  So God opened Ezekiel’s mouth to declare: I am an object lesson for you about your king and Jerusalem. They charged him with lying because they only wanted to have their ears tickled. So they left and went to hear the false prophets telling them that all would be over in two years.  Today the world is living through a pandemic but men only want to hear false teachers who say all will be well.

Years later, God used both words and mime to tell about His plan for our salvation. He sent His Son with parables, miracles, and sermonettes because He doesn’t tickle our ears with false prophecy. His message is that we are all sinners; none is righteous, no, not one!  There is a judgment coming. Choose Jesus for He is the Way, The Truth, and the Life. Come be saved today. Are you heeding His message?     

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The Hardened Heart

the heart

Jeremiah 47-49 The soft earth nourishes seeds, yet some seeds fail to germinate even when given all the right conditions. Judas had walked, talked, ate, and enjoyed the fellowship of Jesus and the other eleven disciples, but his seed failed to germinate. Like Judas, the nations of Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, and Elam saw God prosper Judah, but their seeds remained hardened. In the end, God dug them up, exposed them to the ravages of King Nebuchadnezzar, and they are no longer.

But wait!! There were some seeds/hearts deep within these kingdoms, seeds, and hearts of potential and restoration.  God promised Moab and Ammon would see their fortunes reversed. The question is, why? What did God see that men cannot? It is the same principle Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe.” (Jn 20:29) So it will be with these nations. We saw them as lost forever, but God sees the heart, and His love will continue to penetrate that hard shell in hopes it will germinate and not continue in the spirit of Judas.  God is not willing any to perish, but all come to repentance. He will continue to send the rains to unlock that hardened heart and soften it.

Our part is not to give up praying for the lost.  Do you know someone that seems to have that Judas’ spirit? Continue to pray for their salvation.

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“God’s Message is like a Fire”

God's message

Jeremiah 20 Today instead of street-corner preachers, we have live-streamed preachers that tell us all is well IF we send in money to keep that program on the air or buy their books. The years may be different, but people still need to hear what Jeremiah’s placard said: “Repent now!” 

The people laughed at Jeremiah’s placard because they didn’t want to hear Jeremiah and his prophecy.  Even the priest Pashur made fun of Jeremiah and had him flogged and put in stocks to become the laughingstock of all passersby. Yes, it was just another “Alexander/Jeremiah terrible, no good, very bad day” for Jeremiah.

As the moon and stars appear, Jeremiah had a tough talk with God.

“I told you I don’t know how to speak; I am too young! Look at where I am!

I AM QUITTING!

Sometimes in the quiet of the evening hours and being alone with our thoughts, we begin like Jeremiah to whine and then to reflect. Our hearts begin to soften, and we tell God; your message is like a fire burning within me. It is locked inside of me, and it burns in my heart and soul. Even though I am so tired, I will continue to warn them.

Can you relate to Jeremiah? He wanted to quit but he couldn’t. He heard himself saying why don’t you hang it up; life would be so much easier. But God’s message was like a fire in his heart?

Is it in yours?

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Jeremiah 1 “What’s Your Excuse?”

There are no imperfections in God's family

God, the Master Potter, forms and uses the imperfect clay to form perfect vessels. Satan desires that we see our imperfections as God’s mistake. If you notice, Isaiah, Moses, and Jeremiah saw their flaw as lips contaminated by sin or “I can’t speak eloquently.” Yet God never makes mistakes. He will equip men for the task of reaching the lost.

God doesn’t bless the eloquent orator. He does bless the tongue that has been touched by the coals of the fire of His kiln. Again, Satan tells us that we are too young or too old, and we could offer that same excuse. God promises, “I will most assuredly give you the words you are to speak for me.” (2 Tim 3:17) Again Satan says this is too fearful. Yet God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)

The real question is: Is this world more dangerous, or is Hell waiting for the lost a more compelling reason to step out? God has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness to those who come to the well seeking to alleviate their thirst.

Our archenemy has one last excuse in his arsenal. He asks, surely you don’t have to do it “now? God doesn’t care if you delay. If you are listening to his voice, then you are not asking; Am I God’s choice to go into a lost world?  But, if you can answer, today is the day of salvation, then why are you waiting?

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“God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility”

Graveyards testify to death

Isaiah 55 All over our world, men have set aside graveyards filled with rows upon rows of tombstones with birthdates and a space for the date of our death that we might remember life is short and eternity is long. The author of Hebrews reminds us that God has assigned a death date for each man. Therefore, stop and listen to the Lord. He is calling you to decide what will take place on that second date.  If there is one thing that is known, men will seek to delay that second date as long as possible. Yet, in the meantime, God is patiently waiting for men to turn to Him.  Beware of falling for the false Laodicean ways; what glitters today can be covered with rust tomorrow. Instead, “seek the Lord while He may be found…” Just as in the days of Noah, God’s calendar date is firm and will not be changed. What God has determined He will fulfill. 

There is a warning here: Beware of delaying the day of your salvation.

Interestingly Jesus came as a babe, and the world ignored him or sought to remove him as Herod did. He sprouted as a twig in a quiet village, yet later men asked what good can come from Nazareth? As a man, He began to do miracles, yet they scoffed and refused to believe. Jesus knew men’s hearts were hard, and Isaiah saw this same hardness. He warned them: seek God early; call unto Him while he is nearby. 

God’s death date is unknown to you but not to Him.  Therefore, do not delay.

Today is the day of salvation. 

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What do you choose: Faith or Fear?

Which do you choose?

Isaiah 7:9b and 26:3 Have you ever asked someone what or whom do they fear? What would they be willing to forfeit? Jesus told the disciples that He would always be with them and if that is true why then do we fear? The principle is found in Is 7: “If your faith does not remain firm, then you will not remain secure.” In other words, if your faith is not enough to face the dangers of others or circumstances your faith is not faith at all.

Let me give you an illustration. There was a woman to whom I was speaking and presenting the gospel. Our conversation began with this question: what do you put your faith in? She nodded through it all but when I came to the question about surrendering her life to Jesus she balked—no, in fact she said she would NOT trust Christ. Her reasoning was that she would have to give up her immoral relationship to follow Christ. She was more fearful of losing the man with whom she was now living than spending eternity in hell. Unlike the Samaritan woman at the well, she turned away from salvation.

Perhaps that is you. God is asking you to put your faith in Him. He asks that question so that you would know He will keep you in perfect peace because your faith is holding firm on God and because you chose to trust in Him.  

Joshua asked the Israelites to choose whom they would worship, God or the gods of their ancestors. They had to choose between faith or fear. Where are you today?

Photo: Sincerely Media on Unsplash

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The Scriptures…are the Inner Workings

study the scriptures that speak of Jesus

Proverbs 25:2 Ever have your computer just up and die? You can’t see inside, but inside are all of the bits and pieces that make it work. Just like some parts of a computer are concealed, God conceals some matters. One day we will see all things hidden since eternity past. God has his reasons known only unto Him as to why He has chosen to reveal or conceal.  The “secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants forever,” [Deut 29:29] What we do know is this: God has given us all the evidence we need to believe who He is and who Christ is.

In Acts 1, the disciples asked Jesus if He was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. He responded you are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his authority. God has wisely chosen to reveal His creation, which is the revelation of His invisible attributes; his eternal power and divine nature. [Rom 1:20] Also, He has shown His Son Jesus Christ and the path to salvation. Proverbs remind us that it begins with a faith belief in our hearts. It is our belief, coupled with a confession that leads to salvation.  [Rom 10:9-10]

The Bereans examined what Paul taught to see if it were so.  We too should examine, search out, or investigate the matter before us. We have the inspired Word —let’s begin there.  

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“Do You Need a Heart Transplant?’

Psalm 50 & 51 People, we are in deep trouble. Instead of peace and quiet, our world is swirling with anxiety, greed, grumbling, and all the “vices” of Galatians 5. There is strife, jealousy, and outbursts of anger. We are swimming in sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, and idolatry—all because we are worshiping the creation more than the Creator.

God says we are in debt, but He also says: My Son has paid your debt.  The world is striving to do the right “things,” but God says come apart with me and listen to what I have to say. You lack the one thing I desire, which is a humble spirit, a repentant heart, or a heart transplant.

Without the sacrifice of our Savior, we remain indebted. We are guilt, but Jesus paid our sin debt; if we accept His gift of salvation. Then our sin debt is canceled. But—we are never debt-free of offerings of thanksgiving to Him for this beautiful and precious gift. God does not desire sacrifices, for if He did, we could never repay our debt. Indeed, God wants is a heart that is receptive and thankful for this unspeakable gift.

Today step aside and evaluate your worship and your lifestyle. Pray that God would create in you a pure heart and a resolute spirit.

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