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Sunday, February 26, 2012

God is Faithful!

Time and time again, God comes through at just the right moment.  During our trials while we wait on the Lord, I'm sure we ponder, "Are we certain God knows what he's doing, because I really need him Right Now!"  Yes, God knows what he's doing.  He's God after all.  One of the toughest challenges in deepening our relationship with the Lord is the time we spend waiting for God to act. Granted, life keeps moving and hearts keep beating, but sometimes there is only so much we can do and the rest we are to give to God.

Many times Moses cried out to God to help him during the journey of leading the Israelites to the promised land.  The people began complaining and Moses said to the Lord, "How am I to carry the burden of 600,000 men?"  God promised He would deliver his people from Egyptian slavery and He did.  However, the people did not know what God did and they began to question Moses on the journey, especially when times got tough.  The people cried out for food and God sent them manna. They cried out for meat and God sent them Quail.  They cried out for water and God sent water. Not only were the people's needs met, but God far exceeded what the people could have hoped for.  They could have only had meat for a day, but they ate for 30 days.  They could have only had enough manna to ration for a week, but God provided enough for 40 years, and still they complained.  Isn't this what we find ourselves doing today?  God provides exactly what He knows we need and yet we complain because we are not satisfied with his provision.

Mathew 6: 25 begins with an explanation of why we should not worry.  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow and is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

When the Lord heard the continuous grumbling of his people during their journey to the promised land, he became angry and rightfully so.  Do you know the saying, "If the Lord brings you to it, then He will bring you through it!"  This was the faith that God was looking for from his people. Deuteronomy 1:34  When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore:  "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh.  He will see it , and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly."  The others who did not listen and did not adhere to God's request (to not fight against the Amorites), found themselves annihilated and beat down. God was angry at their lack of faith and complaining and he had warned them he would not be with them during this war, but they proceeded anyway and then complained to God yet again for their defeat.

God is sovereign and he loves his people, so much so that He wants to have an intimate relationship with each and every one of us.  In order for this intimacy to take place we must learn to trust him. God already knows our heart, because we are His creation.  He is longing for us to come to know His.

Proverbs 3:5  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."

Scripture is filled with God's faithful promises.  I will continue to provide evidence of this through daily teaching.  Give your heart to the Lord, surrender to him and allow his ways to become your path in life.  God's plan for our lives far exceeds anything we could imagine.  If you don't know how to give of yourself to the Lord, start like this,  "Heavenly father, I am a sinner.  I have lived my life my way for much too long.  I want to know you, feel you and hear from you daily.  Thank you for sending your Son to die for me so that I could enjoy a heavenly paradise.  Lord I do not deserve your sacrifice, but I accept you as my Lord and Savior.  Please help cleanse me of my sin.  Open my eyes so that I may see, open my ears so that I may hear, and make tender my heart so that I may change. Help me come to know you so that I can teach others of your wonderful glory."

I will leave you with this  Mathew 13:12  "To those who listen to my teachings more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.  But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken from them.  That is why I (Jesus) use these parables."  Accept Jesus and enjoy the abundance of wisdom and understanding He will provide during your life's journey.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Will You Choose...

In this day and age, it almost seems as though it is every man for himself.  People of their word are hard to come by, integrity has fallen by the wayside, financial despair seems to be on every one's mind, and the efforts to do away with the name of Jesus and his work on the cross are endless.  In the midst of all this turmoil, as a born again Christian, renewed by my savior, I am at peace because of the love my Jesus has for me.  Do I still experience heartache?  Yes.  Do I still feel stressed at times?  Yes.  Do I sometimes feel like my situation is hopeless?  Yes, because I am human.  However, I am reminded daily that my God has no limits.  His love is immeasurable and he had a plan for my life even before I existed.  Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."  Job 31:15 "Did not he who made me in the womb make them?  Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?"  Isaiah 49:1 "Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations:  Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name." Psalm 139:13-16 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."  

I could go on and on with evidence from scripture indicating our lives were well thought out by our God, even before we took our first breath.  Let me assure you, there is a God, an Almighty Creator, an Inventor of All and he has a plan for your life.  Adam and Eve new it, they feared HIM, Noah knew it, he obeyed HIM, and Moses had an intimate relationship experiencing God himself as he lead his beloved people to the promised Land.  Job, Jeremiah, and Isaiah acknowledged themselves as incredible designs of His creation as they pondered their very existence and how they could best serve their God.  My question to you is, "Who or what are you living for?"  

Have you ever asked yourself the age old question, "Why am I here?"  If you feel as though something is missing in your life and you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, this is the unsettled realm in your spirit that keeps you searching.  No matter how wonderful a life you have with wealth, good relationships, notoriety, and freedom, without the peace of Jesus in your heart, one cannot fully know or experience true truth.

So what is true truth?  Truth today can only be found in God's word, a biblical world view.  One must first embrace the bible as the divine written word of God.  Psalm 53:1  "The fool says in his heart, There is no God.  They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good."   Man has skewed the hearts and minds of many to believe sinful nature as acceptable in the eyes of God.  

The book of Hebrews, although the author is unknown, tells us (11:1-3) "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed as God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."  Yes indeed, it takes a stretch of faith to believe that a creator not only spoke the world into existence, but also created the first man from dust.  In order to live by God's ordained plan for our lives, we must first believe that God exists and acknowledge him for his awesome creation and his living word - the Holy Bible.  More about this will come later.

God's ideas and man's ideas are much different.  This is why there exists today a world view versus a biblical view.  A world view tells us sex outside of marriage is acceptable, murder does not include the killing of babies, separation of church and state only applies in extinguishing the name of Jesus, and sexual sin is a practice to be embraced and celebrated.  These are views created by man to excuse and rationalize sinful behavior.  Why does man repeatedly choose to suffer the consequences of sin, living contrary to God's plan, rather than reaping the abundant blessings God promises for those who follow him.  The ways of the world are polar opposites compared to God's promises, and yet we choose sinful gratification as opposed to eternal salvation.  1 John 2:15-17 Says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 

God is a forgiving, loving God who has graciously given us the power and free will to choose him over the foolish things of this world.  Man argues, "If God is so loving, why does he send people to Hell?"  The last thing God wants is for his people to perish, but he has given them a choice.  One path leads to salvation and the other to eternal damnation.  Ephesians 2: 8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do."  You see, we are not saved because we are good people.  Time and time again we choose sin over righteousness.  Why should God offer us a promise of paradise, something so undeserved.  It is simple, the fundamental truth and foundation of Christianity summed up in one scripture John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  
I challenge you today, to begin living beyond this world, accept the truth of a Lord and Savior, confess your sins and allow the power of Jesus to transform your life and bring you peace. Friends, we exist for His glory, His purpose and His plan.  Anything outside of this falls short. When we live life by our own rules, we are robbing God of the glory he has worked into our lives. God is about God and why shouldn't he be?  Do you know anyone else that carried the sins of the world in order that we may enjoy eternal salvation in a paradise only known as Heaven?