Posts Tagged ‘God’

“…but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14 NIV)

Picture a large meadow of yellow flowers bowing to a gentle breeze. This golden pond of beauty is densely populated on the outer edges by trees that stand stoic throughout the course of time. The summer sun hangs lazily alone in the afternoon sky against a canvass of aqua blue. The air is punctuated periodically by God’s curious creatures that fly about on cue — assuring the casual observer that life is more than worrying about the next event.

But that’s not all.

The sound of a rushing river nearby captures the essence of energy as it follows its familiar path toward the open sea. All marvel at its ability to remain constant. Nothing stops its flow. Its strength is undeniable. Its will, undeterred. The river beckons those who are thirsty to partake of its power to quench. For the filthy, it calls them to bathe in its capacity to cleanse. For everyone who seeks healing, it invites them to take a leap of faith and jump in.

Similarly, Father thank you for being the ever-present river of life in our lives. May the richness of your presence flow from us to others so that they may see your mercy and grace. May those who feel discouraged or depressed find supernatural strength in your heavenly reservoir of love.

Life is full of trials and tribulations, but how we react to them shows how much we TRULY believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior!

If Christians believe in Christ’s teaching without believing in the miracles, their faith is useless. Christ’s teaching is certainly important; but without the miracles Christ is only a great man or a saint, who may not be worthy of our trust.

A great man or saint cannot satisfy our need for eternal life nor can he solve our problem of sin and death. Great men and saints may be exemplary but they cannot deliver mankind from sin or despair. Ultimately, they themselves are swallowed up by death but Christ, in one sentence, raised the dead to life (Jn 11:43-44).

This is the most powerful evidence that Christ is the saviour of mankind. We need Jesus who by performing miracles confirmed the truth He taught (Mk 16:20).
Without miracles, we would have had a human teacher. With miracles, we have a divine saviour. No human teacher can deal with our sin and death. Only the divine saviour can.

If we trust in Christ as a social reformist, we do not have to believe in miracles. If we believe Him to be the redeemer, we would undoubtedly believe in miracles.

doubt

………………………….

Why is the faith of those who do not believe in miracles futile?

Jesus Himself is depicted as the greatest miracle (Lk 11:30).
He came in flesh, born of a virgin by the Holy Spirit, raised from the dead to life and ascended to heaven.
He will come again.

All these facts constitute the foundation of the Christian doctrine. Without miracles, there is no gospel. Christians who do not believe in miracles hold the view that what men cannot do, God cannot do too. They regard God on the same plane as man.

So, why do they believe in God then? Christians who do know the nature of Christ, do not believe that by the power of God, He chose a virgin to be with child through the Holy Spirit and that He resurrected Christ three days after death.
Therefore, they have no relationship with Christ. Jesus is our saviour not because of His teachings but because of the redemption He provides. He was “declared with power to be the son of God by His resurrection from the dead,” (Rom 1:4) so that our faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but God’s power (1 Cor 2:5). Therefore, all true Christians believe in miracles.

Do you know that miracles and wonders accompany preaching?

In the church, miracles confirm what is preached. God’s message is not preached with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power (1 Cor 2:4-5).
People preach with words – God confirms with miracles. This combination confirms the correctness of what is preached.

Elijah revived the child to prove that what God said through Him was true (1 Kgs 18:23-24). So it is with the church.

“The Lord confirm the message of His grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.” (Acts 14:3)

We will face a lot of trials in our lives, but if we allow each and every tragedy to scar us to the point that we lose faith in the miracles of God, then we might as well admit that God doesn’t exist.

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. (John 17:16 )

Heaven

We live here, we walk here, we eat and drink here, but may we never call it home. The ground beneath our feet and sky above our heads are the scenery we enjoy momentarily, but they will pass away (Matthew 24:35). Our family is more than people with the same last name (Mark 3:35), as believers we are united by blood, literally the shed blood of Jesus the risen Savior. We, the family, walk as sojourners (1 Peter 2:11), as travelers, loving and serving the people around us, all the while remembering we will one day be home. A home that has been prepared for us (John 14:3), where we will live in ever increasing joy.

Our lips will never again say, “It was fun while it lasted”, as the smile fades from our face. In our home there is no sorrow, there is no disease, there is no end to joy (Revelation 21:4). In our home our treasure does not fail, there is no thief to steal, no moneybag to grow old (Luke 12:33). In your heart, and in your head, where is your treasure and your home? For “there will your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).

Where is your home?

Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. (Isaiah 32:1-2)

fear

This King was promised by the mouth of God through the hands of men. Acting as a herald of the Lord, Isaiah prophesied there would come a king who would “reign in righteousness”. For one in danger, he would act as “a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm”. For the thirsty soul, he would be as “streams of water in a dry place”. And for the laden and wounded “like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.” Jesus then is the Savior of body and soul, the temporal life and eternal. Our fears of the present may be eased by the surety of this promise. That when we look to Jesus amidst the grief of life, he will be as cool water in a burning desert. When the tempest rages, with thunder clashing and whirl winds blowing, he will stand unyielding as a strong tower (Psalm 61:3). In his righteous and just reign, he will be the answer in both fears that plague men: fear of today, and the greater fear of tomorrow. As Jonathan Edwards powerfully stated,

The fears of a terrified conscience, the fearful expectation of the dire fruits of sin, and the resentment of an angry God, these are infinitely the most dreadful.

The fear of eternal condemnation is suffocating when realized. If this promised King who is now ruling does in fact reign in justice, then he must deal justly with sin and evil. We ought rightly to fear at this epiphany. But as Edwards continued on,

Christ, by his own free act, has made himself the surety of such, he has voluntarily put himself in their stead; and if justice has anything against them, he has undertaken to answer for them. By his own act, he has engaged to be responsible for them.

Our fears, though at first rightly founded, become as a dead seed planted in our hearts which blossoms to full joy once we are found alive in Christ.

Rejoice today, as Jesus is a strong tower for today, and our surety of salvation for tomorrow.

 

Please visit this website to help Pastor Mike and His Wife    http://www.gofundme.com/mto8to

 

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There
has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

faith

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will
have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and
everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord
anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in
the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and
could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can
hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

change

Leaven is a substance, typically yeast, that is added to dough to make it rise. It only takes a small amount and the entire lump of dough has been permeated by the yeast and will begin rising. Throughout the Bible leaven is used as an analogy for evil that creeps into the lives of people. Jesus tells the disciples to watch out for it (Matthew 16:6) and Paul mentions it again in (1 Corinthians 5:6-7). Paul is specifically referencing a legalism that has creeped into the Gospel at the church in Galatia, and has actually twisted it, distorting the Gospel’s truth. Paul’s word were relevant then, and they are applicable to our lives today.

Leaven doesn’t always equal legalism, however. Leaven can refer to any distorted doctrine that is attached to the Gospel. We must be careful as we follow and listen to religious leaders who are great communicators or creative in their presentations. They might be fun to listen to, and they may speak bits of truth once in a while, but if there is a leaven of bad doctrine in their message, it can hinder us from obeying the truth of the Gospel as it creeps into every corner of thought and life. We are no better than the disciples who Jesus warned of this or the churches in Galatia and Corinth who were warned by Paul. So, we must always be on guard as we listen to and follow religious leaders and communicators.

Is there “leaven” spreading in your life?

forwardYet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:61-62 ESV)

One of the greatest challenges for every Christian is to follow Jesus and pursue His purpose for our lives without looking back.  Imagine trying to drive a car on the highway while looking the whole time in the rearview mirror; you’d be challenged to stay in your lane and avoid a collision.  Jesus’ illustration of plowing a field would have made perfect sense to his listeners living in an agricultural context.  If a farmer did not focus on what is ahead but was distracted by what was behind or on the periphery, it would be impossible to plow in a straight line.  The ox and plow would certainly veer off course.

Both positive and negative aspects of our lives have the potential to become distractions:

  • Past successes.
  • Past failures.
  • Internal insecurities.
  • External circumstances.
  • Comfort & security.
  • Even meaningful relationships.

It’s interesting that the man who wants to follow Jesus is distracted by something that we would consider a positive: his home and family.  Jesus is letting us know that even something that’s a huge blessing in our lives can become a distraction if it becomes more important than pursuing Jesus and His purpose. As we continue to seek Jesus, we must constantly be aware of the potential distractions in our rear view mirror of life. There can often be a tendency to look back and remember the good, instead of the great in front of you with Jesus.

How can you look ahead and refocus on Jesus and His purpose for you?