God is not God of a Second Chance, No!

The religious community will grab a phrase or passage of Scripture, turn it into a popular fad and run with it until it has been exhausted only to grab another. For example, do you remember these:

  • WWJD – everyone was asking What Would Jesus Do. It was designed to make people behave as Jesus would if under the same situation.
  • The prayer of Jabez. This prayer found in 1 Chronicles 4:10 was touted as an incentive to promote more prayers and foster better prayer lives in the lives of Christians. “Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.” 1 Chronicles‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NASB‬ http://bible.com/100/1ch.4.10.nasb

  • Jeremiah 11:28 – for I known the plans I have for you…
  • “Flesh out” is a popular phrase of some preacher, teachers as they encourage the spiritual teaching to be ‘fleshed out’ in the lives of their hearers.
  • And there’s more but let’s end the list with the focus of this blog. It is the teaching that God is a God of the (a) Second Chance.

To put it bluntly, God is not God of a Second Chance. GOD IS GOD OF ANOTHER CHANCE. Now you can accuse me of playing a game of semantics and that’s fine. I want to point out two very significant truths regarding God being God of a ‘second’ or even ‘another’ chance.

  1. I have found in my walk with the Lord that I don’t need a second chance. I need another and another and another. I blunder and I fail. I sin. I fall short of the glory of God. I walk in the flesh when I’m to walk in the Spirit. I need forgiveness. I need restoration. I need another chance. None of this takes God by surprise. He’s already told me if I confess my sins, He will forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I am to strive to be more Christ-like in my daily life. It isn’t automatic to be that way once a person is born again into the family of God. When a person is saved by the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ they are to be discipled in their obedience to God’s will. Jesus shed his blood for me to be saved. I want to shed my will, my life and live for Him to be glorified. Praise Jesus He is God of Another Chance.
  2. A word of caution. Not all believe this and they seek to explain away the teaching as something other than its clear meaning. I am referring to the once popular phrase derived from scripture which said you can ‘sin away your day of grace.’ Isaiah 59:1-2. I encourage more reading from this section but these are the focal verses. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah‬ ‭59:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬ http://bible.com/100/isa.59.1-2.nasb. The warning is a word of caution not to keep purring off the ‘grace call’ of God so long as to have His call to stop and you therefore forever doomed. You would have committed the damnable sentence of ‘sinning away your day of grace.’ Also understanding I think this call is that of salvation. It is the particular and specific call for you to trust Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord.

Let me offer a few more scripture verses for you to ponder.

“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”” Acts‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NASB‬ http://bible.com/100/act.4.12.nasb

“for He says, ” AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is ” THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is ” THE DAY OF SALVATION “-” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:2‬ ‭NASB‬‬ http://bible.com/100/2co.6.2.nasb

God is God of Another Chance. Don’t play on His Grace but answer the call when He gives it.

Until next time,

Hoss

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Dinners Ready

It’s been a common practice the last few months for my wife to fix Sunday dinner. It’s a tight schedule due to attending church services in the morning and getting a power nap in the late afternoon before going off to work.

Her parents and the children along with their families have an open invitation each Sunday. The only thing asked is to be on time and if you’re not going to be here, let us know. We don’t want to prepare too much food.

Wonder how it would be if dinner was ready and no one showed. No one called. I imagine I’d be asked to start making the calls to see where everyone was at. So I go and grab the cell phone and reach one of the children. Hey, y’all coming? Dinners Ready.

No says the first one, she and her husband have bought some land and are going out to take a look at it. She begs to be excused. I tell the wife and can hear clear as a bell her replied, ‘who in their right mind would go out and buy land without looking at it first? She’s just making excuses.’

I move on to the oldest son. He doesn’t answer at first as is his nature but soon the connection is made. Hey man, y’all coming? Dinners Ready.

‘Oh no we can’t come today. I’ve bought some livestock and need to take a look at them. Please excuse me and my family. We won’t make it today.’

Well I don’t have to tell you this is not going to go well on the home front. I’m obliged to give the wife the news. I tell the wife and can hear clear as a bell her replied, ‘who in their right mind would go out and buy livestock without looking at it first? He’s just making excuses.’

Well not all is lost, there’s still the third child. Young single guy. I dial him up and say, Hey man, you coming? Dinners Ready.

With a deep sigh I wait for his response hoping for a good answer only to hear him say, ‘I can’t come. I went and got married.

Now it’s one thing to buy land and not show up for dinner. Or even to buy livestock and not show up for dinner but for me to tell the wife the youngest boy has gone off and got married and isn’t coming to dinner is a whole new matter.

I’m wondering if I should make a call to the wife and tell her by phone? It would give me some room to vacate the area for a bit. Imagine her remarks will include, ‘who in their right mind would go out and get married without bringing her here for us to meet first? He’s just making excuses.’ He could bring her. (After the smoke cleared, of course).

Now, the directive is give for my calls to go out to anyone who wants to come in and have dinner. Many answer the call. New friends are made. They become family.

This story is a reflection of the account given in Luke 14:16-24. It reminds us of the oldest manufacturing business known to man, “making excuses.” It goes all the way back to Adam and Eve who each made excuses for their sin of disobedience to God. [As a side note, I recently heard where the statement, ‘all sin leads back to the sin of selfishness.’

The account in Luke 14 ends with those who were invited to dinner and made excuses why they couldn’t come would now not taste of dinner.

Some have compared this not to the call for dinner being ready but for the call of salvation as ready. Jesus has made salvation possible for you. When the Holy Spirit calls you and tells you your salvation is ready, now is the time, are you going to make excuses and miss out on your salvation or are you going to enter in and taste the goodness and love of God.

Are you saved? Have you been born again? If you were to die right now, where would you spend eternity?

Until next time,

Hoss

“But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'”” Luke 14:16-24 NASB

http://bible.us/100/luk.14.16-24.nasb

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A Man’s Testimony Summarized

I’m a child. I don’t like church. I don’t like mom and dad making me go to church. I like some of the fun stuff but not most of the stuff. Kids were mean. I didn’t belong there. I didn’t think I was supposed to be there.

I went one time to church to watch a movie. It scared me so bad I went to the front to see the preacher. We talked. I said some words and was told I was saved. The next thing I did was get baptized at my home church. Trouble was, I really wasn’t saved. I just didn’t want to go to hell.

I learned enough by the end of high school to know what I needed to do to be really saved. I was a senior in high school when I really and truly got saved. It was in April 1978. I had attended church that day. I had known for a long time if I had died I would not be going to heaven.

I had long believed Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I know Jesus was wanting me to accept Him as my Savior. I decided now was the time to ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to save me. I asked Jesus to be my Savior. I live now to make Jesus my Master.

Until next time

Hoss

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Others May, You Cannot!

G. D. Watson (1845-1924)

If God has called you to be really like Jesus, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put upon you such demands of obedience, that you will not be able to measure yourself by other Christians; and in many ways, He will seem to let other good people do things which He will never let you do.

Other Christians and ministers, who seem very religious and useful, can push themselves, pull wires and work schemes to carry out their Christian goals, but these things you simply cannot do. Others may boast of their work or their writings or their success, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you ever try it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, but most likely God will keep you poor, because He wants you to have something far better than gold, namely, a helpless dependence on Him and the joy of seeing Him supply your needs day by day out of an unseen Treasury.

The Lord may let others be honored and keep you hidden and unappreciated because He wants to produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory, which can only be produced in the shade. He may let others do a work for Him and get the credit for it, but He will make you work on and on without others knowing how much you are doing; and then, to make your work still more precious, He may let others get the credit for the work which you have done, and thus make your reward ten times greater when Jesus comes.

The Holy Spirit will rebuke you for little words or deeds or even feelings, or for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem to be concerned about, but you must make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign and He has a right to do whatever He pleases with His own. He may not explain to you a thousand things which puzzle your reason in the way He deals with you, but if you will just submit yourself to Him in all things, He will wrap you up in a jealous love and bestow upon you many blessing which come only to those who are very near to His heart.

Settle it then, that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that He does not seem to use with others. Now, when you are so possessed with the living God that your secret heart becomes pleased and delighted with this peculiar, personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, then you will have entered the very vestibule of heaven itself.

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Of What Value Is Your Faith

And without faith it is impossible to please Him
I. The Introduction of Practical Faith

Living faith vs. Saving faith

Illustration of living faith was crawling under the house to find a snake skin laying in my path. I had the faith there was a real snake under there. 

Because I wanted to live I exercised the faith to get my body out of there! 

That’s an exercise of living faith.  

II. The Initial Possession of Faith
Pleasing God

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 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. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” Hebrews 11:3-7 NASB

III. The Impact of Practicing Faith

Sampling of Scripture

  • Naaman & leprosy – 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • Four men placed a paralyzed man on a gurney Luke 5:17-25 

and carried up to a house and climbed the roof, tore it apart and lowered the lame man now through the roof to where Jesus stood. 

  1. A sum of each one’s faith?
  2. whose faith was honored? 
  3. One of the four men, all four men, or all four men plus the one paralyzed? 
  4. Did the one paralyzed have to have faith? 

Have you not prayed for someone to be healed who doesn’t professed to be saved and yet that person experiences healing?

You know that lame man carried his gurney out the door!

  • Andrew and lad with five loaves and two fishes. Matt. 14:17
  • Jarius’ only daughter (12) Mark 5:21; Luke 8:40

came to Jesus who wanted Him to heal his daughter. Seems his little girl was dying. Jesus told him not to worry because she was just sick.

  • the man who was blind. John 9

Well brothers/sisters, Here’s spit in your eye! 

He met Jesus one day. Jesus took His spit and some dirt to make a mud pack to go on the mans eyes. Now the blind man can see. 

  • Sick Maw-in-Law Mark 1:30

Did you hear about the man whose mother-in-law laid sick with a fever? Jesus went to see her and her fever vanished. Simon’s mother-in-law

This ain’t no ‘Walking Dead”! John 11

Oh but my brothers, what about the women who sent for Jesus because their brother had died. Jesus appears to be in big hurry. It’s as though he meanders around until suddenly he arrives on the scene four days after the man Lazarus has died. Jesus calls out Lazarus by name. 
So I ask you, what was the common denominator? 

The answer is faith. So then what was the value of 

Naaman’s faith? Healed of leprosy 

“Their” faith = paralytic walks!

Jairus’ faith? Daughter’s sickness leaves. 

the blind man’s faith? Restored eyesight. 

Simon’s mother in law? Fever gone. 

the leper in Mark 1 faith? Healed of leprosy..

Mary and Martha’s faith in the healing of their brother Lazarus? Resurrection of Lazarus
What is the value of YOUR Faith? Salvation? 

What is the value of your faith? 

Will your faith heal?

Will your faith prevail over trial and troubles?

Will your faith sustain you in your marriage?

Will your faith support you in financial matters?

Will your faith strengthen you dealing with your children, extended family? 

Just how valuable is your faith? Really? 

Of what daily value is to you? 

Faith does not earn God’s blessings.  Faith precedes God’s Grace Gift of blessings.

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The Change

The mere title will spark curiosity in some, disgust in others, and nodding of the head from a few. Those kinds of responses are to be expected when people assume what is about to be shared.

To the relief of some, the regret of others and the could-care-less of many, this blog is not about a medical phenomenon. The “change” I’m reflecting on is the tendency of mankind to make something good and for the most part decent into that which is ugly. 

Okay, you want examples. How about social media posts like those you find on Facebook where readers are challenged to ‘share’, ‘like’ posts in order to receive God’s blessings? These things are not scriptural and show the ignorance of people who identify themselves as believers. I wonder if we have those who believe in the Holy Bible who don’t read it? Sarcasm.

Blessings from God are not earned by such feeble immature acts like sharing a posts. Is it any wonder society laughs at Christianity? Don’t you think it is a shame to behave that way?

I like Facebook for keeping up with family and real friends. You can build your “friend” list only to realize many on there are barely acquaintances. Sad to see people using Facebook and other social medias to pat themselves on the back, promote their lives as something to covet, present themselves so much and so often that the fallacies of their lives shine through. 

The ‘change’ encompasses numerous areas of life. Sex is an act God endorses but we have changed the beauty of intimacy into a recreational sport. 

The holiness of matrimony has been changed into the perils of uncontrolled passions yielding unwanted pregnancies. Where discretion was exemplified, now it is becoming extinct! Sin used to be something which brought shame. Now it brings showmanship, for all to see and boast about. 

I would think the One who created the creature would know more about what’s best for it. We, the creation, tell God, the Creator, how it’s going to be, what’s going to be done and as it were; shake our fist in His Holy face! Praise Him for being long suffering. I’m grateful for it because I’ve needed it. 

Maybe you get the idea. Nuff said?

Until next time,

Hoss

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This blog is about the “I” in who conducts baptisms

There is a growing practice that I’ve noticed taking place in the last couple of years which I sense may become a trend. At first I was a bit uncomfortable with it. It challenged me. It revolves around the “I”. 

In accordance to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upon your profession of faith in Him, “I” baptize you my brother/sister in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in the likeness of His death, raised to walk in newness of life.

Who is the ‘I’? Baptism is an ordinance of the church. So who should do the baptisms? 

The church pastor is not confined to a baptismal pool to conduct baptisms. Pastors have gone out to ponds, lakes, backyard swimming pools to conduct baptisms. It’s like the eunuch who asked Phillip, here’s water what keeps me from being baptized? Luke 8:36

Phillip was called of God, an apostle of Jesus the Christ. Qualified to perform baptisms. Qualified? What makes you qualified? 

The practice I have noticed is people who are not licensed, ordained, or otherwise endowed with church authority are baptizing people at their own will. A friend of mine a few years ago was a young man and a newly born again Christians. He was performing baptisms in swimming pools without a local church’s endorsement. 

Who should be the ‘I’ who performs the baptism? Scripturally speaking the specific answer is not given. The Scripture focus more on need to be baptized and the mandate for the born again to go out under the authority of Jesus Christ to make disciples, teaching and baptizing…(Matthew 28:18-20). 

Is the deacon who baptized his son acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Is the mom who professes Jesus as Savior who baptized her daughter acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Are they performing these ‘ordinances’ under the authority of the church? Are they required to be under the authority of another or can they do it under their own desire?

She’s a brand new Christian, excited in her faith and goes to work telling her co-workers. One of them wants to be baptized? She takes her home, dips her in the pool and baptized her. You okay with that? Should the church accept these baptisms? There was a time when S’baptism, meaning self-baptism, was practiced. John the Baptist had a part in changing the practice. 

Who should be the “I” and how should the church receive it? 

Issues?

  1. Baptisms explained sufficiently
  2. The mode of baptism
  3. Record keeping?
  4. A slippery slope towards the Lord’s Supper becoming a practice like this.
  5. The relationship of the person doing the baptizing. Saved, believer or acting professional?
  6. Ordinance of the church, not the person.
  7. Authority to act
  8. Other issues 

Something to think on,

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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