Lunch Bite February 10, 2021

and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,” (2 Peter 2:7–10, ESV)

Lunch Bite started a few weeks ago as part of a discussion with a friend and the need we have to be stirred up to be in God’s word and for it to be brief but something we can dwell upon.  Mostly scripture and little commentary.  With that and trying to stay focused on that purpose I wanted to share this passage today. 

For Christians we look at the world and we see the way people reject, mock, and even curse God and his salvation.  Our souls can be greatly troubled by the wickedness we see just as Lot was troubled.  Our souls can even be entrapped by the wickedness.  If you are feeling tormented in life by the wickedness of the world you live in with all of its temptations focus on the fact that just as God delivered Lot He will deliver you. 

One caution don’t look back after being delivered.  Remember Lot’s wife she stands as an example of one who was lured by the wickedness and in her heart and she would miss this life.  She missed God’s rescue.

Lunch Bite February 9, 2021

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6, AV)

I have been searching for a scripture in my daily reading to offer you that speaks about how good and wonderful I am.  I really need that I need to know that I am a good person and I need to her God tell me that.  Am I the only one that has felt this, am I the only one who struggles to find the passage that speaks about our own personal goodness?  I look around and I see a lot of really good people doing some really good things and the Bible has to speak about the goodness of mankind.  We have to have some righteousness in us or else why would Jesus come, why would Jesus call us friend, why would He sacrifice His life.  I thought I had found something when I read that Abraham was a friend of God then I read that he lied and gave over His own wife to other men to save his skin.  Then there was David who is said to have a heart after God’s own then he has an affair with a woman and arranges to have her husband killed when she became pregnant.  Of course, Moses surely had to be good in God’s eyes, but he was forbidden from entering the promised land after serving God for 40 years all because he yelled at a rock. 

I am being somewhat negative in a sense but that is really where we all must start with God.  Yes, we find favor with God, but it is nothing of our own doing it is all of God.  The trouble today seems that with all the memes, selfies, blogs, social this and insta, people are spending a lot of time trying to convince the world and God that they are good people.  So many will never learn the truth of who they are in Christ.  Saving faith in God comes when we cry out God have mercy on me, a sinner.  We come to God with nothing and we receive everything of God’s Amazing Grace.   Sounds like a great trade I bring my nothing and receive everything.  I think I can live with that. Don’t need 10,000 friends on face something to tell me what I have or need.  I have it all in Christ Jesus. 

Lunch Bite February 8, 2021

It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:5, ESV)

Who do you choose to listen to?  It is certainly more pleasing to hear the song of fools.  They tell us what we want to hear, they tell us we are justified to remain in our sin, the song of fools distracts us from the decisions we need to make.  I think the song of fools must be a lot like the song of the Pied Piper who played his flute and to lull and entice not only the rats to follow but also the children. 

This may be why so many are fearful, even among professing believers, to open the scripture and read God’s word because they will be confronted with the truth about their true condition before the Holy God and their fate.  Seems they would rather stick their head in the sand hoping to hide from the truth.  Funny thing, the truth remains, God said His word remains forever, the truth will not change and will not go away.  The best action is to deal with the truth, accept Godly rebuke and the servants that speak the truth.  As the truth does not change, we can change and we can deal with our sinful ways to be ready to stand before the Lord.

Lunch Bite February 5, 2021

Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.(Ecclesiastes 4:4–6, ESV)

God teaches us ways that often go against our thinking.  But we strive and we try, and we cry when we fail.  We look at our life and ask why.  We are driven by our desires and our desires are tied up in the flesh.  The parts of our life that touches the rest of a broken world and we end up desiring what is broken.  We dive into the noise, the clanking, and banging and think oh yeah, I got this.  When really all we have accomplished according to scripture is nothing, we expend our energy, we are drained, and we think what is wrong.  All I wanted was what I see that others have.  We neglect what is truly best.  To have God in the stillness and quiet.  Even if we end up with two hands full of this world, we have nothing.  However, one handful of God is everything.

What are you striving for?  Even believers get caught in this trap thinking they are striving for God but they are not truly seeking God personally but what God can do for them.  They will still end up with nothing but toil and strife.  Spend your energy by desiring God and to sit in His quietness. 

Lunch Bite February 4, 2021

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8, ESV)

Christians should be the most well rested people in the world.  According to this passage when we lay down at night, we should be able to rest and to have peace trusting in God and knowing we are in His tender care.

However, what should be and what is are as far apart as the east is from the west.  Ponder that east from the west phrase used in scripture. Start travelling west and pause every 5000 miles and check how much further you must travel to reach the east?  Instead of us being the most rested, we are usually the most troubled.  Because on one hand we know what God says but on the other we see the reality of sin and evil in the world.

Why are our souls troubled?  Believers are caught up in the world to the point that we have lost the peace, rest, and security of our faith.  It has to do with the voices in our life.  When the voices of life are louder than the voice of God then we yield to the wrong voices.  Having trouble with insomnia, anxiety, or restlessness.  Silence all the noise of the world and give your ears to hearing God’s voice from scripture, the Bible. 

Lunch Bite February 3, 2021

1 Peter 1:13

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

There is a phrase that is used when people are caught up in life controlling issues, the phrase is “Stinkin – Thinkin.”  While this phrase is often overused, abused, and misconstrued it does reflect a primary truth about who we are as broken sinners.  Sinners whose minds are not functioning right, affected by the world we live in.  As believers we are sinners who in Christ Jesus have been given a new hope, a new life, and new eyes to see and understand our life and our world a new way of thinkin. 

In this passage of scripture, we are told to first to get our thinkin right,  being sober-minded and clear headed.  Well, the only way to achieve that is if we have focused our minds on the truth of God.  God’s word is truth that we need for life, we can trust the words spoken, and because we have been given eyes of faith we can believe in what we do not see.  If we fill our minds and focus our thinkin on these principles contained in scripture there will be little room left for any, doubts, worries, fears, anxieties, or confusion. 

Second this passage tells us that as we to prepare our minds for right thinkin, we need an anchor, a goal, a motivation.  A disciple’s life is completely consumed with the following the Master and desiring the greater promises of journey’s end.  Our faith does not hold fast going from one moment to the next and living in the crisis of the day.  Focusing on moments we are always looking for next anchor point for our hope.   Our faith is a much stronger anchor that reaches into eternity.  So, when we look about us and see the storms of the moment, we see our lifeline reaching past these moments to the promises of forever.  We see the lifeline disappear into the future, and we know God will hold us fast, God has the other end of the lifeline and He will make certain you finish your journey.  With the right thinkin we are now prepared to face all of life moment by moment.  Living in faith and trusting God.  When the stinkin thinkin comes knockin at your door hang out a sign that says no room in the inn, filled by thoughts of God. 

Lunch Bite February 2, 2021

Ecclesiastes 2:3–11

3 I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. 4 I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. 5 I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. 6 I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.

9 So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The pursuit of happiness?  The authors of the Declaration of Independence were right in a sense to include the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence because every person has the right to seek out what makes them happy.  Solomon learned in his life and shared with us that most pursuits will never yield the fruits of happiness.  He had tried them all and he declared his pursuits to be futile and a waste of time.

Those who worked to establish this country set forth these words.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

They have become the liberties that we value.  While we are pursuing happiness, we must hear God’s words through a man given great wisdom that to find joy we must pursue it through our relationship and knowledge of God.  God has given you the right to pursue your happiness and He and has given Himself as the means of life, liberty, and happiness. 

Do not be like Solomon and get to the end of your life to declare all your pursuits a waste of time because you pursued the wrong things.  Before it is too late stop and examine your pursuits are they God, of God, and include God.

Lunch Bite January 28, 2021

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:19–21, ESV)

Sorry but working second shift today meaning lunch is more like supper 🙂   Still trying to bring a word in a moment.  Most factories allow only 30 minutes for lunch and there is one in Springfield that the lunch break is only 20 minutes.  Life has put us on a treadmill and the speed is being controlled by someone else a taskmaster.  We move from one thing to the other never seeming to have the time for anything important in our life. 

First what is important for life, is it leisure activities, hobbies, sports, work, money, fun, or family.  What we value we pursue and what we pursue should bring satisfaction, right?  At least that is why most people pursue certain activities and things.  I have yet to hear anyone pursuing something in life because the want failure, despair, frustration, or anxiety.  What we pursue should yield peace and fulfillment in life.  With all that people pursue why does it seem that none are ever satisfied and truly content with life.  Alcohol, addictions, pornography, and sexual impurity  are all things that are pursued that do not yield contentment and peace.  I never hear the alcoholic say ahh that drink was it my soul is truly content now I am at peace. 

What will you spend your precious time pursuing?  You have very brief moments will you use those to pursue what can truly change your soul and bring peace and satisfaction in your life.  Jesus is the way to find peace with God, peace in life, and peace in eternity.  “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35, ESV).  Hunger and thirst are symbolic of spiritual needs that only having a relationship with God through Christ Jesus will meet.  Use your precious moments and spend them in pursuit of the one good you can have in your life Jesus.  Quit building barns.   

Lunch Bite January 27, 2021

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?” (Job 40:6–8, ESV)

Consider for a moment the  current situation of the world, all the wrongs, all the evil, and all the hurts.  Who gets the blame?  At the end of the day and in the secret places of the heart who do most people blame for the problems of the world?  God!  Believers and unbelievers alike blame God for the ills of the world.  Believers ask, “God why don’t you do something?”  Unbelievers cry out, “Where is your God?”  Some have the courage to speak the words out loud even as Job did in confronting the misery of his life, but most will keep these as the secret words of the heart.  Both the outer and the inner words are poison to a person.  Because of sin we are all guilty of having these moments in life of asking, “Why God?”

How do we grow in our faith to fight against these self-destructive thoughts and words that bring worry and anxiety to life?  Greater than the worry we burden ourselves with these words are sins before our Father when we do. 

God’s answer to Job and our need for these times is an encounter with God, to see His power revealed before us and the question from God, “Will you put me in the wrong?”  When we do think this way, we begin to fall into the snare of the devil and think as Job did that God is not good, that God is not able, that God does not care.  No time in Job’s grief did he waiver in His faith that God can deliver him from the circumstances. 

So, amid your troubles when all hope seems gone as it did to Job, pray to hear God’s voice commanding you to get up out of your misery, to come before the throne of grace boldly, then fall on your knees before God, and ask God to forgive your doubts of His love and care for you.  Ask God for greater faith to trust in Him and to rest in your salvation in Christ that one day we will be restored before God as Job was.   In the light of His glory and grace the world will fade away.

Lunch Bite January 26, 2021

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.” (Hebrews 9:24, ESV)

Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord God.” (Jeremiah 2:22, ESV)

How often do stop to consider what Jesus and God the Father have done for you.  I say “you” loosely because scripture is only addressing the passage from Hebrews to a certain class of humanity.  The saved, the redeemed, those that are born again by faith in Christ alone.  If you are one of those then consider what Jesus has done.  The perfect, holy, precious God the Son, pure and lovely beyond words comes into the presence of the Father dirty and defiled beyond recognition because of your sins.  It is said that Jesus was likely to have been beaten so badly by the Romans that he could not be recognized. 

However, the Father recognized Him though even in all the sins that he bore. I think about this that it may have been like an experience many parents have faced.  When a child comes in from playing outdoors all day and they are covered in mud and filth barely recognizable as a child.  Unlike this scenario the mother or father would tenderly cleanse the child but our heavenly Father instead pours out His wrath for all these sins that have defiled the Son on the Son.  The Son willing gives His life and makes the sacrifice needed for you, remember “you” as in those who are saved, to be able to come before the Father one day and the He will not see your filth and your sin.  He will see the Son and His sacrifice to deliver us from our sin. 

If “you” are not one that has come to grips with God’s love for you as a sinner and you think you can be Ok before God on your own, then the warning from Jeremiah 2:22 must be heeded before it is too late.  “You” must let Jesus appear before the Father on your behalf, you are what defiles the Son, it was for your sin that Jesus died. 

If “you” are one of the redeemed how will you worship Christ Jesus for what he has done to make you clean before the Father.