Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What God Sees

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them...He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)

What does God see when He looks at people of the world?

I think that from the time Jesus "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death" on the "cross", God no longer focuses on the sin of mankind.  God is not confined to time.  He sees mankind in its finished product as if it has already been manifested.  What He sees is the inevitable result of "Christ reconciling the world".  He looks at mankind and sees "every knee" bowing and "every tongue" confessing "Jesus Christ is Lord".

"And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:8-11)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Old Wives' Myths

“Neither give heed to myths…” (I Timothy 1:4).

“Refuse profane and old wives' myths…” (I Timothy 4:7).

“They shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto myths” (II Timothy 4:4).

“Not giving heed to Jewish myths, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14).

Paul was warning about this over 1900 years ago. It makes good common sense for us to think about the "myths", "old wives’ myths" and "commandments of men" which get embedded in church doctrine from time to time and return to the truth if we have been "turned" to these "myths".  

"It is a trustworthy saying, deserving full acceptation, and it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers, Prescribe and teach these things." (1 Timothy 4:9-11)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

So Go Ahead

“...So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne! Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”
(Ecclesiastes 9:5-10)

Do you get it? Let's review...

1. “Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!”
2. “Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!”
3.  “Live happily with the woman you love...”
4.  “The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.”
5. “Whatever you do, do well.”

I Got it...Especially the part about Sue Ann!

Speak To The People

“But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:19-20)

What are the “words of this life” that they were instructed to speak to the people?

“…they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:2)

The “words of this life” – the gospel – is our resurrection from death through Jesus. Paul speaks of it as if it has already occurred…

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world …deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that IN THE COMING AGES he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:1-8)

Speaking of something to happen in the future as if it has already occurred is a literary way of proclaiming the certainty of a promise from God. Obviously we are not at this time resurrected from death, because we all have to die first. And we are not now raised up and seated beside Christ Jesus in the heavenly realms…but it is so certain that Paul speaks of it as if it has already occurred and declares that it is this new covenant promise of our resurrection from death that we are to be ministering to people…

“He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life…For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…so will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable…it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.” (2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 15:22-46)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Holy Spirit - The Power of God's Love

"If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.  But this He spoke concerning the SPIRIT.”  (John 7:37-39)

God is love. We will become the image of God.  The power of love will flow as rivers of living water from us after this fleshly body is destroyed and we have been resurrected a “Spiritual body”…

”So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in POWER; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a SPIRITUAL body.” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) 

The Holy Spirit is the POWER of God, and love is the most powerful attribute of our omnipotent God. Love is the flowing river of living water now pouring from Calvary. It flows unquenched out of the heart of God through his Son Jesus.  

Frederick Lehman grasped this Love in his great hymn…

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Turn Them Off

"Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams, declares the LORD, and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 23:32)

It is hard to distinguish between what God has actually said from what men say that God says. Both can come from the pulpit of a well meaning and respected preacher.  Following is  an example...

“Adam sinned and immediately died spiritually. Eventually, he died physically” 

The verse of Scripture he was commenting on was…

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23)

Do you see the word “spiritually” in that verse? 

There is no such thing as “spiritual death” to be found in the Scripture. You are either dead physically or you are alive because you still have spirit (breath-power) in you. If you do not have “spirit”, you are not alive…you are in the grave just like King David.

“Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David…Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” (1 Kings 2:10; Acts 2:29)

David will not be spiritually alive until the return of Jesus to resurrect him. The same is true of all others…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)

When someone says he has a word from God turn them off if he is not reading from the Bible.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Good Person May Avoid Church

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not … I will not be brought under the power of any” (I Corinthians 10:23; 6:12).

There you have God’s Word on what you can and cannot do and still be the object of God’s gracious and merciful salvation. You can do anything and God still loves you and has saved you through Christ Jesus.

However, there are many things that are not good for us ("expedient"). Many things do not help us or others ("edify"). And we should not become addicted to anything except pleasing the God who has saved us without any merit of our own.

Avoiding a list of sins which religious people make up IS NOT what I am talking about. I am talking about a life style, whether church going is involved or not, which actually pleases God. There are people that never intentionally miss a church service who never help anyone.

“A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.” (Luke 10:30-33)

Some Christians assume attending church is what pleases God and thinks He likes them better than those who do not attend.

Here is a simple summary from the Bible of what actually pleases God…

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need…treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; Matthew 7:12)

When you meet someone like this along life’s way, well, shake their hand or give them a hug…they are pretty special folks...and they may avoid church. 

Just bow your head and thank God for that good "Samaritan".