understanding

harsh messages…. loving and tender messages….. deep, spiritual messages (for mature believers)….. simple, easy to understand  (for anyone) messages…. I have posted them all over the last year…. in fact, there are now over 120 messages on this blog, “Stephen’s Bible Insights”…. and I am always adding more, when the Holy Spirit guides me to write.

“faith” versus “works”…. it is an old debate, that still affects churches today !

There are some who claim you can “lose” your salvation, if you are not careful to do the WORKS that befit a “saved” person….. then there are others, “the once saved, always saved” persons who believe that loss of salvation is impossible, IF you have been truly saved in the first place ? ….. which leads to another debate, can we be 100% sure that “a person” is really  “saved” at all ?

Have I got your attention ? …. Amazingly, all these various beliefs APPEAR to be “supported” by Scripture ! ….. at least, the people find Scripture to quote at you in “support” of their particular “position” on all these contradictory issues.

Obviously they can’t all be right….. consider….

On the gaychristian101 website they have found ingenious ways to “show” that all the passages that condemn homosexuality really mean something else !

On the catholic website they have found ingenious ways to “show” that all the passages that condemn prayers to saints, perpetual virginity of Mary, consumption of the literal flesh and blood of Christ…. actually mean something else.

On the philvaz website (another Catholic support site), they examine 143 Bible contradictions that range from the ridiculous to the absurd …. and attempt to dispel your confusion THEIR way.

Truly, the UNRIGHTEOUS MAN FEELS JUSTIFIED….. when he tells you that,  “you can prove anything” from the Bible…. and promptly dismisses your attempt to interest him in the Gospel.

Truly, the internet is now the world’s greatest method for the spread of PROPAGANDA… in an effort to seduce the minds of the masses.

Do I sound very cynical ? ….. after all, you say, is that not what I am also doing ?…. trying to convince you to accept “my position” ?

The TRUTH is …. NO…. I don’t promote a church…. I am not asking for money…. I do not bother whether this blog attracts many or few readers…. and it’s not my problem whether you believe what I write or not !

So WHY do I do it ? ….. WHY would I spend countless hours researching and publishing on internet ?

The answer is simple….. God told me to do it…..  Whoa ! … you say, God doesn’t tell me stuff like that…. how do you know it’s God ?…. don’t you think that perhaps you are deceiving yourself (and “the TRUTH is not in you”) ?… who do you think you are anyway? …… etc. etc. ETC.

It reminds me of something I once read concerning the Pentecostal movement, “that a man who has had an EXPERIENCE is never at the mercy of a man who only has a “rational” argument”.

Certainly there are all sorts of DECEIVING spirits, that are in the world causing people to have “experiences”…. so we are back to the Word of the Bible and it’s AUTHORITY…. but what does it actually SAY ? … and more significantly what does it MEAN when it says something !

Have I still got your attention ? Do you want to know where I am going with this ?

1. First of all, and most importantly, is the STATE OF YOUR HEART….. if you enjoy arguing the Bible because it supports YOUR perspective on things…. then you are NOT really seeking TRUTH… and you do NOT have a genuine love for this book…. you are DISQUALIFIED…. you have “neither part nor lot in this matter”.

2. If you truly BELIEVE that this book holds ALL THE ANSWERS to life on this planet…. and it is EVER SO IMPORTANT for you to really UNDERSTAND what it says… then you are ready to receive number 3.

3. If you have a longing in your heart to PLEASE GOD and to KNOW HIM PERSONALLY…. then (a) you have to BELIEVE that this is possible and (b) you have to be prepared to MODIFY  your life, habits, ways of thinking, attitudes, etc. etc.

Read Hebrews 11:6 and if you BELIEVE this verse to be accurate statement then surely GOD is NOT going to abandon you to “spirits of deception”, but is going to reveal Himself to you PERSONALLY… and then guide your life….. you will no longer need to argue about GOD…. you will KNOW GOD.

The real problem with “church people” from most any “faith” is that they are looking to their particular CHURCH to “tell them about God”….. either they DO NOT BELIEVE that GOD will PERSONALLY guide their life…. OR they will NOT fulfil the conditions for Him to do so.

What are these conditions ?

SURRENDER and SACRIFICE of everything that THEY hold dear…. and a WILLINGNESS for Him to direct their lives on a CONTINUOUS, DAILY basis.

It is not that we have to give up everything we like, but rather, that we must be WILLING to give up anything which He directs us to….. Abraham did not actually sacrifice Isaac… but he was willing to do so, if required by God.

Because of God’s nature, anything we sacrifice for Him will cause us to be blessed but that is the wrong reason to do it…. we should do it because of who He is, and what He has already done for us, and not from future selfish motives.

Finally, EVERYTHING God does through our lives…. is because of our VOLUNTARY surrender…. He will not control us like robots, so it is a mistake to expect that kind of control…. we are always in the position of constantly CHOOSING to surrender to His will…. on a moment by moment basis.

Messiah

The attitude of Jesus Christ towards all men today is:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if ANY MAN hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Jesus Christ (the same one, whose name men use as a curse word) IS the Judge of all the human race (John 5:22 – 29).

Many today teach that because He is LOVE, He will “excuse” their sin…. but the Bible does NOT teach this ! …. these people do not know Christ, nor do they really love Him…. they are just “banking” on a “hope” that because He is so loving they will “escape” (i.e. “get away”) with their sinful behavior and “everything will come out OK in the end”.

TRUE LOVE for Christ and what He has done for the human race…. leads to sorrow for sin, repentance and “whole hearted” desire for CHANGE… and it is these people who can be filled with the Spirit of God (i.e “born again”).

Make no mistake…. although Christ is LOVE…. He WILL send people to EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT (and this is not a topic that is “popular” with churches today…. people dont want to hear about this…. they DESPERATELY WANT a “feel good” church where they can clap and sing and then go out and live their lives the way THEY want to live…… believing that they are “good” Christians and everything promised in the Bible will be theirs) …… Oh.. OH…. what a LIE…. what a serious SELF-DECEPTION….. what SHOCK will be in store for these people later on…. when they discover that they are NOT of Christ’s flock at all !

TODAY, if you will hear His voice…. HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS…  as in the provocation (Hebrews 3:15)

and what was this provocation ? ….. simply this….

Read Numbers 14:28 – 35

and then remember that these were the SAME people from Exodus 19:8

TODAY…. my message to you is do not PRESUME on Jesus….. REPENT of your sin… seek forgiveness…. and allow God’s Holy Spirit  to direct your life….. you HAVE to be a “living sacrifice”…. read Romans 12:1 and then Matthew 16:24-27, Mark 8:34-38 and Luke 9:23-26… and consider your own life, in light of Matthew 10:37-39 …… you CANNOT “have your cake and eat it too”…..  which means, “live this life to suit yourself, while expecting that a visit to some church once a week is all that is required to escape judgement of your sin and secure a “good” eternal destiny”

service

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto god, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

We are a “living sacrifice” because it is so easy to do “our own thing”…. we have to deliberately CHOOSE to do God’s will instead of our own in every situation… otherwise we are really not sacrificing anything at all.

This is our “reasonable service” because Jesus Christ gave His all to save us…. He gave up His earthly life in every sense of the word….. not only His physical life did He sacrifice at the end….. but all the years before that He spent in service, helping and healing people…  He could have had a selfish and “pleasure” filled life on this planet (in fact, that is what the devil encouraged Him to do during His temptations).

How are we fulfilling the commandments today ? …. let us check our lives and be honest before the Holy Spirit of God…

Are we putting God FIRST in our lives ? ….. before our own desires and pleasures ?

Are we putting other peoples needs as just important as our own ?

If we are honest…. it is not so….. most of the time, it is all about … me… me… me…  although we make the occasional sacrifice…. we really find it very HARD to be a CONTINUOUS “living sacrifice” unto God.

Nevertheless, God has promised that if we will put His agenda above our own, we will find our own desires fulfilled as well…. consider Matthew 6:31 – 33 and Mark 10:29 – 30

It is never a “loss” to us to put God FIRST…. no matter how it may seem at the time…. ultimately, we  will be amazed at God’s blessing when it comes…. read Proverbs 10:22

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, Help us to LOVE you more and SERVE you better…. in Jesus name we pray… Amen

peace

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you…… let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Regardless of the circumstances around Him, Jesus was calm and He never became agitated, flustered…. how can we achieve this ?

Quite simply by abiding in God…. some calamity happens during your day… immediately talk to God about it…. quietly say “Father, you see what is going on here, please show me what to do now” and He will…. and you will be amazed at what miracles are wrought….. and how easily the impossible situation melts away.

What is the alternative ? handle it according to the flesh and try to use your own wisdom to devise solution…. the result ?… irritation, frustration, anger and quite possibly the loss of your testimony in front of unrighteous men.

Here are 3 scriptures that you need to remember when your peace is under attack:

…unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5 – 6)

they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run , and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

This is the way of FAITH…. which the world does not understand….

Can you imagine a person in authority when confronted with some crisis that demands an “apparently” urgent solution….. remaining CALM and saying WAIT on the LORD for wisdom ?

But what is the alternative ? ….. devise a human solution according to the flesh and probably lose a lot of sleep and get all overworked and flustered in the process…. but this is what goes on ALL THE TIME….. so no wonder there are so many heart attacks and stress related disorders among leaders.

There can be no peace apart from GOD…

These things I have spoken to you , that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Prayer for Today:

Loving Heavenly Father, Thank You for your peace. Please help us to walk with You so that we may always be sensitive to your guidance in all the circumstances that we encounter each day… in Jesus name we pray… Amen.