God’s Conviction Thursday, Jun 8 2017 

Now, I understand if you do not want to read my blog today based upon the title. After all, who wants to be convicted? Why don’t I just blog about something more palatable?

Because, I am not blogging my own thoughts but the thoughts of Him who sent me.

First, I must explain the difference between conviction  and  condemnation. Let me expound upon this difference from scripture. Romans Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 For we know, brothers and sisters[a] loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

This conviction that comes to you when you read the Word was foretold by Christ himself: Luke 5: 31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

And He keeps coming everyday. As you read the Scriptures and pray. He comes, He teaches, He admonishes, He convicts us of our sin, He corrects us.

The difference, dear reader, is that the devil condemns us daily before God. But Christ convicts us of sin so that we might repent of it. It is the Holy Spirit within you that is continually reminding you of the standard set out by the Word.

How can you tell the difference whether you are being condemned or convicted they feel so much the same? That is a good question and it is good to know this. With condemnation there is no solution, no answer, no remedy. But with conviction God makes a way of escape via repentance. The blood of Christ is the remedy, the answer, the solution.

Christ is a gentleman. He is not going to drag you to the foot of the cross to confess today. The devil would have you think “What’s the use? My sins are too grievous.”

But Christ says, “Come, all you who have labored and are heavy laden and I shall give you rest.” Tell Him. He listens. He answers prayer. He heals. He gives you power to overcome. In His name, I pray it all for you now.

 

 

God’s Strength Tuesday, Jun 6 2017 

The verse that comes to mind when I set out to write to you about God’s Strength comes from the book of Philippians: Philippians 4:12-14New International Version (NIV)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.

Another verse that comes to mind is : John 16:33New International Version (NIV)

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In Philippians 4:13 we are told where our strength comes from; through him. And in John it does not say you might have trouble it says, “you will have trouble.”

Just look about you: everywhere you look….trouble.

Paul reminds us in Philippians that we are not always in trouble every minute as he expounds by saying, “I know what it is to have plenty.” Now, we know that having plenty is not a problem. But as he continues he expounds an alternative situation; ” I have learned to be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Have you ever been hungry? Unless you have been you may not know just how difficult this verse becomes. How can one be content in the midst of hunger or thirst?

It is because Paul knows the LORD Jesus Christ. He trusts him. He is completely free of worry because he knows that the LORD will provide. He was able to do “all things” through Christ.

Look at the list of what Paul suffered: 2 Corinthians 11: 23 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

We too are going to face “troubles.” It is up to us to be prepared. To study His Word now so that when the times come we will be ready. The time to study the Word is not when we are in the middle of some trial or temptation. No! It is now. We must study to show ourselves approved. God gives us His strength for a purpose. Jesus Christ is our strength.

God’s Visitation-Part 2 Friday, Jun 2 2017 

Now we continue here after having given two examples from scripture of visitations from God, the story of when Jacob wrestled with God, and the other being the story of Moses and the burning bush. Let’s move on from there and continue on with even more examples of this: Daniel 3

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Here we have the “fourth man” walking about in the fire in the book of Daniel.

And now a fourth example from the book of Matthew where we find in chapter the story of the baptism of Jesus:

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

And in John 14 it says:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Here we have the Father living in Jesus going about doing His work which is healing.

2 Corinthians 5: 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We have Christ living in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and we should be going about doing His work which is healing. Others should be getting their visitation from God through us.

God’s Visitation-Part 1 Thursday, Jun 1 2017 

I’d like to begin this post with the story of how Israel got its’ name:

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Here we have an example of a historical fact. I-sra-el, or “I struggled with God.” It is also an example of a visitation from God. One of many throughout the bible that I would like to now bring to your attention.

Another instance is Moses and the burning bush:

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

Now here we have another instance of God’s Visitation. I will continue in Part 2.

God’s Phenomena Wednesday, May 31 2017 

Now, I perceive that anyone of us could write this blog post but it has been put upon me to sit down and write to you about God’s Phenomena. OMG, what an enormous task this is for me, for anyone. How can we even begin to spell out  all the things that He has done?

I am so tempted to just say, “Go and read your bible.” because it is chuck full of thousands of examples of these incidences. And it also says in John 21: 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Now remember, I am limited to 500 words here.

I am astounded at all the ones that have happened to me personally. Why, 500 words wouldn’t begin to tell them all. The fact that he answers my prayers could fill volumes.

I, who was barren, now have a son ,who also has a son. Even if you did not have any other event, this alone would be worthy of unlimited praise of God.

I’ve seen so many miracles in my lifetime they are innumerable. I’ve seen miraculous healings on several occasions. I myself have been healed multiple times. There was infertility, joint dislocations, beatings, poverty, hunger, perilous times, divorce, sickness, pain, torn rotator cuff, burns, broken bones, scrapes, cuts, and viruses too.

How do we explain all of this? We can’t. There is no explanation of God’s Phenomena. He heals the broken hearted. He is alive. He is a living God. He is active.

Don’t let that scare you. I would venture to say that many of you reading this could tell your own list of deeds God has done in your own lives. Everyone you know has had them too. They just don’t know it or they try to explain it away. They say it didn’t really happen. It only looked that way. Well, I have a living breathing son as proof.

How is it that all these events can happen throughout the millennia without people asking, “what’s going on here?” Oh, they are more than willing to argue but they cannot explain it. Because there is no explanation for a God who in the beginning said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. There is no explanation for a God who loves us so much that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life. There is no explanation for a God who numbers the hairs on our heads. There is no explanation for a God who turns the water into wine. We can’t do it. It can’t be done.

We are left to believe it. To observe what God is doing and has done throughout all time. To trust in the LORD, Jesus Christ both now and forever. Amen.

God’s Reason Monday, May 22 2017 

 

Psalm 118: 24 This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

1 John 3:7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

David prayed, “Psalm 61:6-8New International Version (NIV)

Increase the days of the king’s life,
his years for many generations.
May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
and fulfill my vows day after day.

God is in control. David knew it. I know it. And, you know it.

He did not just make the world and then just walk away. He walked with man in the garden. He talked with man in the garden. He walks and talks with us today. God is never changing. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”

He has created us to do his will. Now, tell me this, how are we going to do what God wants us to do if we don’t ask him? And if we do ask him, do we expect to get an answer? When you pray, it had better be a two-sided conversation or you’ll never “get it.”

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God’s Way Saturday, May 20 2017 

Psalm 1:1Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

God’s Way is right.

God’s Anchor Tuesday, May 16 2017 

As we begin this study of God’s Anchor I’d like you to turn in your bible to the book of Acts, which is a record of the acts of the Apostles of Christ. It is in the New Testament. It is the first book after the four gospels. Now go to the 27th chapter beginning in verse 13. We have here the story of “The Storm.”  Just as in life, the story begins where “life is a breeze”. We see here in the first verse of this story, “When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity”; so far in the story things are going pretty good. If you know how the weather works on this earth, you know that a “south wind” is warm and a “gentle south wind” is even better. In order to move forward on the sea in a sailing ship you need the wind to blow. Back in the day of Paul, the people of that era did their business primarily by ship. It was their most rewarding form of transportation. So, as the story goes, “opportunity knocks.” They see their chance. And they take it. It says in the text, “So they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.” Now the word “Crete” means carnal or fleshly. You’ll notice that at first they “sailed along the shore”. This is like what our Christian life is like when we first get saved. Many times, God calls us away from our old life. Some of us, unsure of our bearings continue to hang around our old friends and continue to pursue fleshly and carnal pursuits.

But the Holy Spirit frequently sends us a reminder of our calling. As the story goes, “Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the Northeaster, swept down from the island.” Putting on our weatherman’s hat again, we know that winds from the northeast are “cold” and “harsh”.

 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.” When we are first saved it can be difficult to pull away from “the world”. Many people flail. Change can be scary.

As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure, 17 so the men hoisted it aboard. Then they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Because they were afraid they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor[b] and let the ship be driven along.” We may even try to hold our old life together as it is falling apart. Cauda means tail. It is when we are at the “end” of our old life that the enemy attacks the hardest because he does not want to lose us. He lies to us about our destiny. He uses fear as a weapon against us. Syrtis means quicksand. “They lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along.”

“We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” He steals our hope. He seeks to kill and destroy our new life. He blinds us to the truth. You see sailors use the stars to guide their ships. But when you cannot see the stars you flail, and the storms of life keep raging on.

  “After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.” The truth comes out. Paul had warned them not to sail. Do we listen to our spiritual authorities in Christ? Or do we go on about doing things the old way? The truth is that everyone dies, “only the ship will be destroyed.” But we shall be saved. This is the encouragement of the gospel.

Do we anchor ourselves to this earth and just flail along?

“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” Do not be afraid.   “Keep up your courage.” “Have faith in God.” “It will happen just as He told us in His Word.” “We must run aground on some island”. i,e, pay the consequences of our actions. But we and our household shall be saved. This is the end of the story but the beginning of a new life in Christ.

 

God’s Reality Saturday, Apr 22 2017 

I’m pretty fascinated by God.

His reality is so far beyond what I can comprehend, though I search daily to know him more and more. He is the never ending story.

This morning, I woke up thinking about Him and just how awesome He really is to me.

Let’s take for example, numbers: they are infinite in both positive and negative directions. Yet each number independent of all the others has a specific value. This infinity can be found in fingerprints, snowflakes, irises of eyes, etc. etc. etc.

Music is another awesome thing. From bird songs to baritones, just plain awesome.

Chemistry is another awesome thing, unbelievably complex and yet…

Truth is unchanging….and yet Daniel 3:

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but this is some pretty amazing stuff! We serve an awesome God who is able to create fire that does not burn, or even stink.

And even though God functions outside of time…He made a time for everything:

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

 

God’s Cross Friday, Apr 14 2017 

Symbol of Suffering

The cross is a symbol of suffering.

Luke 9:23 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Job 36:15 15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
    he speaks to them in their affliction.

Psalm 22:24 24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

Today is Good Friday and I am reflecting on the cross of Christ and what He did for me. It is a day of reverence. Do we fast and pray? Confess the Word of God out loud? Do we acknowledge the sin in our lives through confession? Do we study the word? Do we live in faith and not fear? Do we accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do we renew our relationship with Christ? Do we carry our cross; that symbol of suffering? Do we stop and pray at 3:00 PM when Jesus died on the cross? Do we reflect on the death of Jesus?

Dear LORD,

May we ever remember your sacrifice.

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