Pastor Keith’s Blog

The Fancy Things You Loved

“If only I could get more …; if only I had … “.  Through the scriptures we are encouraged to guard our hearts and to be cautious as to what we build our lives on.  The most important things to us should be those things that will endure through the challenges of life, those things which will not be able to be taken from us.  We often live our lives longing for things, desiring another thing to make us happy or significant.  I was reading in Revelation 18:14 where it says,  ““The fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry. “All your luxuries and splendour are gone forever, never to be yours again.”” (‭NLT)
  Here towards the end of time all the luxuries of life, the things which were seen as important are removed.  How would you respond?  The NKJV says that, “the fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you.”  For some this could be the worst ruin that they could imagine.  During the times of the Great Depression of the 1930′s or during the financial collapse that took place in 2008, many wealthy people despaired life.  They felt that their lives were not worth living, though they had more resources available to them in their fallen poverty then 95% of the world.
   If we build our lives upon that which will not stand forever, then we will be hurt and in despair when the things that we longed for are removed.  God says that He has peace for us, which no man can take from us.     

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Written On Both Sides

If you have watched the 1956 movie “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston as Moses, you would remember the final scene when a fiery flame comes from the cloud of God’s presence and writes the Ten Commandments on the tablets of stone.  In the movie it appears as though God has carved the commandments on just the front side of the two tablets, but according to Exodus 32:15 the commands were actually written on both sides of the two tablets.  Now this is a small detail that Cecil B. DeMille may have missed in his producing of the movie,  there are many aspects of the movie that were not exactly true to the scriptures.  But perhaps there is something important in this detail of the scriptures.
   2 Corinthians 3: 1-3 talks about how in the Old Testament God wrote His commands on the tablets of stone, but now in the New Testament He writes His commands on our hearts.  As Paul writes 2 Corinthians 3 he also says that we Christians are living epistles through which the people around us will see and understand the nature of God.
   What do they see of God in you?  Do you “put your best foot forward”, do you try to show your best side to others?  If we have presented our front face well, what about the back side of ourselves?  These Old Testament stone tablets were read on both sides!  It is not sufficient showing we have a good side, while covering over our bad side.  All sides of us will be read and examined by others.  There is to be no inconsistency between how we live our life in the public and how we live our life in private.
   Lord Jesus, when people see us, may they see a consistent testimony of You.  May all aspects of our life be beautiful to You and others. 

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Written With The Finger Of God

Everyone has a unique style of handwriting.  The study of various handwriting is called graphology.  A good graphologist would be able to determine character attributes about the writer.  Whether the writer is frugal, artsy, tense, free flowing, meticulous, etc.  For 40 days Moses has been on the Mount Sinai, God has given the Ten Commandments and other instructions to Moses.  As Moses is about to descend from Mount Sinai, God carves out two tablets of stone and writes on both sides of the two tablets.  God inscribe the Decalogue, or The Ten Commandments on these stone tablets. (Ex. 31:18)
   I know what my handwriting looks like.  It is very small, and messy; I must be a thrifty person, not wasting paper, write small so you can get more words per page, hence use less paper and less ink – both of these saves money.    The small letters that flow into a barely readable blur must also mean that I save precious time, instead of taking extra moments to write legibly, I save my time for other things.
   That might be good analysis of my handwriting, but I wonder what the handwriting of God would have looked like.  What character traits would we be able to determine about God from seeing His handwriting?  If only we still had those two tablets of stone.
   On Sunday,  in my mind, I saw a picture of the handwriting of God!  I was in a church service, people were worshiping and a picture appeared before me.  Instantly as the handwriting  appeared I could see that God was loving, that He was forgiving, that He cared for people, that He wanted to help people.
   I saw many people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and ages. Through life they had all made various different mistakes and errors, they all had struggles and challenges ahead of them.   But all of these had been embraced, received, touched and changed by God.  It was on these people’s lives that I saw the writing of God.  By what had happened in these people I could see God’s love, forgiveness, care, and help.
   2 Cor. 3:1-3 says that we are epistles which God has written by His Spirit upon our hearts.  Lord Jesus, work in us so that the people around us clearly see the work of You in our lives, that they might easily know what You are like.

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No Threat

We can value many different things in life; riches, fame, education, security, love,  possession, athletic ability, etc.  In the face of all that could captivate our heart, Jesus speaks and says in Mark 8:36 ” For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  Jesus is comparing what we value on earth in the light of our soul and its eternity.
   Recently we have experienced terrorist threats, activities and murder in our country.  In this context, fear can easily grip the hearts of people.  The security of our nation and ourselves, as individuals, can seem to be shattered.  The looming of death and global threat can cause us to feel undermined and vulnerable.  It is understandable how the threat of death puts fear and insecurity into the hearts of people.
   Looking at the corollary of the above scripture we would see, “what would a man loose if he keeps his soul in eternity and loses the whole world?”   The fear of death can easily grip our hearts, if we feel that life here on earth is the most important thing.  However, when we focus upon the life that we are moving into, that of eternity, then the prospect of death need not be a fearful thing.  That is why Paul can say in 1 Cor. 15:55  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
  May your confidence in having eternal life through Christ Jesus, remove the fear of death from your heart.  May the peace of Christ prevail in all that comes before you.

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