Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Five Covenants of God

The following sermons are from Min. David Pawson as he address the five biblical covenants.
The God of the Bible is a covenant-making and a covenant-keeping God.

But what is a covenant and how does it differ from a contract?

How many covenants has God made with humans? How many of these apply to Christians today?

These are crucial questions for the interpretation and application of Scripture. The Bible is divided into two testaments, another word for covenants. Does this mean the Old Testament is only of historical interest to disciples of Jesus ? What about the Ten Commandments? – and the other six hundred and three given to Moses?

Some of the major differences in the Church go back to the different answers given to these questions. For example, whether baptism should be of babies or believers, whether priests, altars, vestments and incense should be used in worship, whether re-marriage is permissable after divorce and whether we should work a six day week.

By His covenants of grace, the Lord has bound Himself to us and bound us to Himself. That is the heart of Biblical revelation and Godly living.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The lyrics of this song touch my heart deeply every time I hear it.  

"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." Matthew 18:2-5

I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God
All that You’ve done is so overwhelming

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Call to Obedience

I remember watching this episode when it first aired and laughing so hard!  On The Cosby Show, Alvin was always spouting these archaic, patriarchal ideals; and Claire Huxtable had certainly set him straight (so I thought).

Yet, as I look back on this now through the eyes of Christ (vs. the eyes of flesh), there is only sadness.  This is the type of insidious perversion which a lot of women have to fight tooth & nail to overcome, just to understand what it is to be a wife or even what it means to serve the Lord (because the two roles are parallels).

What Claire is espousing here is the concept of 50/50.  It signifies that everything must be shared (at least conceptually) to make sure that not one person bears too much responsibility for the relationship. With this mindset, I only contribute to the marriage as much (or as little) as I perceive the other person is.  It is a recipe for divorce.  Why? Because it is based in selfishness (what I am getting, what I am giving, how I see things, me, me, me, etc.).

There is no such thing as a 50/50 marriage.  Such is a fantasy.  Better yet, it is a lie.  People in such arrangements deceive themselves into believing that everything is 50/50.  In reality, every single time, what you really have is one person controlling and manipulating the other to get their way.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear?

"But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:26-27

I remember a minister once saying that to "hear Jesus' voice" meant to heed the Gospel and come to salvation.  While the Scriptures are certainly an example of God speaking to us, Jesus does literally have a voice (Genesis 3:8). He is alive. He speaks.  He even sings (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 2:12).

Tell people - even professing believers - that you hear God's voice and they are likely to think you are a looney toon.  Why? Because people don't really believe.   They use a reference to God as a way to validate their own desires.  To such persons, anything which confirms what I want or what I think becomes the voice of God.  The concept of God literally speaking is foreign - and probably frightening - to them.  If it is not real for them, then they assume it is not real for you either.

Because there are many voices in this world, it is very important that we are able to recognize His voice for ourselves.  Consider Saul on the road to Damascus.

"And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." Acts 22:6-9

The text says that Saul could hear the voice of Jesus, but those with him heard not.  Saul knew this was the voice of the Lord, but he was perplexed by the accusation.  He was starting to realize that he may not fully know the God he sought to serve.  It had to be revealed to Him that Jesus is Lord.  Yet, look at the following:

"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Acts 9:7

The above text says that Saul's companions did hear the voice.  So, which is it?  The difference lies in the word "hear".  It is not just about sound perception, but the ability to understand the meaning of what is heard.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I AM Stronger

One thing that has been really difficult for me to do on this blog is talk about my battle with cancer. Initially, it was not very hard at all, because I was speaking from a perspective of having been healed. Yet since the recurrence, it has been hard.  I have taken baby steps - referencing "a situation I have been dealing with" - but it was always done with trepidation.

I believe God has been dealing with me on that lately by emphasizing fear. In a recent comment, a sister in the Lord shared something God had told her, "I AM stronger than your fears!" That phrase took hold of me and wouldn't let me go.  It was as if God was speaking to me directly.

I have been telling myself that my cancer has nothing to do with this blog.  That I don't want to be like Hezekiah, being taken advantage of by the devil for sharing too much at the wrong time (Isaiah 39).  Yet, the truth is that I had reasons for not sharing that had nothing to do with those things: the voice of fear.  "Make the wrong move, do the wrong thing, and the cancer will return. Share that God is healing you too soon, and the cancer will spread."  While I would cast these down and counter them with faith in God, the thoughts only grew dim, but never dissipated.  May God forgive me for giving ear to these lies for even one second.

The following I have shared with those closest to me, but I intentionally did not put it on the blog.  I believe it is now time to share. I write this, not to receive accolades or even sympathy from others. May all glory be to God.  I just desire to be obedient to the Lord and to stand against this spirit of fear which wants me to keep my mouth shut. Hey, I want to be free at all costs, and I don't care what I have to share.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Fruit of Your Own Way

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6

Many times, there need not be any more said than what the Lord Himself has already declared. People like to paint a picture of God as this great big Santa Claus in the sky who is never offended and always willing to receive us when we get good and ready to hear Him.  All I can say is, "Please read the Scriptures."  You had better get ready to hear Him now.

God desires every singe person to be saved, but He does not take the despising of the sacrifice of His Son lightly (Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:29-30).  Don't assume that when you are finished playing church, God will take you in.

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30

The world will tell you that whenever you decide to repent, God will be there to receive you.  I have spoken to many who did not know that there is a "place" and "space" for repentance (Revelation 2:21). They did not realize that there can come a time when God's hand is no longer extended to you (II Thessalonians 2:11-12).

space: Greek word chronos meaning a designated time, either long or short.

place: Greek word topos meaning a place or space marked off; an opportunity or occasion for acting

"Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Hebrews 12:16-17

Monday, November 10, 2014

That Which I Feared Most

"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job 3:25

We all know that we are to fear the Lord; not in terms of being afraid of Him, but in reverencing Him (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).  We reverence God when we understand who He truly is, and it makes us walk circumspect before Him. We appreciate His might, power, sovereignty, omnipotence, and mercy; and this knowledge commands our respect.
yir'ah - Hebrew word meaning awesome or terrifying, fearing, revered, piety.
Yet, if the truth is to be known, there are often things that we fear more than God.  How do I know?  Because these are the things which rob us of our peace.  These are the things for which we compromise on the word of God.  It always comes down to us sacrificing that which is eternal for that which is temporal.

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

Jesus knew that we are prone to fear the temporal more than the eternal, which is why He gives us the warning above.  He knows that the things we fear most are usually that which deals with our lives in this world: loss of reputation, loss of finances, loss of health, loss of family, etc.

How many are serving God out of fear of some calamity; hoping and praying that God will keep it from you?  You can never truly serve God like that.  Let me repeat that.  If part of your serving God is based upon you avoiding some negative situation, then you have not yet learned Christ as you ought.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sin is Like an Infectious Disease

The following message is from Pastor Zac Poonen.

The Bible speaks in Hebrews 12:15 about a root of bitterness that can cause trouble. You don't have to wait till it becomes fruit. You know what a root is. When a tree has started taking root, it's probably not even come up above the surface of the ground. Nothing is visible. When you plant a seed in the ground, it first of all takes root before it comes up.

And bitterness is like that. You sowed something in your heart; it is beginning to take root. If you don't pull it out, it's taking root and it will cause a lot of trouble and not only that, a lot of trouble to you first of all and many people can be defiled. Many people can get that infection, because the person who's got his bitterness in his heart will go around telling other people. It's like a person who has got chicken pox who goes around spreading it to others or a person who has got tuberculosis who goes around spreading it to others, a person who has got a cold goes around giving it to others or the flu. It's very easy to transmit this sickness. It's highly infectious. And you find people who are bitter everywhere in the world. You'll find Christendom is full of it. When a man comes to you with a complaint against another, a gossiper who is talking evil of others, what does he have in his heart? He's got bitterness against that person.

Friday, November 7, 2014

No More Conscience of Sins

In the early days of my salvation, I remember talking once with my pastor and his wife as she did my hair.  I shared with them how weird it was that - when I first started listening to tapes from their ministry - I would have recurring thoughts about seducing him.  I had never met him nor her before, but it was a very strong urge.  As I listened to the tapes, I would hear, "He should be your husband.  His wife probably doesn't appreciate him like you would." Now keep in mind the insanity of this because I too was married at that time.

I was troubled by those thoughts because they were so atypical for me, but they kept coming.  I would ask myself, "Where is this coming from?  Why am I sitting here thinking about some other woman's husband that I have never even met when I myself am married?  And when listening to Bible tapes no less???  This is crazy!"  It made no sense to me because I did not yet understand spiritual things.  Yet, we need to understand the battle we face when we come to Christ.

I didn't think such thoughts were typical of me, but neither was I aware of all that Satan had placed within me (Jeremiah 17:9).  Satan saw me being drawn by the Father and he was pulling out all the stops.  I wasn't aware that there was a spirit of whoredoms in my soul, but when I started coming to the Lord, Satan revealed his hand.  Not only did he want to stop me from coming to the Lord, he figured he could use me - a vessel he had prepared - to bring down this pastor.  In doing so, Satan thought he could keep me as his own, but the Lord was intent on saving my soul.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bubble Bubble Boil and Trouble

There is a saying that if you put a frog in boiling water, he will jump out of the pot.  However, if you turn the heat of gradually enough, you can actually boil him to death as he will never know he is being killed.

Like this frog, the world is being boiled to its death in perversion, and most are none the wiser.  Satan has ratcheted up the witchcraft to such a degree that the conscience of man has been almost irreparably seared (I Timothy 4:2).

We are in the last of the last days.  While no man knows the day or the hour, the Lord does give us signs to note so that we are not caught unawares.

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." Mark 13 21:28-30

In the eyes of our Lord, the nation of Israel is as a fig tree.  The springing forth of the fig tree above describes the rebirth of the nation of Israel.

"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved." Hosea 9:10

The nation of Israel was eventually destroyed due to the stiff-necked rebellion of God's people.  They went to Baalpeor and separated themselves from God because they preferred this shame to His glory. As it was then, so it is now.