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I Will Put a Difference
January 11, 2009
2009 will be a year of division, of God putting a difference between "My people and not-my-people." God makes distinctions. God separates. He puts a difference between holy and unholy, between unclean and clean. This year especially those who are sons of light must walk as children of light and have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness. God is bringing forth the plagues of Egypt as the Spirit of Burning and the Spirit of Judgment runs to and fro over the earth holding the nations to the
Standard and to the standards they have set for themselves, hovering over them to see, who is their god. Blessed is that nation whose God is the LORD. (Psalm 33.12)
Grace precedes judgment. God gives time to prepare. He gives time to repent and return to Him. He tells His people to watch and to pray, to get ready, to prepare their hearts. God in His grace brings a charge, an indictment, a list of what He has against a nation, a people, a person. He comes with a controversy. He comes against that which opposes the Word of God. He warns of the consequences of opposing His Word, of corruption, of sin having its own punishment built in. We learn; we are chastened as much by our sins as for our sins. God is holy. God is just. God is love. God is the God of all grace.
Darkness and death seek to spread and cover the earth now; but into the chaos, into the darkness God commands light. The prince of darkness stands ready to reveal himself and make his entrance on the stage of the world. This one masquerades as an angel of light, but the light that is within him is darkness. The darkness will spread low upon the ground and from there fill the air, making it harder to breathe. In this we are to remember, the prince of this world has nothing in Jesus. (John 14.30) Remember, God is the living breath and Source and Sustainer of Life.
What has opened the door to this darkness? In Scripture, we find the answer to be idolatry, playing the harlot, spiritual adultery, looking to governments and not to God, pride in the work of our hands, ingratitude, robbing God of His glory, the spilling of innocent blood, failing to love mercy, do justice, and to walk humbly with our God, and the like.
It is not only unbelievers. God's people stand unrepentant for their sin. Many mock. They compromise. They have grown complacent. They corrupt themselves. Nevertheless, those who overcome will be spared. Revelation 2, 3 God is with His people to prevail. Remember the LORD.
It is through judgment that deliverance comes. Even in judgment, there is grace. God's purpose is to restore, to reconcile, to bring His people back to Himself that He might bless and give them life. Throughout the process God moves in unfailing love against the enemies that have turned His people to other lovers, to other gods, to sell their souls. As His people reject Him, He will move from a base of the agony of rejected love. He may hedge them around with thorns, cut them off from their "Baals," send them into exile, let them wander in the wilderness, turn their joy into gloom, etc. Yet,
I will ransom them from the power of
I will redeem them from death:
O death, I will be your plagues;
O grave, I will be your destruction:
Repentance shall be hid from Mine eyes. Hosea 13.14
To show forth the power of His unfailing love, by great judgments God brought forth His people the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt that the Egyptians would know that God is the Covenant Lord. (Ex. 7.4, 5) In the midst of the plagues God put a deliverance (redemption) between His people and the Egyptians. (Ex 8.23) Thus, as God judges evil through His justice, the righteous are delivered. Evil will lie to get relief. Evil will refuse to budge. Evil ones stand firm in their convictions against God. But as God continues to send out His judgments, He makes a distinction even between what belongs to His people and what belongs to the Egyptians. (Ex. 9.4) The judgment of God comes to curse one and deliver another. It is selective.
God in His judgment could strike and cut a nation off, but He may allow them to remain, "in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth." (Ex. 9.16). "He has mercy on whom He wills, but He hardens whom He wills." (Romans 9.18) Here is hope in the grace of God, for even though an unbeliever, God can spare to make someone acknowledge His glory or to use the unbeliever for His purposes, as with Pharaoh. (Romans 9.17)
Out of trouble, a door of hope. As God set forth to take the life of all firstborn, He gave redemption through the Passover. (Ex 11, 12) All the firstborn in the land of Egypt would die, and there arose a great cry throughout all the land. "But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that you may know how that the Covenant Lord does put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel." (Ex. 11.7) The month of Passover would be the beginning of months, the first month of the year for the Israelites, Abib (Ex. 13.4) up until the Babylonian Captivity and after, Nisan. (Neh. 2.1) Night raged with death and destruction, but God the Covenant Lord brought His people out of the house of bondage by the strength of His hand. (Ex 13.3) Grace brings redemption.
After this, God would sanctify to Himself all the firstborn, both of man and of beast. (Ex. 13.2) God led His people and gave them His Law, but the people soon grew stiff-necked. (Psalm 78) Their history is a warning to us, but also a glimpse into the heart of a holy God whose unfailing love will move in judgment to bring deliverance to His people. That is what God is doing now among the nations of the earth. And as from the beginning, the Judge of all the earth will do right.
Jesus is our Passover. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. God raising Him from the dead showed to all the principalities and powers that the Father accepted the sacrifice of the life of His Son as propitiation for sin, payment for sin, redemption, the means of reconciliation, and the means by which Satan's dominion would be destroyed. Those who are His carry the brand mark of Christ.
"The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal;
the Lord knows them that are His.
And let everyone that names the name of Christ
depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2.19)
God is putting a difference between His people and those He calls "not-my-people." The question is, will you refuse to budge and take your stand against Him, or do you know that He has set His love upon you and will not let you go? Today, if you hear His Voice, do not harden your hearts in rebellion, but ask God to forgive your sins and to grant you repentance to the acknowledging of truth that you might recover yourself from the snare of the devil who holds you captive to do his will. If you know yourself to be bought with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then know that your life is not your own. Turn fully to Him now, for He is coming for a holy people, a people filled with the Holy Spirit, the uncompromisingly righteous, committed, alive, not drunk with the wine of the Harlot Babylon, not intoxicated with the things of this world, but invigorated with the life of the Spirit, filled with the light of the Living and True God.
God wants to love His people, to bless them, to establish them in His unfailing love and grace. Get right with God. Get it right with God. I pray the love that will not let you go will hold you in the grip of grace to bring you into the fullness of all that God has for you in Christ Jesus. He is coming in power. Mother church will not save you. Governments will not save you. Angels will not save you. No pastor or president or prime minister or person can save you and you cannot save yourself. God alone saves. Jesus Christ is God. Only Jesus Christ saves. His Name is Word of God. Do not stand in opposition to the Word of God. Let that Word dwell in you richly. Be faithful unto death, and Jesus will give you a crown of life. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Mary Craig Ministries completed its best year ever in its 15+ years. Rev. Jim Craig, the MCM Board, and I thank you for your generous support. As you give generously, gladly, graciously, and as the Holy Spirit guides, you enable us to minister in Christ's Name to the lost, to the hungry, to the thirsty, to the broken, to the displaced, to the forgotten, to the orphaned, and to the poor. God bless you!
Remembering the multitude of God's mercies,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests.
And he that sat upon him was called
Faithful and True,
And in righteousness he does judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on
His head were many crowns; and he had a name
Written, that no man knew, but he himself,
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood;
And his name is called The Word of Godů
And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it
He should smite the nations; and he shall rule them
With a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the
Fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19.11-16)
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