WAR!


With agreement of purpose they came to the place chosen by the Most High God. “Here The Confrontation will begin.”

So it began; Jesus said to them, “Whom do you seek”. They were compelled to state their purpose: “Jesus of Nazareth”.


Do you want to see the power of God? Look at what the demon filled people did at the Lord’s response: “I Am He”, Jesus said. At that the mob drew back and fell to the ground.  


Demon filled?  Do not forget, when Judas left the dinner he left under the command of satan who was in him.  The ruler of the kingdom of air against the ruler of all eternity.  Yes, the minion was present in that garden.    


The people themselves were unsure of why they had come, they were simply following a nondescript order, “Bring in Jesus of Nazareth”. But the demons in them knew they had come for a singular purpose. They had come to murder the Word of God.  


When they fell away from God at first, they murdered the Word within them. Now they come as if to complete their wickedness.  They came to complete their challenge to the Majesty of the Living God.  


It has been said that the people drew back for fear of the destruction that would surely come to one who blasphemes the Holy Name of God.  But I know I can say with confidence; their appearance in that place at that time was most conspicuous.  


A physical manifestation of reality.  A fight to the death.  The drawing back shows the dawning of sobriety, the realization of why they had come.  It was the beginning of culmination for the desire of God’s enemy. “Force the Son of God to recant his position.”  God willing met them in that place!


In the passage, we are not looking at religious men gone crazy with a lust for blood. We are looking at the beginning of the greatest possible conflict in all eternity.  


Christ is LORD!

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The Ant Head


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They gathered in a building.  The final place of the final test.  They came together to prove the value of Man.

The question was leadership and righteousness.  Who is worthy and why.

From the body of the elders they pick the wisest one.  They said to him, “Choose for us a prize that we may begin the contest”.  The old man, bent over and half blind, said to them, “Bring me the head of an ant”.

The youngest of the elders was the first to move.  He ran outside and grabbed the first ant he could find.  With urgent dispatch he returned with the head of an ant.

The elder told him to put it plate and set the plate the middle of the table. 

The elder sat at the head of the table.  “Now debate among yourselves who is worthy to eat this head.”

They all stood speechless for the space of a minute.  Then the first to move was the youngest.  As his fingers reached for the prize, one of the elders slapped his hand with disdain.  “What gives you the right to think you are worthy?”  The reaching and the slapping became a spark to a pool of flammable liquid. 

It started with a response.  But it soon developed into an all out brawl.  This went on for quite a while until a breeze came to the top of the table.  Not even one elder noticed the ant head drift off the plate, down to the floor, and disappear in a crack.

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I have looked at Man.  I have tried to discover why righteousness eludes us.  I thought I had the answer.  But in the telling of it, it took too long.

In my life I have testified well over fourteen thousand times, trying to nail down the reason why we are full of disarray.

I have come to the conclusion of the elder who ordered the ant head.  There is no righteousness among men.  There is no peace to be found anywhere on this earth.  Man simply does not have eternal life in him.

And I have understood from all that is Christianity, Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb.  Except that the Living God had done his “Strange Work”, not one man would rise from the grave.

I used to stand at the edge of the city and wait to hear wisdom.  I stood along the path where men walk and waited to hear someone utter something wise and beautiful.  But I realized I will starve to death before I find a wise man walk by me.

Unless the wisdom of God comes down from heaven, man has no option but death.  And hasn’t this been done?  Christ Jesus crucified on our behalf.  Yes, the wisdom of God has come down.

In Man there is no life.  But God has sent mercy.  Let every man do as he will; seek righteousness with all your heart.  You will not find it here!

Legs


It was the legs of men that carried them to a great assembly.  There they violently required the crucifixion of God’s Holy One.

It was the legs of men that carried them to the place of crucifixion.  There they hated him with utter contempt and violence.

It was the legs of men that carried them to their home while Jesus was delivered to the grave.  Those same legs carried them all their days, until they too went to the grave.

Your legs have carried you to this day!  Will they carry you into holy faith?  Or will you command your legs to take you to the place of unbelief; where you will certainly join those who railed at the mutilated flesh of God’s holy son?

This is the day to beg for mercy.  You are not promised tomorrow.

This is the day to serve the Living God with holy legs of faith in his promise.

Where are your legs taking you now?  Where will your legs find themselves when the Holy One of God returns?

The Shill of Man’s Joy


He was born in obscurity.  He readied himself with quiet humility.  He taught with words few understood.  He was condemned in private.  He was beaten in seclusion.  Then he was murdered in public.

The greatest of his joys is talked about the least; the moment when his feet left the ground.  At the end of his perfect ministry to man, he was taken up to be with his Father forever.

In this season, we talk about the baby.  In this season, we talk about his humiliation.  Though people marvel at the child.

But let us inject His glory to the story of our Lord.  For that tiny obscure child will return with explosive Holiness.

The world loves the innocent and helpless child.  But they have no regard for the glorious Lord he became.

The baby speaks no words of condemnation.  He is innocent and beautiful in their eyes. 

But make no mistake, at that time in his ministry, he was so treated by those who lived in his day.  Those same people who passed by with a smile, also screamed out the words, “Crucify him”. 

Christmas leads to three bloody nails.  Do not let the joy of the world confuse you.  They do not love The Christ, they love pageantry.

By His Grace

For now, but then


For now we suffer a little.  How shall our suffering compare to that of Christ?  Where is our righteousness that the nails should pierce so sharply, releasing Holy blood?

For now we live in confusion.  But how does that compare to, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  how should we say our questioning is just?

For now we look to die.  But how does our death compare to that which was foretold; Not a bone will be broken.  He will make no complaint as he is led to slaughter.  And, to rise into immortality in three days?

We worship the Son of God for he is a utterly unlike us.  His faithfulness to the Holy Father is without fault.   Our righteousness is by faith alone.  But the righteousness of the Son of Man has been from the beginning, unblemished.

For now we have nothing to offer that belongs to us.  Every good thing we have is given from above, full of Mercy and Grace.  How shall that compare to the sacrifice of our Lord?  He has given that which has belonged to him from eternity, and that for the sake of his enemy.

For now we see as through a glass darkly.  But then we will know fully and be perfected by the strength that is Jesus, the Christ of God and our Lord.

Let us free ourselves from all that is unrighteous.  For now, let us worship Him in all that is true that he may then receive what is rightfully his.  Let us renew an earnest heart, for the sake of our appearing before Him.

By His Holy promise we shall be perfected.  Even though, for now, we stumble about as blind men in a freshly plowed field.  We trust, and rightly so.  For Christ Jesus has earned the right to sit as King of Kings!