Archive for December, 2009


 

 INTRODUCTION

Looking back on 2009, I stand in awe of what God has done in my life!  He has set me free from fear of many kinds and given me confidence that came and continues to come from Him alone as I see how faithful He is to give me His peace, strength, and courage in situations which would have filled me with anxiety, doubt, and fear in the past.

I have learned to trust Him in many areas of my life in which I was unable to trust Him enough to surrender to Him before, and He has given me my dignity as a person back and has helped me to stop worrying  about almost everything.

This past year has brought many challenges, including a change of my position at work, and another change in  management that always attempts to bring apprehension, but God gave me His peace as I submitted to change.  I believe He is in control of all the circumstances, no matter how unsettling they may appear to be at first.  I actually was filled with excitement to see what God had in store for me, and had a couple of opportunities to witness to people that would not have happened if I had not submitted to what I was asked to do. 

Although I am far from perfect, I give the glory to God for who I am today.  I have grown a lot spiritually and emotionally this past year, by learning to trust God in an even deeper way than I already have learned to do. 

I also have others whom I deeply appreciate and want to thank.   The encouragement I received from all of you,  allowed me to receive the healing God wanted to bring to my heart and mind, and because of you I had the courage to step out and trust God more fully than I have ever dared to do in the past.

As my Bible Study teacher said to our group many years ago when I was a brand new Christian… “Besides having God to turn to in our time of loneliness and sorrow, sometimes we need people with skin on.”  How true!  Where would we be without the encouragement of others?!

One person in particular I would like to thank: When I shared many of the things that I had been through in the past with this person, and as I now look back at who I was even a few years ago, the words this person  said to me in response to what I had shared brought tears to my eyes, and still continues to do so because it was so beautifully put!  I could think of no better way to express what God has done in my life, than to quote this person’s words. 

“”…I once heard a sermon about how Moses needed Aaron and another to hold up his arms while he prayed.  This taught me that we need each other to help us through hard times. He is restoring you to the person He wants you to be, how wonderful to know that while you were going through such a tough time and feeling like a crumpled piece of paper that the Lord already had a plan to iron out all the creases.””

Even though I have finally learned to receive my worth as a person from God and what His Word says about me, and not from what others say, I needed ‘someone with skin on’ to help me really believe that I do have worth and value.  Because of you, your prayers, and the encouragement you have given me, God has enabled me to hold my head up, and to believe that He will somehow use my life for His glory.  Thank you : )

This poem came about as I reflected upon all I am trying to do to expose the ‘new age’ teachings that are penetrating the church today.   God made me realize that in my attempts to live for Him, I have once again allowed my priorities to get out of order.  I have been spending a lot of time on YouTube, choosing many videos to warn people about certain false teachings, and have done other things as well, trusting God will use them to expose the spiritual darkness, that is being accepted by many Christians without hesitation, for the most part.  In doing so, I not only have fallen behind (again) on keeping my home in order, but I have also neglected my one on one time with God.   Even though I read my Bible every day, and am almost constantly  praying throughout each day, so that my attitude concerning the things I have to deal with in life and at work on a daily basis is pleasing to God, and I lift up in prayer those who come to mind, He made me realize the most important thing for me to do is to spend more time with Him, giving Him praise and worshipping Him, and not spending so much time trying to do things for Him.  That being said, I decided to save time by combining my thoughts and the two poems I intended to write.  One in thanks to God for what He has done in my life this past year, with the poem I would write for the New Year that is only a matter of hours away. 

If you are a true follower of Christ, I pray God will use it to cause you to search your heart and make any necessary changes, so that Jesus will once again be your first love.

As those of us who are followers of Christ are about to enter 2010, let it not be so much about what we can do for Him, as important as it still is, but let’s choose to spend more time with Him.  We are set free and forgiven because of what He has already done for us.  He deserves our praise, and all the glory and honor He is due, and needs to be the main focus of our lives.  And because without Him we can do nothing, living apart from Him will make every attempt to live for Him, fail!

 

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON

 

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”  (Psalm 127:1)

“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:4-6)

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary. Yet this I hold against you: You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” (Revelation 2:2-5)

“Then they asked Him,  “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” (John 6:28,29)

It’s not what we do that saves us. It’s putting our trust in what Jesus has already done that covers us in His righteousness and allows us to have a relationship with God. Yes, we are to make the most of the time He gives us in our lives to make His love and truth known to others, but our lives should be focused more on Him and not what we can do for Him. 

For those of you who have not yet placed your trust entirely in the provision God made for you to have a personal relationship with Him by putting your trust in Christ’s death, burial, and bodily resurrection alone, I pray you will start this New Year by surrendering your own attempts to attain His acceptance, and believe the good news of the gospel. Be willing to turn from your sin and receive Jesus’ death as full payment for the guilt of your sin. You will have His peace that surpasses all human understanding, joy that doesn’t depend upon the circumstances of life to carry you through the disappointments and heartaches of life, His grace that will prove to be sufficient to you, and His strength that will be made perfect in your weakness. 

God bless you, and a Blessed and Happy New Year to you, as well. : )

IT’S NOT ABOUT ME…IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU

Things lay around me in disarray,

And I don’t take enough time to read my Bible and pray,

In my desire to expose spiritual darkness, and to encourage

others, yes, these things I find the time to do,

But I don’t spend enough of my time with You,

I take the time to lift up those on my heart in prayer,

I try to let others know how much I care,

But it’s not about me, and the things I can do,

It’s all about spending more time giving praise to You,

You gave Your life so willingly,

You gave Your all to set me free,

You shed Your blood so I could be,

Your child for all eternity,

Be my first love once again,

Be my main focus, not just my Lord and friend,

Be my joy, my heart’s delight,

Be the first thought of my day and the last one of my night,

Lord, draw near to me in my complacency, and fan the flames anew,

Give me a fresh hunger for Your Word,

Show me things I’ve never heard,

As I renew my comittment to You.

Written by Mary K. Dalke/LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory

Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.

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BEYOND THE MANGER TO THE CROSS

Every Christmas, many look lovingly at the figure of the Christ child, as in the

manger He lay,

They reflect on the night He was born in Bethlehem, that very first

Christmas day,

Some are unable to grasp, the full reason for His birth,

And why He left the glories of heaven, to come down to this earth,

They show this by sometimes expressing, their confidence in the good works

 that they do,

If only someone would care enough, to tell them this just isn’t true,

Or one day they’ll find out that their good deeds, were completely all done

in vain,

When they stand in God’s presence not clothed in Christ’s righteousness, but

still in their sin, guilt, and shame,

We need to look beyond the manger so we can see,

The cross that stood on Calvary,

For He came to this earth from heaven above,

To lay down His life, to show the depth of His love,

That precious child in a manger, grew to be a man,

He lived the perfect, sinless life that no one ever could, or ever can,

He was and is God, who took on a human form,

His body was pierced, His flesh was torn,

He gave His life, the greatest gift He could give,

He died in our place, so that we might truly live,

God’s wrath He endured, for your sins and mine,

To make a way for us to be with Him in heaven, beyond the end of time,

He offers you His forgiveness, the greatest gift you could ever receive,

If you will just cease from your striving, and choose instead to believe,

Lay all your sins at the cross, with a heart filled with sorrow,

And with gratitude, live for Him today, and for every tomorrow,

He will free you from guilt and fear, and fill you with joy,

He will be your delight, and satisfy you more than any child’s or

grown-up’s toy,

This Christmas could be your best Christmas ever, if you will only believe,

For beyond the manger at the cross is where His gift of forgiveness awaits you,

if you will just choose to repent, trust, and receive.

Poem written by Mary K. Dalke/LivingForHisGlory/Living4HisGlory 

Copyright© 2009  All rights reserved.

Picture obtained from Photobucket – manger-cross

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SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT UPON

 “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3)

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on Him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

INTRODUCTION

My heart is heavy with sorrow, as I see so many people choosing to have their focus on preachers, and accepting what they say as true, instead of testing what they say in light of God’s Word, as we are told to do, as in Acts 17:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21.  Sadly, more and more preachers are even accepting these latest teachings that have their roots in mysticism, Buddhism, and the occult, and because many people seem to no longer hold God’s Word as their final authority to judge truth from error, they are allowing themselves to be deceived.

Last Sunday at church, during our time of worship, a song began to play that says ‘Jesus became sin,’ and I always refuse to sing it.  I just stood there as everyone sang it, and I closed my eyes and prayed.  Usually I raise my hands and worship, but I refuse to be a part of songs that distort the truth of God’s Word.

After the service was over, my friend obviously noticed, and said to me,  “So you still won’t sing that song?”  I said,  “No, I won’t go along with anything that goes against God’s Word.  It’s a beautiful song, but people are accepting the thought into their minds that Jesus became sin, even if they are not aware of it.  They are being desensitized and that’s why it’s so important to compare everything against God’s Word. “

I continued to elaborate by saying,  “When pastor came back from Israel last year almost exactly a year ago, he said how when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, He said,  “Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  (Matthew 26:42)  Pastor said,  “What was in the cup?  He saw Himself becoming sin!”  That made me jump up in my seat!  Jesus couldn’t have become sin, or He would not have been the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He bore our sins, and our sins were placed upon Jesus when He was on the cross, but He didn’t become sin.  In the Old Testament, the sins of the people were placed upon the scapegoat and the goat was sent out into the desert.  (see Leviticus 16:20-22)  There’s even a preacher that I found on YouTube…Paul Washer, who says the same thing…that Jesus did not become sin, and I have friends on YouTube who do not agree that Jesus became sin.”

I continued to remind her of what I had shared with her before,  and said,  “I even thought that I could possibly be wrong, and decided to search the Bible from beginning to end and looked for verses where it talked about ‘the cup,’ and every verse I found, made it clear that ‘the cup’ Jesus spoke of, was the cup of God’s wrath He has towards us for our sins, and this is the cup Jesus accepted…Jesus did not see Himself becoming sin…He accepted God’s wrath that was meant for us, because of our sins, and allowed it to be poured out upon Himself.”  Read…(Psalm 75:8)  (Isaiah 51:17-23) (Jeremiah 25:15-18) (Jeremiah 49:12) (Ezekiel 23:32-37) (Habakkuk 2:16-20) (Zechariah 12:1-6) (Matthew 20:20-23) (Matthew 26:39-46) 

Totally against her usual sweet and calm nature, my friend snapped at me and said,  “Well, I’m no Bible scholar…”  I gently and quietly interjected… “And I don’t claim to be one either…”  She continued “…but if John MacArthur believes it, it’s good enough for me!  I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” 

I don’t know if John MacArthur teaches that, but I was shocked and became speechless by what she had said and by her reaction.  Maybe she thought I was gossipping by what I was saying about our pastor, and was trying to stop me from saying more, but she knows I am not that kind of a person.  I am just trying not to judge her and think of a good reason why she would have reacted as she did.  I love her dearly, but personally I think she is like many others who have not experienced any type of deception in the church; many don’t realize the importance of testing the words of men against the Word of God, and just accept everything a well respected preacher says as true.  This is how the gospel message of today has strayed so far from Biblical truth, and also explains how many ‘new age’ practices have been embraced by Christians today. 

If only I was able to say what came to me after she said good-bye to me, I would have said to her…”But  we have to keep God’s Word as our final authority to judge what is true, so we won’t be deceived.  We can’t think so highly of a preacher that we think he’s always right.  God’s Word warns us that the deception would be so great that even the elect would be deceived…if it were possible.”  (see Matthew 24:24) 

I will pray for another opportunity to share that with her, but I have said things like that to her before, so I will just pray that God will give her a passion to read and study His Word, and that He will give her eyes to see the truth as it leaps off the page and exposes the errors in man’s words.

I am beginning to think that I should just leave my church…maybe me leaving will make a final clear statement on how important it is to stand for Biblical truth, and not just ‘go with the flow.’  I just don’t know of any other church I would even consider going to now.  I need to pray and seek God about what to do.  For the most part, the preaching lines up with God’s Word, but I still have some major concerns about the direction I see our church may be headed in, and can say no more than that, at this point.

I am hoping to have enough time, Lord willing, to write a poem about Christmas, and wrap up this year with one more poem, expressing my thanks to God for all He has done in my life this past year.  Starting next year, I will begin to shift my focus off of  personal matters on to what concerns me and many other Christians, as we sadly see a shift from Biblical Christianity to “another gospel” (see Galatians 1:6-9) and “another Jesus,” (see 2 Corinthians 11:3,4) as well as other topics.

Thank you for stopping by my site and if you are a true follower of Christ, may God bless you and use you where you are,  to stand for Biblical truth.   Continue to be a beacon of light shining in the darkness…exposing false teachings when the opportunity arises, with the light of the truth of God’s Word, that has the power to free those who are wandering in spiritual darkness and deception that sadly have taken many captive today.

For those of you who do not have a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus  as your only hope for eternal life, I pray you will choose to search for the truth by reading God’s Word, and ask Him to reveal the truth to you. 

God bless all who come this way.

I tried to upload a picture for this page, and again was unable to do so, and I don’t think I did anything wrong this time.

Thank you WordPress for the snow that falls on our sites, which  adds a festive touch  for this month.

I will write and post this actual poem in January, but I felt the need to write and express what weighs on my heart right now, with what happened last Sunday.  I have God’s peace and do not feel discouraged, because I know I do not stand alone in my desire to stand for the truth of God’s Word.  I know there are others who stand with me, and for them I am very thankful : )