Plans Do Change

I found out that there is an issue with my financial aid that is going to prevent me from going on with a Bachelor’s Degree. At first, I was upset, but after some prayer and thought I came to realize that once one door is closed, it is because God wants another to open. I’m not certain where this will lead me, but I am certain that it will be in the direction that God wants me to go. So, I have been working on different things to see what direction God sends me. For now, I have one week of my current class and then 10 weeks for my remaining classes and then my education will be over for now.

One positive is that it will allow me more time to focus on my writing (something I have neglected over the past 2 years) and my Bible studies (something you can never get too much of). Another positive is the release from the stress associated with deadlines for papers and the ability to juggle my schedule more.

Deliverance vs. Assistance

My brother handled the message tonight at church and he said something that really caught my attention. He said that we should pray for God to deliver us through our problems instead of asking for help. It made sense to me after I thought about it. By asking for deliverance instead of assistance we are putting our faith in God.

I was offered to give another message afterwards, but I believe that God was showing me to let this message stand. There are times when we must check our egos at the door and just be thankful for blessings we received through others.

Jesus and Paul

I guess I am behind the times in regards to there being the idea of Jesus and Paul representing 2 different kinds of Christianity. While I don’t think this is the case, apparently there are many people that do. I was raised that the Bible was the inspired word of God. This means that the Gospels as well as the epistles are from the inspiration of God. Forgive me for not knowing there exists a debate about Paul and Jesus, I always assumed Christians knew they must accept the entire word of God, not just select sections.

Since several people have approached me about where I stand on this topic I figured I would share my thoughts on it. I would ask you to consider the book of Acts. Acts is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke. Since Luke is the author of both books, then it is safe to assume that Acts is just a valid as the book of Luke. Luke is the longest and most detailed of all the Gospels. It covers many events that are not included in the other Gospels. Now this same author writes another book, the continuation, and it covers Jesus ascending to heaven and the reception of the Holy Ghost. It also covers Jesus personally calling Paul and giving him his commission.

So now we know that Jesus is the Christ and he came to open the opportunity for anyone who chooses to come to God. He personally returns to call another man to bring God’s offer to Gentiles. No, the teaching of Paul and Jesus don’t contradict each other. Their teachings compliment each other.

1 Kings 19:11-13

When God wanted to communicate with Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13 He used a small still voice. People of modern times often forget that God can use that same voice to speak to us if we listen. The problem a lot of people face is that they are too busy tooting their own horn to hear the voice. Others must contend with thinking that the voice in their head is the voice of God. Sometimes, the voice in our heads is simply a voice in our heads. The Godly wisdom can help to discern between the two, but we must be willing to put our own intentions aside.

Once a person does something that takes away from the glory of God and puts the attention on themselves then it is not of God. People should be careful when they say the Spirit put this in my heart to tell you. The problem they may find would be that the spirit they are listening to is not the Spirit of God.

Stop the Cherry-Picking

I have conversations with a few different people throughout the week about the Bible and things that are within the pages. My biggest pet peeve is those people who like to cherry-pick verses and try to use it to prove their various points. I know I have written about this before, but it is a serious flaw in reasoning among those who claim to be Christians. With a single verse or a few verse it is possible to condemn the world to hell or send the worst sinner to heaven. Is this the will of God? Of course not. You have to given consideration to the context of the selection you are using to prove a point.

I believe that when we are using verse out of context when are deceiving not only ourselves, but those we are trying to discuss God’s Word with. Do you really want to stand in judgement for misleading someone just to prove your point? I know I don’t. Whenever I minister, I always read the text I want to discuss first, then I try to explain what I believe it means. I also encourage everyone to read along and if there is something they see differently to let me know. God may reveal part of the text to me and another part to another.

Colossians 4:5-6

These verses address walking with wisdom. I believe they are referring to walking with Godly wisdom, especially when we are dealing with the lost. We have to do things that are honoring to God, not things to pacify others around us. Keeping our eyes on the goal is what it is all about.

My advice is to always walk by faith just like Paul advised us to do. When we let our faith take a back seat this is when we get ourselves in trouble. Better to offend the world than to offend God.

The Faith of a Child

On my old blog, I wrote about the faith of my youngest son Jon. He is 9 and has total faith in God. When he and the next youngest son are playing games Jon is adamant about the power of God and Jesus can beat anyone else. 

When he gets scared or confused he boss his head and prays to God. He told me that God is always looking out for him.

This is the kind if faith I strive for, God is always there and greater than anything I will ever face. I desire a sincere love for my fellow man that will allow me to deal with them in the manner the Bible instructs us to.