Saturday, February 28, 2009

Disability Programs in local Churches

Through my own family, we have been looking for certain churches that we can fit in and we are learning that there is not much out there. My step-daughter was born with cerebral palsy as well as mild retardation due to seizures when she was a child. We just want a special needs service for my daughter who has cerebral palsy with low IQ. She loves going to Church and she very much wants to go to Sunday School. She is smart enough to understand God and loves God.

It is tough for small churches make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way the church provides its services. The responsibility rests not just with church leaders, but with everyone. People with disabilities make up one of the largest minority group in the country, especially within Christian Churches.

The Bible also teaches us to bear the burdens of someone with a disability fulfills a command of scripture (Galatians 6:2). 2 Samuel 9:3-4 tells the story of David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, modeling the way the church should minister. Many churches often treats disabilities, especially with the deaf community as 2nd or 3rd class citizens. A disabled Christian believer can enrich in a Christian community, Christians with disabilities – especially those in positions of leadership can serve as God's best examples of His power being made perfect in weakness.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Helping and learning from it

We've all struggled in our lives in some way or in many ways. We help others financially as well as physically (i.e. a place to live). Trials come to us to teach us to value the blessing of God from His perspective to enable us to help others in their suffering and to make us better able to assist others in their own suffering.

However, there are some concern when you try to help someone and they are taking advantage of the kindness and it is hard sometimes maybe to say no to family, but it must be done to keep the peace. The main issue when helping others is empathy. Even when someone used something without their knowledge (asking me directly) and lost it. It was a sentimental item that is irreplaceable.

There's self-preoccupation, that don't pay attention to those who are helping them. Lack of courtesy means more than simple lack of manners. Free room, electric, internet, volunteer their time and their vehicle's wear/tear by driving them around. There's little observation on their part, listening, and understanding. There's lack of self-awareness by those who are helping. If they understand their emotions, they will more easily be able to understand another. There are those who understand them and helped them in a big way. There are those who don't and often don't chip in to help those who is struggling while they are helping them. Helping others can put a family in jeopardy. Helping others can cause friction. Helping others can effect a family's future. Helping others takes over a family's home, their privacy and their whole being. Helping others can cause many things. Kindness can turns their financial upside down.

Sometime, people are going to learn from this and not do this again. Now that some have lost money and will lose more money down the road. Will they help again? THAT remains the question.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Many men are like David who was having trouble with women

Men (as I have in the past but no longer) have problems with porn (as in pictures) as much as women has problems with romance books (erotica). Its not just "lust" as with porn but greed and covet, those are just as bad. I used to deal with porn when I was younger but my wife and fellow Christians who had similar problems have helped. I just knew that I was not alone.

We sin because we are still sinners. Satan fires shafts of impurity, shafts of selfishness, doubt, fear, disappointment, lust, greed, vanity, covetousness, it all comes down to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Peter says, "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion walketh about', seeking whom he may devour." 1st John 2:16 says: "All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father." Psalm 5:4: "You are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness; neither will evil dwell with You." Numbers 15:39 .......going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.

Many of us MEN are like David. David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart that we men can be like David. We must admit our weaknesses and allow God to work in us.

David was guilty of horrific sin which he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then conspired to cover his sin with the murder of her husband. One example is this (I learned the most): David who learned that "thinking" leads to sin. David with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). David woke up from a nap, went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman taking a bath. Through the eyes of David, enter into his mind, he sees a beautiful naked woman and began thinking about her. I am a man, and I have a GOOD IDEA what he was thinking? David's thinking led him to self-serving which was motivated by lust and envy. This is where God has a problem with me (as well as with many Christians).

Reading Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. David wrote this after prophet Nathan came to him after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Learning from David, I have learned that God loves but He also hates.

Psalm 97:10 "Ye who love the LORD, hate evil."

Reading Psalms, David used six synonyms to describe Scripture: law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and judgments. David understood that he was chosen by God. 2 Chronicles 6:6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel. Why did God chose the Jewish people during the Old Testament time and not the Gentiles?

Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people.

I have found that God chose unqualified people and what kind of "logic" is that?

God will use ordinary good people as well as ordinary very sinful people to accomplish great things. God will use people who have the life experiences by that will Glorify Him by putting them through the right spiritual directions and teaching them the right spiritual lessons.

God knows our hearts and He will honor our search for truth.

God sees and measures the heart more than He sees actions. Our sinful actions were the RESULT of our sinful heart. I also have learned that David was an example of how we are to serve others without demanding our rights.(LOVE)

Psalm 27:4 -- David said, "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple." David have cried more over things that have happened to other people that he care about than he have ever cried about things that have happened to him. When David is identified with God, the things that break his heart when some dishonor God.

It is God's will for us to be sanctified. Spiritual maturity requires a believer to allow the Holy Spirit to change our lives. The Holy Spirit dwells in us with all the power and gifts of God, necessary to enable us to walk the noble, spiritual, Son-like life with God. Being sanctified means “to be separated from sin”. The key to sanctification then, is to know and obey the truth which is the Word of God in our hearts. When we got saved, we were justified which is "declared righteous". Justification cannot be separated from sanctification. We are declared righteous in justification, and then the process of making us righteous begins to function in this sinful world.

Knowing your true enemy is important and that enemy is Satan who can easily become the tool of Satan, who is called the accuser. One of his chief weapons is discouragement. He knows that if he can make us discouraged and dispirited we will not fight the battle for holiness.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In my office, I have this cute cartoon. It is showing a cute person wearing the Armor of God and shooting arrows (devil's schemes). A quote under the cartoon states: "Look at it this way...... Without these trials, testing of your faith, working of patience, and fighting a good fight.......LIFE COULD BE BORING." (see 1 Peter 1:7) My mother gave me that when I was facing tough situations.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

America's Capitalism is failing.................

Consumers, the backbone of the economy, are taking a beating from the worst economic crisis in seven decades. America's economy is being destroyed by human greed by executives.

Capitalism is failing and our government is gaining control in the new Stimulus package. With the avalanche of corporate corruption scandals that have rocked the markets over the years, people are getting fed up by the corporate greed in this country. This is the very integral part of free-market capitalism. Lack of internal control and lack of government over-sight to ensure that executives do not take advantage of the stockholders and customers. They do not accept the moral laws in their hearts: you will not steal; you will not bear false witness (lie, deceive, defraud); and you will not covet. Morality basically means a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong. Money has given us more freedom, but we are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. America's attitudes towards money should be in their conviction that money is a social good, not a private possession and that the economic main purpose is the welfare of everyone in society, not the personal pleasure of the person who happens to have control over it. Greed is one of the major flaws of Capitalism.

Business is based on the idea that self-interest and the desire for profit are moral and good. However there are those who make inappropriate ways to profit. Today, what we are seeing a major assault on morality in America. America is becoming morally bankrupt! Covetousness is yet another corruption of love that stems from a narcissistic desire for self-gratification. The pure in heart can see; but when covetousness gets into the heart, it makes the eye dim or blind.

All of us are going through this trial. Going through any trial of life for a Christian can be a joyous experience if perspective is right. Remembering the story of Job. A Christian can go through the severest imaginable trial of life if he or she really trusts God. And if he/she believes that God is on the throne, that God will keep His promise, that God never makes mistakes, that God always fulfills His word and that God will accomplish His purposes, it is that kind of faith that passes the test. Trials come to test the strength of our faith.

What's the main purpose of the trials? God doesn't have to test any of us to find out what's in our heart because He already KNOWS. God tests us so we can find out because sometimes, we are too blind to see them. He assists us in doing that spiritual inventory. He assists us in self-examination. I need to know and you need to know the strength of our faith. James says trials have a perfecting work. Peter says after you've suffered a while the Lord will make you perfect. God uses suffering to reveal our spiritual condition. Trials come to us to reveal what we really love.

We must realize that God allows trials in our lives, especially when we are blessed in places of spiritual service, to keep us humble, lest we think more confidently of our spiritual strength than we should and start to feel that we're invincible. Many Christians take sufferings with despair and despondency, others despise them, some feel God is far off.

Instead of trust, doubt comes.

Instead of quietness, turmoil comes.

Instead of contentment, resentment comes.

Instead of hope—knowing God is perfecting us, that the testing of our patience has a perfect work—instead of hope and giving of thanks, thoughts of bitterness arise toward God.

Sufferings attempts to tempt us and trials to bring out the WORST in us (see: James 1:13-14).

Trials give us a greater affection for that which is eternal because they help us long for the eternal city in Heaven. We set our affections on things above through trials and that's a very important spiritual thing. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4, "For which cause we faint not, for though our outward man perish, the inward man is renewed day by day and our light affliction which is but for a moment works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible only according to God's will, not our imagination. Real faith knows only one way and willing to allow God lead us as He did with great faiths in the Scriptures. True saving faith is not dependent on positive circumstances but negative circumstances as well. In the book of James, the entire letter is about living faith during trials and list the tests intended to reveal the legitimacy of someone's faith.

Trials cannot destroy true faith; they only put it to the test and strengthen it as in spiritual training. We know it takes true faith to perseverance because true faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the blessings for faith are to see what you believe. As this one well known verse says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1).

We all have to remember God's GRACE. What we may not be aware is grace is working in our lives.

2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

2 Corinthians 12:9
God said: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Romans 5:15 " much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!"

According to His grace, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit that being justified by His grace we might be made heir according to the hope of eternal life. In God's Grace that we have great spiritual and eternal freedom to grow.

Spiritual training which is forming spiritual fruits. In 2 Peter 1:5-9: make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

As we Christians are training for our spiritual growth, we look NOT AT our faith but in Christ of WHO we have faith in, who is THE author and finisher. "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1). The Holy Spirit tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus not on others who are also running the race! There are important things each of us should know and understand about our struggles as the faithful people of God.

Sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4) Suffering experiences may be viewed as coming from God to bring out the BEST in us (See: Gen. 22:1-2, 15-18; Hebrews 11:17).

“The very fact that faith looks to a power beyond itself means that it is continually subject to loss of control. So if you’re looking to get control of all your problems, forget Christianity. If you’re looking for success, happiness, or freedom from pain, forget Christ. The way of Christ is the cross, and the cross spells weakness, poverty, failure, death.” (Mason, Gospel According to Job, 418)

“Take away material prosperity; take away emotional highs; take away miracles and healing; take away fellowship with other believers; take away church; take away all opportunity for service; take away assurance of salvation; take away the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit... Yes! Take it all, all, far, far away. And what is left? Tragically, for many believers there would be nothing left. For does our faith really go that deep? Or do we, in the final analysis, have a cross-less Christianity? Unless the simple gospel has center-place in our faith, it has no place at all. Unless the cross is everything, it is nothing.” (Mason, Gospel According to Job, 210)

"The point of the Book of Job is not suffering: where is God When It hurts? The prologue (chapters 1-2) dealt with that issue. The point of the Book of Job is faith: Where is Job when it hurts?" - Phillip Yancey

"If a bird is flying for pleasure it flies with the wind, but if it meets danger, it turns and faces the wind, in order that it may rise higher." Corrie ten Boom

"We human beings instinctively regard the seen world as the "real" world and the unseen world as the "unreal" world, but the Bible calls for almost the opposite." Phillip Yancey

When disaster comes into a person's life, it reveals what's truly in their hearts." Kimber Kauffmann - pastor College Park church

"If you love, you will suffer, and if you do not love, you do not know the meaning of a Christian life." Agatha Christie

"The deep meaning of the cross of Christ is that there is no suffering on earth that is not borne by God." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Why should the righteous suffer?" "Why not?" replied Lewis......"They're the only ones who can handle it." CS Lewis

"The most devastating effect of sin is that by it, we are blinded to it." Billy Graham

"Faith in God offers no insurance against tragedy." Philip Yancey

"Pure suffering has a consciousness, a tongue, a heart all its own and even the memory of it is but a pale unreality when compared with the actual experience." Mike Mason, The Gospel According to Job

"Suffering is not an elective, it is a core course in the University of Life." Steven J. Lawson, When All Hell Breaks Loose You May be Doing Something Right

"Adversity often produces an unexpected opportunity. Look for it ! Appreciate and utilize it! This is difficult to do if you're feeling sorry for yourself because you're faced with adversity." John Wooden

"Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has." Billy Graham

"Pain narrows vision. The most private of sensations, it forces us to think of ourselves and little else." Phillip Yancey

"What is the greatest deficiency among human Chrsitians? They have an inadequate view of human suffering." Helmut Thielicke, German pastor and theologian

"It is easy for us to tarnish God's character because He never argues back; He never tries to defend or vindicate himself." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

"Our response to suffering is an accurate barometer of our soul, Steven J. Lawson, "When All Hell Breaks Loose - You May be Doing Something Right".

"I had to be healed of my desire to be healed." Joni Eareckson Tada

"If God is not in some sense responsible for bad things, then he is not responsible for good things either. If we do not "blame" God for death, we should not praise God for life. We cannot have it both ways." Joseph Hill

"How can you get to know God without suffering - - you can't ! - - Charles Stanley

"Just because we don't see a reason for evil and suffering doesn't mean there's not a reason for it.Consider the story of Joseph and the amazing conclusion in Genesis 50:20 - " You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." There are countless other stories, where suffering was not good, but with time and perspective, some see the good that resulted from the pain and tragedy in their lives." Tim Keller

"Real faith is refined in the fires and storms of pain". Eugene Peterson

"Every truth about suffering can be twisted into a weapon for or against God. Most often suffering speeds us in the direction we are already heading - whether toward or away from God." David McKenna, The Whisper of His Grace

Friday, February 13, 2009


Because of my wife's recent hospital stay in the last part of December and early part of January, she had a severe case of pain. The doctors were giving us conflicting results of what my wife may have so she went in for colonosoply. Some thought she has Ulcerative colitis but she didn't. Her family have history of "Crohn's disease". Anyway, her results are final and she has no serious illness other than inflammatory of her colon area.

All of this was going on, in the last 2 1/2 months, I have been having deep thoughts about my spiritual relationship with God. "Is my spiritual life superficial or real?" God uses suffering to reveal my spiritual condition. God uses people with the right life experiences by putting them through the right spiritual directions and teaching them the right spiritual lessons.

My recent circumstances have caused me to discover my spiritual issues that I became aware of. I have learned great importance of spiritual act of faith that Holy Spirit provides in my heart.

I have been in solitary and deep thinking. I shall return once I am ready.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Deep thoughts about My Christian Faith

God constantly intervenes in our lives through His Providence. This also include the election of salvation. Before, a person was spiritually DEAD until the Holy Spirit prick's a person's heart, made that person aware of his/her sins and convicted them to repent. This conviction caused a person to understand and aware of their sins that he/she had NO CHOICE but to respond. God’s love extends to all in the gospel offer and Scripture says simply, “they were unwilling to come” (Matthew 22:3). Jesus told his servants, “The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast” (v. 9). Here, Jesus opened the invitation to all comers but at the end, Jesus closes with this: “Many are called, but few are chosen” (v. 14). The gospel invites many to come who are unwilling to come. Many are called who are not chosen. The invitation to come is given indiscriminately to all. Whosoever will may come, the invitation is not issued to the just the elect alone. Its clear that the gospel is a free offer of Christ and His salvation to all whoever hear Holy Spirit's conviction. Ephesians 1:13 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."

1 Thessalonians 1:5 "because our gospel came to you not simply with words (hearing the gospel), but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake." God’s love extends to the whole world. It covers all humanity but the actual atonement is for the elect (whoever heard the Holy Spirit's conviction and repented).

Jesus in John 6:29 "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent."

Jesus said again in John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

People have learned that they "took credit" for almost everything they achieved, even their own salvation (by making "the choice). That is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “Your salvation is nothing you have achieved by your good works. It is a gift of God. You receive it by faith. That way no one can boast of his own accomplishments.”

Its not about choice but about conviction. God's divine intervention BOTH WAYS because all circumstances can turn or don't turn people to God. People may despise it instead of embracing it. Romans 9:18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. The Word of God stresses the importance of conviction and concern and repentance when being born from above by the Spirit of God, not from man's within. This is the same word Jesus used in John 3:3 when He told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again (anothen, lit. "from above"). God came from above and regenerates me, gave me life. And in the process cleanses my old dead life so that regeneration which is called a washing that I became a new creature from above. I didn't save myself from within but God saved me from above.

There are only two possible ways to God. One involved your work, your effort, your righteousness, your goodness. The other acknowledges that you have none of that which pleases God. It either involves something you do to please God or nothing you do to please God and there can’t be any other way. God reveals Himself to us as a "birth," bringing forth a new creation by the regenerating act of the Holy Spirit inside our sinful nature that we live in. In regenerating act, 'we' are that whosoever will may come to Christ while the other is that before anyone can come there must have been a previous work done our hearts by the sovereign operation of God through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Its not about choice because, without the Spirit's help, and believe saving on Christ by a sudden decision of the will, is wholly contrary to the teachings of the Bible. According to the teachings of Christ, none of us will or can come and believe unless there has been done within a us a prevenient work of God enabling our heart to respond. The spiritual birth, like the natural one, is unique, separate experience shared in by no one. Biblical truth is a spiritual experience and can be grasped in its inner essence only as the Spirit of truth enlightens our hearts and teaches us in the deep into our souls. Salvation is something that takes place and becomes known inside of us and salvation is redemption appropriated by faith that only the Holy Spirit can provide.

The truth of Scripture is something precious that must be carefully handled and closely guarded (1 Timothy 6:20). There are some truths revealed in the Scriptures that place a great strain upon our minds and Divine revelation assures us that certain things are true which imagination will simply not grasp. We Christians living in a sinful body, being imperfect, can never quite know perfection in anything, least of all in our relation to the incomprehensible God. Not one of us has authority to divide the truth and teach only a part of it because if we do, we weaken the truth to self-centered knowledge. We cannot know God by thinking the way we want to believe, and we can never know Him very well without accepting all aspects of God's Character. We are not to have a mind of a child that thrives on half-truths and error. There has to be a personal application of biblical truths because redemption has flowed down to us from the heart of God through His Son by the Spirit. Truth occurs both in the singular and in the plural. There are within the Holy Scriptures truth and truths, all inspired and all profitable, but certainly not always equally clear. To know Christ is to know the Truth in living experience, but it is not to know all truths in intellectual apprehension. We are to be careful because we see a truth in the Word and mistake it for the Truth. There is a mighty difference. Biblical Christianity is all about truth. God’s objective revelation (the Bible) interpreted rationally yields divine truth in perfectly sufficient measure. Everything we need to know for life and godliness is there for us in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3). We need to adapt our understanding to the truth of God’s Word and not try to manipulate Scripture in a vain effort to harmonize it with the changing opinions of some people's views. Today, gross error is now tolerable in some areas for the sake of peace. Rather than rightly dividing the word and proclaiming it as truth, many are focusing on certain truths and avoiding other truths which means ignoring the great doctrines of the faith.

We need to proclaim truth from our hearts without being arrogant if we claim to know anything for certain (we certainly don't). We do have the truth, not because we are smarter or better than anyone else, but because God has revealed it in the Scriptures and has been gracious to open our personal eyes to see it. God reveals to each of us differently according to His will.

It is important to understand that our hearts are the state of our "flesh". There are Christians who are zealous for their "doctrines" and forget the sensitivity of others regarding certain topics. God gave us conscience. If the truth of God's Word opposes the world's wisdom on a certain issue, you must align yourself with God's Word. When a Christian who is saved by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, this Christian is living in a new Creature with holy conscience rather than sinful conscience. A Christian may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Personal Spiritual Relationship with God

I need to say this because I have learned this the hard way in my life. I know that progressing in my sanctification and my spiritual growth and it only happens as I live in the environment of the truth and respond to that truth, and obey that truth, and avoid anything that diminishes my understanding of that truth or perverts that truth. Being a Christian is being whose primary form of witness is by my spiritual life, but I should not hide the fact that I am a Christian and that I show my spiritual light through deeds first and then words.

I have learned that God's spiritual training which is necessary for forming spiritual fruits that are needed to wrestle against the world, the devil and the flesh. Spiritual growth with maturity and balance will happen only when I apply myself to God's guidance through the Bible and Holy Spirit's convictions. God wants me to be busy rejoicing in the gracious prospect of all opportunities of God's will in my life. I have been reminding myself that God wants me to have free and responsive heart towards HIM, "Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God." In Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I should not be ferreting out the secret will of God that He plans to do, but discerning the revealed will of God that I ought to do in FAITH and Grace.

I deal with my own "theological bias" that I have learned doctrines taught by MAN. I was victimized because I grew up in a certain theological system and I become indoctrinated by what I have learned over the years that I have struggled by defending what I have learned and was unable to let go of them. Until I understood God's grace.

I learned that the Bible does not present faith as simply "mental assent to the facts of the gospel" but rather true saving faith involves spiritual and complete trust in the work of Christ who saved me from my sins and made me righteous. Saving faith involves both my mind and my will spiritually.

Over the years, as I studied my Bible, I asked myself: "By what criteria do I determine true from empty in my faith?"

I have learned to understand that God is the deeper life and much more than "faith systems" created by man. I am not a perfect Christian but I am a forgiven Christian who is still learning. I remember this verse written by Paul, “If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing” (1 Tim. 6:3-4). God holds us accountable for what we believe as well as how we think about the truth He has revealed. I see many give "lip-service" to the importance of doctrine and frown upon doctrinal discussions.

God is touching me and my heart since my wife was in the hospital.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

God's intervention and His Sovereign

Do we value God’s controllable sovereign rather than an uncontrollable God?

Does “our” controlling means that God would be, in effect, to control God?

True knowledge of God is to understand how we may know God depends on what God lovingly wants for us and from us.

Does self-revelation leads to improper motives, such as selfish and arrogance, in our response to that revelation?

Are we saying that God exists without knowing God as Lord?

Can we reasonably make demands on God in favor of our preferred ways of knowing God?

What are our intentions in having knowledge of God?

Do we aim to use it for our own honor and self-promotion, treating it as self-credit rather than as an unearned gift?

Who is entitled to decide how one may know God —humans or God?

Are we missing the real point of knowledge of God that He is
all-inclusive kingdom rather than agents of our own exclusive kingdoms?

Are there Christians calling God’s authority into question?

Knowing God as Lord requires our sincerely committing ourselves to God as follows: “Not my will be done, but Your will be done,” “Not my kingdom come, but Your kingdom come.” We must understand that God gives us an opportunity to achieve, without coercion, enabling us, through knowledge of God, to be rescued without coercion from our will. The Holy Spirit enables us to have our wills transformed, not just our intellects (our thoughts and beliefs). God is calling us to transformation away from our self-centeredness “will” toward the unselfish, loving character of God and His will. God's ways of imparting vital knowledge of God do not meet our natural expectations. This is in keeping with God’s offer of redemption by grace in hearing the Gospel rather than by earning in hearing the Gospel. God meets, convicts, and redirects our will through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. This is BOTH sides of this relationship, two wills and are personal between Savior and sinner.

Often when some Christians try to reassign God’s authority to themselves; they seek to be ultimately self-governing and self-defining. They typically favor their own kingdom over the true God for maintaining authority, or lordship, over their lives that they seek success, happiness, honor, and self-approval. They exchange God’s supreme reality for a false substitute.

Scripture can teach both that God providentially brings all things to pass in conformity with His eternal purpose and that the prayers of men can have a significant affect in the unfolding of world history. Understanding this relationship between the sovereignty of God and the prayers of men begins with recognizing the comprehensive nature of God’s eternal purpose. The “all things” which God works out “according to the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11) includes the means that He uses to bring about His ultimate ends. God uses the sun to bring light to the earth, He uses doctors to restore people to health, and He uses prayer to bring about many things He has purposed in eternity past.

Within the broad field of God's sovereign, things will happen according to His will and His plan. God will yet have His way HOWEVER, at the same time, as responsible beings, we must make our choice in the present situation. Human's destiny revealed by God, human's destiny is restricted by sin at birth, and human's destiny recovered by Christ at re-birth. All of that happens in God's control.

If you say that God cannot control all circumstances, then He cannot control His prophecies. There are over three hundred prophecies about the Messiah in the Old Testament. It is certainly reassuring to know that God has ultimate control of history, especially when current events may lead one to conclude otherwise. We come from the world's setting that is controlled by God that lead to the fulfillment of a Hebrew prophet's statement that He would be born in Bethlehem; all the way down to the circumstances of His birth, His life, His death, His Resurrection and His Future. Before Christ's death, trying to understand what Jesus said to the Pilate in John 19:11 "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin." Which means God have complete control of what was going on in Christ's situation. In John 19:28 Jesus recognized that all of the prophecies were fulfilled up to His death except for one. Human's destiny revealed by God, human's destiny is restricted by Adam's sin at birth, and human's destiny recovered by Christ at re-birth spiritually. Jesus said clearly about a penny's worth of sparrows compare to us. Matthew 10:29:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. If God can control with those two sparrows, then He will do the same for His creatures around the world including Satan.

In between the Fall (Adam & Eve) and the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ is this present-evil age. Our society (sinful world) is characterized by lies, it is characterized by deception which lead by Satan's agenda.

A.W. Pink writes,
God has decreed that certain events shall come to pass, but He has also decreed that these events shall come to pass through the means He has appointed for their accomplishment. God has elected certain ones to be saved, but He has also decreed that these ones shall be saved through the preaching of the Gospel. The Gospel, then, is one of the appointed means for the working out of the eternal counsel of the Lord; and prayer is another. God has decreed the means as well as the end, and among the means is prayer (The Sovereignty of God, 171).

All God's creatures are subject to God's control and authority.

Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

One of the greatest and most essential attributes of God is His sovereignty; God rules over all things and controls all things. God also uses providence to accomplish His will in the world. God directs and uses events to accomplish His own Will which meant: "the providence of God." Romans 8:28 says, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." All things are controlled by God to work together to fulfill His eternal purpose for His Will.

We all need to understand Paul's Statement to the leaders in Luke's Acts 17:
22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' 29"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill. 30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."