Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Being Content and understanding God's Sovereign

God’s Sovereign
What do you think of these quotes?

One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. Oswald Chambers

Faith recognizes the fact that God is in control of my life. Whether I believe it or not, it’s a fact that God is in control of the world. If I don’t believe it, I”m just robbing myself of the enjoyment of the fact. Paul Little

Within the broad field of God’s sovereign, permissive will the deadly conflict of good and evil continues with increasing fury. God will yet have His way [but] as responsible beings, we must make our choice in the present moral situation.” A.W. Tozer (1897-1963), from The knowledge of the Holy

I want to look into God’s sovereign,hidden will which I viewed as God’s “ultimate” will. This facet of God’s will comes out of the recognition of God’s sovereignty and the other aspects of God’s nature. This expression of God’s will focuses on the fact that God sovereignly ordains everything that comes to pass. In other words, there is nothing that happens that is outside of God’s sovereign will. His sovereign will does not imply that God causes everything to happen. This aspect of God’s will acknowledges the fact that even when God passively permits things to happen, He choose to permit them, because He always has the power and right to intervene. God can always decide to either permit or stop the actions and events of this world. Therefore, as He allows things to happen, He has “willed” them in this sense of the word. God’s will acknowledges that while we have the power and ability to disobey God’s commands, we do not have the right to do so. Therefore, there is no excuse for our sin, and we cannot claim that by choosing to sin we are simply fulfilling God’s sovereign decree or will.

God’s Word are backed by His authority as the supreme and sovereign in all situations. The circumstances surrounding our lives are no accident: they may be the work of evil, but that evil is held firmly within the mighty hand of our sovereign God.

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.

All of the Old Testament verses are summarized by Paul in Romans 8:28-29 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”

God rules over all things and controls all things. ‘Providence” means God’s faithful, moment-by-moment control over everything He has made to ensure that everything He has created are going according to His will. He is active in every detail of it. He’s active at every moment. He doesn’t stand back and let things happen because He decides to intervene if something or someone is not going according to His will. He governs the world moment-by-moment through providence, so that everything that happens, every detail of our life occurs by God’s divine providence or by God’s express permission. He is in control of everything. Even the bad things that happen to us are circumscribed by a loving providence and God promises to use them all for our and HIS ultimate good.

For an example, in Exodus 4: 11 God told Moses: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” Stated that simply and directly, the idea sounds repulsive. Why would he make a man dumb, deaf, or blind? Yet again and again in Scripture we see that there is far more to God’s sovereign plan than our finite minds can comprehend. Take me for an example, I was born deaf. God knew me before the conception. That’s eternal. God created my inmost being and knitted me together in my mother’s womb. This is what the LORD says— “He who made you, Who formed you in the womb, and Who will help you and that before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.

With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. I was DEAF before I was born so God knew that while my body was being formed. Therefore, time should be eternal because God’s time is eternal.

The truth is in the biblical fact that our God good causes and/or allow sickness and suffering. Job is a classic case of this truth, as well as Jesus Christ on the cross. God’s purposes could be many and one of them could be for the good of the person enduring it, as in the case of both. Or it can be for punishment, as in Leviticus 26:15,16; Deuteronomy 28:61; Psalm 107:17,17; 2 Kings 5:27; Micah 6:13; Acts 5:4-6, 9-10; 13:11; and 1 Corinthians 11:30.

God does everything–He governs everything. Within the broad field of God’s sovereign, permissive will, both good and evil continues with increasing fury. God will yet have His way while as responsible beings, we must make our choices in any situations we may face.

When we pray…..On earth as is in heaven. God’s kingdom in heaven is established, the prayer is let it come to this earth. God’s name is hallowed in heaven it isn’t always hallowed on earth, although His will is done in heaven it isn’t always done on earth. God’s hallowed name, God’s kingdom, God’s will. we are then coming to a holy God, to an Almighty God, to a righteous God, to a sovereign God, to the great God of the universe and yet He is a loving Father. Father in heaven which means the eternal resources are at His disposal for the granting in behalf of His children. Our prayers the bottom line is God’s will be done. We never desire to usurp His will; we never desire to change His will, to force His will, to be conformed to some thought of ours.

Amy Carmichael said, “And, shall I pray to change Thy will my Father, until it be according to mine? But no Lord, no. That shall never be, rather I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.”

In Ephesians 1:9, “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good purpose which He purposeth in Himself.”

The potter (God) is working with this soft, yielding clay (us). If this clay does not submit, the potter may not be able to do what I should do according to His will. The potter still could make anything except for useful and beautiful (spiritual fruitful) out of an unyielding blob of clay. If God is going to make those kinds of vessels out of clay (us), however, we are going to have to yield to the spiritual law of surrender.

The key thing is are we willing to let Him do His will in the clay of earth, as it is done in heaven? That’s the heart of our prayers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Considering Libertarian?

Why am I considering Libertarian Party? I am one Republican who wants to see a return to traditional values that must come from the people, not the government. "We the People" are the true government. Historians have stressed Lincoln's use of and redefinition of republican values that he highlighted the moral basis of republicanism, rather than its legalisms. However, I don't see this happening because of the "far right" members of the party. Some Christians want government set up their way, which mean they want Theocracy rather than Democracy. Political and Christianity will always be divided no matter how hard we try. We need to change idealism of the conservatives. They have adopted about how things "should be done" which often gets challenged by the way things are in reality. I have learned that democracy does not give me any real power at all because in God's providence, He allowed democracy to basically swamps each of us Christians among non-believers. Lately, many conservative Christian leaders are hypocrites and they are no help to the people of America.

Christians would realize that initiating coercion to achieve desirable social goals is out of accord with true Christianity and we should not be advocating a kind of theocracy. For an example, homosexuality is condemned outright in both the Old and New Testaments. In the United States, Christians have the right, in a free society, to make their case against homosexual conduct. What Christians should not do is advocate force to be used against homosexuals. The main issue would be that I look at "what morality is being legislated" more than if morality is being legislated. My problem with the Republican Party is that if the politicians can't control their own moral, why should the average Americans? Moral reasoning is individual or collective practical reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do. How do we sort out which moral considerations are most relevant?

The United States Constitution endorses no religion or set of moral codes. The U.S. Constitution do not mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ. In fact, the Constitution refers to religion only twice in the First Amendment. Many founders were believers themselves and they were well aware of the dangers of church-state union. Our nation's governing document ensures religious freedom for everyone.

Christianity is not United States Government.

Christianity is Jesus Christ.

I believe that Libertarian Party will help Christians set up the government the way it should be. I am thankful that I do not live in an oppressive narrow kind of government however, you may notice that we live in a very oppressive narrow kind of society. Christian Grace is about loving other people who are very different and that we have the freedom to do so but at the same time, respect how they practice their beliefs. A Christian life in this world should be different from the world, being in the world but not of the world. There are religions teach that God is all justice while others say that God is all love. People become arrogant like the philosophers who have their own concepts, views, ideas and theories of what the world can be or should be. When we conceive ourselves to be honest seekers who cannot accept such myths (or truth) that we are in a state of dangerous self-deception which is a grave situation. Our flaw, blunder or shall I frankly say our sin is to follow what we are born with and ignore what we can be born-again with. It is not the Bible but rather the Spirit of God within us leads us to better understanding of the Living Word. If a spiritually dead person tries to read the Bible, is the Bible working for them? Jesus did not promise any of us that consistent Christian living would be easy!

Christian Grace is about loving other people that we have the freedom to do so but at the same time, respect how they practice their beliefs. A Christian life in this world should be different from the world, being in the world but not of the world. A humbled Christian is a Christian with flaws which humbles them that is more useful to God than hypocrite action that puffs them up. Charles Elliot said it nicely, "Hypocrites we are: but we are on the way to liberation even from our own hypocrisy". James 1:26 says, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What God hates

The problem is sin because those who rejected the conviction of the Holy Spirit loves living in sinful life while God hates it. God loves everything that He has created but He hated what Satan has corrupted. God is good and God is also Just. The Bible teaches that God is love; some have interpreted this in such a way as virtually to deny that He is just, which the Bible also teaches. The biblical doctrine of God's goodness so far that it is made to contradict His holiness.

God is love so we have to understand what God really hates. I have learned that God loves but He also hates. Psalm 97:10 "Ye who love the LORD, hate evil." Hate what is wrong and stand on the side of the good. A right time to love and another to hate. (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

God is love and at the same time, He hates SIN. Grace and LOVE forgives. Love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). Love refuses to take human failure as final.

I thank God that gives me faith on my behalf which is through GRACE. I want certain people to know about it because they CAN have the faith to activate the power of God through God's GRACE. In Ephesians 4:23, the Greek word translated "renewed" (ananeoo) is used which means "to create again" or "make new." According to His grace, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit that being justified by His grace I might be made heir according to the hope of eternal life. In Ephesians 4:23 says, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind" which means I am not to think the way I did before I knew Christ. I am no longer controlled by a self-centered mind but rather I learn from Christ through grace. The life I live is not mine but Christ living in me (Gal. 2:20). Like a baby is born with a fresh, new mind even though I live in an aging body, my spirit is being renewed daily.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Losing Touch Due to Lack of interest?

I am not blogging as much as I usually do. Maybe it appears that I getting content with my life. I am happy with new home church in which my wife and one of our kids are joins me every Sunday. At times, I go alone. Now, things are falling into place in my life. My struggle with Multiple Sclerosis is improving. My deafness is not affecting my life and people around me. I have less than 3 years before I am eligible to retire from work (getting closer to 30 years). I love having a close relationship, especially with my family. I messed up my relationship in the past and now I look back and regretted.

In the past 5 years, I have been looking for some answers in my Christian life. Before I married Carole, I got a book called "The Purpose Driven Life" which at first was appealing and sounded good. Over the years, I have discovered to many doctrinal errors in that book. The book maintains and promotes a poor theology stemming from an inadequate bibliology. It is not God-centered because it promotes self-centered good feelings theology. The old self is everything we were in Adam. Our sin was crucified with Christ. As believers we are so united with Christ that when He died, we died. When Jesus died He was paying the penalty for our sins. The great enemy of faith is a complacent spirit, an attitude of self-satisfaction with the status quo.

In Ephesians 4:23 says, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind" which means I am not to think the way I did before I knew Christ. I am no longer controlled by a self-centered mind but rather I learn from Christ through grace. The life I live is not mine but Christ living in me (Gal. 2:20). Like a baby is born with a fresh, new mind even though I live in an aging body, my spirit is being renewed daily. One of my favorite verses is in Philippians 4:11-12 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

So,I need to remember this verse,Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He (Jesus) Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I probably won't blog as much until I retire. Right now, I am so content and don't really have the desire to blog as much.

Rights versus Privileges

In the Bible, the Corinthians were busy defending their rights. Today, in America as well as many parts of the world, we are still doing it. God has designed all of human life to revolve around relationships. Everyone is involved in a relationship, and within those relationships are differing roles. However in our society the emphasis is not on relationships, but on individuality. People focus on their rights and seek to satisfy themselves. I don't think God think we all have any "rights" but rather "privileges".

During our sanctification as Christians in this sinful world, we are go grow in spirit and truth. We are to continuing being spirit-filled and spirit-lead by allowing His grace to transform us what He wants us to be. Our task is to faithfully pursue His will. God’s lessons have taught me what Spirit-filled really means and how to practice Spirit-filled virtues. Being filled with the Holy Spirit means I am to refrain from using my rights and privileges I am entitled to by God's grace because I desire to do God's will out of love and obedience as if I am after God's own heart. Great faiths in the Bible were willing to let go of their rights, privileges and lives in the interests of doing God's will. Faith in Jesus has replaced my temporal doubts and fears with eternal hope when I present my body "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (see Romans 12:1-2).

She is BACK (well, in June)

One of my favorites will be back in June. WBNS TV 10 Anietra Hamper

Back in December 2008, I posted about her leaving another News station and thinking I would not see her again. Old Post about

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Battling with my Theological bias doctrines

The other day, for the fun of it, I tested myself to see where the doctrines I am in line with today. It has been interesting because the first part of my Christian life, I was Baptist (non-Calvinist) and Anabaptist (somewhat Calvinist) that many of the "minor" doctrines are still within my heart. However, the major doctrines have changed. It took me almost 40 years to change because 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 can't seem to let go of it.

However, one thing I have learned over the years relating to the "doctrine of salvation". I have to remember that the Bible does not present faith as simply "mental assent to the facts of the gospel" but rather true saving faith involves repentance from my own sin and a complete trust in the work of Christ to save me from sin and make me righteous. Through the doctrine of Soli Deo gloria: All glory is due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through His will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit.

The atonement is the work of God from beginning to end. God alone provides the means of salvation through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Christ; through the call of God for all to repent and don't reject; and through the God-given restoration.

One of the major reasons I moved away from Reformed (Calvinist) is the mystery of God's salvation for us. No matter how much knowledge we have in the Mystery of God, we will never fully comprehend God until we die. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says, "My thoughts are completely different from yours, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. We are to judge through, to see through to the truth, to truly evaluate something what what we are hearing is biblical or not. Knowledge of the mystery is having the reality of an experience of knowing God personally and consciously. I have learned through the years that God don't need me but I do know He uses my life. My own faith is not self-effort or anything I can do for God but rather from within that my faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit by the conviction to submit into action. The outcome is not based on my faith or my will but rather God's will for my life as I serve Him on this earth as I serve for Him in heaven. The Spirit is our intercessor, our personal indwelling intercessor interceding according to the will of God. Jesus had said to His disciples, "Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave" (Matthew 20:26‑27). The life of a local church is made up of spiritual attitudes and spiritual motivations, spiritual graces that come from deep within the community. Its a reminder of this verse in Ephesians 4:4, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."

(100%) 1: Lutheran
(90%) 2: Presbyterian/Reformed
(87%) 3: Congregational/United Church of Christ
(82%) 4: Church of Christ/Campbellite
(80%) 5: Anglican/Episcopal/Church of England
(80%) 6: Methodist/Wesleyan/Nazarene
(77%) 7: Eastern Orthodox
(75%) 8: Baptist (Reformed/Particular/Calvinistic)
(65%) 9: Roman Catholic
(62%) 10: Baptist (non-Calvinistic)/Plymouth Brethren/Fundamentalist
(57%) 11: Pentecostal/Charismatic/Assemblies of God
(50%) 12: Seventh-Day Adventist
(37%) 13: Anabaptist (Mennonite/Quaker etc.)