Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pain Re-visited

I appreciate what Darin said in comments on my post on God identifying with our pain and suffering. In this life we never leave the process of polishing that God is doing in our lives. We do not always escape pain or suffering as children of God, however, we understand better the why of our suffering and pain. We identify with our Lord in suffering, He is our example in all things concerning life. Peter says in 1Peter 2:19, "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:". Is it not obvious that we may suffer in life as did Christ? We should not come to God, through Christ, just to be relieved of pain and suffering, but to escape the penalty for sin that separates us from God. Sin will be with us in this world until Christ returns, for not all people will yield to the gospel and those that do are not always without sins. The effects of sin in the world will continue to cause pain and suffering in man's experience.

The cause of pain and suffering is sin, this is why Jesus came into man's life, in the flesh as a man, in order to show us the way of salvation. God, through Christ, dwelt among us and experienced the flesh life, as a perfect man, to teach us how man should live by belief in God and how to be obedient to God's Word. He then became the offering for sin that we needed. Sin is forgiven when we yield to God's love, through belief in Christ and then are obedient to His Word.
As the realization of this becomes clear, we should see that even as a believer we may still suffer for the sin of our previous lifestyle. The effects of sin, in the life and body, can cause us pain and suffering for the rest of our life. God may remove the effects of sin in our life and He may not; He will forgive our sins and may heal their effects. God's love for us is to teach us through all experiences of life and that includes the part of our life before we came to Christ. Think of a convert to Christ who was an alcoholic or illegal drug user prior to salvation. God may heal the effects of the use and abuse of these substances in the new converts body or may not depending on how He sees it working for good in that believer's life. The important thing here is that the believer is saved and will see God in eternity! Our life here, whether short or long, is not the important aspect of salvation. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, "2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."

So, pain and suffering are with us in life and will continue in its many forms as long as we live on this side of eternity. However, as Christians we see through pain and suffering with the eyes of faith fixed on Christ. Read chapter 11 of Hebrews to see faith in operation in the lives of believers and how suffering and pain was experienced by all. Also read the Acts of the Apostles for more insight. May the glory be to God!
Now I want you to give me some input on how I am using this blog. I want this forum to be a two way street. As an example, I would like to know if discussions of issues in Christian living that may involve interpretation beyond a 'thus saith the Lord quote' are welcome in this blog. I primarily want to be a witness of the gospel of Christ, but to do this without a lot of the opinions of men. I am open to your suggestions as we seek the truth in Christ, from the Word of God. There are also too many variations in the interpretation of God's Word by various Christian faiths to discuss here. I do not want a 'they say' or 'we say' type of interchange. I want deeply for those who do not know Christ to come to the knowledge of Him. I want to support all believers that do know Him served just as fervently.

Also I hope that you will join me and continue to pray for Terri Schaivo. Check the post and the links on it for more information. We are to pray for and defend the weak and defenseless. Euthanasia and abortion are contrary to God's Word. I know that these issues are debated endlessly, but the Word tells me that life is precious to God; He even takes note of the sparrows fall in death. Let us pray for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Yours in Christ, Truthseeker.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Pray for Terri Schiavo

To my readers, I do not intend to use this blog as a forum for issues other than to witness for Jesus Christ, however, this situation has become too important to ignore. Life is precious and we as Christians are to pray for one another and Terri Schiavo needs our prayers NOW! I am posting links here for you to read what is going on in detail; go there and read and understand the urgency for this prayer need. Briefly, the courts have given her husband permission to remove the feeding tubes so she can die. Her family is willing to take care of her, but her husband wants her off the feeding tubes and for her to die. Pray and fast for this need, please.
Here are the links, Feb. 22, 2005 post

Thank you for your help in this need, Truthseeker.

Does God Know our Pain

Atheists and agnostics make much of the issue of pain and suffering in the world to 'prove' that there is no God. Their claim is that a loving and righteous God would not let 'innocent' people suffer. To them God does not exist, because if He did, He would stop all the suffering and pain of those 'innocent' people. The Word of God says that man's sin is the reason of suffering and pain. Man is not 'innocent'. Consider what James 4:1 says, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." With verses like this I have a problem with pain and suffering as a 'proof' that God does not exist, or that man is 'innocent', since people's actions as sinners are the cause of pain and suffering in the first place.

As a Christian, I believe the Word of God in Genesis 3 when it records that Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God's single command of not eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; that their disobedience brought the sin nature into man's experience. We became the problem as the spiritual inheritors of Adam's sin of disobedience; we are sinners after the likeness of Adam, therefore, we bring pain and suffering into the world. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 15:22a, "For as in Adam all die". Because of Adam's disobedience all mankind will eventually be physically dead and is spiritually dead. Paul states further in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"; and Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:". Simply stated sin is disobedience to God's commandments.

Now that we have a scriptual understanding of why there is pain and suffering in this life and in the world, let us see if God understands this condition man lives under. Does God's Word address this problem of suffering and pain that the atheists and agnostics say 'proves' that God does not exist? The answer is an unequivical, Yes!

God's answer is in the person of His Son, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament's Law of Moses and the problem of sin. God planned for this problem before the creation; it is called the plan of redemption. The Word of God is the history of that plan in action; from Genesis to The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ that plan is detailed. The wonderful reason for this plan is that God loves us! He loves us so much and grieves over our situation as sinners that He gave the single most precious gift He could, His Son on the cross of calvary! Jesus said in Joh 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." The only answer to the sin problem in man is a sacrifice of atonement for man's sin acceptable to God. Jesus is the second Adam, the perfect Son of God that brings life into man's deadness due to sin. Let us return to 1Co 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." See the comparison between Adam and Christ; in Adam man died, in Christ man can live. Paul tells us in Ro 5:19, "For as by one man's disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Christ) shall many be made righteous." Made alive and righteous by God's grace through the obedience of His Son accepting the cross of suffering and death as the perfect sacrifice for man's sin. This is the plan of redemption for man that God planned before the foundation of the world. God felt our suffering and pain, and gave His Son to die for us. Not only that, but God overcame death and raised His Son on the third day. The Resurrection is God conquering sin and with it death on man's behalf.

Now all of this is better told in the Word of God that I have encouraged you to be reading. This is a very brief and no where near an exhaustive study on this subject. Also I want to make this plain; the pain and suffering of man is not over yet, but the sin we carry can be forgiven by faith in God. The plan of redemption is the answer of a loving God for man and his sin problem and the suffering and pain that goes with life. Sin is still raging in this world. Sin is still controlling many people because they will not accept God's Son and His gift of love to man; thus there will still be pain and suffering in the world. Until Jesus returns and removes His Bride, the church, from this world, brings an end to this world, and creates a new world; there will continue to be suffering and pain in this world.

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Have you let God enter your life and take control by the power of the Holy Spirit, by placing your faith in Christ's redemptive sacrifice? Do you believe in God and His love for you? If you do then you can know peace in this life and for eternity; Jesus said in Joh 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Only in Christ is this peace possible, and with this peace you can face all the pain and suffering that may come in life. Jesus Christ does not promise an easy life for the believer only a life of inner peace that will sustain the believer through all of the suffering and pain in life. (Read John chapter 17 for Christ's prayer to the Father on behalf of the believer.)

I leave you with my prayer that you will believe in Christ and God the Father that sent Him. Tell God that you know you are a sinner and that you repent of your sins. Ask Him to come into your heart and to transform you into the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then live for Him in that same power and in the peace of Christ that passes all understanding. I pray that this will be your choice. Lastly I leave an excerpt from a book by John Stott on "The Cross of Christ". Your friend in Christ, Truthseeker.

"We are not to envisage God on a deck chair, but on a cross. The God who allows us to suffer, once suffered Himself in Christ, and continues to suffer with us and for us today... He cries when we cry....
I myself could never believe in God were it not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as 'God on the Cross.' In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time, after a while I have had to turn away. And in my imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wretched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside His immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of His. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark - the Cross, which symbolizes divine suffering. The cross of Christ ... is God's only self-justification in such a world as ours."

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Krista's Essay

Krista, my niece, has given me permission to publish her essay that provided the questions in my last post. I find it especially refreshing when young people seek answers for issues in their Christian life. Krista is a senior in Ebenezer Mennonite School and will graduate this spring. Read, think, and learn.

Krista L. Good
January 20, 2005

A common question discussed and argued among our Mennonite circles is what our responsibility is to missions as wealthy Americans. What is a mission? Where are missions? Can we have missions in our own backyards? Do we have to go to another country to be on a mission field? How do we know if God has called us to be missionaries at home or to be missionaries in a far off country? Are the phrases "Missionaries are needed at home" and "Someone needs to stay home to support other missionaries" legitimate reasons or just excuses?
These questions and more have plagued and hounded me as I have searched for my purpose here in life. Why did God put me where He did? Am I to just live my life here in wealthy America and be grateful for what I have? Or am I to share what I have and know of the gospel to those around me and in far away countries? Christ has called all of us to a life of being witnesses and missionaries no matter where we live. We are to be the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)
Having grown up on a mission field, I believe that everyone would profit greatly from a term of service in a foreign land. It's a life changing experience. It puts a different perspective on life. We sometimes compare what we have or don't have to what others have here in America and can feel really poor. But if only we could see the poverty materially and spiriturally in third world countries! Many people have next to nothing and are searching for help. Are we Christians going to be there for them?
Don't get me wrong. I do believe we have a mission field here at home. But are we sure that God is calling us to forever live here? Many people take Acts 1:8b, "And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth", to say that we are to start our mission field at home and work our way out. That maybe what that verse is saying, but sometimes I wonder if people don't get stuck on the "in Jerusalem" or the at home part and forget to move on. Why do we have such a large concentration of Mennonites in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana? Couldn't at least the Mennonites in America spread out a bit? It seems that with all the Mennonites there are in America, someone would be willing to go on the mission field. But instead Mission Board Members have to work like crazy to find people willing to go to the mission field. While we're enjoying our beautiful homes, nice vehicles, clean clothes, plentiful food, fresh water, indoor plumbing, many souls die everyday without having a chance to hear the Gospel. How can we sit by and simply enjoy all that we have while others are suffering materially and spiritually? What are we doing when the offering plate is passed at church for missions? Are we really doing our job of "supporting the missionaries"? Or are we just dropping in a few dollars and saving the rest to buy a new gun or furniture? How are we living our lives here at home? Are we really "being missionaries at home"?
Hebrews 11:25 says that Moses would rather "suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Now maybe living here in America isn't sin, but could it become sin if we aren't obeying Christ's Command to witness to the world? Can we be willing to suffer persecution and imprisonment at the hand of Communist leaders in order to encourage believers and to spread the Gospel to the millions of desperate souls in China? Can we be willing to face death in order to reach the millions of lost souls in Muslim countries?
Life is so short here on earth. Let's do what counts for the Kingdom of Heaven. In heaven we won't be rewarded for who has the most guns or who has the nicest furniture or who dresses the best or who drives the nicest vehicle. We will be rewarded for the acts of service we do for Christ and for the persecutions and hardships we endure in His name. (End of Essay)
Well, what do you think of Krista's questions, can you answer them for YOURSELF! I have done much thinking on MY answers since I first read this essay. Though Krista doesn't answer all the questions she asks, she does make us THINK, and that is the important part of this essay. When we have soul piercing questions, such as these, it is God softening our hearts to enable us to respond to the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives in order to accomplish His work. Ponder these questions carefully, let God speak to you, then go to work in His vineyard. Blessings will flow!
Until next time and as God wills, may His peace be with you, Truthseeker.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Who is a Missionary?

Several questions were asked in an essay by my niece, she starts, "What is a mission? Where are missions? Can we have missions in our own backyards? Do we have to go to another country to be on a mission field? How do we know if God has called us to be missionaries at home or to be missionaries in a far off country? Are the phrases 'Missionaries are needed at home' and
'Someone needs to stay home to support other missionaries' legitimate reasons or just excuses?"

She asks some profound questions doesn't she. Well, I think so. I do not have her permission to publish her entire essay so I will just use her questions to start the thinking process for now. Let's start with what Jesus said to His disciples when He left them to return to the Father.
Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Lu 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Ac 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

This is called the great commission of the Christian as given by Christ, our Lord and Savior, before He ascended into heaven. It says, GO YE, that is you and me. We are to go into ALL THE WORLD and PREACH THE GOSPEL. We are to start in JERUSALEM move into ALL JUDAEA, SAMARIA, UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH. Did I leave any place on earth out? In Luke's version we are to preach the name of Christ among ALL NATIONS. We are to preach the good news of salvation; teaching the people of all nations TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER CHRIST HAS COMMANDED US from His Word.

This is what I should have been doing all along, and every Christian as well. I want to do this from now on in my life. I will start in my Jerusalem, where I live. I will use this blog to reach out to my nation and the rest of the world. I trust the Holy Spirit to use me and all I do for Christ on this blog or in my community to achieve this great commission as I have been commanded. I also must be open to any call Christ makes to me to go to a Samaria or to the uttermost part of the earth.

So, what is a mission and where are they? A mission is a place and it is where you are standing right now. Missions are all around us. Yes, even in our backyards! Do we have to go to another country to find our 'mission field'; did Christ call you to go? THEN GO! Only you know if you should go to a 'foriegn' missionary field of service, since God only tells me what I should do, I can not tell you or speak for Him. Let Jesus speak to you in your reading of the Word, your prayers and by the counsel of others if needed. Start witnessing where you are; witness where you go; be willing to be sent and witness there.

Yes, missionaries are needed at home, I think we have seen that as the place we start. It is also very important that we support missionaries with our finances as well as our own person and energies. Just DO IT!

Summary: if you and I are CHRISTIANS then we are witnesses of the grace and mercy of God found in Jesus Christ and have been commissioned to go, preach, teach, all nations/people that they might be saved. Ro 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! As the song says, Trust and Obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

God be with all who trust and obey His will in their life, your brother in Christ, Truthseeker.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Rambling Thoughts

I ran into a neat little verse that I thought I would share, it goes like this: "My knowledge of this life is small, the eye of faith is dim, tis enough that Christ knows all and I shall be with Him." I do not know who wrote or said this, so list it as Anonymous for now, but it says a lot in few words.

Our knowledge of this life is small, we think we know so much, however, in the larger picture we are very limited. Our knowledge is in the physical and though we know a lot, yet we go to the specialists of medicine to cure our ills and find that they just 'practice' their profession with what they know. What they or we know is not always sufficient for a cure or to bring relief to what is plaguing us physically. With all our learning, the knowledge of how we are made will still cause us to wonder as the Psalamist, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Ps. 139:14. Our Creator made us and knows us from the time of our beginning; for example, we have to learn everything from birth, how to walk, talk, take care of our personal daily needs, and think for ourselves. The beauty here is that God knew us then and now,yet loves us, because He made us, "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth." Ps. 139:15. The Psalamist goes on to say, "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee." Ps. 139:17-18.

We are familiar with the saying, 'Read the manufacturer's instructions before use.' or 'Read the operating instructions before use.' That is what we are doing as we read the Word of God; simply put they are His 'operating instructions' to us His creation. When parents study and know the Bible's warnings and admonitions they can better train and instruct their children and themselves in life. As we grow up and start living on our own, we can continue the process in maintaining the same approach in knowing God's Word, thereby knowing God.

What about the 'spiritual' side of life? How well do we understand the spiritual side of life? Without Christ we can only thrash about striving to understand the 'why' of life, and its purpose of even existing. Once again God knows us, because he made us. In the creation history left to us by Moses, we know that we are spiritual beings as well as physical ones, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Ge. 1:26. Along with this Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24. We are made in the image of God, after the likeness of God and Jesus said that God is a Spirit and that we must use the spiritual nature we have to worship Him and by extention to know Him as we study God's Word. This is why I put so much emphasis on reading the Bible, that we might know Him, and then know ourselves as He knows us! Remember, the Bible is God's love letter to us to restore our spiritual connection with Him through the finished work of Christ, the sacrifice once given for man's salvation.

That our 'eye of faith' is dim I think we all can understand. Faith is a gift from God as well as an operation by a believer on the gospel of Christ. Hebrews defines faith, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." He. 11:1&3 The believer is saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ; grace is God's unmerited favor of mercy extended toward us when we believe in the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for our sins. We exercise saving faith when we believe in this act of mercy on God's part of offering His Son. However, sometimes our faith is dim on this side of heaven, so we stumble about as we take our eyes off Jesus and look at the waves as Peter did when Jesus walked on the water. Even when we use our eye of faith it is clouded by the flesh and its care of life that blinds us.

As our high priest, Jesus knows us. He lived the life we live; He understands us and our self inflicted wounds. He also suffered and died for us, and God raised Him from the dead, that we might live with Him forever. He knows our frame that we are dust. Another wonderful thing is that He knows time from beginning to end! All things are known to Him; time is a scroll that He sees constantly. All things are in His power. We can trust Him with the future for it is in His hands. To be with Him will be to know as He knows, everything, since the beginning of time!

OK, I did say that my little saying said a lot! Well so can I when I get started. I hope this has been helpful and thought provoking. Trust in Christ, He is the way, the truth, and the life; the only door to God. Open that door through faith and know Christ as He knows you.

God bless all those that seek Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Until next time as God permits, keep reading, praying and sharing. Truthseeker

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Just thinking

I want to encourage all of you out there to keep on reading the Bible and thinking. Dispute what the worldlings think Christians are the best thinkers out there if they are truly in touch with God and obedient to His Word. I want to include some other authors for a variety in reading: C. S. Lewis and Ravi Zacharias. These men prove that one doesn't have to check their brains at the door when they become a Christian. I have put a link on my blog (with help from my son) to help you find Ravi. At his site, for RZIM, you can find many of his books available and other short essays for daily reading in areas of apologetics that help you in witnessing. Once again I will warn that these are just men and their 'opinions' are not on the level of scripture, so use the Word of God to qualify what you read. Ravi also is fond of C.S. Lewis and refers to his writings often. There are also recordings of Ravi's available through the site as well. There is another link for use if you chose. This link is to a site on Anabaptism that will explain the doctrines of the church wherein I worship. This is if you want to know, it is up to you. This blog is mainly conserned with the understanding of God's Word, the Bible, however, the site has a lot of information on Christian living available. As you read keep your Bible open and 'see if these things are true'.

We have been having a week of revival meetings at our church this week and there have been several people responding to the messages. I rejoice that the Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is powerful in helping us to escape the sins in our life and enabling us to live a holy life in honor of the sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the cross.

I request your prayers for me as I continue this blog in witnessing for Christ and the Kingdom of God. I feel that it is an awesome responsibility and acknowledge that it is helping me to see the truth as I study the Word with you. I hope to post some short essays in the future for your consideration on various subjects. This is to promote thought and discussion on Christian living in a world that is alien to us spiritually. Keep on praying, reading, and sharing what you learn with your friends and acquaintances. Remember, do not argue about scripture with others, share it; if they reject it, then it is on their conscience and God's Spirit will deal with them. You pray for them; Christianity has had its detractors for over two thousand years and it is still here and a viable power in the life of man. God has promised that His Word will not return to Him without increase in the harvest of souls. You witness; God does the saving!

May God be with all true seekers and believers as they search the Word and witness of the Word, the gospel of Christ. Yours in Christ, Truthseeker.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What to read after the gospels.

I encouraged you in the reading of the gospels starting with John's gospel in an earlier post. So what's next? Well there is so much in the gospels that we could not exhaust them in a life time, but there is much more to read to aid our understanding of God. We need the Holy Spirit to guide us with all that the Word of God has, so let's go to the three letters of John I, II, and III. John was known as the apostle closest to Jesus when He lived among man. There is a lot of practical insight into Christian living in these letters.

Now for some variety in reading I suggest we add the Pslams and Proverbs to bring some good wisdom into our lives. These are in the Old Testament of the Bible and contain a lot of thoughts that help us understand our emotions and guide us in situations that life sometimes throws at us. (There is a lot of help and advice for our children in Proverbs as well as for us older children.) If you are struggling with suffering, the Book of Job deals with this subject in depth, however it can be confusing at first if you do not keep up with who is speaking, so take notes and pray for help from God.

Concerning the Old Testament (OT for short) it is an important part of God's Word for it is all the history leading up to the coming of Jesus Christ. As we mature in our understanding and start to grasp the significance of the OT then the New Testament (NT) will start to come alive from the prophesies in the OT about Jesus. For example, Isaiah contains many of the prophesies concerning the coming of Jesus. However, take it slow and let the Holy Spirit guide you and comment here for more help. A warning here, discussion of the reading can help, but I have found that sometimes this might confuse us with opinions. Opinions are not necessarily untruthful or truthful, even from me; learn to compare scripture with scripture for confirmation. As I bring this up I want to say that I am human and not infalliable and do not have all the answers, thus my chosen name, Truthseeker. I am also seeking the will of God for my life and need much help form time to time; I want to help and our fellowship as believers and/or seekers is helpful to all of us in our desire to know God and His Son Jesus Christ. Much of what I believe comes from 30+ years of Bible studying and my church affiliation and my insight is formed by this. Pray for truth and rely more on the Holy Spirit and not man.

For now I think we will stop here in this post. May God help you as you study His Word, and may He grant you peace as you seek His face and realize His love. Your friend in Christ, Truthseeker.

Friday, February 11, 2005

A little explanation on this blog.

Just in case you are wondering why I am posting this blog anonymously. Primarily because I want the interest to be in God and His Word, not in me. There are people out there who know me by the sketchy bio and that is enough. And there are a few in my family and home church that I told that I was doing a blog and supplied the address. The main reason is to promote the Word of God and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to any who want to truly know Him, so I am out of the picture. There is a verse that I always remember in Luke 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (KJV) I as a servant of Christ am expected to obey all commands given in the Word of God, however, I can never profit God in faithful obedience. I can never repay God for what He did in Christ because of His love for me. Out of love on my part I want to serve Him, because He saved me from my sins and wrote my name in His Book of Life! Praise God for His wonderful works to the children of men! As Job said in Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: (KJV). This is then my reason for not giving my name or other information as to who I am, it is not important, God is the one to know and you and I need to know Him personally. This we can do through Jesus Christ for He told Philip in Joh 14:8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (KJV). In another place Jesus said, Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one. (KJV), to know Jesus is to know the Father.

I wrote earlier that God manifests himself in three personas, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. The hard thing for us to grasp is that God is one yet can operate in three separate personas. This is an area of faith; we believe it because God's Word says it plainly to us. All three come together in the creation; in Genesis it says, 'in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth' then it says, 'and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.' Then in John's gospel we read, Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (KJV). The Word here is a name for Christ. And one more from Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (KJV) This is a way I can see and understand the character of God and His three personas which we refer as the Trinity or the Triune God. We can know Him! This is a wonderful thought! Even better, He wants to know us, Jesus said, Joh 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. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (KJV) Whosoever believes in the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, may have everlasting life, life eternal in the presence of God, forever and ever, it is too marvalous, but then so is God's love for us!

Know Jesus Christ for He can save your immortal soul; I am only a very weak servant of His trying to witness of His great love for you. We will write again if the Lord wills. May God help you to know Him, your friend in Christ, Truthseeker.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Reading God's Word

I can understand why someone can find the Bible hard to read. We need to realize that the Bible is the Word of God to mankind written by many writers as they were moved to write by the Holy Spirit. God is the author of the Bible, it is His Word to us and He is explaining to us, by using history since the creation, how much He loves us. So you can view the Bible as a long love letter from God to you.

In order to read this wonderful letter of God's love, we need help and God has provided this with the person of the Holy Spirit. Now maybe we should get some titles straight about God before we go any further. There is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and all are one and all agree. In the first book, Genesis God the Father created this world and the universe as we know it and He said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness', Gen.1:26. God's said 'let us' so it was more than one working in the creation, these were the one true God in His three manifestations, and we will start with this Holy Spirit I mentioned above.

The Holy Spirit is a person. He is the guide of all true seekers of God. He does not speak of himself; only of God and of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus promised a 'comforter' to aid the believers after He leaves this world and during the Church age. The Holy Spirit is God and we see God's power manifested through this persona in our life and in the world when God does anything. The Holy Spirit is to be our Guide in life as we understand God's Word.

I recommend that you get a copy of God's Word and start reading. The NIV, NASB, or the NKJV are good starts and they read in our modern way and are true to the original scriptures. However, avoid 'commentary or study' Bibles. Start with just the Word and let God start the process of teaching you with the Holy Spirit's help.

OK, I'll be back soon with more thoughts, be reading and use a note book to write down your thoughts as you go so you can pass them on to this blog for discussion. God be your guide, Truthseeker.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

This is so new to me!

Hello, welcome to my new blog. It is new to me so I guess we shall learn to do this together. Some of you out there are old hands at this, so give an old guy a bit of a break as he learns the ropes. I have recently come into the computer world and entered the internet and this dog is learning many new tricks!

If you have read my background material you are aware that I am a Christian by profession of faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I fully believe that the Bible (KJV, NIV, NKJV, NASB) is the Word of God as delivered to man. I am a member of the Mennonite Church which does not say much to many people, but to those who know of this faith, we are conservative in our doctrine and even have rules and discipline for church membership that call for holy living according to the principles set forth in the Word of God.

Now in this current age it is somewhat 'quaint' to hear someone actually talk in a public forum about their 'faith' in God. This is what I want to do as often as I can. I think there are people out there who are looking for something better than a materialistic, self-centered existance. Many feel that there is a void in their life and that even in the 'success' that they may have reached in life, something is missing. Some even hate their life to the point that they despair of living. And some are asking, 'What is he talking about?" as they read this.

I hope that as we consider what God has to say to mankind in His Word that we may just find a place here to pause and reflect on our lives and allow the Holy Spirit of God to speak through this blog to meet our spiritual needs.

At the outset I want everyone to realize that I am not a minister of the Gospel, meaning licensed in anyway. I am a lay member in my church and only want to reach out to those who want to dialog on spiritual matters or consider questions of eternal importance. I can obtain the help of those more learned if the questions get deeper than I can address. I do not have all the answers, but firmly believe that God's Word does have them. Also, this is not a forum for those who want to 'prove' to me that there is no God. I will not address this type of discussion as it is settled with me and will only drain away the time that I have to spend with those who truly seek a meaningful dialog. If you do not want to believe in God then that is your right, just do not waste your time here.

I am open for questions on spiritual subjects and will offer some items of my own and those of others as time permits, so please comment as often as you want. I look forward to the possibilities we can find in this blog. May God bless all true seekers, yours in Christ, Truthseeker.

Worthy Thinking

Welcome, I am learning to blog for Jesus Christ. I want to be a witness for His gospel of salvation that sets us free from the sin that so easily besets us all. Come and learn of Christ from the Word of God. I hope to let the Holy Spirit guide us into the Word of God that we may know His will in the salvation of man. Come when you can, stay as long as you can, and comment as you wish.

Until the next post, God bless all true seekers of God, your servant in Christ, Truthseeker.