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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope For The Middle Aged

My husband and I were having a discussion yesterday about middle age. It’s certainly been a period in our lives where we have seen a lot of changes, sometimes on a daily basis. I’m writing this post for a little comic relief and to give hope to our friends out there who are in the same boat as we are. I’m certainly glad for my physical body that some of these changes are only temporary. For reasons listed here and others, I sure am looking forward to seeing Jesus!

 

A strange thing has happened in our lives

They call it middle age

Which I think is overrated

Definitely not all the rage.

 

We don’t know what changes there will be

Upon awaking each morning

But there are signs our years are advancing

Our bodies are giving us warning.

 

One day, I found quite surprising

And much to my chagrin,

While gazing in the mirror

A granny hair under my chin!

 

And as my spouse was starting his day

His body moving about

I heard him utter a groan

As one of his knees gave out.

 

When we were kids, we played outdoor games

I remember when “tag” was in

But now it’s turned into this ugly little thing

We find hanging from our skin.

 

There are other changes I could mention.

The list goes on and on.

But it’s really not the type of change

That I wish to dwell upon.

 

The change that I am longing for,

For which my spirit does sigh;

Will take place in a moment,

In the twinkling of an eye.

 

When the Lord returns to earth

And splits the Eastern sky

Caught up to meet him in the air

To heaven, I will fly.

 

This body, now slowly fading

Puts on immortality

Gone, the limitations of this flesh,

In his likeness, I will be.

 

Truly this is the change

That I’m longing to see take place

And forever I will be satisifed

When at last, I behold His face!

9/2/16

1Corinthians 15:51-55

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

 

Psalm 17:15  As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PCC-Making An Eternal Difference

  


Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT

 

There is an unseen battle that takes place everyday in the lives of those who are truly striving to live their lives in accordance with the Bible, God’s Word. We will either succumb to the pressures that this world hurls against us and conform to ungodliness or we will be transformed in our minds, that our behavior might be pleasing to God. This battle can be especially intense for young people who are in their formative years and are making choices and decisions that will determine who they are and ultimately, where they will spend eternity.

I am so thankful for Pacific Coast Camp, which I was privileged to be able to attend last week with my family and other members andoung people from our church. I can’t remember the exact number of campers (ages 7-25) that were there, but I know it was over 300. Most of the young people that attended have already received their initial salvation experience of repenting of sin, being baptized in the name of Jesus and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. However, there is a whole lot more to living for God than obeying Acts 2:38. We still have a sinful nature to contend with and a devil that does all he can to hinder our salvation experience from becoming a growing and wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. At Pacific Coast Camp, young people were given an opportunity to disconnect from the hindrances of technology(cell phones, ipads, ipods, MP3 players, etc.) and connect with God through the preaching of the Word, prayer, praise and good fellowship.

The teaching of Bro. Lackey each morning and the preaching of the good elders in the evening services was outstanding. It was so uplifting to see the response to each message as young people would flood to the altars to rededicate themselves to God. How helpful it is for young people as well, to see other youth from different churches who are endeavoring to live for God too. It is encouraging to know that you are not alone in choosing to walk in a way that is contray to the practices of this world.

I am grateful to the men that had the burden and vision to bring this camp into existence. This was the camp’s 10 year anniversary, and I believe it was our 6th year of being in camp with a group of young people from our church. There is much time, work and sacrifice involved in putting together such a powerful meeting, and I know God does reward and will reward those who played a part in it.

I believe the greatest reward will be seeing those that make it to heaven, because something they received at camp got embedded deep in their spirits, and they remained faithful. Thank God for Pacific Coast Camp!

A New Testament Memorial Day

Have you ever prayed for something for a long time and have just grown weary of praying?  Have you ever prayed and asked the question, “God, when are you going to bring it to pass?”   I wonder if Cornelius ever felt this way.  The Bible describes the character of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and verse 2.

 

A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

  I looked up the word “prayed” in this verse in Strong’s Concordance and the meaning was to beg, beseech or petition.  It appears there was something that Cornelius was desperately seeking God for, and he did it on a continual basis.  The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Cornelius was praying for, but it does tell us there came a day when an angel of God appeared to him and told him that God remembered all the times that he had prayed.

Acts 10:3  He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. Acts 10:4  And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 

 

 Although we may not know exactly what Cornelius prayed for, we do have the record of how God chose to answer his prayers.

 

Act 10:5  And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: Act 10:6  He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. 

 

 Cornelius was told to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what he needed to do.  Cornelius was about to have his Memorial Day!  In the meantime, God was preparing Peter to be the answer to Cornelius’ prayer as he showed him a vision and then sent 3 men to Peter who would escort Peter to the house of Cornelius.  (See Acts 10:7-24)

 

After a brief discourse between Peter and Cornelius, Cornelius begins to preach Jesus unto him.  While Peter was preaching to Cornelius and his household, the Bible records something wonderful that happened. Act 10:44  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. Act 10:45  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  God’s spirit was poured out on Cornelius and those in his household that had heard the word of God preached.  They of the circumcision(in other words, the Jews)which were there with Peter were astonished because this was the first time that a non-Jew(Gentile)received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  How did these other Jewish men that were with Peter know that Cornelius and the others who were with them had received the Holy Ghost?  Verse 46 gives us the answer.

 

Act 10:46  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

 

Notice though, that this is not the end, for this verse concludes with “Then answered Peter,”.    God still had more for Cornelius. Act 10:47  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? Act 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

What a glorious Memorial Day for Cornelius and his family!  If it was anything like the day that I was baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost, I know it was an awesome, unforgettable day.  I believe Cornelius’ prayers were answered in a far greater way than he ever expected.  God certainly honored the faithfulness of this man.

 

Is there something that you have been praying about for a long time?  Perhaps there is a loved one that you long to see come to God.  Maybe you are in need of a physical or emotional healing.  You may already have a relationship with God, but you are just desirous and so hungry for  more of Him.  May you be encouraged to keep asking, seeking and knocking.  God still answers prayer and He would love for there to be a  Memorial Day for you too!

Memorial Day 

 

It’s coming – Memorial Day

Cornelius, do not cease to pray

Prayers sent up to God have been heard

Every cry of your heart, each word.

 

 

Though answers may seem far away

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In faith keep on lifting your voice

And soon you’ll have cause to rejoice.

 

 

In our flesh we may groan, grow tired

Let this grand thought keep you inspired

It’s coming – Memorial Day

In spite of the seeming delay.

 

 

Now brought to life, to fruition

You have received your petition

No longer do you have to say

It’s coming – Memorial Day!

 

 

Written 5-27-07

Overcoming The World Pool

pool pals

As little kids it

was just a game we played

on hot summer days.

Everybody go as

fast as you can

in a circle

around and around

the pool.

We ran if we could,

as fast as we could,

until suddenly,

STOP.

Change directions.

Walk against the

swiftly swirling

current.

Grab onto the sides

and hold on

If you have to,

but resist the pull

and go forward

inch by inch

step by step.

See who can stay

Up the longest.

If we got tired,

no problem.

No big deal to

let go.

Just relax.

Let the strong force

carry you along.

Everything is fine.

 

But we never

realized that the game

would become reality

when we made the

decision to live

for God.

 

Often we are pommeled

by a vicious vortex

of wickedness,

worldliness and a

host of other

unseen undertows.

Our advancement

can seem slow at times.

We do become weary

but

LETTING GO IS NOT AN OPTION!

 

Victory comes

one step at a

time;

walking in the

Spirit as we

hold on

To truth.

 

4/27/16

Fruit That Will Remain

Some have started and departed.

This caused our heart to pain.

We still believe God to give us

fruit that will remain.

 

Others partook and then forsook.

From truth they turned away.

But we’re trusting in the Lord

for souls to be planted and stay.

 

They will not cease, our prayers;

petitions, groanings and tears.

Lord, help us do what we can

to share your salvation plan.

To those that have not heard,

if they’ll listen, we’ll teach your Word.

 

Help us work while it is day.

The world is growing dark.

Give us the words to say

to ignite in hearts , a spark.

 

Let this be our decision;

to reach together for souls.

Help us to catch the vision.

Please use our church as a whole.

 

To help men turn from darkness

into Your marvelous light

and have their sin stained garments

by Your blood, washed white.

 

And that each new born Christian

whether old or just a youth,

would grow in grace and knowledge,

and continue to walk in truth.

 

Then when we reach that heavenly home

where Jesus will rule and reign,

we’ll stand together side by side

with the fruit that did remain.

 

4/25/16

 

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

 

Incredible pREACHing

This past Thursday night, Saturday afternoon(at our annual spring youth rally)and Sunday morning and evening, our church was blessed to hear the anointed preaching of Pastor Ron Townsley from Princeton, Illinois. Brother Townsley was with us 2 years ago as the speaker at our 2014 youth rally and was greatly used of God to help our church.

Preaching is really amazing to me. I find it incredible that a man of God can earnestly pray, study and deliver a message that can touch people’s lives in so many different ways.

 

1Corinthians 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

 

It’s through the preaching of the Word of God that we can receive the greatest gift, which is the salvation of our souls.

 

There are a host of other things that we need saving from as well.

 

-false doctrine

-bad attitudes

-despair when we’re being tested

-bitterness

-rebellion

-our own carnal nature

 

This is by no means a complete list, but God knows just exactly what we need and when we need it. He knows each person that is going to be in any given meeting and the needs that are represented there. For instance, on Sunday there was a young lady in our morning service that we had not seen for several months. We had no idea that she was going to be there. Having known some of her background and things she has been through recently, I knew that things that were being said by the preacher were speaking to her and her situation. The preacher had no idea who this young lady was, but God knew, and God was reaching for her through an anointed God called preacher. At the same time, the message that was coming across the pulpit was striking a chord with others who were there also. It is so awesome how God uses His Word to reach to us! I’m so thankful for the Word of God and God called men who are not afraid to preach it. I wish I could share all that Pastor Townsley preached, but I know I could not do it justice. I’m just thankful that he allowed God to use him, and many individuals responded to the Word and were strengthened and helped as God was reaching through the preaching.

 

 

 

The Word of God in your ears has been preached.

And by it, for your heart the Lord has reached.

Respond! Respond!

Hark to the Master’s call.

Come to the altar; give to Him your all.

 

The things the man of God has said ring true.

And now it’s time, the choice is up to you.

Submit! Submit!

Your will to God, do give.

He’ll give to you a better way to live.

 

As in His holy presence you do kneel,

And offer up a pure, sincere appeal,

Receive! Receive!

The grace He does impart

To get back up and make a brand new start.

 

And from the church house as you go your way,

Knowing you’ve heard the things God had to say.

Leave changed! Leave changed!

And no more walk alone.

Go in the strength that flows from Heaven’s throne.

 

4/12/16