Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Quote to Ponder

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk. - Jacqueline Schiff

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 4 The TRINITY

Part 2

In this lesson we will have a look at the TRINITY acting in UNITY.

1. In Creation

GOD the FATHER spoke.

Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

GOD the SON was the WORD spoken.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Job 26:12-13 He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

2. In the Incarnation

GOD the FATHER gave HIS only SON.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

GOD the SON was born into the world.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT came upon Mary to cause conception.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

3. In Redemption

GOD the FATHER accepted the sacrifice of Calvary

Hebrew 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

GOD the SON offered HIMSELF as our substitute.

Hebrew 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT - JESUS offered HIMSELF “through the eternal Spirit”

Hebrew 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

4. In Salvation

GOD the FATHER received the prodigal from the far country.

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

The FATHER welcomes the sinner, forgives him, supplies robes, rings, and a feast.

GOD the SON is the SHEPHERD that goes to seek the lost sheep.

Luke 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT seals the new convert.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

5. In Communion

GOD the FATHER invites us to come to HIM for fellowship.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

GOD the SON is the reconciliation.

II Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT effects this union and communion.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

6. In Prayer

GOD the FATHER is the ONE WHO receives the requests.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

GOD the SON is the ONE in WHOSE NAME we pray.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT directs us in our requests.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

7. In Glory

GOD the FATHER is to eventually receive the millennial kingdom.

I Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

GOD the SON is the ONE WHO will change our vile body to one like HIS.

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT gives the invitation.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

8. In Regeneration

GOD the FATHER records the new name in glory.

Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

GOD the SON cleanses the sin in HIS precious blood.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT performs the transforming miracle of the new birth.

John 3:3-6 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Quote to Ponder

Having it all doesn´t necessarily mean having it all at once. - Stephanie Luetkehans

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 4 The TRINITY

Part 1

In our lessons, so far, we have seen that there is one GOD. However, a careful study of the Scripture will show that GOD exists in three PERSONS. A GODHEAD manifested in three PERSONS.

Colossians. 2:9 - For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

A common objection is: How can GOD be three PERSONS and one GOD at the same time? Wouldn´t that make three GODS? The TRINITY - one GOD in three PERSONS - is hard for us as humans to grasp. However in Isaiah 55:8-9 GOD teaches us that human reason has no bearing in the study of GOD.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As a side note before actually beginning the lesson, neither the words “Trinity” nor “Triune GOD” can be found in the Scripture.

Let´s take a look at the basis of the doctrine of the TRINITY.

Matt. 3:13-17. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Here, in the baptism of Jesus, we see the TRINITY at work.
GOD the FATHER spoke from Heaven ---17.And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

GOD the SON, our LORD JESUS CHRIST, was being baptized.

GOD the HOLY SPIRIT descended like a dove and alighted on the SAVIOUR.

Let´s look at Mat. 28:19 where we as Christians are given a commission.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

(HOLY SPIRIT and HOLY GHOST refer to the same PERSON of the GODHEAD).

Let´s look at the benediction in II Corinthians 13:14.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Let´s have a look at Genesis 1:26 where plural terms are during during the creation on man.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Now let´s take a look at some illustrations of the doctrine of the TRINITY.

Water is revealed in three forms - liquid, ice, and vapor (steam) and yet it is still H2O.

A shamrock is a plant. It was used by Saint Patrick to illustrate the doctrine of the TRINITY. A shamrock is one leaf divided into three distinct sections.

I am an illustration of this doctrine as well (and so are you). I am only one person but I can be revealed as three persons. My mother sees me as her daughter. She sees me differently from anyone else and I respond to her in ways that are different from my responses to others. My children see me as a mother and all that is involved with being their mother. My husband sees me as a wife which, again, is a relationship that is different from the other two. However, I am still only one person although I am revealed as daughter, mother, and wife at the same time.

GOD is one indivisible GOD revealed in three separate PERSONS.

I feel it is important at this point to emphasize that the TRINITY remains a mystery and no illustration can even begin to fully explain it. However, I do feel that these illustrations given help us to get a grasp on this difficult, complex doctrine.

Remember that GOD is SPIRIT and we are physical. Because of this it is hard for us to fully comprehend GOD: HE is infinite while we are finite. To try to explain the TRINITY in terms we can grasp is an attempt to put the facts of the infinite in finite terms.

I firmly believe that there is one GOD and one GOD only, who is eternally existing and WHO manifests HIMSELF to us in three PERSONS - FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT.

Costa Rica Quake Update

Costa Rica is still recovering from the quake that hit here on Jan. 8th. Yesterday authorities called off the recovery efforts. The area is still being shaken by tremors and the area is just too unstable to continue, putting the lives of recovery personnel in danger. There are still at least 7 people unaccounted for, but the search for them is over for the present. OVSICORI geologists have continued to keep a close watch on Poas Volcano even though they feel fairly certain that the quake did not disturb the magma pool under the volcano and there has not been any increase in volcanic activity. Geologists have also been keeping a close watch on other faults in the quake area, but are reporting that none appear to have been activated by the quake. We are still having hundreds of tremors (aftershocks) daily, but they are becoming less frequent and of less magnitude.

We and Costa Rica appreciate your continued prayers.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Quote to Ponder

Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.
- Michael Burke

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Searching the Scripture

Lesson 3 GOD is a Balanced Being.

Part 2

GOD is Faithful

I Corinthians 1:9 - God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Faithful means someone who can be totally trusted. Someone who is reliable and dependable. GOD is faithful because HE is honest and never changes. How great is the faithfulness of GOD?

Psalm 36:5 - Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

All GOD does HE does in faithfulness.

Psalm 33:4 - For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

GOD is Merciful

Psalm 103:8 - The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Deuteronomy 4:31 - (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

God is merciful and rather than inflicting pain and death as punishment for sin, HE gives us many blessings - health, comforts, and earthly possesses to both the saved and the lost.

Matthew 5:45 - That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

GOD is sovereign and can choose to whom HE will show mercy.

Romans 9: 15, 18 - For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Exodus 20:6 -And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

How great is GOD´s mercy?

Psalm 103:11,17 - For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

GOD extends mercy to those who trust HIM.

Psalm 32:10 - Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

When the repentant sinner comes to JESUS for forgiveness he does not come claiming his own worth, but throws himself on the mercy of GOD.

GOD is Just

Deuteronomy 32:24 - They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.

Psalm 19:9 - The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

GOD is just and righteous. HE will measure out fair judgment to each and every individual. Because GOD is just, righteous, and holy HE must act in a way that is just, fair, and upright.

Genesis 18:25 - That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

GOD will most certainly do right at all times. GOD as the just ONE will be the final JUDGE of all things.

I Kings 8:32 - Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

How can GOD be loving and yet demand holiness at the same time? How can HE be merciful and just at the same time to a guilty sinner? The answer to both questions can only be found at Calvary. Calvary was the expression of not only GOD´s wrath against sin, but of HIS mercy toward the guilty sinner.

It is true that GOD is love, but GOD´s love is not a sentimental type of love that gushes over sin. GOD´s love is holy and just. If you want to truly understand GOD, HIS character and HIS nature, study Calvary. There you will begin to understand how GOD can hate sin and yet love the sinner. It was there at Calvary that the holiness and justice of GOD were satisfied by the fulfillment of all the laws requirements. It was there at Calvary that the repentant sinner is permitted to enter heaven legally.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Earthquake Update

We want to thank you for your prayers during this time of grief and hardship for the people of Costa Rica. As of this morning there are 25 known fatalities and 64 people are still missing, several of them are tourists who were in the area of the epicenter. Both of those numbers is expected to increase. We have had over 2200 aftershocks and these will continue for possibly days or weeks until the fault stabilizes. Recovery operations are hampered because of the danger of more landslides. Help is coming in from outside the country. The US military (from a base in Honduras) sent in 4 helicopters and 35 personnel to help with the rescue and recovery operations. Columbia sent one of it military helicopters and crew also. Most of the rescue and recovery operations have been by air because the ground is very unstable.

A close watch is being kept on Poas Volcano. Immediately after the quake, there was an increase in fumarole activity which has since subsided. There was some structural damage to the walls of the principle crater as well. However, at this time the national geological institute OVSICORI is reporting that the volcano shows no signs of increased activity. They will, of course, continue to be very watchful.

The quake occurred on a local fault called the Rio Sarapiqui Fault. This fault is part of the surface evidence of the location where the Caribbean and the Cocos Tectonic Plates converge many miles underground.

Several folks have contacted us thinking that our ministry location was affected by the quake because they have heard the name Cartago mentioned in news reports. We minister in the city of Cartago. One of the mountain villages severely damaged is called Los Cartagos.
I am including photos with this post. I did not take them myself but rather got them from the Costa Rican news agencies websites.

Your continued prayers are much appreciated.