Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Right Now Is All You Really Have... In This World

We Neither Have The Past Nor The Future To Do Good

But We All Have NOW.... Nothing More Is Certain.
"Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." Prov.27:1

Now is the only time in life when you can do anything about anything. The past is finished, sealed,  and recorded in God's unchangeable book of memories and events ... past history.... done. Good or bad, the past is what it is and will always be the same... unchanged. And though it can never be undone, it can be blessed or forgiven ... after the fact, now or some future now. If it is someday repented of and forgiven, it will not be passed or future then, but another day's "now" which is all anyone has. We cannot live in the past, it is gone. We cannot live in the future, it is yet to come. All we really have is the ever present now. Fleeting and short lived, it is here and gone in a split second with the ticking away of time. So don't waste it or neglect it or misuse the opportunity it offers. God does not show us every detail or the timing of His perfect will for our lives, but He does show us what to do NOW ... the next second and one step at a time. We can know the certainty of our next step and next second of God's will for us, but nothing more, except for those things promised in His word. But why should He give us more if we are not willing to take, by faith, the next step now... into the uncertainty of the next hour or day or year by faith? It is only our "faith" which is the "evidence of things not seen". Heb.11:1. God wants us to learn to "live by faith" for our future ... from second to second and step by step
"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Rom.1:17.

So, "now" is the only time you really have to repent, witness, give, forgive, love, and serve our Lord. But how else is it possible to serve our Lord than to do those good things for people around us.
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath see, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" 1 John 4:20

We can, of course, pray to God and praise Him but we cannot touch Him, hug Him, feed Him, take Him to the hospital, lend Him our car, take him to church, or mow his grass. But we can do those things for Him by doing them for needy people around us. Jesus said it this way...
"... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matt.25:40.
  If we do not serve God, by serving people, here and now, we will not likely serve Him at some future time. Now is all we have and the only time anyone can do anything for God or for people.... is the ever present now.

"Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even as a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." James 4:13-15.

"For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor.6:2

Saturday, May 20, 2017

When Christian's Suffer ... Is It God Or Satan Doing It ?

The answer to that question is the entire book of Job. God brings up Job, to Satan, as an almost perfect man of whom there was not another like him on earth. So what happened to Job was not God's judgment or punishment for something bad he had done. It was to "prove" Job's true character to Satan, to Job and to all who knew of Job's good fortune and faith in God.

Job 1:8-10 
And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 
Satan responded with the accusation that the only reason Job was such a good and unique man was because God gave him everything he wanted and had built a wall of protection around him, his family and all that he possessed. But, Satan said, If God would strike down and destroy all that Job possessed ... with His own hand of judgment, Job would turn away from God and curse Him as well.
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the landBut put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 
To this, the Lord answered Satan, not by saying OK,  I will personally destroy by my hand everything Job has and show you he will not do as you say, but he will continue to worship and serve me. No, the Lord simply removed his hand from Job, removed the protective hedge he had around all of Job's possessions, and released Satan  (permitted him) to strike everything Job had, except his health....with Satan's hand, not God's. Not to punish Job but to prove him. But he limited Satan in the amount of damage (possessions only) he could do to Job.  So you see, Satan could not touch or hurt Job except to the precise extent that God specified and not a hair more. So it is true that Satan cannot hurt a Christian except and only as God allows him to do so for God's own purposes ... not Satan's. God did not do the damage to Job, but he allowed Satan to do it, which eventually worked out for Job's own good. 
"And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord... and straightway destroyed everything Job had except his health and life which God still protected."
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.)
When Satan had done all he was allowed to do to Job, and only that, he came back before God and declared that ... Oh sure, Job didn't curse and deny you, God, because you kept me from hurting him physically. But if you, by your hand will strike his body and cause him great physical pain, he will curse you to your face.
Job 2:4-7
And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
As you all know, Satan smote Job down with the most miserable fleshly sufferings he had God's
"permissive" power to do, which was considerable. God, himself, by His hand, did no harm to Job. All God did was to remove His protective hand and all hell broke loose in Job's life ... except, God continued to protect Job's life from the hand of Satan.

But after all of Job's loss and sufferings, he not only survived but never denied God or cursed Him or ceased to worship Him. And Job cried out of the depth of his brokenness and pain.... "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...." Job.13:15

Then, after God had proven Job to be all God had said he was, and finally delivered him from his suffering and loss, God blessed Job with twice as many possessions, another family of children, restoration of his friends, and good health as well.
There is no way to understand how many millions of Christians have drawn strength from the reading of Job's experience, and have lived and given glory to God and witness of His grace in their lives when there seemed no hope.
So, who hurt you? It was Satan but he couldn't have done so without God allowing it ... to prove you and then bless you with twice as much of His grace as before you suffered. 
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." 1 Pet.5:10

Job 42:10
"And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before."

This is also a New Testament principle at work in every Christian's life.

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." 1 Peter 5:10

God doesn't have to punish us, all he has to do is let down the hedge ... remove his hand of protection.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Flying Through Swift Winds Of Time

We Will Arrive Alive

Sailing through this trackless sea...
Yesterday lived and left behind...
Each second gaining an unused now ...
Through each darkening passing day...
Into a fresh and  hopeful tomorrow,,,
Just over each morning's new horizon...
Flying on swift winds of time...
To God's eternal destine nation...
Safe harbor from life's stormy deep
At peace forever and in His keep.

Psalms 115:1 ... Rayburn Blair

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Two Fold Nature Of Man At War With Each Other

A baby is born and filled with physical life and grows in every way throughout its life into maturity and knowledge. The new birth, a second birth, is a spiritual birth, but it too grows into spiritual maturity and knowledge or is overpowered by the flesh in an internal death struggle. 

A born again Christian is a totally new thing being created... The Greek word for this "new creature" is ktisma.
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away (dead); behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor.5:17. The "dead works" in a newly created Christian must be totally purged out. "How much more shall the blood of Christ ... purge your conscience from  dead  works to serve the living God?" Heb.9:14. The flesh is hopeless. It cannot be saved until it is resurrected, raptured and glorified.

This spiritual process of "making" Christians from a dual nature (spirit and flesh), into a single new spiritual creature, is a work in progress from the moment of the "new birth" unto the moment of death or rapture. That spiritual process is taking place in every Christian still in a body of flesh. The remaking and perfecting of the "new creature" shall continue right up to the resurrection and rapture of true believers."Beloved, now are we  the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2.

In the meantime, until that great day of resurrection, rapture and full, spiritual glorification, like unto Jesus, let the spirit of God purge out the old dead works and continue his work of grace making us a completely new creature in Christ.
"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man..." Eph. 3:16

"That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph.4:22-24.

"Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him..." Col.3:9-10

"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Rom.6:6

The Apostle Paul, who wrote that last verse about the "old man" and our "body of sin" continued and expanded upon the thought of the two fold nature of man and how they are at war with each other, in Romans 7 below. In this chapter, Paul uses himself and his life experience of his inner spiritual man battling the old fleshly man to grow in grace and serve God faithfully. This chapter tells the self-righteous they are sinners too. It tells the judgmental Christian that they are as guilty as those they judge. It tells the "sinless" person they are liars. It tells the humble, repentant Christian they are in the will of God. Here is the heart of Paul confessing in absolute honestly the truth about himself... and us.

Romans 7
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.