I Have Or I Will?

I think it was one of the verses our students were memorizing this week that got me thinking along these lines. The verse was 2 Timothy 4:7.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”

This is a short and easy verse to memorize, especially with the repetition of “I have” in the verse. As I was thinking about these words written by the apostle Paul, another verse of Scripture came to my mind.

” For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Isaiah 14:13,14

There is such a great contrast in these verses. The words we read in Isaiah were spoken by Lucifer(aka satan)and show the rebellion that lead to his fall.

I noticed that:

  • He spoke in the future tense.
  • His plans left God completely out of the picture.
  • He started out in right standing with God, but because of his willfulness became the enemy of God.
  • Nothing that he said he was going to do came to pass. God saw to that, and we can read on in this chapter and in other verses in the Bible of his fall.

 

Paul on the other hand :

  • He speaks in the present perfect tense.(The present perfect  expresses an action that is still going on or that stopped recently, but has an influence on the present. It puts emphasis on the result.)
  • Paul’s past, after his Damascus road experience and conversion, clearly had an influence on his present and would also influence his future and eternal destination.
  • Paul started out in wrong standing with God(as all of us do)but through his faith and obedience became a friend of God.
  • Because of Paul’s “I haves” he would have a glorious future.

In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul goes on to say:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

And we will have a glorious future too when our time of departure comes, if we’re living right!

 

In reading of two speakers

Their words, I ponder still

One of them said “I have”

The other said, “I will”

 

The one who proclaimed “I will”

Spoke purely out of pride

Inappropriate ambition

That in him, did reside.

 

Of all he said he would do

None of it came to pass

Then judgment came upon him

He fell from heaven at last.

 

The second, of which I read

The great apostle Paul

Who considered himself to be

The chiefest sinner of all.

 

On the road to Damascus

His conversion did take place

And this once so proud Pharisee

Became a trophy of God’s grace.

 

He went on to do a work for God

Served faithfully , and then

Near the end of his life

These  “I haves”  he did pen

 

The first I have we read

I have fought a good fight

Through battles in body and spirit

He clung to God with all of his might.

 

And then the following phrase

I have finished my course

He ran the Christian race

Pressed on with no remorse

 

I have kept the faith

The next phrase that he penned

Aided by God’s strength

On which he did depend.

 

Lucifer spoke in the future tense

Grandiose words he did proclaim

Paul spoke in the present perfect

Gave glory to Jesus’ name.

 

Realizing in past and present

God was with him all the way

And would give him the crown of righteousness

On the judgment day.

 

In reading these scenarios

We see two points of view

An influence for good or bad

In what we say and do.

 

We can boast of our future like satan

And leave God completely out

Scheme through our own ingenuity

To bring all our goals about.

 

But when that judgment day comes

And our lofty dreams come to naught

We will realize too late

The lie that we have bought.

 

Or like the apostle Paul

We can give ourselves to God

Allow Him to direct our steps

That path that we do trod.

 

And as we live and labor for Him

Walking in His glory and strength

When we reach the end of our journey

We will stand in heaven at length.

 

9/23/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Angel Of Light

Satan is transformed into an angel of light

With clever craftiness, he makes wrong seem right

It’s no wonder his ministers do the same thing

With ear  pleasing doctrines that they do bring.

 

Bringing deception to a new height

Satan is transformed into an angel of light

Injecting his lies into our society

The masses then believe they are propriety.

 

He endeavors to infiltrate heart and mind

With ideals, the misleading and subtle kind

Satan is transformed into an angel of light

Seeks to make God’s Word appear trite.

 

When Lucifer’s rebellion in heaven erupted

He was cast down to earth, his wisdom corrupted.

Now this has become his pitiful plight

Satan is transformed into an angel of light.

 

8/19/16

 

2Corinthians 11:14-15  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 

2Corinthians 4:3,4  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 

Isaiah 14:12-15  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

 

Ezekiel 28:14-17  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

 

Isaiah 5:20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

 

 

p r I d e

It goes before destruction.

It goes before a fall.

It’s growth can be phenomenal,

although it starts out small.

 

You can fall into its’ trap,

be mastered and be caught,

by thinking of yourself

more highly than you ought.

 

Of all the things God hates,

this one tops the list.

When it gets inside your spirit,

it becomes what God does resist.

 

It may start with just a look;

something that seems so small,

but as it grows and festers

it’s the greatest sin of all.

 

Only by surrender

of our stubborn human will

can this fierce beast be defeated,

and once again lie still.

 

Only through dying daily;

our flesh being crucified,

can we achieve the victory

o’er this terrible thing called pride.

written 11-3-11

Proverbs 6:16-19

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

 

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Proverbs 11:2

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

 

Proverbs 13:10

Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

 

Proverbs 16:18

 

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

 

Proverbs 28:25

 

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

 

Romans 12:3

 

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

 

James 4:6

 

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy Of Power Steering

 

For the past 3 or 4 weeks the power steering in my car has not been working. At times, this made driving a real challenge, especially when it came to navigating those tight turns. When doing on street parking, I needed to park in a spot where no other cars could park in front of me, because I might not be able to get out without hitting another vehicle.  In short, I just couldn’t always get to where I wanted or needed to go, because I didn’t have enough strength on my own to turn that wheel.  One day while I was driving to work, I started thinking about what my life was before I knew God. Even though I had some sense of right and wrong, I often found myself in situations where it seemed I couldn’t go the right direction, even though I was trying and had a desire. I can remember particular instances where my conscience told me that what I was doing was wrong, and yet, I persisted in the thing I was doing. My problem was that I had no power.

I’m thankful that all of that struggle started to change when I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost as a teenager! Jesus tells us in Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

I found that after I received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, not only did I have power to be a witness for the Lord, but He gave me power over the sin with which I struggled.  Almost immediately I stopped using foul language which was something I really tried to do on my own, but I found that curse words would slip out of my mouth without me even thinking about it. God just took that away! He also helped me to break off a relationship which I knew was taking me in the wrong direction. It is amazing what the power of the Holy Ghost can do in a person’s life! When my daughter was just a toddler, I remember a young man who came and visited our church one day. This guy had a shaved head, goatee beard and just looked like a trouble maker. You could tell he had lived a rough life. I learned later that he had been invovled in gangs and drive by shootings. To make a long story short, he ended up repenting of his sins, being baptized in Jesus’ name and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. If you were to see him today, you would never know that he was a former gang member. He is completely different – changed by the power of the Holy Ghost!

Since the time I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, there have been times when I started to veer off course. Perhaps I wasn’t praying like I needed to or I had slacked off in reading the Word or I wasn’t faithful to the house of God. I would start to mess up, and I could definitely tell that the “powering steering fluid” in me was low. Thank God He gives us the opportunity to repent and get back on track when we start to go in the wrong direction! We can get a refilling and a renewing in the Holy Ghost so that we can have power to continue living in a way that is pleasing to Him.

I am happy to report that the power steering problem in my car was fixed yesterday. No more trying to crank that wheel with just my own strength!

 

 

But Amnon Had A Friend

I have an unusual hobby that I engage in every so often. Every time I attend a church conference, I always try to take at least one of the messages I hear and put the essence of it into poetic form. One of the messages that was preached by Elder Frazier was entitled “But Amnon Had A Friend”. It was a warning to avoid the downfall of Amnon, which was confiding in and listening to the bad, ungodly advice given by his friend, Jonadab. I am thankful for this timely message for young people.(and us older folks too)We really need to be careful about the friendships we have, because if they are not right, we could lose out with God and have our lives become a disaster.  To read about what happened to Amnon in 2 Samuel 13, click here.

Here is my poem. This form of poetry is called a quatern.

 

“But Amnon had a friend”

To whom he did attend

But what Jonadab did advise

Led to Amnon’s sad demise.

 

 

 

These words we cannot amend

“But Amnon had a friend”

May their message be your guide

Take care in whom you confide.

 

 

 

The struggle that raged in his heart

He could have taken to God at the start

“But Amnon had a friend”

Whose counsel led to a tragic end.

 

 

 

When temptation, your mind comes to haunt

Let God be your true confidant

Lest the same error make you descend

“But Amnon had a friend.

 

written 6/24/11

Heart and Mouth Disease

Remember me? I have no respect for justice. I break hearts & ruin lives. I’m malicious. I gather strength with age. The more I’m quoted, the more I’m believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They can’t protect themselves against me because I have no face. To track me down is impossible…. I’m nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it’s never quite the same. My name? Gossip.  – Unknown
 

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes

If you went to Sunday school as a kid you may be familiar with this song.

 

“Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”

 

There are also verses that deal with our ears, mouth and feet too, which are other members of our body that can get us into trouble. While this is considered a fun kiddie song, there really is a lot of truth to it. I’ve been thinking lately about how easily influenced we can be by the things we see. Advertisers know it all too well, and we are bombarded daily with a host of images through television (if you happen to own one –we don’t have one, and I don’t miss it at all) the Internet, magazines and billboards. I wonder if people are influenced to sin more through sight than any of their other senses. Sight definitely played a part in the first sin in the Garden of Eden.

 

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

 

I know that Eve was deceived by the serpent, and what he said to her not only got her looking at the tree, which God commanded her and Adam not to partake of, but thinking about how good it would be to partake of it.  Looking at forbidden things can definitely lead to lusting, and this is played out in several instances in Scripture.

 

Consider the case of Achan recorded in the book of Joshua.

 

Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

 

Achan partook of something that God said was accursed, and as we read of his story, we can see the steps to his downfall.

 

Joshua 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

7:20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:

7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

 

Achan first looked upon the accursed thing. (the city and everything in it was accursed according to ch. 6:17,18) Next he coveted the things that he saw. Desire for those things began to take hold of his heart. Then he took them, and finally we see that he hid them in the earth.

 

This seems to be a pattern when it comes to sin involving the lust of the eyes. In Eve’s case she looked upon the fruit, desired it, took it, gave some to her husband, and then they both tried to hide from God. This scenario even played out in the life of David, king of Israel, writer of many of the psalms and a man whom the Bible calls “a man after God’s own heart.”(Acts 13:21,22)

 

2Samuel 11:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

11:3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

11:4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

 

As we read on in this chapter we learn that Bath-sheba became pregnant from this encounter. David tried to “hide” what he had done by getting Bath-sheba’s husband Uriah to come home from battle and spend some time with his wife, so it would appear that she was with child by her own husband. When this didn’t work, David gave orders to put Uriah in the forefront of the battle so he would be killed.  Unfortunately, this plan worked, and now that Uriah was dead, David could take Bath-sheba as his wife, and his sin would be “hidden.” It wasn’t hidden from the eyes of God.  God in His mercy sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him concerning his sin.  David made the right choice and repented. Psalm 51(one of my favorites) is the record of his repentance 

 

Even the most spiritual person can fall prey to temptation. None of us are immune to it, but I believe we can be less likely to be tempted in this fashion if we consider the things we allow ourselves to view. If looking is the first step in sinning through the lust of the eyes, then should we not carefully consider the things we allow ourselves to see? Do we look upon things that we know would be displeasing to God? Things that he forbids in His Word? Things that we would be ashamed to view if others knew that we were looking at them? May God help us to make a covenant with our eyes!

 

 

Make a covenant with you eyes

to shield your gaze from satan’s lies.

For pondering on forbidden fruit

can lead to sin, your soul pollute.

 

Imagery oft makes alluring cries.

Make a covenant with your eyes.

Let you sights be turned away

from temptations that lead the heart astray.

 

Captivations of the mind

may spring from seductions, the visual kind.

Make a covenant with your eyes

not to look on the things that can lead to demise.

 

Sometimes it just takes only a look

to lead us away from God’s holy book.

The way that is right, the way that is wise

make a covenant with your eyes.

 

8-1-09

 

Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

 

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?