Roy’s Blog: “God’s Purpose For Adversity”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/12/06/roys-blog-gods-purpose-for-adversity

Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliver, my God, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

There is a common thread in every problem we face. In times of crisis, He wants us to know that He is God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God…”

We are never alone in our heartache. God is with us. There are times in our lives when God leads us out onto stormy waters. We can’t see how we could possibly survive. But, in adversity He teaches us the importance of following, of relying, on Him.

When we obey God, He will guide us through the stormy times. In those times, we need to pray as Moses prayed, “If your presence does not go with me, then do not lead me up from here. Block my path, and guide me so that I will be in the center of Your will.”

You may feel as though your life is in a vortex of troubles, but if you ask Him to show you His direction, He will speak words of hope and encouragement.

Roy’s Blog: “We Could Only Dream”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/12/05/roys-blog-we-could-only-dream

Jeremiah 23:25 “I have heard what the prophets said that prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed.'”

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said the other day, “We are seeing developments we could only dream about before now in Israel.”

To date, under the Trump administration, Washington’s relationship with Jerusalem has been strong. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, relocating the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ending funding of the Palestinian Authority who continues to pay terrorists and their families for their activities, all these things have helped to nurture this relationship. Also, approving the annexation of the Golan Heights and easing the stance against settlements in the West Bank show we are backing Israel.

Now they are discussing recognizing the Jordan Valley as the eastern border of Israel. They are also talking about a security pact between the United States and Israel.

These are exciting times for the United States and Israel, but also for the entire world. Times we could only have dreamed about a few years ago are happening NOW.

Roy’s Blog: “Lesson From A Rebel”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/12/04/roys-blog-lesson-from-a-rebel

Hebrews 12:7a “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you [believers] as his own children.”

God instructed Jonah to head to Nineveh, but he headed west across the Mediterranean Sea toward Tarshish and straight into trouble. He attempted to flee as far from God as possible and Tarshish was as far as he could go. There came a great storm. The other men in the boat knew Jonah was running from God. He told them so. Nothing they did seemed to keep the boat from being swamped with waves, even throwing their precious cargo overboard to lighten the boat. Jonah told them to throw him out of the boat. The men were afraid Jonah’s God would hold them responsible for shedding innocent blood, but they finally had no choice. They prayed to be forgiven and tossed Jonah over the side. A big fish came by and swallowed Jonah. The waves calmed and the men in the boat thanked Jonah’s God.

Jonah describes his time inside the big fish (possibly a whale but no one knows for sure). It was a scary thing. Still, it took him three days to decide to obey God. Three days to cry out to be saved from the watery grave.

We are the same way at times. We go our way, rebelling against what God wants us to do until we end up in trouble. When we say no to God, He sometimes uses the forces of adversity and unrelenting problems to refocus our lives so our hearts are set on Him. Only then are we prepared for the tremendous blessings God has for us.

God knows how to get our attention. Psalm 25:4 “Lord, teach me Your paths.”

Roy’s Blog: “Absolute And Conditional”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/12/03/roys-blog-absolute-and-conditional

Exodus 33:13b “Let me know your ways that I may know you, so that I may find favor in Your sight.”

It is wonderful that God keeps His word. If he has given you a specific promise, you can be assured He will fulfill it. When we pray and accept His Son as our Savior, God gives us hope and the eternal promise that we will be with Him one day forever. (John 14:1-6)

His promises are based on two types of declarations: absolute and conditional.

Absolute declarations are statements He makes totally removed from anything we may or may not do. An example of and absolute promise is: He will never again destroy the world with water. The rainbow is the reminder of this promise. It is not conditional on what we do.

Conditional declarations state how He will act if we are obedient to Him. In Deuteronomy 28:1-2 it says, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God.”

There are some things that God will do no matter what we do. Then there are things He will do only if we act according to His principles.

The simple truth is, if we disobey his commands, He will allow us to experience the consequences that accompany disobedience.

Oh that I may be found obedient to God’s principles!

 

Roy’s Blog: “The Walk”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/12/02/roys-blog-the-walk

Ephesians 4:3 (NLT) “Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves with peace.”

When we received Christ as Savior, we became citizens of His Kingdom and members of His family. Along with these blessings and privileges we also obtained obligations.The Lord expects us to act like the new persons we have become in Christ Jesus. In other words “walk the talk”.

Paul declared, “Those who become new persons, they are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 2:17

God expects His standards to become our standards, His purposes our purposes, His desires our desires. The Christian life is simply the process of becoming like Him. How do we know what His standards are? How do we become like him. The Bible tells us and the Holy Spirit leads us. Read the Bible and let the Holy Spirit work in your mind, your heart, and your life.

Paul pleaded with people, “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling.” Ephesians 4:1 (NASB)

Roy’s Blog: “The Choice To Rejoice”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/30/roys-blog-the-choice-to-rejoice

Philippians 4:4 (NLT) “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again- rejoice!”

Almost everyone wants to be happy. If you ask people what their number one goal in life is most people will say, “I just want to be happy.” Or if you ask parents’ goals for their children they’ll say, “I just want them to be happy.”

Today we have this idea that we must be happy all the time. I must act happy. I must talk happy. I must smell happy. And certainly, I must look happy. If I’m not happy, I must fake it, put on a mask, and remember I’m supposed to be having a wonderful time.

The fact is, everyday does not score a perfect ten on the happiness scale. Not everything works out according to the way we planned. Some days are just stinkers. The sun isn’t out. It’s raining on my parade. Some days you wish you stayed in bed and covered up your head.

How can we stay positive in a negative world? When things aren’t going our way, how do we remain joyful? Paul said in Romans 5:2, “Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” We have hope that is not based on what’s going on in the world around us. Nor is it based on us. Take the focus off of “us” and put it on God. Therefore, we can rejoice everyday, because God doesn’t change. The hope in the glory of God doesn’t change.

For the Christian, no situation is completely hopeless. We can rejoice, because we have hope in Jesus Christ.

Roy’s Blog “We Shall Be Like Him”

https://bphowlett.com/2019/11/29/roys-blog-we-shall-be-like-him

John 17:24 “Father, I desire that those whom you have given me, be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory.”

Authentic Christians live in anticipation of a face-to-face encounter with Jesus Christ. To be in the presence of the Savior would be glorious. In the last chapter in the Bible, Revelation 22:4, it says, “We will see His face.”

Today our faith deals with the invisible. But, in that day our faith will become sight. We will see Jesus. True believers live with the compelling hope that we sill soon see Jesus Christ in all of His glory.

Jesus Christ died for me! Each and every person can say that. It is amazing that a holy God would send His Son to die for an unholy and sinful people.

That God took hostile rebels and made them His children defies comparison. There are no halos, no angel wings, nor beams of light shining from us. But, if we are in Christ, we shall be like Him, and that empowers us.