Pastor Keith’s Blog

Just And True

They say that hindsight is 20/20.  That means that as we look back over the events of the past, we will be able to clearly see and understand what was happening.  In Revelation chapter 15 we see the saints who have overcome the image, the mark and the number of the beast standing before God.  They are singing and worshiping as they stand upon the glassy sea before the throne of God.  In retrospect, from a heavenly perspective, they sing of all that God has done, “great and marvelous are Your works, … just and true are Your ways”.
   In looking over the pains of life, what might seem to be injustices that appear on the earth and the frustrations that people have gone through, these heavenly saints rightly declare before God that His ways, His workings with mankind, are just and true.
   In our present struggles we might not think that our situations are fair. However as seen by the ones who overcame much, God is “just”.  God’s working  is more than that of being just and true, for all His works are also great and marvellous.   Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”  In the way the situations are playing out around you, rest assuredly that God’s plans are great and marvellous.  How do you perceive your situations?
  God is just and true, in that you can be confident.

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How Can I?

How do you respond in the face of temptations?  Does the thought that, “No one will see or hear about what we are doing” cause there to be greater temptations or do we feel that we’ll never get caught because, “No one will know but you and me.”  It is interesting that when Joseph was tempted to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife that he said, “How can I do this thing and sin against God?”
   Joseph saw that sin was not just about whether he would get caught, but he saw sin as an offence against God.  He knew that his actions affected his relationship with His God, and that relationship was more important than any short term pleasures that sin might provide.  Many times we think that our wrongful actions will affect no-one but ourselves, but do we see it as a sin against God?  David spoke to God in Psalm 51:4,  after his affair with Bathsheba, “Against You and You alone have I sinned.”  He knew that his actions had severe consequences to his walk with God.
   It is unfortunate that for many people, their relationship with The Lord is so poor that they are never concerned about how their actions might affect that relationship.  What about in your life?  Is your walk with God so real that the thought of doing anything which might inhibit that relationship would curtail your actions?    Take time to reflect on the depth and strength of your walk with God.  Evaluate how much He affects your actions and thoughts, not because you fear the punishment of God, but because you value your relationship with Him.

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Aren’t I Greater?

Have you ever made a mistake that overwhelmed you with guilt and the consequences of your action seemed horrendous?  The Bible says that in the multitude of words there is sin (Proverbs 10:19).  Or in a paraphrase, the more you talk, the more likely you are to sin.  Being a preacher and a teacher, I speak a lot, which also means the likelihood of me sinning in the midst of speaking is great.  I do not want to say things wrong,  but it does happen.  The challenge is not just to keep from doing or saying things wrong, but how does one deal with the guilt and condemnation that the enemy puts upon us when we do sin?
   We know from Romans 8:1 “that there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus”  but there can still be great regret and grief over the action, and indeed it is good that there is for this can be a motivation for learning and changing.  However, even after repentance and change has taken place there can still be the lingering regret and grief because of the long range consequences of our actions.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we were perfect and made no mistakes!!!  Unfortunately we all sin and fall short of God’s perfect nature (Rom. 3:23).
   Recently my heart was heavy as I contemplated  a recent blunder, and regretted  what might be the long range consequences of my fault.  In the midst of the remorse a thought, as if from God, came to me,  “Why are you overwhelmed with your weakness and your fault, aren’t I Greater?”  It was as if God was challenging me by asking, “are your mistakes greater than My ability to do good in the midst of those mistakes?”  Somehow, I had subtly allowed myself to feel that my actions had more power than God’s.  I was feeling trapped by my actions without including God into the situation.
  I am not saying that we should sin so that God might show His power, God forbid that we should do that (Romans 6:1).
   Take a moment to praise God that He forgives and that He also works to bring about His good in all situations, to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

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Drawn Out

In John 2:8, Jesus turns the water into wine.  The wine which He created was declared to be better than the wine used at the beginning of the wedding.  Food and beverages have “after tastes” to them. There are hints of flavour and aromas that either enhance or distract from the nature of the substance.  Lord, if you were to draw me out, to pull out some of me to see what is swirling within me or to draw out a section of my life to see what flavour I had. Lord, what would You find?

  • Is there an irritant within me, a hurt from the past that comes out in trying to justify myself at the expense of others?  Would there be a sharpness to me, that shows that I am irritated with others or situations?  A bite in the flavour that seems to cut into the presentation, making others feel uncomfortable, grit their teeth, be defensive or on guard. My speech should be seasoned with grace.  I should not distract from the beauty of The Lord but rather reflect it.
  • Would there be swirling cloudiness, sediment, murkiness, within my inner being. Perhaps significant unprocessed sin of the past is muddying how I present myself.  It might cause my comments to be off color or my responses or lack of responses to seem dark and murky. God help me!
  • Does what comes out refresh people?  Does what I present revitalize those that are weary and in need of hope and life?  Many people, like the woman at the well, are thirsty.  Lord let my life bring freshness to others.
  • The wine of God can bring life to people.  Does my life point them to this true joy and life of God?
  • When people smell the aroma of this fluid that is drawn out, what is sensed?  Is it light, fragrant, or heavy and pungent?  May my life be a sweet fragrance to you, Lord, that others might sense you and respond to you.

   Lord, You want me to reflect the best, i.e the nature of Jesus Christ.  In these last days, may I present myself and be presented as part of the “great wedding celebration” that is coming.  May I help to minister life in these last days so people will experience: the most compelling explanation that they have ever heard, more of Jesus than they has seen before, sensing God or the Spirit more than before.
   In the drawing out process, God takes some away that there may be an examining of the nature of what is within. This process is uncomfortable because we like to be full, to have everything complete, nice and tidy, nothing missing, but often that is not reality.  This process implies there will be some removal of what we personally have.
   Lord help me to be willing to release and not hold onto what I have or what I feel is mine.  May I reflect something good to the world around me.  

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