Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christian, What Are You Doing?

Isaiah 30:21  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

            Have you ever had that “voice,” an ever so “soft voice” that said “yes,” or possibly “no?”  I have heard that “voice” say, “no” more times than I want to admit, and way too many times, I have disobeyed that “voice”. 
            What brought this message to my mind was watching drivers here in Texas.  I see so many drivers making right or left turns by crossing over many lanes of traffic using the “whole” road as “their personal driving space.”  (Now I know “Texans” will tell me that it is all those “Yankees” and their bad driving habits that they brought with them.”  Having driven in a lot of our country, I cannot tell much difference in driving habits, in the north or south.)
            So Brother John, how are “these turns” related to our scripture?  “If” we are as true a follower of Jesus as we say we are, we signal (pray) and ask for guidance when we make a turn.  Guided, we do turn, and will stay in the correct lane.  When we need to change lanes, we will signal (pray) (and only then) follow our Guide.  (A person who purposely walks with God will (should) purpose in his life to walk a proper path as some of the lanes before us are lanes of sin and strife.  Sometimes we must cross those paths of sin and strife.  In so doing we must signal, (pray for protection) while we are in those “horrifying lanes.” )
            This simile is for those drivers who turn [live a lifestyle of their own choosing] of their own free will and move about as if they owned the road, (are moving from one sin to another and each becoming less gratifying than the last.)  They finally will make u-turn after u-turn only to find “the vertigo of the turns and the lane changes” are captivating.  (Not “captivating” in the sense of the thrill of sin, but “captivating” in the sense of imprisonment.)

Romans 1:28-32  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  (29)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  (30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  (31)  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  (32)  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God will eventually give them “over to a reprobate mind.” 
            Our task, as a Christian, is to remind them of their sin and attempt to lead them away from sin and toward God’s Way.  We are to love the individual, but hate their sin.  We are to show them that there is “a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it.
            We must try to direct them to God, before He gives “them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”  What a horrifying thought:  someone “so lost” that they are not retrievable.  Someone lost to eternal damnation in the eternal lake of fire.
            “Christian, what are you doing?   We must get on our knees and “signal” to God we need help, help to lead a loved one, a friend, or an associate to Him.”  Desire His help.  Know He will help.
            Always signal and turn “into the correct lane.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Christian, What Is Your Testimony?

17 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalm 119:129-136 PE.  Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.  130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.  131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.  132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.  133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.  134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.  135  Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.  136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

            Our Psalmist begins by praising God’s Testimony.  He tells us how God has helped him and how God will give understanding to all that desire His Love.  At times, we know that King David’s testimony was not what we would call “good.”  Yet, through it all, King David was “a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

Acts 13:22  And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

As King David found, we can find that the core of our strength is God’s Love.  In that strength, our testimony (our walk, our talk) ought to reflect The Love of God in our heart.  Many will tell me they can be just like King David, and walk a walk with the world.  (That is not so, because every time David “stepped out of line,” he and/or The Nation of Israel were punished.)
            God’s Will for “each and every one” of us is that we accept His Son Jesus as our Personal Saviour.
John 17:1-8  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:  (2)  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  (3)  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  (4)  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (5)  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  (6)  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  (7)  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  (8)  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

God gave His Son The Power over each of us.  We as Christians need to use that “power” to lead others to God through His Son Jesus.  Our walk ought to exemplify our Lord and Saviour.  Many are criticizing football player, “Tim Tebow” for his praising God during his games.  (If we would only do half as much within our Christian walks, “Amazing Godly Things” would follow our paths.)
            “Reader, where do you stand within your daily walk?   Are you after “[God’s] own heart” and do others “know” who you are following?  Are you another “Tim Tebow,” or are you one who mocks what he does?”
            “Christian, where do you stand?  If you cannot relate to King David’s position (or for that matter “Tim Tebow’s,”) where in the “world” do you stand?  Stand for God through His Son Jesus.  Let others know what you are about.  Have a worthwhile testimony.  Start today.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas      

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, December 12, 2011

According Unto Thy Mercy

16 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalm 119:121-128 AIN. I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.  122  Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.  123  Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.  124  Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.  125  I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.   126  It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.  127  Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.  128  Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

            Our Psalmist begins by begging God that he fears failing “to mine oppressors.”  He admits he has failed God and he begs for God’s Mercy.

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

            Christian, you and I are “in the same boat” as our Psalmist.  We each fear failing:  failing financially; failing morally; failing in our job; and failing God and His Son Jesus.  (I might have carried that rant a bit too far.)  “Do you fear failing God?”  If you already have eternal salvation, (which is also everlasting and forevermore,) “do you feel there is no need to bother?” 
            One problem we have in our understanding “Faith” is the believer’s eternal security.  Eternal salvation is not a lie.  (It is a Biblical truth in our scripture.)  However, once a person accepts Jesus as his personal Saviour, (and then learns he cannot lose his salvation,) he may go on his way, (as before,) with no repentant heart.  “I was baptized, now I am saved.”  (Some even believe that the baptism was the mode of Salvation.)
            (If you have NOT become a “new creature” and your old life style has NOT “passed away,” you may not have what you have been led to believe.)

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.

A person, who has accepted Jesus with a repentant heart, (with God’s Mercy) will change.  A person changes because of The Holy Spirit’s conviction.  (The “new creature” will want to become new.”)  If you responded to the conviction of The Holy Spirit, salvation is yours to keep.  I have heard some who have stated, “You Baptist, knowing your Salvation is complete, you can do anything you want.”  To this I have answered, “Yes, that is right.  However, my “want to’s” have changed.  I don’t want to do what I used to want to do.”  My salvation is complete in that I am secure eternally, yet I must grow within that salvation.
            King David tells us that all he really wants is to be given “thy mercy.”  Isn’t that what all of us want?

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 what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

            Paul teaches us that “the mercies of God” are real and present.  To receive God’s Mercy, we must begin by accepting Jesus The Christ as our personal Saviour.  Once we have accepted Jesus, our task is to live a life of sacrifice, by God’s standards, (not the worlds,) being deemed as acceptably Holy.  This is called our “reasonable service.”
            Paul continues to teach us that we must make a decision “in our new walk.”  That decision is we must be “transformed by the renewing of your [our] mind.”  Therefore, with God’s power through The Holy Ghost, (and our decision,) we are changed.
            “Seek God’s mercy.  Call on Jesus’ name.  Beg for the forgiveness you do not deserve.  Repent of your sins.  Do purpose in your heart to be a changed, “transformed” person of God.  What are you waiting for?  Get to it!”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas  

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vanity of Vanities

15 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:113-120  SAMECH. I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.  (114)  Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.  (115)  Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.  (116)  Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.  (117)  Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.  (118)  Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.  (119)  Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.  (120)  My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

            Our Psalmist begins with the statement, “I hate vain thoughts.”  He follows with God IS his hiding place.

Psalms 61:4  I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

Our Psalmist trusts the safety of God’s Arms (wings.)  He reminisces about his Hope in God’s Word, and asks God to uphold him that he might live.  He begs God to help him from doubts concerning his belief in God.
            Yet, the subject of this portion of Psalm 119 shows how much King David hates “vain thoughts.”  (David’s son Solomon came to the end of his life saying all he had accomplished was vanity.)
(Definition of vanity is:  emptiness, untruth.)
Ecclesiastes 1:2  Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

            So, the Son failed where the Father excelled.  This brings up the question, “What are vain thoughts?”  “Have you ever spent time where you were actually “twiddling” your thumbs?”  Your mind was essentially blank, no thoughts worth discussing.  We might exclaim, “I am bored.”  (Those are times we sit watching a show on TV that we have seen more times than we want to count.)  These times are “vain thoughts. ”
            Another time we experience “vain thoughts” are those times that “our mouth gets out of gear,” and blasphemy of God’s Name soars to new heights by uttering those cuss words. 

Deuteronomy 5:11  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Yet, cussing isn’t the only way we take God’s Name in vain.  An example:  our amazement, (good or bad,) we speak excitedly and utter one of His Names.  That, regardless of opinion, is using “the name of the LORD thy God in vain.”   We see in the same verse that God “will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”  (So, it is very important to agree with King David and “hate vain thoughts.”) 
            All of God’s Names should ALWAYS be in Reverence, with Worship and Holiness.  Our conversation should never, never include God’s / Jesus’ Names in common “street language.”
            So “Reader, has vanity gotten control of your life?”  Satan loves keeping you in vain thoughts thereby separating you from God.  Gain control, eliminate, and hate those vain thoughts.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Christian, What Are We Doing?

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.

            Last evening, while watching Bill O’Reilly on the “Factor,” he mentioned a new bumper sticker which stated, “Restore The USA.”  To me this is a good thing.  A few days earlier, my wife and I were driving around our new city, and I saw another familiar sign, which stated, “America Needs Prayer.”  It referenced our verse, and this is good.  However, there has been much left out.
            While many have no notion of the spirituality that is required, I expected the world knew it wasn’t JUST prayer.  In general, it appears that Christians have no knowledge of what must be done.  (It must be noted I do believe prayer is what is needed to “Restore The USA” and no doubt “America Needs Prayer.”)
            Our scripture verse indicates that those who “are called by my name” are to “humble themselves” and “seek my face.”  We as Christians are not to be like the Pharisees of the past who offered to pray for coin.  We are to look inward (deep within ourselves) and seek God in repentance.  This only comes by prayer, and in prayer a Christian must seek God through His Son Jesus The Christ.  That portion, (which is our humbling,) must be done with a desire to be humble before God.  Otherwise, we are likely wasting our prayer and our time.  We need to seek Him with a heart that desires Him.  The Choice is ours.
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.

Our desire must be with a “true heart,” a heart that is sincere and free of any contrary thoughts, or evilness.  Our scripture continues by telling us: in addition to humbling ourselves and seeking God, we are to “turn from their [OUR] wicked ways.”  “Hey, Bro Chastain, I am a Christian, and my ways are not wicked.”  I for one am not your Judge, however, our scripture tells us:

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

I do believe the word “all” does include everyone.  Consequently then, “all” of us are sinners and we “all” entertain wickedness in some form or fashion.
            So now we know that in order for the United States of America to be restored, American Christians must change first, and get back to God.  In order for this to happen, a lot of people, and a lot of Churches must get themselves back to their first love.

Revelation 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

This is where we stand as a Nation, as a Church, and as a Christian.  (We are looking more to the world and less to God and His Son Jesus.)  “Christian, fall to your knees in repentance.  Church, turn away from the worldly music, the worldly bibles, turn to The Saviour, and then and only then will God “…heal their [Our] land.”  Start today, not tomorrow, today to “Restore The USA.”  Just do it.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Lamp of God, Our Holy Bible

14 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:105-112  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  (106)  I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.  (107)  I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.  (108)  Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.  (109)  My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.  (110)  The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.  (111)  Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  (112)  I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

            Psalm 119:105 has only been a guiding force for me in recent years.  (I had never heard this verse before my Salvation.  I had NEVER read The Bible.)  God has given us this verse so we can obtain the light required to walk in this wicked and sorely evil world.
            Our Psalmist testifies to the snares (temptations) that were constantly laid before him.  If we are cognizant of our environment, we must also be aware of anything that is laid before us that will keep us from our walk with the Lord.  (The world is working to extinguish our light.  The world wants us so busy we do not have time to read God’s Word, and consequently dimming The Light of God.)
            Does our Psalmist give us a solution?  He shows us by his “freewill offerings of my mouth,” (His prayers are how he learns God’s Judgment.)  His prayers are not forced, memorized, nor read.  They are from his heart and freely spoken to our Lord.  He begs God to “Accept, I beseech thee” with freewill prayers.  (Now we have a concept of what God also wants from us.) 
            Historically, it is presumed that King David penned these words and he is our Psalmist.  King David was a man “after mine own heart,” and even as a sinner, we should be quoted as being “after mine own heart.”

Acts 13:22  And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

1 Samuel 13:14  …the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart...

Psalms 89:20  I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:

            Reader, the question now is, “Are you after God’s heart?  Can you say I have “erred not from thy precepts,” God’s laws, God’s commands?”  (To the best of my ability, I cannot.  I have walked a very narrow road, but that road hasn’t been narrow enough.)  God will provide the protection, but it is our job to define that road.  It is our task to follow God’s Commands.  He isn’t standing beside the road to correct us.  He has given us The Holy Spirit to guide us.  We must listen to Him, and be willing to follow His guide.

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

To a Christian, this verse should be very familiar.  Our problem is that we use it as our excuse, our crutch, and we fail to repent and have God’s Word as “a lamp unto my feet.” 
            As you ponder this devotion, consider where you stand within God’s Will.  Ask yourself, Am I using “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path?”
            “Christian, this is the day and the time.  Repent of your walk, and narrow your path.  Seek God through His Son Jesus The Christ.  Ask for His forgiveness and His help to narrow your way.” 
            As the shoe company states, “Just Do It.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh How Sweet

13 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:97-104  MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  (98)  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.  (99)  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.  (100)  I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.  (101)  I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.  (102)  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.  (103)  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  (104)  Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

            In reading scripture there are times that it is difficult for me to say God’s Word is sweet.  When God is chastising me (and He does,) I regret what I have done that causes the need for chastisement.  King David also knew of God’s chastisement.  In every case, we find King David sorrowfully repentant.  (It is those times when I recognize my sin displayed before me that I have a problem discerning “How sweet are thy words.”)
            Yet, as we delve into God’s Word looking for His Wisdom and His Direction, (with our seeking heart,) we find “How sweet are thy words.”  God never wants us to be alone, separated from Him.  That is why He has given us The Holy Bible, God’s inerrant, infallible Word.  As we read and study His Word, we can find that God will give us “more understanding than all my teachers” and in that understanding, we will grow in His Wisdom.

1 Corinthians 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.

Before we accepted Jesus The Christ as our personal Saviour, our wisdom was “the wisdom of the world.”  By hearing God’s Word preached, and through individual study, we gain God’s Wisdom.

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Our individual growth in the Lord depends on faithful attendance in Sunday School and Church.  How else can we grow?  Neither you nor I can learn it on our own.  It can only be learned with the power of The Holy Spirit unto God.  Christ gave us The Holy Spirit for this very purpose, teaching us what He would want us to know.  (The Holy Spirit will not always convict us of our direction if we are not faithfully under His Word.)
            Our Psalmist (believed to be King David) through “my [his] meditation” was able to walk more closely to God.  He was able to fend off the ones who would give false testimony and temptations before him.
            We as Christians must endeavor to do as our Psalmist, and seek God’s Ways, seek His Wisdom.  In doing this, we will have a much better testimony and a much better walk.  Our “worldly wisdom” will grow toward “Godly Wisdom.”
            “Reader, are you faithfully attending “Church,” a Church that Preaches God’s Word?  Are you hearing the preaching with your heart?  Do you read your Holy Bible with the same fervor you would read a Novel?  Is your heart open to God’s Will in your life?” 
            “If you are not sure, repent of your failings today.  Ask Jesus to forgive you.  Then, (only after repenting, and prayer) get busy for the Lord.  Do His bidding, and see how mighty in His Word and Wisdom you will grow.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unto All Generations

12 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:89-96  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.  (90)  Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.  (91)  They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.  (92)  Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.  (93)  I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.  (94)  I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.  (95)  The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.  (96)  I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

            Looking at the phrase, “unto all generations,” I thought of Jonah and what he preached to the City of Nineveh.  Our Bible tells us: “from the greatest of them even to the least” believed God.

Jonah 3:5  So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

Jonah’s message from God was short and to the point.

Jonah 3:4  And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

His message was: either get with God’s “program,” or be destroyed.  (It is amazing how God uses The Holy Spirit to lay conviction on the heart of man.)  Nineveh (at that time) was saved from destruction.
            Our text also tells us that God’s Salvation is “unto all generations” (not just the generation that is spared.)  Nineveh failed to follow “their Salvation.”  (Their next generations never heard about Salvation,   consequently, Nineveh was eventually destroyed.)
            Christian, there is a lesson in this for us today.  If we are honest, we may see we are not “passing our Salvation” on to our next generation.  We may be more interested in “a growing church and a pretty building.”  (And with an increased revenue and a decreased debt.)  It seems we may not be interested in Glorifying God, just in glorifying ourselves.  Christian, I am not speaking about all Churches.  However, I am not excluding your Church.
            As Christians, we need to look at our nation as a Nineveh. (Again, with an honest heart.)  I know many believe “our Nation is okay.”  However, we need “a Jonah” to preach to our Nation, (to get us back to where God has guided us.
            We as Christians stand back and watch “the minorities” destroy not only our Bible, but also our Nation.  We must be the ones who repeat Jonah’s message.  We must be certain that our family, our neighbors, our co-workers, and all we meet have heard the message Jesus preached, His Gospel.
            Christian, it is our task to get ourselves back in God’s Will.  We must pray for our Church, and for our Nation.

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.

This verse is for believers, no one else.  It states, “If my people, which are called by my name.”  If our Church is becoming more liberal, (as is our nation,) we must do as the people of Nineveh.  We must accept God’s Will, and send “our” Salvation “unto all generations.”  We must put aside our pride, get to our knees, and pray.  We must pray believing that God will respond to our heartfelt prayer.  Seek Him with a repentant heart, (a heart that has turned “from their wicked ways.”)
            We can be assured, (if all Christians will follow 2 Chronicles 7:14,) God will respond in the manner we expect. 
            Have you put away your pride?  Are you on your knees begging God to help your Church, your Pastor, and our Nation’s needs?  Are you seeking God?  Are you in a Worship Service on a regular, faithful basis? 
            Christian, have you turned from your evil ways?  Now is the day, the hour.  It is time to be on your knees.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts       

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God On The Mountain

11 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:81-88  CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.  (82)  Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?  (83)  For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.  (84)  How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?  (85)  The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.  (86)  All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.  (87)  They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.  (88)  Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.

            On occasion, I can find King David while reading this Psalm.  My King James Study Bible did not define the author.  I then searched the web and sought Jewish Theologians to find out who they considered the author to be.  All that I read came to one conclusion, the Psalm was written by King David.  Based on this conclusion, (I will presume that this Psalm was written by King David.) 
            In this writing, we see a period of time that King David was apparently depressed.  I have tried to determine when this was written.  There are several instances in King David’s life that it could have been.  My thought is some time just after Absalom (King David’s son) was killed (while King David was traveling back to his throne.)  King David was failing in health and he was at his weakest point.  Yet, through it all, his faith remained.  He begged God for a reprieve on the grief that was consuming his mind.
            There is a song that is entitled, “God On The Mountain.”  Within its lyrics we are told that the “God on the mountain is the same God down in the valley.”  King David was down in that valley, the valley of doubt.  He was fearful that God had left him as God had left King Saul.  Yet, King David knew within his heart that God would never leave him.
            How many times a year, a month, a week, or a day do we find ourselves wallowing in that valley of doubt, that valley of despair, that valley of self pity?  I can say, at least to this hour, (since I was assured of my eternal salvation,) that I have never concerned myself that God would leave me.  There have been times I was down and thought God was punishing me.  In some of those times I am sure I was receiving His chastisement.  Yet, when I look back and think about those times, I find that I was the one who “put me” in that valley.  
            In my Christian walk I have found that I am the sole source of most, (if not all,) my problems.  I am the one who “steps off” that mountain.  I am the one who responds (or doesn’t respond) to the temptations set before me.    It is Me, Myself, and I.  I am MY main and worst problem (enemy.)
            We allow our minds to consume our thoughts.  Yet, Jesus tells us He will give us “rest.”

Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

We can look at this “rest” as peace of mind.  Most of us Christians pray and ask God through His Son Jesus to absolve all our problems, and He does.  Yet, instead of letting Him take control, we begin meddling in what we just gave away.  (We then find we are still where we put ourselves, somewhere in that valley.)  How do we as Christians get that rest? 

James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

We must first humble ourselves before the Lord.  We don’t want Him to humble us.   (That is truly not what God wants nor do any of us want.)  This is our personal commitment to draw nearer to Him, but it must be with a true, (sincere) heart. 

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.

Our heart must desire, (crave) to become nearer (in faith) knowing we are growing nearer to our Saviour.

Job 22:29  When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

Job shows us “the mountain and the valley.”  We also can see the chastisement resulting from Job’s pride.  Yet, through it all Job remained faithful, and became a humble man.  We never want “a Job experience,” but we must realize there is always that possibility.  (God humbled Job.)  God asks us to humble ourselves, remove evil from our lives, pray, and seek Him.

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.

            “Christian, what are you going to do?  Are you going to wait for “that Job experience,” or are you going to get to your knees?”  God is waiting to clear your mind and give you the “rest” or peace you desire, peace of mind.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Light Of GOD

10 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:73-80  JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  (74)  They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.  (75)  I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.  (76)  Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.  (77)  Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.  (78)  Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.  (79)  Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.  (80)  Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

            As we come to know our Psalmist, we get a better insight into his heart.  He knew he was an example of imperfection, (as all Christians are,) and he knew he had failed God.  (Most likely on an hourly basis.)

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Our Psalmist begged God for the necessary understanding and wisdom he needed “to be a light” for God in this dark and dreary world.

Psalms 119:105   Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Our Psalmist understood that God had known him forever.  (Jeremiah, years later also learned this from God.)

Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

            We as Christians need to comprehend “the heart” of our Psalmist.  He knew he wasn’t perfect.  He knew he had “come short” and was repentant of his situation.  His greatest fear was not being “sound in thy statutes.”  He didn’t want to be “found out” and ashamed in the Sight of God, nor in the sight of the world.
            (I can relate to the Psalmist’s “fear.”)  However, my “greater fear” is that today’s Christians no longer know “shame” or that “to be ashamed” exists.  Today, if a person shows “shame,” it is because he was finally “found out.”  (He was caught.) 
            Today’s Christians no longer respect God with their best attire at Church.  It is just a “come as you are” mentality.  There is no “fear” (respect) of God.  (We want the prettiest buildings, the plushest interiors; yet, “jeans and a tee shirt” are the best we can do.)
            “The divorce rate” among Christians is nearly as high as the “world’s divorce rate.”  (A large number of these divorces involve adultery.) Whatever happened to “till death do we part?”  Where is our pride in God?  (We should be Glorifying Him.)

2 Corinthians 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Let us as Christians get back to allowing God’s Light to shine through us.  Let us remember “shame” and “embarrassment.”  Let us ask (beg) God to remind us of “His Way.”  Let us repent, get ourselves back to God, and refresh ourselves in The Holy Spirit and our Lord and Saviour Jesus The Christ.
            Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

Luke 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

He came to destroy “the works of the devil. ”

1 John 3:8  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

            We must decide following our own desires is futile.  We must search our hearts, and beg for God’s forgiveness.  In that forgiveness, (humbling ourselves before Him,) we must decide, with conviction, to repent of our ways and begin walking (as seriously and as fervently as possible) toward God’s Will.
            His Will for you and I is that we be under The Word of God, and not forsake “the assembling of the brethren.”  So, Christian, “Have I described you?  What are you going to do about it?”  Repent.  Change Today.  Walk in His Light.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas       

fundamentalthoughts-preacher.blogspot.com   Fundamental Thoughts