Safe Deposit

2Ti 1:12-14 KJV
(12)  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
(13)  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
(14)  That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

“have committed”

parathēkē
Thayer Definition:
1) a deposit, a trust or thing consigned to one’s faithful keeping

What have you committed unto Christ?

A safe deposit box will only “keep” or guard that which you put in it.

Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ? Whatever it is that is not surrendered, is not safe. It is vulnerable.

Apostle Paul then spins the table.

You keep that deposit that was placed in you.

Are you a “safe deposit box”? Are you guarding the treasure of God’s Word and His Spirit that is committed (deposited) to us? Or, are you foolishly exposing this treasure to that which will corrode it or steal it from us?

Here is Christian living in 3 verses. Commit (surrender) your life entirely to Christ and keep (guard) the deposit of the Holy Spirit within you against any thing that would make withdrawals of Him from you.

Nation of Christ #1

First we must establish the basics.

What is the Kingdom of Christ?

Does it really matter what I think the Kingdom of Christ is?

Not really. No matter what our thoughts are regarding it, Christ’s Nation remains unchanged. We may prefer to think of it as democracy or an organization run by Santa Claus but that doesn’t change it one smidgen. No matter how many books are written by worldly (the enemy) theologians and no matter how many false prophets arise; Truth remains. We must seek truth and align ourselves to it rather than try to align truth to us.

The truth of the Kingdom is especially important because you are either in it or against it. Jesus said and meant it, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mat 6:24

Both Jesus and John the Baptist spoke much of the approaching Kingdom. In fact, it was the most spoken of topic of Jesus. (The second most discussed topic is money but that will be for a future blog.) Repeatedly Jesus declared that the “Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was imminent; nearly upon their listeners. We know by some of the responses and behavior of the disciples and others that they were expecting a physical, earthly nation violently vanquishing their enemies. They were correct but their thinking was far too limited. While most Jews at the time of Christ were expecting a Savior to free their small nation from the tyranny of Rome, God was preparing a King that would free anyone who will across the entire globe from the tyranny of sin. While they were expecting to use swords and spears to conquer, God was establishing entirely new weapons and a new set of rules for engagement of the enemy that are far superior to any weapons of war that man can ever create. Perhaps our beliefs regarding the Nation of Christ are limited as well. Consider the following points:

  • The Kingdom of God is a real physical nation.
    • It is physical because you can see it and experience it.
    • It has laws regarding physical life and conduct.
    • It has an army of warriors.
    • It has unimaginably powerful weapons.
    • It has a righteous King.
    • It has citizens who pledge total allegiance to the King.
    • It has unlimited resources.
    • It has a currency that can be seen and experienced.
  • The Nation of Christ is in the world but not of this world.
    • It is not a geographical location and knows no borders. (Future post on this regarding the present nation of Israel.)
    • Citizens of Christ’s Nation are strangers and pilgrims in this world. They reject the carnal things as “earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15)
    • Its weapons are not carnal. Any citizen who utilizes a carnal weapon even in self defense is in clear violation of the Laws of King Jesus.
    • Its King is perfectly righteous unlike any earthly king or leader that ever existed or will exist.
    • Its King’s power extends far beyond the boundaries of the earth and will never fail.
    • Its enemies are spiritual powers not people.
    • Its currency (treasure) is beyond any earthly value and is never affected by calamities, wars, or decay.
    • It is eternal.
  • The Gospel (Good News) is a political statement and not a personal “get out of hell free” card.
  • The Sermon on the Mount is an exposition of the Kingdom’s laws and principles.
  • King Jesus is the perfect example for His subjects to imitate. “I am the Way…” (John 14:6)
    • He is the only Way so it behooves us to carefully study His life and Words and to live as He lived and taught. Living contrary to His Words and example indicates that we imposters. (Matthew 22:10-12)
  • The Kingdom is inside its citizens but is visible as a distinct nation through the Church.

There are more points but I will keep blog posts from getting too long.

Jesus said that we are to seek His Kingdom first.

How much of your life revolved around King Jesus and His Kingdom this past week?

 

 

 

The Call of the King

The Call of the Master

The Master [King] has come, and He calls us to follow
the track of the footprints He leaves on our way;
far over the mountain and through the deep hollow,
the path leads us on to the mansions of day;
the Master [King] has called us, the children who fear Him,
who march ‘neath Christ’s banner, His own little band;
we love Him and seek Him, we long to be near Him,
and rest in the light of His beautiful land.

The Master [King] has called us; the road may be dreary,
and dangers and sorrows are strewn on the track;
but God’s Holy Spirit shall comfort the weary;
we follow the Savior and cannot turn back.
The Master [King] has called us; though doubt and temptation
may compass our journey, we cheerfully sing:
“press onward, look upward,” thru much tribulation;
the children of Zion must follow their King.

The Master [King] has called us, in life’s early morning,
with spirits as fresh as the dew on the sod;
we turn from the world, with its smiles and its scorning
to cast in our lot with the people of God:
the Master [King] has called us, His sons and His daughters,
We plead for His blessing and trust in His love:
and thru the green pastures, beside the still waters,
He’ll lead us at last to His kingdom above.

-Sarah Doudney, 1871 (emphasis and added “King” mine)

This has recently been a new favorite hymn for our family. While singing it last evening during family devotions, the words leaped at me. I have been studying over the past several months the topic of Christ’s Kingdom and what it means to be a part of it. I read the song several times without its catchy Welsh melody and replaced “Master” with “King”.  It was both inspiring and troubling.

Do I truly follow my King and “march ‘neath Christ’s banner”?

Do I truly “love Him and seek Him, [and] long to be near Him“?

Do I “cheerfully sing: ‘press onward, look upward,’ thru much tribulation;”?

Do I truly “turn from the world, with its smiles and its scorning”?

King Jesus is calling for subjects for His Kingdom.

What does it mean to be a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom?

What is Christ’s Kingdom?

Am I a citizen? That is a life or death question so I definitely want to get it right.

The blog posts following, except for an occasional interruption for some “life in Alaska” photos, will be a series on this subject.

 

 

 

 

The Ransom is Paid

Job 33:24 KJV  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

Mat 20:28 KJV  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

I have found a ransom!

Joh 1:29 KJV  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Sons and daughters of Adam rejoice!

1Co 15:45 KJV  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

We, all mankind, were born under the first Adam. We were born with a sin nature, the nature of the first Adam. Like Adam, we choose to sin against our Creator the Almighty God. In doing so we were separated from God and placed ourselves under bondage to Satan and his kingdom. He owned us because we sold ourselves to him. Try as we might there is no way that we could free ourselves. There is no way we can pay the ransom for our freedom.

But God…

Eph 2:1-5 KJV  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  (2)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  (3)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  (4)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  (5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Rom 5:6-11 KJV  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  (8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Christ came as a faultless human and lived a faultless life. He was not in bondage to Satan. He was free from the law of sin and death. He did not need to die.

But, He did.

He laid down His life to pay the price that was on your head. He laid down His life to redeem you from the captivity of Satan. In Him, you are free!

Christ came to free us. Christ came to cleanse us of our sin so that we could be again reconciled with God. Christ came to destroy the power of Satan and death over us so we can escape the wrath of God that will be poured out upon Satan and the world. Christ came to redeem the glory of God in us. Christ came to save us from our sins, not just to forgive us of our past sins; but to save us from living in sin. Through Him we have the power to live righteous and holy lives.

Christ did not come to just be a legal transaction to satisfy and appease God. Christ did not lay down His life to give you a “ticket to heaven”. Christ did not come to give you eternal security while you live a selfish and sinful life.

Christ’s atonement involves every part of His life. His birth, His example, His teachings, His death, and His resurrection. Without any one of these His atonement would be incomplete.

Today, let us not venerate the image of the cross and expect salvation. Let us not disdain the tremendous price Jesus paid for your soul by cheapening it to the point of just a “sinner’s prayer”.  It is much deeper than that.

Heb 13:11-14 KJV  For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.  (12)  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  (13)  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  (14)  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

1Jn 1:5-7 KJV  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (6)  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  (7)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Gal 6:14 KJV  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Believe on the Lord.  Walk in Him. Abide in Him. Follow Him.

My Prayer for 2018

My prayer for 2018 is for revival.

Revival in the home.

Revival in the church.

Revival in me and you.

Revival of holiness.

Revival of righteousness.

Revival of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

Revival of truth.

Revival of persistent prayer.

Revival of prophetic preaching.

Revival of hating the things that God hates.

Revival of separation from the world in thought and deed.

Revival of love.

Lord, send revival! Start with me!

 

 

 

 

It’s Dark

Winter is here and with it came snow, cold, and darkness. It is beautiful! We have had one good northern light show and many clear cold nights when the moon and stars were brilliant. During the daylight the winter landscape is breathtaking!

Below are a few photos of a small nearby lake that Makayla and I hiked to on a Sunday afternoon. It is  refreshing to hike in negative temps!

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Obviously the scenery is beautiful; but Alaska does have a dark side. It is a darkness not because of the absence of the sun but because of a rejection of the Son.

  • Alaska has the highest suicide rate per capita in the U.S. (alaska.gov)
  • Alcohol abuse is 3 times higher in Alaska than the national average. (Anchorage Daily News)
  • One out of three Native Alaskan women have reported that they have been raped in their lifetime. (justice.gov)
  • Alaska has the highest violent crime rate in the country. (USA Today)
  • Alaska’s drug abuse rate is among the highest in the country. (alaska.gov)
  • Alaska ranks near the top for number of STDs per capita. (Anchorage Daily News)
  • Only 34.8% of Alaskans affiliate with a religion. (bestplaces.net)
  • I do not have statistics regarding, but there is a more noticeable presence of paganism and occult than I have experienced elsewhere.

Please pray for us as we shine the Light into this darkness. We (a small congregation of several families) are in the beginning stages of establishing a church near Kasilof, AK.

Pray for opportunities for us to begin outreach work in our own communities and in the neighboring Native villages.

Please help us pray against the powers of darkness and against selfishness in our own hearts. Alaska is America’s huge playground and it is easy to get distracted.

God bless!

Selfishness Ends in Death

I am not saying how he died but only that he is dead. It was his greed and selfishness that led eventually to his demise. He could have been satisfied with the things God created for him but his covetous heart was emboldened every day as his thievery went unpunished.  The victim of his greed and selfishness tried many times in vain to capture him but he escaped every time. His selfish behavior did not go unnoticed and soon his siblings, close and distant relatives, and probably his own offspring began showing signs of greed and selfishness. They all became bold thieves and the poor victim watched haplessly as these scoundrels devoured her food right before her eyes. At times she would leap at them and other times she would lay low and stalk close hoping that their bold and selfish heart would keep them a second too long. But these thieves were very good thieves. They were not satisfied with just stealing for their daily meal but they horded up the excess that they couldn’t eat!

One day he did meet destruction. Many of his relatives bodies have also been seen scattered near the source of their stolen meals. Selfishness affects many more than one’s self.

If curiosity kills the cat, then selfishness kills the bird.

The thief

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The Victim – actually the true victim was me because I paid for the dog food.

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The Gray Jay – a.k.a. Camp Robber. These birds are extremely bold and will even steal food off your dinner plate if you are not vigilant. They will empty a dog dish very quickly. Below one is sizing up the dog food in the dish.

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The Gray Jay is one of the few birds that will store up food for the winter. We actually enjoy the birds but they do become a nuisance when they start devouring too much dog food. We have had them steal meat from our dinner plates while eating outside, steal pieces of fish while butchering, and one even stole a fishing lure from my tackle box while I was standing next to it.
Proverbs 1:19 So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

Proverbs 15:27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

These, of course, are just birds that are only doing what they are created to do. They cannot be selfish; but, I can. My selfishness also affects others and if it is not crucified will also lead to my destruction and possibly my children.

“Let this be thy whole Endeavour, this thy prayer, this thy desire, that thou mayest be stripped of all selfishness, and with entire simplicity follow Jesus only.”- Thomas a Kempis