Friday, January 12, 2018

Assurances of God's Guidance...

The greatest assurance we have is in God's Word the Bible.  In 1 COR 7:17 ~ "Each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him. This is what I command in all the churches". Our assurance is exactly that, we were called and assigned to do His Will.

You see, the rules of Christianity reach every condition; and in every state a man may live so as to be a credit to it. It is the duty of every Christian to be content with his lot, and to conduct himself in his rank and place as becomes a Christian. Our comfort and happiness depend on what we are to Christ, not what we are in the world!

No man or woman should think to make his/her faith or religion, an argument to break through any natural or civil obligations as if it will change the world or culture. He/she should quietly and contentedly abide in the condition in which he is placed by Divine Providence.

This message is very important for us. It is every Christian duty to be content with his/her lot and to conduct him/herself in his rank and place. There is no special or just right place waiting for you: job, house, car, vacation. Too many Christians in America are waiting on the Lord to deliver them just the right place, job, house car, wife/husband/parents... its not true.

There cannot be the just right one in a fallen world. But God does give us the tools we need (the Bible), the strength we need (in His Word) to accept and use and love what we have for his sake! "He guides my paths in righteousness for his name's sake" ~ Psalm 23. 

Christians in other countries are just grateful that they found the truth - Jesus Christ ~ Our Greatest Assurance! He is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World! 





*Sharing the commentary by Matthew Henry regarding 1 COR 7:17.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Encountering the Atheist ~ Summary of a Lecture by RC Sproul



Theologian RC Sproul (who has gone on to be with the Lord in His Kingdom) essentially says that we are not singularities... we are not disconnected from the Creator and from each other as if we are islands of individuals of different minds and purposes; we are by design interconnected by the Creator to Him and each other. No one man is guilty of sin alone in a fallen world and no man is outside of the Creation ordinances even if he/she does not know Jesus Christ.

Marx and Freud thought and wrote that man needs God to drug himself/the masses so that they have a reason to live to have hope in a world full of disparity... and so thus they won't be fatalistic. Freud thought that man was afraid of nature and so man wants to believe in a God who can control nature... if we pray to God he will remove the threat of nature.  All in all, there are those that think religion comes out of psychological need. Thus, man chooses to believe out of fear, and to hold on to controlling fear, he created religion.

Well, even educated rational men act on fears, anger and disparity. When someone is accused of a crime the prosecutor has to prove that the someone is guilty and that it was their rational choice to commit the crime. They do so by attempting to discover the means/motives. Just because he/she proves that they had the means and motive does not mean that they are guilty. They/we could prove that many people wanted to do the same; but chose not to for a variety of reasons. Yes, our behavior and actions are choices made. In that respect, one could agree that human beings have the choice or the capacity to chose/invent religion and others choose not to. 

We can also agree on is that we are capable of projecting ideas, wishes and fantasies. It is theoretically possible that people could invent God. But, if they do, we could argue that their choice is a rational choice as it brings comfort or hope. The same reason could apply to someone who does not see the comfort or hope in choosing God. The same line of reasoning could be used by the one choosing to commit or not commit a crime; its a rational choice to risk or not for reasons that seem to be rational at the time.

But, its interesting that man invents rationales for his actions including God. That's quite intelligent and certainly the later more so than imagining man was crept out of the sea or was created by aliens that we can nor ever could see because we are human beings. 

Yes, we do have a psychological motive to invent God. Just because man has the ability to invent God does not necessarily tell us how the idea of God came about in his mind. The reason why the world is incurably religious is because of the existence of God. More important is that we have to realize that we do have a vested interested in believing but is the atheist willing to grant me the idea that they have a vested interested in denying God.

If there is such a basis for their interest; there is a strong reason why they would not want God to exist, is that they have sinned... they are guilty of abuse of their fellow man, verbally or physically or mentally and because of that they don't like the idea that they have to stand before the Creator and be held accountable. If we are going to debate the existence of God, then we must debate the psychological reasons to deny Him.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Who do you worship ~ Being united with Christ!


Philippians 2:1-11 ~

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4:6-7.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Who do you worship? ~ This is not a declaration for interfaithism for this is only one God Jesus Christ!



Do Christians and Muslims believe in the same God? Many people ask that question. What it really  comes down to is the name of the one true God and the nature of the one true God. Do they both believe in one true God? Yes. Does he have the same name and nature given to him by those two groups of believers who declare that there is one true God the Creator of heaven and earth, all things seen and unseen? Here they part.

No one really knows how to say the name of God. It is a tetragrammaton. In Hebrew, YHWH (I am that I am - Exodus 3:14), is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel. It is interesting that The first dictionary of Dutch-Malay by A. C. Ruyl, Justus Heurnius, and Caspar Wiltens in 1650 recorded "Allah" as the translation of the Dutch word "Godt". So, is the difference really about the name of God or who He is or both? 

If it is about the name of God only, we can say that no one knows for certain how to say the name of God - but we as Christians know that He is El Shaddai - God Almighty. This name appears 48 times in the Bible, seven times as "El Shaddai". In Genesis 35:11 God says to Jacob, "I am El Shaddai: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins". According to Exodus 6:2–3, Shaddai was the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Could Muslims say "God Almighty" as the same?

I think a good question could be do we worship God Almighty in the same way? No. And, here is a problem as worship is important to both. Yes, worship is very important. We were created to worship the Creator. In two previous blog  posts, we have looked at worship and the right paths of worship. We know that we are not to treat worship as entertainment and we are not to worship as if we are enslaved to a master, masterful being. We are to worship in awe and humility.

But, that does not mean and or require that we are to fall down as to a master, either at home or in public. Muslims fall down and worship God daily.  There are some who would argue that falling down is an act of humility? Are we to fall down to our knees/feet in the presence of the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth?  In the Old Testament, we can read about such worship. "those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molek ~ Zephaniah 1:5.

However, God sent His Son to deliver us from our sin, from worshiping false gods. How do we know? In the New Testament, we read, "I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship me ~ " Matthew 4:9.  Before God sent His Son, man in his sin his fallen condition was often confronted with deception. Man in his fallen condition fell for it many times. Satan asked Jesus to do it and still asks us to do it but having the Holy Spirit now within us we are better to stand against Satan. You still might ask though, "Does that mean, falling to the ground is worshiping Satan?"

To answer that, we can read in the New Testament, "So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!" 1 COR 14:25. Or, in Philippians we read that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and in Ephesians 3:14, Romans 14:11 and in Isaiah 45:23, Psalm 95:6.  It is in 1 COR 14:25, where Christ is and why we should bow - Yes, God is really among us now! His love revealed to us yet in our lowly state.

Man in his fallen state was/is constantly falling into that kind of worship simply out of his desire to worship. He ended up worshiping a false god (s) just because it appeared to be something to worship as in adore - again we can point to when Moses found the people with the golden calf. Whereas, in 1 COR 14, we read of another kind of worship, another kind of experience all together. 

It is the experience of being in the presence of the one true living God; and, in that presence we experience love and forgiveness, this is what causes the one to bow/fall down - it is thankfulness of an adoring God's boundless mercy and love that we experience. The one true God adores us and we worship Him for it - give thanks and praise in awe and humility of His great mercy and love.

Now, if we rephrase asking, "Do Christians and Muslims believe in one God the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen?" The answer could be Yes! Do they worship the same - No.  And, yet they both conclude that God alone is Lord. But who is the one true God, who is Lord and why do we worship and how? 

We have to reflect on the differences between Matthew 4 and 1 COR. While at the same time, rejoice and let the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus ~ Philippians 4:6-7. Because, one thing we know as Christians is that our Lord God Almighty Jesus Christ created us to worship Him because we know that He adores us (He sent His Son to save us from sin of worshiping false gods, to redeem us so that we can be in relation with a holy loving God); and, He is our everything ~ in Him, we live, move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28.

Jesus describes the Kingdom of heaven...Matthew 18:23-35

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
 
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

"Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His loving kindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations".…Psalm 100:3-5.

Yes, worship of the Creator ~ “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things; by Your will they exist, and came to be.” ~ Rev 4:11.

Worship Jesus Christ our God and Lord ~ Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty!

Deep within every human is the need to worship, it is the most natural thing about us. Because, we were created to do that, to worship our Creator, the Creator of all things seen and unseen. However, in a fallen world, that is what gets us into trouble - the desire to worship. It is very strong in us as we are created beings but again since this is a fallen world there are those who reject or deny the Creator or simply don't know Him; and, because of that they worship other gods. Worse than that is when man starts to worship him/herself as god. 

Yes, every human being (created in the image of God) that does not worship the Lord God Jesus Christ the Creator of heaven and earth, worships something else whether they think so or not. The problem is that not all paths lead to salvation and eternal life. Not all paths of worship are acceptable to God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Remember, His thoughts, His plans are not ours, His are greater than ours. God wants worshipers before He wants workers. Our work is only acceptable to God if our worship is acceptable. ~ A Reflection on the writing of A.W. Tozer

 And so what manner of worship can we offer to the King eternal? In Isaiah, you can read in the sixth chapter, an account of rapturous worship. "I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3.

Sing praises to the Lord God...
Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world ~ Isaiah 12:5.

Psalm 146:2-8.

I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Worship Jesus Christ our God and Lord in Awe and Humility!

Deep within every human is the need to worship, it is the most natural thing about us. Because, we were created to do that, to worship our Creator, the Creator of all things seen and unseen. However, in a fallen world, that is what gets us into trouble - the desire to worship. It is very strong in us as we are created beings but again since this is a fallen world there are those who reject or deny the Creator or simply don't know Him. Because of that, they worship other gods. Worse than that is when man starts to worship him/herself as god. 

Yes, every human being (created in the image of God) that does not worship the Lord God Jesus Christ the Creator of heaven and earth, worships something else whether they think so or not. The problem is that not all paths lead to salvation and eternal life. Not all paths of worship are acceptable to God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word of God who was with God and is God. And, sadly, there are those who think that they do confess the truth, but yet they do not worship Jesus as they should. Really?  

When it comes to worship today, there is too much religious noise in many churches. It turns into entertainment rather than personal communication. The other problem is that there is no concern for God's supreme holiness and that we are still yet separated from Him by sin. Jesus Christ is our only way to the Father. We pray in the Holy Spirit, having the blood of Christ upon us. 

We come humbly before God knowing the great sacrifice He made for us because He loves/loved us He sent His only Son. Yes, we have such mercy and grace upon us but in that we cannot pursue sin as if that's ok with God. Its not. Though we may sin, we do not wish to. As Paul reminds us in Romans 7. God loves us, yes indeed and He forgives us when we come to Him and repect; but we can't play with His love like we do so many things then throw it aside to find a new one.

The other problem for many Christians today is being works oriented. God is infinitely more concerned that He has worshipers than He has workers. God is not a 'supervisor' desperately seeking helpers. We mistakenly believe that God needs workers, and so we cheerfully, I'll go to work for the Lord." His thoughts, His plans are greater than ours, God does not need us in that respect. He needs and wants our worship for what He does. God wants worshipers before He wants workers. Our work is only acceptable to God if our worship is acceptable. ~ A Reflection on the writing of A.W. Tozer