What is in a Name?


Amos 4:13 (KJB), “For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.”

Amos 5:8 (International Standard Version), “Seek the one who fashions the Pleiades and Orion, who turns the deep darkness into morning, who darkens day into night, who calls out to the waters of the sea, pouring them out onto the surface of the earth— the LORD is his name.”

Amos 9:6 (ESV), “who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— the LORD is his name.”

God revealed Himself to Amos in all His Glory and Splendor, in His Power and Might. In the Hebrew language, every name means something. Abraham means the “The father of a multitude,” Adam means “man,” and Eden means “place of pleasure.” Ichabod means “no Glory,” or literally, “the absence of God,” Methuselah means “”his death shall bring,” and we know that the flood came after Methuselah.

So the names of God are important. It would benefit you to do a name search. Start with Jehovah. For right now, I just want to look at how God describes Himself. Not just in the form of a name or a title, but in His character and His attributes. From the scriptures in Amos we can see that God has a pretty high opinion of Himself, and rightly so! He is clearly the Creator of the universe, He leads the Host of Heaven’s armies, and He is Lord of all.

Revelations 1:8 (NIV), “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Isaiah 44:6 (NIV), “This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”

He is the first and the last. He is Eternal and He is Mighty. He is our King and has redeemed us from the curse and there is no other God!

At any time if you feel like you are getting too familiar with God, like He is at the same level as us, or that He is “Bubbu” the kid you grew up with read Job. Here is just one chapter.

Job 38 (ERV), “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who determined the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who stretched the line upon it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb; When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And prescribed for it my decree, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days began, and caused the dayspring to know its place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed as clay under the seal; and all things stand forth as a garment: And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm is broken. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed unto thee? or hast thou seen the gates of the shadow of death? Hast thou comprehended the breadth of the earth? declare, if thou knowest it all. Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and as for darkness, where is the place thereof; That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest discern the paths to the house thereof? Doubtless, thou knowest, for thou wast then born, and the number of thy days is great! Hast thou entered the treasuries of the snow, or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, or the east wind scattered upon the earth? Who hath cleft a channel for the waterflood, or a way for the lightning of the thunder; To cause it to rain on a land where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the waste and desolate ground; and to cause the tender grass to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew? Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hidden as with stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. Canst thou bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season? or canst thou guide the Bear with her train? Knowest thou the ordinances of the heavens? canst thou establish the dominion thereof in the earth? Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst thou send forth lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are? Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? or who can pour out the bottles of heaven, When the dust runneth into a mass, and the clods cleave fast together? Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lioness? or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Who provideth for the raven his food, when his young ones cry unto God, and wander for lack of meat?”

So, I think it is safe to say that God is a “know it all,” “made it all,” “own it all,” kind of a God. No wonder He tells us His thought are not our thought and His ways are not our ways. Of course Job couldn’t answer any of these questions God placed in His lap. We, like Job, need to simply say, “You know best, Lord. I love You and will follow You no matter what.”

Because He sees the big picture, lives outside of time, knows the end from the beginning, don’t you think He is the best one to lead us? I do. Is it always easy? No. Do we always have the courage? No. As one man said, “do it scared, just do it!” We need to get a hold of just a few simple truths.

God is good. He loves us. He knows what’s best. Period. Everything else has to line up with that.

My favorite name for God? “Lover of My Soul.”

What’s yours?

Purify Yourselves


Let me start by saying we cannot save ourselves. That was pretty evident when we tried it on our own. Some of us tried to just run away from our lives and escape into drugs, alcohol, sex, our jobs, hobbies, etc. It never works because at the end of the day, we still are who we are. It was only the sinless, pure love of God that could save us. He loves us so much that He paid the price to cleanse us of our sin. He has given us a new nature, a new heart and a new vision.

I John 1:1-3 NKJV “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

God is Holy. There is and never has been, nor will ever be any un-pure thing in Him. He tells us to be Holy as He is Holy. (Lev. 11:45 and I Peter 1:16). Unfortunately, there is still some things in us that aren’t exactly pure. In several places in His word, God tells us to purify, cleanse ourselves. (I Corinthians 7:1, James 4:8, Ephesians 5;25-26 just a few). Yes, He cleansed us of all unrighteousness when we accepted Him as Savior, but we still continue to live in a corrupted world. We have been saved, but we are still being saved. It’s a process. We tend to go back to our old nature, to resurrect the “old man.” To put it plainly-we sin. So we have to be diligent to “purify” ourselves.

The Holy Spirit is faithful! He will not only convince us of our righteousness, our right standing with the Father, thru the shed blood of Jesus, He also convicts us, shows us, points out our sin. Allow Him to pinpoint the areas in our lives that are less than pure. Then ask God to forgive you. Ask for His strength and help to do it, then get out the scrub bucket. We have to take responsibility. You do not teach your children to be responsible by doing all their chores and homework for them. In the same way, God, who is the best parent ever, expects us to do something.

How do I purify myself? That ultimately depends on what your mess was made of. Let’s look at a few types of sin. First of all there are the obvious things like adultery, lying, drunkenness, homosexuality, drug addictions, fornication, hatred, strife and all those so called “big ones.” Our society likes to call a lot of those things “diseases” or “sickness”. But God is clear, those are all choices. Don’t be deceived what you sow you also reap. When we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption. Let’s call it like it is, these are sin. So the first step, after having asked God to forgive you, and to help you, is to STOP! I know it sounds too simple, and too easy, and I know from first hand experience that it isn’t either one of these things. But your only choice is to either admit it is sin and stop the sinning, or continue on the path to hell. You can’t walk towards God and walk toward hell at the same time. They are two completely opposite directions. As soon as you turn from own you are headed for the other. That’s what repentance means, turning away from our sin.

Now, moving on, as most of us have more subtle sin in our lives, though not any less sinful to God. If we lack faith, that is sin. Sounds drastic I know. But the Word is clear, without faith it is impossible to please God. So worry, anxiety, and fear are all sins. Now there is a Godly fear of the Lord, and there is a healthy fear, such as the fear of getting burned keeps us from laying our hands on a not surface. That is not what I am talking about here. Fear of failure, fear of sickness, fear of rejection, phobias, irrational fears, those are all sin. I had to face all of the above! So I know it is hard to overcome. We do it by repenting first, always. Then again asking God to help us. Then what does God say about fear? Use His word. “Perfect love casts out fear” or “I have not given you the spirit of fear.” There is another clue. Fear is a spirit. Cast it out, rebuke it harshly. Then take hold of the love and peace of God. Most of this stuff begins in an ungodly thought pattern. Line up your thoughts with the Word. Use the truth.

For any sin, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what triggers your sin, what feeds the lust? You may have to put down that book. Turn off that movie. Shut off the computer. Stop hanging around with certain friends. Shut your mouth. What ever the case may be, He will show you areas where you have to work. Don’t get me wrong, God can and will in His sovereignty, deliver people from all kinds of stuff, but He then expects you to work at staying delivered. Again, remember the kid and the chores. It’s for our own good. We tend to value things more if we put some effort into it. When you are going through the process and after you have come out of the other end, Glorify Him! You may have been a co-laborer with Christ, but God gave you the strength and the knowledge to get it done. He showed you were to build and where to tear down. He deserves the praise.

When dealing with sin in our lives it is important to remember that God is not an angry dictator waiting to catch us doing something on His “don’t do list” or failing to do something on His “do do list.” He is a loving Father who wants our lives to flow with His goodness, His blessings, His anointing and the only way that is going to happen is by trusting Him. We have to believe what He says. He watches over His word to perform it. To make sure it comes to pass just the way He said it would. He says we are healed. He says we have been delivered, that our lives should be abundantly blessed. He says we are accepted, loved, treasured, and His children. Do what you know to do, do what God says to do. Then leave the rest up to Him. You may not see fast results, but you will see results.

It’s time to get ourselves lined up so that we can do the work of winning souls. If we are all messed up, who would want a life like ours. So we can’t spend years “purifying” ourselves. We keep an open communication with God. We stay sensitive to His voice. When He says, “stop doing that” or “do this” we need to not waste any time. The time is short. The only thing delaying Jesus’ return is that He is giving us more opportunity to reach the lost. He wants a huge family. So let’s get out messes taken care of quickly, and when we stumble or fall, get up and get going again. Don’t dwell on it. God says the righteous may fall seven times, but they get back up!
Trust God and do your part. Then move forward. Shine that light, be the salt. Point people to God. Let them see you come through your problems. Tell them how God helped you.

It may be scary to face our sin. To put your trust fully in Him. But that is the leap of faith we are always hearing about. You might not see the path clearly ahead of you. The end of the path may be completely out of your sight. But God sees it! He knows where you are going and the best way for you to get there. Just take that first knee knocking step. He’s there with you. In fact He said He would never leave us not forsake us, and “lo I am with you always, even unto the end.” Now that should instill some hope.

God wants you free. Free from sin and the bondages they create. Free to receive. Free to do His work.
Won’t you break those chains?

For more inspiration read all of I John.

What of Love?


What can change the heart of a man? Can polished speeches, lengthy sermons, financial security, or campaign promises?
What do we do about those who are harder to love, the adulteress, the homosexual, the child abuser, the petty thief and the habitual liar?
Can we change them by walking twelve steps, by bigotry, prejudices, bombings, beatings, hat mongering and un-forgiveness?
Or is it through so called tolerance, political correctness, accepting them for who they are and what they do?
By compromising our belief in God’s Truth? Is this how we can save them from their lives of sin and misery?
Should we stone them, mock them, condemn them, or simply ignore them, cast them out and way, out of sight and out of mind?
No! Only one thing saves, delivers, accepts, forgives, understands and changes the heart of man…Love!
Who then shall we love? All, yes even those unlovable, those who disagree, those who society rejects!
Can we do it with self-righteousness, believing we have never sinned, never lived our own lives of ugliness?
No! If we believe we have never sinned we make the sacrifice of Jesus void. We make the blood, nails, thorns, lashes in vain.
Who then can we love? Through Christ who loves us all, even when we were lost in our sin, His love in us.
Love our neighbors as ourselves, Love as a groom loves his bride. Love as a father loves his child. Love as Jesus loves His church.
And then, with this love, the truth will come out, of who He is, the hurts will be healed, the sin forgiven.
The crooked will be make straight, despair turned into hope, weeping into joy. They won’t be alone! Love is the answer.