Trusting In His Promises

Do you remember the hymn, “Standing on the Promises”? The Bible is full of God’s promises to mankind. Some of the promises were meant for specific people only but most are generalized promises meant for all humans and or all creation. If a person were to place God’s promises on the promise meter of a politician you would see the meter speak truth by stating complete, in motion, or in the works on every one of them. His truth is that He cares for each and every one of us and will do everything He can to help us make the right choice by following His ways and trusting in His Promises.

Some of the Promises have visual representations. The Rainbow, for instance, is the physical reminder that God promised never to destroy the world by flood ever again. We know He is talking about a worldwide flood and not just local ones. Earthquakes are another form of promise. I know that seems bad because of the death and destruction that occurs but Isaiah 54:10 states, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD who has compassion on you.”. His love cannot be shaken and His promise of peace remains in place.

The promises He makes remind us of His Love for us. He reiterates to Joshua that He will never leave or forsake him which was told to the whole Community of Believers earlier in Deuteronomy. Jesus mentions the same upon the Ascension. Scripture also states that He will guide us, deliver us, protect us, watch over us, and many other things that emphasize His Love for us.   

How do we know His promises cannot be broken? Well first of all, He is the Sovereign Lord over all things and He does not break a promise. It may seem that a little edge is given but that is there because of our Free Will and He allows us to choose whether to obey or deny His Words. Even if we choose disobedience, He still loves us. We have to accept the consequence of ignoring or denying His Love.

Another Hymn that comes to mind is “Trust and Obey”. In the Chorus we sing, “trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey”.  If you read the Common Jewish Bible you will notice one major difference, the word “trust” is often in place of the word “faith”. These are not fully interchangeable but at the same time they are. To have faith in someone there is a large amount of trust involved as well as obedience. But trust is of upmost importance because we are literally putting our lives in His hand.

We trust God by His Word which was written down for us in order to know it and be obedient so that we can be accepted into the Kingdom. We trust that God will make good on His promises even when we are disobedient. God does promise that He will teach us lessons that return us from our disobedience back to Him but we still must choose to trust Him.

His promises are given so we may learn to trust Him in all things we do. Even though we falter, He will fight for us and guide us home to Him. To return we must have faith that He will accept us back, which Scripture shows that He will.

Do you trust that God will keep His promises? He is not a promise breaker, but if we test Him the promise takes a back seat to discipline. Remember, the some promises are if/then and after the punishment is over we return to acceptance and live. God keeps His promises.

Brothers and Sisters we are bound by our faith in God that He will keep His promises. His Mercy and Grace are freely given so that we are assured that He will not give up on us. All we have to do is put our full trust in God. Have you put your trust in Him. If not, will you. He is waiting for you to accept Him.

Blessings and In God’s Love,

Rob, Servant of God           

 

 

 

 

I Believe The Word of God is Alive

The Word is living and breathing inside each one of us. Though some may not know it or realize it, God put us together and left His mark in and on our hearts even in our very DNA.

See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Every time we take a breath, God’s Word speaks from us. When we do what God desires of us and commands us to do in faith and trust, His Word is seen and heard. We are living examples of His Word at work, so why do so many of us fail?

We are only human

How many times have I heard that one? We are human, yes, but we are made with a purpose and should be doing our best to live within that purpose not for our own satisfaction, but His. Our humanity only gets us so far and when we choose to follow a path that is not part of God’s purpose, we stumble. Even then, we may have to stumble for another person to fulfill a part of the purpose He has for us. God is not easy to comprehend.

Because of Sin, we suffer

Adam and Eve made a choice to disobey God. It was that choice which brought sin into the world. Because of the sin, we are given free will to choose in order so God can work in our lives. God uses us for His Glory no matter how bad our suffering seems. I know it does not sound like God cares what happens sometimes but we have to remember, He designed us, He created us, and He knows our every thought word and deed.

Even in our failure we will succeed

God told Joshua when he was preparing to take over for Moses that he will succeed. This powerful message is true today for all who believe.

“Yes, keep this book of the Law on your lips, and meditate on it day and night, so that you will take care to act according to everything written in it. Then your undertakings will prosper, and you will succeed. Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because Adonai  your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

What we do in God’s name through the understanding of the Word will help us become better believers and closer to God. This is not an automatic guarantee of earthly riches but of things that boost our spiritual life and will help us through the tough times. Our success is when we are living in accordance with the Scriptures and doing our best to live in a Christ like way. It is not easy but even the little things can show that the Word of God is alive in us.

Be Strong And Courageous   

This is a message to us for when we are being persecuted. Keeping the Word on our hearts and not wavering will give us strength even in the darkest moments of our lives. We keep the Word of God alive when we do not show fear even in the face of death. How often do we just let our human emotions get in the way of God? Too often really. God knows our hearts and when fear overtakes us we should try and think only of God’s Word. I know it is difficult sometimes but calling out to Jesus and knowing He is there will relax our fears of earthly matters.

Jesus, The Word of God, is Alive

You see, the Word of God is Alive. Jesus came to us as a gift from God. Jesus is the Word made flesh who lived out a perfect life to be the example for us. In payment for this gift, we sacrificed Him on the altar of the Cross so that His Blood would redeem us from sin and death. But Jesus defeated death sealing us with the Father’s Mark on our hearts and rose from the grave, returning to the Father with the promise of His return. He will come again but He left us with the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us in His Word until that time.

The Word of God is Alive

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God  

The Choice

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God, our creator, once had a great relationship with us. The Garden of Eden was and is Heaven on Earth. It is the physical manifestation of the heavenly realm. Thing is, it is currently invisible to us because of one man. God told Adam (Eve was not created yet) not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. He listened. When Eve was created and he was telling her the rules set forth by God we have to wonder this, who added the part about not even touching the tree? The first lie on record. When Eve told the serpent this, the conniving creature was able to convince Eve that the fruit would not kill her. She was convinced the serpent was right and she ate. The first sin was not eating of the tree but the lie. So the question is, who said it first. Did Adam not want Eve to even go near the tree so he told her not to even touch it? Or was it so that when she was near and was tempted she told that to the serpent as a way to get it away from her which backfired? Of this we will never know. Either way the fault still is in Adam. Lies can Kill
Lies are very harmful especially when they backfire and the person who told it usually gets in some kind of trouble almost immediately. Once Adam and Eve chose to eat of the tree, they were awakened to knowledge of good and evil and chose to hide from God because they knew they did wrong but also misunderstood why they had this feeling. We all know that we cannot hide from God. He sees and knows everything. When God found them the two immediately went into the blame game. “She gave me the fruit and I ate”, said Adam. “The serpent told me it was okay”, said Eve. Then God spoke with the council and they agreed to kick them out of the Garden of Eden in the off chance that they choose to eat from the Tree of Life. It was probably very heart breaking (if you can imagine God’s disappointment in them) but He set them apart from paradise and punished the serpent.
God covered them with animal skins to ensure them that He still cared but then made it perfectly clear who was in charge of their life which was made very difficult. This in turn made them see that trusting in God praising Him in all things and asking Him for help in times of trouble was a way to have Him close but no longer visible. He then shut the gate to the Garden until the appointed time.
How come we still are not let into the Garden while we are in our mortal state? We are no longer the perfect creation that God made us to be initially. The fruit gave us the freedom of choice to be good or evil, to desire communion with God or live our own lives away from Him. Our human eyes cannot bear to see the brilliance that is God’s eminent light so we must choose to live for Him now to be able to see Him when we pass from this life into the next. Those who choose to avoid and or disobey God will not see the light until it is too late.

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So, herein lies the question, “How can a loving God send us to darkness in Hell?”. We should not be asking this question because we know the answer is because some choose not to trust in Him. Instead we need to ask, ”How can the Perfect, Sinless God allow us to live with Him in Heaven?”. This is answered in the simplest manner but it is the hardest choice to make. Because He loves us and wants to commune with us again. Those of us who choose life in the Savior whom He sent as the final blood sacrifice and defeater of death, follow His ways and trust in Him to positively mediate our case with the Father, are allowed to commune with Him.
This means we must not trust in the ways and means of man though we must live in the world. We must not be of the world dependent on the false idols to make it through the day. We must start our day and end our day in praise and thanksgiving of God through His Word, following the instructions and examples of Scripture and keeping Him in our heart at all times. In doing so we are defended against the temptations of Satan. Though we do let our guard down and are not perfect (me included), as long as we ask forgiveness and seek God through Christ we will see Him again.

Don’t Be A “ME”, God Needs “We”

People who care for their own well-being and not that of others who have abandoned God’s Law are not healthy to be around. They claim to care for others and may do things but only if they receive reward. If it doesn’t benefit them then they will not really be there in full participation and leave when it is no longer for them to be center of attention.

Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.    Jude 11-13

The selfish actions of a wolf hurt the actions of truly caring Christians. When the caring see the show boaters and boasters put on their look at me see what I am doing, it is hurtful to everyone. This usually causes the truly caring Christian to step away from these situations because they do not want to be marred with the sinfulness of the wolf. This hurts the people that were being served as it leaves a bad taste. The right thing to do is to give the show boater a menial unnecessary task away from those being served and correct in private.

People like this are seen in everyday activities. The ones who believe it is “all about ME” need to be set straight before it is too late. For some, it is the way they were brought up and will be hard headed. The silver platter children will see their demise when the money runs out. Others who want to be like them are given into hate. Cain did not want the attention so he was marked. This mark became a curse that has people caring more for their own selves than the care of others even when they are in a position that requires them to do so.

God seeks a relationship and when you do not “get along with others” the situation may become volatile. How do we avoid this, be an active participant with others and do not go it alone. Remember it is not about you alone but a relationship with all people. We are all one flesh though the color of the outer skin is different, we are all the same inside. We are originally designed as caretakers of creation. That is our lot in life. Do unto others as you would have done unto you is the New Covenant way of stating God’s intent for our livelihood. Be relational, not a loner. Love one another as HE loves us. Take Care dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Be Blessed.

The Apostles ‘ Creed (12th Day of Christmas)

Apostles CreedThe Apostles’ Creed does not mean the Apostles wrote it, rather it states the fundamental truths of Scripture as given to us through the apostles. It is said to have been formalized by the Second Century but began to take shape with the Apostles as a Baptismal Confession of Faith. This is reverently spoken in many denominations which hold traditional values. It is however becoming a rarely spoken Confession in most Baptist churches today which is odd considering it was a Confession of Faith spoken by those about to be baptized.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (some use Christian) church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Twelve Tenants of Faith

  1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

We have a God that has a personal relationship with us. We are His Creation, His Children by heavenly adoption through His Mercy and Grace. It is He who created us, judges us, and saves us.

  1. and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

We believe in Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God. He is God Incarnate, Immanuel Savior, Redeemer. Jesus is fully God and fully man and the Way into heaven. He is our lawyer and our substitute who receives our punishment for our sins.

  1. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;

The seed by which Jesus was conceived was not of this world but of the Holy Spirit, God’s Breath. Born of a sexually pure young woman (translated to Virgin), Jesus was born without sin.

  1. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

Christians teach that the death of Christ was for the purpose of making propitiation for our sin, reconciling us to God, and paying the price for our sins in our place. This is essential to the understanding of how Jesus is able to do what He does in our lives. He had to be sacrificed to make amends for our sin.

  1. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

So is the final mission of Christ while on earth. To defeat death’s hold over us due to our sinful nature. It is crucial to the understanding of the nature of Christ, the importance of His death for our atonement, and what will happen to us after death. It is because He rose from the dead in His physical but elevated form, the Spirit in the flesh.

  1. He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

Just as the Death and Resurrection are essential, the Ascension is vital to the faith because He returned to the Father to take His place at the witness stand next to God’s judgement throne. This is where He will witness us to the Father and erase our sins by speaking in our place. 

  1. from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

AS Jesus continues to watch over the flock we are judged. Jesus judges the living in matters of the heart (repentant heart) and of our faith activity after we die. The final judgement spoken here is upon Jesus return to earth He will reward the faithful and destroy the wicked.

  1. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit, Breath of God, Third Person of the Trinity is the Helper, Comforter, Savior, that dwells within us. He is revealed by our faith through the regeneration of our soul. The Holy Spirit grants us the Gifts/Fruit by which we are known as Believers. There is no peace within us without the Holy Spirit.

  1. the holy catholic church, the communion of Saints,

The One Church Body of Jesus Christ. In other words, all Believers are part of the same Body IN Christ. The catholic spoken here is non-specific to the Roman Catholic Church but the people, the Believers, the One Church with One Mission, and Many Gifts to accomplish it. The word catholic means “universal. The church is not the “New Israel” and we did not take the place of Israel as the nation is still God’s chosen. We are, however, an extension of Israel through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ who took over the mission that the Jews could not do.

The communion of Saints has nothing to do with the sacrament. It is the coming together in one accord as Believers in Jesus to worship, fellowship, and conduct the work of the Kingdom here on earth. When God created Adam and Eve, He had communion with them. Meaning He had a close personal relationship with them and worked with them to learn more about Him. When we commune with each other, we develop relationships, learn from one another about God’s relationship in our lives.

  1. the forgiveness of sins,

Christ pardons the sins of His people by His free grace. We are forgiven by the Blood of Jesus but we must Repent of our sins. That is, we must recognize that we are filled with sinful nature, admit to our sins and the lack of being able to rid ourselves of them eternally without the sacrifice of Jesus. Without Repentance there is no forgiveness. Another piece of this is:  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

(Mark 11:26 NAS) Meaning, if you cannot forgive, you will not be forgiven.

  1. the resurrection of the body,

Not the Physical body as we see each other right now but a Spiritual body that leaves the flesh yet in the form of the flesh and either goes to heaven or damnation. Resurrection of the “Spiritual” body is at the instance of death. We are not held in waiting as the ancient Hebrews believed but taken up upon the earthly shells death. Yes, Sheol is real as those before Christ could not truly save themselves and they awaited the Messiah to bring them to the Father for their reward. Yes Hell is real as the place of eternal torment. The Spirit goes the direction of the Judgement.

  1. and life everlasting. Amen.

The Spirit body, once again, is eternal and lives forever either in peace or in torment dependent on how the life was lived in the body. If repentance was made truthfully then the Spirit lives with God, If there was no repentance then the Spirit suffers in the darkness away from God.

The Apostles’ Creed is an important extra biblical document that should not be overlooked or forgotten as it has been part of the faith since the beginnings of the church. Saying it is one thing, believing the basis behind it is another. This Statement of Faith should be on all Believers hearts upon Baptism and spoken as a reminder of the tenants of faith.

So ends the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany begins tomorrow. This celebration begins with the Wise Men visiting the Christ Child and not reporting back to Herod thereby saving Jesus life.

This coming week we will begin looking into the Didache, the teachings of the Apostles and an early guide to presenting the Gospel to the masses. God Bless you all.

Belief In Man-Made Or Divine: The Misguidance of the Youth Today

11 18 2017

Answers in Genesis speaker Ken Ham posted an article recently on the things Millennials are turning to for answers and a belief system. The two systems have been around for a very long time but have been perverted to fit man’s desires for understanding. Now God does say that He placed the heavenly bodies out there to show signs and wonders but what signs and wonders was He talking about. These signs are placed so we would understand patterns of life, weather, travel, and our place in the world.

Man has used these signs to try and predict many things using certain designs in the sky. One of the predictors recognized by man is the zodiac which apparently dictates how we will act in certain events. People actually relied (and some still do) on as to how they will go about their day and their let the stars dictate their reactions towards others. God warns us not to do this “divination” or future knowledge seeking to rule our lives. Rather we should rely on our conscious thought which is guided by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

Now I used to believe the accuracy of the zodiac, but when I began to trust in God I found the inaccuracy of how it dictates our social practices. Meaning, purpose, and hope aren’t found in trying to discern patterns in the motions of the heavenly bodies. If you stay within the bounds of the interpretation and the specified social circle in which the interpretation tells you to stay in and away from, you do not really experience life. Letting the stars dictate actions removes us from our God given purpose of being caretakers of this world.

Spiritualism, not what some may think! It is man’s attempt to find purpose and meaning apart from God and his revelation to us in his Word. It is man seeking truth through his/her own inner being and reaching out to the “spirits” in the world. Spiritualists do not put their trust in God but seek inner peace where there is none.       

The article states that the individuals in question are those who are in or entering college. Why are they turning from God? Part of the problem is outside influences where they are not near the comfort of their home church and decide not to find a church near them. Campus Crusade for Christ does not appear to be as active as it used to be because of other collegiate sanctioned activities which have tried to knock anything Christian and or conservative off college grounds. Church groups are not as welcome as they used to be unless the college is a Christian faith based facility.

 The largest problem that leads to youth searching for “other than God” answers is the lack of follow-up starting at the high school level. An even larger issue that turns more and more away to include those in their 30s and 40s is the lack of relationship and belonging found in larger churches. Those churches where you get chided for not tithing your 10%, not being in the right click, are never approached, or the church attendance is more than 1000 and you are a number not a name, people leave. Those that are consistently depended on somehow get the feeling that there is an obligation to be there. The church is not going to blow up if you miss a Sunday!

Another issue may be the message of the church itself. Some are so concerned with the dollar, the message becomes a constant reminder to give in the offering plate. Money does not heal the broken. Some pastors have fallen into the love trap where all you have to do is believe and the rest is taken care of by Jesus without us speaking a word or lifting a finger.

Folks, listen closely to the pastor’s messages and the delivery. If the pastor is transparent and speaks of love, tough love, fear, grace, and mercy all in the same sermon, that is a place to be. An inviting church is a loving church. A church that does not close the outer doors before, during, and after the service is a relational church.

So how do we regain the interest of those who decide they want other human means to ponder life’s questions? Stop playing the Jesus is cool with your sin game and straighten people (and some pastors) up. Yes, Jesus died for our sins by crucifixion, but He did not die so we could freely sin. Yes we are saved by grace through faith but that must be an active faith. Yes we should be inviting to all people no matter their sin, and if they get offended (convicted) it is a good thing. Let’s work with them so they can reflect and find repentance and get right with God.

 God loves each and every one of us because He created us. His love is gracious, merciful, jealous, kind, fearful, comforting, and forgiving. His love knows no bounds and unfailing but is requiring of us to love Him back as a child loves his parent. That means being obedient to His Word. Does that scare people? Yes. So why do people run to worship things that are not Him? Those man made things and beliefs are temporary fixes to a psychological misnomer when make people happy. The only way to life eternal is through Jesus. I don’t know about you but I’d rather worship the entity that has control of my final destination rather than a man thing that makes me happy till I die.     

God First

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” Haggai 1:1-11 ESV

Reading this passage what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Did you think about the poor Israelites who just can’t catch a break? Did you think that this has nothing to do with me so why are we studying this? Did you think that the Jews were being selfish and are being tormented? Did you think about God and the fact that these people put themselves before the creator? Well, for the most part that is how many different people view this passage. Yes, God is a jealous God but He is also the provider of all things. They were literally biting the hand that had cared for them and put God off as a secondary thought. This is not the right thing to do as they found out. So what does this have to do with us?

When we are in communion with God we are taken care of but the second we try to do things on our own and not give God the time of day or the glory which is rightly His, we are in trouble. Life can be pretty difficult without God in the forefront of our lives. Think about this…when you forget to talk with God about the positive and negative things happening in your life, is there not a sudden hole and matters seem to get worse? When you don’t spend time reading His Word and get a daily dose of His love and devotion towards you, where does your love and devotion go….to things of the world? Do you not realize that God is in everything, He is everywhere and knows your every move? How much do you have to lose before you go back to God?

We need to always remember to put God first. After all, He is our creator and His name is imprinted in our DNA. Like an artist who signs the painting, God signed us. We do not belong to anyone including ourselves so everything we do is for His glory, not ours, His.  When we wake up in the morning our first thing should be thanking God for our life. I know that most will say that God is not always the first thought especially as we get old and have a full bladder, but God is already waiting for us to wake. He speaks to us if we listen but even the most devout sometimes have trouble opening their ears in the morning. Once we have our faculties about us (when we feel more awake) then we can speak to God without mumbling and bumbling through our thoughts and can hear Him clearly. Recognizing God when we wake before getting on the phone, tablet, or computer and plugging into the world supplies us with the right mind to do God’s work He has planned for us. We are, after all, His temple.

The best part of waking up is knowing that God is with us and has us in His hands. Yes I know, but not all people can have coffee in the morning but they can have communion with the creator.