Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MY GOOD WOMAN BRINGS LIFE, Dan Mayfield


Everywhere i look in my home is proof that a woman is working hard. Plants are growing. Everything is clean and in place. Good food is made, and is in the fridge or on the stove. The woman is a marvel of God. She gives and gives. You can't outgive her. She is a walking and talking blessing. From her body came my five children. God made her to make life and she gladly did. Through so much pain and trouble she did it well. With the fifth child, all of her hair fell out. And despite the negative prognosis from the dermatologist, God gave her back her hair. Her words are always thoughtful, encouraging, and valued by all who know her. She is filled with life and she shares her life with children, friends, the church. Children especially love her. If your are sick, she will be the nurse. Hungry and she will feed you. Lonely and she will listen. If you are having trouble, rest assured she's bringing it to God. If you are blessed, she will rejoice. I have been with this woman for 37 years and I am still amazed. See the little puppy in the picture. Hazel is the dog's best friend. The dog always has water and food and checkups and grooming. She's also my best friend, before the dog. Hazel is a life giver. She is a life saver. She is the daughter of Jesus. I'm a hundred percent certain in saying that when God looks down on Hazel, He smiles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WE ARE ALL GUILTY AND NEED A GOOD ADVOCATE, Dan Mayfield

None of us are innocent. We have all gone astray and there is none righteous, not one.

"If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” 1 Sam 2:25.

Before the court of men, we might escape judgment even when guilty. But not when we stand before God.

Anyone can take up his case against God, but still he will lose. We can cry out and declare our innocence, but in the face of God all we can do is be silent.

"2 In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God? 3 “If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times." Job 9:2-3

He makes counselors walk barefoot, And makes fools of judges." Job 12:17.

The Gospel is called Good News because through Christ we have the very best person to stand beside us in the judgment. Jesus Christ is the Advocate, the counselor, who wins every case He takes up.

"1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world." 1 Jn 2:1-2.

People of faith know their utter depravity in the sight of God. We are all guilty before the Almighty God. We cannot have a hope in heaven unless we believe in Jesus Christ and trust only in His righteousness. But if we are resistant, and choose to practice sin, then there will be none to take up our case at the judgment.

Once God had spoken to Job, the man who wished to make his case before God, now said, "Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth." Job 40:4.

We are all sinners and as correct as we feel we might be, still before God we are undone. Habakkuk might think he knows best, but when standing before God, says rightly, "I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected." Hab 2:1.  See, God is always right.  And before God on judgment day we will all be found undone if we stand there without a really good Advocate.

So believe, confess your sins, repent and turn to the path of righteousness, and be immersed in the waters of baptism, calling on His name, and God will make you clean and pure because of Christ. Jesus Christ will ably defend those who by faith obey His will. Jesus doesn't defend the perfect, they don't need a defender, Rom. 4:4. That's the ideal that's only been practiced by one person.  And that one person is our Advocate if we honestly come to Him for help.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TEMPTATION, THE DEVIL WILL RUIN YOU IF YOU GET PROUD, by Dan Mayfield

1 Chronicles 21:1,2

The devil will tempt a man to count and number and measure and then to boast in strength do that he did not trust in God. 

Lord, teach me to trust in nothing but your strength. I know Lord, as Paul did, Your power is perfected in weakness. So make me weak. If I won't submit, send upon me a thorn, so that I glory in what you do.

David had a great heart for God. But even such a man can give in to temptation. I know this very well and so this morning I look to God.

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you I'm due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." 1 Peter 5:6-9.

At the end of David's life in 1 Chronicles 28-29, we see a very spiritual old man in David. He reminds Solomon to be faithful and he praises God, saying, "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty, for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all." 1 Chronicles 29:11.

The proud can be tempted to trust in the flesh. But men can also learn and turn back to God. The believer trust in the strength of God. Stay humble and tell the devil to go away.

Text in graphic is 1 Chronicles 21.

IT MIGHT BE OF GOD, by Dan Mayfield

"13So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against the LORD, because of the word of the LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, 14and did not inquire of the LORD. Therefore He killed him and turned the kingdom to David the son of Jesse." 1 Chronicles 10
No one likes to take responsibility for bad that has happened. The very last reason we look to is often the very first reason. And even when we are clearly wrong, even then we soften it and seek to justify it. But God never is fooled and He never misplaces blame.
When king Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines, their demise wasn't because the army failed. It wasn't because the weather worked against them. They didn't die because the god of the Philistines was stronger. It wasn't for any reason except that Saul was unfaithful to the LORD and God struck him down. If God removes his hand from blessing and protection, the man is going to fall. It is the justice of God.
If trouble has come upon us, understand it might be from God and look first to self.
O Father, open my eyes to see my faults. Discipline me with the rod of your love but do not destroy me. Help me, Father, to humbly to see my error and I will confess it and I will sacrifice to You. Thank you for your righteousness that comforts me. You are just and the rock I trust. I pray always come to you through Christ Your Son, Amen.

HARD THINGS REQUIRE SPECIAL MEASURES, DM

"But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting." Mt 17:21.
When the challenge is extra difficult, the regular approach won't do. When the obstacle proves especially difficult, try praying and fasting. God will bless.

IF YOU HAD FIVE MINUTES... by Dan Mayfield

What if in five minutes you breathed your last breath? And what if in five minutes you were met by angelic beings to carry you to meet God? In five minutes there would be no more words spoken. There would be no more apologies or making amends. No more second chances to put God first. No more wishing.
What if in four minutes the fun and games were done. The last softball game and the last jog through the park would be behind you. In four minutes your back and neck pain would be gone. In four minutes the debt and chores would be left to others. Personally, I apologize for those who have to clean my office and have to sort through the junk to find a few treasures.
What if in three minutes there isn't a tomorrow and yesterday for you? In three minutes you would be in the eternal now. In three minutes plans and calendars on your phone and desk would be tossed in the trash bag. They weren't as important as you thought.
And then in two minutes you would never, ever be seen again by a living person. In two minutes you would not see most of your loved ones at a dinner table or rising in the morning. In two minutes your little babies and grand babies would know you only as a memory.
And if so, then in one minute all that would really matter is did you follow Jesus. All that would matter in one minute is did Jesus know you, Mt 7:23. Did you do the Father's will? Did you forgive when asked to, Lk 17:3,4? Did you do get baptized like Paul, Acts 22:16? Did you always live with a clean conscience, Acts 24:16? Did you get rid of the idols in your heart, Ezek 14:3-7? Did you repent of backbiting and gossip and malice against others? Did you love the church? Did we love all of God's children? Did we properly responded to the message of the cross? Or did you put it off for something else? Is something amiss that we knowingly have put aside for "a more convenient season"?
You and I could be finished with this life in five minutes. It's why the Bible tells us to always be ready. We should always fear God, Pro. 23:17. We should always rejoice in the Lord, Phil. 4:4. We should always have the Lord in our mind and heart, Pro. 16:8 . We should always be alert and praying, Lk 21:36. We should always bear in our body the dying of Jesus, 2 Cor. 4:10. We should always abound in the work of the Lord. God said always. So we should do these always.
Because in five minutes I might be dead, I need to live my faith without regrets. It is why the Hebrews writer says, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts", Heb 13:7,13; 4:7? And why did Paul remind that, "Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!", 2 Cor. 6:2? The reason is that no one has tomorrow. We could be gone in five minutes.
Now if you are a Christian, in five minutes you could experience your first taste of eternal joy that never ends. "For now salvation is nearer than we first believed", Rom 13:11. But time is passing and today we are all closer to eternity than yesterday.
If this simple message is pricking your heart, run to God and do His will immediately. Do no put it off until tonight or tomorrow. I say this in love.

YOU ARE SICK AND DO YOU TURN TO GOD? Dan Mayfield

When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria

And sent to King Jareb.
But he is unable to heal you,
Or to cure you of your wound.
- Hosea 5:13
When something isn't right in mind, body, or soul, turn to God first and show if you have faith.

ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME? Dan Mayfield

God made time, an evening and a morning was a day, Genesis 1
The years and seasons are governed by the passing of days down to the minutes and the seconds. You can almost hear the ticking of the clock.
You have about 26,000 days to live if you live past the age of 70. "As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years,…." Ps 90:10. Even if you don't live to be 70 or 80, still there's no inequality with time, we all have the same 24 in a day.
A little boy thought he was rich after his grampa gave him a hundred pennies. He went to the dollar store and thought "I'll never be without money again." Penniless, He cried all the way home. Many are wasting it away, spending time like there's no heaven, no eternity.
Time is like those pennies. There are millions of people living today as if they would never run out of time. But many will run out of time and hear Jesus say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you." Mt 7. If you aren't yet a Christian, "Today is the day of salvation". 2 Cor 6:1-2. So do not harden your hearts, but repent and follow Jesus as Lord.
In heaven you won't regret the time you took to put God first. You won't regret that you put other things ahead of giving God your time.

IGNORANCE: NOT AN EXCUSE BECAUSE GOD HAS MADE THE TRUTH KNOWN, Dan Mayfield

"For they do not know to do right, says the Lord, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces." Amos 3:10.
On judgment day, ignorance of sin will still bring wrath for that sin. Why? Because the ignorance is willful ignorance. People who want to know, will find the truth that sets free, John 8.
Hosea said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6. Why are they in this condition? "Because they have rejected knowledge."
The New Testament says God winked at the ignorance in times past, but now God declares for all men to repent of their idolatry and turn to follow the resurrected Jesus because God is going to judge everyone through Him, Acts 17:30-31.
Are you ready for the judgment? "Study to show thyself approved to God", 2 Tim 2:15. Are you ignorant in knowledge of the Bible? "Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:17.
What will matter to God on judgment day is did you obey His Son and His glorious Gospel? Believe and obey the Gospel is the biblical admonition.
Don't be like the rebellious "but they have not all obeyed the Gospel." Rom 10:16. Understand, believe, and obey God. Don't be foolish like Israel which choose willful ignorance. Ignorance to the will of God will not be forgiven. God's judgment is coming upon those who do not obey the Gospel. Jesus will return again some day, "taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thess. 1:8. And so we see that both believing in God and obedience to the Gospel are essential to salvation, cf. 1Peter 4:17.
On judgment day, ignorance won't be an excuse. You have heard the truth and God will call to your attention that you refused to read and obey because of the willful ignorance that is in men.

DID ANYONE THINK OF YOU TODAY?

Today I thought of my wife. I thought of my fellow Elders. Today I thought about my son. Today I thought of Patricia Agnew and I thought about Evie Graber. And I thought about Ava Cox having surgery this morning.
It feels good to know you are in someone else's thoughts and prayers. Last year I visited a supporter in Louisiana and while visiting with individuals, an old brother told me he prays for me every day. No wonder I'm so blessed. Hazel is one that prays regularly for me. She blesses me.
Who did you think about today? Include these in your prayers.

THE PAIN AND ANGUISH IS SO GREAT, BUT IF WE TURN TO GOD WE WILL FIND GRACE, Dan Mayfield

When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria, And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound. - Hosea 5:13
When something isn't right in mind, body, or soul, turn to God first and show if you have faith. Or do we like the king of Israel, turn to a human solution?
Last night in the Monday night class we studied with good discussion on the 63rd Psalm. In that, David said, "When I remember you on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches." v.6. David showed he had complete trust in God when his enemies hunted him down, v9ff. But such faith to turn to God in times of trouble is not common. Many are not like David.
Note the contrast in the book of Hosea which says, "They do not cry to Me with their heart when they wail upon their beds." His. 7:14.
Hosea is God's last appeal to Israel, also referred to as Ephraim and Samaria, who has turned to idolatry and complete unfaithfulness to God. But unlike David, when Israel becomes burdened by the fruit of its wickedness, she does not turn to God. Hosea says, Instead of repentance and godly sorrow, Israel turns to man and her many idols which always fail.
Another way of contrasting the way men respond in times of trouble can be seen in Peter and Judas. When Peter denied Jesus, he went into the night and he wept. His heart was broken with repentance so that the path back to God was prepared. Peter was like David. But when Judas betrayed Jesus and then went into the night, he did not repent but instead killed himself. Judas was faithless like an ungodly king of Israel. One man wails from his heart to God and the other man has no answer.
Boast in your weakness. Paul said, "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:9. You for sure have troubles. Maybe even they are on a par with the Apostle's infirmities. If not, still we all know some degree of adversity and challenges. So how we respond during these times will prove if we believe and trust in God. When I am feeling pain, maybe it is for my learning. Maybe it is a reminder of my weakness so that we trust in God. And when you lie down at night, remember God and He will give you grace.

AGAINST RADICAL PRETERISM: THE BOOK OF REVELATION, by Dan Mayfield, 8/26/2016

The pre-millenialists are wrong in their interpretation of Revelation because they say that nearly everything in the book, from chapter 4 onward, is still in the future. Thus the beast and harlot are future. Thus the reign of Christ is yet future. And thus the answers being uttered by the saints, living and martyred, are yet to be answered. The persecuted church got little consolation that God saw and answered their immediate needs according to Pre-millenialism. This false doctrine is also dismissive of the kingdom of Christ which began at the ascension into heaven (Acts 1) and correlates with the church of Christ. And so pre-millenialism must be rejected as error.

Another error that is taught about the last days is that everything in the book of Revelation is fulfilled. This is radical preterism. Thus the final chapters of Revelation that shows the paradise of Eden being restored in the New Heaven and Earth is already fulfilled and we are living in it right now according to radical preterism.

The New Heaven and Earth was a future promise. The Christians who were enjoying the Christian life were not yet in the new heaven and earth. They were still living in the old heaven and earth which was still subjected to the futility and groaning, Rom. 8:20-23. If the new heaven and earth were only metaphorical or symbolic, the change would be something the Christians already enjoyed and Revelation would not speak of it as a future reality. But as Paul says that the redemption of the christian's body is future, which corresponds with Paul's words in 1 Cor. 15 concerning the second coming when our bodies will be changed to immortal, so is the end of the groaning of the earth that's still subjected to "the bondage of corruption" (Rom 8:21). A literal new heaven and earth is a future promise and the church does not yet enjoy it.

Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22, when Isaiah is closing His prophetic message speaks of the new heaven and earth along with the recreation of Jerusalem. This promised restoration might be metaphorically relating to the period of restoration of God's people who are the faithful remnant which would have in Isaiah's mind the new dispensation in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6,7; Isaiah 11:1,2; Isaiah 53). This means that the new heaven and earth can indeed be symbolic. But not so when the New Testament church is established and still a new heaven and earth is promised in the future.

If the Christian age represents a new heaven and earth, it would be true from the time the church of Christ began in a.d. 33. The time of Christ's reign began when He was seated at the Father's right hand, Acts 2:34ff. And the church was said to be in the kingdom of Christ. And so the new Christian covenant with Jesus as King of kings would be the time a spiritual new heaven and earth was established. So why do the New Testament authors speak of the future new heaven and earth?

Peter writes in his second epistle that God is going to bring another judgment akin to the judgment of the worldwide flood in Noah's day, 2 Peter 3:1ff. But the second judgment, still future, will be with fire. The fire will burn up the first heaven and earth so that God establishes a new heaven and earth. This chapter makes it clear that this judgment, fire, and new heaven and earth comes when God's patience runs out so that He sends Jesus. The doubters were saying "where is the promise of His coming?" 2 Pt 3:4. In the future, Peter says, Jesus will come and with that coming, He will burn up this heaven and earth and will create from it a brand new heaven and earth. The early church may have been enjoying a symbolic new heaven and earth, being in the church and under Christ, but the fuller meaning is a literal remaking of heaven and earth when Jesus returns and judges the world. This is what Revelation 21 speaks of.
The Bride of Christ to be presented to the Groom on that day in the new heaven and earth.

"1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband." Rev 21:1-2.

We know from Paul and New Testament writing that the wedding is future. As the present heaven and earth waits for it's restoration, so the church waits for the consummation with Christ the groom. The church is betrothed to Christ and someday is to be presented to Him as a pure virgin, Eph 5:27. The reference by John to Jerusalem and holy city, terms that relate to the blessed church of Christ that makes up all of God's people, Isaiah 2:2,3, shows that that the complete fulfillment of these is found in the literal remaking of heaven and earth in the future. "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all." Gal. 4:26. The church is the city of God in the future, she that is betrothed to Christ, will be presented to Him as the bride pure and chaste.

"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." Rev. 22:14.

The church of Christ is symbolically the new heaven and earth, and the Jerusalem from above, that seems clear, but this truth cannot be pressed too far so as to dismiss that at the coming of Jesus Christ there will be a complete judgment. With this judgment, heaven and earth will flee and be destroyed and every soul that's good or evil will be judged, Rev. 21:1; 2 Pt 3:10. Those who did evil and did not obey the Gospel, they go to the place of eternal punishment, Rev 21:8. But those who followed Christ and overcame will live forever in eternal bliss in the new heaven and earth, which is the paradise of Eden restored. And they shall eat again from the tree of life. This is all future.

While most of the Revelation letter refers to things in the past (preterism), there are things in the last three chapters of Revelation which are yet to be fulfilled as when the kingdom of Christ comes to an end at His coming and judgment. Pre-millenialism is as carnal and wrong-headed as the thought of the first century zealots who longed for an earthly reign by the Messiah. Jesus said His kingdom isn't like that. He said His kingdom was spiritual and not of this earth, John 18:36. Also wrong is the radical preterism, that even some in the church hold to, which says that everything in the book of Revelation is already fulfilled. No, though most of Revelation is fulfilled being a direct response by God to the need of the first century Christians, still the end of Christ's reign, the final judgment, and the new heaven and earth are in the future.

Please comment and share if this is helpful. God bless you.

MADE IN GOD'S IMAGE: THE SOUL WILL NEVER CEASE TO EXIST, Dan Mayfield

When God makes something to live, it does not ever cease from living. Every angel which He made is still living. Some are obedient and some disobedient. Some will dwell for eternity with God and some will dwell for eternity in the lake of fire. The same is true of man. When God made man in His image, he became a living soul and that soul will never cease to be. Adam still lives. Eve still lives. Every soul that has ever been still lives. Every child, born and unborn, still lives.
"28“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." John 5:28-29.
This life is a test to see if men will choose life with God or if man will do evil and choose to live apart from the Father of all souls. But the soul never ceases to be. The soul cannot be annihalated. It does not pass away and become as nothing. The soul of man and angels live and they shall always live.
"6Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; 7then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it." Eccl 12:6-7.
Will your soul always live with God or will you choose to disobey the Father and rebel to follow the devil? In your hand is the choice. God invites you to be with Him for eternity. The devil entices you to rise up against the Father. What will your answer be?

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

THE FUNCTIONAL CHURCH, by Dan Mayfield

"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men." Romans 12:18
I have heard criticisms of the church that it's made of imperfect people and that there's bickering and fighting. 

But in the big scheme of things, the church is actually the place where people get along. In big families, they hardly see each other and the stories are a plenty of how dysfunctional families are and what a circus it is to get them together even once a year. We know it's true. 

However, the church family that's brought together by Jesus' blood is able to come together weekly and even several times a week so that we love, share, work through problems, and when we fight we make up. Why? Because Jesus loves us and He says for his people to repent and forgive and get along. 

In the church, we see the lion and the lamb sitting side by side. In a dysfunctional world, the church is functional.

Friday, July 29, 2016

THE NEED FOR ESTABLISHING AUTHORITY, by Dan Mayfield

"He earned his love through discipline... a thundering velvet hand." "Leader of the Band", Dan Fogelberg
I heard of an Elder who explained a key to raising children to follow the Lord. He said you must establish authority early and the children will not rebel.
This may be the very best explanation for why many of our children are not following the Lord. They aren't reading their Bibles, they are not praying, they are disinterested in God, because they don't even respect their parents' authority. At home they rebel. At home the permissive parenting style has fostered a rebellion against all authority including God's. For this I am deeply saddened.
I have to confess that only with God filling in the gaps for my shortcomings as a parent, by my establishing authority with my children, while always trying to have that "thundering velvet hand", my children are following the Lord today. For this I am eternally grateful to God.
Kristin Gates and Kevin, Priscilla Wayland and Josh, Heidi Cooley and Gregg, Autumn O'Quin and Blake O'QuinDaniel Mayfield and Miranda Mayfield this is my message of love to you. Mom and I love you mucho gusto.

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