Saturday, August 30, 2008
God is good!!!! He is kind! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Like you need me to tell you that? It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. Hear the apostle Paul on this subject; "...Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?"
Man the creature is obligated to God the creator. He, the Holy One, made us, therefore, we are duty bound to Him. He is the potter, we are the clay. It is no wonder we invented the theory of evolution, it gets us off the hook, so to speak, with God. However, I read in the scriptures, "In the beginning God created.....". Oh how thankful we are for the word of God!
Back to our duty; what is it? What does this holy God require of man? We are to obey Him, we are to do as He commands, we are to submit our lives to Him! My friend, we are to do it perfectly too. In the gospel of Mark we read this exchange between the Lord Jesus and a scribe:
"And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."
So there it is, our primary duty is to love God with all our being. Have you loved God with all your being? with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? The quick answer is NO.
"There is none righteous, no, not one:" "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"
Therefore, you have breached your duty to God. You have not met your obligation to your creator. You have fallen short of God and His glory. You have not met His holy requirement. So what now? What is the person to do who realizes this serious infraction of the holy law of God? What is a person to do when they realize they have disobeyed the holy and righteous God?
I hear the apostle Paul say; "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." God provided a Savior, He sent His only Son into the world. Jesus Christ came and perfectly did the will of His Father. He obeyed God perfectly, he loved God with ALL His heart, soul, mind, and strength. He lived perfectly in this world. Man however; hated Jesus, he rejected Him, man said we will not have this Man rule over us, man condemned Him and hung Him on a cross. Their on the cross God laid on Him the iniquity of a world of sinners. On that tree He who knew no sin became sin for us. He bore the wrath of almighty God. He substituted in the place of sinners, in the place of those who did not obey God perfectly. He fulfilled man's duty, Jesus met the holy requirements of God's justice. Man took His dead body down from the tree and buried Him in a cave but God, on the third day, just as He promised, RAISED Him up from the dead. God approved the work of His Son. God is well-pleased with His Son. Jesus Christ satisfied God!
So I ask the question again, in light of the person and work of Jesus Christ; what is sinful man's duty? Repent ye and believe the gospel. Submit your self to God, believe His Son. This is the duty of all.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Nowhere in all of the scripture is there a more clear declaration of the absolute sovereignty of GOD and HIS total control of all actions and events, than is set before us in the model prayer which the LORD gave HIS disciples.
HE begins this prayer by addressing the FATHER, with great deference in recognition of HIS glory. “Our FATHER which art in heaven, hallowed be THY name.” (v.9) Even as HE said to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM:” (Exo 3:14) HIS name is indeed “hallowed” (or reverenced) since the Seraphim cease not day and night to cry out, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isa 6:3) The LORD would remind us that, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9) So it is needful when coming to the place of prayer to remember WHO it is that we are addressing and to take off our shoes for this is indeed “holy ground”. (see Exod.3:5)
Then HE says “THY kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (v.10) This is exactly what David meant when he said, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psa 115:3) It is also the very lesson that the LORD taught Nebuchadnezzar when he testified, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? …… Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Dan 4:34-37)
Then HE ends the prayer by saying “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Mat 6:13) There is no “end” to HIS dominion, and all things that transpire in the heavens and the earth shall forever redound unto HIS honor and glory for HE doeth all things well and according to HIS good pleasure as the twenty four elders testify in Revelation “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11)
The purpose of prayer is primarily worship. The man who is ignorant of this fact cannot possibly pray aright but is like that one who James speaks of “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3) Those who spend more time asking than they do extolling the glory of GOD are likely praying more with themselves (see Luke 18:13) than they are with the True and Living GOD.
The very act of prayer is a testimony to the absolute power of GOD over all things or else why would someone take the time to ask something of a GOD who was unable to grant the request. Those who hate the “absolute predestination” of all actions and events by GOD often argue that it would be pointless to pray if GOD has all things occurring according to HIS will. But I say that the exact opposite is true. What would be the point in praying to a GOD who was dependent on the actions of someone else or may or may not be able to bring something to pass? Or one who could only wring HIS hands as evil ran rampant in the earth and men and devils thwarted HIS purpose at every turn.
The phrase “Lead us not into temptation” is a clear testimony to the teaching of the LORD JESUS that there is no action which is not under the complete control of GOD. Even the very steps which men take in the earth are directed by HIM. “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” (Prov 16:9) “ Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? “ (Prov 20:24) We are totally at the mercy of HIM who says “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” (Rom 9:15-16)
The scripture clearly teaches and our experience bears it out that the depravity of our heart is what inclines us to sin and brings about the consequences thereof. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” (James 1:13-16) The only thing that will preserve us from the destruction that waiteth at noonday (see Ps.91:6) is the mercy of GOD. Should HE not see fit to preserve us we will destroy ourselves.
The word for temptation that is used here literally means a trial. Paul told the Corinthians, that , “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Cor 10:13) These trials may be simply the heartaches and suffering that occurs to all men or they may be the result of the sin which doth so easily beset us.
GOD has ordained all things to occur in the lives of HIS children for their benefit, even when it does not appear so at the time. Our mind goes to Joseph: the LORD saw fit to direct the steps of his brethren to sell him into slavery that it might ultimately fall out to the good of his family and fulfill GOD’s purpose. Those trials often include our own sin. The LORD is sometimes pleased to remove HIS restraints from us (which is the only thing that keeps us from destroying ourselves) that we might be chastened by our sin even as HE did with David, in order to acquaint David with the utter depravity of his own heart. (see Ps.51)
So we might say that on the one hand if the LORD was saying we should pray that the LORD would not “lead” us into trials of any sort we would be sometimes praying against the will of GOD who has designed these trials for our benefit. Therefore it seems to be quite clear that what HE is instructing us to pray for is a deliverance from the destructive power of those “temptations” or trials. For HE goes on to say “but deliver us from evil” or from the power of evil to destroy us. Let us not be overcome with evil or become the total slave thereto. Even as Paul reminded the Corinthians, HE will “with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
This is why David could now say in the Psalms, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” (Psa 91:2-7)
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Man will reject God and His word and supplant Him and His truth with their own wisdom and "higher cause". While their is nothing wrong with living responsibly in this world by picking up trash or keeping our rivers clean, or using less fuel, etc., the "Save the planet", "green earth" movement reveals that man in principle rejects God. At the heart of this 'movement' is the core belief that man and the earth are the center of all. After all, life is all about us and therefore we should do everything in our power to maintain it for now and in the future, right?
I say this as kindly as I can, this movement is a house of cards built upon a foundation of sand. It is another lie hatched by the father of all lies to deceive people into another "just cause" and draw them away from God.
If I may for a moment reason with you from the scriptures: our text in Psalm 119 says the earth was established by God, that is, He created it, He framed it, He spoke it into existence. In Colossians Paul wrote; "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
He not only established the earth but it abides, that is, it remains, it stands, it continues to this very day. Our text indicates the heaven and earth are his servants. They will remain and perform until He finishes with them. After all they were created "for him" (Col 1:16b) Man has the idea that the earth was created for him, however, the scriptures teach differently, all of creation (including you and I) are and were created for Him (Rev. 4:11).
Peter confirms for us in his second letter that the heavens and earth are kept and reserved by His word. If God is keeping His earth why are we so frantically trying to 'save' it? I assure you, by the authority of the word of God, it will remain functioning and intact until God is finished with it. The scripture even tells us what He will do with it when He is finished with it, He is going to burn it up by fire in the day of judgement.
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2 Pet 3:7-14
So, what is man to do? Man should glorify God, you should bow and submit yourself wholeheartedly to Him. You should seek Him and His righteousness. You should repent of your sin and believe the Lord Jesus Christ from this day forward. You should then spend the rest of your life growing in grace and in knowledge of Him for He alone is worthy of all our praise, worship, and efforts.
All our troubles, all our tears.
Soul, forget not, 'mid thy pains,
God over all for ever reigns.
Fear not death, nor Satan's thrusts,
God defends who in Him trusts;
Soul, remember, in thy pains,
God over all for ever reigns.
For this life's long night of sadness
He will give us peace and gladness.
Soul, remember, in thy pains,
God over all for ever reigns.