Thank you for signing up for the CARM newsletter. I want to first of all apologize for getting this newsletter out a bit late and for missing the one two weeks ago. As you may or may not know, my entire family was quite sick with the flu and I had to take care of them all. With a full-time job it was rather time-consuming and difficult.. Add to that my wife's recent foot surgery and the fact that we moved into our new home one week ago (had to pack and unpack lots of stuff), I hope that you understand that I have a good reason for missing the last one.
Finally, after a move from Southern California to Idaho, we are finally in our own home. Southern California was very expensive to live in and we realized that we would not be able to purchase a home if we stayed there. After a road trip and some research, my wife and I decided on the Boise Idaho area. We were not disappointed. Not only have we just moved in to our new home, but it turns out that we also met a couple that I had known 10 years ago in Southern California. They are very godly and we are now having a home fellowship on Sunday mornings with them and another family. I am the one teaching and I have been going through the parables of Jesus. It has been a rewarding and satisfying time.
Of course, I are still hoping to get a full-time in CARM and, Lord willing, this will occur later this year. My wife agrees, as do I, that this Ministry has grown beyond the level of part-time effort. There's so much to do. Presently, I have a little under 500 e-mails in my inbox with a list of over 170 groups and individuals to do research on. It is rather daunting but I know that the Lord will provide in due time. Therefore, I request that you pray for this Ministry for my family and for the needs that we'll have in producing more and more information for the web site.
Speaking in California
It looks like I will be flying down to Pasadena, California (Los Angeles area) to lead to a Saturday seminar on evangelism. The exact date is not yet set, but it will probably happen the first week or so in March. Also, I'll be probably going to Austin, Texas to speak at a conference there in April. Again, exact date isn't settled yet. Nevertheless, there will be several speakers; I'll be one of them. The topic is not yet decided but it will have something to do with apologetics. You can remember prayer for both of those, that would great.
God's nature it is discussed by theologians all of the world. We know that the Bible is the inspired revelation of God concerning himself, us, the work of Christ, and a host of other topics. As Christians, one of the most important things we need to understand and depend on is the goodness of God. We know that He is gracious and kind. But He is also good. In relationship to God's nature, being good means that there is no impurity, no moral lacking, no defect, etc. God is incorruptible, blameless, pure, dependable, and right.
Jesus said, "Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 “Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!," (Matt. 7:9-11). In the culture of the time of Christ, when women would make bread, it would often take the form and appearance of a small round stone. Likewise, there was a fish in the Lake of Galilee that resembled a snake. To continue, we find in the Luke account of this the inclusion of the statement “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?" (Luke 11:12). This statement reflected the fact that in that region there is a scorpion that will curl up and take the form that resembles an egg. Okay, so what was Jesus saying?
Jesus was telling us that God is good and that He will not fake us out. If we ask Him for something that is good, He will not trick us and give us something that is bad. Jesus then draws a comparison between God and ourselves. He says that if we who are, relatively speaking evil, know how to give a good gifts to our children, how much more shall God, who is the ultimate good, give good things to those who ask Him? The answer is of course that God can give to us greater things than we can imagine.
The reason that God can give us good things is because He is good. It is His nature to be good. This is important because if we know that He is good, then we can trust Him and depend upon Him. We can depend upon Him to never let us down, to always be there for us, to always keep us secure in Christ, to always be caring for us and loving us. Because God is good, we can take comfort knowing that good things come to us from Him. Of course, this does not mean that every event in our lives is fun. There are many things that come to us which are quite difficult. But still, the Bible says, "Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow," (James 1:17). In other words, through the hard times as well as easy, whenever it comes from God is good.
Therefore we need to trust Him beyond our ability to comprehend, beyond our ability to understand, and through every event, to trust that there is good somewhere. Though sometimes good may be difficult to find, when your eyes are on Christ in every situation, then you can find that which is good. But remember, what is good is not always what is easy. And sometimes in order to find what is good, we must look deep within ourselves in humility, be thankful for the grace of salvation given us and for the cleansing of our sins. In thankfulness we need to continue walking by faith in this world as God grants us countless opportunities to bring glory to Him and bear witness of His truth in every circumstance to every person.
To God be the glory for He is good.