Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Kitchen Table

6th day of Christmas

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”          John 8:12

One of the gifts of Jesus is wisdom or light for life.  In 1 Kings 3, Solomon asks for wisdom.  In John 8, Jesus offers wisdom to anyone who would believe Him.  Standing in the treasury between the hanging lamps with people who would rather arrest Him than possess life, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.”  No one can arrest or abuse Him, He is standing in the light of God and standing in the light of God, He is living in the time of God.  The question becomes, do I want to live in the light of God, or do I want to climb the ladder of man?  Do I want to live in the pleasures of God or in the pleasures of man?  One choice puts our feet in heaven and the other keeps our feet here.  One allows us to see and understand life and the other keeps us from seeing and understanding, stubbing our toes and losing our way.  We see and understand life when we believe Jesus and look at and live out life the way He does.  That’s called following Jesus.  Want liberty?  Live in the light of Jesus, He will keep us from the wrongs, the wounds, and the wrecks people discover in the dark.

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Kitchen Table

Day 5 of Christmas

​ In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:  “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.  Open the gates,
that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.  You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.  For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city.  He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.  The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.”   Isaiah 26:1-6

You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts You.  Isaiah 26:3

The mind is a terrible thing to waste and a beautiful thing to work.  Through the mind the body experiences what the spirit knows to be true.  The mind stayed on God lives in peace while the mind swayed by this world lives in peril.  There are not enough medications, legal or otherwise, to pacify the mind encumbered by pain, perversion, problems and paranoia.  It’s hard to imagine or accept that the spirit can be forgiven and free, while the mind can remain bound and burdened, but it happens.  That is what happens when the mind is not stayed on God.  The next step to saved life is a changed mind.  Surrendering our minds to God allows Him to save our minds for Him and His promises.  Let God’s word always be valuable to you and viable for you.  His promise is His peace! 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Kitchen Table Talk

4th Day of Christmas

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.   Psalm 20:7

We all must decide what and who we will trust in this life.  That’s part of the freedom of choice God has given all men.  But trust is something that is developed through exposure and experience.  That’s why so many trust in man’s authority and ability, chariots and horses.  We are daily exposed and regularly experienced in the thought and ways of man.  Trusting God requires continual expose to Him and regular experiences with Him.  Never reach a finishing line with God; never think you’ve experienced enough.  Get hungry and go hungering for God and you’ll learn to hang on His every word.  Jeremiah writes, “How long will you flit here and there, indecisive?  How long before you make up your fickle mind?  God will create a new thing in this land: A transformed woman will embrace the transforming God!” (Jeremiah 31:22)  Trusting God requires experiencing God and only those who allow themselves to be exposed to God will ever embrace Him as God for their lives.

Saturday, December 27, 2019

The Kitchen Table

3rd Day of Christmas

Heavens, raise the roof! Earth, wake the dead!  Mountains, send up cheers!  God has comforted his people.  He has tenderly nursed his beaten-up, beaten-down people.  But Zion said, “I don’t get it. God has left me.  My Master has forgotten I even exist.”  “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore?  But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you—never.  Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.  The walls you’re rebuilding are never out of my sight.  Your builders are faster than your wreckers.  The demolition crews are gone for good.  Look up, look around, look well!  See them all gathering, coming to you?  As sure as I am the living God”—God’s Decree—”you’re going to put them on like so much jewelry, you’re going to use them to dress up like a bride.  “And your ruined land?  Your devastated, decimated land?  Filled with more people than you know what to do with!  And your barbarian enemies, a fading memory.  The children born in your exile will be saying, ‘It’s getting too crowded here. I need more room.’  And you’ll say to yourself, ‘Where on earth did these children come from?  I lost everything, had nothing, was exiled and penniless.  So who reared these children?  How did these children get here?'”  The Master, God, says: “Look! I signal to the nations, I raise my flag to summon the people.  Here they’ll come: women carrying your little boys in their arms,
men carrying your little girls on their shoulders.  Kings will be your babysitters, princesses will be your nursemaids.  They’ll offer to do all your drudge work—scrub your floors, do your laundry.  You’ll know then that I am God.  No one who hopes in me ever regrets it.”  Isaiah 49:13-23

Those who hope in me will never be disappointed.  God is telling us that He is worthy of belief and He is the One we are to believe.  God is delivering the people of Israel in Isaiah 49 and He is reminding them that He is the reason for their salvation and new life.  Just as a mother cannot forget her child so neither can God forget His people.  And He is the light (the way) of life and those who believe Him will know and be the light of the world.  And, God can restore lives faster than the enemy can destroy them if only we will believe Him.  But the choice is ours.  Will we believe Him or will we believe in the solutions and strength of man?  Those who hope in Jesus will not be disappointed!  God promises.

Kitchen Table Talk

2nd Day of Christmas

“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity; Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.  The Fear-of-God means hating Evil, whose ways I hate with a passion—pride and arrogance and crooked talk.  Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics; I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.  With my help, leaders rule, and lawmakers legislate fairly; With my help, governors govern, along with all in legitimate authority.  I love those who love me;  those who look for me find me.  Wealth and Glory accompany me—also substantial Honor and a Good Name.  My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary; the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.  You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—at the intersection of Justice Avenue, Handing out life to those who love me, filling their arms with life—armloads of life!  “God sovereignly made me—the first, the basic—before he did anything else.  I was brought into being a long time ago,
well before Earth got its start.  I arrived on the scene before Ocean, yes, even before Springs and Rivers and Lakes.  Before Mountains were sculpted and Hills took shape, I was already there, newborn; Long before God stretched out Earth’s Horizons, and tended to the minute details of Soil and Weather, And set Sky firmly in place, I was there.  When he mapped and gave borders to wild Ocean, built the vast vault of Heaven, and installed the fountains that fed Ocean, When he drew a boundary for Sea, posted a sign that said, NO TRESPASSING, And then staked out  Earth’s foundations, I was right there with him, making sure everything fit.  Day after day I was there, with my joyful applause, always enjoying his company, Delighted with the world of things and creatures, happily celebrating the human family.                     Proverbs 8:12-31

Wisdom wins!  If we have wisdom, we will understand that the fear of the Lord is the hatred of evil.  Wisdom understands that the fear of the Lord is fearing a life without the Lord.  Wisdom points to a Creator who made all of this for us.  Wickedness points anywhere but to our Creator telling us we can live however we like, whenever we like; we’re made to go our own way.  Perversion isn’t absolute evil but abused good, it’s a perversion of purity, a wrinkle in wisdom.  By wisdom, God created this life and this life is lived in His wisdom.  Wickedness will leave us wronged, wounded and wrecked but word of God will leave us wise, wealthy and full of wonder, not regret.  Praise God!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Kitchen Table Talk

1st Day of Christmas

​ Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live.  I’m giving you good counsel; don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.  When I was a boy at my father’s knee, the pride and joy of my mother, He would sit me down and drill me:  “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!  Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!  Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!  Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you.  Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!  Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!  Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious. She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”  Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life.  I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road.  I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip.  Guard it well—your life is at stake!  Don’t take Wicked Bypass; don’t so much as set foot on that road.  Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth.  Make a detour and be on your way.                    Proverbs 4:1-15

Can you hear what God is saying?  Get wisdom!  Whatever you do, get wisdom; it will make you a cleaver and careful thinker.  Wisdom will bring us honor and God made this life to be lived in honor.  God has planned honor for our lives and has given us His promises to know and live in honor, but He doesn’t make the decision, we do.  We get to decide to live a life of honor or hate.  God has given us His word that contains His wisdom but He has given us, our will.  And then He stands with us saying “throw you arms around wisdom.”  Don’t choose wickedness.  You see, wickedness is the perversion of wisdom, it’s the perversion of good, and it will prostitute our lives by polluting our thinking.  We were made for honor, not hating our lives and our loves.  God gives it, get it!  We get His wisdom by believing Him, not just in Him.

Kitchen Table Talk

Christmas Day

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.               Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God has appeared.  Jesus is here!  The undeserved and unreserved love of God has been revealed in this baby born in Bethlehem, Emmanuel.  He brings salvation for all people, no matter who or what.  Anyone can know and have His salvation if they will renounce their ungodly wants and ways, believing in who He is and what He says.  He is the passion, perspective, philosophy, and purpose of God.  He is the promise fulfilled and the now a new promise made.  Those who believe Him will not only know His presence in their hearts but also in their flesh.  He came and He is coming for those who want to live with Him forever.  He is the promise with a promise.  Praise God!

From the Kitchen Table

Advent Day 13

​ Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.  And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.  Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.  Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.  A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come.  They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.  All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house.    Isaiah 7:1-7

Arise and shine, your light has come.  The promise of light would be the plan of light.  Jesus was and is the light of God in this world and those who believe in Him and on Him will share that light.  It’s His light that is so attractive and affluent in our lives.  Those who believe in Jesus know that His is light;  those who believe Jesus live in that light.  John wrote,  “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)  Light is in the promise and part of the plan.  We don’t have to live in the darkness (ignorance) of this world trying to make a life work without God that doesn’t work with God.  The light of Jesus comes with the love of God for a life of blessing.  Those who have and live in the light of the glory of God will be attractive and affluent.  Live in the Light, believing in Jesus and on Jesus.  He is the greatest gift ever given.

Monday, December 23, 2019

From the Kitchen Table

Advent Day 13

Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.       Galatians 3:2-9

God’s plans are in His promises and God’s promises make our plans.  God’s promise was to come live with us (Immanuel) and God’s plan was to live in us.  Those plans are in His promises, not our policies.  These promises come by faith, not the flesh.  Promises require poise, not proof!  Abraham believed God.  Our reality rests in what we rely on.  How we look at our world is determined by what we love as truth for our lives.  We were made for promises; that’s faith.  What promises are we believing in today?  Even when Jesus was born, Mary & Joseph had to believe the promises until He began His ministry.  He was in a trough, not a throne.  He was wrapped in cloths, not a cloak.  He was a kid, not a king.  It’s challenging but this life is lived by promises, not policies and procedures.   What’s in your heart, law or love?

From the Kitchen Table

Advent Day 12

​ I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.              Galatians 4:1-7

God sent forth His Son… God did what He promised like He always does.  Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise of a Shepherd Savior.  The problem has never been God and His promises, its always been about us and our pride.  It’s interesting how Paul writes about living under the principles of the world before He writes about living in the promises of God.  That’s interesting because living in the promises of God requires humility, not just hope.  If we didn’t learn to surrender to the principles of life as a child, we might very well find is difficult to surrender to the promises of love, God’s love.  That’s why parents discipline their children so that they will learn the honor of humility,  Humility and humbling ourselves to the promise of the Spirit of the Son is what makes the promises of God a personal reality in our lives.  It’s the promise of Jesus and the Holy Spirit that separates the believer from the unbeliever, the mature from the immature, the loved from the lost.  Surrender to the Spirit and you will know and see the promises of God.