It’s been a while, a year or so, in fact since I last posted here.  Hello all!  There has been quite a bit of traffic here.  Google is sure busy watching, monitoring and analyzing!  Enough of technology.  Why haven’t I posted?  Well, life got in the way.  It happens to many of us.  You’ve heard about the slow boiling frog, right?  A man brings a frog in to the kitchen and places it in a pan of cool water.  Everything is good, right?  The frog is happy, jumping around.  At first, nothing is different than the environment and after a while, the frog is okay with that.  Slowly, the man turns on the dial from cold to warm, every 30 minutes or so, without the frog realizing it.  It slowly becomes lethargic.  Before it realizes anything, the frog is boiling.  In Matthew 7, Jesus talks to us in verse 15 about this concept in a slightly different way.   In the Kings James Version, it says that He spoke, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” [Matthew 7:15].  Hebrews tells us that the “Word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12 NIV]. The Bible doesn’t just apply to people wearing tunics, long hair and sandals 2,000 years ago.  This Book is the Living Word!  To this point, it’s not as though satan knocks on our door and says, ‘Pardon me.  I’m satan.  I’m going to take my satin red cape, red satin ears and plastic pitchfork and come in now and torment you and your family.  Here is a list of how each of you like to be tormented.’   Don’t we wish it were that easy?  

Satan comes in the form of our favorite TV series when cursing starts to appear or perhaps when you click on something on the internet and takes you down an addictive path that costs you your job, hours away from loved ones or several overdraft charges at your bank?  Years ago, technology promised to be wonderful, save us time, give us time with our loved ones?  Some of you may remember this and some won’t.  Well?  Today, technology monitors where we visit on web and then we get these “nudges”, suggesting games, clothes and millions (literally) of items that we can’t live without.  The great thing about these items is that they don’t cost much (or if we’ll just share our email with them, we’ll get a deep discount), just $2 here and there.  Sometimes, the enemy can come in the way of great news.  Let’s say that you learn you made your favorite team at school and you are so happy.  Your family and friends surround you with congratulatory hugs.  Your parents tell you that they love you and that to always remember that you are a Child of the Mighty God.  You proudly proclaim that you know all this and that your faith is strong, and nothing can persuade it otherwise.  The summer practices start for the first pre-season game and all goes well.  The other team members keep to themselves but that’s alright.  A few practices in and the fatigue and heat start to sink in and a few members of the team come over and offer some “caffeine” pills, just to “get you through practice.”  It’s caffeine, right?  And maybe they will like you better.  No harm.  Your parents drink coffee.  Fast forward to the first game.  You are popular, everyone likes you, the new you, peppier and outgoing.  Except now, you attend some of the parties and drink some and do other things.  Soon, you can’t go to class without alcohol, pills and then you’re kicked off the team for your grades.  Sadly, this happens.  So, how do we look out for these distractions?  How do we stay clothed in truth?  How do we keep our guard up?  We get in His Word, which is alive, a Living Word.   Isaiah, a prophet, also a book of the Bible, written 701BC (approximate) tells us that ‘All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children’ Isaiah 54:13 [ESV].  I Thessalonians was written by Paul around 51AD and in the 2nd Chapter, 13th verse [NIV], his letter says, ‘And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.’  In Hebrews 4:12 above, written around 70AD in which we’re told that the Bible is living and active.   In 2 Timothy, Paul write, ‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work [2 Timothy 3:14-17].  Let’s look at what these verses about God’s Word say; Great shall be the peace [Isaiah-ESV] and the sword penetrates to divide soul and spirit [Hebrews].  

First, who doesn’t love peace?  How much do we spend on spa treatments, recliners, massagers, new mattresses, in search of permanent peace?  When we make God the Center of Our Lives and Meet with Him daily, Great will BE THE PEACE!  Not mediocre, not just a bit but GREAT!  That’s exciting!  And the Word, described as a double-edged sharp sword, penetrates to divide soul and spirit meaning that it’s going to discern what is needed and not in a murky, half-hearted way but cleanly.  What happens when you use a clean blade to cut a tomato?  Yuck.  A mess.  The Food Channel would not be interested in your tomatoes.  But when you use a serrated knife, well, now we’re talking cleanly sliced, no dull edges on those tomatoes.  Aren’t we blessed to have the Living Word?  Look at the dates above.  From 701BC to 51AD (752 years) to 70AD which is 771 years, we find references to God’s Word teaching us, granting us great peace and claiming that it is living and active.  Did Isaiah pull Paul’s writings up on the Internet?  Or did Paul go get the onion skin manuscripts by Isaiah?  Each one of these verses took place in a different historical setting and yes, they have different historical perspective, however, to think that three different authors wrote similar meanings about the Bible that would one day be the Best-Selling Book ever says something.  So, make an appointment with God, even if it’s 15 minutes, pick your favorite spot (mine was a oversized leather chair in my living room years back) and start reading.  It doesn’t matter where.  Just start.  

Leaning into Jesus!