WILL A MAN ROB GOD?
I know, I know! Everybody’s mind is made up from the title of this article what it is going to be all about. When pastors choose this title and use Malachi 3:8, it is almost always a message of giving of money to the cause of the church. So how could this be any different. Well, think with me and see!
Certainly, a lot of churchgoers do rob God in the matters of tithes and offerings as the context of this Old Testament passage of scripture indicates, but that is not the primary burden of this article. Robbery of God takes on a much grander scale of which robbery in tithes and offerings is but a symptom. Consider that when one repents from sin and receives Christ Jesus into his heart, he is born from above and his spirit sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. That person has been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus. He is no longer his own, but a subject of Jesus. As such he is to render praise and honor to his Savior (how logical). So what do many do? They find any excuse, and the slightest one at that, to miss church worship services or the giving of themselves in any noticeable way to honor the God of their salvation. Many, yes, many, would be embarrassed beyond words if they were called upon to lead in prayer, because prayer is a stranger to them. Will a man then rob God of the just honor due Him? Will a man rob God of the glory He is to receive from him in His church? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his heart? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his home? Will a man rob God of the power of personal testimony that he is failing to share with others? How many ways modern Christians do rob God!
The problem is a heart problem! Moreover, that speaks to the attitude toward tithes and offerings. Jesus pungently said it when He taught that where a man’s heart is, there will his treasure also be. So, look around. Where does your money go? Where is your leisure time spent? Where do you find your joy? There is where your treasure is. Certainly, it is a precious few who find their heart and their treasure in the things of God. Among far too many the decision is repeatedly made to rob God! It is robbery, sheer robbery! It is the kind of robbery that a sermon, or brow-beating, or grudging change will NOT fix. It is the kind that underscores heart trouble.
Knowing that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of deeds whether they are good or evil, wisdom cries out for a return of the heart to the God who bought it with His precious blood. When that cry is heeded, all the other things will be fixed.
Tag Archives: God
Posted: 27 Mar 2015 04:42 PM PDT
He bore the Saviors Marks in his body
Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland. He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him. Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?” Of course it was designed to allow his family to escape, which they did. During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment. He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers. I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.” Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution. Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag. A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon condensed from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.
FIND US FAITHFUL
We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road.
And those who’ve gone before us line the way –
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.
Let us run the race not only for the price,
But as those who’ve gone before us, let us
Leave to those behind us, the heritage of
Faithfulness passed on thru godly lives.
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone,
And our children sift thru all we’ve left behind,
May the clues that they uncover, and the mem’ries
They uncover, become the light that leads them,
To the road we each must find.
O, may all who come behind us find us faithful,
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to
Believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey,
O, may all who come behind us find us faithful.
He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can’t understand him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The leaders can’t ignore Him.
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and
The people couldn’t hold Him!
Herod couldn’t kill Him
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse him
And the people couldn’t’ hold him.
Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him,
The New Age can’t replace Him
And Oprah can’t explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal
His will is unchanging, and
His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer,
He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and
He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!
I serve Him because His bond is love,
His burden is light
And His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days, the ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders
And the overseer of the overcomes
The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
And if that seems impressive to you, try this for size.
His goal is a relationship with ME!
He will never leave me
Never forsake me,
Never mislead me
Never forget me.
Never forget me,
Never overlook me, and
Never cancel my appointment in His appointment book!
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage!
When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am blind, He leads me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me!
When I face problems, He comforts me!
When I face loss, He provides for me!
When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is everything for everybody, everywhere,
Every time, and everyway.
He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world.
So, if you’re wondering why I feel so secure, understand this…
He said it and that settles it.
God is in control, I am on His side, and
That means all is well With my soul.
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!
I love the Lord and thank Him for all that he does in my life,
He is my source of existence and my Savior.
Without Him, I will be nothing.
Without Him, I am nothing but with Him I can do all things.
HOW TO KNOW THERE IS A GOD
Would you like to know that there is a God, that Jesus Christ is His Son and Savior, and what true teaching is? Will, Jesus Himself suggested an experiment: Joh_7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. The responsibility is on the seeker. He must be willing to do God’s will when it is revealed to him. God promises no light to one who closes his eyes against it, nor any spiritual food to one who will not eat.
If you are an honest doubter, will you pray this prayer? “God, if you exist, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me. I am willing to do Your will if You reveal it to me, and will accept Jesus as my Savior if You reveal Him to me as Your Son.” Then read the entire Gospel of John, first noting its purpose in chapter 20, verse 31.
Signs this week:
Past-leave it to God,
There comes a time of ending.
A time of mourning the past is ended. – II Sam 11:27
Mercy given in the past – Rom 11:30
Forgiveness of sins given in the past. – Romans 3:25
There comes a time when our days are past. – Job 17:11
Eph 2:2, 3, 11
How often do we look back to refresh old hurts, defeats and disasters?
Present-Live it for God, – John 6:32-33
The work is given for today and not a future day. – John 4:35-38
Luke 11:3 – Our life is lived day by day.
Remember Zacchaeus? Luke 19:5 – Today, not tomorrow.
Luke 19:9 – Today is salvation
Luke 23:43 – Today some one is dying. Today some are going to heaven and others to hell.
What we do today can make an eternal difference in some one’s life.
Future-Entrust it to God – Matt 6:25; Matt 6:33,34
Also God is waiting for you.
What will it take for us to truly commit ourselves to the work of the Lord.
Yes the physical things need to be done.
Spiritual things of greater importance.
God bless you throughout the Year.
PARSON TO PERSON
A MENTAL CHALLENGE FROM GOD
All who take the name of Christ Jesus in salvation and discipleship are issued a distinct mental challenge from God. To ignore it is folly, incurring great loss. To take it up is to benefit in both in time and in eternal reward. What is this mental challenge? It is to have the same mindset as Jesus did in His earthly ministry. Now wait! Don’t you dare to shut your mind down to this challenge under the puny excuse that you can’t do that because you still live in the sinful flesh. Don’t you think God knows that? Do you think He is playing mind games with His people? No? Then think with me!
There is always an excuse for failure. He addressed that in Phil. 2: 3-4, but the biblical admonition is to overcome the excuses by dedication to the practices set forth in the grace and word of God. The apostle Paul appealed to the church at Philippi, and by application to the Lord’s true churches throughout the age, to press forward in Christian maturity to fulfill both his joy, as well as the joy of the Master. He was specific in the challenge.
Said he, if there be any consolation, comfort of love, fellowship of the Spirit, any compassion and mercies, they would fulfill his joy by being of one mind in these Christian qualities. The bottom line is concisely stated in Phil. 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Consider then the exaltation/abasement of the God-man Jesus. He was in the form of God. He did not consider it robbery to be counted equal with God, but did not seek a reputation for Himself. He took upon Himself the form of a slave and humbled Himself in obedience even to the death of the cross.
Folks can twist the scriptures of Philippians 2:1-5, as many do, and surely will, but they remain in their purity the inspired Word of God, a challenge to every Christian to, as Peter puts it, “that ye should follow in his steps.” Still, many prefer to whine: “I can’t do that! It cramps my style, and I simply am not able.” What can one say? Poor ole God! In His infinite wisdom He asks us to do what we cannot do even with His divine help. Doubtless, all of His people would do well to remember more of the inspired Word, such as “Ye are bought with a price; therefore, Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Here then is the meaning and challenge of true Christianity. It is sad that in too many churches the main motivation is social instead of spiritual, and the whine may be oft heard: “There is nothing to do at our church!” If that indeed be so, may I introduce you to biblical Christianity? God has a mental, and spiritual, challenge especially for you!
Just Look – We Won’t Say A Word
I saw a sermon in an ad one day. Over the picture of a new model automobile were these words: “Just look – we won’t say a word!” Thinking of my efforts to get people to believe in God, I was reminded that my only task is to get people to look at Him. Although science proves God on every hand, you nowhere trying to prove God to one who will not look at Him, just as the beauty of a rose is lost to one who has his head to the ground, and as food is of no avail to one who will not eat. My task as a soul-winner is not to argue religion or try to prove God by logic but to introduce the sinner to God. I will let God speak for Himself! Read His Word, His precious promises.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8
Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God
The odds of life existing on another planet grow ever longer. Intelligent design, anyone?
By ERIC METAXAS
Dec. 25, 2014 4:56 p.m.
In 1966 Time magazine ran a cover story asking: Is God Dead? Many have accepted the cultural narrative that he’s obsolete—that as science progresses, there is less need for a “God” to explain the universe. Yet it turns out that the rumors of God’s death were premature. More amazing is that the relatively recent case for his existence comes from a surprising place—science itself.
Here’s the story: The same year Time featured the now-famous headline, the astronomer Carl Sagan announced that there were two important criteria for a planet to support life: The right kind of star, and a planet the right distance from that star. Given the roughly octillion—1 followed by 27 zeros—planets in the universe, there should have been about septillion—1 followed by 24 zeros—planets capable of supporting life.
With such spectacular odds, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a large, expensive collection of private and publicly funded projects launched in the 1960s, was sure to turn up something soon. Scientists listened with a vast radio telescopic network for signals that resembled coded intelligence and were not merely random. But as years passed, the silence from the rest of the universe was deafening. Congress defunded SETI in 1993, but the search continues with private funds. As of 2014, researchers have discovered precisely bubkis—0 followed by nothing.
What happened? As our knowledge of the universe increased, it became clear that there were far more factors necessary for life than Sagan supposed. His two parameters grew to 10 and then 20 and then 50, and so the number of potentially life-supporting planets decreased accordingly. The number dropped to a few thousand planets and kept on plummeting.
Even SETI proponents acknowledged the problem. Peter Schenkel wrote in a 2006 piece for Skeptical Inquirer magazine: “In light of new findings and insights, it seems appropriate to put excessive euphoria to rest . . . . We should quietly admit that the early estimates . . . may no longer be tenable.”
As factors continued to be discovered, the number of possible planets hit zero, and kept going. In other words, the odds turned against any planet in the universe supporting life, including this one. Probability said that even we shouldn’t be here.
Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life—every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.
Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?
There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces—gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces—were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction—by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000—then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.
Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology . . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator . . . gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something—or Someone—beyond itself.
Mr. Metaxas is the author, most recently, of “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life” ( Dutton Adult, 2014).
An earlier version understated the number of zeroes in an octillion and a septillion.
William Andrew Dillard
AND MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL
Genesis has been described as the baby book of mankind. Certainly it is true to its name which means “beginning.” The book is of immense value, attracting the keen attention of all who would learn of their origin, and the beginning of so many things affecting modern life.
Relating the creation story, Holy Writ profoundly states “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7. Researching the ancient language one finds interesting information not readily stated here, but confirmed in other places in God’s Word. Specifically, attention is drawn to the word “life.” In the ancient Hebrew language, it is plural, thus: “man became a soul of lives.” Since the dual number is used in Hebrew for two things that normally go together, but is not used here, the employment of plural indicates at least three. Thus does the bible affirm that man is a spirit, a soul, and a body. I Thess. 5:23.
The body that God created from the same elements as the earth was a lifeless form until He breathed into it the breath of lives. The result is man became a soul of lives. Soul is the working expression of an intellect and spirit appropriately housed in a physical body to which they give life.
For those with hearing ears, this provides great understanding of the species as it relates both to sin and to salvation. Sin stained all three aspects of mankind. Just so, all three must be saved to realize the fullness of salvation. However in the wisdom and purposes of God, no one receives salvation in totality at one time. Instead, in the new birth, the spirit of a repentant person is both saved and sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, Eph. 4:30. In obedient discipleship, the mind is saved by being renewed to a high state of spiritual maturity, Rom. 12: 2. Under the operating laws of our present cosmos: that of sin and death, there is no hope for the body. It MUST die! However in the rapture or resurrection the body will be saved in immortal newness. It is then that men will know the fullness of salvation, and more precisely what Adam and Eve lost in paradise in choosing to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the Tree of Life.
It is of immense importance that every offspring of Adam should know this information, especially those of the household of faith. It is of eternal consequence what is done with the application of this information regarding the soul of lives that each one is.