Sunday, May 31, 2009

Who is your "God Of The Moment"?

Genesis 50:15-21

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17 ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
In the moment things can seem like they will destroy us. People and Satan mean things for evil but we have to remember that the God of the Universe, and all Time, means good for those who love Him.
Romans 8:28

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.
Notice, if you will, how Joseph acts in the moment, knowing that God is truly God of the whole story? He offers mercy and soothes fear. He operates in trust and love.

We can do the same thing. I think there is maturity, well beyond what I experience normally I admit, in operating in the moment with the God of the whole story also being the God of the moment. What I mean by that is, acting like Joseph, or Abraham. Working through each moment knowing that God has His hands on the whole story and that it will be worked for good no matter what's going on right now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

When Blessing Overtakes You

I started writing this blog because I had started to get some things figured out about God. It's absolutely amazing how far the Lord has take my family and I in such a short time. Over these four years I've gone from facing what looked like sure destruction to victory after victory. Last October I returned back to what looked like a hopeless fight against those who sought to destroy me in my workplace. I'm very good at seeing how hard things could be, and I tend not to see how surpassingly powerful the God of the universe is.

I confess He is surpassingly powerful above all things. He is merciful beyond what I could begin to explain. His grace is towards those who humble themselves to call on Him.

Psalm 107 says it better than I can.

1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
3 And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way;
They found no city to dwell in.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
Their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
9 For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

10 Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
11 Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
12 Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
16 For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.

17 Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing.

23 Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,
24 They see the works of the LORD,
And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
Which lifts up the waves of the sea.
26 They mount up to the heavens,
They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.
27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man,
And are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
29 He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven.
31 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
32 Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,
And praise Him in the company of the elders.

33 He turns rivers into a wilderness,
And the watersprings into dry ground;
34 A fruitful land into barrenness,
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
35 He turns a wilderness into pools of water,
And dry land into watersprings.
36 There He makes the hungry dwell,
That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,
37 And sow fields and plant vineyards,
That they may yield a fruitful harvest.
38 He also blesses them, and they multiply greatly;
And He does not let their cattle decrease.

39 When they are diminished and brought low
Through oppression, affliction, and sorrow,
40 He pours contempt on princes,
And causes them to wander in the wilderness where there is no way;
41 Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction,
And makes their families like a flock.
42 The righteous see it and rejoice,
And all iniquity stops its mouth.

43 Whoever is wise will observe these things,
And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Faith is trust, not devotion or desire

Salvation in Christ Jesus is by Grace, through Faith.

Grace is unmerited favour, or someone doing something for you that they are neither compelled to do nor you deserve.

Faith is trust that is specific. To have faith in something I need to trust it, and it's working on my specific behalf. It must be trust worthy and effectual.

The extreme Reformed position is that a person must be devoted to Christ to be saved. However, devotion does not match the meaning of Faith. It is dedication, or consecration as puts it. Not trust.

The GES position would have faith be desire. I desire to be saved. So I will believe Jesus for the fulfilment of my desire.

One goes beyond faith, the other falls short of it.

It comes down to reconciliation. We are reconciled to Christ when we repent to trust Him. Both devotion and desire are natural workings of the Spirit in the life of a Believer. Neither is the basis for Salvation.

Just a quick thought. I've been very busy trying to get the manuscript finished.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just in from the "Trust your eternity to scientists" department.

One must attempt to retrain one's self from giggling.


Science Daily is reporting that just because they teach you something in graduate school doesn’t make it right.
OK try as I might... I just have to giggle. I love this next bit too...

This confirms suspicions that have been around since the 1990’s, and likely plays havoc with global models of climate change
Yes.. people trust Science to tell you that people evolved from soup and that there is no God.... at your own peril. Doesn't the fact that they can't tell you what the weather is going to be like on Saturday give you pause when they tell you how warm it was 50 million years ago? Or that we're all going to live on boats if we don't stop driving cars?

Operational Science is fantastic because you repeat things and verify them. Any science that isn't operational is a faith. Since it's often a faith that exists solely to refute another faith it is seldom ever a rational faith.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Finishing touches on my first manuscript.

As I sit here my eyes keep glancing over at my printer, which needs a new toner cartridge. Sitting in the tray is the manuscript of my first book. I've poured over the pages for more hours than I can count. I've let other people read it, hopeful yet dreading their eventual comments. Right now I need to read it one more time. I hope to find no lingering errors or failings. If that is how it turns out, then I'll be sending it off to the publisher and I will officially be a published author.

I'll be revealing more about this book in the coming weeks, but for right now I just wanted to post about an odd feeling. The pages are turned down. I know this is the last step. I don't want to turn them over yet.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Considering implications

I sat down with a good friend and Brother in the Lord this week. We ended up having a disagreement about James 2. My Brother is a wonderful man but he is not used to having his theology examined, or examining that of someone else.

The topic was faith and works, but we had a hard time getting past terminology because he was not used to letting context and usage determine meaning. I'm no superhero of the scriptures by any stretch of the imagination, but this conversation has led me to really consider the implications of how we teach people in the Church.

These conversations are not about who "wins" or who is "right" they are about our ability to submit to the Scriptures. Do you have theology that informs your reading of the Word? You're probably in error.

We truly need to start teaching the Brethren to read and understand the Scriptures for all doctrine. The ready answer needs to be forgotten, and the ability to find a proper answer needs to be remembered.