Friday, March 28, 2008

The Bible is God's Letter to You

I know this is a stretch but I really like this song and I was wondering why. A couple of scriptures came to mind. They are Jeremiah 29:11-13 in the NIV and Isaiah 46:10 NKJ

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ (Emphasis mine)

Listen to the words of this song and think about the promises God has written to each of us in His word. Isn't the Bible a letter He has written to you? Or, maybe I just like country music. Either way, I hope you enjoy my video pick this week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Can you Limit God? Part 2

Notice the title reads YOU. It was written to get your attention not to cause you to foam at the mouth.

The question I am really asking is, "Can you limit God in your own life?" I believe you can and do limit God and what He can do for you.

Do you think everybody is going to heaven? (I do not)
Do you think it is God's will for you to go to heaven? (I am certain it is)

Let's look at a couple of scriptures.

2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2)(Emphasis mine)

9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) (Emphasis mine)

I read the above scriptures to say that Jesus died for all the sins of the whole world. It is also fair to read that God is not willing that any should perish. (Read God's will)

God wants everyone to be saved. Jesus has already paid the price for all your sins. So what keeps everyone from going to heaven if the price has been paid? The answer is only two words, free will. Having a free will gives each person the ability to choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior or reject His free gift of salvation.

If you rejected Jesus, you are not in God's will for your life; you are exercising your will for your life. This limits what God will do for you. Salvation is an individual decision that each of us must make. The price has already been paid; you must accept or reject His sacrifice. (Making no decision for or against Christ, counts the same as rejecting Him) We are all born into sin. (I will deal with this in a later post.)

Yesterday's post used the unbelief of the "children of Israel" to illustrate how they limited God in their life, before Jesus came. It cost each one of them their life. The same is true now, if you reject Jesus, it will cost you your eternal life. (A much higher price)

You can not limit God's ultimate plan for His creation. God's word is true. But, God works in the guidelines He set up in His word. He will use people to bring His word to pass; He just might not use you. That is why it is so important for you to study the word of God for yourself. Study your Bible today, it is the "Ultimate Owner's Manual".

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can you Limit God?

It is my belief, that you can limit God with the unbelief in your life.

My first example, is when Moses sent 12 (church leaders) spies into Canaan. Read the whole story in Numbers 13 and 14, here are the highlights:

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” (Read unbelief)

30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” 6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
(Read faith in God)

The congregation chose to believe the bad report and it cost them their lives in the wilderness. Their families had to wait 40 years for the Word of God to come to pass.

28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. 35 I the LORD have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’”
36 Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD.

Now I want everyone reading this to understand, I am not saying God's word will not come to pass or we can limit what God says in His word. As you know, Israel entered the Promised Land 40 years later. My point is, you can limit God in your life. If you choose not to believe, it can cost you your life as well.

I believe it is the individual believers that limit God in their own life, but the word of God has no limits and will come to pass. Because of your unbelief, God might not be able to use you to bring His word to pass in your life. Your unbelief can also negatively affect the lives of those around you.

Know this, I am not saying you can stop the word of God from coming to pass. I am saying you can limit its power in your life.

Here is one last scripture, to make my point.

40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
(Emphasis mine)

They limited God by their forgetfulness and unbelief. I have much more to say but this looks like a good stopping point. Meditate on these until tomorrow.

Can you Limit God?-Part 1

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Are You Walking in God's Will?

Are you walking in God's will or running on Satan's treadmill?

There are days when I actually slow down and enjoy the things God has given me. Today is that day. The most important things in my life are family, friends, and home.

Things that while I run after life, (because I feel like it is passing me by) I tend to take for granted. I rarely take time to enjoy the world around me. I am not attentive to details. (As you have probably noticed)

Satan wants you distracted, God wants your attention. Make time to spend with the Lord today and everyday, you will be glad you did.

Monday, March 24, 2008

If Jesus is Sitting, Someone needs to Stand

If the Bible is the truth, and I am sure it is. Then Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, right now.

He is making intersession for us but He (Jesus) is finished with all He was sent here to do. I covered this on Friday, but now someone (read the church) needs to stand.

What does that mean exactly? It means when Satan starts spreading all of his lies and deception in your life, use the authority Jesus won back at Calvary, to stand against him. The Bible is clear on this, read James 4:6,7:

6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

How do you win against Satan in your life? It is right here; humble yourself before God, submit yourself to God, then resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The word says resist, which means to actively stand against or withstand. This means to do more than say, "I need you to leave me alone devil." I read this as saying after you have humbled yourself and submitted to God's word, you than have the power to overcome the devil.

Why would Jesus leave this world and sit down in heaven, if He did not give you the power to overcome the enemy? He did and you can, but it takes effort on your part. That is where many get tripped up, they think God and Satan are some how working as a team to "make you stronger" by allowing Satan to pound you. That does not happen.

Satan is defeated and only has the power over you that you give him. I know that puts the responsibility on you but it is your life, your free will and so God is counting on you to choose His truth over Satan's lies.

So my post reads if Jesus is sitting someone needs to stand. Read what Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-18

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Emphasis mine)

Do you think Paul is talking to you? If you are part of the body of Christ, you are exactly who he is talking to. So humble yourself and admit to yourself that without Jesus you are nothing. Next, submit yourself to God's word. (Learn it and live it.) Then take your stand against a defeated enemy. I have covered this before but notice it says "wiles" of the devil. Not power of the devil but lies, deception schemes etc.

Wow, I wasn't even going to post anything today but this is what was on my heart, I hope it speaks to yours.

Friday, March 21, 2008

New Again-Passion of the Christ Video

Friday is video day, so in keeping with the season and my posts earlier on The Passion Week and Good Friday, I wanted to show a video about the price Jesus paid for you and I.

There are so many videos to choose from about the crucifixion, I choose a song I had never heard, this song is by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans, I thought you would enjoy it.

Remember Jesus paid this price for you.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What so Good about Good Friday?

It took me almost 30 years to confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart God raised Him from the dead. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior but I have not always been a follower. With that said, I sometimes have a different perspective on Biblical teachings and events.

I always wondered why the church called if Good Friday if Jesus died. What was so good about death, I thought. To an outsider, it sure seemed silly but I didn't mind Easter because we had lots of chocolate and a big dinner.

But now Good Friday is special to me. After watching the Passion of the Christ I have a new visual playing in my head. Reading and meditating on Isaiah 52 and 53 I believe Mel Gibson went light on the way Christ looked. Mr. Gibson even said so in an interview. So what does this all mean?

Good Friday is followed by Easter and that is when the celebration begins but Jesus' sacrifice on Good Friday paid for everything. When I say everything I mean a complete work, lacking nothing. Read 1 John 2:2

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

All sin past, present and future were paid on Good Friday. What about sickness? Great question, Isaiah prophesied about this before it happened in 53:5

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
(Emphasis mine)

Peter wrote about this in a different tense in 1 Peter 2:24

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. (Emphasis mine)

Isaiah wrote "You are healed" and Peter wrote "You were healed", same stripes, the only difference is one man saw into the future and the other looked back in the past. Why would God write this in His book? Because you are healed! It is a done deal just like salvation.

All sickness, like all sin, was also taken care of past, present and future. Jesus paid it all Good Friday. There is so much more He accomplished for you and I but time and space do not permit me to continue.

Meditate on Isaiah 52 and 53, and watch the Passion of the Christ. Jesus died for the whole world. This is the Atonement, it is the completed work. What a great God we serve.