Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Who is God to You?
In Acts chapter 12, we read about King Herod persecuting the Christians because his constituency liked it that way. He killed James, and arrested Peter with the same ill will. Peter was chained to two guards, while two more watched the gates. His situation (by every worldly standard) seemed hopeless. He is miraculously delivered in a fashion David Spielberg could not do justice, and I would recommend you read the account as it is funny and breathtaking at the same time; But,— that’s not what I want to talk about.
When you read this story, you will likely ask the question in your heart of hearts: “Why did God spare Peter, and not James?” Here is the answer.   I don’t know.  But I am sure the answer lies in parallel with the answer to this question. “Why were either of them arrested?” 
Some of you believe everything in life is a great big chance, or perhaps Karma, while others of you believe Nothing happens without God pulling the strings. Here is what dumbfounds me.  Both camps blame God when things (by our standards) go bad.  The problem is a wrong (non-biblical) view of God. All of us have heard the saying: “God’s gonna getcha for that”. What do you think?  Is God (to you) a white haired giant holding a lightning bolt, waiting anxiously for you to mess up so He can hit you with it? Is He a Genie on your mantel waiting for orders? Lets turn the SPIRITUAL SWITCH. There is nowhere in Scripture where God describes Himself as “fair”. He is Just. He is Righteous. And, above all, He is Sovereign. Why is this important? Because you will struggle with Every aspect of your Christian walk until you get this right. 
There are a lot of false prophets and prophetesses espousing a “name it and claim it” doctrine, that is just not scriptural. It is appealing, but not scriptural. Jesus promises you will be persecuted for following Him. He promises you will be rejected by friends and even family. The world will Hate you, cause they hated Him first, and the “servant is not greater than the master”. - John 15:18-21. 
Here is the point. Many of you live under the weight of the wrong idea that when something bad happens, you are being punished for something you did.  Maybe, – but look at James and Peter.  They were right where they were supposed to be, doing just what they were supposed to be doing, and yet one was beheaded, and one faced certain death.   “But that’s not fair!”  What are you going to do - bring God before Judge Judy? There are many things about God I don’t understand, but the problem isn’t with GOD DOING, but with my understanding. “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will, he hardeneth.”  Romans 9:18.  Have you been sincerely trying to follow God and still things go wrong? See James 1:2-4. For the rest of you, before you let this concept fester, think of this. I would never follow a God I could define. Remember, the key word in sovereign, is Reign.     God Bless.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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