Monday, May 22, 2017

"God Is Faithful"

   There seems to be an over-riding theme in Scripture: "GOD IS FAITHFUL!" That statement about God is stated over and over. "God is faithful!"  (I Cor. 1:9) "God is faithful!"  (I Cor. 10:13) "God is faithful!"  (II Tim. 2:13) The absolute nature of God is declared that He is faithful. God is completely trustworthy in His words, actions and promises. Too many do not believe this even though they say the words that God is faithful. "If God really cared, why did He let this happen?" is the thoughts of many. No matter what is going on, how much your struggles become, the fact still remains: "God is faithful!"
   The word "faithful" means "to be reliable, trustworthy and loyal." We use the term "faithful" in lessor ways at times and it distorts the faithfulness of God. We call people "faithful" as one who attends assemblies every time the door is open. While assembling with the saints is an important part of faith, I've known many assemble but their daily lives are less than faithful by the way they conduct themselves in their home or the way they simply respond and treat others. Sitting in a building each week does not necessarily qualify one as being "faithful." The "religion of attendance"  is not something new. Jesus experienced it while walking on our earth. The Pharisees strutted with their chests out and high-minded attitudes because they did everything the Law spoke. Jesus condemned them! Just read Matt. 23.
   "God is faithful" and we are called into His faithfulness through the blood of Jesus. Some are "infants" in Christ but they long for His pure milk of the word so they grow. (I Pet. 2:2) They are faithful. Some stumble in their lives, not willingly, but their heart turns in repentance and they are being faithful. The goal of the faithful is to always please the Lord. There are weak people, that struggle and many write them off but they stay with it. The weak are important to Jesus (I Cor. 12:23-24). They are faithful. We are called to help the weak and encourage the fainthearted because they are faithful (I Thes. 5:14). 
   Abraham believed God. David trusted God. Peter leaned on Jesus. They all three had one thing in common. They failed but they didn't trust in themselves but relied on the faithfulness of God. There is nothing about us but the faithfulness of God. To be a faithful follower means I do not focus or look at my failures but to the Lord Jesus Christ for my cleansing and strength. When we stumble badly, we look away from us and to the faithfulness of God and not drown in our guilt. When we sin, we confess to Him with a willing and humble heart. "He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) Our faithfulness is not ours. It is a response from faith to trust in the Lord to do as He promised and we simply are humble and obedient. This sums it all up: The legalist TRUSTS in what they do. The liberal TRUSTS in what they don't do. The saved TRUST in what God does. "God is faithful!" 

Monday, May 15, 2017

"It's Where You Look"

  His name was Charles Proteus. With physical deformities he had one of the most brilliant minds in the field of electricity.  He immigrated to the United States in 1889 as a political refugee from Germany and was hired by GE in Schenectady, New York. As an engineer, Steinmetz designed the massive turbine generators used by GE. On day, without warning, those generators crashed and the plant came to a complete halt. The plant manager brought in ordinary mechanics and technicians to save GE money but they could not get the generators up and running. Frustrations were growing and with each passing hour GE was losing money. Finally it was decide to call in Steinmetz to see if he could get things up and running again. The electrical wizard came to the plant, puttered around for a few hours and threw the switch. The lights blinked for a few seconds and suddenly the turbines began turning and GE was back in operation.
  About a week went by and GE received a bill from Steinmetz for $10,000. The managers at GE were taken back. They felt the bill was excessive for the amount of work that had been done. They returned Steinmetz's bill with a note attached: "Charlie, isn't this bill a little excessive for a few hours of 'tinkering around' on those motors?" Steinmetz returned a corrected bill to GE. His note said: "For 'tinkering around' on the motors - $1. For knowing where to 'tinker' - $9,999. Total: $10,000!" GE paid the bill.
  What do we learn? Today everyone is running around looking for answers to life and drawing from every resource from "experts" rather than the One who made us and holds the answers! Sometimes people are mixing God's answers with the world's advice/teaching which waters down and voids the power of God. All of man's answers are found in Scripture, not man. There are two sources of wisdom around us. One is natural, earthly and demonic. That's the source of the world. The other source of wisdom is from God and will lead us into His life (James 3:16-18). I wonder what God thinks of man mixing His wisdom with demonic wisdom? God has provided all the power, the insight and help in Jesus and nowhere else. "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." (John 1:4) There is no part of life apart from Christ so why do we look into the world of death for answers on life? All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus (Col. 2:3). I see more and more claiming Christ, speaking of God yet lifeless and trying to sustain their lives by 'positive thinking' and busy doing things thinking that is what life and spiritual looks like. Have we been blinded? "See that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness..." (II Pet. 1:3) There are too many 'tinkerers' rather than believing where to look!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Seek the Truth"

  The most important aspect of Christianity is to seek the truth no matter what others might say. The truth,  not a truth, is the will of God. Outside the will of God danger lurks. "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." (Col. 2:8)
  It is your personal responsibility to not be taken captive through following teachings and ideas that are not part of Christ. The greatest danger in this is being taken captive by the power of sin itself. Sin is looking for ways to take back control and one of the easiest ways is to get you following teachings and philosophies that are religious looking but not the will of God. It might make us feel good but feelings are not the truth. The only thing that can set a person free is the truth. The truth is singular! There is only one teaching that can set one free and we must be humble and willing to seek that truth. Only by abiding in the words of Jesus can bring us knowledge of the truth (John 8:31-32). 
  Jesus points out clearly that "if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day." (John 12:47-48) Jesus allows anyone to reject His sayings! But to reject His word is a rejection of Jesus Himself no matter how one feels or thinks. It is a huge mistake to not want the truth to enlighten our minds to God's will.
  Paul told Timothy: "Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything." (II Tim. 2:7) If we are going to come to understanding we must pay close attention to what was spoken and taught by Jesus as His apostles taught His word. John points out that in the first century, after preaching and teaching the truth, there were those who departed from the truth that was established and gone out into the world with other teachings (I John 2:18-19). It didn't take long for people to depart from the truth. There were people, who once were part of the truth, that were now trying to deceive those who held to the truth (I John 2:26). John says to hold to the anointing, the truth, to stay with you as no lie is of the truth (I John 2:27).
  We must seek the truth. There are too many following, listening and reasoning that whatever they deem as religious must be okay because they quote from Scripture. We must hold to the truth of the Scripture and not allow anyone to take us captive to something else. If it is not according to Christ, it's not the truth!!!