Archive for February, 2014

talented -- LOON WATCHMAN BLOG

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  (Matthew 25:14-18)

Talents, in this story, are a weight of money or precious material like gold or silver.  And according to this parable, God has entrusted us with precious things that He wants us to use to bless people and for His glory.  Of course we all are born with natural talents and abilities, like doing math well or being a good dancer or…

But by far the most valuable things we have been entrusted with are His Spirit  and His Truth.  What an amazing adventure it is to be led by the SPIRIT of the Living God — and to share His eternal TRUTH with those who so desperately need to hear it!

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“Forgetting what is BEHIND and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Today is the first day of the rest of your life…really.  There is magnificent Grace in the Blood of Jesus and in His indwelling Spirit, to deliver us from the ghosts and regrets of the past. All that nasty stuff from the past is BEHIND you, so LOSE it!!!  May we all, by faith, take advantage of that Grace today — to forget what is behind and to go further up and further in.

And I believe there are a few helpful, practical keys to attaining this victory:  (1)  Truly understanding the victory Jesus has won for us by His victory on the Cross.  (2) Knowing Jesus personally and tangibly experiencing His Presence.  (3) Being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit.  (4) Walking in the callings and purpose He has for your life.  Nothing will make the disappointments and regrets and hurts of the past disappear faster than to experience these realities.

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The ultimate poverty is spiritual poverty.  The ultimate slavery is spiritual slavery.  If we help improve a person’s physical state (prosperity, justice, political freedom) without improving their spiritual state, we have ultimately, from eternity’s perspective, accomplished nothing.  I am not saying that we shouldn’t work for justice or feed the hungry.  We should.  We must.  I do!  What I am saying is that feeding a person’s physical stomach should never be our ultimate goal — feeding his spiritual stomach should be our ultimate goal, because there will be many well-fed, well-dressed people spending forever without God.

There is a serious danger that we will become “Christian Materialists”.  By that, I don’t refer to church-goers who are into nicer and nicer cars and clothes and houses, although that is a symptom of true materialism.  Materialism is the philosophy and belief that the physical universe is the only real reality, and that spiritual things are mere metaphors or ignorance.  And when you believe this, of course, you will see only physical, psychological and political problems and issues, not spiritual realities.  And, in a practical sense, you will be useless to a God who came to this planet as a man and sacrificed Himself so that humanity could one day be truly free, spiritually, and be with Him in Eternity.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

I believe God has called Christian men to help lead the spiritual
and cultural assault against sex trafficking.
And it begins with guarding our own hearts and eyes.
Things like pornography and infidelity destroy
a man’s spiritual and moral authority in this matter.

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“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!” (John 8:58)

“But we know that when He appears, we shall BE like Him…” (1 John 3:2)

The most significant thing we can ever do is to truly BE.  Those who are in Christ are being transformed from non-beings to those who truly, fully ARE (from Heaven’s and Eternity’s perspective).

 “When he [the devil] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

“But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)

The enemy works in the realm of un-reality – aka deception.  God is the glorious I AM – and the enemy is the inglorious I AM NOT.  That’s because satan has no real stuff to work with.  All the truly REAL STUFF belongs to God!  The enemy has to work hard to sell a false tale and a false vision of a non-existent phantom “kingdom” in our minds.  He knows that when he allows people to, in any way, actually experience true BEING and TRUTH, that he is on shaky ground, because the things that ARE will always reveal how insubstantial the things that ARE NOT really are.

A great visual metaphor for this is the grey town in C.S. Lewis’s book The Great Divorce.  It seemed so real to those who “created” this phantom city.  “You see, it’s very easy here.  You’ve only got to think a house and there it is.”  But when confronted with the true things of Heaven, the grey, phantom city is revealed as the truly intangible, worthless thing that it is.

But it can take a certain diligence to not fall into deception of one sort or another.  And I believe that the most powerful weapons we have against this deception are the SCRIPTURES, the leading and REVELATION of the Holy Spirit, and OBEDIENCE.  And the less time we spend meditating on the Word of God…and listening to the Spirit…and responding to the Word and the Spirit in obedience…the more likely it is that the world and the enemy will conspire to provide a seemingly plausible and ultimately deathly counterfeit reality that is littered with false assumptions, trivial pursuits and beer commercials.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)  

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14)