Thursday, August 15, 2013



1. Availability
    Probably the most important ability the Christian could have is availability.   Until we make our selves available, the Lord cannot use us, or at least will not. 
    Availability means that we are willing to go wherever He commands; to do whatever He wishes; and to be whatever we are expected to be.  We need to give ourselves to the Lord, and to His service, whatever level of service that may be. 

    Many emphasize “Lordship salvation” as if that were the supreme factor in our serving the Lord, and obtaining His favor, (Andrew Murray for one), but the Bible says that it all begins with Faith:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:”  (Heb. 11:6 in part)

Without faith, we have no real beginning in the Lord.  So, we begin our new life with faith; our next step then would be baptism.  

    Baptism is the first act of obedience in the service of our Lord.  If we “fudge” on baptism, often we go no further in the growth process, nor in the service of the Lord.   This, of course, always follows salvation by faith, and is never a part of it, or precedes it. 

    I suppose then we have what is normally referred to as “Holy living”  It is not only expedient, but necessary to obtain the favor of our God.  Obedience stands paramount to nearly every other aspect of the Christian life beyond this point.   This is where the confusion of Lordship salvation comes into play; many precede the faith with the obedience and get the doctrines backwards.  Repentance is often seen as a prerequisite to salvation, although they both come at the same instant that we accept Christ as Savior.  Repentance is our part, while salvation is God’s part.  All this aside, availability is the key to being used of God. 

2. Dependability
    In preparation for service dependability is probably at the top of the list.  If we are not dependable, what good does it do us to be available?   We are like a foot out of joint, or a broken tooth (Prov. 25:19)   We can become a “sore spot” in the work of the Lord if we are not dependable. 
    The word “faithful” is probably the closest word in the Bible to being dependable.  Since we do not find “dependable” in the Bible, we must use the word Faithful, though it is used in many ways as truth; honesty; integrity; etc.  It is quite expedient then that we realize the value of dependability.  A man that we can depend on is worth mountains of gold to the ministry.  No preacher, no man alone can do the work of stewardship completely, not without interacting with others--with people they can depend on.   “Assistants” are for that purpose, and they must be dependable to be of usefulness.   Dependability is indeed an important commodity in the work of the Lord, in fact, it too is a necessity. 

3.  Responsibility
    This three-fold outline is useless if one of the three is left out.  Availability and dependability are no good without responsibility.   A man who is responsible will get things done; he will meet any challenge head on, and seek the guidance of the Lord in the matter.  He will act for the betterment of the Lord and His church, and for the good of man.  Our responsibility lies in the doing of all three of these, the Lords will; the churches growth (promotion of the Gospel), and the betterment of man.  Improving on what has already been established is the responsibility given to all of us.  We are to build on the foundation that Christ has laid, and seek His guidance as we go; this takes durability on mans part. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Body, soul, and spirit

Body, Soul, and Spirit

Man is a triune creation, composed of a spirit, a mind, and a body.   Below we have six ways that these can be arranged, and the probable characteristics of each. 

THE FIRST: body, mind, spirit.
The body controls the mind, and the mind controls the spirit.
    This is the most dangerous of the six stages, or conditions of man.  These believe that “anything goes”; self is god, sensuality dominates their life.  Self is always first and foremost in their walk; this is self worship at it’s worst, humanism at its best.
    It is representative of agnosticism, atheism, reprobates, etc.  man in his worst state.  This is the state of most men and women today.

THE SECOND: mind, body, spirit.
The mind rules the body, which in turn rules the spirit.
    This state is a little better, but still is not in proper order because the spirit is last.  This person may be a “man of the world” wise in it’s ways, and little interest in spiritual things whatsoever.  He may be successful, aggressive in business, responsible and “respectable” in society, a “good citizen”.  He pays his debts, has a good standing in the community, but he is lost!   

THE THIRD:     mind, spirit, body.
The mind rules the spirit, which rules the body.
    This one sounds good, but it falls short of what we should be.   This is the “Pharisee” in us; “religious”, but probably unsaved, (the spirit is controlling the body though, and that is good).  This person will not accept many of the biblical principles by faith, but needs to figure it out first; his attitude is “prove it, and I’ll believe it”.   This type has a false god, not made with hands, but made in his mind.  He has a distorted view of God and godliness.  
    This category will include liberals, cultists, heretics even, leagalists, and all sorts of perversions.  They invade the “theological seminaries (or cemeteries!), deceiving young people by the hoards.  They are more concerned with figuring God out than serving Him.

THE FOURTH: body, spirit, mind.
This individual has the body first, then the spirit, and then the mind.
    Here is a  “believer” the spirit controls his mind, but unfortunately his body controls his spirit.  He is probably saved, but his “religion” is based on feeling instead of faith.  He will usually be drawn to the charismatic movement.  His music will be contemporary, sensual, (rock) with perhaps Christian words; she will wear excessive make-up, drawing attention to her face, and he will let his hair grow out.  Their clothes will no doubt be revealing, since the body is first in their structure.  He, or she may be sincere, but the flesh has much too much control; “fads” and popularity are big on their agenda, and will dictate their standards.

THE FIFTH: Spirit; body; mind.
The spirit is first, so this person in undoubtedly saved, but the body controls the mind, which makes their system helter-skelter. 
    That is the sad part; this Christian is sincere, but unproductive because he or she has not disciplined the body.  They may be lazy, fearful, or sick in the faith, but the spirit does not rule the body.  He/she may get good grades in school, will probably be in deep debt because they have no schedule or budgeting.  These are usually dominated by laziness, procrastination, and those are probably their worst problems, but their life is not in the proper order of godliness. 

THE SIXTH; spirit, mind, and body.
This last one is the very best of all; the only true way, the way of righteousness.
    This is a Christian that has the victory over the temptations of the mind and the lusts of the flesh.  The spirit rules; it is dominate in their make up, and they walk with their God.  This puts their priorities in order, with Christ first, and the mind under His control, and the body subject to both spirit and mind. 
    This man or woman will no doubt be concerned for the lost, a “soul winner” and possibly a “prayer warrior”.  They may be “apt to teach”, putting others first, and their own needs behind them.  He or she will read their Bible regularly, and study the blessed Word and stand against the unruly evil of the world and the tongue.  They will take a stand against sin in any form or “color”.  The are the true “fundamentalists” of our day, and most likely they will be Baptist!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The slave market of sin

The Slave block of sin
Hosea 3

    Sin is degrading.  It is debilitating and damning, and in the case of Gomer, we see that even worldly men take gain from it wherever they can.  Hosea redeemed his beloved from the slave market; this depicts what Christ did for us,  We were all slaves to sin, and subject to be auctioned off to the highest evil bidder, until Jesus redeemed us and became the ransom for our sin. 
    Long before mankind ever existed, before even the foundations of the earth, this plan of redemption was designed.  It was designed by the Father, executed by the son, and empowered by the Holy Spirit; the three-fold work was accomplished by a triune God, and is ours today by grace.  Yes, all three had a part in our redemption.  How can such a thing be?  Nothing is impossible with God.  As Gomer’s sin lead her in a downward path, and she found herself on the auction block, but love bought her back!  What love that should forgive betrayal; what love that overlooks the evils of the past;  What love that redeems that which is considered unworthy, unredeemable; what love Jesus has for us!  It is easy to see the likeness here; Hosea represents Christ, or rather one manifestation of the Father’s love, and Gomer represents us, the sinful adulterers who constantly stray, even to the point of infidelity to our God.  Only godly love can love the unlovable; only God’s mercy can forgive the unforgivable; Hosea knew the true love of God, and it worked in him, and through him, to reach even unto Gomer.  Did she repent?  We do not know.  Was she remorseful for her infidelities?  We do not know, but Hosea didn’t care--he paid the price, and bought her back.  She may not have walked in sweet fellowship with him after that, but he still did not abandoned her, though he had good reason to do so; he gathered her up in loving arms and made her his own.  Did she ever stray again? We do not know, but Hosea loved her in spite of herself, and that is the message for us today from God--He loves us with an amazing love, a love that we cannot understand.  What an amazing story Hosea has to tell; what an amazing thing, this thing called love.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Finding Jesus

Finding Jesus
(In unexpected places)

    We find Jesus all through the Bible, but mostly in the New Testament.   There are many verses that, when we meditate on them, contain references to Jesus although we often fail to see Him in it.  I offer a few for clarity:

Jesus is seen in Philippians 4:8;

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Who or what most fits into this verse the best?  To dwell on heavenly things we must realize the Lord in them.  Only Christ is all these in one; He is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report all the time, and in every way.

Another: John 14:1-4;

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

The preparation?  Calvary!  It is not a mansion He prepares for us, but a sacrifice.  The mansions are already there!  Christ went to the cross to prepare the way for us, and so we shall ever be with the Lord.

Consider also: 1 Cor. 10:13;

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Jesus is our “way of escape” from trials, fears, and tribulation, as well as temptations.  Look to Jesus when tempted, He will see you through.  Many have quoted this verse when going through trials, but little is said about the Deliverer who provides a way of escape.

Now go to Galations 5:22,23;

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Only our Lord can be measured by these graces; in Him exists the fullness of the godhead, which is the sum total of the fruit of the Spirit.  These nine graces are to be emulated by us, within us, as we become closer to Christ, but it is only in Him that we receive anything at all.

Now look to 1 Cor. 13 in its entirety;

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

God is love, Christ is charity.  Read the verses over and over, and you will see the beauty of the love and charity of Christ.   Charity is love in action, and Christ exemplifies this over and above any one, or anything else. 

The New testament shows our Lord in a more obvious way, but there are also passages and verses in the Old testament that clearly exemplify Christ.  Perhaps later we will look at several of them also

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rolling with the punches

Rolling with the punches

“Rolling with the punches”--an idiom meaning to patiently take what is sent your way.

    When life comes at us full force, and everything seems to be helter-skelter, we usually strike out in anger.  A thought, or deed, done in anger is usually the wrong way to handle a situation. 

Phli. 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men.  The Lord is at hand.”
Man reacts to disasters in four ways:

1. Anger, as already stated. 
    An urge to “fight back”.

2. Frustration (Usually from unexpected tragedies)
    The “Why me” attitude. 
    Self pity; downcast, or crying.

3.  Bitterness (The worst reaction of all)
    Looks for someone--something to blame.

4.  Roll with the punches.
    The proper way to handle a threat. 
    In life, you can expect to be “hit” sometimes, it is inevitable.
    Don’t stay down; get up and go again.  In so doing, you beat the tragedy, you win!  This is the proper way to handle it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How nature speaks of God

Psalm 19

How Nature Speaks Of God...

When I  see the universe...I think of how BIG God is
When I see the sun...I think of how bright and beautiful God is
When I see the moon...I think of how He is Light in a dark world
When I see the mountains...I think of how majestic God is...only God could create something so majestic as a mountain.
When I see the clouds...I think of how clean, and pure God is
When I see the grass... I think of how God helps and desires us to grow and bring forth fruit
When I see the trees...I think of God's strength, whether there is a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, or a flood, God is still strong and never comes "uprooted."
When I see the birds...I think of God's provision, the birds depend totally upon God for their sustenance and He always provides!!!
When I see the season change...I think of how that God is always with us, through out the different "seasons" of our life God is there, and He NEVER changes.
When I see the flowers...I think of how God can take something that is dead and make it alive and beautiful...
When I see the stars...I think of how God leads us,  he led the wise men with a star, and so we are led by the Creator of the stars.
When I see the green pastures...I think of how God is our shepherd... He leads, restores, comforts, and shields us from the "ravening wolf" (the Devil) who would try to come and devour us
When I see the dirt...I think of how God formed man from the dust of the ground...God took dirt and made a man..who else could do that???
When I see lightening...I think of the power of God
When I see water flowing...I think of the Living Water
When I see the sunset...I think of peace of God...there is nothing more peaceful than a sunset
When I see the ocean...I think of how even the wind and waves obey Him  (what a lesson we could learn from the wind and waves, they obey His very command, we're to big for that--we have to question God and understand why before we obey???)

Our pastor preached a sermon a few weeks ago about attributes of God... he said this statement that has stuck with me ever since...."God does not just patch up our old life, He gives us a brand new one. "  That is soooo like God, he does not just take our old life and put duct tape on it, and glue us together here and there, he takes our old life and gives us a brand new one...He is not in the business of repairing of but of replacing...Just thought I'd share these things with you!!

Sent to me by: Christina Galbraith (my daughter)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

1 Sam. 3

1Sa 3:21  “And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.”

    I find it amazing that Samuel worked at the “church” all that time, and did not yet know the Lord.  “1Sa 3:7  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.”
    I wonder how many of us are busy doing the work, but ignoring the essential faith that saves us, but I see something else here that is very important for all Christians.  The Lord revealed Himself through His Word, not through music, not through ministering, but through His Word.  There is the crux of the matter, the Word of God.   “And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli.” (1 Sam 3:1).   
    Do you want to know Him?  Read His Word;
    Do you wish to see the Lord?  Look into His Word;
    God reveals Himself through His Word, and only through His Word.

Let’s stay in the Word, and put away worldly books and worldly wisdom.

Some look to music to “soothe the soul“; some trust in their ministries, and service to “get them through”; you will only find Christ through His Word, and nowhere else.  He Is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” of great man and women, the real success of life.  “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)