A Blog about discerning God’s will

Things Above Thoughts

When and Who

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 117 When and Who

Question: God does not contradict Himself but does the Bible?
The two verses below, from the same chapter in Hebrews, seem to be in contradiction.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, (Hebrews 11:39)

Answer: The answer is found in the same chapter.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13–16)

Many of God’s rewards are spiritual eternal blessing and will only be completely acquired after death (Ephesians 1:3–14). If we are only thinking about and looking for God’s temporary earthly blessings then we have reason to raise another question: “Are we trying to follow Christ to please God or to obtain earthly blessings for ourselves?” When do you want your blessings, now or forever? Your answer reveals who you are trying to please.

Sanctified?

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 114 Sanctification

Christ told Paul to:
open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)

Sanctified: set apart.
Place our faith in Christ and be set apart. Place our faith in anything else and remain in the crowd, Satan’s dominion.

No Choice and The Choice

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 116 No Choice and The Choice

Christ told Paul to:
open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)

No choice: Paul was to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness. Their starting point, was in darkness, they had no choice about that. This is true of us all—we start in darkness.

The Choice: The most important choice one will ever make is not what school to go to, who to marry, what vocation to pick, where to live, our politics, how much money we make. The most important choice is to turn from Satan’s darkness to God’s light. Only when God’s light is presented is there any true choice. If God’s light is not presented they can only choose things from the darkness.

For those who have chosen to turn to God’s light it is my prayer that our daily lives continue on in God’s light and project His light to others so that they may have The Choice.

If it is disagreeable in you sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: (Joshua 24:15).

Domination or Relation

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 113 Domination or Relation

Christ told Paul to:
open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)

To turn “from the dominion of Satan to God.”

Satan’s Dominion: A system of rule among rebellious angels.
God: The perfect, supreme being.

Satan’s Dominion: the emphasis is on a system of rebellious rulership.
God: the emphasis is on a living being.

Point:
To be dominated by a system of rebellious angelic rule or to come into a personal relationship with the only God in existence. The choice is ours daily.

Proper Vision

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 111 Proper Vision

Christ told Paul to:
open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:18)

When we live in darkness we do not “see” God’s light – nor do we “see” the content of Satan’s darkness. But when we live in God’s light not only do we “see” God‘s light but we also “see” …….. our forgiveness and inheritance. Do not let the content of Satan’s darkness overshadow God’s forgiveness and eternal inheritance.

Eat Well

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 110 Eat Well

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2)

The only way to transform our minds is to have a proper and consistent mental diet of the bread of life, God’s Word (John 1:1; 6:35). Without this diet we are spiritually anemic and can not know the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. As the old gardener said: “It’s important to know the difference between mulch, manure, and oatmeal.”

Without a proper and consistent diet of the Bible we will never know what we are swallowing. Eat Well!

Know and No Trust

Things Above Thoughts (TAT)
TAT # 109 Know and No Trust

Oswald Chamber’s May 31st reading was so good I am including the first part of it here:

“Put God First in Trust. Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, … for He knew what was in man. John 2:24–25.
Our Lord trusted no man; yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, never in despair about any man because He put God first in trust; He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for any man. If I put my trust in human beings first, I will end in despairing of everyone; I will become bitter, because I have insisted on man being what no man ever can be—absolutely right. Never trust anything but the grace of God in yourself or in anyone else.
Put God’s Needs First. Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. Hebrews 10:9.
A man’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need; Our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father.” (Underlines added)

Many see the need for a better world and think politics and or religious systems are ways to achieve that need. So they become obedient to them or promote them. BUT — all of God’s commandments in the New Testament are not to governments or religious organizations – they are to His chosen people. They are to be carried out by me and you no matter what government systems or religious systems say. We are to trust only God and His written Word and we are to know the frailty of all humanity, yes even our own.

Know God, know our hearts, and put no trust in man (John 2:24–25; Hebrew 4:12)

Eternal Blessings
ScVerlin Barton

The Cup or the Promises?

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 108 The Cup or the Promises?

Recently I was asked why I always end my prayer with “please come quickly Lord Jesus.” Then someone said “yeah, it’s going to happen anyway so why pray for it?” This is something with which I constantly struggle. I pray for it because not only is it the last prayer/promise in the Bible (Rev. 22:20) but also because I want out of here!

Many of us know the last part of Philippians 4:6–7: “. . . let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” But would I pray that prayer if I met the qualifications listed in the first part of verse 6? Those qualifications are “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving . . .”? If I were not anxious and always thankful for everything, what prayer requests would I have?

In the garden, prior to the cross, Christ prayed: “. . . take this cup of suffering away from me. However your will must be done not mine.” (Luke 22:42 GWN) In the rest of the prayer, found in John 17, He prayed, not for more peace or strength to face His suffering, but for things that God had already promised would come about! He knew God’s will and that is what He prayed for!

Do I just want to get rid of the cup He has given me and get out of here, or do I, like Christ, accept His cup and pray, in accurate and specific detail, for His promises to be completed?

Limping & Living

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 107 Limping & Living

In Genesis 2:16–17 the Lord tells Adam not to eat the fruit from a specific tree or he would die. In Chapter three Adam eats the fruit but does not drop dead (Genesis 3:6). When the Lord comes upon the scene, naturally Adam is afraid, of the only thing he has to fear – death, and tries to hid himself from the Lord (3:8–10). The Lord examines the events of the eating of the fruit and starts handing out punishment to the parties involved (3:11–14). The Lord then curses the serpent and makes it crawl on its belly but He does not kill Adam and the woman nor does He even bring up the subject of the death which He has promised (3:14). At the point where we would expect the death penalty to be applied the Lord reveals that the humans are going to stay alive for awhile longer and fight the one who empowered the serpent (3:15)!

“And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will attack your head, (*rulership) and you will attack her offspring’s heel (*an element needed for walking).” (Genesis 3:15 with *clarification NET)

Rather than applying complete and total death God left humanity on this earth to destroy Satan’s rulership (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20)!

Therefore with your injured heal, keep on limping through life, being obedient—not to Satan and his dying rulership but to God and His living, eternal rulership!
See also Philippians 3:8–16.

Proper

Things Above Thoughts
TAT # 106 Proper

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, (Rom. 1:28)

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil. (Isaiah 5:20)

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the person of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17)

I pray that I do not live my life by popular human standards but properly by the Lord’s standards.
Therefore I keep asking myself: How well do I know His Scriptures?

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