Showing posts from June, 2017

Faith Ahead of Revelation

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
          Faith begins a journey upon which God can win our hearts. By faith we give God the opportunity to reveal his amazing love to us so that a full surrender is possible.
          Faith moves ahead of revelation but surrender always follows it. Our journey with God starts by faith based upon who God claims to be. We must move ahead of actual experience and a personal knowledge of him, but stepping out in faith is exactly what allows God to help us taste and see that he is indeed good.
          An ever increasing degree of surrender on our behalf is the natural consequence of growing in our knowledge of God. Surrender can only happen as we discover God to be safe to surrender to.
          God instigated our redemption by what he  accomplished at the cross. God continues to take the initiative by gently knocking upon the door of our heart. By faith we can open that door and continuall…


“Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalms 100:3 NKJV
          Do not under-estimate the difficulty of surrendering your claim of sovereignty. Ultimately God is calling us to give ourselves into his care. He is calling us to surrender our pursuit of our own happiness and trust this to him.
          By definition, no created being is capable of sovereignty or self-governance. Redemption involves coming out of the delusion of self-sufficiency. Peace, joy, and rest are found exclusively in the context of trust inspired surrender to the giver and sustainer of life. 
          Almost from birth fallen humanity manifests the "I can do it myself!" delusion. But truth be told, you can't, and neither can I. Thankfully we don't have to. There is no need to independently scrape out a meager existence when the bounties of heaven have already been purchased for us.
          When the controv…

Unconditional Surrender

“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”   Proverbs 23:26 ESV
Many of us have never come face to face with the roots of rebellion within us that seek to turn us from unconditional surrender.
While most of us can acknowledge that we struggle with sin, many fail to connect the dots between our broken trust in God and our spiritual bondage.
Surrender, trust, and unquestioning obedience are foreign to us in our natural condition. God fully understands this. He is patiently working to win your trust and reinstate you to the eternal joys of heaven. 
Ask God this morning where in your life he is calling you to trust him more, do not assume everything is ok, ask, then wait and listen. Take seriously that which he brings to mind by crying out for help to do what it is impossible to accomplish in your own strength. 
It only gets better from here, every step following faith founded surrender is down hill. The mountains we climb are one's of emotional fear and pain this sid…

Trusting Amidst Unanswered ?'s

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”Proverbs 3:5 ESV
George Washington Carver prayed that God would reveal to him the secrets of the universe. He told his friends that God replied, "Little man, you're too small to grasp the secrets of the universe. But I will show you the secret of the peanut."
There is profound wisdom in accepting what God has chosen to reveal to us rather than demanding what he has not.
Demanding explanations from God for what we don't understand robs us of the infinite revelation we have before us of his love?
The apex of trust is to acknowledge that God alone knows what it is in our best interest to understand. To believe that God truly and only has our very best interests at heart and to allow him to lead us where he sees fit is no small surrender. Yet the happiness of all created beings is found in this unconditional surrender. This is the surrender which acknowledges that God alone is God, that he is …

Faith Matters More than Finance

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””Matthew 19:26 NIV
          The only power on earth capable of resisting God is our own will. There is only one point of access God has to our lives and that is through the exercise of our will to believe, this is the essence of faith. When we are exercising our faith, we are giving God permission to work. 
          God is always longing to do the miraculous in our midst. Our faith unleashes God's power in our own lives and in the world around us.           God is not limited by our means, but rather by our lack of faith. It is easy to feel like God's work rests solely upon our shoulders, but this is not the case. In our cooperation with God in sharing the gospel he has always and will always do the heavy lifting. 
          Do we believe God has called us to establish a permanent base of ministry in Buford? The evidence, based upon rapidly opening doors, strongly suggests God is…

God's Mysterious Work

“...The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.””1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
          Some of God's ways are exceedingly difficult for us to understand. God operates in the realm of the unseen working first and foremost upon the hearts of men. Our Heavenly Father's aim has always been to win hearts through an honest manifestation of his love. 
          The work of the Holy Spirit toward this end is mysterious and difficult to track in a linear way. Sometimes what we perceive as a personal set back in our journey may actually be serving God's purposes for our eternal good. External failures often open the door for internal victories. 
          The freewill surrender of the human heart is an incredibly complicated process. All of God's love, power, and wisdom are fully stretched toward this end yet his combined powers are never coercive and refuse to force a single human will. When we open the door of…

Our Brokenness Arouses God's Greatness

“And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: "Jacob shall no more be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale. For when he sees his children, the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name; they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur will accept instruction."”Isaiah 29:13-14, 22-24 ESV

          We serve a peculiar God. He takes the brokenness and blindness of man as a challenge. God's promise to restore…

Satisfaction in our Savior

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”John 5:39-40 ESV
Why are we here, what is the essence of life, and where do we come from? The way we answer these questions impacts every aspect of our lives. If we believe God is the source of life and goodness then we will turn to him for help. When we choose by faith to acknowledge God as he declares himself then we will depend on him, trust him, and rest in his care.
When we lose sight of the Creator, Sustainer, and Source of life then we are destined to run after things which can never satisfy. We are all seeking life, but every pursuit we throw ourselves into except for the pursuit of God is destined to disappoint us. As we learn to allow God to become our one consuming passion, the life, love, joy, and peace of the Father will freely pour into our experience.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

Life's One Source

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;”John 11:25 NIV
          Trust is the golden chord which binds us to heaven. It was through mistrust that humanity's life-line was severed. Though Adam and Eve lived for a time after they ate the forbidden fruit, this was only because the divine substitute granted them another chance to trust and live. 
          The enemy of our soul works to convince us all that life and satisfaction exist apart from God. The reality is that all who continue in the path of mistrust toward God will die even if for a time they appear to live. The promise of God is much greater for through trust in our Heavenly Father we encounter a life so rich and full that death cannot rob us if it. May none of us be found guilty of refusing the offer of life through a trusting connection to the very source of it.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

God is Life

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”John 17:3 NIV
         Modern man is always looking for ways to cheat death. Efforts to slow the aging process are part of a multi-billion dollar industry. It is ironic that humanity so desperately strives after something which was once freely bestowed upon us. What is eternal life and how do we obtain it? From our first parents until today there has been a lack of clarity upon this point.
          Scripture reveals that God is more than simply the author of human life, but the creator and sustainer of everything in existence. The serpent suggested this was not truly the case when he promised Eve that she would not die if she ate of the fruit. 
          When we understand the nature of life we realize that God's law of love is literally the only path to eternal existence. The above passage that describes life as an intimate connection to and a knowledge of God is not using poetic…

More Than a Quick Peak

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”Psalm 119:18 NIV
          God desires to continually be giving us fresh revelations of his goodness. We have an unprecedented opportunity each day to prayerfully look into God's Word, asking for insight into his great love. When from dry obligation we take a quick peek here and there into scripture we rarely catch a worthy glimpse. 
          By faith in God's promise to reveal himself, let us persevere in meditating on God's word until the scales fall from our eyes. When we start our day with a clear view of our Savior everything else comes into focus as well.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

A Second Touch

“So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.”Mark 8:23-25
          The second touch healing of the blind man is one of Jesus' most peculiar miracles. Not only does he spit on a man's eyes, but complete restoration of his sight comes in two stages. Context is everything in this passage. Moments before this healing Jesus is dealing with the spiritual blindness of his own disciples. In the healing of this man Jesus was revealing their need of deeper spiritual discernment regarding who Jesus was and what it was he had come to accomplish.
The disciples were not completely blind in their estimation of their master, but their spiritual vision was faint at best. Jesus was still largely a means to an end. This…

Love leaves no room for Fear

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”I John 4:18 
          If God is by his own definition the incarnation of love, then fear must not figure into his character on any level. Torment is indeed a fearful word, and a word that most of us have some degree of personal experience with. Yet if torment is part of fear and fear has no association with our God of love then clearly it is not God's will for any of us to be tormented. If this is true, then how do we make sense of God's call for us to be willing to endure suffering for his names sake?
          Suffering for Christ and the torment of fear may both involve pain, but one of them maintains hope amidst difficulty. When we suffer for the Almighty who suffered for us their is pleasure in the privilege to shine for the one who sacrificed himself on our behalf. But the joy of sharing in Christ's suffering goes beyond an exp…

Our Beloved Still Sings

“And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.””Revelation 19:6-7 NKJV
          Our engagement may have been delayed for a time, but our beloved has not failed sending us tokens of his affection as his return approaches. It's not too late to tune into the melody our king has been singing over us all this time. The tune grows stronger and more distinct as he approaches. Can you hear it yet?
Still Seeks by His Face,Pastor Andrew

Real Sabbath Rest

“Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”Ezekiel 20:12 ESV
Will we enter into the rest God offers us today? Will we allow Sabbath to be more to us than a day to get dressed up on? Only when we rejoice in the redemption Jesus' love purchased for us on Calvary and rest from our efforts at earning God's favor do we actually experience Sabbath. Justification by faith is the seal of God and Sabbath personifies this reality. Likewise salvation by works is the mark of the beast and as the end approaches coercive Sunday observance with come to personify this. 
The period directly preceding Christ's return will be more a time of revelation than decision. The wheat and tares will be separated when the hidden thoughts of the heart are manifested through the public stand each takes in obedience to or rebellion against God as manifested by the day they choose to honor. Earth's final crisis will eff…

The unspeakable Refusal

“Who shall not fear, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy righteous acts have been made manifest.”Revelation 15:4 
What is worship and why do we do it? Worship is the action of placing our focus and admiration in a particular direction. The act of worship is inescapable, we all worship something. Life depends upon placing our attention and affection upon that which is worthy. The entire Great Controversy hinges upon the question of who is worthy of worship. How each of us decide this question determines whether or not we receive the protective seal of God or the mark of the beast.
The first Angel of revelation 14 declares that God alone is worthy of worship. The enemy of our souls argues that God is no more worthy of worship than the rest of us. Who is right, and what determines one's worthiness to receive worship? Throughout Revelation the declaration is made that God alone is worthy to receive glory a…

What will be Earth's Final Appeal

“Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;”Revelation 18:4 ESV
What is present truth? What is it that God most desires to reveal to men and women today? In Christ's day the message came in the form, "repent and be baptized for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." During the reformation the cry resounded, "the just shall live by faith." Early adventists rallied around the call, "the bridegroom cometh go ye out to meet him." In the last days of earth's history all of these messages come to bear, but what will be the rallying cry for the righteous living just before Christ returns? Perhaps the words, "come out of her my people," best articulates the message most relevant to our day. 
Dear Father, ignite a passion for your glory within us. Bring us into the light of the truth you would have us focus on for our day. You have established us for su…

All Three Angels Bear A Practical Message

"...worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water."”Revelation 14:7 ESV

Sometimes it is difficult to see beyond our immediate struggle. Some may be wondering what difference do the messages of the three angel's make for those who are so bound by addiction and habitual sin that just surviving seems all-consuming? While it may be difficult to step back from one's own struggle, the messages of the three angels are calculated to break the chains of addiction and sin. 
The first angel declares the secret to victory, worship. The bondage of sin is the natural consequence of false worship. When we exercise our gift of faith and choose to give thanks and praise to the one who created us the darkness begins to break. The first angel declares the one worthy of our worship. The second angel declares that the power of darkness has been broken and we need not be controlled by it any longer. Finally the third angel reminds us of the fate of all who reject m…

Understand the Third Angel

“saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads."Revelation 7:3 NIV
God's intention is always protection and preservation. The One who is not willing that any should perish works tirelessly to secure eternity for all who are willing to receive it. Before we enter into a consideration of the mark of the beast and the demise of those who receive it, let us remember that God's first order of business was not the destruction of evil. Several chapters before we encounter anyone receiving the beast's mark, Revelation describes a God working to place salvation's seal upon as many as possible. 
As we consider the 3rd angel's message as recorded in Revelation 14:9-12, let us pray for insight to understand both God's purpose and his heart. This angel's message is the most specific of the three and typically the most misunderstood. God is eager to grant us clarity and insight into his wor…

The Privilege that Awaits

“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." Matthew 28:17-19 NIV
          What will it look like when we are all in? When our hearts beat in unison with the heart of God? What will it be like when we catch a vision for what God is capable of accomplishing through us?          We have been given all authority to accomplish mercy's purposes. Nothing compares to walking the path our Heavenly Father has set before us. It is impossible to fathom what God has in store for those who will lay it all on the line now. 
          We are numb to the privilege that God desires to bestow on us. There is absolutely no greater honor any generation has ever been offered than to reap earth's final harvest. The joy of watching redemption's power break chains on a scale never before witnessed can be ours if we will but believe it. T…

Complacency Broken

“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”1 Thessalonians 5:6 NIV
          God is capable of breaking the power of complacency which we feel so strongly. God knows how to win our hearts and purify our focus. He is more than willing to help our earthly dreams fade in the light and adventure of our high calling. If we will take by faith the daily baby steps he places before us, he will do in our midst far above all we can ask or imagine.
Still Seeking His Face,Pastor Andrew

God is Ready, are You?

“Another angel, a second, followed, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality."”Revelation 14:8 ESV
What is the message of the Second Angel of Revelation 14:8? What is Babylon and what does it mean that it has fallen? What does it mean for the people of God to come out of her? The answers to these questions lie at the very heart of redemption's purposes. The heritage of the Adventist church, the very nature of its existence is inseparably tied to the message of this Angel. If we would but embrace it, life as we know it would take on infinitely more meaning. Because we have failed to grasp the significance of this message we have wandered as a church accomplishing little worthy of our calling. 
Babylon as we have established represents the pride of man distorting and maligning the character of God. The Bible's longest time prophecy revealed in Daniel chapters 7-9 points to a time when th…