Monday, January 30, 2012

I Chose God

22 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:169-176  TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.  (170)  Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.  (171)  My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.  (172)  My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.  (173)  Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.  (174)  I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.  (175)  Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.  (176)  I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

            As we study the last segment in Psalm 119, the phrase that comes to my mind is, “I have chosen thy precepts.”  King David had “chosen” God’s law (precepts,) a statement of Faith by choosing God.   King David, as a secular man, was a failure.  However, spiritually he was God’s Man.
            You and I, as we walk in this life, may find that “within the world” we are failures.  The “world” knows about our spiritual life, but has no knowledge about “our relationship with God.”
            In Sunday School, we recently sang a song entitled, “This Little Light of Mine.”  One verse suggests we might hide “our light” under a bushel, another that the wind might blow it out, and another that the devil “might” attempt to blow it out.
            As Christians, we are a peculiar people.  We are to let “This Little Light of Mine” shine for “all” the world to see.  We may be the only Bible non-Christians will ever read. 
            So what version of the Bible are you portraying?  Are you, “It Has Been A Long Time Since I Read It,” “Actually I Have Only Read Parts,” or “I Have Never Read It, But When I Go To Church I Listen Real Good.”  “What kind of light are you portraying?  If you have not read your Bible, and if you are not attending Church, how do you KNOW you are a Christian?”
            As a peculiar people our “light” must be God’s Light, His Truth, His Righteousness, and above all, His Holiness. 
            King David, in all his failures, chose God.  The “world” saw his failures, but they also saw that he was a Man of God.  King David’s “This Little Light of Mine” might have flickered a time or two; but when he realized his failure, he always fell to his knees in repentance.  He realized that to get closer to God:

James 4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Repentance is a means of “purify [ing]” and “Cleanse [ing]” our hearts and our hands.  King David couldn’t wash himself clean.   It all had to be done “with the heart,” in repentance, with a sincere heart before God.

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.

              “Christian, is your light faltering?  Are you running out of fuel?  Is your “Little Light” as bright as it should be?  Have you “Chosen God?”
            “Reader, today is the day to accept Jesus and light your “Little Light” for Jesus.”  Do it today.  Choose God.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas    

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Seven Deadly Sins

Proverbs 6:16-19  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  (17)  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  (18)  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  (19)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

            King Solomon wasn’t pampering his listeners.  He was laying out God’s concerns for His people.  In my days of Pastoring (and since then) I have seen too much of these abominations within our Churches. 
            To a large percentage of Church people (and the secular world,) these seven abominations are no longer God’s concern.  (All we have to do is “forgive” others, spread the “love” of Jesus, and all these abominations will vanish.)
            As a youth growing up in the world, I was taught to be proud and do things that would have made my Father proud of me.  (My Father died when I was very young.)  I lived with that well into my adult life. 
            At some point, I finally realized I should concern myself with my Mother.  She was the one who worked with me.  She was the one who prodded me into being something other than a High School drop-out.   
            As a child, all of these “Seven Deadly Sins” were taught against with two exceptions.  The first was the “proud look.”  I don’t believe this sin was ever addressed.  I remember we were instructed to be proud.  (I am not including the “pride” of the accomplishments of our children, but the “pride” of “Me, Myself, and I.)
            I stop and consider all the resumes I have written, and applying “a lying tongue” to those documents.  (When I was asked to write a resume for my last Pastorate, it was very difficult to NOT slip back into the “old mold” and “embellish” the facts more than I should.)  (That last resume was an honest and truthful document.)
            The second of the “Seven Deadly Sins” was “wicked imaginations.” (As a child, I was never taught to imagine wicked things, yet I was taught that I should always broaden my imagination.) 
            If we looked at our “imaginations” as God does, “how ashamed would we be?”  What does our “imaginations” tell God (and “the world?”)  Most “imaginations” are private.  However, I know some broadcast their attempts at casting dispersions on God.
            Living in the world, and as Christians, we must examine our hearts.  All seven sins listed above have the same value.  (God hates them all. One is no greater than the other.)  Consequently, if we are guilty of one, (it doesn’t matter which one,) we are guilty and will be punished for that sin.  Our walk and our talk as a Christian must not include any of these sins.
            “Reader, what is our task that has been set before us?  If you have never accepted Jesus The Christ as your Personal Saviour, begin here.  Call on His name and He will receive you.”

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

Joel 2:32  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: ...

“It is your decision.  Once you have called on His name, beg for forgiveness and seek God’s help in opening your heart to those sins you have committed.  Then repent (change) and walk away from your sins.”
            “Christian, you must go before God in prayer.  Ask for forgiveness, and repent of your sins.”  (Repenting may be a daily task.)
            Change, Repent, and Walk with God.

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.

The decision is YOURS.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas    

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Big Deception

1 John 1:8-10  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (9)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (10)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

When I stop and consider my life prior to Jesus, I find I was a liar.  (I didn’t go about “telling lies,” but I was “living a lie.”)  My former life could have been entitled, “The Big Deception.”   I thought I was a “somebody,” and being a “somebody,” I was important.   (In terms of my family, I was important as the primary “breadwinner.” Yet, in terms of Jesus The Christ, I was nothing.)
When we walk along “life’s highway” we make decisions as to what we are doing, and where we are going.  Some of these choices (at least for me) were bad choices.  Others weren’t so bad, (probably bordering on the good.  We may not even be able to discern those “bad” choices, or that they are “bad” choices.)
Our scripture tells us, “If we [will] confess our sins”  He will “forgive us our sins.”  Our first consideration is:  “What does God mean by us “confess[ing] our sins?”  This confession is NOT for anyone who claims a spiritual relationship with God.  (This confession is to God, directly from your heart.)  (I have always said, “Don’t tell me your sins.  I am likely to sin and judge you, but ask me to pray for your unspoken need.)”  (Don’t involve man in your confession.)
God wants YOU on your knees. Kneel with a humble, broken heart (because of your sin.)  Beg for His forgiveness. 
If we accept Jesus by our faith, He forgives us, and we will be given an eternity with Jesus (in the presence of God The Father.)   Jesus’ blood has “cleanse[d] us from all unrighteousness.”  We now belong to Jesus and God The Father.
Today:  STOP “The Big Deception.”   Realize:  “claiming” you “have no sin” makes God “a liar.” 

1 John 1:5  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God knows NO Sin.  He is The Truth.  Only He is The Truth and The Light.  Accept Jesus now.  
            As the footwear “people” tell us, “Just Do It.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Way

21 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalm 119:161-168 SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162  I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163  I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.  164  Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. 166  LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments. 167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. 168  I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

            There are many times when I have allowed my pride to place offerings before God.  (My intention was never to place them before Him.)  Yet, in my pride, I have done just that. (It may take me minutes, or days to realize what I have done.)  God knows my intent.  He also knows my pride.  (That is where we as Christians fail.)  We know (without a doubt) He sees our every move, yet in our pride, we “go about our business” as if He doesn’t know. 
            We can get our meals, our homes, our clothing, etc., prepared “My Way.”  (We “think” in terms of “My Way.”  We conjure our “needs,” and then “work” to achieve those needs “My Way.”
            However, Christianity isn’t (nor has it ever been) “My Way.”  God teaches us that it is His Way and His Way only.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

God sent His Only Begotten Son to give us everlasting life.  He (Jesus) died on that “Old Rugged Cross” for our sins.  It was from that “Old Rugged Cross” He forgave us. 

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.

I don’t have to shed my blood, nor do I have to sacrifice myself on a cross (for myself, or for anyone else.)  It has been done “once for all” with Jesus’ blood from His Cross.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

            God has provided “His Way” through His Son.  Jesus accepted God’s Will.  This included The Beatings, being Nailed to that Cross, and allowing that Spear to pierce His side.  He did all this and more, just to spill His Blood for my Salvation, and grant me His forgiveness.  (What a Saviour, my Jesus.  He has done for me what I can not do for myself.)
            “Reader, He did it for me.  But He also did it for you.  Look at your heart.  Humble yourself.  Bow down and accept His Sacrifice for your eternity.”

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.

God asks that you “believe” that He raised His Son from the grave.  Believe, tell others what you “believe,” and God will save you.
            Do it today.  Remember that old truism, “Tomorrow Never Comes.” We never know what tomorrow will bring. 

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Message

1 John 1:5-7  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (6)  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  (7)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
John 12:46  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Are we aware of God’s presence, His safety and His mercy in our daily walk with Jesus?  God “light[s]” our way.  His “light” wards off impending doom, and allows Him to see our need.  (His mercy always lights our way.  He never leads us into “darkness” because He has “no darkness at all.”)
Jesus tells us:  if we as Christians are flirting with the darkness of the world (sin) we, regardless of our testimony, are not of Him.
I can hear you now.  “Brother John, you said The Bible teaches, “Once saved always saved.”  I will continue to say the same.  If a person has professed Jesus as His Saviour, and is doing his best to walk that narrow path, he will (as I have) make a few mistakes.  (He is still saved and will go to Heaven and live eternally with The Lord Jesus.)  However, if a person makes a confession, and then continues blatantly in his sin, God calls him a liar, “and walk in darkness, we lie.”

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.

            If we love God, how can we walk on other paths?  (We cannot do both.)  To get around this dilemma, we re-identify those sins “as less than darkness, sorta twilight.”  That way they have “some” light.  But our scripture tells us “in him is no darkness at all.”  “The Message” is:  “God is light” and that “in him is no darkness at all.”  If we call Jesus our Lord, but continue without repentance, (walking in the darkness of sin,) we are liars.
            “Reader, if you find within your heart a lack of repentance, and that the “narrow road of Christ” is not a part of your life:  repent now.  Call upon The Lord.  Beg Him to accept you. Allow The “blood of Jesus Christ his Son” to cleanse you of your sins.  Change your mind.  Repent of your sins, and put them away.”

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.
“The Message” is:  “What is your “reasonable service?”  In order to achieve what God wants, we as Christians must renew “[y]our mind.”  This change must be our desire, the desire to be “transformed,” and found “acceptable unto God.”  “Reader, what are you going to do, continue in your sin, or repent and follow Jesus?”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Trust In God

Psalms 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

            King David depicts for us a serene, idyllic scenery, (a pastoral view that many of us living within a city cannot comprehend.  We might even decide this wonderful view does not even exist.)  If we could take the opportunity and go to the country for a few hours (in an attempt to find this serenity,) our fears (not locking the door behind us, and being left “in the open” at the whims of marauding bandits) might be overwhelming.   
            When I began preaching, we lived on a small acreage, with many trees, (some of which were “clumps” of mature Dogwood Trees.)  Almost daily, I walked up a hill to one particular clump of Dogwoods to read my Bible and pray.  (On occasion, I even laid down on the ground and napped under that clump of trees.)  When I left the house, our dog, Mei Zen, and our two cats, Bert and Ernie always followed me.  When they had “secured the area,” I sat down.  (I knew there weren’t any copperheads or other critters to cause me problems.)  I relied on my animals to protect me, yet, I believe I was relying on God to protect me in that pasture.  (I was allowing God to use the animals for my protection.  My cats kept the small critters at bay, and my dog (a Shar Pei) definitely hindered the larger ones.)
            However, the scene David gives us is “a painting of his heart.”  It is his love of God, and his trust in God that he reveals his heart to us in this verse.  If we trusted God as David trusted Him, how much greener could our pastures, our valleys, and those mountaintops be?  We can gain that trust, and The Love of God by delving into God’s Word, and by kneeling and submitting ourselves in prayer to Him.

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

            All that we are, and all that we can be is by allowing God to lead us by those “still waters.”  Those waters reflect serenity, but they can be “deep waters” with treacherous sub-surface currents (sin.)  Sin pulls us away from the serenity that God gives us.
            Jesus, our Lord and Saviour guides us beside those “still waters.”   He never takes us into those currents that will pull us away.  He protects us through The Holy Spirit.
            “Reader, have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour?  He is The Only Way.  There is no other Way to secure a heavenly abode.  There is only one Way to God, and that is through Jesus via The Holy Spirit.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus tells us through Paul that if we will believe that God has raised Him (Jesus) from the grave, and if we will tell others (confess) what we believe, God will save us.

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.

Believe and know Heaven is your home.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Our Wickedness

20 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:153-160  RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.  (154)  Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.  (155)  Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.  (156)  Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments.  (157)  Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.  (158)  I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.  (159)  Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.  (160)  Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

            Our Psalmist, King David, understands who the “wicked,” people are.  In today’s world, we have become so “politically correct” in our definition of the word “wicked,” that to define the word we must use a term like “terrorist.”   “Terrorist” might not have been a word King David ever used or even knew, yet “terrorist” is included within the confines of the word “wicked.”
            What would be the definition if we define “wicked” on the same terms King David used?  We might begin with (v 155) quoted above, and say that those who do not know God, (don’t go to Church and don’t read God’s Word are “wicked.”)  In secular terms, we could include “pedophile,” “murderer,” “terrorist,” and “rapist.”  Our list could go on and on.
              Let us look at some Biblical terms for the definition of “wicked.”  We can begin alphabetically:   “adultery,” “bestiality,” “beguilers (liars),” “brawlers,” “fornicators,” “sodomites,” and “whores.”   (This list is brief and incomplete.)  Within the secular world, this list of words no longer exists.  Most are deemed offensive, and have been replaced with soft, nice, pleasing to the ear sounding words.

Romans 1:20-24  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  (23)  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  (24)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

            Regardless of the words we use to define adulterers, fornicators, or whores, they are still “wicked.”  Liars, brawlers and cheaters are also “wicked,” as are those who partake in bestiality and sodomy.  By God’s definition:  ANYTHING that does not Honour God is blasphemy and is “wicked.”

Matthew 7:22-23  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

            Consequently, those who call on God’s name by claiming His Son, but are “only doing it for show or to declare an association with a religious group,” are just as “wicked” as those who blatantly defile God’s Name.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

            “Reader, where do you stand within the “Biblical Definition” of “wicked?”  Are you defining some of these terms with a personal bias?  (If it applies to me, we ignore it. If it applies to someone else, we judge  them softly (if we like them.)  Otherwise, they deserve what they get.) 
            Now is the time to get your mind set. 

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.

Mammon is a word for “money,” “money of the world,” or as the “world is.”  You cannot live as the “world is” and “serve God.”  You must decide, are you “God’s servant,” or “are you the wicked servant of the world?”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Joy To The World

1 John 1:1-4  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  (2)  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)  (3)  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  (4)  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
            In this letter, John the Apostle writes about his personal, physical contact with Our Lord Jesus.   He teaches we are to have a “joyful” experience with The Lord Jesus, “the Word of life.”  Yet, within that “joy” lies a narrow road on which we must travel.  By traveling this narrow road with Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, our “joy” will be eternally fulfilled.

Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The day we accepted Jesus as our Saviour was the day we found the “strait gate.”  We are now on the “narrow… way” and have removed ourselves from the “broad…way.”  We can now seek His/our “joy” and walk with Jesus knowing we will be with Him forever and ever.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

            Now we understand that “Joy To The World” is “fellowship…with the Father.”  In this “fellowship” we find the “joy” that is the wonderful calm. 
            How did we come to have this fellowship?  It is explained in The Book of John. 

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

God sent His Son, His Only Begotten Son Jesus, (born of a Virgin) to earth to show us The Way to Him/Our Joy.   Jesus lives to see the Lost come to Him. 

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

Jesus died on that “Old Rugged Cross” to secure His position as our “Passover Lamb.”  Through His blood, we are secure and eternally His.   Jesus became “Our Joy To The World.”
            “Reader, can you say you know (without a doubt) that your “Joy” is being fulfilled?  Do you have that peace/calm God gives when we are secure in Him?  Do you know without a doubt if you died today that Heaven would be your eternal home?  You can know.  Open your heart and mind, and seek God through His Son Jesus.  Seek Him and know.  Let Him be your fulfilled Joy.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

The LORD is…

Psalms 23:1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

            We as Christians have submitted ourselves to Jesus.  We have Chosen Him as our Saviour, and our Shepherd.
            In this verse, King David relinquishes his secular Kingship and Authority to God.  He acknowledges God as his Authority, and his Shepherd.
            As Christians, Jesus The Christ is our Personal Saviour, and our Shepherd.  We (Christians) have (for the most part) allowed Jesus to be our Saviour only on those days we are in Church, and in those times of crisis.  (We then look for His intervention.)  Jesus tells us:

John 10:8-11  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  (9)  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  (10)  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  (11)  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

We don’t seem to know when “the wolf” is at our door because we “did not hear them.”  Only Jesus can protect us, as He is protecting “our door.”
            Instead of allowing Jesus to “Shepherd” us, we rely on psychology, (a secular wisdom created by a known sexual pervert.)  We expect the world’s wisdom to solve our problems.  (Not only can we not “hear them” we let them into the fold.) 
            Jesus is standing ready and willing to protect us, yet we are unwilling to submit to Him, but willingly accept “the world’s guardian angel.”
            In (John 10:8, quoted above) Jesus tells us that all who have come before us (from the world) are “thieves and robbers.”  They are after our livelihood, our testimony, and anything else that defines us as a Christian.
            Jesus tells us, “if” we will accept Him as our Shepherd, He will stand “at the door of the fold and protect us eternally.”  The “wiles of the devil” can no longer enter within our Shepherded domain.  With Jesus’ protection, “I shall not want.”

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

            King David tells us, “The LORD is my shepherd” and he as a man meant it. 
            “Is “The LORD” your Shepherd?  Have you accepted Him?  Do you submit to Him daily?  Is He truly your Shepherd, not just on Church days, but every day?  Is He The God of your valleys, (the crisis times) and The God who lifts you to the mountain tops, (the good times)?  If not, today is the day to accept Him. Relinquish yourself to Him.”

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.

Note:  “You” must be the one to change.  God our Shepherd will protect you.  Make it happen today.

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts           

Oh So Close

19 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:145-152  KOPH. I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.  (146)  I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.  (147)  I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.  (148)  Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.  (149)  Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.  (150)  They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.  (151)  Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.  (152)  Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

            Our Psalmist, King David, is concerned that those who oppose him are “compassing him” and getting very close.  He knows those who are opposing him are also against God.  (My fear is that we may be re-living King David’s day.)
            We are finding that we have not only a President, but also a Congress and a Judicial System that oppose God and His Son, our Beloved Jesus.  Everywhere we turn, we find the ranks are “draw[ing] nigh.”  (Any emblem we as Christians wear (contrary to the secular point of view) is automatically declared unsuitable for public display.)
            We find that secularism is encompassing “The Christian Family,” and moving (in the direction) to tighten “Oh So Close” and isolate “The Christian” into a closed society.

Psalm 17:9  From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

The world, which compasses us is and always has been a wicked world.  Yet, we find our government, which was set up as a Christian government, has turned its back on the very precepts from which it was formed.  It has moved “far from thy law” and is now allowing sin to be an acceptable lifestyle.  What was an abomination to God (and still is) has become “normal.”  “What can we as Christians do?” 
            First, follow King David’s lead.  Believe that God is our shield. 

Psalm 84:9  Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

Look to God for protection and stand “your ground” by following His Precepts.

2 Timothy 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

We as a people are to “Hold fast… in faith and love” (and as the world closes its ranks around us,) we by “faith and love” are to stand fast regardless of the consequences.

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

We are not to allow “the cares” of this world “drive us” to extremes.  We are to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind” working together as true Christians for the “faith of the gospel.”
            “Reader, are you part of “The Group” compassing “The Christians,” and relishing in the freedom of your sin?  On the other hand, are you within the circle of the “faith[ful in]…the gospel?”  Are you the problem for Christians, or are you the problem for the world?”
            We as Christians must know Jesus is returning to collect His Faithful.  Look to the sky, and watch for His return.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  (16)  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

            “Christian, look up and “comfort one another” because He is “Oh So Close.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

God’s Word Is Pure

18 of 22 from Psalm 119

Psalms 119:137-144  TZADDI. Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.  (138)  Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.  (139)  My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.  (140)  Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.  (141)  I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.  (142)  Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.  (143)  Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.  (144)  The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

            Our Psalmist, King David tells us in (v 144) that his God, The God of Israel, is an Everlasting God,  and begs for the necessary understanding he needs to allow him to live.  King David knows that God’s Word is “very pure,”  and continues to expound that he loves God’s Word.
            (This brings me to my concern.)  Our King James Bible (God’s Word) teaches us through The Parable of the Sower, (Matthew 13:3-9 and 18-23) that seventy-five per cent of the people we encounter in our Churches are non-believers.  Consequently, we can surmise they have never read God’s Word, nor do they cherish it as did King David.   (In some Christian circles, our Bible has become “just another book.”)
            As Christians, many of us have lost the “zeal” we had when we first accepted Jesus.  We have “dropped out” of Church or “moved” to a Church that entertains rather than exhorting The Word of God.

2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Many of us are running “to and fro” to “find a church” where love and forgiveness is all that is preached.  We don’t want to hear about the sin we are in, (and as a hypocrite) we don’t want to attend Church and sit by a hypocrite.  Yet, we go where hypocrites sit and never consider our sin or our eternity.

Romans 3:10, 23  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:…23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Everyone that calls himself a Christian should know that Jesus does love us, and He has forgiven us.  He loved us so much that He died on that “Old Rugged Cross,” and while on that Cross, He accepted our sins, (which was placed on Him) and from that Cross, He forgave us.
            If we have accepted Him, (but have failed to follow His teaching,) where do we stand within His “love and forgiveness?”

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

We are taught that “faith cometh by hearing” and that it is from “the word of God.” 

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

“If you don’t read God’s Word, attend a Church that only calms “itching ears” and refuses to discuss your sin, or your eternity, do you love The One that loves you and has forgiven you?  How do you show it?   Have you repented of your sins and your hypocrisy?   Have you realized that your sin of pride has enveloped your life?”
            “Call on Jesus, ask for forgiveness, and repent of your sins.  (You have more than you know!)   Now begin reading His Word.   Learn to love Him as He loves you!  Let Him be your Guide eternally.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts