403 - God Never Waste an Experience, Good or Bad

May 27, 2017

God never wastes an experience in our life, good or bad.  When we sin, for example, God uses our failure as a ministry to help others struggling with the same sin.  He allows us to share the times we fell flat on our face to encourage others who are doing the same.  It seems that's what Jesus was teaching Peter.

In the upper room, during the last supper, Jesus told Peter He was praying for him.  But His prayer was not to remove the temptation and inevitable fall from Peter.  No, His prayer was that when Peter fell and suffered the consequences of that fall, that once he repented and returned to Jesus, he was to strengthen his brothers by that experience.  Consider the following:

Luke 22:31-32 - And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

Jesus didn't tell Peter he would deliver him from the temptation, the sifting.  He promised Peter that after he fell and recovered and returned to his faith, Jesus would use that experience to encourage and strengthen others who were struggling in the same way.  That's why, in John 21, we see Jesus restoring Peter by saying, "Feed My lambs" (John 21:15).  Even after Peter's epic denial of Jesus, his ministry was not finished.  In fact, it was just beginning.  And so it is with us.

Does this thought encourage you?  It does me.  If you want to learn more about your usefulness after your failure, then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 21:15-23.

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376 - Stupid is as Stupid Does

December 5, 2016

When we look at the warnings from the Lord found in the first chapter of Proverbs, we are naturally drawn to the almost prophetic words of Forrest Gump.

"Stupid is as stupid does."

To put it in the words of Solomon:

“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?" - Proverbs 1:22.

Or, "How long, you simple (foolish, simpleminded, stupid, naive, moronic) ones, will you love simplicity (what is foolish, simpleminded, stupid, naive, moronic)?"

Great question. But what is the object of this question? What exactly are the stupid ones loving stupidly? What can we learn about the wisdom of God from what is being said here? If you want to know more, then keep listening

The following is a study on Proverbs 1:20-33.

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349 - Blessed are Those who Grieve and Wail and Lament

May 29, 2016
In the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus presents the Beatitudes that introduce His teaching about living in the Kingdom of Heaven.  But there are some truths about living in His Kingdom that we sometimes forget.  For example:

External things cannot satisfy internal needs.  Got it.
And things are not always what they seem to be.  Got that too.
True happiness and true blessedness cannot be found in a fallen, cursed world.  Uh, if you say so.
Everything we see and touch in this world is temporary at best.  I know, but let's get all we can while we are here.

And if that wasn't enough, in Matthew 5:4 Jesus said, 

"Blessed are (who) those who mourn, (why) for they (those who mourn) shall be comforted." 

But that raises a few questions:  

What does it mean to Biblically mourn?  
What are we supposed to be mourning about?  
And why is mourning a good thing?  

To find out about the blessing that comes from Godly sorrow, keep listening.

The following is a study on Matthew 5:4.

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320 - How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

September 2, 2015
In his book, The Baptism With the Holy Spirit, RA Torrey reveals a Scriptural path of seven simple steps anyone can follow to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  All seven steps are found or implied from Acts 2:38.

Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

The steps include:
  1. You must be saved.  Truly saved.
  2. You must renounce all sin.
  3. You must be baptised.
  4. You must live a life of obedience.
  5. You must have a desire, a thirst for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  6. You must ask.
  7. You must ask in faith and believe.
Do you want to know more about the abundant spiritual life and the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit?  If so, then keep listening.

The following is a study on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

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299 - How Can God Love Us as Much as He Says He Does?

April 1, 2015
The truth found in the Scriptures is that God loves us with an everlasting love, even when we don't love Him.  In fact, at the point of our deepest sin and rebellion, at the time of our greatest rejection of Him, at the very moment of our disdain for the sacrifice of His Son, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).  And He expects, even commands, us to love each other with the kind of love He has for us.

Which leads us to ask a couple of questions.

How can we love others with God’s love when we find it so hard to feel loved by God ourselves?
Does God sometimes hide from us and our pain?
And, if not, why does He allow pain and suffering to happen to me and my family?
Where is His love during those bad times?

Troubling questions.  Do you want to know the answers?  If so, keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:3-5.

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298 - Pray Until You Pray!

March 25, 2015
What is the most urgent need in the church today?

The need for purity in sexual matters.
To end abortion and homosexuality in our nation.
Financial integrity in all matters and generosity to others.
Greater evangelism and church planting.
Disciplined, Biblical thinking— a Christian worldview.
To end the plague of divorce in the church.

No, the most urgent need in the church is for a deeper knowledge of God (Col. 1:10).  And how do we go about meeting that need?  Just keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:3 and prayer.

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292 - Backsliding and the Nazi War Machine

February 17, 2015
Sometimes, when it comes to living our life in Christ in a way that pleases the Lord, encouragement can come from someone whose name is not found in the Bible.  Case in point:  Winston Churchill.  Consider the following:

“Never give in.  Never give in.  Never, never, never, never— in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.  Never yield to force.  Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Churchill was talking about the Nazi war machine, but our encouragement comes when we see his words as regarding Satan and the desires of our fallen flesh.  Our enemy is far greater than the Nazis.  We struggle against Satan and our own captivating selves.  

To find out more on how to prevent spiritual backsliding, keep listening.

The following is a study on Proverbs 14:12-14.

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270 - “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive!”

November 4, 2014
Daniel has been in captivity for close to 67 years and understands, from the writings of Jeremiah, that this captivity will only last 70 years.  In 3 more years— freedom.  And Daniel is close to 80 years old when he discovers this truth.

So what does he do?  He prays.  But not like you and I pray.  No, Daniel prays and cries for mercy for his sins, the sins of his people, and the sins of the land.  Daniel prays for his nation like you and I should pray for ours.

Consider the end of his prayer:

"O Lord, hear!  O Lord, forgive!  O Lord, listen and act!  Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name" (Dan. 9:19).

What happens when we, the church, begin to pray like Daniel?  Listen to find out more.

This is a study on Daniel 9:1-19.

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261 - Down with the “D” Word!

September 21, 2014
In the latter half of Malachi 2 God employs some strong words to convey His feelings about His people and their attitude towards Him.  He uses treacherously five times in 8 verses.  We also find profane or profaning, abomination, and God saying He literally hates something.  

Those two words alone, God and hate, should get our attention.

But what does God hate?  Ah, that's where the "D" word comes in.  

Want to hear more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:10-17.

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260 - Go and Sin No More

September 17, 2014
Sometimes we accept the forgiveness of Jesus and assume it's simply a one-sided act.  He does all the work and we reap all the benefits.

It's like changing the lyrics to the old song that goes:  "Jesus paid it all."  And with this we agree.  "All to Him I owe."  Uh, not so fast.  I'd rather just take the forgiveness and go home.

But that's not how it works in the Kingdom of God.  In John 8 we see a woman forgiven by Jesus and left with the following command:  "Go and sin no more."   Did you ever wonder why He said that to her?

To find out more, keep listening.

The following is a study on John 7:53-8:12.

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