There are Giants in the Land

Moses sent 12 spies to explore and report back on conditions in Canaan.  This hand-picked group spent 40 days exploring the land.  When they returned they reported it was indeed a land flowing with milk and honey.  The physical evidence of large clusters of grapes, so heavy it took two men to carry a single branch was proof positive of God’s provision.    What Moses told them was true.  The promised land was a reality.  Their sojourn in Egypt was over and now they could experience the promise.  But there was one problem.  There were giants in the Land.  And not only giants, but fortified cities and enemies all around.  Eight spies sounded the alarm, and spread the report that “we can’t go up against them, they are stronger that we are.”   Only two men stood up and said, “Let’s go at once to take the land.”

There are always giants in the land.  Giant problems, circumstances, challenges, and situations.   The stock market is down, unemployment is up;  wars and rumors of wars, party unrest, political leaders disgraced, scandals, businesses close,  discrimination, infighting, sibling rivalry, loss of life…there are giants in the land.

The two men who stood with Moses and said “Let’s go at once to take the land” had witnessed God’s power and presence during the Exodus.  Convinced of God’s word, Caleb and Joshua told Israel let’s go immediately and get our inheritance.  They had physical evidence of the fulfilled promise.  If God promised it, He would provide it despite “the giants.”   Every battle appears to be stronger than we are.  But that is not what God told us to do.  He told us to go and take the land.  He said I will be with you always even to the end of the world.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  I think the answer to that question is, no one and nothing.  In Joshua 1: 6-9; God instructed Joshua, as he assumed the mantle of leadership, to “be strong and courageous.”  As servant leaders, we are to take God’s power with us into the land of the giants; into those strongholds and get our inheritance.  The promises are true, and there is nothing stopping us from having all that God wants for us.   There are no giants in the land bigger than our God.

Take Out The Trash

I’ve been reading through the Bible for the past few months, and I am always amazed by the majesty and the preciseness of our God.  The past two days, since the beginning of Holy Week, a persistence phrase keeps coming up – “Take out the Trash.”  It arose quite strongly yesterday during my meditation time, and again today while reading through the book of Numbers.  Now I know for some the OT can be a little confusing especially in Numbers and Leviticus, but this is where you see the majesty and precision of God.  Those wonderful details, if taken slowly and with reverence, can yield a mountain of revelation about our God.  What does this have to do with Take out the Trash?  Well in Numbers Chapter 4:1-49, God gives specific instructions to Moses and Aaron the priest on how to dissemble the Tabernacle, and whose is responsible for this enormous task.  There is a registration of men from the priestly tribe of Levi, those between the age of 30-50 years old who must prepare each sacred item for transporting during their wilderness journey. Meticulous planning and arrangements, even down to where these men are stationed within the camp were given by God to Moses and Aaron. Simply amazing.  And as I read this and reflected on the fact that this is Holy Week, I thought about how careless we’ve become during this sacred time leading up to Resurrection Sunday.  We go through the day not stopping to carefully arranged “sacred moments” for God, nor for ourselves.  Our Jewish brethren have begun Passover, where all “regular” activity has stopped, and story of the Exodus is told in great detail. This festival, commanded by God is a time of remembrance of about who they are and where they came from. It is shared, particularly with the young so they will know and understand their legacy and history, but more importantly how God brought them up out of bondage to freedom. There are preparations which included the purging and removal all food items containing “leaven” from their homes.  The house is cleared, and the “sacred” is highlighted, so mind and hearts can express appreciation to God for His gifts and blessings.

We, on the over hand spend nights watching “Scandal” or “Criminal Minds” filling our hearts and spirits with images designed to clog us with debris, and trash which robs us from experiencing God’s fullness.  The “sacred” is overshadowed by the fields of brokenness, pain, suffering, worry, pride, violence, envy, shame, guilt and the sin that so easily besets us.  Paul under the anointing of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17 NLT), stated “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and YOU are that temple.”  We failed to recognize who we are and where we came from.  This important announcement is highlighted God’s word.  We, who profess the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior have a duty; a sacred responsibility to maintain this temple(us) for God’s work.  It can’t and should not be littered with trash of this world.   He built us for greatness.  He created us in His image.  We are His workmen destined to show forth His majesty, dominion, power and love to the world.

Shouldn’t we consider how carefully we are approaching this sacred time?  Are we preparing our hearts and minds for His return?  Will Resurrection Sunday be just another date on the calendar, or will we show the world, by our example that we have taken out the trash?

Yes, there is much trash that needs to be removed, not just during Holy Week, but each and every day.  We must with intent and love, remove the build up of trash that has plugged, plagued and prevented our Holy Temples from being beacons of life, light and hope.  trash people 08

 

 

 

We need to stop feeding on the “dead carcasses” of the world, and prepare our Temples to transportation.  I guess that’s why the message of taking out the trash has been so pressing.  We all need to clear the way for Christ’s return, and prepare ourselves for his rightful position on the throne of our earthly temples.  Ready to take out the trash?  I hope so.  Let’s consider ways to consecrate this week to Him, and make His light shine.

Monday 4-14-14

Blessings to you.

Holy Week has begun, and it will culminate with Easter/Resurrection Sunday and Passover being celebrated on the same day.  This amazing time will never happen again in our lifetime.  It is truly remarkable that God would allow us this time in history to embrace and recognize our spiritual heritage and roots of faith.   Reflecting on this, I noted today’s date of 4-14-14.  This date will never occur again in history.  I wondered if what I would find if I went to the New Testament and look for 4-14-14.  The fourth book of the New Testament is the gospel of John.  In the 14th chapter and 14th verse Jesus said, “Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (NLT)  Jesus was explaining to his disciples that God the Father and Jesus were one.  He wanted to let them know that if they truly believed in Him they would perform greater works because of His relationship with the Father, and His immediate departure.  He wanted them to understand that everything had been arranged for the continuation of the divine mission, and nothing was left to chance.  He was leaving them with everything needed to accomplish their tasks, with one stipulation – “Ask.”   Knowing what lay ahead for each of them, the master wanted them to know He had matters well in hand.  A somber and sobering conversation mingled with hope.

As I completed my prayers, this same verse came up strong in my spirit. I was feeling the heaviness of many tasks before me, and wondered if I could rise up to the challenge.   I had also been praying for peace, and light as well as physical healing for myself and others in my community.   Thoughts of the tragic shooting in which three Jewish people were killed in Overland Park, Kansas. And thoughts of those families are still mourning the loss of those young people killed in FedEx crash, and of course there is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing were very much on my mind.  However, Jesus offers all of Christendom the opportunity to approach Him and ask Him for provision, and the promise of new life.  So despite all to contrary, there is still hope on this day, and the opportunity to display in His love and light to those whose lives are in the shadows, because our blessed redeemer lives.  Ask for His peace, love and light to fill you, and let it carry you right up to Easter/Resurrection Sunday and Passover.

This moment lifted my spirits. There is hope because our redeemer lives and everything needed to perform, our Advocate, our strong tower, Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords shall supply.  We need only ASK.
Jesus

 

Palm Sunday

Throughout Christendom celebrations of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem will take place.  (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:13).  In some churches congregants will receive palm branches to symbolize this important and amazing moment in history.   By his simple yet profound act, Christ set the stage for the greatest love story ever told.  A story whose ending has already been written in eternity.  This redemptive love story that began in a little town in Bethlehem with stops throughout Judea would end momentarily on Calvary.  But not without going through Jerusalem.  Riding on a lowly animal, Christ demonstrated that “no greater love than this that a man lay down his life for his friends”. (John 15:13)  As branches and clothes were laid down for Him, our Savior prepared to lay down HIS all for us.

 

Happy Palm Sunday

 


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1 Corinthians 13:4-8

New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.