Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Meat For Men Daily Encouragement Blog

The vision for Meat for Men — UNCOMPROMISING MANHOOD blog is to encourage husbands, fathers and single men in Biblical manhood.

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HousePrayerBWGenesis 28:17: “This is none other but the house of God.”

If there is no prayer, or little prayer, is it God’s house? Jesus said in Mark 11:17: “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” We then read the reaction to Jesus’ words in verse 18: “And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him.”

I am sure that most Christians would regard their church as a “house of God.” Why then, is so little attention given to prayer in most of our church gatherings? It seems to me that the last thing Christians want to do when we gather together is to pray! Usually the only praying is when the pastor opens and closes with prayer.

Jesus proclaimed that the most defining feature of God’s house is prayer. When we do not pray and give prayer its due diligence we declare before God, and the world, that we really do not need God’s divine assistance in all that we do.

Not only when we gather together should we pray, but prayer should be first in everything. Paul challenges us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I exhort therefore, that, FIRST OF ALL, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Prayer should also be the foremost force in our own individual lives and our family lives. Is prayer a dominant part of your family life each day? Jesus said to Peter: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

To be honest, we have no scriptural right to call ourselves, or our gatherings, a “house of God” if we do not exercise ourselves in real, genuine prayer.

We wonder why our Christianity is not counting for much, why we don’t see many miraculous healings, and why God is not scattering our enemies. I think the answer is obvious.

When we leave serious prayer out, we leave God out!

God’s true house (Bethel) is a house of prayer.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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PurifyOurselvesGenesis 28:17: “And he was afraid and said, How dreadful is this place!”

The fear of God is not a popular subject in many churches these days. If we have no fear of God we will have no sense of the need to repent of our sins. Multitudes of church goers have never felt any real remorse for the sins, nor have they felt they need to repent of the many sins they commit that offend God.

The holiness of God is also not a popular subject in most churches. However, I don’t think it is possible to have a serious encounter with God, even the love of God, without a sense of our own unworthiness. I think many so-called Christians and church attendees have created their own God--a god that fits right in with their liberal lifestyle. But the god they serve is not the true God of the Bible. The god they have created for themselves has no problem with their watching questionable movies or dressing in clothes that promote the lust of the flesh. The god they worship has no problem with people who live in homosexual unions. They even endorse gay marriages by attending their weddings. The tolerance list goes on and on.

However, the true God of the Bible is a holy God. He states in 1 Peter 1:16: “Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

Jacob discovered the holy presence of God at Bethel. Isaiah’s vision and encounter with God caused him to say and feel he was “undone” (read Isaiah 6:1-8). Perhaps for the first time he saw himself for what he really was and cried out: “Woe is me! for I am undone: because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5). He felt as unclean as a leper.

True revival can only be measured by the depths of repentance and the depths of the fear of God.

Why did many Christians in America refuse to vote for a God-fearing, constitution loving candidate to be president? Instead, they chose a man who believes he does not need to repent. They think he may be better for their pocket books.

If we want God to bless America, we had better pray that America will repent, including our leadership. Our pocket book is not as important as the state of our souls.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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WhereTwoThreeMatthew 18:20: ”For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

As God’s people, what do we have if we do not have His presence in our lives? We are told by biblical historians, e.g. Josephus, that the Ark of the Covenant was missing in Herod’s temple. It was lost or hidden somewhere during the final Babylonian dispersion of Judah. Therefore, the Shekinah glory of God’s holy presence would not have been in the Holy of Holies between the wings of the cherubim. All those who came to the temple would have been deprived of the great sense of God’s immediate presence. At least some measure of the glory would have departed.

Of course, when Jesus entered the temple and cleansed it, the glory of His presence would have been restored while He was there. However, when He left the temple, the glory of His presence left with Him.

There was no tabernacle or temple in Jacob’s time. Therefore, God chose to reveal His presence to Jacob in this quiet wilderness spot that Jacob called Bethel.

Today, we like Jacob, have no physical building we can resort to in order to feel His presence, such as the tabernacle in the wilderness, the permanent tabernacle in Shiloh, or the temple in Jerusalem.,

However, Jesus said: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This does not mean the denomination, the church building, or the great preacher that guarantees His presence. It is the authority and power of His name--Jesus. The more His name is exalted and lifted up, the more we will experience His presence.

This is our Bethel and this is our Emanuel (God with us).

Be encouraged,

Colin Campbell

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FirstInAllGenesis 2813: “Behold, the Lord stood above it (the ladder), and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.”

Bethel is a place where God’s preeminence is revealed. It is a place where God speaks to us. Some translations say that God came alongside Jacob or over Jacob. However, most translate the passage as the King James Bible does as “above the ladder.” The Amplified says “And behold, the Lord stood over and beside him and said . . . “

I like the idea that God is preeminent over angels and not in any way compared to, or alongside the angels. Jacob’s faith was not focused on angels. Talking of Christ Hebrews 1:4 states that He is “made so much better than the angels as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:6 says: “And let all the angels of God worship him.”

We rejoice that we have ministering angels. Hebrews 1:14 says: “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” However, Jacob’s attention was not centered on the helpful angels, but on the One who was above them and sending them.

Our Bethel is to be a place where there is no doubt that God in Christ is preeminent. Bethel (God’s house) is to be a place where we hear what God says to us. His words have absolute preeminence in our lives. Colossians 1:18 says: “That in all things he might have the preeminence.”

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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TreasuresWisdomGenesis 31:13: “I am the God of Bethel.”

Colossians 2:3: “In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Bethel is a place where we can have revelations, visions, and dreams from God. Genesis 28:12 says: “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.” Dreams, visions, and revelations are mentioned numerous times throughout the Scriptures. They are some of God’s ways of communicating certain truths to His people.

Just because have the Scriptures, does not mean that we do not need these special visitations from God. Jacob’s dream of the ladder set up from earth to heaven with angels descending and ascending on it thrills my soul greatly. This ladder, accompanied by these heavenly messengers is still available to me and all God’s servants who believe in the God of Bethel. It is not that our eyes should in any way be taken off Christ and focused on angels. God forbid.

However, I am greatly encouraged and comforted by one of the great names of God--Jehovah Tsva-ah (Strong’s Concordance 6635). It is the revelation of The Lord of Hosts which is mentioned in Scripture too many times for me to count as I write this post. Although for your interest, this name of God is used 14 times in only two chapters of Haggai. It is used 53 times in the only 14 chapters of Zechariah. And 24 times in only four chapters of Malachi.

It reveals God as the mightiest Warrior and all-powerful King of Israel with His host of angels who surround the throne of God, His ministering angels, His military service. It is always in the context of warfare. If only we had eyes to see this great, powerful, and enormous army that God has at His disposal to help us to overcome all the powers of the evil one.

I love the lines in the beautiful hymn written by John Newton, “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” which we sang at our Family Devotions yesterday morning. Verse three says:

Dear Name, the Rock on which I build,
My Shield and Hiding Place,
My never failing treasury, filled
With boundless stores of grace!

Jesus Christ is our Treasury! He is filled with boundless stores of grace! Jesus is greater than Fort Knox where the gold of our nation is kept. The Lord of Hosts uses His angelic ministers to take from Heaven’s Treasury (Jesus Christ) and as we lay hold of these treasures, the angels communicate them to us in many different ways. Hallelujah.

Be encouraged.

Colin Campbell

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