All posts by arg913972

The Theological Romance!

The Theological Romance——-

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —

John 1:11-12 –

God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

(Romans 11:2-6)

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (Romans 11:11-23)

These are loaded truths and if I may paint a metaphore to help, suppose you saw in advance a woman that you had not met but you fell in love with her with forknowlege, this woman was who you would be with and marry. You think of her often, you grow to desire her more as time goes by and finally the day arives when your paths meet. Yet she knows you not? She falls in love with you for a time yet grows to doubt you are who you truly are, that you love her, that you are who you claim to be. She conspires against you and rejects you. How does this feel? You having loved this woman and grown to treasure her before you met and then she cannot see how deeply you loved her and still do love her. So it was with Israel as a nation, God chose her as his special people and guided them through the wilderness and set them free from slavery in Egypt. He continued to love her even though she forsook him for other gods, and worshiped the gods of the people’s around them. They grew to love the people and gods of other nations more then God who saw her as a delightful desert lily he plucked out of the hardships in Egypt and desert trials.

What is the Gospel? It is God’s love story about His original people who through betrayal deserted him yet through their rejection, In Jesus Christ, God had in mind since the foundation of time in mind to use her rejection- to pay for not just her sins, but the worlds by his death on a cross. His resurection from the dead. What Paul is saying is that God has not forsaken his original people but through her disobedience, salvation became possible for a people who were once not included as “God’s people” and nations, that were not considered loved of God!

Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the Lord said to Hosea, “Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means “not loved”), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them. Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them.” After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the Lord said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God. “Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ (Hosea 1:6-10 )

There remains now, one Gospel, for both the Jews and non Jews

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 –

Though one peoples were like one woman, the other people like another, yet by means of faith the “Church” the “Beloved of Christ” has become one woman made new from two peoples.

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Persevere In Confidence

This has been for me a life verse for the season of life I have been in. We will face hardships in life and this was written to the early church, Jews, who had become followers of Christ, who were suffering for the faith.

The immediate context is “Persevering unto God’s ultimate salvation and promise of eternal life” because we by faith follow Christ, endure through this life because of our genuine faith.

Yet do think it has other applications not just eternally, but also, in this life, God has good plans and blessings he wants to give us as his people. Everyone of us! Though our lives will all look different, the Psalm says “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

Psalm 31:19 –

However, God’s greatest objective is to do good things in us and through us. I do not think this though excludes great blessings he can give. Yet the greatest blessing he could give has been done, through Christ on the cross and his raising from the dead, for the forgiveness of our sins and new life.

God’s greatest blessings are spiritual, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, the love, joy, peace and all good spiritual fruit described in Galatians 5. However, God wante to bless us with good gifts for this life too. He does not want us to forfeit the spiritual blessings just to have material or earthly gifts alone. Because the physical world is not permanent or our true home. Yet who is to say God has not in mind to give good things here in this life also? He often delays in some cases so we wont just get his blessing and not have grown in our spiritual maturity first.

Sometimes God for each of us can give us a specific word pertaining to his plans for our lives as individuals. They often can be hearts desires that are not wrong in themselves but can be if we idolize them. So God purifies us in waiting. He teaches us to treasure him above his gifts. And as Proverbs warns, “An inheritance too quickly aquired in the beginning will not be blessed in the end.”

God’s delays are not automatic denials, but a refining process to get what He desires- our growth and maturity, so that getting what we desire, wont lead us away from him by making it an idol of the heart. God is good though and “The Lord is a sun and shield, he bestows favor and honor, and no good thing does the Lord withold from the one who walks uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)

It does not say God will automatically give us everything we want but if he sees it is truly best for us, he will, and not in our time but his.

Goliath In God’s Way

Goliath had an ego larger then life and suppose if it was the 90’s you could say he was with the “Backstreet Philistines” and his band—of soldiers, they never lived to see a new release!

“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals! ” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

1 Samuel 17:36-51

-He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. [Goliath despised David because of youth, and thought since he was a young man he knew nothing- yet Goliath’s ego had blinded him so he could not see a younger man like David as having knowlege he did not, but David knew far more then Goliath did and so defeated him. David knew for one, Goliath stood challenging not him, but God. David also shortly before was annointed next king of Israel. If Goliath was going to succeed in killing him then that mean God was not able to keep His promise. David also may have seen that Goliath’s pride was a greater weakness then Goliath could ever see it was. —-Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18 )

David also went into battle refusing Saul’s armor and weapon. Often what the world deems as good strategy or plan is not how God sees it. David relied on God fully and not on the weapons of Saul that would have more encumbered him then anything else! We too often can get tripped up relying on strategy or even our knowlege of the Word when it comes to fighting spiritual battles or getting through life.

Yet though these are not unwise to have knowlege of, if we are not careful we can still put the trust in “Our” knowlege and not God’s hand to provide victory!

David infact wrote most of the Psalms says:

I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.

Psalm 44:6-7

David knew that he could use weapons but put no trust in his weapons but God’s favor. As Christians too we must not think our years of walking with the Lord, Bible knowlege, or anything about us guarantees us success but must in humility fully rely upon God to bring spiritual victory over sins we all often get challenged by, as well as outward problems that cause fear, worry, doubt or anything else, that like Goliath, stands in the way of God’s purposes for our lives. And his ultimate purpose is to make us more like Himself in character, the person of Jesus Christ, but he has specific goals for each of ourlives as individuals also!

Do not let your Goliaths rob you of victory in life! Goliath stuck out in a crowd like big nuisance but when we see that it is not our war, but God’s, that takes pressure of of us. We are called to cooperate in obedience with God but whether a besetting sin or fear or problem of some form we must ultimately see that God is even far more interested in His goals for our lives then even we could be, as Christians we may get frustrated with some hangup, sin or shortcoming- we may instead of receiving God’s involvement try to hard in our own power and struggle in too much of our own strength. As it was said of David, “He fights the Lord’s battles” so it is in our lives, “The Lord’s battle” and what battle does God lose? None! So if you see yourself as more responsible for the victory to overcome your problems within/ then you are squeesing God out and will see defeat. But trusting him to bring victory and letting His power do the heavy lifting by trust and surrender, you see mountains get moved.

Don’t Take What Belongs To God

Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.

Mark 12:15-17 –

Saw something fascinating in this tonight, Caesar’s portrait was on these coins, yet if you think of it, all human beings have been made in God’s image and like these coins belonged to Caesar so also people belong to the Lord God. We may worry about our loved ones, fret over what people do here and there, or this or that or the other- yet we must realize this: all people whether they realize it or not are God’s ultimate perogative to do whatever he wishes with.

As Christians, we are called to obey God ans his words and entrust all judgement to him. Let God do his job! We must do ours to honor, obey and remain true to him and allow his power to move us in accordance to his good design for us! When we do this we experience joy and freedom. God knows what is best for us and all we need in advance – He knows our needs and worries, and if we can resign ourselves to the will of God and accept that his will will truly be the best for us and that he wont withold good, what he sees as good of course, when we walk in faithfulness to him, we can relax and just let go of worry, stress and feelings that make us feel we have to have our hands on things we need to just let alone!

The Thorn That Brought Power

The Thorn That Brought Power!

or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 –

Paul was not a masochist but in essense what he grew to realize that this very pressing situation whatever it may have been, that he at first begged for its removal, became the instrument in which God removed more of Paul, so Christ could live more fully. When we have too much of us in us, we give Christ less availability to exude his full power! Eventually Paul grew to embrace what the thorn produced inside of him, that is, more of Gos’s power through Christ Jesus overflowing!

Before Paul was radically changed by God’s grace, he was head strong, intelligent, stubborn, prideful and a man with his many credentials, yet we read he writes later- “For whatever gain I now consider loss in comparrison to knowing Christ”

He came to learn how to tap into the power of Christ by being emptied of self! Jesus said this, “For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses it for my sake will find it”

Meaning: you want to truly taste real and great life with power, victory and purpose beyond your wildest imaginations it comes by emptying “I” out of it and embracing “Him” as central. Yet too often we sell ourselves short of our full potential because of fear God will do to us what will make us miserable! Yet we may suffer in life for certain, we can though like Paul learn to rise above this the more we allow Christ’s life to overflow us from the inside out and the results are incredible if we perservere!

Pharoah Lost His Firstborn Because He Sinned and God Lost His Cause You and I Did.

Find it interesting how in the story of Moses God told Moses to go save the Israelites from Pharoah and the Egyptians but he basically said “Oh and by the way I am going to harden Pharoah’s heart so he wont respond” and throughout the story the first few plagues it said, “And Pharoah hardened his heart” then after a certain number of catastrophies in the land of Egypt and on Pharoah’s household, it says “And God hardened Pharoah’s heart”

Romans 1 speaks of God giving people up to a reprobate mind. After a certain amount of resisting it is possible to harden ones heart so far God gives up on them- though its not to say we know where that is in other people’s lives and even our own but Jesus teaches about “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” ans there comes some point where sufficient knowlege and God’s patience has been extended to try to reach people and they “harden their hearts”

Pharoah was hardened especially because of pride and in Egyptian belief systems, Pharoahs were considered to be the chief of the Egyptian gods. So we can see how this man let this go to his head. There were plagues and each of them challenged one of the Egyptian Dieties, and last God smote Pharoah’s own firstborn son. Since Pharoah thought he was a god and now suffers such a loss, it is also assumable Pharoah’s ego got a deathblow too, but he briefly consented to let the people go but then changed his mind to go after them and sealed his fate.

God gives an invitation through the message of Christ that He smites his own son for our sins so we can be set free from sin, slavery to sin that holds us captive in the metaphorical Egypt of sin. Slavery to fear and doing what is wrong but cannot break free from. These things destroy us, “The wages of sin is death” Romans says, and “But the gift of God is Eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Christ suffered death to put an end to spiritual plagues and often we suffer so much without realizing it pursuing sin. In the Law of Moses, in Deuteronomy 28, there is curses for disobedience and plagues that follow- yet if we only see this as an obsolete OT passage we lose sight of the bigger story. These Israelites even after they entered the promised land suffered these because they failed to keep God’s laws and decrees and eventually a foreign nation took them captive as a fulfillment to this passage. How does Christ fit in? He takes on the wrath of God for a Law that neither they could keep or we could, and by turning to him God’s justice is served by Christ’s death and suffering on the sinners behalf. God saved us by true faith in His Son’s Sacrifice and reaurection and then Christ becomes a law within us- he becomes our power to live the righteous life we cannot on our own. He moves our heart’s to love and enables us to be humble and do good. Yet this if because of a gift, not because we could earn or measure up. Pharoah suffered the loss of his son for his own sin, but God suffered the loss of His own son for your’s and mine.

Secrets In Suffering

Some of the hardest of trials we go through are the most glorious experiences in our walk of faith. Only because: in these times, it is as even God shares his secrets in the midst of suffering. This was the case with John, exiled on the Island of Patmos, and he there wrote Revelations. Paul who spent a large portion of his life in prison for the Gospel also partook in the secrets Christ revealed. Jeremiah who was “The weeping prophet” was told “Call to me and I will show you great unsearchable things that you do not know.” And these moments, glory moments they are, where in the midst of darkness all around it is as if God opens the window of heaven and draws the soul up to show them marvelous things.

Going Into The Deep

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

Luke 5:4-6 –

What I saw from this is Jesus challenging Peter’s approach to fishing. Jesus on one occassion says “I will make you a fisher of men” which means Peter would be an instrument by God to bring souls to Jesus! Yet he called him out into the deep, he will also do so with us if we truly desire to be more useful for His Kingdom. Christ calls for us to push into the deep, deeper love, deeper dependence on him, deeper humility and a deeper willingness to sacrifice much of what we want to gain what he wants to produce in us. Sometimes we may see our efforts to reach a lost and dying world as shallow efforts that seem to have left us saying “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing” and The Lord may have in mind to deepen his love in us, and bring us lower in sorrows, trials, hardships and losses so we may become even deeper in Him as a result and then by doing so He catches more fish through us. We often want ease and comfort and the paths pf least resistence but those times were we feel life is blowing against us, or the waters are rushing against our lives and problems drill at our hearts- he is doing good by mining gold out of us. He sends forth waters in the natural to wear a path through rock over time but the mighty rivers of the days of trouble burrow through the hard places in our hearts to create a way through us, he allows hardship to bear down on us but the after result is he brings forth gold from rocky places and makes us into caves that hold great spiritual treasures that were untapped before. He molds us into even greater vessels of His life so we can be of even greater service in His hands.

We Want A Fix To That, God Wants To Fix Us.

To look at our problems as merely external woes and nuisances, we indeed can lose a double blessing. Because what we fail to see so often when things are not going as we think they ought in life, we fail to see that our greater problem is not what is out there but in us, self centeredness, pride, jealousy, anger, and in Mark 7 Jesus speaks on “What comes out of a man’s mouth is what defiles him” and often when things go hard in our lives, we suffer losses, trials, and firey tests, God is often allowing these to show us what we are truly made of. To have things going well and smooth often does not create nearly as much of an avenue to be tempted by anger, envy, and other nasty evils and sin. Yet deprivation of what we want- oh there in lies the X ray of our souls. What is the good news? The good news is that God wants to ideally mold his Sons character of selfless love, humility, compassion, righteousness, and good things in us. He alone can produce this but often trials help us see how we need him, how we too “Sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

Often our hardships are exasperated most by indwelling traces of pride, self focus, and what bitterness or negative feelings caused by entitlement we allow to creep in.

God is not just wanting to fix a problem in your life if you or I do not have our hearts better purified as a result also. Shall we settle for less? In Job’s case, God was purifying him inwardly as a result. He was a man who feared God and shunned evil yes but God purified hik even more because of his trial. After though, God blessed him with double of what he lost- but the greater blessing is so often one God produces in us!

Attitude Adjustment

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:15 –

The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.

Philippians 1:16-17

Motives for speaking are extremely important. The Apostle Paul was suffering from the affects of people who even shared the Gospel, but with impure attitudes and motives. We should not be surprised also when we suffer persecution from the World but get lumped with those who call themselves believers also yet may not have been doing so truly out of love. The people who preached in Paul’s time also spoke truth, but had motives of pride and mischief and God is not pleased with that. Some Christians may be letting resentment or feelings of inferiority or desire to look good and impress drive them. That is why as Christ’s followers we must all examine our hearts regularly and look for tumors in our motivation that can truly create in us spiritualized cancer if we do not carefully, purposefully let the Lord reveal what is in our hearts. David prayed, “Search me God and try my heart, and see if there be any grievious way in me and lead me on the path everlasting”