Who Are We Believing?

August 15, 2017

Friends,
If we distort the Word of God, then we do so to our own destruction, as well as to the destruction of those we influence. (1 Tim. 4:16 // 2 Pe. 3:16,17) Indeed, those who make a practice of disregarding God’s laws will fall more and more into doctrinal error and they will cause others to also fall from the Truth and from salvation. (Same verses) It is only in holding to the Truth that we are abiding in Freedom / Jesus (John 8:31-36), so if we choose to get careless about this, we have “no permanent place in the family” (v. 35) “and fall from our secure position.” (2 Pe. 3:17)

The Word of God warns us repeatedly that we can get deceived by false teachings. (Mt. 24:24 // Rom. 16:17,18 // Gal. 6:7 // Col. 2:4,8 // 1 Tim. 4:1 // 2 Tim. 3:13-16 // etc.) We are to diligently guard against this through careful study of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14,15 // 2 Pe. 3:2), by listening to and heeding what the Holy Spirit is teaching us (John 16:13), and by having an intimate relationship with Christ (17:3) “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:3)

All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16 // 2 Pe. 1:20,21) and every word is inerrant / flawless. (Pr. 30:5) As Ps. 119:160 declares, “All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.” Yes, various Bible versions may have some translation errors, but in this day of the internet when we can compare numerous versions and get the English words alongside the Hebrew or Greek words, and use teaching tools that explain how those Hebrew or Greek words were often (or rarely) used, –well, we have no excuse to not understand what God is communicating to us in His Word.

The question is, though: Who are we really believing? If we are believing what men say regardless of what the Word of God is saying, then we are not actually putting our trust in God, but instead in men. That is idolatry. God’s Word is flawless. Men’s words are riddled with error. So, even if men, in their own minds, distort what God’s Word is saying to fit their own preconceptions and experience, does this change what is true? No. God’s Word is fact, the Truth, unbendable, and unable to be changed, compromised, or distorted. –Except in the minds of the deceivers and the deceived.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Mrs. B’s Funeral

August 5, 2017

Friends,
Mrs. B’s funeral last Tuesday, which was in the country funeral home sanctuary, was exceptionally wonderful. One reason was that the preacher (Homer Morgan) gave a superb sermon –full of joy, faith, hope, the Gospel message, and Scriptures. Later, when I asked Mr. B where they had found such a great preacher, he told me that he and Homer’s dad had ‘coon hunted together! Also, after the short graveside service, when I thanked Mr. Morgan for giving such a Spirit-filled message, I learned his church is in Fruitvale and I realized I had walked with my signs in that town back about 12 years ago. I also realized that, due to another elderly couple inviting me, I had visited his church several times (though I think his dad was the preacher then).

I also learned that Mrs. B’s sister had been praying a lot for Mrs. B’s salvation, as well as had the oldest daughter who had started attending a Baptist church two years ago and whose Sunday School class had been praying too. In fact, about eight women from the class came together (from an hour away) to the funeral and they, the daughter, and Mrs. B’s sister thanked me profusely for helping Mrs. B ask God to forgive her and save her eternally. Before I left, I talked again with the oldest daughter, and also her daughter, and they cried with gratefulness when I told about how Mrs. B finally prayed that day before she went into a coma. (See my last post where I described that.) I told them, as I had told several others, that I could sure see how God was using the prayers of many, many people to save Mrs. B from an eternity without Him. No wonder we who love Jesus could rejoice at this funeral!

One other thing I thought was really special, was that the family had laid out some of Mrs. B’s 30 or more hand-stitched quilts along the backs of the sanctuary pews. I had seen several of them before, but certainly not all of them, and they sure were a display of beauty and skill! Since I had arrived there early, I tried to look at each one, and in so doing, I thought lovingly of Mrs. B, of how much I would miss her, of how thankful I was that she was no longer suffering, of how powerful and compassionate God is to save even a long-time stubborn sheep, and furthermore of how great God is to give people such incredible talents such as He did for Mrs. B in her quilting. See this photo I took:

Yes, God is so good. Again and again I thank Him for saving Mrs. B. And I thank Him that her funeral was one we believers could rejoice at and at which the marvelous Good News was presented to everyone, including to the unbelievers’ ears and hearts, if they were listening. I had asked people to be praying about the funeral to be Spirit-filled, and it was. The Lord uses any of us who are willing vessels, and I am so thankful for a remarkable small-town preacher whom God used to comfort and inspire us at the funeral of Mrs. B. Here is a link to one of his Youtube sermons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtHoYdHgqQM

We never know when we will die and it could be sudden. Mr. Morgan had mentioned on Tuesday the terrible tornados that had hit East Texas on 4/29/17, including Fruitvale. We know that a tornado can whip through a house and leave a person dead within seconds –yes, it can be that abrupt and unexpected. Shouldn’t we, then, never postpone being fully ready to meet The Almighty Judge? Here is a link of some of the tornado damage done in Fruitvale, Texas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaDyqMocLaE

Here is another link where a woman there, who lost a lot, still gives God glory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMv4x11Ezug

Here is one showing the damage in another nearby community where I’d evangelized in about 2004: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH_cT6xxNeA As I drove in the line of cars from the funeral home to the gravesite on Tuesday, I noticed the damage there and I felt sad. Sad to think about the places and people I’ve evangelized, knowing that most probably never repented, and realizing that many have probably since died. Even so, I thought about how merciful and powerful God is, and that what He has done for the Bells, He could have done, and can still do, for anyone and everyone.

I feel so privileged to have known many precious people in East Texas, including dear Mrs. B. I am so glad to have been one vessel God used in bringing her to salvation, and feel so blessed to have consistently felt some of God’s immense, intense, incredible, supernatural love for her. I am so, so happy to be looking forward to seeing her in Heaven.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel