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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Jesus is called in scripture, “The Man of sorrows.”

Jesus said that God is Love. Scripture tell us “Love suffers long and is kind.” Surely God has been kind to not blot the human race off the earth: to write us off.

We may have sung or heard: “Jesus walked that lonely valley. He had to walk it by Himself. Nobody else could walk it for Him. He had to walk it by Himself.”

But He walked it, “For the joy that was before Him;” that is, for the end goal of eternal blessedness.

For the sincere, loneliness is inevitable; but it need not be eternal. In fact loneliness can be useful as the cause which brings us to seek God. God, in divine loneliness, is seeking us. This situation He has caused and, without exception, should bring us together.

God will not fail us; but has given us the freedom to choose not to find Him: we can “grieve the Spirit” or “lie to the Spirit;” but we cannot stop Him from being or doing what He is and does.

Anyone who does not find God – according to the light he has been given . . . can never blame God.


The two sides to any conflict have real footage, whether from one side or the other this is recognized.

Jacob, having stolen both his brother’s birthright and his inheritance, deceiving even his own father Isaac, was sent by his also convincing mother to her brother’s home. There to obtain a wife.

Laban was the name of Jacob’s mother’s brother. He agreed that if Jacob would labor seven years there in his territory and help to prosper as well, that Jacob would be given Uncle Laban’s daughter to wed.

So Jacob did honorably at Laban’s and worked for seven years only to have Laban default on his promise. Jacob was not given Rachel but rather he was given Leah. Rachel was who Jacob loved, so he worked another seven years. Laban then gave Jacob the hand of Rachel in marriage.

Himself having a track record much like Uncle Laban, and all of us – some pretty noble, some not noble at all – Jacob seems to have found it easy to judge Laban: and to later act accordingly. But after working for Laban fourteen years instead of the agreed seven, Jacob remained six more years tending Laben’s flocks. During this time Jacob’s herds increased: God prospered him. Then Jacob departed the land, took his wealth with him, took Laban’s next of kin – his daughters and their children. Hear Laban’s complaint when the two met again: (Genesis 31:26 – 29, 41, 42.). Laban speaking to Jacob:

“You deceived me, and you’ve carried off my daughters like captives of war. Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to music? You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters good-bye. . . I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.”

Jacob complained as well, to Laban

“I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.

Jacob didn’t trust Laban, he slipped out of town so-to-speak, Laban was not a happy camper about that. In Genesis 31:51-55 we find, however, that both of these stinkers found reconciliation begun by stating fair boundaries.

Reconciliation is the goal, the very reason that God, knowing the awful mess humanity would make, continued with His plan of creation. The single most important event in world history was that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” Christ in me is God’s method for bringing peace on earth to those in our pathway of life. Laban proposed:

“Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. . . . I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you. . “he asked, will you do the same?”

They both personally acknowledged God – saw Him in the midst of their conflict – humbled themselves – “tarried all night in the mount (that place where we draw near to God and our focus is on the God of love, and peace, gentleness and kindness – mercy and forgiveness – fullness of joy because our hearts have been reset, cleaned of hurt and even hate, made soft for only such a heart ought be within us.

Our children deserve that we be people who win over those difficulties that elsewhere in the world can lead even to wars: Love, real love, is greater than the hurt we’ve experienced.

So, the word of God shows us how to set boundaries toward reconciliation, how to build where light shines, how to overcome through surrender of the I-don’t-deserve- this . . . baloney: we have all sinned; we all deserve Hell; His grace is greater than all my sin: I want to be like Jesus – in my heart.

This is only possible with those who want Christ’s presence: it does take two: all actual love takes two and all real love “Suffers long and is kind.” There is a certain suffering involved in finding a place where our focus is turned to valuing the other person’s complaint rather than claiming immunity from being a human who also is “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it: Prone to leave the God I love: take my heart, Lord, (everyman;s answer) take and seal it. Seal it to thy throngs above.”

I love that in singing that old hymn: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I can separate myself from self-righteous indignation – Jesus surely could have gone that route; but He did not. His way is the way of a costly but only potential reconciliation that He believed was not too costly – “For the joy that was set before Him.”

With a person showing complaint, hidden there is a cry for a wholesome relationship. Complaint is much better than indifference. And it takes real character for persons to get out of themselves.

With the Lord it is win, win – – – no, win, win, win because He cares for you and we grieve Him as well – – -“Because of the hardness of your hearts,” Jesus said, you are at this juncture in your marriage,

There is amazing joy in the morning: Genesis 31:55 – – –

“And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. . .” In the passage before that, both of them having the Lord as the center “Between them,” Jacob offered sacrifice, called his brethren to eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.”

We can make a mountain out of a molehill – that is that argument upon which we build the defense of our failed marriage or any moral failure. “Dead right,” my pastor used to call this. Or we can sing, “Bigger than any mountain, bigger than anything; my God is bigger than any mountain that I can or cannot see. Testimonies are made of times like yours. We’re all writing a gospel for the on-looking world to see. Oh, how every one of us has shamed Christ! And oh, how He loves you and me.

The two sides to any conflict have real footage, whether from one side or the other this is recognized. Probably one does have a stronger case and probably we can align those to our side who can be thus influenced. It’s what we do on our way to failure. We build our case, lose the real battle, surround ourselves with soothsayers: we even might twist the facts, or highly emphasize matters so as to gain their support.

Give each other a break. With a shut mouth – that is what God told Laben. Hear the real heart cry from your spouse. Value that the pain they feel is real. Turn to the Lord for the flood His compassion to come into you.

Change the few simple antagonisms: good grief, take the garbage out – you get it; and laugh for years to come as you reminisce you “war stories” or as you “refuse to go there.” Every relationship has “history.”

You stand on the brink of victory. Stubborn pride is your chief enemy: mercy, longsuffering, and kindness- your Friend: God, for Christ sake, offers all forgiveness and newness of life, and happiness within your family, and amazement of His healing touch: “Hope for today and bright hope for tomorrow.”

Laban, and Jacob – who was the most to blame? Who cares.


I name the name of Jesus, but I cannot live a life absolutely faithful to His cause. Shame could decimate me, were I completely honest. One little sin blots the whole. “Be ye perfect as He is perfect?” I cannot; though I would, I desire. (Matthew 5:48).

So, I constantly return when I hear His voice. He calls me from and He calls me to. From worry, despair, and from believing that evil is winning: He calls me to Himself, the One who is the fountain of my life and my hope.

As the song says, “It is well with my soul,” because He who is faithful is more than able.

“For His name’s sake He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness.” (Psalm 23)

“He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

My Shepherd follows my trial, finds me again, lifts me and carries me so my feet are strengthened, my resolve renewed, my hope re-kindled, my focus set again on “the hill where my strength comes.” (Psalm 121)

Before my life began the Father who knows the end from the beginning saw those as each of us playing in the dirt of His design, of our stumbling and keeping the willing from fatally stumbling.

His name’s sake has to do with the people who have turned to God through personal salvation. He is their Shepherd, they hear His voice, “children of God (being) led by the Spirit of God” (Romans 8:14).
Not because of their good deeds; but for His name’s sake. He will, if we turn and turn to Him, wash all our sin away.

Spiritual warfare (the fight) of a believer is battling against unbelief, doing all to stand upon the promises of God: trusting that for His name’s sake the Lord determined to save the savable, to compel the compellable, and that He would gather many sons and daughters from this earth to glory.

“In this world you will have tribulation,” Jesus said, explaining life as it is for all of us. “But be of good cheer, He tells us: “For I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) “

For His name’s sake, I must boast of Him. I must compel the willing to come to Him. I must write and so live that people hear and see.