God Promised

October 7th, 2010 |

The other night I was reading in Joshua and something caught my eye. It caught my eye so much so that today, several days later, I am still thinking about it. I have reread it several times over the days.

What passage?

Joshua 21:43-45

43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 

44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.

45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

There is something beautiful about this passage.

Think about how long the Children of Israel were roaming through the desert. God had mad a promise to them, but they wouldn’t accept that promise. They were unwilling to take the gift God wanted to give them. That is another lesson in itself.

But then God comes through.

God gave them all the land He promised to their parents.

God gave them peace and safety as He promised. Israel’s enemies fell before her as God promised. Every single thing God promised came to pass. He left nothing undone.

All came to pass.

You might be asking, “So what? God kept His promise.”

He did. But more than that, He kept all of them. Sometimes, as Christians, we look for God’s promises and when we get a blessing, we stop looking and expecting. We think, “OK, I got something, I should be content.” But if God promised, you can take it to the bank. If God promised, you should expect it. If you aren’t expecting God to deliver, He might do the opposite, just as He did to Israel. He might put you in a spiritual valley until you are ready to accept He wants you on the mountain.

Because they were not willing to possess the promise God gave them, millions died without. Because Joshua was willing to accept God’s word, he received the promise.

The point is this: It doesn’t matter how big or how small the promise, God will keep it. Our confidence in Him, our faith in His word guarantees that all will come to pass.

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Never Let go (David Crowder Video)

June 7th, 2010 |

I like this song by David Crowder. It says a lot about our relationship with Jesus Christ. He never lets go. I know sometimes it feels like He has forgotten us–especially with the trials we go through–but He promised us He would be with us always.

In Matt 28:20, Jesus said, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

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Pray through the pain

June 3rd, 2010 |

I haven’t posted here as much as I wanted to. I will get better about that. I believe it’s important that every capable voice preach the gospel. Some will plant seeds; others will water them, etc.

I posted a few things about how great God has been to me. About how He made me wait and then blessed me. I wish this were one of those posts.

Last father’s day (2009), a cat I’d had for 11 years (since he was born) went out and didn’t come home. At the end of July/beginning of August, my wife brought me a stray kitten she had found. He weighed 2.4 pounds–with all the worms in him.

This was shortly after he came home…

Last week he started sleeping late (getting up at 6:30 instead of 5:30am).

How could this not bring joy and laughter? This was completely unstaged. We walked into the bedroom and found him like this:

But that was last September. On Monday, Memorial Day 2010, he couldn’t breathe. He spent all day in the vet on an IV and getting oxygen. At roughly 6pm, we said goodbye and put him out of his misery. He was a great companion–even if only for a short while–and brought me an immense amount of joy.

I admit I bawled like a baby. It has been a couple of days and I still get teary. I loved the little booger. What can I say?

There is a point to this story…

We don’t know what God has in store for us. I have no idea why He chooses to allow some people to suffer. I have no clue why he lets Satan destroy the joy from our lives. Perhaps God wants to teach us to praise Him through the storm; to pray through the pain. And that’s what I am working on. I’ve had my fair share of heartache in the last couple of years.

If you’re going through something you don’t understand, please keep the faith. Jesus will see you through. He will see me through. He will get us through these trials. In the end, we shall come forth like gold! And the prize of that high calling is unlike any other.

Read Rev: 21 & 22. If we can’t imagine half of the greatness of heaven, consider John’s revelation as a minor scratch on the surface.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Rev 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Rev 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Rev 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

Rev 21:16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

Rev 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

Rev 21:18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

Rev 21:19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

Rev 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Rev 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Rev 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Rev 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

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God works everything for your good

December 16th, 2009 |

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

It’s hard to see at times, but it is true. We often demand things from God. We question the valleys He places us in. We ask about our situations and circumstances. Many of us often forget the above scripture.

I am as guilty as the next person about questioning God’s moves at times, but I would like to give a real life example of how the above is true.

After several miscarriages, a doctor removed my wife’s fallopian tubes. It became physically impossible to have a child without in vitro fertilization (IVF). I thought I had good insurance with my company until we went to the doctor and found out IVF is not covered. In fact, most insurance companies consider it “elective” surgery and refuse to cover it (except in some states where law deems it must be covered). For the next couple of years, I worked hard, trying to save $12,000 so we could have a baby. Then I lost my job. I spent a year looking for a new one and went through all my savings.

Near the end of that year, I began questioning God. Then I gave up. I prayed God would either give me a job or take me from this earth. Babies were the last thing on my mind at that time. A couple of days later, I got a call for a good job. Not only do I have the potential to make much more than I had been, but IVF is actually covered by the insurance. We had our first consultation yesterday for a whopping $30 copay. The usual $10,000 fees are all covered. The only thing left now is to find out if the meds, which usually run around $2,000 are covered. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Two grand is easier to save than twelve!

God is faithful. He works everything to the good of those that trust in Him.

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One Path to Heaven

December 14th, 2009 |

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
(Acts 4:12)

It is no surprise that non-Christians will disagree with this verse from the Bible. What always surprises me are the “Christians” that deny this truth. Those Christians that say, “there are many roads to God” or “All religions lead to heaven.” Really?

Logic dictates that all roads cannot lead to God just as all roads in the world cannot lead to Disney Land. Some roads are dead ends. Some are too short. And some head in the wrong direction.

Let us look at a couple of other religions. Does the path of a Satanist lead to heaven? How can one who faithfully worships Satan be rewarded by going to heaven to sit with Jehovah God while that person’s master burns in the lake of fire? What of the path of the Mormons who believe the best Mormons will become gods and have universes over which they rule? Mormonism is not a path to God, but a supposed pathway to godhood–which is the same temptation the devil offered Eve in the Garden of Eden.

There is only one path to God and heaven, Jesus Christ. His is the only name and only gospel that will grant us entrance into heaven. It is He who will sit upon the throne judging us, not according to our works, but according to our faith. If we do not have that lamb’s blood applied to our lives, we will find ourselves locked out of heaven. If we place our trust and hope in Him, neither death nor life nor height nor depth will keep us from the love of God. On the obverse of that coin is the truth that faith applied anywhere else is misapplied and will separate us from God.

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Stay Faithful: God is Watching

November 24th, 2009 |

6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 

7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

We all face trials and temptations. The key is trying to hold on to our faith in the midst of such turbulence. I wish I could say I am an expert. I wish I could say I am as faithful as a mustard seed. But I confess, like everyone else, I am not. Even Peter had his moment of weakness, denying Christ three times before the cock crowed. But that was the end of Peter’s faltering faith. Once Peter received the gift of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, his faith never waivered again.

Oh, that we could all be so bold in our commitment to Christ. That we, as Christians, could take up our crosses and carry them, never questioning Jesus Christ in our moments of strife.

If I can offer you anything today, let it be this: God is faithful. Hold on to your faith. He will see you through your times of struggle and you will emerge victorious. Through Christ, we are more than conquerors. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. Hold true to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and no matter what happens, you can rest assured a better day is coming. If not in this life, then in the next.

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God is Great

November 16th, 2009 |

… and greatly to be praised. (Psalm 96:4)

Yes, I paraphrased a bit, but the thought is the same.

In the past seven years, many things have happened in my life. My wife miscarried a couple of times. After the first time, I told myself it was God’s will. That when He was ready, we would have a child. Each time after that, when the pregnancy test came back positive, I thought God figured I was ready. Then a few weeks later, that hope was always gone. Three years ago, my wife had an ectopic pregnancy and the doctors went in to look for it. They ended up removing both of her fallopian tubes due to endometriosis. I admit I didn’t understand. I trusted God would let it happen at the perfect time and then it became a physical impossibility for us to have a normal pregnancy. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is now the only possible way for us to have a child of our own. Unfortunately, the company I worked for had insurance that refused to cover any portion of IVF. Yes, I was broken hearted, but I continued to believe God would make a way for us to save the $12,000 required for IVF.

Just over a year ago, I lost my job. I spent a year looking and praying for a new one. I exhausted all of my savings in that year. Last week, God came through for me, letting me finally start a new job. While it’s a commission-only job, I believe God placed me here to be successful. I’m in sales and already have at least one or two deals coming down the pike. More than that, the insurance with this company covers IVF and–I believe–the expensive medications required for it.

God is faithful if we remain faithful. I could not see where He was taking me. It looked like I was on a black road spiraling down into the abyss all alone, but He has remained by my side. As David said, in Psalm 18:33, “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet and setteth me upon my high places.”

If you are going through tough times, if this portion of your life seems black and empty, I encourage you to remain faithful to our Lord and Savior. You may feel abandoned, but He promised us, “I will never leave thee nor foresake thee.” To paraphrase Paul, we see things through a dark glass right now. We don’t know the future and what God holds in store for us. We can, however, rest assured that He will make every trial a blessing if we will just refuse to listen to that voice of despair. If we will continue to praise Him even in hard times, God will make Himself manifest in our lives and carry us through the valley, setting us high upon the mountain on the other side.

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