Monday, May 26, 2014

Remembering Dad

I want to wish all the Veterans a Happy Memorial Day.
On Memorial Day we think of the loved ones we are waiting to be reunited with when our Lord returns. 

Today my Dad would have been 79, I always think of him on Memorial day weekend as that is when they play John Wayne's war movies, and since he and John Wayne shared the same birthday Dad always celebrated "their birthdays", this year it was Green Berets. It is always a bittersweet time as I think of him and then think of how I miss him, but I can rejoice knowing that I will be with him again. 

This is one of the hardest things for us to deal with. So many people struggle with this, if you have lost a loved one, the devil will fill your minds with the question, were they saved, will I see them again.  As believers we know that once we are saved, our sins are forgiven and we will see our loved ones again when Jesus Christ returns. But it is also a place where satan creeps in with his questions. Just know that the closer we get to God the more the devil comes against us. Do not let him fill your minds with these questions. 

Remember it is through faith and the grace of God that we are saved, not by our works, so rest in knowing that all your loved ones had to do to be saved, even with their last thought is ask for Christ to forgive them of their sins, and believe in their hearts that He is their Lord and Savior.

So on this Memorial day remember the good times you had, and the ones you will have, also remember the soldiers and their families, and the sacrifice Christ gave for us.

Matthew 11:26-29

 26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
   27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
   28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
   29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Only God can makes things unclean

This is a passage that confuses many people, most of the time when I see this passage it has to do with drinking wine or beer, or eating food such as pork, or catfish, or any other un-scaled fish.

Peter was told by the spirit, to not think of anything that God made as unclean, but many religions still stick to a strict practice of not eating or drinking certain things. Paul points out that we sh...ould not do anything purposely if we find it would offend one of our brothers or sisters.

I will give an example, say you have a friend that has a problem with alcohol, even though you don't have a problem with it, you have them over for dinner and serve wine or beer , this to me is what Paul is talking about.

Trust me I do think we have taken this to a different level when it comes to our political correctness, we have to realize Paul is speaking of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you can, with faith, eat or drink something, and have nothing between you and God, than eat or drink, if you have doubt, abstain from what you question.

Romans 14:20-23
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grafted in by faith!

Romans can be a difficult book of the bible to read, as Paul was such an eloquent writer, but when you slow down and read with the aid of the Holy Spirit, things start to come to the forefront.
This is my fourth or fifth time reading it slowly one chapter a day and I am seeing things that were intended for our edification.
In this passage Paul is speaking to the gentiles, or non-Jewish people; you and me. It is through the Jewish people that Christ was sent to the world but they did not receive him. Through their disobedience we were pointed towards Christ, through our obedience in believing He was who He said, they were blessed.
This passage makes think of how we are all needed in the body of Christ, those who believe and understand, and those who are seeking and are yet to fully understand that Christ came to die for our sins.
Romans 11:25-31
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”
28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.  29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,  31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.  32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stumbling block or place of rest?

I love how Paul states things in this verse of Romans. He makes it as plain as can be why the Jewish people did not attain righteousness, through scriptures from the old testament prophets.

They were trying to obtain it through their own actions, and in the process missed the one person that could bring them salvation.

The sad thing is today many people are still missing it, by making Christ the stumbling block, instead of the rock they should rest on.

Romans 9:30-33 NKJV
30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


We as believers know what we hope for and what we believe. Our hope and faith lies in Christ as our savior, that he lived, died, and rose back to life, sending the Holy Spirit to live within us.
The part in this passage that stands out to me is verse 28 as I have heard so many people talk about God sending tragedy and trials into our life to test us.
I can not see a loving God sending us trials, however I do know, and am assured by this passage, that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:24-28
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Yes God"

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at people in the bible whose lives were forever changed by a call from God. This week we will look at the life of Noah one of the earliest to have his life so radically changed by a word from God.

I have read this story several times, but a recent movie "Evan Almighty", where a newly elected senator, is asked by God to build an ark, made me look at it in a completely different way.

You see, we don't truly see the implications and ridicule that Noah went through during his day, by spending all his time building an ark. But when it is shown through a story of someone doing what society sees as crazy, we all start to understand.

When Noah started building the ark, there had never been a single raindrop, so for him to be building an ark to escape a flood, he had to be seen as crazy. But like the character in the modern day story, Noah didn't waiver but obeyed God and continued building the ark, just as he had been told to do.

Is there anything in your life that you feel you have been called to do, that others would see as a radical gesture, or even go as far as calling you crazy? Tough question isn't it.

How many of you would build the ark? How many of you have something that you have been called to do, but the pressures of the world keep you from following God's will? When God's calls your name, how will you respond? "Noah", " Yes God"! Genesis 6:13-22 13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how you shall make it: The length of the arkshall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them.” 22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.

To do or not to do?

I find myself in Paul's dilemma as well. Those things that I know to do, I don't do, and those that I shouldn't do I do.

I know it is not quite what Paul faced but I have been praying to God to wake me from my sleep early, at around 5:30 each morning. He does His part by waking me up, but my flesh likes to lay in bed until I have to get up. I also know that TV is something that takes up entirely too much of my time, stopping me from doing those productive things, I know I should be doing.

What in your life is keeping you from doing what you know you should do, and what are those things that you shouldn't do that you are doing?

Romans 7:13-20
13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What is faith?

What is faith? Is it something we must work for? Is it something that is given freely?

According to the passage below Abraham's faith is what set him apart from those who didn't believe. Faith is something that we all have been given, the only works on our end is to believe, as Abraham believed, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:1-8
1What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?  2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.  3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”  4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,  6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

All have sinned!

Just like Paul is stating in the passage below, we were all sinners, the only thing that separates us from our sin, is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the washing of those sins through His blood.

So no matter what any of us do if we don't believe in the one who was sent, and the one who sent Him, through faith, then all we do is of no account.

But through our faith in Christ we are seen as be...loved and righteous in the sight God, as seen through the blood of Christ.

Romans 3:21-26
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Really God, this is how You want to use me?

Acts 9:10-19 NKJV
10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. 

Think about it for a minute, God spoke to Annanias in his sleep, and told him to go give sight back to a man, that just days earlier gave the orders to stone Stephen!
What do you think would be going though your mind?
Sometimes it seems where we are, is not where we think we should be, I can assure you Annanias was thinking just that, that he was not where he should be, when he was standing face to face with, in essence the Adolf Hitler of his day.
I know it is bold to speak with such language but when you look at it, Saul, who would become Paul, was set to eradicate all who called on the name of Jesus Christ, that is until his life changing encounter with the Lord.
Now looking at it like this, imagine you are Annanias and God told you to go restore the sight of this man; that's a real head scratcher isn't it.
Many of you may feel the same way, as you aren't where you think you can serve God best, but that unpleasant customer, or the person that is mean and rude to you at work, just may be the next Paul, or Peter, God is just asking you to restore their sight!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Faith; Standing on the promises of God!

As we continue to read through Hebrews many profound statements stand out.

Today in chapter 11 the first verse says it all in one short sentence, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In our world today, if you can't touch it, see it, taste it, or feel it, and you still stand on that belief, people call you crazy or a dreamer. But you can still judge s...omething by the results it has produced in the past. When we look at our faith, and God's word, which our faith is based on, we can see over and over again how He has done what He had promised.

Now this is something that our world will stand on and respond to, as a man's word is still His bond. If a friend or a business partner tells you something, and then doesn't follow through you start to disbelieve what they say. But if over a period of time, and many promises followed through, you will stand up for that person.

This is what our faith is based on, the promise that Jesus is who He says He is, God does what He said would do, and has done, and we, as His children, are heirs to this promise.

Hebrews 11:1-7 NKJV
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

His payment is sufficient!

I know it seems like we have been stuck on one subject these last few days, but it is an important subject.

While we continue to read through Hebrews we are reminded how the old covenant was a shadow of things to come, and that no matter how many sacrifices were made, our sins were still there to relive each time the sacrifices were made.

Hebrews 10:1-10
1The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2 If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared.
3 But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God,
“You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
    But you have given me a body to offer.
6 You were not pleased with burnt offerings
    or other offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—
    as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”
8 First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Some religions and denominations, still live under this practice, and try, through their own actions, to do works for their sins.

In my opinion, and the way I read what is in Hebrews 10, this is nothing more than a door way for the devil to use the things we have done against us, by reminding us of what we have done wrong.

In the following passage the Word is showing us that the sacrifice Jesus made for us is sufficient, and God is not waiting with his hand out for more payment for our sins, nothing you or I do can chance that.

15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,
16 “This is the new covenant I will make
    with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
    their sins and lawless deeds.”
18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

I see it this way if God has forgotten our sins and will remember them no more, than why do we?