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An Introduction to Angels

Job. 38:4-7

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. A few weeks ago I made some remarks concerning angels that sparked some questions about these amazing creatures. Angels play a significant part in the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ. They also play a very significant role in God’s ministry to people, and many of those accounts are recorded throughout Scripture. This is an appropriate time to study a little about angels so for the next couple weeks I want to share with you some Biblical truths about angels. Let’s begin with some:

  1. CHARACTERISTICS OF ANGELS. Angels are created. Read Neh. 9:6. Even though God does not give us volumes of information concerning the exact time and day He created the Angels, He does give us enough information to know there was a time He called them into being. B. Angels exercise moral judgment. Read 2 Peter 2:4. The Angels that are in heaven have never had a sinful thought, nor will they, because they are all morally pure, and will always choose to serve and worship God! C. Angels are Spirits. Read Heb. 1:13, 14. Because they are spirit beings without physical bodies, we cannot see them. However Scripture provides several instances when Angels took on bodily form to appear to people as God commanded them. The Angels that announced Christ’s birth, and the Angel that was at the open tomb are examples. Let’s consider:
  2. CLASSES OF ANGELS Scripture indicates there are at least 3 distinct classes, orders, or ranks of angels. There are: A. Cherubim – There is 1 cherub, and multitudes of cherubim. Read 3:24; Ps. 18:10; Ezek. 10:1-22. Though cherubim are never described in Scripture, one can learn from the tasks assigned to them that they are big and powerful beyond our imagination. Gen. 3 teaches us that it is the cherubim that God assigned to guard the entrance to Eden and the tree of life. The entrance into Eden, the tree of life, and the mercy seat are enormously important and significant items in the history of the redemption of the human race. God is not going to use weak little beings to guard such important places. There are also: B. Seraphim. Just FYI there is one seraph, but innumerable seraphim. Isaiah 6:2-7 is all God reveals about the seraphim. However, I think these are regal and glorious creatures beyond our imagination because they are given the high and holy privilege of filling the throne room of heaven with eternal praise to God. Then there are: C. THE LIVING CREATURES. One writer says of the living creatures, “with their appearance like a lion, an ox, a man, and an eagle, they are the mightiest representatives of various parts of God’s entire creation (wild beasts, domesticated animals, human beings, and birds.” Rev. 4 tells us they never cease to say, “holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” Finally there are: D. ARCHANGELS. Two Archangels are mentioned in Scripture. One is Gabriel who is mentioned in Dan. 8:16 and 9:21. The other archangel is Michael. Jude 9; Dan. 10:13; and Rev. 12:7-8 all ascribe to Michael a position of enormous power and authority over other Angels. Many believe Michael is the Archangel who issues the call that will announce the Lord’s return from heaven.
  3. BIBLICAL TRUTHS ABOUT ANGELS. The 1st is that Angels are innumerable. Read Deut. 33:2; Ps. 68:17; Heb. 12:22, and Rev. 5:11. From a human perspective we can’t begin to imagine how many angels that must be! 2nd Angels have great power. Read Ps. 103:20; Rev. 12; 20:1-3. Notice this is done by “an” Angel. When you read passages like this throughout Scripture you begin to understand why the first two words most often spoken by Angels to people are “fear not!” 3rd truth which is: The Angel of The Lord. Many believe that it is Christ before He came to earth as the Messiah. Read Gen. 16; 22; 31; and Zech. 1:1-17. This is only a very brief introduction to the study of Angels. Angels are very real, they’re very powerful, they’re very big – and we ought to praise God for the fact that they are involved with Him in ministry to us.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574 -643-9419.

How to be Financially Free

Daniel 4:34-37

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Today I will give you some Biblical principles that will help you become and stay financially free. Read Dan. 4:28-37. We have heard Nebuchadnezzar praise the Lord before. However, Scripture made it very clear he was only being religious trying to gain points with God by falsely praising Him. Dan. 5 is the story of the handwriting on the wall where Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon’s rule as a world power is short lived. Someone might ask, “If Nebuchadnezzar’s confession and repentance was sincere, and he was truly humbled, why wouldn’t the kingdom stay intact?” The vessels of gold and silver mentioned in verse 2 were taken out of the Temple in Jerusalem and brought to Nebuchadnezzar’s palace for his own personal enjoyment. Whether it was in 539 BC, or today in 21st century Royal Center, a person cannot steal from God without serious consequences! And here’s the point: turning to the Lord in true repentance and humility does not always eliminate consequences of sin! It doesn’t make any difference whether it is financial bondage because of misusing and wasting God’s money, or being in spiritual bondage living in disobedience to God’s Word – overcoming consequences is often the way God teaches us to trust and obey Him! So what do we do to be financially free? One writer says in defining financial freedom, “financial freedom is realizing that true prosperity comes only from God.” Once we learned the Biblical principle of giving, God is then free to respond to us by allowing us to enjoy:

  1. RECEIVING. What we receive from God is directly proportional to what we give to Him. Read 2 Cor. 9:6-10. I like the way that the ESV interprets the opening of v. 6 when it says “the point is this:” Notice there are at least 3 truths from 2 Cor. 9:6-8 that affect how and what we receive from God:
    1. Your attitude-v. 7. A redeemed heart that is in harmony with God understands that everything God gives is given in response to, and as a reward for submission, obedience, and conformity to a Christ like life and lifestyle. The real attitude of the true Christian understands God has already given them everything they need in Niagara proportions.
    2. Your action – v. 6, 7. I’m sure you get the point, you have to act. So many people expect God to give to them whether they do anything or not. Only those Christians who have learned that God responds to even the smallest effort made with a sincere heart, are the ones whose action results in an exceedingly generous reward from God. Finally,
    3. The amount, v. 6-8. Everyone understands the greater the amount of seed planted, the greater potential for abundant harvest.
  2. ADMINISTERING, In the parable of the unjust steward, the principal Jesus is teaching is that we are never the owners of what we have, we are God’s stewards or managers of all He has loaned us. That truth reaches every part and parcel of our life, not just our wallet or purse. As you think about that – ask yourself this question – is God pleased with the way I am caring for and displaying to others His grace and mercy to me?

If we can help answer your questions concerning spiritual matters, please contact us at 574-643-9419.

How Financial Disaster Occurs

Daniel 4

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. What I am sharing with you concerning financial freedom, can also be applied to spiritual freedom and security! The same things that lead to financial disaster, are the very things that lead to spiritual disaster. Truth be known, spiritual disaster almost always comes before any other kind of disaster in a person’s life. If you are financially stable, secure, and free today, then this message may offer you some guidelines to help others in your life that are not, but want to be financially free and secure. I think almost everyone wants to be financially free and secure, but not everyone is willing to do what must be done to be financially secure. Someone may very well say, I know we are to give to God, but I just can’t do that because I am so financially strapped or burdened that I barely have enough to pay my bills. Some day when I am financially able, I will start to tithe! The truth is if you are in financial bondage today, most likely, the cold hard truth is you are mismanaging and/or misusing – or wasting God’s money. How do I know it is God’s money? Read Deut. 8:11-18, and notice especially v. 18.  The consequence of mismanaging, misusing, or wasting God’s money is always financial disaster! Today I want to show you one of the most common processes through which financial disaster occurs. By most standards king Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest kings of all time. However, like so many people in his position, with his power, he had an “I” problem. His 1st “I” problem was:

  1. THE SIN OF IDOLATRY. Look at Dan. 3:1. Idolatry is the spiritual worship of an idol. Spiritual worship always originates in the heart of a person. Spiritual idolatry is anything that occupies a higher priority in your heart than God. Listen: All spiritual idolatry originates in SELF, and is the ultimate expression of pride and arrogance toward God. Another contributing factor to financial disaster that is a by-product of idolatry is:
  2. INSECURITY 4:4, 5. Insecurity can be defined as not trusting God to provide all my needs sufficiently! Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t have read Matt. 6:25-34 where Jesus tells us not to worry about our day-to-day needs because God knows what all we need and provides them to us. But you can and should, read Matt 5-7, John 13-16, and other passages to be aware of such promises. Idolatry cannot lead a person anywhere but into security. At that time Nebuchadnezzar ruled most of the known world – ruthlessly, broiling anyone who defied him! He had everything most people in the world want. Now watch! Read v. 4, 5 and notice how all the power, position, prosperity, possessions, and even a palace do not always bring peace and security. That’s because a life that is not built on trust in God, is a life built on a foundation of sand. And insecurity is always an issue because the question is never if – but always when will the foundation will crack and crumble? Another I problem that caused Nebuchadnezzar’s financial disaster was:
  3. THE SIN OF IMPERSONATION! 4. V. 1-4 are Nebuchadnezzar’s reaction to the fact that Daniel and his 3 friends were delivered from the furnace. So all of a sudden Nebuchadnezzar has religion, not redemption, just religion! Nebuchadnezzar himself is revealing who he really is, by revealing what is in his heart. Our true character is known when we reveal what is in our heart. Finally, the other I problem that caused Nebuchadnezzar to meet financial disaster was his:
  4. SIN OF IGNORANCE 4:28-33. Nebuchadnezzar was not ignorant. Ignorant means having little or no knowledge. Nebuchadnezzar was guilty of the sin of ignoring God. To ignore is to disregard deliberately; pay no attention to; refuse to consider. To have little or no knowledge of something is not always a matter of choice. Listen, we don’t know – what we don’t know. God does not hold us accountable for what He has not yet revealed to us! However, to ignore is always a deliberate and willful choice! And God will always hold us responsible and accountable for what He reveals but we ignore!

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

Success Laws for Giving

Psalm 84:10-12 and Prov. 11:24

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Do you happen to know how much of the Bible you have to read before you read that God gave something? The answer is 27 verses. Gen. 1:28 reads, “Let them have…” = give them. Also read 29. Notice that God demonstrates His generosity to Adam by giving him everything! In Psalm 84:10-12 notice that God does not keep anything good back from those who walk uprightly – or according to His laws. God does not squander nor waste His blessings on those who live a life and lifestyle contrary to what God desires. God’s blessings are rewards He extends to His adopted children who have given their heart and life in full surrender to Him. A Biblical truth that many people, even Christians, often forget is:

  1. YOU CAN TRUST GOD WITH YOUR MONEY! V. 12. I find it interesting that people come to the point where they trust God with their eternity, but often never get to the point where they feel they can trust Him with their wallet! Look at Rom. 11:33-36. Paul is asking the question, who has given a gift to God and not been repaid by God for the gift? Any person who has ever given any gift to God, money or otherwise, and has done so out of the desire of their heart – and because that individual realizes to some degree at least, the magnitude of all God has given them just in their salvation – will tell you that God has repaid them not just the principle but has also added interest in an exorbitant amount! Read a very familiar passage of Scripture in Malachi 3: 8-12. Malachi is the last book in the OT. Most everyone knows that a tithe or 10% was the OT standard for giving. Most people today believe if they are giving 10% of their money than their fulfilling the responsibility to God. Look again at v. 10. Notice God says, “bring the full tithe into the storehouse…” What do you think God means by “the full tithe?” If you go back to Lev. 27:30, you read that God tells the people “to bring every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, it is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” The full tithe is all sources of income. Some people think that they need to tie only their primary source of income; and income from things like garage sales, tax refunds, the sale of all kinds of other property, and other sources of income are not subject to tithe. Read Acts 5 and you will see what God thinks of withholding from Him. The act of tithing is what puts God to the test. Do you see how God is saying you can trust Me with your money, and when you do it is a test so I can prove to you that I will be faithful and return more to you that you give to me, and I will do it so that all your needs are met. You just can’t out give God, no matter how much you give. There is another law of giving that is closely associated with being able to trust God with your money, and that law is:
  2. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW! Read Prov. 11:24; 19:17; Psalm 37:21; and 2 Corinthians 9:6. Please notice that in each of these passages God’s spiritual law of giving is emphasized. You must give, before you can receive. I have discovered that almost 100% of the time when a person says, “I cannot afford to tithe,” they are bad money managers. Somebody once said, if you don’t give God His 10%, you don’t get to keep it either! And one way you check that out is – add up all your unexpected expenses in a year and see what percent of your income you’ve lost. We have been talking about biblical financial success principles. However, these principles apply to every part of our Christian life. If you’re praying to God for more grace, more mercy, more kindness, more patience, or more of anything else from God and those requests seem to be falling on deaf ears – may I suggest that you 1st start giving those things to others – listen to me – in the same amount you want God to give to you! Why am I telling you that? Because God says, “with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you!

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

The Gift of Giving

Romans 12:1-8

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Normally when we think of wealth our 1st thought is of earthly wealth rather than spiritual or heavenly wealth. In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” That statement does not apply just to money. Jesus is revealing to us a universal truth. One writer says, “your heart and your treasure go together – they both need to be in heaven. Jesus is not saying that if you put your treasure in the right place, your heart will then be in the right place, but that the location of your treasure indicates where your heart already is.” Read Proverbs 3:9-10. Is that how it is with you and your philosophy of giving to the Lord? As Christians we are governed by 2 sets of laws. Both sets are decreed and directed by God. The 1st set of laws are physical laws; the law of gravity, the laws of physics, the laws of thermodynamics, and all the other laws that govern the physical universe. The other set of laws are all the spiritual laws of God. Those spiritual laws of God are always to be the primary or 1st laws governing all parts of our lives whether physical mental or spiritual. So let’s begin our study with God’s Law of giving. God has already given all that is required for us to be redeemed. He gave to us what we could never hope to have in and of ourselves. However, we must understand God has NOT given us all He is ever going to give us. We will continue to receive from Him throughout eternity. Here is a truth you must learn about redemption: It is only the beginning of God’s giving to us as His adopted children. Giving to God is then a response that finds its origin in our hearts because we realize how great a gift God has already given us just in our redemption. Go with me to Luke 6:38. Notice that the law of giving God’s way is – that to receive we must first give! The emphasis being on give before we receive! That concept is exactly opposite the world view, which says, “You give to me first, then if I can give to you without it costing me anything I’ll consider it.” Read 1 Kings 17:8-16. Note 3 truths that I believe caused the widow to act even though she did not fully understand. First, she heard “do not fear.” V. 13. We are not to be afraid to give when God tells us to give. God is never going to ask us to do something that will result in financial disaster. If God instructs you to give, then rest assured He already knows your entire financial situation so that you can give what He is asking you to give. When God tells you to give and you don’t give immediately – your fear of losing the little bit God is asking you to give is greater than your desire to receive the greater blessing God has prepared for you! Beloved, that truth applies to every part of your life – not just your pocketbook! The 2nd truth is God will always give back more. See v. 13 – read, now read 14. In return for “a little cake” God gave the widow enough flour and oil to see her through the drought. The 3rd truth is God gives back over an extended period of time. God did not give the widow vats of oil and grain bins full of wheat. V. 16 says the jar – singular and the jug – singular were never empty. God gave her what she needed, for as long as she needed it. I think one of God’s most amazing blessings that His adopted children experience is to give without any thought of receiving because they know God will always give to them out of His abundance. And they never have to be afraid to give anything to God because they know he will always give back more! To the true man or woman of God whose heart is in heaven it is just a fact of life that giving is in its self a gift!

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

How to Live in Safety (Part 2)

Ps. 91

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Last week we studied the first 2 verses of this delightful Psalm. We learned that all who are willing to permanently remain under God’s sovereign guidance, and continually trust Him — establish themselves in the security and protection God wants to provide for His own children. Now, let’s consider first:

  1. DIVINE PROTECTION 3-8. Since The Fall in Eden when God came looking for Adam and Eve, He has been demonstrating His ultimate desire and purpose is to rescue and deliver people from everything evil. In the NT, of course, we learn The Lord Jesus is God’s Ultimate Deliverer. God’s divine protection is a universal proposal. We read in 2 Pet. 3:9 that “God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Everyone is given the opportunity at some point in their life to repent of their sin and sinfulness by confessing the Lord Jesus as their Savior and trusting in His finished work at Calvary to take away their eternal sin penalty. God’s divine protection is also uniquely personal. Here in Ps. 91:3 the word “you” is second person singular. This protection or deliverance is one of the blessings or rewards God extends to those of His adopted children who have surrendered their heart to Him in daily living. These true men and women of God who have turned from their sin in repentance to Christ in faith enjoy, if you will, special or extraordinary protection and deliverance from God. As you well know that does not mean their life is free from adversity, pain, sickness, and the other maladies of the sin infected world. What it does mean however, is that the person who lives in verses 1, 2 is kept from a lifestyle filled with sinful thoughts, words, and actions that would put them in eminent danger – even life-threatening situations. Why? Because they are made aware of the traps that are cunningly, secretly laid for them to suddenly spring and catch them off guard. . But that’s not the whole picture, notice God also provides:
  2. ANGELIC PROTECTION 9-13. V. 10 is the result of V. 9. Another way to say that is-  V. 9 is the “if,” and v. 10 is the “then.” However, v. 11 can be considered the focal verse of this paragraph. It is important to notice that angelic protection is still divine protection. David reassures us of that truth when he says, “He, (God), will command His angels…” The NT commentary on these verses is found in Rom. 8:31-39. The entire doctrine of salvation including all the individual doctrines of Scripture that God has given to help us understand not only the magnificence but the magnitude of our salvation is focused on the spiritual, not the physical! It is the spiritual part of man that is redeemed, re-created, and regenerated at our conversion. Conversion was the point in our lives where we stopped trusting in ourselves and our sin tainted works – and start trusting in Christ as a living Person and His finished work at Calvary to save/deliver us from the eternal penalty of sin in hell. In addition to divine and angelic protection there is:
  3. DELIVERANCE PROMISED 14-16. I think one of the most revealing promises that God has given to His adopted children to prove His eternal love for them is that in addition to delivering us from the eternal penalty of hell; God also promises to deliver us from this entire sin-filled world. The point is God is telling us He is responding to the one who holds fast, doesn’t quit, perseveres, doesn’t give up in difficulty, or for any other reason – but holds fast to God in love – receives deliverance. In our language today we might say, “no matter how bad, hopeless, dark, overwhelming, or difficult, or how painful, lonely, rejected, or in any other way unappealing – there is nothing conceivable to the human mind that would cause an adopted child of God to forsake Him for any reason.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.

How to Live in Safety (Part 1)

Ps. 91

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Psalm 91 is a great Psalm of comfort and confidence to the true man and woman of God as they face the challenges and confrontations of everyday living. Notice first, there is:

  1. A DECLARATION OF PERMANENCE – V. 1. David says – he who dwells… Will abide… In Hebrew the word dwell means “live, stay, i.e. be in a place for any period of time, usually implying a longer period of time; to be settled i.e. cause to dwell and so live in a place or certain set of relationships. It is in our homes that we find shelter, security, peace, a sense of belonging, safety, privacy, family intimacy, and much more. Home is the place where we can relax, kick our shoes off, and be ourselves. Home is also the place where everyone knows who, and how you are in your heart! All of us, for lots of reasons, leave our homes every day because much of our life takes place outside the 4 walls of our physical house. But the interesting thing is – under normal circumstances – no matter why, or for how long, we leave the house, – under normal circumstances – we look forward to being home again, don’t we? Look again at v. 1. That desire, or to tug in our hearts, to be home again is the effect of the “shadow” of our home. We could read v. 1 this way, “the one who permanently resides in the shelter, house, home of the Most High will abide, remain, always be – no matter what their physical location – in the shadow/protection of the Almighty.” Read Ps. 139:1-12. In whose house do you permanently live? One last thought here. David, like all other true men and women of God, reaffirmed his declaration of permanence to dwell in the house of the Lord every day. As we’ll see David was keenly aware of all Satan’s efforts to cause David to leave the shelter and protection of God. Real men and women of God find their rest in the shadow of The Almighty always returning to live in His shelter. Notice that David makes a:
  2. DECLARATION OF PROTECTION V. 2. To David, God is his safe haven. Notice also that David says, “my refuge, my fortress, my God.” The pronouns “I and my” in this verse immediately revealed to us that David understood both the blessing, and the necessity of a personal relationship with the Almighty, Most High God. The necessity of a personal relationship with God precedes personal blessings from God. God reserves most (not all – just most) of His blessings to be shared only with His adopted children. Even then God does not arbitrarily shower his blessings on His children who live and walk in disobedience to Him. The concept is very simple. God must be your fortress, or He cannot be your refuge! The whole purpose of a fortress is to provide refuge. So the question is: in the course of your everyday life, day in day out, where do you find your protection? Finally, notice that David makes a:
  3. DECLARATION OF PREEMINENCE. V.2 My God… Both the declaration of permanence and of protection are an effect or a result rather than a cause. The cause that makes it possible for David to find his dwelling place and his protection and God is the fact that David places his trust in God. In order to trust God enough to allow Him to be your Fortress, your Shelter where you live permanently you have to come to the point where you learn to trust God in everything about your life, all the time.

If we can help you answer your spiritual questions, call us at (574) 643-9419.