"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
(Luke 22:31-32 KJV)
Testing of a person by Our Awesome God is usually done through their faith. We feel the testing of our faith as more acute when it involves us feeling alone with the problem. The feeling of being deserted by everyone will make you feel as a soldier would if all his weapons were removed and he was asked to wipe out a tank. Alone!
Paul wrote, "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7) but they cut off his head not long after. His faith was still there. There were three things he rejoiced in having done: 1) "having fought the good fight", 2) "having finished the race" and he had, 3) "kept the faith". Paul's faith had been tested multiple times, making his faith stronger, and he passed as he joined Jesus in heaven. May our faith be as strong when our testing occurs. May we remember that we are never alone even when we are wrong we can always ask Our Awesome God to come be with us, and He will, testing us and strengthening us to teach us to lean on our Lord as we spread God's message to all.
Like Paul, we need to keep trying so we can finish "the race" and keep "the faith" so that we can wear that crown like Paul will wear. So that we can test and strengthen our faith and know that we can do it because, having the faith, we believe. Our Awesome God may be testing us so we will know how much faith we have. We need to remember that the most important thing we can do is have faith in Our Awesome God and keep that faith strong. So if testing will strengthen that faith then let us be glad He is testing us, for the time will come when we will need a strong faith like Paul.
Faith is "an unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence". Our Awesome God is a reality to me. He is in my heart and helps me daily, testing me as I go through , increasing my faith and knowledge of my Father God. You develop by testing and pushing yourself to your limit in anything to get better at it. God helps you to do the same.
Come join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His story of love and salvation. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets for an hour along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM. We have a Prayer Meeting and Bible Study that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
(Hebrews 10:22 KJV)
How many of you exercise on a daily or weekly basis? If you are in an athletic sport such as football or a competitive sport like foot racing in marathons, you exercise more vigorously, pushing yourself to do better. But you do it daily and with determination to do better.
Until one day, you realize this is no longer fun it is hard work so you slack off or quit your exercise. Why pursue it anymore?
Let us look at and compare this scenario to the one above. A Christian realizes he is neglecting his relationship with Our Awesome God. So he begins a new spiritual routine of reading his Bible 45 minutes a day and praying. After a few days of keeping his spiritual routine, problems arise and he must spend more time at work. Now he must make an adjustment in his routine. Does he slack off on his spiritual routine or quit? Can he make time and still increase his work schedule?
Why do we pray and read our Bible? We know problems will arise to push our routine. Did we look at the possible consequences when we started this pursuit of Our Awesome God. We don't read our Bible and pray to get a perfect, trouble free life. Pursuing God is not a cause and effect. We do it to get closer to Our Awesome God and His perfect prescience. The pursuit of God will not keep you from having problems (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV), but a life of pursuing God will make you more like Him and is always the best way to go. You could study everything we know about God now and still spend eternity learning more about Him in heaven.
Our Awesome God still keeps charge of this universe, but His Son, Jesus Christ, will be the ultimate authority into eternity. Still, you cannot know the Son without knowing the Father (John 14:7-10). So pursue Him, learning as much as possible about this God that loves and wants you to know His kingdom, calls you His child and has expectations for you. Read His Book, the Holy Bible, and pray to Him as you memorize His Words.
Our church is a loving church that wants to help others to a better understanding of Our Awesome God and His love, mercy and grace for all of mankind. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we love others while preaching and teaching from our Holy Bible about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our church has a Bible Study at 9:30 AM on Sunday and Worship Service at 10:30 AM and then at 6:00 PM there is another Bible Study along with children's AWANA clubs which go until 7:30 PM. We love visitors!
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
(2 Peter 2:1 KJV)
Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even Our Awesome God’s elect (Matthew 24:23-27; see also 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 17-18). The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.
Both Peter and Jude write in their epistles warning us about false teachers in the churches posing as Christians and changing Our Awesome God's Holy Word. They have written these things about false teachers because to be forewarned is to be ready when you hear one and not to believe one. Peter and Jude are warning us that these false teachers are out there and have disrupted other churches. When you hear preaching on the TV or in your church pulpit, listen carefully, take down Scriptures (later look them up and see if they say to you what the person preaching said and then check with someone who knows their Bible, what does it say to them) and know your Bible.
Our Awesome God wants you to know Him well enough that you will check on anything that doesn't sound like God or what He would want you to believe or do. There are false teachers and even false prophets so don't get pulled in to a false religion or cult by listening to them. Read your Bible and pray daily keeping your focus on God!
We (as a church) want all people in church, worshipping Our Awesome God with faith and obedience every Sunday. If you are not yet a Christian, it is time that you should know and love Our Awesome God as your Creator and Savior. Join us at Living Word Baptist Church as we pray and worship Him this Sunday at 10:30 AM and at 6:00 PM for Bible Study along with AWANA for children (September tjrough May). On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We love visitors!
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown (in heaven) of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
(2 Timothy 4:8 KJV)
We will know beyond any doubt when we reach heaven whether we have chosen Jesus Christ. In heaven, there are four important things we will experience 1) be judged for what we have or have not done on earth, 2) rewarded for what we did, 3) worship and praise Jesus for all He did and 4) then we will serve Our Awesome God through our beloved Jesus Christ. Joy! Joy! Joy!
First, we will be judged by none other than Jesus Christ, who died for us when we were sinners. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV) When we think of all we have done against God, we tremble but should remember 2 Timothy 4:8 (above). And then read more. "He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:10-12 KJV). Our Awesome God chose His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us. Love you, Jesus!
Second, we are rewarded with gold crowns for what we did to tell others about Jesus Christ and help others on earth that need help, while loving our Lord and all humans. (There are five incorruptible crowns mentioned in the Bible that Jesus will give to us who earned them while on earth.)
Third, we will praise and worship Our Awesome God in the person of Jesus Christ. Heaven will not be boring because it is so dynamic and more real than earth, which will pass away. Praise will fall from our lips as we behold Jesus, savor His purity, touch His truth and see Him clothed in righteousness that makes Him shine brighter than the sun. We will reflect that glory of Jesus!
Fourth, we will serve with Jesus in heaven, "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." (Romans 8:17 KJV) Our service will depend upon how faithful and obedient we are here on earth. But there will be plenty of jobs for all. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Revelation 3:21 KJV) Is heaven your home?
On 6/25/15 the website will have Part #4 Heaven Our Home for you to read. Meanwhile keep reading your Bible about, and praying to, Our Awesome God. Join us at LWBC for Sunday Worship Services at 10:30 AM next Sunday and for Bible Study and AWANA for children at 7:00 PM Sunday evening. We love visitors!
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
(Proverbs 4:23 KJV)
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(Philippians 4:13 KJV)
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
(2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
Major changes must occur when we are converted to Christianity and we begin to serve Our Awesome God (Ephesians 4:22-24 KJV). Our old practices and attitudes must be replaced by Christian ones. Christians must learn good practices like Bible study, prayer, love, faith, patience, attending church meetings, giving, teaching others, etc. We must also eliminate bad practices like foul language, uncontrolled temper, gambling, drugs, smoking, drinking, gossip, lying, pornography, sexual promiscuity, etc. Many of these will take some time and you can't successfully do it without God’s help.
If you try alone to change, you'll usually fail and likely become discouraged. Ask for Our Awesome God's help on each change and make prayer a necessity before you make decisions. Confess each sin immediately and ask God to forgive you each time you fall back into it. Keep trying, but be patient with yourself and God and you’ll actually make faster progress.
Our Awesome God will help you to change to His ways and His practices slow enough that you can understand why you are changing and you can see the benefits of changing from bad practices to good. Join a Celebrate Recovery group to encourage you, help you understand, and keep you on "track" with changing your old practice to God's practice and ways. Call Pastor Stevens at Living Word Baptist Church, 469-362-9010 for help finding a CR group near you.
Changing yourself to be more Christ-like is a life time job! God bless you! We encourage and help those who are using Christ as their example. If you are a Christian who has strayed away from Our Awesome God or someone who has never been a Christian or a person who needs to help minister to others, join us at Living Word Baptist Church on Sunday at 9:30 AM, then at10:30 AM for worship and at 6:00 PM we have AWANA for children and Bible Study. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Requests, and a Bible Study follows until 8:00 PM. We welcome all people and love them!
Flo & Bill