07/23/17 Pastor Fred Rivers
I have friends in the military and in law enforcement who wear bulletproof vests when on assignment. Obviously the purpose of the vest is to keep them safe in the midst of the battle.
God desires to keep you and me safe in the midst of our battles, too. For instance God promises in First John 5:18 “…but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
In the Old Testament we can read Psalm 91 where the Bible goes to great length detailing the Lord’s protection for believers. It’s God’s bulletproof promise to us that no harm will overcome us as we abide in the Lord.
I know sometimes the battle may seem intense, however God has promised us that His Word, His Spirit and His Power are greater than our circumstances. Stand strong in your faith. Strap that vest on. Believe and speak your victorious promises from scripture. Shout if you have to: God is with me, no harm shall come near me! (Psalm 91:7, 10)
First John 1:3 tells us that we may have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus. That word ‘fellowship’ means at its root ‘to share’. So John tells us simply that we can share our lives with God and that God will share His life with us through His Son.
John is known as the Apostle of Love and in the next couple of chapters he goes on to tell us in a loving way what might hinder our experience of Divine Fellowship. First he says to avoid the darkness which brings misery and unhappiness. He makes it clear that God lives in the light and not in the darkness.
He goes on to say that we should avoid sin, but tells us also that if we do sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ who removes the burden of those sins from us.
Instead of sin and darkness John says to embrace God’s Word and let it direct our lives. Furthermore he says that God gives us a Holy Anointing (His Presence within us). Through the saving grace of Jesus’ life and the inner dwelling of the Holy Spirit we are invited to live in harmony and fellowship with the Father.
So we get to choose. We can live in the misery of sin and darkness or we are invited to live in the light of God’s Joy sharing all of our days with Him!
So, which will you choose? John 3:16; Jeremiah 29:11.
Do you like new things? Most of us do. New cars, new outfits, new houses, new friends can all be very exciting. Did you know that God likes new things, too? His new things involve us. As a matter of fact scripture says repeatedly that God would like to do new things in us.
He desires to restore and refresh us making us new again in Him. In Isaiah 42:9 God declares new things. In the same book of Isaiah in 43:19 He promises to do a new thing. In verse 22 He says we just need to call upon Him.
The people had not been calling upon God because they had grown weary. Sound familiar? Call upon the Name of the Lord. He promises to restore and refresh you! He promises to tell you things that you have not known; to show you things that you have not seen!
Behold! He has a new thing for you!
On July 4th, 1776 the founding fathers put forth the Declaration of Independence and gave birth to a brand new nation. With this one remarkable act our nation’s leaders severed ties with Britain and set the United States of America on a remarkable course of history.
History is His Story: God’s story unfolding across time. Those first leaders of our nation clearly recognized God at work in their midst. Consider this quote from John Quincy Adams, our 6th president: “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.”
Wow! Could President Adams have been any clearer than that? Our nation is founded upon the Lord! So enjoy the holiday and give thanks to the One who has made it possible!