Fear vs. Faith

Matthew 8.26 asks why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?

With the question comes the answer: God accuses men of fear because they have no faith.

Undoubtedly the Lord God continues to ask men why they are afraid, though He knows the answer is our lack of faith in Him. Incredulous at our lack of faith God later asks out loud, ‘upon My return will I find any faith upon the earth?’

Since man rebelled against God seeking to be his own god, he has suffered from fear for we know unequivocally that we have very little power over ourselves or this world.

Though we believe God is all powerful we struggle to believe that He cares enough to exert that power upon our behalf.

Most of us work hard to avoid circumstances where we need God to act on our behalf, preferring instead to create our own safe and stable environments.

To experience God we must enter circumstances that require the power of God. We cannot manufacture these circumstances as though we are capable of forcing God’s hand rather we must be willing to obey implicitly and then we shall see God.

It is in the circumstances of obedience that God takes us to places where our limits are exposed so that we can encounter the limitlessness of His resources.

The disciples were following Jesus when they experienced the power of Jesus exerted on their behalf.

So too if we would see and feel the power of God in our lives we must obey God by following Jesus wherever He leads.

Creating our own safe world keeps us in fear and blindness to God but following Jesus as He builds His kingdom on earth leads to faith and truly experiencing God.

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Working for Treasure

Matthew 6.20 commands that we accumulate for ourselves treasure in heaven.

God does not have a problem with people pursuing wealth; He has a problem with people pursuing the wrong kind of wealth.

When God lived with us as one of us in Jesus the Christ, He commanded we not accumulate treasures on earth but rather we accumulate treasures in heaven.

The wealth of earth is money and all the stuff it brings with it: power, possessions and pleasures. The treasure of heaven is people and good works that cause men to glorify God.

No greater treasure exists than the soul of a human being. God demonstrated this value when He spent the blood of Jesus to purchase men from death and hell.

Therefore no greater work can a person engage, no greater pursuit can we give our lives to accomplishing, than winning people to Jesus.

We accumulate treasure in heaven when we give ourselves to turning people from ignorance and disobedience to God, which leads to condemnation from God, to knowing Jesus and living a life pleasing to Him, which leads to forgiveness from God and eternal life with God, in His coming Kingdom.

It is far easier to pursue the treasure of earth than the treasure of heaven. It is far easier to try and make this life easier than to make the next life better. It is far easier to live for today than to live for tomorrow.

The person of God places the things of God and the things God treasures above all else, keeping the end in mind, working diligently to see the whole world restored to Jesus, recognizing Him as King and Lord of all.

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Knowing God

Deuteronomy 29.29 says God knows the secret things but shows us what we need to accomplish for Him.

God knows everything. God tells us everything we need to know in order for us to please Him.

Most religion is like the wizard of Oz story; hope for help but filled with obscurity about both the way and the man behind the curtain who once discovered is found to be a sham. Not so the One True God.

Man has consistently tried to disprove God historically, psychologically, scientifically and sociologically only to consistently be frustrated by the Bible’s eternal truths standing strong.

God is truth so God is not worried about human efforts to disprove Him but these efforts and their corollary of ignoring and thus disobeying Him hurt us immensely.

God is love and so has revealed Himself and recorded His will and ways through the Scriptures so that we can know Him and obey Him.

Most people find God hard to understand and are uncertain as to what He requires. This ignorance however is the result of not knowing, studying or reading the Scriptures.

God longs to be known and loved. His Holy Spirit moves throughout the earth calling people into a relationship with Himself.

God longs for the affection of humanity because He created us to love Him and is pained by our suffering so needlessly as we continue to love everything but Him.

Our best life is the one lived with God for the glory of God.

We were created by God to know God and to serve God and when we are living this way our life is whole and healthy.

God wants us to live productive lives, meaningful lives but this life is found only when its purpose is increasing the greatness of the knowledge of God throughout the earth.

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US A Christian Nation

Deuteronomy 26.19 describes the nation elevated above all others so that it may be a holy people.

The United States has easily been the best Christian nation the world has ever known.

The connection between church and government started by Constantine with Rome and continued throughout much of Europe in the middle ages, resulted in great corruption of the Church and culture.

The Founders of this nation whose roots were godly Pilgrims seeking to freely worship God, saw this corruption and so created a nation where unbridled religion could flourish. The result of their constitution was the founding of a nation where the church was full and men were good.

While the United States has never been perfect because no person is perfect, its generosity and justice has been unrivaled in the world and continues so this day despite much corruption of our foundation.

Instead liberals have bridled the church by removing it from public influence either by symbol in the public square or by rote in the public institution of education where we now teach our children there is no God.

The result of passive Christian men allowing this evil to occur has been a nation rapidly moving away from its Christian moorings to one of paganism and poverty of virtue. God elevated this nation to establish a holy people.

When the church ceases to produce holiness the nation ceases to elevate in glory and grandeur in the world.

It is time for good men to cease doing nothing and instead resist the corruption of our country through the teaching of evolution and secularism and the murdering of our children through abortion.

Stopping these two evils will go a long way toward reestablishing our Christian heritage.

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Helping Others

Deuteronomy 22.3 commands we not refuse to get involved. The Lord commands those who love Him to help those who are in distress.

When a person loses something or is having trouble with something Christians are to help solve the problem. This means Christians are not to keep the money they find on the ground if the person who lost it can be discovered.

Likewise, people broken down upon the side of the road should have a line of Christians behind them offering to help them back onto the road.

God commands His people not to refuse being involved in helping people. There is no limitation upon the types of people either – whether black or white, rich or poor, old or young all are to be engaged if they need help.

Jesus, Who is God visible, reiterated this command when He told us we must love our neighbor as ourselves. His example of this command in action was the now famous story of the Samaritan man helping the robbed and beaten victim whom he found on the side of the road.

Helping others can be costly in time and treasure but the Christian serves a God Who supplies all of our needs according to His riches.

Christians are not to observe their fellow man in need and ignore him but are commanded by God to help people in need.

In this way people will experience God’s love personally and so be drawn to Him for their own eternal salvation.

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Heavenly Reward

Revelation 22.12 promises My reward is with Me to pay each one according to what He has done. Faith without works is dead taught Jesus’ half-brother James.

The final book of the entire Bible reiterates God’s plan to hold each person accountable for what they have done while living on this earth.

While it is the work of Christ that saves men it is the work of men that proves Christ has worked in them.

The church has bought into the secular lie that knowing something is the same as doing that same thing. The people who believe in God but do nothing for God believe they will spend eternity with God.

While the thief who died with Jesus was promised heaven based upon his faith he too at least did one work before taking his final breath: he rebuked the thief who was mocking Jesus.

God has given us everything we need for producing great works for His glory upon the earth. He has given us the Scriptures to know Him, the Holy Spirit to be empowered by Him and one another for encouragement, accountability and multiplication of our efforts.

Thus we will be without excuse on that Day when He holds us accountable for our work or lack thereof that was done on His behalf.

What is the work of God?

People knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord and God the Father as their Maker and Sustainer of life.

The church is to go into the world and make disciples teaching everyone to obey Jesus even as we learn obedience from Him.

Few can identify any person or effort they have made toward bringing people to Jesus as Savior, thus putting to risk their heavenly reward.

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Remembering God

Isaiah 51.13 asks why do you forget the Lord Who made you?

The Lord God Almighty, the Maker of all humanity and the Judge of all people had a problem with His people; they behaved as if He didn’t exist.

It could be rightly argued that this same problem is prevalent in the Church today.

There are at least three things we must do daily if we are to keep God first in our life.

First, is to seek Him through Bible reading and prayer. We just cannot know God apart from the Word of God.

God has given us the Scriptures to ensure we accurately understand Him and His commands. We forget God when we ignore God by failing to read the Bible regularly and praying to Him for application of what we have learned.

Second, is daily obedience to God’s commands. If we love God we will obey God.

Doing what pleases God throughout the day demonstrates an allegiance to Him and makes clear that He is first in our thoughts as we align our actions to His will. It is impossible to say we know God if we fail to do daily what He commands.

Third, we are to make every effort to move people toward God’s point-of-view. God has commanded every Christian to be His ambassador so that the whole world will know Him and love Him.

Through the words of our testimony and the deeds of our service we are to encourage people to love God and obey His commands.

God is certainly at the front of heart and mind among those who make a daily practice of encouraging people to love God.

The Lord loves those who are His: those who make Him first priority in their life.

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Heaven’s guest list

Revelation 20.15 teaches that if anyone’s name was not found in the book of life that person was thrown into the lake of fire.

Most people, including many Christians, have bought into the secular belief that people are born good but their environment causes people to go bad.

This belief extrapolated to getting into heaven means people believe they are going to heaven by default unless they did something really bad for which they would be sent to hell.

This is not the Biblical view and it is God’s view that ultimately determines who goes to heaven or hell.

God has a book that lists all of those who live with Him forever. This book has blank pages until people reconcile to God through Jesus Christ, then God, Who is now known by these same people, records them into His book.

The book is similar to a guest list where the ultimate party is going to occur and only those known to the host will be allowed into the party. We obtain ‘guest’ status by having a relationship with the Host of heaven.

The Bible tells the story of how every person is born ignorant of God, always disobeying Him and constantly pursuing their own selfish interests.

Some however come to a place where they begin to seek God, to want to know God and eventually enter into a relationship with God. This relationship is made possible by God through Jesus Christ.

Jesus must be sought, Jesus must be reconciled with and Jesus must be obeyed if we are to have a relationship with God and be listed among those who will live forever with Him.

The party to come is for those who know God and love Him having had a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.

Heaven is not the privilege of everyone because of birth but is reserved for those who know God and have loved Him on earth until they meet Him for all eternity where they will celebrate Him with all those who have also known and loved God.

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Loving God is all that is Required

Deuteronomy 19.9 summarizes God’s requirements of people: love Him and walk forever in His ways. Think how simple what God requires from us really is, love Him and obey Him.

Typically we focus on the obey part and then become discouraged that it will be hard, costly and impossible.

The imagery really is to be like that of the new husband who is asked to love his new bride and not become unfaithful to her. When we are head over heels in love with someone, loving them is easy and cheating on them seems like an utter impossibility.

So we are to be utterly in love with God such that His commands are a joy and not a burden.

Most religion focuses upon obeying God rather than loving God.

Muslims find the idea of a loving God unthinkable. Allah is to be obeyed not loved neither does he love but rather commands from his residence.

The Bible is really a love story, a love of the Creator for His broken and wayward creation. It tells of His love so great that He sacrificed His greatest asset, His perfect Son, in order to win the hearts of those who are born predisposed to hating Him.

Jesus gave us only two commands really, love God and love our neighbor. Simple things really, because the desire to love and be loved is greater than any other desire in our beings.

We just need to let the desire to love run free toward God, not self, and toward the benefit of others and not our own.

Living this way will ensure our pleasing God and we will find also, the best life, the life we have always wanted.

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No God but One

Isaiah 45.6 records there is no God but Me; I am the Lord, I have no peer.

Political correctness and its sister ‘tolerance,’ have so permeated society that many who claim to be Christian are impacted so that they see their God as one among many but equal beliefs.

Every religion promotes a different picture of God but only one religion was started by God so that humanity could know the truth about Him.

Does it make sense that there are multiple gods in the universe?

The Hindus believe as much but these gods are petty, vain and ultimately ruled by one god for they too understand that the very word god seems to indicate one who is all-powerful.

The Muslim god and the Christian God are not at all similar though they each claim similar origin and to be the authority on God.

The Muslim god spoke to one man to reveal himself whereas the Christian God spoke through many men over thousands of years even making a personal appearance in Jesus, living among humanity, so that we could know unequivocally that God is and what God requires.

Does it make sense that if there really is a God He would want us to know Him for Who He truly is?

Why would God want to keep people in the dark about His character and His commands?

Were people more diligent to investigate the gods of this age they would soon discover that the God of the Bible truly is God and that there really is no other.

Christians need to become intolerant and politically incorrect toward the lie that all roads lead to heaven and all religions are the same.

God despises such behavior for He loves all humanity and desires all people to truly know Him so that they may love Him and obey His commands.

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