LOVE OF GOD NEVER CEASES

All of God’s promises are great and there are so many we will never exhaust them. But the following verse is such comfort it is worth putting it up somewhere to remind you. It is a popular verse so perhaps you have already done so.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26

IN WHOM DO YOU TRUST AND FOR WHAT?

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday ... Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.Psalms 91:1-6, 9-11

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.

Now, this magnificent poem does not necessarily mean that the faithful – those who dwell “in the shelter of the Most High”– will not get the pestilence or suffer the other afflictions mentioned. 

Satan used this Psalm in his temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:5-7), trying to get him to invoke its promise that angels “will bear you up” by throwing himself off from the pinnacle of the Temple.  But such an interpretation, Jesus points out, would be to put God to the test, violating Deuteronomy 6:16.

But those who trust God as their refuge will be delivered from the evil of the pestilence and from fear of it.

Look at these promises of God to David. They are yours if you hold fast to God in love.

Because He holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect Him because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation
.” Psalms 91:14-16

TRUE HAPPINESS IS FOUND IN JESUS

To be holy is to see God as He is and to become like Him, covered in Christ’s righteousness. And since God’s nature is to be happy, the more like Him we become in our sanctification, the happier we will be. When did you last hear that message?

Forcing a choice between happiness and holiness is utterly foreign to Scripture. If it were true that God wants us to be only holy, wouldn’t we expect Philippians 4:4 to say, “Be holy in the Lord always” instead of “Rejoice in the Lord always”?

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that he pleases.” Psalms 115:2-3

God is decidedly and unapologetically anti-sin, but he is in no sense anti-happiness. Indeed, holiness is exactly what secures our happiness. Charles Spurgeon said,

Holiness is the royal road to happiness. The death of sin is the life of joy.”

It’s common to hear objections to the word happy based on its etymology, or history. One commentator says that “Happy comes from the word ‘hap,’ meaning ‘chance.’ It is therefore incorrect to translate [the Greek word makarios] as ‘happy’”

When people say they want to be happy, they are typically making no statement whatsoever about chance. D.A. Carson argues in Exegetical Fallacies, “The meaning of a word cannot be reliably determined by etymology” (32). King James Version translators wouldn’t have used happy and other forms of the root word happiness thirty-six times or translated makarios as some form of happy seventeen times if they thought its word history disqualified happy as a credible biblical word.

Unfortunately, because Bible teachers such as Oswald Chambers saw people trying to find happiness in sin, they came to think that pursuing happiness is sinful. Chambers said, “Joy is not happiness,” and continued, “There is no mention in the Bible of happiness for a Christian, but there is plenty said about joy” (God’s Workmanship, and He Shall Glorify Me, 346).

That simply is not true. In the King James Version, which Chambers used, Jesus tells his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17). Speaking of faithful Christians, James said, “We count them happy which endure” (James 5:11). Peter said to fellow believers, “If ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye” (1 Peter 3:14 ) and “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye” (1 Peter 4:14).

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness. (Isaiah 52:7)

It’s hard for me to conceive of a greater insult to Jesus than to effectively deny what Hebrews reveals about his happy nature: “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions(Hebrews 1:9 NASB).

It also seems insulting to say that the best Father in the universe doesn’t want his children to be happy. In reality, the Bible is a vast reservoir containing, not dozens, but hundreds of passages conveying happiness. I’ve found more than 2,700 Scripture passages where words such as joy, happiness, gladness, merriment, pleasurecelebrationcheerlaughterdelightjubilationfeastingexultation, and celebration are used. Throw in the words blessed and blessing, which often connotes happiness, and the number increases.

Our message to the world should not be “Don’t seek happiness,” but “You’ll find in Jesus the happiness you have always been seeking.”

Adapted from the article “Common Christian Myths About Happiness” by Randy Alcorn March 11th, 2021 in Patheos.

GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Psalms 46:1-3

Do you live your life according to this Scripture? You will need to in the years ahead as the following Scripture comes to pass.

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:6-12

Our true reality must be: God is our refuge and strength. Jesus made it possible for God our Father to send the Holy Spirit to empower us to live the Christian life. Those who live under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit will live a life of faith in Christ, abound in Christian graces, and know they have everlasting life. We must also remember not to quench the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives nor grieve Him.

Do not quench the Spirit.1 Thessalonians 5:19And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

There are some 2000 prophecies of Jesus’ second coming. God has told us beforehand how events will unfold before Jesus returns first to take up His Saints to heaven and then to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant world. Those that follow this website know that I believe the Scriptures teach that the Saints will not be subject to the wrath of God that is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. However, the Saints will go through the prophesied tribulation, even great tribulation, of Revelation’s Six Seals. It is at the opening of the sixth seal that we see the prophesied signs that Jesus gave the disciples (Olivet Discourse) which precede both the rapture of the Saints and the wrath of God being poured out on the world.

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:12-17

The position I hold is labelled Prewrath and if you want more information, I suggest you go to http://www.prewrathrapture.com or http://www.prewrathministries.org

https://youtu.be/Sr-A3-KQJIY

EXCELLENT NEW COMMENTARY ON GENESIS

The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series are designed to be non-technical and easily accessible commentaries on the English text, aimed at the busy pastor or preaching layman. The latest in the series is on GENESIS. This is the foundational book of the Bible so you need to know what it teaches.

The commentary opens with an Introduction to Genesis where the author highlights that this book is the book of beginnings and relates to the beginning of the world, of sin, of God’s promise of redemption, and of the nation of Israel, whom God chose as His people.

reliable and accessible

Importantly, Steinmann adopts the traditional literal ‘solar day’ view advocated by Young Earth Creationists.

Each pericope or section of text is treated with three separate sections: (1) Context, (2) Comment, and (3) Meaning. The Context section discusses the historical and literary context of the particular section of text. The Comment section provides more detailed commentary on the text itself. Though all verses in the text are covered, it is not strictly a verse-by-verse commentary. Given that this commentary is pitched at pastors and laymen rather than other scholars, there is no detailed Hebrew exegesis, though the author does make occasional reference to key Hebrew words and terms, along with clear explanations. Finally, the Meaning section offers a brief summary and meaning of the text, along with any theological notions and implications.

Numerous ‘Additional Notes’ that discuss a particular topic, idea, or interpretation in more detail also appear throughout the commentary. Topics include ‘The seven days of creation, ‘Knowledge of the name Yahweh in Genesis’, and ‘The ages of the persons in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11’.

Steinmann points to the notion of ‘God’s Chosen People’ as a prominent theme throughout the book of Genesis. God chooses his people by favouring a particular line of descendants. God chooses Seth over Cain, Shem over his brothers, Jacob (renamed Israel) over Esau. Because you have put your trust in Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, God chooses you and has at least one important task for you to do.

‘Justification by faith’ is another important theme and is clearly demonstrated in the life of Abraham. Abraham believed in the gracious promise of God that through him and his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Despite Abraham not understanding how this prophecy would be fulfilled through the incarnation and death of Christ, he still trusts in God’s grace and promises: “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Indeed, Hebrews 11 also indicates that Abel, Enoch, and Noah were also righteous through faith.

Steinmann’s commentary is an order of magnitude better than Derek Kidner’s previous volume on Genesis in this series. It contains clear and generally accurate historical and theological explanations of the book of Genesis. This is the purpose and goal of the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series. Although the author often makes reference to Hebrew words and other ancient Near Eastern cognates, you will not find technical discussions of Hebrew grammar and linguistics. What you will find is a concise, reliable commentary on the text of Genesis that is also accessible to the busy pastor and preaching layman.

The book is thoroughly reviewed by Andrew S. Kulikovsky in the latest edition of Journal of Creation http://www.creation.com. The above is extracted from that review.

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.”

OUR GOD EXPERIENCES EMOTIONS, ANGER, GRIEF, EVEN REGRET

And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.Genesis 6:6

The word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.1 Samuel 15: 19-11

In His complexity, the Lord knows all human emotions including regret, not an emotion often associated with God.

God feeling sorrow or remorse challenges our understanding of infallibility. Our typical response to regret is; “if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done it”. God however is fully cognisant of every one of His actions and choices, and still finds himself regretting some of them. For God to feel regret, He must therefore be vulnerable to our choices. Free will must actually be free, and poor choices on our part can cause divine pain. The Lord actually gets upset and frustrated, just as He is pleased and delighted by us in turn. This vulnerability must be a deliberate and sovereign choice of our God. The Lord of all could have placed Himself above all such feelings but He chose a version of creation in which the choices of His children affect Him.

God has sovereignly chosen to make Himself vulnerable. in that, He experiences difficult and even negative emotions, along with great joy and delight, in response to earthly events.

Just take in all the emotions God is feeling in the following two Scriptures.

And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” Numbers 14:11-12

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.Zephaniah 3:17

Thank goodness, our Heavenly Father, sent Jesus to show us the extent of His commitment to us, and His love for us. It is vivdly revealed by Jesus just before His crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane:

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.Luke 22:41-44

It is staggering beyond belief that Jesus would put Himself through the suffering He endured. Not just the physical pain but the spiritual horror of taking all of our sins upon Himself.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46

What feelings would our Heavenly Father have experienced as He watched us, His creation, torturing and crucifying His Son? We are blessed to have seen how Jesus coped with the situation. It gives us a picture of how our Heavenly Father dealt with it. He understands us in every way.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

It is amazing in our emotional complexity we are not that different from our Creator who experiences anger, pain, regret. After all, we are made in His image. We are His children.

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

Do you know God personally? If you do not it is your problem. God assures us that if you seek Him you will find Him.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Spend more time looking at Jesus and you will find God.

Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? John 14:9-10

Is it any wonder that those that truly know God get down on their knees regularly to thank Him for all that He has done for us, particularly in sending Jesus, for all that He is doing for us now through the Holy Spirit, and for all that we know He has planned for us through the prophetic Scriptures. There are over 2000 prophecies of Jesus second coming and there were only about 300 prophecies of His first coming. Most of those prophecies are to prepare us for the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.

SUPERNATURAL HEALING MIRACLES

An upcoming documentary film examines medical evidence of miracle healings to challenge sceptics and close the gap between the hard sciences and the supernatural.

The “SEND PROOF” documentary by filmmaker Elijah Stephens explores the ways in which miracle claims can be corroborated by looking at X-rays, MRI scans and other follow-up medical examinations. In the film, he interviews evangelical scholars and some of the most prominent voices in Pentecostal and charismatic Christian circles.

Stephens worked closely with the Global Medical Research Institute and interviewed board-certified doctors, scientists, an atheist medical historian who believes in miracles, and some of the leading sceptic and atheist voices who assert that, when examined closely, miracles never withstand empirical scrutiny. 

Stephens’ personal journey through his own doubts and the intellectual journey he took is interwoven in the storyline. At one point in the film, he recounts how frustrated he became with the idea of making the movie even as he felt God calling him to do it. The movie explains how, in 2015, he was at his house and his friends started texting him saying that Shawn Bolz, a prophetic minister who was speaking at Bethel that day called out his name from the stage. Stephens immediately jumped in his car and high-tailed it to the church.

When he arrived, Bolz, who had never met Stephens prior to that day and knew nothing of his filmmaking aspirations, gave him a stunningly accurate word, telling him that the Holy Spirit was breathing on the project and how it was going to impact medical professionals and others. 

For Christians who are hesitant to embrace charismatic theology and practice, the filmmaker hopes that the contributions from biblical scholars like Craig Keener of Asbury Theological Seminary, J.P. Moreland of Talbot School of Theology (Biola University), and Gary Habermas of Liberty University will lead them to reconsider what they believe about the supernatural.

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

JESUS SPOKE THESE WORDS KNOWING SHORTLY HE WAS TO BE CRUCIFIED

These words are proof positive Jesus is the Son of God and the only person you can trust for truth about this world and your eternal destiny. He spoke these words shortly before He knowingly went to the The Cross.

Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since You have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed...

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For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent meI have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

We all know that Jesus twelve disciples (fishermen and tax collectors) not the Pharisees and Sadducees went on to transform Rome and then the World with the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.

Whom will you put your trust in for the truth of this world and eternal life?