Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Everyone who knows Bible stories, knows about that great moment in Christ’s ministry when, just days away from His crucifixion, He had his disciples saddle a donkey and foal and then rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. Those present shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest” (Matt. 21:9). It was a moment that would never be forgotten by anyone witnessing it that day. In fact, this was done by Jesus in fulfillment of a Old Testament prophecy regarding the Messiah (Zech 9:9) and it seemed the people gathered that day knew something big was happening. As the procession continued the Bible records that the whole city was “moved” by what was happening. But as always happens when God’s people verbalize their praise to God, the enemy steps in to try and upset things. The religious leaders asked Jesus to quiet the crowd. They felt it was too much joy for just Jesus. Now we all remember what happens next. Jesus says those famous words: “I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). Why did He say that? Simply, because it was true. The prophecy said they would praise Jesus when He entered the city and if they, animate objects, refused to lift their voices then God would use stones, inanimate objects, to fulfill Bible prophecy. It’s an interesting thing that what God’s Word has declared will come to pass, and it will come to pass with or without us. I believe this is what Jesus was saying. Now of course, He would much prefer to use His people, but we are told, if they should keep silent “others” would be led to say something instead. Every now and then a “rock” does cry out in defense of what is right and true (see http://theknightshift. blogspot.com/2009/09/its-not-saturday-worship-its-sabbath.html, for starters) and I wouldn’t suggest in this case it’s because His people have been slack or less than forthcoming in sharing the everlasting gospel. But the point here is simply this: God will use anyone or anything that is willing to be used by Him to bring Him praise in the earth. And I know, rather than letting a stone declare God’s salvation and grace you would much rather be the one being used by Him, right. I know I do.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
We’ve declared war! No, this isn’t WW III, not does this have to do with Libya, Iran or North Korea. The Buttery’s have declared war on the stinkbugs that have found access to our humble dwelling. Since last summer, when there was an unusual influx of the vermin to the area, our home (and very likely many others too) was invaded non-stop by these pesky little creatures. While it’s true that there are some benefits to having stinkbugs around, it’s kind of hard to remember the pluses when you’re chasing them through the house or one just got squashed accidentally and the horrid smell lingers making all residents queasy in the stomach. But here they are occupying our quarters and they need to go, and go now! So recently we’ve been very diligent. We’ve been on the look out. We’ve been hunting them down and getting rid of them one by smelly one. On top of that, I finally got around to doing what I said I was going to do and started plugging up the holes where we think they’re finding entrance. So far, day two, no stinkbugs and we’re holding our breath! We are on a mission to driving them out because they simply don’t belong in our home. Which makes me wonder whether as a follower of Jesus there might be something in the life that doesn’t belong there either. When Joshua commissioned the twelve tribes to take the land divided to them, some fearlessly drove out the wicked Canaanites, trusting in God’s assurance to help, but there were some that weren’t as diligent to totally root out the enemy, thus showing their lack of faith in God’s promises. The tribe of Ephraim was one of those who slacked off. Instead of claiming God’s strength to remove all those who had filled up their cup of iniquity, they parlayed with the enemy and allowed these foreigners to stay in their midst. Sadly, the future history of this tribe shows them lapsing completely into idolatry until God was forced to declare, “Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone” (Hos. 4:17). Not only should the fate of Ephraim serve as a warning to us to not bind ourselves to a contract with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14), but should quickly remind us of our responsibility to remove from the life those things that would lessen our fidelity to the Creator, or weaken our confidence and faith in His word. Joshua’s final command to the tribes was “drive them out!” A similar command comes to any Christian who is harboring something in the life that they know is hurting them and God. We can’t be slack when it comes to sin. All corrupting vices should be driven from the heart or there will be a heavy price to pay. Let’s remember that lack of faith and courage are Satan’s allies. But the command of God rings down through the ages, “Thou shalt drive them out.” Good advice when it comes to stinkbugs, but I’ll take it for anything that God thinks needs to go in my life. How about you?
Friday, March 4, 2011
You may have noticed that our web site looks a little different. We made some changes to make it easier to post, as well as interact with our visitors. Our site is now in a blog format allowing you to leave comments. We hope you like it, and look forward to hearing from you. God bless.