For the Glory of God

remain at the cross

Our actions generates celebrations from one of two kingdoms. “Do things for the glory of God” is not for God’s benefit, as God is already all sufficient. Operating for His glory is a benefit to us. When we do or say something that His kingdom can rejoice in, we welcome Psalm 91:11 in our lives.

On the contrary, when we do or say something that the enemy and his kingdom can rejoice in, we reject God, and join the company of the enemy and his bandwagon.This saddens God because He knows the enemy has nothing but death to offer us. And God’s desire for us is to have life through Him the life giver, and have that life in abundance.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Consult God First

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There was a brother in Christ who told me that whenever his daughter would come to him with issues, he’d ask her if she had first talked to God. If she’d say no, he’d tell her go talk to God first then come back to him after. The earthly father was teaching something crucial here, “the principle of God first”.

There is so much anger and malice I’m reading these days that it is clear some of us aren’t following that principle. Particularly because the words spoken/written are contrary to the Word of God.

What part of pray for your leaders do believers not understand? What part of put away anger and malice is confusing? Our feelings are not always facts. Angry at your leader? Don’t like him/her? Pray for them. If you are a believer in Christ, it is your duty to represent the Lord as He calls us to. Nothing more shameful than believers acting worse than those in the world.

1 Timothy 2:1-3
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…

Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

This works in all cases. We need to consult God first in our lives. We can end up in all sorts of trouble otherwise and end up saying things that we only regret later on. Let’s take a page from Nehemiah from chapter 2. Notice when the king (who had reasonable authority to grant Nehemiah’s request) asked Nehemiah what he wanted, Nehemiah prayed to God before responding. Urge us (myself most definitely included) to do the same. Amen.

Nehemiah 2:4-5
Then the king said to me, “What do you request?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.”

Struggle

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Struggle. We all have our seasons. If you’re a believer in Christ and find yourself discouraged remember that you’re not alone. There are several reasons why we each find ourselves in this place:

1. Sometimes it is actually not anything we have done wrong. The devil came after even Jesus, surely he will come after followers of Jesus. In these times, we just need to speak the Word against whatever accusations the enemy is speaking out against us.

2. Sometimes we are doing all sorts of things for God (taking care of others/ministry), but not taking timeout to be with God Himself. Martha, Martha, go sit at the feet of Jesus.

3. The pressures of life get to us. We worry, we fear and we want to walk by sight, as the unknown plunders away at our faith. In these times, we need to look back at the character of God. Check out His miracles (up to what He is doing today), study His universe. Think about it, God spoke great balls of fire into existence! On a personal level He heals sickness, warns us of danger etc; His mighty works are too numerous to mention. We need to remember that when we have Jesus in our boat we have nothing to worry about.

4. Sometimes we are engaged in activities, like listening to certain kinds music, watching certain movies etc that may be permissible but not beneficial. What we deposit is what we are able to withdraw. Put that stuff down and return to a heart of worship.

5. And sometimes, we are just in plain sin. If it is habitual, encourage us to speak to at-least one mature believer in Christ about it. When we shed light on what we do in the dark, the enemy loses that foothold of strength he has in darkness.
Regardless the reason, God is faithful, He cares and will complete the good work He begun in us. Living for Christ is a daily thing. Yesterday’s manna is yesterday’s manna. Not because we prayed 15 minutes yesterday means we can run on yesterday’s prayer.
Anyhow, let’s pray for one another and cover one another. 🙂

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16

The heart of the enemy is no match for the love of God

heart of loveThanking God for another opportunity to share Him. Read an article where a man took out rage on a 2 year old boy and punched him so hard the child died of internal bleeding. Saw later a video of a man burning the face of a cat with welding fire. Wickedness to the core. Truly traumatized by what I saw/read.

These kinds of acts show the kind of heart the devil has. God is angry at sin as He sees how depraved it makes us, it hurts us. All of creation mourns since that first Fall, and we have been on a downward spiral ever since. If you don’t know Jesus, give your life over to Him today. He loves us very much and died to save us from such depravity. He asks you to trust Him today. Spending an eternity with the alternative is indescribable. Turn to Christ today and be free from the wages of sin.

I know some of us have a lot of questions for God, but how many of us can say that we become friends with someone after knowing everything about them? We first enter a relationship with the person and get to know them along the way through a personal relationship. Same thing with our relationship with God. Get into a personal relationship with Him. See that truly He is good. And He has a plan for mankind; He will one day make all things new. What a wonderful promise; what a wonderful God.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Holy, Loving Immutable God

unchangingI was watching a video where an atheist was questioning a preacher on why Jesus had to die on the cross. He apparently didn’t like God’s plan of redemption. In his own “wisdom”, he was suggesting alternative way for how God could have dealt with our sin.  The preacher responded to his questions by iterating “Jesus died for your sins, you either believe or not.” The answer was not good enough for the unbeliever however, and he accused the preacher of not knowing what he believed. The channel where the video was hosted was also filled with comments against the preacher.

One of the comments: “Typical. Christians refuse to answer the hard questions.”

That statement is fallacious, and applies a broad brush on Christians as a whole. There are multiple reasons why some believers do not engage in certain discussions. As one example, some find that getting into long debates strays from the real issue of “to believe or not to believe” in Christ.

Anyhow, the answer to the atheist’s question is simple. God rules according to His own nature. He is holy, truth, life, merciful and love, plus all other characteristics of goodness, so is He. Another thing about God’s nature is that it is immutable. Since His ways do not change, sin can never enter His presence. After the Fall (accounted in Genesis), we are all now born into sin. Since sin is contrary to God, contrary to life (remember God is the Life), then sinners are in the position of death. The Bible also says we have all fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), so none can claim to be sinless. Jesus simply had to come because He is the source life, and He needed to rescue us from death. There is no other way. Someone had to go into the place of death. God had to carry out justice. God’s standard is perfection as He is perfect. Since we have all sinned, a perfect substitute had to redeem us. That is why in the Old Testament God required a lamb without blemish. We could never self attain our own salvation by thinking our idea for salvation is better than God’s because we are blemished. We cannot use self efforts for salvation because our works are blemished, as we are blemished.

It is therefore not and never will be a case of God saying “hey, no hard feelings about your sin.” Because if sin does not lead to death, and we can maintain perfect fellowship with God in sin, then God’s nature is not what is said of Him. Jesus Christ came to the cross on our behalf because we have already placed ourselves in the position of death, and to redeem us from death, life had to come. Jesus is life. Through the cross, God’s attributes were in full display, His holiness, His graciousness, His love, His mercy…His immutable unchanging nature all showed who He is, God Almighty. If we say we want God to do contrary to all of these, then it is not God we want, but wickedness, a god who changes his mind whenever, a god of injustice, and a god who has no absolute standard of truth. Fortunately, God is God, and will never fit into all the little boxes that wretched human beings want Him to fit into. The fact of the matter is, even after all this is said, people will still choose to reject the Gospel, unless they humble themselves and seek God without a “I know more than you mentality”.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:4

They are blinded because they are in the realm of death, satan’s realm. Unless we repent and walk into the realm of life, on the side of Christ, we will remain blinded by the enemy.

I hope this answer blesses someone today. Glory to God that He does not change. Hallelujah! His justice is always correct.

Psalm 19 – The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;

Simple Logic

Jesus is God. (John 1, John 8:58)

God is Life. (Deuteronomy 30:19, John 14:6)

God is holy, set-apart and sinless. (Isaih 6:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21, James 1:13)

Therefore, when we sin, we remove ourselves from the presence of God.

If we die in that state, having not repented and asked God for forgiveness, we reject life itself.

It is no wonder the penalty of sin is death, since the absence of life is death.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

#JesusSaves #simpleLogic

Don’t mention it

About to step into one of those “off limits”/ “hard to swallow” discussions again. Having seen this video this morning, felt convicted to encourage friends to read the Word of God for yourselves. The Bible is very clear that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved but by the name of Jesus. We don’t need additional mediators, we don’t need to pray to dead saints, there is direct access to God. (Acts 4:12, Hebrews 4:16, 1 Timothy 2:5)

We are all created by God, but not everyone is part of the Family of God. Being a child of God is upon receiving Christ, as the verse below (and more like it) clearly states.
“But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:12

Believing in love doesn’t mean we must accept someone else’s worldview. One can still love and have different convictions. The video below tells of a very false and dangerous gospel, seasoned with some truths so that it “sells”.

“How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” – Romans 10:14

All roads lead to God in judgement but not all roads lead to Heaven. On that day, we will either hear one of the two “welcome, faithful servant” OR “depart from Me, I never knew you”.

Don’t follow the crowd in exchange for your eternity. Not because everyone is doing something, doesn’t mean it’s right. Help us Jesus.
Know Jesus, know eternal life. Be very blessed.

No Tolerance For Sin

no_sin_stickerGod has no kind of tolerance for sin. Secret or open. All sin is a stench to His nostrils. We believers may want to propagate the idea that our sin is what makes us human, and may want to attempt to get away with a little bit of sin here and there. Yet, sin in us was never part of God’s original design.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.” – Romans 5:12

Sin separates us from God, and those of us who are renewed in Christ, will almost always be chasten for our sin, that is of course if we come before God and repent of our sin before He has to come with the rod on us. The wording there may sound “scary”, yet no loving parent doesn’t seek out their child in order to teach them a better way. God being the most loving, being love, will of course not allow His children to wonder in the land of sin.

“For the LORD disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” – Hebrews 12:6

If you are a believer, I want to encourage you to obey God. Obedience nurtures a healthy relationship between us and Him. It also acts as a wonderful testimony to a watching world.

For those out of the church, well, the Word of God already paints your position with Him. Jesus says those who are not with Him are against Him (Matthew 12:30). Unbelievers have a strange motto “only God can judge me”. Of course only God tells an individual whether they will enter the Kingdom or not. No one is arguing this, yet God has shown the way to His Kingdom. It is only through Jesus Christ, the Narrow Way, that one can enter into Heaven. We must repent, denouce sin, and turn to Christ (declare Him as Saviour) for the forgiveness of our sins. He must be Lord of our lives, that is, we must allow Him to lead us, which is, we must obey His Word. His Word is as it is written in the Holy Scriptures. Anything that goes against His Word is not part of His will. Fornication, drunkeness, etc are stritcly forbidden, from the Old Testament to the New, His Word remains the same.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

Regardless of the changes of society, the changes in moral behaviour, God’s Word is our first priority. Sounds tough? Sounds “old timeish” or archaic? Sure the journey of Christian living is contrary to the ways of the world, but God is able to help us through. When sin entered into the world, man lost his dominion over the world and Satan now temporarily “rules” on earth.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

Yet the end of Satan is sure, and he is out to gather and kill along with him as many as he can. His main tactic is to distract, distract you from Jesus and get you dead before you repent.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

This is why it is important if you hear the Word of God calling you to Christ, that is the grace of God calling you back home. Our real home is to be with Christ. Yet, Christ will not force anyone to follow Him. Saying later or tomorrow to salvation is not a good idea. There is no gaurantee of tomorrow.

“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:2

So you may say, “I’m okay. I’m not hurting anyone. Surely God will look at this and be pleased.” But I want to remind you, that if eternity could be obtained through our so-called goodness, then there would be no need for Jesus to go to the cross. Again, Jesus has said that no one goes to Heaven without Him. Trusting Jesus as Lord and Saviour is the only gaurantee of salvation. There is no other name or opportunity, or means by which an individiual can be saved.

“He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

The point is not to show how good we can be, the point is to get out of the dead zone. As long as someone has not been covered with the forgiveness of Christ, they remain in the dead zone. As sin leads to death, the point is to find life. That life is found in Christ. While of course, our good works is not the way to salvation, our good works is evidence of salvation. You see, because we all have a sin problem, we all need to provide a death sacrifice payment for our sins. So we cannot pay with our “good” deads. Those so-called good deads are declared by God to be filthy rags. It is like someone with leprosy trying to hand someone a “clean” towel. How could a lepros person ever touch something, and that something remain clean? Our sin is lepros, and if we try to hand God a “good deads rag” while lepros, that rag is already dirty due to our state of leprosy. I am not making this up. Here is is:

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” – Isaiah 64:6

Jesus alone can cleanse the leprosy of man, boy, woman and girl.

So yes, God determines where we go. Yet, because He has no tolerance for sin, and He paid the price with His own blood to redeem us from sin, what makes us think we can treat His sacrifice as a little thing and provide our own method of salvation? Don’t keep saying “only God can judge me”, thinking that your way will turn into a way to Heaven. It aint gonna happen.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” – John 14:6

P.S. If you continue to live in sin while claiming to be in Christ, you might want to check yourself to see if you are really in Christ. We all sin, and we have all fallen short. Yet if we are for Christ, we ought to really surrender ourselves to living a life that is pleasing to Him. God will strengthen us in our weak areas. We need only to stick to His Word, the Bible, and face our battles on our knees in prayer. God will see us through. He is faithful and intends for no good thing that He has started to be destroyed.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Phillipians 1:6

Be very blessed, in Jesus’ name.

True faith test

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I once read, “resurrection means nothing until salvation is secure”. Spot on! It can be easy to follow the crowd, and say things like “happy resurrection day”. Yet do we know what this even means on a personal level? Who is Christ to us? There is a popular saying that “just like going to McDonald’s doesn’t make us a hamburgers, so too, going to church doesn’t make us Christians”. True again! Paul reminds us time and time again to check ourselves to see if we are right with the Lord.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5

So how do we test ourselves? Well we can start with the obvious:

1. Do we believe Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Saviour for the forgiveness of our sins? Some people believe that their “niceness” will be enough. Comparing themselves to others, such as criminals, puts them in good standings with society. Yet, it isn’t so with God. If we could gain eternity with God through our own efforts, then there would be no need for Christ to go to the cross. Salvation belongs to the Lord! Our goodness is evidence of salvation, but never the means to it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

2. Do we believe the Bible as the Word of God? And do we obey His Word or do we cherry pick what scriptures we want to follow?

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

Contrary to the flow of society’s actions, sinning, like sex out of marriage is not approved by Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, the one we claim to be our God and Saviour.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (sex out of marriage), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

I once had a friend who thought this meant that no one can go to Heaven based on that scripture from Corinthians. Well, no one can without Christ. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet Jesus Christ is willing to forgive those who REPENT (denouce sin) and put their faith in Him.

One might say that is extreme, and following like this is being “religious”. Many do not actually understand that there is a good form of religious behaviour (trusting in Christ, and showing that faith by loving others – James 1:27), approved by God and another that is not, like hypocrisy.

In any order, if we claim to be Christians, Christ must be the pilot of each of our lives, we do not co-pilot with Him by the way.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15

3. Does sin in our lives bother us? If we are not bothered when we disobey God we most probably are failing the test which Paul spoke about.

4. Are we concerned about forgiving others, or do we hold on to grudges? It can be hard, we’ve all been there. Yet, how can we expect forgiveness from God, when we ourselves don’t forgive others? Let the enemy have no mouse hole in our lives! Unforgiveness is an incubation period that can birth sin. Let us ask God to help us to forgive quickly, and move on.

When it comes to church going, some things to look out for:
1. Going to church just to impress others (clothing items etc).
2. Going to church as part of tradition, but no real connection with Christ, nor a desire to obtain a relationship with Him.
3. Lack of interest in the Word (social networking on mobiles during sermons etc.)
4. No desire to worship God (not doing our best to worship through song and prayer)
5. No concern to really fellowship with other believers

If we are trying our best to seek Christ, great, He knows our hearts and is willing to aid us through His Holy Spirit.

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” John 14:16-18

Let us hold each other accountable. Let us test ourselves.

Our God is a Consuming Fire

This was on my mind during Christmas. It is back on my heart. So I’ll post it here as a reminder.

consumingfire I love this part of God’s nature. “He is a consuming fire.” God doesn’t tolerate the sin in our lives, though He really loves us. His holy nature assures me that whatever He does for us is right, just, pure. We can have total confidence in what He says. He is always correct and always keeps His promises. Our greatest gift or reward this Christmas, and all year round is the grace that a holy God bestows upon a generation who constantly bites His hand that feeds them, and spits in His face that see and watches over them. If you are alive today, that’s not because you made that happen. That’s grace, and another day to seek the Lord while He may be found. Have a blessed day friends!

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.” – Hebrews 12:28-29