Mark VanOuse

In God We Trust 2020 – Pt 1

[This is part 1 of the two-part message, “In God We Trust 2020”] Do you know what verse lies at the exact center of the Bible? It is a powerful verse with profound implications for our troubled times: Psalm 118:9, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” That one verse lays out two profoundly different worldviews: One looks to sinful man and human wisdom and power to save us. The other looks to Holy God and His infinite wisdom and power to save. In this episode we bring REAL HOPE for America and the world:

  • How the difficulties we are going through are not “unprecedented” after all. America has gone through much worse. God is the One who has turned the tide from evil.
  • In God We Trust – America’s godly heritage behind the national motto.
  • What does it mean to trust in God?
  • The blessedness of trusting God vs. the cursedness of trusting man (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times 12: NO ONE and NO THING Can Separate Us From The Love of God in Christ!

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] Romans 8:35-39

In the midst of darkness, trouble and crisis we may be tempted to believe that God somehow is not really for us… we may even think that He is against us! But nothing could be farther from the truth! In this episode we look at the glorious truth of God triumphing Love…. even in the worst of circumstances:

  • Five fundamental questions that are raised in Romans 8:31-35 and their powerful answers that speak of the Love relationship that God has with us.
  • The biggest question of all: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35). The answer: NO ONE and NO THING can ever separate us from the Love of God in Christ!
  • How that in our darkest times we can get caught up in a law-based, law-cursed mentality, wrongly believing that God is punishing us for our sin. This drives us deeper into sin and away from God,.
  • The powerful INTERRUPTION of Romans 8:37 and what that word “YET” means in this verse. This changes everything.
  • Why we can be absolutely persuaded that absolutely no one and no thing will ever be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus.

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times 11: God is For Us – Pt 2

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] Romans 8:33-34.
Many Christians, when they experience the blessing of the Grace of God, have a dark tendency to think, “Uh oh! I better watch out for the other shoe to drop!” In other words, “Something bad is probably going to happen, now that something good from God has happened in my life”. But that is not true. God is for us, not against us. His heart is to bless us, because He is that good! In this episode we continue looking at Romans 8:31-34, examining verses 33 and 34:

  • GOD is our JUSTIFIER, therefore NO ONE can bring a charge against us. (v. 33)
  • The One who has the rightful place to condemn righteously, judicially is The Lord Jesus Christ. But what is He doing? He DIED for me. He ROSE for me. He is AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD (the favored place) and He is INTERCEEDING for me!

What the Intercession of Jesus Means for us

In Romans 8 we read:

[31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? [32] He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? [33] Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. [34] Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Notice the judicial language above in the words “bring a charge”, “justifies”, “condemns”, “intercession”.

And now from Hebrews 7:

[22] by so much more JESUS has become a surety [guarantee] of a better covenant. [23] Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. [24] But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. [25] Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. [26] For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; [27] who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Isaiah 53:12

Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

It says in Romans 8 that Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us. What is He interceding about? Why is He interceding for us?

Jesus has completed all. He lived His life as a Man on this earth perfectly for us. He has fulfilled all of the law, setting it aside and so established the New Covenant of Grace (Hebrews 10:9). He has sacrificed all, He has bled, He died and all of our wrong has been dealt with at the cross.

And now where is Jesus? , He is at the right hand of God the Father, in the position of highest favor. And in that position of highest favor He is interceding for us. There’s a difference between praying for someone and interceding for someone. Christians often use the two interchangeably, but they are not the same. When we are interceding for someone it’s a lot like a lawyer who is interceding on behalf of his client before the bar of the judge. But in this case it is not that God the Father needs to be convinced to “lay off the sinner”. No, this all the Father’s purpose and desire, it is all part of His great, loving plan. In fact, when Jesus is interceding it is the Father who is in Jesus and is interceding through Him. Jesus said in John 12:49 &  5:19, ““Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

This is extremely powerful, because if this was not the case, if there wasn’t the perfect sacrifice of The Lord Jesus and everything accomplished for us and the Priestly intercession for us at the Father’s right hand when we sin and fail there would be no righteous ground for God to have anything to do with us.

In fact, God would utterly cease to be good, because He is standing for injustice and excusing away sin.

But precisely because God is good, Jesus righteously intercedes on our behalf. The Father is vindicated in His justice precisely because of the righteousness and perfection of Jesus, the perfection of His completed work and His perfect, righteous intercession for us!

And because He as our Great High Priest is interceding for us even when we fail, that intercession meets us where we are at and that Holy, righteous, just and good intercession is what makes the righteous difference so that Our Father can happily continue to righteously bless us and righteously have favor upon us. And the greatest blessing is the gift of Himself through the Holy Spirit…. this is what leads to real, lasting life change and a beautiful relationship with The Lord!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times 10: God is For Us – Pt 1

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] Romans 8:31-32. If we go through a trial and wrongly think that God is against us it pushes us into deeper darkness. But the plain truth is: believer, God is indeed FOR you and not against you! And that makes all the difference whenever we go through the darkest of times. In this episode we see:

  • God is for us! So who can be against us? (v. 31)
  • God the Father gave His own Son — and so He freely gives us all things with Him (v.32)
  • We also discuss, biblically, while the so-called “Cancel Culture” of our day is in fact demonic and of Satan, the Accuser of The Brethren (this starts at 11:35).
Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times 9: This is Our Hope: God’s Purpose Shall Stand!

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] Romans 8:28-30. The biggest fear that we can have is our own, total failure. This darkens our horizon and hinders our faith walk with God right now. In this episode we see that God’s real Hope has nothing at all to do with you or what you do, but completely upon His initiative and successful action:

  • The incredibly encouraging reality of God’s supreme sovereignty can be clearly seen in Romans 8:28-30.
  • All things work together for good… and why… and for whom?
  • The Success of God in The Believer, verses 29 and 30. His success means our success. This has tremendous power over our tendency to fail by the flesh.
  • The Golden Chain of Redemption

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times 8: Perfect Intercession for You

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] What would you think if you knew that there was someone who is praying for you and that someone was offering perfect prayers to God on your behalf? The good news is that you DO have such a perfect Intercessor, right now. In this episode we discover:

  • God is our sole source of real, unfailing hope
  • The Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf. God personally takes up our plea and bears us up.
  • The Holy Spirit takes us beyond the limitations of human language and connects us with God’s heart and resources.

Such Costly Love – Part 3

[Series: Such Costly Love] The great Love of God is supremely demonstrated by the costly sacrifice of Jesus and shed His precious blood for us. In this episode we learn more about SUCH COSTLY LOVE and more reasons for His shed blood:

  • Remission of sins, which brings about the completely removal of all sin, past present and future.
  • Blood of purification
  • Brought near to God
  • New Covenant Blood

A Deeper Understanding of The Love of God During Crisis

We’ve taken a pause of our ongoing series, “More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times” to allow The Lord to bring an important 3 episode series, Such Costly Love“. It has been my experience in ministering to people who are in crisis that when their foundational understanding of the Love of God is weak, then they have great difficulty trusting in such a Loving God during their crisis. A strong foundation built on the sacrificial Love of God is critical to your life walk, whether good times or bad!

Such Costly Love – Part 2

[Series: Such Costly Love] Christians understand that it was necessary for Christ to shed His precious blood to bring us salvation. Unfortunately, very few Christians understand why Jesus had to shed His blood for US. In this episode we learn about:

  • Redemption blood – as a ransom, purchasing us from sin, self and Satan to God. We now belong to God and His Loving care!
  • Reconciliation Blood – bringing restoration of friendly relations and peace with God,
  • Justification Blood – being declared innocent and given the same standing with God that Jesus has.
  • Perfect Sanctification Blood – set apart completely and perfectly for God, now and forever.