Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Job's Friends

Through the many discouraging events that come our way throughout life, none wounds us the deepest as discovering who our true friends are. Those who leave and those who remain when trouble strikes.

One of the many facets of God's character is fellowship and unity. While God was putting the finishing touches on creation, he saw Adam alone in the garden, the Lord God declared, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a suitable companion for him.” (Genesis 2:18). Relationship is the hallmark of God's love. 

We are created to love and support one another in the good times and bad. I remember part of the wedding vow goes something like this, “ for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” It's a commitment to remain faithful in all circumstances-just like God remains faithful to us in our circumstances.

With the current global crisis we are all experiencing many people are searching the scriptures looking for answers. I've seen many teachings on the book of Job. He was a man who lived during the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). He was not a direct relative, but a man who honored the Lord.

Not many have been more afflicted by Satan than Job, but the strange thing is God allowed it ( Job 1:12). From the opening chapters we discover that Job was very blessed and a prosperous man. He was a respected leader of his community, generous to anyone in need, gave wise counsel, an all around good guy.

In one day we are told that he is totally wiped out. All his flocks were either stolen or destroyed, his children were also killed by a freak accident, and all that was left was a couple of servants and his wife. With all this disaster that had suddenly come upon him, we learn that his wife did not support him in honoring the Lord. Her counsel was to give up, “Why don't you just curse God and die” but Job refused. He accepted all this devastation with grace. (Job 2:9)

When all his friends learned what happened, they did the moral thing, come to mourn with him. By the time they had come, Job was covered with boils from head to toe, sitting in ashes. It was so bad that they didn't recognize the man they had once known. After a week of mourning with Job, the silence was broken.

Job had obviously thought long and hard about the events that had taken place. He really searched his heart and could not find a fault or any sin that would have brought this upon him. His first discussion with his friends states this, but it was kind of a pity party. His friends had obviously thought long and hard about his situation and decided to state their opinions.

Why do we immediately think that when something goes wrong in a person's life that it is because of some hidden fault? That is exactly what Job's friends accused him of, gently at first, but then with more zeal. Job declared his innocence, that he had done nothing wrong, was not holding on to sin or resisting God in any way. His friends did not believe him. Finally Job got upset and he wanted to know the charges against him. Why God had handed down this judgment on him?

Job finally received an answer, but not the one he was looking for. The Lord spoke to him, but not about sin or wrong doing, but about questioning His authority. The Lord asked him about unknowable details of creation that no one but God could know. The Lord challenged him to give an answer, which Job could not and he conceded to the Almighty's authority.

One thing that should be noted is the Lord never accused Job of sin and this was not punishment, but a further refinement of his character. The only condemnation the Lord had was against Job's friends. The friends needed to bring sacrifices for their sins and the Lord told Job to offer a prayer for them. The friends were ashamed and corrected by God, and then the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.(Job 42:7-17)

The beauty of this story is “Judge not lest you be judged” (Luke 6:36-38). The Lord is the only one who knows all hearts and minds. Our purpose is love one another, to be good, kind and faithful to our friends and family when trouble comes-which no one is immune.

My family has suffered a similar trial as Job. The poor economic situation has brought devastating loss to our home. I have put my faith in the Lord and have trusted him with every fiber of my being. I know this situation is not for any hidden fault or punishment for wrong doing, yet I have felt the searing eyes of judgment. I have felt the social snub from people we were close too. I have discovered those who I loved the most and treasured their friendship have abandoned me.

I have forgiven them and I keep them in prayer, knowing that the Lord is their only judge. I keep my heart focused on Jesus, knowing that his blessing will come upon us he will restore everything that we have lost. It’s the Lord that will cause those who have judged us to be ashamed, just like Job’s friends. Hopefully they will repent and we will be restored.

So, how are you doing these days? Are you judging others for the crisis they are in? Or are you loving and supporting them-sticking closer than a brother in their time of need? (Proverbs 18:24) I hope that you are—that is exactly what we are called to do in Christ.

Are you in a Job trial- have you lost everything and don't have an answer why? Don't give up—Keep believing, keep trusting—the Lord rewards everyone for their faithfulness, in this life and in eternity. (1 Samuel 26:23)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July Blog Chain

This month's Blog Chain topic is “Freedom.” I have decided to use an excerpt from my book “Am I Really Saved-Answering Questions of Christians” as my post.  The book is available on Amazon in book or ebook formats, also available through my author website. 

As a special offer-anyone who goes to my author website and signs my guest book will be sent a coupon for 25% off the purchase through my eStore. This offer is good through July 31, 2011.  See link below.

Be sure to visit my fellow bloggers websites listed on the CW Blog Chain. Enjoy!



Freedom is the desire of every human heart. We long to be free of suffering, living happily ever after. Webster's dictionary describes freedom as: 1) Not to be under another’s control; 2) Loose, clear unrestricted; 3) Liberty; 4) Independence; 5) Ease of movement; 6) State of being free. This is a clear depiction of freedom in the world. God’s defines freedom as Salvation: The deliverance from slavery; or from some great distress by the intervention of God.
Webster's definition is clear how the world chooses freedom “not to be under another's control.” Our sinful nature desires to be unrestricted, living life to our standards of happiness.
Have you ever found yourself trapped by your sin nature? No matter what you try it never comes together the way you imagined. We desire freedom, wanting it at all costs, we will even move outside of Christ's protection to get it. 
This desire has caused all the scars in our lives. When Jesus is in control our joy abounds and we are totally free. We are not controlled by our evil desires that feed our flesh.
 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you. I have plans, to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah. 29:11).
 Our Almighty God has designed an individual blue print for our lives to give us “hope and a future” and not a hopeless existence.
The world’s kind of freedom wants the ability to choose whatever it wants based on what it believes will bring happiness, no matter what it takes to get it. That kind of freedom is pure slavery. When our judgment is clouded we instinctively choose wrong. We choose those self serving desires (Ephesians 5:13) by our lack of godly wisdom.
When we choose a life surrendering to God, living for Him and seeking Him in His Word, we are given the right information. By renewing our mind; we begin to see what truly matters. Our values change, our lifestyle’s change and resulting in changes in those around us.
God gave us a remarkable gift of free will. It’s the ability to choose to live our lives for Him or ourselves.  The path we choose either ends up in victory over the flesh or a path of feeding it. One way ends in life and the other ends in death.
Because of our sin nature, we instinctively follow the flesh into a feeding frenzy. The decision to fight our flesh is a difficult, but we are guaranteed victory through Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
Because of our sins, we could never experience true freedom, the one God designed. We may long for it, but can never know it outside of Christ. Some Christians hope things will get better in their lives, others accept the status quo, and never knowing there is true freedom available. They’ve stopped seeking, knocking and asking the Lord for more of Him.
The Bible says that we don’t automatically receive all things the Lord has for us, we must continually engage Him. In order to receive full measure of blessing, we must take steps forward then He will reveal the next, that’s called growing faith.
Because of this sin nature, we don’t know real love. We can’t give love until we are loved. That may sound odd, but it’s true. “It’s not that we loved Him, it’s that He first loved us and chose to give us right standing with himself.”(Ephesians 1:4).
When God created the heavens and the earth, He said it was good, but when God created man He said it was very good, excellent in every way,  pleased with all He had made (Genesis 1:31).
It gave Him great pleasure to make all these things, perfect in every way. I hear a deep sense of satisfaction, when He set things in motion by His command. “Go multiply and fill the earth” There was great joy, the angel’s sang and everything lived in balance. Evil lurked ready to cast its dim shadow of death and destruction.
Sin entered the world through bad information. Eve was deceived into believing a half truth, but Adam deliberately sinned, he was not deceived. I sometimes wonder if Adam thought God was holding out on him. Whatever Adam thought nothing on earth would ever be the same. “All creation groans to be set free from death.” (Romans 8:20-21).
Some believe at this point God washed His hands of us, walked away to leaving us to figure it out on our own. This is completely untrue, His love is too great. He had a plan, Operation Salvation in motion.
According to God’s standard, one stain of rebellion against is authority (sin) would disqualify anyone from the presence of His Holiness. The penalty of rebellion is forever separated from him. Hell is a special prison created by God for those who refuse to obey His authority. Mankind is the object of His affections; Hell was not created for us.
God designed a perfect plan to redeem mankind, but first there was work to do. It would take many years to complete. There was never a question of the success. God, in His mercy removed Adam and Eve from the garden. Not as punishment, as some might think, but it was protection. If they ate from the tree of life, they would live forever in their rebellious state. (Genesis 1:22).
The Bible tells us that within a few generations sin was rampant in all the earth. God saw Noah, a sinner, a man who desired to live for and honor God. So, God chose Noah and his family to be spared from destruction in the flood. Then God saw Abram, a sinner, who also desired a life to live for and honor God. So, God chose to make a covenant (promise) to Abram that he would have a son in his old age and through that son he would become the father of many nations. God saw David, a sinner, a man who loved God with all his heart. God made him King over his people and made a promise that one of his descendants would be the promised Savior, who would take away the sins of the world. That promise was made complete in Jesus.
God could have made a bunch of yes men, those who would have obeyed Him fully, but He never wanted that. He desires our love, devotion, honor, and for us to live in His freedom. 
The Lord God is greater than we can imagine, His love is deeper than we can fathom. We were born into slavery and rebellion against Him, but His great love made a way.  You'll never find or enjoy true freedom outside of Jesus Christ!

Excerpt taken from- Am I Really Saved-Answering Questions of Christians
copyright©2010 Terrie Thorpe –All rights reserved-

Saturday, July 2, 2011

End Times –Wrath of God

I don't believe in date setting, because the Lord has told us “only the Father knows.”  Throughout the scripture there are many things the Father has kept strictly for himself, one event comes to mind, the birthday of Jesus. I can accept the biblical description given “at the appointed time” as God has preordained these things at specific times. Once you are aware of the signs, we should be looking up for our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).

The Bible describes the final days as a time of greater horror like no other time in all the history of man. The book of Revelation describes who is affected, but the promise of God when these days have passed, nothing like it will ever happen again. A similar promise was made to Noah, God promised never to destroy all living things with a flood.

When I read about the atrocities that evil people have done to the poor and outcasts, it sickens me. Those who use their power and position for personal gain at the expense of others lives, hopes and dreams, I get angry. When I think of all my brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution and oppression throughout the world, for the sake of the gospel, at the hands of evil people, it crushes my heart. But this time of wrath will make all those desecrations look like nothing. It will be a thousand times worse that any human can inflict on another these afflictions will come from a Holy Righteous God.

So who are these people who will be called into judgment? The bible is very clear who these people are (Hebrews 10:29). They are the ones who refused Jesus payment for sin, which restores all mankind to the time of the beginning, before rebellion entered creation. The Lord knows all hearts and is aware of those who truly want relationship and those who don’t. (Hebrews 10:39)

When the bride of Christ is removed from the earth all those who are left are those who have no relationship with Jesus. This includes the demonic forces that continually fight against the Word of God. Now those who are left behind won’t only be people are involved in occult activities or atheists, but those who practice self empowering religions. Those who believe they are their own gods and can earn a level of satisfaction by their own standards of denial. Those who do not worship God and give him glory are worshiping the devil (Ephesians 2:1-3).

The book of Revelation describes 21 judgments, seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls (vials), each more intense then the last. As each of these judgments begins to fall upon the people of the earth, the people will become more divided. Some will curse the Lamb of God, because they know it’s because of their unbelief. (Revelation 6:15-16), and many will turn to Jesus during this time only to be killed by the Antichrist.

Israel will ultimately be the victor of the end times. The Lord promised them so many things which were not fulfilled in the past that He will fulfill. God keeps his promises even when his promises are to those who are disloyal to him. He remains loyal to his word.

I've heard many people talk about the 144,000 in the book of Revelation. Some teach that only 144,000 of the earth will be saved from the wrath of God that is simply not true! Revelations 7:4 says these people will be 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. The resurrection of the tribes of Israel is an important fact, since ten of the tribes faded into the pages of history through the discipline of the Lord.

This will fulfill the prophet's words, that All of Israel will be saved. Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem. He will right the wrongs and establish an eternal covenant with the people of the earth. Paradise will be restored.

So what does this mean for you and me? It means that we need to stand firm in Jesus, knowing that we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonian 5:9, Revelations 3:10) Jesus is our salvation! We need not to live in fear of judgment, because Jesus paid the price of all our judgment on the cross (Hebrews 9:12)

If you have submitted your life to God as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) Drawing closer to the know the heart of God, you can read scriptures through the eyes of love that the Lord has for all people, you will see that the wrath of God is only to destroy evil and all the works of the devil, so that he can once again live with the people he loves. (John 3:16).

My prayer is for those who are undecided about Jesus; they know of him but haven't made a choice to receive him. Fear and unbelief are deception from the devil who has come to kill, steal and destroy – But Jesus came to give you a full and joyous life (John 10:10).  Jesus said I am the only way, the only truth and the only life- no one come to the Father, except through me. (John 14:6). Don't wait another day!

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-