Monday, December 28, 2015

God’s Eternal Resolution

Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension are God’s eternal resolution. When Jesus cried out “It’s finished” (John 19:30) the final piece in God’s plan fell into place. This completes God’s Holy Trinity where the believer has an unshakable foundation for eternal life.

Every New Year people make resolutions. They set goals and plan for better things. Their efforts start strong and often run out of energy soon afterward. And what they thought was hope turns out to be wishful thinking.

I use to have trouble keeping New Year resolutions. They weren’t achievable because I set them too high. My life was grounded in pride and full of grandiose ideas. Fantasy was the definition I attached to hope.

No wonder my reaction to broken resolutions ended with resentments. Every time my expectations didn’t turn out to my satisfaction I became bitter. And those behaviors show my life without God’s saving grace.

It wasn’t until God saved me, I found the real resolution. When God rescued me and introduced me to Christ my life took on a profound change. Everything I understood about life wasn’t right since I lived in darkness away from God’s truth.

Christ brought light to my eyes and has been teaching me how to live in God’s will. And this experience leaves me no excuses not to pick up my cross and walk in Christ’s footprints.

The trouble with New Year’s resolutions is leaving God out of the equation. Every time we don’t include Christ in our decisions the outcome doesn’t turn out to our liking. God has commanded us to turn to Him for everything (Proverbs 3:5-6). So the problem isn’t making personal goals, but how we understand the way God wants us to follow.

God’s resolution isn’t an annual solution. Saving faith is a daily and sometimes an hourly reliance on Christ. Sin doesn’t take time off, nor does God’s enemy stop trying to destroy His creation. We can’t afford to be complacent and lose focus on the gift God has given us. Our faith must be active.  

One of the best ways of keeping ourselves in God’s favor is a constant meditation on His word (Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:2). God doesn’t force Himself on us. He has given us freewill and by placing Him first we understand the real purpose of our wills. 

Without the Holy Spirit, we are separated from Christ, and our souls are heading for eternal trouble. Don’t be mistaken God is watching the earnestness of our faith. Remember, God knows our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).

The biggest change that occurs from trusting Christ is gaining His wisdom. We don’t have the spiritual knowledge in overcoming sin. Left to our resources, we can’t resist the lusts of the world. But Christ does and by abiding in Jesus, we tap into His strength.  And through living in Christ’s body, we understand it’s better to plan for God’s eternal resolution than one center in preference.

So the next time you set goals, pause and seek Christ guidance. It’s God’s eternal resolution we should consider before making decisions. Everything we do must be for His glory!   

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Christmas has arrived. The madness of finding a parking space, standing in long checkout lines, going to parties and decorating the house with ornaments has ended. Preparing the Christmas meal is the last item on the list.

The world’s message of Christmas is full of pride, prestige and extravagance. It’s a glorification of a man and a recognition for personal achievement. God’s enemy (Satan) uses this lifestyle to entice weak souls and corrupt their hearts.

The greatest significant testimony to Christ’s birth is the way God guided the three wise men to Bethlehem. God called on them to travel to Christ’s birthplace and worship the King of Israel. Their faith in God was strong since they dropped what they were doing to follow the Lord’s command. And their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh showed they were men of high stature.  

God is remarkable. He has allowed humanity the privilege of connecting with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father’s final plan began in the manger where baby Jesus lay. God stopped using prophets hundreds of years before implementing this eternal plan. We are fortunate to receive His generous gift.  

No human is superior to another in God’s house. Every day we have an excellent opportunity to stay in God’s favor by picking up our cross (regardless of personal sacrifice) and walk with Christ. Christmas made this possible. Our Father’s grace has eternal rewards.

Christmas paved the way for you to take your place in God’s kingdom. Remember, without Christ the entrance is closed. So join me and set aside a few minutes of private time and give God praises for Christ.

Merry Christmas and I love you.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

God the Creator

It’s not surprising the world rejects God’s message. The evidence of God is everywhere. Our Creator has left His mark on every continent, body of water and throughout the universe. Humanity gives it best shot in denying those facts and dismisses God’s creation of the heavens and the earth. But God is never absent for He is living. Take notice around you and savor God’s undeniable energy.

Most scientists can’t accept God as the Creator, so they cling to evolution as the answer. Here they argue life came out of mutation and blinded themselves from physical DNA proving life is from creation. Evolution can’t offer the ingredients required to bring forth life. It does not create organisms that reproduce, preserve and repair themselves. Even as believers, it’s hard to fathom the depth of God’s mighty forces.

When we take an honest look at evolution, its flaws are magnified. It doesn’t hold up to its definition. People who live by the evolution code believe life derive out of it. They fail to understand mutations don’t generate new organs. Mutations can make changes within cells, but don’t produce new cells.

Doctor Werner Gitt, a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, answered this question. Can new information originate in a living organism through mutation? He responded by saying this: "Mutations can only cause changes in existing information.  There can be no increase in information and, in general, the result of mutations is injurious. New blueprints for new functions or new organs cannot arise.  Mutations cannot be the source of new information." He understands evolution is limited.

Another scientist supporting creation comes from Henry Morris. In 1989, he wrote the book The Long War Against GodIn this excellent book, he supplies the facts, separating God’s truth from man’s disbelief on creation. One of Henry’s points is how evolution theory deceives the mind. He said this:  "Evolution's lie permeates and dominates modern thought in every field.  That being the case, it follows inevitably that evolutionary thought is basically responsible for the lethally ominous political developments and the chaotic moral and social disintegrations that have been accelerating everywhere." Mr. Morris gives a powerful definition of a reprobate mind.

God’s unique way of inventing life is remarkable. Nothing can change His personal signature. Satan uses evolution to attack God’s word by discounting the first three chapters of the Bible. In the book of Genesis, it begins with God’s account of creation. It gives testimony to the way He creates everything including humanity.

The first 11 chapters of Genesis are referred to throughout the Bible, Even Christ referred to its validity on six different occasions.
The biggest defense God has against evolution is His Living Spirit. God has given everyone a conscience (Romans 1:18-20). Mutation can’t explain the soul and this shows us the fallacy behind its deception. Regardless if a person believes or not God has provided us the ability to understand right from wrong.

God’s brilliant creativity isn’t limited to humans, but is experienced by His other creatures. The earth is full of fascinating living things attesting to His extraordinary abilities. Human’s coexists with God’s other creations reaffirms He is the alpha and omega. People who deny these facts can’t enjoy God’s kingdom.

Salvation crushes evolution. When we are saved by God, then we understand the truth of our existence. This secures our inheritance in heaven, for we are given Christ. Nothing can overtake Christ’s strength and Satan flees, taking with him every lie, he uses to entice the unstable soul. We are fortunate to have found God’s mercy. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Birth of God’s New Covenant

Christmas is on the horizon, and it’s a time for celebrating the birth of God’s new covenant. This day is set aside to remember the birth of Christ. We can’t afford to lose focus on how significant the manger was to our eternal lives.

Most of the world during Christmas is caught up in the chaotic hype of materialism. People are camping out in parking lots so they will be first in line to buy the latest gadgets. Stores keeping their doors open later than normal.

It’s easy to get caught up in the Christmas frenzy. God wants us to have fun. Christmas is a fast pace event. There is so much to get done. Shopping, to do lists, travel arrangements, family arrivals and excited children are challenges. It’s a mental and spiritual exhausting experience.

So let’s pause here and absorb the reason for Christmas?

The events before Christ’s birth wasn’t typical. First God used Mary an unmarried virgin to carry Jesus in her womb (Matthew 1:8). Her life was at stake. God understood the Mosaic Law for unwed pregnancy was death and used Joseph (Matthew 1:19-21) to prevent them from killing her. Here God shows us His mighty power by providing Joseph and Mary a way out of an impossible circumstance.

Then after Christ’s birth another evil threat arose. Three wise men traveled to find Jesus and offer Him gifts. When they reached Jerusalem and ask where Christ birth took place the city became troubled over their message.

These men shared God’s new covenant by calling Christ the King of the Jews, and this got their attention. Herod, the king, asked these wise men where was Christ’s location. And they shared the Micah prophecy as the answer (Micah 5:2).

Herod instructed them to find Him and come back and report His location. But God knew Herod’s heart and had them bypass Jerusalem on the journey back to their homeland (Matthew 2:12). Again, God defeated Satan and saved Christ.   

Our Father preserved Christmas so we could be saved and enter His kingdom. Christmas is a time for us to glorify God by giving thanks for the birth of His son Jesus Christ. Here we get to express our gratitude for the compassion God has given to us through His only begotten Son. We do this by worshiping Christ and abiding in His body.

God has given us the gift of salvation. So this Christmas, let’s unite and praise our King Jesus for the promise of our inheritance with God.

Merry Christmas and may Christ shine brighter each day in your life. I love you.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dead Faith:

Concealed Sin

Did you know it’s possible to have faith and leave God out?

Many people proclaim faith in God, but their actions say otherwise. They speak of God’s word, but lack the wisdom in living holy. Their lives don’t imitate Christ and in times of distress, they are troubled by God’s silence.

What is dead faith?

Dead faith is a self-knowledge of God’s words lacking the qualities of a Spirit-filled life. Here the individual leans on its interpretation of God’s will unaware of the dangers it brings to one’s eternal resting place. Spiritual intelligence can’t stand up against the evil one. We don’t have the strength required to fight Satan.   

In the Epistle of James, we find the Biblical definition of dead faith. Here James points out that faith without works is dead (James 2:20). He emphasized being a doer of God’s word (James 1:22). Words are meaningless until put into action. Action speaks volume in the kingdom of God.

One way dead faith enters a believer’s life is through concealed sin. Un-confessed sin is damaging to our spiritual growth. Nothing good comes from hiding sin. Even though God knows we sin our responsibility is to confess our transgression.

Salvation isn’t a free pass.

We must be diligent in our walk with Christ or face eternal consequences. A Christian life is an example of God’s living Spirit manifested through selfless service to God, Christ, and others. A real believer’s life is full of good deeds, helping to spread the good news Christ brings to the faithful.

Unbelievers watch the way Christians behave and this makes it imperative for us to back up our words in action. And a Spirit-filled life radiates a loving, forgiving and compassionate response to life’s difficult terms. Spiritual integrity doesn’t use words for its God’s way of attracting others to a life centered in Christ.    

Holding onto inequity is unwise for we won’t find God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13). And a life absent of God’s mercy is full of unnecessary pain. Most of our struggles can be traced back to a hidden sin. It shouldn’t surprise us that concealed sin causes us trouble.

A secret sin is an act of disobedience. We are commanded to confess our particular sins (Leviticus 5:4-5). It’s easy to overlook the need of owning up to our sins. We can’t afford to let disobedience rob us of our inheritance with God.

Yes, God has forgiven us, and Christ’s death has taken away sin, but we must be an active participant in our salvation. Remember, God will judge us according to the way we live (Ecclesiastes 12:14). And Christ pointed out the need to look at our sins (Matthew 7:3).

When God saved me, I didn’t understand the value of confessing sins. Salvation was a great revelation and in my spiritual infancy, this worked.

Then one day I had trouble living holy. I couldn’t stop myself from disobeying. My constant prayers and humble approach weren’t paying off, but God was listening. The Lord answered and showed me the way to confess sins. It involved confessing to Christ and asking for the guidance in repenting.

The way this works is simple. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is pride. So when I realize my prideful ways I pause and pray to Christ: “I confess to you Christ, my sin of pride. Forgive me for my trespass. What is my repentance?  Your will always not mine. Amen.” This works for any sin and brings me in line with God’s will. Sometimes I have to wait and listen for the answers. But Christ never leaves me guessing on what I need to do in making amends for my wrongs.   

Our willingness to give God our best effort is crucial to our eternal lives. Christ doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but wants us to strive for spiritual progress. And our admission of wrongful behavior opens the door to Christ’s abundant peace. There is no greater Christian freedom than the one God gives.   

A vibrant faith welcomes self-examination (Haggai 1:5). Concealed sin thrives in darkness blocking Christ’s light. It’s painful looking at our sinful nature but to grow in God’s Spirit, we need to know our misconduct. And confessing our findings makes our faith alive.

We have discussed one way of identifying dead faith. Un- forgiveness, selfish prayers, and judging others are indicators of a faith unfavorable with God. Remember the Pharisees had faith but Christ exposed it as dead. Our hope is secured through a living faith anchored in the body of Christ.