“To God Be the Glory”

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29 “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. — Deut 29:29 NLT

Mark Twain once said “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”.  How true!  We are accountable for everything we understand about the Bible and we are accountable to learn and understand everything we can about the Bible.  We are also accountable to teach those truths to our children.  God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.  As Paul directed Timothy, we are to study and work hard so we can present ourselves to God for His approval.

 
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Tim. 2:15 NLT
Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has revealed to us “His mysterious plan regarding Christ” and in 2 Timothy 3, He tells us what that mystery is:

16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:  Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. – 2 Timothy 3:16

 

There are still mysteries to be revealed at a later date, but there is enough revelation available to us now to keep us busy learning, understanding and telling it to the world.  That is what we will be held accountable for and that is our mission. If we do this, God will get the glory and that is our purpose in the world — to give God the glory.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-07-2018

“Let It Be So”

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30 Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” — Mark 4:30-32 NLT

Earlier in this chapter, Jesus had told His disciples that they were permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God.  He also stated that there would be some who would hear and refuse to believe (outsiders) and they would not be able to understand His teachings in the parables that He used (Mark 4:11,12).  So, if the disciples were permitted to understand the Kingdom of God, then so can we understand it.  Jesus told Nicodemus to enter the Kingdom that it was necessary for him to be born again.  So, we become a part of the Kingdom of God when we receive Christ as our Savior.  In doing so, we become eligible for all the benefits of that Kingdom here and now, not just in the future.  As the birds nest in the shade of the mustard tree, so we live under the umbrella of God’s protection now.  Right now, it is a spiritual Kingdom inside of us.  When Jesus comes back, He will establish a Kingdom here on earth that will encompass all of His creation and creatures except those that refuse to hear and believe (Daniel 2:44, Rev.11:15).  We are preparing to live in that Kingdom in our present life and one day that process will be completed when we are changed into immortal beings (1 Cor 15:50-53).  Jesus taught us to pray “may Your will be done on earth even as it is in heaven”.   So, while we are preparing for eternity, we live with the assurance that the hope that we have will one day be fulfilled. And it will be so — His will “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.  That is why we end our prayers with “Amen” which means “let it be so”.   Partially now and completely in the future.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-16-2018

The Mystery is the Victory

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12b Even angels long to look into these things. ​- 1 Peter 1:12b ISV

When the Holy Spirit would come upon the Old Testament prophets, they would prophesy about the coming Messiah, His suffering, His resurrection and the magnificence of His glory.  How their hearts must have longed for the day that He would come, But it was revealed to them, that they would not see it with their eyes. Even the angels longed to look into the mystery of this plan of salvation. But only hints and shadows would be revealed to each prophet, that the complete plan would be kept a mystery until the exact time that God chose to reveal more of it. God had a reason for not revealing the whole mystery any earlier than He did.  If satan had been aware of God’s plan, the crucifixion would never have taken place.

 

7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. — 1 Cor. 2:7, 8 NIV

The revelations that the Holy Spirit was giving them were for our benefit that we might understand the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises. It is also a lesson to us that there is a reason that God sometimes delays the answer to our prayers. We measure time by seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc.  The eternal God has planned eternity and knows exactly when we to give us the things we need.   Just as the Old Testament prophets prophesied and longed for the first appearance of the Messiah, we should be longing for and telling the world that Jesus is coming again. Just as Ezekiel (read Ezekiel 33) and the other prophets were the “watchmen on the wall” to spread the warning, so are we the modern day watchmen.  We are to just keep telling the “Old, Old Story” until Jesus comes back!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-19-2018

Purpose, Plan, Complete

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You, too, must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. – James 5:8 ISV
 
God has a plan and He reveals as much of that plan to us as we need to know to do His will. As Paul pointed out to us:

 

26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. — Colossians 1:26, 27 NIV

For whatever reason, He has chosen to keep the timing of His return a secret from us at this time.  We could get into huge discussions about this, but it would be an ultimate waste of the time God has granted us to be here on this earth.  We need to spend the precious days that we have doing the good works that God has prepared for us to do.  We need to do that without accusing, grumbling or judging others.  We need to spend our time in praise, prayer, worship and leading others to Jesus.  This is the kind of work that will endure the fire when it is tested.  This is the kind of work that will earn us crowns in glory.  The more crowns we earn, the more we will have to cast at the feet of Jesus in honoring Him when we get to heaven.  Our concern is to be sure that we persevere and complete the work that God has planned for each of us. He will be the judge of all that is said and done.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,  “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”  — Hebrews 10:36, 37 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Practice Praise!

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12 saying, “Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God forever and ever! Amen!” – Revelation 7:12 ISV

Rev. 7:9-12 ISV

While John was on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus Christ gave him a vision of things that are happening in heaven and things to come.  This passage is a scene that will happen after the great tribulation.  All of God’s children are now gathered home. The celebration is in full swing and what does John see that is going on in heaven?  Everyone is worshiping and praising God and Jesus!  We will be standing before the Lamb and praising Him with a loud voice.  All the elders and the angels fall on their faces and worship God.  We do not know a lot about heaven, God has chosen to keep most of it a mystery.  But one thing we do know is that we will spend time praising and worshiping Jesus, the Lamb Who was worthy to be slain.  My guess is that the celebration will go on for a few million years before we get involved in whatever else God has prepared for us.  After all, time, as we know it, means nothing in eternity.  So, it is a good idea to practice praising Him every day here and now, so that we can join in with all the tribes and nations in heaven!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-11-2018

“A Message of Wisdom”

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6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.—1 Cor. 2:6-9 (NIV)
God’s plan has never changed. It existed in eternity and before time as we know it. Eternity was, is and always will be. God was, God is and God ever more will be. He knew our finite, human minds would be unable to grasp and understand eternity and endless space. So, He spoke the earth into existence somewhere in space and some time in eternity. By doing so, He divided space and time into small chunks of universes and days. This allowed humans to have something finite that we could grasp and understand. This is wisdom beyond our understanding. Then He created us and breathed life into us. Then we rebelled against God by doubting His love and provisions for us. This was no surprise to Him. He had already made provision to redeem us before we ever fell. The how and the when was a mystery until Jesus came and died for us on the Cross. It was prophesied over and over throughout history but people refused to see and /or believe. Had satan and his demons understood the plan and the time, they would not have crucified Jesus on the Cross. But God was, is and always will be in control. Jesus helped to design the plan of salvation and He finished it at Calvary.
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-28-2018

Privilege Carries Responsibility

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By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. — Ephesians 3:7 NLT

Paul tells us that God’s plan is a mystery and He reveals it as He chooses. God has a timeline that is hidden to all but the Father. Even Jesus said that He did not know when the end would come. Here Paul is referring to the mystery of the plan of salvation. The Old Testament and the prophets pointed forward to a Messiah. This Messiah would come into the world and be rejected by the Jews. Because of their rejection, the door is now open to all people to receive the free gift of salvation. Jews and Gentiles can now be redeemed and share in the inheritance of Jesus Christ. We, along with Paul, have been given the privilege and the responsibility to spread the Good News. How well are we able to explain the plan of salvation, being born again, and living a Holy life? There are people who have attended church services all their lives and don’t understand it. It is a mystery, but it has been revealed to us. We need to exercise our privilege and fulfill our responsibility on a daily basis.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-14-2017