Discouragement

God Chases RunawaysPremium Content

Study of Jonah 1:1-5


Jonah 1:1-2
The word of the LORD came to Jonah ...
But Jonah ran away from the LORD.

Do you remember the TV series, “The Fugitive” (and then the movie version in 1993? It was about Dr. Richard Kimble’s efforts to find the one-armed man who had killed his wife.
Police thought he had done it, so he was on the run.
He was a fugitive.

The Bible tells us we’re fugitives from God.
That’s because we’re sinners, and have broken His laws.
Unlike Dr. Kimble, though, we are guilty.
As fugitives, we are running away from Him.

We don’t like to think of ourselves that way.

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The Answer To All My Prayers

I asked God for strength that I might achieve
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey...

I asked for health that I might do greater things
I was given infirmity that I might do better things...

I asked for riches that I might be happy
I was given poverty that I might be wise...

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life
I was given life that I might enjoy all things...

I got nothing I asked for
I got all things I hoped for...

Despite myself my prayers were answered
I among all people are most richly blessed...

Prayer of an unknown Civil War soldier

Angry with a God We Limit

I can't tell you how many times I have heard people grumble about the way the world is today. Murder, rape, theft, lies, wrong lifestyles and thoughts. The list we (including me) goes on and on.

    "If God loves us so much then why does He let 'this' happen?"

    "If God is all powerful then why doesn't He stop 'this' from taking place?"

    "If God really can still perform miracles, why are there so many going hungry, dying, homeless??"


If, if, if -- all we do is doubt Him. Instead of questioning why God allows certain things to happen, we should be thanking Him for the gifts He has given us personally for the day we are currently in - one being that we are still ALIVE.

I decided to research this strange way we grumble to a God who loved us enough to send His ONLY Son, His ONLY child, to die the most horrible of all deaths to provide a way back to God. This is what I found.

Be Honest

First off, we have to be honest and say that each of us has at one point in our life, questioned why God did something or why He allowed something to happen. I know I have questioned Him MANY times - and once I had waited on HIS TIMING the answer came through crystal clear - not always the answer I wanted, but the answer that was needed to fulfill God's will, which is always good and perfect.

Do You Love Jesus Christ with Sincerity? (Unanswered Prayer)Premium Content

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Ephesians 6:24

People email us and tell us that they are praying every day, seeking God’s will for their marriage, reading all the articles on the ministry, going to church, and yet nothing changes in their marriage. Some of these people become very discouraged because they want to see positive change in their spouse and marriage. Where are the blessings?

For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy! Ecclesiastes 2:26

Wisdom, knowledge and joy are blessings given to us when we live our lives to please God and not ourselves. Do you have Godly wisdom, knowledge and joy in your life?

There are several reasons why we do not see blessings in our life and marriage. You see, we are not on our own time schedule; we are on Gods time schedule, meaning, no matter how often, or how much you

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Afraid to Die, Suffer, LoosePremium Content

Psalm 23:4a RSV
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me.

There are very few Americans, believers included, who are simply (if they were honest enough to admit it) petrified to die. It's why "staying young" is a multi-billion dollar industry. Plastic surgery, health care, exercise clubs... even the insistence that 50 is now the new 40!

We are afraid to die.

But I was ready something this morning in Spurgeon that hit a note with me:

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I am God!

My children, I am the Creator of ALL, and ALL power originates with ME!

There is no power in heaven or on earth that is able to thwart My purposes for your life as you yield to Me. NONE!

Have I not promised that as you seek Me, you will find Me, when you seek Me with all of your heart? Have I not said to ask, and you will receive? Ask then, and let your hearts run wild and your imagination run vagabond, for you cannot plumb the depths of My planning and provision for My own.

The Truth Shall Set You Free - Part 7Premium Content

When I started this study, it was in the spring of my last semester of my teaching career. A lot of things were on my mind. I was sad--very sad. Earlier in the year I was pretty depressed about retiring. As I reviewed the various options in my head, I still had to come to one conclusion: I should retire. I just am no longer the man I once was. I just didn't have a lot of the energy you need to really do a good job. I readily admitted to this; it did not take any rocket science to figure it out. I accepted it easily: it was time to retire.

Teaching was my life. Sometimes it was the best part of my day--being in the classroom. But, it was not my entire life. I led with my heart, and that is probably one of the reasons why I got tired at the end. Emotions such the energy right out of you. I loved it so much--teaching.

I remember Ernest Hemingway. Writing was his life. The trouble was, writing really was his life. That was it. Nothing else. This focus made him to be a very important writer of our time, but this focus lead to his suicide, I believe. He could not write any more. What was the point of living?

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The Truth Shall Set You Free - Part 6Premium Content

John 8:31-32 is a conditional statement. Jesus says if we continue in His word, we will be His disciples. We will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. The key words are: "if", "continue", "truth", and "free."

If we abide in, stay with, live out and proclaim His word through our attitudes and actions, we will know His truth and we will be free.

Freedom is the one thing we all seek. Adam and Eve might have sensed "freedom" when they were told they would be like God and know good and evil. Satan told them a lie (they would be like God) and a truth (they would know good and evil). Their choice brought the curse God stated in Genesis 3. That was a curse on them and on the earth. For you and I, that curse ends at death when we go to be with Jesus. For the earth, the curse continues until the New Jerusalem descends out of God from heaven as described in Revelation 21.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free - Part 5Premium Content

In searching for, and living in the truth that can set us free, the first thing we need to do is replace the old with the new. Last time I shared about this verse:

Romans 12:2: 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.


I see this verse as telling us to change a negative to a positive. The ruler of this world is Satan. If we just live in that sphere, we are under his influence, and this becomes a part of us. That is the negative. The positive is the ruler of the larger Kingdom, God, and His teachings, which are in Scripture. In so doing, the mind is renewed and we are changed. The negative grid system formed by our past, and pricked at by Satan and his demonic imps is replaced by the positive truth of the application of God's word.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free - Part 3Premium Content

See: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

In the second installment, I testified how God's Word -- His Truth -- set me on the road to freedom, not just freedom from alcohol, but also freedom to become the man God wants me to be.

Presumably the story could have ended there. After all, I had hit rock bottom, knew despair and loneliness, hated the person I really was, and all of this ended by the intervention of my Lord Jesus. Not only did He intervene but He showed me truth in His word, and that truth set me free.

End of story. Let the violins swell up to a crescendo while you see me disappearing into a beautiful landscape of life wonderful.

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