What is God Doing? #22

Saturday, January 26, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Romans 5:1-5 says, “[1] Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [2] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. [3] And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; [4] And patience, experience; and experience, hope: [5] And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Long-term, we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” This is our heavenly abode, our eternal destiny as members of the Church the Body of Christ. Once sinners, “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), we are now saints, appointed to glorify the God of the Bible in Heaven. Short-term, until then, we must endure “tribulations” (troubles). Rather than fear them as Divine punishment, we “glory” (or find value) in them. We are justified, having “peace with God,” never worrying about seeing His angry face or coming under His wrathful hand.

Tribulations can benefit us—they can work patience fully (peace under pressure), that patience can work experience fully (skill in circumstances), that experience can work hope fully (complete confidence in God’s promises coming to pass), and that hope will neither fail nor disappoint, “because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

When we understand what God is doing, and what He is not doing, then we will begin to comprehend His boundless love for us. This “love of Christ” is featured in Ephesians 3:19, which love we are to experience and fathom. When all is accomplished, the goal is “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” All control over our lives has thus been surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ….

Distracted Eutychus Dies! #2

Saturday, November 3, 2018

And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead (Acts 20:9 KJV).

What can the context of today’s Scripture teach us about the Dispensation of Grace?

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (verse 7). Paul is preaching, not only in Troas in the A.D. first century, but worldwide today and beyond—the entire Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 3:1,2). Today’s Scripture says he is “long preaching.” The Dispensation of Grace has operated for nearly 2,000 years now: Almighty God has been “longsuffering,” extending grace and peace to this lost, dying, and Christ-rejecting world (1 Timothy 1:15,16; 2 Peter 3:9,15,16). Paul is “ready to depart on the morrow.” At any moment, his preaching will cease. His grace message, his mystery ministry, and our dispensation will thus conclude with the Church the Body of Christ being raptured into Heaven.

“And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together” (verse 8). Christians have assembled to listen, hear, and see God’s grace exhibited. The “many lights in the upper chamber” signify abundant spiritual illumination brought by God’s Word—particularly, Pauline doctrine. Psalm 119: “[105] Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path…. [130] The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Ephesians chapter 1: “[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,….” When the Lord Jesus Christ is preached “according to the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25,26), spiritual ignorance and darkness are dispelled.

Alas, tragedy mars the cheerful Bible conference. Joy flees as sleeping Eutychus plummets to the ground and perishes….

God’s Offer to the Nations

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

“…[T]hat God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s offer to all the nations of the world today.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed our nation forever. It was the worst terrorist attack in our two-century national history. Afterward, many Americans began to talk about “God Bless America” and “God Save the United States.” These phrases are not as commonplace as they used to be.

In the 17 years that have passed since that awful day, it is a sad commentary that “God” is now the least of our nation’s concerns. With the redefining of marriage, controversial political arena, moral decay, skyrocketing national debt, and the uncertainty as to what constitutes a human life and what does not, obviously, the God of the Bible has been largely pushed out… until we need His help, and then we cry out to Him. Unless we need Him, we rather not think about anything He has to say.

While many argue that God is judging America today for its sins, the Bible does not support such an idea. Certainly, God dealt with Israel in that manner—“Do good and I will bless, but disobey and I will curse” (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28)—but we have no relation to that Old Covenant of Law.

For the last 20 centuries, God has offered His grace to all the world’s nations, to have a right standing before Him by trusting Jesus Christ. People still die and go to hell, but today’s Scripture says that God is not judging nations for their sins. Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers reconciliation to sinners, whether here or around the world. However, that grace is exhaustible, and one day, it will be replaced with His wrath (Romans 2:1-16). Still, we believers are not appointed to God’s wrath; we are saved from all wrath through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The only hope for America—yea, for any nation—is faith in Jesus Christ alone!

*You can also see our 2011 Bible study commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It can be watched here or read here.

Safe!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be spiritually and mentally safe.

Until the Rapture, Christian brethren, we are prone to worry. Anxiety—being full of care—is spiritually dangerous. We should replace our fretting with praying: we talk to God about our circumstances. His Word rightly divided has the answer, so we prayerfully study it and then apply pertinent verses to life. We thereby gain our Heavenly Father’s peace.

Today’s Scripture says we need God’s peace to “keep [protect] [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Why? Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), is the master deceiver: he assiduously seeks to use error to distract us from the truth. Two particular schemes, religion and circumstances, greatly advance his cause. Unfavorable situations cause us to assume God is displeased with us and is now chastening us. We then struggle in works-religion to “get back on His good side.” Absolutely, we are not living in reality; Satan has tricked us! Reality says God loves us—look at Calvary (Romans 5:8)—and accepts us in Christ the Beloved—look at Calvary (Ephesians 1:6,7)!

Romans 8:35-39 begins with “who,” for Satan exploits these various situations to mislead us into thinking God does not love us: “[35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…. [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In all these circumstances, brethren, “we are more than conquerors.” Not only do we overcome them (remember 1 Corinthians 10:13?), we make them occasions to rely on Christ more (remember 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and Philippians 4:11-13?). Strength having replaced helplessness, security having replaced vulnerability, we now replace our anxiety with God’s peace! 🙂

Sustained!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:1-5 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be sustained by the love of God.

The world looks at suffering and wonders how anything good can result—they have neither Jesus Christ nor hope. Sadly, even most Christians are deceived here. When disaster comes, they assume God does not love them, that He is punishing them, that He is angry with them. Friends, God’s love needs to sustain us, keep us from falling apart in troublesome times. We can glory in tribulation and find value in suffering! Very, very, very, VERY, VERY, VERY few believers, unfortunately, ever reach that point, as denominationalism binds them in immaturity.

Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. God is not angry with us because He considers Christ’s sacrifice of Himself as sufficient payment for our sins. This knowledge helps us understand that our problems/tribulations/difficulties do not stem from any controversy God has with us. Of course, such understanding comes from the rightly divided Word of God. We do not grab the verses that talk about God being angry with and punishing Israel, and assume He is talking about us.

Whereas Israel’s troubles meant God was punishing her for disobedience (see Leviticus 26:14-46 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68), difficulties mean something else entirely for us. God’s love is found at Calvary, not in our circumstances. Romans 5:8 says: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth [propels, motivates] us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:….” Christian friend, until you are home in Heaven, let God’s infinite love carry you through ALL of life’s difficulties!

Bible Q&A #470: “What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?

Relax in Grace

Friday, September 22, 2017

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 KJV).

“Be careful for nothing”—pray the Pauline way and relax in grace!

Recently, a dear Christian friend underwent a “claustrophobic” medical procedure. She had asked others and me to pray for her because she was terrified of being inside that cramped imaging machine. When I phoned her after the procedure, however, she said that it was not as bad of an experience as she thought it would be. She felt awful that she had “let the Lord down” for not trusting Him. I told her that it the weakness of the flesh, something that she not worry about. Today’s Scripture says we should not worry about worrying.

Being a Christian does not mean that we have automatic peace about everything. The way we experience God’s peace is by praying the Pauline way. Notice today’s Scripture: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Satan seeks to use bad doctrine to injure us internally. Thus, God has designed prayer to lead to the “keeping” (or guarding) of our hearts and minds. Prayer is speaking to God in light of His Word to us. The Word of God spoken to us, then reinforced in us when we pray according to it, will dominate and correct the false doctrine Satan seeks to advance. Thus, anxiety is the result of not praying properly or not praying at all.

Let us remember 2 Corinthians 12:9,10 in all times of difficulty: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Bible Q&A articles #419 & #420: What does ‘implacable’ mean?” and Why does Ephesians conclude with such a ‘dark’ passage?

God’s Offer to the Nations

Monday, September 11, 2017

“…[T]hat God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is God’s offer to all the nations of the world today.

September 11, 2001 was a day that changed our nation forever. It was the worst terrorist attack in our two-century national history. Afterward, many Americans began to talk about “God Bless America” and “God Save the United States.” These phrases are not as commonplace as they used to be.

In the 16 years that have passed since that awful day, it is a sad commentary that “God” is now the least of our nation’s concerns. With the redefining of marriage, controversial political arena, moral decay, skyrocketing national debt, and the uncertainty as to what constitutes a human life and what does not, obviously, the God of the Bible has been largely pushed out… until we need His help, and then we cry out to Him. Unless we need Him, we rather not think about anything He has to say.

While many argue that God is judging America today for its sins, the Bible does not support such an idea. Certainly, God dealt with Israel in that manner—“Do good and I will bless, but disobey and I will curse” (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28)—but we have no relation to that Old Covenant of Law.

For the last 20 centuries, God has offered His grace to all the world’s nations, to have a right standing before Him by trusting Jesus Christ. People still die and go to hell, but today’s Scripture says that God is not judging nations for their sins. Through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, God offers reconciliation to sinners, whether here or around the world. However, that grace is exhaustible, and one day, it will be replaced with His wrath (Romans 2:1-16). Still, we believers are not appointed to God’s wrath; we are saved from all wrath through Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9).

The only hope for America—yea, for any nation—is faith in Jesus Christ alone!

*You can also see our 2011 Bible study commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It can be watched here or read here.