Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What Shall I Render?

                                    When I read, Psalm 116:12-17 quoted below, my primary thoughts are on this coming Memorial Day: (that day we have set aside Nationally to recognize those valiant men and women who fought and died so we here in The United States of America can retain the freedom God has bestowed on us. 
              I first think about my Father, 1st Lieutenant R E Chastain, who on April 26th, 1951, died in Korea.  A soldier with many honours, he was one of many who valiantly gave his life for those of us who “stayed by the stuff.”
              As I ponder all this, and consider that the Lord God has given Sharil and I now 50 years together. He has given us two wonderful daughters, three grandsons, and one, only one, wonderful granddaughter.
              Therefore, the question remains:

Psalms 116:12  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

God has taken away; yet He has given abundantly.  God has been so gracious.  He has extended His grace and mercy to all my family.  We have lost, and benefitted in all He has given.
              One thing that I haven’t given to Him is my total devotion, my total heart.  (In retrospect, that is what He wants of each of us.)

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.

We as a rule want to give Him “our things,” which in fact are already His.  God wants us to “search our hearts” and look deep within and remove all the junk, and restore ourselves to His Glory.  We must look within and with the help of The Holy Spirit repent of the ways we have (maybe unwittingly) walked.
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.
              Reader, did you notice that Paul was speaking to the “brethren,” Christians?”  God has given us The Holy Spirit to guide us to His Glorification.  So, to answer my own question, “What Shall I Render?” The answer is “myself.”   I have nothing in God’s sight except my heart and soul, and that is what He wants.  Will you “…render unto the LORD…” today?  Our sacrifices to God are of  even greater importance than the sacrifice for man and country.

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Psalms 116:12-17  What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?  (13)  I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.  (14)  I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.  (15)  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.  (16)  O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.  (17)  I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Beginning and the End

                                    When I read, Revelation 21:1-6, quoted below, I am considering the existence of God.  (I do not doubt His existence.)  As I consider both phrases, “the beginning” and “the end,” it is hard to visualize the concept of “the beginning and the end of God.”    The main reason is that our King James Bible teaches us that God has always been, and will always be.
              So what is God telling us in these verses?  You and I, we are creatures of nature.  We were conceived in sin, and we understand how we were born.  We have seen both conception and death throughout the years of our lives. Consequently, we have seen a limited time between life and death.  Time has become our limit to our paradigm.  The vastness of His entity escapes our thought capability. 
            Now, down to the question, “Why does God use these phrases to tell us about Him?”  (He simply states His existence within our grasp.)  In addition, He is the beginning of the miracle of our conception and our life.  At the other extreme, He is The One who calls us into eternity thereby being the “the beginning” and “the end” for each one of us.  Without Him, “Where would we be?”  Jesus the Christ is the “Alpha…the beginning” and the “Omega…the end.” He always has been and always will be.

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Revelation 21:1-6  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  (2)  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (3)  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  (4)  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  (5)  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  (6)  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jesus The Christ Is God

                                                  When I read, John 10:22-30, especially (v 30) quoted below, I remembered a discussion I had with a Muslim woman.  My portion of the discussion was to witness to her, and hopefully lead her to Jesus the Christ.  (At this juncture, I cannot say I have been successful.)  

John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

              Our discussion led to her telling me about the Jesus of Islam.  I believe she thought we were discussing the same entity.  The Jesus she referred to was a man taken up (as was Enoch and Elijah).  Her Jesus is a man, a prophet of high caliber, such as Elijah.  (He did not die on this earth for the sins of man, as did our Jesus.)
              When I showed these verses in John, Chapter Ten to her, she exclaimed, “He (Jesus) is God!”  This revelation really surprised her.  I do understand her surprise, not ever hearing the Gospel before.
              The first Church I visited “in view of a call” was supposedly a Fundamental Independent Baptist Church.  That morning I taught on John 1:1-5 in Sunday School.  I also used John 10:30 as a part of my lesson.  The Deacon of the Church exclaimed, “Brother John that is hard to take, Jesus being God.”
              So where were his former Pastors in their teachings?  Were they simply teaching Jesus is love, and left out the hard meaty portions? 
              In my search for texts to preach recently, I found in the months since January, I have only preached out of The Book of Matthew one time.  (We are to preach the whole Gospel.)  I know sometimes it is difficult to keep the “weighty portions” of our scriptures “balanced with the words needed” by a young Christian, or a person seeking the Lord, but we must get the difficult portions “out to the sheep.”
              Reader, do you study to show yourself approved of God? 

2Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Do you read to the point that you know the big heavy thoughts of our Faith?  Do you still ask the questions in which you should know the answer?  Were you surprised by the title, “Jesus The Christ Is God?”  Seek His Word.

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

Bro. John R. E Chastain

John 10:22-30  And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.  (23)  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.  (24)  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  (25)  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.  (26)  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  (27)  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  (28)  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  (29)  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.  (30)  I and my Father are one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Way Of The LORD Is Strength

                                                  When I read Proverb 10:29 quoted below, my thoughts went back to last Friday, at the Memorial Service for my Aunt Inez.  I witnessed this “strength” in those Mothers who attended. 
            However, the real test was the next day when we received the news our cousin Brian Boyle was missing, and he was found alive 72 hours later in a hospital.  I saw a Mother and a Grandmother show strength outwardly, yet I am certain that strength within was shaky at best.  (I am certain there was a desire to cry out, yet the need to “stay strong” outweighed the cry.)
            As Fathers (we are doers,) and have a way of “moving the emotions aside,” and get on with what is required.  Mothers have a more “emotional base,” yet ithin they are emotionally stronger.  Even in that emotional state, Mothers have an ability to stay strong and pursue the need.
            As Solomon wrote, “The way of the LORD is strength to the upright…” All this innate strength can only come from the LORD.   (Mothers have an abundance of this God given strength.)  It comes from the valuable knee time in prayer, and refreshment from the LORD in His WORD.
            What about those Mothers who do not spend any prayer time with the LORD or in his WORD?  God has given all Mothers the ability to withstand emotional shock.  Yet, the release of that emotion is softer and quicker when one is with the LORD.  He is full of grace and mercy. 
            We cannot say that God had a Mother, but He knew what a Mother would need.  He created women to become Mothers, and gave them the strength it would require.

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

            I pray you will ask God to bless your Mother. We should all praise God for our Mothers’.  Praise Him.

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Proverbs 10:29  The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.