Victory Vitamin Blog – Genesis 1:1-3

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

– Genesis 1:1-3 NIV

 

This Sunday we’re starting a 31 week sermon series titled “The Story”.  We did this series 5 years ago, and it was so well received that we’re doing it again.  A 31 week tour through the main events of the Bible.  Week one: The Beginning.

God created the heavens and the earth.  That’s what happened in the beginning.  He did it in 6 – 24 hour days, and rested on the seventh day.  The existential question, of course, is “Why?”  Why did God create the universe, why did God create planet earth within perfect parameters to support life?  Why did God create people to live on planet earth?  The Biblical answer is because God is love.   Love is an action, therefore God needed an object on which to act.  Those objects are you and me, and all people who have ever lived.  I know this creates a thousand questions as to why God allows so many challenging and painful things to happen on this planet, but the Bible’s clear statement remains.  God is love.  We cannot expect to understand how and why God works, but He’s got it figured out.  We see a piece of the puzzle, He sees the completed work.  In all your challenges and hardships please don’t forget the simplest truth of the Bible.  God is love.  He’s proven it in the death and resurrection of Jesus which has earned forgiveness and eternal life for all who believe it.  God is with you, and He will strengthen you through the hard times until the day when we leave this planet to reign with Him in heaven.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 18:3

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

-Matthew 18:3 NIV

 

Pretty strong words by Jesus.  You don’t get into heaven unless you become like a little child?!  What does that even mean?  In Jesus’ day, children weren’t  glamorized and idolized like they are today.  Children had no real status.  They had no say.  They had no power.  Jesus’ point is that we are to give up our grip on earthly status, wealth, and authority and find our hope and strength in Him.  Little children don’t take pride in themselves, they rely completely on their parents for love, care, protection, and support.  We are to do the same.  We don’t look to the world for security, we look to our heavenly Father who, through the death and resurrection of Jesus has provided for our greatest need, the need for a Savior.  So, go ahead, act like a child.  Swallow your pride, humble yourself, and trust God to provide the protection and support you need.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Matthew 16:17-18

“on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

-Matthew 16:17-18 NIV

 

Sadly, it’s human (sinful) nature for us to doubt God.  I don’t know why we do, but we do, and it doesn’t make sense.  If there is a God, then He’s eternal, all powerful, all knowing.  This reading from Matthew 16 assures us that God can’t lose. God will not be overcome, and His body, the church will not be overcome.  The church is the place where the Good News about Jesus is regularly proclaimed.  The church is the place where sinners are baptized and brought to faith in Christ.  The church is where we receive the body and blood of Jesus to strengthen us in our daily battles.  We are safe in the church because the church will not be overcome, ever.  By “the church”, I don’t mean the building.  Victory will one day close and be torn down.  Someday, something else will occupy this ground, but the Church, those around the world who believe in Jesus as their Savior, they will never be overcome by anyone, or anything.  Through faith in Jesus we, the Church, are eternal.  When your life feels like a battle field, rejoice.  God cannot lose.  He has secured eternal salvation for you.  Now, through faith in Christ, you will not lose.

Victory Vitamin Blog – Isaiah 56:7

“My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

-Isaiah 56:7 NIV

 

For some reason, God selected the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be His “Chosen People”.  God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, that’s why His descendants are known as the Israelites.  It’s not that the Israelites were any better than any other nation on earth.  To the contrary, there was nothing special about them at all.  What made them special is that God chose them.  In a similar way, God chooses YOU.  Through baptism, God makes you His own. He forgives you and gives you the gift of faith.  Through faith in Jesus you will live forever in heaven with the God who has chosen you to be His own.  The Israelites were a little surprised when God said through the prophet Isaiah, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  They expected to be the only ones chosen by God.  We now know that God wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth.  Jesus told His followers to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  God loves all of His human creatures.  He wants all of them to spend eternity with Him in heaven.  He’s entrusted that mission to us!  What can you do today to help make that happen?

Victory Vitamin Blog – Job 38:12

“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?”

Job 38:12 NIV

 

The answer to both questions is “No.”  At least for me.  I wish I could order the morning to come about 6 hours later than it does, but it wouldn’t work.  I’m not God.  With these words, God is reminding Job who’s in charge.  He wants to show Job that there is so much he doesn’t understand about what God does and How He works.  It’s very easy for us to question God.  He doesn’t do things the way we would.  He allows things to happen that seem so harsh and uncaring.  But God is God.  We are not.  God knows things we don’t know.  God sees things we don’t see.  We see a piece of the puzzle, God sees the completed picture.  We don’t know what God knows so we become frustrated and angry.  What we do see is God in the flesh hanging on the cross.  What we do know is that our sins are forgiven.  What we can grasp is that God loves us.  God loves you and God is in control.  The clay doesn’t tell the potter how to do their job.  It is still hard to endure some of the things God allows into our lives, but know that the One who created the universe is still in control of it all, and He loves you very much.  Trust.