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I have been an Elder at the Community Bible Church in Minneapolis Kansas. For 35+ years.  During that time I have been writing these thought...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #78 – “Persecution”

               There is trouble in River City and it starts with P but it does not stand for Pool, it stands for Persecution.  Persecution is not a new concept, it began back in the Old Testament against the Israelites and continued through the New Testament.  “Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death.  And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1)   That was regarding the persecution and stoning death of Stephen.  It continues against the Jewish people around the world yet today.  For many years there has been persecution against Christians in China, the Middle Eastern countries, many other countries around the world, and now in America.  We should not be surprised by this as Jesus spoke of it, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:18, 19)

               Persecution takes on many faces.  Kelly Shackleford, founder of Liberty Institute, states; “I have been doing these types of cases for almost 25 years now.  I have never seen the levels of attacks like these and how quickly they are now proliferating.  There are children being prohibited from writing Merry Christmas to the soldiers, senior citizens being banned from praying over their meals in the Senior Center, the VA banning the mention of God in military funerals, numerous attempts to have veterans memorials torn down if they have any religious symbols such as a cross, and I go on and on.”  Government is taking God out of the public square, out of public schools, universities, and even out of our military.  It continues and will not stop but only increase in frequency and intensity.  John writes, “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13)  The world, is under the dominion of Satan.  Everyone is born into the world and is under the control or dominion of Satan beginning at birth.  We are born separated from God and are subject to Satan, the Prince of this world.  Jesus came to this world to save us from this dominion of sin.  When Jesus spoke to Saul, who becomes the Apostle Paul, on the Damascus road, He was making Paul a minister to the Gentiles and said this to him; “rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to who I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:17, 18)

               Those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ have been rescued by Jesus from the dominion of Satan and placed into the dominion of God.  We are still in this world but not of this world.  Because we are no longer of the world, we are hated by the world and will suffer persecution, if, we are ‘standing firm’ in the Lord and His Word.  Prepare yourself and STAND FIRM.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Being Tested"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #77 – “Being Tested”

               Remember the song in the “Music Man” by Meredith Wilson with Robert Preston.  We have trouble, yes, we have trouble right here in River City.  Yes, we have trouble but it is not ‘pool’ as in the song.  Christianity in this country is being challenged.  We have seen fireworks over the county clerk in Kentucky who has stood firm in her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.   Severe criticism from many that surprise you that they take such a strong position against her actions.  You can take it to the bank that this situation is only the beginning of what will become a national crises.  Next they will be testing the churches.  They, the LGBT movement, will pick and choose who and where they will strike again.  Do you notice that they test those whom they know for absolute certain that they will refuse services?  That county clerk did not stand in their way of receiving a marriage license.  She just kept them from getting one through her.  Any number of other counties, probably all counties, would have issued licenses without hesitation. 

They have already tested some in the private sector even before the Supreme Court decision.  They have taken to court the bakery business that would not bake their wedding cake and the florist that refused to make their floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding.  Those wanting these services for the wedding ceremony could have gone down the street and found any number of businesses that would have been more than happy to accommodate their wishes.  But, instead, they wanted to promote their lifestyle through the courts.  You can place your bets now that the next thing we hear about is same-sex couples testing the churches.  You know for sure that they will not test the majority of churches because the majority of churches will not only do it but heartily approve of it.  Many churches have sanctioned same-sex marriage and even have homosexuals in their pulpits and leadership positions within their church.  No, instead, they will be testing churches that adhere to the Bible teaching that homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Lev.18:22) and, that marriage is ordained by God as being between one man and one woman. “And He answered and said, Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,’ and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’” (Matt. 19:4-6)

If you are a person who believes in Jesus Christ for who and what He is, then we have an obligation to honor God and His Word.  He and His Word are the only absolutes that exists in this world and we must look to it for our direction in this life.  And, this life is our training ground, our boot camp, our place of preparation for our eternal destiny which is to be with Him.  Therefore, we must learn what He desires of us through His word, the Bible, and then ‘stand firm’.  Please remember, this does not make us homophobic, it just makes us apposed to their lifestyle because it is not an alternate lifestyle; it is a sin against God.  

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin"

Victory Can Be Yours!
Article #76 – “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”
               Last week’s article mentioned the county clerk from Kentucky being incarcerated for taking a stand and refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.  She stated that it violated her Christian belief and in good conscience could not issue the license or allow one of her deputies to issue one.  Why was that a problem for her and why should it be a problem for all Christians?  Let us look at what God says about marriage.
               In the first chapter of the first book of the Bible it states, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it;’.” (Gen. 1:27, 28a) “The man gave names to all of the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.’  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:20-24)  You can easily see that from the beginning, God’s design was to be marriage between one man and one woman.  The two of them were to be fruitful and multiply. 
               This is so important that Jesus repeated it in Matthew 19:4-6 where He added to the Genesis passage by saying, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matt. 19:6) God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman and it was to last until they were divided by death.  The words joined together is like being glued or welded together.  If you take two pieces of pine wood and glue it together then try to pry them apart, they will splinter apart but will not separate at the place they were bonded together.  The same is true with a properly welding of two pieces of metal.  You can bend or twist or pull the welded metal pieces apart but they will not break at the point where they were joined.  The same was intended for the man and woman who were joined together in matrimony.  They were not to be separated one from the other, they were now one body.
               This was God’s institution of marriage.  It was between one man and one woman, not man to man or woman to woman.  For one thing, the union between same-sex individuals cannot become one and cannot be fruitful and multiply.  It is not physically possible.  Not only that but God calls homosexuality un-natural and an abomination.  “For their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Rom. 1:26, 27) And, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Lev. 18:22)  It is easy to see why every Christian should be opposed to assisting the marriage of a same-sex couple.  We can love them but should not support their sin against God.  Don’t question the clerk and her actions, question God, it is His perfect design.
               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.
Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Stand Firm!"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #75 – “Stand Firm!”

               The past three articles have been dealing with two terrible decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court that cast aside what God has ordained from the beginning of mankind.  While this is a sad commentary to Christians, it should not be a surprise to us.  It is part of an ongoing struggle between the forces of good and evil.  We should not be surprised when things get tough as we take a stand for the principles of God.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Eph. 6:12, 13)

               We Christians are to stand firm, as stated in the passage above.  We are to obey governmental authority to the point where it violates the principles of God.  We, those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ, must be able to recognize the difference.  We are responsible to find what those principles are so that we can “stand firm” in them.  When the Israelites fled from the captivity of the Egyptians, people had no standards by which to measure right from wrong.  So, God gave them the Ten Commandments to live by.  Those Ten Commandments that God gave to the Israelites through Moses on tablets of stone were divided into two parts.  The first four commandments were to inform man how they should conduct themselves toward their creator, the last six commandments were to inform man how to live with one another.  Now we have the complete word of God, which includes those original commandments, to guide our behavior toward God and each other.  It is our responsibility to learn from God’s word, the Bible, how He intends for us to behave.   Only then can we formulate a Biblical worldview.


               It has not been very long ago we were hearing in the news about the County Clerk in Kentucky refusing to issue marriage licenses for the purpose of same-sex marriage.  She was taking a bold position as she took a “stand firm” approach against the “world forces” as she stated her position that, God’s law was higher than man’s law and she could not issue marriage licenses on the grounds that it violates her Christian principles.  She was boldly following the standards that God has given us all in spite of the U.S. Supreme Court trying to re-define what God has ordain regarding marriage and family.  What was going on was persecution as she took a stand for God and His principles.  This could have become very ugly for her and for others that take the same position on this issue.  It could take the form of job loss, financial loss, and possibly even incarceration. 

The thought of persecution should not come as a shock to Christians.  Christians have been persecuted from the beginning of the church following when Jesus was crucified.  The Bible states; “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12)  Therefore, if we are living godly in Christ Jesus, we can be assure that we will face persecution at some time and in some form.  Stand firm!

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, December 5, 2016

"More Immorality"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #74 – “More Immorality”

               In the past two articles, we have looked at what has been called the two greatest acts of terror in America by the U. S. Supreme Court.  The first was the legalization of abortion, the second is the legalization of same-sex marriage.  The first caused the destruction in the womb of more than 58 million babies while the second was the destruction of the family.  While this all sounds a lot like politics, it is not.  It is part of a spiritual battle; “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12)  We will look to Scripture to see what God has to say about it.

               This sin is nothing new as is illustrated in the Biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah in chapter 19 of Genesis.  That may be the first time it is referred to in the Bible but is not the last.  At the beginning of creation, with Adam and Eve, God instituted marriage and it was between one man and one woman, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24)  It is clear that God has banned same-sex marriage but, that did not stop the Supreme Court and other courts in the land from trying to redefine morality by legalizing this sin.

               We have had an opportunity to hear or read what the Court had to say about the issue following their ruling, now let us look at a few words that God has to say on the subject.  “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Lev. 18:22)  “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.” (Lev. 20:13)  Some would say that the Old Testament is no longer valid but, let us hear from the New Testament.  “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” (Rom. 1:26-28)  God obviously does not agree with the actions taken by five of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

               “No human court has the authority to redefine morality.  But this human court has said murder is not murder; and marriage is not marriage; and family is not family.  They have usurped the authority that belongs only to God, who is the creator of life, marriage, and family.  Any and all attempts to define morality differently than God has is a form of rebellion and blasphemy—blasphemy against God, against His holy nature, and His holy law, and His holy people.” (Quote from, Grace To You)  With God’s clear instructions, as illustrated by the above verses, the Christian community should “stand firm” against this ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court.  God’s law is higher than any ruling by the SCOTUS.  Stand Firm!!!!!

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish    

Friday, December 2, 2016

"58 Million Murdered"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #73 – “58 Million Murdered”

               We concluded last week regarding two great attacks on this, the greatest country in the world.  The first of those was the legalization of abortion causing the death of more than 58 million babies.  God has so much to say about his creation of every person.  “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” (Psa. 127:3)  “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” (Psa. 139:13)  “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.” (Ecc. 11:5)  There are many more quotes of the same things in the Bible showing us that God has a part in the development of every human.  What is being aborted in the name of “a woman’s right to choose”, is not a fetus but a real baby.

               Numerous philosophers and scientists have shown conclusively that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception.  As shown above, the Bible, which should be our first and final authority, supports the very same conclusion.  The Bible clearly condemns murder and provides for the protection of all human life, including the life of the unborn, as shown in the following passages: “If a man takes the life of any human being, he shall surely be put to death. (Lev. 24:17)  “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she give birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide.  But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Exodus 21:22-24) “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” (Gen. 9:6)  It is clear that God intends for life, both in and out of the womb, to be protected and someone to be held accountable for the injury or death of the unborn.  I know, many will say that these quotes are no longer valid for they are Old Testament quotes.  Nonsense, be assured, God does not change, He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and His word likewise does not contradict itself from old to new.

               In short, while the Bible does not mention abortion, using that terminology, it is clear by implication that abortion is murder, and, don’t forget that Psalm 139 tells us that God created, or formed, our inward parts, He knit us together in our mother’s womb and that all the days ordained for us were written in His book before even one of them came to be.  There is no one anywhere with the authority to change what God has ordained in this matter.  

               From a practical stand point, people wonder what is wrong with such things as; the economy, social security, employment, the need for foreign workers (illegal aliens), the need for greater immigration, and numerous other social problems we face.  It is no wonder to me with 58 million babies murdered over 40 some years.  These babies would have been teachers, preachers, lawyers, leaders of all kinds, and all being wage earners and tax payers for years to come.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to come on the other terrorist act by the court.

Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Terrorism 1"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #72 – “Terrorism 1”

               Many times in our Bible, the message is to “stand firm”.  This phrase occurs eight times in the New American Standard Bible and it means to stand firm in the Lord, His truth, and in your faith.  “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Eph. 6:13)  We are exhorted to stand firm for God and His principles in all that we do and say.  This will make our Biblical worldview unshakable. 

               I recently read a sermon from, Grace To You (GTY). I believe that it was delivered by John MacArthur.  I do not believe in his position on the Gospel but on this sermon topic, it was great.  The title was, “We Will Not Bow”.  Its focus was on some particular issues facing our country today.  In this article, I will be using some of the same thoughts as was contained in this sermon and want to give credit to GTY. 

               This country of ours, the greatest country the world has ever known, is the greatest because God has blessed her in so many ways.  Most people will not accept it but this country was founded on Christian principles by mostly Christian people and based on the Bible.  I am sure that all of the founding fathers were not born again believers although many were, the founding documents were all based on the Bible.  The text book in the early education in this country was the Bible.  Now, you cannot even have the Bible on School property for fear of offending someone.  We still claim to be a Christian nation but when we find in surveys that only 9% of the people are born again believers and only 19% of those have a Biblical worldview, it is obvious that this country has turned her back on God.  This country no longer honors God for the greatness with which He blessed her. 

               In many ways, it would appear that this country is coming apart at the seams.  Our national debt is out of sight and looks that there is no way to rein it in.  We have great divisions appearing between races, economics, problems with unemployment, immigration, and a constant fear of terrorism.  There have been many terrorist attacks since the bombing of the Twin Towers on 9/11.  However, there have been two of the greatest attacks, on this country, perpetrated by the United States Supreme Court.  The first attack by the U.S. Supreme Court was when they legalized abortion.  Since the ruling made by the Supreme Court in 1973, there have been more than 58 million babies aborted.  God is the creator of all life, including those 58 million babies.  “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” (Psa. 139:13-16)  Can you imagine what God thinks of this ruling by the Supreme Court?  God is the only one who can define morality.  Even the U.S. Supreme Court cannot legalize or redefine it.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow on terrorism perpetrated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Your World View?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #71 – “Your World View?”

               Recently, I come across an article or summary of a report by the Barna Group regarding a survey they had performed concerning the worldview of Christians.  We more than likely do not think about what our worldview is, however, everyone has a worldview whether they know it or not.  Our worldview is the lens through which we see the world around us.  What is your worldview?

               I had a professor of, Old Testament, who defined religion as being; whatever helps one to make sense of life.  That is more of a definition of worldview rather than religion.  Whatever makes up our worldview is television, what we read, those you associate with, movies, music, school, and other things that we constantly come in contact with.  These things all help to formulate our worldview.

               Our worldview or the worldview of a Christian should be developed by the Word of God, not by what the world constantly bombards us with.  A few years ago, we were exposed to those whose claim was that the only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.  That worldview would relieve a person of any moral responsibility.  Barna used for their survey that a Biblical worldview was defined as believing:

·        Absolute moral truth exists;

·        The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;

·        Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic;

·        A person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works;

·        Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and,

·        God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

A person with a Biblical worldview must believe these things and a few more, in my opinion, such as; the emanate return of Jesus Christ to collect the Church, the return of Jesus to set up His Kingdom, and the judgments.  Barna found that only 9% of all Americans have a Biblical worldview and, out of those who claim to be “born again believers” only 19% have a Biblical worldview.  Whoa!!!

If so few in our country do not have a biblical worldview, it is no wonder that we have such corruption in our government and business.  It is no wonder that we struggle and have over 50% divorce rate in our country and even greater 52% among Christians.  It is no wonder that we have legal abortion and have legalized same-sex marriages.  It is no wonder there are flaming racial struggles in our cities.  It is no wonder that we are confronted with euthanasia, legalizing drugs, legalizing gambling, and illegal immigration.  When we have 91% of Americans with a secular worldview, how could it be possible to have peace and tranquility in our country?

Paul writes to the Corinthians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)  The Bible also instructs us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:2)

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.  (statistics taken from Barna Group Survey results)

Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Victory Can Be Yours!


            One of our special holidays is Thanksgiving.  This is a great time for the gathering of family.  A time for everyone to enjoy eating all of the great food, turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, cranberry sauce, and more.  Then, the activities begin, the card games or monopoly, football games on TV, children laughing and playing.  Some are even able to do a little napping with all that is going on around them.  What a great time for all.

            What is missing from most of the gatherings on this holiday?  What is there to be thankful for?  There are so many things to be thankful for if we just step back and take a look around.  At the top of the list is being thankful that we have been reconciled to God.  We are now an adopted son or daughter of His.  “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as son by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!’” (Rom. 8:15) We were lost in our sins with hell as our destiny and God implemented His perfect and simple plan of salvation by sending His only begotten Son to willingly pay the price for our sin that we might be reconciled to Him.  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)  “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23)  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (2 Cor. 9:15) The indescribable gift, of course, is His Son Jesus Christ.  That is the greatest thing that we have to be thankful for but not the only thing.

            We should be thankful for all the promises He has made to us.  The John 3:16 verse tells us that He has not only saved us from hell but gives us eternal life.  He has promised to strengthen us, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4 13)  He provides for us, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19)  He promises His protection, “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thess. 3:3)  “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 8:37-39) There is a book, “Promises to Live By” by David Wilkerson, with 867 promises that God has made.

            There are many things to be thankful for, let’s make a list and share them with our family this special Thanksgiving Day.

            You, too, can have victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

"What Lies Ahead?"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #70 – “What Lies Ahead?”

               What a great feeling it is to have assurance of being destined for heaven.  We know from the gospel of John that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for those who believe.  “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am there you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)  How great it is to be able to know this lies ahead for me.

               When we, through faith, believe in Jesus Christ we are changed and have entered into the kingdom of God.  We are no longer under Satan’s rule, but under God’s authority.  We are in this world, but no longer of this world.  We were once controlled and under the dominion of Satan, because he is the ruler of this world.  However, when we believed, we became children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Phil 3:20, 21)  Therefore we can now have peace and joy knowing that we are in Christ and will be with Him eternal. We have already entered into His kingdom.  Eagerly we wait for the time Christ, our Savior, comes to collect the church and take us to the place He has prepared for us.  The apostle Paul explains how this will take place so that we may know. (1 Thes. 4:13-18)  Knowing this prepares us to face physical death, because life will go on for us, we will be with Him away from the torment of this world.  We can approach death with a victorious attitude.  The apostle Paul said of himself, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21)  Paul helps us to understand that there should be no fear in approaching death.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul states there is no comparison between what we experience now and the life to come.  “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Rom. 8:18)  We can have peace and joy looking forward to eternity in the glorious presence of our Lord and Savior.

               In this present time, we face all kinds of trials and hardships.  We can be pressured with our job, with finances, family problems, terrorism, and many other concerns of the day.  However, no matter what the circumstances, we can always have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Keep your eyes on the prize.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Resources Available"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #69 – “Resources Available”

               Three things have been pointed to for us to keep in our hearts and minds as we do our best to serve the living God.   The past two weeks we have covered the first, you must be convinced of the reality of God, and the second, you must know that you are His representative.  The third point to remember is that, you must be convinced of the resources available to you.  Where do these resources come from?

The resources available to us for serving God come from only one source and that is God.  Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”  (Eph. 1:3)  God has given us everything that is needed to minister on His behalf.  He has given us examples of how we should live through the life and teachings of His only Son Jesus Christ.  He has given us His Holy Bible to instruct us.  He has given us gifts for every occasion.  And, He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth.

               He has given us examples through Jesus in how He humbled Himself and gave Himself for us.  He has given us examples through all of the people of the Bible, such as; Abraham and his faith and obedience to God.  Through the lives and accounts of such people as Noah, who found favor in the eyes of God; through Daniel and his life, faith, and prayer-life.  He gave us examples through others, such as; Moses, Samuel, King David, Daniel, and many New Testament people such as the Apostles who all but one died horrible deaths for presenting and defending the gospel of Jesus Christ.

               God has given us the resource of His Word to guide and direct us and instruct us on how we should conduct ourselves.  The Bible is like an owner’s manual for your vehicle in that it instructs you on the different parts and pieces that it takes to make it run and what you must do to get the best possible performance with the least amount of trouble.  It tell you some things that you must do and some things that it would be best to do to cause your vehicle to have the most trouble free life so that you may enjoy that life to the fullest.  The Bible does the same thing.  It tells you how you got here and what it takes to make the most out of it and how to prepare for the best possible eternal destiny.  It is the owner’s manual for an abundant life filled with faith, hope, love, and joy now and forever more.

               God has given us gifts as described in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.  “Now there are a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (I Cor. 12:4-7) There is no shortage of resources from God to enhance our abilities to serve God by serving others.  That should be obvious to us from the example God has given us through Elijah.  This is such an interesting accounting of a man with a nature like ours who served God beyond human abilities simply because he allowed himself to be used by God.  God, also, reveals the weakness of Elijah but still took him to heaven in a flaming chariot (2 Kings 2:11) at the end of his ministry.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More next week.

Lowell Parrish

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

"God's Representative"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #68 – “God’s Representative”

               We have pointed to three things we must keep in our hearts and minds in order to serve the one and only true and living God.  The first was to be convinced of the reality of God and the second is; you must know that you are God’s representative.  We find clearly stated that we are representatives for Christ, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20)  To be an ambassador is to be a representative.  Therefore, we are representatives for God and Paul states, “for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Eph. 6:20)  Paul was used by God as His representative to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelieving world.  We should be representing God to others through our words and our actions.  People should be able to see Christ in us and by our behavior.  Elijah had a nature like yours and mine.  All Elijah did was make himself available for God’s use, God showed him what to do, and he did it.

               As we are trying to live the Christian life style, look around you, look for those who are constantly doing good deeds.  They have a special look about them in their countenance, in the energy level, and their demeanor.  Many will look at them and wonder what it is that they have that is so appealing.  It comes from loving God and loving one another.  Jesus spoke of this when He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34, 35)

               An ambassador for the United States or any other country will be easily recognized as being a representative of their country because they live and work in quarters that are marked by the flag of their country or by vehicles that are marked or labels at the work place or meeting places.  As we are representatives of Jesus Christ, we will probably not be identified by such clear markings but we should be known as His representatives by our lifestyle.  We are to be examples for others to see.   The Apostle Paul was possibly the world’s greatest evangelist and he said to the believers in Philippi, “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Phil. 3:17) 

               As representatives of Jesus Christ, we must do as Paul instructed Titus, “in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” (Tit. 3:7, 8) Wouldn’t it be a great thing for us to be able to say to those around us to follow our example?  I am quite sure that we can say that of some things in our lives but, as Paul has written, “in all things”, is what we, as representatives of God, should be trying to obtain.

               You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More to follow.

Lowell Parrish