Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cooperating with God's Work

In the last post, I stated, "There is nothing in salvation of which we can boast because our deliverance is of the Lord alone (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 1:3).  We cooperate with it, but it is His work completely."

Some people find this statement to be an oxymoron.  If salvation - and thereby our deliverance - is of the Lord alone, then why does it require our cooperation?  Those who struggle with this most are they who have been falsely led to believe that man has no role in salvation, has no free will, or is unconditionally eternally secure (OSAS) due to a one-time profession of faith.

How do we cooperate with God's work?  We yield over control of our vessels to Him.  That is it.

It reminds me of the television show "Extreme Home Makeover", where a team of carpenters offers to completely remodel your home.  In order to receive this offer, what is the first thing you have to do?  Get out of the way.  The crew is not there to build according to your specifications nor to equip you with the skills to build according to your own desires.  They will take on the expense of the rebuild, but you must give them complete control.  The result?  You are given a complete renovation of your house where everything is made new.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Pride of Your Humility

Filthy Rags

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isaiah 64:6

I am sure that everyone has heard the story of the man stuck on his roof during a flood. For the record, it goes something like:
A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. He had a vision in his head of God’s hand reaching down from heaven and lifting him to safety. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbour urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbour drove off in his pick-up truck.

The man continued to pray and hold on to his vision. As the water began rising in his house, he had to climb up to the roof. A boat came by with some people heading for safe ground. They yelled at the man to grab a rope they were ready to throw and take him to safety. He told them that he was waiting for God to save him. They shook their heads and moved on.

The man continued to pray, believing with all his heart that he would be saved by God. The flood waters continued to rise. A helicopter flew by and a voice came over a loudspeaker offering to lower a ladder and take him off the roof. The man waved the helicopter away, shouting back that he was waiting for God to save him. The helicopter left. The flooding water came over the roof and caught him up and swept him away. He drowned.

When he reached heaven and asked, “God, why did you not save me? I believed in you with all my heart. Why did you let me drown?” God replied, “I sent you a pick-up truck, a boat and a helicopter and you refused all of them. What else could I possibly do for you?”
Sometimes we expect God to do grandiose things (and often He does), but this expectation can blind us the every day, practical ways in which God seeks to interact with us.  Here is the newsflash: God is practical!  I learned this lesson once in relation to money.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Preparation for the Promised Land


"Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them." Joshua 1:1-6

The Omega Church & Ministries Center is having its next fellowship January 3rd - 5th, 2014.  It is entitled, "Preparation for the Promised Land".

This past week, a brother sent me the video below which he made from the last conference.  This brought such joy as I reminisced about the fun & fellowship we experienced this past August.  I look forward to this time in January and would like to invite you all to join.  As you will notice in the video, we get lots of participants from across the nation.  There are even international brothers and sisters who attend.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Turning Away The Ears

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." II Timothy 4:3-4

This morning, I listened to an interview from a lawyer handling a U.S. Supreme Court case on prayer.  The case involves two women fighting against prayers being made before town council meetings in Greece, NY.  It is not exactly prayer which is the issue, but "Christian" prayer.  As their attorney Douglas Laycock stated, "This case is about Christians aggressively imposing themselves on their fellow citizens with the power of government."

While I really don't care what the Supreme Court decides in this case (and please don't comment about why I should), it is interesting how acceptable it has become to be openly hostile to Christianity.  We are not talking about people who are primarily fighting for equal representation for all religions; we are speaking about people who openly hate Christianity...and the God Christians serve.  Say what you want...pray how you want, but do not name the name of Jesus Christ.  If you ever had a doubt before, know that this antagonism is very personal.

I find it also telling that this argument against Christianity is coming from Greece.  Symbolically, the Grecian mindset has always been antagonistic to Christianity. Greek philosophy is based primarily in humanism; where man - his thoughts, desires, and will - is the supreme standard.  According to this thought, man is the center of everything; man is his own god. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Love the Lord

I woke up with this song on my heart.  Even if it is the middle of the night, if the Lord wakes you with His praises on your lips, then praise Him.  He is worthy.  He is faithful.  He hears your cries.

Psalm 116

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.

Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.