RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: May 2019

Cisterns

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 2:13, ESV

I am sorry I took so much time off from writing. I have allowed so many distractions to enter my life. Some good, some not so good. Sometimes, I just go through the motions. Perhaps, you know what I mean.

I have – more times then I would like to admit – just darted through God’s Word instead of actually meditating on it. I have been so repetitive in my prayer life at times that I feel that it may be bordering on vain repetition. Instead of just being still in the presence of Almighty God, I allow myself to get so busy that…well I push God aside, for other things; for cisterns and broken ones at best.

Here is the thing though, there have been times where I am bored and have filled that time with drinking from cisterns that contain things like: watching way too much tv, getting lost in video games, or spending all my time watching movies. And, it is not just limited to being bored, but also as a way of trying to sooth hurt in my life as well.

We can put so many other things in front (or in place) of seeking the Lord, and Israel did this as well. One of those times was when Jeremiah was a prophet, it was so bad that the Israelites were complaining that God wasn’t hearing their prayers or intervening on their behalf. But they, much like ourselves, had put distractions in their way; they had worshipped gods (idols) that weren’t gods. Gods, in no way, that had any power.

Does that sound familiar? We can correct this dilemma, though and scripture can help us. Pieces like Deuteronomy 6:5 give us a key to this lock by telling us that you “need to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Think about it, we love ourselves, right? We do whatever it takes to make ourselves happy, right? If there is something we want, we buy it or save up so we can buy it regardless of the circumstances. I used to think that because I worked hard anything I wanted should be mine. I made myself the king of my life and this brought a lot of hardship into my life emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Maybe you have been there? But, in doing this I failed to acknowledge the real KING of KINGS. In fact, I was so selfish that I put so much distance between God and myself, and this is exactly what the Israelites did.

As a group, we worshipped gods that aren’t gods. They worshiped Molech, Baal, Chemosh and Dagon – which is no different than us worshipping money, possessions, fame, and self. All of these things, by the way, are broken cisterns.

Challenge

Choose a piece of scripture, it does not have to be a big piece. Sit down with it, read it several times, see what some commentaries say about it, see how it relates to the people of the time it was written and then relate it to your own life. Then, ask God to use it in your life and mean it.

So, what can we do to change this? The answer is love the LORD more.

Questions

1. Are there some broken cisterns in your life that you lean on instead of leaning on God?

2. Are you serious about your walk with the LORD or are there some distraction that get more of you attention?

Squeezed!

Nothing in my mind is better than freshly squeezed orange juice, especially when it comes to breakfast beverages. I mean, who really wants concentrated juice anyway.

Another food that gives juice off when squeezed are Gushers. My wife loves Gushers. Gushers are these little gummies that are filled with sour juice. I do not like sour things; they make me feel as though I am being turned inside out.

I bring these things up as an illustration. Two things with very different tastes, which perfectly describes us and our temperaments, especially when being squeezed by things in our lives.

A lot of people can recite Galatians 5:22, which states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” But not many of us can recite Galatians 5:19-20, which are the fruits of the flesh. They are things like, “enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, and things like these.”

Now, let me ask you a question: which of these two lists do you display when being squeezed? If I am honest, there are times while being squeezed, that I pour out the things of the flesh. Especially while being squeezed by people close to me, namely my wife, children or pets (which I feel horrible about). Traffic is another thing that squeezes a lot of people. Our tempers fly and we say things we hopefully don’t mean. How about you?

So, if we claim to be children of the living God, and by this, we are sealed by the Spirit then shouldn’t we be pouring out or displaying the fruits of the Spirit because he is living inside of us.

Jesus said that people would know that we are his disciples by the love that we show one another (John 13:35). And nobody (other than God) knows us as well as our wives or children; so let us not put into contention whom it is that we are disciples of.

Challenge

I love the book of James; he has so much to say concerning this topic. This week, read chapter 3 of James and meditate on what he says, then apply it to your life.

Question

1) How is your temper while being squeezed?

2) Would those closest to you question your walk with Christ (because of your temper)?

Intoxicated in Her

Be intoxicated always in her love.
Proverbs 5:19b.ESV

A couple of weeks ago and even now this piece of scripture hits me and hits me hard. As a husband, there are so many things that I struggle with and one of those things is letting God’s word run my marriage.
I constantly pray Ephesians 5 over my marriage. Asking our Father to help me in specific areas. Areas like loving my wife as Christ loves the church or in helping me in laying my life down for her in areas where it will create the most impact and lifts her up the most. However, this piece of scripture says something different. Solomon is instructing his sons here to be intoxicated in how their wives love them.
Wow, I fall short there! And not just some of the time. My wife; as I am sure your wives as well; desire true and lasting intimacy. They want us to desire them but not to just desire them they want us to be intoxicated by them and the love they have to offer us. I know my wife does.
But there is another reason Solomon is telling his sons to be intoxicated with their wives and that is to avoid the temptation of lust. If we are busy being caught up in all our wives have to offer and the love she shows us, our hearts, our eyes, and our thoughts will not be prone to wonder. And we will not notice the adulteress or how her lips drip with honey.
I know God is using this piece of scripture in my life and marriage, and I am glad that He brings it front and center, especially now. It has been a while since I felt this way about her, and I have let other things captivate that area of my life, an area that only God and my wife should occupy. In the past I have fallen prey to the Grass is Greener philosophy but with the help of God, I realize that the grass is greener where you water it. And since reading this piece of scripture my desire is to honor, God and love my wife in this way.

Question 1: Have you allowed something to rob you from being able to be intoxicated with the love of your wife? Maybe there has been resentment or an outside influence such as pornography or another woman. Confess this to her and recommit yourself to your marriage.

Question 2: What would it take to get you to fall in line with this piece of scripture and other pieces of scripture on marriage?

Challenge: Solomon challenges his sons to be,” intoxicated with the wives of their youth and to drink from their own fountains.” And as a brother, I accept this challenge and pass it on to you.

Prayer: O Abba, Father, you have blessed each of us with a princess from your kingdom and we are so grateful for this. In fact, Your word says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD, so please help us to Love our wives as you have loved us. Help us to cherish her and to be intoxicated with her. But most if all Help us to glorify You in our marriages. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen

Lines in the Sand

I love the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, especially the ones with Yosemite Sam. There is this one episode where Bugs and Sam are about to get in a fight and Bugs Bunny drew a line in the sand. He bets hot headed Yosemite Sam to cross it, and guess what? He did! And not just once. He crossed every line that Bugs Bunny drew with his foot until he stepped right off of a cliff.
I bring this up because a line has been drawn for us. One between life with God on one side and life without Him on the other. This line is called sin.
I love how Moses says, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live (Deut 30:19).
Joshua said the same thing this way, “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”(Joshua 24:14‭-‬15)‬‬
Along the same lines, Paul said, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
These men of God are all talking about this distinguishable line. We can see this line. It is present in every choice we make. We know exactly where sin starts, and we, like Yosemite Sam, cross it.
An example of crossing the line is lying to save our own skin. Yet before we lie to others, we often lie to ourselves first. We look at porn and tell ourselves that this is not hurting anyone but ourselves, when in fact it is hurting all of the important relationships in our lives. Starting with our relationship with God, then moving on to our wives and even our children.
Now each of us knows exactly where this line is. Instead of fleeing from sexual immorality, as Paul said, we inch closer to the line, step on it, or we cross it completely.
There are times when you’ll pick up your phone or game system controller and your tempted by the voice on the internet calling out and trying to entice you. Remember, “Her lips do drip with honey.” In those times, we need to choose to be as far from that line as humanly possible, or like Sam, we will step off the cliff and fall. The seductresses’ ways eventually lead down the Sheol!
Challenge:
So here is my challenge: The next time you are called from the other side of internet, walk away.
Questions:
Have you ever felt frustrated by crossing the lines of sin?
Are you to the point where you want help in staying away from the things on the other side of that line?
I bet your church has some gentlemen that can come along side of you to help, so remember what my brother James says,” Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).

Sources
Bugs Bunny Rides Again is a 1948 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies short, released in 1948, directed by Friz Freleng, and written by Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese. The short is both part of the Western and a parody of the genre’s conventions. Voice characterizations are performed by Mel Blanc