Getting Out of the Rut


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“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”  Luke 3:4b

Imagine going out into the wilderness to hear this man dressed in camel’s hair, with a belt of animal skin around his hip, who ate locusts and wild honey.  Today, that would be really unusual, but even back in Jesus’ day, that was unusual.  Even the most basic Jew would have worn a tunic, this “simple, one-piece robe, usually belted at the waist, with a hole for the head and two holes for the arms.” (Msgr. Charles Pope)  Most people wore both an inner tunic and an outer tunic.   The inner tunic only, was not a very respectable thing to wear by itself.  It was like a loose T-shirt dress coming to the knees, made of linen, cotton, or soft wool. Over the inner tunic, an outer tunic was worn, that often had tassles on the corner called Tzittzit.  If you were feeling penitential, like John or a prophet or the people of Ninevah, you might have worn sackcloth or camel hair.  That means that this John the Baptist guy, preaching in the wilderness was quite a site in his camel hair paired with the message he was preaching.   Here was a man demonstrating great humility in all areas of his life, calling everyone to humble repentance.  Could John’s message be so important that he would choose to humble himself before God and the people to declare it?

What was John’s message?  He was preaching the need for “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (verse 3)  John was preaching the need.  He was telling us all that without repentance, without turning from our sin, we can not be delivered from it, forgiven of it.  But it doesn’t just take repentance.  It takes the baptism of repentance.  I could repent on my own.  I could be sorry and turn myself around.  But that wouldn’t be the baptism of repentance. 

John’s baptism was a picture.  He dipped people in the waters of the Jordan River or where ever.  But in truth, the Jordan River can’t take away our sins.  So John was preaching something more powerful, but using a baptism that we could see to help prepare us for understanding how much we needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ to do the job for real, to do the job that we could not.

This baptiser was a voice in the wilderness crying out, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (verse 4-6; Isaiah 40:3-5)  So, John’s “job” was to prepare people for Jesus.  His job was to make Jesus’ path straight.  What does that mean?

I don’t know exactly.  But it makes me stop and think.  Jesus didn’t need the earth leveled out to walk on it, so this is a word picture.  What is the picture that God is trying to paint for me?  How do you prepare the way for the Lord to enter?  Enter what?  Enter the earth?  Or enter a man’s heart and life and mind?  What if people need to be prepared to be able to look straight at Jesus and see him for who he really is and ourselves for who we really are?  That word for path is like a worn rut, you know, like where the cows go back and forth every day, or a lion paces back and forth in his zoo cage.  It makes a rut.

Then there’s that word “straight.”  It can also mean level.  And I’m thinking that’s it here.  Why?  Because we have ourselves in ruts in our lives.  A rut isn’t level; it’s a depression in the soil.  And then we come to the next word.  We hear valleys being filled, mountains and hills being leveled, winding roads straightened, and rough ways made smooth.  And when all this happens, boom, the salvation of God!

This is the call to repentance.  We are called out of our ruts.  We are called to get off our mountains and our high hills.  We are called to walk away from perversity and crookedness.  We are called to smooth out our rough and jagged edges.  But then again, we can’t do that on our own.  We need someone who can do this in our lives.  We need someone who has the power to make the path straight, to fill and level the valley, to bring down the mountains of pride, to overcome perversity and crookedness in our lives, to smooth out our rough and rocky edges, to make us able to know our God and His salvation.

Who warns us to flee from the wrath to come, to flee from the anger of God?  Who warns us to come to Him, to draw near to Jesus, to find refuge and forgiveness and power in Him?  Unless it’s God working in us, it’s not real.  The reality of God working in us and calling us unto Himself through His Son Jesus, works in us the fruit of real repentance.  I will know that I can’t do any of this on my own.  I will know that I need Him.  I will know that I am lost without Him and He is my only hope for life, now and forever. 

What shall I do, then, Lord?  If you would hew down those who don’t bring forth good fruit, how can I be one who bears good fruit?  If I can’t set the path straight on my own, how can I at all?  Is it enough if I give one of my coats to someone in need?  Is it enough if I am honest in my affairs with others?  Is it enough if I refrain from violence, don’t accuse others falsely, and am content?  No, that is not enough, but those things are the fruits of repentance, the fruits of one who is being humbled and humbling oneself.  These are the fruits of one whose way is being prepared for the Lord.

John was not the Lord.  But he was helping people be prepared.  Jesus was coming.  Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  Which we will be baptised with depends on if we let Him level our “playing ground” by humbling ourselves before him or if we refuse to let him.  We can choose to hold onto our mountains of pride, our valleys of self-pity, our crooked ways of perversion, our habitual ruts.  Or we can allow Jesus to lay them all out straight and flat so that they aren’t obstructions to our following His will any more, so that they are not obstructions to us knowing and following Him.

It’s my choice.  I can humble myself before the One who humbled Himself on my behalf and gave His life a ransom for mine.  He took the fiery punishment I should take so I wouldn’t have to.  Why wouldn’t I humble myself to His love and His power and His ways?  Why wouldn’t I submit to letting You, Lord, straighten me out and level me out so that You shine as the Highest of highests in my life?  Why would I refuse, and bear the fiery punishment instead?

The truth is that all flesh, all people, shall see the salvation of God.  “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:5)  It doesn’t matter who you are or who I am.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve allowed the Lord to humble you or if you have stood firm as the mountain against Him.  The truth is, God will reveal His glory; we shall both see it.  The only difference is that one of us will run to Him as our refuge, our God, our Father, our Saviour, because we are humbly covered by the blood of the Lamb, even as imperfect as we are.  But the other, will be cast away, cringing in terror and eternal loss.  Because as the Lord stands there before us both, purging the floor before him, fanning the wheat and the chaff, who will you be?  The wheat he collects, but the chaff, He will burn with unquenchable fire.

Lord, I want to be Your wheat.  I want to be humble and humbled.  I want to see You as You are and other things as they truly are.  I want my path made straight in You.  And I want to be faithful like John and help prepare others to find your path, because there aren’t many paths.  You have made one path for all.  May I follow that as I follow Your leading, and may I be an instrument to draw others to Your path of You as well.

Don’t Be Caught With Your Pants Down!


“But grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory now and to the day of eternity.  Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18

There is a day approaching and it will come on us like a thief breaking in a house.  Some of us will be prepared, and some of us…well…this will be a day like no other.  Oh, there are terrible natural disasters.  We’ve seen them.  Some of us have lived through them.  But on this day, it’s been promised that “the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”  (2 Peter 3:10) 

It’s not like Peter was pulling some crazy idea out of nowhere.  This is sound Biblical truth.  Take it as a promise from God.  We can find it shared by John in Revelation. Jesus told us in Matthew, Luke, and Mark.  Paul warns us.  Isaiah, Nahum, Malachi, Amos, Joel, and Micah warned us.  The Psalmist warns us and Jude warns us.  With all those warnings, what will I do about it?  How will I prepare?  How am I to prepare?

Hasn’t Peter already been preparing us?  But just in case we missed it, Peter asks, “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God…”  (2 Peter 3:11,12a)   Actually, he’s not asking a question.  He’s telling us the kind of people we ought to be busy being.  In other words, the sort of being you ought to be in your life is holy and godly, like one looking forward to and awaiting His coming. 

How can I look forward to a coming like that with so much utter destruction?  Because I know the truth.  According to God’s promise, it doesn’t end with destruction for those who believe, for the child of God.  We are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells 24-7.  That’s God’s promise.  That is what He is bringing in after He cleanses away the brokenness and sin.

It’s not like waiting for a dentist or doctor appointment or punishment from Dad, where you wait and cringe and don’t look forward to it at all.  Of course we don’t look forward to the destruction, but then we look beyond the destruction, don’t we.  Isn’t that hope?  Isn’t that trust?   Isn’t that faith?  We wait for the final promise, the new heavens, the new earth, righteousness everywhere because God is the light of everything and Jesus is the heart of everything.  And if I know this, then don’t I want to live so that I’m ready for the presence of God?  Don’t I want to live diligently in You?  Don’t I want to be faithful at allowing You, Your way in my life, of surrendering all to You now so that I’ll be ready to be whatever You want me to be in You throughout eternity?  Don’t I want to live my life preparing for that?

When You come back, because You are, it’s a promise, how will I be found?  What will I be doing?  Will I be ready?  Or will I be “caught with my pants down”?  That would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?  How am I preparing now?  Am I diligent?  Am I quick to obey You?  Do I make every effort to know Your will more and more every day and to do it?  Am I prompt with what I learn?  Am I earnest?  Do I follow through with action and life change or do I just store it up in my brain?  Is it a labour of love to seek Your will through Your word and time spent meditating upon it and in prayer with You?  Do I labour to obey, to walk it out in my life, to let You have Your way in me?  Do I really study to show myself “approved unto God, a workman not needing to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”?

Lord, help me to be diligent to grow in grace and in knowing, really knowing Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, knowing His will, so that I know Your will, and do it, because it has become my joy to glorify You now and forever.  My goodness, if I can’t find joy in glorifying You now in my body and life, how do I expect to find joy in You in eternity?  My joy can’t wait; it has to start now, because now is when I know You.  To not have joy is to not know You, and one can’t have hope in someone they don’t know, can they?  May I bring You glory now and into eternity. 

Stir It Up!


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“Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In this [as in the first one], I am stirring up your untainted mind to remind you, that you should remember the words spoken in the past [about the future] by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior given by your apostles [His personally chosen representatives]..”  2 Peter 3:1-2  (Amplified Version)

If we were the church back in Peter’s day, why would he be writing us a second letter?  Just to say, “Hi!”?  At a time when Peter’s death was imminent, was he just saying goodbye?  Or was it that he wanted the believers, us, to be ready for what life was throwing at us and for what it would throw at us?  That’s a lot like Jesus, isn’t it, that attitude?  “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.” (John 16:33)

Jesus prepared his disciples and the apostles with not only everything they needed to know, but with everything they needed to face their lives ahead of them.  Right before this, Jesus had shared, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser…I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:1,5)  He brings them to remembrance and prepares them for the future.  Why?  “I have said these things to you to keep you from falling away.” (John 16:1) 

How can words keep us from falling away? Because Jesus’ words aren’t just words, they are real, they are truth, they are life, and they are given to us as a deposit with the Holy Spirit who enables us to remember and to do the will of God in a harsh world.  Read carefully and think closely on these words: “But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.  I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I am going to Him who sent me [God], and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you…I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:4-7,12-15)

Why all the fuss?  Because Peter loves the believers.  If I’m a believer too, he loves me as well.  But so what if Peter loves me, he’s dead and gone.  Yeah, but he loved the other believers and me because of Jesus’ love for him and us, not because of his own love.  See, that word beloved is about something being truly dear to you, dearly loved.  Don’t take it lightly.  It’s the way God the Father feels about His Son, Jesus.  “And lo, a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:17)  Paul, Peter, James, and John all speak to other believers as beloved.  Who speaks like that?  Ones who remember the love that they have found in Christ, that was bestowed upon them by God in Christ!

Do I know that I am loved like that?  It will make a difference in my walk and response in life.  I’m not just beloved by Paul, Peter, James and John; I’m beloved of God, beloved of Jesus, and beloved of the Holy Spirit.  I’m not a lost cause.  He has invested Himself in me.  I am precious and because I am in Christ, I am beloved and God is well pleased with me.  I need to be reminded of this every day.  I need to live in this truth every day.  I need to remember who I am in You and how You feel about me because then it won’t matter how someone else feels or what the world says or does, or even what my own heart wants to say about me.  I will trust Your feelings.  Remind me over and over.  Let me remember Your words over and over.  Let me rest in You so that I can walk in You always mindful of You. 

Remind me that I am to humble myself under the mighty hand of God, so You will exalt me in due time. (1 Peter 5:6)  I can just let You be mighty and let that flow from me.  I can remember that You are God and I am not, but You are in me and I can let You be God in my life and live in that love and knowledge and let You guide and direct me in every situation always remembering and being reminded, remembering and being reminded, remembering and being reminded that, like Jesus, I must humble myself and let You be God in me.

Peter doesn’t say he is stirring up our tainted minds.  He doesn’t need to stir up the dirt and the smut that wants to come from our hearts.  That comes easy.  He puts the spoon to the bottom of the cup and stirs up the untainted truth, the spirit in us, the real stuff of God that is in us.  That’s what I need to keep stirring.  Oh, anyone can stir up bitterness without difficulty, or pride, or rights, or pain, or this or that easily enough.  But what I need to stir up is the untainted stuff God has already placed in me when He deposited the Holy Spirit in me. 

As a believer, I was crucified with Christ.  I died with Christ. I rose again with Christ to newness of life.  I am in Him now and He is in me!  God, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:5,6)  So what?  What does that mean?  Now I can know and experience “the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”!  (Ephesians 2:7) It’s not based on what I do or what’s done to me.  It’s based on who I am in Christ.  Your love, Lord, doesn’t change. 

Your love and Your words and Your promises from the prophets in the past and from Your apostles through Jesus are the reminder, the spoon, that stirs the Holy Spirit in us, that helps me to depend on Him and line myself up with Him, and let Him have His way, so that Your life flows from me whatever the circumstances of my life here and now.   The Word of God, from beginning to end, is there to stir me up.  Well, really, outside of you, there is only the old nature to be stirred up.  That’s a bunch of yuck.  But, because I am in You, You are in me.  And as I rely on Your Word, all of it, it stirs up the untainted Holy Spirit in me.  Lord, stir away, and don’t stop.

When God is Against Me


“Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you, and all your companies that are assembled unto you, and be a guard unto them.” Ezekiel 38:7

Being prepared is a good thing. Well, it can be a good thing depending on what you are preparing for. I mean, right now, lots of people around the world are preparing for Christmas. That’s a good thing. But there are some people preparing for death. And depending on how they are preparing for that, it might or might not be such a good thing to them. Maybe someone is preparing to tell someone else some bad news. Or someone might be preparing for a graduation. What the land of Magog is preparing for is not a good thing coming their way. The land of Magog is preparing for coming judgement.
Why is Magog preparing itself? Why are they preparing for God’s coming judgement? Because like so many others, they would not prepare for the presence of God in their every day lives. Their every day lives were absent of the One who created them and gives them purpose in this life. Their faces and their lives were “set against” God. And so You God have set Your face “against” them.

That’s an interesting expression. You tell Ezekiel, “Son of man, set your face against God, the land of Magog…and prophesy against him…” (Ezekiel 38:2) In verse 3 you tell Ezekiel to say, “Thus says the Lord God; ‘Behold, I am against you, O Gog…” I think of that phrase used in the King James Version and I think of someone facing the other way, refusing to look at and acknowledge Magog, of someone who is working against them. But here’s the interesting thing. That’s not what it means. It really means that Ezekiel was told to set his face toward Magog. And it means that God, You were or are setting Your face toward Magog. It seems like Your back is no longer remaining turned and You are in a place of face to face confrontation. When this time comes, there will be no more ignoring You.
Since I’m trying to understand You and Your word better, I thought it would be good for me if I investigated what it means when You set Your face against someone, when You turn Your face to them. And why would You do that? What brings things to that point? So, into Your word I delve.

As I dig, I first come to Leviticus. In chapter 17, verse 10, I read, “And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eats any manner of blood; I will even set My face against that soul that eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.” This is God’s face, His paniym or countenance, being turned toward or near the one He is looking at or dealing with. That word paniym is the same word God used when He spoke of Cain’s countenance falling. And here, in Leviticus we have someone, who ought to know God and the things of God and what delights God and they just don’t do it. God says, “don’t eat blood.” Do I really need to know why? Does there always have to be a reason? Do I need to understand to trust God and obey? For whatever reason, this person who is a part of the people of Israel, which means they are a part of the family of God, eats blood anyways. So what? God sees. God knows. You look closely into that person’s heart and You have the ability to judge their devotion to You, their love, their intentions, their obedience, their everything. You see into every part of that person and know that by their choice, they don’t love and worship You. Why? They don’t honour and value Your commands and they lead others to dishonour Your commands. That’s dangerous, for ourselves and those around us. You won’t continue to ignore that. You will turn Your face to us and deal with us if we won’t deal with ourselves by preparing ourselves in You in the first place.

Then there’s the person who offers their child to idols like Molech. Oh, that means that they are worshipping an idol, another God. And You declare, “And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he has given of his seed unto Molech, to defile My sanctuary, and to profane My holy name.” (Leviticus 20:3) That’s pretty bad, isn’t it. Someone who calls themselves a believer in God, a child of Israel, who worships a foreign God? Yet they still continue as though everything is fine in Israel and in their home and in their life. But God sees and God knows. And this has nothing to do with life, but everything to do with death and emptiness. This has everything to do with tearing down and destroying God’s holiness and image before those surrounding this person. It has everything to do with dragging others into destruction with you as you continue with Molech. But God sees and God, You know. And You will not let it continue forever. You will step in, face to face, and confront the problem, and the truth about Who You Are will be made known. And the truth about who the twisted one is, will be made known to that twisted one. It’s good to make sure I’m not twisted. I would prepare myself well by making sure my heart is lined up rightly with the One who created it, before I wind up preparing to go face to face with God, because if He has to confront me in that way, I will lose.

Let’s not forget this one, “And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” (Leviticus 20:6) And here’s another to remember, “ And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that you will not do all my commandments, but that you break my covenant… And I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and you shall flee when none pursues you.” (Leviticus 20:15,17) Oh, there’s more to think about: Jeremiah 21:8,10,  “Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death…For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, says the Lord: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire,” or Ezekiel 14:7,8 “For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separates himself from me, and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the lord will answer him by myself.  And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” And let me add Ezekiel 15:7 about the vine that is not meet for work when it is whole so it is just as useful burned. “And I will set my face against them:; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and you shall know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them.” Why? They have committed a trespass. That’s what the next verse says. So is that the problem here? What in the world is a trespass and why such severe penalties or judgement?

A trespass is from the Hebrew word maal, meaning treachery, sin- falsehood. It’s not an accidental slip up. This is deliberate defiance. This is when I know that God has said, “Don’t eat blood,” but I do it anyway because I want to or I don’t care what He says. This is when God says that we are to have nothing to do with idols, or familiar spirits and I run to them anyways. This is when God tells me I should delight in His word and I don’t give a hoot instead or I despise it and treat it with disrespect, any part of it. This is trespassing. This is maal. This is treachery against God, and against others. This is falsehood. This is sin. This is serious. This is worthy of having to be cut off from Him and from His family.  Yes, He will confront this.  He will get right in Your face like a good Father.

That other expression about God cutting him off, really stands out to me. It’s in Numbers 15:30 also, “But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among the people.” Maybe more of us ought to be preparing ourselves to hear and understand all of this better. It’s a pretty serious and bad thing to prepare to be cut off. I’d rather not have to prepare for that.  I mean who likes to get caught in the wrong and then stand before your father and have to be confronted over it.  I mean, we know what’s coming when it’s our earthly father, right?  Why do we think our heavenly Father won’t stop us in our tracks?

But what exactly is the impact of being cut off. It’s from the Hebrew word karath. It has to do with cutting off, cutting down, and cutting asunder. But it’s a word that’s used in the cutting of sacrifices. Remember when Abram had to cut the animals into pieces and while he was put into a deep sleep, God passed in between the sacrifice? It was a part of covenantal agreements. It’s there in the covenant of circumcision. There’s cutting and blood involved in His covenants. Why? Maybe so we would understand the seriousness not only of the covenant or promise, but the seriousness of the consequences.

There is another kind of cutting. There is the cutting of excommunication; the cutting off of relationship. There is the cutting off from community which is vital to us. Imagine being in the wilderness and being cut off from the community of Israel. What would that mean in real terms? It would mean that you were removed from your protection, you would be without any interaction, you would have no provision, and you would be without God. Pretty much, it was your death sentence. Yep, it was death.

When You Lord,  set Your face against us, You are turning Yourself directly to us and confronting our treachery face on. You are holding us responsible for it and giving us the consequences. Excommunication from You and others in You is the consequence. Sometimes that’s our immediate death, but even if not so, it’s the beginning of our destruction and our exclusion. Maybe that makes us ask why excommunication? Why death? Because for deliberate sin, for these trespasses, for this wilfulness there was no sacrifice that could be offered for their forgiveness. The sacrifices were for unintentional sins and mistakes, not intentional, not deliberate and wilful disobedience. For that, there is only this being cut off.

Wow! Where does that leave me or you? Don’t tell me you have never deliberately and willfully disobeyed. Is forgiveness not available for me? Thank God for something greater than the Jewish sacrificial system. Thank God for Your compassion that offered the sacrifice of Jesus Your Son who payed the price as our sacrifice able to forgive our deliberate sin. Thank God that Jesus bears all our sins away.

I need to get this. I need to be preparing in You and not waiting for You to tell me to prepare to meet the consequences of my sin. Trusting Jesus is willfully obeying, it’s determining that Your desires are best no matter how I feel. It’s learning to love Your ways above my own and follow them regardless where they lead here because they always lead to You. It’s about turning my face and my whole life to You When now in preparation so that when You look at me, it’s not in judgment, but to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It’s not some trivial thing we’re reading about today. It’s a matter of life and death, which You proposed to us already way back in the Old Testament. It’s not old and archaic. It’s a timeless truth. It’s life eternal. Sin will destroy me. It will destroy you. It will destroy us. Today should make me stop and think. I should think about the precarious and dangerous situation I am in if I am not right with God in Christ. He is here desiring to rescue and not excommunicate. But I can choose life or death. What will I choose? Lord, I want to choose Your fellowship and the fellowship of Your word. May I learn to delight in everything that is of You.