Hope does not disappoint!

 Hope, Word of God  Comments Off on Hope does not disappoint!
Dec 062017
 

“Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Our God is a God of surprises!

He tailor-makes every miracle.
He individually designs every life.

Every day is different.
And His every deliverance is unique.

He is never capricious, changeable, erratic or unstable.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Amid the complexity of His manifold ways-
-always there is the solid foundation of His love.

We can always count on that!

The Bible longs for us to understand-
– “what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

According to the apostle John-
– the more we understand the shoreless ocean of God’s love,
– the less we’ll fear the choppy waters of life,
– for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).

If you feel your life is unpredictable and unstable right now-
– focus on His unchanging love!

Thank Him for “the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Resting in the predictable and perfect security of God’s love-
– will bring revival to our souls!

(PA)

Don’t be filled with doubts!

 Word of God  Comments Off on Don’t be filled with doubts!
Dec 052017
 

Why doesn’t God speak directly to us today?
In Biblical times, did God speak to people in a voice they could hear?

If so-
– why doesn’t He do it today?
“I’d have a much stronger faith if I only heard His voice speaking to me once in a while”, someone says.

On occasion God did speak audibly to some of His servants in the Bible.
But only rarely.

More often-
God gave them an inner conviction of His truth,
– or made His will clear to them through circumstances.

Most often-
He made His will clear through the written messages He had given in the past.

In other words-
– through the Bible!

Why doesn’t God speak to us today in a voice we can hear?

One reason is-
– because we wouldn’t have any way of knowing whether or not it was God who was speaking to us,
– or if it was a fraud (or even a demon).

This, incidentally, is one reason why we shouldn’t listen to someone-
– who claims to be a messenger from God,
– but rejects the Bible or contradicts its message.

Jesus warned:
“Watch out that no one deceives you.
For many will come…and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).

But the other reason God doesn’t speak to us in a voice we can hear is-
– because He doesn’t need to!

God has already told us everything we need to know.
And we find it in the pages of the Bible.

Most of all-
– we know He loves us because He came to earth in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for us.

Don’t be filled with doubts any longer.

Instead-
– turn to Jesus Christ and give your life to Him.
Then come to know Him more and more by reading His Word and joining in fellowship with other believers.

(PA)

Nov 012017
 
“All things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:23.
The “all things” do not always come simply for the asking-
– for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith,
– and in our training in the faith life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.
Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith.
You have made your request of God. But the answer did not come yet. What are you to do? Keep on believing God’s Word. Never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed.
The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God’s Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line.
Often God delays purposely. And the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. In the lives of all the great Bible characters-
God worked thus. Abraham, Moses and Elijah were not great in the beginning-
– but were made great through the discipline of their faith, – and only thus were they fitted for the positions to which God had called them.
For example, in the case of Joseph whom the Lord was training for the throne of Egypt, we read in the Psalms: “The word of the Lord tried him.” ​Psalm 105:19.​
It was not the prison life with its hard beds or poor food that tried him. But it was the Word God had spoken into his heart in the early years concerning elevation and honour which were greater than his brethren were to receive.
​I​t was this which was ever before him, when every step in his career made it seem more and more impossible of fulfillment, until he was there imprisoned, and all in innocenc​e​, while others who were perhaps justly incarcerated, were released, and he was left to languish alone.
These were hours that tried his soul. But hours of spiritual growth and development, that, “when his word came” (the word of release), found him fitted for the delicate task of dealing with his wayward brethren, with a love and patience only surpassed by God Himself.
No amount of persecution tries like such experiences as these. When God has spoken of His purpose to do-
– and yet the days go on and He does not do it,
– that is truly hard;
– but it is a discipline of faith that will bring us into a knowledge of God which would otherwise be impossible.
(PA)
Oct 232017
 

cross 7

” For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17).

There is explosive power in the message of the gospel-
– because Paul says, “It it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

The word “power” that Paul used in this verse originates from the Greek word, dunamis.

It is the same word Jesus used in Acts 1:8:
” ‘ But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses ‘” (Act 1:8).

The English words “dynamic,” “dynamo,” and “dynamite” also have been translated from this word, dunamis.

Paul was saying that the very message of the gospel is the dynamite of God.
It is the dynamic of God.
It is explosive evangel!

We often underestimate-
– the raw power of the gospel in reaching even the most hardened heart.

We think we need to add to it, gloss it over, or even complicate it.

But there is distinct power in the simple message of the life, words, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Don’t underestimate its appeal.
Don’t be ashamed of its simplicity.
Don’t add to it or take away from it.

Just proclaim it.
And then stand back and watch what God will do.

As Paul said, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

The gospel is a simple message, one that we in the church have heard time and time again.

But we should never underestimate its power.

(PA)

Oct 212017
 

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“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Jesus tells us that one of the “signs” His coming is-

– an increase in false prophets.

That is surely true in our day.

We hear about the Health and Wealth Gospel or Prosperity Theology-

– and the thousands of preachers saying you give to God in order to get.

Or, if you really pray hard enough-

God will heal your disease.

Give money to this or that ministry and you’ll get rich.

It’s this false idea that God won’t let you suffer and wants you to be rich.

It really should be called The Gospel of Greed.

It is false teaching that has permeated the church.

It’s taking a certain passage of scripture and building your whole life around it-

– while ignoring all other kinds of passages that give us the full picture of God’s truth.

So, how can you keep from being deceived by a false prophet or leader?

The key is in knowing Jesus and His Word.

Then ask the question:

Is what this person saying consistent with Jesus and His Word?

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).

If you are a Christian-

– you have an added bonus:

The Holy Spirit that dwells in you teaches you how to understand the Word-

– and gives you a check in your spirit when something doesn’t ring true.

Christians!

It’s time to be careful!

(PA)