Sunday, December 21, 2008

So Amazingly Simple!

This CHRISTmas, I have been thinking about our wondrous Salvation Story & the amazing simplicity of it all! Paul did say that there is wonderful simplicity in Christ, & that if we are not careful, the enemy of our souls will distort that glorious reality in our lives. He said to the Corinthian believers: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Co.11:3, NKJV) How tragic when the Lord Jesus Christ has done it all for us that so many believe they must do something or go somewhere, or in some way earn their salvation. I was thinking recently that though I know myself all too well, since I have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, there is no way that I can be lost! What joy that brings me in this CHRISTmas season!

A magnificent verse of Scripture that recently came alive to me is Isaiah 51:6 that says, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." About the only thing that will last is our salvation in Christ! It is not tainted by sin! I cannot earn it, or participate in it in any way except to simply receive it by faith! God is so good, & I trust that everyone reading this has received their eternal salvation by faith in Christ as well! May the Lord bless you & Merry CHRISTmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Orchestrated Or Allowed?

Brothers & Sisters in Christ, I must share an insight that a sister in Christ shared in a post on another great blog, in which she was simply making a passing statement, but God used it to throw light on a subject that I've begun to be more clear on recently, but this just opened the flood-lights on it for me! She was mentioning about how our Lord either orchestrates or allows everything to His glory! The thought then came to me, & most of you are probably going "DUH! We've known this for years!" Yes, I have too, but this just made it so clear I wanted to shout! OK, continuing!! The thought came that those things that are according to the holy character of our Lord, He orchestrates, examples being creation, & salvation through Christ. Both of these momentous events are according to & commensurate with His holy character & all of His perfectly harmonized attributes, so He orchestrated them! An example of something that He allowed is sin to come into the world & mar His wonderful creation, because it is definitely AGAINST His holy character & attributes, so He would never orchestrate such a thing, though He knew it would occur. He only allowed it, since ultimately He can use even this awful thing to His glory & our good, the ultimate example of this being the CROSS!!! Amen & Amen, thank You Lord Jesus! What are some of your thoughts? May the Lord bless you all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

All CHRISTian CHRISTmas Music

OK, here's my first shameless plug as a blogger! But it is only shameless because I don't believe there's any need to be ashamed of what it is about!

If you love Christmas music that exalts the Savior, then I believe you will love the Christimas music that the Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) is playing beginning today & going all the way through the month of December. BBN is found online at BBN is heard in 8 languages, including of course, English. You may also want to listen to some of the other languages' music as well, especially the German! You can choose your language to listen to as you access the BBN Radio web page.
You may live in an area in which you can receive a radio signal for a BBN station. If not you can listen online. I must say it is the most beautiful music this side of Heaven! I truly pray that you have the best CHRISTmas ever!

Friday, November 28, 2008

God is so Good.

As I was thinking a moment ago, it just hit me that if we as believers sense that we have drifted from the Lord through neglect, or even outright sin in our lives, we don't have to seek to do some type of penance, or hope that we can be eloquent enough in a prayer to turn God's head back toward us. In fact, we don't have to necessarily do anything. I remember reading a great sermon by a great Bible preacher of the past, Dr. John R. Rice, entitled simply The Backslider. In that message, he had about 5 points, including such great topics as Is the Backslider saved or lost, What is a Backslider, & the like. Yet the very best part is the last which is simply How to Get Back into Full Fellowship with God or something on that order. It was the shortest & simplest portion of that powerful sermon, & it conveyed all that the believer needs to do to return to fellowship with God. Dr. Rice said that the believer only needs to return in his heart to the Lord & cry out in the genuine sorrow of his heart that he wants back in fellowship & like the Prodigal Son who just took that first step back toward Home, the Father does the rest!
During this Thanksgiving Season, I believe one of the greatest blessings that we, believer or unbeliever, has for which to thank God is that, as a newfound blogger said, God is for us! We don't have to somehow make God aware of our desire to turn toward Him, we need to just do it! If we're wanting to come to Him, or return to fellowship with Him as believers, we can know without a doubt that it is only because our gracious, loving God has first been seeking us!
The lost person can believe in Christ as Savior & we believers can turn back to our Savior in just an instant of time! So, I was just thinking, God is so good! What do you think? May the Lord bless you all!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Isaiah 57:1

"The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come."

Have you known a Godly & Christlike person that was taken in death at a rather young age, & wondered about it? My very best friend was one of the Godliest men I've ever known, who loved & served the Lord all his Christian life. He died doing that very thing at a youth event at his church, of a heart attack at 42. My wife's very good friend, & a Godly pastor who I came to love & respect greatly, died on Christmas Day, 2003 at 40. I am sure all of you could multiply the examples exponentially. I must admit, the thought as to "why" did cross my mind, yet I must also honestly say, though I am far from a mature spiritual giant, I have been walking with the blessed Lord long enough to know His reasons are always best though I rarely see the "whys" & "wherefores" at the time.
As I read this verse recently, I wondered if maybe this explains at least part of the "why." I know it is specifically directled to Israel & therefore is not a direct answer to why Godly believers die young today. Yet it is interesting to me, & at least a possibility. But this also raises another question: Why NOT me? I am thankful I still have time to serve my loving Savior & also time to repent of the myriad sins & blunders I make every millisecond as well! Yet I must say that I wonder more at why I am left to keep serving my Savior while much more Christlike & gifted brothers & sisters are taken all around.
Maybe part of the answer is also found in the death of Robert Murray McCheyne's young brother. Dear, Godly pastor McCheyne, who died at 29 himself in 1843, was saved at age 16 due in part to the influence his own brother's death played in his life, helping him realize the brevity of life & his need to have the Savior as his own. Maybe the Lord can use the death of Godly people to open the eyes of the rest of us so we can draw closer to our wonderful Lord & get the correct perspective on life. Who knows, but God Himself? I do know that He is absolute Love & only does what is ultimately best in all situations whether I understand it or not. I appreciate all of your patience in reading this! I look forward to your thoughtful responses. My blog readers are the best! God Bless you all.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When We Can't Pray

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 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." (Ro.8:26-28, NKJV)

Has there ever been a time when you just felt a great urge to pray, but didn't know how to express it, or as strange as it may sound, what to even express? I can remember a few times, when I just lifted up a grunt, or groan toward the Lord, because the pain & confusion was just too heavy & thick to say anything. I have a strong suspicion that I am not the only one. Well, one of the many benefits (Ps.103:1-5) of being a child of God is that this is enough, when we just cannot express our prayer needs. Our Father knows our needs, & our hearts. He also knows how to supply those needs in such a way that we'll receive them.
I used to think that verse 28 was a new thought after the verses before it, but they are perfectly interrelated! God knows that sometimes it is only severe trials & testings that will get us on our knees so to speak, & it is then that He can use those hard things He lovingly allows into our lives to all work together for good! Not that they are good, but they work together for our good!
Notice however this only works for those called by Him & who love Him. This of course are His children in fellowship with Him! All can be His children if they'll just trust in Christ as Savior, then this magnificent promise is good for you as well! I trust the Lord will use His precious Word in your life today!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our Brother..........

"Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church here, greets you. So do Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus." (Rom.16:23, Amplified Bible).

Paul was naming some special people God had used in his life in this tremendous final chapter of Romans, & he had said something specific about just about all of them, & then comes this man, Quartus. As far as I know, he is only mentioned this one time in all the Bible. The KJV simply says of him, "...& Quartus a brother." Some other translations of the Scriptures have Paul saying of him, "...Quartus the brother..." & the like. I am probably making far more out of this than is actually in the text, but something really neat just seems to be in Paul's mind as he mentions this brother in the Lord. Under divine inspiration, he doubtless had a good reason to include Quartus in this special list, & also to describe him in such simply sublime terms. I envision a humble believer who was just there for you if you had a need, & was so in tune with his Savior that he just radiated the joy of the Lord. I may be way off-base, but I don't think so. Paul had made the amazing yet true statement that without a single automobile or Internet or airplane, the Gospel had spread all over the then-known world! (see Col.1:23b) No doubt it was through the Spirit of Christ working through quiet, unassuming brothers & sisters who gladly presented their entire beings to the One who died for them & rose again. Oh, brothers & sisters, I'd like to be a brother like ol' Quartus, wouldn't you?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Psalm 27:8

"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."

What a precious text of Scripture! Certainly this reveals the intimate & loving communion between a believer abiding in fellowship with the Lord & the Lord Himself. This entire Psalm, as so many in the Psalter, reveals this beautiful closeness that the Lord so desires from us.
You know, I was looking over the Book of Acts this week, & a great Bible teacher now with the Lord, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, made a tremendous point in connection with the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, & the Lord's faithful disciple, Ananias (not Sapphira's infamous husband!). As the Lord directed Ananias to go & lay hands on the freshly converted Saul, Ananias understandably balked at first! His response is almost funny! "Lord! Don't You know all the bad things this fellow has done, & that he came here to keep on doing those awful things..." Certainly this is a very rough paraphrase, but the point is clear! Ananias felt comfortable being very open & candid with the Lord, obviously something he was in the habit of doing. Dr. Morgan pointed out that the supernatural simply seemed natural to these early believers! The point is, that they were completely at home with the Lord! The reverse was also true...He was at home in their hearts & lives as well! Isn't that what Paul meant when he said what he did in Ephesians 3:17? Listen to the Amplified version of that text: "May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love..." Now we know that once we trust in Christ for eternal life, that positionally we are in Him forever, but in our everyday lives, the Lord wants to do what Paul said in Ephesians 3:17, & what He was doing in Ananias' heart in Acts 9! The Lord desires much more than we do, even at our best moments, to be in intimate, close fellowship with us! This is encouraging, yet also sobering, to think how many times I have left my wonderful Savior desiring much closer fellowship with me while I went off to do some pointless thing in light of eternity...
Anyway, I'm not really sure what my reaon for posting this was, but I do know that we as believers can be as close to the Lord as we want to be, since He has made every effort & put everything in place for it to be so! Let's be like David when he said, "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." May the Lord bless you all!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Psalm 116:15

Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints. (NKJV)

I have wondered just what this means that the death of His saints is precious to the Lord? I know the Lord cares about everything in our lives, but a thought recently came to me about this that I would like some feedback on from the fine folks that drop in to this blog from time to time. Do you think it is possible that this may mean, at least in part, that it is especially precious to Him when each of His sons & daughters comes Home to Heaven with Him? Certainly there is far more than this, but do you think this could at least be a part of what this precious promise means?
AND, on top of that, if this is true, then for us to persevere in faithfulness to the end of our lives & to have an abundant entrance into His Kingdom & presence (2 Pe.1:10-11) brings even more joy to HIS holy heart?? So, our faithfulness being rewarded at the Bema seat of Christ not only brings joy to US, but also to HIM?? Just a thought, & I am looking forward to your thoughts as well!! May the Lord bless you all!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Psalm 84

This Psalm has always been among my favorites, but lately the Lord is making it even dearer to my heart. I've been listening to some teaching on this Psalm from the late Bible preacher & teacher, Dr. Ray Stedman, & it has certainly blessed my heart, & I wanted to share a snippet with you. This Psalm of course concerns the OT saint who greatly desires fellowship with God in the physical Jewish Temple. Yet they also knew that God was much bigger than the Temple & only in His grace did He choose to meet with them there. (1 Ki.8:27)
Dr. Stedman made the analogy of the OT Temple representing the believer's physical body today & how that the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us today! (1 Co.6:19-20). So, this Psalm is actually presenting the joys of fellowship with God in daily life for the believer! I especially like what he says concerning vv.5-6!
"Happy are the people whose strength is in You, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a source of springwater; even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings." (HCSB) Only when we realize that our strength is only in God are we able to really enjoy life with God. He then related a true story that had happened that week, keeping in mind that Dr. Stedman went Home to be with the Lord in 1992. He said that a young man who was struggling with some great personal problems was under a great cloud of depression. He came to visit Dr. Stedman's church, & Dr. Jack Mitchell, also now with the Lord, was preaching a message uplifting the grace & forgiveness of God in Christ. At the end of the message someone overheard him say to a friend, "Oh, what a load of guilt has been lifted from my heart today!" This young man was so enthralled by Dr. Mitchell's message that he returned again that night for more. He made an appointment to speak further with an associate pastor, Dave Roper, about his problems & new hope in Christ. They were enjoying their talk together in the car while stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, a moving van ran the light & plowed into the car, instantly killing the boy, but hardly scratching brother Roper. They were all greatly stunned & saddened by this, since they were praying for him at that very time, but also they were thankful that the Lord had used Dr. Mitchell to make his valley of Weeping (Baca) a spring for God to bless him before he left this world! The Psalmist went on to pray in v.8 for God to make him that kind of man, & I so want that as well. But you know, I must admit to all of you dear brothers & sisters in Christ, that sometimes I fear what is necessary to make me like that. I want to be a blessing, but so often I don't want to experience what is necessary for it to come to pass.
Thanks for your prayers & for taking the time to read my ramblings! May the Lord bless you all as you serve Him today!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What Joy!

I don't know about y'all, but I have had a tendency since my earliest remembrance of being introspective. I don't mean just sort of , but to the point of almost making myself crazy. Well, you can imagine that in the matter of salvation, this can become very discouraging. But I want to say with joy in my heart that even in the midst of all my introspective questions that to this day pop up in my mind, the way to send them packing is to remember the wonderful promises of God to the believer in Christ! Some that clear out the doubts & fears in my heart are John 6:47, Matthew 11:28, Ephesians 2:8-9 along with Titus 3:5-7 among some others like Acts 13:38-39. Now I still struggle with living the Christian life quite often, but my wonderful Savior Whose Spirit lives in me helps me in that matter as well! Isn't it a joy above all others to belong to the Savior Who loves us so? I trust you all who are reading this have placed your trust in Him as well. If you have not, you can do that right now! He died for you! He rose again & wants more than anything to save you if you will but trust Him to do it! Thank you for letting me share this joy with you!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Beauty of Grace!

Today is Father's day. I am not a father, but I am so thankful for the ones that I have! Wait a minute!! The ones?? Yes, & I know that most if not all of you know that I mean both my earthly, & as thankful as I am for him, even more so my Heavenly One that my earthly one helped me find by introducing me to His Son Jesus Christ many years ago!! My earthy dad has always been such a wonderful, consistent witness for his Heavenly Father that it is likely best that I am not a father myself. If I was, I would definitely not be anywhere near the father that my Dad is!

But you know, this brings up an interesting point. I wonder if any of you have ever struggled with wondering exactly when your date of conversion to Christ was? I used to just worry myself silly over this! Strange as it seems to me now, this was once a life-or-death struggle. I had heard evangelists say such things as if you did not know when you were saved that you likely were not! I now know, & I unashamedly thank men like Bob Wilkin & others at GES, for helping me see, it is not so important to know when one was saved as to know that one is saved now. Thankfully I do know that. I also wonder if any of you have ever been so infatuated with having a conversion story that you even embellished the one you have to make it more "thrilling"?

Brothers & sisters, I am so thankful for God's grace in Jesus Christ! He has given me a wonderful wife who loves me & Him, & most of all He has given me eternal life in Christ! There is nothing in this world like knowing Christ & having the assurance of Heaven! OK, I'll stop rambling. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Number 21

Today is our 21st anniversary as husband & wife. My wife is a gem. She almost decided at our first meeting, a blind date, to just let me go my way, but thankfully, changed her mind at the last! I was away from the Lord at the time, though in seminary, & she helped me draw back into fellowship with Him. Thank the Lord for a good, Godly wife. May the Lord bless you all.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Psalm 107

"For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." v.9. How true this is! This entire Psalm is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I can certainly remember the emptiness of being lost & how the Lord has often made the truth of this verse a reality in my own life. Of course I know that I am saved whether I sense His presence or not, but this truth is so sweet that I just had to share it with my blog brothers & sisters! Any comments? God Bless.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Psalm 73

This is my favorite Psalm for many reasons. I may go into some or all of these reasons in subsequent posts, or possibly in responses to this post.

Do any of you have a "favorite Psalm?" If so, what might it be & why? I love the Psalms, mainly because Christ is so clearly presented in so many of them! Looking forward to your insightful & delightful responses!

Friday, March 21, 2008

You're Asking For It!!

Here is a direct quote from Luis C. Rodriguez in the Foreword to Bro. Zane Hodges' book, Absolutely Free: "The gift of eternal life was received just by asking for it!" As far as I can remember, I never read anywhere in that entire book where bro. Hodges ever mentioned that one should be"asking for" eternal life in order to receive it. May I say right here & now that I do not have a problem with the phrase, or the concept for that matter. But I have heard from free grace people before that asking for eternal life can be dangerous since a person may not actually believe Jesus will give it to him, though he asks for it. I trust that I am not being nitpicky, I just wanted some feedback from you all about this. It seemed especially ironic that this phrase came in the foreword to this particular book! OK, I'll be looking forward to what you folks have to say regarding this! May the Lord bless you.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

In Christ!

News Flash! Colossians 2:9-10 comes immediately after Colossians 2:8! I never was very good at Math, but I figured that one out right away! Seriously, these verses just overflow with meaning today, as always, but seemingly it is more clearly seen at least to me to day than ever!
May I just post these tremendous verses for us here: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (NKJV)
WOW! Verse 8 is so indicative of the world today! There are so many false teachings & teachers who are actively seeking to take us captive that we just can't imagine! It reminds me of a Far Side cartoon I once saw where a camper lay sleeping in his sleeping bag with hundreds of rattlesnakes gathered all around him. One rattlesnake said to the rest, "OK, when I give the signal, let's all rattle!" The false teachers are like those rattlesnakes in more ways than one! The Holy Spirit through Paul wants to warn us of this far greater danger than even a pile of poisonous rattlers gathered all around us! But the Answer is infintely greater than the problem! Verses 9-10 gives us our hope!! Christ is God in bodily form, & we as believers are complete in HIM!! Check out how Dr. Ron Merryman translates this verse: "...and you keep on being having been completed in Him with abiding results." That makes me just want to shout! Who needs all this purpose drivel when we have the once-for-all truth?!! I hope being reminded of this truth makes your day just as much as it did mine today! May the Lord bless you as you serve Him this day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I love the King James Bible. I was saved before I hardly knew there were other translations out there! I grew up on it, & will likely always use it in study & preaching. But I must admit that I also really appreciate the NKJV & the NASB. While I will likely never move away from using the old KJV for my primary study Bible, I have really begun to appreciate the HCSB, or Holman Christian Standard Bible lately. I am not a Greek scholar, & certainly not Hebrew, but I really like it's readability, & it sure seems accurate acording to what I have read & studied of the Greek & Hebrew under good conservative scholars past & present. But I must say that what truly turned me around to begin looking seriously at it was when I realized that good ol' Dr. Art Farstad who is now with the Lord, was one of the men who was in on the ground floor of the translation project. I really appreciated Dr. Farstad & am looking forward to meeting him in Heaven. Have any of you out there had any dealings with the HCSB & if so, what is your thoughts on the matter? I appreciate any & all comments. May the Lord bless you all.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm Not MAD but I like MAD People!

What in the world has happened? Has a 2X4 slammed me on the haid? Nope, I'm referring to MAD people, or people who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior & are Mid-Acts Dispensationalists. They believe that the church did NOT begin at Acts 2, but sometime later, though as far as I know there is no absolute consensus in the group at the particular time that the church DID begin. But a main belief of MAD as I am aware is that water baptism is not for this dispensation. Personally I have yet to see enough Biblical substantiation to MAD to embrace it myself, but appreciate the folks I have met from that "camp." As far as I can tell they are grace-oriented believers & are very gracious.
I post this so that if there are any adherents to MAD, or other believers who have knowledge to share about them or just want to say howdy, please join in! God Bless you all in Jesus' Name!