Sunday, August 29, 2021

Elohim Reigns in The Face of Evil and Injustice

The God of the Bible says of Himself, “. . . for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’ . . . (Isaiah 46:9-10)

When mankind squares his shoulders back and holds his head high in pride, his Creator says to him, “I am God, and there is none like me.” When evil abounds and the pillars of justice fail, the Lord says, “I am God, and there is none like me.” When the things God has done and only can do are attributed to science, government or other entities of this world, He forcefully states, “I am God, and there is none like me.” When people forget God and trust in themselves, the King of kings declares, “I am God, and there is none like me.” Who is this God?

He is Elohim (El-o-heem). The Supreme God. The God of all gods. The One True God. Elohim is a name ancient Hebrews chose to describe the God who created the heavens and earth.

Do not mistake Almighty God’s invisibility or silence as approval of evil or abandonment of His children. For God has spoken on both points. First, He will bring justice on all those who perpetrate evil and refuse His command to repent. Among those who will receive Elohim’s justice are the rebellious and self-righteous, because they continually reject the Lordship of Christ and His extended merciful hand. Secondly, He will never abandon His faithful as they walk through dark and dangerous valleys during evil and trying times. Elohim’s love and presence is like a rock. He is firm, steadfast and trustworthy. He is like no other.

The greatness of Elohim and the authority He possess over the lives and eternal souls of people is absolute. On judgment day military generals, kings and presidents, and people of sizeable wealth and influence will come trembling before Elohim’s throne and beg for mercy, but because they refused His mercy in this life, Elohim will cast them out of His sight forever. In this life, evil people boast of their godless exploits and rejoice in their vane achievements, but one day they will be forced to bow before Elohim and their mouths stopped, as the Almighty will declare His final judgment against them.

Elohim came from heaven to earth in the form of a baby over 2,000 years ago. He came as a man, Jesus of Nazareth. Through Him, Almighty God walked among us. He showed His power over evil, the Devil, nature and disease. The cross on which Jesus died, was Elohim’s greatest display of Lordship over all. He showed Himself greater than any power on earth when He died and rose again. Once and for all time, the world saw how He conquered sin and death, then smashed evil’s twin heads under His feet.

Elohim is a mighty and conquering King, and from His throne comes a river of mercy. Whoever has repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus, can drink of its living waters. The man of war, can be transformed into a man of peace. A woman of bitterness, can be changed into a woman of joy.

In this chaotic world kingdoms topple, economies collapse, cancer diagnoses come, evil and injustice often win. When these things happen, we sometimes say “Why God?” or “Where are you?” No matter what we see with our eyes or feel deep inside, there is a truth that is unchangeable – ELOHIM REIGNS! By faith, believe this truth. Listen quietly. He is speaking. Can you hear Him? “I am God, and there is no other.”

A prayer for you - “Lord God, you are King over all. Though the world be filled with uncertainty and trouble, you remain on your throne, watching over all. From your throne let justice and mercy come. I pray for mercy upon those who have never known your forgiveness. Bring them to repent and discover your mercy today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Root of America’s Rising Division

The Scripture says, “For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one . . .” (Romans 3:9-10)

It seems like we are no longer living in the United States of America, but in a different country that goes by a new name, the Divided States of America. There has always been division between our major political parties, but it is at a level that has not been seen in generations, and even within the parties themselves. Beyond politics there is a burgeoning racial division unfolding before us between blacks and whites. In the battle against Covid-19, there is division between pro-maskers and no-maskers, pro-vaccination and no-vaccination. The list of examples could go on, highlighting deep divides among us. And these are not just casual differences, but aggressive, passionate, and angry differences.

Where is this coming from and what is the answer for our divided nation?

When the Scripture says “both Jews and Greeks”, it is referring to all humanity. When it says “under sin”, it refers to the authority and power of sin. Summary: every one of us is under the control of sin, and sin is a violation of God’s moral laws. When we deceive, are bitter toward others, engage in violent acts, wish harm upon someone, engage in speech or behavior that creates ruin and misery, we are offering up tangible evidence of the control sin has upon us. And what does it produce? Peace? No! When someone is under the authority and power of sin, they leave a trail of division and destruction wherever they go. They have no peace with God, nor with others.

In spite of our passionate differences, there is one thing we have in common, all of us are held captive by sin within us. That is our common problem and enemy.

What is the answer? How can we survive as a society? If we can agree what the root of the problem is, that leads us toward what the answer is and is not. Laws, education, peace accords and other efforts all have their place and can provide temporary help, but cannot give lasting peace. Our division is a spiritual problem and requires a spiritual answer.

The Scripture says, “. . . the righteousness of God has been manifested . . . through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom. 3:21-22). There is our answer. The righteousness of God is all the rightness, goodness, beauty, perfection and wonder of God. And it is all found in the person of Jesus. When someone leaves behind their divisive and deceitful ways and pursues Jesus, he receives within himself the righteousness of God and all he needs to begin breaking down the walls of division through living at peace with God, himself and others.

What are some of the godly character traits we need to live in peace with one another? We need humbleness instead of arrogance, forgiveness instead of bitterness and gentleness instead of harshness. Where does humility, being forgiving and gentle with one another come from? Jesus. He is the embodiment of these. When Christ is in you, these are in you and live through you, as you walk in faithful obedience to Him.

America, Christ in us, Christ through us is the only pathway to true and lasting peace from our inner cities to our most rural ones. When we come to Him on His terms and follow His ways, He will end the division in our nation. If we do not choose it now, but put it off, then our nation will face His awful judgment in the future. The division we are seeing has been the predictable result of the sin our nation has been living in. The longer we wait, the more severe the consequences of our sin and the judgment of God will be. Time is of the essence. Quickly, one by one, we must humble ourselves in the fear of God and call upon Him for mercy for our own souls and the soul of our nation.

A prayer for you - “Lord God, I pray against the rising divisions within our nation and for the people and groups on both sides of numerous issues. May you and your truth be lifted up and people come together and agree to live according to your ways. Help us not to return evil for evil, but to walk in a spirit of humility, forgiveness and gentleness by your power. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Why the Deity of Jesus Is Good News

Jesus once said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). This was an offensive statement to fellow Jews, so much so, they immediately picked up stones to throw at Him, not simply to injure, but kill. Why? Because in their mind, His statement was a violation of their religious laws and it was deserving of death. Yet, Jesus calmly responded to their flaming anger with a question, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” (10:31) And His opponents made a striking response, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (10:32-33).

The statement from the Jews condemning Jesus, actually was a statement of truth, which they did not believe. Jesus was the one true God in human form. This is a core doctrine of the Christian faith – the Deity of Christ. Yet the claim of His Deity, by Himself and His followers, was rejected by the Jews of His day and led to His crucifixion. Since the time of Christ until our modern times, this truth has been continually fought against. Many religions of the world acknowledge Jesus in their holy books, but only one, just one, states the truth that He is Almighty God. And this is good news for modern times. Here are four reasons why.

1) The Deity of Jesus shows us there is a God and what He is like up close and personal. Jesus reveals that God is a not a myth, legend or lie, but is real and that all other gods are false. So not only is God real, but in Jesus, there is only one God and no other.

2) The Deity of Jesus shows us there is a Savior for mankind and how it is Him. Mankind inherently looks for a savior, someone or something to save him from the things he has done wrong, his weaknesses, his failures, his sicknesses. He will look within himself, to other gods, religions or philosophies. Yet, the good news is that because Jesus is God, He is the Savior mankind desperately needs and truly seeks for.

3) The Deity of Jesus shows forgiveness is possible. As people go to and fro trying to find something to ease their conscience for doing wrong, Jesus stands with arms open wide, letting men and women know that complete and total forgiveness can be found in Him and nowhere else.

4) The Deity of Jesus shows He is someone we should fear. Since He is the physical embodiment of the one true living God, who is King of Kings and Supreme ruler of the universe, possessing all power, then every human being should humbly stand in fear and trembling before Him. And this should show itself in reverence, honor and the ultimate worship of Jesus.

The Deity of Jesus is good news for all people. Call upon Him to save you right now that you might know Him today and forever.

A prayer for you - “Lord God, I pray you will bring people to truly believe in your one and only Son. That He truly was more than a man, but divine. Open our human eyes to see your greatness, and the glory of your Son. Then after people see the truth of who He truly is, may they turn to you with all their heart. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

What It Means To Be A Man

What is a man? It could be confusing answering that question because our society is changing quickly on this.

Little boys may have their fathers at home to show them what a man is. They also may have other men in their household, extended family, neighborhood, church and others like teachers and coaches. And culturally they are additionally impacted by their favorite athletes, actors and musicians. In some cases, the examples might be good, in other cases, not so much.

Is there a singular standard that describes what a man is and how he should live? Yes. God has provided that standard because He created man. The story of man’s origin is found in the Bible in its opening pages, in the book of Genesis. Read the first two chapters and you will find these eight descriptions about what it means to be a man.

1. A man (if the Lord will’s) receives the woman God has provided to be his wife (Gen. 2:18-25).

2. A man serves and cherishes his wife. (Gen. 2:24)

3. A man and his wife raise children. (Gen. 1:28)

4. A man works and provides for himself and his family. (Gen. 2:15)

5. A man leads. (Gen. 2:15)

6. A man protects and takes care of what he has been given by God. (Gen. 2:15)

7. A man exercises self-control. (Gen. 2:17)

8. A man walks with God. (Gen. 1:7-8)

The majority of men do not live this way though. Why? Because of this . . . “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened . . .” (Genesis 3:6-7).

This account lays out how the first disease entered our world and affected the human race, which was the disease of sin. It totally altered men causing them to reject God, act on selfish impulses, destroy what God has given, become passive followers, become absent in helping to raise their children, become unemployed and not provide for their family, serve their own interests and only remain with his wife until he chooses to divorce. Sin completely corrupted God’s original purpose for men, flipping upside down everything God intended him to be.

How can a man live differently, like he was created to do? How can he redeem what sin is destroying? To live as God wants is impossible. We cannot do it on our own. We need help outside ourselves to change us into the men we must be. That help comes from Jesus. He alone is our hope. Jesus died and rose again to save us from ourselves. He came to rescue us. Call out to Jesus to make you the man you were created to be.

A prayer for you - “Lord God, I pray you will deliver men from the sin within them. Lift their eyes toward you Jesus. May they call upon you to change them into the men you destine them to be. In Jesus name. Amen.”