The Originator [in my best Arnold voice]

I know it goes without saying that God is both beginning and end, top and bottom, left and right, first and last, Alpha and Omega, the one that was, is and always will be. Colossians 1:15-17 describe Jesus as the image of the invisible God, that all things that are created in heaven and earth, both visible and invisible, throne and dominions, principalities and powers were created through Him and for Him. He is the all and all, the great I AM. If you ask, “is He” His answer is, “I am”. He is the I am healer, the I am strength, I am provider, I am grace, love, life, peace… Basically any problem, any situation or storm, He is the “I am” answer. There is not anything that you’ve been through, are going through or will ever go through that Jesus is not the answer to. He has already accounted for all possible outcomes and has planned every contingency. He has taken into account every sin and mistake you have, are, or will ever commit and has paid the price… IN FULL!!!
That being said, may I encourage each of us to examine our hearts and thoughts? There are many in the body that feel as though their life of service to God is a favor. As though they go to church so now the Almighty owes them. They worship and praise… I mean they even tithe and because they do all of these “favors” for God then God better do what they want, when they want and how they want. Some may even feel that because they said a prayer that this entitles them to salvation.
Listen bud, that’s just not the way it is. Salvation is not a favor given to God. It is a body that was broken and blood that’s been shed. All is all and can’t be any more then all.

Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.


There are no favors done for God, not praise, not worship, not tithing, not attendance, not service, not love, not nothing! (double negative, I know) My point is this: even the things we do for God, the love we give to God, began with Him and it is Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary that enables us to access the grace it takes to love the Lord and to do His will.


Great Expectations

We live in a society that has such low expectations on its participants. Oh sure, we tell ourselves and others, “You can do anything” or “ You can be whatever you want to be.” But, when it comes down to what is, being what is, do we really believe that? Not believe in the some casual passer by sense, but believe in an intimate and real sense, like my life depends on it sense, like nothing else matters sense. My point being if we don’t really believe it then is the one we are saying it to really able to believe it?
Then if we base our expectation on what we really believe, really, really believe, then I can honestly say our true expectations are considerably lower than they should be. Allow me if you will to take this train one step farther and say what we believe is not simply a state of mind, but a state of action, a state of life. To simply say we believe isn’t really worth the hot air coming out of our mouth. What we believe needs to have a little gas in the tank and fire on the plugs. So if we then take the reality of our actions and not simply the hot air billowing from our lips and let that be the basis of our expectations. Then I say once again and though you shake your head no defiantly it doesn’t change the reality that our expectations are considerately lower than they should be.
Look, my friend, Jesus was and is the only man that ever lived that truly had His expectation meter right where it was supposed to be at 100%. He walked it, He talked it, He lived it, He did it BUT!!!! Most importantly He died for it. He died that, that walk and talk, that lived and did, might be expected by you. Just consider that for a moment the very low expectation that Christian society has on salvation. In so many ways salvation is a prayer we say so we don’t have to endure hell for all eternity. Jesus did not allow His body to be broken, His precious blood to be shed, His very life to be taken so you could say a prayer. He died the death that He died so that you could live a life, so you could live a life of talking and walking and living and doing. He died because of the great expectation He has in you. He doesn’t just say He believes you can do anything, but He died so you would.     


Preparations Have Been Made (or have they)?

One of my favorite chapters in all of Scripture is Matthew Chapter Twenty-Five. Jesus is winding down His earthly ministry taking place just two days before the Passover at which He will celebrate a final meal with those closest to Him. Following dinner they will escape to a solitary garden to pray before He is arrested.

In this passage Jesus tells us three stories and over the next few days we will cover each of the three.

The first story is one of preparation. In verses one through thirteen, Jesus tells of ten virgins. Five of these virgins were wise and the others were foolish. All ten were virgins, all ten filled their lamps, all ten went out to meet the bridegroom. But the Bridegroom delayed, and did not show at the time they thought that He would. As a matter a fact, by the time the announcement came that the bridegroom was about to enter, all of the virgins had fallen fast asleep. Being roused from their sleep, they trimmed their lamps and prepared to go out and greet Him.

Here is where the story turns, for the five foolish virgins had not brought extra oil and began to ask the wise if they might borrow some. The five wise respond wisely. “There is not enough for all of us. Quickly go to the market and purchase some”. While away the bridegroom enters, the wise virgins are there to greet Him and they are escorted into the feast. Later the foolish come and beg entrance, the bridegroom says to them “I don’t know you”.  The word “know” here means to have intimate knowledge of. It speaks of closeness, intimacy it even goes on to indicate the closeness between a husband and a wife.

Ten virgins we have in all, five are wise and five are foolish. All are virgins, all are pure, all have oil, all have lamps, all go out and all fall asleep. But then Jesus, the bride groom, doesn’t do what those that are pure thought He would. (Stop and consider how often that happens, only all the time) When Jesus doesn’t arrive when He was “supposed to”. Whatever that is, as if we are the ones that can say what He is “supposed to” do or when He is “supposed to” arrive. Then when He doesn’t show in man’s time, but He is God and shows right when He has meant for all eternity to show.

We have the foolish virgins who have done everything right except one thing: they thought the bride groom would come according to their time line… BUT He doesn’t, and because He doesn’t they haven’t enough oil. As so many that are foolish often do they try to get some oil, some anointing, some intimacy, from those that seem to have extra. But understand this is not extra oil, this is just enough oil to stand when the standing is needed. Some may ask why do we pray so much, why do we worship so much, why do we remain in the word so much? My friends it’s not extra it is only enough. When the bridegroom arrives I want to be among those that are “known”.