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.

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”

The First Lie Ever Told

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” – Genesis 3:4

Look at where that got us. The God-created beings, Adam and Eve, were duped by the craftiness of one whom had fallen from great heights. [word to the wise: be careful around those who lose their lofty crowns… they can be venomous (full of malice & spite)]. Eve was drawn into the lie and Adam was enticed by the fruit the lie brought forth (sin).

Let’s be honest here. As much as many of us would say we hate liars, lying, and lies we, in fact, accept liars, lying, and lies because of the fruit it carries with it. We’ve even lied to ourselves to avoid facing the truth of our own character deficiencies.

So in 2020, amidst myriad lies and liars in a multitude of social, governmental, medical, and spiritual states, can we all face this truth:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 5:12

We are ALL GOING TO DIE! And as fearful and harsh as that may seem to many, it is a truth that began over 6,000 years ago in a garden where a man and woman listened to the voice of a creation instead of the voice of their CREATOR.

God’s arms are STILL WIDE OPEN and ready to receive ALL who will accept the gift 🎁 of ETERNAL LIFE through His Son, Jesus Christ. And the beauty of it all is it requires the simplest act on our part:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 10:9-11

I have recovered from many of the lies told me and the ones I have told myself. Yet, I have grown wise enough to know there is one lie we can’t afford to leave unchecked…

Lifestyle Choices

[Wasting our greatest investment]

To be good at ANYTHING, we have to study and practice it until it becomes second nature. The great thing about the Word of God is that it is inexhaustible. And, when we study God’s Word, it not only becomes a part of us, but it transforms us from the inside out.

Just as a butterfly starts out as a different creature and then goes through a transformation process, so does the person who has given their life to Christ. And just as a caterpillar can end up a butterfly or a moth, a person can end up “born again” but without the distinct spiritual beauty that clearly identifies them as a new creature.

Of course, this is no sadder than a person who goes to college and gets a degree they never use. Which bears the question, “if we study a manual to learn our profession, why don’t we study the Bible to master our confession of faith?

At the end of the day, it’s about mastering our lifestyle choices.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:9-11

MISSION MINDED: Traveling Outside My Box

Why I Want To Take My First Mission’s Trip Abroad

February 1, 2018 – Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry

God continues to be gracious and merciful unto me.  I live a comfortable life and try to keep it that way.  My life revolves around church, work, home, family, and the occasional movies and dinner with friends.  I have enough to live on, although there is always room for better stewardship of my resources.

It’s a comfortable life!  Unfortunately, getting comfortable has its drawbacks.  I recently heard of a person who believed they had learned all they needed to learn from the scriptures and felt all they needed to do at their stage of the Christian walk was maintain what they’ve learned.  Of course, at first, some might agree that sounds good.  But, with careful consideration, you realize it’s only justifiable if you’re talking about material things.

Speaking truth to myself is a necessary reality[noun, 2.] because I understand that I am opposed by an uncouth roaring lion looking to wreck my life.  I cannot allow myself to get so comfortable in my spiritual life that I leave myself open to becoming a casualty in this spiritual war.  Every time I read the bible there are new truths being revealed that I hadn’t grasped before.  Comfortability brings about a spiritual laziness that lures one into believing they are giving God their best when, according to the scriptures, even our best is as filthy rags.

The fear of spiritual complacency is one reason I’m using the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study by Mark Trotter for this year’s reading through the bible.  Every year I look to go deeper into the word to get a better understanding to help me more rightly divide the Word.  There is power in the confidence of knowing what you are talking about.

I know fear is not of God, but a healthy reverence for him is a reminder that he is a holy God; there is no other (no matter how many new theories arise — the earth is flat; worship of the created things, I alone am master of my destiny, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera).  The thought of missing an opportunity to go ye therefore and teach all nations leaves me with an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach.

If I were willing to remain in this current, comfortable spiritual state, I have no doubt it would render me ineffective for the kingdom of God in many ways.  I don’t want to be lured into forgetting that I will stand before God one day to give an account of what I did with his gifts!  This is one of the reasons I jumped at the opportunity to take my first Mission’s Trip abroad.

Witnessing the increasing sense of entitlement our society (young and old) exhibits is another thing that spurs me toward mission mindedness.  I find it both frightening but biblically anticipated, since we are so full of ourselves that we’ve relegated God to the backseat instead of letting him lead.  We are the modern reality and future of Revelation 3:14-22.  Pride is the attribute[noun, 2.] that gets us in trouble with God and man, and personally, I don’t need that kind of trouble in my life!

This leads me to the inspiration behind today’s postWhen the door was opened in October 2017 for my pastor, Ray Stewart, to embark on an overseas mission trip to Malawi, Africa, I was both excited and scared for him.  I prayed earnestly for his safety, Mark Trotter and all who those traveling and working together on this mission trip.  Working through the ministry of The Passion Center for Children / Passion Center for Pastors, my pastor proclaimed the gospel in the villages and helped to equip local pastors in their study of Scripture to help them “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and, to stand against Islam/witchcraft.

MALAWI, AFRICA — A place I had never heard of before, and most likely, you either.  My pastor shared some of the highlights from his trip with the congregation.  We learned of Malawi’s richness, and they are underdeveloped.  The statistics were saddening:  only 9% of the entire country has electricity and running water; only 20% of children attend secondary school; and, the infant mortality rate is high due to HIV and AIDS. [Read the article on Pastor Ray’s trip by clicking here.]

I was gracefully convicted of my own wasteful and careless spending habits.  Becoming a $40 a month donor to the Passion Center for Children was a spiritual no-brainer.  Not surprisingly, I haven’t missed a dime of it!  In fact, I was blessed instead.  As I mentioned in my first post of this year, the excitement and pleasure of meeting and talking with Pastors Mark Trotter and Malawi Pastor Pilira Chibwana was a blessing.

It’s confession time. Since making the decision to join the October mission team this year in Malawi, I have been attacked with fear.  My consolation, however, is implementing a lesson I learned to push past the fear.  I wrestle control of my heart and mind out of the grip of my flesh (our enemy), and reposition myself back under the control of the Holy Spirit.  I never forget to expect spiritual attacks the moment my heart service to the Lord increases.

I’m encouraged to enjoy the comfortable interludes in my spiritual walk with God.  But, I don’t want to stay there 20, 30 years.  God desires fruit, and my knowledge is increasing on how to be a more profitable sower.  I want to bear more fruit.  Being mission-minded is another part of the process that will help me do that so I don’t become stagnate in my Christian walk.  I am honored for the door God has opened for me to participate as part of the Mission Team.   Malawi is a spirit-led open invitation to travel outside my box!

Let the preparations begin!

 

Any Support You Can Give Helps Send Our 7-Person Mission Team to Malawi, Africa.

Donations are acceptable in two forms:

Grace & Truth Baptist Church, c/o 4000 SW Kamryn Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082

or

Give as a Guest on our church app on our website:

https://pushpay.com/g/gtckcmissouri?src=hpp

(Give as a guest: select Missions (not General Fund) – Forward a copy

of your receipt to graceandtruthadmin@icloud.com so that we can

acknowledge you on our website and Facebook page)

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

2018 – Enlarging My Investment Portfolio

Keys to growing your spiritual bank account!

Happy New Year!

For all who are reading this – God has graced us with another day of life, and a new year to choose to do something new or better. My new year goals are very simple – I plan to become a better INVESTOR:

  • Invest more in my relationship with God!
  • Invest more in the study of God’s Word!
  • Invest more in the things God cares about!

For a little over three years, I have been investing in quality time alone. It has been an adventure in digging deeper and unearthing the dead things lying beneath the surface. Normally, I end each year with time away from home to prepare for the new year, but that didn’t happen this year. Instead, God provided a ram in the bush that was far better than a trip away from home.

On New Year’s Eve, I had the pleasure of meeting with an African pastor and a stateside mission leader in preparation for my first mission’s trip abroad! Talk about a great ending to 2017! Our mission’s team was able to ask questions, listen to stories of needs, and how those needs are being met by mission efforts. I wanted to cry, both from excitement and of hearing some of the stories. It was definitely the fuel I needed to come into the new year with.

Today, I couldn’t wait to delve into the new year-long bible study I was starting. Titled “52 Weeks of Pursuit,” it is a 5-day, weekly reading through the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, with notes that provide wonderful insights into the bible.  I invite you to join me in the reading – it’s an opportunity open to everyone by just clicking on the title above, then scrolling down to click on Week 1-4 and begin.

Already, my investment in reading and studying has paid off. I’d like to share just a few things I have gleaned from God’s Word using the guide of 52 Weeks of Pursuit:

Mankind is foolish! Our attempt to change the interpretation of God’s written Word is insulting to His holiness. One example is the foundation set for marriage which God has never changed: One man. One woman. One lifetime. Period! (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24) [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1]. Although I fell short in this area, it makes God’s grace and mercy through salvation all the more precious!

God created man to have a relationship with him. The notes say: God beautifully offered man the opportunity to exercise his will by making his own choice concerning this relationship. [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1, last paragraph].  There were two trees and two choices. Just as the first Adam choose the wrong tree, man today chooses the world [Satan’s domain] over a relationship with God [through salvation].

We can run, but we can’t hide.  In Genesis 3:8, “…Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Trees are a picture of man. Man’s attempts to hide himself in the world [amongst the trees of the garden] is sad. The substituting of good works while outright rejecting the good news will be exposed at the great white throne

Satan’s tactics are transparent. It’s important to know how Satan operates. Genesis 3:1 reveals his tactics with these words, “…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan is transparent–he has always attacked God’s Word, and he always uses three effective traps against man: (1) lust of the flesh, (2) lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. On page 2 of 52 Weeks of Pursuit, in the last two paragraphs, we are provided a great example of one who falls for Satan’s trap versus one who resists Satan’s attack in comparing Genesis 3:13 with Matthew 4:1-11. Our greatest weapon against Satan remains the Word of God hid in our hearts to help us resist his temptations!

Day One of enlarging my investment portfolio has been an amazing day to set the tone for a wonderful 2018 year!

I invite you to stay tuned and join me in the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study. As well, I request your prayers and our support in raising funds as I and others prepare for our first mission’s trip.

Let’s set 2018 on Fire for Christ!