Monday, November 28, 2011

Scripture Text: Haggai 2:10-19 Here the word from the Lord to the restorationist is 'the touch of a holy thing does not sanctify so much as the touch of an unholy thing pollutes'. A modern interpretation would be, 'contact with a holy person, place or thing does not make you holy'. However, contact with an unholy person, place or thing can infect you with unholiness. The Apostle Paul stated it this way: "Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). You cannot place a sick person in a room of healthy people and the sick become healthy. Healthy people can sometimes be at risk if they come in contact with someone with an infectious illness such as the flu! You cannot place a clean white shirt in a dirty clothes hamper and expect the dirty clothes to become clean. Quite the contrary, the clean will become dirty.
What do these musings have to do with holiness? Just this, holiness is not transferred from one to another. Holiness is imputed to us through Christ. Our natural attempts to quarantine ourselves from the unclean will not produce biblical holiness. Holiness is not transferable. We are made holy through Christ! Holiness comes down from above. Each person has to encounter Christ for themselves.
Christian living is much more than doing right things. Christian living is being right with God! A personal encounter with the risen Lord is a prerequisite to biblical holiness. What is amazing about God's Grace is that, even though we have been polluted by the uncleanness of sin, the word of the Lord declares, "I Will Bless You". We must cease looking to one another, or comparing ourselves with one another, and start looking to Christ to make us holy!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ruth's journey began in the land of 'loose living' (Moab). From there she was brought to the land of 'leftovers' (gleaning in the fields). Now she is brought to the land of the 'lovingly redeemed' & 'lavishly accepted'!
However, before Boaz can redeem her another unnamed relative has to step aside. The older, mysterious relative, represents the 'religious use of the Law'. The unnamed relative is happy to redeem property but wants nothing to do with Ruth. This is a perfect picture of religion - happy to claim property, but wants nothing to do with relationship!
The unnamed relative took off his sandal signifying his release of control over Ruth. Jesus' death, burial and resurrection released us from the condemnation of the Law. We are no longer under the Law but under Grace!
We now have the privilege of intimacy with our Redeemer and from that fellowship and intimacy fruit will be produced which results in Christ coming forth.
One final observation: Ruth's journey decreased her perimeters but increased her sphere of influence. She went from a country to a city; from a city to a field; from a field to the threshing floor and from the threshing floor to a bed. However, with each new venture, her destiny was increased. Do you feel you are being restricted? Could it be the ordering of God to increase His plan for your life?



Monday, October 31, 2011

In Ruth chapter three we see Naomi giving Ruth instructions concerning "a proposal" to Boaz. What faith it must have taken for Ruth to follow the instructions of her mother-in-law. Actually, it was a faith that was born out of crisis. I think we could make a case that a large percentage of the miracles in the gospels were because someone in crisis came to Jesus. Someone has said that crisis or desperation is the impetus for faith.
The following are some of the principles found in Ruth chapter three.

  • Mighty miracles await the person willing to obey the Holy Spirit (as could be here portrayed as Naomi) even though the natural man would think it a 'risky' venture. Ruth took a risk in leaving Moab. She also took a risk in 'gleaning' in the fields. Now she takes the greatest of all risks and follows Naomi's advice. However, the victory is worth the risk!
  • Ruth had to humble herself at the feet of Boaz. You and I are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
  • Even the threshing floor is a word picture of what takes place in our spirits, i.e., the separation of the chaff from the grain of wheat or in our case, the flesh from the Spirit. The beginning of God's glory is always conceived at the threshing floor.
  • But what I enjoy reading most of all is Ruth's request when Boaz was awakened and ask, "Who's there?" Her response was "cover me"; "Spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative." Cover Me! That is our primary request of our Kinsmen Redeemer - Jesus Christ. Cover my past. Cover my disappointments and heartaches. Cover my wrong decisions and actions. Cover my failures. Cover my accomplishments. COVER ME!
The beauty of this narrative is that Boaz longed to cover Ruth. The beauty of our Christ is that He longs to cover us!  He longs to gather us under his covering not just for forgiveness and protection, but for intimacy and fellowship. What a story! Someone who was a stranger to the covenants and promises of the people of God and an alien to His personal protection and care, is now brought near and given a certain future. And what's more astonishing? I am not speaking of Ruth, but you and I. WE ARE COVERED!


Divine Appointments

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ruth chapter two teaches us about Divine Appointments or Divine Intersections. Ruth just asked Naomi to allow her to go and glean in the fields of whomsoever she might find favor. But God was already at work directing her steps to the field of Boaz (the close kinsman of Elimelech). So many principles flow from the narrative of Ruth two. (1) She had positioned herself for divine favor by sticking with Naomi when she could have turned back. Certainly there have been many opportunities for you and I to turn back up till now. But by the Grace of God we are still here! He has kept us to this moment and the reason - He desires to carry us beyond our wildest expectations! Does not the Apostle Paul state that He is the God of the "exceedingly, abundantly, above all", He does more than we ask or think (Eph 3:20)? In Luke 19 a man named Zaccheus climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. What he did not know was he had positioned himself for Jesus to 'see him' and a divine appointment took place that day in Zaccheus. Like Ruth and Zaccheus, we never know when the steps we are taking are the ordering of the Lord for a "Divine Intersection" to take place.  (2) Boaz had already taken notice of Ruth and her kindness to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Does not our God take notice of us? "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me", we sang when I was a young boy. Do you still believe this? His eye is on you - He has taken notice of you. (3) Not only has He taken notice of you but He has commanded your protection and provision. Boaz commanded that no one insult or violate Ruth and that she eat with the other maidservants and that more grain be given her than she gleaned that day. Jesus has promised us that if we "seek first the Kingdom of God" all the necessities of life will be given us. He "supplies all our need according to His riches in glory" (see Matt 6:33; Phil 4:19).
Divine Appointments lead to Divine Favor which in turn leads to Divine Life! And Divine or Abundant Life is what Jesus came to do for each of us (John 10:10).


God's Grand Design

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am meditating on the book of Ruth again. Countless times God has used this short story to encourage me in my walk with Him. Briefly, it's the story of famine, wrong decisions, death, bitterness, and then an awakening to the fact that God is up to something great in the midst of what we call life. Indeed God was ordering steps and orchestrating things beyond Naomi and Ruth's wildest dreams. Its called GRACE! Ruth, a Moabite becomes the great-grandmother of King David and holds a prominent place in the lineage of Jesus Christ (See Matthew 1:5-6). How's that for GRAND DESIGNS?
Like Ruth, we we're from another country, without hope, enemies of God and strangers from His covenants and promises. However, in God's grand design we have been brought near through the blood of Jesus Christ, our kinsman redeemer. You have no 'earthly' idea (2 Cor. 2:9-10) how God wants to order your steps and orchestrate the things that are taking place in your life at this moment. You may not know the end result but you can trust Him for the next step. If you do then your journey is going to be amazing.
When you are finished reading this blog go back and read again, slowly, Ephesians 2. I promise you - God has great things in store for you who put your confidence in HIM!



Friday, October 7, 2011

Today is a milestone in that I turned 56. It did not take long to get to this point in life. I now find myself a grandfather, a father, a father-in-law and of course a husband to a wonderful wife for almost 36 years. Today I reflect on the family with which God has blessed me. This blog is one of the birthday presents given to me by my daughter and her husband. Thanks Morgan and Ben. Also, today I wish to share how amazing our journey can be when placed in the hands of the Lord.
God's grace and guidance continues to amaze me. Maybe you are in one of those dilemmas of life in which you are seeking direction. You know the kind where sleeplessness becomes a nightly staple. If that is you take heart. Most of the things that distract us never come to pass or in the scope of eternity will not matter as much as it seems to at this point.
Today I rejoice in where the Lord has led me and thank God for all the joys of family and where we are at this moment.


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Welcome to your blog. Ben & I wanted to create this for you, so that the wisdom you contain can be poured into the world in a new and fresh way. You have been my greatest inspiration in life. In having a happy, long-lasting marriage, in raising a loving family, in leading a church, but most of all, in following the holy spirit. I am so grateful that I have had the privilege of seeing what God can supernaturally do in our lives, and you taught me that. 

I love you,