Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not Certain?

For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? (Psalms 56:13 KJV)

This one’s for Christians. You know, the people who have stood before men and confessed their faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: (Luke 12:8 KJV)

The ones who have committed to living within the confines of Christ’s example as defined in God’s word, the Bible.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (1 John 5:2 KJV)

You know who you are. To our shame, some non-Christians may not know who we are. But that’s another subject, another time.

Today you know the first part of this verse applies. God has delivered our souls from death. For that we are eternally grateful. We praise and worship Him for doing so through his grace.

That second part is a bit more difficult. I believe we all state openly that we know He will keep us from falling, but I’m not so certain we live it. Our fears overcome our ability to know that God has the ability to keep us:

… for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12b KJV)

What about those who have been born-again, baptized, served in His church – then sinned, perhaps openly and grievously – is He able to keep? How can you doubt?

Did God turn His back on Peter after he denied Christ? (Matthew 26) Or when he misunderstood the message? (Acts 10) Or when the missionaries argued and split? (Acts 15:39) Or when Paul confessed to doing that which he would not? (Romans 7:15) The answer is a firm “No”, for

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)

Only He is able to keep us. We cannot, so it is necessary that He do so. For me, He has done a marvelous job, in spite of myself!

Paul said it so well for those of us who have made that commitment to Christ:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

Not even me, myself nor I.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tony Snow - in 2007

I just received an e-mail that is making the rounds. If you know a Christian, it most likely will show up in your inbox. The full article can be found at Christianity Today.

It’s an article written by Tony Snow a year before his death. Americans were used to seeing him speak for the President. We heard him on radio and television years before that. A conservative, yes; an American first, and a follower of Christ before that.

The article is quite pragmatic. Snow had a potentially fatal cancer that had resurfaced. He faced his mortality – and his immortality. He stated: I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care.” He’s right – the only reason to know why would be to help others avoid it. Researchers can do that, we can’t, so don’t worry about it.

We are born and begin the process of dying. That’s the natural order in this world. Conceived in life, alive for a time, always on the edge of the inevitable death that awaits us all. There are no alternative exit procedures. Some deny the exit. Doesn’t change the reality.

Snow wrote: “We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.”

I believe we not only get to choose, we get to explain how we’ve used that interval – that “dash” between the dates of our birth and our death. That explanation before His throne is as inevitable as our death. Some will deny the throne. Doesn’t change the reality.

Snow did not directly quote scripture references as I usually do, but his message contains God’s words. Each of his conclusions can be tracked to specific scriptures. And, his conclusions mirror mine: “…God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity—filled with life and love we cannot comprehend—and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.”


The choice to believe or not to believe is ours. The choice to live in hope or not is ours.

I firmly believe that I will have an eternity with our Lord, and within that lack of time frame, an opportunity to serve Him as I began to do here, in preparation.

Join in?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


There was a news story Monday on Channel 8, WFAA, about how to speak to the elderly – mentioning especially Alzheimer and dementia patients. Something along the line that often caregivers speak to them as they would to children. In a sing/song, higher pitched voice, with questions not related to the situation. The example was a nurse watching a patient attempt to enter a room not her own.

Instead of asking, “Mrs. Smith, are you having difficulty finding your room?” the nurse made a remark similar to “Now, just where are we going? Are we trying to go into the wrong room?”

As we grow old, we may appear to act more childish, but we’re not. We’re acting more elderly. We will not, as a child will, learn better. For many of us, that option is being removed a little at a time, day by day, month by month.

Instead of learning how to tie our shoes, we are losing the ability to eat. To watch an elegant lady reach for her spoon to eat a yeast roll is a quick, heart rending moment.

Please do not treat us as children who will grow and understand. Treat us instead with the respect due the aged, simply because we have lived our lives with dignity, and wish that we could remember that dignity even longer.

We will not know what we have lost. And most of the time it will cause us fear.

We will come to fear those we love and who love us. I remember going to visit my mother-in-law. After a short couple of months, we visited her, passing her in the common room without a sparkle of recognition on either side. Her hair had been cut for ease of care. Did she mind? We could not know. She was in a wheelchair. Could she walk? She never tried. She stared. What did she see?

Fear of the unknown – and we were the unknown – was in her eyes as the nurse encouraged her to remember her sons. This mother who had been separated from her sons for 35 years. This mother who never lost faith that someday she would see them again. Who was overjoyed when reunited. Who loved them and their families as if forever.

Her body remained for several months more. She never recalled the memories of the past. Never made new ones. Her sons know from family medical history that they may experience the same loss.

How will God see us? Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. (2 Timothy 2:19a KJV)

Even when I cannot remember Him, the Lord knows I am His. The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1 KJV)

Know that I have believed the answer to the jailer’s question affirmatively: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:30-31 KJV)

And, when I do not recognize you, know that the love of Christ remains with me and I know I shall remain with Him eternally.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Sunday School was a big surprise, and a great deal of fun. There were only four girls – and that was combining our Junior and Senior High Girls! None of my Juniors were there. Some were with the Mexico mission group, some were on vacation, and I think a couple just didn’t come.

But the four Senior High Girls were interested and participated in the word match and the story. There are several unique things about the book of Esther, compared with other Bible books.

First, God is not mentioned in the book. There is no ‘miracle’ deliverance of His people. Well, not as humans look for miracles. From my perspective the entire “for such a time as this” concept is God’s miracle.

I would have expected God to be mentioned at least in verses 4:14 and 4:16. I see Esther and Mordecai’s faith expressed so deeply, especially in those two verses. We’re told He has plans for our lives. We’re told if we do not accomplish those plans, they will be accomplished from another place. We’re told to gather together, fast and pray – but not to whom.

Our own lives often take Him for granted.

How often do we look to the meshing of events in our lives and thank God for His planning? In my own, not enough. And, over the years, I know I have not responded to some of His planning. That is my loss, and I pray never a loss to those whom I should have witnessed. I pray now that opportunities I missed were covered by another, for I hesitate to stand before His throne and learn specifics of my neglect.

Oh, I never fear for my salvation, for I am saved by His grace: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

And He will not remove it: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

But I also believe He gave us a task, expects results and judges our failure to act: Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (Ezekiel 33:2-6 KJV)

Does the Bible apply in your life, too?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Read and Search

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:10-11 KJV)

Can you imagine religious people having visiting evangelists into their church, then hear that their beliefs have been fulfilled? That’s the message Paul and Silas brought to Berea.

Would you ignore their message? The Bereans did not – they studied, searched the scriptures and:

Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people. (Acts 17:12-13 KJV)

Luke, wrote this, as he did his early missive to Theophilus in order that That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. (Luke 1:4 KJV

Whether Theophilus was an individual or was meant for all of us who love God is not important to me. What is important is God’s hand in our ability to read Luke’s perspective of Christ’s ministry, and that of the apostles carrying His message.

The scriptures the Bereans studied were the Jewish prophets – do not confuse them with the Holy Bible we use today. The Bereans did not have the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke nor John – though they had their witness; no Acts, no Romans – these were in the process of being written.

So the Bereans compared what they were hearing with what the prophets had written – and many believed. Some did not. Some do not today.

The Ethiopian had the prophets and was reading them before he met Philip (now that’s another great witnessing experience!) I do so love his response to Philip’s question:

And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:30-31 KJV)

Try what the Bereans and the Ethiopian did – come to know the scriptures. Attend services where they are taught. Read them accompanied with a prayer to God for understanding. Then ... receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Hour's Pay

I received an e-mail with a 1950’s Woolworth menu. Such nostalgia! It showed a bacon and tomato sandwich for fifty cents, a ham and cheese for sixty cents. There was a sundae and ice cream soda for a quarter each. A slice of pie or cake, only fifteen cents. And a king size Coca-Cola for a dime.

Wow, weren’t those the good old days? Such miniscule prices? Well, let’s take another look and compare with today.

Back then I was an entry level, freshman college worker in a department store and my entry level salary was fifty cents per hour. A few months later I got a nickel raise! So, I could, with my one hour’s pay, buy a bacon sandwich, but not the ham, and not a drink. That would eat into my next hour’s pay.

Today our entry level hourly wage cover a lot more lunch than a sandwich and part of a coke. And, at a much wider variety.

The “good old days” are great to look back upon, but let’s not pass up today’s pleasures. And, when we compare them, let’s look at percentages of income rather than specific pricing.

While we’re thinking about those pennies a day, remember how our Lord described the kingdom of heaven:

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. (Matthew 20:1-2 KJV)

No, we’re not talking about today’s pennies!! That day’s penny was agreed upon by both the householder and the laborers, but it wasn’t enough. More laborers were needed:

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. (Matthew 20:3-7 KJV)

At the end of the work day, it was time for payment. Suddenly, fairness was called into question:

So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. (Matthew 20:8-10 KJV)

Why did the first group expect more? Their original agreement was for the same penny as the last, why did they want more?

And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last even as unto thee. (Matthew 20:11-14 KJV)

And, the final question regarding fairness:

Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? (Matthew 20:15 KJV)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Plan

I had a hand in saving someone’s life; their physical life. I was recently reminded of this as that lovely person celebrated another birthday.

I did nothing more than make some phone calls and ask a few questions. But those questions were the right ones at the right time to the right people. Because of that, birthday celebrations continue, along with a joyous celebration of God’s love.

I had no hand in saving that soul – that decision was made years before we met. The person came face to face with the question a jailer asked:

what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30b KJV)

Some of us never come to the point where we can accept the answer:

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31 KJV)

Is there another way? Not according to the words of Jesus Christ:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

But, why through this one man? Was there a plan?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

Please, check this out for yourself. Don’t believe me, look for God’s own answer.

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know,and testify that we have seen;and ye receive not our witness. (John 3:11 KJV)

Trust me, physical life does concern me. But the state of the souls God loves concerns me more, and remains in my prayers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 KJV)

If I depended on words, actions, studies and results of mankind, would I be exhibiting faith?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Faith does not depend upon natural quod erat demonstratum. There has not been, nor will there be a Q.E.D placed after proof of God. Yet mankind continues to discuss, debate, argue, fight and war over His existence and His nature.

I see no reason to do any of that. Instead, I wish to share my belief in God -- to praise Him as the creator of this world, to worship Him as the Lord of Heaven and earth, to give thanks to Him as the provider of all, to read His word in an attempt to understand His will, to talk to Him in prayer.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:12 KJV)

He does not require that I change your mind. But I believe He does require that I change as He freely gives, and I am eternally grateful for the many gifts He has given me and wish to acknowledge publicly that I trust Him to fulfill His word.

Last night coach Horton filled in for our Pastor (which appears to be in the path of Dolly, from the satellite photos – please pray for the mission group’s safety!) He began with a telephone call – from Jesus.

How would you answer questions from Christ? The first was: Why weren’t you in church Sunday?

In reality, last Sunday we were returning from vacationing with friends in Colorado. Think that would be a good reason for not going to church? At 6:00 a.m. we were over three hours from home – but we made it to our church for worship services.

The Sunday before that we were in Colorado. But we found a local church (wonderful Pastor Jack E. Brown) and worshipped our Lord with a kind and friendly congregation.

The Sunday before that we were in Oklahoma. But we attended church with family – a different denomination – and worshipped our Lord with just as kind and friendly congregation.

God is not confined within a building, denomination, nation – He is boundless, worshipped in spirit and truth. We are exhorted both to assemble and to worship Him:

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 KJV)

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24 KJV)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PBS and the Bible

PBS used some of my tax dollars to present “The Bible's Buried Secrets” this fall -- and in doing so attacks my deeply held religious beliefs. I have no recourse other than writing PBS and my congressional representatives – whose track records show that such correspondence changes nothing.

From the Orlando Sentinel: “The program puts the writing time at the Sixth Century B.C.“ “The number of authors ranges from the hundreds to the thousands, said Carol Meyers.”

The story includes quotes from Carol Meyers, a religion professor at Duke University: “But the film challenges long-held beliefs. Abraham, Sarah and their offspring probably didn't exist, Meyers said.” At least she isn’t identified as a professor of Christianity.

And, please note that “probably”.

Meyers also said “There's no archaeological evidence of the Exodus, either … It doesn't mean that there's no kernel of truth to it."

Archaeologist William Dever is quoted: "It's a waste of time to argue with fundamentalists," he said. "This film doesn't do it. It's designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind.”

There isn’t enough information there to tell whether Dever thinks fundamentalists are intelligent and just won’t change their mind, or if he believes the intelligence to do so is lacking. Keep in mind how some people view experts - An "ex" is a "has-been" and a "spurt" is "a drip under pressure".

My paternal grandmother told me about her parents, yet I can find no records indicating she had parents, especially the people she specifically described in her talks with me. Genealogy requires primary sources – handwritten names in family Bibles (I have that for my paternal grandfather); government census records listing family members (I have that for my maternal grandparents); birth, death, tax, land, school records – none of those are extant to connect my paternal grandmother to the parents she described.

By Dever and Meyers’ line of reasoning, must I reject my grandmother’s memories simply because she would only have been with her birth family in the 1890 census? Her older siblings are in the 1880 census, she married in 1899 so she’s with her husband, in the same county as her parents, in the 1900 census.

Genealogy allows for a preponderance of evidence. I personally believe that intelligent people will keep an open mind when studying God’s word, and that the Bible’s authors wrote what God has for us.

I also believe God is – and was – aware of this when Paul wrote: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV)

The Sentinel closes the article by asking if the readers would watch the PBS program. I prefer the question:

Will you read the Bible in a prayerful attitude, asking God to open your mind and heart to understanding?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


We senior citizens are very much as teenagers are – invincible and immortal, in our own eyes. Oh, we do recognize actuarial tables and know that the time ahead is much less than the time behind, which teenagers do not.

But we are no more prepared for the loss of friends. Last week was the funeral of a kind, loving grandfather no more than a year older than we are. Last week a close and dear friend of the same age suffered a stroke. Both events brought home the frailness and mortality of mankind.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (1 Peter 1:24 KJV)

And that was not new with Peter, for he surely heard the scripture: The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: (Isaiah 40:6 KJV)

I do enjoy Paul’s descriptive writing in First Corinthians’ fifteenth chapter. Truly, he did show us a mystery. Our Youth Choir has a song including the phrase “It will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye …” Even before that last trump, life changes from moment to moment.

So, are we prepared? Do we believe there is something after that last trump? Oh, yes! I most certainly do. I have been given a book containing promises from God. Containing the history of His chosen people. Containing mysteries that frighten, yet provide hope that builds faith.

A faith that can take Paul’s statement: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. (1 Corinthians 15:14 KJV) and know that our faith is not in vain, that Christ is risen. Know that God has promised we will, too. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV)

So, ask as Moses wrote, is there anything like God’s promises? For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? (Deuteronomy 4:32 KJV)

If not, then Peter’s suggestion is a good one: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16 KJV)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Esther - the first week.

There’s just so much I wish to share about our trip – but I realize what I said would be such personal observations that few would be interested in sharing. So I’ll probably insert things along the way, but continue with the original blog premise – our Bible. For the next couple of weeks, we’re interested in Esther.

A group from our church is leaving this morning for a Boys Home in Mexico. This is a mission our church has supported for many years, and there’s an opportunity for this group to be of assistance with some building and witnessing. We remain in prayer for their safe travel and for their witness of God’s love.

While they are gone, I get the combined Jr & Sr High Girls Sunday School classes, along with the young ladies who will be promoting into the Jr High class in August. We are between subjects, too, having finished a study of the book of Romans.

What better book for young ladies than the romantic story of Esther? The book has already been made into movies -- “One Night with the King” (2006), “Esther and the King” (1960) -- plays and novels.

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:) (Esther 1:1 KJV)

From India to Ethiopia – such was the kingdom Ahasuerus (perhaps better known as one of the Xerxes) ruled from Shushan (or Susa – one of the oldest known settlements – possibly founded 4200 years before Christ. What happened in his house had an impact across his kingdom, and a publicly rebellious queen had to be punished.

And that’s only in the first chapter! My own favorite verse (long-time readers will recognize it) is:

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14 KJV)

If we neglect to do God’s will, He will provide what is needed to accomplish His purpose. At what cost to us? Can we know what is “such a time?”

How brave she had to be with the weight of her entire people weighing on her decision. What fear had to be overcome to walk across the throne room, knowing that the simple lack of movement on his part would mean her death.

I do intend to include a trick assignment. The girls who read this will be a bit ahead of the game, for I shall tell them Sunday that there will be extra credit for the ones who find and memorize the verse that includes God’s name. Go ahead – check it out.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Out of touch...

Haven't forgotten you, but we're out of town without internet connectivity for a while. Will be back about July 20th. Please come back then and we'll visit!

Got it Backwards!

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 KJV)

As Christians we are admonished to follow His example, often being read this particular verse. But if we take this verse as an example, we’d have it backwards. Instead of coming from heaven and taking the likeness of men, we start out as man and take on the likeness of heaven.

Oh, yes, we need to take the form of a servant, humble ourselves and become obedient to Him, even unto death. But we’ve been given the opportunity through His obedience to move up – not necessarily in this world, but definitely into the next.

It’s important to know that Christ thought it not robbery to be equal with God – He was, is and always will be God. Thus we are His creation, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13 KJV)

John knew this, too: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

Can we know God’s will?

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38 KJV)

Now there’s a purpose for you. Christ knew why He was here. Isn’t that enough for us? Once we accept that, can we accept what follows: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 KJV)

There are many such promises within His will: For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. (Mark 3:35 KJV)

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27 KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Galatians 1:4 KJV)

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (Hebrews 10:36 KJV)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

There was a man ...

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. (Job 1:1 KJV)

There are some current religious movements that tell us if we follow their precepts, if we pray specific prayers, if we name it and claim it, if we expect prosperity – God will treat us differently, showering with blessings of worldly goods. It appears from this first verse that Job would fall into this category – he was blessed with material substances and a large family. He was perfect and upright.

God did not remove Job’s worldly goods, but He allowed it. God did not destroy Job’s children, but He allowed it.

I find it difficult to follow who is speaking within the subsequent scriptures. Job’s wife and friends often sound logical in their discussions, too. But there is no doubt when we reach chapter 38:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? (Job 38:1-2 KJV)

Job essentially is told to pull his pants up and act like a man. God is about to explain – as far as God will.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:4 KJV)

Preachers do a good job when they preach the gospel, giving the congregation God’s word. We’re told their feet are beautiful: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:15 KJV)

We are told what to do when they do not preach God’s word: For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4 KJV) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8 KJV)

Part of the preacher’s job is to help us understand that God cannot be explained, as Job came to know: therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. (Job 42:3b KJV)

Paul says the same thing – but adds the promise that one day we shall know: For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV)

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20 KJV)