GOD IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO

Think about how Joshua felt when God told him to lead the Israelites into Canaan, drive out the pagan inhabitants, and secure the land as a homeland for His people.

In the natural, this would seem to be an impossible task but the key of course is revealed in the following Scripture:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 

God does not commission us without the promise of His presence and provision. We only have to be “strong and of good courage.”

How would you like to be Noah, being told to build an enormous boat as God was going to destroy every living creature on the earth save those on this boat Noah was to build. We are simply told that “Noah did this; he did all that God had commanded him” Genesis 6:22

How Long Was the Ark?

At approximately 510 feet long, it would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length. That’s big enough that NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—on the Ark’s roof! 

How Long Was the Ark?

How Tall Was the Ark?

The roof of Noah’s Ark was more than 50 feet from the ground—higher than a modern four-story house. That’s plenty of space for three extra-tall inner decks as the Bible describes.

How Tall Was the Ark?
Truckloads of Cargo Space

The Ark had the same storage capacity as about 450 standard semi-trailers. A standard livestock trailer holds about 250 sheep, so the Ark had the capacity to hold at least 120,000 sheep.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:13-22

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Are you confident that God is with you wherever you go? He will be if you are obedient to His commands. Moreover, you will know if you are not being obedient because you will experince His discipline. What form that takes varies widely but repentance is required to get you back on track. This is a word usually not spoken of in apostate churches.

Do you want times of refreshing from the Lord? If you do then repent.

THE VALUE OF KNOWING YOUR CREATOR

When you do, you can live life to the full and be joyful. In this wide-ranging video, the 51-year-old “Growing Pains” star, Kirk Cameron explains how.

Kirk Cameron, who began acting at just 14 years old — referenced a quote he learned from one of his now-grown daughters. Scrawled on a piece of paper, she wrote: “It’s the same boiling water that softens potatoes that hardens eggs. It just depends on what you’re made of.

“So the same difficult challenges and influences of Hollywood that turns some people sour and makes them narcissistic and bitter and joyless and afraid to not fit in,” Cameron said, “is the same pressure that actually softened my heart and caused me to embrace gratitude and be thankful for the life that I have and want to use a platform and this Hollywood industry to advance the good.”

“I really think it’s what you’re made of,” he continued. “And if you don’t know what you’re made of, don’t look to your environment or your industry or other people to give you an identity.

There is somebody who made you — ask Him. And you can be sure that the ending of the story is gonna be fantastic.”

For Cameron, it wasn’t until he was in the entertainment business that he became a Christian, revealing he actually defined himself as an atheist until he was around 17 years old.

Sitting in his sports car after dropping a girl off at an acting class, Cameron recalled pondering the afterlife, wondering if there really was a heaven and a hell and a creator and a plan for eternity.

“I knew that if there was a heaven, I wouldn’t be going there,” he said, noting he had lived life with a “self-centered, conceited, ‘I’m all that,’ ‘I’m the G.O.A.T.,’(Greatest of All Time) celebrity Mike Seaver guy” mentality, never pausing to consider something outside himself.

It was at that point he decided to pray for the first time, asking God: “If you’re there, would you please show me. … Would you forgive me for all the wrong things I’ve done and make me the person that You want me to be.”

While certainly the most important, coming to Christ wasn’t the only way Cameron changed thanks, at least in part, to Hollywood. He was also introduced to his now-wife on the set of “Growing Pains.”

Cameron said one of his nephews frequently asks him if he “took advantage” and “didn’t waste” the opportunities he had to go out with so many different girls at the height of his sitcom fame.

The actor said he has reminded his nephew he “found something so much better” instead.

“I found a girl,” Cameron said. “She’s beautiful on the inside; she’s beautiful on the outside. I married her and we’ve been married for 30 years. You have no idea how much more valuable that is. I’ve got six grown children who love God and still ask me my opinions about things, who still love to come home and be with me and my wife, and I’m on PragerU’s ‘Stories of Us.’ I mean, the story doesn’t really end much better than this.”

WISDOM

Where are you getting your wisdom from? This verse from James says it all. There is only one place to get wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy, impartial, sincere, and will bear good fruit.

If it does not come down from above, note what James says, it is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Wisdom from Above

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:13-18

Words make an impact for good or bad. One kind word can change someone’s entire day.

One sentence can change your life forever. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin and you repent of those sins and earnestly desire to get right with God and accept what Jesus has accomplished for you by dying in your place then this one sentence will change your life forever.

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

My Heavenly Father, please wash me clean in the blood of your Son, Jesus, truly the lamb of God spoken of by John the Baptist.”

You do need to be baptised and you will want to be, so you are obedient to God’s commands. Note also the signs that should accompany you receiving the Holy Spirit.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name, they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:16-18

Also, if you are saved you will want to get on with doing the works that God has prepared for you to do.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesian 2:8-10

FAITH NEEDED FOR THE “LAST DAYS”

In his Dialogue with Trypho, the 2nd-century Christian apologist, Justin Martyr, summarizes the Christian life in those days:

And we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons, our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified… Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshipers of God through the name of Jesus.

Virtue does not emerge from some inherent goodness or nobility in man. Virtue is God’s grace manifested in men. Left to their own devices, men, and even women, are anything but virtuous. 

Dialogue with Trypho, CX

For Justin and the earliest Christians, many things about their newfound faith were probably still unclear. However, what was crystal clear, they knew that Jesus rose from the dead and His claim to be the Son of God was true. They knew that only by repenting of their past life and accepting Jesus as their Saviour and Lord could they receive the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, and have the power to live the Christian life. Godly virtues, faith, hope, piety, righteousness, philanthropy were attainable only by the grace of God. These things were obvious to early believers in Christ.

Further, because of God’s grace, it was possible not only for men to become moral creatures, but it was by His grace that men could live freely. By His mercy, man could be liberated from the powers of supernatural oppression and the oppressive weight of their sins. In this freedom, the Christian had no fear of losing his head (literally), being thrown to wild beasts, put in chains, crucified, burned alive, or otherwise tortured. God’s grace provided the path to both virtues in life and victory over death.

Perpetual revolution” (not reformation) is the explicit doctrine of the foot soldier for the unconstrained vision of man.

As prophesied, men and women who reject any need for divine aid or help and who really believe a new revolution can solve the problem, are taking control of our institutions. Trade-offs are unacceptable for the advocates of the unconstrained view. Only total solutions are acceptable. Perfection is within society’s grasp, any identifiable flaw in the fabric of society must inevitably spur on the next revolution. The problem, of course, with this view, one Justin and the early church Fathers would have roundly decried as heretical, is that it consciously rejects what it regards as the most detestable doctrines of the Christian faith: original sin and the desperate need for God’s grace.

WHAT HAS GOD CALLED YOU DO?

A great message from David Platt of McLean Bible Church in Virginia. It is part five of his sermon series, titled “Following Jesus: Faith That Changes Lives in a World of Urgent Need, Can I suggest you take the time to view the sermon series, just click on the link.

‘What kind of Christianity have you bought into? Who told you that following Jesus would lead to greater comfort and ease in this world?’ Because that didn’t come from this Book,” said Platt while holding up his Bible. “That came from a very skewed version of this Book that’s being sold all across our culture.”

Platt said that many Christians need God to point them to the reality that “the ultimate need of every single person in the world is to be forgiven for their sins.” However, he said, in order to be reconciled to God, a person needs to first hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Platt emphasized the importance of Christians not being afraid of difficulties that they might face while spreading the Gospel to remote places because, he said, “there are 3 billion people in the world who have never heard the Word of God, and they won’t have their sins forgiven if they never hear the Gospel.” (My add) Moreover, if God has called you to go, He will guide and protect you.

“God made a way for humans to be forgiven for all their sin, to be reconciled to Him, to eternal life, through faith in Jesus, by what He did on the cross, His resurrection from the grave,” he maintained. “We have been commanded to show God’s love in a world of earthly suffering, and ultimately, we have been commanded to proclaim the Gospel to keep people from a second death (David said eternal suffering). “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.

“Somebody has to go and tell them. If no one goes and tells them, they will spend eternity separated from Him. Do you see what’s at stake here? Do we see the need?” Platt asked rhetorically. 

BELIEVE AND OBEY, BOTH NECESSARY

There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Romans 1:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.And he rose and followed him.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.Matthew 16:24

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?

QUEEN ELIZABETH SPEAKS OF “LIVING FAITH”

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Church of England, thanked BBC’s long-running TV series “Songs of Praise,” which celebrated nearly 3,000 episodes on its 60th anniversary Sunday, for presenting Christianity as a “living faith.”

“For 60 years, Songs of Praise has drawn together congregations and BBC viewers throughout the United Kingdom in collective worship,” the queen said in a message for a special episode of the show Sunday, The Telegraph reported.

During that time, the program has shown Christianity as a living faith not only through hymns and worship songs, but also by featuring the many people who have put their faith at the center of their lives,” the 95-year-old queen continued.

“I congratulate ‘Songs of Praise’ and all those involved in the program on its 60th anniversary,” she added.

Aled Jones, who has been a “Songs of Praise” presenter for over 20 years, called it “one of the biggest joys of my life.”

“It is an honor to be able to share uplifting stories of faith with our dear audience and to gladden hearts with music that means the world to me. Here’s to a future filled with wonderful ‘Songs of Praise!’” Jones was quoted as saying.

On Saturday morning, while opening the new session of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, the queen spoke publicly about the Duke of Edinburgh for the first time since his death in April, The Sunday Times reported.

“I have spoken before of my deep and abiding affection for this wonderful country, and of the many happy memories Prince Philip and I always held of our time here,” she was quoted as saying. “It is often said that it is the people that make a place, and there are few places where this is truer than in Scotland, as we have seen in recent times.”

A church leader close to the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, revealed in a media interview back in April that he had “persuaded” the queen, his wife, to talk more about her Christian faith ahead of her Christmas broadcast in 2000.

From my post PRINCE PHILIP’S FINEST HOUR:

Prince Philip wanted his funeral service to be a testimony to His Triune God. There was no eulogy. He wanted the total focus to be on His God and on all three persons of the Trinity. This he did by his choice of Scriptures that were read. He also wanted all to know, particularly his family and friends, that he had total confidence his eternity was in the hands of the God he wanted to be made known through the funeral service he had planned.

ALWAYS REMEMBER WHO IS IN CONTROL

“And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6

The Apostle Paul says that in every single circumstance, we can tell God what we are feeling and, as a result, the Lord will protect our hearts and minds from the weight of this world.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.Romans 8:26

Here Paul makes it clear that the indwelling Holy Spirit helps us communicate our requests to God. We can rest assured He is advocating for us in our confusion and lack.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that our lives are not determined or controlled by forces on this earth. Our security is in Jesus, and that should guide our thinking.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you — you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

Even if His provision doesn’t look the way we think it should, God can be trusted to meet our greatest needs. How much more can God care for you, for whom He sent His Son, Jesus, to die?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will.Romans 12:2

While we certainly ought to engage in the world, Paul warns against becoming so consumed by its trappings that we begin to mirror it. Instead, we should set boundaries and see the temporary circumstances around us through the lens of our renewed minds, which come through sanctification as a result of salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is eager to meet us in every situation and circumstance, including when we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information fed to us by our newsfeeds. Take some time today to turn off your phone and focus on our priority: Jesus.

Remember as long as Peter kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. Live eternal now.

IS YOUR LIFE BRINGING GLORY TO GOD

God never called us to do anything for Him. He does, however, call us to work with him.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, taught: “In the same way, faith also if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17,

The simple truth about the difference between good works and bad or religious works, is that good works are works that God by His Holy Spirit calls us to do, through prayer and our ongoing relationship with God in Christ.

Dead religious works, in contrast, are things we try to do for God in order to earn His favour. Jesus died on a cross for our sins, and we receive His favour only by His grace. No amount of works will ever purchase that favour. However, because of that grace we now do good works for Him through the leading of His Holy Spirit.

In Matthew 25:23, Jesus said, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.”

It sounds to me like Jesus was building some form of “performance-based Christianity!” Our true calling is to be living so close to Him, and to be so biblically astute, that our whole lives bring glory to His name in the process. Moreover, what you do on earth for Him will determine your role in serving Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

In fact, God, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter to make us like Jesus and to prepare us to rule and reign with Him during His Millennial reign on this earth.

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 “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH ALONE

Anything that is not birthed out of faith is fatally flawed by sin.

“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

According to Isaiah without faith even our righteous deeds are “like a polluted garment”.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.” Isaiah 64:6

The reality is that anyone outside the saving faith of Christ are dead people, spiritually dead and therefore only capable of doing wretched, sinful things. From birth this is the reality for us all. We need to be clothed in His righteousness and this can only be done when we repent and put our faith in Jesus, the only one who can make us righteous, and that is by being clothed in His righteousness.

None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12

The book of Job teaches us much about faith. Believing that God is good despite the apparent evidence to the contrary, Job rested in faith alone. In the depths of agony he could still proclaim, “I know that my Redeemer lives” (Job 9:25). In the end, God silenced all discussion with the truth that He alone is wise (chs. 38–41). Yet, He vindicated Job’s trust in Him (ch. 42), proving that genuine faith cannot be destroyed.

The gospel is the power of God for salvation for in it the righteousness of God is revealed but it is by faith that we live the Christian life.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith (or beginning and ending in faith), as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17