27 September 2015


Jonah 1:1-3

Is God All Powerful?
Is God All Knowing?
Is God Everywhere present?
Is God sovereign?

These are the questions you want to ask yourself when you read a passage of scripture like this or any passage in bible for that matters. There is absolutely nowhere to run or hide for anyone or anything. God is all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present and completely sovereign over your life. Listen to what the word of God says! “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” Psalm 139:1-18

The great theme of this book is the divine sovereignty of God. The expressions “The Lord prepared” and “God prepared,” frequently repeated, would be evident to this truth. Throughout, however man may plan, and whatever he may attempt, it is God who is over all, and working all things in such a way as to bring glory to His own name. This is why every one of us has a little bit or a lot of Jonah in us. We forget this biblical truth! God is sovereign and knows best for each and every one of us. We find it easier to retreat or flee our responsibilities as God’s children than it is to face things on the front-lines as Jesus did. 

What is the easiest thing to do when something is causing you to get out of your comfortable Christian life? Do you ignore the situation? Do you run away hoping the problem will eventually go away or get solved by someone else? Am I Jonah? DO YOU REALIZE? The further you runway the harder it is! Why? It will always catch up to you.........Running does not solve the problem! As Christians, it’s our duty to face whatever the Lord puts in our path and to never run from His sovereign will for our lives. Jonah was a man who didn’t want to follow God’s instruction. Jonah was a man who thought it would be better to go his own way.....”My way is much better than God’s way.

Jonah wasn’t some common man…..Jonah was a prophet from God (going back to 2 Kings 14:25). Jonah represented God to the 10 northern tribes during a time of relative peace and prosperity. Jonah proceeded Amos as a prophet to the Northern Tribes. Jonah and Amos were living in very similar political and cultural conditions. Both Syria and Assyria were weak, allowing King Jeroboam II to enlarge the northern borders of Israel. Things were going relatively well for Jonah! Until the LORD came to Him and said “Arise Go to Nineveh...”

Can I tell you something that is very important! We ALWAYS need to obey God when He says “GO”God purchased you from the slave market and He has declared you to be His property. Not only did God save from the pits of Hell….. He saved you, to use you, for His glory as a light, a beacon or example of His extravagant grace founded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As the scriptures say……“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” I Cor:6:20. “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” I Cor:7:23. “[Christ] gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” Titus : 2:14.

We see two things in opening remarks of Jonah’s letter.


Look (v2) Arise, go to Nineveh that great city, and call out against it.” Why? They were wicked and shady characters who desperately needed to taste God’s mercy. This statement is proof that God extends His saving grace beyond just the nation of Isreal….it extends to you and me. As we read in Romans 3:28-29 “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,” See, Jonah wasn’t listening to God and His commands. Why? Jonah knew about the people of Nineveh. See Nineveh wasn’t your normal or typical city….it’s not somewhere you want to raise a family or retire in or go on a family vacation too. Nineveh was situated on the Tigris River, Nineveh was the capital of the mighty Assyrians, Nineveh was well known as one the.........
  • Wickedest of people (segregated from outsiders)
  • Heavily into Pagan Idolatry  (The worshipped the Fish god)                      
  • No Bible knowledge of any sort (they did not know the God of Israel)
  • Haters of anyone outside their city

Nineveh was known to be heavily protected by huge inner walls: 50 feet wide that were a 100 feet high and 8 miles around. Nineveh was feared for the cruelty of their soldiers to captives of neighboring nations. Nineveh was widely known for…….Sacrificing their children to pagan deities. Shameless in their disregard for human life in general. They were known as “the Bloody City” In Nah 3:1 it says “Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder-- no end to the prey! “ They were a barbaric nation! A prime example of what human depravity really looks like according to the scriptures. They were naturally bent and unfixable …..But that’s the whole point to the gospel. We are all bent and need saving, just like the Ninevites. This wasn’t an easy city or situation for Jonah to enter into to!
  • What would you do, knowing who these people are?
  • Would you go and preach the only way of eternal life to this wicked nation?
  • Would you run like Jonah as far away as possible?

  • Would you walk by faith in God’ providential care to see you through His master plan, for those who desperately need to hear the gospel. Jonah had a duty to perform and a responsibility to the message of God! But! Jonah choice to run!! Where are you running to Christian? Where are you running to and why? How you respond to the call, will determine who and what you love the most! We see Jonah’s answer in the next verse (v3)


Look (v3) Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” Again, the first thing that pops into my mind is this…..Where will you go Jonah? How is that even possible Jonah? How can you hide from the sovereign Creator of the Universe? Think about what Jonah is trying to do! It’s like playing “hide and go” seek with a two year old, who covers their eyes and doesn’t go hide but says “you can’t see me” This is no different for Jonah and for us at times! Do you think by running a few hundred miles in the other direction that God is going to be sitting on His throne and saying……“ I wonder where Jonah went too? He hasn’t posted on Facebook in a while, no selfies of himself on his travels.”

This is serious business church family! Fleeing not only from the Lord’s Command….but trying to flee from His presence. Only brings and produces heartache and discipline from a holy God. What Jonah did was willful disobedience. “Disobedience “means “to neglect or a refusal to obey; a violation, a breach of duty prescribed by authority. In the OT "disobedience" is frequently described as "a refusing to hear. In Deut 18:19 Moses penned these words “And whoever will not listen to My words that he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” I will require it of you; I will punish him severely for it. The act of disobedience is going to be required of you. Nothing goes undone by a holy a sovereign God! See when God calls a person like Jonah, we must do it. There is no door number two Where you say “I don’t think so” because you will have to stand before God.

(v2) “Arise, go to Nineveh” See this is a command not a request again if the Lord tells you to do something you do it! Jonah knew the Law of the Lord, and he also knew he was supposed to listen and follow God’s commands. Jonah did the exact opposite of what God commands from His children. Jonah chose to “flee” and go as far away from Nineveh as possible. Are you doing this today? Does God want you to do something that would require you to go? We need to understand no matter if you’re a Prophet like Jonah or a Christian layperson.

Disobedience leads to heartache or worse death…..
  • Adam and Eve, eating the forbidden fruit. (Gen 3:6-11)
  • Lot's wife, in looking back upon Sodom (Gen 19:26)
  • Moses in making excuses when commissioned to deliver Israel. (Exo 4:13-14)
  • The Israelites refusing to enter the Promised Land. (Deut 1:26; Num 14:1-10)

Jonah thought he could flee to Tarshish and escape the presence of the Lord. Again I’m blown away by this opening verse of this letter! God is everywhere Jonah? GOD is Omnipresent.

“Omnipresent” means that God is everywhere present at the same time; He is unbounded. This is one of His glorious attributes that only He wills. John MacArthur said “If God is everywhere; it is foolish to think we can hide from Him. However, it also means that a believer may experience the presence of God at all times and know the blessing of walking with Him.” In Jeremiah 23:24 we see this truth "Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Declares the LORD.”

To think that a person can run away from the eternal presence of the Lord is plan foolishness and has such a low view of God. There are many Jonah’s today, who do the same thing he did by running in opposite direction. Fleeing, disobeying or make excuses when the Lord calls us to go is not just on the mission field in some remote part of the world. He commands us the same way in the workplace, our homes, businesses, our community and our neighborhoods.

Sadly, we flee with excuses like……
  • I’m too afraid
  • They’re not going to listen to me.
  • I’m uneducated and do not want to mess up the truth of God’s word.
  • I don’t know what to say to my peers at work, school, and neighbor and so on.
  • I don’t know if I would say enough or too much.
  • I don’t want to offend anyone, I just want to fit in and leave a peace with people. 

I want you to understand something this morning! You cannot hide from God. So stop trying! But also know God is much bigger than your inabilities. That’s why God chose the simple to reprove the wise of this age. Why? For this very reason! God gets the glory in your life as you live for Him and the gospel message. Paul penned these words “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Cor 1:27-31

The greatest thing you can do when you feel you can’t is to submit to God, because he doesn’t need you but choses to use you in your weaknesses and in your inabilities to shine through you. Why? Because only God can do that! God gets the glory as He uses us for His purposes. As David Platt said when he talked about reaching this world “the Church is plan A, there is no plan B.”

So where are you running to and why?
  • Running doesn’t solve the issue or the problem.
  • Running doesn’t change the mind of almighty God.
  • Running doesn’t bring blessing and rest in Christ.

Do you recognize what running does…….
  • Running leads to chastisement from a holy God.
  • Running leads to a miserable Christian life, filled with guilt and doubt.
  • Running only prolongs you inability to grow and be as blessing to others.
  • Running only leads to opportunity squandered (regretting that I should had of done something….. not to earn favor with God, but to be used by Him for His glory.)

God did not call us to sit on our butts and do nothing as this world passes you and me bye. God did not call us out of darkness so we could sit on the fence and watch others do it. We are to live for Christ in every avenue of our lives! This means privately, outwardly and corporately. See to follow Jesus is to…….live with radical abandonment and be faithfully committed to whatever God has for our lives….Without excuses or But! Jonah chose to run in the opposite direction with the idea that maybe the further I run God will change His mind. But as Moses penned “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19

So the question for you is! Am I Jonah? This is a question you need to think about as we go through this little book.

13 September 2015


Psalm 53:1-11

ARE YOU A FOOL THIS MORNING? A simple fool is a person who doesn’t purposely go out looking to make mistakes but quickly corrects them after it happens by saying "what a fool I was to do this". The hardened or stubborn fool makes many blunders, but never learns from them and will not listen to others. The mocking fool mocks the things of God. This word means "scoffer" or "scorner." When you encounter sceptical people who disregard the things of God. The God-denying fool who is a morally wicked person who ignores God’s morality of standards and despises godliness and those who possess it.. This person says, "There is no God. This would be the biggest fool of them all! A person who says, "There is no God. What does it mean to be a fool? Because this isn’t a compliment in any way to called one! The definition of a “fool” is a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person. A synonym of a fool is “idiot, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron. The word “fool” is used to describe a senseless act or someone who is wicked or a vile person. The word “fool” is used 569 times throughout the Old and the New Testament. The book of Proverbs where “fool” is used denotes a person who is morally and spiritually deficient (which means lacking).

MANY TIMES JESUS, HIMSELF CONTRASTED THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH PERSON! In Matt 7:24-27 says "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it."

Remember what Paul said when he preached about the Cross? That is was “foolishness to those who are perishing” But he goes on to say in the same portion of his letter! “but for the wise (believer) it is the power of God and wisdom of God.” 1 Cor 1:23-24. This is a very powerful word that really hits the core of the human heart! Many good intentional people including my own family are fools according to the Word of God who walk this earth as it pertains to the Creator. SO LET ME ASK YOU……..ARE YOU A FOOL THIS MORNING?


Someone who clings and always returns to their foolish ways as a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” Prov 26:11

Makes a light of sin all the time “fools mock sin” Prov 14:9

Hates knowledge and instruction “a fool despises his father’s instruction” Prov 15:5

They walk in darkness “the wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness” Eccl 2:14

They never want to depart from evil “....but it is an abomination to fools to depart from evil.” Prov 13:19

They think they are self sufficient “the ways of a fool is right in his own eyes.” Prov 12:15

They are unconcerned or lazy “the fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.” Eccl 4:5

They are always angry “...for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” Eccl 7:9

They grieve their parents “a foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.” Prov 17:25

There mouth destroys them “wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.” Prov 10:14

We come to a Psalm that I think leads to all these things I’ve mentioned above! It begins with the (v1) in Psalm 53! “the fool says in his heart there is no God!.” Many people during that time and more so today, hold to this destructive view of God. This seem to be a growing trend in our post-modern......everything tolerant society! There are more fools then you think. I’m not speaking on an academic level even though those statistics are not looking very promising for future generations! I'm talking about that person that says there is no such thing as God! 


“One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all.”  Richard Dawkins.

"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." Albert Einstein

A scientist and active evolutionist said “Religion is a virus of the mind, and thinks teaching children about Hell fire is nothing short of psychological child abuse”I TYPED THIS QUESTION ON GOGGLE "Why do people deny the existence of God?" There were 1.5 million hits on this very question. One gentleman named Friar Tuck said “Because, based on the evidence, I (for one - can't speak for others) do not think god (or gods or goddesses) exist outside our own minds.” Another one said “Because his/her/its/their existence is not proven, and too many people don’t even have the slightest shred of evidence - in fact in many cases the evidence directly contradicts the notion that there is a God (it certainly contradicts specific teachings made by them).” Another person said “Because there is ZERO evidence for him. Nada, zip, NOTHING!!!” Here's  another one "I can only speak for myself but I deny it because I think it's malarkey ... Some people choose logic over faith." See, the fool, who is referred to in Psalm 53:1, denied God’s rule over his life. People in our day do so in their hearts and in their actions. But what the fool fails to acknowledge as they suppress the truth, is that they’re without excuse. 

Listen to the evidence found in Paul’s writing to the Romans in chapter 1“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Rom 1:18-25. It is obvious that foolishness doesn’t usually end up well. For many or some it unescapably results in a sense of emptiness that often leads to alcoholism, drug addiction, bizarre religious practices, flagrant immorality, sexual immorality, idolatry, broken homes and despair. Sadly, many experience the high cost of putting what they call “my way” above “God’s way.” And sadly it leads to death and separation. This is why David penned these words in the remainder of (v1)

“Corrupt and have done abominable” which means: there whole body is utter waste (flesh) is stained and this is detestable in the eyes of a holy God. This is who C S Lewis was before the gospel grabbed a hold of his foolish soul. “It is said when C. S. Lewis was an atheist, he rejected the idea of a divine Being because of all the injustice in the world. But when he asked himself where he got the idea of justice in the first place, he had a problem. He wrote, “Man doesn’t call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” The ignorance of man leads to destruction, but the mercy and grace of God leads to life everlasting. The God who is merciful and slow to anger does something amazing according to this Psalm (Look at v2). He searches everywhere......He looks for anyone who has their hearts directed towards Him and glory! He looks for people who are worshipping His wonderful name! Sadly we see the answer in the next sentence (Look at v3)

What does God find? NO ONE IS SEEKING AFTER GOD!
  • We have all fallen short (doesn’t matter if it’s a mile or a millimetre of God perfection).
  • We all have missed the mark.
  • We all seek our own lustful desires and passions.
  • We are all in pursuit of the American dream.
  • We are all in pursuit for what I can get out of life.
  • We have all turns away or turned back to what we love the most! SELF.
  • We were all FOOLS once!

THE APOSTLE PAUL SAID “for we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” Titus 3:3. THE QUESTION AGAIN IS! ARE YOU A FOOL? Why do you keep asking me this question? Because a fool does not know what it means to be gripped by the glory of God? That a holy, perfect, righteous, all powerful God who would take a person who was once a fool, a hater of God or have said in his or her heart “there is no God” and bring salvation to that person! So that He could declare that child to a wise righteous son of the living God….because He is the One who seeks and finds sinners.

That’s what it means to be gripped by God’s love! He look past our selfishness and foolish life and say “today I have declared you to be my child”. To know that the Bible declared me (Mike Andrews) who was once a fool and blind to His truth! And God would seek this wretched man that I am and save me from my road of destruction through His precious Son. That’s what the glory of God looks like in my salvation........but not just in my salvation that night in a hotel in Montreal, but every day as He allows me to breathe! He saved me from what I was! A foolish man on the road of destruction as so many is on today. Paul Washer says it best in his testimony! “Let me tell you about my Jesus? He has saved me! When I was a wretch you would not have wanted to run me down with your car. But my Jesus, he brought me with His blood. And my Jesus, he came to me and my Jesus took away my sin, and my Jesus took away my shame! All hail the power of Jesus name let angel’s prostrate fall; bring forth the royal diadem and crown Him Lord of all.......that’s my Jesus.”

There is only one Rescuer for foolish people like us! Jesus Christ. There are only two ways that God’s justice can be satisfied with respect to your sin and foolish state. It will either be satisfied in you, or it will be satisfied in ChristYou can satisfy it by being banished from God’s presence forever as you bare the wrath of God for all eternity for your sin and disbelief!

You can accept the satisfaction that Jesus Christ has made for sinful man. As the Godman Jesus Christ had to go to the cross Himself to pay the price for foolish people like you and me. The greatest problem isn’t your sin, though it is….the greatest problem is your foolish heart by saying “there is no God.” Leonard Ravenhill said “the greatest sin in the world is thinking I can manage my life without God....that’s the great sin a person could ever commit.”

To know that He loves this imperfect body and the soul that lives in it! To know that He changed this heart of a fool into a heart that desires Christ and His righteousness. This is the beauty of the Gospel! God didn’t leave us to ourselves because that’s how the fool wants to live today! There were those in the Old Testament times that looked and hoped, that prayed and waited, for this redemption. (v6). Just as God is not finished with the nation of Israel in His providential plan..... He is not finished with our generation of fools as well. God is calling in the streets to the fools of this generation and the generations to come before He returns to come and dine with Him. To be a fool is to be lost and in the end of this life, you will face the full wrath of God for all eternity! But for those who are being saved its joy, peace, rest and protection for all eternity with Jehovah our great God and protector. As Charles Swindoll so boldly said “God is holy. Exalted. He is the only wise God, the Creator, the Maker, the sovereign Lord. He is the Master. He tells me what to do, and I have no safe option but to do it. He offers no alternative, no multiple choice. We have but one directive, and that is to do His will.”

THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF IS: Am I a fool or not? Do you truly believe or does your heart say “there is no God” only you can truly answer that question. BUT REMEMBER God will either get glory in your damnation and your denial and disobedience or in your adoration and salvation through Jesus Christ. As others watch you, will they actively see your belief in God? SO YOU MUST CHOOSE THIS DAY! Who will you serve the god of the fool (which is you) or the Living God of the Bible?

06 September 2015


Psalm 46:1-11

This world is a crazy place that can leave a person asking a million questions along with doubting everything we thought to be true and foundational. For example: Where are you God in the midst of our calamities? With crime and murder on the rise. The taking of innocent life through abortion, people fleeing their own country in fear as it is in Syria. The destruction of family through divorce or young adults walking away from a faith that was never theirs in the beginning. Spouses who have been exposed by the perversion found in the hacking of Ashley Madison website. I read an article that Ed Stetzer wrote and the opening paragraph said this ”This week, I’ve already written a couple of posts on the Ashley Madison hack and information leak because pastors, Christian leaders, and families are facing devastating revelation and the after-effects of public sin. Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be.”

This is really sad for so many churches, not to mention the number of churches closing their doors and people abandoning the fellowship and walking away from true biblical Christianity. The question comes down too……What is a Christian to do? Were living in a world of troubled times of unrest and weariness, whether your saved or unsaved. Panic, pandemonium, fear, doubt, confusion, sadness results in a life that has no hope for many people today! I don’t know what’s worse! The actual events happening around us or to see the defeat in the people around us, as they go through this. What’s worse is to see Christians following suit with the world, when it comes to these kinds of situations in life! God has not given us a spirit of fear but of sound mind and a hope in eternal things! Paul said to Timothy “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Tim 1:7. The Bible also says For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" Rom 8:15

Jesus said “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28

Jesus also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

David penned these words “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps 27:1

Remember what Jesus said after the rich man walked away weeping "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matt 19:26. So we can say with the Hebrew writer “......The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Heb 13:6. Why? This is where we [Christians] put our hope and trust into...the sovereign hands of Almighty God. The only place where a person will ever find refuge and strength in times of troubles or distresses. We have the Holy Spirit to keep us focused when we are faced with trials and tribulations

I truly believe this! Why? This is one thing that helped our family when we were faced with the unknown on a Monday afternoon waiting for the results at the hospital in Winnipeg! Losing a child whether they’re in the womb or outside the womb is tragic. See, Julie and I would be the first to say “we never saw this coming or that we would ever expect this happen, especially after having 4 health pregnancies!” The same goes for any tragedy...... no matter what situation God puts you though you can always find refuge in Him. If you don’t believe me read the book of Job.

“Refugee” means “a shelter or protection from danger or distress. God is for us as a place to which we may flee for safety; a source of strength to us in danger. A strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place unapproachable to an enemy. According this Psalm it literally means, “a place of trust”. As the Psalmist says He is sufficient in circumstance!  (v1) “a very present help in trouble” This is a blessed promise of God’s divine providence in our lives! “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Ps 9:9
In this Psalm alone we find comforting truth to know that God is here in the midst of whatever is going on in our lives! 

In this Psalm we learn some wonderful truth to help us understand that place of rest! We find refuge, confidence and safe condition under God’s care through every circumstance. (v1-v5). We find refuge in his wonderful deliverance from our enemies. (v6-v9). We find refuge and reason to the magnifying his name. (v10-v11)

Paul Tripp wrote this great reminder of what it means to be safely put into the arms of God!

“When I'm Weary and exhausted
You're not.
When I'm Confused and discouraged
You're not.
When I'm Fickle and unfaithful
You're not.
When I'm Doubtful and disheartened
You're not.
When I'm Fearful and anxious
You're not.
When I'm Short-sighted and fearful
You're not.
When I'm Tired and about to quit
You're not.
When I'm Lacking in hope and love
You're not.
When I'm Shocked and surprised
You're not.
When I'm Angrily withholding grace
You're not.
When I'm Unfaithful to what I've promised
You're not.
When I'm Selfish and disloyal
You're not.

Oh, Lord of Faithfulness and grace
I am so thankful That In those moments
When I'm Losing my way
You're not.”

God is always there! This is what it means when the Psalmist says “he is our refuge” So my question to you and me is......Do you believe this? Because this Psalm brings great comfort and joy to the Christian heart! It brings great comfort to me! I want to leave you with something to ponder this week about what it means to be under His sovereign care.

WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS NAME.....Prov 18:10“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”

WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS SOVEREIGN PROTECTION......Ps 18:2 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS POWER TO ACCOMPLISH THE UNTHINKABLE....Jer 32:17 “Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”

WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS ETERNAL PROMISES.....1 John 2:24-25 “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life.”

WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS FAITHFULNESS......Heb 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

A Christian [a child of the living God] can find a deep rooted joy and comfort when we’re facing a world that looks like its spiralling out of control! This is where I find comfort! Because it’s not spiralling out of control! The world is moving perfectly and it’s doing exactly what He (God) wants it to by His sovereign hand.

This reminds of the story Ravi Zacharias told when he personal experienced God’s sovereign hand of protection....... He said this “I was in Vietnam in the early seventies. Four missionaries and I were in a Land Rover driving from Dalat to Saigon. It was a full day's journey with detours and roadblocks. As we entered a rather long and desolate stretch, one of the missionaries warned, "We are now entering the most dangerous part of the country." No one said anything. All of a sudden, the engine began to sputter, chug, choke, and die. There we were, stranded, with nothing except the woods in sight. We tentatively stepped out of the car, cautiously looking left and right. As we stood on the side of the road, a white jeep approached. Relieved that someone could help us, we waived white handkerchiefs and our arms, pleading for him to stop. The driver just swerved away from us and sped along. But fifteen minutes later...somehow...our car started again. We don't know how it got "fixed," our driver simply turned the key and the Land Rover roared from its slumber. We all jumped in and drove off. We had not driven but a few hundred yards around a bend in the road when we saw the white jeep overturned, ambushed and four bloodied bodies motionless on the roadside. We were numb. The stunned look in each of our eyes told the story. Thank God for our breakdown or that would have been us.”

GOD IS AWESOME! And He is our shelter in times of storm. As Isaiah said in chapter 40! “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:28-31

So as the Psalmist writes “Be still and know..” (Ps 46:10). Acknowledge God’s supremacy in your life. Acknowledge that no matter what lies ahead He is my refuge to see me through my present or coming storm. God sometimes allows us to enter into discouraging situations for the primary purpose of testing our faith…….we must refuse to give up in despair. Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish, we must turn to the Lord when our soul is fainting within us, trusting Him completely. “Hudson Taylor was so feeble in the closing months of his life that he said to a dear friend, ‘I’m so weak that I can’t work or read my Bible, and I can hardly pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child and trust.’ And that is all the Heavenly Father asks of you when you grow weary in the fierce fires of affliction.”

Please remember that! Especially when you are faced with the question of “Why LORD And where are You?” when the world is crumbing all around us! He is our ever present shelter and refuge.....NEVER FORGET THAT! Do you truly believe that? Better yet! Are you truly resting in Christ alone?

30 August 2015


Prov 15:1

When you think of the word “hot tempered” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? See the major problem with hot tempered people is that they like a good fight and they will never back down! They will always insist upon having the last word. And that could be dangerous for themselves and others. There is a poem that my dear wife brought to my attention…..It’s about a dog and a cat that don’t see eye to eye, and neither one of them is willing to back down! And the story is narrated by a Chinese plate after he was told by the Old Dutch clock on the wall. It’s called “The Duel”  by Eugene Field. The story begins and ends with a dog and a cat battling for hours. They bite and claw at each other and at the end of the poem we see the outcome of this long drawn-out battle.

“Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.”

See, sadly the natural bent in society is to feed the flame, than to quench the angry fire with water. You always need to ask the question! Does any good come from anger? Bible talks about this quite a bit! “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Gal 5:15
Conflicts only destroy the spirituality and happiness of each other…and sadly this is destroying the home and the church family. Anger can be used as a sinful tool to destroy or change an event. As Charles Bridges said “pride and passion on both sides strike together like two flints; and behold how great a matter a little fire kindles.” “Anger”  by definition is “a violent passion of the mind excited by a real or supposed injury; usually accompanied with a tendency to take vengeance, or to obtain satisfaction from the offending party. This passion however varies in degrees of violence, and may be attended only with a desire to reprove or blame the offender.” Understand this though! There can be a righteous anger………..so anger can be moral neutral. For example! a garden tool, let’s take “a rake” this can be used to clean up and pile leaves in the fall, which is a good thing, but it also can be used in a wrong way when you mad at your neighbor for raking his leaves over onto your lawn and you turn that rake into a weapon of destruction as you smash it over his brand new car. See anger is choice an act of the will. It can be used in a proper manner or it can be used in a destructive manner. Sadly anger in my life and maybe yours is used destructively on most occasions. “Anger”  is destructive, it gives birth to sin, it’s arrogant, selfish and it comes from an unwilling heart.



Prov 14:16 says “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” They don’t stop to think how their angry outbursts affect those around them. They "blow up" all over everyone, leaving them upset and perhaps fearful by their spouse, children or your friends. It’s like you’re a raging tsunami and there is no stopping you. Then they go along their merry way not paying any attention to the havoc they caused.


In Dan 3:19-22 “Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.” He even lost some of his top military men because he was so angry with three Hebrew teenagers who would not bow down and worship his idol......Anger is the exhaustion of hate.


Prov 22:24-25 says  “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” The bible says to make no friendship with such people. Why? He is infectious! Nobody enjoys being around an angry, bitter, hateful person all the time. They are depressing to be around and draining and mostly you begin to act and behave in the same manner. They drag you down. Anger warps the personality and squeezes the joy out of the angry person’s life, replacing it with a "sour grapes" attitude.


In 1 Kings 21:4-6 “And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food. But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, "Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?" And he said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" Do you know that studies on anger suggest that 60% to 80% of illness results from hostility? Behaviours such as anger, envy, resentment, worry etc. can cause ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, strokes, heart trouble, headaches, hardening of the arteries, kidney disease, arthritis and more according to medical studies. Anger solves nothing…all it does is fuel the fire in your heart and cause nothing but headaches for both parties involved. 

This morning we learn a great “truism” a practical fact from the wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs! This is a truth that we all should apply day by day when we face a variety of conflicts with others. As one writer wrote this verse “Angry words answered with a loud voice and accusation, just adds fuel to the flame of anger. Gentleness and sympathy puts water on the fire of one’s angry heart. Once I had this scripture in my head and learned to use it in many relationship situations, I saw how effective this piece of wisdom was—all of us desire, in our frustration, to be honored.” Always remember, when we lash out in anger we are giving an “opportunity “or a “foot hold” to the devil. Like Prov 25:28 says it tears down a city and leaves it in rubble. As we all know, it is natural to react to most situations with anger.  However, it is supernatural to react in love to the same situation. The Apostle Paul wrote; Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Let me ask you! What has anger done for you lately? Further warning comes from James “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3:10. The Proverb says Stir up” this means “make to ascend” and pictures anger, like a fire, being fanned into an even greater fire. Soft words, is like oil on a wound, having a soothing effect. This Proverb isn’t saying that we can’t disagree, but it must be done with humility and grace without confrontation. Basically, discussing things like adults and not like children fighting over the swing at recess. Why? You will get nowhere with a person who has a temper tantrum and is unreasonable! An angry man throws fire while a gentle man throws water. We are simply to use words that do not uselessly antagonize him or her, for if we do this, we lose all opportunity to declare truth to them, for they will close their mind to all we say! And that speaks volumes when we share the gospel with lost sinners. Jesus set the standard in how we address people who seem hostile towards us. “Revile not” which mean to “abuse; attack with evil words.” He took the hostility, the beating, and the punishment without attacking back.

Paul reminds us of this biblical truth in how we’re to live with those around us! Rom 12:18 says “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” We must be peacemakers even if others refuse to be. Obedience is our job; the rest we leave to God. SO HOW CAN WE DO ALL THIS, WHEN YOUR FACE TO FACE IN CONVERSATION THAT LEAVES BOTH OF US FEELING HOT TEMPERED? 

HOW CAN I APPLY OR DEMONSTRATE THIS PROVERB IN MY LIFE TODAY, TOMORROW AND THE NEXT? I think the answer can be found in life of a woman named Abigail.

Abigail was a woman who was caught between two angry men, one of them being her foolish rich husband Nabal and the other being a prideful soon to be King named DavidWe see something amazing as the situation was about to spiral out of control. Turn to 1 Samuel chapter 25! A situation that was going to leave Abigail a widow. For what reason? David was displeased with the compensation and response by Nabal….especially after guarding over Nabal sheep (v4-v14). So Nabal this pompous and arrogant man is about to see the wrath of David very shortly, but word gets to Abigail’s ears and this is where Prov 15:1 comes into play. First the bible says Abigail “made haste” (v18) which means to hurry, rush, to stop this terrible scene from taking place. What does she do? (v18-v19) she delivers a peace offering of food for David and his men, and when she sees David………. this is where we see the truth of that Proverb. She humbly speaks the truth in love for her future King and stubborn husband. She ceased the opportunity to reason, and brings understanding to the table. She could have come and said “how dare you speak to my husband this way” or “who do you think you are.” Which in reality would have only fueled David’s rage……but she didn’t! No! She knew her husband all to well, but she also knew this David. A man who was anointed by God, a man of honor and strength, a man after God’s own heart! She knew he was a reasonable man who was having a moment of prideful rage, and the only way to communicate to a hot tempered person is through humility. (v32-v34)

We’re all susceptible to heated moments, or moments of rage! I’ve found through my many failed experiences that I wish I spoke more from my heart instead of my head. I wish I approached a situation seasoned with grace rather than an angry giant trying to scare people with my loud voice. Abigail displays for us what Solomon would write many years later! A gentle answer will turn away wrath. Approaching every situation looking through the eyes of Christ, by asking myself this question “What would Jesus do at this moment?” He would choose the right thing over the wrong, which at times feel so right in our own minds.

In order to proper communicate to someone else in a way Abigail did, we first need to listen, and then respond! As James said “quick to hear….and slow to speak, slow to anger” James 1:19. The power of words to build up or to destroy relationships! Which one, will you chose? Remember a sound heart is a quiet heart that seeks peace….not a clanging cymbal that wants to be heard. Let me introduce you to a man I was introduced to by Pastor Paul Martin of Grace Community Church this past Sunday. His name is Mr. Shunslow Stopsoft He will help you, when we are tempted to be angry!

Shun angry acquaintances…… Prov 22:24-25
Slow your angry outbursts……. Prov 15:18
Stop the start of anger……..  Prov 17:14
Soft is better than anger……Prov 15:1

This is Mr. Shunslow Stopsoft!

Remember: You can defuse arguments when you are humble and walking in the Spirit. You can handle unfair treatment peacefully when you put into practice God’s word. You can respond to unfair treatment without being overcome by bitterness and rage. You can defuse a problem by doing what is wise and peaceable by choosing not to get angry. You can ask for forgiveness when you’ve hurt someone with your angry outburst. You can make the right choice with Mr. Shunslow Stopsoft help. When we can humbly do that, we will be able to apply this Proverb correctly to our lives. This is a battle church family….a battle I wish I say “I’ve conquered”, but that would be a lie. Don’t be enslaved to anger! Cry out to God and plead with Him “rescue me Lord from my anger” But by God’s grace and His ever present Spirit, I’m learning and growing when dealing with how I use my anger. The Sunday Question! Are you an angry person and what are you doing about it to change?