Tag Archives: God’s will

Heaven Can Wait, Government Can Save Us

Heaven Can Wait, Government Can Save Us

God’s Story—Our Story: The Reign of Christ—Now and Forever

Sermon by Chuck Foreman, Teaching/Missions Pastor
First Christian Church—November 11, 2012

Scriptures: Revelation 1-5; 19-22; Romans 8; 1 Thessalonians 4-5;
I Peter 2:9-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Heaven can wait, Government can save us…

SALVATION & POLITICS

We’ve bought into an idea about “salvation” that is more like fire insurance than Biblical teaching. “Just give me that ticket out of hell and into heaven, and we’re good.” That kind of thinking doesn’t cause us to do anything about the combustible material in our lives that will probably burn our house down.

We think we’re heaven bound, but that we’re still trapped in an ugly, fallen world, in which we have to scrape and claw to get what WE want. We think all we really need is a government that will make it all happen for us.
Unfortunately when we think like that, there’s nothing about us or our ideas that ever changes anything or makes a difference in this world.

Our idea of heaven is more like an Escape Route or a Safe House, not a place where Christ reigns and gives us hope for restoring God’s will & reign on earth. And we think that government ought to make things better, and we hope that it will, so we whine & moan when it doesn’t, instead of rolling up our own sleeves.

The symbol for King in Chinese

The symbol for “King” in Chinese

What if we’ve missed something? What if what God really wants to do is to accomplish something revolutionary in us, thru us, among us—here, now— as we establish His Kingdom here, while we wait for the return of our King?

Illustration: Chinese character—“King” 3 horizontal lines representing heaven, man and earth, connected by a vertical line representing the one vested w/ power between heaven and earth to rule uprightly over man.

God’s Story is Our Story: Let’s review what he’s been up to and where he’s taking us…

Creation (Genesis 1-2)

The Fall of Man (Genesis 3)

A New Nation—Israel—The People of God (Genesis 12:2-3)

Israel’s Failure—Matthew 23:37-38

The Messiah—Immanuel (“God with us”—Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23)

The New Israel—The Church—The New People of God (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:42-48)

The transformation of the politics of Paul, James and Peter…
Galatians 3:28-29 (Revolutionary for Paul!)
Acts 15:16-18 (James quotes Amos 9:11-12)
Ephesians 2:10; 3:6-11, 14, 21 (God’s mystery made known thru the Church as we do the good works we were re-created to do!)
I Timothy 2:1-4 (Pray for kings so we can live peaceful, quiet, godly, holy lives—this is ultimately what will influence people to be saved.)
I Peter 2:9-17 (The New Order)

John’s Revelation…
Revelation 1-5: Message to the 7 Churches of Asia Minor—God is going to restore all things to the way they were. You’re in on it—it matters how you live! So get your act together!

Revelation 6-18: The Cosmic Battle between God and Satan over the Church

Revelation 19: Victory! The Defeat of the Beast/Babylon/The Prostitute (Rome), The Wedding of the Lamb

Revelation 20: Satan’s Doom & the Judgment of Mankind

Revelation 21-22: The Final Act—The Reign of Christ Fully, Finally Realized

Revelation 21:1-5 God with us—Out with the old, in with the new!
(This is where we place our hope, not in the White House, not in the Stock Market!)
Revelation 21:9-10 The New Jerusalem, The Church coming down from heaven

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 Let’s go meet our King!

Revelation 22:1-3a Eden Restored

Romans 8:18-25 The Redemption of Creation

Revelation 22:3b-5 We will reign with him forever!

Jesus is Coming—perhaps soon.

Listen to his final words: Revelation 22:7 Revelation 22:12

Jesus is coming someday. On that day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that he is Lord. Are you ready? You’ll either do it willingly or not, but you will bow. Are you ready?

The question is not, Is Jesus King?. He’s King alright. The question is, Is he king of your life?

You can make him King of your life today. There’s a lot of joyful work to do in His Kingdom, as we eagerly, patiently prepare for his will to ultimately be done and his kingdom to finally come “on earth—as it is in heaven.”

Right On!

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When Everything is Heading South…

When Everything is Heading South…
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Story of God

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

Usually when things begin to go south in our lives, it’s not because we’ve had nothing to do with it. But we often look for someone else to blame. Those “downward spiral” times when everything in our lives just starts to hit the fan are precisely the times when we need to stop and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We need to get on our knees alone with God and honestly ask Him, “How am I doing, Lord?” What do you want to teach me right now? Not so-and-so, not my mate, not the government, not my bank—but ME!?

Christ's ArmsA couple of ‘spiritual tune up’ suggestions:

Memorize James 4:8 and take it like big boys and girls as if God were getting right up in our faces. It goes like this:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8

We also need to understand and really believe that God is looking lovingly, deep into our hearts for something. He’s not looking for perfection; He’s just looking for openness to Him, a willingness to repent and change, and a desire to be used by Him.

Have you ever wondered what God does in his spare time?

Here’s what he’s up to:

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.~ II Chronicles 16:9a

God’s looking for a reason to rescue us, help us out of our downward spiral! He’s looking for some sign from us that we really want Him!

We’re going to see as we journey thru The Story of God this year together that rescuing His lost & fallen creation is THE PLOT in God’s Story—in Our Story.

Next: In the Beginning…

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Additional Reading: The Devil Made Me Do It

God is in Control

God is in Control
This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

The world is under the influence of the devil, but it is not under his control. God is in control- now and always. ~Charles Stanley

God is involved in every moment of your life if you acknowledge Him or not.

God is a part of all things – He is the creator, sustainer and orchestrator of everything that is.

God gave humans free will and he will never override it.

God’s ultimate purpose will be accomplished. In the end, God will have His way. His will will be done!

God does not always manifest “control” when or how we think He should. God, however, knows precisely which method to use in which circumstance. He knows what is best for each life. And He knows precisely when to employ His chosen method. Our role is to trust Him implicitly. ~Charles Stanley

God is in control of the situation, and He will accomplish His purpose.
You can put yourself on God’s side- the side of victory.

You can trust God to act in precisely the right timing and with precisely the right method to accomplish the ultimate good in any situation and in any life.

Consult God always: 2 Chronicles 15:2, Isaiah 55:6, Psalm 63:1, Romans 8:28, Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Deuteronomy 28:25, James 4:7-8, James 4:10, Psalm 145:17-18

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out: www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1


Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

An all-knowing God vs. free will

An all-knowing God vs. free will
This entry is part 17 of 21 in the series Christianity

If God gave humans free will, then what about this super “plan” God has for humanity?

Well, here’s how that works.

God is all-knowing. He knows what each of us has done and what we’re going to do even before we do it.How? Because He’s God.

Let’s take the example of a person standing at a fork in his life journey. Path A is what God’s will for this person is. Path B is the devil’s temptation. Where Path A looks normal, Path B looks sunnier, smoother, like there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

So, what’s our friend to do? What God wants him to do is to stop and pray and ask Him for direction and guidance. But instead of asking, “Which way should I go, Lord?” He should ask, “Which way do you want me to go where I can do your will, Lord?”

God knows exactly what will happen if he takes Path B and He knows what will happen if he takes Path A. When the man stops and asks God for help, God will nudge him towards Path A. 

At the same time, the devil will be pulling him and enticing him to take Path B. 

Now, the man needs to ask God for discernment. “Which is the right way, Lord?”

If the man falls for the devil’s too-good-to-be-true Path B, God will be saddened. Every time we do something on our own without asking God for guidance and we choose the wrong way, God’s heart is broken. 

But God rejoices when we hear what His will is for our lives and follow that path. 

How do you know when God is talking to you and telling you what His will is for your life? 

Through prayer. Ask Him, then shut up and listen. You may get an idea, an Epiphany or the phone may ring and it’s a Christian friend who helps you. Sometimes God makes you wait for an answer. You can find answers in the Bible. That’s it’s what it’s for.

Maybe it’s reading a book like – The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Or listening to Christian radio (http://myflr.orghttp://www.klove.comor watching TBN or going to church and hearing a message that really hits home for you. Most bible-based churches offer classes and small groups to help you grow closer to God and understand what the bible is trying to tell you.

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Throw off everything that hinders

Throw off everything that hinders
This entry is part 14 of 21 in the series Christianity

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ~Hebrews 12:1 niv

What hinders you from get stuff done? Let’s see, we can start with a sinus headache, allergies or any other malady from a cold to arthritis. Then there’s technology that doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. How about people on which you were depending on that let you down? 


How about your own sin? I won’t go into details, but just to mention a few: greed, pride, envy, gluttony, lust, sloth, wrath. 


What is the “race marked out for us”? That’s what God’s plan and God’s will is in our lives. You may not see it His way right now, because of any of the above listed items, but there is a plan. Trust Him to know what’s best for you. 


We know that things like anger and unforgiveness weigh us down. We must look up and forward to God and the hope that he has for us. This life is temporary and what awaits us as believers is better than anything we could possibly build and obtain here on earth. But while we are here on earth, we must do what God wants us to do. 


Read the Bible daily. That’s how you discover what God’s plan is for you. Strive to be Christ-like. That’s where WWJD comes in. Ask yourself, “How would Jesus react to this situation?” Then act accordingly. 


Remember:

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. ~Galatians 5:22-23 nlt

If you find yourself entangled, call out the Holy Spirit inside your heart. It’ll help you find your purpose. 


Recommended reading: THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE


God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Debut Novel “Deo Volente” Now Available.   


You become like who you hang out with

You become like who you hang out with
This entry is part 14 of 22 in the series Striving to be Christlike

Does this sound like you or some people you know?

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Admit it – you found yourself described here and I’m sure you saw some friends, family members, co-workers, even some people who profess to be Christian mentioned.

Sounds a lot like today’s world, but this was written around 64 A.D. by the Apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. He was writing to young missionary named Timothy who was Paul’s protege. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Paul ended this passage with, “Have nothing to do with them.”

If you’re feeling depressed, the last thing you need is to be hanging around negative people.

If you’re trying to change your ways and become a better person, find like-minded people who will encourage you. People who were where you are and managed to change their lives for the better. They may not be prosperous and living in the lap of luxury, but you’ll see that they are content with who they are and how they live.

Paul also wrote in his letter to the people of the church of Philippi who were concerned about Paul’s welfare while he was in jail,

“I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him [Jesus] who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:10-13)

You, too can be content simply by inviting Jesus into your life, striving to be like Him and hanging out with other Christians.

Become a friend of Jesus. 

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter

Keep the peace within you

Keep the peace within you
This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series WWJD?

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Peace. It’s something that’s hard to find in our lives these days. You turn on the TV or the radio and all you hear is bad news. From the Dow falling again to trouble in the Middle East to the murder across town.


I was watching Joyce Meyer and she said something that made a lot of sense (she does that often): if what your watching or listening to starts robbing you of your peace – SHUT IT OFF!

Simple, huh? It’s not that easy. We are glued to the drama of whatever is happening. Be it the news, a TV show or a movie.

Since I became a committed Christian 5 years ago, I started to realize that a lot of the stuff I watched on TV I found offensive. I watched “Sex and the City” episodes, sometimes 2 or 3x. Now, I can’t watch it anymore. That lifestyle that I once lived was wrong and it got me nowhere.

Now, I check the rating on movies. If it rated “R” I check to see why it got that rating. Call me a prude, but I’m following God’s will. His will for His children is to refrain from sexual immorality. And that means watching it on TV or the movies. Not just sexual content and language, but violence and foul language. (Why actors have to say the “f” word every other sentence is beyond me. It doesn’t make the movie more dramatic, just cheapens it.)

Here’s how I see this — If start watching something think: “would Jesus watch this?” If the answer is probably not.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

A peace that transcends all understanding. A peace that only a relationship with Jesus can bring.

It’s easy to get that peace. Click here to get started. 

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter

Choose to Surrender

Choose to Surrender
This entry is part 11 of 21 in the series Christianity

This is from Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions (Faith Words) by Joyce Meyer

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.~Romans 8:29

According to this verse, on of God’s goals in our lives is to make us become like Jesus. He wants us to continue to become more like Jesus in our thoughts, in our words, in the way we treat other people, in our personal lives, and in our actions. Becoming like Jesus does not happen overnight; it’s a process we have to choose to embrace.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.~Romans 12:1

This means we have to make a deliberate decision to give ourselves to God. God gave us free will, and the only way we will ever belong to Him completely is to give ourselves freely to Him. He will guide us, and prompt us but He will always leave the decision to surrender up to us.

God created human beings, not robots, and He will not try to program us to behave a certain way because He gave us the freedom to make our own choices–and H wants us to choose Him. He wants us to willingly put our lives before Him every day and say, “God, Your will be done, not mine.” That short, simple prayer is extremely powerful when we really mean it, and it represents the kind of full surrender God requires. If God has been speaking to you or dealing with you about anything, I encourage you not to put off surrendering it any longer. Choose to obey His voice and surrender today. Ask Him to be your Strength and remember that through Him you can do all things.

Adapted From:
Great Blessings to You,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Check out her new novel, Deo Volente!
Soli Deo Gloria!

The Last Supper – A walk through Holy Week part 8

The Last Supper – A walk through Holy Week part 8
This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series A Walk Through Holy Week

“Do this in remembrance of me.” Matthew 26:17-46

Every time a believer takes communion, they honor Jesus and the sacrifice He made for humankind. 

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.” ~Mark 14:22-25

Jesus is the bread of life!

Jesus is the bread of life!

Jesus became the Sacrificial Lamb. In stead of having to ask for forgiveness by sacrificing a lamb each time, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. 

But the disciples still didn’t understand and Jesus told them that they would all “fall away.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” ~Matthew 26:33-34

What? Another betrayal? First Judas, then Peter? Peter, to whom Jesus said that he’d build the church upon his “rock.” Not Peter.

After dinner, Jesus went with the disciples to the Mount of Olives and at the Garden of Gethsemane where He told his disciples to wait for Him while He went to pray by himself. 

Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him. He also knew that it was His destiny and it was going to be painful.

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me,” Jesus prayed.

But then He said, “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus said this twice.

God’s will be done. Not my will, but God’s will. That is what every God-fearing, God-respecting believer needs to understand. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

How can you know what God’s will is for your life? Pray. Talk to God. Then Listen for His answer.

WWJD? The Revival on Facebook
Twitter: @wwjdrevival

Check out these other great blogs:

Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century by Giselle AguiarIf you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Christian, Award-Winning Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Shut up and listen!

Shut up and listen!
This entry is part 5 of 21 in the series Christianity
Be still, and know that I am God…~Psalm 46:10

Jesus often left His disciples and the crowds to be in solitude, in prayer with The Father. Often we pray and we do all the talking. We need to shut up and listen for God’s message to us.

In Jesus’ day, it was easy to get away and be quiet. In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with distractions – cell phones, TV, radio, traffic, kids, our inner to do lists, stress. Even when we try be silent and focus on God, our minds wander – did I shut off the coffee maker? I have to call my_____ (you fill in the blank); I forgot to do________…. the distractions inside and outside of our bodies are constant and we can’t hit the snooze button and shut them off.

How do we know what God’s will is for us? We need to be quiet and listen.

I enjoy hiking. It allows me to get away from the world and get closer to God in nature.

You have to find your own quiet time in a quiet place and be still and listen for God to speak to you.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd
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