Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm Sticking with God

I will be the first in line to admit that my patience could use some work, so don't ask me to pray for patience again because I know better. Praying for patience means doing a great deal of waiting. Waiting for trains, waiting to pull out of parking lots, waiting on phone calls, and waiting on God. He likes to make us wait. I must be the poster child for impatience because Jesus tells me to be patient a lot and I still do a great deal of waiting. 
According to renowned Christian author and spokesman,   Dr. David Jeremiah,  "If God sees that making us wait is good for us, He will make us wait."   

There is actually a great deal of reassurance found in those words when they come from Him. He could just tell us "No Way!"  By asking us to be patient, He is making a deal or a contract with us. That goes with anything we ask in prayer for God to change about us or do for us. 
C.S Lewis said, "Being a Christian is not for sissy's", and he wasn't just a kidding. It's tough stuff, especially if you want to be any good at it. For me, being a bench warmer on Sunday morning is not enough, so despite the difficulties that go along with it, I'm sticking with God. And that means waiting on Him.  

Romans 8:25 If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 

Pretending that God is a Genie in a Bottle that will give us anything we ask for in prayer is silly and wrong, after all, He is not Daddy War-bucks, nor is He Santa Claus. He loves us dearly and although He does want to give us the desires of our heart, those desires are always contractual. He doesn't just hand anything over, we must be deserving and we must obey. What he gives us is contingent upon our Faith and His Will. Does He want us to have what we're asking for, will it be for the good of His Kingdom, what is our motivation for wanting it? And the big question, the one that throws so many of us off...are we willing to enter into the contract? 
The contracts God has with us don't just mean having Faith in His promises, we must also accept the fact that what we are asking for will happen on His timing, not ours. That is the factor that prevents many people from receiving what He has for them. Their unwillingness to wait on Him. They get tired of waiting, change their mind or find something they believe they would be just as satisfied with. Some loose direction, many actually give up their dreams and unfortunately, there are those who give up on God as a result of their very own lack of patience with God.
They failed to read the fine print in the contract and the Bible is filled with all kinds of contracts.       2 Chronicles 7:14 is a contract loaded with contingencies. 
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Wow, who needs an attorney when they have God? 
IF (His favorite) my people who are called by my name humble themselves (that right there is tough stuff for today's crowd ) and pray and seek my face and turn away from their wicked ways (we have to do all that as a nation?                                                                       - - -wow---what are the odds of that?) 

THEN I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin AND heal their land. 
I pray a flood of people will all take part in and sign this contract. It is huge, with IF being the major contingency. (Please read, pray about and sign this contract.)
Another scripture, that is so full of significance is John 12:46-47
If you are reading this and you have not yet accepted Jesus as your savior, please read it carefully.    

John 12:46-47  "I have come into the world as light so that anyone who believes in me does not remain in darkness. If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn't take it seriously, I don't reject him. I didn't come to reject the world, I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I am saying, is willfully choosing rejection. 

I love His plainspokenness. Jesus tells us quite bluntly that He came into our world to save us from darkness and that will only happen IF (His favorite again) we believe in Him.
That doesn't leave much room for confusion.
He goes on to tell us that IF you hear what He is saying, and refuse to take it seriously, you won't be rejected by Him because He didn't come to reject you... however...(another contractual word).
IF you choose to put Him off, by not believing in Him or by not believing what He is saying,
choosing to be rejected from Heaven.

That's quite a contract. 
Would you sign it? 
I did, I'm counting on and sticking with God. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

That Other Scripture

I love to read, study and write about the word of God. I find it so fascinating to know that the words we read  in the Holy Bible were breathed from God and are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  I also find it interesting to research the amount of times a particular word or subject is addressed in the Bible, assuming (you know what they say about assuming) that those numbers must certainly be significant. In many cases, it is true, however, there is one scripture, a scripture my pastor was kind enough to point out to me, that is truly significant in many of our lives and really blew my theory!

First of all, I am going to show a couple of examples that demonstrate my way of thinking when it comes to repetition.
The word judge is used  286 times in the King James Bible. 
One of the most controversial scriptures...

Matthew 7:1-2  Judge not, that ye be not judged, 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again; 
and one of the most highly overlooked. 
Leviticus 19:15 "Don't pervert justice. Don't show favoritism to either the poor or the great. Judge on the basis of what is right."  

Judge was obviously a very busy was the word prophet, as it was used 454 times in the King James Bible. A couple of the uses that stand out in my mind are these...
Deuteronomy 18:22  when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You thee, Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. do not have to be afraid of him. 

and  this, which we can currently see a great many examples of

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are raving wolves.

You can see where I am going with this, for a word to be used in Scripture over 400 times certainly should indicate that it was important stuff to God. However, there is another scripture that means the world to many of us, one that has tremendous significance to me.    I recall standing in a very dim, candle-lit church one Saturday night. I was really pressing in and when the pastor spoke of how there is nothing we have done in our lives or can ever do that Jesus won't forgive. 

No addiction, no sin; even the sins we find it difficult, if not impossible to admit and forgive ourselves for. There is nothing that He can't heal and change about any one of us if we repent and ask Him to forgive us and heal us.His love for us is that great!  
The pastor's words that evening opened up a floodgate for me and I will never be the same. I was different, new and although there have been and certainly will be many, many more moments when various scriptures have and will affect me in extremely strong and emotional ways, I was changed that evening and I will never be the same again. 
The Message Bible describes the process I experienced that evening. A process so many of us have experienced and are asked to lead others to... 
5-6 Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.
7-8 “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.”

KJV 5.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6.That which s born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. 7. Marvel Not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Born Again, so significant and used only one time in the entire Bible; John 3:5-7

You can see where I'm going with this will direct you to a link to a 1-Minute Bible Love Note word study that is fun and fascinating.