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The Eternal God and Our Refuge

I was awakened at about 2:15 one morning and had difficulty falling back to sleep, being plagued with “popcorn worries” – those pesky worries about one thing or another that keep popping up. After taking authority over Satan (we know where this sort of stuff ultimately comes from), I turned to The Bible and saw this passage:


Deuteronomy 33:27-29, esp. 27a
  27  The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

New Series Brings HOPE on the Daily In Christ Podcast

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe. It has killed tens of thousands, shut down entire economies, closed schools, shuttered businesses and left many in fear of the future. Can there be any hope for our future?

If it depended on man, we would be hopeless and our future very dark. But God is very much on His throne. He rules supreme. Because of that, we have real hope. This hope is based on the unstoppable Love of God. Our new series is called “More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times”, and is a hope-inducing study of Romans 8:15-39. We’ll unfold this incredible passage to reveal God’s heart for His children, who are His rightful heirs. We’ll see that no thing and no one can ever “separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” This series will equip you with real hope for the future and a deepening view of God’s great Love!

To follow the series on this website or download each episode using your favorite podcasting app, see the Podcast page on this site.

Fearful young woman

Do Not Imbibe of the World’s Spirit of Fear

There is significantly greater danger for the unbeliever than there is for the believer. The unbeliever is living without Christ. They are dead men walking (Eph 2:1). They are being driven by the spirit of Satan working inside of them (Eph 2:2). They are on a collision course with a world driven by Satan whose agenda is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

That’s why the world is so fearful: they’re fearful of climate change, fearful of disease, fearful of deadly viruses, fearful of influenza, fearful of pandemics, fearful of cyberattacks, fearful of getting their identity stolen, fearful of who’s in the White House, fearful of who’s not in the White House, fearful of terrorism, fearful of international situations. Fear, fear, fear!

The unbeliver has great reason to fear day and night. They are exposed to Satan and Satan’s diabolical scheming. They have chosen to live life without God.

How radically different is the case of the believer! The believer is born again, a brand new creature, alive in Christ and Christ is living inside of them. Greater is He who is in the believer than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col 1:27). The believer participates in a covenant with Father God through the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby God gives them a new heart and moves by His Spirit and forgives and blesses and cares for His children. Under this Covenant we are healed, “and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4) and so much more.

That’s why the believer must not get caught up and imbibe of the world’s panicky voice of fear, fear, fear. The world is constantly promulgating and preaching fear. Because the people of this world are those “without God and without hope in the world (Eph 2:13). So it’s essential for the believer to shut off the screeching, terrifying cry of the world. And turn ON the word of God, turn ON those who are faithfully teaching the word of God and the new creation realities. To saturate our minds with the good news of the Gospel and God’s glorious grace!

Not only are we under the personal care of Our Heavenly Father, we are also on His mission. We have been tasked to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. This saving gospel makes a profound difference in people’s lives. God does not want anyone to live in fear, in bondage to Satan:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus (John 3:16)

I originally wrote this in 2018. We need this now, more than ever, given the current crisis (or any crisis of this scale). I am not saying to shut off information from government and health authorities. It’s important to receive timely updates from those officially charged with handling a crisis. We must be wary, however, of Satan’s tactic to draw us into the godless fear of the world.

Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash

THIS KING – A Christian Response to Coronavirus

A new king has emerged, though not entirely new. It has been around for thousands of years, wreaking havoc on the human race. Its name is “Coronavirus” and its existence in our day is known as “Coronavirus COVID-19 “.

This king is in keeping with its name: for “corona” means “crown.”

This king is overruling the kings of the Earth, even of the mightiest nations.

For consider how this king has …

Shut down schools
Shut down churches
Shut down factories
Shut down supply chains
Shut down stores
Shut down offices
Shut down concerts
Shut down sporting events
Shut down financial markets
Shut down governments
Shut down highways and byways
This king has even shut down Presidential elections!

And in the space of just one week, this king’s tyrannical rule in the United States has shuttered institution after institution, in a landslide of malevolent victory.

But there is another KING. And He alone overrules all. Even the king known as “coronavirus.”

THIS KING has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16)

THIS KING brought the murderous King Manasseh down to his knees with hooks and bound in fetters where he turned and honored THIS KING as the LORD God. (2 Chronicles 33:11-13)

THIS KING humbled the mighty King Nebuchadnezzar who, in a moment, went insane. After seven long years, the king lifted his eyes to heaven and said:

THIS KING is the Most High and I praise and honor Him who lives forever!
THIS KING has an everlasting dominion and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
THIS KING reputes all the inhabitants of the Earth as nothing.
THIS KING does according to His will in the army of heaven!
THIS KING has power among the inhabitants of the Earth and is so great that no one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:33-37)

To THIS KING, he said, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.” (Daniel 4:34-37)

THIS KING restored the king’s reason and the glory of his kingdom, his honor, and his splendor.

THIS KING reigns infinitely supreme over all.

THIS KING is God, and there is no other. There is none like Him.
THIS KING declares the end from the beginning and from ancient times things that are not yet done.
THIS KING says, “My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

THIS KING has all wisdom and might.
THIS KING changes the times and the seasons.
THIS KING removes kings and raises up kings.
THIS KING gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.
THIS KING reveals deep and secret things.
THIS KING knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him (Daniel 2:20-22).

THIS KING has created all that is in heaven and that are on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
THIS KING has created all things through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)

THIS KING is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17)

THIS KING upholds the universe by the word of His power. (Hebrews 1:3)

THIS KING is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, for He created all things, and by His will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

THIS KING is the Lamb who was slain, worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)

THIS KING is the head of the body, the church.
THIS KING is the beginning.
THIS KING is the firstborn from the dead.
THIS KING has in all things preeminence. (Col 1:18)

THIS KING is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.
THIS KING is the One who lives, and was dead, and is alive forevermore. ((Revelation 1:11, 19)

THIS KING is the One who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

THIS KING is I AM (Jehovah, Exodus 3:14, John 8:58)

THIS KING is Jehovah Rophe and is OUR HEALING. (Exodus 15:26)
THIS KING is Jehovah Shamma and is PRESENT WITH US. (Ezekiel 48:35)
THIS KING is Jehovah Tsidkenu and is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16)
THIS KING is Jehovah M’kaddesh and MAKES US HOLY. (Exodus 31:13)
THIS KING is Jehovah Jireh and is OUR PROVISION (Genesis 22:14)
THIS KING is Jehovah Shalom and is OUR PEACE AND WHOLENESS (Judges 6:24)
THIS KING is Jehovah Sabaoth and is the OUR LORD OF HOSTS AND POWER (1 Samuel 1:3)
THIS KING is Jehovah Nissi and is OUR VICTORY. (Exodus 17:15)

THIS KING has the government upon His shoulder.
THIS KING is called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)

It is THIS KING Whom God also has highly exalted and given the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on Earth, and of those under the Earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Even the king, Coronavirus, bows to the honor, the glory, the power, and the supremacy of THIS KING…

And so does SARS
And MERS
And H1N1
And Ebola
And AIDS
And cancer
And cardiovascular disease
And depression
And catastrophe
And oppression
And strife
And war
And hostility
And unrest
And financial ruin
And all that has brought ruin and woe to the Earth…

THIS KING is The King of Kings, The Lord Jesus Christ!

[Note: click here for an audio version of THIS KING]

THIS KING – A Christian Response to CoronavirusCC by-nc-nd 2020Mark D. VanOuse

Christ in me the hope of…

26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. — Colossians 1:26-28

Colossians 1:27 says that Christ in you — in me — is the hope of glory!

Some time ago the Lord showed me that the hope of glory means the hope of the glory of the full extent of all that our Creator God means for us to be. Recently, God revealed to me something even deeper that can connect better in my mind and in the minds of others and it is this:

  • Christ in me the hope of righteousness
  • Christ in me the hope of love
  • Christ in me the hope of wisdom
  • Christ in me the hope of purity
  • Christ in me the hope of courage
  • Christ in me the hope of patience
  • Christ in me the hope of joy
  • Christ in me the hope of self-control
  • Christ in me the hope of goodness
  • Christ in me the hope of peace
  • Christ in me the hope of gentleness
  • Christ in me the hope of faithfulness
  • Christ in me the hope of strength
  • Christ in me the hope of healing
  • Christ in me the hope of being a blessing to others

Christ in me, my hope of glory!

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Only God Can Be God of Our Lives (Not us!)

O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Man is not capable of being God:

Jeremiah 10:23
  • “I know the way of man is not in himself
  • “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps”

Only God is capable of being God in our life: as our source, our means (even for direction and leading).

Only God is capable of leading our lives. We are not capable of leading our lives because “the way of man is not in himself” and “it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

That’s the problem with us: we want to grab the steering wheel of our lives and control things. That’s when stress and disaster happens. If we allow God to control our lives, step by step every day, it leads to peace and sure direction.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

Psalm 37:23

A man’s steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Blessed With The Blessing of Abraham!

In Genesis 12:1-3, we see God coming to an undeserving, pagan man, Abraham, and unilaterally blessing him:

[12:1] Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
[2] I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
[3] I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

This blessing is staggering. Abraham became incredibly rich in so many ways, and he became a blessing to billions. Abraham’s physical descendants, the Jews, have produced incredible advances in science, technology, the arts, and so much more. Yet God’s heart is not only to bless the Jews but also us. So what is the connection between this astonishing blessing and me and you? Watch God’s rich heart of love for us unfold as we connect the scripture dots from Abraham to us:

Genesis 22:18, all the nations blessed:

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:4-5, to Isaac:

(4)”And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; (5)”because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

Genesis 28:14, to Jacob:

“Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:8, to the Gentiles

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:9, to you and me:

So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For more on what “of faith” means, read Romans chapter 4 in the Bible.

This why, Galatians 3:16

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 

And now the ULTIMATE reason! Galatians 3:10-14

(10) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”° (11) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for”the just shall live by faith.”° (12) Yet the law is not of faith, but”the man who does them shall live by them.”° (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”°), (14) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Dear brother and sister in Christ, it seems too good to be true. God is indeed richly blessing me and you to such a fabulous degree! Why? Because that’s His great heart of love. He does this because He is that good. Not only that, but we are blessed to be a blessing to the nations

2 Corinthians 9:8 expresses this so well:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

(Photo credit: Marvin Meyer on Unsplash )

Abraham’s Faith Was Based on the Ability of God, Not His Own Ability

The Bible speaks greatly of Abraham’s faith:  

  • He inherited the promises by faith
  • He looked for the City of God by faith
  • He became the heir of the world by faith
  • He received the son of promise, Isaac, by faith
  • He became a father of many nations by faith

But what was at the epicenter of Abraham’s faith? At the center of his faith was God’s ability: 

Romans 4:20-25 (faith in God’s ability to perform what He promised): 

[20]  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, [21] and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. [22] And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”* [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, [24] but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, [25] who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.  

Hebrews 11:17-19 (faith in God’s ability to raise the son of promise from the dead): 

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”* [19] concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.   In contrast, Abraham’s inability was so great that he was described as “as good as dead”:  

Hebrews 11:12

[12] Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.   Romans 4:19 (NKJV)[19] And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.   

How much ability does a dead person or body have? Zero. We’re talking total inability.   Here’s the second key of Abraham’s great faith:  he did not consider his total inability but was looking to GOD’s total ability! 

(Photo credit: Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash )

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Law Thinking Drives Us Deeper Into Ourselves and Away From God

Law thinking drives us deeper into ourselves, relying on fleshly resources rather than the kind and infinite resources of our Heavenly Father.

For example, it is commonly taught in the church that God requires a tithe — meaning a tenth of all. Then people get into all sorts of debates about what God requires: do we tithe off gross pay or net? What if I’m unemployed? What it I can’t pay my bills?

Meanwhile, statisticians tell us that less than 10% of church-going people actually do tithe. Some recent reports put it at well below 5%* …

The Real Reason Behind Trials: The Testing of Our Faith

The subject of suffering frequently comes up in Christian teachings. Many times the speaker will quote a passage like Romans 5:3-4
3 And not only [that], but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Then they go on and on about “the value of suffering”: God is using suffering, hardship, difficulty to improve our character, refine us, make us stronger, make us “more Christ-like”.
They have it completely wrong.