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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, 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

Monday, November 14, 2016

"The Reality of God"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #67 – “The Reality of God”

               Last week we listed three things we must keep in mind and heart as we do our best to serve our living God.  The first one mentioned was; you must be convinced of the reality of God.  That may seem strange to consider the reality of God.  It would seem that we would already have that resolved in our hearts and minds, if, we have believed in Jesus Christ.  It was settled in the mind of Elijah and later the people of Israel as they witnessed God consuming all that was on and around the alter built for the sacrifice. (1 Kings 18:36-39)  It is settled in my mind.  I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God and it is the inerrant, infallible and authoritative revelation from God to men.  It is the only guide to matters of faith and practice and that Jesus is the virgin-born Son of God; the second person of the trinity.  Jesus became incarnated in the flesh and later died on the cross for the sins of the world. 

I was absolutely shocked to read in an article recently stating that professors, students, and graduates in most American theological institutions claim that there are few things, if any at all, that we can be certain about, we cannot even be certain with facts presented to us regarding anything.  They claim that there is only one thing we can be certain of and that is that there is nothing certain.  They apparently are even questioning the existence of God.  It went on to say that they no longer study the Bible but study what others say about the Bible.  I find that very alarming and if true, why are there theological institutions at all.  What is happening to the teaching of sound doctrine?  Those people who have this mind-set cannot possibly serve God if they question His existence.  This is another sign, in my opinion, that the end of the church age is getting very close.

Jesus spoke with certainty regarding the Father in Heaven, Himself, and those who chose to believe in the Son; “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:40)  There did not seem to be any doubt in the mind of Jesus regarding the existence of God.  Of course, those doubters who do not even accept facts, would not believe and would not accept proof that Jesus really said those things.  What does God say about those who say there is no God; “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ they are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; there is no one who does good.” (Psa. 53:1)  He also says, “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind” (Prov. 19:2)

For us to properly serve God, we must be like Elijah and believe in the reality of God as is evident from his prayer, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” (1 Kings 18:37)  God answered that prayer so the people of Israel would also know of the reality of God.

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

Lowell Parrish

Friday, November 11, 2016

"Elijah (Part 4 )"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #66 – “Elijah (Part 4)”

Ahab raced his horse drawn chariot down the mountain.  When he reached Jezreel, he told Jezebel, his wicked wife, that Elijah had killed all of the prophets.  “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, ‘so may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.’ And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and come to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.” (1 kings 19:2, 3)  This is one of the great things about God’s Word, the Holy Bible, it not only tells of the great acts of the people of the Bible but it also tells us of their failures.  Elijah’s response to Jezebel’s threat was to be scared and run and hide from her.  Most would probably have done the same but, after what God had just accomplished through him, then being scared and running from a woman just does not seem to make sense.  But, don’t we do the same things?  We ask God in our prayers to do something or help us to do something.  When He does, we can’t believe it.  The next time we need something, we do not even lift it up to Him in prayer, and we just try to do it in our own strength.  We, indeed, are strange creatures!

Now that Elijah was out of the reach of Jezebel, he was in such depression that he wanted God to take his life, there was nothing more for him.  The Bible assures us, “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)  That means that we have been given all of the spiritual enrichment that is needed to accomplish the things for God.  We have all that is needed to serve Him, we just need to appropriate it in the same way that Elijah did.  Of course, we will from time to time falter, as Elijah did, but we must remember that the Jezebel’s of this world are nothing but a speed bump in our service to God.  It is never easy or comfortable to take a stand for God and when we do there will be testing. 

While we are earnestly trying to follow and serve our living God, there are at least these three things we must keep in our hearts and minds constantly:

1.      You must be convinced of the reality of God.

2.      You must know that you are God’s representative.

3.      You must be convinced of the resources available to you.

Without a person knowing completely, those three things, I do not believe he or she can successfully serve God.  It is not easy to serve God.  In Elijah’s case, there were 7000 followers of God hidden in caves and only Elijah took a bold stand for God.  Elijah knew the three steps listed above, otherwise he, too, probably would have failed in carrying out God’s plan to bring His people back to Him.  He was convinced of the reality of God when he said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand,” (1 King 17:1) there was no doubt in the mind of Elijah that God is real.

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

Lowell Parrish

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Elijah (Part 3)"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #65 – “Elijah (Part 3)”

               Last week, we left Elijah praying to God to consume what was on the alter.  “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.  When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God, the Lord, He is God.” (1 Kings 18:38, 39)   God’s purpose in all of this was to bring His people back from worshipping false gods.  It was not to make a hero out of Elijah.  It was not His plan to punish Ahab.  The three years without rain and the demonstration between Elijah’s God and the gods of the prophets of Baal and the Asherah was to show to the people of Israel that Elijah’s God was real and the other gods were nowhere to be found.  The people saw and worshipped the real and living God.

King Ahab was told to go down the mountain because the heavy rains were coming so he got on his horse drawn chariot and raced down the mountain.   “Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he girded up his loins and outran Ahab to Jezreel.” (1 Kings 18:46)  I went to a liberal arts college and was required to take a course in religious studies.  I chose to take a class in the Old Testament.  When our professor taught us on this account of Elijah, he said that this had to be just an entertaining story because, everyone knows that no one could outrun a horse drawn chariot down a mountain path.  I wasn’t even attending church at the time but wondered how strange that the pastor of the local university church, and professor of religion could not see that God had His hand on Elijah and thus he surely could outrun a horse drawn chariot.  If we do not have faith to believe that this is possible, how could we have faith to believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins?  When God is in charge of any situation, all kinds of supernatural acts may occur.  It is by faith that the great men and women of the Bible did the things that they did and it is by faith that we believers must believe the acts that they carried out.  Without that faith, what can we possibly believe concerning the accounts of the Bible?  We cannot pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe.  We must see the Bible as being the literal, inerrant word of God where when the Word tells us that Elijah outran a horse drawn chariot, that is precisely what occurred.

Elijah had two things working for him as he was serving God.  One was God communicating with him and, he was communicating with God through his prayers.  We have the same tools when we are serving the living God.  We have His Word, the Bible, His communication to us and our prayers to talk with God.  When we are using the tools that God gives us to serve Him, we also have the hand of God on us and we also can do some things that otherwise we could never accomplish.

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

Lowell Parrish

Friday, November 4, 2016

"Elijah (Part 2)"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #64 – “Elijah (Part 2”)

               Last week we left Elijah in hiding after praying before King Ahab that it would not rain for 42 months.  Elijah went and hid himself where God had told him and he was provided for by the same one who provides for us, our God in heaven.  You know that it would not take long for things to get pretty desperate after no rain for a few months.  As you would expect, the brook dried up and King Ahab had everyone looking for Elijah.  However, God had other plans for Elijah and used him during this time to minister to a widow and her son where he performed miracles in the name of God.  Through God he assured the widow would not run out of provisions until the drought was ended.  He, also, brought her son back to life after he suddenly became ill and died.  When her son was returned to her alive, she said, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” (1 Kings 17:24b)  God always uses people to carry out His plan.  Today, I do not believe that God uses us with the kind of miracles that were used in those times.  However, He uses us in ways that are extra-ordinary or supernatural for us to show His greatness.  His use of us is not to bring honor and glory to us but to Him.  All through the ages, God has shown his attributes through the acts of people like Abraham, Noah, Moses, and many others like them.  He did this to show who God really is to the rest of the world who does not acknowledge Him as the one and only true and living God.  He still uses people with a nature like Elijah to show Himself through us.

God would not have him go to Ahab until three and a half years had passed and the time of drought had done what God wanted.  When the time was ready, He told Elijah, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.” (1Kings 18:1b)  The drought was very severe and Ahab sent Obadiah to search for water and green grass for the animals.  While searching, he met up with Elijah and told Obadiah to go to his master and set a meeting between them.   

 “When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, ‘Is this you, you troubler of Israel?’  He said, ‘I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals’” (1Kings 18:17,18) Elijah then asked for Ahab to call together 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah who ate at the table of Ahab’s wife Jezebel.  Elijah then challenged the false prophets to bring fire from heaven to devour their sacrifice.  They were obviously unable to accomplish the task showing that their gods were false gods.  Elijah then called together all of the people to come close as he built the alter and placed his sacrifice there and prayed, ”O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word.  Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their heart back again.” (1 Kings 18:36b, 37)  God is ready to show the people who their God really is.

You, too, can have victory in Jesus!  More of Elijah next article.

Lowell Parrish

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"Strenght & Weakness"

Victory Can Be Yours!

Article #63 – “Strength & Weakness”

               In reading and studying the Scriptures, we learn of many special personalities.  One of my favorites is Elijah.  Probably the reason he is one of my favorites is because in the book of James, Elijah is described as having a nature like ours.  Elijah was a man with great spiritual strength and also a man with human frailties like us.  God reveals to us in 1 Kings 17-19 what a great man of God he was and yet how frail he could be.

               Most of the great heroes of the Bible were the same.        Abraham lied about his wife Sarah and warred against kings to protect his family and possessions and, was chosen by God to establish a new nation.  Abraham showed his humanity and his weakness and as he grew in faith obeyed God when tested by Him.  David committed adultery and murder, and yet grew to be known as a man after God’s own heart.  The Apostle Paul was probably the world’s greatest evangelist and yet he states, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” (Rom. 7:24, 25)  Every person from time to time has struggled with the old sin nature.  As our faith grows our struggles become fewer as is found to be true in each mentioned above.

               “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.” (James 5:17)  After God told Elijah to go to King Ahab and pray that it would not rain for three and a half year, God told him to go and hide.  Elijah had a nature like you but, can you imagine the courage it would take to approach the king and do as God had instructed him?  This king Ahab ruled in Israel for 22 years and, “Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.” (1 Kings 16:30)  This would make any human being tremble to think of approaching an evil king, especially one married to Jezebel who was possibly more evil than her husband.  More than likely, most of us would respond to God like Jonah when asked to go to the Ninevites to warn them of coming judgment.  Jonah ran from God rather than obey him as Elijah did.  You see, Jonah also was a man with a nature like ours.  We, too, can lack the courage to do as instructed by God through His Word.

               It is not easy to be a Christian and follow God’s instructions.  In fact, most of us fail most of the time.  As much as we want to do the right things for God, we often fall short.  Just as Paul described himself in Chapter seven of Romans (Rom. 7:14-25), we have two natures, the old nature before believing in Jesus and the new nature following our new birth in Jesus.  My old mentor of several years ago told me that it is like having within you a black dog and a white dog.  They are continually battling within you but the one that wins the battle is the one you say “sic him” to.  It is a struggle that never ends, however, the more we grow in our faith, the fewer and less intense the struggles become.  You can look at all of the Godly men in the Bible to prove that is true.

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

Lowell Parrish