Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Immanuel: God With Us


Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”




Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translates, “GOD WITH US.” Matthew 1:18-23


Miracle of miracles … how can we even comprehend this story to be true? I really can understand how some of my more skeptical friends say … no way. The Bible is just fairy tale, they say ... another spiritualized version of the Santa Claus story; or as one of my best friends for life recently replied to me; “when I die, all that’s left is dirt.” The great thing about Christianity and living in America is that we can strongly disagree and still love and respect each other. Respect and love for the other person has nothing to do with political correctness or pretending that we respect or consider the other person's beliefs as true or of value. We tolerate each other, but on this subject, each of us believes the other to have believed a foolish teaching. I really can understand why we have irreconcilable differences. Our beliefs and loyalties are committed to rulers of opposing views. One true, one a lie. Good versus evil. Both can never be true.


Think about it. Meditate on it. A recently engaged virgin woman; from a very religious family; impregnated by the Holy Spirit; the child in her womb is God, the Creator of the universe coming to earth in the form of a man; for what purpose … to die on the cross for the sins of mankind; the prospective husband who had not touched his future bride gets a visit from an angel that tells him, “don’t worry about the fact that your fiancé is pregnant … God is inside of her.” Jesus is born and lives a perfect sinless life, performs many miracles, walks on water, raises the dead, and teaches a gospel of peace, love, forgiveness, and repentance; the Messiah will be killed by His own people, whose prophets clearly foretold His coming, but they did not recognize Him; He freely delivers Himself up to suffer the worst of deaths imaginable; buried under guard for three days only to be resurrected from the dead; victoriously ascends into the clouds; and this Savior now waits at the right hand of the Father interceding for His followers who do not deserve forgiveness … but are forgiven, justified, and redeemed and receive eternal life in heaven because He … Jesus Christ , Immanuel, the Messiah, God with us, the Savior of the world paid the penalty for all of the sins of man … once for all.

Are we all part of God’s plan created before time began? Did this all knowing, all powerful, ever present, Creator God, consider my innermost parts before the beginning of time? Am I important to God? ---------------------- Or am I just an accident … dirt, as my friend from childhood believes and contends?
And are we actually no more important than the bait we would put on a fishing hook, or a leaf blowing in the wind?


Can you see how those unbelievers see all of this as fiction? The source of the problem is clear to me: "Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4


A few days ago, I was in a discussion with a “Christian” friend online who tries to reconclie these opposing beliefs. This is clearly impossible. I asked him the following question: “Hundreds of millions of fossils have been discovered ... but none of them are transitional organism fossils. Fish are fish, birds are birds, cattle are cattle, and T-Rexes are T-Rexes ... in the fossil record. There are no fossils that reflect the gradual change from one animal kind into another." Darwinian evolution is a big lie being taught to our children and grandchildren; and any scientists who question this forced system are singled out, and their career is destroyed. Doesn't this injustice bother you? I asked. He responded with drawings of supposed transitional animals. When I rejected this fantasy as obvious drawings of science fiction … he sent me a series of pictures of human skulls. Obviously they were clearly not transitional fossils and there was no evidence of any linkage other than that they all appeared to be human. I responded with the following: “This shows me nothing --- slug to man is a fantasy. For you to contend otherwise is heretical. Birds are not men ... there is no connection ... period.” He responded; “So you believe all of the fossil remains of early man are fake? “I replied: “nope ... I just don't believe that what they have tried to do with them ... to make them fit into their false theory; but in any event they do not and cannot take you or me; or any other animate thing, for that matter ... from a slug to anything else. I'm surprised you would ask me such a silly question. Creating a hypothesis and then arranging things to try to fit these preconceived notions is not science. It is atheistic wishful thinking.” It is also a violation of true science, and legitimate scientists call this unscientific practice: "circular reasoning." He ended with; “Okie, Dokie” … in other words: “you are foolish, Bob.”

Of course my position is that I have accepted Jesus Christ and all of the other Truths of the Bible by faith ... it is not necessary for me to be able to explain all of that which is beyond anyone's human comprehension ... I am not God.

My final questions to him which he did not answer were: “who do you say Jesus Is? Are Jesus and the Creator one and the same? Or do you think there was no creator? Apparently his answer would be: No Creator ... but I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Do you see the disconnect and contradiction? The next question for him would be: how then can you (a Christian) accept these false teachings of men that are contrary to the Truth of God which is your basis for salvation?

“So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”

Jesus said; “truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” … and the Jewish leaders tried to stone Him and plotted his death from that point on. Why was what Jesus said so inflammatory to the Jews? Because, in their culture, this was the same as saying; “I am God.” Actually, God called himself “I Am” when He said to Moses; “tell Pharaoh … "I Am" sent you.”

I doubt this Christian will even bother to answer my questions. Similar to the scientists who are rejected because they question Darwinism; he has disregarded me. It is so much easier for unbelievers to write people like me off as foolish. Isn't that also what they did to Noah when he began building the ark? The obvious problem is that if someone does not believe in a creator, then the entire Bible is nothing more than just another fairy tale. Think about it … is it harder to believe God created the universe, the world, and man, and everything in it, as well as the story of Jesus Christ outlined above; or is it harder to believe that man evolved from a mistake in the mud and then trillions of more mistakes happened with the end result: being a slug, and that after a trillion more mistakes it became a crawling or flying creature, and that after a trillion more mistakes it became an ape, and that after a trillion more transitions it became a man?

In a recent post, I mentioned where Bill Maher called Christians ignorant and hypocritical while using the story of Noah and the Ark as evidence. Maher’s logic was that people who believed the Noah story are either ignorant; or that those who say that they are Christians, and that God’s Word is truth, and then disregard the hard to believe Biblical stories ... such as Noah and creation are hypocritical. Maher, an atheist is clearly right. If we say that we do not believe in creation or the story of Noah … then how can we say we believe the (equally hard to believe)story of the virgin birth above, or more specifically … the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ?

Immanuel means: “God with us” … Jesus is not just another Jewish prophet or good teacher here. It is hypocritical to say we trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but at the same time accept only those parts of His Truth that make sense from a human perspective. Either God the Creator is Jesus Christ, and either this verse is true, or it is a lie: “and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. We cannot have it both ways. Either the Savior is the Creator of the universe, or He is not. Either His Truth is absolute Truth, or it is not. Either His Word became flesh and dwelt among us, or it did not.

I am a Biblical fundamentalist in the original sense, and I am proud of it. I believe in the fundamental Truths of the Bible. All of God’s Word is Truth. Everything else is false when it conflicts with this Truth. It doesn't matter what the universities or the scientists say ... when they are contrary to God's truth, it is just so much more babble. To believe in God's Truth is to believe in Jesus Christ … To not believe in this Truth is to not believe in Jesus Christ.

If you are a Christian and you have chosen to believe otherwise ... to follow the teachings of men rather than God the Creator, I challenge you this Christmas to reconsider. Jesus has much more for you to learn but you cannot humble the Creator and Savior of the world to the teachings of men.
He is your God ... it cannot be the other way around.

To my atheist friend from childhood, as well as my online Christian friends with conflicted beliefs, my prayer for you is that God the Creator, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will make the Truth clear to each of you. Whether it is the teachings of men or the teachings of God, the belief you receive is always, in the end, accepted by faith. It is not about evidence. This is a faith decision. Place your faith in Jesus Christ totally and completely, this Christmas and always ... and then peace, joy, and blessings beyond comprehension will be yours always throughout eternity.

PEACE AND JOY TO YOU ALL.

God Bless you my friends, Bob

Miracles Upon Miracles 2

And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, how long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God. John 10:23-33



DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES ...


A true miracle is an event in the external world brought about by a simple act of God, without the ability to be understood by the human senses. Miracles validate the divine commission of a religious teacher and the truth of his message. God ordinarily effects his purpose through the agency of second causes; but he has the power to change the fixed order, and thus of working miracles. As a result we have miracles, through God's hand intervening to control or reverse nature's ordinary movements. Miracles are above nature and beyond man's understanding. Miracles show God's power that is not limited by the laws either of matter or of mind. This power transcends the fixed laws which govern their movements, a supernatural power.


Now, wait a minute … do you really believe in miracles?

Would you bet your life on miracles?



This past week, a Christian friend of mine made an interesting point. We were discussing the presidential race and he pointed out that for many people in the world, the beliefs of Christians are just as hard to believe as those of Mormons. He was trying to explain why he did not have a problem voting for Romney, a Mormon.

My other friend, who was listening replied; “if you knew what Mormons actually believe, you would not make that statement.”
Well on this one, I would have to agree with both of them. I respect Romney as a person and think that he would be a far better president than Obama; but as my second friend contends many teachings of the Mormon religion are totally contrary to my Christian beliefs. In a perfect world, I would obviously rather have a born again conservative Christian president; but anyone of proven character is more desirable than a person who appears to be: sort of, pretending, to be a Christian.

So why as my first friend contends is Biblical Christianity so hard to for unbelievers to believe?

Well that is the topic of this post: Miracles Upon Miracles.

The first miracle is: Jesus the Savior, Messiah, and Teacher is actually presenting Himself as God the Creator.

Next, He presents His thousands of miracles as conclusive evidence.
The religious leaders called this blasphemy and sought to stone Jesus ...

what do you say?


As we all know, understanding miracles is beyond our human comprehension. As Jesus pointed out to the Jewish religious leaders; His miracles are the difference between Him and all of the others. The miracles of Christ noted here are in reality, only a small portion of the thousands of miracles He performed in His short walk on earth.

Surely, Jesus has performed many, many, more miracles than these ... every day ... from the first day of creation.


The religious leaders were testing Jesus; “tell us plainly who you are, they said” They were looking for the answer that Jesus eventually gave … so that they could attack Him for blasphemy. I and my Father are one, (He said) ... then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.”

Jesus continually repeated this Truth which ultimately resulted in His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins.


But Jesus also referred to much more here as well. “The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me” The works that Jesus speaks of are the Miracles upon Miracles I want to touch upon today. You see … Jesus makes it clear to the Pharisees that they believed not in His miracles, because they were not His sheep. “Jesus answered them, I told you, but you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish,” John 10:25-27


When we say we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior; that means we either believe in His miracles … or we are not His sheep.

Do you really believe in miracles?

Well that naturally leads us to the question: what miracles?
The answer to that is simple:

... all of them.


Simply click on the highlighted verses to have your faith increased as you review the miracles of our savior, witnessed by thousands who as a result, were compelled to believe. Do not allow for yourself to continue to be blinded as the Pharisees were blinded … by principalities, by powers, by the rulers of the darkness of this world, and by spiritual wickedness in high places.

These miracles are living proof of the one and only Savior of mankind.

The conception of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost - Luke 1:35
Star of Bethlehem - Matthew 2:1-9
Water made wine - John 2:1-11
Demoniac cured in synagogue at Capernaum - Mark 1:23; Luke 4:33
Cure of nobleman's son, Capernaum - John 4:46-54
Impotent man at Bethsaida cured - John 5:1-9
Cure of two blind men - Matt 9:27-31
Piece of money in the fish's mouth - Matt 17:24-27
The deaf and dumb man - Mark 7:31-37
The blind man of Bethsaida - Mark 8:22-26
Jesus passes unseen through the crowd - Luke 4:28-30
The miraculous draught of fishes - Luke 5:4-11
The raising of the widow's son at Nain - Luke 7:11-18
The woman with the spirit of infirmity - Luke 13:11-17
The man with the dropsy - Luke 14:1-6
The ten lepers - Luke 17:11-19
The healing of Malchus - Luke 22:50-51
Man born blind cured - John 9:1-7
Lazarus raised from the dead - John 11:38-44
Draught of fishes - John 21:1-14
Syrophoenician woman's daughter cured - Matt 15:28; Mark 7:24
Four thousand fed - Matt 15:32; Mark 8:1
Fig tree blasted - Matt 21:18; Mark 11:12
Centurion's servant healed - Matt 8:5; Luke 7:1
Blind and dumb demoniac cured - Matt 12:22; Luke 11:14
Peter's wife's mother cured - Matt 8:14; Mark 1:30; Luke 4:38
The tempest stilled - Matt 8:23; Mark 4:37; Luke 8:22
Demoniacs of Gadara cured - Matt 8:28; Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26
Swine rush into and drown - Mark 5:1-20
Leper healed - Matt 8:2; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12
Jairus's daughter raised - Matt 9:23; Mark 5:23; Luke 8:41
Woman's issue of blood cured - Matt 9:20; Mark 5:25; Luke 8:43
Man sick of the palsy cured - Matt 9:2; Mark 2:3; Luke 5:18
Man's withered hand cured - Matt 12:10; Mark 3:1; Luke 6:6
A lunatic child cured - Matt 17:14; Mark 9:14; Luke 9:37
Two blind men cured - Matt 20:29; Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35
Jesus walks on the sea - Matt 14:25; Mark 6:48; John 6:15
Jesus feeds 5,000 “in a desert place” - Matt 14:15; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10; John 6:1-14
The transfiguration - Matt 17:1-8)
The resurrection - John 21:1-14
Inspiration of Scripture by God - 2 Tim. 3:16
Many fulfilled prophecies - Micah 5:2; Hag. 2:6-9; Isa. 7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1, 2; 53; 60:10, 13; Ps. 16:11; 68:18; Matt. 10:23-24; 11:23; 19:28; 21:43, 44; 24; 25:31-46; 26:17-35, 46, 64; Mark 9:1; 10:30; 13; 11:1-6, 14; 14:12-31, 42, 62; 16:17


Do you really believe in the miracles of Jesus Christ?

I believe in all of them!

I believe in His creation of the universe and all things that this creation entails.

Next we will look into the miracle of His plans for the nation of Israel, and the rest of us as well. But make no mistake; God’s plan is first about His chosen people of Israel.


And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be you perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you. And I will give to you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. Genesis 17:1-8

God bless you my friends, Bob

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Miracles Upon Miracles


In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him;
and without him was not any thing made that was made.

And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelled among us,
and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14


DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES ...




Now, wait a minute … do you really believe in miracles?

Would you bet your life on miracles?

My atheist friend who I greatly respect says no. “I don’t believe in miracles”

Oh, really; I ask; what about evolution?
Well yeah, I believe in evolution, he said, but that is proven science.
You mean like the science of man-made global warming has also been proven; I asked? “Well, yes.”

Well then, now explain this, I asked?

What are the odds for evolution to be true? I don’t know he said. Well, let me explain something; I replied.


Borel's law of probability states that if the odds of an event happening are worse than 1 in 10 to the 50th power, then that event will NEVER HAPPEN.

Dr. Harold Morowitz, former professor of biophysics at Yale University, estimated that the probability of the chance formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 out of 10/340,000,000. One out of ten to the 340 millionth power is unimaginable odds. This large figure is a "1" followed by 340,000,000 zeroes. As you can see, Morowitz' odds against even the simplest life evolving were infinitely more than 1 out of 10/50, making evolution beyond impossible.

The very popular evolutionist, Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University, figured even steeper odds against the simplest life beginning naturally on a planet such as earth. According to Sagan, the probability would be about 1 out of 10/2,000,000,000. Try to imagine ten to the 2 billionth power. Pretty astounding odds, don’t you think? Interestingly, these impossible odds against evolution came from one of the most prominent evolutionists of our time.

And Nobel Prize winning biologist, George Wald of Harvard University said: “One only has to concede the magnitude of the task to concede the possibility of the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are—as a result, I believe, of spontaneous generation.” Of course, Dr. Wald also thinks that time solves all problems: “Time is, in fact, the hero of the plot, he says … one only has to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”

The deeper you go with this discussion, the more impossible the idea of evolution becomes and the more complex the explanation. Hopefully these odds are enough to demonstrate my point. Nevertheless, what this all boils down to is a personal choice … each of us make a faith decision, if you will; to believe in what scientists (I have thousands of them) freely admit is “impossible” rather than to believe in creation by an all knowing, all powerful, Creator God.

This is our choice.

Time and chance; or the Creator God … which miracles will you be faithful to?
But in either event; one must believe in miracles upon miracles.

There are two primary reasons why so many scientists who have set out to disprove the claims of the Bible end up becoming born again Christians. First, they come to grips with the impossible odds of evolution, and next when they start considering the miracles in the Bible they come to realize that the “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” as Josh McDowell so convincingly demonstrates in the book by the same name are too compelling to deny. My scientist friend once told me: “I got to the point where there was too much evidence not to believe.

So why do so many not believe in the Creator?

The answer to that question was also explained by the apostle Paul as follows:
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Can this be true? Are many blinded by an evil false god who is supernaturally controlling the minds of perhaps the majority of the human race, and leading those in ways contrary to the Creator God’s purpose and plan for mankind? Well this is also taught by the Bible here:

“Put on the whole armor of God; that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; for we wrestle not against flesh and blood; but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 6:11-12


So what am I getting at here?


Well that is quite simple, in a series of posts that will follow: I will present “miracles upon miracles” so that when considered with an open mind the evidence will contradict false conclusions and help many to understand the Truth.

Those who already know the Truth, will have much new evidence that will help strengthen their faith. I am convinced that there are literally millions of people who have accepted Christ; but at the same time their beliefs and faith have been compromised by the spiritual forces of wickedness in high places that have gained control of many of our churches and our public educational system.

Okay now: who are you?

Have you casually rejected God’s Truth without really considering the evidence that demands a verdict? Are you a born again believer who has accepted the truth, but need to have your faith strengthened? Or are you one who has accepted Christ, but you have chosen to compromise your beliefs; blending the teachings of the world with a portion of God’s Truth, until you have found a comfortable place to rest? Or are you the spiritual man that Paul talks about who has been transformed by the renewing of your mind?

Well, in any event, get ready … because we are about to explore miracle upon miracle. With each lesson, I intend to challenge your faith. We are told to test ourselves. That is what this series of posts is intended to help you do.

Now, let’s start with the first miracle:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1


Some call themselves Christians and yet reject this miracle. In fact, I recently had a Christian tell me she rejects the Old Testament, and that she is a New Testament Christian. Another told me he only follows the love teachings of Jesus and rejects the rest. God is Love, you say. What is wrong with this, you ask? Everything! When someone rejects the Creator, he also rejects the Savior. Jesus said: “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30. Jesus continually brought this fact to the attention of the religious leaders; this is the reason they crucified Him.

So for you, which will it be?

You can’t have it both ways.
You cannot have a Savior who is not also the Creator of all things.

Prove it … you say. Well, I intend to do just that, over a period of time; miracles upon miracles. But I cannot provide absolute proof. I have believed in the Creator Savior Jesus Christ on the basis of faith. I can only provide evidence. Each of us then must make a decision of faith. We all make these decisions of trust every day. My friend who decides to sell his stocks and buy gold has placed his faith in the teachings of a man who wrote a book he just read. And he unconsciously makes a faith decision in someone else's advice.

When we get in a plane or a car, we place our faith in the pilot or the driver, that they will guide us safely to our destination. Many years ago, I flew across Africa on an Ethiopian Air jetliner filled with radical Islamics … piloted by an Islamic flight crew. They required each passenger to identify their luggage before boarding. Would I get on that plane with those same passengers and that flight crew today? No way! Why not? Am I prejudiced? Not in the least. But knowing what I know ... I am not comfortable placing my life in the hands of those with radical Islamic beliefs. I also would not get into a taxi in Tijuana Mexico, either.

You see what I mean, every day we make unconscious decisions to place our trust in others. Those who prepare our food, teach our children, and provide vital services. We have all accepted philosophies and beliefs on faith that we for whatever reason, we have accepted as the truth. Millions worldwide have accepted the teaching of man-made global warming as a world threatening crisis, based upon flawed science; and trillions of dollars and the lives of millions are in the balance as a result. Every day we unconsciously believe in something.

At the very least, whatever you believe; creation or evolution, you are accepting a miracle by faith. This is the choice that we all must make: atheistic evolution science; or Creation by the Creator God. My atheist friend has rejected God; but has he even considered the evidence for creation? No … my friend stands with those who faithfully believe in evolution, and will receive the consequences: “but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:18

But you might say: “Well, I believe in evolution and I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior as well, what do you say to that?”

The question is better asked; “What does Jesus say to that?”

n
Remember Jesus said: “I and my Father are one” Therefore to accept evolution is to reject the Savior Creator. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … and the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

This pretty much says it all: The Word; God the Creator; And Jesus the Savior are all one and the same. And they are all full of grace and truth. To reject God’s Word as truth is to reject the Creator and Savior as well. To reject the Creator is to reject the Savior and the Truth. Therefore one cannot intelligently or otherwise accept Jesus the Savior and reject God’s Word or the Creator.

Do you believe the first miracle? There are many more to come.

God Bless you my friends, Bob

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Forever Paradox


Judge not, that you be not judged.

For with what judgment you judge,
you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete,
it shall be measured to you again.

And why behold you the mote that is in your brother's eye,
but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?
Or how will you say to your brother,

Let me pull out the mote out of your eye;
and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye;
and then shall you see clearly to cast out
the mote out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5




Every day, every hour, every minute ... we all make judgments.

It is in our DNA ... It is how we are wired.

There is no getting away from judging. You made a judgment when you decided to read this post … or Not. And I made a judgment when I decided how to title the post. I considered using a title that was more about judgment, but I judged that many would be more apt to be drawn to a post about paradox here than with a title about judgment.

You see most of us have already settled or judged this issue in our minds and have concluded we are not to judge, but then within minutes we make one judgment after another. In fact some might begin to feel intimidated by where they feel this is headed, make a judgment and move on to read something else. Don’t do that, I promise not to judge you and call you a hypocrite.

Are you understanding, what I am saying here? None of us can totally follow this instruction from Christ. We make decisions or judgments all day long. Somehow our brain shifts onto autopilot and then we are just off to the races, making one judgment after another.

So, what’s the point? Well, my contention is that we must all judge what Jesus meant when He said; “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Did Jesus really mean that we are to stop making judgments; or was He speaking to specific types of judging?

Jesus has given us an Every Day Paradox that we will try to better understand here ... what it means for each of us.


I’ll give you two specific examples. This past week I ran into a friend who used to serve in a weekly ministry at a church that I also served with in the past. We sat down over a cup of coffee. In the course of our conversation, I asked; “why did you change churches?” His response caught me off guard. “I had a meeting with a pastor, who had been reviewing my giving record, and he told me that I am a hypocrite, and that I'm not qualified to serve there.

Now I don’t want to judge my friend or the pastor, since my understanding is out of context. But what if I told you that my friend had one of the most faithful and thankless ongoing ministries in the church kitchen, and that my friend is an epileptic with minimum wage income? Your mind can hardly keep from jumping to a quick judgment ... can it?

Later the same day, I went to a church meeting where a local Presbyterian church was discussing the dilemma that their church body is faced with as a result of a decision made by the Presbyterian Church USA to change church bylaws instructing them to ordain homosexuals and others who are active sexually outside of a man/woman marriage. This church body and their leadership will eventually be forced to judge their organizational leadership’s decisions. Will they follow the clear doctrine of the Bible or will they follow the shifting whims of a society at large that chooses to disregard God’s Word?


Now, if you think like I do; the judgments on both of these examples are quite clear. There is not much need for discussion. Why is it clear? Well, I just know, you say? That answer my friend is not good enough. This is what any good legalist would also say, and the legalist Pharisees were the ones Jesus was talking to in text above. Jesus does not want us to judge like they judged.


Well, you ask; “what are we to do?”

Now I beseech you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds ;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5


These two verses clearly explain Paul’s understanding and instruction. Speak the same thing; no divisions; perfectly joined together; in the same mind; in the same judgment. Oops … there’s that word again, Paul is leading us to make judgment. And then he says: casting down imaginations; bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

How can we do this you ask? Through prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit and with the Truth of God’s Word (our prinary weapon: the sword of the spirit, the Word of God) we can know God’s will in all things. Only when we are perfectly joined together in the same mind, following the leading of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word will there be no divisions and we can then make judgments that will be pleasing to Him. This comes when believers humble themselves to God's Word.

Some would say, god gave me a mind to think, and I intend to use it; but His word says: to cast down imaginations and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. That's not hardly an instruction to follow your logic, feelings, experiences, and the teachings of the world ... is it?


That is heavy; many will say: I didn’t buy in for mind control. And some actually did grumble when Christ presented them with things that were difficult for them to accept and what did He tell them?

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said; this is a hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said to them, does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, therefore said I to you, that no man can come to me, except it were given to him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. John 6:60-66

The bottom line is that His teachings were not optional, they either followed or they walked no more with Him.


But there was one Pharisee whose judgment Jesus honored.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said to him, truly, truly, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:1-3


Nicodemus made a judgment that was contrary to all of the other Pharisees. He judged that Jesus was a teacher from God and that God was with Him. This was the exact opposite of the judgments directed at Jesus by the other Pharisees. And how did Jesus reply to Him? He simply gave Nicodemus more Holy Truth from above. Nicodemus, you must be born again.

You see, the problem that the Pharisees had was that they were basing their judgments on their own understanding and worldly wisdom. They were following the leading of their flesh and their pride. These wisdom of the world, pride and lust were the gods of their judgments. And these worldly forces ultimately lead to wrong judgments and decisions. Sometimes they might stumble across an obvious truth and piously stand there; but most often their guidance leads down wrong paths to destruction.

Jesus then went on to explain more about God’s plan for reconciliation and eternal life. He then gave Nicodemus God’s "either/or" choice: “He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

Jesus was giving Nicodemus instructions in how to take the log out of his eye. Nicodemus followed the instructions, and the rest is history.

There is much more to be said about judging others in future posts. I suggest you read and meditate on all of Matthew 7:1-28


But the first thing you must do is get right with Jesus Christ and His Truth. We must all test ourselves to determine where we stand with Christ. Are you a born again believer or are you a religious person like Nicodemus trying to live the life of a good person? Are you Born Again or are you a reprobate living a pretend type of Christianity?



Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates? … For we can do nothing against the truth; but for the truth. 2 Corinthians 13:5-8


Are you committed to stand up for the Jesus Christ and the Truth of God?


This is the Truth:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14


The Presbyterian Church USA would not be struggling over this idiotic idea of ordaining reprobate clergy if they had not made a decision in the past century to follow the teachings of men over the teachings of God. This is all about the inerrancy of Scripture. There are many people who love Christ, but who have compromised His Word. Now is the time for all to stand on the inerrant Truth of God’s Word.

To disregard God’s Word is to disregard Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior of all.

God bless you my friends, Bob

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

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video

DO YOU NEED A NEW ATTITUDE? WATCH THIS!
PRAY FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS ...
WITH AN ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING


Continue in prayer,
and watch in the same
with Thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2



Paul tells us to devote ourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.

How are we to have an alert mind and to be watchful in our prayers?
… And why is it important for us to have a thankful heart?

I have taught on this verse previously but when we seem stuck in such uncertain and seemingly hopeless times ...

it is important for us all to re-adjust our focus …

especially on Thanksgiving Day.



Let’s take this verse one point at a time …


Continue in prayer.

For me, an example that best demonstrates the effectiveness of this Truth is made clear in Daniel. He had been in Babylonian captivity for nearly 70 years and continued to pray three times daily for God's guidance and the deliverance of Israel. At one point, Daniel had been praying for three full weeks continually and when an angel came to answer his prayers, and the messenger explained the following to Daniel:
“Then said he to me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I am come for your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, see, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make you understand what shall befall your people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. Daniel 10:12-14

The Truth revealed here is amazing. Daniel was first told: to fear not. Then it is made clear that his prayer was heard, from the very first day that he set his heart to understand … his prayers were heard. But the angel was held up in some sort of supernatural battle with the leader of the spiritual forces of evil. God sent reinforcements but it took twenty one days for him to get to Daniel with God’s answer. The angel then explained the answers to Daniel's prayers and much much more about God's plan for Israel, and all of mankind from that day forward through the final days.

We need to always keep in mind that God hears us immediately, and when our heart is right, and our prayers are worthy, He will answer us, just as He answered Daniel. When we start praying with the same devotion that Daniel offered to God … He will always answer our prayers.


Well, I’m not Daniel, you say? That is so true and you and I although knee deep in our life controlling problems are not under the captivity of Babylonian barbarians who will feed you to the lions for eating the wrong food; for a wrong answer to a question; or for praying to your God in a way they do not like.


Jesus has promised us all the Spirit of Truth: “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:13.

Just imagine how encouraged Daniel would have been if he had received this same promise. The Holy Spirit indwelling us to guide us is far more than we understand that was available to Daniel. I am convinced that Daniel was guided by the Holy Spirit, but I know born again believers have the Holy Spirit. We all have the Holy Spirit and God’s Word available to us seven days a week twenty four hours a day. To Continue in Prayer is our right and our privilege and our calling.

Why don’t we Continue in Prayer like Daniel did? We are without excuse.


The next key words are: “and watch in the same with thanksgiving”


How are we to be alert and watchful and have a thankful heart in our continuous prayers? I am convinced that God hears all of our prayers immediately. But I am also convinced that it is God’s will for us to understand him on a deeper Spiritual level.

Do you know anyone who prays like this: “Dear God, please help me” … at the same time in their mind they are thinking: “but I know you won’t.”

For this person, here is the problem: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8


A foundational key to prayer is that the person praying believes in the object of the prayer: Jesus, our Lord and Savior and Creator; the only true God almighty. A prayer to any other is wasted upon prayer to a false god.



When we are watchful we will be practicing the very things that will increase our faith. But instead, we just pray. Is that being watchful?

What am I saying here? Think about it.
Thinking about it is being watchful.
Looking into God's Word for answers is being watchful.
Listening and waiting for the guidance of the Holy Spirit is being watchful.
Anticipating an answer from the Creator is being watchful.

WE MUST BE WATCHFUL, IF NOT ... WHEN GOD'S ANSWER COMES, WE WILL NOT HEAR HIM.

Do you have a problem making a list of all of the things you would like for God to change or resolve in your life? That's easy; right? Any prayers you would like to have answered today? Now that takes only a very little amount of thought, don't you agree?



But now, make a list of all of the things you have to be thankful for. We really need to think about that, because often we have not acknowledged that these things are a blessing from God. Well, I need to meditate on this one, you say; things are not going very well right now.

There ... do you get it?

When we count our blessings and pray them back to God with a thankful heart, we are bringing to mind, His power, His promises, His answers, His provisions, His Word, His Wisdom, His peace, His Joy, His deliverance, His miracles, His sacrifice, His creations, His victories over anything and everything. His omnipotence; his omnipresence; His omniscience; and now when we bring all of these things to mind, what does this do for the depth of our faith in God’s likelihood of answering our prayers for our needs? How much faith do you have now?


Now, let’s look back into Daniel for a moment: “from the first day that you did set your heart to understand” Very interesting … do you see the key words? Daniel set his heart to understand. He was doing exactly what James is advising and the results were overwhelmingly incredible. Daniel was looking deeply into God's Word and he was listening for God's leading and answers.

He was pleading with God for forgiveness and deliverance and victory.
He had proven to the Lord that he would not quit ... he would never give up praying.
Daniel was a faithful prayer.


Daniel was being alert in his prayers with an attitude of thanksgiving. Daniel was looking into the teachings of the prophets for answers and wisdom. Daniel was continuously praying for forgiveness and reconciliation for Israel, day after day. Daniel was humbling himself in the sight of the Lord. Daniel was faithful. Daniel was thankful.

Daniel was Humble. Read what the angel had to say to him:


“For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? For as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be to you, be strong, yes, be strong." Daniel 10:17-19

Daniel was calling this angel lord, because the vision that he was experiencing was so overpowering, but the angel clarified this mistake and then he says something most revealing to Daniel. A messenger from God says to Daniel: “O man greatly beloved” – Can you imagine how these words must have lifted his spirit. Here was a man fasting and praying his heart out for twenty one straight days and a messenger comes to him and says don’t be afraid, you are greatly beloved. Wow, by who is the natural question, but that was not necessary. Daniel knew well the Creator who had sent the messenger.

Pray continually, being watchful and with a thankful heart.
God will answer you faithful prayers.
Happy Thanksgiving and consider your prayers carefully …
Ask the simple question: What do I have to be thankful for?
Now listen … the Holy Spirit will bring much to mind.
Now … give thanks with a grateful heart and then make your needs know to the Lord continuously … being watchful in anticipation of His answers and miracles.

God bless you and keep you my friends, Bob

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Faithful Witness

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

Go you therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you:
and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Matthew 28:18-20

... ye shall be witnesses unto me ... unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8




JESUS' CALLING IS SO VERY CLEAR ...

Our mission and ministry are without question!

Why is it that so many Christians will go through their entire life ...
and never ONCE share the Gospel of Jesus Christ?



In simple terms, witnessing or ministering the gospel means introducing others to Jesus Christ.

Biblically, this is known as evangelism and is the responsibility of all Christians.

It is the work of the Holy Spirit reaching out through believers to win others to repentance ...
from their sin of unbelief and to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.


Witnessing is not something we merely do.
It is something we are to BE: Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:2; Matt 5:14.

Witnessing should never be employed as a mechanism that provokes anger and fuels resistance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
.

Overcoming the fear to witness effectively, starts with examining our motive. The motive to glorify God cannot be easily discouraged or defeated. Actually, most Christians eventually withdraw when it comes to witnessing due to a motive that conflicts with the will of God.


A wise Christian wants to be a witness that produces fruit - Proverbs 11:30. This requires the right means. We must absolutely depend on the Holy Spirit - Luke 24:48-49 - It is He Who does the work. Why is this so essential? The Holy Spirit is able to convict of sin John 16:8-11, and convey the Truth - John 16:13-15, and He alone can regenerate. John 3:5-8, Titus 3:5-7


We must absolutely depend on the authority of the Word of God. From God's Word, we learn what to say, and how to say what needs to be said.
The Christian can learn from obvious examples of evangelism in the Scriptures.


What are the needs for the Christian who wants to witness...

1. A Life surrendered to Christ Luke 9:23.
2. A Spirit-filled life Ephesians 5:18.
3. Bible knowledge 2 Timothy 2:15.
4. A Prayer life; believing prayer.
5. Faith, and Concern for lost souls.



The Bible provides good pointers also:

1. Deal with your own age and gender when possible.
2. Be gentle, wise, clear, polite, uncompromising. Don't argue.
3. Seek and pray for opportunities, and use them.
4. Rely on the Lord; keep silently praying for His guidance.
5. Work with love and perseverance.
6. Lead directly to a definite acceptance of Christ.



Friendship Evangelism is very effective - Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12 -
Be careful to present an appearance and apparel that is not offensive.
Always show love and kindness. Be a conscientious worker.


People will naturally observe... What we are, What we do, and What we say.
Consider Christ's example: John 4:7-30

Be willing and ready to... Contact, Communicate, Relate, and always Be Relevant.

A Most Important Aspect Of Witnessing is Your Message.

What is the message when witnessing? It is dogmatically presenting Christ as the ONLY answer to: Man's Sin, Death, and Eternal Life.
The most important aspect of witnessing is presenting CHRIST AS THE ULTIMATUM, NOT AN ALTERNATIVE.

This is where the political correctness most often being taught in the world today ... goes right out the window.

Have a chronological plan in presenting the Scriptures.
Remember, It is by God's Word only that one can be saved Romans 10:17.


Example:
Romans 3:23 - Man's Need.
Romans 6:23 - Sin's Penalty.
Romans 5:8 - God's Provision.
Romans 10:9-10 - Man's Response.
Romans 10:13 - God's Response.

THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT IS EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT IN GOING TO HEAVEN... THAT'S BRINGING ANOTHER SOUL WITH YOU.
Adapted from Dr. Arthur Belanger; College of the Open Bible; 11/22/2011

*****************************************



Here is the most valuable wisdom
that I can give you, regarding witnessing:

ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS:

If you do not understand God's Word and how to guide others,
the effectiveness of your witness and mission will be greatly diminished.

The Holy Spirit will witness through you.
The power is in the Holy Spirit and God's Word ...

NOT YOU OR YOUR WORDS.


Ask the person to read the verse out loud.
Next, Ask them: "What is the Lord saying to you, through this verse?"

Now ... you ... listen, let them explain to you what God is saying to them.
This is where the power of God becomes real to them.
Let the seeker ... discover the Truth!
Watch and listen and learn as the Holy Spirit turns on the light to this person's heart and mind.
You need to prod ... and clarify
but listen ... always listen ...
as the Lord and Savior speaks back to you through the seeker.

There are no sweeter words to hear
from another than that they understand the Truth.

Now, Encourage ... another verse.
repeat ... listen ... listen ... prod ... clarify

Watch as He the Creator, the Master, and Savior of all things
breaks down the barriers that are standing in the path of eternity
Obstacles that you or I can't even see, let alone overcome ...

The Messiah through the power of the Holy Spirit and His Word
will bring these obstacles all down in an instant.

Listen ... and watch the miraculous Master.


And you will find; that contrary to the teachings of the world ...

... when God is speaking to a person from His Holy Word,
most especially someone humbly seeking to find eternal salvation ...

the Truth is not hard to understand.

In actuality, to the mind that has been opened by the Holy Spirit,
to the eternal Truth ... It quickly becomes apparent,
God's Word is the only thing that makes any sense at all.

God bless you my friends, Bob

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What "It" Is Finished?

Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.



Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him. Matthew 4:1-11



Have you ever felt like you can’t do anything right …

Or like everything you do just seems to go wrong? Well your first response needs to be to follow the leadership of the Lord Jesus. He has absolutely given you the way to victory in His responses to temptation in the scripture above.



Have you ever felt like you just aren’t good enough? Well, guess what ... you’re not good enough. You will never be good enough. But Jesus is perfect and victorious over all things and that is good enough for you.

It is finished.


A primary goal of the enemy of Christ is to rob every believer of their assurance of salvation. He wants to take away your peace and joy. You might have feelings of depression and fear that could overpower you. In any event, we can be sure that he will attack us in the areas of lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

The enemy can cause you to be brought down. The danger is that you become vulnerable to the attacks of the evil one and fall into a pattern of deception that leads to all forms of sin. If you feel yourself coming under these feelings that are not of Christ, what should you immediately do?

Well, once again, that is easy. Follow the leading of the Lord Jesus. Your first response needs to be the sword of the Spirit. Just as Jesus did; quote the specific verses that answer the specific attacks you are experiencing.

You can say or do things that you are ashamed of, and that you deeply regret, but the evil one can never take away from you that which Jesus paid the price for on the cross at Calvary. That is our salvation, our eternal life, and our peace and joy. Stand firm on God’s promises.

We all fall short of who we are in Christ. It is at that moment that we are most vulnerable to attack. The enemy will attack, that is a given. The question is: “How will you respond to the attack?” Will you counter him with your most powerful weapon, the Sword of the Spirit? Or will you fail miserably in defeat? This is your choice.

It is not uncommon for Christians to fall short in their relationship with God. It is because of this, many believers might feel insecure in their assurance of God's love for them. Once again the enemy will plant doubts in an attempt to get you to believe more lies. One lie leads to another and the next thing you know, the evil one is leading you down dark paths. The path where the powers of darkness lead, always turns out to be a lie, and always leads to sin. Our response needs to be quick and vocal. Claim the truth and the promises of God. Pray for God’s forgiveness, and cleansing when you stumble, and follow God’s Word, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Rebuke Evil.

But you say: “I don’t know where I will be attacked; and how will I know which verses are God’s answers to my specific attack?” Please … you do know where you are weak, and where you are most likely to fail, and God’s answers are not hard to find. If you need counsel; contact me directly, and I will help you figure it out. You are without excuse. The victory over any struggle is yours … or not. It’s your choice.

Make a list of the areas where you are weak. List the specific ways in which Satan is most likely to attack you. Now, find specific Truth that answers these attacks. Call out the devil. Tell the enemy out loud on each area of weakness: “you have no power over me, in the name of Christ begone.” Print out the verses, memorize the Truth, and speak them out, over and over, telling the enemy to leave you alone. If you begin to stumble … reject the devil, again and again … say the verses out loud.

The evil one will always flee the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God … and angels will come and minister to you. This is the Certain Victory, the reality of the Matthew 4 text. Jesus gave us this story of His temptation for our training.

The fleeting assurances of the world come and go but the promises of our Lord and Savior are ours to stand upon every moment, and they are eternal. Christ is an everlasting reality. God’s salvation is absolute. We are complete in Him. It is finished. You can know that you have the victory. In Christ, there is absolutely no question of who you are, and where you are going for eternity.

"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said;

It is finished ... John 19:28-30


There is no need for FEAR or doubt. The "it" in: “it is finished” is you ... for eternity. Jesus was finished paying the price for your sins.

You are "It"


The wonderful news for all believers is that Jesus Christ is our assurance.
He is the only certainty that always stands strong against the forces of evil.
Never underestimate the power of the blood of Christ.
It is all the assurance you will ever need to be certain of God's love and care for your life.


The good news is that, even when we do not know what the future holds, we can know the One … Who holds the future.
This is the assurance that breeds confidence.


Every believer in Jesus Christ can have the absolute certainty of their eternal life.
We are justified in Him. He has finished the last chapter of the book of our life for eternity.



No matter what happens here, Jesus Christ has given us assurance that we are His, bought and paid for, with His shed blood at Calvary.
No matter how much we fail, He is working all of our failures together for good, for our victory in Him.



We will never be good enough. But to the contrary, He conquered all things past, present, and future. He is our Hope or we have no hope. He is our Peace and Joy and Rest. In Him we are justified and sanctified; forever and ever. There is no losing for any believer in Jesus Christ. Some may be losers in this world, but with Him, they are always winners for eternity. And on the contrary, the biggest winners in this world will be certain losers eternally, without the free gift of life offered through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary.


Do you know Jesus as your Lord and savior? Confess your sins now and pray for Jesus to save you. Ask Him to give you eternal Life. Dedicate the rest of your life to living for Him and His Truth. He will send you the Spirit of Truth to teach you how to win all of your battles with the forces of evil. Now tell other believers about decision. E-mail me, I want to celebrate with you.



Jesus will give you Peace and Joy that the enemy and the forces of evil can never take away from you.

No matter how you feel, no matter what accusations you may wrestle with from within or from without, Jesus Christ will never condemn those He purchased with His blood. In fact, Jesus Christ makes this perfectly clear when He said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.” John 5:24

The believer trusting the blood shed for them by Jesus on the cross has already passed from death unto life and will not come into condemnation. This is our only needed incentive for holy living and joyful hearts. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.

There is no need for FEAR or doubt. The "it" in: “it is finished” is you ... for eternity. Jesus was finished paying the price for your sins.

You are "It"


Everything Jesus needed to do to make a way for your eternal reconciliation with Him was finished at the cross on Calvary.

Do you need biblical counsel or encouragement?
Email me direct at talavera.bob@gmail.com
God bless you my friends, Bob

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Prayer God Answers


These words spoke Jesus,
and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,

Father, the hour is come;
glorify your Son,
that your Son also may glorify you:

As you have given him power over all flesh,
that he should give eternal life
to as many as you have given him.



And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on the earth:
I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self
with the glory which I had with you before the world was. John 17: 1-5



The Prayer God Answers


Most of the questions we ask concerning life will not be clearly defined in God's Word. For example, there is not a Scripture advising one to marry a certain person on a certain date. However, there are guidelines about marriage and other life events that are perfectly outlined in God's Word. It is up to us to take the time to pray and ask God to reveal them to us.

The Quest For Answers

Prayer not only helps us discover the will of God for our lives, it also deepens our relationship with the Savior. Through prayer, we discover the depths of God's mercy and love for us. It is also where we confess our sin and receive His forgiveness.

Prayer is an opportunity for us to communicate with the Lord of heaven and earth. In prayer, we ask God to do what only He can do. Jesus gave us a pattern to follow in prayer when He prayed what we now know as the Lord's Prayer-recorded in Matthew 6.


Our Father which are in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Some who read these words have never thought about the fact that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives and that plan is one of hope and future opportunity Jeremiah 29:11. Prayer provides the right opportunity for God's promises to be embedded in our hearts and minds. And if we trust the Lord for our future, He will provide the strength we need to face life's challenges victoriously.

Joseph spent years confined to an Egyptian dungeon. While he had done nothing to deserve imprisonment, God knew that Joseph's faith needed to be tested. The fulfillment of God's promises would come, but first he had to walk hand-in-hand with the Lord through faith and prayer. Joseph did not avoid personal surrender. He knew that if he did, he would risk missing God's will and purpose for his life.

Learn To Submit Your Will To God

If God has allowed you to settle in a difficult place - pray. But don't just pray for a way of escape. Instead, pray for the Lord to work His good pleasure into your life. If there is a need for discipline, be willing to receive it so that you will experience the blessings of God.

Trying to manipulate the Lord's will through prayer never works. Instead of solving the problem, this can lead to frustration. Therefore, we need to be willing to trust God and wait for His answer.

He Has A Greater Plan

There will be times when we think we cannot face another trial or another minute of persecution. Jesus understands our weaknesses. The night of His arrest He prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done" Matthew 26:42. Earlier, He had taught His disciples to pray, "Thy will be done," so they would know how to submit their wills to God just as He had submitted His.

God knows the hurts, the disappointments, and the frustrations you are facing, but He longs to hear you pray what Christ prayed in the garden the night of His arrest, "Not my will, Father, but yours." Is this the prayer of your heart?

Can you pray "Lord, it seems that my entire life is turning out differently than what I thought it would? I am frustrated and angry. However, I want to surrender my life to You. Please change the focus of my heart so that it is set on You and not on my selfish desires. Heal the brokenness within my heart and make my deepest prayer to be, 'Not my will, but Your will be done in my life.'"

If you truly want to know the will of God, begin with prayer. If you want to experience a sense of peace and joy that goes beyond anything this world has to offer, take time to pray. Through prayer, you will not only gain wisdom to make the right choice, you will deepen your relationship with the Savior-the greatest gift of all. The Prayer God Answers by Dr. Michael Yousef Leading the Way.org

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"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:16-18

This is your choice my friend: to be saved eternally; or to be condemned ...

Which will it be?

No decision ... means that one is condemned already.

All of those following other beliefs, religions, and philosophies are lost eternally as well.

Those claiming to be good people, and doing good deeds are lost also.

As Jesus said; "but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18


I am reading about the philanthropic plans of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and all of the millions of people that he will help through his incredible humanitarian efforts. This is a most wonderful vision that he has been given; but it all will have no effect eternally, for Mr. Gates, or for anyone else ... without the atoning forgiveness and reconciliation with God, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, all are lost!


Those who are condemned, includes the many religions calling themselves Christian but who choose to follow the teachings of men ...
rather than these clear Words of Jesus Christ.

Those religions that are teaching followers to do good deeds without teaching the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone ...
are actually leading their followers away from eternal life in heaven with Christ.

Am I being judgmental? No, no, no! THIS IS THE JUDGMENT OF GOD ...
AND these are the Words of Jesus Christ, the Creator God.

His words are either the Truth eternally; or they are a lie ... but they can never be both.

Which will it be for you?

Choose to follow Jesus Christ Now.


"As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." John 17:2


These are the Words we all need to read and understand. And then we must pray the prayer below to receive His free gift of eternal life. Jesus paid the price for your sins. Jesus wants all of us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. But you must receive His free gift and follow Him.

You must be Born Again.

Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

There is one prayer that God always answers.
Pray this prayer now and you can be forgiven and have life in heaven with Jesus ... for eternity.

The Sinner's Prayer

"Lord Jesus, I believe and put my trust in you and your Word. I believe you are the Creator who came to earth as a man. I believe you were born of the virgin Mary. And that you died on the cross as the atonement for my sins. I believe in your resurrection after three days, and your victory over death. Please allow me to share this eternal victory with you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me your free gift of eternal life. I pray for you to come into my heart and life, and to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always. Thank you and Praise you Lord Jesus, Amen."

This is the prayer God always answers.
When a person prays this prayer he or she is Born Again.

Jesus promises that when we trust our life to Him that he will send us the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us and teach us His Truth.

"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me: And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning." John 15:26-27


You have now been justified by the blood that was shed, by Him for you; on the cross at Calvary.

You can never lose what Jesus has freely given you.

He loves you so much that He died for you ...

NEVER forget this TRUTH. Never betray what He did for you.

Live for Christ, moment by moment, day by day.

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10

"Out of the darkness into His marvelous light"

When you pray this prayer, this is the most exciting day of your life.
Celebrate, you are now a member of the royal family of the Creator of the universe.
But with that comes a responsibility, Follow Jesus and His Word, not your old ways.


The next step is to tell other Christians about your decision, and to follow Him daily by the power and leading of the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word.

I have written this post specifically for those who have friends or relatives who do not know Jesus Christ as their Lord or Savior ...
and for those who have accepted Christ but have chose to live their life for themselves on a daily basis.

Pass this post on so that it will reach those who do not know Christ; and those who need to follow Him ... moment by moment, day by day.

God Bless you my friends, Bob

email me direct at talavera.bob@gmail.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Secret Places


Where shall I go from your spirit?
or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, you are there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall your hand lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me;
even the night shall be light about me.
Psalms 139:7-11




Today we will discuss a plan for Absolute and Certain Victory
over any and all of the temptations of the world. Read: Psalms 139



For all of us, there is a point of testing. It is when we are in the dark; behind closed doors; in the privacy of our own home; in our private thoughts; watching a movie; reading a book; or on the computer. The temptation could come from a friend, a loved one, a total stranger, or a group we have joined.

Our enemy the devil knows each of us and where we are most likely to fail. He also knows the three areas where we are all most likely to stumble and fall: lust of the flesh; lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Satan will attack with a thought … "you are safe from view here" ... he might bring this thought to mind: "no one will ever know." But he is the father of lies. He knows that the Creator of all things is everywhere and God knows and sees all things. We are never out of the presence of the Lord. Knowing that he is always with us, is our source of strength; and it is also the most compelling fact that we need to bring to mind in order to be able to reject the evil one.

If God is with me, who can stand against me?

If you come under temptation, you only must meditate on these verses and this post and your attacker will flee. Thinking back, there are many times that I wish I would have had this scripture nearby. Print this post and have it ready in order to have victory over temptation … always.


O lord, you have searched me, and known me. What does it mean to say God has searched you and known you? We can only consider the idea of searching from a human perspective. We can only look at a person and see what is on the outside. If we looked at your checkbook for a month, we would learn much more. Testimony from your family, friends, and co-workers might give us a great report, but do they really know you? A look through your notes and your emails will reveal where you have been … but have I really searched you and known you? The fact is that until I know your heart and mind I might think I know you, but I don’t really know you …

Only you and your Creator are always there in The Secret Places.


Think about it, God the creator actually sees you in ways ... that you cannot even see yourself.

He understands the motives of your heart ... motives that you may never have even considered.

He can see you at the molecular or DNA level and He can view it all from beginning to end and simultaneously.
He knows every thought, decision, action, victory, good deed, disappointment and sin from the beginning to the end.

God is the only one who knows you better than you know yourself ...
yes He infinitely knows you better than you know yourself.


He is watching you at this very moment and every moment ... forever.

There is nothing you can ever do to escape from his view.
Knowing this fact ... now sin no longer seems the least bit appealing … does it?



Does this feel like a guilt trip? I hope not. But if so ... so be it.
This is actually the ultimate reality trip ... but us humans quite often don't want reality.


You know my sitting down and my rising up, you understand my thought afar off.
Let’s try and expand on that amazing truth. Sleeping and awakening, walking, talking, resting, working, playing and … thinking. Now that’s the big one: thinking. No one besides maybe our spouse or our closest friends can even guess at what we might be thinking at any moment.

But God KNOWS our thoughts every one of them ... from beginning to end.

As we try to understand the comparison; here's an insight:
our understanding is one dimensional, and God’s understanding is all dimensional, all the time.


When you are talking, he knows your next thought before you think it and then you say it. He knows all of your thoughts: past, present, and future. Even for a molecular scientist, that must be mind boggling.


You compass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Here is an interesting Truth, God compasses our path. In other words, when we are walking by the power of the Holy Spirit, He is considering our path and guiding our thoughts in the righteous direction. He knows we will be tempted along the way, and provides a way of escape. He then provides provisions and a safe place of rest for us. He knows all of our ways, our needs, our challenges, our strengths and our aches and pains. He will always prod us to the highest and best uses of our gifts and talents.

When we walk by the spirit we have an internal guidance system that will direct us supernaturally, always on the best path … if we are only willing to listen and follow.


For there is not a word in my tongue, but, see, O LORD, you know it altogether.
As I write to you now, not a single word have I considered that God has not already filtered through his mind. As I meditate on His truth he will speak to you through the words that are written. In Him, I have no imagination, there is only His Truth. He knows what you will think and how it will apply to you before you even read the words. The word “altogether” is beyond imagination. He has already seen this post in its finality. He reads it along with every person and anticipates their reaction before the beginning.

Sound a little like the twilight zone here? Well, the things of the Spirit are supernatural; what do you expect?


You have beset me behind and before, and laid your hand on me.
The word beset is an interesting one. It basically means God’s got you covered from all directions. Consider yourself to be a soldier in a battle and your comrades are in front, behind and on both sides of you. If you should become afraid and attempt to flee your friends will catch you in any direction, and hold you on the best course to defeat the enemy. His hand and His Word will pull me towards the path of righteousness. In order to make a conscious decision to sin, we must choose to disregard the course God has ordained for us and force another way. The Holy Spirit will bring us under great conviction.

God knows clearly every step we take, every right step and every wrong step. He knows what rule we walk by, what end we walk toward, and what company we walk with. When I walk in darkness, God knows the motivations of my heart.


Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it.
Although we cannot attain it through the wisdom of the world or by the teachings of men; As Christians, God has given us His Word of Truth, and the Holy Spirit to guide us. If only all mankind were to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, all of the problems of the world would end in defeat. Jesus has promise us God will send us a helper: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17


Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10

Since the Holy Spirit abides within us, He is always with us. If you choose to walk in the ways of the evil one the Holy Spirit is there with you. He knows. Even though you might take the most care to be discreet and hide your sin, God knows it all … He was there with you, every second, every moment, every evil thought, every evil word, every evil act … He knows all, He is always there with you. He walks on water, he walks through walls, and the lock on the door is never big enough to keep Him out. He has bought and paid for you at a very high price. He sees you. And in spite of this Truth: that He knows it all from the beginning of time ...

God came down from heaven in the form of a man and willingly allowed for Himself to be crucified for your sins: past, present and future. Don’t do it. Follow the righteous path, and live the victory with Christ.


If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yes, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you. You have covered me in my mother's womb. My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalms 119:11-16

The darkness will never give you cover from God. But He will give you cover against the forces of evil. You cannot hide in the dark from God. Even though it might be pitch black, for God it is the brightest day possible. He sees everything with perfect vision and nothing is hidden. There is no darkness in God’s eternal kingdom.

In your mother’s womb He sees you from the beginning through the end and He knows your every thought … even when your mother can only hope and imagine … He knew your name, the one your parents gave you, even before they knew.


There you have it Gods Words that will give your the courage to stand firm with Him as your defense against evil.

Now, are the temptations of the evil one still troubling you? Simply pray this simple prayer of David, and the Savior will provide a perfect place of rest for you; and He will lead you in the everlasting way.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalms 119:23-24

God Bless you my friends, Bob