LATER!

“But as He was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, ‘Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.’”  Acts 24:25

My father’s father, “Grandpa” Moore lived in a day when people, “Never put off until tomorrow that which could be done today!”  It seems to have become more convenient to, “Never do anything today that can successfully be put off until tomorrow!”  Procrastination seems to be the watchword for our day.  That reminds me of a man in the Bible, a Roman governor by the name of Felix who put off his opportunity to place his faith in Jesus Christ, and the results were disastrous for him.  What about you?  Has there ever been a time in your life when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, and in Him alone, for the forgiveness of your sins and a new eternal Life in Christ?

Felix’s first mistake was to assume that he was in control of his life, that he could decide what he would do about the claims of Christ on his life whenever he (Felix) wished.  He made the same mistake the men did on Mar’s Hill outside of Athens, Greece in Acts 17.  When Paul spoke to those men about their need of Christ, “They began to sneer” and said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.”  But Acts 17:33 says, “So Paul went out of their midst!”  And there is no Biblical or historical evidence that after Paul left Athens that he ever returned there.  Those men were listening to him for both the first and last times!  We would all do well to learn that the time to do business with God is when God is doing business with you…

In 1896 William Jennings Bryan was asked to give the major speech at the Democratic National Convention.  The nominee for the Democratic Party for President of the United States that year was expected to be one of two other men.  Mr. Bryan was simply the “favorite son” nominee from his state.  After two rounds of voting neither man had received a majority of votes, and a movement began to elect Bryan as a “compromise.”  After the third round of voting, Mr. Bryan won the nomination.  When asked by the media if his opportunity to speak had made the difference, he reportedly said, “Yes, and that is about all we do in this life.  We are given opportunities, and we either use them, or we lose them!” 

The question for today is, What have we done with the opportunity God has given to each of us?  I pray you will use that opportunity, and not lose it, for God’s glory and your own good…

 

 Jon Moore

Marvelous Moments with the Master

Busy, busy, busy! Our lives are so filled with work, children’s activities, frenzied, hectic schedules, just getting through another day. Jesus advised His apostles in Mark 6:31 “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” We are commanded to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

A number of years ago I was given a book by Charles Swindoll, “Intimacy with the Almighty.” Many things in that little book made an impact on my life, but one statement that Swindoll quoted from A.W. Tozer touched me so deeply that it led me to a journey of a deeper intimacy with God. “May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the Kingdom like children in the market place, chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the true value of nothing,”

“It is well said, No person can expect to make progress in holiness, who is not often and long with God.” Andrew Murray.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call on me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you know not.”

Psalm 26:8 “Lord, I love the habitation of Your presence, and where Your Glory dwells.”

Psalm 5:3 “In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord I wait for You to speak to my heart.”

What an awesome thing to think that our heavenly Father welcomes us into His presence where we can have the sweet satisfying companionship of our Lord. Psalm 27:8 “Come and talk with Me, O my people.” And my heart responds, “Lord I am coming.”

Lord, I do not want to miss those marvelous moments with You.

Joy,

Phyllis

THE INNER LIFE OF CHRIST!

“Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!” Philippians 2:5-8 Amplified Bible

More and more believers today are expressing frustration over their failings in living the Christian life. Often asked questions are, “Why can’t I have victory in my prayer life? In my family life? In my financial life?” The answer to each question is found in the questions themselves, the repetition of the personal pronoun “I”! Victory will never be found apart from the Victor Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is the key, the essence, the Life-source! We are instructed to let Him be our example in humility (v 5). That humility is seen in two ways. First, He stripped Himself of all privileges and rightful dignity, the attributes that make God God (v 6,7). Secondly, He abased and humbled Himself still further, and carried His obedience to the extreme of death (v 8)!

In short the relationship between Jesus the Son and the Heavenly Father is to be the example for our relationship between the believer and the Son. Jesus Christ lived His life on earth as a man (He consistently referred to Himself as the Son of Man), yet not just any man, but man as God intended man to be! He was yielded to the Father, occupied by the Father and totally available to the Father for His exclusive use! He said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” John 6:38 Believers are not called upon to live a “copy” of Jesus’s life, but to yield ourselves to Him, rejoice in the knowledge we are occupied by Him (in Christ, and Christ in us) and daily make ourselves available to Him for His exclusive use! Just as the Father expressed Himself in both words and deeds through the Son’s humanity, Jesus Christ stands ready to express Himself in both words and deeds through each believer’s humanity…

Jon Moore

A High Price to Pay!

As I was getting our home all decorated for soon to arrive Christmas, I couldn’t help but think how Jesus left the “splendor” of heaven those many years ago to come to be born in a barn in an animal feeding trough. He then walked the dusty roads to heal the sick and raise the dead. His journey’s end in this old sin driven world was to be beaten unmercifully and hung on an old rugged cross to die for me and you. Because of that great love for us, the Bible in Romans 8:29 states that we who have accepted Christ as our personal Savior have been destined from the beginning to be molded into the image of God’s dear Son. Jesus paid the highest price that could be paid, His precious blood for us to be transformed.

Oh, what a price!

Several years ago I heard a preacher share a story (fiction or true, I am unaware), but it sure illustrates my point. In a small village in Africa it was time for a young man to be married. As was the usual custom, he would go around the area and visit all the eligible ladies. At that point the fathers would begin to state how many cows it would take to buy their daughter. Not one had ever been worth more than six cows. Most had no more value than 2 or 3 cows. A very strange thing happened when this young man saw a young woman and told her father that he would pay 8 cows. WHAT 8 COWS? No one had ever paid that, especially for a somewhat sad and undesirable prospect. Several years later when the young man and his 8 cow wife came back to the village to visit her family, people were in awe of her beauty and grace. WHAT HAPPENED was the talk of the village. The young man made this statement, “I paid more for my wife that has ever been paid so that she could become what I paid for her!”

Oh, my friend, didn’t Jesus pay the highest price that has ever been paid that we could be being changed into His likeness day by day by the power of the Holy Spirit.

WOW, what a Savior!

Joy,

Phyllis

COMPLETE IN CHRIST!

“…as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete…”  Colossians 2:6,9,10a

As is so often the case, New Testament doctrines are often illustrated in the people, places and/or events in the Old Testament.  This is why Paul wrote to the Corinthians that they (the Old Testament Scriptures) were written for our instruction (2nd Corinthians 10:11).  I could not begin to tell you how many times I have opened my Bible to 2nd Kings 4:1-7 to read how a prematurely widowed Hebrew woman was taught that when she received the Lord that she was given all of heaven!  She, like every modern-day believer in Jesus Christ is complete in Christ!  How many times I have been discouraged, read this passage and been reminded of the great treasure that I, too am complete in Christ, and He is more than equal to any need, or emergency that will ever arise in my life!

She told Elisha, the man of God (v 7) that her husband had died, and the creditor had come to take her two children to be his slaves (v 1).  Apparently the couple had borrowed money in his lifetime, and now the lender was coming for his money.  If he were dishonest, he could set the rate of interest so high that the boys would never pay off the debt.  They would be enslaved for a lifetime.  Elisha then did something on the surface that seems shocking.  He asked the woman what she had in the house!  She was in need, and Elisha asked her what she had!  He was not mocking the woman.  He simply knew the ways of God more intimately than the woman did!  He knew that if this couple knew the Lord, then God had already made provision for them.  Sure enough, she remembered that she had a jar of oil (v 2).  This would be the very resource that would meet the need of this woman and her two sons (v 7).  However, we sometimes overlook, as this woman did (v 2) the provision the Lord has made for His people. 

When Moses asked the Lord how the people would believe that he had been sent by God to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt, the Lord asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?”  Moses explained it was his shepherd’s staff.  The Lord told him to throw it down.  Moses obeyed, and the staff became a serpent.  The Lord told Moses to pick it back up, and it became a staff again.  But from that point on, it is now referred to as “The staff of God!”  When we fully surrender our life to God, He doesn’t keep it, but gives it back.  But it is never the same, it is stamped by His ownership, and we as ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things!

If we think we can handle our problems ourselves, we usually try, so we rarely see any more of the Lord in our life than we realize we need!  That is why our greatest opportunities to see the work of God in your life are our problems, our needs!  Do you have a God-sized problem?  Go to the Lord; Wait before Him; Listen to Him; Obey Him!

Jon Moore

The Fire

A few weeks ago I was visiting by phone with a friend that lives in Portland, Oregon.  In the conversation the subject came up of the terrible fires that were raging in the Eagle Creek area as well as many other states. The one in Oregon was started by a teenager igniting fireworks during a burn ban and it started a fire that engulfed the Cascade Locks area.  It has burned 48,668 acres and is only 46% contained as of 9/20/17.

Surely, that the teenager never thought before he ignited those fireworks that what he did would cause so much damage.

The Bible states in James 3:6   NIV “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the course of one’s life on fire, and is itself on fire by hell.”

I know in my own life the Lord has had to correct me on many occasions for what I said to, or about others that was not Christ-like. How many times do we say something not thinking about the harm and hurt that it may cause?  I know that only the Lord can control our tongue as we are totally surrendered to Him in this area of our lives.

Under South Korean law, anybody who makes a false statement and thereby damages the credit or reputation of another person shall be subject to imprisonment up to five years (taken from McHenry’s Stories for the Soul).  What if we lived in South Korea, would our normal routine of conversation place us under the threat of incarceration?  No matter where we live, in America where we have free speech or South Korea, as Christians we are commanded to abstain from using our tongue for evil, but instead use this beautiful gift of speech for blessing others and praising God.  Those same fireworks in Oregon that were used for evil can also, bring excitement on the 4th of July in America to celebrate and bring joy when used properly.

Joy,

Phyllis

THE INSPIRATION TO PERSEVERANCE

“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.  Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.”

 Psalm 143:8-9 

Our Lord Jesus taught two parables on the subject of prayer recorded in the gospel of Luke.  One is the parable of the friend who visited at midnight in Luke 11:5-10.  In this story one goes to a friend at the midnight hour asking for bread to feed an unanticipated visitor.  The friend declines, because he and his children are already in bed, but because of the man at the door’s persistence in knocking, the friend gets up and gives him as much bread as he needs!  The other parable is of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8.  It is the story of a widow who asks a judge for legal protection from an opponent, but because the judge did not fear God or respect man, he was unwilling.  Yet, because of the woman’s continual coming, the judge did give her legal protection to keep her from “wearing him out!”   

David was a character in the Old Testament who had learned the value of perseverance in prayer.  In Psalm 143 David lists two ways he was inspired to persist in prayer until the answer came.  The first is by remembering the Lord’s past works.  He says he purposely set his mind to remembering the days of old, meditating on the Lord’s doings in days gone by, musing on the work of His hands.  As he did so, he described himself as a parched land with his soul longing for the Lord, stretching out his hands to Him!  What a picture of one who so appreciates and meditates on the Lord’s past works that he is encouraged and inspired to persevere in prayer in his present circumstances. 

Another way David is inspired to persevere in seeking the Lord in prayer is by remembering the Lord’s present way.  He knew the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6).  He says, “I trust in You!” (verse 8); “I take refuge in You!” (verse 9).  Is it not good to know (not just to think, or to hope) that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)! 

In ancient China the Chinese fostered hope through theater by using a two level stage for shows.  The main play was on the lower stage, while the final act was above.  When the actors on the lower level were about to make a mistake, or to give up hope, the people in the audience encouraged the actors by telling them what was happening on the upper level.  What a blessing to know what is happening on the upper level!  The final chapter of the book of life is there for us in the Word of God.  We can be encouraged and inspired to persist in believing prayer, knowing the faithfulness and truth of God’s Word! 

Jon Moore

Church Bells Ringing

I was asked to share in Sunday School  Psalms 95.   In my study, I was reading Charles Spurgeon’s exposition of the first 6 verses.  He states that it reminds him of Great Church Bells Ringing.  The psalm is truly about the worthiness of worshiping our Lord.  Worship is defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary as “to bow down, to fear or reverence. To adore, to honor, to respect with dignity, worth and worthiness, to honor with extreme love and submission.”  I am afraid that sometime we think worship is only about music.  Truly, music is part of worship, but worship according to Webster’s definition, is far more.  It is every part of our being to love, adore, and honor the Lord with extreme love and submission (obedience).

In verse 1-2 the Psalmist speaks of our shouting joyfully and triumphantly to the Lord. We as God’s children should be overjoyed to use our voices in singing to our Lord, but also in speaking to others about our Lord. Then in the next 3 verses he speaks of the greatness of our Lord. We must never lose the wonder of our heavenly Father. I will summarize 3-5 verses: “The Lord is a great God, a great King. The depths of the earth are in His hands, the mountain peaks are His.  The sea is His, He made it. He formed the dry land. He is our Maker. We are the sheep of His pasture, the sheep under His care.”

I wonder if we really pondered and rehearsed the unspeakable awesomeness of our heavenly Father, what would overwhelmingly rise up from the depths of our heart.  Would it not be to worship!  For You, Oh God are worthy!  Such joy unspeakable! Like Church Bells Ringing, inviting all to come and worship our amazing Lord!

Joy,

Phyllis

A PASSION FOR THE PRESENCE OF GOD!

“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…”  Psalm 27:4a

The prophet-priest Samuel told King Saul concerning David, “The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart…”  What was there about David that caught the attention, affection and admiration of the Lord Himself?  David wrote many of the psalms, and he frequently revealed his heart’s passion in these writings.  Clearly, David’s life was largely directed by his passion to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life…”  Keep in mind that the house of the Lord represented the place where the Lord dwelled among His people in that day.  Thus, David longed to live each day in the awareness of the presence of God!

Now let us fast forward to our day.  Our modern-day churches seem to have everything we could possibly  need.  We have theologically trained pastoral staffs, a committed core of dedicated lay people that carry on the various ministries of the local churches, recognized organization skills, a world-wide printing and distribution arm and cutting edge social media.  Seemingly we have everything…but the one thing we can least afford to be without…passion, specifically a passion for the presence of God!  Please do not misinterpret what I am saying.  No doubt the vast majority would prefer to see a mighty moving of God in our day, but do not fail to understand there is a world of difference between having a PREFERENCE for God’s presence, and having a PASSION  for the Lord’s presence!

Listen to David again in Psalm 63:1, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water!”  Two things of note:  1) The man or woman who would have a passion for the Lord’s presence must seek the Lord resolutely.  David said, “I shall seek You!”  At some point we must come to the place where we decide what we are doing is not working!  It is time for me to spend my days seeking the Lord!  The old puritan preachers used to preach that if you desire a blessing from the Lord, “Put yourself in the way of blessing!”  If you share with David the desire to live each day in an awareness of the presence of God, put yourself in the way of blessing.  Seek the Lord where He is:  In prayer, in the Word, In personal worship and in worship and prayer with other believers!

2)  The man or woman who would have a passion for the Lord’s presence must seek the Lord relentlessly.  Remember your school grammar lessons!  Seek is a verb, and verbs are action words.  All the resolve in the world is pointless if there are no corresponding actions.  We all know where the road leads that is paved with good intentions!  It is time to put feet to our prayers and seek the Lord!

One day a young man sought and received an audience with Augustine, a fourth century Christian leader.  Augustine asked the man what he could do for him.  “Can you help me know God?”  Augustine asked, “Do you really want to know God?”  Yes, the young man answered.  Augustine led the man to a beautiful garden of trees, flowers and a pool of water.  He walked to the water, dropped to his knees, bowed his head and closed his eyes.  The young man did likewise.  Without warning Augustine reached over, caught the man by the arm and back of his neck and plunged his face into the water.  After a while he let the man up long enough to get a couple of gasps of air, then plunged his head back under water.  Eventually he let the man up again, turned him face to face and said, “Young man, when you want to know God as bad as you want to breathe right now, then you will get to know God!”  What would happen in your life, in your family, in your church, in your town if YOU had a passion for the presence of God?

Jon Moore

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Flapping or Soaring?

When I was a child growing up, we raised chickens.  I remember when I would go out early in the morning seeing a Bantam rooster, (usually a brightly colored chick about ¼ the size of a regular chicken) just vigorously flapping his wings as though he was going to fly to the moon. Sadly however, he really never got off the ground.  In contrast when Jon and I were in Wyoming we saw the majestic eagle soaring high in the sky above the troubles of this world. Oh, what beauty!

In Isaiah 40:31 we see that God teaches through Isaiah the prophet that His desire is that His children soar as eagles, not just flapping as one trying, but never getting out of the barnyard. In Isaiah 40:26 we see the very first thing that we must do if we are going to soar.  Lift up our eyes on high and see. See what? He, Who has created all things and is strong in power.  In Verse 28 He is the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the end of the earth, Who does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. Verse 29 reminds us that He is the One that gives power to him who has no might.

In verse 31 our heavenly Father concludes that those who WAIT FOR,  EXPECT,  LOOK FOR, and HOPE in God shall change and renew their strength and they shall lift their wings and mount up (close to God) as eagles (mount up to the sun); they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint, or become weary.

Lord, as my body weakens and life causes weariness at times, I choose now to look up and behold my great and mighty God, so that I too might soar on eagle’s wings by His power and strength.

Joy,

Phyllis

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