Saturday, April 21, 2012

In We God Trusts?

Once we’re called, we spend the rest of our lives learning to live God’s way of life, learning to believe that He is, that He indeed exists and learning to believe what He says, His truth. We learn to put our trust in Him and to be obedient to His tenets. “In God We Trust” is a phrase we often hear that describes this kind of relationship. It means that we know Him and trust that if we surrender our will to His that He loves us and has our best interest at heart. This phrase, “In God We Trust” has become so commonplace in our culture though that it is almost cliché and its meaning tarnished and lost its original luster like the coinage upon which it is engraved, but nevertheless for those of us who love Him it still holds true. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe the converse is also true? That God, in His infinite wisdom called us not just to be His people but called us according to His purpose, also to serve Him and His people?

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What if we asked ourselves, can God trust in us? If He asks us to do something, can He trust us to actually do it? If He places us in a situation hoping we will act in a manner that testifies of Him, can He rely on us to actually do it? If God wanted to accomplish something by working through us, could He trust us to follow through?

Have you ever had someone come into your life and maybe you weren’t sure why, but it just seemed like God had to have put them there? Maybe someone who said just the right thing at just the right time to encourage or who brought some knowledge to light that you needed right at that moment in your life?

Did you ever stop to think that maybe there are times when you’re supposed to be that person? That God has chosen to bring you into someone else’s life at just the right moment to reveal some element of God’s truth to them? Maybe God is calling them and they are diligently seeking Him and His truth, but they don’t know what to do next. Would God bring them to you? Can God trust in you to recognize their disquieted spirit and to gently guide them in the truth? (Acts 8:30-31)
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:30-31)
Would it be possible that at the same time God tests our hearts through such encounters? (Jer 17:10) That He purposely brings them in contact with us in hopes that we would care for them in accordance with what He has taught us. Imagine His disappointment when we don’t respond appropriately. But imagine His delight when we do!
I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:10)
We’ve learned that no one comes to Christ except the Father draws him. (John 6:44, 65) But once He draws him, then what? Where does that person go to find the real truth of God’s word? Most likely, not knowing any better, he’ll seek it in one of the conventional churches. Maybe one of the mega churches he’s heard so much about in his area. Surely they are the keepers of God’s sacred truth. Look at how many people go there. It must be the place where God’s wisdom and truth are expounded, right?
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (John 6:44;65)
We know that’s not the case. So where does he go to find the real truth of God, who can he turn to? What about us? Can God bring them to us to enlighten them and lead them further along the true path? Would He? Can God entrust the fragile faith of this spiritual newborn to our care? Or would we be deserving of the millstone about our neck instead? (Mat 18:6)
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mat 18:6)
We might say, if only God does the calling then it’s not up to me to try to get people to understand the truth. If God doesn’t open their eyes, there’s nothing I can do. Is that the thought process? Sometimes I think we’ve hidden our light under a bushel (Luke 11:33) flying the banner of John 6:44 or Matthew 7:6.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
(Luke 11:33)
To me it’s a copout. To say we have no role in promoting our faith is selfishness, laziness or just plain fear. Fear of what people might say or think, clutching the pearl of great price tightly and saying nothing, instead shaking our heads at others’ lack of understanding. Smugly refusing to risk casting our pearls before swine. Does that sound like someone God can trust to give witness for the hope and joy that lies within?
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. (Mat 7:6)
For most, God’s calling is a process, not an instantaneous epiphany on the road to Damascus. Rather than being blinded by the light, it is typically more of a gradual revelation, an opening of the eyes and a slow turning from the darkness toward the light.
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:3-5)
As we continue to seek the truth, our eyes are opened and more and more is revealed to us. Have we forgotten from whence we came (Eph 2:1-3) and our own journey into His marvelous light? How can we expect this person to instantaneously know what it has taken us years to learn? Is that fair? Haven’t we passed judgment on them and decided for them that they obviously haven’t been called or they wouldn’t think the way they do? So who really was judged? We brought judgment on ourselves in that case, didn’t we? (James 4:11)
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.(Eph 2:1-3)  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (James 4:11)
If faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God how does one who is seeking the truth hear it? How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)
So to nurture the faith of this spiritual newborn, he must hear the word of God. But how? And where?
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:8-15)
This is not to imply that we should all be preachers but aren’t we all ambassadors for Christ? (2Cor 5:20) Don’t we all represent Him as we go about our daily activities in the world? We interact with others all the time, don’t we? Do we listen for the desperation in their voices? Do we hear their frustration, even exasperation? Can we detect the defeat and despair in their sighs and in their slumping mannerisms? Or are we so wrapped up in our own concerns that we don’t even take notice?
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (2Cor 5:20)
We’ve been conditioned to avoid conflict, to live and let live as they say. But why are we here then? To get ours and leave everyone else to fend for themselves? Dare we ask Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course not, for we already know the answer, it is a resounding “YES!” We need to ENGAGE with other people. We need to let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16) To reveal to them the Father with gentleness and respect. (Luke 10:22; 1Pet 3:15)
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Mat 5:16)
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.(Luk 10:22)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear (1Pet 3:15)
As the time of the end draws ever nearer, more and more people will be looking for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me. (1Pet 3:15) It’s at these times that people’s routines are broken, interrupted by the cares of this world, that they begin looking for answers. They begin to question their way of life and where they’re going. Did you ever stop to think that maybe meeting such a person was not a chance encounter? Maybe God had a hand in bringing you in contact with this person. That maybe the Spirit of truth that guides into all truth led them to you to speak of the Father and glorify Him? (John 16:13)
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13)
The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few.
Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. (John 4:35-38)
We may not have played a part in initiating his calling but we can enter into the labor thereof. Or maybe it's you who is to plant the seed of God's word in his heart. If God is calling them, they will find the truth one way or another but wouldn’t it be great if we could play a part in turning that person to righteousness bringing them into God's family?
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase." (Dan 12:1-4)
Let’s not bury our talent like unprofitable servants (Mat 25:28-46) and just sit idly by waiting for Christ’s return, but put it to work engaging with others, helping them find the narrow gate that leads to hope and life (Matt 7:14), fulfilling the great commission of Matt 28 to preach and teach the gospel around the world. Let’s prove that God can indeed trust in us to do our part in fulfilling His purpose. That we are not just hearers of the word only, but doers also. (James 1:22)

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Mat 28:18-20)

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Mat 7:14)
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat 25:29-46)
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)

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Who Am I

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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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