Pilgrim's Path Daily

Friday, March 10, 2006

DAILY BIBLE PROMISE

** God put His Cross where His Mouth Was - all along! ** Today's Bible Promise is ... "Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I [am] with you, saith the LORD of hosts:" Hag 2:4

DAILY THANKSGIVING

Dan 6:0
"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime."

NATURE WATCH - 90 seconds on natural wonders

While many birds are getting some sleep at night, one bird is searching for a midnight feast. -- CLICK HERE


For the archive page, -- CLICK HERE

FOTO TOTO?

Ahhhh, the achievements of man!

Quite impressive, those pyramids - that wall of China - the Hoover dam. There are so many things man has touched, he's proud of. And why not? These things ARE impressive.

And there's the 'rub'. To be impressed with anything of this world is to become distracted from the very grip of destruction ongoing as we watch.

Only man is capable of mimicking the Marvels of God, while manifesting the wickedness of Damned Angels! That these two capabilities reside side-by-side in the same creature - that they often disguise themselves as their opposite - that only man counterfeits Divinity, while emulating evil - is both a Marvel to Angels and even God!

Jesus Marvelled at the power of evil unbelief in His Own townsfolk. They tried to murder Him! But that The Creator Himself should MARVEL at such a thing is an astonishment!

And then there is the flip side - that puny man is such that even God Himself is Mindful of him. This fact is mentioned again and again by Prophets and Psalmists. That man is also God's Chosen Companion - and that we have this wonderful capability (Faith) - also dazzles the Angelic Creatures! (see 1 Pet 1:12)

But capacity, capability and potential - are NOT the same as CHARACTER! Jesus also Marveled at the overwhelming Faith of a Gentile Centurion - and Graces the daring, daunting determination of an eager Zacchaeus with a Divine Visit to his home!

As we view the wonders of modern civilization (man's society), let us pray we never allow this to distract us from our 'Prime Directive'; BEHOLDING/REFLECTING GOD!

DAILY HYMN (LYRICS & MUSIC)




UNANSWERED YET

Unanswered yet?
The prayers your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail, is hope departing,
And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer:
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere,
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet?
Though when you first presented
This one petition at the Father’s throne,
It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So urgent was your heart to make it known.
Though years have passed since then, do not despair;
The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere,
The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet?
Nay, do not say ungranted;
Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done;
The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what He has begun.
If you will keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see, sometime somewhere,
His glory you shall see, sometime somewhere.

Unanswered yet?
Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet were firmly planted on the Rock;
Amid the wildest storm prayer stands undaunted,
Nor quail before the loudest thunder shock.
She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done,” sometime, somewhere,
And cries, “It shall be done,” sometime, somewhere.



Thanks to the Cyber Hymnal for this wonderful online service!

PODCAST - DAILY DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

this is an audio post - click to play

CHRISTIAN STUDY RESOURCES

'THE GOOD FIG TREE, NATHANAEL!'
--by Dennis Rideout

The name Nathanael literally means "the gift of God!". The roots, trunk, branches, leaves & fruit of the fig tree are part of the warp and woof of the very fabric of the Hebrew story. It was to the fig (of all the plants of Eden) Adam appealed for assistance in hiding the Lie of his newly-formed 'marriage' with evil!

As though the product of one creature might cover-up or compensate the deceit of another! Here was guile of the first kind! It was fitting that such an attempt to conceal the lie from God was associated with man's genitals as his 'fount' of 'pro'-creation (re-production)!

As man's 'fruit' is of his loins, so also his 'co-creation' (with God) was now 'dead'! The only 'life' now that could spring from Adam's loins was 'death'! Man's 'seed' would inherit only sin, evil, corruption & lies from his 'parentage'!

The fig, then, was commandeered from the beginning as 'liaison of death'; 'ambassador of deception'; 'alibi of evil'. A pretense of piety and portent of doom! The very first 'black magic' attempt was to 'pull the fig leaf over God's eyes'! What sham! What a farce!

Here is the essence of the Greek word 'hupocrites' ('play actor, as with masks'), from which we get our word 'hypocrite'! No wonder Jesus hated this 'guile' in man! The disobedience and subsequent cover-up attempt to deceive God (not to mention the hubris of believing that possible!), reveals the very arrogance of Satan himself in man!

But not just in man only, as man had been given Dominion over all the earth. We see this same evil attitude displayed in a fig tree which Jesus curses!

Mt 21:19 "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away."

Imagine any creature not 'budding', 'blossoming' & bursting forth with 'fruit' when it's Creator Approaches expectantly? Here is 'Due Season'! Here is Harvestime! He Is Lord of the Harvest! And for a tree to pretend (with leaves) to be what it cannot prove with fruit (as expected, as created) is the very sin Jerusalem's Messiah (Saviour) says it is condemned for: Lk 19:44 "And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not (did not discern!) the time of thy visitation ."

It all has to do with what Paul refers to as 'discerning the Body of Christ' in his instructions about Communion in ICor 11:29 "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

Why is not 'discerning' (recognizing, acknowledging, knowing) the Messiah DAMNATION? Good question! Because all creatures belong to God Who made them! Satan (merely a creature too!) created no one! For any creature to deny (cut off) it's Creator is to die (for lack of God Who IS that creature's life!)!

Satan knows this, and wants this for all creatures! Jg 9:8-15 "The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow : and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon."

The olive, fig & vine are all different symbols for Israel! The bramble (thorns, thistles, weeds, tares) are always symbols for evil! Jesus takes up this analogy in a comparison parable.

Lk 6:44 "For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes."

Obviously, the fruit of a creature reveals the true nature of that creature, because the fruit carries the seed which, in turn, carries the 'blueprint' or 'schematic' of that creatures 'design-intent'! Otherwise, propagation of that species would not be possible, and that particular species would cease to exist! But there are two different kinds of figs!

Jer 24:1-10 "The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon. One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil. Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good. For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers."

A brief lesson in the horticulture of figs reveals a 'male' and a 'female' plant (each with distinct fruits). The 'male' fig is totally inedible!

But Jesus continues to use the fig in yet another parable (again regarding the necessity of discernment & readiness).

Mk 13:28-33 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is."

It seems universally conceded that the fig tree here is Israel (the newly-formed nation), and that the generation referred to is the last generation, or this one!

So we see that the fig, from Adam to the present, is symbolically central to the issues of Truth vs lie; Righteousness vs sin; Open-Facedness vs deceitful cover-up; and discernment of true nature!

Further, as all life is seasonal, and fruit-bearing mandatory, God's people (the 'planting of the Lord') would be expected not just to receive from the Lord, but also to prove their identity (that they truly bear His Name & Nature!) by the maturity made possible only by His Love in bearing His Fruit (the Fruit of the Holy Spirit!).

John the Baptist told them to 'bear Fruit worthy of Repentance!' And we have a hint of what will befall any who will not 'receive' (Him) and 'mature unto fruit-proof' (that is, refuse to grow up In-Christ and Prove God's Love for us).

Their 'end' will be as those disobedient angels who hate God in Rev 6:13 "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind."

Notice they are called 'untimely', as though taken 'out of' (or before) their season! They are 'green' and inedible! Fit for nothing but a belly-ache!

But there is a good fig too! (Thank God!). But we don't hear much about it! It is a gift from God to all who Love Him! One might think I'm referring to Jesus here, but I'm not. No, Nathanael is God's gift of the good fig!

Jn 1:45-51 "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing (of value) come out of (such a poor, humble, insignificant & common place as) Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (Jesus had just said these words to Andrew & (John) when they asked Him where He Lived!) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile ! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence (from WHERE - HOW?) knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, --> thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel <--. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."

Sounds a little like Jacob & his 'ladder', huh? Indeed! Jacob's vision was of the Messiah! And all of this makes a little more sense when we realize that 'under the fig tree' is a Hebrew figure-of-speech (a 'Hebraism') which means (roughly) 'content to dwell (or wait: ostensibly for the Messiah) under the security of God's dominion of Wisdom (His Promise!)'.

Witness its use in a positive way in IKg 4:25 "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, all the days of Solomon."; and in a not-so-positive way in IIKg 18:31 "Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:"

This man Nathanael may be a bit dubious at first (although there can be no unbelief in him, or Jesus would not have commented on his guilelessness), but comes, nevertheless, to see! And what does he find? A man Who Sees into his own heart and knows he has been ready & waiting for his Messiah!

And when faced with his 'Season of Harvest' in the very Person of the Lord of the Harvest what does he do? He PROVES GOD IN THE JOY OF RECEIVING HIS SAVIOUR!

Here is Israel! Here is Jacob & his Vision-become-Israel! Here is the good fig!

The Master says BEHOLD! I always wondered why? And I wondered too at what was meant by 'no guile'!

Here was a fallen man, full of sin, condemned by the Perfect Law of a Holy God Who Promised to Come & Retrieve him who was lost! A Hebrew formed by the Hand of God waiting & watching 'under the fig tree' for Messiah! Ready-to-Ripen for Harvest!

Oh, there were others too, such as old-man Simeon who 'waited for the Consolation of Israel', and the prophetess Anna who 'departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day', and (oh yes!), little Zacchaeus who 'sought to see Jesus, and received Him joyfully', and then there was the Centurion in Mt 8:7-12 'And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only , and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it , he marvelled , and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Now, technically, I shouldn't include this Centurion as an example of the good fig tree because that symbol is reserved exclusively for Hebrews or Jews!

But Paul reminds us that (on this side of the cross) there is neither Jew nor Greek, and that circumcision is 'of the heart'! Sooooo... , it is FAITH which makes a 'fig tree' now! But then, it always was!

So it is that Abraham's 'seed' (FAITH!) is the true Israel. A sinful (mortal) man made willing to become 'fertile soil' for the 'Seed' of Abraham (Jesus Christ, Messiah), by the 'seed' of Abraham (Faith in God's Promise to Abraham & his generations).

We must be certain that it will be much the same in the last days as it was in Nathanael's day - only worse! We must 'discern the Body of Christ' or the darkness will be damnation to our souls!

Jesus says 'few there are 'who will receive Him joyfully'! Even though He is God's greatest 'Nathanael' (Gift to man), He only saves His Friends (who walk, talk, learn from, wait for, Love & Obey Him!).

If Peter's exclamation, 'Thou art the Christ!' would be His 'Rock' upon Which He would build HIs Church, surely Nathanael's 'Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel' MUST be the Perfect-Pattern of God's Law; i.e., the 'GOOD FIG TREE'!

WORSHIP & DEVOTIONAL MUSIC


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DAILY BIBLE PROVERB

Pr 10:20
"The tongue of the just is as choice silver:
the heart of the wicked is worth little."

PODCAST - DAILY AUDIO DEVOTIONALS

DAILY POEM

"When is the time to trust? Is it when all is calm, when waves the victor's palm, and life is one glad psalm of joy and praise? Nay!, but the time to trust is when the waves beat high, when storm clouds fill the sky, and prayer is one long cry, O help and save me!

"When is the time to trust? Is it when friends are true? Is it when comforts woo, and in all we say and do we meet but praise? Nay!, but the time to trust is when we stand alone, and summer birds have flown, and every prop is gone, all else but God.

"What is the time to trust? Is it some future day, when you have tried YOUR way, and learned to trust and pray by bitter woe? Nay!, but the time to trust is in the moment's need, poor, broken, bruised reed! Poor, troubled soul, make speed to trust thy God.

What is the time to trust?? Is it when hopes beat high, when sunshine guilds the sky, and joy and ecstacy fill all the heart? Nay!, but the time to trust is when our joy has fled, when sorrow bows the head, and all is cold and dead, all else but God!"

--Anonomous

(... Else what's a Faith FOR??)

DAILY AUDIO PODCAST

this is an audio post - click to play

DAILY PERSONAL PROVERB (--Dennis Rideout)

What CAN God SAY, if we won't LISTEN?

NOTABLE QUOTES (Various Authors)

"The Christian life is one of incarnate spiritual pluck!"

--Oswald Chamber

MUSIC APPRECIATION FOR TODAY


NOTE: Music files are kept on the server for 30 days, then deleted.