Our Lord and Master!

[Gen 2:4-5 KJV] 4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.

Yahweh is the promised proper name of God. It means Lord and Master. By Jewish tradition this name is too holy to pronounce or write. Therefore they just wrote four letters without any vowels: YHWH. Jews stopped saying the name all together in the third century AD. They stopped saying this name because they were afraid of violating the fourth commandment that prohibits misusing, or taking the Lord’s name in vain. Therefore scholars today don’t know for sure if the original pronunciation was Yahweh or Jehovah. (Yahweh, Lord Jehovah)

It is first seen in Genesis 2:4 and is used 6519 times in the Bible. The declaration of the name Yahweh as the one who created the earth and the heavens, leaves no room for other gods. Yahweh is the Lord and Master. There are no other Gods who can stand before him.

[1Sa 5:1-3 KJV] 1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

Such is the fate of any other God who would try to stand before the one true God. Man had to take the false god Dagon and set him in his place. Dagon's fate was then worse than before.

[1Sa 5:4 KJV] 1:  4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon [was] fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands [were] cut off upon the threshold; only [the stump of] Dagon was left to him.

There is only one God – Yahweh, Our Lord and Master! Let us worship him and declare His greatness before all men and nations.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 

 

 

 

Elohim, The Only True God Who Rules With Majesty

[Gen 1:1-2 KJV] 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

There are sixteen names of God mentioned in the Old Testament. 

  • This very first name given to God is found in the very first verse of Genesis. This name shows that God is the majestic ruler over all. Elohim is actually a plural word and it’s use as the first name of God sets him high above all other gods. It also foreshadows the later revelation of the triune Godhead – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Elohim the majestic ruler over all is revealed here in the first book of the Bible. There is none other like Him. He is the only true God. He is the creator of all things.

 [Jhn 1:1-4 KJV] 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Men can declare that there are other gods but He is the only God that is there for all men from the beginning of creation and will continue to be there for all eternity. It is in His completeness as is shown by this name that we have a hope of heaven and we expect to see the completion of our salvation.

We worship Him in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is the truth that is revealed in this 1st verse of Genesis. He is our Father and He sent His only begotten Son to die for us that our sins might be forgiven. He also gives us His Holy Spirit to dwell in us that we can live the lives on this earth that he desires of us.

[Jhn 3:16-17 KJV] 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Every man and woman needs to establish relationship with Him so sin can be erased and redemption can rule and reign. Our world is such a struggle! Without Him it will not get any better. Elohim is our only hope for the future.  As the songwriter has penned "Without Him I can do nothing, Without Him I'd surely fail, Without Him I would be drifting like a Ship without a sail."

Our society desperately needs God. If you have not invited Him into your  life, do so today! What a difference it will make.

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

9th Annual Bluegrass Gospel Festival

What a busy time it has been at Fountain of Life. This last weekend we just completed our 9th annual Bluegrass Gospel Festival. We had four groups participating and they all gave a great presentation of Bluegrass Gospel Music. I want to say a  special thank you to Peggy and John Craig for their help in putting the Festival together. Their band Brush Arbor Revival was one of the performing groups and there is no question that they are one of the best bands in the area.

Also a special thanks to all those who helped in the setup of our foodservice and did the prep and cooking. The ladies and several men from our church went beyond the call of duty in helping us get ready for our singers and the many guests that attended the happening on Friday night and all day on Saturday!

If you did not make it this year, we are already talking about the 10th annual festival next year. It is always a great time. We are getting back to normal at the church and will resume our regular posts in the next days.  God Bless!

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

P.S. Join us at 10:30 am this Sunday September 16 as we continue our sermon series on "Getting to Know God".

 

 

Greater Works Shall Ye Do…

Greater Works Shall Ye Do…

Text:  [Jhn 14:12 KJV] 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

As we think  about the promise of this verse,  we need to begin to  prepare our hearts so that God can use us to increase his kingdom by supernaturally using us to reach out to the world around us. That brings us to the point that we ask ourselves how can I have such power with God.

To have such power with God we must lay the foundation for an intimate relationship with Him! I think that involves several points that we need to incorporate into our lives.

Let me list them for you.

1. We must know who God is.

II. We must Know what God knows

III. We must See what God Sees

IV.  We must do what God does

In our morning services on Sunday at Fountain of Life, I am sharing from these points. We began by searching the scripture to find out who God says He is. He is not some distant identity who created us and now is some distant personality we cannot reach. God shows by the names He gives himself that He desires to be deeply involved in each of our lives. 

Before we can nurture the relationship with God that He wants us to have, we must gain an understanding of who He is! Who is God to you? Do you feel Him close to you? Are you confident that He cares for you? For that to be possible in your life, you must know who He is.

In the first verses of the Bible God begins to identify himself. He then continues to show who He is by revealing the  names that show the aspects of His person. There are some 16 in the Old Testament and there are over 50 names that describe Jesus in the New Testament. How many of them do you know?

It is only as you know who God is that you begin to learn what he can and will do in your life. If you do not know the names  that God gives to himself you are missing much of the richness that can be in your relationship with Him. 

In the days ahead we will look at some of those names as we try to learn more and more about Him. He is the only true God and we need to know who He says He is.

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

 

 

All Things Work Together …For Good!

[Rom 8:26-28 KJV] 26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

An infirmity in scripture can be a physical sickness or it can be a moral failure or defect. Whatever the infirmities we have, I am glad that we do not have to bear them alone. The declaration of our verse is that the Spirit of God –The Holy Spirit — The Third Person of the Trinity helps us. How great an encouragement to us is the fact that we are never alone. God steps in to the place of our infirmities. He walks with us during those times whether they be physical or spiritual.

Even in the times of desperation where we are to confused to pray, we are told the Spirit makes intercession for us! Such intercession is said to be with groanings that cannot be uttered. When the infirmities of this world are so heavy upon us that we cannot speak for lack of wisdom and strength, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us  "according to the will of God." 

It is with the help of the Holy Spirit that we are able to know that all things work together for good in our lives. 

[1Pe 1:6 KJV] 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

[Gal 6:9 KJV] 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

We would not begin to declare that all circumstances in our lives are good. Some are almost more than we can bear. However God knows the end from the momentary and as His Spirit intercedes for us we can stand!  "All things work together for Good" as the Spirit prays for us according to the will of God.

There is nothing that can defeat us as the Spirit of God helps our infirmities!

[Rom 8:37-39 KJV] 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

 

 

 

Our Refuge

[Psa 62:5-8 KJV] 5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation [is] from him. 6 He only [is] my rock and my salvation: [he is] my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God. 8 Trust in him at all times; [ye] people, pour out your heart before him: God [is] a refuge for us. Selah.

This Psalm of David speaks to  my heart today because it expresses what needs to be done by all who want to live a successful and fulfilled life in today's world.  We need to learn what it is to wait upon God! Let's face reality. We are not good at waiting. We live in the age of fast food, instant gratification, and selfishness. We want what we want and we want it right now!

David, who wrote this Psalm had learned to put his expectations in God. God, David says, is his rock and his salvation. All of his strength came from God. God was his refuge. David tells us to pour out our hearts before God for He is also our refuge.

We often find ourselves in need of answers and direction. What is the reason we are here? What is the purpose of our lives?  Men and women find that our society is not satisfying even when we achieve fame and fortune. We see the large number of those who have become stars in our world, and yet turn to drugs, alcohol, and even suicide. All the world provides does not meet their needs.

David realized that truth. As a result he put his expectations in God. We need to do the same. Our world is a mess because people are trying to shape the nations into what will make them happy.  The harder they try the more frustrated they become. We cannot look to our own efforts to bring up peace and happiness. Just as David we must realize that true happiness must rest in the God that created us. He is our refuge.

Listen to the words of the Psalmist. Place your expectations in God. Pour your heart out before Him.Tell Him your desires and He will become your rock and your salvation. He will be your refuge in times of storm and trouble. In Him you will find satisfaction and true joy!

Keep Looking Up.

Dan

Joy and Peace

[Rom 15:13 NKJV] 13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just a short thought today, to wish you joy and peace. The world in which we live knows so little of joy or peace. The dissatisfaction that is in most lives robs us joy and peace. People are seeking after wealth, recognition, fame, and a variety of other things. Most of which even when they are obtained do not bring joy or peace. The only way true peace or joy comes into our hearts is through establishing a relationship with our God and Creator. It is the God of hope who fills us with joy and peace. 

Without Him we will never find what our hearts truly desire. It is only through our Savior Jesus Christ that we can have joy and peace in our lives. The scripture declares that He is the "way, the truth and the life…". It is only through Him that we can have the closeness to  God that gives us joy and peace.

[Jhn 14:6 KJV] 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If you are struggling with dissatisfaction in your life, follow the commands of the Bible to make Jesus your Lord and Savior! Then you will replace your discontentment with joy and peace. 

[Phl 4:7 KJV] 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

It is as Christ Jesus is alive in our hearts that we truly know the peace of God. A peace comes into us that passes all understanding.

In that peace we find joy that is as much beyond our ability to understand as is His peace.

[1Pe 1:8 KJV] 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

True joy and peace only come through forgiveness and relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

Whom Shall I Fear?

[Psa 27:1 KJV] 1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

It is always uplifting to hear David the King of Israel express his faith in God! David had many enemies during his life. Enemies who wanted to kill him and either destroy Israel altogether or they wanted to steal the throne so they could rule in David's place. 

It is during these times of attack that David leaned on God for protection and wisdom. He needed God to protect him from enemies more powerful than the troops He commanded and he needed wisdom to know how he should respond to them.

This Psalm seems to have been written in such a time of conflict. David was being attacked and looks to God for his deliverance. 

[Psa 27:2-3 KJV] 2 When the wicked, [even] mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.

David is confident "Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear…".  However, we can see that David's confidence is not in the strength of his armies, or any of the mighty men that surrounded him.  His confidence was in God.

[Psa 27:1 KJV] 1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

In the dark hour that surrounded him the Lord was his light and his salvation. Because of his confidence in God, David did not fear.

Let us pray that in the perilous times in which you and I live that we may be able to have that same closeness with God. May we have the confidence that in our times of despair or even danger that God will protect and keep us!

Only God himself knows what is happening in your heart. It may be a family crisis, the betrayal of a friend, problems at work or any number of other things. Let me encourage you to put your faith in God. He will not fail you. He will be your light and your salvation in the darkness. 

Agree with me in prayer that God will step into your situation and that you need not be afraid!

O God, I do not know what crisis is facing the friend reading this post, but I do know that there is nothing to big for you! Touch this friend with confidence that they do not need to be afraid. Handle this difficulty by your power and strength. We give it to you now in the name of Jesus! Amen

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greater Works…Depend on Relationship!

[Jhn 14:12 KJV] 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

We must prepare our hearts so that God can  use us to increase his kingdom by supernaturally using us to reach out to the world around us.

To have such power with God we must lay the foundation for an intimate relationship  with Him! I think that involves several points.

Let me list them for you:

1. We must know who God is.

II. We must Know what God knows

III. We must See what God Sees

IV.  We must do what God does

One of the things lacking in the  life of many who call themselves Christians is a real relationship with God Himself.  In the church we are lacking in power because our God is distant. We do not really know who He is because we do not know who He declares that He is in His word. The more we get to know about God the stronger our relationship with Him. The more we know Him, the greater the power is in our lives to experience His promises to us.

Many believers only call on God in times of need or desperation. We have not learned that God is a jealous God who desires our praise and close fellowship with Him. The distractions of our lives make for few times that we pull away to just develop the closeness with God that He desires. The scripture admonishes us to deepen our relationship with God.

[Psa 73:28 KJV] 28 But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

The closer you get to God opens the door for him to come closer to you!

[Jas 4:8 NKJV] 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [you] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [you] double-minded. (NKJV)

God wants us to cleanse ourselves of sin and to concentrate our minds on the relationship we have with Him. Drawing close to God is a work of dedication. It involves effort and desire. Closeness to God only comes if we set aside the time and exert the effort to learn who God is and what His promises are.

Each of us needs to look at our hearts and decide that we are going to do what is necessary to cultivate our relationship with our God. His desire to be close to us is not in question!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 

 

 

 

Fear Thou Not! Isaiah 41:10

[Isa 41:10-13 KJV] 10 Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. 12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, [even] them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. 13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

 We have no promise of God that life will be without difficulties or opposition.  We all are at times attacked for no reason that we can see. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, those who do not agree with you will call you narrowminded.  They will think that you are bigoted and accuse you of being hateful because you do not accept their agenda as truth.

No one likes those accusations even though you understand that the source has no foundation for their arguments. The day in which we live is argumentative and violent. Christians are a target because we cannot agree with the standards of our world and uphold the truths of the Bible in which we place our faith.

It is in these troubled hours that we need to hear the Old Testament words of the prophet Isaiah.  He reminds us that God has said, “Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee.”  We need to let those words ring in our hearts. For our God has promised and we need not be afraid. 

[Psa 91:5 KJV] 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day;

The forces of evil seem so strong and yet our God is stronger. Isaiah 41:10 …for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 

By His power and wisdom we will overcome all who attack us. Our God will always be there! Through Him the battles are won!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

God Did Send Me…

Genesis 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

These are the words in the Old Testament of Joseph to his brothers after he had revealed his identity to them. They had sold him into slavery and he was now in a position of authority over them just as his dreams had shown. The lives of his brothers was in his hands. He could throw them in prison, have them executed, or show them mercy. It was his choice!

However, Joseph was not vengeful for he saw the hand of God in all his former happenings. "God did send me before you" is the key phrase in the scripture verse. His brothers bad intentions was actually part of the plan of God. Because of the leading of God, Joseph was able to not only forgive his brothers, but to preserve the lives of his father Jacob and all his family.

Genesis 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

We face many adverse circumstances in our lifetime. We like Joseph are even betrayed by those close to us but God is still in control. Joseph recognized the hand of God in the betrayal that shaped his destiny! We need to do the same in our lives. When it seems that you have been betrayed or forgotten by those who are your closest friends or even relatives, look to God for his guidance in your dilemma. God has not forgotten you or forsaken you. Remember His words " all things work together for good to them that love God…" (Romans 8:28). We cannot see the future but God can. We can be confident that He will direct our paths!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

The Old Paths…

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

The prophet Jeremiah is speaking to Judah and those in Jerusalem. He is giving them instruction to look for the old paths. These he says are the good ways and if they will walk in them they will find rest for their souls. However, in spite of Jeremiah's instruction the people refuse "We will not walk therein." 

The words of our verse are just as meaningful for us as they were for Jerusalem. We are seeing destruction and violence as never before in our nation. The very foundations are being destroyed by those who have forgotten our history of depending on God. We have stepped out of the old paths and have lost our way. 

The sucess of our nation cannot be legislated. We are too divided and selfish. Each interest group wants their own way and it only leads to conflict. Only a return to the old paths of following the commands of God will once again bring us peace. We must be willing to walk in them. Listen to Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Let us pray that our nation can once again find the "Old Paths"!

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

He is a Rewarder…

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

To many people God is not personal but they believe He is out there in the universe somewhere. Or they believe the only time God makes an appearance is if He wants to bring punishment for some failure or sin of mankind. The only time they think of God is when they are in distress or sorrow. They have no faith in His caring for for them or meeting their needs.

That is a sad and unfortunate concept of God. The Bible tells us that God desires to have a personal relationship with us. If we only will have faith in Him, we can know Him. We can have access to His power to meet our needs and to give us peace. Even in the most trying of times God is there for us, if we place our faith in Him. 

We need to listen to the words of the writer of Hebrews. God is a rewarder of those that believe in Him. We must believe that God is there in our lives and then we can gain the security of believing that he is a rewarder, a provider for us.

Have faith that God is with you and It will change so many things in your life. Fear and anxiety will be replaced by hope and joy. You will begin to expect that God will be with you at all times. Put your faith in the one who really cares and never fails

Keep Looking Up,

Dan

Think on These Things…

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

There are so many things that try to fill our minds, we are easily overwhelmed. Our minds get weary with all the turmoil, violence and uncertainty of our world. However, the Apostle Paul would remind us to put our minds on those things that bring us the peace of God. He tells us to think on those things of good report!

How much good news do you hear on a daily basis. Certainly you do not hear much on the news that is positive. Most of it at best is depressing. Even visiting with those around us often does not lift us or encourage us.  The apostle reminds us to think on those things that are honest, just, pure, and lovely.

He says if we will do that the God of peace will be with us. In the midst of a world of war, death and hate, let us look for those things of good report and let us Think on Those Things!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 

 

God So Loved…

John 3:16 -17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

This possibly is the first verse you ever memorized from the Bible. It is the foundation for your salvation and mine. If God did not love us, we would be hopelessly lost. The scripture is clear that we cannot earn eternal life by our actions or deeds. Ephesians 2: 8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

There is only one way to have a right relationship with God. That is through faith in Jesus Christ. The death of Christ on the cross opens the only door through which we can have eternal life. All of our efforts to be good and righteous fall short of making us worthy of God's presence.  We must be forgiven of our sins through the work of Jesus crucifixion. Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

I want to invite you to ask God to forgive your sins through the sacrifice of Jesus. God has made a way out guilt and fear of death for you and for me. Just ask and you will receive the gift of salvation. It is free if only you will ask.

I have asked for salvation through Jesus Christ and I pray that you will too!

Keep Looking Up!

Dan

 


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