Monday, July 26, 2010

The Will of God

A recent trip to Minnesota, where I visited the beautiful Cathedral of St. Paul, caused me to delve more into Paul's life and his letters. Apostle Paul authored the majority of the New Testament Non-Gospel books (His first encounter with Christ was the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus). Anyway, I noticed a number of times Paul identified himself as:

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God"

So, I got a little curious and decided to do a search of the exact phrase "Will of God" in the NIV version of the bible on (Click HERE)

Curiously enough this exact phrase seems to be associated with most of the books attributed to Paul.

Here is one of my favorites scriptures using "Will of God":

  • Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

As Father Corapi brilliantly said in one of his talks, God is reality and a good working definition of insanity is to to be out of touch with reality. And the world we live in is out of touch with reality.

Will of God vs. Will of Man

But how many Christians--in their day-to-day lives--can discern the "Will of God" and do the right thing and take a stand for our Heavingly Father?

Jesus warns us about doing the will of the Father:

  • Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

How do you discern the Will of God?

Well, you have to be connected to the Holy Spirit. How do you do this? Through prayer, reading The Word and Godly Counsel. Because if you aren't connected with the Holy Spirit, you will become influenced by other type of spirits not from God--those from Satan.

Whenever you are making a decision and unsure about God's Will, ask yourself if it will please self, man or God and remember who comes first:

  • Colossians 3:23: And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

But realise that being a Christian and being true to the Lord won't always endear you to those of the fallen world.

But as Saint Peter says:

  • 1 Peter 3:17: It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

As Jesus says:

  • Mark 3;35:"For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.”

And always remember:

  • 1 John 2:17: The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Way

Many people go through life in search of love and happiness. At one time in our life we have all thought we knew how to get there and have felt that we control our own destiny. It is true that God gave us free will, so we do control a large percentage of our own destiny. We can chose to follow God and His plan and have true happiness in our life or we do it our own way and accept the consequences--which might provide short-lived happiness.

If you experience hardship in your life and are unhappy, get close to Christ. You will find peace and love:

Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord" -- St. Augustine

And remember that God is a loving god and He will do whatever it takes to get our attention:

  • Hebrews 12:6: because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
  • Hebrews 12:10: Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

We are no different than God's Son who suffered. Christ suffered a humiliating, brutal death out of love for us:

  • Luke 24:26: "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"

What is the benefit of being a follower of Christ? He will do whatever you ask in His name as long as it is good for us or not a selfish, materialistic request:

  • John 14:13: And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

As Christians, we sometimes get discourged or get comfortable and slip back to ways of our past when we didn't live as Christians to find happiness. As Satchel Paige once said:

"Don't look back. Something could be gaining on you."

That something is probably Satan and his false hopes and lies.

Christ said something important here to his followers about not looking back:

  • Luke 9:62: Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

But still, many people try to do it their own way to find happiness and love. Why is this when we have Jesus Christ?

Quite a few times in scripture, Christ said "Follow me." However, Christ did not say that he knew "The Way."

Christ said He was THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIFE:

  • John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox