God Is In Control

Copied from Josh Goodwin’s FB page.

Pro 21:30-31 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. (31) The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
NOTE: This verse doesn’t speak against preparation, but rather puts our actions into perspective.
EXPLANATION: If we are against the Lord, there is no possibility of success. If we are with the Lord, he is where our safety ultimately lies.
This passage gives us a glimpse and reminder of God’s sovereignty. In a year of riots, killings, unrest, moral decay, and political madness we need to remember the almighty, imminent power of a good, wise, loving, holy God.
My personal note. Josh Goodwin is pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Sebring, FL, and I have often had the privilege of hearing him preach. He loves the Lord and he loves people. Though the world seems to be spinning out of control as chaos and violence become more and more prevalent in the news, God has not lost control. He is allowing all of this to get us to seek His face, His grace, His mercy, His protection, and His peace. None of these current events surprise true believers in Jesus the Christ. He said it would happen. He even said it will get worse as Satan realizes his time or rule is coming to an end.
God gives each of us a choice: accept His free gift of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, or reject Him. When we accept His sacrifice we are given eternal life, to spend eternity with the God of the universe, who created everything and everyone, and willingly came to suffer and die as no one has ever suffered before or since. He took our punishment. Romans 3:10 tells us that there is none righteous. None of us, not one single person, is good enough (nor can be) to enter God’s kingdom. We all fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:8–But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21–For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Ephesians 2:8, 9–For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 
Revelation 20:15–And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. If you don’t believe in hell, or if you think it’s a big party place, read the description in Luke 16:19-31–There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luke 16:20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
Luke 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Luke 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
Luke 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luke 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. 
Romans 10:9–That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:13–For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Salvation (asking Jesus to save you from your sinful nature) is a free gift. You can’t earn it and once you have it, you can’t lose it. It is eternal. God created language. He has perfect understanding of every word so He says what He means, and means what He says. He is perfect and cannot lie. He is a God who can be trusted. He did not promise to keep us from tragedy or trials, or problems. Every person will go through hard times. It’s a part of life. The question is: do you want to be left on your own to deal with everything when life is at its worst, or do you want a comforter (the Holy Spirit of God) to be with you through everything? To comfort and strengthen you? To give you hope that even if you should lose a loved one, God will see you through the pain, help you heal, surround you with His peace and love? There is NO ONE that God hates. He hates sin. He hates some of the things we do. He hates some of the choices we make. He hates sin. He wants to deliver us from the bondage to sin. Rom_6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom_6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Rom 7:18 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.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 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.

10 Misconceptions About Being A Christian

1)      I’m an American

2)      I was raised in a Christian home

3)      My dad/uncle/grandfather was a preacher

4)      I’ve gone to church all my life

5)      I’m a good person

6)      I’ve never committed a crime

7)      I read the Bible and pray

8)      I don’t hurt people

9)      Someone told me I’m a Christian

10)   I was born a Christian

I have heard every one of these statements from various people. None of them are what makes anyone a Christian.

Someone recently made the comment: “I’m no sinner. We’re not bad people.” Anyone who watches the news knows there are bad people in the world. If you aren’t perfect you’re a sinner. There is only one perfect person who ever lived: Jesus the Christ, the only BEGOTTEN Son of God.

John 3:16–For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17–For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 3:18–He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19–And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:20–For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

John 3:21–But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

These are words that Jesus himself spoke.  He was fully God and fully man. These are copied from the King James Version of the Bible. We have many Bibles today, and all of them are supposed to be easier to understand. But if you compare them to the King James you find that most of the time, where the words are changed, the meaning is also changed. There has to be a standard. I would highly encourage anyone who truly wants to follow God to study how all of these versions came about. I have done so and have concluded that the King James is God’s preserved inerrant word for English-speaking people.

Isa_64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Think about this: how can any mere mortal be good enough for a holy, righteous, perfect God? How many good deeds would it take to deserve the cruelty that Jesus the Christ suffered WILLINGLY for our sakes?

The apostle Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners. I don’t know about you, but I know my faith and my walk with the Lord are not even close to his.

Rom 3:10—As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:11—There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Rom 3:12—They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Rom 3:13—Their throat is an open sepulchre (grave); with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Rom 3:14—Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Rom 3:15—Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Rom 3:16—Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Rom 3:17—And the way of peace have they not known:

Rom 3:18—There is no fear of God before their eyes.

The above verses are what we were before we recognized that we were sinners and asked Jesus to forgive us and change us. Even if we’ve only done some of these things (at least in thought, if not deed), we are still guilty. Jesus took OUR punishment, yours and mine, on a cruel cross, after being beaten with a cat-o-nine-tails until he looked like 100 pounds of ground hamburger meat, had his beard plucked out by the handful, was spat on, punched or slapped in the face while blindfolded, had a wreath of 2-inch thorns thrust on his head, and finally nailed to a cross. He didn’t have to go through all of that. And on top of that, while he was on that cross, his Father turned his back, because God is so pure, righteous and holy that He can’t look at sin. Jesus didn’t just carry our sins. Scripture says he BECAME sin for us. It was the first time Jesus was ever spiritually separated from his Father. It was the first and only time he addressed his Father as God when he cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Rom. 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Does a sovereign God have the right to decide what’s right and what’s wrong? Guess what? No mere human is going to tell God what He can or cannot do. If you don’t think He’s being fair, your opinion isn’t going to change anything with God

Rom 10:9—That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom 10:10—For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Rom 10:13—For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Rom 10:14—How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15—And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The only way to be saved is to accept the fact that you are a sinner, (that means agree with God that this is a fact), ask God to forgive you of your sins, and invite Him to take control of your life. It must be done with a sincere heart, in humility. After all, you are addressing the Supreme Being: then find a church that is friendly and preaches from the King James Bible (so you get the truth, without omissions), attend Sunday School (yes, adults need teaching too), and read your Bible every day. I usually recommend starting with the gospel of John. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs: one for every day of the month. As you read and listen, ask God the Holy Spirit to teach you and help you understand. The more you read, the more you understand. Don’t try to absorb too much at once. Start with just a few verses a day. Then think about them as you go through the day, pondering what those verses mean to you, and how they apply to you. This is how you grow in the Lord.  Have a great day.

Thought I had posted this last week, but apparently there was a snafu.

Rate This Opening

July 1, 1837

            I’ve unpacked my meager belongings, having sold whatever I could to purchase passage to America. Many of the things were Da’s, things he’d given me as I was growin up. Many were bribes to keep me quiet about what he did to me. Mayhap I shouldn’ta kept them but they help me remember there were good times, too, when da wasn’t in his cups. But it’s over now, and my seasickness has passed. Mrs. Wheeler’s tea she gave me yester eve helped some.

            She’s a sweet widow lady who has kindly offered to teach me a trade to make a livin for my wee bairn and myself. She’s goin to teach me to sew. Lord, I hope I’ll be a good student and be able to make enough money so I can stay home to watch my child and not have to beg, borrow, or steal. It would be good to be able to hold my head high.

            I did keep a few things that were precious to me. There’s a quilt my mam and aunties made for me when I was a wee lass. It’s a little tattered and worn, but it carries the warmth I treasure in my heart from my family. Then there’s the locket, a picture in either side of my mam and my da. I mightn’t keep the picture of my da. If my wee one would ever want to know who the man was, how would I tell him that man is his da and his seanair? And lastly, there’s a ring with the family crest engraved in the gem in the setting. Perhaps one day these things will be passed on to my wee one.

I’m thinking of using this as the opening of the first book in my trilogy. Does it grab your attention? Does it make you want to read more? This is a journal entry from a Scottish immigrant. Is this a strong or a weak opening? If you read an entry like this from your deceased mother’s journal, how would that impact you? How would you feel? Would it change your perception of who you are, especially if you’re a young man with two toddler children?