Posts tagged ‘pleasing God’

Be still… acknowledge God in your trials!

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Philippians 4:5-7
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If we were to look at the above verses, we understand they are both saying the same thing. Very often people are misunderstood, which affects the actions of their peers in that given environment. For people who believe their identity is grounded in what people generally perceive of them, this is an impossible situation to deal with. The world in their unbelief are blind to God and so the approval they seek, is of the people around them in everything they do but you know the expression of what it is to be at the mercy of people. It is very different from being at mercy of God, availed in the saving love of Jesus Christ.

1Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

If we were to look at 1Peter 5:9 in the light of Psalm 119:71, 75; we would see that there is such a thing as righteous suffering, which God brings upon us for two main reasons. The first reason being that these afflictions serve as furnace experiences in the lives on the believer, burning out the godless dross in his/her mind and heart. The second reason is: God is worth every righteous striving because that earnest striving in lives of believers is the worship God seeks of those whom He has redeemed in Christ. For those who receive this new birth in the Spirit of Jesus (John 3:3), go through an ennobling process (James 2:5) under the mighty hand of the Triune God. Knowing that all creation glorifies God, if we take a look at how noble metals are purified, we understand how affliction burns out the dross from our hearts and minds in refining us in His own image.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:1, 28, 31
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

We ought to remember that Salvation is God saving us from himself; Satan may be an agent of death but that is only because he has fathered our sin from the fall (Gen3:1-6). The wages of sin is death but as much as justice is a perfect attribute of God, so is His love, and it is in His perfect love that God offered us His own Son as an atonement for our sins. In doing so, God sent His Son to be born of virgin and take on the complete nature of man and thus become that unblemished sacrifice which substituted us in receiving the full onslaught of His Father’s wrath poured out for all sin, thus paying the full wages of sins for all of His sheep. To view Almighty God and Satan as two opponents in a boxing ring, is a lie which Satan has only succeeded in infiltrating the minds of those who are indifferent to God and those who are a standard to themselves (Proverbs 26:12). The fall has made such a worldview natural for every son/daughter of Adam, it is no wonder that the Salvation God presents us in Jesus Christ, is a twofold propitiation; the first being, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus fully satisfies/propitiates the wrath of God poured out for all our sins, & the second being, the Spirit of Christ propitiates/overcomes the ungodly rebellion in hearts and mind of those God has called to Himself according to His will.

Isaiah 40:30-31
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

John 14: 1, 6 (Jesus says)
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

So, the next time you are troubled remember: the first thing you must have in place is how you stand in that moment before God. If you erred in the sight of God, set that straight from the knowledge of God revealed to you in scripture and wait on Him then to deliver you from that trial, which He shall do so only in His time and from the mercy you have availed before Him in Jesus Christ alone. Remember once you are set right in the sight of God, there is no need for any anxious striving to justify yourself in the sight of self-righteous men. Instead you ought to wait on God silently, to deliver you in that trying moment, which you are given to do while persevering in the righteousness of God as revealed in the Holy Bible. As you do this, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.

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The Unbiblical Nature of the Lenten Season!

Growing up as a Roman Catholic, I always felt that Lent was a time for us to be religious. However, I as I grew up and began to study the Bible I learnt that the concept of lent is nowhere in the Bible. Roman Catholic priest happen to go around advising people on abstinence to show God some love and devotion in this season with an abstinence that makes a difference in their lives, like if they usually crave for non-vegetarian food they should abstain from it and if they are habitual smokers or drinkers then they should abstain from that too. Now let’s see what the Bible has to say about such religiosity.

Colossians 2
20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as,
21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!”
22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

Speaking of severe treatment on the body in verse 23, I am reminded of the extreme practices on the supposedly lenten Good Friday by Roman Catholics in the Philippines, whose religious zeal doesn’t appear to come from the Bible but from copying Muslims during Muharram, whose ungodly rebellion promotes the fear of men in religion as over the fear of God. However, it is typical for Christians who do not know their Bible to go aping non-Christians in their practice of Christianity. My guess then is as good as yours concerning the future of the lenten season that it may someday become a food festival as it is with the case of the Islamic season of fasting called Ramadan, where the sale of food and grocery items go up by about 71%.

Mat 17
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

John 8 (Jesus’ word)
23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.
24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

If we are to acquaint ourselves with what pleases God, we should understand that it more to do with morality than it has to do with anything else. Take a look at the 10 Commandments from Exo 20:3-17 in the light of what Jesus says in Mat 22:36-40, notice that the first four commandments speak of the believer’s primary duty to love God and then the other six is his duty towards those in his environment. There is nothing here about what you must not eat or drink, it’s all about how you think, speak and act because that show the condition of your rebellious heart before God (Lk 6:43-48). The reason God requires you to believe in His Son Jesus is because of the redeeming power that is made available in Him to turn you from your sins to the Triune God Himself.

Luke 6 (Jesus’ word)
43 “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.
44 “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.
45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
47 “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:
48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

What Lent is about according to the Catholic Education Resource Centre
“Most importantly, Jesus fasted and prayed for “40 days and 40 nights” in the desert before He began His public ministry (Mt 4:2).”

To every Catholic I know and have been brought up with, believes that Lent observes the 40 days of Jesus fasting but the Catholic Education Resource Centre neither corrects this stand in the Church nor does it document this stand, which it does so only to play safe. For many Roman Catholics, it seems that Jesus’ 40 days of fasting culminated with His death and resurrection but this stand is absurd because reading Mat 3:13 to 4:20 in the context of John 1:19-42 shows that Jesus’ 40 days of fasting was the very initiation of His ministry and so it is absurd to have the Last Supper during such a Lenten season when Jesus hadn’t any disciples during this time. However, if you were to take a look at what the Catholic Education Resource Centre has to say, it seems they are well aware of this fact but the people’s ignorance plays well in their favour during this season and so this touch topic is best swept under the carpet. History has seen the Roman Catholic Church not only deny people access to the Bible but also persecute and slander people as heretics, people like William Tyndale who made the Bible accessible to the people.

Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.”

Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. History has it that the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.

John 15
19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

To conclude, I would like to say that there is no such thing in Christianity as a season of pleasing God or a season of obedience to God for that matter because when one is born again as mentioned in Jn 3:3, his nature towards sin is overcome by the saving power of Christ to a nature of obedience unto God. When I speak of nature, I mean the effect of Christ’ atonement in this person’s life is for real and not a seasonal show of trifle religiosity, owing to one’s sloth or ignorance of the Bible. Remember, we were made in the image of God i.e. we shared in the very nature of God before the fall of Adam and the redeeming power of Christ restores this nature to us in Salvation.

Fallen ​Humanity vs. Righteous God

Very often I come across people who don’t have their own lives in place but find themselves in the position to comment on God, saying religion is merely a fabrication of the masses. However this is only true when talking about religions people have fabricated in their rebellion against God. Take Sati for instance or the offering of female neonates to Hindu goddesses by drowning them in milk in presenting the family’s request that the next child be a boy. Or Buddhism or Jainism, where roaming nude has more to do with enlightenment than morality itself. It is no wonder that their temples are filled with erotic sculptures that decorate their façade. What about Islam, where bestiality is allowed to whet the individual’s appetite for sex, as though the devout Muslim was no different from animals so as to be joined with them.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When it comes to Christianity, the code we are given to live by is the Moral Law, where we treat the people around with the same concern as we treat ourselves. However, the world is so blinded by unbelief that instead of painstakingly weeding out false religions, it chooses to carpet bomb religion all by itself, when it is actually the fabricated lies of men about God that needs to be dealt with. It is funny that the same people who say religion is fabricated by men, turn out to be the same who take immense pride in their own religion under the banner of culture and so it seems that these people are nothing more than hypocrites.

Mat 5
36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Today, the reason people have to makes promises is because the rest of the time what they say has little substance or relevance. These people cannot be held for what they say because they speak that which is only most convenient to them in serving their own godless purpose in that moment. Owing to their unbelief, people think that if God was out of the way, people would be able to relate with each other much better and build society on a better social platform. However, the only reason people want God out of the way is because they choose to live as they please. Be their own boss even when it comes to morality.

John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Another thing people misconceive about religion, is that it has been the cause for all the wars. According to the Encyclopaedia of Wars, from the 1763 wars recorded in the world only 123 of them had a religious motive, which is about 7%. Now I don’t know from where secularist get their facts but it looks more like they speak only that which is most opportune in that moment, being removed from all truth, thanks to their broken communion with God, which they would rather not admit. The Bible teaches that man in his fallen state in Adam is given to Anarchy, man loves senseless chaos and this is what man supposes to achieve by discounting genuine faith in God.

James 1
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Like the term “gay”, which today has been abused beyond genuine recognition, so too is religion. There was a time when the word “gay” was associated with joyous festivity like the Deck the Halls Christmas Carol which had the verse: Don we now our gay apparel. Today, such a statement would be met with ridicule but that is because the homosexual community has hijacked the word gay is associating it with itself, just as it has also done with the rainbow, which Biblically is God’s covenant with mankind, saying that He would not destroy the world with a flood as He did in the time of Noah. Imagine today, if people look up at the rainbow in the sky and associate that with the gay community; that would be so typically of the world whose mind-set is naturally given to blasphemous unbelief from the fall of Adam. The same world who like a bunch to hypocrites deny God on the count of all the suffering in the world.

2Peter 1
19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

To conclude, religion that is fabricated by men who fashion their gods and stories of them after their thoughts, can never be trusted because they choose to mislead people to eternal damnation from their own fallen nature. Contrary to what people generally believe, God is an absolute reality and the only reason people choose to deny it is because it is God who stands between them and the lives they choose to live as they please but just because God stops you from the living as you please, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t exists. On the contrary, it is because God exists that you cannot live as you please. Remember, life belongs to God to the extent that even suicide is a sin and there is no way you can get around having your own way in life. The only thing you can do well, is live on God’s terms and that is only possible by setting your heart straight with God through repentance unto Jesus Christ. You must understand that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, so unless you abide in Him (Jn15:4), you really haven’t lived life in all its fullness.

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