Mark VanOuse

Dark storm pushed back by brilliant light.

More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times, Part 1 – Introduction

[Series: More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times] There are times in our lives when we are suddenly hit with a crisis. Like a car getting slammed broadside on the road. But no matter how dark and frightening the crisis — even the current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic — God reigns supreme. And that makes all the difference in our lives! This episode begins a brand new series that speaks to this truth, called “More Than Conquerors in the Darkest of Times”. Today, well look at:

  • The challenge of a crisis: above all remembering that God is King of all.
  • The profound importance of Romans chapter 8 and how this powerful chapter can bring powerful stability and victory to our lives, no matter the crisis.
  • The major themes of Romans 8.

Photo credit: Photo by Arto Marttinen on Unsplash

THIS KING – the audio version

[This is the audio version. Click here for the written version]

I have become increasingly concerned over the hysteria and panic over the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. True, we must be careful and take wise action. However, the overreaction and downright panic are much worse than the disease itself.

If God did not exist, I can see why we should panic. But He does exist. Not only that, but He is also good. Supremely good. He reigns over all, even over global pandemics like Coronavirus.

Last week, I asked for the Lord’s help to bring encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who don’t know Him. Several times I sat down to map out ideas, scriptures, and thoughts. It just didn’t come together. Then, early this past Sunday morning, The Lord implanted an incredible idea. In mere minutes, I developed an outline tracing the whole path of the message, the scriptures and concepts. The writing of this just flowed. I was overwhelmed with joy and strong encouragement. I just knew that this represented our King’s heart for His children and for this frightened world.

Here is a recording of what the Lord gave me. It’s called THIS KING. May you be encouraged, blessed and at peace knowing that HE overrules all!

Blessed #8: Blessed of God (Part 1)

Throughout the Bible and down the corridors of time, we find people who were known to be BLESSED OF GOD. How did they ever get to such a place of being SO BLESSED? What was their secret?

  • People are blessed not because they are so good, but because God is good.
  • None are righteous.
  • So what IS the grace of God that brings such incredible, beyond imagination blessing into our lives?
  • Another thing that we see in the life of a person blessed of God is that there is evidence of PROSPERITY upon their life
  • A person blessed of God CANNOT be cursed

Blessed #6: The Incredible Steadfast Love of The Lord

[Psalm 103:8-10, Part 6 of the series, “Blessed Beyond Imagination”]  We live in rapidly changing times. Everywhere we look, dramatic — sometimes traumatic — change is taking place: in our culture, in the world, at the workplace, in our schools and in our families. But there is one, sure, great constant and that is GOD HIMSELF and His Incredible STEADFAST LOVE. In this lesson we learn about:

  • The rich Hebrew word “hesed”, which means “steadfast love” or “unfailing love”. This powerful word, which is closest to the New Covenant concept of grace, occurs many times throughout the Old Testament, particularly in the Book of Psalms.
  • The great dimensions of God’s love: His great mercy.
  • What is really behind the wrath of God, how God’s anger is the result of His justice and righteousness, which have been so severely violated by sinful man.
  • How God’s wrath last only for a moment, yet His mercy is EVERLASTING!

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.

The Just Shall Live By Faith – Pt 10 (Hebrews Pt 40)

[Hebrews 11:23-29]  In this episode, we look at the faith of Moses, the man of God who was called of God to forsake Egypt and bring deliverance to God’s people from the hand of Pharaoh. Over and over again we see that by living by faith, Moses:

  • Had a godly response, despite fearful situations.
  • Identified with God and His people, not the world.
  • Kept steadfast, even in the face of persecution.
  • Had the forward look of faith and hope.
  • Forsook Egypt, didn’t fear wrath of the king, led the people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea.

Relating to God as a Son, Not a Sinner

I was listening to a Bible teacher and he said, “God wants you to know that God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, that God, Who is the Creator is your Father and it’s important that you maintain a son-Father relationship, a Father-son relationship. When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son*, not that of a sinner.

It was that last part that really touched me, even awakened something in me: “When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son, not that of a sinner.” I know what the Bible says about us having the full rights as sons (Gal 3:26-29, 4:5-6, Rom 8:14-17) and the privileges of a son. Yet these words awakened an even deeper awareness: even in my sin, even in my need of overcoming sin, my place is not that of a sinner, but as a favored one, as a son who comes to his Father. …

The Just Shall Live By Faith – Pt 9 (Hebrews Pt 39)

[Hebrews 11:13-22]  How did they do it? How did those memorialized in Hebrews Chapter 11 live in such a way that God selected them and their story as examples of faith? The answer: they lived by faith. In this episode we:

  • Remember the important context of Hebrews 11 — the full book of Hebrews, centered on CHRIST and His finished work.
  • How knowing the promises of God and embracing them gives us great assurance that leads to God-pleasing, triumphant faith
  • How to face the impossible task, like Abraham, and see victory.

 

Justified Forever! Part 2

[Romans 3:21-26] The great reformer Martin Luther once said, “This one and firm rock, which we call the doctrine of justification, is the chief article of the whole Christian doctrine, which comprehends the understanding of all godliness.” He also called this doctrine the “article of the standing and falling of the church …if this article stands, the Church stands; if it falls, the Church falls.”

Justification also finds supreme importance in the Bible itself. That’s what we’ll find out in this episode, part 2 of the message, “Justified Forever”

Justified Forever! Part 1

Many Christians are crippled in their walk with the Lord, because they wrongly believe that God is relating to them on the basis of their righteousness, instead of on the righteousness of JESUS CHRIST. But the truth is, we could never, in a billion-trillion years come even close to being “good enough” for God. If we could, then WE would have to get the glory, not God.

Recently, I preached a message at my home church called, “Justified Forever!”. Today, we’ll hear the first part of this message. It is important to understand that the biblical truth of justification by faith in Jesus and His finished work is vital to successful God-honoring Christianity. This truth sparked the Reformation nearly 500 years ago. It’s message has brought many to the saving knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ.