Sunday, August 26, 2018

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

Have you ever heard someone say something like,

‘He would never __________.’
‘She could never __________.’
‘No matter what, I will never __________.’
‘My child would never __________.’

Such statements often produce the following response, ‘Never say never.” Why is that?

‘Never say never.’, is one of the world’s unintended confessions of a Biblical truth that they would otherwise vigorously deny – namely, that all people are depraved by nature! But, according to the Bible, since all people fall short, rebel, shock, disappoint, disobey, surprise, etc. with regards to living up to God’s moral standards and requirements, it is completely appropriate and accurate to say that man can never:

Live Without Sinning
All people sin, that is why Jesus had to die.
  • Romans 3:23 or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Be Reconciled to God Through His Own Efforts
There is only way to an eternal life in heaven with God, Jesus.
  • John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Avoid Eternal Blessings or Torment
Every person will spend eternity in heaven or hell.
  • John 5:28-29 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
    • Note: The use of the phrases ‘those who have done good’ and ‘those who have done evil’ in vs 29, does not refer to earning salvation through good works. These phrases refer to the life of a person who has surrendered to Christ as Savior honoring God in how they live, as opposed to someone who has rejected Christ and lives in rebellion against God.

Additionally, the Bible also teaches that it is correct to say that God never:

God and His Word are absolute truth.
  • Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began
The character, motivations and trustworthiness of God never change.
  • Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
Tempts (or is Tempted)
God is above reproach and never entices us to sin (but he may allow us to be tested).
  • James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone 
Leaves or Forsakes His Children
He will not abandon those who truly love him.
  • Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 
We serve an eternal God with no beginning and no end.
  • Psalm 102:27 But You are the same, And Your years will have no end. 
God can do anything that doesn’t contradict His character.
  • Jeremiah 32:17 ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. 

As Christians, we reject the saying, 
‘Never say never.’ 
We put our trust in the 
absolute truths of God’s Holy Word! 

The unwillingness of a born again follower of Jesus Christ to take firm positions based on what the Word of God teaches shows a lack of:

No Christian fully understands God. But when a Christian has not matured in their knowledge and understanding of scripture, they will not have a stable foundation of absolute truth to stand on.

Knowledge without faith is impotent. A person won’t stand for something they don’t trust.

Trust that overcomes fear leads to the embracing and sharing of truth; even when that truth is rejected by the world.

A passion for truth is revealed when faced with opposition.

Christians are called to persevere in truth regardless of the form or extent of the opposition faced.


Forgive me Father
for how short I fall of
what You have
called and empowered
me to be
in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Seek His Face

Seek His Face

Psalm 27:8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Recently, my wife and I were talking about what it means to ‘seek the face of the Lord’. Honestly, as much as I liked the sound of this phrase, as often as I had found or shared encouragement in, and with, verses that reference this concept, I was struggling to understand the deep personal meaning of it. I had realized I was missing something very basic and very special.

Fortunately for me, my wife can explain things in very simple, yet profound ways; she approached this topic from God’s perspective. She talked about imagining a parent attempting to get, and keep, the attention of a preoccupied or defiant child. Parents in this situation will often say, ‘Look at me.’ And to her credit, with that simple explanation, I got it.

When the Lord says, ‘Seek My face.’, He is telling His children to listen and submit to, acknowledge, pursue, and obey Him. He is telling us that He wants a close personal relationship with us. When I say, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’, I am affirming the desire of my heart to be close to Him. I want to praise and worship Him, engage with Him, learn about Him, please Him, continue to grow and become more and more like Him, and to share with others about Him.

We must seek His face with reverence, respect, awe, appreciation, honesty, humility, worshipfulness, willingness, diligence, determination, confidence, curiosity… with all that we are. We learn, grow, change and are blessed as we seek and respond to His:

  • Psalm 99:5 Exalt the Lord our God, And worship at His footstool—He is holy.

  • Psalm 25:5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.

  • Psalm 69:29 But I am poor and sorrowful; Let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high.

  • Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.

  • Psalm 145:17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works.

  • Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

  • Psalm 40:17 But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

  • Psalm 61:3-4 For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. 4 I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah

There are infinite aspects of His character, His ways, His expectations, and His love that He will reveal to us over the millennium as we continue to seek His face in Heaven.

Do you have an insatiable desire
to know Him, please Him, and become more like Him?

He created you so that He can be in a
reconciled relationship with you!

Seek His face!!!


Gracious, loving Father, please ignite a passion in the heart and soul of every one of Your children to seek Your face. May our lives be defined by our desire to know You and glorify You. Help us to let go of anything and everything standing in the way of complete surrender, unending commitment and resolute devotion to You. I ask these things in the name of Christ my Savior. Amen.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Being Close to God

Being Close to God

The Temple of God is a central theme throughout the Bible. Throughout the ages, in the past, present and future, the ‘Temple of God’ may refer to a number of different places of worship.
  • The Tabernacle (assembled at Sinai after the exodus from Egypt)
  • Solomon’s Temple (constructed in Jerusalem after David’s death)
  • Zerubbabel’s Temple (built on the site where Solomon’s Temple had been destroyed by Babylon)
  • The Millennial Temple (described by in Ezekiel’s visions pertaining to the period of Christ’s thousand-year reign)
  • The Eternal Temple (located in the capitol city of heaven (the New Jerusalem))
    • Once everything has been remade and we enter the eternal state in Heaven – the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple

The Temple of God is where Israel seeks God’s face, gathers for corporate and private worship, offers sacrifices, and embraces/embodies the realities of being the chosen people of God.

Being in the Temple of God

In the Bible we find that for the Nation of Israel to be in the Temple of God meant to be close to God.
  • Psalm 27:4 One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.
    • Being close to God was a goal for those Israelites who truly loved Him.
  • Psalm 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah
    • Being close to God was a tremendous blessing.
  • Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
    • Being close to God was viewed as a way to experience the eternal goodness and mercy of God.

Yet, for all the blessings and benefits associated with seeking God’s presence in a particular place, God has promised something much greater for those who are reconciled to Him through faith in Jesus.

Being the Temple of God

Followers of Jesus Christ experience an everlasting intimacy with God – He has drawn close to us! Being close to God is not about our physical location, it is about His actual presence living in us!
  • John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
    • Being close to God in a new way was promised by Jesus to those who love Him.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    • Being close to God now means we have become the temple of God.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
    • Being close to God means that He is always with us and guarantees our eternal destination is with Him in Heaven.

Under the Old Covenant,
being in the Temple of God meant
consolation and blessings!

Under the New Covenant,
being the Temple of God means
transformation and eternal life!!


Father God, lover of my soul, thank You for the incredible blessing of Your indwelling Spirit. To know that You are always with me, and will never leave me, brings peace, humility, and confidence that has radically and permanently changed who I am. I am Your child. I am Your temple. I am Yours!! I praise You and pray to You in the name of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.