Thursday, August 25, 2011

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

"Have Thine own way, Lord
Have Thine own way.
Thou are the potter,
I am the clay...."

I was humming this hymn by Adelaide Pollard while doing my morning chore, when I realized something so simple yet so encouraging.  The Lord would have His own way no matter what.  When the world's falling down on us, when the political state of our nation is distressing, when our annual beach vacation could be ruined...He will still have His way!!

When problems arise do we, as Christians, remember that the Lord will have His way, and that His way is ALWAYS best??!  If we are in tune to the Savior His way will be our way.

"Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He shall bring it to not fret it only causes harm."
Psalm 37:5,8b

Have Thine own way, Lord in every endeavor I make in this life!
Learning to delight in Jesus,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So What About Calvin?

I really hesitate to bring this subject up, mainly because I know this is a sore point for many people, but I do believe it's important as young ladies to be able to clearly and concisely declare what the Scripture says and why.

I believe that Calvin's 5 doctrines are misleading and unscriptural.  Before I go any farther I'd like to make it clear that I am not an Armenian or a Calvinist...I'm a Christian.  Please keep an open mind and heart as I attempt to show from the Scriptures my conviction.

To start out please see below for the 5 points of Calvinism:

Total Depravity (man was born completely in sin and unable to accept salvation on his own )
Unconditional Election (God chooses the elect just because He can)
Limited Atonement (Jesus died only for the elect)
Irresistible Grace (if you are elected you are unable to resist the message of salvation and thereby become a Christian)
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

The underlying issue I have with all of these points is that it throws man's free will out the window.  Allow me to define free will: "power of independent action and choice".  

 Now when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden He told them,
“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 
Genesis 2:16c-17

He did not put an electric fence all around the tree, leaving man with no choice but to accept God's command, no, He left it out in the open.  He didn't want man to obey because he had to, He wanted us to obey because we wanted to.  All throughout Scripture we see the same choice.

"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."
Deuteronomy 30:19  

All the prophets of old repeatedly called for repentance from the people of Israel or warned that destruction would surely fall on the land.  They frequently refused to listen and even killed the prophets of God.  Instead of choosing God's way they chose their own way and reaped the rewards thereof.

"Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts."
Zechariah 1:3

Does this apply to salvation as well?  All I've mentioned so far is Old Testament verses.  But I believe the Scripture is "given by inspiration of God..." and that He confirms His promises all throughout His Word.  Please see the following:

"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
Matthew 16:24

"But you were not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
John 5:40

"Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." "
John 6:29

"He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
John 6:38

"...he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
John 8:12

"...for is you do not believe I am He you will die in your sins."
John 8-24b

"...who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:6

There are hundreds more but I think you get the point.  There are two reoccurring action words in these Scriptures...follow and believe. There is an action side to our salvation.

Now, in regards to the "Perseverance of the Saints", I do believe some are chosen such as the disciples, Paul, and others but I also believe they could have "jumped ship" at any time.  A president is chosen for his position by the people but he's free to step down at any time.  We were chosen to be in the families that we're in but we can leave at any time and deny our connection.  The Lord does the same.  He does not keep us in a clenched fist but in a protective palm.  See below verses for why:

"Abide in Me, and I in you..."
John 15:4a
Why would we have to abide if we're already securely in God's Hand?  He will not force us to stay with Him, He wants us to stay with Him because we love Him!

"For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them."
2 Peter 2:20-21
In these verses Peter warns against those who "fall away"...meaning they were once in.  Instead of resisting temptation they allowed the devil or their flesh to overcome their love and commitment to Jesus Christ.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
1 Peter 5:8-9
We have to be watchful in our Christian walk as the devil would like nothing more than to destroy us.  Why?  Because we are the light of the world, the city on the hill, we are his ultimate demise.

So, what about Calvin?  What about him.  Search the Scriptures.  Ask the Lord to teach you and He will because He promises, "if you seek you will find, if you search with all your heart".  If I was in prison for my faith with another brother or sister who was a Calvinist it wouldn't matter.  What does matter is "Who do you say that I am?"  [Matthew 16:15]

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Post Coming!

I promise my weekly post is coming sometime this week!!  We've been really busy and the subject of my next post is rather heavy.  Please bear with me.  I leave you with a verse until then!

"that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."
Deuteronomy 30:20

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Verses that have encouraged me lately!

"I will love You, O Lord, my strength." 
Psalm 18:1 ~ My Savior deserves ALL my love! 

"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."
Jeremiah 24:7 ~ It also says in Jeremiah 14 that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.  Only the Lord Jesus Christ can change my ugly, sinful heart into something whole and beautiful!

"As for me, here I am, in Your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to You."
Jeremiah 26:14 ~ The Lord's ways are so above ours!  If we would simply trust Him and allow Him to do what He wishes in us, we will be more useful, more fulfilled than we ever could anywhere else!

"...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance."
Ephesians 1:17-18 ~ May the Lord guide each of us as we strive to find His will in our lives and fulfill it!

"For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 2:21 ~ May this not be said of us!

As a side note, today my wonderful parents celebrate 19 years of wedded bliss!  I constantly thank the Lord for the two awesome people He has placed in my life as my parents.  Their love and commitment to each other and to the Lord is inspiring!

"Many waters cannot quench love, nor can floods drown it..."
Song of Solomon 8:7a

Learning to delight in Jesus,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Recipe: Easy Tuna Casserole

Most of our family loves this dish when we have leftover spaghetti and only a little bit of time to prepare dinner.  It's very creamy and simple.  Enjoy!

Tuna Casserole

1 16 oz. can of Cream of Mushroom
1 can of milk (use the Cream of Mushroom can)
1 large can of tuna, drained
1 box of spaghetti (cooked or leftover)
Cheddar Cheese or Velveeta for a creamier dish

Combine Cream of Mushroom, tuna, milk, and spaghetti (you can layer it if you like :).  Top with bountiful amounts of cheese!  Cook at 350 for 30-45 minutes (until hot).  Serve and enjoy!

Learning to delight in Jesus,