Archives

Can You Trust Him?

Confidence in the sovereignty of God in all that affects us is crucial to our trusting Him. If there is a single event in all of the universe that can occur outside of God’s sovereign control, then we cannot trust Him. His love may be infinite, but if His power is limited and His purpose can be thwarted, we cannot trust Him.

Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts –  Jerry Bridges

Does God have complete control of everything?

Can you trust Him to accomplish His will?

Or is He at the mercy of man?

What limits God?

Can His will be thwarted?



Share

For My Good?

“God in His love always wills what is best for us. In His wisdom He always knows what is best, and in His sovereignty He has the power to bring it about.”

Quote from Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts –  Jerry Bridges


Now most of us won’t argue with this for the big things.  But what about the little things?  It is odd because it often doesn’t seem that what happens is always what is best for us. How can set backs and illness be the best thing for us?   Many times we can’t sit back like Joseph did and say:

Genesis 50:20 (ESV) As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Really it is very rare for us to be able to see how our problems, big or small, can possibly be as useful or productive as the problems Joseph faced.

  • How can a child getting sick the day of the long expected vacation really work out for the best for us?

  • Is a violin bow breaking at the beginning of a concert actually for the best?

  • How can frozen pipes be for the best?

Can we only chalk up some of the problems we face as character development?  Or is there even more to it than that?  Are we serving as a lesson to others?

Those are hard to answer questions.  However, I can confidently say:

Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Notice it does say “all things“.  That would include sickness, broken items, plumbing and any number of problems.

So all I can do is:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Trust in the Lord.

Don’t expect my human, sinful, limited mind to understand all that the Lord does.

This is to remind myself the next time I ask “Why Lord???”

The answer is “For your good.



Share

Obedience or Trust?

Here is another difficult concept to grasp. Trusting God is as important as obeying God.  Trusting God to provide for our needs is as important as obeying His commands?

… it often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him.

Yet it is just as important to trust God as it is to obey Him. When we disobey God we defy His authority and despise His holiness. But when we fail to trust God we doubt His sovereignty and question His goodness.

God views our distrust of Him as seriously as He views our disobedience.

“When the LORD heard them, he was very angry … for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance” (Psalm 78:19-22).

Psalms 78:19-22 (ESV)

19 They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20 He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?”
21 Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel,
22 because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power.

Quotes from Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts –  Jerry Bridges



Share

Can You Answer This Question?

Does God actually control the circumstances of our lives, or do “bad” things just happen to us because we live in a sin-cursed world?

Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts –  Jerry Bridges

That is a tough question.

Can you answer it?

Better yet can you explain the answer to another?

I always tell my children that until you learn something well enough to teach it to another you really haven’t learned.

So do you have a good enough understanding of the answer to this question to share it with another?



Share

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? [Kindle Edition] – Free Book

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? [Kindle Edition] – Free Book

by Richard Phillips

In six short chapters, Rev. Phillips demonstrates conclusively from Scripture that this view of salvation exalts God and makes plain His great love for man, which drove Him to do all that was necessary to redeem a people for Himself. In his opening chapter, Rev. Phillips cites the calling of Isaiah the prophet to show that a proper understanding of the sovereignty of God leads to a willingness to serve, a humble obedience to God s commands, a holy boldness, and a firm reliance on sovereign, saving grace. Then, over the next five chapters, he deals with the five doctrines of grace one by one-total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints providing thorough explanations, answering objections, and showing how the doctrines advance Christian living. What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? is a compact, highly readable treasure chest of scriptural wisdom.

{Now there is also Kindle for the web which means you can buy books and read them when online but it doesn’t require downloading the Kindle for PC program.  This is a good option if you use multiple computers or your computer is full. :) The free kindle books are available a short time, they are done sorta like a sale and end quickly so you can’t wait a couple of days to “purchase” the free book. If you don’t actually have a kindle you can get the Kindle for PC which will allow you to read kindle books for free. There are also kindle versions for a blackberry and for an iPhone.}



Share

Joni Eareckson Tada

I remember when I was a young teen going to see the movie about Joni Eareckson called Joni.  This was the biography of Joni Eareckson up until that time.  It covered her accident and rehabilitation.  By the end of the movie Joni had started painting with her mouth.

Most every Christian in the United States, even many countries around the world, has heard of Joni and her ministry of encouragement and practical help to the disabled and those with disabilities.  Her Joni and Friends provides wheelchairs for the needy all around the world.

On Wednesday June 22, 2010,  Joni announced that she had cancer and would be having surgery on June 28th.

You have heard me often say that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, and although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me – even if it is from His left hand (better from His left hand, than no hand at all, right?!). Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope, and strengthen our witness to others…

Especially at Joni and Friends. We’ve always prized the ministry God has given Joni and Friends to people facing a variety of disabilities; everything from autism to Alzheimer’s, from spina bifida to spinal cord injury. For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer… now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability. … more


If you aren’t familiar with her story get the book and read it:

Joni: An Unforgettable Story.


Share

Jeff Noblit – The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

The tenth, and final, session of the True Church Conference 2010 was presented by Jeff Noblit during the regular Sunday morning service at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. His topic was The Glory of God in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God.

1. The entire local church family is to be involved in missions.

a. World missions was born in the local church. It should rest in the local church, not in a board or agency (see Acts 13:1-3). Notice that God sent out missionaries from a church that still had multitudes of unbelievers surrounding them. Notice the double call. The Spirit called, and the local church called.

b. The first missionaries were accountable to the local church (see Acts 11). Peter had to provide an account to the church in Jerusalem of his mission activities. (also see Acts 14:24-28 and Acts 15:1-23)

c. The first missionaries task was to plant local churches (see Acts 14:23).

d. How important is missions to be? (see Psalm 96:3.) The command to “go into all the world” is given five times in the New Testament.

2. People are to be personally involved in local missions.

a. The local church is important, but it is also important for individuals to be personally involved in world missions.

b. We must personalize missions. We must get out of our comfort zone. We must have a heart for unreached people groups. We must be ready for God to call our own people. We must have regular reminders and emphasis.

c. Missions must be strategically planned. It must be Biblical. It must involve training people and training leaders. It must involve strengthening local churches (see Acts 15:41). We must look for open doors (1 Corinthians 6:9).

3. God must mobilize prayers, fasting, finances, laborers.

a. see Acts 8:4, Acts 5

4. The end is for the glorifying God among all peoples.

a. see Revelation 5:9-12


Share

Election and Predestination Precede Salvation by Spurgeon

September 20, 1857

by C. H. SPURGEON

… Before Salvation came into this world, Election marched in the very forefront, and it had for its work the billeting of Salvation. Election went through the world and marked the houses to which Salvation should come and the hearts in which the treasure should be deposited. Election looked through all the race man, from Adam down to the last, and marked with sacred stamp those for whom Salvation was designed. “He must needs go through Samaria,” said Election; and Salvation must go there.

Then came Predestination. Predestination did not merely mark the house, but it mapped the road in which Salvation should travel to that house, Predestination ordained every step of the great army of Salvation, it ordained the time when the sinner should be brought to Christ, the manner how he should be saved, the means that should be employed; it marked the exact hour and moment, when God the Spirit should quicken the dead in sin, and when peace and pardon should be spoken through the blood of Jesus. Predestination marked the way so completely, that Salvation doth never overstep the bounds, and it is never at a loss for the road.

In the everlasting decree of the Sovereign God, the footsteps of Mercy were every one of them ordained. As nothing in this world revolves by chance—as even the foreknown station of a rush by the river is as fixed as the station of a king—it was not meet that Salvation should be left to chance; and therefore God has mapped the place where it should pitch its tent, the manner of its footsteps to that tent, and the time when it should arrive there. …


Share

Hearing But Not Hearing

No matter how many times someone hears the preaching of God’s Word it will do them no good and have no effect unless the Lord grants them the Faith to believe and understand the Word.  Until God shows Mercy and Grace by granting faith to believe, that person will never understand.  They can hear all day but until granted “Faith unto Belief” then they will never “hear” with understanding.


Romans 10:13-18

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” ESV


No matter how much Scripture the Israelites heard they did not “hear with understanding.”  They lacked the faith to believe.


Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? ESV


God grants the “ears to hear” and the Faith to believe.


Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day  the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. ESV


Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ESV


Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear,  nor do they understand.  ESV


Luke 8:9-10

9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,

10 he said,  “To you it has been given to know  the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so  that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ ESV


Without God giving them the “ears to hear” and the faith to believe no one will believe because it is foolishness and folly to man otherwise.


1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  ESV


Update: Quote

Always recollect, dear friends, that the best spiritual food in the world is useless to those who are spiritually dead; and one very essential part of the gospel is that truth which our Savior so plainly taught, “Ye must be born again.” All attempts at feeding the soul are of no use until the new birth has been experienced; even that precious, priceless bread of life cannot be assimilated unless the soul has been quickened by the Spirit of God.

~~~~~~~~

Spurgeon from No Need to Feed the Dead

HT: Lora K.

Share

God Does NOT Run an Entitlement Program

Just what are you entitled to from God?

Everyone deserves to die for all have sinned.

Romans 3:23 … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ESV

Who does not fit in this description of sinners?

Romans 1:29-32
29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them
. ESV

So if you deserve and are entitled to death, how might you have eternal life?

Only by the Grace of God not by any of your actions or works!

Romans 3:22-24
22 … For there is no distinction:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, ESV

Romans 11:5-6
5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
ESV

HT: Reformed Voices


Share