The King James English is sometimes unusual to us. Sometimes the turn of a phrase I have to google it to understand. But the KJV is very succinct. This is the Bible I started with and I never will change that. I use this Bible everyday. It is a source of my inspiration. When I first started with God, I wanted to hear His voice clearly. As I learned scriptures in the KJV Bible, God would speak to me in King James English. It was so that I would accept His voice as being God. After a while when I began to trust God’s voice, He spoke to me in American English. God will do what He needs to accomplish His goal. That goal is for us to believe and trust in Him. The phrase Go to Now mean to come. It is from James 5:1. “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.” it is the chapter on effectual fervent prayer. James describes different reasons to pray. But what he is saying is pray. He says this because prayer is the answer for us in any situation. So, what God is saying is come let us reason together. So, what are you waiting for? Go to Now and pray.
I was praying about my future and my health. And God reminded me of a scripture in Psalms. In Psalm 20:7, it says, some trust in chariots and some in horses. When Psalms was written the main military weapon of the day was horses and chariots. Kingdoms would use this weapon to conquer nations. People trusted in them. In Israel, God gave them specific instructions that they were not to have horses or chariots. The Israelite army marched wherever they went. In Psalm 20, it also says that I will remember the name of the Lord. You see that was the only way that the Israelite army won. Then the Psalm talks about what happens to the nations with horses and chariot. It says that they will be defeated. The application to our lives is very direct. God is saying that we are not to trust in the things of this world. If we do, we will be defeated. But we are to trust in the Lord and remember His promises. But why not have horses or chariots? God said they are a source of pride. And we know that pride goes before the fall of man. When we believe and trust God, we can have confidence in His promises that our lives will turn out the way they are suppose to. I will trust in the Lord and His promises.
When we go visiting people, we walk up to the door and knock. Then we say anybody home? Visiting folks is a southern tradition in the US. We call it hospitality. We gather around the kitchen table and drink coffee and talk about the day or our children. My mom had a 3 cup porcelain coffee pot. She would put 2 scoops of dark roast coffee in the coffee pot. The coffee was darker than espresso. She served it demitasse. After leaving home, I could never drink coffee as strong as that. She would make several pots of coffee and people would drink it. This fellowship is a way of life. Jesus said the same thing over 2000 years ago. In Revelation 3:20 ” Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” This is the fellowship God has wanted from the beginning. This is the reason that God made man. Image that God wants to have supper with us. I miss those times with my parents, family and friends around the kitchen table. It is the fellowship that bonds us together. And the more time that you spend in God’s presence, the greater the bond grows. Is Anyone Home?
Time is such an elusive thing. You think you have a long time, then it ends just like that. Or you find something you really like to do and get into it. Then your time is up. As we get older, it seems that time speeds up. But when we were children, time passed so slowly. We were always in a hurry to grow up. Then when we did grow up, we wish we kids again. Life seems so topsy turvy. And how much time do you have left? When we were young, we thought we were immortal and had all the time in world. Then reality sinks in. We have so much time and once it is over, it is over. There is no more time for us. There is a story of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus was a homeless man. And he sat at the gate of the rich man. The rich man was only concerned with his wealth and possessions. He did not help Lazarus. One day Lazarus died. The rich man died on the same day. Lazarus woke up in paradise. The rich man woke up in hell. The moral of the story is that it does not make any difference what you have. The difference is what you do with your stuff. No one is guaranteed that they will be here tomorrow, and we need to live our lives each day as if it were our last. Then we will live our lives to the fullest. Then time will have no claim on our lives. And how much time do you have left?
I was reading the story of Samuel and King Saul. when the children of Israel asked God for a king, God gave them Saul. He stood a head taller than any other in Israel. But his heart was not right before God. Saul was a church goer. He was at temple every time that he was supposed to be. He brought animals to sacrifice to the Lord. But his heart was not in it. All of his life he heard the gospel preached by the religious leaders. To everyone in Israel, Saul and his family appeared to be religious and that was enough. But to God, he had fallen short of the gospel. Saul did not believe God’s word. No matter who you are, God will bring you to the place where you must choose. If you do not choose to walk with God, you have made your decision. God instructed Samuel to tell Saul to destroy the Amalekites, to leave none alive including their animals. When Saul returned to Israel, he brought the king of the Amalekites and the best of the animals back. God told Samuel to meet Saul at Gilgal and to tell Saul that because he did not believe God, God has rejected him as king over Israel. When Samuel met Saul and told him what God said, Saul was sorry that he got caught, but did not repent of his sin. The difference between appearance and repentance is an attitude of your heart. Repentance is a heart felt sorrow that you have sinned against God. It is understanding that you have fallen short of God’s word. Saul did not repent of his sins and God’s kingdom was taken from him and his family. It is the same for us today. Do you just go to church thinking that’s enough? Or have you really repented of your sins before God?
When I became a Christian, I asked that very same question. I did not know what to do to be a Christian other than ask for forgiven and accept Jesus into my heart. This is the beginning of my walk with God. I had to learn a lot of things to be able to maintain my salvation. Yes, salvation requires work on our part. It is freely give, but can be lost if you do not maintain it. The bible says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. I discovered that what the working out my salvation really means. It is getting to know our Father and Jesus our brother. It is developing the relationship that God wants from each of us. My hearts desire was to know God and to able to carry on a conversation with Him. I first needed to recognize His voice. I wanted to be sure it was God. God helped me by speaking to me through the scriptures. When I became comfortable with that voice, I could recognize it anywhere. I can hear God’s voice over anything else. I can be in a crowd of people talking and when God speaks to me I hear Him. And I can speak to God and He will answer me. My relationship developed to the point where I carry on a daily conversation with God about everything. God goes with me shopping. He finds deals for me all the time. God wants to be part of my everyday life. This is why God made us in the first place. He wants to share all that He has with us, His children. It is a Father and son relationship. Now I know what to do. I follow my Father wherever He leads me. And God is leading me home.
When we come to the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we want to believe that we can do no wrong. But this isn’t always the case. God wrote His word for us to follow. The word of God is how we learn what God expects from us. The 10 Commandments aren’t the 10 suggestions. As we walk with God, we learn what to do in this wrong. I have studied the scriptures and felt the power of God flow through me. It feels good. The bible says that the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. I have used the word of God on fellow believers. And I have done much damage. I carelessly used the word of God, not thinking of the consequences. Then I had to pray and ask God to forgive and correct my mistakes. But when we use the word of God correctly, it will produce life and that more abundantly. I said all that to make a point. When we use the word of God like it is suppose to be used, it will produce persecution. Jesus said if the world hates me, how much more will they hate you. But this should never stop us from using the word of God. One of the things that Jesus taught in the Beatitudes was being persecuted for righteousness sake. This means that when we preach the word of God to the world, we will be persecuted for it. But Jesus said that we will be blessed because of it. So, persecution for righteousness sake is a normal thing for a Christian. Who would have thought.
God woke me up this morning with the Song of Solomon. Solomon was a very passionate man. Whenever he did something, he was all in. He always gave it his very best. That was true in his love for his wife. The Song of Solomon is a book about his love and his wife’s love for him. The book is more than that. It is a book about the love of Jesus for us. And our response to our first love. Solomon’s love woke up from sleep and could not find him. She searched the house, then the garden. When she could not find him, she went into the streets to look for him. She asked everyone where he was and kept searching unto she found him. The Song of Solomon is a personal letter from God to us. It is about how we are to love God. Our love is personal and intimate. This is the way that God loves us. We are to be like Him and love the same way. Our love should burn in our hearts to the point where there is nothing else. You remember when you fell in love for the first time. All you could think about was the one that you loved. You could hardly breathe if you weren’t with your love. This is the love of God for us. And we are the image and likeness of God. Jesus is our first love. So, what am I saying? Come back to your first love with the passion that you first had. Fall in love with Jesus all over again.
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death;” (Son of Solomon 8:6 KJV).
King Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. He also was the richest man that ever lived. And most people don’t know that he ruled most of the known world. Solomon was so rich that he kept the gold inside Jerusalem’s walls and dumped the silver on the ground outside the walls of the city. Solomon tried most everything. He had 900 wives which caused much grief and sorrow when he died. The son that became king went about killing his brothers and sister to establish his throne over Israel. Solomon wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. The book is inspirational, but it is writing in a matter of fact style. As you read the book, you can see that Solomon was jaded with life. Solomon started out so well with God. He was content with the gift God gave him of wisdom. But his life changed and not for the better. His father, King David, knew that God was the center of his life. And that you had to stay in God’s will to be content. Money and power don’t make you content and fulfilled. Though Solomon ruled the world, but he wasn’t a happy man. Everything he did had to be bigger and better. Does this sound familiar? Being content with God is the best thing that you can have. And it is all in the choices you make in life. Choosing to follow Jesus is the best choice you will ever make no matter where you are in life. As the bible says, Godly contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).
On this day in June 1944, my dad, William Preston (Bill) Blanchard, was on a troop transport off the coast of Normandy, France. My dad was a combat engineer. He landed on the Omaha beach on D-Day +1. He followed the troops into Germany. Dad served on all theaters of the WWII. He fought in the battle of Dutch Harbour and won the bronze star. He went to Africa then to England for preparation for D-Day. When Dad returned home, he and mom got married. I was the second son. Dad was going to ULL to become an engineer. But when my older brother came along, he went to work and never look back. He worked in the US Post office for 35 years. He never really talked about his time in the military. Before the war, dad worked for ATT. After the war they wanted him to go to Bermuda to set up their phone system. He told them that he had traveled the world and all he wanted to do was stay home. He quit that job and went to the Post Office. Dad was a friendly man. People loved to talk to him and he knew a lot of people. As most men did on this date in history, they gave their youth to fight a war for freedom. But that is who soldiers are. So today I am remembering my dad and the young men that gave their lives for freedom some 77 years ago.