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Not the God of Almost

Today, as I prayed for a Christian brother and friend, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is not the God of “almost.”

Job didn’t almost survive the devil’s attacks, Noah didn’t almost survive the flood, and Elijah didn’t almost survive an assassination attempt on his life. God didn’t almost save Isaac from being sacrificed; God didn’t almost deliver the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the Egyptians. Need I go on? The Israelites didn’t almost make it out of the desert, David didn’t almost kill Goliath, Solomon didn’t almost complete the Temple in Jerusalem. Elizabeth didn’t almost become pregnant with John the Baptist, and Mary did not almost become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. God is not the god of almost.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 ESV

Our God, the One True God, always finishes what He starts. Think about this: God has never been surprised. He has never learned something new. God has never hoped for anything, needed anything, or been late for anything. He is God. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

God’s Word applies human characteristics to God, but those are just anthropomorphic ideas, something that helps us gain some slight insight into the majesty of God.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.

1 Chronicles 29:11

God answers small prayers, but He desires us to pray big prayers. Don’t ask for the money to help build a church in Peru; pray that He will send you to help build the church. Don’t ask for the strength to mow your lawn and your church’s lawn. Pray that God will give you opportunities to mow your church’s property and the lawns of all the widows in your church. As Caleb asked Joshua, “Give me this mountain,” so we should ask God for the big mountains we face.

Helping Hands Climbing Rescue Rescuing Man Men

Pass It On

Back in 2000, there was a film titled “Pay It Forward.” The gist is that when we receive a good deed (are blessed) from someone, we do that same good deed (blessing) to someone else. The movie so impacted our culture that this phrase and intent is still active twenty-three years later. I’m sure the filmmakers did not consider Paul’s instruction to Timothy.

You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.2 Timothy 2:2


Notice that Paul is not writing about abstract ideas. He writes that the things he taught have been “confirmed by many.” Chief among them is what Paul taught about Christ’s death for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection1. This was confirmed because at least 500 people saw Jesus after His resurrection2.

Paul wrote about things that are beyond natural actions yet established as true. He wrote about the disciplines and gifts the Holy Spirit gives to us. He wrote about miracles and healings. He wrote about the righteousness of Jesus being our righteousness when we are in Christ Jesus. He wrote about Christ’s second coming. People heard Paul preach and saw the Holy Spirit confirm his teaching.

Now, Paul is writing to his “spiritual” son and telling him to have confidence in what he taught because reliable witnesses have confirmed each truth. Therefore, because Timothy should not doubt these truths, he should teach the same to others and be confident that God will prove the truth of Timothy’s teaching. And through the confirmations, these truths should be passed on and on and on.

So, two thousand years later, we have that same confidence in what was written by Paul in the Bible. And when we receive this instruction, we can be sure that the Holy Spirit will confirm these truths, and the supernatural actions of God will accomplish this confirmation – anything God does is done by the maker of nature and, therefore, greater (superior) than nature. If we don’t believe this, then what can we hope for when we pray?

Good News

As believers in Jesus, we have been commissioned to be in the world but not of the world. While in this world, we are to teach Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. We are to demonstrate Christianity’s uniqueness through our incomprehensible love for each other and by the supernatural works that God does through us. These confirmations are, first, a testimony to the divine nature of Jesus, our Savior, and second, God’s confirmation of our commission to be representatives of Jesus in this world.

Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay

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[1]: 1 Corinthians 15:3–4 
[2]: 1 Corinthians 15:6

Help in Unexpected Ways

Even when we think we’ve dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s, trouble can still fall upon us. Most of the time, our prayer list is filled with other people’s needs. But there are times when we urgently need God to make a way where there is no way. When we are in need, we should remember one of the many names of God, Jehovah Jireh, meaning “the Lord will provide.”

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Divine Help

You may remember the account in the Old Testament when the servant of Elisha walked outside and saw that a large army had surrounded the city they were in. He rushed to Elisha and shouted, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” Elisha didn’t even break a sweat. Instead, Elisha probably put his arm around him and said, “Don’t be afraid. Let’s take another look.” Then Elisha prayed, and his servant’s eyes were opened, and he saw, “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:15–20)

If we could see as Elisha saw, we would see a world not only filled with tangible objects – people, pets, buildings, and roads – but we would also see God’s celestial beings as well as the devil’s fallen angels. My guess is that we would often find God’s angels in unexpected places, and the same for fallen angels. We know from God’s Word that sometimes the enemy interferes with the angels of God (Daniel 10:12–14). 

Angels Watching Over Me

The idea of angels at work in our lives may seem surprising but we need to remember Hebrews 1:14. Angels are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” Many years ago, the Christian singer/songwriter Amy Grant recorded a song called Angels Watching Over Me. I know that at least once in my life, God sent an angel to deliver me from serious trouble. I had an immediate need, and God provided help in an unexpected way. You may not believe that spiritual warfare still takes place in our modern world, but having experienced God’s hand of deliverance by an angel, I can tell you that it does.

So, when you experience real trouble, crushing heartache, or a total sense of being overwhelmed, take your problem to Jesus and leave it with Him. I’m not just writing some pablum to soothe your mind. I am testifying to you that God still changes times and circumstances when a child of His prays in faith.

If you’re unsure how to pray, I recommend this passage of Scripture. Pray it to God. Believe Him.

I love you, Lord;
you are my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.

Psalms 18:1–3 NLT

Good News

There is no problem so big that God cannot solve it.

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Image by Maurizio Lanciotti from Pixabay

Press Camera The Crowd Journalist News Curiosity

It Could Happen Here

1 The same thing happened in Iconium…3 “But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders…5 Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. 6 When the apostles learned of it, they fled…” Acts 14:1,3,5–6

Today’s News

Let’s take this passage of Scripture and bring it into today’s news.

Radicalized Christian Fundamentalists Escape Capture.
by Im Wright, staff reporter for Today’s Worldly News

As has been reported by responsible journalists, the dangerous team of Paul and Barnabas has been creating unrest in our community for quite some time. Their deceptive actions have been condemned by their own ethnic leaders and by all civic and religious leaders in our community.

This reporter asked respected people in our city their thoughts about the troubling developments from Paul and Barnabas. Here are two of these comments:

I think they must be magicians, the way they ‘heal’ sick people and do things that can’t be explained. But magic has nothing to do with science and reason. I think they are a bad influence on our children.

Thomas Niceman, a Good Intentions high school teacher.

Our mayor, Nikem Ubet, has taken a stronger stand against these terrorists that give a bad name to Christianity. Here is an excerpt from the mayor’s comments.

Their magic means nothing; they are charlatans, pure and simple. They have harmed enough people in our town, so it’s high time for them to be punished for their damning actions. The city council and I have started proceedings against these wick men. Since they have left us no doubt regarding their guilt, we expect to bypass the established judicial process and immediately apply capital punishment, thereby warning anyone else that thinks they can come to our fine city and stir up trouble, setting families against families. I can promise everyone that they won’t be bothering us much longer.”

Nikem Ubet, Mayor

Great News
This news just in, our Chief of Police just finished a press conference. He said that Paul and Barnabas had disappeared. Following a BOLO (be on the look out) that he issued yesterday, our city can rest easy again. These radicalized Christians are gone for good.

Good News

I don’t think my imagined news report is far from what would happen if a Paul and Barnabas came to my town. I am sure that God’s miracles would only harden the hearts of most of my community’s leaders.

Let’s pray for the leaders God has given us. Let’s pray for the people that lead and teach our children. Let’s not be bystanders to Christ’s great commission.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay 

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