Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

8
Sep

Faith is Believing God’s Word

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn Sacrifice of Is...
Image by carulmare via Flickr

God told Abraham that he would be the Father of many nations, and that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. This is certainly true, even though it seemed to be impossible at the time.

When Abraham was a hundred years old, he and his barren wife, Sarah, had a son named Issac. And he is the child through whom that blessing (Jesus) came.

God told Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice. Even though this defied logic, Abraham was willing to do it anyway. He trusted that God would do them no harm, and that he would fulfill his promise.

He didn’t know what God had in mind. We know that he expected God to raise Issac from the dead. If you read this whole story in Genesis 22, you’ll see that Abraham told his servants to wait and that, “I and the lad . .  will come again to you.”

Abraham knew God and his ways very well. He had based his whole life on believing God’s word. This is what the Bible says about him:

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was rich in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  (Romans 4:20-24)

What exactly did Abraham do that was so remarkable. He believed God to the extreme extent of being willing to obey him. All he provided was the willingness. God provided everything else, including the sacrifice–one for Issac and one for us.

God even provides us the faith we need to believe his word. As it is written, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

12
Jul

Where Does Wisdom Come From?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Fanciful depiction of Solomon on his throne
Image via Wikipedia

King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived—except for Jesus. He recorded much of his wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, God‘s Book of Wisdom. The Bible explains how Solomon came to be so wise.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.

. . . I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in . . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him,

Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast thou asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.  (1 Kings 3:5,7,9-13)

Wisdom comes from God, and there is no true wisdom apart from him. That explains why everything is in such a mess. Our leaders have no wisdom and no understanding.

God is amazingly generous. He offers wisdom to everyone who seeks it.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  (James 1:5)

If only they would ask God for wisdom. Some of them don’t believe that God exists, and others don’t know him. All they have is their own so-called wisdom.


Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27
Jun

What Is More Valuable Than Gold?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Gold Key, weighing one kilogram is used to acc...
Image via Wikipedia

True wisdom is the most valuable commodity on earth, because you can only get it from God.

You cannot buy God’s wisdom for any amount of money. But he provides it for free to anyone who asks him for it.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it will be given him.  (James 1:5)

Gold won’t buy wisdom, but wisdom will buy you an abundance of gold. If you will apply God’s wisdom to your life, you will be rich.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it. Look at what the Spirit of God says about wisdom in the Bible.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things that thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is everyone that retaineth her.  (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

16
Jun

Uncertain Riches

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Wall Street Bull
Image by PittCaleb via Flickr

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

I know that, as Chistians, we are not supposed to put our trust in money. But I have to confess that I did it anyway—just a little bit.

My 401k was like one of my children, in that I was amazed at how fast it was growing. And I thought, “Here’s some security for the wife and I in our old age.”

That’s what I get for thinking. My 401k became a 201k. Then I was amazed how quickly our money had disappeared. Once again, life experience confirms that what the Bible says is true. There is no such thing as security apart from God.

Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.  (Proverbs 23:4-5)

We were disappointed, but we got over it. This is just another bump in the road of life. We still have the true riches of life which are in Christ Jesus. He is the only true security. That’s because his word will not fail, and he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.

Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

Don’t let the financial crisis get you down. You still have the Bible, and you still have the Holy Spirit. God is always with you, and he will help you make a comeback.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2
Jun

Do You Believe God or Darwin?

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

Charles Darwin, photographed by Julia Margaret...
Image via Wikipedia

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air; and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10)

Charles Darwin observed these things and concluded that we were not created by God. He said that we evolved from lower forms of life by unguided natural means.

Darwin’s theory is spoken of as science, but it is not science at all. It is a material philosophy, even a kind of religion. Even though it has been discredited, it is still generally accepted as true and taught in school as if it were a fact. It is a lie that is passed off as truth by scientists and educators.

This all started with one man, who could see no evidence of God’s creation–even though he was standing on it and surrounded by it. After a hundred and fifty years, there is still no proof that Darwinism is true. Yet, there are millions of Darwinists. They have no idea as to how life began. All they know is how it did not happen. It is inconceivable to them that God is the author of life; because, to them, there is no such thing as God.

Darwin has always had a cult following among those who hate God and reject the Bible. He was a major influence on Adolph Hitler, Karl Marx, and many others.

Atheists cling to his theory, because it is all they have. The only other alternative is to believe that God created us, just like the Bible says.

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. (Genesis 1:26)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Charles Darwin is dead, but God is very much alive. Which one are you going to believe?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12
May

My Testimony

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

A 6th century mosaic of :en:Jesus at Church Sa...
Image via Wikipedia

I had worked for Uncle Sam for thirty years before I became a disgruntled postal worker.  God rescued me from that situation. My wife, Marie, got me to the Doctor. The Doctor told me, “Don’t even think of going back there. You are through.”

He diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and said that it is common among us veterans of the VietNam war.

That was when I hit the bottom in every way possible—mentally, emotionally and financially. I was sick and broke and in my fifties. I kept beating myself up over every decision I had ever made thinking, “If only I had done this, if only I had not done that.”

What about Romans 8:28, I thought? All things were supposed work together for my good. I was a Christian. Why had God allowed  these things to happen to me? And why wasn’t I seeing the promises of God fulfilled in my life?

I asked God to tell me what I was doing wrong. I asked him to show me what he wanted me to do, so I could do it. Then I started reading and studying the Bible for hours every day.

Reading an author’s work makes you feel like you know him, because he reveals himself through his work. This is especially true of the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Bible. I spent a lot of time with him in his word. I got to know him and his ways. I was pigging out at God’s spiritual buffet and I was loving it.

When I wasn’t reading the Bible, I was thinking about it. I was meditating on the word day and night, just like it says in Psalm One. And that’s when the miracle happened.

I used to be angry all the time. I was very impatient with people and rude to them. I was mad when I when I got up in the morning, and I was mad when I went to sleep at night. But God healed me of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

During this time that I was delighting in the Bible, I woke up one morning and my anger was gone. I went to bed crazy as a loon, and woke up perfectly sane. The anger that had been my constant companion for thirty years was gone. It’s still gone, and it is so wonderful to be normal. Now, I am happy all the time because Jesus healed me, and I will never stop thanking him for it.

I am a recipient of God’s love and it is the greatest thing on earth.  Jesus knows me personally and he has changed my life forever. I was broken and he repaired me. He took away my anger and filled my heart with love, and joy, and peace, and self-control. He has equipped me to be patient and kind to others.

All I did was show God some love by spending time with him in his word. He responded to my love by intervening in my life and doing something to help me. That is how good our God is.

It was just like Jesus said in John 14:21,”He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

So that is what I was doing wrong all those years. I was violating the Love Commandment, by not loving God and by not loving my neighbor as myself. And that prevented God from showing me his favor.

Our eternal salvation is a free gift. But God’s other promises are contingent upon obedience to the Love Commandment. If you want to receive what God has promised, you have to love him. You have to love him with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength. And you have to love your neighbor as yourself.

You might think that you love God. But if you have never spent any time with him in his word, then you are not keeping the Love Commandment.

Look at the completed thought that is found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. . .”

And look at the last part of Psalm 91, where God promises to protect us from all evil. God says, “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

I could fill a book with the things the Spirit of God has taught me since the time I got to know him. In fact, I have filled a book with them.

First, I selected a thousand Bible verses and organized them into topics. Then, I explained how to apply them to your life. The title of the book is The Bible Believer’s Handbook. God helped me write it, and it was published in 2008.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27
Apr

The Homeschool Kids and the Tea Party

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I went to the Tax Day Tea Party, along with my daughter Jennifer and her daughters Katie, 8, Beverly, 10, and Haley, 12. This was a homeschool teaching project, since we are studying the American Revolution. It was a gathering of people from the Memphis area who love America and want to help preserve our American culture.

As we listened to the speeches of local patriots, I could not help but think how much we have in common with the residents of Boston in 1773. Our government does not have the right to confiscate our money any more than King George did.

I enjoyed being there with my three little granddaughters. But it made me sick to think about how greedy our elected representatives are. Our US Congress couldn’t wait for these girls to grow up. They’ve already spent these children’s money before they’ve even had time to earn it. We are little more than livestock to them.

I don’t think that they get it. These ungodly people obviously do not understand that we are fed up with them. Beginning in November of 2010, we will vote them out of office. Then, in 2012, we will remove more of them from office.

The Bible tells us to pray for all who are in authority. My prayer for them is that God will either save them, or remove them from their place of authority. I am not going to name names. God knows who they are.

“Lord, give us godly people to represent us in the US Congress. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14
Apr

The Same Spirit That Raised Up Jesus From the Dead

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

When you become a believer in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God does three things for you. He regenerates you, he baptizes you into the body of believers, and he seals you unto the day of redemption. When you love the Lord, he can do more for you, and you know that he is alive in you.

In John 14:15-18, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Look at what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

This is not just any old Spirit. He is the same Spirit of God that raised up Jesus from the dead, and he is alive in you. He is the most powerful Spirit in the Universe, and He is alive in you. You have access to him 24 hours a day. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.

All of the promises of God apply to you. That’s why you can say with confidence. “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. My God shall supply all your needs, according to his riches in glory.”

You don’t have to be afraid of anything, because the greater one lives in you. He will protect you, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

24
Mar

God Rewards Everyone Who Loves Him

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

So I finally found the answer to the question, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not seeing the promises of God fulfilled in my life? I had done a lot of things to gain God’s favor, but I had left out the most important thing of all, which is to love God. That is what he has commanded us to do.

I had to read through the Bible several times, and study my core of Bible verses, before I saw it. The Holy Spirit had to reveal it to me. But when he did, I saw it everywhere I looked. Of course! This is what I had missed. Look at what Romans 8:28 actually says. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that LOVE GOD . . .”  This promise does not apply to everyone, but it does apply to everyone who loves God. This is one of God’s most amazing promises, that he will intervene in the circumstances of your life.

In Psalm 91, God has promised to protect you from all kinds of harm. But this promise is conditional too. Look at what God says in verses 14-16. “Because he hath set his love on me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath know my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.”

God’s promise of divine protection is contingent upon your obedience to his commandment. That commandment is to love him by loving your neighbor as yourself.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

17
Feb

You Shall Come Forth As Gold

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

I was at home, building a tool shed, when God‘s still small voice spoke to me inside. “You shall come forth as gold.” I knew that it was God for two reasons. It was completely out of context with what was going on in my thought life; and, it was a direct reference to a Bible verse. “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) I knew that something important was about to happen to me. I just didn’t know what it was.

I am always excited to hear from the Lord, but I was uneasy about this “fire” business. Immediately, I told my wife, Marie, “Good news, we’re going to come forth as gold. The not-so-good news is that, apparently, we are about to go through some kind of fire.”

The first thing we thought of was King Nebucannezzar’s fiery furnace. But we were sure that we had already been there and done that. This was something that had not happened yet. I knew of two verses where Jesus is associated with fire. But I had never understood either of them.

This is what John the Baptist said about Jesus. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11). But the verse that bothered most was this one, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughtly purge his floor, and gather his wheat unto the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” ( Matthew 3:12)  Honestly, I was afraid of that fire.

I should have known that the Lord would not do anything to hurt me. He would never throw me into a burning fiery furnace. He was doing something to help me. God’s fire is on the inside and he doesn’t burn us. But he does destroy evil desires, addictions, and cravings. That is the most effective way for us to get rid of them. He is a purifying fire who burns up all the trash that’s in our hearts, and leaves only the good things of God.

Here’s an example of what the fire of God has done for me. I used to have a terrible problem with anger. I was like a volcano that could erupt at any time. My wife and kids, and co-workers were terrorized by my fits of rage. That was the first thing to go. It was obvious that God did it because it disappeared overnight, and it has never come back.

I am telling you this because I know that God will do the same for you. He makes it possible for us to live the the Christian life. The Bible is true, and you can apply everything it says to your life.

Let me show you something I find fascinating. John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. There was a long period where God was silent between the time of Malachi, and that of Jesus and John the Baptist. Look at what God said through his prophet Malachi.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:1-3)

God said that Jesus would refine us like silver and gold, which means, burning away all the impurtities. It excites me to realize that he is presently doing what God said he would do in my life, and in the lives of everyone who is born of God. It’s something that he does for us because he loves us.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,