Do You Have Perfect, Everlasting Love?

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3

In this Old Testament scripture, God speaks to the Nation of Israel about his plan to redeem them from their captivity in the future. Inspirationally speaking, God’s love for humans extends to everyone, and it’s why he sent his Son to die for our sins.

Our misunderstanding of God’s love leads us to question all the wickedness we see in the world. Why the death? Why the abuses against human life? Why doesn’t he make everything perfect like him? According to the scriptures:

  • God is longsuffering with people (Numbers 14:18; 2 Peter 3:9)
  • God is extending his mercy upon the lost (Ephesians 2:2-4; Titus 3:3) 
  • He’s giving people time to accept his Son (John 6:44-45) 
  • God is allowing the righteous (in Christ) and the wicked to coexist on earth (Matthew 13:29-30)
  • God has an appointed time for reaping the harvest of saved souls (Revelation 14:14-16)

Some have experienced hurt; others fear the possibility of heartache. But we must realize that God is the only person able to provide us everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) that is so perfect it casts out fear (1 John 4:18). When we place this level of expectation on another to love us, we miss the reality that they are only human – not perfect.

Shift your world view on what love is and seek God’s perspective. Pray for those who love you the best way they know how (parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, and other Christians) and are trying to overcome their shortfalls. Ask God for his wisdom to know those who have no desire to learn or try and maintain a safe distance until they want to know God’s way to love.

God is the only perfect, everlasting love.

Here’s Why Age Is Just A Number

Have you learned everything you need to know about life?

Have you mastered every area of your life?

Have you learned all you can from God’s Word?

Are you so knowledgeable about scripture that you no longer need to be taught from the scriptures?

While a career might end one day or a degree require continuing education, life itself continues until you are no longer alive in the physical realm (never forgetting that there is spirit life after physical death).

How much more expedient that our personal spiritual education continue? I’d love to leave a monetary or material inheritance for my children and grandchildren but I confess that I put more emphasis on their spiritual inheritance (because we can take nothing with us into the spirit realm).

Age or Maturity? Agree? Disagree? On the fence?

If You Remember

Remember the kindnesses of the Lord. Failure is not on his resume. When he moves, it’s in his own timing; when he answers prayers, it’s according to what he purposes for us in the situation. Although we fail each other regularly-the Lord our God never does.

Sometimes we have to be reminded of the history found in God’s Word on his faithfulness toward those who are HIS, before we are able to remember his care for us during our lifetime. The best way to prick your memory is to read the challenges faced by the many children of God in the Bible who came before us. These His-stories unleash our temporary blindness and work to bring to the forefront our own historical memory stones of the works God has done in our life in the past. Just as he forgives us repeatedly for our shortcomings, he will deliver us from the snares we get ourselves into … if we REMEMBER…

And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

Genesis 30:23 KJV

Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

Joshua 1:13 KJV

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Psalm 63:5-6 KJV

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:11-13 KJV

Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:7-8 KJV

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Jude 1:17-18 KJV

Change Starts in the Mind

It’s your job & no one else’s

A “change” starts in the mind because it is the “made up mind” that determines it’s time to shift! Until the mind takes this stand — absolutely NOTHING HAPPENS.

But … when the mind grabs hold of the thought to change, and holds it captive, and makes it a part of the foundation of action, then and ONLY THEN, can it be TRANSPLANTED INTO THE HEART.

Transplanted refers to something that is removed and planted or settled in another place. A thought cannot be transplanted until it has been rooted in the mind first.

For too many of us, the changes we desire remain figments of our imagination … fiction, something feigned or imagined … a mere thought!

Far too many of us spend more time complaining about things we can’t change instead of working towards those things we can. And many get stuck because they spend too much time entertaining negative people and environments. NEGATIVITY IS DRAINING and it kills growth!

The mind is a power tool

So, if you are this person or have these types of people around you, help them Let Go – Love – Live by teaching & encouraging them that there’s more to life if they will practice a mind shift!

Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom

Knowledge alone is not enough

I have many spiritual and physical needs. However, my greatest NEED is to elevate the biblical knowledge I have to the next LEVEL of spiritual growth. This is only possible by getting a better understanding of the knowledge I have gained and then apply it to every issue I face (spiritual and physical)!

Learning from the comfort of our home is a good place to start. My prayer is that as God shines his light into your heart through the teaching of his Word, may it move you to shine his Word out into the darkness of our world.

See more content from Senior Pastor Ray Stewart, Grace and Truth Baptist Church, on the Facebook link above or the website at https://GTCkc.org

Old Book – Present Reality

For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord. For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:8-11 KJV

In my Bible reading this morning in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah, in a popular passage of scripture, I started Thinking Out Loud:

This chapter opens with the Prophet Jeremiah writing a letter to the remaining elders and people of the Nation of Israel, who have been brought into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. The Nation of Israel had been warned in numerous passages and books of the Bible that they would go into bondage if they didn’t turn from following after false gods and cease practicing the idolatry of the heathen nations around them.

GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES!

Continue reading “Old Book – Present Reality”

Grown Up Christians

It’s not about age, it’s about spiritual maturity

Ephesians 4:1-3
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

In 1787, walking out of Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin was asked the question as to whether or not we had a republic or a monarchy? Franklin replied “A republic, if you can keep it.” Our nation has struggled to keep a republic ever since.

In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul challenged the church at Ephesus to “endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The challenge is “if you can keep it.” UNITY and PEACE in the body of Christ are two things that every member of the body must strive to KEEP. Satan knows how difficult this can be, so what he does is work to sow discord and division through doctrinal, political, and racial strife.

While the world will always struggle with these things, the body of Christ was established to demonstrate what a UNIFIED and PEACEFUL BODY looks like to a lost world. When we allow the things of this world to infiltrate Christ’s body, then we have become a friend of the world, and the scripture says:

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:4

Paul gave a solution to our delima:

Ephesians 4:14-16
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

It’s time for us all to GROW UP!

Ray Stewart is Senior Pastor of Grace and Truth Baptist Church in Independence, MO. Devoted to the doctrinal teaching of the Word of God, he sees the church as a place … “Where the People are the Church”

Don’t Blame the World or Its People

The issues we bemoan about the deficiency of human compassion and the woes of society aren’t simply issues surrounding the sorrows and atrocities being played out in private and in public.

No, the real issue is, has always been, and will remain for a while yet to come – “that through one man, sin entered the world, and death through sin, so that all have sinned (Romans 5:12).” The good book (the Bible) has been thrown out with the bath water (spiritually speaking). 

History is merely repeating itself – in biblical days they, too, did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25 – In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.). And with each generation mankind draws further and further away (Proverbs 30:12) from the one and true God (John 17:3) of the biblical text.

No matter how we wrap it or present it, the issue is SIN and the REJECTION of Jesus Christ by which man remains captive to his natural born sinful state. While there can be a life that appears on the surface to be flourishing, prospering, joyful, and in all ways living at the pinnacle of earthly existence – the unseen destruction and condemnation of this same life may be unrealized until it is too late.

The freedom of choices comes with a price tag no man is able to pay. Rejection of the blood sacrifice made to give one a new nature, a new heart, and a new mind is a freedom steeped in bondage – to the flesh, to lusts, and to pride.

Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, wasn’t a scapegoat – He was the sacrificial Lamb of God – the redeemer of man from sin – the hope of everlasting life (Galatians 6:8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.).

When people choose their own way they are simply doing what sinners do – and we can’t really blame them for that. But what we can do – those who know of the eternal security found in Christ Jesus – is to continually stand and proclaim the Gospel Truth – being blameless toward those who reject the word of truth.

Philippians 2:14-16 (KJV)

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Mission Minded Memorial: Wonderfully Made Campaign

[the cost of a burger goes a long way in Malawi]

In 2018, I was ecstatic to experience the sights, sounds, culture, language, and the mission field of Malawi, Africa. With the exception my pastor, many of the other five members from my church had never been on a mission trip, and some had never been out of the continental USA. It was both a dream come true and an awakening to how rich I was in many areas taken for granted.

The “Wonderfully Made” campaign is focused on strengthening and extending the special needs ministry of the Passion Center for Children in Malawi, Africa. The Bible tells us that we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made and that everyone is precious in God’s sight. However, too often, those with special needs don’t feel that way. Instead, they experience neglect, are shunned, and sometimes thought to be cursed because in countries like Malawi, information is lacking, resources are scarce, and intervention is absent. The Passion Center’s Champions Club and Champs Mobile ministries are focused on changing that in a growing number of villages in Malawi and we invite you to join us in making that possible!

In 2016, the Champions Club began as a first-of-its-kind ministry in Malawi operating as a fixed site ministry for special needs children!

Right away we saw parents, grandparents, and siblings walk hours to bring their special needs loved ones to the Champions Club for help. We were amazed to see the impact this ministry was having. Quickly it became apparent that a mobile component was needed. Now the Champs Mobile ministry drives out to dozens of villages to care for the special needs children and their families who would otherwise not be able to make the long journey to the club.

The Champions Club and the Champs Mobile ministries give these kids a special place to feel safe, protected, and loved. Our staff shows them they are precious, not forgotten, nor cursed, but that they are “wonderfully made” and precious in the sight of God. They let them know that there is real hope in Jesus Christ and alongside their parents/guardians, we help them become all they can be in Christ. We do that by focusing on 4 key areas: spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and physical (PT & OT). What a joy it is to see special needs children and their families start experiencing hope and support that they lacked before!

Join us in supporting the Wonderfully Made campaign from now to through June 12, 2021.

THE MAIN GOALS ARE:

1 EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES & STAFFING

This includes items such as wheelchairs, specialized stretching and strengthening equipment, crutches, swings, education toys, Bibles, and additional staff members that will help us to better serve the kids in the Champs ministry.

2 NEW CHAMPS CLUB SITE

We are excited about opening our second Champions Club at Jali Community Church. With the large number of special needs kids in this area and a growing Passion Center site at Jali Community Church, this fully equipped and staffed second location would be a huge blessing to the community.

3 NEW SPONSORSHIPS

We currently have 60 Champs awaiting sponsorship. Our hope and prayer is to find sponsors for all of these children. The monthly support of $25 will allow the child to receive the one-on-one attention they need, and provide training and instruction to the champs and their families so they won’t feel neglected, shunned, or cursed. That’s the blessing of the Champions ministries!

I am asking for your help in reaching my personal fundraising goal of $500 (10% of the overall goal) to raise funds for The Passion Center for Children’s campaign for Malawian ‘special needs children.’ Just $5 would get me started in the right direction. In exchange for your donation, I will highlight your business, church, faith-based non-profit or a faith-based event right here on my blog and name you as a donor.

WE THANK YOU in advance for your support and your prayers. The link to give your gift is below. We encourage your to look around the sight for additional ways you, your church, or your organization can support the Passion Center.

http://sponsorship.passioncenterforchildren.org/campaigns/donate-to-malawi-wonderfully-made