Wednesday, March 20, 2013

He Thought Of Everything!

Yes, God thought of everything...


Number one ~ God is infinite and His ways above our understanding. Therefore, overlooking or minimizing any scripture because in our comprehension or opinion it does not seem to fit, is unwise and will hinder our walk, not help it. However, setting it aside a while as you seek God and grow in your understanding of God's ways and how it fits, is wise!



Number two ~ God is thorough. He is complete in and of Himself, with no deficiencies. He created you in His image, and knows you better than you know yourself...therefore He knows your deficiencies and your needs very well. This is exactly why He wanted you to see for yourself how the Old Testament law worked, and the contrast between it and you would welcome God's grace with your whole heart! Now, won't you let Him teach you what His grace is truly all about?




Number three ~ God thought of everything when He created His plan for us ~ He left nothing undone! There are no contradictions, no left over pieces, and absolutely no pieces missing in His plan!




Have you ever put a large puzzle together and then stood way back to view it? Could you tell it was a puzzle? In my mind our lives seem like a large puzzle with many scattered pieces...and we finite humans can only see a small portion of it. 





However, when that day comes when we can stand with unveiled face and see the whole will be complete, smooth and clear, and there will be no lines, gaps or raw edges in it! It will look like it never started out as a puzzle at all!  THIS is how utterly thorough and amazing His plan is!



Number four ~ God is intimately acquainted with each person. He knows how many hairs are on your head! He is so near you that you have His undivided attention. In fact, this is why He has the ability to show you what exactly is going on even in the littlest hiding places inside your heart! He knows you very well! 


Matt. 10:30 Indeed, even the hairs on your head have been numbered!

Hebrews 4:12 "For God's Message is full of life and power, and is keener than the sharpest two-edged sword. It pierces even to the severance of soul from spirit, and penetrates between the joints and the marrow, and it can discern the secret thoughts and purposes of the heart."


Number five ~ God is love. He is not just a God who loves...He IS love. Love is to Him an essential part of being. This is why He commands that we love...and likewise that we emulate Him as His dear children...because He wants us to identify with Him and participate in His likeness.




He does not do this so as to put another law on us...He does so because He knows what will make us complete and give us joy!! This is why God says that when we give out love, we fulfill all the requirements of the law! Love completes us.


Love is not hard or burdensome...which is why it is more than compatable with grace. It is a joy and a blessing! The Pharisees and Experts in the Law of long ago and those of today want to have some religious control and keep you and I from the knowledge of God's love and grace that would set us free -- so, they are misrepresenting God! They lie!



Luke 11:46 "Yes," said Jesus, "what sorrow also awaits you experts in religious law! For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.


Luke 11:52 "How terrible it will be for you experts in the Law! You have taken away the key to knowledge. You didn't go in yourselves, and you kept out those who were trying to go in."



Command means: to give what is deserved. God deserves our obediance 100%...and will completely back up His words with us in mind.

Demand means: to give what is not deserved. Therefore the Demander is usually harsh, and will back up his words but with himself in mind.

The command to love can be likened to a loving Father who brings home several very precious and personal gifts for each of his beloved children...then commands that they not hold back, but open and use them! Now, how would this be burdensome or difficult?? This is just like God insisting that I be blessed!



Luke 12; 32“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Now, sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.



Acts 20:35 “And I have shown you everything, that it is necessary to labor and to take care of those who are weak and to remember the words of our Lord Jesus, who said, 'He who gives is more blessed than he who receives.'”


Do you believe the things God says? Can you plant your seed of faith in His command to love and be open for God to water it?


(click on image to enlarge)

1 Cor. 9:23 "I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."




1 John 5:3 "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome".



Matthew 11:30 Jesus said, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."




The command to love in not under the law. A law can be measured, therefore we can tell when a law hasn't been obeyed. But love is not and can not be under the law -- because love cannot be measured like a rule can! So, where ever you are in your loving efforts, is JUST fine and good!! WHY? Because when we share God's love in any measure, it spreads like leaven all on it's own, and has the same power to perfect God's love in us, as well as rid us of any fears we still have of condemnation.




Col. 1 10This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the payment for our sins. 11Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love each other. 12No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13We know that we live in him and he lives in us because he has given us his Spirit. 14We have seen and testify to the fact that the Father sent his Son as the Savior of the world.


15God lives in those who declare that Jesus is the Son of God, and they live in God. 16We have known and believed that God loves us. God is love. Those who live in God's love live in God, and God lives in them. 17God's love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are exactly like him [with regard to love].





18No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn't have perfect love. 19We love because God loved us first. 20Whoever says, "I love God," but hates another believer is a liar. People who don't love other believers, whom they have seen, can't love God, whom they have not seen. 21Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.


Love also creates intimacy with God.


John 14:21 Whoever knows and obeys my commandments is the person who loves me. Those who love me will have my Father's love, and I, too, will love them and show myself to them."





1 Thess. 5: 23 "May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." In the Greek 'blameless' means to be of mature stature in the things of grace - to the point where the believer has no need of or is not wanting of anymore grace.








Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Immutability Of God, By Pink

A. W. Pink Header

The Attributes of God
by A.W. Pink

The Immutability of God

"This is one of the Divine perfections which is not sufficiently pondered. It is one of the excellencies of the Creator which distinguishes Him from all His creatures. God is perpetually the same: subject to no change in His being, attributes, or determinations. Therefore God is compared to a rock (Deut 32:4, etc.) which remains immovable, when the entire ocean surrounding it is continually in a fluctuating state; even so, though all creatures are subject to change, God is immutable. Because God has no beginning and no ending, He can know no change. He is everlastingly "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (Jas. 1:17).


First, God is immutable in His essence. His nature and being are infinite, and so, subject to no mutations. There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. "I am the Lord, I change not" (Mal. 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation.



He cannot change for the better, for He is already perfect; and being perfect, He cannot change for the worse. Altogether unaffected by anything outside Himself, improvement or deterioration is impossible. He is perpetually the same. He only can say, "I am that I am" (Ex. 3:14). He is altogether uninfluenced by the flight of time. There is no wrinkle upon the brow of eternity. Therefore His power can never diminish nor His glory ever fade.



Secondly, God is immutable in His attributes. Whatever the attributes of God were before the universe was called into existence, they are precisely the same now, and will remain so forever. Necessarily so; for they are the very perfections, the essential qualities of His being. Semper idem (always the same) is written across every one of them. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied.



The attributes of God can no more change than Deity can cease to be. His veracity is immutable, for His Word is "forever settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89). His love is eternal: "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3) and "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" (John 13:1). His mercy ceases not, for it is "everlasting" (Ps. 100:5).

Thirdly, God is immutable in His counsel. His will never varies. Perhaps some are ready to object that we ought to read the following: "And it repented the Lord that He had made man" (Gen. 6:6). Our first reply is, Then do the Scriptures contradict themselves? No, that cannot be. Numbers 23:19 is plain enough: "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent."




So also in 1 Samuel 15:19, "The strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for He is not a man, that He should repent." The explanation is very simple. When speaking of Himself. God frequently accommodates His language to our limited capacities. He describes Himself as clothed with bodily members, as eyes, ears, hands, etc. He speaks of Himself as "waking" (Ps. 78:65), as "rising early" (Jer. 7:13); yet He neither slumbers nor sleeps. When He institutes a change in His dealings with men, He describes His course of conduct as "repenting."


Yes, God is immutable in His counsel. "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29). It must be so, for "He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth" (Job 23:13). Change and decay in all around we see, may He who changeth not abide with thee. God’s purpose never alters.




One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of power to execute them. But as God is both omniscient and omnipotent there is never any need for Him to revise His decrees. No. "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations" (Ps. 33:11). Therefore do we read of "the immutability of His counsel" (Heb. 6:17).


Herein we may perceive the infinite distance which separates the highest creature from the Creator. Creaturehood and mutability are correlative terms. If the creature was not mutable by nature, it would not be a creature; it would be God. By nature we tend to nothing, as we came from nothing. Nothing stays our annihilation but the will and sustaining power of God.




None can sustain himself a single moment. We are entirely dependent on the Creator for every breath we draw. We gladly own with the Psalmist Thou "holdest our soul in life" (Ps. 66:9). The realization of this ought to make us lie down under a sense of our own nothingness in the presence of Him "in Whom we live and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28).


As fallen creatures we are not only mutable, but everything in us is opposed to God. As such we are "wandering stars" (Jude 13), out of our proper orbit. The wicked are "like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest" (Isa. 57:20). Fallen man is inconstant. The words of Jacob concerning Reuben apply with full force to all of Adam’s descendants: "unstable as water" (Gen. 49:4).




Thus it is not only a mark of piety, but also the part of wisdom to heed that injunction, "cease ye from man" (Isa. 2:22). No human being is to be depended on. "Put not your trust in princes, in the son of man, in whom is no help" (Ps. 146:3). If I disobey God, then I deserve to be deceived and disappointed by my fellows. People who like you today, may hate you tomorrow. The multitude who cried "Hosanna to the Son of David," speedily changed to "Away with Him, Crucify Him."


Herein is solid comfort. Human nature cannot be relied upon; but God can! However unstable I may be, however fickle my friends may prove, God changes not. If He varied as we do, if He willed one thing today and another tomorrow, if He were controlled by caprice, who could confide in Him? But, all praise to His glorious name, He is ever the same. His purpose is fixed, His will stable, His word is sure.




Here then is a rock on which we may fix our feet, while the mighty torrent is sweeping away everything around us. The permanence of God’s character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises: "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee" (Isa. 54:10).


Herein is encouragement to prayer: "What comfort would it be to pray to a god that, like the chameleon, changed color every moment? Who would put up a petition to an earthly prince that was so mutable as to grant a petition one day, and deny it another?" (S. Charnock, 1670). Should someone ask, But what is the use of praying to One whose will is already fixed? We answer, Because He so requires it.




What blessings has God promised without our seeking them? "If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us" (1 John 5:14), and He has willed everything that is for His child’s good. To ask for anything contrary to His will is not prayer, but rank rebellion. Herein is terror for the wicked. Those who defy Him, break His laws, have no concern for His glory, but live their lives as though He existed not, must not suppose that, when at the last they shall cry to Him for mercy, He will alter His will, revoke His word, and rescind His awful threatenings.



No, He has declared, "Therefore will I also deal in fury: Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in Mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them" (Ezek. 8:18). God will not deny Himself to gratify their lusts. God is holy, unchangingly so. Therefore God hates sin, eternally hates it. Hence the eternality of the punishment of all who die in their sins.



The Divine immutability, like the cloud which interposed between the Israelites and the Egyptian army, has a dark as well as a light side. It insures the execution of His threatenings, as well as the performance of His promises; and destroys the hope which the guilty fondly cherish, that He will be all lenity to His frail and erring creatures, and that they will be much more lightly dealt with than the declarations of His own Word would lead us to expect. We oppose to these deceitful and presumptuous speculations the solemn truth, that God is unchanging in veracity and purpose, in faithfulness and justice. (J. Dick, 1850)."


*This was written by Pink himself. His writings are available for all. (copyright free)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do You Wish Your Faith Was Bigger?

Which person in the picture has the most faith?



Luke 17: "Then the apostles said to the Lord, "Give us more faith." 6The Lord said, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Pull yourself up by the roots, and plant yourself in the sea!' and it would obey you."




Size does not matter with faith. Size matters in our world, but not in God's. The faith the size of a mustard seed is no less faith than when the seed grows into a full grown plant. It is different with each person.




For the little girl, she could be expressing the exact same size faith as the man up on the high wire! Why? Because to her being off the ground and walking along a pole could be just as scary to her as the man's tightrope walking is to him.



It is not size that matters, it is that it's being used...being exercised!



If I said I trusted you and never did anything to show it...would it be hard to believe I trusted you? Well, of course! Faith is a action word. Faith in something has to have some sort of action to prove it.





Like I said, if I said I trusted you but never gave you any indication that I asking you to do something that is really important to me - as in watching my house when I'm gone, or watching my child, or taking care of my animals, or giving you any of my personal information or asking important favors of you or asking your advice or taking your advice...would you believe I really had faith in you? How could you?



That is why the bible says that faith with out works is dead. It is just NOT faith without some sort of action (works) to prove it...some sort.




Rom. 1:17 "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, "The just will live by faith."



So, faith is believing in the things God says. Faith in God is telling Him you trust Him. Yes?! For instance, when we obey the New Commandment and love others in whatever measure we can (*love has no size either)...we are showing God we believe in His ways over our own.




*Love has no shape or size, so it cannot be measured. Like faith, it is ok in whatever way you begin expressing it. Then as you begin expressing begins to grow from there, right under your nose!