Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Names of God - Dayspring from on High

Dayspring from on High

Luke 1:78 (NKJV)
Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; …

Sunrise usually brings good news. A new day has begun; a day filled with possibilities. Darkness hides things, or causes things to appear worse than they really are. Dayspring is another way of saying “sunrise.”

When you are sitting in your house during the daytime and hear an unusual noise outside you go out and see what caused it. However, sitting in your house at night, especially late night or early morning, that same noise can bring fear and dread because of the darkness. You are hesitant to go outside to see the cause. Instead you begin to imagine the worst.

We do the same thing in our minds. When the Truth has not yet illuminated our thoughts we tend to respond to “noise” with fear and dread. We begin to imagine the worst possible outcome instead of considering better alternatives.

This was the case in the days before Jesus came on the scene. Here is the rest of the passage from Luke 1.

Luke 1:79 (ESV)
… to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Then the Dayspring from on High appeared! When Jesus, the Light of the World, began to “rise” in Bethlehem, His appearing fulfilled prophecy given years prior to His birth.

Malachi 4:2 (ESV)
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

For the first time in about 400 years The Word of God was once again speaking to the world. Truth was revealed about the nature and character of the Father. Jesus brought the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. The light of God’s plan had never shone any brighter. The dread of life was turned into joy because there had finally been given a reason to live.

I love the way Malachi said it, “You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” I spent some time on a farm during my college years and following. When an animal has been confined, then released, they celebrate that freedom by running around and kicking up there hind legs. This is the image given to us when the people in darkness finally see light. The euphoria that truth brings to confusion causes us to celebrate. No more dread. No more fear.

Jesus is still the Dayspring from on High. He is still illuminating hearts and minds by The Word given to us in scripture. The Holy Spirit abides in the believer to be “a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.” (Psalm 119:105) Darkness makes travelling difficult unless you have a means of lighting your way. We have a constant source of “light” to give us understanding in every circumstance. Learn to hear His voice, regardless of the noise around you.

Confusion is the goal of the enemy in the life of the Believer. Doubt kills faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) The good news is that through the Covenant Jesus made with us we can live as overcomers, not because of what we can do, but because of what He has already done for us and in us. He came to give us everlasting light and life.

Learn to identify confusion, and when you sense it creeping in ask the Holy Spirit to show you the way back to peace. The good news is this: He will! Dayspring from on High is present in every day we live. This light is just given for you, but you are then used to show this light to the world.

John 12:46 (ESV)
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Jesus wants each of us to shine the Light of God into our world to help lead others back to the Father. Now that the Dayspring from on High has changed your life, let Him use you to change others.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Names of God - Covert from the Tempest

Covert from the Tempest

Isaiah 32:2 (ESV)
Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm (KJV says, “covert from the tempest”), like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.

One of the reasons the King James Version of scripture is difficult to understand is due to the “King’s English” that was employed by the translators. For the most part, we do not hear much use of words like “covert” or “tempest,” except maybe by poets. This does not invalidate the truth that is contained in scripture. There are hundreds of other translations that use our current vernacular.

Covert from the Tempest simply means, “Shelter from the Storm.” This is such a great picture of the affect God has on our life. Jesus declared that as long as we are in this world there would be tribulation.

John 16:33 (ESV)
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

The last part of that is where we must place our faith. Jesus overcame through His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the right hand of the Father. Through the Holy Spirit who was sent to us to indwell the Believer, we have the Peace of God living inside us … forever! He will never leave. We are never alone! When the storm comes He is our Shelter.

When my mother was young, around twelve or thirteen, her home was struck by a tornado. Her life was spared, but her mother and sister both died from injuries sustained in the disaster. Because of this, she was never able to get beyond the fear of bad weather. Any time there were storms nearby Mom would immediately take cover. Even though I understood the basis of her fear, I did not have the same fear because I had never gone through the terror that she survived.

Shortly after our daughter was born we experienced a storm at our home in Cullman. Early on a November Sunday I was awakened by strobe lightening and strong winds. I looked out the window and decided to be cautious and take refuge in the basement. A loud clap of thunder awakened our two boys, so I asked Martha to go get the baby and let’s go downstairs.

Just about the time we made it down there was a strong gust of wind and a loud crunching sound. In a few minutes water began to drip through the floor above us. The power was still on, so I decided to go kill the breaker to avoid the risk of electrocution. When I got upstairs something caught my eye. In the small hallway between the children’s bedrooms there was a limb protruding through the ceiling. I walked toward it to get a better look when I noticed the back wall of the house had been damaged by fallen trees.

I shut off the main breaker, grabbed a flashlight, and headed back downstairs when I noticed another limb right above the bed where my wife and I had been sleeping. The whole experience was so surreal, but thought the ordeal I never experience fear. I knew we would be safe, even before the storm hit.

We were displaced from our home for about three months until all the repairs were completed. Our home suffered damage but we did not.

Being in Covenant with Father does not mean we will never have problems. However, the problems will never have us! He is our peace. He is our Shelter from the Storm.

Another place Isaiah worded it this way:

Isaiah 25:4 (ESV)
For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; …

Let us take solace in knowing that God is able to keep us in any circumstance. Regardless of what you may be facing there is always hope in the Lord.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Names of God - A Covenant for the People

A Covenant for the People (Jesus)

Isaiah 42:6 (ESV)
“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, … “

When Adam ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil he lost his fellowship with the Creator. Because of his disobedience a curse was introduced to the human race. Every person born since Adam is born with a sin nature, separated from our God.

If you are familiar with the story in Genesis then you also know that when confronted about disobeying God’s command to not eat the fruit of that one tree Adam blamed God by saying, “It was the woman that You gave me that caused me to eat.” (Genesis 3:12) Even though it was not God’s fault, God accepted the responsibility and put in motion a plan of redemption.

Even though it may not have been evident, God has been working on that plan ever since. From the beginning of human existence on earth, God has communed with man through covenant. He made covenant with Adam in the Garden before the fall. He made covenant with Adam and Eve.

God made covenant with Cain after Cain killed his brother. Imagine that. God made covenant with a murderer. There are many others mentioned in scripture: Abraham, Job, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. The most familiar instance of God making covenant was with Moses and the people of Israel. This is what is normally referred to as the Old Covenant, but there were many “old” covenants mentioned in the Old Testament.

It makes perfect sense, then, to think that when God promised to redeem mankind that He would do it through covenant. This time the covenant would be embodied in a person. He first spoke of this person in the Garden when responding to the serpent, “He will crush your head!” That “he” is none other than Jesus, A Covenant for the People.

Words on parchment do not make up the New Covenant. It documents The Covenant so we will know our responsibilities and benefits, but The covenant is in the blood of Jesus. He is our redemption. He is our salvation. He is our peace. He is our soon coming King.

Through Jesus, God completed His promise to redeem man and restore unabated fellowship between us. Through Jesus, God made a “better” covenant than any that came before. It was a “once for all” covenant, the New Covenant, by which we now have access to the very presence of God.

As with any covenant, there are responsibilities and benefits. Our responsibility is just that: a response. We respond to the Holy Spirit as He woos us toward the Savior, the Anointed One. When we respond to God’s invitation to be baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit through our identification with Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the right hand of the Father, God then comes and recreates our spirit and then inhabits our spirit by the Holy Spirit. We are now marked for the Kingdom. We now enjoy the benefits of the Kingdom – all of them!

Man has always tried to add to what God wanted to do in us. Adam “added” the fruit of the forbidden tree to all that God had given him. Abraham and Sarah “added” a son by a handmaid. Job “added” daily sacrifice he offered out of fear for his family. The Pharisees and Sadducees “added” additional commandment.

Some are still adding to the New Covenant. Paul had to correct those who wanted to “add” circumcision. Others wanted dietary restrictions (food offered to idols, etc.) Paul refuted those efforts and proclaimed that our salvation was only by grace, not of works.

So, if you are a Christian, what have you “added” to the Covenant God made with you? We can run ourselves ragged trying to “do” when all God called us to is to “be.” He has already completed everything needed for our salvation; past, present, and future. Just relax. Live the life that Jesus died to give to you. The Covenant for the People is so much more than what we have experienced. It’s time to learn the truth … and live it!

Friday, October 25, 2019



One of the more intriguing verses in the Bible is Psalm 11:3, “… if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” When I first heard this verse as a young man it gave me great pause. I began meditating on the implications, which, if taken to the extreme, could cause fear to rise up in your heart. Other verses came to mind like, “If God is for us who can be against us?” The inverse of that would be, “If God is not for you there is no hope.”

It is this type of thing that causes people to fall into great depression and fear. Others begin to lash out in anger at what they feel is injustice. They shout, “Who is God that He would not be for me?!?” First of all, they do not understand the nature and character of God, and secondly do not understand scripture. Let’s look at this a little more closely.

I’m 60, but I have never seen the type of things going on in the world that are happening today. I’m sure others have, and possibly in history much worse things have transpired. But in my lifetime this is the most unusual. We have at our disposal the greatest amount of information ever amassed: the Internet. Just about anything you can imagine is available at your fingertips via smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even a watch! Yet, I have never seen such confusion. For most of us, we grew up with a worldview given to us by our parents, teachers, and preachers. Today, even from an early age, you can have access to any worldview that exists.

Knowledge can be dangerous. Knowledge without wisdom is like playing with bullets without a gun. Inside a gun bullets are safely housed in chambers where accidental firing is a minimal risk. Outside of a gun they are a danger. Knowledge (bullets) inside a gun (wisdom) can be fired at a target with great precision and accomplish the desired result. Outside of wisdom, knowledge may shoot any direction lacking the barrel to guide it, not only missing the desired target, but also potentially causing harm to innocents.

For many, knowledge is considered a “foundation” upon which we can build a structure with little risk of it ever crumbling. Modern science is this way. The main issue with knowledge is that it is always changing. We are constantly learning more about our world, and this new knowledge totally changes our previous understanding. Many theories have been developed about how earth, and the entire universe for that matter, came into being. Every day new information is obtained which totally refutes the knowledge from yesterday.

So, back to the topic at hand. If you base your life on knowledge alone it will most likely crumble over time. There has to be an absolute, a bedrock. You have to get beyond the fluff and hype, especially in today’s world of “fake news” and straight out propaganda, and find truth. Once found, drive a stake in it so you cannot be blown from it, and you will not wander from it. Live your life from that place of truth. Look at the text again, this time in context.

Psalm 11:1-3 (ESV)
In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

“In the Lord I take refuge…” That is this psalmist’s bedrock. Then he continues, “How can you say to my soul …?” He is refuting others that say, “You better watch out! What if God doesn’t …?” For the psalmist there is no doubt that the Rock to whom he has attached himself cannot, and will not, be moved, destroyed, or in any way shaken. When you find this place in your relationship with God you, too, will be uneasily moved by anything that someone may say, or any knowledge that may present itself that is contrary to what you know to be true about God. If you are not there yet, keep digging. Once you get through the layers of junk, mistruth, deception, etc. you will find the unshakable Kingdom of Heaven!

Check out the song link below.