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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Thou Art Loosed

The story of  Jesus raising Larazus from the dead is one of the best known in the Bible. Before this
incident, we hadn't heard much about Lazarus. We knew that he had two sisters Mary and Martha and that when he took sick his sisters sent word to Jesus, expecting that He would come immediately since Lazarus was His friend. But the Bible tells us that when Jesus finally showed up, Lazarus had been dead four days. Still, Jesus asked to be taken to the burial site where He called Lazarus' name loudly and Lazarus came out of the grave.

The scripture tells us something that is significant. When Lazarus came out of the tomb he was bound hand and foot in graveclothes; even his face was bound with a napkin, as was the custom in those days.

Jesus said, "Loose him, and let him go" John 11:44).  

Had Jesus not loosed Lazarus it would have been impossible for him to get very far. Those graveclothes would have tripped him up.

The Bible gives us another illustration of a woman who had been bowed together for eighteen years and could not lift herself.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. Luke 13: 12.

In our world today many people are bound - by sin, drugs, alcohol, negative thinking, false beliefs. The list can go on and on. These things can cripple you and prevent you from making progress, but you don't have to stay bound. Jesus can loose you. He wants to loose you and set you free. 

John 8: 36 says,  "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." 

Do you want to be free? Then call on Jesus. He'll set you free. 

The Bible tells of another woman who was bound by demonic possession. Her name was Mary Magdalene. She was set free by Jesus and went on to become the first person to proclaim the good news of Jesus' resurrection. You can read about her here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Light That Never Fades

I had a strange experience driving home from work one day last week. It was after seven and the sun was setting. At first it seemed like I wouldn't need my shades, but as I turned westward, the sun burst upon me with a blinding glare. I hastily put my shades on, but then the  road became dark while the glare of the sun was still in my face.

Afterwards when I thought about that experience several passages of scripture came to my mind.

For now we see through a glass, darkly ; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known .1 Corinthians 13: 12.

Through my shades, everything around me seemed dark, even though the brightness of the sun was never diminished. Could it be that we are "seeing through a glass darkly," so that we miss the brilliance of the Son shining down on us? 

We live in a world that seems to be getting darker and darker, and the more we look at it the darker it seems, but if we turn our eyes away from the things of the world we would find that the light of Jesus shines as brightly as ever. 
Sin is on the increase. We call wrong right and right wrong, and Christians are fast becoming an endangered species. But let's not be discouraged, His light still shines. 

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. Exodus 34: 29

 Moses had to cover his face in order to speak to the people. But when he went in to speak with the Lord, he removed the veil. 

We need to remove our veil, our shades - everything that prevents us from seeing clearly - and get into the presence of the Lord. Let His glory shine down on us and then we can face the darkness of this world we live in. God bless.

If you love reading novels, here's my recommended reading for this week, and some music to cheer your heart.

Friday, September 04, 2015

A Night With The King

Esther and the King
Esther and the King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The story of Esther is one of the most loved of Bible stories. Some may even classify it with the fairy- tale love stories we grew up with. When you read the book of Esther, you will find everything to delight your fiction taste buds: a king falling in love with an ordinary girl, a bad guy trying to stir up trouble and being justly punished, and a happy-ever-after ending to the story. But if you are a Bible reader, you know that behind every story is a much deeper meaning, and Esther is no exception.

Many things stand out for me in this lovely story, but in this post I want to focus on one point in the plot. When King Xerxes decided to choose a queen to replace Vashti, girls were brought in from all over the land to prepare to spend one night with the king. The girls had to go through a whole year of preparation before they could meet with him. After that night, the king would decide who should be his queen.

The story says, "And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace" (Esther 2 : 13).  

"When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her" (v 15).

"Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti" ( 17).  

Esther did not go out of her way to impress the king. She went through the required preparations, but she asked for nothing other than what Hegai suggested. And yet, the king loved her more than any of the others. The Bible does not tell us if she was more beautiful than the other girls, all it says is that she won the king's favor. In fact, of all the girls, she was probably the least likely to be chosen because she was a Jew. But she kept it a secret as her uncle Mordecai had instructed her.

The word "favor" is mentioned 117 times in the Bible. Psalm 5 : 12 says, "For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield."

When God gives you favor, you don't have to worry about whether others are pleased with you. Esther found favor with the king because God was with her. Later, when the wicked Haman sought to destroy the Jews, God again gave Esther favor with the king and Haman's plan was miffed. Do you have to meet with someone important, or carry out an important assignment? Don't look at what is against you, look at Who is for you. Ask Him to bless you with His favor and see what happens.

Want to read more about Esther and other famous women of the Bible? Click on the image below: 

And here's a video for you to enjoy;