Memorial Dinner

Today we are having a midday church service followed by a memorial dinner in the out building of our church. Today has meaning for me because so many that have attended this dinner during the years have gone on to be with the God. People we love and still miss being here. Two people that I think of immediately are my mother-in-law and my aunt. It was at this dinner a few years ago I caught them in the parking lot talking and snapped a photo of them.

Sadly, it would be the last photo I ever took of either one of them. My mother-in-law passed away less than two weeks later, and my aunt passed away a little over a year later. We all have these types of stories that we can share. When we lose family that are saved we need to look at it as a positive thing for them. They no longer are suffering and their reward has begun. The flesh side of our thinking causes us to look at it as a sad thing, we should grieve for those who are gone.

It brings to mind the story of King David and his punishment for the affair he had with Bathsheba. Samuel told David that the child that came from the affair would die. While the child was living David did all he could to grieve and try to intercede to God. Once the child died he got up and went about living his normal routine. The people asked him why and he said when the child was alive I attempted to change once the child was gone there was nothing I could do.

To me this shows an understanding of the way things are meant to be. Human interaction is for those people who are a part of the relationship. When one human passes on there is nothing more that the one left behind can do. This doesn’t make it any easier for some, but it is the way things are.

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Thank You, God

Recently, my wife and I have been so blessed in so many ways by God. From stress about bills to stress about family, we have been delivered by God. I believe it is because we agreed that we needed to turn things over to God and let His loving hand guide our decisions. (Our decisions offered little to no relief.)

I think that we hinder the plan that God has for us by thinking we need to be in control. So, we decided it was time to put all our cares on Him and things have improved for us. Faith is so crucial in our relationship with God. I believe that when we lack in this relationship that it is failure on our part.  This happens by having weak or restricted faith.  

Once we understand that complete faith in God is only way to go, then the way is made clear for the changes that are needed. Deliverance comes from God and not from self. No matter how good things may seem in the beginning, the solidify factor will always be our faith in God.

Peter, Paul, and Disagreement with Others

2 Peter 3:14-18  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  (15)  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  (16)  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.  (17)  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  (18)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Recently, I posted about Paul and the books of Acts. I am not perfect and God knows I depend on Him greatly. My post obviously offended some people that hold to the belief that Paul was a “self-appointed” apostle. He was referred to as a Pharisees and false prophet. I don’t agree with these statements. I believe that all of the New Testament is the inspired Word of God. This means that the epistles of Paul contain information that we can use to further our relationship with God.

The interesting part of the comments was that Peter was considered to be a true apostle and the original 11 were picked by Jesus. This is true, but Jesus also personally converted Paul and unlike the original 12 Paul was struck blind until he obeyed. Does this make Paul more important than the others? Of course not, I believe it speaks to the conviction in Paul’s heart and the fact that he was a dedicated Pharisee. Just as so many Pharisees persecuted Jesus, Paul picked up the mantle and persecuted those followers who remained on earth.

My point is this: Jesus called the original 12 while still human. The replacement for Judas was pick through the casting of lots. Jesus personally converted Paul on the road to Damascus. All these leaders of the early church were flawed men. There were mistakes made by them and the grace of God delivered them when things were handled wrong.  Only 1 man ever lived a sinless life and he was the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Scripture at the beginning of this post is an epistle of Peter where he is affirming the validity of Paul and his epistles. This affirmation shows us that Paul is not a false prophet and that he and the original 11 were acquainted with each other’s ministries.

Please continue to pray for me that everything I do will be for the Glory of God and that I can serve others as Jesus wants me to.

Peter and Acts

Recently, I downloaded a new app on my phone that allows me to download entire books of the KJV Dramatized Audio Bible. This means that can listen to them while at work without having internet. It really is a blessing to have God’s word with me while going about my nightly duties.

To test this new app I decided to download the book of Acts and listen to it. While listening I noticed that many of people’s actions and words are recorded in the book, especially after the ascension of Jesus. He did many great things in the name of Jesus and helped to spread the message as Jesus instructed it.

Another thing I noticed is that Peter was still a flawed human that needed the Holy Ghost. One example is the vision of the sheet descending with the various animals and Peter being instructed to eat. Peter basically was given the final instruction that whatever God made clean was clean.

This just shows how important each of us are to God. His love and grace will always be the only way we can make it to heaven. We are all flawed humans that will never live good enough to make it to heaven on our own. 

What is the point of this? Just because we fail doesn’t mean we give up. We have to be willing rely on God and He will make us good enough to make it to heaven. 

Time 

Time is one thing we can never get back. Even though we all will spend eternity in paradise or punishment, we still need to be aware of the time we have now. We have no promise of tomorrow and today is happening through the grace of God. This means that we must use this gift for the glory of God.

Sharing the Gospel is the best way we can spend this time. However, we will encounter those that will not be open to a discussion.  For these people, love them, pray for them, and be good to them. The dynamic of a relationship can go a long way in opening the door for witnessing about Jesus and his gift to mankind.

The important thing to know is not trying to force others to believe. Instead, we can plant seeds that can grow into them becoming seekers of God. No one responds to force or abuse in a positive manner.

Defending Your Faith

You know there are a lot of people who feel the need to defend their faith to non-believers. Personally, I think that if we get to the point where we need to defend our faith, maybe we need to take a look at ourselves. If someone chooses to not believe that is their right, but I also have a right to believe and don’t need to justify it to others. The Bible teaches us that faith is a means of justification, so I think this means that faith is already justified. God knows my heart and He will be my final judge.

Christians need to be strong to their faith. We must be willing to share our faith with those who are curious and try not to force it on those who are not. Jesus told the disciples to share the Gospel to those that are willing, but simply shake the dust off their feet of those who rejected them. In other words, share the faith with those who want it and simply leave those who reject it be.

God’s Grace

My wife finally got the phone call she was hoping for and she starts her orientation on Monday. We are both so grateful to this deliverance from God which comes through His grace. Things had gotten type around here, but we kept our faith that it was all a part of God’s plan. I think that at times we create more stress on ourselves because we refuse to turn things over to God and let Him carry us through. This was something my wife and I discussed on several occasions and continue to agree on.

There was an opportunity that came open at the BOE that I decided to apply to and turned in my application today. Now we are praying that if it is God’s will I will get the call. If not then I still have my current position, blessed either way. Because of God’s grace and love for us we are provided ways out of the problems that we get ourselves into. Pray for me and my home when it comes upon your heart. God’s grace is all we need.