• The Contrary Desires of the Flesh and the Spirit

    sheep#10aThe Contrary Desires of the Flesh and the Spirit
    For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Gal_5:17)
    Every believer in Christ has had the frustrating experience of wanting to do what pleases the Lord, but being unable to actually accomplish such. We are told here a spiritual struggle is behind that failure. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” The Spirit of God dwells within our lives. He is the “Spirit of holiness” (Rom_1:4). He desires that we be “partakers of His holiness” (Heb_12:10) and thereby walk in godliness. However, the flesh (natural humanity) is also present in our lives. These natural desires of man are not toward holiness, but rather toward self-indulgence and self-sufficiency. Thus, what the Spirit desires and what our flesh craves are set against each other. “These are contrary to one another.” The consequence of this internal conflict is “that you do not do the things that you wish.” Even though godly desires develop in us as new creatures in Christ, we find ourselves unable to implement these new longings by our good intentions.
    The Apostle Paul gave testimony to his own failure in this battle. “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice” (Rom_7:19). The problem was that Paul’s personal resources (the flesh) were not adequate to produce the desired results. “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find” (Rom_7:18). Yes, Paul had some godly desires. “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man” (Rom_7:22). Nevertheless, there was a problem that he could not resolve on his own. “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Rom_7:23). A tendency to sin that dwelt in Paul’s human members (his body, his brain) pulled him down to defeat. He needed help.
    Access to that necessary divine rescue was through a humble cry for a deliverer. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom_7:24). This appropriate confession of the spiritual bankruptcy of his flesh led to another confession of certain victory. “I thank God [it is] through Jesus Christ our Lord! ” (Rom_7:25). This humble turning from self to Christ allows one to walk in the Spirit (Romans 8), living by His victorious resources. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom_8:2).
    Dear Jesus, Mighty Deliverer, I humbly admit that I am not able to implement by my best efforts the godly desires that are developing in me. I need You, Lord. So many times I have had holy intentions that ended up in carnal defeat. So, Lord, I cry out to You to deliver me from my present struggles, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, Amen.

    (The above was written by Bob Hoekstra)

     


  • Roger’s Roller Coaster

    giphy                                        {Introduction}

    While discussing numerous things with a dear friend at church, Mr. “G.” brought up a subject and then said, “No pastor ever writes about these things. They could be encouraging to other believers.” He was referring to an autobiography of a pastor’s life, more specifically, my own.
    Unknown to him, he had successfully managed to instantly flatter and humble me. You see, one of my main objectives in life is to do whatever is needful to encourage the brethren and be pleasing to God but his suggestion seemed to be beyond the realm of my consideration and accomplishment. After all, I have a retirement home to customize, places to go, and an air boat to finish! Even though the flood my negative reasoning grows, I still occasionally hear his words. Months have come and gone since our initial conservation and, would you believe this morning (2-9-16) at breakfast, while reading the second chapter of Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, Mr. “G’s” suggestion flooded my mind as strong as when first heard! I surmised that since it had been the farthest thing from my mind, and then suddenly overwhelmed my train of thought during Scripture reading, God must be behind this. The moment I submitted to proceeding with the challenge, a high level of peace flooded my soul.
    Thus, I prayerfully begin a long series of anecdotes, deeply praying that God will get the glory and His saints receive some level of strength on the journey of life. Although some focus will be upon me, the greatest focus will be upon Jesus. This will not be a run of the mill typical autobiography.
    Later this week we have preexisting plans to visit relatives in Florida for a few days. Upon returning, I will begin the journey I simply call “Roger’s Roller Coaster.”

     


  • “A know-so salvation”

    Candle_7“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Eph.1:6)

    “Do you have a ‘know-so’ salvation? What I mean is, do you know that you are saved and have the assurance that if you died tonight, you’d spend eternity with the Lord in heaven?
    Many folks don’t have that assurance, and in some cases it is not a spiritual problem. It is a psychological problem. They cannot accept the fact that God has accepted them.”

    “Charlotte Elliott penned these words to a timeless hymn of assurance:
    ‘Just as I am, without one plea,
    But that Thy blood was shed for me,
    And that Thou biddest me come to Thee,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come!’
    You are accepted just as you are. It is all grace.”

    “Find the hymn ‘Just As I Am’ and sing it to the Lord. Make it your song throughout the day when Satan tries to make you doubt God’s love and eternal gift of salvation.”
    (Adrian Rogers )


  • Tracking Kings

     Roger Luther has plunged himself into deep water to examine the difficult to reconcile stories of the kings of Israel. When others avoid the subject, Luther pursues it. This volume will help any who are curious.” Paige Patterson, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.Front Cover

    Dr. Patterson’s kind words are addressing “Tracking Kings.” In this second edition, you will discover many changes for the book, as well as for the casual reader, scholar, or researcher. My heart’s desire was to bath everything in prayer, recheck Scriptural accuracy, and then deal with accordingly. This second and final work will be available to purchase in a few weeks or less. Some of the changes: 1. Dr. Bragg of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (retired) meticulously reproof read the work. 2. I personally prefer footnotes, but due to fact that so many of mine are lengthy in text, details, and quotes, it became essential to convert them to end-notes. 3. This book has four indexes – a conventional one, a chronological time line, Scriptural references, and Scripture inserted within the narrative. 4. This upgraded volume is in soft back to assist in keeping the cost down to $19.99 plus s&h. 5. “Tracking Kings” will also be available in a number of electronic editions. This second edition, of over 460 pages, will be available from the publisher (True Potential Publishing), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from me.
    If this is your first encounter with “Tracking Kings, Please permit me re-introduce it.
    My name is Roger Luther and a number of years ago God gave me a burden that grew into a manuscript and eventually into a published work by True Potential Publishing. This, then, 412-page hardback, was entitled “Tracking Kings.” This bulk of book is about the Old Testament Kings with primary focus being on the kings and one queen of the divided kingdoms following the death of King Solomon. The work is a product of almost five years of detailed research. My greatest paradigm in assembling the manuscript pivoted upon the following proposition: from the end of II Chronicles, to the last word in Malachi, God connected practically every book, directly or indirectly, to the era of the kings.
    As a student in the mid 70’s, I will never forget the extreme difficulties I experienced with trying to work through Kings and Chronicles, especially after the death of King Solomon. From feed- back, casual conversations, and observations, I firmly believe that many believers, many of whom are students in Bible colleges, institutes, universities, and even in seminaries often struggle with the books of Kings and Chronicles. My deepest prayer is that this work, in some small way, will become a tool to all in God’s service, especially those who are sitting where I once sat.

    My objectives and guidelines
    1. the establishment of a chronological timeline
    2. to write in an easily understandable manner
    3. season the book with plenty of footnotes – providing assistance and additional information
    4. define proper names when first used
    5. insert maps and charts as needed
    6. use a generous amount of quotes to broaden perspectives
    7. insert essay-type chapter questions to challenge the reader to dig deeper
    8. to assist the reader in the value of studying I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles in a chronological manner
    9. structure the book in such a fashion that it can be used as a self-study guide, reference book, or textbook
    10. insert Scripture as needed in order to assist the reader in the narrative, instead of just providing references
    11. conclude by guiding the reader to a place where he or she may meet the real supreme KING, if they have not already done so.

    Fundamental statistics within “Tracking Kings”

    1. 25 chapters
    2. Part one, chapters 1-8, overviews a span of 1021 years.
    3. Part two (chapters 9-25) covers 387 years.
    4. The time frame is from B.C.1996 to B.C.588 or 1,408 years
    5. 143 essay-type questions
    6. 179 end-notes, adding supplemental and documented material to the narrative
    7. 56 books and 4 web sites in bibliography
    8. 25 maps, charts & diagrams

    If you feel this is something you, your church, college, university, seminary, friends, or library may benefit from, please contact me at Rllroger1948@gmail.com , Roger@rogerluther.com, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, or the publisher Steve@tppress.com and we will be delighted to address your questions or reserve you a copy as soon as the 2nd edition comes off the presses.
    I will post again when I receive my first shipment.

    Remember what Timothy said ?  “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2Ti 3:16-17 

    Thank you very much for your time,
    Dr. R. L. Luther


  • Home at last!

    Look Out

     

    To the best of my knowledge, we have finally settled into our new retirement home in Tecumseh, Mi. (or Mayberry). I hope that it is here where I will be able to finish my airboat and get back into fishing, exploring, and plug into a church.

     

    Tracking Kings Finalized

    Recently, I received the revised layout of the second and final edition of Tracking Kings. Soon after returning this, the final galley text will show up – then on to the printer. The publisher and editor have worked on this manuscript just as a bird meticulously builds a nest. The second edition will be considerable larger than the first because it has three different indexes. Secondly, not only will it be in paperback to assist in keep the cost down but current plans are to have it in all electronic forms, as well. Upon completion, it is my prayer that this large publication find its home as a textbook, reference book or for personal spiritual growth. Five years of research were absorbed in bringing this one of a kind publication into existence.
    Soon it will be available from the Amazon, Barns and Noble, and me, but your most pleasurable route is through the publisher – “True Potential Publishing” at tppress.com. On this web site, you will quickly find many Christian publications – something for everyone!
    I will keep you posted on “Tracking Kings”!
    Roger

     


  • Just For Pilgrims And Others -180 – “Just how contagious is our faith?”

    “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Heb.11:13)
    All of us have made promises that, at one time or another, we failed to keep them. On the other hand, how far superior are the promises of God! In the passage, preceding the above verse, we discovered that God promised Abraham and his descendents a land but was that all. Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.” (Jn.8:56)
    God’s promises to Abraham were miraculous in themselves! One would think that most would have been content by grabbing a chunk of land but not so. The impression of God’s words to Abraham were so strong that not only did he look for God’s city (vs.10) and the Messiah but also they had the same affect on his descendants for the rest of their lives. My dear friends, that is something! Secondly, God’s promises changed everyone’s view of themselves. They mirrored that they were “strangers” and “pilgrims” i.e. they viewed themselves as not being a natural born citizen of the land and could live along side of the inhabitants without becoming part of them.
    In summary, consider the work of Christ, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”(Heb. 8:6) Although Abraham’s convictions were highly contagious, how much stronger ours should be! True Christians have encountered the Messiah and the eternal indwelling Spirit assures us of arriving in His celestial city one day!
    We all need to examine ourselves – just how contagious is our faith?

     


  • “What Drives Us”

    (Heb.11:8-10) “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.”
    In Hebrews we find a short overview of the “by faith” in Abrahams life. Less than a minute to read the verses reflect a lifetime to be lived. Some optional thoughts pop out to us. Abraham so clearly heard from God at the beginning that Gods presence and promises led him until his dying day. In addition, his endurance and obedience reflected the God he believed was the one and only true God.
    The above verses give us insight that Abraham was a true pilgrim on a journey. Although he and his family spent a lifetime wandering in God’s Promised Land, Abraham died never finding the one thing God promised – “…a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.” The moment Abraham passed from life he walked through a gate of God’s city!
    My dear friends, all of us know people that are knowledgeable of our lives but please keep in mind, as time passes the crowds grow smaller and their knowledge diminishes. Just like Abraham, we should desire that until our dying day, people, strangers or friends, should see in us our obedience to God, our individual devotion to Him, and the assurance that, we too, just like Abraham, will enter God’s promised and prepared city for us! What drives our lives is far more important than what we acquire in life. With Abraham, it was his relationship and fellowship from God, and that city.   What drives us?


  • Want to Be In On What God Likes?

    The little book of Esther is another reminder of how God can protect, provide, and pronounce victory over the enemy, bring Glory to Himself, joy to His people, and touch others.
    The era was during the reign of Ahasuerus – the mighty Persian King that ruled from India to Ethiopia, over one-hundred and twenty provinces. His conquering of Babylon brought with it all the captive Jews. Eventually the evil Mordecai manipulated the King into decreeing extermination upon all Jews throughout the land. The brave Mordecai knew that God could use Esther, if she was willing, but to intercede before the king could be instant death. In spite of all risks, listen to Mordecai talking to Esther, “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?” (Est: 4:14) Courageous Esther risking it all stood before the great King and was granted permission to write whatever decree she desired and to seal it using the king’s seal. Once again, God spared the Jews.
    Notice very closely the results when faith and courage unite before God to accomplish His will. (Est: 8:17) “And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.”
    Thus, we learn that when the highest level of faith and courage stand together, God gloriously accomplishes His will for His people and for others! What a day it would be if just a small group of God’s people were so joyful and festive that fear would fall on the outsiders, resulting in many of them receiving redemption and joining us!
    What about you, or perhaps you and another?

     


  • Just For Pilgrims And Others -180- “Real Diversions That Have Potential of Pulling Us Away ”

    According to Eph. 6:12, Christians have, and will continue to deal with, a highly structured devilish military with a two-fold objective – either pulling us away from Christ or keeping others from accepting Him. Scripturally, Paul pens this anti-God military in the plural and highly structured – “principalities.” Even though these “principalities” cannot separate God from loving us (Rom.8:38), believers who have strayed from walking closely with God have fallen prey to seeing their feelings and situations as being such.

    Although the following passage is rich in many Biblical truths, try reading the passage through the above glasses.
    (Heb 10:28-39) “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
    29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; 33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

    Truths to glean:
    1. During the Old Testament era under the Mosaic law, it took only two witnesses to have a violator put to death without any mercy from the legal system. Please keep in mind the same source of that law declares that He bears witness to any, and will deal with accordingly, believer, or someone who teaches around the value of the blood of Jesus being necessary for salvation and holiness in God’s eyes. Even though the enemy tries to season a soul with works instead of maintaining a strong focus upon Christ’s blood, God warns against it in every age – including ours! Stay mentally secure with God!

    2. The readers are to remember an earlier time when they were new believers and suffered ridicule from unbelievers and some believers had even switched sides and found fault with new believers themselves. As a young lad, I can remember hearing news of a new conversion followed by joy from some and others saying, “Give him a week or so and then rejoice.”
    Stand strong in the eyes of God for new believers!

    3. Many believers can remember when they were on fire with the Lord and instantly were ready to sacrifice anything for any believer’s benefit, knowing that the best is always ahead with Christ, but now their fire has all but died out – lukewarm at best. Godly commitment and adventure have become past tense. Many could testify of the past but so few anymore can testify of today. Outside pressures and inward mind games prevail.
    God says to them wake up! Stop submitting. Have you ever considered that God might be behind what enemy forces are calling God’s chastisement or, perhaps, you are receiving what you deserve?
    Permit me to explain. If God so desires, He can permits unpleasant things to come our way to bring out the Good in us. On the other hand, our enemy desires for us to see otherwise. Remember, if we always look for bad in things the devil will gladly point it out and there we stay until next time. On the other hand, when something goes haywire, pause and focus on the fact that God may be teaching us something so we will be more equipped to please Him! We all require a precious essential grace needful for doing the will of God and receiving God’s best. This God sent blessing is simply having more patience with God than with others like themselves and even unbelievers. Remember, “tribulation worketh patience.” (Rom. 5:3)

    Let me encourage you today to stay mentally secure with God, stand strong in God’s presence for new believers, and stare in God’s direction for the best interpretation of circumstances and feelings, especially self pity.

    May God bless you with the best day ever!

    Roger