Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Children of God

              After reading Matthew 5:1-9 quoted below, it is very evident that “The Children of God” are indeed blessed.   As a Christian, we are called “peacemakers.”  The root of the word “peacemaker” is to be peaceable.  Let us not confuse the word and make it something it is not.  We, in our “walk and our talk,” are to remain “peacemakers. From our “walk and talk,” we should display the very image of God, through His Son Jesus our Christ.
              By Christ’s very own “blood,” we have been given an eternity beyond our corporate or individual imaginations.  I sometimes have trouble seeing next year, and to think I could imagine eternity is well beyond my grasp.
              It is Christ’s compassion for our unworthy souls which allows us a key to enter into His eternity.

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

              We, in our so called “righteousnesses” are full of sin.  We are completely unworthy of the eternal Salvation God has granted us with His Mercy through His Son Jesus.

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 part we don’t seem “to see” is that God loves us, regardless.  Jesus loves us, regardless, even with our individual lack of faithfulness and unworthiness.  Nowhere does it say God loves our sin, nor does it say He winks at our sin. 
              Our lives are filled with individual options and choices.  We can stay faithful to God, do our best not to sin, or we can make the choice to sin as we please. 
              (I know those sins you may have chosen are not sins.   They are “life style” choices: like abortion [murder], living together [shacking up], drugs and alcohol.)
              So, to you the reader: knowing that God loves you, and if you have chosen Jesus as your Saviour, “What are your daily choices?  Are they for the Lord, or for you?”                                                  

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Matthew 5:1-9  And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:  (2)  And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,  (3)  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (4)  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  (5)  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  (6)  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  (7)  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.  (8)  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  (9)  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Call

             After reading Matthew 4:18-22 quoted below, it reminds me of my “call” to the Pastorate.  It was a normal Thursday morning. (I had preached the night before at Calvary Baptist Church.)  However, in my prayer time I was wrestling with God.  Many times I had asked for a Pastorate in our region, so we wouldn’t have to move.  This particular morning I was running late.  My wife called to me to “get in the shower and go to work.”  (I didn’t end my prayer.)  I continued in the shower, and finally succumbing to the Lord, I told Him, “I will go wherever, and I will do Your Will.”  Later that morning, about 9:30 am, I received a telephone call from a Deacon in a Church just south of Palestine.  They asked if I would come and “preach in view of a “call.”
              They didn’t select me, but I spent the next two years “getting ready” for the “call” to do God’s will.  (My wife Sharil had to deal with her own “call.”  She wasn’t ready yet to become a Pastor’s wife.)
              When Jesus called His disciples, they immediately left and followed Him to become those “fishers of men.” 
              Sharil and I weren’t saved until late in our lives.  This is not an excuse, but at our ages, we never expected a “call” to the Pastorate.  Neither one of us considered doing, (obeying God’s will) prior to our Salvation and were just “learning” what God’s expectations for us were.
              One major problem we have in our Churches today is the refusal of individuals to accept God’s will in their lives.  Our Churches are stumbling because we as members refuse to try to eliminate sin from our lives.  This refusal limits our Church activity, our Church attendance.  It causes us to seek Churches that preach a softer, gentler Jesus, one who winks at our sin.  This refusal also keeps us from going to Church and in essence becoming a backsliding Christian.
              Are you looking down the road at an unanswered “call?”  Have you reasoned in your heart to follow Jesus, or yourself?  God tells us we cannot have two Masters, we will love one and hate the other. 

Matthew 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Who is your master?  Which do you follow, the one you hate or the one you love?                                      

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Matthew 4:18-22  And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.  (19)  And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  (20)  And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.  (21)  And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.  (22)  And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Life Of Righteousness

          Our scripture Proverbs 12:25-28 quoted below, states being righteous is the way to Life.  The publisher left off an all-important word “in.”  The text tells us, “In the way of righteousness is life…  Righteousness is God.  Who else can be righteous?  Certainly not the “Righteous Brothers.” 
            So, what can we derive from this text?  First, read the second portion which is “…and in the pathway thereof there is no death.  
            Following God, and accepting His Son, The Lord Jesus, The Christ, is that pathway of “no death.”
            We must always include all those little inconsequential words.  Remove two letters, and we have a “works statement.”  It suddenly tells us to rely on ourselves to work to acquire life.
            As we begin our new year, and as you read through your Bible, watch for those little inconsequential words.  They define the location, the person speaking, and the subject of the text.  Without these small words, the defining of God’s Word would be incomplete.
            This is another reason we “stick to our guns” on the King James Bible.  We know and believe it is the Word of God.  We know God authored it, and God used men to pen the Words for our Bible.  He used King James for the protection of the men, and to give them worldly authority to put God’s Word in the English language.  Consequently, it is the Authorized Version.  God gave the authority, and He is the Author.
            You and I, as Bible readers, and as Christians need to understand God’s Word, and there is only two ways to do that.  First we must read our Bible, secondly, we must be under the preaching of God’s Word.

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

(Hebrews 10:25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

            In the way of righteousness is life…  By being what a Christian should be, we are “In the way...  As the shoe company stated, “Just Do It.”

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Proverbs 12:25-28  Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.  (26)  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.  (27)  The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.  (28)  In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.


                                 What it means:
So be it,”   “That’s right,”   “I agree.”

Some misconceptions:
1.           It does not make you a Pentecostal.
2.           You do not have to be over the age of 60 to say it.
3.           It should not be done for show.  Don’t scream it or be disruptive.

Why do it?
(1 Corinthians 14:15-16)  "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?" 

1.           Saying “Amen” is Biblical for example: A congregation which states “Amen” shows the pastor, singers, pianists and others that they have been a blessing to them.
2.           It helps to keep a church from growing cold and formal.  Also, it keeps the praise based on Spiritual blessings. While clapping is an appropriate way to praise the individual or entertainer, the Amen is more a praise for the message.  I can say Amen to anyone who tries to testify for God, regardless of their ability.
3.           It helps keep some people awake J
4.           It helps the preacher know he is getting through, and to know people are listening. 
5.           It helps affirm that we as a church are in unity on certain points.  

It testifies that the preacher is not the only idiot that believes it!

Author Unknown

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Grace of God

             After reading I Corinthians 1:4-9 quoted below, my mind went back to January 19th, 1993.  That was the day that Sharil and I finally realized God’s “Amazing Grace.”  We both accepted Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour at about 3:30 in the afternoon.  We both found the gift that had always been before us, but unseen by a “spiritual” blindness.  The control of this blindness is by “the world.”   “The world” does not know Jesus the Christ.  It hates Him and persecutes anyone who calls on His Name (and receives that Holy Gift of Grace, eternal life with Christ.)
              As we wait for God’s call to bring us Home, either by Jesus’ return or by our physical death, grandness awaits us, (with a beautiful home existing among many Mansions, one for my wife, one for me.)

John 14:2-3  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

              Jesus has gone before us, (Jesus our Carpenter) to prepare for us.  There is a place for all who believe.  Once you have accepted Jesus, your place is secure.
              Have you accepted Jesus the Christ as your Saviour?  He is waiting with His gift of eternity, being with Him.  All He asks of you is to believe with a sincere heart, and tell others of His gift.

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.

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.
              Jesus forgave us on the Cross of Calvary.  He asks us to follow Him in love, and obey His commands.

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

So the question is, “Do you love Him?”  If you have claimed Jesus, “Are you keeping His commandments?”
              Sharil and I started following Him eighteen years ago.  I cannot tell you we have always followed as we should.  I would be a major hypocrite if I did.  Yes, we have fallen short.  However, when we failed we sought Jesus and begged forgiveness, repented, and picked up where we failed with a new reinvigorated fervor.   Where are you?  Where are you heading?            

Bro. John R. E Chastain

1 Corinthians 1:4-9  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;  (5)  That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;  (6)  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:  (7)  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:  (8)  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (9)  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thus Saith God The LORD

              Reading Isaiah 42:5-9 quoted below, I searched for the introductory words, “Thus saith God the LORD.” While reading most of those 228 verses that contain these words, my thoughts concerning these words were delving into my heart about how I have personally reacted to this remark.
              “Have I diligently listened, not only for myself?”  “Have I listened for others?”  I fear I have not done as well as I could.  My wife tells everyone that I have selective hearing.  She is likely right, and my concern is, “Do I also have selective hearing from our LORD and our Saviour Jesus?”  I imagine I do hear what I want to hear, and selectively put the other aside as unheard, maybe for hearing later.
              Jesus tells us in: John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
We as Christians claim to LOVE our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ.  Then, why do we fail to follow or go against those things that He commands?  What manner of love is it we have?  We hear what we want, we do what we want, all regardless of “keep[ing] my commandments.   
              We say we are Christians, yet we “refuse” to go to Church, we “refuse” to put away our cigarettes, we “refuse” to quit drinking alcohol, we “refuse” to read God’s Word (The King James Bible.)  In my favor, I may still have selective hearing; but God has led me away from some of these things; and other things that He has led me to are Church and reading His Word. 
              He speaks to us in His Word; He listens to us in our prayers.  Have you considered that God may also have selective hearing?
              I believe God hears all we say, He sees all we do, and it is likely our “doings” are what keep us from the blessings of an answered prayer, (keeping us from a blessed life.)
              I know some have made “resolutions” for the New Year.  Most will go aside like our actions concerning, “Thus saith God the LORD.   God wants us to repent and get ourselves right with Him.  Hang the resolutions, drop to your knees and beg God’s forgiveness, and then strive in your heart to love Jesus.                                     

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Isaiah 42:5-9  Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:  (6)  I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;  (7)  To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  (8)  I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.  (9)  Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.