Saturday, June 8, 2013

I Got This!
It is human nature to want to control as much of our lives as we can, to get our affairs situated such that things are in order. We like it when we have things all figured out, decisions made, and solutions are put into place.

Take selecting automobile insurance for example. We may research several different companies and compare all the plans that potentially fit our needs. We weigh the options and choose the plan that best fits our requirements. Once in place we rarely feel the need to check it unless the payment has increased to an unacceptable level or our situation changes. We already got it all figured out. It’s been decided and done. We don’t have to mess with it again. We got it under control.

After that, if someone were to bring up car insurance in a conversation a common response in today’s vernacular might be, “I got this!” This means that I just went through this and I got it all figured out and I know just what you need to do.

This expression, “I got this!” has become quite popular and is generally applied to situations where the person saying it implies that he fully understands the situation and knows exactly what to do about it.

The UrbanDictionary defines it as –

An expression that's short for:

1. I got this covered.
2. I got this handled.
3. I got this under control.
Songs by that title by both Big K.R.I.T and Jennifer Hudson
We like to be the one that’s “got this”; to be the one that’s in the know that has the inside scoop, that’s got it all figured out. Sometimes I wonder if we in the Church haven’t adopted the same attitude when it comes to the Truth of God. It goes something like this -

We came into the Truth at a time when God opened our minds and we suddenly realized that much of what we had thought to be true up to that point had proven to be false and much of what we thought we had figured out about how things work proved to be a lie. Once we have been enlightened and taste the good word of God (Heb 6:4-5) we go about restructuring our lives around this new belief system and God’s way life. When that’s done though and we’ve gotten everything rearranged, we’ve gotten satisfactory answers to our lifelong questions and settled them in our minds, we no longer have to mess with it. Maybe we’ve been in the Church for 20 years or were born into it. But either way, we got it all figured out. It’s done. We got it under control. We got this!

We got the Truth.
We got the Sabbath.
We got the Holy Days.

We got this! What else do we need? (Rev 3:17)

If we’re not careful we can fall into a superficial obedience without substance, a routine of compliance but without depth of conviction. The original zeal we had when we came into the truth has faded. We’ve satisfied all our original questions. We’ve proven to ourselves that God exists and the seventh day is the Sabbath. We got it all figured out. It’s settled. We’re settled. We got this! So now we just need to go to Sabbath services once a week and observe the Holy Days when they come around. All we have to do now is wait for Christ to return. Really? Do we think we're just going to coast into the Kingdom?

Even the very elect

Jesus Christ himself told us that there is a deception coming, a counterfeit that is going to be so believable that if possible even the very elect will be deceived. (Matt 24:24) That phrase has been haunting me for over a year now, “Even the very elect”. Those who have been given the truth will be deceived if they’re not diligent, (2Pet 1:10) if they’re not watching (Mark 13:33-37) if they’re not careful to continually prove all things. (1Thes 5:21)

Every lie carries with it a kernel of truth. Just enough to allow it to slip in under the radar if we’re not paying close enough attention. Don’t think it’s going to identify itself or be easily recognized. It’s not going to be obvious. It’s going to be so subtle (2Cor 11:3) and so near to the truth that if possible even the very elect will believe it!

That means this “other gospel” (2Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6) is going to look and sound so close to the real thing that those who have not the love of the truth, a real zeal, will believe the lie. (2Thes 2:10) Think you can’t be fooled? The Bible says that to those who received not the LOVE of the truth, God will send a strong delusion. We use that word, “love” pretty casually. I love ice cream. That’s not the kind of love it’s talking about. We have to absolutely fervently LOVE the truth to the exclusion of all that is false, such that we cannot tolerate any untruth or even half-truth. To really seek out and love the truth the way we did when we first came into it (Rev 2:4) and reject all that is even remotely false. We need to know what we believe and know that we know with dead certainty.

Will we be able to recognize the counterfeit when it comes? In order to recognize a counterfeit one must become intimately familiar with the genuine. Let me repeat that. In order to recognize a counterfeit one must become intimately familiar with the genuine.

Are we intimately familiar with the genuine? So intimately familiar that we could tell the difference between the truth of God and a cunningly devised fable (2Pet 1:16) that sounds like the truth? Could we do it without our bibles handy? Have we dug into God’s word so deeply that if someone were to present a carefully crafted half-truth that looks and sounds perfectly legitimate we would be able to tell the difference? Do we have enough oil in our lamps that should our bibles be confiscated we would still be able to tell the difference? (Matt 25:4) If not, I would encourage each of us to get the 12-Lesson Bible StudyCourse and fully ingrain the lessons there. 

The times just ahead are going to be filled with destruction, lawlessness, deception and lies as society breaks down and nations fall. It will be so terrible that Jesus questioned when he returns will he find faith on the earth. (Luke 18:8) It will be a time unlike any other (Matt 24:21) when God removes his hedge of protection and pours out delusion on the masses. (2Thes 2:11) Will we be able to stand fast and hold to the truth amidst the devastation and panic all around us? (Psa 91:7) Will we be able to keep the faith? When thousands around us are falling for the counterfeit and running to embrace the one bringing relief and order to the chaos will we be able to resist going along with the crowd? Will we be able to hold fast to the truth then, when we’re the only ones? When we’re persecuted for not submitting will we have the faith to endure?

If the righteous scarcely be saved

Turn to 1 Peter and let’s look at another phrase that has been preying upon my mind this past year.
1Pet 4:17-19  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  (18)  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?  (19)  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
It says even the righteous will scarcely be saved! That doesn’t sound like we can coast our way into the Kingdom to me. We must be diligent to make our calling and election sure. (2Pet 2:10) Are we “the righteous”? What makes us think we’re “the righteous” anyway?

Enemies of the cross of Christ
Php 3:8-21  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  (9)  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:  (10)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  (11)  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  (12)  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus

There is no righteousness of ourselves. It is only by the grace of God through faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Do we know Him? Are we intimately familiar with Him? Did Paul, even Paul, claim, “I got this”?
(13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,  (14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.  (16)  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.  (17)  Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (18)  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  (19)  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)  (20)  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  (21)  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
 Are we minding earthly things above the things of God? Do we seek first the Kingdom or have we placed our bellies and earthly comforts ahead of God’s calling? Are we so focused on our careers and getting our earthly affairs in order during the rest of the week that we don’t have time to study and fully ingrain the truth of God?

Brethren, the glory of God is so great and vast there’s no way we can know it all. (Ecc 3:11; Rom 11:33; 2Pet 1:4) No, we don’t “got this”! We don’t “got this” at all! We need to dig into our bibles every day renewing the inward man day by day (2Cor 4:16) We need to be on our knees every day continually building our relationship with God and Christ (1John 1:3) striving to draw ever nearer in hopes of being accounted worthy in that day and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)

There are only two outcomes –
  1. “Well done good and faithful servant… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord”. (Matt 25:21)
  2. “Depart from me…I never knew you”. (Matt 7:23)

Neglect not the gift that is in you, (1Tim 4:14) but stir up the gift of God. (2Tim 1:6) Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain. (Rev 3:2)

No we don’t “got this”. Jesus Christ has “got this” and we better be about making sure we know Him and have a relationship with Him; that we are intimately familiar with the Genuine and He with us.

12-Lesson Bible Study Course. (Know and know that you know)

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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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