Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

John 13:36.

Everyone cannot follow you every time to every place.  There is a place to which even faithful followers cannot follow you; a season when not even the closest of protocols who had followed you to the exclusive Mount of Transfiguration should follow you further (Matthew 17:1-3).  If you can’t discern the seasons, there could be a crisis of wasted sacrifices, and high priests denied access into the holiest for sisterly pollutions from committed common hands (John 20:17).

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  1. Not all Clean

Sometimes we waste precious waters washing the feet of folks whose heart is already sold.  The cleaning power is not all in the water or in the washer.  Holy motions become mere rituals when hearts are far from acts.

In the closing moments of His ministry on earth, Jesus stooped to wash the feet of His disciples.  At the end of that precious process, this was His solemn announcement: “ye are clean, but not all.”  As if it had not been said clearly enough, it is repeated in the next verse: “Ye are not all clean” (John 13:10, 11).

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GOOD MORNING  (Part 3 of 3)

­Helpers of God

Come to think of it: if Jesus was the Son of God, or God Himself, as we learn, did He need a mortal’s boat?  Couldn’t Heaven have dispatched a chariot of fire for Him to preach from?  Did the great God have to ask a mere man for his boat?  Wasn’t that moment the unique opportunity to display His greatness as He stood mid-air above the waters to preach the mysteries of God?  Does the Almighty God need mortal partners in His Kingdom projects?  Do I have a boat He might need this morning?  Could that partnership be the key to ending the reproaches of a protracted night?

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GOOD MORNING   (Part 2 of 3)

  1. A Miracle Elsewhere

Every miracle does not take place in every location, otherwise Jesus would not have needed to instruct Peter to move from where he already was, to elsewhere called “the deep.”   Only He knows where your treasures are hid. Sometimes we labour much because we are in the not-deep wrong place.  There, we blame the barren rivers and an ‘unkind God.’  Some miracles might never be, until we are in the deep place where they await us. “Launch out…”!

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GOOD MORNING  (Part 1 of 3)

1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Luke 5:1-7.

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  1. The Conflict of Faiths

You will never amount to much if you believe in those who do not believe in you, ‘practical’ and reasonable as their points might seem.  You will always prove somebody right whether you fail or you succeed.

As Moses led his people out of slavery into freedom, the same people opposed him fiercely, demanding, Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us out here in the desert to die? We could have died peacefully in Egypt; there were plenty of graves in Egypt.”  Really?  Die “peacefully in Egypt”?  Why and Why and Why?

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  1. Eloquent Wounds

One Bible verse has lately been peeking at me strangely from Zechariah 13:6; a scripture with many sobering echoes.  It started some days ago when the Spirit told me that it explained the sad circumstances of someone to whom He was sending me, at a place where I had been invited to say just a greeting.

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I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace.
Daniel 4:4.

  1. When Ancient Kings Speak…

People should listen when great kings speak, especially successful ancient kings who made their contributions to the wonders of their time.  Before us is the profound confession of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, famed in history also for his contribution of hanging gardens to the wonders of the ancient world.  Babylon was opulence beyond compare.

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There is a spirit sometimes called “The Destroyer,” that enters homes at night, when everyone is supposed to be peacefully sleep.  It enters to bring sudden deaths, and so cause great pains to homes in peaceful sleep.  Often, that spirit does not kill just one or two but slays in great numbers.

When obstinate Pharaoh would not let Israel get out of his captivity despite God’s repeated appeals, God had to “pass through” his land to unleash that spirit.  Meanwhile, God assured His people that He was not going to let the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you” (Exodus 12:23).  So, what smote the Egyptians in their numbers that night was The Destroyer, which usually operates in houses, enters to smite, enters houses that are in apparent peace, enters at unexpected times, and smites in numbers to cause national calamity.  Usually, the actions of that spirit are never unnoticed.

In one battle between Israel and Sennacherib the king of Assyria, God deployed that spirit, and 105,000 Assyrian soldiers died overnight.  That king, like Pharaoh, was forced to give up promptly and retreat (2 Kings 19:35-36).

The Destroyer is one of many spirits in God’s arsenals.  It is a spirit usually released upon stubborn nations, especially because of their stubborn ruler.  David identified that spirit of death as “the terror by night” (reads like ‘terrorists’ at night) and “the pestilence that walketh in darkness” (Psalm 91:5-6).  He had had his unforgettable brush with that spirit when he had conducted an ill-advised national census and 70,000 were suddenly killed (2 Samuel 24:15-16).  In all cases, the wicked kings lived to mourn their fate, at least for a while.  It was their innocent citizens that died suddenly.

When a ruler begins to boast against God, is proud, and would not hear good counsel, his people are in danger of this mass slayer … but may the Passover Blood distinguish between Goshen and Egypt when those nights come. Amen.

From The Preacher’s diary.
September 12, 2019.

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