Friday, August 27, 2010

Our Sins

            Read our scripture below, and do understand this was written to the Jews.    However, Paul tells us in:

(Hebrews 8:12)  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

So we, those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, can know our sins will not be remembered by God no more. 
            Some have told me, that to be forgiven is the equivalent of Salvation.  Jesus died on the cross, for you and I.  He died so that we might have Salvation and that we might have the opportunity to be saved from Hell.  We are told in:

(Romans 10:9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

            In other words that if I will believe that God raised Jesus from the grave, and confess Jesus to others, that He would save me.  There is no other requirement, nothing else to do.  Once we have accepted Jesus, and we know He is our Lord, and then we need to come to Him with a sincere heart and ask Him to help you identify your sins and help you remove them from your life.  

(Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

            When we go to God it must be with a sincere, true heart, then we need to clear our heart from all evil thoughts, grudges and hate.  We need to be as spiritually clean as we can get.  
            So the question remains, have you gone to the Lord recently asking for His forgiveness of your current sins?  In some of us it might need to be a daily thing, but regardless it ought to be done with a sincere repentant heart.  Knowing you have sinned against God.  What are you going to do?                                   

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Jeremiah 31:33-34  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (34)  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It Shall Come To Pass

              When I read the verses below, I needed to put it into context.  Most of what Peter quoted came from Joel 2:28-32.  The question is why Peter was quoting a prophecy concerning the “Day of The Lord?  
              Joel was foretelling what Matthew, John, and Peter would later write.  Joel was talking of the time when Jesus returns to earth to exact His judgment on earth.  The Day of The Lord will be a terrible time for any resident on earth. We must also know this is not the Rapture. This is seven years after the Rapture.
              So, why was Peter quoting Joel?  He was talking to the Jews and was telling them from their Scripture what to expect in that terrible Day of The Lord.  He was warning them that a time was coming that no one wanted, and that they needed to call upon the name of the Lord,
(Joel 2:32)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: ...

Joel is defining to the Jews to call upon the name of the Lord and be delivered.  It will come to pass.  Peter in:

(Acts 2:21)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Paul tells us in:

(Romans 10:13)  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

              If we carefully read and consider the context of these passages, we can know that God has given us a plan of Salvation that all can understand.  If we will decide in our heart that Jesus is God’s Son, and by accepting Jesus, we can be saved from Hell and the Day of The Lord.
(John 3:16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The “whosoever” is anybody, regardless of their sin condition.  If they will believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, Salvation has happened.

(John 3:18)  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Without a sincere belief, you are condemned.  Prior to hearing of Jesus, you were already condemned to hell.  By accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour, you are no longer condemned, and Heaven becomes your home.
              Accept Him before it is eternally too late.  Do it today.

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Acts 2:17-20  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  (18)  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  (19)  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  (20)  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Dwells The Love Of God In You?

              These scriptures from (1 John 3:16-20) below should tug at our heartstrings.  Sometimes our heart gets out of tune and becomes sour and “dodgy.”   We want to be in tune, and sing of His love and our love for Him.  However, some days it’s just the blues.
              We have all heard a friend tell us, “I’m sorry,” and know they don’t mean it.  It is just a means of getting past the hurt.  
              Jesus Christ laid down His life for each of us.  So where is your life?  Is it acceptable to God?  On the other hand, is it an “I hope so” kinda situation?

(Romans 12:1-2)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,which is your reasonable service.  2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove whatis that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

              We as Christians need to know what we are and where we are.  We see what our reasonable service is, and it involves us transforming our minds by renewing what we do.  You and I cannot do this on our own; we must have a desire to want to be what God expects of us.  God has never expected us to hang on a Cross and die.  This living sacrifice is letting our Spiritual life control our worldly life.  
              Show Christ in you, and work to remove (renewing) the world from controlling your life.

(Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

              This desire must be done with a true (sincere) heart with the faith that God will give what He has promised.  This verse also tells us we must rid ourselves of all the hatred, anger and all that miserable stuff in our minds.
              So where do you stand?  Are you a living sacrifice, do you love others in word only, or is your heart in the right place.  Only you and God knows.  Talk to Him about your sacrificial life.

Bro. John R. E Chastain   

1 John 3:16-20  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  (17)  But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  (18)  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  (19)  And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.  (20)  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Did You Leave The Light On?

                As I read the scriptures in Isaiah 66:1-2 quoted below, we see God asking a couple of questions: “Where is My house and My resting place?” 
              When you and I have guests who have traveled a great distance to see us, the first thing after the initial greeting is to show them a place where they may rest for a bit.  It is a normal thing we do, and our guests appreciate.
              Therefore, what is it God is asking of us?  When we have accepted Jesus as our Saviour, we have been regenerated into a new creature.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

As a new creature, we are now the Temple of God.

1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

God has given us the Holy Spirit, and since God is the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, we are His house and place of rest.  As a Christian, can we say with surety that God has found that “house and resting place” that He is seeking?
              Our walk as a Christian is very hard, bouncing between the sin of the world and God’s Word.  We face sin daily, yet we do not rely on God to help us from our sinful ways.  We rely on ourselves and fail miserably.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

It isn’t as if we want to fail, it is the temptations around us that cause us to fail.  The problem is always with us.  We could reject the temptations.  It is our choice. 
              Do we want a house in which God can abide and rest, or are we so within our pride that God’s situation doesn’t concern us.  Is it always me, myself, and I?
              God tells us in Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Consequently, in order to achieve this “house and place of rest,” we must be under God’s Word.  We must concern ourselves with God more than we concern ourselves with me, myself, and I.  So what are you doing?  Did you leave the light on for Him?

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Isaiah 66:1-2  Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?  (2)  For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who Will?

When I read Isaiah 6:6-8 quoted below, I am reminded of:

(Acts 9:6)  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

              I think of Paul lifting himself up, probably with help, in absolute wonderment of what just happened.  I have that portion of this scripture, which asks the question, “what wilt thou have me to do?” on the wall above my computer monitor.  I need to ask myself that question many times a day.  
              However, in our text below, “The Lord” is asking “Whom shall I send? He is asking who will go and warn the others, warn them of their impending doom.  Who will tell them what they must do?  
              God is looking for willing hearts.  He is looking for men, women, and children who will accept Him in their heart personally.  

(1 Chronicles 28:9)  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

              God searches ALL hearts and He knows the imaginations of your mind. He knows your sincerity. He wants someone, anyone who through conviction and desire of the heart, wants to serve Him in the capacity in which you are called.

(Joel 2:13)  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

              Notice in this verse where Joel puts the responsibility.  It is square on our shoulders.  It is not God’s responsibility to change us.  It is our responsibility to desire to be reshaped into His image.  Once we have rendered our heart, repented, and accepted Jesus, God will change us.  He will use each of us in a capacity related to our abilities.  The question is, “Who shall I send? The answer should be “Here am I; send me.
              Paul asked a similar question while on the road to Damascus.  We will not see Jesus as Paul did, but we, you and I, need to first tell God, “Here am I; send me.  Then ask, “what wilt thou have me to do?  
              Have you asked?  I guess the best question would be, would you ask God the serious questions, or will it be for some more blessing for nought?

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Isaiah 6:6-8  Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  (7)  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  (8)  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Where Are We?

(John 3:16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

To me this verse is the very definition of the Christian faith.  Our Bible, The Old King James Bible, teaches us that from the front cover to the back cover, Jesus the Christ is the reason for this Book.  It also shows us that the primary teaching of the Bible is that you “Believe.”
              However, the problem is that word “Believeth.”  It does matter what you believe, and folks how you believe it.  Some will say “Oh, Jesus is or was a good man, a prophet, and was later made a god.”  
Of course, in order to really understand, a person must first believe that our Bible is trustworthy, and believe it is without fault or error.  The Bible is the focus and the central place God has put the revelation of His Son, Jesus.  Our teaching (The King James Bible), is the Word of God.  It is trustworthy, reliable, and without fault or error.  This is not a negotiable topic.  
              Jesus tells us in the verse above that “whosoever believeth” is a means of stating I am not concerned about what you have been, nor am I concerned about what you are.  Just accept God’s Son in belief, and everlasting life is given to you.  Those who want to clean up their act and rid themselves of their sin and hypocritical ways are assuming an impossible task.  God tells us in: 

(Ephesians 2:8-9)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  

This “faith” is the belief that Jesus will do as He said in John 3:16.  If you think this is not correct, I believe you do not believe your Bible.  Jesus didn’t say, well, if you are really good, and you follow my precepts for a few days, then maybe I will give you “everlasting life.  He said I will give, regardless, if you will believe. We need to be sure of one more thing: not works, but your belief.  

In (Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  

              You must be sincere in your belief.  A “true” heart is a sincere heart, a heart filled with faith.  Faith that you know with assurance (without doubt) that Jesus the Christ is God and that He is Your Saviour.  

We are told in (Joel 2:32)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:... 

Peter quotes Joel in (Acts 2:21)  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  As stated in both passages, “And it shall come to pass  all because of faith, belief, and nothing more.
              So, where do you stand, with Christ and His eternal life, or wondering where you will go when your time on this earth is complete.  Paul tells us in:

(Romans 10:9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved   

              If you will believe, and confess in your heart, and to others, that you believe “…that God hath raised him [Jesus] from the dead...” if you will do these two things, God will do the rest.   You then have everlasting life, as Jesus promised, and now you are saved from hell.
              Where are you today?

Bro John R. E Chastain 

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Very Present Help

                As I read the scriptures in Psalm 46:1-3 quoted below, a verse in Isaiah comes immediately to my mind:

Isaiah 41:13  For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

              The phrase “…a very present help…” is what I want to key for this devotion.  In Isaiah, …the LORD thy God… tells us “I will help thee.  What more could we want than to know that our LORD God is present and He will help us.
              On any given morning, we feed our “welfare” cats at our back door.  It is always interesting to note when one gets grouchy, which ones will leave the scene and which stay.  Generally it is a Tomcat who gets pushy, (though there have been some very grouchy females,) and the other Tom’s start looking for an exit.  Yet, some stick around and encircle my legs, hanging close to me for protection.  They treat Sharil and I as if we are an “ever present help.”  (We are not an “ever present god.”) 
              Yet, many Christians claim “very present help” but seldom grace the doors of God’s House.  Others gather at Church to worship our Living God, the Creator and our ever “…present help..,” yet are much like our welfare cats.  When the feeding is done, no acknowledgement to God is ever given.  Many refuse to come to Sunday School, and the Sunday and Wednesday evening services.  Yet every one who is a member here wants the blessings of God.  They want themselves, their relatives, and friends on our prayer list, yet are not willing to be a blessing to God, or their so-called “Church Home.” 
              Our cats, unless providentially not able to attend, are always at their “feeding services,” rain or shine, night or day.  They attend.
              I can just hear it now, “Well Bro John we are much above Cats in God’s Creation.”  Believe me, I agree, but the cats know from whence their blessings come.  If we as Christians are not at the “feeding trough” of God and hearing His Living Word, how can we claim Him?  God teaches us that:

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Our “faith” needs feeding.  We need the “very present help” and we want His help,  yet we will not “put out our hand” for His “very present help…
              We as Christians have become the “vagrants of the world.”  We will do anything but “Trust and Obey” God.  We will change our Bible to a softer reading, less restricting version.  We will change churches to go to a Church where services are singing praises to Jesus and speaking only of His endless love.   What about commitment?
              God expects more of us than being a “welfare recipient.”  He expects us to be “producers of fruit.”  He expects our attendance in Church.  He expects us at all the services. 
              What do you expect from Him?                               

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Psalms 46:1-3     God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  (3)  Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

Has He Done Marvelous Things For You?

                  In Psalm 98 below, it tells that God has done marvelous things.  The question of course is, “What about me?”  This is the season that we as Christians need to stop and take a look at ourselves, and “Count Those Blessings.”  

              I know our first thoughts might be, “What has He done for me?”  For myself, He has blessed me to the point, I couldn’t count those blessings even if I wanted to count them.  You see if I started to reminisce over them, I might see a point where I wasn’t blessed and start dwelling on the “Why?”  God watches us, and God knows our ways.  The verses below also tell us He will judge us, but that judgment will also be with equity.
               Sometimes in what I do for the Lord, my heart isn’t always where it ought to be.  I imagine that is true with you also.  Consequently, I will not always be blessed because I did something for the Lord.  

(Hebrews 10:22)  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

              If we attempt to do anything without the Lord, we are not in “…full assurance of faith…”  We are then doing what we want in the “faith” of ourselves so that we can accomplish what we want.  We do this regardless of what God may have requested of us.
              Is that where your heart has been this year?  If you want to be closer to God, you must decide to follow Him, not yourself.  Make that “…joyful noise unto the Lord…
              Only you can make the decision to follow Him.  Only you can decide that Jesus will be your guide.  Decide today, and start receiving the blessing God wants to give you.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Psalms 98:1-9  O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.  (2)  The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.  (3)  He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.  (4)  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.  (5)  Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.  (6)  With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.  (7)  Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.  (8)  Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together  (9)  Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Put On Charity

              In Colossians 3:12-15 quoted below, we see the word “charity.  When we use this word today, it means something different then when Paul used it so many years ago.  We think of charity as caring for the down trodden, those needing help to get back on their feet.
              However, Paul was using the word to mean, “Love,” a love of our brethren, our sisters, our parents, a Godly love, a love shown to us by God.
When God placed His only begotten Son on the cross to die for us, He showed that love, an enduring love, an everlasting love.
              Our scripture tells us to “put on charity.  We as Christians are to put on love and show it to the world.  As Christian’s, the world sees us as hypocritical.  (Not that they aren’t also,) but we sometimes put on “a different face” in the church house, and then go to work sounding just as worldly as those surrounding us.
              You see, we have to watch not only our walk, but also our talk.  When we tell someone we love them, (Godly love,) do they believe us or are they wondering when the next foul thing will come out of our mouth?

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

              This is a very misused verse.  It is not our excuse to go ahead and sin. It is our verse to tell us, we will sin, so be very careful in our walk and in our talk. (Most use the verse to go ahead and deliberately sin.)  When we put on charity, it ought to be a love that ignites others to want to be like us, and have a heart that is ignited of this love.
              Put on Charity” with a seriousness and conviction to do the work of God, knowing in your heart, in your soul, and in your mind, that you are doing the best for God you can.  Then along with your Salvation you can have the “peace of God…rule [ing] in your hearts.
              Now knowing we have that peace, be thankful for what God has given, and what He will give.  Let us be thankful and glorify God and His Son Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Bro John R. E Chastain

Colossians 3:12-15  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; (13)  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  (14)  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  (15) And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.