The Grass is Always Greener…

Isaiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible.  There is so much incredible prophecy — such God-given insight into coming events that it’s truly shocking.  Most of this prophecy comes later in this lengthy book.  Today, I want to make a short summary of the first 39 chapters:  Forgive the Kilby paraphrase:

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!

These people had Yaweh as their God, but they endlessly wondered how it would be to have someone else’s god as their god.  Stupid huh?  Kinda like having complete forgiveness in Jesus Christ but trying helplessly to make it into heaven without giving your life over to anybody!

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Thy Word…

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”  Psalm 119:105

Many years ago that I was sitting in a church and got the rug pulled-out from under me.  Like most folks, I don’t mind at all when the preacher talks about other people’s sins… when they hit me between the eyes it’s a whole different story!  What did he say?  Oh, it wasn’t the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I’d been saved for quite a while.  I wasn’t taking God’s grace for granted either.  I believed I was living the way He wanted me to (as best I knew how).  What the preacher did that day was jump right in the middle of something I believed to be harmless and stripped it down so I could see where it came from–who was behind the whole godless thing. What was it?  It was my daily horoscope, and about 15 other superstitions I made it a habit of considering sacred!

“When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, would not a people inquire of their God?  Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?  To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.  Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their god. Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness.”  Isaiah 8:19-22

This is just one of the many examples of God’s Word prohibiting us looking into the future and trying to find our way.  He IS the Way… and the Truth… and the Life!  That day I went home and threw out all my books on horoscope and some other stuff, too!  I’ve never missed them.  On top of that, I’ve learned substantially more about myself in just a few years of studying God’s Word than I learned in nearly 30 years of studying horoscope and talking to idiots!

We’ve probably all sung the song written from Psalm 119… Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  My question to you today is, is it really?  How long since you opened it and spent some time with your Lord?

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Dead?

I think it’s neat that many times in the New Testament what we would call “death” was referred to as “sleep” by Christ and others.  And in contrast, being unsaved or “lost” was often called “dead.”  It doesn’t take much time in the Scriptures to get the picture that God sees things entirely differently than we do and His view is from a vantage point that comprehends far more than what our human eyes can see.  What would be worse, for example:  Being dead (physically) and being “in Christ” or being dead to Christ and still being alive in the body?  Any true Christ follower will tell you they’d rather die than deny Jesus is the Christ… and that’s exactly what the Apostles were asked to do.  Eleven out of twelve were killed refusing to deny their faith.  The twelfth (John) was obviously allowed to live a little longer so God could use him to bring us the book of Revelation–that by no accident outlines the end of all life as we know it today and the beginning of real life!

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”  Psalm 116:15

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Control?

It’s impossible to live for the Lord and still exercise control over your life.  Many try, but the truth is that doing so negates the whole concept of “giving your life to the Lord.”  Consider for a moment who really controls your life.  Then, consider if you are not letting Jesus guide your every step, you actually don’t have life at all.

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 10:39)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Burn Out?

There were quite a few amazing prophets of God in the Old Testament, but in my estimation the most colorful of all of them was Elijah.  The way God used Him makes any serious reader of the Scriptures laugh, then cry, and then just sit in amazement!  One day, however, even Elijah succumbed to what will inevitably hit every follower of the Lord who for even a minute takes his or her eyes off of God.  Elijah got burned out.  This immediately left him afraid of things he had never considered being afraid of before.  The devil’s tools of “fear” and “doubt” found a resting place in Elijah’s heart leaving him powerless before men and worthless before God.  Fortunately, God intervened on Elijah’s behalf.  When Elijah could go on no further, he finally called out to his Lord.  God comforted him, sustained him, and when Elijah was ready, he put him back on course.  There’s great hope for all of us in this because we serve the same awesome God!

“I have had enough, Lord,” he said.  “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”  Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.  1 Kings 19:4b-5a

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Dead or Alive?

Many world religions, some with literally billions of followers, believe people come back to life after they die.  Christians also believe in life after death.  Where we differ with these other religions is that we know from the Scriptures we do not come back as anything or anyone else.  We come back as ourselves, and for some that will be quite unfortunate.  There is no other life to live.  The name we make for ourselves here will be our name forever.  This is the only life we’ll have, and then we will face the judgment.  For those who are “born again,” the blood of Christ provides eternal Salvation.  Believe it or not, the whole concept of “dead” doesn’t seem to even make sense to God in the sense that we see it.  “Dead” to Him is reserved for those who are eternally separated from Him, very much eternal beings, but never to be in His Glorious presence.

“But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”  Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 20:37-38)

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Love Deeply?

You may have been too young to remember, but at some point in your development you were probably in love with the people who cared for you. For many, that was mom or dad, or both. Some aren’t so fortunate, but if you had absolutely anyone caring for you lovingly, you most likely reciprocated with love of your own. And then one day something happened. You realized you could actually get things done for you or given to you if you used the word “love” or maybe flashed your sad eyes. Or possibly you took the other road. You might have been one of those kids who threw fits until people relented! At any rate, if you’re a Christian, it’s time to stop the manipulation of those you say you love and do some growing up. Speak to each other in truthful ways and if you don’t get your way, don’t pout. That’s life, and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you wanted them. Think about the “love” you give and consider its source and its motive. 

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Two Lies?

When I was a young Christian I thought I could separate my Christian life from the life I had lived for so many years. Around my Christian friends, I would speak of Jesus, and around my other friends I’d speak of everything but Jesus! My actions simply weren’t God-honoring. The truth is that anyone who does this is living two lies–one in each world! As the Spirit inside of me made me more uncomfortable, I began to understand how I was hurting Him. Soon I had only one life, and I wanted to live that life for Jesus alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still have lots of non-Christian friends, but now Jesus is most often the conversation with them too! 

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7 

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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Irrelevant?

The vast majority of people in the world today believe the Holy Bible is either irrelevant, or at a minimum, terribly outdated.  The only time either is true is when WE fail to align our lives and our thinking with it.

“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”  1 Thessalonians 2:13

In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er

Jim@JamesKilby.com

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“Seek His Face!”

I’ve done some crazy stuff in my life.  Most of the stuff I did in my pre-Christian days I find difficult to even talk about. My testimony, no doubt a work of the Lord, is still difficult for me to spell out in great detail for people.  I’m honestly too ashamed of most of my works there.  What’s interesting and definitely a sign of God’s love is that even though I was up to no good for nearly three decades, one resounding thing never left my heart on my sober moments.  God never forgot to inspire me to move beyond my ridiculous existence and see His face.

“My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD , I will seek.” Psalm 27:8
In Christ,

PastorJimKilby @Kilbin8er
Jim@JamesKilby.com

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