The Majesty of the Universe is God

Psalm 19 A Psalm of David:             In this song, David is asking how it is possible to believe anything but there is a God.  Looking at the universe, how can we do anything but believe in God?  The earth has a prefect tilt on its axis. If it were not this tilt of by less than a degree, there would not be life on earth. Recently, I was reading an article on space.com, a webpage that uses NASA as it source document. As I was reading I marveled at how the explanations of how the earth began, sounded exactly like Genesis 1. Although they were taking great pains to ignore the Bible, they still sounded like Genesis. I thought to myself imagine that, the scientific world that works so hard to deny that an entity such as God exists, is proving that he does. Their explanations of how the world began are aligning more and more with Genesis. Yet there are still more attempts to disprove God. If you listen to these attempts to disprove God, you just have to laugh. If you know the Bible, you will listen and realize that their feeble attempts to say there is no God, align with the bible, this proving that God exists.  They say this happened and this happened but not because of a more intelligent being, (God) the whole while, everything they say aligns with the Word of God. Man cannot deny the existence of God. One only need to look to the majesty of the heavens, notice that the weatherman is sometimes completely wrong, to realize God has to be OMNIPRESENT.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors?  Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 

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Generally Speaking

Habakkuk 3: 16b-19: chapter three is entitled Habakkuk’s prayer.  He is praying the calamity of attacking army.  Then at the very end of the prayer, Habakkuk states that no matter what Lord, I will praise you because you are the one that gives me strength. It is hard to praise God in times of trouble. Yet, it is through praising God in times of trouble, that we find peace. Peace like a river that will run through your soul. I know it is hard, when things go bad, and it seems as if it is a daily occurrence, our human nature wants to cry out Why God? Our human nature wants to say God, why are you doing this to me?  Instead of relying on our human nature, we have to rely on our spiritual nature. The spiritual nature knows that praising God brings victory.  Oh, things are not miraculously get better but since I believe in miracles, you never know, they might get miraculously better. However, generally speaking, these things take time. When we praise God in the storm, the storm might not end, but we will fill the Peace of God and it will be easier to bear.

16bYet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,   I will be joyful in God my Savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

 

It is because of Eternity

1 Thessalonians 5: 8-11: Some days it is hard to remember that we are children of the Light. Especially if we have been struggling with things of this world as my family and I have been this past week. False accusations at work, the septic tank failed, the roof leaking, a near electrical fire, and the car needs repair. We know God loves us and wants the best for us. We forget there is an enemy that is fighting against God day and night. He fights against God but trying to steal peace from God’s people. When he is hitting us with sickness, disease, or other struggles; we forget that we are to pray continually.  It is because of the evil one that we have to pray continually. We have to pick up our armor daily. It is not just a Sunday habit. You know pick up the armor, go to church, and expect it to be strong all week. No, we have to pick it up conscientiously daily.  Every morning when we wake up- before the cup of coffee- We have to pray.  We have to ask God to help us through the day. We have to say thanks to God. Then go have the coffee and spend a couple of minutes in the word and prayer as you drink the coffee.  It is a conscientious effort. I seldom wake up saying Oh Praise you Lord without thinking to myself, I need to take a second here and be thankful I am alive. I have to take a second and remember that I am a child of the Light. And even after years of practice, it is still done on purpose. The hard part is even putting on the armor and remembering that I am a child of the Light, the evil one is still out there attacking.  Sometimes you are doing everything right, you are striving to be good stewards of your money and your possessions. You are working hard at showing the world love. You have read the Bible, surrounded yourself with praise and worship music. You have been faithful in your tithes and offerings.  You have even done acts of kindness and Satan hits and he hits hard. When you follow and do the things, you are supposed to do, knocking on doors so to speak to find employment, worked diligently to clean up and clean out your house. Worked diligently on repairing things broken, and yet things fall apart. These are the times it is hard to press forward. It is hard to remain faithful. It is hard to say okay God whatever you want me to do, I will do, even if it means moving away so we cannot visit our son. Praying please wait until he is out and does not need so much emotional support. It is hard to say, God I am playing by the rules of light and yet … Why do I continue in the Light, when deep down I feel that if I just told the evil one okay you win, things would be easy.  Then I remember eternity and realize what is a bit of suffering in this world compared to eternity. And the bottom line is I keep focused on Jesus because of eternity.

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith, and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Is it REAL?

Acts 10: 44-48, 1 Corinthians 14:1-5:  This is a subject of controversy. People say you should not speak in tongues, some say it no longer exists. Others say if you do it in church and no one interprets it is not from God. I always found this statement a bit ridiculous because it is the language of God. The Holy Spirit is sent to us because of our Salvation. When we ask Jesus to live in us, when we confess our sins and become a new creation, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit as a helper (John 14:26): The question is if Jesus sent us this helper, then why wouldn’t we be able to speak to God in the language the helper gives us?  Sometimes I think we confuse prophecy for speaking in tongues. The truth is speaking in tongues is not necessarily prophecy.  It is merely speaking to God in His language. What they really mean when they say if you speak in tongues and no one interprets, it is not from God; is that the evil one is trying to infiltrate the service and has someone speak aloud but it is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always from God. I often wondered if someone is praying to themselves in the spirit and just excited and in their excitement, spoke loud enough for the whole conversation to be heard. Maybe there was not an interpretation because none was to be had. Maybe it was just a loud prayer.  I do not have a good answer for this occurrence.  What I do know is that God sent the Holy Spirit to us as a guide. This includes speaking to God. The Holy Spirit is the great intercessor. One thing I do know is that people are not willing to admit that they have spoken in tongues. There seems to be a taboo on speaking in tongues. Many people say it is not real. I figure if the Bible talks about it then it is real. I also know that if God gives the ability through the Holy Spirit to speak to him in His language, then I would be a fool to not use this ability. However, I also believe it is a private matter between God and me. It is not anyone decision. Man does not pick or chose, we chose through our choice of accepting Jesus as the Messiah.

Acts:

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days

1 Corinthians:

1Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

 

Eternal forgiveness is God’s choice

Recently I read a post about the death penalty. There were comments to the article: shooting is too good for them, use a rope, and put them in a running car in a garage. These comments made me sick. So I did some research most is based on a study done by Samuel Gross University of Michigan.  He spent a long time combing through records dating back as far as 1973. It stated that they could be fairly certain that 4% of the inmates executed where innocent.  They also said this is probably inaccurate because of the criminal justice system has imperfections- meaning innocent lives are in prison all the time. Innocent people are found guilty of murder. Logic dictates if people sentenced for murder are innocent that people found guilty of  other crimes are innocent as well. (Lopatto, E; How Many Innocent People Are Sentenced To Death?; Apr 29, 2014)- Sorry if this is not sited correct.

One of the arguments for eliminating the death penalty is forgiveness. Jesus’ death and resurrection offers forgiveness. Mark 3:28-29: 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”  Jesus said the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Which is a whole other topic- blaspheme means to speak in opposition.  Yes, even murders can be forgiven. Unless, of course, they Blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

Another argument was John 8:2-11: The story of an adulteress brought before Jesus and he did not condemn her because he chased away all of her accusers by simply stating that you cannot condemn her unless you are innocent. Who but Jesus is innocent? Something perhaps forgotten by our justice system and people who are pro-death penalty should consider. Are you without sin? then how can you condemn someone else to death?  Of Course, there are people out there that are certain that they are without sin.  I know because I used to be that Christian. I thought- I am a good person I do not …. I am a Christian.  Being a Christian does not mean that you are without sin. It just means your sins are forgiven. This of course does not mean you should deliberately sin (Romans 6, covers this topic).  I also contend that sometimes we sin and it is not our intention.  Romans 3: 23-34: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Through accepting Christ as our savor and Lord- confessing that we are sinners- can we have salvation.  So the arrogant Christian- yes they are still Christians even though they are arrogant- will think How have I sinned?  The truth took me some time to learn. Just by my arrogance, I am sinning. The truth is when we think in that manner, we are acting as if something we did won our salvation- true accepting Jesus is what we did- that is not what I am referring: I mean that somehow through my own acts, I continue to gain salvation. Salvation is a onetime deal- Unless- I fall away from God and denounce God as Lord and Savior-, which I do not do. Jesus is the Savior!   Forgiveness on the other hand is constant. I constantly ask God to forgive me of my sins daily.  Daily  I ask God to help me in areas where I sin.  Therefore based on the fact that only Jesus can forgive sins. – Okay we can forgive people of sins committed against us- however ultimately it is the forgiveness from Jesus that brings us to heaven. John 14: 6: ¨Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  Which brings us to the main point since only Jesus can provide eternal forgiveness – judgment of these souls is his responsibility not ours.  Are you not glad the responsibility is not yours.  Think about it- do you want to decide who goes to Hell? Thank you Jesus for keeping this responsibility off my shoulders.  Remind me when I am judgmental that it is your job and not mine. No matter what a person claims to be, they are still God’s creation and as that it is God’s choice as to where they spend eternity, or whether they should die.  In Ecclesiastics, we are reminded that God gives and takes away – Ecclesiastics 5:18-20: 18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

John 8:

2 At dawn, he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

 

Peter, a man- felt unworthy

Luke 5: 1-9: I love how Peter followed Jesus’ instructions. He said (Okay, because you say so).  Peter and his partners had been fishing all night they were expert fishermen.  I really like How Peter said Jesus- We have been fishing all night – but because you say so I will do as you tell me.  I like it for a few reasons.  One of those being it lets me know it is okay to discuss things with God. He says do this and it is okay to say Hey but God …  Here is the important part- AS LONG AS I FOLLOW HIS DIRECTIONS. God is omnipresent, and all knowing. He is wiser than I am.  He knows what needs to be done and how to do it in order to be successful.  I really love that I can discuss it with him, because it helps me wrap my head around whatever it is he is telling me to do.  Then at the end Peter tells Jesus that he, Peter, is unworthy to be near Jesus.  How often I have felt unworthy to do anything for the Lord’s Kingdom.  But that is just it, God sees the end, whereas we see the pre-game. We see only how it looks to be in the planning stage.  We like to say I can’t, I am not worthy- all the things Peter said. Meaning I am not odd.  I am not completely insane or not following God. I am just like Peter – human- unworthy- yet will to be a vessel for God’s Kingdom.

1Now it happened that while Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret        (Sea of Galilee), with the people crowding all around Him and listening to the word of God; that He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the shore. And He sat down and began teaching the crowds from the boat. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon [Peter], “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch [of fish].” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night [to the point of exhaustion] and caught nothing [in our nets], but at Your word I will [do as you say and] lower the nets [again].” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets were [at the point of] breaking; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats [with fish], so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, and “Go away from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all his companions were completely astounded at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners.

 

It is a pain day- No matter there is Joy

Psalm 29: 10-11: I am claiming this promise for today.  It is a pain day- a day when for whatever reason, I woke up in pain. My back hurts, my legs ache. My fingers do not want to move, and my ankles do not want to turn. Fortunately, I do not have very many days such as this. Generally, the pain is at the end of the day and I am able to sleep it away. However, last night, it was hot in the house, and I was reluctant to turn on the AC. As a result, I did not sleep well. These days happen. However, today I am claiming the strength promised in these verses- there is too much to do to allow pain to be in charge. I am claiming the peace promised in this verse. There is too much to do to allow the pain to take over. After all, it is sent by the evil one to derail me from what needs to be done. Is it my work I want to do, or is it working for the Lord. If I do it from a point of joy, it is for the Lord. Ecclesiastics 9: 7: Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.  When we do our work with gladness in our heart it is good.

10 The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever. 11 The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.

Do you keep the “Jesus tab” open?

Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 6:14:

Have you ever waivered? We all have had points when our faith waivered.  When we were not sure, God was going to take care of us. To be there for us.  It is like a little dog that wants to be by your side every second of the day.  They just want to sit in your arms.  They are afraid you will go away leave them alone –never to return.  Sometimes we are not paying enough attention. Because unlike us, God is Omnipresent. We get busy stuck in the things of this world. We are on “Run” mode- stuck in the passing gear. However, even though we can be absent from the side of our small pet – the one who feels we are their world. Kinda like how we feel about Jesus – when we stop –when we are honest about it. God is never absent from our side. He is always there. While we in our finite beings cannot be there constantly for our pets, our children, our spouses- we have to work and do things. God, who is omnipresent is there and we can feel him if we just reach out. If we just take a few seconds and stop. Yes- you have to stop. But the wonderful things is most of the time, it really does not take much time to feel the warm presence of God. It is not the same as my small dog; she has to be sure I am not leaving before she relaxes. With God, we can stop feel God and know it is okay to keep doing. Some days require more stopping than others- the busier the day- the more effort I have to make to feel God. Oh and it is one of those things that takes practice. There are probably people reading this who have been where I am, have to make strong effort but now through practice all they have to do is pull God up in their head- like opening a web page. God is a tab always open. Me I have to click on the link.  Maybe you are where I have been have to boot up the computer- one of those old ones that takes time to boot up. Maybe we even have a “dial-up” internet connection. The point is that it takes practice to have the “tab” that is God open. When the tab is open, we can quickly switch to it.  Oh and think of salvation as this, we are a new computer with Jesus as the OS (operating system). With Jesus as the OS, we never get tired- (Isaiah 40:31).  In other words, we are not fragmented, as long as we practice staying focused on Jesus. As soon we click on Jesus, he starts chucking out the “bad sectors”. This way we are able to stand firm, strong enjoying one of the fastest OS available keeping the “Jesus” tab open running constantly in our hearts.

Galatians:

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Ephesians:

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness

 

For God’s Kingdom or yourself?

Proverbs 15: 6-9: As I read this, I thought Lord why is it the wicked seem to prosper?  I realized we are not living for today. We are living for eternity.  The truly wicked rejecting God will not see eternity in heaven. It will not make a difference how much money we have on earth. It will not make a difference how much money we earn. What God will look at is what we did with that money. Did we use our money to help the poor? Did we give money to the church so that the church could use it to spread the word?  How did we use the money God gave us? Did we waste it on ourselves?  Did we use it wisely?  There are many ways we could use the money. However, it is our responsibility to take care of what God gave us. It does not end with money; it includes all of our talents. We need to use everything God gave us wisely.  Not necessarily for gain in this world, but for God’s kingdom.

In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, But in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD; But He loves him who follows righteousness.

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