Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Nature of Degeneration

Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned... Romans 5:12

The Bible does not say that God punished the human race for one man's sin, but that the nature of sin, namely, my claim to my right to myself, entered into the human race through one man.  But it also says that another Man took upon Himself the sin of the human race and put it away--an infinite and profound revelation (see Hebrews 9:26)  The nature of sin is not immorality and wrongdoing, but the nature of self-realization which lead us to say, "I am my own god."  This nature may exhibit itself in proper morality or in improper immorality, but it alwyas has a common basis--my claim to my right to myself.
     Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch--only God touches sin through redemption.  It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entrie human race from the possibility of damnation throught heredity of sin.  God nowhere holds a person reponsibile for having the heredity of sin, and does not condemn anyone because of it.  Condemation comes when I realize that Jesus Christ came to deliver me from this heredity of sin, and yet I refuse to let Him do so.  From that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation "This is the condemnation and the critcial moment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than light  John 3:19    Oswald Chambers

Friday, September 30, 2011


My first bible teacher and one very dear to my heart was J. Vernon McGee.  He was the first one who showed me the the bible is a manual for living my daily life with purpose and meaning.  He went home to be with the LORD in the late 80's but he still can be heard daily on the radio teaching his practical and warm hearted messages on his broadcast "Through the Bible Radio".
In addition I still receive his newsletter; just think the ministry he founded is still honoring Christ 30 years after his death.   This is a description of "bearing fruit that will last".
    Regarding Jesus, Dr. McGee said; " it was no accident the Son of God identified with the human race as a carpenter--He was always a builder.
His work of repairing, beautifying and construction is still going on today".

From his newsletter this month I freely quote;
  Mark 1:1-3  The beginning of the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2) As it is written in the prophet Isaiah:
  Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You
  Who will prepare Your way;  3) the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
  'Make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight'.

   That is not the beginning of either John or Jesus. It is the beginning of the gospel when the Lord Jesus came to this earth and died on a cross and rose again.  That is the gospel.
    There are 3 beginnings recorded in Scripture.  Lets consider them in chronological order.
     1.  "In the beginning was the Word" John 1:1
            This goes back to a dateless beginning, before all time. I look at the universe I know it began somewhere and that somewhere is God.  I don't know anything about that because it had no beginning and I cannot comprehend such a fact.  God came out of eternity to meet us, He was there before anything else.
   2.  "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" Genesis 1:1
This is where we move from eternity to time.  I believe God created time at this point.  No one can guess the date of the creation; ideas range from 6000 years to 3 billion years, that is quite a gap.  We know so little but when we come into His Presence and we will begin to "know even as we are known"  we will realize how we "saw through a glass darkly".  I believe we will be amazed at our own ignorance as we look back.  Our God is a great God and He has plenty of time; "a thousand years is as a day to Him".
Trust His timing, it is always right.
    3.  "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ"  Mark 1:1  is the same as "that which was from the beginninig" 1 John 1:1.  The good news has a date.  It goes back to Jesus Christ at the precise moment He took upon Himself human flesh.  Jesus Christ is the gospel.
      Yes, the good news is this; God became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory. Emmanuel, God with us.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What Does it Mean to Say "Jesus Saves"?

     Jesus is God come to earth, a true human being. God became a human being in the person of Jesus in order to save us. (1John 4:2)  
     Why do we need to be saved?  The bible says that every human being who ever was born has sinned, Romans 3:23. To sin is to do something, in thought, word, or deed, that contradicts God's perfect character.  Because of our sin, we all deserve punishment from God, John 3:18. The penalty for sin is death.   God is just, so He cannot allow sin to go unpunished.  Since God is infinite and eternal, and since all sin is against God , only an infinite and eternal punishment is sufficient.  Eternal death is the only just punishment.  That's why we need to be saved.
      Because we have sinned against an infinite God, an infinite person must pay for our sin.  Jesus saves by dying in our place.  In the person of Jesus Christ, God sacrificed Himself on our behalf, paying the infinite and eternal penalty only He could pay, 2 Corinthians 5:21.  Because He is infinitely merciful, Jesus took the punishment we deserve in order to save us from eternal death.  Because of His great love for us, Jesus laid down His life, John 15:13, paying the penalty that we had earned but could not pay.  Jesus was then resurrected proving His death was sufficient to pay the penalty for our sin 1 Corinthians 15.
      Jesus saves all who will receive His gift of salvation.  Jesus saves all those who fully trust in His sacrifice alone as the payment for sin, John 3:16.  Jesus sacrifice was all that is needed to pay for the sins of humanity, however, each one must personally receive His precious gift.  John 1:12
      If you now understand what it means that Jesus saves, and you want to trust in Him as your Savior, you can pray this prayer;    Father, I know I am a sinner and I know that because of my sin I deserve to be eternally separated from you.  Even though I do not deserve it, thank you for loving me and providing the sacrifice for my sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died for my sin and I trust in Him alone to save me. I want Jesus to be my Savior and my Lord. From now on help me to live my life for you instead of for myself.  Thank you for saving me.  Amen

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Holy Spirit

We have been discussing Jesus promise in John 14:16, to send the Holy Spirit.  This was part of the list of reasons He gave to the disciples to obey His command 'Do not let your heart be troubled".
   Jesus said the Counselor-the Spirit of God Himself-would come after Jesus was gone to care for and guide the disciples.
The Holy Spirit is the very Presence of God within all believers, helping us live as God wants, and building the Church on earth.  By faith we can have the Spirit's power every day.
    These are some truths about the Holy Spirit and their references;
He will be with us forever  John 14:16
The world cannot accept Him  John 14:17
He lives with us and in us   John 14:17
He teaches us     John 14:26
He brings to our remembrance what Jesus said  John 14:26
He reminds us of Jesus' words   John 14:26 & John 15:26
He convicts us of sin, shows us God's righteousness and   announces God's judgment on evil   John 16:8
He guides us into all truth  John 16:8
He brings glory to Christ   John 16:14

  Hopefully these references with help you to obey the command to not have a troubled heart   John 14:1

God bless you with understanding and faith

Saturday, March 5, 2011

God's Gracious Presence

    We have experienced many trials in the past 2 weeks.  Perhaps you noticed last week there was no radio program on Monday as the transmitter was down.  The heavy snow in Ohio this winter has taken its toll in many ways.  The station manager chose to play an earlier broadcast and begin this week with the series in John. 
     At the same time my husband was experiencing the first of two trips to the emergency room for heart related problems.  He had a major open heart surgery last March 2010 to correct several problems and has been left with  fluttering heart.  Up until now he has manged but it became an acute problem lately and has let to him having cardio version, a challenge in someone with a brain probe treating Parkinson's disease.
      In all these things God has Sovereignly overruled and brought him through.  He has given me wisdom to make challenging decisions and given me the comfort of His still and undemanding Presence when I was exhausted.
      Tom is slowly recovering and steadily feeling better.  We have both grown closer to the LORD Jesus during these difficulties.  I want to tell you that we are finally all alone with God and it is a wise person who gets to know Him now and take comfort in Him and His promises.
     The radio program should be up to date now as God has graciously allowed me to go on with it and so I pray you will be blessed by His sure and certain Word of hope.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Practice Spiritual Concentration-Tozer

   The following is one of my favorite writings of A.W. Tozer, he is someone you need to know:
    Retire from the world each day to some private spot.  Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God's Presence envelops you.  Deliberately tune out the world.  Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it.  Stop trying to compete with others.  Give yourself to God, and then be what and do what you are without regard t what others think.  Reduce your interests to a few.  Don't try to know what will be of no service to you.  Avoid the digest type of mind--short bits of unrelated facts, cute stories and bright sayings.  Learn to pray inwardly every moment.  After a while you can do this even while you work  Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility.  Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life.  Call home your roving thoughts.  Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul.  Prace spiritual concentration.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Praise the LORD

Psalm 145
    I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your Name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, and I will proase Your Name forever and ever.  3 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised and His greatness is unsearchable.       

           Praising the LORD is an important, yes critical part of our relationship with Jesus.  I basically involves thanking Him for the many blessings in our life.  The ways we can recognize our Father's goodness are as limiless as the ways He reveals Himself to mankind.  God says He inhabits the praise of His people,  He is with us when we praise Him.
    God gives us many reasons to be thankful, no matter what our circumstances.  He has promised to cause all things to work together for good for those of us who love Him.  He is willing, He is able, He will do it.
    Every night when I lay down to sleep I thank God for five things of the day.  Taking nothing for granted, it is critical to maintain a humble and thankful spirit.
Someone has asked "what if God took away that for which we have not thanked Him?"  He is good, love Him, thank Him, pray for His soon return.

Psalm 103
   Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy Name.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Bread of Life

Jesus said: "I am the Bread of Life", He is also the Living Bread that came down out of heaven.  In contrast to the manna God provided to the Israelites which fed their bodies for a time but did not feed their souls, Jesus is the Bread which feeds and gives life to our soul.
    Jesus said in John 6, He was giving His flesh and His blood and we must eat and drink these in order to have eternal life.  These verses mean we must have the faith in His atoning work which unites us to Him in the closest possible way.  Just as we assimilate food which we eat; by faith we must assimilate Christ into our beings-abide in Him.  Just as the bread we eat becomes part of us, so Christ will dwell in us as we have faith in Him and His finished work for us.
    No one can eat bread for us, no one can drink for us, each of us must do this for ourselves, we must choose faith in Christ for ourselves.
    Jesus said His words are "spirit and life".  A fleshly interpretation of these verses is incorrect, spiritual application is needed.
     These are promises which lead to eternal life.
     Please listen to the program Light for My Path on WZLP 95.7 Loudonville or live streaming on on February 14 for more on this passage.  This program will be archived on this website on February 16.
     May God richly bless you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Proverbs 2

     Consider the great and gracious promises found in Proverbs 2.  First of all, a promise that you can understand what it means to "fear the LORD" and gain the knowledge of God.  Verse 6 says "the LORD grants wisdom.  From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.  Next in verse 7 we find that He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest and He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.  Verse 8 says He guards the path of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him.
      On what basis do we claim these promises for ourselves?  Have you asked God to save your soul, are you willing to submit to the Lordship of Christ?  The first three verses of Proverbs 2 give us the secret to gaining these promises.
First of all; Listen to what God says in His Word, the Bible.  Secondly, listen to God's wisdom, concentrate on understanding.  Thirdly cry out for insight and ask for understanding.  And here is the attitude you must have while you are searching and seeking; search as you would for silver, seek them like hidden treasure.
     This means you must spend time studying the Bible, not books about the Bible.  At the same time, you must ask God to help you understand His Word, He will teach you.  You must have the attitude of humility and willingness to obey, God never gives you guidance to consider.  If you know in your heart you will not obey Him, He will not speak to you.
     Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned, you must have submitted your life to Jesus, the Son of God, before you can expect any guidance from God.
      If today you understand that you are sinner in need of a Savior, that there is One Who loves you and is eager to receive you, forgive you and give you a new beginning for life eternal; then pray this prayer:
      "Jesus, I am a sinner, I want to be forgiven, to be free of guilt.  I accept by faith your free gift of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.  Thank you for dying and taking the penalty I deserve.  I give my life to You, thank you for giving me eternal life."
        Friend, Jesus is coming soon, maybe today.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What does it mean to live in fear of the LORD?

The bible says "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" Psalm 111:10.   Fear meaning awe or reverence.  There are several indications of a life lived in "fear of the LORD".
1.  Obedience to God's commandments
        The LORD has given specific commandments in His Word, and He expects us to obey Him without regard to circumstances or situations.  No matter what others may say in offering "alternative plans", we must never choose the advice of men.  Man's ideas may seem to make sense but the bible says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death".
Proverbs 14:12.
2.  Desire to be like Jesus
         Those who truly love Jesus as their Savior and LORD will want to be like Him by living in complete obedience to His Father.  The Holy Spirit empowers us to live as Jesus lived, it is our responsibility to ask Him to guide, help, counsel and empower us to obey.
3.   A life of courage
          Those who fear mankind and natural disaster suffer panic that paralyzes. Proverbs 29:25  "The fear of man brings a snare".  When you fear the LORD you find a courage that mobilies.  God challenges His people to live in confidence and to respond boldy and courageously to life.  "The people who know their God will display strength and take action" Daniel 11:32b
   Adapted from the CF Stanley Life Principles Bible.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Purpose of Testing

Have you heard it said that if you are a Christian you shouldn't have any problems, illness or difficulties if you have enough faith?  Friend that is exactly opposite of what the bible teaches.  Some preachers have taken a few verses out of context to come up with this doctrine but is is contary to the context of the whole bible.  Jesus is a perfect example and was Jesus Who said "in this world you will have difficulty, I have overcome the world".
    Tragedy, illness and calamity strike at every human being.  While adversity will strike, God will remove the problem or give me the strength to bear what happens.
     The refining processes of God have a purpose; that we might grow up and be patient and endure.  Now if your suffering is the result of your own bad choices it can be a refining process as well.  There are consequences for disobedience.
     Rather than ask God why, seek His face, trust Him, He will be with you.  I have discovered that often those things I feared would happen did happen and in spite of the fact that I prayed long and hard they would not happen.  What did I see when I stepped out in faith?  God was with me through it, He strengthened me in it and brought me out refined,
      Fear is a snare and a stronghold, it is the opposite of faith, I will go so far as to say it is sin.  Do you remember the parable of the talents, the servant who buried his talent in the ground, because of fear, Jesus called him wicked and lazy. 
      Let us seek the Lord today, pray the prayer that never fails "Thy will be done".  "when you walk through the water, I will be with you, God's promises are true".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Growing in spiritual maturity

    Last time we talked about how God gives us faith to believe He is there, the beginning of an opportunity to know Him, and our response to that revelation determines where our relationship goes.  Just as in human relationships, if you reach out to someone and there is a friendly response the relationship goes forward and real friendship can develop.  If the other person has no response to your overture, it is pretty certain they are not interested in a friendship with you.  This analogy fails if you assume you have only one chance to respond to God, you have all your life to respond, He doesn't give up on you.
    Now suppose you have heard God's voice calling you or felt the nudge of His Hand or had the urge to find out more about Him.  Suppose that is His outreach to you.  Will you respond by believing He is there and trying to know Him?  If so, you will begin by going to the Bible, His written revelation of Himself.  There you will find depths of personality which take a lifetime to plumb.  You will also seek Him in prayer, as you understand more about what He has accomplished for you, you will worship Him.  If you make the mistake of picking up books other have written about the bible you run the risk of erroneous belief.  Find out truth for yourself.
    And soon the time will come for you to surrender to Him by faith.  Another way of thinking about this is to pray the prayer that never fails, Thy will be done, and mean it.  As I respond to God in real surrender, He reveals more of His character and nature to me.  As He deals with the root of sin in me - self, I grow up in my faith.
    Surrender to God is the biggest step in faith, more about this next time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Peace with God

The Lord has answered our prayers and provided a better way to get the recording of our bible study, Light for My Path, from Florida to Loudonville.  There is always opposition to the teaching of God's Word because in the Word is Life, Truth, Peace, it changes hearts, lives and brings hope in trials.
    The storms of life may be rolling over you right now, how can you maintain a sense of peace?  The answer is a close, abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.  One of my favorite songs is TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS, and that is the best advice I know.
    If you have stopped wasting your time asking why, a normal response, then turn to the One Who holds all comfort and security in His grasp..  No one, except God is equipped to handle our problems.  He never meant us to be strong on our own.  He wants us to find courage, hope and strength in Him and His Word.
    It was just a year ago when Tom and I faced the trial of his brain surgery and all the surrounding difficulties and shortly thereafter heart failure.  We were both exhausted and fearful.  I just spent my time in the Psalms, "Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness" was the instruction I grasped.  I believe that means "hang in there", trust God to bring you through in His time.  Accepting God's timetable and the limitations He places on a given situation helps hold back the rising anxiety.  The safest place is in the everlasting arms of Jesus. He paid on the cross for your peace, the peace you need today.
      Let His peace invade your heart.  Tell Him all you are feeling.  He understands, He is the One Who said "Peace be with you".  Our peace resides in our Savior, who loves us unconditionally.  He has promised to keep us and deliver us into the Father's loving arms.
     Adapted from C.F. Stanley, LIFE PRINCIPLES BIBLE.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Need for prayer

    Every week we are meeting one challenge after another in recording this bible study and getting it on the air.  None of the problems are major but each one requires a great deal of time and effort on the part of several people to solve.  There is no reason for this except there is always warfare against God's Word and its teaching.
    I am asking you to pray regularly for WZLP and all the dedicated volunteers (there are over 70 of us) who keep this station on the air by God's grace.  We want to honor God, bring glory to His Name and edify all who listen.
    We are dedicated to continue this work and the fact that we are constantly challenged by minutia is a sign that we are in a battle.  The victory has already been secured by Jesus, our Commander in Chief.  We will not quit, we cannot lose.
    May God bless you richly

Faith the Wonderful Gift

Romans 10:17  

       Faith comes by hearing the Word of Christ.  When you read or listen to God's Word, your faith grows, it is a work of the Holy Spirit.
       Hebrews 11:1   What is faith?
    "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen"
In other words, faith is perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.
For example; I believe that Jesus was virgin born, lived a perfect life, was crucified, died, was buried and raised to life.  As far as I am concerned this is truth, it really happened, even though I have not seen Him.

    What are we trusting?  We are trusting in God's character, His Word and His work.

   What is the faith like that God produces? 
1.  It is a sure hope-I am confident He is able to do all He has promised,   know I will be in heaven with Him when I die, not because of anything I have done, but because I am trusting in the work Jesus has done.
2.  There is a certainty that God is Sovereign over all the world and over my life, He loves me and has a plan.  When trials come, He has promised to cause all things to work together for good for my life.

     What do I need to do in response to the faith He has given me?
1.   I choose to believe Him, trust Him and surrender my life to Him, by His grace, as Philippians 2:13 promises, "God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure".  That is He is energizing and creating the desire in me to trust Him.  As soon as I make the choice to believe Him, He goes to work in me.

      There is an "obedience of faith", responding to God is my responsibility
Romans 1:5.  This is not an employer/employee relationship, it is  a Father/child relationship for me to enjoy and to rest in, victory is mine.

      When you respond to God in a little faith, your faith is increased.  There is no limit to what God can do in us if we trust Him.
       Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.