Sunday, June 4, 2017

Seeking Fulfillment

I waited for my daughter to reach for me this evening.  After finishing supper, my job was to bathe my daughter.  Instead of merely grabbing here, I called her, reached for her, and waited for her to reach for me.  This episode just helped me understand the pleasure God enjoys when we seek Him.

Although I would have carried her to her bath whether she wanted to or not, I decided to wait until she decided she wanted to be with me, because I would not have had that pleasure if she didn't reach for me.  I know this is a good allegory to our relationship with God, because Jesus taught us that God is our Father and that He loves us.

Jesus said: "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."  John 4:23 We are sought of God. "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:4

"One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple...When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek." Psalm 27. Worship is a communion with our God, and one we must seek after.  What great pleasure there is in simply beholding the beauty of the LORD.

We have a relationship with God--children by adoption, and as a people, His bride.  Love is God's motivation.  All relationships require some communication, and some quality time together.  Worship then is that togetherness, that enjoying of the relationship.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Atonement is the Wisdom of God

Jesus Christ is full expression of wisdom in a person. Proverbs 8 gives witness to the eternity of wisdom--it is inseparable from the nature of God. Creation and the Atonement are two examples of things which can be credited to only God. Explaining creation as a mysterious big bang, or "Mother Nature", or "Science" is an idolatrous doctrine. Likewise, giving mankind the final word on our atonement is an idolatrous doctrine.


I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Is 42:8


The properties of mass and energy as well as the entire book of nature represent the most widely recognized standard for wisdom. In fact, we judge the conclusions of a scientist by how well the agree with the observed laws of nature. To ignore the source of wisdom in nature is ignoring the basis of man's wisdom in understanding nature.


The biblical doctrine of Atonement is not only a glorious expression of the wisdom of God, it is the ultimate standard of Love. False doctrines about the Atonement, dilute the expression of Love which rightly belong to God. It is not wise to allow the perfect sacrifice of Christ be corrupted by the failings of man, and it's not Love if it ends in eternal separation. Rom 8:38-39

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I Praise God

What is the most inherent, essential belief you have?  God is alive and righteous.  How can my existence be possible?  God is eternal and wise.  My Heavenly Father is inherently worthy of my praise.  This is the basis of my understanding of this world and for that I have no apology.

God created the universe and life for his pleasure.  Our senses and the physical mediums whereby we experience and learn were given to us.  I will honor the Creator by giving Him the credit for that gift. The Holy Spirit has given me spiritual life, allowing me to praise a spiritual God with carnal lips and a mortal tongue. So I will.  The beauty of music and the joy of singing are gifts with which we are commanded to praise our Lord and admonish our brethren.  So I will.  I will sing the virtue of the Lord, because He has done all things well.

Jesus lived humbly. He was poor by worldly standards, yet he gave his life serving the poor, healing the sick, and speaking truth to all. Jesus wept.  Jesus was reviled and forsaken.  Jesus suffered.  Should we expect better from this temporary, mortal frame?  The cross represents shame and sufferings.  To fulfill our duty to Christ, we must despise the applause, own the reproach, and bless the Lord now, with our life.  Christ Jesus, of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.  He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  Christ is the first-fruit of the resurrection.  He shall return and collect our bodies--His purchased possession.

The Bible is not the reason I believe, but it testifies of the reason.  The Bible is an inspired witness to the dealings of God with men.  A revelation in our language of His truth and will.  We should value it.  It is no wonder it is despised by the vast majority of those considered wise in this world (that no flesh should glory in God's presence).  The simplicity of the Truth is a stumbling block to the religiously wise and foolishness to the secularly wise.  But to the called it is Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Whole Law

While feeling the pressures of the world, I am conscious of my inadequacy.  It is expected to strive to impress with our achievements and skills and be judged by them, especially now that I am looking for a job.  But our God walked the earth and gave us the qualities that he blesses, and we should focus on pleasing Him; even embracing the reproach.  Blessed are the meek, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and the merciful.  We should seek the Kingdom of God first, understand that the righteousness after which we hunger is the relationship with our Saviour that God has blessed us to have.  Loving God and our neighbors is the whole law and has nothing to do with our intelligence, physical strength and looks, musical ability, or level of education.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Doctrine Aids Worship

Doctrine shouldn't be a dry topic accessible to only intellectuals or lawyers.  If I ever begin to read some technical treatise on a biblical subject, I am immediately turned off.  But when Truth hits home (the heart), it moves the soul to genuinely praise God and gives so much stronger a faith than blind subscription to dogma.  Truth is that Atonement is 100% about God: his love and purpose for us, his sacrifice, and his justification of us.  Doctrine is important because it allows to grasp more Truth, and Truth makes us free and leads us to worship God.  Worshipping God is the summation of our duty.  Nothing is more uplifting or fulfilling than dwelling in the presence of God.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Optimism Is Vital

I read that millennials are characteristically optimistic and it made me reflect on scripture.  Christ said, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."  All optimism is based on faith, and if that faith rests on our Lord, that optimism will be unshakable.  I wish to remind my brethren that God has promised goodness to us not only in eternity but also now. Urge to understand better the Word and treasure it for the gift it is and have faith that it will lead us closer to our God which will be our highest fulfillment.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Worship

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Ps 139:14

What is it to worship God? David gives here two reasons to praise God: we were made to fear and wonder at the marvellous hand of God. Another psalmist says: God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all that are about him. Ps 89:7.  Praise and reverence must accompany worship. I am ashamed to confess that I can't tell you the last time I have had an appropriate amount of reverence when in the house of God. Christ said, "If you love me, keep my commandments".  There is no way we can begin to fulfill our duty and obligation to our Creator, if we are unfamiliar with his Law and Instruction.

The first of the Ten Commandments is to have no other gods before the LORD. The second is to not make any graven image to serve or bow down unto. For God is jealous, we must serve God alone. How serious was he? Read for yourself the entire volume of inspiration. God will share his glory with no one. "He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed". Ex 22:20. Israel was destroyed only when idols were mixed with the service of God. Israel was commanded to drive out the inhabitants of the land that God gave them and "Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to thee". Ex 23:32-33. The Church of the New Testament is likewise commanded to be separate from the world, not to compromise with and tolerate the frivolities and amusements that the flesh seeks; because serving the flesh is a snare. How different is that to the wisdom of man?

If I can make no other point, I want to highlight that there is no other priest in the New Testament than Jesus Christ.  A priest is one to bears the transgressions and petitions of the people before God; he performs the sacrifice. "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself to be a ransom for all, to be testified in due time". I Ti 2:5  Paul said he was an apostle to teach about Jesus and point children to the one and only Way to God. "Christ being come an high priest of good things to come...by his own blood he entered in once to the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us...but now once in the end of the world hath he put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb 9:11-26.

At its core, Idolatry is the love of self and human invention: "Look what we have made".  "If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it". Ex 20:25. The tabernacle where God dwelt with Israel was built with very precise direction, after the pattern shown to Moses in the mount. No deviation from strict obedience can be considered proper worship. God struck down priests who did their own thing in God's tabernacle. God has declared man's righteousnesses as filthy rags, and will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent". Isa 64:6, I Cor 1:19.

That being said, below is a list of habits and doctrines that I believe are idolatrous and therefore shall endeavor to oppose and avoid:
Missing Church meeting for games/ amusement,
Mixing worship with games and amusement at Church,
The doctrine of Free-will, (e.g. the individual is the judge of Christ's sacrifice)
The doctrine of Armianism/Synergism, (e.g. Christ's sacrifice is perfected/applied by our work)
Papacy (e.g. A network of priests are a mediator between the individual and God)
Sacred Images
Seminaries (because it qualifies the ministry with human instrumentation and worldly wisdom)

I am carnal, sold under sin.  My flesh is constantly seeking glory and leading me astray even down paths of idolatry daily. Seeing we have these sinful tendencies in our flesh, the Church should therefore be the more adamant to stick to the simple instruction of the Word, and maintain strict separation from the world in order to be a place for worship to the most holy God