Celestial Nomad 2022

Mar. 30, 2022

 

In Christ I am free. THIS IS THE GOSPEL! If God is for me, who or what can be against me? Let all my life and prayer be praise for all that He has done for me and made of me. This is not my boast, but I boast in Him. Since Jesus has conquered sin, death, and hell, all IS well, as I walk now in freedom IN His kingdom of glory. 

Ephesians 2:4-10. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” 

Colossians 3:1-7. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.”

This begs the question, in which of these places do I live? The reign of darkness, or the reign of Christ’s redemption of me? It cannot be both.

Appearances in this world may be to the contrary. Appearances say that God does not reign. But I do not live or love by sight, however, but by faith!

“Religion” tells me that I have to “struggle” to attain this. Whoever says that does not understand the Gospel - the Good News that is in Christ alone. For I walk by faith and not by sight in my Lord Jesus Christ, Who has redeemed me. 

It is a matter of surrender to what is, not a struggle with what I “hope” will be - because it already is. Dead to the old ways, I am “under new management” of the King of kings.

This is a subtle shift in comprehension and consciousness called faith, where I KNOW that I have stepped out of darkness - by the power of the Holy Spirit - into His glorious light and that I am free from the power of sin, death, and Satan, no matter what may happen circumstantially to me. My life is to reflect this “sea change."

If there is a struggle, it is to keep in remembrance of the fact of my redemption, and to live according to the truth that is, by grace through faith. For as a new creature IN Christ Jesus, I have already been crucified, died, raised up, and seated with Him in the heavenly places. I walk and grow in newness of life and Christ likeness, in the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. I am being transformed by the renewal of my mind, according to the truth of this glorious good news in Jesus Christ. 

Therefore I know that in Him, I live and move and have my being, and that the evil one has no eternal power or authority over me. 

I know that no weapon -spiritual, psychic, physical, pharmaceutical, technological or otherwise - forged against me has any power over me. He was wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my iniquity. My chastisement was upon Him, and so I have peace with God, and by His stripes I am healed. 

Glory to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Who has wrought all this for me and for us all. Let me live, move, and have my being in the truth of the Gospel alone now and forever. And as the old hymn line says, “Let all my work be praise" - to the glory of His name. How else could it be?

Isaiah 53:4-6. “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

What wondrous love is this, O my soul?  Amen!

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Mar. 22, 2022

 

I'm no longer Lutheran, but my old hymnal figures DAILY in my devotional life. Here's why.

The Radical Call of Christ - Better Reflected in Good Hymnody Than By Most “Theologians”

Mt 16:24-27. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me, for whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and He will reward each according to his works...’”

This old hymn I grew up with says it better than any sermon I ever heard. It’s called “Come, Follow Me, The Savior Spake.” Composed in the 1600s. These old hymns make impressions with their poetry far greater than any lecture. If you love good hymnody, you do well. So called “Christian Contemporary” cannot hold a candle to any of these!

This is from The Lutheran Hymnal #421.

The 4th and 5th verses really nail it. Good hymns contain worthy theology and are Scripture based. That is one of the treasures of older hymnals. They will include the Scriptural references. One could go through the old TLH and use one hymn per day as devotion!

“I teach you how to shun and flee What harms your soul’s salvation, Your heart from every guile to free, From sin and it’s temptation. I am the Refuge of the soul And lead you to your heavenly goal.

“Then let us follow Christ, our Lord, And take the cross appointed, And firmly clinging to His Word, In suffering be undaunted. For who bears not the battle’s strain The crown of life shall not obtain.”

No hyper grace there! This is what I grew up with, and it formed a balanced theology that explains how we are to live as new creations in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

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Mar. 18, 2022

 

Gratitude - Oh That Men Would Give Thanks!

Ps 107:8,9,15,16. (NKJV) “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness... He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two.”

Verses 10-14 reveal the dark spiritual estate of those who rebel against God’s words and counsel. This is never a state of mind or being where anyone gives thanks or expresses gratitude to God for His goodness! It is a state of always wanting to have more, or to be more. There is a first order of business in order to get out of this particular jail - to express gratitude to God for all He has already done and which already is! Namely that we have been delivered, redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God - from Satan, sin and it’s consequence death, and self. 

Consider the implications for state of mind and life!

The “prison” of “gates of bronze and bars of iron” is characterized by a state of mind and being that comprehends so called “bad luck.” The attitude is “I never get my piece of the pie, and here’s why...” It is a lie. It is a state of envy where I always want what somebody else has, or the idea that I got a raw deal in life. I can use it to justify “why” I might even commit crimes to make things right, to level the playing field.

Socialistic systems are set up on this basis by those who claim they can deliver what is desired - that “something more that I ‘deserve’.” They are ideologies of envy! This is perpetuated by the THE LIE OF LACK AND LIMITATION.

What the Lord shows us is that this state of wanting and imprisonment reveal instead a rebellious and unthankful heart toward Him. This is characterized by constant ingratitude.

As it turns out, there is something very potent about the exercise or practice of gratitude, praise, and giving thanks - regardless of how little of the world’s goods one may have. This does, however, require that I notice what I have. There is something of a great truth in that old hymn that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God has done…” It changes the perspective to just do it.

This is a simple way of repentance by way of basic attitude. A change of mind. It likely will require an act of and a strengthening of the (fallen yet redeemed) will to develop the practice of gratitude. I must switch over from being resentful and rebellious about what I THINK I DON’T HAVE, TO ACTIVELY GIVING THANKS FOR WHAT I DO HAVE, EVEN WHEN I CANNOT “SEE” IT JUST YET. Or if, in my estimation what I perceive amounts to very little of physical “things."

The adversary and father of lies will of course work hard to point out how weak you are, how little you have, and how you cannot express gratitude for what you think you don’t have. THIS IS BECAUSE HE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO REALIZE THAT THERE IS NO CRY THAT GOD HEARS IN OUR TROUBLES LIKE THE CRY OF “THANK YOU!” (See verse 13)

Who does not know people who are always whining about what they think they lack, or wishing they were somewhere else? (At times that is you and me! Lord, have mercy!) They are in a spiritual, mental, and emotional prison that amounts to bearing false witness against God. The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Author of creation and salvation in Christ Jesus, Who is all good and love! Consequently their experience is what they perceive and believe. They are never happy.

(This would be a good segue into the Beatitudes... How blessed are...)

What God is waiting for is for us to cry out according to Psalm 107:1,2. “Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD say so, Who HAS redeemed us from the hand of the enemy!”

May this be our continual song of praise.

Soli Deo Gloria forever!

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Mar. 16, 2022

 

This morning I was indirectly considering 2 Corinthians 4:6 and the idea of light shining out of darkness. Paul was directly quoting Genesis 1:3, with God directly dividing the light from the darkness. This verse goes back to its context in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Also referenced is the Apostle’s encounter with Jesus per Acts 26:13-18, as well as 2 Peter 1:19 concerning the Daystar arising in our hearts.

All Scripture references offered in this writing may be perused by the one reading this.

There is much to consider, especially where Isaiah 9:7 brings to our attention that there will be no end to the increase of the Messiah’s government or of His peace.

His reign began with His incarnation and was spearheaded in the days of His passion, crucifixion, and resurrection - hidden to all but the eyes of faith. It was enshrouded in the mystery and ignominy of those dark events.

Yet history from then onward unfolds and reveals the increase of His government and the decrease of the government of the darkness, or of the dark powers antithetical to His reign.

This is the Gospel, the Good News of peace on earth and goodwill toward mankind.

In a sense His coming is by stealth. Not all at once. The mistake comes by way of our expectations and perceptions of wanting His reign to break forth all at once. As if an explosion of some sort of political coup.

Instead it is like a sunrise, gradually expelling all darkness. By stealth so to speak. A few degrees at a time until its full shining and glory... it will be ever increasing and without end!

This Light that shines dispels the darkness gradually in each soul, as well as across all that is. That is how I see Scripture depicting it... that His reign ever increases very much like the sun begins to rise and shine gradually dispelling the darkness. It pierced the darkness and shatters it. Light cannot come “from” darkness, as it has no fellowship with darkness. The very first act of creation was to separate the two! And so it is in each epoch of history and in each true spiritual conversion.

This way of seeing it also reveals Him as acting and found enshrouded in all matters and circumstances which we find to be trouble and tribulation. If we can perceive it as darkness being driven away by the Sun of Righteousness and Prince of Peace, this gives a greater meaning to our story, one of eternal significance. God’s perspective to this deadly nihilism and culture of death must unfold and will unfold, and there will be nothing the darkness can do to stop Him!

See John 1:5.

May the Son rise and bring all darkness to its end, as indeed Scripture reveals to us is always occurring and ever increasing.

Solo Deo Gloria!

Other Scriptures on His reign:

Luke 1:32,33. Daniel 2:44. Daniel 7:14,27. Psalm 45:4-6. Isaiah 32:1,2. Hebrews 1:8. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. Isaiah 42:3,4. Psalm 72:7-11. Psalm 2:8. Revelation 19:11. Isaiah 11:3-5.

 

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Mar. 15, 2022

 

I was inspired by something I just read about the "stories" that are screamed at us by "the press" (aka "depress"?) Main or alt. Doesn't matter. Imagine taking your own sad tale, the story of your life, and creating an ending with a positive outcome by writing it!!! What if it came to be the truth? Or you just shared the story? WOW! Or painting your story. Same ending. No end to possibilities.

The current stories with which all too many of us are occupied are like bad opera full of repetitive dirges.

Why are we content to keep singing those songs when we could write our own? Just a hopefully inspiring thought to maybe take you into a realm of possibility, rather than being forced into gazing at the possibilities for the powers that wannabe, but none for thee.

 

 

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