Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Seek The Lord

               As I read the scriptures in Zechariah 8:20-23 quoted below, I am reminded what Jesus told us in Matthew;

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Not only are we “…to seek the Lord…,” we are to “Go ye…”  It is God’s command through His only Begotten Son Jesus the Christ.
              In our “seeking,” it may for some be an hourly need, to others a daily or weekly need.  In any case, “seeking” must be with a humble, repenting attitude.  If we are “seeking” as an obligation rather than a need, what do we expect from God?  (Not sorry for all the grief we have caused Him.)  Yet, our first request is always, “Bless me, Oh Lord!!!!” 
              We must go to God in Love for Him and His Son, knowing the Holy Spirit is a part of us.  Seek the Lord…” with compassion, with sorrow, and repentance in our hearts.  When we as individuals have finally broken down and become the servant of the Lord, then we need to “Go.”  Our “Going” is first here in Wellington, Texas, (including Collingsworth County.)  We are Missionaries for the Lord in our home town.  We send Missionaries to the foreign fields (all nations) to help us with  the “all.”
              Our theme for the year here at Fundamental Baptist Church is “Revive Us Again.”  It was derived from:  Habakkuk 3:2  O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

              Revival must begin here at our local level.  It is not something that starts on the National level.  It must begin in our hearts, nowhere else.  We often use:

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We have always applied this to our Nation.  However, I believe God wants it applied to our individual Christians hearts.  Once this happens, our Nation will “be covered.”  This is why we need revival, to hear God’s Word, and apply it to our hearts.  Repent and “…seek the Lord…         

Bro John R. E Chastain

(Zechariah 8:20-23 KJB)  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:  (21)  And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.  (22)  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.  (23)  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Delight In His Law

           As I read the scriptures I am reminded that my older daughter once told me that I seem to “lower the hammer” on Fathers every Father’s Day, and as a son and a Father, I do tend to lovingly lift Mothers up on Mother’s Day.   
              In Psalm 1:1-3 quoted below, we are told where we are not to tread.  However, we as men are more likely to seek the counsel of the ungodly, stand with the sinners, and become a part of the scornful.  We seem to delight in going against the grain of God, rather than walking with Him.  Being “macho” seems to require us to defy God with all our being.  We seem to act as if the “blessings of God” are “modern charity” or welfare.
              God blesses those who earn the blessings.  To delight in God’s law and to meditate (pray) night and day is hard work for all of us, especially for men.  For us to find time to read our Bible, to spend time in focused prayer, and to consider God’s law and how it concerns our family is not easy.  When we intentionally, from our heart, seek to satisfy God’s Will, we will have honestly earned what blessings God gives.
              Fathers, it would behoove us to follow God’s direction, and to do his Will, for our delight ought to be in His law.  Our delight ought to be in pleasing God through His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.
              We, as Fathers, must be that mighty oak planted by the river, strong within the Lord, obedient within the Lord, and prospering within the Lord.
              This Father’s Day, resolve in your heart: first to start looking towards God, start removing yourself from the counsel of the ungodly, and then start looking more fervently towards God and repenting of those sins you have acquired.  As the final step towards God, remove scorn, (a bad, hateful, bitter attitude) from your being, and start delighting in the presence of God. 
              As I have been writing this devotion, the song, “Precious Memories” has been playing, and the lyrics, “He is the peace before the storm” brings to mind we know that a storm is coming.  Let us prepare, with God firmly within our heart, so when that storm does arrive, we know we will have an anchor that not only holds, but lives within us.            

Bro John R. E Chastain

Psalms 1:1-3  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  (2)  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  (3)  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Father’s Day

              When I read the verses below, I just could not come up with a positive spin for our Fathers today.  My older daughter is always giving me a hard time about being nice to Mother’s on Mother’s Day and laying the gavel down on Fathers on Father’s Day.
              So I have been pressured to say something nice.  I believe the reason for the “gaveling judgment” on Fathers is due to the responsibility Fathers have toward God and his family.  As leaders of our households, and as the spiritual leader in the home, we as Fathers and husbands have great responsibilities laid at our feet.
              Not only are we the spiritual leader, we are the protector of our flock.  I know my flock has gotten down to my wife Sharil, and our daughters now have their spiritual leaders and protectors.  Regardless, I know that as a Father I am guilty of stepping over that boundary and advising or usurping our daughter’s authority.  Sometimes we with our age and experience can see without the “Rose Colored Glasses” better than the younger. 
              However, we as men of faith must show all our family what we claim to be.  The problem most of us men have is: we are one man in church, another on the job, and again another at home.  In actuality, we need to be one man, a Godly man, (the churchman?) who leads our family.
              So our question is, “who are we?”  and “What do I need to do?”  I have over my monitor in my study a portion of Acts 9:6 which states “…Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?...”  As a Pastor, I ask a question of myself very often.  It is probably my life guide verse.  I know some will tell me it must be John 3:16, or Romans 10:9 which are all good verses (that I do use in my messages,) however, in my Spiritual walk I must continually ask God this very question time and time again.  Also as a Father, even though my children are no longer children, I ask for them, “Lord what must I do for them?” 
              We as men must seek God’s will as it is our task as a Christian.  We each must seek God through prayer, Bible study, and worship services.  Then as we take a new look at our verses below we can see we are not working in vain.  We know that our labour will bear fruit, and fruit is reward gain in heaven.  Serving Him is a must, and relying on Him is a must.  “Father what are you going to do?”

Bro. John R. E Chastain  

Psalms 127:1-5  Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.  (2)  It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.  (3)  Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  (4)  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.  (5)  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Contending For The Faith

      The front cover of our bulletin reflects the “Faith of our Fathers.”   As a young boy, I never saw a faith of my Father.  I believe he was an admiral man and I believe he loved me, however, I never heard that from him, nor did I ever see faith in Christ. 
      As a Father, I don’t remember telling my children I loved them as they grew up.  Through a crisis in our lives, before my salvation, I determined not to ever let that happen again.  I tell my daughters, my grandchildren, my aunts, and my cousins I love them.  
      The verses below speak of contending for the faith.  That is my subject today, faith, not just having faith, but contending for it.  We all say “I am saved and I said that prayer and got myself Baptized.”
OK, but then what?  Our scripture states we need to contend for the faith.  (Contend means to strive as in a competition; to strive to win.)
      For what are we contending?  I believe the context is our looking for the old Gospel, not the new.  It is you working within your own soul to increase your faith, to increase your heavenly reward.      You see, when we accepted Christ and His eternal life in Heaven; we committed our lives to Christ.  It is God’s will that we will serve Him and sacrifice our lives by winning souls, supporting missionaries, and tithing.
      Are you contending, or just passing time? 

(Romans 10:17)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
      Only through God’s Word can we strive (contend) for the faith of our Fathers.  Only in our King James Bible can we find that “Faith Of Our Fathers Living Still.”

Bro John R. E Chastain

Jude 1-6  Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:  (2)  Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.  (3)  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  (4)  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  (5)  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.  (6)  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Where Is Your Faith?

              In Luke 8:22-25 quoted below, Jesus asks His disciples a very serious question, “Where Is Your Faith?”  As I ponder Christ’s question, I see another question posed by Paul in Acts 9:6  … Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?...  These two questions seem to always get me to stop and examine my Faith.  I have no doubt concerning my Salvation.  I know when I die I will be with the Lord Jesus and in the presence of God Almighty.  However, “How deep is my Faith?”  The questions remain, can I move buildings, or can I move mountains?  I know physically I cannot, however through my Faith, and in prayer, I can call on God to remove my mountains of doubt, my mountains of unfaithfulness.   
              There are questions that we can make into mountains.  Some feel that the King James Bible is out dated, and that “old” English is hard to read.  Therefore, they resort to other versions for clarification, (not as a commentary, but as a replacement.)  They have exchanged a precise language for an indistinct mauling of the English language.   They have exchanged God’s Word for a “modern definition” of God’s Word, (man’s word,) and have redefined God’s Word.       
              I have noted some are trying to reconstruct our history.  They are going back to the documenters of the history as it happened.  The King James Bible was born out of the sources, copies of copies of the books of our Bible.  There were many copies then, and there still exist copies that were transcribed over the centuries.  Our King James Bible reflects those copies.  When needed, the transcribers added words to complete a thought.  These were put in italics so we would know what they added to God’s Word.  These words in italics are a God inspired addition. 
              I believe God adds thoughts to my preaching, (not new scripture, but illustrations from the Bible or from my experiences in life)
              So, where is my Faith?  My Faith rests on God’s Word, which is the King James Authorized Bible.  It is in God’s infallible, inerrant Word, His Son, our Lord, and Saviour Jesus the Christ.  Where is your Faith?

Bro John R. E Chastain

Luke 8:22-25  Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.  (23)  But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.  (24)  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  (25)  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rejoice In Hope

              In Romans 5:1-5 quoted below, Paul is relating to us the “experience of tribulation.”  Tribulations are not a situation we relish in encountering.  The last thing I want today or any day is a “good” tribulation.  These tribulation days are days we each dread, but the problem is, tribulations do come.  (I have never asked God to send me a “good” tribulation, and I expect I never will ask Him.)  Yet, here we find Paul telling us to rejoice over the tribulations we receive. 
              I have had at least two tribulations in the last year, both involving my shoulders.  Rotator cuff surgery is a tribulation that will slow you down a bit, but allows some reflecting time.  I had trouble reading my Bible, however with my right shoulder, I was allowed the time to read my Bible through in just over ninety days.  For that, I rejoice.  I am in the process of reading it again and hopefully within the next ninety days.  God knows some days we need to slow down, and through tribulation, He can accomplish what He wants us to do. 
              Paul tells us that tribulation gives us “patience,” something I lack.  However, Paul tells that this patience gives us “experience.”  Through that experience, we gain “hope,” hope of our future, and the hope of our existence.  It isn’t, “I Hope I am saved.”  It is a hope that knows the existence of our salvation.  It is a hope that not only knows, but also “rejoices” in the coming tribulations, (knowing through that new experience that my hope and my love towards my Lord will grow stronger day by day.)
              Our love for our Lord and Saviour ought to be shown in our “walk.”  Our “talk” should reflect our walk and show the love of Christ.  That love for Christ is a love, with the hope that allows us not to be ashamed of being what we are.  I am what I am only by the Grace of God, (that Grace being our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.)
              Do you love Him, as you should?  Are you “rejoicing” in the tribulations you are going through?  (I honestly have a problem rejoicing as I should.) 

Deuteronomy 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

In that love, and in that tribulation, we need to trust in the Lord with all that we have.

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Love Him; Trust Him; Rejoice in all that He brings.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Romans 5:1-5  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  (2)  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (3)  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  (4)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.