He Is Faithful

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

At the Rapture, believers will be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds. Then the seven-year Tribulation will begin. Many non-Christians, having just witnessed the Rapture, will put their faith in Christ. The Antichrist will bring peace to the world for the first half of the Tribulation. But then he will become a world dictator who orders all to worship him—or be severely persecuted or killed. So these very young Christians will be faced with a severe test: If I remain faithful to God, will He remain faithful to me?

Every Christian today experiences similar tests with regard to money, health, relationships, and more. And the answer is, Yes, God will remain faithful (even if we are not—2 Timothy 2:13). God has allowed His saints to suffer throughout history, including His own Son, and always remained faithful. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

Hopefully you will not be one who is tested in the Tribulation. But you will be tested in other ways. God is faithful! Trust Him in all things.

Christians do not have to live; they have only to be faithful to Jesus Christ, not only until death but unto death if necessary. Vance Havner

The Burden of Sin

Romans 5:12-21

The burdens we carry come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Many are weighty, but there’s one load that proves even heavier—and it can be traced back to the garden of Eden.

Because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:6), all people have been born with sinful hearts. Holiness and sin cannot mix. Therefore, in our natural state, none of us are able to fellowship with God.

What is worse, we continue to do wrong. The Bible says that every one of us has gone astray, like a sheep wandering from his shepherd (Isa. 53:6). So on our own, we have no access to God. And there is nothing that we—fallen humans—can do to rectify the situation. That’s why I see this as the heaviest burden of all.

But our Creator loved us so much that He sent His own Son to live a perfect life on earth. Jesus deserved fellowship with God, yet He took our sin and its punishment by dying on the cross in our place. And then He conquered death by rising to life again.

His atonement for our wrongs is a gift that is available to anyone who believes. The Savior longs for us to accept that He willingly paid the price to redeem us. He desires to relieve the burden of sin from our heart. Only then will we experience true life and freedom.

Have you received God’s free gift of salvation? Jesus loves you so much that He gave His life to have a relationship with you. If you believe in Him and accept His death as your undeserved atonement for sin, He will forgive you for all unrighteousness and welcome you onto the path of true life.

Bringing Up Children

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

This verse, together with the parallel passage in Colossians 3:21, is probably the key New Testament instruction specifically dealing with the training of children. “Nurture” is from the same Greek word that is translated “chastening” in Hebrews 12:5, 7, and “instruction” in 2 Timothy 3:16. It has particular reference to carrying out child training with both firmness and gentleness, as needed and appropriate in each particular case.

The term “admonition” is from a Greek word meaning “putting in mind.” Thus, the “admonition of the Lord” implies teaching the ways of the Lord by using the Word of the Lord. There is no substitute for implanting a knowledge of God’s Word in the minds of our children. Even if they should drift away for a while in later life, the Lord can use His Word in their hearts to bring them back.

Both types of training—through action and through verbal teaching—are said in this passage to be primarily the responsibility of the father. The first reference in the Bible to training children deals with Abraham’s responsibility to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (see Genesis 18:19). Mothers, of course, also have much responsibility and ability in this ministry (see Proverbs 1:8, and the example cited by Paul himself of how Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught him—2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Fathers, too, sometimes delegate certain teaching responsibilities to tutors (Galatians 4:1-2), but the overall responsibilities are theirs.

And all of this training should be done in love. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). Then we trust the Lord and pray. HMM

Nature Worship

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. —Psalm 24:1

Then there is nature worship. That is the worship of the natural man, only on a very poetic and philosophical level. It is an appreciation for the poetry of religion. It’s a high enjoyment of the contemplation of the sublime….

Such are the poets; they like to look at trees and write sonnets. Well, there’s a good deal of religion and supposed worship that is no higher than that. It’s simply the enjoyment of nature. People may mistake the rapt feeling they have in the presence of trees and rivers for worship. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that he had at times—on a moonlit night walking across a meadow after a rain and smelling the freshness of the ground and seeing the broken clouds with the moon struggling through—he said he had often been glad to the point of fear. Yet Emerson was not a regenerated man. He did not claim to be.

I want to warn you against the religion that is no more than love, music and poetry. I happen to be somewhat of a fan of good music. I think Beethoven’s nine symphonies constitute the greatest body of music ever composed by mortal man. Yet I realize I’m listening to music; I’m not worshiping God necessarily. There’s a difference between beautiful sound beautifully put together and worship. Worship is another matter.

Lord, help me remember that everything of beauty is from the Creator, who alone is worthy of my worship. Amen.

Can Humans Judge the Lord?

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

It is a fact that God made us to worship Him, and if we had not fallen with Adam and Eve, worship would have been the most natural thing for us.

Sinning was not the natural thing for Adam and Eve, but they disobeyed and fell, losing their privilege of perfect fellowship with God, the Creator. Sin is the unnatural thing; it was never intended by God to be our nature.

Men and women who are out of fellowship with God, the Creator, still have an instinct towards some practice of worship. In most of our “civilized” circles, the practice of picking out what we like to worship and rejecting what we do not like is widespread.

This has opened up an entire new field for applied psychology and humanism under a variety of religious disguises. Thus men and women set themselves as judges of what the Lord has said— and so they stand with pride and judge the Lord.

In the Bible, God takes the matter of worship out of the hands of men and puts it in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to worship God without the impartation of the Holy Spirit!

The evening was ‘darkness” and the morning was “light”

“And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5.

The evening was ‘darkness” and the morning was “light,” and yet the two together are called by the name that is given to the light alone! In every believer there is darkness and light, and yet he is not a sinner because there is sin in him, but he is a saint because he possesses some degree of holiness. This will be a most comforting thought to those who ask, “Can I be a child of God while there is so much darkness in me?” Yes; for you, like the day, take not your name from the evening, but from the morning; and you are spoken of in the word of God as if you were even now perfectly holy.