Friday, December 20, 2013

In This Is Love

By this the love of God was manifested in us, 
that God has sent His only begotten Son 
into the world 
so that we might live through Him. 
In this is love, 
not that we loved God, 
but that He loved us and sent His Son 
to be the propitiation for our sins. 

1 John 4:9-10


"Behold My hands and My feet"
will be the eternal source of our adoration 
and everlasting gratitude.

M. R. DeHaan

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life is Ministry

"Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, 
and to give His life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28


By the end of the day yesterday, I had a sink full of dirty dishes...but without the baby...

I had forgotten about the six granny smith apples in the right crisper drawer, and since I love to bake, I decided to make an apple pie for my evening ladies Bible study.  I also baked my first batch of Christmas chocolate chip cookies (using red and green M&M's) to take to the gals, for our planned Christmas fellowship get together in December.  I know I will not be able to go because something else is on the calendar - I still wanted to contribute to the goodies.  (One of the gals could put them in the freezer and then pull them out the evening they meet.)  So, along with my and my husband's contributions from eating throughout the day, and the afternoon of baking, the stack of dirty dishes was pretty high.

I have a question for you gals, since we basically are the ones responsible for this household chore.  What is your view of dirty dishes?  They pile up every day, right?  We usually don't mind them when we've been doing something fun in the kitchen, but, if we are in a big family like I was when growing up, it's a never ending cycle of empty sink and counter, full sink and counter, empty sink and counter, full sink and counter - of dirty dishes!  I complained a lot about having to do dishes when I was in high school!  And what about the piles of dirty laundry large families can produce?  What is your attitude about keeping up with those mountains of dirty socks and underwear (and all the other smelly things our precious families send our way), each day?  Or, what has come out of your mouth when your husband has asked you to pick up that oil filter he needs to change the oil in the car, since you are going to be out running errands - it means one more stop, among the already half a dozen places on your list to go.  I'm guilty of not reflecting the character of Christ by letting the feeling of being put out rise up and then responding with, "Can't you do that?"  Selfish and sinful...plain and simply, selfish and sinful, when it should have been, "Sure!"

How are we supposed to think about all the areas in which we serve our families?

"Therefore be imitators of God, 
as beloved children;
and walk in love,
just as Christ also loved you
and gave Himself up for us, 
an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
Ephesians 5:1,2

We've been chosen for salvation, to experience the joy of a deep, intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.  It comes from spending daily time with Him, in His Word.  He loved us and gave Himself for us.  He wants us to come to Him, to learn from Him and learn all about Him, so we can put His character on display in our lives.  He knows what will bring us joy.  Serving brought Him joy and our serving others will bring us joy, when we put off the mind of selfishness and put on the mind of Christ.  In His choosing us, and redeeming us, our calling is to be like Him.  To bear His image.  Before salvation, that was not a concern of ours.  It was all about us.  We may have served, but it was for the purpose of pleasing the Lord to gain heaven.  This really only produces anxiousness and fear.  Am I doing enough?  What is enough?  We didn't understand that our righteousnesses for that purpose, are like filthy rags to God.

Jesus is the example to us of how we are to live our lives.  Life for Jesus when He was here on this earth was about serving and ministry.  He taught, He touched, He healed, He loved, He died - for us.  Life, too, for us, is ministry.  It is to be about serving and loving, putting others before ourselves.  When we serve others joyfully, we bear the image of the One who loved us, and gave Himself for us.

Remember this truth - every meal we cook, every dish we wash, every pair of underwear we fold, everything we do for our husbands, is an expression of love...not only to our families, but also to our Savior!  Serve with gladness, and if the joy isn't there, and sometimes it's not because we serve in unredeemed flesh which wars against the heart of God, serve anyway.  Be in the Word, every day, even if it is just for five minutes.  When we spend time with the Lord and serve no matter how we feel, joy returns!

"Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing."
Psalm 100:2

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord 
you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."
Colossians 3:23, 24

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Enough

That Jesus loved us
and gave Himself for us
should be
knowledge of His character 
for us to immediately
and joyfully 
obey any instruction He has given us.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Knowing God


“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory,
both now and to the day of eternity.
Amen.”

II Peter 3:18

Salvation is not solely about being rescued from hell, although that is part of the gift of salvation. The verse above instructs us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3 as knowing God the Father and Himself.  The best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment than anything else, is knowledge of God.  Of all the states that God sees us in, knowledge of Himself gives Him the most pleasure.  In Hosea 6:6, God tells us that He desires knowledge of Himself more than burnt offerings.  In Jeremiah 9:23, we are told to revel in our knowledge and understanding of God, not in our wealth or strength or wisdom. It should be every child of God’s desire and life long endeavor to know Jesus better - the One who paid the price for our sin.  We should want to know Him deeper and more fully – the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. Anytime we open His revelation to us and look into the heart and character of God, sincerely seeking Him, our knowledge of Him increases, our view of Him is enlarged, our faith is strengthened, and our love for Him grows.  As our knowledge and understanding of Him increases, He becomes greater and greater in our hearts and minds.  He increases, and we decrease.  A true knowledge of God produces a supernatural peace in a world roiling with turmoil.  A true knowledge of God produces inexpressible joy.  A growing, true knowledge of God diminishes sin.  A true, intimate, deep, growing knowledge of God protects us, transforms us, and produces a heart and life that deeply loves and worships God. 

Have you spent time with Him today? 

May we be known, for knowing God…and for pursuing Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Abundant Life


"...I came that they may have life,
 and have it abundantly."

John 10:10b

Abundant life is found in the pursuit of God-honoring holiness.  It is holiness-the humility of spirit, the mourning over sin, the hunger and thirsting for righteousness-that will produce in us that happy blessedness that Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount.  Abundant life is life that is freed from the power of sin and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, focused on the pleasure of God and resting in His love.  The first step we must take is to admit that we were created for His pleasure rather than for our own.  Our true happiness and abundant life springs out of setting our eyes, our hopes, and our desires on Christ and keeping them there.  Once we determine to keep our focus on Christ, love for our neighbor will grow.  This love of God and love for our neighbor will energize us to reach out and offer God's love and freeing truth to others.  It will motivate us to study and live lives of godliness so that others will be blessed.  If it is your heart's desire to live a faithful Christian life to God's glory, walking in Christ's promised abundant life, you won't succeed in your goal if your start with yourself as the center or focus of life or if you start with human philosophies as your guide.  You must begin at the right place, with God as the source and meaning of all life, with His glory and pleasure as paramount, and with His Word as the light upon your path and the only guide for life.  Abundant life can be yours because you have a loving Shepherd who is watching over you.  He has provided a lush pastureland for your nourishment; He has given you living water; it is He who restores your soul.  You can find a rich, rewarding life with God now and for eternity and you can share this life with others.

Taken from the preface of "Women Helping Women", Elyse Fitzpatrick and Carol Cornish, General Editors...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

From Anger, to Anguish, to Complete Peace, Rest, and Trust

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant, through Christ."  

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

We live in a sin encrusted world, where bad things happen to us, and the result is pain and suffering.  Perhaps you have lost a job and the result from that is you have lost your home.  Or maybe like me, you've experienced sexual abuse by your father.  Mine was minor, but yours was full blown rape. It causes anger to spring up from our hearts.   Perhaps you are suffering with an illness or you are watching a child suffer with an illness.  Circumstances come into our lives because we live in this sin encrusted world, and when it does it brings pain and anguish and we respond in different ways to the pain and anguish we are experiencing. Sometimes we feel abandoned by God, and sometimes we experience anger towards God. We have raised our fist, questioning how He could let this happen to us. 

Let's look for a moment, at Jesus, and step into His place. 

On the road to the cross, and on the cross, Jesus experienced the vitriol and hatred of man, in the form of spit, lashes on His back that ripped His flesh open, a crown of thorns crushed into the skin on His head, and nails driven through His hands. He knows physical pain and suffering because of the wickedness of man's heart. If you have ever experienced physical pain or emotional pain because of a wicked heart, Jesus has been there. He understands the suffering you have gone through, or might even be going through now. He can identify with it, and does. Isaiah 53:11 tells us Jesus had anguish in His soul but we know He harbored no anger towards those who put Him on the cross.  At one point, He looked upon those who drove the nails and said these words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."   The Roman soldiers had no idea they were crucifying the Creator of the universe, the Son of God, very God Himself, the One who gave them physical life. I want to look for those Roman soldiers in heaven.  The fact that Jesus forgave them gives me a hint that they possibly came to Christ later on. This forgiveness given to them by Jesus is also an example to us, that we are to release, to put off anger towards those who have sinned against us, and live with a spirit of forgiveness. 

Do you live with a raised fist toward God, angry at your circumstances and what has happened to you?  Jesus understands the pain, the anguish in your soul with what has happened to you, the circumstance in which you find yourself. God's Word tells us He has never abandoned us. He never leaves us. We cannot flee from His presence. Let your raised fist relax into an open hand.  It is ok to ask why. Jesus asked why, in His anguish and pain and suffering. We know God the Father turned His back on His Son because He'd become sin, so we could be clothed in His righteousness.  Any anger we feel towards God needs to be directed back to the sin against us.  It was sin, too, against God.  Then, release it into anguish over how sin put our Savior on the cross. Our very own sin.  The truth of God's Word tells us that what man intends for evil, God means for good. The suffering of Jesus brought us the wonderful gift of salvation - it restored our broken relationship with God. Joseph suffered under the hands of his brothers but learned later it took him into Egypt where God would later use him to preserve His chosen people, because the Savior would come through his lineage. In our suffering, we can live with expectation that God is going to use us in the future to bring benefit and His goodness to others, like Jesus' suffering did, and Joseph's suffering did. 

God is not responsible for the evil in this world. If we are angry at Him, our anger is directed at the wrong thing.  He is angered and grieved by sin and we need to be angered and grieved by sin, but not angry at God.  For His children, in His wisdom and love for us, He causes evil to bend to His wishes, He turns evil into benefit.  

We don't always have the clear picture why, like Joseph did, but let these truths sooth your soul and bring you to a point of complete peace, rest, and trust - you've never been abandoned, Jesus is always with you, and you are loved with an everlasting love.

(***Friends, I believe anger at God is never justified.  As our knowledge of our Gracious Heavenly Father grows, we will come to see that His love and presence and grace was always with us, during our trial.  Any anger we have towards God now, or have experienced towards God in the past, we need to confess and repent of it.  I was never angry at God over what my father did.  I was angry at my father.  This was written to help any of my friends who have ever been angry at God.  Love you all.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saved and Changed, By Jesus


"But we all, with unveiled face, 
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
 are being transformed into the same image 
from glory to glory, just as from the Lord,
the Spirit."  2 Corinthians 3:18

The Bible tells us that Satan has authority over the kingdoms of this earth, but he is under God's sovereign control.  The Bible tells us that the heart is desperately wicked, and needs to be changed, but just like a leopard cannot change his own spots, we can't change our own, wicked hearts.  With Satan ruling and the wickedness of the heart - this is why we see the evil that occurs all around us.  We are all born with the capacity to do very evil things.  I’ve never murdered anyone, but I’ve been angry and have said hurtful, mean things.  Jesus said that anger is just the same as murder.  None of us can say we’ve never done anything wrong.  We’ve lied, we’ve stolen, we’ve been unkind - we have all done something sinful and sin deserves punishment and the Bible tells us sin’s punishment is God’s anger, death, and separation from God. 

Here's the good news - Jesus saves people from God’s anger.  Jesus saves people from the death that separates us from God.  Jesus not only saves us - Jesus changes sinful people!  He is changing me!  Jesus can change you, too. 

So how are we saved and changed by Jesus?  It's not by following a set of rules.  It’s by admitting to God that we are sinful, that we do not meet up to His glory and perfection.  We confess our sinful hearts to Him.  We repent of our sin.  This means we turn away from our sin and we turn to Jesus and the perfect righteousness of Jesus.  Jesus is righteous and perfect.  Jesus, being God, has never sinned.  It wasn’t found in Him, at all.  At His first coming, two thousand years ago, Jesus died on the cross.  He allowed Roman soldiers to nail Him to the cross.  The Bible tells us that while He hung on the cross, He became sin.  He exchanged identities with us.  He became the sinner and God poured out His anger and wrath on Jesus, paying the price for sin.  God the Father turned His back on Jesus and separated Himself from Jesus - this was His greatest suffering.  It wasn’t the nails or the crown of thorns that hurt the most – it was the relational break from the Father when the Father turned His back on Jesus, because He’d become sin, and sin cannot be in the presence of holy God.  Jesus had always been in perfect relationship with the Father, but while on the cross, the perfect relationship was severed.  It had to be, to make the payment for sin.  When the payment for sin was made, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  After that, Jesus gave up His spirit and His body died.  But three days later He joined back with His body and the Father raised His body from the dead, because the Father was pleased with the sacrifice He made on our behalf!

If we believe that Jesus did this for us, if we accept His paying the price for us, if we believe He became sin for us, and that God the Father poured His anger for our sin out on Jesus, if we believe Jesus rose from the grave, conquering sin and death, we are then given His righteousness, and God the Father then looks at us and sees the righteousness of Jesus.  We are saved from death, and we are changed from sinner to saint!  God no longer views us as a sinner - He sees only the righteousness of Jesus.  The wonderful thing is that our hearts are changed.  We have new desires, we want to do what honors and pleases the Lord, when before, we lived to only please ourselves.   

You’ve probably noticed that Christians still sin.  At salvation, we begin a transformation process, where we become more and more like Jesus, in practice.  The word for this in the Bible is sanctification.  At salvation, at the moment we believe the good news message, our position and standing before God changes. We are no longer under His judgment and condemnation.  Our standing before God is forgiven, cleansed from sin, pure, holy, righteous.  We are a new creation.  The transformation process is becoming what we are in position, perfect.  We never hit perfection in our practice, until we die and shed our bodies, but we grow in the likeness of Jesus and His perfect character.  The Bible tells us what we will begin to see produced in our lives.  Before, it was anger, bitterness, jealousy, drunkenness, immorality, envy.  The list is ugly, isn’t it?  After we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and then we will see love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and faithfulness begin to be produced in our lives.  The Bible calls this the fruit of the Spirit.  As Jesus disciple, or follower, after we are saved, we are called and commanded to study the Bible – to spend time learning more and more about Him.  As we study His Word, we learn what Jesus is like and what He wants us to be doing.  Our knowledge of Jesus increases, our obedience grows, and we become more and more like Him.   We are transformed more and more into His likeness.  We are being changed.

One day, Jesus is returning, as judge, ruler, and King of the earth. He is going to bring all the evil to an end, and righteousness is going to fill the earth.  He is going to throw Satan into hell where he can no longer influence and deceive mankind.  The question is, will Jesus return as your judge, or as your Savior, as the One who stepped into your place, bearing God’s anger, and then giving you His righteousness, and changing you? 

If we die, never having repented, we will pay the price for our own sin, and the Bible tells us our suffering will be forever.  Jesus suffering was great.  Truly great.  How great was it?  Think about it – in paying the price for your sin and my sin, and for the sin of anyone who trusts in Him, what Jesus suffered in six hours on the cross was an eternities worth of suffering.  He experienced an eternities worth of separation from the Father.  

Jesus loves you and wants to be your Savior.  The Bible tells us He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked - in the death of those who don’t want to be changed.  Can you think of any good reason why you wouldn’t want His love, and salvation?  Can you think of any good reason why you wouldn’t want to be changed, and given His righteousness and peace?

I sure can’t.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Can We Know We are Saved?

We can have confidence we are a child of God when our grip on the things of this world loosen and we cling to who Jesus is, more and more tightly.  These actions don't save us, but are indications that Jesus has saved us and is transforming us.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Greatest

Is there anyone or anything greater than Jesus Christ?

The Maker is greater than what the Maker makes.

The made, creation, displays vividly the glory of Christ, the Maker.

The made, the follower of Jesus, lives for the glory and fame of The Maker, Jesus Christ.  We love to sing and shout about His glory - we love to exalt Jesus!  Sundays are the best, when we gather collectively, and engage in joyful, sometimes soft, sometimes loud, lifting our hearts and hands and eyes to Him, songs of worship and praise!

His followers are not perfect at living for His glory and fame - we battle pride, to make ourselves the greatest.  We battle idolatry, making anyone or anything else greater than Jesus.  There is forgiving grace for this, when we confess the sin, and we are grateful for this forgiving grace.

When all is said and done, there is no one and nothing, greater, than Jesus Christ.  Someday, every eye will see Him and every knee will bow to Him.  Those who willingly bow, now, with the heart, coupled with repentance, will bow willingly and joyfully at His return.  The willing bow, now, results in a joy-filled eternity in the presence of His glory and kindness and goodness.  The forced bow, at His return, results in an eternity away from His glory and kindness and goodness and presence.  What does that look like?  Darkness, no light.  Separation.  Isolation.  The nashing of teeth.  Never ending, terrible, terrible suffering.  What we suffer here on earth, before becoming a follower of Christ, and after becoming a follower of Christ, is nothing, compared to what we will suffer without Him, in eternity.

Jesus loves you with a love as great as He is great.  His greatness is infinite.  His love has no limit and no boundaries.  Let Jesus be The Greatest in your life, now.

Friday, September 6, 2013

It's Not Too Late

Psalm 145:9 - "The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works."

Matthew 5:45 - "...for He (God the Father) causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

Luke 6:35 - "...the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."

God's lovingkindness and grace extends every minute, of every day, to everyone who lives in His creation. Every leader, of every country is experiencing it - President Obama, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, all three of these men are experiencing it.  Hitler experienced it.  Pilate experienced it. Judas experienced it.  Osama Bin Laden experienced it.  You and I are experiencing it.  Every breath we take or anyone has ever taken, is because of the favor and mercy and kindness of God, because all have sinned and fall short of His glory. (Romans 3:23)  Here's the good news - God's grace never ends for us when we call out to Him, in repentance, and accept the sacrifice of His Son on our behalf - Jesus in our place.  God's goodness does come to an end however, at death, if we refuse, ignore, or walk away from His free gift of salvation through His saving, changing, eternal grace.  Every single one of us needs to be changed because every single one of us is born with a heart for the capacity for the worst evil.  We are also born in rebellion against God and His ways.  Everyone one of us needs to humble ourselves before Him, admit our need for His saving, changing grace.  We need to turn from our sin and to Jesus. We can be the nicest person ever, trying to gain heaven by good works (this falls short of God's glory because we are attempting to gain eternal life by our own plan and goodness).  We can be the cruelest person ever. We can have ended a baby's life through abortion. We can be involved in pornography.  We can be involved in adultery. We can be liars.  We can be thieves.  God's saving, changing, eternal grace is given to all who call upon Jesus, no matter what we have done.  There is no one else, but Jesus, by which we gain God's saving, changing, eternal grace.  We cannot be saved by our own works.  We cannot be saved through the prayer or works of a friend or family member.  We cannot enter into the family of God through Buddha, through Baha'u'llah, or through Muhammad.  It's all about Jesus, and Jesus alone. He only, made the payment for our sin and without payment for sin, we cannot enter into the kingdom and presence of holy, perfect, righteous, good, merciful, gracious, loving God.  At death, we become objects of God's wrath, for eternity, because of our sin, if we have not turned from our sin, to Jesus Christ.   Let today be the day of salvation for you.  Let Jesus be your wrath-bearer.  It's not too late, to exchange your sin for Jesus righteousness, to be forgiven, to be washed of your sin and dressed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, having God the Father look at you from this day forward and into eternity, with the perfection of His Son - as if you'd never sinned, and as if you've always obeyed and pleased Him.

Titus 2:11 - "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men..."

Titus 3:5 - "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit."

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Acts 4:12 - "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

2 Corinthians 5:15, 18 - "And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf...He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

1 Peter 2:24 - "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."

(I love what Mark Driscoll posted yesterday - "Forgiveness from Jesus is not a license to sin.  If you're in Christ, the last thing you want to do is betray the One who is faithful to you.")

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Weakness, is Jesus Exaltation

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, 
that it should leave me.
But He said to me, 
"My grace is sufficient for you, 
for My power is made perfect in weakness."
Most gladly, therefore,
I will rather boast about my weaknesses,
that the power of Christ may dwell in me."

2 Corinthians 12:8,9

We can pray and ask that our circumstances will change, but often the change of circumstances is that we are given grace to bear up well under our suffering.  Jesus, then, and His power is exalted, and this is why Paul boasted in his weakness.  Paul was saying, "When I am weak, you don't see me, you see Jesus."

Our weakness, is Jesus exaltation...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Prewrath - What is it?

For an excellent overview of prewrath - click on this link for an essay by Alan Kurschner...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sermon Notes | Mars Hill Federal Way | 6.14.13

These are my sermon notes from Pastor Bubba Jennings message on Acts 4:1-22...  We are in a sermon series entitled Acts: Empowered for Jesus' Mission.  This Sunday's message was on Spirit-empowered leadership.

  • Christian leadership (and discipleship) must be powered by the Holy Spirit
1.  Spirit-empowered leaders/disciples testify that salvation comes through Jesus alone.


Acts 4:12 - "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."  

We are made for more than the American dream.

The question isn't, why aren't there more ways?  It's the truth - there is a way, one and only one way, and it's Jesus!

The Father ordained salvation.
The Son accomplished salvation.
The Spirit applies salvation.

Praise be to our Triune God!

Pride thinks too little of God's Word and its authority, and chooses unbelief.  We need to humble ourselves, let God be big, believe in Jesus alone, for salvation.

2.  Spirit-empowered leaders/disciples exemplify that Jesus changes people.

Acts 4:13 - "Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus."

Peter went from denying Jesus to bold and courageous proclamation of Jesus.  

Why are people different?  Because they have been with Jesus.

A Christian leader is someone who follows Jesus and helps others follow Jesus.

3.  Spirit-empowered leaders/disciples endure opposition for their faith in Jesus.

Acts 4:3 - "And they (the priests, captain of the guard, and the Sadducees) laid hands on them (Peter and John) and put them in jail until the next day..."

Acts 4:15-18 - "But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, 'What shall we do with these men?  For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.  But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.'  And when they had summoned them, they commanded them to speak no longer to any man in this name."

Peter and John take the threats.

4.  Spirit-empowered leaders/disciples do not compromise the message or the mission of Jesus.

Acts 4:19, 20 - "But Peter and John answered and said to them, 'Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

Peter answers - What is right in the sight of God?  What does God say about this?  We will obey God, not you.

Never stop talking about Jesus.  If we stop talking about Jesus, people will not get saved.  

When we come broken to Jesus over our sin - we receive forgiveness.  If we remain prideful - we will be crushed by God's wrath.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

HBCSL - Sermon Notes

Text: Ephesians 3

Out of your identity flows your activity.

God views us as in His Son.

Salvation is open to everyone.

"Mystery" - vv. 3,4,6,9 - used 27 times in the NT, 20 times by Paul.  A mystery is not something we haven't figured out, but new truth that has been revealed.  It's something that wasn't understood clearly before but is now clearly understood.

An insight made available to Christians which was not clear in the OT.  Something previously undreamed of which is now seen and experienced.

Examples of mysteries -

1 Corinthians 15:51 - We will not all sleep (die before Jesus returns), but we will all be changed.

Ephesians 5:31-32 - Marriage is to be a demonstration of how Jesus loves His church.

Colossians 4:3 - Christ Himself.  First coming, suffering Messiah.  Second coming, King Messiah.

Ephesians 3:6 - Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ.  Gentiles are on the same standing as the nation of Israel - joint heirs through the gospel - Jesus would love and stand in the Gentiles place, too.

Some Bible teachers are saying that today, God is still in the business of revealing mysteries.  The gospel is not fully contained in the Bible.  The Bible is still being written today - the Bible has trajectory.  Things written in the NT, are now clear today.  The problem - who decides where the Bible is up to date and where is it obsolete?  When truth becomes moveable, it can be made to mean anything.  When following this way of interpretation, it becomes more about the teacher than God's Word.

The time is now here when people will not endure sound teaching.  2 Tim. 4:3,4

God does not need to be updated, we need to go back to what His Word says.

Bad things happen to believers.  Bad things happen to believers because we are believers.  Paul was in prison for preaching the gospel.  The more we lead a consistent, Christian life, the more likely we are to suffer for Christ.

Paul viewed his suffering as God working His purpose; that others were benefitting from his suffering; that the suffering, everything, paled compared to knowing Jesus.

We are most used when we are most tested.  When we are being persecuted, we have the opportunity to be a testimony.  Children and grandchildren will be watching how we respond when life gets difficult.

God uses the church to reveal His wisdom, love, and grace to the angels.  3:10  Angels observe worship in the church and are learning about the love of God. 1 Peter...

It didn't matter where Paul was - anywhere he was at, (and he was writing from prison) whether he was free or not, was a palace, because His Father was the King.  Paul did not want his readers to lose heart, because he was in prison.  From prison, from anywhere, we have confident access to Jesus through faith.

God sets our identity.

Paul's prayer - that our relationship with Jesus would consume what we were and define who we are - that we would experience the transforming love of Jesus.  

Our primary identity is to bring glory to God.  When we do, we will experience the greatest joy.

Let your identity be set by who Christ is...don't let sin or feelings define you...let Jesus be everything to you.  We belong to Jesus.  The King of Kings, the Sinless Savior, the Risen Lamb, our Perfect, Spotless Righteousness, does not disappoint.

Link to service and message...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sermon Recap - Part 2


Empowered by the Spirit to be Courageous: Sermon Recap

  1. The world of video games provides an opportunity to exercise the human longing to be part of a greater mission. Problem is, it’s all pretend.
  2. No one is able to understand God through experience alone. The Bible and preaching provide context, explanation, and instruction.
  3. In other religions, you serve God. In Christianity, God serves you before you ever serve him.
  4. A politician, a draft pick, a new baby... everyone’s waiting for a messiah: somebody to make us better. Only Jesus can deliver.
  5. Morality can’t save. Religion can’t save. A temple can’t save. A pilgrimage can’t save. You can’t save. Only Jesus can save.
  6. Basic message of Jesus: “I’m God. You’re in sin. Repent to me or you will go to hell.” No wonder they killed him. We’d have killed him too.
  7. Nobody’s troubled by private faith but nobody’s going to get saved unless we go public. Love others more than your reputation.
  8. “As soon as I feel courageous, I’m going to talk to somebody about Jesus.” Wrong. Step out in faith and the Holy Spirit will empower you.
  9. Repent: The way you see God, the world, & your self is wrong, marred by sin. You need to change. That’s the message of the gospel.
  10. Stressed out? End of your rope? Your life isn’t working? God wants you to be refreshed, and here’s how: repentance (Acts 3:20).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Empowered by the Spirit to be Courageous

Mars Hill Sermon Highlights
Empowered by the Spirit to be Courageous
Text: Acts 3:11-26

Link to synopsis and message - http://marshill.com/media/acts-empowered-for-jesus-mission/empowered-by-the-spirit-to-be-courageous

Review from last week -

The healed get the gladness.
Who the Lord works through, the gratitude.
Jesus, the glory.

1.  Jesus is the Suffering Servant.

Jesus service for us included His death.  Jesus left the luxury of heaven, to serve.

2.  Jesus is the Holy and Righteous One.

There is none like Jesus.  He is in a category by Himself.  He is pure, sinless, spotless.  There is Jesus, and then everyone else.

Jesus is our holiness and righteousness.

We work from Jesus' righteousness, not for our own.

3.  Jesus is the Author of Life.

4.  Jesus is the Object of our Faith.

Religion - you save yourself
A Christian - saved by Jesus

Faith doesn't save you.  The object of your faith saves you - Jesus.

5.  Jesus is the Fulfillment of Prophecy.

The Bible is about Jesus and for us.

6.  Jesus is the Christ.

He is the Anointed One, our Savior.

7.  Jesus is the Prophet like Moses.

8.  Jesus is the Off-spring of Abraham.

-----

Our faith is to be public.  Someone went public for you.  Be prepared to share your faith.  Study!

Ministry opportunities are many, prepared people are few.

Don't wait for courage to speak.  Speak, and then the courage will come.

The love of Jesus takes you as you are, but doesn't let you remain that way!

-----

"I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of Your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and exult in You;  I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High."  Psalm 9:1,2

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Life's Most Important Question

Is there anyone or anything greater than Jesus Christ?

How we view this question - whether or not we evade it - how we answer it - ultimately determines how we live our lives and where we will spend eternity.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything."

Colossians 1:15-18

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life is given...

...not to live for the glory of ourselves, but for Jesus Christ.

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be the glory forever.  Amen."  Romans 11:36

Thursday, June 20, 2013

False Teachers

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep..and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority."  2 Peter 2:1-3, 10

False prophets and teachers have been around a long time.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that they will be prolific before the rapture - see verse 11.  Peter tells us at first, they won't be recognized.  Their false teaching begins in secret.  They plant seeds of destruction.  If we are not watchful and careful, checking out what teachers say with scripture, we can be exploited and sent on a destructive path.  Pay careful attention to what they say about Jesus.  Verse ten really caught my attention when I was reading this passage.  They despise authority.  Beware of pastors and teachers that reject accountability - that do not surround themselves with men (and women with women, in women's ministries) that will keep them walking in the light.  Steer clear of churches that are one man shows and watch out for those in your church that want to go it alone.  False teachers ultimately become manifest, with what they do and say about Jesus.

It's so important to be in the Word...know the True Teacher, in and out - He walked this earth in submission to the Father  - when we know the True Teacher, it will be easier to spot the false ones...

God's Masterpiece


I will disappoint you, because
I am sinful and flawed.
I will fail 
you at times,
because I am God's workmanship,
in progress. When He is finished with His
masterpiece you will see only Jesus. Right now,
because of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Father sees
 His children like His Son.  We are justified.  We are seated
with Him in the heavenlies. But there are parts of us that remain,
that do not image Him. The Father is sculpting, trimming away
those parts, changing us and shaping us into a perfect image
 bearer of His Son.  I will be your friend.  I will listen to you. I
will laugh with you. I will encourage you.  I will admonish 
you.  I will pray for you.  I will hug you when you are
discouraged, but Jesus loves you perfectly and
the One who loves perfectly, completely
satisfies. Look to Jesus for your
perfect satisfaction
and identity,
because, I will disappoint
and fail you at times, but Jesus never will.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Changed, or Not?

How do we know we have been changed?

Is it possible to know?

Yes...

"...for by what he saw and heard that righteous man (Lot), while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds."  2 Peter 2:8

Sin will torment us.  If we are comfortable, day after day with what God hates, with what clearly goes against His Word, we most likely have not been changed...

As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, so will our hatred of sin.  A simple truth, but it is also the difference between eternal, abundant life, and death.  The danger of not being in the Word on a daily basis, is that it causes us to get comfortable with sin.

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?"  

2 Corinthians 13:5

God's workmanship begins when we have repented and turned from our sin.  We have assurance that we are His masterpiece in progress, when our hatred and mourning over sin continues, and we continue to live a life of repentance and obedience.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oh! Great is Our God!



Dear Blog Reader Friends:

If you haven't heard this song before, I think you are going to LOVE it.  Heard it for the first time today (and probably the twentieth time, too) and it's already now a favorite.  It's a great song to edit wedding pictures to. I did run into a bit of a problem, however...when your hands are reaching up to the sky...nothing is happening with the mouse...

Enjoy, and worship greatly...

Overcomer

Grace and Peace, Multiplied


"Grace and peace be multiplied to you
in the knowledge of God 
 and of Jesus our Lord."

2 Peter 1:2

Grace and peace have but one source, 
God.

Grace and peace are experiential, 
through knowledge of God.

When the sense of grace 
(God's unearned favor in our lives) 
and peace 
(God's tranquility in our hearts) 
ends,
we have stopped the pursuit and chasing after of the Father,
and Jesus.

The sense of grace and peace multiplies,
it grows,
it enlarges in our hearts and minds,
as knowledge of our Heavenly Father
and Wonderful Savior,
 is enlarged and grows.

As clean, pure water is vital to keeping a plant 
vibrant and nourished, 
so is being in the Word vital to experiencing God's lavish grace and sweet peace...have you had your soaking, today?


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Adoring Christ

Worship | The Adoration of Jesus

The more we grow in our comprehension of the selfless, sacrificial love of Christ for us, the more fervent will be our worship and adoration of Him. I am convinced this is why we should pray Ephesians 3:17-19 for each other!


"...that you, being rooted and grounded in love (the love of Jesus), may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God."


The natural response to being filled up to all the fullness of God, is worship of God!  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Looking for God...by Chloe

One of my Awana kids had an assignment for one of her sections - to look for the character of God in scripture.  She wrote what she found down and gave it to me a couple of weeks ago.  I asked her permission if I could post it to my blog.  She said yes.  Here is what she came up with - I love my Awana kids...

God is an incredible Father.
He cares for us.
He will discipline those He loves.
Good and perfect gifts come down from Him.
His love is so big that we can be called children of God.
He knows what we need.
Jesus is God.
Jesus let the little children come to Him - that's because He loves them.
He fed five thousand people - that shows He cared for them.
Jesus cried over death - this shows that God is sad over death.
Jesus said that He was the Bread of Life - He taught people that He fed so that they might have eternal life.
God wants to have a relationship with us.
Those who are believers are allowed to become sons and daughters of God.
Jesus came to seek and save what was lost.
God loves everyone.
God provides for the birds of the air and lilies of the field.
He provides for them - we shouldn't worry.
God made us - He is the potter, we are the clay.
He is a Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.
God will not change - other things will change, He will not.
He will always take care of us.

This gentle and sweet 12 year old, is well on her way to knowing God, and being changed into His image.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

How Great Is Our God



“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”  Revelation 5:13

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Life as Ministry

Ministry is stewardship of what God has placed in our care.  Ministry goes beyond the walls of the church.  The Garden of Eden was Adam and Eve's ministry.  We need to view life as ministry.  This should be our mindset.  As Christian wives, our husbands have been placed in our care.  This ministry is greater than any other - children, church, work.  We need to view life as stewardship of what God has placed in our care.  Our lives are full-time ministry.

What has been placed in your care, by God?  What possession of His has He called you to manage?

We steward the glory of God!

May our ministry always be done with a spirit of joy and out of love for our Savior.  It's all, for Him!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It is only...

...the manifest presence of God in the person of Jesus Christ that will truly satisfy that longing in every person's heart.  This can only be experienced when we repent of our sin and seek Him with all our heart.  It is then, His glory and presence comes into our lives, and the longing is fulfilled.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Reward of the Overcomer

There is coming a day when to do business, everyone will be required to take a mark onto their right hand or forehead.  If a person takes the mark, it will be to deny Jesus Christ, finally and permanently, as the One and only true God, and to join permanent allegiance with the coming man of lawlessness, the beast, Antichrist.  God's Word is clear - once a person cross's that line, their fate of everlasting, unrelenting torment with the fire of God's wrath, is sealed.

Revelation 13:6, 7 - "And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name."

Revelation 14:9-11 - "Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.  And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

Mark up, buy groceries, eat, live, be in peace and safety.

For awhile - until the day of the Lord arrives.

"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, "Peace and safety!"  then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape."  

1 Thessalonians 5:2,3

In my post from a few days ago, I show what will be happening to believers.  The reason the world is crying, "Peace and safety!" is because they are experiencing the peace and safety from aligning with the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4)  They are safe, but they are beast worshippers and betrayers - turning over family members to death, who love Jesus Christ with an enduring love, with a not-loving-their-life-even-to-death, love.

But those with enduring love for the Savior have something most wonderful and very special coming...

Take a look...

Revelation 22:3 - "There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it (the New Jerusalem), and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads."

They will see His face, and turning their foreheads, their pure, clean foreheads, He will place His precious and wonderful name there.  And then with our pure, clean hands, we can fall at His feet, and love and worship and thank Him.

***

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life."  John 3:16


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

God's Presence

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil,
for You are with me."  Psalm 23:4

"You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, 
I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol,
behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me."  Psalm 139:5-10

"And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  Matthew 28:20

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

No Sweeter Words

Considering Matthew 11:28-30, from the perspective of the sin of worrying...

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."

Are there any sweeter words in God's Word than these?

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me..."

Those two oxen that are tethered together when they pull a plow - it's the strength of the two that are better.  Jesus wants us to slip into His yoke.  His shoulders are so big and massive and strong - we are just walking beside Him while He is doing all the work...caring for us.

"Come to Me...and I will give you rest."

Rest in the knowledge of who I am - I am your Master.  I am invested in you.  I will provide for you because I own everything.  I have all the resources.  I will take care of you.  I am also your Father.  I love you dearly.  I know you intimately.  My thoughts are always upon you.  I gave My Son for you.  I paid the highest price possible.  I love you and I am going to care for you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Strong Faith

"...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"  Luke 18:8

This statement by Jesus should grab every believer's attention.  The return of Christ is the great hope of the church, but Jesus questions if He will return to any who have kept their faith.  Something bad must have happened to the church, for Jesus to have asked this question.  What is going to happen to the church before Jesus returns?

In Mark 13:12 and 13 Jesus gives us a glimpse into that time, "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.  You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."  

Here we are given a clearer picture of what will be going on before Jesus returns.  Severe, deadly persecution against Jesus followers is going to break out.  Hatred for Jesus will cause the rising up of non-believing family members to turn against believing family members.  A brother who hates Jesus will turn on a brother who loves Jesus.  A father who hates Jesus will turn on a child who loves Jesus.  Children who hate Jesus will turn on parents who love Jesus.  The hatred will be so severe, that non-believing family members will turn believing family members over to be killed.

Do any other scriptures shed light on what times will be like before Jesus returns?

Let's take a look at Matthew 24:12.  Here Jesus says, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold."  

Anarchy is going to grow and the putting of Jesus and others first is going to go by the wayside.

The very next verse is the same as Mark 13:13 - "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved."

Now it makes sense for Jesus to ask that question, doesn't it?  Hatred for His followers is going to grow so severe, that family members are going to turn on family members and have them put to death.  His followers are going to be killed.  Jesus said in Matthew 24:10 that "at that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another."  Many who once claimed to follow Jesus will deny the faith and turn on those with genuine, hang-in-there-till-death, faith.

Mark 13:19 is very specific to the severity of those coming days, "...those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will."  

Beloved, it is going to be bad.  Worse than the Jewish holocaust.  This will be the wrath of Satan against Jesus and His children.  It will start with Israel, then spread to the church.  (Rev. 12 - Especially verse 17.)  The slaughter against the true believers in the church is going to be unprecedented and many are going to fall away from the faith.  In Mark 13:20 Jesus said that "unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days."  Matthew put it this way - "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short."  Mt.  24:22

His return is going to cut off the days of persecution against His children, or none of His children would be alive at His return.

How do we build strong faith for that time and for any tribulation that we encounter?  How do we grow the kind of faith that will endure to the end, when Jesus returns, or that will not waiver in the face of death for the sake of His name?

We spend every day in the Word, immersing ourselves in the mighty, wonderful, massive, all encompassing character and plan of God.  When we know the character of God and His plan - peace and strength and endurance will grip the hearts of His children. And those of His children who are alive and remain and endure to the coming of Jesus, will all be caught up together, to meet the Lord in the air, and He will bring with Him those who kept their testimony, and did not love their life more than Jesus, but were willing to die for Him, because He loved them so greatly - with His life and death on a cross.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Pure Joy of Sight

...and though you have not seen Him,
you love Him,
and though you do not see Him now,
but believe in Him,
you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible
and full of glory...

1 Peter 1:8

...and though you have not seen Him, you love Him...

...and though you do not see Him now, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible...

Loving Jesus (and being loved by Jesus) and God's gift of faith in Jesus produces joy so great, now, that we can't put it into words...

What will the joy be like, when we do see Him?



Friday, February 1, 2013

Charlie


Two years, four months, twenty-two days old,
thriving in Alaska,
and cute as a bug!



Thursday, January 31, 2013

All Broken, But One

Written by my friend, Marion...

Last year, my father-in-law passed away.  I took his nativity set home with me.  It is very beautiful and very expensive, and I love it.  As God would have it, the box was flipped over and smashed to the ground.  I just cried.  I installed the entire set of broken pieces into the trash.  Well, my husband dug all of it out of the garbage and, piece by piece, glued every figurine together, all but one.  Jesus was the only piece in that entire set that wasn't broken.  I'm serious. 

One of my son's dearest friends was admiring the nativity this year.  He had no idea the trauma this set had endured last year.  We laughed as I told him every piece is broken and meticulously super-glued together, all but one.

Rich, wise men and their camels they rode in on - lowly, poor, stinky shepherds and their unruly sheep they tended - a simple girl and the honorable man who covered and protected her..  All sinful - all flawed - all broken --- but One.  Jesus.

May you ponder this year just how lovely God meticulously super-glues your brokenness, snatching you out of darkness and the shadow of death, to guide your feet into the way of peace before a Holy God.

"By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  Luke 1:78-79

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sovereignty of God

Daniel 2:20, 21a...
"Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings..."  

Proverbs 21:1... 
"The king's heart is like channels of water 
in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes."  Proverbs 21:1

Daniel 2:37, 38...
"You (Nebuchadnezzar), 
O king, 
are the king of kings, 
to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, 
the power, 
the strength and the glory; 
and wherever the sons of men dwell, 
or the beasts of the field, 
or the birds of the sky, 
He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them."

Psalm 24:1...
"The earth is the LORD's,
and all it contains,
The world,
 and those who dwell in it."

Psalm 33:10, 11...
"The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; 
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation."

Psalm 33:13,15...
"The LORD looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
From His dwelling place He looks out 
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works."

Isaiah 45:7...
The One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these things."

John 1:11-13...
"He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

Romans 8:28...
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Ephesians 1:11...
"Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

"Sing for joy in the LORD, 
O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings.

Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

For the word of the LORD is upright,
And all His work is done in faithfulness.

He loves righteousness and justice;
The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD."

Psalm 33:1-5

Sunday is just around the corner...