Sunday, October 21, 2012

It is better by Adrian Rogers

"It is Better..... Adrian Rogers

"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error
It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals,
    than falsehood that comforts and then kills
It is better to be hated for telling truth 
    than to be wrong with a multitude.
It is better to ultimately succeed with truth 
    than to temporarily succeed with a lie."

                                                                                             A partial quote.  

Further on God's purpose in our lives

In this remembering all the ways the LORD has wooed my heart and moreover, protected my life I've also thought of the ways I have chosen my  own will and desires at the expense of His glory and truth.

I can not say for me I ever accidently sinned, or didn't know what I was doing when I sinned.  I cannot use the reason for my sin that I was sinned against and lead into a course of actions as a result of being abused.

I had active teaching on what is righteous and holy before the LORD and made choices contrary to that grounding I had been given.

As I began a period of repentance in my earlier walk with the LORD, I remained trapped by my guilt.  A  man, Dr. Reyneke ministered one night on this very subject and that teaching has been a blessing to me again and again.

Dr. Reyneke taught that we struggle to forgive ourselves for the sins we commit because we believed we were too good to do those sins.  In this,  we place our own goodness above God's power to cleanse and forgive.  

We act on an incorrect self perception that we hold the power to become good in ourselves and so we then begin to try and prove to God we are good enough. The result being that we feel we cannot go to God until we've proven to him we have really repented and are worthy of his forgiveness.  Trying to do enough 'good' to wipe out our sin.  It's a form of saying to the LORD,   "Your death on the cross wasn't good enough to cleanse me.  I need to do something more to be freed from my sin."  I believe this is a terrible  trap of the devil.  

When I realized my guilt trips after asking God's forgiveness was diminishing God's gift of cleansing and forgiveness I was freed from the task of trying to clean up my life enough for his forgiveness to be given.

Yes, repentance for my sin is needful when I call upon the LORD to forgive me.  But, if I had not repented I would not have sought his forgiveness in the first place. Then I need to thank him for his forgiveness and seek him and his ways and rest in his gift of forgivness.  There is  no value in trying to  'be good enough to earn a hearing of him'.

Chosen by God

I've been memorizing Ephesians 1:3-23.  I should say, trying.  After years of not memorizing my minds seems less able to retain what I've just been working on. Also, after memorizing in King James version  Bible as a kid, I've struggled to change to the English Standard Version.  However, this slow process has in fact, been for my good.  I've spent hours thinking about being chosen before the foundation of the world and having been predestined to be a 'son' - in my case daughter of the most high God - and all of that because the LORD Jesus Christ CHOSE to take on my sins on the cross, that I may be made a child of the living God of glory.

I have however struggled with God predestining me.  That he chose me, when I cannot imagine why.   

Then a flood of remembering the ways he has made himself known to me, overwhelmed me.  Things I had no control over but was blessed by.

1.  I was born into a family who loves the LORD.
2.  I was actively taught that He died for my sins, and salvation was  
     available for opening the door of my heart to him.  Rev. 3:20.
3.  God sent my parents to Bolivia just after I turned 15.   I, being 
     the last child at home, I was the one who got to go with them.    
     This unexpected turn of events was at a time when, in my   
     personal life,  I was making increasingly  bad choices to find 
     acceptance with my peers - none of them God honoring.
4.  In Bolivia, I was enrolled in a  mission boarding school. There I
     found my peers had a different mindset for what was acceptable
     behavior.  I became aware of how ones peers can be a factor in
     ones choices.  Praise the LORD I was placed in an arena where  
     my peers sought to follow and lived their love for the LORD.
     This was a totally unexpected turn of events in my life.  
5.  I was challenged by the lives of both my teachers and my fellow 
     students to return to the God of my youth.  Their teaching 
     is clearly seen as not returning void.

Now, I know others don't need
all that cosseting of the LORD.  Those who like my husband grew up in an ethically and morally good home but was not churched by his parents is a case in point.  He had some encounters in school with christian teachers and was taken to a Baptist Sunday School for a period of time but he's never spoken of those encounters 
drawing him to the LORD.  
He came to find the LORD, after he entered the work force,  due to a fellow employee in the workplace talking about the LORD and taking him to church with her.  Still, there may have been many ways before that he felt the call of the LORD.  

I believe in all our lives, in all cultures, God sends us definite glimpses of his presence and when hunger is awakened, brings even a more clear word of truth to our lives.   I'm sure every believer with very little thought can pinpoint different nudges from the LORD.

In my own life,  I can vividly remember the LORD touching my heart and life even from as young as 6 years old.  This, the creator of the universe, who created each of us in the womb. The Creator who knew us before ever the first human was created.  What a God.

I have never been the ideal, good and holy child of the LORD.  I've failed, and failed and failed yet again.  So, I am  so grateful that God didn't just choose the beautiful ones, or the 'naturally' good ones, or even the gifted or exceptional ones in his creation, but the ordinary ones like me.

I also can count may points in my life where I was made aware of His direct intervention in my life.  Three times, when I was on a pathway away from the LORD,  I had direct visions from the LORD  showing me where the path I was on was leading.  

I've had a few times where, like C S Lewis I was "Surprised by Joy"  having the curtain briefly raised to glimpse His great glory and experience a special moment of Joy in his presence.

I imagine this is true of many, or maybe all believers.  But for me, I believe the LORD brought these memories together as  I was pondering the scripture I've been memorizing, and wondering why me.  

Why me LORD?  I don't know, but in humility and gratitude I stand in awe of the creator of the universe who knows me and chose me for his own.  

While at Tambo (my boarding school in Bolivia) I do remember one of the teachers teaching on predestination.  I just about fell apart as a teen, questioning 'was I a chosen one'.  I wondered, was I trying to horn in on a salvation  not offered to me.  I finally sent a letter to my Dad. The wonderful man and father that he was, he took off from his work and made a 7 hour bus trip over 2 mountain ranges, to come to school just to talk to me. My dad reassured me at that time that I was chosen by the LORD.  But even so, the question this time was not if but why.

Forty years later I still stand in awe of being chosen, and predestined to salvation by the LORD of glory.

I know there is a lot of teaching on predestination.  Others have also asked, how can I be sure I was predestined, same as I did.  All I know is your heart would not seek the LORD if  he were not calling you.

I know many theologians will 
disagree with me in this but my personal belief is that God died for ALL mankind. He desires to save ALL mankind.  He makes his gift of redemption known to ALL mankind.  Then he makes himself known and  available and leaves the choice to us to open the door and invite him into our heart and life.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Prayer and the Presence of God

A statement in a book I just finished reading really set up  some serious thought for me.  The question asked was to the effect that if I don't seek God's presence  in this life, would I really want to be in heaven?

This question was in regard to the subject of praying, as a body,  for  a true God driven revival in a church.

 This question stopped me in my tracks.  

I pray, and often but confess there is more of a "well, I hope God will do this, or answer my prayers" than a  LORD God Almighty, I love you and want to talk this over with you and /or share my heart with you and hear your thoughts on this issue.

The next thought was,  "why do I want to go to heaven.  Is is because of my deep love for my Savior, and desire to be personally in his presence?  Is that what I hope for in eternity?

I have the vocabulary,  and I have the belief but what is in my heart.  What I saw dismayed me.

I saw my desire for heaven was all about ME.  I saw it was a desire to be free of :






Yes,  I am looking forward to singing praise to the LORD with all the inhabitants of heaven. But there is the aspect of me being filled through and through with music that feeds even that desire.

So often, even when I "count the beads" of why I love the LORD, it is all about what he had done for ME, my blessings.  

Oh Lord,  for all that you are and for all that you do I ask you with all of my redeemed spirit - fill me full of a true love for you.  

A love not based on what I get out of the relationship, but a laying prone before you in awe and humility.  A love that is not just words, but love that desires to be filled up and overflowing with what you desire and long for in me.

Teach me LORD God Almighty, to love truly.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Psalm 34  (ESV mostly)

 I will bless the LORD at all times;   his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD;  the humble hear thereof and be glad.
 O magnify the LORD with me,   and let us exalt his name together!
 I sought the LORD, and he heard me   and delivered me from all my fears
.  (KJV)

I changed the words here to King James Version to  match the song I learned in early 1970's when I renewed my faith in the LORD after several years of drifting.  Even as I tried to read these verses my heart just had to sing them, and so it is every time I see these words.  I often wish all the scripture was set to singable music.  It seems sung words stick better in my mind.

Those who look to him are radiant,   and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him   and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps   around those who fear him, and delivers them.   Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!

1. When our focus is on him he clothes us in radiance.  Our faces
     will never reflect shame.
2.  We, troubled financially or spiritually are heard of the LORD
     when we cry out to him.  His promise is to save us out of our
3.  We are encamped with the LORD's angel and delivered out
     of the hand of the enemy  (Encamped means the angel sets up
     his tent in our camp - maybe even sets up his tent, encompassing
     our tent within it - in other words bringing to us deliverance and
4.  Try him (the LORD) out.  You will only find good.

 Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!  Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
 for those who fear him have no lack!  The young lions suffer want and hunger;
 but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

5.  He is our refuge,  In that promise we are blessed. 
6.  In giving the LORD reverence we will have no lack.

Come, O children, listen to me;   I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life   and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil   and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good;   seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous  and his ears toward their cry.

7.  The LORD's instruction for how to reverence (fear) the LORD
     a.  Tongue speaking righteously.
     b.  Lips speaking real truth, not slanted to make you look good.
     c.  Make your choices based on the LORD's standards of
          righteousness , not the world ethics.
     d.  Let peace be your mode of operation.  Seek it with your
          whole being
     e.  The LORD sees us individually, and hears our personal cry.

I see the righteous as we who love and worship him.  He is the one who makes us righteous and draws us to seek him.

The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,   to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears  and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted   and saves the crushed in spirit.

8.  Evil is not missed by the LORD.  Don't count on getting away
     with it.
9.  The LORD hears our cry for help, and delivers us. 
10. He is ever present, near to us, when our hearts are broken.
11. We don't suffer a crushed spirit alone.  He brings healing and
      comfort to the table.

 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,   but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
 He keeps all his bones;   not one of them is broken.
 Affliction will slay the wicked,   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;   none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

12. Yes, we suffer hard times,  but we have the promise of
      deliverance by our LORD
13.  Where there is no relationship with the LORD there is no
       protection from life's afflictions.
14.  As servants of the LORD our lives will be redeemed.
15.  In him, the LORD,  we will find security and safety.

In this day,  in the year of our LORD 2012, these promises of an ever present LORD are as true and as present as they were for David. 

My security does not depend on who is elected as president in America, although I do have a preference, but on who holds our lives, our security in his hands.  His promises are mighty to save.