Thursday, 18 April 2013


Lyn posted this video on her blog Saved by Grace. The video is by Carter Conlon. I haven't heard him preach before, and from Lyn's comment I perceive that perhaps his preaching isn't always on target. But he is very on target on this video. He mentions how some of the heroes of 9/11 ran into harms way, to their deaths, to warn others about the danger, to try to help them escape, not thinking about the risk to their own life and safety. That runs counter to our flesh. We want to run away from danger, and run to what makes us feel good, gratifies our egos and our flesh. That is not of the Lord. That is of the flesh, and we are to run away from the lusts of the flesh, and it's many various temptations.

This is what Carter Conlon said the first Sunday following the September 11, 2001 tragedy:

We do not run because we fear, we run to meet Jesus, we run to help others no matter the cost, we run the good race to finish it well.

1Co 9:24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Deceitfulness of our Flesh

My better half and I were able to visit Pastor Kent Clark's church again today. His message was on 2 Corinthians 5:17

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

He then explained and reminded his listeners that we still have the old dying flesh hanging on, and that no matter what we do, or how much we convince ourselves of otherwise, we still do wrong, we still continue to fall short of God's glory. The difference is that now (if we are saved), when we do wrong (which is several times a day, if we are honest) we feel terrible about it because now when we are in Christ, we hate the sin that we do (cross reference with what Paul says in the book of Romans). But, the pastor said, we need to rejoice when we feel terrible, because it is a sign that we are truly saved.

"Let not your heart be troubled..." (John ch. 14) doesn't mean we have to manufacture a "trouble free" existence. That would be impossible here on this fallen planet. It means that even in the midst of all our trouble, we know that we are saved, and that God loves us ANYWAY, and that this is a source, actually THE ONLY source of our comfort.

We must not fall for flattering words that rely on self or other people to feel better (however our flesh will lie to us and tell us that IS what we need). We need only to rely on the fact that Jesus overcame much more trouble than we will ever face, and now He will see us through our troubles. Then we can face anything and not be fearful.

That is a comforting thought indeed. And it is the ONLY comforting thought that will see us through all the storms of life, our anchor in our times of storm. Any other words of comfort, although they sound nice, are like empty calories. They taste great at the moment, but really provide no real nourishment.

Let us share the bitter cup of Jesus suffering. He promised that all who follow Him will likewise suffer and will suffer rejection and we must not be surprised when it happens. When it happens, we have the peace that surpasses our fleshy understanding. It comes from Him as He helps us just as He helped Daniels 3 friends in the fiery furnace, and also helped the apostles when they were tossed about in a tiny boat on a raging sea. He is with us always, through good times and bad, happy and sad. When we are at our lowest is when He does His most miraculous work in our lives. When we are feeling our worst is when He looks even better than ever. This world is passing away, but Jesus and His word will NEVER pass away.

How opposite is that to what "Christian" churches teach today? They say we should have the kind of peace and joy that our flesh wants us to have. Is that what the Bible says? Should we hide from trouble so we can display a peace that seems convincing? So that others will compliment us on our "fruits of the Spirit:?  Or do we face boldly those things we fear and know that the Lord is with us, that He is calming our fears even while we boldly proclaim the truth of HIS word to a lost and dying world?

We are not able, but HE is able

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Lord is Good

...and in my flesh dwelleth  NO GOOD THING (except God, His Holy Spirit, so I don't get credit for that):

  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.   For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Romans 7:18-19

That is the reason Jesus came to earth. He is the ONLY good person, truly good, that ever came to earth. He saves us from this terrible place, but while we are here we still deal with our sinful flesh, and the only good in us is what He does through us, and that comes from Him, not us, or we wouldn't need Him.

So when I feel terrible, or feel guilty, or depressed, I'm not even getting a fraction of what would be just punishment for me. It reminds me that I am sinful, that I am but flesh, and it reminds me that God alone is good and every man (including me) is a liar, a fraud, and every day when I sense the sinfulness of my flesh, it is because I know that what the Bible has already told me about it is true, and that one day the Lord will remove what He is creating in this dying sack of rotting flesh, what He has paid for with His life, even though I did not deserve it, not before being saved, and not now, after being saved. I cannot, and that isn't beating myself up, that's just being honest with myself, before God, and being thankful that He would love even such a wretch as I am.