Exalting God, Edifying Believers, Evangelizing the Lost

How Big Is Your God?

How big is your God?

I have asked this question to numerous people when they express doubt about God’s provision, His protection, or His control of our lives.

As believers, we shouldn’t have to struggle with doubt about God because we have His Spirit indwelling us, empowering us, teaching us and guiding us.  His Spirit is that personal assurance to each of us that God will always do what He promised He would do.

And yet, we all have those moments in our lives when things don’t seem to be working out the way we expect, and we wonder if God has forgotten about us. In those instances, we need to constantly remind ourselves of Job’s answer when God challenged him about his doubt –

I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2, NASB).

As much as we don’t want to admit it, our doubt is the result of unbelief.  We really don’t believe the Bible is true, otherwise we would trust God’s Word as reality and not what we see around us.  If we believe that God is in control, we wouldn’t worry about our circumstances and their outcome.

If we believe that God will provide all our needs, then we wouldn’t worry about not having enough money to cover our expenses. If we really believe that God is who He says He is, then we wouldn’t doubt.

So really, how big is your God?

How Much Is Enough?

How much is enough?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?

When we pack for a trip or plan for a large gathering, that question becomes the focus of our preparation. But that question also applies to our finances, our house, our cars, everything we own.  How much is enough?

Unfortunately, many people never think they have enough and continue to try to add more and more to their personal inventory.

But as believers, God has already answered that question for us. Ephesians 1:3  tells us,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

We have ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS in Jesus Christ, Paul says. And in Colossians 2:10, he adds this note: “ And ye are complete in him.” Complete…that means enough.

All we need is found in Jesus Christ. He is the answer to every question; He is the solution to every problem; He is the substance of every need.  In Jesus, we have enough.

Jeremiah came to understand this, even through immense struggles and persecution, as he wrote in Lamentations 3:24,  “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

There is nothing else that we should put our confidence or hope in other than Jesus Christ. If we have Him, we have everything that we need. And that is why Paul could confidently say in Philippians 4:19,  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Jesus is enough.

Being Overcomers

As believers, we know that we fight an invisible enemy in Satan as he tries to distract us from being faithful to God in our lives.

He tempts us with lust, with anger, with pride and with fear.  He knows our weaknesses and he will use whatever he can to sway us from following the Lord.

The good news is that we do not have to give in. In fact, Jesus says that we are “overcomers” if we continue to trust in Him for strength and endurance.  And that is not just a theory—it is a reality.

In Revelation 12:11, John talks about those who will remain faithful through the worst temptations and persecution that Satan can dish out during the Great Tribulation:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The verse before this speaks about how Satan likes to accuse believers before God for all of our failings.  But Jesus pleads their case before God, claiming his blood as the payment for all of their sins. So even their actual sin cannot bring them down as overcomers by Christ’s blood.  And since they are overcomers in Christ, they will maintain a consistent testimony of Christ in their lives, even when it means almost certain death.

What does the testimony of your life say about you? Are you an overcomer in Christ? Or have you given in to the wiles of the devil to protect your own life?

Are God’s Laws Strange to You?

Did you know that in Pennsylvania it is illegal to catch fish with your bare hands? It is also against the law to sing in the bathtub, sleep on a refrigerator outside, sell cars on Sunday, or sweep dirt under a rug. And in Pittsburgh, it is illegal to bring a mule onto a trolley car.

Those might seem like strange laws to us, but when they were passed, there was probably a very good reason for them to exist.

Sometimes, God’s laws strike us in the same way.  We may not understand why God prohibits certain things in the lives of His people or calls us to be different from others who are “of the world.”

For many people, God’s limitations on His people are way too strict.  But God knows what is best for us, and so He gives us commands that we must obey.  For those who love Him, His commands shouldn’t be a problem.

In 1 Timothy 1:9, Paul refers to people who question God’s laws—

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient.”

Rules and laws only bother those that want to go their own way and do their own thing.

God’s laws should be a comfort to believers, in that we can know exactly what our God expects of us and how we can please Him.  And for those who love Him, “His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).

So which are you—a righteous man who loves God’s laws, or someone who is lawless and disobedient?

Love Over Fear

The pandemic over the past year and half has affected us all in many areas of our lives.  Quarantines, social distancing, and face masks became a new and consistent part of daily living that we all had to deal with.

But as much of an inconvenience as those are, I believe the greatest challenge is, and still may be, fear.  Lack of information and then conflicting information about the virus as the pandemic wore on just added to the fear and confusion. Fear of the unknown, fear of getting sick, fear of possibly dying, and even fear of spreading the disease to someone else unknowingly were common concerns.

And our entire lifestyles changed because of it.  We stopped doing things we normally do and stopped seeing people we normally see.

But at some point, fear has to be overcome by something stronger—love. 1 John 4:18 tells us that

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”

When God commanded us to love one another, there were no exceptions to that. We quarantined at first in love to protect each other, but that cannot be the new norm.  We cannot truly love one another as Christ loved us unless we are together. So, we cannot let fear keep us apart.

In Mark 1, Jesus is “moved with compassion” toward a leper that had come to him for healing, and in response, HE TOUCHED THE LEPER to heal him. Jesus did not let fear of a disease stop Him from showing love, and we shouldn’t either.

Love never fails, not even in a pandemic.

Is Anything an Accident?

The dictionary defines “accident” as an unforeseen event or one without apparent cause. Any Christian who understands the sovereignty of God will immediately determine from this definition that there is no such thing as an accident.

It’s like the cowboy who goes to buy some life insurance. The broker asked him if he had any accidents in the past year, to which the cowboy replied “No. But I was kicked by a horse, chased by a raging bull and bitten by a snake that laid me up for a while.” The agent said, “Weren’t they accidents?” To which the stockman replied, “No, they did it on purpose.”  You see this stockman realized that there are no such thing as accidents. (Source Unknown).

True accidents do not exist because God is absolutely sovereign and in control of every circumstance that happens on earth and in heaven. We may not understand why He allows things that seem “bad” to us, but we must accept that he is still in control.

Our problem is that we are human, and there is no way that we COULD understand God’s plan, even if He showed it to us.  In Isaiah 55:9 God reminds us,

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

If we were God, we would do things differently than God…and that is why we are not God.  God does all things well. The sooner we accept that truth, the sooner we will be able to find true joy and peace, even in the worst of circumstances.

Supernatural Speed

Usain Bolt holds the title of being the “fastest human being who has ever lived.”  He has received 8 Olympic Gold Medals and currently holds the world record for the 100 meter sprint with a top speed of almost 30 miles per hour.  In many of his races, he was so far ahead of the competition, that he eased up for the last few yards and still won easily.

We might say that he has “superhuman” speed.  Yet, the Bible records someone who ran much faster—Elijah.

After defeating the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah prays for rain. When a “little cloud” rises out of the sea, Elijah knows it’s time to run. King Ahab was already riding in his chariot to stay ahead of the storm–his top speed would have been about 35 miles per hour. But 1 Kings 18:46 tells us,

“And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”

With God’s help, Elijah outran Ahab’s horses over a distance of 20 miles. That was not superhuman; that was a miracle of God’s power.

Elijah was not a sprinter or an Olympic athlete.  He was a prophet of God that trusted in the power of God to fulfill his calling.

While this 20-mile dash was an extraordinary manifestation of God’s power, remember that Elijah had just prayed down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice.

God will provide all the power we need to fulfill our ministry.  That’s why Paul says in Philippians 4:13,  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Are You Spiritually Racist?

Racism is wrong…when it actually exists. But there are those in our culture today who use accusations of racism for nothing more than to denigrate others and further their own agenda.

The dictionary defines racism as “the belief that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” That means those who believe that certain races deserve different treatment are actually guilty of racism themselves.

Jewish believers were guilty of this in the early church to some degree, believing that because they were “God’s chosen people,” they were more acceptable to God than Gentiles.

Christians, more than anyone else, should understand that all people are equal in God’s sight, especially in the church.  In Galatians 3:28, Paul reminds us that

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ.”

Starting from the standpoint that all humans are of the human race, Paul then emphasizes the unity that we have in Jesus Christ, not because of who we are, but because of Who He is.

None of us are any better or have a higher standing before God than anyone else.  We are all sinners in need of a Savior, and when we are brought into the Body of Christ, God makes us one.

The church, more than any other group on earth, should exemplify the principle of “equal before God,”  something that should make the church stand out in the world.

Developing a Trustworthy Reputation

Most of us know the story about the boy who falsely cried “wolf” just to get attention, and then when there really was a wolf, no one would listen to him.

That is the problem with insincerity and falsehood.  No one believes you, even when you are telling the truth.  That is why many people take to using oaths, swearing on their mother’s grave, or even swearing before God, since otherwise, they would not be believed because of their reputation for bending the truth.

Have you ever noticed that it is generally the most untrustworthy people who are always trying to convince you of something by swearing that it is true?

Jesus warned us about using oaths to convince people of the truthfulness of what we say in Matthew 5:37:

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

His command was preceded by a warning against using oaths to convince others of our truthfulness, referring to the Scribes and the Pharisees as examples of those that used oaths to deceive others into believing them.

If we would just speak the truth all the time, we will develop a reputation characterized by truthfulness and people will take us at our word without us having to swear an oath.

It really is true that honesty is always the best policy.

We Are at War!

When you look around at all the violence happening in the world, and even in our own country as riots and civil unrest continue, you can’t help but wonder if the return of Christ is soon. But until He comes back, Christians need to continue to fight.

Psalm 144:1 says,

“Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:”

God wants us to go to war!  But it is important that we fight the right battles.

Our war is not against liberals in government, or against people corrupting our culture with sin.  They are just carrying out the orders of their leader.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our battle is “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Paul says that we are fighting a spiritual battle against Satan and his demons.  He goes on to say that the greatest weapons we have in that battle are the Word of God and prayer.

But victory is not defined by destroying the enemy—we cannot do that. Victory in the battle against Satan and his forces is defined as continuing “to stand in the evil day.” God will win the war, but we must survive the battles.

God has given us armor to protect ourselves from evil, but we must put it on every single day. The days that we neglect to do that, we are defenseless against the enemy’s attack.