Our Debt to Israel

Paul tells us in Romans 11, that there is a Jewish remnant that exists and will believe the Gospel. However, he also tells us that unbelieving Israel was broken off from the Vine, “…because of unbelief they were broken off…”

He goes on the say that we, as Christians, that we were grafted into the Vine, “…being a wild olive tree, wert gaffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree…”

We owe tremendous debt, not only to God who provided us salvation through Jesus Christ, but to Israel through whom the promised Messiah came and for their promises yet unfulfilled that will come to pass! And considering the fact that God has grafted us in to the Vine, in verse 33, Paul breaks out in praise: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”

No one could of even considered that God would save both Jews and Gentiles together in Christ! Thank you Father for keeping your promises to send to Israel the Savior, not only to the Jew first, but also to the Gentiles!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The True Promise Keeper

“And this is the promise that He has promised – eternal life.” (1 John 2:25)

Throughout our lives people have made us promises. Some genuine, some not so much. My grandfather taught me that “when you make a promise, you look a man straight in the eye and give him a firm handshake. Your giving him your word and you must keep it. If, for some reason you cannot keep your word you got to him with your hat in your hand (showing respect and humility) and tell him why. You apologize and seek his understanding and forgiveness and make it right.” Good words I have tried to live by.

To Whom Is This Promise Made?

To everyone who believes, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)

What if I am not called? That is foolish. The Apostle John wrote, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

You see, God is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

How Do I Know If God Will Keep His Promises?

Jesus does not lack the ability to keep His promises, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

Second, God makes good on His promises: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). He cannot lie and He will do it! The Word of God is full of promises that God has kept and some future one’s that have yet to be fulfilled. And because He has kept His past promises, His future one’s are as good as done!

What Is Eternal Life?

Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3). Again, the Apostle John wrote, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12). Eternal life is more than just living forever (although living forever with God sounds pretty cool!). Eternal life is living as God intended, in fellowship with Him through Jesus forever.

In Every Circumstance We Must Remind Ourselves of This Promise

Remember what Paul the Apostle wrote to the Roman Christians, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18). What awaits us far exceeds what we presently endure. Again, Paul the Apostle wrote, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). God is working His eternal purposes in us, preparing us to live with Him forever.

No Matter Your Circumstance, Always Take It To God

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (John 11:28-30)

Think about it…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

No Fear!

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18, NKJV)

Often when the Christian is suffering from fear it is because, “…He who fears has not been made perfect in Love.” God desires that we place our trust completely in Him. Our faith in Him must be without question. Complete and total trust in Him. Only when we place our trust in Him will be be without fear, for “There is no fear in love, because fear involves torment…”

For the Christian, sin has already been judged, John 5:24, NKJV: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” Jesus took our punishment upon Himself, bearing our sins on the cross, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV).

Perfect (or mature) love leaves no room for the fear of punishment. So, as we are made perfect (or mature) in love, we no longer live in fear of punishment.

John goes on to tell us that God is perfecting His love in us so that, “…we may have boldness in the day of judgment…” (1 john 4:17, NKJV)

God desires that we become mature in love, so that when we stand before Him in Heaven, it will be with a complete assurance of salvation and a total lack of fear.

Think about it…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Word from The Father

The theme of 1 John is found in chapter 1:3: “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

The word fellowship is the Greek word Koinonia, “belonging to several.” It is a complete sharing of the things of Christ. It is what the Father wants for us. Fellowship with Him and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

Seven times John calls us, “little children.” This is a term of infinite tenderness, used by a teacher to his disciples under circumstances requiring tender appeal. Jesus used it just once, John 13:33: “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.”

John is appealing to us, as little children, to enter into fellowship with the Father and the Son and with each other. This relationship is available to all who believe and receive the Son of God as Savior.

Now I can understand if there are some in this life that we might not want to fellowship with. Believe it or not, I can be irritating at times. (pun). But the thought that the God of the Universe and beyond, the Creator of all things, wants to have me as part of those who fellowship with Him is beyond my ability to comprehend. But He does not want me to comprehend it. He simply wants me to believe it and enter in by faith. What a glorious privilage!

Think about it…

Note: From time to time I will be writing from 1 John. This is perhaps my favorite book of the Bible because of it’s tender appeal to the hearts of the reader. I hope you enjoy this little book also.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome Back

“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4, KJV

It has been some time since I have posted. This “sabbatical” so to speak has been a difficult journey. There have been great disappointments and sorrow, which we needed to go through. But as always, God is there and he cares.

This verse has been my prayer. Firstly, I have desired to have someone speak a word to me in my weariness. Second, because we have been weary and know what it is like to need such, we have desired with all our hearts for this passage to be manifested in our life.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, KJV

Often, we endure tribulation so that we ourselves, having come through them by the Grace of God, are able to comfort others. And that is the point, is it not?

So, let us not seek so much to be comforted as to comfort others. And as we comfort others, we find ourselves be comforted by God.

Blessings…

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Church According to Tozer…

Faith in Jesus is not commitment to your church or denomination. I believe in the local church; I am not a tabernacle man. I believe in the divine assembly. We ought to realize that we are, as a group of Christians, a divine assembly, a cell in the body of Christ, alive with His life. But not for one second would I try to create in you a faith that would lead you to commit yourself irrevocably to a local church or to your church leaders. You are not asked to follow your church leaders. You are not asked like a little robin on the nest to open your innocent little mouth and just take anything I put in. If what I put in is not biblical food, regurgitate and do not be afraid to do it. Call me or come see me or write me an anonymous letter. But do something about it. Do not, by any means, swallow what your leaders give you. Here is the book, the Bible; go to it. Faith is faith in Jesus Christ, God”s Son. It is total faith in Christ and not in a denomination or church, though you may love the church and respect and love your leaders and your denomination. But your commitment is to Christ.
A. W. Tozer Sermon: The Danger of Mis-placed Commitment

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Giving

I recently read a “Statement of Faith” from a church in my area. They stated that a 10% tithe is a requirement for being in agreement with them. I see a couple of problems with this.

First Problem

Many Christians simply cannot afford to give 10%. They either are barely making enough to get by or have mismanaged their funds. This “requirement” will alienate them, embarrass or even humiliate them. So, perhaps we should offer them financial counseling so they can get their finances in order? Don’t get me wrong. I believe that we should give to God, without a doubt.

I counseled a couple a few years ago about giving. The wife said, “If we don’t tithe, God will give me a flat tire!” I replied, “Do you tithe?” “Yes,” she said. I replied, “Do you ever get flat tires?” She paused for a moment and said, “Yes.” I replied, “Then what is wrong with your thinking?” She considered tithing a legal obligation, so much so, that if she didn’t God would punish her. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such is the same with this church statement of faith.

To require 10% as a legal obligation will limit the range of people you will be able to minister to.

Second Problem

Many Christians can afford to give more than 10%. Significantly more. When I pastored full time, I went to a pastor’s conference. One of the speakers encouraged us to challenge our congregation to give 10%. As some of us discussed this afterwards, I told them that if I told the congregation to give 10% the offerings would decrease, not increase!

The Solution?

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NKJV)

Teach the Word and trust God to speak to the heart of each believer.

Think about it…

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Sunday Quotes

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.” Jim Elliot

“God knows you intimately. That means all the good as well as the bad. And He still is madly in love with us.” Jon Clayton

“We may depend upon God’s promises, for He will be as good as His Word. He is so kind that He cannot deceive us, so true that He cannot break His promise.” Matthew Henry

“Continue seeking Him with seriousness. Unless he wanted you, you would not be wanting Him.” C.S. Lewis

“We may be statistics and numbers as far as the world’s computers are concerned, but we are precious individuals as far as our Shepherd is concerned. He knows his sheep personally.” Warren Wiersbe

“The Oriental shepherd was always ahead of his sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread. God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us.” F.B. Meyer

“Do not look for God to come in any particular way, but look for Him. That is the way to make room for Him. Expect Him to come, but do not expect Him only in a certain way. However much we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that at any minute He may break in. We are apt to over look this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way.” Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Great Faith

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Romans 1:8, NKJV

Oh, to have great faith! How marvelous that would be. To be able to trust God in any and all circumstances, not because we cannot trust Him; we can, it is just that so often, we don’t. How many times I have despaired of hope, yet He remains faithful!

The faith of the believers had been so notorious, it was spoken of throughout the whole Roman Empire! To be such a man as to have my faith so known!

George Muller was such a man. This is just a few things he said about faith:

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

“If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testing’s.”

Trusting God in the midst of every circumstance should be simple for us. Just look at His record of faithfulness in our lives. Yet, we doubt so often.

When Peter sank beneath the waves (after walking on water, no less), Jesus said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31, NKJV), I do not believe it was a stern rebuke. It was, I believe, the tender voice of love, encouraging him not to doubt, but to believe.

Have you heard that tender voice? I have, more times than I can remember. Yet, He has not changed. Even if we do doubt Him, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Think about it…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Know-it-All’s

“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:14, NKJV

Over the years, I have judged by some of the best. You see, it is unfortunate, but Job’s comforters still exist. There are those who just can’t seem to keep from judging everything you say and do.

Now it is important to understand that Job was not guilty of any wrongdoing: “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22, NKJV

Job’s “friends” told him that it was obvious that he had some sin that, while though he had did it from men, he could not hid it from God. And God was judging him for his sin. Now essentially Job told them, “even if I had forsaken the fear of the Almighty, you ‘men of God’ should show me kindness.”

Now, at the end of the book, God speaks and says, “Who are these who don’t know what they are talking about?” If you have been a victim of these know-it-all’s you know how Job feels. Lord knows, I do.

But that is another story.

Think about it…

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized